Monday, July 02, 2007

still high on the crack

Well, I'm back in California and have gotten caught up on work, and on my favorite obsession ever. Incidentally, the more I come clean about my unadulterated love for this show, the more people keep coming out of the dancing closet to me, confessing in reverent, hushed tones, "Oh my god I LOVE that show!" And then we proceed to disagree on all the couples. Which, honestly? Fine. I'm just happy to have someone to debate with. Watch it, preach it, fight with me, and watch it some more.

This past week was possibly the most dramatic I've ever seen on So You Think You Can Dance, and I look forward to all the possible discussion of the performances and the results. Here's the complete run-through of the dances and the results, complete with my opinions, of course.

Debbie Allen was a guest judge, so if you missed the show you missed pretty much the Queen of Darling and Sassy. What a mensch, and what a treat to have her on this show.

In other news, Nigel Lythgoe is kind of a pervert. I mean, you could guess it by the way he's all gross about some of the female contestants, going on about how hot they are, and the way he's partial to the younger ones (I know, ew). But Wednesday he also went so far as to make a joke about having host Cat Deeley on his head, and... no. He's passionate about promoting the world of dance and his critiques are usually pretty spot on, but classy, he ain't.

On to Wednesday's performances:
1. Sara and Jesus, krumping - I like these two a lot, and they both dance very well. I'm surprised no one's given them a hard time for not being together enough yet, though. They are sometimes, not others. They dance like they're competing with each other, and it's distracting from an otherwise good and entertaining performance. My gut after this performance says SAFE.

(By the way--did anyone else find Nigel's "compliments" for this routine a little, oh, what's the word... racist? Here's what he said: "I like where krumping is going, or I like where Lil C's taking krumping, because it's a lot more accessible. You're not just 'kicking butt.' . . . Sara, you are a GANGSTA. Wow. She scared me. When she pulled her shirt up, I thought she looked like an outlaw or something. . . . Jesus, you're a contemporary dancer. This is really mean work from, you know, South LA--Slausom [sic] & Crenshaw, I think it is. . . where did you learn that in Paso Robles? . . . You were so together, the pair of you, and it's really great to watch and a lot of fun, which is unlike krumping. I'm normally scared of it."

I mean. . . what?)

2. Shauna and Cedric, contemporary - Mia Michaels doesn't just choreograph "emotion," she turns melodrama into high art. Of course, it's the kind of art that I respect without necessarily loving it. Shauna is sensational in this performance, and Cedric is good but, not surprisingly, not good enough. At one point, Mia just had him sitting on the stage, which is a choice I disagree with--if you think he can't handle the routine, at least give him some steps and let him try. Don't make it obvious that you're compensating. The regular judges spanked him again, some more, but check this shit out: Debbie Allen offered Cedric a scholarship to her dance studio. I know!! I know. I was crying. It was highly emotional. Even so, I was certain they would be in the bottom three.

3. Lacey and Kameron, quick step - The quick step is a hard sell, but these two totally up for it. I understand where people feel that they aren't a technically proficient couple, and making up for a lack of substance with a lot of style. That said, I like that they throw themselves into every routine they try and really COMMIT, and this week was no different. It was a fun, entertaining routine, and I am convinced they are SAFE.

4. Anya and Danny, hip hop - Much like fellow Russian ballrom dancer Faina, Anya had trouble learning the hip hop choreography and loosening up enough to pull it off. Dan Karaty's routine is slick and sharp, and the song (Timbaland's "Oh Timbaland") is an awesome hip hop cover of Nina Simone's "Sinnerman," and just conveniently showed up in my iTunes for only $.99, because it is RAD. So: the song is hot, the routine is slick, the costumes are sharp, the dancers are excellent... and yet something was missing for me. Anya and Danny danced it perfectly, but they didn't really feel it. Even so, I'm thinking thinking there's no way they're not SAFE.

5. Dominic and Sabra, rumba - These two are really trying to sell themselves on personality in their little interviews. They really don't need to,though, because they're starting to dance really well together. Their routine is sensational this evening, truly, and Dominic is really improving week over week, which is exciting to watch. I am officially feeling the Dominic and Sabra love over here. They have convinced me they are SAFE.

(And now we pause for these messages from the new Hairspray trailer: Eeeeeee!)

6. Lauren and Neil, tango - Ugh. I'm so over these two. Neil mugs for the camera like he's been taking tips from Ben Affleck circa Mallrats. His expressions and behavior in front of the camera are so insincere it's gross. Lauren is about 6--right? if she's 18 now?--years away from shaving her head after the pressure of being married to the world's biggest sleeze, then turning into Gross Party Girl Extraordinaire gets to be too much for her. What was somewhat charming immaturity last week, is this week cloying and hard to take. They dance the tango, and mug for the camera, and even though the steps are fine, they are an insufferable couple and I'm hoping they land in the bottom three by my sheer force of will.

7. Jaimie and Hok, "jazz" - I put jazz in quotes because what they really pulled out of a hat is the once in a lifetime chance to work with Genius Wade Robson on his latest creation. The dance choreography is meant to portray a love story between a flower and a hummingbird, and because Wade is a freaking Master and Hok and Jaimie are talented, it comes across just exactly so. The dancers get a lot of praise for doing a dance that was, in the words of the judges, "created for their skills." I think every choreographer customizes their routines for their dancers, and I also think that Wade could create something this beautiful on the spot if he wanted to; I also think the dancers didn't get enough credit for a beautiful job on this particular genius routine, so I'm going to go ahead and give them props here: GOOD ON YA. I dub thee SAFE.

8. Jessi and Pasha, cha cha - After watching lots of rehearsal footage, we find out that Jessi has been taken to the hospital for respiratory problems and chest pains, and doctors have recommended that she rest, and not compete. DRAMA! At the onset, Nigel explains that if Jessi is up to dancing the following night, then she will automatically be in the bottom tier of girls and will have to dance a solo to stay in the competition. If she is still sick, she will automatically be cut. That out of the way, they tell us that the choreographer's assistant will be dancing with Pasha, who still has the chance to compete for votes. Then Pasha comes out and proves he is, in fact, one fabulous Latin dancer, as well as an incredible partner. And, frankly, a trooper. I think there's no way he's voted into the bottom three, and is therefor SAFE.

Which means I'm already wrong about one couple. Let's just go ahead and see how the results broke out, shall we?

1. Sara and Jesus - I said safe. They're not, they're in the bottom three.
2. Shauna and Cedric - I said bottom three, but Cedric's passionate speech and all the damn drama, plus some amazing dancing by Shauna, have saved his ass and they are safe. Similar to last week's outcome, I feel like this is not entirely right, even though I totally love Cedric.
3. Lacey and Kameron - I said safe, they're totally safe.
4. Anya and Danny - I said safe, and they're totally NOT. I know! Everyone was shocked. They even had the last "bottom three slot" down to Anya/Danny or Shauna/Cedric for Dramatic! Effect! And shocked us all with these results. It's very surprising, but what's more shocking is Danny's behavior. First, he barely wanted to hug Cedric. Then he started laughing, even as Nigel was trying to comfort him and Anya (by explaining the concept of "voting" to us dumb 'Mericanz). His face is a mess of emotions, the most readily detectable being "disgust." Yes, by all means, Danny--show contempt for the American public and their choices. See how well that works out for you in the long run. He's a talented dancer--no question. But what an asshole.
5. Dominic and Sabra - I said safe, and they are.
6. Lauren and Neil - I hoped bottom three, and they ARE. Ha! Suck it! I hope you go home!

Which means,
7. Jaimie and Hok and 8. Jessi and Pasha got the votes, and are safe. Jessi, of course, will have to dance a solo anyway.

At this point, I'm really hoping Lauren and Neil get the boot. Lauren's solo involves a lot of prancing and sex-kitten pouting, and I'm not impressed and want her to go. (Plus, in an odd twist that makes my Britney Spears premonition all the more ominous, she chooses freaking PopoZao to dance to, and girl? You're young, so let me give you some words to live by: when it comes to K-Fed, JUST SAY NO.)

Then again, the rest of the girls' solos are also just okay. Oh, dear. On the guys' side, Neil does a lot of really impressive pirouettes and not much else, Jesus does a more creative, but less polished, routine, and Danny phones in a bitter, yet somehow gorgeous, routine.

So naturally, the two going home are Jessi and Jesus.

I don't even know what basis the judges are using to choose people at this point, but I will say this: I think having Mary Murphy on the judging panel every week was a mistake. I think having more than one judge on the panel every week is a bad idea. I feel like the judges were more balanced and objective last season when they changed up. I think Mary makes very emotional choices, and she's getting attached to certain people, and to opinions about certain people, that is ultimately clouding judgment that used to be way more balanced. I don't think it's her fault some of these people are going home; I think it's Nigel's for including her on the panel every week.

As for the decision itself, I'm actually fine with Jessi going home. I personally think that her "dehydration" issues are the result of an eating disorder (it looks like she's lost a lot of weight since her first audition--look at her face, if you don't believe me). This is all suspicion, but if I'm right and they knew about it, and it was a factor, then good. If I'm wrong, I still believe that her dancing never would have overcome her obnoxious personality for me, and I'm fine with her leaving. Jesus, on the other hand, breaks my heart. What a genuine guy and entertaining dancer. To lose out to asshole Danny and insufferable Neil just plain sucks.

SO! So. what did you think? Am I onto something, or am I still high on the crack? Only a thorough posting in the Comments section will let me know for sure.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

Well, my original assessment was:

First of all, holy buckets of glory, Cat Deely is amazingly hot.

For another thing, I met Debbie Allen about two months ago, and she dresses like a crazy bag lady, which I think is just plain divine. And she is so remarkably full of herself, which I also think is seriously wonderful, because if anyone should be, it's Debbie Allen.

Nigel is a creepy old pervert. Seriously.

Sara and Chuy: Sara is the hardest person from Ft. Collins I've ever seen. I'm just sad Danny didn't get this style, so people can shut the fuck up about how versatile he is, because he would have DROWNED in this routine. As it is, Chuy and Sara tore it up, mo fiya style. I could, however, go the rest of my life without ever hearing Nigel say, "Gangsta" again...

Shauna and Cedric: I hate you Shauna, and I hate you, Mia Michaels. Speaking of things I could go the rest of my life without hearing, if one more person uses the term "organic" to describe anything but produce, I'm going to scream. As much as I hate Mia, I usually at least give her props for being a great choreographer. This was a train wreck. If both of these two go this week, I will be neither surprised nor sad. That was whack, and -not- just from Cedric. They BOTH sucked. On the other hand, Debbie Allen is one classy lady. For real.

Lacey and Kameron: Can we please, for the love of all things holy, stop making people dance the Quickstep? Please? PLEASE? I don't care what anyone says, Kameron outdanced Lacey in this number. She was lazy from top to bottom. Kick your legs, sister. I thought you were a ballroom chick. Plus, Kameron's wearing spats, and how do you fault a guy who's wearing spats? They're safe again this week. Dammit.

Anya and Danny: At last, at last. Danny has to dance hip hop, and I swear, I was waiting like a vulture for him to fuck it up so I could sweep in with my "I told you so"s. Then again, Dan Karaty does -not- choreograph hip-hop. He choreographs hip-pop, and it's not the same thing by any stretch. Hooray for "I told you so!" That was TERRIBLE. Anya wasn't great, but she al least didn't look ridiculous (primarily because she's -so- incredibly hot). Danny... well... anyway. 14-year-old fan girls will keep him out of the bottom three, especially thanks to all of the pimping the judges were doing, but they really do deserve to be there. Danny was worse at hip-pop than Cedric was at Contemp tonight for certain.

Sabra and Dominic: If my wife and I ever decide to get over our ethical opposition to making more people and procreate, I think our daughter is going to grow up to look -exactly- like Sabra. Anyway, I love that little crazy French bastard, and he choreographed an interesting routine. He's no Alex DeSilva, but he's good. Let's stop dancing to the Pussycat Dolls, though, okay? I liked it perfectly fine. I'm not a huge fan of slow Rumbas, but they danced it pretty fantastically. If there's justice in the world, Sabra and D-Trix are safe again this week.

Lauren and Neil: Please vote Lauren off. Now.

Jaimie and Hok: HOORAY FOR WADE! Jeezus, that guy is brilliant. By far, the best routine of the night. I don't have enough superlatives in my vocabulary for what I thought of that. Simply gorgeous. It might be a little wierd and scary for the voters, but fuck them, because that was magnificent.

Jessi and Pascha: I could not believe the whole Jessi-going-to-the-hospital thing. I wonder what that means. She's automatically in the bottom three? And if she's too injured to dance, she's cut? I'm confused. I also feel bad for Pascha because he could have gotten to dance with Jessi, and instead had to dance with that unfortunate redhead girl. He's totally safe with the sympathy vote, however, so I guess it's a tradeoff. (I wonder what happens then. If Pascha gets voted safe, Jessi still has to DoD? Does another whole couple go to the bottom too? They didn't seem to plan this out very well...)

Best of the night: Jaimie and Hok
My bottom three: Anya and Danny, Lauren and Neil, Shauna and Cedric.
Predicted bottom three: Shauna and Cedric, Lauren and Neil, probably Sara and Chuy, although it will be total bullshit.

As it turns out, after the vote show, I was right. Sara and Chuy landed in the bottom, as did Lauren and Neil, but through the magic of horse shit, Lauren still exists in the universe, and Danny was kept despite one of the worst hip hop performances ever on this show, and a lackluster solo to boot. Way to go, Nigel. You sure are a fair producer...I mean, judge.