Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hip hop made me cry.

I don't know if I'm done talking about my triathlon yet, but it's definitely time to talk about So You Think You Can Dance. When I got back to LA, there was a prize for me waiting in the DVR: FOUR HOURS of dancing to catch up on. Eee!

Now I'm watching last night's top 20, so before I get into my thoughts on last night's 10 couples, here are my thoughts on the top 20 in general: I think they got about 18 of them right. I do not like Susie from Miami. She reminds me of one of these girls. But what really stings is that she IS in the top 20, and that darling Kellie (her mom is Bonnie Story, you know the one), gets pinged for... not enough personality? But Kellie, to me, was a beautiful dancer. Watching her first audition, I thought she'd not only be Top 20, but that she had the potential to win the whole thing.

It's just disappointing because one of the things I love about this show is that, most of the time, it focuses on the dancing. I mean, I get that they're also casting a show, of course. But I feel like when you make a decision to choose big personality + decent dancing over mild personality + brilliant dancing, then you're A) pandering and B) pandering to an audience that may not even exist. Fox, Nigel, just for the record: we really do watch this for the dancing. We like dancers with a personality and we don't like jackasses, but we really watch for the dancing.

As for the guys, I love so many of them and I'm thrilled they made it. I'm really bummed about the Gene Kelly dude. You know the one I mean. I just loved his style and would have loved to see what else he could do on the show. But they packed the dudes full of contemporary dancers, and he'll just have to come back next year.

Final gripe before I get into the Ten Couples: WHERE the F is SHANE SPARKS?????

I missed him all through the first rounds of judging, but when the first hip hop routine of the season ISN'T a Shane Sparks routine, it just feels all wrong. BOO!! Someone screwed up for him not to be here this year, is all I'm saying. That said, let's get into this:

1. Rayven & Jamie: A ballet dancer and a ballroom dancer doing a routine by hip hop choreographer couple (HHCC?) Tabitha and Napoleon. Like Dan said, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. It was cute, but I prefer my hip hop with a little more funk, a little more nasty, and hitting a lot harder, and while they did the steps, they didn't quite get there.

2. Susie & Marquis: Doing the smooth waltz. They mess up a lift, recover, and while their carriage and lines are pretty, their chemistry falls a little flat for me. Given how much I dislike Susie, I must say her dancing is decent. They get a lot of props from the judges for getting through it because it's so hard, and I'm just like, "It's supposed to be hard, but they're Top 20. They should be getting through it. Nice standards, guys." Are they complimenting the dancing to justify having her on the show, maybe? Feh.

3. Kourtni L & Matt: Jazz. This girl, I LOVE. I think she's darling and I love the way she moves. I also love that they're the Tall Couple, because dancers are usually so wee. I loved this routine, and they had good chemistry, but Kourtni really outperformed Matt here. Nigel's assessment of Matt is right on--he needs to loosen up. Dan is also right, that they should have attacked the routine more, but so far this is my favorite.

4. Chelsea T & Thayne: Cha cha. The routine is sexy and fun and they're definitely on Mary's Hot Tamale Train. They're both strong and performing well, and that Chelsea is SENSATIONAL. Love her. Thayne is adorable, but he's going to have to learn to keep up with her a bit more.

5. Chelsie H & Mark: Mia Michael's contemporary. These two are kind of Beauty and the Freak. This little girl is crazy young and cute and sweet, and Mark is this fun, weird dancer. The routine is fantastic, they dance is beautifully. Their timing, in particular, is fantastic, and I think they're a a strong couple together.

6. Kherington & Twitch: Broadway! I didn't love Kerrington in her initial bio package, but I did love her dancing. Of course they're selling the Twitch Story hard, but I love him, and I also love his dancing. This performance, for me, is full of WIN. Tyce's routine is fantastic and builds really nicely. In this style, Twitch is clearly both out of his element, and totally committed and winning at it anyway. And that Kerrington, man. Not to go all Mary Murphy, but she really is a joy to watch on stage. I actually squealed and clapped watching this routine.

7. Comfort & Chris: Jive. Oh, jive is so hard to get right, and we have a hip hop dancer and a contemporary dancer. I think they get the steps right, but it needs a little more energy for me. I feel like Chris is pulling faces to create personality, when it should just be naturally coming through in his dance, and I feel like Comfort is just concentrating her ass off. But, nice job. And that Comfort is adorable.

8. Katee & Joshua: Hip Hop. First off, I LOVE Joshua. Super talented, and darling personality. I want to hug him. Now that's out of the way, y'all this routine made me cry. Hip hop made me cry. Katie was kind of awesome, and I wasn't expecting that. Joshua, though, was BRILLIANT. Just... watching him dance this routine is like watching magic on stage. I gasped when I watched this and then re-wound it immediately to watch it again. Between them and Kerrington & Twitch, I have a tie for my favorite routine and couple of the night. Wow.

9. Jessica & Will: Tango. Hi, Will is hot. Jessica, to me, is just fine. And in this routine, I feel kind of the same. Will might actually be the closest thing this show has to a perfect dancer. He's really divine here. Jessica does a fine job of keeping up but, as Nigel says, a few wobbles. Tango is hard to pull off with most couples here, but I thought they were pretty great. NOT the couple to beat, as Mary said (See 6, 8), but pretty great.

10. Courtney G & Gev: Disco. Courtney is a Knicks dancer, Gev is a hip hop dancer from Kazakhstan. These two have good chemistry and are clearly having fun, but the routine is a little weak. And Gev needs to be a stronger partner, especially the lifts.

PLEASE STAY: Kourtni L & Matt, Chelsea T & Thayne, Chelsie H & Mark, Kherington & Twitch,Comfort & Chris, Katee & Joshua, Jessica & Will

BOTTOM THREE: Rayven & Jamie, Susie & Marquis, Courtney G & Gev

We'll see how my opinions & predictions match up tonight!


Susanna said...

You know, I didn't event notice until you mentioned it that Shane Sparks is missing. Now *I'm* wondering where he is!

1. Don't dis my girl Raven! I think this routine was better than the judges thought. No worries if she's in the bottom 3, though: as both a ballerina and a flamenco dancer, she will blow them away in a solo.

3. I actually thought Matt was better than Kourtni. Matter of fact, I thought he was possibly the best male dancer of the night. Don't know what Nigel was talking about - he had great energy and technique.

5. I wish they hadn't been so obviously nervous. The routine was good, but it could've been stellar.

I'm hoping you're wrong about Raven being in the bottom 3. If I had to replace them with someone, I'd say Jessica & Will, because their routine was a little boring.

Dinah said...

Hey, I'm not hatin' on Rayven in general. I'm just saying she and her partner could have attacked their routine a little harder. As for Matt, it sounds like we're just seeing him differently which, for me, is part of the fun of the show, actually. All these closet fans come out of the woodwork, and start disagreeing all over the place, and it's fun! :)

Tonights bottom three will be interesting for sure. First elimination!!

Erika said...

I completely agree with you on pretty much all counts (though I think Danny was as close to a perfect dancer as they'll ever get. Love Will, too, though!)

Rayven and Jamie were my least favorites, but they weren't terrible. I didn't love love love Kourtni and Matt's routine, but I love them and I think they have some serious potential.

Mary Murphy (who I shamelessly love) was a bit crazy last night and loved eeeeveryone.

Shane is too busy doing the MTV Dance Crew show. But I heard that he's going to choreograph next week's group number. God, I hope so. I love him.

Overall, good night. But there wasn't a HUGE love for me, like Benji and Donyelle's opening dance (2 Much Booty) or Danny and Anya's jive to "Girlfriend." I think I am still warming up to these new whippersnappers.

Oh, and it crushed me, too, when the Gene Kelly guy didn't get in. Boo.

Anonymous said...

Yay recaps! Thanks Dinah!
My favorite was Josh and Katee's piece too - he is so powerful and she was surprisingly good (angry pain!) Really beautiful.
A close second for me was the Mia Michaels thing - very cool - she clearly choreographed for both those dancers (though I couldn't help wondering what it would look like with Chelsie & Will instead of Mark). Chelsie is so cute and seems willing and able to do anything. I like how she just popped up in rehearsal and was like I'm Ok! just like Zooey in Death Proof.
Twitch and Kherrington - wow! Razzle dazzle!
Of the rest I really like Kourtni, Will, Chelsea, and Marquis. Comfort is awesome but looked like she was going to fall off those shoes.
Don't like Chris, Courtney, Jessica, and Susie. Don't care about Thayne or Matt. But what do I know? I can't wait to see what's next. What a fun show!

Anonymous said...

Argh! My stupid Tivo didn't record this, the first episode of the actual season. So thank goodness for recaps! If all goes well, I'll be watching tonight's episode with a glass of wine within the hour. Mwah!