Wednesday, June 17, 2009

officially RE-ADDICTED

I didn't blog about last week's results so I'll just start this off by saying that Shane Sparks routine was BADASS and I've already watched it a zillion times. Also, I was satisfied with Paris and Tony leaving. I was actually getting used to her chin (implant), but ultimately felt like the two of them were giving us more Cute and Attitude as opposed to Amazing Dancing. And on a show with this many Amazing Dancers, that just doesn't cut it. So, fair choice.

That was last week. Since then, all week long I've been waiting for this show, and then the night when it airs I have dinner plans. Delightful dinner plans--I just had a lovely spicy Thai duck salad with some fabulous people--but I was still all "Grumble, why wasn't dinner on Tuesday? Grumble" because y'all, I am officially RE-ADDICTED to this show.

So anyway, I fired up tonight's episode and there's Cat Deeley wearing a Christmas tree skirt as a dress, so I know we're off to a great start. When "interviewing" the jidges Cat makes a throwaway comment about her girl friends, and I have a brief stalker moment where I wonder why I'm still not one of them yet. Because a good girl friend would maybe tell her that dress, while a good color, is kind of dumb. I'm just saying. I wouldn't let one of MY friends onto national television in that thing.

(BTW totally random, have y'all seen the new Fame trailer yet? Eeee!)

1. Randi & Evan, Jive - According to the 14+ times they say Fun, this should be entertaining. And it is! These two are like a couple of professionals. They make this jive routine look completely effortless and energetic and awesome, and their chemistry is still excellent. And that leap! Was amazing! Mary & Nigel nitpick the hell out of Evan because they expected more from him, but I thought this whole thing was great. (Watch, they'll congratulate someone else later for just getting through something. Phillip.)

2. Melissa & Ade, Jazz - Crazy Sonya is the choreographer so of course they start off all on top of each other, with Melissa in some hot neon pink stretch pants. The choreography is super modern and weird and I don't know if I love it, but I DO love how precise and amazing these two are as dancers. I don't know if any other couple on this show has ever been this synchronized. I don't know if they pulled off the story Stonya* was looking for, and the chemistry wasn't as lovely as last week, but I'm so impressed with their technique I totally don't care. (*This was initially a typo, but I think a new nickname was just born, so I'm leaving it.)

3. Caitlin & Jason, Hip Hop - Shane Sparks in the house, y'all! And these two have won me over and convinced me they're a couple to beat, so I'm all stoked for a winning combination here. However, while this is good, it's not as good as I expected. I can't tell if the choreography isn't what I wanted from Shane, or if the dancing isn't selling it, but overall the routine is just too cute. In a weird way, I'm kind of hoping that they end up in the bottom 3 so we can see their solos tomorrow night. We'll see.

4. Janette & Brandon, Disco - For whatever reason, these disco numbers are always such a tough sell, and I'm having a weird time with this one. They're clearly excellent dancers and their lifts are so precise and flawless. But the whole open-mouth-smiley thing kind of puts me off? Maybe? It's possible that I, like many, just don't care for disco. And yet Lil C thought it was great, and loved Brandon, so what do I know? And Mary even dipped into her extra store of Crazy, as well as the vernacular of the early 1990s, to deliver some truly reserved, insightful critique.... NOT!

5. Asuka & Vitolio, Waltz - Okay, I think Vitolio gets last-minute nerves, or something. Because you can tell, when he's in his own head this lovely emotion and technique comes out. When he's trying hard to get it right, it comes across as stiff. There was some rise & fall action that was downright clunky, and then some other moves that were sublime. They're both pretty good, and the emotion is okay, but I feel like the producers & judges tried to manipulate us with Vitolio's biography package to make us think it was more beautiful and emotional than it actually was. Not that I don't care about his history--he's a remarkable young man--but if I'm just looking at the dancing, it was a bit rough for me. And Asuka is just fine for me. Everyone's praising the hell out of it, but I'd challenge you to watch it without the bio package and without the judges' critique--not as good.

6. Kayla & Max, Pop Jazz - With Brian Friedman choreography--hi Brian! Welcome back! The choreography feels a lot like we're watching a live music video, if that makes sense. There's a couch and a coffee table and some crazy costumes and it's all very theatrical. Max is super coming across like a Russian ballroom dancer here, and I don't know if it's just so inherent to him that he can't help it, or if he didn't commit enough to the new style. Kayla, on the other hand, is what's selling this whole music video vibe to me, and I feel like you could pick her up and put her on stage with Brit Brit right now. Which, in my world, is a total compliment. She's amazing.

7. Karla & Jonathan, Contemporary - With a new choreographer, Stacey Tookey, of whom I know nothing except that her name is fun to say: Stacey Tookey Stacey Tookey Stacey Tookey. (And now I know what Google rabbit hole I'm going down tomorrow--evidently she works on SYTYCD Canada). The choreography is nice, and the dancing is too. But I find myself wishing I could watch a couple with more strength and/or maturity dance it, like Melissa & Ade. It's possible that I'm just over these two and just don't like them as much as some of the others. They're great dancers, I'm just not crazy about them for some reason. Plus, I think some couples just get marked for the bottom 3, and I think that's already happened for this couple.

8. Jeanine & Phillip, Tango - This girl, y'all--was any contestant on this show ever prettier? Her dancing is sometimes aggressive and sharp, sometimes clunky. Phillip gets through the routine with a fair amount of strength, and he's lucky to have such a gorgeous sex kitten on his hip. Because his technique was, as Mary said, sloppy. I know everybody LOVES Phillip and the judges really want to see him stick around and grow throughout the competition, but this is a little weak for me.

9. Ashley & Kupono, Hip Hop - First half was pretty strong, but then they lost it a bit in the second half. In the end, I feel like it was perfectly rehearsed, but missing heart. The synchronization is sometimes perfect and sometimes off. Ashley shone through a lot in moments, but not enough. The song was also not great, which is no one's fault but the Black Eyed Peas', but it doesn't help matters.

Overall, I remain impressed with the superior talent of this group as a whole, which makes it hard to ping anyone. On the flip side, very few dancers really stood out for me tonight, and the only routine I really want to watch again is Stonya, Melissa & Ade's.

I also think we could see some surprises in the Bottom 3 tomorrow night because I think there's a pretty big gap between what the judges praised or criticized and what America actually likes, doesn't like, and will vote for. Like, I think the Bottom Three should be Asuka & Vitolio, Karla & Jonathan and Jeanine & Phillip. I think the judges would go with Randi & Evan, Caitlin & Jason and Ashley & Kupono. And I think what we'll actually see will mix that up a bit, so I'm going to predict the following:

Safe: Randi & Evan, Melissa & Ade, Janette & Brandon, Asuka & Vitolio, Kayla & Max, Jeanine & Phillip

Not So Much: Caitlin & Jason, Karla & Jonathan, Ashley & Kupono, with Karla & Jonathan going home. I know the judges love their routine tonight, but of all the amazing couples here, I just kind of think they deserve another chance to win me over the least.

Tough call. What do you think?


dree said...

You didn't know about Stacey Tookey? How did I not have you watching SYTYCD-Canada?

She did my two favorite routines last year - "Slow me down" with Vincent and Lisa (also my fave dancers) and a Mika song with Vincent and Natalli (whom I generally didn't like but really liked in that dance).

I would also like to be built like Ms. Tookey but I'm probably taller.

Christopher said...

We're close to the same place again this week, Deedge. Looks like I'm more in line with what you think the judges think, though, since who you have as their bottom three is also my bottom three.

I do think Karla and Jonathan are marked for death, but the tongue bath they got tonight and the fact that I now have empirical data (which will be in my book) that the judges have HUGE influence over who people vote for probably keeps them least for this week.

I'm also with you - as much as I love me some Caitlin, I kind of want them in the B3 tonight so I can see their solos...