Wednesday, August 25, 2010

SYTYCDC3 - And Season Threetwoone and We're Off And Running...

So You Think You Can Dance Canada - Season 3 - Top 22 Performance and Results Night - Eps. 307-308
Judges: Jean-Marc Généreux, Tré Armstrong, Luther Brown, Blake McGrath, Mary Murphy

So due to some blog problems that happened right during the start of this third season, and the fact that CTV zoomed ahead with 10 hours (yes. TEN) of auditions in ONE week, I'm going to skip blogging about the auditions since, well, we already know our Top 22 (yes, they couldn't decide on a Top 20 so like their American counterparts, they had to add an extra as well). And they've already had their 1st live performance. And in fact, I got to go to the taping that happened before the Top 22 was even publicly announced!

So here they are! So You Think You Can Dance Canada Season 3's Top 22!

So, already, it's first live week and like SYTYCD S7, we're already plagued with injuries with 1 dancer having to sit out already. The bright side was that it basically turned S3, which remember, stays with the old style format (Americans, remember that?) with couples dancing the Top 20 until the Top 10, when they start swapping partners and getting voted individually, we got a bit of the All-Star format with last season's winner Tara-Jean Poppowich stepping in! And how awesome was she? Just seeing TJ again made me realize why I was not as excited for Lauren Froderman's S7 win. There have been many deserving girls who should have won (Ellenore, Kathryn, Katee, Allison) so when TJ came from behind to win the whole thing, I thought it was well deserved and happy for her, a reaction I lacked when Lauren won two weeks ago. And seeing TJ dance again, Lauren just lacked the power and emotion that TJ dances with and TJ just schools the S7 winner.

But alas, we have 22 new dancers (well, 21 now), we have Mary Murphy back as a guest judge (since she seemed to disappear from the US version), and we have Tony winner (for musicals Fela! and Spring Awakening) Bill T. Jones choreographing the Top 22 Group performance on the results night (at the bottom of the post)!

So the judges are more long winded here (yes, even more than Nigel) and with 5 judges this first week, it was a little overkill, especially at the taping before it all gets edited down, and we don't have Cat (if I put it nicely), but I think our dancers are top notch and there's a reason why CTV airs the performances at 9pm, since our choreographer's tend to go a bit racier!

Oh, before we get started, should I go back to the old grading system with just 1 grade per dance? Or now that I split the grades between the actual dance and the contestants, have multiple grades per dance? What do people think?

Claudia Primeau and Yonni Fournier
Style: Salsa
Choreographed by: Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin
Song: "Calabria 2008" - Enur feat. Natasja Saad
Grade - Dance: B+
Grade - Girl: B
Grade - Boy: B

So as you all should know, I by am no means a dance expert. I technically know nothing. So I'm counting on our judges to really be the experts but seriously, this group seems to love everything. I enjoyed Claudia and Yonni but I thought there seemed to be a lot of shaky partnering. Which isn't to say it was bad, especially for first week and first performance but "great technique"? I thought they covered well enough to make it look good but I thought there were some hesitations. Maybe it's cause I got to see it live from the other side of the stage (I was exactly opposite of the judges. You can see my tall head sometimes in the background! ha! But I look like a dark blip) but seeing it on TV, I still saw the same shakiness.

Here's the video of Claudia and Yonni's Salsa (via CTV):

Kirsten Wicklund and Jera Wolfe
Style: Contemporary
Choreographed by: Mandy Moore
Song: "Fireflies" - Ron Pope
Grade - Dance: A-
Grade - Girl: A-
Grade - Boy: A

I want to dislike Jera for some reason maybe cause he seems too perfect but gawd he's so perfect and he seems so lovely as a person that I may just have to love him. I mean a Breaker who took Ballet? With a body and smile like that? Damn!

And yes, he really does smile ALL. THE. TIME! Even off camera. So it's not a put on.

And to get a lovely Mandy Moore routine with Kirsten who seems really cute in that red dress seesm just too perfect! A perfect night under the fireflies.

Jera looks like a powerhouse (that sideways handstand was sick!) but he excels at the delicate moves which is a GREAT sign, and Kirsten seems to be a wonderful partner to it all, delicate but won't get broken by him.

Here's the video of Kirsten and Jera's Contemporary (via CTV):

Amanda Cleghorn and Denys Drozdyuk
Style: Tango
Choreographed by: Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin
Song: "Grand Guginol" - Bajofondo
Grade - Dance: A
Grade - Girl: A-
Grade - Boy: A

I mean, it's hard to criticize a ballroom dancer doing his own style. They're usually so much better than everyone else doing the difficult style with all the rules and Denys continues the trend. He's fierce and powerful and intense and his steps have a precision which is impressive at that speed.

The big surprise is at how amazing Amanda kept up. There was a couple moments of hesitations I thought I saw (both live and again on TV) but when next to an expert, that's bound to happen, but again, it's so hard to keep up in something like this that I'm very impressed with her.

Here's the video of Amanda and Denys' Tango (via CTV):

Charlene Hart and Jeff Mortensen
Style: Jive
Choreographed by: Danny Arbour
Song: "Celebrity Status" - Marianas Trench
Grade - Dance: A-
Grade - Girl: B-
Grade - Boy: C+

I like the idea of the Jive to Marianas Trench's song and I like the concept from Danny (Danny! One of my faves!) and I think there was a lot to the routine but Jeff didn't really pull it off quite as well as I would have hoped and Charlene thus suffered along.

Neither didn't seem to have enough bounce but Jeff really could have kicked it a bit more. They had moments but not enough to sustain the entire dance.

Here's the video of Charlene and Jeff's Jive (via CTV):

Danielle Gardner and Sebastian Mersch
Style: Bollywood
Choreographed by: Longinus Fernandes
Song: "Tera Hi Jalwa" - from Wanted
Grade - Dance: B+
Grade - Girl: B+
Grade - Boy: B

I liked Sebastian from S2 auditions so he's one of a few guys I'm glad that has finally made it in.

And it's pretty cool we have the Slumdog Millionaire choreographer here to do Bollywood. And the style is pretty perfect for the quirky Sebastian and the cutesy Danielle! I also liked that this Bollywood seemed to have more of a story to it. The dress spin could have been a bit more cleanly executed (damn velcro!) and Sebastian could have hit things a little tighter and more in matching to Danielle but it was very cute altogether.

Here's the video of Danielle and Sebastian's Bollywood (via CTV):

Kloe Schultz and Jonathan Arsenault
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographed by: Sho-Tyme
Song: "X Gon' Give It to Ya" - DMX
Grade - Dance: B+
Grade - Girl: A-
Grade - Boy: B

Jonathan was another fave from last season's auditions, so it was sad to see him pull out due to health reasons, so I'm glad he's back to be one of my faves already!

It was cute seeing Jonathan try to be all badass here in Sho-Tymes always heavy hip-hop. There's not quite enough weight in Jonathan to make this fully work but I like that he seemed to try with all his might. I thought Kloe did a surprisingly fantastic job. I'd be kind of scared of her if I saw her in this 'tude.

Here's the video of Kloe and Jonathan's Hip-Hop (via CTV):

Julia Harnett and Jesse Weafer
Style: New Disco
Choreographed by: Melissa Williams
Song: "The Fame (Glam as You - Radio Edit Remix)" - Lady Gaga
Grade - Dance: B+
Grade - Girl: B+
Grade - Boy: B+

Not sure how new this style is (guess it's a mix of Jazz and Disco?) tho it's a huge improvement over Doriana's stuff and had some fun moments, especially when the two dancers danced side by side in unison. Some of the partnering moments could have been stronger but good for first week. The earlier partnering moments actually seemed stronger, but then that full body front lift was actually impressive considering how small Jesse seems.

There's something about these two that I really like (I can't believe Julia is a MOM!) and it was a nice snazzy sparkly routine for them!

Also, I gotta get me one of those disco balls. What an entrance for Jesse!

Here's the video of Julia and Jesse's New Disco (via CTV):

Janick Arseneau and Shavar Blackwood
Style: African Jazz
Choreographed by: Sean Cheesman
Song: "Dances with Wood/Baba" - Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, Sikiru Adepoju & Giovanni Hidalgo
Grade - Dance: A
Grade - Girl: A
Grade - Boy: A-

Love Sean Cheesman's AfroJazz but they always seem better on the Canadian show. The dancers here seem to get into the wildness better. Shavar looked so great and strong there and Janick looked totally uninhibited (oh, Mary just said that. I wonder if I remembered that word from the taping?). Though if it was me, did Janick get a bit wilder than Shavar? She had the perfect balance of strength and hitting the marks combined with a looseness (oh, Blake agrees and thinks Shavar could have just loosened up just a little bit more).

Here's the video of Janick and Shavar's African Jazz (via CTV):

Nathalie Heath and Mackenzie Green
Style: Viennese Waltz
Choreographed by: Pierre Allaire
Song: "For the Nights I Can't Remember" - Hedley
Grade - Dance: A
Grade - Girl: A-
Grade - Boy: A-

Lovely! made the Viennes Waltz actually look exciting! Nice combo of a fast choreo, Hedley's song and a handsome couple! And that lift went so smoothly!

Ok, so here's a bit a tidbit from the live show. Loved Mackenzie during the auditions but I noticed between takes (of the opener) that he seemed removed from the group, in a very serious mood, but once the cameras were on again, the big smile went back up. At first it put me off but now I think he was just REALLY nervous and taking the competition really serious because he did look super nervous right before they were to perform.

Either way, he has nothing to be nervous about.

And Nathalie just floated across the stage and was a wonderful partner. I still can't really distinguish who she is from some of the other girls yet but she seems lovely so far!

Here's the video of Nathalie and Mackenzie's Viennese Waltz (via CTV):

Bree Wasylenko and Edgar Gilbert-Reyes
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographed by: Jae Blaze
Song: "OMG" - Usher feat. will.i.am
Grade - Dance: A-
Grade - Girl: A-
Grade - Boy: A-

Ah yes, welcome to Canada! Where the dances are dirty, even on prime time!

Wow, I thought it was hot! And not just from all the sexual positions Jae Blaze made them do. Edgar was terrific but Bree was smokin'. Nice quick moves and they totally hit it!

Based on the pre-dance video clip, I barely even recognized Bree in that dance. That was not the same nice sweet looking girl.

I just wanted them to hit it just a smidgen harder but it was so fast I'm not even sure if that's possible.

Here's the video of Bree and Edgar's Hip-Hop (via CTV):

Shelaina Anderson and
Hani Abaza with Tara-Jean Popowich
Style: Jazz
Choreographed by: Nico Archambault and Wynn Holmes
Song: "That's How Strong My Love Is" - Otis Redding
Grade - Dance: A
Grade - Boy: A

What a great outing for Nico and Wynn! Loved him as a dancer (and S1 winner), and loving his choreo with Wynn.

And how awesome is it that S2 winner TJ gets to dance it as the All-Star substitute?!

But we're rating Hani here and I think he looks so in sync with last years winner that he's totally in my radar now!

Here's the video of Jonathan and Tara-Jean's Jazz (via CTV):

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Final Roundup:

I'm not going to separate out each dancers yet so I'm still rating it the old fashioned way as a pair. And the pairs are honestly so close together that I'm having a hard time to form this list. There really wasn't anybody I outright hated and I thought a lot were pretty even. So if you were to argue the order of the list, I probably would not disagree.

Ranking the Couples:
Best of the Night: Hani (with Tara Jean) Jazz
2nd: Janick and Shavar's African Jazz
3rd: Nathalie and Mackenzie's Viennese Waltz
4th: Bree and Edgar's Hip-Hop
5th: Kirsten and Jera's Contemporary
6th: Amanda and Denys' Tango
7th: Julia and Jesse's New Disco
8th: Kloe and Jonathan's Hip-Hop
9th: Danielle and Sebastian's Bollywood
10th: Claudia and Yonni's Salsa
11th - Worst of the Night: Charlene and Jeff's Jive

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Results

Top 21 Group Dance
Choreographed by: Bill T. Jones
Style: Theatre
Song: "Zombie" - from Fela! (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
Grade: A-

I love Bill T. Jones. Loved his Chapel/Chapter and the choreo he did for Spring Awakening. It has a political edge within the emotions of his dancing. While I didn't love the musical Fela!, I thought the dancing in it was AMAZING.

Though I can't remember if this choreo here is different than in the musical but it's so unique and fast paced and the only major criticism is it doesn't play perfectly to the camera as you sort of want to see the wide shot the whole time.

Bottom 3 Couples
Hani (and Shelaina by default)
Bree and Edgar
Julia and Jess

Dance for Your Life

Hani Abaza
Style: Jazz
Song: "Audacity of Huge" - Simian Mobile Disco
Grade: A-

Edgar Gilbert-Reyes
Style: Hip-Hop
Song: "Girls on the Dancefloor" - Far East Movement
Grade: B+

Jesse Weafer
Style: Contemporary
Song: "Dark Side of the Moon" - Future Funk
Grade: A-

Um, I LOVE all three of these guys and based on the performances, they should all have been safe. What the hell Canada? Can I not rely on you? (Actually, considering what's happening politically in this country, maybe not). I'm torn and don't really want any of these three go, but if I had to pick, Hani would be the favorite of the three now based on his paired and solo dances, though Jesse had a strong solo.

Shelaina Anderson
Does not dance due to injury.

Bree Wasylenko
Style: Contemporary
Song: "The Dance" - Charlotte Martin
Grade: B

Julia Harnett
Style: Jive
Song: "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" - Travis Tritt
Grade: B+

While I've seen better solos in their styles from the two girls, I thought both are quite strong as well, so since we haven't seen Shelaina dance yet, there's an obvious choice here.

Going Home

Alas, Hani Abaza, despite dancing with 2 partners, performing with a last minute replacement, doing a great job, and pulling out great solo, Hani gets cut still. WHAT??? It was not unanimous but I'm still not happy about this. While Hani was nowhere on my radar before the performance, his dance with TJ was so good that he became one of my favorites with that single dance.

His partner-that-never-will-be Shelaina Anderson obviously gets cut due to her injury and Shelaina never actually gets a chance to dance on the SYTYCD stage.

So alas, now we have a Top 20.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
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