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Thursday, July 07, 2011

SYTYCD8 & SYTYCDC4 - Knowing the Dancers

So You Think You Can Dance - Season 8 - Top 14 Performances - Ep. - 812
Judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Carmen Electra, Travis Wall

So You Think You Can Dance Canada - Season 4 - Toronto Finals, Top 22 Reveal - Eps. 404-405
Judges: Jean-Marc Généreux, Tré Armstrong, Luther Brown, Sean Cheesman, Mary Murphy, Blake McGrath, Nico Archambault, Sean Cheesman, France Mousseau, Rex Harrington

Last week's SYTYCD was apparently one of the lowest rated episodes in years, a huge dip considering the opener episode was of the highest rated in about 4 years. So what's going wrong? Was it just because it was the holidays, or are people losing interest? Is it the dancers? The show? The judges? (Carmen Electra? Really?)

I have some theories, but in Canada, add in an early start to the Canadian edition that is already starting their performance episodes while the US one hasn't even reached the Top 10 yet, and it's becoming more like SYTCTVisOverdoingIt? With 7 hours of some sort of SYTYCD programming EVERY WEEK, even I can barely keep up, and I actually love the show enough to blog about it. And even I can't keep all the new dancers names straight (and now we're being introduced to 22 more dancers. Yes, Canada can't even narrow it down to 20 again, so is cheating it with TWENTY TWO DANCERS while the US version still has 14 dancers, where I can still barely tell some of the dancers apart.

Meanwhile, the more I get to know some of the US dancers, the less I'm liking them. This may be one of the strongest batch of dancers, but tonight's pre-performance "getting to know your dancers" videos did not help many of the dancers reputations. Maybe it's because I watched part of tonight's episode at the gym, without a fast forward button, or my computer to blog or twitter, so the videos and judges had my full attention, and I can now see why lots of you have said you've given up on the show.

Also, I've heard the complaint that the dancers are SO good nowadays, TOO good, that we no longer see them grow anymore, and that's what part of the fun was all about. We love the underdogs and there aren't really anymore, and if they are, they're manufactured. Probably why Jess tends to annoy me and Ryan is really starting to annoy me, despite both of them being terrific dancers (though I'm getting less annoyed with Jess). And with the cluttering of my brain with a new Top 22 from Canada, I could only really remember Melanie and Marko as standouts from the US edition, especially after the loss of Iveta and Nick, who, at least for me, was a great loss and great turn of disappointment that has marred this season. Is that another reason for the huge ratings drop?

Are we tired of the producer and judges obvious attempts to keep dancers they like? Is there really not enough dancers to truly root for anymore? Or is the memory of seasons past setting the bar too high? It's always great to see Travis Wall, who has truly become an exceptional choreographer and makes for a great addition to the judges panel, and his season had a great cast of dancers, but there were also a couple of duds who we've totally forgotten about. We loved Travis because he was one of the strongest dancers, but he also had a true humility in a bubbly personality that just made him all the more adorable, and yet he was also up against Benji, a great dancer but someone who truly won because of his joyous personality.

And yes, personality is a BIG PART of the show. Blake and the Canadian judges especially mentioned that Carlena Britch sometimes comes off as Carlena Bitch, and then they gave her an hour time out on the chair (ferreal) before they finally told her she made it into the Top 22.

For the record, based on the auditions... and yes, personality and looks are a huge determinant, I so far like Adam LoPapa, JP, Matt, Jordan, Kevin, Teya, Christian and Yuliya and Joey. Basically, the girls in the US edition are overall, probably stronger than the guys (with the exception of Marko), right now, I've noticed more of the boys (yes cause they can dance, and yes cause they're hot) in the Canadian edition (with the exception of the fiery Jordan).

Or is everyone just getting tired of dance and spending more of the summertime out?

Well, I'm still in, though I too will admit that 7 hours of SYTYCD a week is a bit overkill.


Group Dance - Top 7 Boys
Style: Contemporary
Choreographed by: Justin Giles
Song: "Prague" - Damian Rice
Grade - Dance: A
Chris was way behind. Marko is right in the centre and for good reason. In a group dance like this, I also kept looking at Jess, Tadd and Mitchell, who along with Marko, are who I think are the strongest boys. But really, Marko is so obviously becoming the standout of the season.

Here's the video of the Top 7 Boys Group Dance:
Coming Soon


Melanie Moore and Marko Germar
Style: Jazz
Choreographed by: Ray Leeper
Song: "Americano" - Lady Gaga
Grade - Dance: B
Grade - Boy: A
Grade - Girl: A

The frontrunners get to go first this week and while the choreography itself was a little frantic, Marko and Melanie give it their all. It's in the little moves that set them apart from the rest of the pack and the fact that despite their relationship is plutonic (as Melanie clearly points out in the pre-performance video), their chemistry on the dancefloor is smoking, and they work together so well.

Here's the video of Melanie and Marko's Jazz:
Coming Soon


Sasha Mallory and Alexander Fost
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographed by: Shaun Evaristo
Song: "To the Moon" - Miguel
Grade - Dance: B+
Grade - Boy: B
Grade - Girl: B+

So Alex had to learn swag, and learns quite a bit to pull through in Hip-Hop. But Sasha out smoothes him as usual. The judges didn't seem to love it (with the exception of Travis) and I didn't quite dislike it as much as they did. I liked it, but there were a lot of technical things that could have been improved.

Here's the video of Sasha and Alexander's Hip-Hop:
Coming Soon


Jordan Casanova and Tadd Gadduang
Style: Waltz
Choreographed by: Toni Redpath
Song: "Nocturne" - Secret Garden
Grade - Dance: B
Grade - Boy: B+
Grade - Girl: B+

A sleepy romantic dance style that seemed sleepy and romantic. The judges said the dancers did it really well, and I can't fault them for anything in particular, but I have to admit, after a long day at work and still being jetlagged from my trip, that I lost interest part way through, despite Tadd and Jordan's best efforts.

Here's the video of Jordan and Tadd's Waltz
Coming Soon


Clarice Ordaz and Jess LeProtto
Style: Contemporary
Choreographed by: Justin Giles
Song: "Light Through the Branches" - Celeste Lear
Grade - Dance: A-
Grade - Boy: A-
Grade - Girl: A-

Nice dance from Justin Giles, with some amazing dancing from Jess and Clarice and I totally agreed with Travis in that it was the first time I believed in their chemistry together. Funny thing about Jess is that other dancers are revealing to be even far more annoying, but since Jess's body movements are so precise and stunning, I'm starting to give him the benefit of the doubt. I always thought Clarice was a gorgeous dancer but she seemed to have a slow start, so I'm glad she's finally showing her skills.

Here's the video of Clarice and Jess' Contemporary:
Coming Soon


Ashley Rich and Chris Koehl
Style: Salsa
Choreographed by: Liz Lira
Song: "Mambo Beat" - Tito Puente
Grade - Dance: B+
Grade - Boy: B
Grade - Girl: B+

Again like last week, and much like Alexander's problem, is that as much as I like Chris (and Alexander, who both seem like nice people), they do a comparable job with their new given styles, but easily get outshone by their sizzling partners. Ashley is radiant and lovely (and definitely not one of the dancers who annoy me), and gives that extra pizzazz in all her steps and head tosses, but Chris is sweet but just isn't as technically strong as his partner.

Here's the video of Ashley and Chris' Salsa:
Coming Soon


Ryan Ramirez and Ricky Jaime
Style: Jazz
Choreographed by: Chucky Klampow
Song: "Fashion" - David Bowie
Grade - Dance: A-
Grade - Girl: B
Grade - Boy: B+

Maybe I'm still resentful for Iveta and Nick's ousting, but Ryan and Ricky's pre-performance video only made me dislike both of them more. While Ryan has got some strong moves in her dancing, I felt that she fell apart in the second half, with some shaky moments that made her look unstable. Ricky fares a bit better but doesn't quite have that extra spark to set him apart. The judges of course loved it. I don't get it.

Here's the video of Ryan and Ricky's video:
Coming Soon


Caitlynn Lawson and Mitchell Kelly
Style: Contemporary
Choreographed by: Mandy Moore
Song: "To Love You More - Celine Dion
Grade - Dance: A-
Grade - Girl: A-
Grade - Boy: A-

I didn't think the dance was perfect, despite what the critic's said, but I thought Mitchell and Caitlynn still did a wonderous job especially with their lines, the unison in their separate moments, and the jumps. As Nigel points out, they jump and catch WHILE in motion, and it's pretty stunning.

Here's the video of Caitlynn and Mitchell's Contemporary:
Coming Soon

Group Dance - Top 7 Girls
Style: Jazz
Choreographed by: Ray Leeper
Song: "My discarded Men" - REartha Kitt feat. Bronski Beat
Grade - Dance: B+

Melanie Melanie Melanie!!!


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

The Dancers - Pairs Routine:
1st - Best of the Night: Melanie and Marko
2nd: Caitlynn and Mitchell
3rd: Clarice and Jess
4th: Jordan and Tadd
5th: Ashley and Chris
6th: Ryan and Ricky
7th - Worst of the Night:Sacha and Alexander

The Routines:
Best Routine of the Night: Justin Giles's Contemporary (Top 7 Group Boys)
2nd Best Routine of the Night: Justin Giles' Contemporary (Clarice and Jess)
3rd Best Routine of the Night: Mandy Moore's Contemporary (Caitlynn and Mitchell)

Should Go Home: Ryan and Chris
My Predictions:
Bottom 3 Couples:
Ryan and Ricky
Sacha and Alexander
Ashley and Chris
Will Go Home: Sacha and Alexander


This is how I rank all the dancers overall (based on dancing and personality): (last week's rankings in parenthesis):
Overall Ranking:
1. Marko (1)
2. Melanie (2)
3. Caitlynn (6)
4. Jess (9)
5. Ashley (5)
6. Clarice (11)
7. Tadd (4)
8. Mitchell (7)
9. Jordan (3)
10. Sasha (8)
11. Ryan (12)
12. Ricky (13)
13. Alexander (15)
14. Chris (10)

And just to add more names into the mix:
------------------------------

Here's So You Think You Can Dance Canada Season 4's Top 22:



Adam LoPapa
Age: 19
Occupation: Student, Dance Teacher and Assistant
Hometown: Woodbridge, ON
Audition City: Toronto, ON
Place of Birth: Toronto, ON
Primary Style of Dance: Jazz


Carlena Britch
Age: 20
Occupation: Dancer, Choreographer, Instructor and Actress
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Audition City: Vancouver, BC
Place of Birth: Vancouver, BC
Primary Style of Dance: Hip-Hop and Locking


Cassandra Flammini
Age: 18
Occupation: Aspiring star in training
Hometown: Etobicoke, ON
Audition City: Toronto, ON
Place of Birth: Toronto, ON
Primary Style of Dance: Jazz


Christian Millette
Age: 28
Occupation: Ambulance Dispatcher and Dance Teacher
Hometown: Montreal, QC
Audition City: Montreal, QC
Place of Birth: Laval, QC
Primary Style of Dance: Ballroom


Denitsa Ikonomova
Age: 24
Occupation: Client service representative at RBC
Hometown: Laval, QC
Audition City: Montreal, QC
Place of Birth: Kyustendil, Bulgaria
Primary Style of Dance: Ballroom


Dwayne “Boneless” Gulston
Age: 23
Occupation: Performer, Dance Teacher and Choreographer
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Audition City: Toronto, ON
Place of Birth: Trinidad and Tobago
Primary Style of Dance: Hip-Hop and Popping


François Pruneau
Age: 26
Occupation: Dancer, Performer and Dance Instructor
Hometown: Trois-Riviéres, QC
Audition City: Montreal, QC
Place of Birth: Trois- Riviéres, QC
Primary Style of Dance: Ballroom


Geisha Chin
Age: 19
Occupation: Student
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Audition City: Montreal, QC
Place of Birth: Kingston, Jamaica
Primary Style of Dance: Contemporary


Joey Arrigo
Age: 19
Occupation: Dancer and Dance Teacher
Hometown: Newmarket, ON
Audition City: Toronto, ON
Place of Birth: Newmarket, ON
Primary Style of Dance: Contemporary


Jordan Clark
Age: 19
Occupation: Dancer and Dance Teacher
Hometown: Tottenham, ON
Audition City: Toronto, ON
Place of Birth: Etobicoke, ON
Primary Style of Dance: Contemporary


JP Dubé
Age: 19
Occupation: Student
Hometown: Montreal, QC
Audition City: Montreal, QC
Place of Birth: Montreal, QC
Primary Style of Dance: Hip-Hop


Kevin Howe
Age: 22
Occupation: Dancer and Choreographer
Hometown: Ottawa, ON
Audition City: Montreal, QC
Place of Birth: Comox, BC
Primary Style of Dance: Contemporary


Lauren Lyn
Age: 24
Occupation: Dance Instructor and Performer
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Audition City: Toronto, ON
Place of Birth: Kingston, Jamaica
Primary Style of Dance: Salsa


Lindsay Leuschner
Age: 19
Occupation: Aspiring Professional Dancer, Teacher and Choreographer
Hometown: Stouffville, ON
Audition City: Vancouver, BC
Place of Birth: Richmond Hill, ON
Primary Style of Dance: Contemporary


Matt Marr
Age: 20
Occupation: Professional Dancer
Hometown: Quispamsis, NB
Audition City: Saint John, NB
Place of Birth: Lahr, Germany
Primary Style of Dance: Contemporary


Melissa Mitro
Age: 23
Occupation: Performer and Choreographer
Hometown: Richmond Hill, ON
Audition City: Toronto, ON
Place of Birth: Richmond Hill, ON
Primary Style of Dance: Contemporary


Moses Layco
Age: 26
Occupation: Dance Instructor
Hometown: Winnipeg, MB
Audition City: Edmonton, AB
Place of Birth: Winnipeg, MB
Primary Style of Dance: Contemporary


Rodrigo Basurto
Age: 26
Occupation: Professional Dancer and Dance teacher
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Audition City: Toronto, ON
Place of Birth: Guadalajara, Mexico
Primary Style of Dance: Hip-Hop


Shane Simpson
Age: 23
Occupation: Professional Dancer and Choreographer
Hometown: Thornhill, ON
Audition City: Toronto, ON
Place of Birth: Toronto, ON
Primary Style of Dance: Jazz


Shelaina Anderson
Age: 20
Occupation: Dancer, Dance Teacher and Undergraduate Student
Hometown: Edmonton, AB
Audition City: Edmonton, AB
Place of Birth: Edmonton, AB
Primary Style of Dance: Contemporary


Teya Wild
Age: 23
Occupation: Dancer
Hometown: North Vancouver, BC
Audition City: Vancouver, BC
Place of Birth: Toronto, ON
Primary Style of Dance: Hip-Hop


Yuliya Zavadska
Age: 29
Occupation: Dance Teacher and Choreographer
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Audition City: Edmonton, AB
Place of Birth: Donestk, Ukraine
Primary Style of Dance: Latin


- - - - - - - - - - - - -
For More So You Think You Can Dance:
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