Thursday, June 25, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance - Sweet and Sour Sixteen

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 16 Performance - Ep. 510
Judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Guest Judge: Toni Basil

Oh, before I begin, I forgot to mention the clip of Ryan Kasprzak's audition for Season 6 and his automatic ticket to Las Vegas which they showed in last week's results show. Yes. Sure. Okay. But they better not be teasing us like this only to have him cut again (a la Natalie). Cause he'd better be on Season 6 whether it be as a contestant or a choreographer. Just saying.

You know I've always complained about the crappy camerawork on this show too. The one major downfall in what is one of the best reality shows ever (Project Runway, The Amazing Race, Top Chef probably hover up there as well). Kirk (in the comments at JoeRes post on our panel chats) brought up this article that compares the poor camerawork in SYTYCD and the better camerawork in SYTYCD Canada. It brings up some nice points with some example clips to point out the obvious differences. (It also reminds me of how awesome the Season 1 Canada dancers were). Maybe it is because the cameramen here are trained with hockey and ice skating competitions?

Anyways, lets get to the Top 16 performances that had a mixture of some sweet dances, and some really sour ones. Oh, and Toni Basil guesting. I thought basil is supposed to add a nuanced flavour?

Karla Garcia &
Jonathan Platero
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographed by: Dave Scott
Song: "By My Side" - Jadakiss feat. Ne-Yo
Grade: D

Well, Season 5 cannot Hip-Hop. Let's just face it. These are a bunch of clean cut goody-two-shoes kids this year and they don't have enough grit and dirt in them to do Hip-Hop justice. It's too bad because you all know I love this team, even though everyone else is only slightly convinced, mostly due to last week's amazing performance. Still, it seemed like 2 kids from Mayberry trying their hardest to Hip-Hop and looking like... well, two kids from Mayberry trying to Hip-Hop.

It was not good but just based on what we've seen from them last week, I hope they get to stay another week.

Here's the video of Karla and Jonathan's Hip-Hop:

Asuka Kondoh &
Vitolio Jeune
Style: Jazz
Choreographed by: Mandy Moore
Song: "Heartbreaker" - Pat Benatar
Grade: B-

Vitolio is a good dancer but I think he seems more serviceable here, because I'm still constantly drawn to Asuka who seems to have that extra little pop needed. It's not that Vitolio is bad, or that Asuka is necessarily a better dancer (though I did find she had slightly better lines here in a couple of moments) but Asuka definitely has that star quality.

And to be honest, I think I like Vitolio more as a person than Asuka but Vitolio fades behind Asuka on stage. I actually thought Vitolio could have hit it a bit harder though was pretty good in most of the performance. It wasn't my favorite Mandy Moore routine either. Still, they did a pretty good job together and as the gentlemen, Vitolio steps back to let the girl shine.

Here's the video of Asuka and Vitolio's Jazz:

Melissa Sandvig &
Ade Obayomi
Style: Rumba
Choreographed by: Tony Meredith
Song: "Emotion" - Destiny's Child
Grade: B+

Okay, a fumble when they meet up with their hands, and Ade seemed to do a few catch up steps at times, but on the other hand, Ade has a few more steps to work. Melissa luckily gets to stretch and twist and saunter around in that slinky dress and continues to impress with her dance moves.

Probably the strongest couple here, and Melissa is probably the strongest female dancer in the competition, and she continues to manage great technique and ooze sultry sexiness. Ade looked momentarily like he was going to freak out, which was cute, but generally, he does a superb job partnering with Melissa.

Here's the video of Melissa and Ade's Rumba:

Janette Manrara &
Brandon Bryant
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographed by: Dave Scott
Song: "What A World" - Common
Grade: B+

Um, why was Janette dressed for The Rocky Horror Show? I thought they did a great job but I realized at the end that I couldn't remember the choreography already. Not the best piece as a whole.

But who would have thought Janette of all people would hit hard on the Hip-Hop? She was terrific. I thought Brandon was pretty great too though I found his angles less sharp then Janette's. He hit it hard, but it seemed a tiny bit sloppier than his partner.

Here's the video of Janette and Brandon's Hip-Hop:

Kayla Radomski &
Kupono Aweau
Style: Viennese Waltz
Choreographed by: Jean-Marc and France Généreux
Song: "Sweet Dreams for You" - Jewel
Grade: A-

We finally have a new partnership and lo and behold, it might be the best of the night. It wasn't perfect, but Kayla and Kupono still managed to convincingly float away on the dance floor. Between the song and choreography, I thought they managed to make the Viennese Waltz, which let's face it, can often be boring, look entertaining and beautiful.

As Mary pointed out, Kupono had some technical faults but luckily he still managed to fudge a lot of it to still make it look good.

Here's the video of Kayla and Kupono's Viennese Waltz:

Randi Evans &
Evan Kasprzak
Style: Contemporary
Choreographed by: Mia Michaels
Song: "Koop Island Blues" - Koop feat. Ane Brun
Grade: A

Okay, this week, Randi looks like Adrianne Palicki (Tyra on Friday Night Lights and who will be returning to Supernatural). And we all look at her butt.

LOVE these two. Loved the music. And Mia's choreography was weird and wonderful. Evan is such a great comical dancer but the point is, he's such a good dancer to begin with that his comical clownish sensibility is only a bonus. I'm realizing Randi is such a strong dancer too and ranks up there with Melissa. I was wrong. Melissa AND Randi are probably the strongest female dancers this year.

Here's the video of Randi and Evan's Contemporary:

Caitlin Kinney &
Jason Glover
Style: Paso Doble
Choreographed by: Jean-Marc and France Généreux
Song: "O'Fortuna" - from Carmina Burana) - Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg & Kurt Prestel
Grade: C+

Jason's pretty hot isn't he? I keep forgetting that.

Too bad I thought there were some sloppy moments here. There were some good and impressive moments but points in their connections seemed shaky. Luckily the music seemed to cover up a lot of it but the judges noticed and I thought it got progressively worse. Not terrible but there have been better.

Here's the video of Caitlin and Jason's Paso Doble:

Jeanine Mason &
Phillip Chbeeb
Style: Broadway
Choreographed by: Tyce DiOrio
Song: "Moses" - Singing in the Rain Original Soundtrack
Grade: B

Nigel was way harsh on Philip for not floating around the stage but I thought he did a great job actually. I loved what he did, and that's not even counting the couch jump. Okay, his footwork when he was trying to spin Jeanine was a bit sloppy but I thought he was great. Nigel wanted him to bring out more personality but I thought he was uber charming and totally brought it. (So, like, you get that I thought Philip was great right?! ha!)

Jeanine was great too, and it was one of Tyce's better routines but I still don't think it was as good as it could have been. Where's Ryan when you need him?

Here's the video of Jeanine and Philip's Broadway:

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

Best Couple of the Night: Randi and Evan's Contemporary
Second Best Couple of the Night: Janette and Brandon's Hip Hop
Third Best Couple of the Night: Melissa and Ade's Rumba

Best Male of the Night: Evan Kasprzak
Best Female of the Night: Randi Evans

Yet again, another contemporary routine is at the top of my list. And hip-hop lands in the bottom half again. Considering there are so many contemporary or similar types of dancers this year, it probably explains a lot.

Also, I think in general, the girls were stronger than the boys tonight. I say Melissa and Randi are the strongest but Janette, Kayla, Jeanine did some great dancing tonight too, and Asuka still shined.

Overall, I thought there was still some good dancing but most of the choreography this week was bland and forgettable. I know, usually I play devil's advocate and mention that in a typical week, only 1 or 2 real standouts exist, but usually the rest are still average. This week, I thought some of the choreography was even less than that. Also, it didn't help that Jonathan and Karla's Hip-Hop that started off the night wasn't good, or that Jason and Caitlin faulted near the end of the night.

Worst of the Night: Jonathan and Karla's Hip-Hop

Bottom Three: Jonathan and Karla, Jason and Caitlin, Asuka and Vitolio
Going home: Karla and Vitolio? Or is Jonathan a goner? NOOOOOO Say it ain't so!

I'll be back again tomorrow with the results as well as our new regular panel for this season, the awesome group of
LowResJoe, ABChau, TwoP Lauren S and myself as we discuss tonight's proceedings.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
For More So You Think You Can Dance:
Check here for the most Recent current postings and Latest News on SYTYCD

So You Think You Can Dance - Season 5:

Top 18 Performance, Top 18 Results and Panel Chat
Top 20 Performance, Top 20 Results and Panel Chat

Auditions - Vegas Week Part 2 - Top 20 Announcement, Top 20 Pictures/Panel Chat
Vegas Week Part 1
New York City, Denver, Miami, Memphis, LA, Seattle

So You Think You Can Dance Canada:
Top 8 and 6 Performances and Results, Top 4 Performances
Top 10 Performances, Results 10 to 8
Top 12 Performances, Results 12 to 10
Top 14 Performances, Results 14 to 12
Top 16 Performances, Results 16 to 14
Top 18 Performances, Results 18 to 16
Top 20 Performances and Results
Introducing Canada's Top 20
Toronto Week - The Cut to the Top 20
Vancouver, Halifax, Calgary, Montreal - West, East, Middle and Quebec
Toronto - Toronto's Best Foot Forward
The Judges, The Host, The Teaser, All Photos from CTV

So You Think You Can Dance - Season 4:
Top 4 Performances
Top 6 Performances and Results 6 to 4
Top 8 Performances, Results 8 to 6
Top 10 Performances, Results 10 to 8
Top 16, 14 and 12 Weeks Recaps by Vance again
Top 12 Performances, Results 12 to 10 - Guest Blogger Linz McC
Top 14 Performances, Results 14 to 12 - Guest Blogger Linz McC
Top 16 Performances, Results 16 to 14 - Guest Blogger Linz McC
Top 18 Performances, Results 18 to 16
Top 20 Performances, Results 20 to 18
Introducing the Top 20
Callbacks in Las Vegas - The Top 20 Revealed - What Happens In Vegas
Milwaukee, WI - How The Midwest Was Won
Charleston, South Carolina and Washington D.C. - S.C.D.C. The New Electric (Boogaloo) Term!
Salt Lake City and Dallas - Yeehaw Utah!
Los Angeles - It's Time To Put On Those Dancing Shoes Again Kids!

So You Think You Can Dance - Season 3:
Live Tour - Toronto, Pasha's Solo Video, Neil's Solo Video
Finale - Winner Result
Top 4 Performances - Finals
Top 6 Performances, Top 6 Results
Top 8 Performances, Top 8 Results
Top 10 Performances, Top 10 Results
Top 12 Performances, Top 12 Results
Top 14 Performances, Top 14 Results
Top 16 Performances, Top 16 Results
Top 18 Performances, Top 18 Results
Top 20 Performances, Top 20 Results

For So You Think You Can Dance Season 2:
Favorite Video Clips
Song List Live Tour 2006 - Toronto
Live Tour 2006 - Buffalo, Pics, More Pics

Thanks to Rickey for the photos and videos.
Vance at


stephen said...

I always love your reviews. Thanks a ton for always posting these! I always watch, but I like getting someone else's opinion on the episodes.

P.S. When you were listing the best dances of the night, you mentioned Melissa and Ade's Jazz, and they did a rumba. Just pointing that out :)

Vance said...

Oops! Fixed! Thanks for reading! Yah, if its any indication how strong Ade and Melissa is, I made the mistake cause I was just copy-clipping from last week's since I just basically move their names around the Top 3 spots so far.

jeremy said...

This week, to me, felt like the, "really? we have to learn ANOTHER routine? we're exhausted" week which is fine. I'm sure all of their heads were spinning--as was apparent w/ Jonathan and Karla who were obviously trying to remember steps.
I thought Melissa and Ade were better than you did and Kupono and Kayla were way worse.
DOn't forget, Toni Basel night = take a shot every time she says street. (Last night's count, 5)

the feeve. said...

It made me so sad to read this, and how you called Ryan getting cut just like Natalie.

Did Natalie even audition for Season 6?