Thursday, July 30, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance - Love & Six

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 6 Performance Night - Ep. 520
Judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Guest Judge: Lil C

I used to love Lil C but he's kind of a downer tonight, and his affections for Ade and Brandon over Evan is so obvious that I respect him just a little less than normal.

On the other hand, I couldn't hear Jordan Sparks' song "Battlefield" this past week without seeing Jeanine dancing, plus then I would picture her tick tock on her toes from her solo and she's finally snagged my heart and my allegiance and I've totally fallen in love with her. Just in time for next week's finale! It's actually very similar to Sabra's journey who came from nowhere and week after week of strong performances, finally started coming out in the limelight near the end of the run.

Guys Group Dance - Ade, Brandon, Evan
Choreographed by: Sonya Tayeh
Song: "True Romance" - She Wants Revenge

Well aren't the boys always fun? That was fun, and with the exception of the start where Evan seemed a bit soft, the rest of it seemed pretty unified, especially considering the differences in sizes and looks between the three. There might have been some moments later on but by then, I sort of was just sitting back and enjoying watching the boys (... shut up... I'm meaning that in a nice clean way).

Lil C makes a backhanded compliment to Evan but I'm just going to ignore that.

Here's the video of the Guys Group Dance:

Jeanine Mason &
Ade Obayomi
Dance #1
Style: Samba
Choreographed by: Louis van Amstel
Song: "LoveGame" - Lady Gaga
Grade: B+

Ade's good and he looks so strong standing there but the moment Jeanine comes around from behind, she steals the spotlight and never lets it go. Mary thought it started well enough but then faded off, but all the judges loved Jeanine far more than Ade. I can't say Ade was as bad as the judges made it sound like, but I will agree that I was basically mesmerized by Jeanine's glow so everything around her was a bit fuzzy and soft (and thus hid any flaws...?).

Here's the video of Jeanine and Ade's Samba:

Melissa Sandvig &
Evan Kasprzak
Dance #1
Style: Broadway
Choreographed by: Tyce DiOrio
Song: "Get Me To The Church On Time" - Matt Dusk (from My Fair Lady)
Grade: A-

Evan in his underwear? I swear I'll try to be objective here. Just give me a moment...

I just love that someone like Evan, who really harks back to dancers of years yonder, back when comedy and spunk are intertwined with dancing, is still around in this competition that really awards emotionally naked contemporary dancers or come-from-the-streets underdog stories (except this season).

Melissa, who has sort of milked the oversmiling while covering up any real personality, fits perfectly into the bride role here with enough of that plastered charm the dance from Pleasantville demands from her.

Plus, I didn't hate a Tyce DiOrio routine! Actually, I quite enjoyed it and found it charming and delightful. Tyce finally designed something that seemed breezy and fitting the dancers personalities.

Lil C of course was disappointed in his obvious attempt to get Brandon and Ade into the final four. Mary and Nigel liked it much better.

Here's the video of Melissa and Evan's Broadway:

Kayla Radomski &
Brandon Bryant
Dance #1
Style: Contemporary
Choreographed by: Stacey Tookie
Song: "All I Want" - Ahn Trio
Grade: A-

First of all, now that a couple of Canadian choreographers have gone down to do this show, and a bunch of American ones came up do to SYTYCDCanada, what's going to happen now that the shows are going to cross over for a few weeks (actually, almost two months)? Is CTV nuts for trying to squeeze in the Canadian version between the few weeks between Seasons 5 and 6? Especially now that S6 starts a week earlier on Sept. 9th? Oh well, nows not that time to ponder about that (I'll get to that later), let's get back to the current dancers.

Yay! Stacey Tookie from Canada! Though not as strong as the first piece she did for Jonathan and Karla (who I STILL love and whose pictures on twitpic are ADORABLE) and maybe it's the saturation of contemporary dancing this season (seriously? where's the krumping? I know these kids are bad at hip-hop but talk about tailoring the dances for them this year) but I was slightly bored actually and my mind wandered.

That doesn't mean the dancing was bad. Kayla and Brandon actually did an amazing job with it, and there were so many nice moments, I think I just kinda hated the song actually and it killed it for me. There's Imogen Heap and then there's pretentious droning.

Here's the video of Kayla and Brandon's Contemporary:

Jeanine Mason &
Ade Obayomi
Dance #2
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographed by: Napoleon and Tabitha D'Umo
Song: "Move (If You Wanna)" - MIMS
Grade: B+

I won't claim it was perfect or anything. There have been better Hip-Hop's on this show, and as much as I want to be cheering, I thought it wasn't as hard as it should have been. But that shows you how much I've now officially fallen in love with Jeanine because I was just transfixed again by her. Maybe my love is clouding my judgement but that just means she's done enough to capture my attention and my heart forever!

Here's the video of Jeanine and Ade's Hip-Hop:

Melissa Sandvig &
Evan Kasprzak
Dance #2
Style: Quickstep
Choreographed by: Louis van Amstel
Song: "As Long As I'm Singin" - Brian Setzer Orchestra
Grade: B-

Evan may have gotten Broadway but then again, he now has to deal with the Quickstep (aka the dance of death). Hmm...

Obviously I love Evan despite his faults, but even when he's not good, he's got this gentlemanly suaveness about him that I think wins my heart over. Cause technically, that seemed a bit rough, from both Melissa and Evan, but their upper bodies seemed to cover up enough of it that it still looked fun and if you wanted to ignore the footwork, they made it possible.

Nigel was right in pointing out the mess ups in footwork and energy levels but that their rising personalities mostly covered for it. There have been better Quicksteps on this show but there have been far worse too.

Here's the video of Melissa and Evan's Quickstep:

Kayla Radomski &
Brandon Bryant
Dance #2
Style: Disco
Choreographed by: Doreana Sanchez
Song: "Dance (Disco Heat)" - Sylvester
Grade: A-

Well, that's the second dance of the night where I've liked the routine from choreographers I usually don't love. First Evan and Melissa do good with a fun Tyce routine, now Kayla and Brandon totally sweat away with Doriana's aerobics workout. Between all the twinkling lights and their SHINY SHINY outifts, I thought that was a LOT of fun full of pizazz and energy. LOTS of energy.

Here's the video of Kayla and Brandon's Disco:

Girls Group Dance - Jeanine, Kayla, Melissa
Choreographed by: Sonya Tayeh
Song: "Kick It (Stereoheroes Remix" - Nina Martine

Another fun group routine, though I will say I preferred the boys one, but still fun to see all the girl power going around, especially from such strong remaining women left in the competition. I will agree there could have been a bit more oomph to it all but hey, it's there 4th dance of the night.

Here's the video of the Girls Group Dance:

The Solos:

Kayla Radomski
Song: "You Found Me" - The Fray
Grade: B+

More of the same Kayla contemporary routines but she's good. I'll give you that. But it's still more of the same, and while it felt slightly fuller than last week, and she seemed to be pushing a little harder, it didn't wow me emotionally or viscerally as a whole though I could see technically it seemed impressive enough.

Ade Obayomi
Song: "18th Floor Balcony" - Blue October
Grade: B+

Someone on twitter (but can't remember who, sorry) mentioned it too but what's with the ridiculous endings? It's almost like they give up halfway through their own routine and then do a silly flippant dance as a joke that isn't funny anymore after 5 seasons (not that it really ever was). Like Kayla, Ade's solo's are great and strong but now are starting to look all the same and don't have the pop needed that they first had.

Melissa Sandvig - Solo
Song: "I Put A Spell On You" - Nina Simone
Grade: B+

It seemed more cohesive than last week's routine of technically difficult but simple looking ballet skills but the ballet skills still don't have the wow power for this show and I think it won't capture the attention needed to win a TV show.

Brandon Bryant - Solo
Song: "O'Fortuna" - (from Carmina Burana) Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg & Kurt Prestel
Grade: A-

Amazing what some grande epic music can do to a spastic seizure like contemporary routine! Finally, with this right type of music, the solo seemed far more fluid and planned out which was always the missing portion from Brandon's solo's. We know he's strong and looks good naked and can do some amazing tricks, but it never felt like ONE routine. Amazing what 70 year old music can add.

Jeanine Mason - Solo
Song: "Feedback" – Janet Jackson
Grade: A-

Not as amazing as last week's solo but that was AMAZING and hard to top. Still great and she at least works WITH the song again and feels more unified than Kayla. Plus the way she ended the piece with a sly flirt without any dancing nonsense was smart and charming.

Evan Kasprzak - Solo
Song: "Lady Is A Tramp" - Sammy Davis Jr.
Grade: A

Speaking of smart and charming, Evan continues to do his old style solo's and I still can't get enough. They make look easy and all jazz handy but look at the jumps, spins and twists in the piece and you realize the dance is just as technically difficult as any of the contemps. Plus he always infuses his aw-shucks personality into the piece and proves you don't have to be smoldering to be sexy.

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

Best Couple Dance of the Night: Kayla and Brandon's Disco
Second Best Couple Dance of the Night: Melissa and Evan's Broadway
Third Best Couple Dance of the Night: Kayla and Brandon's Contemporary

Best Male Solo: Evan Kasprzak
Best Female Solo: Jeanine Mason

Best Male of the Night - Overall: Brandon Bryant
Best Female of the Night - Overall: Kayla Radomski

Worst of the Night - Couple: Melissa and Evan's Quickstep
Worst of the Night - Solo: Melissa

If I had to make a new list from Favorite to Least (with last week's position in paranthesis), it would probably look like this now:
1. Jeanine (1)
2. Kayla (3)
3. Evan (4)
4. Brandon (7)
5. Ade (6)
6. Melissa (8)

Bottom Four: Kayla, Melissa, Evan, Ade
Going Home: Melissa, Ade (Yes, I know everyone's picking Evan but I'm going on a limb here. Hey, if Janette can be out last week, anything can happen).

Should be the Final Four (in alphabetical order): Brandon, Evan, Jeanine, Kayla

Don't forget, I'll be back with the results show and our bloggers panel chat, with the awesome group of
LowResJoe, ABChau, TwoP Lauren S and myself who will discuss this week's performances.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
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jeremy said...

I just don't get the whole Evan thing. He's not a very good dancer . . . well, he's way better than me, but I always feel like routines are dumbed down when he's in it. The quickstep tonight was the first time I really felt like I was watching him partner. And all those stupid faces he makes . . . ugh!

StinkyLulu said...

I totally concur with your call for Melissa & Ade to go home tonight. (And I do think all the "voting on the routines" is Nigel grousing about Melissa stealing Janette's spot.)

Evan's got a fanbase. I'm not sure Ade does (even with those new nekkid pictures). And I don't see Melissa picking up any of Janette's fanbase...

Joseph Gomez said...

I mentioned something on twitter about the dancers ending their solos haphazardly. I did say it with more bitchiness. The 140 character tweet said something of seizures, laziness, yadda yadda yadda.

I was really pushing for Melissa (I really do like her a lot), but I do think the top two girls should be Kayla and Jeanine.

Somewhere else in my tweets of the night, I mentioned that Brandon's solo made me ponder upon the possibility of Roots: the Musical with Kunta Kinte being played by Brandon. At least that's what the solo drove me to write.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I gotta say, I agree with Jeremy about Evan. Though I was impressed that he kept up during Sonya's routine last night - there were no concessions made to him, and he made it work. But all the same, cute though he may be, there's a little bit of a John Stevens thing going on there with the voters, I think.

Okay, that sounds harsh, so, emphasis that it's only a little bit. I still like the guy. Please don't hate me, Vance.

Anyway, that Disco routine was pretty nuts, and Lil' C's reaction to it was probably my favorite part of the night. It's down to Kayla and Jeanine for me, and though Kayla's a stronger dancer, Jeanine's got my vote.

DuchessKitty said...

Maybe it's because I watched last night in my very hot house (Seattle's been experiencing a record-breaking heatwave), but I couldn't get into any of the dances last night.
I liked the Jeanine/Ade hip-hop and the Kayla/Brandon disco the best, but thought that the judges overpraised both performances.
I don't know, my love for this season is just puttering out.

That said, from the beginning of this season I wanted Brandon and Ade in the finale and I'm hoping that I (and lil' C) get my wish. Kayla and Jeanine should round out the top 4. I am worried that Evan has such a crazy fan base. Seriously, I love the kid but he needed to go last week.

Vance said...

haha. Don't get me wrong. I think Ade and Brandon are great and I think I've been championing Ade a bit more, while Brandon has been technically excellent, just lacks... SOMETHING. BUT, in the last few weeks, I keep noting that Ade's female partners always seem to overshine him as good as he may be. Meanwhile, I DO give extra points I probably shouldn't to Evan for his personality and that he's different in style. To me, he's a bit more Benji/Ivan vs the technical excellence of Travis.

But people HAVE been complaining about lack of star power all season so I get people are waning (and ratings are dropping fast). It's not like the dancers are BAD, but are we expecting too much? Or are the dancers just boring?

Anyways, I love the differing opinions so keep them coming and I'll never get offended (well, almost).

Bruce Simmons said...

I twas really quick, but did anyone notice that Jeanine did Showgirls Hands at the beginning of her solo?


Joe Reid said...

For what it's worth, I can understand the complaints about a (comparatively) weaker season, but I find myself far more invested in rooting for Jeanine to win than I was for anyone last season.

par3182 said...

can it really be a top ten list with only six dancers?

i'm glad you mentioned lil c's racism - it seemed so blatant

i'm enjoying this season as it's the first one that hasn't had a clear frontrunner and/or judge's chosen one; i have no idea who'll win (especially after the booting of janette) but i'm hoping it's going to be evan

Vance said...

Ha, you're right. Fixed it par3182. I guess of all people, you would know it's the Top 6 list.