Thursday, July 23, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance - NOH8!

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 8 Performance Night - Ep. 518
Judges: Dr. Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Guest Judge: Mia Michaels and Ellen DeGeneres

NOH8! for the top 8 (or like anybody man, peace and love man!). Seriously, we've now cut all that we could cut and there's no more fat to be trimmed. How are we gonna hate on any of the remaining dancers? Say what you will about the lack of star personality this year, but can YOU decide who should go this week? I sure can't. There's no one left that I hate (not that I really hated anybody this year, unlike previous years (Cedric, Jessica)).

I think this week more than ever before, the dance choreography themselves are going to be a major determining factor in the results but I'll discuss that more in the individual dance write-ups.

Plus, Ellen DeGeneres!!! And she was exactly as she should be. Funny and loving with no attempt at really criticizing the dances (and pretending to be an expert, you know, like the way I totally do every week). Laugh, Dance, Live. Yup!

Top 8 Group Dance
Choreographed by: My future husband Travis Wall
Song: "Let It Rock" - Kevin Rudolf ft. Lil' Wayne

Oh, I'm just so proud of my future husband Travis Wall and it was just a fun dance though I think it could have used a boost of something. I did almost wish they turned off the lights a bit more so we could get that gimmicky lights effect. Not as great as what Travis will have to offer the future and the dancers looked almost a little tired and unrehearsed (I mean, they've got two other dances to do AND their solo's so considering you can barely tell who is who here, I can see why this would technically be the lowest priority). Still, enjoyable nonetheless.

Here's the video of the Top 8 Group Dance:

Alright, let's get to the new pairings! (I grouped all the solos together at the bottom after the pairs dances).

Janette Manrara &
Evan Kasprzak
Dance #1
Style: Jazz
Choreographed by: Sonya Tayeh
Song: "Move (Metronomy Remix)" - CSS
Grade: B+

Janette is just awesome and I had fun watching Evan trying the Jazz style. He looked like he was trying and having some fun with it and while he didn't hit it all with the same dirt Mary wanted him to, I thought his jumps and twists were actually pretty great. I did strangely like how these two matched together. Evan still dances the way he dances (hmm... Mia just mentions that he dances with the same feel) but I don't think that's a bad thing (see Evan's Solo). I didn't think it was Sonya's best routine but it had its moments. I particularly like the "shut your mouth" bits.

Here's the video of Janette and Evan's Jazz:

Jeanine Mason &
Brandon Bryant
Dance #1
Style: Waltz
Choreographed by: Hunter Johnson
Song: "May It Be" - Hayley Westenra
Grade: B

Good music choice. That whole Irish Enya sound always makes things sound grander. I picture the rush of oceans as the camera pans from the helicopter capturing the cliffs from the Irish shore. Or something beautiful like that. And I thought Jeanine was just as beautiful. Brandon was solid but I basically couldn't take my eyes off Jeanine and her yellow flowy dress.

Nigel hated the music choice. And didn't think they danced it strong enough. Eh, what do I know? I'm with Ellen. Mary and Mia weren't that impressed either. I didn't think it was THAT bad. Way harsh. Okay, there were a few connection problems, especially at the start but I thought they generally covered well. Maybe it's my love for all things Irish.

Here's the video of Jeanine and Brandon's Waltz:

Melissa Sandvig &
Ade Obayomi
Dance #1
Style: Cha-Cha
Choreographed by: Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin
Song: "Yeah (Gomo Goza Mi Morena)" - Chino Espinoza y Los Dueños Del Son
Grade: C+

Wait, together again? Already?

For a supposed fast dance, that seemed kinda slow. That seemed slower than the "slowest waltz we've had on this show" above. Though is that Tony and Melanie's fault or Ade and Melissa's? I'm leaning towards the first. I still think Melissa and Ade could have loosened up more since the fringe didn't fly around as much as these things usually do. I will agree with Mary and Mia. It was their worst performance this season, though that's cause they had been so amazing together for so long.

Here's the video of Melissa and Ade's Cha-Cha:

Kayla Radomski &
Jason Glover
Dance #1
Style: Broadway
Choreographed by: Tyce DiOrio
Song: "Mr. Monotony" - Jerome Robbins Broadway - Kim Criswell
Grade: B+

Well, you know how I feel about Tyce. So it wasn't a BAD Tyce routine but it still wasn't anything that special. He was lucky that he had Kayla make it sparkle and Jason is starting to really charm on the dance floor (as opposed to just standing there looking adorable).

I don't know about that Tony award for Kayla (that Mia, the apparent only sane one up there on the judges panel!?!) but Kayla certainly does have a glow.

Here's the video of Kayla and Jason's Broadway:

Janette Manrara &
Evan Kasprzak
Dance #2
Style: Rumba
Choreographed by: Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin
Song: "Heartless" - Kris Allen (HOLLER! Might be my favorite song for this year!)
Grade: B

This is the second week in a row Evan's had to dance a ballroom style choreographed by Tony and Melanie. Conspiracy theories? GO.

Okay, I know it's so wrong but I LOVE Evan's attempt at the sexy look (Zoolander as Mia mentions?). Teehee. Although I know why he looks funny doing these routines. They dress him up in tight clothes which accentuate his short and little body. But he has a huge head. So it looks like a bobble head, all while doing the Rumba. Which just looks wrong and comical. But steps wise, I think he did alright. Not perfect but it generally looked good. Janette again is awesome.

Loved the debate about Evan's face and his droopy cuteness. Loved that Ellen loved it for looking NOT like the LA face. And yes, like Mia said, not everyone needs to be a sexpot (uh, but Evan's cute face IS my sexpot) (WTF am I saying? out loud? lol).

Here's the video of Janette and Evan's Rumba:

Jeanine Mason &
Brandon Bryant
Dance #2
Style: Pop Jazz
Choreographed by: Laurie Anne Gibson (hey, she's CDN! Cool!)
Song: "Battlefield" - Jordin Sparks
Grade: A-

Brandon danced with the right passion and hit it hard, but was it me or did he look like he was constantly watching Jeanine to follow, yet still seemed off sync, sometimes a split second too slow, sometimes a split second too fast? It didn't seemed as unified as it should have been. Still, nice energy.

I watched it multiple times and realized that Jeanine WAS on the beat and never looked back. She was SUPERB. Wow!

Here's the video of Jeanine and Brandon's Pop Jazz:

Melissa Sandvig &
Ade Obayomi
Dance #2
Style: Contemporary
Choreographed by: Tyce DiOrio
Song: "This Woman's Work" - Maxwell
Grade: A-

Okay, still love Melissa and Ade, even though Melissa has fallen by the early-frontrunner wayside as Kayla, Jeanine and Janette's stocks go up, but even though she may need more personality and avoid the tee-hee silly girl routine she does off the dance floor, girl has skilz (yes, with a Z, like Liza).

But Cancer Dance? Really? Can you NOT vote for that after seeing that? Let's first get this out of the way. Ade and Melissa did a great job with it and hit all the emotional marks needed and being such strong dancers that they are, did the emotional routine justice.

But did the whole thing not seem like some sentimental pandering? I actually missed the intro so didn't realize it was Tyce's routine, and even then, I thought it did not live up to previous "emotional" routines and really seemed to MILK THE SADNESS FOR EVERYONE'S ENJOYMENT. Or am I just a heartless bastard? It just seemed way too calculated, and THEN I found out it was a Tyce routine... oy. (I'm adding this sentence just as I'm about to post this, way after I've written this earlier blurb, and I must say, I've already forgotten the ACTUAL routine. Yah, I remember the cancer stuff but I don't actually remember any of the moves. Further proof that this is getting accolades for the message and not the dance. That or I have no soul).

But bravo and brava to Ade and Melissa!

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

Kayla Radomski &
Jason Glover
Dance #2
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographed by: Shane Sparks
Song: "They're Everywhere" - Izza Kizza
Grade: A-

Great hip-hop routine. Great performances. I even forgot Kayla was Kayla cause that was not the blonde pixie I'm used to. They both totally got into their roles and it was just a really fun Shane Sparks routine (FINALLY AGAIN!)

Here's the video of Kayla and Jason's Hip-Hop:

The Solos:

Kayla Radomski
Song: "The Moment I Said It" - Imogen Heap
Grade: B+

Not that Kayla needs the help but dancing to Imogen Heap always seems to boost the performance. No? It was yet another contemp solo but it seemed to have a bit more pep than last week and maybe because of the song, seemed to feel more complete.

Jason Glover - Solo
Song: "...Slowdance On the Inside" - Taking Back Sunday
Grade: B

Another standard Jason routine though at least he brings a smoother flow to the contemporary solos than some of the other males who just looked spastic. Still, it was nowhere near as good as his solo from last week which was terrific.

Janette Manrara - Solo
Song: "Seduces Me" - Celine Dion
Grade: B+

There's always that Miami talk about Janette but she really does sizzle with her solos. Even when it's just the standard shake-your-booty salsa-ey kinda thing.

Ade Obayomi
Song: "Hater" - Various
Grade: A-

Big and strong and it's just cool to watch. Plus, of all the contemporary dancers, I think he brings the most full routine to the dancefloor, only to be beat by Evan with his completely different style.

Melissa Sandvig - Solo
Song: "Heads Will Roll" - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Grade: B

I appreciate that Melissa tries to do some technically difficult and slow moves but with a Yeah Yeah Yeahs song that's got quite the beat, I think we sort of expect something more jazzy and showy. So overall it feels like its losing momentum even though I know the moves she's doing are not easy.

Evan Kasprzak - Solo
Song: "Old Devil Moon" - Jamie Cullum
Grade: A-

Okay, so he dropped the hat, but he recovered pretty fast and again, he brings something completely different to the SYTYCD world that we haven't seen. Heck, we've barely seen it since Singing in the Rain days and I like seeing someone youthful able to do a full storied routine so well. That said, it wasn't as perfect as last week's (which I LOVED LOVED LOVED) but he still brings humour and charm to his dancing that just feels full of effervescence.

Jeanine Mason - Solo
Song: "Let the Drummer Kick" – Citizen Cope
Grade: A

WOW. WOW. WOW. FINALLY a girl's routine that feels like one whole dance piece. While I think the girl's have been generally been better in the pairings, their solo's usually are good but never seem well thought out. This one had it. It showed Jeanine's skills while still telling a story. Plus bonus points for a cool song choice.

Brandon Bryant - Solo
Song: "Ain't Nothing Wrong With That" - Robert Randolph and the Family Band
Grade: B+

Again, a strong dancer with some great skills but like most of Brandon's solo's, they feel more like a jumble of "best of" tricks as opposed to a proper solo.

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

Best Couple Dance of the Night: Kayla and Jason's Hip-Hop
Second Best Couple Dance of the Night: Jeanine and Brandon's Pop Jazz
Third Best Couple Dance of the Night: Melissa and Ade's Contemporary

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

Best Male of the Night - Overall: Jason Glover
Best Female of the Night - Overall: Jeanine Mason

Worst of the Night - Couple: Melissa and Ade's Cha Cha Cha
Worst of the Night - Solo: Jason Glover (yes, and I know I just named him best overall male of the night too) or maybe Melissa's.

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 (5)
2. Janette (2)
3. Kayla (4)
4. Evan (3)
5. Jason (6)
6. Ade (1)
7. Brandon (8)
8. Melissa (7)

Bottom Four: Kayla, Melissa, Evan, Brandon
Going Home: Melissa, Evan (sigh, it's going to happen isn't it? Though there could be a shocker this week. Or will ANYBODY be going because it's the 100th episode? That would be too good to be true.)
Should Be Going Home: The camera people. Seriously. Get it together folks.

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.

My results post will however be slightly lacking though since I'll actually be on a plane to London as it airs so while I can figure out the results (and not much nowadays happens on the results show), I'll miss all the SPECIAL 100th EPISODE EVENTS!

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For More So You Think You Can Dance:
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So You Think You Can Dance - Season 5:

Top 10 Performance, Top 10 Results and Panel Chat
Top 12 Performance, Top 12 Results and Panel Chat
Top 14 Performance, Top 14 Results, Top 14 Panel Chat
Top 16 Performance, Top 16 Results and Panel Chat
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


DuchessKitty said...

You aren't a souless/heartless bastard regarding your feelings about the "Cancer Dance". That said, much of the dance has stayed with me these many hours later. Actually mostly just the INCREDIBLE lifts and jumps that were done superbly by Ade and Melissa. I think Nigel said it, and he's totally right - no other couple could've danced this piece.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more about Jeanine's solo - I think she could really win it all. She's the shizzle.

However, I couldn't disagree more about Kris Allen's "Heartless" - ye gods, they have neutered that track. I could see how love of Kris could render musical criticism of the tune moot (that's sort of the point of Idol, in a way), but damn. Would it have killed them to add a little edge to the thing?

Uneven night last night, but some outstanding stuff. And yeah, the cancer dance was a bit over the top. Though they danced it really well.

Vance said...

Well, I'll admit the live version Kris did was better, and he admits he wasn't happy with the studio version but I'll take whatever I can get from him.