Friday, July 24, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance - One Hundred Reasons To Dance

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 8 Results - The Cut from 8 to 6 - Ep. 519 (the 100th episode overall)
Judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Guest Judge: Mia Michaels

I can't actually talk much about the SPECIAL 100th EPISODE with more performances from the best of seasons past (aka: HELLO TRAVIS AND HEIDI!) and Katie Holmes (I'll reserve my judgement for when I actually see it properly since I actually don't hate her and thought she was pretty good in All My Sons on Broadway last year) because I just arrived in London (and got tickets to tonight's performance of A Streetcar Named Desire with Rachel Weisz at the Donmar Warehouse! Woot Woot! And tomorrow, off to see Donmar's Hamlet with Jude Law! I'll blow kisses for y'all!) so I missed the special results show, though through the wonders of the interweb, I already seem to know the play by play.

In the meantime, you can enjoy our regular round table chat about last night's performance at Joe's blog (and re-posted below)

Top 8 Group Dance
Style: Broadway
Choreographed by: Mia Michaels
Song: "One" - A Chorus Line (Original Broadway Cast)

Now THAT'S the way to re-choreograph a legendary routine and song, and make it seem fresh and new. Yes, that was a knock at Tyce's Hair and even Joey's West Side Story.

My Predictions from the Top 8 Performances:
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.

The Actual Bottom 4 Results Were:
Well, with 8 great dancers left, anything was going to be shocking, but seriously, how wrong was I?

Bottom Four were Kayla, Janette, Brandon and Jason. Well, I got the Kayla and Brandon right, if only because statistically, it would be really hard for me to get it THAT wrong. But still. Considering everyone though Evan and Melissa were going home, and they didn't even land in the bottom two, I guess their fan bases came out in droves to save them (and Evan's solos and Melissa's Cancer Dance certainly helped).

Alas, Janette Manrara and Jason Glover. I'm surprised but I guess when I think about it, not really. Since at this point, the 8 had their own fan bases, and generally were all equally strong and/or unique. It was Jason's time to go 3 weeks ago but since then, he's made quite the resurgence, though his average solo this week probably did him in. I'm a bit more surprised with Janette since the two J girls were going back and forth in the top spot for me, but then again, Melissa and Kayla are not to be scoffed at themselves. Alas, so long Janette and Jason.

And in case you missed the show too, here's Katie Holmes (bid for a Broadway musical) dancing an homage to Judy Garland, choreographed by Tyce DiOrio.

And here's the Emmy winning routines from seasons past:

The Hummingbird and the Flower with Hok and Jamie choreographed by Wade Robson:

The Bench with Travis and Heidi choreographed by Mia Michaels:

Ramalama by Roison Murphy from Season 2, with choreographer Wade Robson joining in:

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Everyweek, LowResJoe, ABChau, TwoP Lauren S and myself discuss the performance show. Here's our chat about the Top 8 Performances:

AB Chao: Ok I am very drink. I have not watched the show. I have been at [REDACTED for anti-defamation purposes] all night. Maybe I will try to watch the show tomorrow.

Joe: Um ... AB didn't watch the show today. So we're going lean and mean with a 3-person squad this week: Vance from Tapeworthy, Lauren S, and me. The three of us will get drunk later, after this show does the impossible and kicks one of those four PHENOMENAL women off the show. Could we possibly just lose Jason and Evan both? ...Please?

Jazz (Sonya Tayeh)

Joe: I thought these two were really well-matched to this style, since Sonya's dances never really require a lot of length or straight lines or anything these two wee little darlings just can't pull off. As with most of Sonya's stuff, I found it weird, but pleasantly so.

Vance: Me too. I thought this match actually worked well. I wouldn't have thought so either. I thought it was a lot of fun and loved those "shut up" moments within the dance. I didn't think it was Sonya's best routine but yah, it was good enough and thoroughly enjoyable.

Lauren: Let me start by saying I think that Evan is awesome and talented and so cute and pocket-sized, but while his height worked well with Janette, I didn't love him in this piece. He wasn't *bad* -- I mean, no one is bad at this point, quite the opposite -- but I was just drawn to her and her crazy awesomeness the whole time. My love for her only grows!

Rumba (Tony Meredith, Melanie LaPatin)

Joe: Okay, I really loved that. I bought the sexy coming from Evan this time, and they slid around each other quite effortlessly. And Kris Allen's version of "Heartless"! Too much adorable, I fear for Vance's delicate emotions!

Vance: What? Joe thought Evan did an adorable job? LOVE Evan's attempt at a sexy look. I did figure out why he does not look right in these kinds of dances. It's 'cause they outfit him in skintight clothing which makes his small body look small. Thus his bobble-headed huge noggin looks imbalanced on top. So he looks like he can't be taken seriously. But hey, while his steps weren't perfect, I thought he did a pretty good job. Oh, and Janette? She's just awesome. Don't we know that already?

Lauren: Again, I think it was a good effort by Evan but I didn't love it, but Janette knocked it out of the park (I'd also expect no less as this really falls into her style). I think Evan did make an incredible effort, but I feel like, while I thought this was going to be Jason's week, maybe it's Evan's time now.

Vance: Also, why did Evan get Tony and Meredith for the second week in a row? Can't they mix things up a bit more considering how many choreographers they have on their roster?

Lauren: Seriously, that is kind of putting him at a disadvantage as I feel like ballroom is probably his weakest area.

Joe: Wow, the Evan defenses are coming fast and furious now! Heh. For the record, I think his fanbase has shown itself to be strong enough that I don't think Evan will go home tonight.

Lauren: Look, I still think it should be Evan going home, despite his crappy luck of the draw. That said, I agree that his fanbase is probably big enough to keep him there.

Waltz (Hunter Johnson)

Joe: Well, looks like we've finally found the one style Brandon isn't really suited for. Very, very stiff, on his part, in a way that didn't mesh well at all with Jeanine. Who, all things considered, pulled this off pretty well. I'm supressing my insane Jeanine love for the moment (though: guess who finally got me to pick up the phone for this show?), but she was the better here.

Vance: I actually didn't think Brandon was THAT bad but yes, my eye was always drawn to Jeanine and her yellow dress. I didn't think it was nearly as bad as the judges made it out to be. I thought it was pretty. Then again, I'm a sucker for those Irish Enya-sounding songs.

Lauren: Once again, a waltz that isn't breathtaking. That said, I thought Jeanine was beautiful and while it was probably Brandon's weakest dance, his weakest dance is still pretty dang good. Something just didn't quite click for me.

Pop-Jazz (Laurie-Ann Gibson)

Joe: Okay, Laurie-Ann Gibson getting up in Jeanine's face and making her cry? AAAAHHHH! So intense. But all that meanness means she gets results, you stupid chief! Seriously, though, how EFFING BADASS is Jeanine? No, I will NOT stop talking about her! (Also, weird, but I've been waiting all season for someone to choreograph a routine to that Jordin Sparks song, so I'm all sorts of satisfied.)

Vance: Yes, Jeanine is my new favorite dancer of the week. She was FIERCE! (ACK. I need a new word. I hate using that word). I watched it several times and she was SO ON! Though uh, Brandon was always slightly ahead or behind and looking to Jeanine to match, while Jeanine totally just WENT FOR IT. Not that Brandon was bad, he brought the power and passion but they were out of sync and after some replays, it looked like it was him and not her.

Lauren: Now THIS is what I was waiting for! Vance is right that they were a tiny bit off sometimes, but the energy and the moves and all that were so fun that I didn't really mind. I liked having a different choreographer and really enjoyed this. Can't say much more about these two that hasn't already been said about their awesomeness.

Cha-Cha (Tony Meredith, Melanie LaPatin)

Lauren: I didn't love this cha-cha. I thought it was really interesting to hear the feedback about how hard it must be for Melissa to un-learn all her ballet training to do this correctly, and I thought they did a good job, but not a great job. I think that for this particular couple this was their weakest dance yet. Fortunately, they had one more dance coming.

Joe: Sloppy, yes, and I too noticed Ade's butt. And for actually the right (or, for Ade, wrong) reasons too! Much as Mary can grate with the hot tamale train and all (I could not get enough of Ellen throwing crazy shade her way all night), I fucking LOVE it when she brings it with that rat-tat-tat barrage of ballroom knowledge. Seeing that many facts coming from such a crazy face is brain-melting.

Vance: And if Evan was disadvantaged with a double header of ballroom, Melissa and Ade together again? Really? Love these two. Did not love this Cha Cha. It looked slower than the Waltz. That fringe stayed limp the whole time. But is that Melissa and Ade's fault? or Tony and Melanie's (seriously, I never had anything against them but... I'm talking about them AGAIN?)?

Contemporary (Tyce Diorio)

Lauren: This was fantastic! Yes, it was totally manipulative because who isn't going to be touched by a breast cancer story? But that said, it was beautiful and super emotional, and I don't think any of the other couples could have pulled this off anywhere near the way they did it, which is probably why I liked it so much. I had four friends over and all of us -- whose opinions can differ -- were sniffling and wiping our eyes at the end of this routine. I thought this was Melissa's week to go but after this dance I'd be completely shocked if it's her.

Joe: Ohhh lord a'mighty. Okay. One of the very best Tyce routines he's ever choreographed, despite being a smidge more literal than I like my high-concept routines. But how can I argue with all that crying? I can't. And honestly, Melissa and Ade were at their graceful, passionate peak dancing it -- and Ade is still my favorite male dancer by a mile -- so I'm not about to slam it. Just to say that I'm with Ellen in the "impressed but not a puddle" category. Though I desperately wanted to give Mia a ten-minute hug.

Vance: Ah... the Cancer Dance. Uh, where do I even start? I actually missed the intro so didn't realize it was Tyce's and basically figured out the cancer thing from the scarf. I will also just state first that I thought Ade and Melissa did a beautiful job with it. Beautiful. Everything that was great about this was because of them.

But seriously, take away the scarf and it was just another standard contemporary dance (though to a very very smart song choice). And THEN I found out Tyce choreographed it. My hatred knows no bounds. That and I have no soul. Then the judges cried and cried over it and I sat there like a log wondering what I missed. Yah, the cancer part was very sad, but I didn't think it was the most emotional dance piece from SYTYCD. I still enjoyed it but I think it was overpraised. Because seriously, can you remember any of the actual dance moves without thinking about that scarf? I'm going to hell aren't I?

Broadway (Tyce Diorio)

Lauren: I really liked this! It wasn't one of the most memorable routines we've ever seen but I loved watching it, it was fun, it was danced really, really well by both of them, and as one of my friends said, "Kayla's legs do things legs aren't supposed to be able to do." Holy moly, woman! Two thumbs up.

Joe: Very well danced, of course, but probably the one routine that had dropped completely out of my head since the episode ended. Though, wait, was this where Mia was talking about cracking Jason's chest open with a hammer? God, I love Mia.

Vance: Not bad for a Tyce routine (seriously, I'm really trying to be nice. Really!) but Kayla really saved this with her length and her sparkle. And Jason is finally becoming SOOO charming on the dancefloor.

Hip-Hop (Shane Sparks)

Lauren: THIS, though, was completely awesome, and I was so relieved because I feel like Shane hadn't been having a great season. But this was super fun (kind of Thriller, but I'm fine with that) and inventive and super well-danced by the both of them. See, just when I think it's Jason's turn to go... I have no earthly idea who it's going to be.

Joe: I was crossing all my limbs that Shane would finally have one of his routines danced well this season. And either I was looking through rose-colored glasses or Kayla and Jason were really good. There really isn't much Kayla can't do, and Jason was a whole lot better than his last time in Shane's clutches.

Vance: My fave of the night. Jason got into full character and if you told me that was someone other than Kayla, I would have believed it cause she totally buried herself with this piece.

Thoughts on the solos/group routine?

Lauren: Loved it! Totally fun, I loved the wacked-out costumes, I loved the glasses like you buy at Disneyland once it gets dark. I'm certain that I am a little bit biased because I love Travis so much and wanted it to be good for his sake, but overall really enjoyed it.

Joe: As for the solos, I thought Ade and Jeanine's were the real standouts, though Brandon always has those 1 or 2 moments where he pulls out something super astounding. And I appreciated how Melissa and especially Janette mixed their ballet/ballroom up with more contempo style so they weren't just doing a succession of movements. Evan's routine, I will say, was so similar to last week's that I couldn't get excited for it.

Vance You know I love my future husband Travis but I actually expected a bit more. Seemed a bit all over the place. Still, some nice moments but I wished they turned off the lights more to milk that glowy light gimmick effect.

Solos? Jeanine's was AMAZING. The first girls solo's I finally truly loved. It was well planned out and felt unique and whole. Evan's and Ade's, who are probably the best male soloists, also had more complete solo's than the others though both were not as good as last week's. If anything, Jason and Melissa had the weakest solos. I give credit to Melissa for trying some difficult but slow ballet moves that are technically difficult but it needed to be a bit more showy and faster, especially to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs song she picked.

Thoughts on Ellen/Judges?

Lauren: I adore Ellen, but I was glad when she stopped having the same pattern of quips and just started complimenting the dancers. (Granted, I think this also came about because the dances in the 2nd hour were far and away better than those in the first half of the episode.) I wouldn't want her to be a regular, but I was fine with the little shake-up for a week. I also really enjoyed that Mary had a good amount of actual feedback this week, because I love hearing what she has to say when she's actually critiquing/teaching instead of screeching. (Wow, that's quite a rhyme.)

Joe: Yes, as a one-timer, Ellen was lovely. And I'll gladly take the occasional useless comments in exchange for how she clearly couldn't stand Nigel and Mary's insanity for another minute. It all made me very happy that Mia's bipolar ass was around being a stickler (and occasional supporter of beauty in all forms, even Evan's droopy eyes).

Vance I'm glad Ellen didn't pretend to really know anything about dancing the way I do! It was nice to have a bit of star power on the judges panel but she played it just right, throwing a few funny quips and letting the others give the real critique.


Lauren: Kayla/Jason's hip-hop; Melissa/Ade's contemporary; Jeanine/Brandon pop-jazz

Joe: Jeanine/Brandon's pop-jazz; Kayla/Jason's hip-hop; Melissa/Ade's contemporary

Vance Kayla/Jason's Hip-Hop; Jeanine/Brandon's Pop-Jazz; Melissa/Ade's Contemporary


Lauren: Jeanine/Brandon's waltz

Joe: Melissa/Ade's Cha-Cha

Vance: Melissa/Ade's Cha-Cha

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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 8 Performance
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

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