Wednesday, August 26, 2009

SYTYCD Canada - Afro Jazz? Capoeira? Great Disco? We're Not in America Anymore

So You Think You Can Dance Canada - Top 20 Performance Night - Ep. 206
Judges: Jean-Marc Généreux, Tré Armstrong, Luther Brown, Blake McGrath

Top 20!

So I was lucky enough to snag a ticket (via my sister's friend's boyfriend who won the online randomness ticketgrab. Yes, kind of convoluted) and they didn't kick me out! But I've had to keep it all a secret until now.

Anyways, I've added a Live grade for this week since I sometimes find that dances look different live on stage than they do on TV. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Plus usually with the excitement of seeing it live, along with my sole viewing angle (sometimes blocked by the cameras), I usually tend to get excited more over the dances that I can slowly pick apart more at home. But did you see my head? I was close to the judges table. My head is huge. Hats do not work for me.

So before we get to the Top 20! They trot out last years winner Nico! As well as pointing out S1'ers Tamina, Brea, Caroline, Natalie, Romina, and Miles who will all appear in the MTV (and CTV) TV movie Turn The Beat Around which Tre also choreographed. SYTYCD S4 finalist Courntey Galiano was also in the house, in Toronto to film Camp Rock 2 (because the first one was just begging for a sequel... groan. Well, at least Courtney is in it!).

Anyways, onto the show!

Tara-Jean Popowich
Everett Smith
Style: Jive
Choreographed by: Melissa Williams
Song: "Lust for Life" - Iggy Pop
Grade - Live: B+
Grade - ON TV: B

Okay, so Everett's feet were a little heavy and it didn't pop for a jive as much as it should have, but Tara-Jean is quite the spunky girl isn't she? She could have popped a bit more too (Blake wanted a bit more energy too). Still, I kind of adore the energetic Everett and overall it was still kind of fun, if lacking some Jive skills.

Here's the video of Tara-Jean and Everett's Jive:

Amy Gardner
Vincent Desjardins
Style: Samba
Choreographed by: Melanie LaPatin & Tony Meredith
Song: "Batucadas" - Mitoka Samba
Grade - Live: B
Grade - ON TV: B-

Is it me or does Amy look like every "that" blond? Malin Akerman. Kherington Payne. Even Leah Miller herself a bit. Well, either way, this impostor is not fully convincing me yet, so it doesn't help that she missed the lift.

Well thank goodness for Vincent who was just awesome and totally in his element. Okay, Amy at least recovered well and she was fine the rest of the time, but I still can't shake the poor-woman's Malin Akerman just yet. I know, it's probably not fair to her since she didn't have much audition screen time to show her skills, but the judge pimping that she's "TOP 4" is a bit irritating, especially when she screwed up. Don't forget, all that pimping probably helped Adam Lambert lose (a-ha! go KRIS!).

Here's the video of Amy and Vincent's Samba:

Melanie Mah
Cody Bonnell
Style: Contemporary
Choreographed by: Stacey Tookey (with help from Nico Archambault)
Song: "Taking Chances" - Celine Dion
Grade - Live: B+
Grade - ON TV: B+

On TV, the moments where Cody needs to connect with Melanie looks more hesitant, where he seems to float effortlessly on his own. It was almost the opposite live on stage. But heck, I'm being nitpicky here because this cutie patewtie couple is clearly going to be one of the frontrunners so I'm just giving some tough love to help them improve since they're going to be here for a long long time.

Okay okay, I loved it. It looked great on stage and it looked great on TV. Yah, Cody could probably use a bit more confidence (you can even see that he jumped the gun before the music started) but heck, he's a Hip-Hopper on his first week and doing quite well with contemporary. Let the Ivan comparisons continue.

Melanie. LOVE. She's doing a great job representin'! (Both my race and my hometown!) Woot Woot!

Here's the video of Melanie and Cody's Contemporary:

Kim Gingras
Emanuel Sandhu
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographed by: Sho-Tyme
Song: "Here Comes the Hammer" - MC Hammer
Grade - Live: C
Grade - ON TV: C

HAMMERTIME! I never thought I'd actually reminisce about early 90's "hip-hop/rap" but man, does Hammer bring back memories. Who would have thought I'd ever miss it?!

Meanwhile, Kim is probably a lovely girl. I mean, she has good taste in boyfriends (Vincent from last season, who was SOOOO awesome) but for some reason I just don't really like her yet (maybe because she's Vincent's girlfriend. Bitch!). But hey, she knows her hip-hop and she hit that hammer HARD.

And how about Olympic figure skater Emanuel? Well... at least he TRIED. I give him points for putting all his efforts and energy into trying to get down and dirty but it was kind of a mess. Both live and on TV. It was just a mess. Those oversized suits didn't help. And to think the 90's styles are slowly coming back. Lord help us all.

Here's the video of Kim and Emanuel's Hip-Hop:

Corynne Barron
Anthony Grafton
Style: Viennese Waltz
Choreographed by: Pierre Allaire
Song: "The Time of My Life" - David Cook
Grade - Live: B+
Grade - ON TV: B

With all the twirling, it's easily seducing on stage and it was quite lovely. On TV, it's easier to nitpick some of the minor fumbles and it could have used more confidence, but for first week, it was expected since they probably needed more time to gel together.

Anthony's footwork was acceptable and could have floated more, but his has the right stance and attitude that it's hard not to love him still. Corynne is lovely and her major fault is still that she's such a shoo-in to do well that it's almost annoying (even though part of that is coming from me! ha!).

Here's the video of Corynne and Anthony's Viennese Waltz:

Natalie Lyons
Danny Lawn
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographed by: Sho-Tyme
Song: "Get Buck in Here" - JF Felli Fel (feat. Akon, P. Diddy, Ludacris & Lil' Jon)
Grade - Live: B+
Grade - ON TV: B+

My sister's friend's boyfriend hated it when we were there live but I thought it was great, and I still do, now that I've seen it on TV (then again, he hates Natalie, I don't really have any opinion of her at this point).

Plus, maybe it's cause I love seeing the whitest-people-ever doing Hip-Hop. Then again, Natalie is a krumper so she was basically in her element. (Though that's the second female Hip-Hopper who got their own style... hmm...) Meanwhile, I was hugely impressed by Danny. Come on, he's as white as you can get, AND he's contemporary! You gotta give him props! He hit that pretty hard! It wasn't the hardest it could have been but it was pretty darn good!

Here's the video of Natalie and Danny's Hip-Hop:

Jayme Rae Dailey
Daniel Dory
Style: Afro Jazz
Choreographed by: Sean Cheesman
Song: "The Path" - Ralph MacDonald
Grade - Live: A
Grade - ON TV: A-

Is Afro Jazz just designed to look good no matter what? Kinda like Bollywood? Or is Jayme Rae and Daniel just awesome? Since Jayme Rae was pretty awesome in auditions, I'll assume it's a bit of both, and it has definitely put Daniel on my radar!

Okay, so there's a moment before Jayme Rae does handstand flip over Daniel where she seems too hesitant (which I only noticed on TV), but the rest of the dance just seemed designed to showcase Jayme Rae and Daniel. Lovely and yah, where did this Daniel come from!? He's adorable!

Also, has anybody ever walked on that back wall on SYTYCD? Nicely done!

Here's the video of Jayme Rae and Daniel's Afro Jazz:

Jenna Lynn Higgins
Nicolas Bégin
Style: Disco
Choreographed by: Melissa Williams
Song: "Waking Up in Vegas" - Katy Perry
Grade - Live: B+
Grade - ON TV: B+

Okay, that BIG smile on Nicolas would be total cheese if it weren't so cute and funny and coming from Nicolas, the French B-Boy. Plus it kinda works for Disco set to Katy Perry and a Vegas sparkly piece, with glitter confetti and all! Seriously, I can't stop grinning thinking about Nicolas' HUGE grinning smile. He seems SOOOOOO happy just to be on stage there. It's hilarious and infectious.

It's amazing how different these Canadian disco's seem compared to Doriana's usual drab. So much more fun! I still can't get last year's Lara and Miles' Disco routine "Shake It" out of my head. This one wasn't as great but it was way better than most of the US versions. Plus, the sparkles was such a gimmick but it sure worked! Shiny!

Jenna Lynn was great. I still detect a hint of arrogance there but she's mostly covering it well, and to be paired with Nicolas, who truly seems overjoyed just to be there, it should balance off. About the only thing that throws it off is that Nicolas is kinda short isn't he? He's quite a little guy, no? And that skin tight outfit only accentuated his small body which threw the balance of the couple off a bit, but man, he sure danced the heck out of it to make up for his size!

Here's the video of Jenna Lynn and Nicolas' Disco:

Tatiana Parker
Austin Di Iulio
Style: Capoeira
Choreographed by: Paul Becker
Song: "Segura O Coco" - Axé Capoeira
Grade - Live: A-
Grade - ON TV: B+

I'm not sure how Capoeira that was, since it basically slipped in a lot of Salsa and other stuff, but hey, at least it's something different (ahem, I'm talking to you Season 5 of SYTYCD).

I loved Tatiana when I saw it live, but now rewatching it on TV, I'm actually a little disappointed. She's quite hesitant a lot and does a lot of posturing. Meanwhile, Austin is even more impressive on TV.

The problem capoiera has, as the judges also point out, is that it doesn't really allow for a full connection between the dancers, since they're really fighting each other, pretending to kick and smack each other without actually kicking or smacking each other (which might work better when it's two guys). So for that, Austin's tricks and skills lend him more to this dance than Tatiana (who was one of my early faves based on the auditions) who really relies on applying the "entertainment" portion to this dance (as Tre points out).

Here's the video of Tatiana and Austin's Capoeira:

Melanie Buttarazzi
Taylor James
Style: Tango
Choreographed by: Melanie LaPatin & Tony Meredith
Song: "Diferente" - Gotan Project
Grade - Live: B
Grade - ON TV: B

Shouldn't these two be on Make Me A Supermodel or something? Or since Taylor got knocked in the teeth and started bleeding in his mouth, maybe True Blood?

It was shaky at times and Taylor seemed a bit hesitant, but maybe it's because he just got smacked in the face which drew blood. Who would have thought it would be Tango that was dangerous on a night there was Capoeira? There were some nice moments. Sometimes they looked like they were modeling, especially Taylor, but again, maybe he was in a daze from being smacked in the mouth.

Despite the flaws, I still enjoyed it though and I'm really liking Melanie B. and poor Taylor. Just his apologetic reaction to the blood made me love him even more. He's SOOOOO Canadian!

Here's the video of Melanie and Taylor's Tango:

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

Best of the Night: Jayme Rae and Daniel's Afro Jazz
Second Best of the Night: Melanie and Cody's Contemporary
Third Best of the Night: Natalie and Danny's Hip-Hop

Best Male of the Night: Vincent Desjardins who saves his dance with his flair.
Second Best Male of the Night: Austin Di Iulio

Best Female of the Night: Melanie Mah
Second Best Female of the Night: Jayme Rae Dailey

Worst of the Night - Couple: Kim and Emanuel's Hip-Hop
Worst of the Night - Single: Emanuel

At this point, I kinda like all the boys except Emanuel. While Melanie and Jayme Rae are my faves for the girls. Jenna Lyn, Amy, Kim are good but there's just something about their personalities that irks me, but that's just based on the little we know about them.

Bottom Three Couples: Kim and Emanuel, Tara-Jean and Everett, Corynne and Anthony (though Tatiana and Austin or Melanie B. and Taylor could be in danger too)
Should Go Home: Kim and Emanuel
Going Home: Emanuel and... um... Corynne?

My thinking is they'll keep Kim for now because she's a female white hip-hopper AND she's Vincent's girlfriend. Whereas they always seem to want to drop Corynne (based on auditions) and yet never do.

Results on Wednesday at 7:30pm with the Michael Jackson tribute by choreographer Gil Duldulao.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
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For So You Think You Can Dance Season 2:
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Julia said...

For me it's always so weird to see capoeira as a dance, since in Brazil it's seen as only martial art, but I thought this choreo was actually better than the last one, and Austin totally hit it. But Tatiana... I mean, I love the girl, and was devastated when she was eliminated (I kinda don't like Amy), but her capoeira was really bad. I've done capoeira, and it's not easy, but hers was really, really bad.

And is it me or Jean Marc was waaaay to nice with the dancers? I love, love, loooove Jean Marc but that was very annoying.

Vance said...

Well, not as annoying as by the end of last season so it's a start. JM is very nice. Too nice sometimes, but after 3 other judges, I think he has to end it on a good note. (Again, why is Luther there?)

Julia said...

Yeah, Luther doesn't seem to know a lot about other genres, and there is another 3 judges, so I think he's kinda too much.