Wednesday, October 28, 2009

SYTYCD6 - Cha Cha Change for a Twenty?

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 20 Performance and Results Night - Ep. 611
Judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Adam Shankman

There still is a chair for Paula Abdul which already is annoying me.

In the meantime, Billy Bell AND Noelle Marsh have both been sidelined by injuries and illnesses but Billy is out permanently while Noelle is taking a week off for now, with Melanie LaPatin stepping in again. Noelle gets to come back next week if she's better. Meanwhile, Brandon Dumlao takes over Billy's spot. Lucky for all the other dancers, since Billy was probably near the top of the list.

And while I'm at it, I realized what else I don't like about this new huge stage set up, other than the distracting video wall and enormity of it all. The stage is now set up as a proscenium stage and no longer has a in-the-round feel with audience members on 3 sides, giving us even less of an intimate feel, thus distancing the dancers even further. Plus it doesn't give anywhere for Cat to run and hide when the dancers perform.

Oh well, I'll stop my griping for now and let the Season 6 dancing begin!

Channing Cooke
Phillip Attmore
Style: Jive
Choreographed by: Jason Gilkison
Song: "Rockin' Robin" - The Jackson 5
Grade: C

At this point, I'm trying to give these two a clean slate, but I was losing favour for these two, so it's strange that they've been paired together.

On top of that, they get the Jive set to "Rockin' Robin"? Seriously? I thought they did an admirable attempt but it lacked the pop and pizzaz needed and their lack of chemistry was palpable. Their connections were fumbly and awkward and as some of the judges mentioned, they looked tired out halfway through the dance.

Not a great start for a couple that really needed to wow me to earn my love, instead I thought it was easily forgettable (with no help from the song choice either).

Here's the video of Channing and Phillip's Jive:

Ashleigh Di Lello
Jakob Karr
Style: Broadway
Choreographed by: Tyce DiOrio
Song: "Hit Me With A Hot Note (and Watch Me Bounce)" - Sophisticated Ladies (original soundtrack)
Grade: B

I really didn't want to get into my hatred for Tyce so early but again, I was underwhelmed by the choreo (despite Adam calling it brilliant) and as Joe points out, he's such a douchebag.

On the bright note, Jakob just had the lines and poise to really showcase his skills and just looked great. Ashleigh, who I'm so so for, looked like she kept up, and as the judges said, Jakob carried her to his level.

Here's the video of Ashleigh and Jakob's Broadway:

Ariana Dubose
Peter Sabasino
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographed by: Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo
Song: "Black & Gold" - Sam Sparo
Grade: B

While Jakob and Ashleigh managed to dance a bad choreography really well, here, I'm wondering if good choreography made Peter and Ariana look good? Because I really found myself surprised by Peter and Ariana and liked this routine and thought they were quite good, even though the judges didn't. Maybe it's because I had such low expectations from these two.

I thought Peter did quite a good job, especially since he's a tapper, while Ariana, who seemed kinda bland, got into a Hip-Hop groove that reminded me of Aliyah.

Here's the video of Ariana and Peter's Hip-Hop:

Noelle Marsh Melanie LaPatin
Russell Ferguson
Style: Foxtrot
Choreographed by: Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin
Song: "Vagabond Shoes" - Vic Damone
Grade: B+

I don't know if I'm buying Russell. I don't buy that he didn't take ANY lessons before this, because he was WAY too smooth and amazing in this Foxtrot. I mean, was it me, or did he look like he almost out-Foxtrotted Melanie LaPatin, the teacher/expert. (Then again, she's such the expert to make sure her partner always looks good). His footwork looked great and he held up his own and oozed charm without being schlocky.

Here's the video of Melanie and Russell's Foxtrot:

Bianca Revels
Victor Smalley
Style: Contemporary
Choreographed by: Travis Wall
Song: "Wasted Time" - Me'Shell Ndegeocello
Grade: B+

I pretty much agreed with everything Adam said. GREAT choreography from my secret lover (at least in my head) Travis Wall. Bianca did a great job but still needed that little extra (like lowering the shoulders) while Victor held the whole thing together.

There could have been a little more sizzle but considering the piece was about coldness, I guess Victor and Bianca were more in character.

Here's the video of Bianca and Victor's Contemporary:

Karen Hauer
Kevin Hunte
Style: Cha Cha
Choreographed by: Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin
Song: "Push It" - Glee Cast version
Grade: B

I really like Kevin but yah, as Adam said, was he even there? I only really noticed Karen who luckily shook it and saved them both, while Kevin did a nice job propping her up. (Also, who knew he had so much hair tucked behind there? Oh wait, I guess it's those braids unleashed. It never clicked in.)

I think the dance could have been slightly jazzier and faster, especially considering the song they had to dance to, but that's partly the choreography too (and just a bad pairing of dance with song). On the other hand, love that they are already using the Glee songs for this. Talk about network synergy!

Here's the video of Karen and Kevin's Cha Cha:

Ellenore Scott
Ryan Di Lello
Style: Jazz
Choreographed by: Sonya Tayeh
Song: "Arcadia" - Apparat
Grade: B+

I love Sonya's weird choreo's! And love that they put Ryan shirtless right off the bat. Might as well show off his shoulders and guns right? Hold on, I need to wipe of the drool on the keyboard right now.

I don't really recall Ellenore but she and Ryan were great together, and Ryan, as the judges keep mentioning, was great abandoning his ballroom background to get into weirdness of Sonya's characters.

Here's the video of Ellenore and Ryan's Jazz:

Pauline Mata
Brandon Dumlao
Style: Smooth Waltz
Choreographed by: Jason Gilkison
Song: "You Light Up My Life" - Whitney Houston
Grade: B

They had a day and a half together? After Billy Bell had to drop out? That's really hard, especially for the Smooth Waltz, and especially for a hip-hopper like Brandon. Still, I was impressed and thought it was better than the judges critiques.

Pauline was beautiful and Brandon did a good job carrying her through and i thought (maybe with the aid of Pauline's white floaty dress) that they looked quite light and airy, but Nigel and the others totally disagreed.

Here's the video of Pauline and Brandon's Smooth Waltz:

Kathryn McCormick
Legacy Perez
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographed by: Dave Scott
Song: "On & On" - Missy Elliot
Grade: B+

Great routine and Kathryn and Legacy had a nice connection together and dirtied it up just right. Legacy, who I've been on the fence with, won me over here with his dancing and his abs, and while I keep forgetting Kathryn is on this show, she managed to keep up and hit it hard.

Here's the video of Kathryn and Legacy's Hip-Hop:

Mollee Gray
Nathan Trasoras
Style: Disco
Choreographed by: Doriana Sanchez
Song: "Turn the Beat Around (Pablo's 12' Remix)" - Gloria Estefan
Grade: B

Love Nathan but I got irritated with Mollee until she proved herself in the showcase. But of course they have to throw these two cute-as-a-button-dancers together and of course they get the Disco.

It was energetic and fast and fun. And it all started all well enough, but was it me or did it get a little messy in the second half, particularly with the footwork?

Here's the video of Mollee and Nathan's Disco:

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
So even though the audience doesn't get to vote and the judges are just going to vote someone off right away, here's my Final Roundup:

Best of the Night: Victor and Bianca's Contemporary
Second Best of the Night: Kathryn and Legacy's Hip-Hop
Third Best of the Night: Ellenore and Ryan's Jazz

Best Male of the Night: Victor Smalley
Second Best Male of the Night: Jakob Karr

Best Female of the Night: Ellenore Scott
Second Best Female of the Night: Karen Hauer

Worst of the Night - Couple: Channing and Phillip's Jive
Worst of the Night - Single: Kevin Hunte

Should Be Bottom 4: Channing, Ariana, Phillip, Kevin
Should be Eliminated: Noelle, Phillip

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dance For their Lives Solos
Bottom 4 determined by the judges:

THAT IS SUCH A SET UP. Like Russell is ever gonna be cut. Poor Brandon. He never had a chance did he?

Ariana Dubose
Song: "Darkest Hour" - Charlotte Martin
Grade: B+

Russell Ferguson
Song: "Give the Drummer Sum" - Black Milk
Grade: A

Pauline Mata
Song: "Magalenha" - Sergio Mendes
Grade: B+

Brandon Dumlao
Song: "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" - John Mayer
Grade: A-

Okay, so first off, Russell and Brandon should not be in the bottom 4. Neither should Pauline for that matter. I'm not a dance expert but usually I'm not totally off in my opinions but this seems totally wrong. Why are there only coloured people in the bottom 4?

I think Russell is just there so that he gets to show off his solos to build up for the future, plus since there is NO way he will get eliminated, it sets itself up for Brandon to go. Nice. Bring him into the Top 20 and then cut him out right away, despite the fact that he was pretty decent in his Smooth Waltz that he was given a full day and a half to learn and rehearse. In fact, as much as I like Kevin, I thought Brandon did a better job.

While I thought Ariana did a good job, she does lack star quality so I can understand why she's here, but Pauline was far better than Channing.

Luckily, Pauline is saved and Ariana Dubose is the first girl to be cut.

While Noelle gets a reprieve until next week, Brandon Dumlao got no slack and as little as we knew him (he doesn't even have a proper publicity photo or even a page on the website, and now they don't even need to bother), that's about all we will get, at least for this season, if Nigel has anything to say about it.

Now, the judges generally as a whole are far more critically informative and less annoying than the Canadian judges, but why was Mary screaming all night? She's been so calm and articulate in Canada this past season. But now that the judges choices are so obviously manipulating the obvious this week, I'm kind of annoyed. This season looked so promising but tonight's little hiccup only emphasizes the flaws the show still has.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
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Island Girl said...

I totally agree with you about the stage. It is WAY to big. You don't get any good closeups of the dancers while they are dancing because they are lost on this GIANT stage that they can't even dream of filling. It's sad really, it takes away the intimate feeling of the event.

momo said...

I find I agree with you on the dances--and the heinous and overobvious final set-up. Phillip should have been in the B4, not Russell. and if the judges hated the NappyTabs hip hop performance so much why not have Peter in the B$? No way did Russell deserve to be there. Brandon was treated with incredible rudeness by the show, but the only good result is that he had a national showcase AND will benefit from the evil Nigel backlash for having been treated so poorly.

By the way, it's Doriana and disco for the last number, but maybe you were expressing some wishful thinking about wanting to bring the Atlanta-style hip hop to the U.S?

Vance said...

haha. oops. Fixed it. now you know my little secret that I just copy clip from previous ep and then change the info. lol.