Wednesday, November 04, 2009

SYTYCD6 - The Legal Minimum

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 18 Performance and Results Night - Ep. 612
Judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Adam Shankman

Okay, so last week I was a bit miffed at what transpired in the final moments of a so-so Top 20 night. Tonight, things got a lot better, no thanks to Tyce DiOrio, who continued his choreography of suckage.

Now that the Top 18 dancers are generally so evenly strong, any advantage they have can help, including dancing in their styles, their partners, and the choreography they're given and in essence, the choreographer they must work with. As seasons past has taught us, great choreography by some of the best can make certain routines stand out amongst the rest, bringing along the dancers to infamy with them. Now, it still requires great dancers to pull it off, but now that everyone is great, a BAD choreographer can ruin a dancers chance.

So then, WHY IS TYCE STILL ALLOWED TO CHOREOGRAPH? Why is he not outlawed yet? (It's like a bad joke that Mia is gone yet Tyce is here to stay AND an Emmy winner). Anyways, I'll continue the rant after I comment on the Top 18 routines.

Noelle Marsh
Russell Ferguson
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographed by: Jamal Sims
Song: "Move Shake Drop Remix" - DJ Laz, Flo Rida and Casley
Grade: B+

It was a really fun routine that sort of storylined a Hip-Hop routine with its tennis vignette. I kinda dug it, and though Russell was fantastic and put the power into his swing.

Noelle, who sat out last week due to health reasons, finally gets to show her stuff (despite a huge backlash that she should have automatically been eliminated last week, especially in the wake of the little slack Brandon was given by the judges) and she's... not bad. I mean, I didn't really think she could pull off Hip-Hop well, especially beside Russell, but while she's no Russell, she did a fine job lobbying her swagger and I thought she was imperfect, but enthused.

Here's the video of Noelle and Russell's Hip-Hop:

Ashleigh Di Lello
Jakob Karr
Style: Viennese Waltz
Choreographed by: Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin
Song: "At Last" - Etta James
Grade: B

There's just something about Jakob isn't there? He floats across the stage like those old time dancers from the Fred Astaire ages. I still think his connection to Ashleigh isn't perfect yet and there were a couple of moments that looked fumbly and he looked slightly awkward whenever he was next to Ashleigh. But since we don't really like Ashleigh, lets blame her!

The judges LOVED Ashleigh and bitch can dance, but I think she almost forceably pulls the attention from her partner because she tries to make it all about herself (and again, we hate her because she's married to Ryan and is partnered with Jakob!).

Adam called Tony and Melanie out for the routine which showed too much of Jakob's strong non-Waltz skills. While I LOVE watching Jakob's skills, I love that Adam finally called out a choreographer and not automatically given them the rehearsed shout-out that the judges usually do. I would like to say though that it wasn't a horrible routine and that while Tony and Mel don't always create amazing routines (again, also hard with their styles because it has less TV-wow factor than others), they never really do a terrible job either (don't worry Tyce, I'm coming for ya).

Here's the video of Ashleigh and Jakob's Viennese Waltz:

Bianca Revels
Victor Smalley
Style: Broadway
Choreographed by: Tyce DiOrio
Song: "Maybe God Is Tryin' To Tell You Something" - The Color Purple Broadway Cast Recording
Grade: B

OMG, after that pre-dance interview, I think I love Victor and his laugh and his flo-colours even more! And love that Bianca seems so fun and crazy because so far she actually seems really poised and one of the more mature ones of the group.

Adam said they were supposed to go crazy, instead of just dancing. Mary said it lost it for her. Nigel said they didn't take the characters far enough and it should have been somewhere else.

I thought they did a pretty good job but considering I hate Tyce and his choreography, I thought Victor and Bianca, two great dancers, did what they could with a sh!t routine. It really was a sh!t routine wasn't it? Who can act inspired with that crap? There was little flow and a lot of church rousing. And that's about it. Poor Bianca and Victor, they deserve far better than that, and last week's routine (my fave of the Top 20) showed that they've got what it takes.

Here's Bianca and Victor's Broadway:

Mollee Gray
Nathan Trasoras
Style: Bollywood
Choreographed by: Nakul Dev Mahajan
Song: "Azeem O Shann Shahenshah" - Jodhaa Akbar Soundtrack
Grade: A

Was it me or did the cute pubescent couple actually seemed like they were slightly annoyed at each other in the pre-dance video? But in that teenage way? Where if they don't get together, they will hate each other until they realize they love each other and then become a permanent PDA? Nathan truly looked annoyed at Mollee's constant disappearance to the washroom and Mollee had thinly veiled jibes lobbed at Nathan.

Now two weeks in a row and the peppy couple get another fun style (Disco now Bollywood?) but this week, I think they finally danced it right.

THAT'S what Nathan is supposed to look like! He seemed so sure and confident, while Mollee was terrific and as Mary mentioned, both danced so maturely this week. I loved the choreo and I thought the youngest couple danced it amazingly.

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

Channing Cooke
Phillip Attmore
Style: Samba
Choreographed by: Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin
Song: "Maracatu Funk" - The Samba Squad
Grade: D

Wow, that was really messy wasn't it? I'd say hot mess but it wasn't even luke warm. It should have sizzled like a hot plate. Meanwhile, Adam loved Channing, but I just thought she got away with shaking her blond tresses and wiggling her thin frame, especially compared to other Samba's in other seasons (or in Canada). I felt like Channing seemed slow. She was however slightly better than Phillip.

Mary at least tore Phillip apart, and deservedly, but yet again, Mary too loved Channing. That blond hair really is like that shiny distraction to the judges isn't it? Look! Shiny! Preeeeeety. Must be good. (Groan)

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

Karen Hauer
Kevin Hunte
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographed by: Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo
Song: "Ice Cream Paint Job" - Dorrough
Grade: B+

I really like Kevin and it's so cute that he knows Karen shines and takes over the stage.

Which makes me almost feel bad for him because Karen, yet again, shined here, and in Kevin's style too! Was it me or did she almost outdance him here?

Not my favorite NappyTabs routine but Karen used all her womanly features to control the piece while Kevin was great but almost like that resounded husband who knows that its his place to let the girl go first.

Here's the video of Karen and Kevin's Hip-Hop:

Kathryn McCormick
Legacy Perez
Style: Contemporary
Choreographed by: Stacey Tookey
Song: "2 Steps Away" - Patti LaBelle
Grade: A

Well, looks like Mia Michaels is readying for worldwide SYTYCD's including Canada's season 3, but the US version is smart enough to steal Stacey Tookey from Canada for the time being.

That was WICKED! A melding of amazing choreo and two dancers that could pull it off and make it look so easy. When Legacy lowers himself, kicks back to match Kathryn's kick back, I had to gasp for a moment.

Legacy is REALLY proving himself. While I'm not sure what to expect from him, I thought he would be most likely to start annoying me and most likely to disappoint, but 2 weeks in, and he's proven how wrong I was.

And Kathryn, who was a blip on the radar, has been solid yet again.

I'm glad the judges noted that Legacy is growing SO Fast, and that Kathryn is coming from nowhere and commanding our attention.

Here's the video of Kathryn and Legacy's Contemporary:

Pauline Mata
Peter Sabasino
Style: Jazz
Choreographed by: Wade Robson
Song: "Little Green Bag" - George Baker Selection
Grade: A-

I love Wade's twisted style.

Adam said it right, Wade requires the dancers to be 100% involved and Pauline and Peter SOLD IT. I thought Peter was in great character and as Nigel noted, Pauline danced it finishing everything off and making her small frame look larger than life.

On a side note, is Wade looking yummier than ever? He always looked pretty good in a roughneck boyband way but now he looks mature and handsome.

Here's the video of Pauline and Peter's Jazz:

Ellenore Scott
Ryan Di Lello
Style: Argentine Tango
Choreographed by: Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo
Song: "Violentango" - Astor Piazolla
Grade: A

I love that Ellenore is so freakishly weird AND called out Ryan's awesome muscles which is apparently bigger than her head! I LOVE HER SO MUCH NOW!

I didn't even realize her dress was caught in her shoe until the judges mentioned it, because I was just mesmerized by Ellenore's dancing. She was controlled and sizzling without flaunting it (Ashleigh? Are you hearing this?). (Hmm, the judges totally agree and mention similar things)

Ryan just had to be strong and good partner and he and his muscles definitely were!

Here is the video of Ellenore and Ryan's Argentine Tango:

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
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: Kathryn and Legacy's Contemporary
Second Best of the Night: Mollee and Nathan's Bollywood
Third Best of the Night: Ellenore and Ryan's Argentine Tango

(That's Kathryn and Legacy and Ellenore and Ryan's second time in my Top 3)

Best Male of the Night: Legacy Perez
Second Best Male of the Night: Nathan Trasoras

Best Female of the Night: Ellenore Scott (her 2nd week running)
Second Best Female of the Night: Pauline Mata

Worst of the Night - Couple: Channing and Phillip's Samba
Worst of the Night - Single: Phillip Attmore

Should Be Bottom 4: Channing, Ashleigh, Phillip, and uh... Peter? Kevin?
Should be Eliminated: Channing, Phillip

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dance For their Lives Solos
Bottom 4 determined by the judges:
Bianca Revels
Victor Smalley
Noelle Marsh
Phillip Attmore

Seriously? They really do love Channing don't they? Notice that Tyce's routine landed his two dancers in the bottom? But Stacey Tookey and Wade's are safe? Just saying!

Noelle Marsh
Song: "For a Reason" - Zhané
Grade: A-

Victor Smalley
Song: "Narvas" - The Matrix: Revolutions Soundtrack
Grade: A-

Bianca Revels
Song: "Tootsee Roll" - 69 Boyz
Grade: B

Phillip Attmore
Song: "Almost Like Being in Love" - Nat King Cole
Grade: B

It's hard to really showcase Tap in a dazzling light on such a big stage and on television (the sound mix seemed like they were struggling to play the song while capture the actual tapping noise on the stage) while Noelle and Victor really pulled out all the stops (and Victor's THIGHS? HELLO!).

So in the end, the judges cut BOTH Tappers, with Bianca Revels leaving the competition (too soon if you ask me)

and Phillip Attmore (who really should have been in the bottom 2 last week anyways, so I'm less sad about this).
And notice it is now 4 coloured people gone? Last week someone retweeted me that they don't look at colour and the dancing. Yah, me too, and if so, then Brandon and Bianca should have been safe and Channing and hmm... someone else should have been cut. If Channing didn't have her golden locks, I'm not sure the judges would love her as much. I'm just saying.

(Am I being totally crazy here? Or is the competition so strong this year that the smallest mistake will get you eliminated?)

Also, who would have guessed that Peter was going to be the last tapper standing?

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
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Stephen Naimoli said...

I totally agree. Channing was awful. The only thing I disagree with is that I hated Noelle's solo... I thought it was SO generic and boring. Just a bunch of tricks and not much to it.
I am so sad to see Bianca go! I've been a fan of hers since she first auditioned a few seasons ago, although I didn't think she was that great tonight (but it was probably the choreo... it was awful). Phillip was kind of annoying, so I'm glad he's gone. I love Peter, so I hope he goes far.

momo said...

Great recap as usual, and I totally agree about Tyce. He'll have one out of ten routines that is good, but those other nine will make me wonder why they feature him so much. I do think that Victor and Bianca didn't perform well--they looked as if they were dancing two separate routines, their styles were so far apart, and I thought he was at least as bad as she was. I think they put Noelle in the B4 instead of Channing so she could have a chance to prove herself to all the viewers who thought she should have been cut without dancing, but she did one of those frantic contemp thrashy solos, so I don't think she'll be here much longer.
I agree with your rankings--Legacy and Kathryn had the goosebumps routine for me.

Joe Reid said...

I've already vomited all my thoughts on this episode into my TWoP recap, but I just wanted to say: TOTALLY agree with you on Tyce; prime example of a terrible routine sandbagging two good dancers. And I quite liked Bianca's solo (TOOTSIE ROLL! Hello homecoming dance flashbacks!), so I was doubly crushed to see her go.

I will say, I'm slightly more sympathetic to Channing because I did think she was much, much better than Phillip tonight, even if that didn't equate to much since he was awful. Would rather have lost Channing than Bianca, but if it were up to me, I'd have had to let Noelle go.

Loved Victor and Kathryn the best, yes. But more for them than the Tookey, who was pretty blatantly ripping off Mia's addiction routine there.

Rachel said...

1. I love Wade's routines to pieces - he takes awkward, ugly movements, and works them in a way that is fascinating and totally watchable. Also, he's one of the few choreographers on this show that doesn't always make the female dancers do sexy, flirty, blah blah thank pete.

2. I've noticed over the last few years that there are far, far fewer of the somewhat disasterous "never seen this style before and I can't do lifts" routines - I think everyone knows by now that you only go places if you're versatile, so the brilliant one-note dancers don't make it to the stage.

mathyoo2003 said...

Totally agree with you that it was nice to see Adam critiquing the choreographers as well as the dancers, because this really is a choreography competition as much as it is a dance comp. If horrible choreography sends great dancers home, they should be called out for it. So in addition to Legacy being my fav so far, I also think Adam is my favorite judge so far. He better watch out for Paula though! just kidding just kidding(Kristen Wiig)