Thursday, August 05, 2010

SYTYCD7 - FourPlay

So You Think You Can Dance - Season 7 - Top 4 Performance Night - Ep. 720
Judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Mia Michaels, Adam Shankman and Tyce DiOrio

Final FOUR! Already? This has seemingly felt like the shortest and longest season all at the same time. It doesn't help that we've gone through so many injuries and I still think 2 dancers should be here right now instead of at least 1 dancer, but whatever, Tyce DiOrio is on the judges panel so there's more heinous things to complain about tonight.

Seriously, it's bad enough that we let Tyce choreograph (which he does tonight) but to let him SPEAK? Can the doucheyness contain itself?

Well, luckily, by writing this blog, I tend to type when the judges are speaking so I can half-ignore Tyce but I feel bad for you all, who have to sit through it (unless you DVR'd it and can FF through him).

So, as Season 7 is nearing to its end, I won't knock Nigel for at least trying to experiment with the show, and commend him for trying to fix things that weren't working (though if he really wanted to fix things, he would get rid of this hideous set), but while I've loved seeing the All-Stars back, tonight's Top 4 performances STILL shows that the All-Stars are overshadowing some of the current dancers and that's not a good sign. Of course, I guess it's easier to judge the great dancers from this season if they can hold up to the All-Stars, so let's see how the Top 4 did tonight:

Group Dance with Lauren Froderman, Adéchiké Torbert, Kent Boyd and Robert Roldan
Choreographed by: Tyce DiOrio
Style: Broadway
Song: "The Crapshooter's Dance" - from Guys and Dolls

Grade - Dance: C
Grade - Lauren: B+
Grade - Adéchiké: B-
Grade - Kent: A-
Grade - Robert: A

It's funny that Tyce uses the "Crapshooter's Dance". Seriously, it's like all Tyce does. Shoot crap out of his dances.

At least all the dancers are even ground here. And with all of them being contemporary dancers, you can really tell who shines and who doesn't and it's the little things like straight legs and a crispness to the moves that separate Robert from Adéchiké.

In fact, everyone sort of falls into their place in the competition. Robert is old reliable (Nathan Detroit! ha!) with his clean dancing. Kent dazzles with the flips and tricks. Lauren seduces while Adéchiké looks like he's trying to keep up. The glaring difference is not even funny anymore.

Here's the video of Lauren, Adéchiké, Kent and Robert's Broadway group routine:

Lauren Froderman with Pasha Kovalev
Choreographed by: Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo
Style: Argentine Tango
Song: "Oblivion" - Ástor Piazzolla
Grade - Dance: B+
Grade - Contestant: B+

The judges loved the dance and loved Lauren and loved Pasha.

Well, I appreciated it but I found the slower simmering dance of love just kind of slow enough to show any muscles shaking or weak moments. At least when I wasn't totally mesmerized by Pasha's eyebrows, eyes, hair, butt, legs, chest, arms, lips...

Seriously, this is no diss to Lauren, who has totally grown on me and excelled especially in the last few weeks, but can anybody really pull my attention away from Pasha?

When I did notice Lauren it was because of a moment of weakness (in her, not me) so while I thought she did a decent job keeping up with Pasha, I wasn't as allured into her rapture as much as the judges were. But you know, it's kind of Pasha's fault!

Here's the video of Lauren and Pasha's Argentine Tango:

Adéchiké Torbert with Lauren Gottlieb
Choreographed by: Sean Cheesman
Style: African Jazz
Song: "The Path" - Ralph MacDonald
Grade - Dance: B+
Grade - Contestant: B

Sean Cheesman!!! Man, can't wait for SYTYCD Canada to start!

Not his best routine but African Jazz is always fun and it brings out a nice spirit in Adéchiké which is exactly what needs to bring out some personality in him. Technically I don't think he was smooth enough for it, Nigel thinks he's not loose enough to fully get into the routine, but still a decent job.

But Mia just did not like Adéchiké because he's too tight. I think he doesn't bring the spirit enough to the piece but I think the piece brings the spirit into Adéchiké but I agree, the choreography shouldn't have to work this hard.

Again, probably doesn't help having Lauren in there with him, since she's just so darn good.

Here's the video of Adéchiké and Lauren's Jazz:

Robert Roldan with Anya Garnis
Choreographed by: Jonathan Roberts
Style: Viennese Waltz
Song: "Lost" - Anouk
Grade - Dance: B+
Grade - Contestant: B+

Jonathan Roberts looks like Jonathan Groff's older brother. No?

Ok, Nigel said the Viennese Waltz can sometimes be boring so he's opened it up. I still think it's a beautifully boring dance and while it is lovely, my mind always starts to wander about halfway through the dance.

Nigel says Robert has a strong carriage. Mia thinks it's beautiful but wants him to relax and enjoy the ride.

Mia's got a point. Like I've mentioned in weeks past, Robert is my favorite dancer but sometimes seems to overthink things, but that said, he pulled it off wonderfully and totally matched the dancing skills between him and Anya (OH! Adam Shankman just said the same thing).

Here's the video of Robert and Anya's Viennese Waltz:

Kent Boyd with Courtney Galiano
Choreographed by: Doriana Sanchez
Style: Disco
Song: "When Love Takes Over" - Kelly Rowland feat. David Guetta
Grade - Dance: B
Grade - Contestant: B+

I wish they would use Stacey Tookey's disco or one of the Canadian choreographers. I don't hate Doriana Sanchez but I always find her disco routines a little bit lacking. Though Nigel called Kent on the fact that Doriana didn't put as many lifts in this routine, Kent responded nicely "I'm just not that big". Ok fine, at this point you're either totally annoyed or totally loving it!

(Though this season, no one was really strong in the lifts, and is Kent, Robert, Billy, and Adéchiké's weaker points).

I thought considering Disco is built for Kent's cheesy smile and youthful bounce, that this would have been a homerun but there were moments that didn't seem coordinated as well as it should be, either in part due to Doriana's choreography, or because Kent just didn't seem as confident as he should have been.

But when it did work and Kent could display is pearly whites like the disco glitter surrounding him, it was a lot of fun.

Here's the video of Kent and Courtney's Disco:

Lauren Froderman with Ade Obayomi
Choreographed by: Sean Cheesman
Style: Jazz
Song: "Hide U (John Creamer and Stephane K Remix)" - Kosheen
Grade - Dance: A
Grade - Contestant: A

Now THERE'S a Sean Cheesman dance! A perfect combo of great song and exciting movements and except for a momentarily weak shake in a lift, and a couple of not-so-perfect synchronisms (and I'm being SUPER picky now), it was pretty damn awesome!

Ade, always one of the STRONGEST lifters in all of SYTYCD, was also so great in so much of the quick movements and Lauren was perfectly cat like in this dance.

Here's the video of Lauren and Ade's Jazz:

Adéchiké Torbert with Kathryn McCormick
Choreographed by: Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson
Style: Contemporary
Song: "Fearless Love" - Melissa Etheridge
Grade - Dance: A-
Grade - Contestant: B+

I love how all the judges try to colour their disappointment with faint praise, though of course Mia doesn't even hide it and just says she was a little disappointed.

I actually thought it was one of Adéchiké's better performances, and if Kathryn wasn't there, I would have thought it was pretty great!

But with Kathryn next to him, his kicks and lifts seemed shorter and faster and never held up long enough to match Kathryn's strength or zest. And this is his STYLE. Actually, maybe Mia has a point.

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

Robert Roldan with Dominic "D-Trix" Sandoval
Choreographed by: Napoleon and Tabitha D'umo
Song: "Scars" - Basement Jaxx feat. Kelis, Meleka and Chipmunk
Grade - Dance: A-
Grade - Contestant: A

Since I love Robert and is hoping he comes out as the dark horse, I was worried that Robert was finally gonna be taken down by the Hip-Hop. But other than the creepy clown thing going on (seriously, white makeup and balloons? Always creepy now thanks to Stephen King), Robert was sharp and hitting it all!

Loved the balloon props and how they maneuvered them into the dance and NappyTabs had a lot of simplistic looking but intricate moves thrown in there.

And Robert not only kept up, but matched Dominic. Adam thought Robert outdanced Dominic and at one point, I lost track of who was who and thought Robert was Dominic just from the way he danced.

Here's the video of Robert and Dominic's Hip-Hop:

Kent Boyd with Neil Haskell
Choreographed by: Travis Wall
Style: Contemporary
Song: "How It Ends" - DeVotchKa
Grade - Dance: A+
Grade - Contestant: A

Travis Wall, Neil Haskell and Kent Boyd in one rehearsal room together.

Excuse me while I go daydream now...



Oh, you're still here? Sorry, right. Back to the dance...

A dance about backstabbing. Seriously. Who would backstab Travis Wall? I would never backstab him. At least not with a knife...

Like everyone, it's so awesome to see Travis Wall, favorite dancer of the entire series, turn into one of our new favorite choreographers. And it's amazing to see Neil, an underdog in his season, continue to prove that he should have been a front runner the whole time. Damn Neil and Travis need to work together more often.

Oh and Kent. Kent danced it beautifully, managed to keep his smile in check and land the emotional wallup needed for the piece and while there were slight moments I still thought Neil outshone him, Kent was pretty spectac, along with the whole dance.

Here's the video of Kent and Neil's Contemporary:

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

The Dancers - Pairs Routine:
1st - Best of the Night: Kent (with Neil)
2nd: Robert (with Dominic)
3rd: Lauren (with Ade)
4th: Robert (with Anya)
5th: Kent (with Courtney)
6th: Lauren (with Pasha)
7th: Adéchiké (with Kathryn)
8th - Worst of the Night: Adéchiké (with Lauren)

The Routines:
Best Routine of the Night: Travis Wall's Contemporary (Kent with Neil)
2nd Best Routine of the Night: Sean Cheesman's Jazz (Lauren with Ade)
3rd Best Routine of the Night: Napoleon and Tabitaha D'umo's Hip-Hop (Robert with Dominic)

The All-Stars:
All-Star MVP: Neil
All-Star MVP 2: Kathryn
All-Star MVP 3: Ade
All-Star MVP 4: Pasha
All-Star MVP 5: Lauren

The Predictions:
Bottom Three: Adéchiké, Robert, Lauren

Should Go Home: Adéchiké
Going Home: Lauren

Seriously, who the F#%k is voting for Adéchiké anyways? How has he never been in the bottom 3? How is he still here? And how can there be any other result other than a Top 3 with Robert, Kent and Lauren? And yet I have a bad feeling it ain't gonna happen.

This is how I rank all the dancers overall (#position from last week in parenthesis):
Overall Ranking:

1. Robert (2)
2. Kent (1)
3. Lauren (4)
4. Adéchiké (5)

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
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Julia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julia said...

"A dance about backstabbing. Seriously. Who would backstab Travis Wall? I would never backstab him. At least not with a knife... "

LOVE this quote!

And I also don't understand why people keep voting for Adéchiké! He's a good soloist, but aside from that...

And if Lauren goes home tomorrow, it will be SO unfair, but right now, I think it's between she and Robert. And if I have to choose, I totally pick Robert!

Also, why African Jazz is never amazing in the US version? It's always nice, but never as good as the ones on SYTYCD Canada. Which I also can't wait to start! I just watched like a bunch of routines from the first season, and just realized that it was one of the strongest I ever seen in regard to couples! I loved the maturity of Lisa and Vincent, how adorable Allie and Danny, and Lara and Miles were, the fire between Natali and Francis, and the uniqueness of Nico and Arassay. They were a couple that I never thought would work out, but I ended up loving them!

Rachel said...

Tyce is the reason the mute button was invented.

momo said...

"It's funny that Tyce uses the "Crapshooter's Dance". Seriously, it's like all Tyce does. Shoot crap out of his dances."
so glad I could FF through Tasty Oreo's pretentious BS.
Robert has been my favorite since Alex and Billy had to go home (never had a chance to connect with Ashley who probably should be up here as well). Kent was fabulous in the piece by Travis, and Lauren is insanely talented, although not yet womanly enough to wear Allison Holker's big girl shoes, but give her time. Adechike also will grow into his gifts with time.

Loved the way Dom handled the judges' stupid remarks. Even if he did outdance Dom, Robert probably felt bad that Adam put him on the spot like that.
I like Robert's serious side when he is not goofing--his tribute to his family was very sweet.

I have to say that I have really enjoyed the All-Star format in that we've had a chance to see the growth of past contestants, including Neil. Those who are used to doing Pro-Am competitions like Anya and Pasha are used to showing off their less-experienced dance partners, and can be relied on to use good judgement in partnering. Comfort has done an absolutely great job in all her dances, IMHO, and I'm glad she isn't being dumped on the way she was when she was a contestant. My beloved Mark is like the older brother/dance captain--such a pro. Ade pleases more when we dont' have to hear him talk, Courtney, Allison, and Kathryn all give me a lot of pleasure to watch. Even Lauren, who annoyed the living hell out of me when she was a contestant, has been a positive presence.

Pasha, what can I say? Pasha is mesmerizing. The Argentine Tango had almost no tango and very little AT in it but Lauren acquitted herself very well for such a youngster.

I want Robert to win, but I'll be OK with Kent or Lauren. Adechike needs more time, I think, to show his potential.

Vance said...

Yah, I don't hate the All-Star format especially since we get to see our faves who are just SO ON this year! But thinking about SYTYCDCanada S1 or SYTYCD S2 or S3 where there were some great steady partnerships, makes me miss the new discovery.

Anyways, yah, it's not that Adechike sucks but he's just behind the others. If the competition were about 10 more weeks long, he'd probably be there.

Alatea said...

Who's been voting for Adechike? Me and all the folks who are sick to death of Mia's boring self-absorption and obvious dislike of Adechike. Not to mention the way the judges are so down on Adechike and so willing to overlook the faults of their favorites (Jose anyone?). I vote for him to protest the horrible (except for Adam) judging. Seriously - if they bring Mia back next season they will lose me for good.

As regards the other contestants - I don't care who wins. I think this is the weakest crop ever. Kent can't partner a woman, Robert can't stop counting, and Lauren is just okay in my book.

Cinematt01 said...

Um, Alatea, you are a complete idiot. Why do you even watch the show? Adechicke is by FAR the least talented one left. In fact, he was lucky to have made the Top 11. Maybe the judges criticize him because he deserves it. Do the rest of us a favor and just turn the channel when SYTYCD airs. Your voting "reasoning" is petty and ridiculous.

Vance said...

hey hey, no name calling please. not at least to any individual. But yes, it does worry me when audience members are voting against the judges as opposed to for a contestant.

par3182 said...

didn't neil make the top 4 in his season? that's hardly underdog territory - and there was no way he deserved to be any kind of frontrunner with danny in the competition. he's still flippy mctricks, as far as i'm concerned

back to this episode - lauren was by far the best of the night, followed by kurt. i hope they both make the finale; i have no feelings for the other two (but that background package for adechike made me think someone in the editing room is rooting for him)

i wonder if kurt will mention alex wong when he wins this thing?