Week two on the main stage and the cuts are finally in! I’m not going to lie, there will be no tears from this writer today but less because every guy I’ve ever dated is right and I’m completely heartless and likely sold my soul for perfect metabolism, but rather because it is TOO damn hard to connect this early on. To me, the sassy blonds just melt together and are nearly impossible to tell apart and the guys’ sexuality still bounce between “dancer metro” and straight up mo’ to the point that we can’t properly figure out which one to poke on facebook now before they get famous 10 weeks down the road. Still, the performances are top notch when they’re good and disastrous when their bad and isn’t that truly the spirit of
Christmas So You Think You Can Dance?
This year (in case Dan hasn’t instructed yet, the show has cut from their typical two episode a week format (including one for duet performances to be judged and another for strictly results and dancing for their lives) to a weekly combined mega-sode where we get cuts and the paired dances. I’m not sure if this is a sign of the show maturing or losing grip in the ratings but it is what it is and ain’t nothin’ doin about it. So, without further adieu and hesitation, let’s get to this weeks’ results!
Assuming we all watched last week’s episode (Click HERE for the review and all the dances’ videos) I’m going to make this short and say my fave dances were from Lindsay Arnold and Cole Horibe doing a vicsiously powerful Paso Doble and Audrey Case and Matthew Kazmierczak performing a Travis Wall contemporary (liked the dance itself more than the dancers to be honest). Sometimes the voters go with who’s been their fave since audition time, sometimes the kids get punished for a poorly choreographed performances. To be honest, this early on with so many options to call in for I think the game is all about name brand recognition. No joke, with 20 dancers competing for a chance to win the title as Top Male and Top Female dancer, what you need to do is stand out enough to be remembered call dial in time. Being quirky, sexy and loud all help… oh, and being a great dancer can’t hurt. That said, the show is getting right to the dances so so will I!
Cat Deeley pounces onto the stage with her usual consuming and ebullient presence and has decided to try and balance last week’s out of place and sudden tan with some short sexy red number and I’d argue she looks as gorge as ever. She’s basically all legs and I can’t wait to see her tower over some of the more petit male dancers as the night goes on. OH! And, there’s my fave third judge (thank GOD no rando “famous” add on) Adam Shankman on the panel tonight so I can only hope there’s a tragic contemp routine to pull the tears from that leaky, hilarious mo!
We start off with a NappyTabs routine as the “hip hop choreographers” get the Top 20 going in a collaborative piece that shows off the many strengths of the kids who’ve made it this far with more camera zagging and cuts than we’re likely to see from the rest of the episode. Side note: I put some quotation marks in that title of theirs as they’ve had a good amount of flack the past couple years for the their lack of genuine street works. The white(ish) boy and girl of the hip hop world do put on a fun show but often get torn down for not being true to their style’s name. Far be it from me to comment on something I know so little about so for now I’ll just say that I liked the dance and want to get to some paired performances!
Dancing a “trip to the dentist” Christopher Scott routine, the oddly paired couple… actually, screw them. Where did Christopher Scott come from and why I am only just developing a crush on him now? That boy is CUTE! (check him out in the beginning of the video above). I guess I never took the time to consider him before but now that he’s in my sights I give it a year before I run into him in LA and trick him into something that has no right being blogged about haha. Okay, we’re here for dancing so let’s focus. MEH! I’m not super impressed with this one. The routine was just as the judges declare it to be: immature. I would have taken it to a “Little Shop of Horrors” twisted level rather than go nerdy meets sexy which was more confusing than it was clever. Cole sticks to the ends of the Earth with his geek character and it kind of creeps me more than it does impresses. NOT a fave to start the night for me.
Argh! Some of my least fave dancers with my one of the top choreographers. Too-much hyped Amelia and big gurl Will take on a brill balls Sonya Taleh contemp and hot damn are they lucky. The two are given an AMAZING piece and shoot if ‘Melia doesn’t live up to the hype of her awkwardness. Her pale light and perfect legs are a total draw for the eye and Will… well he needs a better stylist. He’s strong and there yes but I canNOT see him winning more than a couple weeks if he even makes it past tonight. the 1920s starlit however is a different story and could do just as well as last years quirky girl who took the show! The judges give the props due this killer piece- “SICKNESS” as described by Shanks and they talk up the dancers probably enough to stick them in the minds of viewers at home. Though I hate him, Skeletor makes a very good point to stop and remind us this IS the two dancers’ area of expertise (see last week’s article for talk of contemporary and ballroom conspiracy on the part of the show to push them forward) and that likely aided how seamlessly this was pulled off.
I hate Nick’s hair and outfit but am loving the vintage styling of Amber right off the bat. I have to ask: who the hell is dressing and prepping these boys and why do they want them looking their worst? To the dance: sexy. The wrap around twirls across the stage are intense and seem without error to my untrained eye. Around 1:20 you see Amb’s flick something sparkly right off her feet and likely into some poor girl’s face in the audience haha- worth the rewatch. The judges lavish on the compliments- deserved for sure, they were powerful and had some really cool tricks but… what the hell Nick. What is up with the character playing by these nerds that they can’t be humble and genuine come judging time. While he is nowhere near as bad as “actor” Cole, the two of them are NOT going to win hearts with this unreadable persona they keep up as they stand the judges’ reviews. Amber seems approachable and sweet and I think will carry her into next week for sure so long as she survives tonight. Finally, Mary- the authoritarian on this style- confirms the dance was in fact as hard as it seemed to us lays viewers at home. Good on them, BUT, again, in his style so ballroom dancer gets ANOTHER “lucky” bump!
ANOTHER SONYA?! Yes please!! As per with so many of her’s, she telling the story of man vs. woman and animus vs. anima. The music is as robotic crunchy/tortured as it gets and works well with the agro dancing we witness on the stage. The video clip of the two kids prepping for this dance give away more than they likely wanted to as we realize these dancers are more pretty than power and the anger of this piece doesn’t fully communicate for me. Skeletor respectfully announces that Sonya did a great job which she did but I’m still hard-pressed to say I fully loved these two. I think the fact that Matthew looks like Ryan Gosling’s lil’ brother is going to be helping this pair more than their dance abilities. Tell me I’m wrong readers and explain what I don’t see, please!
Dareian is NOT on my top 10… and after his weird and confusing Donal Duck impression tonight he gets dropped even lower. Janelle however has been an interesting shock for me as she’s started to shine against all odds with her belly dancing experience. Dancers aside we get another cute man routine by Christopher Scott– who thinks they pay these people less when they double routine in one night…? The dance was best during the adorable jumping up and down mid-way portion but didn’t really blow away. Shankman very rightly points out that dances on this show are either character-based or performance-based and this was all about acting and the two of them didn’t shine. My boy Christopher is taken down more than a couple pegs by Skeletor who basically declares these two dancers D.O.A. for getting such a poor routine. OUCH! You can almost see Christopher start to tear up. THEN, (god I love him) Shankman- likely risking his job- competes with the dancers’ huge on-stage make out at the end of the dance (not really needed sorry Christopher) by tackling Skeletor with a fake smooch themselves. Surprisingly it was well-received by the curmudgeony old producer who joked Shankman’s mother is in the crowd watching. All in all, these two are likely going home.
I’m assuming it’s choreographed but the sacking in the first 10 seconds of this video is pretty damn hilarious. Moving to the performance, now THIS is how you play characters! Janaya and to a lesser extent Daniel show us how to commit to a piece as we get a proper Sean Cheesman broadway. I was going to say I loved this song in Chicago but clearly I have no idea what I’m talking about as this is from some Dr. Jekyl show I’ve never heard of… whoops! Cat calls Janaya CRAY CRAY and doesn’t even come off a lick out of place, rather cute, genuine and adorable as always and we see why she’s the best presenter out there. To the dancing, there was some wardrobe malfunction as the girl’s show wouldn’t slip off but she copes without hesitation and flings the thing across the stage with the dramatic flare required to pull off this piece properly. The judges very much liked it all though you could tell didn’t think it was technically the hardest to bust out- but likely the funnest.
STOP with the open chested men’s shirts. These guys look like they’re auditioning to be on the mainstage taming tigers with Siegfried and Roy. Fortunately, the awful costume was given to one of my least favourites Glitch who I feel was the shocker to be allowed on at the last second who got there more by situation and personality than he did consistent performances. Mary did NOT disagree with me. She blasts the multiple mistakes he makes in this jive and gives the boilerplate compliment of “good partnering” [insert eye roll]. Eliana however gets off easier despite the visually painful sunburst outfit and the judges let her know she’s basically the reason this dance wasn’t a complete mess. NOTE!!! Skeletor let’s us know how the routine and dancer pairing goes as the mystery is revealed and our conspiracy theory dashed. The paired dancers pick a number and then get to CHOOSE which style they dance in based on a list offered with number 1 choosing first and number 10 choosing last. AHHHH, now we see how those ballroom kids and contemporaries are getting so “lucky”: because there’s so many of them (3 ballroom and 4 contemp I think), they’re bound to get some picking earlier than get to choose one of these common styles. NOW I get it!
As I’m about to tell you I don’t like Daniel, I worry that I’m becoming a man-hater as this entire article seems to be me not liking the male performers for one reason or another… hmm, I’ll bring that to my therapist next week. For now, let me complain about the stupid bathtub prop. WTF is this? An “English Patient” allusion? Or just an extra tub the crew had collecting dust in the back. I did NOT love this piece and found them more restricted by the fixture than they were raised by it. Shankman- once again, this guy hits it on the mark- calls out the nordic looking dancers for being pretty: yes, but warm and connecting: no. The dancing was mechanical but not beautiful and that is dangerous come voting time. The judges continue to pan the emotionality of the dance and while I didn’t notice it as much as they did, I’m there with them that this dance wasn’t what it should and could have been with these two strong dancers.
Choreographed by the very creepy foxtrot/ballroom specialists Tony and Melanie something-or-rather (their names escape me and I’m too scared to get a google image of them to look their spellings up), Tiffany and George have their work but out for them. This style isn’t typically a crowd favourite but damned if they didn’t blast it tonight! I felt George looked amazing with “great lines” (did I use that right Mary?) as he extended himself to the max in the most perfect of angles- all the while twirling and throwing his partner about the stage. Expert Mary screams her way through the reviews and declares the dancers outstanding. The partnering was dead on for this and they were acknowledged wholeheartedly for it. While Tiffany looks like a surprised baby doll up there get judged, the still look great together when they dance and that’s what counts.
Loves me some Whitney and not gonna deny it. Chehon I could take it or leave it- big surprise I know. It’s explained to us early on that the “hand placement” is the most important part of this piece for the dancers and right away I’m worried for the dancers. Whitney is enough of a fan pic to survive any dance but rearly, Nakul? You’re making a dance for a voting competition where the focus and purpose of the piece is on placements and shaping of such a small appendage that 99% of the population has no expert experience with? NOT a dance to highlight the dancers. Thankfully, the outfits and spinning and colours and shinning make this one a dance to remember for sure. The judges very much loved it and were particularly happy with the progression of the boy who failed in their mind last time… maybe a foreshadowing of a departure later tonight? We can only hope. Whitney does a great job selling herself (she’s her own marketing machine) as she declares that she study hard for this piece as Skeletor bores us with dancing vocab and I see this girl possibly taking it to the end!
BAM! Elimination time and WHAT?! NO DANCING FOR YOUR LIFE? This show is all over the place this year with new rules and timings. Further, I hope this no dance for your life is temporary as that was truly my favourite part as we see the dancers at their very best. I’m sure once the numbers are cut down we’ll have more time for individual demonstrations… right? Okay, Bottom 6 are dragged on stage:
WHOA! While I immediately assumed that stronger dancers like Whitney must have been brought down collaterally by their partners I realize the one offs of Janaya and Nick who are there clearly for their lack of performance last time as is evident in the lack of American voters showing up for them. It’s reconfirmed that only two can be saved and four in total must go. The judges decide to go my ballroom girl and her less-than partner (likely because of their strong performance tonight) and save Whitney and Chehon. SO, I guess with this new format tonight, the performances were essentially their “dancing for their lives” as their work this evening either boosted or pushed them down in the eyes of the judges come “saving time”. As such, Alexa Anderson, Janaya French, Daniel Baker and Nick Bloxsom-Carter are sent packing. Personally, I’m not sad about Alexa and Daniel. They were doubly screwed two weeks in a row with ridiculous props and didn’t translate well to the audience. Janaya is one of those girls that never made a HUGE impact on me though she did bring it out tonight- just not enough to beat Whitney. Finally, Nick is sent and I’m FINE with that. I never got the appeal of this kid and he’s rubbed me wrong since day one. Who needs three ballroom dancers anyway?
Well, that’s it for tonight’s packed episode. How do you feel about this new and tumbled format? I’m hating that it seems like they’re figuring it out as they go along. For a show this successful in it’s NINTH season you’d expect a bit more wherewithal. I’m very much okay with these elims but absolutely surprised the blond ballroom bombshell was in the bottom- she better get her act together and soon!
Next week your favourite writer Dan will be back to cover this epic show so instead you’ll be seeing me ranting in the comment section! Thanks for putting up with me these two weeks and please sound off about the episode below!