Thursday, July 10, 2008

Top 12 Performance Show - Sue Brody's Recap

Once again, on So You Think You Can Dance, if we buy one dance, we get one free! At least there were only 12 dances this week instead of 14, so we got a bit more from the package. I think the dancers must be so tired and sore at this point, without a break and with so many dances to learn and perform. I hope they get some time off soon.

Cat is introduced, wearing a pretty floral dress, making her look like she is off to the beach or a country fair. Tonight’s guest judge is Mia Michaels, looking particularly foreboding in a black hat, some sort of dress or long sweater cut across her shoulders, and black half gloves. Her voice is raspy, and I’m already concerned about how she’s feeling and how she’ll judge the dancers. My concerns were not really off. Mary has on a less shimmery dress than in past weeks, and Nigel is adorned in a white suit, whatever that meant. Once again, I’ll recap the dances by couple and not chronologically, for ease of reading.

Chelsie and Mark.

Dance one: Salsa by Alex DaSilva, danced to Fuego by Joe Bataan.

Summary: Nigel thinks it is a great routine and that Alex looks like a Brazilian Bono (which he actually does). He is impressed by the footwork, and notes that where Chelsie’s outfit touches her it looks terrific, and where it doesn’t touch her it looks terrific (was he always this inappropriate in previous seasons?). Mary says that it was a rocket fast performance that worked for her and that Chelsie was in her element and the twists and lifts and advance wraps were wonderful. Mia says that the routine was smoking hot, though she noted that Mark seemed awkward but that he is a star and the routine was amazing.

Dance two: Broadway by Tyce DiOrio, danced to...

More after the jump...
...I’m a Woman, Smokey Joe’s Original Soundtrack. In the package, Tyce says the couple must eat it up and swallow it out and Chelsie tries to spell wrap but spells warp instead, continuing her need to use spell check.

Summary: Mark has on cool suspenders that he uses to good effect during the performance. Nigel notes that it was 110 degrees in Vegas but not nearly as hot as this routine. He says that Chelsie has legs that go on forever and that she’s only 5’2” but that her legs are 5’1” and a half (another inappropriate comment). He also says that the performance brought the audience to life. Mary says that it was sultry, sexy, and bluesy and that she was particularly impressed with the shadow death fall. However, Mia says that Mark’s lack of training and technique was obvious, although he makes it up with character and that Chelsie was hot and sexy but she wanted more movement. I don’t think Mia’s a Mark fan, given her initial comments during the first week package when she choreographed a contemporary piece for them.

Comfort and Thayne.

Dance one: Hip Hop by Napoleon and Tabitha, danced to Can We Chill by Ne-Yo (always nice to hear Ne-Yo back).

Summary: Cat calls it The Hip Hop Days of Our Lives, whatever that means. Nigel says that NapTab let them play off each other but that they didn’t, and that he expected them to be in the bottom three again. Mary agrees, saying that they had no chemistry, and while there were some cute moments and nuances and coolness, it was just good (okay good). Mia says that it was a little more than good, but that she also felt no connection. She said that she had been a big fan of Comfort’s but had backed off that, though she still loves Thayne though his performance felt a bit thin.

Dance two: Contemporary by Mandy Moore, danced to A Different Corner by George Michael. Mandy wants Comfort to step up the plate.

Summary: Nigel says that it's tough to say, but that he wished a different couple had danced the routine, which was beautiful (ouch). He didn’t think it was as good as the piece deserved. He also boos himself after the audience boos him. Mary says that it is not going to get better from her, and that it was not believable. Mia says that it was a great piece of choreography (which it was), but that Comfort could only fake so much (which is to say she didn't feel her dancing was honest), and that the lifts didn’t work but that the both dancers could have faked it if they had better chemistry. She pointed out that, unlike the other two judges, she feels Thayne is a beautiful dancer, his movement is so grounded and thick, and that she looks forward to working with him (I’d love to see their partnership).

Will and Jessica.

Dance one: Contemporary with Tyce DiOrio, danced to Silence from the Unfaithful soundtrack. Tyce calls it a piece set in the Garden of Eden and wants to see the connections between man and woman. Jessica says she feels strong doing the piece, which she hasn’t felt before.

Summary: I felt it was a beautiful, haunting dance, and the judges agree. Nigel says it was an extraordinary piece of work by Tyce, and that no wonder there was so much besotting in the Old Testament (again, inappropriate, Nigel). He sys that Will is extraordinary BUT that it was tough for Jessica to keep up with him, but she is certainly doing that now. I want to know why the judges always have to give Jessica a back-handed compliment (why not say she was wonderful, too, and leave it at that?). Mary says it was one of the most amazing pieces she has ever seen on the show and that Will is a picture of strength but that Jessica stepped up to the plate once again (see what I mean?). Then she screams. Mia says that the dancers went to a completely different place and that this was perfect moving art. She adds that Will is like Desmond Richardson, but that it was the first time Jessica embraced a piece and got it. Then Nigel made an inappropriate remark about Will’s body. I’m sorry to keep harping on Nigel, but this is just ridiculous.

Dance two: the Quickstep by Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin, danced to Bandstand Boogie by Barry Manilow (going old school!).

Summary: Uh oh. I feared this would be a train wreck and it was. The piece began with Will performing five or six back flips, which were very impressive but had nothing to do with the Quickstep, and then the awkward partner dancing began. Nigel agrees. Mary notes that Will’s tight jacket didn’t help his carriage and that it bunched up his upper body, and that they were both heavy (i.e., not light in their movement). She says that the twist, lindy hop, etc. were fun but that they weren’t right for the piece and she was glad they had had the first dance. Mia says that it felt disconnected, and adds that Jessica had gotten it (before, first dance) but that she didn’t stay there. Mia also said that Will looked tired of carrying Jessica (figuratively) and that it was time for him to get a new partner (harsh). Will said that it had been a wonderful experience and that he was proud of Jessica (good for him). I am sooo tired of the Jessica bashing.

Courtney and Gev.

First dance: Cha Cha with Anya and Pasha (yay!), danced to Don’t Stop the Music (club mix) by Rhianna. In the package, we see Anya, Pasha, and Gev speaking in Russian, which is cute.

Summary: Nigel says he felt that he would never see anyone as sexy as Anya and Pasha are, but that they were. Gev was brilliant, though not technically great, and that it was great fun to watch them, and they suited each other as a couple. Mary said it was magic, hot cha cha cha cha (a new expression), and that they were now on the hat tamale train. Mia says that it was fabulosity (yes, that's a new Mia term) at its best and that they weren’t the best dancers in the competition but that they had amazing performance quality. Then it was noted that Gev had shaved his chest for the routine, and again I thought about how Dominic had trimmed his toe nails for one of last year’s dances and that Gev and Courtney are this year’s Dominic and Sabra.

Second dance: Jazz by Mandy Moore, danced to Standing There by the Creatures. Mandy said they were two people in the jungle, lost, hence the map they used throughout, very effectively.

Summary: It was a really fun routine, though Nigel felt it was a bit like cotton candy (I didn’t agree). Mary says it was rough and raw, they were tearing up the stage, and that it was pure entertainment. Mia says that they had had a great night (agreed) and that they were one of her top couples (they are my favorite one, so I was happy).

Twitchington (Twitch and Kherington).

First dance: Krump by Lil C, danced to 2 Buck 4 TV by The Ja Squad.

Summary: There were a lot of buck references (buckness is the way, etc.)--get it?-- in the package, and the leather-bound couple engaged in a great deal of chest thumping as they danced. I liked the routine, but didn’t love it. However, the judges were more enthusiastic. Nigel says on paper this was equivalent to Busta Rhymes and Miley Cyrus but that Kherington did a damn good job. However, they lost the last 16 bars but he would let it go. I don’t know why he gave them a pass. Mary says it was the first time on the show that she had had seen a krump she believed, and that Twitch was all aggression, and Kherington was gangsta. Mia says it was dirty, disgusting, and nasty and that Twitch served gangsta on a platter. She did point out that while Kherington did really well, she got kind of tired at the end but killed it otherwise. Again, why the pass?

Second dance: Smooth Tango by Jean-Marc Generaux, danced to Assassins from the Mr. and Mrs. Smith Soundtrack.

Summary: This dance did NOT go over well at all. It was supposed to be tough, but Nigel says it was not honest for me, and they didn’t perform it as well as they could have. He adds that they murdered the dance routine but not each other (harsh, but deserved, I felt). Mary loves the beginning and the end but not the in between. Mia says that the dance was powerful but they didn’t support it and they were never committed. She also noted that Twitch needs to get into his characters. This may put them into the bottom three for the first time.

Last couple: Katee and Joshua.

First dance: Viennese Waltz by Jean-Marc Generaux, danced to Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls (interesting choice).

Summary: This got so-so reviews (I don’t think the couple do ballroom well, as opposed to contemporary and jazz). Nigel says that Joshua was a little too bouncy, but that Katee was beautiful and got the lift rights. Mary says that the execution of the dancing was not quite there, and the technique was choppy, so as a whole it was just okay. Mia says that Joshua looked like a football player trying to do the dance (not good), and he was not at his best. However, she praises Katee, saying that she was meant to dance, her journey has just begun, and that her spirit soars through her body. Clearly, Mia will be working with Katee again.

Second dance: Bollywood by Nakul Dev Mahajan, danced to Dhoom Taama by On Shantin Om soundtrack (I hope I got all that right). In the package, Nakul wanted to make sure that they didn’t offend the audience with the wrong hand gestures, and Joshua wanted to make the choreographer proud because of Nakul's heritage.

Summary: What a terrific dance! It combined hip hop and African movements (as Nigel notes) and that there were so many different steps. He says he wished the world would come together with dance instead of the other way around (so true). However, he also says that he had been trying since season one to bring Bollywood to the show, but isn’t he the executive producer?! Mary says that she has one rule: she wants to see heart, soul, and stardom, and that these two were stars tonight, and showed athleticism and strength. She put them on the hot tamale train, Vindaloo Express. Mia says that Katee was stunning, and that it was awesome to have world dance on the stage. I think this was the routine of the night.

Predicted bottom three:

Comfort and Thayne
Jessica and Will
Twitchington or Marksie (because you need three couples, of course)

Going home: Comfort or Jessica and Thayne

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