Finally, some news about the first season of So You Think You Can Dance Canada. CTV announced today that a cross-country audition tour would begin soon, visiting "Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and one more city yet to be announced." Exact dates will be announced shortly. The show's host and judges are yet to be chosen.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Remember Definition Of A Man, the John Gray show featuring a Danny Tidwell solo that was supposed to be on HBO this month? As best I can tell, the show is in production limbo, and may never be produced for TV.
I feel quite lucky to be one of a very few people to have seen it.
One of our favorite dance bloggers, Maria at A Time To Dance, has been following the Australian show with us. She sees it not just as dance entertainment, but as cultural comparison:
I don’t feel compelled to talk about any particular dancer or result thus far in the season (I’ve seen the first seven episodes so far). What I’ve really taken away, all other variables being equal since the show’s formula is exactly the same, is how similar Australian society is to ours. It’s like a control group study where all variables are equal, save one. You could do all sorts of interesting sociological studies based on your viewing of the application of the same TV show formula in different cultures!
American Idol has finally gotten access to the Beatles songbook. There's no word if SYTYCD choreographers will also get to use any of the music.
ItemLive has a story about Status Quo Crew, battling to stay in the America's Best Dance Crew competition. Vote for SQ tonight!
Mary Murphy will guest judge this week's top 16. Nathan and Nat on NOVA 93.7 interview her about being in Australia.
LINK to audio.
UPDATE: Interview available here:
Mary Murphy Judges Australia
The Mary Murphy alarm clock is mentioned in the interview.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
The Pasadena Star-News has info about Hok Konishi, Sara Von Gillern, and Dominic Sandoval's upcoming personal appearance in Covina. If anyone goes, please give us a report, and take pics.
So You Think You Can Dance Australia is still doing well in the ratings.
Demi and Jack's Samba was, by far, our reader's favorite top 18 routine. Congrats to them and choreographer Paul Green
There is some backlash developing to the "you have to vote for your favorites" pleas from reality show hosts:
But if we're going to start getting pleas from the show's host, judges and eliminated dancers that we have to vote or talented kids will be cut, then somebody needs a wake up call.
'We' did vote. And furthermore, all the talented kids except one will be cut. That's the premise of the show.
There's still appreciation for the level of talent SYTYCDAus has attracted:
The Aussie dancers on this show are at the top of their game. They're the best at what they do and many have spent years training in schools and dancing in stage productions and music video clips.
Compare that to the karaoke singers who are rolled out for Australian Idol each year. Many of them have never had any formal singing training at all.
The Campbelltown Advertiser talks to friends of contestant Rhiannon Villareal:
Principal teacher at the school, Debby Mostyn, said Ms Villareal could win the competition.
"She has that x-factor that the judges look for," she said.
"While the other dancers can do all the technical moves too, Rhiannon has the personality and the charisma as well as being an awesome dancer.
"The students love her and she has a very good rapport with the girls.
Get a gay perspective on the show from Australia's SSONet:
Australian contestants are quite happy to share their emotions with the country. There have already been plenty of tantrums and tears amidst the jubilation. It’s entirely appropriate, as an equal mix of emotion, conflict and triumph are the mainstay of reality TV. It appears the producers have done their homework on the contestants and hand-delivered sympathetic stories for the judges to help reveal.
On the other hand, The Age's Marieke Hardy thinks it's all disposable:
OK, OK, I'll write about So You Think You Can Freaking Dance Australia.
To be honest, I haven't been avoiding it so much as waiting for the early, coltish episodes to even out and the show to hit its straps. Even given the unnerving devotion of my friends to various breathless participants (Genevieve took it upon herself to start a Facebook group, earnestly declaring "Hilton has chops! Hilton is the hotness! Hilton CAN DANCE!" Which pretty well emphatically placed her in a certain handsome hoofer's corner before his ousting) and their habit of texting me at key points between 7.30pm and 9.30pm on Sundays ("I'm also a fan of Rhys, just so you know," bewilderingly confided another devotee to me via SMS), I still held out climbing on board the dance train and stopping all stations to jivesville. There's no room in my world to get excited about another reality television show. My days are full of dizzying tumult and dorky literature and the last thing I need is to spend Monday nights twisted up like an ampersand on the couch just because Hawkeye Flapjack got given the boot for a below-par lyrical headspin technique.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
The following contains top 18 results spoilers for those who haven't seen the show, so the rest will be after the jump.
CLICK TO CONTINUE READING
The Daily Telegraph talks to Hilton and Kassy.
There are rumors flying around Brent Street that judge Matt Lee and eliminated contestant Kassy Lee are brother and sister. Both have Brent Street training listed in their bios, but there is no mention of a familial connection.
Jason Williams, Jimmy Arguello, and Hilton Denis. All talented dancers, all eliminated from the top 18 of their respective seasons. I can't help but wonder if the judges and producers are thinking "demographically".
Monday, February 25, 2008
My mother and I went to the LA Dance Magic convention last night in St Paul! I did not take class just came to watch the faculty show and awards ceremony! Jessi was there but Artem was not (he was at the Academy Awards) and Jesús was not because him and Jessi switch the dates they go. We got a good seat to watch the faculty show and it was pretty awesome! Jessi was in many group numbers and also did a solo to “Sitting on the Dock on the Bay” It was a very good routine and would never think anyone could pop to it but she did! I got a pretty good video of it on my camera but it is not uploading to the computer for some dumb reason. After the dancing they handed out the awards/scholarships. Jessi was really good with the little kids and she seemed genuinely happy for them. After this was over my mother and I were determined to meet her so we went on the stage where she and the other faculty were posing for pictures and stuff. When we finally got the chance to talk to her I could not believe how short she was! She was a little shorter than me (I had heels on) so I am thinking about 5’4. She is extremely beautiful in person I think too. I asked if she remembered me from MySpace (we have sent a few messages back and forth) and she said yes and gave me a big hug. I introduced my mom too and she gave my mom a hug as well. She could not believe we came just to see her and thanked us about 5 times! Lol She said she was upset Artem was not there because he is usually her partner in the group routines. I guess that would explain her running off the stage when the partnering came up. My mom told her she loved her on the show and was sad when she got kicked off and Jessi said me too. Then she told us that she is so grateful for the show because she would have never gotten this job if it was not for that. She said that after LADM is done she is starting a TV show and she said she will try and update her MySpace page but she is bad at that! I did not ask any details about the TV show…. which I should have I guess. She had a beautiful necklace on that said “Possibilities” and I told her I loved it. We talked a bit more and she was one of the nicest people I have ever met. She game my mother and me another huge hug and told me to keep in touch on MySpace! I was pretty excited and got a picture with her and my mom did too under my “All Things Dance” album:)
Sunday, February 24, 2008
In 10 parts. Thanks to 45Edwards for the quick upload. UPDATE: Youtube seems to be running very slow this afternoon.
Kate & Hilton - Foxtrot
Choreographed by Jason Gilkison
Camilla & Sermsah - Hiphop
Choreographed by Phillip Haddad
CLICK TO CONTINUE VIEWING
Kassy & Graeme - Lyrical Contemporary
Choreographed by Sarah Boulter
Stephanie & Marko - Swap
Choreographed by Leah Howard
Laura & Anthony - Disco
Choreographed by Aleeta Blackburn
Rhiannon & JD - Contemporary Jazz
Choreographed by Kelly Aykers
Demi & Jack - Samba
Choreographed by Paul Green
Jemma & Rhys - Jazz
Choroegraphed by Michael Boyd
Vanessa & Henry - Animation Hiphop
Choreographed by Nacho Pop
The official TEN site for So You Think You Can Dance Australia already has voting numbers and clips from the top 18 routines. Alas, they're for Aussies only. So too, are the contestant video blogs and Nacho Pop's Inside Dance, but at least the rest of us can read the contestant's written blogs.
Our Malaysian correspondent Eunice, aka Stuce, knows 2 of the Aus choreographers from the Malaysian version of the show. She gives us all kind of goodies about Yannus Sufandi (Graeme & Kassy's top 20 lyrical hip-hop) and Manuela Oliveira (JD & Rhiannon's top 20 hip-hop) at her blog.
In our poll, taken before the top 18 performance show, the early favorites amongst the guys were Hilton, Sermsah, Rhys, and Jack. Leading for the girls were Demi and Rhiannon.
Here's another review of the top 18 show at the Pop Pulp blog.
Reality Raver reports from Sydney:
It was the second week of the finals and the judges had decided to take the gloves off after their gentle approach in the first episode.
The dancers were getting to know their partners and expectations were high that the standard of dance would improve. But did it? Overall I think it did.
Just some quick thoughts on the episode:
* Natalie Bassingthwaite's hair was not copying Krystle Carrington this week, however the silver lamé dress was. But bonus points are given for her amazing ability to stay upright in 20 inch heels.
* Natalie was also more relaxed and natural and gave good banter this week, except she still needs to work on her autocue technique as her eyes always look a little stoned when she is reading from it.
* There needs to be a lift workshop as a lot of the couples are still struggling with lifts.
* I like Bonnie Lythgoe, but every time I looked at her this week, all I could think of was Shirley Valentine. The dress with her cleavage hanging out, her tan, and the blonde bouffant hair, and the brassy English accent; and
* Is Rhys going to have his own float at Mardi Gras next week? If not he should, as himself, not his drag queen identity. He is hilarious, and will be in the competition for a while.
First on tonight were the new pairing...
CLICK TO CONTINUE READING
...Kate and Hilton, as their partners Khaly and Courtney had been eliminated last week.
They had to do the Foxtrot with Jason Gilkison as their choreographer.
I am quite excited about this pairing and I think they will go far. It was a very modern foxtrot ( well actually I don't know what parts of it were a foxtrot) to a Kylie song "Two Hearts".
It was good, fairly smooth, with a lot of lifts. The lifts were good but not great you could see the effort it was taking.
Matt Lee said " Elegant, sexy slick".
Bonnie wants "Hilton to up his game"
Jason Coleman said " Kate owned that routine" "Hilton don't get lost as you are working with a fine dancer". Is Jason becoming the judge whose opinion does matter to the contestants, ala Simon Cowell?
Next up was Camilla and Sermsah and they pulled hip hop.
In the pre-routine vignette, Sermsah again got edited as saying he did not feel worthy of being in the final 20. Which Jason Coleman who clearly the love of Sorry Week of had evaporated, said "Enough of the don't deserve to be here" "I don't want to hear it again."
Phillip Haddad choreographed the routine. The dancers came out dressed in the blue and white striped jail gear, which looked like pyjamas, and frankly I thought the routine was dull all over the shop. There appeared to be just a lot of strutting on stage, and even to my amateur eye I could see they were not in unison.
Camilla in couple of places really pumped it but not all the way through.
Matt Lee said "Genre had not been kind to you.", "Sermsah too out of control", and "Both gave 150%."
Bonnie said "Both made mistakes", "Camilla I think you are creeping up there, and " Thought you pulled it off together."
Jason said "Unison not together enough," and he liked the choreography, which I thought ordinary.
Kassy and Graham danced a contemporary lyrical to a Sarah Boulton routine. Just an aside was Kassy one of the dancers in the Bonds ad that was on tv during the show? I thought I caught a glimpse of her.
Considering this was both their genres it was good, but it was not fantastic. The theme of the dance was a dream sequence of two young happy lovers. So it was a flashier routine which was joyous, and some of the lifts were difficult and they did pull it off, but it just was not seamless. But both of them looked fabulous in white.
If Graeme does not develop some personality he is going to be in danger of being voted out.
Matt Lee said "Lifts dangerous" He was on the edge of his seat.
Bonnie said "A little bit of magic"
Jason said "Lifts good, however the rest was a bit laboured" "I could hear you land" and "Didn't really nail it."
Next were Stephanie and Marko and they were doing Swap, which is a cross between hip hop and Swing.
The choreographer was Rose Edwards, and I thought her routine looked great. If another dancer other then Stephanie had been dancing it, it would have been sensational.
Poor Marko seems to now know he has been stuck with a dud. She was apparently filled with negativity in the rehearsal, and she did a fake cartwheel lift over his back. They will struggle to stay out of the bottom three this week.
The last lift they did looked really awkward.
Matt Lee even got critical on the routine. "Steph like a fish out of water, didn't have the steps", "Lifts really laboured", and "Wishy washy".
Bonnie said "Stephanie you have got to get lifts together" and "Marko loved what you did."
Jason said "Stephanie you got left behind, your shoulders are around your ears", and "Not good enough".
After all the criticism, Stepanie then tried to hit back by saying "Dancing is about having fun, and the dance had no story line"
Jason quickly put her back in her box by saying "Dancing is not about fun it is about following the choreography." Steph was starting to look upset by this stage.
Another person lacking diplomacy tonight was Anthony Ikin who danced disco with Laura. The choreographer was Aleeta Blackburn.
Anthony said he was not looking forward to dancing the routine in front of the judges as both Jason and Bonnie were around in the disco era.
Jason was not happy "How old do you think I am?" and "Now we have established Anthony is in the bottom three...."
This was a fun routine, and Laura looked fabulous in her gold lamé dress, and Anthony just reminded me of John Travolta. Which he confirmed he had been channeling as the previous evening they had rented out Saturday Night Fever. There were five great lifts, and it was high energy the whole way.
Anthony will go a long way in this competition.
Again not all the lifts were smooth.
Matt Lee said "Crowd favourite" and was critical of Laura's bent leg.
Bonnie confirmed she was around in the '70's by saying it was authentic.
Jason said that Laura was number one with car dealers, as they all wanted her number. Apparently he was out shopping for a car last week.
He also said "Laura not enough technique and core", and "He would have liked to have seen more Anthony".
At this point I noticed former Australian Idol contestant Ben McKenzie in the audience.
JD and Rhiannon had to do a contemporary jazz routine to a Kelly Akers number.
The dance was to a Prodigy song. Rhiannon was dressed as a zombie similar to how dancers a dressed in Wade Robson's routines.
Rhiannon just was great, but JD was trés ordinary, and as Jason said "he chased the routine". JD has to hope Rhiannon pulls him through to the next round. I have to say I have been underwhelmed by JD in the last two weeks. So if he gets through this week I hope steps it up next week. I am not sure about his versatility.
Matt Lee said "Rhiannon outdanced you"
Jason said "JD not strong, clean and sharp" also he wants to see "Rhiannon extend herself as she dances very closed".
JD was looking very worried as they went into the commercial break.
The ever popular Demi and Jack were up next to dance the Samba with routine from choreographer Paul Green. Well I have to retract my words of last week when I queried if Demi would be able to pull off the more sexy feminine dances.
She wowed it tonight and she managed to do it in high heels. Jack's charisma was again evident, and these two are going to be up there towards the end of the competition.
Demi shimmied and slithered but it was not over the top sexy, and Jack just moved smoothly. However if Mary Murphy was judging she would not have been happy with the technique, but it may have got a tamale train comment.
Matt Lee said "Great job" to both of them.
Bonnie said "worked together, great eye contact" and "Sexy and saucy"
Jason said "whole transformation" and "routine of the night - it went pop", "was not technically perfect."
Jemma and Rhys were next dancing a Jazz routine. The choreographer was failed-top-20 contestant Michael, who I still think if he had been better looking may have made it through. However he was given the opportunity to choreograph this routine.
It was a vampire routine to an INXS song. Rhys is one of my favourites and this continued tonight, even though the routine wasn't 100% fabulous. In fact I thought ballroom dancer Jemma did very well with all the kicks. I think they will be safe for another week.
Matt Lee said "Did a really great job Jemma - but I could see you thinking" and "Rhys great job"
Bonnie said "Routine did not feel polished"
Jason said "Not enough staccato - it blended a bit" and "Good but not great this week"
Last were Vanessa and Henry doing an animated hip-hop (how many forms of hip hop are there???) to a Nacho Pop routine. Why does nacho always have a toothpick in his mouth, has he just quit smoking?
In rehearsal it all got a bit much for ballerina Vanessa and she started crying, however she also endeared herself to the show's sponsors with a Maybelline head band.
They came out wearing masks which I think helped the routine, as they did not have to worry about their facial expressions but just concentrate on the stop-start dance moves.
Animated hip hop is hard to describe, it was a cross between popping, but a more robotic movement. It was interesting to watch. It did look like something out of a Thomas Dolby music clip.
Matt Lee said "More memorable for the masks then the performance"
Bonnie said "Did a great job Vanessa as so out of your zone" and "It worked for me"
Jason said "Henry so versatile as a ballroom dancer loved you in routine" and "Vanessa thought you were going to be crap but you did a great job", and "Did not totally love it, but you made it look easy".
My bottom three predictions are: Marko and Stephanie, Sermsah and Camilla, and JD and Rhiannon. I only picked one out of the three last week so hopefully I will improve this week.