Saturday, April 5, 2008

SYTYCD Australia News

The Sydney Morning Herald analyzes the appeal of So You Think You Can Dance Australia, even quoting our friend Reality Raver:

Reality TV blogger Emma Ashton says that until recently, Australian audiences haven't been exposed to dance. "I think a lot of people in Australia haven't been able to see dancing as much as they would have liked ... and I think the cost of seeing proper dancing or the knowledge of where to go and see it is limited for a lot of people."

Ashton says the program has a higher feelgood factor than other reality shows.

"The elimination night starts with a group [dance] number and it makes you feel 'up' straight away. [Idol doesn't do it] at the beginning of the show. They have a recap, then they go into a group number, but it's always some sort of ritual humiliation that they put the singers through each week."


The SMH piece also quotes Jason Coleman saying:
"[I think] after nine years of reality television, people are latching onto the honesty of it and the integrity of it," says Jason Coleman, one of the show's three judges. "There's not a lot of manipulation going on, there's not a lot of squeezing of them and getting them to cry, we don't need to do that.

What then to make of this piece in the the Daily Telegraph quoting dancer Rhiannon Villareal:
``You can say it's down to the public (voting), but we know that it's a little bit rigged,'' she said.

``They've got to make good TV.''

Rigged? Does she mean rigged like the results are pre-determined?
Asked to explain her criticism, Villareal, 19, said: ``When I say rigged, I mean it's like popularity.

``It makes it harder for the versatile dancers to do something different. It's definitely not the best dancers. It's popularity, who's nicest on camera.''

Ok, she lost me. What am I missing?

Friday, April 4, 2008

SYTYCD Canada Promo (Video)

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Step It Up & Dance Bonus Video

Confirmed: Hok, Dominic, And Quest On Idol Gives Back

From his Myspace account, Hok Konishi has confirmed that he, Dominic Sandoval, Ryan Conferido, and the rest of the Quest crew will perform on Idol Gives Back next Wednesday night.

We think there will more SYTYCDers involved with the show. More as we learn it.

Step It Up & Dance Comments UPDATED

In the words of Jeffrey Sebelia from Project Runway:

They say it's a party. It's never a party.

UPDATE: Tonya Plank wasn't impressed. E!Online says "Serious talent here, but it ain’t SYTYCD". Early recaps here and here.

UPDATE 2: Here's a blogger who doesn't think Bravo is selling us a sneaker full of poop.

UPDATE 3: recaps and makes predictions. Get Jerry Mitchell's take on the dancers at his Bravo blog. Judge Nancy O'Meara says bring your personality. Judge Vincent Paterson gives some history and discusses technique. Cody talks about dancing for Jamie King.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Jean-Marc Genereux, Blake McGrath To Judge Canadian SYTYCD

CTV today announced judges for their upcoming version of So You Think You Can Dance. Included are ballroom choreographer Jean-Marc Genereux and US season 1 contestant Blake McGrath, both familiar to American viewers. Also named are dancer/choreographer/actress Tre Armstrong, choreographer/impresario Luther Brown, dancer Rex Harrington, and choreographer Paul Becker. Mary Murphy will guest judge for at least one audition city.


Yesterday, CTV announced that Leah Miller will host the show.

Another New Season 4 Choreographer?

If you can believe this, Cris Judd will help fill the void left by the departures of choreographers Shane Sparks and Wade Robson.

ABDC Announces Season 2 Audition Dates

Click to enlarge

Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew will hold auditions for season 2 in New York, Houston, LA, and Chicago, beginning April 18th. More info at and

Step It Up Media

Ginia Bellafante of the New York Times previews the first episode of Bravo's Step It Up & Dance:

If reality television can be said to have an auteur at the moment, it is surely the Bravo channel itself, purveyor of the idea that creativity is born neither in solitude nor in serendipity but in the bloody spirit of vigorous contest. Having made incalculable cultural contributions with “Project Runway,” “Top Chef” and even “Shear Genius,” Bravo has now come up with “Step It Up & Dance,” a competition that makes literal the cuts and bruises of the career-building genre. Calves swell and hopes cave by the end of the first episode on Thursday, when the parting words take ominous form: “The show’s over. It’s time for your last dance.” “Step It Up” penetrates the freakishly curious world of the aspiring theatrical dancer.

MORE interviews mentor Jerry Mitchell:
AE: I know you can’t be too specific about these things, but who should we keep an eye on? Which contestants are going to be fun to watch?

JM: I’ll tell you, from the very first day when they walked into the room, there were people who impressed me. I loved Miguel. I loved his spirit. I loved Janelle’s personality. I loved Cody’s dancing. I loved Mochi’s sass. I loved Tovah’s technique. They all had something. Oscar, I thought, was brilliant, and I’d seen Oscar here in New York. He’s an amazing technician. So, I knew some of the kids… James always made me laugh. They’re all unique and bring something to the table that’s interesting.


Ailey On DWTS (Video)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performed for the Macy's Stars of Dance segment on week 3 of the current Dancing With The Stars series.
Uploaded by DWTS4Fans

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Step It Up & Dance Previews (Video)

Tomorrow night at 11 ET we see what the Project Runway/Top Chef reality wizards at Magic Elves make of the world of dance.

SYTYCD Australia Top 10 Show Video

Two Youtubers have gone to the trouble to provide us with the good quality top 10 video. SYTYCDAustralia has the top 10 performances, and NothingGoldStays has both performance and results video, and last week's top 10 recap filler show too.

Network TEN is very happy with SYTYCDAus ratings:

Network Ten's hit reality program So You Think You Can Dance Australia is here to stay for many more years.

Executives from Ten on Thursday credited the series for helping to propel the network into its best ratings position in history and said the show had now been flagged as a "multi-year" franchise.

"So You Think You Can Dance, we now know is going to be around for at least the next couple of years, because it's such a break-out hit," Ten Holdings executive chairman Nick Falloon told a media briefing in Sydney on Thursday.


Rhys and Demi headed home for the recent Easter break:
Rhys Bobridge dropped into Prahran's the Market, where he works as a drag queen, while Demi Sorono visited South Melbourne club Seven and tried a few of her moves.

"I wasn't up on a podium or anything but I busted out a few freestyle moves and I got a bit of a circle around me watching," she said. "It was pretty cool."

Bobridge also caught up with his boyfriend and said it was hard saying goodbye again and returning to the high pressure of being in the final 10.


Ballerina Vanessa Sew Hoy has impressed with her versatility and grace. Her hometown paper, the Manly Daily (there's a joke there somewhere, but I'll leave it alone) talks to her Mom:
"She has had to do so many other dance styles, but none of them have had to do ballet," Ms Moy said .

"I am amazed she's handling it so well."


SHOCKER!: SYTYCD Canada Picks Blond Female To Host

CTV announced today that So You Think You Can Dance Canada will be hosted by Leah Miller. She is currently co-host of MuchMusic's "Much on Demand" and has hosted the MuchMusic Video Awards 3 times. She also has some dance experience in her background. CTV did an in-house interview with her.


Offed Aussie Wants To Burn The Floor

Recently eliminated male dancer Anthony Ikin laments the fact that he never got to work with choreographer Jason Gilkison on the show.

"But I didn't get to do a routine of his. Which is a shame."

He still might get his chance - Anthony says his next goal is to score a role in Gilkinson's renowned Burn The Floor show, FloorPlay.


Speaking of Burn The Floor, aka FloorPlay, the touring company is in Reno Nevada until August.
Uploaded by HarleyBTF

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

SYTYCD Canada News

So You Think You Can Dance Canada Executive Producer Sandra Faire talks about the upcoming CTV first season:

When the show airs in the fall, Faire expects the Canadian audience will be treated to a wide range of dance styles reflecting our cultural mix -- some East Indian, Celtic and aboriginal dancing, for example -- and perhaps a bit more ballet than has been seen on the U.S. program.

Some classical training, or an aptitude for that discipline, is in the essential nature of the competition on "So You Think You Can Dance Canada." Judges will be looking for candidates who can work with a choreographer on new genres and disciplines of dance, those who can work with a partner, and candidates who are able to grow during the season.


There's still no word on who will be host and judges, though at least one dancer/choreographer/blogger has thrown his hat in the ring.

Idol Thread

Please feel free to comment on tonight's American Idol performance show in this thread.

I do have one bit of related news. A friend of the blog tells me we'll be seeing some of our SYTYCD favorites during next week's big Idol Gives Back show. We'll let you know as soon as we can nail down exactly who it will be.

Monday, March 31, 2008

America's Best Dance Crew? JabbaWockeeZ! Updated

Created and uploaded by AKMac411

Congratulations to JabbaWockeeZ for winning the first season of America's Best Dance Crew. Congrats also to Status Quo for a great run. Let's hope we see a lot more of both crews.

Host Mario Lopez announced during the finale that there will be a second season of ABDC beginning sometime this summer. Maybe Hok Konishi and Dominic Sandoval will be clear of their Fox contract commitments and we'll see the Quest Crew.

UPDATE: When I think of hiphop, I automatically think of Regis and Kelly. JabbaWockeeZ appeared on the show Monday AM.
Uploaded by JabbaWockeeZ4Fanz

The coolest thing about Jabba and the show is all the kids they inspire.
Uploaded by JMEB6

Elizabeth Berkley/Jerry Mitchell Interview

Bravo's new dance reality show Step It Up & Dance premieres this Thursday night. posts a lengthy interview with host Elizabeth Berkley and mentor Jerry Mitchell. On the show's similarity to So You Think You Can Dance:

Elizabeth Berkley: I’ll tell you a little bit and then Jerry will share as well. Truly - I mean, what’s really, really exciting about our show is each week - it’s the producers who did Project Runway as well.

What’s exciting about that format that works so well is you really, first of all, get involved with the dancers’ personal lives because you see them at their apartment as well together.

The stakes are so high on our show where you’re seeing them learn choreography and the turnaround is so fast where they have to then perform for the judges and the guest judge.

What’s also incredible is each world that we’re taking the dancers and the audience into is so different every challenge. So I mean, one week it’s Latin. One week it’s burlesque. One week it’s Broadway. One - so it’s really exciting what the audience gets to - kind of the journey they get to go on with the dancers.

They’re so invested because it’s new and different every week. So you get invested in the dancers because you get to know them personally as well.

Jerry Mitchell: I would add that, 'So You Think You Can Dance', the series, as I’ve watched it -- which is spectacular and the dancers are tremendous -- is based more on the competitions that go around the United States where dancers compete in competitions just like that - young dancers from different dance schools. It’s…

Elizabeth Berkley: Like they’re different conventions like Tremaine and all of those kinds of different things.

Jerry Mitchell: Yeah, and it’s pretty much based around one style. This show -- Step It Up and Dance -- is going to expose these dancers to choreographers who actually work at the top of their line in different styles of choreography.
And on the episodes, those dancers will get a chance to really do things that they probably never would have been asked to do before. And that’s going to be interesting to watch how that evolves.

Elizabeth Berkley: Oh, definitely and to see them with the skill that they have being thrust into these new circumstances is - I mean, anyone watching at home, it’s going to definitely be entertaining for them to see these people they begin to care about, and then just have to see them and how they literally step it up.


Ryan Rankine In Europe (Video)

Season 2 finalist Ryan Rankine is currently touring Europe building a world class career.
Uploaded by WalkingWater

SYTYCD Australia Down To 8

Reality Raver recaps the top 10 results show.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

SYTYCD News Roundup

We're back. Thanks for allowing us the opportunity to re-charge the blogging batteries. There's a lot to catch up on, in no particular order:

In case you forgot Travis Wall is a very serious artist...well, maybe not always serious, his official site has been re-designed and updated. Welcome back Travis, and thanks tor the tip, Loralyn.


Dancers can learn from many of your favorite SYTYCDers at the Heartbeat Of Dance convention beginning in late April.


The Fox station in Milwaukee has a video report from the recent auditions. They don't mention it, but Cedric Gardner must have been there, right?


Shimmy catches up with Sabra Johnson and choreographer Mandy Moore. Mandy seems to have a lot on her plate:

Right now I am choreographing all the group songs for American Idol and will start SYTYCD in a couple months. I have JUMP Nationals at the Kodak Theater in July and will also be traveling to Italy to teach that same month. In August, I will be co-hosting an event with Nick Lazzarini, called "The Nick and Mandy Show." The event is a week of classes, workshops, and rehearsals ending with a show at a theater in Los Angeles. Next December, I am choreographing the Orange Bowl half-time show in Miami.

The Aussie show is a big hit with deaf dancers:
To elitists, it's just not dancing. To an army of krumping, breaking, freestyle-popping dancers in the deaf community, So You Think You Can Dance Australia is essential viewing.

When the hip-hop star Demi Sorono made it into the top 20 on the TV talent quest, she sent a message by sign language to her deaf sister, Lorraine, who auditioned for the show but did not make it through the heats because the judges thought she would have trouble picking up new choreography.


SYTYCD Australia Returns With Top 10 Show

Reality Raver reports from Australia:

So You Think You Can Dance was back after a two week hiatus. At least they did not try and pass it off as a rest break for the dancers, because we all know Channel ten did not want to waste a precious high rating episode on a Easter weekend when a lot of people are away.

Tonight it was the stress of dancing with new partners, plus having to do a solo dance to a song of their choice from a movie soundtrack. However they could choose between three choreographers for assistance. Nacho Pop for Hip Hop, Paul Green for Ballroom, and Kelly Ackers for Jazz/Contemporary.

Just a few comments on tonight's show before getting into the recap:
It grated when both Jason Coleman and Matt Lee were saying at the end of sentences - Yeah? Matt was a particularly bad offender;

Does Rhiannon ever cover her belly? Her idol must be Fabienne from the classic movie Pulp Fiction who said "But on a woman, a potbelly is very sexy..... If I had one, I'd wear a tee-shirt two sizes too small to accentuate it.";

The Rove ads including snippets from the judges were hilarious especially the one where he was trying to work out the meaning of what Matt Lee was saying;

Laughed when JD grimaced just before he had to swallow the berry flavoured Metamucil in the ad he and Camilla were in; and

Vanessa reminded me of Helena Bonham-Carter this evening and not in a good way.

The night began with Natalie Bassingthwaite bounding out on stage wearing a cross between a salsa and flapper outfit. She must have spent her week off practicing reading an autocue as the sedative eye look was gone - unless I have gotten used to it.

After a few minutes of banal repartee with the judges it was time to start the dancing.

First up was...


...Vanessa in a package pulling a card from a container and there were only two in there, ok I thought she may have been the second last person to get to pick. However when she went to pick a dance genre card there were three in there.

Somehow I don't think it was as random as the producers make it out to be.

Vanessa's new partner was Jack and they danced a contemporary number by Juliette Verne.

It was to be a love story where a man loses his lover and an angel brings him hope again. Juliette Verne said Vanessa has got to stop doing the baby doll face. Which then ensured I noticed it all through the routine.

It was a nice routine, but Vanessa does have problems evoking emotions. She smiled throughout the dance. I thought angels were meant to be serene. But then again my knowledge of angels is limited to Botticelli paintings, and Anne Geddes photos.

Jack: was great to see him dance contemporary he is definitely a contender.

Bonnie Lythgoe said "Great routine, loved it".
Jason Coleman slapped Vanessa around for saying in her package she "Wasn't a technical dancer". Huh? I agreed with Jason when he said "Ballet means technical dancing". Was she trying to gain some sympathy votes out of the audience? If so I think it failed. I thought her strength was her technical dancing?

Next were the new pairing of Kate and Rhys who danced a hip hop routine choreographed by Supple. I tried googling the name Supple to find out more about him, however had to stop as going into one dodgy porn site was enough.

Supple was obviously wanting to show views he was not just a pretty face by equating learning the routine to interpreting a great Shakespeare monologue overnight.

The routine was great, and Kate was hot. For once Rhys was not the centre of attention in a routine. Having said that he was good, I love it when he has to be all butch and sexy, and the hand stand at the end of the routine made me laugh.

Matt said "Intricacy just phenomenal"
Bonnie said "I liked the match - worked well together" and "Kate I thought you had your jazz face on" Can someone please tell me what a jazz face is?
Jason disagreed with Bonnie over the jazz face comment and said to Kate "You owned it" and Rhys "Yes, yes, yes", and "unreal I loved it"

The first solo for the night was Henry to a song from the soundtrack of 300.

He was, to quote Tyra Banks, "fierce" with a cape on, showing his chest like Dimitri from the US version. However I did not understand the make up of what looked like a tree root drawn on his body and his face.

Personally I found the routine just a bit frenetic.

Matt said "Strong routine"
Bonnie said "Hurricane Henry on his way"
Jason said "Great showmanship", "Thought you danced through the music not to the music" and "Thoroughly entertaining."

Rhiannon was next dancing solo with music from the soundtrack "Hit" (I could have got that wrong). She was channelling her hip hop side rather then her jazz side and I just found her dance a better version of her solos.

Matt said "Really good" and "Energetic"
Jason said "You're a hottie", "Very honest, very you" and "I worried about the musicality"

Anthony Ikin's routine was to a song from the film Closer.

I thought the dance was technically good, but he has the same problem as Vanessa - his face does convey emotion. Maybe Bonnie needs to tell him to get rid of his gymnastic face.

Matt said "I liked that it was purely about your dance", "But no tricks meant it was missing the wow factor".

Jason said "Monotonal for me" and "Get impact with the tricks."

Jemma was next dancing a jive like solo to "Shake a Tail Feather" from the Blues Brothers. It was not good, like something you would see in a strip club before the clothes start being peeled off.

Matt said "Little lack lustre"
Bonnie said "Disappointed" and "I believe you have got a lot, lot further to go"
At this point Jemma was crying on stage, and Jason went for the jugular "Not good enough" and "Splits is an exercise and does not belong on stage."

Demi and Graeme were the next dancing a contemporary routine by Sarah Boulter. This routine was about creeping critters. I immediately had a flashback to Wade Robson's foxes routine.

Graeme was upset as this was the third contemporary routine he has had and wanted to show the audience (the voters) something different.

I really like the choreography and the music. The only criticism was the last movement when Graeme lifted Demi onto his shoulders that was a bit stilted.

Matt said "You became the routine" and "Last lift a bit shaky"
Bonnie said "Wow, wow, wow"
Jason said "You took me on a journey" and "Congratulations Sarah Boulter"

Vanessa did her solo to "How Can I Live Without You" from the soundtrack from Con Air.

She was definitely channelling Helena Bonham-Carter's vagrant style - Picture of wacky Helena here.

Her dancing was lovely but again I find her emotionally deficient.

Matt said "I love the light and shade"
Bonnie said "The genie came out of the bottle you are going forward and forward, and there's no going back" Huh?? Expect to see that quote on a Rove ad next week.
Jason said "You show emotion through your body, but not your face."

Jason Chambers solo was to the Mission Impossible theme. I thought it was fantastic. He looked great and moved well.

Matt said "Dance too literal, kind of bugs me a bit"
Bonnie said "I loved it"
Jason said "Good dancing should be entertaining, and Jack that was entertaining".

Kate was next dancing to a Whitney number "Queen of the Night" from The Bodyguard soundtrack. She used a cane as an accessory.

It was a bit ho hum after Jack's solo. Technically it was good but it did not move me.

Matt said "You owned it"
I agreed with Bonnie for once when she said "Very mediocre", and "It did not make my heart race".
Jason said "I did not get a lot more from you then I have already gotten."

Rhys's solo was to a techno song from the Trainspotting soundtrack. Now Matt: "was this too literal"? Was Rhys sending out a positive or negative drug message to the kiddies at home? It started with despair, then joy, and then despair again.

It was not the best solo of the night, but certainly enjoyable.

Matt did not like the routine "Not sure if it was the music"
Bonnie said "Bits in it I thought you could do better"
Jason said "Whole routine very very powerful - well done". I noted that Jason did not criticize Rhys for the side splits in his routine.

Jemma and Anthony danced the Cha Cha to a Paul Green routine. This pairing was always going to be cursed, and I wondered if the producers manipulated it so these two dancers can be the next to voted off.

I thought the start of the routine was highly energetic and great but then it just faded.

My conspiracy theory did not abate after hearing the judges comments.
Matt said "I don't think the routine was as strong as the music", "A bit disjointed", and "Really good for what you had" Was he have a sledge at the choreographer???

Bonnie said "Well done Jemma and Anthony"

Jason said "Jemma you have had a dream run with partners and routines" this was code for Rhys has pulled you through this far. "Tonight not your night considering it was your genre."
"Anthony that for me was beige".

Graeme's solo was Bohemian Rhapsody from Wayne's World.

It was just a bit to Freddie Mercury camp for me, and I love Freddie. Just not sure this was the image Graeme may have wanted to portray considering he has alienated a lot of the girl voters by saying he will only marry a mormon girl, but will play around with others until he marries. And not sure there are enough mormons in a Australia to be a big enough voting block.

Matt said "Showed what type of dancer you are, ending a bit cheesy"

Bonnie said "I would have liked more"

Jason said "Sometimes less is more" and "Bit manic"

Demi was up next with her solo to "Sex Machine" from Legally Blonde. I quite liked the quirky, cute routine.

Matt said "That was great"
Bonnie said "I hope you realise how far you have come"
Jason said " A bit underwhelmed", "Not musical" and "Take windmills out and the rest of the routine was blah"

Last dance for the night was Rhiannon and Henry dancing a lyrical jazz number to a Kelly Abbey number. This was a piece very personal to Kelly about the loss of her partner when she was much younger. I wonder if she was inspired by Mia Michaels routine last year about a daughter meeting her father in the afterlife.

These numbers are always hard to critique as the emotion and dancing are interlinked. On first viewing I wasn't overly fussed about it, however on second viewing I liked it much more.

Henry who clearly read the New Weekly slag off of him last week (previous blog on that here.) said in the pre-package "Even though I come across as Mr Confident I'm really not". He was obviously trying to stop some anti-Henry arrogance backlash.

Henry seemed to me emotionally overwrought by the dance and was weeping whilst the judges were giving his comments. Rhiannon following his lead by also remaining teary.

Matt said "Loved it"
Bonnie said "Henry this is what we want to see", "Just perfect, best routine of the night"
Jason said "Very big responsibility to take on someones personal journey" and "Beautiful, honest, and heartfelt".

I presume there will still be a bottom three tomorrow night my predictions:
Girls: Jemma, Vanessa, and Rhiannon.
Boys: Anthony, Graeme and Henry.

Vanessa and Anthony to go.