Saturday, June 14, 2008

SYTYCD News Roundup

BuddyTV does its weekly interview with the dearly departed, Jamie Bayard and Rayvyn Armijo.

Listen in to an IM chat between Senior Editor Laura MacCorkle and co-worker Chad about Thursday's results show.

Here's an example of why mainstream media fails while new media grows. TVGuide's Kara Howland:

I tried for a good five, if not ten, minutes to figure out how to turn my closed captioning on. I finally gave up thinking I’d just Google the dancers to make sure I spelled their names right (Google failed me; couldn't find them!). So if any of you want to take pity on me and tell me how to work my DirecTV remote correctly, I’d be appreciative. Where was I?

What? Hello? You can't find the dancer's names on Google???

Joshua Allen is Ryan Welton's early favorite to win So You Think You Can Dance. I'd want to see how he handles at least one other style before I'd make that leap.

LA Times blogger Stephanie Lysaght talks with the judges after the results show:
Will and Jessica got rave reviews from the judges. Why do you think they landed in the bottom three?

Nigel Lythgoe: I honestly don’t know. Their position in the show was good. She lost her balance a couple of times, and it may have been that, where people said, ‘It wasn’t good enough.’ Maybe they don’t like that style of dance. Maybe neither Will nor Jessica has gotten over their personality for their audience.

Mary Murphy: It’s so early that the public hasn’t latched on to the personalities yet, or how extraordinary they are. A lot of it is just not aired, so we know as judges, but the public just doesn’t have a grasp on how extraordinary Will is.

Dan Karaty: I was really shocked to see them dropped into the bottom three. I don’t know why it happened. The public votes. Hey, ya know, maybe they know better than me, but I don’t think that was necessarily the right decision. They’re both phenomenal dancers, and Will especially. He stands out above the rest. I really feel he does.

I think being in the bottom 3 was the best thing that could have happened to them, because it gave Will a chance to show America this.

Gev Manoukian's family is well known in the world of ice skating.

Behind The Scenes With E!News (Video)

Uploaded by SYTUCDance

Also on Youtube, does Twitch have a fan or a stalker? Lyrics NSFW.

News Update

Jamie Bayard is a "little surprised" at his top 20 elimination.

Montgomery, Al. loves Twitch.

Katee & Joshua's No Air routine punched One Writeous Chick in the stomach.

Ducky and GMMR podcast So You Think You Can Dance. Ducky recaps the results show, with clips.

Neil Haskell talks about his character in MTV's The American Mall which now has a premiere date (August 11th), and an official website.

Step It Up & Dance's Miguel Zarate get's a bit whiney in this AfterElton interview.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Susie & Marquis' Smooth Waltz (Video)

It's hard not to compare this routine to Jessi & Pasha's nearly perfect top 20 Smooth Waltz, but hey, Pasha is the master of partnering and Marquis is 18 and not a ballroom dancer. Susie's salsa background shows in the first 10 seconds, but otherwise there's plenty of pretty going on.

Uploaded by kelxk3l

Tonya Plank:

My second favorite of the night was Susie and Marquis’s Waltz. Breathtaking! But Nigel, yes, we noticed the second lift problem! We’re not blind! First lift was gorgeous though. Lovely fish dive! You can tell Marquis has ballet background, which translates very well into Standard Ballroom where you need an elegant carriage, a straight upper body, and good lyrical quality. Susie really surprised me. Her Salsa is fun but not tremendously precise, which is fine since Salsa is a social dance and doesn’t require precision and clarity. But her Waltz was another story entirely. She had wonderful control and beautiful lines. So far a couple of my favorite dancers.

Will Wingfield Solo

I'm still having trouble getting past the pretentiousness of his poetry slam audition, but Will Wingfield's solo from Thursday night was pretty spectacular. My comment at the time was that he saved himself in the first 5 seconds. He did a good job with the Tango too.

Uploaded by kelxk3l

Top 20 Photoshoot Video

I think the graffiti wall background was an awful idea, but the individual photos are so much better than the romance-novel-cover look they went with last year.

Results Show Music

Tonight marked the triumphant return of Wade to the SYTYCD stage. He’ll be missed this season, but it was nice to see his and his wife’s choreography at least once. He always uses songs well. Every single beat is utilized. I have to say though, watching Rama-lama-bang-bang and then this, made me realize just how much I miss the dancers from Season 2.

We had a few more repeat songs tonight. Baby’s Romance & Mas Que Nada. I don’t think any of the dancer’s really "used" the songs they chose. Although William Wingfield’s solo was pretty fantastic. When I saw he was using an acoustic version of a Gavin DeGraw song, it made me warm and fuzzy inside because it reminded me of Travis.

Onto the music...

Song title: Cobrastyle
Artist/Band: Robyn
Where you heard it on the show: Wade’s Top 20 routine
Where you've heard it before: On her new album.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Song title: I Can Make You Dance
Artist/Band: Zapp
Where you heard it on the show: Poppin’ Pete & Shonn Boog’s performance
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Song title: I Wanna Dance with Somebody
Artist/Band: The Side Project
Where you heard it on the show: Kourtni Lind’s solo to fight for her life
Where you've heard it before: You’ve probably never heard this version, but I know you’ve heard this a time or two or 239401 before.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Song title: The Baby’s Romance
Artist/Band: Chris Garneau
Where you heard it on the show: Matt’s solo to fight for his life
Where you've heard it before: Jason Glover’s solo during Vegas week
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Song title: As I am (Intro)
Artist/Band: Alicia Keys
Where you heard it on the show: Rayven’s solo to fight for her life
Where you've heard it before: On her album? Ha.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Song title: Mas Que Nada
Artist/Band: Sergio Mendes and the Black Eyed Peas
Where you heard it on the show: Jamie’s solo to fight for his life
Where you've heard it before: It’s been all over this show. Ballroom dancers. I’m having visions of Cousin Heidi, Faina, and possibly Dmitry.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Song title: Misery Business
Artist/Band: Paramore
Where you heard it on the show: Jessica King’s solo to fight for her life
Where you've heard it before: It's angry and angsty. So it's been on MTV.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Song title: More Than Anyone (Acoustic Version)
Artist/Band: Gavin DeGraw
Where you heard it on the show: William Wingfield’s solo to fight for his life
Where you've heard it before:
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Song title: When I Grow Up
Artist/Band: Pussycat Dolls
Where you heard it on the show: When you had to listen to and watch those 5 ladies shriek and gyrate during those painful 5 minutes of waiting for the judges to deliberate.
Where you've heard it before: I’m sure you’ll be bumping to it in your car soon enough.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Song title: It’s Only Life
Artist/Band: Kate Voegele
Where you heard it on the show: The goodbye montage for the girls.
Where you've heard it before: If you’re a One Tree Hill watcher, like me, you’ve heard this song before. I like bad scripted tv.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

*On a side note: You know what’s funny, when I emailed Ted about writing this post every week, I said that I thought Kate Voegele would make her way onto the show. Through different solos or what not. I must be able to see the future. Heroes style.

Song title: Best Days
Artist/Band: Graham Colton
Where you heard it on the show: The goodbye montage for the guys.
Where you've heard it before: I want to say I heard this on Idol. Not so sure though.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

If you have any suggestions of artists that people maybe like, feel free to comment about them. I'm not always familiar with all of the music that SYTYCD gets the rights to, so I'd love to hear what you guys have to say.

Mid-day Update

LA Times entertainment blogger Stephanie Lysaght was at the results show last night:

It was 5:45 p.m., and the audience at "So You Think You Can Dance" was downright giddy. "Are you ready to be on TV?" Bellowed Cory the warm-up guy, just fifteen minutes before the first elimination show of the season. Hundreds of fans shrieked in the affirmative.

We chanted for Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe, and they emerged on cue, all waves, smiles and playful bows. This is gonna be a blast!

The Monitor asks 5 questions to Courtney Galiano's fellow Knicks City Dancers.

Adam B. Vary disses Poppin' Pete and son in his recap at

Top 20 Results Show Recap

Preface: These were my predicted bottom three couples:

Gev and Courtney
Jamie and Rayven
Kortni and Matt
Susie and Marquis

Well, I was two for three. Not bad!!! And I apologize if I get the Courtneys and Chelsea's names misspelled. I find this very confusing!

The show begins with Cat wearing a pink fluffy dress. It's pretty, but I like when she goes less frou frou. I am confused when we see the judges talking (well, Dan and Mary), then the dancers walking into the audience with weird camera angles. What, I ask? Oh, I see. The dancers are kidnapping Nigel! Ha ha. Okay, I'm being mean. It was a cute, original number (Wade and Amanda are SO out there). The boys were wearing 80s punk, with slicked back hair. The girls were wearing big dresses and big colored hair. They drag Nigel on stage, tie him up and gag his mouth, and then dance about. The dancing is just fine, with great synchronicity. Nigel hams it up excessively, however. I would have been more excited if Nigel had just sat there and squirmed without going over the top. I can't imagine Idol's Simon doing that. At the end, the dancers run off, and Cat comes to "rescue" Nigel, not a minute too soon. He says, "Cat, let's be kind to the dancers this year," and *I* gag. Once he is off the stage and back in his customary seat, however, he delivers the line of the night: "Wade's been waiting a whole year to get back at me for (last season's) fox routine" (the one with Sabra and Lacey in the top four, which showcased nothing). I hope the season won't be this corny.

Anyway, Cat walks over to the "jeedges," and we see that Dan has on a cute tan jacket and t-shirt, Mary has on a pretty red and black dress, and Nigel has on his customary black jacket and pinstriped shirt. Because this is a "jam packed show," we get right to the first three couples. First up is Twitchington (not a town in London, Ted, I get it), Twitch and Kherington, and of course America puts them through, and the crowd roars its approval. Then we review the other two couples, Chelsea and Thayne dancing Mia's contemporary routine (Unbelievable, Mary said, and the couple tweaked and freaked and did everything that was asked of them, Dan said) and we will find out if they are safe in a moment. We see a recap of Chelsie and Mark's contemporary piece, (Chelsie the ballroom dancer is told she came through brilliantly), and all three couples are safe. Oh, oh, seven couples left, and three of them are in the bottom three. The contestants must be shaking themselves crazy back stage.

After the break, with a horrible Taco Bell rapping ad, we hear lots of screaming girls, and we bring on the next three couples. Matt and Kourtni's jazz routine to Tainted Love is shown, and Nigel says that he needed more personality from Matt, and we hear his nasty Matt has a broomstick up his you-know-what comment, and I am angry again. Mary liked it, but America did not, and they are the first couple in the bottom three. Mary says the first cut is the deepest (ha ha) and is looking forward to seeing their solos to see why American brought them there, and I wonder if any longtime viewers are as tired as I am of this cliche (but what else could she say, I suppose). Then we get the surprise of the evening. Susie and Marquis's smooth waltz is trotted out again, and Susie looks very nervous. The review focuses on how Nigel says that he was afraid America wouldn't get it, but they did, and I am very disappointed. Finally, we see Comfort and Chris, and are reminded how she dislocated her shoulder. Dan notes then they need to develop better chemistry, but this clicked for the audience, and they are safe (what?!). Rayven and Jamie's hip hop routine is reviewed, and it is pointed out that Nigel wondered if it would be memorable at the end of the night. Clearly it was not, because they are in the bottom three. Nigel also points out that it is hard when you go first, which is true, b/c that is why Michael Johns was booted at number eight during Idol, and I am still bitter about this.

Finally, we get to the final three couples. Katee and Joshua's hip hop routine, which was Nigel's favorite of the night (and was for many viewers, too) is reviewed, and they are through. This leaves Jessica and Will and Gev and Courtney, and I totally got this wrong (I even jotted it down incorrectly before the results!). I was sure that Jessica and Will's tango, while not perfect (though Mary said they were the couple to beat), would go over better than Courtney and Gev's painful disco routine to Boogie Wonderland (likened by Nigel to "Disco Duck"), but this was not so, and Jessica and Will were the final couple in the bottom three. The audience, the judges, the dancers, and I were all in shock. Dan's reaction was thus: "As judges, we were a little easier on some dancers than on others, but we said they were good, and they *were* good, and they don't deserve to be in the bottom three." Warning to America: Vote for your favorites (ahem, Will and Twitch, ahem).

While the dancers go backstage to freak out, er, warm up for their solos, we get the highlight of the night: Poppin' Pete and Shon Boog of the Electronic Boogaloos showing us a sick poppin' routine (unbelievable isolations) and explaining how the style was derived Fresno in 1975.. Cat notes that we will see different performers from the world of dance each week, and I am *so* hopeful that this means we will not get any more lip synched performances from the likes of Fergie, but I am wrong, as you'll see in a moment.

During the break, we get our annoying Snuggle Bear commercial (followed by SYTYCD wannabees snuggling, aka dancing in the streets) and I am beyond annoyed.

Now onto the solos: Kourtni goes first, dancing a contemporary piece, that I find pretty, but not that memorable. Next up is Matt, who has beautiful lines, but I am also not sure that the solo is enough. Rayven takes the stage, in a very odd but stand-out tutu with striped tights, and I llllove it (as Simon would say), and Cat calls her a "rock princess ballerina who done good, and I agree. Jamie is next, dancing a ballroom solo, that reminds me a bit of Pasha (but not as good).

After the break, we see Jessica's solo, with her pretty much running around the stage, IMO, and it reminds me of Lacey's solo last year, where she blanked out and forgot the steps. Finally, Will takes the stage, and he is brilliant: intense, gorgeous, far above the rest. Cat notes that "I've got a feeling that a certain Miss (Debbie) Allen will be home screaming at her television," and I agree. The dancers go backstage, and we are punished, er, treated to a Pussycat Dolls routine. They are dressed in leather (of course) and my sister calls at this exact moment so I don't have to hear them.

Finally, the results, beginning with the girls, as is the custom. Nigel says they are unanimous in their decision. Kourtni is told that they love what she brought to her solo and they hope that she will bring that to her routines, and she is safe. Rayven and Jessica take their paces forward. Nigel points out that he didn't understand Rayven's solo, which she did on demi-pointe rather than on pointe, and I don't see why that is a problem (but I am not a ballerina expert by any means). Then Jessica is told that her entire routine was not strong enough, and that they don't know either of them to really make a decision, but for some bizarre reason, Rayven is sent home, and I am confused. Her mom bawls in the audience while we see Rayven's package. Rayven notes that she had danced professionally before and was using this as a springboard, and I am happy for her. She is a class act.

Finally, we get to the guys. Nigel says they were again unanimous in their decision. Will is first, and Nigel says he was disappointed to see him in the final three, as he is an incredible dancer, but warns him to think about his performance and to not push through his routines (did he?) so American can see how brilliant he is.

Then we get to Jamie and Matt. They love Jamie's personality and Matt's technique, and wish they could fuse them together. But since they can't, they went with technique over personality, so Matt is safe, and Jamie is going home. Nigel warns that "tonight, and only tonight, we'll take technique over personality," and I am reminded at how they said this to Cedric (re: letting his partners down, but is unique and will hopefully grow) last year, but he wasn't eliminated for the first three weeks, so I am a bit skeptical. The theory floated about is that since Jamie and Rayven were a couple, their elimination means they don't have to pair up other couples so early on. This makes sense to me.

And that's it. Top 18 next week.

Joshua Allen In The Studio (Video)

Uploaded by rmo7779

SYTYCD News Update

Chelsie Hightower's wedding dress wardrobe didn't win Outfit Of The Night in TVSquad's performance show recap, but it did finally solve a reality TV mystery.

We get both a Mychal Knight coffee-filter-dress reference and a Cicely-and-Olissa quote in ChileKat's recap at TVFan.

Rambling Gypsy helps us keep track of who did what.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Top 20 Group Routine (Video)

Choreographed by Wade & Amanda Robson.

Song is Cobrastyle by Robyn

First Eliminations

Nate Levy recaps our first eliminations of season 4.

Here's the routine that sent them home. It was really pretty well executed.

So You Think You Can Dance Top 20 Results Open Thread

Who's it gonna be?

Wade Robson opening group routine.

Meet The Canadian Judges

Host Leah Miller introduces the judges for the first season of So You Think You Can Dance Canada, which airs this fall. Tre Armstrong, Jean Marc Genereaux, Luther Brown, Blake McGrath, and Rex Harrington make an impressive lineup.

Uploaded bymystikalrosez

So You Think You Can Dance News Update

The next episode of iVan's SYTYCD video blog will be out soon. It's shot in LA and North Carolina, with Lacey, Shauna, and Mandy as guests.

Kameron Bink updates us:

Hello all -

Just making sure that everyone checked out our new collections at

We've released the Kameron Bink Signature Series as well as Lacey-Mae Tube Socks!!! Orders are pouring in - and we want to make sure you get yours while they're still available!! Order today at

Gina Scarpa at BuddyTV speaks for many of us:
I pretty much agreed with everything the judges said last night, good and bad. The only thing that got my blood boiling was Nigel’s critique of Matt Dorame. He performed a jazz routine with Kourtni Lind and Nigel felt that neither got down and dirty enough. I understood what he meant when he said that Matt danced very upright but when he said that he danced like someone with a pole up “where the sun don’t shine”, it got a little harsh. So You Think You Can Dance has always been a show about celebrating one’s passion for dance and there just seems to be no reason to knock an artist down like that.

I get so tired of seeing SYTYCD called a guilty pleasure. If you watch it, Gossip Girl should be called a guilty pleasure. Hell's Kitchen should be called a guilty pleasure. Cheaters or that polygraph show or Girls Gone Wild should be called a guilty pleasure, but not So You Think You Can Dance. Be proud that you enjoy watching dedicated, talented young artists grow under the tutelage of respected professionals.

Mary Murphy's Chance to Dance Showcase is a volunteer program aimed to get kids communicating and learning to dance in San Diego.

Tonight's Guest: Poppin' Pete

Uploaded by PopYourSoul

It seems to also be spelled Popin' Pete, but that sounds like a guy who does freelance Pope work on the side.

Courtesy of Monsters of HipHop:

Tune in to see Monsters of HipHop faculty
PPopin' Pete and Shonn Boog of the Electric Boogaloos, who will be performing tonight on Fox's So You Think You Can Dance!

Popin' Pete (Missy Elliott, Justin Timberlake) has been a faculty member with Monsters of HipHop for the past few years, making sure dancers all over the world keep working on the fundamentals of hip hop dance. Pete brings an amazing technical ease to teaching his style of dance, allowing dancers of all skill levels to enhance their dancing abilities. Evidence of his passion for dance is apparent as Pete has been known to break out into impromptu dance classes in the hallways after class at our Monsters of HipHop Conventions.

Pete's son, Shonn Boog (Nickelodeon, Rock Steady, Kevin Federline), one of our Monsters of HipHop Next Generation Choreographers, has continued to impress audiences & students with his unique style of dance.

Poll Results

Clearly safe tonight
Katee & Joshua
Kherington & Twitch
Chelsie H. & Mark

Probably safe tonight
Chelsea T. & Thayne
Kourtni L. & Matt

At risk
Everyone else

Vote totals
Rayven & Jamie - HipHop

30 (5%)

Susie & Marquis - Smooth Waltz

36 (6%)

Kourtni L. & Matt - Jazz

60 (11%)

Chelsea T. & Thayne - ChaCha

72 (13%)

Chelsie H. & Mark - Contemporary

140 (25%)

Kherington & Twitch - Broadway

140 (25%)

Comfort & Chris - Jive

37 (6%)

Katee & Joshua - HipHop

304 (56%)

Jessica & Will - Tango

41 (7%)

Courtney G. & Gev - Disco

42 (7%)

Kherington & Twitch (Video)

Kherington Payne and Stephen "Twitch" Boss, aka Twitchington, named after Twitchington-on-Thames, which is halfway between Mutton Moat Wood and Fishpie-On-Porkstocking.

Kherington & Twitch - Broadway - Tyce Diorio

Uploaded by amireille6

Music from the Top 20

So now we know for sure that Fox has the rights to OneRepublic’s songs. Since this is the second time we’re hearing Stop and Stare this season. Boogie Wonderland also made it’s second appearance. I’m hoping that this trend doesn’t continue past this week. I get bored easily.

Overall the music was okay. The dancing, obviously, far outshown the music. I'm not complaining. For Mia's, Tyce's, Mandy's, & N&T's 2nd routine, I actually think the music helped the dancers get where they needed to go emotionally and energy-wise. In the case of Courtney and Gev, they could have danced to any song and they wouldn't have looked good.

Song title: Stop and Stare
Artist/Band: OneRepublic
Where you heard it on the show: Road to the Top 20 montage
Where you've heard it before: Kherington’s audition and everywhere else in the free world.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Stop and Stare - One Republic

Song title: American Boy
Artist/Band: Estelle feat. Kanye West
Where you heard it on the show: Rayven Armijo & Jamie Bayard’s Hip Hop routine choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha.
Where you've heard it before: Popular in the UK first, the song has been on various U.S. Billboard charts so you might have heard of it.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

American Boy [Feat. Kanye West] - Estelle

What else you might like:

Song title: Dark Waltz
Artist/Band: Hayley Westenra
Where you heard it on the show: Susie Garcia & Marquis Cunningham’s Smooth Waltz choreographed by Hunter Johnson
Where you've heard it before: You may have never heard the song before, but there’s a chance you’ve heard her. She sang on the Mulan II & Lilo and Stitch soundtracks. And she appeared on the best show NBC ever cancelled too soon, American Dreams.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Dark Waltz - Hayley Westerna

Song title: Tainted Love
Artist/Band: Soft Cell
Where you heard it on the show: Kourtni Lind & Matt Dorame’s Jazz routine choreographed by Mandy Moore
Where you've heard it before: Soft Cell covered this song. Lots of people have covered this song. The most recent being Danny Noriega. That went over well with Simon….
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Tainted love - Soft Cell

Song title: Oye Como Va (Latin/Trance Mix)
Artist/Band: Celia Cruz
Where you heard it on the show: Chelsea Traille & Thayne Jasperson’s Cha Cha choreographed by Tony Meredith and Melanie
Where you've heard it before: This song is all over. I’m sure you’ve heard the Carlos Santana version. That was in the Big Lebowski.
Where you can listen to the whole song:


Song title: Beautiful
Artist/Band: Me’Shell Ndegeocello
Where you heard it on the show: Chelsie Hightower & Mark Kanemura’s Contemporary routine choreographed by Mia Michaels
Where you've heard it before: It was in the movies Body Shots and Daddy’s Little Girls (per IMDB).
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Beautiful - Meshell Ndegeocello

Song title: Too Darn Hot
Artist/Band: From Kiss Me Kate
Where you heard it on the show: Twitchington’s Broadway routine choreographed by Tyce Diorio
Where you've heard it before: If you’re a fan of Broadway, you might have heard this song before.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Too Darn Hot - Paul & the Ensemble

Song title: Boom Boom
Artist/Band: Big Head Todd & The Monsters
Where you heard it on the show: Comfort Fedoke & Chris Jarosz’s Jive choreographed by Tony Meredith and Melanie
Where you've heard it before: It’s all around. Like love.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Boom Boom - ZZ Top

Song title: No Air
Artist/Band: Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown
Where you heard it on the show: Katee Shean & Joshua Allen’s Hip Hop routine choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha
Where you've heard it before: Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard this song before.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

No Air - Jordan Sparks feat. Chris Brown

Song title: Tango
Artist/Band: Cirque du Soleil (La Nouba)
Where you heard it on the show: Jessica King & William Wingfield’s Tango routine choreographed by Joshua Allen
Where you've heard it before: I’ve seen this Cirque and I’m sure some of you have too.
Where you can listen to the whole song:
Tango - Cirque Du Soleil

Song title: Boogie Wonderland
Artist/Band: Earth, Wind & Fire
Where you heard it on the show: Courtney Galiano & Gev Manoukian’s Disco routine choreographed by Doriana Sanchez
Where you've heard it before: Bianca Revels’ audition.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Boogie Wonderland - Earth Wind And Fire

Recap of Top 20

Well, I have to be honest: I was quite disappointed. I'm not sure what I expected, but after a fantastic Top 20 in Australia, I expected more. Maybe it was because some of my favorites (Sheila, Brandon, and others) didn't make it through that I was hoping the ones who did would kick it, but not so. The nicest surprise was how Katee kicked it (I'll get to that shortly). Susie was not strong, but that wasn't a surprise, although the judges liked her (go figure). I am not going to do much with music, b/c that's coming, but here are the dances/dancers, and the judges and my responses.

The Top 20 are introduced, wearing bright colors. I don't even try to figure out who is whom. It's bizarre to me that there are two Chelseas and two Courtneys (different spellings, as I'll note) and that the two have their last name mentioned each time. It's a tad awkward.

Cat enters wearing a resplendent glimmering silver dress. You go, Cat! Then we see Dan Karaty (yay!) wearing a very nice black suit and tie, Mary in a black and white dress, and Nigel in a suit jacket but no tie. Nigel's cast is gone; his injury occurred at least six weeks ago. Cat asks if there are any front runners, and the judges say no. Then Nigel says that, You Cat, are a front runner, you look absolutely fantastic, you have dancer legs, and I gag. Nigel also mentions that we haven't seen five or six of the dancers yet, so how could we (the public) decide, and I am angry. Duh, Nigel, and why not?!

We see some highlights of the auditions by One Republic's Stop and Stare, and I love them, so I'm happy (maybe they will be on again). Then the first couple is up, Rayven and Jamie. We learn a bit about contemporary dancer Rayven, who is the oldest contestant at 28 (yay!) and is a contemporary dancers. Jamie is a West Coast Swing dancers whose girlfriend and partner was cut in Vegas but who supports him. They are given a hip hop routine by Napoleon and Tabitha (I guess they will be very active this year with the sow), and it's okay but not great, high on the humor element, not so much on the dancing (though it was fun when she pulled down his pants). I thought it wasn't hard hitting enough, though there was good synchronization. Nigel liked it, but said he didn't think it would be memorable though we would see later on (I agree). Mary screamed, saying that Rayven is a beautiful strong dancing machine (okay, Mary), and it was cotton candy (what?). Dan says, weakly, that he likes cotton candy but that there was no funk at all, didn't find it light and funny and it wasn't funky or hard hitting. I totally agreed with Dan on nearly every dance tonight.


Next up is Susie, our favorite contestant (insert sarcasm here) from Miami, 25, who is a high school teacher and gets inspiration from them. Then we see Marquis, an 18 year old hip hop teacher who had a rough child childhood (single mom) but who excited to have made it this far. They are given a Smooth Waltz by Hunter and I go, uh oh. Susie looks nice in her shimmering blue dress (Marquis has on a dark suit), but I found this extremely boring. The judges were far kinder, however, probably b/c they were working outside of their comfort zone (we will only hear that a gazillion times during the season). Nigel was impressed with the way the performed the very difficult choreography and thought, aside from the lift (a mess), that Susie had tremendous lines as did Marquis and that he hopes that the audience will realize how good they were. Sorry, no go for me. Mary said it was a slow and controlled dance that they pulled off (she was blown away), and Dan said it was an almost perfect ending to a love story. I didn't feel the chemistry, and wished that Anya and Danny had been there instead. I think the judges justified the dance b/c they KNEW the public wouldn't be impressed, and I would not be surprised to see them in the bottom three.

Next up is Kourtni, who graduated college at 16, moved to LA at age 17, and is very motivated. Matt is a 22 year old contemporary dancer, very athletic (he says) who is from Salt Lake City and performed his solo in gym shorts (I love him). They both noted how tall they are: she's 5'9" and he is 6'5", and Mandy Moore (love her) said they will either look big on stage or sloppy. Ha ha. They were dressed all in black and danced a jazz number to Tainted Love. I thought it was okay, but not great (no Neil and Sabra Table Dance, that's for sure). I loved his jumps and thought he stole the dance, while Kourtni seemed to just strut about. Nigel said that he wanted more personality from Matt, that he seemed too upright and locked in, and I wondered what drug Nigel as on. Mary thought they did a great job, thought the lift and landing was havey, and they were sexy. Dan thought it was a so-so performance, and they didn't attack it at all (again, I agreed) though he loved the choreography

We see a commercial for Bones, and i think that the leads are no Mulder and Scully, though I liked when David Boreanz (sp?) on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Next up is Chelsea, a contemporary dancers dancer, whose parents were from Jamaica (she is first generation American). She had a strict background and is appreciative of getting this opportunity. Thayne is a contemporary dancer who gave up dancing for five years and then came back to it. They are given a Cha Cha by Tony Meredith and Melanie (one of the kisses of death), and it is noted that this is one of the hardest routines they have choreographed for the show (so why do it on the FIRST WEEK?!). Chelsea has on a purple sexy dress, Thayne is all in black with an open chest, and there is a lot of booty shaking, but they dance a lot better apart than together (no partnering skill, IMO). Nigel says they were both terrific and on the platform of Mary's train (can't we have a new metaphor for Season 4?). Mary says they are already there and were on fire and partnered well (maybe I was just too critical during the program), and Dan said that Chelsea owned the stage, though Thayne wasn't as prominent, though he did what he was supposed to do. They will probably go through.

Chelsie H and Mark are up next. Chelsie is another dancer from Salt Lake City, and when she makes Top 20 she receives a big hug from Natalie and I am sad. Mark is the dancer from Hawaii who made such a great impression with his terrific Queen solo during Vegas week and calls himself "left of center." They are given a totally bizarre contemporary from Mia (I know, shock, but this was REALLY out there), who imagined what Tim Burton's wedding would be like. She was really critical of Mark (he would be better than he was, he needs to bring it to the next level, Chelsie is terrific) and I hope he steps it up (oh, oh, wrong show! :-)). I hope he does well after such criticism, and in fact he does. Chelsie wears a freaky fluffy dress, Mark is all in white, and I'm not sure what to make of the dance, though I like it and impressed by its level of difficultly. Nigel says, Mia Michaels, you bring us weird relationships, don't you? (I agree.) He says that Mia took Mark's quirkiness and made it his own (bird-like) and Chelsie, a ballroom dancer, danced it brilliantly. Mia gives them two thumbs up, a great sign. Mary loves Mark's uniqueness and says Chelsie is like a little angelic angel (huh?) and that they made the lifts look effortless. Dan says what an experience it would be to be inside Mia Michael's head (heh heh)and that it was amazing.

Next up is Twitch (yay!), brought to you by Extra Fruit Sensations gum (are they REALLY that hard up this season)?. He is, of course, a hip hop dancer, they show him losing to Hok last year for like the millionth time, and how he really wants it this year and brings his element of humor. Kherington is an 18 year old contemporary jazz dancer who missed her high school graduation the day before (though Natalie missed her COLLEGE graduation and didn't get in; I know, bitter). They get Tyce (yay!) and a fun jazz number to the song Too Darn Hot. Twitch deems their relationship Twichington, and I remember Dancey (Lacey/Danny) and realize they are into the Top 10 already. Though he keeps running into Kherington's foot during the package, they are dressed all in red and black and do a great job, using the stage really well. This was my favorite routine of the night. Nigel says it's really, really hot, and Kherington looked stunning, Twitch looked like he could dance on Broadway. Then Mary claps and says, Look up to the ceiling, need the sprinkler system to come on, because it is SO HOT IN HERE (a new metaphor, at least!). Dan says that Kherington was hitting all cylinders and Twitch is not a traditional Broadways dancers but who cares and he could watch him up there all day. You know they are through.

Comfort and Chris take the stage. Comfort is a 19 year old hip hop dancer who says she says eh can set it down like a guy and I don't like her arrogance already. We don't get much from Chris (shock), poor guy. They are doing Tony and Meredith's jive, and I am like, Oh, no, another kiss of death to Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom. she's in a sexy white outfit, he in sexy black, and there is lot of booty shaking but terrible partnering. Comfort notes that they have never seen her in bra, panties, and beads, and I miss Sara. Nigel says that Comfort was smoldering and was on fire and Chris did well to keep up with her (grumble). Nigel did say that Chris stayed down low while Comfort was up too high, but he blamed the heels. Mary says that Comfort was kicking it, thought Chris did a respectable job (why do they dislike Chris so much?!). Dan said that all was said that needed to be about Comfort and that Chris did a wonderful job keeping up with Comfort but they needed to find a chemistry with one another. WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH THE ANTI-CHRIS SENTIMENT?!

Katee, the 20 year old contemporary dancer who was in trouble after the Natalie fiasco, and Joshua, the cool 19 year old popper who is into sports and whose single mother made sure he was also provided for (aw) were next, and man, did they nail it! They had a hip hop number from Napoleon and Tabitha about a man leaving his woman to enter the army, playing to Jordin Sparks' No Air, and it was beautiful. Nigel said that it played to both of their strengths and that it would be a real asset to have Napoleon and Tabitha along this year (I agree). This was his favorite routine of the night. Natalie is there supporting Katee, and Nigel notes that she may be there for a while (yay!). May says that she didn't expect this and that they hit every little nuance. She says that she has a loved one in Iraq, as many do, and that this really got to her. Dan says they killed it, dancing in perfect unison, and that Katee held her own up there and that Joshua owned the stage.

Jessica and Will are introduced. Jessica is a 22 year old contemporary dancer that misspelled Vegas after she made it (funny) and said that dancing is her art and voice. Will is the 21 year old contemporary dancer who left Tennessee at age 16 to come to LA and work with Debbie Allen (it is explained again that she can no longer judge as long as he is in the top 20). They do the tango to Hunter's number, and while she has on a shimmery dress and he has on a neat black suit with a red scarf, I think that they struggle through this one. Nigel says that they are a hell of a couple up there, and they look professional and that Will is majestic and that Jessica needed to hold her positions better but was absolutely wonderful. Mary says I have to break it down and there is only one way I like my tango to be danced and that was it!!! Dan was really impressed with the difficulty of the routine and said that they were the couple to beat. Really? I totally disagree.

Last up are Courtney G, a 19 year old contemporary dancer from NYC who is also a Knicks dancer, and Gev, the b boy from Salt Lake City (via Khazikstan, spelled incorrectly, I know), who ousted Brandon (sigh). They get a disco number with Doriana Sanchez and I know they are in trouble b/c it is only week one and the dance will be full of lifts (and it is). They note that the dance is super hard, fast, crazy, and they think they nail it, but in fact they do not (they are, for the record, no Neil and Sara, but that was Top 10, to be fair). They do dance well separately to Boogie Wonderland (I love that song!) but not together. Nigel says that Um, I love disco, brought up with (as was I), but did I love that, no. Didn't have the boogie feel it needed, and it looked like Disco Duck (harsh!). Mary said that she thought the disco queen was back (Courtney) but that Gev did a good job and that the lifts were on. Dan said that he enjoyed it, that it wasn't the best dancing he had ever seen, that it could have been cleaner and tighter, but not bad.

And that was it! Whew!!! :)

My predicted bottom three:

Gev and Courtney
Jamie and Rayven
Kourtni and Mark or Susie and Marquis.

We'll find out soon!!!

Chelsie H. & Mark (Video)

Uploaded by kelxk3l

Ryan Weldon:

I've never watched a Tim Burton movie, but I know the oddity of what Mia was going for, and it was brilliant. What made it doubly brilliant was the music from Michelle N'degeocello, a song called "Beautiful."

A ton of what dance is about is in execution, but emotion plays a huge role, too. And the combination of that song, the choreography, the execution and personality of both Chelsie and Mark -- I thought -- was brilliant. Very romantic but in a sweet way, not a sensual one.

Chelsea T. and Thayne (Video)

On first viewing, Chelsea Traile overshadowed with that hot performance. Watch it a few more times and you see that Thayne was really outstanding too. This could be a very interesting partnership.

Chelsea T. & Thayne - ChaCha - Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin

Uploaded by kelxk3l

Chilekat at TVFan:

And they throw down the first really fun performance of the night. And y'all, her body is INSANE. I thought Thayne was amazing, and actually a lot better than Chelsie. His hip action was awesome. And he partnered her and framed her really, really well. I think she got much stronger as the routine went along, and she did well with the posing and some of the held lines. And the bootee shaking was fun. But she was a little too stiff legged (they both were when it comes right down to it) and really too pulled up. It needed to be more grounded, earthier. Overall, they did an awesome job. And Chelsie #1? Is a total sex bomb. Just ask Dan after he's done slobbering all over her.


Watch this post for updates.

Tapeworthy recaps with grades and clips.

Dancer/blogger Matthew Murphy at Ranting Details covered the show live.

Beckylooo breaks down each routine and teaches us a lighting term.

UPDATE: Sorry, I was too busy at the day job to update this thread as I had planned. For those who do check back, we have Adam B. Vary's recap at

There may not have been a Lacey Schwimmer-Mia Michaels breakout moment to set the YouTubers all a-twitter in last night's top 20 episode of So You Think You Can Dance, but in spite of all of Nigel Lythgoe's unsubtle grandstanding about how great this season is turning out to be, I've got to agree with the guy. With only one or two truly unsatisfying performances, and nothing even approaching an outright disaster, last night went a long way to assuaging my frustration with Vegas week. Which isn't to say there weren't some dancers who still had me scowling about how, exactly, they were worth passing over Evan Kasprzak and Brandon Bryant, dancers with personality and good looks and skill and technique and panache and poise and great dimples...but I digress.

Katee & Joshua's Ticket To The Top 10 (Video) UPDATED

Katee Shean and Joshua Allen - Hiphop - Napoleon & Tabitha

Uploaded by kelxk3l

Scott Patrick Wagner:

STANDOUT!! They get the extra exclamation point, because it was really impressive. Katee had the deck stacked against her from the auditions, when she seemed ungrateful and annoying at the final callback. But she came through, almost holding her own with the most brilliant dancer of the night, Joshua. Granted, he is a hip hop dancer and this was a hip hop number, but it wasn’t really. It was a contemporary number with a hip hop feel, and he was extraordinary. The guy pulled it out on every level, and I was truly impressed.

Debbie Chang at BuddyTV:
Katee Shean and Joshua Allen are the next couple. Joshua is a hip hop dancer, but has also trained in ballet (as well as playing football and running track). They have a hip hop routine choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha, which tells the story of an enlisted man shipping off the next day. They dance to "No Air" by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown. Katee and Joshua are very intuitive dancers, and they really rock this routine pretty hard. I had to sit for a moment, not typing, because my eyes were glued to the screen. Nigel tells them that they were really, really great, in a hushed, awed voice. He says that it's his favorite routine of the night. Mary is pleasantly surprised at how soft Joshua could dance, and Dan is pleasantly surprised with how well Katee held her own.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Early Recap

Nate Levy has his early recap up at Levy on TeeVee

So You Think You Can Dance Top 20 Track List & Voting Numbers

Rayven & Jamie - HipHop - Napoleon & Tabitha
American Boy
ft. Kanye West


Susie & Marquis - Smooth Waltz - Hunter Johnson

Dark Waltz
Hayley Westenra


Kourtni L. & Matt - Jazz - Mandy Moore

Tainted Love
Soft Cell


Chelsea T. & Thayne - ChaCha - Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin

Oye Como Va (Latin/Trance Mix)
Celia Cruz


Chelsie H. & Mark - Contemporary - Mia Michaels

Me'Shell Ndegeocello


Kherington & Twitch - Broadway - Tyce Diorio

Too Darn Hot
Kiss Me Kate
(2002 Broadway Revival Cast)


Comfort & Chris - Jive - Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin

Boom Boom
Big Head Todd & The Monsters


Katee & Joshua - HipHop - Napoleon & Tabitha

No Air
Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown


Jessica & Will - Tango - Hunter Johnson

Cirque du Soleil


Courtney G. & Gev - Disco - Doriana Sanchez

Boogie Wonderland
Earth, Wind, And Fire


Check back tomorrow for Natalie's music column, and buy high quality, DRM-free mp3s in the Amazon sidebar widget.

Top 20 Performance Show Open Thread


SYTYCD Web Roundup

The Deseret News says Thayne Jasperson used to be a clogger, Chelsie Hightower dreamed of making it on So You Think You Can Dance, Matt Dorame didn't plan to audition, and Gev Manoukian never planned to be a dancer. Thanks to a reader for the story.

Idol Thoughts reviews Altar Boyz, featuring Neil Haskell.

The LA Times talks to Cat Deeley, then to Rayven Armijo, Kourtni Lind, Kherington Payne, Katee Shean, Jamie Bayard, and Will Wingfield.

According to Hapa|Hale, the Great State of Hawaii will be casting it's votes for Mark Kanemura.

Twitch and Katee Shean "plan to use humor and personality to connect with viewers", says the OC Register. has a music spoiler for tonight.

Comfort Fedoke

During the Dallas auditions, we pretty much had to take Nigel's word for it that Comfort (sometimes spelled Komfort) Fedoke is the best female hiphopper the show had seen. Thanks to a reader, we have video to give us some idea of what to expect from her.

Uploaded by ucfchamp

Cody Green Interview

Step It Up & Dance winner Cody Green says he knows "all the kids on that other show. They're amazing". He joins John and Colin for the final Suck It Up & Dance recap video blog at NewNowNext. There's also an interview with Jerry Mitchell. He explains how the show changed over the course of the season:

...did you see the difference in how the last three episodes were shot and edited? Go back and watch episodes nine and 10 — the dance in episode nine, Vince’s dance, you never saw that much coverage before… It was like a camera just locked on them all.

SYTYCD News Roundup

The auditions were ok, but tonight we finally get the real deal, the first performance show with the So You Think You Can Dance season 4 top 20. We'll have an open thread during and after the show, along with the voting numbers and track list.

OK magazine had a chance to question Nigel Lythgoe about the show. Unfortunately, they waste part of that opportunity talking about "Sex"?

Susie Garcia dances for the Miami Heat basketball team.

Courtney Galiano has a basketball connection of her own.

Why did Kourtni Lind audition in Milwaukee when she lives in LA? The Journal-Sentinel knows.

Mark Kanemura is already banged up after the first taping.

Latest Shot Fired

The M&M Cru/ACDC online dance battle continues with this response from Miley Cyrus, Mandy Jiroux, and a crew of hundreds.

Uploaded by mileymandy

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

SYTYCD Web Roundup

Joshua Allen has a Debbie Allen connection too.

Here's a video and some pics related to Courtney Galiano's job as a Knicks City Dancer.

Jessica King's Dad traveled to LA with her. She's been dancing for 20 of her 23 years.

Gev Manoukian plans to open a dance studio after getting his business degree.

Whoa! Cedric and Faina need better PR.

Dance Spoilers

Ducky has the dance spoilers for top 20 week. Let's please try to contain spoiler discussion to this thread.

News Roundup

It looks like Shane Sparks will choreograph the So You Think You Can Dance top 18 group routine next week.

Phillip Chbeeb blogs from his Myspace:


the reason i was not aired on the vegas episode of the fourth season of "So You Think You Can Dance" is because i caught pneumonia a couple days before vegas week and had to drop out of the competition because i was unable to dance in that state and therefore was dropped from the competition....

i was invited to go directly to vegas next year tho...

spread the word!!!!

take care everyone


Our friend Leee, whose recaps deserve their own recaps, is taking on extra blogging duties this season.

OK Magazine talks to Step It Up & Dance winner Cody Green.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Benji At USA Grand Nationals

Benji Schwimmer and Kellese Key perform at the USA Grand Nationals over the Memorial Day Weekend in Atlanta. If I had known, I could have been there.

Uploaded by cherch5

Speaking of Benji, we're hearing that cousin Heidi got hitched over the last weekend. Best wishes to her and the lucky guy.

Mary In Canada (Video)

SYTYCD Web Roundup

Leee runs down the season 4 So You Think You Can Dance top 20 as only Leee can.

Dave Chung shares his early picks.

Marquis Cunningham is a triple threat.

The Utah connection: is it because of opportunity and clean living, or because there's nothing better to do than dance and sing?

Sunday, June 8, 2008

News Update

We knew about one skeleton in Nigel Lythgoe's closet, here's another one from the 70's.

Uploaded by costumered
Thanks to lothlorienbow at Live Journal for the find.

KHON2 in Honolulu talks to friends of season 4 finalist Mark Kanemura. Check the weather. Oh no! It's cloudy with light winds in Hawaii!

Pasha Kovalev appears next weekend at the San Diego Dancesport Championships.

Dance Magazine has a piece on Brian Friedman.

No matter where his career takes him, Friedman’s first passion will always be dance. “I refuse to stop dancing,” he exclaims. “When I have downtime I love taking class. I took two classes last week, basic jazz and tap. It’s important to keep yourself in it even when not doing it as career.” When asked about the future of dance on television and the role that dance has taken in reality TV, specifically over the past couple of years, he responds, “I think it's beautiful that reality TV is bringing so much awareness to the country about dance. I love knowing that people who wouldn’t necessarily have known about dance, now do. A lot of people don’t think of dancing as a sport...but because of these television shows, now they do. The dance community has gained a lot of respect from the rest of the country because of these shows, so we need to be thankful”. He also makes it clear that he is not a fan of all reality television. “Now, don’t get me wrong,” he adds, “There is a lot of bad reality TV out there, but I think that if you are going to be involved in it at all, there should be an art learned and the shows like "So You Think You Can Dance," do that.”

There's no mention of the Bollywood project we reported in February. I hope it's still a go.

PondCulture finally "gets" So You Think You Can Dance:
Yet the longer the auditions went on, the more I began to realize that because the prize is, in the vast schemata of entertainment greed, relatively insignificant, So You Think You Can Dance exhibits a radical honesty.

The auditions occur with all the other competitors watching. You know when they think someone is good.

You know when they appreciate when someone has great artistry. They stand and applaud like a drunken (but knowledgeable) New York audience on a Saturday night.

There is something really quite soothing about the fact that the other competitors clearly influence the judges by the sheer decibellicosity of their applause.

Eric at CatDeeleyOnline reports from the UK that Cat will appear on Regis & Kelly tomorrow. Can someone please Youtube a clip for him?

BuddyTV recaps the America's Best Dance Crew Audition special. There were no real standouts for me. What about you? THE BIG SHOW WITH JK LIVE that was supposed to feature a call-in with Shane Sparks, has been cancelled.

The New York Times takes note of street dance on TV.

The LA Times entertainment blog says the Shhh! Crew was robbed.