## Saturday, June 21, 2008

### SYTYCD News Roundup

At Truth Vs The Machine, Jeff Kouba stands up for So You Think You Can Dance and challenges one of those standard put-down articles from the disapproving elite.

Was Marquis eliminated to keep Comfort in the running longer? GMMR presents an interesting theory:

Let me explain. I think Susie deserved to go home. She wasn’t at all impressive this week during the performance round - especially since she was dancing in her own genre. (Oh and I’ve hated her since her first audition) But Marquis has been impressive since the very beginning, and in my opinion he has shown us a lot more than Chris has to date. But here’s the deal - Marquis and Comfort aren’t a good match. Pairing the two together could be disastrous, and the judges don’t want to risk losing Comfort…yet. Comfort is good for the competition and more importantly good for the show. She brings a certain accessibility that some of the other dancers can’t. The show needs hip hop dancers because I think Producers believe that the genre appeals more to the masses. And let’s not forget that there’s a a good story that comes along with an untrained, non-professional street dancer taking on other genres. It’s the same reason they have all their chips on Twitch this season (even thought I personally think that’s a damn good bet).

More...

Buckle up before you read the next sentence. Fox Reality Channel is casting a reality show for reality show cast-offs to compete for their own reality show. You can't make this stuff up. Who would you nominate from the SYTYCD family? I'm thinking Ricky Palomino.

### Phresh Select on ABDC (Video)

Phresh Select from Philly on America's Best Dance Crew

My favorites from the first episode this week. Who's your's?

## Friday, June 20, 2008

### Interviews With Cat And Mary (Video)

A reader pointed us to this. Mary visits The Chelsea Lately Show on E!

### Top 18 Group Routine (Video) UPDATED

Choreographed by Shane Sparks

Updated to higher quality.

### Interviews With Marquis And Susie

BuddyTV has released their weekly interviews with the recently eliminated, Marquis Cunningham and Susie Garcia.

Katee Shean & Joshua Allen - Broadway - Tyce DiOrio

### Danny In Atlanta Again...Tomorrow!

We just got confirmation that season 3 So You Think You Can Dance runner-up Danny Tidwell will perform at Phillips Arena tomorrow night at the AARP 50th anniversary celebration, “Songs of Soul and Inspiration”. Also appearing will be Shirley Caesar, Chaka Khan, Dionne Warwick, Patti Austin, CeCe Winans, Yolanda Adams, Queen Latifah, and Ann Nesby. Debbie Allen is producing and choreographing.

### SYTYCD News & Opinion

Diane Macedo at Fox News:

Will and Jessica, on the other hand, had great moves for their hip-hop routine but were a mismatched pair in delivering them. Both contemporary dancers, Will looked like a popper, Jessica looked like a cheerleader. Actually, I’m not even sure we can call Will a contemporary dancer anymore after seeing him dance so well in so many styles. Can someone just give him a ticket straight to the top 4?

More...

I'm thinking he, along with the only non-contemporary/hiphop dancer left, Chelsie Hightower, are a lock for top 10. They'd pretty much have to kill a judge, intentionally, to not make it that far. I haven't seen that he connects with the audience enough yet to make the top 4. All indications are that if there had been a bottom 4 couples last night, he and Jessica would have been in it, and this was after his brilliant solo last week, and a strong hiphop this week.

Adam B. Vary returns to recap the results show.
The first tasty bit, of course, was Shane Sparks' kickin' group number. All of you who have been lamenting Sparks' absence from the show in the message boards must've been all atwitter to see his top-notch work finally return to the show (I know I was)...

I'm seeing this sentiment around the web, like all this season's challenges would be overcome if only Shane and Wade Robson would come back. How quickly we forget all the discussion last year about how Shane had lost his touch, that he had become repetitive and stale. I'm glad his routine last night was well received, but Shane and Wade have the luxury of being able to move on to other things. Artists need new and different challenges. They're not the only talented choreographers in the world, so let's keep an open mind about this.

### Top 18 Results Show - Sue Brody's Recap

Cat enters the stage wearing a pretty olive green dress. After the intro, we are treated to a terrific hip hop piece by Shane Sparks (whom I watch an hour later on America's Best Dance Crew, where he really seems at home), choreographed to Elevator by Flo Rida. This is nicely tied into Flo Rida's later appearance, which I'll get to shortly. Marquis is highlighted first, and then the men open up the piece in dark suits, followed by the women in street gear, and the dance is mysterious, hard hitting, and really well synchronized. I think, yes, this is the way to do a group dance. The featured dancers are Will, Joshua, Twitch, and Comfort, and I wonder if this is a hint at who they want to end up in the top 4 or if it simply suited their styles. I think the latter is more likely, b/c the danced ended with a 60 second head stand by Gev that is fabulous (even after Cat poked him, he stayed still, and it was really cute when he ran off last, blowing her a kiss).

Cat then tells us the votes were in the millions (good to hear), and the judges are briefly introduced. Mia has on a red and white checked shirt, and I wonder if she is on her way to a barbecue. Mary has on a much more tasteful black and gold dress than the night before; maybe she deliberately wants to tone it down on results night. Nigel is in his customary jacket and tie, and I hope he's been properly medicated. The first three couples are brought on stage: Katee and Joshua, Kherington and Twitch, and Chelsea and Thayne. As has been the custom this year, the couple that is definitely safe (and probably received the most votes) goes first, and Katee and Joshua are indeed safe and leave the stage. We see a review of Kherington and Twitch's performance (I know, it's not Switch or Swatch; I'll be more careful in the future :-)) and then Chelsea and Thayne's, and not surprisingly, Chelsea and Thayne are in the bottom three. Mia is asked her opinion, and says she is not surprised, that America got it right, and adds that she doesn't think they are shocked (they don't disagree). She says "my little precious dumplings (ugh)," need to set the stage on fire and show why they're here b/c she knows they belong here, and I have the feeling they will give strong solos.

Next up are...

Continued after the jump
Chelsie and Mark, Matt and Kourtni, and Will and Jessica. This is the tease of the evening. Chelsie and Mark's Argentine Tango is reviewed, we are reminded that Mary loved it (and America did, too), and they are safe. It is clear that the better the reviews they show us, the more likely it is that the couple will be safe (this makes sense). Next up are Matt and Kourtni's ballroom, and it received mixed reviews but the reaction was positive overall. Then Will and Jessica's hip hop is recapped, with an emphasis from Mia and Mary of how much stronger Will was than Jessica (coughfinalfourcough), but Nigel thought Jessica did well. Cat says, "The second couple in the bottom three is...not you, Kourtni and Matt (so, of course, it is Will and Jessica)...and it's not you, either, Will and Jessica, you're both safe." There is a great deal of jumping about and screaming and hugging, and Cat can barely get the four of them off the stage.

After the break, the final three couples are brought on stage: Susie and Marquis, Courtney and Gev, and Chris and Comfort. There is not a lot of suspense with these three. Susie and Marquis' Salsa is totally dissed by the judges (and by most of the viewing public), and they are in the bottom three. Mary tells them to bring their heart to their solos and I have the feeling Susie is ready to go home. Courtney and Gev are next, and in the tape Gev says, "We are about to get buck (Lil C's term) with the Krump," but they didn't. However, the last line from the previous evening ends with Mary saying she loved it, and so did America (or else they liked it well enough), and they are safe. Chris and Comfort are the final couple in the bottom three, and I think everyone knew they would be unless they picked up a huge number of sympathy votes (I voted for them a couple of times), but they didn't. I'm bracing for this part, for good reason. We get some of Nigel's over-the-top criticism, this time focusing on Nigel's reference to Ed Norton turning into the hulk, and Nigel's face goes green and I am so not amused. Fortunately, Nigel tries to redeem himself by reminding everyone that while he has been disappointed by the couple, Comfort injured her shoulder last week and hasn't had the chance to really show herself and krumping did not suit Chris (ya think?), and then basically apologizes to Chris, noting his great spirit, etc., and I wonder if Nigel has received some harsh feedback or at least knows about it.

Tonight's special guest dancer is America's number one Flamenco Dancer (who knew we had one?), Timo Nuñez. He tried out for seasons one and two but didn't make it past Vegas, and judging by his performance, I can see why. I enjoyed the accompanying guitarist and singer/hand clapper, but I felt that it was an eye candy performance, all stomping and slicked buff chest action and thumping, and it does nothing for me, though the girls go wild. We get some happy dance snuggling in the street after the commercial break, and I know I'll grimace every week during this short portion of our program and will check to see what else is on TV.

Finally, we get to the solos:

Chelsea dances to Moliko and is sleek and saucy. I notice she has a Sabra-like body, though I'm not sure she is as explosive.

Thayne dances to Gavin DeGraw (the singer of the season), and he has beautiful lines but I feel that he could be a little bigger and the dance seems a little labored. Cat notices that he seemed to have enjoyed dancing, and Thayne looks surprised and says, I'm a dancer, of course I like to dance! High five, Thayne.

Susie dances to Pitbull and it is extremely unimpressive, similar, I thought, to her first audition (which did nothing for me). She shakes her body but barely moves across the stage, and I am pretty sure this is the last we'll see of her.

Marquis dances to One Republic (the band of the season) and is fantastic; explosive, beautiful lines, wonderful pirouttes, a la Danny, just brilliant. I am sure he is safe.

Comfort dances to Afrika Bambaataa, and I see hot b-girl action, with a great number of isolations. She looks sleek in her red hoodie, but seems pretty sad afterward.

Finally, Chris dances to John Legend, and I find his solo underwhelming, the weakest of the guys. However, as he starts to leave the stage, Cat pulls him back and holds up a sign that says "Chris is not a (picture of a) tree," and it's very cute, and perhaps a sign (get it?) that the producers (or just the audience members) feel badly about the way Chris has been portrayed.

The judges leave and Flo Rida and his posse sing In the Air. I like his music, but I hate lip syncing and sexy girls in tight black shorts shaking their butts, and I turn away, though the girls wave their hands in the air like they just don't care (though they clearly do).

At last we get to the results. Nigel spends a couple of minutes blathering on about the NBA Finals, and how impressed he was that Kobe Bryant of the LA Lakers (I bet a lot of audience members are Lakers fans) made a point of congratulating each member of the WORLD CHAMPION BOSTON CELTICS (yes, I'm from Boston). His point is that you can fail and still be a brilliant dancer, and I wish he'd get on with it. Chelsea is first, and Nigel tells her she will have to step it up (take a drink), because there are better dancers on the show than her (must have done wonders for her self-confidence), but she is safe. Then we get to Susie, who is told that she no longer lights up the stage and needs to rekindle the fire, and Comfort, who is told that she has yet to find her potential on the show but because of her work in Shane Sparks' number she is safe. I find this unfair, b/c she did such a strong solo--clearly, the judges had made up their minds last night, or before the solo, and if so, why even BOTHER with the solos--but she is safe and Susie is going home. We get a going home montage to Idina Menzel (thank you, Natalie, for that information), and it's pretty and goodbye, Susie.

Finally, we get to the guys. I am certain that it's going to be Chris's time to leave, based on his dancing and particularly his solo. Nigel explains that it was really difficult, with the "three contemporary boys on the stage," and how strong everyone else is, and I am thinking something odd is up. Nigel goes across the line: Thayne has great personality and lots of potential, Marquis is a very good dancer, but his solo was only tricks (say WHAT?), and Chris did bring passion to his solo (really? I didn't see any, sorry to say), and Marquis is sent packing. There is palpable shock in the studio and in millions of homes in America. There is quite a bit of booing, Cat notes that "this is not a popular choice in the studio," and his goodbye package is set to James Morrison's "Wonderful World." Now James Morrison is my favorite singer in the whole world, and I even wrote a one-act play set to his song "Undiscovered," but that didn't make me any happier to see Marquis go (his package highlighted more of his amazing moves). I think that Marquis is either let go because Nigel want to split up another couple (possible) or because, as some have said, that they didn't really want to keep a contemporary dancer of color on the show. I have no idea if the latter is the case, but I am extremely disappointed with the decision. We barely got to see Marquis' skills (two ballroom numbers), he combines "tricks" with beautiful technique (so what about Neil, then?!), and this was a completely bogus analysis of his beautiful solo. I don't understand what is going on this season, and I think SYTYCD better rethink itself in a hurry if it wants to continue retaining its viewers and bringing new ones along.

### Mid-Day Update

In it's recap of last night's show, BuzzSugar says:

I think that no matter who the guest performers are for the rest of the season, I'm going to be able to safely comment, "Well, at least that was better than the Pussycat Dolls."

LA Times blogger Stephanie Lysaght was there:
From the moment that the bottom three couples are announced in the theater, everything speeds up. After so much time killing from Tommy the warm-up guy, all of the sudden, time seems to fly. What? They're all gonna dance for their lives right this instant? But –- but –- they just found out they were in the bottom. Give them a minute! But there isn’t a minute to give. Before they know it, the dancers are on stage, begging forgiveness for whatever shortcoming put them in the bottom three –- begging forgiveness in the form of dance.

More...

The LA Times blog also covered the premier of America's Best Dance Crew, S2.

### Natalie's Top 18 Results Show Music Recap

Here’s your music recap for the Top 18 Results show. Overall some different song choices and then there were those songs that SYTYCD can’t get enough of. Also, different montage songs for the week. I’m wondering if they’re going to change them for every contestant or if they’re going to test a few out and see which one fits best. We’ll find out.

Onto the music…

Shane Spark’s Top 18 routine

In true Shane form, this routine was what I like to call sick nasty. He choreographed to beats and accents that you wouldn’t have noticed without that routine. I’m not a huge fan of this song, but he paused it for a few seconds, added a bullet sound effect and paired it with crazy choreo and he has me hooked.

Song title: Elevator
Artist/Band: Flo Rida feat. Timbaland
Where you’ve heard the song before: It’s on the radio. It’s his other song. The one that’s not about apple bottom jeans and boots with the fur.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Chelsea Traille’s solo

The song had a really strong bass line. Chelsea chose to dance it a bit more fluid than I thought suited the song, except for the part in the beginning where she sort of contracted. That was the only part of her solo that really hit any kind of beat. Although the more I watch it, the more I almost like how the vocalist and her choreography offset the strong beat.

Song title: Time is Now
Artist/Band: Moloko
Where you’ve heard the song before: Wikipedia is telling me that the Jabbawockeez danced to a remix of this song for the finale. Oh and Roison Murphy is one of the vocalists. She sings Ramalama bang bang.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

More after the jump...
Thayne’s solo

Another song you’ve never heard on this show before. He danced it well. Didn’t use the song in any particular way. Gavin has a new album. I hope they find songs from there that they can use from now on.

Song title: Belief
Artist/Band: Gavin DeGraw
Where you’ve heard the song before: Travis Wall did his Top 10 solo to the stripped version of this song.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Susie’s solo

Song title: The Anthem
Artist/Band: Pitbull feat. Lil John
Where you’ve heard the song before: Go to Wikipedia and you can find some interesting facts about the song.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Marquis’s solo

This show is about more than just tricks. In fact, last season, the guy who was all about tricks, at first, finished 3rd overall. Because they gave him a chance to grow and become more than just jumps and turns. Having said that, his solo was amazing and more than what Nigel made it out to be. [\end rant]. Even if I was a little put off that he used a song that I could do without hearing for a very long time, I think that he was the most dynamic out of all of them. Dancing almost above the song.

Song title: Stop and Stare
Artist/Band: OneRepublic
Where you’ve heard the song before: You’ve never heard this song before. Ever. Especially on this show. I mean, they have a whole album. Pick a different song.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Comfort’s solo

I’m glad we finally got to see her do something that she choreographed. She used every part of her song. She even used the “So You Think You Can Dance” at the very end. And it wasn’t an afterthought. I feel like she actually planned it. I’m a fan.

Song title: Planet Rock
Artist/Band: Afrika Bambaataa
Where you’ve heard the song before: The song came out in ’82, which means it’s older than some of you. But you may recognize it from the video game NBA 2K7. Or not. More info over at Wikipedia.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Chris’s solo

I love John Legend. I love Chris for using him for his solo. I wasn’t in love with his choreography, but I think that he danced some parts well with the song.

Song title: Again
Artist/Band: John Legend
Where you’ve heard the song before: It’s on his album Once Again. You may have heard it there.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Flo Rida’s performance

Song title: In the Ayer
Artist/Band: Flo Rida
Where you’ve heard the song before: It’s fairly new, so like last week’s performance, I’m sure this will make the rounds on the radio very soon.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Girls Goodbye Montage

I’m a bit confused about the montage songs. Are they changing them every week? It looks like they might. Kate Voegele last week. Idina this week. I think they may be raiding my iPod, since all of these artists make the rotation while I’m bored at work. I have to say, as much as I love Idina, I liked last week’s song better.

Song title: Brave
Artist/Band: Idina Menzel
Where you’ve heard the song before: Unless you’re an Idina fan, you’ve probably never heard this song. But you may recognize her name from Wicked. If you haven’t heard of her or anything she’s done, check that soundtrack out.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Guy’s Goodbye Montage

Again, great song. Not sure how I feel about changing the song each week. I do get bored easily, so maybe changing this up will offset the fact that we will probably have to listen to Stop and Stare 23 times more this season.

Song title: Wonderful World
Artist/Band: James Morrison
Where you’ve heard the song before: I’m sure you’ve heard this song. It was released in 2006. Listen to his album, Undiscovered.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

That’s all for now. I’ll be back next week!

### Kherington & Twitch's Waltz (Video)

Kherington Payne & Stephen "Twitch" Boss - Viennese Waltz - Jean Marc Genereaux

Compare that to this from So You Think You Can Dance Australia's top 20 show:

Jemma Armstrong and Rhys Bobridge - Waltz - Jason Gilkison

### SYTYCD News Update

It's a week late, but LA Times published a video interview with Rayven and Jamie.

Nate Levy and BuddyTV recap last night's show.

More soon

## Thursday, June 19, 2008

### Chelsie H & Mark's Argentine Tango (Video)

Chelsie Hightower & Mark Kanemura - Argentine Tango - Alex DaSilva

### Courtney G & Gev's Contemporary (Video)

Courtney Galiano & Gev Manoukian - Contemporary - Mandy Moore

### Poll Results

We asked which couples will you/did you vote for? If our results are any indication, clearly safe tonight are:

Kherington & Twitch
Katee & Joshua
Chelsie H & Mark
Courtney G & Gev

Probably safe:
Kourtni L & Matt

At risk:
Jessica & Will
Chelsea T & Thayne
Comfort & Chris
Susie & Marquis

Full results after the jump...

Chelsea T & Thayne - Jazz

36 (7%)

Chelsie H & Mark - Argentine Tango

168 (35%)

Jessica & Will - HipHop

42 (8%)

Kourtni L & Mark - Foxtrot

62 (13%)

Courtney G & Gev - Contemporary

123 (26%)

205 (43%)

Susie & Marquis - Salsa

22 (4%)

Kherington & Twitch - Viennese Waltz

206 (43%)

Comfort & Chris - Krump

25 (5%)

Thanks for voting!

### Chelsea H. & Thayne's Jazz (Video)

Chelsea Traille & Thayne Jasperson - Jazz - Mandy Moore

Some are comparing that routine with Stephanie & Marko's Jive from the SYTYCD Australia top 20 show, choreographed by Jason Gilkison.

Thanks to a reader for the tip.

### So You Think You Can Dance Web Roundup

Alynda Wheat does a pretty good job sitting in for EW's Adam B. Vary:

Chelsie and Mark's Argentine tango, for instance, was superb. Beautiful lines, great partnering (in spite of a shoe emergency!), it was six different kinds of sexy. At least it was for Mark, who fully committed to the smolder. Chelsie, well...she's technically fantastic, but is she grossed out by Mark? Is that it? Because I could swear she said that the worst thing about him is that he's loud and ''ugly.'' Did she use that word? I'm hearing impaired (no, f'real), so I could be very, very wrong. But it sounded like it. And she does grimace when he gets close. Then again, she's 18 and he's 24, so maybe she's weirded out by the Hayden-and-Milo-ness of it all.

More...

Our buddy Dave Chung is quite taken with Chelsie Hightower and Mark Kanemura:
Impressive again this week was the duo of Mark and Chelsie H., who again, I will admit is my favorite contestant this season. Though Chelsie is a traditional Tango dancer, the Argentinian Tango was right up her alley this week, and less so for her partner Mark. However, Mark did not allow himself to get upstaged by Chelsie, despite everything that said he should have been.

Chelsie’s spotless footwork was matched step by step with strong partnering from Mark as the two pulled off one of the cleanest routines in recent memory during a very exciting, gimmick-free, Argentinian Tango that showed that a good routine does not have to be all about having a few big tricks.

While the moves are great, it’s really the chemistry between the dancers for the top couples that is adding that extra spark to separate them from the masses, even in a “big brother/little sister” relationship like Chelsie and Mark, the two are electric on the dance floor.

More...

The New York Post's PopWrap blog asks What's Wrong With SYTYCD?

### Shane Sparks Interview

BuddyTV talks to Shane Sparks about the second season of Randy Jackson Presents: America's Best Cleavage Dance Crew, which starts tonight on MTV at 10pm.

### Natalie's Top 18 Music

I’m going to try something a little different this week. A little more music recap and how it affected the dance. A little less where you’ve heard it before and what else you might like. Let me know if you like it. Hate it. Want me to stop talking all together.

Overall the show was, as everyone else has been saying, a little bit skewed in the judging. But I’m not here to talk about that, I’m here to talk about the music.

First up…

Chelsea & Thayne’s Jazz routine choreographed by Mandy Moore

For this one, I think the music may have overpowered them both. The bass was strong in the song and the choreography had the potential to hit certain beats but neither of them really used it to their advantage. The parts of the song with just the strings in it was great. I think that they used those portions well. But once the beat picked up again, neither of them danced it strong enough. For me.

Song title: Untouched
Artist/Band: The Veronicas
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Chelsie & Mark’s Argentine Tango choreographed by Alex Da Silva

I loved this one. The music was wonderful and I was especially a fan of the part right before the music changed and got a stronger back beat. Wonderful choreography and great execution. I will say that I could have done with the random phrases in the background. Distracting much? Other than that, loved the song paired with the dance.

Song title: Mi Confesion
Artist/Band: Gotan Project
Where you can listen to the whole song:

MORE AFTER THE JUMP...
Jessica & Will’s Hip Hop routine choreographed by Cecily and Olisa

Just when you thought you could get away from the Pussycat Dolls. No dice. Will’s movement “fit” better with the song and choreography. She was very “up” and the song required her to be a little bit more grounded. At least that’s how I felt. Not too much to say about this one.

Song title: Whatever U Like
Artist/Band: Nicole Scherzinger
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Kourtni and Matt’s Foxtrot choreographed by Jean-Marc Genereux

I really liked this song for the Foxtrot. I think it started out well and then went downhill from there. I really liked how Jean-Marc used some lyrics literally. Like when Kourtni fell and Matt caught her during the word “down”. It’s the little things with me. Once the choreography started getting a bit more intricate, Kourtni and Matt “lost” the song a bit. It gave them the right mood though. Old Hollywood elegance, as Mia said.

Song title: A Foggy Day (in London Town)
Artist/Band: Michael Buble
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Courtney and Gev's Contemporary routine choreographed by Mandy Moore

Mandy Moore is a genius, first off. She also took the lyrics and used them literally. In the beginning from Courtney sitting on Gev’s knees and melting into the ground and then ending up in front of each other to match the words. Loved it. I also liked how Mandy used the music when Gev outlined her face with his hands and Courtney pulsed forward. Even though I wasn’t a fan overall, I liked some of the little nuances paired with the song.

Song title: Lost
Artist/Band: Anouk
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Katee and Joshua’s Broadway routine choreographed by Tyce Diorio

I actually think these two outperformed the song. Their energy was way above the song which is uncommon for Broadway on this show. The music normally tells the story for this type of dance. Not much else to say. I loved all of it.

Song title: All for the Best
Artist/Band: Godspell (2001 Revival Broadway Cast)
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Susie and Marquis’s Salsa choreographed by Alex Da Silva

Total opposite of the last routine. The song schooled these two. I feel like they were fighting the whole time to keep up with the horns and strong beat. I just wasn’t a fan of how they danced with the music. Which is strange because Susie danced to this song for her audition.

Song title: Aguanile
Artist/Band: Willie Colon & Hector Lavoe
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Kherington and Twitch’s Viennese Waltz choreographed by Jean-Marc

You want emotion? Dance to a Celine Dion song. The song and the backstory and the choreography worked seamlessly together.

Song title: A New Day Has Come
Artist/Band: Celine Dion
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Comfort and Chris’s Krump routine choreographed by Lil C

Lil C’s choreography is always “hard hitting” as the judges like to point out. I was not crazy about it. The way they danced with the song was off for some reason. I’m not sure what else to say.

Song title: Come and Get Me
Artist/Band: Timbaland feat. 50 Cent and Tony Yayo
Where you can listen to the whole song:

### Top 18 Performance Show - Sue Brody's Recap

So You Think You Can Dance opens up with Cat wearing a sleek velvet dress with a boxy bottom that sort of reminds me of a Marlboro Cigarette Girl. The Dancers are introduced, and I am reminded of how much I love Gev's hip hop. Twitch gets the largest roar from the girls in the audition. We meet the judges: Mia (yay!), Mary, and Nigel. Mia has on a purple v-neck something (mou mou?) with her bleached blond hair that gets more bleached every season. Mary has on a loud leopard dress and a chunky necklace. Nigel has on a fairly conservative suit that belies how he will act later in the show. Mia thinks the season is going to be banoodles, which apparently means insane in Mia speak (but remember, insane is always good on SYTYCD). She says that the dancers have so many dimensions of talents, but there will be a few she won't be sad to see leave, and I'm thinking Jessica and Chris.

This week, the contestants are going to say what they like and dislike about one another. They did this last year; it's somewhat amusing. We start with Thayne and Chelsea.

MORE AFTER THE JUMP...

Thayne likes how positive Chelsea is, and she says that he's always smiling. Thayne notes that Chelsea always falls asleep on her bed before rehearsal (Dominic used to do that to Sabra, and Chelsea shows how superstitious Thayne is, which is silly. They get jazz with Mandy Moore, preceded by lots of hugs. Mandy explains that this is a dance that is driven by character--it's about a kind and his forbidden love--and Chelsea notes how she can do sassy, while Thayne says he showed ballroom face and now he's showing King face. Unfortunately, the dancing is not all that. The dancers just sort of move around, not in synchronicity, and I don't get it. Mia said that you really don't want to start with me, and I believe her. She says that it was a great concept (I don't agree) and that it wasn't executed at all (whatever the dance was supposed to be about wasn't executed, that's true). Mia felt that Thayne wasn't powerful enough or regal. She says that I think you've been kicked off Mary's train.

Mary says, I hate to put a damper on the first number of the night, but (suspenseful pause) I'm going to have to (unlike last week). It wasn't passionate enough, couldn't see the forbidden love, Chelsea looked uncomfortable in her high heels and Thayne was directing energy away from her. She says, I'm not taking you off the train completely but I'm putting you in the caboose (that's pretty amusing). Nigel says he didn't believe it, and then rants about their costumes (that were pretty horrible, unlike the ones that Danny and Neil wore in the The Two Princes dance last year). He noted that frills, the bows,the ruffles that made Chelsea look clownish, and so on, and I think we have our first couple in the bottom three. He says that it wasn't their fault, but that all in all they jumped the tracks. I have to disagree with his assessment of Mandy's choreography, however; this was not even close to the beauty of The Boardroom, which they briefly showed, and they have to stop referencing that dance, b/c it isn't earning Mandy any points this season.

Chelsie and Mark are up next. Mark says that he likes the scent of Chelsie's hair and Chelsie likes Mark's quirkiness (so do I), and then it just goes into their immaturity. They get the Argentine Tango with Alex DaSilva. Chelsie wears as sleek, sparkling red dress dress (most of the costumes are nice tonight, with a couple notable exceptions) and Mark looks hot in his leather suit. They do a really nice job with great leg work. When the dance ends, Chelsie's shoe buckle comes un-done, and Cat gets down on her hands and knees to help, which Mia uses as an opportunity to tell us how amazing it is for a woman to get down and dirty (hm). Mia then says, I am so in love with you two, you are the most perfect and odd couple ever. You represent beauty and quirkiness, the two elements I like most, and it was fantastical (I agree). Mary says, You know what I liked about that? (pause) Everything! (That's a big thing, coming from ballroom dancer Mary.) Chelsie, your sensual leg action was phenomenal, Mark your floor lounges were amazing and you looked like a movie star up there (I loved his slicked back hair), and that he took on the whole categorization, presence, and was right on point. Nigel was not as generous. He didn't feel as if he got enough sensual tension,and in fact felt that Chelsea wasn't sleazy enough (SAY WHAT, NIGEL?), but Mark was terrific. I put them in the top three and Nigel in the bottom three.

Jessica and Will are on deck. They talk about each other's personality and determination and self-confidence and you can tell that they really do care for each other. They explain how hard it was to be in the bottom three and then they are paired with Olisa Thompson and Cicily Bradley (hip hop choreographers who were jugdges on season two). I don't think this is going to suit Jessica well, and the judges agree. They wear cute red and white jeans with black hats and use chairs, but they don't seem to be hard hitting enough for me (love that expression, but it works for hip hop/popping). Mia praises Olisa and Cicily's choreography, "bringing New York in here," and I sense that we are going to get choreo praise for every dance all season long, and that's not always justified. She thinks Will's dancing was smoother, more natural, sleek, but that Jessica danced more like a cheerleader (I kind of thought so, too, though she was very committed). Mia says that the choreography was ridiculous (of course), and that Jessica did the steps but wasn't even on the stage for me (OUCH). She loved Will's technique but that she just has to step it up a lot (didn't that show end?), and called Will a genius. This reminded me of when Lauren and Neil did hip hop last year and Neil broke out but Lauren didn't. Mary also agrees that Will is a force to be reckoned with (take a drink, peeps!). Nigel, however, also thinks that Jessica did a good job and I take Nigel out of the bottom three for the moment. Nigel repeats that he believes Will is going to the final four: are you listening, America?

Next up are Matt and Kourtni. Matt likes Kourtni's eyes and says she is a terrible singer. Kourtni likes that he is always complimenting her (that's a good thing about HIM?) but that he doesn't' appreciate good singing. He notes that he is shocked that he got to stay last week but I was stoked. They get the Foxtrot with Jean-Marc Generaux ,and JM says it will be a bumpy ride and to "buckle up." Kourtni looks great in a green sexy dress, and Matt is spiffy in his white shirt and black vest. Mark is really sleek and they make great use of the stage. Mia says that this reminded her of great old Hollywood elegance and that she thinks Matt is fantastic (I agree). He really stepped it up this week and used pizazz and was refined. She wasn't as thrilled about Kourtni, noting that her strength was when her leg was up in the air, and that she hasn't owned her size and length yet (remember, they are the 12 foot tall couple). Mary loved the choreography (shock!) but thought it was a mixed bag, strong at the beginning, but then fading, and that the footwork was not close at all, and she was slightly disappointed. Happily, Nigel was not disappointed, noting that Matt was strong, showing this through his lifts, but thought his arms were a bit "twee" (really, Nigel? Twee?) but that overall he thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope it's strong enough to keep them out of the bottom three.

After the break we turn to Courtney and Gev. Courtney says Gev is really strong and hardworking and Gev thinks Courtney is really pretty but that she has a boyfriend and that sucks (sorry, Gev, but I bet you get to hook up after the show ends). Courtney notes that they are the shortest couple so that when she puts on heels they are the same size (I hasn't noticed or cared). They get contemporary with Mandy, and she is excited to work with Gev since he is a bit of an underdog (true). He is nervous because he is not used to partnering (and we know it didn't go well for them last week). Mandy notes that it is a love story, not too deep, and I wonder why she admits this and even bothered with a fluffy piece in the first place or tells us this. This seems like contemporary-lite to me; Mia could have done so much more with it. There's some falls and lifts, but nothing much happens and I just don't feel like there's any kind of story or...anything. Mia says she loves Mandy's choreography (oh, come on, Mia) but that she expects Courtney to be more organic and that she was like the "man in the piece and led Gev. He was, however, so proud of Gev, who partnered her at all times and she believed him. Mary love it, screaming, noting that she loves Courtney's ronde over Mark and that the breaker boy's gonna break some heart out there (I believe it). Nigel feels they are a well-balanced couple but he didn't believe the emotion. This time, Nigel and I are on the same page. I did like the cool foot movement near the end, though.

At this point I am DESPERATE for a great routine. Fortunately, Katee (biggest surprise of the season for me) and Joshua are up next. Katee thinks Joshua is a caring partner but that he is always nitpicking her (but it's in fun, b/c it's about things like stupid dancing). Joshua loves Katee's smile, and I do think that is one of her strongest attributes. They get jazz with Tyce DiOrio, and we all love Tyce. :) They have to move around the stage as quickly as possible, and this reminds me of Pasha and Sabra's Broadway routine last season (Tyce should teach aerobics). They "mix the bowl, play the trombone, raise the roof," etc. during the dance, and it is really funny. They have on cool costumes (I Love his cap) and the extensions are just wild. Nigel loses it for the first (but not last) time, but doing a 30's style dance, shouts out now That's Entertainment! and it was like Joel Grey in Cabaret, and that's what they have waited for tonight (he loves the uptempo, fun numbers, and I usually do, too). He is especially impressed that Joshua is a popper doing Broadway and that he used Tyce's waves and converted them into popping. He also praised Katee's beautiful spirit. My guess: she's gone soon after the partnership (top 10, like Kameron, or 8, like Dominic), but we'll see. Many and Mia give them a standing ovation, and Mary says that they ought to come with a warranty: satisfaction guaranteed (hey, at least she's using new ones this year, and the sprinkler system has been retired for now). Mary says that Katee is just hitting it and that Joshua went into tra tra la la place in her heart (I'm sorry, but that's just bizarre). Mia said I thought it...sucked...kidding (whew, goes the audience), and then thinks Katee was good and fun but Joshua was fantastic. (Side note: As much as I appreciated Katee, I just think someone like Sabra could have kept up so much better with Joshua.) Oh, well. Mia notes that Joshua and Will are the ones to beat, and I agree. Nigel says that Will is a force to be reckoned with, and we all have to take a drink. I also wonder who forgot to give Nigel his Ritalin dosage tonight.

We continue with Susie and Marquis, and I have to admit that Susie is beginning to grow on me and I hope she does well this week (I do like to root for the underdog, and she is certainly one). Marquis notes that Susie has fierce hair that always ends up in his face, and this is the same thing that Kameron said about Lacey last year. Susie is excited to get Salsa for a moment, and Alex DiSilva is excited to get Susie and Marquis, since the Salsa is a Mexican/Cuban dance, and they are Mexican and Cuban. However, Alex cruelly notes that Susie "is not really a salsa dancer, she does street salsa," and this makes her cry. (He later comforts her, noting how difficult his choreography is, but the damage is done.) Susie wears a sexy black shimmery dress and Marquis has on a shiny red and black top, and I like when they dance apart but their partnering seems somewhat weak to me. Mia says that she loves the choreography (get the hell out, Mia!) but is not crazy about their performance. She said that Marquis over-exaggerated his movements and that Susie is hot but she expected more. Mary said that it isn't quite working for me, either. She wanted more fire and raw energy from Susie and that "I saw more chemistry in my high school 101 class than here (please, Mary, was that necessary?). Nigel didn't think that Marquis was a good partner, and then broke down everything he didn't like about the dance; no fire in the eyes, no hip action, no figure of 8, not down in the bottom, no retraction from the kicks. At least he was constructive. I think they will be the second couple in the bottom three.

We've got two more couples to go. Kherington and Twitch are performing a serious dance this week, so they are no longer Twitchington for the moment (how we pine for the old days of yore!). Twitch likes Kherington's spirit, b/c she helps him from freaking out. Blah, blah, and we get to the important part of the package: the reason behind Jean-Marc Generaux's Viennese Waltz. He explains that his daughter is severely handicapped--she has Rett Syndrome, I think (no motor skills)--and that she only gets animated when she sees movement. He tears up, his wife tears up, and we know this one, like Mary's flower dance for her late father last season, means a lot to him. The audience is already pre-disposed toward loving the dance, or at least the choreographer. Both dancers wore flowing white costumes and looked lovely, but it didn't really move me, and it certainly didn't seem like a Viennese waltz to me (not that I'm an expert). Mia said she understood how personal it was, applauded Jean-Marc and the essence of the dance, but then tried to get into the specifics of what didn't work for her (she started with Kherington's facial expressions, which struck her as glossy). Nigel rudely (I thought) interrupted her, saying that he felt elated just looking at her. Mia said, I feel reality is a bit more than smiling all of the time, and Cat steps in to ask what Kherington and Twitch were told about the piece from J-M. Kherington starts crying, Twitch says it is really about the movement itself, Mia tries again, and then decides to stop talking, after praising Twitch's impeccable lines. Nigel says that if Kherington is not one of the most beautiful dancers we've ever had on the program, I'm going blind, and I want to remind him of how young Kherington is. Mary says that Twitch is insane (remember, that is in a good way), Nigel tries to explain what a Viennese Waltz is and says that this was a French-Canadian Viennese Waltz with other choreography dreamt in, and that the the two breathed and felt the music together, and it was everything he could hope for. It was not for me, I'm sorry to say, but I know they will be in the top three.

A side note: I have some issue with choreographers presenting such personal works to the audience. I don't mean that it smacks of egotism, but rather that you are no longer critiquing the dancers or the dancer but the choreographer. I mean, look how Nigel lambasted Mia for her attempt to critique the dancers? And the same would have occurred had Nigel or Mary attempted to do that to Mia for her petal dance (Neil got a tiny bit of criticism, but not much). It don't think it's fair to the other contestants.

Our final couple of the evening is Comfort and Chris doing Krump by Lil C and I KNOW we're going to have a problem, as Chris is the whitest dude on there. Comfort says the best thing about Chris is how humble he is but that he sweats a lot (so did Kameron!). Chris says the best thing about Comfort is how versatile and solid she is, but she talks too fast (I can see that). Lil C comes in and she just KNOW that Chris won't be able to keep u, and he can't. They dance to Timbaland--I love Timbaland (The One I Are was Neil and Lauren's hip hop dance last year, and that was in my top five of the year)--and Comfort hits her steps and looks fierce, but Chris is too tall and his floppy pants just make him look silly. But at least he tries, and you'd think the judges would give him a break, but...surprisingly, Mia does. She says that she is a huge fan of Lil C's (shocking), that he brings the real, and that she is a huge Comfort fan and if she keeps going like this, she could here for a while. She adds that Chris worked really hard and he pulled it off, and I am cautiously optimistic. Then Mary starts out, as she always does, by noting that she is the Krump specialist, ha ha (no, you're not, so be quiet), but that Comfort could have hit it a little bit harder and that Chris was respectable but Comfort blew him away (duh, she's a b-girl).

And then...we get to Nigel. He notes that Krump is like an alpha-male dance (as if he would know), that for him it is a way to get rid of aggression, and then says to Chris, "My granny is more gangsta than you." He demonstrates by getting up and grabbing his crotch, then holding his pants and saying, Mama, I wanna pee pee," and *I* want to call FOX and complain. I am appalled, Chris is mortified, and Cat and Comfort are clearly uncomfortable. Lil C, who looks sweet in his red and black hoodie, seems embarrassed, and I just cannot believe that they continue to use Lil C, who cannot choreograph for the contestants (even Sara was criticized for not hitting it hard enough last year; are you kidding me?!). Nigel continues to explain why he didn't like the dance, and I can't wait for Cat to call out the numbers. Chris pleads with the audience to remember Mia's kinder remarks, Cat does call him a fly white boy (what can she do?), and then the numbers are given, we get the final clips with the numbers, and the show ends. Final thought: Nigel needs to be restrained.

Predicted bottom three:

Chelsea and Thayne
Susie and Marquis
Comfort and Chris

### SYTYCD News Roundup UPDATED

Episode 2 of iVan, Ivan Koumaev's season 4 video blog, is up at movmnt magazine.

I apologize for a mistake in the sidebar poll. It should read Kourtni L & Matt - Foxtrot. Polls can't be changed once the voting has started, so it can't be corrected.

Jason Hughes at TVSquad on Mia Michaels as a judge:

I think I prefer Michaels choreographing than judging. She focuses almost too much on her own interpretations of the emotions in the pieces rather than what the dancers had to bring. I think she's insane and brilliant in choreography, but maybe a bit too "out there" for really constructive criticism.

More...

LA Times Entertainment blog goes backstage:
Dan Karaty warned me that things would be different this week. We spoke backstage after last Thursday’s elimination, and Dan expressed concern that he’d been too soft on the top 20 performers. From here on out, he warned, the judges were going to give it to them straight.

More...

This is my opinion, but I disagree. They're not giving it to us straight. They clearly have in mind who they want left at the end, and who they want off as soon as possible. I think it's unconscionable to go find all these talented, hardworking people, bring them to LA, and then not give them a level playing field. While we're at it, they might as well bring Debbie Allen back. What, she could hype Will Wingfield any harder than Nigel, Mary, and Mia did last night? Not with her clothes on, she couldn't (I don't know what that means either, but you get the point).

ChileKat at TVFan doesn't like the emotional manipulation:
Last year, we had the Dead Daddy Dance. This year we get Dances with Disabled Daughters. (Please save your outrage. I already know I'm going to hell. Luckily, I like the heat) Stop the madness, Show. Stop with the sob stories that make critique of the actual dancing almost irrelevant.

More...

## Wednesday, June 18, 2008

### Early Recaps

Matthew Murphy live-blogged at Ranting Details.

Nate Levy recaps at Levy on TeeVee.

### So You Think You Can Dance Top 18 Track List And Voting Numbers

Chelsea T & Thayne - Jazz - Mandy Moore

Untouched - The Veronicas

888-836-7601

Chelsie H & Mark - Argentine Tango - Alex DaSilva

Mi Confesion - Gotan Project

888-836-7602

Jessica & Will - HipHop - Cicely & Olisa

Whatever U Like - Nicole Scherzinger

888-836-7603

Kourtni L & Matt - Foxtrot - Jean Marc Genereaux

A Foggy Day (In London Town) - Michael Buble

888-836-7604

Courtney G & Gev - Contemporary - Mandy Moore

Lost - Anouk

888-836-7605

Katee & Joshua - Broadway - Tyce Diorio

All For The Best - Godspell (2001 Revival Broadway Cast)

888-836-7606

Susie & Marquis - Salsa - Alex DaSilva

Aquanile - Willie Colon & Hector Lavoe

888-836-7607

Kherington & Twitch - Viennese Waltz - Jean Marc Genereaux

A New Day Has Come - Celine Dion

888-836-7608

Comfort & Chris - Krump - Lil C

Come and Get Me - Timbaland feat 50 Cent & Tony Yayo

888-836-7609

### SYTYCD News Update

Stephen "Twitch" Boss and Katee Shean both teach dance at South Coast Classical Ballet in Orange County. Twitch teaches hiphop and Katee teaches jazz.

Cat Deeley recently appeared on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet

### TV Dance News

Why So You Think You Can Dance is Better Than American Idol: 10 Reasons.

NY Daily News compares Idol judges to SYTYCD judges.

GHP at Territorial Bloggings:

SYTYCD brings out a rather primal/visceral reaction from me, in terms of what I like in/from the dancers. I find that the less I intellectualize it & the more I just feel & enjoy it, the better it is. It’s almost the exact opposite of how I approach Idol, in terms of analysis and breaking it down. Combined with the overall superiority of the show (especially with the judges, who happen to be choreographers that have actual, you know, current credibility & chops in the profession, so they actually speak truth rather than risk spouting crap like the Idol judges do so regularly…)

A quick word here about the choreographers. I’m not sure I’d want to ever really see Mia Michaels do her work & practice her craft (after all, who really wants to see sausage get made?). But, my goodness does that woman get beautiful results! The routine that she created for Mark & Chelsie H. was amazing, as her routines usually are. I don’t pretend to understand the creative, artistic mind, but I do know enough to appreciate good art when I see it — and more often then not, Mia Michaels choreographed routines are good art.

More...

The Miami Herald talks to controversial finalist Susie Garcia:
Why did you go to Milwaukee to audition?

They didn't have any auditions in Miami and for me it was a last-minute decision. I decided I am not gonna be scared, it was the last audition of the show, so I bought a ticket and went.''

After your initial audition, when you were sent to choreography, was that like being on the Heat Dance team again?

I wouldn't say it was easier for me because they wanted to see my connection with a partner, and you don't have that with the Heat dancers. I wanted them to see I could do more than just Latin dancing.''

More...

This article illustrates how many of this season's dancers have yet to establish a brand with the viewers:
I would also like to see Kourtni Lind do a contemporary routine choreographed by the great Mia Michaels. Unfortunately, I kinda forgot who Kourtni Lind’s partner is…yikes!

It's Matt Dorame, by the way, but I had to double check. Twitch was wise to get the Twitchington meme out to viewers.

## Tuesday, June 17, 2008

### Cyd Charisse 1922-2008

Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly in Singin' In The Rain.

The AP has more on the life and career of Cyd Charisse

Beckylooo did a great post on Cyd almost exactly a year ago.

### SYTYCD Around The Web

BuddyTV's Gina Scarpa power-ranks the 9 guys.

Plenty of familiar names on the roster of The Pulse On Tour this summer.

Smug Doug analyzes "the issue of "personality vs. technique" and how it can be manipulated by the judges."

Thayne Jasperson's friend Erin speaks quite highly of him.

So You Think You Can Dance brings together both friends and family.

Before SYTYCD, who would have thought that choreographers would become objects of adulation. I think that's pretty cool.

## Monday, June 16, 2008

### Top 18 Dance Spoiler Open Thread UPDATED

Me Talkin' To You has this weeks dance spoilers. Keep in mind though that there was at least one error on last week's spoilers.

ALERT! The comment thread contains subjective opinions from someone who attended the show. If you'd prefer only the basics, go to the link above.

### JabbaWockeeZ At MMVAs (Video)

For best viewing, click through and then click on "watch in high quality".

### News Roundup

We get our first LOLCatDeely of season 4 when Leee recaps last week at T!YBE. He does a more traditional recap at C17.

We're still seeing a surprising amount of search traffic for auditioner Evan Kasprzak. Let's hope we see him next season.

JabbaWockeeZ talk about preparing for their appearance on Canada's Much Music Video Awards.

Australia's favorite dancers, Jack Chambers and Rhys Bobridge, performed with the elite at a recent event in Melbourne.

## Sunday, June 15, 2008

### America's Best Dance Crew On MTV Today

In preparation of the season 2 premiere Thursday night, MTV is replaying season 1 today. If you don't know JabbaWockeeZ, Status Quo, Kaba Modern, and the rest, this is a must see.