Saturday, July 26, 2008

Will Wingfield Montage (Video)

This week we said goodbye to one of the best dancers SYTYCD has seen to date. Someone put together a wonderful montage video to commemorate Will's time on the show. It's nice to see some of his moments with Twitch and Joshua, who Will seems to have gotten very close with throughout the season.

Uploaded by EsBF707

Friday, July 25, 2008

Katee & Joshua Montage (Video)

Created by cate2297.

So You Think You Can Dance News Update

The LA Times Show Tracker was backstage at Thursday night's elimination show.

Nigel has a feminist blog mad at him for something he said this week. Yes, just this week.

Adam Shankman has signed with Disney to produce a male cheerleader comedy, Matadors.


BuddyTV ups their weekly interviews with the recently offed, Comfort Fedoke here, and Will Wingfield here.

Natalie's Top 8 Results Show Music Recap

FOX/Kelsey McNeal

I'm formatting things a bit differently in an effort to get this post up before the weekend starts. So last night was surprising for most. I wasn't surprised. Not at this point in the game. Anything goes. Some people even go twice.

Chuck Maldonado’s Top 8 Routine

It’s nice to see a new choreographer. Different points of view are always appreciated. Their make-up reminded me of Mia’s The Moment I Said It routine from last year. I think that this choreography stood up a bit better to the SYTYCD stage than some routines have in the past. The choppy camera cuts are back in full force.

Universal Mind Control (UMC) – Common

More after the jump...

Pas de Deux performed by Eddy Tovar and Aubrey Morgan

When I heard Pas de Deux last week, this is what I thought they meant. Obviously I was wrong. As far as Pas de Deux’s go, I wasn’t crazy about this one. Although, I am impressed with SYTYCD’s openness this year to different dance styles. Exposing us to all dance. Much like Ted does.

The Man I Love – From the ballet Who Cares?

Comfort’s Solo

You can’t hate Comfort for her positive attitude. It’s endearing. And she danced hard tonight.

Like This – Mims

Will’s Solo

His movement is different every single time. Did you ever notice that certain dancers have certain moves that they do each time they dance on that stage? Will changes it up every time. The little Bollywood-infusion was wonderful. I may not have loved Will, but he brought a diversity to the show that will probably go unmatched.

Closer – Goapele

Courtney’s Solo

She went back to her manic movement tonight. The song was intense, so I can see why that happened. But uh, she needs to tone it down a bit.

Passion – Kreesha Turner

Twitch’s Solo

Twitch’s routine was interesting. Nothing really stuck out in my mind. I just like how he moves.

Hollywood Swinging – Kool & the Gang

LL Cool J’s performance

Um, I was less than inspired by this. But looking at LL for 4 or 5 minutes is never a hardship.

LL Cool J feat. The Dream

Comfort’s Montage Song (again)

I wish Fox would find some different artists. As much as I love OneRepublic and appreciate the exposure for them, there are tons of wonderful artists out there that could use the leg up.

Come Home – OneRepublic

Will’s Montage Song

I expected Twitch's name to come out of Cat's mouth, but I wasn't surprised when it was Will's. The audience is smarter than the judges give it credit for. Pimping a contestant will get you no where. People forget to vote for them or they prefer the underdog.

Love Remains the Same – Gavin Rossdale

Top 8 Results Show Music Recap
SYTYCD Top 8 Results Show Music

Top 8 Results Show Recap

This week's SYTYCD results show produced the most surprising outcome of the season, as I'll get to shortly.

The opening number was hip hop, danced to Universal Mind Control by Common. It was choreographed by Chuck Maldonado, who assisted with Nigel's hip hop routine a couple of weeks ago. It was hard hitting, as Mary would say, but I just didn't find it memorable, though the dancers were fully synchronized and the costumes were colorful. Cat then entered the stage, wearing a pretty white dress, and introduced the judges: Toni Basil, Mary, and Nigel, in a leather jacket and white t-shirt. I think he may be undergoing a mid-life crisis. Toni noted that she came from a theatrical background and had to look for people to help her, like Don Campbell and the Electric Boogaloos. and it was easier to find dancers in these styles today. She said that dancing was her addiction and the one of choice, and the other judges agreed. Then Nigel told us that American Idol had received 97.5 million votes for the Idol finale and over 40 million votes thus far for SYTYCD, and was thus asked to promote, an organization committed to signing up potential voters. I was pleased to hear this call to voting during an election year with a captive audience. I think Nigel wore a VOTE t-shirt underneath his leather jacket, and if so, it would have been appropriate to have shown it at this point.

After this, we began with the eliminations.

Continued after the jump...
The show changed its format this week, borrowing the one from American Idol, where the dancers are shown backstage, in front of a monitor, and called out one by one to learn their fate. This causes more suspense, but is also painful as the results became apparent. First up was Katee, whose highlights were all complimentary, except for Toni noting that she had not danced as hard as she would have liked during her Broadway routine. Cat noted that that Nigel enjoyed every one of her routines. but had America? Not surprisingly, they did, and Katee was safe and ran off stage. Next up was Will. The highlights from the evening were good but not as strong as in the past. Nigel mentioned that his technique was not perfect in the Samba, and the judges praised his and Courtney's hop hop routine but not the dancers themselves. Still, the audience expected that Will would be safe. Cat said that it had been a fantastic evening for him but how did he do in the voting? To everyone's shock, Cat said that he was one of the boys in the bottom two but that she looked forward to seeing his solo.

Comfort's routines were shown, and we heard Mary say after her hip hop routine that Comfort was a great dancer (I don't remember Mary making such a remark in the past). Her foxtrot with Mark was panned widely, however, and Cat said that she and Mark had lost chemistry during the latter dance but did she find enough votes to make it to next week's show? She said she possibly might not and was in the bottom two. Next up was Mark, who was complimented for nailing his hip hip but not his foxtrot, although Toni praised his jazz quality and remarked that ballroom dancers made it look easy but that it wasn't. Cat asked if America had made any allowances for how difficult the foxtrot was, and in fact they did, and he was safe. Mark was shocked, hugged Cat, said, Oh, my God, as he stumbled off stage, continuing his stunned reaction by saying, What? What? This is the first time I remember a contestant being this surprised by his safe status. Perhaps he felt that Comfort's results would be the same as his own.

After the break, we saw the remaining dancers with their arms around one another. Chelsie was brought onto the stage and her highlights included praise from all three judges. She noted during the package that, dressed in bright pink for her disco routine, she looked like she had just gotten out of a Candyland box, which I found amusing. Cat said you had the lines but did you have the votes? Yep, and she ran offstage, as we panned to a very sad Courtney standing backstage. (I wish they had both been brought out together.) Twitch was up next and the highlights included Mary saying that his Broadway routine was terrific. Cat said that Mary clearly loved it but did America? I'm afraid not, and you're one of our bottom two boys. Twitch bent over and cried (I was really moved by his honest reaction) and Cat knelt down next to him and tried to console him. When he finally got up and faced the audience, they cheered wildly, and Cat said that she was sure everyone in the audience would like to see his solo. Joshua came out next and after receiving his package of compliments, Cat said, You know you're safe, you're absolutely safe, and we've got our bottom two boys. She stated the obvious--his means there is only one girl left backstage--and asked Courtney to come join her. They showed her highlights which were very complimentary, and Cat concluded by saying she couldn't wait to see her solo. (Has she ever said otherwise? Why would she?) I felt very badly for Courtney because of the way she was informed of her status and hoped it wouldn't be like this for the Top 6 results.

After the dancers went backstage to get ready, two dancers from the LA Ballet came out to dance a Pas de Deux to The Man I Love from the ballet Who Cares? I have to say I was somewhat disappointed. Although the dancing was lovely, the piece mostly highlighted the woman, who was stunning, but I felt the dance itself was unbalanced and I would have liked to have seen more of the man's dancing. A friend of mine, who is well versed in ballet, concurred. After the commercial break, there was more happy dancing and I wanted to strangle the Snuggle Bear, who, granted, was not to fault in the matter.

We finally got to see the solos. Comfort danced to Like This by Mims, and though she brought energy to her dancing, it seemed the same as it did every week. I agree with Nigel: her freestyle is never as good as her choreographed hip hop. Will was next, dancing to Closer by Goapele. I expected it to be brilliant, but it was not, IMO. After all of the energy and excitement he showed us the evening before with his James Brown routine, this dance flowed but seemed very subdued. Maybe Will hadn't expected to be in the bottom two; I don't know, but I enjoyed this less than I had any other of his solos throughout the season. Cat came to Nigel and stated that he had said a few weeks ago that Will was one of the best dancers we've got technically but he just needed to show more personality and he had during his James Brown solo the night before, so what went wrong? Nigel then proceeded to state that he didn't know, he thought Twitch and Will were the best dancers of the night, and that sometimes America thought the dancers were so good that they thought they were bound to get through and voted for other dancers. This irritated me because 1) that might be true, and certainly was, on American Idol (Michael Johns and Daughtry stand out), but wasn't fair to Joshua and Mark, and 2) Nigel made a special point of praising Will but Cat didn't come to Nigel or Mary after the other dancers performed, which I assume was Nigel's decision. Whether or not Will was the strongest male dancer, and he might have been, this highlighted Nigel's favoritism, which had been evident throughout the series.

Courtney danced to Pass On by Kreesha Turner, and I thought this was terrific, demonstrating both her personality and technique. I've always liked her solos best of all the girls. The final solo was by Twitch, danced to Hollywood Swingers by Kool and the Gang, and it was very funky, with lots of movement and musicality. I definitely thought that Courtney and Twitch's solos were the strongest of the night, no matter what the results turned out to be. The musical guest was LL Cool J, whom Cat described as a living legend in the world of rap, treating us to his debut TV performance of his new single Baby featuring The Dream (okay, we GET IT, Cat), and then we were treated to five minutes of lip syncing which always annoys me. Cat concluded by plugging his album, dropping in September, and I thought, let's just move onto the results already and stop the plugging.

Comfort was the first eliminated, and she did a funky dance before her package was shown to Come Home by One Republic (thank you, Natalie, and no thanks to SYTYCD, who never sees fit to provide us with this information). Comfort said that she'd had the best time ever, and was blessed to be here. After Cat said to put our hands together for our comeback kid, and she bounced to the side of the stage, the guys were brought center stage, and they gave each other big hugs, which I found touching. There was a great deal of suspense, and when Cat said that the guy leaving us tonight was Will, Twitch said, Oh, God, and they hugged each other again very hard, before Twitch left the stage, bowing before Will in a touching gesture. Will's highlight package was shown to Love Remains the Same by Gavin Rossdale, and Will gave his farewell speech, which I found very moving and heartfelt. He said, "All the dancers out there are working their butts off, you see it's possible, there is work, there is no depth to the ocean, keep swimming, you can make it happen, I love you all, thank you for the opportunity, show them what you all got." The judges gave him a standing ovation, followed by the audience, and fortunately there was time for all of the dancers to come on stage and hug Comfort and Will as the credits rolled.

So there you have it. I predict next week's couples will be Katee and Mark, Chelsie and Twitch, and Courtney and Joshua, IF the pairing is not random. I think the producers want each contestant to have the opportunity to dance with a new partner, and I would like to see this, but it might not be the case. And remember to vote for your favorite dancer! See you next week.

LA Ballet On So You Think You Can Dance

Eddy Tovar & Aubrey Morgan of the LA Ballet

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Natalie's Top 8 Performance Show Music Recap

Fox/Kelsey McNeal

Sorry that I’m so late posting this. There are no excuses. Boo on me.

Courtney and Will’s Samba choreographed by Jean Marc & France

I think that she kept up well with him in the routine. I couldn’t help but love this song. Maybe I missed some of their mistakes because I liked to song so much.

Song title: I Fell In Love With The DJ
Artist/Band: Che’ Nelle
Where you’ve heard the song before: It’s been popular all over the world. It hit #98 on the Billboards in the US, but that’s about it.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

More after the jump...

Comfort’s Solo

Comfort should ask NapTab to choreograph her solo.

Song title: I Got This Down
Artist/Band: Simian Mobile Disco
Where you’ve heard the song before: I can’t find much on this song. But Simian Mobile Disco has a song on FIFA ’08, I Believe.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Katee and Twitch’s Contemporary routine choreographed by Mia Michaels

All I could think of when I heard this song was McSteamy and Callie. And then I thought about Mia and her recent break up. Then there was the tonsil hockey. I blushed a little. It was hard to concentrate on the actual dancing. The stuff I could pay attention to, I loved.

Song title: Mercy
Artist/Band: Duffy
Where you’ve heard the song before: Grey’s Anatomy. The Sex & the City Soundtrack. Oh, and it won the Song of the Year award at the MOJO Awards.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Will’s Solo

I think that I may stand alone in this, but I wasn’t a fan. I thought it was fun, but that’s about it.

Song title: Get Up Offa That Thing
Artist/Band: James Brown
Where you’ve heard the song before: This song has been all over some of our favorite shows. Benji and Heidi did a routine to this song. Gev auditioned to this song and Super Cr3w used this in one of their “Master Mixes”. It was also in Sister Act II, What a Girl Wants, Robots, and Harriet the Spy.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Comfort and Mark’s Hip Hop routine choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha

This is the first “fast” routine that I liked from NapTab. You can’t go wrong with some Fergie Ferg and Nelly. Also, I forget who mentioned it last week, but Mark is taller than I remember.

Song title: Party People
Artist/Band: Nelly feat. Fergie (Fox got it backwards)
Where you’ve heard the song before: Another Top 40 song. So it’s all over.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Katee’s Solo

I’m a huge Katee fan, but her solo was kinda boring for me tonight. Plus, if I have to hear one more Celine song, I might go crazy. Oh, but I did love that Katee just did a no-frills leap. It took me by surprise and I didn’t hate it.

Song title: Taking Chances
Artist/Band: Celine Dion
Where you’ve heard the song before: It was written by Kara DioGuardi and David A. Stewart. Celine made it famous. Featured on DanceLife and Moonlight. And Celine performed it on The X Factor.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Chelsie and Joshua’s Argentine Tango choreographed by Dmitry

I really liked how the beginning started. Slower. Little piano mixed in. And then it built up with the lights. I also liked when Josh moved Chelsie’s feet with the music. When you think back to season 2’s caliber of Argentine Tangos, this is miles away from that. How far we’ve come.

Song title: A Los Amigos
Artist/Band: Forever Tango (Original Cast)
Where you’ve heard the song before: So I couldn’t find the Forever Tango version. In MP3 format. You can buy it on iTunes though.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Mark’s Solo

This is his first solo, I think, that he didn’t use Bohemian Rhapsody, and I really enjoyed it. He picked another off-beat song and it served his choreography well.

Song title: Creator
Artist/Band: Santogold feat. Switch & Freq Nasty
Where you’ve heard the song before: It was on Grey’s Anatomy. I think that Fox is finally catching on and just watching other shows and finding artists that are tv-friendly.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Courtney and Will’s Slow Hip Hop routine choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha

I love Alicia Keyes. I love slow hip hop. I may be in the minority here, but I was not crazy about this routine. It had some nice moments: when Courtney was looking at the pictures and Will was replicating her movement behind her and when they were both kneeling and Will brought her in to him. But overall, I was less than thrilled with it. Nice song and concept though.

Song title: Like You’ll Never See Me Again
Artist/Band: Alicia Keyes
Where you’ve heard the song before: If you’re a soap fan, you’ll know it was featured on All My Children. I do not watch that show. Surprising. I know.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Chelsie’s Solo

For as much crap as I give the PCD, I love Danity Kane. I know. Ha. It doesn’t make sense. I wonder if Chelsie’s birthday was Monday or tonight. I ask stupid questions.

Song title: Damaged
Artist/Band: Danity Kane
Where you’ve heard the song before: On the Top 9 at 9. Or the Hot 8 at 8.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Katee and Twitch’s Broadway routine choreographed by Tyce

When they said the song sped up, they weren’t lying. Tempo change much? I didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it either. It was fun. The song obviously fit perfectly with the choreo.

Song title: Sweet Georgia Brown
Artist/Band: Bubbling Brown Sugar
Where you’ve heard the song before: Check out the long history of this song over at Wikipedia
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Joshua’s Solo

The last 2-eight counts of his solo were banoodles.

Song title: Shawty Get Loose
Artist/Band: Lil’ Mama feat. T-Pain & Chris Brown
Where you’ve heard the song before: NapTab choreographed their Vegas week routine to this song.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Courtney’s Solo

Her solos are definitely more controlled now. Even though I hate how she preps for her pirouettes. I thought her energy matched the music.

Song title: Where I Stood
Artist/Band: Missy Higgins
Where you’ve heard the song before: You’ve heard it on One Tree Hill. A certain Leyton scene if I remember correctly. And during Devin Oshiro’s audition. After they played the wrong music.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Twitch’s Solo

The way Twitch covers the stage is craziness. I don’t really enjoy watching him dance too many different styles, but I could watch this solo from him every day. The song just gave him crazy energy.

Song title: Go To Work
Artist/Band: Kay L
Where you’ve heard the song before: I really like this song. But I’ve never heard it before.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Comfort and Mark’s Foxtrot choreographed by Jean-Marc & France

I’m no ballroom expert, but I definitely didn’t hate this as much as the judges did. Also, Brian Setzer has been making quite the appearance on SYTYCD. Now he just has to make his songs more readily available for downloading.

Song title: Lady Luck
Artist/Band: The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Where you’ve heard the song before: You know the song
Where you can listen to the whole song:

So I couldn't find Brian Setzer's version of this song. Slacker. All around.

Chelsie and Joshua’s Disco choreographed by Doriana Sanchez

Who doesn’t love some Gloria Estefan once in awhile? This was the first disco routine that I didn’t end up hating. Maybe it was the song? Maybe it was Chelsie and Joshua?

Song title: Everlasting Love
Artist/Band: Gloria Estefan
Where you’ve heard the song before: I know you listen to this everyday. No shame in it.
Where you can listen to the whole song:

Top 8 Performance Show Music Playlist

SYTYCD Top 8 Performance Show Music

So You Think You Can Dance Top 8 Results Show Open Thread

Poll Results And Predictions

Our poll was extremely close on the guys' side this week. It appears Mark Kanemura may just survive, despite predictions. Dial Idol agrees. Look for Comfort to leave again tonight. Twitch and Will are in jeopardy.

Prediction: If Will is in the bottom 2 tonight but survives, look for a Desmond Richardson Pas De Deux style hookup for him next week to get him into the top 4.

Full poll results after the jump...

757 readers voted. Thanks for voting!

Comfort Fedoke

21 (2%)

Will Wingfield

166 (21%)

Katee Shean

272 (35%)

Mark Kanemura

264 (34%)

Chelsie Hightower

161 (21%)

Joshua Allen

172 (22%)

Courtney Galiano

125 (16%)

Twitch Boss

151 (19%)

News Update

Us Magazine gets Mary Murphy and Dan Karaty's thoughts on last night's show.

Mary Murphy is ready for a hiphopper to win, plus she's planning something big for the finale. Hmmm.

Rachel Howard shares her observations on the elite 8 performances.

BuddyTV published live thoughts last night. There's also "5 cliches we've come to love".

Joanna Weiss of the Boston Globe thinks Katee Shean is a secret weapon.

Kourtni Lind gets the Cool Person Award from Cool Addict.

Top 8 Performance Show Recap

Wednesday night's SYTYCD was possibly the strongest performance show of the season, though I still feel that Season 3's top 6 show was stronger (it contained Neil and Sabra's Table Dance, nominated for an Emmy, and their Paso Doble, amongst many others). At any rate, it's nice to review a good show. Along with the eight dances and solos, we were also treated to information about each dancer's decision to begin dancing, which I found interesting.

Cat wore a pretty black dress. I wonder if someone commented on her odd dances in the beginning of the season. Nigel wore a white suit, Mary had on a fairly sedate floral dress, and our guest judge was Toni Basil, she of "Micky" fame. However, since that time she has been working with Bette Middler in Vegas and will begin choreographing Tina Turner's tour, which is pretty cool. She had on a red dress and looked good.

More after the jump...

Will and Courtney

Dance One: Jean-Marc Genereux's Samba to I Fell in Love with the Djay by Che'Nelle. They mentioned in the package how both dancers needed to move their hips, and Courtney certainly did. I liked the piece a lot, though the lights in the studio were far too bright, and I couldn't see them half the time because of the glare. Courtney looked particularly sexy in a hot yellow dress while Will danced all in black. Nigel said that their hips were screaming and everyone was screaming for their hops. He thought that tonight's show was going to be a great one, and all of the guys looked like they were out of the movie 300, and that this should be called 300: the Dance Off. Obviously, he had seen the guys during the dress rehearsal, but whatever. He loved Courtney and Will's chemistry, and Mary said that she wondered where Ashton was because she thought she was being punked, since she has two contemporary dancers who looked like Samba dancers. She did note that Will's technique was not great all of the time, particularly his upper frame and his turns, and I thought this might be the first time Will had ever been criticized. She did scream for Courtney, however. Toni, who I thought was very articulate and concise, said that she forgot to take notes, as she had so much fun watching them, and that they brought the life of the Samba to the dance. I liked the dance but wasn't really wow'ed by it.

Dance two: Lyrical Hip Hop by Napoleon and Tabitha to Like You'll Never See Me Again by Alicia Keys (a beautiful song). The theme was for a woman aching to go back in time to her late man. Courtney wore a black dress and Will was dressed in white, to drive home the differences between the two. The couple hit all the beats, but I have to say that this piece reminded me of Mia's flower dance last season for Lacey and Neil and it just didn't affect me that way, although the judges really liked it. Nigel said that he was affected emotionally by hip hop routines this season and that this dance reminded me of movies like Ghost and that he felt like a voyeur watching a beautiful, private moment and that it was very beautiful. Mary said that Courtney and Will were tremendous dancers (I agree) and that they didn't meet her expectations, they exceeded them and she screamed. Toni said that when hip hop started out, it was street but has become an art form, and that she was glad to see it on the show and that she would never feel the same way about dance again. I noticed that she did NOT mention the routine.

Comfort's solo
She said that she had started by street dancing, and that her dad tricked into going to a performing arts school that had no hiphop, but that she picked up technique there. I felt her solo was good, not great, with a lot of energy but similar to other solos she's performed. Cat noted that she was a fighter and I thought, Okay, that's the last week we'll see Comfort. We got the first of the "fa real" gestures, and frankly, I am totally sick of it, so I won't mention it again.

Twitch and Katee
Dance one: Mia Michael's Contemporary to Mercy by Duff. They noted that they had known each other before the program, and you could tell. They had great chemistry, and this was probably my favorite routine of the evening. The premise was that they were a couple in an argument, where he was cool and she was insane. A door was used as a very effective prop, as Twitch and Katee went back and forth in their tussle. This was different than other Mia routines, and I was glad to see that. Nigel said that it was hard to critique the dancing because the performances were so strong, which reminded me of the Twitchington dance a few weeks earlier on the bed. Nigel thought it was just fantastic and mentioned that he had had a woman like this (Mary), and they bantered back and forth for a bit, which I didn't find funny. He wondered for another week what went through Mia's head, but said that it was one of the most entertaining dances that had ever had on the program, and I agreed. Mary did her only really corny moment of the show: Knock Knock. Who's There? Two. Two who? Two of the best dancers we've ever seen on the the stage, which I'm sure might be a little much. (Nick? Danny? Travis? Benjy? Heidi? Natalie? Alison? Blake? etal) Toni said that Katee and Twitch were lucky to have been choreographed by one of the reigning queens of contemporary dance (true) and that it was funky and she hadn't taken any notes on this piece, either.

Dance two: Broadway by Tyce DiOrio to Sweet Georgia Brown from Bubblin' Brown Sugar. Katee wore a sexy red dress and Twitch had on a matching bow tie, and I liked this dance but didn't love it. Nigel said that he loved the routine and could see it being performed on Broadway (I'm not so sure). He said that he was shocked with Twitch, who was probably the least trained dancer on the show, and that he gave Katee the best compliment he could by saying that there wasn't one routine he hadn't enjoyed her doing. Mary said that it was terrific and that she didn't remember a night when she had had so much fun. Toni said that Twitch was really grounded and more reality-based than most Broadway dancers in that he danced organically but that she wished Katee's dancing had matched the deep vocals a bit more but that she really loved the routine.

Will's solo
He said that he got started by watching Dirty Dancing (man, am I old) and that he began with hip hop and tumbling and that he moved to LA, was noticed by Debbie Allen, and was given a full scholarship to her academy. He danced to Get Up Offa That Thing by James Brown, and with his wig he even looked like him. It was a very funky dance, far different than the ones he had performed before, and the judges gave him a standing ovation, but I didn't find the dance that good, though he got props for originality.

Mark and Comfort

Dance one: Hip Hop by Napoleon and Tabitha to Party People by Fergie featuring Nelly. I was concerned with this pairing, but this dance was fantastic, "hard hitting" as Mary likes to say. The premise was that they were two students in detention fooling around while the teacher was out of the room, and it was a bit reminiscent of Benjy and Travis's final dance during season two. Nigel noted that Comfort was so much better when given choreography than in her solos (true, and a bit surprising, since you'd think she'd nail free style), and that she was incredible and that Mark was even more surprising. He loved their pick up into the back somersault. Mary said that the guys did a great job with the piece, and that their synchronization was impressive. She said that Comfort was a great dancer (first time we've heard her say that, I believe) and that Mark nailed it. Toni said that she loved this style, that she had taken classes from NapTab (surprising) and that this had the underpinnings of street (the word of the evening). She said that that they had that groove, and that this dance was fabulous, and they were rooted in the music. HOWEVER, Nigel said that if they ended up in the bottom two, it wasn't because they weren't good but that the others were better. I read this as See ya, bye guys but the voters might have responded to this challenge by voting more, as was the case when Simon handed the American Idol title to David Archuleta and David Cook came back to take it by 12 million votes.

Dance two: Foxtrot by Jean-Marc Genereaux to Lady Luck by the Brian Setzer Orchestra. Uh, oh, I thought. Comfort is not strong in ballroom dancing and Mark was always strong b/c of Chelsie's ballroom background. My fears were not unfounded. This was the weakest performance of the night. While Mark looked suave with his slicked back hair and Comfort was pretty in her dress, this dance was a train wreck and as Nigel said, he thinks Lady Luck walked in the room when they got hip hop and walked out of the room when they got the foxtrot (true). He felt it was slightly amateurish and that it didn't show their chemistry, which had been evident during their hip hop. Mary said that she was sorry, but her review was not gonna get any better, and that she noted everything that was wrong with it. She then said it was one of the worst foxtrots she had every seen, and I grimaced. Toni said that their turns were like during a recital, though Mark's jazz partnership was really good, and then reminded the audience that that their hip hop was fabulous, and Cat, trying to be supportive, said "Remember the hiphop." Too bad this was their second dance, not their first.

Katee's solo
She said she started tap when she was four, and that it wasn't good, but that she moved onto contemporary eventually and she thanked her teachers who pushed her. She danced to Taking Chances by Celine Dion and and I wonder when they are actually going to HAVE Celine Dion on the program, considering how many times they've used her songs. I thought it was a good dance, but not great; I prefer her partner dancing.

Mark's solo
He said that he started in musical theatre after seeing Phantom of the Opera and that he was the only boy in the entire school who danced but that he was a little different (Cat said there was nothing wrong with being different). He danced to Creator - Santogold feat Switch & Freq Nasty. I liked the dance--I always like Mark's solos--but I didn't find it as fun as the ones last week. He mimed the numbers with Cat again.

Courtney's solo
She said that her first recital was to Lil Bo Peep when she was three and that during senior year her classmates had stopped dancing but that she realized that she was not done and that she only had a small window to perform as a dancer. She danced to Where I Stand by Missy Higgins and it was beautiful. She always shows so much emotion and she is my favorite soloist.

Twitch's solo
He noted that he didn't take it seriously until senior year, which is much later than the other dancers. He then went onto a community college and after that spent nine months in South Korea where he was in a couple of music videos. He did a nice solo to Go to Work by Kay L, though it didn't really stand out from others he has performed.

Chelsie's solo
She said that she started dancing when she was nine, and began taking it seriously when she turned 14 and started training in the ballroom world. She traveled throughout the country entering ballroom competitions. She danced to Damaged by Danity Kane, and it wasn't bad, but it was pretty much the same as her others. She excels as a partner, but as with other ballroom dancers like Anya last season, she would not win any prizes as a soloist.

Joshua's solo
He began dancing as a kid, and did the moonwalk all the way to the principal's office. If he was committed to enrolling in dance, he would be let off detention, and he did, auditioning to Pepito's Story. He loved the screaming and thanked her for his entrance into dancing. He danced to Shawty Get Loose by Lil Mama feat T-Pain & Chris Brown and it was fantastic. His isolations, popping, and other tricks are so seamlessly performed.

Joshua and Chelsie

Dance one: Argentine Tango by Dmitry Chaplin from season two to A Los Amigos - Forever Tango (Original Cast). Chelsie was dressed in a sexy blue dress and I liked but did not love their routine. Nigel pointed out how fantastic Chelsie's legs were (and noted that he meant technically, not just physically). He said Chelsie used her legs while Joshua used his strength and they got into a brief interchange about Joshua's bum that I found stupid. Mary said that Joshua set the mood and was very committed, while Chelsie was so much more sexy than in her last one (I don't know which that was and didn't realize she hadn't been sexy in it). She really liked their chemistry and that they were still on the hot tamale train. Toni said that Joshua was the most street of all the ballroom partner dancers (stop it already!) and that it needed to be torrid and spontaneous and that it was. She noted that Joshua's turns were not his great forte, but that the whole dance came together. Once again, as with Katee, Chelsie made her partner look good.

Dance two: Disco by Doriana Sanchez to Everlasting Love by Gloria Estefan. Love the song, did not love the routine. They should ban disco and the foxtrot forever from SYTYCD. They did nail a lift they had been trying on the show for four years, and that Joshua was able to perform the lifts due to his upper body strength and that Chelsie had wonderful courage to let herself be lifted like that and that it was a great finale to a wonderful show. Mary said it was really good for her and that Chelsie's legs really worked, that she could let herself down with great precision, and she praised the airplane change into another position. Toni said that there was no way Joshua could have remembered disco, as it started before he was born (I'm old; I remember it clearly)and that Joshua's lines were as long as hustle dancers but that he had the spirit and Chelsie had both.

Predicted bottom two:

Comfort and Mark and ?
Going home: Comfort for sure and then I really don't know

New iVan Videoblog

Episode 4 of the behind-the-scenes series hosted by Ivan Koumaev is posted at movmnt magazine's social network, This episode is an extended tell-all interview with Tyce Diorio touching on all 4 seasons. Language Alert!

Courtney & Will's Slow Hiphop (Video)

Courtney Galiano & Will Wingfield - Slow Hiphop - Napoleon & Tabitha

Uploaded by mscoder610

From a reader:

I’m writing this e-mail to comment on Courtney and Will’s dance to Alicia Keys “Like you’ll never see me again.” I was touched to tears with their performance. The reason I was so touched is because my husband passed away on February 18th (1 day before his 48th birthday), he passed away at home and before he passed, our niece brought in this song and played it for me as I laid next to my husband. I listen to this song daily and still I cry. Nigel’s comment on how this dance touches one’s emotions who have lost a loved one was so right. I will forever cry for my husband and mourn him, and we should all take heart to what the words of this song say. Most of us take our love one’s for granted and don’t stop to think that maybe they won’t be here as long as we think. I long for my husband and wish we would have done so much more together in our life, we had so many long term plans and in a matter of 6 days after being diagnosed with brain cancer he was gone from me. I will never be able to hug him, kiss him, hold him or tell him I love him and have him tell me back again. Courtney and Will’s performance was beautiful and I loved it. I watched it through tears and still enjoyed it. I miss my husband terribly, but my memories of him will keep him alive forever. Thank you Courtney and Will and Thank you Choreographers for putting together and performing a dance to this song that will forever be remembered.

Comfort & Mark's Hiphop (Video)

Comfort Fedoke & Mark Kanemura - Hiphop - Napoleon & Tabitha

Uploaded by mscoder610

Katee & Twitch's Contemporary (Video)

Katee Shean & Twitch Boss - Contemporary - Mia Michaels

Uploaded by myrcenary

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Web Update

Nate Levy's top 8 recap is up.

Julie Wolfson at the LAist asked Twitch and Katee "about dance styles, some of their favorite things, and where they eat at The Farmer's Market after they finish taping episodes of the show at CBS."

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 8 Track List

Courtney & Will
Samba - Jean Marc & France
I Fell In Love With The DJ - Che' Nelle

Comfort's solo
I Got This Down - Simian Mobile Disco

Katee & Twitch
Contemporary - Mia Michaels
Mercy - Duffy

Will's solo
Get Up Offa That Thing - James Brown

Comfort & Mark
Hiphop - Napoleon & Tabitha
Party People - Fergie feat. Nelly

Katee's Solo
Taking Changes - Celine Dion

Chelsie & Joshua
Argentine Tango - Dmitry Chaplin
A Los Amigos - Forever Tango (Original Cast)

Mark's solo
Creator - Santogold feat Switch & Freq Nasty

Courtney & Will
Smooth Slow Hiphop - Napoleon & Tabitha
Like You'll Never See Me Again - Alicia Keyes

Chelsie's solo
Damaged - Danity Kane

Katee & Twitch
Broadway - Tyce Diorio
Sweet Georgia Brown - Bubbling Brown Sugar (Original Broadway Cast)

Joshua's solo
Shawty Get Loose - Lil Mama feat T-Pain & Chris Brown

Courtney's solo
Where I Stood - Missy Higgins

Twitch's solo
Go To Work - Kay L

Comfort & Mark
Foxtrot - Jean-Marc & France
Lady Luck - The Brian Setzer Orchestra

Chelsie & Joshua
Disco - Doriana Sanchez
Everlasting Love - Gloria Estefan

So You Think You Can Dance Top 8 Voting Numbers

Comfort Fedoke - 888-836-7601

Will Wingfield - 888-836-7602

Katee Shean - 888-836-7603

Mark Kanemura - 888-836-7604

Chelsie Hightower - 888-836-7605

Joshua Allen - 888-836-7606

Courtney Galiano - 888-836-7607

Twitch Boss - 888-836-7608

So You Think You Can Dance Top 8 Performance Show Open Thread

News Update

Korbi Ghosh chats with Nigel, Mary and Mia, Kortni, Thayne and Matt, and Cat Deeley.

Live Journal has its share of Mark supporters too.

Us Magazine is giving away a trip to the finale.

Mary Murphy launched a new ballroom-based exercise DVD today at Dance Times Square in New York.

SYTYCD News Update

Mia Michaels did an interview with SheKnows and says that she knows (I'm less than clever) why the winners of So You Think You Can Dance haven't made it "big" like the winners of American Idol:

    "Nobody's taken what they've done on the show and made it blow up. I try to talk to them and we have agents come in to talk to them. I say, 'Don't teach,' because they're offered tons of money for it. But they're children! They're wasting years of being great dancers and performers to teach other children. They need to be dancing while they can!"

Our very own Ted had a hand in hooking up Robert Muraine with the BuskerFest people, so we're more than happy to see them announce Robert's involvement with the event!

The Behind-the-Scenes video with Napoleon and Tabitha we posted about previously is finally up on YouTube.

Uploaded by FoxBroadcasting

The Behind-the-Scenes video with Nakul's Top 10 routine is "posted" on the big, slow website, but if you click on it, nothing loads. We'll post it as soon as it becomes available.

Kherington & Gev Video Interview

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

News Update

He must be the most interviewed person in the dance world. Shane Sparks tells the LAist about his upcoming Dream Girls Project and his favorite dancer of all time.

This blogger attended the Monday taping. Spoiler Alert!

Jessica King returned home to Myrtle Beach, S.C. to recuperate from her injury.

Gev Manoukian is back in Park City, Ut.

The soon-to-be Project Runway-less Bravo TV network announced the renewal of several shows, but there's no mention of Step It Up & Dance.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Pre-SYTYCD Chuy Solorio

The overwhelming reaction to the elimination of Gev Manoukian reminded me of the the reaction to the season 3, top 16 elimination of Jesús "Chuy" Solorio. Coincidentally, Youtuber dreamingbigger just posted this compilation of pre-SYTYCD Chuy.

Click through and click "Watch In High Quality" for better quality.

Monday Spoiler Open Thread

Apparently there are some early spoilers, so we'll go ahead and open a thread. Please try to confine all discussion of spoilers to this thread. Thanks!

SYTYCD News Update

Leee's recap of last week is up at T!YBE.

Reality TV World recounts conference calls by Kherington Payne and Gev Manoukian.

TeeVee Time collects their favorite ballroom routines from all the seasons.

Chelsie & Gev's Contemporary (Video)

Chelsie Hightower & Gev Manoukian - Contemporary - Sonya Tayeh

Sonya Tayeh gets big points in my book for getting an Otis Redding song played in primetime in 2008.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Ryan Rankine Update

Our friend Melissa in Seattle writes:

So I went to see the "DANCE THIS" performance last night in Seattle. It's a multi-cultural dance workshop that culminates in a performance where the students perform choreography from the workshop with cultural dance companies and professional dancers. A company called Creative Outlet DanceTheatre of Brooklyn came onstage to perform a beautiful Contemporary piece called "Forces". The dancers were incredible and not a minute into the performance, I recognized Ryan Rankine from Season 2!!!!! I was seated in the front row and watching him dance that close was fantastic. His technique, flexibilty and style are impeccable.

I located the company's website as well as Ryan's website:

Strangely, Ryan is not listed in the company biographies, however his photo is featured on the website's front page. Perhaps he is a newer member and they haven't had a chance to add his bio.

Just wanted to share in case you wanted to update your readers on what he's up to.

In dance,

Melissa in Seattle

Thanks Melissa! I found a video about Creative Outlet Dance Company in Brooklyn. It appears to be from a cable access show with a definite point of view, but you get lots of clips of the company performing. Also, I spotted Kevin Hunte, who made it deep into the Las Vegas round of season 3.

Uploaded by SupremeMasterTV

SYTYCD Web Roundup

Here's another blogger who hates to see Gev Manoukian leave the competition.

Karin at TeeVee Time pulls together a bunch of the best Latin routines over the seasons.

There's more speculation around the web regarding possible couple and dance spoilers for top 8 week.

Evan Kasprzak Solo In Full (Video)

Evan Kasprzak's Gene Kelly-esque audition was a standout from season 4 auditions. He has released a video of that routine.

Uploaded by Razznakazz

It turns out this routine was choreographed by Ryan Kasprzak, I'm assuming Evan's brother. He's a performer and choreographer based in New York. Amongst many other things, he appeared in Revolution with our own Allison Holker. Check out his choreography reel and his full site for much more.