Archive for the 'SYTYCD' Category

Wordless Wednesday: My Kid and Travis Wall from SYTYCD

Twitter is affecting my blog!

This has been an amazingly busy Spring, and Summer looks even busier. As a result, I have been working late nights and watching lots of “Laptop Television.”

Oddly enough, and perhaps it’s the endless deadlines that are my life, I find myself doing most of my commentary on Twitter instead of my blog. So, here’s a quick snapshot of what I’m watching these days and some of my favorite Twitter comments:

So You Think You Can Dance

@StacyLibby I hate, hate, hate lip-syncing. Instant fast-forward. #sytycd

@glennia @StacyLibby: I like Kayla, too. She looks 10 feet tall when she dances. #sytycd

@glennia I think Paula Abdul must have shared her stash with Lil C, because he is no longer coherent. #sytycd

@CityMama love Kupono’s slight pidgin-hawaiian accent . Makes me feel at home. #sytycd

Top Chef Masters

@StacyLibby The writers of LOST talk about Top Chef in their Thurs. a.m. mtgs. “There’s been a big dip in quality of LOST since Top Chef!”

@StacyLibby Top Chef Masters + LOST = Laptop TV Mom is in Heaven!

@americanadian Why does the host of Top Chef look anorexic? Sorry but I don’t trust your judgment on food. Ice chips, maybe.

Daily Show with Jon Stewart

@aaronburcell Will miss Gitmo Elmo after gitmo closes. RT @StacyLibby: Watching the “Gitmo” version of Elmo on The Daily Show. So wrong (and so funny).

@StacyLibby Katie Couric on Jon Stewart… awesome!

@StacyLibby Samantha Bee is freaking hilarious.

The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien

@StacyLibby Conan predicts “YouTube, Twitter and Facebook will merge to form one super time-wasting web site called ‘YouTwitFace‘” #conanobrien

The Next Food Network Star

@StacyLiby Watching “Next Food Network Star” My cooking style is “Calif. meets Midwest” Sushi one day, casseroles the next. All meals w/ wine & friends!

- LTV Mom

Image Credit: There are No Rules by Jane Friedman

SYTYCD Season 4: Top 6

Top_6_2Great show this week.  Loved the new Australian choreographer!  Anyway, on to the recap.

DIXIE SAYS:

Mini-rant:
Why do the judges make allowances for Joshua and Twitch not being trained in
certain disciplines when critiquing him? But not do the same for Courtney and
Katee? Yes, I understand that dancing Ballroom and Contemporary is a foreign
language to Hip Hoppers and B-Boys. Yes, I understand that it is difficult.
What I don’t understand is why they don’t express the same amazement when
Courtney and Katee, both contemporary dancers, pull off a Ballroom performance
like they’ve been doing it for years. This week it really bugged me and put a
damper on what I think was a night of really strong dancing. The producers are
shoving their agenda down our throats in such a blatant fashion this season.
Mint-rant complete.

Do
you know why there has been so much Celine Dion this season? I think its
because Benji rejected part of his Prize Package, which was to dance in her
show. They owe her.

If
Mary and Paula aren’t best friends, they should be. What a perfect pair!

My
reviews:

Courtney
and Mark (Viennese Waltz and Jazz)

I
really wanted to see Mark paired up with Katee tonight, but I knew that it
wouldn’t happen. The producers tried to put the fix in as hard as they could….
1- Joshua and Katee reunited and it feels so good 2- Twitch and Chelsie
performing dances squarely in their specialties, and in the pimp spot,
nonetheless 3-Pairing what they consider to be the Weakest Links and having
them go in the Death Spot. Can you say BACKFIRED? Courtney and Mark were
absolutely incredible in every sense of the word! The Viennese Waltz was
heartbreakingly beautiful, reminiscent of the Lacey/Pasha Waltz which was
easily one of my all time favorites! So utterly romantic, like a newlywed
couple coming home from a night out. And what’s this? The dance actually
contained Waltz movements, unlike the Waltz Twitch was praised about earlier in
the season. Besides his stunningly gorgeous rise and fall, Mark brought
maturity and smoothness to what I would call the best performance of the
evening! The added bonus of a David Cook song made it undeniably swoon-worthy.
Courtney danced like a perfect princess, making every twirl, every lift, look
effortless and lovely. We all know she pairs well, but she also seems to be the
only girl who understands how to choreograph a solo. That alone should earn her
ticket to the Final Four next week. The Jazz performance, which fit Mark to a
tee, only confirmed what I already knew about this dynamic duo; they can do
anything! The Burlesque number was sassy, entertaining, and showcased the quick
chemistry between these two “weak links.” I had to giggle at the flower in
choreographer Sonya’s Mohawk. I hope to see them both next week.

 

Katee
and Joshua (Contemporary and Paso Doble)

Although
the “holy trinity of dance” comment was way over the top, I would rank Joshua
and Katee in my All Time Top 3 SYTYCD Partnerships with Chemistry. Very, very
few couples have moved me the way that this pair has. And quite honestly,
Joshua does seem to lose some of his sparkle when he is not dancing with Katee,
while Katee manages to sparkle all by herself. She has the technique that he
lacks. But what Joshua lacks in training, he makes up with his strength. They
just work! The Contemporary performance was mesmerizing. The lifts were
amazing, especially the way Katee was able to get into them; she just doesn’t
look like she would be able to do such athletic feats, yet she was perfectly
capable. The move that made me catch my breath was the Leap of Faith Katee
performed into Josh’s arms near the end. Although imperfect, the Paso Doble was
intense with the right blend of sensuality and aggressiveness. Katee was as
lovely as always, but seemed a little too soft at the beginning. Joshua’s
missteps did not go unnoticed, but he maintained the matador attitude and
stayed committed throughout. The change in the music in the middle of the
performance kept it interesting and entertaining. Let’s talk controversy for a
moment. There is a tricky connotation vs. denotation as far as the definition
of “classical training. The judges’ intent was for us to believe that Joshua
has had no training outside of Hip Hop. His audition pirouettes and scissor
kicks during Vegas Week say otherwise. Perhaps the judges are misremembering
that Debbie Allen called Joshua out on his ballet moves. In one of his early
pre-performance videos, he even admits to having been sporadically trained at
various workshops and camps. No, he isn’t a heavily trained dancer, but to say
that he has NO TRAINING is pushing the use of the language. Regardless, it’s
not Joshua’s fault that Nigel is losing what little mind he has left. Moving
on, while Joshua is awesome and his stage command is excellent, the praise he
received tonight was nauseating. He’s obviously the weekly top vote getter and
the judges want to be able to say they called it. Meanwhile, poor Katee, who is
by far the best dancer to ever grace their stage, has to stand there like
chopped liver and listen to it. If there is any justice, Katee will win this
competition and second place will go to Mark, Courtney, and/or Joshua.


Chelsie
and Twitch (Mambo and Hip Hop)

If
it were up to me, Chelsie and Twitch would be the two dancers leaving the show
this week. They were fortunate enough to land the coveted pimp spot and dance
inside their areas of expertise, yet they still bombed. And don’t even get me
started on their total lack of chemistry. Sorry Nigel, I actually did notice
all the missed connections in that ludicrous mess of a Mambo; I didn’t need
Twitch’s face to tell me anything. Chelsie, who magically gets ballroom every
week (imagine that?) had great leg action, good hip action, and proper Mambo
technique, but her upper body was painfully weak. From concept to choreography
to execution, the Hip Hop routine was atrocious! Chelsie barely danced at all
and then the judges claimed she was keeping up with Twitch? When? Where? Twitch
literally danced circles around her for the entire performance. Chelsie was
given one extremely rudimentary thing to do; she went down on one knee with her
back leg outstretched and then she came back up. Wow Wee. Chelsie didn’t do a
single thing this week that warrants Final Four status, but just in case she
makes it anyway, she should watch tapes of Benji and Heidi’s solos to learn how
to do a good, entertaining ballroom solo. She should also consider a costume
that isn’t from the 2008 Muppet Inspired Collection of Ugly. While brilliant in
his solos, Twitch’s lack of training really shows up in many of his partner
dances. I love him in his element, but when he’s out of his element, he’s often
WAY out. Mary telling Twitch that he has been great in every style this season,
but then only lists Hip Hop, Krump, … (draws a blank) is classic.

My
ideal Final Four would have been Katee, Joshua, Courtney, and Gev… here’s
hoping that Mark replaces Gev and that Chelsie and Twitch call it a night.

 

SYTYCD Season 4: Top 8 (THE RESULTS)

Comfortfedoke

We didn’t hear from Dixie this week (something about a husband who likes boxing and a Tivo!) 

Anyway, I can share the results from this week’s show.  Comfort and Will received the lowest number of votes and left the show.  Comfort leaving was no surprise, but Will’s departure was a total disappointment.

Until next week…

Williamwingfield

SYTYCD Season 4: Top 10

Top_10_2This week’s show was a complete train wreck, in this mom’s humble opinion.  (Thank goodness I watched Project Runway and Shear Genius afterwards!) Of course, the person with the in-depth, hilarious and often insightful feedback is Dixie. 

DIXIE SAYS: How
unfortunate that wardrobe couldn’t scrub Mia’s tire tracks off of Jessica’s
dress. Speaking of Jessica, how do you “break” two ribs and “fracture” one?
There is absolutely no difference between those words. Perhaps she meant that
she has two severe fractures and one hairline fracture. Don’t mess with Mia,
man.

Lil’ C is
an awesome judge! In fact, he is the anti-Mia… so rational, so reasonable, so
even. He praised the skilled components, commented on what needed to be
improved (if anything), and then gave a little pat on the back for the dancers’
efforts. Imagine him, Dan, and Tabitha/Napoleon judging the show instead of
Nigel, Mary, and Mia. Can we have that please?

So, David
Archuleta sounds asthmatic in recordings too. Who would have guessed that?

On to the
dancing:

Courtney
and Joshua (Hip Hop and Rhumba)

I admit
it; I initially missed Courtney with Gev and Joshua with Katee, but both
parties of this new pairing transcend the mechanics of dance with such
intrinsic joy and feeling that I got over it quick like. Joshua is truly a jack
of all trades and knows how to completely transform himself for every
challenge. His Spankenstein and popping/acrobatic solo were of course awesome
and entertaining, but I was more impressed with the grace, maturity, and hip
action he exhibited during that incredible Rhumba! Half the credit, of course,
goes to Courtney, whose lines and timing are second to none, but all the
mechanics seemed like an afterthought compared to their immediate jaw dropping
chemistry! If that wasn’t the epitome of burning passion then what is! Joshua
seems so humble, almost shy, during his interviews, but as soon as he steps
foot on that stage, his personality comes out in spades! He is my favorite male
dancer by a gazillion miles. Courtney never ceases to impress me; from her
believable, fun loving Hip Hop moves to her sultry Rhumba to her highly skilled
Lyrical solo, she was a definite stand out tonight.

Kherington
and Mark (Two Step and Jazz)

So why
didn’t the poor Two Step choreographers get the usual “we’re so blessed to have
you” shout out? It was a perfectly good piece of country choreography! It’s not
their fault that Kherington has noodle arms. Seriously, that Two Step couldn’t
have been more of a nightmare if Mark would have had a dead horse as a partner.
Kherington was checked out, completely missing connections that poor Mark was
standing there waiting for! When the judges pointed out that she was trying to
lead and helpfully showed us the clip to demonstrate the point, I was even more
horrified. The stylist who put together their costumes should be fired on the
spot. They both looked ridiculous, but Kherington even more so. To make matters
worse for this couple, Tyce’s Jazz choreography flat out sucked! The pairing of
those movements with that song was bizarre to say the least. There wasn’t one
step that went with the natural rise and fall of the music. It’s pretty bad
when Napoleon Dynamite uses the same song (“Canned Heat”) for his high school
dance number, and his performance is more potent. Mark’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”
solo was fabulous and innovative, so hopefully that, along with his large fan
base, will save him. I cannot put into words how much I abhorred Kherington’s
solo! Zero musicality, zero choreography, zero commitment. And what was up with
that half-hearted booty shake at the end? If you’re going to stick your back
side in the camera, you better mean it. If not, then choreograph some different
steps! After that garbage, I truly believe Kherington is in great danger of
going home this week.

Comfort
and Twitch (Waltz and Hip Hop)

It has to
be Nigel behind the horrible song choices for Hip Hop. There’s no way Dave
Scott picked that sappy song for a hard hitting urban routine. After watching
their awesome rehearsal footage, I was all set for a Jamal/Destiny/Shane
Sparks/Pitbull revival. And it didn’t happen. Besides the distracting music, I
was so put off by the costumes and Comfort’s makeup that I could barely focus
on their dancing abilities. What a tragically missed opportunity! And then
there was that Waltz… although it wasn’t the train wreck that it could have
been, it was just simply not good enough. No connection, no rise and fall, and
sloppy footwork means one of these dancers will most likely be eliminated this
week. Both of their solos were passable at best.

Katee and
Will (Broadway and Pas de Deux)

A few
weeks ago, Katee stopped being my favorite female dancer and became my favorite
dancer overall of the entire season. I absolutely adore her, her exquisite
artistry and her unfaltering love of dance. When Katee reached the apex of her
split leap during her solo, her grin exploded with some sort of giddy zest that
is hard to put into words. It was like the ecstasy of flight- what birds must
feel as they are soaring above the earth on a beautiful, blue day! It’s that
expressiveness and passion that puts her above all others. Will may be a
naturally talented, well-trained, athletic dancer with a good sense of
musicality, but tonight, I finally realized what he is missing; he lacks
overall ease and gracefulness which causes a lack of flow in his movements.
Unfortunately, fluidity, like being light on one’s feet, is just one of those
things you either have or you don’t. And sorry, Will, you don’t. Also, he seems
to dance with his arms a lot. Maybe he doesn’t have the strongest core, so he
relies on the sharpness of his arm lines to cover it up. Particularly in their
second routine, I wanted his legs to be as precise as his arms, and they
weren’t. Not sure why the judges made such a fuss over that ridiculous Broadway
routine that had absolutely nothing to do with “Guys and Dolls”. If they are
going to continue to use this category, shouldn’t the dance have SOMETHING to
do with the Broadway show? “Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat” takes place in a
church mission and the guy is giving his testimony. The boat is metaphorical
and yet Tyce turns it into a couple flailing about in a boat?  The context
and meaning could not have been more lost. Although the Pas de Deux could have
simply been called Contemporary, it was breathtaking to watch, botched spin and
all. Desmond is an incredible choreographer, and despite the gaspy song choice,
I found the entire routine to be awe-inspiring. Definitely my favorite of the
night! Will needs to stop with the shirtlessness yesterday. Also, was Katee
wearing Joshua’s hat?

Chelsie
and Gev (Contemporary and Jive)

I cannot
believe the chemistry between these two dancers! It was as if they had been
dancing together for years! When Gev is in his element, he has such a quietly
confident showmanship. It’s so effortlessly enjoyable! The choreographers are
really taking advantage of his ability to explode into the air with no visible
preparation. On a show like this, it’s not just the contestants who are working
outside their dance wheelhouse; the choreographers are also! Metaphorically
speaking, they have to write poetry using words that may never rhyme again.
This week both of Chelsie and Gev’s routines were pure poetry in motion! “These
Arms of Mine” by Otis Redding was the perfect backdrop for their emotional
Contemporary piece and I literally sighed in contentment at the end. I don’t
know all that much about proper Jive technique, but I thought Gev did an
outstanding job, much better than the other male Jivers this season, and
Chelsie absolutely shined! Besides the fact that it was one of the fastest
Jives I have ever seen, it was fun, energetic, and entertaining from beginning
to end. Chelsie definitely gets props for working the “Cookie Monster” dress
like Anya, but let’s hope she doesn’t get any ideas about replicating her
“Flava Flav’s Barcalounger” unitard. Her solo was energetic, but as the weeks
go on, she may run into the same stumbling blocks that other Ballroom dancers
have faced. Hopefully, her exceptional partner work will override her solos and
she’ll be around for weeks to come.

Going
home?
Honestly, I think it should be Kherington, but it might be Comfort again.
And on the male side…. Either Mark or Twitch.

SYTYCD Season 4: Top 12

450x33707_final_12_dancers

The SYTYCD judges were spicy, and Dixie was even spicer this week.  I watched last night’s show mildly disgusted, good thing Dixie lets me know I am not alone.

DIXIE SAYS: This week on SYTYCD, the part of Old Uncle Icky was
played (per usual) by Nigel Lithgoe, who, even more than usual, truly embraced
the character. And in a stunning, totally committed performance, the part of
Rodan was played by Mia Michaels, who swooped down on Jessica, grabbed the
young red-head in her talons and flew her off to Monster Island
.

Once again, Mia exposed herself as a bitter pill
who needs to stick the verbal knife into other people to validate her own
existence. Forget all the talk about “earthiness” and “organic”, THIS is the
real Mia Michaels.

What happened to Mary Murphy? She has become
progressively more horrific, and it kind of makes me sad. “There is only one
rule on this stage… (pause for a ridiculous amount of time because she lost her
drunken train of thought)…….Heart.” Her brain has officially left the building.

Oh, and Nigel, you have our full permission to boo
yourself whenever you deem fit. We’ll even provide you with the bullhorn.

Bottom three this week? Most definitely Nigel, Mary,
and Mia.

On to the dancing:

Chelsie and Mark (Salsa and Broadway)

Did anyone else find Mia’s comment about stabbing
Chelsie due to her beauty more than a little disturbing? Chelsie was definitely
a sensation in her costumes, but if I had known we would be subjected to
Nigel’s overly pervy comments, I never would have complained about the big,
gawdy dresses. The salsa was tons of fun, and both Chelsie and Mark danced it
wonderfully, but there was something weird about it. Alex duh Silva choreographed
something that wasn’t as fast-paced and trick-laden as his typical
competition-ready routines. Maybe he was going for more of a club vibe, but
unfortunately, it didn’t translate for me. The best salsa dances I’ve seen
imbue their movements with some incredibly contradictory characteristics- they
are delicate but athletic, elegant yet earthly, sensual while also being
appropriately restrained (side note: the best dancers don’t cross the line
between sensual and straight out freaky either). This salsa routine just kind
of missed the mark, but my disappointment is with the choreography and not the
dancers. I don’t think it’s possible for me to say positive things about any
Broadway routine. Remember my suggestion for the producers to replace with
Broadway with Bollywood? Well, they forgot to take out the Broadway. Chelsie
and Mark did was as asked of them, and if there is any justice left on this
show, they will sail through to the Top Ten.

Comfort and Thayne (Hip Hop and
Contemporary)

I think this couple needs to make like a tree and
leave. Pun intended however bad it is. Unless Comfort is dancing in her style,
she just isn’t exciting to watch. The opening sequence of the Hip Hop number
was awesome, but by the time they got to the dance floor, all the magic had
disappeared. The Contemporary routine had potential, but the execution was weak
making it completely forgettable. I feel really sorry for Thayne because he
does have superior technique; his lines during the Contemporary were nothing
short of amazing! Imagine him with someone like Katee! It was nice to see the
look on Thayne’s face as Mia complimented him. Hopefully it took some of the
sting out of what might be the inevitable for him. Because of the judges’
constant comments about chemistry, the show runs the risk of auditioning a
bunch of mediocre dancers next year, and they have no one to blame but
themselves. No real dancer who has perfect technique and carriage wants to hear
they that suck because they didn’t emote, or couldn’t show chemistry toward a dancer
who isn’t attracted to them. So goes the way of Henry Graham and Kelly Price.

Jessica and Will (Contemporary and
Quickstep)

Hades has obviously frozen over because Tyce’s
“Adam and Eve” choreography was by far the best thing we’ve seen from him to
date. Truth be told, I was a wee bit bothered by the Biblical annotation being
attached to something that was so overtly sexual and lustful. Speaking of
which, when did this show become PG-13? As far as Will and Jessica’s execution
of Tyce’s choreography, I found it to be jerky and fondle-y, absent of the
grace and artistry we’ve seen from so many other couples. From the beginning,
Will was wobbling and trembling in the lifts. Perhaps that is what Mia means by
“organic” movement. Even still, Will just doesn’t do anything for me and I fail
to see what is so fantastic about him. The Quickstep wasn’t nearly as awful as
the judges made it out to be, and Jessica was by no means any worse than Will.
Getting thrown under the bus doesn’t even begin to describe what they did to
that poor girl during the second round of judging. Did they really think their
scripted efforts would make us feel sorry for poor Will who is so tired from
holding his partner up? Not in this lifetime. Will was given a perfect
opportunity to say some lovely and uplifting things about his partner, and all
he could come up with was “I’m glad she came out of her shell tonight” while
not even looking at her
? Last week he seemed genuinely upset when the
judges berated her; tonight he seemed like he just wanted to save himself.
Maybe the meltdown they mentioned a few weeks ago was due to their dislike of
each other.

Courtney and Gev (Cha Cha and Jazz)

I still can’t get over how convincing Courtney was
as a hip hop dancer last week! Even though I knew the judges wouldn’t send
either one of them home, it was a total shock to see them in the bottom. The
highlight, of course, was seeing Gev’s solo- that was awesome… dangerous, but
awesome! Even though the Cha Cha is one of those dances you can fake, Courtney
and Gev did an amazing job with it. Gev’s lack of technique was only obvious to
me after Mary pointed it out. My only suggestion would be that Courtney dial
down the Mystic Tan; she was practically lipless! The jazzy map dance was
entertaining and adorable. These two cuties are definitely one of the stronger,
if not the strongest, couples as a whole. Mia’s “you’re not the best dancers on
this show… but you’re one of my favorites” is just par for the course with that
wretched woman.

Kherington and Twitch (Krump and Smooth
Tango)

What was Nigel smoking to make him think that it
would be a good idea to tell the world that he’d forget the last part of their
Krump routine and just focus on the good beginning? I thought he was joking at
first! At any other time with any other couple, he’d say, “The end is what
brings the dance home. You’ve got to sell it from beginning to end!” Kherington
was overly exhausted by the end of a TWO MINUTE dance routine (and she wasn’t
even dancing in the beginning during Twitch’s dazzling opening) and its still
praise worthy? What happened to dancers being athletes and needing stamina? I
became increasingly more outraged as each judge fell into lockstep with Nigel’s
“ignoring” of the last 16-cts. Why didn’t they conveniently ignore Gev’s lack
of technique in the Cha Cha? Why didn’t they ignore Will and Jessica’s lower
half in the Quickstep? Or the “Viennese Waltz” part of Katee and Joshua’s first
dance?

AND if you remember, when Kherington and Twitch did the same Viennese
Waltz, there was NOTHING waltz about it, and it wasn’t even mentioned. With
that said, I don’t want my disgust with the Three Stooges to take away from by
far, the best Krump routine I’ve ever seen on this show. Twitch was nothing
short of spectacular, and up until the ending, I really respected the effort
and energy Kherington was bringing to the genre. Of course we didn’t get to see
the very end of the routine; thank you for showing us the over-stage lights
instead of the dancers, Mr. Camerman! The Smooth Tango was pretty lame, but its
amazing how all of a sudden, Mary springs alive when she is critiquing a dance
in her wheelhouse! When they panned to Twitch’s face while Mary was ticking off
his missing technique, I could almost hear the trombone sound that is Charlie
Brown’s teacher’s voice. Mary: You didn’t execute the carbuncle-knee-toe
split and your split-hammer glide was off and… Twitch’s brain: Bwwaaan,
ba-bwaaaaa, ba-ba-bwaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh.

Katee and Joshua (Viennese Waltz and
Bollywood)

How dare those judges criticize this Viennese Waltz
after praising the same dance on another night that wasn’t even a waltz! My
outrage continues. Yes, it was a tad bouncy, but I thought it was
breathtakingly beautiful and very romantic. Joshua’s build puts him at a disadvantage
for ballroom dancing, where looking tall and lean is ideal for the males.
However, even with his muscular, stocky build, I’m continually impressed with
his musicality, his balance, and his lightness of movement. I don’t even know
where to start with the Bollywood routine; these two frontrunners killed it,
just like I knew that they would! Bollywood is a blend of many dance styles,
mainly African, Middle Eastern, Hip Hop, and Jazz, but more importantly, it
requires athleticism, huge amounts of energy, and big goofy happiness, all of
which this couple possesses! Even with all the jumping and hopping around, they
were able to maintain really precise hand movements, and those looked to be
pretty complicated hand gestures. I was especially blown away by Katee and the
lightness and radiance she effortlessly brings to every routine. Not only did
she look adorable in the traditional garb from India
, but she
could have passed for an Indian! I love this couple to pieces. Bravo!! Bravo!!

Bottom 2 Couples:

  • Comfort and Thayne
  • Jessica and Will (although America seems to
    really keep them out of the bottom as of late)

If the judges keep Comfort over Jessica, then it
will be a travesty. I’d love to see Comfort and Will go home, but that ain’t
happening! If its any other couple in the bottom with Comfort and Thayne, then
its goodbye to Comfort and Thayne.

SYTYCD Season 4: Top 14

KateesheanAnother good week for dancing, and another great
week for Dixie
’s
recaps. Here’s a shout-out to Katee, who
I just learned is from San Jose
! Read the story in the San-Jose Mercury News HERE. Good luck, Katee!

DIXIE SAYS: Okay.
They should never do that again. Way too many short dances and it was obvious that
most of the couples spent tons of time on one of them, and then just “made due”
with the other one. By the last half hour of the show, I didn’t care anymore.

Nigel, the third guy is Jules Munshin. But more
importantly, surely there is another rude British dancer/choreographer that can
take Nigel’s place. I have just about had it with that man. I hate the way he
judges. I hate his voice. I hate his face.  Please Nigel, for the survival
of the show, replace yourself. Just stay home and count your money.

I’ll admit that I rather liked his grumpy mood
toward Mary and the audience. It’s very annoying when the audience starts
booing before the judges even finish a sentence, but I never expected Nigel to
tell them not to come to the show. That was classic!!

On to the dancing:

Jessica and Will (Jive and Lyrical Jazz)

I feel so bad for Jessica. It’s got to stink to
have the perceived “svengali of dance” as a partner. I don’t even really like
Jessica, but the “William is God and you are dirt on his shoes” is getting old.
And then they have the gall to criticize her for not having confidence? Talk
about mind games! I kind of want Jessica to leave the show just so they can
stop reminding her how much she sucks. The Jive was “okay” but I really thought
Jessica was on par with Will. The Lyrical Jazz, which is really just
Contemporary under another name, was brilliant! Mandy Moore
redeemed herself,
and Jessica was a beautiful partner. Will looked genuinely upset when the
judges were tearing Jessica down for the zillionth time on a dance he knew she
nailed. Although I think he is getting far more praise than he deserves, it’s
not his fault and I think no one (except maybe Jessica) would be more delighted
if they stopped tearing his partner apart.

Comfort and Thayne (Broadway and Waltz)

Andy Blankenbuehter is definitely a valuable
recruit to the show. His choreography tonight was the best we’ve seen in the
nebulous “Broadway” category. It actually seemed worthy of being on a Broadway
stage, especially compared to the theme park revue choreography we are used to
getting from Tyce. What a shame that it was wasted on these two dancers! While
Thayne was “okay”, he doesn’t have the musicality needed for a number like
“Cool”. I agree with Tabitha and Napoleon completely (and I love them as
judges!)- There is a build and a momentum to true Broadway choreography. There
are moments that are understated so that other moments can pop, and this couple
just didn’t grasp that aspect. The Waltz was stunning and Comfort looked
amazing, but by that time, I was falling asleep and over it, as I’m sure most
of America
was. B3 for sure.

Kourtni and Matthew (Hip Hop and Mambo)

So yet again, we have Nigel calling Matt gay in
every way he possibly can without actually saying the G-word. Matt is in the
same boat as Jessica, except that Nigel actually hates Matt as a person. I’m
probably in the minority here, and I will admit that the Hip Hop routine
started out pretty rough, but all of a sudden, they were rocking it out! They
started to relax and get into it, and personally, I thought it was fun and very
enjoyable. No, it wasn’t the best hip hop ever, but Kourtni and Matt did not
deserve that beating! Unfortunately, Alex Duh Silva is a selfish ego maniac who
didn’t take the dancers height into consideration when choreographing their
Mambo and they suffered because of it. In addition, neither of these dancers
has any hip action, or hips so to speak. Definitely B3 and there’s a possibly
they could both be eliminated. Although the judges would love to get rid of
Jessica and Matt, there is no way they will pair Kourtni, who is the biggest
girl on the show, with thin little Will.

Chelsie and Mark (Jazz and Foxtrot)

This couple didn’t excite me the way they normally
do, but they continue to be a delight! I love their chemistry and they are two
of the better “actors” on the show. They balance each other beautifully, and
always seem to know where the other is at any given moment in the routine. The
Jazz routine was awesome and highlighted their fantastic partnership. They took
the choreography, injected their personalities, and made it their own. The
Foxtrot was elegant and lovely, and Mark totally looked like a ballroom dancer.
Why do they keep hiding Chelsea
in these big gaudy dresses? Poor girl had to eat a feather! The judges
praise them, but blandly. I think Adam (Hairspray) has been the only judge so
far to really express great appreciate for the way they dance.

Kherington and Twitch (Paso Doble and Contemporary)

Kherington looks like a young Sharon Stone,
especially with her hair slicked back. Twitch’s upper body trumps little Will’s
any day of the week. The reason he can’t bring his shoulders down, aside from
the fact that they are huge, is that they are naturally high. And apparently,
no other male dancer on the show has the type of upper body strength Twitch has
because no other male is given the complicated, extreme lifts and flips he is
given. They judges must know this, so why bring up his shoulders? I actually
enjoyed the Paso Doble and thought they both did an excellent job maneuvering
those capes. As for the Contemporary, Kherington’s bed head cracked me up!
There wasn’t a whole lot of dancing or real movement, and what is up with Mia
and those faux flowers? Still, it was entertaining and goes to show that this
couple can look good doing just about anything.

Katee and Joshua (Contemporary and West Coast
Swing)

It’s about time that Katee get some individual love
and praise! The girl is all that and more!! The Contemporary routine was hands
down, my very favorite of the night! Deep, riveting, truly amazing… For once,
Joshua was choreographed into the background, but he was there for Katee and
the partnered parts were captivating. Before the commercial break when Kat
announced that this couple would be doing West Coast Swing, the mere thought of
Benji choreographing the dance was just too much to hope for! And then we get
Benji, Lacey, a puppy, and my favorite couple all in one segment! As for the
performance, they executed it well (minus a little bit of clunkiness from
Joshua) but I couldn’t help but want it to be faster, like the way Benji and
Heidi dance! I realize that West Coast Swing can be danced fast or slow, just
like the Rhumba, and some of the best swing is an earthy, grounded partnering
where the lead-and-follow connection is the main ingredient. But I personally
prefer the fast, razzle-dazzle, show me the money, competition style that the
Schwinners have down pat. Regardless, America
has fallen
in love with Katee and Joshua.

Courtney and Gev (Hip Hop and Broadway)

Without a doubt, Courtney is THE best non-hip hop
dancer that has ever graced the SYTYCD! She is from New York
and has the same
old school, East Coast feel as the two choreographers. While Gev was very good,
Courtney just blew me away! I never would have thought she had THAT in her. My
second favorite performance of the evening! How incredibly disturbing and
offensive were Nigel’s comments! Where do I begin! First of all, why does
Courtney have to be naturally “ghetto” in order to dance hip hop well? For
whatever reason, this show’s presentation of hip hop as a legitimate dance
genre is distasteful and hypocritical. Come on, Nigel, do you want the dancers
to hit it hard or not? We all know he loves “so called” lyrical-hip hop set to
slow, bluesy songs, but to tell two professional Hip Hop choreographers that
their work wasn’t really hip hop? This was one of the first REAL
hip hop routines this season!
No wonder Shane Sparks doesn’t want to be a mentor on the show anymore. And
since when did Nigel become a hip hop expert? As for the Broadway, my mind was
pretty much numb by that point. Both Gev and Courtney were as cute as can be,
and I wanted to love their Broadway, but… I just didn’t. It wasn’t bad, just
blah, kind of like the West Coast Swing.

B3 Predictions:

Comfort and Thayne

Kourtni and Matt

Jessica and Will??? I’m not sure about the third
couple, but its probably because I love the other four couples! I hope its not
Courtney and Gev!! The judges eliminations were PERFECT last week, so I have
faith they’ll get it right. Eliminating Comfort and Thayne would probably be my
first choice. If it was actually the weakest girl and the weakest boy, it would
be Comfort and Thayne in my opinion.

SYTYCD Season 4: Top 16

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Good news if you enjoyed reading the LTV American Idol recaps: our favorite guest blogger DIXIE is back!  And this time she is sharing her overview, opinions and snarky comments on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance.  It’s obvious Dixie has a dance background, because her knowledge of the industry nearly equals her sarcasm toward the show.  Love it!

I have to tell you that Dixie has been providing show recaps since Week One, but this mom has been too slammed to get them on the blog. Sorry about that… but on to this week’s recap.

DIXIE SAYS:

Why
do they waste precious air time with those ridiculous questions? Ninety minute
show minus the questions, please. Do you realize that in two hours, we only saw
eight routines or about sixteen minutes of stage performances? Although if
Nigel had his way, it would only be those questions and rehearsal footage since
their judging has nothing to do with dancing anyway. It’s all personality, you
know.

Note
to Mary: Stop taking the Hot Tamale Train so seriously. Stop shrieking. Stop
tanning. Stop doing your hair like you’re stuck at a 1985 high school prom. I
am glad that she survived the crystal chandelier accident.

My
reviews:

1.
Kherington and Twitch (Hip Hop)

Loved
the concept, loved the choreography, loved the song, loved their connection,
and those baggy orange jumpsuits couldn’t have been more perfect for a prison
break hip hop routine! Finally, the wardrobe department got something right!
That is one routine I will watch over and over again. I guess my only issue is
that Kherington’s “brand” of hip hop was pretty much identical to Jessica’s
last week, but yet they crucified Jessica for it. How irritating that Nigel
would praise “the most attractive dancer we’ve ever had on this program” and
criticize others for the exact same things she does. Both Kherington and
Jessica have that cheerleader, “Bring It On” style when it comes to this genre,
but truth be told, I really like it! Kherington’s mean gangsta face was fun and
she looked as tough as a Prada princess could. Was she up to Twitch’s speed?
No, but she came as close as anyone could! It was odd to hear that she owns
hundreds of pairs of shoes since tonight was the first time she actually wore a
pair.

2.
Courtney and Gev (Rumba)

Oh
yes, the rumba… the dance that legalized sexual harassment. I love this couple
and tonight’s performance was impressively steamy! Courtney’s dress definitely
made me rethink that bowl of ice cream… for a minute or two at least. Although
I would expect specialists to do it much better and much faster, for
non-specialists, they were very credible with the hip action and basic
character of the dance. Besides the opening slide, which felt a little
uncomfortable, both dancers nailed their foot placement and danced more than
they posed. Technically, it was probably one of the best rumbas this show has
ever seen, which brings me to my next point. Did you notice how picky the
judges were being with them? When Will and Jessica danced that horrible Tango
two weeks ago, we didn’t hear any technical critiques. I totally disagree with
the judges regarding Gev’s hands; they weren’t floppy! He may not have finished
every single arm/hand movement, but floppy? And pointing out to Courtney to
lift her leg a little higher when we’ve seen some horrible leg extensions was
just kind of nuts. Anyone notice her dress catching on her heel while she was
lying on the ground? She unhooked it without missing a beat! This performance
was definitely a high point for me!

3.
Comfort and Chris (African Jazz)

My
body physically tensed up hearing that Marilyn Manson song. The first time I
saw him was in the video of “Beautiful People” and it totally freaked me out.
Combine a creepy song I abhor with an ADD choreographer named Tyce and what do
you get? Pieces of disjointed choreography with no clear point of view. What
was the story? Were the dancers pre battle, post battle, in stealth mode? As
for Nigel’s “more animalistic” comment, I think raw and dirty would have been
more appropriate adjectives to describe African warriors. Comfort obviously
wasn’t able to call her dad to learn about her African roots because she was
pretty awful. As for Chris, he looked like he was trying way too hard. I’m not
sure if it is his body type, his posture, his lack of fluidity, the way he uses
his hands, his facial expressions, or some combination of all of the above, but
he stands out as being an awkward fit for a show based on versatility. If Chris
had gone home last week, like he should have, it would have been Comfort and
Marquis dancing African Jazz. Call me racially bias, but my gut tells me I
would be writing a completely different review. Definitely B3.

4.
Jessica and Will (Disco)

Why,
why, why do they let Doriana continue to inflict her horror upon this show? In
every single rehearsal video, she says the exact same thing every time- “Disco
is no joke. Disco is actually pretty hard. Beware of the death drop. There are
fun lifts.” The bottom line is that her recycled choreography sucks. There’s
never enough actual dancing and she goes overboard with the awkwardly placed
lifts that usually come one after the other towards the end of the routine.
Tonight it was just lift, lift, lift with absolutely no transitional movements
or relationship to the music. Perhaps we can start a petition to boycott disco
(among other dance styles) and replace it with, I don’t know, maybe River Dance or Bollywood?
As far as the dancers, I’m interested to see what Will will be like once
Jessica stops “dragging him down.” NOT. I have yet to see this amazing
potential that the judges keep shrieking about. Sorry, I’m not drinking the
Kool-Aid, so stop shoving him down my throat! Will definitely had the disco
attitude tonight (LOVED his opening pose!), but both he and Jessica made way
too many mistakes to receive any kind of accolades. The lifts and the death
spiral were labored and clunky, and their performance as a whole was
underwhelming. The best part of the whole routine was Jessica moving her hand
at the end to match Will’s stumbled line. When a mistake is the best thing
going, you’re in trouble. Last week’s cool hip hop routine kept them out of
danger, but I think they may be back in the bottom tonight.

5.
Kourtni and Matthew (Lyrical)

Color
me slightly disappointed by Sonya Tayeh’s routine. From her appearance and the
rehearsal footage, I was expecting something more eccentric, really “out
there.” It had its interesting moments, but unique? Not so much. On the other
hand, I think Kourtni and Matt danced it brilliantly! They had amazing lines,
strong partnering, and perfectly in sync jumps and turns. I still don’t get
their harping on Matt’s personality and his “up” ness. Actually, I don’t think
he’s stiff at all; Nigel just doesn’t like him! My only real issue with this
performance was Kourtni’s big black booty shorts. Everything else was so zany
and bright and colorful… and then big black butt. Couldn’t they find yellow or
green? Oh, and I seriously doubt Matt will ever wear that mask again.

6.
Chelsea and Thayne (Quick Step)

Poor,
poor Chelsea and Thayne. Poor, poor bouncy little misunderstood quick step.
Last week, Chelsea was taking tickets on
the Hot Tamale Train, and Thayne was pushing the drink cart. This week, you
know those little car things that run on railroad tracks that have levers both
people have to work in order to make it move? Well, now they are on the Hot
Tamale That Thing. (I researched it and could not find the name). And if they
don’t get their solos in order, they’ll be tied to the Hot Tamale Train Tracks
by a Hot Tamale Silent Movie Villain. Enough already. The quick step has got to
be in hold for the entire performance, so it’s hard to relax and show
personality. Also, it’s very fast, but the couple is supposed to glide across
the floor, not bounce as these two did. At the very end when they broke into
the Charleston, Thayne looked amazing.
I also thought he did a better job than Chelsea with the general footwork.  Chelsea
was too busy trying
to be sassy that she completely abandoned the feel and technique of the dance.
Definitely B-3 and I am more than ready for Chelsea to go home. She’s yet
to really impress me.

7.
Chelsie and Mark (Hip Hop)

Absolutely
brilliant choreography and once again, this couple performed my favorite
routine of the evening! No, it wasn’t hard hitting hip hop Shane Sparks
choreography, Chelsie’s chest pop was awful, and the part where she was
supposed to snake her head through her body to the side didn’t actually
“snake”. But because they were both so emotionally invested in the story line
and the literal concept of “Bleeding Love”, they sold it like no body’s business!
Chelsie danced with such anguish and desperation that I was literally blown
away! Mark’s movements were crisp and clean, yet wrought with meaning. I don’t
think there’s any style this couple can’t emote! Okay, as much as I like these
new, lyrical hip hop choreographers, I have a problem with them being the only,
or main, hip hop choreographers on the show. Don’t you just crave some “too
much booty in the pants”, fast, hard hitting hip hop choreography? Shane
Sparks’s opening number from last Thursday is exactly what I would like to see!

8.
Katee and Joshua (Samba)

I
know many people believe this couple to be the pimped Chosen Couple, but hands
down, they have been my absolutely favorite ever since Week 1. Joshua looked
like he was born to do the Samba and Katee’s hip action and footwork were
marvelous. When Joshua came out in those pants doing the samba walk, I thought
about B-Boy Ryan doing his Latin Ballroom dance in Season 1. It’s so refreshing
to see someone so completely out of their element, yet attack the style with
such fervor! I was disappointed that they didn’t try a Samba roll; I know they
would have pulled it off with flying colors! I’d also like to see Katee get
more credit for the role she plays in the partnership. Tonight was the perfect
time for Mary to say something directly to Katee about her actual dancing, but
once again, she ignored her as an individual. For me, Katee is probably the
most versatile of all the girls in the competition and I’d just like to see her
recognized. I love Tony and Melanie as choreographers, and couldn’t be happier
that the show is finally giving Melanie more air time and speaking roles. And
boy, does she look fantastic! “What Not To Wear” really changed her own whole
persona!

My
personal favorites are Katee/Joshua, Chelsie/Mark, Courtney/Gev, and
Twitch/Kherington. If those eight are on the tour, I just might go.

B3
Prediction:
Comfort/Chris (African Jazz), Jessica/Will (Disco), Chelsea/Thayne
(Quick Step) and I think they’ll probably send Jessica and Chris home… although
I’m not sure they want Comfort and Will to be a couple (although I’d like to
see it!)… so they might send another complete couple home being Comfort/Chris.
I wouldn’t care if they sent Chelsea home either- I can’t
see her doing any better than she already has. This group just isn’t in the
same league as my Top 8!