Saturday, June 16, 2007

So You Think You Can Dance - Week 1, Top Twenty

Welcome to So You Think You Can Pants!

I'm not absolutely sure, but I doubt that season 2 referred to its preceding season as much as the first competition episode of this season did. Reaction shots included scores of season 2 contestants (I'd wager that the entire second season top 20 were in attendance), the judges mentioned Nick Lazzarini's Disco godheadness, they made no effort to hide the relatednesses of Faina, Danny Tidwell, and Lacey to season two counterparts (Stanislav, Travis, Benji), they showed Hok's past auditions, and they even brought Benji out to drop his pants in the results episode.

This level of self-referentiality makes plenty of business sense: the show wants to create continuity between seasons particularly to maintain a brand image. They don't want people to forget about Benji, since, as a winner, he represents the show, and trotting him out on the results episode helped maintain his visibility, which enhances the show's overall image or Q-rating. In less business-y terms, it also gives longtime viewers a sort of Easter Egg -- spot Dmitry, Travis, Benji (he made that easy) in the crowd!

Like last year, the way dancers are eliminated first calls for voters to determine the bottom three couples, and from this pool, the judges send home one guy and one girl. I still don't like this method of sending dancers home, which is based on criteria that are opaque and arbitrary to the viewers. Ricky was sacrificed because, according to Nigel, he didn't put 100% effort/choreography/macht nichts into his Bottom Three solo, which criterion viewers weren't privy to until Nigel explained it. While effort surely matters to the viewers, I don't think that Ricky's 90% (or whatever amount you'd like) was enough of drawback to demand elimination. But when he was sent packing, suddenly the judges -- or was it just Nigel pulling rank as exec producer? See the conspiratorial possibilities? -- revealed an agenda most people would never have considered: Ricky's elimination was a signal to future Bottom Three dancers, and they will be judged on effort (maybe). Which all begs the question: What else will factor into future judging decisions that we haven't been told about?

Not that I'd worry too much over Ricky's departure.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Here, he reacts to winning the Hart Trophy, so I'd wager things are looking up for him.

I may be jumping the gun, but...

Download (16.03 MB)

Performance of the season. Robson, you've done it again.

Coming into this week, I was predisposed towards rooting for Sara because I've always enjoyed the b-boys on the show, and here was a b-girl. The brief snippets that we saw during the pre-season auditions/Vegas weeks, though, didn't impress, since she definitely appeared to be markedly slower than her male counterparts, and I had to wonder if I liked her because she was a novelty act.

Then she cleaned up and teamed up with Jesús and the aforementioned Wade Robson, and not only did she dance to a great song from a great movie, she was revealed to be the cutest thing ever.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Then Mary Murphy had to ruin everything. "It was twisted, demented, and SPECTACULAR," she shrilled. Thanks Mary Murphy -- try coming up with a new delivery. If you've watched the show for an extended period of time, you'd probably have noticed by now that while Mary doesn't have any signature phrases -- though she does have that awful screech, which in itself speaks volumes to her overall and supreme lack of wit (really now, you're trademark vocalization is a semiotics-proof scream?) -- but she delivers her comments along the same, tired formulations: she'll start off slow and/or ominous (think "That put the 'U' in 'ugly'") only to turn on the smarm ("But that put the 'W' in 'wonderful'"), except this time in commending the "Cabaret Hoover" routine, she didn't even bother to set up her praise with that tedious "Oh I'm sorry that was the suck j/k lol!!!"

Enough of that. I move onto a discourse on hotties.

Sabra is hot. Sabra is hott when she teases out her 'fro.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Fun fact: when she straightens out her hair, she becomes a foot shorter.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Thus, the moral of the story: LET THE 'FRO FLOW.

I've already perved on Lauren, but now she's brought the smoking by channeling Ashley Judd in the dance episode.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The LOLCATDEELEY Moment of the Week
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Going back to Wunderkind Wade:

Download (41.87 MB)

John Leguizamo
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Dominic Sandoval

So Jesús got into dance because a friend showed him a Janet Jackson video? Très butch.

I have to wonder how far Cedric can go in this competition, not because of questions surrounding his versatility, but because he seems to be one of the most sensitive people to have ever been on the show. During the elimination episode, the petrified look on his face pretty much said everything he couldn't put into words.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Fortunately, he's got some happy ecstatic feet.

Download (9.74 MB)

Now for interaction (or so I hope). I've got medium-to-hi-res videos of the following routines, all ready to upload. Tell me which one you want in the comments section, and after let's say a week, I'll upload whichever has the most votes.

  • Hok & Jaimie - Hip Hop

  • Cedric & Faina - Hip Hop

  • Jimmy & Shauna - Broadway

  • Kameron & Lacey - Contemporary

  • Sabra - Bottom Three solo

Apropos of the date:

Happy Bloomsday!

Indie rating: Explosions in the Sky - "It's Natural to be Afraid"

Filed in:

No comments: