Saturday, July 14, 2007

So You Think You Can Dance - Week 4, Top 14 (3x12, 3x13)

Welcome to So You Think You Look Asian!

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Except not so much!

Lauren famously said this week that one thing which people don't know about her is that she has an Asian alter ego. Obviously, they wouldn't know that because -- wait for it -- she doesn't look Asian, which I can say with confidence because I lust after her for reasons different than when I lust after Asian girls.

Cat, as the host and de facto spokesperson of the show, would you like to comment?

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To a certain extent, you have to blame the producers for letting it reach the final broadcast. Couldn't they have paused to consider the vast ignorance of what she just said, then resolutely request her to try again with something less, how to say, inflammatory? Something along the lines of spinning on her head, naked? That would have gone over quite swimmingly, as far as I'm concerned.

Also, "Misha"? Couldn't she have gone with something a little more stereotypically accurate -- like Mei, Ling, Mei-ling, Plum, or Jade? I'd better compensate for this oversight:

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To be serious for a moment, you can call Lauren a racist or not -- just don't call her Asian! -- but whether she is racist or not is beside the point. Yes, she reduced (female) Asianness into a choppy haircut, but she's young, and as a youth, prone to stupidity, not that stupidity justifies what she said. Still, it's eventually pointless to debate if her actions and words reflected some essential and bigoted quality or not, because opposing viewpoints will get mired in an argument over semantics -- i.e. "What does it mean, to be a racist? Can actions be racist independent of the person, or do racist actions make a racist person?" An argument of this sort, to be the least bit productive, has to take into account sociological, psychological, and other institutional aspects, not of an individual, but of a whole society. Instead, what inevitably gets obfuscated in these debates is the very thing that needs to remain in focus: what Lauren said and what she does/did as her "Asian" alter-ego is off-the-charts idiotic.

T!YBE is the first hit for "mary murphy botox." My job is done.

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For the full but low-resolution effect of la très grandes française avec les dents blanches, make with the clicky below:

Always the magic whenever Dom and Cat are onstage.

When the producers decided to give the dancers microphones to interview actors from Hairspray, in the gentle night with the sweet chirrups of crickets bestriding my window, I mused in my own insignificant way beneath the music of the heavenly orbs, "Making these kids talk is a bad idea."

And guess what?

Television disaster accomplished. (I'm looking at you, Lauren -- "Do you like—[thinks with the weight that'd crush Atlas himself]—brunettes or redheads?" -- and Neil -- "So that was just your beautiful voice?")

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That's Toni Redpath, the Waltz choreographer and Scarlett Johansson's mom. Rrrwawr rrar!

Speaking of rrrawr rrrarr:

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Rraw...? Eh, not so much.

Three favorite routines of this week, in descending order of yay:

1. Dom & Sabra - Hip Hop - Download (26.45 MB)
Yay Shane! Cognoscenti may have dismissed this is lesser Sparks, but a "diluted" routine of his still kills nearly everything else.

2. Sara & Pasha - West Syde Swing - Download (36.07 MB)
I mean, do you have eyes?

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So hot that her arm and her partner's arm are evaporating!

3. Lauren & Neil - WADE ROBSON
Yes, I'm aware of backlash from certain corners of the Interwebs against Lauren, and that this routine was a dud for the first half, and Lauren was mugging and being over-the-top (Hello? This routine was surely about tasteful and subdued discretion!), but once the two of them got to do the Wade-O-Matic ragdoll bits and when Lauren was being chased, screaming, and and and when Neil was drag-stepping his way after Lauren...!

The real only point of correction that I can speak about this piece -- aside from making the first half more interesting, of course -- is that the dance's conceit wasn't so much comic book but old-school cartoons of Tex Avery or Chuck Jones vintage, which would've been more obvious if Wade -- whose obvious genius makes me wonder why he didn't use his remote precognitive telepathy to pick up on my reaction to the dance while he was still choreographing it -- had plastered a big ol' handlebar 'stache onto Neil. I'd photoshop one onto Neil but I've already spent all my limited abilities on Orientalizing Lauren.

And if you have a problem with any of that...

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Of the solos, there weren't many surprises -- Cedric shivered my spine, Shauna puked all her emotions onto the stage in a good way -- except for Hok. Despite being a man of many talents...

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... his bottom 3 solo left me particularly uninspired.

Someone floated the theory that excepting Ryan Conferido, most b-boys don't solo well, but that doesn't explain why Hok's audition solo was so hot. I only hope that he doesn't read my blog, because I know how my words must sting and we've seen how sensitive the poor blighter is.

Cedric hung in there as long as he could, during which time he polarized a ton of people, and personally for me, he became a huge FU to haters and their "CEDRIC MUST GO" discourse, which reeked of naive utopianism. That is (I'm adopting their POV now), he is a cancer that has ruined my appreciation of the show, but once he's gone, everything will be peaches! Except for Neil and Lauren! And maybe Danny! Oh and there's etc. No (I'm in my own voice, shooting down their theories), because the zero-sum game of elimination reality tv will always dictate a level of antagonism that will inevitably defile an illusory paradise of good gamesmanship and fair play. The longer Cedric stayed at the supposed expense of other dancers, the more these mopes lathered themselves in a frenzy.

As for Cedric qua Cedric, despite his limitations -- real or fabricated by the judges or his detractors -- I never grew tired of him or his style, and I'll always love him for his cartoon jones, which you can read more about briefly in his exit interview. However, my favorite exchange from this interview is the following:
D: So do you plan on going to Debbie Allen’s Dance Academy since she offered you a full ride to that?
C: You better believe it.

And with that, his final solo:

Download (9.64 MB)

I usually can't stand to see horrible ballin', but Jaimie's negative hoop skills are either incredibly endearing, or I hate her more than I realize.

I'm slayed every time by the part where she does a turn into a développé (look at me with the terminology!) and then dribbles the ball off her head. To belabor the humorous, I love how well she controls her body the one moment, then falls apart once the ball hits the ground. And then her head.

I'm not proud of this, so that's why I'm burying it here near the end.

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If you have a better caption, I'd like to hear it. I mean it.

You've all been such good little googlers that I can't refuse to reward those of you looking to download the Zombie dance from season 2, which I originally posted back here. Really, it's your own fault that the original download link died.

Indie rating: Half Japanese - "How Did You Know?"

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Jeffrey said...

See, I ask for an update, and POOF, there's an update. Good work as usual. The last caption could only be more perfect if it said "Lauren gets an anal probe"

Val said...

I love your recaps!! They are hilarious!

And here I was, thinking that I was deranged for laughing for 10 min about how Jaimie hit her head with the ball.

Ana said...

This really cheered me up :D !

If you ever make a LolCat Deeley website, I'm so there!