Tuesday, June 24, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 18 (4x08, 4x09)

This is So You Think This Is A Meritocracy!

Always keep in mind that in spite of all appearances, this show does not principally reward pure talent -- for instance, a purely merit-based show wouldn't have compelled a contestant to resort to a different solo because it couldn't clear the song she wanted to use -- nor is it consistently subject to good sense. Not that either of these qualities ought to prevent you from enjoying this or any other reality programming, programming which is almost universally about the process more than the end result. Simply put, take what you can get and leave what you don't like, and to boot, SYTYCD is one show where you really have to tune out a lot of the stuff you disagree with, both on the show and in the ambient noise that surrounds it.

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In action: No matter how much the judges try to assert themselves as the centers of attention, we should generally ignore them and their shortcomings in particular -- because why let a trio (sometimes a quartet) of nonsense machines spoil our pleasure? (Here's Mary malfunctioning.) In fact, with the exception of Mary, none of them are beyond redemption. For starters, I've concluded that Mia, her talents as a choreographer not in dispute here, kind of sucks at critiquing. She too often wallows in the seductive murk of abstraction that's borne from all her time as a creative type, giving critiques in the vocabulary of feeling ("organic," "purity," "beauty," "unicorn") -- which is all a roundabout way of saying that I blame her for the narrischkeit about Kherington and her smile, but even then, she absolved herself of a whole season's worth of Smilegates simply because of this little gem, which occurred when Mary was about to launch into one of her screeching jags:

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On the other end of the table, even Nigel redeemed himself partially. His faults being numerous and well-documented, I won't bother reiterating why a veritable rainbow coalition of people hate him, but this week (by which I mean week 2), I found myself agreeing with him (oh noooo I'm a shallow prevert!) on more than one occasion, the most edifying example coming when he called Chris for being total vanilla weaksauce. And then, the coup de grace, his lusty plotzing over the Broadway routine sang out with the overjoy pouring out of my heart like meadows and butterflies and sunshine.

Yeah. Point is, I offer this apologia because unlike the seeming majority of kvetching viewers, I went bananas over week 2 and didn't notice a significant qualitative difference between week 1 and week 2. So considering all that and the fact that we're a whole two weeks into the show, why all the moaning? I wish that people were this principled when it comes to the environment.

I get that in a better world, Marquis could easily have stayed on, but as far as I see things, the worst thing that resulted from his elimination is that Comfort didn't get a new partner.

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The takeaway point, for people who don't want to read the above: don't take seriously people who abuse the self-tanner to the point of being in blackface.

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I never thought I'd enjoy a Broadway routine or anything by choreographed Tasty Oreo, but this...



Download Joshua and Katee's Broadway (47.6 MB)

My god, Joshua and Katee had me dancing with my dog during the commercial break (the judges thought her lines were great, and they said I was always there for her).

I was insanely wrong about Joshua; he didn't impress me during auditions, but kicking off the season with back-to-back performances-of-the-week has rocketed him to immediate favorite status.



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Notwithstanding the hosannas I've been singing about him, and bros before hos and such, but Joshua -- busted:

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His and Katee's whole "What is that stupid dance?" "Joshua, you do it too!" bit was adorable because it's such married couple bickering and adorable and oh god I swore I'd never ship!



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From one power pair to another, Gev and Courtney, who make a real attractive couple, and obviously they know it because after their contemporary number, they left the stage early to heh heh, and honestly, who can blame them? They're both hot.

Gev's got arms sculpted out of marble.

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Plus, he has got the proverbial trunk junk.

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Don't you just want to gobble him all up?

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Courtney, who is no slouch and is totally adorable when she makes faces, has got dirty feet.

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As fast as Josh has risen in my estimation, Twitch, on top of regrettably resurrecting Urkelstyle, has fallen just as quickly even as he's been fast-tracked towards a TPPB-approved destination. The genres he's pulled haven't helped him in my eyes -- though Broadway didn't kill my enthusiasm for Joshua -- but with the pseudo–Viennese Waltz, I couldn't ignore how stunted his extensions looked. (I thought I didn't know anything about dance?!) In any event, whether I've become a ringer or not, I've backed off my early "Twitch is going to win this thing!" Unless... he's engaged in a reverse-psychology anti-jinxing gambit! So he's as smart and as good-looking as Urkel.



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Comfort is chilling right where Joshua and Twitch passed each other. Although I called her an early favorite, she also remained somewhat unknown (praise to the editorial decisions!) and consequently her "best female hip hopper" rep only made me cautiously optimistic, as opposed to "Twitch is going to win this thing!" That's why I haven't thrown her overboard yet, not to mention that the krump was a lot better than the judges made it out to be if you keep in mind that it really wasn't krump, and if you don't bother looking at anything else besides her.

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Download Chris and Comfort's Krump (55.1 MB)



She also pulls some great faces.

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However, Mark is probably the undisputed winner in this category

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Chelsea should always have her hair teased like this; her usual style looks like a cheap wig.



As is my wont, I tend to forget things each week, and rather than let them fester in oblivion, allow me to institute a new feature:


LATE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

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I must be inthayne for lapsing on something like that. Anyway, while I'm not a big fan of Thayne, I have to admit a small spot of fondness for someone who's clearly influenced by Grover.



THE MEHCATDEELEY OF THE WEEK
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I can sort of guess why Susie was getting all the "Ooh she's only on the show because of TITTAYS" flaming (it's because she has an impoverished drag queen look going on), which I guess is why nobody has yet to comment on Jessica's amazing rack.

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Download the Shane Sparks group routine (59.2 MB)

Shane's back! It was far from his best work, but far from the hackery he churned out at times last year. It starts slow, but Shane's judicious use of the empty spaces in the music is where it breathes.

I did notice one thing. In the opening, Gev does a flip and his hat flies off.

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A couple cuts and three seconds later, his hate is miraculously back on his head.

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Unless he's incredibly fast and aware of his hattedness, we're seeing how the show edits together multiple takes of the group routine into one finished product.



More questions for those of you who like the video downloads: Are you happy with the video quality from the previous weeks this season, or do prefer these less lossy 40-50 MB files?



So there you have it, a recap in all of its scolding, smug glory.

Indie rating: Paula Frazer - "The Well"

5 comments:

momo said...

my sytycd experience isnot coomplete until your recap!

KJ said...

I had to leave my class to laugh in the hallway about the Thayne-Grover comment.

Ted said...

You're ani-gifs are classic!

Anonymous said...

I thought I saw Will looking at Jessica's rack on tonight's show, when they showed them backstage in their disco outfits.

Leee said...

I thought I saw Will looking at Jessica's rack on tonight's show, when they showed them backstage in their disco outfits.

I didn't notice, because I was too busy staring at rack.