Sunday, July 20, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 10 (4x16, 4x17)

Welcome to So You Think Finding The Avenue of Gain Is Easy When Chauffeured By Loss!


To some people, Kherington was an easy target to hate, but less so for what she actually did and more for what she symbolized: the blandly pretty blonde for whom the judges cut slack and who seemingly could do no wrong in their eyes. She was never a favorite of mine, but since she was always solid for the majority of the season, I never could hate her, which points to the show's greatest achievement this season -- there isn't a single person in the top 10 whom I hated even slightly. In fact, I haven't been able to work up anything resembling hate since about the end of the third week, which speaks to the strength of the field of dancers.

And which brings us to Gev.

The guys' side of the competition is ridiculously deep this year, and of the top 10, any cut was going to eliminate a guy who deserved another couple weeks, and Gev happened to be the unlucky blighter. I thought he was turning a corner ever since that first, indelible solo of his, which carried him to the high point of being among the top three couples in week 5 and becoming, after Joshua, my favorite male dancer. He always impressed me with all of the non–hip-hop performances, in which he acquitted himself admirably, never brutalizing the routine and often even pulling off a reasonable facsimile of the style. But once he got onstage with only 30 seconds to do his thing, his own thing -- what a thing!

Like this:


And of the many qualities of his that I'll miss, just one is that even when he was in the hot seat, he didn't lose his lightheartedness.


However, none of us should pity him too much, as he got the chance to do something most of us will never even approach: Cat getting to second base with him.


He really did get the most out of this competition. (Here's first base.)

Third base, after the jump. (EDIT: Sorry for being a tease, earlier; the jump works now!)

It's like clockwork: the second that Joshua and Katee are split, all the magic on the show evaporated for me. I can't say honestly that any of the week's performances moved me the way that any of Katee and Joshua's routines have moved me, the closest Leee-pleaser being Joshua and Shortney's rumba. (The world where my favorite routine of the night is a ballroom number is a world I don't want to live in!!!!!! </hyperbole>)


Their hip-hop number was really half a duet (you can guess which half is which), and at the end the way he flipped (more like tossed) Courtney up from her backwards-bend didn't sit well with me.

The Comfort/Twitch hip hop, which burned down everyone else's house, missed mine. I thought they were owning the routine more during rehearsals, so maybe I couldn't look past those homemade Star Trek costumes from the '70s. He gets major props for the upside-down worm, though.


The pas de deux didn't do it for me, either. It was pretty enough, but kind of remote and reverential. I also had a hard time digging that routine since Will kept shoving Katee in the back. Not cool, man. But then again, in rehearsal, I think... did you notice... I believe so, yes, after three, four weeks of agonizing separation...



Their Broadway, though? Running Will's Shirtless Tally to four routines in the past six where he flashed some abs didn't quite do it for me.


No, this routine didn't have enough pot-stirring! For me, it's pot-stirring or nothing.

Actually, I overlooked Gev and Only Chelsie. Their contemporary was quite nice, and I bought their jive (Gev too!), but alas, not enough for me to send him my six votes that would've saved him.

I'm not one to believe in Chosen One speculation, but I can hardly ignore how the stars aligned to pair him with Katee, then give him choreography from Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden, which was punctuated by this little number:


How positively anointed!




When Jessica bowed out from her injuries and Comfort replaced her, the return of our favorite lady hip hopper inflamed the resentment of a lot of people, but as you may have guessed, I was happy to see her come back.

Comfort and Twitch's waltz was not the crime against dance that haters painted it to be. Of course, it was rough in lots of places, but Comfort especially hit some pretty lines that kept the routine afloat. And you know what? All of her routines -- the week 1 jive excepted -- were respectable. Of course, respectable doesn't set fire to the floor, which nearly every other dancer among the top 10 has done at least once.

Even then, with all her flaws, whenever she's on the stage, she commands my attention absolutely. Like Lil C said, I can't stop rooting for her to pull it out because of how big she carries herself -- which is why I never get the sense that she's among the shortest girls remaining. And I don't think that's any small accomplishment. (Pun kind of intended.)


(As a corollary -- did you know that Mark is almost as tall as Twitch? Whenever I see him next to Twitch or Cat, I'm always a little surprised at how he's an equivalent height.)

And if she can get the notoriously clumsy Cat to do neck rolls with her, then Comfort should automatically command respect.


Comfort's solo on Thursday night was her best (we have a lot to choose from), since she seemed like she was at her loosest and was intent on just having fun. Her locking was great, and my favorite bit was when she threw in the IV REAL sign, which got a big pop from the audience and/or the IV Real crew and which is another example showing that hip-hop peeps know how to please a crowd. From Gev to Joshua to Twitch to Comfort, they don't so much dance as they talk with the audience; instead of evoking the "This is ART you should LOOK at us" aesthetic, they break down the fourth wall and still remain free of the meta distractions, and for that, they are all fresh.

Download the Top 5 Guys' Broadway (61 MB)

I knew pretty early in the routine that "Five Guys Named Moe" was not Tyce's handiwork because of how much I was digging it, and even earlier that it wasn't Shane (I really hoped they were taking my MASKED MYSTERY CHOREOGRAPHER X idea), but Nigel? That was the highlight of the week, easy. (Feeble stepping and all.)

Jessica's departure granted a certain symmetry to the show, since it left the girls' side with names that started either with K or C.


Lil C called Joshua shy, and if you think about it, for the first five weeks, he kind of was, because no one who didn't know how could have expected him to drop the comedy hammer as hard as he dropped it here:

Take your pick:


Mark had a hard time believing she could move like that.

More contrarianism! (Can you handle so much advocacy for the devil??)


Not because of the people doing their happy dances, nor because of the corporate shilling that usually warms my heart; instead, I like these segments because for the briefest moment, we get to see the dancers completely relaxed and being themselves.


Hey, cool, Katee danced to Kate Buswhatdoyoumeanthatwasaguysinging?

Seriously though, folx, how did she get so much better since her solo audition?

We can't let Katee and Will be the only two who had the privilege of performing a pas de deux. Gev actually got the notoriously dance-floor shy Cat to hoof it with him.


As we all know, dancers have a very finite shelf-life; the Stanfurd mascot, however, is evergreen, and Chelsie was already planning for life after the show:

How about that Lil Intercessor?


He began the show nervously, but right around the third routine, he found his voice and started talking like he krumps, i.e. with hard-hitting syntax and tortuous diction. While I can take or leave his metaphors (maybe not the one about driving while sad -- please explain it to me in the comments section if you understood it), he sometimes overloaded what he had to say with ridiculous mounds of abstracted nouns. To be frank, it reads worse on text than it did when you hear it, but he reminded me of an underclassman trying too hard in a creative writing workshop, with "underlying" this and "bleed onto the skin of the dancefloor" that. Nevertheless, cutting through his verbosity, he brought some excellent, shtick-free critiquing game to the panel without a lot of the baggage that comes with being a SYTYCD judge.

If you combine him with Shankers and Don't Care At All, we'd have an unbeatable DANCE JUDGE VOLTRON.


Cat cried! How she suffers!


Producers, take heed. You can't say no to the cutest person alive.





Why yes, Tyce, I think she is a hot piece of assistant.

Good new/bad news time.

Next week I'll be at San Diego Comic Con, which runs from Thursday to Sunday, and as the immersive nerd bacchanalia that it is, I won't have time to watch week 7, much less blog it. But here's where the good news kicks in...


Matt Cibula from the excellent Cave 17 and his liberated prose will be guest-blogging and making you wish I'd stay in San Diego forever. (Hey, that's not a bad idea.)


Indie rating: 500mg - "Servants of the Star and Snake (parts 1+2)"


Anonymous said...

Dude, your "After the jump" doesn't go to "After the jump."

Anonymous said...

Thanks for consummating the tease, dude. Also, love your L'OL C pic.

Jules T said...

You know, someone really should dance to Kate Bush. I can tune out the judges if I like, but I can't tune out the incredible lack of good music on this show (Sonya Tayeh's choices and the occasional Wade Robson excepted). I'm about ready for some "Hounds of Love" or even that song with all the numbers of Pi.

Anonymous said...

lolcats FTW. Stupid emmy snub.

It's not Will's fault the choreographers are obssessed with his abs. :(

BTW I didn't hate Kherington... I did hate Nigel for making her his penis pet... I simply thought she was mediocre and unremarkable, and would have preferred someone like Kelli Baker or Natalie Reid in her place...

momo said...

Best recap evar!
LOL "They always nekkid on stage"
I've never gotten into the Comfort hate either. She made the most of her second chance, good for her.

Courtney and Gev's routine by Sonya gets better with every viewing because she has them playing with the vocal, the bassline, the piano, and getting the underlying swing of Otis's song. Humor and joy along with "yearning, yearning..."

pyewacketsid said...

Set desktop background -> Lil C Intercessing my Fulcrum... awwwww,yeah!

Alas for Gev! Several times this week I've gotten confused and thought Mark got the boot, just because that's what happened in my fantasy world. Stupid reality. *pouts like Gev*

Leee said...

Sorry for the brainfart, early birds, I'm preoccupied with my Doctor Who marathon (in anticipation of SDCC!) and eating those 100 tacos has done my mind in.

Jules, sounds like you're asking for a stern and 100%-humor-free lecture on the merits of the Pussycat Dolls! (But yes, the music quality has gotten very dodgy very quickly.)

Bad news on the Kelli Baker front -- I heard she's committed to something for the next two years, which means no her on SYTYCD 5.

The Enforcer said...

Leee, bless your heart for pointing out that Chelsie looked like the dreaded Tree. I totally thought so, too. And look! You even spelled STANFURD correctly! YAY!!

LOVE IT!! Thanks for the laugh!

Anonymous said...

This is a recap chockful of good bits! Excellent and funny. What I do not understand about the Chosen One is why push so hard? I am so tired of it, its just draining to hear it and see the judges pimp him so hard. I did not catch that last bit like you did (but wow, what a picture) but did catch how he was still the key one in the D. Richardson piece. Thank goodness for Katee keeping up! Have fun at the comic book convention. we'll tell you how sytycd turned out!

Anonymous said...

anonymous at 7:53 was gabriella

Leee said...

we'll tell you how sytycd turned out!

Thanks, gabriella, but my magic internet powers will take care of week 7 for me, so I'll be trying to avoid spoiling myself until I get back home.

Enforcer, I didn't realize there was any other way of spelling STANFURD. Remember, folks, their mascot is a COLOR* and Felicity spurned STANFURD for a FAKE COLLEGE and a guy she barely knew.

* Actually not such a bad thing since my other school is also a color-mascot, but c'mon, FELICITY.

xLaceyfan said...

Spontaneous thought.

You know who I miss? Saraaaaaaa. Why doesn't she make an appearance?

Anonymous said...

I miss Sara, too, xlaceyfan, but we won't see her on the show because she's dancing with Avril Lavigne at the moment.

Leee, I wanted to acknowledge your Comic Book Guy reference and ask you what the hell is up with the mirror in that Tyce screencap? Is there a portal of some sort in the dance studio?