Sunday, November 22, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 14 (6x15, 6x16)

Welcome to So Close, Yet So Far!

One of my bĂȘtes noires this season is Mollee, which I guess ought to be termed a bĂȘte blonde, but anyway, I felt a cautious thrill seeing her in the bottom 3. Of course, she's one of the judges' prize pets, and unless she came out on stage eating live kittens for 30 seconds instead of performing a solo (no no see that would be performance art), Nigel et al had no intention of letting her go from the competition, which for me emphasized the asymmetric influence wielded by the judges as opposed to the voters.

In other words, if the judges are fixed on a given dancer making the top 10, then that dancer will be all but assured of making the top 10. I'd also specify that a female contemporary dancer is almost always such a dancer, except the show has so many of them that it's bound to be someone like Randi or Mollee or (to a lesser extent) Caitlin making it to the top 10 despite being anywhere from kind of generic to "she's part of the scenery" faceless.

I've accepted that we'll be stuck with Mollee at least through the top 10 week -- and Noelle, too, who ought to thank her lucky stars that she's hooked her wagon to Russell -- as the price to pay for the voting setup we have, a necessary evil if you will.

I have a weird fascination with how reality programs get edited together, and the performance episode this week featured two fissures that gave us a peak into the constructedness of reality tv.

First, look at the positions of Adam's arms in these two consecutive frames from the episode:

Let me reemphasize that these frames are consecutive -- note the time stamps -- but in the first frame, Adam's arms are up, and .033 seconds later, his arms are calmly on the table. I'm sure he's an able dancer, but I doubt that he has superhuman speed.

Second, one moment Legacy has a third nipple:

... and the next moment, he's just like the rest of us:

Here, we're missing some significant time between the end of the paso and when Cat asks the audience to give it up for Kathryn and Legacy to surgically remove a congenital birth defect clean up a spot on his chest -- and does this missing time have anything to with alien abduction the episode going to commercial break before the judges' critique?

This week in Horribly Transparent Glimpses Into Nathan's Lack of Confidence!

Adam played the armchair psychoanalyst this week and said that because Nathan is the baby of the family, he's used to getting things his way; as a result, he gets frustrated and shaken easily when things don't go smoothly. But let's not extrapolate anything more than that, i.e. he is not cocky, Kate Ward, his self-worth is too easily knocked down to get built up that high.

But I'm stumped as to why he and Mollee ended up in the bottom, and my best guess is that Nigel's results show harangue discouraged Nathan's fanbase for this week, or else we've all overestimated his Non-Threatening Boys appeal.

(Credit goes to zutalors for this genius bit of macrowaving.)

Also, I think the real lesson that Nathan learned was to not try to be funny.

Did I mention that Kathryn and Legacy are my favorite couple? Yes, they bungled the lift at the end, but I'll just blame that on Tony Meredith and say that their performance killed everything else on the stage tonight. I mean, Kathryn was straight out of The Matrix:


Girl knows how to smolder, too.

(If you don't want to lose yourself in its spectacle and focus on technical minutiae, then I'll just speculate about the bug up your posterior and question your taste level and move on from this digression.)

Legacy got a lot of help with this routine -- big dramatic music, an aggressively macho character to play, a partner who is by my eyes second to only one other female dancer on the show, and, uh, I guess not a terribly large load of actual dancing, but I don't want to question my own taste level here -- but you still have to credit him for plunging into the dance, especially since we've seen so many hip-hoppers before him crumble in paso dobles.

His deprecating humor is great, too -- when Nigel noted that he saw Legacy practicing while standing in lunch, Legacy was a little abashed, and when Cat asked him what move he was practicing, he sighed first in a "I can't believe they're making me do this" way and then forgets all that to nail the move with all the committed flair he brought to the actual performance. Too dear!

Oh, and the commitment he brought to rehearsals, let's not forget that.

Because I hold that wielding the right attitude is 50% of an excellent paso, that means Cat's on her way, too:

If you've ever wondered about the demographics of the SYTYCD fans on Idolforums, a brief illustration.

Some charlatan using my nom d'Internet posted the following to the Kathryn/Legacy fanship thread:
Unless Kathryn and Legacy make it to the top 4 and get married in the finale, I'm quitting this show forever!!!
The reaction, when there was a reaction, was confused at best. So I posted... I mean, this fellow posted a clarifying follow-up:
Sorry! Thought this was an English-language board, let me articulate my feelings in terms you're more likely to understand: I hope that Legacy bites his bella-Kathryn so she turns into a sparkly something something so they can live forever in love.

Everybody perfectly understood that second post.

I wonder if Tasty Nasty Oreo wanted to impress people with his willingness to go with "empty" music (see also: his Adam and Eve routine for Will and Jessica), except he went with Bobby McFerrin, whose music calls attention to itself in a way that doesn't leave much room for much else.

And Oreo is still eminently punchable.

Who can resist hugging Cat? Not even Cat!

The most animation Channing has shown all season; her elimination, to be honest, lessens the blow of the missed opportunity to rid the world of Mollee.

Black nail polish! Shredded clothes! Dramatic eye makeup! Some people never get beyond their teenage phase.

Remember Old Lady Melissa? Now we've got Old Man Ryan.

Well, it was a lot more stunning in hi-def.

That's Jaimie Goodwin assisting Travis, right? Why didn't she get a shout out?

On the subject of Travis, the judges have continued to say how proud they are of him, which I find odd since they didn't say the same thing about any of the other former contestants who've choreographed for the show: Pasha and Anya, Dmitry, and Benji, who's choreographed two routines.

As for Travis' actual choreography, let's just say that if he couldn't reel me in with a routine that featured roller derby robots, then his routines with humans aren't going to do much for me either.

So that's Orianthi? She may have technical chops, but the gratuitousness of her soloing made an otherwise pleasantly forgettable corporate pop-rock song into an actively terrible song.

I feel a Dickensian aspect coming.

I think we've reached Exhibit Z of "Hip-Hop Choreographers Copping Moves From Pro Wrestling," this time with Ashleigh executing the ever-popular Frankensteiner.


Indie rating: Angel'in Heavy Syrup – "I'm Sure To Meet You"


Anonymous said...

Hm, the 'third nipple' looks more like a glitch to me - it's almost exactly the same like the one underneath it... and I doubt that either the dancer himself or the choreographers or the costumers would go for the shirtless look :D if there was something. (And now I'm watching the 17th episode and he's shirtless again.)

Anonymous said...

Hey, I noticed that third nipple too, and did copious back-and-forthing to verify! (It's a tough job, but someone has to do it, cough, wheeze.) Here's what I think: it's a glitch caused by the G Police. Who are the G Police, you ask? Why, they are the freaks who decided that Legacy's nipples were not quite family-friendly enough, and so they FUZZED HIS NIPPLES to make them less aggressively pointy. I stared hard at Legacy's nipples for quite a long time during the judges' comments, rewinding again and again (it's a tough job, hack, choke), and I became convinced that his nips were ever so slightly pixelated. I doubt that they're like that naturally, so I'm guessing that the same wacko who censored the 'F' in 'LMFAO' went all Vaseline filter on Legacy's chestable pleasure-points. In the process of said fuzzing, they inadvertently added a third one during the sombre walk to Cat.

Just a theory.