Sunday, January 10, 2010

So You Think You Can Dance UK - 1x01 "The Auditions"

I know that the UK already aired its first week of competition, but I've not be able to watch yet so let's make do with the auditions and Vegas week, shall we?

The sun never sets on the SYTYCD Empire, for I am watching my fourth series since last summer, and appropriately enough, this latest version is the British installation of the show. Naturally, Nigel and Cat are involved, which may improve the presentation of the show, if not always its content.

At the very least, we get to see Cat in her native habitat... after the jump!

"100% bonafide e"? A little help from our Anglophiles, please?

Anyway, it's always fun comparing the cultural differences between national editions of a given show. For instance, instead of Las Vegas, Great Britain's hyperreal gambling and vice mecca seems to be called Top 100, though good luck trying to find that in a UK atlas. (Interesting aside, Room 100 is another term for the bathroom. So, congratulations auditioner, you're going to the top loo!) Second, the British kids who make it onto the competition constitute the Top 14, which is metric equivalent of the Top 20. Finally, in the UK, Nigel is straight gangsta.

An early favorite: Lizzie Gough (not, as I thought I'd heard, Lizzie Goth, which I thought partly because of her hair).

When I was younger, I went to France one summer, and at a certain point, I saw a mannequin street performer. The entirety of the experience -- being in a foreign place where I felt unable to communicate, but then seeing this woman, however briefly, tap so subtly into a universal language just using her body -- enchanted me. And Lizzie reminds me of her.

Extra love goes to Lizzie for performing to Yann Tiersen (the song being "Comptine d'un autre été: L'après-midi").

This is Hugo Cortes, who is amazing but who, like Hok in the second season auditions, had work visa issues that prevented him from getting onto the show. Nonetheless, wow:

You'd expect someone with that kind of body to perform powerfully -- and he certainly is capable, check out the unreal height he gets during a somersault:

-- but to couple his strength with this kind of control makes it a real shame that he didn't get to be among the Top 14.

I developed a theory while watching couples on America's Ballroom Challenge in all their sprayed-on-tanned glory -- wouldn't some adventurous dancer actually stand out more if they actually went without bronzer? Then I saw some of the UK's whitest ballroomers who immediately disproved my theory in their blurs of pastiness. So, I will never say another bad word about bronzer.

Indie rating: Fever Ray – "If I Had A Heart"

1 comment:

momo said...

I have been trying to watch this on herky-jerky videoclips, and it's so hard. I can tell there is some great dancing, but it's like watching stop-motion. Maybe that issue will resolve itself as the season progresses.
I like Lizzie Goth better.
I also find the occasional snaggle-tooth charming because it looks more real, but yeah.
Have you noticed that Nigel speaks differently when surrounded by folks who speak like he does? he seems more relaxed, more fluent, doesn't enunciate so clearly for us yanks.
by the way, we plowed through Season 2 of the Wire this weekend in great gulps.