Wednesday, February 03, 2010

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 8 (1x08, 1x09)

Cross-posted to SYTYCD Britain Social.

Best performance show so far.

Girls - Broadway

Yanet and Robbie - Lindy Hop
I think you can officially call me a Lindy Ho because I actually liked this routine to no small degree -- it's my kritikal kryptonite, you kould say. Yeah, it was a mess of flailing limbs with a protracted section of labored lifts and some pointless tricks (Robbie's spin-kicks over Yanet's head), but I found the mad scientist conceit was fresh (even if we'd already had the Bride of Frankenstein hip hop from season 4, and never you mind). I also felt that this was the most tolerable Robbie's been for a while.

Sisco calling Yanet as the weakest girl left? Dick move, on top of being wrong. I'm glad that in the end, she got a chance to tell him off scathingly (and if she had flashed attitude like this throughout the show, I would've loved her ten times more).

Alastair's solo
Not as hot as his previous solo (e.g. weaker transitions). Perhaps not coincidentally, he wore a shirt this time.

Lizzie's solo
This was fun; she showed some nice variety (popping, locking, even a little bit of b-boy down-rock). I wouldn't say she mastered any of those styles, but I'd call her a Jill of All Trades. Also, wow? She is like, jacked?

Drew and Charlie - Lyrical Hip Hop
I was expecting to hate Charlie in this, but she had so little to do that she barely made an impression, so kudos to her for being so toxic that the choreographers actively minimize her presence in a routine. Drew, on the other hand, had the lion's share of dancing to do in it, and as long as we keep in mind that this routine was basically jazz, he did fabulously well. And the part where he walked on his hands? Boss. He's also easily the best male dancer at raising and adapting his performance quality to fit all the different routines, and he was no different here. I didn't mind the prop overload either (i.e. anything to distract me from Charlie -- I will admit that she charmed me just a little when she received the balloons and her face simply lit up).

Tommy's solo
A nice locking routine! Infectious and fun.

Mandy's solo
So so.

Lizzie and Alastair - Contemporary
Can I just ask first off: how adorable was Lizzie's package when she and Alastair visited her dance studio?
Alastair: Who wants to dance ballet?
(Crickets chirping.)
Lizzie: Who wants to dance street?
(Alastair cries in shame.)
Anyway, the pair's contemporary was probably the strongest piece to date on the UK show, and it came courtesy of Baldo Italian Short Guy AKA Rafael Bonachela again. Chemistry well in evidence, and Lizzie showed real grace. A small quibble is the slight hesitation when she lifted Alastair (and what hey, Baldo Italian sure likes to put female lifts in his routines).

Robbie's solo
Cat introduced this as a completely new solo. Really? That double turn into the splits was impressive, sure, but man, I just don't care for his style at all.

Yanet's solo
One of her better solos -- she threw in some yoga poses -- but, you know, it's a ballroom solo.

Mandy and Tommy - Broadway
Great fun. GREAT fun. Tommy has been fearless in all of his partner routines, and he committed enough to this number that he brought great energy and personality to it. Meanwhile, Mandy danced like she had a weight lifted from her shoulders, and was the freest I've seen her on the show.

(By the by, Tommy's package broke my heart.)

Drew's solo
During his pirouettes, he was spotting by looking straight at the camera -- the camera that was rotating around him, i.e. "Aw come on, now he's just showing off!" I tend not to care for solos that feature a prop telephone, but Drew completely justified it -- totally camp, totally awesome.

Charlie's solo
Her best solo to date -- not saying much, clearly -- but compared to all the other remaining non-ballroom dancers, she's still cloyingly immature.

Guys - Ballet
Arresting -- great choreography, though I'd say the execution was a little ragged.

The idea that Charlie and Robbie were gifted the cancer dance (sorry for the crude term </unwedges underwear>) was kind of mooted this week, considering that they've both got a far better boon that'll last them till the finals -- i.e. they're both pets of the judges. Whether or not they fall into the bottom next week, they'll have Nigel et al to save them unless they completely tank their performances. In other words, the cancer dance (sorry!) was less a way of getting Robbie and Charlie to the next week as it was a way to burnish their body of work so that they or the judges could point to it and justify keeping either of them over better competition.

So the Top 8 Shocker made its way to the UK too, I see.

Louise Redknapp is a poor, poor, poor man's Cat Deeley. In fact, she is what I, all those years ago, initially thought Cat was going to be: a talentless blond English totty.

Indie rating: Zoe Keating - "Tetrishead"

1 comment:

momo said...

I'm loving your recaps of SYTYCDUK because of your observations of the dancing. I haven't had a chance to see the vids yet but will get to it this weekend because you've made them sound so interesting. I have a soft spot in my heart for lindy hop because I learned to do it with a lindy fiend and he made me sweat of 20 lbs of post-partum weight gain in the process. I actually learned how to do a couple of ariel tricks for a performance.