Sunday, June 27, 2010

So You Think You Can Dance - Top Ten (7x08, 7x09)

Well. I suppose there's something to be said for being eliminated this early -- even after dancing the routine of the night, easily and by far -- because then I won't get too attached to the season's best ballroom girl, Cristina in this case. (I'm also thinking about what happened with Janette. No, I'm still not over her elimination, and it's not because I'm a bitter old man -- I prefer to call it passion and intensity of feeling and I'm always right all the time.)

Suffice it to say, Cristina's paso with Pasha was my favorite routine of the top 10, perhaps even thus far in the competition. I'll admit that the routine is more accurately called Pasha's paso with Cristina, but compared to the other ballroom of the night, Cristina was an actual factor in why I loved the dance so much, a major feat in a style where I usually watch the guy.

The paso compares favorably to the Argentine Tango, especially considering the mistake of outfitting Robert in a white shirt which made it so much easier to see the blood from where Anya was murdering him. Clearly, Anya did not read my post on how the ballroom All-Stars were supposed to highlight their partners, because she ended up abusing Robert as a prop. To his credit, he was present, but because he had less partnering to do than Cristina had, I have to give the paso the edge in a head-to-head comparison between the two ballroom performances.

On the other end of the style spectrum were the two hip-hop routines. Unsurprisingly, Comfort was remarkable and made for a great krump routine as long as I watched it with one eye. Unsurprisingly, Billy couldn't hang, which ought to validate krump as an art form among the "trained = classical" crowd but I'm sure they're having none of that. Nevertheless, here's Cat showing Billy how to get gully:
(And apropos of krump, I love how Lil C analogizes it in his TED segment and hope that he busted it out for some of the more swag-challenged dancers.)

The other hip hop, despite its praise and honestly one of the cleverest uses of b-boying on the show, didn't touch me for a lot of reasons; I didn't like Lauren's costume (that jacket, in addition to being moderately ugly, seemed to swallow up her shoulders), and like Mia, I thought that the moment of emotional catharsis should've been considerably more unrestrained and powerful, which brings me to something odd I've noticed this young season.

For a couple routines, we're shown the dancers rehearsing a certain move which comes off much better during the rehearsal than in the broadcast performance, one example being Tessandra Chavez eliciting a stronger emotional reaction from Lauren when she was supposed to explode at Dominic; another example came last week, when I far preferred Alex's rippling developpé in rehearsal than the one that we saw onstage. I wonder if it's mere nerves that blunt the dancers' style, or if the choreography actually changes between rehearsals and performances.

It's certainly nothing new in the grand scheme of the show, but that's two weeks in a row that I've noticed a conspicuous difference in quality, even if it's understandable on a human level; however, I also noticed a very interesting alteration in choreography with the Fosse number. Here's how it went down in rehearsals:

And here's the closest that Misha got to Alex's nether regions in the performance:

Not too hard to imagine reasons why that got changed.

That's an awfully knowing look, Cat. In fact, there was quite a lot of heh heh heh-type stuff going on this week.

I happened to enjoy the Bollywood routine, less so for Jose (who almost caught up to speed with the dance when he started to get more grounded), but because Kathryn was exquisite; in fact, two weeks in a row she's been in amazing form, and if she had danced like this last season (or if I had the chops to notice her), I would've voted for her. I certainly think she's been more self-assured this season, too.

So far the All-Stars format has played out in the exact opposite way that I anticipated; the All-Stars, far from being transparent figures that embellish routines, have taken center stage (keeping in mind that the season is still young (while still being more mature than Kent)), while leaving most of the contestants in the background. But what fails regrettably for the contestants of a reality show succeeds more and more as an exhibition of pure(r) dance, and for that, I can't complain (except for the part where my prediction proved wrong).

Ashley's nickname should just be "Who?"

Was anyone else curious to know what Six would've looked like if she had been played by Katee Sackhoff? Wonder no more:

Funny hearing Starbuck say, "It's precious, this planet, we only have one, and we have one shot." Unless, that is (and here comes a massive Battlestar Galactica spoiler if you care), you happen to have a fleet of interstellar spaceships with faster-than-light capabilities to wander the universe in search of other habitable planets, and upon finding one, you decide to not just mate with the smelly bipedal neanderthalic natives but also to send your fleet of awesome spaceships and the rest of your advanced space-aged technology straight into the sun. Me, bitter? Heavens, no, it's called passion. /angry nerd

Oh, and by the way, Stacy Tookey:

You are adorable for such an animated reaction to Billy B. Whack when it wasn't even your routine getting ridiculed.

I'd hesitate to say something so absolutist from two data points, but in between his dislike for ballet when he was a kid, and his repeated attempts to leave Miami City Ballet, does Alex hate ballet, or something? Obviously, "hate" is too strong; he probably doesn't find ballet completely intolerable if he's become as good as he is in it, but that begs the question: uh... does he hate ballet, or something?

Channing was in the audience, too? Man, they're letting anybody in now.

Sonya's group number is, hands down, my favorite work of hers. From the start with the guys doing those leaping steps which were ripped straight from some sci-fi/anime dystopia, to the girls getting to do some b-boy groundwork (!) (we only get a good shot of Lauren doing it, but she pulls the moves off nicely) (ironically, when the guys got to do a freeze, Jose looked the worst), this routine grabbed me in a way that none of her others have. It still had all of what I think of as her signature moves, but they're packaged in a way that I finally can get into (cf. the sci-fi/anime dystopia).

Adechike has some long lashes:

It goes without saying, and indeed I've gone without mentioning it for a while now, but Cat is simply too dear. She's genuinely embarrassed about not having practiced for the National Day of Dance, and she's earnestly worried about the difficulty of the routine, all of which is too adorable for words.

I know that some people have trouble parsing Asian-style emoticons such as ^_^, but thankfully we have Cat who is happy to demonstrate:


Michele said...

Holy shit, I laughed so hard at last graphic! I have lurked for over a year, love love love your posts.

PS: The tapper must die! Seriously.

Leee said...

Thanks and welcome, Michele!

Anonymous said...

Did you notice Alex wearing Russel's "i`m rock" t-shirt from the last season in introductions?

I mean, what`s wrong with the wardrobe this season, are they poor or something?