Monday, August 16, 2010

So You Think You Can Dance - Top Three (7x22, 7x23)

I'll say.

And we were all paralyzed at the prospect of Kent walking away with this competition, when we seem to have forgotten (myself included) the Corey Principle, which says that tweens can launch a given non-threatening boy into the finale but that, as seemingly a monolithic and intimidating a demographic as they are, the Twi-hard set alone aren't enough to push him over the top. See, for instance, Neil and Evan. (The tweens apparently abandoned Nathan, whose luck left him on the very short end of the stick.) (Would Benji qualify as a Corey? Although he has all the sex appeal of Justin Bieber, I would say that his garrulous humor and self-awareness -- which some people might otherwise call "mugging" -- elevates him from the category, and besides, I don't want counterexamples mucking up the Corey Principle.) We can't discount all the other voters -- and I'm not going to speculate on their demographic makeup, because I think that "other voters" is hardly a unified, monolithic demographic -- who year after year balance out the sparkly impulses of the tweenies. And maybe, one of these days, we'll learn not to worry so much.

In any event, congratulations to Lauren, even if she is racist against curtains. No one likes curtains, anyway.

The final performances aren't that scintillating with the exception of two.

First, it's not often that during the moments where the camera focuses on Twitch, I'm anxious to see what his partner's doing -- that's how tight Lauren is in the hip hop. Where her Wild West hip hop is a lot more physically demanding, her dancing in the political hip hop (should I call it conscious hip hop instead?) is so precise that I like to imagine that this is what sealed the deal for her. (I'm also a little disappointed that the Wild West hip hop got the encore treatment instead -- it's fine, but Lauren and Twitch's second routine together is miles ahead of it.)

The other number that earns its spot in the finale is Robert and Lauren's pillow dance, which sounds a lot more salacious than it really is.

Dee Caspary packs in so many pretty lines and pictures that I can sort of get lost in the performance just looking for them all. Robert does break character at one point (looking at the ground to see where the pillow is), but otherwise he and Lauren pull off an intricate dance with impressive precision and control.

I suppose there are other good performances from that night, but I'm not terribly fond of the sentimental routines like Kent and Allison's, and the revelation that he said rude things to Allison during it (even if it was in the spirit of the number) make me sufficiently uncomfortable that I'll not be revisiting it any time soon.

I notice that after being a veritable fixture week in and week out -- and in fact being responsible for bringing out some notable entries into SYTYCD canon, like, Emmy-worthy stuff -- Sonya has been absent for the past three weeks. I don't think we even saw her in the finale. At the same time, Dee Caspary has taken a more prominent role on the show, which begs the painfully obvious question: have we ever seen him and Madame Mohawk together at the same time?

Just saying.

As for the other numbers from performance night, I'll let Cat sum them up:

I have to say I'm a little offended at the suggestion that slapping a pair of designer frames is enough to turn people into nerds.

Of the 11 or so encore routines (Wikipedia lists 12, but one is a taped replay of the original performance), I'd have chosen only two of them for certain, i.e. Billy with Ade, and Adechike with Comfort (which is probably my favorite number of the season). And by the way, Comfort really unloaded on Adechike this time (her follow-through is ridiculous):

And I think he'd agree with my assessment:

Even still, I'm not sure that Comfort can properly get away with kissing her biceps -- fierce as she is, girl is skinny.

Meanwhile, Kent and Anya's Cha Cha isn't a half-bad choice, but does he ever butcher it in the encore performance.

As for the "special" "surprise" in the Alex/Twitch routine, color me mildly disappointed that it involves Ellen Degeneres -- nothing against her per se, but I had thought that they were actually getting a bonafide dance superstar (perhaps an oxymoron), like getting Edward Villella to sub in for Alex or something. That's not to say I didn't laugh during the slapstick passage, though. Still, I should've expected another bait and switch on the order of Cat and Nigel's "duet" from season 3.

It's nice to see Hok with an even uglier haircut than before, and that Quest has added a girl to their ranks (Google sez she's Lydia Paek -- ex from the Boxcuttuhz (what it do, ABDC trainspotters?) who seems to have made out quite well, considering she cried during one ABDC judging because she messed up as her crew became the second to be eliminated that season). And Ryan's suicide?

That gets a WHAT.

I'm not up on my dance crews, though, so I don't know if Dominic is no longer a Quester, or if his SYTYCD commitments simply prevented him from joining his mates this night.

Between Russell and Lil' C, the other notable dance guests (because I don't care about tap), I have to say that the King of Krump is still the King. Russell's style of krump is a lot lighter, and he throws in some nice footwork, but I prefer C's heavier style, where each of his moves has the weight of the Earth behind it.

The group routine that opens the finale isn't bad -- I like the part where Twitch has an octopus of girls surrounding him...

... and the part where Billy gives that bendy girl from the Step Up 3D performance (Tamara Levinson to her mum (h/t momo)) a run for her money:

Kathryn in fishnets is a vision-and-a-half and would be two full visions if it hadn't been for that tragically, criminally dowdy hair.

There's something horribly kinky about this tableau, especially the Evil Schoolmarm expression that Kathryn is wearing:

The composition is interesting, though -- we have the really weird slit in Kathryn's skirt paralleled by the split in Robert's pants. This has been another installment of Professor McDeeley's Western European Imperialist Art History Magic Carpet Ride.

During Lauren's Cha Cha rehearsal, Melanie and Tony make an "oooooh" sound because, I thought, Lauren catches Pasha with a hard elbow to his chin. Turns out I was looking in the wrong spot:

And for added fun, here's Lauren following her performance as the show goes into break:

I can see why she won.

Why I Love Cat Deeley, Part 312
On top of being gorgeous, she is an expert impersonator:

Why I Love Cat Deeley, Part 313

Because unlike some people (ahem Lauren), she is very very subtle when she checks out a hot body.

Why I Love Cat Deeley, Part 314

She knows how to handle awkward social situations.

Why I Love Cat Deeley, Part 315
She doesn't only tower over the dancers, but her shadow does too:

I know -- that's not much, but give me a break, this is Part 315, ok?

Ugh, just when I'd forgotten how Tommy got robbed in SYTYCD UK. I have to admit that I didn't even watch Charlie, but in pairing her with Neil, SYTYCD was all but daring me not to. Well done, producers.

SYTYCD post-production team one season behind me, as usual.

I forgot to post this one from last week:

This is the most men I've ever seen in the audience of SYTYCD.

As requested:

You know, for the season's disappointing lack of Legacy.


momo said...

Thank you! Even better than the original remark!

Lots of macro goodness here, makes up for some of the show's disappointments this season. I was not moved to write a single post. Fickle? jaded? whatever, I'm glad you kept going!

Anonymous said...

Sonya was absent the last part of the season because she was choreographing a musical, The Last Goodbye, for the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachussetts. I really missed her when they paired up Robert and Mark. That would have been a trio created in heaven.