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SYTYCD Season 10: Meet the Top 20 – Thoughts

This is something that I haven’t thought that I would actually create… a thoughts / power rankings post. Considering that I am swamped with RL and all, but I will do what I can to clarify what I noticed.

Disclaimer: These are just my (as in Marianya’s) opinions, and does not reflect the opinions of any of the bloggers on the site.

HIP HOP
I am a little disappointed to not be able to see Emilio in the Top 20. If you recall he is the fanboy that eventually was asked to be a part of Phillip Chbeeb’s crew (I.aM.mE). However, since he is injured he could not participate in the competition.

As for the Hip Hop routine between Fik-Shun and Mariah… we haven’t seen too much of Mariah during Season 10 except in a few montage sequences, however we did get a chance to see her full audition during Season 9. Whileas Fik-Shun we have had an eye-full of throughout the season thus far.

Knowing this much, I felt that Mariah was far more engaging and drew my attention much more than Fik-Shun did during this routine. True Fik-Shun has a very strong personality, but until he could find a way to shine even more next to other dancers (like Mariah) I am afraid he could get lost in the shuffle.

CONTEMPORARY (Round 1)
We have had decent exposure with the four contemporary dancers of the first contemporary dance of the night. However, when watching this particular routine choreographed by Stacey Tookey the men appeared to be evenly matched whileas between the women I found myself drawn more towards Jasmine as opposed to Makenzie.

TAP
Wow, just wow. I really like this mix of tappers far more than in previous seasons. The female is probably stronger than the males at the moment, however… I find that I enjoy Aaron over Curtis, but that is my opinion.

I would be interested to see how Aaron fares in the Top 10 Guys and whether he would exceed expectations or is just cannon fodder? I am seriously hoping for the former a la Benji Schwimmer from Season 2.

ANIMATION
Between the two, Jade appears to be the stronger dancer with a more outward personality. “BluPrint” though strong as well appears to have a bit of an emotional wall during the routine… well in comparison to that of Jade.

However, Jade had a harder time during Vegas week as opposed to “BluPrint” so it would be interesting to see how they fair in the upcoming weeks.

CONTEMPORARY (Round 2)
Three for contemporary dancers, one of which has had a lot of screen time whileas the other two received passing mentions.

Unlike the previous Contemporary routine, the dancers of this one choreographed by Mia Michaels were much more evenly matched for they have all drawn my attention equally. I loved the piece for each individual dancer as well as a whole.

Because of this, I feel that the two unknowns in this piece might actually strike a cord with the audience in time depending on the routines and partners in the upcoming weeks.

BALLROOM / LATIN
Love that Paul is part of the group, however I find it disheartening that Alan was chosen over his brother Gene… Why? When watching this particular routine I found myself drawn more to Paul over Alan… whilas the girls drew my focus evenly (much like the first contemporary routine).

It will be interesting to see how the ballroom dancers fare this time around.

JAZZ
This is probably the strongest dance of the night. If only for the fact that the dancers are not only evenly matched but incredibly strong independently too. But their personalities shown for different reasons and as thus both excelled in this piece as well.

IN CONCLUSION
Interesting that already in the “Meet the Top 20″ episode there are already dancers that I personally see as weaker than others in their groups. If this is the case, I will be interested to see how they fare come the first performance episode next week when the pairings are made and they are (hopefully) dancing styles that would challenge them.

June 19, 2013 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

So You Think You Can Dance Season 9: Top Four Power Rankings

Since I am technically overseas and this is the first time I have been able to sit at a computer to type out the Power Rankings for the Top Four… please bear with me. I hope that when the Top Four perform it will be a lot better… but that is also up in the air.

Now that we know whom the Top Four is going to be… let me go through who I believe the Top Guy and Top Girl is going to be based on their performances thus far and what I would love to see from them in the upcoming penultimate episode of Season 9.

THE GUYS
Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer
From his introduction, Cyrus was introduced to the audience as the “dancer that could”. As someone whose genre is so unique that it seemed virtually impossible for him to adapt to anything else, the choreographers week after week found ways to hide his faults and flaws in dancing whle emphasizing the strengths of his dancing and more importantly his newly developed partnering skills. What Cyrus brings to the table is a love, passion and desire to learn other dance styles all the while evolving his individual style in the process.

He is not without his struggles. Cyrus has time and again struggled in picking up the choreography in other dance styles while at the same time has learned adapt his individual strength and focus it into partnering. Another positive for the enigma known as Cyrus is his charisma and simple joy of just dancing on stage… one would hope that would never change. At the same time, I wouldn’t consider Cyrus “the whole package” he is still rather weak on the dance technical front, but dammit… I could see the allure that is Cyrus if only for his smile.

Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
Chehon is at the opposite side of the spectrum: He is technically proficient in any and all dance styles. He has learned how to loosen up and let go and learned to get down and feel the steps (hip hop with Lauren anyone?) and bit by bit he has shown pieces of his personality. But it was a battle to get to that point. Chehon was reserved and quiet when it came to his personality.

However there was something about Chehon that just kept him on the stage, partially the judges loved him, partially the audience was drawn to him. No matter the reason, the answer is clear, Chehon is someone special. He may not have the over flowing and abundant sense of charisma that flows out of his being like Cyrus but undeniably there is something about him that you simply cannot ignore.

Over the past several weeks, Chehon’s biggest issue wasn’t his dancing prowess but being able to simply let go and just dance. He struggled early on with the Latin and hip hop styles but over time he started to feel more and more comfortable in his skin to be able to simply enjoy the dance. There have been a lot of cases / situations where the stronger technical dancer has been overlooked in favor for one whose charisma and personality is infectious, here is hoping that this is not the case this time around.

THE GIRLS
Eliana Girard
This is another very strong technical dancer who also possess the charisma enough to be the total package. In fact one would go so far as to say that she is the total package. However the primary issue here is that in aiding her partner in the first few weeks of the season she may have suffered in revealing what she is capable of to the audience.

Very much the dark horse between the two girls she has shown time and time Gain via her technical ability that she has what it takes to come out on top. However, something about her fell flat to early in the competition that landed her in danger of elimination. Eventually she found her stride and it would appear that the voting public is warming up to…

Whatever the reason, for me personally, she appears to be the full package as long as she continues his upward trend. To me her struggles weren’t so much personality or charisma but rather she was working hard to help her partner look good and as thus her own image suffered to an extent, but now as an individual she is able to not only brighten but shine in the glow of the self.

Tiffany Maher
I will be the first to admit that I was not sold on Tiffany from day one, there was something about her that didn’t appeal to me and even then I did not see how she appealed to others. However week after week, routine after routine she was able to find ways to shine not only individually but via her routines.

But what was it about her? There is no telling but what did it for me was her Top Six routine. She caught my attention and for the moment I begin to understand her allure. She stayed just under the radar throughout most of this season and I feel that she is peaking at just the right moment. Coming up from under the radar and shining at just the right time. Whether she is able to keep herself shining bright against another female dancer who is also shining at the right time remains to be seen, but Tiffany appears to have the momentum on her side and it started far earlier than that of Eliana’s.

THE ELIMINATED
Cole Horibe
This was a disappointment to me. Cole embodies his characters so well that it is almost frightening and that is what I believed to be his undoing. Cole played cold and calculating so well that the choreographers tended to play to that more and more over time. Unfortunately, because Cole tended to play those characters on and off stage it tended to rub the voting audiences the wrong way.

But who is to complain about his technical prowess? Yes he was touted as a martial artist that was learning the art of dance, but as each week went by he proved time and time again that he is much more than meets the eye. Is it possible that TPTBs attempt at misdirection went too far as to hurt Cole’s legitimate chances of making it towards the end? It is possible, but honestly we may never know.

Witney Carson
Of the two female ballroom dancers, Witney had the personality, charisma, and technical prowess to make it far. And she did. Did I think she could have gone further? It is entirely possible, but honestly Witney, at times, tended to come off more sexy than not, which in the end probably did her in. Too much of one thing tends to draw the audience away and as thus she may have lost her chances.

IN CONCLUSION
Looking back at the above six dancers it is easy to see why America chose their top four. In many ways I agree with their choices and in other ways I may not. In the end this was a very strong group of dancers and in all honesty any combination of dancers would have worked.

After all they all bring to the table varying degrees of skill sets and personality quirks, and any combination of these would work in the final four. As to whom deserves to be in the final four? Well that was to America…. No?

September 10, 2012 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

So You Think You Can Dance Season 9: Top 6 Power Rankings

TOP TWO ROUTINES:
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp & Anya Garnis – Argentine Tango
Oh Em Gee… Hot Hot Hot… I was WAITING for this… this… Argentine Tango, but not only that an Argentine Tango that was done really well. I love how the choreographers incorporated a bit of his classical ballet training into the piece (much like Danny Tidwell with Sara von Gillem in Season 3) it was just beyond hot. Definitely one of my favorites of the night.

Cole Horibe & Allison Holker – Contemporary
For some reason the choreographers are really latching onto his crazy, darker, psychotic side of his character / personality and who can blame them? He does it way too well. I like this piece, a lot, but honestly I am over the whole dark Cole thing… I want to see him try sexy again or even goofy and fun… please? Beyond that… he is a very strong technical dancer so I am not really worried about his dance ability.

MIDDLE TWO ROUTINES:
Eliana Girard & Ryan Di Lello – Quickstep
What’s there to say? I highly doubt there is anything that Eliana can not do… I mean she has been killing it for the most part with every routine up to date and she managed to help her first partner look good for the most part as well. She constant joy of being able to dance was consistent in this routine and she just seemed like she was having a grand ole time even while being in character.

Tiffany Maher & Ade Obayomi – Contemporary
For weeks I simply could not understand the draw that is Tiffany. Being a Jazz dancer I didn’t feel like she was challenged in this routine like she could have been, but I will admit even I liked her in this routine. She and Ade partnered in this routine rather well and I will begrudgingly agree that she has been fairly consistent when it comes to her work on the routines… I would love to see how she would fare in another routine that pushes her even further.

BOTTOM TWO ROUTINES:
Witney Carson & Stephen “tWitch” Boss – Hip-hop
There is no doubt that Witney is just oozing personality and charisma and she brings a lot of that to her dances, however, in regards to content I just felt that there wasn’t enough of it and as thus I felt like she wasn’t being challenged or pushed as far as I think she could have been. As thus, this was not a memorable routine for me in any capacity… and I just felt that she feel flat.

Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer & Melanie Moore – Jazz
There are some routines that pushed and prodded Cyrus in so many directions and there are others that kind of catered to his weakness and I think this routine did the latter more than the former. Yes Cyrus was being challenged… but it felt slow and sloppy in areas. Since I believed if he was pushed in every routine like he was in the Travis Wall routine last week it may have accelerated his growth a bit more… instead we are left wondering why he is still around and I don’t want to think that way because he really is superb at what he does and there is just a wealth of potential there for him to grow so much more.

ELIMINATED ROUTINES:
Will Thomas & Lauren Gottlieb – Hip-hop
This is the routine I was waiting for from Will, something that showed a side of him that we haven’t been able to get from him otherwise. It is unfortunate that he was eliminated because I feel like he had so much more left to give… if this routine was given to him earlier in the season I think it would have changed the direction of his development over the course of the show. If anything I believe he ended his time on the show on a high note… and me wanting more.

Lindsay Arnold & Alex Wong – Jazz
I really wanted to like this routine, I mean I am on the Alex Wong bandwagon… and Lindsay did a fabulous job last week in her routine with Jakob, but despite the incredibly strong dancing the connection / chemistry was not as strong as it could be. Based entirely on the routines of the evening this is probably one of the weaker routines overall… Not the weakest by any stretch of the imagination but not a strong routine either.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS:
Although I can understand letting Lindsay go… I would have much rather have seen Cyrus go as opposed to Will. But considering the votes were from last weeks’ dances I understand why the people voted Cyrus onward because his routine last week was beyond amazing in general.

I am not agreeing with the judges intervening in the eliminations from the Top 10 onwards. I miss having the audience choose how the Top 10 would be eliminated and felt that made for better television. Because Nigel and TPTB are trying to storyboard a lot of these dancers and their times on the show it loses a little bit of the integrity of the show in general and I hope that should the show return for a Season 10 we keep that little bit of what made the show such a wonderful piece of television. That and bring back the old stage!

August 30, 2012 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

So You Think You Can Dance Season 9: Top 8 Power Rankings

TOP TWO ROUTINES
Eliana Girard w/ Alex Wong – Contemporary
This one I thought was a no brainer for myself (if not for most people). This really showed Eliana’s technical prowess and her performance level all rolled into one. Though I’ll admit I was a little disappointed it wasn’t further away from ballet because I am sure she has had quite a bit of training or background in contemporary. Having Alex as a partner definitely helps her, she held her own and really shoned the most from the Top Ten during this episode.

Witney Carson w/ Nick Lazzarini – Jazz
Witney got to show the sexy in this routine and did she ever. She and Nick had charisma and steam oozing for days. It was loads of fun watching Nick on the show finally (especially with Melody coming on as an All-Star last season)… that was a real treat. Granted Jazz isn’t too much of a stretch for Witney to begin with, but she looked like she was having loads of fun.

MIDDLE THREE ROUTINES
Lindsay Arnold w/ Jakob Karr – Jazz
What is it with both ballroom girls getting Jazz this week? I mean really. Granted Lindsay did a fantastic job and I actually believed Jakob being her shadow during the first portion of the routine. However, what really threw me was not that she didn’t dance it well, but rather that during the times that they should be in sync I felt that they weren’t. Like when Jakob does his amazing back bend or flicks his head one way or that, Lindsay wasn’t using her full body like Jakob did. Nevertheless this was a strong routine and she really held her own, but she has got to focus on the details if she wants to melt with other dancers that are just that polished.

Chehon Wespi-Tschopp w/ Lauren Gottlieb – Lyrical Hip Hop
Understandably Chehon had a bit of trouble with the choreography, but dammit he was loose, he was free and he was having fun! What more could you ask for from someone that was doing ballet most of his life? You can’t help but be drawn into this pairing and you can’t help but notice how he just feels the music and the warmth that was emanating from him. Even though the dance wasn’t perfect he really grew leaps and bounds through this routine.

Will Thomas w/ Kathryn McCormick – Bollywood
Will’s a goofball and I haven’t seen a routine that Will has done that he wasn’t allowed to tap into his goofiness. Sometimes it fits and sometimes it doesn’t… this is one of those routines where it works and it works well enough. Will danced the routine really well but dammit, sometimes I wish he’d tone down the goofiness a bit.

BOTTOM THREE ROUTINES
Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer w/ Jaimie Goodwin – Contemporary
He could have easily screwed this up, Travis could have easily cut more corners and have Jaimie dance around Cyrus more than she did, but he didn’t. This routine truly emphasized Cyrus’ strengths in emotion, passion and partnering… yes I noticed that he struggled a bit on making the lifts seamless and his technique wasn’t perfect but dammit he really did surprise me with how much he has grown. Travis did a smart job in creating a routine that would push Cyrus to reach Jaimie’s level and even though he didn’t meet by any stretch of the imagination he did grow and grow a lot. That being said, he still wasn’t strong enough, as long as he keeps growing exponentially as he has he should be fine for at least another week.

Cole Horibe w/ Anya Garnis – ChaCha
Yes, this wasn’t the best for Cole but honestly I am not going to thrown him under the bus for it… why? Because of the following:


Sigh, the Dr says I have to stay off my foot for at least 2 days. What? No practicing!? I said, Doc, do you understand what genre I pulled??
@Dance9Cole
Cole Horibe

You read that right, Cole was actually injured this week and sidelined for two days due to that foot injury. So one couldn’t expect his feet to be perfect considering what he was going through. That being said I don’t necessarily agree with the judges saying that he connected with the audience more than Anya, I felt that there were times when he was splitting his focus with one eye on Anya and the other on the audience. I really liked these two together and Cole was always one for characterizations. If anything I would agree with Mary in the sense that I would have liked more, but I think that Cole did well as to be expected due to his injury… unfortunately despite that injury it didn’t really give as much of a cushion as it could.

Tiffany Maher w/ Brandon Bryant – Disco
There isn’t much for me to talk about with this routine, Tiffany was more in the air than on the floor so critiquing was going to be difficult. There were moments that I thought that she had a to work a bit to make the transitions smooth between tricks but it wasn’t bad. This was a very energetic routine that she did well in, however, I haven’t been able to feel much from her throughout the season and she hasn’t really captured my attention yet.

ELIMINATED ROUTINES
George Lawrence Jr w/ Allison Holker – Jazz
No surprise here, George’s performance seemed to fall flat for me here, but I had always had trouble connecting with George no matter how beautiful of a dancer he is. The one issue with this routine was the use of the cane which I kept comparing to that of Season 6’s Ashleigh and Jakob’s routine which was leaps and bounds more memorable than this. Even though the storylines differ I’ll still remember the Season 6 routine over this one.

Audrey Case w/ Stephen “tWitch” Boss – Hip Hop
I really wanted to like this routine, I really did, but dammit I couldn’t, I simply couldn’t. Audrey is another of those dancers that I haven’t been able to connect with throughout the season and she always appeared to fall flat for me. In the case of this performance she is put against someone like tWitch who is just oozing charisma and personality and she doesn’t come up to scratch she’s going to appear like a moving prop… which unfortunately is what happened to me.

GROUP ROUTINE
Paraphrased from the IdolForums:

It was a tribute to Gene Kelly, who’s 100th birthday is this week. Tyce took classic, iconic elements of Gene’s movies & incorporated them into the dance. So there’s Singin in the Rain with the umbrella (Chehon’s part), Cyd Charisse (Eliana, in a beautiful green dress), Fair Weather, Anchors Aweigh (at least that’s what I thought of when I saw Audrey, Lindsay & Witney in sailor/navy costumes but that could have also been On the Town), when he danced with Jerry Mouse, things like that. [...] There were a few props on stage: director’s chair with Gene Kelly on the back, a ladder, trash can lids that Will, George, & Tyce (filling in for injured Cole) danced with, Chehon’s Singin umbrella. [...] Everyone kind of danced in their own little groups seperately at various points of the dance, then all came together at the end to dance in one big group. Cole did show up at the close of the routine; [...]

TOP TWO GIRLS
Eliana Girard
Lindsay Arnold
TOP TWO GUYS
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
Will Thomas
BOTTOM TWO GIRLS
Witney Carson
Tiffany Maher
BOTTOM TWO GUYS
Cyrus Spencer
Cole Horibe
August 23, 2012 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

SYTYCD Season 9: Top 10 Power Rankings

TOP TWO ROUTINES
1: Lindsay Arnold & Cole Horibe – Addiction
This is the piece that I kept watching and rewatching over and over and over again it was so incredible. If there is anything that all the dancers should have done when it came to doing the choreography that others have done before them it would be that they have to make the piece their own so as to limits the number of comparisons made between them and the originators of the choreography. Of all the pieces from tonight, this was probably the only one that stood out not only as a fantastic piece but also away from the original dancers that danced this piece. Cole really took on a whole different personality that probably scared the scrap out of everyone in the audience, but it was also definitely different from that of his predecessors Kupono. While Lindsay also made the work her own and separated herself from Kayla with her own movement. It was just an amazing piece and honestly even though the choreography is very similar I think this couple did it not only differently, but better in a way and that is what is going to set them apart.

2: Witney Carson & Chehon Wespi-Tschopp – Calling You
On the other side of the spectrum, this felt very much like an homage to the originators of the piece. They danced it rather well and I couldn’t help but watch Chehon over and over again, Witney was also very good too… but something about this piece felt like they were paying respect to Travis and Heidi moreso than making it their own. That’s not a bad thing mind you because part of the reason I loved this routine above all the others below is because it was a suitable homage and one that the dancers didn’t appear to take lightly and gave the piece all that they got. It didn’t feel at all like they just going through the movement without understanding the why… it really felt like they understood the why… as much as it was given to them anyway. However way they interpreted the piece it worked and worked well.

MIDDLE TWO ROUTINES
Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer & Eliana Girard – Mercy
Honestly this was a very good piece for Cyrus and Eliana this week, I do believe that Cyrus is showing some growth during the break… One thing I liked about this piece on Cyrus’ side is that he truly made the character his own. You can tell that he was having a lot of fun with his swagger and tossing Eliana out the door a few times. Eliana also matched him in character and their chemistry was as always electric. You can tell that these two are having a ball working and dancing together. Like I mentioned before I thought Cyrus has indeed improved during the two week break, so it was refreshing to see him dancing a little more.

George Lawrence Jr & Tiffany Maher – Hometown Glory
Everyone talks about the “assisted run” and I don’t know if it is the camera angles, the stage or what… but this piece felt flat for me in some cases. I really liked watching George in this piece and felt that he really gave it his all, and Tiffany is slowly beginning to grow on me. However, Tiffany to me did seem to fall short but I haven’t figured out where… I think it is because when I remember this routine with Katee and Joshua — no, stop — it wouldn’t be fair to compare the two routines because the dancers are different. In the end I felt that Tiffany felt a bit constrained in her movements while George was expansive if that makes sense.

BOTTOM TWO ROUTINES
5: Audrey Case & Matthew Kazmierczak – Time
As I mentioned before, Audrey really emoted quite a bit in this routine. I could understand that Audrey was more of a little girl than a grown woman but it is all in the interpretation. At the end of the day I felt her and understood her, whileas with Matthew I just didn’t get anything from him which is a downright shame really. There didn’t seem to be enough of an emotional connection for me to want to just crawl and cry in my bed. So at the end of the day this just fell flat for me.

6: Amelia Lowe & Will Thomas – Koop Island Blues
I really thought that this would be a piece that Amelia could really shine in, but instead I was left sorely lacking. Will was goofy but there was just something that didn’t feel right at all. Will and Amelia were really good dancers, but they didn’t seem to encompass the characters as well as they could have, instead they were just kind of there, which is sad.

ELIMINATED ROUTINES
7: Janelle Issis & Dareian Kujawa – Sleeping with a Broken Heart
I was really hoping that Janelle and Dareian could shine this week, because I really do like them as individuals and dancers, but for some reason they just don’t have the chemistry together that they do apart. This was a routine that you should feel your heart breaking for and instead it just felt like two solos that just happen to be happening at the same time using the same prop. I suppose it is just as well.

TOP THREE GIRLS
Witney Carson
Lindsay Arnold
Eliana Girard
TOP THREE GUYS
Cole Horibe
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
Cyrus Spencer
BOTTOM TWO GIRLS
Audrey Case
Tiffany Maher
BOTTOM TWO GUYS
Will Thomas
George Lawrence Jr
August 15, 2012 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

SYTYCD Season 9: Top 14 Power Rankings

With two dancers eliminated, the below Power Rankings will just include the dance that have dancers that were not eliminated first (focusing more on the partner that was not eliminated) and any dances where both dancers were eliminated I would put in my thoughts after the Power Rankings. I have already posted my instant thoughts as well as polls for you guys to peruse.

At the end of post I will include the usual table ranking the individual dancers as well:
TOP TWO ROUTINES
1. Witney Carson & Chehon Wespi-Tschopp – Contemporary
Between the two contemporary routines (oddly enough with both couples including a ballroom female partner), this I felt was the stronger of the two. I really loved the chemistry between these two despite Witney being so young and she has so much trust in Chehon when she falls onto his foot and during the lifts throughout this routine. There were moments that I felt there could have been better timing for emphasis but at the same time that is only by tenths or hundredths of a second. During the moment where there is total silence I felt that there could have been a better build up but that might be a little of the choreography and a little of the dancers. All in all this routine took my breath away regardless.

1. Eliana Girard & Cyrus Spencer – Hip Hop
As I mentioned in my “Instant Thoughts” post prior, I believed that NappyTabs did a smart thing here in building a routine closer to Cyrus’ animator / robotics skill set and added Eliana into it for emphasis. Eliana was able to adapted well to this routine and Cyrus was able to grow and pick up the choreography for the most part. These two have something that most of the other couples have been sorely lacking that is connection and chemistry… even when they are struggling in a routine in any capacity they still manage to keep the fun and joy on their faces no matter what. Considering everything, I think this is a very good and well balanced pairing and I really hope that Cyrus starts picking up steam in the coming weeks because I don’t really know if anyone could match Eliana in performance value at this point in time.

MIDDLE THREE ROUTINES
3. Lindsay Arnold & Cole Horibe – Contemporary
The lighting, the routine, the dancers… this really came together rather well and I was glad. Last week they weren’t as strong together in the hip hop routine, to the point that Cole outshone Lindsay. In this routine I still felt that Cole outshone Lindsay as well, however I was able to appreciate Lindsay’s style in other dance styles a lot more this time around because of her hair being in her way. How sad is that? In any case, Lindsay has a bit of maturity to do while Cole just needs to keep doing what he’s doing because quite honestly as long as he keeps this up he’ll be fine.

4. Tiffany Maher & George Lawrence Jr – Hip Hop
To be honest, I didn’t want to love the routine, I really didn’t, but dammit it was fun and cute if not perfect or anywhere near it. Granted both George and Tiffany were forced out of their comfort zones with this dance number and they played their characters well. However there were a lot of moments where I felt that they disconnected in the steps and they just weren’t in sync… so they faltered a bit, but the characterization was still there for the most part.

5. Amelia Lowe & Will Thomas – Jazz
Once again Amelia and Will (both contemporary dancers) pulled a dance style that isn’t a far stretch from their own (they previously pulled a Pop-Jazz and Contemporary) and once again they did well… Well duh. What makes this routine different from the previous two was that I simply didn’t remember the routine in the slightest. I had to think about it and rewatch it in order to gain a sense of what I was thinking, and quite honestly there is nothing to latch on to in my opinion. This was a quirky routine for two quirky characters but really… I don’t remember much… do you?

BOTTOM TWO ROUTINES
6. Janelle Issis & Dareian Kujawa – ChaCha
I’ll admit that this couple has been struggling a bit the past few weeks but considering the styles they have pulled in the past three weeks (Afro-Jazz, Lyrical Hip Hop, ChaCha) all of which are out of their individual styles (Belly Dancing and Contemporary) I have to say of all the couples I am most impressed by this pairings tenacity. I do have to agree with the judges their chemistry and connection was definitely lacking and they really need to work on their feet and technique but I hope that they clear things up soon because personally I want to see them continue on. This routine is suppose to be fun and flirty and I thought there were elements of fun and they pulled off the tricks rather seamlessly. Janelle I felt flirted a bit but she was more to the audience than to her partner which I kind of blame on her dance style. However, in my opinion, they did a far better job than the other ballroom related routine of the evening in my opinion, but they still have a lot of work ahead of them.

7. Audrey Case & Matthew Kazmierczak – Salsa
I don’t even know where to begin. I can’t even say that it wasn’t a “bad” routine because it was. Salsa is suppose to be fun and flirty with a simmer of a fire in there for good measure and it was just cool and slow and they weren’t connected, there were times when they weren’t in sync and there were a missed steps here and there by both parties involved, the tricks didn’t work either. Individually they are really strong dancers and with the previous two routines (Jazz and Contemporary) they did exceptionally well. However, that’s the catch: Matthew is a Contemporary dancer while Audrey is a Jazz dancer so it would make sense that they would excel in a Contemporary and Jazz routine. So when they are given a routine that is out of both of their comfort zones, struggling comes pre-installed, however to struggle to the extent that they did… I think the first two routines would give them the votes to move on, but honestly I know I am in the minority when I say that I am just not impressed by this couple at all.

ELIMINATED ROUTINES
Amber Jackson & Brandon Mitchell – Jazz
As I mentioned in my “Instant Thoughts” post, this is a pairing that should have been together from the start. I mean come on! Brandon brought out more of Amber’s personality than Nick did and they really connected together far better than they did with their previous partners. I was looking at my previous “Power Rankings” post where I included my thoughts of the new pairing:

A contemporary dancer and a stepper, this is going to be an interesting pairing. Brandon is a very strong personality who has been characterizing and emoting well in his routines thus far while Amber hasn’t nor has she been able to connect with her partner. Depending on the dance style they will have next week will help gauge how this couple will do.

Well they connected and they had chemistry and this was a jazz routine which meant this was something that Amber could really have sunk her teeth into and Brandon did an amazing job considering he is a stepper… he didn’t seem to struggle at all and he was right there for her in this routine. I would agree with the judges that if they hadn’t been placed in the Bottom Six, then they would have had the votes to continue through.

ELIMINATION THOUGHTS
Going back to my Power Rankings last week:

[...] I don’t think Amber is going to last much longer than a week, perhaps two. She didn’t really connect well with Nick and as thus the audience is left feeling cold and the chance of them picking up the phone for her is not very high… still.. we’ll see how it will work out come next week.

Now I know there were quite a few people that disagreed with my perceptions of Amber, but honestly looking at who landed in the Bottom Six dancers I really wasn’t surprised in the least. As for the week before, I placed Brandon in the bottom three back then… but that was more due to his initial partner as opposed to his new partner. In fact I was going back to my thoughts from the Meet the Top 20 episode and realized that I was raving about Brandon back then but didn’t say a word about Amber. So for Amber I can’t say that this was a surprise, but honestly I would loved to have seen Brandon continue on, but looking at the Bottom Three guys I think the judges didn’t really have much of a choice when you looked at the solos performed.

At the same time when the judges mentioned who they wanted to perform solos I instinctively figured that they were planning to keep Lindsay and George… and honestly I think that was rather unfair of the judges to do that where the audience could kind of figured out who would be saved right off the bat like that, but I digress.

Below, just like the previous weeks is my ranking of the dancers, in no real particular order:

TOP TWO GIRLS
Witney Carson
Eliana Girard
TOP TWO GUYS
Cole Horibe
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
MIDDLE TWO GIRLS
Amelia Lowe
Tiffany Maher
MIDDLE TWO GUYS
Will Thomas
George Lawrence II
BOTTOM THREE GIRLS
Lindsay Arnold
Janelle Issis
Audrey Case
BOTTOM THREE GUYS
Matthew Kazmierczak
Dareian Kujawa
Cyrus Spencer
July 25, 2012 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

SYTYCD Season 9: Top 16 Power Rankings

We have already lost four dancers at the end of today’s episode… knowing that, what I am going to do is this… I will still rank the routines if they are missing one of the dance partners but focusing more on the partner that is still in the competition. Any routines where both dancers are eliminated I will also mention at the end of the rankings. I have already posted various polls on the dancers that remain as well as posted the music with my instant thoughts.

At the end I will do what I did last week and rank the individual dancers as well…

TOP THREE ROUTINES
1. Witney Carson & Chehon Wespi-Tschopp – Bollywood
Very rarely has a Bollywood routine disappointed me, and this did not break the trend. Granted I was watching Chehon much more than Witney, but that could be because a lot of the poses that he held were just something to see and a testament to his ballet background. But one thing that Chehon did this time around that he did not do last week was enjoying the dance. He not only enjoyed the dance, he showed that he enjoyed the dance and that makes all the difference in the world. Witney has been a fireball of energy since the beginning, however for me it is getting to the point that it is overwhelming. This is still a very good partnership, and I hope they continue to balance one another out.

2. Tiffany Maher & George Lawrence Jr – Foxtrot
As I said before, this was a very fun, smooth routine, this is a very strong couple and they seem to mesh well together. Considering one is a Jazz dancer and the other a Contemporary dancers they did remarkable well in a genre that neither is related to… Then again that could also be because the choreographer manage to work the routine around the skill sets of whom they have. These two also had strong chemistry together which the audience can sense and will react well to. If they keep this up with two strong routines under their belt then I don’t see them falling to the bottom three anytime soon.

3. Amelia Lowe & Will Thomas – Contemporary
What is there to say? I really liked their routine last week and I still like them this week. They were blessed with two strong routines that seem to cater to their strengths. Then again they did a Jazz and a Contemporary routine which aren’t far stretches from their genres (both are contemporary), so naturally they are going to be strong in these routines. The real test will begin the moment they get a chance to work on something outside of their styles. With similar personalities they mesh well and seemed to be rather in sync with one another in this routine staying in time, which is considered difficult since Will is a considerably larger person over Amelia… but you would never really have guessed.

MIDDLE THREE ROUTINES
4. Audrey Case & Matthew Kazmierczak – Jazz
They were lucky to have another strong routine this week and with a Sonya Jazz piece that seems to be stretching beyond her “norm” that we have seen over the seasons. They danced this routine really well, but that is to be expected considering that Audrey is a Jazz dancer while Matthew is Contemporary so they didn’t really moved all that far from their genre in the past two weeks. Knowing that, I am seriously hoping that their next routine would be different from either genres so we could really see what they can do. At the moment they are a strong pairing and seem to connect with one another rather well.

5. Janaya French & Brandon Mitchell – Broadway
It is too bad that Janaya is gone because I felt that she really did redeem herself considerably in this routine. There was chemistry between her and her partner, she emoted and characterized well, you can tell that they were both having fun with the routine. Brandon (being a stepper) reminds me a little of Twitch and Joshua from Season 4, his movements closer to that of Joshua for some reason… especially when he is rising up from his toes at a point. I loved Brandon in last week’s routine and I still like him in this week’s routine. It will be interesting to see how he fares with Amber Jackson as his partner.

6. Lindsay Arnold & Cole Horibe – Hip Hop
Being the first routine of the night they are at an instant disadvantage of being forgotten as the episode goes on, and quite honestly to me Lindsay was forgettable in this routine while Cole knocked it right out of the ballpark. He was quirky and funny in this routine and he really characterized the geek really really well, whileas with Lindsay I didn’t quite believe her in this number, it was definitely too cute to be a seductress and the connection – though there at times – didn’t wow. After riding a high from last week, I would consider this to be a small baby step backwards. I don’t think Cole would be in danger, but Lindsay is another story entirely. However, they work well together so who knows?

BOTTOM THREE ROUTINES
7. Janelle Issis & Dareian Kujawa – Lyrical Hip Hop
To be honest, I really enjoyed this routine despite it being “cute” and the connection between Janelle and Dareian wasn’t there for a fair chunk of it until the very end when Janelle sees the ring and the kiss. OMG the kiss… if she had connected with Dareian with as much intensity as that kiss then I think this routine would have been a lot better and would have shined a lot brighter. I would agree to an extent that neither dancer was shown to the best of their ability, but with a character driven routine how could you expect it? Then again the closest comparison would the contemporary routine of Kent and Lauren’s prom night… Janelle definitely seemed to be enjoying herself while dancing, but due to her belly dancing background I could see how she would have a tendency to look out to the audience more than her partner, but that is something that she needs to work on if she wants to have a chance in continuing in this competition. Dareian was just dreamy despite moments where I cringed at his feet, he did emote more but it seemed to have stalled since Janelle wasn’t connecting with him. This is two weeks of good routines but not strong… here’s hoping that next week brings something new to the table.

8. Eliana Girard & Cyrus Spencer – Jive
I love this pairing, I truly do… so it kills me to have to put them at the bottom of the barrel like this, but what choice do I have? What carried them in this routine was not just Eliana’s technical prowess but also their combined personality and charisma. That is what makes America love them, their personalities just shine no matter what they do and they just seem to be having the time of their lives in their routines. They get along well, which is also a plus, so that chemistry can be felt from the audience perspective as well. In some ways Cyrus reminds me of Cedric Gardner from Season 3 who was amazing in what he did but faltered a lot when it came to adapting to other choreographers’ routines. Here is hoping that in the coming weeks Cyrus shows improvement because I really love him as a person and dancer and Eliana needs to be shown off as much as possible as opposed to over compensating for Cyrus.

9. Amber Jackson & Nick Bloxsom-Carter – Argentine Tango
Argentine Tangos… as I have said in a previous post… I would consider to be either a hit or a miss. You either got all hot and bothered or cold and this felt cold to me. It was danced well, don’t get me wrong… but as has been the case for most of the night, the chemistry in this piece simply was not there. Then again, I don’t believe that Amber and Nick really had strong chemistry to begin with. I feel bad for Nick because that is two weeks in a row that he is drawn dance styles that are closely connected to his genre but what can you do? With Nick gone it will be interesting to see how Amber and Brandon are going to fare together since Nick isn’t really a strong personality while Brandon is.

ELIMINATED COUPLE
Alexa Anderson & Daniel Baker – Contemporary
ARGH! I would consider this routine one of my favorites of the night despite Alexa not being able to emote nearly as much as Daniel did (or I felt he did). This was not only a well danced routine but an incredibly technically challenging routine. It is such a shame that Daniel was also eliminated because I felt that he did far better in the characterization department both last week and this week over Alexa. I agree with Alexa being eliminated because the emotional / mental growth that she appeared to have shown during Vegas Callbacks all disappeared when the lights are on and she’s in the spotlight. If Daniel was paired with a more charismatic person I wonder how that would have worked for him? But then I guess we’ll never know.

NEW PAIRING: Amber Jackson & Brandon Mitchell
A contemporary dancer and a stepper, this is going to be an interesting pairing. Brandon is a very strong personality who has been characterizing and emoting well in his routines thus far while Amber hasn’t nor has she been able to connect with her partner. Depending on the dance style they will have next week will help gauge how this couple will do, but I don’t think Amber is going to last much longer than a week, perhaps two. She didn’t really connect well with Nick and as thus the audience is left feeling cold and the chance of them picking up the phone for her is not very high… still… we’ll see how it will work out come next week.

ELIMINATION THOUGHTS
Alexa Anderson: this is one elimination I totally agreed with, she just wasn’t growing in the way that everyone is hoping that she would

Janaya French: we can see that she is a gifted dancer, and I believed redeemed herself this week with the Broadway routine with Brandon, but due to her lack of chemistry last week… her personality just comes across as flat.

Nick Bloxsom-Carter: he was someone that I really liked on the show, he reminded me a little bit of Benji Schwimmer from Season 2, except a bit more mellow. His lack of a connection and chemistry with his original partner may have done him in but dammit I wished we didn’t lose a ballroom boy this early

Daniel Baker: I was very disappointed with this elimination, though in comparison to the boy left standing I wasn’t terribly surprised. Much like with Nick, I believe in Daniel’s case his lack of a connection with Alexa may have left the audience cold and unwilling to pick up the phone for him, which is disappointing because I have seen him in videos posted by his friend Alex Wong from Season 7 and it was just so much fun to watch him dance in other styles. This is a loss in my opinion but what other option was there?

TOP TWO GIRLS
Amelia Lowe
Eliana Girard
TOP TWO GUYS
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
Cole Horibe
MIDDLE THREE GIRLS
Audrey Case
Witney Carson
Janelle Issis
MIDDLE THREE GUYS
Will Thomas
Brandon Mitchell
Dareian Kujawa
BOTTOM THREE GIRLS
Lindsay Arnold
Amber Jackson
Tiffany Maher
BOTTOM THREE GUYS
George Lawrence II
Cyrus Spencer
Matthew Kazmierczak
July 18, 2012 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

SYTYCD Season 9: Top 20 Power Rankings

Wow… just wow. I just wrote a few quick thoughts on all the routines of the night and tossed a few polls asking for your opinions on which routines you enjoyed, and which dancers you’d love to see move on based on what we saw tonight. What I am going to do is rank all the routines we saw tonight from what I really enjoyed to what was forgettable. Then I will rank all the guys and all the girls w/ no real commentary. Let’s see how this goes.

TOP THREE ROUTINES:
1. Lindsay Arnold & Cole Horibe – Paso Doble
I mean come on! That was almost too good to be true. Such power, such strength, such passion and fire. I knew that Cole had some prior dancing training in addition to martial arts, but I would like to think that it is because of the martial arts that he is so clearly able to bring forth the necessary power and fire that the man needs in a proper paso doble. Lindsay at first came across as a bit of a wholesome, sweet kind of girl and then she comes out all guns blazing and I feel like I am getting a bit of the case of the whiplash because I didn’t see that coming a mile away! At first I thought that of the two Ballroom Barbies, Witney would win out, but man right now? I don’t know, I think Lindsay is making a very good case for herself here… and personally I think this is going to be a very strong partnership down the road.

2. Audrey Case & Matthew Kazmierczak – Contemporary
It’s a Travis Wall routine, so what is not to love? In all honesty though, I really did enjoy this routine a lot… these two just seem to work together so effortlessly. Audrey just seems to float in the air as opposed to jumping up there. Prior to today’s routine, Audrey didn’t really seem to stick out much for me. She hasn’t much more since except when she’s dancing with Matthew and Matthew I really really liked. Granted between the two Jazz girls I see myself drawn more to Audrey over Tiffany, but that again could be because I liked this routine just slightly more than the previous one. Perhaps it is the fact that Audrey just seems to emote that much more than Tiffany did… who knows. In the end this was a very strong routine and definitely one of the more memorable ones.

3. Amelia Lowe & Will Thomas – Pop-fusion/Hip Hop
Can’t help it, I’m drawn to this dance. They looked like they were having just so much fun in this routine. I would say that they are playing a bit of a “cat and mouse” game here, except I think they are suppose to be both cats, in which case… MEOW! I didn’t know much about Will Thomas prior to the Meet the Top 20 episode and honestly, he really caught my attention right away. In this routine the craziness between Will and Amelia was just fun to watch. I am so sure that Will was having so much fun playing with Amelia. I watched the routine over and over again because I found myself just smiling as I am watching them dance.

MIDDLE FOUR ROUTINES (this is probably the most difficult four to put together)
4. Eliana Girard & Cyrus Spencer – Broadway
I’ll agree that this didn’t really show off the dancing strengths for Eliana, but dammit it was fun to watch and really that’s all that matters at the end of the day. Cyrus picked up the choreography rather well for the first time out of the gate. The thing I really like about Broadway routines is that they require a hell of a whole lot of personality, unfortunately that is also at the sacrifice of dance at times, which is what seems to be the case here. What Cyrus lacks in training, he more than makes up for it in personality, charisma and entertainment value. Eliana with her dance/performing background has charisma and entertainment value for days, so I see this as a very good match. Here’s hoping that they could do just as well in the upcoming week.

5. Janelle Issis & Dareian Kujawa – African Jazz
I might be in the minority when it comes to this routine, but I really really liked these two together. I didn’t know what to expect but the intricacies in this routine and movement really came together and if either dancer misses anything, then the whole dance is shot (much like Sean Cheesman’s other routine, but more on that later). As I said before, what these two brought to the table is chemistry and entertainment. There were a few times where they were actually off, but like I said… I really preferred this routine of the two that Sean has created and having two dancers that connect really helps the routine along.

6. Amber Jackson & Nick Bloxsom-Carter – Viennese Waltz
When I saw Nick for the first time in the Meet the Top 20 episode, I liked him, a lot. So I was a bit sad when they already started critiquing him in the Meet the Top 20 episode. Amber Jackson I remembered seeing from previous episodes but almost saw nothing of in Season 9, so when there were rumors swirling around that they were paired together I got scared because these were two fairly unknown dancers who did not have much screen time, how would they fare? Well for a Viennese Waltz they did rather well. One thing I really love about this particular dance was that it really felt like you were dancing amongst the clouds, like a dream. Personally I think they did rather well and should be ok. Only time will tell

7. Witney Carson & Chehon Wespi-Tschopp – Samba
I had a rough time between this routine and number 8. This had a lot of fire and I really love Chehon a lot in this routine. He has very good technique but I agree with the judges that he just seems to be trying too hard. If he can get his head out of the game and just feel the dance it would flow so much better. There isn’t much to say about Witney except that she did excel rather well in this number. Though Chehon seemed out of place in this routine, I don’t think it is going to be much of an issue in later routines since hopefully by then he’ll start emoting more into the dances and routines.

BOTTOM THREE ROUTINES
8. Tiffany Maher & George Lawrence II – Contemporary
The reason I ended up placing them a lot lower than I originally thought I would is because I had to separate myself from the awe that is Sonya’s reinvention of herself into this contemporary movement from the dancers themselves and how they performed the routine. I really really do like this routine, but for some reason other than the fact that this is atypical of Sonya’s routines this was just not a memorable routine for me. This couple emoted rather well overall and I really like George in this routine, but Tiffany just wasn’t memorable for me. So I don’t know

9. Alexa Anderson & Daniel Baker – Jazz
This was a very technically difficult routine and given to two really technically advanced dancers it should have shone but it fell flat. I didn’t feel any chemistry between the two of them let alone with the audience. Between the two I preferred Daniel over Alexa, but then again I think they should have been paired with different partners, perhaps they would have done better emotionally. Granted I felt that Daniel was more emotionally committed to this particular routine over Alexa, but then again I am probably in the minority in this.

10. Janaya French & Brandon Mitchell – Hip Hop
This was another rather forgettable routine for the most part. For some reason I didn’t feel a connection between the two dancers and it felt a little bit like a “dance by numbers” kind of routine with the emotions and facials becoming little more than an afterthought, particularly on Janaya’s side of the fence. I really enjoyed Brandon’s interpretation for the most part, but again the routine as a whole seemed to have fallen flat for me which is rather sad since in any other season they would have been middle of the pack or higher.

TOP THREE GIRLS
Amelia Lowe
Lindsay Arnold
Janelle Issis
TOP THREE GUYS
Cole Horibe
Cyrus Spencer
Will Thomas
MIDDLE FOUR GIRLS
Audrey Case
Eliana Girard
Witney Carson
Amber Jackson
MIDDLE THREE GUYS
Matthew Kazmierczak
Dareian Kujawa
Nick Bloxsom-Carter
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
BOTTOM THREE GIRLS
Tiffany Maher
Alexa Anderson
Janaya French
BOTTOM THREE GUYS
Daniel Baker
George Lawrence II
Brandon Mitchell

Mind you this is my own opinions on the matter… why don’t you let me know yours! Until next week…

July 11, 2012 I Written By

My life can be summed up in the following two quotes: 1) "I am married to engineering and am its faithful wife by day, but at night my wanderlust takes hold and the arts becomes my jealous paramour." and... 2) "Engineering is my safety net. Writing is my passion. Acting is my escape when the other two become too much." So where does dancing fit in? Pretty much anywhere at this point... =)

Season 8 Final Performance Power Rankings and Poll

This is both the easiest and the hardest Power Rankings post I’ve done all season. I’m going to break it down in rounds (solos, All-Stars, contestant).

Round One (Solos)

1. Sasha – While hers and Melanie’s solos were neck and neck, I’m giving this round’s top spot to Sasha because hers was later in the episode.

2. Melanie – As I said, she and Sasha were neck and neck with the strongest solos, but hers was just a bit earlier in the episode and that’s the only reason I’m putting her in second place.

3. Tadd – He uses cool music and a lot of personality and had a cute near run-in with the audience.

4. Marko – His solos are strong, but they use slow music that always sounds the same. His solos never really stand apart for me.

Round Two (All-Star routines)

1. Melanie – Her Stacey Tookey with Robert was a bit later than Sasha/Mark and it was really strong. I thought the choreo was a bit confusing, but Melanie and Robert definitely had a connection.

2. Sasha – Her Sonya Tayeh routine with Mark was probably a bit stronger than Melanie/Robert, but since it was the second routine of the night, I’m putting it in second place.

3. Marko – His Tessandra Chavez routine with LoFro was really, really good and the last of the All-Star routines, but I think the girls have the edge on him because LoFro outdanced him just a bit. Just a bit!

4. Tadd – His Lil C hip hop with Joshua was a bit out of sync and boring. Plus, it was the third routine of the night, so that probably won’t do him any favors.

Round Three (Top 4 partners)

1.Melanie – She and Sasha each had one bad routine, one ok routine and one great routine, but I give Melanie the edge because her worst routine was her first of the night (Disco with Marko). Her okay routine (Broadway with Tadd) was in the middle and her great routine (contemporary with Sasha) was her last routine.

2. Sasha – Her okay routine (Broadway with Marko) was better than Melanie’s okay (also Broadway), but it was her first routine, whereas her worst routine (cha cha with Tadd) was middle. She also ended on a high note (contemporary with Melanie), which makes this kinda hard.

3. Marko – He and Tadd both had their worst routine together and smack dab at the end of the episode. They also both had bad routines with their Top 4 partners, but Marko’s worst was the first routine of the night. His okay Broadway was earlier in the episode, but it was better and suited him just a bit better.

4. Tadd – When he was bad tonight, he was really bad. Horrible cha cha with Sasha, alright Broadway with Melanie and then awful stepping routine with Marko. He was in two of the worst routines of the night. Not so hot.

Final Predictions

Winner: Melanie – She’s been slightly ahead of Sasha in popularity all season, at least according to our poll) and was just slightly ahead of Sasha tonight. Her biggest disadvantage is that she hasn’t been out of her style as much as the others and how gross the judge’s favoritism has been all season (not that that’s her fault).

Runner-up: Sasha – It could go either way between the girls, honestly. Her edge is that she overcame a bum partnership to get this far and while she’s always been a great dancer, she’s developed some soft femininity (with the right partners, Twitch, Kent, Mark), she’s stayed fierce.

3rd place: Marko – He’s been more popular than Sasha all season according to our polls, but I think Sasha has edge him out in ability and fight. Especially tonight.

4th place: Tadd – He’s the least popular of the Top 4 (according to our polls) and he was in 2 of the worst routines tonight.

I hope you’ll let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments. How do you think this will go?

And now for your poll (I think I got every possible variation, to be fair):

August 10, 2011 I Written By

Top 6 Power Rankings and Poll

I don’t know how I’m going to do this. There’s a clear-cut Top 4 that will probably happen, but there’s every chance there will be a mix-up. I really, really wish they would drop the bottom guy/girl combo. All three girls are so strong and I’d love them all to be in the Top 4.

And I’m not sure how they’re going to do the Top and Bottom tomorrow. Probably the Top Girl and Top Guy, but I’m going to list them in the order of how strong I think their night was, based on how I liked the routines, how I think you liked the routines, my perceptions of the dancer’s popularity and their growth.

Top Three
1. Sasha – Her contemporary with Kent was the best routine of Round One. Gorgeous and amazing and so surprising. Her solo was stellar. She had an alright (and fun) waacking routine with Rickey, but she ended on her lowest note of the night. Her biggest downfall might be that some people dislike what we see of her personality, but one of her biggest pluses is that she’s been visible all season, but she’s fought herself forward every step of the way.
2. Melanie – Her hip-hop with Twitch was also surprising, but it was the first routine. If it’s possible for her to be forgettable, her first routine is in the “least memorable” position. Her solo was one of the best ever and definitely the best this season, which is tough since it came on the heels of Sasha’s. Her ending routine with Tadd was a definite high note for them both. However, her biggest downfall is that people feel she hasn’t been challenged enough (hopefully tonight changed those minds) and that the judges have been too easy on her.
3. Caitlynn – I know everyone expects her to leave tomorrow, but she may be the dark horse. The complaints against Sasha’s perceived arrogance and the favoritism shown to Melanie may split the vote. And she had a great night. A solid samba with Pasha, her best solo yet and then the last routine of the night, which just happened to be a really amazing Sonya routine with Marko.

Bottom Four
4. Marko – His paso with Janette was excellent, but early in the night. His solo was strong, but not a huge stand-out considering Sasha and Melanie wrestling for the best solo of the night. But he had that phenomenal last routine with Caitlynn and he’s been the favorite guy most of the season.
5. Tadd – I loved his quirky routine with Ellenore, though there was some critique that there wasn’t much dancing. His solo wasn’t his strongest (he stood on his hand too long), but he ended on a high note with Melanie.
6. Rickey – His contemporary with Jaimie was really incredible, but Christina Applegate said it right for me – there’s some lack of intention or follow-through when he dances. It’s not entirely complete. His solos have been saving him the last few weeks and he’s picked up some fans. But his waacking routine with Sasha was probably the weakest of the second set of routines.

The gimmie answers is that Rickey and Caitlynn are going home tomorrow night and our Top 4 will be Melanie, Sasha, Marko and Tadd. Unless there’s a shakeup, which is entirely possible if people vote like crazy tonight to save somebody or fans assume Melanie and Sasha are safe. OR, if the judges decide that the Top 4 doesn’t have to be 2 guys or 2 girls. It’s hard to predict how this could go down if a shake-up happens. So, I need your help.

Who are YOUR Top 4? You can only pick 4, but you don’t have to pick 2 guys and 2 girls. Pick any 4 dancers you want, as long as they’re YOUR Top 4.

August 3, 2011 I Written By