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SYTYCD Season 9 Tour

This past weekend I went to see the Season 9 tour in Columbia, South Carolina and as the show did not disappoint. Much like Season 8 the dances seemed to flow effortlessly from dance to dance with a short welcome to the show from Eliana and Chehon. I hadn’t planned on writing about the show but thanks to Will and a moment of accidental hilarity, I need to share the story, but I’ll get to that a little later. First I just want to share few thoughts about the show.

I can’t say I really remember too much about the season and normally before the show I usually refresh my memory by watching a few videos on YouTube, but without the internet at my apartment I couldn’t do that this time around. So for me there wasn’t too much I was missing except maybe a few more duet numbers with Cyrus. I will say this it is fun to see the animation art from in person. I found myself especially in the group numbers watching Matthew, Cole, Whitney, Eliana, and Chehon, all for different reasons of course. Speaking of group numbers I loved them all and my favorite was the Cha Cha/Disco fusion that closed the first half of the show. During the Broadway portion of the show there was a certain prop on the stage I was excited to see, the pole. “When You’re Good to Mama” was a favorite of mine this season and I was excited that they turned it into a fun group number for all of the girls to perform. Truthfully Eliana’s moves at the end were just amazing.

This season we got to see many of Mia Michael’s works recreated, and I’m not really sure why but I didn’t expect to see them in the tour show but thankfully I was wrong. Hometown Glory, the Bench, Addiction, and Coupe Island Blues (the butt dance) were the chosen ones. I loved watching Cole get so into the character (for every dance he did) he’s kind of scary when he gets so serious. Coupe Island Blues…oh I so wish I had filmed it but it probably would have been too shaky from me laughing so hard. Somewhere in the beginning Will had an interesting wardrobe malfunction, his pants came undone and well it became fun to watch him trying to deal with it because there was no time for him to refasten them. I’ll say this he did an amazing job keeping them up and the audience only got a small peek at the underwear which had us giggling the entire time, I don’t know how Amelia kept and straight face. Also with Will being the person he is couldn’t help but acknowledge it on stage during the dance, I could barely hear what he said but it was something like I loosing my pants.

Closing out the show started out with the East Coast hip hop that was originally done by Whitney and Twitch. I would have thought Cyrus would have taken Twitch’s place but it was George (surprisingly good) but Cyrus did join them about halfway through the dance. By the time they got to the “waiting on the bus part” the rest of the cast joined them on the stage and went into the finale of the show which did include some Gangnam Style moves.

Overall I had a great time at the show even if they have downsized the size of the venues. Here is the link to my http://www.youtube.com/user/dancestar516  YouTube page and see some of the video I have taken from this season and a few other seasons as well. Also continue to check back the uploading process is  a little slow.

Also I always get the tour program which comes with a fun Q&A so if there is enough request for it I will type them up for which dancers you want from the top 10 (Matthew and Amelia don’t have one.)

 

December 6, 2012 I Written By

Dance is one of my biggest passions. I grew up dancing at Augusta West Dance Studio (the same studio that Kathryn McCormick). I have a BFA in theatre/dance from Valdosta State University. Tap is my favorite style of dance.

Podcast: SYTYCD Season 9 – Top 14 Week

Listen to the podcasts

Episode 51 direct download

Subscribe to podcast on iTunes


Time Stamps
0:00 – Introduction: Ballet boys as judges, and Ms. Tedholm’s Facebook comment
3:31 – General thoughts about the Mia Michaels episode
5:23 – The Door routine: Cyrus & Eliana
8:44 – Hometown Glory routine: George & Tiffany
11:23 – The Butt Dance: Will & Amelia
14:02 – The Bed routine: Dareian & Janelle
15:58 – Time routine: Audrey & Matthew
18:07 – The Bench routine: Chehon & Witney
20:41 – Addiction routine: Lindsay & Cole
24:45 – Bottom 6/Elimination discussion
30:05 – Wrap-up: Thoughts about Brandon/Amber elimination from Top 16 week, and thoughts on the live shows thus far

Episode Length: 32:24

The Top 14 week of So You Think You Can Dance celebrated Mia Michaels and her iconic routines from the show. Each of the dancers were called on to recreate some of her most beloved routines. Our feelings, along with many fans, were mixed on this approach. Should these routines be performed again, or are they only meant for the original dancers? Can an alternate, yet equally valid interpretation of the routines be presented? We discuss these questions, along with our thoughts on the somewhat shocking elimination of Amelia in this podcast!

We found it very useful to compare the original performances against the new ones. In the time stamps above we’ve linked to blog posts that have both routines embedded for easy viewing.

Let us know what you think after listening to the podcast! You can leave us a comment here or on our blog, Reflections on Pop Entertainment. You can also follow us on Twitter and tweet with us. You can also visit our Facebook page, like us, and leave a comment there! We love feedback and will respond either with a comment or in our next published show.

August 22, 2012 I Written By

Over the past few years my fiancée Meghan slowly brought me into the world of television, turning me into a full-fledged fan of both scripted and reality shows. So You Think You Can Dance turned into one of my favorite reality shows as it is a competition that takes itself seriously, providing the audience with artistic choreography and talented dancers. It's certainly not something I ever expected to get emotionally invested in, but here I am! Meghan and I are very analytic when it comes to the things we enjoy. We constantly discussed and analyzed shows with each other and after doing this for a couple years, we decided that we should turn these discussions into a podcast. We created Reflections on Pop Entertainment, a podcast that provides commentary and analysis of popular entertainment as found in visual mediums, particularly television and film. So You Think You Can Dance Season 8 is the first television series we're covering with weekly podcasts and has allowed us to find our voice as well as actively contribute to the fan community. We hope that you'll enjoy our installments as they are posted to Pure So You Think You Can Dance!

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 Performances – Music and Instant Thoughts!

Group dance: Top 141
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Mia Michaels
Song: Active Child – Hanging On Hanging On - You Are All I See (Deluxe Version)

Dancers: Cyrus & Eliana
Originally: Stephen “Twitch” Boss & Katee Shean (Season 4)
Song: Duffy – “Mercy” Mercy - Rockferry
Instant Thoughts: I really like how Cyrus emulated his character in this piece, I felt like he really made it his own. I didn’t have trouble seeing this as Cyrus / Eliana as opposed to Twitch / Katee. The chemistry between the two was there. I felt that Cyrus slipped up a couple of times here and there… and consequently it felt like Eliana was covering for him here and there… but other than that I really like how this came out.

Dancers: George & Tiffany
Originally: Joshua Allen & Katee Shean (Season 4)
Song: Adele – “Hometown Glory” Hometown Glory - 19
Instant Thoughts: There were a few moments that it didn’t felt like they were a couple dancing a piece together. As one of the judges mentioned sometimes it felt like two solos that just happen to be dancing in the same space. I felt myself watching George far more than Tiffany so this piece did him justice. There was something about Tiffany that was off for me… but I can’t seem to pin it.

Dancers: Will & Amelia
Originally: Evan Kasprzak & Randi Evans (Season 5)
Song: Koop feat. Ane Brun – “Koop Island Blues” Koop Island Blues - Buddha Bar IX
Instant Thoughts: When I realized what piece Amelia and Will was going to do I was excited, because I thought this was right up Amelia’s alley, I was more worried about Will being able to turn on the charm like Evan did. Instead I found myself watching Will at times more than Amelia, which I thought was disappointing.

Dancers: Dareian & Janelle
Originally: Stephen “Twitch” Boss & Kherington Payne (Season 4)
Song: John Mayer – “Dreaming with a Broken Heart” Dreaming With a Broken Heart - Continuum
Instant Thoughts: Dareian’s feet are very distracting… and Janelle… I felt that she connected the best but considering she had something to draw from it wasn’t too difficult. Dareian performed well too… but there was still something lacking between the two here.

Dancers: Matthew & Audrey
Originally: Neil Haskell & Lacey Schwimmer (Season 3)
Song: Billy Porter – “Time” Time (Live) - At the Corner of Broadway and Soul (Live)
Instant Thoughts: I haven’t been feeling this couple for a very long time, and this hasn’t changed much with this routine. However, for some reason I am drawn more to Audrey in this case than Matthew, but then again Audrey emoted quite a bit in this routine.

Dancers: Chehon & Witney
Originally: Travis Wall & Heidi Groskreutz (Season 2)
Song: Celine Dion – “Calling You” (There is no individual track so here is the karaoke Calling You (Rendu célèbre par Céline Dion) [Version karaoké] - Hits Céline Dion, Vol. 1)
Instant Thoughts: This is probably one of the routines that I felt really did justice not only to the original but to themselves in this “update” of the routine from how many years ago. I love Chehon, I really do… and Witney I felt shined in this routine as well.

Dancers: Cole & Lindsay
Originally: Kūpono Aweau & Kayla Radomski (Season 5)
Song: Sara Bareilles – “Gravity” Gravity - Little Voice
Instant Thoughts: Oh. Em. Gee. Cole’s stone cold facial expression really sold this piece for me. Who knew? I didn’t really felt it as much the first time around, but dammit this really did for me. I don’t know what to do about this… Cole was just amazingly heartbreakingly cold to Lindsay and it just went to town.

SOLOS
Amelia Lowe: Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova – “Falling Slowly” Falling Slowly - Once (Music from the Motion Picture)
Janelle Issis: Elie Attieh – “Inta Omri” Inta omri - Oasis Lounge - By DJ Markarian
Lindsey Arnold: Club des Belugas – “Hip Hip Chin Chin” Hip Hip Chin Chin - Palace Lounge Presents: Café D'Afrique, Vol. 3
George Lawrence, Jr.: Explosions In the Sky – “So Long, Lonesome” So Long, Lonesome - All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone
Dareian Kujawa: Joshua Ledet – “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” It's a Man's Man's Man's World (American Idol Performance) - It's a Man's Man's Man's World (American Idol Performance) - Single
Matthew Kazmierczak: Damien Rice – “Delicate” Delicate - O (Deluxe Version)

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 (Now 14) Polls

Polls of the individual dancers beyond the break to avoid spoilers:
Read more..

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 Performances – Music and Instant Thoughts!

NOTE: Because I spend most of the dance updating the music list, I will post thoughts as I rewatch the dances / episode later tonight.

Group dance: Top 16
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: Jun Miyake – “The Here and After” The Here and After - Pina Soundtrack (Wim Wenders Film)

Dancers: George & Tiffany
Style: Hip Hop
Choreographer: NappyTabs
Song: B.O.B. and Nicki Minaj – “Out of My Mind” Out of My Mind (feat. Nicki Minaj) - Strange Clouds
Thoughts: This was an interesting routine. I liked it enough but there were moments that there weren’t in sync particularly towards the end. It was a fun routine with a cute little story. I was impressed that they both were able to keep up with the choreography for the most part. I don’t know if this is going to be a memorable routine however considering this was at the beginning of the episode.

Dancers: Brandon & Amber
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Song: Aretha Franklin – “Dr. Feelgood (Love Is a Serious Business)” Dr. Feelgood (Love Is a Serious Business) - Aretha Franklin: 30 Greatest Hits
Thoughts: My goodness, why weren’t these two partnered up from the beginning? I mean come on! These were like fire and ice on the dance floor and putting fire and ice together and the whole place melts. Even for being early in the episode this is a very memorable routine for me, the chemistry, the connection was all there. I really loved Brandon’s characterization in this routing and Amber just blossomed with Brandon as opposed to with Nick previously.

Dancers: Janelle & Dareian
Style: Cha Cha
Choreographer: Pasha Kovalev
Song: Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me Maybe” Call Me Maybe - Call Me Maybe - Single
Thoughts: This seemed to be a rather calm ChaCha… with an atypical song. The ChaCha is supposed to be a very fun and flirty routine, but instead it seemed rather cool. I was really hoping for a little more fireworks but what kind of pulled my focus was a lot of the hand placements going on. Granted their tricks was rather good… but overall it seemed rather off.

Dancers: Lindsey & Cole
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Song: Charlotte Martin – “Wild Horses” Wild Horses - On Your Shore
Thoughts: Somehow I managed I get the song down to watch this particular routine, but OMG I love the lighting for this piece. I got chills watching this routine… seriously I got chills… this was very beautiful. Granted, Lindsay’s hair was a bit of a distraction (I was going to say something snarky and evil but I will refrain), but her movement was just breathtaking and it complements Cole really really well.

Dancers: Amelia & Will
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Song: The Creatures – “You!” You! - Boomerang
Thoughts: Ok, this is really beginning to annoy me… Amelia and Will has had a pop-jazzy routine their first week, followed by contemporary and now jazz… Really? I mean really? Anyway, not that I got that out of my system, I enjoyed this routine, quite a bit: it was fun, quirky and hit all the right notes in my opinion.

Dancers: Audrey & Matthew
Style: Salsa
Choreographer: Liz Lira
Song: Sverre Indris Joner / HSC / Kork – “Cinco Salsa” Cinco Salsa - First movement of the 5. symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven - Clasicos a Lo Cubano
Thoughts: This was a strange routine, like the ChaCha the Salsa should be a bit fun and flirty. It seemed so slow that I found myself getting bored. They weren’t in sync a few times and it looked like they were missing steps here and there. I might go so far to say that they were overwhelmed by the song.

Dancers: Witney Carson & Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Song: Whitney Houston – “I Will Always Love You” I Will Always Love You - Whitney - The Greatest Hits
Thoughts: Ok… the chills from earlier in the show? Definitely have them now. What is going on with the two ballroom girls this evening? I mean seriously! I really loved the connections in this piece, their chemistry was believable and moreso than that of Lindsay and Cole in my opinion.

Dancers: Eliana Girard & Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer
Style: Hip Hop
Choreographer: NappyTabs
Song: District 78 & Cheesa – “Toxic”
Thoughts: What NappyTabs did was pretty smart, they took the animator moves and the balletic skills and created a routine out of it. Giving it a robotic edge to help Cyrus along, they highlighted a lot of their individual strengths and applied them to the routine. What I really liked about this routine is that Eliana was allowed to stretch more here than in previous routines.

BOTTOM SIX DANCERS
Amber Jackson
Song: Lana Del Rey – “This is What Makes Us Girls” This Is What Makes Us Girls - Born to Die

Lindsay Arnold

Eliana Girard
Song: Ólafur Arnalds – “Near Light” Near Light - Single - Ólafur Arnalds

George Lawrence Jr

Brandon Mitchell
Song: Tye Tribbett – “I Want it All Back” I Want It All Back - Victory Live!

Dareian Kujawa
Song: John Legend – “Ordinary People” Ordinary People - Get Lifted / Once Again

Guest dancers: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Song: Les Tambours Du Bronx – “Jungle Jam” (Jungle Jam does not exist on iTunes, so I went with Jungle Jazz instead Jungle jazz - Les tambours du Bronx: Live (Live))

Elimination Thoughts: Last week I put in my own thoughts as to whom would be the bottom six:
- Last week: Lindsay Arnold, Amber Jackson, Tiffany Maher, George Lawrence II, Cyrus Spencer, Matthew Kazmierczak
For the girls I was off by one girl and the guys I was off by much more. I will admit that I am not entirely surprised to see Eliana in the bottom six dancers… but personally I loved her. As for the guys Dareian I thought did a much better job in his routine with Janelle and should not have been in the bottom six and the same goes for Brandon Mitchell when compared to Janaya.

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... =)

Podcast: SYTYCD Season 9 – Meet the Top 20, Part 1

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Time Stamps
0:00 – Introduction
2:06 – The routines we didn’t like
5:18 – The routines we were lukewarm on
11:31 – The routines we loved
18:07 – Wrap-up

Episode Length: 19:31

We apologize for the lateness of the podcast, but we’ve been a bit preoccupied (you know, simple things like getting married this past weekend and getting ready for our honeymoon). Here we talk about what we liked and didn’t like in the Top 20 Week, Part 1 episode of SYTYCD.

We won’t have a new podcast out next week, but we plan to get all caught up sometime during the week of July 30th.

Let us know what you think after listening to the podcast! You can leave us a comment here or on our blog, Reflections on Pop Entertainment. You can also follow us on Twitter and tweet with us. You can also visit our Facebook page, like us, and leave a comment there! We love feedback and will respond either with a comment or in our next published show.

July 20, 2012 I Written By

Over the past few years my fiancée Meghan slowly brought me into the world of television, turning me into a full-fledged fan of both scripted and reality shows. So You Think You Can Dance turned into one of my favorite reality shows as it is a competition that takes itself seriously, providing the audience with artistic choreography and talented dancers. It's certainly not something I ever expected to get emotionally invested in, but here I am! Meghan and I are very analytic when it comes to the things we enjoy. We constantly discussed and analyzed shows with each other and after doing this for a couple years, we decided that we should turn these discussions into a podcast. We created Reflections on Pop Entertainment, a podcast that provides commentary and analysis of popular entertainment as found in visual mediums, particularly television and film. So You Think You Can Dance Season 8 is the first television series we're covering with weekly podcasts and has allowed us to find our voice as well as actively contribute to the fan community. We hope that you'll enjoy our installments as they are posted to Pure So You Think You Can Dance!

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 (Now 16) Routines (Polls) Round 2

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... =)