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Top 6 to Top 4: Thoughts

Hard to believe this season is coming to an end, I’m not quite ready for it to be over. Since there will be another performance show to determine this seasons winner, I figured I’ll wait till then to do a final power ranking.

Lots of dancing in this episode, two partner dances and a solo performances. Christina Applegate is back on the judging panel and I’m glad she is. The first round of dancing they were paired back up with there orignal parners. Casey and Jessica may not have been oringinally paired together, I really think they should have been. Jessican had a better connection with Casey and that disco was fun. I loved the rehearsal footage of Valerie’s dress getting caught on the swing.

All Star Dances.

Ricky and Anya: I don’t think that there is anything that Ricky can’t do. Keeping up with Anya can be a tough task but Ricky was able to “tame” her…well according to the Judges.

Valerie and Twitch: Loved that Valerie really got into the groove and character of the dance. Granted the costume wasn’t all that great but I really did enjoy the dance.

Zack and FikShun: So happy to see Philip choreographing for the show and boy did he put together an intricate dance. Zack pulled it off great and was able to match FikShun. Zack has pleasantly surprised me all season.

Jessica and Ade:  I agreed with Nigel on this one, just wasn’t feeling it. It happens sometimes but I think I was trying to figure out what club they were going to.

Casey and Makensie: Hands down this was his best dance of the season. To tap into that type of emotion can be difficult but Casey was able to do it.

Jacque and Will: I really loved this dance. Glad that they didn’t have any issues with the ball. I’m still not quite sure how they did what they did with the ball.

Overall I am happy with the top 4. I’m not sure but Cat only announce 3 all stars for next week, Kathryn, Robert, and Aaron. Call it a gut feeling but there will either be a tap trio or Aaron will dance with both of the tappers. So what are your thoughts on tonight and who is your pick to win just based on tonights show?

August 20, 2014 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.

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 Performances – Music and Initial Thoughts

Dancers: Top 8
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Peter Chu
Song: Woodkid – “Run Boy Run” Run Boy Run - Run Boy Run (Remixes) - EP

PARTNER DANCES
Dancer: Witney Carson
All Star: Stephen “tWitch” Boss
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Luther Brown
Song: Lil Wayne feat. Big Sean – “My Homies Still” My Homies Still (feat. Big Sean) - My Homies Still (feat. Big Sean) - Single
Initial Thoughts: Well I wanted to see Witney try her hand at hip hop… and unfortunately I am not impressed by any stretch of the imagination. And that’s a bit disconcerting. I kind of felt that she was just being sexy, strutting around the stage shaking her booty and just added a few arm moments and voila!

Dancer: Cole Horibe
All Star: Allison Holker
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: Björk – “Possibly Maybe” (Instrumental) Possibly Maybe - Björk's Greatest Hits
Initial Thoughts: I have a sneaky feeling that the choreographers are tapping into Cole’s more psychotic, evil, dark side of Cole more often than not… and who am I to complain? He does that look and personality well. His partnering with Allison was off the charts not to mention their chemistry… one of my favorites.

Dancer: Eliana Girard
All Star: Ryan Di Lello
Style: Quickstep
Choreographer: Jonathan Roberts
Song: Caro Emerald – “That Man” That Man - Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor
Initial Thoughts: Well, I wanted to see Eliana to try her hand on a Ballroom routine… but I was leaning more towards a Latin number… I didn’t think of Quickstep and man I liked this, but I wasn’t all too surprised that she could pull off a Quickstep. Her chemistry with Ryan was very good too and they looked like they were just having oodles of fun.

Dancer: Lindsay Arnold
All Star: Alex Wong
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: Gotye feat. Kimbra – “Somebody That I Used to Know” Somebody That I Used to Know (feat. Kimbra) - Making Mirrors
Initial Thoughts: Technically-wise this was a very good routine, chemistry / personality / character-wise it was ok… but I wanted to reach out and be thrilled with this routine… but instead just nothing.

Dancer: Will Thomas
All Star: Lauren Gottlieb
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Song: Wye Oak – “Dance My Pain Away” (District 78 remix) Dance My Pain Away - Dance My Pain Away - Single
Initial Thoughts: Personally I really like this routine… it was difficult to create a chemistry when the dancers are not dancing with one another… but somehow it worked. We managed to see a whole different side of the goofy Will that I think a lot of people were getting a little annoyed with and this was a breath of fresh air.

Dancer: Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer
All Star: Melanie Moore
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Song: Freddy Fresh feat. Fatboy Slim – “Badder Badder Schwing” Badder Badder Schwing - Badder Badder Schwing
Initial Thoughts: For me this routine felt slow and you know that he’s not up there technically with the other dancers. But I have to admit, he is doing his damnedest to keep up and that in and of itself is impressive.

Dancer: Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
All Star: Anya Garnis
Style: Argentine Tango
Choreographer: Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo
Song: Jesse Cook – “Breathing Below Surface” Breathing Below Surface - The Ultimate Jesse Cook
Initial Thoughts: Hot Hot Hot… it is about time there is a sexy and smoldering Argentine Tango on the show and I am so glad that it was Chehon that got the honor of just that. I really loved his precision and footwork and his connection with Anya was palatable. Overall I really liked it… a lot… ok more than a lot.

Dancer: Tiffany Maher
All Star: Ade Obayomi
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Song: Celine Dion – “The Power of Love” The Power of Love - My Love (Ultimate Essential Collection)
Initial Thoughts: Ok… I am slowly beginning to understand what people like in Tiffany, and honestly in comparison with the other girls of the evening this was generally a strong routine. Was I impressed? No, did I like it… yes…

SOLOS
Tiffany Maher: Glee cast – “I Was Here” I Was Here (Glee Cast Version) - Glee: The Music - The Graduation Album
Will Thomas: James Morrison – “Better Man” Better Man - Undiscovered
Lindsay Arnold: Bond – “Señorita” Señorita - Classified
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp: Max Richter – “On the Nature of Daylight” On The Nature Of Daylight - The Blue Notebooks
Witney Carson: Rihanna – “Where Have You Been” Where Have You Been - Talk That Talk (Deluxe Edition)
Cole Horibe: E.S. Posthumus – “Arise” Arise - Makara
Eliana Girard: Max Richter – “Infra 8″ infra 8 - infra
Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer: Excision & Downlink – “Existence” (VIP) Existence (VIP) - Existence EP

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 – Top 10 Week

Listen to the podcasts

Episode 52 direct download

Subscribe to podcast on iTunes


Time Stamps
0:00 – Introduction
1:27 – General thoughts about the bottom 4 and voting
4:12 – Bottom 2 Girls routines: Audrey & Witney
7:35 – Bottom 2 Guys routines: George & Chehon
10:57 – Other routines: Tiffany, Cole, Lindsay, Will, Cyrus, and Eliana
22:45 – Wrap-up

Episode Length: 23:42

As we move into the final set of live shows, the voting for this season continues to confuse us as Witney once again ended up in the bottom 2 girls. In particular, we’re unable to understand why she is not connecting with the audience (we think she’s fantastic!), but Tiffany, who’s been off the radar for us and seems to be an easy choice to send home, continues to avoid the bottom. We discuss the possible reasons for this, as well as what may have caused Audrey, George, and Chehon to also land in the bottom 4. Beyond the eliminations, we were extremely excited to see the return of all-star Jakob Karr, our favorite dancer to ever be on the show. We also discuss Cyrus and the way choreographers have been handling him this season, which brings up the question we asked at the end of season 8: should the show aim to choreograph/judge the dancers according to a universal standard, or should each dancer be considered individually according to his/her skill level? We should also mention that we loved the Eliana/Alex routine by Stacey Tookey, which demonstrated that with a proper partner Eliana is capable of amazing things!

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 29, 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!

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... =)

So You Think You Can Dance Season 9: Top 10 Performances – Music and Instant Thoughts!

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Since I wasn’t able to see the show til the morning after… I’m posting everything now. Please bare with me and I apologize for the delay.

Dancer: Top 10 Dancers
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: Mark Isham – “The Cool World Stomp” The Cool World Stomp - Cool World (Original Motion Picture Score)

ROUTINES WITH THE ALL-STARS
Dancer: Tiffany Maher
All Star: Brandon Bryant
Style: Disco
Choreographer: Doriana Sanchez
Song: Cobra Starship feat. Sabi – “You Make Me Feel…” (Disco Fries remix) You Make Me Feel... (Disco Fries Remix) - You Make Me Feel... (feat. Sabi) [Remixes] - EP
Instant Thoughts: It was rather difficult to develop any kind of criticism because this was just shock full of tricks and lifts, which were executed really well. What I would have loved to have seen was more foot work, but what can you do? In the sense of the dance they were energetic and fun and you can’t help but want to get into the beat and groove in the movement.

Dancer: Witney Carson
All Star: Nick Lazzarini
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Song: Moloko – “Sing It Back” Sing It Back - Repo Men (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Instant Thoughts: Witney needs help being sexy? Really? And she’s what? 18? I really liked this routine, definitely caught my attention and considering it is Jazz, she did rather well.

Dancer: Cole Horibe
All Star: Anya Garnis
Style: ChaCha
Choreographer: Dmitry Chaplin
Song: The Wanted – “Glad You Came” Glad You Came - The Wanted
Instant Thoughts: I was expecting a lot out of Cole this week and was a little bit disappointed. Well, he did connect with Anya but I wanted him to really dig into the steps more.

Dancer: Lindsay Arnold
All Star: Jakob Karr
Style:Broadway
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Song: Fosse – “Dancin’ Dan” (Me and My Shadow) Dancin' Dan (Me and My Shadow) - Fosse (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
Instant Thoughts: This was fun to watch and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t a perfect shadow at the beginning and that was a little distracting but once they started dancing together I was enjoying it more.

Dancer: Will Thomas
All Star: Kathryn McCormick
Style: Bollywood
Choreographer: Nakul Dev Mahajan
Song: The Dirty Picture – “Ooh La La” Ooh La La - The Dirty Picture (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - EP
Instant Thoughts: Will is just one massive goof ball and that is fine by me. I thought he did decently well with this dance, he had energy but yeah sometimes that goofiness comes off as too much but in this case it works… barely.

Dancer: Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer
All Star: Jaimie Goodwin
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Song: M83 – “Outro” Outro - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming.
Instant Thoughts: Wow, just wow… Cyrus definitely impressed me this time around. Pushed beyond what we perceived to be his limit… his strengths were shown with his partnering and as the judges were calling it “raw talent”. Unfortunately it also showed a little of his lack of training in this area, but considering just how much he is growing on the show that is always a positive.

Dancer: Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
All Star: Lauren Gottlieb
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Dave Scott
Song: Maxwell – “Pretty Wings” Pretty Wings (Uncut) - BLACKsummers'night (Deluxe Version)
Instant Thoughts: This was another routine that wowed me, Chehon doing hip-hop? Yeeeeaaaah. He looked like he was having fun with his partner and there were a killer team together.

Dancer: George Lawrence, Jr
All Star: Allison Holker
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: Hazmat Modine – “Bahamut” Bahamut - Bahamut
Instant Thoughts: When I saw the cane I immediately thought of another routine in Season 6 and unfortunately I couldn’t keep myself from comparing between the two. George is a strong dancer, but he just has’t wowed me in the grand scheme of things.

Dancer: Eliana Girard
All Star: Alex Wong
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Song: Nancy Sinatra – “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) - How Does That Grab You?
Instant Thoughts: Definitely a favorite, this really appears to really show off Eliana in ways that she wasn’t when she was partnered with Cyrus. She really shined in this piece and having a well-trained partner like Alex definitely helped with that as well.

Dancer: Audrey Case
All Star: Stephen “tWitch” Boss
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Dave Scott
Song: Janelle Monáe – “Sincerely, Jane” Sincerely, Jane - Metropolis: the Chase Suite
Instant Thoughts: For some reason I wasn’t really feeling Audrey tonight, she danced the piece decently enough, but when compared to someone like tWitch she has to really step up her game and she just didn’t for me which is unfortunate.

SOLO ROUTINES
Witney Carson: Santigold – “You’ll Find a Way” (Switch & Sinden remix) You'll Find a Way (Switch & Sinden Remix) - Fame (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Audrey Case: Jennifer Hudson – “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going (Highlights Version) - Dreamgirls (Music from the Motion Picture)
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp: Ólafur Arnalds – “Til Enda” Til enda - Dyad 1909
George Lawrence, Jr.: Olafur Arnalds – “Brotsjor” Brotsjór - Dyad 1909

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 8 – Top 8 Performance and Elimination

Summary

This week’s judging panel featured director/choreographer Rob Marshall and pop music icon Lady Gaga, who gave constructive insight into the performance aspect of dance. Although we liked Neil Patrick Harris’s judging the most so far this season, the celebrity panel additions have worked a lot better in the second half of the season versus the first half.

The elimination show was tough for us to watch. Jess was one of our favorites from the competition and we were both expecting to see him make the top six and possibly the finals. We had a tough time seeing him cut after his growth and improvement in favor of Tadd, who has also grown but hasn’t felt as polished when you compare the two. We talk in-depth about Jess and Tadd and draw a line in the small details. Tadd has difficultly with fast choreography and when we consider his solos in total we don’t see a wide range in his dancing vocabulary and we don’t have these same issues with Jess. We admit, we’re biased here, but we try to quantify our feelings of disappointment as best as we can.

Jordan’s elimination was more straight-forward as her body of work has been hit-or-miss during the season and her solos have revolved around her leg movements. Caitlynn has been consistent and we feel like we still have more to see from her.

Marko and Melanie once again had amazing pieces and have solidified their place in the finals. As for who else is going to the finals, it looks to be a toss up when we compare Tadd/Ricky and Sasha/Caitlynn. We think it will depend on what routines they get next week and how well they perform. We consider their bodies of work and speculate on what may happen.

Please let us know your thoughts by dropping us a comment here after listening! We love to hear feedback and what you thought of the show. We also encourage you to check out our blog and twitter feed to keep up to date with us!

Episode Length: 30:01

Time Stamps
0:00 – The guest judging by Lady Gaga and Rob Marshall
1:45 – Discussion of Jess and his elimination
7:48 – Tadd, has he grown more than Jess to deserve a top six spot?
13:28 – Jess’s final solo and online fan reaction
15:40 – Jordan’s elimination (the Tyce kiss of death strikes again)
16:50 – Caitlynn’s work
18:50 – Sasha had a very good night
19:59 – Melanie had an excellent night!
22:10 – Marko continues to amaze us.
24:15 – Ricky: does he dance too tall? And is Anya heavy?
26:10 – Who makes the finals?
28:24 – Next week’s all-stars: Kent, Janette, Jamie, Ellenore, Twitch and Pasha!
29:23 – Wrap-up


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July 30, 2011 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!

Top 8 Results Thoughts and Discussion

My live thoughts and yours, too. Excited to see what All-Stars we’ll have next week. I just realized that Jaimie Godwin was supposed to be an All-Star this week and I guess she was replaced by Allison. I must’ve missed something – did they explain why Jaimie wasn’t on last night? Maybe they’ll say something tonight.

LOOOOOVED Tyce’s Top 8 routine! It’s routines like this that remind me what he’s capable of and make me even more annoyed with his lackluster choreo. It had hints of Wade and Sonya and was just so fun and cool and was a great opportunity for the dancers (especially Jess, as the ringmaster).

I also love Cat’s dress, especially the sleeves. Gorgeous.

Rob Marshall really nailed it when he said that SYTYCD puts dancers back in the center of attention, rather than in the background. That’s what I love about the show, too. Or at least part of it.

It’s cruel that they went to break without saying which of the four girls is in the bottom! Fine, keep us on edge, but soooo mean to the dancers.

Spoiler space for the rest…

Well, I was right about the girls. Melanie and Sasha are safe and Caitlynn and Jordan are in the Bottom Four.

Oh my gawd, I almost lost it watching that little clip of Marko’s mom hugging him backstage. I think he almost lost it too, judging by his face when they went to him on stage. Not surprised Marko’s safe and Jess is in the bottom, but I have to say I loved Jess peeling off his shit as he strolled off stage. Okay, I kinda like him a tiny bit more and more each week. :)

I *am* surprised that Rickey is safe and Tadd is in the Bottom 4, but maybe I shouldn’t be after some of your comments lately that he seems arrogant. I don’t see it myself, but apparently enough people do to put him in danger.

LXD always makes my day. It was nice to see Christopher Scott dancing on the SYTYCD stage, too. And, am I crazy or was that Ashley Galvan in the line of dancers?

The National Dance Day segment was really fun.

Jordan’s solo was her best, I think, but the leg extensions were still prominent, of course. Jess’s solo was full of character and entertaining. BUT, I thought Caitlynn really danced her best solo yet and that it was better than Jordan’s. I hope the judges agree and keep her! Tadd’s was clearly the best, full of character and performance. Love the song, love the tricks, love the whole attitude. He has some of the best solos.

Liked Lady Gaga’s performance, but most especially seeing Mark dancing with her so prominently.

Whew! Glad Caitlynn is safe. I thought Nigel was really respectful and nice to give such a positive build up to cutting Jordan. I’m surprised the judges could bear to cut Jess, but Tadd really earned it with his solo. He threw everything he had onto that stage.

The goodbye sequences made me realize two things
-I liked some of Jordan’s performances more than I remember (the bed hip hop with Tadd namely)
-I warmed up to Jess right as he was leaving.

They never announced the All-Stars for next week. Hmmm….

What do y’all think??

July 28, 2011 I Written By

Season 8 Top 8 Power Rankings

Sorry this is late! I’ve just caught up on the episode. Thanks for all your comments, y’all!!

I really wish this wasn’t going to be broken down into Top 2 Girls and Top 2 Guys vs. Bottom 2 Guys and Girls. I really want three girls in the top and I have to put one of my favorites in the bottom. :’(

Top Four

1. Melanie – While I agree she hasn’t been as challenged as some of the other dancers (she does tend to get contemporary/jazz) and never gets critiqued, I also love her. Her contemporary with Neil was the best of the night, I think and then she ended on a high note with Sasha at the end.

2. Sasha – She was stymied with a weaker partner at the beginning, but she’s gotten almost as much face time as Melanie since Vegas Week *and* she’s had to stretch herself more. Her routine with Twitch last week was maybe the best of the season. I liked her quickstep with Pasha, but it was the first routine. However, she and Melanie had that lauded Sonya routine at the end.

3. Marko – He had a stellar contemporary with Allison, has been part of the Power Couple with Melanie and had an alright hip hop with Rickey later.

4. Tadd – His heist routine with LoFro was great, despite his hat malfunction. He was very MJ-ish and had one of the more popular All-Stars, plus good chemistry. Also, his foxtrot with Caitlynn was really classy and elegant and I think might’ve surprised a lot of people.

Bottom Four

5. Caitlynn – I’d like to put her in the Top if this wasn’t broken down by gender. She had an alright hip hop early on with Ivan, but I really, really liked her foxtrot with Tadd. I think she’s grown enormously and she’s been challenged a lot, even just in tonight’s episode.

6. Jess – He surprised me in his hip hop with Lauren G., but his later number with Jordan wasn’t good. He was stronger than her, to be sure, and I know he’s got a fan base, but I think he’ll be in the bottom. I think he should be, anyway.

7. Jordan – She’s annoyed me more and more each week, with her “sexy” pouting and vamping, not to mention her leg extensions. She danced an alright jazz with Ade, but I think whatever strength the routine had was Ade’s, not hers. She didn’t connect with him or later, Jess, at all. Her rhumba with Jess really sucked. It’s time for her to go home, in my opinion.

8. Rickey – His jive with Anya was pretty good, but not nearly the most memorable routine of the night and then he was called out as the weaker link in his hip hop with Marko. He’s been in the bottom a lot and if he is again, it’s probably his week to go.

It makes me nervous that I didn’t get to vote, but I’m fairly confident that Jordan and Rickey will be going home tonight. What do y’all think?

Also, I BOUGHT MY TICKETS to the tour!! Whooo hooo! Has anybody else gotten theirs yet? I’m going to see it in Atlanta this year, with my mom and (I’m sure) Amanda.

I Written By

introducing the all-stars week 2

Happy Monday! Thought I’d put up some videos of our week 2 all-stars, since A. it’s fun to look back at some great routines and B. younger viewers of the show may not know about some of the all stars from seasons 2 and 3.

let’s go by season :)

season 2: IVAN
Ivan and Allison were the youngest pair in the top 20, and they definitely sometimes acted like it. But when they did “Why”, choreographed by Tyce in week 3, they suddenly grew up. A hip hop dancer, Ivan’s skills were definitely unusual and really really cool, but what I think held him in the competition so long (until top 6) was his personality, he just seems like someone who would be a blast to hang out with, and he’s a fabulous partner.

here’s his contemporary w/ Allison

hip hop w/ Allison (choreographed by Shane Sparks)

season 3: LAUREN GOTTLIEB, NEIL HASKELL, JAIMIE GOODWIN, ANYA GARNIS, PASHA KOVALEV

These 5 actually have a number of routines they did together, so I’m going to combine a few b/c they are some fun numbers. Pasha and Anya are just such spectacular ballroom dancers, and Pasha especially had a lot of success outside of his genre, part of the reason he and Lauren Gottlieb made it to top 6. Also, he’s just so darn hot!! :)

Anya/Pasha’s audition season 3

Pasha and Lacey’s hip hop-he just oozes personality and his hip hop was pretty darn good too!

Anya and Danny’s foxtrot

Neil, obviously, was an All-Star last year, and his charisma, incredible talent, partnering skills and just all-around All-American hotness definitely carried him to the top 4 during season 3. He was part of some of the best routines from last season so I’m quite excited he’s back.

Neil and Sabra’s ’80s power lunch (emmy nomination came for Mandy Moore)

Neil and Lauren’s “Night of the Dancing Flame”

Lauren has been assisting for Tyce, even before she was on the show, as well as a lot afterwards. Quite excited to have her as an All-Star again. She partnered both Neil (her original partner) and Pasha on the show and was really strong in both.

Jaimie was another of the very strong group of top 5 girls from season 3 (Lacey, Sabra, Lauren, Sara, Jaimie, not bad!!). She’s a stunning contemporary dancer, and spent a lot of time as Travis Wall’s dance partner bc her dance teacher was Travis’s mom. Just a personal opinion, I think she got dealt kind of a rough hand on the show, being partnered with Hok, who is unbelievable in his style but struggled somewhat in other styles. With the Hummingbird & the Flower (embedded below), though, Wade was able to meld their 2 styles into an Emmy-winning routine.

season 5: ADE
another returning All-Star, fans were pretty bummed not to see the supremely talented Ade in the season 5 finale (though I’m thinking that if Jess keeps in the competition, we might see Evan at some point). Ade is just so strong and consistent, he and Melissa (a partnership I think was one of the best ever made by the show) were so good at everything!! I’m embedding their first routine on the show, “Right Here Waiting” choreographed by Mandy Moore because I think it’s a great representation of the trust they had in each other and Ade’s incredible strength and gentleness as a partner.

season 7: LOFRO
Our first All-Star former winner!! Maybe poor Jess will actually get a partner closer to his height!! I’m really excited to see her back, Lauren really grew over the course of the season. Thinking back to her week 1 dance w/ Ade, it was pretty terrible and I totally thought she was going to get cut early. She really grew on me, especially because of the commitment she put into each of her routines. Though I was personally rooting for Robert in the finale, it was nice to see another girl win!

Lauren and Dominic’s lyrical hip hop (week 2)
a week after falling apart in her dance with Ade, Lauren redeemed herself in a BIG way with this number. She was totally committed and present, and she and Dom had a fabulous partnership (good thing now, since they’re dating!) It’s an emotional number done incredibly well.

July 25, 2011 I Written By