These are my thoughts LIVE and a space for you to jump into the discussion.
Love Christina Applegate, so glad she’s guest judging tonight. And Lil C is back! I think they’ll be great together, along with Mary and Nigel.
Oh my! I can’t believe we’re this close to the end of Season 8. I can’t wait to see what great routines the show has in store for us tonight.
Sasha and Rickey danced a Kumari Suraj waacking routine to: Beyonce’s “Schoolin’ Life” – can’t find this on iTunes yet. I’ll keep looking.
This is a silly post I got the idea for last week (Sasha and Twitch made me think of it). It occurred to me that while routines with props can go either way, there are A LOT of routines choreographed around a table that seem to be highly memorable. So, I thought it’d be fun to look at some of those.
First, probably the most memorable table routine, the one that people generally think of when you say “the table routine” is from Season 3. Sabra and this week’s All-Star Neil dancing a Mandy Moore jazz routine.
Next memorable I’d say is the Travis Wall contemporary routine danced by Ellenore and Legacy in Season 6, the “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” routine.
Then, there’s the super-hot crossbreed of samba and hip hop that Dmitry and Nappytabs choreographed for Season 5′s Top 16, which featured several tables (and water!).
Season 7 also had a phenomenally memorable Top 6 group routine which featured a table. Choreographed by Mia Michaels, it should’ve shown off eventual winner (and this week’s All-Star) LoFro, who was injured, but instead All-Star Allison (then and last week) took her place.
Here’s a video of LoFro performing it on tour:
All of this “evidence” that tables make for great routines *almost* makes me wish that Caitlynn and Mitchell’s Stacey Tookey choreography to “Turning Tables” had had a table in it instead of two armchairs and lamps. Except, it’s just so memorable on its own. I’ll include it anyway.
Can y’all think of any other great table routines I’ve forgotten? Can you think of a bad table routine ever in SYTYCD history? And you’re not limited to the American version of the show. Go for it!
Thanks for commenter Anne who reminded me about Wade Robson’s Season 6 Top 20 routine, “Comanche.” I miss Wade so much. This is such a good one, check it out:
Tonight’s Top 10 episode is going to rock, not least of which because it’s the first time we’ll see the Top 10 dance with the All-Stars.
First, we have Melody Lacayanga, the Season 1 runner-up. I chose her disco with SYTYCD Canada judge/choreographer Blake McGrath because I don’t normally go for disco and this Doriana Sanchez disco was fun. I didn’t watch Season 1, but looking back over the season, it seems like Melody’s partners tended to get eliminated a lot. I hope this doesn’t happen to her Season 8 partners!
Allison Holker from Season 2 was an All-Star last season and had some phenomenal routines. I’m going to resist my urge to find videos from last season and instead give you something from her original season. Here is her Alex da Silva Argentine tango with her original partner Ivan Koumaev.
Pasha Kovalev was also an All-Star from last season and I am NOT going to show you the phenomenal tango he did with winner Lauren Froderman. No, I am NOT. I’m going to stick with first seasons and show you him “out of his element,” dancing Mandy Moore jazz with Sara von Gillem.
Yet another All-Star from last season, Twitch Boss was originally the runner-up from Season 4. Chelsie Hightower, who was also from Season 4, was scooped up by DWTS along with Lacey Schwimmer, danced this fun Nappytabs hip hop with Twitch during their season.
Comfort Fedoke, also from Season 4 and also an All-Star last season, also danced with Twitch. Instead of showing you that video, I’m going to show you dancing with Mark Kanemura, Chelsie’s partner for most of the season, in another awesome Nappytabs hip hop.
Brandon Bryant was the runner-up of Season 5. I so want to show you his Wade Robson jazz with Janette, but Margaret showed that video in her All-Star post (same reason I didn’t show Pasha & Sara’s West Coast Swing). So instead, I’ll show you their Dave Scott hip hop, where they were both “out of their comfort zones.”
As an All-Star last season, Kathryn McCormick danced so much with Robert that I could just give you one video for both of them. However, let me show you Kathryn in her Season 6 glory (she came in 3rd), especially since her season didn’t get their own tour. So here she is, with runner-up Jakob Carr in a contemporary routine choreographed by Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden.
Season 7′s Robert Roldan (3rd in his season) has already danced once in Season 8, with Caitlynn Lawson, so he was already an All-Star as far as I was concerned. Because the All-Stars started at Top 20 last season, most of his dances are with Kathryn or another All-Star. I wanted to show you his Dee Caspary contemporary with winner Lauren Froderman, but it wouldn’t embed. Instead, I’ll show you their Dmitri Chaplin (Season 2 and DWTS) samba because it’s fun and they were both out of their element.
Chelsie’s only going to be an All-Star for tonight’s episode and it sounds like they may switch up the All-Stars from week to week. It’ll be interesting to see who else they bring on board and all of the great routines that result. Also, I haven’t ever seen it confirmed, but Allison and Twitch may be dating and it’ll be interesting to see them together as All-Stars again. Also, I’m dying to see our Georgia peaches, Kathryn and Season 8′s Melanie Moore dance together. You know what else I’d love to see? I’d love to see a current contestant dancing with an All-Star and choreographed by another SYTYCD alumni. That would be awesome.
Are they any Season 8 contestant/All-Star pairings you’re dying to see?
So there is yet another injury tonight, this time Billy Bell. Seriously what is going on this season like everyone else is say/tweeting it’s a dance version of Survivor. I have to say I liked the way the Judges were introduced, clever way to keep the identity of the guest judge a secret. I figured it out before he turned around, Kenny Ortega. Nice to see a fresh face on the panel, makes me miss the rotating third judge.
Lauren and Twitch were up first with the western hip hop. I enjoyed it nice to see Lauren get down and dirty but still make it sexy. Our guest judge had my favorite saying tonight with “Save a horse ride a cowboy”.
Jose and Allison I enjoyed more for the concept. I love that Sonya did something different. Jose did better this week but still lacks in technique. Big thanks to Mia for actually defining Contemporary.
Robert and Lauren. I loved that this dance didn’t have a story. Being able to just sit back and just enjoy it. Robert seems to be letting loose and showing everyone why he is there and his solo was my favorite technique.
Kent and Kathryn. I didn’t think Kent wasn’t going to turn the card around. Again just a fun fast paced dance that just showed the joy of dancing instead of having a story. To hear Kenny say he was the person to beat was nice to hear an outsiders opinion. I have to agrees with the amount of screams he get. Hmm I wonder who gets more screams him or Neil.
Ade Chike and Comfort. Holy Moly NappyTabs that was intense. To Ade Chike in tears after that was just WOW. He really showed up for the first time for me. I would love to hear what Alecia Keys has to say about it.
On to Lauren and Robert’s Samba. I really enjoyed it, they looked like they were having fun. I love Robert’s reaction when they said he look like a pro. Loved Lauren’s outfit that and the music, I just want to get up and dance too but as long as its with Dmitry. I really miss Mary, I want to know if they made it on the Hot Tamale Train.
Ade Chike and Jose. The Duel of the Matadors, love the cape stuff, and seeing Legacy in the rehearsal footage. Just wish I was able to hear what was going on but stupid bad weather interruption for places three hours away from me. It was interesting to say the least, but for me Ade Chike was the stronger of the two.
Time for the first ever step routine, which is not true. There was one in Season three with Shauna and Jimmy. I thought Kent pulled it off, though I dont think he would have looked as out of place if Billy was able to dance. Props to Twitch for stepping in (no pun intended haha).
I hope Billy will feel like he is able to dance for his life tomorrow, but no matter what happens it was an enjoyable show and it was nice to see Alex in the audience.
We’ve seen some great music so far this season, in my opinion. I’m ready for some more. Bring it, SYTYCD.
Dancer: Jose Ruiz
All-Star: Allison Holker
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: Jon Brion’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Theme” from the soundtrack (not on iTunes, the link is for Amazon, which was the same situation with the Beck cover of “Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime” from “>my recent suggested music post).
Dancer: Kent Boyd
All-Star: Kathryn McCormick
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: Janelle Monae’s “Tightrope” – And here’s a link to download it for free from rcrdlbl, as our reader Lisa pointed out on my free music post.
Dancers: Lauren Froderman and Robert Roldan
Choreographer: Dmitry Chaplin
Song: Debi Nova’s “Drummer Boy (SYTYCD remix)” – (the regular version, NOT the SYTYCD remix, which isn’t available yet as far as I know)
It’s all Kelly’s fault. Our reader said:
I think we need another “What music would you like to see on the show?” post.
You see how she demanded that I do another suggested music post? Well, Kelly, here it is.
This time around, I didn’t make any big thing out of the assignment. All weekend, I basically just listened to music like I always do, but since I knew I was gonna do this, I dropped songs into a special file and promised myself when I got to 10, I’d post.
Well, it’s time to post. And this time, I’m gonna go one step forward and say who I think would best choreograph to these songs. Well, some of them. You may have to help me with the others.
Suggested Music for SYTYCD
3. Beck’s “Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime” from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind I’m not sure who would do the best with this one. It could probably be used by Dmitry or Louis or Toni Redpath in a creative ballroom routine OR, it could be contemporary a la Travis.
5. Paolo Nutini “Last Request” – Totally Travis. Well, I thought this was my brilliant idea, but actually, this song was used on the last season of AU, choreographed by Paul White and Anthony Ikin. Check it out:
They could totally just have this routine on Season 7. Lauren and Kent. Lauren and Billy.
8. Sydney Wayser’s “Ghost Song” – Darn. It’s not available on iTunes. Her other song “Carousel” is, though. Anyway, I envision jazz by Sonya or even maybe some funky neo Broadway by Joey Dowling. Or crazy crazy by Wade. Check out the YouTube video below (and download the song for free from Daytrotter).
10. Eminem ft. Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie” – Lil’ C or Shane Sparks. I just heard this song coming home from work today. I usually don’t like rap or hip-hop very much. But this one shook me. I’d love to see what either of these choreographers made of it.
So, I challenge you. What songs do YOU suggest for the show??
With Alex out of the competition and with Ashley out of the dancing tonight due to a broken rib (can she come back next week with that?!?!), I just don’t know about the rest of this season. My favorites are dropping like flies. They better bring back some amazing All-Stars to make me feel better. And I hear that Louis Van Amstel, Dmitry Chaplin AND Travis Wall are choreographing tonight, which makes me happy. The only way things on the choreography front could be better is if Wade’s doing the group number tomorrow…
Oh, here’s the place for all your thoughts going into tonight’s show, by the way.
Once again, I’m going to combine my Top 9 performance thoughts and power rankings this week.
This one’s gonna be rough. Roouuuggggh. I’ve been reading a few of your comments to help me out here, but I’m still pretty confused.
Alex – Is there any question? I think we can all agree on this one. And this is coming from me, the “hater” of hip-hop. Helllloooo…let’s just say I’m most likely to like hip-hop if it’s NappyTabs. And if Twitch is dancing, I’m always in love. But Alex is what made this routine, which was choreographed brilliantly for him and all, but he held his own with TWITCH BOSS! I mean, boss is in his name. And Alex killed it. Did you hear that audience? Cat kept saying it was the loudest crowd she’d even seen on the show. It sounded like they were in a stadium. I especially loved Mia’s, “Who the hell are you?” Even though, I’m not really that surprised Alex rocked because he’s just phenomenal. When I saw the SYTYCDism spoilers that Alex and Twitch were dancing together, I made very girly sounds.
Billy – The judges came down hard on him (but they kinda have to, since he’s been a judge favorite all along, right?), but it was a gorgeous routine. Billy still has a lot of fans and I thought the combination of his mentioning Legacy as his role model, dancing with Kathryn (who danced with Legacy) and a powerful routine from Stacey Tookey put him up top. He was a bit stiff and arrogant while getting his feedback, I think, which makes me like him less. But the routine was lovely and his solo was strong as well. Overall, I think the judges were hard on him because they’re trying to give him a possibility at a “journey/arch” that he might not be perceived as having since he’s so technically good.
Ashley – When Top 11 started after Vegas Week, I was thinking, “Who is this girl?” I had no idea who she was. But I loooooooooove her now. Yes, she needs to dance something other than contemporary. But she’s been able to show something different in this routine and it was a chilling and wonderful routine with Ade. She has quickly become one of my favorites and will be my biggest solace when we probably lose the girl who has been one of my favorite from the beginning.
Robert -I love him. He got BIG cheers, supported Jose (yes he can, when Cat asked rhetorically if Jose could hold his own) and had great chemistry with Courtney. But, he danced with Courtney again to a blah-ish Sonya (not her best, at least) routine that happened earlier in the show, which makes it sadly a bit forgettable. He was compared to Mark, however, and I think he does suit Sonya’s choreography. I hope it doesn’t put him in danger cause I loved when Sonya was taking America to task for not voting for Robert. He definitely deserves to stay.
Lauren – I thought it was a fun Broadway, and though I don’t always love her personality, I do enjoy her dancing. I thought both she and Neil were technically strong and had great lines, but there wasn’t a lot of chemistry between them. She’s starting to get a lot of flak, but a lot of people still really love her, I think. Also, I think the wardrobe malfunction and the resulting brou-ha-ha (“I enjoyed that tremendously,” and “I bet you did”) will make her stand out. She got a lot of time – and honestly kudos to her for carrying on with her entire strap dangling. I think that would have been just a bit distracting.
Kent – This is a tough call. It’ll either be Kent or Jose in this or the first Bottom 3 spot, in my opinion. But, they’re kinda on the same level, I think. Both didn’t dance strongly this week, both have huge fan bases. I do have to say I don’t think enough has been said about Dmitry’s phenomenal choreography here – smart and sexy work. While Jose got better feedback (and I liked his performance better), I think Kent’s fan base is a little more rabid AND I think that he’s perceived to have danced better in genres outside his own…
Jose – Whereas Jose has been giving a lot of “Legacy choreography” – stunts within the choreo that show off his skillz and remind us why he’s on the show. I liked Jose’s performance tonight, but I agree with some of the comments I’ve seen that he didn’t do a lot of real dancing, more like excellent partnering. I think the routine (and most of his routines) have cleverly disguised his weaknesses and the judges are mostly glossing them over. So while I think he may be in the Bottom 3 tomorrow night, I think he’ll be a the “top” of the Bottom 3, which will mean he’ll be back next week.
Adechike – A lot of people are raving about his Dave Scott hip-hop tonight. After watching it back three times now, I think he made *some* improvement. But you know what? He had all the personality of a prop, to me. He might as well have not been there. The only times I noticed him was when he was being sloppy and cheesy. It’s kinda the reverse of Melinda for me – I don’t get the hate for her and a lot of people probably won’t get (or agree with) me putting him in the bottom 3. But honestly, I think that any little sign of improvement was going to be seen as a huge step for him because he danced like a stick with two beautiful women in his own genre in the weeks before this. I think he should be getting a lot of heat for that and I don’t care if he danced a slightly better hip-hop this week. I would’ve rather’d seen that routine with *anyone* other than him. Even not always loving hip-hop, I could see how that could be a great routine. With somebody else.
Melinda – I love her, but… it seems like I’m one of the few left who do. Especially if you count the judges. I thought Mia’s comment was so gross. What is the constructive point of telling her “we might have made a mistake keeping you” on national t.v.? Why not, “You didn’t dance your best, or as strongly as you needed to”? And, after watching the routine back, it galls me to admit this, but it was pretty awful. I enjoyed it in the moment, I did. I thought there were some especially awkward transitions into jumps, lifts and tricks and a moment that might’ve been choreographed or might’ve been a colossal mistake. I think the only thing that could save Melinda now is the sympathy vote after Mia’s ugly, pointless comment or if ALL of Melinda’s fans stay up all night voting for her.
I’m not happy about it, but I think Melinda’s going home. (Or maybe it’s a plot to use reverse-psychology are the voting audience….) I hope that it’s two guys in the bottom with her and I’m fairly confident in my picks. Though, as I said earlier today, I think we’re ripe for a shocker.
Some last thoughts before I go -
-I love that Cat’s talking more than ever – especially about the routines. Even if she’s not a dancer, she should get to put her 2 cents in after all the years she’s hosted and participated in the show. I like knowing what she thinks!
-I thought the solos were all pretty strong and interesting. I wasn’t thrilled with Ashley using the same music as last week’s group routine – I think it was too soon and indicated (whether this is fair or not) that she didn’t try as hard to be unique. Same thing with Adechike – he used at least the same song as his dance for his life in Vegas and it might have been the same solo, I’m not sure. I thought Lauren had the strongest solo of the girls and I was very impressed by Kent’s solo (his “new Billy Belly status” has never been clearer). I enjoyed Jose and Melinda’s solos quite a lot as well.
-The minute Alex’s footage started and up to the last minute on screen was some of the best SYTYCD has ever had to offer. Pure enjoyment. Even though Adam’s “This is your world and I’m just visiting” comment was regurgitated (Marianya reminded me he said it to Ashleigh last season), I think the emotion behind it was truly genuine. How could it not be? You could see the mass hysteria going on in that studio. I think NappyTabs were incredibly smart to forsake an easy route “battle” dynamic for this routine and in doing so, they made this an incredibly memorable routine, one that showcased both of its incredible dancers. If this is the quality of dancing we have to look forward to, I don’t mind *as much* that we’ll probably lose Melinda and be at 2-6 girls and guys.
-You know…some of the problem with this season’s female-male dynamic may originate with the choreographers. Hear me out… I suspect that the choreographers are just plain more inspired by the guys and they’re using the choreography to showcase and protect the guys, yet they’re not doing the same thing for the girls. Especially when you consider the enormous amounts of ballroom that the in-danger and eliminated girls have danced. The ballroom routines usually don’t have intense back stories, are very technically fussy and difficult, usually have less appealing music (hey, I’m considering the types of songs YOU tend to click on) and are a hit-or-miss when it comes to audience appreciation.
-Did you see Legacy on stage with all the dancers at the end? He and Kathryn seemed to have a bit of a reunion.
Well, bring on my heat for all the cranky-puss comments about Ade. I know a lot of you are going to think I’m crazy for my power rankings this week, so time to hear it!
I’m gonna put a spoiler line, just in case. The music on tonight’s SYTYCD episode follows…
Dancer: Adechike Torbert
All-Star: Lauren Gottlieb
Choreographer: Dave Scott
Song: “Hot N Fun” – [My mom helped me till I could get home and she missed the artist - I believe it's N.E.R.D. ft. Nelly Furtado, so I'll link to that till I hear differently. 7:55 p.m. update: I've watched it back and confirmed that it is N.E.R.D. ft. Nelly Furtado].
Ashley’s solo: Crookers ft. Roisin Murphy’s “Royal T” – [Again! This song was also used in Sonya's group routine last week.]
Adechike’s solo: Craig Armstrong’s “Ruthless Gravity” – [This is the same song he danced for his life to in Vegas.]
You can check out all Season 7′s music here.