Hi All!! First, apologies for how late this is getting posted. I just graduated from college this past week so I’ve had no time to catch up on all things SYTYCD. I’ve just gotten home for a little 6 week vacation before I start my new job so my sleeping schedule is all out of whack. Anyway, I’ve just finished watching the Top 20 performance episode and all I can say is WOW! There were highs and lows, so let’s get to it!
LOVING the new stage! Eons better than the past 2 seasons, and the background looks a bit like the old stage! Progress!
Jordan and Tadd: Anyone who has read my comments since I started blogging on here knows how much I LOVE Sean Cheesman and his afro jazz. This one, however, I didn’t love so much. All the steps were there, but there was a groundedness in their feet that I just didn’t feel. If you want to see what I mean, check out this video from SYTYCD Canada season 1.
It features a hip hop dancer (Miles) and a ballerina (Allie) who actually both ended up in the top 4. They’re sitting in the movements, whereas I felt like Jordan and Tadd were very high on their feet, a little too light. They both kept up with the steps really well and seemed to enjoy themselves, but I felt like something was missing.
Sasha and Alexander: I kind of disagreed with the judges on this one, I enjoyed it. It wasn’t my favorite (I’ll get to that later) but I thought they were both very strong and dynamic dancers. For me, Sasha outdanced Alexander, but it kind of worked for me because she was supposed to be his conscience coming back to haunt him so I liked that image. I agreed with the judges that I wasn’t feeling the connection as much, but I have high hopes for them.
Clarice and Jess: Ugh, I WANTED to like this, but it just rubbed me the wrong way. I’m kind of our resident broadway geek, but this one just wasn’t my favorite. I thought Jess killed it, but his skill really made Clarice look overmatched. It reminded me somewhat of Benji and Donyelle’s 2nd broadway number from their season, “Le Jazz Hot” where all the steps were there, but something just felt really fake. I didn’t buy their chemistry, and I really wanted to because they are both so talented.
Ryan and Ricky: gosh they danced so beautifully together! technically, it was my favorite of the first hour, but the storyline had me a bit confused. Why was Ryan so smiley?! Anyway, I think they’re both going to go a long way, but I don’t want them to lose the story, it’s such a crucial part of connecting with the audience, both in the studio and at home.
Caitlynn and Mitchell (and Robert): I so wanted to see Caitlynn and Mitchell dance this together, because it seemed like they were getting on really well. I wasn’t as taken with her as the judges were, but I thought she and Robert danced really really well together. He helped steady her nerves, I think.
Miranda and Robert: I almost didn’t recognize Miranda without her curls!! To be thrown a ballroom piece week 1 when neither of the partners has a ballroom background is pretty rare, but with so many contemporary girls (and no pure hip hop girls) this season somebody had to draw the short straw. I’m not a technical expert in ballroom, so I’ll just say it was fun to watch. They kept up the energy and the jive bounce really well, though I hope Robert loses the Steve Urkel glasses soon, his schtick is gonna get old.
Missy and Wadi: From this point, for the most part, the performances were pretty spectacular. This piece was definitely interesting and very powerful and very different from anything Sean’s done in jazz on the show. Their connection was great and the use of the stage, though at some times it all felt a little disjointed. Nigel said this was his favorite piece Sean’s done on the show, I’d have to say mine was Russell and Noelle’s frog dance from Season 6, nobody’s quite matched that one yet.
Melanie and Marko: Wow. No words. So exquisite and simple and pure. I could feel the emotion emanating from every pour of their bodies. Their chemistry was off the charts and their technique was incredible. I would almost put this one in “If It Kills Me” territory of amazingness. My favorite of Travis’s is still “Fix You” from last season, but gosh this was so good. I had been waiting for one that would make me rewind it and punch the air as I watched, and this one was it. Marko’s legs as he did that slow cartwheel, holy cow! It’s a dance like this that makes me so happy they’ve gone back to the Top 20 format, we get to watch this partnership grow and develop over the next 5 weeks, and this is one I’m really really excited about.
Ashley and Chris: This is one where I think the music and the choreography got in each other’s way. Dual cheaters (or the subject of cheating in general) could be really entertaining or really serious (a la Ashleigh and Jakob from S6). With this one, it just kind of felt like they were getting fake mad at each other. I wanted more.
Iveta and Nick: I LOVE these two! They both have personality and are oozing with talent. To watch Nick pull of so effortlessly what has been named the dance of death on SYTYCD was such a joy. He went fullout into the piece, which is where so much of the trouble has happened in the past, dancers not going full out in the ballroom pieces. He got super lucky with a partner like Iveta, he was able to follow her lead but still had the confidence to be the leading man on the dance floor. Was his technique always there? I can’t say. But they got the pimp spot in the order and definitely were memorable.
The performances definitely got better in the 2nd half of the show, but overall it was a pretty great night! So now I hand it over to you! Thoughts? Predictions for the first two who will be leaving us?