About a month and a half ago I was approached to review a website and corresponding app for iPhone. Interesting proposition to be sure, but something I don’t usually do… I can be harsh with my reviews, blunt and to the point. I have no qualms in exposing what I do not like about something, but at the same time I will acknowledge when something is done right.
This is no different, there are some aspects of either the website or the app that I dislike, but there are also some aspects of the website or app that I truly liked…
So beyond the break I will provide my impressions in regards to the app and the website. After my impressions there will be a quick line or two for the positives, negatives and the bottom line for both the app and the website. At the end of this post will be my final thoughts and what I would love to see down the road… preferably sooner than later. Read more..
As they say in the performing arts world: “The Show Must Go On”
There were predictions hitting towards two feet of snow in parts of Chicagoland but a call to Broadway in Chicago confirmed what most businesses, stores and restaurants would not do in downtown Chicago… the show was open and was going to go on as scheduled. Granted, considering how quickly the temperature rose during the first number of the show “Ballroom Beat” (YouTube clip) this came as little surprise to those in attendance. When the first beats of the African rhythm filled the auditorium, you knew it was going to be hot. Dancers appeared throughout the auditorium, in the balcony, in the aisles… dancing and shaking to the rhythms before jumping onto the stage for an amazing opening number.
He says in the video that David Boreanaz is interested in having a Dance-Off with him off camera I wonder if it’ll happen on the show. Please be warned the interview does contain Spoilers of the episode
Here’s a video of David on Rachel Ray showing off his moves:
Also star TJ Thyne has confessed he is a fan of So You Think You Can Dance.
Me thinks someone over at Bones is a closet reality TV addict. The Fox hit—which just wrapped production on a Jersey Shore-inspired episode—is now setting its sights on So You Think You Can Dance.
Although not an outright homage to Fox’s summertime sleeper, the episode will take Booth and Brennan into the world of street performers and feature a guest appearance by SYTYCD MVP and burgeoning actor Stephen “tWitch” Boss.
The cycle 4 runner-up—who returned this past season as an all-star and took part in what was arguably one of the best hip-hop numbers in SYTYCD history—will play a suspect in the murder of a popular street entertainer.
Boss, whose Bones episode is slated to air in November, appeared in this summer’s big-screen dance spectacle, Step Up 3D.
Was it worth it? Did the judges/producers make the right choice in bringing in Season 6 Original Top 20 dancer Billy Bell into the fold for Season 7?
You know, I find it kind of odd that Billy Bell was originally part of the Top 20 on Season Six, but had to withdraw due to illness only to be added onto Season Seven as the sixth guy effectively turning the Top Ten into the Top Eleven… Only for him to be out of commission on Week Six while in the Top Six and then for him to end his run on Season Seven in the Top Six? You guys see a trend here?
All kidding aside let’s take a look at his journey from Las Vegas week to his exit…
Las Vegas Boot Camp
Going through Las Vegas he didn’t really standout as much as the judges expected of him (considering it’s his second time around) except during his solos.
In fact, when the judges chose the Top 10, Billy ended up getting cut… which stood to reason that he would have to wait til another year. Even Adam Shankman told Billy, when the judges were going around telling people if they made the Top 10 or not, that he didn’t really “show up” until his final solo.
However, the producers and judges decided to add a sixth guy and as thus included Billy into Season 7… but was it worth it?
Meet the Top 11:
- Wade Robson’s Jazz
- Mia Michaels Contemporary
During the Wade Robson routine his unique style of dance blended well with Wade’s choreography… I believe that if Wade Robson were to choreograph him in a dance it would be a very special kind of magic. Mia Michaels, in her own way, did just that. Billy had the role of a child, his insane flexibility and movement fit the role so perfectly that it was very easy for me to see why he is such a special dancer.
Week 1: Top 11 Performance:
- Broadway w/ Lauren Gottlieb choreographed by Tyce Diorio
After watching this dance I started to realize that in between dance steps my eyes lingered to Lauren… and suddenly I understood what Adam was talking about. Billy needed to work on filling the space in between steps. Without filling out that void he won’t be able to complete the movement.
Week 2: Top 10 Performance
- Krump w/ Comfort choreographed by Lil C
So we learned that Billy Bell started dancing in hiphop, which would mean that he should have some sort of idea of how to feel into it. Except when he was dancing with Comfort his movement was very flowing and very… well… contemporary-ish. Is it because he wasn’t allowing enough friction in this steps? Or power? Whatever the reason, this was not a strong dance for Billy
Week 3: Top 9 Performance
- Contemporary w/ Kathryn choreographed by Stacey Tookey
W00T, Season 6 reunite. Anyway, this is a very beautiful piece… it felt like a moving painting. Which is not necessarily a good thing. I love watching him dance but I’m not drawn into his dancing much like how I love various pieces of art but I won’t necessarily appreciate it wholeheartedly. So this would be an issue of connecting? Chemistry? Seems like I’m not the only one that believes this considering this is Billy’s first trip to the Bottom 3.
Week 4: Top 8 Performances
- Broadway w/ Katee Shean (Allison out due to injury) choreographed by Spencer Liff
Billy’s second Broadway piece this season. Remember how everyone’s dream is for Billy and Allison to dance together with Travis Wall choreographing? Two out of three isn’t bad… but it would seem the fates were against that. So Katee stepped in for Allison. (No other contemporary girls were available… but I would have loved to have seen this dance done with either Neil or Mark or even Ade since they were available) So the major question in this case would be: Did Billy grow from the first time he did Broadway? Yes, I believe he did. Did he grow enough to get out of the Bottom 3? No, not really… he hasn’t had a real “break out” dance as of yet, nothing that really wowed me from him… which is not a good thing.
- African Jazz w/ Jose Ruiz choreographed by Sean Cheesman
Ok I really really really loved Billy in this piece, don’t ask me why. I think him being an animal totally fits with his dance style so he should be able to nail it, and to me I really liked it. Could Billy use more power? Of course, but power isn’t his specialty. Could he use more abandon? Of course, but that hasn’t worked for him. But like I said, I really liked him in this piece, but that’s just me.
Though it wasn’t a “breakout” week, to me, he finally did start to get out there and started shining, slowly, for me… but alas another trip to the Bottom Three he was.
Week 5: Top 7 Performances
- Jive w/ Anya choreographed by Louis van Amstel
He did really well with this number. High energy, but his center is too high… but of all the ballroom routines up to this point, this is definitely one of the better ones thus far.
- Jazz w/ Lauren Froderman by Mandy Moore
A very relaxed loose and fun style… Billy has been growing slowly and steadily from week to week, still no real break out performance, but still he’s growing in some capacity.
Was this week enough to get Billy out of the Bottom Three? No not really, but it didn’t mean that he wasn’t growing, because he was.
Week 6: Top 6 Performances (Round One)
Billy did not dance this week due to injury. Although the doctors cleared him to dance, he did not feel that it would be in his best interest to dance… so he opted out to take the extra time to heal and recover for the long term.
The argument is that because Billy did not dance, he should automatically be let go. However the catch is that he was signed off to dance, it was only Billy that opted not to. Why? For me, having danced before and knowing the wear and tear and the very short life span for a traditional dancing profession Billy made the right choice. He has an injury and even though he could technically continue dancing this particular week it would be safer not to if only to make sure the injury heals so he could prolong his dance career. This show isn’t the catch all of his career, if anything it would only give him a slight edge over people. So thinking for the future was the best thing he could have done for himself, even though it meant putting the judges in an unenviable position.
Week 7: Top 6 Performances (Round Two)
- Contemporary w/ Ade Obayomi choreography by Stacey Tookey
I believe if there was ever a “breakout” performance for Billy, this piece was it. He had the talent, the skill, the performance, just everything. If there is ever a dance I would love to see on the tour this would be the piece. Then again, this was Contemporary, his style, he HAD to be great in this piece and he was… but what he got in this piece that he missed in the last contemporary piece that he did was connection. You sensed that connection that partnership that he seemed to be lacking in past dances.
- Bollywood w/ Robert Roldan choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan
O. M. G. If there was ever going to be a dance that tested his knee this would be the dance, and he didn’t show it not til the dance was over anyway. He was strong, he did well… but I felt that he was a bit upstaged by Robert. Though part of it was probably because Robert’s “look” matched the piece more than Billy did, but that’s just me.
This week, I believe, was the strongest week for Billy, but considering he was in the Bottom Three for the past few weeks I don’t believe he had enough of a fanbase to take him through into the next round… and unless the Bottom Three included Jose and Robert, he didn’t stand much of a chance of moving onward…
All in all, Billy started slow but eventually began to grow as a dancer. He needed a breakout performance to prove his meddle, and even though he got something like that in his contemporary with Ade in Week 7, I almost felt like that was too little too late.
Had Billy not been ill last season the hype would have been a competition between him and Jakob Karr, however considering his performance this season, I do not believe that head to head battle would have happened the way the producers would have wanted it to happen. At the same time, things was different back then, so who knows what could have happened last season.
However, had Billy not been chosen for Season 7 would he have gone through the audition process and trip to Las Vegas again for Season 8? I would like to think that he would, but who knows?
Since the tour dates have been announced, and Nigel was kind enough to clarify that dancers from both Seasons 6, Season 7 and the All Stars are going to participate… one thing that Nigel mentioned to Ashley was that she was “chosen” to participate on the tour as long as her injury has healed. Chosen? Meaning that not everyone is going to get a chance to be on the tour?
And as Emilie mentioned before… there might be dancers in Season 6 that won’t be able to make the tour due to contractual obligations elsewhere (they have to dance to put food on the table after all! ).
So below are a series of polls… the Top 10 dancers of Season 6, the dancers of Season 7 sans Alex Wong, and the All Stars… You get to decide who you’d like to see go on the tour! You are able to select as many dancers as you would like… in this case there’s no limit! Enjoy.
Here’s Season 6 in review. Y’all brought up a lot of this stuff in recent comments (Mrs. D’s comment in particular), which gave me the idea to do a review of the season, what we liked and didn’t like. If you disagree with me (or agree), feel free to put your two cents in, as it’s all subjective and I’d love to know what you think!
This season felt more rushed that any other that I can think of. Between baseball, the Presidential address, so many audition episodes and an early end to the season because of Christmas coming up, I feel like this year’s Top 20 got shafted on actual dancing time. But not just the dancers – the choreographers got fewer chances to wow us. And the audience lost out, as well.
I loved that I didn’t have to wait till the summer for a new season. While America’s Favorite Dancer gets a shorter reign if they continue on the two seasons a year model, we had a shorter wait, which was really nice. After Season 5, I just don’t know how I would have contained my SYTYCD longing. Are the producers hoping to follow a Survivor/Dancing with the Stars model with the two seasons a year thing? If so, they should be just as smart about scheduling and not hesitate to move the finale to a separate night (like Survivor’s Sunday finale yesterday).
The new stage, or at least the screen behind it. It seems like we’ve transitioned from utter hatred toward the new stage, which always threatens to swallow up the dancers, to an acceptance that we’ll probably never get our intimate little stage back. Many readers have begun to say that the screen and imprudent use of it, is actually the bigger issue.
The group numbers were able to utilize this enormous space in really pleasing ways. It’s nice to think that SYTYCD can now command (and fill) a larger audience space. Maybe it’ll end up being a wonderful challenge to the choreographers (as well as the production crew, especially camera folk) to recapture that intimate feeling.
It was awful having three static judges (Nigel, Mary and Adam). No new blood! Adam seemed to be the only one who had something to say, most reliably at least. And when the three additional judges (Debbie, Lil C and Tyce) came in for the finale, it felt like an eternity since I’d seen them and that they were given favorites to pick rather than choosing from their hearts. Maybe that’s not true, and I’m sure they still kept up with the season, but their involvement didn’t have the same feeling because they never rotated in and out during the season.
Adam Shankman is a wonderful addition to the judging panel. I didn’t mind him being a constant, I only minded that there was no new blood. You almost always knew what Nigel and Mary were going to say, so he was a breath of fresh air (especially at the beginning of the season). Adam is funny and honest (he called out choreographers for bad routines!) and you get the impression that he’ll actually hire the dancers he likes (i.e. when Noelle got cut, I was okay because I felt Adam wanted to work with her), so he’s a valuable part of the panel.
Shane Sparks and Alex DaSilva‘s arrests (both for sexual crimes related to their dance students) are not only damaging to the choreographer’s careers, but also haunt the dance community at large and threaten to harm SYTYCD’s image.
The Dizzy Feet Foundation and gala do wonderful things for the dance community, SYTYCD and for us, as it unites our favorite shows, dancers, choreographers, crews in a really positive mission. It raises awareness and gives our favorites work! We can help, too!
How many injuries did we have this season? Mia Michaels was rushed to the hospital at the beginning of the season. Then, Billy Bell had to drop out due to illness. Noelle was injured in the first competition show while Ellenore and Ashleigh were both hurt during the Top 8 week and Russell was injured in the finale. Did I forget anyone??
Despite the overly-produced and rushed feel of the season, despite all the injuries, we had a wonderful Top 20 this season. As John pointed out, they had a great mix of styles and backgrounds. We saw some consistent excellence (Jakob and Ellenore, namely) and some great growth arcs (arguably, everybody, but notably Kathryn and Russell, in my opinion). We had some “characters” to get behind this season, in Legacy and the DiLellos in particular.
America’s SYTYCD lost Mia Michaels this season and her absence was certainly felt. Our loss was apparently SYTYCD Canada’s gain, so while it’s good that she’s working within the SYTYCD family, there’s a great big gaping hole where she was in our shows.
Mia’s absence gave way to a ton of “new” choreographers this season. New to us, at least. Like Sean Cheesman, Jason Gilkison, Spencer Liff and a routine from Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden. We had more Wade Robson, more Stacey Tookey, more Mandy Moore and more Travis Wall routines, which seriously rocked. More Sonya routines, many of which blew our minds, like the “Tore My Heart” routine with Ellenore and Jakob. Hopefully, we’ll get to see special Mia routines, maybe one or two a season, in the future. I don’t want SYTYCD America to be completely devoid of Mia Michaels, but I’m glad we had so many standout choreographers, new and recurring, this season.
This season had some really awful costumes…
And some really amazing music. But these two things are pretty typical of all seasons, I suppose.
No mention of a Season 6 tour! Not even on the finale show! What are they thinking? There had better be a tour, or I will seriously cry foul. I’m keeping my feelers out, y’all, and using my contacts, to see if/when the tour will be.
I’m glad they mentioned auditions for Season 7 because it sounds like it’ll be another summer season. So that means that we’ll either have two seasons a year, or we’ll go back to our beloved summer format (probably the former). SYTYCD keeps motoring on, which is good news. And again, we don’t have to wait several months till fall, sounds like.
Hell no to the Top 6! I hope Fox and SYTYCD realize they can never do this to us again. This was the worst idea ever and I suspect the results might have been significantly different, if we’d had a normal Top 4 finale. Not cool.
The Meet the Top 20 episode was the biggest stroke of genius and the best of all the new ideas and concepts we dealt with this season. I hope they *always* do this from now on. It was sublime to see all of the Top 20 dancing within their styles without fear of elimination. Some of the best dancing of the entire season happened in this very first episode, as evidenced by how many of the judges’ favorites in the finale show were from this very episode.
I think that’s all I’ve got. I’ve run out of steam. But I’m sure I’ve forgotten something you hated or loved, so let me know what you think.
When I saw this picture on the SYTYCD site, I couldn’t help wondering if my Power Rankings were already done for me. A picture’s worth a thousand words, after all…
It’s not necessarily what I’d like. I’d love if the final two were Kathryn and Ellenore. But, I have a feeling this picture (unconsciously on the part of Fox and the SYTYCD folks, maybe) predicts the order of the Top 6. First, Ryan and Ashleigh will get eliminated. Then Ellenore and Russell most likely. And, I suspect the final two are gonna be Kathryn and Jakob. It might even be in this particular order…
I’ll do a proper Power Ranking after tonight’s Finale Part I, but I think this pretty much this says it all. What do you think?
Since many of you visit this site thanks to our focus on the music from So You Think You Can Dance, it’s always fun to look back and see which songs from the last few months were the most popular songs. As always, this isn’t a scientific list. It’s just based on the number of clicks on the iTunes links we put next to the songs. I’m assuming that if you clicked on the iTunes link, then you were probably interested in downloading it. It’s a pretty interesting list of music.
1. Tore My Heart by Oona (this won is first by a long shot)
2. Wasted Time by Me’Shell Ndegeocello
3. Touched by Vast
4. To Build a Home by The Cinematic Orchestra
5. Your Hands by JJ Heller
6. Potrero Road by The Mother Hips
7. Beggin’ by Madcon
8. Where It Ends by 16 Frames
9. Shooting Star (feat. LMFAO, Pitbull & Kevin Rudolf) – David Rush
10. Infinity (Klaas Vocal Mix) by Guru Josh Project