The closer we get to the finale of the show the harder it is for me to want to do a power rankings post, but I’ll do my best. Loved the opening dance by Mia Michaels. Many of you may have noticed Aaron was missing from that dance. It wasn’t addressed on the show since he was able to dance his duet. This is when social networking comes in handy. Thanks to twitter Aaron sent out a message saying he has a shoulder injury and in best interest of his shoulder and the show, he was pulled from the opening number. That’s all I know right now…if I find out more I will update.
The bottom four ended up being Jenna, Hayley, Tucker and FikShun. Tough call to make and I can say I 100% agree with the end results but it’s what has to happen. Jenna and Tucker were the two we had to say goodbye to. Both had fantastic dances last night. I really did enjoy watching Tucker and Courtney dance together. Wasn’t the best of the night but landed in the middle of the mix for me. Jenna and Mark on the other hand I could go on for days about their dance. It was my favorite piece of choreography of the night.
Amy: I think most will agree this was the other favorite dance of the night. Travis was able to show us all of Amy’s talents as a dancer. It reminded me why she has always been one of the early favorites.
Hayley: There is just something about the Rumba I just love. It’s really hard for me to find anything wrong about this dance.
Jasmine: I was excited to see that she was paired with Twitch. Granted I would have wanted a more down and dirty hip hop but I enjoyed the superhero theme too. Superheroes and Twitch go hand in hand together. Jasmine held her own dancing with Twitch but this was a case of the other numbers just were a little bit better.
Guys (very hard to rank these since all made me feel the same)
FikShun: Allison did a fantastic job working in his strenths through her choreography. He really has grown so much over the competition.
Paul: This was just a fun hip hop. Paul has consistently been good and the ladies love him.
Aaron: Dispite his injured shoulder he made that jive look easy. I had to go back to see what Mary was talking about, and still trying to figure out what caused it. Still thought he was great.
So who is your top 4? Mine is Amy, Jasmine, Aaron and Paul.
Now that Season 9′s So You Think You Can Dance has ended what else is there to talk about? Forget talk about… what else is there to watch… dance-wise?
It would appear that this is the season of the dance reality shows as two past contestants (and SYTYCD mainstays) from Season 2 have branched out to their own shows (A Chance to Dance and All the Right Moves) and new possibilities have popped up for fans of So You Think You Can Dance could sink their teeth into:
[...] The SYTYCD® Experience is a 2-3 day workshop filled with classes, seminars, mock audition opportunity, and performances! Our weekend will be the most exciting and educational dance event you have ever experienced! This event is for dancers, educators, and enthusiasts 18 & older!
The Experience Includes:
- Classes throughout the weekend
- Seminar Breakouts
- Performances from your favorite SYTYCD Alumni Dancers and other Special Guests
- Solo Showcase Opportunity
- Q and A
- Meet and Greet
- Amazing Scholarship Opportunities
- Optional Mock Audition for the opportunity to perform in the Saturday’s Opening or Closing Number of the Showcase
Also… as featured on So You Think You Can Dance: The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers
Featuring the dance talents of: Christopher “Lil’ C” Toler as Z Christopher Scott as Copeland William Wingfield as Katana Stephen “Twitch” Boss as Dr.E
“They lie amongst us, preparing for battle, waiting to rise and change things for good. Some are gifted in ability, others are trained to master it and some, some have it bestowed upon them at birth, but they all must choose.” [...] The lines come from the first episode of “The LXD” or “The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers,” a new dance-inspired Web series created by Jon M. Chu, the 30-year-old director of the hit 2008 movie “Step Up 2: The Streets” and the soon to be released “Step Up 3D.”
The series, [...] is produced by Mr. Chu and Hieu Ho with Agility Studios and distributed by Paramount Digital Entertainment and is a leap in Web-based original programming for both the companies and Mr. Chu. (An exclusive clip from the first episode of “The LXD” is available at nytimes.com/dance.)
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.
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!
Dancers: Top 8 Style: Contemporary Choreographer: Peter Chu Song: Woodkid – “Run Boy Run”
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” 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) 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” 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” 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) 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” 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” 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” 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” Will Thomas: James Morrison – “Better Man” Lindsay Arnold: Bond – “Señorita” Chehon Wespi-Tschopp: Max Richter – “On the Nature of Daylight” Witney Carson: Rihanna – “Where Have You Been” Cole Horibe: E.S. Posthumus – “Arise” Eliana Girard: Max Richter – “Infra 8″ Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer: Excision & Downlink – “Existence” (VIP)
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??
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.
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; [...]
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”
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) 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” 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” 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) 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” 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” 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” 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” 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)” 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” 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) Audrey Case: Jennifer Hudson – “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” Chehon Wespi-Tschopp: Ólafur Arnalds – “Til Enda” George Lawrence, Jr.: Olafur Arnalds – “Brotsjor”
whew! what a finale! while we’re all still relishing last night’s amazingness, thought I’d take a minute and post my favorite dances from the season. this was a great chance to look back for me, and, for as much grief as we had with things that we felt were wrong with season 8, it still produced some pretty awesome numbers.
These aren’t in order of preference, just week they were done, mostly b/c I’m cheating and using Wikipedia
Iveta’s intro (ballroom medley with Pasha)–while this wasn’t quite as steamy as last season’s intro of Cristina Santana w/ All-Stars Pasha and Anya, this was, by far, the best ballroom we had this season, mostly because it was Iveta in her style. Caitlynn and Pasha’s Argentine Tango that was replayed last night was soo beautiful and a fabulous showcase for her, but technically, this medley was just unbelievable.
Melanie and Marko’s “Turn to Stone”–on the night of the premiere, this was the only number that made me literally punch the air with excitement. I probably rewatched this number a dozen times over that week. For me, Melanie & Marko are the best pair the show has had since Katee & Joshua. They made each other better dancers, and emotionally they were just totally in sync. The slow cartwheel that Marko does over Melanie still gives me goosebumps.
Caitlynn & Mitchell’s “Turning Tables”–our first chance to see them as a couple and they did NOT disappoint. Stacey Tookey has a way of bringing emotions out of dancers that they may not have touched before. The chairs and lamps could have gotten in the way, but they really worked with them well, and the interplay between light and dark made the piece really interesting and powerful. For what Mitchell lacked in technical refinement, he made up for in pure emotion and drive, and I could tell he had a lot to prove after not being able to dance week 1. I loved this partnership.
Clarice & Jess’s “Fly Me to the Moon” foxtrot–as you all probably saw from my posts, I was NOT Jess’s biggest fan, I found in immature and annoying a lot. But NOT in this number, I loved this one. His broadway background lent itself really well to the jazzy bluesy feel of the song. Though there were quite a few points when they were in closed hold when the movements felt heavy, their musicality overshadowed that for me. It was THIS type of movement I was looking for in Ryan & Ricky’s broadway that they did a couple of weeks after this, when Jesse Tyler Ferguson said they were “hitting the ceiling” with their movements and not finishing them.
Tadd & Jordan’s “One Night Stand” hip hop–just so much fun. really great to see Tadd kind of in his element, and how NappyTabs were able to incorporate some of what Tadd does really well. I agree with the judges that it almost became too much about the story, but this was one that I just really enjoyed watching.
Caitlynn & Mitchell’s “To Love You More” contemporary–one of Mandy Moore’s best pieces this season (I’d put it just behind Neil & Melanie, but I’ll get to that later!) The trust they had in each other was innocent but so mature at the same time. They’re both so young, but they tapped into something really amazing.
Sasha & Alexander’s “That’s Life”–their best dance together, Alexander finally let it all go. He was so tight for so long, but in this one, he just felt free, and it lifted a weight from their partnership that had been there really since the beginning. This was also one of Tyce’s best pieces.
Sasha & Twitch’s “Misty Blue”–what can I say that hasn’t already been said?!
Neil & Melanie’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart”–for me, Neil wins the award for most improved dancer since his season aired. He’s become a really fabulous technician as well as an even better partner. He breathes life into the moments between the movements in a way he didn’t used to when he was on the show. Melanie matched Neil step for step, and really shined in this piece. And the leap!! The trust she had in him was just amazing. This was a goose-bump inducing one for sure.
Caitlynn & Tadd’s “White Tie & Tails” foxtrot–was this the best technically? no. But there was such joy on both of their faces. Jonathan Roberts, a pro from DWTS, really does the classic ballroom dances incredibly well. He has a real sense of how to impart wisdom on the dancers in terms of how to embody the dance even if you don’t quite have everything technically sound. And stylistically, Caitlynn looked AMAZING, wow.
Kent & Sasha’s Wall contemporary–Kent is my runner-up in the “most improved since his season aired” award. The strength that he has gained, both physically and emotionally since last summer is absolutely astounding. He would NOT have been able to pull of that routine the way he did this season last summer. And his strength helped Sasha’s strength and vulnerability really emerge.
Tadd & Melanie’s “A Chorus Line/Black Swan”-esque broadway–though I really liked Chris & Ashley’s “Please Mr. Jailer,” THIS is the broadway I would have rather seen last night. I know why they didn’t repeat it, but this was the best broadway of the season, by far. Nothing felt out of place, from the music to the camera work to the lighting to the dancing. It was so sexy but so mean at the same time, I know that sounds weird. For me, this was Tadd’s best dance other than the vulture dance with Jordan.
Lauren & Marko’s contemporary from finale night–this was my favorite dance from the finale. It started with the music; the fact that the music didn’t have big sweeping crescendos allowed the dancing to be the most important thing on the stage. The dancers could just dance, the music wasn’t ruling the way they moved, THEY ruled the way they moved in their relationship on stage together. Loved it loved it loved it. Tessandra hit the ball out of the park with this one.
so there’s my list! what do you guys think? any that I missed?
I don’t know how I’m going to do this. There’s a clear-cut Top 4 that will probably happen, but there’s every chance there will be a mix-up. I really, really wish they would drop the bottom guy/girl combo. All three girls are so strong and I’d love them all to be in the Top 4.
And I’m not sure how they’re going to do the Top and Bottom tomorrow. Probably the Top Girl and Top Guy, but I’m going to list them in the order of how strong I think their night was, based on how I liked the routines, how I think you liked the routines, my perceptions of the dancer’s popularity and their growth.
1. Sasha – Her contemporary with Kent was the best routine of Round One. Gorgeous and amazing and so surprising. Her solo was stellar. She had an alright (and fun) waacking routine with Rickey, but she ended on her lowest note of the night. Her biggest downfall might be that some people dislike what we see of her personality, but one of her biggest pluses is that she’s been visible all season, but she’s fought herself forward every step of the way.
2. Melanie – Her hip-hop with Twitch was also surprising, but it was the first routine. If it’s possible for her to be forgettable, her first routine is in the “least memorable” position. Her solo was one of the best ever and definitely the best this season, which is tough since it came on the heels of Sasha’s. Her ending routine with Tadd was a definite high note for them both. However, her biggest downfall is that people feel she hasn’t been challenged enough (hopefully tonight changed those minds) and that the judges have been too easy on her.
3. Caitlynn – I know everyone expects her to leave tomorrow, but she may be the dark horse. The complaints against Sasha’s perceived arrogance and the favoritism shown to Melanie may split the vote. And she had a great night. A solid samba with Pasha, her best solo yet and then the last routine of the night, which just happened to be a really amazing Sonya routine with Marko.
4. Marko – His paso with Janette was excellent, but early in the night. His solo was strong, but not a huge stand-out considering Sasha and Melanie wrestling for the best solo of the night. But he had that phenomenal last routine with Caitlynn and he’s been the favorite guy most of the season.
5. Tadd – I loved his quirky routine with Ellenore, though there was some critique that there wasn’t much dancing. His solo wasn’t his strongest (he stood on his hand too long), but he ended on a high note with Melanie.
6. Rickey – His contemporary with Jaimie was really incredible, but Christina Applegate said it right for me – there’s some lack of intention or follow-through when he dances. It’s not entirely complete. His solos have been saving him the last few weeks and he’s picked up some fans. But his waacking routine with Sasha was probably the weakest of the second set of routines.
The gimmie answers is that Rickey and Caitlynn are going home tomorrow night and our Top 4 will be Melanie, Sasha, Marko and Tadd. Unless there’s a shakeup, which is entirely possible if people vote like crazy tonight to save somebody or fans assume Melanie and Sasha are safe. OR, if the judges decide that the Top 4 doesn’t have to be 2 guys or 2 girls. It’s hard to predict how this could go down if a shake-up happens. So, I need your help.
Who are YOUR Top 4? You can only pick 4, but you don’t have to pick 2 guys and 2 girls. Pick any 4 dancers you want, as long as they’re YOUR Top 4.