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SYTYCD Season 9: Top 20 Power Rankings

Wow… just wow. I just wrote a few quick thoughts on all the routines of the night and tossed a few polls asking for your opinions on which routines you enjoyed, and which dancers you’d love to see move on based on what we saw tonight. What I am going to do is rank all the routines we saw tonight from what I really enjoyed to what was forgettable. Then I will rank all the guys and all the girls w/ no real commentary. Let’s see how this goes.

1. Lindsay Arnold & Cole Horibe – Paso Doble
I mean come on! That was almost too good to be true. Such power, such strength, such passion and fire. I knew that Cole had some prior dancing training in addition to martial arts, but I would like to think that it is because of the martial arts that he is so clearly able to bring forth the necessary power and fire that the man needs in a proper paso doble. Lindsay at first came across as a bit of a wholesome, sweet kind of girl and then she comes out all guns blazing and I feel like I am getting a bit of the case of the whiplash because I didn’t see that coming a mile away! At first I thought that of the two Ballroom Barbies, Witney would win out, but man right now? I don’t know, I think Lindsay is making a very good case for herself here… and personally I think this is going to be a very strong partnership down the road.

2. Audrey Case & Matthew Kazmierczak – Contemporary
It’s a Travis Wall routine, so what is not to love? In all honesty though, I really did enjoy this routine a lot… these two just seem to work together so effortlessly. Audrey just seems to float in the air as opposed to jumping up there. Prior to today’s routine, Audrey didn’t really seem to stick out much for me. She hasn’t much more since except when she’s dancing with Matthew and Matthew I really really liked. Granted between the two Jazz girls I see myself drawn more to Audrey over Tiffany, but that again could be because I liked this routine just slightly more than the previous one. Perhaps it is the fact that Audrey just seems to emote that much more than Tiffany did… who knows. In the end this was a very strong routine and definitely one of the more memorable ones.

3. Amelia Lowe & Will Thomas – Pop-fusion/Hip Hop
Can’t help it, I’m drawn to this dance. They looked like they were having just so much fun in this routine. I would say that they are playing a bit of a “cat and mouse” game here, except I think they are suppose to be both cats, in which case… MEOW! I didn’t know much about Will Thomas prior to the Meet the Top 20 episode and honestly, he really caught my attention right away. In this routine the craziness between Will and Amelia was just fun to watch. I am so sure that Will was having so much fun playing with Amelia. I watched the routine over and over again because I found myself just smiling as I am watching them dance.

MIDDLE FOUR ROUTINES (this is probably the most difficult four to put together)
4. Eliana Girard & Cyrus Spencer – Broadway
I’ll agree that this didn’t really show off the dancing strengths for Eliana, but dammit it was fun to watch and really that’s all that matters at the end of the day. Cyrus picked up the choreography rather well for the first time out of the gate. The thing I really like about Broadway routines is that they require a hell of a whole lot of personality, unfortunately that is also at the sacrifice of dance at times, which is what seems to be the case here. What Cyrus lacks in training, he more than makes up for it in personality, charisma and entertainment value. Eliana with her dance/performing background has charisma and entertainment value for days, so I see this as a very good match. Here’s hoping that they could do just as well in the upcoming week.

5. Janelle Issis & Dareian Kujawa – African Jazz
I might be in the minority when it comes to this routine, but I really really liked these two together. I didn’t know what to expect but the intricacies in this routine and movement really came together and if either dancer misses anything, then the whole dance is shot (much like Sean Cheesman’s other routine, but more on that later). As I said before, what these two brought to the table is chemistry and entertainment. There were a few times where they were actually off, but like I said… I really preferred this routine of the two that Sean has created and having two dancers that connect really helps the routine along.

6. Amber Jackson & Nick Bloxsom-Carter – Viennese Waltz
When I saw Nick for the first time in the Meet the Top 20 episode, I liked him, a lot. So I was a bit sad when they already started critiquing him in the Meet the Top 20 episode. Amber Jackson I remembered seeing from previous episodes but almost saw nothing of in Season 9, so when there were rumors swirling around that they were paired together I got scared because these were two fairly unknown dancers who did not have much screen time, how would they fare? Well for a Viennese Waltz they did rather well. One thing I really love about this particular dance was that it really felt like you were dancing amongst the clouds, like a dream. Personally I think they did rather well and should be ok. Only time will tell

7. Witney Carson & Chehon Wespi-Tschopp – Samba
I had a rough time between this routine and number 8. This had a lot of fire and I really love Chehon a lot in this routine. He has very good technique but I agree with the judges that he just seems to be trying too hard. If he can get his head out of the game and just feel the dance it would flow so much better. There isn’t much to say about Witney except that she did excel rather well in this number. Though Chehon seemed out of place in this routine, I don’t think it is going to be much of an issue in later routines since hopefully by then he’ll start emoting more into the dances and routines.

8. Tiffany Maher & George Lawrence II – Contemporary
The reason I ended up placing them a lot lower than I originally thought I would is because I had to separate myself from the awe that is Sonya’s reinvention of herself into this contemporary movement from the dancers themselves and how they performed the routine. I really really do like this routine, but for some reason other than the fact that this is atypical of Sonya’s routines this was just not a memorable routine for me. This couple emoted rather well overall and I really like George in this routine, but Tiffany just wasn’t memorable for me. So I don’t know

9. Alexa Anderson & Daniel Baker – Jazz
This was a very technically difficult routine and given to two really technically advanced dancers it should have shone but it fell flat. I didn’t feel any chemistry between the two of them let alone with the audience. Between the two I preferred Daniel over Alexa, but then again I think they should have been paired with different partners, perhaps they would have done better emotionally. Granted I felt that Daniel was more emotionally committed to this particular routine over Alexa, but then again I am probably in the minority in this.

10. Janaya French & Brandon Mitchell – Hip Hop
This was another rather forgettable routine for the most part. For some reason I didn’t feel a connection between the two dancers and it felt a little bit like a “dance by numbers” kind of routine with the emotions and facials becoming little more than an afterthought, particularly on Janaya’s side of the fence. I really enjoyed Brandon’s interpretation for the most part, but again the routine as a whole seemed to have fallen flat for me which is rather sad since in any other season they would have been middle of the pack or higher.

Amelia Lowe
Lindsay Arnold
Janelle Issis
Cole Horibe
Cyrus Spencer
Will Thomas
Audrey Case
Eliana Girard
Witney Carson
Amber Jackson
Matthew Kazmierczak
Dareian Kujawa
Nick Bloxsom-Carter
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
Tiffany Maher
Alexa Anderson
Janaya French
Daniel Baker
George Lawrence II
Brandon Mitchell

Mind you this is my own opinions on the matter… why don’t you let me know yours! Until next week…

July 11, 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... =)

SYTYCD Season 9: Top 20 Routines (Polls)

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... =)

SYTYCD Season 9: Top 20 Performances – Music and Instant Thoughts!

Here it is! The moment we were all waiting for! The Top 20 Performances… and a glimpse of what is going to happen throughout the remainder of the season.

First we open with a Group routine:

Group Dance: Top 20
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Song: Kerry Muzzey – Architect of the Mind Architect of the Mind - Trailer Music 2

Now we are going through the individual introductions of the dancers that are part of the show.

Judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Kenny Ortega

According to Nigel, after all the votes are tabulated this week at the end of the episode next week two boys and two girls will be eliminated. Interesting.

Witney Carson & Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
Dance: Samba
Choreographer: Louis van Amstel
Song: The Cube Guys and Luciana – Jump Jump (Radio Edit) - Jump - Single
Thoughts: Considering this is Witney’s genre… this is really her thing, so she totally stole the show. I found moments that I really like watching Chehon, his technique in Samba isn’t all there yet, but there is something there that I can’t help but be drawn to. I have to agree with Mary, if he adjusts his foot placement he may actually excel in this genre more.

Tiffany Maher & George Lawrence
Dance: Contemporary
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: Sleeping at Last – Turning Page Turning Page - The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Pt. 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) [Deluxe Version]
Thoughts: Considering that the music is from the Twilight: Breaking Dawn soundtrack, I am not surprised at the whole “star crossed lovers” concept. Sonya? Contemporary? Wuh? But… Oh Em Gee… look at it! That was breathtaking… I am really liking what Sonya came up with, but more importantly I really liked what Tiffany and George did with it when asked to dance. It was just gorgeous.

Janaya French & Brandon Mitchell
Dance: Hip Hop
Choreographer: NappyTabs
Song: Drake & Rihanna – Take Care Take Care (feat. Rihanna) - Take Care (Deluxe Version)
Thoughts: For some reason I felt like this was very a much “dance by number” kind of routine with a little bit of emotion mixed in there. Like they were concentrating too much on the choreo and steps and not enough with each other or the audience for that matter.

Alexa Anderson & Daniel Baker
Dance: Jazz
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Song: Dennis Ferrer – Hey Hey Hey Hey (DF's Attention Vocal Mix) [feat. Dennis Ferrer] - Avicii Presents Strictly Miami (Mixed Version)
Thoughts: I think I was too in awe of the choreography and the dance itself to really pay much attention to anything else.

Amber Jackson & Nick Bloxsom-Carter
Dance: Viennese Waltz
Choreographer: Jason Gilkison
Song: Tina Arena – Nights in White Satin Nights In White Satin - Songs of Love & Loss, Vol. 2
Thoughts: If I liked Nick before… I love him a lot now. He’s such an overthinker like me, so I can relate to his fear that he might not hit the expectations set on him, but personally I think he expects that much more out of himself as opposed to everyone else. This routine really seemed like it was floating on air a lot.

Amelia Lowe & Will Thomas
Dance: Pop-fusion
Choreographer: NappyTabs
Song: The Cure – The Lovecats The Lovecats - The Cure: Greatest Hits
Thoughts: Wow, this is a very good number. NappyTabs have managed to reinvent themselves so that they aren’t entirely hip hop… this is very very interesting. Will and Amelia did a very good job with this piece and to think I was a little bit worried… Silly me. Considering that I didn’t know much about Will before… what is there to know except that he is a fabulous dancer and really a good “balance” with Amelia. They really looked like they were having fun in this dance.

Janelle Issis & Dareian Kujawa
Dance: African Jazz
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Song: Hilight Tribe – Jungle Jungle - Drum Trance (Music Mosaic Compilation)
Thoughts: Geez, what is it with Sean Cheesman and his love for technically advanced routines? I mean seriously! But what Daniel and Alexa lacked emotionally earlier today, Janelle and Dareian were able to achieve here… their personalities shown and they have charisma for miles. You can tell they were having fun and enjoying the dance. It was great to see.

Eliana Girard & Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer
Dance: Broadway
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: Hairspray (Original Braodway Cast) – Run and Tell That Run and Tell That! - Hairspray - Original Broadway Cast Recording
Thoughts: As worried as I was for Cyrus in picking up choreographer I was pleasantly surprised just how well he was able to cope to picking up choreography. Granted one of Cyrus’ best assets is just how much of a performer and entertainer he is, which really works well with Eliana and her performing background as well. Based on this performance alone I would say that they are bound to be around for quite some time if they keep this up.

Audrey Case & Matthew Kazmierczak
Dance: Contemporary
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Song: The Righteous Brothers – Unchained Melody Unchained Melody - The Very Best of the Righteous Brothers - Unchained Melody
Thoughts: Can we have a Titanic based dance show that Travis choreographs, because this was awesome. I really really liked it. These two are a really good pair together. I don’t know what else to say about this particular piece.

Lindsay Arnold & Cole Horibe
Dance: Paso Doble
Choerographer: Jason Gilkison
Song: E. S. Posthumus – Unstoppable Unstoppable - Makara
Thoughts: Love, Love, Love this routine. Actually if rumors are to be believed, Cole apparently has done some ballroom dancing… then again considering this is the Paso Doble it really does cater a bit to his strengths. I agree with the judges, as long as this couple keeps this up they may be the pair to beat.

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 – Vegas Week and Meet the Top 20

Listen to the podcasts

Episode 48: “Vegas Week” direct download

Episode 49: “Meet the Top 20” direct download

Subscribe to podcast on iTunes

Time Stamps for “Vegas Week”
0:00 – Introduction
1:18 – The cuts during Vegas Week
13:36 – The major narratives of Vegas Week – Alexa Anderson and Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer
19:14 – Standouts during Vegas Week
22:34 – MIA dancers during Vegas Week
25:30 – Wrap-up

Episode Length of “Vegas Week”: 28:38

Time Stamps for “Meet the Top 20”
0:00 – Introduction
1:33 – First contemporary routine by Tyce DiOrio: Alexa Anderson, George Lawrence II, Will Thomas, and Amber Jackson
3:57 –  Ballroom routine by Jason Gilkinson: Nick Bloxsom-Carter, Witney Carson, and Lindsay Arnold
6:15 – Ballet routine by Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden: Eliana Girard, Daniel Baker, and Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
8:36 – Jazz routine by Sonya Tayeh: Tiffany Maher, Audrey Case, and Janelle Issis (not in routine)
10:18 – Second contemporary routine by Stacey Tookey: Matthew Kamierczak, Dareian Kujawa, Janaya French, and Amelia Lowe
12:19 – “Mixed” routine by Chris Scott: Cole Horibe, Brandon Mitchell, Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer
14:14 – Top 10 girls routine by Travis Wall
15:35 – Top 10 guys routine by Sonya Tayeh
16:59 – Top 20 routine by Mia Michaels
18:36 – Wrap-up

Episode Length of “Meet the Top 20”: 20:07

Wedding planning has consumed a lot of our time, but we’re finally here with our “Vegas Week” and “Meet the Top 20” podcasts! We apologize for the erratic and delayed release schedule, and ask for your patience as we find time to record and edit these.

The “Vegas Week” and “Meet the Top 20” episodes have transitioned us from the audition portion of the show into the live competition. We found ourselves unsatisfied with Vegas Week, as many of our early favorites were cut, most notably Mariah Spears. The insistence of the producers to make a narrative out of the Vegas Week process for Alexa Anderson and Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer also did not sit well with us, as this not only smacked of favoritism, but it also consumed so much television time that we barely saw the full routines for the different genre rounds.

We enjoyed the “Meet the Top 20” episode much more, as the remaining contestants that made it through the Green Mile are the ones we would have selected. The actual routines were quite good, with the routine by Chris Scott being a standout. Already we have some people we are excited for, including Cole Horibe and Witney Carson, and we also worry about the longevity of some contestants, such as Tiffany Maher, Audrey Case, and Janaya French. Finally, we urge the producers and choreographers to take care with how they place and feature Alexa Anderson. Between the Vegas Week episode and the choices in the Travis and Mia Michaels routines, we’re concerned that she will experience a huge backlash from the fanbase, very similar to Ryan from last season. Overall, we’re excited for the final cast of contestants and cannot wait to see the first live show tonight!

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.

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!

SPOILER!!!: Possible Choreographers in Tonight’s Episode

Found this on twitter:

Always good catchin back up @ choreos. Missed u guys @ @ @ & Sean Cheeseman


Napoleon and Tabitha

So it would appear that the following choreographers are going to be on hand today:
– Jason Gilkison
– NappyTabs
– Travis Wall
– Sonya Tayeh
– Sean Cheesman
– Tyce Diorio
Of course we know about Louis van Amstel

I’m kind of curious to see how many of these spoilers are actually true.

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... =)

NEW PureSYTYCD Pages Added!

So in honor of the first couples performances of the season I created a series of pages for your reference that I will update as each week goes by. These pages are the breakdown of the dances as done on the show week by week. Right now ere are only pages of the various couple dances but hopefully soon I will have a breakdown of the various group dances during the performance episodes and the result shows in the past.

First there are six new pages that categorize all the different dance styles as shown on the show into six categories. Within these pages you can find all the individual dance styles related within the page broken down by choreographer. Here you could find out exactly what each choreographer has choreographed and what week:
Partner Dances: these include all Ballroom/Latin related dances as well as partnered social dances like the salsa, disco, and country two-step.

Contemporary / Ballet: this page includes all contemporary, lyrical and ballet pieces as shown on the show.

Jazz: aside from jazz, all jazz-fusion dance routines are also placed here ranging from Latiin-Jazz to Afro-Jazz.

Hip Hop / Freestyle: the genre known to have grown from the streets, this page includes all dance styles that related to the hip hop / freestyle world at large. This page also includes Waacking, Popping, Break Dancing.

Broadway: the dance styles that most relate to the Great White Way, which includes the Broadway style, Tap, and Rock N Roll.

Cultural: since the introduction of Bollywood in Season 4 there have been other dance styles that have tied to any specific culture throughout the world.

Granted this would be considered a rough categorization of all the dance styles as portrayed on the show, but at the same time I think the lines (as thinly drawn as some of them are) are strong enough to distinguish them for the most part. From the above categories I broke down each individual season by week to show how the spread is portray over the course of the seasons as well as an overall look from across the series thus far: Couples Breakdown.

As I said earlier, all of the above pages will be updated as each episode airs on Wednesday evening. Tis way we could all see how the current season would pan out in comparison to past seasons.

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... =)