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SYTYCD Season 9: Top 14 Power Rankings

With two dancers eliminated, the below Power Rankings will just include the dance that have dancers that were not eliminated first (focusing more on the partner that was not eliminated) and any dances where both dancers were eliminated I would put in my thoughts after the Power Rankings. I have already posted my instant thoughts as well as polls for you guys to peruse.

At the end of post I will include the usual table ranking the individual dancers as well:
1. Witney Carson & Chehon Wespi-Tschopp – Contemporary
Between the two contemporary routines (oddly enough with both couples including a ballroom female partner), this I felt was the stronger of the two. I really loved the chemistry between these two despite Witney being so young and she has so much trust in Chehon when she falls onto his foot and during the lifts throughout this routine. There were moments that I felt there could have been better timing for emphasis but at the same time that is only by tenths or hundredths of a second. During the moment where there is total silence I felt that there could have been a better build up but that might be a little of the choreography and a little of the dancers. All in all this routine took my breath away regardless.

1. Eliana Girard & Cyrus Spencer – Hip Hop
As I mentioned in my “Instant Thoughts” post prior, I believed that NappyTabs did a smart thing here in building a routine closer to Cyrus’ animator / robotics skill set and added Eliana into it for emphasis. Eliana was able to adapted well to this routine and Cyrus was able to grow and pick up the choreography for the most part. These two have something that most of the other couples have been sorely lacking that is connection and chemistry… even when they are struggling in a routine in any capacity they still manage to keep the fun and joy on their faces no matter what. Considering everything, I think this is a very good and well balanced pairing and I really hope that Cyrus starts picking up steam in the coming weeks because I don’t really know if anyone could match Eliana in performance value at this point in time.

3. Lindsay Arnold & Cole Horibe – Contemporary
The lighting, the routine, the dancers… this really came together rather well and I was glad. Last week they weren’t as strong together in the hip hop routine, to the point that Cole outshone Lindsay. In this routine I still felt that Cole outshone Lindsay as well, however I was able to appreciate Lindsay’s style in other dance styles a lot more this time around because of her hair being in her way. How sad is that? In any case, Lindsay has a bit of maturity to do while Cole just needs to keep doing what he’s doing because quite honestly as long as he keeps this up he’ll be fine.

4. Tiffany Maher & George Lawrence Jr – Hip Hop
To be honest, I didn’t want to love the routine, I really didn’t, but dammit it was fun and cute if not perfect or anywhere near it. Granted both George and Tiffany were forced out of their comfort zones with this dance number and they played their characters well. However there were a lot of moments where I felt that they disconnected in the steps and they just weren’t in sync… so they faltered a bit, but the characterization was still there for the most part.

5. Amelia Lowe & Will Thomas – Jazz
Once again Amelia and Will (both contemporary dancers) pulled a dance style that isn’t a far stretch from their own (they previously pulled a Pop-Jazz and Contemporary) and once again they did well… Well duh. What makes this routine different from the previous two was that I simply didn’t remember the routine in the slightest. I had to think about it and rewatch it in order to gain a sense of what I was thinking, and quite honestly there is nothing to latch on to in my opinion. This was a quirky routine for two quirky characters but really… I don’t remember much… do you?

6. Janelle Issis & Dareian Kujawa – ChaCha
I’ll admit that this couple has been struggling a bit the past few weeks but considering the styles they have pulled in the past three weeks (Afro-Jazz, Lyrical Hip Hop, ChaCha) all of which are out of their individual styles (Belly Dancing and Contemporary) I have to say of all the couples I am most impressed by this pairings tenacity. I do have to agree with the judges their chemistry and connection was definitely lacking and they really need to work on their feet and technique but I hope that they clear things up soon because personally I want to see them continue on. This routine is suppose to be fun and flirty and I thought there were elements of fun and they pulled off the tricks rather seamlessly. Janelle I felt flirted a bit but she was more to the audience than to her partner which I kind of blame on her dance style. However, in my opinion, they did a far better job than the other ballroom related routine of the evening in my opinion, but they still have a lot of work ahead of them.

7. Audrey Case & Matthew Kazmierczak – Salsa
I don’t even know where to begin. I can’t even say that it wasn’t a “bad” routine because it was. Salsa is suppose to be fun and flirty with a simmer of a fire in there for good measure and it was just cool and slow and they weren’t connected, there were times when they weren’t in sync and there were a missed steps here and there by both parties involved, the tricks didn’t work either. Individually they are really strong dancers and with the previous two routines (Jazz and Contemporary) they did exceptionally well. However, that’s the catch: Matthew is a Contemporary dancer while Audrey is a Jazz dancer so it would make sense that they would excel in a Contemporary and Jazz routine. So when they are given a routine that is out of both of their comfort zones, struggling comes pre-installed, however to struggle to the extent that they did… I think the first two routines would give them the votes to move on, but honestly I know I am in the minority when I say that I am just not impressed by this couple at all.

Amber Jackson & Brandon Mitchell – Jazz
As I mentioned in my “Instant Thoughts” post, this is a pairing that should have been together from the start. I mean come on! Brandon brought out more of Amber’s personality than Nick did and they really connected together far better than they did with their previous partners. I was looking at my previous “Power Rankings” post where I included my thoughts of the new pairing:

A contemporary dancer and a stepper, this is going to be an interesting pairing. Brandon is a very strong personality who has been characterizing and emoting well in his routines thus far while Amber hasn’t nor has she been able to connect with her partner. Depending on the dance style they will have next week will help gauge how this couple will do.

Well they connected and they had chemistry and this was a jazz routine which meant this was something that Amber could really have sunk her teeth into and Brandon did an amazing job considering he is a stepper… he didn’t seem to struggle at all and he was right there for her in this routine. I would agree with the judges that if they hadn’t been placed in the Bottom Six, then they would have had the votes to continue through.

Going back to my Power Rankings last week:

[…] I don’t think Amber is going to last much longer than a week, perhaps two. She didn’t really connect well with Nick and as thus the audience is left feeling cold and the chance of them picking up the phone for her is not very high… still.. we’ll see how it will work out come next week.

Now I know there were quite a few people that disagreed with my perceptions of Amber, but honestly looking at who landed in the Bottom Six dancers I really wasn’t surprised in the least. As for the week before, I placed Brandon in the bottom three back then… but that was more due to his initial partner as opposed to his new partner. In fact I was going back to my thoughts from the Meet the Top 20 episode and realized that I was raving about Brandon back then but didn’t say a word about Amber. So for Amber I can’t say that this was a surprise, but honestly I would loved to have seen Brandon continue on, but looking at the Bottom Three guys I think the judges didn’t really have much of a choice when you looked at the solos performed.

At the same time when the judges mentioned who they wanted to perform solos I instinctively figured that they were planning to keep Lindsay and George… and honestly I think that was rather unfair of the judges to do that where the audience could kind of figured out who would be saved right off the bat like that, but I digress.

Below, just like the previous weeks is my ranking of the dancers, in no real particular order:

Witney Carson
Eliana Girard
Cole Horibe
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
Amelia Lowe
Tiffany Maher
Will Thomas
George Lawrence II
Lindsay Arnold
Janelle Issis
Audrey Case
Matthew Kazmierczak
Dareian Kujawa
Cyrus Spencer
July 25, 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 16 (Now 14) Polls

Polls of the individual dancers beyond the break to avoid spoilers:
Read more..

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 16 Performances – Music and Instant Thoughts!

NOTE: Because I spend most of the dance updating the music list, I will post thoughts as I rewatch the dances / episode later tonight.

Group dance: Top 16
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: Jun Miyake – “The Here and After” The Here and After - Pina Soundtrack (Wim Wenders Film)

Dancers: George & Tiffany
Style: Hip Hop
Choreographer: NappyTabs
Song: B.O.B. and Nicki Minaj – “Out of My Mind” Out of My Mind (feat. Nicki Minaj) - Strange Clouds
Thoughts: This was an interesting routine. I liked it enough but there were moments that there weren’t in sync particularly towards the end. It was a fun routine with a cute little story. I was impressed that they both were able to keep up with the choreography for the most part. I don’t know if this is going to be a memorable routine however considering this was at the beginning of the episode.

Dancers: Brandon & Amber
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Song: Aretha Franklin – “Dr. Feelgood (Love Is a Serious Business)” Dr. Feelgood (Love Is a Serious Business) - Aretha Franklin: 30 Greatest Hits
Thoughts: My goodness, why weren’t these two partnered up from the beginning? I mean come on! These were like fire and ice on the dance floor and putting fire and ice together and the whole place melts. Even for being early in the episode this is a very memorable routine for me, the chemistry, the connection was all there. I really loved Brandon’s characterization in this routing and Amber just blossomed with Brandon as opposed to with Nick previously.

Dancers: Janelle & Dareian
Style: Cha Cha
Choreographer: Pasha Kovalev
Song: Carly Rae Jepsen – “Call Me Maybe” Call Me Maybe - Call Me Maybe - Single
Thoughts: This seemed to be a rather calm ChaCha… with an atypical song. The ChaCha is supposed to be a very fun and flirty routine, but instead it seemed rather cool. I was really hoping for a little more fireworks but what kind of pulled my focus was a lot of the hand placements going on. Granted their tricks was rather good… but overall it seemed rather off.

Dancers: Lindsey & Cole
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Song: Charlotte Martin – “Wild Horses” Wild Horses - On Your Shore
Thoughts: Somehow I managed I get the song down to watch this particular routine, but OMG I love the lighting for this piece. I got chills watching this routine… seriously I got chills… this was very beautiful. Granted, Lindsay’s hair was a bit of a distraction (I was going to say something snarky and evil but I will refrain), but her movement was just breathtaking and it complements Cole really really well.

Dancers: Amelia & Will
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Song: The Creatures – “You!” You! - Boomerang
Thoughts: Ok, this is really beginning to annoy me… Amelia and Will has had a pop-jazzy routine their first week, followed by contemporary and now jazz… Really? I mean really? Anyway, not that I got that out of my system, I enjoyed this routine, quite a bit: it was fun, quirky and hit all the right notes in my opinion.

Dancers: Audrey & Matthew
Style: Salsa
Choreographer: Liz Lira
Song: Sverre Indris Joner / HSC / Kork – “Cinco Salsa” Cinco Salsa - First movement of the 5. symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven - Clasicos a Lo Cubano
Thoughts: This was a strange routine, like the ChaCha the Salsa should be a bit fun and flirty. It seemed so slow that I found myself getting bored. They weren’t in sync a few times and it looked like they were missing steps here and there. I might go so far to say that they were overwhelmed by the song.

Dancers: Witney Carson & Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Song: Whitney Houston – “I Will Always Love You” I Will Always Love You - Whitney - The Greatest Hits
Thoughts: Ok… the chills from earlier in the show? Definitely have them now. What is going on with the two ballroom girls this evening? I mean seriously! I really loved the connections in this piece, their chemistry was believable and moreso than that of Lindsay and Cole in my opinion.

Dancers: Eliana Girard & Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer
Style: Hip Hop
Choreographer: NappyTabs
Song: District 78 & Cheesa – “Toxic”
Thoughts: What NappyTabs did was pretty smart, they took the animator moves and the balletic skills and created a routine out of it. Giving it a robotic edge to help Cyrus along, they highlighted a lot of their individual strengths and applied them to the routine. What I really liked about this routine is that Eliana was allowed to stretch more here than in previous routines.

Amber Jackson
Song: Lana Del Rey – “This is What Makes Us Girls” This Is What Makes Us Girls - Born to Die

Lindsay Arnold

Eliana Girard
Song: Ólafur Arnalds – “Near Light” Near Light - Single - Ólafur Arnalds

George Lawrence Jr

Brandon Mitchell
Song: Tye Tribbett – “I Want it All Back” I Want It All Back - Victory Live!

Dareian Kujawa
Song: John Legend – “Ordinary People” Ordinary People - Get Lifted / Once Again

Guest dancers: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Song: Les Tambours Du Bronx – “Jungle Jam” (Jungle Jam does not exist on iTunes, so I went with Jungle Jazz instead Jungle jazz - Les tambours du Bronx: Live (Live))

Elimination Thoughts: Last week I put in my own thoughts as to whom would be the bottom six:
Last week: Lindsay Arnold, Amber Jackson, Tiffany Maher, George Lawrence II, Cyrus Spencer, Matthew Kazmierczak
For the girls I was off by one girl and the guys I was off by much more. I will admit that I am not entirely surprised to see Eliana in the bottom six dancers… but personally I loved her. As for the guys Dareian I thought did a much better job in his routine with Janelle and should not have been in the bottom six and the same goes for Brandon Mitchell when compared to Janaya.

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... =)