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SYTYCD Season 9: Q&A with the Eliminated Dancers from the Top 20

Granted this took a while and I apologize. PureSYTYCD.com was given the opportunity to ask the eliminated dancers: Nick Bloxsom-Carter, Daniel Baker and Janaya French (Alexa Anderson was not available for the conference call) a few questions about their experience on SYTYCD, their exits and endeavors for the future. Since this was a conference call with several media outlets when PureSYTYCD.com were able to ask their questions, Nick (who was sick) had to leave the conference call. Below are a few of the questions that were asked:

How has your experience on So You Think You Can Dance changed your approach, if it has, and your perception of dance?

Janaya French: I think it’s helped us to realize how important other styles are and how interesting they are. I was trained in all sorts of different things growing up, but it was more of a structured thing. I had a schedule and people telling me you have to do this style this time, this style this time. And now that I sit on my own in L.A., it’s hard because sometimes, like if I want to go to class, I choose to go to classes I love—the contemporary classes, the jazz classes, the ones that make me feel good.

Now, I just have more of a hunger to go to more hip hop classes though, that maybe even a ballroom call. I just want to know more things. That’s really why I’m sad that the experience ended so soon is because I wanted to get into the things that were so challenging like a bollywood or ballroom, anything of that sort. So I’m excited. It’s going to help me as I need branch out a little bit more. I need to be better about it, so I’m going to go and see how all of those different genres can help me in my career.

Daniel Baker: My approach has definitely taught me to listen and pick things up quicker, to know exactly what the choreographer is asking for, because you didn’t have that much time. So I guess more logical than … you just have to do … and quick to … like them. I have done a lot of that over the past couple of weeks.

Since this is the first season where there is no “results” show, the eliminated dancers were then asked: How all three of you like the new format.

Janaya French: I kind of like the new format. It’s hard, because we didn’t get to experience the old format, so there’s not really much that we can compare it to, but for what we had to experience, we were together as the top 21 within any other season, which is really nice. We got to meet … people and you got to do too much rest than usual. So that part was nice. I didn’t mind it at all.

Nick Bloxsom-Carter: Yes, I also agree. This format was very nice to us dancers, because we were able to perform so many more times, more than once, more than twice. We were on that stage a lot. So I really enjoyed it.

Daniel Baker: I kind of like it. It’s a shame I didn’t get the chance to dance for my life, but it seems like the judges already had their minds made up to—you know, it’s one less chance that America gets to see you dance, but I like the fast pace of it. I don’t know if it felt too rushed, because I wasn’t watching it at home. But I wonder what America thought of the new format. So America seems to not like change, no matter what show it is.

As a counterpoint I asked Daniel and Janaya: Because of the current format where everything is done in one day with the eliminations at the end of the episode, it’s kind of difficult for the television audience to be able to vote on you guys performances because of the one-day format. Had the show been on a two-day format as in previous seasons, do you think that would have benefited you in any capacity?

Janaya French: I agree; it would have been different to have two days. In past seasons, it’s kind of a luxury of time. You get—it’s less in one episode. I feel like it was a crazy world, like, I don’t understand how they’re going to fit so much more in this episode when we did the exact same time frame last week and all we had to do was our duets once.

So it was a lot of stress in like the time crunch so it had to go fast. We don’t get as long as packages, so America doesn’t really get to know us quite as well. We don’t get to show our personalities as long, which is kind of a bummer. I mean I went into this with less camera time. I feel like I kind of just popped up in the top twenty and not many people knew who I was so it was hard to go from the bottom and try and show people who I am.

You only get an hour, so you don’t really get the packages that everyone else usually gets. You don’t get the time, the luxury of time, but it still worked out and it would be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out. With less and less people it becomes less stressful, because there’s less they’re trying to like throw in one in like the one episode. So it would be interesting to see.

I also took the time to ask Daniel: What brought you back to So You Think You Can Dance knowing that you had auditioned previously and now you have to get back into the grind?

Daniel Baker: Well, I was getting older. I’m still young, but it happens so fast, and if I wanted to play … I felt I had to do it while I was young and I still have my hair and … the industry. I just wanted to try it while I was young and I can always get back to ballet. So I was just going to take the next year to see if I’m capable of working in that industry and then if not go back to ballet. I just thought it was time to … go back to the show, and my friend Alex Wong, we had both auditioned Season 7, and then I decided not to go. Then, we were just having a conversation and he said, “Oh, you should go back.” I thought about it for a while and I thought it was my time to come to…

Another interviewer had asked: So what are you doing to relax or have fun, just for even a day before you jump back into the mix?

Janaya French: Right now, I’m at a beach house with my family in Long Beach. They have been here all week. They watched me for the past two weeks of the show. So it’s nice to come to where it’s not my home quite yet. I don’t have to go back to reality. I’m just hanging out with family and then I go to the beach and lay out so … I’m looking forward to.

Daniel Baker: I’m renting a car and I’m driving to Mexico just to get some space into my head and figure out what’s next.

Nick Bloxsom-Carter: I’m sitting at home in Oak Park with my family. My brother is actually making breakfast, not for me though. I got to eat alone. No, but I do mind to be able to tell I’m sick and this show, like now that my body is done with all the stress it’s relaxed, but that means I’m getting more sick. So I’m trying to get over that, so I’m definitely trying to rest.

And finally: Do you guys have any future plans or hopes for where you can go from here?

Janaya French: I just hope that with this experience it’s, obviously going to help. I was already out in L.A. trying to audition with jobs that way, and so I hope that networking with the people I got to work with on the show, I never would have had the chance to work with in such an intimate setting if it weren’t for this opportunity I was given. So like from here on out I just hope I have more opportunities to work with them and to work with more people. I’m going to go back to what I was doing, because I’m still going to dance, but nothing about this changed my mind about that. If anything, it kind of lit a fire underneath me to realize that this is exactly what I want to do. I’m excited to get back into things and see where my career takes off from.

Nick Bloxsom-Carter: Yes; as far as what I’m doing, I was going to school, studying business management and ballroom dance. So I am definitely going to keep auditioning and since I’ve worked with Jason Gilkison so much, I’d love to work with him on Burn the Floor. Definitely more ballroom … Burn the Floor, maybe, Dancing with the Stars as a pro, but that’s later in the future. I’m definitely going to keep training, but I’m also going to work with my business management to try to start in production as well and seeing producers of shows and producers of things. Now that I’m a dancer and I’m learning the other side of it, I can have the best of both worlds and I know what people need to put on a good show here.

Daniel Baker: For me, I’m just exploring the commercial dance world and hoping to get an agent this week and go on auditions. I have a job or two lined up in the future and I am also choreographing to the New York Choreographic Institute, which is part of the New York City Ballet, coming up this year. So I’m kind of excited about that. Then I just want to see where all that takes me.

July 24, 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... =)

Podcast: SYTYCD Season 9 – Meet the Top 20, Part 1

Listen to the podcasts

Episode 50 direct download

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Time Stamps
0:00 – Introduction
2:06 – The routines we didn’t like
5:18 – The routines we were lukewarm on
11:31 – The routines we loved
18:07 – Wrap-up

Episode Length: 19:31

We apologize for the lateness of the podcast, but we’ve been a bit preoccupied (you know, simple things like getting married this past weekend and getting ready for our honeymoon). Here we talk about what we liked and didn’t like in the Top 20 Week, Part 1 episode of SYTYCD.

We won’t have a new podcast out next week, but we plan to get all caught up sometime during the week of July 30th.

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.

July 20, 2012 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!

SYTYCD Season 9: Top 16 Power Rankings

We have already lost four dancers at the end of today’s episode… knowing that, what I am going to do is this… I will still rank the routines if they are missing one of the dance partners but focusing more on the partner that is still in the competition. Any routines where both dancers are eliminated I will also mention at the end of the rankings. I have already posted various polls on the dancers that remain as well as posted the music with my instant thoughts.

At the end I will do what I did last week and rank the individual dancers as well…

TOP THREE ROUTINES
1. Witney Carson & Chehon Wespi-Tschopp – Bollywood
Very rarely has a Bollywood routine disappointed me, and this did not break the trend. Granted I was watching Chehon much more than Witney, but that could be because a lot of the poses that he held were just something to see and a testament to his ballet background. But one thing that Chehon did this time around that he did not do last week was enjoying the dance. He not only enjoyed the dance, he showed that he enjoyed the dance and that makes all the difference in the world. Witney has been a fireball of energy since the beginning, however for me it is getting to the point that it is overwhelming. This is still a very good partnership, and I hope they continue to balance one another out.

2. Tiffany Maher & George Lawrence Jr – Foxtrot
As I said before, this was a very fun, smooth routine, this is a very strong couple and they seem to mesh well together. Considering one is a Jazz dancer and the other a Contemporary dancers they did remarkable well in a genre that neither is related to… Then again that could also be because the choreographer manage to work the routine around the skill sets of whom they have. These two also had strong chemistry together which the audience can sense and will react well to. If they keep this up with two strong routines under their belt then I don’t see them falling to the bottom three anytime soon.

3. Amelia Lowe & Will Thomas – Contemporary
What is there to say? I really liked their routine last week and I still like them this week. They were blessed with two strong routines that seem to cater to their strengths. Then again they did a Jazz and a Contemporary routine which aren’t far stretches from their genres (both are contemporary), so naturally they are going to be strong in these routines. The real test will begin the moment they get a chance to work on something outside of their styles. With similar personalities they mesh well and seemed to be rather in sync with one another in this routine staying in time, which is considered difficult since Will is a considerably larger person over Amelia… but you would never really have guessed.

MIDDLE THREE ROUTINES
4. Audrey Case & Matthew Kazmierczak – Jazz
They were lucky to have another strong routine this week and with a Sonya Jazz piece that seems to be stretching beyond her “norm” that we have seen over the seasons. They danced this routine really well, but that is to be expected considering that Audrey is a Jazz dancer while Matthew is Contemporary so they didn’t really moved all that far from their genre in the past two weeks. Knowing that, I am seriously hoping that their next routine would be different from either genres so we could really see what they can do. At the moment they are a strong pairing and seem to connect with one another rather well.

5. Janaya French & Brandon Mitchell – Broadway
It is too bad that Janaya is gone because I felt that she really did redeem herself considerably in this routine. There was chemistry between her and her partner, she emoted and characterized well, you can tell that they were both having fun with the routine. Brandon (being a stepper) reminds me a little of Twitch and Joshua from Season 4, his movements closer to that of Joshua for some reason… especially when he is rising up from his toes at a point. I loved Brandon in last week’s routine and I still like him in this week’s routine. It will be interesting to see how he fares with Amber Jackson as his partner.

6. Lindsay Arnold & Cole Horibe – Hip Hop
Being the first routine of the night they are at an instant disadvantage of being forgotten as the episode goes on, and quite honestly to me Lindsay was forgettable in this routine while Cole knocked it right out of the ballpark. He was quirky and funny in this routine and he really characterized the geek really really well, whileas with Lindsay I didn’t quite believe her in this number, it was definitely too cute to be a seductress and the connection – though there at times – didn’t wow. After riding a high from last week, I would consider this to be a small baby step backwards. I don’t think Cole would be in danger, but Lindsay is another story entirely. However, they work well together so who knows?

BOTTOM THREE ROUTINES
7. Janelle Issis & Dareian Kujawa – Lyrical Hip Hop
To be honest, I really enjoyed this routine despite it being “cute” and the connection between Janelle and Dareian wasn’t there for a fair chunk of it until the very end when Janelle sees the ring and the kiss. OMG the kiss… if she had connected with Dareian with as much intensity as that kiss then I think this routine would have been a lot better and would have shined a lot brighter. I would agree to an extent that neither dancer was shown to the best of their ability, but with a character driven routine how could you expect it? Then again the closest comparison would the contemporary routine of Kent and Lauren’s prom night… Janelle definitely seemed to be enjoying herself while dancing, but due to her belly dancing background I could see how she would have a tendency to look out to the audience more than her partner, but that is something that she needs to work on if she wants to have a chance in continuing in this competition. Dareian was just dreamy despite moments where I cringed at his feet, he did emote more but it seemed to have stalled since Janelle wasn’t connecting with him. This is two weeks of good routines but not strong… here’s hoping that next week brings something new to the table.

8. Eliana Girard & Cyrus Spencer – Jive
I love this pairing, I truly do… so it kills me to have to put them at the bottom of the barrel like this, but what choice do I have? What carried them in this routine was not just Eliana’s technical prowess but also their combined personality and charisma. That is what makes America love them, their personalities just shine no matter what they do and they just seem to be having the time of their lives in their routines. They get along well, which is also a plus, so that chemistry can be felt from the audience perspective as well. In some ways Cyrus reminds me of Cedric Gardner from Season 3 who was amazing in what he did but faltered a lot when it came to adapting to other choreographers’ routines. Here is hoping that in the coming weeks Cyrus shows improvement because I really love him as a person and dancer and Eliana needs to be shown off as much as possible as opposed to over compensating for Cyrus.

9. Amber Jackson & Nick Bloxsom-Carter – Argentine Tango
Argentine Tangos… as I have said in a previous post… I would consider to be either a hit or a miss. You either got all hot and bothered or cold and this felt cold to me. It was danced well, don’t get me wrong… but as has been the case for most of the night, the chemistry in this piece simply was not there. Then again, I don’t believe that Amber and Nick really had strong chemistry to begin with. I feel bad for Nick because that is two weeks in a row that he is drawn dance styles that are closely connected to his genre but what can you do? With Nick gone it will be interesting to see how Amber and Brandon are going to fare together since Nick isn’t really a strong personality while Brandon is.

ELIMINATED COUPLE
Alexa Anderson & Daniel Baker – Contemporary
ARGH! I would consider this routine one of my favorites of the night despite Alexa not being able to emote nearly as much as Daniel did (or I felt he did). This was not only a well danced routine but an incredibly technically challenging routine. It is such a shame that Daniel was also eliminated because I felt that he did far better in the characterization department both last week and this week over Alexa. I agree with Alexa being eliminated because the emotional / mental growth that she appeared to have shown during Vegas Callbacks all disappeared when the lights are on and she’s in the spotlight. If Daniel was paired with a more charismatic person I wonder how that would have worked for him? But then I guess we’ll never know.

NEW PAIRING: Amber Jackson & Brandon Mitchell
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, but 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.

ELIMINATION THOUGHTS
Alexa Anderson: this is one elimination I totally agreed with, she just wasn’t growing in the way that everyone is hoping that she would

Janaya French: we can see that she is a gifted dancer, and I believed redeemed herself this week with the Broadway routine with Brandon, but due to her lack of chemistry last week… her personality just comes across as flat.

Nick Bloxsom-Carter: he was someone that I really liked on the show, he reminded me a little bit of Benji Schwimmer from Season 2, except a bit more mellow. His lack of a connection and chemistry with his original partner may have done him in but dammit I wished we didn’t lose a ballroom boy this early

Daniel Baker: I was very disappointed with this elimination, though in comparison to the boy left standing I wasn’t terribly surprised. Much like with Nick, I believe in Daniel’s case his lack of a connection with Alexa may have left the audience cold and unwilling to pick up the phone for him, which is disappointing because I have seen him in videos posted by his friend Alex Wong from Season 7 and it was just so much fun to watch him dance in other styles. This is a loss in my opinion but what other option was there?

TOP TWO GIRLS
Amelia Lowe
Eliana Girard
TOP TWO GUYS
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
Cole Horibe
MIDDLE THREE GIRLS
Audrey Case
Witney Carson
Janelle Issis
MIDDLE THREE GUYS
Will Thomas
Brandon Mitchell
Dareian Kujawa
BOTTOM THREE GIRLS
Lindsay Arnold
Amber Jackson
Tiffany Maher
BOTTOM THREE GUYS
George Lawrence II
Cyrus Spencer
Matthew Kazmierczak
July 18, 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 (Now 16) Routines (Polls) Round 2

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! (Round Two)

Blogger Note: The first time through I concentrate on getting the music up as quickly as possible… so my thoughts will pop up as I rewatch the routines. Please bear with me.

Dancers: Top 20
Choreographer: NappyTabs
Style: Hip Hop
Song: Marilyn Manson – Beautiful People The Beautiful People - Lest We Forget - The Best of Marilyn Manson

Dancers: Lindsay & Cole
Style: Hip Hop
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Song: Lady Gaga – Teeth Teeth - The Fame Monster (Deluxe Version)
Thoughts: This was a rather cute routine. I believed Cole over Lindsay in characterizations however, I remember watching Cole’s facial expressions and thinking, “OMG that boy can act!” Together they were ok, but considering I was watching Cole more than Lindsay… it wasn’t a memorable routine for me as a whole, but then again being the first routine of the night doesn’t really help them much.

Dancers: Amelia & Will
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: Olafur Arnalds – 3326 3326 - Dyad 1909
Thoughts: What is it with Sonya and contemporary routines lately? I mean seriously! Unlike last week, this week’s routine was memorable not only for the routine and who it came from, but the dancers that danced it as well. Amelia and Will seem to be rather well matched in this pairing and I am looking forward in seeing what they will bring to the plate come next week.

Dancers: Amber & Nick
Style: Argentine Tango
Choreographer: Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo
Song: Sexteto Mayor – Tanguera (since the individual song is not available on iTunes here is the artist link Sexteto Mayor)
Thoughts: Argentine Tango in general is a hit or miss for me, it can either wow the audience or leave them cold… unfortunately for me this left me cold. I didn’t feel that much of a connection between Amber and Nick despite the dance being well danced and choreographed. They danced the dance well, but eh… it could have been better.

Dancers: Audrey & Matthew
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: Steed Lord – Hear Me Now [Dri, Lind and Likka Mix] Hear Me Now (Dri, Lind & Lukka Mix) Sytycd Edit - Hear Me Now (Dri, Lind & Lukka Mix) Sytycd Edit - Single
Thoughts: For all my griping of feeling that a lot of Sonya’s Jazz routine seem to be recycled in some capacity i was actually pretty impressed that Sonya did branch out a bit more in Jazz now. I mean, I can still tell that this is a Sonya routine, but at least she is working more out of the box. As for this couple I felt that this routine was the right amount of aggression without being too harsh.

Dancers: Janelle & Dareian
Style: Lyrical Hip Hop
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Song: The Temptations – My Girl My Girl - My Girl: The Very Best of the Temptations
Thoughts: I really liked this routine, I thought the dance was well done. I agree though that Dareian characterized more than Janelle during the routine, however the most connected moment I felt was when Janelle saw the ring and looked at Dareian and they hugged/kissed. So Janelle is able to emote and characterize but she just needs to do it while dancing. A bit underwhelming, but like the first routine of the night, it was more cute for the moment than memorable for the long term.

Dancers: Janaya & Brandon
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Song: Linda Eder – Bring on the Men Bring On the Men (from Jekyll & Hyde: The Gothic Musical Thriller) - Greatest Hits
Thoughts: Janaya i thought brought her personality into play more in this routine than she did last week. At the same time, like last week, I believed Brandon more. Janaya is a great dancer, that much is true, but when it comes to personality and character she tends to fall flat and I fear this might be too little too late for her. As for Brandon, he killed it, end of story.

Dancers: Eliana & Cyrus
Style: Jive
Choreographer: Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin
Song: Jack White – I’m Shakin I'm Shakin' - Blunderbuss
Thoughts: Uh oh, you can tell that Cyrus was having trouble, but he did better in this ballroom piece than he did during Vegas Callbacks… so there is hope for him yet. However, what he lacks in technique and training he more than makes up in personality and charisma… how far that is going to last him, who knows. Eliana balances him out really well, not only matching him for personality and charisma, but helping him out as well. One thing that I did find interesting is that Cyrus actually was there as a partner as opposed to Eliana leading for him.

Dancers: Alexa & Daniel
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Dee Caspary
Song: Yanni – So Long My Friend So Long My Friend - Dare to Dream
Thoughts: As opposed to last week, I really really loved this week’s routine. This is a much more memorable routine between the two done by this couple. This is an technically challenging as well (then again they are both incredibly technical dancers)… but I would have to agree with the judges… as beautiful as the routine it felt like I was watching a pretty moving picture in the bathtub. I love the routine, but without the emotional connection, somehow it falls flat. **sighs** Personally I felt more emotion coming from Daniel as opposed to Alexa he was focused on her and I was feeling him emote, whileas with Alexa it just felt cold and distant.

Dancers: Tiffany & George
Style: Foxtrot
Choreographer: Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin
Song: Sinead O’Conner – I Want to Be Loved By You I Want to Be Loved By You - Am I Not Your Girl?
Thoughts: I don’t know why I like this couple, I just do. This is a very good routine for them overall, they brought a good amount of joy to the dance and were well connected. They embodied the personality of the fun Foxtrot to a tee and did rather well with the footwork. If they keep this up… I see them lasting a bit down the road.

Dancers: Witney & Chehon
Style: Bollywood
Choreographer: Nakul Dev Mahajan
Song: Aatish Kapadia – Tandav Music Tandav Music - Waqt: the Race Against Time
Thoughts: YAY BOLLYWOOD! Can’t you see I like watching Bollywood routines? In any case, this routine did not disappoint. I have to admit though I was watching Chehon more than Witney throughout most of the piece, I was particularly impressed by how Chehon was able to hold some of the poses that he was able to. I have to rewatch the episode to really pay attention to Witney, but Chehon definitely impressed me this week as opposed to last week.

Dancers: SYTYCD Alumni for Step Up Revolution
Song: Timbaland & NeYo – Hands in the Air Hands in the Air (feat. Ne-Yo) [From

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 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.

TOP THREE ROUTINES:
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.

BOTTOM THREE 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.

TOP THREE GIRLS
Amelia Lowe
Lindsay Arnold
Janelle Issis
TOP THREE GUYS
Cole Horibe
Cyrus Spencer
Will Thomas
MIDDLE FOUR GIRLS
Audrey Case
Eliana Girard
Witney Carson
Amber Jackson
MIDDLE THREE GUYS
Matthew Kazmierczak
Dareian Kujawa
Nick Bloxsom-Carter
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
BOTTOM THREE GIRLS
Tiffany Maher
Alexa Anderson
Janaya French
BOTTOM THREE GUYS
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 http://t.co/S7vLhPW7

@NAPPYTABS

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... =)