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Season 7: A Look at the Highs (and Lows)

Hi all!! I can’t believe we’re just a few hours away from the last performance show of the season!! I’m here to add my thoughts on the highs and lows of Season 7 SYTYCD. I was reading Entertainment Weekly online last night and they have a post up now, “So You Think You Can Dance: 10 Ways to Improve It”. I’m gonna play off that, plus add some of my highlights and lowlights from the season.

Highlight: The Opening Number
Wade Robson, tragically absent this season, created a visual and aesthetic masterpiece. We were able to see glimpses of the incredible array of dancers and their talents. It was difficult to distinguish who was who at some points, there were 23 dancers on the stage, but it was quite a sight to see.

Lowlight: First three eliminated–all girls
One of the things I was looking forward to the most when I heard about the All-Stars was seeing Twitch, Neil, Ade, Mark, Dom, and Pasha dancing again. Fast forward three weeks, and the likelihood of that happened had drastically dropped when the numbers were 6 male contestants and 2 girls. Alexie, Cristina, and Melinda were beautiful dancers, but they didn’t connect with the audience. I think poor Alexie was done in by less than stellar choreography, and I think the judges may have reached a little putting Cristina and Melinda in the top 11. Nevertheless, it was troubling to see three girls get knocked off so fast.


As host Cat Deeley regularly reminds us, SYTYCD is the search for ”America’s favorite dancer.” So why was America’s voice stifled for so long during season 7? SYTYCD’s old format actually worked perfectly: The judges exerted their control for the first five weeks of competition — ensuring that dancers who deserved a second chance outlasted those unable to measure up — then left the rest up to the audience. But this season, viewers had their hands tied until top four. The judges already have plenty of time to have their say (see: previous slide), so let us have ours again…earlier!

Highlight: Alex and Twitch’s hip hop
File this under the category of WOW. When I heard Alex was gonna be doing hip hop with Twitch, I was nervous for him. We didn’t see him do it in Vegas (I don’t think) so I had no idea what was going to happen. Needless to say, I had to surgically remove my jaw from the floor after watching that routine. Who knew that Alex would have a break out moment doing hip hop?!

Lowlight: Injuries, Injuries, Injuries!
It’s amazing that we’ve gone 7 seasons WITHOUT having a serious injury. Granted, Jessica from S4 did have to leave, but she was able to tour with her season when her rib healed. I felt so sad for Alex, because he was just started to scratch the surface on the show. Our thoughts are with him as he recovers.

From (I sort of agree with this one, not 100%)

With such a talented crop of contestants every year, it seems crazy to ask for fewer dance numbers on SYTYCD. But if season 7 proved anything, it’s that stellar choreographers often lose their touch when faced with the feat of creating a countless number of routines for the contestants. (Can you remember more than one Sonya dance?) And that hectic schedule is not only tough on choreographers, but the dancers as well — executing nearly four routines per week left many season 7 contestants sidelined with injuries. So let’s give them a (non-injury-induced) break, shall we? After all, the show is called So You Think You Can Dance, not So You Thought You Could Dance Before You Got Injured on a Reality Show.

Highlight: Cat standing up for the dancers
As you guys have probably read, I wasn’t AdeChike’s biggest fan, but I certainly liked him as a dancer and he seemed like a really nice guy. He didn’t deserve a lot of the bashing he took this season. Granted, some of it was necessary (Adam’s comments about him needing a looser center for African Jazz, I totally understood that), but some of it wasn’t (Mia: “I’m missing Alex Wong now. Hard). I was so happy to see Cat stand up for him after that Bollywood number, she really shows how invested she is in these dancers, how much she loves them.


Hey, I’ll concede that it’s tough to put on a two-hour show. But it’s also tough to maintain interest in said two-hour program when the majority of the airtime is dedicated to the judges’ critiques. (Especially when the contestants are only on stage for short, two-minute routines.) The dancers are the stars of the series — not a panel of judges more focused on thanking the choreographers than praising the contestants. You know the phrase: Keep it simple!

Highlight: Allison and Kathryn
These 2 girls took on an incredible number of routines this season. They danced almost every week, sometimes twice in one week with different partners. The best thing about them was that you could tell they were always there for their partners, 100%. Even when Allison was dancing with José, who, let’s face, she danced circles around, we could look into her eyes and see her commitment to him. I’m not taking anything away from the other All-Stars, they’re all amazing at what they do and a major asset to SYTYCD, but these two girls are my MVPs.

Lowlight: The judging
What can I say? I fastforwarded through a lot of the comments this year b/c they either didn’t make sense or they just went on FOREVER. Mia’s a great choreographer, but I kinda can’t stand her as a judge. Her noises and made up words made her sound uneducated, like that’s the best you can come up with while praising (or critiquing) someone’s dancing. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but…bring back Mary!!


With all due respect to Mia, the panel already has two industry vets who can wax poetic about technique. What was missing on the panel during season 7 was a healthy dose of crazy. (And what was missing on the stage this year was some Mia Michaels choreography.) Sure, Mary Murphy has all but ensured that SYTYCD fans will give the hearing aid industry a boost in 20 years, but we’ve missed being able to board the hot tamale train. Or crazy train, whatever.

Highlight/Lowlight: Getting reintroduced to the All-Stars via Classic Routines/Not getting to see everyone dance routines
This could have been amazing, and it kind of was. Getting to see “The Garden” “Forever” “Night of the Dancing Flame” and Anya/Pasha’s audition number was fantastic. Not only did we get to see these classic routines again, but we got to see how much these dancers have improved since their seasons. After those routines were over, the dances stopped! What about Ade, Kathryn, Dominic and Allison?! Four incredibly talented dancers who have memorable dances of their own. Why not show the routines on the big screen, then have the dancer do a solo on stage. That way, we could have seen the routines (most likely, “This Woman’s Work” “Fear” or “At this Moment” “Make it Work” and “Why”) but also gotten to see the dancers do a solo.

Highlight: “Boogie Shoes”/”Mad World”
Finally, Billy Bell got a breakout routine!! This was one of my favorite routines of the season and I’m excited to see it on tour. We finally got to see Billy loosen up and have some fun. He got the groove of the dance. With Mad World, everything just came together. Stacey Tookey has really elevated herself into that elite group of choreographers on the show with this number. Billy was fantastic.

Highlight: Robert’s Week 8
My pick for the win, he had an incredible week. Both dances were top notch, and everything just worked. I was so happy to see him make the finale, because his growth over the season is really starting to culminate at the right time.

Lowlight: the stage, again
Getting rid of the annoying screen from last season definitely helped, but not totally. When the camera hit the lights at certain angles, it sometimes washed out the dancers. The solution that really needs to happen…


In 2009, SYTYCD announced two big changes: The series would boast a new fall season — which would take place on a much larger stage. Unfortunately, both ideas flopped. Though the producers wisely ditched a fall season after it proved to be unpopular, the expansive, impersonal stage remains, frustrating viewers who prefer an intimate dance experience. Remember, Nigel & Co.: Bigger isn’t always better!

Here are a couple of other ideas from that I really like:
For every ”The Bench” routine on SYTYCD, there’s a ghastly disco dance. So instead of reaching in order to showcase new choreography, why not allow one contestant a week to perform a classic, well-known dance number? Sure, they’ll never measure up to the legends that made the routines famous. Still, after seeing Kent ace a Spencer Liff Broadway routine this season, who wouldn’t want to see what he could do with, say, Singin’ in the Rain’s ”Make ‘Em Laugh”? gusty, but could be fabulous

Sure, great choreographers like Sonya Tayeh, Mia Michaels, and Wade Robson (who’s been tragically MIA during season 7) already act as mentors by default for the SYTYCD contestants. But the show could use a new jolt of star power. Not only would contestants welcome the weekly guidance of some legendary dancers, like, say, Alvin Ailey’s Judith Jamison (pictured) or American Ballet Theater’s Ethan Stiefel, but any dance fan would also be fascinated to hear icons share their tricks of the trade. And think of the results-show guest performances we all saw how excited AdeChike was to be dancing for Dwight and Desmond, this could be really cool. Plus, Ethan Stiefel is better known as Cooper Nielsen from the dance movie Center Stage, and I, for one, would LOVE to see him on SYTYCD!

okay guys, these are my thoughts. Agree? Disagree? Fire away!!

August 11, 2010 I Written By

SYTYCD Season 7 Top 4 Performance Thoughts/Power Rankings

Wow, what a night. Ahem.

My Power Rankings tonight are going to be VERY risky indeed. Or perhaps not so much if you agree with me and I’m right…

Top Dancer
Robert Roldan had the strongest night, hands down. I’m sorry, but he did. 🙂 He’s been picking up steam the last few weeks, there’s a major campaign over at ISM for him and some of us…not naming names…but ME, have said how wonderful he is all season. Oh and that’s not even counting his routines tonight. He was the one who stood out to me in Tyce’s group Broadway, which is saying something cause it was three guys and one girl. I guess you could say that you’d notice whichever of the three guys you liked best cause you’d be looking for them. However…Robert had the most partner time with Lauren, he was always at the front or middle of the three boys in unison sections and whenever there was a guy on his own of the group, it was him. Then, the Viennese Waltz with Anya was lyrical and romantic and showed him off in all kind of wonderful ways. I think it was a moment. The right song (popular here on the site most of the season), the right pair of dancers, the right timing. But if it was just the waltz, maybe I wouldn’t have put Robert here. However, his Nappytabs hip hop with Dominic truly showed what he was made of. It was perfect for him – it had story and character, which he does best. And he killed it!!! Marianya “prescribed” hip hop as what Robert needed to conquer next and boy did he!!! Ricky is predicting that he’ll win.

Middle Two Dancers

Kent had his worst dance all season with that disco. And I’m not just saying that cause I hate disco. Really, I’m not. I have to agree with the judges. It was lackluster even compared to other discos. The saving grace was Kent’s unshakable personality, but here’s the snag. He’s been the clear favorite most of the season (i.e. since Alex left), so then it would be his competition to lose. And he had one bad routine. While a lot of his fans will vote for him anyway, this routine didn’t do him any favors and he blended into the wallpaper for that Broadway group routine, except at the very end. HOWEVER, and this is a big but, he had the biggest blessing a dancer could ask for in this – he danced well in the last routine of the night which happened to be a hugely memorable Travis wall routine with Neil, a very popular All-Star. I would’ve said Robert’s hip-hop was the best routine of the night if not for this one. That’s going to remind a LOT of people why they love Kent.

Adechike danced solidly, but his routines are still the least compelling (in terms of voting and “best of the night”), in my mind. But here’s why I think there’s a good chance he’ll edge out Lauren – people are going to be moved by his journey package (see, I told you the judges were stealthily supporting him by ragging on him), which was featured last of the night and separate from the other dancers’. And it was a moving, moving package at the end of which he gave very humble and heartfelt speech about how lucky and grateful he is, as if he knows he’s not going forward after this week. Not a dry eye in America after that, even at my house where I’ve become a late and begrudging Adechike fan. But about his dances. He had some little splashy moments in the Broadway, but was largely ignorable (ducks flying veggies). I really liked the African jazz (looove Sean Cheesman) and I thought that Adechike really connected with Lauren (if not the audience) and danced it well. But it felt like the Tahitian routine – you either got it or you didn’t and it was almost impossible to critique/consider alongside the other dances. I liked it. It reminded me of a paso doble somehow (probably because of Lauren’s skirt), but without the dominance factor and just the strength of movement. I think he actually danced even better and with more abandon in the contemporary with Kathryn. However, I felt like that piece was handicapped by the absolute wrong song choice, a frantic energy and some weird movement. All in all, it was an even better performance from Adechike once I watched it back. But it comes down to this… When I thought about what routines had been danced tonight, I thought of Kent’s contemporary, Robert’s hip hop, Robert’s waltz and even Kent’s horrendous disco before I could recall what Adechike had danced. It kind sounds like I’ve just devoted a lot of energy and space to explaining whey he’s leaving tonight. And he might. But…

Bottom Dancer
I think the vast majority of the audience are going to concentrate on “saving” either Adechike, Robert or Kent and they’re going to neglect Lauren like they did last week. She’s been proving she’s a phenomenal dancer with EVERY routine, especially lately. But when was her last big routine? You know, that really memorable routine that a dancer hopefully gets at least once in a season. Routines like the two we saw tonight (Kent’s contemporary and Robert’s hip hop), routines like Adechike’s hip hop with Comfort or Alex’s with Twitch. In movies, they’re called “set pieces” because they take the most money and energy, usually, to deliver upon. The Argentine tango with Pasha tonight (which Marianya totally recommended she dance) was that moment for her, but it was the FIRST routine of the night with TWO KILLER show-ending routines by the guys. And her jazz with Ade was strong and awesome, but lacked chemistry and some true malicious intent. She hasn’t really had any show-stopping phenomenal dances choreographed especially for and around her (as ALL of the remaining guys have had). She’s had to rise to every challenge, despite her experience and her prepardness and she HAS. Adam says he thinks of her as an All-Star already and I think he’s right that she’s quietly done whatever was asked of her and matched her partner to the best of her abilities. I think she deserves to win the season for that reason alone. But in reality, while I hope I’m wrong, I think people are going to forget to vote for her in the rush to protect their favorite of the three guys.

Some Final Thoughts
-I missed the group and the tango, so I came in on Cat standing next to Lauren with her new short haircut. I was a little stunned. And I loved hearing Lauren say to the audience, “I hope you’ve enjoyed watching it as much as I’ve enjoyed living it.” Hell yeah, LoFro. 🙂
-I liked Sean Cheesman’s African jazz, but I think I would’ve liked the second jazz a lot better without the “story” behind it. And also, with different music.
-I really hate disco. They either need to find a new disco choreographer (if another one exists, if there’s ANYBODY ELSE who hasn’t yet given up the ghost) or retire the style. C’mon, get with it! Stop using disco and quickstep UNLESS there’s a completely unique way of doing it or dancers who just happen to be able to kill it.
-I think it makes sense that Adechike danced for Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden and I can see him having a career working with them. But I don’t dig their stuff. I almost never really love or remember their routines.
-Adechike made me cry. I’m so glad he’s opened up in the last few weeks (that I’ve seen). I’m glad I’ve gotten to “know” and appreciate him. Even though I hope he leaves this week instead of anybody else (ducks flying fruit).
-Nappytabs have been KILLING it this season. They’ve had three or four really great routines this season. Namely, the Alex-Twitch “Outta Your Mind” and now this one with Robert and Dominic.
-Alright, this has to be said. I love, love, love the Kent-Neil-Travis contemporary tonight. LURVE IT. It was perfection and reminded me of why Kent has such a following when he’d started to be redundant to me. But here’s my beef. Well, it’s not a beef. It’s an observation. The “background” or “story” to the routine was that it’s a friendship breaking up and that worked because they both danced very “masculine” (read: straight). And bravo to SYTYCD/FOX/everybody for having a male-male contemporary with that much physical connection between the two men – even if they had to dress it up as a “friendship” that was breaking up. But it was about lovers. It was about two men who love each other and hurt each other, any way you read it. And while it’s remarkable that it’s “okay” to have a dance like this on a t.v. show (same sex marriage news today, how timely!!), let’s get to the point where we can say, “this is a story about two lovers breaking up” and it’s OKAY for the lovers to both be men. Or women. That’s it, I’m done. It was beautiful.

Nothing else has gone to plan this week in cursed Season 7, which is why I’m predicting for the “surprise” twist. Agree? Disagree? Lemme know!!!!

August 4, 2010 I Written By

SYTYCD 7: The Top Four

Hello all! Here it is the Top Four… after this week the viewers will narrow it down to the final Three and those three will go head to head in the finals.

As we prepare for this week’s performances I cooked up a few analysis posts on each of the four dancers for your reading pleasure. So feel free to peruse and leave a comment with your own thoughts and feelings on these dancers.

Kent Boyd – The Little Farmboy that Could
Lauren Froderman – The Lovable Little Sister
Robert Roldan – The Dark Horse
Adechike Torbert – The “Ladies Man”

Also for your reading pleasure…

The All Stars – What they should do this week…
Billy Bell – Serenade of the “Sixth” Man
The Injured Dancers: Alex Wong and Ashley Galvan

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 7: The Serenade of the Sixth Male Dancer

As an add-in for this week’s series: Billy Bell, the Top 6 Dancer that was given a second chance… twice. As always the previous posts in this series include: All-Stars, Kent Boyd, Lauren Froderman, Robert Roldan and Adechike Torbert.

Was it worth it? Did the judges/producers make the right choice in bringing in Season 6 Original Top 20 dancer Billy Bell into the fold for Season 7?

You know, I find it kind of odd that Billy Bell was originally part of the Top 20 on Season Six, but had to withdraw due to illness only to be added onto Season Seven as the sixth guy effectively turning the Top Ten into the Top Eleven… Only for him to be out of commission on Week Six while in the Top Six and then for him to end his run on Season Seven in the Top Six? You guys see a trend here? 😀

All kidding aside let’s take a look at his journey from Las Vegas week to his exit…

Las Vegas Boot Camp
Going through Las Vegas he didn’t really standout as much as the judges expected of him (considering it’s his second time around) except during his solos.

In fact, when the judges chose the Top 10, Billy ended up getting cut… which stood to reason that he would have to wait til another year. Even Adam Shankman told Billy, when the judges were going around telling people if they made the Top 10 or not, that he didn’t really “show up” until his final solo.

However, the producers and judges decided to add a sixth guy and as thus included Billy into Season 7… but was it worth it?

Meet the Top 11:
– Wade Robson’s Jazz
– Mia Michaels Contemporary
During the Wade Robson routine his unique style of dance blended well with Wade’s choreography… I believe that if Wade Robson were to choreograph him in a dance it would be a very special kind of magic. Mia Michaels, in her own way, did just that. Billy had the role of a child, his insane flexibility and movement fit the role so perfectly that it was very easy for me to see why he is such a special dancer.

Week 1: Top 11 Performance:
– Broadway w/ Lauren Gottlieb choreographed by Tyce Diorio
After watching this dance I started to realize that in between dance steps my eyes lingered to Lauren… and suddenly I understood what Adam was talking about. Billy needed to work on filling the space in between steps. Without filling out that void he won’t be able to complete the movement.

Week 2: Top 10 Performance
– Krump w/ Comfort choreographed by Lil C
So we learned that Billy Bell started dancing in hiphop, which would mean that he should have some sort of idea of how to feel into it. Except when he was dancing with Comfort his movement was very flowing and very… well… contemporary-ish. Is it because he wasn’t allowing enough friction in this steps? Or power? Whatever the reason, this was not a strong dance for Billy

Week 3: Top 9 Performance
– Contemporary w/ Kathryn choreographed by Stacey Tookey
W00T, Season 6 reunite. 😀 Anyway, this is a very beautiful piece… it felt like a moving painting. Which is not necessarily a good thing. I love watching him dance but I’m not drawn into his dancing much like how I love various pieces of art but I won’t necessarily appreciate it wholeheartedly. So this would be an issue of connecting? Chemistry? Seems like I’m not the only one that believes this considering this is Billy’s first trip to the Bottom 3.

Week 4: Top 8 Performances
– Broadway w/ Katee Shean (Allison out due to injury) choreographed by Spencer Liff
Billy’s second Broadway piece this season. Remember how everyone’s dream is for Billy and Allison to dance together with Travis Wall choreographing? Two out of three isn’t bad… but it would seem the fates were against that. So Katee stepped in for Allison. (No other contemporary girls were available… but I would have loved to have seen this dance done with either Neil or Mark or even Ade since they were available) So the major question in this case would be: Did Billy grow from the first time he did Broadway? Yes, I believe he did. Did he grow enough to get out of the Bottom 3? No, not really… he hasn’t had a real “break out” dance as of yet, nothing that really wowed me from him… which is not a good thing.

– African Jazz w/ Jose Ruiz choreographed by Sean Cheesman
Ok I really really really loved Billy in this piece, don’t ask me why. I think him being an animal totally fits with his dance style so he should be able to nail it, and to me I really liked it. Could Billy use more power? Of course, but power isn’t his specialty. Could he use more abandon? Of course, but that hasn’t worked for him. But like I said, I really liked him in this piece, but that’s just me.

Though it wasn’t a “breakout” week, to me, he finally did start to get out there and started shining, slowly, for me… but alas another trip to the Bottom Three he was.

Week 5: Top 7 Performances
– Jive w/ Anya choreographed by Louis van Amstel
He did really well with this number. High energy, but his center is too high… but of all the ballroom routines up to this point, this is definitely one of the better ones thus far.

– Jazz w/ Lauren Froderman by Mandy Moore
A very relaxed loose and fun style… Billy has been growing slowly and steadily from week to week, still no real break out performance, but still he’s growing in some capacity.

Was this week enough to get Billy out of the Bottom Three? No not really, but it didn’t mean that he wasn’t growing, because he was.

Week 6: Top 6 Performances (Round One)
Billy did not dance this week due to injury. Although the doctors cleared him to dance, he did not feel that it would be in his best interest to dance… so he opted out to take the extra time to heal and recover for the long term.

The argument is that because Billy did not dance, he should automatically be let go. However the catch is that he was signed off to dance, it was only Billy that opted not to. Why? For me, having danced before and knowing the wear and tear and the very short life span for a traditional dancing profession Billy made the right choice. He has an injury and even though he could technically continue dancing this particular week it would be safer not to if only to make sure the injury heals so he could prolong his dance career. This show isn’t the catch all of his career, if anything it would only give him a slight edge over people. So thinking for the future was the best thing he could have done for himself, even though it meant putting the judges in an unenviable position.

Week 7: Top 6 Performances (Round Two)
– Contemporary w/ Ade Obayomi choreography by Stacey Tookey
I believe if there was ever a “breakout” performance for Billy, this piece was it. He had the talent, the skill, the performance, just everything. If there is ever a dance I would love to see on the tour this would be the piece. Then again, this was Contemporary, his style, he HAD to be great in this piece and he was… but what he got in this piece that he missed in the last contemporary piece that he did was connection. You sensed that connection that partnership that he seemed to be lacking in past dances.

– Bollywood w/ Robert Roldan choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan
O. M. G. If there was ever going to be a dance that tested his knee this would be the dance, and he didn’t show it not til the dance was over anyway. He was strong, he did well… but I felt that he was a bit upstaged by Robert. Though part of it was probably because Robert’s “look” matched the piece more than Billy did, but that’s just me.

This week, I believe, was the strongest week for Billy, but considering he was in the Bottom Three for the past few weeks I don’t believe he had enough of a fanbase to take him through into the next round… and unless the Bottom Three included Jose and Robert, he didn’t stand much of a chance of moving onward…

In Conclusion
All in all, Billy started slow but eventually began to grow as a dancer. He needed a breakout performance to prove his meddle, and even though he got something like that in his contemporary with Ade in Week 7, I almost felt like that was too little too late.

Had Billy not been ill last season the hype would have been a competition between him and Jakob Karr, however considering his performance this season, I do not believe that head to head battle would have happened the way the producers would have wanted it to happen. At the same time, things was different back then, so who knows what could have happened last season.

However, had Billy not been chosen for Season 7 would he have gone through the audition process and trip to Las Vegas again for Season 8? I would like to think that he would, but who knows?

August 3, 2010 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... =)

Exit Interviews: Billy and José

Entertainment Weekly did a couple of great exit interviews with Billy and José. Check out their website. Here are some highlights:

Billy Bell:

This year you also had your knee injury. What happened?
I have a slightly torn [section] of my knee. Basically just soft tissue attached to ligaments. So yea. It kind of basically just messed up the tracking in my knee, and was causing me a lot of pain. So I went through a lot of physical therapy throughout the week to get it better, or a little less painful. And I wore a big old knee brace while dancing, and that helped out a lot.

It was a bit controversial that you decided not to dance, even though the doctor gave you the go-ahead. What was the reasoning for you sitting out?
My entire reasoning for sitting out was because I’m a huge believer in prevention. And I thought, if I feel something tearing, why am I going to continue to tear it when I can stop, let it heal, and continue in the competition? Especially because, in the grand scheme of things, the show is such a small part of someone’s career. I was just thinking ahead of time. Whether I won or lost the competition. It’s better to win or lose the competition and be able to dance, than win or lose the competition and be like, oh, great, now my knee’s completely messed up and I’ll never be able to dance.

Last night, Nigel called you an androgynous dancer. Do you think of yourself that way?
You know, I don’t really mind being androgynous. I think anything to set you apart is good. That’s kind of been the hot topic, I feel like. Everyone’s been on this androgynous case. I don’t really mind.

Who do you think is going to win the whole thing?
It’s so hard! All four have such potential to really take it. I think AdéChiké is gaining so much momentum in the competition, whereas Kent has had it. He’s had the tween support the whole time. They love him. And then Lauren is the only girl, so she’s definitely got a huge chunk of vote right there. And Robert — I kind of think he’s a dark horse. I think he’s going to sneak up. He could take it.

José Ruiz:
And what about the judges’ critiques? Do you think they were too easy on you at times?

At the end of the day, it’s a TV show. Sometimes it’s almost like you’re picked to be criticized more than other people. And sometimes it’s a week where you do really good, and you get praised. It happens. Some weeks I know maybe they may have gone easy on me, and other weeks I think their critiques were good, and I think they were right in what they said. Of course, I don’t think all the critiques and everything they said was good, but at the same time you can’t really think about things like that. For me, it’s just that I love to dance. It’s not really about the critiques.

Do you have a favorite routine?
I really enjoyed my b-boy routine with Dominic. That was a good one. It was in my own style, and it’s the first time that they’ve ever had breaking as a genre on this show.

Not even Lauren [Froderman] and Lauren [Gottlieb]? They played up your crushes this season.
[Laughs] Yes! Lauren [Gottlieb] is cool. She’s a good soul. She really helped me out. That week that I danced with her really opened me up. It just really showed what I could do. That was the first time that I got contemporary. I definitely am grateful for that.

They both seem like really chill guys. Looking forward to seeing them on tour! Check out for the full interviews (plus search SYTYCD for other interviews)

July 30, 2010 I Written By

SYTYCD Season 7 Top 6 (Again!) Results Thoughts

Well, I’ve kinda given away some of my thoughts over on the discussion post. Just had to get them out. 🙂 But here I go…

-Loved that opening number. It was delicious. While I loved seeing Allison surrounded by ten guys, I wondered if that was supposed to be Lauren and it made me sad a bit that we didn’t get to see her dance it. I kept thinking that it was a Sonya routine, maybe even Wade (a la Ramalama). Apparently, I’m utterly unused to seeing Mia’s choreography, because I was actually shocked when I heard it was hers – more shocked that I hadn’t recognized it, really.

-I liked that they told us right away that Lauren was fine. Least they didn’t play with us.

-Love that Gatorade is recognizing dancers as athletes. Took them long enough. If golf is a sport, dance is. Dancers have to take care of their bodies more than a lot folks who’re already considered athletes.

-It was a bit sucky of them to bring out the contestant with probably the most and the worst votes at the same time, but at least there was a nice lack of suspense. Kent’s safe, Jose’s not.

-Adechike and Billy was a bit more suspenseful. Personally, I noticed Adechike’s King Zulu t-shirt cause Zulu is my favorite Mardi Gras parade. I wasn’t too surprised when Adechike was safe and Billy wasn’t, even though it wasn’t what I predicted in my Power Rankings.

-What DID surprise me was that Lauren was in the bottom and Robert was safe. Then, I thought again and I blamed the judges/Cat/the producers for telling us all riiiiiiight at the end of the show that Lauren was injured and *nothing* else. So, everybody probably thought she was going home anyway and didn’t vote for her. I was relieved Robert’s safe and I had a pretty good feeling that she was gonna be safe, so mostly I was mourning Billy.

-I enjoyed the Step Up 3D dancers a lot, especially Tony Bellissimo. I’m even more excited for the movie knowing he’s in it. He was one of my favorites last year and he got booted off first! It was really unfair. But it just goes to show that SYTYCD is a reality tv show and the dance community is bigger than a tv show and it takes care of its own. Tony Bellissimo danced on the same stage with Lil C! So, too bad I didn’t get to see him during a STYCYD season, but I’ll get to see him dance now and again. The same is true for *all* of these dancers we’re getting introduced to – Jose and Billy, Alex and Ashley, Adechike and Robert and everyone we’ve ever loved on the SYTYCD stage.

-I already said this in the comments of the discussion post, but that musical performance by Christian TV was atrocious and I’m really pissed that we didn’t *really* get to see Kherington and Lexi dance. Biggest misuse of SYTYCD alumni ever. Criminal, in fact. Annnnd, WHERE is our All-Star performance? They gave the time to that guy instead? Criminal!

-Jose’s solo only reinforced what we all already know – he’s a one-note dancer, but incredibly sweet. Billy kicked ass with his solo. It was as if he was giving it one last valiant effort to stay in, even though he knew he was leaving, and at the same time he was saying to all the choreographers out there, “THIS is what Billy Bell can do, doncha want to choreograph me?” Clearly, this won’t be the last we see of him. Lauren’s solo was awesome and it did showcase her well.

-I did enjoy Allison Iraheta and Orianthi rocking out, I must say. Who were the dancers that performed on stage with them? I feel like we never got close enough to their faces to identify them. Anybody know?

-Alright, so the judges make the right decision faced with this Bottom 3, but it still sucks to lose Billy. I disagree with Nigel that his “androgynous style” kept him from connecting with the audience. I think that they were treating him like the second coming and it went to his head and people didn’t know how to take his swagger/arrogance/humor/whatever it was. He never really found his place inside the reality tv show aspect of it. But I think he proved a few times that he knows who he is when it comes to dance. I’m glad that Lauren stays. And I think every SYTYCD fan cheered when they heard that the judges don’t get to make the decision anymore.

That’s about it for me. What do you think?

July 29, 2010 I Written By

SYTYCD Season 7 Top 6 (again!) Music

Top 6 Group (again!) Routine
Choreographer: Mia Michaels
Song: Sting’s “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” – Every

Professional Performance
Group: Step Up 3D dancers including Tony Bellissimo and Lil C
Songs: Music from the soundtrack, including Trey Songz’s “Already Taken” – Already, Roscoe Dash ft. T-Pain’s “My Own Step” – My and Sophia Fresh ft. T-Pain’s “This Moment” – This

Musical Performance: Christian TV’s “When She Turns 18” – When

The Bottom 3 Solos:

Jose danced his solo to SO:HO’s “Hot Music” – Hot

Billy danced his solo to Venetian Snares’s “Szerencsetlen” – Szerencsétlen

Lauren danced her solo to Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” – Let's

Musical Performance: Allison Iraheta featuring Orianthi’s “Don’t Waste the Pretty” – Don't

Jose and Billy are eliminated to the goodbye song: Black Gold‘s “Shine” – Shine from their album Rush.

All of all Season 7’s music can be found in one place, just for you.

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SYTYCD Season 7 Top 6 (Again!) Thoughts/Power Rankings

This one is both easy and difficult. Once again… Except things haven’t really been going as you’d think this season, huh?

Top Two

Lauren – Had a great night! I think her personality is finally coming across just right to America and her dancing is incredible. I loved her Broadway with Allison and enjoyed her Foxtrot with Adechike. But, it’s really her solo that stood out tonight – incredible. And plus, she’s been growing steadily the last few weeks. I’d even say she edged Kent out for pure performance.

Kent – Kent’s routines weren’t my favorite of the night. I enjoyed his cha cha with Anya and I thought he was the standout in that Broadway with Jose. I LOVED all of the personality that shone through during the night, but his routines were not the memorable ones. HOWEVER, he has the most dependable (and largest?) fan base, plus, he’s a “contender” according to the judges.

Middle Two (of course, one of these two will be in the bottom 3, but I don’t care)

Billy – Despite not dancing last week (or maybe because of it??), Billy had a killer night. While I actually think he was weaker than Robert in the Bollywood (and there were some timing issues that I think he was the cause of), it was the last routine and Bollywood is always energetic and memorable. His solo was a great remix of his solo from Vegas Week (“Lights Go Down” Telepathe - Dance Mother - Lights Go Down by Telepathe, which has been popular all season). He was fiercer and you could see the fire in his eyes. But, what really saves him in my opinion is his PHENOMENAL Stacey Tookey contemporary with Ade. It was one of (if not THE) standout routine of the night.

Robert – He is one of my FAVORITES and he’s been growing so much this season, both in dance ability and in the eyes of the audience. However, I think Billy had a more obviously better night. I adored his Stacey Tookey contemporary with Kathryn, but was the second routine of the night and not even the strongest Stacey Tookey routine. And while I think he out-danced Billy in the Bollywood, I think not everyone will agree with me.

Bottom Two

Adechike – I hate to say it, because he’s really been growing on me the last two weeks or so and I really liked his jazz with Courtney (and even his Foxtrot with Lauren had highlights), I think he doesn’t always connect for some reason with his partner or audience. It makes me sad to say, but I am happy he’s on the tour regardless.

Jose – Unless some wildness (like Lauren’s late-in-the-show injury) saves him again, I think his departure this week is pretty much a given. Nigel even called it – straight out, to his face – and basically said, “at least you’re going on the tour.” I don’t think that’s gonna rally the fans this time around. That being said, his hip hop with Comfort is just about one of my favorite things ever. But honestly? That was probably because of Comfort. That girl is a SHOCK this season. And such a pleasant one. I liked what Jose brought to it, but I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing another guy dance it with her.

Some Final Thoughts

-There was a very obvious and kinda sad disparity in cheers. Kent and Lauren got more than anyone else. There were almost crickets for some, as if they realized how mean it would be not to cheer. OR, there were staffers prodding them with sticks to cheer for everybody.

-LOVE Toni Redpath as a guest judge. One thing I gotta say for the SYTYCD producers is that they do kinda listen to us. I think they got that we needed the irksomeness of constant Mia/Nigel/Adam judging to be shaken up with some new blood. And I love, love, love some Toni Redpath. She’s a good mix of hard and soft, sour and sweet, Mia and Cat.

-Nigel annoyed me a lot tonight. The first time was when he pretended he hadn’t noticed that Jose hadn’t been in the group routines. Whether or not Jose pulled his groin and legitimately sat out, it’s a bit weird that they tried to pass it off like it hadn’t happened, that they never addressed it till WE, the audience, did.

-Loved that Billy was really fighting with his solo. Liked Kent’s solo, especially his song choice (he’s good with that). I think the Elliot Yamin cover was the right choice for what he was doing, but can’t help thinking of the original by Donny Hathaway A, who was one of Yamin’s biggest influences (he even had Hathaway’s daughter singing back up vocals for him on American Idol).

-I think Adam nailed it when he said that he already thinks of Lauren as an All-Star. She does already have a quiet polish to her like the All-Stars do. I think she was genuinely surprised and touched to hear it.

-The second time that Nigel annoyed me was when he “misspoke” and called our beloved SYTYCD American Idol. Yes, yes, we know you may go back to producing the big brother of SYTYCD and you may replace the whole judging panel, Nigel. FOCUS. Ugh.

-I thought it was sweet that Robert was visibly smiling after hearing his fellow contestants speak about him, before his solo.

-The INSTANT I heard the opening notes of “Mad World” for Stacey Tookey’s routine with Billy and Ade, I was like, “This is gonna be good” and put my pen down. I was right.

-Kinda sad that the judges pretty much ignored Jose while critiquing the Broadway with Billy and that Nigel pretty much told him he’s gone this week. But, it kinda sucks that it’s true, too. And that he was dancing all by himself on stage at the end of the show. :'(

-I loved the package for the Bollywood and Nakul narrating it as a Bollywood movie. That was great. 🙂 I also loved that Nakul got to tell people how DIVERSE Bollywood is and that it pulls from other styles (ahem, Mia). I thought it was odd that it always seems to come down to Billy and Robert. And I really think it does come down to them two for that third Bottom 3 spot. Hopefully, it’ll be Jose and Adechike to go home.

Disagree with me? Agree wholeheartedly? Fess up!!!

July 28, 2010 I Written By

SYTYCD 7: Top 6 Second Round Polls

And here it is again, the polls!

Mind you, I’m putting up TWO polls in this post

First up… which couple did you think had the best chemistry?

… and second who do you think should go home? You can choose up to two

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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 7 Top 6 (Again!) Music

Here’s hoping this week is full of FABULOUS music, to keep up with the rest of the season. 🙂

Dancer: Kent Boyd
All-Star: Anya Garnis
Style: Cha Cha
Choreographer: Jean Marc and France Genereux
Song: 3OH!3 ft. Ke$ha’s “My First Kiss” – My, which was on my predicted music list.

Dancer: Robert Roldan
All-Star: Kathryn McCormick
Style: Stacey Tookey
Choreographer: Contemporary
Song: Katie Thompson’s “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” – Heaven

Jose’s solo: Rjd2’s “Giant Squid” – Giant

Dancer: Adechike Torbert
All-Star: Courtney Galliano
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: Gizzy Gillespe’s “Manteca” – Manteca

Lauren’s solo: Aretha Franklin’s “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” – You

Dancer: Jose Ruiz
All-Star: Comfort Fedoke
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Marty Kudelka and Dana Wilson
Song: Otis Redding “Try a Little Tenderness” – Try

Billy’s solo: Telepathe’s “Lights Go Down” – Lights

Kent’s solo: Elliot Yamin’s cover of “A Song for You” – A

Dancer: Lauren Froderman
All-Star: Allison Holker
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: “Who’s Got the Pain” from “Damn Yankees” – Who's

Robert’s solo: Jason Mraz’s “A Beautiful Mess” (from a Raining Jane Session) – A

Dancer: Billy Bell
All-Star: Ade Obayami
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Song: Michael Andrews ft. Gary Jules’s “Mad World” – Mad

Adechike’s solo: Maxwell’s “Pretty Wings” – Pretty, which I almost picked for my predicted list, ultimately picking “Fistful of Tears” Fistful from the same album.

Dancers: Kent Boyd and Jose Ruiz
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Song: “From This Moment On” from “Kiss Me Kate” – From

Dancers: Lauren Froderman and Adechike Torbert
Style: Foxtrot
Choreographer: Jean-Marc and France Genereux
Song: Beyonce’s cover of “Fever” – Fever

Dancers: Billy Bell and Robert Roldan
Style: Bollywood
Choreographer: Nakul dev Mahajan
Song: “Ganesh” – Ganesh from “Bombay Dreams” (by AR Rahman who did Slumdog Millionaire, fyi),

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