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SYTYCD season 5 top 10 on Ellen!

I was perusing the wide world of YouTube and came across this awesome video! It’s in 2 parts. Basically, Ellen had the top 10 from season 5 on her show recently and they performed the “Calle Ocho” group number, the catch was that Ellen did it with them! It’s great fun to see them all back together again, it feels like we just left season 5!

one quick bonus video, the top 12 performing a clip of the “Brand New Day” group number outside in LA to pump everyone up for the tour! There are a few versions of this, including a video that John posted earlier that has interviews with some of the cast, and it also better highlights Phillip doing his thing.

September 12, 2009 I Written By

SYTYCD: the 15 best routines from seasons 1-5

Hi everybody! I thought I’d talk about the routines that made the list of the 15 best from seasons 1-5. Nigel hosted this great look back at the best of the best from the last five years.

They started with season 1 (obviously) and it’s amazing to look at how barebones the concept of the show was at that point. Two routines were highlighted from season 1. First was Destini and Jamile‘s awesome hip-hop routine by Shane Sparks. I didn’t start watching SYTYCD until season 2, so I was thrilled to be able to see this routine that I had heard so much about. It didn’t disappoint, they both hit it hard and everything just worked. The 2nd routine highlighted was Melody and Nick’s “All That Jazz” routine. The music from Chicago has been featured multiple times on the show over the years, but I feel that these 2 best friends (the clip where Nick says to the camera “we’re canoodling!” while he squashes Melody into the sofa is classic) embodied everything about that Fosse style.

Jamile and Destini

Melody and Nick

Read more..

September 4, 2009 I Written By

Personal Favorites From This Season of SYTYCD

Hey everyone! It`s been a really long time since I posted last, so I just wanted to say congratulations to John and his adorable new baby! I wish you and your family the best and may you all be happy and healthy!

This season of So You Think You Can Dance was really one of the best, with so much talent and many awesome dances. There were such amazing dancers that after the Top 12, I didn`t want anyone to leave! In this post I wanted to highlight my favorite performances of the season, and want to hear all of yours as well. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can also take a look at Amanda’s post about the judges favorites.

Although each dancer possessed so much potential, I did have my favorites that I rooted for until the very end.

Kayla was by far my favorite and one of the most talented. I know I`m not the only one who feels this way, a lot of the people I have talked to have also voiced this opinion. She should not have been the first to go at the Finale! Her lines were definitely the prettiest, and in all the partner dances, I couldn`t take my eyes off her. I found a lot of the time that the guys she was dancing with had a whole barrel of trouble keeping up wit her and matching her strength. My only problem with her was that her solos were often very desperate and repetitive and a lot of the times I was worried she was going to be booted off because of them. Otherwise, her technique was flawless and she was very purdy. ๐Ÿ™‚

My second favorite of course was Jeanine, for obvious reasons. For one, her solos were the greatest. They possessed a quality none of the other solo`s did. Musicality. That may seem like a small thing, but it really makes a huge difference. Those dances are way more appealing and probably one of the reasons she won. In the partner dancers, she was SO hard hitting, and almost always outdid her partner, whoever it was. I`m really happy she won. There is nothing bad I can say about her.

Favorite Solo this season:

My least favorite dancer was probably Vitolio. He was not dynamic or versatile whatsoever, and he didn`t have much of a likeable personality. I was really glad when he got the quickstep, but I loved Karla, and was really sad when she was partenered with him.

Now, onto the performances that I loved the most.

This season was a super good season for Contemporary dances. There were so many good ones, but my favorite one hands down was Evan and Randi`s Contemporary by Mia Michaels. This piece was full of fun, butt ๐Ÿ˜‰ equally balanced out with superb technique and complex sequences. The music only added to the fun atmosphere and if I don`t watch this piece at least 3 times a day I don`t feel right.

Some other noteworthy pieces include:

Jeanine and Jason to If It Kills Me Jason Mraz - We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things - If It Kills Me (Jason Mraz) by Travis Wall

Kayla and Kupono to Gravity Sara Bareilles - Little Voice - Gravity (Sara Bareilles) by Mia Micheals

Melissa and Ade to This Woman`s Work Maxwell - Now - This Woman's Work (Maxwell) by Tyce Diorio

Karla and Jonathan to Falling Slowly The Frames - The Cost (Deluxe Edition) - Falling Slowly (The Frames) by Stacey Tookey

This season also had plenty of mentionable Hip-Hop dances, and it was hard to choose my favorite, but the one I was most enchanted with was Kayla and Jason`s by Shane Sparks. The story in this was just hilarious, and surprising light hearted considering it was about zombies and eating brains. It wasn`t anything too complicated, but fun and entertaining, which, if you think about it, is what the show is about. There were other Hip-Hop dances that were less simple, and more technical, but this was just fun!

Other awesome Hip-Hops:

Randi and Evan to Hal Beyoncรฉ - I Am... Sasha Fierce (Deluxe Version) - Haloo (Beyonce) by NappyTabs

Janette and Brandon to What A World Common - Universal Mind Control - What a World (Common) by Shane Sparks

Jeanine and Philip to Mad Ne-Yo - Year of the Gentleman (Bonus Track Version) - Mad (Ne-Yo) by NappyTabs

Jeanine and Philip to Love Lockdown Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak (Bonus Video Version) - Love Lockdown (Kanye West) by NappyTabs

Other AMAZING dances:

Caitlin and Jason Bollywood to Jai Ho A. R. Rahman, Sukhvinder Singh, Tanvi Shah & Mahalaxmi Iyer - Slumdog Millionaire (Music from the Motion Picture) - Jai Ho by Nakul

Kayla and Max PopJazz to Hot Like Wow Nadia Oh - Hot Like Wow - Hot Like Wow (Nadia O) by Brian Friedman

Janette and Evan Jazz to Move CSS - Move 12" - EP - Move (Metronomy Remix) (CSS) by Sonya Tayeh

Group Dance Top 8 Let it Rock Kevin Rudolf & Lil Wayne - In the City (Bonus Track Version) - Let It Rock by Travis Wall

Group Dance Top 16 I Know You Want Me Pitbull - I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) - EP - I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) [More English Extended Mix] (Pitbull) by Dmitry Chaplin, Napoleon and Tabitha Dโ€™umo

Worst dance of the season:

Jeanine and Philip Russian Folk Dance
Only the choreography, dancing was superb.

That`s it, my favorites of Season 5, looking forward to 6, and SYTYCD Canada starting Tuesday the 11th!!

August 10, 2009 I Written By

SYTYCD Season 5 Final Power Rankings

Oh! So much to talk about. First, I wonder (as Kelsey said in the episode rant/raves), *why* were they in the Kodak Theatre? Though, I have to admit it was cool to see 3,000 people there for the first half of the finale (and even cooler to have a good portion of those folks chanting Evan’s name). So overall? NOT a fan of Louis van Amstel’s work this season and worried that the judges are jumping the shark a little with how much steam the show’s picking up. Nigel’s turning into a major perv (was he always this bad, someone remind me), Mary’s not speaking nearly as eloquently as she can, in favor of screaming. While I loved that Adam could call the Tony and Melanie jive not finale appropriate, I hated that NO ONE said anything about the overproduction of Louis van Amstel’s paso doble. And then there is the moment that angered me mightily, as pointed out very well by Johnny Mar (again in the rant/raves post). Brandon reused his audition piece last week and got a standing O and not one of the judges mentioned that it’s his audition piece. Evan revisits his audition this week, varying it a bit, and Adam Shankman calls him on it. That is not cool. That being said, there were some moments and routines I *adored* tonight and I can’t wait for tomorrow’s show. And…next season after that phenomenal, heart-thumping preview (though I could do without the last image).

1. Jeanine – I want her to win and I really think it’s hers this season. Here’s why. Simply put: she’s the best combination of pure talent and that nebulous “personality” factor: it’s so easy to love watching her move. I can’t look away from her! Classy and funny, supportive of her partners and very gracious in dealing with criticism and the now multiple perv comments from Nigel. Plus, the girls have been stronger than the boys by far this season, so I think it needs to be a female winner. Jeanine’s peaking at the right time, as the judges say and had an amazing night. Though, I will say that the lighting and the volume of the music during Louis van Amstel’s paso doble was so distracting I had to try to ignore them in order to focus on the dancing. I had to *ignore the music* to focus on the dancing. Bizarre. It was phenomenal dancing, once you could get past the DRAMA!!!! of the routine’s production. I feel like Mia put Jeanine in the back too much in her routine with Kayla, especially given the length of Kayla’s limbs. But she stood out to me and just rocked it. I loved seeing her and Evan dance together and I think they enjoyed each other a lot. And her solo. HELLO! That slow, controlled pirouette. She incorporated so much of her growth during the entire season in her solo, which I think was a textbook example of what a “end of the line, all I’ve got” solo. A-m-a-z-i-n-g.

2. Kayla – She’s been amazing all season, technically superior to most everybody and finally relaxing enough to show her personality. Kayla’s had some incredible routines tonight. I thought her solo was the weakest, but really enjoyed that her song choice allowed for some different movements than she’s shown during most of her solos. The Broadway with Brandon was awesome and you could tell that she just really enjoys dancing with him, trusts him and his technical ability. Not so much with Evan, though there were some strong moments in it. I really enjoyed her in Mia’s contemporary, which was just a beautiful concept that both the girls executed beautifully. You could tell that they were bringing a lot of the emotions of their SYTYCD experience to it and I think Kayla really lived the piece and showed exactly why everybody loves her lines and extension so much. I don’t think she showed as much ‘tude as Jeanine in Wade’s cheerleader/football player routine, but she was definitely strong.

Here’s the hard part. Sigh.

3. Evan – According to the results so far on John’s poll, he should be #4. And maybe he will be. The only reason I bumped him up is that enormous chant that seemed to surprise everybody, him most of all. And you know Ryan wasn’t behind it, because it started waaaaaaaay back in the audience, not near Evan’s family. ๐Ÿ™‚ I will be the first to admit that Evan is, in many ways, especially technically, the most limited dancer, the one who’s “grown” the least during the season. He was rock solid in Broadway at the beginning of the season and he’s still demonstrating rock solidness…in Broadway. He doesn’t apply notes or encorporate other styles into his own, as the other dancers (and successful dancers of seasons past) do. However, all of that is really hard to care about when he dances. I’m tired of the judges’ condescending comments about the squishiness of his face because Evan is impossible not to enjoy (for me, for many others) when he dances. He’s the one my eyes go to. I really thought that he held his own in Wade’s and Sonya’s pieces and he was the one my eyes kept going toward during Lauriann Gibson’s piece (did anyone else HATE the song for a routine like this?), despite his lack of “nasty cred.” He struggles to take on characters outside his general persona onstage. However, I do think that he’s held his own or rocked in most of the routines he’s danced this season. And I love watching him move.

4. Brandon – I suspect that Nigel named him with Jeanine as the top 2 because Brandon is so technically strong and Nigel knows the same personality that Jackie and others have mentioned – on a more personal level, I suspect, than I do. I really liked Brandon’s interview, but I have to say he’s just my least favorite. As nice and supportive as he may be “in the real world,” I don’t personally feel like he gives good t.v. all the time. His ego (whether he’s confident or not confident, both are results of the ego) becomes too much of an issue in his dancing, I feel. Maybe this is only an issue when there’s a camera zooming in close on his face. I don’t know. I think he felt confortable with Natalie and it’s taken him the whole season to figure out how to be more comfortable in front of the camera. He’s a beautiful dancer, but I’m very apt to look more at his partner – whether that partner is a beautiful girl or a dancer not as technically strong as him, like Evan. I think he’s done extremely well on this show and grown so very much. I enjoyed watching him with Jeanine quite a lot, and in the Wade group routine. I did feel his solo was very frantic, as Adam said. Though, you know what? I *loved, loved, loved* his extended split at the end of his routine and his face, which just sort of announced, “Yeah, I’m doing this and it’s awesome.” That was a wonderful moment tonight for me, he was at his “cocky best” right then.

August 5, 2009 I Written By

Vote for the So You Think You Can Dance Season 5 Winner

Time again to share your love for your favorite dancer. You’ve seen them all perform (if you’re on the east coast) and outlast all of the other dancers. So, the question just remains which of the SYTYCD top 4 will be America’s favorite dancer. Vote for your favorite and it will be interesting to see if readers of Pure SYTYCD can predict the actual winner of So You Think You Can Dance season 5.

I Written By

Just call me Charlie...but where are my angels?

SYTYCD Top 4 Routines You Hope to See

I’m going to steal part of another great comment from Christine to talk about the routines you’d like to see from the SYTYCD top 4. Here’s the routines Christine lists that she’d like to see from the So You Think You Can Dance top 4.

Kayla Brandon: Paso Doble
Kayla Evan: Lyrical Jazz
Jeanine Brandon: Contemporary or even Bollywood. (As much as I like the soft hip hop by Jeanine, I have a feeling Brandon will dance too hard and will lack connection with his partner.)
Jeanine Evan: BROADWAY or even west coast swing if they can pull that off without pulling their face too much (bring Benji back!) … but I have a feeling it might be some waltz or if Evan can just keep his frame straight)
Brandon Evan: hmm…not sure yet. Broadway is the only thing i can think of that’s broad enough (no pun intended) to incorporate their strengths
Jeanine and Kayla: Hip hop might be interesting here and Contemporary would be battle of technique and strength. (This pairing makes me worried for Jeanine because I feel like Kayla could definitely outdance her depending on the choreography. If this was a Wade Robson routine, it would take both acting and skill to make it a great piece where I think Jeanine might outshine Kayla. It’s just whether or not their connection with each other and to the audience will be achieved)

Top 4 dance: Something with a lot of power. I have a feeling these are amongst the Strongest dancers we’ve had. Chuck full of muscles from top 6 and down.

Personally, I don’t have many preferences for this one. My only thought would be that I’d love to see Brandon and Evan do a Krump battle of some sort. Put Lil’ C with the cliche broadway white boy and the muscular black boy and I think they could create a pretty entertaining Krump battle. I mean the difference between what Brandon and Evan would do would be hilarious and great to watch I think.

What styles would you like to see from our top 4?

August 2, 2009 I Written By

Just call me Charlie...but where are my angels?

SYTYCD Missing Raw Dancers This Season

I admit to you that I had the idea for this post almost a month ago. Basically, my feeling was that So You Think You Can Dance is a great show. Obviously, if I didn’t think so I wouldn’t spend the time I do on this blog. However, I think I’m kind of missing some of the rawness that we saw on previous seasons.

Certainly, it’s wonderful to watch great dancing every time out. I’m amazed at Kayla’s ability to do every style with so few technical flaws. It’s beautiful. However, it’s also really great TV to see someone kill a contemporary routine one night and then fall down doing hip hop the next. I like having that bit of unpredictable. Not to mention, the surprise that a ballroom dancer like Benji could do a broadway number to Hairspray as well as he did.

I guess I’m just saying that it’s nice to have a little bit of the unpredictable. I like to see some imperfections and flaws. I like for people to be taken way out of their comfort zone and either rise up and knock our socks off or not. There’s a reason that people like roller coasters. They go up and down and make people go Wow! I think raw dancers offer that.

Don’t get me wrong. I think you have a real chance at failing in this regard too. Tony Bellissimo is the example that scares me. Although, imagine if the whole show was filled with Tony’s. I bet if Tony had stayed longer he would have done some routines that would have made us say “TONY, WOW!” However, we would have also had some routines where we would have said, “Tony, Tony, Tony.”

Yes, I know this would mean that some very talented people wouldn’t make it into the top 20. That’s alright with me. It’s always going to be the case. I guess I just might rather have some people that are extraordinary in a couple styles and make me cringe in others than have everyone who is just average in everything.

I Written By

Just call me Charlie...but where are my angels?

So You Think You Can Dance Top 6 Power Rankings

Well here we are. Probably the most important power rankings of the whole season. And on one hand, the most obvious and on the other, the most baffling.

According to John’s SYTYCD top 6 poll the last time I checked, you’ve ranked the contestants thusly: Kayla, Jeanine, Brandon, Ade, Evan and Melissa with each of the pairs being fairly close (i.e. Kayla and Jeanine not too far apart), but with some pretty large gaps between them (i.e., the difference between the K/J pairing and the B/A pairing and…biggest of all, the E/M pairing).

Before last night’s show, I was prepared to count Evan out of the Final 4. Not because that’s my personal choice, but because it really seemed like his fan base was dwindling a bit (does this relate to the absence of Brother Blogs for a few weeks?) while Ade and Brandon were picking up steam.

But. I anticipate a lot of debate, because I have to go with my gut here.

1. Jeanine: As one commenter said, she seems to be in the majority of people’s best guesses for Top 4. Her samba wasn’t her best performance, but she did well and the both of them showed a lot of charm and personality throughout. Her solo wasn’t spectacular or much different than her others, but it was cute. And then there was that great Nappytabs hip hop about getting evicted where she successfully jumped through Ade’s scissoring legs. And then, I really got the feeling that Sonya gave her a lot of “center stage” time in the group piece, she really stood out to me (as did Cat and Nigel’s comments about her costume, after). I think she’s the best combo of skill and personality this season, so she’s my pick to win and my first guess for the Top 4.

2. Kayla: She’s started to show a lot more personality, slowly but surely and she’s always been pretty precise. Some people don’t dig her, but a lot of people do. Her Stacey Tookey contemporary with Brandon really impressed me and I thought these two “cold” dancers actually brought out a lot in each other. Her solo was nothing new and a bit boring, but it was a’right. I didn’t love the disco as much, but then I never do. Sorry, y’all. ๐Ÿ™‚ This one almost one me over in the first half, but then got really awkward at the end, where it seemed like most of the time they were pausing to set up jumps and lifts and not actually dancing. My mom and I debate heartily over disco.

So these are the two I feel fairly confident about. Let me talk about the girl I think is going home:

Melissa: Beginning with her Broadway with Evan and through her solo, I was digging Melissa a bit more than I had before, wondering if I’d given her a raw deal. And then there came the quickstep OF DOOM! DOOM! DOOM! (Sorry, there’s an echo in here). I was actually pretty happy with their performance. But you know what? Melissa LOST me when she seemed to be throwing Evan under the bus. She admitted in the intro video that she doesn’t trust him and she didn’t say this in a way that indicated it was something *she* needed to improve on. And has anybody noticed she seems to roll her eyes a lot – check out the intro video for the girls’ routine if you don’t believe me. She’s had a good run on the show, but now I’m ready for her to go.

The top 2 boys are a really tough call. Really, really tough. And no matter what I say, there’s going to be some heated disagreement (which I’m excited to see, bring it on!), so I’m going with my gut here.

1. Evan: I think he didn’t just “stay visible” as Lil C said. I couldn’t stop watching him! I agree with Nigel that he stood out for me in Sonya’s group number. His Broadway was fun and strong. I honestly felt like he probably spent a lot of energy helping Melissa shine in the piece. While he didn’t switch up his solo either, I loved the enormous flip across the stage that he did. And, he’s “dancing bigger,” all the time. I love the commenter who pointed out that Brandon’s not much taller than Evan, who’s been getting all the “short guy” heat. Clearly, Evan isn’t as muscular as Brandon, so perhaps that has something to do with it.ย  When I heard that Melissa and Evan had the dreaded quickstep OF DOOM! DOOM! DOOM! (dern echo!), I was very, very, very worried. But they did a good job and it was enjoyable. All in all, I feel like Evan had a strong night in both his dancing and his personality. With Ryan rallying with a new, great Brother Blog and then certain other issues with the other contestants…I think we might find Evan in the finale. I just love watching him dance, so how can I not predict that? It IS America’s Favorite Dancer and I think a lot of people just really enjoy Evan, as I do.

2. Ade: His work in the group number was solid. He wasn’t as strong as he could have been on his second Latin dance this season, but even so, I enjoyed him and Jeanine in their samba. He’s been picking up steam all season. Again, his solo wasn’t terribly new (to him), but it showed us his style. And then that Nappytabs hip hop with Jeanine, which was just pure pleasure to watch. Probably the stand out routine of the night (the group routines and the Tookey contemporary are the only other standouts to me). He’s become such a front runner for me over the course of the season, from someone I never really paid any attention to, to somebody I’d love to see dance whenever I get the chance.

Brandon: He’s picked up some steam in the last few weeks, so I may be really wrong about him going home this week. However, while I tend to enjoy his dancing, he seems really cocky and arrogant to me and I just don’t like it. One of the commenters pointed out that he doesn’t seem to be really generous to his partners (though I think he sensed a bond with Kayla, so maybe it was different with her), and that really nailed it for me, that ambiguous thing that wasn’t working for me about Brandon. I lost a lot of liking for him in between Vegas week (with Natalie, it has to be said) and Top 20, it almost seemed like he shut down his personality a bit. Then, there’s the fact that the judges stood for his solo, Nigel called it the best on the show, but *no one* was fooled that it was his audition routine all over again. It’s a pretty awesome routine and of course, with the music and the little to no clothing, he pulled out all the stops to demonstrate he wants to be in the Final 4. But when it comes down to it, I don’t think his messy disco and his fabulous contemporary and all of this calculated arrogance-humility is going to be enough. I may be completely wrong here, but this is what my gut says.

I think a Jeanine, Kayla, Evan, Ade finale will be pretty fascinating to watch and I’d be sorry if any of them left.

July 30, 2009 I Written By

Vote for Your Favorite So You Think You Can Dance Top 6

I meant to post this earlier, but didn’t get a chance to post the list of the top 6, so you can vote for your favorites. I’ll leave it open so you can vote for as many of the top 6 as you want. Probably best to vote for who you’d like to be in the top 4. This should provide some pretty interesting results. Let the SYTYCD top 6 voting begin:

July 29, 2009 I Written By

Just call me Charlie...but where are my angels?

Backstage at the So You Think You Can Dance 100th Episode

I don’t think that this video will be anything to amazing for fans of So You Think You Can Dance, but it is a nice behind the scenes look at So You Think You Can Dance. Cat does have an interesting backstage ritual. Mary fans will also like to hear about her scream (not me). There is also a few nice moments with Kayla and Brandon, Joshua Allen, and Benji Schwimmer.

July 28, 2009 I Written By

Just call me Charlie...but where are my angels?