Free SYTYCD Newsletter Want to receive the latest news on So You Think You Can Dance sent straight to your email? Join hundreds of other SYTYCD fans who subscribe to Pure SYTYCD for FREE!

SYTYCD Season 6 Cheers and Jeers

Here’s Season 6 in review. Y’all brought up a lot of this stuff in recent comments (Mrs. D’s comment in particular), which gave me the idea to do a review of the season, what we liked and didn’t like. If you disagree with me (or agree), feel free to put your two cents in, as it’s all subjective and I’d love to know what you think!

Jeer:

This season felt more rushed that any other that I can think of. Between baseball, the Presidential address, so many audition episodes and an early end to the season because of Christmas coming up, I feel like this year’s Top 20 got shafted on actual dancing time. But not just the dancers – the choreographers got fewer chances to wow us. And the audience lost out, as well.

Cheer:

I loved that I didn’t have to wait till the summer for a new season. While America’s Favorite Dancer gets a shorter reign if they continue on the two seasons a year model, we had a shorter wait, which was really nice. After Season 5, I just don’t know how I would have contained my SYTYCD longing. Are the producers hoping to follow a Survivor/Dancing with the Stars model with the two seasons a year thing? If so, they should be just as smart about scheduling and not hesitate to move the finale to a separate night (like Survivor’s Sunday finale yesterday).

Jeer:

The new stage, or at least the screen behind it. It seems like we’ve transitioned from utter hatred toward the new stage, which always threatens to swallow up the dancers, to an acceptance that we’ll probably never get our intimate little stage back. Many readers have begun to say that the screen and imprudent use of it, is actually the bigger issue.

Cheer:

The group numbers were able to utilize this enormous space in really pleasing ways. It’s nice to think that SYTYCD can now command (and fill) a larger audience space. Maybe it’ll end up being a wonderful challenge to the choreographers (as well as the production crew, especially camera folk) to recapture that intimate feeling.

Jeer:

It was awful having three static judges (Nigel, Mary and Adam). No new blood! Adam seemed to be the only one who had something to say, most reliably at least. And when the three additional judges (Debbie, Lil C and Tyce) came in for the finale, it felt like an eternity since I’d seen them and that they were given favorites to pick rather than choosing from their hearts. Maybe that’s not true, and I’m sure they still kept up with the season, but their involvement didn’t have the same feeling because they never rotated in and out during the season.

Cheer:

Adam Shankman is a wonderful addition to the judging panel. I didn’t mind him being a constant, I only minded that there was no new blood. You almost always knew what Nigel and Mary were going to say, so he was a breath of fresh air (especially at the beginning of the season). Adam is funny and honest (he called out choreographers for bad routines!) and you get the impression that he’ll actually hire the dancers he likes (i.e. when Noelle got cut, I was okay because I felt Adam wanted to work with her), so he’s a valuable part of the panel.

Jeer:

Shane Sparks and Alex DaSilva‘s arrests (both for sexual crimes related to their dance students) are not only damaging to the choreographer’s careers, but also haunt the dance community at large and threaten to harm SYTYCD’s image.

Cheer:

The Dizzy Feet Foundation and gala do wonderful things for the dance community, SYTYCD and for us, as it unites our favorite shows, dancers, choreographers, crews in a really positive mission. It raises awareness and gives our favorites work! We can help, too!

Jeer:

How many injuries did we have this season? Mia Michaels was rushed to the hospital at the beginning of the season. Then, Billy Bell had to drop out due to illness. Noelle was injured in the first competition show while Ellenore and Ashleigh were both hurt during the Top 8 week and Russell was injured in the finale. Did I forget anyone??

Cheer:

Despite the overly-produced and rushed feel of the season, despite all the injuries, we had a wonderful Top 20 this season. As John pointed out, they had a great mix of styles and backgrounds. We saw some consistent excellence (Jakob and Ellenore, namely) and some great growth arcs (arguably, everybody, but notably Kathryn and Russell, in my opinion). We had some “characters” to get behind this season, in Legacy and the DiLellos in particular.

Jeer:

America’s SYTYCD lost Mia Michaels this season and her absence was certainly felt. Our loss was apparently SYTYCD Canada’s gain, so while it’s good that she’s working within the SYTYCD family, there’s a great big gaping hole where she was in our shows.

Cheer:

Mia’s absence gave way to a ton of “new” choreographers this season. New to us, at least. Like Sean Cheesman, Jason Gilkison, Spencer Liff and a routine from Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden. We had more Wade Robson, more Stacey Tookey, more Mandy Moore and more Travis Wall routines, which seriously rocked. More Sonya routines, many of which blew our minds, like the “Tore My Heart” Oona - Tore My Heart - Single - Tore My Heart routine with Ellenore and Jakob.  Hopefully, we’ll get to see special Mia routines, maybe one or two a season, in the future. I don’t want SYTYCD America to be completely devoid of Mia Michaels, but I’m glad we had so many standout choreographers, new and recurring, this season.

Jeer:

This season had some really awful costumes…

Cheer:

And some really amazing music. But these two things are pretty typical of all seasons, I suppose. 🙂

Jeer:

No mention of a Season 6 tour! Not even on the finale show! What are they thinking? There had better be a tour, or I will seriously cry foul. I’m keeping my feelers out, y’all, and using my contacts, to see if/when the tour will be.

Cheer:

I’m glad they mentioned auditions for Season 7 because it sounds like it’ll be another summer season. So that means that we’ll either have two seasons a year, or we’ll go back to our beloved summer format (probably the former). SYTYCD keeps motoring on, which is good news. And again, we don’t have to wait several months till fall, sounds like.

Jeer:

Hell no to the Top 6! I hope Fox and SYTYCD realize they can never do this to us again. This was the worst idea ever and I suspect the results might have been significantly different, if we’d had a normal Top 4 finale. Not cool.

Cheer:

The Meet the Top 20 episode was the biggest stroke of genius and the best of all the new ideas and concepts we dealt with this season. I hope they *always* do this from now on. It was sublime to see all of the Top 20 dancing within their styles without fear of elimination. Some of the best dancing of the entire season happened in this very first episode, as evidenced by how many of the judges’ favorites in the finale show were from this very episode.

I think that’s all I’ve got. I’ve run out of steam. But I’m sure I’ve forgotten something you hated or loved, so let me know what you think.

December 21, 2009 I Written By

The Rest of the Russell Ferguson Story

I’m sure that people won’t like me talking about this, but when has this ever stopped me before? First, I should make it clear that when I write posts like this I’m mostly disappointed with the producers of SYTYCD and not Russell. However, one of the problems with writing a blog and being so involved in a show like SYTYCD is that you find out all the background story that the producers have chosen not to tell you. A part of me LOVES to know “the rest of the story” and the other part of me feels betrayed by the producers of the show. Either way, it is what it is and I still LOVE watching the dancers on SYTYCD. I think this is likely to never change.

With that preface, I was disappointed to read about all the formal dance training that Russell Ferguson had before going on SYTYCD. Here’s a short section of an interview Russell did with People.com where he talks about the dance training he had before the show:

You’ve often been referred to as a “street dance” diamond in the ruff but you’ve had some dance education, right?
I’ve been doing hip-hop all my life. So, I figured if I was going to take on any big dance projects later in life, I would have to learn other things to be well-rounded in the dance field. I did four years at Boston Arts and I did a good year at The University of the Arts, so I got a good amount of training in.

The judges portrayal of you as this unpolished stone. Was that accurate?
They know I had some form of training. But the thing is, a lot of people that do train, like that is what they do, that is their dance style, that’s their lifestyle. And me, I really did just come from the streets.

5 years of formal training? That’s a little more than just coming from the street. As I think back on some of the comments the judges made about Russell, you can tell that they knew about this information and were trying to maintain the persona that Russell was a “street dancer” without outright lieing. For example, I remember Nigel saying something like, “You’re basically an untrained dancer.” Then, he went on to compare him to Legacy when Nigel said, “You’re like Legacy, but you point your toes.” The interesting part is that I think Legacy actually is an untrained dancer. Russell is not.

Of course, when Russell won I think we all realized where he’d come from was the street. I absolutely adore that he won the show. I also loved how raw and real his reaction was when he won. I know some people didn’t like it too much, but to me it was beautiful. I’m not sure why he took his shirt off, but he was living in a moment that he probably thought he’d never experience. I don’t know all his background, but I bet Russell really does have a story to tell about where he came from and how he made it to an arts college and now as winner of SYTYCD. You could see the story in his face and in the face of his family.

This won’t be the first or the last time the producers don’t tell the whole story about dancers. I remember the outrage about this short post I did about Twitch dancing in Hairspray. No one had an issue that Twitch was in Hairspray. It was that the show acted like he hadn’t done anything like it before. To be honest, I’m amazed that the producers told us that Mollee was the principal dancer on all 3 High School Musicals. I guess they probably figured most people would find that one out anyway.

I don’t think any of this diminishes the quality of the dancing and the entertainment value that their dancing brings to me when I watch the show. All of that is amazing and it’s great that Russell can go out and do a Krump routine and follow it up with some ballroom. Is it just too much for me to wish that the producers didn’t produce the show so much. Probably.

December 18, 2009 I Written By

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

Interviews with Cat and Russell

Lyndsey Parker of Reality Rocks, who I love, was at last night’s show and she interviewed both Cat and Russell. Check out Russell’s interview here, but I’m gonna sneak in the Cat interview below. Check Lyndsey out on Twitter – her Tweets yesterday were awesome. The only thing I wished you’d asked, Lyndsey? About the Season 6 tour! If anyone could’ve gotten the answer, it’d be you.

Enjoy, y’all!

Cat Deeley – Backstage At The ‘SYTYCD’ Season 6 Finale from Yahoo! Music on Vimeo.

December 17, 2009 I Written By

The SYTYCD Top 6 on Ellen

Here’s the Top 6 on Ellen. I love this! And I like the married dancing!

December 16, 2009 I Written By

SYTYCD Top 6 Results Thoughts (Finale Part II)

It hasn’t been a terribly long time since the season began (or since Season 5, for that matter), but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been rabidly looking forward to tonight’s finale show.

My thoughts, as they happen…

Read more..

I Written By

SYTYCD Top 6 Results Music (Finale Part II)

Many, everybody’s been killing me with anticipation today on Twitter, so I have HIGH EXPECTATIONS for tonight’s show, including the music.

Opening song, layered over the Top 6 talking: “Sweet Disposition” The Temper Trap - Conditions - Sweet Disposition-The Temper Trap (thanks Blair!)

Kelly Abby Top 19 Group Routine: “Scared of Me” Fredde le Grand - Scared of Me (feat. Mitch Crown) - EP - Scared of Me (Radio Edit)-Fredde Le Grand ft. Mitch Crown

SPOILERS from here on out.

Lil C’s favorite with Russell, Legacy and Kevin: “Beggin'” Madcon - Beggin' - Single - Beggin'-Madcon

Adam’s favorite with Ellenore and Jakob: “Tore My Heart” Oona - Tore My Heart - Single - Tore My Heart-OONA and Dave Tweedie

Nigel’s favorite with Peter, Bianca and Phillip: “Take the A Train” Ella Fitzgerald - Pure Ella - Take the "A" Train-Ella Fitzgerald

Mary’s request for new routine that the DiLillos danced and choreographed themselves: “Straight To…Number 1” Touch & Go - I Find You Very Attractive - Straight To... Number One-Touch & Go

Leona Lewis performs the theme from Avatar (who apparently sponsored tonight): “I See You” Leona Lewis - Avatar (Music from the Motion Picture) - I See You (Theme from Avatar)

The Groovaloos perform to “Groovaloo Street” by Rapier & Burns (not yet on iTunes)

Nigel’s favorite with Kathryn & Jakob: “At This Moment” Michael BublĂ© - Crazy Love (Deluxe Edition) - At This Moment-Michael Buble

Tyce’s favorite with Mollee & Nathan: “Azeem O Shaan” A. R. Rahman - Jodhaa Akbar - Azeem O Shaan Shahenshah -AR Rahman from Jodhaa Akbar

Ryan is #6 to “Where It Ends” 16 Frames - Where It Ends - Where It Ends-16 Frames

Adam Lambert performs “Whataya Want From Me” Adam Lambert - For Your Entertainment - Whataya Want from Me

Season 6 highlights recap to “Guardian Angel” The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Don't You Fake It - Your Guardian Angel by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

Ashleigh is #5 to “Never Say Never” The Fray - The Fray - Never Say Never-The Fray

Adam’s favorite with Ellenore & Legacy: “Machine Gun” Portishead - Third - Machine Gun-Portishead

Debbie’s favorite with Noelle & Russell (tape): “Frog Dance Mickey Hart - Supralingua - Frog Dance-Mickey Hart

Ellenore is #4 to “Breathe” Ryan Star - Breathe - Single - Breathe-Ryan Star

Lil C’s favorite with Ariana, Channing, Nathan and Jakob: “Cryin'” k.d. lang - Live by Request - Crying-kd lang

Mary’s favorite with Kathryn & Russell (tape): “I Can Transform Ya” Chris Brown - I Can Transform Ya (feat. Lil Wayne & Swizz Beatz) - Single - I Can Transform Ya (feat. Lil Wayne & Swizz Beatz)-Chris Brown

Mary J. Blige performs “I Am” Mary J. Blige - I Am - Single - I Am

Nigel’s favorite – the Top 20 group routine: “Comanche” The Revels - Pulp Fiction (Music from the Motion Picture) - Comanche-The Revels

Kathryn (NO!!) is #3 to “Something Beautiful” Needtobreathe - The Outsiders (Deluxe Version) - Something Beautiful-Needtobreathe

Jennifer Lopez performs (with SYTYCD girls from Season 6 and seasons past!) Louboutins (not on iTunes yet)

The recap of Russell and Jakob’s journeys was played to “Time of Our Lives” Paul van Dyk - Reflections - Time of Our Lives -Paul van Dyk (thanks again, Sokko!)


We had such amazing music on the show this season! Check it all out here.

I Written By

SYTYCD Top 6 Power Rankings

I just don’t know, y’all. Part of me thinks this is a slam dunk for Jakob (John already proclaimed him the SYTYCD season 6 winner back on the 8th). But part of me thinks Kathryn or Ellenore might still win it. Wishful thinking? Let’s see…

Read more..

December 15, 2009 I Written By

SYTYCD Top 6 Performance Thoughts (Final Part I)

I’m so excited for tonight’s show. But just a bit cranky, also. One hour for the Top 6 finale performances. Insane. No solos. Which, is annoying. I’m not sure how much the solos would change from what we’ve already seen. But…anybody else remember Jeanine’s finale solo from last season? I sure do.

My thoughts tonight, as they happened…

Read more..

I Written By

SYTYCD Top 6 Performance Music (Finale Part I)

I’m expecting great music tonight on Part I of the finale. Period. Let’s see if we get it.

Jason Gilkison samba (Kathryn & Ryan): “Magalenha” Sergio Mendes - Brasileiro - Magalenha-Sergio Mendes

Tyce Diorio Broadway (Ellenore & Jakob): “I Gotcha” Original Broadway Cast - Fosse (Original Broadway Cast Recording) - I Gotcha-from Fosse (original Broadway cast)

Sonya Tayeh lyrical jazz (Ashleigh & Russell): “Angel Standing By” Jewel - Lullaby - Angel Standing By-Jewel

Gary Stuart jazz (Ellenore & Ryan): “Kontact Me” Boys Noize - Power - Kontact Me-Boys Noize

Jean Marc Genereux foxtrot (Ashleigh & Jakob): “Let the Good Times Roll” Chuck Brown & Eva Cassidy - The Other Side - Let the Good Times Roll-Chuck Brown and Eva Cassidy

Jason Gilkison paso doble (Ellenore & Russell): “Village Attack” James Newton Howard - Blood Diamond - Village Attack-James Newton Howard from Blood Diamond

Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden contemporary (Kathryn & Jakob): “At This Moment” Michael BublĂ© - Crazy Love (Deluxe Edition) - At This Moment-Michael Buble

Travis Wall contemporary (Ashleigh & Ryan): “I’m There Too” Michelle Featherstone - I'm There Too - Single - I'm There Too-Michelle Featherstone

Nappytabs hip hop (Kathryn & Russell) “I Can Transform Ya” Chris Brown - I Can Transform Ya (feat. Lil Wayne & Swizz Beatz) - Single - I Can Transform Ya (feat. Lil Wayne & Swizz Beatz)-Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne & Swizz Beatz

We’ve had some great music already this season. Check it out here.

I Written By

Season 6 Top 6 Predictions?

When I saw this picture on the SYTYCD site, I couldn’t help wondering if my Power Rankings were already done for me. A picture’s worth a thousand words, after all…

sytycd-season-6-top-6

It’s not necessarily what I’d like. I’d love if the final two were Kathryn and Ellenore. But, I have a feeling this picture (unconsciously on the part of Fox and the SYTYCD folks, maybe) predicts the order of the Top 6. First, Ryan and Ashleigh will get eliminated. Then Ellenore and Russell most likely. And, I suspect the final two are gonna be Kathryn and Jakob. It might even be in this particular order…

I’ll do a proper Power Ranking after tonight’s Finale Part I, but I think this pretty much this says it all. What do you think?

I Written By