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Podcast: SYTYCD Season 8 – Top 8 Performance and Elimination

Summary

This week’s judging panel featured director/choreographer Rob Marshall and pop music icon Lady Gaga, who gave constructive insight into the performance aspect of dance. Although we liked Neil Patrick Harris’s judging the most so far this season, the celebrity panel additions have worked a lot better in the second half of the season versus the first half.

The elimination show was tough for us to watch. Jess was one of our favorites from the competition and we were both expecting to see him make the top six and possibly the finals. We had a tough time seeing him cut after his growth and improvement in favor of Tadd, who has also grown but hasn’t felt as polished when you compare the two. We talk in-depth about Jess and Tadd and draw a line in the small details. Tadd has difficultly with fast choreography and when we consider his solos in total we don’t see a wide range in his dancing vocabulary and we don’t have these same issues with Jess. We admit, we’re biased here, but we try to quantify our feelings of disappointment as best as we can.

Jordan’s elimination was more straight-forward as her body of work has been hit-or-miss during the season and her solos have revolved around her leg movements. Caitlynn has been consistent and we feel like we still have more to see from her.

Marko and Melanie once again had amazing pieces and have solidified their place in the finals. As for who else is going to the finals, it looks to be a toss up when we compare Tadd/Ricky and Sasha/Caitlynn. We think it will depend on what routines they get next week and how well they perform. We consider their bodies of work and speculate on what may happen.

Please let us know your thoughts by dropping us a comment here after listening! We love to hear feedback and what you thought of the show. We also encourage you to check out our blog and twitter feed to keep up to date with us!

Episode Length: 30:01

Time Stamps
0:00 – The guest judging by Lady Gaga and Rob Marshall
1:45 – Discussion of Jess and his elimination
7:48 – Tadd, has he grown more than Jess to deserve a top six spot?
13:28 – Jess’s final solo and online fan reaction
15:40 – Jordan’s elimination (the Tyce kiss of death strikes again)
16:50 – Caitlynn’s work
18:50 – Sasha had a very good night
19:59 – Melanie had an excellent night!
22:10 – Marko continues to amaze us.
24:15 – Ricky: does he dance too tall? And is Anya heavy?
26:10 – Who makes the finals?
28:24 – Next week’s all-stars: Kent, Janette, Jamie, Ellenore, Twitch and Pasha!
29:23 – Wrap-up


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July 30, 2011 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!

Top 8 Results Thoughts and Discussion

My live thoughts and yours, too. Excited to see what All-Stars we’ll have next week. I just realized that Jaimie Godwin was supposed to be an All-Star this week and I guess she was replaced by Allison. I must’ve missed something – did they explain why Jaimie wasn’t on last night? Maybe they’ll say something tonight.

LOOOOOVED Tyce’s Top 8 routine! It’s routines like this that remind me what he’s capable of and make me even more annoyed with his lackluster choreo. It had hints of Wade and Sonya and was just so fun and cool and was a great opportunity for the dancers (especially Jess, as the ringmaster).

I also love Cat’s dress, especially the sleeves. Gorgeous.

Rob Marshall really nailed it when he said that SYTYCD puts dancers back in the center of attention, rather than in the background. That’s what I love about the show, too. Or at least part of it.

It’s cruel that they went to break without saying which of the four girls is in the bottom! Fine, keep us on edge, but soooo mean to the dancers.

Spoiler space for the rest…

Well, I was right about the girls. Melanie and Sasha are safe and Caitlynn and Jordan are in the Bottom Four.

Oh my gawd, I almost lost it watching that little clip of Marko’s mom hugging him backstage. I think he almost lost it too, judging by his face when they went to him on stage. Not surprised Marko’s safe and Jess is in the bottom, but I have to say I loved Jess peeling off his shit as he strolled off stage. Okay, I kinda like him a tiny bit more and more each week. 🙂

I *am* surprised that Rickey is safe and Tadd is in the Bottom 4, but maybe I shouldn’t be after some of your comments lately that he seems arrogant. I don’t see it myself, but apparently enough people do to put him in danger.

LXD always makes my day. It was nice to see Christopher Scott dancing on the SYTYCD stage, too. And, am I crazy or was that Ashley Galvan in the line of dancers?

The National Dance Day segment was really fun.

Jordan’s solo was her best, I think, but the leg extensions were still prominent, of course. Jess’s solo was full of character and entertaining. BUT, I thought Caitlynn really danced her best solo yet and that it was better than Jordan’s. I hope the judges agree and keep her! Tadd’s was clearly the best, full of character and performance. Love the song, love the tricks, love the whole attitude. He has some of the best solos.

Liked Lady Gaga’s performance, but most especially seeing Mark dancing with her so prominently.

Whew! Glad Caitlynn is safe. I thought Nigel was really respectful and nice to give such a positive build up to cutting Jordan. I’m surprised the judges could bear to cut Jess, but Tadd really earned it with his solo. He threw everything he had onto that stage.

The goodbye sequences made me realize two things
-I liked some of Jordan’s performances more than I remember (the bed hip hop with Tadd namely)
-I warmed up to Jess right as he was leaving.

They never announced the All-Stars for next week. Hmmm….

What do y’all think??

July 28, 2011 I Written By

Season 8 Top 8 Power Rankings

Sorry this is late! I’ve just caught up on the episode. Thanks for all your comments, y’all!!

I really wish this wasn’t going to be broken down into Top 2 Girls and Top 2 Guys vs. Bottom 2 Guys and Girls. I really want three girls in the top and I have to put one of my favorites in the bottom. :'(

Top Four

1. Melanie – While I agree she hasn’t been as challenged as some of the other dancers (she does tend to get contemporary/jazz) and never gets critiqued, I also love her. Her contemporary with Neil was the best of the night, I think and then she ended on a high note with Sasha at the end.

2. Sasha – She was stymied with a weaker partner at the beginning, but she’s gotten almost as much face time as Melanie since Vegas Week *and* she’s had to stretch herself more. Her routine with Twitch last week was maybe the best of the season. I liked her quickstep with Pasha, but it was the first routine. However, she and Melanie had that lauded Sonya routine at the end.

3. Marko – He had a stellar contemporary with Allison, has been part of the Power Couple with Melanie and had an alright hip hop with Rickey later.

4. Tadd – His heist routine with LoFro was great, despite his hat malfunction. He was very MJ-ish and had one of the more popular All-Stars, plus good chemistry. Also, his foxtrot with Caitlynn was really classy and elegant and I think might’ve surprised a lot of people.

Bottom Four

5. Caitlynn – I’d like to put her in the Top if this wasn’t broken down by gender. She had an alright hip hop early on with Ivan, but I really, really liked her foxtrot with Tadd. I think she’s grown enormously and she’s been challenged a lot, even just in tonight’s episode.

6. Jess – He surprised me in his hip hop with Lauren G., but his later number with Jordan wasn’t good. He was stronger than her, to be sure, and I know he’s got a fan base, but I think he’ll be in the bottom. I think he should be, anyway.

7. Jordan – She’s annoyed me more and more each week, with her “sexy” pouting and vamping, not to mention her leg extensions. She danced an alright jazz with Ade, but I think whatever strength the routine had was Ade’s, not hers. She didn’t connect with him or later, Jess, at all. Her rhumba with Jess really sucked. It’s time for her to go home, in my opinion.

8. Rickey – His jive with Anya was pretty good, but not nearly the most memorable routine of the night and then he was called out as the weaker link in his hip hop with Marko. He’s been in the bottom a lot and if he is again, it’s probably his week to go.

It makes me nervous that I didn’t get to vote, but I’m fairly confident that Jordan and Rickey will be going home tonight. What do y’all think?

Also, I BOUGHT MY TICKETS to the tour!! Whooo hooo! Has anybody else gotten theirs yet? I’m going to see it in Atlanta this year, with my mom and (I’m sure) Amanda.

I Written By

Top 8 Performance Thoughts and Discussion

Even though I’m running late tonight, I wanted to be sure I posted this so you have a place for all your thoughts and any discussion that comes up during the episode. I’ll add my thoughts in later, when I get a chance, so for now, this is YOUR space!

UPDATE:
I’ve only seen half the show at this point, but I’ll go ahead and throw some of my thoughts out.

-I really loved Sasha’s quickstep with Pasha (“easy to remember!”).

-Wish I loved Caitlynn’s hip hop with Ivan. It was really cute, but not my favorite routine and that sucks cause I love her and love him and thought they were really cute together.

-Wonder what it was like with Allison and Ivan both backstage. 🙂

-Jordan is really not good at connecting with her partners. I think she had her best chemistry yet with Ade (Ade! How can you not have chemistry with Ade?! *I* had chemistry with Ade the two times I met him during on tour!), but she was still glamming for the camera. Just not digging it. I can see that she’s athletic and gorgeous and a talented dancer, but I’m getting sick of her getting raved about for being sexy since she’s sexy all on her own. I don’t know that she knows how to build chemistry with a partner at all.

-Melanie and Neil’s Mandy Moore was hands down my favorite of the night, one of my favorites of the season. I love all the components, so how could I not love it. Love Melanie, looooove Neil, love Mandy Moore. That leap! And Rob Marshall was right about her acting at the end. And I looooved that Cat asked if we wanted to see the move again and Melanie leaped into Neil’s arms back stage. I’ve never wanted to be backstage more in my life than when Cat said they were still smooching back there. Another SYTYCD cross-season couple, hmmm? (I’ve watched this routine like a dozen times now and I still want more!)

-I thought Rickey’s was one of the better jives we’ve seen on the shows and he was great with Anya. But I actually thought the quickstep was better, had more flare and life.

That’s as far as I’ve gotten at the moment! I haven’t been reading your comments till I can see the show, but please continue the conversation! Power Rankings will be delayed till tomorrow, but I can definitely give you a poll in the meantime. Maybe you’d like to give power rankings a go yourselves?

UPDATE:

-So I just watched Tadd’s heist routine with LoFro. It was really entertaining and I can totally see the MJ references. And I agree that I was really proud of Tadd for dealing with lost hat and the accidental face punch and keeping going. It was a lot of fun.

-I was really surprised and pleased with Jess’s performance with Lauren G. I thought it would be a disaster when I saw they were dancing together, but he really stepped up to her. There weren’t any lifts of course, but he matched her really well and I think he worked on having a connection with her and the intention of the piece. He didn’t overplay it, I agree.

-LOVED the Marko/Allison routine. He does really well when partnered with technical girls and I think Allison was the perfect match for him. She brought out a lot in him, but also they were must well-matched.

-This is a good time for me to say I’m generally liking Lady Gaga as a judge. Sometimes I think he reactions are a bit contrived, but I’m usually in agreement with them anyway, so that’s okay. And she’s being calmer and quieter than I expected and really respectful of the judges, which is really good.

-I hated the Jess/Jordan rhumba. Jordan’s pursed lips and “sexy” faces were pissing me off the whole time. I thought Jess did an alright jobs, though he occasionally had a crazy “sexy” face too. They had that one great lift, but I couldn’t help wishing it were different dancers. Agree with Nigel that there was no chemistry between them.

-Really loved Caitlynn and Tadd’s foxtrot. Rob Marshall was right to call it “sparkling.” They had the right attitude the whole way through and looked so classy and gorgeous the whole way through. It really made me miss the old stage, though. This big stage swallows up some routines, like this one.

-The Marko/Rickey hip hop was cute, but not as good as I would’ve liked. I have to agree that Marko carried it better than Rickey did unfortunately. Tabitha looked really worried when they cut to her and Napoleon right after the routine.

-Lady Gaga kinda dissed the props on both of Nappytabs’s routines. Anybody else notice that?

-I liked the Melanie/Sasha jazz, but I actually didn’t think it was as good as it could’ve been. I was THRILLED to see these two were dancing together and they’re pretty well matched, I think. My disconnect with the routine was more the music (blech) and the choreography – it felt kinda empty and unfulfilled. Whenever the girls made connection, it seemed kinda pointless. They could have actually done lifts, both of them, so I wanted that instead of the weird unnecessary assists. I don’t think it was the best choreography that Sonya’s done – I disagree. But then, I’m not a dancer or a choreographer. But I did agree that it reminded me of the “Two Princes” routine, which I liked. AND, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Final 2 came down to these girls

Here’s another poll:

July 27, 2011 I Written By