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Podcast: SYTYCD Season 8 – Top 4 Performance and Finale

Summary
For the finale of So You Think You Can Dance season 8 we give you a super-sized podcast with 15 more minutes of content. We were happy with Melanie’s win and were pleasantly surprised that the top two dancers this season were both women, which has not happened before on this program. The performance episode was not up to the high standards of past seasons which was disappointing for us, but there were some highlights such as Marko and Lauren F.’s wonderful contemporary piece by Tessandra Chavez and the captivating performance by Melanie and Sasha in the second Stacey Tookey routine of the night.

The results show reminded us of many of the great routines from the season, although we were surprised by how the judges picks seemed to place less emphasis on everyone except for Melanie, Marko and Sasha (even Tadd only had one non-group routine repeated). This portion of the show has historically served as a warm-up for the forthcoming tour and features many of the routines that are expected to show up. But here we had many routines that involved all-stars, none of which will likely be on the tour. It was unexpected for the judges picks to lack variety.

We conclude the podcast with a discussion of the show’s production and the effect it’s having on the pacing and the way we get to know the dancers. We pinpoint that the approach towards the show changed in season 6, when they moved to the live show format. At this point the packages became shorter and contained more schtick and the judges comments started having less substance due to the time constraints of a live program. We also discuss the choreographers and that some of them tailor their work to their selected dancers and that others do not and whether this is a fair way of doing things. Finally, we discuss the variety of dancers in the top 20 in later seasons versus the early seasons and the effect this seems to have on the type of choreography we see each week.

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 twitter feed!

We want to thank everyone that has tuned into our podcasts during the course of the season! We’ve enjoyed doing this and its been a learning experience for us! We’re planning to do podcasts for season 9 of So You Think You Can Dance, so check back with us in May 2012. We’re going to continue doing our Big Brother podcasts and will be adding The X-Factor to our weekly discussions when it premieres on September 21st. We are also adding a Week in Review podcast in the fall for all the other shows we watch during that time. So if any of that sounds interesting to you, then follow our blog Reflections on Pop Entertainment and watch for our updates. If you’re only interested in our So You Think You Can Dance material, we’ll see you again next summer!

Episode Length: 44:53

Time Stamps
0:00 – Introduction: Congrats to Melanie! Guest judges: Katie Holmes and Kenny Ortega and the choice to have celebrity judges
2:37 – Melanie and Marko’s disco
4:15 – Sasha and Mark’s jazz
5:44 – Tadd and Joshua’s hip-hop
7:10 – Melanie and Robert’s contemporary
8:29 – Sasha and Marko’s broadway
10:46 – Sasha and Tadd’s chacha
12:57 – Marko and Lauren F.’s contemporary
14:36 – Tadd and Melanie’s jazz
16:01 – Melanie and Sasha’s contemporary
18:27 – Marko and Tadd’s gumboot stepping
20:28 – The order of the placing: 2 girls in the top
22:22 – Results show: The new top 20 routine and tap routine
24:28 –  Results show: The judges picks were stacked towards Melanie, Sasha and Marko and didn’t seem to be a retrospective of the season
28:58 – Post-season discussion: The direction of production and how it affects the show – pacing in live shows vs recorded shows, an increasing focus on the judging panel, choreographers tailoring their work to the dancers, variety in the dancers in the Top 20 (stacked towards contemporary/jazz now), variety in routine genres (less ballroom now, more contemporary/jazz)
42:34 – Wrap-up: What are your thoughts on our post-season discussion? What we’re going to be doing in future podcasts (Big Brother, The X-Factor, Week in Review)


Listen to the podcast

Episode 15 direct download

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August 15, 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!

Season 8 Finale Part 2 Thoughts and Discussion

Here are my live thoughts and a space for you to start and join in on the discussion. Spoiler space since I’ll be talking live and relatively uncensored…

Read more..

August 11, 2011 I Written By

SYTYCD Season 8 Finale Part 2 Music

So excited for tonight! I’m going to have to work double hard cause I’ll just want to soak it all in instead of taking notes. 🙂

Sonya Tayeh Top 20/Top 4 (+All-Stars??) Group Routine: District 78’s “Wanna Get Hype” – Wanna Get Hype - Radios At Reception

Mary picked Tyce’s Sasha/Kent routine: Me’Shell Ndegéocello’s “Fool of Me” – Fool of Me - Bitter

Nigel picked Nappytabs’s Melanie/Marko routine: Leona Lewis’s “I Got You” – I Got You - Echo (Deluxe Version)

Robin picked Mandy Moore’s Tadd/LoFro routine: Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” –Another One Bites the Dust - Queen: Greatest Hits

Lil C picked Nappytabs’s Miranda/Robert routine: Busta Rhymes’s “Break Ya Neck” – Break Ya Neck - Genesis

Cat picked Tyce’s Top 8 Group Routine: James Newton Howard’s “The Circus Sets Up” The Circus Sets Up - Water for Elephants (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) – from the Water for Elephants soundtrack.

SYTYCD UK champ Matt Flint, Nick Young and Jess LeProtto tap to: Michael Buble’s “Can’t Buy Me Love” – Can't Buy Me Love - It's Time

Mary picked Mandy Moore’s Melanie/Neil routine: Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” – Total Eclipse of the Heart - Faster Than the Speed of Night

Jesse picked Sonya’s Marko/Allison routine: Jeff Buckley’s “I Know It’s Over” – I Know It's Over - So Real: Songs from Jeff Buckley

Tyce picked Sonya’s Top 10 Girls routine: Chonique Sneed ft. Lisette Bustamante’s “Pop, Drop and Roll” – Pop Drop & Roll (feat. Lisette Bustamante) - Pop Drop & Roll (feat. Lisette Bustamante) - Single

Lil C picked Spencer Liff’s Ashley/Chris routine: Rachel Sweet’s “Please, Mister Jailer” – Please, Mr. Jailer - Cry-Baby (Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) from the “Crybaby” soundtrack (THANK YOU BETH!)

Nigel picked Christopher Scott’s Sasha/Twitch routine: Dorothy Moore’s “Misty Blue” – Misty Blue - Misty Blue

Sonya picked Christopher Scott’s Top 10 Guys routine: Nathan Lanier’s “Velocity” – Velocity - Velocity - Single

Jesse picked Miriam and Leonardo’s Caitlynn/Pasha Argentine tango: Orquesta Color Tango’s “Malajunta” – Malajunta - Con Estilo Para Bailar

Mary picked Travis’s Melanie/Marko routine: Ingrid Michaelson’s “Turn to Stone” – Turn to Stone - Turn to Stone - Single

Nigel picked Sonya’s Melanie/Sasha routine: District 78’s “Game On” – Game On - Game On - Single

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Season 8 Final Performance Power Rankings and Poll

This is both the easiest and the hardest Power Rankings post I’ve done all season. I’m going to break it down in rounds (solos, All-Stars, contestant).

Round One (Solos)

1. Sasha – While hers and Melanie’s solos were neck and neck, I’m giving this round’s top spot to Sasha because hers was later in the episode.

2. Melanie – As I said, she and Sasha were neck and neck with the strongest solos, but hers was just a bit earlier in the episode and that’s the only reason I’m putting her in second place.

3. Tadd – He uses cool music and a lot of personality and had a cute near run-in with the audience.

4. Marko – His solos are strong, but they use slow music that always sounds the same. His solos never really stand apart for me.

Round Two (All-Star routines)

1. Melanie – Her Stacey Tookey with Robert was a bit later than Sasha/Mark and it was really strong. I thought the choreo was a bit confusing, but Melanie and Robert definitely had a connection.

2. Sasha – Her Sonya Tayeh routine with Mark was probably a bit stronger than Melanie/Robert, but since it was the second routine of the night, I’m putting it in second place.

3. Marko – His Tessandra Chavez routine with LoFro was really, really good and the last of the All-Star routines, but I think the girls have the edge on him because LoFro outdanced him just a bit. Just a bit!

4. Tadd – His Lil C hip hop with Joshua was a bit out of sync and boring. Plus, it was the third routine of the night, so that probably won’t do him any favors.

Round Three (Top 4 partners)

1.Melanie – She and Sasha each had one bad routine, one ok routine and one great routine, but I give Melanie the edge because her worst routine was her first of the night (Disco with Marko). Her okay routine (Broadway with Tadd) was in the middle and her great routine (contemporary with Sasha) was her last routine.

2. Sasha – Her okay routine (Broadway with Marko) was better than Melanie’s okay (also Broadway), but it was her first routine, whereas her worst routine (cha cha with Tadd) was middle. She also ended on a high note (contemporary with Melanie), which makes this kinda hard.

3. Marko – He and Tadd both had their worst routine together and smack dab at the end of the episode. They also both had bad routines with their Top 4 partners, but Marko’s worst was the first routine of the night. His okay Broadway was earlier in the episode, but it was better and suited him just a bit better.

4. Tadd – When he was bad tonight, he was really bad. Horrible cha cha with Sasha, alright Broadway with Melanie and then awful stepping routine with Marko. He was in two of the worst routines of the night. Not so hot.

Final Predictions

Winner: Melanie – She’s been slightly ahead of Sasha in popularity all season, at least according to our poll) and was just slightly ahead of Sasha tonight. Her biggest disadvantage is that she hasn’t been out of her style as much as the others and how gross the judge’s favoritism has been all season (not that that’s her fault).

Runner-up: Sasha – It could go either way between the girls, honestly. Her edge is that she overcame a bum partnership to get this far and while she’s always been a great dancer, she’s developed some soft femininity (with the right partners, Twitch, Kent, Mark), she’s stayed fierce.

3rd place: Marko – He’s been more popular than Sasha all season according to our polls, but I think Sasha has edge him out in ability and fight. Especially tonight.

4th place: Tadd – He’s the least popular of the Top 4 (according to our polls) and he was in 2 of the worst routines tonight.

I hope you’ll let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments. How do you think this will go?

And now for your poll (I think I got every possible variation, to be fair):

August 10, 2011 I Written By

SYTYCD Season 8 Finale Part 1 Music

Who knows what tonight’s going to bring? I can’t wait to find out!!

Melanie and Marko danced a Doreana Sanchez disco to: Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love (12″ Version)” – I Feel Love (12

Sasha and All-Star Mark danced a Sonya Tayeh jazz to: Deadmau5’s “Raise Your Weapon” – Raise Your Weapon - 4x4=12 (Deluxe Version)

Tadd and All-Star Joshua danced a Lil C hip hop to: Ace Hood’s “Hustle Hard” – Hustle Hard - Blood Sweat & Tears (Deluxe Edition)

Melanie and All-Star Robert danced a Stacey Tookey contemporary to: Sinead O’Connor’s “Sacrifice” – not on iTunes yet.

Sasha and Marko danced a Spencer Liff Broadway to: Ella Fitzgerald’s “Whatever Lola Wants” – Whatever Lola Wants - Ella Sings Broadway

Melanie danced her solo to: Peter Bradley Adams’s “Song for Viola” – Song for Viola - Leavetaking

Marko danced his solo to: Joshua Radin’s “The Fear You Won’t Fall” – The Fear You Won't Fall - Unclear Sky - EP

Sasha and Tadd danced a Mark Ballas cha cha to: Basement Jaxx’s “Raindrops” – Raindrops - Scars (Bonus Track Version)

Marko and All-Star LoFro danced a Tessandra Chavez contemporary to: Me’Shell Ndegéocello’s “Shirk” – Shirk - The World Has Made Me the Man of My Dreams

Tadd danced his solo to: Jessie J’s “Mamma Knows Best” – Mamma Knows Best - Who You Are

Sasha danced her solo to: Rachael Yamagata’s “Be Be Your Love” – Be Be Your Love - Happenstance (Deluxe Version)

Melanie and Sasha danced a Stacey Tookey contemporary to: Ahn Trio’s “Heart Asks Pleasure First” – Heart Asks Pleasure First - Ahn Trio: Lullaby for My Favorite Insomniac

Marko and Tadd danced a Chuck Maldonado gumboot stepping routine to: Outkast’s “B.O.B.” – B.O.B. - Stankonia

I Written By

SYTYCD Season 7 Top 4 Results Music

Hey y’all, my mom’s been helping me since I was really running late. She missed a lot of details, so I need y’all’s help!!

Top 4 Group (again!) Routine
Choreographer: Dee Caspary
Song: Florence + the Machine’s “The Drumming Song” – Drumming

Musical Performance: Janelle Monae singing… (my mom didn’t catch the song… was it Tightrope Tightrope?)

The Solos:
Lauren danced a solo to “Wasted Time” [My mom missed the artist. I’m guessing that it’s Me’Shell Ndegeocello Wasted till I hear differently.]

Kent danced a solo to Taio Cruz’s “Dynamite” – Dynamite

Adechike danced a solo to “Sir” Sir by Various Artists.

Robert danced a solo to the very fitting “Mr. Muscle” Mr. by Rusko.

Professional Performance:
Dancer: Desmond Richardson
Song: The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” – Sympathy

Musical Performance: Flo Rida singing “Club Can’t Handle Me” – Club from the Step Up 3D Soundtrack

Adechike is 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.

August 5, 2010 I Written By

SYTYCD Season 7 Top 4 Results Discussion

Well, as you might’ve seen in my Thoughts/Power Rankings post last night, I’m guessing for the crazy twist tonight rather than what I think *should* happen or what I want to happen. It’s been that kinda season. Crazy twists are all we can expect.

This is the place to let me (and everybody) know what YOUR thoughts are. 🙂

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SYTYCD Season 7 Top 4 Music

Let’s jump right in, since I’m running late from work.

Group number choreographed by Tyce Diorio to “The Crapshooter’s Dance” – The from Guys and Dolls.

Dancer: Lauren Froderman
All-Star: Pasha Kovalev
Style: Tango
Choreographer: Miriam and Leonardo
Song: Astor Piazolla’s “Oblivion” – Oblivion [I was running late and my mom was texting me the song titles of the first 2 songs – she said “steamy obsession” and I assumed that was the song title, lol.]

Dancer: Adechike Torbert
All-Star: Lauren Gottlieb
Style: African jazz
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Song: Ralph MacDonald’s “The Pain,” which also isn’t coming on iTunes. Try “Calypso Breakdown” Calypso for now.

Dancer: Robert Roldan
All-Star: Anya Garnis
Style: Viennese Waltz
Choreographer: Jonathan Roberts
Song: Anouk’s “Lost” – Lost

Dance: Kent Boyd
All-Star: Courtney Galliano
Style: Disco
Choreographer: Doreana Sanchez (of course)
Song: David Guetta and Kelly Rowland’s “When Love Takes Over” – When

Dancer: Lauren Froderman
All-Star: Ade Obayami
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Song: Kosheen’s “Hide U” – Hide [The link is the regular version, not the remix they used on the show]

Dancer: Adechike Torbert
All-Star: Kathryn McCormick
Style: Contemporary?
Choreographer: Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden
Song: Melissa Etheridge’s “Fearless Love” – Fearless

Dancer: Robert Roldan
All-Star: Dominic Sandoval
Style: Hip hop
Choreographer: Nappytabs
Song: Basement Jaxx ft. Kelis, Meleka and Chipmunk’s “Scars” – Scars

Dancer: Kent Boyd
All-Star: Neil Haskell
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Song: DeVotchka’s “How It Ends” – How

You can find all of Season 7’s music here.

August 4, 2010 I Written By

SYTYCD Season 7 Top 4 Performance Discussion

I’m sad that Billy…and Ashley…and Alex are no longer dancing for us this season. But, I’m kinda excited to see what they give us tonight for the Top 4 Performance Show. What are your thoughts? Excited? A bit apprehensive? Tells us here!!!!

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