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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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚
-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 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. πŸ™‚ 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!) 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. πŸ™‚ 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 Season 7 Top 6 Performance Thoughts/Power Rankings This week’s Power Rankings is both easier and harder than ever. But Fox, seriously? Take care of these dancers! All joking aside, while I am glad you addressed it and yes, we all have been talking/*joking about it, COME ON!

*This season of SYTYCD should probably be called SYTYCD Survivor: Dance to the Death! Sux… #sytycd 5:58 PM Jul 14th via web

Sigh. With no further…lectures…

Top Three

Kent – Man, he’s teflon. He did a solid jazz with Kathryn and I have to give him MAJOR props for using a Boyz II Men song for his solo. I think this was the first tape I bought with my own money when I was growing up. Oh man. Can’t believe I just dated myself so publicly. But he’ll get major points for that steps routine with Twitch. You couldn’t even hear a lot of the steps because of all the hooting and hollering for him – which actually sort of bugged me a bit. But they still kept it together and it was a lot of fun. He did keep up way better than I thought he would. It was no “Outta Your Mind,” and the comparisons are inevitable since they’re both Nappytabs’ routines and both feature Twitch “schooling” a contestant. I think it helped the “Outta Your Mind” routine that Alex is almost the same size as Twitch and he took up the same physical space. I did enjoy Kent and Twitch together, mind you, but Kent seemed to be getting schooled way more and I think his being smaller than Twitch added to that overall effect. Regardless, Kent had a GREAT night, as always, and even if he’d done poorly in one of the routines, which he didn’t, his fans would probably still keep him safe. πŸ™‚

Lauren – She carried off cowboy hip-hop with Twitch (AND rode him across the stage!), had a strong solo and a fun samba with Robert. Not only is she the only girl left which helps her stand out and probably protects her to some degree, I think people (including me) are starting to get her quirky/sarcastic personality and really fall in love with her dancing.

Adechike –

FINALLY, I really get Adechike. It started a bit last week with his contemporary routine with Kent. But this week. Wow. This week. His solo was pretty incredible, but what really won me over was that Nappytabs lyrical hip hop with Comfort. I could tell in the rehearsal footage that it was gonna be incredible – he seemed way more open and connected to her than with any of his other partners (with the possible exception of Alex and Kent. This was the night that my “Adechike hate” (as Donna put it) ended. His solo was a taste of my lack of hate. His paso with Jose was… a’right. But the second I heard “Fallin'” (a song I love anyway), I was like, “ohhhhh, Adechike’s gonna make me fall for him.” And haters fall HARD. Well done, Chike. Well done. My mom says that you and Comfort should always dance together. It was amazing to see that wall break down so thoroughly that the tears came. I get him. Finally. FINALLY! But you BETTER have chemistry next week, Adechike! I know what you can do, now!

Bottom Three

Robert – I love Robert. He’s been in danger before, though he was saved from the bottom 3 last week. There’s a major campaign (especially among other dancers, from what I’ve seen) to vote for Robert. So, there’s a chance he may slip out of the bottom 3 again this week and I hope that’s the case. He danced with both the Lauren’s tonight AND it was his birthday! He danced the “you shot me with your booty” Tyce jazz which was AMAZING with “Elle” Gottlieb and then a samba with “Elle” Froderman. He *did* remind me of Dmitry in the samba, I have to agree with Nigel. He was masculine and strong and just him in both his dances. He picked a great song for his solo and it was solid. But, I gotta draw my bottom 3 line somewhere…

Billy – Automatically in the bottom 3 cause he couldn’t dance due to his knee injury. This is the LAST STRAW! This one better be the last injury or I’m calling Child Welfare on SYTYCD. Anyway, if there is any justice in the universe of SYTYCD/FOX/dance, the judges will not send Billy home when he couldn’t dance, even if he has been there before. Remember, everyone, BOOGIE SHOES!!!

Jose – Despite his puppy dog eyes, his dancing is not up to snuff. I think he’s the weakest link. Goodbye. No, seriously. I loved his contemporary with Allison. It was a great song and great choreography – and a real surprise from Sonya. But, I have to agree with the judges that there wasn’t a lot of “dancing” for him to do and Sonya masked his weaknesses well. Which made it a great routine. BUT…it’s a competition…. His solo was boring. Seen it. Done. And while I agree he made a valiant attempt at the paso, he was weaker than Adechike and the weakest parts of the routine were all the lifts/interactions between the two guys – which I think was mostly due to him. But the poses and the cape work were terrific. Still, I think there’s some major backlash against Jose since he’s the least technically skilled and he’s learning the least. Seriously, I’m tired of this “journey” arc they’re pushing on us. While his choreographers have generally been very kind and protective (with the exception of Joey Dowling, bless her) and he has soldiered through the various routines – he hasn’t been incorporating anything new in his tricks. In my mind, if he were learning and growing as a dancer, he would be using some of his new tricks in his solos. There’s only so much shuffling and hand work I can stand. I’m sorry, I really am.

Some Final Thoughts

-Love Kenny Ortega as a judge. I want him back all the time. As I Tweeted to Amanda, he’s informed, supportive and interesting, which is exactly what we need on the show. I don’t mind having four judges if at least one rotates and if at least ONE makes some sort of sense. Though, I would prefer two or three to make sense on a given night.

-But speaking of making sense, Nigel and I were on the same page tonight. He read my mind several times. The first time when he mentioned “Bleeding Love” in his comments to Adechike/Comfort about “Fallin.” I was thinking of “Bleeding Love” several times throughout their routine – in a great way. Probably cause it was the same choreographers. And a suitcase again. And about a relationship. πŸ™‚ The second time is when Nigel told Robert that his upper body reminded him of Dmitry in the samba. I was thinking of Dmitry throughout the routine. Also, in a good way. And again when he said that the Jose-Adechike paso wasn’t everything he’d hoped it would be. Me, either.

-All this routine echoes (“Outta Your Mind” and “Bleeding Love”) brings me to two points that are related. I was WORRIED when I saw that several of tonight’s choreographers had two routines. Nappytabs, Sonya and Dmitry all had two routines and they were surprisingly close together. LUCKILY and most notably in the case of Sonya, the routines were either entirely different from each other or very different from the choreographer’s usual style. Nappytabs luckily had two very different set of dancers (Lauren and Twitch, then Adechike and Comfort), as well as different narratives and very different music. Dmitry had one male-female and then a male-male, so that automatically set them apart and the tones were entirely different. But Sonya was the real revelation to me. Neither of Sonya’s two pieces felt like a “Sonya piece” in that way that had started to actually get old tonight. Actually, Tyce’s felt more like a stereotypical Sonya piece. Her two pieces tonight had might lighter music and costumes than she normally goes with and beyond those surfaces observations, really proved to me that she does have versatility as a choreographer. Just when I was starting to get bored. πŸ™‚

-The contestants are dancing with All-Stars they’ve never danced with before. So, clearly not random. They showed the drawing out of the hat for the double contestant routines BUT, I am suspicious yet again. How accidentally can it be that this week was all about whether Adechike or Jose would dance less successfully. SO, they got paired together in a battle dance. Head to head, pose for pose. How about that coincidence? However, that being said, I LOVED the rehearsal package we saw of A/J before their routine. East Coast OVERDRIVE!!

-I liked seeing all their parents, but I agree with Nigel that it was tough. Especially this week, for some reason. Though, they had time for it since Billy wasn’t dancing.

-Loved the Kherington sighting! I think that means she may dance tomorrow! I hope it does. What if she’s performing a blast-from-the-past routine with an All-Star?? Sure, Twitch has already danced with Comfort, but I’d love to see ANY of Twitchington’s routines again. πŸ™‚ Really, any of them. I’m re-watching now. “Dreaming with a Broken Heart,” “Too Darn Hot,” “Don’t Touch Me,” “2 Buck 4 TV,” “A New Day Has Come.” Doesn’t matter. We just need Kherington back.

-Wow, I got a little off topic there. Alright, I’ll wrap things up. I loved the cake for the 150 episode/Robert’s birthday at the end. Loved that Kent was dancing with Kathryn and Lauren (“Elle” Gottlieb). Ladies man! And I LOOOOOVED that Adechike and Twitch re-inacted a few steps from the paso at each other. Great way to end the show.

Hmmm, what do y’all think, eh? Amanda and I were each writing our thoughts posts at the same time, though we didn’t realize it. Check hers out, she’s got some great points, especially about how stepping has been done on SYTYCD before.

July 21, 2010 I Written By

SYTYCD Season 7 Top 7 Results Thoughts

Tonight’s episode. Sigh. Season Seven. Sigh. Okay, let’s do this.

-I loved Tyce’s Broadway Group routine tonight. I have a couple of thoughts about mixing the All-Stars and contestants, though. Part of me wonders if the contestants are getting to fully shine with all this sharing of the stage with All-Stars. BUT, I’m glad to see my favorites dancing, no matter how and when. Kathryn and Lauren really stood out to me, as well as Neil, Mark and Ade. Lauren was the only contestant who really stood out on her own to me.

-Loved that Cat was brought in on the couch by Adechike and Jose. πŸ™‚ She’s so cute.

-The first two contestants came up – Kent and Lauren holding hands. Hmmm. First thought was this was confirmation that my #1 and #2 slots were correct in the Power Rankings last night. Cause no way were they sending either of the first two to Bottom 3 the way they did last week. Anyway, they were cute when Cat said the person in the bottom three wasn’t on the stage. Way to drag out the obvious, everyone.

-The Dizzy Feet/Mary Murphy dancing kids were cute. The girl seemed a little weirded out by all the attention, but that Fernando – he’s gonna be on the show in about 5 or 6 years. πŸ™‚ I thought it was cute that Cat arm-wrestled him and even cuter than she let him win.

-Second pairing of contestants comes on stage – Billy and Adechike. I kinda had a weird feeling Billy was gonna be in the bottom again, even though I think Adechike deserves it more, even with that great contemporary last night with Kent.

-When Robert and Jose are brought on stage, I have another series of weird thoughts. Looking at Jose’s face, I think…somebody’s been reading the Internet. And I saw Robert’s face and I thought… “whoa, he looks really worried, I wonder if there’s ANY chance Ashley’s injury isn’t as serious as they thought.” But, then things went back to what I expected (and hoped, I have to admit). Robert’s safe and Jose’s in the Bottom 3.

-About this point, I’m realizing we haven’t really seen Ashley (unless I missed it) like we did with Alex, emotional in the crowd. Hmmm.

-I’m gonna get a lot of heat for this, but I wasn’t keen on the Alvin Ailey dancers Jamal and Rachel. First, I hated the music. I went through about a nanosecond of a Laurie Anderson phase and then I wondered what I’d been thinking. That and the costumes – but neither of those are J&R’s fault. They danced beautifully. But I wasn’t feeling either of those aesthetic things and I really wasn’t feeling how they each kinda lay or sat completely prone and still while they other danced. Just not my bag. Sorry, folks.

-I DID love seeing Twitch and Comfort in the “rewind” “Forever” dance from Season 4. Thanks to our reader Kayla for the term. πŸ™‚ It was even better this time and really solidified for me how much Comfort’s grown since her season and that she really does deserve to be an All-Star.

-Billy’s solo was very much like all his others. Only, there did seem to be a fierceness in his eyes that isn’t always there. A digging in.

-Jose’s was fast and furious, as the judges said. Yet. Yet. Oh, Jose. I’m sorry. You’re so sweet and I felt for you when you said that you expected to be in the bottom 3 every week. But you need a lot more training before you can match those All-Stars. Maybe you would have had a steeper “growth journey” in another season, but in this one, you’ve been extremely lucky to get this far. It’s sad – but wise of you! – that you recognize this.

-SOOO COOOL to have Christina Perri performing “Jar of Hearts” Jar on the show, since our love for her single enabled her to quit her job and concentrate on her music. I love that we all contributed to her career. It really gives me hope that we may see Black Gold on to perform “Shine” Shine. I’m thinking they can do the very last elimination live with all the eliminated dancers dancing as they perform. That’d be cool, like it was UBER cool to see Allison and Neil dancing to Christina’s song. Highlight of the night for me.

-There’s Ashley. Finally. Blah blah blah from the judges. WAIT. Nigel talks about Michael Jackson and kinda refers to him in the present tense. Is Nigel one of those who believe MJ is still alive somewhere? Or just that his spirit is always with us and hence, present? Hmmm.

-Ashley needs 3-5 weeks of rest, so she’s out. Yup, I knew it. Sad. But, at least the mentioned that they want her healed up for the tour…

-…which will include SEASON 6, SEASON 7 AND ALL-STAR DANCERS!! Hurrahhh! Probably, some dancers (ahem, Jakob) have gotten contracts since their seasons and so won’t be available for the tour, so they’ll be able to include the best of the two seasons. And with Alex unable to perform…

-Awww, Cat kinda whisperes, “We want you on the tour. We want you to get better.” I love Cat. And she refuses to let Ashley apologize to us for being injured. LOOVE CAT. πŸ™‚

-Awww, Ashley is crying so hard she can barely talk. Ah, Ashley, you’re my favorite. Get well for the tour.

That it for me. How about you?

July 15, 2010 I Written By

SYTYCD Season 7 Top 7 Performance Thoughts/Power Ranking

Well, this is the first week where predicting tomorrow’s result is easy…but typing it is difficult. Coming to terms with it is difficult.

Top Two

Kent – He had a great night. He really delivered energy and personality (and skillz!) next to Neil. I don’t think he outdanced Neil as Nigel claimed, but he definitely kept up. And he did what I thought was impossible and developed some real chemistry with Adechike in a great male-male contemporary. He’s maturing, but still keeping his personality, which is the right combination with this show. The cheers are so loud while he dances that I don’t know how he hears the music. He’s safe.

Lauren – She gets a lot of flak, but since my only sorta formal dance training is in belly dance, I have to say that the stuff she did in that Tahitian dance is HARD! You have to have incredible core control to do all of the thigh/knee stuff she was doing (she was doing shimmies while crouching, with her legs at different angles! Normally, you take a pretty solid stance when shimming, that would’ve put a lot of strain on her stomach and back, but it was all really smooth.) Not to mention she kept the tail on her costume bumping and that is seriously hard to sustain. The really impressive part is that no part of her body or face was telegraphing how hard she was working to do that. As impressive as I found all of that (I barely looked at Mark and that’s SAYING something), the real winner of the night was her Mandy Moore jazz with Billy. These two should dance together for the rest of their lives. I totally saw what Cat said about Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney. It was so effervescent and fluid and just fun. Loooooved it. Lauren can be really annoying in her interviews, but she continues to impress me with her dancing.

Middle Two

Billy – He’s been getting a lot of flak lately, too, after being a huge early fan favorite. He gained something back tonight he’s been missing for a while. He was so relaxed. He seemed to be enjoying himself – just plain enjoying himself and that brought back the Billy that I love. He had jive with Anya and was a strong, matched partner to her. They had great chemistry, which hasn’t been his strong suit lately. But, of course, the second of his routines, with Lauren, was just incredible, as I mentioned above.

Robert – I think every single one of his fans are going to take nothing for granted and VOTE like crazy to keep him out of the Bottom 3. He’s been there too often. There’s a good chance he’ll be there again, but I think he’ll be saved by Ashley going home due to her injury. As for his routines – I really liked the Travis Wall contemporary, but I think that the judges/producers tried to hard to make an “Emmy moment” out of it because it was about Travis’s mother’s illness and it was so heartfelt. That almost ruined it for me. It was very reminiscent of Tyce’s breast cancer peace, in my opinion. Especially the opening walk of the two characters. I absolutely adored the walk at the end and the symbolism behind it, but while I think it was well-danced by Allison and Robert, I think Travis has deserved an Emmy more with other routines. I’m glad he shared something so personal with us, but I resented being told to feel about it. I felt the same way with Tyce’s breast cancer piece, actually, and liked it more when I saw it on SYTYCD UK with less fanfare. His disco with Kathryn was a lot of fun. It had it’s problem spots but when you consider they probably only had a day or so to practice together, very good.

Bottom Three

Ashley – is in the EXACT same place Alex was last week. The same place Jessica King was in a few years ago. If her injury is what I’ve heard it is… she’s almost 100% going home tonight. Which makes me very, very sad because she quickly became my favorite once the performance shows started.

Adechike – Okay, so Chike hasn’t been getting much love from me. I’ve acknowledged that he’s a great dancer, but I feel that he doesn’t connect to his partners. His salsa with Anya was horrific – even though there were tiny patches that were pretty incredible. However, I *finally* saw what everyone else sees in him when he danced contemporary with Kent. He had chemistry with Kent!! I loooved this Dee Caspary routine. I thought Chike was so comfortable with Kent in the interview and that really played out in their performance. It was the first time I thought he got everything right. However… I think it’s too little too late. It’s only one solid performance in a night with two performances and after a pretty lackluster season. I think there’s gonna be some Chike backlash this week after all the gossip and controversy. I think he’ll be safe though, since Ashley’s almost certainly going home.

Jose – If Ashley weren’t surely going home, I’d bee 98% certain that this was Jose’s week to leave us. He was flat and unimpressive in his Broadway and he disappointed in his own style next to All-Star Dominic. I found the routine entertaining (the breaking), but it wasn’t everything it was built up to be. Just as Jose is not everything he’s been built up to be. Even the judges had to admit, after his Broadway, that he needs training and polish. He needs to layer dance on top of his gymnastics and tricking.

Some last thoughts before I go –

-I looove that Cat is speaking up more about her opinions. Her comments re: Billy and Lauren reminding her of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland was spot on. πŸ™‚

-I kinda liked the disco tonight and there were lots of crazy hard things in there. But…isn’t there at least one single other disco choreographer in the entire world? I’m very tired of Doreana Sanchez’s choreography. And here’s why – I think the style is already so limited that to have just one choreographer makes it very, very boring. It’s basically all the same routine!! And if there aren’t any other choreographers for disco, maybe that’s a hint that the style is played out. Dry. Done.

-We had a lot of male-male numbers tonight (what with Ashley out and Lauren being the last girl in the race, likely) and they were doozies! Loved Kent and Neil’s baseball routine! As well as Kent and Adechike’s contemporary. The Jose/Dom “battle” was aiiiright. Until they made Dom bow to Jose and I was S’okay. We all saw who left with the sword. πŸ™‚

-I think it took changing all the rules for the producers and all of us to realize what we love best about the show. I’m glad we’ve had this mix-up because it’s shown us that bringing back All-Stars and same-gender routines really do work. But it’s also shown us that we really like seeing the contestants grow together in partnerships and that the producers need to be careful not to overproduce = manipulate us. If they can even help it at this point.

– I’m *very* sad I didn’t get to see Ashley dance this week and that she’ll probably be leaving.

-It was a good week for dance, even if Alex wasn’t there. I think a lot of the dancers realized they could actually win and kicked it up a notch this week. It’s a weird season. All the rules changed and now all bets are off.

July 14, 2010 I Written By

SYTYCD S7 Top 7 Performance Music

Here’s hoping there’s some GRRRRRREAT music tonight, as there has been before in the season. With Alex eliminated due to injury last week and Ashley sitting out due to a broken rib tonight, music is pretty much the only thing this season’s got going for it…

Dancer: Lauren Froderman
All-Star: Mark Kanemura
Style: Tahitian dance
Choreographer: Tiana Liufau
Song: Last Voices’ “Jungle” – Jungle

Dancer: Adechike Torbert
All-Star: Anya Garnis
Style: Salsa
Choreographer: Liz Leary
Song: Eddie Palmieri’s “Oyelo Que Te Conviene” – Oyelo

Dancer: Jose Ruiz
All-Star: Courtney Galliano
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Joey Dowling
Song: John C. Reilly’s “Mister Cellophane” from “Chicago” – Mister

Dancer: Robert Roldan
All-Star: Allison Holker
Style: Travis Wall
Choreographer: Contemporary
Song: Coldplay’s “Fix You” – Fix

Dancer: Billy Bell
All-Star: Anya Garnis
Style: Jive
Choreographer: Louis van Amstel
Song: Meatloaf’s “Paradise By the Dashboard Light” – Paradise

Dancer: Kent Boyd
All-Star: Neil Haskell
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: “Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo” from Damn Yankees – Shoeless

Dancers: Billy Bell and Lauren Froderman
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Song: KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Boogie Shoes” – Boogie

Dancers: Jose Ruiz and Dominic Sandoval
Style: Breakdancing
Choreographer: Nappytabs
Song: District 78’s “Battle for the Beat” – Battle

Dancers: Kent Boyd and Adechike Torbert
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Dee Caspary
Song: Tom McRae’s “You Only Disappear” – You

Dancers:Robert and Kathryn (for Ashley)
Style: Disco
Choreographer: Doreana Sanchez
Song: Dan Hartman’s “Instant Replay” – Instant

You can check out all Season 7’s music here.

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SYTYCD S7 Top 7 Discussion

With Alex out of the competition and with Ashley out of the dancing tonight due to a broken rib (can she come back next week with that?!?!), I just don’t know about the rest of this season. My favorites are dropping like flies. They better bring back some amazing All-Stars to make me feel better. And I hear thatΒ  Louis Van Amstel, Dmitry Chaplin AND Travis Wall are choreographing tonight, which makes me happy. The only way things on the choreography front could be better is if Wade’s doing the group number tomorrow…

Oh, here’s the place for all your thoughts going into tonight’s show, by the way.

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