Thursday, June 23, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance Recap: The Top 20 Perform (again)!

Because Nigel was feeling nice last week and didn't cut any dancers, the top 20 performed once again. Maybe it was because most of the dancers had to step out of their style or maybe because the choreography was bland, but overall I was unimpressed with last night's episode. Here is my live play-by-play of the episode in case you missed it

Here are my favorite routines in order...

1) Sasha & Alexander Lyrical Hip Hop: Thank the Lord, Napoleon & Tabitha have returned! They are masters of this style and nobody does it like them, in my opinion. This piece about a soldier returning home from war to his emotionally tormented wife was poignant, particularly after the President's announcement before the the show about withdrawing troops in 2012. Many thought Sasha was too aggressive and too hard-hitting, but I really think that was a character choice and it showed that her husband's absence left her feeling tortured from the inside-out. Alex looked a little dead-faced like he did last week and he really needs to up his performance level to meet Sasha's. They should be 100% safe tonight.

2) Jordan & Tadd Viennese Waltz: I cannot even believe I'm picking a ballroom style as my 2nd favorite but it was just a huge surprise for me how well they did. I mean Tadd is a b-boy, all he does is freestyle, and I was shocked to see how incredible his posture and body carriage was. He looked so elegant and he was there for his partner. He even had the proper rise and fall. Jordan was fine, but Tadd definitely pulled focus. She had a little too much sass and not quite enough polish in my opinion. Wardrobe also did a poor job with her, putting her in a costume that made her look stocky when in fact she is not. They should be safe tonight.

3) Miranda & Robert Hip Hop: I was just so excited for the return of Tabitha & Napoleon last night! I love their choreography, but even more, I love that they are constantly coming up with new concepts. I could be wrong, but it always seems like they come up with their themes and then find music to fit, rather than letting the music and lyrics dictate the movement. I mean a daddy and a baby woodpecker? You can't get much more out of the box than that. This is Robert's style, but Miranda did her best to keep up and showed her grit when she got back up after eating it on a flip. I'd have them as safe, but they could potentially be in danger.

4) Caitlynn & Mitchell Conemporary: I hate that Stacey Tookey can't come up with anything but love stories or love stories gone wrong for her contemporary routines, but I'm ranking this routine high simply for its  movement quality. I've decided that I'm no longer going to expect great concepts from Stacey. I'm going to look at her routines strictly as movement for movement's sake. Caitlynn & Mitchell are a fantastic pair and it was great to see them dance together. They have great lines, extension and lift in jumps and leaps. The movement was gorgeous and flowed well with the music but the concept was tacky and so was that stupid lamp on stage. The chairs would have sufficed.

5) Melanie & Marko Jazz: This routine should have been great on paper but in no way shape or form should Sing Sing Sing ever be updated. Mandy Moore could have played with putting contemporary movement to a classic song  without actually choosing a techno version. Melanie & Marko did a great job with the intricate choreography and they looked quite polished. I didn't even see the moment when Marko dropped the hat. The one thing that bugged me about the piece was that we could tell right away when a jump or lift was coming because of the big preparation. I think they should be safe tonight, not only because it was a solid routine, but also because of the huge response to their statue routine last week.

6) Ryan & Ricky Jazz: I love these two and it was hard for me to be critical of the routine but it just was not good enough. There were issues in ever way possible from the stale choreography and 80s-tacular song choice to the costume malfunctions. One thing I also noticed last night is that Ryan & Ricky are nearly the same height which can be awkward visually. We'll see how that works when they draw their first ballroom routine. Another thing I noticed is that Ryan, though she makes up for it in heart, lacks a bit of polish. She is a little clunky and heavy in her movements and hasn't yet mastered how to use her long limbs to her advantage. I hate to admit it but they may be in danger tonight

7) Iveta & Nick Bollywood: I grew to love Nick even more in this routine because of his dedication and commitment. He was 150% into the routine and his energy made us all believe that he actually knew what he was doing. He keeps tweeting that his dream is to dance with Allison Holker and he seems dead set on making the top 10. Iveta on the other hand, brought the routine down with her lack of energy and commitment. She was half a beat behind Nick the entire routine and never finished her movements or extended her limbs. Mary proclaimed her the Queen of the ballroom, which may be true, but in something outside of her own style she just looked uninterested. I give Nick an A for effort but I don't know that my goodwill alone can keep them safe tonight.

8) Ashley & Chris Broadway: I get where  Spencer Liff was going with this and I do praise him for creativity, but it was much much too literal. I think this may have worked as a jazz or contemporary piece with a song about longing or being kept apart, but using Cry Baby's "please Mr Jailer" took away all the suspense and drama. It was danced well enough but the bars limited the choreography. It was more posing and doing tricks on the bars than actual full-bodied movement. I think that it was sassy and flashy enough that they'll probably be safe tonight.

9) Clarice & Jess Contemporary: This piece was blah blah blah for me. I'll give Stacey Tookey credit for coming up with a stronger theme (Prince & Princess) in this piece but if they hadn't been in those costumes, I would have had no idea that was the concept because nothing in the music or movement backed it up. They really struggled with the lifts, which surprises me because Jess has been on Broadway 3 times and he should know how to partner. I think a lot of it may be his ego and Clarice is suffering because of it. As Nigel said, they did a phenomenal routine last week that put them in the bottom 3 so after this mediocre showing, I assume they'll be there again.

10) Missy & Wadi Cha Cha: This routine was just all kinds of wrong. A) Jean-Marc said upfront that this was the hardest routine he's ever done for the show. Why then would he use it for week 2 and with  non-ballroom dancers? B) The song was annoying and obnoxious. C) Wadi tried but his upper body was so weak and he seemed to be behind Missy the whole time. D) Missy's "come hither" faces were so unnecessary. You can do that if the routine is flawless but when its not, well then that's just tacky. I'm not picking on them but if they don't end up in the bottom 3, then something is wrong.

No comments:

Post a Comment