Thursday, June 25, 2009

SYTYCD Review, 2009-06-24

So this week’s interview topic is: What would you be doing with your life if you weren’t a dancer?

Karla and Jonathan

She wants to be a journalist. He wants to be an acrobat. (Yeah, that’s so totally different from dancing.) They’re doing a David Scott hip-hop routine, which was quite meh. The unity was not very good, which the judges all point out later. Ability-wise, Karla’s way ahead of Jonathan, he was just trying to catch up. I enjoyed watching her, but generally I thought the whole thing was fairly forgettable. In the first week, Phillip was miles ahead of Jeanine in their hip-hop, but he somehow brought her up and made her look better. Unfortunately, Karla didn’t do that at all with Jonathan. However, I thought Nigel was overly harsh. Some of what he said was constructive criticism, but some of it was unnecessary, and I’m glad Cat called him on getting up on the wrong side of the bed. The juxtaposition of Toni Basil’s look and diction with her expertise on street dancing was pretty hilarious.

Asuka and Vitolio

Asuka makes jewelry. Vitolio wants to be in a band. Alas, the talent is so not there. This week they’re doing a Mandy Moore thrash/rocker/jazz routine, which sounds awful. I thought Asuka looked pretty good in rehearsal for someone who felt “completely out of her element”. She goes to pieces and Vitolio is unbelievably sweet comforting her. DH has been saying for a few weeks that “there’s something there” - I didn’t buy it, but now I find myself starting to think he could be right. Anyway, onto the routine. Not much unity, unfortunately. And, like their routine in Week One, it was technically good, but I found it emotionally underwhelming. The energy was very poor. There were lots of dead moments and meaningless movements; they didn’t remotely keep up with the energy of the song. Mind you, I didn’t think the choreography was anything to particularly get on board with, but they could have done WAY more with it. Note to Mary: It doesn’t matter if they LOOK like rock stars! They completely missed the boat in terms of giving the piece any life. So far, my impression is that when the theme of their number is deep (their waltz), they can express themselves, but when the theme is exciting and fun, they can’t bring any meaning to things. Toni gives good advice regarding technique vs. emotions.

Ade and Melissa

Melissa would teach Pilates, and Ade approves. He, meanwhile, would be a sound engineer, which we kind of already found out about in a previous episode. As proof of his expertise, he lowers the mike into Melissa’s face, which was very funny. They’re doing “international-style rumba” with Tony Meredith, and I thought it was quite well done. It lacked the all-out steaminess that we saw in a lot of the rumbas from last season (like, oh, say, ANYTHING WITH JOSHUA IN IT), but overall, very quality stuff. Not that it wasn’t steamy, but there was that final take-it-all-the-way quality missing which would have made it masterful. Perhaps it was just the chemistry between them that was not perfect? Or maybe I’m just totally nitpicking? Very good stuff, anyway. Melissa looked surprisingly like Vanessa Williams. Nigel makes a horrible but excellent pun on Ade’s name which I wish I’d thought of.

Janette and Brandon

Brandon wants to be a lighting and design dude. He wants to make things sparkly. Janette would be a bank and loan processor. Exciting stuff, if you like numbers. She desperately tries to convince us that numbers are indeed exciting, Hey, I’m buying it, but that’s just me and I’m a total money geek. Anyhoo, Dave Scott is back with more hip-hop, this time combined with rock n’ roll, in which Janette gets to make Brandon talk to the hand. We are told to expect rock/hip fusion. Janette tells us that Brandon has popping skillz and promises to “kill it”, which is generally an omen of pride-goeth-before-a-fall. But just three SECONDS, Janette gives Asuka and Vitolio a serious, SERIOUS lesson on how to really do the rock n’ roll vibe. That was the BEST, I loved it. Janette is a total star! Awesome routine from Dave Scott, and they completely owned it to boot. Thank you for bringing some life to the evening, guys! Couple to beat.

Kupono and Kayla

They have the waltz this week, which makes me think, urgh, easily could be kiss of death. Kayla would like to get into high-end modelling. Oh lordy, is she going to bounce from this to America’s Next Top Model? I hate it when people make reality shows their career. Kupono would do costume design. He reveals to us that being in the bottom three sucks. (Ya think?) Jean-Marc and his wife France are here to give them a Viennese waltz. It’s supposed to be dreamy, but there are tough lifts that don’t go so well at first in rehearsal. Jean-Marc begins to freak out. But, bring on the wind machine! Hm. Looks a lot like New York as opposed to Vienna. Kayla is pretty delicious in this routine. Kupono is graceful and debonnaire enough to look good with her. I liked it. Nigel makes a good point about it maybe not being exciting enough to make people pick up the phone, and I too hope he’s wrong. Mary actually chooses an excellently descriptive word: endearing. Toni points out that Jean-Marc is a daring and envelope-pushing little ballroom dude, as he made the bold move of eliminating footwear.

Evan and Randi

Randi wants to pursue a career in elementary education, and I have to say I can totally see her as a kindergarten teacher. Evan would own a custom car shop, which Randi can’t picture. But who cares, because they are the luckiest little couple ever, since they have Mia Michaels this week! Randi’s ass is the centrepiece of the dance. (As if Evan wasn’t worried enough about her husband beating the living crap out of him, thanks.) Mia interviews in rehearsals that she is not yet pleased. (Mia Has Spoken.) I thought the routine was a little weird. Technically wonderful, and I enjoyed it, but I’m not sure that it had exactly the right tone that Mia had intended. There were definitely a few very excellent moments (that long travelling dip was fahahahaaaabulous), but some weird moments, too, so I don’t think it was quite perfect. On the other hand, I’m critiquing this from the point of view of them being top of the pack, so whatever criticisms I make should probably be taken with a grain of salt. Nigel continues with the masterful puns (and there is a butt…). Mia’s haircut looks really slick, and the glasses make it look great. Toni makes an excellent point about the threat that Mia’s choreography ends up being the star - it’s quite true. And there were indeed points where I felt Randi and Evan were being a bit overshadowed by the choreography. But overall it was very good.

Caitlin and Jason

Broadcast journalism for Caitlin, apparently. DH remarks that she would make a cute little weather girl. Jason would be playing soccer. Caitlin thinks soccer players are hot, so Jason for the win. We’re doing paso doble with Jean-Marc and France! This will be a nightmare of epic proportions, despite the fact that I have every confidence in Jean-Marc’s choreography. The theme of the dance is that they hate each other’s guts, further convincing me that they will completely screw the pooch as I don’t believe Caitlin can dance hatred and passion to save her life. DH: What’s with the Conan costumes? She looks like a Xena reject! DH also remarks that he wouldn’t have recognized that as a paso doble if he hadn’t been told that’s what it was, and I have to agree. That was fairly bad. First of all, my prediction about Caitlin and her inability to do genuine mean proves totally true. Jason came the closest to trying to get the mood, but overall I totally didn’t believe the chemistry. The technique of their frames were for crap and Nigel has no freakin’ clue what he’s talking about there. Both of their shoulders were way too far forward. Thankfully, Mary points out the lack of posture, but she makes dire understatements along the lines of ‘You kinda lost your frame a coupla times’. Contrary to the judges, I didn’t think it was fearless at all. Maybe I just have a hate-on for Caitlin and her inability to do anything with depth. I’m also sick of seeing bad paso doble. I think the judges heard the powerfulness of the music and got confused, thinking the dancers were being powerful, when in reality, they didn’t remotely evoke the power of that gorgeous music.

Jeanine and Phillip

They get Broadway with Tyce DiOrio this week. Phillip wants to invent something that helps people. I unfortunately didn’t catch the whole thing about his career ambitions because DH was ranting about the Yarn Harlot’s airline fiasco blog entry I’d been reading to him during the commercial break. (Whoops.) Jeanine wants to be an actress. She and Phillip then reminisce about the nightmare that was their tango from last week, and can’t believe they were safe. (Neither can I, although I’m really glad.) Despite receiving undeserved audience love, they vow to redeem themselves. Phillip says it’s going to be tricky; Tyce tells him to get over himself and just jump over the goddamn sofa prop. Because of this move, everyone holds their breath for the live show. However, they needn’t have been nervous, because that was totally cute and entertaining, and Phillip easily cleared the couch. His energy did seem to dip a bit towards the end, but maybe that was because he felt his pants rip. :) After it’s over, he horks and coughs up a feather hairball. Nigel then subjects the poor boy to the humiliation of flashing his underwear-clad bum on national TV. (So not cool.) I don’t quite know what Nigel was going on about, because I thought Phillip was quite good. Mary reveals that she is allergic to down feathers, but sadly not enough that it prevents her from using her voice.

  • Best of the night: Janette and Brandon
  • Solid:
    • Evan and Randi
    • Kupono and Kayla
    • Ade and Melissa
  • Very good: Jeanine and Phillip
  • Bottom of the heap:
    • Caitlin and Jason
    • Karla and Jonathan
    • Asuka and Vitolio

I suspect Vitolio is toast. And for some reason, the judges adore Caitlin, so she’ll probably be safe, so it’ll probably come down to the solos for Karla or Asuka. Don’t know if they’ll play the we-have-too-many-contemporary-dancers card again in favour of Asuka or not. Personally, out of the bottom six that I’m predicting, I would probably get rid of Jonathan, and would definitely kick Caitlin to the curb.