So You Think You Can Dance: And the winner is. . .

Season 8's top 20 one last time.

I’m still pretty bummed about the way things went down last night, but I’ve been reminded that the season finales very rarely provide us with stellar numbers (on my own top 20 list only one -Jeanine & Kayla’s Mia routine from Season 6 – comes from the final competition episode). I think fatigue has a lot to do with it which is unfortunate, but hopefully tonight the final four – Melanie, Tadd, Marko and Sasha – will bring a more relaxed energy. At the very least they won’t be required to do ALL of the heavy lifting tonight.

Some wicked leaps to start off the show.

Top 20 Group Performance, performed to “Wanna Get Hype” by District 78: I’m going to assume that the use of District 78 means this is a Sonya routine, also, the costumes and hair are very S&M dark which is a pretty Sonya trait. But the style of the choreography is more classical than Sonya normally uses so that makes me doubt it. But NICK is there!!! All is right with my world. Perhaps if Nick had been given a couple of chances rather than just the one week, I would feel differently, but he definitely got cut before his time. I loved the moment that our final four emerged from the back of the stage. (For the record, I totally guessed right about Sonya being the choreographer. I rock at this show.) Continue reading

So You Think You Can Dance: The Final Four didn’t exactly “bring it”

Man, oh man was Katie Holmes a waste of space at the judges table last night.

The So You Think You Can Dance season 8 2 part finale is upon us and my expectations of the final four – Melanie, Marko, Tadd & Sasha – is very high.  All season long, we’ve heard that Melanie and Sasha are the two greatest female dancers ever to dance on this show about dance and while I appreciate both girls’ skill, I feel as though they’ve been shoved down our throats a bit and that worries me.  I do believe that going into this show, Marko and Tadd are just glad to have made it this far and they should be proud, although I think the boys’ field of contestants was definitely weaker than the girls.  But first things first – Cat’s makeup looks gorgeous!  I wish she was wearing a flirtier dress with it, but still.  Gorgeous.  She must be kicking things up a notch in order to celebrate the finale.  Instead of the little dances as intros, Melanie, Sasha, Marko and Tadd sort of stalk up the stage all confident like.  We must have a lot of dancing to fit in if they can’t even take a few seconds to do a little jig while Cat says their name (and we do – each contestant will dance with an all star, each other and a solo for a total of 20 routines tonight!).  Tonight the Mary and Nigel are joined by Kenny Ortega and Katie Holmes (who has the prettiest hair on the planet). Continue reading

So You Think You Can Dance: Who is in the final four?

I was really impressed with how well this number suited 6 dancers.

Top 6 Group Routine, performed to “Grown Unknown” by Lia Ices: There is a tap background to this song and it is only serving as a reminder of how much we lost when Nick was axed.  The flower and the lighting make it sort of hard to see everyone, but luckily they change that pretty quickly.  This piece is really different from what we’ve seen before.  It makes very good use of the stage, but also makes sense with only 6 people.  I don’t feel like the choreography or music is begging for a bigger group of people.  It was kind of sweet and simple and had something special about it.  Plus, no one really stands out as separate from the group – they looked like a company of dancers rather than a bunch of soloists competing for the top spot..  It was choreographed by Justin Giles who we haven’t seen too much from.  It was a little cheesy ,with the flower worshiping and all that, but I don’t know.  I kind of loved it.

Ok, Cat gets an A+ for color but a C for the style. Without the cutouts at the waist it would have been a B.

Tonight on So You Think You Can Dance the group is going to be narrowed down from 6 dancers to just 4 who will perform in the finale competition next week.  Luckily the only vote that matters tonight is going to be America’s although Nigel gives some nonsense about the only reason that’s the case is because they can’t reveal the bottom four without revealing the top two dancers.  Whatever Nigel.  We are also going to get performances by Pia Toscano of American Idol, The Bad Boys of Dance and Lauren and Kent, last season’s winner and runner-up respectively.  But first, SOLOS! Continue reading

So You Think You Can Dance: The Top 6 Fight For A Spot in the Finale

This was one of the best judging panels of the season. There was some over-praising going on, but for the most part, they handed out some really measured critiques.

I can’t believe there are only 2 episodes left in this season of So You Think You Can Dance!  It feels like we’re just getting started (and I wish we were).  Tonight the dancers will be performing a routine with a fellow contestant, one with an All Star (who will all be a surprise since they weren’t announced last week) and a solo.  On hand to help Mary and Nigel this week are Christina Applegate and Lil C.  (Is it just me or has Mary become as orange as a Muppet as the season has worn on?)  I have to say, the celebrity judges this season have been, for the most part, very good.  They’ve been knowledgeable about dance, passionate about the show and overall, not afraid to tell a dancer when something was lacking.  Sure, a few of them have fawned over the contestants a little too much, but as the season has worn on, the guest judges have gotten better and better which has, in turn, made better judges out of Mary and Nigel.  I only wish they’d found some of those critical thinking skills BEFORE they eliminated Nick (yup. still bitter). Continue reading

So You Think You Can Dance: From 8 to 6

I feel like we haven't gotten any TRULY great group dances this season.

Top 8 Group Performance, choreographed by Tyce DiOrio, performed to “The Circus Sets Up” from the Water for Elephants soundtrack: I love the fanciful costumes and makeup for this performance.  In fact the whole staging for this piece is really different and fun.  As a dance though, it feels very disjointed and lacking in a central focus which makes it hard to really connect to.  I did like the final pose though with all of the dancers intertwined on the steps.  When I found out it was choreographed by Tyce I wasn’t surprised by the lack of focus.

I wish the judges would just hand the reins over to America and let them decide who goes home.

Once again the judges are making the final decision about who will go home.  Cat says that no one wants that job, but you know what Cat?  AMERICA DOES.  I know it’s silly to continue to harp on the fact that the producers aren’t letting America have the final say in this decision, especially because I don’t even call in and vote on a regular basis, but I think it was a bad move to take that decision away from the public and it takes some of the show’s allure away.  I don’t mind the judges making the final decision when we’re just starting out because they are judging not only on the performances but the potential they saw in the contestants that got them into the top 20 in the first place.  However, at this point, we’ve had 8 weeks to judge these dancers.  We know who we like.  They’re definitely going to have to change the slogan “the search for America’s favorite dancer” since it appears that it’s actually the search for Nigel’s favorite dancer. Continue reading

So You Think You Can Dance: The top 8 compete with Lady Gaga for the stage

Lady Gaga, Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and Rob Marshall sit in judgement of the top 8 dancers.

I really like Melanie and Caitlynn’s intro dresses, but why are all the contestants wearing shades of grey tonight?  Also, Jordan’s lipstick is WAY too dark.  Tonight, each of the dancers will partner with each other as well as with an all star adding up to 12 great dances headed our way.  Here to help Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe with the judging are Rob Marshall and (Sgt. Pepper on Acid) Lady Gaga.  Ok, I’ll say it: I am completely over Lady Gaga.  She just tries way too hard to be “edgy” and “controversial” and instead appears to me to be “ridiculous”. Continue reading

So You Think You Can Dance: And then there were 8

The group routine was definitely a little bit "Chorus Line".

Top 10 Dancers,  choreographed by Josh Bergasse (another first timer I think), performed to ”Act One: On Broadway” from Smokey Joe’s Cafe: I think this number would have been really cool with more people.  As it stands, the stage looks a little empty even when all 10 dancers are together.  I would have really liked this routine if the All Stars had joined them at some point – didn’t that happen last year on results night?  What is going on with the show this year?  Why do I feel like for every good decision the producers make (pairing the contestants together for the first five weeks before bringing on the All Stars) they make like three bad ones (more on that in the next paragraph)?  I do like the group routines where you can’t really tell who is who.  I think for these group routines, it’s best when no one dancer really stands out – it seems more fair.  This was a solid routine, but none of the group routines this season have really wowed me the way they have in the past.   Continue reading

So You Think You Can Dance: Enter The All Stars (Top 10)

Last night on So You Think You Can Dance the top 5 girls and the top 5 guys danced in new pairs – with one of our 9 All Stars – and performed solos (Melanie and Marko for the first time).  Joining Nigel and Mary on the judging panel this week was Neil Patrick Harris.  Personally, I thought he did an excellent job of staying pretty level-headed in his criticism and because of that Nigel and Mary both seemed more coherent as well.  Also, just in case you were wondering, tickets for the tour go on sale on July 29th (mom, are you listening?).

Marko & Chelsie danced a pretty smokin' samba.

Marko & Chelsie, Samba, choreographed by Jason Gilkison, performed to “Cinema Italiano” by Kate Hudson: I’m so excited to have a ballroom professional on our stage!  Chelsie looks awesome and by virgue of that, Marko looks really good as well.  He looks like he’s having a great time and is doing a good job of keeping his masculine energy while doing all of those hip swivels.  I loved all of the acrobatics that Jason incorporated into the dance while never losing the Samba of it all.  This really proves that Marko has all of the chops a dancer needs on this show.  I agree with Nigel that Marko didn’t lose any of the chemistry he had with Melanie by changing partners.  I think he did a really good job of keeping up with Chelsie, but man has she become a great dancer in the 4 years since she was on SYTYCD.  I know she was on Dancing With The Stars for a couple of seasons (and I think it’s great that she has been able to be an “expert” on both shows) which probably didn’t hurt her any.

Sasha, “Syrup & Honey” by Duffy: In the first solo of the night, Sasha once again proved that she has the most dynamic, expressive musicality of any performer.  Her solo was simply gorgeous.  I didn’t want it to end.  I love how quirky and charming she is when she dances.  I think she might need to add a few more levels to her performance because she stayed pretty close to the ground most of the time, but it was lovely. Continue reading

So You Think You Can Dance: Find out who’s going on tour & who the All Stars are this season

First of all, mad props to So You Think You Can Dance and its 8 (EIGHT!) Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Reality Host for Cat Deeley and Outstanding Reality Competition Program both for the first time.  They could not be more well deserved.  Now, let’s get rid of some dancers!

So dramatic!

The opening group number is set to “El Fuego” by Sean Peter featuring Oscar Jimenez.  Jordan is at the center of the stage wearing a ridiculously large red cape skirt which the boys billow in a very dramatic fashion.  This is kind of a very cool, theatrical piece what with the syncronized music and fans.  It’s nice now, that the dancers have been pared down a bit, to not really have any weak links.  Sure there are dancers that I prefer over others, but in these group numbers, they all create a cohesive unit that works really well.  I honestly have no idea who choreographed this number until Cat tells us it was a Kelley Abbey routine.  She’s new!  That’s why I didn’t know who it was.  Awesome. Continue reading

So You Think You Can Dance: The Top 12 have some shining moments (some not so shining too)

Nigel, Mary, Jesse and Sonya were surprisingly coherent, gave actual criticism and never over-praised. Highly impressive!

This week on So You Think You Can Dance is a pretty big deal.  It is the final cut before the top 10 and determines which dancers will be going on tour this summer.  I’ve been to the tour the last three seasons and it is well worth it to see these dances live.  Cat is looking very “boudoir barbie” tonight perhaps in celebration of the fact that the contestants will be dancing two routines this week.  Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Sonya Tayeh (making her debut on the judging panel which should be pretty interesting) are joining Nigel and Mary at the judges table.  Everything is happening much faster this week because we’ve got 12 dances to squeeze in, but it should be a fun ride!

Sasha & Alexander did a respectable job on the Paso Doble even if they didn't quite blow me away.

Sasha & Alexander, Paso Doble, choreographers Tony Meredith and Melanie Le Patin, performed to “Alley Dash/Marsh of the Trolls” by Taylor Long/Rick Powell : First of all, Melanie has been giving excellent commentary on EW.com that you should all check out (the link is to last week’s blog; this week’s isn’t up yet).  Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the show.  I’m super excited to see Alexander and Sasha dance something that is completely foreign to them and they’re doing a pretty good job of bringing the fierceness that the Paso Doble requires although they missed a few holds here and there and look ridiculous in their close hold.  Also, something about them feels clumsy and a little off balance.  Sasha still pulls the attention from Alex – she’s just one of those performers that exudes a strong energy.  I really liked the choreography, but felt Sasha and Alex didn’t necessarily dance it very well. Continue reading