So You Think You Can Dance – finale!

Tonight is the final batch of performances we’ll see from Lauren, Kent, and Robert before a winner of So You Think You Can Dance season 7 is crowned tomorrow night. I’ve been rooting for Lauren all season, and I hope she’s the big winner — she is simply fantastic (and I always want a girl to win… girl power!). Kent is still adorable but has a lot of growth ahead of him in his dancing, though his teeny bopper following will surely leave him in the top two. Robert is very good, but I’ve felt very “meh” about his connection with his dances and partners all season.

Robert, Lauren, and Kent

I’ve heard mixed reviews of the season overall, but generally I’ve been entertained. I really enjoyed having the all-stars on the show this year, if for no reason other than having the opportunity to see some of my favorites dance again (Twitch & Allison, mostly). I think there were some growing pains throughout the season to make the all-star aspect work, but I think it panned out nicely and I am glad that good competitors haven’t been pulled down by weak partners due to unlucky match-ups. I think it’s actually ruled out the weaker dancers earlier in the season, because they can’t hide behind their more seasoned partners.

Clearly, it would have been the Alex Wong show had he not become injured weeks ago; there is no denying that he’s spectacular, but I think it has been slightly more exciting to see the competition unfold after his departure, now that it is anyone’s game. It’s a bummer that so many of the girls were voted off early this season, leaving it mostly guys and Lauren for the last several weeks, but I guess that’s what happens with a mostly-female fan-base.

Who are you rooting for?

So You Think You Can Dance is back!

If you’ve kept up with this blog for a little while, you know that I am a die-hard So You Think You Can Dance fan. I have been since season one, when not many people watched and when the host was sucky (the fantastic Cat Deeley is now half the reason I watch). I used to do weekly recaps, but it got to be a little too much, so now I just like to check in from time-to-time to chat SYTYCD to any other addicts out there.

When I first heard that season 7 was going to have a new format, with only a top 10 making it past the Vegas auditions and “all-star” cast members returning to the show to round out 20 dancers, I was hesitant. I don’t like change. I always liked the show the way it was before, so why change it? Then they announced who the all-stars would be, and I quickly changed my tune. Neil! Twitch! Allison! Courtney! Pasha! (Among others.) Amazing.

On Wednesday night, the top 10 were chosen (but it’s actually the top 11 because they just couldn’t narrow the guys down to 5). Last night was the first performance show of the season, and it did NOT disappoint. I can breathe easier — the show I love and look forward to every summer is back!

So far in the top 11, I am loving Kent, Lauren, Billy, and Cristina. You can learn more about all of the dancers here and here. Oh, and for regular SYTYCD updates on dancers past and present, I love SYTYCDism.

I’m looking forward to seeing the first week of competition next week; who are you rooting for?

following the famous

By now, I’m sure it comes as no surprise to you that I have a little obsession with popular culture. Ask me who sings an obscure 80s song, and the answer will come out of my mouth before I even have to think about it; mention Julia Roberts, and I’ll tell you the name of her twins (Phinnaeus and Hazel, in case you didn’t know); ask who Carly Simon wrote “You’re So Vain” about, and I’ll tell you that only she and one other person knows the right answer, but a lot of people think it’s about Warren Beatty (and I’ll also remind you that Mick Jagger sings back-up on that song).

Sometimes I surprise even myself with the useless pop culture knowledge that resides in my brain. I cannot find my way to my friends’ houses without my GPS, but I can tell you that the girl who plays Brittany on Glee was actually one of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” backup dancers at the American Music Awards, and she was cut from season two of So You Think You Can Dance in the Vegas round. The first time I saw Mad Men, I immediately recognized Betty Draper (played by January Jones) as one of the American girls from the scene at the bar with Collin in “Love, Actually,” where she probably had all of 4 minutes of screen-time. I love watching obscure performers get their big breaks, make names for themselves and pursue their dreams, and I love having “known” them when they were just getting started.

I don’t even know why I know this stuff. It’s like a sickness.

But I can’t help it. I LOVE pop culture. And the internet only feeds my obsession. Twitter makes it oh-so-easy to know what celebrities are doing at all times. Blogs make it fun to see what they’re really thinking (like the hilarious Ingrid Michaelson, the tree-hugging Jason Mraz, and the average girl next door Kelly Clarkson, whose open letter to Kanye West written after the MTV VMA debacle is priceless). People.com keeps me constantly in the loop with the latest happenings in Hollywood. I do draw the line at TMZ and Perez Hilton, though — let’s keep it classy, ya know?

The way I explain it to Nick is that I love peeking into the lives of celebrities because, sometimes, compared to their crazy lives, it makes me feel very normal. And there is nothing wrong with normal. Plus, ya know, I like to see what they’re wearing.

Are you a pop culture fiend?

America’s favorite dancer…. {spoiler alert!}

… is Russell? Wow. Don’t get me wrong. I love me some Russell. Charismatic, adorable, humble and super talented. I looked forward to his performances each week. But Jakob is like… UNFATHOMABLY talented. Boy’s got skills I have never quite seen on this show. I really thought the top two would be Kathryn and Jakob and that Jakob would take home the win. I was wrong.

Then again… Jakob and Kathryn are contemporary dancers and they will probably have an easier time getting jobs and offers from companies with the exposure the show provided them, even without a win… as a krumper, the win is a huge boost to Russell’s lesser-known specialty and will probably allow him to make a career out of dance that he may not have had otherwise.

What do you think, So You Think You Can Dance fans? Did America pick the right dancer?

SYTYCD season 6 | top 14

I think it’s finally happened — So You Think You Can Dance finally got it’s mojo back!

Did you feel it, too? Tuesday’s performance show was the first time this season that I felt really excited and inspired by the dancers and the choreography. Honestly the only dance I didn’t like was Karen and Kevin’s, and the judges were pretty much on the same page there. I was blown away by Ellenore and Ryan, totally impressed by Kathryn and Legacy, and pleasantly surprised by Jakob and Ashleigh. Although their dance got mixed reviews, I really dug Channing and Victor. Overall, it was the kind of dancing and choreography that I feel like this season has been lacking thus far.

I thought the group performance on Wednesday’s results show was nothing short of spectacular (thank you, Wade Robson), but I was really bummed later in the evening to find out that Channing got the boot — I really liked her and thought Karen should have gone home — but Kevin’s departure was expected. His technique just isn’t where it should be at this point in the competition.

What did you think? Are you back on the bandwagon (if you had taken a brief jump off)?

SYTYCD season 6 | top 16 (and some thoughts)

So. Clearly I’ve been a little busy since it took me several days to find time to watch the last two episodes of So You Think You Can Dance from this week. And while I’m used to watching in the summer when there are less new shows on and less craziness going on in life, I have to say that I’m still feeling iffy about this season. So much so that I kind of don’t really feel like writing even a half-assed recap, as I’ve done the last two weeks.

I mentioned last week that I am disenchanted by the number of props being used, the new set that seems to inhibit interesting camera work, and the distracting backgrounds flashing on the screen behind each dance (not to mention the overwhelmingly icky lighting). All of that, combined with lackluster choreography so far (with the exception of a few great Stacey Tookey numbers, a Wade Robson number, and a few other gems), just has me feeling very “meh” about this season. And it pains me to say that, as this show has been a favorite of mine for the last five seasons. I don’t really know if it also has to do with the dancers — I think I’ve been so distracted by the other things I DON’T like about this season that I’ve had a hard time even focusing on the dancers.

What do you think? Are you losing interest in SYTYCD this season?

SYTYCD season 6 | top 18

Sorry for the delay with this… been a busy few days!

Thoughts:

  • Noelle’s voice is a little grating. And her dancing did not do much for me.
  • I was surprised by how much I liked the Viennese Waltz that Ashleigh and Jakob performed. Definitely a highlight, and I’m disliking her less than I have so far this season. Jakob is phenomenal.
  • I cannot stop looking at Bianca’s unpointed feet. Yuck.
  • Is it me or does the camera work suck this season?
  • I liked the Bollywood number, but I could do without all the props this week. They just become distracting when each couple only gets a short amount of time to dance.
  • Even though their samba was a little off, I really like Channing.
  • I found NappyTab’s choreography for Karen and Kevin almost offensive. Really, how many booty rolls can there be? This is a DANCE competition. Not a booty-off.
  • Thank you, Stacy Tookey. That amazing contemporary number that Kathryn and Legacy performed is the kind of choreography I’ve been looking for this season! I think they’re a favorite couple of mine.
  • Mary should not wear that dress ever again.
  • Absolutely loved Wade’s number, but what else is new… he’s a genius. I found the artwork background very distracting, though. Too many changes this season with the set and they have not proven to be postive ones.
  • Ellenore danced like a pro with her dress stuck to her shoe through most of her tango with Ryan! They have a very professional look about them when they dance.
  • The show most definitely improved overall towards the end.

Tonight’s dances and my grades:

  1. Noelle + Russell | Hip Hop | “Move Shake Drop Remix” | C
  2. Ashleigh + Jakob | Viennese Waltz | “At Last” | A-
  3. Bianca + Victor | Broadway | “Maybe God Is Trying to Tell You Something” | B-
  4. Mollee + Nathan | Bollywood | “Azeem O Shaan Shadenshah” | B+
  5. Channing + Phillip | Samba | “Maracatu Funk ” | B-
  6. Karen + Kevin | Hip Hop | “Ice Cream Paint Job” | B-
  7. Kathryn + Legacy | Contemporary | “2 Steps Away” | A
  8. Pauline + Peter | Jazz | “Little Green Bag” | A
  9. Ellenore + Ryan | Argentine Tango | “Violentango” | A

SPOILER ALERT | Bottom 4 and Going Home
Bottom 4: Noelle, Bianca, Victor, Phillip
Going Home: Bianca and Phillip
I think it was Bianca’s time to go… her technique is just not strong enough to last in this competition. I’m surprised that Phillip is going home, although I don’t think Victor should have gone; the guys are all really strong this year but I think Kevin could have been a contender for the bottom 4. I can’t believe that Phillip’s father died a week and a half before he got voted off… I had no idea.

SYTYCD season 6 | top 20

Thoughts:

  • Wow, Billy Bell AND Noelle are out? Well, Noelle may be back next week if her injury heals, but that knee brace sure doesn’t look very promising. I like her, though — hope she gets another chance.
  • I like Channing’s stage presence. Although it was far from perfect, I think she stole the jive number… Phillip who?
  • Jakob. Whoa. Where did he come from, and why didn’t I notice him before???
  • Ashleigh’s hands were icky. Like, Michelle Kwan icky. (I was always distracted by her bad hands when she skated.)
  • Oh, Peter. Your accent makes me ashamed of being a Philadelphian. And your dance with Ariana didn’t do a lot for me.
  • I really like Russell and I hope he can make it past losing his partner in the first week. I think he’s charming.
  • SO excited Travis is back choreographing! Love him! Beautiful piece, just wish Bianca had better technique. Point your damn toes, girl! (I wrote that before Adam said it, thankyouverymuch.)
  • I love that there is a “Glee” song on the show. Did not really like the dance to “Push It,” though. What is Mary screaming about??
  • Ellenore rocks. Aside from the fact that I don’t really like Ryan’s personality, I could find nothing wrong with their dance. Amazing.
  • I don’t remember Brandon at all from Vegas. I think he and Pauline have cute chemistry.
  • I like Kathryn, despite her annoying crying in the final round of Vegas. She surprised me with hip hop like Jeanine did last season. I see her going far.
  • I was rooting for Mollee over the last few weeks, but I think her youth and inexperience showed in the disco. It seemed sloppy in many parts, although it is SUCH a fast dance and difficult for the first top 20 show, so the judges seemed to overlook the sloppiness.

Tonight’s dances and my grades:

  1. Channing + Phillip | Jive | “Rockin’ Robin” | B-
  2. Ashleigh + Jakob | Broadway | “Hit Me With a Hot Note” | B+
  3. Ariana + Peter | Hip Hop | “Black & Gold” | C+
  4. Noelle (sub: Melanie) + Russell | Fox Trot | “Vagabond Shoes” | B+
  5. Bianca + Victor | Contemporary | “Wasted Time” | B-
  6. Karen + Kevin | Cha Cha | “Push It” | C+
  7. Ellenore + Ryan | Contemporary Jazz | “Arcadia” | A
  8. Pauline + Brandon | Smooth Waltz | “You Light Up My Life” | B-
  9. Kathryn + Legacy | Hip Hop | “On & On” | A-
  10. Mollee + Nathan | Disco | “Turn The Beat Around” | B

SPOILER ALERT | Bottom 4 and Going Home
(So, this is how they’re gonna do it with the World Series coming up… nuts!)
Bottom 4: Ariana, Pauline, Brandon, Russell (wha????)
Going Home: Ariana and Brandon (thank goodness it’s not Russell… phew!)

so you think you can dance, season 6!

I love the fact that I no longer have to wait until summertime for my favorite show in the history of ever… yup, So You Think You Can Dance is back for season six, its first fall season!

I’m really liking that they’re changing things up a bit and making the first top 20 show a showcase of all the dancers, sans competition. The real competition will begin tomorrow night (Tuesday)… although I don’t know how the first two weeks are going to go with the World Series being shown on Fox. Anyone have the scoop?

Overall I am not sure how I feel about this group; hopefully I’ll warm up to them soon. Nathan, Russell and Mollee are standouts for me at the moment, but I’m still a little bummed that my favorite, Paula, didn’t accept her spot in the top 20. I hope her movie career makes it worth it, because she was simply spectacular and I think could have easily won this season based on how amazing she was in Vegas.

What did you think of tonight’s top 20 showcase? Any favorite routines or dancers thus far?

UPDATE: top 20 dancer Billy Bell has bowed out of the competition due to an undisclosed illness. Read more here.

PS – Since things tend to be a bit crazy for me this time of year, I won’t be doing full SYTYCD performance recap posts each week, like I did last season; however, I will still post a few thoughts after each show with the hopes of inspiring some friendly discussion in the comments!

America’s favorite dancer

You KNOW I am beyond thrilled with the winner of last night’s So You Think You Can Dance finale….

Jeanine Mason!

I clapped like a little child when she won.

It was SUCH a great finale show with encore performances of some of our favorite pieces throughout the season, and of course my favorite, Jeanine, was named “America’s favorite dancer.” I loved her “acceptance speech” and the fact that they left enough time to actually talk to her after the win (as opposed to past years where they just bring on the confetti and chaos and head right to the 10:00 news). I can’t wait to see her and the rest of the top 10 on tour!

And in case you need a refresher, this is why Jeanine is awesome.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GY5_re0HLI]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixmjV3NmEWM]