Tuesday, October 7, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance

We've moved. Join us at our new location: SYTYCD.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

SYTYCD Grand Finale Results Open Thread

This is it.

SYTYCD Fan(s) of the week: Are male dancers sissies?

Some years ago, there was a lot of publicity centered on eating disorders in ballet dancers, and from the number of comments by Nigel about the masculinity of the male dancers (and the comments on his comments), it seems that homophobia is huge issue in the dance community, too.

But is Nigel really a homophobe, or is he just responding to a homophobic audience, anticipating them, and demanding that the guys dancing for him conform to the stereotype of virile, "butch" men, rather than fey, "sissy" men? I was wishing for some gender-bending dances (or "post-gender", as a commenter I quote herein says), but it doesn't look like that's going to happen in the mainstream dance world any time soon.

Consider these comments at AfterElton
Dan McCallum:
I'm not sure either about who's gay, but what is up with Nigel and his homophobia???!!! Is anyone else as annoyed as I am by his constant need to heterosexualize everything? Ugh. In case he doesn't know, the majority of men in the dance world are gay, and the dance world doesn't care and is very accepting of it. Nigel seems to be the anomoly.
Guillermo Serritiello:
One thing that we so agree on is Nigel, but I've beat that dead horse too long. He keeps trying to correlate "gay" with "flamboyant" AND "weak," and says the same tired thing that some of these "types" are not strong enough to do some of the required lifts or play a traditional role. Lots holes in his sweeping generalizations esp. in a field that is opening more and more each day as I see people wanting to see something exotic, organic, and at times even post gender. It also ignored how some gays are so good at play acting.
And then there's Sean Cheesman, a choreographer from Calgary slated to be one of the guest judges for SYTYCD Canada this fall.

In the video, note Sean’s comments to dancers at 3:00
“Crying does not work in this business. Get strong, now”; “Tell your problems to Jesus, because I don’t care”
and at 3:35, when he himself is in tears
[I’m feeling] “emotional now, and it’s because…we all know growing up as a male dancer isn’t easy, and if anybody says male dancers are sissies, they need to watch you dance.”

Robert Murraine in IKEA ads

Did you guys in the US see these ads last night, or were they shown only in Canada?

Here's the whole brilliant sequence (I love the argyle sweater):

And here's the article from his appearance on Canada AM where he talks about why he declined a spot in the top 20.

SYTYCD: And the winner is...

According to our exhaustive review of several (3) polls, it's going to be Katee.

Our sidebar poll - Katee: 34% Joshua: 31%
Yesterday's poll - Katee: 56% Joshua: 22%
Afterelton's poll - Katee: 53% Joshua: 28%

So, I'm curious:

Let's see what they have to say over at the LA Times Live Chat.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Nigel Lythgoe: "The public often gets it wrong"; Josh and Twitch hospitalized for dehydration

The Montreal Gazette:

"From my point of view, the public often gets it wrong on this program and American Idol," Lythgoe, who is an executive producer on both shows, told reporters in Los Angeles recently. "But, at the end of the day, they sort of put things right."

Series host Cat Deeley gives credit for that to the bond that viewers develop with certain dancers.

"I think that dance is the narrative that runs through the show," Deeley said, "but I think it's the human element that people actually identify with. And they're very interested when people get really difficult dances or when they're really challenged."

[T]wo of the four finalists [...] were hospitalized over the weekend after collapsing during rehearsal.

Mary Murphy: "The kids are completely dehydrated—two of them. I’m sure they’re doing a lot of blood work to see if there’s anything else."

Sunday rehearsals were called off.

"[The girls] could not rehearse as well, and so hopefully everybody is going to be in the same boat," Murphy said. "Hopefully everybody will be refreshed by having a full day off."

SYTYCD: Top 4 Open Thread and Poll

So that's where they went: I found the BSYTYCD gang over on Levy on TV.

After tomorrow, we'll be moving over to SYTYCD Canada. If you're in Canada and you want to help out, drop us a line here:

SYTYCD: Mark is a sweetie!

See how Mark reacts when Cat reads the results and Twitch doubles over as he realizes he's going to the final four.

SYTYCD Fans of the Week: 4 Real

Kelly O:
Hello friends! We don't have any recording cap[a]bilities either so it was great to see the show again. My four children and I are so in love with Joshua and Katee. As I told Ted one time, two of my kiddos looks like Joshua and two look like Katee so they have become such wonderful role models for my children Our one son looks at Joshua and says, "Mom, I can do that too?" Absolutely.. God willing! […] our 7 year old...he sees Will, Josh and Twitch and says "wow"...someone who looks like me doing such cool dance! We live in a very homogeneous town so shows like this give him a window to what can happen when you dream and work hard! :-)
demondoll replies:
My 7 yr old son is in love with this show and the dances! And it's funny- we too live in a pretty homogenous town, so that he can look at Mark and think it's cool to dance... it's all kinds of wonderful.

From last week's Top 6 Performance Open Thread on BSYTYCD.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Did I say Mark is dorky?

He could dance with these guys.

Travis And Benji SYTYCD - The best video clips are here

Thanks to the sadly defunct BSYTYCD for the link.

SYTYCD: Van Damme Gets Down, Gets it On

Thanks to dooce.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

BSYTYCD Going On Hiatus?

BSYTYCD Going On Hiatus? Well, we're just starting out, but if there are any refugees out there, we're not going anywhere. And we're not green.

SYTYCD: Episode 426 Results Poll and Open Thread

And welcome to all BSYTYCD refugees. Please make yourselves at home.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

SYTYCD: Episode 425 Open Thread

As far as I can tell, FOF thinks Chelsie is safe because she's the sexiest of the remaining women, and Katee's going home because she's not as hot as Courtney, but Mark will continue to get the BFF vote, while Joshua gets the anatomy vote, and Twitch loses out and toddles off with Katee.

No. That is not what's going to happen. FOF is out of his mind. Katee is not going home. How could Katee and Will both go home before the top 4? In the whole competition, can you imagine any other pair being able to pull of a pas de deux?
No, you can't.

Twitch is not going home, either, because he'll get the pity vote for his loss of composure last week.

My prediction: Mark is done, and so is Courtney.

If I'm wrong and FOF is right I hereby vow to slog blog my way through the upcoming SYTYCD Canada, provided FOF can come up with a suitable counter-wager.

Pissed-off Fan of the Week: From the Extreme to the Banal

Still in a state of disbelief over the elimination of Will, Stuph from Steph is considering a boycott.

Banal Fan of the Week eats breakfast while catching us up on the shocking events of the Results show. Or what he can remember of them.

UPDATE: I have no idea what TWOP is, but this site deserves special mention for SYTYCD I'm-not-sure-what of the Week.

Was Will Just Too Good for America?

FOF is wrong. It’s not that Mark’s girlfriends wannabe-BFFs were sticking up for him—it’s that people love underdogs, and Mark was in the bottom two the week before, so he got the rebound vote last week, just like Comfort got the rebound vote that kept her in it while Kherington went home.

My theory: Will went home because he was the best dancer. Doesn’t it make sense? If you’ve watched a few seasons of Survivor you know that eliminating the strong competition is a good strategy. People in general like to bring the top dog down, and boost the underdog up. Will had great technical skills, and he was a great partner. He was cool, charming, and classy. In short, Will was the best contender. That’s why America didn’t vote for him. As Nigel said during last Thursday’s results show: “Sometimes they’re so good, that America thinks, ‘I needn’t vote for them, I’ll vote for someone else.’”

Maddie and Janet think Will was overconfident (near the end).

Was Will overconfident? I don't think so. I think he was just that good.

FOF also seems to think it’s all about voting for sex, but if that were true, Will would still be in the top six, and one of the other guys would have gone home instead. Because Joshua? maybe when I was sixteen. No—not even then. It’s funny how guys can never figure out what women find attractive about other guys. Some of us think dorky guys are hot.

UPDATE: Maybe FOF is right, after all. SueB says that while she recognized Will's skills, she was just not that into him.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Voting For Mark

I just want to thank everyone who voted for Mark last week (for voting). I was voting for Mark too, and will be voting for him again, but not actually voting. So, I really do appreciate those of you who actually vote (for Mark).

Was it really a surprise that Mark didn't go home and that Will did? No, not to me, but yes, it was to my wife. Why? Well, the way I figure it, most any woman would pick Mark last among those final 4 guys to have sex with. So naturally she figures that's the way the votes will go. However, Joshua gets most all of the votes of the women who are voting purely on sex appeal (and that's most of the votes too) which levels the playing field for the rest of the guys who end up competing for the votes of the women who decide based on which guy they'd like to be "just friends" with. Mark is the easy favorite there. No risk of sexual tension whatsoever.

Of course Twitch is an affable sort. But here is where his sex appeal, while not overwhelming, ultimately works to Marks favor. That's why I predict that Mark is safe for another week (now that all of his girlfriends are sticking up for him) and Twitch, your time has come.

As for which of the girls is going home this week. Courtney, I'm sorry, but it has to be you. Or does it? You know, I think this is one of those times when the conventional wisdom is past its sell date. Courtney, I take it back. You are safe.

Katee, while no one expects it, I'm afraid your time is up. Yes, I'm going out on a limb, for sure, but I'm guessing that your fan base, while loyal, just isn't that big after all, and with Courtney's fans on notice (to vote), and Chelesie's fans voting for fear her weak-ass solos are putting her at risk every single week, I do believe an upset is about due. And an odd upset at that, since to be honest Katee, I'm really not sure what made you into such a sure thing in the first place.

SYTYCD Bitches!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

SYTYCD: It's all so exciting

Mary: “Where’s Ashton?”

Will somebody please punk Mary? On second thought, it would hardly be worth it. How could the audience enjoy watching her predicament if the whole time her face never moved?

Comfort’s solo: Love!
Twitch and Katee: The Kiss! The Crazy! Nigel was funny! The judges’ excitement is so cool!
Enough with the choreographer worship!
Mark and Comfort Hip Hop: Personality! Amazing lift!
Katee’s solo: Ho hum!
Joshua and Katee Tango: Dmitri is soooo hot!
Mark’s the dorkiest dancer ever! Fun solo, though! Circles and circles – wheeee!
Twitch is a rock star!
Chelsie and Joshua: The Disco Queen and her footman!

Someone over on BSYTYCD said Will was throwing Courtney around. I thought so, too! Perhaps he was trying to be the man that Josh was for her? And I thought we were promised some Josh nudity. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, people?

Favorites of the night: Twitch, Comfort, Katee, Mark

I don’t want anyone to go home...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

SYTYCD: Revealing Character

The longer they stay in the show, the more we see of the dancers as individuals, as people. The physical and emotional demands the show makes on them week after week effectively strips off layer after layer of the masks they hide behind until there’s nothing left between them and the audience.

It’s what we want: raw emotion, passion, vulnerability, nakedness. It’s hot. It’s what keeps us coming back.

We watch them practice and interact and perform, and we decide who we like best. As we see more of them as people, we start to make guesses about what they’re about, like, Gev has poor boundaries around women, and Comfort was probably bullied when she was a kid—by an older brother, maybe? And life will be good to Kherington, but for the wrong reasons.

Of course, there’s a selection process at work behind the scenes, too, in deciding what the audience sees, and what it doesn’t see. For instance, we saw Gev swooning over Courtney, and joking about how hot Chelsie is, complete with footage of him pouncing on her during practice. We saw Comfort pull away from her partners. We saw Kherington complain that the judges hate her.

We watch them in these clips, and we form opinions about them as people. I loved it last week when Mary Murphy said, "Dancing doesn’t build character, it just reveals it," but do the show’s editors help that revelation along by choosing what we see and what we don’t? Do they help the fans decide who they’ll vote for by showing the less-attractive traits of the contestants?

— — —

Two predictions for tonight: Mark’s close call last week will bring a flood of support his way tonight, and Joshua will be dancing without a lot of clothes on (they promised!).

And I’m not the only one with a conspiracy theory. Leeloo Dallas thinks s/he(?) knows what’s on for tonight.

BSYTYCD identifies a groundswell of support for Mark.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

SYTYCD: Feeling the Top Ten

Gev: I’m ready to see him go home just for the way he drools all over his partners. Gev is one of those guys. You know—one who blithely ignores the fact that your body is not in close proximity to his because you can’t resist his manly hotness, but because the job demands it, and his using the opportunity to hump your leg doesn't make you want to take him back to your room, it just makes you feel squicked-out and too uptight to do your best work. I just know that at some point Chelsie and Courtney have exchanged a look that says, "Sister, I feel your pain.”

And did I hear it right—after the second dance between Gev and Chelsie, did Mary actually say, “It was respectful. It was respectful”? Because that would be a slip of the freudian variety.

Comfort (now I’m channeling Mia): “Comfort, you’ve been hurt, and now you won’t let anyone get close. Your fear stops the chemistry from catching fire. You’re emotionally unavailable, and we can all see it.” I'm a fan of Comfort, but I get the sense that she's doing her best not to feel it.

Will: I think we haven’t seen half of what he’s capable of, and I want him stick around long enough to show us.

Katee: Katee is the best dancer on the show. I’ll hate it when if the voters send her home ahead of a prettier dancer.

Mark: Yawn. Was having Kherington as a partner really that uninspiring? Dude was phoning it in. I was so not feeling it.

Ouch. Looking like Sharon Stone might just keep her in it for another week, which is too bad, because Comfort is so much more fun to watch. Double plus unfeel.

Chelsie: She’s awesome, but I couldn’t stop cringing for her the whole time she was dancing with Gev. Please people, send him home.

Twitch: He’s got a lot of personality, and I have a wee crush on him, but he should go home soon (just not before Gev).

Courtney: She seems so much more comfortable with Joshua (“He’s such a man!") than she did with Gev. I feel Courtney, but it's a small feel.

Joshua: Break-out dazzler of the night. Wow. I thought his “It’s so much more than just dance” was over-the-top pandering cheese, but apparently he really is that sweet. I loved his face buried in Courtney’s hair. So, so hot. I am feeling Joshua. Nigel is, too. Nigel sez: “You were just so butch all the way through it, but a lot of women like that.” It’s true, Nigel, we do. That must have been awfully hard on you.

Most sublime comment of the night:

Mary: "Dancing doesn’t build character, it just reveals it."


SYTYCD: Compare the solos

From Season 2, Heidi:


No Emmy Nomination for Cat Deeley

What the hell is the matter with those people? Here's the list that the adorable, fabulous, incomparable Cat is not on:

Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Reality - Competition Program

American IdolFOX • Ryan Seacrest, Host
Dancing With The StarsABC • Tom Bergeron, Host
Deal Or No DealNBC • Howie Mandel, Host
Project RunwayBravo • Heidi Klum, Host
SurvivorCBS • Jeff Probst, Host

Seriously—Howie Mandel? They've got to be kidding.

(thanks to Ted Natalie at BSYTYCD for the heads-up)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

SYTYCD Episode 421 Top Ten Open Thread

Comfort Courtney Chelsie Kherington Katee

Joshua Twitch Mark Gev Will

SYTYCD Pissed off Fan of the Week: Me.

I’m going to miss Jessica. Murghi over on Bored Morons was threatening to start a “Leave Jessica Alone!” campaign, and I read about someone printing up “I love Jessica King” t-shirts. It would have been fun to watch fans escalate their outraged support for Jessica each week as the judges trashed her.

BSYTYCD thinks Mia Michaels needs to get laid. Noting that Mia broke up with her boyfriend this spring, Ted writes:
I'm not gonna say it, but given her ornery disposition lately, you know what we're all thinking.
Mia claims that her brand of brutal honesty is all for the benefit of the dancers:
"What America doesn't know is the relationship. There's a beautiful, beautiful collaboration and very nurturing [atmosphere]. For me especially, I nurture them. I'm Mamma Mia and they look to me for that tough love actually. So, when I say it, American might go, 'Oh my God, that's so harsh.' [The dancers] are cool with it. They know. They know I only want them to be brilliant."
And, okay—I get that Mia doesn’t like wusses:
You can't be a victim to be in the dance business. You have to be a warrior
But since Jessica withdrew from the show, I’ve read variously that she had been dancing with one, two and three broken ribs, an injured knee, a punctured lung, pneumonia, and a broken wrist. So does Mia still think Jessica was “just there for the ride”, or is she a warrior, like Mia?


It’s all cool, tho’! Mia was just telling her truth. Like she says:
Your reality is your reality. Your perception is your perception. Whatever your truth is, it is. Trying to understand the difference between your truth and the truth of others that has been embedded in your consciousness and being is a great challenge. How do we honestly know the difference? Go inside of yourself…
HOLD ON! I may be going out on a limb here, but exactly whose truth is Mia speaking when she says
“Will, you look tired of carrying her [Jessica]. That's what I feel like. You've been carrying her for this entire time and you look tired. You're tired. You need a new partner”?
And, like me, bBitz registered disbelief when Mia commented on Twitch’s krumping last week:
"Scary! It was your life!" What?!?! How the buck does she know that?! I hope she knows something and she's not just assuming.
More Reality According to Mia:
Your perception of your truth is what is, at this moment, in this time, and most likely ever changing. Everyone being wired and divinely programmed differently has their own truth. Every truth is valid and perhaps it’s the complete opposite of others’. Does it mean it’s wrong? Nothing is right or wrong…

It just is. Right or wrong is merely just your own judgment and perception. Creating my own right and my own reality, and beauty on a stage or screen is my truth at this time. My own vision and instincts are what makes me…me. My timing, phrasing, and choice of vocabulary is my right […]

I’ve dreamt of the life im living as a fantasy… Now it is my reality…My goal and treasure is to learn to pat myself on my back, smile and exhale… And most of all to open my eyes to the beautiful blessed life i have been given.
Now I get it! It's really all about Mia.

SYTYCD: Best Recap of the Week

bBitz at TVGasm posted his recap just this morning. Funny bits:
Lil' C says this is going to be "BUCK". This is "Krump Talk" for "Super!". Kton is worried she is not "feelin' it" so they dress her up and try to make her look "Buck".
She looks bucking retarded
Up next - Twitchington - and they're doing a tango with Jean-Marc. This routine is supposed to be like "Mr. & Mrs. Smith". So apparently it will destroy a marriage and culminate with twins.

SPECIAL MENTION: Most Cerebral Recap of the Week - Leee at TYBE. I especially loved his LOLCATDEELEY of the Week (and now I'm waiting for: "I can haz new hairstylist?").

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mia Michaels is Shirley MacLaine

I tell people all the time that I'm telepathic, and no one believes me, but how else do you explain my comment and Mia's column (which I swear I did not read before today)?

(Thanks to Ted at BSYTYCD for the link)

SYTYCD: The Dance Belt

How much reality is too much? I don't know about you, but knowledge of the existence of the dance belt has made my day a little brighter.

SYTYCD: Comfort Fedoke is Back and Jessica is Out!

"'I'd like to get off this subject as quickly as possible,' Lythgoe added during the session, noting that most recently eliminated semi-finalist Comfort Fedoke will take [Jessica's] place." -- The Feed

Friday, July 11, 2008

SYTYCD: Pissed-off Fan of the Week

0:30 Nigel’s a pervert
1:00 Agrees with me (on Twitch and Will) and FOF (on Kherington)
2:00 Mary Murphy=Paula Abdul?
4:30 Accurately predicts this week’s eliminations, with the added bonus of Thanye as a creepy intruder at the end.

Plus: The girls are all annoying, but the guys are okay. Advice to producers. Will should win. Wait, no—Mark. Mark should win. Yeah.

Jamming the Allison Holker Blunder

Allison Holker was a contestant in the top 8 in Season 2, a brilliant contemporary dancer and a favorite among the judges. She was arguably a better dancer than the other three women left in the competition, and she might have won it all, but for America’s preference for sexy Natalie. America voted, and Allison left the competition before either Donyelle, Natalie or Heidi. Hence the Allison Holker Blunder, where a better dancer is voted off ahead of less-talented but more appealing dancers. Katee is this season’s potential Allison Holker.

Comfort for Katee

I started this post yesterday, attempting to answer the question, Why do the judges bag on Jessica?

My first theory (prior to last night’s result):
Jessica has better puppy-dog eyes than the brilliantly precise but uncharismatic Katee, and America is a sucker for hapless girls with puppy-dog eyes. The judges want to get rid of Jessica so that she doesn’t end up being retained past her stale date by a sympathetic America. The judges fear the pity vote for Jessica, and they want her gone.

Why this theory is wrong:
America is hard-hearted. Puppy dog eyes won’t sway them.

My second theory (after last night’s vote to drop Comfort instead of Jessica):
The judges are sadists, and they’ve grown fond of their little punching bag. They’re keeping Jessica because they like to make her cry.

Why this theory is wrong:
The judges are not really sadists (are they?).

My third theory (which is my first theory revised after considering FOF’s theory):
The judges are anticipating an Allison Holker Blunder favoring Comfort over Katee.

Why this theory is correct:
Comfort is more appealing than Katee, but a poorer dancer. The judges fear is legitimate. FOF agrees.

It’s settled: The judges got rid of Comfort to save Katee.

SYTYCD: Explaining the Judges Decision to Keep Jessica and Send Comfort Home

Well, it doesn't make sense, at least not in the sense of who would you rather see on tour, a ho-hum contemporary dancer in Jessica or, to paraphrase Nigel, the best female hip hop dancer ever on SYTYCD? Answer: Comfort. That equation alone should have saved Comfort.

How unexciting is Jessica? But seriously, I know the Judges have, on rare occasion, had nice things to say about Jessica, but as compared to Comfort? I don't think so. Comfort is far and away the greater unknown, as in, you never know--which is eminently more interesting that Jessica's predictable, earnest struggle.

Sue Brody over at BSYTYCD makes you stop and think about it too:

And then Nigel says something that really takes me aback. He says that “I have to say this, and it might sound cruel, but this is one of the times we would have liked to have kept all three boys and lost two girls.” While I have to say I somewhat agree—I wanted to keep Thayne—I can’t imagine how much this hurt Jessica. They should just eliminate her already and stop the torture.
Torture is right. In fact, I don't think single contestant in the history of the show has had to endure the abuse from the Judges Jessica has week after week. Why not put Jessica out of her misery? Why condemn her to another week of abuse and false hope?

Last but not least, Comfort is a crowd favorite. I know she's a favorite of mine. Not my favorite dancer, although she has her moments. Not my favorite to win. But a favorite nonetheless. As a person she's real, she's honest, she's humble yet hard and a bit different too (but in a good way). I don't think I'm alone in my affinity for Comfort and the Judges know it. They know that the fans, now that it's solely up to them, may elect to keep Comfort around longer than next week, which is how long they'll keep Jessica. In other words, by sending Comfort home the Judges exert their control over who stays and who goes one more week. An odd, short-term calculation on their part, and a short-term mistake at that, since audience engagement suffers as a consequence of Jessica's predestined departure.

Comfort, if you're out there, take heart. Look at all the mistakes the Judges were willing to make (a less interesting tour, a prolonged cruelty to Jessica and a wash of an episode next week), all to deny the audience, us, the chance to vote for you.

Update: "The best backstage moment -- by far -- occurred at the very end of the show, after the cameras had stopped rolling. After Comfort Fedoke and Thayne Jasperson's eliminations, Nigel teamed up with another member of the production to make a shocking announcement: The top 10 dancers aren’t the only ones going on tour this year ... four more dancers will be making the trek. And two of them are Comfort and Thayne!" -- LA Times

Thursday, July 10, 2008

SYTYCD Episode 420 Top Twelve Results Show Open Thread

Episode Airs: Thursday, July 10, 9/8c on FOX.

1 guy and 1 girl is going home. Our meager little polls suggest that tonight's losers will be Jessica and Thayne, but something tells me Comfort has overstayed her welcome. Either way it should be interesting. Either Will gets to suffer Jessica for another week, or Will gets to carry a new dead weight in the form of Comfort. But no pressure Will, the Judges will take care of you even if the gods and fans won't.

p.s. I'm aware that my ever deepening dislike of Will is not necessarily shared by the XX persuasion. So, I'm sure he's safe thanks to you, and as a consequence so is Jessica (no dancing for your life tonight dear). Thayne and Comfort, it's curtains.

Joshua Twitch Comfort Courtney Chelsie Thayne Mark Jessica Gev Kherington Katee Will

Are Professional Dancers Masquerading as Hip Hop, Pop and Break Dancers on So You Think You Can Dance?

Maybe it's just me, but the "street" dancers are having a much better time of it this year on SYTYCD. You may recall questions about Joshua's dance background after he auditioned as a hip hop dancer.

Joshua's bio now reads:

Q: Do you have any formal dance training?
A: Yes.
Q: If you had to categorize your dance style, what would it be?
A: Performer.
Still, it doesn't change the fact that Joshua "auditioned" as a hip hopper.

There are three other non-formal dance specialists:

Gev, who seems remarkably at home no matter what style of dance he's performing, answers, "Not Really," to the question of whether he's had any formal dance training, and consistent with his audition he describes himself as a "Break dancer." Yet during his hip hop routine with partner Courtney, it was Courtney (the "contemporary" dancer) who delivered the hard hits, leaving Gev looking a bit like he was out of his element.

Comfort, who took the female "hip hop dancer, popper" spot in the top 20 explains, "I do have formal dance training because I attend Booker T Washington High School of Performing Arts for 2 and a half years." Yet like Gev, when choreographed in her own genre of dance, her performance fell flat.

Contrast those with Twitch--who we met last season and know, despite getting formal training over the past year, was a "freestyle" dancer first--and how he delivers when asked to krump:

What does it look like to you? Suspicious at all? Fans of the show know that there are a certain number of spots reserved for non-professional dancers in the top 20, just as there are spots for the various styles of professional dance. But which category is the more competitive? Would a ballroom dancer be better off learning a hip hop routine to audition with? Are professional dancers doing the same as Twitch, except they're learning to pop and break, and in the process discovering that professional discipline applied to the non-professional dance styles leads to relatively impressive results. Meaning, are hip hop, breaking, popping and the like not really that hard after all, at least not for a serious dancer with professional training? Leaving the contemporary dancer who learns hip hop the option of passing on head to head competition with the other, professional, contemporary dancers, and instead competing against the fewer in number and one dimensional hip hop dancers.

Remember the pop locker Robert Murraine? Is it possible that he was the only "true" "amateur" in Las Vegas this year?

SYTYCD [419] Favorite Routines

Katee and Joshua do Bollywood.
Un-remarked by the Judges, how in sync they were. Otherwise, total commitment by both dancers. Fun to watch.

Chelsie and Mark Salsa
What’s remarkable about this performance is that while I’m a big fan of Mark, Chelsie was so smoking hot I didn’t even notice him. And really, just the idea that she’s a tomboy makes her that much sexier.

Poor Misunderstood SYTYCD

But quickly: What's up with the Judges giving Kherington a pass on her crumbling krump. It's one thing to be a favorite of the Judges; it's another entirely to be a pet.

Okay, so, ... here is the Mia Michaels' incident that has all the uptights predictably bent out of shape.

[Mia's critique starts at 4:13.]

What Mia said:

Will, you look tired of carrying her [Jessica]. That's what I feel like. You've been carrying her for this entire time and you look tired. You're tired. You need a new partner.
What puts Mia's criticism over the top, what makes it soooo rude, is it's true. It was too honest. But newsflash for all you so-called So You Think You Can Dance fans out there who are upset with Mia for telling it like it is, being too honest is SYTYCD's secret to success, and I fear this secret ingredient is purely by accident AND your bitching about it will clue the producers in on the fact that SYTYCD is raw, unabashed nuttiness that needs to be scripted and sanitized for the masses. Well it doesn't. Leave it the fuck alone.

You know the concept of a dance competition isn't a brilliant or original one. Nope. Not even close. And how many "fans" of dance are there, really? But here's a twist--and no, it's not having the audience vote from home--why not put real dance professionals in charge of the show? In fact, why don't we make the show a window into the world of dance, and make as its stars, not people who belong on TV, but people who belong in a dance studio, people who see dance as an art form, people who are literally fierce in, and unfailingly loyal to, their dance artistry. In short, give the dance freaks (and I mean that in the nicest way) their own show, and let them run with it. Now that is a brilliant concept, and whether by accident or design, it is what makes SYTYCD so damn refreshing, surprising, unexpected.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

SYTYCD Episode 419 Top Twelve Open Thread

Episode Airs: Tonight, July 9, from 8 PM to 10 PM ET/PT on FOX.The top twelve finalist are:
  • Joshua Allen
  • Twitch Boss
  • Comfort Fedoke
  • Courtney Galiano
  • Chelsie Hightower
  • Thayne Jasperson
  • Mark Kanemura
  • Jessica King
  • Gev Manoukian
  • Kherington Payne
  • Katee Shean
  • Will Wingfield
Joshua Twitch Comfort Courtney Chelsie Thayne Mark Jessica Gev Kherington Katee Will