So You Think You Can Dance: Top 20 become Top 16
|Written by Lauren Cheal|
|Thursday, 26 July 2012 13:51|
We start out with a creepy, monstery-themed dance to Marilyn Manson's "Beautiful People", which features Cyrus and no one else. He starts the dance off in a video element and then also has a different costume than all of the other guys. Many of the other guys are relegated to the far reaches of the stage throughout the number, to the point that it seems rather unfair.
Cat introduces our Top 20 dancers in couples, and I am champing at the bit to see how this new format for the season will work. Cat tells us that all of the couples will dance tonight and then at the end of the show, the cuts from last week will be made. The three lowest dancers will be called out, and the judges will get to save only one girl and one guy. It is very strange to have everyone dance today, but then not have 4 of those dancers' performances count. We'll see how it goes. Cat introduces our judges, and stalwarts Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy are joined by Adam "Shankers" Shankman. He is plugging some dumb sequel to Step Up which the audience has to be really prodded to applaud for.
Lindsay and Cole are starting the show off with a Christopher Scott hip hop routine that is dentist-themed. Cole has to play this ultra-dweeby character, and it distracts from the dancing he is supposed to be doing. Lindsay comes off the stronger of the two, which I was not expecting. Nigel thinks the character stuff that Cole did was good (I disagree), and calls Lindsay hot, but immature. Mary agrees with Nigel's criticism of Lindsay, and thinks she needs to work on her characters. She praises Cole's dancing, which I really didn't see much of. Shankers agrees that Cole is amazing for still committing to his character, and that Lindsay needs to be more like "Jennifer Aniston in Horrible Bosses", as if that is a reference anyone understands.
Amelia and Will: I am excited to see what these two can do outside of the CrappyTabs routine that they got saddled with last week. Tonight, they land the winning lotto ticket that is Sonya Tayeh. Will they cash in? For the most part, I think they do. They are given incredibly strong choreography, and they dance it with tons of power and emotion, two things necessary for a Tayeh performance. Sonya loved it! Mary screams about it, and thinks Willmelia (my term, not hers) brought the routine to life. Shankers can't believe how good it is, and gives them an awkward, one man standing O. Nigel praises Sonya's growth, and Amelia's ability to bury her quirkiness for the sake of the routine.
Amber and Nick: One of my least favourite pairs from last week get a tango from choreographers Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo. Didn't Nick have ballroom last week? This seems unfair to Amber. At this point, we don't know how the dance styles were selected this week, but it is generally random. Nick is less distracting in the face (la fache, to Penny Hartz) this week, but what is distracting is his gross greasy slicked-back 90s hair. Shankers thinks the dance was really hot, and praises the choreography. He also says that Amber was stellar, and that Nick was a great partner, but he kind of disappeared. Nigel praises Amber and thinks Nick was strong. Mary informs us that the routine was really very difficult, and thinks they both handled the challenge and made it look effortless.
Audrey and Matthew are up next, and they are riding a high after that awesome Travis Wall routine last week. They get a routine from Sonya Tayeh, which bodes well. Maybe it is just coming off the Willmelia routine, but this routine isn't as exciting for me as her first one. The dancers are super strong, but I found the routine to be a let down. Nigel disagrees with me, and really likes the stank steps Sonya brought to it. He even demonstrates one of them, and Shankers wisely tells him never to do that again. Mary thinks they were both expansive. Shankers says that Audrey is impressing him beyond what he thought possible, and that Matthew is on track to win at this early stage.
Janelle and Dareian take on a lyrical hip hop routine by Christopher Scott next. I continue to find Janelle as boring as dry toast, and this routine does nothing to convince me otherwise. The dance ends with a really awkward kiss between the two. There is nothing like an un-earned romantic moment; that thing gave me the heebs. Shankers says that this dance required them to convince us of their characters, and Janelle failed at this. Nigel openly slams the choreography by Scott (prefacing his comments with "I don't mean to be rude", and then being super rude). Mary agrees with Nigel, and then incites Adam to kiss Nigel. Shame on her.
Janaya and Brandon get to work on a Broadway routine by Sean Cheesman. The story of this one is already pissing me off. Janaya is reading Fifty Shades of Grey at a bus stop and then sexually harasses Brandon. These two probably won't be here at the end of the show anyways, but this dance does them absolutely no favours. The choreography is strange and uninteresting, but they do dance it well. Shankers really liked it, and praises Brandon for his commitment. He gives Janaya a complisult by saying that he thought this was really good "for her". Nigel thought it was fun all around and that Janaya had the performance factor that she lacked last week. Mary thinks they were great and that they improved on last week (I think she knows they are going home).
Eliana and Cyrus are attempting a jive next, and I am nervous for Cyrus. These two have a jive from Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin, and it is a tough one for both of them because Eliana doesn't have experience with ballroom, and Cyrus doesn't have much experience with choreography of any kind. You can see that choreographer Melanie is not at all impressed with where Cyrus is at, and I don't blame her. Eliana does much better than Cyrus, who looks tentative the whole time, and like he has no idea what is going on. It is a pretty bad outing from him, in the end. I can't tell if Eliana just looked good in comparison. Mary is a little speechless at Cyrus, and she does find about 100 things wrong with his technique, but praises his performance anyway. Mary tells us that Eliana nailed it. Shankers says it is amazing that Cyrus made it through the routine, which seems like a slap in the face to a lot of the other male dancers. Nigel praises the choreographers for getting Cyrus through it, but says it wasn't great. He also says that Eliana is having to compensate for Cyrus, and that she is doing a great job of it.
Daniel and Alexa are next up, and we will see how they do after that weird routine last week. They get an angst contemporary routine by Dee Casparay, which should play to their strengths. It is oddly centred in a bathtub, but does much more to show off their talent and strength. The routine further confirms my theory that their ultra-blondness makes them look like siblings, which isn't a bad thing except when things get sexy. Cat Deeley compares it to Splash, endearing me to her more than I thought possible. Shankers says that it was super technical, but he felt it was a little chilly (both between the two of them and between the audience). Mary agrees that the chemistry is lacking. Nigel concurs, and says the connection wasn't there.
Tiffany and George are up next, and they are dancing a foxtrot by Tony Meredith and Melanie Lapatin. Neither of these two have a lot of ballroom knowledge. Both dancers seem to pull off the grace and lightness of the dance, and the choreography seems pretty effortless for them (not sure if it is indeed an easy routine or if they are killing it). Mary will enlighten us, I am sure. Mary says that the foxtrot is one of the most difficult ballroom dances, and these two nailed it. She names a bunch technical stuff that they did great. Shankers loved it for its retro feel, and thought they were incredible. Nigel makes some joke that I don't understand about how they would make a great opening act for somewhere. It seems like a slam, but Shankers laughs like it is hilarious, so I don't know. Nigel then says it was great.
Witney and Chehon are ending the night with a Bollywood number. Nakul Dev Mahajan is our perennial Bollywood choreographer, and the routine has all the classic elements we are used to. Specific hand placements, high energy, and a cardio workout. I wonder if actual Bollywood fans find these routines impressive. The dancers on this show often impress outside their home genres, but Bollywood is so very out of the realm of familiarity for the dancers, I wonder how it translates as compared to a pro. Shankers praises the choreography, and says they were both great. He tells Witney that she needs a longer neck, and that Chehon finally showed joy. Mary thinks Chehon is much improved from last week, and that Witney was on fire. Nigel shows off his knowledge of specific Bollywood moves, but all of it is lost on me and everyone in the theatre. Cat agrees that Nigel is making no sense.
Ok, with all of those dances out of the way, we move on to the bottom 3 girls and guys. Cat calls out all of the dancers and announces that Janaya, Alexa, Whitney, Nick, Daniel and Chehon are the bottom 6. I was worried we would lose one of our ballet boys, and here we certainly will. Janaya and Nick are definitely out of here, but the other two spots are up for grabs. I would be surprised if they send Alexa home given the huge amount of coverage we saw of her in the audition rounds, but she didn't have a good performance this week or last (choreo was partly to blame last week). Actually, given how much screentime she had, the fact that she got so few votes should be enough to send her home, but we'll see what the judges do with that. Daniel and Chehon are a harder call, because we saw very little of both of them in the audition rounds. They both had a short straw on choreography last week, but Chehon did a little better this week. I guess we will see.
Before we get to the results, there is a very extended promo for Shankers' new movie "Step Up Revolution". It looks really very crappy, but I did laugh out loud four or five times watching it because the acting looked so crappy. Some of the dancing did look cool, but really, the movie looked too shitty.
The judges now get to save one guy and one girl, and Nigel gives a very long and very vague description of how the voting and choosing works. The judges choose to save Witney, which seems like the right choice. Nigel emphasizes that they have spoken to the choreographers from both weeks, and that that has made their decision easier. On the men's side, the judges save Chehon, which also seems like the right call. That means that we are losing Alexa and Daniel, as well as Nick and Janaya.
More Overwrought Facial Expressions
Peanut Gallery Gems
PG: "I'm sad that Will is with Amelia, she just pisses me off".
PG on Audrey and Matthew: "I like their matching belts, and eye make-up"
The Peanut Gallery helpfully caught that choreographer Melanie LaPatin was once featured on a weird live version of What Not to Wear. Given that the episode aired in 2004, I award her some major propers.
Input from a Bollywood fan
Mostly it bugs me that Bollywood is considered a dance style on this show, when it's actually a film industry. It's like saying "Hollywood dance". In modern Bollywood movies, if there's dance at all, it's most likely hip hop. In any case, the dances on this show aren't really as impressive as the dances in the movies, but those generally are staged in crazy sets with huge teams of dancers, so there's no comparison.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 26 July 2012 07:14|