Posted by: Lauren on Jun 20, 2011
Welcome to a new show being recapped here at (Cult)ure, So You Think You Can Dance! It is time for teenaged and 20-somethinged dancers to amaze us with serious skill, and time for me to prove, yet again, how little I know about dance. My history with this show is pretty brief, with me only having watched one full season in the past. What I remember from that season is some really entertaining dances and one “banoodles” choreographer named Mia Michaels. I am sure the show won’t disappoint in bringing us these two things again.
I didn’t watch the audition rounds, so I am meeting the dancers tonight. Let’s get to it!
Judges: Our panel tonight consists of two regulars, Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, and one guest, Megan Mullally. Yes, Ron Swanson’s on-screen ex-wife AND real-life wife (I may never recover from that one) will be joining us tonight. Consider yourselves lucky. Mullally spent time in ballet academies in her younger days, and has also done several Broadway plays.
Jordan and Tadd: Jordan seems like a bit of dumbo, and claims it is her life’s ambition to be a Pussycat Doll. Yeesh. Tadd seems sweet, but his name is dumb. They are dancing to an Afro-Jazz routine choreographed by Sean Cheesman (more on him below, a must-read). The routine gets points for intensity and interesting costumes (kind of tribal, with tattoos and loin cloths). Despite the fast pace of the music, the dance drags in places. Nigel, Mary and Megan all loved it.
Sasha and Alexander: These two have a contemporary routine choreographed by Travis Wall. In rehearsal, the two hit each other (on accident) a lot. The dance is very intense, but I think it lacks some of the real emotion we might get from a pair that has been dancing together for longer. I don’t buy that she is pissed off at him. It is well-executed, but something is missing. Mary agrees with me that a bit of a connection is missing, but likes the routine overall. The other two judges agree, and call on Alexander to step it up. (Is anyone else shocked that I got one right so early?)
Clarice and Jess: Jess is apparently a “Broadway” dancer…is that really a style of dance that someone can be? They get to dance a Broadway number choreographed by Tyce DiOrio (or Tasty Oreo, as I always think of him because of Cat’s accent). How fun! They get to dance to Liza Minelli singing “My Baby and Me”. I think they both get the spirit of Broadway down in the dance. I buy Jess’ character slightly more than Clarice’s, but it is his genre, so that is perhaps expected. Nigel warns her that she will have to work pretty hard to not be outshone by Jess.
Ryan and Ricky: No, this is not our first double dude pairing (sadly). Ryan is a blonde lady. They are dancing a lyrical hip hop routine by Christopher Scott. Ryan handles the choreography decently (sometimes a hard sell for white ladies), but she has this gigantic smile plastered on her face, which is really distracting in what is supposed to be sort of a sad/melancholic dance. I think maybe she just can’t help herself. I am seriously on fire here…Nigel agreed with me again that Ryan’s face was distracting and odd. Ryan weirdly tries to explain her crazy smile, and it doesn’t help.
Caitlynn and Mitchell: These two get assigned a jazz routine choreographed by Sonya Tayeh. I remember Sonya from the other season I watched, as she has a bit of a crazy personal style. Mitchell is a sweaty, sweaty guy. Mitchell injured his elbow at some point and can’t dance tonight (he will be automatically in danger this week), and a past dancer from the show fills in for him tonight. The routine is pretty standard, which isn’t so much a compliment in this show. Caitlynn is clearly good at dancing, but she is also somewhat instantly forgettable. That is a bit of a killer on a reality competition show.
Miranda and Robert: They are dancing a jive by choreographer Jason Gilkison. The jive is a retro (sort of) take on Bruno Mars. They are styled in sort of mod outfits, and a lot of the dance is quite high-energy. There is a weird part of the choreography where they kind of just walk around each other and it goes on for too long. Megan Mullally admits to having a crush on Robert and claims they will be quite happy together. What about Ron Swanson! Nigel smartly warns Robert that he needs to focus more on his dancing and less on his dumb TV personality. Miranda is told that she needs to dance with more confidence.
Missy and Wadi: These two also have a jazz routine by Sean Cheesman. Wadi cops a feel during the rehearsal…I am guessing this happens all the time. They are dancing to a remix of “Judas” by Gaga. The performance is very engaging and the choreography compliments Wadi’s hip hop background. As always, a popular song helps sell the routine, and the dancers do a great job with it. Nigel thinks that Missy is one of the top girls, and that Wadi is among the talented hip hoppers who are proving they can learn the different styles of music on the fly. The lady judges are likewise impressed with the pair.
Melanie and Marko: If this isn’t the makings of a dance/relationship sitcom, I don’t know what is. Travis Wall is choreographing a contemporary routine for them. The two of them have been painted with make-up to look like statues. The dance is very pretty, and I can see the emotional core to it that was missing in some of the earlier dances. Cat describes it as “a living, breathing work of art” and it receives a standing O from the judges. Pretty darn amazing. Mary is quite emotional as she praises them both for their great dance. Melanie is Nigel’s favorite girl so far.
Ashley and Chris: These two have a hip hop routine from Christopher Scott. The routine is about infidelity and is being danced to the TV-friendly “Forget You” by Gwenth Paltrow…oops, I mean Cee Lo Green. I don’t really like this one very much. It looks pretty amateur, especially considering this is supposed to be Chris’ genre. It was also pretty campy for being about someone cheating on someone else. The judges all say it was “fun” but don’t say anything about technique.
Iveta and Nick: Iveta is a ballroom dancer and Nick is a tapper. They get to do a quickstep by Jason Gilkison. Both of these dancers are very tall (at least compared to the rest of the group). Iveta has legs for days. Their quickstep is pretty good. Nick sometimes has a bit of hunchiness to his posture, but he keeps up with his partner very well. Oh crap! We learn that Iveta is the actual WORLD CHAMPION in the quickstep. I think Mary just said that she is the world champion in all 10 of the dances at the ballroom dance…competition…thing. In any case, she be hardcore talented. The judges loved it all around, and are impressed with Nick’s ability to keep up with the world champ.
- Cat Deely is our host for SYTYCD, and she is both gorgeous and good at her job. Imagine that (Brooke Burke, I am looking at you!). She is pretty funny and has a great rapport with the judges and the dancers.
- Sean Cheesman. In a university job as a conference housing customer service agent (probably 7 years ago or so), Sean Cheesman stayed at the university I was working at (for some reason) and we got the pleasure of dealing with his handler person who dropped all sorts of names to ensure we gave him the very finest the university had to offer (these are the same rooms that students sleep in during the year…they are pretty krunk). If your guy is so damn important, why don’t you book him a room in an actual hotel? The real point of the story is that I still remember this clown’s name all these years later, simply because his people treated us like we were idiots.
- I would really like to spend the show in the choreographer’s area of the audience. Imagine the hilarious jabs muttered between them!
- I appreciated how the dancers were most often given the style of dance they were most comfortable in. It gave them all a chance to shine and let us see them at their best to start off.
- My picks for people who might be in danger this week are Ashley and Chris for their forgettable hip hop, Jordan and Tadd for being so early in the show, and Ryan for her weird facial expressions and mediocre dancing.
- Best dance of the week goes to Melanie and Marko for their statue dance (both for performance and technique).
- Recaps for SYTYCD will go up Thursday mornings from now on!