Thursday, June 10, 2010

So You Think You Can Dance: Top 11 Showcase

Tonight the Top 11 finally take the stage to show us what they are capable of. I'm so excited for the competition to begin! The show opened up with a great Wade Robsen routine and didn't falter once. I have no idea who will be the first contestant to go home, all of the Top 11 are just so strong. It'll definitely depend on the luck of the draw until we get more familiar with the contestants.

Along with the change of having the All Stars, the show is in HD and got some girl power behind the scenes with Nikki Parsons, the new director. There's also been a switch with the permanent judges, now consisting of Nigel, Adam, and Mia. I'm interested to see how the judging goes without the Mary "hot tamale train" Murphy.

Now, let's take a look at the routines:

All Stars & Contestants
Song: Fame by David Bowie
Routine: Wade & Amanda Robsen Jazz
I loved that it started with just the all stars and then the newbies came out. The My Fair Lady/Country Club theme was great and it was impressive how much prop work there was and how in sync they all were throughout. It was a little hard to keep track of who was doing what since there were 22 people on stage. I think that was the most there's ever been for the show, since there's never been more than the Top 20 dancing together on stage.

Lauren & Kent with All Stars Mark and Kathryn
Song: Paris is Burning by St. Vincent
Routine: Travis Wall Jazz
The routine really reminded me of Sonya with the creepy, jerky movements and Gothic costumes to the hauting music. Kent's jumps and flips really stood out and made me focus on him more thoughout the routine. Overall, it was fantastic! Great work from the All-Stars and contestants alike. I loved the story that Travis put forth afterwards: it's set in 1920s in Paris, about the dark and twisted people at night coming together to celebrate the fallen empire.

Alexie & Melinda with All Stars Allison and Lauren
Song: There's Gotta be Something Better Than This from Sweet Charity
Routine: Tyce Diorio Broadway (with a heavy contemporary influence)
Like Nigel, I couldn't always tell who was an All Star and who was the competitors. While it was well danced, I wasn't as engaged or enthralled by it. Again, have to agree with Nigel that they lacked that fire in their eyes. I think these two will benefit more when it's just a partner dance.

Jose "Full Deck" Ruiz with All Stars Dominque, Twitch, and Comfort
Song: Din Daa Daa (Distrtic 78 Remix) by George Kranz
Routine: NappyTabs Hip Hop
the booty move from comfort then the reversal w/ jose doing it.
That was a great routine to really showcase the new contestant. All the other routines blended the contestants with the All Stars while this one gave the contestant the spotlight. Some great moves were the flip and roll by D-trix and Jose, with the hoodie removal, and the booty moves by Comfort and Jose. It was hilarious when he reversed it and did the booty move and then the other fellas had to stop him. 

Christina with All Stars Anya and Pasha
Song: Work (Freemasons Radio Edit) by Kelly Rowland
Routine: Jason Gelkinsin Latin Ballroom
That was one sexy routine! Even before Pasha took his shirt off! Christina did a great job of holding her own against the All Stars. However, there were some moments where her legs didn't quite match Anya's. But this is the first week and she's only going to grow from here.

Alex & Billy with All Star Ade
Song: This Bitter Earth Dinah Washington
Routine: Mia Michaels Contemporary
Mia explained it as a routine about time, the journey of life, and how it goes by in a flash. It was beautiful, just beautiful. They did a fantastic job of living their roles in the storyline; Billy especially was perfect as the child.

Adechike, Ashley & Robert with All Stars Niel and Courtney
Song: Freak by Estelle feat Kardinal Offshall
Routine: Sonya Jazz
Another great routine! It was intense and energetic with that weird twist that makes it signature Sonya. They did a great job, but I feel like Niel outshone the guys. Ashley and Courtney were great and I had a hard time telling them apart at times, which is a big compliment to Ashley.

Favorite Routine: Travis Wall's routine with Lauren and Kent was definitely my favorite routine, but NappyTab's Hip Hop did a better job of showcasing the contestant.

Prediction: It's super early, but I'm going to say the final four contestants will be Kent, Alex, Alexie and Lauren.

What did you guys think of the showcase? Did you love the Travis Wall routine as much as I did? Who do you think will be in the finals? Let me know in the comments!

Disney's Tangled: New Trailer

Disney is giving its roots a modern twist! They're taking the traditional fairytale of Rapunzel and giving it the Disney makeover, but it will be in the 3D. Set to be released on November 24, it stars the vocal talents of Zachary Levi (Chuck!) and Mandy Moore. While there's no musical numbers in the trailer, I believe this will be a musical similar to Princess & The Frog.

Watch the trailer below:

So You Think You Can Dance: Season 7 Top 11 Revealed!

Last night marked the end of auditions and revealed the Top 11 for this season of So You Think You Can Dance. With narrowing it down to only a Top 11 instead of a Top 20, there weren't that many underdogs let in to the competition. Also, it definitely diminished the variety with only 1 ballet, 1 tap, 1 ballroom, 1 hiphop, and 7 contemporary/jazz dancers. I know contemporary and jazz are different, but to me they are too similar to distinguish and have very similar fundamentals and training.

Below are the top 11...

Alexie Agdeppa, 26, Rowland Heights, CA - Jazz
Billy Bell, 20, Palm Beach, FL - Contemporary
Kent Boyd, 18, Wapakoneta, OH - Contemporary
Lauren Froderman, 18, Phoenix, AZ - Contemporary Jazz
Ashley Galvan, 19, Burbank, CA - Contemporary
Robert Roldan, 19, North Hollywood, CA - Contemporary
Jose Ruiz, 21, Miami, FL - Breaking
Ana 'Cristina' Santana, 24, San Diego, CA - Salsa
Melinda Sullivan, 22, Culver City, CA - Tap
Adechike Torbert, 23, Queens, NY - Contemporary
Alex Wong, 23, Miami, FL - Ballet

Are you surprised by any of the choices?

I'm sad that Anthony (contempoary, NYC) didn't make it over Adechike. Adechike was on thin ice in Vegas while Anthony looked like a man among boys, as Nigel said. I hope he comes back next season with a 100% healthy hamstring. I'm sure he'll blow the judges away when he's able to perform at his best.

Work of Art: The Next Great Artist Episode 1 Recap

Bravo’s latest show, Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, gathers 14 promising artists to New York City to try to find the next great artist through 10 challenges and shows. The winner gets a $100,000 prize and a solo show at Brooklyn’s Museum of Art. China Chow, model and art collector, hosts with the help of Simon Du Pury stepping into a similar role of Tim Gunn on Project Runway.

The artists cover all types from painters, architect, sculptors, etc. ranging from small town kids like Abdi to seasoned artists who have been on the scene for years, like Nao and Judith. Each artist had to submit a self-portrait, which also tied into the first challenge. After sizing up the competition, they have to work in pairs to create portraits of each other. The trick of a good portrait is to capture their inner spirit, not just their likeness.

But before they get started, Sarah Jessica Parker, Executive Producer, popped in for a visit! I usually associate her with fashion, not art, but apparently she is very involved in art collecting.

While some pairings actually sat down and talked through the project, others took a cursory glance at their partner and their partner’s self-portrait and went straight to work. Miles and Nao took this approach and it proved to work better for one than the other. Already, Nao is the biggest personality on this show. She said herself that she may be “too big for this show” given her previous experience in the art world and her attitude does not lend well to judging or challenges. Miles felt “the only way to get a handle on her was to her make her dead” with death portraiture. While an old subgenre of photography, he put a modern twist on it with his silk screening.

Other notable pairings were Mark and Erik, Amanda and Jamie Lynn, and Abdi and Ryan. Mark produced a great photograph that showed Erik’s fun and aggressive side. Erik however, couldn’t stay at the same level as the more trained artists with a creepy easel of Mark as a clown. Amanda took the portrait assignment to a too abstract level, while Abdi and Ryan produced fantastic realistic paintings. Abdi’s especially captured Ryan’s essence.

After all the portraits are displayed, we meet the permanent panel of judges, which include Jerry Saltz (senior art critic for NY Mag), Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn (art adviser/gallerist), and Bill Powers (co-owner of Half-Gallery).

Abdi, Eric, Amanda, Mark, Miles, and Nao are called out by the judges. They’ve called the best and the worst of the group to explain more about their work. Nao is too cocky for her own good and doesn’t really take in any of the judge’s comments on her work.

The judges put Miles, Abdi, and Mark at the top this week. After deliberating, the judges decide that Miles gets immunity and cannot be eliminated this week.

Nao, Erik, and Amanda are in the bottom and one will be going home already. Ultimately, Amanda’s piece was too abstract to work as a portrait and she’s the first to leave the show.

Tune in next week when Erik explodes and the artists try to shock the audience. Work of Art airs on Bravo every Wednesday at 10 pm EST/PST.

I originally wrote this for another site, but due to a miscommunication the show was already recapped by someone else. So here's my recap of last night's episode, just so that work wasn't for nothing. I'm not planning on recapping it regularly, but if there's an interest in it I might.

If you watched the show, let me know what you think of the portraits in the comments!