Thursday, July 14, 2011

SYTYCD Season 8: Top 12 Perform

Tonight the judges panel is filled with Jesse Tyler Fergeson (Mitchell on Modern Family), who has an extensive background in Broadway, and one of my favorite choreographers Sonya Tayeh. With only 6 couples left, they'll all be performing two routines so this night is packed to the brim with dancing. Love it!

We're so close to the Top 10 and there are more than few couples I didn't imagine would make it this far. I'm sure you can guess I'm thinking of Ryan and Jess. Their respective partners are great, but I definitely didn't see these two in my Top 10. This is the last chance for America to make my dream Top 10 a reality! The other couple I didn't expect to see this far in is Caitlynn and Mitchell. They have been a fantastic surprise duo! They not only pull off the dancing well, but they have amazing chemistry as partners and even pull of the romantic stories well. (Which I didn't quite expect from someone as flamboyant as Mitchell, that just proves how talented at performing and diving into his character he is.)

Now, on to the dancing!

Sasha and Alexander
Tony Meredith and Melanie Lapatin Paso Doble
Song: Alley Dash/March of the Trolls by Taylor Long/Rick Powell
That kiss at the end totally didn't work for me. If it wasn't choreographed, I get why it didn't fit! If it was choreographed, poor decision. As usual, Sasha was so strong and Alexander kind of just had to hold his own against her power. The battle storyline worked well for her, but it just made it clear how much she needs a new partner who is at her level. Mary loved it, especially how this wasn't a typical Paso Doble. It showed such strength in women, which Sonya adored. She pointed out the inconsistency in partnering (Alexander!) but really wants them to reach the heights she knows they can.

Tyce Diorio Jazz
Song: That's Life by Aretha Franklin
I liked this much more than their first routine! Alex actually had some time to shine, with that great leap and flip. Jesse thought this was their best routine yet, and their favorite number of the night so far. Sonya has been praying and hoping for this for Alexander this whole season. He finally broke his shell and she was finally watching him during the routine and not just Sasha. Nigel thought this was the best he'd seen Alexander dance, EVER. The judges only lament is that just as the chemistry is there, this couple will be split up.

Jordan and Tadd
Travis Wall Contemporary
Song: Brotsjor by Olafur Reynolds
This was another dance about a strong female, but this time she's an evil bird trying to overtake Tadd. Mary couldn't even form sentences at first: "beautiful! dark! magnificent!" Travis has not let me know yet, this was a "perfect blend of style, movement, and technique." It's no longer a surprise when Tadd completely destroys a dance outside of his style. Jesse brings up a good point about how the ladies get all the praise, but Tadd just showed that he's in it to win it! Sonya went so far as to say "this is the true artistry that makes me want to cry." High praise across the board; they are definitely a power couple in this competition!

Spencer Liff Broadway
Song: Out Tonight from Rent (Original Broadway Cast)
Sonya loves both of them and Spencer, but felt that it was a jumble of things while not showing off their abilities. Nigel thought it could have been a little quirkier and sillier to live up to the fairytale storyline. Mary compared it to cotton candy - just nice, light, and fluffy. It was a grab bag of style and costume and music, so it fell flat to the judges. However, their first routine was so strong and their history on the show has been near flawless, I think they will be safe tomorrow.

Ryan and Ricky
Spencer Liff Broadway
Song: All I Need is the Girl by Frank Sinatra
Jesse, who knows his broadway, felt that the performance didn't live up to their ability and felt like it was "stuck under water" and just didn't sparkle. Sonya felt they were questioning the choreography the whole time. Nigel thought they didn't get and sit comfortably in the broadway style. He's also concerned this routine won't make America vote for them, and I HOPE SO. I'll be so glad if Ryan doesn't make it to the Top 10. They have one more dance to try to get in America's good graces.

Louie Van Amstel Cha Cha
Song: Tonight (I'm Loving You) by Enrique Inglesias
Ok, as much as I hate on Ryan, that one legged death drop was pretty impressive! Nigel thought Ricky did a really good job with his feet and hips, with great style and class. However, he felt Ryan was overdoing it with her legs too far apart that messed up her footwork. He even thought she was sloppy! Mary thought she had good body rhythms, but her feet got sloppy. But then, Ricky is now only the 3rd person this season on the HOT TAMALE TRAIN! And Jesse thought it was Ricky's best performance yet on the show. With two lackluster dances, they're in real danger of being in the bottom three and after these comments it just solidified my thoughts: Ricky would stay while Ryan would be sent packing. America just has not connected with her after she stayed over two more talented ladies in the first elimination.

Caitlynn and Mitchell
Christopher Scott Hip Hop
Song: Break the Chain by Lupe Fiasco with Eric Turner & Sway
With such a serious message about Invisible Children and refugees in the Congo, Sonya thought the message got jumbled at moments. Nigel thought they weren't together and needed more mirror work, and the message just didn't connect with him because of that. Mary thought it fell just a little teeny bit short, but Jesse loves the power they dance with every time comparing it to the power of a Mac truck. Disappointing, but they've got another dance to win everyone back.

Travis Wall Contemporary
Song: Piece of my Heart by Janis Joplin
"Slightly naughty, a little intense, and I loved it!" Perfect descriptor. They are such a surprise to me still, this couple just always seems to exceed my expectations. The lifts were amazing! The only complaint is that Mitchell needs to work on his character during the tough parts of partnering. He just needs to dig in deep with the character and it'll make it look less like "work" and more like part of the story and flow seamlessly in the routine.

Melanie and Marko
Louie Van Amstel Tango
Song: Triptico by Gotan Project
I loooved that move at the edge of the stage! Very bold and risky choreography, Louie and the dancers had to have complete faith in Marko's stength for that to work. The ending move was amazing as well. Nigel thought they hadn't been challenged before tonight's dance. Some of those turns and swivels take years to learn how to do correctly, and they did it with only 7 hours of rehearsal time with Louie! Mary thought it could have been better, but they improved SO much between when they saw the dress rehearsal to now. Jesse thinks that they are very special dancers, with a spark that just can't be taught or trained. Sonya said that "everytime I watch [them] dance, I lose my breath." They dance from their soul, and it just makes her shiver while watching them. They are timeless dancers, and with that kind of praise, it sounds like they are not only my favorite couple but the judges as well.

Dee Caspary Contemporary
Song: Sin & Bons bye David J. Roch
I'm really going to miss this couple! I hope they can be just as amazing with new partners. Nigel agrees with me and thinks there's just something magical about them together. Jesse got "you are amazing" in goosebump braille, saying this is his new favorite routine of theirs. This routine made Sonya so grateful that this is the future of dance, they are just unbelievably amazing. Nigel thought it didn't feel choreographed because it just flowed so well and they fully encompassed the emotions of the routine.

Jess and Clarice
Christopher Scott Lyrical Hip Hop
Song: Just the Way You Are by Boyce Avenue
Mary was dancing in her seat to the routine, she loved how cute and innocent the dance was. They "have this pulse and swag that is just exactly the same" that usually takes so long for partners to get. Jesse wants to marry Clarice because she just has this light in her that makes her happy. Sonya also mentioned how they just make her happy and light while watching. Nigel wasn't feeling it at first, but once they got into the ticking and bouncing movements in the chorus it worked completely. I liked the routine, it was very cute and I was impressed with their hip hop talent. Not the best, but definitely not the worst (Sorry Caitlynn and Mitchell!)

Melanie Lapatin and Toni Meredith Jive
Song: Ain't Nothing Wrong With That by Robert Randolph & The Family Band
Nigel's worried about the lifts when it comes to Jess, and he lost the high energy in some brief moments, but overall he loved it and hopes it's enough to get them to the Top 10. Mary didn't see the "joy of the Jive" in Jess; his legs had it but it wasn't in his facial expressions.

Other Odds and Ends

  • "I'm not the king of Broadway, Neil Patrick Harris is." 
  • I love how red Cat turned when Jesse said she deserves an Emmy! I can't believe she's been snubbed every year, she does a fantastic job when it comes to working with the newly booted contestants and keeping the show moving and light during those downer moments. 
  • Favorite Routine of the Night: Jordan/Tadd's evil vulture routine by Travis Wall
  • Worst Routine of the Night: Ryan/Ricky's Broadway by Spencer Liff and Caitlynn/Mitchell's Hip Hop by Christopher Scott. 
  • Tomorrow night's episode will not only reveal the Top 10, but also the All-Stars! I'm hoping Robert, Jacob, Twitch (yes again!), and Alex even though he was hardly on the show. What All-Stars are you hoping for?

Bottom Three Prediction: 

Ryan & Ricky

Jess & Clarice

Caitlynn & Mitchell

It's tough because now it means 50% of the contestants are in danger! If these are the bottom three couples, I think Ryan is going home. Now, it's a tough call if it'll be Mitchell or Jess because while I don't like Jess, the judges obviously do. It could come down to the solos, and I don't know if Jess's solo will be enough to save him. Who do you think will be in danger? Who will miss out on going on tour by thatmuch?

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