Here we are again, Gasmi. Another week, another lame guest judge. Let me just spoil it for you now: the guest judge is Carmen Electra and she is fucking useless. I may skip most of her comments altogether, but don’t worry; you won’t be missing anything.
I’d insert a quote from Scary Movie here but that would mean I’d have to watch it.
I want to give you all another shout out this week for all your great comments, and a welcome to all you new commenters. You guys truly are the reason we recappers spend so much time and energy writing these recaps and reading your thoughts (raves or rants) is food for my creative soul.
A couple of answers/comments back atcha: I nominate cattyfan to sneak into Sir BitchyPants’ house and remove said Fosse posters. I also recommend burning all his Fosse DVDs. Ryan = a thumb =hilariously accurate. I also hope Debbie Allen comes back SOON. My first dance performance was when I was three. I wore a white kitten/tutu outfit, complete with cat makeup and a perm rod created white girl afro. And No, I do NOT have pictures, so don’t even ask!
Hopefully now that things are more back to normal for me we can get back to the back and forth conversation in the comments that I’ve been missing with you guys. Y’all are my watercooler buddies for this show!
So, on to the show! Last week we lost Miranda and Woobert and no one was sad about half of that boot. This week the dancers will perform in two group numbers as well as the seven partnered routines. Welcome! To So You Think You Can Dance (contemporary and jazz……..jazz….jazz)!
Sometimes Cat really gets it right with her outfit and tonight is one of those nights for me.
Love you Cat!
After our usual intro to the remaining dancers, it’s time to meet our judges for this evening. As we all know Nigel and Mary have their asses super glued to their seats at the judging table. I’ve already told you all that Carmen Electra will be breathing hot air all night.
Rounding out the panel to the new norm of four is Travis Wall.
I’m not sure how I feel about the velvet tux.
Velvet Tux would be a great name for band, doncha think? No? Hm. I don’t know how I feel about Travis judging. I loved him as a dancer on the show; I think he’s a really talented young choreographer, but a judge? Don’t we have enough people blowing smoke up all the dancers’ asses? I just feel like it’s going to be even more gummi bears and rainbows and I’m so over that.
I think it’s sort of cute how the show tries to sell us on Carmen’s extensive dance background. She started dancing at five, appears to have majored in dance in high school which I’m assuming is possible at a performing arts high school? From there she moved to L.A. hooked up with Prince, started thrashing and loved it, and…..Pussycat Dolls.
Her words, not mine.
Is anyone else finding the amount of attention that PCD is getting this season vaguely disturbing? I know it’s a working gig and all, but it’s not something I would have ever aspired to as a dancer. It’s also not something I’d want my eleven year old niece (or daughter, if I had one) to dream of becoming. I dunno, it seems creepy and perhaps Nigel-inspired to me.
I do love them boobs. And butts. Hell, I love it all, except the penises; I don’t love those. REALLY.
Cat us very excited to have Travis on the panel and she tells him how proud they all are of him. He wonders if he’s really getting to judge – he says after he got the call he definitely had to change his pants.
Aw, I can forgive him though because he really is adorably excited and grateful to be there.
We’re starting out tonight with the first of our group numbers. Cat tells us the judges will not be commenting on these routines (remember that later) but they will take them into account when they’re deciding who to boot. For this one, the top seven guys will be getting together with Justin Giles who is new to the SYTYCD choreography pool.
He’s really excited to get to choreograph for the show and tells us he’s happy that he gets to work with the guys (as if he’d say anything else anyway). There is much flexing of manly muscles and an attempt at flexing by Jess.
Good grief, we gotta get something better than that.
Ah, that’s better.
Justin tells us this piece is about the seven stages of grief: all the guys are representing one man that has been cheated on by his woman. We see which stage each guy is given and coincidentally they each say or do something that goes along with their assigned stage. It’s so uncanny when that happens.
This is one of those routines where the camerawork makes me want to gouge someone’s eyes out. There were obviously some really subtle things going on with every dancer throughout the piece, but the cameramen kept zooming in to just one dancer and I really feel like we were robbed of something there. The few times I saw the others in a close up, I wanted to see more.
Crappy camerawork aside, I liked this piece. I don’t know that I would have gotten the concept without being told, but I would have known there was some sort of angst and anger involved. Marko was definitely a star of this piece (and Jess too even though his face still annoys me), and the rest of the guys seemed to be more of a backdrop except for Chris. Wow was he exposed as the weakest dancer left. His timing was severely off in one section, drawing attention to him in a not so good way, and it’s just obvious that the guy is out of his league at this point.
After a quick break and costume change we’re ready to start the partnered dance portion of the night. First up are Melanie and Marko. No performance show would be complete without filler, so of course we must tackle that subject first. This week’s topic? Remind ourselves about who they are and find out about their families. This week’s reaction from me?
As if you didn’t know.
Marko first. He auditioned last year and got to Vegas but Nigel was not a fan; he was determined to make him a fan this time around. A lot of his family are doctors and lawyers so his decision to be a dancer was a bit of a shock. Maybe it was the fact that his dance job was in a drag show.
I was not the drag queen!
He tells us, but he did have to dress up in drag as an initiation rite.
He makes a mighty cute girl!
Melanie auditioned in Atlanta and everyone thinks she is awesome, including me. Her mom is also super cute and very supportive. She went to Fordham for art but has put everything on hold to be here. Well, almost everything. She has not put on hold her relationship with her boyfriend, Mitchell. No, not ChrisTuckerMitchell, a different one who just happened to attended the show last week in time for the M&M kiss. Awkward!
Okay, I can tell I love these two (maybe too much) because I don’t think I’ve ever spent this much time on a couple’s filler bullshit before. What is wrong with me??
They will be doing a jazz routine with another newbie to the SYTYCD choreography pool, Ray Leeper. RAY LEEPER!!!!!!!!!!!!
Gasmi, I freaking LOVE Ray. He runs the Nuvo workshops and is an awesome teacher. So exciting!
The concept for this routine is a Romeo & Juliet sort of story. Since the backstory that we won’t ever see has them deciding to elope, much is made of the progression from their kiss last week to eloping this week. Har har har.
I think they actually may have messed up in one of the parts. Where he dragged her across the floor it looks like they missed something and it caused Melanie to stumble a bit. There was also a hiccup at the end, but I didn’t notice that one the first time around.
I have some friends that really despised this number. I don’t know if my love of Ray is blinding me a little, but I liked it. Having said that, I think this may be their weakest performance so far, but nonetheless I will bet it’s still far better than others we’ll see over the course of the evening.
Cat is going to Travis first.
I think he feels the same way about Marko and Melanie that I do!
He thinks it was an amazing way to start the show and rallies the audience to applaud again. He is in agreement with me and thinks it’s awesome to have Ray here; Travis has taken his class since he was nine. He tells Melanie and Marko that he loves them so much and then tells Melanie she is, by far, his favorite dancer in the competition. See? Gummi bears and rainbows.
Let’s move on to Carmen.
Have you guys seen my boobs?
How could they miss them, Carmen. Mary says WOW and adds that nothing great is ever produced without passion which they are overflowing with. She wants to rename Marko the Domination Man and that takes me to kinky Mary place that I didn’t want to visit.
I want ya to whip that botox right outta me!
Nigel says that what’s really fantastic here is that their technique matches their performance. He says he just realized that they we only walking in one part and he was mesmerized. He is also confused by Marko’s dabble into drag and Cat (AWESOME as usual) says he didn’t inhale. LOVE HER.
Our next couple is Sasha and Alexander. Hey, did you know that Sasha’s sister auditioned with her and made it all the way through until they brought them out together and cut her? Me either. You’d have thought they’d have shown something like that. Natalia has been in the audience every week supporting her sister which is exactly what I would do as well. Also? Their family is Trinidadian, huge and the place to go if you want to party.
Alexander didn’t start dancing until he was seventeen and that was to get out of P.E. After high school he went to a ballet school instead of college and fell in love with it. On the family front his dad is a former 70’s actor who seems to have done a lot of extra work on cop shows while cultivating his mock Shaun Cassidy hairdo.
The 70’s go-to ‘do.
They will be dancing a hip hop routine with yet another new choreographer, Shawn Evaristo. Wow! Was Nigel trolling the internet recently and saw us all complaining about the lack of variety on the show? Hmmm…..maybe I should use this opportunity………uh, Nigel? Stop trying to make me like Ryan because it’s never gonna happen. NEVER.
Okay, this routine is all about the end of a date and Alexander is trying to get a good night kiss from Sasha who is either a tease or used him for a fee dinner. Either way, she’s not smooching. There is talk of swag and Alexander’s lack of it, and there’s a little something happening for me with Sasha as the season progresses. I get a distinct vibe from her that she does not like Alexander and it’s making me like her a little less. I can’t explain it because it’ not like I love the guy, but it’s happening all the same.
I did not like this at all. Alexander was way too balletesque in his movement (aka, swaggerless) but for all her talk about his lack of swag, Miss Sasha wasn’t all that either. Honestly, I was completely bored by this piece. I think I may have dozed off briefly. Maybe not, but it sure made me tired.
Let’s skip over Carmen this time around (if you really want to know what she said here just imagine the sound of air being let out of a tire and you’ll be close) and get right to Mary. Cat asks her, did she see the swag? She wishes she didn’t, but nope. Cue audience boo. She doesn’t care. She says she loves them and would rather be on the other side, but this was lacking. She didn’t believe their connection and actually feels like they didn’t connect with the piece, so she didn’t connect with the piece.
Nigel starts out by putting his hands to ears, knowing that he’s about to be booed as well. He tells them for him it was like hip hop 101; it seemed very simple. He didn’t feel like either of them had swag. He thinks that maybe they need to go through Hip Hop For Dummies or something.
You first, Nigel.
I think that comment is pretty rich coming from him, of all people. This is a guy that LOVES homogenized hip hop, and even though I agree with what he’s saying, I’d still like him to SHUT THE FUCK UP.
Travis says he didn’t hate it as much as everyone else. He tells them as far as technical critique, they do need to work on their shading and musicality; he felt like they were slushing through the choreography a little bit. Also? Straighten your knees on your aerials (bwahahahaha!) and all that good stuff. He gives a weak “I liked it, I liked it, I liked it” at the end, but you and I know he totally didn’t.
What a minute, Gasmi. What happened just now? Was that actual CRITIQUE? Was there a decided lack of gummi bears and rainbows? I’m shocked! And SO FUCKING HAPPY. I guess I shouldn’t get too excited; after all, it’s only one number. But still.
Next up are Stripperella and Tadd. Stripperella was into sports before she became a pole dancer and if nothing else her filler reels shows us that she really loves that developpe pivot move. Tadd grew up in Salt Lake City and comes from a large Filipino family. He tells us he was one of the few Filipino kids in school when he was little, so he thought he was Caucasian. When he went to San Francisco he put him more in touch with his Filipino roots and made him who he is today. He’s proud to represent Filipinos on this show. I just really love this guy.
They will be dancing a smooth waltz choreographed by Toni Redpath. She tells us it’s the story of a siren trying to lure Tadd to his death. Stripperella confuses siren with mermaid, and then sings awfully. I think she may have actually made my ears bleed a little.
Okay. So here’s the thing about this piece for me. While I thought it was actually a really beautiful routine, it felt like more of a contemporary piece to me than a waltz. I’m no ballroom expert. So those Gasmi out there that are please let me know if you disagree. Isn’t there supposed to be a rise and fall in the waltz? I mean, I get that it’s a smoooooth waltz, but still. Anyway, I guess the point is that I DID like it; I just am disputing the smooth waltz moniker.
We start with Mary who goes into a whole thing about the waltz, but about the 1800s waltz which isn’t what they were tasked with and therefore offer nothing for me when it comes to this particular dance. She says the smooth waltz is the American version which allows for the partners to separate. She calls it dreamy and romantic and thinks that the beginning was absolutely beautiful. Well done.
Nigel thinks the choreography was really clever and then talks about how great Tadd did )he’s a hip hop guy don’t forget) and there is much made of his progressive twinkles. Cat wonders aloud who twinkles is and shows again why we all love her so. She also calls Tadd twinkletoes, and I honestly hope she never leaves this show.
What would we ever do without her?
Which makes her numerous Emmy snubs all the more infuriating.
Travis thinks it was beautiful. It could have been a little smoother; he feels like they were putting periods on the end of all their sentences and he thinks they should have run on all their sentences. I LOVE that analogy so much!
Travis, I take it all back! I am LOVING you as a guest judge!
He also tells Stripperella that her extension and lines are beautiful but he feels like she could extend a little more coming out of her leg when she’s coming out of her hips. He’s in awe of how easily it seems that Tadd is handling all these genres outside of his own. He’s been there, and he’s freaking out at the ease with which he is handling it.
We’re moving on now to Clarice and Jess. Clarice is from California and her family is very supportive of her dancing. Clarice also loves family dinner and watching movies with her family. Clarice is boring. Jess is a Jersey boy who has always been involved in drama and performing arts. I wish I liked him more because I was a drama geek in high school as well. BUT THAT SMIRK. GAH!!!!!
They’ve gotten contemporary this week with Justin Giles. Wait. Has anyone else noticed anything strange? Hold on a sec. Let me check on something……..I fucking KNEW something was off. This is now the fourth pair that has gotten the SAME GENRE that they had just two weeks ago!! What are the odds of that?
Let’s run them down for shits and giggles (well, giggles at least). Melanie and Marko: jazz/jazz, Sasha and Alexander: hip hop/hip hop, Stripperella and Tadd: Viennese waltz/smooth waltz (close enough), and now Clarice and Jess: contemporary/contemporary. What’s with all the repeats? It’s not like we’re in the top eight or six! Jeesh! So, to keep the tally going forward…..the remaining couples week two styles were: Caitlynn and Mitchell: contemporary, Ricky and Ryan: jazz, and Ashley and Chris: Broadway. I’m keeping an eye on this shit.
Back to the routine. Justin tells us this piece is a about a couple that’s been involved in a very intense relationship which is now coming to an end. Jess tells us that Justin’s style is very intricate and very specific and we see that there seem to be a lot of sharp stops and accents in this piece.
Wow. I actually loved this piece AND Jess in it. I know! I’m as confused as you are by that! I think it’s because for the minute it took to get through this dance he managed to wipe that fucking smirk off his face. I loved the disjointed feel to this piece, especially given the story Justin was going for; it fit that perfectly. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I’m digging Jess right now.
Yeah, I should have known he’d never be able to sustain the smirk/drama boy boycott. It’s sad because this guy is such a phenomenal dancer (I know I’m repeating myself here but it’s so true) and he’s just undermining himself with the smirk and the overly dramatic reactions. Maybe it is residual braces awkwardness, but it still grates on my nerves.
Travis tells him it’s his favorite routine that they’ve done all season, hands down. I completely agree. He gives a shout out to Justin, calling his musicality ridiculous (so true) and then says that this is the first time that the chemistry in their performance was honest and he believed them. And then he gives Clarice a note about pushing down with her supporting leg when in her other leg is up.
It’s official; I love Travis in that judging seat!
Nigel is in total agreement. He also gives a shout out to Justin for this routine and also on the boys’ group number which he loved as well (and wasn’t supposed to comment on). What he really loves here is that it’s so staccato and yet so full of emotion. He also thinks the emotion was very honest between them and he really felt the anger that they felt. Tremendously danced, tremendously choreographed.
Mary continues the lovefest and says their partnership and been growing each week and their going in the right direction without peaking too soon. She loved the light and shade of the synchronization section and then tells Jess he has proved that he is versatile and he is here to stay.
Time for Ashley and Chris. Gvufcijpocf,gjhnk,fgfijgjfh dkml,gl fiigjjg fjeoergj fwejfjfevije. Sorry. I nodded off during their filler. I tried rewinding but it happened again. Note to all Gasmi: don’t try to drive or operate heavy machinery while listening to Ashley or Chris talk.
This week they will be dancing a Liz Lira salsa. First couple tonight that doesn’t match up to week one. Maybe Nigel nodded out when he was trying to remember what they did week two. Of course the salsa is supposed to be spicy not sleepy so I’m thinking we might have some trouble here.
That……was painful. Also, boring. There was no speecy in that spicy. Hell, there was no spicy in it either! TERRIBLE.
Travis tells them he loves them. It started out really hopeful.
For juuuuuust about five seconds.
He says the lifts were awesome, but the chemistry wasn’t there, it didn’t pop, it didn’t have energy and then he gets booed. Chris uses this opportunity to tell Travis he’s so mean and I think Chris should shut the fuck up because he’s actually trying to be nice. It’s not HIS fault y’all suck elephant ass.
Mary also thinks it was weak, but points out that they are the only two dancers right now that are on the hot tamale train. As if we care. She tells Ashley there were some moments where she was absolutely on fire and Chris did a good job not dropping Ashley.
Nigel says there were some great lifts in there and they nailed them, but if we’re talking about the feel of salsa, it wasn’t there. He feels uncomfortable talking about Chris’ hips (of course) but compares Chris doing to salsa to him trying to do a krump. Yeah, that’s spot on.
We’re moving on to Ryan and Ricky now. We revisit the whole Mia saving Ryan from having to quit dance thing and Ryan also tells us about how she did an episode of House (because of Mia) and says it was fun and great. Ricky used to be a cheerleader. You know what they say….
Cheerleaders are dancers. Who’ve gone retarded.
They will be dancing a jazz routine (another week two match) choreographed by Chucky Klapow. Chucky tells us this piece is about two members of a cult of fashion that are now dead. Or undead. He says it’s very stylized movement but very jazz driven technique. He wants them to attack it with the funk of laziness.
I love that Chucky set this piece to David Bowie’s “Fashion”, sooooooo great. As far as the dance itself, I really like the choreography that Chucky did and I think Ricky KILLED it. I remain unmoved by Ryan. I think I’ve figured out what it is. As some of you have already pointed out, she’s very clunky in her movement, she lacks grace. Also, in my opinion, she has no heart in her dancing. She goes through the movements, but there’s nothing behind that for me and that’s a huge part of watching and really enjoying a dancer.
From a technique aspect, again Ricky was TIGHT. Ryan was heavy and labored and she fell out of her pirouette at the end because her center was off. How much you wanna bet that no one mentions that?
Carmen tells them they rocked and she loves the music choice.
I think you guys might have eaten my brain!!!
Yikes! Talk about empty calories.
Mary tells Ricky he was as strong as ever and he got into the character really deep. Then she tells Ryan she went full tilt zombie and she loved her here. WOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! That scream is Mary’s, not mine. Mine after was one of pain from ear bleedage.
Nigel agrees with Mary and calls this a sort of zombie Zoolander routine which is surprising witty and spot on from him. He then makes a Chucky/Child’s Play joke and I’m back to wanting him to shut it. He loves the quirk of this piece and says it’s great to see choreography that allows them to be so together even when they are dancing apart. And then…..sacrilege. He says it reminds him of Ramalama.
THAT. Is a liiiiiieeeee.
Ramalama was probably the best group number to ever come out of this show and to compare this to that is such complete and utter bullshit. And I liked this piece! Sure, they’re both zombie routines and maybe this one made you think of Ramalama, but don’t go trying to say that this even comes close to that one.
You know Travis agrees with me because when Nigel points out that he was I that number Travis says that he (and the rest of season two’s top ten) KILLED that number. The he says they killed this number too. But it’s the way he said it. Go back and watch again if you don’t believe me. He tells Ryan and Ricky that they had his attention the entire time and he sees them both here well past top ten. He also tells Ryan she’s one of his favorite girls.
The last couple of the evening is Caitlynn and Mitchell. Caitlynn is an outdoorsy tomboy kind of girl that misses her dad because he works overseas and is only home every other month. She really is adorable. Mitchell’s dad died when he was two and at eight he was homeless, living in a car. A year later his mom got a job and has supported his dream all along. He wants to show kids that they stay focused and keep their eye on the prize things do get better.
They’ve got Mandy Moore for contemporary (another week two match which makes SIX out of seven). And Mandy tells us that this routine is about falling in love and the vulnerability of falling in love and falling into someone. There seems to be a lot of trust required for this piece and Mandy thinks the connection needs to feel real in order for us to buy into this.
This routine is a great reminder that when Mandy Moore gets it right she really gets it right. There were some wonderful lift sequences in this and they were executed so well. I loved this despite the Celine Dion song, which you all know is really saying something for me. Caitlynn is a gorgeous dancer and right now for me she is the only girl that has a chance to give Melanie a run for her money. I’d love to see these two as the female half of the top four when we get there. And now I’ve probably jinxed them both.
Cat says it was almost like her and Joshua at the Fourth of July barbeque, but not quite. Hey now! I wish I could go to Cat’s BBQ. **sniffle**. How come I’m never invited?
The judges are up on their feet for this one and I fully support the standing O. Mary shouts out to Mandy Moore that that was her favorite number of the night which of course makes Mandy happy. She tells Mitchell and Caitlynn it was so beautiful and she gets choked up talking to them. She says that she knows Mitchell is injured and I wonder if it’s the old one from week one, or is this a new one. She thinks they were amazing.
Nigel says Mary is absolutely right; the emotion in that routine grabbed us all. He thinks the leaps and lifts were gorgeous in this and he loved how they went with the movement and just flowed throughout this. The whole routine took his breath away.
Though not as permanently as we all might hope.
Travis agrees 100%. Like Nigel he found himself catching his breaths during the lifts and loves the surprise of Caitlynn this season. He didn’t see her coming. Mitchell as well. He thinks they are unbelievable and tells them to take this moment. Carmen is a vapid echo of the other judges.
So now we’re down to one more dance for tonight and that is the ladies group number which is being choreographed by Ray Leeper. YAY! He tells us this routine is about seven girlfriends whose mission it is to rid the world of evil men. Hopefully they’ll stab Nigel at the end.
I LOVE THIS ROUTINE!!!! Like LOVE LOVE LOVE IT. Did I mention I love it? I love the Fosse feel Ray’s got going on here and he does everything right that Sir BitchyPants gets wrong when going with this style. Ray has that musicality that BitchyPants completely misses the boat on and really that’s a lot of what separates the hack from someone who pays tribute to and emulates another’s style. I could watch this over and over and be happy each time.
Normally this is where I would say that’s the end of the show, but after cat gives us everyone’s numbers one last time she gives another shout out to Travis as a judge that I feel deserves to be seconded. I thought for sure he was going to be gushy and sweet and annoy me, but I really loved him here. Not only did he give honest critique, but when he didn’t like something he actually talked about what they need to work on. It was almost like watching the first few seasons again.
Nigel also gives him props, saying he was much better than Nigel himself tonight (as if that’s hard to accomplish) and then he gives a shout out to the alumni in the audience and uses that as an opportunity to tell us all that Kathryn has scored a role in Step Up 4. I adore Kathryn so I am happy for her. Plus I can never seem to resist those movies.
And now that’s the show, Gasmi. What did you think? Were you a skeptic turned believer for Travis judging? Were you happy to actually see critique from all the judges tonight? What about the new choreographers? Favorites? Ones you weren’t impressed with?
I feel a little rekindling of the excitement about this show tonight and it really feels so good. There are still some dancers I need gone, but now that the judges aren’t shitting on my head and telling me it’s raining I’m not feeling quite as stabby about it.
I can’t wait to hear what you guys think! Just remember, no results talk here; I’m working on that recap next and will have it to you as soon as possible. See ya there!