Wednesday, June 21

SYTYCD - Top 18 (6/21/06)

Everyone gets short little intro dances again; Travis spins again (beautifully, but I hope he doesn't get in a rut), and Jessica & Joy are here again, why? They just both seemed to do simple, boring stuff. They & Ivan are definitely my least favorite at this point, but we'll see....

For tonight's fluff, the judges (Shane, Mia, & Nigel - no Brian, again! boo!) are asked about standout auditioners from certain cities. But then Cat has a short interview w/Hawk & we see a video montage (um, some of those clips weren't him!). Then we get a performance by the other 4 Sickstep Crew members!! That was quite fun. All 3 judges loved them, not that they're being judged. On to the competition!

Couple #1: Travis & Martha doing Krump! Oh my. Travis was *very* excited to hear their assignment. The choreographer is one of the "co-creators" of the style and describes it as very energetic & aggressive. Travis mentions the high expectations they have after last week's ("too many") nice comments. However, he lived up to it: he was just awesome at the beginning! Lost a bit of energy & sharpness toward the end but was still good, & Martha did well. Shane was amazed at Travis, asked the audience to give him another round of applause & said he could be a krunk dancer today if he wanted! Mia, who prefaced her comments with "I really feel dorky critiquing this in flowers" (referring to her flouncy shirt), loved them, and Nigel mostly agreed (though he noted they didn't come close to approaching the speed of Lil C's routine, and, he, um, "demonstrated" a bit!).

#2: Jaymz (were they showing it as "Jamyz" tonight?) & Jessica - Foxtrot. With Mary and Artem, and speaking of Mary and Artem, WHA?!??!! Are they a couple??!?! Maybe she's not as old as she acts & he's older than he looks, but wow, I did *not* see that coming! Um, ok, back to the dancing... they were good, smooth. Shane said "perfect"; Mia said "mature," "slick," and in honor of Nigel, "bloody beautiful;" Nigel said it was good but wasn't sure it was good enough to prevent a repeat showing in the bottom 3.

#3: Ivan & Allison - Hip-Hop. They built Allison up a lot from the practice & said we'd be surprised at how good she was, but she really wasn't. The crowd seemed to like it, as did Shane & Nigel, but Mia didn't; she said yes, they "did the steps," but that it was still lacking, and I agree.

#4: Dmitry & Joy - Samba (with Mark Weiss; I don't remember seeing him before, but I like him), which was described as a dance that "travels a lot" and requires "heavy" but "quick" footwork. Dmitry was great and Joy struggled, both as expected. The judges pretty much agreed (Mia called Joy "dreadful").

#5: Musa & Natalie - Contemporary. It was very good, though I didn't personally care for the routine very much; it didn't 'do' anything for me. The judges liked them. And said that the chemistry and balance they showed (of skill & style) is exactly what they were going for as they paired up contestants.

#6: Ryan & Heidi - Pop. They danced to Kelly Clarkson's "Walk Away," which I really like, and to me the 80's outfits and somewhat simple choreography were disappointing. They did do a good job though. Shane absolutely loved it and said for him they'd just become "the group to beat." (To which Mia replied, "really?!" hee!) Mia & Nigel thought they were just ok.

#7: Ben & Ashley - American Jive, a very fast, high-energy dance. In practice they showed a slight collision as Ben attempted the leapfrog-style jump over Ashley's head (while she was standing straight up), and he said "I now know why we're dancing to 'Great Balls of Fire'; that hurt!" - bwah!). I loved their performance! No, it wasn't perfect, but it was very entertaining and I still think he's a very good dancer (had great footwork on the fast kicks). Shane didn't like it; Mia enjoyed & was especially impressed w/Ashley, given her background (popper w/very little formal training); Nigel enjoyed their energy & said they improved "beyond belief" since last week. I tossed them a few votes just in case.

#8: Jason & Aleksandra - Hip-hop ("old school"). He was awesome; she was good. Shane & Nigel both loved him, but didn't like her; Mia liked both. Nigel said if that was supposed to be about "flavor," she was tofu.

Once again they saved the best for last! #9: Benji & Donyelle - Cha Cha. Of course something Benji should be great at, and he certainly was, but so was Donyelle. The crowd loved them & just went nuts, and Shane gave them an S.O.! He said they were definitely the best of the night. Mia said they'd be in the yearbook as "most unlikely couple," but they were fabulous; Nigel referred to last week when he declared Travis & Martha the "couple to beat" and said to Benji & Donyelle, "You've just beaten them." He also addressed Donyelle's weight issue, saying that he knows she's struggled with it (and been rejected because of it) but that she looks "comfortable" with it and is one of the sexiest gals on the stage, and that because of that she is an inspiration to many girls (who aren't comfortable w/their weight). Well put.

IMO the race is definitely on between Travis (the best dancer) and Benji (the best entertainer) for the title. Overall I'm very impressed with the skill level and am enjoying the season very much.

My predictions for bottom 3: Dmitry & Joy, Jason & Alex, and Ryan & Heidi, with Joy and Jason leaving. But I think it's a hard call.

For anyone interested, I ran across a nice interview with Benji about his mission trip. It also mentions/explains the "donut drop" move that he & Heidi did during the group dance-out at the end of tonight's show (very cool!).


RealityCheck said...

I pretty much agree with you on everything. As you can see if you check out my recap... :)

Kat said...

Hey, your blog isn't listed in your profile! I don't remember what it's called & the blog search didn't turn up anything. Let me know where you are....