Wednesday, July 5

SYTYCD - Top 14 (7/5/06)

The good thing about having RockStar on the same night as SYTYCD is that it will keep me from obsessively rewatching the dancing all evening. ;-) The bad think is that I have 2 recaps to do! (I thought about not, but really, how can I not? Sigh...)

I got home 30 minutes into the show and they were doing Intro dances! So I'm not sure what the first half hour was, I'll watch it tomorrow or Friday (looked like audition footage & backstage stuff; I glanced back a bit on my tape during the 1st commercial & saw Brian dancing, so yay!).

Tonight's judges are Nigel, Mary, and Dan. A guest krump performance by Li'l C and group started things off & then it's on to our contestants!

1) Ryan and Heidi - Hip-Hop (Shane Sparks)
They joked in practice that they were assuming new identities for the week to feel more in character for the genre, even giving themselves new names (something like Hakeem and Shadan)! Shane loved their attitude, and Heidi, especially, had a blast with it. They both wore white (her outfit was rather skimpy) and did well, especially Ryan. The routine was great, very entertaining and fit the music like a glove. The crowd loved it; Nigel said he loved the "personalities" they showed (no surprise there); Mary loved it also; Dan said it was better than he expected but they were a bit too cheerlead-y (w/snappy movements).

2) Travis and Martha - Salsa (Ron Montez)
Ron said the dance is supposed to be spicy and flirty; they struggled quite a bit in practice as the style was so different & new for them. The performance wasn't perfect but it was very fun! They did several tricks & had some sexy moves; I think the routine was good. The crowd loved it; Nigel said Travis was too sharp in movement & not sultry enough (I agree); he also said Ron did a good job of highlighting each of their strengths (Travis' spinning and Martha's figure!). Mary criticized them quite a bit, including saying Travis did not seem "masculine" enough (- I agree; I don't know if it was the pink sparkly accents to his outfit or the type of dance, and I hate to stereotype, but he appeared very much the gay man he supposedly is and I hadn't seen that in his other dances; it detracted from the supposed sexy moves for me as they weren't believable toward Martha, but I still enjoyed watching him very much). Dan complimented them, saying he was entertained.

3) Dmitri and Ashlee - Contemporary (Brian Friedman) to Fall Out Boy's "Dance Dance"
They joked ahead of time about Dmitri's loss of partners & that he's seeing a counselor. ;-) Brian was, expectedly, very creative and also tough! The 'story' of the dance was that Ashlee is a doll in a toy shop, and Dmitri is a (runaway?) circus ringleader who brings her to life by waving his wand over her. Alrighty then! He said the dancing & routine would be different than we've seen on the show thus far; the costuming was definitely 'out there' (Ashlee wore a tutu and corset and Dmitri really had a wand) but I really enjoyed it (and afterward Ashlee acknowledged Brian in the audience saying he's "a genius!"). It was a very physical dance (Brian compared it to running track), and very new for both of them (neither ever had to point their toes before, for example). Nigel said that they know Dmitri is a magician, since he "made 2 partners disappear"! He also said it was entertaining and that was the point. Mary also complimented them, but Dan said they didn't portray the characters well enough even though the dancing was ok.

4) Musa and Natalie - Disco
(Doriana Sanchez) to Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff"
Doriana liked Musa's strength because he could do tricks & lifts; Musa & Doriana both complimented Natalie on her willingness to take risks and try the moves! They both looked very 'hot' (w/some help from her skin-colored costume with appropriately placed fringe); several transitions were rough but it was a good performance overall. Nigel said they had a good partnership as he noticed them helping each other with certain things; Mary gave a "Woo!" and said the difference from last week to this was like going from "crap to caviar"; and Dan said "If sex sells, then you guys just made about a million dollars." He said it came across well because it wasn't forced, it "just is." (Careful Dan, unless you want us to start calling you Paula!)

5) Benji and Donyelle - Viennese Waltz, to Bryan Adams' "Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman"
I was really annoyed by Donyelle's difficulty with the name of the dance; she initially said "Vietnamese" and never really did get it. (I think if someone had explained it was from Vienna that might've helped, because she kept putting a 't' in it.) Other than that, their practice clip was greatly entertaining (as usual). One choreographer (I didn't catch their names but it wasn't someone familiar) said Benji was being too boyish and not masculine enough, and Donyelle said he was working on "channeling his inner Dmitri;" then he went to practice w/Dmitri for a bit! When they performed he had his hair slicked back, and Donyelle had a gorgeous dress (black & red); he also pulled off the proper posture/attitude for the most part. There were lots of screams from the girls in the audience after certain moves & of course at the end. The judges also loved it; Mary said they had an amazing "flow" & acknowledged the difficulty of this dance for both of them. Dan said the most important thing about dance is to entertain, and said that "whether they're dancing, talking to the camera, or just being stupid," they're the most entertaining couple he's ever seen! Almost in direct response, they hammed it up during Cat's voting number spiel, Benji suggestively raising his eyebrow and pulling his shirt open to show his chest, and Donyelle feeling his arm & pec muscles! So cute. *

6) Ivan and Allison - West Coast Swing (Ron & Carla Montez) to Pat Benatar
Ron described this dance style as classic "American", from the era of WWII, the GI's and the jitterbug, and as something everyone loves to watch. Allison complained a bit that they'd done a lot of ballroom, but also said it seemed a happy-go-lucky dance and they're both young & energetic so it should be a good fit; however, Ron had to correct them several times not to be "too happy"! Her outfit was strange with rows of fringe on the pants, but the performance was good. I've been watching a lot of WCS video clips lately (from Benji & Heidi's past) and it didn't compare to those, so I'm not as objective as I might otherwise be. Nigel said Allison was great, and Ivan showed more confidence (and mentioned the call from his dad *again*! sheesh!); Mary said Allison was "perfection" (?!) and said if she picked the winner right now it would be her (obvious pimping, much?). However, she did say that she wasn't "sexy" at all. Dan complimented Ron's choreography, saying they looked more like they were dancing freestyle than performing a routine.

7) Jaymz and Jessica - Hip-Hop (Shane) Before they chose, Jaymz said he'd like to do hip-hop, and he mentioned he's had a little training in it. They struggled in practice, especially Jessica in learning to pop, and both in timing their 'scarf toss'. The performance was great though! I loved how in character they were, there were a lot of fun moves, & Jaymz especially was very sharp. Nigel said it was tough to critique, that they danced well but didn't have the "feeling" necessary, calling it "hip-hop by numbers" (like paint-by-numbers). Mary loved it and emphasized how different this was from Jess's ballet background. Dan didn't think they pulled it off, saying that it was clean and they were "perfectly together" (I didn't think so) but the technique wasn't there. Jaymz got rather defensive talking about how different the style was for them and how short of a time they had in which to learn it (only 3 hours?); Nigel reminded them that's what the whole competition is about & everyone else has similar situations. I think that may push Jaymz's chances over the edge on which he's been tottering, unfortunately (he brings the pretty and I really like his dancing).

Whew! Overall probably the most entertaining & enjoyable show yet, IMO. Aaaaand I just realized I forgot to vote. Oh well (I would've voted for Jaymz/Jessica and maybe Dmitri/Ashlee; I don't think Benji/Donyelle need votes at this point). Time to sleep!!

* I can't believe I forgot about Donyelle's toe! During the judges' comments Nigel mentioned she "might be" dancing with a broken toe, & Cat asked her about it- she said last week she jammed it into the floor & that it keeps getting worse! I hope she sees the doctor soon (though she probably already has) & that it doesn't get any worse!! She said she couldn't/didn't feel it while dancing, but depending on what type of dance they pull, it could be problematic.

I also forgot my predictions! So, for the 4th edit or so... I'll say Dmitri/Ashlee, Jaymz/Jessica, and the third one's really a toss-up; I'll pick Musa/Natalie. With Jaymz & Jessica both going home.

No comments: