Wednesday, July 16

SYTYCD - Top 10 (7/16/08)

3rd judge is Lil'C.

Jessica broke three ribs and had to drop out of the competition (though she hopes to be well by tour time). Comfort is back in!

Courtney & Joshua: Hip Hop, Dave Scott (Mario "Skippin'") - Josh is psyched to have Dave! Courtney is nervous about popping. The routine is Frankenstein with Courtney as the monster. The end was cute w/them kissing & he gets 'shocked'. It was very good, especially Josh of course! The judges all loved him and a couple complimented Courtney as well.

Kherington & Mark
: Two-step, Ronnie DeBenedetta & Brandi Tobias (Ty England "Kick Back") - New genre! And it's tough - a lot of turning and direction changes, we learn in rehearsal. I don't think Kherington has had to do a fast partner dance yet, has she? It shows - she misses a lot of the connections and it seems to be mostly her fault. Mark does his best (and I love the outfit!) but it's not great. Lil 'C (who is surprisingly coherent, dance-terminology educated and constructive) says it was fun but had problems, such as letting the audience see their mistakes (i.e. reacting to them instead of covering). He compliments some of the tricks and their character. Mary says it was a tough routine and Kher's lack of arm technique made it harder on Mark. Nigel said it didn't seem she trusted him but liked their persistence despite the struggles (they never gave up - perhaps referencing the end of her krump?).

Comfort & Twitch: Smooth Waltz, Hunter (Journey's "Open Arms") - this is supposed to be romantic, but Twitch & Comfort definitely have more of a brother-sister vibe so they struggle a bit w/that. It's also supposed to rise and fall, and it mainly falls. Lil 'C says they weren't floating; Mary said it lacked power and the technique was "clunky," and Nigel said the end lift was good, but otherwise it wasn't a strong enough performance for the Top 10 (and I agree).

Katee & Will: Broadway, Tyce ("Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat" by Sam Harris, from Guys & Dolls) - They use an actual boat on stage and the routine is danced in and around the boat. Will is a conservative guy (which on SYTYCD translates into wearing a button-down shirt and nerdy glasses)and Katee is a promiscuous temptress he's trying to calm (but he gives in at the end & rips his shirt open). It was decent; it was Tyce Broadway. ;-) The judges loved it and Nigel said they're the "most technical" dancers on the show.

Chelsie & Gev: Contemporary, Sonya Tayeh ("These Arms of Mine," Otis Redding) - strange song choice for the choreo IMO, they didn't seem to mesh. The story is of a couple in love who are apart & yearning for each other. In practice Courtney complimented Gev's leaps (saying it looked like he'd had years of ballet training) and Mary praised them in the routine. Lil 'C said he loves the emotion of the contemporary style because it calls for dancers to "commit" to the piece and the choreo, which they did; he also praised Gev for not being "choppy" like he expected from his background. Mary also liked their chemistry.

Round 2!

Courtney & Joshua: Rhumba, Jean Marc (Enrique Iglesias' "Hero") - I love this song! Josh is supposed to Courtney's hero in the routine and it requires chemistry and passion, we're told. They succeed! That smouldered a bit in parts and overall was very good, though some of the lifts were shaky. Lil 'C agreed re: the passion and said "I might need my asthma pump!" Hee. All the judges loved it & praised their technique. Strangely, Nigel actually said that Josh danced too "butch" in this one. He also mentioned his open shirt and Josh joked that Twitch & Will get to be shirtless a lot so he needed to catch up w/them!

Kherington & Mark
: Jazz, Tyce ("Canned Heat," Jamiroquai) - No story or characters this time, it's just supposed to showcase style and technique. It was decent; they moved in unison, though she seemed smoother, more like contemporary than jazz IMO. The judges said it was decent technique but didn't excite them at all.

Comfort & Twitch
: Hip Hop, Dave Scott (Chris Brown's "Forever") - Cool!! Obviously they were both in their element, and Twitch was especially good; it was just a pleasure to watch. Lil 'C called it buck (and defined that as "when internal artistry meets physical expression"), as did Mary (!). Nigel gave what he called a great compliment to the choreographer (and dancers) when he said it looked as if it wasn't choreographed at all.

Katee & Will
: Pas de deux, Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson ("Imagine" by David Archuleta! [the horror!]) - Another new genre; described by some as contemporary ballet. It was good, though there seemed to be some missed connections and she hit her head trying to under his arm once (which the judges mentioned as well). The music (besides being annoying in itself) also had a really weird cut/edit which distracted a bit from the dance. But I loved the last pose, Will holding Katee with one leg of hers in front of his, her back to the camera/audience, to the lyrics "will be as one"... that was very nice! The judges raved, Nigel especially about how wonderful it was to have such caliber choreographers on the show. He also said it was the best performance of this season and one of the best ever on the show (I don't know if I'd go that far, but I haven't rewatched it yet).

Chelsie & Gev: Jive, Jean Marc (Brian Selzer) - Jean-Marc says this is a very high-energy dance/piece, and he's not kidding! Definitely one of the hardest jives I've seen a non-ballroom dancer get, and Gev. was. Amazing!! He was channeling Benji again (he really reminds me of him in some of his movements/posture and gestures, like the pointing and his facial expressions). They missed one connection & had a couple other close calls, but overall I thought it was really, really good. Of course Chelsie was brilliant since she finally got something in her specialty! The judges were very complimentary of her but really hard on Gev, especially Lil 'C. Oh well; still a good note to end on!

Solos were interspersed between the couples' performances. Most were pretty much what you'd expect and most were good to very good.

Chelsie (Rihanna) - her 1st solo ever! Typical solo ballroom girl stuff.
Gev (Lupe Fiasco) - awesome! At one point he took his shirt off in the midst of breakdancing.
Courtney (Celine) - need I say more? She had some nice/tough jumps and such though.
Mark (more BoRhap!) - this was very "Mark"! Funky. Afterward he was playing around w/different hand movements to go along w/Cat giving the voting numbers, and Cat totally burst out laughing & gave him a big hug!
Comfort - pretty much her norm.
Twitch (Wade?) - an expansion on last week's Superman solo.
Katee (Maxwell) - good
Will (Luther's "Dance w/my Father") - very good, with an awesome leap!
Kherington (Rihanna) - just ok; definitely the weakest solo of the night.
Josh (Michael Jackson) - awesome! Great at his stuff and added a few moves from his cross-training, great leap!

I think it's a toss-up between Comfort and Kherington for the girl eliminated, but the guys are a very tough call. I'm guessing Mark or Twitch since they seemed the least well-rounded tonight, though they both had great solos (all the guys did!). Wish we didn't have to lose any!!

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