Wednesday, July 23

SYTYCD - Top 8 (7/23/08)

Sorry this is a bit late, I was worn out from the other recap earlier this week!

This week's third judge is Toni Basil. Apparently she's a big dancer & choreographer now. And the video clips are back - before each solo we'll learn how each contestant started dancing.

Courtney & Will: Samba, Jean-Marc (Che'Nelle "I Fell in Love w/the DJ") - Decent, though weird music for a samba. Nigel liked their technique and chemistry; Mary mentioned a couple of issues w/Will but overall loved it; Toni enjoyed it ("so much that [she] didn't take notes!").

Comfort solo: She attended a performing arts high school! And said she always got in trouble in ballet class. Her solo was good, there were a couple of new moves and it was timed *perfectly*!

Katee & Twitch: Contemporary, Mia ("Mercy" by Duffy) - Turns out these two were friends before the show, so they have good rapport. The dance is about a couple arguing; she is upset (and codependent) but he's cool & unaffected. And there is a door on stage! It's actually kind-of cool, he tries to throw her out but she keeps trying to get back in, and there's one really fun leap where he holds onto the edge of the door to jump over her. Great routine! (This year's "table"? I enjoyed it much better than the "bed" one, anyway!!) Nigel said the performance was fantastic but it was hard to judge the actual dancing. Toni mentioned that Twitch was "lucky" that the music was funk and fit his style so well (yes, I'm sure that was puuuurely luck). She loved it.

Will solo: He was inspired to dance after seeing Patrick Swayze's coolness in Dirty Dancing! (Hee.) His solo is awesome: he's wearing a suit and wig and the whole thing is a James Brown tribute/impersonation using "Get Up Offa That Thing"! Much fun!! SO's by all the judges.

Comfort & Mark: Hip-hop, Napoleon and Tabitha ("Party People" by Nelly and Fergie) - They'll be portraying kids stuck in detention when the teacher leaves. They start out in school desks and after a bell rings they get up and dance... fantastically!! Definitely one of the show's best hip-hop routines ever, and Mark totally holds his own w/Comfort, which is not surprising to those of us who've seen his YouTube work, but very surprising to the judges, apparently. Oh and there's a really cool move where he flips her over his back. After they're done he shows Cat their "detention assignment" which is a piece of paper on which he's written "I will not be in the bottom... I will not be in the bottom.... Nigel said Comfort does better w/choreo than in her solos. He & Mary both express surprise that Mark did so well. Toni praises their musicality (yes!).

Katee solo: She started lessons at 4, focused on tap for a while... not that exciting. Danced to Celine's "Taking Chances" and timed it well to end with the countdown.

Chelsie & Joshua: Argentine Tango by Season 2's Dmitri! (Music is from Forever Tango) - It's set in the 20's and they are meeting and flirting in a club. The setting is made bistro-complete with a table & chair on the stage. She was great, of course, and he was ok. There was one really cool lift. Nigel said it's the "most technical" routine so far, they have good chemistry, & he enjoyed it. Mary said Chelsie was much sexier than in her other Argentine Tango & had better chemistry. One of them said that it felt spontaneous and torrid (which was good).

Mark solo: He became interested in musical theater (& thus dancing) after seeing Phantom and was the only boy in his performing arts school/program. That plus his natural weirdness made him always feel "different." He danced some hip-hop/funk (to "Creator" by Santogold) with some new moves (big floppy body rolls that matched the music) and as usual the ending was timed perfectly (he slid off the edge of the stage).

Round 2 for couples dances...

Courtney & Will: Hip-hop, Napoleon and Tabitha (Alicia Keys' "Like You'll Never See Me Again") - This is another "Slow hip-hop" or "Lyrical hip-hop," where the girl has a chance to turn back time and have one more moment with her loved one who has passed away, so Will is kind-of a ghost and Courtney keeps straining for one last touch/grasp. She has props like an hourglass and photos, and the routine is very good. Will especially (Courtney was hitting harder instead of being smooth), but they were definitely in sync. Nigel said this is the 1st season he's been emotionally affected by hip-hop routines (actually I think last season was, but this is "Plug hip-hop!" year) and he almost felt like he was intruding on their private moment. Mary said (or rather, screamed) that it exceeded her expectations.

Chelsie solo: She started dancing when she was 9 to help get over her shyness & meet friends, and got serious when she was 14. She dances to Danity Kane's "Damaged," starting on the stairs and timed very well. We also find out today is her 19th birthday! (I'm assuming that was "today" when it was taped Monday, as opposed to when it aired Wednesday, but it doesn't really matter, does it?)

Katee & Twitch: Broadway, Tyce ("Sweet Georgia Brown," Bubbling Brown Sugar Cast Recording) - Again we have Katee wanting a man who doesn't want her in return. They also talk in the rehearsal clip about how Tyce incorporates some of each of their strengths/tricks into the routine. It's good overall, though similar to Tyce's other Broadway pieces. One move is really awkward but it looks like the choreo, not the dancers' fault; the last move/flip that Twitch does is really cool. Nigel loved it; he said Twitch is the "least trained" dancer there (less than Comfort?) but that could have come right off of Broadway; Mary also loved it. Toni said that as a street dancer Twitch brings more "reality" to the piece than most Broadway dancers do (I think that was a compliment?), but she would've liked Katee to match the deep vocal of the song/character better with her movements.

Joshua solo: He got kicked out of his 3rd grade class for dancing one day, so his teacher had him audition and it went from there. He danced to Lil Mama's "Shawty Get Loose" and did his usual but it was good. Then he tried to do the cute hand-dance while Cat read his numbers like Mark has been doing.

Courtney solo: She started dancing young, the usual. Danced her usual (though good) as well, to "Where I Stood," Missy Higgins.

Twitch solo: He says he has "always" danced, but got serious about it a senior in high school and then became the 1st guy on their dance team. We also learn he lived in South Korea for 9 months working on music videos. He wears the Super-T shirt again and dances to Kay L's "Go to Work," interacting w/the crowd around the edge of the stage.

Comfort & Mark: Foxtrot, Jean-Marc ("Lady Luck" by the Brian Selzer Orch.) - Jean-Marc says it's "jazzy and sassy" (which, he explains, is unusual for a Foxtrot). Mark portrays a man who's "down on his luck" and Comfort portrays "Lady Luck." Um, I like Mark's outfit? Seriously, the dancing is not good. Nigel says there wasn't any chemistry because they were too focused on the steps and called it "amateurish." Mary said the transitions were rough and it was one of the worst closed holds they've ever had on the show. Toni said when such "accomplished" dancers as these can't pull off a dance, you know the ballroom dancers are making it look easier than it really is.

Chelsie & Joshua: Disco, Dorianna ("Everlasting Love" by Gloria Estefan) - This routine has lots of lifts, including one Dorianna says she's been trying to get on the show for 4 years. It was fun, but Joshua did not do well; he fell out of an early turn and looked clunky next to Chelsie. They were in sync musically but not stylistically. Nigel praised the lifts & Josh's strength. Mary agree; she said perhaps Dorianna included so many difficult lifts was because she trusted Josh. Toni said there was spiritthere and implied that Josh doesn't know technique/line while Chelsie does.

I predict Comfort, Courtney, Mark and Twitch for the Bottom 4, with Comfort and Twitch leaving (as it should be IMO).

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