Tuesday, July 22, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance Top 14

Ok, sue me for just now getting around to talking about So You Think You Can Dance. But as I was starting to dive into it, I remembered why I stopped recapping in the first place. The Top 14 show had fourteen dances. FOURTEEN. That has to be a record. I can’t recap fourteen dances. I mean, I have a lot of free time, but not that much free time. So, let’s just hit the highs and lows.

Speaking of lows, Cat Deeley wore this…

The only commentary I can muster for this look is, “Ewww.”

Last week, we lost Chelsie and Chris, so the new couple to watch is Comfort and Thayne. I’m not going to lie, I was a little worried for these two kids. Comfort really struggled through all the genres that weren’t hip-hop or krumping, and I don’t think anyone is excited about seeing Thayne act all thug. Seriously, this pairing is most incongruous, so it’s all going to come down to what dances they pull from the hat. But we’ll get to that in due time.

First up are Will and Jessica. Will continues to gain momentum, even as he’s carrying Jessica like a beast of burden. Meanwhile, Jessica continues to try very hard, and yet, not be all that great. I read a lot of recap blogs and television fan sites, and no one has been able to articulate what it is about Jessica that just… doesn’t sit well, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t even matter. We don’t like her.

Of their two dances, the lyrical jazz piece choreographed by Mandy Moore is the highlight. It’s the shirt dance, so called because the two dancers fiddle with an oversized dress shirt throughout. And not just any shirt… Will’s shirt. That’s right, he dances shirtless, which is very hot, because his body is ripped. The shirt prop is used masterfully, and for the first time, Jessica seems to be enjoying herself – totally in the moment of the dance. She’s dancing the dance instead of the dance dancing… on her… ok, I’m not quite sure where I was going with that, the point is: it was really good.

Comfort and Thayne are next, and lucky for them, they’ve drawn Broadway and the Smooth waltz. While these dances aren’t going to be anything to write home about, at least it isn’t Krumping followed by contemporary. I’m saying: both genres are equally out of both dancers’ comfort zones, which should be an advantage, because neither dancer should be able to outshine the other. The Broadway routine, despite the fact that it’s set to one of my favorite tunes from West Side Story, is forgettable at best. I feel like they’re both trying sooo hard, especially when it comes to chemistry, and yet… I got nothing. I feel nothing. I don’t believe it. But actually, I don’t expect to believe it when I watch them, because the idea that Comfort, who is kind of stand-offish, could be sexually attracted to someone like Thayne, who is clearly a big homo, well, it’s ludicrous, isn’t it? I mean, why would they have any chemistry?

And sure, we can talk all day about faking it and acting but we aren’t blind. Comfort and Thayne, poor dears, do all the right motions and their expressions are right on, but… no dice. I will never buy it. And I’m sad because I love Thayne more than String Cheese, and Comfort is awesome. Oh well, can’t win ‘em all.

Matt and Kourtni will be dancing Hip-Hop and Mambo this evening. These two have had an interesting journey. They were two of the brightest stars in Vegas, early favorites, almost shoe-ins, and from their very first performance… they’ve been slipping. The bigger they are, the harder they fall, and these two are freakishly tall, so… TIMBEEEEEERRRRR. That said, I love Matt a little bit. He is rather strange, but he’s cute in a totally non-threatening kind of way, which is why I think Nigel doesn’t like him.

I think Nigel confuses non-threatening with effeminate, and they are totally different things. Like, it’s totally possible to be effeminate and threatening - if you’ve ever known a drag queen, you know I’m right. Anyway, tonight just wasn’t their night. First, they performed probably the worst hip-hop routine this show has ever had, and I would just like to say it was bad all the way around, from the choreography to the styling to the music, just… badness. I mean, they put Matt, the third whitest guy in the competition, in a mandanna under a fedora. That’s just wrong. Their mambo went significantly better, but not enough to make the judges be nice. I however, really enjoyed it, mostly because I thought Matt looked particularly yummy (and non-threatening and effeminate, but I don’t have a problem with it like some people).

Mark and Chelsie probably had the best night overall, I think. Mandy Moore, who was on fire that night, apparently, put together a jazz routine set to Kiss, Kiss, by (???) that can only be described as delightful. Mark has become so impressive - he’s nailing all of these genres so well. I wish the judges would stop calling him quirky, because there’s nothing quirky about him at this point. He’s just good. Chelsie, meanwhile, is awesome in every kind of way. I haven’t become attached to her in the same way as Sabra, but I don’t know, maybe I’ll get there.

Twitchington (and can I be honest? This whole Twitchington thing started to make me tired. I mean, I do love Twitch, and I’ll swear to that on a stack of pancakes, but this pair is sooo over-rated… they aren’t that good…) had a hot and cold evening. Cold would be their Paso Doble, which was the first (and hopefully only) BORING Paso I’ve ever had to sit through. I think the choreography was at fault for most of it, but Twitch didn’t add anything to it, either. Kherington carried him through that one. And then came Mia Michael’s bed routine, which was all kinds of hot, allegedly, but… I don’t know. I couldn’t help but feel like this was Mia’s attempt to recapture the magic of the bench routine, and honestly, it didn’t really hit. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was good… but I wasn’t jumping out of my chair. Even a shirtless Twitch (and seriously, he’s built like furniture) couldn’t make this routine what I think it was supposed to be. Maybe there was too much “stuff” going on… bed-hopping, rose-petals, Kherington appearing and reappearing in different places… it was kind of all over the place. Don’t quote me, but I don’t think Mia is going to get her second Emmy nom with that one.

So the first Mia Michaels routine was sort of… meh. That’s OK, because Katee and Joshua were around to redeem all. Their first dance was a stripped-down Mia Michaels routine. No props, no real story… just amazing choreography set to good music. The two of them flying down length of the stage, Katee kind of fake-running while Joshua carried her… I think that was my favorite part.

As much as I adore Katee and Joshua, I did suffer during the West Coast Swing. I mean, first of all, Katee looked awful (not her… the outfit), and I just didn’t get it. I think I like WCS, but maybe only when Benji does it. I think this dance requires a certain shamelessness, and no one can deny Benji is the biggest ham this show has ever seen. Indeed, Katee and Joshua aren’t used to having to beg the audience to enjoy themselves, which is maybe why this routine didn’t really work. I understand, however, that a lot of people liked it, so… maybe I’m just out of touch.

And finally, Courtney and Gev take the stage with Hip Hop and Broadway. To be fair, their Hip Hop is better than Matt and Kourtni’s, but not by much. These Cicily and Olisa characters did not have a good night. I say, Fired. Anyway, the Broadway routine was, thankfully, loads of fun. Set to On the Town, Courtney and Gev really sold it, and Gev is sooo cute, isn’t he? He’s really starting to grow on me. He’s a got a great smile, too. Anyway, funny story, I don’t remember too many details about this dance, because all I could see in my mind’s eye was Justin from Ugly Betty in his sailor outfit mincing away to, “New York, New York, a hell of a town, the Bronx is up, but the Battery’s down…” Uuuugh, totes can’t wait for that show to come back on!!

On elimination night, I’m fairly confident Comfort and Thayne are toast, but the bottom three… who knows? We start with a rather lackluster Broadway routine from Tyce Diorio, and I’m totally just being nice. It pretty much sucked.

The bottom 3 ended up being Comfort and Thayne (of course), Matt and Kourtni (no surprise), and Courtney and Gev (Noooooooo!!). Actually, as much as I hate seeing Courtney and Gev in any kind of danger (I’m totally Team Hobbits), it wasn’t really a big deal. Based on the performances, it was either going to be them or Will and Jessica, and the shirt routine was awesome, sooo… Courtney and Gev it is.

You know that Kourtni and Matt got the boot because this happened three weeks ago, but was it right? Methinks the judges probably thought Matt and Kourtni had just about exhausted their chances with the populace, while Comfort and Thayne were a new pairing and therefore deserved another shot. Me also thinks the judges were considering the glut of contemporary dancers in this competition, and losing Kourtni and sparing Comfort would go a long way in preserving some diversity on the dancefloor. Honestly, Thayne and Matt are two peas in a very gay pod, so it was probably ‘half of one, half a dozen of the other’ situation for the judges. We can’t be getting all sentimental though. There are lots more cuts left to make. I’m just sitting here thinking what I’m going to do when the people I like start dropping. It won’t be pretty.

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