Thursday, July 28, 2011

SYTYCD: The Top 8

We’re really getting down to the wire here. This week the Top 8 each performed twice (once with an all-star and once with a fellow contestant), and yet for some reason they still stuck a fourth judge on the panel. I love a lot of dances, but I also love the clip packages and these jam-packed episodes are driving me a little insane. Guest judge Lady Gaga was probably the best judge of the night, not being afraid to critique- and this is new- THE CHOREOGRAPHERS! I may not have agreed with what she said all of the time, but I certainly respected her honesty. About damn time.

Sasha ft. Pasha – Quickstep – Haha, their names rhyme… fantastic! There have been two quicksteps this season and shockingly, neither has meant the kiss of death that it has in the past. I was a little nervous for Sasha, but she really impressed me. It wasn’t as good as Iveta and Nick, but it’ll do, it’ll do.

Caitlynn ft. Ivan – Hip Hop – It was a blast from the I-Didn’t-Even-Watch-SYTYCD-Yet past seeing Ivan on stage. His smoothness was really impressive, but I think the judges undersold Caitlynn in this one. I think she did a decent job with it and I love her flow and movement.

Jordan ft. Ade – Jazz – Once again I feel like Tyce picked distracting music for his piece, but the choreography was still incredible. I know it’s been said a million times, but Jordan’s legs are not to be believed. That stretch- you know the one- was shocking. I am in total awe of this girl’s flexibilities. Plus it’s always nice to see a SYTYCD Season 5 All-Star.

Melanie ft. Neil – Contemporary – My god, this girl cannot NOT catch a break. How many times has she gotten something in the realm of contemporary now? Every week? Seriously. But it is always nice to see her dance in her style, even if it makes the competition somewhat unfair. Neil is wonderful, and Melanie’s seemingly impossible leap toward the end had me catching my breath. I just wish Mandy Moore would choose songs from the last decade or so.

Ricky ft. Anya – Jive – Always good to see Anya back. I don’t think this was Ricky’s best. It’s a true shame that he didn’t get as much time to grow while be held back by *ahem* Ryan *ahem*. Still it was good and he brings such a light and energy that I can’t help but enjoy.

Jess ft. Lauren (Gottlieb) – Hip Hop – This routine was not my favorite from NappyTabs. Honestly, I thought the routine should have featured the Jess character more as he was the contestant. Instead, it felt more about the girl. Still I was surprised to see that Jess did a great job with it. He’s still far from my favorite, but credit where credit is due…

Tadd ft. Lauren (Froderman) – Contemporary (ish) – I believe Lauren is the first winner to return to the show, which certainly is a treat. I’ll be waiting for Jeanine… forever I think. Tadd is effortlessly charming and smooth. I love him and I think he’s severely underrated in his abilities and accomplishments in this competition. Once again I felt that we didn’t need to be listening to something from an oldies station, but Queen is classic so I’ll shut up about it.

Marko ft. Allison – Contemporary – I have this feeling that whenever a dancer picks Allison out of the hat they must take a huge sigh of relief. I love Kathryn and Twitch (and Neil and Robert etc. etc.), but I feel like Allison is a huge, HUGE advantage to the dancers. Put her with Sonya for a contemporary routine? Unstoppable. Marko is a great dancer, so it’s not that he needs the help but Allison seems to elevate routines. Was I the only one having flashbacks to her Sonya Contemporary piece with Alex Wong? It was truly beautiful.

Caitlynn and Tadd – Foxtrot – I enjoy the Foxtrot. Such a classy elegance to it. It just makes me smile. This pair did a great job. I just wish more people (including myself really…) responded to ballroom. It’s a shame that contemporary resonates so much, giving a sort of advantage to whomever has it that week. This routine deserves recognition.

Ricky and Marko – Hip Hop – Unless I’m forgetting something, I think this is my favorite NappyTabs routine of the season. These two were adorable and charming. They were just too cute.

Melanie and Sasha – Jazz – I feel like Sonya Jazz should be an altogether different category from regular Jazz. It is so beyond. I think everyone who saw that Melanie and Sasha were paired knew this would be epic and it didn’t disappoint. The strength that the two of them bring is incredible and this was one of my favorite Sonya routines ever probably. This definitely brought down the house and well deserved all the praise it got.

Best Routine of the Night- once again this is a no-brainer: Sasha and Melanie’s Jazz for sure. Just when you thought the boys were fighting back this season… This is SYTYCD at it’s best.

Best Costume of the Night- I think this will go to the same routine. I love Sasha’s and Melanie’s tops. They were Black Swan fierce and beautiful.

Best Overall of the Night- Once again I have to give Sasha the cold shoulder. I think she did a great job with the Quiskstep, but I’d have to be out of my mind to not give this to Melanie this week. Sure, she got an easier lot with Contemporary and Jazz, but there’s no denying the girl’s talents.

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