As much as I loved the Olympics (a lot!), I’m even happier that So You Think You Can Dance is back. Readers who enjoy my more wondering or personally embarrassing posts, I’ll catch you next time.
Tonight, they’ll be doing classic Mia Michaels routines. This will be … telling. Because not only will I pay attention to how well they dance the number, but I’ll be comparing them to the original pair. Who might be better and who will fall short. Mia’s body of work on this show is astonishing. I can’t wait.
Guest judges are actual, trained dancers. Shocking! Maybe their comments will be meaningful. For once.
New Mia Michaels’ group routine was interesting. She actually gave five of the girls something interesting to do [she’s said in the past that she prefers choreographing for boys], although two girls got nada but standing around and flinging roses. Cool move with the boys upside down on the rope and both of them swinging around. Ultimately, given that the song had “ball and chain” in the chorus, it was a little too literal to have the girls actually tied down. Also, stop with the actual kissing. It’s distracting.
Cyrus and Eliana (from the teaser, I think they’re doing “Mercy,” one of my favorite numbers, originally killed by Twitch and Katie)
Very interesting. Cyrus isn’t as good a dancer as Twitch was, but he’s got the body language of this role down cold. I believe that he has nothing but contempt for this woman. That twitchy body roll on the door was incredible! And then again on a pause — nice touch! Nice switch from how Twitch did it. Katie had a manic energy that I loved more than Eliana’s performance. The star of this one for me was Cyrus.
Tiffany and George (Oh dear, they’re doing a Katie and Joshua number. They were the best pairing ever on this show.) (I’m with George on one of his favorite SYTYCD moments: Wade Robson’s Ram-a-lam-a zombie number gave me goosebumps.) (Oh dear, this is one of the best dances ever done on the show. I’m nervous for them.)
Again, I liked George in this, but prefer Katie’s dancing. Because George isn’t as buff as Joshua, he came off as more vulnerable. Which really worked for this number. Ooh was that first guest guy right: there were two solos, they were not dancing truly together. The assisted run was meh, whereas when Katie and Joshua did it, it took my breath away. Tiffany was *dancing* it, Katie made me believe she was living it.
Here’s the problem with tonight: nothing can be a revelation. I can never let myself go into any of these numbers because I’m always comparing. That’s a disservice to these dancers. I’m glad they get to do such top-notch choreography, but I’m finding the experience of watching it a bit of a downer.
Amelia and Will (No idea what number they’re doing. I don’t remember those costumes. Oh yeah, “the butt dance.” Still don’t remember it.)
They gave the quirky dance to the quirky people, which is too much competing quirk. This didn’t do it for me. At all. I don’t remember it from the original season, either. Meh.
Janelle and Darian (ah, the bed routine, originally Kherington and Twitch)
Finally! This one was better than the original! Darian really danced. I remember Twitch flailing and bouncing, but this was heart-rending dancing. And Janelle was wonderful, so emotional. Mia didn’t give her much to do, but she really performed it. Kherington had the inappropriate smiling problem, but these two presented a real story and I felt their heartbreak.
Audrey and Matthew (the piece about Mia losing her father.)
It was nice. The original was a weepfest, but this was sweet. Which is the damning with faint praise that it sounds like it is.
Witney and Chehon (Travis and Heidi’s bench number)
I loved their version. Witney was so tender, so much more tender and hopeful than Heidi had been. They were marvelous together. The dancing was excellent, but what’s special about them is that they manage to be a real partnership, really focused on each other and the story the whole time.
Lindsay and Cole (Addiction number. I think these two can do it. Cole will not have any difficulty being strong and sharp. )
It was interesting. There were moments, there were great moments. Cole looked more like a junkie and less in control of Lindsay than in the previous version, but that really worked sometimes. Cole wasn’t evil-looking and sinister like Kupono was, but he was completely emotionally divorced from her, which ended up working. Lindsay was wonderful. She managed to not be “pretty,” although I wish they’d put her hair partially back; I really wanted to see her face more than I did.
Losing 4 people tonight.
I hope the girls going will be Janelle and Amelia, both of whom are great when they do their own stuff, but can seriously lack charisma in other stuff. Lindsay has been really great two weeks in a row, and seems a lot more versatile than the other two. Also, it’d be a shame to lose those long, long, gorgeous legs.
I think they’ll keep George, as he’s more interesting than the other two. Darian killed his solo, but he has that problem with the lines of his feet they’re always bringing up. And Matthew is pretty, but lacking charisma and connection in anything but his own style. And Matthew’s solo was oddly feminine, with tons of sticking his leg up into the splits and flailing around.
I’m right on Lindsay. Right on George. It’ll be a fantastic top 10. A truly interesting group to watch. Will they be bringing back the All Stars? I hope so. That worked well last year, and bumped up everyone’s game. Yay! All Stars next week. This is going to be gooood.