Thursday, June 21, 2007

So You Think You Can Dance Recap: Top 18

First, some random thoughts that entered through my mind during the first 5 minutes of So You Think You Can Dance:

-Ya know, Cat Deeley is really growing on me. I'd put her at #3 behind Seacrest and Probst on the list of best reality show hosts. Yeah, I said it, Phil Keoghan -- what are you gonna do about it?

-Yay, Mia Michaels is on the judging panel! Boo, that means no Mia Michaels choreography! But, Yay Mia's brutally honest, unfiltered, brilliant thoughts!

-Really? Their "inspiration for dancing"? Gag me.

Okay, on to the performances...

All in all, it was a pretty fantastic night of dancing, with last week's top teams (Lacey/Kameron and Anya/Danny) repeating their previous successes, and a couple performances that were marked improvements over former showings (D-Trix/Sabra, Neil/Lauren). A couple teams stumbled, but most were so good that it was fairly difficult to rank the performances.

Difficult, but not impossible. Here goes...

1. Anya and Danny (Viennese Waltz)
These two literally took my breath away tonight. Independently they are brilliant -- together they are magical. Okay, that was really dramatic, I admit, but seriously, they were dazzling tonight, especially considering they were dancing a style that could be a real snooze. I would not be surprised if these were the last two standing 8 weeks from now. I can't wait to see what they do next.

2. D-Trix and Sabra (Contemporary)
This performance really surprised me on a couple of different levels -- I wasn't confident D-Trix was going to be able to handle a style that didn't call for him spinning around on his head, and I had sort of written Sabra off as a boring dance-girl. But there was serious emotion in this performance, a real connection between the two dancers, and some really moving moments. Sabra is no longer ignore-able, and I don't think we can call D-Trix a one-trick pony any longer.

3. Lacey and Kameron (Broadway)
I definitely have goodwill left over from last week's sensational Mia Michaels creation, and it's true, Kameron is providing some stiff competition for Neil as my SYTYCD boyfriend (in the tradition, of course, of Travis and Nick Lazzarini), but I loved this performance start-to-finish. I thought it had plenty of pizzazz, and some really sharp movement, and it was totally in the spirit of Fosse's Chicago. Lacey surprised me yet again, showing a sexy side I didn't think she had in her, and Kameron's slow-mo backflip made me gasp out loud. I'm definitely a fan.

Oh and by the way, who knew Lacey had abs like that?

4. Pasha and Jessi (Jazz)
I forgot to include Pasha on the list with Neil and Kameron -- he's getting more adorable by the week. And it certainly helps that he danced his ass of tonight, entertainingly throwing himself into Tyce's wacky choreography, which I loved every second of. Jessi was really good, too -- the second week in a row that has been the case. I still can't say I'm completely in her corner, though -- there's something about her that just bugs me, I'm not sure what it is. But let's just say I am firmly in Pasha's corner.

5. Neil and Lauren (Hip Hop)
Lauren disappointed me a bit (I wish she had hit her moves just a little bit harder), but Neil blew me away, really embracing the role of the hip-hopper, and pulling off the moves with aplomb. I agree with Mia, I almost wish Lauren wasn't even there so I could just watch Neil -- he was that skillful and entertaining. I know Lauren has it in her, I just don't think we've seen it yet. But Neil definitely did not disappoint.

6. Chuy and Sara (Paso Doble)
So, I agree with the judges the the music threw off the dance. But still. Sara is a b-girl, and she ripped it up in the paso doble. Okay, sure, Faina or Anya probably could have danced it way better, but she really held her own, and she was committed through and through. I really respect her, and I hope she sticks around for awhile. And Chuy was awesome! Strong, masculine, sexy -- he had it all.

7. Shauna and Jimmy (Hip Hop)
This is probably my least favorite couple of the night, but I can't fault the performance itself -- it was, as Nigel said, fun, and, to be truthful, more skillful than the two pairs in the numbers 8 and 9 positions. Problem is, I just don't care that much about either Shauna or Jimmy, in part, of course, because we don't know anything about them (unlike, say, Hok, who has had easily 30 minutes of screentime over the last two years). But, having said that, they haven't yet done anything to stand out or endear themselves to the audience. Their dancing was what?

8. Faina and Cedric (Fox Trot)
There's a reason why I put this pair in the #8 spot and not in last, and it can be summed up in one word: Faina. She was absolutely dazzling tonight -- gorgeous, sensual, playful, elegant. I loved her. Of course, she was dancing with Cedric, who was awkward, uptight, and uncomfortable to watch. Not exactly a match made in heaven.

9. Hok and Jaimie (Samba)
I love Hok -- I think he's charming and spirited, and he's a surprisingly good dancer for a b-boy'er. But this dance tonight was a hot mess. I can't pinpoint exactly what didn't work, but on the whole, it just was a bust. And is it just me, or does Jaimie come off as a little vapid to you? I love Hok, and I admire his effort, but Jaimie strikes me as a kind of soulless dancer. Definitely my least favorite of the night.

Individual Rankings:
1. Danny 2. Anya 3. Faina 4. Neil 5. Pasha 6. Lacey 7. D-Trix 8. Sabra 9. Chuy 10. Kameron 11. Jessi 12. Sara 13. Lauren 14. Shauna 15. Jimmy 16. Hok 17. Jaimie 18. Cedric

What do you think of this list? Does it resemble yours?

Check back tomorrow morning for my prediction of who will be going home.

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Nancy - Miami, FL said...

like NIGEL Said this has been
the MOST talented group of the 3
really determined kids

nick said...

Someone should make it illegal for Jaimie to speak

Anonymous said...

I think you've got it right on the money.

Anonymous said...

I read your blog and the ranking is interesting but I feel its too early in the contest, after watching the show it has become somewhat of the Benji factor it has become a bit of a distraction and its not fair to the other conestants and sometimes I wonder if they chose Lacy for them to make good TV for ratings and making it the Benji show since its is Nigel's baby, i felt that the show has become abit of a popularity contest than an actual talent contest. Nigel should stop calling dancers "dancing snobs" its an insult to people who are dancers and he is more a producer than a judge.Nigel you are such a jerk and a poor judge.