Thursday, June 14, 2007

SYTYCD Top 20 Recap: Nice Way to Start

My goodness, I love So You Think You Can Dance. We went an entire season on American Idol with only a handful of goosebump-inducing moments, and already we've had one spine-tingly sensation on SYTYCD. Idol came first, so it will always have my loyalty, but I gotta say, I forget to miss it when I'm watching these kids do their thing.

And what a way to start the show -- great performances, glimpses of Travis, Benji, Ivan, et al. in the audience, and choreography from all the old faves, like Mia Michaels (more on this fierce b*tch later), Wade Robson, Shane Sparks, Tyce Diorio and more. Love it, love it, love it!

Here are my thoughts on last night's performances:

The Excellent
Lacey and Kameron
When Mia Michaels choreographed Heidi and Travis last season in "Calling You," it was sheer magic. And she's done it again, transforming Lacey from a cheesy, annoying younger sister into a sexy, emotional woman. It's also clear that vulnerability suits her -- she looked way prettier than she has any of the other times she has been shown. The way she flung herself around the stage was remarkable, and even though Lacey was clearly the star of the number, cutie Kameron was there for her every step of the way. The dance had tension, heartbreak, intimacy -- I loved every second of it.

Danny and Anya
I could have done without Danny's pants, and I did see a little bit of his cockiness peering through, but the energy and intricacy these two brought to their jive was remarkable. The footwork was spot-on (and fast!), and both (especially Anya) displayed oodles of personality. I expect we'll be seeing quite a bit more of these two in the upcoming weeks.

The Very Good
Chuy and Sara
Wade Robson's choreography is almost as genius as Mia's (I said almost), and Chuy and Sara handled the nuances with aplomb. I really like both of these two -- they are committed, and seem like they'll be able to handle most styles. Well done.

Pasha and Jessi
The smooth waltz is probably my least favorite of all the dance styles they do on this show, but these two really did bring an elegance and floating quality to the performance that made it extremely watchable. Pasha is a pro (I love his and Anya's work ethic), and though I don't want to like Jessi, I can't help it -- I do!

The So-So
D-Trix and Sabra
Dan Karaty was right -- Season 1 champ Nick Lazarrini was definitely the king of disco. I admire D-Trix' dedication to mastering other styles of choreography, and the performance was far from a nighmare, but it was totally lacking the fun and exciting energy that a disco dance should inspire.

Lauren and Neil
I wanted to love this so bad, as Lauren seems like she's got mad skills and Neil is a cutie-and-a-half. However, it just wasn't that great -- Lauren showed her age, and Neil did seem a bit cheerleader-esque. Club salsa is a hard style to start with, though...give them time (and the chance to work with Mia Michaels), and I think these kids might be able to create some magic.

Jamie and Hok
Hok was hot. Jaimie...well, she was certainly trying hard!

The Pretty Bad
Ashlee and Ricky
Ricky definitely has talent, and when it comes time for him to perform contemporary, he'll probably hit it out of the box. But this was just painful -- reminiscent, in some ways, of Ivan and Allison's trainwreck of a first dance last season. Luckily Ivan was given another shot to show what he can do, and ended up making it to the Top 6 -- hopefully Ricky will get the same chance.

Faina and Cedric
I really though Faina was gonna sail through the first few weeks of the competition, but her hesitant, slightly awkward performance last night has made me re-think that. And frankly, I don't see what the big deal is about Cedric -- yeah, his style has a unique fluidity, but I keep getting distracted by his freakishly long legs. One of my least favorite performances of the night.

Shauna and Jimmy
Tyce has created Broadway choreographic masterpieces in the past (Season 1's "Steam Heat" and Season 2's "You Can't Stop the Beat" spring to mind), but this piece seemed wrong right from the start. The costumes were terrible, and the dancing wasn't much better (although Jimmy did seem slightly stronger than Shauna). I don't expect either of these two to last for much longer.

So there it is...stay tuned for my prediction as to who will get the boot tonight.

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