Last week’s top twenty episode of So You Think You Can Dance was a bit overwhelming – there were so many dancers, and so many memorable, top-level routines, I couldn’t really process it all. It seemed like the show this year was going to be equally overwhelming, particularly after what seemed like the only weak couple got eliminated on Thursday. However, I felt like this week’s top 18 performances fell back a bit into the normal rhythm of the show – there were some really strong performances, some unbalanced ones where the guy or the girl was clearly stronger, and a couple that kind of just stunk. There are still too many contestants for me to tackle all by myself (for more detailed reactions, I highly recommend going over to Low Resolution, I’m sure Joe and company will have something up later today). However, I wanted to talk a little about last night’s guest judge, krump king Lil’ C.
Lil’ C (does one call him Lil’ for short? Or C? I’ll just stick with the whole name) is such a wonderful enigma. His personal style, Krumping, is easily my least favorite style on the show – not only is it kind of bizarre, it also appears to be just impossible to judge, particularly for the rest of the white-bread judgery, so it winds up feeling like whoever draws it as their style is getting a particularly confusing “Bye” for the week. (The same could be said about Bollywood, but at least that’s fun to watch). What’s more, Lil’ C always choreographs the krump routines, and since choreographers never judge, we never even get the benefit of his insight into the performances.
However, when he does guest-judge, he regularly offers deep, poetic insights into the performances, and though he can occasionally wander into a digressive no-man’s land of metaphor and imagery, he’ll just as often offer startlingly incisive feedback. It’s clear that he’s coming from an untrained background – see last night’s “Tango knees don’t bend” business – but that makes his feedback all the more interesting, and makes me like him even more. He’s clearly a thoughtful dude, and truly talented. I’ve also heard that the krumping movie Rize is totally sweet.
But can we talk a little bit about “Buck?” If ever there was a time when a word needed a rest, or perhaps to be put to bed entirely, that time is now, and that word is “Buck.” It pains me when Nigel jokingly uses it, it pains me when Mia more-seriously uses it, and can anyone deny the look of visible pain that crosses Lil’ C’s face whenever he uses it? At this point, I feel like I can read his mind:
Lil’ C: “That was buck.” (Well, there it is, one more time, that fucking word, more meaningless every time I say it, eroding my cred one stroke at a time, God I hope Hot Tamale Lady doesn’t start using it again.)
Lil’ C: “Totally buck.”
Sigh. Anyway. Last night was really good times, and there were a few standout routines, though I thought the choreography was, on the whole, not quite at the level of the first week. I liked the routine to the Frames song, but think that the music did most of the heavy lifting. I think that Philip is overrated and weird-looking, wasn’t that moved by Asuka and Vitolio, and think Kayla is kind of a goddess. If I had to guess who’s going home, I’d say that Caitlin seems likely, and maybe Kupono? I don’t know if he’s really popular or anything. Philip and Jeanine will also probably be in the bottom three.
I’m stoked for Mia, Mandy, and Tab&Napoleon to come back (next week?), and to watch as, over the next few weeks, the front-runners emerge. It’s gonna be, like, totally buck.