So I Think This Season Might Be Okay After All

2 Jul

Look at the pretty.

Hmm.  Hmmmmmmm.  After last week’s surprisingly, almost show-killingly weak night of performances, SYTYCD put on a strong showing during last night’s top 14.  Mia Michaels was the guest judge, making super nice after her cut-cut-cutting performance during the Vegas eliminations, and the contestants were placed, (quite suspiciously I thought), in genres that fit them each like a glove. In some cases, a black latex glove covered in tin foil.

There’s no question that, after the show producers (Nigel, etc.) watched the tapes of last week, they sat down with the choreographers and said “Shit.” They probably said that a few times, actually.  Then, they seem to have gotten constructive: “Believe it or not, this ship might be sinking. We gotta step up our game.” And with that, they came up with some genuinely cool stuff for the dancers to do this week.  Spooky alien-impregnation dances, hip-hop that didn’t completely suck (complete with a chain!), a quick-step that featured the most rocking mid-routine costume switch I’ve ever seen…  They were a bit obvious about the deck-stacking – are we really supposed to believe that the first time the show does a legit Pas de Deux, they just randomly gave it to Melissa, the trained ballerina?  Riiiight. But all the same, it made for a way, way better night than last week.

I love to take the audience participation logic from this show (as well as Idol) and superimpose it onto performances in the real world. Wouldn’t it be hilarious/awesome/wretched if, while attending an actual ballet, the audience broke out into enthusiastic cheers whenever a couple nailed a lift?  Or, when at the opera, each sustained vocal pitch brought screams and orgiastic applause?  Aah, a world with constant, Pavlovian TV-audience reactions.  It would be a wonderful, annoying place.

Anyway, I don’t have many specific thoughts, other than that I enjoyed watching a lot more than last week. I wished that Mia hadn’t seemed so de-clawed – she’s at her best when she’s being the weird alien cat woman that we all know and love.  I really like Melissa and Ade, but past that, no one couple is doing it for me in a Courtney and Gev or Joshua and Katee sort of way.  It’s too bad.  Maybe they’ll get there, but so far, this season has been treading safely in the “C+” zone.  At least it’s climbed out of “See Me After Class” territory.

If you’re looking for more in-depth analysis, Vance at Tapeworthy has a great writeup (I stole that picture of Melissa and Ade from him, too, thanks, Vance!), and I’m sure that Joe at Low Resolution will have his round-table up later today, as well.

Oh yeah, and Katie Holmes is going to dance during the 100th episode?  We’re supposed to be excited about that?  Weird.

Katie Holmes Dances



12 Responses to “So I Think This Season Might Be Okay After All”

  1. thesoniashow July 2, 2009 at 12:23 pm #

    Last week, I really enjoyed the Mia Michael’s routine with Evan and Randi (is that their names?), in which he was obsessed with her butt. I thought it was super cute and clever. It also reminded me of my life. HA!

    I still think that couple is cute, but their Broadway performance last night seemed a little half ass (no pun intended) for me.

    I agree with you about Melissa just so happening to perform in the first ballet on the show. Coincidence? I think not.

    I have to say my favorite right now is Kayla. I think she is beautiful and a superb dancer.

    • Kirk July 2, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

      I liked Mia’s routine last week oh-kay, but I thought she’s done better. I’m worried about the short cute people – they’re super winning, but have just never really been that… good, you know?

      I agree about Kayla – she’s totally badass, and has been every week. And she can rock even the fugliest outfits, too! That’s talent, man. I think she just might win it all.

  2. thesoniashow July 2, 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    Mia has done a million times better, but I did enjoy it. Dance-wise, I’m not sure that couple is on par with, say, Kayla, but I still think they are kinda adorable.

    And, for the record, I think Tabitha and Napoleon have done waaay better as well. I still remember that first routine Joshua and Katee did last season to “No Air.” Awesome.

    • Kirk July 2, 2009 at 1:06 pm #

      Agreed on all counts. And for the record, cute thought it may be, I’m not sure if I’m ready to accept “Nappy Tabs” into my vernacular just yet.

      I wonder, too, how much of the “we’ve seen better” that we’re feeling from the choreographers (Tabpoleon, Shane Sparks, Mia) is their fault, and how much is due to the limitations of the dancers?

  3. thedavidshow July 2, 2009 at 1:06 pm #

    I am new to the series. I like the dancing, I like the host, I like the British judge. I don’t like the other regular judge. No I don’t!

  4. thesoniashow July 2, 2009 at 1:09 pm #

    This is true. David cringes every time Mary screams about the hot tamale train.

    • Kirk July 2, 2009 at 1:11 pm #

      Each week, I shed a tear for her poor, poor microphone.

  5. thedavidshow July 2, 2009 at 1:18 pm #

    Her “hot tamale train” drives me to the “cold taco wagon of despair.”

  6. Vance July 2, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    yah, Mary’s gone a bit crazy these past years. I liked it better when they rotated two sets of jidges. (I also miss Cat saying it that way).

    We should go to the ballet together! Too bad were on opposite sides of the continent! I decided to try out the REAL ballet for real after SYTYCD and LOVED IT. I was also surprised by some of the audience reactions sometimes. Most of the time it’s the golf clap, but occasionally when there’s something jaw droppingly wow worthy, the audience (which is pretty much gray haired save me and my sister) goes wild. It’s really amusing and cool to see the old folks cheer when they get excited!

    and NP about the pic! Thanks for reading and the linkage!

    • Kirk July 2, 2009 at 9:31 pm #

      De nada! I’m trying to think if I watched when they rotated two judges per episode, but I don’t think I ever saw that – I bet it was great! I like it when Mary gets technical, but her whole persona is a bit much. Why can’t she just keep it real?

      And yeah, Cat always has the audience say “Jidges,” at least since I’ve been watching, so I never really knew what the deal was. It’d be cool to hear her say it sometime. It’s pretty much cool to hear her say anything at all, though… love.

      I can’t believe you actually auditioned for the ballet – I can imagine SYTYCD inspiring a viewer to, say, go to dance class, but audition for the actual ballet? Intense!

      Yeah, I gotta go see the SF ballet sometime, if only to see if the old folks here also cheer for the dancers. I’m of two minds on that sort of thing, and I’d like to see it in action before I pass judgment. Or should I say, “Jidgment.”

  7. Vance July 3, 2009 at 9:40 am #

    Oh no. oops. wrong words. when i meant try out for ballet I meant just watching. there’s NO way I would make it as a ballerina (though interesting fact, I once tried out for a Fame like school in Toronto and actually made it in (I was still a child) and apparently dance was my tops even though I had no training (I thought it would be drawing which incidentally is the field I ended up in)).

    Although, my blogging partner (before she got lazy and never blogged again) DID get inspired to take up dance lessons from SYTYCD including Ballet. Though she said Hip-Hop was actually hardest

    • Kirk July 3, 2009 at 9:47 am #

      Oh, haaaaa – and here I was all, “Wow, I guess Vance is a trained dancer!” Like your blog-mate, my roommates also went to dance class during/after last season, and it made the show that much more fun to watch with them. A little expertise goes a loooong way with dance, particularly since I know nothing.

      Idol inspires voice lessons, and SYTYCD inspires dance classes… who says TV begets laziness?

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