SYTYCD-Top 20-So Let It Be Choreographed, So Let It Be Done

It's Wednesday, kind readers, and that means, it's indeed time time to buy your tickets for the Hot Tamale train.  You all will be riding first class, since you've agreed to read my blog.  There are some poor saps who'll be traveling second class.  They'll be guide-less through this dance odyssey which is filled with crazy themes, glitter, sparkles, strained ligaments and, of course, high-powered screams but that's an individual choice.  So with that said, it's time to get to the Top 20 performances!

Last week Cat was in her feel good, summer white dress, a dress fit for a celebration!  This week Cat's in a somber (albeit sequined) black number, presumably since this is the first week some dancers will get the "Thanks, but you're not anywhere close to America's favorite dancer" speech.  It's always a tough week, because, like another great Cat, Cat Stevens, once said, "the first cut is the deepest".

If I'm being honest, which I usually try to be, if I were on this show, this introduction 10-seconds would scare the bejeezus out of me.  It's not long enough to do anything vastly impressive, and yet, you have to say SOMETHING about who you are.  I secretly titter at the ones who try to over-impress and the ones who look like deer in headlights.  It's a fine line, intro-moves, a very fine line.  You're best bet is to go with an impressive sort of backflip.

Tonight's Panel:

Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Megan Mullally (if you don't get it, I can assure you I don't really either, but she swears that A) she has a background in dance and B) She's a super-uber every-episode watching fan)

Also INJURY REPORT:  Mitchell is out with some sort of wrist injury

Each contestant gets 8 seconds to say what they're about...hrrrmmmmm.  Here are the highlights before we get to the dances:

Jordan: "I want to be a Pussycat Doll really bad"

Tadd :"when I was little I thought I was caucasian"

Sasha: She likes purple

Alexander: He Speaks Spanish

Clarice: She's shy sometimes

Jess: He specializes in Brodway and makes "funny" (annoying) noises

Ryan: She loves Mexican food and Law & Order: SVU

Ricky: He likes cheer music

Caitlynn: She's super excited about everything in life

Mitchell: He's allergic to onions and likes chocolate

Miranda: She has a nightlight

Robert: He loves wrestling and dogs and cats, but separately

Missy: She wants to marry an Australian

Wadi: He's born in Jamaica, raised in America and loves Japan

Melanie: she used to wear a helmet because she was/is narcoleptic

Marko: likes to eat and falls off chairs

Ashley: loves waffles and has swag

Chris: 1 of 7 kids

Iveta: She likes monkeys

Nick: clearly is not taking this 8 second thing seriously.  I like it

Dance #1

Dancers: Tadd & Jordan
Style: Afro Jazz
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Theme: "It's inspired by the lava of a volcano"...of course
Music: Afro Celt Sound System- Riding the Waves

The costumes have a tribal thing going on which means there's not much material spread amongst the two and they've both got pink streaks in their hair.  The opening pose is impressive as are Jordan's extensions.  Tadd has a lot of strength as a partner and overall it's a solid, high energy performance.  No glaring mistakes.

Nigel says "that volcano exploded all over the stage".  I'll leave you to do with that comment as you will.
The rest of the comments are pretty much a love fest.

Dance #2 :
Dancers: Alexander & Sasha
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Theme: Alexander's conscious is literally coming back to "tear him to shreds"
Song: Sarah McLachlan - Stupid (the Mark Bell Mix)

Sasha is a powerhouse, and that could just be because of the way that the dance was choreographed, but it's still more impressive on her part than on Alexander's.

All of the judges say pretty much the same thing.  Except unfortunately Nigel calls "Alexander" "Alex" and I don't think he's an "Alex".

Dance #3:
Dancers:  Jess and Clarice
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Theme: They're in love (or something like that)
Song: Liza Minelli- Me and My Baby

It's tough for me to admit, but Jess does have a great stage presence for this routine.  He's perfectly sharp and even though his part of the routine isn't the showy part, your eyes keep getting drawn to him.  Jess's dad, I'm guessing, has made a "vote yes for Jess" poster and mom and dad have matching shirts with his face on them.  I'm curious to see how he does in other genres.  His personality is just too big for me, but his dancing is really impressive.

Nigel tells Clarice, she's going to need to step it up to keep up with Jess.

Dance #4:
Dancers: Ryan & Ricky
Style: Lyrical Hip Hop
Choreographer: Dave Scott
Theme: It's a love story...but she's gone
Song: Lighthouse Family- Ain't No Sunshine

Ryan keeps smiling and I don't think it's really required for this dance routine.  I think Ricky gets it more than Ryan, but that could be my own objections to Ryan.  I don't know, I'll hear what the judges have to say.

Nigel says the same thing but I think he gives her too much credit.  Over the last four dances, we've had stars made and favorites declared.  Relax guys, it's just the first episode.  And Ryan gets the chance to over-complicate things by explaining why she was smiling.  Blah.

Dance #5:
Dancers: Caitlynn & Mitchell
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Theme: What we can accomplish without fear
Song: La Roux- In for the Kill (Skream's Let's Get Ravey Remix)

Since Mitchell's out, Season 7's Robert is IN as the stand-in.  If you don't remember Robert, you need to watch THIS

It's a powerful routine that just seems to flow.  There are some great moves and lifts. I think I just have to get used to Caitlynn's relentlessly positive attitude.  It's not a bad thing and not her fault.  Caitlynn's extensions are also out of control and she has great ability, it just makes me realize that I can't wait until Sasha gets paired up with a Sonya Tayeh routine

Mary Murphy gets super excited about this one and Sonya tells Caitlynn several times that she loves her. This girl has the judges in the palm of her hand.

Robert also has a gigantic personality, so much that it also sometimes overshadows his talent

Dance #6:
Dancers: Miranda & Robert
Style: Latin
Choreographer: Jason Gilkison
Theme: She's out of his league, but he's going for it anyway
Song: Bruno Mars- Runaway Baby

Again, Robert's in the Urkel glasses, and I'm beginning to be slightly annoyed. It's just a really fun, clean routine.  It's not as impressive or deep as the previous ones have been, but I thought they had a really great partnership.

And Robert is the first person that Nigel picks on.  He tells him that now he's got to point his toes and he says that Miranda is going to have to work harder to keep up with the other girls. And Marry boards the Hot Tamale train for the first time.

Dance #7:
Dancers: Missy & Wadi
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Theme: Pandora's box has just been opened & what's inside are your demon clones
Song: Lady Gaga- Judas (Rehab Remix)

Ok, that ridiculously high arabesque turn was impressive.  And holy crap, Wadi is all over and backflipping off that box.  It's a routine that definitely leaves its mark.  Their timing was a bit off sometimes, but I think that their commitment to the whole thing almost takes the sting off of that.

Dance #8:
Dancers: Marko & Melanie
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Theme: 2 statues who come alive
Song: Ingrid Michaelson- Turn to Stone

Holy crap.  I can't believe how power-packed this routine is.  I have very high expectations.  Ok when the chorus kicks in, I legitimately have chills.  These two were in my list of favorites last week and they just strengthen their positions with this performance.  Travis Wall is unfairly talented.  Marko's traveling handstand is such a show of quiet strength and Melanie's developpes and arabesques are what they teach in workshops that people wish they could do.

All three judges are on their feet and Mary's actually choked up.  And Nigel whips out the "E" word- Emmy.

Dance #9:
Dancers: Ashley & Chris
Style: Hip Hop
Choreographer: Chris Scott
Theme: Cheater, cheater
Song: Cee Lo Green- Forget You

The timing seems to be an issue here, with Chris being a little slow but no one says anything outright, so maybe it's all in my head.

Dance #10:
Dancers: Nick & Iveta
Style: Ballroom/Quickstep
Choreographer: Jason Gilkison
Theme: teach Nick how to do Ballroom
Song: Sweet- Ballroom Blitz

I'm conflicted about how I feel about this partnership.  Iveta doesn't seem to dig the fact that Nick's her partner at first, but everyone loves the performance.

This is going to be a really really tough season to predict on a weekly basis.  After this week, I think

Bottom three boys are
Alexander, Ricky and Mitchell

Bottom three girls are:
Ryan, Clarice, and Jordan

But only time and phone calls and online votes will tell.


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