>FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance” is easily one of my favorite shows. And really the only reality competition show on television that exposes it’s viewers to things they wouldn’t normally see. In season’s past we’ve seen dance styles as diverse as African Jazz, Bollywood, Samba, even Russian Folk Dancing and you really won’t see any of those styles anywhere else on television. That’s why I love the show, and even with the styles that we have seen, the choreographers the show employs are at the top of their game when it comes to creativity. After the auditions, this past Wednesday the choreographers were back on their game for the first performance show of the season. Much like past season openers, there are still some dancers that aren’t quite at the star level yet and are probably just in awe that they made the show, but there were some truly great performances and at least one future classic.
Here is my opinion on who did the best, and later will talk about the “elimination” this week and my thoughts on it.
1. Melanie Marko
This Travis Wall routine is not only one of HIS best pieces ever, but it’s one of the greatest the show has ever seen. The concept is beautiful on it’s own, two statues who are trying to combine and become one statue, and the music (“Turn to Stone” by Ingrid Michaelson) is perfectly fitting. It’s creative, beautiful, emotional and a fine example of why this show is so groundbreaking. Before this show started in 2005, I honestly didn’t feel like Dance could illicit real emotions from the viewer and this, like past routines, has blown that idea out of my mind. And while the storyline and choreography were great, lesser dancers could have ruined this and taken all the emotion and realness out of it. Thankfully, Travis got two great dancers on this one. Melanie has been one of my favorites since her first audition, and this is a great example of why. Her control over the moves was amazing, and Marko more than held his own. They both really got the story and embodied everything they needed to, their technique was flawless and you could freeze-frame most of the moments of this routine and it would make for beautiful and classic statues. They also as a team brought the appropriate amount of emotion to make everybody feel what they would have felt if they were really in that situation. Nigel said this should be the first Emmy nomination of the season, and he’s right it would truly deserve it because it’s one of those perfect moments in Dance where just everything falls into place perfectly.
the REALLY GOOD.
2. Jordan Tadd
3. Sasha Alexander
4. Missy Wadi
These three routines were fantastic in so many ways. Energy, Emotion, Creativity. They only lack a sense of uniqueness because while they were some of the best of the night, they weren’t exactly breaking new ground. Jordan and Tadd completely attacked African Jazz in this Sean Cheesman routine, but it’s not the best routine in that genre that we’ve seen. Same with Sasha and Alexander on their Contemporary Sonya Tayeh routine where Sasha was the star with her intensity and power, but it still wasn’t the best. Missy and Wadi’s routine was a bit more original, using Wadi’s unique dancing talent, but it really reminded me of a routine from Season 5 performed by Kayla and Maksim.
5. Iveta Nick
6. Miranda Robert
These two routines were fun fun fun, but nothing in the choreography or the dancers technique really screamed fantastic or stand out. For one, Iveta (as it was noted by Mary) is the World Champion in her genre and has been doing Quickstep since she was 7 years old. Kind of an unfair advantage if you ask me, but she was destined to pull her genre out of the hat at least one time this season so might as well get it over with. The routine overall was really cute, and Nick, a tap dancer, did his part even if he sometimes seemed overly conscious of the steps. And Robert, the annoying “woooo” guy, was perfectly matched in this Jason Gilkison routine. His upbeat and goofy personality was perfect for this Jive number, and though he wasn’t technically the best he out shined his partner Miranda who did respectable but just didn’t match Robert’s personality which was radiating and saved the whole performance.
7. Ryan Ricky
8. Ashley Chris
9. Caitlynn Robert
10. Jess Clarice
The rest of the routines are not terrible, nobody really messed up enough this season to ruin any of the routines, but this bunch were just a little unimpressive. Ryan and Ricky’s Lyrical Hip Hop choreographed by douchebag Christopher Scott. This is one of those cases where the dancers were better than the routine, as both Ryan and Ricky gave their all (and went outside their comfort zone a little) and both had some great moments, but the choreography was just dull and it actually reminded me of the famous “Bleeding Love” routine from Season 5. Chris “Douchebag” Scott also choreographed another so-so Hip Hop routine for Ashly and b-boy Chris, Chris to me was better because he was more effortless and smooth while Ashly brought the personality but was a little too technical with her steps. Caitlynn’s partner Mitchell was out due to an injury so she got the chance to dance with last seasons Robert on a Sonya Tayeh routine, which was probably one of my least favorites from Sonya, very dull in comparison to her best stuff. Finally Jess, the Broadway guy, pulled Broadway with his partner Clarice. It was a fun routine, but not fun enough in my opinion. Clarice was really pretty and graceful, while Jess didn’t seem to be at 100% though he was praised by the judges.
Once the credits rolled, Thursday was a bit anti-climactic because nobody went home. Seemed like a bit of planning on the producers part, but Nigel made it seem like there was some big mix up with the judges (he actually even blamed guest judge Megan Mulally of “Karen” fame), he made Mitchell and Robert dance for their lives twice. Than he lined everyone in the Bottom up, praised each one, and than said nobody was going home. Next week though two couples will be going home, so maybe it was a way for the show to get the dancers to amp their game up.
I want to add, Sonya Tayeh’s group routine that opened up Thursday’s show was A-MA-ZING!! It was so fierce and powerful and intense. I’ve loved pretty much all of her group routines in the past and this one is up there with my all time favorites, just perfection when it comes to the moves and also the look and the song choice.