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Review: So You Think You Can Dance - Top 16 Perform

by Michael Pascua, posted Nov 11th 2009 2:27AM
The Top 16 pose for the camera
(S06E13) So You Think You Can Dance finally lets America vote. Sadly, I only liked four of the eight dances this week and I wouldn't mind if any of them were eliminated. One thing I did like was the introductory sequence, they finally figured out a way to make the stage a little less huge. The choreographers are doing better to let the dances fill the huge stage.

With only eight performances, the show felt like the critiques were longer than the actual dancing. If they inserted one large group dance, the show could have cut off some of Mary's more annoying comments.

Karen & Kevin - Hustle (Maria Torres) - "Come to me" France Joli
We found out that Karen divorced her husband. The storyline was about a girl asking a boy to dance. Karen's Latin background came to her advantage, but Kevin surprised me more with his contemporary leap. The show keeps trying to sell him as one of those "untrained" hip-hoppers. There was smoothness until Kevin almost dropped Karen after the dance ended.

Ashleigh & Jakob - Jazz (Mandy Moore) - "Relax" Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Mandy adds a cane to the routine, hoping that it's an extension. Sadly, I thought that the cane was not used to its full potential. Ashleigh continues to surprise me and she deserved to make it to the Top 20. I ignored Jakob's very intricate steps just to watch Ashleigh high kick.

Pauline & Peter - Quickstep - (JT & Tomas) - "Hey Baby! (Shake Those Hula Hips)" Big Kahuna & The Copa Cat Pack
The kiss of death continues to fell another team. I liked that the choreographers are trying to lessen the damage of the quickstep with a creative theme but i thought that the quickstep section needed a lot of help. Their lift sequence was very smooth, but they had such heavy feet.

Kathryn & Legacy- Broadway (Andy Blankenbuehler) - "I Wanna Be Like You" Swingin' Fireballs
I thought the choreo was really weak and I didn't understand the storyline. Adam hit the nail on the head, Kathryn didn't do enough and didn't have enough character. Truthfully speaking, Legacy didn't have to do much either; just a few flips and a headstand and he gets praise out the wazoo. Kathryn needs to go, but sadly Legacy's voters will keep her safe.

Channing & Victor - Contemporary (Stacy Tookey) - "Be Be Your Love" KCRW version - Rachael Yamagata
It's nice to see a choreographer get to play with dancer's strengths. There was trust that emerged up in one week, but they did need at least another week to work on emotion. While I thought that the steps were there, that the two aren't the best contemporary dancers in this season.

Ellenore & Ryan - Hip-Hop (Lil' C) - "Lost BoiZ Anthem" Tha J-Squad
I do miss the obscure critiques of Lil' C. The two were probably behind the eight ball pulling out the hip-hop. I thought the beginning part took too long to get to the music. Ellenore looked the most comfortable, but that wasn't saying much. Ryan looked like he missed a few steps and it threw off the synchronization. I didn't think the character was there.

Mollee & Nathan - Salsa (Gustavo Vargas) - "Quimbara" Celia Cruz and Johnny Pacheco
The two on paper are the farthest away from a salsa and it showed. I'm happy that they pulled off a degree of maturity, but they were still kind of awkward and the couple was too far away from each other. It reminded me of when I hated the side-by-side section. The two showed struggle when the tempo increased when they tried to do the leg routine.

Noelle & Russell - Afro Jazz (Sean Cheesman) - "Frog Dance" Mickey Hart and Planet Drum
Russell got lucky again, getting a dance that has some natural abandon to it. Noelle did a really good job channeling the African spirit. The two had the characters down and I loved the flipping sequences.

Who should make the bottom? I can see either Ellenore & Ryan, Mollee & Nathan, and Pauline & Peter without any problems. With Peter being the last tapper, can he sneak his way through three more weeks? I doubt it and expect Peter and Ellenore going home Wednesday. How did this episode go? Leave comments below.

If anyone was looking for The Simpsons scavenger hunt thing, it was right after Karen & Kevin's critique. If there was another, I totally missed it.

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I agree about the judges. I don't think there is enough variety to truly judge the performances. I love the judges they have, but they need to bring in a 4th rotating judge for sure. And NOT Paula Abdul. There is enough craziness as is. Paul would definitely clash with Mary (and Mary is my fav).

I guess I am alone in not being able to stand Ashleigh. I am not sure why, but I never thought she should have been in the top 20...and it was only sheer luck that she got there. And Mollee needs to go.....soon.

I have some individual favorites, but no real couple favorites except perhaps for Russell and Noelle. I hope Russell goes a long way. He IS amazing in how well he has adapted, so far, to genres so far away from krumping.

My only objection to the onslaught of new choreographers is the fact that I have seen glimpses of choreography from last season. In this week's numbers, the dance where the 2 dancers were suppposed to hate each other.....many of the interactions were very reminiscent of the Addiction number last season. And there have been a couple of others, also. And I was SO disappointed in Li'l C's number last night. As a whole, I thought most of the numbers were pretty lackluster.

And I hate to disagree with the majority (including the judges), but I think this season's dancers pale in comparison to last season. Each week I watch and wonder why so many feel this group is so great. It is pretty boring so far, but I hope it improves as time goes on.

November 12 2009 at 2:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't know why you think Kathryn has to go, she was excellent last week, and certainly not bad this week, just had a less defined character than the piece really called for. With the range of this week's performances, there's no way she deserves to be in the bottom three instead of some of the much weaker dancer's last night.

Really my main complaint about last night is Adam Shankman: Man, he's an airtime-hog. All of his critiques went on for way too long. I like the guy, but I miss having a diversity of judges for the third slot (I'd be cool with it if they brought in a rotating fourth judge). What really bothers me most about having a permanent third judge is that means there isn't a hip-hop voice on the judging panel ever.

November 11 2009 at 6:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lil C just lifted his own routine from season one. It was exactly the same except for white costumes instead of black. That is _weak_. Truly disappointed that he couldn't be bothered to choreograph something new, or at least re-use something that wasn't actually already on this show.

November 11 2009 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to malren's comment
The Deej

You mean from season 1 of SYTYCD Canada.

It was nice to see the Canadian choreographer invasion last night. Sean Cheesman is brilliant.

November 11 2009 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah sorry. Still...to wholly lift the routine? Did not sit well with me at all.

Loved Cheesman's work. Looking forward to more. In fact I liked most of the new choreographers from last night, and disliked Mandy & Lil C. Maybe it's time for a clean sweep of choreography on SYTYCD. Except for Tyce. he can stay.

November 11 2009 at 1:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bottom three could go a lot of ways tonight. I think the unknown of having not had a public vote yet and the lackluster performances last night almost across the board really puts almost everyone in a vulnerable spot.

Noelle and Russell are the safest, but every other couple could get B3'ed for lack of screentime, chemistry, personality, or performance.

However, I think the judges have made it clear who their favorites are. Ellenore, Channing, Victor, Peter, Pauline, and Kevin all are still in cannon fodder mode (probably just deck chairs on the Titatic, they'll need some "moments" to get into the Top 10 quick).

It's a real shame because I think Ellenore, Peter, Pauline, and Kevin are all worthy of a Top 10 entry over judges favorites like Mollee and Nathan.

November 11 2009 at 10:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My order (best to worst)
Noelle&Russell, Channing&Victor, Ashleigh&Jakob, Pauline&Peter, Karen&Kevin, Kathryn&Legacy, Ellenore&Ryan, Mollee&Nathan.

What I think America's Vote for Bottom 3:
(maybe Channing&Victor)
IF those 3 are in the bottom, I think the judges will get rid of Kevin and Pauline. . .


November 11 2009 at 9:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm voting for Kathryn, not Legacy.

November 11 2009 at 4:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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