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April 23, 2014

So You Think You Can Dance

Review: So You Think You Can Dance - Top 20 Perform

by Michael Pascua, posted Oct 28th 2009 12:55AM
Brandon Dumlao replaced Billy Bell on So You Think You Can Dance(S06E11) We finally get to the actual competition on So You Think You Can Dance. On tonight's episode, the judges cut one guy and one girl without America's help. It's okay, I don't trust America. Cat welcomes us in a stunning Chinese-inspired dress. I'm still amazed by Cat's ability to look good in anything.

As we watch the dancers open the show, we start with the newest addition to the Top 20: Brandon. Even after meeting these contestants yesterday, I still don't know them. To make it worse, the sound people kept using the live mic on the tappers, and at first I thought my ears were going.

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Paula Abdul on So You Think You Can Dance?

by Nick Zaino, posted Oct 27th 2009 12:31PM
Paula AbdulOn last night's special Monday episode of So You Think You Can Dance, producer/judge Nigel Lythgoe displayed an empty chair, just in case, he said, a special guest decided to grace them with her presence. The chair was marked with the name "Paula Abdul." (On a side note, SYTYCD was on basically in place of House -- how can such a popular show go on break so often?).

The current slate of judges, including Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Adam Shankman (in for Mia Michaels), seems perfect. Other than the fact that I wish I had the technical know-how to develop a filter that would detect when Murphy is about to sound like a claxon and automatically adjust the volume of my TV, I enjoy all three judges. And, as I've said before, I actually feel like I'm learning something from the show when they critique the dancers. When they need another voice, they have Debbie Allen, the sometimes overly loquacious Lil C, and a few others who can easily step in.

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So You Think You Can Dance dropouts and injury spoilers

by Michael Pascua, posted Oct 27th 2009 8:31AM
SYTYCD contestant Billy BellI don't want to toot my own horn, but I predicted that illness would fell more reality show competitors in last week's TV Squad APB podcast. It turns out that the first to be affected was Billy Bell. Fox's official website posted a message wishing Billy a speedy recovery. There were no details of his illness.

It's a shame to see Billy go so soon. After seeing Monday's performance, which was pre-taped, he showed power and technique. He hopes to try out for Season Seven.

If you want to be spoiled on who replaced him, the replacement's partner and dance, and another injury continue reading.

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Review: So You Think You Can Dance - Meet the Top 20

by Michael Pascua, posted Oct 27th 2009 1:08AM
Karen, Ashley, and Ryan perform a three person Samba
(S06E10) In a So You Think You Can Dance first, we get to meet the Top 20 before competition starts. It's nice to see the dancers doing well in their element before they fall apart trying to learn Disco, Bollywood, or Russian Folk.

We also welcome Adam Shankman as a permanent judge. Nigel wants Paula Abdul to guest judge eventually. Since she was in the audience of Dancing with the Stars, she's probably got the time.

I dislike the return of last season's finale stage as the new permanent stage. The camera angles constantly have heads in the corners, and there are no more stairs for cool performance elements.

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Review: So You Think You Can Dance - Top 20 Revealed

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 22nd 2009 12:48AM
So You Think You Can Dance(S06E09) Tonight, we started with 38 dancers, and by the end of the hour, the Top 20 stood revealed. I'm never quite sure how to take these episodes; American Idol always has one, as well. For the most part, it's just contestants walking in front of the judges and hearing "Yes" or "No." For those of us who've been watching since the beginning and finding our early favorites, it can be a little tense and exciting.

But then I think about someone who's never watched the show, and who's maybe tuning in for the first time tonight. What a boring hour of television they would be in for. You barely get any snippets from the good dancers who make it through. Mostly it's just a parade of faces you don't know and lots of crying.

But before we get to the tears, we need to get excited. For the first time, and to give everyone a more even playing field going into the first performance show, this Monday at 8pm ET, FOX offers a special non-elimination episode where the Top 20 get to show us their stuff.

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Adam Shankman, the dancing Oscar producer

by Allison Waldman, posted Oct 21st 2009 11:29AM
Oscar_statuetteMaybe they'll change the name of this year's Academy Awards to So You Think You Can Win An Oscar? Or maybe it'll be Oscar, You Should Be Dancing. What else can we expect now that Adam Shankman has been assigned to produce the Oscar broadcast... with Bill Mechanic. The Bill Mechanic part is almost like fine print. (Or that cute kid Brick on The Middle who whispers under his breathe in a funny, creepy way. "Mechanic...")

The story here is Adam Shankman. He's a director/choreographer and dancer. He's a judge on the current season of So You Think You Can Dance. His biggest credit is Hairspray, one of the few movie musicals that has made it to the big screen and was a bit hit in the last decade. Shankman should bring movement, energy and -- perhaps -- dance to the Academy Awards?

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Mia Michaels is quitting So You Think You Can Dance?

by Michael Pascua, posted Oct 15th 2009 1:27PM
Mia Michaels (left) with Mary Murphy and Nigel LythgoeSo You Think You Can Dance may never be the same again. In all-capitalized Twitter messages, Mia Michaels has announced that she is quitting. The last of the three messages read:

"THANKS SYTYCD AND LOOK FORWARD TO WHATS AHEAD FOR ME...LOOKOUT WORLD!!!!!"

It's really weird seeing that Mia has been not only an anchor for the choreographers and judges, but she has been so enthusiastic about season six being on of the best seasons. She has also left a message on her Facebook account with similar sentiments.

Mia Michaels wasn't the same strict choreographer last night in Vegas' callbacks. She was calm and organic with her teaching.

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So You Think You Can Dance: Vegas Callbacks 2

by Michael Pascua, posted Oct 15th 2009 12:50AM
Mia Michaels teaches the female contestants choreography
(S06E08) We're down to 77 contestants trying to get to the top 20 of So You Think You Can Dance. It's day two of Vegas and we follow the rest of the contestants as they go through choreography from several of our favorite choreographers including Making the Band's Lorrie Ann Gibson.

Injuries plague several of the dancers tonight, and it makes me wonder how far I would make it on this show before I sprained my Achilles' tendon.

I was all excited that we would find out the top 20 tonight. Sadly, I've been duped and will have to wait for next week.

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So You Think You Can Dance: Vegas Week, Part 1

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 8th 2009 3:05AM
So You Think You Can Dance: Vegas Week
(S06E07)
So many judges, so little time. Tyce DiOrio, Mia Michaels, Debbie Allen, Adam Shankman, Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe all sat in judgment of the 152 dancers who survived the audition rounds. The pace of the show picks up dramatically when we get to Vegas, and somehow I had myself convinced they were going to cram the entire week into tonight's one-hour episode.

Thankfully, I'm an idiot. Vegas Week continues next week for you and me. In fact, we only got through the first two days. But in that time, we lost nearly half of the contestants including several early favorites, and certainly some favorites of mine.

The more I see of these dancers, though, the more excited I am for this season. I thought last season suffered from the blands through a lot of it, despite some amazing choreographed performances, but there are a lot of really dynamic personalities already shining through.

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So You Think You Can Dance: Salt Lake City Auditions

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 7th 2009 1:02AM
Mia Michaels(S06E06) Oh no! Screwball Mia Michaels was the third judge in Salt Lake City for this final stop in the audition rounds. Adam Shankman can't take his permanent spot fast enough for me. Michaels needs to stick to amazing choreography.

That said, she actually didn't bother me at all tonight as a judge. So I've been unfair to Mia Michaels. Oh, who am I kidding, she's usually horrible.

What wasn't horrible was the caliber of talent in Utah. Granted, the competitors come from all over the country to these destination cities, but I feel confident in saying that we saw the widest array of the most impressive talent right here tonight. No wonder they saved it for last.

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Mary Murphy's Rules for What Not To Do

by Nick Zaino, posted Oct 1st 2009 9:00AM
So You Think You Can Dance judgesI've said before that So You Think You Can Dance is one of the few reality shows that I actually like, despite the fact that I'm not really one who appreciates dance as an artform. It's a show that I don't think exploits its contestants or talks down to its audience, and that seems to take its subject matter more seriously than, say American Idol or other talent shows. And last night's show was more proof for me.

On American Idol, we often hear that the more insulting advice from the judges is a form of tough love, and in some cases, they have a point. Some people think they can sing and just can't, and need to be told. And there are similar scenes on So You Think You Can Dance, and similarly, some people stomp off convinced that they are "it" instead of, well, something that rhymes.

But So You Think You Can Dance is much more up front and even aggressive about telling people how they can grow. The system is better - if you show promise but the judges aren't sure, you go to the "choreography" phase and you are shown fairly empirically what your faults are, and most contestants seem happy for the knowledge, and many of them do come back.

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So You Think You Can Dance: New Orleans Auditions

by Michael Pascua, posted Oct 1st 2009 12:57AM
Auditioners practice before the judges arrive.(S06E05) After last night's supposed vagina-flashing, I was ready to watch Wednesday's episode of So You Think You Can Dance with a sharper eye. With Nigel away, we have Lil C and now permanent third judge Adam Shankman joining Mary Murphy.

With the same choreography from Anya and Pasha, the judges continue to place untrained hip-hop dancers into the choreography rounds, just to make sure that they can survive harder challenges later. If any hip-hopper (or any dancer in general) was smart, if they made it to Vegas, they would try to practice some basic Jazz, Contemporary, Waltz and Cha-Cha to give them some training in the general categories.

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So You Think You Can Dance: Boston Auditions

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 24th 2009 1:20AM
So You Think You Can Dance(S06E03) It still looks like we're in for a great season of So You Think You Can Dance. There have been some amazing talents already making their way to Vegas, and Boston delivered several more. They also delivered a middle-aged man in blue tights, so there's that. Yeah.

Tyce DiOrio joined Nigel and Mary on the panel to face the circus, and as usual, he came with plenty of sass and attitude. He's one of the better third judges they bring on board, and he was an effective critic for many of the dancers we saw, until he got crabby.

As has been the case this season, we've seen about 80% quality dancers to 20% terrible, which is a ratio I'm very pleased with. Especially as SYTYCD tries to build a fall-sized audience to compete with the best the networks have to offer. It's about a celebration of dance, and not a circus of freaks. Except for the one ... in the blue tights.

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So You Think You Can Dance: Phoenix Auditions

by Michael Pascua, posted Sep 17th 2009 12:38AM
A hopeful contestant welcomes us to Phoenix (S06E02) The auditions arrive for the first time in Phoenix, and our guest judge is Mia Michaels. Choreography was the focus this week, and we'll end up seeing Anya and Pasha's "simple" choreography a lot in the future. I'm disappointed that they don't change choreo every audition spot.

Last week's auditions focused on tap dancers and cute contemporary women. I was hoping that Fox would mix it up this week. Although we got a handful more contemporary women, we're given one of the best breakers. Breakdancers are what can differentiate this show from Dancing with the Stars.

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So You Think You Can Dance: Los Angeles Auditions (season premiere)

by Jason Hughes, posted Sep 10th 2009 1:23AM
So You Think You Can Dance(S06E01) FOX is easing us into this new fall season of So You Think You Can Dance with only one episode per week for the first three. Then, the show will settle into its regular Tuesday/Wednesday timeslots; keeping them warm for American Idol in the winter.

Things kicked off in LA with Adam Shankman joining Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy on the dais. I wouldn't mind Shankman taking that slot permanently, as he's the most consistent of the rotating "third judges." With the shorter one-hour premieres, there was little focus on the terrible; instead they chose to show us more of what was great -- a smart move.

If SYTYCD is to be the showcase for the most talented amateur dancers on the planet, we need to see how great they are. Like American Idol, there have been seasons where SYTYCD went too deep into the bad dance, but anyone can do that. What's amazing is seeing people do things you could never in a million years achieve.

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