Results filed under: “power rankings”
Call it the season of squandered opportunity. Call it a waste of my fucking time. Whatever you call it, there is no way this season ends with any satisfaction. Consider the following:
The seasons of the two most talented dancers on the show, Alex Wong and Ashley Galvan, were both cut short by injuries. Injuries also limited the screen time of Billy Bell and, more importantly, extended by exposure to Jose.
The much-hyped appearance of the All-Stars were thrown completely out of whack by the poor performance of the women on the show, resulting in a male-female imbalance that it took the producers weeks to find a satisfactory result to (hey, let's let two guys dance together! That's legal in California now, right?)
The judges held way too much sway over the season, retaining their power to select from the bottom three performers all the way through the Top 4. Which would have been okay, if the judges were able to adequately judge the talent in front of them.
All told, I count three memorable performances (Alex Wong getting out of his mind, Billy Bell as a hobo, and the memorable-for-the-wrong-reasons Adechike and Jose man-on-man paso); a winner who will be, at best, the third or fourth best dancer on the show this year; and Robert fucking Roldan in the finale. Jesus Christ.
The abbreviated rankings:
3. Robert Roldan
He can enjoy the extra TV exposure, but if he thinks he can actually win, then he's as fucking insane as he sometimes looks when smiling.
2. Lauren Froderman
Maybe it was the inevitability of her making the finale due to her lone-vaginal status the last several weeks, but I have cooled considerably on her chances to pull out an upset victory. She very capably performs everything handed to her without me actually feeling like I've seen anything special. She's cute, but not beautiful, if you get my meaning.
1. Kent Boyd
Kent, on the other hand: so beautiful.
The expiration date on this week's rankings have already come and gone - while this week's performance and elimination shows sit on my DVR and the participants in the finale have already been decided, I failed to give you all my long-awaited take on events that have passed now 8 days into history, which is a bajillion internet years.
So instead of giving you my week six rankings (which will now forever be lost to the ether), let me just say: what the hell was Lauren Froderman doing in the bottom three last week? You could almost see Billy giving up all hope of rescue: I think the judges would have saved him against anyone except Lauren or Kent.
On the other hand, it was his own fault for not performing the week before when he was cleared by the medical staff. If he had danced, Jose would have been eliminated. Than this week, even with the unforgivable nonsense of Lauren landing in the bottom three, there would have been a third dancer (Robert or Adechike, one would think) that the judges could have at least considered eliminating instead of Billy.
On the OTHER other hand, I bet nobody even remembers who Billy is, because that was over a week ago, so who gives a shit. I guess I just liked him because it seemed that, below all the posing for the TV cameras, I think he was as bitter and sarcastic as I was.
One point is an aberration, two points is a coincidence, and three points is a trend. We now have a trend of talented dancers injuring themselves this year, allowing those less worthy - and less entertaining - performers to continue on the show.
At this point, I think it also worth stating that the producers can no longer blame it on bad luck. The injuries have mounted to a point where something is wrong behind the scenes with the physical preparation and demands being put on these dancers. Nigel's declaration that they are bringing someone in to help the dancers "stretch" is absurd - surely dancers of this caliber know how to prepare themselves for a performance?
So on the one hand, last weeks' no elimination cop out was understandable - the judges feel responsible for the inability of the performers to stay healthy. On the other hand, I have to watch Jose again this week. Ugh.
(Okay, after all that bitching, I have to say this: how unbelievable was that solo performance by the guy in chains during the results show? I mean, did you SEE that dude's thighs? Tree trunks saw those things and got all self conscious about themselves.)
11. Christina Santana
10. Alexie Agdeppa
9. Melinda Sullivan
8. Alex Wong's Achilles Tendon
7. Ashley Galvan's Ribcage
6. Billy Bell's Knee (last week: 5)
Kevin is convinced that Billy should have been sent home last week because he decided to not dance, even thought he doctor's cleared him. I only disagree because Jose sucks so goddamn much. But is there a scenario where he isn't sent home tonight? Other than Kent Boyd's ACL flying apart like a Pakistani aircraft, that is.
5. Jose Ruiz (last week: 6)
If I were Jose, the "compliments" being paid by the judges that he finally appeared to be exerting effort in his solos would be a little insulting. So would the continued efforts by the choreographers (including Sonya with last week's "edge of the stage" routine) to come up with new and exciting ways to mask his inability to dance.
4. Adechike Torbert (last week: 3)
Adechike was involved in both the best (the NappyTab hip hop with my girl comfort) and the worst (the ill-advised man-on-man paso doble with Jose) routines of last week. In fact, if you ignore Alex' all-timer with Twitch, I would call them both the best and worst routines of the season.
Okay, I have to go further: the man-on-man paso was maybe the worst routine I've ever seen that didn't involve Russian folk dancing. And it wasn't bad just because it was gayer than the two guys Nigel blew up at during last season's auditions (it was): it was also a poorly danced, poorly conceived, boring mess.
3. Robert Roldan (last week: 4)
A forgettable week that didn't involve a man-on-man paso was enough to scoot him up a slot.
2. Kent Boyd (last week: 1)
I still think that Kent will win, but I can't let him slip by unpunished for the white boy step routine. It was saved, to the extent that it was, by Twitch subbing in for Billy at the last minute. I'm not sure what producer decided that having the two whitest cast members do the blackest routine the show has yet done was a good idea, but that person is an idiot. Kent gave it his all, but no amount of dancing could overcome his fundamental whiteness.
1. Lauren Froderman (last week: 2)
Two knockout routines, although I was unable to enjoy her hip hop with
Twitch as much as I should have because of the ridiculous chaps Twitch was
wearing. They should have dressed him like this
Now that the show has been transformed from So You Think You Can Dance to So You Think You Can Make It Through A Week Of Practice Without A Significant Injury, I'm wondering if I should alter my rankings. How is Kent going to make it all the way to the end with all of his gymnastic moves and not once land on his face? Will Billy's extensions and leaps result in a pulled hamstring? And will Robert end up with a strained eyebrow from the incessant mugging?
11. Christina Santana
10. Alexie Agdeppa
9. Melinda Sullivan
8. Alex Wong's Achilles Tendon
7. Ashley Galvan's Ribcage
6. Jose Ruiz (last week: 5)
In a world where the winner is decided by attrition instead of dancing, by who can make it through to the end through a combination of lack of strenuous effort, the hands-down favorite is Jose, who was finally - FINALLY - called out, if not by the judges, then by the voting public for his awful, awful dancing. The judges complimented him on his solo because he actually appeared to be giving a shit for once. How did he get this far when he couldn't even impress in his own style? (The answer is that Nigel loves to get lost in his eyes.)
5. Billy Bell (last week: 7)
Also (finally) managing to move the meter on the give-a-shit-o-meter was Billy Bell, who turned in a pair of fun performances this week. The voters replied with a collective yawn, once again putting him in the bottom 2. Could it be that they are not so quick to forgive him for coasting on the goodwill of the judges?
4. Robert Roldan (last week: 6)
His great performance in Travis Wall's contemporary routine was completely ruined by the all-too-literal ending, with his partner standing on his feet and him literally walking for her. I'm also (and not for the first time this season, incidentally) a little creeped out by the way in which a choreographer imagines dancing with a parental figure. "Okay, so Robert, this sexy woman in the revealing nightgown, she's your mom, and I want you to end the dance by pressing yourself up against her back, and maybe brushing your hand against her breast a couple of times."
3. Adechike Torbert (last week: 4)
Adechike continues to fall up, as more talented dancers succumb to injuries. I enjoyed his performance with Kent, which may be the first time "Bros Before Hos" has been translated to contemporary dance. On the other hand, his (admittedly difficult) rumba with Anya was an overpraised train wreck. He managed to make the unflappable Anya look highly flapped. But then again, with your life in the hands of an essentially untrained Latin dancer as he flips you up in the air, I think you'd be pretty flapped too.
2. Lauren Froderman (last week: 3)
Ashley may have been the more talented female dancer this season, but I don't think she would have looked nearly as engaging dressed as a bird of paradise shaking her ass around the stage for three minutes. I usually mentally check out whenever large feathers are involved (its either cultural or broadway, YAWN) but I'll be damned if there wasn't something hypnotizing about it.
1. Kent Boyd (last week: 1)
Before his dance with Neil, I predicted that Kent was going to get danced off the stage, and Kent shoved that back in my face with a fun, athletic performance. So many flips! The adorable bastard.
That was the sound you heard last week of my diminished interest in this diminished season of So You Think You Can Dance. It roughly coincided with the moment that Alex Wong's Achilles tendon got bored with its attaching-muscle-to-bone gig and instead decided to try to make it in Hollywood as Audrina's friend on the inevitable spinoff of The Hills. Even the cold comfort that he would return to dominate next season has been taken away
, leaving in its place a hollow void where this year's dance talent should be.
If you are wondering who to blame, by the way, blame me. I picked him as the best dancer of the season, so naturally, something horrible would go wrong. As has been firmly established, I am the cooler
11. Christina Santana
10. Alexie Agdeppa
9. Melinda Sullivan
8. Alex Wong's Achilles tendon
7. Billy Bell (last week: 6)
Back-to-back bottom three finishes, inexplicably unmerciful criticism from the judges week after week, and his insistence on boring the fuck out of me when he isn't doing his solo dance will surely spell the end of the former front runners season this week.
6. Robert Roldan (last week: 8)
My biggest problem with Robert is that his shtick of aw-shucks humility and goofiness is awfully, painfully fake. So I can't decide whether the choreographer who decided that he would perform half of this week's dance as a stiff, dead-behind-the-eyes man doll was a tone-deaf retard or an evil genius.
5. Jose Ruiz (last week: 7)
WE GET IT, judges. You love when a contestant's story includes growth. Jose wouldn't hear the word growth as much if he was in chemotherapy. But you know what I love, judges? I love competent dancing, and Jose has been unable to supply any for weeks. Please, please stop.
4. Adechike Torbert (last week: 5)
Right on for Cat Deeley to point out the judge's hypocrisy vis-a-vis Adechike and Jose's relative Bollywood performances (a style of dancing, incidentally, that I am ready to never see again on this show). Also not pointed out: Adechike was doing the same leaps that lead to Alex Wong's Achilles tendon going on hiatus. Not only would that make anyone tentative as hell, that means they made Adechike switch parts 24 hours before the performance
! What the fuck? How is he expected to get it down with that little amount of practice time? I call bullshit.
3. Lauren Froderman (last week: 3)
If Nigel is going to use last week's all-time great Alex/Twitch pairing as a defense of the All-Star format, then its only fair to use the intense chemistry of Lauren and Kent's performance against it. What if these two had been paired together from week one? How many great performances would they have had together? How much speculation on the amount of sexual intercourse the two are having have we missed out on? And now they'll be yanked apart again next week. Totally lame.
2. Ashley Galvan (last week: 2)
Ashley could land herself in the bottom three as much as she wants: the judges aren't getting rid of her. And well they should not. She remains a consistently strong performer, who was struck by the NappyTab week-after curse. Also, she should immediately apologize to the costume designer for whatever she did that made her dress her in those parachute pants last week.
1. Kent Boyd (last week: 3)
The grandiose thing to do would be to claim that the producers of SYTYCD are avid readers of this blog, hanging on my every word for the scraps of wisdom I dispense like so much sweet sweet candy. The practical thing is that the flaws of this season were so glaringly obvious and so widely decried that the producers had no choice but to alter course in an effort to save this season.
Exhibit one: the judges realized that the girls just weren't as good as the guys this season, and rather than keep an inferior dancer around in some misguided nod to affirmative action (BOOM TAKE THAT BLACK PEOPLE YOU JUST GOT BURNED), horrible horrible Melinda was sent back to the vat from which she was grown. And! AND! We got the epic pairing of Alex and Twitch, despite Nigel's on-the-record aversion to guy-on-guy dancing.
The scuttlebutt is that more changes are in store for this week, with dancers dancing with all-stars, dancers dancing with dancers, and who knows what other signs of the apocalypse.
11. Christina Santana
10. Alexie Agdeppa
9. Melinda Sullivan (last week: 7)
Melinda, a word of advice, from somebody who obviously knows what it takes to be successful in showbiz: you are faker than Heather Mills' leg. I assume that all famous, beautiful starlets are absolute insufferable bitches in real life, but its like your bitch-itude is of such a magnitude that you can't even contain it for the 4 minutes of stage time you were awarded every week. You aren't fooling anybody.
8. Robert Roldan (last week: 6)
As high as third in these rankings only two weeks ago, back-to-back bottom three finishes
have Robert hanging on to his spot by the skin of his teeth. His
transparently fake aw-shucks routine (as opposed to Kent Boyd's
endearingly authentic one) is barely better than Melinda's transparently
fake "I'm not a horrible, life-sucking bitch" routine. It will take a
miracle for him to make it to next week.
7. Jose Ruiz (last week: 8)
Part of the reason that the judges sent Melinda home last week (other than Mia's much-derided, but completely correct, on-stage lament that she hadn't gone home earlier) is that Billy and Robert, and not Jose Ruiz, were the other performers in the bottom 3. And its the judges fault for heaping on him completely unearned praise for a salsa that was both choreographed and filmed to hide his total ineptitude. A dancer has to be doing really well or godawful to make me care when Anya is on stage, and I couldn't take my eyes off Jose's wooden performance. That vacuum that danced with Fred Astaire had better footwork.
And yet, despite all that, he has cruised through the competition to date, so there's no reason to think that won't continue at least one more week.
6. Billy Bell (last week: 5)
Last week's "shocking" result of Billy landing in the bottom three should only be surprising to anybody that hasn't watched the show since he was a contender last season. While his performance this week was good, it didn't stop the judges from tearing into him like Mia at a buffet. Could it be that they actually have influence over the voters?
5. Adechike Torbert (last week: 9)
Boy, did I have this one wrong last week. Adechike turned in one of the best performances of the night (although it was, like all the performances, overshadowed by the show stopper at the end). The only question it left me with was why he was dancing hip-hop with Lauren, while Comfort sat on the sidelines. I love you Comfort!!
4. Lauren Froderman (last week: 4)
I had a realization last week, when the 18-year-old Lauren's dress broke, and her 18-year-old boob almost popped out: I'm old enough now that me getting excited about it was just a little bit gross. Not that that stopped me, of course.
3. Kent Boyd (last week: 1)
Not a great week for my boy Kent. I still dug his performance, but the judges are really starting to lay into him now about his performance. It remains to be seen if their negative comments can have the same affect on him as they have had on Billy.
2. Ashley Galvan (last week: 2)
The second best performance of the week. Which last week was kind of like saying she was the smartest kid in her special ed class, but that's only because...
1. Alex Wong (last week: 3)
In his thunder-stealing recap of last week's show
, because its not like he didn't already know that I do this, Kevin (we are fighting - GO BACK INSIDE) covered most of the important points, except for one. The judges, especially Nigel, repeatedly and pointedly calling out Travis Wall's jazz routine for not being jazzy enough. Not only did every judge completely fail to comment on the quality of Ashley's actual performance because they were too busy bitching about the dance being too contemporary-y(?), but Nigel took time out again later in the show after a jazz routine choreographed by Tyce to say, "Thank you Tyce for giving us a real jazz routine" or some such knife-twisting nonsense. Cut to Travis sitting in the audience next to Tyce and mouthing a very lip-readable "God dammit."
Maybe Nigel should go a little easier on Travis next time, considering that, jazz hands or no jazz hands, he's the best choreographer working on the show right now not married to a tiny Asian woman (and Wade Robson has pretty much limited himself to group routines the past few seasons). Maybe Nigel is happy with the latest lame wuss-hop routine that NappyTab churns out, or whatever boring bullshit Tyce throws together in between eyebrow appointments, but Travis routines are among the few that have any chance of being memorable these days. Just sayin.
11. Christina Santana (last week: 10)
I know she technically went out second, but I'm retroactively correcting this injustice and putting her 11th. She should have gone out first. She was awful. Note to aspiring reality TV show contestants: maybe you can wait until the braces come off?
10. Alexie Agdeppa (last week: 11)
9. Adechike Torbert (last week: 9)
Even though the boys and girls aren't dancing with each other, the judges are still going to feel compelled to keep the penis-vagina count as even as possible. That means a penis is going home this week. And that penis is going to be attached to Adechike.
8. Jose Ruiz (last week: 7)
He stays ahead of Adechike because, if that sad excuse for a Bollywood routine didn't put him in the bottom three, I see no reason to expect that he'll be going home anytime soon. But that performance might have been a low point for the show that didn't involve Russian Folk dancing
7. Melinda Sullivan (last week: 8)
Watching her stare at the judges, all facade, dead behind the eyes, while they implored her to try to connect with the audience, it occurred to me: I don't think she has a soul. And even so, I had to put her ahead of Jose.
I must call bullshit on the description of her dance with Ade as well, in which she was dressed up like the Chiquita Banana lady and called "Mother Earth", and he was put in a tank top and called "Mankind". That dance was about the destruction of Earth, but don't pretend that (incredibly dark-skinned) Ade was supposed to be Mankind. He was the oil spill. That was the BP dance.
6. Robert Roldan (last week: 3)
No idea what Robert was doing in the bottom three, but it does not bode well for his chances on the show.
5. Billy Bell (last week: 5)
I actually thought Billy did pretty well with his krumping, despite the judges calling him out for lack of gangster-ness, or warrior-ness, or whatever bullshit they were rolling out with while trying to channel their inner Lil C (and I'd like to think that there is a little Lil C in all of us, wouldn't you?) But I'm still waiting for him to give us a performance worth caring about.
4. Lauren Froderman (last week: 6)
The new hip-hop choreographer (who's name I forget, and am too lazy to look up, sorry) gave her some good moves to work with, and she had great chemistry with her partner Dominic. Really enjoyed that performance. Now let's break this promising couple up for no good reason! Whee season 7!!
3. Alex Wong (last week: 1)
Blame in on Tyce's horrible choreography if you want (why waste Alex's physicality on a small, internalized Broadway routine?) but Alex bombed harder this week than Robert Lewis
(look it up, bitch) . A bump in the road, or is his weakness as a performer finally catching up with him? Stay tuned.
2. Ashley Galvan (last week: 4)
There wasn't lots of discussion of her performance on the show because the judges were too busy ripping into Travis' choreography, and that was a real disservice to Ashley. She was great in a physically demanding piece.
1. Kent Boyd (last week: 2)
Like it or not, but Kent is an unstoppable freight train of naive redneck adorableness. Who is sometimes asked to dance in a gimp harness for some reason.
Instead of voting off one of the dancers this week, can we vote off the director instead?
Competent direction of dancing should be the easiest thing in the world. Here's what you do: you point a goddamn camera at the dancing and let us watch. Instead, the new director for the show this year is all swoops and cuts and closeups and weird angles that do everything except highlight the dancing. Is the director paid by the cut? And maybe next time you do rehearsals you should have some people in the audience so you could realize that the way you've blocked out the low angles, the audience members heads are in the way.
It looks like an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Also lost are the seemingly telepathic use of replay. One of the remarkable things about the show in years past was the ability to splice together little clips from the dance, so that when the judges say something about that incredible lift, or footwork, or whatever, right on cue a clip of the relevant dance section would replay. Not this year. Instead, there is an almost tangible feeling of emptiness every time the director fails to have any clips from the dance we watched on cue. I hope they got this shit straightened out for this week. On to the rankings.
(previous rank: 7)
First off the show is cute little Alexie, who I thought was sexy and fun during her hip-hop routine with Twitch. But, like I said last week, there's probably a reason she tried out for the show half a dozen times without making it before this year, and I was right. Besides, at this point in the year, as long as one of the top 3 or 4 dancers doesn't get voted out, I don't get too worked up: she wasn't winning anyway.
(last week: 11)
Cristina moves up by virtue of not getting voted off. I've seen her dance three times. Once it was a contemporary piece with Mark (who remains freaky awesome), and twice it was in her own style. The contemporary performance was best: probably because it didn't demand too much movement from her lazy, lazy feet. She should be gone this week.
Speaking of Mark, and the other All-Stars, sister Rose asks: does anyone else feel bad for the All-Stars after the dance is done, and they have to do the awkward walk of shame off stage while the actual competitor gets critiqued? That's the best they could come up with?
She also asks: if they wanted to do an All-Star season, why not just do a season with 20 All-Stars competing for an All-Star prize, instead of mixing them in with the new competitors? Who wouldn't want to watch that instead of this?
Rose has good ideas!
(last week: 10)
Adechike was asked to pretend, for three minutes, that he thought All-Star Kathryn
was sexually attractive. And he couldn't do it. I mean, dude, I know you are gay, but is anybody THAT gay? I'm not saying I'd leave the Suze for a chance to be with Kathryn...
I'm saying I would murder her*.
(last week: 6)
All performance, no dancing. The voting public saw right through her. I have her this high based on talent (CHRISTINA MOVE YOUR FEET YOU LAZY BITCH), but I would not be surprised to see her out the door next.
(last week: 8)
This is definitely a case of falling up, as I was not impressed with Jose, dancing in his own style. Which reminds me: I am tired of the judges pointing out that this wasn't technically his own style, because he's a b-boy, not a hip-hop dancer. Let's stop slicing the onion quite so thin, shall we? It's not like you were asking him to do fucking ballet.
(last week: 2)
Ugh. Lauren. What happened? Not everything is a cheer routine, honey. And the petulant back and forth with the judges, where they call you out for your petulance, and then you petulantly try to explain that you aren't being petulant, its not doing you any favors either.
(last week: 4)
Billy would have had the week's biggest drop if not for Lauren's cheer-tastrophe. He mailed in Vegas week, and he put a big ole stamp on this week too. When is he going to wake up?
(last week: 9)
Definitely an eye-opener. Ashley went from "who?" to my favorite girl on the show.
(last week: 5)
Robert, you're a fantastic dancer. Now do us all a favor and stop reacting like the SYTYCD judges are the first people to ever say you are good at it. You are humble
. We get it.
(last week: 3)
I'm not even sure you could call him a dark horse at this point. I'd call him adorable again, but I've been informed that if I do then Kent and I will officially be gay married, so let's just say that... fuck it! He's adorable! I LOVE YOU KENT!
He's all shtick, except he isn't self-aware enough to actually be doing shtick. It's just his genuine personality, and I can't get enough.
(last week: 1)
Nigel said he was head and shoulders above the other contestants, and he was correct.
Actually, Nigel was eerily correct last week, predicting not only Alex's dominance, but also the LA Lakers Game 7 victory AND the demotion of the English soccer team's goalie. He also learned how to pronounce Wapakaneta, probably after hours of intensive speech therapy.*Hi honey!
With the auditions over and the Top
11 set to go, we can finally start talking about So You Think You Can Dance Season 7, an object lesson in the theory of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Can we even begin to count the ways in which the producer's fiddling, induced by panic after last fall's Season Six catastrophe, have messed with the show we all grew to love after initially just tolerating it because our wife will watch anything with dance in the title? Yes we can!
#1: The All-Stars. This seemed like a good idea, but the problem was immediately revealed during last Thurday's (admittedly spectacular) "Get To Know The Top 11" performance episode, when poor Cristina Santana was practically danced off the stage by the superior ballroom skills of All-Star Anya Garnis. Even in a show where everyone was dancing in their own style and the judging would presumably be light, Nigel couldn't help but call Cristina out for her "lazy feet". I had already figured that being paired with an All-Star dancing in their own style is going to highlight the deficiencies of the dancers when they are outside of their own style, but now its going to highlight the deficiencies of the dancers even inside their own style.
#2: The Top Eleven. Reducing the pool from 20 down to 10 means that many talented dancers weren't given the chance to perform on the show, and thus we were denied the chance of enjoying them dance. While I understand that the judges don't want to reduce the show to "So You Think You Can Be A Contemporary Dancer", a top 20 would have prevented the greatest injustice in the history of mankind: Anthony Burrell, he of the sprained hamstring and red leotarded package, was passed over in favor of Jose "Token Breaker" Ruiz, Kent "I Went To Columbus Once" Boyd, and Billy "Totally Phoned It In In Vegas" Bell.
#3: The judge visits. Did everyone else find the whole "judges visit the contestants in their homes to give them the news" conceit to be horrible? For a show that purports to be about finding professional dancers, it didn't seem like a very professional way to end a job interview. Plus there was Nigel's insufferable visit to Kent Boyd's house, with his obnoxious yellow phallus of a car, pretending that he couldn't pronounce the completely pronouncable "Wapakaneta", and then making the whole family wait for the news while he takes a dump.
UGH. Got that out of my system. Okay, onto the power rankings. Here's how it works: The bottom ranking is the person I most expect to be voted out, the top person is the current favorite to win the show, and everybody else is somewhere in between. Got it? Good!
11. Cristina Santana
Seriously, girl, move your goddamn feet!
10. Adechike Torbert
Adechike is a talented dancer who ended up dancing for his life in Vegas after opening the week with an ill-advised tap routine. Really, ill-advised. His tap routine was ill-advised like Stephany Flores going on a date with Joran van der Sloot was a miscalculation. What, you figured you'd be okay because he didn't have access to his friend's boat in Peru? Well, you figured wrong.
9. Ashley Galvan
After multiple episodes in Vegas and a performance episode, I still couldn't pick her out on a lineup card. Not a good sign.
THE SLOT FILLERS
8. Jose Ruiz
In a normal season with 20 performers, he might have had time to grow as a performer and endear himself to audiences like Legacy did last season, or even hip-hop winners Joshua and Russell. However, there isn't any time for that, and instead Jose will be eliminated after ballroom catches up with him.
7. Alexie Agdeppa
Alexie was rewarded with a spot in the top ten after trying out for the show 300 times, which is impressive since this is only the seventh year. Might I point out, however, that there might be a reason she wasn't picked the first 299 times?
6. Melinda Sullivan
She somehow made it into the top ten as a tapper after last year's tap-astrophe. I won't deny she has a certain star quality on stage, and she's also really pretty, which helps, but I don't think it is enough.
5. Robert Roldan
If you want to know why there's a top 11, this is it: Alex Wong, Kent Boyd, and Jose Ruiz had their spots sewn up in the top 5 boys (Jose as the token b-boy, Kent and Alex for reasons we will get to in a minute). That left Adechike, Robert, and Billy. The judges decided to put Adechike in the top 5 for, and I'm just guessing here, a little racial diversity (if a token black was really necessary, I personally would have selected Anthony), which left one spot for Robert and Billy. Billy was the incumbent after having to leave last year's top 20 with an unspecified illness (probably AIDS). But Billy totally phoned in Vegas Week, and any merit-based argument would favor Robert. But if Robert displaced Billy, the fans would hate him, and he would have just been voted out. So they expanded to 11 and brought Billy back so that Robert wouldn't just get thrown out immediately by a pitchfork-wielding mob of Billy Bell fans.
4. Billy Bell
Seriously, dude: YOU TOTALLY PHONED THAT SHIT IN. On the bright side, after your time on the show is over, you've got a future in Proactive commercials.
THE EVAN KASPRZAK MEMORIAL OVERACHIEVER
3. Kent Boyd
He's an adorable, grew up on a farm, blond haired blue eyed hick that every grandma on earth will vote for. And much like Evan before him, he will clearly be in over his head talent-wise.
THE DARK HORSE
2. Lauren Froderman
She's blond, she's beautiful, and she dances like a total whore. There is nothing about her that I don't love.
1. Alex Wong
Alex would have already been on the show two years ago if he had been let out of his contract with the Miami City Ballet. But he wasn't, because HE WAS TOO AWESOME. My only concern is this: there is a tradition on this show of the best dancer coming in second every year. Jakob (Season 6), Brandon (Season 5), Twitch (Season 4), and Danny (Season 3) were, in my opinion, all more deserving than the actual winner of that season. So look out, Alex: Kent Boyd and his pinchable cheeks may be coming for you.
Some changes this week, both in the actual rankings and in my approach. First, I'm abandoning the old format, which, believe it or not, was kind of onerous to produce each week. Second, I'm doing them really really late this week because my stupid job that pays me got in the way of my awesome blog that costs me time and effort. I'll be counting down from the bottom up, so you can feel the suspense building. Who will be #1? Will it be the only undefeated team left that is the consensus best team in the league? Hmm.
This group is collectively known as the Suicide Pool All-Stars. In 15 weeks I have picked against Detroit four times, St. Louis six times, and the Bucs twice. Needless to say, I'm doing quite well in my pool.
The Matt Hasselback era is over in Seattle.
Is this team talented? We've heard over and over again about Jason Campbell being good but having difficulty because he's played in a different offensive system every year, even dating back to college. And after the Redskins ran a play where everybody, INCLUDING THE LINEMEN, ran out in a pattern to catch a pass, resulting in the quarterback (who was actually the field goal kicker) getting creamed as he threw the world's most predictable interception, I think the title of worst coaching staff is well in hand. If I was a Redskins fans, I would have been shopping for a new TV on Tuesday, because this one would have had a remote stuck in it.
Kyle Orton is winning in Denver while Jay Cutler chases the Bears single season interception record. At the start of the season, everybody talked about Orton's record as a starter being better than Cutler's, but more as a fascinating oddity than anything with real meaning. At some point, the numbers no longer lie.
The Suicide Pool killers. The Browns have one of the most exciting players in football in Josh Cribbs (I would have said most exciting if not for DeSean Jackson). And the Raiders... let's see if I can get this statistic right: the teams that the Raiders have beaten collectively have the best record of any set of teams that a team has beaten this year. Did I say that right? What I mean is that they have beaten very good teams, including playoff contending Pittsburgh, Denver, Dallas, Philadelphia... and also Kansis City.
The Underachievers. Although Carolina has gotten markedly better since they benched their catastrophe of a quarterback. By the way, John Fox should be fired in Carolina for two reasons: one, for not benching Delhomme after the first 4 games; and two, for not only NOT benching him, but continuing to call more pass plays than running plays after it was clear that Delhomme was a head case and their running game was still dominant.
Beware the Crabtree Curse!
Collectively known as the 7-7 hopefulls. They are ranked not in the order in which they could potentially make the playoffs (the Texans would be last since they lose all the tiebreakers) but in the order in which I think they could finish 9-7. The Texans have the best chance precisely because they don't actually have anything to play for anymore. They melt under the spotlight.
The Giants are a game behind and hold the tiebreaker. The Cowboys just pulled off the upset after the other shoe finally dropped on New Orleans. One of them is in, one of them is out of the playoffs. Neither of them will do much once they get there.
Speaking of coaches who should be fired for not quickly addressing their quarterback situation, Jeff Fisher, you are done.
BOLD PREDICTION ALERT: The Dolphins will be the best team to not make the playoffs this year.
Way to be inspired by your teammate's death, Bengals.
This Arizona team is better than the one that went to the Super Bowl last year.
I think they might be overrated, even by me.
I had been blaming Brad Childress for underutilizing Adrian Peterson. Now it turns out that its Brett Favre's fault; he's been audibling out of run plays at the line so he can throw it, cause he's a gunslinger and a cowboy and Favre Favre Favre. That makes alot more sense.
Anytime Donovan McNabb drops back for more than 3 seconds, I get a bad feeling in my stomach; I know he's about to launch the ball downfield to a wide open DeSean Jackson. Just unbelievable how that keeps working.
In the 2001 World Series, the night after Tino Martinez hit a game tying 2-run homer with 2 out in the ninth off Byun Yung Kim, Scott Brosius came up against the same pitcher in the same situation: 1 on, two out, down by two. We all thought: no way lightning strikes twice, right? That's what we were talking about as Nick Folk lined up for a game icing chippy field goal at the end of Saturday's game: no way Folk misses this kick so soon after Suisham missed his, right?
Except this time the Saints didn't capitalize on the gift from the Gods. As all the pundits say, will it be better for them to get that loss out of the way? Or have their close calls against poor teams this season been more indicative of their play, and instead they are just super duper lucky? I'm inclined to the later.
I can't put them ahead of Indianapolis until...
...Indianapolis loses to them in the playoffs.
Why am I suddenly a fan of the New Orleans Saints? Is it because they embarrassed the Giants' division rival Redskins? (Kinda.) Is it because Drew Brees is a one of a kind talent? (Nah.) Should I keep asking myself questions and answering them in parenthesis? (Probably not.)
The real reason is that Saints' coach Sean Payton is an ObscureCraft reader! What? It's true! Well, at least, I think it is. Check this out: last week, I wrote about the folly
of resting your starters heading into the playoffs even if you have a perfect record, citing the epic Week 17 matchup between the Patriots and Giants in 2007. This week? Sean Payton says that the Saints are going for it
. Take it away Peter King:
Payton's about to have a lot more admirers around the United States.
He told me Saturday he's not going to take the foot off the accelerator
down the stretch, not even if the Saints have homefield advantage
clinched in the NFC playoffs. The Saints, instead of taking the last
game or two to let players heal for the playoffs, will try to make
history if they're in position. They're aiming for a perfect season.
Payton loved what Tom Coughlin
did in 2007, having his Giants play the Patriots like it was the
seventh game of the World Series in a meaningless final game of the
regular season, going down to defeat valiantly and narrowly, and
setting up the Giants' 4-0 playoff run that ended in the Super Bowl
upset of the perfect Patriots.
The dumbest argument we have about football every year is whether or not teams want to go undefeated. Or, more specifically, should a team with a perfect record that has nothing to play for continue to play their starters?
Funny, I thought this had already been decided when the Giants and Patriots played in Week 17 of 2007. Both teams had sown up their playoff seeding, but the Patriots had 16-0 on the line. Instead of resting the starters and letting come what may, both teams played their guts out in one of the best contests of the season. The momentum of that game carried both teams to a Super Bowl rematch.
And so I make this bold prediction: if either the Saints or Colts rest their starters with a perfect season on the line in Week 17, they will lose their first playoff game.
So do to my lack of expertise when making expert NFL picks, Jesse and I
have decided to switch places in our football 69 and I will rank these
teams which I apparently know nothing about.
This past week (as we have discussed a little so far) has been quite
controversial. The 4th and 2 by New England was not the right decision
in my opinion, but I might be biased based on the pussy NFC East
division which is all about field position.
The other decision that not many people are talking about is the
kneel-down-instead-of-scoring-a-touchdown by the Jaguars while they were
trailing by a point against the Jets. The Jags decided to bleed the
clock and kick what was basically an extra-point field goal to win
instead of taking a sure touchdown to take the lead with about 1:30
left. This might be crazier than Belichick's decision because at least
he was leading at the time. If the Jags botch that kick and miss they
lose, when they were given the opportunity to score and didn't take it.
Not many people are talking about that decision because it worked
(unless you're a disgruntled fantasy football played that had Maurice
Jones-Drew and needed a touchdown to win your match-up and then didn't
get it because he took a knee instead).
Anyway, here's MY rankings. Note that some losing teams may be ranked
higher than they were last week and some winning teams might be ranked
lower because I disagreed with Jesse's rankings a bit last week.
||The Colts take the number 1 spot because they stopped the Pats on 4th down and beat a very good team, unlike...
||...the Saints, who almost lost their first game. Against the ST. LOUIS RAMS. They've looked very shaky for the last three games.
||This team could be 8-1, and have swept the Steelers and the Ravens. The defense is for real.
||Old Man Favre has his Hoverround on cruise control with this cakewalk of a schedule. I just hope he doesn't fall asleep at the wheel and roll into the Grand Canyon.
||The arrogance of the Great Bill Belichick backfires for the second time... the first being when the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. GO GIANTS WOOO!!!
Exactly one half of all football games have been played. The Colts and Saints will make the playoffs. Are we sure about anybody else?
I didn't have room to expand on this in the rankings below, but these two coaching decisions need to be addressed:
1) The Giants should not have kicked that field goal against the Chargers. If they go for the touchdown and make it, they win. If they go for the touchdown and miss, then the Chargers have to go the length of the field. Yes, they can kick a field goal and tie it, but that is a better outcome than what actually happened. Kicking the field goal was the safe but wrong choice. The Giants have been making alot of wrong choices lately.
2) But that wasn't even the worst field goal decision in the NFC East this week. What was Andy Reid thinking? A 52 yard field goal is hardly a sure thing, and then they were still down by 4! Who cares that its 4th and 11: victory favors the bold. Reid was doing what he thought would cover himself with the media, NOT what would give his team the best chance to win.
Enough bickering over minutiae: on to the ranks!
||The 8-0 Saints still have yet to play a difficult road game.
||I guess their logo is a horseshoe for a reason; that was a lucky, lucky win against Houston.
||New England needs to win in Indianapolis, not only to give them a shot at home field for the playoffs, but to protect their record as the only 16-0 team in NFL history.
||The Bengals are about to go on a 3 game road trip, just in time to derail all those "The Bengals are for real!" stories.
||Doesn't the Viking mascot look like he could be one of the Village People?
If you care enough about football to read these rankings, then you already know who the top team is. While four undefeated teams would all like to be the best, the New Orleans Saints claimed the top spot for the first time this season after knocking off the Giants in controversial fashion (well, controversial around these parts, anyway).
With 4 teams coming into the week looking for their first win, the Titans made a similarly bold claim to be the worst team in football, after a historic 59-point trouncing at the hands of the resurgent New England Patriots. In between these two extremes is lots of regressing to the mean, as over one-third of the league is within a game of .500.
Looking for this week's bold prediction? You won't have to read too far to find it. Promise.
||As long as they don't get caught looking ahead to their matchup with the Falcons on Monday night in two weeks, the Saints should get to 6-0 against the Dolphins this week.
||If you have the Colts left in your suicide pool (which I do), congratulations! They play the lowly Ram this week.
||Yes, they could easily be 4-2 with losses to the Niners and the Ravens on Sunday. Settling for a field goal and leaving the Ravens time to come back was a bad coaching decision.
| 4 (5)
||BOLD PREDICTION ALERT: The Broncos will be the first team in the NFL to secure a playoff spot. (Bold prediction record: 1-1).
||Last week, I asked if we'd ever see the Tom Brady of 2007 ever again. We got our answer on Sunday, and it was: HELL YES BITCHES.
The NFL is becoming the story of the haves and the have nots.
The haves? That would be the Giants, Saints, Colts, and Vikings, each sitting at 4-0. What? Oh, yeah, and the Broncos. Whatever.
Even more unfathomable, at least two me, are the six - count 'em, SIX - defeated teams so far. That'd be the 0-4 Rams, Buccaneers, Browns, Titans(!!), and Chiefs, as well as the 0-3 Panthers. And that doesn't even include the 1-3 Lions, or the Raiders, Redskins, Bills, or Seahawks, whose only wins have come at the expense of those defeated teams. Whatever happened to any given Sunday? The only thing that might happen on any given Sunday is that there could be 6 teams that lose by three touchdowns.
At least it makes the rankings a little easier.
||The news that Eli Manning will have to play the rest of the season with pain in his heel does not fill me with joy and sunlight.
||The hype about a Manning-Manning Super Bowl begins right.... NOW.
||A 98-yard interception return for a touchdown AND a strip sack for a touchdown? The Saints are good, but there was more than little bit of luck in that win over the Jets, too.
||If you are part of the Vikings offensive line, and you wake up on Tuesday morning to hear Brett Favre getting all the credit for your amazing performance Monday, do you want to shoot yourself, or are you already used to QBs taking all the credit?
||I'd say something negative about Tom Brady's performance, but I don't want to get charged with a 15 yard penalty.
What's that saying? Nobody knows anything? I think we learned that this week in the NFL, as reflected in the huge shifts in the Power Rankings for week two, starting at the top. 3 of the top 5 teams and 6 of the top 10 from last week lost.
The Giants stake their claim to the top spot after the last minute victory in Dallas Sunday night. Filling out the top five are two of the biggest movers of the week, with the Saints shooting up 12 spots to number 4, and the Jets, uh, jetting up 10 spots to round out the top 5. As for the biggest drop? That information has been blacked out by the NFL.
There is a bold, manly prediction buried in the rankings this week. Want to know what it is? Read on to find out!
||There won't be a tougher road game this season than the one the Giants played on Sunday night to open up Jerry Jones' Ego Stadium.
||With all the other contenders looking shaky, the Ravens have established themselves as the class of the AFC.
||Time of possession. Total yards. Rushing yards. The Dolphins dominated the Colts on Monday night in every category except for the one that mattered: the final score.
||They still haven't really beat anybody (Lions and a McNabb-less Eagles), but they aren't just winning games. They are destroying their opponents.
||Whatever your team allegiance, you have to love the Jets talking smack in the media all week to the Patriots and then backing it up on the field.
Some quick hits on week one before we get to the rankings.
Pittsburgh, New England, and Indianapolis won their games by a combined 6 points.
Buffalo, Tampa Bay, and Kansas City all fired their offensive coordinators the last week of the preseason. All three teams lost.
Jay Cutler's Chicago Bears are 0-1. Kyle Orton's Denver Broncos are 1-0. Jay Cutler's career record is now 17-21. Kyle Orton's career record is now 22-12. At some point this starts meaning something, right?
Is it too late for me to change my sleeper pick from the Bears to the Jets? It is? Shoot.
||The Steelers headline a top five filled with teams that got a good scare in their first game. Such as...
||If the Bills didn't try to run that last kickoff back...
||Welcome back, Osi Umenyiora.
||If Michael Vick isn't waiting in the wings, does Donovan "Mr. Glass" McNabb rush back from the broken ribs to try and play this upcoming weekend? I doubt it. Get that QB controversy machine revved up!
||Hey, Colts, you only won by two. You know Marvin Harrison is still a free agent looking for work, right?
Welcome to the Obscure NFL Power Rankings. For those that are unfamiliar with the concept of power rankings, here's how it works: the official OC Power Rankings committee convenes in a top secret location to debate the relative strengths and weaknesses of each team. Teams are then ranked accordingly, through the use of a top secret algorithm developed through the use of a DoD research grant.
The goal of the power rankings is to provide insight beyond the simplicity of a won-loss record, and provide deeper contextual meaning. You should then use this information when making your picks for the ObscureCraft Pick 'Em League
(group ID 19207, password boobs), which everyone is going to play cause its lots of fun!
Okay, its actually just me (with a little input from DT) deciding which teams are better, colored by my own prejudices and ignorances. (This is the same way college football picks winners, by the way).
I have only a few rules in life, but here are three of them: When you win the Super Bowl, you automatically get to be number one in the first preseason poll. When you go 0-16, you are definitely last in the preseason poll. If you lose another 5 games, I might drop you from the list completely. And when you sign Michael Vick to your team, I reserve the right to make as many dog fighting related puns during the season as I can come up with.
Here are the top five. The rest are after the jump. Yes, I'm ranking and commenting on every single team
||Super Bowl champions automatically get the top spot in the preseason ranking barring any major injuries or personnel losses, although...
||...does anybody doubt the return of Tom Brady once again makes the Patriots the favorites to win it all?
||I don't know why, but I just think the Eagles are going to have a good season, doggone it! It just seems like they have more of a pitbull mentality than last season. (Translation: this is the time of year when everybody picks the Eagles, only to watch them lose the first 3 games of the season.)
||Hey, did you know that the Colts finished last year on a 9-0 run before that flukey, ref-assisted loss in the playoffs?? And Peyton Manning is a full year removed from his knee surgery?
||A trendy pick for the playoffs powered as much by their potential on-field performance as their crappy division.