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.
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.
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.
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...
In ObscureCraft's ongoing effort to provide thorough and complete 24/7 coverage of the SYTYCD world, I'm going to discuss this week's shenanigans while avoiding comment on the overall rankings of the group, except insofar as I disagree with Jesse.
Any discussion of this week has to start with the utterly classless remarks of the judges to Melinda, where all three told her they regretted not sending her home the week before, and then went on to savage her performance again. Sending her home should have happened the first week, but the fuckup there was by the judges, not Melinda. It's just mean to rub salt in the wounds like that.
Just as important would of course be how ridiculously good routine Tabitha and Napoleon choreographed for Alex and Twitch was. This pretty clearly proves they read ObscureCraft, since they handled the criticism of their "lame wusshop routines" by coming out with something that actually hit hard. A lot of the credit has to go to Twitch. One of his underrated talents in his own season was his ability to make his partners look good by bringing them up near his level without outshining them, and this was on full display.
Aside from that, it was a fairly dull week. While the judges gave Adechike a bit too much credit, he did loosen up and actually seemed to be not entirely repulsed by his partner. Maybe Kathryn just isn't his type.
Jose finally stepped on the land mine of 'any style that isn't hip hop or something nobody in america gets' and despite it taking both his legs, he somehow avoided the bottom again.
Billy and Robert are both getting increasingly dull and outshined by Alex and really need to do something that's interesting or fun as opposed to boring but well danced. Ok that skates the line into rankings but seriously Alex makes them obsolete on the show. Perhaps someone should have thought, 'hey if we take six contemporary dancers and one is really amazing... wouldn't that make the rest of the show dull?'.
Next week we have two routines to look forward to, including the contestants dancing with each other. But only once, so don't worry, there won't be any of that stupid bullshit like 'chemistry' or 'fun' that so plagued earlier seasons. And no Nigel, the Alex/Twitch routine doesn't justify this. If anything, it justifies an all-Twitch season.
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.
Since I just can't quit commenting on this show, let's take a glance backwards in uninformed, lightning fast fashion, ignoring the ones too dull to be worth remembering. Also let's face it, the all stars are consistently outdancing the contestants to the point it's not even worth the effort to type out each time, so use your imagination!
Because apparently they can't scrape up enough filler, we'll now be watching extended scenes of each dancer pulling their partner out of a hat, possibly every week. It's only purpose is to make me sad that Twitch got left out, then to realize that the male all stars will be tragically underused, since most of the female contestants are going to be out fast.
Adechike comes back from his incredibly uncomfortable first week performance with a quite decent routine, even if it is set to the horrific "Listen to Your Heart". OH GOD I'M HEARING IT AGAIN NOW WHY DID I THINK ABOUT IT.
Alex had a technically proficient but dull routine that was supposedly inspired by Bob Fosse. Amusingly, he flubs Cat's softball about which routines he watched: "...uh, a bunch of them on YouTube". He should've asked Sarah Palin how well that works as an answer.
It feels almost mean to even comment on Billy Bell. At least he gave it something that looks like effort for the first time this season.
Melinda is worth mentioning solely because of Nigel's utterly incomprehensible ramblings about Canada and Mother Nature. Perhaps he and Lil C switched brains backstage.
Jose was not good at Bollywood, but he looked like he was having fun and it was infectious. That should buy him a couple weeks.
Also having fun? Lauren. Unfortunately it was a routine about domestic abuse.
Poor Kent must have stepped on a costumer's toes backstage or something, that S&M outfit was just unpleasant. He gives a solid effort, and when the judges aren't being too obnoxious about him he's actually growing on me. Nigel apparently does NOT want the all stars to say anything as he gives Courtney a severe death glare when she speaks up.
Bottom Three? Melinda and Cristina again, with a wild card third. Adechike probably avoided the axe, but it could easily be him or Jose. At some point the judges are going to have to start sending guys home just to keep some kind of parity so expect some bitching about that from me when it happens.
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.
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.
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?
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With the auditions over and the Top 10 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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Do you find yourself shouting at an uncaring God/wall/significant other while watching tv dance competitions? Perhaps you'd rather post them here, where I guarantee they will be read by at least three spam bots and maybe an actual person too!
I'll open things up with a possibly controversial claim: doing two seasons in a row was a huge mistake and Mia Michaels was right to quit. The choreographers clearly need time to recharge because most of the routines have been forgettable at best, despite having talented and likable dancers. Rather than good choreography fucked up by weak dancing, there's been good dancers held back by awful choreography.
Also Adam Shankman: best in small doses. While he occasionally provides useful insight with history and background, too often he just namedrops things without offering real explanation. Look, we trust that you know all the references and head nods to other techniques, you don't have to prove it. Also he loves every routine, that's Mary Murphy's job. And this season apparently Nigel's.
So what's up with Nigel and Nathan? To recap, Mollee and Nathan give one of the worst performances in SYTYCD history, but sail through thanks to tween voting. Nigel unloads with a pretty vicious and occasionally personal attack, telling Nathan outright he doesn't deserve to be there. Every week since then, no matter how bad Nathan's performance is, Nigel slobbers all over him talking about how amazing it was. Even when the votes dry up, he keeps Nathan in on several occasions. What prompted the change? Overcompensating from regret over going too far? Death threats from Twilight fans? The fact that the ratings are so low said tweens are the only ones still watching the show?
p.s. rumors say tonight marks the return of SHANE SPARKS so prepare for some booty shakin'
It's been so long since I've written anything it actually took me a second to think of my password.* This won't be as detailed as we got into last season, but I wanted to comment because everyone I know in real life is getting sick of my commentary. I think my father might disown me if I mention the show any more to him.
Karen and Kevin
...wait, what? Her puff piece before the dance is that she's divorcing her husband from Vegas week? That's unexpected, butpresumably they were both taking it from both ends for the entire week.
Their dance was the Hustle, and it was not totally cringe inducing. Karen was solid although unspectacular, and Kevin probably staved off his pending elimination for another week. It also marks the beginning of a bizarrely generous night by the judges, as they start forgiving ass routine after ass routine because it wasn't the dancer's exact style.
Ashleigh and Jakob
Ashleigh is a nerd, Jakob is still boring. If any couple were breaking up I would have put money on Ashleigh and her husband, who is a better dancer and doesn't have a terrifying horse face. She's a reverse centaur! I don't like this couple but I have to begrudgingly admit that this was a good routine, and danced well. Particularly considering the routines to come.
Pauline and Peter
Peter helps out special people. Shooting the big guns early, although not surprising after last week's tap holocaust.
This routine seems vaguely racist, but cute. It was also danced terribly but all things considered, reasonably watchable. It would probably have been more merciful for Nigel to just do a triple elimination last week rather than bother with the charade of a quickstep.
Kathryn and Legacy
I was actively annoyed when Legacy made it on. First off, he's already successful, having been on tour with big groups as a dancer. why take a slot away from someone who might actually need it? Second, in Vegas he could barely blunder through anything that wasn't his style. Third, he's a giant douche, seriously, his name is Legacy. Even as a B-Boy name that's dumb.
However, he's rocked it basically every night since then. This was probably his weakest, but it was still entertaining. And he was saddled with Kathryn who probably would have been better off replaced by a sack of potatoes with a vacant smile drawn on it. The judges agree.
Channing and Victor
Channing had a newspaper article written about her tractor racing ability as a young girl. Ok that's actually kind of interesting, and she gets points for not blatantly pandering for votes.
Stacey Tookey is a good choreographer, and this is a pretty good routine danced pretty well. Not great, but compared to what's ahead not bad.
Ellenore and Ryan
I seriously cannot believe the judges did not boo them off the stage, much less give them compliments. This routine was completely blowful. Mediocre choreography that could have possibly been saved by great dancing, but great dancing this wasn't. It was awful, they weren't synchronized at all and looked silly.
Mollee and Nathan
Urban Dictionary: "Disastrophe"
1. A really, really bad problem. Worse than a disaster, worse than a catastrophe. 2. That dance.
I really wanted to leave it at that but I've been wanting to mock Nathan's ridiculous face and guyliner for a while. His secret should have been that he and the singer of Panic at the Disco are brothers, created as the result of a failed cold war experiment to 'cure' homosexuality. This guy makes Adam Lambert look macho. They suck, and are annoying, and this is almost certainly the only chance to get rid of them because tweens will keep them into the top 4 at least.
Noelle and Russell
First off I'd like to say that I appreciate the judges thumbing the scales for someone good for once (having him do a solo the first episode, giving him the pimp slot here). Noelle launches the torpedoes with a big interview with her stroke-ridden brother, only to not need it as this routine ruled. I'm not sure any other couple could have pulled it off, but Russell is, as always, amazing, and even Noelle didn't suck it up as much as she should have.
*twist ending: it was... saved in my browser history THE WHOLE TIME DUN DUN DUUUN.
So You Think You Can Dance is back, and while I don't intend to cover every episode in the excruciating detail that I did over the summer, I wanted to call your attention to something.
That something is named Russell. He is the first ever krumper to make the top 20. And he is incredible. Please to enjoy the following video of his Boston audition (I'd hoped to post his solo last night, but the video wasn't yet available). At first you will want to laugh at Tyce and Nigel making their stank faces while they watch him, but then you will realize that you, too, are making a stank face. You cannot help it.
Right now, 1 in every 100 adults is in prison in the United States. And thanks to Survivor, VH1 Celebreality, and plummeting IQ rates, my unofficial statistics show that 1 in every 100 adults has been on a reality show. As both numbers rise, probability dictates that by the year 2020, one in every 100 adults will be a reality show star who is in prison.
The floodgates opened last week when "Megan Wants a Millionaire" contestant Ryan Jenkins packed his fiance into a suitcase and left her in a dumpster, presumably because he realized that his airline would likely charge an excess baggage charge. Tragic. And now we have even more shocking news that male dance instructors and fashion designers might use their power to force young women into having sex with them.
Alexander, who was a guest designer on the reality television show
"America's Next Top Model*," was convicted last November of 16 charges
of rape, sexual assault and other crimes. [Judge David] Wesley handed down the
maximum sentence to Alexander for all but two of those counts, saying
he showed no remorse for his actions and posed a danger to other young
No remorse! But look how sad he is!
And which So You Think You Can Dance choreographer will be keeping him warm on those lonely prison nights?
Alex da Silva, who
choreographed dance routines for the popular Fox series "So You Think
You Can Dance," has been charged with sexually assaulting four women.
He was arrested by Los Angeles police this morning at his North
Blankstein reports that the alleged assaults took place between
August 2002 and March 2009. The victims were either dancers or aspiring
dancers who met Da Silva at his dance classes.
Sure, he might have raped those girls, but cut him some slack. After all, following is easier than leading, right Alex? (God how I wish that video was still available. Instead, lets watch this da Silva choreographed argentine tango from two seasons ago.)
Imagine a box of Neopolitan ice cream. Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry. You've just opened it up, and you are ready to dig in. What do you choose?
If you are like me, you pick the chocolate. Chocolate is the best choice. Vanilla can be good, but if its cheap vanilla, it comes out chalky and gross. Chocolate is always sweet and delicious. Chocolate is the right answer.
But maybe you are allergic to chocolate, or when you walk past chocolate in a dark parking lot at night you get uncomfortable. Its okay, its just you and me here, I'm not here you judge you. Go with the vanilla if it makes you feel safer.
Or maybe you are a billy goat, and you just want to eat the carton. You have a nice goatee, billy goat, say hello to your mother for me.
You know what you don't do? You don't pick strawberry first. Nobody picks strawberry first. In fact, nobody eats strawberry, ever. Chocolate and vanilla get eaten, and then the billy goat eats the carton, and strawberry melts into a puddle in the garbage can. Sure, strawberry might have nice boobs, but that's only because ice cream doesn't usually have any boobs, so they only look nice in comparison, and did you notice strawberry has huge teeth?
We open with the picture frame routine again. I gather that this is a two hour greatest hits episode, making it a ton of fun to blog. Remember all those months ago? It certainly feels like it's been months of blogs. 26.2 million votes seems pretty impressive, I wonder how it compares to American Idol finales. Mia Michaels looks particularly terrifying tonight, and Mary is sporting massive bling. Lil C is also in attendance, so I know what's going to take up the bulk of the time. Hint: it is incoherent rambling. (Edit: he actually didn't say more than a sentence all night, the egg is on my face).
The night you have all been waiting for is here. Maybe it's because you want to see who will become America's favorite dancer. Maybe it's because you want me to stop writing about this shit. Either way, you get your wish tonight, as Jeanine, Evan, Kayla, and Brandon take the stage one. Last. Time.
SYTYCD seems to appreciate the epicness of the occasion, as they have upgraded their digs for the first time in 5 years. For the finale, they've moved into the Kodak Theater, home of venerable American institutions like the Oscars and, uh, American Idol.
Mary Murphy turns to the crowd looking for noise, shouting, "I can't hear you! I can't hear you!" Sadly, nobody in the crowd realizes that, after years of listening to her own shouting, she cannot actually hear them.
This is one of the most ridiculous of the many ridiculous group numbers. It's actually kind of entrancing, though not entirely in a good way. Also, kind of unfair as some of the dancers get noticeably more terrible face paint than others. The number ends with sad Evan crying as the other dancers go back in their box. Cat calls it the saddest routine she's ever seen. DID YOU ALREADY FORGET ABOUT THE CANCER DANCE CAT DEELEY?
Before we begin tonight, I have to make an apology for last week. I have to apologize for my lack of cynicism.
I never thought that lack of cynicism would be a problem I would suffer from, but my bright eyed optimism for the future of the human race shone through last week like a lighthouse through the fog. When I made my predictions for last week, I said the following:
"Bottom two are: Evan and Ade, Jeanine and Melissa. I think Ade is great, but he was in the bottom last week. Evan should go home. We'll see what happens. Is his fan base really that strong? And for the ladies, Melissa is done."
What was wrong with this prediction? Very simply a little thing I like to call the cancer dance. As I'm sure you all remember, Ade and Melissa performed Tyce Diorio's interpretation of breast cancer... THROUGH DANCE. And when I watched it, I saw... THROUGH THE BULLSHIT. It was a pathetic, ridiculous attempt to tug heartstrings and Emmy ballots, and I called out Tyce for scripting it, and the judges for all sobbing and gesticulating on cue. I guess one might consider this a cynical point of view.
But my cynicism failed me when I predicted that they would go home. While I saw through the bullshit, I thought that the viewers at home would see right through it, too. But I was wrong. A true cynic would have realized that, not only was it bullshit, but it would work. So I apologize for the failure, and promise to do better this week. (And go ahead and fill in next year's Emmy ballot with Tyce Diorio's name under choreography while you are it. Fuckers.)
"Nigel, what's been the best part of the show for you"
"At it's best, television can reach out and unite the country, and I think that happened last night with Tyce's routine".
Tragically, I miss everything before this quote thanks to my DVR deciding to stop recording it, but I think it's all downhill from that. Apparently Barack Obama just needs to hire Tyce DiOrio as press secretary. Oh Jesus Christ, it's a clip show. What did I ever do to you, SYTYCD producers?
Maybe it's because I just started watching the show recently, but this is doing less than nothing for me. In fact, I'm wishing I had spent 11 hours writing Informix stored procedures at work instead of 10. But like a fatter and not as funny Joel McHale, I watch it for you, dear reader. Note the lack of plural there, I have no illusions.
That is a strong top 8. 3 hot girls, one butterface, 3 guys I really like, and Jason.
Cat Deeley looks great tonight. Even moreso in contrast to last Thursday, when she looked like she was hosting after hooking up with some guy in exchange for crack.
Who is that lesbian that isn't Mia Michaels? Ellen Degeneres is on the panel?!
I like Mia Michaels' hair tonight. Mostly because it covers her face.
Travis, after his great routine last week, is back to choreograph the top 8. Everybody comes out for a futuristic rave routine; the dancers are all outfitted with lights or something. Nigel calls it "very Lady Gaga," which I guess is supposed to be a compliment.
They all love the costumes and the choreography, but I didn't like this at all. The choreography was just all 8 of them doing the same thing, which is what you do as a choreographer when you can't think of anything interesting to do.
You know why More To Love is so groundbreaking? Cause of all those fat chicks walking on the ground are breaking it! YES BURN ON YOU FAT LADIES.
Would you rather move once a year or get your prostate checked every other day? See, I think at this point I'd go with the prostate exam. Sure, it'd be uncomfortable at first, but you'd loosen up and get used to it, right? Yes, I'm watching this episode of So You Think You Can Dance surrounded by boxes and chaos yet again. Although on the plus side, one more move qualifies me as a gypsy and I get to start cursing people. WATCH YOUR BACK KEVIN.
So we have our top 10. While the top dancers are as talented as ever, there is a depressing amount of fat left to be trimmed. And I'm not just talking about Randi's thighs. I'm talking about you, Japono. (That's how I'm referring to Jason and Kupono from now on; if they are going to be identically mediocre performers, then I might as well not even bother remembering their separate names.)
Did anybody get a boner when Cat Deeley said je ne se qua? I would have except I already had one cause of her dress.
Look it was that or The Final Frontier. I'm dosed to shit on cold medicine so this will probably be evenmore rambling and stream of consciousness than normal. Cat Deeley is wearing a short dress but it has giant bling so that's halfway to normal. Not halfway to normal is the opening routine, a NappyTabs set to Seven Nation Army. I liked the costuming though.
Now we'll find out the FINAL TEN. The judges will get one last chance to kick off someone more talented in favor of Kupono then it's America's turn. Fortunately, these recaps are getting shorter since there's less and less content, but the filler will be agonizing.
Tonight we trim the fat in many ways. We whittle the group down to the top 10 (who get to go on tour!) AND the dancer's will be performing twice, eliminating all the interminable fluff from last week. This will also be the last week we get our familiar pairings; next week, the pairings are randomized along with the performance styles.
And since this is the last chance for the judges to shape the top 10, we should have learned enough to figure out who will be cut tomorrow night.
But enough about that - look at Cat Deeley tonight! She is rocking a gorgeous retro look tonight that is floating my boat all the way up onto the dock, if you know what I mean*.
Before we begin, I have to apologize to my audience that reads this every week about getting this out a day late. Sorry, Kevin.
This week, in addition to the usual running side commentary from the Suze, we are visited by Rose, the official sister of Obscurecraft.net, and OC contributor Daytrader.
And DT immediately points out something that has somehow eluded me during the credits, which is that Kupono's name is showed with a bar over the U in his name. Is this So You Think You Can Pronounce?
This episode also starts off on Rose's bad side: "That was a really lame opening, they all hit there spot at the wrong time." Shit, Rose is really particular.
This week's Cat Deeley fashion update: a bright pink 1980's prom dress with a wide sparkly belt. Only Cat Deeley could pull that dress off. Well, her and her boyfriend. GOD I HATE HIM.
Everybody in the room boos when Mia Michaels is revealed as the guest judge. Rose: what is that shirt? Rose has a point, as she appears to be either wearing the puffy shirt from Seinfeld, or she's just tucked an enormous napkin into her jacket so she doesn't get orange Cheetoh dust all over her.
Amazingly, I actually have TV despite Comcast's best efforts so this recap can actually happen. Two mindblowing things happen in the first few minutes: Cat wears something not completely absurd, and the group dance doesn't suck. In fact, it's pretty damn great, perhaps the best hiphop one I've seen.
Nigel is sad that all the celebrities died, which I'm sure Jesse and Jim will be joking about shortly. Farah taught him how to make a pecan pie. Michael Jackson is a "life to celebrate, an inspiration". Keep Nigel away from your children. Hel cannot stop talking but it is, thankfully, a break from Cat talking about how sad Thursdays make her. They go into the Thriller video, which is amazing but like most people I just watched it on Youtube this afternoon.
Cat Deeley comes out looking gorgeous in tangerine gladiator chic tonight. Which of course means she'll probably be wearing a garbage bag paired with a sassy black woman's Easter hat tomorrow. She never looks good two days in a row.
Watching the top dancers come out just makes me realize how much I miss last year's top ten. Especially the top 5 guys. They were all so good. COME BACK TWITCH I LOVE YOU.
Tonight's rotating judge seat is Toni Basil. Yes, that Toni Basil. And she announces that she has won a living legend of hip hop award? What? This is hip hop??
And here we go, as I take a break from the endless hell of packing to recap a mostly filler rewards show! Cat Deeley opens it up wearing a sassy low cut suit, apparently having taken last night's criticism to heart. The opening number is a bizarre Mya Michaels choreographed routine of robots* set to Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground". I get distracted by how much better the original is than the Red Hot Chili Peppers version and zone out. Lil C's ridiculously nonsensical statements get a montage of their own, complete with reaction shots of the crowd. They're a hilarious mix of 'pretending to understand it' and 'shaking head in disbelief'.
So You Think You Can Dance is back for week 2, and before the dancing even begins we're off to a good start as Cat Deeley comes out wearing the Statue of Liberty's prom dress. One of the pleasures of this show is watching the sartorial insults that are hurled at Cat Deeley's beautiful figure every week.
Randi and Evan
In the completely unnecessary gimmick to frame the performances that is now going to be shoehorned in every week, we learn about the contestants "secrets". Randi makes out with her dog, and Evan once had incredible sideburns. Can we get to the dancing now please?
Louis Van Amstel teaches the pair a jive, which means the same tired and predictable critiques we always get from Nigel about the lack of double bounce, the quality of kick retractions*, and how he didn't "get down into" the dance, whatever that means. Getting down is good advice during a drive by, but less helpful during a dance routine.
Hot on the heels of last night, we come back with the first psuedo-voting off in the summer season of So You Think You Can Dance. We start off with a group dance set to the increasingly ubiquitous Boom Boom Pow by the Black Eyed Peas aka "you so two thousand and late". The main standout here are the costumes, at least on the women, as they are exceedingly tight and the dance prominently features ass shaking. Yeah, I'm going to objectify the women almost as much as Jesse. Deal with it.
So You Think You Can Dance, the summer reality competition show you absolutely should be watching, has made it through the audition stage and is ready to get down to business. I celebrate with a recap. Don't watch? Don't give two shits? Don't worry, I only plan on doing this for tonight.
We're going to go couple by couple with my thoughts, and a thought or two from Suzi thrown in as well. Buckle up.
Jeanine and Phillip
Phillip is what I call a Legacy - we've seen him in previous seasons trying out. He's the best popper the show has ever found, and, like all poppers before him, will do poorly outside of his genre, skate by on the strength of his solos for a few weeks, but not make the top 10 - he's Hok from a few years ago, right down to the Legacy status. Jeanine is an unknown, but meets the first criteria for any good SYTYCD female performer: I want to have sexual intercourse with her.
They get a routine choreagraphed by Tabitha and Napoleon (no last names), which means wuss hip-hop. But damn if they didn't use Phillip to his potential - I didn't even look at whats-her-name. HOW DOES HE DO THAT WITH HIS ARMS WHERE ARE HIS BONES. These guys fly through week 1.
Starting in the countryside of Europe, we meet a boy and his grandmother. The grandmother tries, at first unsuccessfully, to find something that can make the boy happy. She plays the piano for him. She buys him a puppy, an electric train set. None of these works. Finally, while cleaning his room, she finds his secret passion under his mattress. No, not that. It is cycling. She buys him a bicycle, and he excitedly pedals it around the yard. Happy at last.
Fast forward. The boy is a young adult, and a competitive cyclist. During a race, he is abducted by the Mafia, and he's taken across the sea to...
Blah blah blah. Describing the plot of this film does injustice to what makes it special. Consider the part of the movie I've just mentioned. The grandmother and the dog track the boy to a large ship pulling out of port. To pursue, they rent a paddleboat. The grandmother and the dog chase the boy across the ocean in a scene that manages to be ridiculous while keeping a straight face, and also beautiful at the same time.
It's probably about time that I mentioned that this movie is animated. It is animated not in the clean, children's fare style of Disney or Don Bluth, but in the grittier, dingier style of Ralph Bakshi.
Why haven't you seen it?
So. Many. Reasons.
Animated films always have an uphill battle. I say "animated film", but you likely hear "cartoon". You shouldn't.
It was produced by a French-Canadian named Sylvain Chomet. Yes, that's right, this movie manages to be both French AND Canadian.
Oh, and while it might be a stretch to call it a silent film, as there is music and sound effects, there is no dialogue.
Why should you see it?
Again, I can only say: So. Many. Reasons.
This movie has so many great things to enjoy. The animation and design of the characters, the places, and the objects is inspired. Every character is beautifully realized and believable. Oh, and did I mention the Academy-Award nominated music?
In case you are wondering, yes, that music was actually created using newspapers, a refrigerator, a vacuum, and a tire wheel. FYI.
(Unrelated note: imagine my delight when three of my favorite things collided: this song, So You Think You Can Dance, and Wade Robson.)
(Now back to the movie.)
Keeping in the spirit of the Movie Night Movie Project, Les Triplets De Belleville runs 78 minutes, and grossed just over $7 million dollars at the box office.
I get my best ideas while watching So You Think You Can Dance. It puts me in a daze of creativity and really nice legs. Today, my inspiration was a little more direct, courtesy of guest judge Toni Basil (of "Hey Mickey" fame):
"...dance is my drug of choice."
Well, the episode ended 17 minutes ago, and I've already put that one on a shirt.
As always, you can find new shirts in the ObscureWear store - this time in a sassy ladies' V-neck!
Jessica King, the dancer who beat Comfort out for a spot in the top 10, has been felled by an injury, making room for Comfort in the top 10. Not only that, but Comfort will replace Jessica on the 50 city tour later this year.
What the hell happened? Did she get hit by a bus or something?
The show's producer, big-toothed Brit Nigel Lythgoe, won't get specific about the injury that occurred, so allow me to engage in some wild speculation.
Jessica was inadvertently impregnated during last week's "Adam and Eve" routine with Will.
Debbie Allen knee-capped her for dragging her protege into the bottom 3.
My threatening e-mails finally got through their spam filter.
Whatever the reason, there is a more pressing question: does this mean I'm not bad luck anymore? Is the curse broken? There is only one way to find out: to the casinos!
(Oh, and PS: If you actually do care about important things going on in the world, read this post on the mortgage crisis by Jonathan Golob of The Stranger, aka Dear Science. Could not have said it better myself.
What's the opposite of a lucky horseshoe? An unlucky cow-hat? That's what I am, an unlucky cow-hat. My ability to lose and cause others around me to lose is legendary. My own wife won't sit at the same table with me when we go to casinos - and considering how unlucky I am, why is it we keep ending up in casinos in the first place?
My bad luck is starting to stretch, and gain momentum, and touch things beyond the blackjack table. If I root for you, or wish you well, run away, for I am the kiss of death.
First, despite (or because of) my endorsement, Jason Giambi and his ugly-beautiful mustache will not be going to the All-Star Game. He lost the final vote to Evan Longoria-Parker of the Tampa Bay Rays, despite his complete lack of mustache.
But that wasn't the worst blow. No, that came on Thursday, when Comfort was kicked off So You Think You Can Dance before she got into the top 12, which means America will be denied the chance to see her perform on the SYTYCD tour later this year. But what's amazing is that my kiss of death endorsement didn't just make her lose, it actually made her deserve to lose. She was terrible on Wednesday night.
Yes, I know I already told you to watch "So You Think You Can Dance", but that was before Comfort.
Oh, sweet Comfort. Everytime she opens her mouth, ghetto gold falls out.
That lame dude that is dancing with her (I already forgot his name) should thank his lucky gay stars that he got himself a ride on the Comfort wagon. The last time I saw someone have less sexual chemistry with a woman in lingerie, bachelor Greg ended up with an orange stain on his pants from the dancer's fake tan.
You probably can't tell on the YouTube clip, but she had a nipple slip during the dance in her "bra and panties and beads" that went un-remarked on. I bet her entire boob could have fallen out and she might not have noticed. She is easily my favorite reality show contestant since Kathleen "I know, right?" Dujour from America's Next Top Model. She has the same combination of no self-consciousness, honesty, and ghetto-ness.
So, how far can this Comfort ride last? Her jive wasn't very good on Wednesday, but she sailed through the eliminations last night. Still, I imagine at some point her reluctance to dance with people lookin at her all seckshooalay is going to catch up with her, so tune in now while you can.
Okay, I'm as surprised as you are. Obviously, I started watching this show because the Suze wanted to watch it. It was clearly conceived by the producers of American Idol as another way to cash in on the reality competition formula.
Audition shows where you get a "ticket to vegas" (instead of hollywood)? Check.
Vegas Week (instead of Hollywood Week), where the competition is whittled down to a top 20 (instead of a top 12)? Check
10 weeks of eliminations, losing a boy and a girl each week, until a champion is crowned? Check and check.
Fundamentally, there is nothing wrong with the formula, and this time they nailed it. And honestly? I think the producers themselves were a little surprised by the show they ended up with. So how did they get it right this time?
Instead of smarmy Ryan Seacrest, the show is hosted by the charmingly British (and leggy) Cat Deeley.
The auditions take place in awesome theaters instead of a cheesy room in a convention center.
The judges, except for the token brit (producer Nigel Lythgoe) are a rotating panel of talented dance choreographers that keeps the commentary fresh and interesting. This may not sound important until you've heard Randy Jackson tell another contestent that for me, for you, that was a little pitchy dawg.
But this is all window dressing. The real reason this show works is that good dancing is inherently watchable.
Without exception the people on this show are talented. The "bad" dancers are the ones that can only do one type of dance incredibly well; the show requires that you succeed in a whole range of styles. Oh, and did I forget to mention that girls who dance are all pretty much really attractive?
Look, it's summer. we all know the networks are going to be filling their schedules with unscripted programming, which usually gets a bad rap. But if they are going to do it anyway, we should at least take notice when one of these programs actually succeeds at entertaining us.