The judges and host of Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" L to R: Tyce Diorio, Robin Antin, Mary Murphy, Nigel Lythgoe, Lil' C, Cat Deeley (host), Toni Redpath and Jason Gilikson
“SYTYCD” comes to L.A., whoot! It’s the last city before Vegas, which means the judges are either loopy and looking at the dancing glass as half full, or exhausted and cranky, which means lots of grumbling and teary-eyed hoofer being sent off to that purgatory known as choreography. In any case, this should be interesting, so let’s get to it!
First up, we have Jordan Casanova of Chino Hills. She giddily informs us that her alter ego is fierce. But she’s innocent. Ah, Jordan, you’re cute as a bug but let’s just get to the dancing. Which is, surprisingly, very good. She has excellent extension, nice timing, lots of personality, makes good use of the floor. Starting off on the right foot in Hollywood, it seems. And the judges appear to agree. Toasty and Mary are about to wet themselves they’re so in love with Jordan. Mary thinks it’s one of the hottest performances she’s ever seen. She loves the self-confidence. Toasty doesn’t have words at first, but then he calls her a naughty, naughty, naughty girl. Nigel doesn’t want to sound like a dirty old man, but he feels she controlled him. I will be very glad when they wrap up this critique, because it’s making me feel like I just watched a strip show. Anyway, Vegas!
Derrion D.C. Chapman from Reseda is really excited that his girlfriend is knocked up. Because having a tiny mouth to feed is a very good way to start an itinerant career in dance. Sigh. Derrion then tells us that his parents and her parents don’t know it (well, until now), but they planned the pregnancy. If you feel that it’s better your parents think you accidentally got knocked up, I’m wondering if you’re as ready for the whole fatherhood thing as you think. Anyway, onto his dancing. He’s fun but he’s staying in one spot and as far as I can see it’s just tricks with very little in the way of choreography. It’s good, but rough. Still, Nigel hasn’t enjoyed a performance as much since Twitch. Mary thought it was fantastic. Toasty won’t forget it. He’s going to Vegas.
Next up we have Arielle Coker of Los Angeles. She’s been trying to get on this show for three seasons. Let her in already! She makes Jordan’s claim of fierceness seem like a Disney princess playing tough. This girl is truly fierce. Excellent control, beautiful choreography, huge star quality. Toasty loves her. Nigel thinks her hard work has paid off. Mary loved every single second of her routine. Toasty thinks she’s a star. Vegas!
Next, a montage of awesome dancers.
Hero McRae of Hollywood via Japan is next up. Upon learning she’s from Japan, Nigel congratulates her on her English. She giggles, which translates in any language. She’s a breaker, she’s adorable and she’s damn good. Nigel doesn’t even care if she can dance the tango, he just loves what she did. Mary thinks she’s extraordinary. Toasty thinks everything about her is magnificent. She’s going to Vegas. Not even choreography! The judges are just giddy at this point, I think.
Nigel the first day in L.A. was the best day they’ve ever had on the series. Which is wonderful, but that means it’s time for the weird stuff.
And we have to start with Joe “Big C” Doyle from Pasadena, the weird stuff. He’s the krump Santa Claus, right down to the sprayed-white beard and rosy cheeks. Just shoot me. He makes a noble effort of wasting everyone’s time. Thankfully, he’s quickly shown the door. Sometimes the odd ones are a nice break, but mostly I’d rather see a real dancer doing his or her thing.
Oh, yay. A montage of suckiness.
When that’s over (not soon enough), Alexis Mason from Miami introduces herself. She is the little sister of Jeanine Mason, winner of season five. Of course, she’s incredible. Her movements are so reminiscent of Jeanine’s. Amazing extension, nice use of the floor, her hands just float. She does seem to have her mouth hanging open and, even though she’s emoting her brains out, she looks a bit too miserable. But that’s nitpicking. Nigel says she goldfishes with her mouth. But he loved it. Mary loved it. Toasty thinks she’s beautiful. Mary gives her a ticket on the hot tamale train, and she gets a ticket to Vegas. I’m a little sad that Mary doesn’t do her “whoooo!” to get Alexis on the hot tamale train. I hope she’s feeling okay.
Patty Anne Miller is a cute tomboy hip hop dancer. And she’s a style consultant, which I think is code for between jobs. And a talented drummer. Someone hire her! Anyway, she may not need a job because she’s an insane dancer. Insane in a good way, mind you. She just explodes with the music. Love! And aw, she begins crying the minute Nigel starts talking to her. Nerves caught up to her but had no impact on her performance. Mary tells her she’s buck. Toasty thinks she’s friggin’ cute. Nigel wants her to be his style consultant… in Vegas. Whoot!
L.A. coughs up some more talent. But no ballroom dancers! Mary must be so annoyed.
Sasha and Natalia Mallory are sisters who are doing their own combination of modern and African. The elephant in the room is that Sasha has the lean body of a dancer. And Natalia has a different body type. We’ll leave it at that. But when they dance together, they’re a well oiled machine and I like the blend of modern with African. But you can see that Natalia doesn’t have the lift that Sasha does. She’s surprisingly light on feet and her moves are excellent, but her genes are not working with her. Mary and Nigel love them, but Tyce wants more. It’s a yes to choreography.
Sasha shines in choreography. And Natalia looks solid, too – until her partner lifts her. Which is really more of a heaving and dumping. It’s not her fault, but I don’t know how far she’ll go in this competition. Anyway, Sasha gets a ticket… and so does Natalia! I’m glad they get to go to Vegas together. It’s a nice note to end on before Vegas, where things usually get serious, people get their hearts broken and good dancers still get home.
What did you think of Jeanine’s sister? Did you see anyone you expect to make the top twenty? And what do you think Lil’ C would say to Big C?
Everything: So You Think You Can Dance
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