Tonight’s So You Think You Can Dance (August 9)

August 9, 2006 at 10:53 pm | Posted in So You Think You Can Dance, TV News | 12 Comments

Live blog (sort of) after the jump:

Cat’s look of the evening: disco queen, baby! It’s very accurately done, with a super sparkly dress matched with big curly, frizzy hair. When did frizzy hair become okay again? I thought bedhead was over. Oh well, Cat’s a TV host, so all but the most egregious fashion violations are acceptable.

Wow, and I thought the stage looked empty last week. Four dancers really have a hard time filling up that stage, so at the end they don’t even try, and bunch together in a big group hug. Aw. Then they all scatter, and Cat explains that each dancer will be paired with every other dancer left in the competition, four routines in all, and each do a solo. Our judges for this week: Nigel, Mary, and Brian Friedman! Yay Brian!

First up? Heidi and Travis, doing … disco? Seriously? I get it, Cat’s dress was like a clue or something. Dude, I am so sick of all the disco. It’s okay sporadically, but this is much too much. It seems like just an excuse to put lots of lifts in the routine. And I didn’t love the lifts in this one — they were incredibly difficult, and Travis executed them all well, but his dancing was a little bit slow and a little bit careful because he was concentrating on getting the lifts right. It was a little distracting. Travis sold the style well, though, and Heidi was fabulous.

Time for the judging: Nigel calls Cat out on her disco ball outfit, and there’s a bit of awkward flirting. The judges praise Travis to the heavens; it’s deserved, definitely, but I keep thinking of Dmitry, and how sweet his lifts would have been. (The man can lift.) Are they trying to ensure Mia gets her precious Travis in her show? Perhaps, but then again, they are dance experts, and I am not, so I’ll quit questioning them. For now. Actually, Brian called Travis out on not locking his arms for one of the lifts — right on, Brian! Nigel calls Heidi the best girl partner left on the show, which is another backhanded compliment, since Donyelle doesn’t have any partnering experience.

Next, it’s Benji and Donyelle with another Viennese (I think we’ve run that Vietnamese joke into the ground) waltz. Awesome, Frenchie is choreographing again. As a judge, he underwhelms, but I usually love his routines. And I love this one, too! I would definitely watch the Benji & Donyelle Waltz Hour, in case Nigel’s looking for a spin-off. Another weird song choice: waltzing to Edwin McBain, who would’ve thought? Somehow, it works. The judges hate all over it, though. Nigel says their lack of classical training shows, and Mary agrees. I mean, they’re right, the arms were a little loose, sometimes the feet were rushed … but it was still awesome. Brian makes them feel a little better — man, he’s in a good mood tonight! — and says that their performance was great, even if the technique was off. Whatevs, judges, I thought it was beautiful.

Oh my gosh, I just realized that Brian is wearing a leather blazer. It’s either leather or vinyl. Brian, you bizarre, bizarre creature. But first, Heidi and one of her latin solos. Cute as usual, but I’m way more excited about what’s next: Tranji! Travis and Benji actually made “Tranji” hats … nerds! Conveniently enough, “nerds that can dance” is Shane Sparks’s theme for their routine, and it is AWESOME. The judges all love it. Why, you might ask? Because it is awesome. The boys came out as nerds, then busted out with the hip-hop, then ended with the two smacking into each other and landing on the floor. In the middle, Shane incorporated some of Benji’s flippy swing moves. Very Screech-meets-Fresh Prince-meets-Cirque de Soleil.

Donyelle’s solo is next, and she does a version of her audition routine. It’s wonderful, but I think it was more effective on the smaller audition stage than in the massive So You Think You Can Auditorium. After the commercial break, Travis does his solo, and just … wow. This is by far his best work. He’s dancing to the glorious emo strings of Something Corporate, and he’s got his Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” video outfit on, and all joking aside, they’re great style choices for his persona. He does the craziest spin in the middle, and I wish I had the vocabulary to describe this: he’s got one leg bent at the knee, and a few revolutions in, he unlocks the spinning leg and bends it a few inches. He’s got to have the world’s strongest thigh muscles. Clearly, Travis is pulling out all the stops tonight. I’m definitely going to search YouTube for this one.

Updated: Watch Travis in action here (linked as “Travis” towards the bottom of the post).  Damn, that pirouette is insane.

Tyce is doing the choreography for Heidi and Donyelle’s Broadway routine, and honestly, I’m disappointed. Not because of Tyce; I love Tyce, but I would have loved to see them do contemporary instead. It’s cute but nothing too special, and the judges hate it. They send a little criticism Tyce’s way, but direct it mostly on the girls’ performance. I would lay at least half the blame on the inch-long white false eyelashes the girls are wearing. It’s like, eyepatch-level bad.

Time for Benji’s solo! He brings a lot of energy, and even stage-dives at the end. Benji’s not ready to give up, and actually gets down on his knees and begs for votes.

Mia’s doing Travis and Donyelle’s “Southern contemporary” routine, and it’s quite nice. Donyelle’s overalls aren’t doing her any favors, though. The judges were blown away by it — a little more so than I was, actually, which I’ll blame on the editing. I went to a taping last year, and when I watched the episode a couple days later, routines that were incredible live seemed a little duller with the MTV-ish camera angles and cuts. Mary almost starts crying thinking about her mint julep days in the South, and Brian says thank you to Mia in the audience for “making dance art” or something like that.

Last up, Heidi and Benji doing some muy caliente Alex de Silva salsa. Of course, it’s fabulous. What’s not fabulous: Benji’s “Alex de Silva original” jacket with a big sequined guitar on the back. They do an amazing lift at the end, where Heidi sort of flips over into a split, then Benji flips her again and spins her around. Nigel and Mary love it, and I wonder if Brian’s going to be mean just to spite the adorable little Mormons, but instead he asks them to perform this routine at his next birthday party, preferably popping out of a cake. Aw, I love that Benji managed to melt even Brian’s hard little heart.

Finally, one special treat: another Wade Robson routine, essentially Project Runway-themed. They’re dancing to Justin Timberlake’s “SexyBack” — did he and Wade make up after the whole Britney rift? Are they friends again? Something to Google for later. I hate to say this, because y’all know I’m a Benji girl from way back, but Travis really stands out in this piece. Of course, he’s the one with the bright blond hair and the black suit, so it might not be because of his dancing. And actually, prior to his elimination, Jaymz was the big standout in the group routines, and look how far that got him … not far. This doesn’t stop Mary and Brian from singling Travis out. I wonder if that will help Travis out, or backfire. I have to say, though, that I voted almost half-heartedly this time, because I love all four of these dancers. Only one more episode! Eek!



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  1. In case anyone missed the phone numbers: 888-83676
    +01 for Heidi
    +02 for Donyelle
    +03 for Travis
    +04 for Benji

  2. I’m not going to get into my disagreements with you about some of the routines. They’re so good at this point that what you like and dislike is all about personal preference.

    I wonder if you noticed something really weird going on with Cat. It looked like her nose was off center. I don’t know if this was a trick of the light, but it literally looked as if someone had pushed her nose slightly to her left. There was more space between hwe right eye and the bridge of her nose, than between her left eye and bridge. Weird!

  3. Cat’s nose is totally crooked! I have a massive HDTV, so I can assure you that you’re not just seeing things. Her mouth is a little, too. I still think she’s pretty, though, so I guess there’s something to be said for asymmetry.

  4. I think what surprised me is that I never noticed the nose before.

    By the way, since this is my first time posting, I think you have a great blog. I just watched the first 2 seasons of Veronica Mars in the last month because of your blog. Thanks!

  5. Did you really? Oh my gosh, that is fantastic! I’m thrilled — you liked it, right?

  6. Heidi and Benji’s routine was awesome tonight! And you are right, for some reason Brian wasn’t his usual crabby self. Strange. Overall though I will say that I wasn’t as impressed with this year’s finale as I was with last years. I think the routines for the finale were better last year even though I like this year’s final four better.

  7. As a rule, I don’t watch two TV seasons in two weeks of shows I don’t like. 🙂 It was awesome.

  8. Lisa, I agree that last year’s were better, although that was the taping I attended, so that might bias my opinion a little. But I remember Mia Michaels had an awesome contemporary routine set to The Police for the girls to do, and it pretty much blew everything I saw tonight out of the water.

    Daven, seriously, so glad to hear it. If only Veronica Mars pulled in the kind of ratings that So You Think You Can Dance gets …

  9. Spill, you mentioned trying to find a dance on Youtube. I looked last night and couldn’t find a single SYTYCD video. They’ve all been removed. I would think that it would be good for the ratings that people are searching the videos of the dances to watch them again. I can’t imagine that someone would watch the videos online and then not tune in.

    You should consider downloading torrent files of the episodes. I’ve managed to watch all the dances again by doing that.

  10. I agree that it is dumb that all the videos were pulled off YouTube. Luckily google still has a video that will keep you laughing that I call the Mary Murphy Montage

    I still don’t understand why people like Travis so much.

  11. Does anyone have the Benji and Donyelle Vietnamese Waltz from the finale if you do can you sen dit to!!!! Thanx

  12. You know what I thought was dumb? The commercial for the movie in the middle of the show. Totally ruined the show for me.

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