My deep and abiding love for So You Think You Can Dance can be a blessing and a curse, as I discovered last Wednesday when my stupid DVR screwed up the recording. I’ve spent a week trying to find the beginning through other means, but no luck, so I caught the stuff I missed on YouTube. Hence, this recap’s kind of wack. (Just like Wade Robson’s beats! BURN.)
My recording for this episode started with Neil, and my first two thoughts were: 1. why is Neil dancing solo on a Wednesday, 2. why does this solo choreography suck so bad? Then Sabra appeared and did the exact same dance, so the wheels in my head started turning. Anyway, apparently the partners were drawn at random. Also, starting this week, the judges become perfunctory and our votes really do kick people off. Frightening!
Apparently, Lauren and Pasha danced first. Lauren seems awfully excited to draw his name out of the hat, and looks genuinely pleased to help Pasha learn hip hop. Shane Sparks is worried that Pasha won’t be able to pull it off. And dang, it looks like this dance would be hard for anyone to pull off. Let me set the scene for you — there’s crazy green lighting, and Lauren’s sitting on the ground, with Pasha somewhere underneath her, cause it looks like she’s got four legs. They’re wearing what appears to be skeleton-print sweatshirts with striped athletic socks, you know, the really nerdy kind you pull halfway up your calves. They’re doing some robotic movements, fall over on the floor, then pop up with a little more hip hop flava. Pasha appears to control Lauren like a pop-and-lock puppetmaster, then it busts out into a more typical Shane Sparks routine. Lauren looks like she’s doing great, but I’m barely watching her because I’m so curious about Pasha. He looks like he’s having some unison and sharpness issues, but attitude-wise, he’s totally committed. In the critique, Nigel calls Pasha the best Russian hip hop dancer he’s ever seen, which is actually higher praise than I expected. He’s also really happy that Lauren stuck around. Mary loves it, their partnership, and really gushes over Pasha, resorting to a “more cowbell” joke. They both keep making allusions to Transformers, which is really a slap in the face of corporate synergy — it’s a Paramount movie, not Fox. They should be all, “Holy Jeebus! You guys were better than Spider-Pig!” or something. Mia Michaels is on the panel this week, too; she was dreading Pasha’s performance, but thought he was excellent. Mia also says Lauren’s blowing up. In a good way.
Okay, then at some point all the dancers did this solo choreographed by Wade Robson to John Mayer’s “Waiting on the World to Change.” Guess what? This routine totally blows. Seriously, it’s like the worst thing ever — and infuriatingly, Nigel spends the whole evening talking about how awesome it is. It’s contemporary, but it’s way boring. At one point they stop the music and the dancer’s supposed to scream, which is almost as lame as it was in the middle of the “Smooth Criminal” video, where Michael Jackson’s backup dancers makes his dancers yell “Annie, are you okay?” over and over and then it gets creepily orgasmic. Later in the dance, Wade has the dancer mime being a clock, and then try to communicate via sign language. Atrocious. The dancers all wear white pants and scribbled-on t-shirts, ostensibly to provide a level playing field, i.e. to prevent Jaimie from swaying the vote by showing off her big boobs. Also, I hate this song. I’m not going to knock John Mayer, because there’s really no point, but dude. For one thing, listen to the chords — it’s totally “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison but with different lyrics. Different bad lyrics: he rhymes generation with nation. Ew. Ew times a million.
It’s kind of a casting spoiler, so stop reading now if you don’t want to know which former Lost cast member will appear on the show this season … I said stop reading if you don’t want to know … Harold Perrineau!
Thank goodness. Last season I was extremely pissed about the rumors that Harold was refusing to return for a guest spot after being written off the show, because I felt the fans were “owed” a resolution to Michael’s story. This is a relief — maybe the initial refusal was just due to scheduling problems, maybe the money wasn’t right, maybe he just had a change of heart. Whatever. Thank you, Harold Perrineau!
Here’s the trailer for Wes Anderson’s new film, The Darjeeling Limited:
Anderson always has a good trailer, but I don’t find this movie as intriguing as The Royal Tenenbaums. Maybe Anderson’s work is best when Owen Wilson co-writes the screenplay? But nice to see Adrien Brody joining the Wes Anderson Players. He needs better work.
Which was worse? Tough call — Britney’s poor kids are stuck (for now) with a crazy mom. But I’m going with Lindsay. DUIs are completely unacceptable, especially when you’re rich enough to employ a driver. Plus, at the rate she’s going, she’ll end up dead in a year.
However, deep down I think both will bounce back, which is a pretty sad reflection on the state of celebrity in America. As long as her skin isn’t destroyed, Lindsay can always do some depressing hooker-type movie that will give her indie cred. And Britney barely sings already, so it doesn’t matter if she’s screwed up her voice; if she can get down to fighting weight and get it together enough to promote an album, she could be back, too. Sigh.
Anya and Hok got the boot, and TV Guide’s got this week’s backstage report. Interesting fact: did you know that Pasha was deathly ill, and only came to the audition to assist Anya? Another interesting fact: Pasha is from Siberia. Read all about it here.
Another So You Think You Can Dance results show, dangit! None of these contestants annoy me, so I’m sorry to see them go. This is an amazing top twelve. But I’ll quit my whining for the time being – I’m distracted by Cat’s dress. I had a Barbie dress just like that when I was little, and I made the Barbies I hated wear it. (The Barbies I liked got to wear pink faux-leather boots and jean skirts. Major hotness.) Also, why do they keep pulling Cat’s hair back? It’s okay in a ponytail, but a million times better down. But it’s still a vast improvement from last year’s fashion graveyard.
Tonight’s group dance: a kicky number to “The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by Jean-Marc Genereaux. Choreographing, not singing, I mean. The danceketeers are practically unrecognizable in forties military uniforms. What can I say? It is super, super cute. It makes me want to rent On the Town.
Cat reminds us that only the top ten get to go on tour this year, and introduces Nigel, Mary, and Wade Robson. As much gibberish as Wade talks, I’m actually glad he’s got input into who’s going home this week. I’d rather have him judging than crazy Debbie Allen.
First to find out their results: Sabra/Dominic vs. Anya/Danny. Oh, shit! They both did a great job yesterday, and I’d really like Danny and Anya to make it to the top eight. (Sabra and Dominic, as far as I’m concerned, are the frontrunners.) Cat and America agree with me: Danny and Anya are in the bottom three. Anya looks resigned, Danny looks sad – which is an improvement from the usual clenched-jaw silent fury. Mary’s not pleased, and promises to keep them around. Well, at least she’s not being hypocritical about her blatant favoritism.
It’s So You Think You Can Dance time! Tonight’s show is only ninety minutes long, because only twelve dancers remain! After tonight, two dancers will go home! Leaving only ten! (This concludes the math portion of tonight’s recap.)
Cat’s back to her usual hot self, with wavy hair and a clingy coral dress. The intro dancing is much better than usual. I wonder if Uncle Nigel had a “chat” with the kids after last week’s show. Sabra also looks phenomenally hot — when did that happen? Danny’s also got a big geniune-looking smile on his face … okay, we’ve officially entered Bizarro Land. Then Cat does the whole “please welcome your judges” thing, except she lets the audience yell “jidges” in a crappy imitation of her cool British accent. She’s been doing this for weeks now, and it annoys the crap out of me. It’s only fun if Cat says it! She’s particularly psyched to have Wade Robson on the panel this week, and so am I. Weirdo Wade always makes for good television. Ugh, Mary’s wearing another atrocious outfit this week. It’s some sleeveless, high-necked jungle print thing, and I just wonder what she did to deserve this kind of public humiliation.
Nigel informs us that only the top ten dancers are going on tour this year, so it’s a big night. Eh, I don’t know if these kids are really dying to go on a fifty city tour — it sounds exhausting. Mary says that there’s no front-runner this year, and continues to beat the hot tamale train joke into the ground. Then Wade starts blathering about intimate, spiritual, human vulnerability and connections or whatever, and here’s where I remind myself that Wade’s a visual person, not a verbal one.
Okay, let’s get to dancing. First couple: Sabra and Dominic. In the pre-performance footage, each dancer is asked their likes and dislikes about the other. Sabra thinks Dominic is funny, but dislikes getting dropped on the floor all the time. Dominic trusts Sabra and likes her puffy hair, but dislikes that Sabra’s afraid of getting dropped all the time. We see a montage of Sabra busting face as Dominic claims that he never drops her. Don’t lie to the cameras, kids, or they will END YOU. They’re doing the jive with Tony Meredith, and folks, this routine is awesome. Sabra’s decked out in a short sparkly Tina Turner dress, and she and Dominic light up the stage. It’s fast-paced and fun, and I’m amazed by Dominic’s footwork. He totally commits, and doesn’t miss a step. In the grand finale, Sabra kicks him off the stage. Awesome, awesome awesome. Wade loves their focus and positive energy, and gives them a “right on.” Mary thought it was terrific, and cautions them to be a little more careful with the footwork. Nigel calls them the best partnership, and makes a weak joke about gold from Sacramento that’s not worth explaining.
Next, let’s hear some of Jaimie’s deep thoughts: “What I really like about Hok is the whole idea of him … he looks Japanese, but he talks with a British accent, and he cooks me Italian food at night.” Hok sincerely says the best thing about Jaimie is her hair. Damn, that’s cold. Jaimie dislikes having to eat Hok’s braids all the time, and Hok doesn’t like her height. Jaimie also reveals that she split her toe last week and bled all over the stage. Gross, dude. They’re doing Broadway with Tyce Diorio! They are so lucky! Except then Tyce says that they’re dancing to “Mr. Bojangles,” and I no longer think they’re very lucky. Way to alienate the teen audience with the song choice, Tyce. Hok’s supposed to be an old man, and Jaimie’s the spirit of the dance or something. It’s beautifully choreographed, but Hok is the picture of youth. It’s almost a little unfair to ask someone his age to dance like an old man, actually. Seriously, he’s got this beaming grin on his face, and I get what he’s going for, but it just reminds me of Oliver Twist Wade says Jaimie has come alive in recent weeks, but didn’t get that Hok was supposed to be old. Mary also was untouched, but thinks maybe the problem was Hok’s technique. Nigel also hates on Hok, and Wade actually chimes in and says Hok could be nervous. I didn’t think Hok seemed nervous, and Hok doesn’t really think so either, but diplomatically says he’ll work on the nerves.
The New York Times has a fascinating article about So You Think You Can Dance‘s Danny Tidwell. Apparently he danced several leads with the prestigious American Ballet Theater before deciding to go the reality route. The tone of the article is essentially “how dare anyone criticize a talent like Danny,” which is valid but … slightly misplaced. I think it’s ridiculous that Danny’s ended up in the bottom three twice, and I don’t think it’s fair to call him arrogant. I really like him. But So You Think You Can Dance has always been about personality. It’s not about who the best dancer is, it’s about being versatile and loveable. Clearly, Danny wants the fame and exposure that a national reality show provides, and winning it is totally within his power — he just has to project a more accessible image. That’s what Nigel’s little speech was all about last night. This is why the ballroom kids do so well, because they’re used to being judged and know how to sell personality. The important thing to remember is that this show isn’t the arbiter of taste for the dance community, it’s a fun summer distraction.
TV Guide has another perspective on Danny’s supposed arrogance: Nigel attributed Danny’s tense facial expression in judging to safety pins pricking his, um, nether regions. Ouch!
We’re saying goodbye to two more dancers tonight, and hopefully one of them is Cedric — talented soloist, mediocre partner. But first, tonight’s group dance. It’s set to You Can’t Stop the Beat from Hairspray, as part of the whole marketing push that landed Adam Shankman on the show as a judge. But — but — they used this song for a dance last year! Repeats are lame! Plus, this Queen Latifah version is definitely not as good as the other one they used. The choreography isn’t that special, either. Thumbs down for Shankman. Where’s Tyce Diorio when you need him? Also, I love how they put Danny in the front of all the group routines. He probably won’t win, but he’s totally the best. Cat’s continuing her weak attire streak in a frilly powder-blue sixties dress and tightly pulled-back hair. We conclude by watching some rehearsal footage of Adam Shankman acting like a crazy person. Sigh, theater people. He’s got some killer splits though.
Unfortunately, it’s time to kick some folks off the show. Sabra/Dominic and Anya/Danny are first. Eeek! I like them both! Sabra and Dominic are safe, and Danny and Anya are in trouble again. What a frustrating show. Nigel is sorry about the outcome, but explains that clearly, something is missing. And that’s true. I think one problem is that Danny’s clearly gay, and so people can’t imagine some romantic storyline happening between him and Anya. It’s a damn shame.
Transformers kicked ass. Seriously, I loved it. Shia LaBoeuf is the next Tom Hanks (and I didn’t steal that from Vanity Fair. I’ve been saying it for a year now. I swear.) Also, really enjoyed Rescue Dawn, with Christian Bale and Steve Zahn. It’s a simple, well-told escape story set in Vietnam, and the two lead performances are definitely Oscar-worthy, particularly Zahn. Ratatoille was a cute story, and the animation was beautiful.
Finally, just got back from seeing Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix. IT ROCKED SO HARD. Of course, I’m a big fan of the books, so I can’t really speak to whether it stood on its own as a movie. But as a companion to the book, I think it completely succeeded. I didn’t mind any of the story changes, and Daniel Radcliffe’s acting is quite strong now. I was really worried about Emma Watson — last movie, she kept overacting and twitching her eyebrows. She kept it up in the initial scenes, but afterwards really toned it down and got a lot more natural. Such a relief.
Zac Efron just landed the lead in a Footloose remake, which will be directed by Kenny Ortega (Dirty Dancing, Newsies, also does the High School Musical franchise). Hopefully, they figure out a better plot than the original, cause you can dance everywhere in America these days. As for High School Musical 2, you can watch a video for “You Are the Music in Me” from on the Disney site.
In other news, I am way too interested in the lives of teenagers.
It figures. I take a tiny little vacation, and end up missing out on So You Think You Can Dance‘s biggest drama ever. It’s a damn shame. My exceedingly late recap of last Wednesday and Thursday is below:
The Sex and the City movie is a go! I figured it would be an HBO special, but it’s getting a theatrical release, distributed by New Line Cinema.
It’s just kind of a shame that everyone’s so old now. I’d like to see Carrie and Big get married, but I don’t want to see the wedding night, if you know what I mean. How about just “… and the city”? Thanks.
According to Gold Derby, Friday Night Lights is still in Emmy contention, but Battlestar Galactica got ignored again. Also, 30 Rock got some serious love from the judges. This is great news; now that Kevin Reilly has jumped from NBC to Fox, Friday Night Lights is in danger, and could use some Emmy buzz.
I was psyched to hear that Merrin Dungey (Evil Francie from Alias) was playing Addison’s best friend on the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff, but was underwhelmed when the pilot actually aired. There just wasn’t a lot of chemistry, and I guess ABC noticed, too, cause Merrin just got fired. Audra McDonald is the replacement — I have no idea who that is, but maybe it’ll be a good thing.