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So You Think You Can Dance 2, 6-21-06 – New Styles, New Moves


by Matt

Instead of the usual hour-long episode of So You Think You Can Dance, we are blessed with two— yes, two! — full hours of movers and groovers. And just how do the producers manage to fill that much time? By making the intros to each routine even longer! Yay! *eyeroll*

Last week, with a controversial decision, we lost Stanislav and Erin.

The judges this week are Shane Sparks, Mia Michaels, and Nigel Lythgoe. Shane, who was at the Chicago auditions, recalls the young lady who “danced her heart out and then threw it up.” Because watching someone vomit is our favorite pastime, we get to watch this clip yet again. Ew ew ew. Yuck. Mia has fond memories of the “gender chameleon” from the New York show. He/she made for a popular entertainer but would probably have issues finding an appropriate dancing partner. The most entertaining character for Nigel was Kenneth, who wanted to be known as “Sex.” This Revenge of the Nerds reject, who proved yet again that animal prints only belong on animals, really thought he was the Right Stuff. I feel embarrassed for him.

Kat re-introduces us to Hawk, the street dancer whose student visa limitations kept him out of the running. He tells the audience that he’s been enjoying his newfound fame but dodges a question about whether or not he’ll be returning next season. Hawk’s four friends (including Ryan from last season), the SixStep Crew, are today’s opening number, and with a single show-stopping flip and head-landing, the crowd bursts into screams as the street dancers begin their routine to Jamiroquai’s Canned Heat. The boys do what they do best of course: flips, gyrations, spins, somersaults, impossible landings, handstands, etc. Let me say, these boys should stick to what they know because when they were in synchronized step with each other, well, they looked like a cheesy Asian boy band video. Stick to the flips gentlemen, it’s what we love you for.

Let the extraordinarily long introductions begin! Last week, Martha and Travis performed a Broadway routine, and the judges singled them out as early favorites. The two jump for joy as they randomly selected “crump” as their style to perform this week. Lil C, a self-proclaimed co-creator of the style, explains that crump is a style that looks very aggressive, “taking all your trials and tribulations and you throw it out… in a rhythmic fashion.” Martha, in reaction to the new style, describes it as “animalistic.” “Very King Kong” is Travis’ remark. The dancers are worried that they will not be able to meet the high expectations that were set for them last week.

From what little I know of crump, I didn’t think it was a style that could be choreographed. With a lot of my doubt in place, the hard-hitting bass of Ja Rule’s Clap Back began, setting the tone for something raw. Travis and Martha did very, very well in both my and the judges’ opinions. It was obvious what kind of energy and strength it took to do this progressive routine. “Murder!” exclaims Shane. However, he did not believe that Martha’s energy matched that of her partner’s. “It was dirty, it was raw, it was ugly, it was absolutely perfect,” noted Mia. Nigel talks about previous examples of Lil C’s choreography and actually gets up to provide his own example of what crumping should be, giving viewers everywhere nightmares for the rest of the week. He felt the routine was a bit too slow and simple to be a true representation of what crumping is.

Jamyz and Jessica won over the judges with their disco last week, but still ended up as one of the bottom three couples. The luck of the draw gives them the foxtrot this week, which concerns them because it’s not usually popular among the viewers. Mary admires the “suave” appearance of Jamyz, who says (with a cheesy grin) after channeling John Travolta last week, he’ll be aiming for more of a Gene Kelly aura for this routine. Pardon me. I think I just threw up a little in my mouth. During rehearsal, the couple has trouble with the lifts and slides. “Communication is the key to all relationships,” remarks Jamyz. “Excuse me, but I told you that,” screams Jessica. Way to exemplify great communication there, guys.

Although I hate to admit it, perfection came in the form of Jamyz and Jessica’s moves to Why Don’t You Do Right? by Sinead O’Connor. The steps, the personality, and the fluidity were all there. The judges described them as “perfect,” “slick,” and “bloody beautiful.” Nigel worries that their foxtrot will not be popular enough to keep them out of the gutter they landed in last time. I don’t care much for Jamyz personally, but he and Jessica definitely do not deserve to be in the bottom three this week.

Salsa left Ivan and Allison in the bottom three last week, but they truly believed they lucked out as they picked hip-hop out of the hat this time around. We meet two new choreographers, Cicely and Olisa. They’re a little worried about Allison, who specializes in contemporary jazz. In fact, most of the intro clip is spent stressing how unprepared she is and how surprised everyone is that she picked the style up so quickly. “…[I]f they’re not in the top three this week, we’re gonna get a new America,” Olisa laughs. Allison is confident they will do well because of their growing friendship.

Stupid, stupid intro. Busta Rhyme’s Touch It begins, and I’m positive the television audience focused so much on Allison that no one paid any attention to Ivan, who of course is much more comfortable with the routine. The choreography was bland. Or maybe Ivan and Allison were bland. “Stiff” was the comment from my roommate. They weren’t very synched up either, but what bothered me more was the lack of flavor. Bo. Ring. Shane, however, disagrees with me, and tells them they did “wonderful.” Mia “prayed for more fireworks” and did not feel that their energy matched the energy of the song. Nigel thinks they did a “good job.” So, mixed feelings all around.

After dancing “eep-awp” last time, Dmitry and Joy tackle the samba this week. It’s obvious that Dmitry, with all his experience, finds this quite easy, and poor Joy can only hope to keep up. Mark Weiss, the choreographer, is concerned that it will look like Dmitry is just pulling her around the floor. Joy prays that she’ll “do something right.”

The problem with pairing up someone with incredible experience with a novice is that, although the expert can guide the newbie through the dance, it just makes the amateur’s inexperience all that much more noticable. Such is the case with Dmitry and Joy’s samba. As expected, Dmitry did fabulously, but as Shane said, Joy’s discomfort was written all over the awkward smile on her face during Mas Que Nada by Sergio Mendes and the Black Eyed Peas. “Good thing you’re beautiful because that was absolutely dreadful,” Mia tells Joy. Ouch. “I think you’re not ready for this competition,” she continues. I think they did well, but not well enough on a professional level.

Mary found Musa and Natalie to be incredibly hot in their first performance, but Natalie is excited to be in her own element now: contemporary. Musa, however, is not quite so confident. Tovaris Wilson remarks that one needs a technical background to really perform this style well, which Musa unfortunately doesn’t have. During the rehearsal, it becomes quite common to see poor Natalie’s butt land on the floor (to which of course I had to giggle every time) as Musa slowly learns how to support her or how not to throw her across the stage like a bundle of newspapers. Practice makes perfect though, and soon Musa appears to be quite the expert.

In fact, as concerned as the choreographers were about Musa, he and Natalie were simply amazing to the tune of Goapele’s Closer. I have to say that because I’m not a contemporary fan, but this piece left me moved. It was soft and subtle, but so powerful at the same time. Shane, Mia, and Nigel all believe their chemistry is amazing. I’m sure this has nothing to do with how obviously flirty Natalie is with unresponsive Musa as they stand and listen to the judges’ comments. Natalie states, “I would not trade him for any other partner in the world.” Oh really now… Anyway, props to them. Faboo.


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