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"So You Think You Can Dance?" 2006-Down to Eight
I'm trying to get a grip on this reality series. First, it's a dance contest and I'm ambivalent about such things. I did quite enjoy ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" but that dance competition is very different than the current competition. The competitors are all unknown but this isn't a problem. The bigger problem is a)I know very little about dancing in terms of technique and b)The competitors are young, hip and urban. This leaves me in a complete state of lost.
I am also unsure just how the voting goes in this thing. So far the competition seems to follow the "American Idol" pro forma, in that there are smart-ass judges on the side, there's an audience with its own favorites, and somehow the American public calls in its votes.
What's a bit confusing is that the competitors are often part of a dancing couple and of course, dancing is generally considered a two-person sport. Thus a new viewer might not be sure whether to vote for a couple or one individual in a couple
This past week-7/19/06, the pretty hostess of the competition announced firmly that voting is for individual dancers and I'm betting my own confusion was shared by many. In addition, each of the then ten finalists did an individual dance routine as well as two routines as part of a dance couple. The competitors all got new partners (via pulling a name out of hat) this past week so now I understand it.
With more insight on my side, I watched the dances with a wiser eye. So far as I am concerned they can do away with those individual dance routines as not a one of them were even remotely entertaining. Then I must suppose that this was a way of portraying the contenders as INDIVIDUALS as opposed to part of a dance couple.
Martha and Ivan did a Hip-Hop and right there I must pause. Hip-Hop? Well I figured it out but go with me on this, the Hip-Hop was not a dance of my era. What this dance looks like is sort of a dance interpretation of rap music. I thought Martha and Ivan had good syncopated movements. One judge remarked there was "no chemistry" between the partners but that "Ivan shined".
How much damn chemistry can a couple have when one is spinning in circles on the floor while the other is doing splits halfway across the room?
But that's just me.
Next, Donyelle performed a Hip-Hop solo. Not pretty at all. At one point Donyelle had to pull herself to a standing position from an audacious leg split and she looked damned near as clunky as me.
Dmitri did a solo to a tune from the Black Eyed Peas and right there, forget about it. The Black Eyed Peas are the antichrists of decent music. Dmitri, a handsome fellow and he knows it, did do some rather erotic moves and at one point he took off his shirt and threw it to the audience. Clever. Not a demonstration of dancing talent, perhaps, but clever.
Ah, next we had the Paso Doble. Now here's a dance I am somewhat familiar with from the "Dancing With the Stars" competition but even then I knew very little about the dance. I didn't even know there was such a dance.
In this performance, Travis and Heidi were coupled. They did a sort of tap dancing during the routine, something I'd never seen before. I thought Travis looked dashing in his bullfight type of costume. One judge pronounced the routine "dramatic and intense".
Moving on to more weird, we had Ryan and Allison doing a dance labeled "contemporary". They both wore these bathing suit type of things then did some sort of dance that made them look like mimes trying to tell a story through dance movement. The effect didn't entrance this humble Blogger at all.
Martha then performed a dance called "Pop Music" and this I knew. Back in my day we called it the Jitterbug and the effect as well as the dance steps had a 50's retro feel. Which I suppose was the intent.
Then Ivan performed "Rhythm and Blues" and bear with me here. I am not at all sure if rhythm and blues was the name of the dance or the genre of music Ivan was dancing to. Ivan did some sort of skating moves during this dance and he had on the weirdest outfit, including...knee socks?
Dmitri and Doynelle then did a Lindsay hop. I thought they gave an excellent performance and of that evening, I enjoyed watching this couple perform the most.
Benji and Natalee then did "Jazz"...again was the dance title or the music? Both dancers danced barefoot and so okay, what's the advantage here? One judge declared the performance was "joyful".
Next Heidi did an individual routine and the woman looked to be naked. Her performance required lots of foot movement and she did it well. The overall effect resembled, I am not making this up, a striptease.
Each dance team performed another dance routine, including a really ugly waltz by Martha and Ivan to a terrible Dolly Parton song. Ryan and Allison danced to "Broadway Music" but the judges expressed reservations about the performance. Heidi and Travis did a "contemporary" dance and goodness, Heidi picked up TRAVIS! That was different.
The following evening two contestants were voted off the show. One was the female receiving the lowest votes, the other the male...same thing.
Ryan and Dmitri came in the bottom two for the males while Martha and Natalie were in the bottom two for the females.
After the appropriate amount of drama and commercials, Dmitri and Martha were sent home.
Fox's Site on the Series
First Review on this Blog