I've been a fan of SYTYCD since season 1, I loved the idea of the show, and how positive it is for everyone involved. I'm older now, but I remember how fun it was to dance as a kid and wish there are had a show like this on tv when I was younger to inspire me to do more.
I do not blog about tv shows, movies, books, or music very often - so for me to actually feel the need to write this up is unusual for me - I feel so movied by this routine that I just felt the need to write it all down. I could watch it over and over.
What makes a memorable routine is a combination of choreography, dancers and music. All three are really necessary in order for a routine to elevate to a more than a nice, pretty routine and into something more memorable and powerful. At least it does for me.
IT IS OFFICIAL! EMMY NOMINATION AND WIN!
So far even though I liked a lot of the dance routines and the dancers have been overall really good - there haven't been a lot of stand out routines for me - nothing I wanted to watch over and over again. They have been good, a few have been really outstanding, but ultimately forgettable as the weeks pass.
Episode: Top 12 Performances
Dancers: Kupono and Kayla
Choreography by Mia Michaels
Music: Gravity by Sara Bareilles
First stand out piece of the season! So powerful and beautiful! Ignore the judge comments - I think they missed the greatness of the piece. Her hair got in the way? I didn't need to see her eyes, she is a dancer, she can speak through her body! I'm glad the viewers seems to have gotten what the judges missed. I really like how Mia creates with the dancers in mind - that is why her pieces usually work and are a success. She plays to the dancers strengths and in the end we the audience is rewarded with a memorable routine.
This dance is about addiction. Kupono is the addiction, Kayla the addicted. It is a great interpretation on how powerful addiction is. I love the opening and how she is rushing back to the addiction without a thought - grabbing hold like she is desperate for an escape and how he gets this smirk on his face as if he is saying, 'I've got you agaib" and slowly and gently seducing and consuming her as she is falling into the addiction. She thinks it is setting her free of whatever she was running from, she is light and floating in her stupor. She trys to stop, but the addiction is already taken hold of her, she is too weak and stumbles back into the addiction and he draws her deeper in and farther away from her 'normal' life. He continues to overwhelm her.
When she finally gathers some strength and starts to fight it, he covers her mouth - she can't tell anyone of her problems or ask for help - and he becomes more powerful, his gentle demeanor gone and she starts to realize the powerful hold he has over her and it terrifies her and she does not have the willpower or strength to fight him. He is in complete control, even as she fights back - he is prepared at every turn to stop and contain her. When she finally breaks away he is still shadowing her, he is always with her, on her mind. She trys again to fight it, reaches up towards 'normality' or back to her old self, but he is stronger and keeps her from escaping his hold, and she looses her willpower to fight. The look on both their faces is dead on, his sinister assurance that he will win, and her dashed hope and defeat is heartbreaking. He is gentle again, a comforting friend easing her decent; she has lost all resistance and no longer fights back. His hold over her is utter and complete.
I really like the end, she can not break free of the addiction. So many others would make this a more hopeful ending as she triumphs and beats the addiction. But that is difficult to do all on your own, and since this is a duet, it is honest that she alone wasn't powerful enough to escape.
I also like the costuming and makeup - her tattered clothes representing her tattered life. I also like how parts of her outfit are wrapped around him as if he possesses or owns a piece of her, or that the parts of her life that are a mess belong or are attributed to the addiction.
It is a shame that there isn't more support for this pair - I don't think either of them has been able to capture a large voting audience. People think him too effeminate and her to pimped by the judges. I don't really agree on either point. So many of the dancers are good this season that several could be said to be 'pimped', but overall I think the judging has been rather even and fair. Honestly, I don't think many people vote according to what the judges say - that is why they changed the slogan of the show from "America's Best Dancer" to "America's Favorite Dancer." The "Best" dancer usually doesn't win - it is the dancer with the most versatility and personality that wins.
Episode: Top 12 Performances
Dancers: Brandon and Janette
Choreography by Wade Robson
Music: Ruby Blue by Roisin Murphy
I really like the choreography - it is quirky and fun. I also think it was danced and performed well - but it also seems to me that the choreography that shines the most in this routine. The routine, given to any of the couples would have been a success. This seasons dancers have all been really good and competent - there really haven't been many bad routines - I think that is why this season has unfortunately become much more about personality and favorites. Good choreography can make or break a dancer on this show, it isn't just how it is danced.
This couple is likable and fun - all their routines have been good if not great and they have made them better. Luck is with this couple and I can see them in the final four easy. Who will join them is harder to judge as there have really isn't a break out personality this season, unlike last season which had Joshua as the winner practically from day one (although a valiant effort was done to keep Twitch in the running. I personally thought Katee should have won or come in second - she never failed to deliver on the floor).