SYTYCD Season 8 Top 20, Part 1

Allora. (That means “well” in Italian, sort of.) I am beginning a new co-blogging project with the greatest sister in the world, in my humble opinion, Erica. Together we will be commentating conversation-style on a truly incredible television program, a gem in the reality competition show genre: So You Think You Can Dance.

Erica: I am, in fact, the greatest sister in the world. You know how I know? Because look what my big sistering produced! Kate!

Kate: I just want to start off with a little disclaimer so I don’t get accused of not knowing what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks I’m talking about: We watch this show purely for entertainment purposes. Erica only danced for a few years when she was in elementary school because every girl had to back then (I have the embarrassing dance costume photos to prove it), and while I danced for much longer/was much better at it I am nowhere near the level of skill of the contestants on the now eighth season of SYTYCD. I have always been extraordinarily passionate about dance and have certainly wished I could dance like these fine folks, which is why I adore the show so much, but I am in no way claiming to know everything there is to know about dance. K? K.

Erica: I know less about dance than she does. By a lot. Here’s what I know: “Musicality”, “performance”, “great legs”. But here’s something I know that the judges on this show apparently don’t: There are other words in the English language besides “beast”.

Kate: Hey, can we get a collective hallelujah that Mary Murphy is back, blonde and better than ever? Last season was painful with Mia Michaels‘ made-up words and philosophical analyses of the dances. LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE HOT TAMALE TRAIN!

Erica: Oh, my goodness, and hell, yes. I thought I wouldn’t miss her when she was gone, but I did. And you know what I like about Mary? Every once in a while, she tells me something I didn’t know about DANCING!

Kate: Also, wasn’t Alex (from season 7) supposed to automatically be in season 8’s top 20?

Erica: I have no memory of this. Which of course means nothing.

Kate: Okay, on to the dancing.

Erica: Wait, what about the important question?!

Kate: What?

Erica: How did you feel about Cat Deeley’s ensemble?

Kate: She looks like she lost weight, which she didn’t need to, and she sounded semi-drunk or high throughout the show given that she couldn’t form correct words or sentences.

Erica: Yeah, I don’t know what was up with that. I liked her hair, though. Nice I-had-sex-with-a-rock-musician-last-night look.

Kate: Sure. Now for the top 20 dancers!

Jordan and Tadd

Kate: I’m all for African jazz, specifically those costumes, and Jordan’s legs are a force to be reckoned with, but I did not feel the fire that Nigel, Mary and Megan clearly felt. Tadd totally had a struggle moment while lifting Jordan on his thighs—no bueno—but it’s SYTYCD, of course it was at least sorta good.

Erica: I’m not really for African jazz, if only because it looks to my untrained eye like it’s just regular dancing in silly costumes that they can all say “you were so animalistic and in character” and no one suddenly looks up and goes “That’s racist!” Also, when Jordan said she thought African jazz was dancing in Afros and unitards? No she didn’t. And I was underwhelmed. I saw what you meant about the lifts. Awkward.

Sasha and Alexander

Kate: This. Is why. I watch. This show. This is also the kind of contemporary routine I am just dying to do. Travis Wall‘s choreography is truly magnificent, some day I will dance with him, and Sasha is clearly the best female dancer in the bunch. Poor Alex had to hear that and worse from all three judges but, ya know what? Step it up.

Erica: Seriously. Many, many hearts. Love Travis Wall. Alex, I feel, thinks he’s very good looking indeed.

Clarice and Jess

Kate: He is a brilliant Broadway dancer, but he needs to be careful about that. Those people usually have trouble transitioning into other styles. She was a little too in love with her own sex appeal for my taste.

Erica: I was distracted by her costume. In that I hated it. He looks like Broadway-style dancing is as easy for him as walking, and I kind of heart him, because he’s so nerdy and serious and I feel like I know him even though I obviously don’t. But I always like the nerdy, serious guys and no one else does, so I’m prepared for disappointment. I thought he did pretty well in the Sonya Tayeh choreography, so maybe he can transition. (And by the way, I thought this whole time her name was Tyre and it was just Cat Deeley’s accent making it sound like “Tayeh” but it turns out I was wrong.)

Ryan and Ricky

Kate: She looked kind of like a spaz up there trying to do hip-hop, but I definitely give her an A for effort. He, on the other hand, is the epitome of a hip-hop dancer. I mean, wow.

Erica: I didn’t like the routine. I thought they were both good in it. But what happened to that one guy who used to do, like, actual hip-hop routines for this show? You know, ones where you might need to act a little “street” to believably perform them?

Caitlyn and Robert (who was supposed to be Mitchell)

Kate: All is right with the world when Robert (from season 7) is onstage. I was pretty thrilled that Mitchell hurt is elbow—seriously, bro?—just so I could see him dance again, but he distracted me so much that I didn’t really notice Caitlyn. I’m sure she was great.

Erica: It was such a Sonya Tayeh (not Tyre) routine. Caitlyn (is it just me or are they contractually obligated to have a Caitlyn in the top twenty every year?) is one of those girls I’m going to mix up with all the other girls until we’re down to the top 10, should she make it that far.

Miranda and Robert

Kate: Not really feeling it, and it’s not just because they used a song by the scum of the earth. They were barely even together throughout the entire routine. Cute outfits, though.

Erica: I was super disappointed. I love jives. This was meh. She really did look awkward bringing the sexy. People!  You’ve tried out for SYTYCD! What do the choreographers on SYTYCD love? Storylines in which sexy, sexy hot mamas seduce hapless men. Learn to be a sexy, sexy hot mama! Even if you haven’t even graduated high school yet! Who’s the scum of the earth?

Kate: Bruno Mars.

Erica: Why is he the scum of the earth?

Kate: Read the article, or just Google his name plus “cocaine”. Next!

Missy and Wadi

Kate: Well aren’t they just fabulous together? I smell a little showmance. Wait, he’s never partnered before!? Damn.

Erica: Does Sean Cheesman have insanely otherworldly pecs or is it just me? They’re kind of scaring me. He’s got, like, cleavage in a crew neck t-shirt.

Melanie and Marko

Kate: Weeeeeee 2 Travis Wall routines! Excellent form, technique and control for both of them the entire time, and they had unbelievable chemistry. I think we’ve found my favorites of the season, certainly my favorite performance of the night. (And way to drop the “E” word already, Nigel!)

Erica: I just heart Travis all the time. I loved this routine. And I love them. What’s the “E” word?

Kate: Emmys, as in that could be an Emmy-nominated routine. It’s the first episode, chill out man!

Ashley and Chris

Kate: Chris isn’t bad but please for the love of all things sacred let Ashley and Ricky be paired together at SOME POINT this season for a hip-hop routine. PLEASE. Can you believe a ballerina is capable of that much swag?

Erica: She’s either going to go to the final 4 because she’s just so adorable, or she’s going to go home in, like, 2 weeks because everyone’s sick of her dimply cuteness. Probably the former. In which case you’re pretty sure to get an Ashley-Ricky pairing. Chris is very small, isn’t he? He’s going to have trouble with lifts in ballroom. I didn’t really like the routine much. It was sort of…cute without being particularly impressive.

Iveta and Nick

Kate: Hold the phone, where did this little ditty come from? She’s 30 and can still move like that!? (There’s hope for you yet, Er! Kidding, kidding.) She’s probably thanking her lucky stars she got ballroom for the first week, even if it was the dreaded quick step, but I was overall not impressed. I am a bit disappointed that the first and last routines were not, you know, BOOM.

Erica: Ha! I had no hope at 16! Oh, I really liked this routine. I was disappointed by the jive because I normally love the jive and that one was just not good enough but this sort of filled that place in my heart.

Kate: So who do we think will go home? I predict Robert and Miranda.

Erica: They sent home nobody. Nobody? What? I can’t keep track of all of these brunettes.

Both: TUNE IN NEXT FRIDAY MORNING FOR THE TOP 18! Wait, we mean top 20, again, because the judges decided to approach season 8 American Idol-style and tell everyone they’re great while providing the least amount of criticism possible and sending no one home. Ever. 🙂


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