Wednesday, October 28, 2009

SYTYCD: Sizing Up Season Six

So You Think You Can Dance finally got to revealing its Top 20 Finalists after three long weeks going over the Vegas callbacks. We made it to the next round, but were not quite ready for voting (thanks, horrifying 1st game of the World Series! A 6-1 Yankee loss? really?) and then again this week with the Top 18 we find ourselves in the same situation (but with the Yanks leading the series 3-2! Bring it home, Yanks!). Last Monday we got to see the Top 20 perform in their preferred styles on Monday and then they partnered up for real on Tuesday. I really liked the Monday show because there are always a few people who make it to Top 20 that the show has shortchanged in terms of screen time. This way America gets to see what makes them so good. I'm not a huge fan of the new set though. The camera work feels weird. It's like the dancers are too far away in the wide shots, but in the close ups they can't get both of them in the same frame. I dunno, maybe I just need to get used to it.

It has to be noted that the show has suffered some strange losses between the Vegas callbacks and now. Mia is no longer choreographing, one dancer is out due to illness and another has an aggrivated knee injury. At least Cat Deely looks healthy, beautiful and unharmed. Here are my thoughts on the Top 20, even though several of them have already been cut.

Name: Billy (Elliot/Jamie) Bell

Deets: 19, New York, NY

Dance Style: Contemporary


Analysis: So Billy got mono or swine flu or something this week and had to bow out under Doctor's Orders. Having had mono, I can tell you there's no way he could've competed, especially if he was just coming under the effects. Swine Flu is also no joke, though lasts nowhere as long. It's sad that he's gone because he was a very strong dancer, but I'm especially sad because I loved the nickname Billy (Elliot/Jamie) Bell. I was looking forward to getting a lot of mileage out of it. No such luck. Hopefully he rests up, goes back to Julliard and shows up here again next year.

Name: Ariana Debose

Deets: 18-year-old from Wake Forest, NC

Dance Style: Contemporary


Analysis: When the Top 20 were announced, she was the one where my reaction was "Who?" I had no idea who she was. There's one in every season. Usually, there's more than one. But she's one of four contempo girls and nobody knows her, so her odds of making it far were already really low. When it came to the judge's making the first cut, I had a strong feeling it'd be here and I was right. She seems like a real sweetheart though!

Name: Brandon Dumlao

Deets: 21-year old from Concord, CA

Dance Style: Hip Hop


Analysis: I don't think Brandon ever had a shot in hell, especially since the judges were picking who went home the first week and they ALREADY decided to kick him off the show before the Top 20. This substitution for sickly Billy (Elliot/Jamie) Bell gave him a few more minutes of screen-time and I hope they let him audition again next year, because he clearly got shafted in this deal.

Name: Russell Ferguson

Deets: 20-year-old from Boston, MA

Dance Style: Krump

Status: ACTIVE

Analysis: Russell was in the Bottom 2 last week, but it was a total set up by the judges to have Russell do an amazing krump solo, because they would never in a million years eliminate the 1st Krumper ever to make it on the show in the first week. Plus he danced well this week and he's a total fan favorite and has a great personality. He'd be my pick to win except for the fact that front runners almost never walk away with the title. But if anyone can pull it off, Russell can.

Name: Mollie Gray

Deets: 18-year-old from Upland, CA

Dance Style: Jazz

Status: ACTIVE

Analysis: She's got potential. The judges usually knock the female dancers when they look too mature, but Molly is in the opposite case where they think she dances too young. It's a fair criticism for her work in the audition rounds, but her work last week seemed more mature. She appeared in all three of the High School Musical films. so I guess it takes time to get the electric youth vibe out of your system.

Name: Noelle Marsh

Deets: 18-year-old from Sanford, NC

Dance Style: Contemporary


Analysis: BFF with Mollee although they've known each other all of 6 seconds. She hurt herself dancing with Russell which is too bad because even though I think she's strong, I don't think she's a sand out, I think Russell will prove to be immensely popular and she might still ride his popularity into the top 10. It would've made life easier on the judge's if she couldn't recover this week, since the decision on who stays and goes isn't supposed to be completely in their hands at this point in the season. But she danced like crazy for her life and they spared her the axe over Bianca! Inconceivable!

Name: Ashleigh Di Lello

Deets: 26-year-old from Orem, UT

Dance Style: Latin Ballroom


Analysis: She's never really wow'ed me. She had a couple of advantages in getting into the Top 20, with one female dancer who made it in before her declining for a movie deal, and the fact that her inclusion marked the show's first married couple in the Top 20 along with husband Ryan who has probably a better chance than Ashleigh to making the top 10. It makes for a good storyline. Hey, what happens if only one of them makes the tour? Dun! Dun! DUNN!!! She's an underdog, but this show LOVES underdogs and the Judges sing her praises more and more each week, so don't count her out.

Name: Bianca Revels

Deets: 20-year-old from Los Angeles, CA

Dance Style: Tappa Tappa Tappa


Analysis: Talk about underdogs, we're just about getting to the tappers this season! For Bianca, the third time was the charm (come back and audition again, Natalie! Please!!) as she finally made the Top 20. The show still doesn't really know how to showcase tap solos and she was never gonna pull "tap" out of the hat, so she'd never get to be seen partnering in her own style. Still, Bianca has personality for days and I saw her making the top 10 as other contempo girls fell by the way side, but then after an uninspired Broadway number and a solid solo, the judges dumped her. Uncool, Judges. Uncool.

Name: Channing Cooke

Deets: 18-year-old from Haverhill, MA

Dance Style: Contemporary


Analysis: Blonde and Athletic is a winning combo to me, but the Judges seem all too ready to label her as having not enough chemistry with her partners nor enough personality on her own in solos. It's hard to tell how popular she might be though since we haven't been able to vote for anyone yet. If it came down between her and one of the other contempo girls in the Bottom 2, the judges will send her packing first.

Name: Ellenore Scott

Deets: 19-year-old from Brooklyn, NY

Dance Style: Contemporary/Jazz


Analysis: I totally dig Ellenore. She has a shot to challenge Russell for the title and I really think she should make top 4 based on talent... but then I remember Janette and I know that the votes don't always go the way you hope they will. Still I won't be surprised if a large number of my favorite routines this year wind up featuring Ellenore. Represent for New York, baby!!

Name: Jakob Karr

Deets: 19-year-old from New York, NY

Dance Style: Contemporary

Status: ACTIVE

Analysis: The Laertes to Billy (Elliiot/Jamie) Bell's Hamlet. things got easier for him when Billy bounced due to illness. They were very similar but the show was already positioning Billy to be the top Contempo boy to whom all others would be compared. Now Jakob has a shot to be his own man and could find his way to the top 10. New York Pride!

Name: Karen Hauer

Deets: 27-year-old from Queens, NY

Dance Style: Latin Ballroom

Status: ACTIVE

Analysis: Queens in the house! If one ballroom female makes it to the Top 10, I hope it's Karen. She's sexy and she's got the skills, but in a season stacked with big personalities, I worry that she may get lost in the shuffle. Hopefully she gets hooked up with a choreographer who will highlight her in a great routine to help put her on the map, sooner rather than later.

Name: Kathryn McCormick

Deets: 19-year-old from Burbank, CA

Dance Style: Contemporary

Status: ACTIVE

Analysis: I don't know about this one. Maybe I just think all of the contempo ladies are on thin ice this year. Kathryn's voice gets higher and higher as she gets more nervous and emotional which could make for some amusing pre-dance interview segments. The jury is still out for me on her chances. But so far she's doing a good job partnering with Legacy.

Name: Kevin Hunte

Deets: 23-year-old from Brooklyn, NY

Dance Style: Hip Hop

Status: ACTIVE

Analysis: I like Kevin Hunte. Another strong contender from the BK. He's got a great energy to him and I think some great break-dancing solos will save him if he has troubles in the early rounds. I think the hip hoppers have a better shot at going further than the male tappers and I hope Kevin takes it pretty far.

Name: Legacy Perez

Deetsts: 28-year-old from Los Angeles, CA

Dance Style: Hip Hop/B-Boy

Status: ACTIVE

Analysis: I'm cool with Legacy. I think he brings a unique dance perspective to the show. I don't think anyone else in the crowd has the b-boy flair. It's hard to tell how popular it will be or if he'll get overshadowed by Russell's krumping or if his personality will come off as attitude in performance. He definitely wants to compete though. It's good to have him around.

Name: Nathan Trasoras

Deets: 18-year-old from Downey, CA

Dance Style: Contemporary

Status: ACTIVE

Analysis: This kid could be going places. He's kinda goofy but has mad skills and energy to back it up. He's barely at the age requirement for the show but his dancing doesn't come off as immature. He's strong. All the guys are strong this year.

Name: Pauline Mata

Deets: 19-year-old from West Covina, CA

Dance Style: Jazz


Analysis: She's got spunk. I dont hate spunk. She got injured before the Top 20 but still made it. Then her partner got sick and left and she got the replacement on two day's notice. She's still fighting though! It's like SYTYCD is a mechanical bull and she's the rider, and she's getting bucked around but won't be thrown off so easily.

Name: Peter Sabasino

Deets: 22-year-old from Philadelphia, PA

Dance Style: Tappa Tappa Tappa

Status: ACTIVE

Analysis: Peter has some good solo tap skills, but I'm unconvinced he'll be able to bring it in the ballroom numbers. With three tappers originally in the mix, he's the last one standing. Not what I would've expected, and I'll be surprised if he makes it to the top 10. He's got a lot of character, but he seems pretty tight. I dunno. We'll see. The tappers have it rough.

Name: Phillip Attmore

Deets: 25-year-old from Los Angeles, CA

Dance Style: Tappa Tappa Tappa


Analysis: I really liked him in the audition rounds but I wasn't so sold on him in the first week of Top 20 competition. My thoughts on Peter also apply to Phillip. If he gave the judges an opportunity to send him home, I believed they'd seize on it. And they did this week. Hearing post elimination that his father passed away during the competition, you can see where the lack of focus in his dancing was coming from these past two weeks, and my heart really goes out to him. Everyone was so upset to see him go, but based on performance it was probably the right choice.

Name: Ryan Di Lello

Deets: 28-year-old from Orem, UT

Dance Style: Ballroom


Analysis: Ashleigh's better half... literally? I think he'll probably make it further than his wife. The judges really seem to like him and I think his ballroom background will really help him communicate in partnering.

Name: Victor Smalley

Deets: 21-year-old from Miami, FL

Dance Style: Contemporary

Status: ACTIVE

Analysis: I think after Billy (Elliot/Jamie) Bell. Victor is probably the strongest of the Contempo guys. I'm not sure what will happen with him though. As I've mentioned before, i think the talent level of the guys is really high. And with two weeks where America doesn't vote it's really hard to see who is most popular.

And that's everyone! I'm not making a full predicition for the Top 10 because America's Vote doesn't always make sense and can be very furstrating and disappointing (here's lookin' at you, MAINE!) and the judges decision on someone like Bianca also seems out of left field. But they're good dancers and fun personalities. I hope the choreographers bring them some top level routines. I'm still waiting for something to jump out at me. Hopefully next week!

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