So here we are at the Top 14 ready to ice 2 more dancers. This week, thankfully, was much better than last week's mediocre offerings. There were three dances that I thought belonged in the bottom 3 and they all got there. There were several dances I thought were very good. Still, nothing this season so far has really moved me and I once again blame the overpowering lighting and visual design along with the shifty camera-work. Does no one at the production level recognize this as a problem? All the spectacle above and behind the dancers is totally distracting and taking away from the emotional experience instead of enhancing it. It's as if they no longer trust the dancers to get the job done themselves. They can do it! They did the past 5 seasons with no problem and now suddenly we're three weeks into the top 20 and none of the routines are really making an impact? Something's not working right here.
So good routines this week we have 1) Jakob and Ashleigh doing hip hop 2) Noelle and Russell fox trotting, 3) Ellenore and Ryan dancing contemporary and 4) Kathryn and Legacy with a strong paso doble. These were all very well executed and enjoyable. It was good to see that all these routines were voted to the top, keeping these dancers safe. I'm gonna give the encore presentation to the contemporary routine, because Ellenore's legs are out of this world.
Competent, if not a bit unemotional and strange, was Channing and Victor's Jazz routine, and then mildly disappointing was Mollee and Nathan's pop jazz. I think they should create a new category called Weird Jazz. This way we'll know when we're just gonna get some crazy conceptual shit that we might appreciate, but not actually enjoy. Tyce really put Channing and Victor in a difficult place. He had them be birds who were going in and out of a cage that was made out of guitar strings... i think? Tyce, even if they did this routine well (and they did) the audience was never gonna vote for it (and they didn't). C'mon, man. With Mollie and and Nathan's dance, the problem was that the song was "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga. I think its a really great pop song, it's really hot right now and the dancing in the video is so interesting and distinct. The problem here was the routine didn't live up to the standard set up by the video and it just felt like a let down.
DVR's across NYC did not record SYTYCD correctly, so I missed the Broadway number by Karen and Kevin. I caught it on youtube, and wished I hadn't. It was awkward. It wasn't fun. It looked labored. It's really just an unfortunate combination of genre choice, dancers and routine. I like Karen and Kevin, but that routine did them no favors. Did the new choreographer make the routine too hard, or was it just not that good? I'm not sure. It saddens me to hand them the trophy for the Numfar Dance of Shame Award for this week, but really there's no way around it.
When it came to eliminations, it became pretty clear that Channing was gonna get cut. Pegged as the one with "personality issues" from the start and lacking a fan favorite partner to carry her through, her impressive technique alone was only gonna get her this far. I was hoping against hope that Kevin would get spared, but since his solo wasn't that amazing this week and his actual routine was bad, it's not surprising that he was on the bottom of the list. They are both very talented and they seem like cool people. It's a shame to see them go, but 2 gotta go every week. The cuts only get tougher from here!
See you next week when we see who makes it to the Top 10 and the tour. And hopefully we'll have a routine that really grabs me and doesn't get lost behind the changing backdrops and fancy lights.