Tapeworthy

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Bare Necessities - The Full Monty - Musical Review

The Full Monty - The Paper Mill Playhouse - Milburn, NJ - ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Music and Lyrics by David Yazbek, Book by Terrence McNally, Directed by Mark S. Hoebee, Choreographed by Denis Jones

Elaine Stritch in New Jersey? Say WHA?!!! Broadway legend. Plus the prospects of naked men. Plus one of those men is Wayne Wilcox. Yup, that's all you really need to make a fun night at a musical!

I saw the First National tour a few years back and always remembered really liking the musical version of The Full Monty, even though I couldn't hum you a single tune from the show. Now, the Paper Mill Playhouse is staging the musical based on the terrific British movie and throwing in Broadway legend Elaine Stritch amongst the disrobing boys, so you know it's gotta be a hoot.

And a hoot it is! While the musical is still a bit clunky and runs far too long for what's essentially a fun and light musical, the Paper Mill production excels in the basic elements of the show, most notably having a great cast led by Wayne Wilcox (Marty on Gilmore Girls and who really should be a bigger musical star than he is).

Oh sure, the musical tries to throw a serious undertone to enhance the underlying themes that deal with social status and men's place in the world, matching the intelligent film script, but Terrence McNally (of ALL people) simply burdens the buoyancy of the stage show with some dreary lulling moments that slows the momentum down. The musical works best when it's fun and zippy and characters get to either throw out barbs or toss off their clothes, and only the touching "You Walk with Me", sung after a funeral scene between Malcolm and Ethan, two men that finally find themselves, works as a serious moment.

Allen E. Read and Jason Babinsky are fantastic as Malcolm and Ethan. I think it's hard not to like the young dim but sweet Ethan character and its one of those roles where any actor playing it will be loved (Christopher J. Hanke was my Ethan in the tour), but I still think Babinsky is completely superb and adorable in the role.

Read is great as the geeky Malcolm and his singing voice is beautiful.

I cannot say enough about Wilcox who sounds great and played the Jerry, the down and out loser father/ex-husband in need of fast cash, with the right amount of heart, heartbreak, goofiness and jerk to make it all work.

Milton Craig Nealy is great as Horse. Both burly and sympathetic.

Joe Coots is Jerry's larger best friend Dave and probably had the weakest singing voice but nicely made up for it with his buddy banter with Wilcox.

Jenn Colella is Dave's wife Georgie, and manages to fill in the barely sketched female characters and the main wife representative in the show. Colella's voice is fabulous and she brings in a highly energetic performance.

Michelle Ragusa (above) fills in the other main female wife role and while it's way more caricature, it's basically all that is needed to be effective in the part. Her Vicki is wife to Harold (Michael Rupert (Legally Blonde) doing what he does best, playing white collared stuffy guys), the former boss to all who now finds himself unemployed with his former underlings.

Of course, the REAL female star here is Elaine Stritch. Elaine Stritch in New Jersey? Oh yah! And she knows she's out of the New York spotlight as Jeanette, the piano player the shows up out of nowhere to help the boys practice their stripping show. (BTW, I'm assuming you all know the story of this by now, and if you haven't, uh, go rent the movie ASAP. It's great). With Stritch playing what is essentially a minor sidekick character, it frees her up to have a ball with the role, spitting the lines out and having the time of her life, and it's all the more fun to watch for the rest of us.

Oh yah, and the final strip, when the men go the full monty, is a lot of fun too!

Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com


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The TV Blog Coalition - Racing To Catch Up On My TV Backlog

It's almost July (Happy Canada Day! Happy Independence Day! Happy Pride Day recovery!) so is it weird that I finally have time to watch the last few episodes of The Amazing Race even though I already know what happens? It's still surprisingly entertaining!

Anyways, for more up to date TV talk, check out the other TV bloggers:

With network TV ratings on the decline, Buzz wondered if you — yes, you! — are watching less TV this Summer than usual. (BuzzSugar)

This week, Sandie interviewed Rutina Wesley who plays Tara on HBO's True Blood. (Daemon's TV)

Scooter pays tribute to Michael Jackson. (Scooter McGavin's 9th Green)

Other than So You Think You Can Dance, Vance didn't have much time to watch TV last week because he was out in the park watching Twelfth Night starring Anne Hathaway, Raul Esparza (Pushing Daisies), Audra McDonald (Private Practice), Hamish Linklater (New/Old Christine) and more. (Tapeworthy)

This week, Jace offered an elegy for ABC's canceled The Unusuals and offered advance reviews of FOX's Virtuality and the first four episodes of HBO's Hung. (Televisionary)

After this week's episode of Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, Sara has the irresistible urge to become BFFs with Kathy and Paula Deen. (TiFaux)

Eric is so glad that Lafayette is back for season two of True Blood and even happier to find out how he gets out of imprisonment this week. (TV Fanatic)

This week, the TV Addict took a closer at the CW's unexpected midseason treat, LIFE UNEXPECTED (The TV Addict)

Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com


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Sunday, June 28, 2009

You Tu Be Proud!

Happy Pride!

So, pride's great and all, but let's be frank. Seeing all the hot guys walking on Church street (the "village" in Toronto and the backdrop for Queer as Folk) during pride, with so many happy couplings, is sometimes f#$king depressing and nauseating. Ain't it? I mean, it's great that we don't have to fight for gay marriage up here in Canada anymore but that just makes the fact that I'm far from getting married all the more depressing.

But whatever, I'm single and fabulous. !. ?. No. !

Here's Tyler Oakley, my favorite member of the 5Awesomegays, some random yet much followed young YOUNG teen who I've been following on youtube, speaking about being single, fabulous (and gay):



And if you're not convinced, you've got to love this kid for his rap "Why I Hate Danny Gokey" from about a month ago:



Here's another guy I love following on youtube. DaveyWavey. He spews cheesy Oprah-type affirmations but he always does it shirtless. You gotta love that! Here he happens to spew about being your own boyfriend to find a boyfriend. I'd be more cynical about it if he weren't so adorable and gay about it all:



I've also followed Jeffrey Self and Cole for like EVER (well, a long time before everyone else started discovering them thank you very much yes I'm totally taking claim of them) but now they're HUGE and have their own TV show Jeffrey and Cole Caserole! Okay, so it's on Logo (Fridays at 11pm), the gay channel way up in the cable numbers if you even get it, but it's nice to see them spin it off into something from their youtube vids! Sadly, I don't get to see their show since we don't have Logo here in Canada but I'll have to hunt for them online (the irony isn't it? I had easier access when it was just simply their youtube vids). (Oh wait, he's posted it on his own website! YAY! Or here at the Logo site))









Here's an oldie but one of my faves on gay marriage:



and here with "Bernadette Peters" speaking about Prop 8:



Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com


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Friday, June 26, 2009

Amelia's Finally Arrived

The trailer's out. Finally!

Amelia opens on Oct. 23rd 2009. Starring Hillary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor, Virginia Madsen, and Christopher Eccleston.

It'll probably be another typical biopic but at least it LOOKS great doesn't it? And will the Academy throw Hillary another nomination?

This is one of those movies the Academy USED TO love and smother in awards but nowadays, I think they're tending to go a bit more indie. But who knows, with the new 10 nomination system, old hats could slip through (and doesn't that vintage hat look great?)

Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com


More After the Jump...

So You Think You Can Dance - I Know We Want You, But Not You

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 16 Results - The Cut from 16 to 14 - Ep. 511
Judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Guest Judge: Toni Basil

Top 16 Group Dance
Choreographed by: Dmitry Chaplin and Napoleon and Tabitha D'Umo
Song: "I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)" - Pitbull



At first I was like, did Jean-Marc choreograph this? Eh, it seems a bit too cool for him (though he did do an amazing group number for Canada)

And again, LowResJoe, ABChau, TwoP Lauren S and myself chatted about the Top 16 Performances here (and recopied below after the results). It was pretty unanimous this week.

My Predictions from the Top 16:
Bottom Three: Jonathan and Karla, Jason and Caitlin, Asuka and Vitolio
Going home: Karla and Vitolio? Or is Jonathan a goner? NOOOOOO Say it ain't so!


The actual bottom three results were:
Jonathan and Karla, Jason and Caitlin, Asuka and Vitolio
I got all three couples right for once. Granted it was probably the most obvious week at this point.

The "Dance for Your Lives" Solos

Asuka Kondoh
Song: "Don't Trust Me" - 30H!3
Grade: C+

I don't hate her as much as everyone else seems to. I thought it was a fine solo though its always hard to really showcase anything in her style except some booty shaking. She didn't seem like she was really FIGHTING though, and almost




Vitolio Jeune
Song: "Viva La Vida" - Coldplay
Grade: C+

He's so strong and does so many things right, but was it me or did he look like he paused a few moments and overthink things? Or almost looked like he was second-guessing his moves in the midst of his solo? I wish he were more confident because he's obviously talented, but it's getting distracting in both his solos and partnering. Nigel later points out that he sets himself up for amazing things and never follows through. Bingo!


Karla Garcia
Song: "15 Step" - Radiohead
Grade: A-

Oh, that was so much weirder than we would have ever thought she could pull off. I'm really liking her more and more. That weird flick and flutter near the start was all sorts of Marc and all the more wonderful. But damn she's small (at least next to Cat).




Jonathan Platero
Song: "The Hunted" - Kodo
Grade: B

I actually keep forgetting he's ballroom. I know people are going to call me on this but I don't care. I still like him. And not just cause he's pretty. I thought his solo had a breezy confidence about it and again, while ballroom is always hard to show in solo's, he did a pretty good job without relying solely on his gymnastic skills (which really, would have been totally fine by me. I mean, Neil did and he's one of my faves).

Caitlin Kinney
Song: "Que Sera Sera" - Jennifer Tehran
Grade: B

She's pretty. She knows it. But she still kicks it into gear with some nice showy tricks. Clever. Again, I don't hate her as much as many in the blogosphere seems to have but I haven't fallen in love with her either yet. She still needs to woo me and that solo made me want to keep her, but I need more commitment.



Jason Glover
Song: "New American Classic" - Taking Back Sunday
Grade: C+

He's great at flipping back and forth, twisting around across the stage but it seemed more like a gymnastics routine than a dance solo and I realized he doesn't seem passionate enough in it. Though maybe that's this whole seasons problem and why a lot of people aren't connecting. They all may be great technical dancers (save Hip-Hop) but it's all performance and no heart? Anyways, just a theory. Oh yah. Jason was decent in his solo but he was better last time. It was good but unmemorable.




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Alas, they love Caitlin (okay, I like her but I didn't think it was the BEST solo of the night, I don't get the LOVE for her, maybe that's why the bloggers don't love her?).

Alas, Asuka Kondoh is cut.

Then it's time to cut the boys and while they make the same point to Vitolio they basically made the first time he was in the bottom 3, he's safe.

And Jonathan Platero is cut.

Obviously I'm sad even though I know most everyone called it, but considering how amazing he was in last week's routine from Stacey Tookey, he obviously had tons of promise. He was BAD in the Hip-Hop, but I have yet to be wowed by Vitolio once yet.

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Everyweek, LowResJoe, ABChau, TwoP Lauren S and myself discuss the performance show. Here's our chat about the Top 16 Performances:

Joe: Hey guys! Looks like we have our original roster back intact, and just in time for ... guest judge Toni Basil? Eh. And did Cat look strangely indifferent/hostile to the disappointingly dull Ms. So-Fine-You-Blow-My-Mind? Or am I just projecting? Anyway, the panel is back in full, this week.

We'll start off by taking one routine at a time and spin off from there...

Karla and Jonathan
Hip-Hop (Dave Scott)


Vance: You know I've been a fan of these two right from the start and felt vindicated last week. Hmm... oh well. I still love them, but that sucked the donkey. This season CANNOT do Hip Hop apparently.

Lauren: Seriously, what is up with this season? I thought this could have been good, and Karla did better than Jonathan, but dudes. I did like her silver eyeshadow.

Joe: I think we all wanted to like this but realized very early on that it wasn't happening. I do always feel for the pretty boys who are ALWAYS gonna get hated on for their hip-hop even if they're really not that bad (Neil; Thayne). But Jonathan was pretty bad. Karla I thought was keeping up pretty well, but this just isn't a very hip-hoppy group.

AB Chao: OH MY GOD. Y'all. I cannot take the lack of hip-hop goodness. I am about to pull a hissy of TWoP poster proportions, and just threaten to quit watching.


Asuka and Vitolio
Jazz (Mandy Moore)


Vance: Vitolio is a good dancer but he still gets overshined by Asuka for me. I'm not sure I like her as a person, but my eye is always drawn to her on the dancefloor and Vitolio is more of a placeholder for me.

Lauren: I have to admit, I just can't stand Asuka as a person, and I think that's coloring her dancing for me. I finally watched last week's eps on Sunday (after a horrible DVR mishap at my parents' house so I couldn't watch earlier) and I wanted to absolutely wring her neck while she had her head on his chest during judging and was trying to look all Serious and Emotional. I won't get too long-winded about it, but I think that she's also only a good dancer, not a great one, and combined with how I perceive her personality, it kills it for me. Vitolio I really like, and I am just rooting for her to go soon so that I can see him have a chance with someone else. I do fear that he's not strong enough to really hold on against some of the other guys as the weeks go on.

Joe: God, I am just BORED by these two. I was halfway interested in their clip package where it looked like they were gonna actually go all The Cutting Edge on us and make out, but then the dancing started and I drifted off. Not even Mandy Moore and her Totally '80s fetish (which I never noticed until this year, but Mandy loves her some '80s) could wake me up. Really hope they go home this week.

AB Chao: I can't hate on Asuka for her baby act, because I know someone who does the exact same thing and it's kind of endearing. But I can see how it would make you want to kill her. When Toni Basil said "caressing her face" I nearly threw up. It was seriously creepy. Anyway, the dancing: eh. It was ok. But Joe, it makes me really happy to see a Cutting Edge reference. Toe pick!


Ade and Melissa
Rumba (Tony Meredith)


Vance: It wasn't perfect, and Ade looked nervous a couple of times, but man, this team is STRONG, and I think Melissa is the strongest female dancer this season. I hate using the word fierce but she's FIERCE.

Lauren: If ever "fierce" was called for, it's here, and especially when Melissa is wearing that scrap of a hankie of a dress! I thought they were fabulous and she's managed to totally turn me around since the beginning of the season -- I think she's awesome now.

Joe: LOVE! Sorry, it's official, these two are my favorites. Scorching hot rumba, Melissa is INSANELY long and flexible and Ade has that Joshua/Will thing where he looks like he's made of granite but just floats out there.

AB Chao: Yeah, these two are officially awesome. Ade could not be more charming and powerful and just all-around hot. That crazy move where Melissa did her leg up and over and AROUND, that is when I fell in love with her. However: Dear Melissa, Please quit plucking your eyebrows. Love, A Friend Who Cares. There, I said it.

Joe: If I were not already inclined to love Melissa, I might get annoyed by her constant stalking of the camera during the episode ending dance-out. Everybody else is having fun, old lady! Quit mugging and grab the red hat off of Jason's head!


Jeanette and Brandon
Hip-Hop (Dave Scott)


Joe: Oh HERE'S where all the unexpected hip-hop skill went! No, Brandon is still not someone I'm actively rooting for BUT this is two weeks in a row now where these two just absolutely tore shit up.

Vance: While I don't love Brandon, I don't think I hate him as much as everyone else does, and I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Which seemed to pay off this week cause he Hip-Hopped!!! And WELL!!! But um, was it me or did Janette totally nail it? Who would have thought Janette would be the best Hip-Hopped of Season 5 to date?

AB Chao: FINALLY. I was so trying not to get my hopes up based on the rehearsal footage, but it looked so promising, and oh my goodness, it paid off. I still cannot really stand Brandon and his Carlton Face, but he KILLED it tonight. I was so happy. And Janette was totally selling it, too. I could have done without those tights, though. Yes, I could. (Maybe I'll start talking like Mary Murphy in my everyday life. YES I WILL!)

Vance: Oh yeah, what WAS Janette wearing. I seriously thought maybe I missed something about an homage to Rocky Horror Show

Lauren: So I know that of all of us I've been the Brandon lover, and I will admit that his "kooky" personality is starting to grate on me a little bit. BUT that does not take away from the fact that I love his dancing, and I had no idea he was going to pull this out like he did. And Janette! I was so neutral on her after auditions but she's way up there for me now. These two are one of my favorite pairings.


Kayla and Kupono
Viennese Waltz (Jean-Marc Genereaux)


Joe: Totally elegant and beautiful, even if the choreography was suspiciously close (i.e. exactly the same) to last year's Twitchington waltz (which I swear I will stop referencing some day). But you know I love my Kupono in all his yelpy, I-designed-this-crackheaded-ensemble-myself glory. And this is the first week I really connected with Kayla the way the judges did. Now get them some Mia next week!

Vance: I actually thought this new pairing worked really well. Maybe it was the music and the flowy dress Kayla wore but I loved this one.

AB Chao: Also loved. Kupono, please come live with me and we can talk about stitching faux fox collars to Hanes t-shirts all day long. He is so adorable. Kayla is growing on me. And I think they are a way better pair than Kayla and Max.

Lauren: I didn't love this routine the way I felt I was supposed to love it. I'm generally not a waltz-hater, but maybe it's like Joe said and they are starting to look the same to me? That said, I think they are a good pairing and I certainly didn't actually dislike it.


Randi and Evan
Contemporary (Mia Michaels)


Joe: No lie, I actually yelped when I saw Mia onscreen. She was holding out for her favorite Uni-Tard! Yay! This was so much fun to watch, and Evan really did sell that lech persona well. (I guess the French-perv thing fits, but I was totally thinking Streetcar of Desire thoughts.) Randi was all sex bomb, so obviously she wants to be a special ed teacher. OBVIOUSLY. Anyway, I'm in the tank for Mia routines anyway, but even beyond that Randi and Evan were awesome.

Vance: It's almost getting tiresome to love a Mia Michaels routine isn't it? Cause that was all kinds of awesome and Randi and Evans totally sold it. (Also, I thought Randi looked like Tyra Collette on FNL this week).

AB Chao: I love Mia so much, it doesn't even bother me to be tiresome about her. Oddly, I was only lukewarm on this as it was happening, but then I kind of fell in love with it on the replay. And then I watched it again (shut up) and thought it was just incredible. (Vance: She DID! I kept thinking that too. Which is fine with me, as Tyra and I are getting tv-married later this summer.)

Vance: Girls are not even my thing but I would totally get TV married with Tyra!

Lauren: I am so happy to be her with all the Tyra/FNL love! I thought these two seemed pretty good in rehearsal but I was still a little unsure of how the routine would be, and at first I wasn't sure how I felt. But as it went on and then as it stuck with me and I kept thinking about it, I did love it. My love/hate relationship with Mia continues, but today I was firmly on "love" especially with her ridiculously pretentious Buddy Holly glasses.


Caitlin and Jason
Paso Doble (Jean Marc Generaux)


Lauren: I DO NOT GET CAITLIN. I do not get why they love her so much. She's fine, but I don't think she's great and nothing she's done has touched me in any way. I like Jason a lot more, but this performance was a big yawn for me that totally didn't keep up with the ambitious music.

Vance: Jason's kinda hot isn't he? Maybe I'm being harsh but I thought it was a little bit of a mess. They had some cool moves and impressive moments but I thought it was shaky. Granted, they do only have about 3 days to learn and rehearse these things but still. (Actually, wait a minute, they get a full day more than they did here in Canada (since they tape on Tuesdays, we taped on mondays here)). Okay. then really. no excuse.

Joe: This started off like I was going to very much like it, sharp and strong and whatnot. But then it got sloppy, and my mind started to drift into how the costumes made them look like an extra from 300 and Princess Kashmir. I keep thinking I should like Jason much more than I actually do (kind of like how Lauren thinks of Caitlin).

AB Chao: I thought this was a mess, so I don't understand how they got even the little praise they did. Caitlin's entire being is just a blur to me, she's so nondescript. And Jason is proficient enough, but I don't really get him. Which reminds me, I really enjoyed hearing what the dancers would have been doing if they weren't dancers. Wasn't Jason like, "I would be a neurophysicist," or something? It was hilarious. Not that dancers can't be neurophysicists. Just maybe not that particular one.

Joe: Wasn't Jason the one who was like "I would be a soccer player...in college"? Because he is A CHILD.

Lauren: Hush. I don't want to think about that.

Vance: Wait. how OLD is Jason? True. I was wondering about that sentence. EWWWWWWWWW... am I totally turning in to a cougay? (Oh wait. too late).

AB Chao: HAHAHAAA, cougay. Y'all are right, Jason was the soccer player. I can't remember who was the brilliant scientist. But mark my words, one day one of these dancers will cure something.


Phillip and Jeanine
Broadway (Tyce Diorio)


Lauren: This is one of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite musicals, so it was probably going to not live up anyway since you're comparing poor Phillip and Jeanine to Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor. But it left me cold (other than realizing that Phillip's pants had a giant hole in the butt -- I kept thinking that would going to be part of the routine and he was going to pull them off, but no, it was just a giant hole showing his underwear to America) though I think they both are capable dancers.

Vance: I thought they were way harsh on Philip. I thought he was great in a routine that was slightly better than Tyce's norm but still far below what it could have been. Ryan!? Where's RYAN?

Joe: Here's the thing -- I like Phillip a lot. He's sweet and eager and mucho talented in his own realm. But I sit here hoping (in vain, I'm sure) that he'll get voted off, because I L-O-V-E love Jeanine, and I just want to see her paired up with someone who can keep up with her in these other styles. He wasn't terrible here, but he was clearly the weaker of the two, and he didn't really add anything beyond, as mentioned, the split pants. And once again I have to give Nigel credit for being honest (even if he was so bipolar the rest of the night) when he pretty much laid the situation out: Phillip's built-in voting bloc won't allow him to end up in the bottom 3, but unless he starts getting better, he's gonna be the Sanjaya. Can't say as I disagree.

AB Chao: I think I am starting to feel about Philip this year the same way I felt about Comfort last year, which is to say: unrelentingly sympathetic. They both just tried so hard, you guys! I can't take it. It isn't rational, especially given my complaints about this being such a lukewarm year, but I can't help it. Step off my sweet Philip.
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Vance: Okay, and I know every year people complain about the choreography and then I point out if you look back, there's usually only 1 or 2 really superb memorable ones in each episode. But that being said, was it me or were most of the choreo last night pretty terrible/forgetable?

Other than Mia's, which I think was half made memorable via Evan and Randi's performance, everything else was below meh. Like Philip and Jeanine's piece. As Lauren says, the original is so great it would hard to top, and alas, Tyce disappoints. With no fault to the dancers who I thought did a great job with what they were given.

Joe: I just can't believe the balls in choreographing a couch dance to something from SINGIN' IN THE RAIN. Nigel pretty much had no choice but to mention it because how could you not? But how is that not setting your dancers up for unfavorable comparisons. I kind of revel in Tyce's dickishness as much as it repulses me (that bitchitude he threw Phillip's way!), but that was just poor strategic planning.

Lauren: Yes to everything you just said. And I've been wondering the same thing about the choreography -- actually, moreso, I've been wondering about the show in general. It just seems not quite as spectacular (Other than a pretty awesome top 20 performance show) but I'm not as excited about these dancers and dances as I've been in the past. I don't know if it's the show or if I've turned into a jaded shell of a person.

Vance: Yah, is it just partly because our expectations are so high now? After years of Travis, Sabra, Neil, Benji, Heidi and co?

I think the talent is still up there, but I think having auditions that continually showed people we loved who ended up being cut was no help. I mean, did we even SEE Jonathan? Karla? etc before the Top 20? And with the talent being way more even these past two season, less people break out, so you don't know who to cheer for. There's also less "antagonists" to boo for too. (At least not yet). So it makes the show all the less dramatic, even though it's way more fair and even.

So what's better? A show were we get Ben Susak? Joy Spears? Jessi Paralta? (I dont remember them either. I had to look them up.) A show where Cedric makes it to the top 14? (sorry. HATED him. and Philip is better than Cedric at least). Or what we have now?

Joe: I do actually think the talent level is down this season, but also there's more up-and-down between performances. Last season, it was the top 5 pairs who were flawless every week in the early going, and then everybody else fighting the current. This season, we've had pairs be great, then bad, then awesome, on and on.

AB Chao: I think I said last week how sad I was that this year doesn't seem to be as good as prior seasons, but is that something people say every season? I just can't tell. Maybe I don't want to say it because I don't want to admit I'm really disappointed. Frownie!
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TOP 3 PERFORMANCES

Vance: Randi/Evan; Jeanette/Brandon; Melissa/Ade

Lauren: Randi/Evan; Melissa/Ade; Jeanette/Brandon

AB Chao: Jeanette/Brandon; Randi/Evan; Melissa/Ade

Joe: Melissa/Ade; Randi/Evan; Jeanette/Brandon


LEAST FAVORITE PERFORMANCE:

Vance: Jonathan/Karla

Lauren: Jonathan/Karla

AB Chao: Jonathan/Karla

Joe: Jonathan/Karla

That's right! Total unanimity! Deal with it, Cate Blanchett America!

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For More So You Think You Can Dance:
Check here for the most Recent current postings and Latest News on SYTYCD


So You Think You Can Dance - Season 5:

Top 16 Performance
Top 18 Performance, Top 18 Results and Panel Chat
Top 20 Performance, Top 20 Results and Panel Chat

Auditions - Vegas Week Part 2 - Top 20 Announcement, Top 20 Pictures/Panel Chat
Vegas Week Part 1
New York City, Denver, Miami, Memphis, LA, Seattle


So You Think You Can Dance Canada:
Finale
Top 8 and 6 Performances and Results, Top 4 Performances
Top 10 Performances, Results 10 to 8
Top 12 Performances, Results 12 to 10
Top 14 Performances, Results 14 to 12
Top 16 Performances, Results 16 to 14
Top 18 Performances, Results 18 to 16
Top 20 Performances and Results
Introducing Canada's Top 20
Auditions:
Toronto Week - The Cut to the Top 20
Vancouver, Halifax, Calgary, Montreal - West, East, Middle and Quebec
Toronto - Toronto's Best Foot Forward
The Judges, The Host, The Teaser, All Photos from CTV

So You Think You Can Dance - Season 4:
Finale
Top 4 Performances
Top 6 Performances and Results 6 to 4
Top 8 Performances, Results 8 to 6
Top 10 Performances, Results 10 to 8
Top 16, 14 and 12 Weeks Recaps by Vance again
Top 12 Performances, Results 12 to 10 - Guest Blogger Linz McC
Top 14 Performances, Results 14 to 12 - Guest Blogger Linz McC
Top 16 Performances, Results 16 to 14 - Guest Blogger Linz McC
Top 18 Performances, Results 18 to 16
Top 20 Performances, Results 20 to 18
Introducing the Top 20
Auditions:
Callbacks in Las Vegas - The Top 20 Revealed - What Happens In Vegas
Milwaukee, WI - How The Midwest Was Won
Charleston, South Carolina and Washington D.C. - S.C.D.C. The New Electric (Boogaloo) Term!
Salt Lake City and Dallas - Yeehaw Utah!
Los Angeles - It's Time To Put On Those Dancing Shoes Again Kids!

So You Think You Can Dance - Season 3:
Live Tour - Toronto, Pasha's Solo Video, Neil's Solo Video
Finale - Winner Result
Top 4 Performances - Finals
Top 6 Performances, Top 6 Results
Top 8 Performances, Top 8 Results
Top 10 Performances, Top 10 Results
Top 12 Performances, Top 12 Results
Top 14 Performances, Top 14 Results
Top 16 Performances, Top 16 Results
Top 18 Performances, Top 18 Results
Top 20 Performances, Top 20 Results

For So You Think You Can Dance Season 2:
Favorite Video Clips
Song List Live Tour 2006 - Toronto
Live Tour 2006 - Buffalo, Pics, More Pics


Thanks to Rickey for the photos and videos.
Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com


More After the Jump...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance - Sweet and Sour Sixteen

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 16 Performance - Ep. 510
Judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Guest Judge: Toni Basil

Oh, before I begin, I forgot to mention the clip of Ryan Kasprzak's audition for Season 6 and his automatic ticket to Las Vegas which they showed in last week's results show. Yes. Sure. Okay. But they better not be teasing us like this only to have him cut again (a la Natalie). Cause he'd better be on Season 6 whether it be as a contestant or a choreographer. Just saying.

You know I've always complained about the crappy camerawork on this show too. The one major downfall in what is one of the best reality shows ever (Project Runway, The Amazing Race, Top Chef probably hover up there as well). Kirk (in the comments at JoeRes post on our panel chats) brought up this article that compares the poor camerawork in SYTYCD and the better camerawork in SYTYCD Canada. It brings up some nice points with some example clips to point out the obvious differences. (It also reminds me of how awesome the Season 1 Canada dancers were). Maybe it is because the cameramen here are trained with hockey and ice skating competitions?

Anyways, lets get to the Top 16 performances that had a mixture of some sweet dances, and some really sour ones. Oh, and Toni Basil guesting. I thought basil is supposed to add a nuanced flavour?


Karla Garcia &
Jonathan Platero
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographed by: Dave Scott
Song: "By My Side" - Jadakiss feat. Ne-Yo
Grade: D

Well, Season 5 cannot Hip-Hop. Let's just face it. These are a bunch of clean cut goody-two-shoes kids this year and they don't have enough grit and dirt in them to do Hip-Hop justice. It's too bad because you all know I love this team, even though everyone else is only slightly convinced, mostly due to last week's amazing performance. Still, it seemed like 2 kids from Mayberry trying their hardest to Hip-Hop and looking like... well, two kids from Mayberry trying to Hip-Hop.

It was not good but just based on what we've seen from them last week, I hope they get to stay another week.

Here's the video of Karla and Jonathan's Hip-Hop:



Asuka Kondoh &
Vitolio Jeune
Style: Jazz
Choreographed by: Mandy Moore
Song: "Heartbreaker" - Pat Benatar
Grade: B-

Vitolio is a good dancer but I think he seems more serviceable here, because I'm still constantly drawn to Asuka who seems to have that extra little pop needed. It's not that Vitolio is bad, or that Asuka is necessarily a better dancer (though I did find she had slightly better lines here in a couple of moments) but Asuka definitely has that star quality.

And to be honest, I think I like Vitolio more as a person than Asuka but Vitolio fades behind Asuka on stage. I actually thought Vitolio could have hit it a bit harder though was pretty good in most of the performance. It wasn't my favorite Mandy Moore routine either. Still, they did a pretty good job together and as the gentlemen, Vitolio steps back to let the girl shine.

Here's the video of Asuka and Vitolio's Jazz:



Melissa Sandvig &
Ade Obayomi
Style: Rumba
Choreographed by: Tony Meredith
Song: "Emotion" - Destiny's Child
Grade: B+

Okay, a fumble when they meet up with their hands, and Ade seemed to do a few catch up steps at times, but on the other hand, Ade has a few more steps to work. Melissa luckily gets to stretch and twist and saunter around in that slinky dress and continues to impress with her dance moves.

Probably the strongest couple here, and Melissa is probably the strongest female dancer in the competition, and she continues to manage great technique and ooze sultry sexiness. Ade looked momentarily like he was going to freak out, which was cute, but generally, he does a superb job partnering with Melissa.

Here's the video of Melissa and Ade's Rumba:



Janette Manrara &
Brandon Bryant
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographed by: Dave Scott
Song: "What A World" - Common
Grade: B+

Um, why was Janette dressed for The Rocky Horror Show? I thought they did a great job but I realized at the end that I couldn't remember the choreography already. Not the best piece as a whole.

But who would have thought Janette of all people would hit hard on the Hip-Hop? She was terrific. I thought Brandon was pretty great too though I found his angles less sharp then Janette's. He hit it hard, but it seemed a tiny bit sloppier than his partner.

Here's the video of Janette and Brandon's Hip-Hop:



Kayla Radomski &
Kupono Aweau
Style: Viennese Waltz
Choreographed by: Jean-Marc and France Généreux
Song: "Sweet Dreams for You" - Jewel
Grade: A-

We finally have a new partnership and lo and behold, it might be the best of the night. It wasn't perfect, but Kayla and Kupono still managed to convincingly float away on the dance floor. Between the song and choreography, I thought they managed to make the Viennese Waltz, which let's face it, can often be boring, look entertaining and beautiful.

As Mary pointed out, Kupono had some technical faults but luckily he still managed to fudge a lot of it to still make it look good.

Here's the video of Kayla and Kupono's Viennese Waltz:



Randi Evans &
Evan Kasprzak
Style: Contemporary
Choreographed by: Mia Michaels
Song: "Koop Island Blues" - Koop feat. Ane Brun
Grade: A

Okay, this week, Randi looks like Adrianne Palicki (Tyra on Friday Night Lights and who will be returning to Supernatural). And we all look at her butt.

LOVE these two. Loved the music. And Mia's choreography was weird and wonderful. Evan is such a great comical dancer but the point is, he's such a good dancer to begin with that his comical clownish sensibility is only a bonus. I'm realizing Randi is such a strong dancer too and ranks up there with Melissa. I was wrong. Melissa AND Randi are probably the strongest female dancers this year.

Here's the video of Randi and Evan's Contemporary:



Caitlin Kinney &
Jason Glover
Style: Paso Doble
Choreographed by: Jean-Marc and France Généreux
Song: "O'Fortuna" - from Carmina Burana) - Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg & Kurt Prestel
Grade: C+

Jason's pretty hot isn't he? I keep forgetting that.

Too bad I thought there were some sloppy moments here. There were some good and impressive moments but points in their connections seemed shaky. Luckily the music seemed to cover up a lot of it but the judges noticed and I thought it got progressively worse. Not terrible but there have been better.

Here's the video of Caitlin and Jason's Paso Doble:




Jeanine Mason &
Phillip Chbeeb
Style: Broadway
Choreographed by: Tyce DiOrio
Song: "Moses" - Singing in the Rain Original Soundtrack
Grade: B

Nigel was way harsh on Philip for not floating around the stage but I thought he did a great job actually. I loved what he did, and that's not even counting the couch jump. Okay, his footwork when he was trying to spin Jeanine was a bit sloppy but I thought he was great. Nigel wanted him to bring out more personality but I thought he was uber charming and totally brought it. (So, like, you get that I thought Philip was great right?! ha!)

Jeanine was great too, and it was one of Tyce's better routines but I still don't think it was as good as it could have been. Where's Ryan when you need him?

Here's the video of Jeanine and Philip's Broadway:



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Final Roundup:

Best Couple of the Night: Randi and Evan's Contemporary
Second Best Couple of the Night: Janette and Brandon's Hip Hop
Third Best Couple of the Night: Melissa and Ade's Rumba

Best Male of the Night: Evan Kasprzak
Best Female of the Night: Randi Evans

Yet again, another contemporary routine is at the top of my list. And hip-hop lands in the bottom half again. Considering there are so many contemporary or similar types of dancers this year, it probably explains a lot.

Also, I think in general, the girls were stronger than the boys tonight. I say Melissa and Randi are the strongest but Janette, Kayla, Jeanine did some great dancing tonight too, and Asuka still shined.

Overall, I thought there was still some good dancing but most of the choreography this week was bland and forgettable. I know, usually I play devil's advocate and mention that in a typical week, only 1 or 2 real standouts exist, but usually the rest are still average. This week, I thought some of the choreography was even less than that. Also, it didn't help that Jonathan and Karla's Hip-Hop that started off the night wasn't good, or that Jason and Caitlin faulted near the end of the night.

Worst of the Night: Jonathan and Karla's Hip-Hop

Predictions:
Bottom Three: Jonathan and Karla, Jason and Caitlin, Asuka and Vitolio
Going home: Karla and Vitolio? Or is Jonathan a goner? NOOOOOO Say it ain't so!


I'll be back again tomorrow with the results as well as our new regular panel for this season, the awesome group of
LowResJoe, ABChau, TwoP Lauren S and myself as we discuss tonight's proceedings.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
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For So You Think You Can Dance Season 2:
Favorite Video Clips
Song List Live Tour 2006 - Toronto
Live Tour 2006 - Buffalo, Pics, More Pics


Thanks to Rickey for the photos and videos.
Vance at http://tapeworthy.blogspot.com


More After the Jump...
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