I’ve made no secret of my love for So You Think You Can Dance, but we had a brief falling out in Season 7, and then I got sort of bored by Season 8, so I wasn’t quite sure how to approach Season 9. However, since the first competitive episode got off to such a great start this week, I thought I would start blogging weekly when I sit down to edit my DVD selections.*
The show opened with a fabulous group number to “Architect of the Mind” by Kerry Muzzey. I was not surprised to learn the choreographer was Christopher Scott, that dance had LXD written all over it. (Side note: Christopher Scott is cute as a button.)
Witney & Chehon in “Jump” (Samba, Louis Van Amstel): Hmmm, starting off with ballroom. This is already promising, given the predominance of contemporary numbers last year. Witney is just a bit too much for me though. And she’s one of those dancers that sings the words—no, no, no—honey, put the “h” back in your name and calm down. As for Chehon, I like him, but he did not stand out here.
Tiffany & George in “Turning Page” (Contemporary, Sonya Tayeh): They both seemed light as air in this number, with killer technique to boot. This may be the couple to watch in the next few weeks. Tiffany and Audrey had already stood out for me in their Sonya exhibition number from last week (see photo above), so I wasn’t surprised to see her do so well here.
Janaya & Brandon in “Take Care” (Hip Hop, Nappy Tabs): Good song choice. Brandon was smoking hot. Where did he come from? I totally don’t remember him. Janaya was completely blah to me. She just didn’t fit hip hop at all. Not that Nappy Tabs actually do hip hop anyway.
Alexa & Daniel in “Hey Hey” (Jazz, Sean Cheesman): I don’t know what to say about this one. It was okay, but they didn’t seem really together. I admit I was totally distracted by the horrific costumes. I don’t really care about her, but I want local favorite Daniel Baker, who I’ve seen as a dancing doll in Nutcracker and in the corps for Onegin and Romeo & Juliet, to make it a little while longer.
Amber & Nick in “Nights in White Satin” (Viennese Waltz, Jason Gilkison): What the hell? I will never understand this show’s interpretation of Viennese waltz. Also, The Moody Blues sung by Tina Arena? Save me now. So far ballroom is not really representing.
Amelia & Will in “The Lovecats” (Hip Hop, Nappy Tabs): I need to state upfront that I cannot be rational about this number due to fond memories of dancing to The Cure at La Locomotive in Pigalle during my semester abroad. (Shout out to “la tante qui sait tout” who never made a fuss about me staying out until the first métro.) Again, I’m pretty sure that this was not hip hop, but it was cute and reminded me of the Pauline & Peter/Wade Robson number to “Little Green Bag” from Season 6.
Janelle & Dareian in “Jungle” (African Jazz, Sean Cheesman): This was very fun. I’ve loved Janelle since her early audition, but Dareian stood out for me here. Given that neither was in their style, I thought they did well and had good chemistry.
Eliana & Cyrus in “Run and Tell That!” (Broadway, Tyce Diorio): These two were adorable, but I absolutely hated this number. Still, that ballet dancer can move; Cyrus is lucky to have gotten her for a partner as he is probably the weakest dancer outside his style.
Audrey & Matthew in “Unchained Melody” (Contemporary, Travis Wall): Hey girl, the Titanic theme was a little lame, but this dance was not. The leap could have been sharper, but the rest was stellar. As usual Travis Wall doesn’t disappoint. Holy shit, he’s 24? For realz? How is that possible? Oh, yeah, the dance was beautiful. Whatever. I think I just had a heart attack. Travis Wall is only 24 y’all.
Lindsay & Cole in “Unstoppable” (Paso Doble, Jason Gilkison): What the what? A great paso in the first epsiode? Wait, did I say great? I meant to say fucking awesome. Every move of that was sheer perfection. Everyone delivered here: Gilkison, Lindsay, and Cole. It was perhaps to be expected from Lindsay, who was dancing in her style, but Cole was a revelation. Cole, you “martial arts fusion” karate kid, I had my doubts about you, but you kicked that dance in the ass and dragged it home. Wax on, wax off, motherfucker.
What a great way to end the show and start the season. I have to say, I’m bummed they are booting four people after this. If I had a say, it would be Amber, Nick, Janaya and Cyrus.
Probable DVD Candidates:
Top Twenty in “Architect of the Mind”
Tiffany & George in “Turning Page”
Amelia & Will in “The Lovecats”
Audrey & Matthew in “Unchained Melody”
Lindsay & Cole in “Unstoppable”
Also, Kenny Ortega should never be guest judge again. Ever. Bring back Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Please.
*I have a DVR that makes it really easy to edit out whatever you want, so I make a DVD of just my favorite dances every year. No intro videos, no judges.