The scene: So You Think You Can Dance Canada stage. Imagine me in a comfy armchair slightly to the left of guest judges Dan Karaty and Karen Kain. Time for some thoughtful thoughts on last night’s dances — you read it as I think it.
First up, Melanie and Cory’s hip hop with Luther Brown. I really enjoyed this number — it felt like a rougher hip hop number, like we used to see with Shane Sparks on the American show. Melanie can apparently do anything — she’s so good at taking on her character and really getting the flavour of the various dances she’s asked to do. Cody surprised me — although this is technically his style, I didn’t think he’d be able to sell this kind of grittier hip hop, but he did. They were really together, they had chemistry, and altogether, great job. I think this dance is a candidate for the finale.
Next, Amy and Vincent with a cha cha by Gustavo Vagas. It’s no secret I don’t like this couple, and I thought this performance was a little all over the place. Part of the problem was the choreography — the whole bread thing was dumb, like, if you only have enough money for one loaf of bread, why are you throwing it around? And the mood changed too often from sad to happy to sexy to playful to hey, we don’t need no stinkin’ bread! Also, let me say I really dislike it when the practice/training footage focuses heavily on one particular thing (in this case, Amy lifting Vincent) and then it turns out that that thing isn’t even in the number. Stupid Canadian editing!
I’m kind of in love with Karen Kain right now for giving Amy some real criticism about her imprecise arms and feet (come sit on the couch with me, dear). And Jean-Marc, I ain’t givin’ it up for nobody. Anyway, overall, as expected: Vincent excellent; Amy weak; overall chemistry iffy. Also, my evaluation of Amy and Vincent was in NO WAY affected by the fact that Little Miss Sunshine repeatedly shoved a Pretty Pony down my shirt while I was trying to watch them.
TJ and Everett doing house with ShoTyme. First of all, what the HELL with Everett’s pants? How am I supposed to watch dancing in the face of such horror? Focus, Lynn, focus. This dance was clearly all about the energy, and I thought TJ was really good. She was bubbly and energetic and kept it going the whole time. Everett was fair, but I felt like he was flagging a bit at the end, didn’t always keep right on the beat, and sometimes he made kind of stupid facial expressions. Overall I felt this was a fun, entertaining number but as usual with this couple, I just don’t feel the WOW factor. I need more from both.
Kim and Emanuel’s contemporary with Stacey Tookey. In general, I find Stacey’s choreography to be really boring. Every dance is the same. For example, this one is supposed to be about memories and nostalgia and love, and yet I felt…not much. They danced it really well — really excellent use of hands and feet by both of them, and the lifts were surprisingly lovely. Kim especially impressed me here with her versatility. But when I watch a contemporary number, I want to have an emotional reaction to it, and no. I think some couples could have found some fire in there, could have found a way of looking at each other to make us feel the spark, so although the choreography was only okay, I do blame the dancers for not finding the connection I wanted. Still, it was beautiful. I don’t know. I think I need to watch it again.
Jayme Rae and Daniel are doing disco this week with Melissa Williams. Ooo, Disco Inferno! Love this song. This routine was good, not great. The thing about disco is that it has to be fast, it has to be snappy, and it has to have super high energy, and I felt this one was a little flat in places. Daniel continues to impress me with his ability to lead — although much was made about Jayme Rae not letting him take the lead, I still felt like he was a strong partner and did a great job with the lifts. Jayme Rae needed to let herself go a bit more — less structure, more hair flinging, more gyrating in general. I still love them, but not their best number.
Natalie and some guy. Who is that? Oh, Danny. Oh my God, they have to do West Coast Swing? With Benji? TRAIN WRECK. Let’s have a look.
Okay, it could have been worse — I really love that Benji worked with Natalie’s style and tried to incorporate her own signature moves. But my overall reaction is…weird. That was definitely the strangest “west coast swing” I’ve ever seen. I guess I just spent too much time with my mouth gaping open to really get into it. They seemed awkward in places, and I wanted there to be more flow; also I wanted more viciousness from Natalie and more weakness from Danny. All in all they just seemed to be thinking about it too much. Well, I can say this: it was memorable. Now Natalie, go wash your face.
Austin getting the pimp spot again? Not fair! He and Corynne are doing hollywood jazz with John Byrne. And AGAIN, Austin is shirtless. Seriously people, his nipples are tattooed on my memory, I REALLY don’t need to see them again. The dancing was great — the lifts were fantastic, I loved that one where Corynne jumped into Austin’s arms sideways. Austin was really strong and his flips and twirls were great. I liked Corynne’s acting in this one – for the first time ever – but Austin was a little blank for me. I didn’t get any read on him as to whether or not he actually liked Corynne’s affections, or if she was nuisance he was trying to get away from, or what. So overall I’d say, great technique from both, but I’ll be looking for better characterization next time.
Calling the bottom three for tonight is going to be really tough. I can’t even decide myself who belongs there, other than Amy and Vincent (send Amy home, pretty please!). I loved Melanie and Cory, but being first up and having been in the bottom three last week means they are definitely not guaranteed to be safe. TJ and Everett were solid, but not sparkly, so this could be the first week they end up in the bottom. Kim and Emanuel were strong, but not emotional — but I predict they will be safe, as they are popular and did a good enough job. Jayme Rae and Daniel had their weakest week ever, but are also the strongest couple, so who knows. Natalie and Danny were unique and different, but also weird; people may vote for them because they love Natalie (Danny is SO LUCKY he got her as a partner). Austin and Corynne were actually better than most weeks and, I think, deserve to be safe, even though I hate them.
Okay, so I’m going to be bold and call bottom three: Amy and Vincent; Jayme Rae and Daniel; and Natalie and Danny. Hopefully Amy and Danny will go home. Oh the DRAMA — I can hardly take it!