SYTYCD and Thursday 13

Posted: Thursday, August 02, 2007 by Travis Cody in

Welcome to another double-step-over-lip-lock mega post featuring a Dance review and an author list. You can scroll down if you're just here for the Thursday 13 authors.

Really, I don't mind if you skip the dancing review.

This is the opening routine from last week's results show, choreography by Mia Michaels. I thought you might enjoy it.

In two weeks we’ll know which of these eight finalists - Danny, Lacey, Sabra, Pasha, Lauren, Neil, Dominic, Sara – is America’s favorite dancer.

Judges tonight are Mary Murphy, Nigel Lithgow, and Adam Shankman who choreographed the movie Hairspray.

Once again, the dancers pick a partner and dance style out of a hat. There will be two dances from each pair tonight. Each dancer again gets their own phone number.

Pam and I want to see Lacey and Pasha dance ballroom together just once!!!!

Here we go with the first dance.

Sara (break dancer) and Danny (classical ballet) dance Argentine Tango choreographed by Alex deSilva. Oh my heavens the boots! Danny got quite a bit of showcase in that dance. We thought he partnered very well. They captured the character and tempo of the dance, but I’m not sure it was all Tango. At this stage, it may not be about how well they danced. It could come down to style and chemistry. We thought they had chemistry, but may not connect with that particular style of dance, no matter how well they did it.

Lauren (contemporary jazz) and Dominic (break dancer) dance Krump choreographed by Lil C. We don’t really like this style, but the only other time it was done this season it was reasonably accessible. Great tricks at the end, but we didn’t really care for the dance. So I’ll tell you what the judges thought - Adam didn’t think it showed off what they can do, but for what they did he gave it two thumbs up; Mary said it started well but died down toward the end; Nigel said the music was tuneless and un-lyrical and that it hurt the dance. They were both in danger last week, and could be after this as well.

Lacey (swing and Latin) and Neil (contemporary) dance Latin Jazz choreographed by Maria Torrez. We did like the dance and the choreography. They were a little shaky on the big lift – it was designed for a one hand over head, but they held both hands on it for safety. I didn’t think they connected very well with each other. Neil has so much talent, as does Lacey. But it wasn’t sexy like it should have been. Lacey was sexy, and Pam says Neil was sexy, but we didn’t think they were sexy together. We didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t great.

Sabra (contemporary) and Pasha (ballroom) dance Broadway choreographed by Tyce Diorio. We think that was the most fun and that they had the most chemistry of all the pairs. Pasha has been fortunate this season because he excels as a partner and he’s been able to get styles that have showed off those skills. Sabra is just amazing. We really like her a lot. This dance had energy and performance and chemistry between the two of them, and they used the choreography to its maximum to pull the audience into the characters. For us, that was the best dance of the night so far.

Pam thought you might be interested in seeing the dance for which Mia Michaels is nominated for an Emmy. This is The Park Bench from last season, danced by Heidi Groskreutz and Travis Wall.

And now for the second dance.

Sara (break dancer) and Danny (classical ballet) dance Hip Hop choreographed by Shane Sparks. Shane was put off by Danny during the auditions, but says that after working with him he believes that he can be one of the all time greats. Others have said the same this season about Danny. We did not like that choreography. We think that these two dancers are among the best, but we also think that they were hi-jacked by choreography and chemistry – neither dance worked for us.

Lauren (contemporary jazz) and Dominic (break dancer) dance Rumba choreographed by Tony Meredith. Dominic’s Rumba with Sabra during the top 16 was one of our favorite dances of the season. I love Bill Withers, but Ain’t No Sunshine is not the song for a Rumba. We were disappointed in the overall dance. The technique didn’t measure up. We have enjoyed both Lauren and Dominic at various times this season, but not tonight.

Lacey (swing and Latin) and Neil (contemporary) dance contemporary choreographed by Mia Michaels. There was an emotional story behind that dance and the choreography. The performance was truly beautiful. I know the performance connected in my house.

Sabra (contemporary) and Pasha (ballroom) dance Quick Step choreographed by Tony Meredith. Again, right in Pasha’s wheel house as a partner. Pasha did something pretty subtle there – a couple of times it looked like he was carrying her through the steps in close hold, especially in some of the runs. That’s a tribute to his skill in ballroom and as a partner. We think they were the pair of the night. The choreography in this piece was difficult. Even though in a couple of spots it looked liked Sabra might have been a step slow, she performed through it and did really well. But she could not have pulled that off without Pasha.

We think the choreography in general this week wasn’t as good as we’ve seen in past weeks. Nigel made the point that the choreographers may have been “dumbing down” to the abilities of the pairs with whom they worked. I’ll agree with that assessment. Nigel warned that the approach would not be acceptable for next week.

We enjoyed Tyce’s Broadway and Maria’s Latin Jazz choreography. We were moved, in two different ways, by Mia’s contemporary routine. And we loved Sabra and Pasha’s Quick Step. The only performances of the night we really enjoyed were from Sabra and Pasha in both dances.

So Pam and I are in a tough spot this week. Do we vote for one of our favorites who may be in trouble – perhaps Lacey or Danny? Or do we vote for one of our favorites who had a great night and is probably safe – perhaps Pasha or Sabra? Or do we start voting for who we think we want to win?

Do we know who we want to win yet? Who is our favorite dancer?

Based on this week’s dances, we rank the kids this way:

1. Sabra
2. Pasha
3. Lacey
4. Danny
5. Neil
6. Lauren
7. Sara
8. Dominic

It’s the end of the show, the lines are open, and I don’t know who we are voting for. I’ll have to let you know tomorrow I guess.

I borrowed this banner from Lara Croft at On the Lake Front.

So Jam over at Least Significant Bits suggested that I include a little rating system with my author lists. I think that's a pretty good idea. So the letters in parentheses next to the author names are: (NR) Not Recommended, (R) Recommended, (HR) Highly Recommended, (RR) Really Recommended. If there is no rating, that means I haven't read anything by the author recently and can't really remember.

I wouldn't say don't read those, but I can't recommend it if I don't recall it!

Oh - if you want to check out previous lists, click here. I might go back at some point to add ratings to previous lists.

1. Gregory Maguire (NR) - Wicked
2. George R.R. Martin (NR) - A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords
3. John Masters - Bhowani Junction
4. W. Somerset Maugham (HR) - The Complete Short Stories
5. Julian May (HR) - Many Colored Land, The Golden Torc, The Non-Born King, The Adversary, MetaConcert, Surveillance, Jack the Bodiless
6. Ann McCaffrey (R) - Moreta, The Wings of Pegasus, Freedom's Landing
7. John McCormick (RR) - The Right Kind of War
8. Sharyn McCrumb - Missing Susan
9. Denis L McKiernan (RR) - The Iron Tower Trilogy, The Silver Call Duology, The Eye of the Hunter
10. Mary McMinnies - The Visitors
11. Larry McMurtry (R) - Lonesome Dove
12. Grace Metalious (NR) - Peyton Place
13. James Michener (R) - Caribbean, Centennial, Hawaii

There you go. Remember, I'm rating the authors and sometimes the books listed based on what I enjoy.


  1. really recommended is higher than highly recommended? And that beats a full house?

  1. Bond says:

    Once again an incredible recap of the dancing...the dance by Mila was pretty incredible in my mind...
    You library continues to stun me into jealousy!

  1. lisa says:

    YAY, your first book today is Wicked. I just started it this morning. (and the broadway play is great!)
    Have a good one Travis.

  1. Sanni says:

    Who could resist "dancing and books with Trav"? Me? No way! Love the idea of rating the books ;)

  1. Glad to share! The rating system is cool but I would never be able to do that without side comments! I make things too complicated.

  1. Shelby says:

    finished my storeyette - thanks for all the inspiration!!! it was quite fun :)

  1. i want to read mitchner's caribbean, i still haven't read that...

    smiles, bee

  1. Shelby says:

    I started my "stranded" in Arkansas story which is all true. I couldn't write it all today tho, there'll be more in the next few days too.

  1. Morgen says:

    you didn't like "Wicked"

  1. lisa says:

    just noticed your rating system!
    and Wicked got an NR.
    hmmm, since I started it this morning, I'll have to see if we agree! :-)

  1. JAM says:

    Dude, I'm flattered, and thanks. I truly am always on the search for new authors to read. I was planning a trip to the library this evening, so I'll try to find some of your RR and HR books.

    I was double-freaked out to see number 3, John Masters - Bhowani Junction. Although I go by JAM on my blog, my name is John Masters. I didn't know there were any authors out there with the same name. I've only seen some guy out there named John Masters who does hair and skin products.

    This is a massive post. You really are an overachiever aren't you?

  1. I love Anne McCaffrey's "Pern" series. "Moreta" is a prequel; have you read any of the others?

  1. Skittles says:

    How you coming on that belly dancing?

  1. Oooh, me too on Lacey and Pasha. Whew doggies!! And why is George RR Marting NR? Just curious. I've read the first three books of that trilogy and realized there probably wasn't going to be anyone alive at the end.

  1. Travis says:

    Katherine: Yes...LOL! Actually, RR means I recommend it because it's a personal favorite.

    V: Thank you Sir. We had a number of different emotional reactions to Mia's choreography.

    Lisa: I found it a tough read, and that's why I don't recommend it. But many have enjoyed it.

    Sanni: I agree the ratings was a good idea. In fact, I really do need to go back to Good Reads and update my book lists. Perhaps this weekend.

    Lara: I really had to watch it and just use the ratings without making a commentary. I never would have finished the post and it was already too long!

    Shelby: I can't wait to get on over and see how it came out.

    Bee: I have to set aside a lot of time to get through Mitchener because of all the detail...but it's always worth doing.

    Mo: Nope, mainly because I prefer the fairy tale and the sweetness of the story. Although I recognize that the original Baum version has its darker aspects as well.

    Jam: It was definitely a great idea and I'm glad you suggested it. Well, I guess I do tend to ramble when I'm going on about things I really enjoy.

    Songbird: I haven't actually read a lot of McCaffrey.

    Skittles: Heehee! Coming along quite nicely!

    Joely: I couldn't get through the trilogy, mainly because of his approach - too much killing of characters and suddenly it feels like a dead end. I found as I was reading that I actually stopped caring about where the story was going, so I put it away and never finished it.

  1. Meribah says:

    I haven't read any of these, but they look interesting. I haven't been reading much fantasy lately, mostly mystery and crime stories with a few spy thrillers thrown in! Good job on your TT by the way.

  1. Julie says:

    Oh! Great picks on the videos....once again...Mia's dance tripped me out...having it aired on my dad's birthday..I should have had some chocolate cake and thought about him.


  1. tiggerprr says:

    First, regarding SYTYCD, I was totally weeping at the end of Lacey and Neil's Mia Michaels number. And I don't do that. I'm a toughie...but it was so emotional it overwhelmed me. My heart felt heavy seeing the little snippet of it again this evening. Simply beautiful. I really am thinking about going out to see the tour this year, the girls would like to go and I really would like to see Pasha. I <3 him. LOL

    Can you believe, I've not read a single one of those books. Though, my daughter has "Wicked" and unlike you, she loves it. But she's 17, so there's no accounting for tastes. LOL ;)

  1. Travis says:

    Meri: About the only thing I've been reading for several weeks has been Harry Potter. But before that I had started the Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher. I've read the first book and I'm looking forward to getting back to those.

    Julie: I think Mia's choreography touched a lot of people. **hugs**

    Tiggerprr: Pasha is one of our favorites too. He's not a great solo dancer, but he is tremendous as a partner. Lots more people enjoyed Wicked than didn't - I'm sure I'm in the minority.

  1. wolfbaby says:

    i like ann mccaffrey she is one of my faves;)

    i have read a few of those others as well.. you do have david weber in your library right? did we already talk about this? lol