And cue music...

Posted: Thursday, July 01, 2010 by Travis Cody in
5

Welcome to



We're down to our Top 9 this week, 3 gals and 6 guys.

Cat Deeley update...the hair is long and wavy, the make up is just right, the shimmery silver dress is Roman-style off one shoulder, and the LEGSSES are to die for.  Yup...life is good.

Judges once again are Adam Shankman, Mia Michaels, and Nigel Lythgoe.

Did you spot the weakness in this season's format, with the All Stars?  Each week there are fewer competitors, so some of the All Stars don't get a chance to dance.  Plus, the imbalance between guys and gals means that more of the female All Stars are featured.  I wonder if at some point they'll dispense with only mixed pairs and just have dancing?


HA!  Alex is dancing with Twitch!  So that answers that question eh?  And if there's one of this season's competitors who probably won't get swallowed up by Twitch's awesomeness, it's gotta be Alex.


This week we find out who inspires our competitors.  And they all get a solo.  Ready?  Begin!


AdeChike Torber, a 23 year old contemporary dancer, says he is inspired by Desmond Richardson, co-founder and artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet.  AdeChike is paired this week with All Star Lauren for hip hop choreographed by Dave Scott.  And AdeChike lets loose with some personality this week.  The dance was full of character and cheeky fun.  I like the story Dave put together and I love that AdeChike was so comfortable with what he was given that he didn't worry about the steps and just danced it.  That I appreciate, along with the performance.  Still, I thought the dancing was a bit loose and sloppy.  Or maybe it was supposed to look like that.  So if that's the case, then YAY for AdeChike for nailing the routine.

Ashley Galvan, an 18 year old contemporary dancer, says she is inspired by her dance teacher.  Ashley is paired with All Star Ade for contemporary choreographed by Dee Caspary.  Her movement is fascinating.  Her lines are so fluid.  You know what she did?  She swam and she flew.  That's what her movement was like.  The first two weeks, the judges have called her out for seemingly not connecting with the audience emotionally.  That's their opinion and I disagreed with them last week.  And this week, there was nothing to pick apart about the performance.  This was an impressive routine.  Ade did a lot of the heavy lifting, but Ashley stood out as the star of the piece with the way she seemed to effortlessly float through the movement.  That was an impressive debut by Mr Caspary.  Well done to all and welcome Dee.


Billy dances solo and reminds me why he edges out everyone else as my favorite dancer so far.

Robert Roldan, a 19 year old contemporary dancer, says he is inspired by his mom.  Robert is paired with All Star Courtney for jazz choreographed by Sonya Tayeh.  When I watch him dance, I get the impression that you can't hear his feet hit the floor.  He appears so light when he lands on the floor after some of these amazing jumps.  Unfortunately, this is not my favorite work from Sonya or Robert.  His performance felt a little flat to me.  I still think he's a complete dancer, but this routine missed for me.  I didn't like the costumes or the music, or most of the movement.  Sonya's work is hit or miss with me, and unfortunately that sometimes transfers to the dancers in one of her routines.  I think Mia said it for me about this performance...she suggested that Robert take ballet because it would give his movement grounding and weight.  I think that's it.  These are the things that professionals see in a performance, and the things I continue to learn about why something moves me or why it doesn't.

Jose dances solo and rocks the tricks.  I think there have been better B-Boys on the show.  Legacy from last season and All Star Dominic come immediately to mind.  But Jose matches them for personality.


Melinda Sullivan, a 22 year old tap dancer, says she is inspired by tap legend Harold Cromer.  Melinda is paired with All Star Pasha for Salsa choreographed by Fabian Sanchez.  It's too bad she got her heel caught in the hem of her dress.  She actually broke the routine to get it out.  That was pretty slick because she couldn't have kept going with it stuck the way it was.  But I think that was the best moment in the routine.  She didn't have any chemistry with Pasha and she didn't look sexy at all.  I hate to say it, but I thought she was clumsy and not terribly feminine.  The choreography was difficult, but that wasn't really what was wrong with the performance.  In this style, I think that her heavy tap feet did her in.  Mia said it...they may have made a mistake keeping her over Cristina last week.  That's harsh to say, but I have to agree with them.  I've liked Melinda's performance in some of the lyrical things she's been asked to do.  But in this routine, she was exposed as lacking the versatility of the rest of the field.


Kent dances solo.  This is a tremendously talented young man.  He expresses such joy and such a positive spirit in his movement.

Alex dances solo.  Just wow.


Lauren Froderman, an 18 year old contemporary dancer, says she is inspired by her student council advisor.  Lauren is paired with All Star Neil for Broadway choreographed by Joey Dowling.  I have not been a fan of Joey's work on the show.  The key to this routine was in the details.  And I think Lauren is back on her game after a rough first week.  She bounced back strong with hip hop last week.  This week she hits us right between the eyes with the same aplomb as she showed in her final audition solo.  For me it's in the way she performs the details between the steps.  It's in the winks, the shoulder shrugs, the sly grins...and the wardrobe malfunction that almost happened!  She actually made use of it.  The thing I liked about this routine is that I barely noticed Neil.  That's not a dig at Neil but rather a testament to Lauren who rightly captured my focus and didn't let it go.  Well done young Lady.


Ashley dances solo.  Hmmm...not sure I liked that.  But I still like her.

Billy Bell, a 20 year old contemporary dancer, says he is inspired by Legacy Perez, a B-boy from Season 6 who turned a lot of viewer's heads with his versatility and engaging personality.  Billy is paired with All Star Kathryn for contemporary choreographed by Stacey Tookey.  His base is so strong.  He creates these solid foundations from which the rest of the movement flows.  I think I see what the judges are saying though, about Billy learning how to round out his performance by connecting with a partner and then with the audience.  I think he had moments when he did that, but I think there were also moments when he was so focused on creating those amazing shapes and lines that he didn't let the audience enjoy what he was doing.  I remember that used to happen with Danny Tidwell from Season 3.  Danny had a hard time connecting with voters because his dancing was technically brilliant but lacking in personality.  He appeared aloof and had to be saved several times by the judges.  Ultimately he made it to the final two.  I don't think Billy is aloof like that, but I do think he has a challenge ahead of him to take the notes he's getting and figure out how not only to create moments on stage, but to share those moments with viewers.


Robert dances solo.  His musicality in that solo was so amazing.  I think he's a terrific soloist.


Jose Ruiz, a 21 year old break dancer, says he is inspired by the late martial artist Bruce Lee.  Jose is paired with All Star Anya for Samba choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin.  There was a little look that Anya gave the audience near the beginning of the routine.  Those are the little details that invite the audience into the performance.  And then she did it again.  Even though Jose missed several opportunities to make connections like that with viewers, I did like him in this dance.  I thought he took control of the dance and projected a strong lead with Anya, measuring up to her absolute HAWTNESS.  Anya = HAWT.  But what I would say to the young man is make sure that when you watch that back, you learn from the extra performance details from Anya.  Jose has a star quality and his personality invites us to enjoy what he's doing.  And when he combines dancing well with the intangibles he has...personality and star quality...you get a great performance that can supersede lack of training.  And if he learns how to fill up the spaces...the sky could be the limit.


Melinda dances solo.  I don't understand the music she chooses for tap.  Her tap style and decisions just don't appeal to me.


Kent Boyd, an 18 year old contemporary dancer, says he is inspired by his older brother Jerry, who is studying to be a youth pastor.  Kent is paired with All Star Allison for jazz choreographed by Mandy Moore.  The kid can dance.  I enjoyed the performance.  The judges warned Kent this week to lose the hungry jazz face.  I think what Kent has to learn is how to interpret what he's given.  I thought the judges gave him great feedback.  There's very little to pick on in his dancing.  Where I think he goes wrong is not quite understanding how to reign in the personality and put on the character required in the story and choreography he's given, and then make that honest.  And I think that is just a lack of experience and worldliness.  I enjoy watching him, but I think the judges could be right when they warn that the wide-eyed goofy kid persona, no matter how genuine, is going to get old at some point and begin to seem dishonest to some viewers.  But I don't know what you do about who you are...it's tough to change personality.  You have to focus on changing the behavior.


AdeChicke dances solo.  This 30 seconds reminded me of how amazingly talented this young man is.

Lauren dances solo.  I love the way she moves.


Alex Wong, a 23 year old ballet dancer, says he is inspired by Edward Villella, founding artistic director and CEO of Miami City Ballet.  Alex is paired with All Star Twitch for hip hop choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon D'Umo.  What??  What???  Oh he did not just do that!  That man kept up with Twitch!!  What???  Oh wow!  Ballet meets hip hop.  Alex hit.  Alex rebounded.  Alex popped.  Alex locked.  Alex rocked it.  He matched the quality Twitch has where he slows down and emphasizes the movement, like he's moving through water, then slams forward into the next movement like he's breaking through a barrier.  How does a ballet dancer do that after a few days of rehearsal??  Nap and Tab made one of my favorite routines ever with Bleeding Love.  This routine was every bit as good.  I can't even describe what I saw.  I'm out of adjectives.  Go find the video.  We recorded it, so I'm going to watch it again.

I traded votes between Billy and Alex.  Pam had a hard time choosing.  She's letting each performance influence her rather than locking in on a favorite.  Hang on...OK.  She says she's rotating votes between Alex, Lauren, and Ashley this week.


Tune in for results tonight.  And you can bet I'll have some encore video clips for you tomorrow!


Later gang!

5 comments:

  1. Alex absolutely stole the show last night. Watching his routine, no one would ever guess that he was a ballet dancer. He literally put himself in the class by himself last night, and based solely on performance, everyone else is dancing for second place.
    As unfortunate as it may be, I think we will be down to two girls after tonight. Then the guys will start being eliminated.

  1. Marsha says:

    Alex has been my favorite from the beginning, but geez-louise, last night just sealed the deal. Hands down one of my favorite routines 'EVER'.....along with Bleeding Love.....the dude hung with TWITCH!!....what the heck????!!!

  1. Akelamalu says:

    You're quite taken with Cat aren't you? LOL

  1. Thanks for sharing Alex's routine with me earlier..I am going to hit up TiVo tonight to watch it and all the dances again

  1. Driller: I think the right thing to do would be to eliminate Melinda tonight, but I also think that Lauren and Ashley can compete with the guys.

    Marsha: I've been rooting for Alex, even though my favorite is Billy.

    Akelamalu: I am! I find her extremely attractive physically. But she also cares so much about the dancers and that makes her even more attractive to me.

    V: You are welcome Sir.