And cue music...

Posted: Thursday, August 05, 2010 by Travis Cody in
5

Welcome to



We made it to the Top 4!  OK...we didn't.  Kent Boyd, Robert Roldan, AdeChike Torbert, and Lauren Froderman made it to the Top 4.

One of them will be chosen as America's Favorite Dancer next week.

Cat is looking quite lovely with the hair loosely swept up in the back.  The short black dress is sparkly with green and red rainbow stripes in a pattern around her neck.  And of course...LEGSSES!

Judges tonight are Adam Shankman, Mia Michaels, and Nigel Lythgoe.  They are joined by choreographer Tyce Diorio.

Our dancers have three routines each, a group to start the show and two dances with two different All Stars.


First up is a group Broadway routine choreographed by Tyce Diorio.  It's the crap shoot dance from Guys and Dolls.  I love that these four dancers have a vehicle that meshes each of their strengths.  I really enjoyed the work in that piece.

Lauren is paired with All Star Pasha for Argentine Tango choreographed by Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo.  I love that the music stayed slow and measured, which really emphasized the drama and intensity of the choreography.  I liked that Lauren's costume was a shorter dress, to help emphasize how much control she maintained in her legs.  Pasha is a brilliant partner and he helped use the choreography to create an atmosphere for Lauren to absolutely shine.  There was nothing rushed or forced about the movement.  It was passionate and sultry.  The term the judges used was voyeuristic...in a good way.  It became more than dancing.  There were moments that were so sinuous.  I absolutely loved it.  I think the ballroom and Latin dances have benefited the most by having Pasha and Anya to work with the competitors. 

AdeChike is paired with All Star Lauren for Afro Jazz choreographed by Sean Cheeseman.  There was a bit of Cuban rhythm thrown into that, which really worked for me.  AdeChike had a few moments where I could see him dance with some abandon and joy, but he never allowed himself to completely let go.  That's been a problem for me with his style throughout the course of the season.  But this week I did see maturity in his movement.  The choreography was intricate.  But I thought there were still moments when he was a bit too tense and straight in his posture.  I think he still has room for a lot more growth in his performance.  He's very talented and I enjoyed watching this dance.  The judges were critical of his execution, and I get where they're coming from.  It's because he still holds on tight to his lines.  For the most part he still seems afraid to completely let go, lose himself, and just dance.  Those are the moments that captivate an audience, and AdeChike's moments like that have been few.

Robert is paired with All Star Anya for Viennese Waltz choreographed by Jonathan Roberts.  Jonathan!  Yes...the Jonathan from DWTS!  Beautiful lines.  Outstanding partner work.  The dancing was extraordinary, helped by excellent choreography from Jonathan.  The movement he designed was so lovely and smooth.  But I found myself wanting to watch Jonathan and Anna dance it.  No disrespect meant to Robert and Anya, but the missing element was the connection between the two.  I just didn't feel the romance in the routine.  It was a pretty dance and I thought Robert was wonderful in the piece.  But I wanted to be lost in the fairy tale, and I just wasn't.  Hard to distinguish here...I liked that dance.  I really did.  But I wanted it to be more than it was.  I don't want to see it as a dance in competition.  I only want to enjoy the moment in front of me and forget what's at stake.  So for me, it was a very lovely dance but I wasn't transported into a romantic fairy tale.


Kent is paired with All Star Courtney for Disco choreographed by Doriana Sanchez.  I didn't feel the energy throughout the piece that I've come to expect from Kent.  Maybe some of that was due to the changing tempo of the music.  But then as I watched, I realized what I was seeing.  Kent controlled the entire piece.  He refrained from dancing with that wild out of control effort I've seen in the past.  He seemed to hold the energy in and dole it out only when it was called for.  He demonstrated a strong base for those dangerous lifts.  And the other thing he managed to do was make the movements smooth between the dancing and the lifts.  This could have been a disaster for Kent, but I don't think it was.  He didn't dance in the classic disco style, and that's not necessarily wrong or bad.  The judges suggested that his performance was more youthful than sophisticated.  I see where that opinion comes from because there were moments in the dance that were more like cheerleading rather than dancing.  Again, it's not wrong or bad...it's just a matter of opinion based on preference.  I enjoyed the performance more than some of the super fast disco routines I've seen in the past.


OK, let's have our second dance with a different All Star.


Lauren is paired with All Star Ade for Jazz choreographed by Sean Cheeseman.  I have praised Lauren all season for her attention to detail.  There are moments of pause...when it looks like the dancing moves through some kind of resistance, like water or cream.  Lauren really emphasized those particular movements in this dance.  I don't know that she portrayed the stalking predator, but I did think she managed enough of the animal quality in the movement that I could understand the mind of the character.  And I think that's playing to her main strength as a dancer, which is her power and athleticism.  In this piece, I could see her growth as she has gone from relying on her athleticism to consciously using it to interpret the choreography and story.  She dances with that strength, and with a certainty beyond her years.  Although I think she fell a little bit short as a predator, I don't think it was by all that much.  

AdeChike is paired with All Star Kathryn for contemporary choreographed by Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson.  This dance was made for AdeChike's strengths and it was an amalgamation of movement and style.  I enjoyed it because it was just dancing.  I think that in the early part of the routine, AdeChike was lost in the honor and joy of dancing a piece choreographed by personal heroes of his.  But then it seemed as though he lost his stamina as the dance went on.  Desmond and Dwight made a professional level dance that did emphasize what AdeChike can do.  There were glimpses of the path he can walk to greatness.  But the dance also exposed where he can learn and grow.  And that's not such a bad thing.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with learning more about your talent, beginning to understand it, and figuring out how to grow with it.  I think this is a young man who will take everything he has been told on this program and turn it into something amazing for himself.  And maybe we'll get to see some of it some day too.

Robert is paired with All Star Dominic for hip hop choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon D'Umo.  This piece is story driven...warped and dark clowns.  Yikes!  If you weren't afraid of clowns before, you might be after watching that.  I was really impressed with Robert in the piece.  He continues to display his versatility and his talent.  Although Billy was my favorite dancer and I was disappointed he was eliminated last week, I have to say that I think Robert deserves to be in this Top 4.  It isn't easy to match personality with Dominic on a stage, but Robert did it.  The choreography was amazing, and Robert really stepped up to it.  I love this kind of lyrical mix of hip hop and musical theatre.  Tab and Nap do it so well.  And in terms of technique, Robert hit and rebounded and owned the steps he was given.  He was right with Dom throughout.  Well done Sir!

Kent is paired with All Star Neil for contemporary choreographed by Travis Wall.  Let's hear the conspiracy theories now!  This is clearly a huge advantage for Kent...closing the show in his own style with one of the bright young talents in contemporary choreography making the dance for him, as well as such a fine dancer as Neil.  The story is a falling out of two life long friends.  Wow.  It was painful and powerful.  That was a performance I would expect to see on Broadway, and it would stop the show.  It's so difficult to describe how good that was.  I can't do it.  There aren't enough adjectives left in my vocabulary.  I'll just tell you that I'm grateful for two dancers talented enough to realize the vision of an incredible young choreographer.  But don't take my word for it.  Watch and judge for yourselves.





If the copyright police have gotten to this clip, try clicking here.

There was really no question in my mind or Pam's.  We both voted for Kent.  As strong a night as Robert had.  As wonderful as Lauren was.  As much potential as AdeChike has.  That final performance from Kent trumped all for us.

Check back tomorrow for encores and results.

Later gang!    

5 comments:

  1. The show does seem to mask it's pimping of the contestants better than American Idol until now. The judges and producers obviously want Kent and Lauren in the finals, and they want AdeChike' gone. I wouldn't argue those choices, it's just a little more obvious this season.
    I found myself watching Katherine more than AdeChike'. I wasn't sure how Kent and Neil were going to out shine their baseball routine, but they came very close.
    As Mia said, Lauren is just a beast...in the best possible way. I have always thought that Robert was better than AdeChike'. The only question is, does he have the fan base to make it? We'll see tonight.

  1. If Robert does not make the finale over AdeChike' I will be very disappointed. I thought he did own the night...even with that last dance from Kent.

    I did not suspect conspiracies there as they have to select their dances...now, putting him last might have been a decision the producers made.

    Lauren was superb last evening also.

    Lauren, Kent and Robert...some finale indeed.

    OH and I loved Kat's hair last night...very sexy...and of course...the LEGS!!!!

  1. Akelamalu says:

    WOW that clip was incredible!

  1. Jamie says:

    The dance with kent and Neil was so beautifully done. Still not seeing the emotionalism in Lauren as yet, but her dancing is so powerful that it almost makes up for it.

    It should be phenominal final.

  1. Driller: I think I agree with all your points. The fans have been coming through recently for AdeChike. I would not be surprised if he edged out Robert for that third spot. I can't see Lauren or Kent missing out, even though Lauren did have a trip to the bottom 3. I think that might just have been a blip.

    V: I was tweaking some folks' noses on the conspiracy thing. It's a favorite when someone gets set up so perfectly like Kent did with that last piece. Of course, it completely dismisses the fact that he got disco earlier in the evening! Cat was quite stunning, wasn't she?

    Akelamalu: Wasn't it just??

    Jamie: Good point about Lauren. I'm not comparing the two, but there are times when she almost has a Debbie Reynolds quality to her dancing. That sometimes who Lauren puts me in mind of.