SYTYCD Top 8

Here’s my ranking of the top 8 dancers after last night:

Guys:                                         Girls:

1. Will                                        1. Chelsie                                              

2. Joshua                                    2. Katee

3. Twitch                                    3. Courtney

4. Mark                                       4. Comfort

Unless there’s some grave injustice in the voting, Mark and Comfort will be leaving tonight.  Not because they aren’t great at what they do, just because the others are so strong.  Comfort has to be the girl to go.  She is a great hip hop dancer but it’s well established now that she is not great at much else.  After this week though, the voting gets very tough.  I don’t know how you pick among the top six, they are all so good.

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53 thoughts on “SYTYCD Top 8

  1. Yeah, when Mark and Comfort picked each others names you could see it in their eyes that they were screwed. I didn’t hate the Fox Trot as much of the judges but when you looked at how everyone else was dancing…

    I think Joshua looked very uncomfortable with Chelsie and didn’t really know what to make of her. I didn’t think he was as strong as the judges and I thought the disco routine in particular wasn’t that strong although there was a ton of very difficult moves in it and that’s perhaps what the judges were looking at. I did thought it interesting the judges brought up how great Chelsie was landing when there were some pretty bad landings in that routine – although I think most were primarily Joshua’s fault.

    Chelsie’s solo I thought was one of her weaker ones, although as I’ve said the solos are always much, much harder for the ballroom folks.

    BTW – is it just me or do Courtney’s solos all look the same?

    I like Twitch but his solo was one of his weaker ones. And Will looked so solid. Yeah he lost his form a bit during his ballroom bit but still looked tons better than everyone else. Now that he’s switching partners just how good he is can become apparent. Unless Katee or Chelsie really step it up I think Will is the shoe in for winner this year. Although Joshua is still my favorite and he typically has among the best solos. However last night I have to give the solo to Will. It wasn’t technical but just on performance alone I loved it even though on other levels Joshua’s was better.

    It’s been interesting in that there haven’t really been any surprises this year. I’ve called every judgment a week earlier except for the Kherington one – and that was just because of the injury. (And I’ll admit I didn’t expect her to do as poorly in her dancing that week as she did)

    BTW – it was cool seeing some of the family pictures. I was surprised that Mark had as much poly in him. He looked pretty Japanese too me. For personality alone I think Mark’s my favorite. But yeah, there’s a big gap between him and the rest of the guys.

  2. Oh, can I say Tonil Basil is now my least favorite judge of the season? I’d actually pick Mia Michels above her.

  3. Clark, remember that the voting in the finals rarely follows the dancer with the best raw talent. Last year Danny was unquestionably the best dancer by far, but he lost to Sabra because of personality. I can see that happening this year too. Will is probably tops in ability but far from it in personality. On the girls’ side, Katie may be a great dancer but not the best in personality. It’s going to be interesting to see how the voting goes.

    Toni Basil was interesting. They’ve probably never had a judge who spent more time talking about irrelevant stuff. It seemed like she was trying to make herself look knowledgeable. There was one complete cringe-worthy moment when she told Twitch he should be grateful that the choreographers put in some funk for him. That was idiotic, and bordered on racist.

  4. The solos seem to always look the same from week to week. I can’t figure out why each dancer seems to just do the same thing over and over (the exception this week was Courtney–she was great and quite original). It must be because they don’t have much time to work on their solos–they’re too busy with their partners.

  5. I hate the solos from everyone except the breakers/street dancers. Benji was the only non hip-hop dancer I remember who could bust out a non sucky solo.

  6. I agree with your rankings except I’d change Katee and Chelsie around.

    Will’s solo was great last night. Finally someone did something different! And I thought it was funny that Nigel said the same thing about Comfort right after my husband & I said it – she can dance, but she’s much better with other people’s material.

    I didn’t like the disco (though, I never do) and was surprised it didn’t get panned.

  7. I still have to watch the last 30 minutes of the show, but I think Chelsie should win it. Will’s a fantastic dancer but Chelsie really lights up the stage when she dances. So does Katee but I think Chelsie has a little spark than Katee.

  8. MCQ, Danny last year had the best technical talent but not the best performance. There was always a distance between himself and the audience that usually came off as arrogance (although he got better the final weeks) Will doesn’t have that. He’s a great performer as well as technician, as last night’s James Brown dance highlighted.

    Regarding solos, I disagree. Twitch, Joshua, and especially Will all have done different things with their solos. In past years there have been a few who also did this and I think it really helped them. This year the women haven’t been as inventive in their solos at all.

  9. Geoff, I thought Twitch’s solo this week was pretty weak but in past weeks he’s been pretty inventive often creating a character. Ditto with Gev and Mark, although Mark’s this week was kind of repetitive. Joshua was great this week mixing up several styles (hip hop, breaking, and even some contemporary) And Will, well he’s been inventive ever since he could perform a solo. One reason why I think he’s the one to beat.

    Chelsea I like a lot but her solos have, in my opinion, been her weakness. Her best solo seemed fairly similar to a solo that Benji’s cousin did that year they were competing.

  10. Courtney, Katee, and Chelsea all do the same solo every week. The same could be said of Mark and Comfort as well. The only truly original solos are from Will (awesome choice for him last night, btw) and Twitch (although last night his was weak).

    I wonder if Will didn’t get some prep help from Debbie Allen on his solos before the series. Maybe he is also very good at choreography (like Benji), but I still wonder.

    And what was your problem with Tonil Basil? I thought her first few comments were useless, but after that I found them quite interesting (for the most part).

    It’s a tough call between Katee and Chelsea. I’d have to see Chelsea attempt that ballet-contemporary (I’m not even going to try to spell it!) stuff that Katee and Will did.

  11. The brilliance of Will’s James Brown solo was that it was a sort of low-brow kind of thing. Definitely not the hoity-toity feel we got from Danny last year.

  12. Brian, Mark’s last two have been similar but the one before that wasn’t. (Although I think it was similar to what he did in tryouts — I can’t remember)

    I think Chelsea has done ballet (didn’t they mention that before?) I could be wrong though. Anyone know? (I don’t mean on the show) I’d like to see Katee try tap though.

    I like Katee and I think she does best on Broadway but this year I just think the guys are much stronger. (While last year I was glad the girl from Ogden won – forget her name now)

  13. The girl who won last year was from Roy, Utah (formerly). Her name is Sabra.

    I think Chelsie has ballet training but she has been competing in ballroom.

  14. Wow. I can’t believe Will just went home. It’s got to be that everyone else thought someone else was voting for him. He was by far the best technical dancer and I thought is solo was fantastic last night. I had the same order for people as MCQ did above. I really thought after last night Will was going to take the show. It blew me away.

    I think everyone else was shocked to. When they said Mark was safe he looked shocked. When Twitch heard he was in the bottom 2 with Will he nearly broke down thinking he was gone.

    Amazing. Wow.

  15. Roy’s basically to Ogden what Orem is to Provo. So I think of Chelsea as a local girl even though her home is, I believe, in Lindon a few blocks up from where I work.

    I’m still shocked by tonight. I was just becoming a Will proponent. I have no idea how the voting is going now. I’ll say the winner is either Katee or Chelsea.

  16. I’m so mad Will got send home! I was convinced he was going to win the whole thing. He was absolutely the most talented person on the show. No question. I think I’m boycotting the rest of the season… 😥

  17. Very, very shocking. I was worried about it though. It appears that Will has not been connecting with the audience as well as he was with the judges.

  18. Is there any voting-for-the-worst going on?

    I think most likely the people calling in are teenage girls, like my daughter, who loves Twitch and didn’t think Will was that great.

    Have you of you voted?

  19. Completely shocked by Will and Twitch as the bottom 2 guys. I’ve been predicting Katee and Joshua as the final two for a while, but I fully expected to Will in the top four.

    It costs money to vote, doesn’t it? (If that question reveals my poverty, then so be it.)

    Clark: Mark’s solos are always the same in that it makes no difference what music he is dancing to, he’ll always do some weird run out on stage, wiggle around like a wounded bird, then run over to some other corner of the stage and writhe like an injured lizard, and so on. His originality starts and ends with his quirky style.

  20. I voted last night. I never considered voting for Will because I thought he would be safe. I’ve been trolling a few other blogs and it appears many people felt the same. Everyone agrees he’s talented and assumed he would easily be safe so no one voted for him.

    It appears that Mark has a very devoted and vocal fan base, from the blogs I read. Several people voted for him for two solid hours without stopping (I hope that means there is no cost to voting). I didn’t see many people saying they were devoted Will fans. Go figure.

  21. I don’t think they do vote for the worst because it’s actually more of a talent comp. than AI!

    Will feel in Danny style. Just a little sooner than Danny did! Great dancer, I’m afraid it was a little too late personality wise.

    I was, however, worried for Twitch for a moment.

  22. Mark’s from Hawaii right? A few years ago on AI a girl from Hawaii made it way further than she should have. The theory was that since Hawaii watches the show and votes after everybody else, they don’t have to fight the busy signals as much. Combine that with a tendency to love the local (ala Utah), and you’ll get results like that.

    I think the problem with Will is that they told us that he was the Golden Boy from the beginning. And ultimately I think they were right, he’s an amazing dancer, but that isn’t a good way to develop a following. You need to look like you are overcoming something, over-achieving, or at least be from Utah/Hawaii. Plus he’s a constant reminder to my wife of the perfection that the human body can attain, but that mine won’t until the resurrection (if then).

  23. I agree exactly with Spencer. Everyone knows that Carmen and JPL never should have made it as far as they did on AI and only did because of the mormon vote. Same with Jasmine Trias; she never should have made it that far and it was pretty clearly an “all of Hawaii is voting” thing.
    I like Mark, in fact if we are voting on personality I like him a whole lot, but strictly on dancing ability, he should have gone home a few weeks ago. His solos are reaching the point of being just sad. Good for him last night for looking shocked.

  24. Yeah, the teenage vote. And they appear to vote more for folks who are like them, I bet, or those they think are cute. Will’s definitely more ‘manly’ in some ways. (Which isn’t a rip on Twitch or Mark in the least – plus Twitch is the oldest on the show I believe) I think that the crowd likes quirky.

    But I remain convinced that probably the reason Will went home had far more to do with everyone thinking someone else was voting for him and that he was simply safe.

    But the Hawaii + teen vote might have a lot to do with this.

  25. Voting by phone is free. Texting your vote isn’t.

    My daughter’s whole attitude was that Will has a guaranteed successful career ahead of him and the lesser dancers need to win more than he does.

  26. That is true Susan, to the degree that any dancer can be guaranteed a career. It’s actually a pretty brutal field. I used to date a woman who danced professionally in Broadway and was shocked at some of the stories. The tryouts in SYTYCD are positively charitable in comparison.

  27. I think it’s simply a case that those voting don’t like being told who is going to win before the competition even starts. I can’t think of once when that actually worked!

    I will miss Will’s abs, though. Man.

  28. I would hate to be Mark now, though. Of course he knows he doesn’t belong there and it must be very uncomfortable.

  29. You can text via AIM?

    I thought you had to text via a certain carrier, but it’s not like I pay attention to that stuff. I don’t have a cell phone and try to fast forward through the stupid faces the dancers make during the “vote for me” bits.

    ESO, I agree—I’m sure Comfort was relieved to be gone.

    Other pet peeve on the show: I hate how most of the dancers, during their solos, try to do some move to the “shooby dooby dance” thing at the end. Only the hip hoppers seem to be able to pull it off—if they work it into their routine. If I see one more contemporary girl dancer draw her arm around her head, flinging her hair over her face…ugh that drives me insane.

  30. The one thing that bummed me out was that I was really looking forward to a Chelsea/Will teamup. I think that would have been great. I don’t think Chelsea-Twitch will be nearly as exciting and I was a tad disappointed with Chelsea-Joshua.

  31. Just to show the injustice. Here’s his two last solo dance routines.

    And then his and Katee’s with Pas de Deux.

  32. Okay first of all, even though everyone thinks that will didnt deserve to leave because he was the best technical dancer, did he seriously have the charisma to match his dancing? Or that much fans? Because obviously he didn’t if he was voted off. Though I’ll miss him, I still really the guys left in the show. The girls are mediocre. So now there are 3 contemporary dancers, 2 hip hop, and 1 Latin ballroom. Huh.

  33. Oh, Susan….yes, yes, yes to all of that! The girl from Utah from 2 seasons ago (her name is totally escaping me right now) that everyone thought would win…she started doing the “shooby dooby” thing and it was cute and fun and clever at first, but it didn’t take very long at all before everyone started doing it and now it’s just annoying.

    Ditto on the wrap your arm around your head move, but that’s what I’ve been saying all along about the contemporary dancers; they just do the same few moves over and over. I really liked Courtney’s solo last night because she finally did something different.

    I also skip over the parts where they show the phone numbers (I’m a never-voter) but Mark dancing to Cat’s talking the other night was funny.

  34. Jennifer, I honestly don’t think you can say he didn’t have charisma. His only problem was that he was so good that he didn’t have that underdog vibe nor was he more quirky or “odd” (not in a personality sense but in being a non-stereotyped dancer).

    Shzbraz, you thought Courtney’s solo last night was different? It looked to me like what she’d done over and over again with lots of identical moves. Will had a lot of original stuff. Benji from a few years back managed to do original stuff with ballroom – and that’s hard. Even Joshua to a more limited extent has shook it up.

  35. I don’t think it’s fair to say that the girls are mediocre. The three that are left are all very, very good.

    I thought Will was the best technical dancer on the show. Just beautiful to watch. But come on Clark, you’ve got to admit that he lacks (or at least doesn’t show) the personality that Mark has shown. Twitch seems a lot more fun to me than Will. When the votes are all that counts, you have to develop a fan base. Will didn’t, despite being a fantastic dancer.

    I also don’t think his solos helped him a lot. I thought the James Brown solo was a little silly because it was mainly just an impersonation. The Luther Vandross one was just a bad choice of music.

    Mark has a lot better instict on picking good music to dance to, although I can’t say I’ve been very impressed with his solos either.

  36. Mark shows more personality than Will? Maybe, but Marks “personality” is that he often seems very uncomfortable due to the difficulty of the dance.

  37. Clark–note that I’m NOT talking about Courtney’s dance from Wednesday night’s show, but her solo from Thursday night’s result show. Still maybe not the best solo ever, but she finally did a few different things and just overall had a different vibe than what she typically does.

    Okay, I just went and re-watched it to make sure I wasn’t remembering wrong, and I wasn’t! She had a leap split that was great, a pirouette to a leap that was fantastic and another pirouette series that was flawless. None of her other solos have ever showed that she was capable of that kind of technical strength.

  38. OK, sorry about the Shazbaz. I honestly don’t remember it. It wasn’t this one, was it?

    If so it didn’t do much for me and still had a lot of the same elements. She did do a few different things including that great leap you mentioned.

  39. MCQ, I’m just not sure I can agree with Will. But hey, that’s the subjective element and it does appear more people weren’t as interested in him as a dancer as I thought there should have been. Whatever the reason. I do agree that Vandross music choice wasn’t the best.

    Mark picks interesting quirky music which I think makes him more noticeable. There’s also the issue of luck of the draw choreography. I think Katee in particular has been amazingly lucky in the kinds of choreography she’s ended up in. While Will has had some killer dances he’s also had some choreography that just doesn’t make the dancer as interesting to most people. I think people want fun character based dances. That rules out more straight contemporary and makes the ballroom dances pretty hard. (Although Chelsea does an amazing job there – as did Benji before)

    What’s helped Mark are dances where there’s a real character. Ditto with Katee, Courtney and a few others. Will hasn’t had as many dances given that allowed that. I wonder if that might have been affecting things. That’s why I loved the James Brown bit since it was a character and I thought he aced it.

    BTW – I wouldn’t say the girls are mediocre. I think both Katee and Chelsea are good. But the guys have been much more interesting in the final 10.

  40. Here’s another example of what I mean about personality: I think Katee is a slightly better dancer technically, but I like watching Courtney more because of her personality. Because of that, I’ll vote for Courtney over Katee. To me, Chelsie has both technical ability and personality. That’s why I think she should win.

  41. What I said about Mark’s personality was in reference to how he stands before the judges and not how he dances. He looks uncomfortable being critiqued (and rightfully so). I’m not trying to rip on the guy, but when I think of Mark I think of two things: quirky solos and apologetic looks at the judges.

    While we’re on the subject of personality, Chelsea is the dancer I would most want to hang out with because she is just so bizarre. Every time they interview her I bust up. Like when she was setting up her hip hop with Mark, “I’m his wife or girlfriend or whatever.” Something about how she said it….

  42. No, it was this one http://youtube.com/watch?v=ImDwRKFMccc

    Interesting (and probably unending) discussion since perceived personality is so subjective. I’m not a big fan of Courtney-personality wise-so I just can’t even believe she’s still around, but I’m clearly in the minority. I was just reading a book that is talking about how the make up of professional orchestras changed when they started having the musicians audition behind a screen so that their audition wasn’t influenced by their gender or nationality. It’s impossible to judge a show like this strictly on talent–even the show’s judges don’t do that–but once I figured out not to let my own dance background play too big of a part in the way I watched it I started enjoying it more.

  43. Agreed Brian, but Mark was funny in those clips, too. I love the one where they’re getting ready for the “Bleeding Love” dance and he interrupts Chelsie’s interview to say something like, “Sorry, but sometimes a man’s just got to go to work,” all while checking his watch. It was perfect.

  44. Agreed. Mark has had some clever comical moments, like the one you mention and when he pestered Cat during the reading of the phone numbers.

  45. My predictions for next week:

    1) Josh and Twitch get lion’s share of votes from viewers trying to compensate for the “Mark shouldn’t still be in it” factor. This puts Mark in the bottom, but also leaves the girls with relatively few votes collectively, and hence little difference between top and bottom.

    2) Wednesday night begins with an announcement—sans details—from Courtney that she has two broken ribs and will not be able to continue competing; Comfort is brought back as a replacement.

  46. 2) One would have to start questioning Comfort as a person of interest at that point a la Tonya Harding…

  47. Guys–let me let you in on the secret of Mark’s personality: it’s his hair. Mark has fun hair; Will does not. Fun hair=quirky personality.

    Now you know.

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