SYTYCD: Final 14

OK, a day late. A dollar short. Yet here we are talking about the show. Sorry my wife and I just finished watching. (Perils of working late)

So the judges really liked this week better than last week. Personally I found the dancing and in some cases the choreography kind of lacking. The two best routines of the evening were Ellenore and Ryan’s contemporary and Kathryn and Legacy’s Paso Doble. Admittedly Legacy’s dancing had that asterix. It was good for a breaker. In places though it was just plain good. And I thought this was one of Kathryn’s best dances of the season this year. She really broke out. Ryan and Ellenore’s dance was fantastic though. It more than made up for last week’s disaster. (Were I Ryan I’d be spending my free time practicing hip hop because you know he’s going to get it again!)

To me most of the other dances were kind of lackluster. I really have never cared for Gibson’s choreography. I recognize it is supposed to be the music video style, but whenever she’s on the show and the judges are praising it to high heaven I am disappointed. Still, having her as a choreographer may have helped Mollee and Nathan. They have a long ways to go — perhaps due to maturity.

Tyce’s blackbird dance was interesting, and I thought it was the best Channing had danced this season. Yet it was slightly disengaged and I agree with the judges that the music may have had a lot to do with that.

I’m not at all surprised by the bottom three. The judges were surprised about Mollee and Nathan. I just don’t think the judges realize how Gibson’s choreography doesn’t connect to the audience. They think, “huh. Music video.” There’s nothing terribly exciting about it and little to grab onto. Combine that with last week’s performance and I’m hardly surprised.

Now the big surprise to me was the elimination show. First, yes Mollee and Nathan danced fantastic solos. But I expected that from the try outs. (If anything I thought Nathan should have danced even better given his solos in the tryouts) But Karen’s dance was horrible. I’ve seen better dancing at clubs. That she didn’t get booted after two mediocre weeks and an inability to do anything other than the seductress (which she does very well) is surprising. While Channing has been weak, I thought her solo was good and this week’s performance was her breakout.

With the guys there was no surprise. Kevin has been struggling for a while.

Also, last week it was like they were listening to our complaints about their padding. They had that nice segment going through dance moves. This week there was none of that. Given how silly some of the padding was I hope they return to those short teaching moments.

Next week I predict Karen will be gone and that Victor will have to hit it to stay. The next two weeks will be really interesting as on the guys side there are some really solid dancers. A good dancer will be left out of the final 10. On the women’s side I think Noelle will have to step it up and Mollee will have to make sure she is solid on styles other than her own or those close to it.


25 thoughts on “SYTYCD: Final 14

  1. Russell went home? There went one of the only reasons I was watching this season.

    I’ve only been rooting for Russell and Legacy. Everyone else I don’t really care about.

    Travis Wall’s routine was really good last night, but mostly I was stoked to hear the Stars on national television.

    The blackbird dance I found kind of annoying. The bird thing has already been done.

  2. Yeah, the bird thing has been done, and done better. But I thought it still was a shame that the one time Channing really danced well she got punished for factors out of her control. (Music, etc.) But then if she didn’t go home this week she’d probably end up home next week. The race is just tightening up too much.

  3. Russell has been seriously underdelivering lately, so I’m not surprised he left.

    Travis’s routine was BEAUTIFUL. Strongest of the night. And I’m continually surprised how much I’m liking Ashleigh. Who knew?

    The disdain for Mollee grows and grows, though. UGH that she will make the top 10.

  4. Didn’t you at least like her solo, despite her Madonna looking outfit? I think Mollee is much better than her partner which is surprising as going in I thought Nathan would be the guy to beat. As I mentioned even his solo was underwhelming compared to the initial tryouts or his dancing in Vegas.

    I’m not convinced Mollee will make the top 10. She really struggled in ballroom. (Although did well in the Disco) I think an other ballroom or perhaps even hip hop might put her under. (We don’t know how well she’ll do hip hop – probably better than Ryan) Anyway, with two dances from now on, the chances of her getting something she really struggles with increases a lot. And the amount of training time really goes down and the stamina requirements go up. That will make it harder for the younger dancers.

    BTW – everyone points to Mollee and Nathan’s age. But look at the ages. Almost all the women are 18-19. Jakob is only a year older than Nathan. (Admittedly the difference between 18 and 19 can be huge, but come on…)

  5. I haven’t watched the results show yet (clearly why I was just inferring that Russell left!), so I can’t speak to her solo, but it’s her entire demeanor I don’t like. She dances YOUNG. I think when they bring up her age, that’s what they are talking about. She dances high school dill team young (not technique wise, just maturity wise) and the others seem more mature in their dancing. Anyway, that’s what I assume they mean because that’s what I see as well.

    I’m really surprised that there is only a year between Nathan and Jakob. They seem to be worlds apart in maturity and I think that underlines the point. However, I don’t think it would be so obvious in Nathan had he been paired with someone else. It seems the pair of them feed off of each other in the young looking / acting / dancing category.

    I’m hoping that she won’t make top 10, but I thought she’s been gone after the disaster of last week as well…

  6. Susan – I agree. There are several girls that I couldn’t name if my life depended on it. However, it may be that way every season before top 10…

  7. I just got done watching it. Clark, big difference between Kevin and Russell!

    Russell’s the first krumper they’ve had on the show. Ever since watching two dvds about krumping I’ve become a huge fan of it. Highly recommended if you want to understand what krumping is about:

    Breakin’ vs Krumpin’


  8. Dang it! I thought Kevin and wrote Russell. My bad. Fixed in the initial post.

    I agree with you Susan. Most of the dancers are technically great but are just not great performers. In prior years there were more great performers as well. Still, I vastly prefer the choreography this year to last year.

    Gabby, my wife and I were talking about that very point. I think that had Nathan and Mollee been paired with someone older that it would really have improved their growth. Right now the partnership brings out the worst in both. Kind of bad luck of a sort. However I thought Mollee’s maturity was much better in her solo. (And the judges noted the same thing) My point about ages though was just to note that it’s really not an age thing. It’s something they need to find in themselves.

  9. Sorry to jump in late – haven’t seen the results show yet, but the news doesn’t surprise me. I agree with all the above comments. Mollee and Nathan really do dance “young,” and it annoys me that they get so many accolades from the judges just because they’re so “cute.” I personally think Mollee has pretty much slaughtered the dances she’s been given – too much “wild puppy” energy and no control, finesse or maturity.

    And Laurieanne Gibson’s choreography has annoyed me since she first appeared last season. Her work is very 2-dimensional, relatively simple, and uninteresting. Watch it again and see how much unison side-by-side the dancers do (especially compared to the other choreographers.) I’ve seen advanced high school choreography that was just as good or better. Nap/Tab even do better (can’t believe I just said that…) Travis’s work continues to amaze me – very mature, interesting, complex, challenging. And audience appealing. I say give Gibson the boot…

  10. I loved the Travis Wall piece, but was puzzled by Ryan’s adjustment/grab ‘n’ hold. Either it was choreographed (ick) or he needed to adjust something and it took waaay too long.

    The piece was sensual and emotional, so it kind of fit, but it was still TMI.

  11. TMI?

    I need to rewatch it. I don’t remember the adjustment bit. Once again I curse Fox not putting clips online – why they refuse escapes me since they don’t put out DVDs, they don’t stream them themselves, and they never show repeats. Surely they can see that clips would do nothing but improve ratings.

  12. I just watched again. Weird. It was really subtle but he definitely is grabbing his manhood. It doesn’t look like he’s adjusting. But maybe he is. Only there for a second though. It didn’t look choreographed. So perhaps something got caught where it wasn’t supposed to.

  13. I just watched it again on Youtube (“fourth routine together”).

    Such a beautiful piece. The TMI is still puzzling, especially since it occurs at an awkward point in the dance, for 4 or 6 counts, when he has released from Ellenore’s embrace and they are about to go into that beautiful unison part.

    I hope he and Ellenore make it to the top ten. They are both amazingly expressive dancers.

  14. Clark: I completely agree with your original post.

    My favorite dance of the night was the Paso. I normally hate the Paso, so that’s saying a lot. In close second was Travis’ piece.

    I agree with others that Gibson’s choreography is the worst. Why do the judges like her?!

    I liked Jakob and Ashleigh’s dance, but can you really call that “hip-hop”? I know that Tab/Nap refer to their style as “lyrical hip-hop,” but that was pretty heavy on the lyrical. I’m not giving Jakob a pass on that genre just yet.

  15. I was pretty mixed on Jakob and Ashleigh’s dance. I think Tab/Nap are pretty hit or miss on their choreography and that one was a miss for me. As you said, it was very heavy on the lyrical. I’d have loved to see them try that hip hop from Lil C that Ryan had to try. Like you I want to see Jakob try a hard hitting hip hop or crump dance.

    That all said, they danced the routine competently even if I didn’t find the performance had that extra “oomph.” It helped that they were at the beginning too so there was nothing to compare them to. I think had they gone at the end it wouldn’t have been judged quite as well. However let’s be honest. Jakob right now blows everyone else out of the water. This was their weakest dance and it was still better than the strongest of many of the other couples.

  16. I just watched Ryan’s crotch-grab on youtube. It does seem odd. Maybe he was trying to adjust but make it look like part of the choreography.

  17. BTW – I’m not sure the strategy of having two SYTYCD in one year is working for Fox. Ratings are down and have been getting worse each week. For the results show it got a 2.1 while Glee got a 3.3 and South Park got a 1.5. (Jay Leno, of course, sucked down at 1.4 – worse than Top Chef which I stopped watching last year) The episodes of SYTYCD from before baseball clobbered everything got 2.5-2.8. I’m not sure why the past two weeks have sucked so bad.

  18. Really? Can I ask why? My wife watches both but somehow the bad dancing on DWTS really doesn’t excite me nor do I care about the “stars.”

  19. I’ve gotten to love the pros on that show. I almost root more for the pros than I do the stars. But there’s always one star who’s really good and at least a couple others you can’t help but root for. It’s fun to watch them grow as dancers on the show. The live band is excellent.

    You see them as painfully bad dancers. I see them as people stepping out of their comfort zone and trying something really difficult—and on live TV. An MMA fighter dancing ballroom on live TV? Genius.

    Last week Donny Osmond totally blew his tango. Got tangled in the costumes and just completely lost it. In the semi-finals! But he came back and delivered two other really strong dances. It’s good TV.

  20. I stopped watching DWTS a few seasons ago, but I can point out another plus: it’s produced for an older audience.

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