I was able to catch up with my PVR a little better this week and I have seen the first elimination show of So You Think You Can Dance. The new format strikes me as being harder on the dancers. They have to go all week and do their performances not knowing if the axe has already fallen. But they now get an extra day of rehearsal time and in some ways, it is more fair to judge based on a full performance than a twenty second solo.
My favourite routines for this week were:
Eliana and Cyrus' jive. It was fun and upbeat and animated. Eliana is definitely working a lot harder than the other dancers to compensate for Cyrus' lack of training but she's not making it seem like an effort. She's very interesting and reminds me physically of Bette Midler from the neck up. Her personality really shines through and transforms her.
I liked the robot battle between Audrey and Matthew. It was very powerful and strong. It would have been easy for this one to come off as stilted but the dancers committed to it.
I also liked the sheer exuberance of Witney and Chehon's Bollywood routine. It was fun, precise and animated, everything a Bollywood routine should be.
Overall, I found the routines weren't as good as last week. I don't know if we're starting to see some dancer fatigue or complacency, but they didn't seem to be putting themselves into the routines as much. Maybe it was the result of fear and wondering if they were going to be cut. It'll be interesting to see if the trend continues.
And now for the ones I didn't like:
Both Amber's tango and Janelle and Dareian's My Girl routine felt empty and contrived. The tango felt very plastic and artificial. Neither couple had real chemistry.
But the one which annoyed me the most was the dentist one with Lindsay and Cole. It felt like a Dear Penthouse letter. Maybe I'd be more forgiving in different circumstances but right then, it struck me as a trite and stupid concept. However, I thought Cole's character commitment almost made up for it. Almost.
Despite Adam Shankman's constant plugs for his movie, the film actually looks like fun. I've enjoyed the other Step Up movies. You can't take them too seriously. For me, it's a flashback to the dance movies I grew up on (Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Footloose, Flashdance, etc.) with slightly more plausible reasons why everyone apparently all knows the same choreography.