So You Think You Can Dance is back and not a moment too soon for me. This would have been yesterday's post but it got pre-empted by the amazing pizza eating of Mr. Alex.
First off, I liked seeing the clips from National Dance Day. The flash mob attendance looked great and I was impressed with the girl who did the dance standing on two horses. And getting to see Tabitha and Napoleon's new little baby was just sweet. I wish them well and try not to be too impatient for them to return to choreography for the show.
Overall, I was a little disappointed in the show. After such a long break, I was expecting them to come out with something really interesting. Re-doing Mia Michaels' routines struck me as a little cheap and unfair. Cheap because the choreographers weren't doing new routines and unfair because the routines were memorable and choreographed for other dancers. I was worried the judges wouldn't be able to overlook their previous associations. From Nigel's comments during the show, I think I was right. The emotional impact is never the same for a repeat, there's no surprise and people get caught up looking for their favourite parts.
The opening number for the whole top fourteen was beautiful with the swinging and gliding on harnesses incorporated into the music. It made me think of birds in flight, breaking free of boundaries and restrictions.
Eliana and Cyrus did the door routine to Duffy's Mercy. I really liked this one when Katie and Twitch did it originally. I thought Eliana looked strong and ferocious but Cyrus looked a little lost. Without the strong male to bounce off, the routine came off as lopsided to me.
George and Tiffany did the routine to Adele's Hometown Glory. This one was another which Katie did beautifully originally. I thought George and Tiffany did a respectable job especially balancing the tight and precise opening bits with the fluid movements later on. But again, it wasn't as good as the original.
I thought Will and Amelia improved on the original French poodle dance. Amelia captured a playful, sexy side without losing her whimsy. Will made me believe he was captivated and love struck. It was more believable than when Randi and Evan did it originally, the chemistry just worked better.
Janelle and Dareian were all right in the bed routine to John Mayer's Dreaming With A Broken Heart. It was the first time I saw Janelle really embrace a character but it still fell a little flat. The judges picked on Janelle's hair obscuring her face and I agreed.
I didn't see the originals of either the tribute to Mia's father or the bench routine. I thought Audrey did a great job as a daughter reuniting with her father in heaven for the tribute. Her sweet childlike character worked well, although Nigel criticized her for playing it too young. I had trouble believing Matthew as a father figure but thought he did well. Witney and Chehon's performance in the bench routine left me a little distant. Maybe it was just too much Mia in one night but it felt repetitive and empty.
The addiction routine to Sara Bareilles' Gravity was one of my all time favourites. I got goosebumps watching Kapuno manhandle his partner, playing the part of the addiction keeping her down. There was one point where he was just staring at the camera as he relentlessly forced her down and it felt like he was searching for his next victim. Lindsay and Cole did a good job at portraying the struggle and it felt more like a struggle than something overpowering.
The eliminations went about as I expected. Lindsay was a good choice to save but I personally would have picked Amelia. It's too bad about her. She was doing well but not really distinguishing herself. Janelle was a no brainer, even though I like her. She just wasn't translating well into other styles. For the boys, George would have been my choice as well. Dareian always struck me as holding back and Matthew was easily overshadowed.
I'm looking forward to next week. It's a good top ten and I'm eager to see what they can do.