I've been trying to stretch out my PVR since it's going to be thin pickings over the next few weeks with the Olympics pre-empting everything. But curiousity overcame prudence and I had to watch.
I was disappointed with the overall quality of the dancing and choreography in the first So You Think You Can Dance elimination show but they've bounced back strong for the Top 16 show.
My absolute favourite was Cyrus and Eliana's hip hop music-box robots routine. I expected Cyrus to do well as an animator and I thought Eliana really stepped up to the plate. Nigel was right, she surpassed him at several points. It was amazing. My jaw dropped and I watched it twice.
I loved the gritty and steamy rawness of Amber and Brandon's Southern jazz routine. I could practically hear the backstory of a poor couple in the Depression, no money, no hope but they have each other and a passion which makes the humidity turn into steam. But despite my enjoyment, I think they made the right decision to eliminate the two of them. Amber wasn't connecting well and and while Brandon was doing well, he looked as if he was pushing against his limits most of the time.
I also loved the visual poetry of Lindsay and Cole in Mandy Moore's contemporary piece. It combined beauty and strength.
And yay to Christina Applegate as a guest judge. When I first saw her I thought "Oh no, another plug-judge full of vapid useless opinions" but she surprised me. She may have been there in part to plug her show but she also had interesting and specific comments for the dancers. She earned her right to be there, in my opinion.
Now for the parts I didn't like:
Top of the list: the two week hiatus for the Olympics. I may be too mature to throw a tantrum but inside there's a two year old screaming "It's not fair!" and stamping her foot.
It was a disappointing week for ballroom. Both Janelle and Dareian's cha-cha and Matthew and Audrey's salsa failed to work. For all of Janelle's poise and steaminess as a belly dancer, it's not translating into different genres. She looks as if she's phoning her performances in. Matt and Audrey both seemed to be afraid of the choreography for the salsa and the awful Beethoven mix did not help the situation.
And my final confession? I hate Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You. I actually liked the song when I first heard it (and for most of the subsequent eighteen months). The turning point came when I saw the movie The Bodyguard on video. I haa-aaated it (you need multiple syllables to convey the depth of my loathing). I was hoping the bad guys would shoot her and put an end to the stilted dialogue and plot holes big enough to drive a truck through. The dislike spilled over onto most of Whitney Houston's music and most definitely onto that song.
Witney and Chehon's routine may have been beautiful. I honestly can't say because I still have such a strong visceral reaction to that song.