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Posts Tagged ‘So You Think You Can Dance’

I just haven’t been gabbing about TV much lately.  Perhaps you’ve noticed?  No blog posts in weeks?  What could be causing this situation?

Hard to say – chalk it up to the mid-season doldrums.  I’m floating in a sea of “meh.”  Let’s do a quick run-down of my TV schedule and get at the problem areas.

Mondays are around strictly for comedy – The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother.  Even though these are still highly reliable shows for good laughs (“Cat funeral…”), I think I’m craving a little more.  Maybe I was hoping there would be more laughs to be mined from the unlikely pairing of Robin and Barney.  And is the relationship between Penny and Leonard taking the edge off of Sheldon’s disdain?  No worries – these shows are still funny and I’ll keep watching.

Tuesdays just suck, honestly.  Can someone tell me what we should be watching?  Right now it’s Netflix night.

Wednesdays, on the other hand, are far too packed with stuff to watch!  5 different shows, at least 3 of which I watch live.  And they range from just OK to awesome.  First up there’s America’s Next Top Model, which is fast becoming the show I need to let go.  The novelty of short models wore off real quick, and most of these girls just aren’t good – Nicole’s the only one worth watching.  But it’s hard to watch her, because at every opportunity Tyra has made this show all about her.  I mean, come on – “smize?”  Unless the show gets awesome again fast, I think this is my last cycle.

Photo courtesy CWTV.com

Photo courtesy CWTV.com

The good show is definitely Glee!  Yes some of the episodes have had some not-as-great parts, and sometimes we’re concentrating on too many plotlines.  But you have to admit that when it’s good it rocks!  Jane Lynch is blowing the lid off this show time and again, and those musical numbers are just so much fun.  Long live this show!

Photo courtesy FoxTV.com

Photo courtesy FoxTV.com

Conversely I’ve been real disappointed in Top Chef.  It has just felt like the wheat (Jen, Kevin, the brothers) and the chaff (everyone else) are really obvious.  Can we just cut all the way to the finals, please?  I don’t know how many more weeks I can watch Robin skate by while waiting for the inevitable Jen vs. Kevin showdown.

So You Think You Can Dance is certainly gearing up to be a good season, but it’s felt like forever for us to get there!  How many audition shows must we suffer through?  I know that this week we finally get our top 20, but I’m afraid to believe it for fear that Cat will say, “But first – auditions from Omaha!”  On a side note – word on the street is Mia could be leaving the show.  Noooo!!!

There is one other new show this fall which has garnered a season pass on our TiVo, and that’s Modern Family.  It’s smart without being too smart, and silly without being stupid.   Great acting, and oddly relatable.  I’m hoping this one will be around for the long haul!  (But do me a favor, ABC – move it to a less busy night for my sanity.)

Photo courtesy ABC.com

Photo courtesy ABC.com

Thursdays are for more SYTYCD, and from time to time we might catch a little 30 Rock.  But we gave up on The Office long ago.  And then there’s Project Runway.  Let’s face it – this season went from fab to drab.  And I think it can all be traced back to inconsistency in the judging, which Nina has pointed to herself.  She swears things will be better next season when they are back in New York, to which I say – I hope so!  We don’t deserve to keep watching Logan making crap and skating by week to week.  (My early pick to take it all – Althea.  I think she’s been the most consistent.)

And that’s basically it for our TV week.  I don’t even watch The Amazing Race any more, so our weekends are wide open.

So what do you think – is this season living up to your expectations?  What’s failing and what’s flying?  And what really great shows am I not watching?

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Congratulations to my pick this week to win So You Think You Can Dance

photo courtesy FoxTV

photo courtesy FoxTV

Jeanine, you ARE America’s Favorite Dancer!

Jeanine SYTYCD 3

You go, girl!

America's Favorite Dancer

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The dust has settled, and after a rather shocking elimination this week on So You Think You Can Dance (if you haven’t seen the results show, STOP READING NOW), we’re heading into an exciting few weeks with the top 10.  But it’s not as simple as that – the couples are all being broken up and switched around.  Who wants to wait until Wednesday to find out who’s with who?  Let’s start the rampant speculation now!  Below I’m making my predictions based on what I think makes the most sense personally, and also what might influence the judges’ (i.e. producers’) decisions.

To set this up I’m going to take it from the perspective of the men.  Let’s face it – all of the women left are top-notch.  They range from very good (Randi) to unstoppable (Janette).  The men are a bit more problematic, so let’s try and help them out, shall we?

Ade – I won’t hide the fact that he’s my favorite amongst the men.  He also is well-liked by the judges, and danced a killer solo this week.  What he needs is a partner that will help him stay on top of his game, and push the envelope further.  My first instinct would be Janette, but I think that’s too much like her pairing with Brandon.  Thus I think the best choice is Kayla.  Give those two a good piece by Mia Michaels or Wade Robson, and they’ll shine bright.

Ade and Melissa

Brandon – This guy definitely has talent, but he owes a lot to Janette for bringing him out of his performance shell.  At this point he needs to step into the limelight and steal focus once in awhile.  That takes a generous partner that’s still upbeat.  Sounds like a job for America’s apple-cheeked sweetheart – Randi.  She’s already had her butt worshiped and also got knocked up, so who knows where this couple will go next?

Evan -The person in the top 10 who has underwhelmed me the most has been Evan.  He really shined in that Mia piece, but generally he’s just been OK, hiding in Randi’s shadow.  Someone needs to tap into his natural charm, and pull him up to the next level.  It would also help if she was a bit…short.  Which makes Janette perfect!  If anyone can turn Evan into a hot Latin lover, it’s Ms. Salsa herself.

So You Think You Can Dance - mixing up the Top 10

Jason – He’s gone from emulating Michael Jackson all the way to the top 10, but Jason has yet to really make his mark.  He blazed onto the scene with a Bollywood routine, but hasn’t delivered since.  What he is good at is strong carriage through the body, and keeping tight focus on his partner.  The best bet for him is a generous partner that can make the best use of his gentle strength – and that’s Melissa.  The right modern dance could vault this couple right to the forefront.

Kupono – Our Hawaiian boy has had a roller coaster ride – he’s constantly battled his way to prove that one doesn’t have to be overtly masculine to be a strong male dancer.  While his early performances were lacking (and don’t get me started on his solo last week), he really burst through with his addiction dance this week.  Kayla was a great help, but he’ll need even more to take it to the top.  And that means a partner that never misses a beat, never misses a step, and is always performing at her best – Jeanine.

So what do you think – are these pairings right on?  Should we mix them up a bit?

It should be interesting to see where the show goes from here.  America is generally unpredictable, and anything can happen.  My gut says that the voters recognize this is a season that’s all about the women, and it will be one of those ladies taking it all the way.  Don’t ask me which one yet, because my head will burst from trying to guess!

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Tonight the top 8 couples on So You Think You Can Dance performed their routines, and the question looms – who will stay and will go?  Here are my own predictions.  I thought about more comprehensive recaps, but if you’re not watching the show, I can hardly explain it all!  Instead let’s run through the performances real quick:

* Jonathan & Karla – hip hop

I hope that America finally wakes up and realizes that Jonathan is just not that good.  Sure, he can do some acrobatic flips and such, but his movement quality is lacking – I’ve been unimpressed 3 weeks in a row.  Karla, on the other hand, is proving to be pretty adaptable – I’d love to see her with a new partner.  My prediction – unless the tween girls of America stand as one to save them, this couple will be in the bottom 3.

* Vitolio & Asuka – jazz

This is one of the toughest situations on this show – when the couple peforms admirably, but the choreographer just didn’t give them much to work with.  Which is a shame for these two, as they were stuck with an even worse routine week 1 (that horrid Broadway number).  I really think they did a nice job (and the sob story before was a nice touch), but is it enough?  My prediction – the choreography was not memorable enough to keep them in voters’ minds, and they will land back in the bottom 3.

* Ade & Melissa – rhumba

I have to confess – this couple is my favorite, and has been since week 1.  I think they mesh well, their technique is flawless, and thus far they have been proving their ability to adapt to different styles easily.  Melissa showed her gorgeous legs and assertive personality this week, while Ade proved to be steadfast and agile.  My prediction – this pair is gaining steam and will be safe.

photo courtesy FoxTV

photo courtesy FoxTV

* Brandon & Janette – hip hop

The concept for this piece worried me a bit, but it actually worked.  It helps that Janette is so sharp in her movement (thanks to her salsa experience), and Brandon busted some impressive moves that proved he has popping and locking skills.  I’m not in love with these 2, but I can’t deny that they are really bringing it consistently.  My prediction – safe again!

* Kupono & Kayla – Viennese waltz

Losing Max was a shame, but you have to hand it to Kayla – she keeps bringing her excellence regardless.  Overall the piece was actually very good, despite the occasional stumble (that promenade was sad, Kupono).  My worry for Kayla is that Kupono won’t be able to keep up with her in the future.  My prediction – this is the wild card couple – they might land in the bottom 3, but I’m going to guess that they squeak by this week.

* Evan & Randi – modern (sorry, I refuse to call it “contemporary”)

This was the biggest surprise for me of the week.  I have no doubt about Mia Michaels’ choreography – it’s frequently excellent.  But (heh) seeing how well Evan took to the modern idiom and Mia’s style…I was impressed.  He showed a real ability for initiating movement from different body parts and carrying it through.  Randi was just great – she absorbed that stuff like a sponge!  My prediction – America’s sweethearts will be safe.

* Jason & Caitlin – paso doble

“O Fortuna?”  Seriously?  Anywho – the necessity in this piece was showing power, which I didn’t think J & C delivered.  They need a little Emeril essence, y’know?  Kick it up a notch!  Overall I think they do great on technique, but this was a 90% performance on a show that demands 100% every week.  My prediction – good remarks from the judges won’t be enough, and J & C will be in the bottom 3 again this week.

* Phillip & Jeanine – Broadway

Love!  First I was just happy that the choreography was good (i.e. REAL Broadway style this time), and the song from Singin’ in the Rain is one of my favorites.  Jeanine was radiant in this one – she’s really emerging from Phillip’s shadow, proving she deserves to be up on that stage.  Despite Nigel’s comments I actually thought Phillip did really well at this one, and any missteps were too quick and too minor for the audience to notice.  My prediction – Moses supposes that this couple is safe!

So…assuming my predictions are right in the bottom 3, then I’ll go further to say:

GUYS – Jonathan vs. Vitolio vs. Jason

If America gives them a chance, I think the judges are ready to cut Jonathan loose.  His only chance is if the judges feel it’s time to cut one of the modern dancers, in which case Jason would likely go instead.  Vitolio still has love from the judges, and he’ll hang on.

GIRLS – Karla vs. Asuka vs. Caitlin

As I mentioned above, I think there is an interest in seeing what Karla could do with someone else.  Caitlin, on the other hand, is on her last leg, metaphorically speaking.  I loved her in Vegas, but for 2 weeks now she’s been just OK.  Asuka might go in her stead, but I think she’ll survive at least another week as she’s the only remaining ballroom specialist.  But pretty soon I think the judges will decide that Janette is ballroom enough, so Asuka’s days are numbered regardless.

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The main TV season is over for the year, and the summer season has begun.  Let’s talk about what’s gone, and what’s coming up!

First off, I have to mourn the loss of our dearly departed Reaper.  Maybe it wasn’t a truly amazing show, but it always gave us some giggles, and the series finale had a couple huge laughs.  The writers did a nice job in season 2 keeping the storyline moving along, and introducing Nina the demon as a girlfriend for Ben was genius.  Clearly the finale wasn’t meant to be a real end for the series, but it will have to do.  I guess I’m back to just 1 show to watch on the CW anymore!

Reaper Ben Nina

Currently it’s still a good time for TV.  We’ve been blessed with the final episodes of Pushing Daisies, which is being prematurely canceled.  At least we have a few more moments to savor.  If the upcoming episodes feature Olive singing additional songs by Lionel Ritchie, I say – heaven!

Talking about TVAlso we have been sucked into So You Think You Can Dance.  It’s a show that my friends have been imploring me to watch for years, but I think I was too gun-shy from American Idol.  Fortunately SYTYCD is vastly superior, and really features some top-notch talent.  The judges offer substantive feedback to the dancers, and some people are put through to the next round even if they aren’t totally photogenic.  Imagine that, Idol producers!  Right now I have my eye on the two blond sisters that auditioned in separate cities.  They were showing modern dance at its best.  Also I’m fond of this redhead (Natalie) – she’s utterly charming.  So bring on the tamale train!

Finally, you should pencil something into your August calendar now – it’s the return of Project Runway!  According to the folks at Entertainment Weekly the show isn’t going to change much at all now that it’s on Lifetime, other than the current season taking place in Los Angeles.  I can hardly wait!  Bring on the withering stares from Nina Garcia!

So that’s my story – now it’s time to tell me yours.  What shows are you sad to see cancelled this year?  Or are there any that you breathed a sigh of relief when you heard they were renewed?  And what will you be watching during this long hot summer?

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