Tuesday, August 21, 2007

So You Think You Can Dance?

Television generally kind of sucks during the summer, especially for people like me who don't have cable and tend not to like reality TV. However, there is one reality TV show I've really gotten into and that is So You Think You Can Dance. Seeing as the season just ended a few days ago, I thought I would write a post about it.

I love this show for a lot of reasons:
1. The dancing is so much fun.
2. It actually takes a great deal of talent, unlike a lot of other reality/competition/game shows where people get famous for just being extreme personalities. You have to compete in all different kinds of dance, so almost no matter how much training you've had, you really have to learn quickly.
3. It's bringing dance back as a popular medium. There aren't really many famous dancers out there right now that people who aren't really into the dance world know.

I stumbled on the show toward the end of last season (2nd season) and was immediately addicted. I was really happy when Benji won, because I really thought he deserved it - although I really liked all of the final four last year and thought they were all amazing.

This season I started watching from the beginning, although I definitely missed a lot of episodes. I have to say, despite how much the judges went on and on about the level of talent this season, I didn't really feel most of them were all that spectacular and I was not as happy with the final four this season. My two favorites were Pasha (who was in the final 6) and Sara (who was in the final 8). Pasha had a lot of training so I'm not surprised he was so good, but he just seemed super sweet and down-to-earth. Sara was a B-girl with (I believe) no formal training and she just kicked ass round after round. I was so impressed. And she is one of the few girls who didn't rely so completely on her "hotness" factor (meaning she didn't dress like a slut at every opportunity, because she is plenty gorgeous). She was also one of the less ditzy girls, which was refreshing. I was very disappointed when both of them got eliminated and I have to say I think the voters made the wrong choice.

Unlike last year, where I had a hard time choosing who I thought should win because all of the final four were just so awesome, this year I had a hard time choosing because I really didn't like any of them. Of the final four, though, I was glad that Sabra won. Lacey is a good dancer, but she certainly had the training for it (I think she may have had more training than anyone else in the top 10 if not on the entire show in general) and she just seems so phony and she is always performing out to the audience instead of really living in the moment of the dance with her partner. Plus she doesn't even really seem to like dance that much. She quit numerous times in her life and only took it back up when her brother, Benji, won last year's show - seems like a competitive thing to me or fame-seeking moreso than a love of dance. Danny is also very good, but I didn't think he did so well across all mediums. He was good at what he did, but he had some trouble with other genres. And Neil... he actually is not really a very memorable person in my mind. I was really surprised when he was in the final four because I was kind of like "who?" I'm not going to give an opinion about his dancing because I honestly can only call to mind one of the numbers he's done (although I did like that one). Sabra was very good across all mediums, not fake like Lacey, and she has only been dancing for four years, which is pretty unbelievable. I think she definitely deserved to be in the final four. But I still wish that Pasha or Sara had won because those two stood out consistently to me as very good, whereas Sabra didn't really start standing out to me until the toward the end. If I had my way, the final four would've been Sabra, Danny, Pasha and Sara.

Other people I liked who got voted off rather early so I can't really say too much about them were Ricki (voted off in the first round of the top 20... I think he could've gone really far if he had made it past that round and I think Cedric deserved to go a whole lot more than he did. Plus he seemed like a really interesting character), Hok (who made it to the top 12 and was such an interesting character, seemed like a very nice guy, and did very well in the various mediums for a B-boy. Plus I'm a sucker for accents), Kameron (I knew somebody who knew him, so I felt like I should route for him, and he just seemed like a cool guy) and Jessi (who I actually hated at first and was not that impressed by, but I felt really bad for her when she couldn't dance because she was in the hospital and then she got eliminated. I felt like she did really well in her solo and when she re-did the dance with Pasha and she didn't deserve to be kicked off that round because the other two girls' solos sucked. I think she probably got eliminated because she was a "liability" to the show).

The two things I don't like about the show:
1. Mary Murphy. That woman is possibly the most annoying woman on earth. Every time she speaks I want to gouge my eardrums out with a fork.
2. The ration of dancing to extra stuff. So much talking. When the judges are critiquing that's one thing. But there's so much inner-promoting (ie of Hairspray) and I just wish that there was more dancing and less other stuff, because the dancing is what's so awesome about the show.

I'm glad they got picked up for one more season though. To keep with the music theme, I will post an artist that the show introduced me to, Roisin Murphy:

Night of the Dancing Flame [mp3] - Roisin Murphy - "Ruby Blue" (iTunes)
Rama Lama (Bang Bang) [mp3] - Roisin Murphy - "Ruby Blue" (iTunes)

Here are some good "highlights reels" of sorts for the third season. Not that these were necessarily my favorites, but they're all pretty good. The last one on here is one of my all time faves though because it's really cool and it is my two favorite dancers together:

Oh, but I have to say for this one that, as happy as I am that they used "The Moment I Said It" by Imogen Heap (one of my favorite songs of all time), I'm not sure I like the dance that was choreographed for it. And I thought that the dance at the end with the flowers wasn't really that impressive. I felt like people only praised it so much because of the fact that the choreographer was like "this is about my father who passed away last year." I mean, you can't say it's bad after she says something like that:

And from Season 2, the Benji/Travis one at the end of this one is one of my faves. And I think one of the Roisin Murphy songs is in this one (it's in one of the season 2 highlights reels):

And the park bench one is probably my all time fave from both seasons (I know a lot of people love it, but it's just really beautiful and truly moving):

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