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S14.E11: Top 8 Perform

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I don't understand this show's Kiki obsession. If they want to be obsessed with Jenna, then cool.  But in the first round their "jazz" required little to nothing of Kiki besides ballroom partnering type moves that he can do in his sleep.  Pretty much the same moves he did in his contemporary last week. Jenna did all the heavy lifting while Kiki basically stayed within his little circle doing not much of anything and then the judges fawn all over how amazing he is.  Sure, okay. Except he's going to be exposed the second he has to dance with someone not named Jenna in a style other than his own.  Oh, wait.  Second round when he might finally be exposed by dancing with another contestant? Give him ballroom so he can stand out his own style. Even down to the whole pimping from Mary about how she didn't know if he would be able to pall off a salsa.  Okay, sure Mary.  Am I supposed to be shocked the ballroom guy can pull off an approximation of a salsa?

I love Koine and would love her to win but she won't.  Cyrus continues to drag down Kaylee. Lex is better than Taylor but Taylor did better than I expected in hip hop.

The numbers across the board were pretty good this week as in none of the routines stuck out for being horrible, outside of Cyrus in the cha cha, but Kaylee did well.  However for all the over the top gushing, I don't know that any of them stuck out as routes I would watch again.

I wish I was surprised by the B3 but I'm not.  All the girls will get voted off this way.  But of the 3, I actually would have eliminated Dassy.

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My rankings this week:

W/all-stars

1. Taylor/Robert - Unexpected. Taylor really got into character and sold it. 

2. Koine/Marko - Another great routine from these too

3. Mark/Comfort - not as strong as the last two weeks, but good

4. Lex/Gaby - Lex was great, piece wasn't anything special 

4.Kaylee/Cyrus - fun choreography, Kaylee really worked it

4. Logan/Allison - Cute. Don't love cute hip hop personally but well executed by Logan. 

7. Kiki/Jenna - cute concept but Kiki's performance was just meh to me

8. Dassy/Fikshun - I'm not sure what this was. Some nice tricks but did they dance?

Contestants dance together (yes!)

1. Kaylee/Logan - Great piece. Logan is really starting to stand out for me. And so nice to see Kaylee dance with someone other than Cyrus. 

2. Taylor/Lex - I watch everything on twitter, was this supposed to be Broadway? I was really confused. Anyway expectations for these two are high and while it was good, it wasn't amazing for me. 

3. Koine/Kiki - Cute, well danced, won't remember tomorrow. 

4. Dassy/Mark - Mark's personality stood out more than Dassy. Not sure this dance did either one of them any favors. 

 

Another week where everyone was strong but I actually agree with judges sending Dassy home. 

Other thoughts: opening number was fantastic, I hate Cyrus's hair-bring the Mohawk back, who told Vanessa a blond wig was a good idea?

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Of the people in the bottom three, I would have gotten rid of Dassy also.  But that being said, I LOVED her routine with Fik-shun!  Also,  I agree with healthnut, the opening number was FANTASTIC!

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Mark's opening choreography gave me life. I want to be in his brain. I want to create little Mark Kanemuras everywhere. Favorite group routine so far!

Taylor was so bad in the hip hop. For one thing, they needed to give her a shorter ponytail. She did not know how to handle it. She also has no natural groove to her. Her hip movements were just no... Honey, you tried...

Lex... He's a great dancer, but I can't root for him because of that atrocious tango. I simply can't. It still hurts my feelings.

Contestant Mark can go away yesterday.

Koine is my favorite dancer, which means she definitely won't win.

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I didn't think I could dislike a third judge more than Jason DeRulo, but Vanessa's incessant giggling is death. 

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The dance club sponsoring Lex, Taylor and Logan must be voting overtime, just as Kiki's fam is doing it all.   Last week Taylor did a poor Samba, got called out for it, and still doesn't see bottom.  So I'm baffled but the dance world wants what they want.  It felt like it was Dassy's time, calling her out for poor core strength seemed like the writing was on the wall, even though I really enjoyed that JACI Royal routine.

Koine is officially the most versatile dancer on the show she brought it on the Salsa and she's goes to bottom this week.  Wow.  I agree she won't win, but she's definitely what this is supposed to be about. 

I don't know but I kind of think the pairing of the eight contestants with each other was to see who could keep up with their pre-determined finalists.  Nigels over the top comment for Lex and Taylor tells me they have the votes for top 2.  I did love the routine, it was sort of Firebird meets Broadway great choreo and execution, but the lifts could have been cleaner by Lex.  Best ever on the show?  Nah.

And I never thought Travis Wall would do choreography that would literally cast a shadow on a  contestant's ability like he did to Kaylee but that is exactly what he did.  That was basically a Logan solo with a person who doesn't dance like him in his shadow.  A much more realistic pairing would have been Lex and Logan, but lets get androgenous Kaylee to fill the part?  Unfortunate, especially when Nigel calls out the differences.

 

As for Koine the verdict is out, the judges like her, but the voters don't.

For this week, I would have rather a better Salsa routine for Kiki and Koine, one of those  Gustavo Vargas routines, especially when you have a ballroom specialist as a lead it would have been so much fire Gustavo choreographed showstoppers for those who could handle them.

Anybody remember this one from SYTYCDC, Gustavo pulled out all the stops.  A ballroom boy and a contemporary girl...

 

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Edited by Andie1
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No, they're not. They're seeing it live and you're seeing it through the TV. A lot of elements can read differently with that change of format. 

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I am so happy that the show has returned to adult dancers and adult themes. Most of the dances tonight could NOT have been performed by last season's young dancers due to the adult subject matter. 

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Khaleesi joined us to judge this week? 

Opening number: "Man, this is like a dance number gone wrong in a club scene on Queer as Folk (miss that show!)... oh wait, Mark choreographed it? Well, okay fine, I can't hate on it too much."

Koine/Marko: "Why TF does Marko have cornrows? These outfits are horrendous!" Nope, next. 

"Tay-lo"/"Bob": Sorry, I'm still drooling over "Bob"'s abs. I think Willow Smith is slightly better at whipping her hair back and forth... I tend to enjoy Luther Brown's choreo. This one worked well enough for me. That hair was just waaaaay too long though. Taylor's face reminded me of Jennifer Carpenter (Debra Morgan on Dexter).

Lex/Gaby: Lex is my favorite on the show. I liked this routine. Gaby was taking a little nap on him during the judge's comments. :P

Cyrus/Kaylee: This was fun and adorable. That's about all I got. 

(OMG Vanessa please never wear this wig again!!)

Comfort/Mark: "WTF is this lame ass version of 'Criminal'?" I FF'd through this. Boring.

Jenna/Kiki: Well, the set was cool, and so was the makeup and lighting. 

Dassy/Fik-shun: Half gymnastics/half figure skating. It was interesting, not in a bad way. 

Hey it's what's her face in the audience! 

Allison/Logan: Mom jeans! Bored by this concept. Felt very.... incest-y. Awkward.

AS group routine: Brought to you by Windex!

TayLex: I wasn't expecting a standing O. 

KikiKoKo: That felt labored.

KayLogan: Hey, it's Peter Pan!

Massy?/Dark?: Um.... yeah. This one bored me.

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I enjoyed the contestant couples more than the AS couples.  But the best performed routines were with the AS.  But, there's just a little more excitement in seeing what they will do with another contestant.  Did they ever say why they went directly to the top 10?  They lose one dancer a week instead of the two with the top 20.  So that's basically the same.

Lex/Taylor's routine reminded me of S6s Victor/Channing routine.  They were supposedly birds coming out to play.  They had sort of a cage on stage as well.  The vibe is different of course.  S6s was playful and joyous.  This one was a love story--more serious and sensual.  I enjoyed it.  Not as much as the judges of course.  But who can enjoy Taylor or Lex more than the judges?

Lex/Gaby routine did allow for Lex to be featured this time.  He has skills.  Taylor/Robert routine may have been better if Taylor knew how to "whip" that hair.

Koine lucked out in getting her ballroom routine with Kiki (basically a ballroom AS).  I really enjoyed it.  I wasn't as surprised as the judges that she did so well.  She had Kiki.

Koine/Marko are such a strong pairing.  I don't know why people aren't voting for her???  You don't need a story line if the dancers can show their personality and chemistry--normally an upbeat catchy tune helps.  I enjoyed Kiki more in his element of course but his and Jenna's routine was memorable mainly because of costuming and setting.  It was different.

Kaylee/Logan had my favorite couple routine.  I liked the concept.  I know Logan was front and center.  He is good but I think there had to have been more pressure on Kaylee.  I know Nigel made sure people knew she didn't always straighten her leg but I thought she did great.

Val really helped Kaylee/Cyrus with the choreography.  The routine was enjoyable.  Logan/Allison's routine is up there for me as well.  I guess I was more surprised by Allison's skills than I was Logan's.  He's been showing his insane control/movement all season.  I know most people don't enjoy his style as much as Lex but I do.

Dassy/Mark performed well together.  It looks like the tour will be great because the dancers appear to get along.  I thought both of them had a possibility of ending in B3.  Dassy was even my pick to go home.  Not because she's performed so badly.  It's just the competition.  They are going to wear out the "love couple" angle for Mark/Comfort.  Just because they've had this kind of chemistry doesn't mean to go to it each time.  But they elevated the routine as usual.  Dassy/FikShun's routine was very athletic.  It showed more of a range.  I wonder if they had done this routine instead of bollywood if she would've been able to increase her support?  I loved the bollywood but there was a mistake.  Her support started going down after then.

Loved the group routines.  Mark let's his personality show.  You're not surprised when they say "Thank you, Mark".  You knew it had to be him.  You could tell the dancers were enjoying themselves.  They did well with Jaci's piece.  Glad we got an artsy group routine as well.  Surely they'll bring this on tour eventhough it was the ASs.

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Performances from this week:

Group dances:

Spoiler

All Stars (Jaci Royal)


Top 8 & All Stars (Mark Kanemura)

 


Top 8 dance with their All Star partners:

Spoiler

Dassy & Fik-Shun - contemporary (Jaci Royal)


Kiki & Jenna - jazz (Travis Wall)


Mark & Comfort - Broadway (Spencer Liff)


Taylor & Robert - hip hop (Luther Brown)


Lex & Gaby - contemporary (Mandy Moore)


Koine & Marko - jazz (Mandy Moore)


Kaylee & Cyrus - cha cha (Val Chmerkovskiy)


Logan & Allison - hip hop (Christopher Scott)

 

 


Top 8 dance with each other:

Spoiler

Dassy & Mark - hip hop (Christopher Scott)


Kaylee & Logan - contemporary (Travis Wall)


Koine & Kiki - salsa (Val Chmerkovskiy)


Taylor & Lex - jazz (Spencer Liff)

 

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I was so excited when this show returned to a format with actual dancers who had hit puberty, but this format is just not working and this episode just really drove it home. I *loved* the original style with the same couples dancing together for several weeks at least. Watching those bonds form, watching them learn and grow together was really fun and special. I didn't really love the addition of the all-stars, but it at least raised the newbies' game and made for some good duets as long as the all-stars stood quietly while the newbie was getting critiqued.

This format really is just the worst of all possible worlds. The partnerships are leaving me cold. Allison is a beautiful young woman, for example, but she's coming off like Logan's mom. The choreographers don't even seem to be making an effort to highlight the contestant over the all-star, and I don't really need to hear the judges critique the all-star in anything other than a, "Good job, thanks" kind of way. The all-stars should never have been allowed to pick the contestants. They really didn't do themselves any favors, and having them dance out of their own styles just highlights some of their deficiencies.

The contestants also seemed to be picked based on whether the all-star 1) had a previously relationship with the contestant outside the show (Lex, Kiki) or 2) based solely on whether the all-star wanted to dance with them. Number 2 seems reasonable based on this being, you know...a *dance show,* but it doesn't really make for very good TV. Everyone is so bland this year. There are no fun personalities. There are no "underdogs" you can root for and watch grow. No couples you can watch learn the ropes. 

I don't mind a judge with little/no dance experience. I thought there have been "civilian" judges who were audience surrogates and could comment intelligently on performance and entertainment value. Vanessa Hudgens is not that judge. 

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This episode demonstrated exactly why the current all star format doesn't work as well. In the past few weeks, we have seen too many routines where the all star is highlighted instead of the contestant. Watching the contestants dance together this week reminded me of what we used to get - routines that weren't always trying to elevate one dancer over the other. I feel like the contestants this year are being sacrificed at the altar of "look at how great the all stars are!"

Even in routines where that wasn't exactly the case, I still felt like the all stars are being given special treatment. For example, look at the contemporary routine that they had Fik-Shun do versus most of the other contemporary routines we've seen this season. There's no way that he could have excelled at most of the other contemporary routines we've seen this season. The only all star who has been forced to show his weakness so far is Cyrus who looked really out of place in this week's cha cha. Honestly, he looked like one of the celebs on DWTS. It's not fair to a contestant to have to deal with an all star who isn't competent in whatever dance style they're doing together. I think Cyrus and Fik-Shun are amazing in their own styles, but they aren't well-rounded enough to do all the dance styles that the current competitors should be doing.

I'm fine with keeping the all stars around, but they should not be permanently paired with the contestants. Let the all stars stay within their areas of expertise. I'm okay with the all stars having more than one style where they're allowed to dance since there are so many who are cross trained.

I'm really glad that we finally got to see the contestants dance with each other. I really miss that from the earlier seasons.

Mark K's opening number was so fun. I would love to see more choreographers brought in who have very stylized choreography. To me, that routine was so specific, similar to the way that Fosse had a very specific style. Right now the show has different dance categories but they tend to look similar. I mean, how often have you seen a jazz or lyrical hip hop routine that could have passed for a contemporary routine? I know that there's some overlap in certain styles but there have definitely been times over the years when I watched a dance and thought it was one thing (like Broadway, for example) and it turned out that the show was calling it something else (like jazz). I'm already so tired of how similar all the contemporary dances look, but when you add in the jazz and lyrical hip hop dances that look similar (especially if you take away the costumes/props and mute the music so that all you focus on is the actual choreography), a lot of the routines blend together. At this point, Bollywood, disco, and tap are three of the only styles that you would never mistake for something else.

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I love the ASs but I would rather they not bring them on.  During S7, the contestants performed with the AS that mastered a certain genre during the entire season.  I don't think that's fair either.  I loved the routines but there really were no duds.  The contestants looked better than what they were because of the AS.  That's why I think Koine caught a break because she really got to perform her salsa with a ballroom expert.

I'm all for going back to S2--S5 format.  Didn't they use to vote by couple as well??  The main gripe I have really isn't the ASs.  It's TPTB/judges picking favorites and forcing them down our throats every week with OTT praise/accolades and plum choreography.  They started getting antsy during S2 when Donyelle made the F4.  They've been honing their deception technique every since.  They can now manage 2 really well.  The other favorites they just hope they don't fall in the bottom.   They can save them a couple of times but then they'll have to give it up.  But they use to just want them to make T10.  They start with T10 now.  So what's the big deal with Lex, Kiki, Taylor?  It seems like every week one or more of them get the SO, the train, mind blowing, couple to beat type comment.

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Which male dancer, in a skirt, was featured int he opening number, Vogue-ing a lot in the beginning?  I could not pick anyone out at all in this piece.  YAY RU PAUL!!

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1 minute ago, WhineandCheez said:

Which male dancer, in a skirt, was featured int he opening number, Vogue-ing a lot in the beginning?  I could not pick anyone out at all in this piece.  YAY RU PAUL!!

The first 10 seconds or so was all All-Star Robert.

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I knew that opening routine was Mark's and I was so damn excited about it! Vanessa Hudgens is the worst ever. Ugh. When Nigel mentioned loving seeing the contestants preform with each other like is past seasons, I wanted to throw my shoe at the TV! DUH! Why did they change the format?!

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Even Nigel's comments this week revealed his frustrations with the current format.  Another real problem with it is some All-Stars are complete utility players -- Marko, Robert, Comfort, Allison, Jenna, Jasmine, Paul, Gaby -- and can come out and do any genre; while others are either complete specialists or more limited.    I really enjoy Fikshun and even Cyrus is exhibiting a lot of heart and personality, but they limit what's possible for their contestant at times.  The compliments for Val this week were beyond even the expected schmoozing, because they were acknowledging the reality of Cyrus performing ballroom.  The choreo, the costuming, the music -- genius solution for covering up the elephant in that room.

I was expecting to see several comments about the weird vibe/closed off faces during Lex and Gaby's critique.  Have I lost my mind or was there some very bad mojo standing next to Cat during that whole discussion?

Vanessa, I'll go against the grain and admit that I've enjoyed your presence this season for the most part.  Until the past few weeks I was even looking forward to your sartorial choices.  Sorry, but I must draw the line at that hideous excuse for a wig so awful it wouldn't cut it on GoT -- even for a wight vanquished on the floor of a dragon pit.

I knew Dassy was leaving, but I admit to feeling my heart hurt for her.  Absolutely sick at the idea that Koine would have been B3, so undeserved.

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9 hours ago, Zuleikha said:

No, they're not. They're seeing it live and you're seeing it through the TV. A lot of elements can read differently with that change of format. 

While this is all very true, I'm also not going to pretend that there isn't a lot of bias across the board.  The judges have a certain storyline they want to see play out and dance assignments, judging, camera work and etc. all play into that.

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My world is topsy-turvy. I liked a Travis Wall routine featuring Kiki and Jenna! I so often don't get Travis as he just seems to have dancers flailing about and writhing on the floor trying to convey some deep, depressing message (which is fine, if that's your dance jam, it's not mine). I've never understood why Kiki is so highly praised--he's not a bad dancer but he's not nearly the level of most current and many past SYTYCD dancers and as for Jenna, I never disliked her during her season, I just liked other dancers more and she never sparked with me until Marko created lips couch dance with her. That said, this routine entertained me. I liked the music, the choreography and I thought both dancers did a great job in telling the story without too much mugging (I think the amount of makeup helped--hard to see the mugging through that!). It's not the best routine ever but hey, for once I think Kiki deserved some of the praise heaped upon him.

 

I loved Lex and Taylor in the American in Paris routine. I'm old and that music and the style is totally my jam (do the kids today still say that?). They're both so young but did so well playing characters and telling the story of young love/lust/infatuation. I have to give Taylor props for dancing with those eyelashes--yikes! They looked amazing but I'm thinking her eyelid muscles must have gotten quite the workout every time she blinked.

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4 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

 

Even in routines where that wasn't exactly the case, I still felt like the all stars are being given special treatment. For example, look at the contemporary routine that they had Fik-Shun do versus most of the other contemporary routines we've seen this season. There's no way that he could have excelled at most of the other contemporary routines we've seen this season. The only all star who has been forced to show his weakness so far is Cyrus who looked really out of place in this week's cha cha. Honestly, he looked like one of the celebs on DWTS. It's not fair to a contestant to have to deal with an all star who isn't competent in whatever dance style they're doing together. I think Cyrus and Fik-Shun are amazing in their own styles, but they aren't well-rounded enough to do all the dance styles that the current competitors should be doing.

 

I'm not really disagreeing with you because I said as much regarding Fik-shun and Dassey's contemporary routine tonight.  That was not terribly difficult when compared to the average contemporary routine on this show.  With that said.  Kaylee did have a choice.  Cyrus was not the only all star to pick her.  She could've chosen another all star that complemented her better in these other styles.  

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2 hours ago, Tikichick said:

I was expecting to see several comments about the weird vibe/closed off faces during Lex and Gaby's critique.  Have I lost my mind or was there some very bad mojo standing next to Cat during that whole discussion?

My DH and I noticed that, but I didn't think it was bad mojo.  We thought they were both still very caught up in the emotion of the dance and that it took them a bit to get out of it.  By the end of their time with Cat, both seemed back to normal to us.

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We really enjoyed the show last night - right up until Dassy went home.  We both really liked her.  I would have sent Kaylee home only because I've just never really warmed up to her.  I thought she did great with the cha cha, although I don't know why they put her in that pants suit instead of a nice cha cha dress.  But I guess that's what the choreographers decided had to be to show she was the 'breadwinner' in the family.  Or something.   I even really liked Logan last night, which is the first time that's happened.  He usually leaves me feeling 'meh,' but I enjoyed both of his dances last night.  Marko is the other one who leaves me feeling 'meh' but he did well, too.

Anyway, we liked all of the dances, including (maybe especially?) the ones where the contestants danced together.  I have missed that.  I absolutely love Lex.  Loved both his dances.  I seem to be in the minority in that Kiki is really growing on me.  I thought he did a great job in both of his routines last night.  And I really think he's fabulous in ballroom.  I love the way he moves across the floor. 

I was glad to hear Mary reference Hok and the hummingbird dance.  He was one of my favorite contestants ever, and the hummingbird dance is one of my all-time favorites (along with Travis and Benji and their little boy routine).  Anyhoo . . . good show!

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14 minutes ago, LadyMustang65 said:

 Kiki is really growing on me.  I thought he did a great job in both of his routines last night.  And I really think he's fabulous in ballroom.  I love the way he moves across the floor. 

 

He was like a different person dancing with Koine: much more open and engaged. 

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13 hours ago, Andie1 said:

Anybody remember this one from SYTYCDC, Gustavo pulled out all the stops.  A ballroom boy and a contemporary girl...

Shout-out to Leggy Cleggy!! 

This routine makes it all the more puzzling why Denis had so much trouble with the lifts in his World of Dance routines. Amanda is much taller and heavier than Antonina. S 

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I thought a lot of the music choices were so very wrong for the dances that I FF'd a lot more than usual last night. 

 

I didn't like/didn't think the music went with:

  • Allison & Logan- I just thought the song was WAY too slow for the fast movements
  • Kiki & Jenna- I liked the costuming and the dance itself- the music was just weird to me
  • Taylor & Robert- that song will NEVER be correct unless sung by Fiona Apple
  • Taylor & Lex- I liked the story but thought that the song is way too iconic to go with any other story

I know, YMMV, but I really couldn't get into any of those.  Also, no bird dance will ever resonate with me like the one with Hok and Jaime.

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36 minutes ago, Whimsy said:

Taylor & Robert- that song will NEVER be correct unless sung by Fiona Apple

You mean Mark & Comfort. But I agree that's a weird song choice for Broadway ?

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4 hours ago, Drogo said:

The first 10 seconds or so was all All-Star Robert.

Yea and he was awesome!!

3 hours ago, Keekski said:

I knew that opening routine was Mark's and I was so damn excited about it! Vanessa Hudgens is the worst ever. Ugh. When Nigel mentioned loving seeing the contestants preform with each other like is past seasons, I wanted to throw my shoe at the TV! DUH! Why did they change the format?!

It was Fox that wanted to change the format.  They always want to try to bring the ratings up.  Nigel wanted a top 20 and then bring the All-Stars when it got to the top 10.  I think he was throwing some shade with his comments about contestant pairings.

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2 hours ago, MV007 said:

I'm not really disagreeing with you because I said as much regarding Fik-shun and Dassey's contemporary routine tonight.  That was not terribly difficult when compared to the average contemporary routine on this show.  With that said.  Kaylee did have a choice.  Cyrus was not the only all star to pick her.  She could've chosen another all star that complemented her better in these other styles.  

I don't believe the All Stars and contestants were in the driver's seat as much as the audience was led to believe during academy.  Come on, Robert had a difficult time getting dancers to choose his team?  I will never believe that was reality.

 

1 hour ago, LadyMustang65 said:

We really enjoyed the show last night - right up until Dassy went home.  We both really liked her.  I would have sent Kaylee home only because I've just never really warmed up to her.  I thought she did great with the cha cha, although I don't know why they put her in that pants suit instead of a nice cha cha dress.  But I guess that's what the choreographers decided had to be to show she was the 'breadwinner' in the family.  Or something.   I even really liked Logan last night, which is the first time that's happened.  He usually leaves me feeling 'meh,' but I enjoyed both of his dances last night.  Marko is the other one who leaves me feeling 'meh' but he did well, too.

Anyway, we liked all of the dances, including (maybe especially?) the ones where the contestants danced together.  I have missed that.  I absolutely love Lex.  Loved both his dances.  I seem to be in the minority in that Kiki is really growing on me.  I thought he did a great job in both of his routines last night.  And I really think he's fabulous in ballroom.  I love the way he moves across the floor. 

I was glad to hear Mary reference Hok and the hummingbird dance.  He was one of my favorite contestants ever, and the hummingbird dance is one of my all-time favorites (along with Travis and Benji and their little boy routine).  Anyhoo . . . good show!

My heart hurt because I knew Dassy was leaving.  I think they put Kaylee in the pants to try to mask any lack of technique and because she's not so much a girly girl type in the first place.   I think Kaylee is in trouble between the obvious poor showing in the shadow number and being that unrecognizable and unattractive doing it doesn't pull a lot of votes.

I do have to give Travis credit, he once again this season is determined to demonstrate to a wide audience that he has a very wide range of styles he can develop choreo for.  Smart play to cast a big net in a tough career.  He has definitely made the most out of his association with this show.   For me Mark's opening number was enjoyable, but it wasn't THE best so many others are seeing.  The moment I saw Robert's costume I knew it was Mark's number.  I adore Mark.  I just think it's a little dangerous career wise to pigeon hole yourself so specifically. 

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I want better routines.  This was a serviceable Salsa, but the tricks weren't really a wow.  Kiki should do better. As a ballroom guy he doesn't do a lot of tricks, I get that, but if you're pouring a social dance like a Salsa into the mix ya gotta let go of the ballroom a bit more and not look like Koine weighs more than you.  She is as light as a feather and her contemporary training would have leveraged the lifts so he should not keep looking like it is work.  Pump weights or something, man.

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Love that Mark was back to choreograph since he has his own unique style.  Robert was so good in it.  Vanessa, please never wear that wig again.  Unlike others, I never complained about you but that wig has to go.

Dassy - Last week, I mentioned that if she landed at the bottom, she would be out.  She was the right person to go home.  Glad she left on a high note because I really liked their contemporary routine.  Just like Fik-Shun, she doesn't have a lot of dance training.  She is really good in her style.  This number was perfect for both of them. 

Kaylee - I think she will be the next one to go home if she's in the B3 next week.  Val knows how to choreograph to non-ballroom specialists since that's what they have to do at DWTS.  She did a good job with the cha cha.  Cyrus did not do the steps right and he put his own style to it.  But it looked like he was having fun which made the dance more enjoyable.  Kaylee was at a disadvantage with her routine with Logan.  She did o.k. but the dance really featured Logan.  She had to dress in dark clothing and she had to try to keep up with the bendy flexible Logan.  That wasn't going to happen which is why Logan did a lot of the leggy moves himself.

Koine - Should have never been in the B3.  I think she is more versatile than Taylor but the latter is the judge's girl favorite.   For never doing any kind of Latin dancing, she did well with the salsa. 

Taylor - Her ponytail needed to be shorter.  Sometimes, she flipped it and then her hair covered her face.  She got the attitude right which Sydney couldn't do.  But she was only adequate with the hip-hop moves themselves.  The judges are not going to call her out on it though.   She was beautiful with the bird dance.  That's the kind of choreography that she does best which is why I really liked her the first week when she did the Travis Wall contemporary.

Kiki - This was his best week.  The jazz number didn't have a lot of technique.  But it was fun.  Jenna and Kiki had to get the characters right and they did.  They were also synchronized which is important for this piece.  Of course, he's going to do a good job with the salsa.  Mary was trying to give him props because he didn't compete in salsa.  Please!!  That doesn't mean he doesn't have an advantage over somebody like Koine that never did Latin ballroom.

Mark - Comfort and he are getting pigeonholed because of their chemistry.  Lately, it seems like they have to play a toxic sexy couple.  This reminds me of  when Cole had to keep playing creepy mean guys because he was so good at it.  I can't tell if they did a Broadway or jazz piece.  He was decent with his jazz technique but not as good as Lex or Logan.  I could say the same about Comfort and her jazz technique.  What they have going for them if their acting abilities and chemistry.  Mark and Dassy's hip-hop routine was forgetful.  I only remember the umbrellas.

Lex - He finally did contemporary and he excelled with what he was given.  But I really don't like Mandy's contemporary routines.   I like his bird routine with Taylor.  I especially like the beginning where he did bring back memories of Hok.

Logan - Both pieces showed why I really like him.  The hip-hop showed that he can add break dancing to his movement which a lot of contemporary dancers can't do.  The contemporary showcased his flexibility and high jumping ability.

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5 minutes ago, Tikichick said:

I do have to give Travis credit, he once again this season is determined to demonstrate to a wide audience that he has a very wide range of styles he can develop choreo for.  Smart play to cast a big net in a tough career.  He has definitely made the most out of his association with this show

For me Travis is a bit of a manipulator.  I love a lot of his work, but I did not think Kiki and Jennas routine was all that, I thought it was boring one note play on a Leichtenstein painting, and he heaved Kaylee under the bus with the shadow routine.  Travis is clearly in the camp of Taylor, Lex and Logan, was at a dance awards last year to give Taylor an award and has been around long enough to know which routines win a SYTYCD. He knows his audience very well. 

Edited by Andie1
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I dislike Travis' choreography. It always seems to interpret music in a similar fashion across all his dances. Jenna and Kiki made that routine look good with their character work.

I loved Lex's routine with Gaby, and he outdanced her. She was great, too, but he was sitting into the music so much better. His routine with Taylor could have been choreographed better. For a routine about birds, I didn't feel much lightness, or airiness. Loved the arabesques to represent birds, though.

Mandy Moore jazzes always make me miss LoFro.

Can Robert go home next week?

Edited by fan94

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5 minutes ago, fan94 said:

Can Robert go home next week?
 

Isn't Robert one of the All Stars?  Or is there a contestant named Robert that I've forgotten about?  Anyway, I love Robert the All Star so he'll be around at least in group numbers until the end.

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He is an all-star. I made that comment because of his terrible performances in the Samba and the Hip-Hop. I've never liked his dancing.

 

(But there was Robert Green who was eliminated first.)

Edited by fan94
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Just now, Andie1 said:

For me Travis is a bit of a manipulator.  I did not think Kiki and Jennas routine was all that, I thought it was boring one note play on a Leichtenstein painting, and he heaved Kaylee under the bus with the shadow routine.  Travis is clearly in the camp of Taylor, Lex and Logan, was at a dance awards last year to give Taylor an award and has been around long enough to know which routines win a SYTYCD. He knows his audience very well. 

Absolutely no doubt he does.  That's the dance world.  That comes as no surprise to anybody in the dance world.  If any of the contestants are unaware of it this far into the competition, that's kind of a shame.

In particular last season and this season he has mixed in routines that are audition pieces for himself, calling cards if you will.  The Jenna/Kiki one is of that variety.  The shadow routine is of a more conventional style designed to appeal to SYTYCD audiences, it's been done before -- shadows, mirrors -- even by Travis himself.  I have no doubts Travis would have preferred to be able to show that number off with Lex and Logan to make it sing.  Kaylee's lack of technique and in my eyes effort, was absolutely highlighted, along with the uneven physical match of the pair performing it as well.  Trained dancers of her level of experience who don't pay enough attention to extension -- particularly when paired to match a dancer of such strong lines deserve what they get.   We have seen the dancers with legs for days on this show (Jasmine) who have incredible extension and lines -- and we have seen dancers like Melanie who are not built in a way to have their body easily form the lines, yet they give every inch of their heart and soul to convey it to the audience watching them dance.  That blame is Kaylee's, not Travis'.

Let's face it, the styles each of the dancers will receive each week isn't random at all.  My daughter pointed out to me early on that Lex was getting the initial fish out of water treatment so that he could no doubt finish strong in his wheelhouse in the home stretch.  World of Dance was no different with the manipulations and the predetermined outcomes.   

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Koine lucked out in getting her ballroom routine with Kiki (basically a ballroom AS).  I really enjoyed it.  I wasn't as surprised as the judges that she did so well.  She had Kiki.

I'm not a salsa expert by any means, but I have danced it socially a bunch. Koine looked really off to me any time she was out of partner work. There was something not right about her hips. I thought she got extremely lucky to have Kiki carry her through and elevate her performance. He may be limited, but what he does, he does extremely well. I understand now why Jenna was so eager to dance with him (and I loved their pop art jazz number).

Traditional jazz just doesn't do it for me. I admired the skill Lex and Taylor demonstrated and I loved the costuming, but I was still bored. 

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This week's episode made me proud.

I am proud of the show for returning to its aim of versatility. The contestants this season have all actually rotated through the 4 main genres (contemporary, jazz, ballroom, hip-hop). Of the remaining 7 contestants, only Mark has yet to do ballroom and Lex has yet to do hip-hop, but those two have still have danced a lot outside their wheelhouses.

As a DWTS viewer, I am proud of Val for producing two entertaining, yet content-filled dances and for making his non-ballroom girls shine and getting them to execute proper technique. 

I am even OK with Kiki (and Jenna, who really is an excellent, versatile dancer). He has limitations, but I think he's done well everything he's been asked to do. And for me, it is nice to actually see so much attention for once towards a male ballroom dancer. I just wish there could have been as strong a response from the judges in the past towards other versatile, charismatic male ballroom dancers (i.e. Pasha, Paul) instead of marginalizing them and putting most of the attention on their partners.

Other highlights for me:

Spencer Liff had me from the moment the  "An American in Paris" music started playing, and I think the choreography, Lex and Taylor did the whole thing justice.

I thought Travis' shadow piece was pretty cool and executed by Lex and Kaylee really well.

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I thought she did great with the cha cha, although I don't know why they put her in that pants suit instead of a nice cha cha dress.  But I guess that's what the choreographers decided had to be to show she was the 'breadwinner' in the family.

She looked great in those pants--she has a muscular build--her butt looked great-- and in a cha cha dress she might not fare well, as she did not fare well in the long velvet dress (made from curtains?) I hope she loses the blue hair--for me seeing that unnatural color takes me out of the dance.

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I really enjoy Fikshun and even Cyrus is exhibiting a lot of heart and personality, but they limit what's possible for their contestant at times.  The compliments for Val this week were beyond even the expected schmoozing, because they were acknowledging the reality of Cyrus performing ballroom.

I think that Cyrus has been an awfully good sport in terms of the hammering he has received from the judges. He seems content in knowing what he is damned good at, and what he simply isn't. That cha cha was all Kaylee. And I agreed with Mary that when I heard they had cha cha, I put my head in my hands. Val did a great job of choreographing to Kaylee's strengths; he seems to be a very good teacher. I think he helped give Kaylee the confidence to perform that number with such abandon. And, yeah, Cyrus was...not good. But he didn't mess up the dance for Kaylee, and he seemed delighted that she got great comments.

One thing I don't like about this format is that by now, something like 40% of the dancers are going to be in the bottom 3 at any given time. 

I can't figure out what they're doing with Lex's narrative. He was in his style last night, but he was jammed in the middle of the pack, and it was a just an okay Mandy Moore routine (maybe okay+ -- it was pretty good). I believe that he is, by far, the best dancer this season, but they're being careful not to push him too hard. The praise for the bird dance was pretty well-deserved. I thought that Logan should have been praised more for his character work in the Chris Scott hip hop. Yes, he looks twelve, but he pretty convincingly played older in that piece. 

Mark K. -- come back!! Stay!! Choreograph. Keep giving me life. xoxo

I forget what now (blocked out, apparently), but Nigel said something awful about Taylor being sweet and then being "dirty." Nigel's Madonna/Whore complex strikes again. Ick. He's so...leery.

And I never thought, not in my wildest imaginings, that there would be a judge on this show that would make me say, "God, I kinda miss Jason Derullo." Hats (or hideous wigs as the case may be) off to you, Vanessa.

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It's annoying after a a supposed emotional dance is over, the dancers (especially the All Stars) have this serious look on their face during the critiques.  So fake.  Comfort did it last week and this week Courtney.

How many people vote on this show these days?  I'm assuming a small amount.  I assume the ratings are abismal at this point.  

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6 hours ago, CleverUserName975 said:

My world is topsy-turvy. I liked a Travis Wall routine featuring Kiki and Jenna! I so often don't get Travis as he just seems to have dancers flailing about and writhing on the floor trying to convey some deep, depressing message (which is fine, if that's your dance jam, it's not mine). I've never understood why Kiki is so highly praised--he's not a bad dancer but he's not nearly the level of most current and many past SYTYCD dancers and as for Jenna, I never disliked her during her season, I just liked other dancers more and she never sparked with me until Marko created lips couch dance with her. That said, this routine entertained me. I liked the music, the choreography and I thought both dancers did a great job in telling the story without too much mugging (I think the amount of makeup helped--hard to see the mugging through that!). It's not the best routine ever but hey, for once I think Kiki deserved some of the praise heaped upon him.

 

I loved Lex and Taylor in the American in Paris routine. I'm old and that music and the style is totally my jam (do the kids today still say that?). They're both so young but did so well playing characters and telling the story of young love/lust/infatuation. I have to give Taylor props for dancing with those eyelashes--yikes! They looked amazing but I'm thinking her eyelid muscles must have gotten quite the workout every time she blinked.

I agree.  I loved that Travis Wall choreography.  It was all beautifully different - the costumes, the makeup, the dancing, the music.  I couldn't take my eyes off it.  Bravo Travis for a really stand out piece.  And I also really enjoyed Lex and Taylor's Bird number.  It felt very birdlike and again, beautiful costumes. 

I loved the contestants finally dancing with each other.  I miss falling for couples and caring about them.  Try as I might, I just have no emotional investment in anyone this season.  By taking away the couples and the rapport that they developed, they've taken away the heart of the show.  We cared about the dancers in the early seasons.  I would stay up hours voting because I cared.  But now?  These all-stars are not even as interesting as the pairings on DWTS.  They are taking away from the contestants and drawing too much focus.  I really dislike this all-star fascination.  Sigh.  At least we had the early years I guess. 

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I wanted Kaylee to leave instead of Dassy. And I don't think we'll be loosing another girl next week, probably the judges will try to save a girl if it is possible. But I honestly don't know who from the guys could be the next that leaves. Maybe Marko? Or could we get rid of Kiki?

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FYI - Marko is the All Star and Mark V is the contestant (not to be confused with Mark K who choreographed this week's group number!).

I know between that and the two Roberts, it's been a little confusing this season! :)

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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13 hours ago, bourbon said:

I was so excited when this show returned to a format with actual dancers who had hit puberty, but this format is just not working and this episode just really drove it home. I *loved* the original style with the same couples dancing together for several weeks at least. Watching those bonds form, watching them learn and grow together was really fun and special. I didn't really love the addition of the all-stars, but it at least raised the newbies' game and made for some good duets as long as the all-stars stood quietly while the newbie was getting critiqued.

This format really is just the worst of all possible worlds. The partnerships are leaving me cold. Allison is a beautiful young woman, for example, but she's coming off like Logan's mom. The choreographers don't even seem to be making an effort to highlight the contestant over the all-star, and I don't really need to hear the judges critique the all-star in anything other than a, "Good job, thanks" kind of way. The all-stars should never have been allowed to pick the contestants. They really didn't do themselves any favors, and having them dance out of their own styles just highlights some of their deficiencies.

The contestants also seemed to be picked based on whether the all-star 1) had a previously relationship with the contestant outside the show (Lex, Kiki) or 2) based solely on whether the all-star wanted to dance with them. Number 2 seems reasonable based on this being, you know...a *dance show,* but it doesn't really make for very good TV. Everyone is so bland this year. There are no fun personalities. There are no "underdogs" you can root for and watch grow. No couples you can watch learn the ropes. 

I don't mind a judge with little/no dance experience. I thought there have been "civilian" judges who were audience surrogates and could comment intelligently on performance and entertainment value. Vanessa Hudgens is not that judge. 

 I doubt that the all stars actually chose the contestants.  The pairings seem very producer driven and appear to be the pairs that the producers would want.  The all stars picking the contestants is about as believable as the "random" in the hat picks ever were in the old days. Thank God at least they don't pretend that they aren't making picking the choreographer and the style based upon what the producers want to see danced. The fact that it doesn't even appear random actually ruins the show because there are rarely any surprises.  I watched from the very first show in the very first season and used to be passionate about the contestants that I really liked. I always voted also with a passion  but I haven't voted in years. I watch because entertaining somewhat but I really miss deeply connecting to various contestants and cheering them on instead of being a passive observer.  Now I use the fast forward through the judges where I used to listen and possibly totally disagree with them.   Now I don't even care enough to hate watch the judges. Oh well, nothing last forever I do wish these contestants well I just know I won't be following them  with the interest are used to have. There is one request I have of the universe which is to get rid of Kiki so that other contestants I like a lot better will have more experience.

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8 hours ago, MV007 said:

I'm not really disagreeing with you because I said as much regarding Fik-shun and Dassey's contemporary routine tonight.  That was not terribly difficult when compared to the average contemporary routine on this show.  With that said.  Kaylee did have a choice.  Cyrus was not the only all star to pick her.  She could've chosen another all star that complemented her better in these other styles.  

Maybe she could see the handwriting on the wall in joining other All-Star groups. I don't know the dance world but I can pretty much predict who was going to be the final us in each All-Stars little group. And I hadn't even watched all of the  maybe she could see the handwriting on the wall in joining other All-Star groups. I don't know the dance world but I can pretty much predict who was going to be the final us in each All-Stars little group. And I hadn't even watched all of the auditions.  I wouldn't have joined a group where Alex was because he was definitely making the show. Also Taylor seemed a big pick and Kiki  what is a known champion and his specialty. Anybody seeing Logan dance wouldn't want to pick being up against him. So no I'm not gonna go back and see who else had picked her  but I always thought that she had a little hip-hop side of her that she wanted to express with Cyrus to make herself stand out from just a basic contemporary girl. 

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Just some random thoughts

All Star group dance with the plexiglass - Now that's how you use props! Loved it.

Kiki and Jenna - Travis, what the heck was that dreck you inflicted on my television? Did you get orders to try to make them look bad?

Logan and Kaylee - Travis, you redeemed yourself. I agree that Kaylee was at a distinct disadvantage basically dancing in/as Logan's shadow but I think she did a good job of it. Given that she was portraying some darker part of Logan's soul it didn't bother me that her movements didn't exactly mirror his.

Koine and Kiki - Really enjoyable but Kiki just doesn't have the sheer presence that other ballroom boys on this show have had.  Oh, and Kiki, get yourself some Croakies. You'll thank me.

Taylor and Robert - Uhm...they made a valiant effort... They just didn't have the right snap.

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