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Be the Jidge: Rank the SYTYCD Dancers

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Make lists/rankings if you like, and I'd love to see your reasoning, whether based on what about them moves you, or why you think they're artistically or technically strong. 😄

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@DrogoThat's also a nice idea, but I was also wondering if we could do it across all seasons? Maybe we can just make two lists, one for the season, and other for an all-time one.

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1. Nazz Sldryan

1. Gino

2. Bailey

3. I actually really don't know how I'm supposed to rank these people when I don't remember most of them.

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I agree, attempting to do so for the current crop is almost impossible because of the way they've been presented to us/foisted on us/hidden from us.

As far as all time, several appeared as All Stars this season -- Comfort, Koine, Marko, Fikshun, Robert, Jasmine, Lauren all showed why they're each magical in their own ways.

My very special favorites include but are not limited to:

Comfort  -  IMO was not worthy of the win her season, but may well be the best of them all post competition.  She trained incredibly hard after competing and it shows in how incredibly versatile she's become.  It's a shame we don't often get to see her out of a hip hop format.  She's also an incredibly deep and kind person, things which pour out of her in performance as well.  Very generous with whomever she shares the stage with, a fact that many competitors have benefited from.

Marko - Deserved to win his season.  Has never received his due.  Incredibly versatile.  Very generous and beyond supportive partner. 

Koine -- Lex who?  How on earth did this gem get overlooked as the winner?  Can do literally anything thrown at her -- and own it.  She came back to crush it in Salsa this season!!  Salsa!?!

Alex Wong - But for cruel fate would have definitely won his season.  Superb technician.  Superb performer.  Spectacular all around.  I am truly grateful he came back from devastating injuries -- twice no less.

Eliana Girard and Cheon  -- Spectacular and deserving winners.  Not often mentioned, but never forgotten.  Special, special dancers.

Phillip Chbeeb, Ellenore Scott, Hok -- Incredibly talented creative unicorns I can never get enough of.  

Twitch -- Incredible talent, much more versatile than he's ever been given credit for, incredibly warm human.  I will never forget the privilege of watching his talent and humanity on display with Comfort in the 4Realness of Season 4.

Will Wingfield -- Special blend of natural talent, incredible technique and pure magic.  The show was lucky to have him, the audience was privileged to watch him. 

Jasmine Harper - First impression is always legs for miles, incredible lines.  Watch out for the stealthy ability to turn around and destroy with hip hop ability and then knock out of the park any other style you want to throw at her.  Brings a whole other level to it all with her eyes. 

I know there are many, many more.  These are the first few that flood directly into my mind when I think fondly of all the treasures I've enjoyed over the years with the show.

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1 hour ago, Tikichick said:

I agree, attempting to do so for the current crop is almost impossible because of the way they've been presented to us/foisted on us/hidden from us.

Yeah, we used to be able to have much better opinions on the dancers straight out of green mile... I don't even know half of them. I'd probably rank Anna last, but I also don't see anything special about Madison, or Eddie, or either of the Sosas (or any of the women they chose, to be honest). Gino's technical qualities shine, and I have grown to appreciate his performance ability; Bailey has shown nice command and authenticity. Beyond that, IDK.

I'd probably rank Ellenore Scott the best dancer on the show, at least based off her own genre. Her technique was incredible, and her musicality is on the top level of all contestants who've been on the show as contemporary/jazz dancers. She wasn't the most versatile, but she sold the heck out of everything.

Or maybe it should be Lauren Froderman. She wasn't the most mature dancer in her own season, but her movement quality was still very honest and technically precise, plus her musicality was still beautiful. She then combined all this with her versatility.

My jaw is on the floor whenever Fik-Shun or Comfort dance hip hop, and that's been true since their own seasons. They weren't the most versatile (although I wasn't having a conniption watching Comfort trying to point her toes, unlike Nigel), but that's OK, what they brought in artistry more than made up for it. Not to mention, the show is pretty rigged towards dancers who train in western techniques, so it's probably better to look at performance ability/musicality.

Jeanine Mason had outstanding solos, with beautiful technique, star power, and musicality. She definitely stands out for her performance ability and solos.

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Danny Tidwell.  How he didn't win...?  So many of his dances were underrated at the time (except for the ginormous horde of fans - his thread was the most active ever on the SYTYCD board on TWoP so far as I remember).  That cha cha with Lacey was the bomb -- his solos were breathtaking.  

Will Wingfield was overlooked in a similarish way.  I was a huge fan of his movement and his constant seeking of new ways to dance. 

Comfort was actually more watchable in her own season than she often gets credit for.  I was inclined to dislike her top ten save because I thought Jessica King was very strangely treated by the show, but she totally won me over almost instantly, pointed toes or not.  

Mark Kanemura.  Billy Bell (the duet with Ade still haunts me, I liked Ade a lot too).  I loved Lacey's dancing (not so much her personality) and thought she was often underrated. Alex Wong of course.  I seem to lean towards male dancers, I notice.  I loved tWitch all along, but he has become much better since, as many of them have.

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1 hour ago, crowceilidh said:

Danny Tidwell.  How he didn't win...?  So many of his dances were underrated at the time (except for the ginormous horde of fans - his thread was the most active ever on the SYTYCD board on TWoP so far as I remember).  That cha cha with Lacey was the bomb -- his solos were breathtaking.  

Will Wingfield was overlooked in a similarish way.  I was a huge fan of his movement and his constant seeking of new ways to dance. 

Comfort was actually more watchable in her own season than she often gets credit for.  I was inclined to dislike her top ten save because I thought Jessica King was very strangely treated by the show, but she totally won me over almost instantly, pointed toes or not.  

Mark Kanemura.  Billy Bell (the duet with Ade still haunts me, I liked Ade a lot too).  I loved Lacey's dancing (not so much her personality) and thought she was often underrated. Alex Wong of course.  I seem to lean towards male dancers, I notice.  I loved tWitch all along, but he has become much better since, as many of them have.

A big part of the problem with Comfort's run on the show was down to the narrative they hung on her.  She had more training than production wanted the audience to be aware of.  They also attempted to imply she didn't care to strive for technique in other styles.  None of that was true.  After the show she pursued even more training to hone her craft.   

The technique and skill she picked up boosted her overall dance abilities into an entirely new stratosphere.  Everybody knows she's unbelievable in hip hop, but for me she is as good, if not better in contemporary, particularly where it requires deep emotion.  She can bring strong and powerful feeling to her dancing -- and then deftly and delicately reach in and pluck your heart right out of your chest.     

Mark, Billy and Ade definitely all brought their special magic to the show.  It would be nice if they brought Mark back again to choreograph as well.

Another favorite I left off my list is Ivan Koumaev from season 2.  I still have a very special place in my heart for his liquid approach to hip hop.  One of my daughters was lucky enough to attend a master class with him at her dance studio after season 3.  His approach cracked open the door of hip hop for a dancer who had great difficulty breaking through the wall of the more formal ballet world.  

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Jess LeProtto will always be a favorite of mine. He has made a wonderful career for himself on Broadway. I saw him in "Newsies" on Broadway and he was an absolute stand out from the other dancers.

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I heard from a friend that Jess LeProtto is cast in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story...

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6 hours ago, MartyQui said:

I heard from a friend that Jess LeProtto is cast in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story...

Yes, I saw an article that listed all the cast, including the ensemble. Jess is a Jet.

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I noticed Cat mentioned Gaby is cast in the movie remake of West Side Story. But....there has been no mention that Gino has been cast in the ensemble of the Broadway revival of West Side Story.

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9 hours ago, luvthepros said:

I noticed Cat mentioned Gaby is cast in the movie remake of West Side Story. But....there has been no mention that Gino has been cast in the ensemble of the Broadway revival of West Side Story.

They probably don't want it to affect the vote.  People might decide that he doesn't need the win since he's already on Broadway (like your future is all set by one Broadway gig 🙄) and vote for the dancers who don't have those opportunities.  Although, it could also boost his vote if people think getting on Broadway means he is the best and most-deserving dancer on the show.  I'm guessing they'll bring it up during the finale after this season's voting closes.  

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Well, we're nearly at an end, so here's a final list:

Bailey

Benjamin

Gino

Mariah

Ezra

Stephanie

Anna

Sophie

Madison

Eddie

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Benjamin was my #2 after Bailey.  But I didn't vote.

My order for the final 4

Bailey

Mariah

Gino

Sophie

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I am very torn.

Gino

Mariah

Bailey

Sophie

OR

Bailey

Mariah

Gino

Sophie

I can see arguments for both and possibly even an argument for

Mariah

Bailey

Gino

Sophie

So basically, I'm clear that I think that Sophie will be fourth (cute kisses notwithstanding).

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Who are some of the best soloists you remember from seasons past? I actually can name a good soloist from each of the adult seasons before 15 happened. Since then, no one's impressed me for whatever reason.

Season 1: Nick, Blake

Season 2: Benji, Ivan, Heidi, Allison

Season 3: Danny, Hok

Season 4: tWitch, Mark, Will, Comfort, Gev, Kourtni

Season 5: Jeanine, Brandon, Evan, Ade, Melissa, Phillip, Caitlyn

Season 6: Russell, Ellenore, Legacy, Nathan

Season 7: Lauren, Adechike, Billy, Alex

Season 8: Melanie, Sasha, Jess

Season 9: Eliana, Chehon, Cyrus, George, Amber, Brandon

Season 10: Fikshun, Jasmine, Aaron, Bluprint

Season 11: Ricky, Zack (and emilio though we never saw anything on the show)

Season 12: Jaja, Jim

Season 14: Lex, Logan, Kaylee, Mark, Dassy

(I also marked my favorites in bold... and apparently a lot of my favorite soloists have won)

Then I don't even remember anyone from last season. And I can't name a single great solo from this season.

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I've liked Bailey's solos. I wonder if earlier seasons had more solos by virtue of having more episodes?

I'm kind of bummed that Benjamin didn't advance. He stood out for me, even though he seemed to be given the short shrift since he first showed up on screen.

But yeah, for this season it's Bailey, Gino, then Mariah as a distant third. Sophie doesn't even make the list for me, I always end up watching her partner.

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