Welcome to the first night of performances on So You Think You Can Dance this season!
Tonight, the top 20 performers pair up to form ten teams, and each team takes the stage to show us what they are really made of. Also tonight, we get to vote for our favorites, and the guy and girl who get the fewest votes will be eliminated in tomorrow night’s results show.
Stay with me throughout the entire two-hour broadcast. I’ll be here providing you with live thoughts throughout.
Cat Deeley, wearing a smashing little gold dress, introduces the top 20 dancers, who each take a few seconds to show off their skills. Kourtni Lind has a cute outfit that includes only one legwarmer. I’m also reminded that Rayven Armijo is a ballet dancer, which I love because I love ballet.
Cat welcomes our … joodges! Tonight, we’ve got Dan Karaty, Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe. Nigel makes inappropriate comments about Cat’s appearance. Hmm…secret romance?
The first couple is Rayven Armijo and Jamie Bayard. Rayven is the oldest competitor, but she thinks her maturity will be an asset. Jamie is a West Coast swing dancer who auditioned with his girlfriend. Sadly, his girlfriend didn’t make it past Vegas. Rayven and Jamie have a hip hop routine tonight choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon. They dance to “American Boy” by Estelle, ft. Kanye West. Ha! Rayven pantses Jamie in the middle of the routine. It’s a pretty solid first routine, I think, and these two are actually pretty convincing as hip hoppers. NIgel is worried that they might not be memorable by the time the end of the evening rolls around, but Mary shrieks and screams that they were great.
Next up: Susie Garcia and Marquis Cunningham. This week, they have a smooth waltz. Their rehearsal footage looks pretty rough, and indeed, they look a bit stiff in their performance tonight. Susie’s dress is lovely, however. They find their groove toward the second half of their performance, and things start to look better, except for an awkward moment during a big lift. Nigel comments on the difficulty of the routine and the stumble in the lift, but his comments are generally positive. Dan Karaty loves that it was sexy, romantic and smooth. He says it was almost perfect.
Kourtni Lind and Matt Dorame dance next. They’ve got jazz tonight, choreographed by Mandy Moore. Kourtni and Matt are very tall, 6’3″ and 5’9″ respectively. In rehearsal, hey have a bit of trouble doing Mandy’s “short people choreography,” as Matt puts it. They dance to “Tainted Love,” while wearing hot little leather numbers. Kourtni, in particular, looks amazing with her mile-long and tiny miniskirt. Ooh, neat trick at the end. Nigel needs more personality from Matt and comments that he dances like he has a broomstick up his arse. Mary thinks they did a great job, with the exception of a clunky lift. Dan thinks it was only so-so. They’ve got to attack it. Cat cutely feels almost normal-sized standing next to Kourtni and Matt. (It’s true – Cat usually looks like Alice in Wonderland after she eats the cake or whatever that turns her into a giantess.)
Chelsea Traille and Thayne Jasperson are the next two to perform. Chelsea is really cute, and Thayne is a big dorky. They dance the cha cha tonight, and both being contemporary dancers, the Latin style is a new experience for them. Wow, Chelsea is basically wearing a strategically placed purple boa for a dress. They are competent in this routine, but I see them thinking too hard about their steps. Nigel has nothing but glowing praise for them, so it shows how much I know about dance. Oh gawd, Mary cackles that they get two tickets on the hot tamale train. Dan just comments on how sexy Chelsea is.
Chelsie Hightower and Mark Kanemura are next. Mark is one of my early favorites, and I like Chelsie a lot too. Ooh, they have a Mia Michaels contemporary piece tonight. Mia envisions her piece to be Tim Burton-esque wedding, and she makes no qualms about getting negative about Mark. I think they really pull it off and do a great job. I have to say that although Mia Michaels irks me to no end, her choreo is beautiful. Nigel compliments Chelsie and Mark and Mia. (From the audience, Mia give Mark the thumbs-up.) Mary goes on and on and on about how unbelievable they were. Dan also has nothing but praise.
Kherington Payne and Twitch Boss kick off the second half of the So You Think You Can Dance performance show. This week, they learned a Tyce Diorio Broadway routine to “Too Darn Hot” from Kiss Me Kate, and in rehearsals, Kherington accidentally kicks Twitch in the face a lot. Twitch calls their partnership Twitchington. I like it! Kherington has this bodacious feathery corset thing going on. These two are definitely entertaining, and Nigel thinks so too. A lot of high-decibel noise spills out of Mary Murphy’s mouth. Please make her stop yelling!
Comfort Fedoke and Chris Jarosz dance next. Comfort is pretty hilarious, awkwardly discussing partner dancing with an “ick” look on his face. Chris is the one Nigel called out as having a bland, tree-like personality. They have the jive tonight. Wow, Comfort looks great in an itty bitty skirt and bra top. Very un-hip hop-like. They look like they are having a fabulous time on stage, but you can tell that their technique isn’t quite up to the level as that of some of the other dancers. After the performance, Cat comments on Comfort’s sexy outfit, and Nigel tongue-bathes her for her outfit. Nigel nitpicks on technique a bit, but he loves the personality they brought to it. Comfort says that she even dislocated her shoulder earlier, but they “click-clicked” it back into place. Mary says they did “a respectable job,” and Dan compliments Chris for keeping up with Comfort. He also says they have to develop their chemistry.
Katee Shean and Joshua Allen are the next couple. Joshua is a hip hop dancer, but has also trained in ballet (as well as playing football and running track). They have a hip hop routine choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha, which tells the story of an enlisted man shipping off the next day. They dance to “No Air” by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown. Katee and Joshua are very intuitive dancers, and they really rock this routine pretty hard. I had to sit for a moment, not typing, because my eyes were glued to the screen. Nigel tells them that they were really, really great, in a hushed, awed voice. He says that it’s his favorite routine of the night. Mary is pleasantly surprised at how soft Joshua could dance, and Dan is pleasantly surprised with how well Katee held her own.
Jessica King and William Wingfield dance the tango next. I love the tango. It’s so dramatic and hammy. Jessica and Will get out of sync a little bit, and they seem too careful for the most part. They are still very good, except for a few tiny slips by Jessica. Mary shrieks something positive and deems them “the couple to beat right now.” Dan Karaty doesn’t agree with that statement, but he still showers the couple with praise.
And for the final performance of the evening, Courtney Galiano and Gev Manoukian dance a disco routine. I am inordinately excited about this because the ’70s was the best decade EVER. Don’t even argue with me about this. They dance to Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Boogie Wonderland” – awesome! Courtney is amazing, doing like five billion chaine turns in a row. Ohhh-kay, Nigel doesn’t love the dance because they lacked the feel of disco. At least Mary has my back. She thinks they really brought it. Dan thinks the performance could have been tighter, but it was pretty good.
So there you have it! The first ten performances of So You Think You Can Dance season 4! It’s time to vote now!
-Debbie Chang, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of FOX)