Friday, June 12, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance? Season 5 - Week 1 Results

The results shows are always fun because they start out with a group number. A group number that is danced is always and forever better than a group number that is sung, like on American Idol. The American Idol group sings are the stupidest things you have ever seen, reminding me personally of having to endure school convocations featuring Up With People. But the group dances are something else and this one is no exception.

The song is "Boom Boom Pow" by the Black-Eyed Peas. Lots of Black-Eyed Peas this season, it seems. We've already heard this song during the Las Vegas week callbacks, plus we heard "Let the Beat Rock" in Paris and Tony's dance last night. Hope we all don't lose our appetites. This dance is a hip-hop piece, very edgy, very sharp. It doesn't look like Tabitha and Napoleon's work, and it isn't strange enough for Wade Robson. Phillip does something cra-a-azy cool with his arms and the camera loves Kayla. Afterwards, Cat announces that Shane Sparks is the choreographer. We should have known! Glad he's back. He's kind of the flip side of TabiNapo.

(I spend a a brief moment wondering where hip-hop choreographer Dan Karaty's got to. Apparently he's going to be doing some choreography work for the show later on this season. I always like him as a judge. He's been working with So You Think You Can Dance in Canada and the Netherlands.)

Whoops! Pay attention! Cat is onstage telling us that it's time to announce the bottom three couples. She calls them up in groups of three, telling them all that she hates Thursdays. Eventually, the bottom three are narrowed down to these partners:

#2 Asuka Kondoh and Vitolio Jeune, who danced a Broadway number choreographed by Tyce Diorio to "Hot Honey Rag" from the Chicago soundtrack. What did I tell you?! Kiss of death!

#3 Karla Garcia and Jonathan Platero, who did a cha-cha choreographed by Tony Meredith to Lady Gaga's "Poker Face."

#5 Paris Torres and Tony Bellissimo, who performed a Tabitha and Napoleon hip-hop routine to "Let the Beat Rock" by the Black-Eyed Peas, as mentioned before.

The six contestants have to dance for their lives now, as the fourteen safe dancers breathlessly hug one another down in their reserved section of seats in the audience. However, before the solos start, we're going to have a special performance of the Argentine tango by Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo.

Miriam and Leonardo dance to the song "Tangueira" from the Forever Tango soundtrack. They have incredible, sharp-as-a-knife moves, including those gancho steps, which are the kicks around one another's legs. Faaaaabulous!!! The only problem I have is that their faces are totally impassive while they're doing this extremely passionate dance. It's like their legs are saying, in a hawt Argentinian accent, "I lohve are my one passion" while their heads are saying, "Did I forget to buy eggs?" Hmmm. They finish up and take a bow. Very nice.

Now it's time for the solos, which go as follows:

1. Paris Torres
Music: "It Doesn't Hurt" by Katie Thompson

Paris is floaty and does a number of leaps and pirouettes. Horrible song choice, in my opinion. She was okay, but I am not left sitting in my seat thinking, "Please please keep her." In terms of subliminal messages to the judges, this is not such a great song choice. I mean, a breakup song?

2. Tony Bellissimo
Music: "Early in the Morning" by The Gap Band

I have the strained feeling that I could get tired of Tony's humorous hip-hop really fast. For instance, there's his outfit: A doofy-looking red bow tie, clam-digger pants, striped stockings like Alice in Wonderland and big red shoes, possibly borrowed from Ronald McDonald. Ugh. Cannot take him seriously as a dancer. He doesn't do a terrible job, but I am already just kind of over him, despite the fact that he seems like a nice guy.

3. Asuka Kondoh
Music: "Did Ya" by BoA

Asuka smolders onstage in a very sassy, frothy skirt which she whisks back and forth as she shimmies around the stage. Fast feet! Is she wearing....a black bra? With a ruffly white bolero jacket over it? She looks very pretty and her dance is very smart and intriguing. Another break up song - bad subliminal messaging, Asuka!

4. Vitolio Jeune
Music: "We Belong Together" by Gavin DeGraw

Vitolio comes out in black pants with no shirt - Tony, take note. He does many high kicks and seems to invest his dance with a great deal of feeling. I like his subliminal choice of songs. "'We Belong Together,' show! Hear me, judges!"

5. Karla Garcia
Music: ("You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman" by Aretha Franklin

This moldy oldie song has been done so many times on this show. I give Karla credit for picking a song that has no negative subliminal message qualities, but still. Karla does lots of pointy toes and windmilling arms. She does an absolutely twee arm-and-finger wave at the end of her minute. Oh, please do not do that anymore, Karla. It made me wince.

6. Jonathan Platero
Music: "Krazy" by Pitbull featuring Lil John

Jonathan's dance consists mostly of some footwork, plus some neat acrobatics. It's my favorite of the three male dancers.

The judges go off backstage to confer together and while we wait, we're forced to listen to some hip-hop song that is apparently "hot" right now by a big guy named Sean Kingston, whose very large blue jeans are belted completely underneath his bulging butt cheeks. Dude. Just.....dude. Anyway, that tells me all I need to know about him. We mute the television. The song is called "Fire Burning." Okay. Whatevs.

It's now time for the cuts. Ugh. It's still very early days, but I don't really want to part with any of these dancers. Nigel says that the judges' decisions are unanimous for both the boys and the girls.

Karla, Asuka and Paris are called onstage. Nigel tells Karla that she had a strong solo, but that she needs to make sure that she's actually dancing and not just doing some steps. But she is safe!

Asuka and Paris are left, quivering slightly. Nigel says that Asuka has lots of personality and is a "little star." He tells the girls that the judges consider not just what they've seen in the solos, but what they've seen along. And they also consider how many of the same type of dancers they already have in the competition. Rather abruptly, he says to Paris that her solo wasn't that strong and that they already have a great many contemporary dancers,'s the end of the road for her.

Paris accepts the decision gracefully, as the contestants always do on this show. Her eyes are wide open and it's obvious that she's trying to to cry, which makes me cry. We watch a montage of clips from Paris's journey set to Kelly Clarkson's "Already Gone." Ouch. By the time the cameras cut back to Paris and Cat, there are tear streaks down Paris's cheeks. Cat hugs her and whispers something in her ear. What a lovely person she seems to be.

Cat sends Paris backstage and calls the three male contestants forward. Nigel starts right in by telling them that none of the three of them danced solos that will keep them in the competition very much longer, so they'd better step it up. The three of them look absolutely stricken, making me feel that getting the boot is emotionally harder on guys than it is on girls.

Then Nigel turns to Vitolio, who looks like he's entered a territory so far beyond terrified, I wouldn't be surprised to see Nosferatu pop up behind him. Nigel sternly tells Vitolio that they have not seen. One. Bit. Of the exuberant personality Vitolio displayed at the auditions. Come to think of it, neither have I, Nigel. Oh, but wait....I didn't see very much of Vitolio in the auditions because SOMEONE kept making me watch stupid dancers or people like David Soller, who is indeed many things, but definitely not a dancer, no matter what his mother says.

Nigel tells Vitolio that he has been spared the axe and Vitolio's blood immediately rushes out of his head to crouch around his heart: He's so relieved, he looks light headed. He jumps off stage and into a big group hug. Awww.

But now we're left with Tony and Jonathan, who collectively look about four months shy of puberty. Nigel tells them again that their solos were not strong. Then he does one of those incredibly manipulative Property Ladder pauses: "We are keeping.......[wait for it]...................[wait a little more]..........[longer!]....Jonathan."

Tony looks crushed and Cat gathers him up, murmuring something about how things have only just begun. His video montage shows several shots of him sobbing at points during the audition process; he was the one who made me wonder if he was emotionally strong enough to deal with the pressure of the competition. His swan song is "On Your Own" by Green River Ordinance.

Cat ends the show will some cheerful words about tuning in next week, and all the safe dancers pour onstage to love bomb Tony and Paris, both of whom are tearful. Wrenching! *sob!*

See you next week!

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