Chehon Takes the Night on SYTYCD

The lovely and personable host Cat Deely and her chillbumps, along with awesome contestant Chehon and All-Star partner Anya. They took the night with their breathless Argentine Tango choreographed by Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo.

Chehon Wespi-Tschopp brought the DANCE back into So You Think You Can Dance last night. With his beloved adoptive parents in the audience, he was on that stage to light up the night. He was gifted contained fire that brought the audience and the judges to their feet. Twice. I was spellbound. He brought emotion and precision together in unforgettable performances in both his solo and partnered routines. With All-Star Anya Garnis, whose sharply flicking legs showed she still has that star quality, they performed an Argentine Tango that left their viewers breathless. Both the solo and the tango must be seen to be believed.

Though So You Think You Can Dance began its season with a decided limp this year, it seems to be limbering up with better choreography and some real dance power, thanks to the brilliant introduction of the All-Stars as partners. With the exception of Amelia Lowe and Cyrus Spencer, most of the contestants this year have been so lackluster (or so cheaply spangled) I have had a hard time putting faces to names. Now with better routines and the active example of the All-Stars, the cream is rising to the top.

Little Tiffany Maher and All-Star Ade Obayomi had my eyes glued to the screen while loudly expressing my enthusiasm. And I’m saying to myself . . . Where did SHE come from? Did you see those lifts? Ade was no more concerned than if it had been a feather he was twirling around rather than a little fluff of a girl. And Tiffany became whatever the choreography called for — delicate as a flower, supple as a breeze, or frozen in lightning pose for an instant. Performed to “The Power of Love” by Celine Dion (I am your lady, you are my man), and choreographed by Mandy Moore, it was a match made in Heaven. Wow! We taped. I watched it three times.

The quick-step choreographed by Jonathan Roberts was exceptional and exceptionally executed by Eliana Girard and All-Star Ryan DeLello. The Roaring Twenties look and sound surely quickened the heartbeats of their audience as they flew across the floor in time to that fast driving beat. It did mine.

The contemporary routine by Sonya Tayeh and performed by Cole Horibe and All-Star Alyson Holker, was an exceptionally powerful performance with sharply defined movements and dramatic lifts. Will Thomas went home on a high note, especially paired with All-Star Lauren Gottlieb in a contemporary routine by Christopher Scott. Lauren, who was supposed to be a tiny part of Will’s depressed mind who makes him get up and dance, flits like a tiny will-o’-the-wisp about the big dancer.

The most disappointing part of last night’s show was Cyrus and Melanie Moore’s jazz routine by Mandy Moore. Just last week a comment on my blog was from a follower who expressed a wish to see Melanie return as an All-Star. Well, here she was at last, but in an unexceptional routine, and not with the best dancer. Personable dancer, yes, but not the best. I would have loved to see her paired with Chehon or Cole in a top-notch routine that would show the brilliance of both dancers — something that would touch my heart and remain in my consciousness long after the last strains of music faded away — like the incomparable statues routine last season.

But, all in all, last night was a good one. My whole family got into it, along with lots of thumbs-up and wisecracks. My sister Katie said she was so carried away with one routine it made her hair stand on end. And she has a lot of hair. My husband Mike said she must have looked like a sheepdog in a lightning storm. Even brother-in-law Randy softened up enough to watch and comment. But, you can bet your bottom dollar he will never forgive the loss of Amelia Lowe. She should have bumped those blondes long before the final ten.


12 thoughts on “Chehon Takes the Night on SYTYCD

  1. Well, here I am agreeing with you again. ‘Twas I who pined for Melanie to return and while I’m glad she did, I would have LOVED to see her dance with Chehon in a routine similar to Tiffany and Ade’s. That would have been pure magic and reminiscent of her wonderful routines last season. I admire Cyrus for what he’s accomplished, but Melanie’s talent was wasted in that routine.

    Favorites from this episode were Eliana and Ryan’s fantastic Quickstep and Tiffany and Ade dancing to Mandy Moore’s brilliant routine set to “The Power of Love.” What an absolutely perfect song choice for this routine.

    I knew William was tall, but he must be REALLY tall. Cat Deely is 5’ 10″ nd even with the very high heels she wears, William is still taller.

    I thought Jesse Tyler Ferguson was very amusing as a judge.

    Do you have a guestimate yet for who will win?

    • Agreement is a good thing. The rest of my family agrees with us, too. Yeah, I thought of you immediately when Melanie showed up. I thought you were right prophetic. But, gee, how they mis-used their greatest asset last night. I wonder who chooses who gets whom as a partner.

      • But, gee, how they mis-used their greatest asset last night.

        Definitely. I wondered if they put Melanie with Cyrus to make him look better. Nice try, but I thought Melanie was better even though that’s not her style of choice.

        I wonder, too, how they come up with the pairings and if any contestant ever flat out refuses the partner chosen for them. I don’t know if you watch “Dancing with the Stars” or not, but I definitely wonder about those pairings. Why would one of the pros agree to partner a contestant who has no chance of winning? If the contestant leaves early, does the pro still get paid the same as the other pros who get to stay in the competition longer? I probably won’t watch DWTS this season because it conflicts timewise with a show I like better.

      • I like DWTS, but I like SYTYCD better. I get upset when DWTS takes the celebrities over sixty and bullies them into trying to keep up with the 20-yr-olds. And then when they can’t do it the judges embarrass and shame them before the world. I also get upset because, if they have a famous athlete on there, they win whether they can dance or not. Don’t get me wrong, some of the athletes are good, but I haven’t seen a single one who should have taken home the trophy. They get it because of their fan base, not because they are the best dancer. They knock out the best dancers throughout the whole season, and I lose interest.

    • Oops. I didn’t see all your comment. For some reason this blog host (which is free) doesn’t show the whole comment sometimes and I wind up finding lost paragraphs on my email – which is what just happened. And my answer is: absolutely, absolutely, absolutely. Did you play the links again. I’ve watched them over several times. I would LOVE to have the energy and talent to dance a quickstep. Years ago Mike and I talked of some day taking a class in ballroom dancing. We’ve waited too long, I fear. But the inner dancer in me is still there. I guess that counts for something.

      Would you believe sister Katie and I talked about that same thing about Will being so much taller than the tall and “well-heeled” Cat Deely. I wonder how tall the boy is. Katie and I also loved Jesse Tyler Ferguson. He is a trip.

      You and I have so much in common we need a three-way conversation on Wednesday nights. But we get so loud and nutty around here you’d think we were at a football game instead of watching “the arts”. Ha.

      I’m the last person to even guess who will win. Katie and I practically end up throwing things when our favorites don’t make it. At the moment, we have our hearts set on Chehon and I think that’s Randy’s choice, too. Mike just watches and mostly keeps his mouth shut. I also love little Tiffany and Eliana, though I think Eliana may be more classically trained and experienced than Tiffany. By the way, I’ve seen Eliana’s names spelled so many ways it makes my head swim. I spelled it Eliena last week, then saw her family hold up signs with Eliana on it and had to go back and edit. I hope it doesn’t change again this next week.

      Thanks for joining in the excitement of dance night with us. We love it and we love talking about it. We don’t have a water cooler we can gather around, but we keep the telephone hot.

      Who do you like to win?

      • OK, I see you’re replying now to the comment I left before the comment where I talked about partners.

        If a man wins, I’d like it to be Chehon. As popular as he may be, I don’t think Cyrus will go the distance, but who knows. The voting public is hard to fathom sometimes. I’m still smarting over the dull, boring Kris Allen winning instead of Adam Lambert on season eight of American Idol. A travesty of major proportions.

        If a woman wins, I’d be happy with either Eliana or Tiffany. BTW, I assume the spelling of Eliana’s name on her parents’ signs is the corect one. What amazed me so much about Eliana’s Quickstep was that she’s a classically trained ballerina. Just shows how talented she is that she could do such a fantastic job with a ballroom dance. I think she’s the more talented of the two.

      • Oh, did you just hit a sore spot. Don’t get me started. We practically boycotted American Idol around here because of Adam Lambert. A travesty, indeed. Kris Allen is a nice boy, but you could tell even he knew he couldn’t hold a candle to Adam. Kris was lucky to have even made it into the top 10, or 12, or whatever it is they have now. And this past year — the fact that Joshua Ladet(?) didn’t win also started us on the warpath again.

        I think you’re right about Eliana.

      • I’m replying to your comment that starts, “Oh, did you just hit a sore spot….” but there is no Reply link to click on there.

        Yes, I think Kris was embarrassed because he knew Adam was so much better, as you said. And I, too, was positively livid when Joshua Ladet didn’t win. Phil Phillips is a lovely guy and I’m happy for him. Quite a trooper to do the whole season when he was so ill. But Joshua was by far the more talented. i’ll be curious to see what kind of career Jessica Sanchez will have. She has an amazing voice. I think the country singer (can’t recall her name) will do well, too.

  2. I like SYTYCD better, too, and I agree with everthing you said about DWTS. I used to watch it religiously, but only watched it occasionally last season. After seeing a season of Nicole Scherzinger and Derek Hough, everyone else seemed pretty boring. Check out their Argentine Tango on YouTube. It’s breaktaking.

      • I downloaded/saved all Nicole and Derek’s routines and just watched them again after posting that YouTube link for you. I also have all the Jennifer Grey amd Derek routines. I thought she was amazing. Her Argentine Tango was good, too. She had so many physical problems I was afraid she wouldn’t last the season. I was very glad she won. Here again, Derek was paired with someone who had a good chance of winning. That’s OK with me because I think he’s the show’s best pro. Besides being a fanbulous dancer, he’s a brilliant choreographer. Give him a partner like Nicole and he’s in choreographer’s heaven.

      • BTW, Il Volo started their new US tour on August 10th so there should be some good videos popping up soon. Haven’t seen many yet. Have you seen pics of Piero’s new hair style? I hate it. He had his ears pinned back this past April and I guess wants shorter hair to show off his “new” ears. I loved the goofy, spikey hair much better. Now he looks like a wannabe Sicilian gangster. Another friend who loves Il Volo said he reminded her of the cartoon character Gumby.

        Today Show, August 24th


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