SYTYCD – Very Few Stand-out Routines: Argentine Tango Best

The awesomely urgent Argentine Tango with Haley and Leonardo, and that fascinating and compelling contemporary piece with Jasmine and Aaron, kept SYTYCD from being a total bust Tuesday night.

The salsa danced by Malece and Alan could have been the highlight of the night if it weren’t for the complexity of the piece by a real amateur choreographer — Jonathan Platero. They need to put that kid back into choreographer-training pants before he gets someone seriously hurt. If Alan had not been so strong in those lifts and Malece so small and adept, they might not have pulled it off at all. But in spite of the handicap of the choreography, Alan looked smooth and effortless while keeping up a killing pace. The judges should have gathered to praise Alan, not to bury him. He definitely deserved better.

His recent routine will shine with Malece. I loved it when he assured Malece he would not drop her. And by his tone there was no doubt she would be as safe with him as she was with Marco. (The safety consideration harks back to the putz who dropped her on her head in the auditions).

And just as Malece was freed to show her true colors when partnered with All-Star Marco, so Haley stepped out of the shadow of Curtis when she moved into Leonardo’s arms. Of course, the routine was choreographed by Leonardo and Miriam, and he is a professional dancer, but he absolutely showcased Haley so the audience could see her true talent. She was impressive when she froze in place on that lift. With a good partner she will shine.

It always amazes me how the good dancers could also have a career in acting. Jasmine and Aaron certainly showed that with their apple routine. So many different emotions played across their faces and were displayed in their movements, that I was mesmerized by their sheer vulnerability, openness, and range. I have no idea how they can be so precise in their movements and still give that feeling of flowing into and with the sense of the piece. They are such a watchable, likeable dance couple.

I won’t go into every routine. For one thing I was bored the first time around and have no desire to chew that cud again. I will, however, have a say about that cue stick routine, which will be forgotten before the chalk dust drifts to the floor. Too busy with too many props detracting for too long. And the flattery of the judges for Spencer Liff in his own choreography made me cringe. I thought Alan was particularly outstanding, as well as Tucker, though the whole thing was hard to keep up with. I couldn’t help but notice Malece as they threw her from one male to the other. Not an auspicious group routine.

On the other hand, the one about bullying was well done. Not only was the concept a good one, but the three dancers in white standing apart from the ones in dark clothing helped me follow the meaning of the action. The lighting, and the large shadows on the wall pacing the dancers, gave it an intensity that was deeply felt. As for the execution, only Fik-Shun was slightly out of sync a couple of times, but as Mary Murphy said, he always brings the emotion 100%. There wasn’t a single prop anywhere sight and it put the other group routine so far on the back shelf it’ll gather dust.

I just hope the choreographers lose their tendency toward embarrassingly graphic routines and an over-abundance of hip-hop and get on with some variety.


6 thoughts on “SYTYCD – Very Few Stand-out Routines: Argentine Tango Best

  1. “I just hope the choreographers lose their tendency toward embarrassingly graphic routines and an over-abundance of hip-hop and get on with some variety.”

    AMEN TO THAT ! !

    I thought the opening group number was kind of blah, The seond one (pool hall) was better and I loved the group number about bullying.

    I was shocked to see Anna Kendrick looking so dishelved, her hair especially. She’s a beautiful girl, and a talented singer and dancer. She’s an actress who always looks stunning on the red carpet, never wearing some outrageous outfit that should have been left on a fashion show runway

    ~Jenna & Tucker were done NO favors with the horrible hip-hop routine Luther came up with for them. I was sorry that Nigel was so hard on them. It was Luther’s routine that was bad, not the dancers. I hope voters realize this.

    ~Alexis & Nico’s route by Sonya Tayeh was nice.

    ~Haley & Leonardo — I LOVED their tango. Brilliant! Highlight of the night, IMO. I’m glad Curtis couldn’t compete because it was wonderful to have Leonardo perform. I give huge credit to Haley for pulling off all those gauchos (leg tangles) without missing a beat. I couldn’t help but wonder how many times Leonardo got kicked in the shins during rehearsal. And kudos to Leonardo’s choreography.

    ~Mackenzie & Paul — I liked this Sonya Tayeh routine quite a lot. I think Sonya is one of the show’s best choreographers.

    ~Jasmine & Aaron — Very intriguing and well danced. I have to chuckle at how Nigel keeps hinting at what a great couple they would be…and I don’t think he means just for dancing.

    ~Amy & Fik-shun — More hip hop, but it was cute.

    ~Malece & Alan — I thought they were terrific.

    A mostly enjoyable show, but no standouts for me except Haley and Leonardo’s Argentine Tango. I miss Melanie and Marco….sigh.

  2. Glad you enjoy my ramblings. BTW, have you heard anything about how SYTYCD is doing in the ratings this season as compared to other seasons? I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s down.

    • I think SYTYCD may be down but not out by any means. It’s being trumped by America’s Got Talent, but Mike and I have never been a particular fan of that show. I haven’t been able to find a comparison to other seasons. Also, Tucker is out of the upcoming group routine for tomorrow night, but he is not bowing out of the show. He says he has some inflammation in his knee (if I’m remembering right). The group routine will be a Bollywood. I’ve seen a couple of really good ones, but also some really bad ones. So this one is a wait and see.

      • Maybe a group Bollywood routine wouldn’t be so bad, but I haven’t cared at all for the routines devised for couples.

        I don’t watch America’s Got Talent because I can’t stand Howie Mandel and Howard Stern. I’m not a huge fan of Sharon Osborne either, but I’d take her over the other two. However, I do love Britain’s Got Talent. I subscribe to the show’s YouTube channel and a friend in Wales who watches it always tells me when a new season is starting. We discuss all the acts much like you and I do SYTYCD and American Idol. They get our A I shows in the UK one day after they air here so we hash those over, too.

        It felt like fall here today. We mowed and it was a perfect day for it. There were mostly big, puffy clouds blocking the sun and there was a very strong breeze to keep us cool and the bugs at bay. It helped, too, that the temp was only 70. .

      • I agree with all of the above. Can’t stand the judges on that show. From the bits I’ve seen of Britain’s version, it looks to be the champagne to AGT’s moonshine.

        We’re still melting here. It feels like 150% humidity to go along with the temps. Glad you enjoyed your beautiful day. It’s so nice to get outdoors when it cooperates.


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