Bollywood Sets the Tone for A Great SYTYCD Evening

It was bright, cheerful, energetic, and had the absolute right music for the Bollywood group number on SYTYCD last night. It set the tone for a string of satisfying and entertaining routines to follow. Even the hip-hop with Jasmine and Aaron was good.

The Broadway routine “Kiss of the Spider Woman” by Sean Cheesman and performed by Nico and Haley, was unusual with a couple of striking surprises. Nico’s flip over Haley’s head where he lands flat on the floor is the first one, and it’s so fast you barely have time to appreciate it before they go into more astonishing stuff. I’m talking about when Nico flipped Haley backward over his head by one leg from a straight-up standing position, then went into some back flips. Haley’s strength in being able to hold that one leg straight during that maneuver was indescribable. But it wasn’t just a gymnastic routine. It was pure dance even while performing these highly physical movements. It took Nico a couple of moments to position himself for Haley’s one-leg flip, but the end result was worth the small interruption.

Sorry. Videos have been pulled from YouTube.

Kiss of the Spider Woman routine with Nico and Haley

The jazz routine “Come Dance with Me” choreographed by Mandy Moore and performed by Malece and Alan, lacked energy and inspiration on the part of the dancers. And that is so hard to say since I love Malece and was hoping she would go all the way. I also love Alan and was hoping to see them in some great routines rather than the junk they’ve been given 

so far. I can’t say whether the choreography was any good. I couldn’t tell by the performance. I do know I did not like the costumes. That checkered, colorless dress on Malece made the whole routine look washed out. I can’t recall what Alan was wearing, but it must have been some of the same dull dreadful. I understand this was supposed to be fashion from early 20th century, but it was still dull. And, of course, if you did watch the show, you know Malece and Alan went home, which left them out of the tour. They were both trying very hard to hold it together, though they were obviously devastated. However, Nigel promised to put in a good word about them as alternates, though that is as far as he could go.

All-star Alex Wong gave it a good go standing in for Tucker on the pirates of the Paso Doble last night, but he was too short and too stocky to fill the bill. Jenna looked great and her performance was all that the routine called for. But I was distracted by her partner and hoping to see him grow taller and slimmer. But, of course — didn’t happen. Wishful thinking. Also, since she was as big as him, that last toss and catch was more than a little labored and left a lot to be desired.

Paul and Mackensie’s “The Edge of Glory” was breathtaking. Guest judge, Kenny Ortega, summed up Paul beautifully, comparing him to chorus line performers and how he lights up the stage. I’ve been saying all along there is something about his presence. I can’t take my eyes off him while he’s performing. Paul is a gifted dancing superstar and Mackensie makes a beautifully strong partner for him, but she always comes in second.

Paul and Mackensie/The Edge of Glory

I was blown away by Amy and Fik-Shun. This little guy has risen in my estimation all along, but to perform an Argentine Tango with those lifts and the exactness of the movements. Man, they were great. Fik-Shun’s lifts were as smooth as though he were muscled-up and 10 feet tall — like Aaron. I told sister Katie on the phone that the judges would probably make a comment about his footwork, but I didn’t care. Loved their performance. Sure enough, his footwork was mentioned but didn’t take away from their admiration for him. I think it was Nigel who said if a choreographer gave Fik-Shun instructions to fly he’d find a way to do it. You gotta love him. And I love choreographer Jean-Marc. He seems to exude compassion as well as passion.

Amy and Fik-Shun/Viennese Waltz

I’m not a a big fan of hip-hop, though there have been some exceptional routines. Jasmine and Aaron drew one of the better ones last night, though I disagreed with the judges on who was the stand-out performer. For me, it was Aaron who captured the limelight. He seemed to hit harder and sharper on the beats. And that face. My goodness, Aaron’s facial expressions are as good as the dance routine itself. Though, of course, Jasmine was no wallflower herself.

Jasmine and Aaron/ hip-hop

Winding up with the group routines, I must say the one with the guys and the rope got the old cardiovascular going. Since I don’t normally like props, especially one that runs the length of the routine, this was less distracting than most, though it was still somewhat distracting. But the boys did such a great job, I couldn’t really get into the slower, less energetic routine of the girls. I think it’s just that they came after the high octane boys. And it could be because my husband yelled “Boring!” just as it started. I’ll have to watch it again sometime when I’m more in the mood. Apparently, it was beautiful and moving and somehow I missed it.

Boy group performance/ masculine, strength routine


6 thoughts on “Bollywood Sets the Tone for A Great SYTYCD Evening

  1. The last first: I did NOT think Malece should have gone home. Alan? Maybe, but they are sending home pairs and I don’t think that’s fair. I would rather they sent Amy home.

    ~The Bollywood group routine was OK, but Bollywood always seems so frantic to me. It doesn’t really seem like dance.

    ~Solos: Tucker – Nice. Amy – Nice. Malece – Nice if a bit overly acrobatic. Alan – Nice, but it seemed all the same.

    ~Haley & Nico’s fortune teller routine was dynamite. Very creative lifts. And they got a standing O. I saw his hesitation to get set up for that second amazing lift.

    ~Malece & Alan’s Hollywood musical routine left me cold. I hated her checkered dress. It looked like a frumpy house dress and those heels with ankle socks!!! Just awful. If I’d been Malece, I’d have had a diva moment and refused to wear this outfit.

    ~Jenna & Alec’s paso doble seemed mismatched due to Alec’s height and body shape. I thought Jenna was great though.

    ~Mackenzie & Paul’s “Edge of Glory” was wonderful and got them a standing O. I like Mackenzie a lot.

    ~Amy & Fik-shun’s Vienese waltz was nice. Like you, I’m always amazed to see how well Fik-shun does. You’d never guess he’s a hip-hopper. He manages to do whatever is asked of him. Maybe he WILL fly one of these days. :>)

    ~Jasmine & Aaron’s routine was OK, but it seemed frantic to me, especially Jasmine’s part. I liked Aaron better, too. They are soooo elegant together. Why didn’t the choreographers give them a Vienese waltz and let Amy & Fik-shun do a hip-hop routine? J & A’s height would have made a Vienese waltz sooo elegant. A switch would have served all four dancers better, IMO.

    ~The six boys’ routine with the rope was mesmerizing. I couldn’t take my eyes off them. But was that really dance?

    ~The six girls — I love Mike’s interjection, “Boring!” I agree. It was a pretty routine, but didn’t excite me at all. And I don’t think it would have even if it came before the boys.

    ~I thought Kenny Ortega was a good judge. Goodness knows he’s certainly qualified to judge.

    Next week should be very interesting. Each competitor will be partnered by an All-Star. I wonder if Marco and Melanie will be two of them and if so, who each will be assigned to partner. There is one All-Star who’s pretty tall (perfect for Jasmine) but I can’t think of his name at the moment. Brain cramp.

    • I agree. I did not think Malece should have gone home, either. And from what I’ve read, neither did a lot of others. Some thought what I did but didn’t write — that the judges weren’t going to separate Amy from Fik-Shun.

      I thought all the solos were exceptional except for Alan’s. That kind of dancing seems monotonous. If you’ve seen one shake-it you’ve seen it all.

      Yes. You noted the lousy costumes for Malece and Alan. Do you get the feeling they were being sabotaged from the time they were partnered? Maybe I’m just paranoid.

      I thought maybe I was missing something about the girl’s routine. I thought it was boring, too. But Katie and Randy both loved it, so I thought maybe I too psyched up to appreciate it. Mike was the one with the reality check apparently. Thanks for clearing that up. 🙂

      I’m looking forward to the All-Stars. Now if they’ll just get some good routines and not all hip-hip. Are you thinking of Twitch as the tall guy? LOVE Twitch. He’s from Alabama, you know.

      Great synopsis of the different dances. I always enjoy reading your views. Learn a few things, too.

      By the way, had you told me before that you had dance training? I don’t remember if you did, but that’s no big surprise. You are uniquely qualified to judge, especially on the technical angles.

      • Yes, I definitely feel the judges sabotage some dancers by setting them up with poor choreography choices and costumes. It seems as if they’ve had it in for Malece from the beginning. I don’t know why because she’s a great dancer and has a wonderful personality.

        And I don’t think ANY of the contestants should have to do so many hip-hop routines. Leave them for the dancers who excel at that style. It’s like trying to fit square blocks into round holes for the others….and it looks like it, too!

        No, Twitch wasn’t who I was trying to think of, but that’s an EXCELLENT suggestion. He’d be terrific with Jasmine, but I’m afraid to think of what kind of routine they’d get stuck with. More hip-hop? And no, I didn’t know he was from Alabama.

        Glad you enjoy my take on the routines. Yes, I’ve had a lot of dance training. I started with ballet and tap when I was three and stayed with it until I was 17. Then my social life got in the way. I adored ballet once I was old enough for pointe shoes. I took part in the National Dance Congress in NYC when I was 13 and again when I was 16. I toyed with the idea of becoming a dancer, but didn’t really have the drive it takes to be a professional ballerina.

        When I was in college, I was friends with a boy who loved ballroom dancing and we used to dance for events through all four years of college. The movie “Dirty Dancing” is one of my all-time favorites and always makes me think of our dancing days. Didn’t you say you liked Patrick Swayze? I loved him in that movie. And Jennifer Grey was one of the best contestants ever on Dancing with the Stars. Jennifer’s breakdown melted my heart. This was their first routine…the first week…and it’s still one of my DWTS favorites. AND I LOVE DEREK!!!

        I started piano lessons at age six and stayed with that until I went off to college. But I majored in music and drama so I never really gave up the arts. I ended up a voice major because I accompanied many of the voice students and was fascinated at what you could learn from voice lessons. I’d always sung, but never realized there was a proper way to sing. I was hooked from then on…majoring in voice and minoring in piano.

      • Good morning, Jo Ann,
        How I enjoyed that life-share. Being from the sticks I never got the opportunity for any of those things even if I had been so inclined. But I don’t think I had the discipline for them. However, I greatly admire those who do. Do you have any pictures or videos of your art in dance or music? It seems to me you would be good in anything you attempt.

        Writing was my first love and must have come shortly after I learned to read. I even remember the first children’s book I ever owned, sent to me by my aunt and uncle that mom and I visited in California. And I always had a lot of imagination. Now not so much. My first “critical acclaim” came in third grade when my teacher shared my poetry with the principal, and the principal tacked them up on the bulletin board or hallway, can’t remember which. I also began writing short stories with me and my closest friends as protaganists and made the round of the class. I was also an orator even then, and recited poetry for the kids. Because I acted them out, I was pretty popular with pajama parties. Those kids were fascinated and makes me wonder how they would go over today. I even did the nine-page poem The Pied Piper of Hamlin (memorized), and sometimes the kids would send for snacks from the kitchen. Oh, I was SUCH a ham!!! Still am. 🙂

        The only other artistic flair I might have is painting, undiscovered until about five years ago when my cousin Joan (the one from the trip) shanghaied our cousin Cindy and me into letting her give us a brief morning lesson. She had taken a course from some lady on television. Can’t remember her name. Joan loved painting on flower pots and people at work started wanting to buy them. Anyway, I had NEVER been able to draw and was always embarrassed in grammar school when we had to paint or draw anything. So I was not looking forward to this session. I just did it because it would be fun to get together with Cindy and Joan. I wouldn’t even paint on Joan’s expensive art paper and Cindy and I did our beginners art on a grocery bag. When I finished, I was pleasantly surprised, took it home and stuck it back in a closet. Mike kept encouraging me to frame it. So I went to Michaels and got a good frame and stuck on a wall in the bedroom. I have had a lot of compliments since then, and I know they were sincere because nobody believed I did it. Ha. Still today I don’t know how I did it. It’s a floral piece with tendrils of young green shoots filtering out around it. Joan showed us how to dip our brushes, how to blend paints, and how to hold and sweep the color. There’s definitely a step by step process. But while you’re in the nuts and bolts of it, you’re focusing on just the one little thing you’re doing, like a leaf or a stem. The picture as a whole comes as a pleasant surprise and seems like magic. I’ve never done another one since.

        Oh, well. Enough of that. Mike had to leave at 4 o’clock this morning and I woke up just as his truck was pulling out of the yard. He’s gotten several new customers lately and work is going well, thank the Lord. I’ve been waking up very early in the morning lately, which is why I go to sleep early (when Mike has to wake me up to go to bed, remember). So I’ve been up with the chickens this morning, but haven’t felt like cackling, yet. But I’ve downed a cup of hot green tea, with a coffee chaser. Yes, I’m weird. That’s why I write. LOL.

        Have a great and blessed day.

    • I know all about brain glitches. It’s a wonder I don’t walk through the house twitching like a robot with fried wires. When I worked for the newspaper, typos and errors hid somewhere in another dimension until it was irrevocably in print and on the street in front of God and everybody. I thought blogging would be different. Ain’t so. I can read a sentence five times and still miss one little obstinate error. I know it has to be little UFO critters inside the works gleefully messing up everything. You know it can’t possibly be us.


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