It was All-Star night on SYTYCD, but I had forgotten that as I watched the first dance. I had gotten distracted and didn’t catch the names of the couple, but my eyes were all on the guy. “Wow! Where did he come from?” I thought. Then it came to me that it was All-Star night and I was watching Season 5’s Brandon Bryant.
Though everybody else is saying their eyes were on Hailee, I was just the opposite. I couldn’t get into Hailee, but I was definitely glued to Brandon. So far, Hailee has all the right moves, but not the “it” factor, that spark of Divine issuance that defined Melanie Moore, the 8th Season winner, and what defined last year’s unbelievably numerous gifted stars. I like Hailee. But so far I haven’t seen that star quality, in spite of the raves.
I’m also going against the tide on Kayla and Derek. They were so good together, my husband asked which was the All-Star and which the contestant. Was I seeing a show from a different dimension last night? Derek channeled emotion and passion and I liked both the dancers equally. Jason called him “The Wolf of Wall Street”, but needed to convey more emotion. So did Paula. Am I going to have to stream this show and watch it again. Did I miss something?
Then the judges raved over Virgil and Comfort. I was prepared to be knocked out of my socks with these two greats with a Christopher Scott piece to “Born to Dance”. I liked it. It was cute. But it didn’t blow me away and I’ll probably never watch it again or even want to. The hyperbole last night was getting on my nerves.
The Ray Leeper jazz routine with Megz and All-Star Marco was good, fun, not great. I like Megs, but she should have been partnered with someone more her size, like All-Star Joshua. The dance was off-balance and disconcerting because of the Mutt and Jeff partnership, even though I like Megz, and Marco is simply Marco — one of the greatest dance All-Stars of all the seasons.
Edson’s “breakout performance” came too late. Even though his partnership with All-Star Jamie was a “WOW!”, and a “game changer”, it was the last night for his handsome and talented self. He was eliminated. And he was one of the truly masculine guys that make a girl/guy dance look so good. I hated to see him go.
Pharside and Phoenix kind of fell down on the job in their Frankenstein routine with Neptune and Jasmine. Though judges were spouting great stuff about it, I thought it was a waste of good talent. I’ll be surprised if the public took to it as much as the judges did.
In the Dee Caspary routine “Heal”, Jim is supposed to be a conflicted man and All-Star Jessica the woman who reaches out to him. Though judges weren’t sold on the chemistry between the pair, I felt it. Though the judges advised Jim to “trust himself” and “focus more on the story”, I didn’t think he needed such advice. He was awesome. Their performance touched me. I loved it.
Then came the HOLY COW performance that did knock my socks off. Actually, it was one of two greats, but I’ll get to that in a minute. JaJa played a princess in a Bollywood routine by Nakul Dev Mahajan, partnered by awesome All-Star Alex. And even though she said the “princess” schtick wasn’t her cup of tea, you could have fooled me. That little red-headed Chechen made Disney princesses look like also-rans. She was a beautiful fireball of talent and energy. Awesome Alex had nothing on her and the judges were quick to give her deserved props.
And on the heels of that roof blower, came one that brought the house down. Tapper Gaby and All-Star Joshua did a Hip-Hop Ninja routine by Pharside and Phoenix that had the crowd on their feet. Gaby hasn’t met a dance yet that she didn’t like and which didn’t like her. The word versatile needs her picture by it. The costumes, music, and outta-sight performance made this one a keeper.
But the end came on a low note. I’m like another blogger I read that expressed the wish for another week of instant voting so that Edson could have been saved from elimination. J.J. was eliminated, but it was time. Edson will be sorely missed.