Wednesday, July 31, 2013

For SYTYCD-Heads Only

An open letter to the Top 12 of "So You Think You Can Dance", Season 10

Dear dance pals, I know I've been a bit reserved about this season. It takes me awhile to warm up to every cast. I want to start off by saying that every one of you are incredibly, immensely talented. That's why you made it on this show. But now it's crunch time, and I've gotten to know you all and developed some serious affections. Since the show seems to be accepting judges with no dance qualifications on the panel now, I've decided to throw my hat into the ring and tell you what's what.

Jenna - Jenna, Jenna, Jenna. I thought you'd be gone earlier. And I was OK with that, because to be honest, I was put off by your fake eyelashes. No need for that every day. But it seems the makeup department has toned it down for you, and now I can see you properly. You seem to be adept at all the styles. I loved, loved the jazzy hip-hop you did a few weeks back. You are not final 4 for me, but you grew on me so good for you.

Tucker - Tucker, you are so great. Your jumps and extension and your backstory, it's a real compelling package. But you haven't had a moment for me. Maybe next week.

Nico - I adore you, Nico. You'd be my favorite if I didn't already have five or six favorites ahead of you. Nothing against Alexis, but I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens now that you'll be paired with Hayley.

Hayley - You lucky bunny. Not only do you get to live in that body, but you got to tango with Leonardo. I know that you know what an opportunity that was for you, and damned if you didn't absolutely triumph. You looked like a pro. I'm sorry Curtis was injured, he's a cute kid and a hell of an entertainer, but there's no way that dance would have been so powerful or sexy if Leo hadn't stepped in. I never wish harm on anyone, but it is a true thrill to watch when the professionals have to perform.

Makenzie - I LOVE you. You are gorgeous and wonderful and deserve all the praised heaped on you. What else is there to say? Keep it up.

Paul - Did I know that you won the Armenian SYTYCD? I don't think I did. It hardly seems fair that you get to compete again, but I hardly care. You are wonderful. Now I have to go and locate all the seasons of all the other versions of the show and there goes my productivity forever.

Jasmine - You are my favorite girl, and seeing you in the bottom 6 last night almost made me want to start voting. What I love about you, in addition to how much maturity and command you bring to your performances, is that you are totally awkward offstage. I don't mean "giggle OMG I'm such a spaz," I mean, you don't quite know how to talk to people or make eye contact. For someone who brings so much heat and confidence on floor, it's weirdly endearing.

Aaron - Oh big bear, we've been over my feelings about you. Yes, it started when I realized you were the dreamiest dreamboat that ever sailed from Dreamtropolis, but you cemented the whole deal with your dancing. You are powerful and graceful, a mean partner, and the picture of traditional masculinity. Manliness just oozes from your pores. I dig it. You'll be there until the end.

Amy - So adorable, so super-powered. I expect you to go all the way, but I do agree that we need to see another side of you. It's up to the choreographers to challenge you with it.

Fik-Shun - Aw buddy, I'm so proud of you. Ditto my sentiments to Amy - I want to see more growth now. You're up to it. Just bring it.

Malece - First off, no. That is not a name. Try again, parents. Get back to me when you come up with something I can sign off on. Really though, you're good at dancing and, as it is not your fault, I can't hold your name against you. I really do like you, I just don't LOVE you.

Alan - Getting rid of the hairstyle you rocked during auditions and Vegas week ranks in the top 10 good decisions of the 21st century. I enjoy watching you ballroom dance, that's pretty much it. I think you might go home next week, but you had a good run.

A few other notes:

Cat Deely - Flawless. Be my friend.

Nigel - You're still pretty skeevy, but I thank you for this show. I know what you were getting at when bringing up The Giving Tree when Aaron and Jasmine performed, but you nearly ruined it for me with that reference. That book can go to hell and die, for how it's been interpreted. I'll go to my grave believing that Shel Silverstein actually meant it to be a nihilistic downer, and gleefully watched his bank account grow at the hands of people who took it to be a heartwarming tale of selfless suckerdom.

Mary - I think you've toned it down a lot this year, and for that you can stay.

Anna Kendrick - you had nothing valuable to say, dance-wise, but I like you so you get a pass.

The group numbers have been uniformly strong this year, I am enjoying the mix of choreographers. Chris Scott, you take a lot of chances, and often you're very impressive, but you already had a stunning hip-hop number set to an old school R & B song ("Misty Blue") so please stop trying to recreate that every year.

OK, that's all. Bring on the Top 10. Dance forever. 

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