Friday, June 10, 2011

SYTYCD8 Top 20 Revealed

Season 8 of So You Think You Can Dance has picked its Top 20, and it's looking like it's going to be a girl's year. The Top 10 guys feature more specialized dancers - four hip-hop dancers, a tapper and a Broadway dancer. The girls are heavy on the contemporary and jazz dancers and have just one specialized dancer - the lone ballroom representative in the Top 20. And after watching each gender group dance separately at the end of the show, it's clear that the girls are the class of the show, and it's going to be a dogfight to make the Top 10.

Contemporary Dancers - Group 1:
Stacey Tookey routine - "In This Shirt" by The Irrepressibles (Amazon)

Ricky Jaime (Miami, FL) - Ricky seems like a cross between Danny Tidwell (S3 runner-up) and Brandon Bryant (S5 runner-up). Will two runners-up equal a winner? We'll see! He is amongst my Top 3 on the guys' side.
Miranda Mileski (Pittsburgh, PA) - I cannot say I remember her at all. That doesn't bode well for her future on this show.
Melanie Moore (Marietta GA) - Her making the Top 20 was a no-brainer since her first audition. I adore her. She is ethereal.
Sasha Mallory (Bakersfield, CA) - I feel like they strung her sister Natalia along just to get them together at Green Mile to split up. Sasha was far and away the better dancer of the two, and Natalia is nowhere in the league of the other girls in the Top 20. It will be interesting to see if Sasha is as interesting without Natalia to play off.

Hip-Hop Dancers:
Dave Scott routine - "Everyday (Coolin')" by Swizz Beatz featuring Eve (Amazon | iTunes)

Chris Koehl (Garland, TX) - He got cut at Green Mile last year but made it through this year despite nearly getting cut at the ballroom round. I haven't seen much of him, but I have yet to be really impressed.
Wadi Jones (Ossining, NY) - I think he's one of the top male contenders and easily the class of the hip-hop dancers. He can do the tricks and handle choreography quite well.
Tadd Gaduann (Salt Lake City, UT) - They kind of sped through his making it through, so I'm thinking he's in the cannon fodder category.
Robert Taylor Jr. (Brooklyn, NY) - He seems to have a big personality, one that could help him get away with poorly-danced routines if he runs into trouble.

Ballroom Dancers:
Jason Gilkison routine w/ Pasha - Ven A Bailar (On The Floor) by Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull (Amazon | iTunes)

Iveta Lukosiute (Klaipeda, Lithuania) - She is the lone ballroom representative this season. I have a feeling she won't be partnering up with Pasha again during the All-Star rounds in the Top 10. Russian ballroom female dancers have traditionally not done well in the voting rounds, amirite Snow and Faina? Plus, Iveta's hip-hop was kind of cringe-worthy. It was the same feeling I get when watching European figure skaters try to do exhibition routines to rock or hip-hop music. Eeeek.

Jazz Dancers:
Sonya Tayeh routine - Vanguardian by Steed Lord (Amazon | iTunes)

Clarice Ordoz (Whittier, CA) - I actually would have picked the other girl (Bridget) she was up against instead of her, but that's just based on the little footage they showed right then and there.
Marko Germar (Dededo, Guam) - I remembered Marko most from being the guy who was shot in the arm during a robbery. He is a very good dancer, though, and I see him as having strong Top 10 potential.
Jordan Casanova (Chino Hills, CA) - Jordan has a sexed-up style of dancing that she makes me a little uncomfortable due to her age (she's just 18). But she did say that her intent was to make people uncomfortable, so there you go.
Missy Morelli (Carvado, CO) - Missy's dance style is even more sexed-up than Jordan's. She reminds me of Jessi Peralta in Season 3. Which means I don't think this won't end well for her.

Broadway/Tap Dancers:
Christopher Scott routine - Funkier Than A Mosquito's Tweeter by Nina Simone (Amazon | iTunes)

Jess Leprotto (Little Falls, NJ) - He is TINY. It will be interesting to see him in partner dances when he's probably going to be the shortest in any combination. He was also painted with the arrogant brush in this episode, so he has an uphill battle.
Nick Young (Franklin, WI) - I have not been a fan of any tappers on this show in past years, but Nick is far and away my favorite tapper on this show. His style is more enjoyable for me, and he seems more versatile. Doesn't hurt that he's attractive too. ;)

Contemporary Dancers - Group 2:
Travis Wall routine - Moth's Wings by Passion Pit (Amazon | iTunes)

The majority of people in this group have barely had any screen time. But Ryan Ramirez more than makes up for the rest of them, since she's had (and will be given during the dances) more screen time than all the rest of them combined.

Caitlynn Lawson (Moses Lake, WA) - I don't think we saw her in previous episodes, and it's curious that she's been kept mostly hidden till now when Nigel has told her at least twice that she is his favorite.
Ashley Rich (Antioch, CA) - Ashley was one of the standouts from the first episode, but she was barely shown in the Vegas episode, and she was mostly relegated to the back and sides in the group dances. This does not please me.
Mitchell Kelly (Chicago, IL) - Cat Deeley voiced-over that "we first met Mitchell in Atlanta". Except that "we" didn't. He wasn't featured in that episode. Maybe there was a shot of him running out with a golden ticket, but he was never identified in that episode.
Alexander Fost (Alhambra, CA) - It came down to Alexander and Jeremiah for the last guys' spot. I have no impression of Alexander since we've barely seen him, but Jeremiah will always have the stank of his Season 4 temper tantrum after forgetting Mia Michaels' choreography during Vegas week, so I shouldn't really be too surprised.
Ryan Ramirez (Morgan Hill, CA) - Ryan is probably the most well-known of the dancers in the Top 20 because of how far she got last season (she was cut in the Green Mile episode a year ago). I feel like she and Sasha have been getting the lion's share of airtime, and Ryan is also getting featured front and center in all of the group dances she was in. In this Travis Wall group dance, for no discernible reason, she is the only one in black, while the others are in white. And the other female dancers seem to be relegated to backup status.

Group Dances:

Top 10 Guys
Christopher Scott Hip-Hop - Velocity by Nathan Lanier (Amazon | iTunes)
The choreography was extraordinary, but the execution was not so much at times, particularly in the beginning. Timing was off on a few occasions, and there was a part where the guys were marching backwards and through the door. One of the guys (Robert, I think?) accidentally shut the door while swinging his arm, and the guy in front of him (Tadd) backed up into the door.

Top 10 Girls
Sonya Tayeh Jazz - Pop Drop & Roll by Chonique Sneed & Lisette Bustamante (iTunes)
I liked the guys' choreography more, but the girls executed sooooo much better and so much sharper. As Nigel said, "the girls are beasts this year."

Top 20
Tyce Diorio routine - Little Bird by Annie Lennox (Amazon | iTunes)
There was so much going on in this routine, and the camera work made it hard to see everything. The aerial sequences were breathtaking.

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