Thursday, July 30, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance season 5

It's still my favorite reality competition show but somehow I haven't found myself as excited about Season 5 of SYTYCD. Nigel has mentioned it on occasion, but there haven't been many breakout personalities and as we're going into the finale next week, I can't really say that there are any dancers that I really LOVE. Last season I was a huge huge fan of Joshua and Katee and Mark and Chelsie and season 3 I was all about Pasha and Sara and Sabra. I recently watched So You Think You Can Dance Canada season 1 and LOVED Vincent and Nico and Allie.

But this season? I think Brandon and Kayla are hugely talented but their personalities aren't the most engaging to me. Phillip and Evan have great personalities but proved to be not as versatile. I think overall my favorites have been Jeanine, Janette, and Ade, but I haven't really been particularly attached to or rooting for anyone. Seeing the four routines from last season on the results show tonight really hit it home...I was so excited to see those routines and those dancers back on the stage. I'm going to the tour again this year but not sure who/what specifically I'll be excited to see.

Also, I feel like the choreography this season has been a little underwhelming, especially in terms of variety. In the Canadian series they debuted quite a few new styles like house, dancehall, African jazz, Go-go, capoeira...some were more successful than others but it was refreshing to break out of the contemporary-jazz-ballroom pattern. This season in the US, they did do an African group routine, the classical ballet (specifically for Melissa though), and the Russian folk dance (that crashed and burned) but nothing else new. And they haven't even done styles that have been regulars in the past like krump, West Coast swing, lindy hop, salsa, mambo...what gives?

Oh and I think I'm kind of over Tabitha and Napoleon. I really loved No Air and Bleeding Love last season but their literal interpretations of music and all the props are just getting old. Hip hop was in a pretty sad state this season overall. I was glad to see Dave Scott and Shane Sparks return but unfortunately they had to choreograph for a lot of the weaker dancers. Can JabbaWockeeZ come and choreograph?? I don't know how hard popping and locking is to learn but their performances are always SICK.

Which brings me to another complaint - the dancers themselves have been kind of a lot of the same. A lot of the specialists were kicked off early so the top 10 was almost entirely contemporary. I know that contemporary dancers tend to be the most versatile and it's harder to expect "street" dancers to pick up other styles (see Phillip) but I guess I was just a little disappointed that there was no Dominic or Gev or Joshua or Twitch or Miles (popper from the Canada series) in the bunch. I know the talent pool can't be controlled though so I guess I can only hope that season 6 brings some more hip-hop/b-boying/ballroom talent.

Of course it hasn't been all bad. Cat is as wonderful as ever, and it's a travesty she was snubbed AGAIN for the Emmy for Best Reality Show Host. Wade Robson came back to do a couple of really great routines, Doriana and Tasty Oreo have actually done some pretty good work for a change, and Travis, Louis Van Amstel, and Stacey Tookey have been welcome additions as choreographers. And of course, in the end, it's still just about a great group of dancers working hard and it's still a thousand times better than American Idol. And it doesn't end here...Canada season 2 starts in August, and then US season 6 in September. Still lots of dancing to come...

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