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0:00 – Introduction
1:05 – Contemporary girls: Alexa Anderson, Eliana Girard and Sam Lenarz
7:26 – Jazz girls: Megan Branch, Jasmine Mason
11:18 – Choreography round guys: Jontel “Johnny Waacks” Gibson, Caley Carr, David Matz and Jonathan Anzalone
16:21 – Vegas-bound guys: Cole Horibe, Stephen Jacobsen and Marshea Kidd
22:30 – James & Nick Aragon, the “Ninja Twins”
24:34 – Wrap-up: Variety in the Top 20
Episode Length: 27:34
We’re still working to get caught up with our podcasts so that we’re releasing our thoughts close to the airing of the most recent episode. We apologize for the delay and we hope that after this one we’ll start releasing our podcasts on a more reasonable schedule.
If there’s one thing we love about this show, it’s that the audition episodes consistently bring out new and exciting dancers for us to enjoy. The Los Angeles auditions proved to be quite fruitful, with the contemporary girls Alexa Anderson and Eliana Girard impressing us with their skill sets and the character of their dances. We’ve been saying it for a while now, but we love it when contemporary dancers add some aggression into their style. There was also the sheer beauty of David Matz’s metal ring performance, which embodies everything we love about the quality of this show’s audition episodes. Cole Horibe’s audition was a welcome surprise, displaying a mix of martial arts ferocity with fluid, elegant movement that left us excited and wanting more. We also had the feel-good story of Marshea Kidd surviving a terrible car accident which nearly ended his life. That he could walk after what happened, let alone dance in the way he showed us, was a small miracle.
There was more to the episode of course, including the ridiculous first routine by Stephen Jacobsen that led many to speculate that the producers staged this for “controversy.” And who can forget the hilarious variety show that was the “Ninja Twins”! You can hear our thoughts about these and more in this week’s episode of our podcast!
Let us know what you think after listening to the podcast! We’ve partnered with Pure So You Think You Can Dance to deliver this series of podcasts, so check them out and interact with fellow SYTYCD fans! You can leave us a comment on Pure SYTYCD, on this blog, or tweet us. You can also visit our Facebook page and leave a comment there! We love feedback and will respond either with a comment or in our next published show.
For the finale of So You Think You Can Dance season 8 we give you a super-sized podcast with 15 more minutes of content. We were happy with Melanie’s win and were pleasantly surprised that the top two dancers this season were both women, which has not happened before on this program. The performance episode was not up to the high standards of past seasons which was disappointing for us, but there were some highlights such as Marko and Lauren F.’s wonderful contemporary piece by Tessandra Chavez and the captivating performance by Melanie and Sasha in the second Stacey Tookey routine of the night.
The results show reminded us of many of the great routines from the season, although we were surprised by how the judges picks seemed to place less emphasis on everyone except for Melanie, Marko and Sasha (even Tadd only had one non-group routine repeated). This portion of the show has historically served as a warm-up for the forthcoming tour and features many of the routines that are expected to show up. But here we had many routines that involved all-stars, none of which will likely be on the tour. It was unexpected for the judges picks to lack variety.
We conclude the podcast with a discussion of the show’s production and the effect it’s having on the pacing and the way we get to know the dancers. We pinpoint that the approach towards the show changed in season 6, when they moved to the live show format. At this point the packages became shorter and contained more schtick and the judges comments started having less substance due to the time constraints of a live program. We also discuss the choreographers and that some of them tailor their work to their selected dancers and that others do not and whether this is a fair way of doing things. Finally, we discuss the variety of dancers in the top 20 in later seasons versus the early seasons and the effect this seems to have on the type of choreography we see each week.
We want to thank everyone that has tuned into our podcasts during the course of the season! We’ve enjoyed doing this and its been a learning experience for us! We’re planning to do podcasts for season 9 of So You Think You Can Dance, so check back with us in May 2012. We’re going to continue doing our Big Brother podcasts and will be adding The X-Factor to our weekly discussions when it premieres on September 21st. We are also adding a Week in Review podcast in the fall for all the other shows we watch during that time. So if any of that sounds interesting to you, then keep coming back to Reflections on Pop Entertainment and check out our updates. If you’re only interested in our So You Think You Can Dance material, we’ll see you again next summer!
Please let us know your thoughts by dropping us a comment on Pure So You Think You Can Dance after listening.
Episode Length: 44:53
0:00 – Introduction: Congrats to Melanie! Guest judges: Katie Holmes and Kenny Ortega and the choice to have celebrity judges
2:37 – Melanie and Marko’s disco
4:15 – Sasha and Mark’s jazz
5:44 – Tadd and Joshua’s hip-hop
7:10 – Melanie and Robert’s contemporary
8:29 – Sasha and Marko’s broadway
10:46 – Sasha and Tadd’s chacha
12:57 – Marko and Lauren F.’s contemporary
14:36 – Tadd and Melanie’s jazz
16:01 – Melanie and Sasha’s contemporary
18:27 – Marko and Tadd’s gumboot stepping
20:28 – The order of the placing: 2 girls in the top
22:22 – Results show: The new top 20 routine and tap routine
24:28 – Results show: The judges picks were stacked towards Melanie, Sasha and Marko and didn’t seem to be a retrospective of the season
28:58 – Post-season discussion: The direction of production and how it affects the show – pacing in live shows vs recorded shows, an increasing focus on the judging panel, choreographers tailoring their work to the dancers, variety in the dancers in the Top 20 (stacked towards contemporary/jazz now), variety in routine genres (less ballroom now, more contemporary/jazz)
42:34 – Wrap-up: What are your thoughts on our post-season discussion? What we’re going to be doing in future podcasts (Big Brother, The X-Factor, Week in Review)
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Wrapping up the first half of the competition brought a satisfying conclusion to some partnerships while others seemed to run out of steam and were in need of a change. The bottom 3 was relatively uncontroversial as was the elimination of Ryan and Alexander. As we discuss in the podcast, we believe the judges inadvertently set Ryan up for failure by refusing to give her constructive criticism early on in the show, which generated a fan backlash that landed the Ryan/Ricky partnership in the bottom on three separate occasions. Alexander, while never being in the bottom before, hasn’t been consistent in his ability to emote compared to the other remaining guys and this is likely why the judges sent him home.
We enjoyed the Jordan/Tadd Travis Wall piece, both of Melanie/Marko’s routines and Jess’ performance in the Christopher Scott hip-hop was the surprise of the night. We’re looking forward to mixing up the couples and the were very happy with the returning all-stars! This should rejuvenate the competition and break some of the remaining dancers out of their comfort zones and further their growth.
Please let us know your thoughts by dropping us a comment on Pure So You Think You Can Dance after listening!
Episode Length: 32:48
0:00 – Introduction: Thoughts for Alex Wong, Emmy nominations and guest judges
4:11 – Bottom 3 couples overview
4:57 – Bottom 3: Caitlynn and Mitchell
7:36 – Bottom 3: Ryan and Ricky
11:45 – Bottom 3: Sasha and Alexander
14:27 – The elimination of Ryan and Alexander
16:38 – Performance night: Jordan and Tadd – Great Travis piece and strong opinions about using “Out Tonight” from RENT
21:32 – Performance night: Melanie and Marko – Wonderful conclusion to a great partnership
24:12 – Performance night: Jess and Clarice – Jess nailed that hip-hop piece!
27:35 – Next week’s all-stars! Melody, Allison, Comfort, Chelsie, Kathryn, Pasha, Twitch, Brandon, Robert
31:37 – Wrap-up: Leave us a comment, visit our blog to see what else we’re doing and we’re really excited to see Harry Potter this weekend!
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