So You Think You Can Dance: Season 14, The Academy part 1

E: Hello out there!  If you’ve been here before you know that I am thrilled through my entire being that this show has returned, and returned to something resembling it’s old format.  Adult dancers for the win!  I guess we’ll see how the All Star format works out (I can already tell that, even with a reduced, coastally-focused 2 city audition schedule, the cuts will still be brutal) but I will take it over nothing any day.  It’s all about the dance!  If nothing else happens this season, I could watch “Brand New” – the spectacular, 100 dancer flash mob that began this episode in true La La Land style – every day for the rest of the summer and that would be enough.

But I’m so glad we’re going to get more.

And, um, I know it’s lame of me to start so late in the season.  Things have been a mite crazy for the last few months here in Sibling World.   Much more than a mite, if I’m being honest.  But the craziness is settling down (fingers crossed) and I really miss writing, so I’m going to try and get back to a more settled schedule.  I did take notes on the audition episodes, in hopes of having the time to blog them; not only did I not have the time then, but I can’t find all my notes now, so I won’t have as encyclopedic a recall of the contestants as usual.  Please excuse me if I forget names!  I will do my best to give you all my oodles of joy in seeing this show return. I hope someone out there is glad I’m back, too. Ready to break this down?

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So You Think You Can Dance, Next Generation: 6 to 5

E: Well, okay.  After I took a break and the show took an even longer break, we’re left without two of the most talented contestants.  And we’re stuck with the judges aggressively promoting the least skilled dancer in the bunch.  On the one hand, I’m still trying my hardest to enjoy what’s left of what’s undoubtedly the last season of my favorite summer show.  On the other, I really really wish it was going out on a better note.

In quick review, Cat wore a fabulously crazy outfit (gray long sleeve minidress), everyone danced with their All Star and in some version of their style.  They also danced with one of their fellow competitors.  The show welcomed Mark Ballas into its fold of choreographers.  Tate was brilliant as ever, with Kida, Ruby and Tahani not far behind.  The judges could not gush more over little J.T., and the producers can’t stop promoting him, giving him a second piece by Travis.  (Of course, the piece — clearly inspired by this line of greeting cards — was not an unqualified success; rather to my surprise, Travis joined me in not liking it.)  The best dances of the evening came from the All Stars (the opening number, a number for the boys plus Comfort, a number for the other four girls).  And instead of having a bottom two and choosing to save one contestant, the show simply kicked of Ruby, the last remaining ballroom dancer and almost certain the second most skilled dancer in the competition as a whole. I’m not sure why we had that format change at 6 contestants instead of at, say, 5, but I suppose the show isn’t very consistent about applying it’s rules.  Maybe they didn’t want us to know who the second most vulnerable person was?  Or maybe they didn’t want to be held responsible for choosing between whomever their options were.

At any rate, I’m sorry this wasn’t a full fledged recap.  I don’t want to abandon you, but I’m also just pretty frustrated with this season.   And better to share a few thoughts than none at all, right?

So You Think You Can Dance, The Next Generation: 9 to 8

E: I wondered how this episode would go — would we have a trio to account for the odd number of contestants left — but I didn’t imagine we would return to the odd old format of the contestants dancing with their All Stars.  Oh, and the awkward pre-recorded interviews with Cat, which were less awkward than the first time, but still, boo. Turn it around next week, folks!

I will admit, though, that I’m growing quite fond of the dancers, and that a lot of the dancing has been pretty darn good. Continue reading

So You Think You Can Dance, Next Generation: Top Ten

E: After the first half hour of the first live show, I was pretty sure I didn’t want to recap this show anymore.  There’s just not enough dancing, the judges give nothing but praise, the format tries too hard, and having the kids dance with adult partners ranges from mildly to excruciatingly uncomfortable.  I’m definitely not going to do a moment by moment recap as usual, with judges comments (I mean, come on, they’re pretty useless) and the super silly “do you have a girlfriend/do YOU have a girlfriend” interview questions.  That said, I do want to talk about the dancing, because by the end of the show, I was actually enjoying that part. Continue reading

So You Think You Can Dance, Next Generation: Dance Academy, Volume 2

E:  Because that’s how I roll this season, I’m going to start with some dissatisfaction.  Having a Top Ten just doesn’t work for me.  It’s too few contestants, and forced some really brutal cuts.  And clearly, there had to have been pressure on the All Stars to pick personality over skill to get some of the younger kids on the show.  (Maybe I’ve been watching too much Unreal, but I can’t help seeing manipulation everywhere.)  All that said, most of the Top Ten is pretty impressive, and I’m excited to see more of them.  Bland Maddie Zeigler, not so much.

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