Laura MacCorkle Christian Blog and Commentary

So You Think You Can Dance: The Top 20 Tear It Up

BLOGGER’S NOTE:  American Idol Season 7 is so over.  But the fun—and the chatting—hasn’t stopped.  Coworker Chad and I are still dialed in to the same FOX network, but we have moved on to a different area of performance arts:  dance.  And so beginning with last night's performances from the Top 20 finalists, we will offer you our “thought-provoking” discussion about the synchronized body movements we see each week on Season 4 of So You Think You Can Dance.  Enjoy!

Chad says:  So you think you can talk about So You Think You Can Dance?

Laura Mac says:  Not only do I think it ... I know it!!  Let's get started!

Laura Mac says:  You know, I have to say I’ve missed our pop-culture chats these past few weeks since American Idol ended.

Chad says:  I know.  I've been in serious withdrawal.

Laura Mac says:  Well, I have to thank you for encouraging me to watch SYTYCD.  I'm not schooled in dance per se, but I do have some opinions after watching the top 20 contestants do their thing last night.

Chad says:  That's one of the interesting things about watching this show versus American Idol.  I have a background in music, so it's all pretty familiar.  But dancing is another story.  The extent of my dancing experience is pretty much limited to explaining why the side of our family car was dented in once in high school.

Chad says:  Nonetheless, as you said, I do have some opinions.  I guess this is the layman's view of the art of dance.

Laura Mac says:  That's what I'm thinking, too.  I'm a music chica, too (piano, voice).  So I guess we’ll just apply what we know, where we can. 

Laura Mac says:  And here's what I DO know, right off the bat.  Granted, I know everyone else is probably already used to Mary Murphy, and I know I’m not since I’m just now starting to watch SYTYCD.  But I have to say, she’s GOT to be the most annoying judge in the history of TV reality-competition shows EVER.

Laura Mac says:  I think she could grate an entire block of Cheddar in 30 seconds with her voice.  Seriously. 

Chad says:  Oh my, yes.  She is a lot to handle, but she does grow on you after you realize she knows what's she's talking about.  I reluctantly started watching the show halfway through last season.  I'm ashamed to admit what a fan I've become.  One of the first things I noticed where SYTYCD tops Idol is in the judges’ department.  The judges (as show host, Cat Deeley, would say) all really know their stuff, make good observations and seem very professional.  Compare that to Idol where Simon is stuck with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb.  It's refreshing for me.

Laura Mac says:  Well, that's true.  Last night I noticed that the judges made very specific comments about very specific moves, steps or styles.  Plus, Cat also said "No other show has this much talent."   

Laura Mac says:  So whether that's truth or just hype, I did end up a little more interested after hearing her say that.

Chad says:  That's the second thing that was a draw for me.  The contestants don't THINK they can dance.  They KNOW they can dance and so do we, the viewers, after last night.  I was blown away by how good almost everyone was.  There were a few couples that struggled, but everyone else was great - especially for opening night.

Laura Mac says:  Me, too.  Blown away.  Especially after watching the premiere of TLC's lame Master of Dance back on Monday night.  Even WITH Joey Lawrence as the host, that show was baaaad.  Whoa!  Okay, sidebar.  And now back to SYTYCD. …

Laura Mac says:  So, last night was the first time the top 20 contestants have performed.  And they were paired up into 10 couples (guy and girl).  Am I tracking right?

Chad says:  Correct.  And tonight, the judges will pick a guy and a girl from the bottom three couples to send home.

Laura Mac says:  So how do the viewers' votes factor in to this equation?

Chad says:  The bottom three couples are based on the viewers’ votes.  The judges choose from there.  And the two people sent home are not necessarily from the same pair.  They can and usually do eliminate dancers from separate pairs.  The system provides producers with a little more control over the process and some insulation from the types of shockers we see on Idol.

Laura Mac says:  Very interesting.  Okay, so now that I'm slightly educated, I'm ready to tear it up on last night's performances.  Do you have time to comment on some of the couples?

Chad says:  Certainly.  Let me start with my favorite performance from last night, Twitch and Kherington (aka “Twitchington”).  Besides the fact that the strange bird she was wearing picked a horrible time to molt, I thought this was the most entertaining routine of the night.  They really looked like they were having fun.  She looked like a star, and Twitch surprised me with how good he was.  Who was your favorite?

Laura Mac says:  Yeah, I liked them.  But not as much as Katee and Joshua.  Maybe the style of dance they performed (hip-hop) spoke to me more.  Dunno.  But I thought they were so in synch.  More so than any other couple.  Very sharp.

Chad says:  Yeah, they were really good.  I'm a little worried about her given the awkward way she came into the top 20, but if she keeps dancing like that then no one will remember the end of Vegas week.

Laura Mac says:  I missed Vegas (still getting my sea legs).  All I know is I like what I saw last night.  Okay, another couple I liked is Chelsea Trail and Thayne.  She was on fire!

Laura Mac says:  Doing the cha-cha, if I remember correctly.

Chad says:  Absolutely.  Hot choreography. Very tight routine.  Technically, probably the best of the night.  My only complaint is Thayne's facial expressions.  They were absurd.  It's one thing to be expressive, but he was borderline creepy with the pageant face.

Chad says:  How about your least favorite?

Laura Mac says:  Well, maybe Thayne's costume was too tight.  We'll give him the benefit of the doubt.  But just for last night.  Okay ... least favorite.  I'd have to say "The Giants" aka Kourtni Lind and Matt.

Laura Mac says:  They're HUGE.  He's 6'3" and she's 5' 9" (not that there's anything wrong with a woman being that height, ahem).  He was pretty smooth, but she just seemed really clumsy to me.  I didn't feel like they gelled.

Chad says:  Wow.  I liked it better than that.  I did think he seemed a little uncomfortable, but they seemed to have decent chemistry.  I actually was very impressed by her expressiveness.  Kourtni is on my short list of forces to be reckoned with.  My least favorite was the first couple, Jamie and Rayven.  The routine was clownish and to me they seemed too much like dancers from other disciplines trying to imitate hip hop dancers.  I didn't think they pulled it off.  It wasn't necessarily sloppy as it was unconvincing.  Maybe I was just too distracted by what I thought was a routine that went too far in the comical to the point of just being silly.

Laura Mac says:  Well, I certainly didn't appreciate the fact that Rayven pulled down Jamie's pants during their dance and exposed his briefs (did you see that?).  I know it was supposed to be a “funny” part of the dance and play for laughs and all.  But I mean, come on.  It’s probably more than some people wear at the beach these days.  Still, we didn’t need to see that.

Chad says:  Yeah, that didn't help.

Laura Mac says:  Okay, I only have comments on two other couples.

Laura Mac says:  The "Disco Ducks" ... Courtney G. and Gev.  It was an unfortunate night and a not-so-great time of choreography for the couple.  Very bland, and not boogie, get-down-with-your-bad-self enough.

Chad says:  Agreed.  On my list of other greats, I'd have to add Will.  I thought the word "majestic" was perfect.  He was fantastic.

Laura Mac says:  Yeah.  I remember Judge Dan saying that Will and Jessica were "hot like fire."  And I think that's kin to Randy Jackson's "hot, molten lava. ..."

Chad says:  One more couple I want to mention is Chelsie and Mark.  I'm not typically a fan of the contemporary style.  I'm usually left wondering what the heck just happened.  However, the routine they danced really pulled off what contemporary dance is supposed to be.  They really told a story with their movements.  I knew throughout what was going on and what they were feeling.  I followed the story from start to finish.

Laura Mac says:  Yeah.  That one was surely different.  I kept thinking, "If Salvador Dali had danced, it would SURELY look like this." 

Laura Mac says:  Wacky and weird.  But just enough that you couldn't look away.  Like you said.

Chad says:  You crack me up.

Laura Mac says:  I do what I can.

Laura Mac says:  Okay, so should we chat again tomorrow to discuss who is eliminated on tonight's show?

Chad says:  Definitely.  Love the show, and I'm not ashamed.  I'm glad you're on board the hot tamale train, too.

Laura Mac says:  Muy caliente!  Thanks for helping a chica out.

Laura Mac says:  Mañana, mi amigo.

Chad says:  Adios.