Tuesday, July 30, 2013

SYTYCD Season 10: Top 14 Recap

Finally a guest judge I can get excited about- Anna Kendrick! <3 I just know she is going to be fantastic. I also really need to watch Pitch Perfect again (again).

The bottom six dancers are revealed to be Nico, Curtis, Alan, Alexis, MAKENZIE, and JASMINE!? Nigel lets the boys go without any solos (which really makes it seem like the injured Curtis will be heading home), but I'm more surprised that Makenzie was sent back to safety and while Jasmine was actually asked for a solo, along with Alexis. This should be an easy one to call. I'm pretty confident I guessed these results correctly.

Jenna & Tucker - Hip-hop (Luther Brown)
I hate that these two are the first to go. This was definitely a more hard-hitting piece than the jazzy hip-hop they did a couple of weeks ago. It was better than I expected it to be, although it didn't seem to be the most challenging choreography (easy for me to say). I do worry that the combination of going first and lackluster feedback will have both Jenna and Tucker in the bottom next week.

Alexis & Nico - Contemporary (Sonya Tayeh)
I kind of liked these two for the first time tonight- definitely their strongest performance on the show, by far (except for Alexis in the tap dancing number during "meet the top 20" week)- although I still don't think I liked it as much as everybody else. I have no reason to believe this wasn't Alexis' last dance on the show (over Jasmine Harper, when she already knocked out Jasmine Mason? NO FREAKING WAY) but I'm happy for her that she'll end her run on a high note. Also, Anna Kendrick has already provided more value in her comments than Carly Rae Jepsen did the entire time last week.

Hayley & Curtis - Argentine Tango (Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin)
Hayley might have really lucked out here having a professional dancer partner instead of Curtis on this tango! I can't imagine Curtis handling that series of lifts at the end of this performance. She was definitely amazing. But do people vote for this type of performance? Maybe not.

Makenzie & Paul - Jazz (Sonya Tayeh)
These two just became my favorites. They've been growing on me week after week and I am finally ready to put them at the top of my list. I don't understand why Makenzie keeps ending up in the bottom. Sigh... I might have to start voting. OK, I did it. Love, love, love both Makenzie and Paul.

Jasmine & Aaron - Contemporary (Justin Giles)
I still love these two, but I am feeling good about my decision to put Makenzie and Paul at the top of my favorites. I loved this choreography and I was nervously watching the apple the entire time. I hope Anna gets her piggyback ride later... Aaron should take full advantage of this opportunity. And hey, I realize Jasmine was supposed to be a tree, but I'm going to pretend they took my note from last week that she looks amazing in green.

Amy & Fik-shun - Hip-hop (Christopher Scott)
I was just about to write that these two always play the same characters (except for pasa doble week, I suppose) when Uncle Nigel stole my thunder. Time for them to do something way different next week! How about the waltz or something?

Malece & Alan - Salsa (Jonathan Platero)
Perhaps I'm sipping on the Malece haterade (I am), but I really felt like Alan managed to outshine her tonight. Naturally, the judges don't make an issue of that. It was so great to see Alan really enjoying himself! All those lifts- Jonathan really took advantage of having a big strong guy and tiny 80 pound girl as his dancers. OH did Anna Kendrick just say these two should make a baby!? Hilarious. I love her.

Both group numbers were great, in completely different ways. Spencer Liff's pool hall dance was so much fun (and loved seeing him perform, too!), while Bonnie Story's anti-bullying number was so timely and powerful.

But back to my favorite Anna Kendrick. She is amazing, isn't she? I hope they bring her back. I hope they put her on American Idol. I hope she hosts the Oscars (that'll never happen). I hope they put her on everything. Have I mentioned I love her? I would really like to go back and rank my favorite comments that she made, but I should probably go to bed soon.

The Elimination:
Well, that was straight to the point, and no surprises here. I finally guessed right. See ya Alexis and Curtis.

Favorite Performance:
Spencer Liff's group performance was a close second, but I had to go with what cemented my decision about who my favorite dancers are this season.

The Girls:
  1. Makenzie Dustman
  2. Jasmine Harper
  3. Jenna Johnson
  4. Amy Yakima
  5. Hayley Erbert
  6. Malece Miller 

The Boys:
  1. Paul Karmiryan
  2. Aaron Turner
  3. Alan Bersten
  4. Fik-Shun
  5. Tucker Knox
  6. Nico Greetham

Who Should Go Home:

Yikes... this is getting really hard, guys. I guess I said that last week, but I really mean it this week. The bottom three gals will be Jenna, Hayley and Malece, and the bottom three guys will be Nico, Tucker and Alan. I have no idea who will go home. I'm not guessing. Do I have to guess? Hayley and Nico. But I have no idea.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

SYTYCD Season 10: From 16 to 14

These past two weeks have been so long, I had to re-read my recap to remember who I thought would be in danger tonight. I'm a little skeptical of Carly Rae Jepsen as a guest judge. They really couldn't find anyone who is more relevant in, like, dance? Also, I'm not going to link a video because I would feel a little too mean, but did everybody see her horrible first pitch? Poor girl. I've seen my fair share of first pitches gone wrong but this one probably tops the list. Sorry Carly. :(

Tough bottom three for the girls, as I really like them all: Mariah, Makenzie, and Jenna (who is saved immediately). I'm a little surprised the judges didn't send Alan back to safety right away, as I expect the decision to come down to BluPrint or Curtis. I did guess last week two weeks ago that BluPrint would be done if he was in the bottom again, and I still feel like this may be the case unless he just blows us away.

Alexis & Nico - Jive (Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin)
I was hoping that Alexis would make me glad the judges saved her over Jasmine Mason. She did not. But I did figure out who she reminds me of! Since not being great (or as great as everybody else, anyway) isn't enough to get these two kicked off the show, hopefully going first will be. I really don't want to see any other more deserving dancers eliminated before them!!!

Jenna & Tucker - Contemporary (Travis Wall)
Oooh. Travis Wall with these two? This could be the moment I've been waiting for! And it is!!! No wonder the judges saved Jenna immediately at the top of the show. I am so happy for them to finally have been able to break through. Hopefully, the votes come through for Jenna this week. I loved this performance.

Mariah & BluPrint - Jazz (Brian Friedman)
I think the music and lights made this number, at first, feel more exciting than it actually was. It was pretty clumsy, particularly the lift at the end. I'm surprised neither Nigel or Mary mentioned a single word about BluPrint's continued lack of facial expressions, especially in comparison to how much Mariah gives through her face. In fact, I feel like the judges took it really easy on them. Suspiciously easy. Hmmm.

Malece & Alan - Hip-hop (Dave Scott)
Poor Alan. He tried so hard but this just was not his thing. While I think he'll get a free pass from the judges this week, I think he might be back in the bottom again next week. I see Carly got the memo about over-hyping Malece, as she continued to be drowned in praise. I continue to just not get it.

Hayley & Curtis - Contemporary (Dee Caspery)
Well I'll be darned. I was about to call Carly out for saying she has never seen more chemistry than between than these two in this dance, but hold the phone! They are dating!? She was right!?!? This blows my mind. The criticism unleashed upon Curtis from Nigel and Mary makes it seem like he is going to be eliminated tonight, which in turn makes me think he will be safe. #reversepsychology

Amy & Fik-shun - Jazz (Tyce Diorio)
Why are these two always so great? They really are. I give up. I feel that they've lucked out with choreography, but then again, maybe it's these two dancers that make the choreographers so great. I'm curious to see how they'll do when they dance with other partners.

Makenzie & Paul - Hip-hop (Dave Scott)
Yowza! I am liking these two more and more every week- especially Paul (even though I don't see James Franco in him at all). I'm a little worried about Makenzie on the chopping block tonight, only because of all the other contemporary dancers this season, but there's no way she deserves to go. She is fantastic. I'm really beginning to think the judges took it easy on Mariah and BluPrint earlier because they're the ones heading home.

Jasmine & Aaron - Quickstep (Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin)
Somebody has to do the quickstep, you might as well give it to the couple who has zero chance of going home, especially when you give them the pimp spot! But, the thing is, they did it really well. Jasmine also looked amazing in emerald green and should probably wear that color all the time. These two, like Amy and Fik-shun, can do no wrong.

So, I'm sorry, but there is something I have to say before we move on to the elimination. Not only does Carly Rae Jepsen own the worst first pitch ever, but she might have also been the worst guest judge ever. I don't think she said a single thing that added value (other than "outing" Hayley and Curtis as a maybe-couple). She was like Joe Jonas on American Idol a few seasons ago, minus all the thumbs-ups. Why is FOX obsessed with her?

The Elimination:
I was surprised to hear Uncle Nigel's claim that the decision about the boys was more difficult than picking between the girls, as BluPrint seemed like the obvious choice. I do think the judges tipped their hand by going easy on both BluPrint and Mariah during their critique. I am bummed that Mariah is off the show, but I would have been even more sad if Makenzie had gone. Lose-lose situation with the girls tonight.

Favorite Performance:
They didn't let velcro problems get in their way!

The Girls:
  1. Jasmine Harper
  2. Jenna Johnson
  3. Makenzie Dustman
  4. Amy Yakima
  5. Hayley Erbert
  6. Malece Miller 
  7. Alexis Juliano

The Boys:

  1. Aaron Turner
  2. Paul Karmiryan
  3. Fik-Shun
  4. Alan Bersten
  5. Tucker Knox
  6. Curtis Holland 
  7. Nico Greetham

Who Should Go Home:
This whole bottom six thing is getting really hard. For the girls, I'm going to stick with Hayley and Alexis in the bottom... and maybe, just maybe, Malece will finally join them!? I don't think Alan helped his case much today and will be in the bottom again, along with Curtis (again) and probably, finally, Nico. Alexis and Curtis will be going home.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

SYTYCD Season 10: From 18 to 16

SO MUCH INFORMATION before the competition starts! So I'm being a little dramatic, but first, it's unfortunate that Jade suffered an injury that forces him to leave the show, but more unfortunate that it didn't happen a week earlier and possibly spare Carlos. (What?) Second, I love that Nigel listened to everybody who was unhappy with the format and was brave enough to accept the feedback and make a change! You can thank the social media era for that. And third... Paula Abdul! I am actually looking forward to her delightful babbling. But Erin Andrews? We'll see. I'll reserve judgment for now.

Seriously though, I am really glad they moved the eliminations to the end, but- HOW... what!? I cannot believe Jasmine Mason is in the bottom three. Jenna doesn't deserve it, but doesn't surprise me as much since she hasn't been given much of an opportunity to shine yet. It HAS to be Alexis. Blu-Print and Curtis luck out from Jade's injury, but I have to think he would have been asked to leave anyway.

The Performances:

Amy & Fik-Shun - Paso Doble (Jean-Marc Généreux)
So we finally see these two both out of their element. Fik-Shun had a little more trouble with the style than Amy, who apparently has no problems with anything ever at all. I keep waiting for her to slip up, since there are other dancers I like better than her for intangible reasons, but gosh dang she's good.

Jasmine H. & Aaron - Broadway (Spencer Liff)
I really don't have much else to add to what I said about this pair last week- they are ready for the big stage now. They just melt into the characters they are asked to play and have such incredible stage presence. Give them something super crazy hard already so we can give them a standing ovation!

Makenzie & Paul - Contemporary (Lindsay Nelko)
Wow. So you start with a story about a couple being torn apart by a terminal illness, pick an acoustic, emotion-driven song, and add in a flowy white dress... this pretty much guaranteed two things: tears from Mary Murphy and goosies (thanks again to J-Lo for giving me that term). This was a special performance, but I worry it'll get overlooked- especially with Makenzie already showing up in the bottom three once before. These two are really growing on me.

Jasmine M. & Alan - Jazz (Sean Cheesman)
I am liking Alan more and more every week. I agree that a little more quirk from the dancers would have been great, but Jasmine better be safe tonight and she better be safe next week. And Alan. Shoot, now I'm worried about Alan.

Jenna & Tucker - Hip-hop (Keoni & Mari Madrid)
Hmmm. This seemed more jazz than hip-hop to me? OK, so it wasn't just me. Hip-jazz! And Paula FTW- I loved her point that MJ often borrowed from the jazz world (since it was, after all, a MJ song). I think she's doing great as a judge on this show! In any case, I really feel like Jenna & Tucker keep drawing the short straw. Give them a chance!

Malece - Contemporary (Sonya Tayeh)
Really? A standing ovation? I don't know about that. (But yay, Marco! Love!) But seriously, I don't know about the heaps of praise being thrown at Malece right now. It's a little too much, right? I'm confused!?

Hayley & Curtis - Samba (Jean-Marc Généreux)
One pair has to be the weakest of the night, and this looks like it'll be the one. And it's mostly Curtis, who looks completely overwhelmed, which could be expected. He seemed hesitant and unsure of himself for the first time this season- and as I've been saying, both of these dancers just come across so young compared to some of the other acts. I'm curious how Hayley would do with another partner- one of the All-Stars, in particular- if she makes it to that point.

Alexis & Nico - Jazz (Spencer Liff)
I'll be honest, I was distracted during this performance (chatting with a BFF about vacation plans! can you blame me?), but I didn't feel like going back and watching it over. From what I saw, this might have been their best effort yet, but there is just something missing here from both dancers. They just don't seem to be at the same level as the others. I am giving up on guessing Nico to be the one to go home, though.

Mariah & BluPrint - Hip-hop (Luther Brown)
These two get paired up AND they get hip-hop?! Could they possibly get that lucky? Mariah definitely had a new life in her performance and I am so thrilled to see her have a great week. I knew I liked her! The judges' comments made it pretty clear that if BluPrint somehow ends up in the bottom again next week, he'll be going home.

That would be the number for Mariah at the top.
My bad, no it's not, she voted for BluPrint!

The Elimination:
I'm a little dumbfounded that Jasmine Mason was sent home over Alexis. We just haven't seen that much out of Alexis, and Jasmine has been one of the top dancers each week. What am I missing?

And Erin Andrews wasn't bad. Not my favorite guest judge of all time or anything, but she held her own.

Favorite Performance:

There wasn't a clear-cut winner this week, in my opinion, so I'll give the edge to my favorite pair: Jasmine and Aaron.

The Girls:
  1. Jasmine Harper
  2. Jenna Johnson
  3. Mariah Spears 
  4. Makenzie Dustman
  5. Amy Yakima
  6. Hayley Erbert
  7. Malece Miller 
  8. Alexis Juliano

The Boys:
  1. Aaron Turner
  2. Alan Bersten
  3. Fik-Shun
  4. Paul Karmiryan
  5. Tucker Knox
  6. Curtis Holland 
  7. Nico Greetham
  8. BluPrint

Who Should Go Home:
I haven't been doing too well this season! My guesses for next week's bottom six are: Hayley, Makenzie (over the over-hyped Malece), Alexis, Tucker, Curtis, and Alan (over BluPrint, who voters will rally for tonight). Alexis and Curtis will go home. Wow, really? I didn't know where I was going with this and I ended up picking Curtis. I seriously doubt Uncle Nigel will allow for two tappers to go home the same week, but I'll stick with it. However, if I'm wrong about BluPrint and he ends up in the bottom again, he's out for sure.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

June Instagram Round-up

Here are my favorite Instagram photos from June!

This Hello Kitty figure used to look like this. With a little clay, paint, and lots of patience, I turned her into a member of the Fightin' Irish football squad.

As I've mentioned before, I love She-ra. Her Pop prototype was the first one I purchased, on a whim, when first dove into collecting Funko and didn't really know what I was doing. I am SO glad I pulled the trigger on it- I would have really been kicking myself now if I hadn't. I love how her production piece turned out too. I might have to get another to bling out!

One of my favorite summer traditions is picking fresh strawberries and raspberries. YUM. Nothing better.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

SYTYCD Season 10: Top 18 Recap

Wow, OK. So we're starting with the elimination! Nothing like starting off on a cheery note, right? Creepy living dolls and an elimination, doesn't get any cheerier than that!

The Elimination:
The bottom six dancers are revealed: Mariah, Makenzie, Brittany, Carlos, Alan, and Jade. Alan and Makenzie are immediately sent to safety, while I expected Mariah and Carlos to have their names called first. Perhaps the judges want viewers to see them do their thing? The solos were uninspiring overall, but Carlos showed the most...


Jade has been given so many "dance for your life" opportunities already this season. I am REALLY disappointed in the decision to go with Jade over Carlos. I'm pleased with Mariah over Brittany, but I'm so upset about Carlos getting the boot that I couldn't really care less about the other decision right now. Ugh!

The Performances:
Well, let's get on to the fun part, shall we?

Hayley & Curtis - Jazz (Ray Leeper)
For someone who doesn't have a very masculine persona in real life (I wouldn't lie to you, I typed this just as Mary Murphy called him "a giggle bucket"), he is certainly a very masculine dancer. Case in point- did you see that butt grab? Yowza! And Hayley? I'm sold. But the girls are tough this season, I don't know if she can overtake my early favorites.

Jasmine H. & Aaron - Lyrical Hip-hop (Tabitha & Napoleon)
Cyrus who, am I right, Jasmine?! I really like these two. There's just an element of maturity and professionalism these two have that a pair like Hayley & Curtis still lack. I do think they can give us even more.

Malece & Jade - Bollywood (Nakul Dev Mahajan)
I was underwhelmed, but maybe I'm still mad that Jade was saved over Carlos. I just don't think this number was at the level of other Bollywood performances we've seen the past few seasons. Jade was better than I expected, but there was no "wow" moment for either dancer (except for when I first saw how sparkly their outfits were, which doesn't really count).

Alexis & Nico - Contemporary (Stacey Tookey)
I don't know if they were trying to trick us into thinking Alexis was actually Kathryn, but it didn't work for me. I'm kind of bummed. I really wanted to like Alexis, but I'm just not getting anything from her. These two were SO LUCKY to not be in the bottom six tonight, but I seriously doubt they will be quite so fortunate again next week.

Brittany & BluPrint - Broadway (Spencer Liff)
Does someone do a dance to this song every year? I'm pretty sure. Maybe it has to do with Brittany being cut already, which would be understandable, but the whole performance was just missing a little life. BluPrint might be in trouble next week. I've been borderline bored these last three dances, I hope it picks back up here.

Jasmine M. & Alan - Tango (Miriam & Leonardo)
I actually clapped a little at the end of this one. The level of difficulty! All those lifts! The chemistry, the acting, the storytelling! I'm finally excited! I'm rewinding and watching again!

Makenzie & Paul - Jazz (Sean Cheesman)
They had me at mad scientist and deadly fembot. First of all, I love that the guy who does all the African Jazz numbers came up with this futuristic piece. I think I really saw Paul for the first time ever and finally understand why they put him in the Top 20. Having said that... this was Makenzie's show.There was one moment where Makenzie gave this look into the camera, and right there I knew she'd be jumping up a few spots on my rankings. Get it, girrrl.

Mariah & Carlos - Contemporary (Stacey Tookey)
Yep, I'm still mad about Carlos being eliminated. STOP BLAMING AMERICA, JUDGES! You could have saved him over Jade!!! I can't help but wonder if there was a question about his attitude. If so, he hid it well, but I can't understand why else they would not have saved him. He could have been the next Mark or Robert. Sigh.

Amy & Fik-Shun - Hip-hop (Tabitha & Napoleon)
That was a super fun little dance. I will try to get over my inclination to fight Nigel on calling Amy "the beast" (she's still not my favorite!) but I will admit I liked her very much here. Both dancers gave energetic and entertaining performances without coming off over-the-top. But here's my small issue- last week, they danced in Amy's style. This week, Fik-Shun's style. I want to see them do something completely out of both of their comfort zones next week... please.

Jenna & Tucker - Cha-cha (Dmitry Chaplin)
I don't really get Nigel for choosing this moment to call out the choreographer for not giving Jenna & Tucker something traditionally cha-cha enough, instead of actually critiquing the two dancers. Just give them their due props and have your words with Dmitry off-screen later! Instead- despite saying it wasn't the fault of the dancers- he kind of sounded like he was blaming Jenna, like she should have infused more cha-cha in the number since she is, by trade, a ballroom dancer. Not cool, Uncle Nigel, not cool.

By the way, how great was Christina Applegate as a guest judge tonight? I love the fact she obviously does her homework. I feel like I didn't care for her last season (I just searched my own blog and no, I didn't) but I suppose this goes to show I can change my mind.

Favorite Performance:

Amy & Fik-Shun were great, as were Makenzie & Paul, but I have to give Jasmine Mason and Alan Bersten the "best of the night" award. I don't applaud in my living room for the television very often, after all.

The Girls:
  1. Jasmine Mason
  2. Jasmine Harper
  3. Jenna Johnson 
  4. Amy Yakima
  5. Makenzie Dustman
  6. Hayley Erbert
  7. Mariah Spears
  8. Malece Miller 
  9. Alexis Juliano

The Boys:
  1. Aaron Turner
  2. Alan Bersten
  3. Fik-Shun
  4. Tucker Knox
  5. Curtis Holland 
  6. Paul Karmiryan
  7. Nico Greetham
  8. BluPrint
  9. Jade Zuberi

Who Should Go Home:
The bottom six will be Tucker, Nico, BluPrint, Alexis, Malece and Mariah once again. Mariah better step up her solo game next week. I was wrong last week, but I'm sticking with my same picks to go home: Nico and Alexis.