The new season of So You Think You Can Dance (hereafter to be referred to as SYTYCD) has just started, and here are my thoughts about it so far.
I LOVE that there’s a Top 20 instead of a Top 10, there’s more wiggle room for magic surprises this way. With 10 you have spots wasted if someone they cast because “everyone will LOVE them” falls flat (see the tap dance girl from last season- Miranda? Melinda? Something with an M.). With 20 you have the chance that someone they cast as cannon fodder (who they know will be gone in the first couple of weeks) could come out of nowhere and be completely amazing and last until the end. And I’m so glad that they’re keeping the All Star format, it’s just awesome to see people from previous seasons, and I really do think it’s instructive for the current season’s contestants.
Onto my immediate impressions of the Top 20 (the videos from this week are here at least for right now, if you want to see who I’m talking about):
Ricky: LOVE LOVE LOVE. The man has extension for days. I hope he lasts a long time, but I’m not sure that he has the charisma to- so far he hasn’t struck me as a Jakob or a Billy.
Miranda: She’s solid, but I’m guessing she’s cannon fodder, simply because we saw NOTHING of her through all of the auditions.
Melanie: I adore her. I can’t wait to see what she can do- she just exudes joy when she dances.
Sasha: She could take the world down. Her movement is just gorgeous.
Caitlin: Again, she’s solid, but she’s another brunette with long hair who we’ve never seen before. Fodder!
Ashley: Love her. She could go a long way.
Mitchell: Have we seen him before? He’s got nice lines.
Ryan: Beyond love her. I think the powers that be want her or Melanie to take the whole thing, and I’d be ok with that, but I hope they (the powers that be) stop being so obvious about it so people don’t turn against them (the girls).
Alex: So so lovely. I hope he can adapt to other styles. And that they don’t give him hip hop straight out of the gate and then compare him to last season’s Alex. Which I predict here and now is what’s going to happen.
Chris: He’s cute, but did we see him in the auditions? I call cannon fodder cast in the name of looking good by having lots of b-boys this season.
Wadi: Super solid. I hope he can pull off other styles, because his b-boy is really good.
Tadd: I don’t think he was shown in auditions either, but I think he and Wadi are the strongest of the b-boys.
Robert: He’s really good, but the “wooo” thing is going to get old really quickly. Dressing him up like Erkle was an unfortunate way to go, he needs a tough guy dance soon.
Iveta: I’m so glad she’s finally on. She’s obviously so talented, I hope she can adapt to the other styles- it certainly seems like she wants to.
Clarice: I’m sure she’s a perfectly good dancer, but unless she gets amazing routines out of the gate, I don’t give her long- we’ve seen nothing of her, and there doesn’t seem to be anything to set her apart from any of the other long haired brunettes.
Marko: I really like him, but I’m afraid they’re trying to set him up as this season’s Mark, which will only backfire horribly, because he’s no Mark. (Because no one can be. Except, you know, Mark.)
Jordan: She kind of totally and completely bugs me. I predict that she’ll stay around a while, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it.
Missy: Total cannon fodder. Sorry, honey.
Jess: Oh goodness, the “arrogant” edit already! He needs a major image makeover- whether or not he is an arrogant little guy they’re making him out to be one- he needs to be VERY careful what he says on stage. And be ready to get torn to pieces in the name of teaching him humility, so that when he comes out on the other side, they can claim his talent as their creation. (Hmmm, did that sound a little jaded? ) But his reactions do need help, and he needs to tone down the Broadway “play to the back of the crowd” perma grin.
Nick: Freakin’ adorable! How did they show none of him before? I hope he blows the other styles away so he can stick around! He has a non-smarminess about his performance that a lot of tappers on this show lack.
Overall, I think it will come down to girls this season. The girls with really solid technique are also really personable and memorable. The boys with solid technique (in whichever genre) seem quieter and less memorable. (At least so far. That could totally change.)
I’m hoping for more Chris Scott and Dave Scott routines- as I commented while watching the rehearsal footage they showed last week, Chris Scott is the Beastie Boys of dance- total cheesy white boy who’s got what it takes. More of both of them and less Tabitha and Napoleon would be great- Dorcas and Dynamite (I refuse to call them Nappytabs- that just sounds nasty) are better when they’re not trying to do two routines in a week. I want to know where Wade and Mia are, and I’m hoping that we don’t have to see Ms. Pussycat Dolls again, though I know it’s a futile hope.
I’m interested in the idea of them having tap as an option, it’s nice to give Nick the possibility of dancing in his genre. But it could be hard to implement, would only some of the cards have the option of tap? Otherwise he could be in his wheelhouse quite often.
Are you watching? Who do you like?