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Comparing the Seasons: It's Always the Worst Season Ever!


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#901

Soleil

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Posted Sep 4, 2012 @ 2:55 PM

To me, season 9 gets an asterisk because the poor dancers this season have been screwed by the format (combined performance + results shows, TWO long hiatuses). Most screwed season since S6 (fall, cramming six dancers into the finale, NO tour), with S7 following close behind (only 11 contestants, literally crippled by weekly injuries, no contestant-contestant pairings until late in the game).

Season 8 started out SO promisingly, then devolved as it increasingly skewed toward contemporary, contemporary, contemporary. Also inexplicable was Nigel's decision to cater to Melanie. I'm fairly certain she would have won even without all the show pimping, and I would have enjoyed it so much more if she wasn't handed contemporary, jazz and Broadway every week, with the occasional watered-down waltz or "lyrical" "hip hop."

Wow, looking at this assessment, the show has really stumbled in recent years. Even though my alltime favorite dancer (Mark) was in season 4, overall I think season 5 was my favorite, with lots of standout routines (ahem, "Addiction"), a format that hummed along beautifully and an unheralded winner who came by her victory organically, without manipulation from the judges. We should have realized when they debuted the new stage in the finale that it was the beginning of the end.

Still, I can understand the producers tinkering with things a bit after five seasons. They made some missteps with rushing the sixth season in the fall (uh, FOX airs baseball then, you guys!) and getting rid of the possibility of power couples in the seventh season, but I thought they were on their way to correcting those issues with season 8 before the genre diversity issues. And we'll never know how much more we would love the season 9 dancers if the network had allowed us to spend more time with them, sigh.
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#902

AddictedToTV

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Posted Sep 4, 2012 @ 6:02 PM

I'll always look very favorably on Season 7. Yes, there were only 11 dancers and the power coupling was limited, but:

-There was barely ANY fodder. This meant that no one got sent home too early/stayed too long, to be honest. Yes, Jose lasted a week or two too far, but looking back, he wasn't the trainwreck he appeared to be (or maybe I'm nostaglic after seeing Cyrus's limited abilities)

-Big personalities that had incredible technique and performance value the same. Kent, Lauren, Ashley, Robert, Adechike, Billy...the list goes on.

-The quality of dancing, because of the All-Stars, improved. I've never seen the All-Stars as detractors, which I think is a silly notion, because if you can't watch the contestant, then that's on the viewer, not the dancer. There was barely any routine that didn't wow because of the abilities of at least one partner and the mentoring that occurred.

-The mainstay of same sex dances. Pretty much any of Kent's pieces (Contemporary with Adechike and with Neil, Broadway with Jose and with Neil), Alex/Twitch Hip-Hop, Billy/Ade Contemporary. Yes the women were voted off quickly, but that didn't mean the quality of these partner dances suffered.

-The dynamic of the contestants in Season 7 was better than I've seen in any season. Sometimes this season is criticized for not pairing the dancers and therefore not creating these wonderful couples, but in reality the contestant pool as a whole felt like it got to interact with the entire group instead of just one other partner for half the time.

-The judges. I know that this is almost universally unpopular, but Mia and Adam, as mean and hurtful as they sometimes were, made judging watchable. Judging since their departure has been useless and random, at best, and downright embarassingly unsettling at worst. Mary and the guest judge add nothing to the conversation except for awful puns and eye-rolling "jokes" and Nigel simply favors his favorites, gives damning praise to the others, and tells everyone how they should vote. It's insulting. At least with Mia and Adam, their criticisms were completely intact. If something wasn't outstanding, they weren't going to say it was outstanding. It made routines more special when they actually gave the praise deserved. Yes, Mia was rude towards Adechike. That wasn't cool. But Adam gave helpful criticisms about watching the performance on playback and on technical issues that plagued certain dancers. I fail to see how "that was so entertaining. We love you. America loves you. You have great energy" from Mary and "And that's how I *enter dance theme/story/props/setting* do that as well!" from the guest judge is anywhere near a step up in these recent seasons. It wasn't always pleasant to watch a great routine be nitpicked for small things here and there during Season 7, but it was definitely *judging* and not cheerleading.
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#903

soulkissage

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Posted Sep 4, 2012 @ 8:05 PM

Nigel was an Asshat as always in s7 and Mia got super bitter with Adechike and I have no idea why. I think maybe because he was getting more votes than Billy and Robert and he had odd Technique for someone contemporary ballet trained. Adam gave good advice to the contestants but was useless for the audience. And Mia&Adam merged and were like I can't even explain why that became a bad situation but it did-almost like drunk best friends!

But we got great dances-even a lot of the weak dancers were pretty entertaining.Though some of the hip hop is even more so not hip hop on rewatch but that is how it is with all the seasons.

-Meet the top 11
-Top 11 C/AS dance +(Group dance & b3 solos)
-Top 10 C/AS dance +(Group dance & b3 solos
-Top 9 C/AS dance plus solo +(Group dance & b3 solos)
-Top 8 C/AS & C/C dance +(group dance & b2 solos but Alex left with injury)
-Top 7 C/AS & C/C dance+(group dance& b2 solos but Ashley left with injury)

-Top 6a C/AS & C/C dance plus solos +(group dance& b2 solos but since injured Billy was ok to dance next week, no one left)

-Top 6b C/AS & C/C dance plus solos +(Group dance plus b3 solos)

-Top 4 C/AS & C/C dance plus top 4 group dance +( top 4 solos){I'm not real clear on this nor the top 6a episode}

-Top 3 C/AS & C/AS & C/C & C/C plus solos

The focus of the season was on the all stars and it just felt like Nigel was trying to pretend high art because they actually were hiring dancers for work and not just competition. Annoying but the stage is big so most of the great dances on the new stage have been with at least one specialist so having a specialist in most of the dances made for some entertaining dances. The stage was a little worse in s6 and a little better in s8.

S9 has been the worst for lighting&camera work imo and that has made the dances weaker than they really might be...

Edited by soulkissage, Sep 4, 2012 @ 8:09 PM.

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#904

kechara

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Posted Sep 4, 2012 @ 8:32 PM

I miss Wade - a lot.
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#905

macbeth

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Posted Sep 4, 2012 @ 8:47 PM

This season is so much better than last year. Last year the choreo was stale - it was contemporary all the time - the level of talent wasn't up to par so that Melanie and Sasha really stood out. I felt it the whole thing was a coronation for Melanie to win - so that Nigel could have her star in the latest version of "Dirty Dancing" - now on hold. Cat hinted as much to Danny Ortega who was going to produce it. The season really suffered from Nigel's myopic goal for the winner.

There is much more diversity this season. It helps to have Tabitha and Napoleon on break. Sonya got out of her funk (I think she began to break the mold at the end of last season when she had Tadd hanging from a chandelier with his dance with Ellenore to Nigel's horror. How that dance got past the censors I have no idea.)

I think the All-Stars were needed to refurbish the format. Also, in theory, less dances for the contestants should mean more rest - less injury -(which so didn't happen in Season 7).

As far as the changes in re: judging - Judges (Nigel)are controlling things (as much as possible) until nearly the bitter end. Well - after S7 - where the girls were voted off early and you ended up having male w/ male dancing (to Nigel's horror)- Nigel was never going to let the voters have that much control again - unless he wanted to ditch the All-Stars - and go back to the old format. It was great to see the male w/ male dancing - that kept things interesting - I just wished it didn't have to happen at the expense of the women.

As far as the loss of Adam and Mia as judges - I like Adam (especially w/o Mia) - but hell no to Mia. She is a great choreographer - but I don't not want to endure her psych hang-ups on a weekly basis - especially when it comes to the African-American male dancers. Her attitude towards Danny, Brandon & Adechike was appallingly racist. Mary and Mia had a huge argument about choosing Brandon for the show. I would rather have Mary's unabashed - yes grating - joy than deal with Mia.
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#906

soulkissage

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Posted Sep 4, 2012 @ 11:24 PM

I think the All-Stars were needed to refurbish the format. Also, in theory, less dances for the contestants should mean more rest - less injury -(which so didn't happen in Season 7).


S7 had the most dances before the week that is typically top 10 (It evened out with and after that week but it's still one of the most danced seasons)which could explain the injuries though I think all 4 were flukes or not just show related. The all stars do make the choreographer think they can have high technical content which is a plus for the show but top 10 has always been better than top 20 on a whole so maybe it's not just the all stars but the caliber of talent once we flush out the weaker contestants (please don't confuse that with weaker talent).
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#907

Xazeal

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Posted Sep 5, 2012 @ 7:02 AM

I think that format-wise, Season 8 got it right, other than having the judges pick who goes home throughout nearly the whole competition. It was close to the format we were used to before Season 7, with the added quirk of having All-Stars appear after top 10. After three seasons I really do think All-Stars has been an overall good addition to the show, and the way they're being used now is actually good.

The problems with Season 8 were Nigel's manipulations, and the gross favoritism towards Melanie. However, aside from that, I think the season was pretty good. Sure, a lot of the choreography was uninspired as always. Yes, many of the dancers were lackluster or dull, but I think pretty much everyone in the top 8 had something going for them. Melanie was excellent in her own style, and so were Marko, Sasha, Ricky and Jess. Caitlynn proved herself to be really versatile, I thought Jordan wasn't as bad and unlikable as most people thought, and Tadd, although not technically impressive, was still a capable dancer and immensely entertaining, not to mention hot.

Had Caitlynn, Marko, or maybe Sasha won the season, it would've been one of my favorites. If Tadd had won, it would've been my favorite by far, but for different reasons. But Nigel got his way, and poor Melanie got a win that was completely unjustified, even though she probably would've gotten it even without his favoritism.

As for this one, I'm gonna have to wait until the winners are announced. As with Season 8, my view of the season will depend on whether the gross judges get their way or if a dancer who has truly been challenged and proven to be great will somehow claw his/her way to the top. Basically, this means that if Chehon wins, I'm happy. I love all of the girls at this point, but I'd prefer to see Witney or Tiffany just for the joy of seeing the underdogs take it.
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#908

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Posted Sep 5, 2012 @ 9:35 AM

The problems with Season 8 were Nigel's manipulations, and the gross favoritism towards Melanie.


I completely agree with this. Yes, Season 9 has suffered immeasurably from the two long breaks which resulted in double eliminations -- which always sends home a couple of people who should have gotten another chance. The momentum of Season 9 is lacking, and there seems to be a general lack of performance maturity among this group (compared to Jeanine and LoFro who were both 18 too). Even Witney, who tries to add 'teh sexy' to every dance seems too young, more like a little girl playing dress up.

BUT. Thinking about last season practically gives me a pit in my stomach. I grew to DESPISE Melanie last season: the wrinkled nose, the little hearts she made with hands, the week after week of contemporary-ish dances, the always, always being on the receiving end of excessive praise, deserved or not. I loved her audition, and truly, she seems like a nice, fine young woman, but it was like no one else mattered but her. I recognize that much of this wasn't her fault, but as more interesting (to me) dancers kept falling by the wayside, my Nigel -- and my extension -- Melanie frustration built and built. Even this year, I am completely "blech" about seeing her again. Season 8 is hands down, no contest, the very worst season to me.

If the show continues (a big if, which breaks my heart), I think that they do have the basic format right (though damn I want a results show back)with the allstars and all. But we absolutely need some freshness in choreography and they need to cast with a bit maturity (age aside) in mind. And more time with the dancers, as everyone has said. One of the reasons Tiffany is so bland is that we know so little of her. I just read that she finished high school with almost a full year of college credit -- I know George mentioned she was smart, but I would have loved to see for myself her intelligence, wit, etc.
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#909

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Posted Sep 5, 2012 @ 10:48 AM

S7 had the most dances before the week that is typically top 10 (It evened out with and after that week but it's still one of the most danced seasons)which could explain the injuries though I think all 4 were flukes or not just show related.


The woman's injury (I remember her face but not her name) was absolutely show related. It came from a lift she had to do with Adechike. Allison was injured the same way (although with a different contestant). I think the choreographers pushed the dancers to do more dangerous things to try and live up to expectations for All Stars.

I think the All Stars last year were great. This year, given the time constraints of needing to do eliminations and performance in the same night, I would much rather see the contestants dance just with each other so that they could do two dances and get more variety in their dances. I don't mind lack of rehearsal footage; I feel I get to know the dancers through their dancing (IMHO, Tiffany is bland because she's a bland dancer, not because we haven't seen footage of her).
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#910

mistielovesyou

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Posted Sep 5, 2012 @ 1:29 PM

I think the judges this year are just as biased towards Cyrus as Melanie. If he wins these season was a trainwreck and a waste of time.

I can enjoy the boring dancers, find goodness in the bland choreo, and ignore a bad format. The only thing that REALLY grinds my gears is biased/bad judging. Mia's almost blatant racism, Nigel's favoritism, and Mary crying at almost anything. Adam was the only regular judge that I liked. He had no biases that were obvious and he always judged fairly. I wish he would come as a guest judge this season (again?) instead of the boring ones we keep getting, JTF excluded.

I almost wish that there was no judging or that judges were given rules as to what they are allowed to say in order to remain objective. No gushing or bashing dancers. No mentioning past seasons. No glossing over mistakes, unless there was a legit excuse. No glossing over the good stuff either unless there is a legit detractor. I hate rules and restrictions, so I'd be annoyed having to keep track. But still.
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#911

allspice

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Posted Sep 6, 2012 @ 3:01 AM

Well, if we are looking at versatility and we take the shows view, it would be a moo point to compare, IMO. it's not like Nigel is doing to sit up and accept that all the versatility has gone. And has been gone for the past 3 seasons. For much as I love Season 7 - I think that's where the problem started. Or maybe Season 5, where they saw that leaving Brandon & Janette aside, their dancers did well only when there was at least one specialist in there. (Season 6 being a pleasant anomaly).


I am doing this according to the way the show categorizes things because I did not want to present my own subjective view as if it was objective. It's not the same as saying the show's view is the only view or the my view. Like I said, the information is all there for everyone's convenience. Use it however you want to use it. If you think my little effort is just a "moot point," so be it. I'll delete the posts then.
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#912

geeweeze

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Posted Sep 9, 2012 @ 5:32 PM

I started watching SYTYCD towards the end of Season 6, most fully in Season 7, so I am not totally sure how the show, format, etc. have changed over the years. I am in the middle of watching season 3, and I have to say the judging seems so much harsher (and I don't mind). I haven't heard boos like that in awhile.

Mary picks apart the hip-hoppers' style in ballroom (Cedric foxtrot, Hoke samba), outright says ppl don't belong in the competition, that America got the voting wrong, etc.(and now of course she says that America can never get it wrong). Cedric clearly wasn't a versatile dancer and Mia's contemporary routine for him seemed designed not to do him many favors (SITTING on the stage?). But my goodness I couldn't help but like him and want to see him get some more chances to shine. His fox trot was bad, but for some reason I still found Cedric's "trying" endearing. Maybe I am the only one who feels that way. He got a "you got through it" comment from Mia, but it certainly wasn't spun as a positive or triumph. And I thought he had some really good, out-of-genre moments in his Mambo. But, in any event, Cedric was lambasted -- with good reason. Debbie Allen is the only one I heard congratulate him for his soul and passion for dance. Mary and Nigel, not so much (but, then again, I guess his joy, raw energy and performance quality just weren't there). So for that reason he got my "awww" reaction. When he started to get voted/chosen for over strong dancers (Jesus, for ex, or Danny) - I started to feel like, ok no, now I am getting annoyed. So I was more than ready for him to go when he did. But, yeah, Mary had no problem crapping all over him, saying his hip-hop was not so good - and I thought he had been great (although his partner, definitely not). The judges made it very clear who voted for whom, what would happen next week if the same dancers were in the bottom, etc. But maybe Cedric's judging was harsher, because he just was a bad dancer.

Mary was very critical of Hok for his Samba too, and Broadway where I thought he showed plenty of joy. Nigel even mentioned a discussion the judges had, on whether they should celebrate uniqueness, or acknowledge that uniqueness can only take a dancer so far. I was like, wha? I feel like I would never hear Nigel utter something like that this season.

Is it my imagination, or has the judging changed? become less critical? more cheerleader-y?

Also - wow, the rehearsal packages used to be so much longer, it feels like, and the contestants seemed to speak up so much at judging. When did that change?

Edited by geeweeze, Sep 9, 2012 @ 10:22 PM.

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#913

anothermi

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Posted Sep 9, 2012 @ 9:58 PM

Is it my imagination, or has the judging changed? become less critical? more cheerleader-y?

It is no secret that this show creates itself as it goes along. It made a seismic shift between S1 and S2, going from more of a standard "reality show" (trying to provide entertainment through the back stage conflict in the early episodes) to the dance competition we know. The judging was also being created as they went along. What was so engaging about the show early on was that some of the best things about it weren't planned, yet gave the editors/producers a ready-made dynamic to work with. But I think that inevitably, every show gets stuck in a rut if they stay around long enough and the fresh, exciting, new experience goes away. Show runners end up resorting to set structures and forms of manipulation to give the audience the entertainment and drama they expect. It seems to be a natural progression.

So, Yes -the judging HAS changed. Season 3 taught Mary that trying to influence the viewing audience by making tough critiques of contestants only created a backlash and kept a weak dancer (Cedric, who's "role" was the unique, untrained dancer) around longer than if she'd "damned with faint praise". If you've got that far, he was voted off the week she did just that. It also taught her that the audience loved her when she was loud and whacky - which she was in real life when she got excited about things - and by S4 she had turned that into a schtick - the scream & the hot tamale train. It made her famous and got her tenure on the show. She gave real critiques less and less often from then on. Mary went from the ballroom specialist on the panel to "The Queen of Scream" and, unfortunately, it brought a lot of publicity to the show (and herself). It looks like she has settled back into more of a critique giving judge now, due to the constraints her throat surgery put on her screaming. Hallelujah!

Nigel learned how to play out the story-board version of the contestants better. (By story board version I am talking about the "casting". They look for contestants to fill a "role" on the show.) I also think he learned from the Danny Tidwell fiasco. They could have lost Danny at Top 10 (when the judges 'say' over who stayed and who went ended) and I doubt that was the story they had planned. When they brought Adam Shankman in and he took the "arrogant" storyline (which he had swallowed as a viewer) beyond where Nigel wanted it, Nigel stepped in and did damage control by challenging/opposing Adam's critique - something that is rarely done even now. He didn't just disagree, he called Adam out on the label (that Nigel and co. had created in the 1st place!!!) and Adam later made a public turnaround on his opinion of Danny. Interestingly, the trope of the severely critical judge making an about face on a specific contestant became a staple of the program. However, I think they dropped it this year.

We've seen the judges use various tactics over the years to try to influence the votes, but I don't think they care that much any more. It may even be that they think the audience doesn't like to hear the specific, technical critiques, but the vague comments they're giving now don't give the dancers much to learn from, and that used to be what contestants would say about the judges - that they appreciated the critiques because they learned from them. Of course, there might be more detailed critiques given during the taping of the show that don't get aired so as not to bore the audience and/or to keep within the time frame of the show. I don't know. We've heard from members who have attended tapings that some things the judges said were not aired.

On some level, I don't think the judges can do anything right, because they HAVE been criticized for being too harsh when giving technical critiques and then criticized again for not giving them. It's a no win situation.

Just as a side note, before I finally end this treatise, I've found that watching the international versions of SYTYCD reminds me of the excitement of the early days of the mother ship version. The one posted in the episode thread (Top 6) and from the Ukraine showed the pair of contestants (who dance the original of Tyce's Chehon/Katherine dance) both talking about the piece (which I couldn't understand) and working out how to accomplish sections. It seemed to be about what the dancers really did in rehearsal rather than a set piece just for the camera - which is basically all we get now. I miss that.

ETA:

Also - wow, the rehearsal packages used to be so much longer, it feels like, and the dancetestants seemed to speak up so much at judging. When did that change?



The rehearsal packages are what I was just posting about at the end- I missed your edit. They are shorter now because of the lack of the results show and crowding everything into one show, but that is obvious and specific to this year.

Even by S4 it was becoming clear that most dancers couldn't be spontaneously entertaining in the rehearsal packages, so the show started (partly through S4 and completely at S5 I think) creating structured questions for them so they could think about and plan what to do. Later the choreographers (or that could have been TPTB as well) appeared to come with ideas to make the rehearsal package into a mini teaser for the dance. Once it stopped being about what the dancers were doing in rehearsal it didn't need to go on for long, and that freed up time for Public Service Announcements related to whatever Nigel was up to next. [/snark]

The back talk to the judges most likely stopped because current contestants have actually watched the show and learned that back talk was rarely appreciated by the voting public. Besides, the judges haven't been saying anything worth listening to, much less responding to, for quite a while now. ;-D

Edited by anothermi, Sep 9, 2012 @ 10:32 PM.

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#914

allemand

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Posted Sep 11, 2012 @ 2:02 PM

The show is now live rather than taped, so the judges no longer have the opportunity to give critiques that get edited out in the version we see. They do mention attending the dress rehearsals, though, so they may offer some comments then.
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#915

pemyquid

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Posted Sep 11, 2012 @ 6:38 PM

I think the shift in judging style is also a reflection of the shift in other competition shows. Back in ithe day everyone was emulating the Simon Cowell style of judging; once Cowell left AI, but especially since The Voice became successful, I've noticed other shows including SYTYCD adopting the newer kinder tone.

Also, I think those associated with SYTYCD are just over it at this point. Back in its heyday, everyone was just very passionate about the dancers, sometimes to their detriment. Now it's all rather stale and the judges and choreographers are for the most part just collecting a paycheck. Since TPTB seem unwilling or unable to allow anything really new to happen, it's just more of the same, and thus hard to get very exercised about any of it.

I think the biggest misstep this season was having the Mia episode. I'm not certain that would have ever been a fantastic idea, but I think it was ludicrous to do it after a two week hiatus. They should have taken full advantage of the extra week the dancers had to learn choreo to have them do something special. Regurgitating warmed over Mia pieces was all kinds of laziness and confirmed for me that this show is on its way out. TPTB are clearly OK with that.

The only bright side this season is the hip hop has been a bit better. Thank goodness Nappytabs timed their pregnancy to have the baby mid season! Since they left the hip hop routines have been noticeably improved.
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#916

kiddo82

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Posted Sep 13, 2012 @ 11:45 AM

On some level, I don't think the judges can do anything right, because they HAVE been criticized for being too harsh when giving technical critiques and then criticized again for not giving them. It's a no win situation


I think you've hit the nail on the head because I've heard both sides of the argument and I'm not sure what the judges are supposed to do at this point. Yes they're judges and they're supposed to be unbiased and objective but they're judging art, not a criminal proceeding. I would think that emotions are going to play into it on some level. The favoritism can be blatant at times but it only really affects the overall winner and what does that get you exactly? The shelf life and opportunities of a dancer are both quite limited and any national exposure in front of a wide audience is most likely greatly appreciated. The dancers aren't dumb. They've seen the show and the writng's usually on the wall. But a chance to perform in front of millions? To get your name out there and potentially open who knows what doors in a brutal industry? I'd take that chance of being cast as fodder. And quite honestly, unless the critique is very technical and over my head in which case I'd have to take their word for it anyway, I don't really place a ton of stock in what they say. They have their opinions and I have mine. And as a final UO, I like crazy Mary and her hot tamale train. It's fun.

I started watching in season 4 and where I think the recent seasons have been lacking is in the choreography. Twitchy contemporary is twitchy contemporary is twitchy contempoary no matter who dances it or whether it's about cancer, surgery, breaking up, hooking up, the Titanic, the apocalypse, etc. Objectively, it can be danced very well, extraordinarily well, but still be boring and I really really don't place the blame on the dancers. (one if the critiques I've come to loath is that so and so "lacks personality" or is boring. I don't know I've seen a lot of beloved dancers, even personal favorites, dance in boring routines. And on top of that, Kayla from S5 had one of the least favorable television personalities ever but the original Addiction is without parallel). For a show that is so jazz/contemporary heavy they need more diversity in the routines so that they all don't run together. Where is The Garden or Travis' assassin routine? That dance Sonya did for Jakob and Ellenore was also really awesome. I've seen The Table Dance (Sabra/Neil) on YouTube, also awesome. Now it seems all the choreographers are trying to do is out emote each other which is why nothing particulary stands out. It's the same routine over and over just with a slightly different, but still über dramatic, backstory.

Edited by kiddo82, Sep 13, 2012 @ 3:30 PM.

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#917

allspice

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Posted Sep 14, 2012 @ 9:06 PM

At the end of Top 8 week, I was wondering if there's very been a group of Top 6 with so few routines worth of reprise. There has been so little dancing up until that point that I couldn't even name one memorable routine for each of the Top 6 (or Top 8). The choreographers really stepped up in the last two shows and there have been a lot more dancing. But taking away the All-Star routines, there are still not enough partner dances between the contestants that are memorable enough. Maybe that's part of the reason why this season feels empty at times.
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#918

callie lee 29

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Posted Sep 15, 2012 @ 10:40 AM

This season is the first year I'm going to the tour and I've always enjoyed the past seasons pretty evenly. Nobody stood out for me. WHile I like Cyrus, I wasn't obsessive about him like I was about others in the past. Most of the women were interchangeable to me and no one really was captivating. Also, and this may be UO territory, but I think it's time they get some new choreographers in. Mia, Nappytabs, Stacey, Tyce... I'm just over. This year I swear I was seeing some of the same dances repeated and it wasn't on the Mia tribute night (which, WTF??). Honestly, the best thing that happened to this season what the Nappytabs baby, so they got some fresh hiphop blood in.
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#919

allspice

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Posted Sep 18, 2012 @ 5:29 AM

The rest of the routines from Top 6 on.

Genre specialists are in bold and italic.

Ballroom
Tiffany & AS Benji: Jive (Jean-Marc Genereux)
Witney & Chehon: Cha Cha (Jean-Marc)
Eliana & Cyrus: Paso Doble (Jason Gilkison)
Tiffany & Chehon: Rumba (Dmitry Chaplin)

Contemporary
Chehon & AS Kathryn: Eli, Eli (Tyce)
Eliana & Cole: Ram (Mia Michaels)
Chehon & AS Allison: Leave (Stacey Tookey)
Eliana & AS Alex: Without You (Travis Wall)
*ballet dancers are italicized.
*Cole is cross-trained in everything so I just decided to put his name in italic here.

Hip Hop
Eliana & AS tWitch: Postman (C. Scott)
Cyrus & AS Comfort: Dubstep (C. Scott)
Tiffany & Cyrus: Best Thing (Tessandra Chavez)
Cyrus & AS tWitch: Animation (C. Scott)
*The show seems to imply that Dubstep is a separate genre. I am leaving it here for the time being and classifying the dancers in the broad category (hip hop) that the show uses. Of course I know tWitch is not an animator and Cyrus only does animation.

Jazz
Cole & AS Melanie: Too Close (Sonya Tayeh)
Witney & AS Marko: Altar (Ray Leeper)
Tiffany & AS Will: Now (Sonya Tayeh)
Chehon & Cyrus: Fangs (Sonya Tayeh)
*not sure where to put the Chehon/Cyrus routine.

Broadway
Tiffany & Cyrus: Study Date (Spencer Liff)
Eliana & Tiffany: Burlesque Meets Broadway (Ray Leeper)
*Eliana is in italic because pole is her specialty.

Ballet
Eliana & Chehon: The Nutcracker Suite (Marat)


General impressions:

Surprised that Tyce only appears once. Good to see so many different choreographers in the 2nd half of the season (starting from Top 10). And there are a lot more dancing in the last 2 episodes. To bad the season waited so long to really get started. Most of the dancers didn't get enough chance to show what they can do and to have their own routines/moments.

Witney danced more Jazz than Tiffany and Tiffany danced more Ballrooms than the ballroom girls. Cole kept getting Sonya while Eliana kept getting Alex.

Cole has had a few very good contemporary routines that are technically and emotionally challenging. Putting aside the fact that he kept getting contemporary, the overall quality of his work has to rank quite high compared to other male contestants this season (and perhaps to other seasons).

Tyce is clearly "inspired" by this dance. Nonetheless, I really liked the suitcase routine. The music is haunting and the two dancers did a great job with the choreography. Having known some war refugees myself, I can really connect with the routine. But I can also see how that message doesn't resonate with some viewers. This one and the Cole/Allison routine are two of my favorite contemporary routines this season and even across the seasons.

Is this the first time classic ballet made an appearance on the show (not counting guest performances)? For that reason alone, I like the Nutcracker routine. I am sure it's also animation's first appearance and that was way cool.

Edited by allspice, Sep 18, 2012 @ 5:56 AM.

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#920

kechara

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Posted Sep 18, 2012 @ 6:35 AM

I had not felt that this was the worst season ever. I had been enjoying it more or less and really haven't complained as much as some previous years. That being said, I didn't watch last week . I knew it was on but couldn't be bothered to find it as I was watching something else and I'll probably not watch it this week either, because I don't feel at all invested . The dancers all seem like nice competent kids but I'm bored of this. And I'm sad because this has always been my must see show
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#921

MrSarahWalker

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Posted Sep 18, 2012 @ 1:49 PM

I really only have a connection to Tiffany. I find Cheon to be the epitome of bland. He is a fabulous technician but he gives me nothing emotionally. It probably didn't help that he got that melodramatic Tyce piece where no matter who was dancing I would have rolled my eyes. Cyrus has great personality but is a terrible dancer so I can't get past that. And I'm just not feeling Eliana the same way the judges are. I completely respect her ability but she doesn't affect me the same way some of my favorite girls did, like Jeanine, LoFro etc... To me this is a weak final 4 but I'm not sure its the worst ever. Melanie did win last year which automatically puts that season near the bottom for me.
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#922

TKmor

TKmor

    Channel Surfer

Posted Sep 18, 2012 @ 2:16 PM

I felt this season really picked up around top 8 and onward. Having a favorite in the top 4 who I really, really want to win helps, I'm sure. Even though I've had my fill of angsty contemporaries from the same old choreographers, the ones the kids were given were very well-danced.

I do feel the return of Wade or at least a choreographer who could bring something fresh, would have made the last 3 seasons more memorable. Overall, I'd take this season over last (except for the wonderful Broadway kid, who always made me want to applaud). I was mildly entertained by season 7, but formed no real attachments to anyone.

I think the show could have continued in the excellence of seasons 2-4 if Nigel hadn't been compelled to tinker with it so much. It was firing on all cylinders. He should have left well enough alone.
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#923

Gracepayz

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Posted Jul 25, 2013 @ 3:07 PM

I am putting this post here to further point out the "meh" factor.

Regarding the choreographer's. I think it would be great to bring in some fresh, new choreographer's. Yet, with this being said. A few epi's ago, there was a new , young choreographer and she did a story about a girl with cancer. My problem with this was that it just reminded me of Melissa and Ade's Mia Michaels dance. I could not help myself from comparing the choreo. It is like even the newer choreo's are re- using past stories.

It seems like many things need to be fixed this season. From judges who do have dance experience to change in choreography to casting of better dancer's and not just "characters". I knew the minute I saw Malece in audition's she would be in this season. She is young and cute- so I get that they wanted someone to connect to the yound demo group- she is the token child for this reason, just not a great dancer(good- yes), so no suprise that she has not been in the bottom 3 despite her lack of maturity in her dancing.
Still, the casting seems more "off" this season than usual. IMO
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#924

anothermi

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Posted Jul 25, 2013 @ 7:42 PM

 it just reminded me of Melissa and Ade's Mia Michaels dance. 

 

I believe you are talking about Tyce's "Breast Cancer" dance, but perhaps you were implying that it had a Mia flavour to it?  I felt that was an example of Tyce's really good choreography (assuming he didn't rip it off of someone who we can't track on youtube). BUT it did follow on the theme set by Mia's DDD, where the emotional content made criticism of the piece impossible for the judges.

 

I think the new choreographer made an error in judgement by in starting her description with, "Makenzie has a terminal illness..." because it's impossible for regular viewers to NOT think of the BCD.  Her theme differed from Tyce's in that the focus was not in supporting the dancer with the (unnamed) terminal illness but the non-ill partner's need for support. Not much of a difference, I'll agree.  That whole subject has been overdone (some one close is dead or close to dying).  We've had Mia's DDD, Tyce's Breast Cancer dance, Travis' Fix You, and this one.  I keep thinking Stacey Tookey has done one as well, but it might have been on the Canadian version. 

 

I blame the production team though.  We already know that new choreographers are asked to do specific pieces, and also that aspiring choreographers submit video's of their work, so I wouldn't be surprised if this new woman (can't remember her name) may have been asked to do this one, despite the repeat theme. 

 

Edited to delete an errant apostrophe. 


Edited by anothermi, Jul 25, 2013 @ 8:50 PM.

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#925

Gracepayz

Gracepayz

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Posted Jul 25, 2013 @ 8:43 PM

Thanks for clarifying ANOTHERMI(the bold print is not working for me)

I could not remember the choreographer of the dance but I very much remembered the dance, my bad. Apologies to Tyce and Mia.

I was not aware that production played that way to the choreographer's but it does make sense.

ETA- I also brought this over from the Grassy Knoll thread

The pre-recorded past was niggling in the back of my head but it just wouldn't stay around long enough to form a cohesive thought. I was also thinking about that one season when they had a different stage and all the chore's were using graphics and backgrounds incorporated in their choreography.

Edited by Gracepayz, Jul 25, 2013 @ 9:05 PM.

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#926

reinoe

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Posted Aug 8, 2013 @ 7:12 PM

I'm just so tired of Nigelco and their attempts to manipulate the voting.  I'm just exhausted with the incredibly weird decisions or decisions that don't make sense.

 

For example Nigelco pretend they don't have control over how the tour goes.  But really when I think about all the hip hop dancers who are consistently cut at top 12 it's so laughable that Nigel would say that.  And the way the judges randomly take power away from the voters or ignore voter's decisions.

 

Like how in season 8 the judges were still making decisions past top 10 and decided that Melanie Moore needed "All contemporary-ish dances-all the time".  Malece gets cut after landing in the bottom once, but Jenna gets saved again?  I'm disgusted at being forced to defend Malece because she's been overpraised but this was ridiculous.  In other seasons he would at least say something like "it's rough when you're a contemporary dancer, because we tend to have more of them on the show", but jeez.  But then he keeps saving Mackenzie so it makes no sense.

 

In other seasons the judges would at least pretend to be objective, but unlike in other years they're clearly playing fast and furious when it comes to favorites.  If they're going to put so much effort into saving Jenna then they need to pair her up with Paul so that they can do a nice ballroom number.


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#927

FrogLenzen

FrogLenzen

    Loyal Viewer

Posted Aug 29, 2013 @ 2:17 PM

Since I'm bored, here's an analysis of the All-Stars used in duets through the seasons:

 

SEASON 7: 13 different All-Stars used, all debuts

9x Kathryn
7x Allison
7x Anya
7x Misha
7x Courtney
6x Pasha
5x Ade
5x Comfort
5x Twitch
4x Mark
4x Neil
3x Dominic
1x Katee

 

SEASON 8: 21 different All-Stars used, 11 debuts

4x Pasha
3x Robert
2x Allison
2x LoFro
2x Twitch
1x Ade
1x Anya
1x Brandon
1x Chelsie
1x Comfort
1x Ellenore
1x Ivan
1x Jaimie
1x Janette
1x Joshua
1x Kathryn
1x Kent
1x Mark
1x Melody
1x Misha
1x Neil

 

SEASON 9: 17 different All-Stars used, 8 debuts

4x Twitch

3x Alex
3x Allison
2x Anya
2x Kathryn
2x Melanie
2x Misha
1x Ade
1x Benji
1x Brandon
1x Comfort
1x Jaimie
1x Jakob
1x Marko
1x Nick
1x Ryan
1x Will

 

Season 10: 19 different All-Stars used, 4 debuts

3x Comfort
3x Twitch
2x Alex
2x Kathryn
2x Marko
2x Melanie
2x Neil
2x Robert
2x Witney
1x Allison
1x Brandon
1x Chelsie
1x Courtney
1x Dmitry
1x Jakob
1x Joshua
1x Mark
1x Melinda
1x Travis

 

GRAND TOTALS:

14x Kathryn (appeared in 4 seasons)
14x Twitch (appeared in 4 seasons)
13x Allison (appeared in 4 seasons)
10x Anya (appeared in 3 seasons)
10x Comfort (appeared in 4 seasons)
10x Misha (appeared in 3 seasons)
10x Pasha (appeared in 2 seasons)
8x Courtney (appeared in 2 seasons)
7x Ade (appeared in 3 seasons)
7x Neil (appeared in 3 seasons)
6x Mark (appeared in 3 seasons)
5x Alex (appeared in 2 seasons)
5x Robert (appeared in 2 seasons)
4x Melanie (appeared in 2 seasons)
3x Brandon (appeared in 3 seasons)
3x Dominic (appeared in 1 season)
3x Marko (appeared in 2 seasons)
2x Chelsie (appeared in 2 seasons)
2x Jaimie (appeared in 2 seasons)
2x Jakob (appeared in 2 seasons)
2x Joshua (appeared in 2 seasons)
2x LoFro (appeared in 1 season)
2x Witney (appeared in 1 season)

(And the rest are 1x in 1 season):

Benji
Dmitry
Ellenore
Ivan
Janette
Katee
Kent
Melinda
Melody
Nick
Ryan
Travis
Will


Edited by FrogLenzen, Aug 29, 2013 @ 2:24 PM.

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#928

extramile

extramile

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Posted Sep 2, 2013 @ 9:45 AM

The show is now live rather than taped, so the judges no longer have the opportunity to give critiques that get edited out in the version we see. They do mention attending the dress rehearsals, though, so they may offer some comments then.

I forogt about that.  When did they switch over from live taped to live?  I wonder if the judges watched rehearsals back when the show was taped and comments were edited.  I am fine with subjective opinions and the occasional longwinded comments that go nowhere, but I mind the obvious prepared comments.  It shouldn't be that difficult for two people knowledgeable in dance to come up with decent comments on the fly.  I want to see genunie first reactions and not some delayed calculated reactions.  And I really dislike it when they, including Cat, react to and point out mishaps because they have seen the rehearsals and have "inside" information. 

 

Since I'm bored, here's an analysis of the All-Stars used in duets through the seasons

 

From the choreographer interviews, it seems like the style/choreographer decisions and arragements are often made last minute.  I get that is done in parts to accomondate the styles of the dancers who are left in the competition.  But with so many past contestants, especially in contemporary and jazz, I would really like to see no repeat all stars within a season.  Also I like the idea of an all star helping and bringing up a contestant, but I wish the judges would stop going on and on about the all stars to the point that comments to the contestants are like afterthoughts.  Yes, the all stars are good, we know, that is why they are selected as all stars. 


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