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Double Whammy I

 That's right!  I attempt to review 2 weeks, 2 nights apiece, all in one giant post!  Actually, I will split it into two posts, for organization's sake.  I've had them half-written for a while, I just didn't have them finalized.   It was more like random spits and spats at the screen while it aired, and then I never got around to rewatching the episodes like I usually do, for context and direct quotes and such.  Also, it is RIDONKULOUSLY LONG.  Off we go!

Original Air Date: July 18
It took me a really long time to watch this, first because I had 8 hours of other shows on more important tapes, and second because I had eleventy billion things to comment on, not all related to dancing.  Let us begin.
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First thing you should know, despite the fact that I have cable, FOX is deciding to be the only damn channel that comes in fuzzy as if I'm using an antenna.  No clear image, this.  It looks like the show has been recorded against a backdrop of static.  So annoying.  Anyway.

*gasp* I've got it!  I just realized who Cat Deeley reminds me of - Felicity Shagwell!  I mean the sweet-faced, wide-eyed and always smiling part, not what the character name implies.  (Melanie Graham in the second Austin Powers movie, for the respectable people who don't recognize the name)  I don't know why.  She just does, the way she twirls onstage.  Very charming smile, she has.  Almost captivating.  Hell, even I want to fall down at her feet for a minute or two there. 

Last week I read some spoilers (which I will never do again, because half the fun of the show is seeing who's paired with who, and what style they're in), and I fully realized how grueling their schedule is.  It says they get NO days off.  I may be mistaken, but I think even professional athletes are allowed regular rest periods.  If you worked animals like this, PETA and the ASPCA would be on your ass so fast...

Look, I'd be much happier with a one-hour show, knowing the poor kids weren't dancing with injuries.  You don't need to entertain me that much!  Cripes!  Really, two hours plus an hour-long results show every week??  It pains me just to think of what they're going through.  Celebrity treatment or not, I don't think it's worth it. Maybe they disagree, though.   I was also thinking it's lucky that this show's theme song is so catchy, because if you hated it...you'd probably go insane by the end of the season. 

WOO REDNECK WOMAN IS OFF THE PANEL THIS WEEK!!  Except I think I hate Crazy Little French Guy even more, and considering French is my minor, that's a serious statement of how annoying I find him.

Olisa and her buddy are pretty funny, even with their low-intellect grating voices, but I've never liked "teams" that show up as if attached at the hip.  Are these two a couple?  Because I'm getting that vibe.  Are you getting that vibe?  Also, Nigel looks totally out of place next to these three crazies. At least, that was my impression before he started talking in response to Cat's comment on the strain the dancers must be feeling, and was all "They've got two routines to do!  Whoopee!  This is the real world!" which...one, it's a reality TV show and thus sort of glammed up and fake, and two, THE KIDS ARE DANCING WITH FREAKING BROKEN TOES AND MAYBE STRAINED LIGAMENTS AND WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Team One, Routine One: Martha and Ivan, Hip-Hop
Music: Me & You - Cassie
(or: "Oh my God, it's that one song that I hear on the radio every time I'm not allowed to pick the station!")

Martha: I'm very bitter.  Very, very bitter about not getting contemporary.
Ivan: I could barely handle the one routine a week.  Really...three?  Come on.

Well, they were...lukewarm, for me.  I wasn't feeling a lot of attitude.  Meh. 
"there is no chemistry between the two of you."  Nigel keeps making me like him, curse you.  On the other hand, Olisa says that Martha is sort of "level" and now I'm starting to lose my Martha love. 

Donyelle Solo
Music: (hold on, this is taking me a while to transcribe...) Git It - Bun B. feat. Ying Yang Twins

DONYELLE IS A HIP-HOP DANCER?  I never ever ever would have guessed.  Also, I hate it.  Who is this girl and what has she done with Donyelle?  Because I don't like her.  If she insists upon dancing this way, I will have to ask her to leave immediately.  Dancing beats personality, starting this week.

Solo Two: Dmitry
Pump It - Black Eyed Peas (or: that one song they used in a cell phone commercial)

What's the name of the fast-footwork, twisty-waistspins?  It's unique to ballroom, somehow.  I love it.  However, the choreography is a lot like what he did in that matador-style solo once.  And I see he decided not to take Nigel's advice about doing more than baring his chest. Threw it in his face, in fact, throwing open his shirt at the  end.  "Sorry, Nigel!" On second thought, hee.
Jean-Marc: And COVER your BODY, man!

Then a creepily and probably scripted bit about Nigel pretending to copy the move, or something.  "Nigel, put it away!  You'll scare the little kids!" Cat scolds, sounding extremely scripted. He did look like a lecherous old man with that creepy grin on his face.

Team Two, Dance 1: Heidi & Travis, Paso Doble
Music: Plaza of Execution - Mask of Zorro soundtrack

Boo, Coffee and Cream (that's how I think of Martha and Travis, for some reason, even though almost every couple now is mixed race) has been replaced by Blondies. 

It's pretty cool. I think I may have played part of this song in band or pep band or something.  Heidi has some NEAT SPINS at the end.  Oh, love that.  That, that was just awesome.  Also, Travis is looking wrongfully hot tonight.
Nigel: It looks like we're changing the name of the show to So You Think You Can Open Your Shirt, but...

Martha's got to be getting pissed by now, she's the only one who got knocked down on her performance.

Team Three, Routine 1:
Allison and Ryan, contemporaries on contemporaries!  This can't end well.  It rarely ends well when they get their own styles, have you noticed?  The judges and choreographers expect nothing less than jaw-dropping, mind-blowing dancing when that happens.

Mia Michaels reminds me of the CSI Miami writer Ann Donahue.  Like her, is entertaining to listen to but seems like would be total bitch to have for a boss.  The most amusing part of this whole rehearsal is when Ryan misjudges the distance for a leap (and he didn't even have an eye patch on!) and smacks his mouth on Allison's backside. He goes away with a sore jaw, and she gets to sport a pair of teeth marks just above her behind.

Music: Ethna - Klement Bonelli
It's like, psycho African dance mixed with pirates (eye patches.  EYE.  PATCHES.) But this gets more fun as it goes along and the music speeds up.  She has some cool lifts and a toss, and the ending where they jump offstage is AWESOME!

...Martha Solo: The less said, the better.  Most people just refer to "the hat" as proof of where this one went wrong, but it was only one of many things.
Nigel: I think you're in the danger zone tonight.
Martha's Thoughts: Urge to kill...rising...

Solo 4: Ivan
Music: This Luv - Donell Jones
Cute roller shoes.  That said, my Ivan dislike is increasing to full-on HATRED.  Kick him out.  Kick him out NOW.

Team 4, Routine One: Double D - Lindy Hop:
Q: What the hell is the Lindy Hop?
A:  Oh, t'is swing.  Cool.  I don't really care. 

Cat (to Dony): Say goodbye to Benji...it's a beautiful thing but we have to break it up...
I can hear Benji shouting a warning across the stage now: "She gets voted out this week, I'm coming to find you!"
Donyelle: "I've got the sexiest man in the competition...I'm excited...*pause, then pouty look* Benji I love you...but I also love D-mi-try!!"

D: "Every time, it's been like...Dmitry you're amazing, your partner...I don't want that."
Music: Sing, Sing, Sing

That was pretty damn impressive, the best pair of the night.  I know I'm not talking much about the dances themselves tonight, but that's because it's exhausting keeping up with them.  So much is happening!  Augh!  Ag!  The excitement!!   At this point, my brain suddenly began to worry.  It worked double-time trying to figure out something suddenly important: "Okay, Donyelle taken, Martha, Heidi-Ho and Allison already went, so who's left to be with Benji?"  (I told you I tend to forget she's on the show)

Then my eyes widened with horror.
"NO!  Oh my god!  No!  Not the slutty ho!  Keep that witchi away from my Benji!"

Benji: "Natalie.  Benji.  Natalie.  Benji.  Beauty.  Geek.  Beauty.  Geek." 
RS: *scowls*

WOOHOO JAZZ YEEEEHAW!  Too bad I hate Natalie.  And she's making Benji not funny.  Which sucks.  And this is boring, boring, sucky, boring, sucky, boring.  Time for some more inventive dialogue
Donyelle: *hanging off Dmitry's chest* Get your hands off my man, whore!  ...what?

Solo 4: Heidi
Music: Dum Diddily - Black Eyed Peas 
She's starting to be the most fun contestant to watch of all!  And her hair is cool, and she's SO Reese Witherspoon.  Also, is tonight Black Eyed Peas night?  Whatever.  She's doing twisty-waist spins.  Applause!  Applause!

[A/n: This is where my will to type began to fade...]

--------
Routine 2:
Martha and Ivan and Smooth Waltz.  Just...shoot me now.
Music: Sandy's Song - Dolly Parton

*music begins, RS stares* Holy heck, I want this song!  That's the first good thing about this performance.  The second good thing is how nice they look spinning and floating.  Nice stage/screen, too.  Sadly, judges don't like this either.  Martha is so dead.

*does some random Google research in boredom*
Holy crap, I didn't know Benji and Heidi were cousins & national dance champion partners.  Wowza!  Also...I find that this fact sort of sickens me, because I can't stand Heidi. 

[a/n: Travis' solo...beauty in limber limbs]
I have a new pick for the final four: Travis, Benji, Donyelle, and Allison.

Dmitry and Heidi can be the ones that go right before, because for sheer entertainment purposes I like having them around.

Everyone else...I CAN'T GET THEM OUT FAST ENOUGH!

NEXT SONG:
Bye Bye Blackbird - Liza Minelli
This song sucks.  I hate jazz music and why is Allison wearing nasty fishnets?  In case you were wondering, costumes are boring tonight, which is why I have not been commenting on them.  Just like this song.  Except SWEET leaps from Ryan at the end!  And...wow.  Seriously?  I thought the hat drop was choreographed in!!  Good girl, Allie!

NAT SOLO: Lamentation - Leah Andreone
I hear she's got some injury, I forget what exactly...I've seen all this before, I'm yawning, and, yeah.  It's weird, whiny, groany music, and she looks like she's writhing either in agony or on invisible bedsheets; I don't know which.  Natalie, please leave.  The Natalie tears, they just don't do it for me.  OH!  You know who else she reminds me of?  Natalia BoaVista.  Just more reasons to hate her, huh?  This dance is friggin' stupid.

BENJI SOLO: Land of 1000 Dances
WHOA!  OH MY GOD, THAT IS SUCH AN AWESOME DANCE!   Wha...he was just getting started!  I wanted like, 2 full minutes of that.  This is the best solo of the night.  I was ready to start dancing along with him.  He looks like he's having the time of his life.  I regret ever, ever not liking him, because he is one amazing boy.  Man.  Guy.  He's 22, yes?  My best friend and I used to have intense discussions over how to refer to males between the ages of 18 and 24.  Never did come to an agreement, although I think we decided on "man" for college graduates, or non-college goers of at least 20 years old. 

Nigel: "Benji, let me ask you something.  Have you got wheels on your shoes?  Is your shirt open?  [No?] ...THANK YOU!"  Teehee!

NEXT DANCE:
I do not have the tape, so I cannot tell you the song or dance style, exactly, but it was the connect-with-contestants rehearsal video for Donyelle and Dmitry, and their choreographer was OMG ARTEM!!

I miss Artem!  I loved Artem!  He was one of my three favorites last year!! (right after Melody and what's-her-face, the dance teacher who was like 27 but totally hot and reminded me of my fave dance teacher)

"It drives me NUTS when they start talking in Russian!"  Hah!  I loved it.  I purred.  The only thing I love more than Dmitry's accent is when he's speaking his native language. 

[a/n: Music must have been BEP, because I wrote] "What the hell is up with Black Eyed Peas?  More disturbingly, why the hell am I finding I've HEARD all these songs before?  My radio station doesn't play them and I would never buy their music!"

NEXT DANCE.  Sorry.  Still no songs.  It's a contemporary for HEIDI and TRAVIS.

Heidi tears make me sad, because I've felt frustrated like that before.  And had jerk teachers before.  Told you Mia was a bitch!  Also, her hair is driving me nuts.  It's so ugly.  COuld she just grow it out a LITTLE bit, like it was before?  This faux-hawk spikey thingy is not working.  Okay.  So, the dance:

The jump into his arms was cool.  But Heidi does very little dancing.  *I* could do most of that stuff she does here.  So I guess she really COULDN'T do most of the stuff Mia wanted her to, and the routine was changed.  Mia was probably ticked.

ALLSION SOLO: We Belong - Pat Benatar
Allison ROCKS IT UP!  This would have made a good partner dance, I think, no?  She looks awesome though, in a sort of African-style dress. 

FINAL DANCE OF THE NIGHT: Natalie Benji hip-hop....that's just nasty.  Benji unintentionally put it very well: Natalie + Shane Sparks + booty-popping = ...DANGER!  Avert your eyes!  Ugh.  Horrible thoughts.  Oh, and the dance sucked too.  I  took not of this one.  It's called "She's Freaky."  Appropriate, at least.  The routine would have been pretty good

FINAL INVENTED DIALOGUE OF THE NIGHT:
Donyelle: You know what?  You can just keep your freaky greek ghetto girl.
Benji: You're two steps away from licking Dmitry, aren't you?

The judges didn't like it any more than I did.  (what was up with the grease monkey jumpsuits?)  I think that might be the first time Benji hasn't been told he's perfect.  But of course, he about trips over himself being humble; he never ever argues with the judges (JAMYZ) or even looks like he wants to.  Just one more reason to love him.  The audience boos loud enough for both of them, and Benji attempts to shush his unsettled masses of fangirls with a finger to the lips.   Natalie does too, as if anyone is looking at her or cares what she says.

Cat: *laughing* "You come out all ghetto and you're like 'no that's fair, that's okay...'" 

And then there was Ryan's solo, which was boring.  Nigel told him "you could be a soloist for most companies," and I agree.  Sincerely.  But at the same time?  Send him to one tomorrow.  Show's over now.  Time for a Thought:
------
Umm..I'm getting nervous here.  The previews keep saying "Standoff - coming FOX Tuesdays after House."  But...House is on at 8.  And the news is on at 9.  You're not...you're not moving House to 7, are you?

Oh, crap. 

Of course they are.  They moved Bones, which used to be on at 7, to a different night.  And I was all happy because I was finally gonna get to watch that show, but now, NOW House clashes with NCIS, and that means House gets smacked off the lineup, and I'm bored on Tuesdays at 8 again.  GRRRRRR.  Okay, rant over.  For now. 
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RESULTS SHOW!

Okay, this is why I tape the results shows.  This is the BEST.  DANCE.  EVER.

Well, I lie.  When I first saw it, I stared in open mouthed horror and was like, "EW!  GROSS!  What the hell kind of weirdo freaks thought up this performance?"  I really hated it.  If you can't remember what I'm talking about, it's "Ramalama (Bang Bang") the one where they come out in 19th century finery with tons of makeup to make them look like zombies, pretty much.  Like a court full of nobility risen from the dead.   I  was sure this music  was from Rocky Horror Picture Show, or something. 

But now I'm watching it like six times in a row.  It's one of the most dance-like dances ever, I don't know how precisely to explain it, but the moves are just cooler.  They're stiff and jerky, on purpose, which fits with the music and costumes and makes it look really cool.  NEAT.  I also immediately notice that Natalie is not part of it.  I read that in spoilers but forgot about it until it was there in front of me.  Good. 

The other thing that amuses me is picturing the frantic scatter that must be going on backstage.  Madness, I'm sure it is.  That's a lot of makeup to strip, hair (for the girls) to tame back down, and much flying of material as elaborate costumes are stripped off.

...and this is the part where I discover that I a) took almost zero further notes as I watched and b) retaped this results show last week after my reception cleared up, editing as I went, trying to cut out the boring repeats of last night's performances/judges comments, but inevitably missing some of the cute ehind-the-scenes comments in the process.  Ah well. 

I caught one good one, if you can call it that, Natalie and Benji just before they went out.  Now, see, when I imagine Donyelle saying this, it's cute.  When Natalie actually says to the camera, "Why, why you even lookin' at my man?  Get out my face!" it's just ghetto Greek idiocy.  I hate how she tries to act gangsta every time she does hip hop.  She always wants to be her dance-of-the-week role, constnatly, whenever she's on camera.  It annoys me.  SEND HER HOME TONIGHT, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

The rest of the results show is kind of repetitive.  We have to watch solos multiple times.  I ignore the performance by Chris Brown, known as "that other song I always hear on the radio when I don't get to pick the station," which just has this telling 10-note pattern over and over (I didn't even know it had lyrics).  And our bottom four are: Martha and Natalie (Nat!  Nat!  Nat!), Dmitry and Ryan (Ryan!  Ryan!  Ryan!)

Martha's solo now takes place without her hat, and her $ sign black bustier is almost kinda cute, on her, without the floppy green thing obscuring her face.  Still not understanding the purple wrist-to-elbow coverings.   Also I really hate Gwen Stefani's obnoxious lyrics+squealing in this song: "Look at your watch now!  You're still a super-hot female!"  (also, Martha looks like a confused fox throughout this thing)

Dmitry's solo gets better and better.  I burst out laughing when he got to the end, where last night he opened his shirt and tonight he almost did it and then suddenly slowed, kept it closed, and shook his finger with a little "no-no" smile.  HAHAHA! 
I don't know why Nigel is bemoaning how America "hasn't really gotten to see Dmitry" and talking about how "actually he's got this great sense of humor."  Duh?  This fact has been obvious to me for ages.  He's always joking around.  It's one of the reasons I love him.  Plus he's always smiling.  The Russian accent does not hide this. 

And the other two solos are not on my tape, because they suck and I hate them and Natalie and Ryan are supposed to be gone.  They are not gone.  Rest assured that my outrage registered shock waves throughout the apartment building. 

Okay, so on second thought, Natalie is actually sort of pretty tonight, on principle.  Like if I met her on the street, or saw her modeling clothing in a catalogue, the way her hair is, and her clothes, and her big beautiful earrings, I'd call her a pretty girl.  I just don't like seeing her dance on this show.

So of course, by now you know the shocking truths: 2 weeks before they should have been eliminated, MARTHA AND DMITRY ARE GONE.  Worst.  Voting choices.  EVER.  Oh, I did take one note: My exact quote upon finding out the latter:

"WAHH?  Stop knocking off the flashy buff guys!  Damn it!  Send Ryan the fuck home NOW, I dont' care how smiley he is!  Hotness beats charm when personalities are equal!  And Dmitry is excellently, incredibly, magnificently hot!"  *whines* Mommy, stupid America isn't being shallow enough..."

I laugh because Benji and Travis are both hollering "Shirt off!"  Well, you can't hear them, but you can see them mouthing it, and making shirt-ripping motions.  Natalie is crying her eyes out, which I find annoying.  But, he gets to steal the stage one last time.  And herein lies another problem with taping a rerun results show instead of live, I don't have the cute part where all the dancers onstage pile on him after he finishes dancing, girls fighting to throw their arms around his neck and guys hopping around the edges, forming the outer fringe of the group hug. 

I am so very, very sad that they sent home my big flashy Russian hunk...leaving us stupid IVAN..grrr. 

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