Last week on So Maybe it Wasn't a Mormon Conspiracy After All
Randi and Capuccino left and it was about time. Jason came to life after getting over that disease he had for a few weeks.. that disease named Caitlin. I finally saw what the big deal was about Janette and Brandon after seeing them separated. And I decided that this year's Top 10 is nowhere compared to last year's. Maybe when we get to Top 6, they'll seem comparable, but I'm not holding my breath. Part of me feels like they're saving a lot of strong talent and personality for next season since it'll be up against other strong regular season shows. Just a hunch.
This week on So Who's the Moron Who Gave Mary a Train Whistle:
I'm not going to go through each dancer, I don't think. I have more to say about some than I do about others. First of all, what was the point of the first hour? Those routines were so boring. What is up with routines this season. This is part of the reason why this season isn't as strong as last season. I feel like there were so many more memorable and exceptional routines last season. I'm not a big fan of the ballroom overload. That's part of it. Also, I have a bone to pick with wardrobe.. it's been weird this season. Today I was fine with all the solo outfits.. OH except for Melissa's.. what the hell. I thought Jeanine looked great tonight. Although I loved the Travis routine last week, I was not a fan of what they had her wear. Janette also looked great during her solo. I'm starting to get the hype about her. And I'll say I have no problem with her winning. I get it.
Ellen. Okay, I wrote a list of topics I don't want to forget to cover. And I'm just going to leave them there like bullet points. First, let's talk about Ellen as a guest judge. I loved it. I was kind of afraid when I heard she was coming, but it's hard to really explain why. I love Ellen. I think she's hilarious and I like her brand of humor. I find her to be too wholesome on her show. And I understand she needs to appeal to as many people as possible to be as hugely successful as she is. However, I like the real Ellen. I think she has a lot of things she thinks in her head but never says on her show because she doesn't want to offend anyone. And that's fine. I respect how smart and savvy she is to become this successful. However, I was afraid she'd come on this show and.. I don't know.. be kind of boring? Like maybe she'd just say generic comments and compliment everyone? I'm so glad she came on and was just hilarious.
My Ellen highlights were 1) when she talked about helping Travis with wardrobe, 2) when she talked about being street, 3) when she kept saying "I can do that," 4) when she talked about the glass of wine she had, 5) when she stood up for Evan when they were critiquing his appearance instead of his dancing, and 6) when she was just honest about not being an expert and just happy to be there for a taping. Also, Mary often has nothing of value to say, and she goes on and on and on. Ellen wasn't pretending to have constructive criticism, so she kept it short and funny. She really added value to today's show. In fact, she was funniest during the boring first hour of the show. Had she not been there, I might have fallen asleep.
Janette v. Chelsie. So in light of this realization I've had of Janette's talent, I think I'd like to break it down and try to explain it. So first of all, I have to say I like Janette and Brandon so much more after they were split up because it's now so clear how strong each of them is individually. Now I get it. But let's talk Janette. I started realizing maybe week 3 or 4 how strong she was because I remember noticing something about how she strong she was in some routine. Vague, I know. Anyway, it's been a long time.. maybe never.. since I thought of a female ballroom dancer winning the show. Let's break it down. Janette is probably going to win. Here is why. She's a very strong dancer, in and out of her style. She's also pretty genuine in the way she carries herself. I don't think the personalities are that strong this season, but at least they're not faking it. I think she puts a lot of personality into her dancing. It's like she gives a lot of herself and I think that's what people appreciate about her.
So Janette v. Chelsie, and it's not like a battle or anything. They're both great, they're from different seasons and it's not like I'm saying one is better than the other. Chelsie's probably the female ballroom dancer that had the most potential to win before Janette came along. But during her season, I knew she wouldn't win. It was a combination of how she was portrayed and how strong the other dancers/personalities were on her season. I did think she'd be in the Top 4, though, so that was a surprise. By the way, I watched season 4 late, so I can't guarantee I would have felt the same about her had I watched it live and on time. With Janette, I get the sense that she can win.
The key difference between Chelsie and Janette is their training, I think. Janette has said that most of what does she learned from her family. While there's no doubt she's also had some professional training in order to get this good, I very much believe what she says. With Chelsie, it's clear that she's had a lot of professional training by some of the best ballroom experts. You can see it when she dances. It's something about being very precise.. her dancing just seems very refined. However, when I watch Chelsie, I see her formal training, and when I watch Janette, I see her passion. Like I said before, I feel like Janette puts a lot of herself into her dancing, and that would develop through learning informally from her family. I think for this reason, Janette has the potential to win. I believe Chelsie is technically the stronger dancer, but Janette is more likely to win a show like this. I think they're both great, regardless, though.
Brandon. Oh I want to talk about Jeanine too. That'll be next. I was kind of wary about Brandon when the season started because there was so much history with him. He'd been really close to making it last year. He and Natalie were apparently bffs because he couldn't handle it when she got cut (for no reason). He caused a rift between the judges when some really liked him and some didn't at all. So there was all this hype, all this anticipation. I so was not interested in any of it. So I don't think I really considered his dancing when forming my opinion of him. I just saw him as controversy and kind of wanted that to go away. I don't like that type of controversy.
Now that it's faded away, I'm able to look at him more objectively. Also, I wasn't too sure who was carrying whom between him and Janette, so I didn't know what to make of them never being in the bottom. When they were split up, though, I think I really liked knowing that they were both pretty equally strong. So anyway, now I appreciate him on the show and have no complaints.
Jeanine. It was nice to see her mom emotional over the Tyce piece. That was sweet. And her little sister looks so much like her. But let's talk about her dancing. I think if this was a solo show where they only performed solos.. besides the fact that it would be boring and have no appeal.. she would win hands down. Every solo that she has done has been so clearly planned out and well-choreographed. I like that she's very intentional about her solos. I think they have been so clearly the strongest, week after week. Again, I love that she's the Terin Humphrey of dance. I think that's great. I appreciate that she realizes that people tune in each week to see good dancing. She takes the time to make sure she's putting out her best effort. What can I say, I'm a fan.
Laurieann Gibson. She's never choreographed on this show yet, right? I really enjoyed that. She was kind of Jillian Michaels-esque in that intro video of their rehearsal. I usually like routines with some storyline, but she was upfront about there purposely not being one. And I think what she created was exactly what she said was intended. It focused on the dancing and the dancing was great.
Tyce. Tyce's routine was great. It's frustrating when I keep seeing "Melissa and Ade's second routine was so good." I want to be clear. Tyce's second routine was phenomenal. Sometimes the choreography makes dancers appear better than they really are. It was one of the best pieces this season. However, it does not make either of those dancers the best dancers of this season. I'm not trying to be vicious towards either of them, but I honestly believe they should both be in the bottom according to their abilities and what they've shown the rest of the season so far. Tyce is amazing. If he can save two dancers from the bottom by giving them amazing choreography, he'll have reached a new level of amazing. We will see tomorrow, I guess.
SYTYCD marketing at its best. So anyone that knows me knows that I like to take a very analytical look at reality tv. When I say I watch a lot of reality tv, I don't mean I stare at the tv screen blankly just to pass the time. I analyze the editing, the casting, the perception of "reality".. I like to make predictions and I'm usually correct. I'm a captive and active audience. Anyway, it's usually hard to delve too deeply into analysis of live performance- and vote-based shows. I kind of enjoy how there's been a different side to sytycd lately. I think this is what's kept me interested. There is something to say about the casting and the seasons are very interconnected.
This is what I mean. Have you noticed they never show them picking their styles anymore? We're supposed to believe it's random. I have no proof and I'm not even completely convinced myself, but there's been a lot of lucky draws this season. Also, unrelated, but what's the reason behind having them write their names on the cards instead of the normal printed versions? Budget cuts? Odd.
Now, I've been very clear about my disapproval of the doubling up of seasons. This is coming from someone who loves the show and wishes it was on all the time. However, I understand why it can't be on all the time, and I'm afraid bad things will happen now with the doubling up. There's no doubt it will be tougher to be on during the regular fall season. This will mean they will need to make their show more marketable and drama = marketability. What I mean is, this could quickly change from a show that we all grew to love with its quirks and turn into a show that is fighting a ratings war. Right now, I still find it to be an honest show. Good dancing wins out in the end and it's not just about who's more attractive or adorable that America wants to see entertain them. I do still honestly believe this. There are people who get cut too early, but I've yet to see a winner that didn't deserve it. And I don't want to see someone make it through who doesn't deserve it. I'm afraid it could happen if they mess with what works. I could be completely wrong, but I know I'm not wrong about fearing it.
With this doubling up of season comes the issue of casting. With the seasons so close together, we're not likely to see as much growth between the auditions like we do with a lot of the current contestants who've auditioned before. Because of this, there is no doubt the judges were casting for two seasons during this season's casting. Now, since next season is risky, being in the regular fall season, it is important to have a very strong cast then. I suspect that many of next seasons' cast was pretty much chosen before those auditions began. They have set up a lot of interesting stories. There's Natalie, of course, and we'll get to her. I find her case fascinating. We have Evan's brother, Ryan. We have Chbeeb's girlfriend, Arielle. Bianca (? the tap girl) said she wouldn't come back, but she could be compelling. There's this Asian chick I've seen a couple times. There are a lot of strong dancers that kind of slip through. Oh, there's Caitlin sister, Megan, too. That's a lot.
The Natalie case. So it pisses me off, the whole situation. I hate that they're using her for ratings and she's too sweet of a person to get pissed off and never show up again. It really killed me when she apologized for disappointing them when they cut her for no reason. There are two possibilities of what they're doing with her and I'm not sure which one is actually the case.
1) They're planning on having her on next season because everybody knows her. If you're a true fan of the show, you know who she is. People will be interested in supporting her and watching her progress in the show. She would be a great person to cast for this new season.
2) She's so well-known on the show that the judges realize that if they cast her, she could easily coast into the finale just based on her established fanbase. If this is the case, they may never cast her, which would be unfortunate, because it is clear that she's a wonderful person.
So we'll see which one it is. My hunch is they either made a deal with her to ensure she'll come back or they know she'll come back because she loves to dance and they want to use her desire to be on the show for the show's benefit.