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So You Think You Can Dance – Final 12

The competition was really hotting up tonight and it was the strongest show by far, and one of the most entertaining.

The dancers had to learn two routines, one from a choreographer and the other, which was the surprise challenge, they were to choreograph themselves. All of this in a week where they are desperate to be in the top ten.

First a few thoughts on tonight’s show:

  • At one stage I thought it was martial arts night with the amount of routines which had fighting in them;
  • Natalie Bassingthwaite dressed as a prom queen sans tiara looked great, and she seems to have improved the sedative eye look by about 100%;
  • In the pre-routine vignettes, it amuses me how they tell the viewers about the most difficult moves so we watch to see if they manage to nail it, and they don’t we then know there was a mistake in the routine;
  • Bonnie has got to stop asking contestants “So what did you think of that?”;
  • Kelly Abbey showed why she should be a fulltime judge on the show by handing out constructive criticism diplomatically; and
  • Rhys finally had a routine where he could camp it up a bit.

First up were Kate and Graeme who were lucky enough to get a jazz number, how lucky has Graeme been with the genres he has yet to get one way outside his comfort zone.

The choreographer was Leah Howard.

It was a fast and furious routine with costumes taken from the old Mad Max movies. In the footage prior to the routine they were talking about the triple horizontal turn aka the leap of faith lift, that Kate was to do. So of course I was waiting for it in the routine, when it did happen towards the end it was not a triple. So the shows producers highlighted that she missed it, something I would not have been wiser to, if they had not said anything.

Anyway she did have an excuse she has been suffering from a pinched nerve in her neck, and was unable to rehearse for the last few days, something you would not have known in the way she danced.

Kate nicely acknowledge how supportive Graeme had been about her injury.

Kelly Abbey said ” Did so well”, and “Kate strong and sexy”, and “Graeme very plugged into heart”
Matt Lee (who is improving each week) said “Girl you danced your heart out”
Bonnie Lythgoe said “Did amazingly”
Jason said “Great routine – had impact’.

Rhiannon and JD were the first to do the surprise challenge, they had 3 songs to pick from and they picked “Big Girls” by Mika.

I was a bit confused by the big dress Rhiannon started the routine it was it meant to make her look like a big girl?? If so may lose her the overweight vote.

As JD is a choreographer I thought this was a big opportunity for him, however the routine was fun but not spectacular.

Jason said “Pro-amateur performance on a cruise ship”, “I’d have liked to have seen more.”

Next up with their surprise challenge was Jemma and Rhys they picked the song “Pony”. Their choreography was based on them being equestrian riders. It was a fusion of hip hop, jazz and ballroom.

It was really entertaining, and again Rhys butched and sexed it up convincingly with Jemma.

Bonnie gave a bit of a back hander to Jason (which would have been the equivalent of being slapped by a bit of limp lettuce) and said “We are not here to judge the choreography”, and then she said the piece was “Interesting and entertaining.”

If you are not going to judge the choreography why bother giving them this task?

Vanessa and Henry did a contemporary routine with Josval Bispone and Chris Kaderk as choreographers.

It was to be a Capoeira style. Capoeira is an Afro-Brazilian blend of martial art, game and dance created by enslaved Africans in Brazil during the 16th Century. Thanks Wiki.

This pair are becoming the real surprise package, with Henry not putting foot wrong, and Vanessa improving each week. Just one request could she tie her hair back one week.

Vanessa also had a shoulder injury during the week, however she continued to rehearse.

It was a fun athletic routine, however where was the dancing? However the backward flip Vanessa made off Henry’s back was heart stopping.

Also the rotation kicks at the end were starting to become repetitive.

The judges agreed:
Kelly said ” Struggled to find the dance” and “Did a good job on the tricks”
Matt said “Found hard to find dance” and”Not very musical”;
Bonnie defended the routine by saying “Dance comes under a huge umbrella”
Jason said “Struggled to find dance”.

It appears to me the judges are bagging out the choreographers again.

Camilla and Anthony were to dance the Lambada in a routine by Fabio Robles. This pair both looked like the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland, they looked so pleased to have ditched their previous partners Laura, and Sermsah.

As the Lamabda is a sexy routine Camilla said it was a confronting dance to do with a person you are dancing with the first time.

Camilla still had her hair extensions this week, but it looked like it was transforming into a mullet.

The dance did not do it for me as Jason pointed out “The sex was missing from the routine”. He also thought there was not much for Anthony to do except showcase Camilla.

Kelly said “Had great connection for first time dancers”
Matt said “Suit each other well”
Bonnie criticised for once by telling Camilla to “Watch her footwork”.

Demi and Jack were up next with their surprise challenge they chose “Crazy Love” by Beyonce.

This suited Demi’s style, and in fact I thought the routine was entertaining. Demi really sexed it up and even over came her personal nemesis by wearing high heels. She really needed to perform tonight as she has been a bit weak over the last couple of weeks.

Matt said ” Perfect song” and “Demi you were a bit ahead of the music”

Natalie dropped a clanger when she said “Check out the Krumping.” Was that krumping, I thought that was a much more aggressive style of hip hop? But I am no expert.

I thought this routine was a mix of hip-hop and disco.

Next up were Rhys and Jemma dancing a musical theatre number in an Andrew Hallsworth routine.

Finally Rhys had a routine where he could legitimately camp it up, but first Jemma had to learn how to pirouette, which she did nicely.

Rhys is always positive about Jemma, and will only help him gain votes.
The routine was based on the Cococapbana (sic). Andrew said the most important routine was the unison.

The routine was lots of energy and fun, and should ensure that this pair will be safe for another week. Rhys particularly shone in the number.

Kelly said “Rhys looked comfortable” and “Jemma needs to believe in herself a bit more”
Matt said “Fun”, and “Rhys it showed off your technique”
Bonnie gibbered about pirouettes before spitting out “Routine great”.
Jason said “My favourite routine of the night”

It was Kate and Graeme’s turn for their surprise challenge. They chose the surf song from the “Pulp Fiction” soundtrack, and they had a lot of fun dressed as racing car drivers.

Though Kate managed to strip it down by the end to look more like a pit lane girl. It was high energy with a few good lifts thrown in.

Kelly said “Hot” and “You guys are really solid in the competition”

Next were Rhiannon and JD who were fortunate to pull hip hop from the bucket. The routine was choreographed by Nacho Pop. It was going to be a popping routine, and it did suit JD’s style.

Nacho Pop was concerned “JD would forget the routine” and “Rhiannon would start doing the cute sexy girl thing.”

Now this pair especially JD really needed to kill this routine, but that just did not happen. It was a very contained routine so there was no use made of the stage. It was just a little bit blamange when it needed to be more Bombe Alaska.

Kelly said “Cute routine – liked popping on the floor” and “JD you hip hop so beautifully”
Matt said “This style is hard as it is understated” and “Your faces were angry – monotoned”
Bonnie said ” Rhiannon great for you” and “Enjoyed routine, spot on”
Jason said “Unison not there”

It was Anthony and Camilla’s turn for their surprise challenge, they picked “Stronger” by Kanye West.
Anthony said he did not want to be known for just tricks, and Camilla said she wanted to be seen as something other then a jazz dancer.

They choreographed it like it was a boxing routine. Yes it was fairly entertaining, but there was not much dancing in it, and a fair few tricks.

Matt said “Cute concept” and “Did a great job”

Vanessa and Henry for their surprise challenge picked “Black and White” by Michael Jackson. This was my favourite of the surprise challenges. Henry was like Brad from the Rocky Horror Picture show, and Vanessa was an aggressive femme fatale.

Henry half way through gave the obligatory rip open the shirt ala Dimitri style which was not gratuitous but worked in with the routine.

Bonnie said “Jam packed with ideas”

Last for the night were Demi and Jack dancing a contemporary number by Garry Stewart.

This was again a fast paced frenetic dance, think the exact opposite to a Mia Michaels routine.

Jack said “It was beyond what he had ever known contemporary to be”

Garry Stewart said “Contemporary can be anything”

Again it was another fighting type routine, where was the love tonight, everyone was trying to smash their partners.

It started off really strong, however toward the end some noticeable mistakes crept in. Demi not doing the head spin on the first attempt and some other flubbed moves.

Kelly said “Challenging routine” and “Demi lost it a little towards the end” and “Jack great energy you need to watch your face”

Matt said “Manic” and “Came undone to me”
Bonnie said “It was to much for Demi to cope with” and “Felt energy going”
Jason said “Fan of Garry Stewart’s work” and “really good attempt, a little underperformed” and “Not sure whether Australia would see the complexity of the routine.”

This is the final week where the judges get to choose who is eliminated. Next week it is up to us.

My predicted bottom three are:
JD and Rhiannon,
Anthony and Camilla
Jack and Demi.


1 soobee { 03.17.08 at 1:31 am }

Man, if JD makes it again, he has one heckuva voting contingent. I like Anthony and Jack (Anthony more, I think), so I hope they both stay. I’m not so keen on the girls (any of those mentioned), so I don’t care as much. My favorite dancer at the moment is Henry (gush) and Vanessa has stepped it up BIG time.

I’m looking forward to seeing the show, and am only disappointed that we don’t get to see the packages, but I’m happy at anything. Seeing the results show would be nice this week, however!

Thanks to RR, as always, for such a comprehensive breakdown

2 Reality Raver { 03.17.08 at 10:46 am }

JD is definately the weakest link at the moment.

I also get the feeling if Rhiannon is in the Bottom 3 tonight she may be in danger of going home.

3 Anonymous { 03.17.08 at 11:30 am }

methinks the show is losing a little of its vigour, i actually changed channels a couple of time but there was nothing else on

4 Anonymous { 03.17.08 at 11:34 am }

disco queen cannot workout this blogging business at the moment .. so she has to comment as anonymous and then reveal herself within her message .. strange but true. This show is losing its pizazz, I don’t what it is but it’s not gripping. The judging is so predictable .. we will start with Matt every, single time (why not mix it up, ala Idol). He will think it’s good and give a few extra tips, Bonnie (who is always second to comment among the regular judges) will say not much at all and jason is becoming a right pain. maybe i just have mondayitis

5 Reality Raver { 03.17.08 at 11:50 am }

Disco Queen, funny I thought the routines were stronger last night, but I can see how tedious the show would be having to watch all the commercials – I just fox IQ and then fast forward.

I do agree there needs to be some tweaking by next season – as first season novelty may wear off.

I like your idea about mixing up the order of the judges.

Bonnie just rabbits on, at least Jason keeps it succinct. Matt Lee is just bland.

I am still under decided re: choreography. For example Nacho Pop’s routine to the amateur eye (mine) did not swing my thing.

I am starting to find him overrated. Would he be getting any choreography work in the US? It is a bit like Marcia Hines would she have been successful in the US as she was here in Australia. In the ’70’s she was something very different in white anglo Australia.

I must have mondayitis as well with all my snarky comments.

6 Onadrought { 03.17.08 at 3:16 pm }

Yes Henry and Vanessa’s Black and White was the best. They are the couple to watch and the most attractive. What a difference a haircut makes. Henry is hot and so skillful, unusual for a ballroom dancer to be so good technically.
JD pathetic.
Rhys is good, but better than his partner. His partner has a bit of a bogan look. Is she only 19?