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So You Think You Can Dance Australia – Top 20 Show.

What a difference 365 days make. So You Think You Can Dance Australia season 2 has improved 100 per cent. Natalie Bassingthwaite is so much better this year, no Quaalude eye action and a lot more warmth and confidence to make non-scripted comments. The dancers are fantastic, and they seemed to have weeded out the crappy choreographers.

The judges are a bit snappier this year, however they are still not rocking my world. Jason is definitely the Simon Cowell of the competition, not the nastiness but he is the one judge whose opinion the dancers want.

Also he gives the dancers a bit more critical feedback and explains dance techniques to the lay person at home.

Matt Lee is still a mini Jason Coleman in an Inspector Gadgets body. He tends to agree with most things Jason says, without adding to much else to the topic.

While Bonnie Lythgoe who has improved from last year needs to stop thinking about her Logie nomination for best new female talent, and to learn to talk in sound bites.


Considering this was the first show of the series the dancers and their routine were on the whole excellent.

Pania and Ben – Contemporary – The Presets – Talk Like That

Marko Panzic one of the season 1 alumni choreographed this routine for Pania and Ben. This couple is going to be a very strong partnership, she is extremely versatile, and he is a great dancer.

With the strait jacket type moves and the orange outfits the dance had a One Flew Over the Cuckoos Next mixed with a bit of Guantanamo Bay vibe going on.

It was a great routine to kick off the show. Solid choreography mixed with sold dancing.

Matt Lee said “Pania loved you in it. Didn’t look like you struggled at all.

Bonnie Lythgoe said “As a couple you were fantastic.”

Jason Coleman said ” What a great way to start a new year.”

Talia and Emmanuel

Cha cha. –Smokey Joes Café – Hound Dog

Hip hop dancer Emmanuel should go out and buy a lottery ticket as Jason Gilkison the best ballroom choreographer in Australia managed to make him look good by ensuring he did not have him doing too much technical ballroom in the routine he choreographed for him and Talia.

Both of them played up the audience and it was a very entertaining routine. Talia is a beautiful dancer and I hope that her pairing with Emmanuel will not be her downfall.

Jason Coleman said to Emmanuel “slow down and listen” and “ballistically good”. Ballistic appears to be Jason’s favourite new word for this series.

He also liked Talia’s characterisation, but “synchronisation of the footwork was not good”.

Matt Lee said “I lost myself in the character so that I didn’t notice that your technique wasn’t that good.”

Lamb and Timomatic – Lyrical – Elisa – Rainbow

Travers Ross was the choreographer and the dance was about two best friends falling in love. I am so glad they tell us what the story is behind the dance as sometimes I have no clue.

The dance I really liked at the time but I had forgotten about it by the end of the show.

As Jason said it was lyrical hip hop which suited both their styles. Only criticism was the lift at the end was it botched or maybe that how it was meant to be done.


Jason Coleman said “Interesting routine – I wonder if the feeling in the room came across at home”

Matt Lee said “Same concerns as Jason” and “Great, great, great.”

Bonnie Lythogoe thought she was Oprah for a moment and asked whether there was anything going on between them. If so are they really wanting to announce it on national TV. They just giggled and looked coy.

Amy and Damien – Broadway – Adam Williams – Rufus Wainwright – Putting on the Ritz.

Adam Williams was the choreographer and to me the judges did not appear to like the routine.

Not sure about this partnership, they just did not seem to click together and this Broadway routine was a tad boring. I thought Damien my have overacted it, however I expect him to stay in the competition awhile yet.

Amy’s outfit was barely there so that will appeal to the three male hetro SYTYCDA voters.

Matt Lee said “It was a little bit old fashioned.”, and “Amy’s face very contrived.”, “Damien lift at beginning looked a little bit strained.” and “Great performance.”

Bonnie Lythgoe said “Great job with what you have been given”

Jason Coleman backed Damien by saying “I am surprised how hard it is to switch to what other dancers do so well done fella”.

Ash-Leigh and Stephen – Rhumba – Celine Dion – My Heart Will Go On.

There should be know kissing on stage it is just too much to see, especially when there is not any passion between them. Jason Coleman was right when he called it “contrived”.

This Rhumba was choreographed by Sandro Catalano and it just lacked sizzle. I think Ash-Leigh is going to have a hard time staying in the competition as she was pretty stiff and it was her genre.

Bonnie Lythgoe said “Lacked togetherness,” and “Stephen really held it together.”

Jason Coleman said there was no connection and “it was the lowlight of the evening.”

Matt Lee mini Jason agreed with most things he said.

Penny and Charlie – Hip Hop – Beyonce – Single Ladies.

In Penny’s montage she said “she knows she is not as technical as the other dancers and to “Embrace the Penny”.

Tiana Joubert choreographed this routine and it rocked.

It was a routine about Vampires but I am not going to write any obvious Penny and sucking jokes.

How many pelvic thrusts per minute can one woman do? She definitely broke the world record if there is one.

Considering Charlie is a hip hop dancer I think Penny completely outdanced him.

It was one of my favourite routines of the night.

Jason Coleman said “That might be the top routine of the night”, “Penny adorable like Goldie Hawn.”, “Charlie so likeable.”, and “both probably the most likeable dancers in the competition.” WHAT?

Kat and Danny – Lyrical – Angelo Badalmaenti – Llorand (crying)

Debbie Ellis a Newcastle dance teacher choreographed this stand out routine, it even felt a bit Mia Michaelesqe always a positive thing.

Kat reminds me of last year’s Rhiannon, and Danny reminds me of Rhys Bobridge both are very good dancers.

The lifts were excellent, and the dancing superb.

Jason Coleman said “Favourite routine so far” and “Grips out of lifts seamless”

Max and Jesse – Contemporary – MGMT Kids

I like Max but I am still not convinced she is a good as dancer as the others.

Shaun Parker was the choreographer to the routine in which they had to dance in childlike wonder. Max seemed to get a little lost in the middle of it.

It looked like it was just a lot of moves put together.

Jason Coleman who doesn’t feel the love for Max at all said “Max your line in the lifts are way under, you have no core strength, it was a bit sloppy.”

Matt Lee thought ” it was disjointed.”

If Max is bottom three she is in trouble.

Gianne and BJ -Quickstep – Moulin Rouge Cast – Diamonds

BJ is looking miles cuter since he has had a make over. He will be vying for the teenage vote with Damien.

Leanne Bampton was the choreographer or better known as Dicko’s partner on Dancing With the Stars.

It was a fun well danced number with last year’s top 20 rejects. There was a very awkward lift in the end. Gianne is not a small girl. BJ looked like he had an eye injury from the tassles.


Matt Lee said it was “One of my favourite routines of the night.”

Chanelle and Loredo – Jazz – Lady GaGa – Poker Face

I am going to lose my credibility here when I say I didn’t get Clockwork Orange the movie and I did not get this Clockwork Orange inspired dance routine choreographed by Project Moda.

They had a disaster in dress rehearsals where Loredo while he was doing a slinky (technical term of throwing each other over in a somersault type move.) banged his head. They had the footage of the accident and it was sickening. Loredo was ok but slinky had to be removed from the routine.

I thought the routine was just ok as I thought it did not showcase Loredo’s and Chanelles’ talents.

My tips for the bottom three are Ash-Leigh and Stephen, Max and Jesse, and Lamb and Timomatic.

If you missed the show tonight you can see all the routines on


1 bella vita { 02.16.09 at 2:05 am }

I really enjoyed tonight’s show, however whenever I see Nat, just laugh…such a try hard.

Max should NOT be in the Top 20, she is no-where up to scratch

Penny was pulling those faces again…perhaps a man in a previous life?

Loved PEnny & Charlie’s routine. I love Stephen also, but don’t think she is the right partner for him.
Dissapointed in Jessie which is a shame.Enjoyed Kat & Danny, think they’ll both go far.

Just so happy that Natalie didnt refer to Bonnie as “Miss Bonnie Bling” as she did so often last season. Notice the audience didnt clap as much for Jason as they did for Bonnie and Matt.

Tonight Matt’s hat was sponsored by the leftovers from Harold’s wardrobe in Neighbours.

2 Anonymous { 02.16.09 at 4:07 am }

Your summary of Talia and Emmanuel’s routine is a bit misleading… Matt’s comment about not noticing the tecnique was to Emmanuel, not Talia. And Jason was saying that the synchronisation of the footwork was not good to both of them, not Talia. It’s pretty obvious from the footwork in that dance that Talia is extremely precise and Emmanuel is all over the place. I think Emmanuel is lucky for having a beautiful dancer, everyone I know had their eyes on Talia and didn’t even notice him.

Penny *is* a hip hop dancer. Apparently. Whether she is a real dancer is in dispute for me. I disagree, I think Charlie definitely out-danced her. But they were extremely lucky to gain each other as partners since they have been partners before, and to land both of their styles.

I hate these pairings, Talia and Emmanuel have it bad. The majority of the dancers are paired with someone similar in their style, or a ballroom partner. If Talia goes home before any of the other female dancers I’m going to be pissed off. Stupid dumb hip hop agenda. Could they stack it any more in the hip hop dancers favour? This is reminding me of SYTYCD US Season 4, which imo is the worst season of dance, ever. Ugh.

3 Dolph Ziggler { 02.16.09 at 9:55 am }

Re-Penny as a vampire. Warning to all the guys out there. Apparently she can suck you dry.

4 reality raver { 02.16.09 at 12:23 pm }

Anon – I agree regarding poor Talia being stuck with Emmanual. It reminds me of Kate Wormald last year who is a great dancer but got stuck with the duds and was nearly eliminated week after week. I think Talia will go far in this competition even if she hits the bottom three tonight. Max and Ash-Leigh are obvious as first females to go.

Sorry if it was not clear re: the synchronisation, I was just about falling asleep at the computer last night.

I disagree re: season 4 SYTYCD. I think this is going to be a much stronger season this year. Hardly any dud routines last night. I think as the weeks go by it can only get better.

Bella Vita – LOL re: Matt’s hat. I didn’t notice the applause difference, but I will definately take note tonight. Jason affectations and ego annoys me at times, however I think he is the most articulate judge and manages to give the dancers some tips so that they can continue learning on their “journey”.

Dolph – I am not even going to go there.

5 Anonymous { 02.16.09 at 5:04 pm }

I like your optimism! Can I steal it?

Yeah, Talia kind of reminds of Kate being paired with Khaly last year. I just think the judges are obsessed with PERSONALITY (but only the loud brash ones – see Penny) and would have no qualms about cutting Talia to save an inferior dancer (again, see Penny).

6 Reality Raver { 02.16.09 at 8:57 pm }

Yes I am still gasping about the likeability comment. Having said that she deserved to be safe this week.

7 bella vita { 02.17.09 at 12:32 am }

upset that Jesse is out, but c’e la vie!

Penny obviously has some fans on here after some of these comments!!!

Havent watch the episode yet, but about to watch it now

8 Ella { 04.07.09 at 1:50 am }

I think the producers did an awful job selecting the partnerships this year. Nigel Lythgoe does a much better job.
I would have chosen –
– Charlie & Penny
– BJ & Tahlia
– Ben & Ash-leigh
– Damien & Kat
– Danny & Chanelle
– Timomatic & Lamb
– Loredo & Gianne
– Stephen & Amy
– Jesse & Pania
– Emmanuel & Max
That way Emmanuel & Max would have left first & no-one would have minded. I think that the other couples would have complemented each other well. It was unfair of the producers to put young guys with much older girls – i.e. BJ/Gianne & Damien/Amy – and expect for them to have a genuine connection. I also think that Loredo would have been more likeable if he had been paired with someone as loveable & fun as Gianne. Danny & Chanelle would have been so pretty together, and Ash-leigh would have had a chance if she had been paired with Ben, etc. It doesn’t seem like the producers gave much thought to the pairings at all!
As for this ep, I feel sorry for Max & Jesse, they definitely drew the short straw.

9 reality raver { 04.07.09 at 11:07 am }

Ella – I absolutely agree with some of your logic re: pairings, especially the age disparity.