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So You Think You Can Dance – The Top Four Show

Now if I was a conspiracy theorist I would say the producers of So You Think You Can Dance were pimping for Talia to win.

Here is why:

  • Two contemporary routines when she has barely had one throughout the competition,
  • One of those routines had a pointe shoe in it. Pointe shoes have never been on a routine either here or on the US SYTYCD was always go to give the ballerina an advantage,
  • She got the tango which is sexy, and she has no problems dancing in heels,
  • Also got the lucky last spot in the solo’s so the last person we see dancing from tonight’s episode, and
  • Jason Coleman was talking her up.

Not that I have a problem with that, as I think people should vote for the best dancer, as we don’t want to be embarassed as country in front of 14 million US SYTYCD viewers.

People should vote on the following criteria:

  • Technique,
  • Stage prescence,
  • Looks,
  • Sexiness, and
  • Charisma.

Now I won’t harp on about the judges AGAIN, however it would appear I am not the only one that finds Bonnie Lythgoe irritating. I swear I saw Matt Lee grimace when she started talking about the Talia and Ben Tango routine.

Also Sarah Boulter appeared to roll her eyes when Bonnie Lythgoe gave her a compliment.

And before Season 3 can Matt Lee go and see a hypnotist to stop him from say “As Jason said”…

The top four show is always the highlight of the competition, I did not think all the routines popped tonight but it was throughly enjoyable. Speaking of pop I notice Nacho was again sidelined tonight, with the hip hop routine given to Travers Ross and the group routine to Supple.

Talia and Charlie – Contemporary – Duffy – Warwick Ave

Debbie Ellis Linart choreographed a routine about a break up around a park bench.Mmmm is this a rip off from the Mia Michael’s piece where Travis and Heidi danced a routine around one but that was about finding love…

On viewing the US one it is pretty different apart from the prop.

Have a look at it here:

By the way Mia’s trip to Australia has been cancelled. (See the second last comment in this blog post.)

I thought Talia was brilliant in this routine, and Charlie did well dealing with all these lifts, but it was not a routine that really showcased him. It was a great dance to watch. Talia must have emotionally connected with it as she was teared up at the end.

Judges gave it the thumbs up, with amazing said three times, if anyone out there was doing the SYTYCDA drinking game. Yes chug whenever you hear the word amazing said. Beware you will be paralytic by the end of the show.

Talia and Ben – Tango – Sarah Vaughan – Whatever Lola Wants

Fabia Robles choreographed this tango for this pair. Tahlia had no problems dancing in heels as she revealed last week in TV Week  she only owns one pair of flats.

This tango sizzled, I must admit a bias as these are my two favourite dancers. I am not discounting Ben from winning this.

However Jason gave the routine to Tahlia as she was more intense than Ben.

Ben and Amy – Hip Hop – Kanye West – Coldest Winter

I want Amy’s jacket for winter. Are poms poms in this year? Just an aside saw a pair of ski pants on someone yesterday, that bought back some repressed memories. Poor buggers looked like they were going to melt with all their winter gear under the hot lights.

I was uninspired by the Travers Ross routine as can be seen by my thoughts on the upcoming winter fashions. I get the feeling the judges are not going to put the knife into anyone tonight. Sorry incorrect – good on you Jason for saying what I was thinking much more articulately than I could.

“It didn’t get me, it did not grab me, it did not go anywhere.” he said. Also he saw she hit her head on the floor.

Amy and Charlie – Samba – Sergio Mandes with the Black Eyed Peas.

Leanne Bampton This is the first time Charle and Amy have danced together in the comp. Sorry the Samba is meant to be sizzling and sexy and neither of this pair sell sex it was like a brother and sister dancing. Was Charlie wearing a Mormon uniform?

This routine is not going to help either of them win the competition.

Ben and Charlie – Broadway – Billy Idol – Dancing With Myself

Cameron Mitchell did a routine which was a tribute to Gene Kelly.  A pity one of them was not playing Donald O’Connor. Did anyone else feel this routine was laboured? Was it the choreography or dancers? Probably a bit of both. Actually I think it showed up Charlie’s weaknesses, Ben couldn’t really showcase himself either. Jason thought Ben was more effortless but he thought Charlie’s lines were better.

Amy and Talia – Contemporary – Adam Free Land & Sarah Vaughan – Fever

Sarah Boulter did this highly original, yet clever routine where they had to wear one point shoe and one stiletto. It was fantastic. Both girls were great. I just find Amy’s expressions on her face do not seem to come as naturally as they do with Talia.

Jason said Talia’s line is a little bit longer, but he said Amy has more maturity in the performanceship.

I really liked the idea of them having to randomly pick out a song for their solo’s, it gave it an added dimension.

Charlie’s Solo – Kings of Leon – Revelry

Mmm I am not a great lover of hip hop, but this could appeal to the younger voters. I feel a bit sorry for Charlie after a flawless competition he just seem to to hit his straps this evening.

Amy – Miley Cyrus

Amy’s routine showed her performance savvyness. Like Idol where they say big notes win votes, in SYTYCD the difficult technical moves get people picking up the phone, even though they may not necessarily be put together in a professional performance. I did like her routine, only issue for me is the same expression on her face throughout. No light and shade (sorry getting ready for Idol and quoting Marcia Hines).

Ben – Coldplay – Viv La Vida

I thought his choreography really suited the music. He also was smart like Amy and did moves that brings the applause from the audience particularly the flips and tumbles. He also seemed to try and connect to the audience.

Talia – Rhianna – Take A Bow

I thought she danced beautifully. However she did not do what Ben and Amy did, so had a nicely put together routine, however only a few spectacular moves.

Matt Lee, and Bonnie just gave their usual praise.

At least Jason Coleman decided to give them a critique of each one. Here is a summary of Jason’s thoughts.

Charlie –  “A reality TV dream, you have done an amazing job in this competition.”

Amy  – “Your an incredible dedicated, discipline dancer and performer who I have the utmost respect for.”

Ben – “I think of you as a thoroughbred race horse, your discipline and dedication to your craft”

Talia – “You have grown and grown since you started, and I think you have peaked in the last few weeks, as a good athlete does.”

I think anyone could possibly win it, but I think Talia and Charlie appear to be the favorites. Amy was done no favours tonight with a Samba and Hip Hop routine so will struggle.  As I said previously Talia either lucked out tonight or their was some producer manipulation to ensure she was showcased favourably.


1 Anonymous { 04.19.09 at 11:18 pm }

It’s funny Talia was being pimped tonight, when Charlie was very clearly the flavour of the week when it was top 6 and BJ got voted off.

2 Anonymous { 04.19.09 at 11:18 pm }

I am so sick of people saying that Talia is pimped. It’s just ridiculous… Come on… She was due for a contemporary, and she couldn’t have had hip hop for the third week in a row, so of course she was going to get a ballroom…

And why wouldn’t they do a contemporary for Amy and Talia? It would be such a waste if it wasn’t contemporary. It was a fusion of ballet and contemporary, which is Amy and Talia’s genres – I thought it was awesome, and Amy had done years of ballet training, so it’s not foreign to her…

Why do we have to have conspiracy theories every year…

3 Reality Raver { 04.19.09 at 11:33 pm }

Anon 2 – why do we have conspiracy theories? Because we have all seen the movie Quiz Show?

4 Anonymous { 04.19.09 at 11:43 pm }

Well then why not create a conspiracy theory out of the fact that Amy has done her genre – contemporary – for four weeks in a row!

5 Anonymous { 04.19.09 at 11:44 pm }

Sorry, it just annoys me, I think there are many things one could say is a conspiracy theory, and it discredits Talia to say she has been pimped.

6 jean { 04.20.09 at 12:04 am }

Was Talia wearing DEMI POINTE shoes in her solo tonight???

7 Anonymous { 04.20.09 at 1:14 am }

I doubt it… Pretty sure she didn’t, need to watch it again to make sure, though.

8 RRr { 04.20.09 at 9:36 am }

Haven’t read the detail recap yet…saving them for after I watched the show.

But why the “…vote for the best dancer, as we don’t want to be embarassed as country in front of 14 million US SYTYCD viewers.” worry? The US viewers chose Sabra over Danny, Benji over Travis, Joshua and Twitch over Katie. Maybe in the last two cases one can argue that at least Benji, Joshua, and Twitch have skills in their genres that others can’t match, but they were still not the best overall dancers in their seasons.

The US show switched from “America’s best dancer” to “America’s favorite dancer” from Season 1 to Season 2. With the unlimited free votes, it should really be “Amercia’s most voted dancer”.

9 reality raver { 04.20.09 at 2:35 pm }

Anon – Considering this blog has been ‘pimping’ Talia for weeks now, I think I had to point out that the judges were suddenly all for her. I found it strange how Jason Coleman has said a couple of times now how Talia’s dancing has improved since she started in the top 20. Funny how that ‘improvement’ started the week Emmanuel was eliminated…..

RRR – Exactly, us Aussie’s want to be able to show we are picking the best dancer NOT the most popular, favourite, we like your smile dancer. Actually I thought Joshua was a deserved winner, he did all styles pretty damn good, and was a standout in his own.

What has Sabra been up to? I note she was not involved in the finale episode last year as was half of the other SYTYCD alumni..

10 RRr { 04.20.09 at 3:44 pm }

Reality raver, Sabra has just joined Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York. The company was named one of the Dance Magazine’s “25 to watch” in 2008 and collaborates with some international renown choreographers. Of all the US winners, I think she is the only one who has gone the concert route instead of the commerical/teaching route. (I wonder if the ‘only danced for a few years’ label affects her teaching options.)

Since I enjoyed watching them dance on the show, I am (selfishly) disappointed that some of my favorites are teaching/choreographing instead of dancing. :-( But I suppose teaching/choreographing are more profitable than dancing and maybe just as rewarding to those dancers.

11 Anonymous { 04.21.09 at 11:57 pm }

Geezus you ar truly a piece of work honey!!!
Get down to the Easter Show before it finishes and judge the cows…I’m sure you’ll feel right at home!!!

12 Reality Raver { 04.22.09 at 12:18 am }

Anon – actually I prefer to hang out at the dog enclosure… Just for my edification what part of this post did you find offensive?

13 Anonymous { 04.22.09 at 1:42 am }

i think your everything sytycd Australia is NOT about… which is celebrating talent rather than slagging it!! finding the great things about the show rather than slag the judges, dancers, choreographers…. you style of critique is SO yesterday!!! cutting people down without any dance knowledge is SOOOO BORING!!! we’ve seen reality TV for nearly 10yrs now…. get some knowledge about dance before you start to slag….

14 Anonymous { 04.22.09 at 1:57 am }

Well now what do I find offensive…hmmmmmm……the fact that it seems that bloggers with little or no dance knowledge treat this show like a Big Brother or Ladette To Lady or even a Farmer wants a Wife!!! These kids have trained their whole lives in this field, you make comments like they won their place in this show by opening a Kelloggs wrapper and finding a Tazo. You my friend are a cynical blogger with little knowledge on the subject and maybe should read “How To Judge Dance for Dummies”…Just a thought..Happy Slagging xxx

15 Anonymous { 04.22.09 at 3:22 am }

lol, anon, from one anonymous to another, take a panadol and have a little lie-down!

16 Dolph Ziggler { 04.22.09 at 11:02 am }

Dolph loves a good catfight. Keep them claws sharpened ladies!

17 Reality Raver { 04.22.09 at 12:10 pm }

Ok Anon I will TRY and put my response succinctly but it could be difficult.

1. Whether you like it or not SYTYCDA IS a reality TV show. A very good one with a great format and it deserves to be successful. However the tools of a reality TV show , selective editing and showcasing, are used. For example the ballroom dancers and some hip hop dancers are not eliminated by the judges so there is just not contemporary dancers left in the series at the top 10.

Also Penny Higgs was not a technically great dancer (compared to others), and she was given a lot of reality TV loving both by producers and judges.

However if woodchopping (to keep the Easter Show theme going) were to bring in more viewers that would be what Channel Ten is showcasing. Let’s face it the show is about advertsing and the phone line dollars.

2. I think I have been very positive about the show this year and last year. It was probably the best reality TV show in Australia, with Project Runway Australia last year.

And this year it has improved immensely, with fabulous choreography, and better dancers. It definately holds its own against the US version.

I have barely criticised the choreographers, except for Nacho Pop.

I think what I can be criticised for is having preferences for some dancers over others, whether I should try and be more neutral would be something I would be open to.

For me for the show to be taken to an even better level would be to tweak the judges. I really like the rotating judge concept of the US show, as it brings in different personalities eg Adam Shankman. The show really pops when Jason G or Kelley is on the panel. I would love to see Sarah Boulter, Tiana Joubert, gosh even Nacho there.

Personally I think Bonnie should go far to much gibbering – she needs to learn to talk in soundbites. Though on a positive note it is great to see an over 40 non botoxed female on TV, there should be more of it. Contary to popular belief I don’t dislike Matt Lee, however I think it would be preferable fo the producers not to rotate the judge who speaks first, but leave it that Jason C speaks last (like Nigel). Because once Jason C has given his opinion Matt’s [and Bonnie’s ] view becomes redundant.

I would like him to find his judging niche ie. what his role is on the panel. He should provide a point of comparison between the routines or genres, or dancers technical strengths and weaknesses for the layperson, which brings me to my next point.

3. You point out I KNOW nothing about dance therefore should not express any negative opinions about the show. I agree my technical knowledge on dance is limited to dressing up as a pencil in an end of year Miss Maryann’s dance school concert. And my family putting up with year’s of tap practice which probably was the equivalent of Barbar the elephant starring in STOMP. But isn’t the point of this show to be an armchair critic and to get people to vote? To be able to do that they need a point of comparison.

Also people know what they like, and this might not necessarily be the technically best person. How many talented singers must be bitter and twisted about Kylie’s singing success. She is by no means the greatest talent to come out of this country, but for some undefinable reason people adore her and her music, myself included.

Also why shouldn’t I be able to have an opinion I have no technical knowledge about? That is like saying if you don’t work in politics, or have a degree in that area you should not be allowed to express an opinion about social or economic policy? Should the majority of those political bloggers be banned or expressing an opinion even if they cannot quote the correct section of legislation to back up their arguement?

Yes there is a bit of snark, and I hope a touch of irony in my blog posts, but I don’t hold myself out to be Pollyanna.

However I am a strong supporter of dance, and think it is great under recognised dance companies are now finding a mainstream audience, and hopefully some of KRudd’s bonus will be spent on ticket sales. In fact I saw the original Graham Murphy’s Nutcracker years ago, and would rate as one of the best live performance I have seen anywhere in the world, and would recommend it as a great show for people who have never seen dance live before.

18 AWT { 04.22.09 at 2:43 pm }

RealityRaver – I think you do a great job on here and would like to point out to those bitchy 12 year old anonymous’s that RR role here isn’t about critiquing the dancing (that role belongs to Jason, Bonnie and Matt) but is feeding us an average viewers perspective.

You cannot honestly say that reality TV is not “massaged”. Certain dancers are given the best partners, costumes and routines. Remember Big Brother? They used to produce it to show certain stories and sway the voting public in certain directions. Similar deal here – they start off giving a lot of air time and publicity to the favourite, and as it goes on they start to show things differently. They make a LOT of money from public voting so if they make it look like your fav might not win, they get you voting even more. There is a real science to reality TVs and maximising profit for the networks.

No one is denying the dancers aren’t fabulous and 95% of viewers don’t know a plie from a port de pras, but they aren’t voting on that – they are voting on appeal.

Speaking of appeal – I think it’s poor form for certain top 4 dancers to be misrepresenting themselves to the media.

19 Anonymous { 04.22.09 at 10:03 pm }

“Speaking of appeal – I think it’s poor form for certain top 4 dancers to be misrepresenting themselves to the media.”

Oooh gossip. Is this referring to Amy’s plagiarism of another dancer’s solo?

20 Anonymous { 04.22.09 at 10:04 pm }

PS – RR, I think it’s good to have your own favourite dancers.

21 Reality Raver { 04.22.09 at 10:46 pm }

AWT – Thanks. I had not thought of the way the producers pick the partners in the beginning, that can either make you or break you.

Anon -Blurb in Cleo where Charlie indicates he is into girls. Could this be it?Maybe he is bi? Or maybe his parents don’t know. Or maybe the gay rumour was wrong.

22 B Wilson { 04.23.09 at 12:32 pm }

I have been involved in dance for 50 years. I have picked nearly every departure. Talia is the epitomy of a dancer. Technically exquisite and appears humble with it. She has proved her versatility and one wonders if she can tap ? I think the top 4 are all awsome, but my choice would be Talia, based on technicality the base of all good dancing and flexibility in style. Her extensions are to die for — line is everything……..

23 Anonymous { 04.24.09 at 7:47 pm }

“Talia…appears humble with it.”
While you cannot deny Talia is technically flawless, she is anything but humble.

24 notmensa { 04.24.09 at 9:39 pm }

B Wilson – I’d *love* to see Talia tap. how cool!

RR – I love your blog, and usually read it while I’m watching the recording of each show. Thanks for taking us on the SYTYCD journey with you.

Just watched the Amy / Talia duo. It’s my favourite routine of the whole series. Subtle, strong, sensual and quirky all at the same time. Based on his show I really want to see Talia win it. Think it will go to Charlie though…

25 Anonymous { 04.25.09 at 8:34 am }

“While you cannot deny Talia is technically flawless, she is anything but humble.”

that is complete and utter rubbish. she is extremely humble.

26 FL { 05.05.09 at 6:42 pm }

I agree with the above poster. It was wonderful to see such an understated and humble personality win this season. And I thought her solo was the best – sure, it may not have had many “spectacular moves”, but her movement and the emotion she conveyed fitted the song perfectly.