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Wednesday, August 2, 2017

So You Think You Can Dance Season 14 "Academy" Week 3 Review

If you haven't read/noticed by now, I love dance. It is very close to my heart and I personally find it to be such a therapeutic activity. So naturally, I love the show "So You Think You Can Dance", especially because it incorporates so many different styles of dance and such impressive choreography!

So I thought it would be fun to share some of my thoughts on the dancers and choreography etc. I would love to hear your guys' thoughts too! 😊

Academy Week

All-Star Robert, has the best facial reactions to all of the dances - especially Ryan's Solo routine & Jenna's special-tailored routines for Kiki & Konkrete.

Even though I love the "Academy Week" format, of running the dancers through the different styles, in rounds as cuts are made; I do think it's a shame that we miss out on seeing so many of the actual dance performances. It would go a long way to help us understand why certain dancers were cut or chosen etc. - especially those who already had a "fan-base" from their auditions. Why show people who are cut without showing why?

Jazz Routine Thoughts

Gaby's Group
Evan DeBenedetto - Evan does a really great job and shows off some pretty good technical ability.
Lex Ishimoto - Lex pretty much kills it, even adding a bit of "pizzazz" in the personality department to make critics happy.
Natalie Delgado - Natalie is easily the weakest link here. She gives solid effort but she's clearly not as good as her peers on stage.

At the end of the number, Gaby thanks Natalie for bringing "Flamenco" to "So You Think You Can Dance" and "killing it in every round"... though we (the audience) clearly didn't get to see either of those things.

Paul's Group
Ramita Ravi - Ramita does a pretty good job but again, I think the way she tries to incorporate her own personal style isn't as seamless as it could be, and ends up hurting her performance more than helping it. 
Kristina Androsenko - Kristina shows a surprising degree of intensity in this routine, bringing the same amount of passion she does to her ballroom dances.
Sydney Tormey - Sydney does a good job overall and a great job for a ballroom dancer. There are times when she's a little off, but she's clearly trying.

At the end of the number, Paul sends Ramita home.

Jenna's Group
Kiki Nyemchek - For the first time, Kiki looks good dancing outside of his style. 
Kevin Davis Jr. - For all of the trouble that Kevin had earlier during practice, he does a pretty good job in this routine. He definitely has a certain charisma and passion that shows no matter what style of dance he is performing, and his sense of timing is pretty incredible. Overall, he keeps impressing and I think he would make a great choice for the live show.
Riley Kurilko  - Riley isn't entirely graceful as a contemporary dancer but he certainly has some skills to offer.

At the end of the number, Jenna seems to notice what I did about Kiki, calling jazz his "break out moment", but she questions whether it is enough. She scolds Kevin a bit for disappointing her with his attitude during jazz rehearsal. She tells Riley that he "soared through the week" but she "didn't feel a connection" and "it wasn't enough", letting him go. (What?!?) She then proceeds to tell Kevin that he is not allowed to doubt himself anymore and that he needs to show more confidence. She also tells him that he deserves to be here, which some of the all-stars visually and verbally agree with.

All-Star "Final 2" Routines Thoughts

Marko's Group
This dance is a sweet little number. Nothing too special but very sweet, nonetheless.
Choreography: C+
Sofia Ghavami - At certain points, Sofia seems to be behind the music and rushing the moves at the same time. She's also definitely not very graceful - though, not awkward either.
Koine Iwasaki,  - Although Koine is small, you can tell that she has a lot of strength and control in her movements. She is so graceful yet technical in her moves, she seems to come off as being "weightless".

Personally, I think Marko should choose Koine. When he danced with Sofia, the dance itself lost some of it's integrity and came off more amateur. When he danced with Koine, the dance itself came to life and came off much more beautiful. Furthermore, Koine seemed to be surprisingly versatile, exceeding expectations in the hip-hop and ballroom routines. Definitely the better all-around dancer.

Gaby's Group
Tap dancing might not always sound like the most interesting style of dance but Gaby certainly knows how to make it interesting. Her choreography went well to the music and was fun to watch. It wasn't particularly outstanding but definitely required some talent in the tapping department.
Choreography: B-

Evan DeBenedetto - Evan was pretty flawless as far as the moves went. However, when it comes to "dancing personality", nothing about his performance really grabbed you and made you watch him.
Lex Ishimoto - For the first time, Lex seemed to have a little bit of a mishap but it was small and quick. That being said, Lex gave plenty of personality in this routine and it was quite charming as well! (It even had a little bit of a "suave" quality to it.) And aside from the one little mishap, Lex did a pretty great job - especially keeping up with Gaby's crazy tapping ability!

Personally, I think Gaby should choose Lex. Not only has he pretty much been my #1 pick since he auditioned for his amazing talent and abilities, but he's so much more versatile, which is what this show thrives on. Furthermore, for all of the talk about "dancing personality", I love Lex's! It's a little bashful and coy, but it's also incredibly charming.

Cyrus's Group
Interesting "routine" here. It wasn't super exciting and it didn't really give his contestants too much chance to showcase their talents and abilities.
Choreography: C

Kaylee Millis - Kaylee did a surprisingly pretty great job with this hip-hop routine considering her personal style is "contemporary fusion". There were many moments where she looked like a natural hip-hop dancer.
Huwer Havoc Marche - Havoc clearly knows what he's doing when it comes to his own unique style. Unfortunately, it really doesn't seem like he does too great of a job diversifying outside of his style.

Personally, I think Cyrus should choose Kaylee because she's more versatile, otherwise both are pretty equal picks.

Jenna's Group
Jenna is the only all-star to choreograph 2 separate routines for her dancers - in order to compliment their personal styles - and we all thank her for it! WOW! Also, Jenna knows what she's doing and knows how to use the choreography to highlight her contestants! Thank you again!

"Paso" Choreography: B+

Kiki Nyemchek - The best Kiki has EVER looked in this entire competition so far, is with Jenna's choreography and partnership. She makes him go quicker than we've ever seen him go, a key to highlighting a ballroom male dancer. If it weren't for this routine, I wouldn't have realized just how quick Kiki is on his feet. This dance required a lot of passion and control, of which Kiki delivered without a problem. The ending pose will surely be talked about for many different reasons. Personally, I agree with Kevin, "That was too much sauce." It really seemed like Jenna and Kiki needed to get a room at the end of that dance. Kind of uncomfortable to be honest...
*Side Note: Jenna is a phenomenal ballroom dancer! Wow!

"Krump" Choreography: A

I don't know how Jenna figured to make "ballroom" and "krump" work so well together but she really did. The contrast of styles really elevated this entire dance and made it so captivating to watch! It really heightened the intensity of the entire routine and that scream sequence was breathtaking. That being said, this routine had some more cheap "seductive" sell-points but it also had some interesting moves of technique and talent as well. The end lift and pose was also completely outstanding. I would say the "Paso" routine was more consistent but the "Krump" routine had higher hits when it did hit.
*Side Note: Jenna was actually impressive the way she did the krump sequence with Kevin towards the end, really elevating this entire performance. BRAVO!

Kevin Davis Jr. - Just as he had delivered in all previous rounds, Kevin definitely delivered in this one! In fact, Kevin really stood out and delivered an outstanding performance in this routine! It was tailored to his style but he killed it. As Jenna said, "You went there."

Personally, I think Jenna should pick Kevin. My reaction was pretty much exactly what Robert's was, shock and awe due to such an impressive performance. Furthermore, from what we've seen so far, Kevin actually seems to adapt pretty well to the other styles; Better than Kiki did, anyways. I know Jenna seemed to have a personal, romantic connection with Kiki and he's a ballroom champion or whatever, but I still think Kevin would be the better choice for the show.

Most of the the other dances/dancers weren't featured enough for full notes and grades but I'll still share my thoughts and picks below:

Paul's Group
Kristina Androsenko vs. Sydney Tormey

Personally, I think Paul should pick Kristina. I think Kristina is a more polished dancer and they seem to work better together. I think Sydney wouldn't be a bad choice, but she certainly has some room to grow.

Robert's Group:
Jonathan Wade vs. Taylor Sieve

Personally, I think Robert should pick either one, really, but I guess Taylor. (She was definitely highlighted more.) I think either one would make a good pick.

Allison's Group:
Zachary Downer vs. Logan Hernandez

Personally, I think Allison should not have been allowed to have Zachary and Logan on the same team as they both equally deserve to be on the show. They both have wonderful skills and tremendous talent and prove why this particular format and process of selection and elimination sucks! If I really had to pick like she does, I guess I'd pick Zachary. He seems a little more technically sound and I like his "dancing personality" more.

Comfort's Group:
Mark Villaver vs. Deja Williams

Personally, I think Comfort should pick Mark. He has a really fun personality and seems to be the bettter dancer than Deja. (But you know, editing, so we don't really know.) He definitely seems to stand out whenever he's on stage though.

Jasmine's Group:
Robert Green vs. Howard Johnson

Personally, I think Jasmine should pick Robert. I think Howard is a really good dancer and is more technically sound than Robert. However, Robert has the perfect "dancing personality". He's definitely one of the most charismatic dancers in the top 20. Every time he is dancing, he makes you watch him and doesn't let you regret it. It's a shame they;re on the same team because I don't think Howard should be cut but if we have to choose (and we do), then I'd pick Robert.

Fik-Shun's Group:
Dassy Lee vs. Kyle Bennett Jr.

Personally, I think Fik-Shun should pick Dassy. Perhaps this is just personal preference but they just seem like two peas in a pod and I think they'd be a ton of fun watching together. I don't think Kyle would be a bad choice but he's not as technically sound or diverse, so I think he has a lot of room to grow.

What did you guys think of the "Academy" weeks? Who do you think will make the Top 10? Who do you want to make the Top 10?

Share your picks for Top 10 here! 

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