Oh, show, you’re back! I missed you. I’ve actually been putting off this post for a while, because of the difficulty of getting embedded videos, but I’m just going to get this out there for now and add videos later as I find them. I really like So You Think You Can Dance Australia–I find that it has a different vibe from the other series, more constructive, more nurturing. The judges are a big part of that–they’re not afraid to turn away young, inexperienced dancers with instructions to train harder and come back next year, and repeat auditioners have to show off how they’ve cross-trained and improved themselves to get back in. There’s none of Mary Murphy’s bastard screeching or Nigel Lythgoe being a creepy old man; Jason Coleman and Matt Lee constantly give really good, really pointed, objectively critical feedback that is really a joy to listen to. Okay, there’s also Bonnie Lythgoe, whose main job seems to be fishing for drama and talking fulsomely about the majestic grandeur of every. single. routine (why is this role always filled by a woman/why is a woman always Praisy Praisy McSoftJudge on reality competition shows? But that’s a post for another day.)
I heart Jason Coleman. He has a knack for saying the right thing at the right time and knowing how to sneak those words of praise into a dressing-down that will make you want to work so much harder. (He reminds me of one of my dance coaches.)
A round where the top 20 got to do their thing, without the pressure of elimination for one week. I thought it was really cool how the Top 20 got a boot camp crash course into the different dance styles–did they do this for previous seasons? I think this is the first time we saw it. In Top 20 week it was also revealed that they got acting lessons, which is pretty awesome. I’m only going to hit on a couple of routines–they were all pretty good except for Don and Ivy’s terrible Broadway.
Top 10 men’s routine: FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK. This was AMAZING. Just—just watch, okay, and bask in the awesome that is this routine. (Also, perhaps, you might note how everyone else is deeply in character, but Kieran (the pasty one) has no expression on his face whatsoever.) If you click on a single link in this post, let it be this one:
Top 10 women group:
Choreographed by Matt Lee, set in a sort of bordello? I usually really enjoy Matt Lee’s routines, but this one fell a little flat for me. He’s really good at choreographing high-energy large groups (top 20 finale routine for season 1, anyone? It’s up here at megavideo; start at 3:00) but this women’s routine felt kind of slow and and theatrically sleazy instead of fun sleazy. Jess is wicked hot in everything she does, but Grace has no sexyface whatsoever, and the camera kept focusing on her.
Don and Gaz’s breaking: Funny and clever; Gaz revealed an unexpected skill at physical comedy. I worry that Don will get overshadowed in his own style by Gaz’s power tricks and sheer strength, but I suspect Don will prove more versatile outside of his specialty, so that’s all right.
Will, Matt, Jessica, and Kieran’s vwaltz:
Jason Gilkison, you genius. He managed to expand a couple dance to encompass four people and made it look not-silly. And when men are whirling by in frame but without a partner, the propensity is really for ridiculousness, so MAD PROPS. Kieran’s superior technique was displayed here, which is disappointing in a way because he seems like such a douche. Jessica really showed off her versatility as well; I hope she’ll go far.
Issi and Robbie:
Going into this week I was super-ambivalent about Issi. She’s only 18, and I thought that she was going to be this season’s Mollee–immature, unskilled, hanging around waaaaaay past her sell-by date. But she was good in this routine with Robbie, who is my favorite/second favorite male dancer (alongside Heath) this season. I couldn’t find the routine proper on Youtube, but here’s the rehearsal footage:
Jess, Ilona, and Philippe’s hiphop: Great choreo, shit-hot dancing. Jess is fantastic, and Philippe is just so contained and strong, solid in every movement. And really, just check this out:
Grace, Jess, Heath, and Nick’s contemporary: I havea a vague bias against Grace, just because she seems very fake while she’s dancing–she doesn’t seem to give herself over to the choreo or the type of movement that the choreographers want from her; she’s always “Grace” throughout. It’s good in some instances, but very annoying in others. Jessi was very competent but kind of boring throughout; she was the only one who was totally passed over through the audition process, so the editing kind of screwed her over. I want to see more of her, though. Nick is pretty spectacular (but very like Robbie in appearance, I wonder if they’ll cannibalize votes from each other?) Heath is absurdly charismatic, talented in his own right, and has the further knack of using his costume to accentuate his movement.