SYTYCD 4, Vegas Callbacks

It’s always exciting to watch the Vegas rounds, not just because of the dramas, but also because it is so challenging. The contestants have to learn choreographies in Hip-Pop, Broadway, Ballroom and Contemporary, all in a limited time, on top of that they also have to choreograph themselves in groups and perform. With six judges scrutinizing their every move, one bad routine means it’s the end of road.

Robert Muraine, the amazing contortionist popper, was having trouble learning the Hip-pop choreography just when the first round started. He looked ready to give up. Nigel asked him to perform a solo perhaps hoping that would change his mind, but in the end he still said he’d rather go than give it at least a try. I wonder if he made that decision because all the instant fame that resulted from his spectacular audition has got to him, that he didn’t want to make a fool out of himself doing something he’s bad at on TV.

After the broadway round, twins Anthony and Antwain faced their fate. Anthony, who ironically was able to come to Vegas because of his brother’s plea (see my DC auditions post), got through and Antwain didn’t. He eventually survived through the very end but didn’t make the Top 20.

Ballroom round has always been tough for street dancers/breakers alike, so when Joshua and Comfort, both from Texas and are popper/breaker, cried after they learned they did well enough to survive the Foxtrot, you know it must have not been easy. Hard work doing something you are not very good at, it’s good to see that rewarded.

The pageant girl was eliminated. Her dancing to me lacks authenticity, you don’t feel anything watching her dance.

As the rounds went on I found myself liking Twitch more and more. He just seems such a likable person. I was so happy when they told him he made the Top 20.

The group performance round, where contestants were divided into groups and was given a piece of music to choreograph themselves overnight, bore some resemblance to what was shown last year: the bickering. I’ve always wondered the merits of such a format. You put a group of dancers together and have them work out a choreography all by themselves. When every one of them is fighting for their own survival and there is no authority or any form of designation, there’s bound to be lots of conflicts on who is in charge and who makes what calls. Teamwork spirit is rewarded here but when the real show starts they won’t be required to do something like this again. They will just perform professional choreographer’s routines. So there is not much incentive here for them to strive to be the best team player. That in my opinion explains why most of the group performances were not very good and sometimes the dancers didn’t even look happy doing them.

After Mia Michael’s contemporary round, Liz the female tapper from Milwaukee was eliminated because she “talked too much” back to the judges arguing about her apparent stress. I guess they don’t want someone who gets stressed easily and who argues a lot on the show, which is reasonable.

Among the top 20 revealed, the fabulous ballroom girl Chelsie Hightower is my early favorite. I was surprised that Kelli Baker didn’t make it. Nigel suggested she needs to show more personality, I then remembered what a personality contest this show is and didn’t like it. Even more surprising was that girl who auditioned a latin like routine in boots, Susie Garcia, made it. I didn’t see what’s so good in her at all. Both Joshua and Comfort made it. Brandon Bryant did not! After the judges told William Wingfield he was the “best all around dancer by far”, I became interested and looked him up on youtube. Turns out he auditioned in LA which I didn’t write much about. I’m looking forward to see how he does on the show.

I thought the whole re-vote thing with Katee just because she said she wouldn’t come back for a 3rd try was a bit overreacting. Nigel wanted some TV drama so he took the opportunity to stir it up. These artificial moments are times when I don’t like the show.

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