Profile Spotlight: Chelsie Hightower

Chelsie Hightower (Is that her real name?) is a strikingly beautiful dancer born in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her specialty is Latin Ballroom, and she has the fastest legs we have ever seen. Last year, a Russian dancer named Anya struck us because of her incredible leg speed. Chelsie is faster.

Chelsie has danced since she was just 9 years old, and there are pictures of her from competitive dances from an age where most of us were being challenged by hide and seek. But in the world of dance, to be as great as Chelsie, most have to start very young.

We were very disappointed this week because Chelsie was eliminated from the finals, despite not once being in the bottom prior to this week. We think she beat Courtney this week and, while we love Courtney and think she is another incredible talent, we believe that Chelsie was dealt a bad hand. She received Twitch as a partner and he could not dance the Mambo well enough, and it hurt their performance. To boot, while Courtney got two dances that catered to her style, Chelsie got thrown Hip Hop. She still was fantastic, but Hip Hop was about as far from Latin Ballroom as it could be.

Chelsie graduated from Timpanagos High School in 2007 and is 19 years old, born July 21, 1989. She just celebrated her 19th birthday!!! Happy Birthday Chelsie!!! She is going to college at Utah Valley University.

Chelsie was discovered in Salt Lake City and wowed the judges with her audition. They played her up right away on that show and knew even before she danced she was special. Her partner was relatively good, certainly better than Twitch was last week in the Mambo, but he paled in comparison and was little more than a prop. Nigel said, at the audition, “I have to say you are truly tremendous.” Mary followed with “You are one hot tamale, that is for sure!” Of course, she was sent straight through to Vegas. Or is that back to Vegas?

In 2005, Chelsie was a finalist in the US Worlds Dance Competition as a member of Team USA. A scant 16 years old, and she was already tearing up the floor. She started dancing at the age of 9. In just two years, at the age of 11, she won her first national title. From what we gather, she is a talented singer as well.

Chelsie currently resides in Pleasant Grove, Utah, was raised in Orem, Utah, and born in Las Vegas, but she was no gamble for this show. You could tell from the outset she was on her way to the top 20 at the very least, and the top 6 wasn’t good enough; we think she should have made the finale.

Because of her extensive background, according to TV.com, Chelsie has worked with many world-renowned choreographers such as Louis VanAmstel, Goran Nordin, Vibeka Taus, Paul Green, Karina Sminoff, Jonathon Wilkins, and Katusha Demidova. The exposure she has already received would comprise an entire career for most dancers.

We will miss Chelsie and we know that all of her fans are destroyed by her elimination. Last week just turned out incredibly unfair for her as a dancer, seemingly being targeted for elimination by lady luck and her pairing with Twitch. She was our huge favorite to win. For more on Chelsie, videos and pictures, please read our review of the show.

Chelsie Goes Home tribute

Some of Chelsie’s solos on the show

Season 4 SYTYCD Top 6 Results Don’t Shock Our Readers!!

Our Current poll is still up: Who Will win the title “America’s Favorite Dancer?” Please participate. Thank you. 🙂

We searched our refrigerator after this show, and we were quite fortunate. We were able to find some left over crow to dine on after tonight’s judging. The audience showed that it is never obvious what is going to happen, and what you see when you watch a reality television show is indeed based on your own reality.

The show started off with a lovely piece danced to Bette Midler’s “The Rose”. Bette has always been a favorite of ours because when you analyze her piece by piece as you do most people, she is nothing special. When you analyze her as a whole, she is a star.

That is how it is with great personalities and spectacular talents. In person, they are little more than the human beings we all are, but somewhere in their persona, they bring some small spark that generates the big bang that made the universe, and erupt into a talent that is bigger than life itself.

All six of the dancers demonstrated in this single piece that they are all exactly that type of talent, those special people that deservedly rise to the top of all of us to be our idols! This style of synchronized paired dance is rarely seen because it is so difficult, and these six amazing talents brought it to us in a masterpiece that, for them, was seemingly effortless after what was likely a few hours of rehearsal. How can you not love this show??!!

Something does gnaw at us just a bit though.  We just don’t know where the winners go. If they don’t turn up back on the show doing a bit of choreography or doing a lead-in piece for American Idol, they just seem to disappear, at least to the general public. Do any of you know what Sabre is doing right now without cheating using Google?

After the performance, guest judge Adam Shankman informed us all that in addition to the cash prize for the first place finisher, the selected individual will also be offered a starring role in his next production.  This is almost guaranteeing a star here, and it is a welcome opportunity to bring the excellence of this show to the rest of the world.  Dancing careers are typically short ones.  The demands dance places on these individuals are vast, and many dancers’ careers are over young if they cannot find an alternate path such as choreography to lead them into the future.

Many of the past winners have disappeared from view. We are guessing that this year, they want to ensure this person does not get lost in the mix of dance talents and guarantee that they get remembered. This show’s winners have been outshined by American Idol’s, and even America’s Got Talent’s winner, Terry Fator, received a 100 million dollar Las Vegas Contract, but what happened to Benji?

The Solos

The solos were interesting, but this is purely for the entertainment of the audience.  The voting was over, but we get one more opportunity to see the dancer’s perform a solo.

In solo one, it became apparent how painful being a professional dancer can be. The dues Courtney pays in every dance is showing up on her body, and her beautiful legs look so sadly abused. Her solo, as usual, was stellar.

Mark, we have decided, is some species of bird. We have not figured out what kind of bird, but in every solo, he appears to be seeking a mate. Mark is spectacular, but in this year’s competition, we have found he has a horrible habit of making goofy smiles and faces after a dance. It is a shame, because it does not seem to positively influence one’s opinion of him. He does something remarkable, and then makes childish faces diminishing his performance. It is a way to relieve the stress, but it doesn’t help him.  Marks solo was not the best.

Katee did a conservative solo, and it is likely this woman knows she is ahead by a mile. No point in risking a potential championship for a single slip that leads to an injury.

Joshua did an awesome popping segment that was also very safe physically. He proved he has another amazingly entertaining dance style without risking his rise into next week. To boot, Joshua had his braces removed before this show.  Joshua, you are quite dashing!!!

Chelsie demonstrates once again that she is a woman to die for, and her kicks are to die from. Her speed with those feet in high heels should require, by law, warning signs informing any bystander they are risking their life if they draw too close.

Twitch was awesome in his solo danced to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. We loved it, very creative. And Twitch has apparently created his own line of clothing. Check it out. So cool.

After the solos, they broke to a new talent that was ridiculous. A six year old that could win the competition next year!!! This kid could move better than most professional dancers. You have to see this if you missed the show.

The Verdict

It was time to see who got voted through.

They did not waste time; Katee got a pass to the finals very quickly.  Based on our polls, she is miles above the rest, so there was no point in dragging that one out.

They then moved to the guys, and the replays clearly showed what was about to happen. Joshua so obviously blew out the men last night, and the audience concurred.

What was humorous about these two getting the pass through to the finals was Cat’s statement that they were not necessarily at the top in the voting. Let’s think for just a minute. If you did not pass on Katee to the finals immediately, would you believe either of the remaining women could displace her? And if you did not tell Joshua he was “safe”, then you already knew who was the next one to go, and it would not be Joshua. Certainly, they garnered the top votes. Perhaps the show wanted to do their best to conceal it to give their competition some chance in the finals.

So it came down to Courtney and Chelsie. As they reviewed Chelsie’s dancing from the prior night, she was reminded that Twitch was her partner, and you could see a cringe on her face. Perhaps she knew from reviewing her performances that being Twitch’s partner was not the best result for a ballroom dancer. The audience failed to recognize her greatness in overcoming Twitch’s shortcomings and in performing one on one with Twitch in a Hip Hop. Chelsie performed with amazing determination and practically did a solo around Twitch in the first dance. None the less, we were wrong, Courtney got the votes, but we don’t think she won by much.

Now came the biggest surprise from our perspective. Mark is eliminated. We honestly believe Twitch did not perform like a champion last night and has little chance to win this competition. His Hip Hop was great as usual, but this is not a Hip Hop competition. His performances were good, but not great. Chelsie danced circles around him last night in their first dance and he nearly dropped her.  His Hip Hop performance was great, but nothing stellar.  We are puzzled by this choice, and all it guarantees is that Joshua wins easily for the guys.  But we also feel that if you voted based on past performances, you may have remembered Twitch’s classic sets from last week and voted him through, because what he accomplished last week was amazing.  He became a star in those performances with Katee and demonstrated what an incredible talent he is. Perhaps, as one of our contributor’s wrote, “Twitch is just too cool to get eliminated”.

The choice among Chelsie and Courtney could have really gone either way. As we reviewed last night’s performances, we could see that Courtney was superb, but for surviving Twitch as a partner and coming through incredibly in her performances, we honestly felt Chelsie had pulled it out. Courtney was delivered a diverse partner and two dances that catered to her style. Chelsie was delivered a horrible match as a partner that did not dance her style well at all, and was forced to perform Hip Hop, a dance completely out of her style, which she still killed. So, what we are betting is that this decision was so close, it could have been based on hanging chads or a Supreme Court decision; Courtney moves on.

What does it all mean? It is down to Katee or Joshua to lose. It is their battle. There is no competition that is close.  If Mark had made the final, he could have challenged Joshua. Twitch has no prayer. Neither Chelsie nor Courtney could beat Katee in the finals unless Katee has a horrible night, but we expect Courtney to bring it huge in the finale.

We were half right again.  We could clearly see that Joshua and Katee would get to the finals, but we did not call the victories by Twitch and Courtney, so we are still saving a little crow from tonight for the next show. We are starting to get used to it, and it isn’t bad fresh out of the toaster oven.

Our pollsters’ reality was right on the money. You folks picked it perfectly. The polls had Chelsie and Mark going home, and you all have proven you can pick a winner!!! You are all fantastic and we are grateful for your input. Please try to beat us again next week by voting in our polls, and please send your comments too as we move into the finals!!

Season 4: So You Think You Can Dance Recap and Prediction: Katee and Joshua At The Bottom!!

UPDATE: AUGUST 07, 2008, Joshua ALLEN is AMERICA’S FAVORITE DANCER!

As you watched this show unwind, it was obviously going to be very difficult to pick a man or woman for the bottom of tomorrow’s voting. After watching the show, we feel that Katee and Joshua were obviously at the bottom of our list. The bottom of our list for elimination that is…

This was a complex episode and is difficult to express in words. We apologize for the lengthy review, but there was so much to cover, and if you are only interested in the results or reading about your favorites, we understand. Our final results are at the end.

First, we are convinced that the solo in the finals of this competition means absolutely nothing anymore. We believed when the dancers were lower quality, a solo could pull it out, but now we opine it is just not important to the audience. It can save the contestants with the “jidges”, but not with the audience; they want chemistry, they want couples, they want the magic of partnering.

We think that was totally evident last week. Will killed the solo. His James Brown impersonation was brilliant, creative and daring. He won the solo by a mile. But he got the fewest votes. Did anyone care that Mark’s solo was weak, and that both Twitch and Joshua’s were a level above? Nope. It wasn’t even necessary for Mark to perform a solo to send Will home (well, not really home, but into practice sessions for the tour).

So all we will review here is what matters.

Dance One: Courtney and Mark, Viennese Waltz

Could the couple survive one of the dances that has often proved to be the kiss of death? This dance can often eliminate a couple by lulling the audience to sleep. We are not sure who selected the music for the dance, but selecting David Cook’s “Time of My Life” made this dance much more memorable, and we think only one of the three male dancers could have pulled it off this well.

Mark had fantastic facial expression in this dance, and it was an absolutely astounding performance. Any of the women would have been fantastic in this performance, but we think Courtney fits best with Mark, so the match was perfect. His stoic face at the end and Courtney’s smile as they finished could have won right then and there. Our only complaint was regarding the childish facial expressions from Mark after the dance. He is the elder of the group and came across as a younger teenager during the judges’ comments.

Dance Two – Joshua and Katee, Contemporary

In this dance, Joshua and Katee did a Romeo and Juliet number choreographed by Tice DiOrio. The style of this dance outclassed so much we have seen before on this show. The reverse back hand stand by Joshua and step-over by Katee are not high on the difficulty list, but it was so well timed and beautiful. The passion was palpable. Then, a leap over Katee and a lift into a cross. A fall, dip and the a leap we cannot even describe well enough, but will try. Katee does a full leap into the air, and just at the crest of her leap, Joshua catches her in full stride, just to twist and turn and lift her again. This is a runner up for the best dance move in the show. Joshua then runs across the stage with Katee upside down in his arms.

It was now time for a bit of a wardrobe malfunction in the reverse of Janet Jackson’s topless Superbowl piece. Katee’s bottoms were clearly visible and fully exposed as her outfit started to look more like she was wearing a thong. Even at the finish, it was obvious that the people that do the costumes should think a bit about some kind of glue or this show may get an R rating.

Adam Shankman, the guest judge, stated that they were “the holy trinity of So You Think You Can Dance…two great dancers, one great choreographer”. The judges gave a standing ovation, although Nigel looked obligated to comply as he stood with a foolish grin on his face. Mary screamed loudly… twice until we believe Nigel was nearly deaf. No foolish faces on the couple, just totally professional, garnering even more points. The judges seemed to build Joshua up more than Katee here. He was great, and we believe the judges want to make sure the finale is close, not just a Katee blow out.

Dance Three: Chelsie and Twitch – Mambo

This a very difficult dance, and it is way out of Twitch’s league. So, as we said earlier today, we felt if he was out of his element that this would be his downfall. Chelsie is unstoppable and this dance is in her element. She would dance this fantastically whether Twitch came to the show or not. Chelsie’s red dress drew the eyes of the audience to her throughout. She was stunning, with high heels so high, she shouldn’t be able to stand in them, let alone perform one of the masterpieces of So You Think You Can Dance.

She is so fast. We thought the Russian dancer from last year, Anya, had the fastest legs we had ever seen on this show. Chelsie’s are even faster.

Twitch looked like he was straining throughout the dance to work out the moves. He was peeking at Chelsie to lead him through the dance, like a child cheats on a test by slyly glancing at his neighbor’s test paper. And we are not sure if Chelsie noticed or planned it, but some of her shakes raised her skirt to expose her cheeks a bit. Was this to be a theme?

Then, it happened, what we think is the best move of the night, right up there with the earlier move of Katee and Joshua, but this was 80/20.  80 percent Chelsie, 20 percent Twitch. Following several unmemorable but well executed spins, the Pièce de résistance, Chelsie worked a double spin into a reverse back drop in which she totally had to trust Twitch to catch her by the neck or she falls straight to the floor hitting the back of her head. That must have been incredibly scary in practice. Twitch catches her in the nick of time, but then lets go. We gasped as Chelsie somehow remains suspended with her head pointed straight up and her knees completely bent 90 degrees. Newton discovered gravity, Chelsie disproved his theory. Chelsie, just as she looks about to collapse backwards onto the floor, catches Twitch’s knee. At this point, Twitch is supposed to catch her with his left arm. He casually reaches back and misses. Chelsie takes charge and finds the arm she needs in the nick of time with her hair fully extended to the floor.

After coming to her feet, and with total composure, Chelsie pulls off some shakes and moves that stun and follows it with five consecutive twirls in a standing position followed by five more twirls in an impossible squatted position. She then falls to the floor, on her back and Twitch then falls over her into a Push Up Position.

Twitch held his own and was a reasonably strong partner, but Chelsie just used him mostly as a prop. This was her specialty, and the floor may have needed a fire extinguisher after her dance. But this was out of Twitch’s comfort zone, so he gets a bonus point or two for effort. As Mary said afterwards, No one can touch Chelsie in the Latin style. Considering she isn’t Latin, that is pretty impressive. A little dark skin and she has us convinced.

Professional during the judges review. Close if not the best dance of the night for the women.

Dance 4: Mark and Courtney – Jazz

This dance was fun and dark done to the Garden by Mirah. The choreographer (Sonya Tayeh) looks a little “Trick or Treat”, so her dark style seems appropriate. Mark starts off with a fantastic peacock walk with his arms inverted forward off his hips. He moves just like a bird in a mating ritual, one wing forward at a time and his hair in a Mohawk-like style bestowing an even more bird-like appearance. Facial expression once again, classic as only Mark can pull it off.

The torn single net stocking on Courtney is reminiscent of Burlesque. There is a lift by Mark followed by some shocking artistic moves with Courtney writhing on the floor and Mark expressing running away before breaking into a pseudo fight scene. Courtney appears to get away, but Mark chases her down and just as he gets her in his grasp, he stares into the camera. His face grabbed us as the frightening and evil look of the star of “A Clock Work Orange”, Alex DeLarge, as he stares straight into the camera with a grin of complete control and evil intent.

The throws and dance are so theatrical it is impossible to describe them all in words but in a final fight scene, Mark submits to Courtney. Adam Shankman said it was “so sick”. The judges loved it. Courtney ‘s face was gorgeous and sincere. Mark had a few artificial smiles and unduly surprised looks, but nothing crazed.

Dance 5: Katee and Joshua – Paso Doble

First, the outfits. Joshua starts in black long pants and, for the first time, no shirt. His skin blends well with the pants and he really has nothing to hide. Katee has a dress that completely exposes her midriff, but is long and Spanish looking to her ankles, accented by black wrappings on her right arm giving her a masculine look, or as masculine as Katee could look.

The music Filet by Le Reve (Original Sound Track), is driving opera-style Spanish classical that heightens in intensity as it moves forward. This dance does as well. A lift, followed by a reverse back flip by Katee over Joshua’s shoulder. Then Katee appears to throw Joshua across the floor who slides on his knees for what appears to be approximately ten feet. Katee swiftly moves in the position of a belly dancer to the front of Joshua as he slides. Then she falls back into his arms and they dance like toreadors facing the bull.

The dance is masculine, reminding us of something from primitive films like “Konan the Barbarian”, but with vastly better choreography. Joshua here takes the show for a bit, commanding in his movements as they prance about the floor. His bullfighter heroics impress into a move where he falls to his knees as Katee raises her leg and kicks over him as he postures forward, arching backwards on his knees.

A finale of spins with Katee sprawled across Joshua’s knees grasping him around the neck, finished with Joshua dragging her across the dance floor to Cat for “jidging”. As the judges mention, this performance was stunning for Joshua to be so brilliant or even capable of dancing with his minimal training in this area. Mary said, “True Magic” and then followed with two huge screams, and now we are certain Nigel is totally deaf in his left ear. Once again, the judges seemed pushed to stress Joshua’s ability as Nigel exclaimed, “it breaks my heart to say it, I must be honest, I have to agree with Mary, if you keep dancing like that Joshua, you are going to steal this show, there is no question about it.” Then, Mary gives them a standing O.

Dance 6: Twitch and Chelsie – Hip Hop

This hip hop dance is simple in theme. The two appear as conductors about to battle for a baton that will ultimately give them control over the music and the dance. They slowly back in to take the baton, but Twitch beats Chelsie to the punch and takes control. Chelsie moves in from behind to steal the baton from Twitch. He is controlled by her for a bit, and then moves in, taking control of her arms from behind, forcing the baton to the floor. A bit of posturing then Twitch flipped his body upside down with one leg over his other knee, which gave his body the impression of a bass violin. Chelsie plays the bow and then she sneaks though Twitch’s legs to snag the baton. Twitch quickly turns to try to get it himself. Very theatrical and expressive material. Twitch matched Mark here, but he did not beat him. Chelsie sealed the deal. If she can do hip hop as well as she did, she is a winner. But Chelsie’s hair must have taken about six bottles of hair spray.

Conclusion:

Joshua and Katee are runaway leaders. They were the most memorable and the strongest dancers in this show. In fact, when they dance together this late in the competition, their biggest risk is making their partner look too good. Remember, only one wins.

Now for the real challenge. Who will get eliminated??? Mark and Twitch were fairly close. Twitch survived the first dance which was out of his element. Mark was in the lead.

Both Mark and Twitch did great in their finales. Our preliminary pick. Twitch’s hip hop dance wasn’t better than Mark’s Jazz Dance,  and Mark’s first dance was better than Twitch’s. Hmmmm. So close, but we are going to say goodbye to…Twitch.

Courtney was stunning tonight. She would have won last year in our opinion, but Chelsie hit every step. Courtney had the advantage, we feel, because of her selected dances and having a more diverse partner, but Chelsie won. That drop catching Twitch’s knee nailed it for us.

Courtney won the solo. Joshua won on the men’s side. Mark should keep his shirt on.

Two of the women, we noticed, were turning the other cheek, several times in the dances. But when it comes down to it, Katee and Joshua were in our bottom two selections, but not in the bottom of the voting, in the bottom of possible choices for elimination. They were number one and number two, you just have to decide which is which.

Our guess is that Courtney and Twitch will be at the bottom tomorrow night. Chelsie with those moves and super human recoveries just has to go on. And unless the voters get complacent, Katee is a cinch. Twitch was great, but he couldn’t pull off a meaningful dance for us. Mark was more expressive and, despite losing the lost T-Shirt wars, clearly nailed second place among the men.

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A Step by Step Video Review of the Shocking Season 4 SYTYCD Show that Led to the Final 6!

The first dance of the night was Will and Courtney’s Samba

The movement was fluid, and that frilly dress on Courtney doesn’t hurt. The judges loved it, but the Samba is an older style dance, first becoming popular in the US in the 1920’s and 30’s. Will and Courtney danced it incredibly, but despite what was an amazingly well-synchronized performance, this dance style could be forgettable relative to a more modern dance style, especially having gone first. And indeed, Courtney and Will ended up in the bottom. This could have been why. Or it could have been that Mary overdid her criticism of the dance, praising it, but making sure everyone knew that Courtney was her favorite. We think Mary may have talked just a tad too much.

Twitch and Katee Contemporary

This dance is outrageous. The choreography is fantastic, but what stands out are the emotions. There was a door in the piece used as a prop, but it felt like there were actually two independent rooms. Both Twitch and Katee pulled off a memorable piece here but Katee kicking and pounding on the door brought out the emotion best. The anger was palpable. Twitch was so cool throughout. Smooth moves, leaps over Katee’s moving body were timed with precision, and his strength was clearly conveyed. This was, without question, our favorite dance of the night, and possibly ever on this show.

Mark and Comfort Hip Hop

The lady of Hip Hop and Mark took the beat and energy on this song and hit it. It was an all out effort. The story conveyed is two kids in detention and erupting into expressive dance to squelch the boredom. Mark was not left behind here and danced step for step with Comfort. The prize move, about half way through is a split by Comfort followed by a lift over Mark’s back in which Comfort pulls a back-flip to finish it off. That move made us remember the dance, and memory in a voting competition is everything. Comfort had a shot here. The judges loved it and we did as well.

Joshua and Chelsie Tango

The Tango is a difficult dance to pull off in front of a modern audience. Ballroom is tough to perform and wow the audience. It requires major personality, and a performer that can pull it off is an instant star. Benji was the master and won the second season. Chelsie’s first kick set’s the stage. It builds slowly at first as Chelsie emerges from a chair and her legs start to do the impossible. There is a reverse kick where Chelsie practically kicked herself in the back of the head. Then the fast leg movement starts only to slow again into a lift. Then the couple uses slow foot movement to draw us in, and each move is dead on perfect. Chelsie was the star in this one. But Joshua was excellent, and they weren’t done yet!!

Will and Courtney Slow Hip Hop

This is not the type of Hip Hop we expect. The theme is to have the chance to turn back time. Will plays the role of a deceased lover, and the theatrics in this piece were reminiscent of the movie “Ghost.” The song was “Like You’ll Never See Me Again” by Alicia Keys. The emotion conveyed is beautiful from the start as Courtney holds an hourglass, and as she turns it over, the spot light appears on Will. They break into more what looks like a synchronized contemporary dance. Your heart aches as Will reaches for Courtney but cannot touch her, and as Courtney falls to the floor to look at his photograph. At the end Courtney drops Will’s picture and our hearts cracked just a bit. Will is amazing. His elimination was a shocker, but it could be that the audience did not remember this slower dance when it came time to make the call.

Katee and Twitch Broadway

The word was to be spread here, as “Sweet Georgia Brown” was about to be sung. Katee holds up a sign saying “Looking for Mr. Right”. The song was from the original Broadway cast and performed by Bubbling Brown Sugar. Katee dances masterfully, and all her points, as usual, are perfect. Katee’s specialty is the movement and positioning of her feet and hands, always graceful and expressive. Never a flat-footed moment. When they break into the fast dance, it reminds of the Charleston. The chase scene is humorous and the finale lift is classic. The only criticism is that Katee seemed too bubbly in this piece. But hey, we loved it!! And if we saw this on Broadway, we would have been standing.

Mark and Comfort Fox Trot

Danced to Lady Luck, by The Brian Setzer Orchestra, this piece was criticized heavily by the judges. We think the judges already had Comfort going home, and Nigel’s quip at the end seemed rehearsed. That said, the dance was a top-notch performance, at least by Mark, and the judges missed it. Mark starts off with flare and works into some very timely steps with Comfort. As usual, his expression is priceless, like when Comfort grabs him with her feather sash. We loved both Mark’s and Comfort’s footwork in the middle of the dance. And the first lift was fantastic with a perfect point by Comfort. The rest was a bit slow and some of the hand movement looked too exaggerated, but the final steps and lift were great. Considering what they were dealt, Mark and Comfort finished like pros.

Joshua and Chelsie Disco

The last dance of the night brought Disco to the floor. Watch this dance and you get exhausted. There are so many spins, twirls and lifts. There was no single move here that was the key memorable moment, but only because there were so many incredible moves. Like when Joshua lays Chelsie down on the floor, grabs her arm and leg and starts to spin her five times, actually inverting her body as he does. Seems impossible. And the final lift and drop made us gasp. Chelsie looks destined for a concussion on her way to the floor and yet stops safely in Joshua’s arms still smiling, but upside down. This was number two of the night for us and we are not disco fans!!

Will Solo: Get Up Offa That Thing!!

Our only solo reviewed here is a classic done by Will that should have won him the night. But the time limit did not allow Will to exploit the performance all the way. It was over way too quickly. Even he seems to stumble a bit at the end, surprised by the cue to finish. But we were shocked to see him go down to the bottom two let alone get eliminated. Danced to James Browns classic “Get Up Offa That Thing”, this performance speaks for itself. But hostess Cat (“Here are your jidges”) Deeley spoke for it too, bowing down to the master at the very end. We loved this piece. We will miss you Will, but look forward to seeing you on tour.

We hope you loved the show and each performance, we did.

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Season 4: So You Think You Can Dance Top 8 Surprise Results a Shocker!!!

How can you say you were wrong and not eat a bit of crow? Well, we were half right, but the audience threw a major curve at us. The best of the guys goes home. Even Nygel Lythgoe said, they got it exactly wrong and the two best from last night were in the bottom two.

(We have updated this review and added videos, please go to this article if you want the latest)

This was reminiscent of Daughtry. The shock on Will’s face was total bewilderment, and was in every way the same face Daughtry had that fateful day he took the fall in fourth place on American Idol after performing two Elvis tunes the night before. Everyone knew Daughtry was better than anyone on that stage. So how did it happen?

Some said arrogance. Some said it was not Daughtry’s style. And still others said it was a voting fluke because everyone assumed Daughtry would win, so they voted to keep in their other favorites and inadvertently voted out Daughtry. Whatever theory you choose, the music charts say it was a mistake. The only true American Idol from that season is Daughtry touring and bringing hit after hit.

Now, Will was humble. Will was not arrogant in any way, so you can’t say that. Certainly, it was not because he was out of his style. He nailed his dances and his solo. So, what was it that garnered Mark more votes after an abysmal solo and, while great performances, not up to what appeared to be Will’s, or any of the other men’s level for that matter?

We will never know for sure. All we know is Mark got more votes. Will is destined to begin practicing for the tour. We will add a couple of interviews at the bottom of this article to ask why you think Will was sent packing. We have our opinions, but we won’t tell.

Interestingly enough, the voters on our site showed Will in the lead, but overall, there was a total disinterest in the guys. Katee drew vote after vote with Chelsie playing catch up. So perhaps this is telling us the men just aren’t drawing the audience like the women, and the focus is really on who will be the ultimate winner, not which gender they are.

Other than the shocker with Will, tonight went off pretty much as expected. Comfort was eliminated as we predicted. She also garnered zero votes on our web site saying she was destined for tour practice. But we are looking forward to seeing her perform during the tour. She is a fantastic talent and we are lucky she got this far.

The criticism of Joshua on numerous web sites surprised us last night, bringing us to his defense. We believe it was directly related to the difficulty of his dances. It works like the Olympics. There is a handicap. If you do a single flip off the horse it is way less complex than a double inverted somersault. If you do the first one perfectly, you get less points than if you do the latter perfectly because of the difficulty!

The audience got that right big time. They saw Joshua’s strength, and he did not get into the bottom 2. The fact that Twitch did, though, was another shock to the system. How could you watch those sets with Katee and not believe those performances were vastly better than Mark and Comfort?

So how does an audience properly catch the subtleties in a complex dance in Joshua’s case and yet miss the incredible performances of Twitch and Will? Sometimes those cell phones can get confusing to use while driving a car. Be more careful next week folks.

As far as the women go, our poll was right on, the bottom two should have been Courtney and Comfort. Courtney is so good, but Katee is better. Is Chelsie? We are not so sure, but you know what? They are so close that any preference could turn a vote. If you prefer the ballroom style, you go towards Chelsie. If you prefer the contemporary style, you call for Courtney.

We think Courtney was number 2 and Chelsie number 3 this week. We had that backwards, but only by a notch. But when it comes down to it, all that matters is who was eliminated. Comfort and Will. Next week is an entirely new game.

We leave you with Will and Courtney’s emotional hip hop dance:



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Season 4: So You Think You Can Dance Top 8 Performances Recap and Prediction

Going into this week, there was little doubt which dancers were at the bottom of the polls. Sometimes that underdog status can be an advantage, but when the cards are dealt the way they were this week, there is little hope for the underdogs.

Mark needed a great pairing; he needed to be the strongest he could be, and it required a commanding partner to make him shine, but Mark drew Comfort.  Comfort, there was little doubt, had no prayer in this competition, but she was the final nail in Mark’s coffin as well. It was a shame that fate had to pair these two. Seeing one of the leaders like Will draw Comfort would have made it interesting and a challenge. Having Mark draw her was just plain unfair.

And to add to Mark’s troubles, Twitch not only did not draw a formal dance, he drew Katee as his partner. That is like hitting the lottery…twice.

Twitch and Katee drew two dances almost perfect for both their styles. A contemporary piece and Broadway.  Had they drawn a tango, fox trot or quick step, Twitch would have been in trouble. But they nailed the draw. To boot, Twitch and Katee got their contemporary piece choreographed by Mia Michaels? Oh, c’mon, when you keep rolling 7’s, it just seems like it will never end.

Will and Courtney ended up together, and this made for a great pairing. It was to Courtney’s benefit and brought her out as on par with anyone else in this competition. She still has the hottest legs and body in this competition. But how did it go for them overall?  Read on…

Finally, Joshua drew Chelsie. This was not a good pairing. Their styles and personalities are not complimentary.  And Chelsie is not a large woman, but she is not a lightweight either, so lifting her would be no picnic.   Now let’s see how it went.

Round One:

Will and Courtney started off with a Salsa. Courtney was killer in a yellow frilly dress that left little to the imagination. Her legs were almost as fast as Chelsie’s in this dance and every move was perfect. Will guided her beautifully, never missing a step or move. This pairing had championship written all over it. Courtney killed it and was hotter than ever. Will was grace and strength in motion. There is no other competition in which this couple would not have taken the challengers out easily. But this show is at another level. Courtney 5 out of 5. Will 4 out of 5.

Next up was a solo by Comfort. She is the weakest dancer and they made her go first too? Wow. Not fair. She was good. That is it. 3 out of 5.

Mia Michaels then choreographed a masterpiece that will definitely be on the tour. We are dying  to see this live. It was amazing. Twitch and Katee killed it. But the one that stood out in this dance was Twitch. Something about the dance was reminiscent of “Kill Bill” because of the quirky character roles which were more memorable than the dance itself. Twitch nailed it. Katee was perfection in motion. Twitch 5 out of 5. Katee 5 out of 5. They were perfect. And Mia stunned with her choreography; outrageous.

Next was the standout solo of the night. Will shocked everyone coming out dressed as James Brown. Normally, you might laugh at the wig and outfit, but he had it down. He was James Brown and Prince combined, and better than either. The only problem with the performance was it ended too soon. By the time his character was built, the dance was over because of the time limitation. Still, he had the judges and audience on their feet and Cat was on her knees and bowing down to him. Will took the show here. 5 out of 5.  What is important to note is Will is the ONLY one that got a 5 out of 5 on his solo.  And that won him the competition this week.

Comfort and Mark were next. And they finally did luck out a bit, drawing Hip Hop. The dance was so strong and the acting so super that you got lost in it. There was a flip move that took Comfort over Marks back that was shockingly challenging and buck. They captured this piece. And they were both 5 out of 5. Impressive, considering how badly they drew the cards.

Katie now had to do her solo. She played it safe and was not as spectacular as we expect her to be. Still, she mustered a 4 out of 5.

Next, Dmitri, a prior top ten finalist turned choreographer, choreographed a Tango for Joshua and Chelsie. Chelsie’s legs shouldn’t be able to do that. But Joshua kept up. And his lifts and strength shined through again. You have to watch this piece carefully and closely several times to see how good the two of these performers are and how well they performed this dance. This is a tough act to pull off with a modern audience. Both killed it. 5 out of 5 for each.

Mark’s solo followed. As we expected last week, this wasn’t where he would gain any ground. Let’s just say it was a solo. 2 out of 5.

Round one to…NOBODY!!! It was basically a tie at this point, but Mark did blow his solo.  The solos, other than Will’s, however, had nothing to do with who won or lost this week, and every partnered piece was danced masterfully, and every dancer was superb. There was no clear winner here. Although Mia Michaels piece may have given Katee and Twitch a slight lead.

ROUND 2

Will and Courtney did a slow hip hop piece to start off. It was masterful. Every move was perfect. The acting was superb. We believed this piece totally, and it had us saying “wow” about every ten seconds. If goose bumps were a desirable affliction, this dance would be a drug to deliver you to paradise. Will 5 out of 5. Courtney 5 out of 5. No flaws. Perfect.

Chelsie did her solo next. This woman can shake with the best of them, but just like most ballroom style dancers, that is her limitation. Her legs are so fast you can easily miss half of her moves. But at the end of the day, that is all she has without a partner. 4 out of 5.

Twitch and Katee followed with a Broadway Piece (Sweet Georgia Brown). The movement was incredible. Twitch did it here, and Katee brought it. Every move was sweet and made you know this gal is the one to beat. One judge criticized Katee slightly for not being nasty enough, but it was a desperate attempt to say something negative. They were both so 5 out of 5, we want to make it 6.

Now, a moment we waited for, Joshua’s solo. Could he keep up with Will? After some impressive Hip Hop Moves and more demonstration of how strong this man is, the answer was….NOPE!! 4 out of 5.  Will’s solo will be on the tour and Will was one of the best solos we have seen on this show.

Next was Courtney’s solo. She is so beautiful in her solos that it stuns. But the movement was limited and the performance conveyed a bit of nervousness and the unwillingness to let go. We think she is better than this. 4 out of 5.

After a painful set of commercials we have all seen a million times, it was time for Twitch to do his solo. You know, we expected more. He did not kill it like we expected and we just can’t offer him any more than a 3 out of 5. He should have nailed it, but it won’t matter.

Time for the Fox Trot. Oh please, does anyone believe that Mark and Comfort could have been so unlucky as to have drawn the Fox Trot when Twitch avoided all formal dance AND got Katee as a partner????? The odds just don’t seem to make it believable. They were clumsy in practice, but they did the piece quite well. The lead in by Mark was superb, and Comfort was graceful throughout. There were many subtle moves and lifts and they were on target every step of the way.  The only mark down was chemistry, which has to do more with Comfort’s masculinity than anything else.

The judges were so far off the mark on this number at the end, it was laughable. They criticized a different dance than we saw. It seemed like they had the dance judged well before it was performed. We cannot give Mark or Comfort 5 out of 5, but they were both a solid 4 out of 5 and the judges were ridiculous in their comments and criticisms. Comfort and Mark do not deserve to be eliminated as a result of how horrible the judges called this one. We are tempted to vote for them just because the judges were so pathetic.  But as bad as the judges were, Mark and Comfort are unfortunately doomed.

After another ridiculously long commercial set, Joshua and Chelsie did up the finale with a killer disco piece. Chelsie was better than Joshua in this dance. Her legs were blinding and her movement was fluid. In lifts and landings she looked like she could fly even without Joshua’s arms holding her. Joshua, at first glance, did not seem that good in this number. His movement often seemed uncomfortable and awkward. But when you watch the piece again, you can see why.

The choreographer wanted to use his strength to the max, and for Joshua it was a major gym workout. He had to lift Chelsie 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 times. And the fourth lift was a full body press over his head. By this point, it was obvious he was a bit tired. And before that fourth lift he had to spin Chelsie around him off the floor five times inverting her body. Then, in the final move and lift, he threw Chelsie to the ground and caught her one foot from the floor in an amazing show of strength. The choreographer asked for way too much from Joshua. Shoot, it would have been too much to ask from Clark Kent. And Joshua executed every lift!!!  We do not believe any other dancer in this competition could have pulled this off.  5 out of 5 for both performers.

The RESULT:

This competition shows that luck does play a huge part in our lives. The draw of partners and dances drove the final result as much as the dancing itself.

The men were in a three way tie. Will had by far the strongest solo. Twitch had a great pair of dances and Joshua showed incredible strength. If we had to select one over the others, it would be Will as the winner this week, Twitch second (with Katee’s help) and then Joshua. But neither Twitch nor Will could have pulled the lifts off that Joshua did. We have seen some other web sites criticizing Joshua this week, but it was subtle how very difficult that last dance was for any man to execute. Physically awesome.

That leaves Mark eliminated. Shoot, he was great. It is a shame, but he drew the cards badly. Had he drawn Chelsie or Courtney, he may have shined, but he did not and such is life. If he had nailed his solo, we could say he was in it, but he did not. He is done this week.

The women are also easy to call. Comfort was out of her league. The hip hop dance she did was killer, but every other woman was killer too. And while she was much better in the formal dance than the judges gave her credit for, she was not up to the standard of the other women.

The big surprise this week on the women’s side? Courtney. She killed everything and was stunning throughout. The surprise on the men’s side? Twitch. He is so strong as a dancer, but in this show, he was also a fantastic character actor.

Please VOTE VOTE VOTE now and tell us who you loved this week!!! Commenting on how we did on the recap would be great too! We’d love to hear from you!

Lastly, check out the video of Twitch and Katee’s contemporary piece. Enjoy!



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Season 4: So You Think You Can Dance Poll Update

August 7, 2008 UPDATE

Our SYTYCD polls indicate tonight is a BLOWOUT!!! The competition isn’t close at all!!!! The winner by a landslide is Katee. According to the polls and our own assessment, she won this year hands down, or up for that matter.

Katee is ahead 3-1 over the next closest competitor, Joshua. She is ahead 5-1 over Courtney and 6-1 over Twitch!!

When things are reasonably close we would say this competition isn’t over. This is absolutely clear, however. If Katee isn’t crowned tonight, it wasn’t the audience that made the selection!

In our Last Comic Standing Poll, Jim Tavare has more than a 2-1 advantage over Iliza, and there appears to be little doubt who takes the crown for Last Comic.

It is too early for a poll on America’s Got Talent, there is still too much noise on the show, but we will publish one as soon as it becomes plausible.

August 5, 2008 UPDATE

Katee continues to lead by a wide margin. Her 56% of the vote would guarantee a win if it weren’t for the fact we have to actually get to the final competition yet. Joshua and Twitch’s collapse in practice and later hospitalization says these folks are being driven hard for this performance.

But one wonders if Fox staged the entire event to bring attention to the show. For Joshua and Twitch to collapse at the same time is statistically nearly impossible. And all the media hype it drew surely garnered the show a huge amount of publicity from the likes of People Magazine. BAAAAA. BAAAAAA. BAAAAAA.

Whoops, guess we are guilty of being sheep just a bit too.

August 1, 2008 UPDATE:

Our polls are showing a Katee blowout once again. Joshua is garnering more respect now that he is no longer wearing tin on his grin, and after wowing the audience this past week.

The problem this week for both dancers was performing with each other. It made it difficult to separate the two leaders. Both were great, and we see them as clearly the top two barring disaster.

We will not make our prediction until the night of the face off. I am sure they are going to make it interesting.

We have not seen such a heavy favorite as Katee though. Joshua has to work that big butt into a frenzy to take this one.

PLEASE VOTE ON OUR POLL if you have not done so yet… Help us predict America’s Favorite Dancer for 2008! 🙂

July 31, 2008 UPDATE:

IIn our most recent poll, included in our article “Season 4: So You Think You Can Dance Recap and Prediction: Katee and Joshua At The Bottom!!”, the bulk of our readers agree with us that Courtney and Twitch are going home. This is in stark contrast to the polls prior to the performances which had Mark and Chelsie going home.

But in neither case did anyone have Joshua or Katee going home. We hope the voters for Joshua and Katee didn’t get too complacent and allow those at risk to get more votes by fans trying to save their favorites from the axe? Who doesn’t remember the Daughtry shocker on American Idol?

Please read our latest article and vote.

And thank you to all of our viewers and pollsters!! You help us enormously with your participation and we hope you love our site too!!

July 30, 2008 UPDATE:

Turning to our polls the day of the show, Katee blew everyone away as the favorite. Mark was voted as the most likely man to get the boot by a 3-1 margin over Joshua, and close to the same margin over Twitch. Chelsie was marginally selected to get eliminated, and Courtney was close enough that it is likely not statistically significant.

But let’s not forget, it all comes down to whom they chose as a partner and what dances they draw. A bad hand could eliminate almost anyone. In fact, we think that Twitch has been way too lucky. Say tonight, he draws Chelsie and gets a Ballroom Dance. Maybe he has been practicing this, but in past weeks, he just has not been able to perform these formal style dances. So take-charge Chelsie will dance with or without him and he could look quite silly.

Mark actually has a major advantage over Twitch. He can dance more styles and can dance with any partner. There is almost no draw he could make that he would screw up. He already has proven he can dance hip hop. So unless he draws truly boring dances, he could make the finals!!

So what do we think? Mark has a slight edge over Twitch this week because of the draw. It is too close to call between Chelsie and Courtney and much of that will come down to the draw as well. Courtney is, like Mark, more diverse. We think Courtney may be able to do ballroom better than Chelsie could do hip hop. So, prior to the draw, Courtney has a slight advantage. Katee is golden. She should just get a bye week. There is no one she can’t dance with and no one she won’t look great with. Well…maybe hip hop with Twitch might be a stretch. She just doesn’t have the booty.

So Katy and Joshua, barring disaster are safe. The rest are a toss up. Man, what a cop out. But we will make bolder predictions tonight.

– 0 –

July 28, 2008 UPDATE:

The polls have gone ballistic, and once again, Katee is pulling away with the lead.  Not much of a surprise there, she has been the star to date.

But there are a couple of surprises.  For one, Chelsie appears a narrow favorite to get sent packing, garnering only two votes to win and in the lead of the poll of women to be at the bottom.  If this is indicative of the way the real votes will go, Chelsie and Mark would depart.

Folks may be jumping the gun a bit though.  The competition has not taken place yet.  And we remember what happened to Twitch when he got a Ballroom Dance.  Yikes.  Mark and Joshua can pretty much dance anything, so Twitch needs a decent draw.

Twitch could also impact his partner if a Ballroom style is chosen.  It would be hard for a woman to lead him out of the abyss if he can’t pull off the dance.

If you are one of the guys, you may not care that much which partner you draw.  All women are superb.  But if I am a woman, I am hoping I only draw Twitch if I get contemporary or something close.

This will be an interesting week folks.

– 0 –

July 22, 2008 UPDATE:

The polls this week showed a disinterest in the guys.  Apparently, the gals are the clear favorites this year. So far, the polls clearly show  Katee in the lead, with Chelsie giving Katee all she can handle.

It could come down to the draw on the dance this week. If Chelsie pulls dances that are in her strength, she could take the lead. If Katee does, there is little doubt who leaves the leader.

Vote folks and let us know your favorites!!! PLEASE!!

Season 4: So You Think You Can Dance Top 10 Results Recap

Hopefully, you watched last night’s elimination round of “So You Think You Can Dance”.  The show was awe inspiring, well, for the most part. The all member dance was great as usual, well choreographed and right on target with the audience.

For the men only piece, one of the judges choreographed a prize-winning set that was sheer entertainment.  How these five men can dance a complicated dance performance like this as well as they did, while rehearsing their solos and competition dances is beyond comprehension.  Nigel Lythgoe outdid himself choreographing this movement, although he admitted he did have some help.

The women’s only dance was boring and slow.  Tired makeup made the girls look drawn and unappealing, and the dance was difficult to grasp, conveying little meaning or value.

Now let’s talk about the prior night and the results of the voting…
Continue reading Season 4: So You Think You Can Dance Top 10 Results Recap