Welcome to another year of “So You Think You Can Dance.” The auditions have been fast and furious (seemed shorter this year) and this week the dancers with the tickets to Vegas will be judged yet again — this time in unrelenting rounds of practice and presentations. The TV blog will report on the happenings … who stays, who goes, who cries, who injures themselves — because as this week’s teaser proclaims, “There WILL be blood.”
But before we get to all that, SYTYCD enthusiast and former NewsOK SYTYCD podcast contributor Lisa Potts has picked her 12 favorite dances in the eight seasons of the show.
By Lisa Potts
With the eighth season of “So You Think You Can Dance” starting tonight, I wanted to flash back to 12 of my favorite routines from previous years. I was pleasantly surprised to see the list isn’t dominated by my favorite contestants, season 2′s Natalie and season 6′s Jakob. They’re in only three of the 12. I’m also a little disappointed that I don’t have any Wade Robson routines, but I couldn’t find videos of the ones I wanted. OK, so here we go!
#1 (Hands down!) Mia Michaels’ “Gravity” by Kayla and Kupono in season 5. Kupono literally plays an “addiction” that has a hold on her. Although I’ve seen this dozens of times, it still makes me tear up. Neither dancer was one of my favorites that season, but the acting performances are breathtaking. The choreography and song choice are perfection. The first time I saw it I knew it should win the Emmy, and I’m so glad the voters agreed.
#2 Season 3 winner Jeanine Mason and Jason shine in Travis Wall’s debut as a choreographer. He certainly made his presence known right out of the gate. Plus, Jason Mraz has always been a favorite of mine so I was thrilled his music got some exposure on the show.
#3 Ahh, my beloved Jakob (with Ashleigh, season 6). He could seriously do no wrong. I love the little contortions of his body that he makes throughout this routine, even if it’s just pushing the shoulders forward, he makes it a character. I’ve always loved this song for a potential routine. Thank you Choreographer Mandy Moore for adding the dreaded cane prop so effectively.
#4 The Emmy-winning contemporary “bench routine” by Mia Michaels for season 2′s Travis and Heidi. I so wish this piece of music were available somewhere! Mia had to work around the fact that Heidi is not a contemporary dancer, yet the scenes of her just sitting on the bench or her simple movements are the most haunting.
#5 Season 2 winner Benji and Natalie’s jazz routine by Tyce Diorio. It’s full of joyful choreography and Natalie pulls it off beautifully. I pretty much ignore Benji because he’s average in this style, but I can’t take my eyes off Natalie. She makes it look effortless and natural.
#6 The most memorable routine of season 7 featured Alex Wong and Twitch. The musicality, the choreography, the fact that a principal ballet dancer was performing a kickass hip-hop routine… Everyone was blown away. If Alex hadn’t had to pull out of the competition because of an injury (the week aftere this performance), he would have won.
#7 Season 3′s Lacey and Danny in a samba by season 2 alum Dmitry. Lacey shines in her own style and I have loved “Hip hip chin chin” since hearing it here. It’s great to see Lacey and Dmitry doing so well now on Dancing with the Stars.
#8 Neil and season 3 winner Sabra in a “Table dance” by Mandy Moore to the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams.” I’m starting to notice a lot of these favorites have props! This was so my style – just straight, powerful jazz.
#9 Twitch and Kayte, season 4, “Mercy” by Mia Michaels. A simple door made such a great prop! I fell in love with this song, and eventually Duffy’s entire album.
#10 “Flying without wings” is a bit of a cheat because it didn’t actually appear on the show. Travis Wall choreographed it for he and Natalie to perform on the season 2 tour. Love, love, love the two of them together.
#11 I had to include season 7 winner Lauren and runner-up Kent in this Travis Wall routine. She was consistent every week, and showed her versatility by mastering every style. These two were always adorable together; I figured they would end up a couple. Who knew that she’d fall for hip-hopping “all-star” Dominic instead!
#12 Mark and Courtney in season 4′s “The Garden.” I didn’t appreciate Mark’s quirkiness enough back then. He’s now the lead dancer for Lady Gaga. He’s lost his lankiness to become more muscular, and delivers a captivating performance every time.
BONUS: My favorite solo of all time.
Sure, he bats for the other team, but he’s HOTT! ;-) Blake McGrath didn’t win season 1, but he’s been one of the most successful dancers to come out of the show. In addition to his choreography work and backup dancing for Britney & Janet, he’s now a judge/choreographer on the Canadian version of SYTYCD and came out with his own album last year. Blake’s voice is nothing special, but (just like Wade’s old album) he’s got some great beats. Here’s his music video for “The Night”: http://youtu.be/CKhrBRCeUdc
So there you go. What do you think? Do you agree with some of these? Which of your favorite routines did I not feature here?
Yvette’s rebuttal: WELL, Lisa, since you asked … what about this fabulous dance choreographed by Tyce Diorio for Ade and Melissa in season five. It’s no secret that Ade is my favorite dancer of the show’s history, but there are no flaws in this magical piece Tyce created in tribute to a friend with breast cancer. Readers, judge for yourself.
The two-hour Vegas callbacks show airs Wednesday on Fox at 7 central.