Gossip Girl Characters

I was thinking about a post my friend wrote about developing real characters (check it out at: http://coldopening.blogspot.com/2009/07/characters-arent-just-their-quirks.html) and it got me thinking about the characters on Gossip Girl.

Blair and Chuck are a couple of the best done characters I’ve seen in a long time. The reason for that is relatively similar and is in part because they are both deeply entwined with each other. What I like about them is the degree of character growth/change we’ve seen over the seasons.

Take Chuck first. Our introduction to Chuck is the spolied rich playboy. He gets just about any girl he wants and those he doesn’t get, he takes (as seen with Jenny’s attempted rape). And yet, as the show has developed, his character has change so much that many people have forgotten about the rape and are rooting for him. You can’t help but hope that he and Blair end up together (and not just because the two are equally conniving). We see him do so much wrong, but we also see where those things come from. And as he grows as a character, we do see him do good things, but he also doesn’t become perfect either.

Blair, at the same time, has her own ridiculous “quirks.” She is the queen bee desperate to hold on to her crown. Those issues come from being second best to Serena and the poor treatment from her mom coupled with extreme ambition. And most things she does are motivated by these desires but she’s not just a caricature either. She changes, realizes that popularity isn’t the be all and end all, finds someone to care about, learns about consequences. And as Serena and the others change around her, she is forced to re-examine herself and adapt.

Some of the other characters aren’t as fully formed:

Serena is a bit of a disappointment, as we’ve only really seen her good side and not the bad side and what made her change. Sure, they give us occasional glimpses, some things come back to haunt her, but always it turns out not to be her fault. And almost always she doesn’t act without prompting from someone else. The show needs to make her a somewhat more active character (and not just in her decision to seek out Gossip Girl). Even with that, I do enjoy her character because she’s really trying and yet everything seems to go wrong for her anyway. (I would just like more of her past.)

Nate, while meant to be trying to escape his riches, is lacking something, which to me feels like not enough reason why he’s so desperate to escape things. Sure, some things about his family are unfortunate, but it’s a little too generic-rich boy problems.

And the poorer characters are also somewhat stereotyped. Though having Jenny finally stand up for herself was refreshing (whereas her little spoiled tantrum for the fashion world was just irritating). .  My issue is mainly that they all have the same issues with popularity.  But the show seems to have hit its character stride in this last season, finally having the characters develop instead of stick to their original personalities. That being said, I’m excited for this season to begin. (And of course, Georgina has been fascinating and it’s a shame that she will only be around for 3 episodes. Hopefully they’ll bring her back. Which I guess means hoping Michelle Trachtenberg’s show fails, but really, how many nurse shows can we take?)

(For more on the show itself, click here.)

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Hell’s Kitchen Episode 3

Still up for nomination: Lovely and Tenille, Tony and Andy with Joseph wanting to step outside.

Joseph gets in his face and Ramsay tells him to get out. Joseph does with more cursing. He doesn’t need someone to talk to him like that. He smokes outside, cursing at the cameras. (Not the excitement we were promised but okay.)

All four step forward. Lovely thinks she should stay because she has the drive, the passion, and strength. Tennille says she really fucked up with the one shrimp but she’s a phenomenal chef and needs the chance to prove it. Andy says he can do better. Tony says he loves to cook and make things taste good, he wants to learn a lot. Ramsay has made his decision. The person leaving is…Tony. (I want Lovely to leave, after the last two weeks, oh well.)

Robert is then shifted to the men’s team since they are down mroe people now.

The contestants are all shocked by Joseph’s behavior. Theyare all glad to have seen it. The women say goodbye to Robert.

At 2:05 they are sleeping only for an alarm to go off. Fire trucks pull in. The building/restaurant is evacuated. Ramsay reveals that it was just a drill. Challenge time. He wants them to learn from the friement who do teamwork and communication. They are to serve pasta meals to the firefighters. The team that serves it first wins.

The women divy up the stations. They are desperate to win. Garlic bread goes out first. Lovely can’t seem to speak and they all wait for the garlic bread. Andy is in charge on the men’s side. Lovely is using five ovens while Andy is only using two. Ariel steps in to get the garlic bread out. The fire fighters cheer. The pasta is ready but the garlic bread isn’t on the men’s side. The guys are all yelling at each other. Andy is freaking out with all the pressure.

The red team has moves on to the pasta entres. The fire fighters are enjoying the meatballs. The blue team is still waiting on the garlic bread and finally get it. Ramsay demands more chicken from the women’s side. Six tables for the blue left, 4 for the red.

But the women, who seem to be winning have served an undercooked meatball, which is Tek’s fault.

They’re both on their last tables and…the women have won. As the winners they get a day of luxury at a spa ahead of them. One problem it’s far away, so they will be traveling by helicopter. Their award wins. The guys will meanwhile have to clean the fire fighters’ trucks and equipments. Then the dining room.

Dave gets his hand stuck and it swells up but he hides it. The women enjoy the spa. The men move inside and Kevin twists his ankles. They swell up and in comes the medic. Dave asks for an ice pack because his hand is swollen and he can’t feel the tips of his figners.  Both are taken for x-rays. Dave tore and fractured something. He says he’s fine to work. Kevin stretched one ligament and sprained the other. The guys are concerned about their top chefs being slowed down.

Dinner Service 3. One member of each team gets to be a waiter. Blue team waiter is Dave by his volunteer so as not to hold them back in the kitchen. Ramsay picks Lovely. (She keeps getting taken out of the kitchen…why is she still around?) He needs them to succeed.

Van has taken it upon himself to set the pace. Robert says he’s a thug. Ramsay wants him to stop shouting. But his risotto is delicious.  A good start. Suzanne already takes issue with what she’s doing, saying there’s too much oil. Tennille ignores her and then of course, Ramsay comes along and says the same thing. Robert nearly falls over and he has to deliver tthe scallop. Andy puts them all in one pan, it’s too many, so Robert is upset. He should have put them in two. Robert starts over. Ariel and Sabrina have done a good job but Tennille is still taking a lot time, he’s unhappy with them. Suzanne continues to say there’s too much oil, but Tennille continues to ignore her. They all ask her how long she needs. (Scallops seem to be the kiss of death in the kitchen.) Van and Robert have served almost all the appetizers but Tennille has stalled the women. She finally delivers them.  The women quickly catch up. But the men move to entres. Lovely is having a difficulty because she messed up the tickets. Ramsay starts to yell “verbally spank her.”

Amanda is having a hard time at math. 3×3=9 she says. Sure enough, she’s delivered too few. Amanda struggles to get more lamb. Kevin is running around despite his ankles. No one else can seem to keep up. He manages to make perfect lamb. They have only four tables left. Ariel leads them through. The men get to the last ticket while the women aren’t finished with their appetizers. They forget the salmon and have to catch up. The women are almost finished with two tables left. Last ticket for both…The women finished…just as the guys finish preparing their last dish. Robert is at fault for forgetting the salmon.

Ramsay says though they finished the tickets that doesn’t mean they are satisfied. Red diners rated their experience 81% above average. Blue diners rated it 83% so the red team ultimately loses.

He commends Ariel for being assertive and caring for her team. The Ariel must now choose who to kick out. She has to decide who she thinks is the strongest for her. It seems to be between Lovely, Amanda, and Tennille. Ariel nominates Lovely for her lack of experience and Tennille because she is a weakness on their team. Same as last week.

Tennille thinks she should stay because she’s one of the strongest but was demoralized because her team wasn’t behind her. Lovely says she should stay because despite taking 45 minutes to serve, all of her customers were satisfied and she’s maintained her composure. She has the passion to remain. Ramsay doesn’t think either of the two can win and he decides that Lovely will remain a little longer. Tennille is called over where he says “wake up!” and tells her to get back in line. So no one is going home this week (because Joseph took himself out).

Ramsay’s parting words: “I’m nobody’s bitch.”

Amanda continues to struggle with her math but Ramsay says his plans for Tennille and Lovely will send them running for the door.

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Hell’s Kitchen Episode 2

Side note: who loves it when Hulu offers the option to do a single long commercial before a show instead of commercial breaks? I do! Not only is it shorter, it’s less annoying.

Robert plans to lead his team to victory or die trying. The guys are upset about losing him.Robert has all this information and experience. The girls are thrilled.

Ramsay offers some encouragement: you were cooking like idiots.

The next challenge is working with shrimp. They must clean it to his standards. (Yuck.) Joseph says this is an entry level challenge. He tells Lovely she must sit out the challenge because the women have too many people. Theres’ a shrimp bucket that he thinks isnt enough and shrimp literally rains down from above. They have to do as much as possible in ten minutes. Lovely talks to her and seems to be distracting her. Both teams think that the other team doesn’t know what they’re doing.

Results-

Sabrina gets 7 for the women. Amanda gets 9. Tek gets 7. Ariel gets 6. Totaling 29. Tennille misses the shrimps’ sacks in all of them. She gets 1 shrimp total. Suzanne gets 10. Robert is very confident but seems to have missed on his so far and gets 4. Totaling 44 for the women.

Andy goes first for the men and gets 7. Van gets 9. Tony gets Joseph gets 5. Dave gets 4. Kevin 9. Jim just needs 2 to win. Can he manage?  He ties it. And…the next two are lost. Last one…the men win!

The women’s job is to served shrimp cocktails for the entire dining room.  They must also segment the lemons. The men go out for lunch on a yacht.

Tennille screwed up. Robert wants a break and Tennile yells at him to get it done. Lovely wonders if they will get to eat done. JosepJoseph shows himself to be disrespectful and hotheaded.

Suzanne’s still upset at Tennille’s poor performance. Robert takes charge asa they prepare for the second dinner service. The men’s team seems to be having some disagreements.

Van is assigned tablesides. Tennille is given the same challenge. Tony seems to be struggling with how to segment a grapefruit because he keeps forgetting to do it over a bowl.

Time to open, the guests arrive. Van has been asking Ramsay for too much. They must coordinate with the people on the floor to make sure the food was brought out at once. Tony fired the scallops too early because he got overexcited. Lovely has been having issues, she forgot to turn the gas on (wasn’t that one of the rules), she blames Tek for her mistake. Ramsay says the scallops are raw inside. Van yells at Tony in front of the customers. The first appetizers leave the blue kitchen thanks to Kevin stepping up. Robert thinks he’s close to perfection and Ramsay points out he’s burning things. Ramsay tells him he’s doing terrible so far. Suzanne tells him to relax. Van gets some words of advice but he doesn’t listen.

The red team serves slightly raw shrimp to a pregnant woman.Van’s customers seemed to be enjoying until he drops the shrimp pana couple times. The women he’s serving are laughing. Van refuses to listen to JP. Ramsay intervenes and tells Van to listen to him. Ramsay calls them all together because Tennille is behind. 1.5 hours in, the team has fallen behind. Meanwhile the blue team moves ahead. Andy forgot to check the temperature of the chicken, leading him to cook it improperly. Ramsay checks on the women’s chicken, they need one minute. When they finally serve it, it’s raw. (They ignore Suzanne when she says it must be recooked.)

Tony forgets to season the fish so Kevin just took it from him. Lovely brings up raw fish. I’m beginning to wonder if any of them know how to cook food since all of it seems to be raw. Lovely then burns the seabass. Kevin is being too careful and undercooks his. All the men stepped in, leading to too many chefs in the kitchen.

Sabrina then burns the chicken. Ramsay’s about to do something he’s never done before…he tells them to just make shrimp cocktails so he can serve something to the hungry customers. He tells them to just send out cold things instead of cooking things. Ramsay then calls everyone in. (Tony says Ramsay might blow them all away.) He tells them to shut down the kitchen. Night 2 was worse than Night 1.

Both teams must come up with two names for elimination. Neither team has won. Tennille says she doesn’t want to suggest names and says she did a fantastic job. Robert points out that she served raw fish to a pregnant woman.

Tony steps up and says he should be nominated. He thinks Andy should also step up, though Andy disagrees.

Suzanne once again leads the elimination discussion. Lovely pretends that her fish wasn’t raw and then burnt. She then points to Sabrina for serving raw chicken. (On the one hand I agree with everything Suzanne has been saying but at the same time I kind of want to tell her to stop trying to run everything. It’s going to get her into trouble in the long run since nominations are done by the team and if you piss everyone off they might just pick you next.)

The guys mention Van’s name for bringing up his fighting with JP. They worry about his temper and the way he attacks his teammates.

Elimination time:

Women nominate Tennille for the raw fish and Lovely for overall performance and experience.

Men nominate Tony and Andy for their problems with the fish and chicken. Joseph doesn’t do what Ramsay’s asking him. He keeps not answering the question so finally Ramsay yells at him.  Joseph then mouths off to Ramsay. “He’s not no bitch!” The red teams tells him to show respect but he continues to tell everyone to shut up. Joseph pulls off his jacket and tells Ramsay to step outside. (You can’t help but wonder what is going on in his mind here, how could this possibly be beneficial for you?)

TO BE CONTINUED…

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Hell’s Kitchen Episode 1

Despite not liking cooking shows, I figured that Cake Boss surprised me so it’s worth trying this out too. The narrator promises that the show will be bigger and better than those before, so we’ll see.

To start with, there will be some tips: turn on the stove before cooking (Bonnie), always taste your food before serving it (Colleen), there’s no crying in Hell’s Kitchen (Aaron)…Then comes Chef Ramsay who asks if they’re ready. He tells them to get in the kitchen and cook their signature dishes. He seems like just the type of person you’d want to be around in a high pressure situation. This is the best way to test a chef’s ability. Well, so far they seem to be remembering the rules they were given.

This year’s prize is: they’ll become the head chef of the finest chef in Canada. That’s almost a punishment…but it is where the 2010 Olympics are being held, so that’s super cool. It’s men vs women (red vs blue). Their dishes will go against each other as teams.

First dishes: the rice looks undercooked but she doesn’t think it is. She has the guy taste it and he says it’s chalky. Suzanne says he’s ignorant. It’s hard. Dave makes ostrich. He idolizes him. Ransay says it’s very nice meet but undercooked brussel sprouts. Neither teams get points.

Second dish: Tek has no career right now. Ramsay’s opinion of her food, it’s nice. Louie’s dish is gross looking. Ramsay tastes it and spits it out. It tastes like gunk. Ladies get one point.

Third dish: Joseph’s dish also has uncooked brussel sprouts. He says he’s not an animal and wants to use a fork to eat. (dude, pick your battles!) Tenneille’s is nice. The women get another point.

(So far I am going to say, the saving grace of this show is the chef has a very big, obnoxious personality. It’s always fun to watch people be belittled by someone…)

Fourth dish: Amanda made a french toast dish with tequila and he looks shocked. Tony (who has never gone to culinary school) made a dish that has potential. Ladies 2-Men 1.

Fifth dish: Melinda’s dish is missing the lobster tail. She had some trouble. Jim is told to take his coat off. Ramsay says his dish is delicious. The score is tied.

Sixth dish: no scores

Seventh dish: no scores

Eighth and final dishes: he looks at Sabrina, the women’s one and says wow, but it’s too hot for Ramsay. Van’s a beer drinker with a sophisticated palette. Ramsay tastes it and finds it intriguing. Men win 3-2.

Ramsay tells the women their punishment for losing is to clean the kitchen, which looks like it’s exploded. The men gets a special dinner from Ramsay’s restaurant. Heather from season tw will be helping to run the women’s kitchen while Scott has returned to run the blue kitchen. The women’s dinner is baloney sandwiches (which one of the contestants thought was illegal in California–huh?)

Waiting on the women’s beds were a book of recipes. The guys party in the hot tub meanwhile. The guys haven’t even started looking at their cookbooks. Hell’s kitchen is reopening and the chefs are cooking. The women are prepared the men seem sluggish. He’s angry at Lovely for already cooking the dishes when they’re supposed to be cooked when ordered. They’re not even open and already she’s screwed up. Suzanne steps up to fix it.

The restaurant is open. The restaurant has been revamped.  The women seem ready but the men can’t seem to remember the order.

The scallops of Tek’s dish are raw. Everyone seems to be having issues with them. Lovely’s pasta is overcooked. The guys made too few scallops. The customers are beginning to wonder where the food is.

Ramsay brings Robert back. For what is unclear right nowl.

The men succeed with an order and the women are still struggling to get out an order. They can’t seem to get the stupid scallops right. They have to keep trying. The men move on to entres. Louie puts the lamb in the oven unprepared. The guys rally to help Louie and the red team comntinues to work on the appetizers. The women think the pasta is ready but he says it’s not quite cooked. They threw it out instead of just continuing to cook. Ramsay sees how much pasta is in the bin and freaks out.(Ten appetizers and still no success.)

The men have already served 8 appetizers. Louie was cooking the spinach when his job is the meat. Ramsay is pissed.

Lovely has gone missing. She started feeling sick and drank four bottles of water. They keep struggling. Amanda put the salmon in the freezer by accident. Ramsay calls her ditsy. Lovely returns.

Ramsay is unhappy with Louie’s dish. I’m not even sure what Ramsay is freaking out about at the moment but he kicks Louie out of the kitchen and tells him to go pack his bags. Ramsay then tells them to turn off the kitchen. His plan is to ask Robert to come back (he left because of health problems) and Robert agrees. Ramsay says he’s talented and deserves to come back. The restaurant applauses. His wife cries with happiness. (This might be more exciting had I watched other seasons.) Ramsay explains who Robert is to the rest of the staff and then tells them everything was bad on opening night. Amanda, Melinda, and Lovely really screwed up.Both teams were shockingly terrible but the men managed to serves some entres while the women did not and they therefore leave. They must nominate two people for elimination.

The discussion: “clearly Melinda you don’t want to be here” “yes I do” They nominate her. Someone then puts Lovely’s name in there so then they bring up Amanda’s name. (This could be so dramatic in the future, it always is in the Real World/Road Rules Challenge show.)

Melinda is the first one nominated. (Amanda got the women a point in the first round so I’d but Lovely up.) The second choice is…Amanda. Even though Lovely disappeared for 40 min! He alls Amanda and Melinda forward. Melinda says she should stay because she has a passion for cooking and she loves the kitchen,. Amanda says she can do better. She wants to show what she can do. Ramsay’s decision is…(flash to him yelling at each) Melinda will be leaving. He expected more. She at least doesn’t freak out like Louie.

To strengthen the ladies team, he puts Robert on the women’s team. He tells them they are all zeros right now.

I think I can get into this. Maybe not to watch regularly or with any particular urgency to know what happened, but certainly as something to pass the time.

Next Episode

Burn Notice Friends Like These

A piece of advice from Michael about cons–it’s the little things like batteries that will save your life, not the big guns.

Fiona doesn’t like that Michael is going along with Strickler, but Michael sees it as his only way back in. Strickler says that he knows Michael isn’t comfortable but so long as he does the job, he promises that Michael will get his job back.

Heist are like parties, the worst part is cleaning up. Close up on the cleaner, who cleans up by blowing the building from a place that they’ve just awtched being robbed. He wants Michael to find out who the buyer is for the stolen items. Sam is preparing for a date, but he had time to look up the license plate. With the necessary information, they narrow down the location where the cleaner must be staying (specifically at a place that doesn’t ask for ID) which is across the street from an old age home. Sam has an idea about how best to set up surveillance: with an inside man. But the only person who will fit in at a place like that is…Michael’s mom (who has apparently been out of sorts since the roof started leaking, she thinks it’s because of the time Sam blew up the house, Fi’s helping clea up). His mother agrees to the con. Fi disapproves.

Barry calls Michael. He wants to call in some favors and he wants Fiona’s help as well. Someone stole his client list and accounts. The thief wants $5 million or he will sell the ledger. He kept it in a locker with his girlfriend’s will and papers. Michael concludes that Amy, the girlfriend, put a tracker on the paper, and that’s how they find it.

Field ops range from 22-55 so people don’t pay attention to older people. Sam reminds her to keep a low profile. So she of course gets Bingo.

They go to Amy’s house and discover that she’s never left town. Fiona breaks in but someone has already been there. Amy, Barry’s “Special Lady” comes out and tells them they are trespassing. She tries to hit Fi, who punches her. Fi explains that Amy will be killed to cover the tracks. Amy doesn’t believe her so Fi demonstrates by throwing a brick in the car to show that it will explode. Amy reveals that she was bribed with $100,000.

Michael and Sam break into a pre-furnished house and search. Once you’ve checked all the usual places a pro would use, you need to give up or break the walls. Fi lets them know they have company but they realize that if they leave Sam’s ledger will disappear so they decide to point a gun at the guy instead. He walks in, tries to fight Michael off, so Michael knocks him unconscious. They kidnap him as a solution. Barry wants them to torture the guy but they conclude that torture will only get the first lie. They tell Barry to avoid his clients while they work to get the information out of him. Michael needs to ask Sam for the vila he was going to use for his date.

His mom calls to tell Michael that the cleaner showed up. Fi sets up a tail while Michael goes to help Sam with their hostages. 9 kinds of rum, Sam is upset, he doesn’t get to drink it with the date. They keep the man and his girlfriend separate.

Sam sits with the girlfriend and laughs while reading the paper. She gives him the silent treatment for a few minutes and then breaks to ask what they want. Her name is Natalie and she doesn’t know anything, she just wants to protect her son. She starts crying that he’s going to kill her.

Michael goes downstairs where he sees that the guy is the type to shutdown when confronted so you have to avoid confrontation. Michael brings him a cigarette, apologizes, talks about a friendship. If the guy tells him where the ledger is he’ll go free, if not, well. If he doesn’t show for the sale…the money will disappear. When the guy doesn’t crack, Michael leaves to plan.

Fi followed the cleaner to a park where she thinks the deal is going down. Michael thanks Fi and she tells him to stop it.

Michael sends Fi in to talk to Natalie to give a softer approach. Fi states exactly what we’re thinking: Fi softer? Fi needs to become a friend. She reveals that she’s been letting people uses the places she works as a real estate agent for off the books to make some extra money. The guy came, threatened her and her son, and has been using her for real estate and rape. Fi says she wants to take him down. There was a condo that he looked at more than once. Michael and Fi go check it out and find a safe in a fireplace. Cracking the safe the wrong way will burn everything inside, done right and it will freeze everything.

Sam goes down to interrogate the guy again, now with the knowledge that his name is Milo. Again with the cigarette. The guy doesn’t seem to be cracking and then makes an escape attempt, only Sam let him get ahold of a fake gun. They just need to find the last guy.

They look at the park to plan. Fi talks to Strickler with dislike and Michael tells her to chill.

Fi tells Natalie she will see her son again if she helps. Barry has tracked down a general area where Milo’s partner is. Natalie showed him a place in the area and then Fi tells her to call her son to talk to him.

Michael and Sam show up, pretending to be part of the operation (since no one knows each other this works). The guy however is not a fool and shoots at them, but they heard the click of the gun so they hid. He had instructions to kill anyone who entered the site. The deal is set for 5. The guy reveals that it is actually Natalie who is lying. Milo is really the guy whose kids have been taken hostage. Michael and Sam rush to reach her, trying to call her on the phone, but she doesn’t hear it. Natalie asks Fi to take the cuffs of because she has to pee. Fi agrees but the keys are missing so she goes to look for something to pick the lock. Michael comes in and slaps Fi across the face to pretend he’s angry but then explains to her that Natalie is really the mastermind.

Sam explains to Milo the fake murder plan. He should keep screaming once they remove the tape until they shoot and then he can’t make a sound. Fi comes in and “helps” Natalie escape. All goes as planned. They get Barry to tell them where to go so that they can set up the tail so that she won’t notice it. With 3 cars following, they can take turns staying behind her and not be noticed. They can also pretend to pass her and really remain with her. 30 minutes later and nothing has happened, until they see a guy who has come around three times on a bike. He drops something that Natalie picks up. They exchanged keys. He’s opening  a locker, he has the ledger now. Fi follows Natalie while Michael follows the buyer. Natalie uses a group of children passing by to escape, knowing Fiona won’t shoot.

Barry has the ledger back. He’s thrilled and his mom comes up with a good aliby as to why he hasn’t been talking to his clients. He has been cleansing in a clinic that doesn’t allow electronics.

Time to finish up Strickler’s con. Fi comes in and says she can’t help him, she doesn’t want to work with Strickler. Working with someone like him will change Michael and she doesn’t want that. She tells him to do what he has to do, she just can’t stay in Miami and watch.

Working with a friend you trust is the best thing, but losing that partner to politics and personal issues is sad so you have to lock them away. Michael succeeds in getting the pictures Strickler wants, though Strickler won’t tell him what he needs to know. Michael gets a call from an intelligence contact who will be in touch to set up a meeting.

Strickler tells him this is just the beginning.

Next Episode

So You Think You Can Dance Top 6 Results

The opening dance is to the song “Send in the Clowns” so the dancers, dressed in clown wear, climb out of a gift box. It’s bizarre becayse they look like clowns but the music is slow and soft, so un-clown-like. Still goof though. It kind of reminded me of Toy Story a little, the way they went away at the end. This one was choreographed by Tyce, as always, great.

Cat names all the favorites from past seasons who are back–the four Emmy nominated dances. Can’t wait for that. I like that the results shows have finally got some serious dances. We run through the dances from Wed and it seems only Kayla and Brandon hit both dances perfectly, the other two pairs were great on one and struggled on the other.

Top 3 girls are on stage. Starting with Jeanine–beautiful and confident, save from eviction. Melissa–adaptable, tough routine that wasn’t a standout. Kayla–beyond amazing, Nigel jumping out of his seat. The first going into next week’s finale is…Jeanine! (the judges are on their feet clapping, her brother’s in the audience screaming.) Lil C says she’s a worthy finalist. He rambles a little about survival.

“Silence” by Tyce being performed by Jessica and Will, the Emmy award nominated piece. It’s weird to watch old competitors return because on the one hand they’re still great dancers but on the other, they aren’t in the same mindset or with the same chemistry.

Top 3 guys. Ade–lukewarm, praiseworthy dirty groove.  Evan–brought personality, expected more. Brandon–hot tamale, sensational. Sending one through right now: Brandon! (no shock there.) I think Mary’s tagline should be “Holy smokes.” Mary points out that Mia and Lil C didn’t really believe in him in the beginning and that they’re crazy. He’s proven himself every week.

Another favorite routine–“Mercy” by Mia Michaels performed by Twitch and Katie. The door routine. Mia’s third emmy routine.  Once again, great performance but still lacking the sharpness and chemistry of the original. But they were definitely some of my favorites so I’m glad to see them back.

From Dmetrie’s “A Los Amigos” by Chelsea and Joshua. Chelsea was also one of my favorites. To be honest I don’t remember this dance, but it’s cool that Dmetrie was a contestant turned choreographer who earned an Emmy nominee.(Most of the contestant’s solos always seem to be lacking so either they’ve all learned a lot since doing the show or it’s just easier to choreograph for more than one person, because so far the ones who’ve returned to choreograph have done great.)

Solos by the bottom 4. First up is Melissa. Eh it’s basically the same as last night, interesting for ballet just because it’s not there you expect ballet to be. Then comes Ade, pulling out some big moves. His button up shirt is so off with the performance.

The first to win America’s Best Dance Crew: the Jabberwackies.  It’s a very interesting performance. As much bizarre as anything else, but certainly fun to watch.

Every time I watch this show I’m reminded about why I want to get the theme song as my ring tone.

Chelsea and Mark performing “Bleeding Love” by Tabitha and Napoleon. This was definitely one of my favorite dances last year.  I think this one was the best performed of the returned performances.

Now back to the four in danger. Kayla’s solo: pretty standard Kayla solo, who Cat calls White Lightning. Evan’s turn he does the one from last night, which I think is one of the better solos even though I don’t think he should be top top 4.

“So Fine” by Sean Paul for the final guest of the evening. The back dancers are whatever you kind of wish they weren’t the ones getting paid to dance. You also wish they had different outfits.

For the rest of the results: from the girls, after the biggest vote of the season, the last girl is Kayla. (no surprise) We get to see a little montage of Melissa’s best moments. From the guys,  Nigel says first that there are no losers on the show, anyon makes it into the top 20 is a winner. The contestant moving on to next week’s finale is Evan. (not really surprising either, it is America’s Favorite Dancer, not America’s Best.) Montage of Ade, the gentle giant, now.

So You Think You Can Dance Top 6

Next week will be the final week of the series, but first, we need to see our top 6 perform: Jeanine, Melissa, Kayla, Evan, Brandon, and Ade. This week the girls will be picking names out of a hat.

Guest judge is Lil C this week. He’s not one of my favorites, but ok. I do like Cat Deeley making fun of his use of big words “Pontificate.” He says he thinks it’s about preference now. Mary gives the audience a little advice which is think about the entire show, not just tonight’s performance. (Hint hint to Melissa and Ade from last week.) Nigel’s advice: whip out some personality. There’s no one who has really popped like in previous years, they’re all on an equal line. (At the moment people are voting for the choreography–so true!)

Cat asks if we’re ready to see some stars. Lots of performances: group, solos, and two partners. Yay Sonya teaching the dance for the guys! Everything she does is awesome. Her inspiration is from Willy Wonka. With only 3 people, they can’t mess up. And as always, Sonya’s choreography is fascinating. (Sonya certainly thinks they did well, she’s on her feet screaming!) Lil C was thrilled to see Brandon and Ade in the dance. He commends Evan for not being swallowed by the two powerhouses. Of course he was visible, he was the only wihte guy…I thought he wasn’t quite as strong, but they still did a good job. I want Sonya to be a real judge because she’s so ecstatic about everything (and all of her dances are so dark). Nigel says the standard was higher that ever.

Janine picks Ade (written A-Day) as her partner and she seems thrilled. They get the Samba. Bleh. The choreographer  says it will not be classical so good there. Jeanine says the dance is suggestive but classy…Jeanine seems to be falling all over the place but I’m sure they’ll pull it together. Oh, Lady Gaga song, unexpected. Jeanine’s outfit is peacock horrible. They seem to work off of each other very well, a lot of power and speed. Mary says the first fifteen seconds was great and then the samba fell apart for her. Ade didn’t do the roll correct. Lil C has to say first off that Jeanine looks amazing. He was excited about the partnership. It fell short for him. Ade was too frollicy. Nigel says Ade didn’t change his style. Jeanine looked beautiful and had confidence. She just went for it. Jeanine seems to have come off for the better here and I hope she stays I really like her.

Kayla’s solo- as always a little frantic but filled with some good moves.

Melissa picked out Evan’s name. They’re doing a Broadway routine with Tyce. The story is a bride trying to get her fiance to the church to get married.  He says it’s his type of broadway, BIG. To me they’re the two underdogs of the show so this should be interesting. It is Evan’s style though so I expect he’ll be very good. Cat would like to be the first to congratulate the happy couple. Lil C said he expected Evan to dominate but he didn’t. This high expectation thing on the show is getting old. He thinks they could have been excellent not just really good. A not A+ right now. Mary says she likes it, she loves Melissa. Nigel says she must have inspired a lot of ballerinas because for the next season there have been many ballet dancers, but they can’t adapt as much as Melissa.

Ade’s solo- also feeling a little frantic and lacking in strong moves

So Brandon and Kayla are the last couple- Stacey Tookey is choreographing a contemporary routine for them. Story of the mistress of a married man who doesn’t have the strength to leave him. Stacey says she making it a very hard routine because it’s the second to last episode. Kayla’s lines look fantastic and of course Brandon loses his shirt two seconds in. (For as good as Kayla’s lines are, she does a great job in the “curling her legs into fetal position” type moves.) So far I think this was the routine of the night. Lil C says it was very intense and beyond amazing. This is the first time Kayla has been matched with a formidable/equal partner. Mary puts them both on the Hot Tamale train, of course. Nigel says Stacey Tookey is a fantastic choreographer that they got from the Canadian show. He wishes they could have been together earlier because it would have been nice to see them get better chemistry but they performed well.

Melissa’s solo- a little slower than her other performances, but still not too bad.

Jeanine and Ade take 2- Napoleon and Tabitha hip hop dance. Janine and Ade have gotten a lot of hip hop routines. This one is about friends being kicked out of their apartment. Jeanine seems to be falling a lot. It’s really cute, they utilize the boxes a lot. A lot of theatrics. Lil C says he wishes moving was always that fun, he’d relocate every day. They were way better than he expected.  It was Buck (the one non-big word he uses). Mary says Jeanine, she thinks she was terrific in the Samba and just forgot to say it before. (Nigel agrees, she thought she was a bit mean before.) She has a feeling they won’t be evicted after that performance. Nigel says it could easily have been an applauded routine, but we are applauding the dancers not just the routine.

Brandon’s solo- in his unclothed outfit again, also a little frantic, but very interesting and well places with the music this time (he still has a very feminine body line when he dances that always bugs me but whatever, he still did a good job) Cat jokes that he’s just averages and the judges are on their feet applauding. Nigel says it was one of the best solos ever seen on the show.

Melissa and Evan do the quick step- Melissa, at 29, is the oldest dancer ever and she never did any other style so she’s always felt like an underdog. The height issue was a problem so they practiced how to give the opposite illusion. She does wear heals, unlike Kayla last week. It’s just such a boring dance style to watch (looks fun to do though). It just occurred to me that we have not seen any cool lifts this week yet. And there’s only one more performance to go. Sad. (Only Brandon and Kayla’s dance really had lifts, but they were just basic ones.) Lil C says he commends with Evan for dancer bigger than ever before. But, he was already told that he needs to have been swifter. Melissa looked fabulous. Mary says it is one of the toughest dances to do and lost some life as the dance went on. She was a little disappointed. Nigel says she should stop making 29 sound so old. He said one second lost the energy a bit. It wasn’t the best routine of the evening.

Jeanine’s solo- slow start but it got better and picked up a little.

Evan’s solo- big start! he is very fun to watch though i still don’t think he’s as strong as the other guys.

Kayla and Brandon doing one of the most difficult disco dances to date- Brandon says he’s not as confident as he comes off. More circus than disco Kayla says. (I think they keep getting the hardest things because all the choreographers know how good they are.) To me it looks like they lost some steam but we’ll see what the judges say. I love having the choreographers in the audience, their reactions are excellent. Lil C is of course rambling on about nonsense–you should see with your ears in order for there to be no darkness and this dance had no darkness. In dance there’s a pocket. (HUH?) Mary says HOME RUN! She yells at Brandon for his self esteem issues. Mary says she;s not crazy. Right. Nigel’s comments are it’s easy to pick up the energy with the music, so let him critique it professionally: WOOOOOHOOOO!

Last but not least, Sonya’s routine for the top 3 girls. It’s about superheroes. Kayla is Storm, Jeanine is Wonder Woman, and Melissa is Butter Cup (who?) Like with the boys, the choreography is really tight. The costumes are perfect. Another great Sonya routine. I think Jeanine was a little more showcased than the others but I love her so fine by me. Cat wants to be part of their gang and Sonya is on her feet. I love Lil C making up words “synchronicity.” He thinks they didn’t go for the gusto. He wants more than amazing. Mary asks what comes after amazing. They’re the epitome of strong, versatile, flexible, sexy, talented dancers. Kayla had a couple harder moves. Nigel says “is it a bird is it a plane, no it’s an arabesque” none stood out they looked excellent.

Results coming soon…