Never have I seen such an excellent first episode (though I suppose that makes sense since there are really only a few mediocre dancers and all stars/superstars to fill out the rest). I will also say that the majority of choreography of this first episode were first rate. I hope Sonya is never asked to permanently join the judges table because I would sorely miss her choreography (much like we are all missing Mia’s routines).
Tyce choreographed a routine for Billy Bell to Footloose and though I love the song, the choreography didn’t seem to match. I’m not sure if that’s Billy’s fault (for focusing on his lines over speed) or if it was just not the best choreography. Lauren seemed to be moving at about the same speed (but she may have just been following his lead since she isn’t competing).
Christina got a Sonya Tayeh routine with Mark which was not too bad though not as great as they said. Christina did better than expected (and the routine was pretty excellent) but I didn’t think Christina was as “in character” as the judges said she was.
Jose got a Nappy-Tabs hip hop routine with comfort and I like the routine but it was nothing special. I wasn’t really impressed with either dancer. It’s hard to tell how much he’s improved but the judges seem to think a ton. Apparently b-boys can’t do choreography.
Adechike was paired with Katherine for a Travis Wall number. It’s funny because I think I like her better this time around than I did lat year. She did an excellent job in this routine while Adechike was…eh. I mean, he hit the steps but he didn’t seem “into” her at all, which was kind of the point.
Tapper Melinda was paired with Pasha for a Tony and Melanie jive. Having never been a fan of this style, I didn’t expect to like it and sure enough…wasn’t the biggest fan. The judges warned her afterward to watch her facial expressions, among other things.
Alex and Allison got a Sonya Tayeh routine, reminding us once again why she is super awesome. Mia went as far as to say it was the best performance ever done on the show. I’m not sure I agree with that, but it was certainly up there. And best of all, Alex finally showed his emotion!
Alexie was given a Nappy-Tabs routine with Twitch. Again, not a bad routine but she just couldn’t hit the moves sharply enough. Despite being the oldest, she comes off as cutesy and immature.
Lauren and Ade were paired for a Mandy Moore routine and while I think she fell out of character a few times, I think she did a better job than they gave her credit for. I didn’t really understand Adam’s comment to her that she wasn’t internalizing what the judges were saying. She didn’t seem to be ignoring them or anything.
Tony and Melanie show up once again to do a salsa for Kent and Anya. Kent sort of reminds me of Kevin Skinner, the guy who won America’s Got Talent last year. Not the most talented but beloved for his little awkward, from the middle of nowhere, goofiness. He seemed to emanate joy but I will complain that he wasn’t in character for the routine, happy or not.
Ashley and Neil got a Tyce routine that the judges seemed to think she lacked the character/personality for. I’m not sure why, I totally saw it. I thought it was an excellent routine and redeemed Tyce’s earlier one. My favorite moment was when they were like “you’re so young, you’ve never been in love right?” And she was like “yes I have.” Whoops.
Finally Robert and Courtney perform an African-jazz routine choreographed by Sean Cheeseman. Have we seen him before? I thought it was excellent. Possibly one of my favorites of the evening. I’m not sure why Robert was so ignored during auditions, but he’s really shown up since.
First off, the show started with a group dance by a new choreographer, Tassandra Chavez. I didn’t love it. I mean, it was interesting but didn’t shine the way some of the group dances from other seasons go.
Bottom three- Melinda, Alexie, and Christina. I was surprised to see Christina there and not Adechike. I’m inclined to agree with EW’s assessment that often lesser able men are favored over more able women. The odds of a female winning this season are about 10%. I’m not even betting on seeing any in the top three this season. Maybe even top four…
Solos…Alexie’s was slow, Melinda’s was ok (hard to ever tell with tapping when you know little about it, but I liked it better than her original), and Christina’s was a bit whatever because her style isn’t meant to be danced solo (I never understood why they could audition with a partner but not dance for their lives with one). In the end, Alexie is sent packing and I’m not super disappointed, though I think I’d have sent home Melinda.
The pro dancers were pretty good and had some really cool lifts (though I think some of the SYTYCD dancers are better).
Usher was disappointing. He just didn’t sound good and the song was so incredibly lame (as any song utilizing “OMG” is bound to be).
The Justin Bieber song reminded me why I don’t listen to him. He’s pretty awful. Why is he such a big deal? And he looks like he’s five. It was a weird, shrieky video.