Hummmm, perhaps they should rename this show “So you think you can judge?”
I’m so upset at the judging last night, that I simply had to come in this morning, and stamp my widdle feet.
First let me say that I do understand America’s dilemma on Wenesday night. All the dancers were great, even if the ballroom routines had to be “hip – hopped” up to accommodate dancers without partnering or technical skills. This left those of us who love to watch ballroom scratching our heads and saying to ourselves “Isn’t the entire point of ballroom to be connected both physically and with eye contact?” But, we did get ONE ballroom routine that left us breathless. Thank the god of choreography.
So, put in the horrible position of having to choose three teams to ensure a “dance for your life” that would fill an hour time-slot, America chose: Jesse and Pasha, Shauna and Jimmy, and Cedric and Faina. Two of these teams have been in this position before, but the choice of Jesse and Pasha baffle the panel which results in Nigel and Mary having to restrain Mia and pour vodka into her water cup to keep her from taking a header from their judging perch. All three launch into long – winded “I’m just so SHOCKED” speeches, and pump Jesse and Pasha into such a sense of security that when they have to “dance for their lives” they both essentially phone it in because they know they are protected.
There was really only one choice for bad dancing/partnering, and that would inevitably leave his partner on the chopping block for having the misfortune of being his partner. Savvy viewers that we are, we understand this fact. On the other hand, had the judges gotten rid of Cedric in the first place, the “kiss of death” factor to any remaining female dancers would also have been eliminated. Did the judges figure this out for themselves? Well … yes. Mary changed her mind. To bad Nigel decided to pander to Mia for eliminating HER favorite last week.
But I digress. Lets take a look at the “Dance for your life” travesty last night.
Jesse: She seems to have decided to go for the “rip your shirt off” strategy of that guy last season whose name I’ve already forgotten. Her routine consisted mainly of running about the stage and turning every once in a while, so that Nigel and the rest of us could see her panties. Oh, and the top came down a bit too, she had to yank it up when she was done. Yawwwwn.
Pasha: Again, he kept his shirt on but his routine consisted mainly of leaping about the stage, striking a sexy pose, turning a few times, and striking another pose. Not much dancing there. Yawwwwn.
But then, why should either of these people break a sweat? All three judges had made such a fuss about America being shmucks who wouldn’t know good talent if it smacked them in the head, that they (and we) knew they were safe.
Which leads us to Shauna and Jimmy. Both truly danced for their lives. Now remember back to Wednesday night when Nigel gave the viewers a really long speech about “Dance Snobs” who stick our noses in the air and talk about things like technique, and formal training? Remember how he said that performance was NOT all about these things, and that we should really look beyond that to the uniqueness of “new blood” and ideas? These two dancers wowed the audience and proved just how right we “Dance Snobs” are. Take a friggin lesson, Nigel.
Shauna is a fantastic spinner. Turns are not easy, but she makes it look effortless. She also is extremely good at footwork. Her technical skill doesn’t leave us all counting how many pirouettes she can do, it leaves us breathless and dying to watch her perform forever.
Jimmy is a fantastic dancer. This guy defies all laws of gravity with leaps that are stunningly high. He also does fantastic footwork, pirouettes and toures. This guy personifies the term “dancer” and because of that we want to watch him perform forever.
To put it bluntly – their technical skill and formal training make them every bit as unique to watch as any rubber band boy hip hopper.
So finally, we get to the last couple.
Fiana, ballroom dancer extraordinaire, is forced to dance a solo because the judges decided to go for “unique” (read: demographically correct) last week. She picks “Do you love me (now that I can dance) but takes a cue from Jesse and Pasha and leaps about the stage gyrating and striking poses rather than dancing. Now, having heard the “America is an idiot” speech regarding Jesse/Pasha, and hearing the thunderous applause from the audience for Shauna, you would have thought that Fiana would at least attempt to do something a bit more involved than gyrating and working the staircase.
Cedric: Rubberband boy extraordinaire. This IS fun to watch, don’t get me wrong, but the guy has proven for two consecutive shows that he is a one trick pony. He is great as a one man show, or even in group work – but as a partner he sucks. Faina, or any other female he is paired with doesn’t stand a chance of making it out of bottom three with this guy.
“Dance snobs” everywhere were once again vindicated. Even though Fiana is not a strong soloist, her technical ability and formal ballroom training make even the most inept partner look good. Their routine was not the best by any means on Wednesday night, but SHE did carry the routine. As for Cedric; Tech and formal may not be everything, but when you are expected to partner every week, and are expected to be able to do something other than dance your comfort zone, that Tech and Formal training will help you to pick up steps easily, and will make you able to hold your own with someone who has had the training.
The Judges go off into a stairwell somewhere, so the teenager demographic can listen to some band we older folks have never heard of, giving us all time to get up and use the restroom, make a sandwich, get a nice grope in … whatever.
When they come back, they take on the women first. The results didn’t really surprise me or upset me.
Jesse the phone in is safe, although the judges tell her that she really should actually step it up a notch in solos so as not to alert the other dancers and the viewers that maybe, just maybe, they might be playing favorites.
Next is Shauna, who is told she is awesome (which is true) and that if you are going to bring it on, that is exactly the way you should do it. She’s safe.
Finally it’s time to give the hook to Fiana. For her this game should really be titled “Dancing with the shmucks” because while she truly is a brilliant ballroom dancer, the luck of the draw keeps giving her bad partners. She has to go, because Jesse showed Panties, Shauna showed talent, and someone has to be shown the door. Buh-bye.
On to the men.
Pasha the phone in is safe, although the judges tell him that he really should actually step it up a notch in solos so as not to alert the other dancers and the viewers that maybe, just maybe, they might be playing favorites.
Jimmy the wonder leaper is told he is awesome (which is true) and that he truly danced for his life, is phenomenal, and should wait on stage. Uh oh.
Finally, it’s time to give the hook to rubberband boy Cedric, but not before the Nigel tells him that, for Mary at least, uniqueness (read: Teenage girl magnet) is no longer a factor when truly good dancers (such as Mia’s magnet last week) are tossed onto the alter and sacrificed in favor of ratings. Jimmy is all smiles, thinking that Mary has had the good sense to talk the other two into saving him. Nigel then yammers on and on at Cedric like he is a spoiled two year old, threatening to yank him IF HE EVER LETS DOWN A PARTNER AGAIN.
What?! Ra is stunned. I am stunned. Jimmy is stunned. Shauna was stunned and most likely went out after this was over and got spot on pissed at the local bar. This has to be the worst decision since Hitler decided a stroll through Siberia on the way to Moscow was the best way to defeat Russia.
Best way to ensure that a guy wins this seasons competition? Keep Rubberband boy on this show week after week so that every. single. woman dancer ends up as his partner.