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So You Think You Can Dance
Season Four Review — Top Eight

By Dr Matt 

Here are the weekly Recaps from the Top Twenty Dancers to the Final Four:

Top 20       18       16      14      12      10      8       6      Final 4

Howdy Dance Fans:

During the Show, Cat Deeley says that Partners and Dance Styles are "drawn out of a Hat." Indeed they are, and the implication of this Hat Trick is that the Partners and Dances Styles are drawn randomly—by chance!

In Season One, I believe it really was "random"—and when you look at the weird pairings from week to week in Season One, you see the random erractic-ness.

But in Season Four, . . . not so much. It's clear that the Producers of the Show have premediated and "set up" the partnerships and the dance styles—to both help the favored dancers become even more favored, and to help the unfavored dancers get eliminated.

For example, if the SYTYCD Master-Minds want to make sure the lowest two voter getters from last week, get tossed in the trash together, then they'll pair up Mark with Comfort this week. And if they want to keep the high vote getters together, to assure a fantastic final four, they'll put two dancers like Chelsie and Joshua together this week as well—the same two who were the very first be "safe" in last week's results show.

Again, the Partners and Dance Styles may be drawn out of a Hat, but what's IN the Hat is premeditated and fixed. Here are the Top 8 Intros and the Less to Best Rankings for Week Seven:

Dr Matt's Red-Hot Review of SYTYCD July 23, 2008—Four Couple Recap

Dr Matt's Extremely Objective Analysis . . . NOT. Judging the Solos at this point is a real crap shoot! Do you give high marks to the dancers that choreograph something tight to the music? Do you give high marks for doing hard-to-do dance moves? And what if you don't know enough about dance to know the moves that are difficult to do? Or do the high marks and "vote for" the dancers you just plain like: BLIND POPULARITY—blind to the dancing.

In the end, I do have a criteria, but it's JUST ME applying my subjectivity (how objective of me to admit that I'm being subjective). But as I give my opinion, I do have criteria that is MORE than . . . "I just like this dancer." Call me Crazy, but I think Dancing OUGHT TO make a difference in a Dancing Competition, . . . but that's just me!

To the side of the Solo Rankings is the total number (000) of YouTube views, 24 hours after the fact—but only through a single submitter.

Dr Matt's Apology: Sorry about all the DEAD hyperlinks; Dick Clark Productions decided to exercise their copyright privilege, and thus, crush our fun!

Less to Best Solos:

                                        8 - Comfort              (949)
                                "I Got This Down" by Simian Mobile Disco
I've seen Comfort do her crotch-grapping dance with the gangsta-face a few thousand time now, so . . . I'm not entertained—bottom of the heap for her.

                                        7 - Joshua                (00)
                                "Shawty Get Loose" by Lil Mama feat. T-Pain and Chris Brown
To be even handed, I need to down-grade Joshua for his un-imaginitive choreography. His body ripples are spetacular, but I've seen them a few hundred times now—I'm bored. Although I personally like Joshau a lot, and think he will be in the final four.

                                        6 - Twitch               (632)
                                "Go To Work" by Kay L
Twitch . . . twitches. Been there, done that. At least Twitch's twitching seemed to be MORE choreographed tightly to the music, and LESS freestyling—I give a slightly higher rank for his higher effort.

                                        5 - Courtney           (00)
                                 "Where I Stood" by Missy Higgins
The enthusiastic ball-of-energy from New York does her solo well. I've seen all her moves before too, but her enthusiam tips the scales over Twitch and Joshua.

                                        4 - Katee                (1320)
                                "Taking Chances" by Celine Dion
Katee does her typical contemporary-looking solo. And I rate her high, because she dances harder-to-do moves compared to the others, and she show great technique while doing it.

                                        3 - Will                   (1489)
                                "Get Up Offa That Thing" by James Brown
High marks for orginality! Doing a James Brown imitation to the James Brown song. It was Fantastic and Fresh! Never been done before. I'm entertained.

                                        2 - Chelsie              (1555)
                                "Damaged" by Danity Kane
After an underwhelming solo last week, Chelsie needed pizzazz this week. Yes, she danced some of her typical steps, but she looked fabulous in her little black outfit (what was left of it), and her Ballroom Dancing Legs were in spectacular form—the Mormon girl from Utah delivers a sizzling performance on her birthday!

                                        1 - Mark                 (2709)
                                "Creator" by Santogold feat. Switch & Freq Nasty
For the second week in a row, Mark creates odd originality and clean technical execution, combined with his trademark in-your-face intensity. Fine Solo by the quirky Hawaiian.

For comparison, here is the Solo Queen, Allison Holker, from Season Two.
Her Top 20 Solo is All Improv—no prepared choreography:

        Top 20 Solo . . . . Top 14 Solo . . . . Top 10 Solo . . . . Top 8 Solo . . . . Final Solo


Less to Best Couple Routines:

8 - Mark and ComfortFoxtrot  (000)
        Choreographed by Jean-Marc Genereux
        Music: "Lady Luck" by The Brian Setzer Orchestra

Speaking of even-handed, non-emotional objectivity: I give Mark the highest ranking in the solos, and then I toss his Foxtrot in the trash. Again, I have standards and criteria! Nobody gets high on my rankings, just for their winning smile and gleaming personality alone. It's about the DANCING here.

A lot of people mis-understood Mary Murphy's comment, and thought this was the worst routine in SYTYCD History. What she said was "that was the worst closed hold" in the history of the show. She's refering to the ballroom dance "closed position," and yes, it was terrible. Basically, all the dance moves done out of closed position were pretty good. Mark especially delivered clean, crisp articulation of non-Foxtrot movement.

But then, when Mark and Comfort did the Foxtrot in closed dance position, it looked pretty awful. Nigel called it "amateurish"—which is exactly the word I wrote down in my critique notes: amateurish!

7 - Will and Courtney Samba   (000)
        Choreographed by by Jean-Marc Genereux
        Music: "I Fell In Love With The DJ" by Che' Nelle

Remember the "family jewels" teaching metaphor Jean-Marc gave Will for doing a Natural Samba Roll? Well, it looked like Will got smacked in the family jewels during that move—it was ugly. The Jeedges did their best to positively stroke the Debbie Allen prodigy—as they have all season long. There was way too much praise for this piece, when we compare it to previous standards:

The "Hip Hip Chin Chin" (starts at 1.00) Samba by Danny and Lacey was Burning-Molten-Lava Hot! Will and Courtney didn't even come close in terms of the couple performance. To her credit, Courtney danced some sizzling bachacadas. By the way, this is what a Natural Samba Roll should look like.

As the Jeedges harshly criticized Mark and Comfort's Foxtrot, they really could have thrashed into this routine as well. The difference? I think they want Will in the Final Four, so they go easy on him, even when he is no better than Mark in the Foxtrot.

6 - Katee and Twitch Broadway  (000)
        Choreographed by Tyce Diorio
        Music: "Sweet Georgia Brown" from Bubbling Brown Sugar

Wow, two week running, Tyce Diorio has managed to create more un-memorable choreography. Because Twitch is a favored son, the Jeedges give this number way-too-much praise. This piece would be an excellent visual cure for imsomnia.

Again, this piece was soooooo un-memorable for me! So un-memorable that I can't even remember it. I'm going to sleep now.

5 - Will and CourtneyLyrical Hip Hop   (000)
        Choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon
        Music: "Like You'll Never See Me Again" by Alicia Keyes

Can you believe Will's arrogance: predicting that this routine will go down in SYTYCD History days before he dances it. I think the view audience is going to pick up on his egotistical comment, and send the message that the "audience" has something to say about what becomes history.

Nice try, . . . but this lyrical Hip Hop doesn't rise to the level of other Hip Hop numbers choreographed by Napoleon and Waterloo: specifically, "Bleeding Love," performed by Chelsie & Mark; and "No Air," danced by Joshua & Katee. These two routines happen to have the most YouTube Views among all the Season 4 routines.

4 - Mark and ComfortHip Hop   (000)
        Choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon
        Music:"Party People" by Fergie, feat. Nelly

The Jeedges were praising Mark for keeping pace with Comfort. HELLO . . . Mark is the better dancer technically compared to Comfort. Mark executed the Umph in this Hip Hop just fine, thank you! It was a very tight number, and YouTube views should be High. Word of mouth always recommends the "must see" routines and this one will be memorable!

3 - Chelsie and JoshuaDisco   (000)
        Choreographed by Dorianna Sanchez
Music: "Everlasting Love" by Gloria Estefan

Joshua is a man! He's doing lifts that mnay others could not do in previous seasons! Golden girl, Chelsie Hightower, had a great night! Her dancing was fabu-licious! Best night among all performers!

Chelsie has been in the "Pimp Spot" two weeks in row! Quite a compliment to her dancing, and Joshua's too. I think the producers WANT Chelsie in the final four, because they can do MORE with her than all the other girls—she can do Ballroom Dance most excellently, and can also do every other style.

2 - Katee and Twitch — Contemporary   (000)
        Choreographed by Mia Michaels
        Music: "Mercy" by Duffy

Amazing creative choreography by Mia Michaels. I loved this number. When you play it back a second time, you will notice that Mia gave Twitch easy choreography that was well within his abilities. I can see her saying "Twitch, make up something here."

Twitch basically twitched, and Katee did on the technically tough dancing. I love the piece over all with Katee getting the highest marks, along with Mia Michaels. Twitch was more of a prop in this piece and Katee did the heavy lifting.

1 - Chelsie and JoshuaArgentine Tango   (000)
        Choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin
        Music: "A Los Amigos" from Forever Tango

Last week, Mary Murphy thought that Chelsie was like a professional from "Dancing with the Stars" compared to her partner. This week, Chelsie shines again. Joshua holds his own in a technically tough-to-do Tango! Nigel said this was the most technically challenging routine, compared to the previous one before it.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

Last week I made the mistake of giving both dancers the same amount of scoring-weight in the couple performances—this meant that Gev got rated too high, because he was riding the coat tails of Chelsie.

The first number to the left is the solo rank, followed by the rank of the couple performances. Adding up each dancer's two perfomances plus solo, here's the overall rank order for Week Seven:

                       8 - Comfort                     8 + 4 + 8 = 21
                       7 - Courtney                   5 + 5 + 7 = 17
                       6 - Will                           
3 + 5 + 7 = 15
                       5 - Twitch                      
6 + 2 + 6 = 14
                       4 - Mark                        
1 + 4 + 8 = 13
                       2 - Katee                       
4 + 2 + 6 = 12
                       2 - Joshua                     
7 + 1 + 3 = 11
                       1 - Chelsie                     
2 + 1 + 3 = 6


Comfort got kicked to the curb two weeks ago, but last week, Kherington went home instead of Comfort—BIG SHOCK. I don't see any way Comfort escapes her history-making 2nd elimination in a single season.

Twitch and Will are at the bottom of my rankings, but based upon Mark landing in the Bottom Two last week, you'd have to expect . . . that he's UP NEXT. However, Mark had a great solo and was excellent in the Hip Hop routine with Comfort.

One of the burning questions is this: Who is going to benefit from the votes of the Gev Manoukin and Kherington Payne fans? Twitch may get some benefit from Kherington fans, and Courtney and Chelsie may benefit from Gev fans. Why so? Because Courntney was Gev's former partner for half of the season, and Chelsie is one of the four dancers from Utah—along with Gev, Matt, and Thayne.

Popularity strikes again! Talented Will Wingfield (above) gets kicked to the curb &
less-talented Twitch, the Butcher of Ballroom Dance, lives to Hip Hop another day.
Comfort Fadoke (below) makes SYTYCD History by being tossed in the trash twice!

Dr Matt's Results Show Recap July 24, 2008:

The Results show opens with a Group Mind Control, compliments of choreographer, Chuck Maldonado. And thus we return to dancers being maked up, wigged up, and costumed up beyond recognition. It's a popular approach for Group Dances at SYTYCD.

The limited AOL SYTYCD Poll results show that Mark WAS the top vote-getter amoung both Guys and Girls; with Katee being the #one girl, followed closely by Chelsie Hightower. But the vote totals are so low, you can't trust that the AOL Poll is representative of the general voting trend in America.

Though the Results Show Solos did not impact who eventually got eliminated, the survivors of the Bottom Two this week, Courtney and Twitch had a chance to influence future voting by putting in a memorable performance. I think Twitch may have helped himself in this regard. Courtney's Solo looked like a carbon copy of the one's she's done previously.

Running out of fresh material is a problem for those who dwell in Bottom-Dom on a consistent basis—and that's why Will's "James Brown" Solo was genius in yesterday's Top 8 Solos, but tonight Will delivers a self-indulgent, I-can-just-show-up-and-move-impromtu Solo that was a REAL DUD!

The Solo's are ONLY 20 seconds, so why not invest a few minutes to prepare something that LOOKS like entertaining the audience matters. With this Results Show Solo, Will adds yet another Visual Cure for insomnia (Yawn!).

                                Comfort . . . . . Will . . . . . Courtney . . . . . Twitch

Next Week, the spectacular Three Couple Recap & the elimination to the Fabulous Final Four Dancers. See Ya then!

Dr Matt


The Greatest Prize
for Life's labors isn't
in material possessions
or impressive accomplishments,
but in the progress of personal character.
You labor for your own becoming, this is your richest reward.
Who You Become is your greatest possession,
make it your Masterpiece!

(Changing Your Stripes, 2nd Edition, page 274)

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and the ditch in which you've jumped (the difficulties for which you volunteer).

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- Matt Moody 

"Changing Your Stripes," teaches you the principles that lead to lasting change,
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If these ideas resonate and ring true,
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