After a summer away in LA filming the third season of my show Reality Obsessed, I was definitely looking forward to catching up on So You Think You Can Dance Canada.
It was a very dance-inspired summer for me as well because I went to many tapings of So You Think You Can Dance U.S. while I was in California, and I was looking forward to seeing how the contestants compared to their Canadian counterparts.
Obviously, the format of the two shows is different this year, with the U.S. choosing to try an All-Star version pairing their contestants with superstars from the past while Canada decided to just go with the usual format (considering it is only its third season).
When I headed to my first show of the season, I thought it was a good place to start because it was the first Top 10 performance show. I had quickly caught up on as many episodes as I could, and my initial assessment was that there were certain dancers that I felt were performing at a very high level but probably wouldn’t get the popular vote. This principle can be referred to as the Nico Syndrome.
In that regard, my favorites from watching the show on TV were Nathalie, Danielle, and Jeff. I was especially a big fan of Nathalie’s and I was curious to see if her TV dominance would translate to live show superiority as well.
When I arrived at the Top 10 performance show, the biggest change that I noticed right away was the sheer size of the audience. More seating had been added and it was just as big as the U.S. version in terms of the crowd. I also noticed that there was a cage off to the side of the stage and I was sure this would be used for a Blake McGrath choreographed number. I would be remiss not to point out that while I love Blake’s routines, I am leery that he is compelled to always use props and spectacle to ensure that his routine is always the evening’s most memorable. I am not saying that is a bad thing, but just something to note.
The next thing that I noticed was Leah’s new hair color. Gotta say. I digged the blonde. It’s a blessing to look like 90210’s Kelly Taylor!
Also hard not to call a spade a spade and say that this is probably the best-looking overall So You Think You Can Dance Canada cast.
The show started with the aforementioned Leah noting that the winner and runner-up would each receive a Mazda 2 with the winner also taking home the title of Canada’s Favorite Dancer and the $100,000 prize. With the Top 10 in place, the voting would also now change from couples to individuals.
Let’s get to the performances!
AMANDA & EDGAR
I thought that the choreography was definitely weak in this one. I thought they did an adequate job but that it didn’t highlight any of their skills. The concept of mannequins in a store dancing is good, but has been played out on dance shows before. Guest judge Karen Kain commented that Amanda reminded her of a “beautiful thoroughbred horse” which really amused me. Tre said that she wanted to see the routine on the tour, once again cementing her position as the judge that I most disagree with.
Sebastian and Danielle then did their solos. Sebastian really reminds me of Mark Kanemura and I have to say that based on the crowd reaction that he received, he is the clear favorite to win at this point. As I mentioned earlier, however, Danielle is one of the dancers that I like the most and she rocked another amazing dance.
NATHALIE & DENYS
I couldn’t wait to see Nathalie perform live and she didn’t disappoint. Typically, I am not a big fan of the mambo, but I thought Nathalie and Denys had a good partnership and mastered (murtztered) the fast footwork necessary to make the mambo work. A solid showing. I thought that Gustavo did a great job with the choreography and that Karen’s judging was spot-on. Denys reminds me of Pasha Kovalev from the U.S. show. So if we are keeping score we now have Canadian versions of Mark Kanemura (Sebastian) and Pasha Kovalev (Denys Drozdyuk).
Jeff and Janick did their solos. Jeff did something Russian inspired. Both did a good job but I definitely feel like Janick needs to do something big to separate herself from the great female contenders this season.
CHARLENE & MACKENZIE
This performance got one of the biggest pops from the crowd and I thought it was average. Tre commented that the dance was a little tight and I totally agreed with the assessment (shocker!) I am not sure if it was enough to keep either dancer safe as I felt like theirs might be forgotten in the grand scheme of things.
Time for Edgar and Amanda’s solos. Edgar removed his shirt. My reaction? It’s only Top 10 week. Save it for when you need to!
JANICK & JEFF
I was totally right in my assessment that the cage that had been placed off-stage was for a routine choreographed by Blake. It’s always strange when one of the judging panel regulars takes the night off and choreographs. Without question, the S & M/Liontamer routine that Blake put together is the one that everyone will be talking about on Thursday. It had props (a whip), Janick wearing hair extensions, and Jeff in some in an outfit that kind of reminded me of the Gimp from Pulp Fiction. I thought it was brilliant. I know I mentioned Blake falling into the trap of choreographing stunt routines but if they work, I don’t mind them and this one definitely did. It was just as brilliant as the paparazzi routine he did with Nico in the first season. The most surprising part about this routine was how great Janick was as she seriously stepped up her game. I really liked judge Dan’s comment that ‘shock can sometimes be used as a shortcut to significance’ because I thought that totally hit the nail on the head.
Mackenzie and Charlene then did their solos. They were as ‘memorable’ as their routine together so I will let you draw your own conclusions.
DANIELLE & SEBASTIAN
I always wonder how the order of dances are decided on these shows because I often have felt that the best is saved for last intentionally. I thought that Danielle and Sebastian did a great job with a very tough dance. It’s ironic that the two hardest dances (mambo and quick step) were the two best of the evening.
So there you have it. The Top 10 performance show in the books. Who is in trouble? I gotta say that even though she is my favorite, I am worried about Nathalie. Also think that Mackenzie and Charlene are in trouble as well.
We will find out at the results show, and the iron man of So You Think You Can Dance Canada will be there live.
Tags: murtz, So You Think You Can Dance Canada