Murtz On The Scene: So You Think You Can Dance Canada – Top 20 Performance Episode Review

Time for the Top 22 performance show which was taped on Saturday and aired on Monday.

Prior to this week’s show starting, I was hoping the dancers would all draw dances out of their primary style (which I thought was the case last week in the first show of the season). It would be fascinating seeing Boneless do a samba or Jordan doing Bollywood. At this point in the competition, I feel like the girls are severely outdancing the guys and I would be shocked if a girl didn’t win.

After Leah’s standard introduction, it was time to get to the dances.

RODRIGO BASURTO & LAUREN LYN
– Rodrigo is a hip-hop dancer from Toronto and Lauren is a salsa dancer from Toronto.
– They danced a Luther Brown choreographed hip hop routine that had a makeshift boombox on stage
– Is hip hop the easiest dance to draw to move forward with a great routine… I think so but this week will definitely show whether that theory is correct or not
– Very strong work from Lauren which totally surprised me given her background as a salsa dancer
– While I believe that hip hop is by far the easiest style for a non-dancer to pick up, she absolutely had me convinced that it was her primary genre and was hitting the pocket even harder than Rodrigo whose specialty it was supposed to be
-The pair didn’t seem in sync to me as I thought the synchronization of their moves was lacking
– While Rodrigo was (in my opinion) the best male dancer, he has been off but this is probably because he suffered a mild concussion last week which is why his solo seemed so odd.
– I thought this was okay but specifically because Lauren was carrying the routine
– I think that Luther had choreographed great individual elements of the routine but more pairing would have been better
– This actually leads to an interesting point… should the judges be allowed to judge some weeks and choreograph others? This is happening on the U.S. version too (with Sonya and Travis being the most recent examples) but in my opinion you can either judge or teach. On the Miss USA Pageant for example, the judges do not critique and then teach the contestants how to walk the runway for example but I guess on the dance competition shows it is different
– Guest judge Mary Murphy said that the pair both had their swag on and that she was happy Rodrigo was “happy and healthy”
– Guest judge Rex Harrington said that the pair were “swaggalicious”
– Tre said “no more bottom 3″ but I do not think this will be prove to be right

CHRISTIAN MILLETTE & LINDSAY LEUSCHNER
– Christian is a ballroom dancer from Montreal and Lindsay is a contemporary dancer from Stouffville
– They danced a Blake McGrath choreographed contemporary piece that revolved around the idea of “touch”
– Fascinating that the pair were chosen to dance second after they opened the show last week as well
– The pair once again reminded me of Tara-Jean & Vincent from Season 2
– Clearly Christian’s partnering skills helped Lindsay’s lack of experience in the style
– Last week, Christian was able to help Lindsay with his ballroom expertise and this time it was the other way around with Lindsay getting to showcase her contemporary precision
– As I suspected, the chemistry between the pair was much stronger this week as they are starting to show why they are two of the favorites in the competition
– Mary Murphy said that Blake’s transitions “seemed to melt all over the stage” and that Christian was her favorite male and Lindsay was her favorite female in this year’s competition
– Tre said something about how the routine showed how love-making can be rough and beautiful. Yikes.

JP DUBE & DENITSA IKONOMOVA
– JP is a hip-hop dancer from Montreal and Denitsa is a ballroom dancer from Laval
– They danced a Danny Arbour choreographed Jive
– It was definitely cool seeing a former competitor choreograph
– The routine started with JP jumping from the mosh pit to the stage
– As an aside, I have to say that I cannot call the So You Think You Can Dance Canada pit area a mosh pit
– To me a mosh pit means piercings and Linkin Park music, the SYTYCDC is more of a nest of love
– While Denitsa had to go out of her style and match JP in his hip-hop, similar to the couple before them, this time it was reversed and JP had to do a ballroom routine
– The results were not the same as JP clearly struggled with it
– He looked like a celebrity on Dancing With The Stars that was being taught by a professional
– Mary said that hat it was an amazing job at choreography and that he was as cute as a bunch of kittens but needed to stop mugging for the cameras and be stronger
– Tre said that Denitsa had dance legs from the gods and that JP’s kicks “needed to be sharper” but that they were both strong enough to take the pair to next week
– Jean Marc made a patented GPS comparison to the dance styles and said that the pair were cute.
– A classic Jean Marc line ensured when the ballroom specialist said “you two put the drive in jive and you are driving to next week.”

A video package outlining the diversity of the contestants was up next.

DWAYNE “BONELESS” GULSTON & CARLENA BRITCH
– Boneless is a hip-hop dancer from Toronto and Carlena is a hip-hop dancer from Vancouver
– The pair danced a dancehall routine from choreographer Jaeblaze
– Once again, the pair had the best routine of the evening for the second week in a row
– The judges gave the routine a standing ovation and it was deserved once again
– I always thought swagger that the judges used when they didn’t know what to say but in the case of Carlena she helps me to understand its definition
– Carlena is great at not only memorizing the steps but also playing to the live audience and the camera
– Her style reminds me a lot of my favorite So You Think You Can Dance dancer, Lauren Gottlieb
– While Boneless is good too, just like the Lauren/Rodrigo partnership, I feel like Carlena is outperforming her partner
– They are starting to look like winners
– Rex said they are the new king and queen of swag

KEVIN HOWE & TEYA WILD
– Kevin is a contemporary dancer from Ottawa and Teya is a hip-hop dancer from North Vancouver
– This pair danced a Viennese waltz by Pierre Allaire
– The piece was about a couple who were reliving their history
– I am not the biggest waltz fan as I think it is boring and for this pair, I feel like it is going to be the kiss of death
– There was some great spinning in the routine
– While judges were tough on them, I thought Teya did a decent job
– Tough because both were dancing out of their style
– Mary said that they were working too much and it showed and that Teya needed to keep her shoulders down
– She also said that they needed to get a “better quality of movement”
– Rex said that there were problems in the lines for him. “Kevin, I think you partnered her well… work on those transitions
– Tre said that it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t the best either

FRANCOIS PRUNEAU & GEISHA CHIN
– Francois is a ballroom dancer from Trois-Rivieres and Geisha is a contemporary dancer from Toronto
– The pair danced a hip hop routine by Tucker Barkley after their partners from last week were both eliminated
– Wearing weird straightjackets with suspenders
– Geisha is spectacular again
– Francois looked very awkward
– While I think Francois is the best ballroom dancer in the competition, I wonder about how well he can pick up other styles
– Obviously the height difference between the new couple causes some awkwardness
– Mary said that the new initials for Francois are BBB (“Buck Ballroom Boy”)
– Rex had a very controversial comment when he said that as his friend Luther would say the routine was “sick,” “buck” and that he was “going to be very black by the end of this show” (which also ran on the broadcast!)
– He also said that he had an outfit like that leftover from Pride
– Tre said she also had a new nickname for Francois and it was Franswag and that the pair had great pockets
– Jean Marc said that ballroom + contemporary = VID (Very Insane Dancers)

ADAM LOPAPA & YULIYA ZAVADSKA
– Adam is a jazz dancer from Woodbridge and Yuliya is a latin dancer from Toronto
– The pair danced a Brazilian Samba by Gustavo Vargas that combined Adam’s booty with Yuliya’s hips
– Undoubtedly the sexiest routine of the evening and probably in SYTYCDC history
– Yuliya is starting to replace Shalaina as my favorite girl
– It was tough for Adam to keep up
– The crowd gave it a partial standing ovation from my vantage point
– Mary said that she was exhausted watching it and that Yuliya was 50 pounds heavier before the routine started
– Tre said the crowd obviously loved it
– Jean Marc said to Adam that he had to wake up pretty early to keep up with Yuliya

SHANE SIMPSON & MELISSA MITRO
– Melissa is a contemporary dancer from Richmond Hill and Shane is a jazz dancer from Thornhill
– The pair danced a contemporary routine choreographed by Sabrina Matthews that revolved around the idea of somebody being diagnosed with HIV and their friend supporting them through it
– It was powerful and moving
– The audience was silent throughout the entire piece
– The pair were in sync completely
– I felt it was the second strongest of the evening (after Boneless & Carlena)
– Mary fought back tears and said that the routine was like a textured painting
– Rex said that it was moving and passionate and talked about a former lover who was diagnosed with the disease
– Rex also said it was the best of the evening
– Tre said that it was the most stunning piece of the night
– Jean Marc said that if Canada is at their level of dancing, we are good for many many years

MATT MARR & SHELAINA ANDERSON
– Shelaina is a contemporary dancer from Edmonton and Matt is a contemporary dancer from Quispamsis
– They performed a hustle by Maira Torres
– The routine was very very slow and I almost felt like I was watching them dance in slow-motion on my DVR
– The slowness of the routine was especially ironic given that it was the hustle and they had none but I blame this primarily on the choreographer and the song choice
– I was fascinated by the fact that both Shelaina and Matt are contemporary dancers which typically involve slow routines and this routine was as slow as it was
– Not the best which isn’t great because Shelaina is my favorite
– Mary said that Maria gave the pair some hard lifts and that they pulled them off
– Rex said that it was cruel that they had to go after the dark and heavy piece before them but that they could have made it lighter and funnier
– He also said that they sacrificed the in-between parts because they worked on the lifts so much
– Tre said that it was a little light but congratulated them on nailing the log roll move
– Jean Marc said that they were given tough material to work with

JOEY ARRIGO & JORDAN CLARK
– Joey is a contemporary dancer from Newmarket and Jordan is a contemporary dancer from Tottenham
– The pair received a funny movie date / kiss jazz routine from Sean Cheesman
– Routine seemed more broadway than jazz to me
– It was both cute and campy
– Very popular with the crowd and the judges who gave it a standing ovation
– I thought it was above average but certainly behind Boneless/Carlena and Shane/Melissa
– This is still the best pair in the competition
– Jordan is awesome
– I just didn’t think the choreography was as difficult in this routine as it was in the others
– Mary said that comedy wasn’t easy, that the dancers were completely synchronized and that they were the power couple to beat
– Rex said that he loved him some Joey and loved him some Jordan
– Tre said that it was fun to see them in a different light
– Jean Marc said that he loved when a woman was in control and that he might be looking at the champion of season 4 on the stage
– I agreed

So there you have it. The second performance episode of the season. I think that Boneless and Carlena were the best of the night (again) and that Kevin and Teya are the most in danger (again). Same as last week. I also think that Matt and Shelaina are in trouble as well as Lauren and Rodrigo. It’s becoming increasingly clear that a female will win this season.

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