Murtz On The Scene: So You Think You Can Dance Canada – Top 18 Performance Episode Review

So here we are again. So You Think You Can Dance Canada Season 4. Before I got comfortable in my seat, I knew that this was a critical episode of the show and I was specifically interested in seeing the dancers start to venture out of their styles. I wanted to see Boneless mambo (never thought I would ever say that) and Yuliya krump. I wanted to see Melissa samba instead of the same old contemporary and Francois do Bollywood.

When the show started, I was completely caught off-guard by the new couples (especially after I was told that the pairs don’t change until Top 10). Apparently this happened last season as well (I missed some shows last season because I was in LA filming Reality Obsessed). This wasn’t a bad thing because it certainly added a new layer of excitement to the show. For those wondering if the pairs will change again before the Top 10, I was told that we would have to wait and see so this might make it a possibility. The random partner switches is clearly the Canadian version of replacing the All-Stars on the U.S. show and I don’t think it is a bad idea as it shows how well the dancers can partner with anyone and from any style.

In all honestly, even though we have awhile to go before the show’s September finale, in my opinion it has already come down to Jordan, Melissa, Lindsay and Carlena for the girls and Joey, Boneless, Christian and maybe JP (Bieber factor) for the guys. I would be stunned if any of the guys pulled it off though because this is probably the strongest female contingent I have seen on So You Think You Can Dance Canada.

Let’s get to the performances and new pairings:

– Christian is a ballroom dancer from Montreal and Jordan is a contemporary dancer from Tottenham
– They danced a paso doble choreographed by Season 1’s Natalli Reznick and Francis Lafreniere
– The routine revolved around the idea of the world ending and two dancers fighting to stay alive (by doing the paso doble of course)
– Jordan’s dress completely reminded me of what Natalli used to wear in the first season and so it totally had Natalli’s style associated with it before it even started
– Very strong opening imagery with Jordan lying on a piece of fabric and Christian dragging her with the fabric toward him
– Very strong routine but I thought the music didn’t really work (the bad musical choices were something that I noticed in a few performances as I will discuss below)
– These guys lucked out in the new drawing because they both got good partners
– Stunning flip ending was awesome
– Guest judge Mary Murphy said “what a way to start the show. I love my job”
– Mary also put Jordan on the ‘Hot Tamale Train’
– Luther Brown said “Fire, fire, more fire”
– Guest judge and season 1 winner Nico Archambault commented about the fact that because they finished on a life it showed that they had “faith in each other already” referring to the fact that the pair were new partners
– Tre said that Canada rocks and that the pair “performed the bleep out of it”
– Jean Marc said the two of them were brilliant

– Matt is a contemporary dancer from Quispamsis & Denitsa is a ballroom dancer from Laval
– They danced a contemporary routine by Sabrina Matthews that was about a girl whose partner wasn’t there for when she needed him the most
– Stunning lift in the routine that was simply breathtaking
– Spectacular chemistry between the pair
– I believe that Denitsa was being held back a little by her previous pairing with JP and this showed what she can really do
– It was a similar story for Matt as he exhibited more life in his performance than he did with Shelaina
– The routine had shades of Sonya Tayeh’s style in it
– Mary said that Denitsa was “unbelievable” and how she couldn’t believe how uninhibited the ballroom dancer was
– Mary told Matt that he was phenomenal and that the pair should be proud of themselves
– Luther: “Part of being great with this show is how to adapt. I believed you. Matt, you danced like a man”
– Nico: “This show is an amazing opportunity to learn. Performing for a live audience and for TV is different. Camera allows for a little more subtlety”
– Tre wins my award for the most awkward comment (aka the Paula Prize) of the night when she uttered something nonsensical about Denitsa “going deep” and “breathing heavy” and then said Matt was growing from a boy to a man
– The entire comment was hilarious and one of my favorite moments of the evening
– Jean Marc said that the A was for Amen
– Jean Marc: “Denitsa, you were a monster… not the type who gives you nightmares but the type who gives you dreams”
– In its entirety this was probably my favorite critique of the season thus far

– Kevin is a contemporary dancer from Ottawa and Carlena is a hip-hop dancer from Vancouver
– They danced a Sho-Tyme choreographed hip-hop routine
– Phenomenal work from Carlena for the third week in a row
– With that being said, will she EVER get a ballroom routine? She has had two hip hop numbers and a dancehall and I have to say that it is now time to see her do a Viennese Waltz or a salsa or something
– Kevin looked much better than he has in the last few weeks
– Unfortunately, the criticism from the judges that he isn’t memorable is entirely accurate
– The makeover with the tattoos in the routine helped but he still paled in comparison to Carlena’s spectacular show
– With that point noted, it isn’t fair since the style is her’s and Kevin was playing catch-up
– Height difference between the pair was interesting to see too, doesn’t really matter in a hip-hop dance but if it was ballroom, it would have had a major impact
– Thought Carlena’s dancing was the best female performance this season (again)
– Mary said “Who is this guy? Not quite as tight as Carlena but you did a respectable job. Carlena, you demolished that number”
– Luther said “big it up Sho-Tyme” (which actually made me laugh outloud) and talked about the Chicago and Atlanta hip-hop flavours that were present in the dance
– Luther said that he loved Carlena in the piece but that Kevin needed to put a little more resistance into it
– Nico said that it was Sho-Tyme’s best piece ever on the show
– Tre told Kevin that he proved “why he should stay here” and for the most part that he “banged it out.”
– Tre also said that she was putting them both into her “swag bag”
– Don’t know about you but I prefer gold watches and cell phones in my swag bags
– Jean Marc said: “We want to taste the blood and we did, yo Carlena and Kevin… bravo!”

A video package was played highlighting the dancers’ favorite dance moves.

– Shane is a jazz dancer from Thornhill and Lindsay is a contemporary dancer from Stouffville
– They danced a Melissa Williams disco routine that started with them wearing pajamas and then entering a magical closet where their PJ’s were quickly ditched for sexier wardrobe
– Very strong choreography
– Everytime I see a Melissa Williams piece, I think of the Allie/Natalli routine she choreographed in the first season’s finale
– This was one of Melissa Williams’ best routines
– Lindsay has been one of the strongest female dancers this seasons, but I am not sure if she resonates with the SYTYCDC fanbase as strongly as Jordan does
– Shane also had another solid performance after a great partnership with his pal Melissa over the last couple of weeks
– Mary said: “Lindsay you gave it everything you had. You got me shaking my groove thing. It was great”
– Luther said something about how hard it is to be a good-looking girl and dance and used the word ‘mamacita’ at some point
– Nico said that it was his favorite disco and that it was better than the disco that he did with Natalli in the first season (funny considering Natalli was in the audience because she choreographed the Christian and Jordan number)
– Nico also said: “Linday, you’re smooth and pretty” and that he was impressed that she could “funk that much with those heels on”
– He told Shane that he was his favorite male dancer on the show
– Tre said that it was the “best disco I have ever seen in all the seasons”
– Jean Marc said that it was the best disco he has seen as well
– Also said that they show “skills, liberation and exuberance” and that he was putting them on his VIDD list (Very Insane Disco Dancers)

– Adam is a jazz dancer from Woodbridge and Geisha is a contemporary dancer from Toronto
– They danced a Blake McGrath jazz routine about a girl who lives in a fantasy world that her partner just wants to be a part of
– Before the commercial break the audience was told that they would see something that they had never seen on a show before
– When the pair started on stage, they were in neon anime outfits and I presumed that they would light up or something like the Down With Webster MMVA performance from last month
– During the dance, the lights went off and the outfits glowed which was a very cool effect
– The thing is, I didn’t think it was Blake’s best choreography
– Sometimes Blake has a tendency to go for a flashy routine instead of the most technical and I felt this was definitely the case here
– Also, Geisha is already on her third partner and I think this is a major disadvantage
– At the end of the piece, Adam looked exhausted
– I was definitely enjoying the Adam and Yuliya partnership so seeing it end was bittersweet
– I think this pair might be in trouble
– Mary said that it was a fun number and that Geisha looked like a ‘funky Barbie doll’
– She rhetorically asked if the piece was going to be memorable at the end of the show and said that the routine was more ‘pop funk’ than jazz
– Luther advised that the pair shouldn’t allow the steps to dance them and they should be more in control
– Nico said that he was color-blind (this is in addition to being deaf in one ear) and even he could tell how colorful the routine was
– Nico commented that it definitely looked like Adam was ‘dancing Blake’s routine’ meaning that he wasn’t taking control of it for himself but also admitted that he didn’t think they would be in danger for this one
– Jean Marc said that this routine would be memorable
– He also said that while Adam’s last name “might be LoPapa, you dance like a poppa and not a momma”

– Francois is a ballroom dancer from Trois-Rivieres and Yuliya is a latin dancer from Toronto
– The danced a Gustavo Vargas mambo
– I have never seen a dress or lack of a dress like the one Yuliya had on, in any dance show that I have covered
– It rivaled her outfit from last week
– I liked this pair together because they are both ballroom experts but that obviously raised the level of expectation that I had for them and while they met it, it was just by just a bare margin
– It will be interesting to see what happens when Yuliya draws another style
– Tons of tricks in this number
– Made you feel like dancing which is a good sign
– Francois has gotten better at hamming it up for the camera and no one knows how to shake it better than Yuliya
– Mary said ‘great routine. You guys really gave it to us. We gotta talk to wardrobe. This girl didn’t get a whole dress. You guys have partner skills to rock anything but it was a little wobbly at the end.’
– Luther said that Francois was the swaggiest ballroom dancer he has seen and that he normally doesn’t like show-offs but that it works for Francois
– Nico said that it was amazing and that he didn’t impress easily
– Tre said that it was hot in the studio because of them and that she saw people voting for them because the routine gave her ‘goosepimples’
– Jean Marc made the second suggestive comment of the night when he said he didn’t see anything going down and that when he saw Yuliya everything was going up!
– His line had me in hysterics and made up for some of his earlier weaker barbs

– Shelaina is a contemporary dancer from Edmonton and JP is a hip-hop dancer from Montreal
– Danced a Bollywood routine choreographed by Longinus Fernandes about an enchanted puppet that comes to life
– Shelaina’s second puppetry-themed routine
– I was very excited to see a pair dance Bollywood
– Their performance was definitely not at the standard of Robert and Clarice’s from the U.S. version last week but still good
– Shelaina returned to form after a disappointing stint last week but had a wardrobe malfunction during one of the lifts that she completely battled through which was impressive
– Wasn’t happy about JP’s dancing until the end of the performance when he killed it with a particularly difficult circle-knee move that looked both impressive and painful
– It was a great routine but will be interested to see if television viewers responded to it the same way that the in-house audience did
– Mary gave huge props to JP and said that she didn’t think that he had it in him
– She also complimented Shelaina’s professionalism in not letting the dress mishap affect the rest of the routine which showed that she was a professional
– Luther said that JP brought his Bombay swag and also mentioned the Shelaina skirt situation
– Nico said that they owned it and told Shelaina that it looked like she was having a great time on stage
– Tre said that the were both “perfect for Bollywood” and “well well well done”
– Jean Marc called Shelaina a “princess of all palaces” and told JP that he went from the hip-hop hood to Bollywood

– Boneless is a hip-hop dancer from Toronto and Teya is a hip-hop dancer from North Vancouver
– They danced a krump routine from Lil C
– It is high time for Boneless to draw any kind of non hip-hop/dancehall/krump style that capitalizes on his street-dancing background
– I love Boneless but no one could be this lucky to not draw a contemporary or ballroom style by now, forget dancing the guy should play the lottery
– Gets even luckier because he draws ANOTHER hip-hop partner as well replacing Carlena with Teya
– I have always loved Lil C’s choreography but the track on this song was the absolute worst
– I honestly thought there was a sound problem because of how terrible the track was and was even wondering if they would restart the dance because of it
– Only when they finished is when I realized the song was for real
– It was a good routine and Teya was definitely buck but I would be lying if I didn’t say I was distracted by the music
– Another good performance by Boneless
– Mary said that she thought she was crazy on stage and brought it and told Boneless that while he stepped up, he wasn’t quite up to her standard
– Luther said that everytime Boneless gets on stage, he takes him to another place and that he was “so so impressed”
– He also said that he was proud of him for getting the steps and also tipped his hat to Teya for doing her thing as well
– Nico continuing his string of insightful commentary said that his take on krump was that it was a lifestyle as well as a dance style
– He continued by saying that he enjoyed it and that he bounced but advised the pair to make sure they have a steady progression in the number
– Tre finally picked up on what I was thinking about the music when she noted that she was also trying to catch the beat (Murtz translation: the music sucked) and said she didn’t see the essence of krump at times
– She said that she prays Canada votes for them, indirectly suggesting that she thinks they will be in trouble (and I agree)
– Jean Marc said that he wouldn’t give one buck or two bucks, he would give a toonie or something

– Joey is a contemporary dancer from Newmarket and Melissa is a contemporary dancer from Richmond Hill
– The pair danced a contemporary routine from Mandy Moore that revolved around the idea of being swept off your feet
– Spectacular routine
– Easily the best of the night
– Joey is probably the best male dancer in the competition
– While I didn’t want to see the Joey and Jordan combo broken up, Melissa stepped in nicely
– That being said, it was two contemporary dancers working with one of the best contemporary choreographers around so it was destined to be a special piece
– The lifts were out of this world
– Nothing really else to say, in a different league
– Mary said that it was easily her favorite number of the night and that it was “custom-built” for their technique
– She said it was a pleasure to sit up there
– Predicted that she saw Joey going all the way and the same for Melissa who she said was underestimated (I definitely agree)
– Said that she had “nothing to criticize.”
– Luther told Melissa that she was his favorite female dancer on the show
– Said they were a solid pair and incredible
– Nico told them that it felt like they were flying in their own world and that they both landed super smoothly at the end
– Tre said that it was “stunning” and “breathtaking” along with all the other adjectives in the world
– She also said that “sometimes in life we don’t need to take any notes” and that she hoped that Canada would love them into the Top 4
– Jean Marc said that Mandy made the pair fly and fly first class

All in all, it was a great show. I have to say that Nico was the best judge on the So You Think You Can Dance Canada panel ever and I am hoping that he is a regular addition as I thought he finally added a critical voice to the proceedings which made for a much better show. I think Teya, Geisha and Shelaina (unfortunately) will be in trouble for the girls and that Kevin and Francois will be in trouble for the guys.

I will not be around to cover the show next week as I am in Florida for a reality charity event so I will be back on the scene in two weeks!

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