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SYTYCD Recap: All Aboard the Hot Tamale!!

Well I gotta say, when Cat Deeley announced our Top 20, with introductions like "Heeerrree's Karla!" and the audience can't even give an oval of applause ... well, let's just say I was worried. Unlike by the time a viewer reaches, oh I don't know, let's say an American Idol Top 13, we, as SYTYCD Top 20 viewers really don't know who these dancers are yet! (With the exception of wavy arms Phillip, of course). But by the end of last night's show, I found myself singing a different tune (oh wait, we're over that singing show; okay, I found myself dancing a different jig?)

Since we are at a full Top 20 (ay-yi-yi!), I'm going to break it down old school and give the recap from beginning to end ... as we are still in the getting to know ya phase. So without further ado ... I present your Top 20 highlights:

Haven't I kinda seen this before?: They start us out with Phillip (probably because he is the most recognizable), who apparently grew up popping "to the sound of construction outside of his house." (You gotta love a dancer's passion!) He is paired with Jeanine. Um, who? Well, she's in a pretty purple dress in that clip. And, oo, her wavy brown hair is really pretty. They dance to a Napoleon/Tabitha hip hop routine, a.k.a., a replica of Chelsea and Mark's "Keep Bleeding Love" routine from season's past ... right down to her jeans and big-tongue high-tops! But Jeanine did prove to be a cutie, and as all the judges agreed, she certainly "held her own!" (And may I add, Napoleon in his tight white shirt was looking damn sexy in that audience! Why have I never noticed him before?)

Luck of the Draw: Next is Saki and Ravioli. I mean, Asuka and Vitolio. They danced to a staccato-type Tyce D'Orio number. The problem here though was that it was set to some real old school jazz, sans words. In my humble opinion, these type of routines never really translate to the audience, despite how good the dancing is. Even Judge Adam mentioned the luck of the draw, and Mary said they both played it safe. I thought Nigel was going to agree with me when he said the problem wasn't with the dancing [it was with Tyce's song choice], but he chalked it up to lack of personality on behalf of the dancers. I disagree.

Goo-goo for Ga-Ga?: Now had Saki and Ravioli been allowed strobe lighting and a chart-topping hit like our next pair, Jonathan and Karla, maybe they would have received better reviews. Unlike Mary and GaGa, I didn't find this Poker Face number "rough and fun"; instead, I found it rather soft and boring. But it sure did "beep" Adam up. I'm going to attribute such accolades to pimp lighting and pimp song choice. We shall see how such elements will come into play ... just you watch. But, hey. I do spy a nipple through baby Jon Jon's sheer white shirt. Now that's kinda fun. I'm just sayin'.

It's a Family Affair?: Aw, next we find a perfect pairing with Unitard Girl and Evan. I mean, how cute was Evan when he said, "To Randi's husband -- I'm sorry in advance. I mean no offense .. she's great!" And how about his super sexy move in the beginning of the sultry "I Only Have Eyes for You" number? The judges loved it, but picky little me could have used some more eye contact from Randi to Evan and less hair whips. Maybe she was just mad because her husband was not there to support her on her big television debut ... WTF? At least we were able to depend on Evan's adorable bros.

Paris (the big girl?) and Tony (Mr. Personality) have some cool, fluid movements to a smooth rendition of the Black Eyed Peas "Let the Beat Rock." We learn that Paris is numb from the knee down in her left leg. Interesting. We learn that Tony's stank face isn't quite as gangsta as it needed to be. I agreed with the judges ... these dawgs needed more rebound in their attack! And oh that Nigel, with the clever word play: "Their stank stank." Good one, Nige.
Bollywood to Hollywood!: Next is Caitlin and that yummy Jason (the guy I predict to be this season's Danny Tidwell). Now is it just me, or does Caitlin remind you of Julie from Growing Pains. You know ... Julie. The one who wrote Mike that "Dear John" letter, saying it was cold feet as to why she couldn't marry him. Just a thought for anyone who remembers it old school. Anyhoo, they danced to a cool Slumdog Jai Ho routine, complete with sparkly costumes and the most intricate handstand I have ever seen. And ooohh, that kiss at the end! Day-um. I have to say I enjoyed watching Caitlin more, but apparently "Jason's charisma just reek[ed] out of those eyes. Woo-hoo!.. Yes ya did!" (Um, is Mary Murphy just plain crazy ... or, ... is Mary Murphy just plain crazy? You decide.)

Bringing it down from the Jai Ho: Janette and Brandon got their fox trot on to some Michael Bubbles. What is it about this girl? She just does not excite me .. despite her scissor kick that i have seen about twelve times now. And i don't know if it's her bangs, her Paula (from Real World/Road Rules) nose, or how she has to try and do a sexy salsa move every time the judges compliment her ... but she just bugs me! Oh yeah, Brandon wore clothes. Mary made a joke about not being able to smile because of her botox (which got way more laughs than it deserved), and the judges thought the trot was hot. Why do I have a feeling Janette is going to be my Gokey, I mean, contestant to whom I like to give special attention this season? ....

WADE! Oh yeah, baby. Wade Robson and Kupo in the same room?! That Ashley is one lucky girl. In the tradition of Wade, we are granted new insights and witness something we have never seen before. Painted head-to-toe in white, Ashley and Kupo transform into crash test dummies, dancing to the idea of "living as if they've never been hurt before." Strange or not, Wade is truly genius. (I liked it. As did the judging panel.)
Age Ain't Nothin' But a Number: Melissa (the 29-year-old -- and, therefore, "seasoned" -- ballerina) and Ade (he had a pick in his hair) dance to a Mandy Moore contemporary routine. No, the music was not set to the vocal stylings of pop-tart star Mandy Moore; it was set to those of non other than ... Richard Marx? Really? Did I all of a sudden flip the channel and stumble upon So You Think You Can Dance, circa 1989? While I didn't think it that memorable, it brought Adam to tears, and got a screech from Mary.

Now that finale's got some SPICE!: Kayla and Max end the show, and holy tamoli -- Kayla! She apparently has never done ballroom before, and the girl KILLS it! Watch out Chelsea Hightower. I see this girl as the next Dancing With the Stars cross-over. Her neon pink fringe and her platinum blonde hair looked all too perfect together as Max held her in that dip at the end. Spicy indeed. No surprise. These two were the first to get tickets on the Hot Tamale Train.

Wow! I forgot how much I actually like this damn show! So what did you all think? Who will find themselves on the caboose of that hot tamale train tonight? Who were your favorites? Did anyone else get annoyed with Nigel's lip movements being off with the audio? And do you also find it annoying when the dancers try to come up with all their little clever ways to finger puppet their voting number? How about the background in Melissa and Ade's number? Did it strangely resemble Superman's ice lair? Just where was Mia Michaels? Lastly, are you aboard the SYTYCD train like me? All aboard I say!


  1. Anonymous6/11/2009

    I was soooo pumped for last night's top 20 show! And despite the fact that A LOT of the contestants were new faces, I was really impressed with everyone for the most part. I mean usually the first show or two you can just tell who's not going to make it...but this time around the judges are going to have hard choices.
    The biggest thing I'm happy about...Wade is back!!! I was truly bummed last year when he was gone to do his cirque du soleil thing, but it made it even sweeter to see him choreograph last night.

  2. Yes, I was impressed as well. (but you know I gots to make fun of some of them!) ;-) I think saki and ravioli will be in trouble.

    and wade. oh, let me count the many reasons I love wade. I have loved him ever since the Wade Robson Project! I am definitely looking forward to this season if he is a player.

    glad you are around tressa .. hope you are well! :-)

  3. pegbud6/12/2009

    What a great recap! Thanks. Love the show. I was quite impressed with all of the dancers. They were sooooo good.

    Mary may be crazy but I still like her. I think she's got a good heart.

    I don't really have a favorite couple yet. I think it's a bit unfair, as Nigel stated, that some contestants are already known to us because of air time and some are mysteries. I hope they can all be given a fair chance. Bummer that one of the couples only get one shot. Maybe they should have had a show which showcased all of them BEFORE eliminations began.

    Anyhow, thanks for bringing SYTYCD here!!


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