Monday, July 30, 2012

Korea's Got Talent

Animation Crew shows off their eponymous style of animation based popping, while telling a touching tale of what appears to be a husband who lost his wife. They recently also performed at R16.

Locking Khan and Moon show off some of the best locking I've ever seen. What really makes this performance shine is their integration of the background visuals, which actually complement their performance instead of detract from it as is usually the case. Locking Khan is one of the best lockers in the world, having represented well at Juste Deboute and other major events worldwide

PID reminds me a lot of crews like Fighting Gravity and Team iLuminate. They also use blacklights and dancing, so if you enjoyed their American counterparts, then be sure to check them out.

Morning of Owl is one of my favorite Bboy crews of all time. They're always up for something crazy and creative, from doing a 6 minute performance to no music for Battle of the Year, to insane routines at R16. Of note is their powerhead Bboy Pocket, though everyone in the crew is pretty insane. Make sure you watch their routine below!

Hopefully the American version of this will have dancers represented as well too soon.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

MercerMZ review (with LOTS of videos) - So You Think You Can Dance Top 16

This week, joining Nigel and Mary on the judges panel was actress Cristina Applegate, who I must say not only looked great but did a pretty fair job in giving her honest opinions about the routines.
Group Performance - Broadway - SYTYCD goes Charlie Chaplin with this routine. All the dancers are dressed up like Mr. Chaplin and much of the choreography seems to imitate the style of movement that Charlie is known for. It's quirky, dramatic, and very, very technical all at once. I don't think I've been this impressed with the group routines for a few seasons now. Starting with Travis's group routine for the girls, these large group performances have been amazing this season. I'm not sure if the reason is whether the dancers are just so versatile or if the choreographers are really taking advantage of the dancers, but whoever is responsible for this should be commended. Typically I'm not always excited to see the group performances, but after this routine, I can't wait to see how the show will start next week.

Tiffany/George - Hip Hop - NappyTabs delivers the first hard-hitting Hip Hop routine this season. Drawing inspiration from their (NappyTabs) recent pregnancy, Tiffany and George are playing the babysitters of NappyTabs' newborn baby, who are losing their heads over this baby. It's a bright colorful routine with big broader steps mixed with smaller intricate movements. All 3 judges loved the routine, though Nigel thought George seemed to be running out of energy towards the end and Cristina wanted it to be a little "soupier" (Hey, don't blame me, if that's how she wants to phrase it then so be it).

I really enjoyed this routine. Many fans have been asking for some hard hitting hip hop like the routines we would get from Shane Sparks, Olisa & Cicely and Dave Scott, and this was definitely in that vane. And while I typically find Nappytabs's strength is delivering the lyrical hip-hop pieces, there have been a few exceptions (*notably Alex/Twitch's unforgettable routine from Season 7- click here to watch), and this might be one of them. Both of them brought a lot of personality in their performance and executed the choreography well. Plus, George has had my focus in their last two performances, but Tiffany completely outshined him this time. And I do agree with Nigel, she kept the energy flowing the whole way through. I do agree with Cristina though, I wish the dancers had been a bit more sharp and isolated in their moves since in spots it seemed just a bit too fluid, particularly in those smaller intricate movements. Still, it was great performance, and it was one of my favorites by the end of the night. This couple is one of the strongest, most consistent couples in the competition. Between this and their Foxtrot last week, they're quickly becoming some of my favorites.

Amber/Brandon - Jazz - Choreographer Ray Leeper gives this new couple a sexy piece all about Southern Love. Brandon is essentially a "Dr. Feelgood" character, who comes home to his wife and the two of them get it on. The most important aspect of the routine would be the chemistry between these two, since it's a very sexual and flirtatious kind of piece, and indeed there was a lot of flirting going on in the routine. All 3 judges liked the routine, and they all unanimously thought this was Amber's best performance so far.

I liked this routine; not loved but liked it. I do agree with the judges that Amber was really, really good in this piece. It played to her strengths and she gave an amazing performance. And as much as I like Brandon, I think this was his weakest performance thus far. Jazz is a very technical style and a lot of the movements he was given to do felt a bit labored from him. Plus, it didn't help that this routine used him as a tool to lift Amber much of the time here. However, the chemistry between them was important for this routine, and I do think there was some chemistry between them; it felt like they were enjoying themselves and each other’s company. So, between Amber's stellar performance, Brandon's not-so-good performance, and believable chemistry, it was enough for me to like here (after all, 2 out of 3 isn't bad at all). It's no surprise they're still here; out of the two performances they had with their former partners (Janaya & Nick), I felt Amber & Brandon outshined them in both of their routines. And for me, Amber has been one of the strongest girls in the Top 16 dancers.
Janelle/Dareian - Cha Cha - Season 3's Pasha Kovalev returns to choreograph a sexy Cha Cha. The routine itself is actually what you expect from a Cha Cha; it features a lot of partnering mixed with a few difficult tricks. It requires a lot of chemistry between the dancers as well as some solid partnering. The judges felt that the routine had a lot of technical issues but felt the dancers were still a great couple.

I did not like this routine, to put it bluntly. I didn't like it at all. And granted, one could argue that Eliana & Glitch's Jive last week was much worse, but I can't in good conscious say it was worse. True, Glitch was a technical mess, but Eliana did very well and honestly, both of them had much more believable chemistry than these two here. I had two big problems here: the first was of course the dancing. Yes, it's true neither of them are ballroom dancers but this was clunky from beginning to end. And while much of the partnering was solid, they both looked like they were trying to work through the performance instead of living in it. My second and biggest problem with this was the music. I don't just dislike it, I whole-heartedly hate "Call Me Maybe"; I think it's one of the most over-played, overrated songs out there right now. And here in this routine, in fact in this style, it's completely out of place. Cha Cha is a very sexy ballroom dance, in which the dancers can get pretty intimate with one another... and they're trying to dance sexy to a bubblegum pop song about a girl giving a boy her phone number. I'm sorry, it just doesn't work. The truth is, Pasha's choreography is the only thing I didn't dislike about this routine, but everything else wasn't great. Considering these two had my least favorite performance last week, it's safe to say I'm not a fan of these two right now.
Lindsay/Cole - Contemporary - Mandy Moore returns to choreograph a contemporary piece about a love/hate relationship. No really, Lindsay plays a loving free spirit and Cole is a hate-filled spirit trying to bring her down. As Mandy puts it, "There's always going to be people that don't like what you're doing, but I think if you can be as free and pure as you can possibly be, you will win in the end" (a lesson I think a good chunk of us online users could learn from). The routine features a ton of partnering with Lindsay throwing herself all across the stage, while the stage projects these huge shadows of the dancers in the back. The judges absolutely loved this piece and were surprised at how versatile these two were.

I loved this performance. I really can't say too much more about it, except that I'm very impressed with how versatile these two are. They made it look effortless, and the shadows projected in the background were gorgeous to look at as well. Last week was a hiccup for these two, but performing two out of three routines very well makes them some of the strong competitors at the moment.

Amelia/Will - Jazz - Mandy Moore's second routine of the night is a quirky Jazz number about opposites attracting. I really wish I could say more, but much of the rehearsal footage was spent on Mandy flirting with Will... It's a quirky piece with a lot of technical movements, partnering and some flirting going on. For the first time in the night, the judges gave it mixed reviews. Mary and Cristina thought they danced it well and were fun to watch, but Nigel didn't connect with the piece at all.

I'm kind of siding with Nigel here; I think it just an okay routine, but it's not something I'll remember in three weeks. I think the reason for this is because of the routines they've done before. Both the Lovecat and Sonya's routines were very character/emotionally based pieces that brought out big personalities from these two, and this routine didn't have as much depth as the other two, so therefore I don't think they were given a lot of personality to bring out this time around. I mean, yes they danced it well, but eventually, that won't be enough to stick around. Like I said, it was kind of forgettable by the end of the night.
Audrey/Matthew - Salsa - This strong contemporary couple takes on one of the sexiest, intimate styles of ballroom dancing choreographed by newcomer Liz Lara. The routine features some difficult tricks including a tornado spin that gave Audrey some difficulty in the first rehearsal. Just like Janelle/Dareian's routine earlier, the judges love the dancers but felt that this routine wasn't good at all.

So ballroom goes 0 for 2 tonight, and it's unfortunate because just like the other routine, I thought the choreography was okay, perhaps it was a little too slow. But my criticisms of Kanelle/Dareian's routine are pretty much the same here: the song choice was terrible, the dancers were struggling all the way through this, and there was no chemistry between them. In fact, both of them didn't seem to be truly enjoying this routine the entire time they danced it. It's a shame since they've had two strong routines already and with this routine, their golden train might have just dived off a cliff. Hopefully, they can recover from this.
Witney/Chehon - Contemporary - Stacey Tookey returns to deliver a contemporary piece about an impossible love story; a story about a couple that want to be together but circumstances won't let them. In a way, it's like a Romeo/Juliet story but not directly or exactly. It’s performed to Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" with both staying close and intimate to one another. The performance received a standing ovation from the judges, so you can guess how they felt...

This routine is quickly becoming a fan favorite for many other fans, but for me... I just didn't care for it. I'm sorry, even taking away the story behind the piece, there wasn't enough there to make me stop and say "That was spectacular". In fact, it looks a lot like many other contemporary routines that the show has delivered and I believe that Stacey has choreographed much more interesting pieces (such as the Fear routine and the Mad World Routine). I think it's the concept; the whole "two-lovers-who-can't-be-together" thing has been so many times now, it's just not interesting to me anymore. I'm also wondering if this routine is so popular simply because it was danced to one of Whitney Houston's most well known songs. But looking past the concept, both dancers delivered a solid performance; in fact, I'm impressed that both Ballroom girls managed to do very well in contemporary. I may not have cared for this, but I have a pretty strong feeling they'll be safe. However, this couple has gone back and forth for me, and they need to deliver an incredible performance next week if they want to win me over.
Eliana/Glitch - Hip Hop - Last, but certainly not least, NappyTabs returns to give possibly the oddest couple on the show a robotic, popping influenced hip-hop piece. Glitch is a robot (both in real life and in the routine) who brings a jewelry box ballerina (Eliana) to life. The routine is a perfect mix small intricate movements to slower fluid motions mixed with the occasional ballet movements. And once again, the judges gave this piece a standing ovation.

This was by a clear mile my favorite routine of the night. It's strange because this couple has been the center of controversy from the fans, many of whom feel Glitch is holding down Eliana. And while I disagree with that idea, I can't honestly say their first two performances were spectacular. This on the other hand, was definitely their best performance on the show so far. And while Eliana continues to show how amazing and versatile of a dancer she is, this routine played to Glitch’s style and I could not take my eyes off him. The most surprising aspect about this couple is that while on paper this pairing might look like a recipe for disaster, they work well together and play off each together so well. A fantastic performance from them both, and one that I can guarantee will be on my favorites at the end of the season.
So with the performances finished, the Bottom 6 are revealed to be the following:
Lindsay, Amber, Eliana, Dareian, Brandon and George. (click on names to watch their solos)

I think the guys were much easier to choose from then the girls. I think perhaps the audience may have found both Brandon & George's performances forgettable but Dareian's performance was easily the weakest of the group last week. As for the girls....

I can understand Lindsay being in the bottom, but Amber and Eliana!?!?! WHY!?!?! Both of them performed much, much better than their partners last week, so why they voted in the bottom, I have no idea. The judges decide that Lindsay & George don't need to dance solos, which means it was safe to assume they're safe. And after the other 4 dancers perform a solo, the judges decide to eliminate Amber and Brandon. This is yet another elimination that makes me sad since both of them were among my favorites for the season. Still, it's nice to see them both leaving on a high note with their solos. Though it's a shame that Janaya, Alexa, Daniel, Nick didn't get to dance a final solo before they left.

As for tonight's show, once again, it's on the same level as the other two. All three weeks have had a good chunk of average performances with  1-2 great & not so good routines. I think tonight might have had some of the weakest performances yet, particularly in the Ballroom styles, but the Hip Hip finally got better. I'm still waiting for that week where the performances are spectacular all the way around, which typically comes during the Top 12-8. And as far as the dancers in danger for the next show, I think this week might be easier to guess:

Girls - Amelia, Audrey, Janelle & Witney
Guys - Will, Matthew, Dareian & Chehon
Well, that's it for this review. What did you think of this week? Did you have any favorites? Are your favorites still in the competition? Let me know below. The show will be leaving the air to make space for the Olympics and will return, on August 15th. In the meantime, good luck to the USA national team/competitors and good luck to the remaining 14 dancers.

Click here to leave comments and to return to the first page. Thanks again MercerMZ!

Dance Hero Japan | Season 3 Episode 3 Recap

More on Dance Hero Japan Season 3 Episode 3: 
LnP continue their sexy Broadway style, dancing to "Diamond's are  Guy's Best Friend" and getting 320 points total. They really capture that style well, very much capturing the spirit of Marily Monroe through dance.

Tokyo Footwork chose to use live music with a drummer, representing house music well and placing third with 270 points. Incorporating some bboy/acrobatics as well, they had great flow and showed how house dance, and really all dance, is about the music and bringing that to life. 

Trickstar again amazes with their popping, netting 230 points for the competition . Their costumes with makeup seemed to remind me of the Joker, and they played that slightly creepy angle really well. The balloon thing also reminded me of the AOV set that used one. But their ticking, hits, and isolation are top notch. 

Tokyo Beat Surf ended up wtih 80 points, but that doesn't mean that they're lacking as dancers in anyway. Their brand of newstyle choreo, with a lot of swag and loose movements is really compelling to watch, I also really enjoyed their music selection throughout the past few seasons.

Area Rock Styler is another crew that should have had more points than they got. They brough it all, with fast hitting popping, bboy, and some house to boot. Maybe they just needed a bit better blocking, and something to make them a little less generic compared to the other dancers this season, but I still hope they try again to represent themselves. Also shout out to the Beaste Boys Remix

Macho Pirates Opera Company are... always interesting. Some audience participation this time, which is a first. Still can't quite place what technique or style they're doing, but maybe that's their whole point - that they're doing their own thing. They end the season with 50 points

City Lights Tokyo had a less structured performance style, leading to 10 points overall this season. I didn't care for it personally. I think they could have been cleaner, and spent less time in the beginning "posing." They did have "Rack Swag City" cover though with relatively simpler choreography. I think they are better individual freestyle dancers than choreographed performers. 

Odorunosuki has zero points, which I find hard to believe. I'll leave it to you to decide, but I still enjoyed their dancing this past season. Dancing to non-traditional hip hop music is risky, and they pulled it off nicely I think, especially with the hat bit at the end.

All Genre Blenders, the youth group this season, again ended with zero points, when they definitely deserved more. I think that they concept they had with the conductor, combined with the energy they brought, the breadth of technique they showed proficiency in, and the general skill they had, I think should ave done better. There were some blocking mistakes, like with the highlights in the spotlight, but other than that, they did well. They are young still though, so they have a bright future
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Saturday, July 14, 2012

MercerMZ review (with videos): So You Think You Can Dance Top 20 Episode

On the judges panel tonight was Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe (who had celebrated his birthday recently, so congrats to him), ballroom expert Mary Murphy (who Cat accidently mistook for Mia Michaels), and director/choreographer Kenny Ortega.
Top 20 Performance - Opening the show was another interesting hip-hop piece from Christopher Scott. The performance featured 10 desks, with one dancer sitting at the desk, while another acts as their partner's assistant. The piece seemed to tackle the typical day in an office building, and played on some the feelings that might be going through the workers' heads, specifically frustration. The choreography relied on small, sharp, intricate movements to mimic the intricate work that a worker goes through in an office, which the dancers were great at being in sync with each other. The piece featured a small stepping solo from Brandon and a great set of pirouettes from Dareian. Overall, I think the piece was a nice way to start off the show. And between this and his baseball routine from the last show, Chris Scott could have a spectacular season if he keeps his work at this level of creativity. 

Witney/Chehon - Latin Ballroom meets Ballet in this pairing, as they teamed up to take on a Samba from Louis van Amstel. While Witney seemed to be just fine in her element, Chehon was having trouble loosening up (since ballroom is much more rhythmic than ballet). The routine itself featured a lot of partnering and it covered the stage pretty well. All 3 judges unanimously loved Witney, with Mary giving her a first class ticket on her "Hot Tamale Train".  As for Chehon, they wished he had loosened up more and enjoyed the music/lived in the performance more.

Witney put it perfectly in the rehearsal footage; Samba is a very upbeat, flirty and exciting form of dance, so a big part in pulling it off well is to enjoy it. Witney was solid from beginning to end, as she seemed to be living in the performance. Chehon, on the other hand, had a back-and-forth performance. The partnering was solid from him, and at times he seemed to be connecting with Witney. But it came time for him to dance individually, that's where problems were noticeable. Overall, it wasn't a bad performance, but for me, it was a bit forgettable by the end of the night.


Tiffany/George - Jazz meets Contemporary to take on an emotional Contemporary piece from Sonya Tayeh. The concept is that Tiffany & George are star-crossed lovers (essentially), who meet when the stars are aligned and see each other for who they really are. The piece was fluid from beginning to end, with just the right amount of emotion and technique combined together. All 3 judges loved it; they loved the choreography and they felt the dancers really got into the piece.

It's nice to see Sonya move away from her typical quirkiness and deliver something more fluid and romantic. The best part about this routine is the fact that she gave both Tiffany and George an equal amount of time to really show off their technique. And while both of them were solid, I honestly could not take my eyes off George. I have a feeling that he's a strong contender to make the Top 6 at least. Great piece all around.


Janaya/Brandon - Contemporary meets Stepping to take on an emotional Hip-Hop piece from couple Napoleon and (a very pregnant) Tabitha D'umo. The story is about an alcoholic who is forced to choose between having his girlfriend, or his addiction (a piece very similar to another routine they created for an International season, which you can watch here). The routine focused more on the character/emotion of the piece rather than the choreography, so both dancers needed to be invested in the characters. The dancers received mixed reviews; Kenny loved them both and thought they got into the character, while Mary & Nigel thought Brandon did well but Janaya needed to get more into the character.

This may not have been one of the best of the night, but it is a personal favorite. I think it's mostly because of the mix, but truthfully a good chunk of it was because Brandon did really well. Yes, I do think Janaya could have been a bit more sharper but she did well regardless. I wish this would have been called Lyrical Hip Hop since the routine is more fluid than what most would consider Hip Hop to look like. Again, I don't think I'm in the majority in saying this was really good, but I honestly don't care.

Alexa/Daniel - Contemporary and Ballet come together to take on a sexy, quirky Jazz routine from Sean Cheesman. This piece has a ton of difficult partnering and a lot of technical moves to show off the abilities of these two dancers. The judges put it perfectly when they said "It's the kind of piece where you breathe at the beginning, and you breathe again when it's over". Speaking of the judges, they gave it mixed reviews; they loved the amount of effort they brought into the routine and their execution of the moves, but Kenny & Nigel couldn't connect with the dancers.

I had mixed feelings about this routine, but I had other grips about the routine. I think the dancing was fine; both Daniel & Alexa did well in dancing the piece. As for connecting with them, sometimes I think the dancers are given routines that are not asking for the audience to connect emotionally with the dancers; rather it's meant to show off their abilities, and on that level, I did connect with them. I think in some cases, a great performance alone can persuade the audience to vote for the dancers. My problems came in everything else; this routine felt like a mixing of random things that didn't really go together, with the scaffolding set piece to those bright red outfits to the music (which sounded more like House music, and was in fact used much better for a House piece in an International season which you can watch here starting at 0:45). None of it worked for me, so it was kind of distracting. Still the dancing was solid. 

Amber/Nick - Contemporary meets Ballroom to on a Viennese Waltz choreographed by the talented Jason Gilkinson. Jason came down on Nick pretty hard in the first rehearsal since this is Nick's genre. Amber felt it might have been a strategic thing to bring out the best performance in Nick, which I think worked since the piece did come out very fluid and effortless in the end. The judges unanimously felt it was great and that Amber did a tremendous job in picking up the style. However, Nigel was a bit worried that with a style like this, people might not vote for them since the Viennese Waltz doesn't offer a lot of standout moments.

I whole-heartedly disagree with that sentiment. While much of the piece was very flowing, there was an incredible lift in the middle where Nick had Amber swinging around him in the same flowing manner as the rest of the piece. For me, it was one of the stand out moments of the night. Plus, the partnering was strong from both of them, and they really seemed to connect with each other in this piece. And only in one or two moments did Amber seem a bit clunky in the steps. While I disagree with Nigel on his reason why people may not vote for them, I am also worried about this couple not getting votes since neither of them got very much screen time this season up until this point.

Amelia/Will - Contemporary dancers join forces to take a "Character Pop (I'll explain this later)" piece from Tabitha & Napoleon D'umo. Amelia plays a high society, sophisticated cat, and Will is a back alley "cat daddy", who meet and flirt with one another. So basically, it's a sexy, flirty feline version of "Lady and the Tramp". This is a piece that demands personality from both dancers, and there was plenty of it to be found here. The judges all loved this piece, even though they had a slight controversy about calling it Hip Hop.

For me, the dancing and the personalities were both solid from the dancers. They really sold the piece and made it enjoyable to watch. However, much like Alexa/Daniel's number, I had problems with other aspects of the routine that kept me from enjoying it more. First was the music. In many cases, the song used for the routine can make it or break it for me since it is the backbone for the entire piece. For example, with Janaya/Brandon's piece, the choreo wasn't stupendous but the music really helped that performance, and thus I was able to enjoy it more. Here, the dancing was great, but I didn't care for this song, so ultimately it took away from me enjoying it. Second is labeling this as a Hip-Hop piece. It's not. It is not hip-hop. It may have some elements of hip-hop in there, but this is more of a jazz , pop jazz, or even a Broadway piece. Frankly, I have no problem if NappyTabs wants to create something that is outside the hip-hop realm, but if I'm watching this piece asking myself "...Where's the hip-hop?", it takes away some of my enjoyment for the piece. If this was labeled a Pop Jazz routine, I would have no problem with it, but the fact that this is being labeled hip-hop by the show, it bothers me. Still, that does not take away that Amelia/Will danced this piece well.

Janelle/Dareian - Belly-dancing and Contemporary come together to take on an intense African Jazz from Sean Cheesman. The piece had the dancers representing the rhythm of the jungle, with a ton of difficult and demanding choreography to boot. The routine had the dancers covering almost every part of the stage, as the were flipping, rolling,... pretty much throwing their entire bodies everywhere.
All 3 judges thought it was memorable, it was exciting, and the dancers were fantastic.
And I pretty much agreed with the judges. It was very colorful, dynamic and intense. Plus, we finally got to see Janelle perform and it's kind of surprising how flexible she is. Dareian also had a ton of great moments and he seemed to be a bit more sharper and cleaner in executing the moves. These two compliment each other very well. 

Eliana/Glitch - Ballet meets Animation Popping to perform a high energy Broadway routine from Tyce Diorio. The piece comes straight out of the musical Hairspray, set inside a classroom with the dancers having a good time with one another. In Broadway, character is ESSENTIAL; it is key. If the dancers are not performing, it does not look good. So mix character with some high energy choreography, and you've got the recipe a fun, memorable Broadway piece, and that's how it turned out here. All 3 judges loved the routine and commended Glitch for bringing such a big personality to the routine.

It's a bit unfortunate for Eliana seeing as how Glitch was the center of attention for much of the judging process because she did a fantastic job here. True, as many fans have pointed out, the choreography here wasn't terribly difficult and Eliana did do a lot more than Glitch. However, like I said above, character is key, so to me, it doesn't matter how difficult the choreography is; If you are not performing this piece, you are not doing it right, and in that regard, both of them deserve the high praise they got. Plus, it made their choreographer giddy, so I guess they did something right.

Audrey/Matthew - Jazz meets Contemporary to take on another emotional and romantic Contemporary routine from Travis Wall (SYTYCD Season 2 Runner Up). The piece is Travis's take on the Rose/Jack love story from the blockbuster film "Titanic". Travis was looking for the dancers to make a very strong connection with each other in order to sell the emotion of this piece. They captured it so well, and danced the routine so brilliantly, it got a standing ovation from the audience and the judges, with Nigel declaring it the best of the night.

It was a well deserved standing ovation. This was probably the most near-perfect routine of the night, because not only did they have great chemistry with one another, but the musicality in their dancing was spot on. They were in sync with one another and the music so perfectly. These two have a great chance at being the underdog couple to go on and do well on the show, which would help Matthew since he was barely covered during the first few episodes.

Lindsay/Cole - Latin Ballroom meets Martial Arts Fusion(as strange as it sounds) for the final routine of the night; an intense, fiery and dramatic Paso Doble from Jason Gilkinson. Lindsay plays a poison that is keeping Cole from doing all the things he wants to do and he is fighting against her. Typically in a lot of ballroom styles, the woman is in the forefront but the Paso Doble requires a strong masculine performance from the man, so the pressure was on Cole to deliver a strong performance. This piece did so well it also received a standing ovation from the judges, with Nigel saying it was worth putting into Jason's hit show "Burn the Floor".

This was probably the biggest surprise of the night, and one of the most exciting pieces as well. They really seemed like the strangest couple and yet, the two of them worked well together. Lindsay shined because she was in her element, but Cole was the biggest surprise in how well he performed. Unlike Chehon, who seemed to be too stiff throughout the majority of his Samba, Cole loosened up got the technique down as well as the character he was portraying. It was a fantastic performance, and I personally am hoping that this performance will be on the tour.

So overall, how did this first week fair to weeks before? About the same, actually. The first week performances aren't known for having standout performances since the dancers are just warming up to the competition. Though the first week performances are not always vey tight, but this season, the dancers for the most part all delivered average to above average performances. So the question becomes, who do I think is in danger for elimination next week? It's tough to decide this season. Many of the dancers are strong individually and there was a lot of role-reversing after these performances (standouts from the first few episodes may have under-performed, while others did very well).

Ultimately, while writing this recap/review, I found my opinion on the routines changing, so I decided to base this on a mix of the judges’ comments, their performance, and screen time (because whether fans want to admit it or not, it does in fact affect how we feel about certain dancers). So with all that taken into account, I think the following couples could be in trouble for next week:

Girls: Tiffany, Janaya, Amber and Alexa
Guys: Chehon, Brandon, Daniel and Nick

Keep in mind, the public vote is not the ultimate deciding factor this season, as the judges will also include their input before choosing the Bottom 3 next week. Plus, the dancers will perform one more routine next week, so if they under performed this week, they could change the judges' minds next week.

So, did you have any favorite routines? Did your favorite dancers do well? Let me know what you think. Thanks for reading, and be sure to tune in next Wed. night at 8pm EST on FOX for the next show!
Click here to return to the first page and to leave comments. Thanks again MercerMZ!