cover art by Opalsong
|Podbook (entire series)||3:12:35||90.6 MB|
Credits in the End Notes
cross posted at amplificathon, my journal, and AO3
Well, that happened. This week was... rocky. I have to keep reminding myself that there were some legitimately good dances this week. Like, really good! But those bad ones. Yikes! We'll get to that Gajeel thing later, I promise. But let's not start off on a bad note; there'll be enough negativity to go round when we get there. Instead, I'm going to start with a new segment I'm adding called 'tweet of the week'! I strongly suspect that the network mandated that all the dancers get twitter accounts. Am I following all of them? You bet I am! Our first tweet comes from a dancer I foresee will soon become a twitter favourite... Ok, I admit it, he's already my twitter favourite: Natsu!
The thought of a five legged Natsu is too hilarious. Now, on to the dances!
Top 20 Dance
Contemporary, Prelude (On Earth as in Heaven), choreographed by Stacey Tookey.
I found this dance suitably epic. A good choice for such a big group. I thought this was a fairly strong opener, but I found it impossible to tell the dancers apart in their costumes, except for Gray who was the only shirtless dude... again. Though this time I'm not convinced that was on purpose. Personally, I like being able to pick out the individuals in the group dances. On the whole, I enjoyed this dance. It came close, but due to poor costuming it didn't quite blow me away. Every season I feel more and more strongly that costuming can make or break a dance.
Juvia & Gray
Tango, El Tango de Roxanne, choreographed by Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo.
Yes, we get to meet our partner pairs this week! I wish that all the pairings ended up as well matched as Juvia with Gray. But they made some big mistakes there, in my opinion. NO, stay positive! Ok! This dance was great. I mean, woooow. I thought the three person ballroom last week was steamy! Sorry Erza, Loke, Evergreen, you've officially been out steamed. Not out danced, but out steamed. Ballet dancer Gray had no trouble with the ballroom moves, but as a contemporary dancer, Juvia wasn't totally comfortable. Fortunately, what she lacked in technique was more than made up for with style. I said Juvia looked distracted last week, but this time she was laser focused. I think pairing her with Gray was a good call!
Laki & Loke
Broadway, Love Led Us Here, choreographed by Tyce Diorio.
I... don't know how to feel about this dance. I'm just confused. It was just so earnest. So. Earnest. But they do realise that's Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog singing, right? I mean, what? Was it supposed to be a comedy? No? Yes? In the end, I am left with a singing frog and so many questions.
Lucy & Vijeeter
African jazz, South Africa 2009, choreographed by Sean Cheesman.
This dance was surprisingly refreshing. After a rough dance last week, Vijeeter really brought it today. Lucy did well, but I don't think she really stood out. I thought the costumes could have done with a few less bangles, but taken as a whole I liked this dance. A lot. It was fun! And after the stunt Gajeel pulled, this week needed all the fun it could get.
Evergreen & Natsu
Quickstep, La Boulange, choreographed by Louis Van Amstel.
Speaking of not having fun. This dance was a failure of several levels. Hip hop dancer Natsu was way out of his depth with this intricate quick step. One thing I like about Natsu is how, even though he did not do well in this dance, he always stayed so positive, as his tweet I shared earlier demonstrates. Actually, the problem with this dance wasn't Natsu at all. He was clearly doing his best and at least trying to have fun. The real problem with this dance was Evergreen. She was in her own style and Natsu couldn't have been farther out of his, but she didn't support him at all. She was basically just using him as a prop to dance around. I don't think she even looked at Natsu the entire dance. Not cool, Evergreen.
Cana & Elfman
Hip hop, Sixteen Salteens, choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon.
This is a good pairing I think. Cana and Elfman both have personalities that wouldn't pair with everyone, but they seem well matched for each other. As for the dance, it wasn't the best I've ever seen from Tabitha and Napoleon, I thought it was a little on the weird side. I don't think this pair has quite shown us what they can do yet, but so far I dig it.
Erza & Freed
Contemporary, Loneliness (that nobody knows), choreographed by Travis Wall.
Eeeeeeeehh. This contemporary piece was a little too cerebral for me. Both Erza and Freed's form were flawless, as I have already come to expect, but there was nothing more to this dance. The dance was lacking something. Not every dance needs a story, but it needs something. I mean, I can get behind a good mood piece but this dance lacked that as well. I can't actually find fault, it was just... too cerebral. Sorry.
Mirajane & Alzak
Lyrical hip hop, The Technicolor Phase, choreographed by Christopher Scott.
A nice relaxing lyrical hip hop piece by Christopher Scott. Mirajane really outshone Alzak in this piece. As a ballroom dancer, Alzak was out of his wheelhouse on this one, and I could tell. Mirajane on the other hand looked like she was gliding across the stage. This dance lacked the punch to make it a real show stopper, but not every dance has to be a kick in the teeth; nothing wrong with chill.
Bisca & Laxus
Mambo, Mambo de Chocobo, choreographed by Anya Garnis.
I dunno about this partnership. Maybe I'm biased because Bisca and Alzak are just so cute together, but seeing her dance ballroom with anyone else seems wrong. And, honestly, Laxus is falling down on my list of favourites. Yeah, his form is perfect - like 'wow!' perfect - but can't Laxus crack a smile? I mean a real smile; his perfect form includes perfect stage smiling but that doesn't count. In fact, it's starting to give me the creeps.
Levy & Gajeel
Jazz, Sunshine Lollipops And Rainbows, choreographed by Ray Leeper.
Ok. I've put it off as long as I can. Let's talk about Gajeel. Actually, I'm going to break form for a minute and I'm going to talk to Gajeel for a minute (let me pretend he's actually going to visit my little review show). Gajeel, listen. YOU DO NOT PICK UP YOUR PARTNER WITHOUT PERMISSION! Never ever. When is it ok? NEVER!!! Don't do it! UUgh. And this was in the show's opening introductions too! The judges tried to smooth it over, but he clearly almost dropped her. I know Levy was being as professional as she could be, but was obviously shaken up. And then they had to dance THIS number. Oooh it was excruciating! I literally covered my face for most of it. Levy was just doing her best, but the chemistry between these dancers was palpably negative. Every time there was a lift, and thank god there was no big lifts, I cringed. It was physically painful. It will take a miracle for Gajeel to stay on the show after that one-two combo of utter fail.
Side note: Can I thank Cat for being the only person to actually address the lift? Thank you Cat for chastising Gajeel on the air. You are forever my hero.
Lisanna & Bickslow
Contemporary, Wytches Brew (William Shakespeare), choreographed by Mandy Moore.
I can't decide if putting this dance last was a great decision or a terrible one. On the one hand, I was so upset after Levy and Gajeel's dance that I could barely concentrate on this one. On the other hand, I was so upset after the Levy and Gajeel dance that I needed something pleasant to distract me - and this dance fit the bill. Easily the best of the night. I was initially unsure of this pairing, but they both did amazing character work in this high energy contemporary. Bickslow was perfect as some kind of voodoo magician and Lisanna made an amazing witch with that black flowing dress and her white hair. Now that was costuming done right. Now to watch this piece on Youtube eight hundred more times.
Eliminations and Closing Thoughts
No surprise that Laki and Vijeeter are going home. Their duet last week was not good. Laki's showing tonight was a bit better, maybe? I'm still confused by that one. Vijeeter's dance with Lucy was definitely way better tonight, so at least we got to see what he's capable of before he went home. This means that next week will have a new pairing of Lucy and Loke. Wonder how that's going to turn out?
Pop quiz! Question: when is it ok to pick up your partner without permission? Answer: NEVER! Ok, good. Just making sure you (*coughGajeel) was paying attention.