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
We are back in a big way this week, wow! What an amazing show. This episode was all about the drama - with a capital DRAMA. I knew our respite last week couldn’t last. And if you’re noticing any differences in my little review show this week it’s because I’m currently on vacation in Disney World. That’s right! I am so dedicated to this show that I’m continuing to watch and review So You Think You Can Dance while on vacation. You’re welcome.
Now back to business. We already knew something big was coming when Freed leaked this cryptic tweet:
I admit, this worried me. I had no idea what Freed could mean! But after viewing the episode, all I can say is: Boo hoo, Freed. Somebody call the waaahmbulance!
Freed was technically right, though. This week did change everything - and NOT in a good way. IN A FREAKING AWESOME WAY! This was, hands down, the best week yet. You can bet your balls we’ll be seeing at least one routine from this episode again in the finale. Y’all know the one I mean.
Now, finally, let’s get on with the reviews.
Top 14 Dance
Contemporary, Faries, choreographed by Travis Wall
This was a very nice piece, it was a soft contemporary without any of that ‘tortured soul’ feeling that can easily sneak into a routine like this one. I was so busy admiring the piece and its graceful lifts, that it took me until almost the end of the dance to realise that Travis Wall, the choreographer was among the dancers onstage. That could only mean that one of the dancers had gotten injured or gone home. In other words - the drama begins! It took me only a little bit longer to figure out who was missing. Once I did, it became obvious what Freed was moaning about in his tweet.
Juvia & Gray
Broadway, Mob Song, choreographed by Spencer Liff What a perfect routine for my Disney vacation! I can only conclude that it was intentional. We also got to see a bit about each dancer’s first routines in the about-the-dancer section. We had no footage of tiny Juvia, which was sad. Not even photographs. We got some old video of tiny Gray in a ballet routine. I laughed right out loud when I realised that right from the start, Gray was somehow unable to dance with a shirt. The routine itself, was... interesting. Juvia and Gray usually have amazing chemistry, but it was all out of whack on this one. Gray was a magnificent, albeit shirtless, Gaston, but Juvia was off as Belle. Isn’t Belle supposed to detest Gaston? In this routine it looked less like Belle was fighting against Gaston and more like Belle was fighting the urge to jump Gaston’s bones. Boy, that changes the story.
Erza & Freed
Contemporary, Emperor Zinyak, choreographed by Sonya Tayeh
SO BROODING! I have never, never seen a more brooding dance in my entire life. I don’t mean that as an insult, it really worked! Sonya Tayeh’s intense choreography was on point. We saw in the rehearsal footage that poor baby Freed was feeling so down that he was having trouble dancing - until Erza gave him a pep talk and told him to channel those emotions into the dance. Can Erza come to my house and give me pep talks when I’m feeling down? Wow! Then I could do anything! Freed’s first performance was pretty standard, though I’m impressed at what a technical dancer he was even as a child. Erza’s story was wonderful! Like Juvia, there was no footage of the performance, but we got to see some grainy pictures. Tiny Erza dancing with Tiny Jellal! Remember Jellal? He danced with Erza at the auditions, even though he wasn’t auditioning himself - it’s tough to dance ballroom by yourself after all. The judges practically begged Jellal to take a callback ticket but he refused. Seeing both of them dance together as little kids was great. Erza looked so happy!
Lucy & Natsu
Hip hop, Stuck on Repeat, choreographed by Dave Scott
Natsu’s first official, stage performance was at the So You Think You Can Dance auditions! That’s just perfect somehow. That being said, he’s been performing on the street for a living for a few years now. Lucy, on the other hand, had meticulously videotaped footage. I think this the first time I’ve ever seen steadycam and multiple angles for this segment before. Lucy’s family being incredibly wealthy explains it though. But even this jaded soul was moved when tiny Lucy, in her tiny pink tutu, ran off the stage and hugged her mom in the audience. Aaaaw! Ok, back to the dances. This routine was another winner in my book. Lucy and Natsu have proved again to be a great partnership. Natsu still isn’t comfortable with choreography, but he was at his smoothest yet. It helps of course that he was in his own style. But it was actually Lucy that I want to give props to this week. That sexy-jazz-dancer swagger she has translated well to this routine and she nailed all the moves. Lucy is steadily rising on my list of dancers, which I would never have predicted back in Week 1.
Lisanna & Bickslow
Samba, Sonic The Hedgehog 2 ‘Chemical Blip’ OC Remix, choreographed by Jean-Mark Généreux
YES! A fantastic Jean-Mark routine. I love how he just throws everything at the wall and sees what sticks. I have never seen animation incorporated in a ballroom dance before, but now I can check that off my bucket list. I didn’t even know it was on my bucket list! Lisanna and Bickslow still have all the sexual chemistry of a potato, but at least the potato can dance. Bickslow nailed the animation portions he was given and Lisanna is always so graceful. Pairing these skills in a samba was brilliant. I am not surprised at all that Bickslow started animating when he was still very young. Most animators get into the style a bit older, but not everyone. Lisanna was another dancer who didn’t have any footage of her first performance, but we were told it was in a trio with her siblings. I’m really sad nobody filmed it, I’d have loved to see that!
Levy & Gajeel
Contemporary, Into the Fire, choreographed by Mia Michaels
I feel kind of bad for Levy and Gajeel, any other week (heck! Any other year!) this would have been THE standout routine, hands down. This dance was absolutely spectacular. I admit, I was skeptical of this pair doing contemporary, even if last week was a big step up for them. It was nice seeing tiny Levy performing her first tap routine though. Gajeel’s first routine was from the days he danced in the Phantom Lord crew, turns out they were actually a really respected crew before they disbanded. Like I said, it was interesting to see their first performances when they were younger, but I didn’t actually have confidence that this piece was going to be anything special. Fortunately, choreographer Mia Michaels really created something special. She obviously took inspiration from this pairs’ real history and that disastrous near-drop back in week 2. The story of the piece was about two people learning to trust each other, and how hard but important that is. There were some gorgeous moments when it was Levy holding Gajeel, not over head or anything, but where if she didn’t have the strength, he would definitely fall. Then at the end, she just threw herself and he caught her. The real magic of the piece is that I felt safe for both of them watching it. The routine gave me chills. I really hope we get to see it again in the finale, and if not, there’s always youtube.
Cana & Elfman
Jazz, Wondaland, choreographed by Sonya Tayeh
This dance was really trippy. It was Sonya Tayeh choreography at its weirdest. It was almost inaccessibly weird, but it was still good. There’s actually not a lot to say about this piece, really. It was just so... trippy. The lifts were still lacking and I think I figured out why: it’s not exactly that the lifts are laboured, it’s that Elfman looks like he’s being incredibly careful. Come on, Elfman, It’s not like Cana’s made of glass or anything. We didn’t hear much about Elman’s first performance (or Mirajane either), since it was the exact same story as Lisanna. Yes, I’m still bummed there are no pictures - I’m having real trouble picturing Elman without bulging muscles. Cana’s first performance was the normal story of her mother bringing her to a dance recital. Cana, who is normally so secretive, mentioned that she had hoped that her dad would be there for the recital. The way she slightly stressed ‘hoped’ suggests that he didn’t come in the end. Her dad sounds like a jerk!
Hip hop, House of Wolves, choreographed by Pharside & Phoenix
Wow. Just wooooooooooooow. This dance blew my freaking mind. Who needs Laxus? Mirajane blew the roof off this routine! With Laxus gone, she danced instead with Pharside and dominated the entire routine start to finish. Both Kat and the rehearsal package were really cagey with the details of why Laxus left the show, but sounds like it wasn’t because of injury. Was he kicked off? I’m so curious! I must know! At least, that’s what I thought until Mirajane started dancing - after that I stopped caring about everything except for my intense need for the routine to never stop. I’ve been saying for ages that Mirajane’s been holding back. Well, not this time! She really gave it her all. After watching this dark, hard hitting hip hop routine I find it hard to believe that Mirajane auditioned as a soft contemporary dancer. WHO ARE YOU MIRAJANE!? I was joking last week when I said you might have a dark side, but now I stand corrected. Pharside and Phoenix threw everything and the kitchen sink into this incredibly difficult choreography and Mirajane nailed every single second.
Eliminations and Closing Thoughts
With Laxus gone, all the guys were safe this week. I was sad to see Lisanna go home, but the competition is really heating up now and it’s only really great dancers left now. I’m also sad that we never got to see Lisanna perform a trio dance with Mirajane and Elfman, that would have been awesome. I hate to do it, but I have to admit that Lisanna is the weakest of her siblings, especially now that we’ve seen what Mirajane is really capable of. The three of them have been really supportive of each other since the beginning, so I know she’s genuinely happy for her siblings for still being in the competition.
As for Laxus going home: good riddance.
Our next new pairing is Mirajane and Bickslow, which should be interesting. Laxus and Bickslow got pretty chummy during Vegas week at auditions, so I really wonder if that is going to have any impact on this new partnership. We only have to wait a whole week to find out.