Summer generally means a slowdown in my TV watching habits, but that doesn’t mean I will be completely abandoning my recapping/reviewing duties until fall. Instead, I’m going to focus on my ultimate summertime favorite, So You Think You Can Dance. Each week, I’ll bring you some brief thoughts on the episode as a whole as well as my standout performers and favorite routine (as well as my favorite solo when we reach that point).
This week began the voting portion of the season on strong footing with some interesting pairings, a great guest judge (the incomparably charming Wayne Brady), and a fun opening number from Tabitha and Napoleon.
Were there some duds this first week? Of course (Carlos and Mariah’s labored jive comes to mind, as does Alexis and Nico’s uninspired hip hop). Was I sad to see Alexis, one of my beloved tap dancers, in a routine that was torn apart by the judges? Of course. But I was also pleasantly surprised by the praise given to her fellow tappers Aaron and Curtis (which was deserved since both were strong in their routines). I also found myself thoroughly enjoying the majority of the dances last night, which isn’t always the case with the first bunch of performances.
I loved Malece’s poise in her jazz routine with Jade. I thought Curtis and Haley did a great job with an incredibly nuanced hip hop number. I got goose bumps watching Jasmine M. and Alan show the strength of their chemistry so early in the competition. I adored every powerful moment of Jasmine H. and Aaron’s routine, and I have a feeling she’s going to be one of my favorite dancers this season. And, like the judges, I was blown away by Amy and Fik-Shun’s fluid and emotional contemporary routine.
All in all, it was a pretty great way to set the tone for what looks to be a strong season.
Standout Performers: Jasmine M., Alan, Jasmine H., Aaron, Curtis, Haley, Amy, and Fik-Shun
Favorite Routine: This week’s choice came down to a Battle of the Jasmines. Jasmine H. and Aaron’s routine certainly had the strength and controlled power I’m usually drawn to in dancers, and I’m pretty sure they have a combination of genuine chemistry, stage presence, and technical ability that’s going to make them one of my favorite couples as the season progresses.
However, if we’re talking about technical ability and chemistry, there’s no one that even came close to Jasmine M. and Alan last night. Their Travis Wall contemporary piece was breathtaking—even without factoring in the fact that THEY WERE BLINDFOLDED. I’m sure those blindfolds allowed for some visibility, but I cannot imagine dancing with something constantly restricting my vision. Heck, I used to hate it when I danced and my false eyelashes would sometimes get in my field of view. I honestly have no idea how they managed to execute everything so perfectly and also convey a true sense of intimacy without the use of their eyes (no matter what Nigel said about a lack of emotion).
For Jasmine to be able to throw herself into Alan’s arms like she did and execute that trust-fall at the end of the routine so fearlessly says a lot about what he must be like as a partner. The amount of trust already existing between them in this routine is pretty astounding considering the fact that they just started dancing together. And from a purely aesthetic perspective, their bodies and their movements were beautifully in-synch. This dance had a gorgeous fluidity of movement to it, which is amazing considering the level of difficulty.
From the choice of music to the pause when the blindfolds were finally removed, every detail in this routine was beautiful. I’m so excited to see more from these two in the coming weeks.