I don’t much like reality TV shows – I absolutely abhor Big Brother, I don’t understand Survivor, I don’t much care for Australian Idol, I long ago got bored with The Amazing Race, and I find Dancing With The Stars and It Takes Two quite cringeworthy. So it was a huge surprise to find myself enjoying the latest craze – So You Think You Can Dance.
In all seriousness, I didn’t latch on to the American series when it was first shown on Channel 10. I did watch the occasional episode, which were quite enjoyable and fun, but I couldn’t say I was a huge fan. There had been a lot of hype about the Australian version of the show for quite some months, and the Australian series finally kicked off at the beginning of February with the usual guff of contestant auditions and sob stories / gratuitous tears that took place around the country. After weeks of weeding out the good from the bad, and the exceptional from the good, the Top 20 performers were selected and the first show of the real contest began last night.
I have but three words to say – I am hooked.
What a spectacular show! The dancers were amazing, most of the choreography was amazing, most of the costumes were amazing, and on more than one occasion, I was left with my mouth hanging open in absolute awe of what I witnessed. And the whole experience was made more fun by the fact that I watched the show in the company of my good friends Emily, Megan S and Penny.
I was so impressed with the show of agility and talent by all the dancers. You see, I am quite possibly one of the world’s most uncoordinated people – born with two left feet and stumps for legs, I well recall my piss poor attempts to keep my swinging limbs in time to the music during my Year 10 Drama rehearsals for our mid-year and end-of-year performances. I was so bad that for our dance routines, my Drama teacher relegated me to the very back row, safely hidden behind everyone else. I admire anyone who can dance and not look like a floundering fish out of water, and these young people can certainly move and groove.
So, here’s what I thought of the first episode of the real competition (with a little help from a few websites in maintaining the correct dance terminology):
* Natalie Bassingthwaighte’s hairstylist needs to be shot – or replaced – immediately. I never thought it could be possible for someone to have hair wider than they are tall!
* Matt Lee, judge with the stupid Fedora hat, had nothing constructive to say about the dancers – what a boring shade of beige. Matt needs to say more about the dancers / routines / etc than "you did a great job" – his generic comments were really annoying me by the end of the show.
* Bonnie Lythgoe was wearing the prettiest top – I want the top!!! Bonnie was a bit more animated than Matt, but her comments too were fairly generic.
* Jason Coleman was the standout judge for me. He gave good, constructive advice to the dancers, and wasn’t afraid to lambaste some of the choreographers for devising questionable routines. Case in point: Jason said he failed to understand the correlation between the costumes with the music and the dance routine that was performed by Stephanie and Marko (punk outfits, "Untouched" by The Veronicas and the Jive respectively).
And the dancers:
Rhiannon + JD: Rhiannon (who looks like a little ball of spitfire and who judge Bonnie described as "a whole lot of trouble") was paired with JD the Hip Hop choreographer to open the series. Their first routine was Hip Hop, which was completely JD’s domain; he seemed to cruise through the entire routine without any bother. Rhiannon gave it her best shot but you could see she wasn’t as comfortable with the routine as JD was. There was a little bit of mistiming – they weren’t dancing in unison at one point, but overall, it was fun to watch.
Courtney + Hilton: Courtney with the big smile and the curly hair was up next, paired with a very gorgeous Hilton. Their style was Jazz Lyrical and the premise of their routine looked very much Romeo + Juliet. I thought they did a good job, even though Hilton slipped up with the lift. Courtney looked like she was lagging a bit behind Hilton, but she did put a good effort into the routine.
Vanessa + Henry: Vanessa the ballet dancer was teamed with Henry the ballroom dancer for the next routine – the Salsa. Vanessa is a gorgeous Chinese girl who looks so cute, until she speaks – her little girly girl voice was a little too much to handle. The routine itself was very high energy and Henry looked very much at home while Vanessa seemed a bit stiff throughout the performance.
Camilla + Sermsah: Flaming redhead Camilla meets Indigenous Australian Sermsah. The style was Musical Theatre and the routine was choreographed to Shirley Bassey’s "Hey Big Spender". Camilla looked smoking hot in her cat burglar outfit, and she and Sermsah worked beautifully together, even though Sermsah botched the lift and was thrown off-balance for a split second with Camilla on his shoulders. Really lovely to watch.
Jemma + Rhys: This has to be one of the funniest looking couples – Jemma the beautiful ballroom dancer and Rhys the drag queen. I like these two – Jemma has a lovely sweet smile and Rhys is just so cheeky and OTT camp!!! Their Waltz was set to some soppy Celine Dion song and in my opinion, this was the best routine of the night. They were like two adjoining pieces of a jigsaw puzzle and moved in complete unison – the whole routine was so fluid and flowing, much like their costumes and made the hairs on the nape of my neck stand up. So gorgeous.
Laura + Anthony: I like Laura – I’ve liked her since her first audition – money can’t buy those dimples! Anthony is an absolute hottie and these two made a very stunning couple. The Lyrical Contemporary routine was about a couple breaking up and the girl not wanting to let go and I thought Laura and Anthony did a great job of interpreting the story. Not as good as Jemma and Rhys though.
Stephanie + Marko: I watched this Jive routine in complete disbelief, and am in even greater shock now to find out who was behind the choreography – the same man who gave us the stunning Waltz routine served up the disjointed and jarring Jive that Stephanie and Marko had no choice but to perform as their first dance. I hated this, and certainly not because the dancers didn’t put in a huge effort to look like they were enjoying themselves – they tried to inject some fun into the set up that was just phenomenally bad.
Kate + Khaly: What a shame to be paired up with someone who is shorter than you, especially when the shorter of the two is the male half of the couple. I hope the height disparity won’t affect this couple too much, as I quite like Khaly and his myriad of face bling. I was a neither here nor there with their Contemporary Jazz routine – but I did love the Silverchair song the routine was choreographed to.
Demi + Jack: Demi is my favourite of the girls – she is just so damn cute! Jack is a little bit cheeky so he compliments Demi quite well in the cute stakes. Their routine was the Boogaloo (which is a style apparently derived from popping) and it was a fun routine to watch. It made me giggle and smile the whole way through and they looked like they had so much fun dancing the routine. Megan had a good point though – she was a little bit disappointed by this routine because there didn’t seem to be a crescendo, which reflected Jason Col
eman’s thoughts precisely.
Kassy + Graeme: Another stunning looking couple – Kassy is all blonde and bootylicious and Graeme is so damn fine! Their Hip Hop Lyrical routine was really lovely to watch and a really terrific way to wrap up the night’s competition. These two brought sexy back, that’s for sure! I rated this performance as my third favourite for the evening – behind Jemma + Rhys and Demi + Jack.
I should probably make a prediction for the bottom 3 – I’d have to say Stephanie + Marko, Kate + Khaly, and Vanessa + Henry. As for who will be eliminated, Stephanie and Khaly.