Archive for the ‘Joshua’ Category

No Cat on the grill, no ‘Bleeding Love’ — just Joshua getting it done on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’

August 8, 2008

“And in the end the love you make is equal to the love you take.”

Beatles, anyone? Or how about the delicious karmic justice of So You Think You Can Dance, whose voters rightly rewarded Joshua as this season’s hoofing hero given his clearly superior talents, rather than going the easy route of persona, back-story, sex appeal, charm or sheer popularity.

Such elements alone would have made voters switch to Twitch, a lovable guy who truly grew throughout this competition. But just as male dancers have an unfair advantage in strength and power, making it tough for women to prevail, Joshua was the dominant male in those categories, even if Twitch mastered some amazing lifts. And Joshua’s fierce spins and barrel rolls still made me audibly gasp.

But Twitch did finish second, and Katee, by nudging Courtney for top female dancer, won an unexpected $50,000 prize, as bestowed by Cat. Joshua’s take was a quarter mil and a spot in Adam Shankman’s dance movie, which got so much free publicity via this telecast that Shankman owed the show more than that mere morsel.

Wherever he winds up, Joshua is great and deserved to win — and how often can we say that about reality TV talent competitions? So bravo, America, for getting it right — and yes, my household put our money where our big mouth was, thanks to my wife’s diligent dialing to give Joshua his voting props.

As for Thursday’s two-hour results show, it fared much better than Wednesday’s two-hour performance finale, thanks to multiple reprises of the season’s best dances, including my personal favorite, Chelsie and Mark’s Bleeding Love, and my wife’s, Will and Katee’s Imagine pas de deux and Twitch and Katee’s Mercy, a rocky romance played out through a masterfully handled door.

That’s not to mention Joshua and Katee’s No Air, an emotional lyrical hip hop routine much in the vein of the same choreographers’ (Napoleon and Tabitha’s) Bleeding Love.

From Mary and Nigel dancing on stage (you’re right, Debbie Allen — all judges on this show should dance) to Cirque du Soleil’s wonderfully eerie number to the Jonas Brothers banal pop posing, the rest was needless extra icing on a cake which already was ready to eat. For me, it was enough seeing this show’s top dancers return to revisit their best routines, all remininding us what a dance-tastic season it’s been. Now it’s over and there’s a long wait till next year, but for Joshua, Twitch, Katee, Courtney, Will, Mark, Chelsie and others, their careers from here are just beginning. My thanks to you all. You did dance — and even TV itself — proud.

‘Tween Twitch, Katee and Joshua, who is, like, totally ready to win ‘So You Think You Can Dance’?

August 7, 2008

OK, we’ve covered the revolting “Cat wearing a spit-covered grill” yuckfest. And along with a two-hour (ouch) performance finale Wednesday, perhaps we all also saw Paris Hilton’s “like, totally ready to lead” rebuttal to “wrinkly white-haired guy.” But the big question is: Who’s totally ready to lead So You Think You Can Dance, now that the final votes are in for tonight’s two-hour (double ouch!) results show?

My personal pick would be Joshua — not because he’s a fellow Texan, but because he’s by far the best dancer in this entire competition. Built like a football player — which he once was — he’s mixed strength and power with grace, control and fast-learned skills to delight and dazzle for weeks, not just lately. And if I were a choreographer or head of a dance company, I’d hire him in a second. Houston Ballet, do you have an opening?

That said, I’ve got a not-so-funny feeling that Joshua won’t win.

For one thing, the judges and the show clearly showed favoritism to Twitch last night. He got the best dances, while Joshua was stuck with an awkward, flailing and (worst of all) dated jive at show’s end for his lasting last impression.

Twitch also got the night’s best reviews from the judges — pointedly. Heck, he even got to clown and charm in his lingering time before the panel. Looking dapper in his snappy tuxedo, Twitch played to a James Bond theme while encouraged by Nigel, in what seemed a rehearsed exchange. Apparently one of Twitch’s lines was added to make it all sound natural: when he asked Nigel to repeat how “Bond, James Bond” sounded. Uh, Twitch, I know you’re from the sticks in Alabammy, but I think they get movies and TV there, and I know damn well you know how that simple line is said with a faint British accent. Gimme a break.

Of course, America could still surprise me — and probably most of us — by splitting the men’s vote and giving the quarter mil and the title to — oh, say, Katee? She’s clearly the best female dancer of the season, though I do enjoy Courtney’s spirit (despite its sometimes cheerleader flavor). And no way Courtney is going to win, not after the backhanded “compliments” Wednesday, such as Nigel basically saying she’s not good enough to have a sustained pro dancing career, but at least she can teach. He might as well have added she has “a nice personality.” And BTW, amid Wednesday’s hype-heavy gushfest and its tone of delirious self-satisfaction, there were more between-the-lines dismissals — if not disses. To wit, the judges’ avowals that contestants were fine “entertainers” — as opposed to dancers — smacked of the same faint praise often heaped on lesser contestants on Dancing With the Stars. Trust me, as a dancer, you don’t want to be lumped with George Harrison or Jerry Springer.

So there — we know who’s not going to win. As for who’s going to win, as the Kinks would say, ya got me, ya really got me now, though I know who’s the best dancer.

As always with such shows, many of us keep saying it should not be a popularity thing, but a talent thing. Then others vote madly because a guy or gal is hot or has a relatable back-story. So it’s a mix. But maybe there’s hope for Joshua — hope in the votes of American Idol fans last spring, in giving AI’s title to talent first (though that talent certainly drove David Cook’s popularity).

If again, here, talent prevails, I have to believe that means Joshua. Or Twitch could win in a mix of pure-talent deciders and I-just-love-tha-guy voters. But whether Joshua or Twitch or Katee wins, they’re all  superb, on-their-way, worthy dancers, and you won’t hear me howl.

Besides, I’m just grateful — grateful to So You Think You Can Dance. Fox’s summer-only little talent show has shown me more vitality, enthusiasm, professionalism, hard work, heart, humor and togetherness by performers than on any reality-TV competition I’ve ever seen.

And — oh yeah — apart from Mary’s shriekschtick, it’s got a nice personality.