July 1, 2012

Reality Rundown: All This Dancing Makes Me Crave Tomato Soup

The Glass HouseSo You Think You Can Dance

The Glass House - The house celebrates Alex and Jacob being exiled to Limbo, hoping America chooses to eliminate Alex and save Jacob.  The Playboy nurse cries that the world, and her mom, will see this show, hate her, and hurt her mom because of the crap Alex talked.  The house learns that someone in Limbo quit the game (we know it's Jacob) and that the remaining person will still be up for the public vote.  Alex shoots back up the Limbo tunnel that can also send tubes of money to the bank (I love those things) and learn his fate.  The viewers voted whether they wanted him back and it turns out America can only take assholes to a certain point and Alex gets sucked back down the tube.  The house rejoices.  I hate fake, wannabe villains so good riddance but he did at least stir the pot.

Holly is the center of the minor house drama, as it's been narrowed down that she was likely the one vote for Erica to go to Limbo.  She lies and says she didn't, but the guilt eats her up and immediately tells Erica alone the truth.  It's not the first lie Holly's told, as apparently she is lying about being a psychology major and instead said she majored in art history.  The problem is Holly can't back up the lie, unable to name a single artist because she must not have even watched a Ninja Turtles episode.  Holly confesses being a psychology major, which she thinks would intimidate people.  But when probed about what she wrote a paper on in college she can barely answer and when asked to name a famous psychologist she says "Dr. Phil." Your college has failed you.

The soothing unnamed narrator of the house lets the players know that Apollo and Ashley and are the two least popular players based on viewers votes. They are named team captains, which means if their team loses they automatically head to Limbo.  Apollo's like "I'm playing an intellectual game" and sorry moron but drawing cards and not playing the game for real is not intellectual or intelligent, it's dumb and I can't even call it poor game play because he's not even playing.

"Ruffle Your Tail Feathers" is this week's challenge and the teams have to hang in whirly birds on the ceiling to transfers eggs to different bird houses labelled with prizes and punishments.  The eggs actually have players names on them so if your egg ends up in the bird house for the winning team, you either win or suffer.  The learning curb to catch eggs killed Apollo's team; Ashley's team wins the challenge and are all safe, an excellent birthday gift for her.  As for the eggs, Ashley wins $1,000, Stephanie has to squeeze 5 gallons of orange juice and move packing peanuts, Andrea has to blow up balloons, and Jeffrey has to peel 200 hard boiled eggs.  Jeffrey at least gets dressed like a sassy nana to get the job done.

As losing team captain, Apollo is automatically going to Limbo and a member of his team will be nominated too.  Apollo actually attempts some game play, pointing out that it's quite possible Gene threw the challenge and would be a good nominee.  Gene denies and swears he didn't throw it and then him and Apollo bicker.  Gene calls a house meeting to discuss the challenge accusations and wants the others to explain their stance which is basically just Apollo whining because he's low man on the totem pole.  Apollo claims the audience will see the truth (the truth that Apollo is desperate).  Apollo learns from viewer questions that it would be OK for him to switch his strategy earlier and I just want to punch him. NO SHIT.  Apollo's "strategy" to put a target on Gene fails and unlikable Holly joins Apollo in Limbo with all the votes (except for the one vote she again cast for Erica).

So You Think You Can Dance - After weeks of auditions (which is pointless to recap), our top 20 is here!  Now I'm here to give you the 411 on my favorite summer show (next to Big Brother).  In the first performance episode, the 35 finalists from Las Vegas are narrowed down to 20 and those 20 perform for us the very first time.  And it's the 200th episode. And Zooey "Tomato Soup" Deschanel is guest judge for the night.  Partaaaaaay!  Something I'm not loving so much: two winners, a girl and a guy.  I personally don't see the point because, unlike American Idol, the SYTYCD audience has voted evenly between girl and guy winners and if someone as popular as Kent can lose the show to a girl, it means the show is balanced.  But whatevs.

The first group to perform are the first batch of contemporary dancers: polarizing Vegas week contestant Alexa (a hugh ughhhhh from me), George, Will, and Amber.  They take on a Tyce Diorio routine, dancing across the longest bench ever to a slow-version of "We Found Love."  After a few seasons lacking with just on representive, a trio ballroom dancers make the top 20.  I know my mom hates their swooshy solos, I love some top 20 diversity.  Nick and BFFs Whitney and Lindsay perform a fun, slightly corny and medium-hot, threesome choreographed by that Jason guy whose last name I forget.  Didn't love it, to be honesty.

Daniel, Keon, and Eliana, classically trained ballet dancers, show off their amazing technical skills in shiny silver lamay costumes.  It starts like a slow classical piece, then kicks into high gear. I love new stuff!  Next is a wacky, typical Sonja jazz number but now I look forward to her weirdness.  It's actually very standard jazz but since the girls look so similar and wear the same costumes, there's something circusey about the routine I like.  The dancers are two jazz girls, Audrey and Tiffany.  Also making the top 20, but unable to dance because of illness, is belly dancer Janelle.  Talk about a new style, completely.  Belly dancing is new, exciting, uncharted territory and discovering people like this is why I love this show.  Oh and Cat Deeley calls herself the BFG after the Roald Dahl character.  I want to be her best friend.

Handsome Matthew, Darian, Janaya, and quirky Emilia round out the contemporary/lyrical dancers.  They dance a Stacey Tookey routine that lets Emilia play dress up from the 1920s era she loves so much.  The final three slots are given to hip hop dancers: martial arts infuser Cole, stepper Brandon (new style!), and my favorite Cyrus, who definitely struggled with choreography in Vegas.  The hip hop routine, choreographed by Christopher Scott, is themed around baseball for the product-placement All Star game.  I'll overlook the Fox show placement because god, this routine... it was everything.  It takes time to introduce each dancer as a soloist, and yet perform a cohesive group routine. Loved. It.  We'll definitely be seeing this routine again in the finale as a best number of the season.

With the top 20 complete, the remainder of the evening has group routines split by the sexes and then one big-ass group number.  The girls get the big shebang: Travis Wall.  Remember when Mia Michaels was like the choreographer of the show?  It's officially Travis now.  "Let the Light In" is another stellar work of art by Travis and it's so fantastic to see the maturity of the dancer who helped me get hooked on the show, now an adult.  The top ten fellas work with Sonja on a jazzy yet masculine, fight-based routine and it's almost shirtless - oww oww!  Oh and after the Mia quasi-smack I said, she's back!  After a season off, Mia Michaels is back and choreographing the routine for the entire top 20.  Dressed in all black and rockin' some shades (RayBans- gonna need even higher definition to see brand names), everyone dances in a long diagonal line and it's a cool formation that eventually splits apart to fill up the stage.  Welcome back Mia, you are still fantastic.

Guys, this is gonna be a great season.