By Jasmine Williams
We’re down to the final eight dancers and the finale is so close, you can practically smell it. My GBFF Jesse Tyler Ferguson was on the panel last night, so everything is going to be 35.6 percent better than the average episode. Yes, I made that statistic up but the sentiment is totally valid.
Here are my favourite moments from this week’s episode:
1. Witney and Twitch’s Hip Hop
Although I wasn’t a fan of Witney’s puffy sleeves meets droopy pants concoction of a costume, I have to give props to Luther Brown (from SYTYCD Canada, what what!) for this hard-hitting East Coast hip hop routine. It was all kinds of stupid, and I mean that in the best possible way. Twitch can do no wrong and Witney brought just the right amount of sassy girl power to their paring. But what I loved most was that there was no crazy storyline, no awkward props, just straight up hip hop, and I loved it. Take notes, Christopher Scott.
2. Eliana and Ryan’s Quickstep
I don’t think a week has gone by where Eliana hasn’t been one of my favorites. Even dancing the “dreaded” quickstep, this girl shines. She was playing the role of a forgotten housewife, but she completely turned the tables on this routine, turning this somewhat stiff dance into something truly unforgettable. Even Mary Murphy, who always has some criticism for the ballroom routines, praised her form in this piece. Give this girl a first-class ticket to the finals!
3. Cole’s solo Read more…
It’s coming guys. In a couple weeks your favourite dancer will be crowned–that is if you freakin vote for him or her! I am quite disappointed with tonight’s results show (which we will get to later). I sound like a broken record–got it–but you need to vote. If I vote, so should you. Like host Leah Miller constantly points out, if you use your cell phone, it’s FREE!
WEDNESDAY PERFORMANCE SHOW
I had the pleasure of attending the Top 8 live taping show on Monday night. And I will admit. I had a bloody good time.
The atmosphere and excitement you sense from the comfort of your couch is immeasurable in the studio. The energy is untamable. The chemistry between the dancers is undeniable. It’s unreal.
But of course there is one thing that is misleading to you viewers at home. The stage. With great editing and creative camera use, the studio appears A LOT bigger on television than in reality. But to audience members, it means they are only so much closer to their favourite dancers.
Special guest judges Mia Michaels and Dan Karaty–judges and choreographers on American version of the show – joined permanent judges Tré Armstrong (who is breathtaking in person) and Jean Marc Genereux (whose accent is just as cool in reality as it is on TV).
Not only have the dancers chosen new partners at random, but also each pair will perform two different dance styles. Each viewer, however, must vote for his or her favourite dancer–not couple. The girl and boy with the lowest votes will be voted off.
Up first to perform the Samba were Allie Bertram and Miles Faber. Wearing Adam and Eve-inspired costumes (Miles shirtless; Allie barely clothed) the two blew the audience away with their challenging lifts and intricate footwork. The judges loved it.
“First of all, you need to always dress like this,” Mia said to Miles. I concur. I could see Miles’ abs from where I was sitting. Super nice.
“You guys owned the stage,” said Dan. “Phenomenal job, guys.”
Performing the Lindy Hop were Arassay Reyes and Izaak Smith.
While the judges were impressed with their lifts and flips, Mia felt the overall performance was a bit sloppy. While Mia said that Arassay was “amazing” she believed Izaak needed to up his game. “You’re adorable, but you should be more physical. The reality of your performance needs to step up.”
“It was a bundle of energy,” Jean Marc said. “It was like watching two kids have the time of their lives.”
Natalli Reznik and Vincent Noiseux teamed up with choreographer Lil “C” for a hard-hitting Krump performance. Pretending to be robbers, the pair hit the moves hard but, at one point, Natalli forgot the routine.
“You didn’t throw in the towel, you finished it,” said Tré. “You’re keeping it real under major pressure.”
Now for my favourite routine of the night. Although I am quite saddened that Nico Archambault is no longer with Arassay, his jazz-funk performance with Lisa Auguste oozes sexiness.
Blake McGrath choreographed the jazz-funk piece that had Lisa portray a superstar and Nico as her paparazzi (can we say Britney and Adnan?). “It’s gonna be hot, baby,” Blake assured the audience.
Oh it was.
With Lisa entering the stage with extensions and thigh-high boots, Nico followed with a camera. It was aggressive, passionate, sexual, raw and just darn good.
“Blake, you’re dirty, dirty, filthy!” Mia exclaimed. “Wow! You can’t deny the hotness of that. It’s so intricate. You hit it, it was amazing. It’s a great video piece.”
“Apparently you don’t have to censor much here in Canada,” Dan joked.
The crowd applauded. “You guys turned it on.”
Performing their second routine of the night were Allie and Miles with African-jazz. The two wowed the crowd once again with their performance.
“What a beautiful, beautiful, feel good piece,” said Dan.
Up performing the Tango were Arrassay and Izaak. While Arassay’s flexibility came through, Izaak’s strength was also essential for the many lifts.
“You are a sexy little bunny,” Mia told Arassay. “You were giving so much passion and fire. You were trying to connect, but when you’re doing partnering, it’s a marriage and it has to mesh together.”
However, Mia did not feel the same for Izaak.
“It wasn’t there for me,” she said to Izaak. “I want you to be at that other level. I want you to soar.”
Natalli and Vincent were up next with a breathtaking contemporary piece – my second favourite of the night.
Performed to Mika’s “Happy Ending” the pair truly captured the rawness and beauty of the dance.
“I don’t have a list or train and I’m sure as hell not going to throw you on a bus or a rocket, but that was the best performance of the night. That’s what we expect from the Top 8,” said Dan.
Jean Marc grew emotional and gave the two a standing ovation. “I love you guys,” he said. “I can’t tell you how much.”
The final performance of the night had Lisa and Nico dancing to hip-hop. Carrying black suitcases with dollar signs, Nico said that incorporating the props was tricky.
“The style was ridiculous,” Mia said after their performance. “I have nothing bad to say.”
Dan even had more powerful words of appraisal: “I judge around the world, and I have to say the Canadian show, especially the dancers on it, is second to none. From the moment you guys picked up your briefcases, I knew you guys were committed.”
As the judges made their closing remarks, Jean Marc made a strong point.
“If you think they’re safe, they are not. Nobody is safe unless you make them safe,” he said in reference to your favourite dancer.
THURSDAY’S RESULTS SHOW
Canada voted and tonight’s bottom four were: Arassay and Lisa; Vincent and Izaak. While Izaak has been receiving criticism from the judges for weeks, he was safe. Vincent was sent home as well as Arassay. Host Leah Miller was emotional reading the results and once again stressed the importance of having to vote.
So I will beat you over the head with it if I must. But please vote. Or cry with everyone else when they say their goodbyes prematurely.
WEDENSDAY PERFORMANCE SHOW
In three weeks, Canada’s favourite dancer will be crowned. But if you want to see your favourite dancer rise to the top, you need to do one thing:
Your Top 10 need you to call in or text five million times so that one of them, the one you want to see triumph over the others, can win.
Think of this as your civil duty. Be heard.
But back to the show.
Host Leah Miller introduced permanent judges Tré Armstrong and Jean Marc Genereux while special guest judges Blake McGrath and Luther Brown joined the panel.
As of this week–to mix things up–the format has changed. Not only have dancers changed partners, but all will also perform both duets and solos from now on. Instead of voting for your favourite couple, you will now need to call in to keep individual dancers from elimination. Gone are the days where there was a bottom three. Dancers with the lowest number of votes get automatically voted off.
So like I said before. Go vote.
Up first were Natalli Reznik and Izaak Smith. The two got grooving to boxing-inspired hip-hop choreography. While judges were impressed with Natalli, they expected more from Izaak.
“Izaak you did a good job. But this is Top 10, you don’t need to be good, you need to be great,” said Luther.
Performing the oh-so-sexy Mambo routine were Kaitlyn Fitzgerald and Danny Arbour. The two lit the stage on fire and the judges felt the heat.
“Danny brought the mambo, Kaitlyn brought the Tabasco,” joked Jean Marc.
Even to this day, I still don’t fully understand his jokes.
Allie Bertram and Nico Archambault were ready to perform the waltz. While Arassay and Nico had unbreakable chemistry with their partnership, Allie and Nico were no different.
“You’re the perfect partner,” Luther said to Nico. “It was effortless.”
However, Blake was sad to see Nico split from Arassay. I concur. The two were a match-made in SYTYCD heaven.
“But what better new girlfriend than Allie!” Blake added. “It looked easy and effortless.”
Meh. Still like Nicassay better. Ooh, you like that portmanteau don’t you? Catchy. Move over Brangelina, TomKat and yeah you too Jenniyer
Up next were Arassay Reyes and Vincent Noiseux. The two were ready to strut their stuff through disco. With their fast and sharp movements, the two won the judges approval.
“You two are showing Canada what it takes to be in the Top 10,” Blake said. “You’re so seasoned professionally — like jerk chicken and spicy sauce. You’re saucy and I love it,” he said.”
Lisa Auguste and Mile Faber were ready to set the mood with contemporary. The sensual and emotional performance really moved the audience and judges. Well, some of them.
“I think you’re a great dancer,” Luther told Lisa. “There’s so much more to you. Show them everything.”
However, Blake thought otherwise.
“It fell a little flat for me,” he said. “Lisa, you’re so gifted,” but wanted her to push herself further. “I wanted to see more technique,” he said to Miles.
That’s all for the performance show ladies and gents. But who moves on and who goes? Find out…below!
THURSDAY NIGHT RESULTS SHOW
The results show started off with the entire cast dancing to Mia Michael’s choreography – a well-known judge on the American version of SYTYCD.
Let’s get it out there. Michael’s is the goddess of contemporary. Her routines are not only breathtaking but they take to you to a whole new world. I actually feel emotion when I watch her work – and, coming from me, that says a lot.
Which ladies and which boys were the bottom four? Natalli Reznik and Kaitlyn Fitzgerald well as Miles Faber and Danny Arbour faced elimination.
After all four performed solos that would not change the results, Natalli and Danny said their goodbyes.
Stay tuned next week to watch your Top 8!
It was goodbye to Sebastien Pigott on last night’s Idol results show.
It was his third week in the bottom three, joined in the bottom by Mookie Morris and Mark Day. Seven singers remain and next week will be a British invasion with the Idols performing “U.K. Hits.”
Gavin Rossdale, former frontman of Bush, sang “Love Remains The Same” from his first solo album, WANDERlust on tonight’s results show after mentoring the Idols for Unplugged week.
Tom Jones will take the reigns from Rossdale as he guest starts on next week’s show, mentoring the final seven in the performance episode on Monday, August 4 at 9 p.m. EST and then perform live on the results show, Tuesday August 5 at 8 p.m. EST on CTV.
The remaining 8 Canadian Idol hopefuls get intimate on this week’s show, performing unplugged. One might ask when exactly did the huge theatre in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre become a source of great acoustics or what exactly Gavin Rossdale is doing on Canadian Idol. But I digress.
Sebastien Pigott performs “Lucille.” “I think that was the best thing you’ve done in a long time,” says Sass. “Welcome back to the music business, good to have you,” says Farley. Zack ends the judges comments with “I agree that was much better than what you did the last couple of week and with any luck, you’ll be going home next week.” Normally this is the time that Zack would be met with a large boo from the audience but even the audience wants to stop beating (or listening, rather) to this dead horse. Sebastien’s nothing more than a pretty face.
Earl Stevenson chooses “Two” by Ryan Adams. Is anyone else tired of all these pseudo folk rockers that the top 8 has on mass supply? “That was Earl the Pro Stevenson, baby,” says Farley. “When I hear you sing, it feels like the soundtrack to my life. I’m happy to be on your show,” says Zack. “It’s becoming more and more clear to me that your instincts are so strong, especially the Idol audience and yet you make it sound great,” says Jake.
Seeing Mark Day on my television screen is the visual and audio equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. The facial expressions. The voice. The uncanny resemblance to Beaver Cleaver from Leave It to Beaver. He is so affected. It all makes me want to do something drastic. He sings “Stay” by Sugarland. “I thought that was a really good song selection for you,” says Farley. “I think I enjoyed that better than any of the other songs you’ve sung. That really suited you,” says Sass. Mark annoyingly responds to each judge after they comment with “Thank you, I appreciate it.” Ugh.
Up next is Mitch MacDonald, who sings “Oh, Atlanta” by Bad Company. “I question the song choice because I thought I was turning into some weird PBS show,” says Zack. “I think the performance was good but at this point now, it’s time for you to step up and show us that you’re a potential winner for this show,” says Jake. “I thought it kicked, as usual. There’s a charm that you have that transcends anything,” says Sass. “I think the safety zone you hover in is that likeable guy safety zone, but I agree with Jake. Step out, pick songs that challenge you and really show what you’re capable of,” says Farley.
Amberly Thiessen, the sole female singer left in the competition, sings “The Way I Am” by Ingrid Michaelson. “I’ve seen her perform that song but I’d rather see you perform that song than her,” says Jake. “Your pitch is fantastic. I will take you the way you are,” says Sass. “You look stunning. It was the perfect song for the tone you have,” says Farley. “You are one of the rarest finds we’ve had on this show and if you aren’t here next week, Canada will have jumped the shark,” says Zack. I think the show you judge for is a result of television in general of jumping the shark, so don’t be too surprised if Amberly lands in the bottom three again.
Mookie Morris, who Rossdale describes as a “rough diamond” is next with “Ophelia” by The Band. Like Earl, file Mookie Morris under the pseudo-bohemian-rocker-trying way-too-hard-to-be-indie category. “Toronto, where you’re from, is the biggest city in the country and these people should be embarrassed if they were to not come out in droves and vote for this guy right here,” says Zack. Something tells me that Torontonians have better things to do than to be on the telephone for two hours. “In terms of actual pure singing, without a doubt, that was the best singing you’ve ever done on this show,” says Jake.
Performing “Sunday Morning” by Maroon5 is Drew Wright. I’m more captivated by the back up singers than I am by Drew. “I think this has been a bit of an odd night and you choose what you choose and I think it may be the best you’ve sung so far and I don’t know what the heck you are,” says Zack. “I just feel that it was really safe, it doesn’t say much about you and I really think the way you’re dressed is just not working,” says Jake. “I know exactly what you are. You’re the bomb,” says Sass.
Closing the show with “Weak In The Knees” by Serena Ryder is Theo Tams. “That was the performance of the night,” says Zack. “On a night with some really great singing, I have to agree with Zack,” says Jake. “Every single time you perform you understand why you’re here. You haven’t made a mistake yet,” says Farley.
Tomorrow night one more Idol hopeful will get the axe at 8p.m. EST on CTV.