Pop My Culture



Six SYTYCDers enter the battledom, but only 4 will survive. It’s not quite as politically un-correct as the black teen battle royale Jesse Thorn describes to Vanessa & Cole on the recent podcast, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining!

The opening number, with music courtesy of “I’m All Out Of Milkshake Profits” Kellis, has a distinctly Phantom of the Black Material Girl Swan vibe.

The guys went kooky & did their 3-second introductory solo in each others’ styles. They all made a “C” hand gesture (since that’s everyone’s first initial), then Chehon imitated Karate Cole, Cyrus imitated Chehon (sorta? He just acted “regal” and took a sweeping bow), and Cole did some simple but impressing “animation” moves. So clever, boys! I almost couldn’t tell you all apart! I caught a long suffering “sheesh” look on one of the girl’s faces, as if to say “didn’t you guys get the memo? We’re NOT here to make friends…!”

Tonight’s dancers will be doing a solo, a duet with another contestant, and a duet with an All-Star. The judges will be doing… jack shit. Last week’s votes have already determined the Final Four. No one will be saved. No one will be housed (shoutout to Doug Benson).

Joining the pointless panel is the fluffy haired Christina Applegate, whose TV husband Will Arnett just announced his latest project: divorcing Amy Poehler. I am genuinely sad to hear the news, mainly because of how much love I have for Amy. She’s arguably more likable than Jen Aniston, which is really saying something. May their marriage rest in peace.

Where were we… right! Dance! Tiffany and All-Star/Ross Geller’s second cousin Benji Schwimmer (really!) have a Jean-Marc Genz’ swing dance with not one, not two, but THREE cartwheels! (cue flashing lights, confetti, and go-go girls)

Correction: 3 cartwheels and a TAINT TO THE FACE. Uh, no thanks. It was very high energy and fun, with lots of twirling and grinning. The “judges” loved it, and C-Apps revealed that she and Benji are in a lyrical class together—wtf? (Also- Christina played Rachel’s sister for a few episodes, so that’s THREE Friends references packed into the beginning of this recap. Boom. This is some professional level work, guys.)

Cole finally gets a chance to break away from his past roles as abusive puppy-kicking addicts and embody love, which is totally what he’s all about, you guys! But since the dance (with Melanie) is from Sonya Tayah, this is what “love” looks like:

Melanie did a lot of the heavy lifting here, both literally and figuratively, but Cole did well too. The thing that struck me the most about this whole thing, though, is how good of a “judge”/commentator the Apps is. She noticed Cole’s sloppy pirouette foot, she talked about the “fluidity of gender” in the choreography, and she had some beautiful things to say to Melanie too. Plus, breast cancer survivor!

I swear, Eliana gets all the best partners. This week she’s dancing with Twitch to a post office themed hip-hop number by Christopher Scott. Twitch promises to make it “first class delivery”, and I just wish *I* could be signing for his package (sorry).

Not as impressed with this as I’d hoped. First of all, I don’t really like Twitch –LET ME FINISH!—as a goofy, fun loving character the way he is here. Second, Eliana was cute & bubbly but not nearly as flawless of a technician as she is normally. Finally, the difference between their skill levels with those sharp little popping moves was emphasized in a bad way. Twitch was like an epileptic lizard, while Eliana looked more like a snake on Valium. Christina (whose opinion, apparently, is the only one I deem worthy of mentioning) told Eliana that while she’s not going to be in a Jay-Z video anytime soon, she could do the YMCA all day long (the dance equivalent of singing the phone book) and it would be lovely to watch. I reach for my vodka when Nigel says the dance didn’t have enough meat for him to get his hands on.

Side note- who the hell is District 78 and why are they responsible for a good 93% of the songs on this show? Someone is getting laid or paid every time their music is featured, because that name is popping up more often than Nigel’s Little Ben at a cheerleading convention.

Up next, on a very special episode of Oprah: watch what happens when one man introduces his mistress into the bedroom; will his wife and exhausted mother of his 7 children be into it?

Whoopsie, that’s just Chehon with Tiffany and All-Star Katherine.

The dancers’ solos aren’t worth commenting on, but Tiffany’s clip package is. It was almost entirely comprised of her hugging the undead sister and the two of them talking about how much they love each other. Seriously weird, you guys. I thought they were gonna start making out. It’s almost weirder that they didn’t.

Tyce Of Th’Oreo starts talking vaguely about the dance he created for Chehon and Katherine as if it’s about the Holocaust or 9/11 or the day you couldn’t get Crispy M&M’s in America anymore, but I think it’s about what happens when you can’t find your suitcase at baggage claim.

Also, no big deal but I’ve done this trick plenty of times with my dog. These aren’t photos of me, but…


The dance goes over very well.  Standing O, lady tears, the whole bit. Somehow, Nigel makes it about how brave & noble the Fox network is to air stuff like this. Mary & Christina can barely get through their critiques without dissolving into full blown crying. Maybe it’s because I was having such a blast looking for the above photos, or maybe it’s because I’m heartless and unfeeling, but this dance didn’t move me the way it moved them. Sure, it was very well done and I can see how it’ll be memorable, but all the emooooootion and striiiiiiiife seemed forced to me.

Witney is headed to the altar with All-Star Marco for a lyrical piece that involves her having second thoughts about marriage and him getting borderline domestic abuse-y. But hey, she’s Mormon and of legal age, so it’s totally cool, guys!

This is pretty good stuff. For a ballroom dancer, Witney does a beautiful job, both technically and artistically, with this piece. Marco is a great partner that never pulls the attention from her, and the chemistry between them is believable. Ms Applegate makes a great comment about the “hairography” distracting from Wit’s face, and I continue my fight against sobriety when Nigel wishes the two of them would’ve stayed married so that he can see next week’s divorce choreography. It’s nice to hear him say that the reason they’ve “saved” her (twice, I believe) is that the choreographers & judges keep saying that she’s a star.

Ohhhhhh Cyrus. You and your adorable hip hop fashion. In this week’s rehearsal, his shirt says “How much dub could a dubstep dub if dubstep could step dub?” I can’t say for sure, but I think the answer is approximately 1 Skrillex. What I *am* certain of, however, is that his pairing with Comfort for the first ever Dubstep routine is either serendipitous or rigged. Either way, I can’t wait! In case you aren’t terribly familiar with the dubstep style, the delightful and brilliant comedian Guy Branum (who you may be hearing in the near future, podcast listeners…!)  put together this explanatory video for you as part of his Factuary series.

Before we begin, however, I just want to address two quick things. First of all, Cyrus was introduced by his “street name,” Glitch, in the beginning of the season but no one has referred to him by that name since. Maybe because it sounds too much like Twitch (which is technically supposed to be written as “tWitch”)? Or maybe Cyrus is a unique and cool enough name on its own? Also, how come no one ever talks about his wonky gaze?

I’m not sure if his eye is lazy or drifting or what, but it’s time someone addressed it… and that someone is me. What’s the story, pal? I’m into that “soft focus” look, for the record… it works well on Kate Moss, Emily Robison of the Dixie Chicks/Court Yard Hounds, and even Michelle Obama, and thank god Cyrus doesn’t look nearly as whacked out as Paris Hilton.

Let’s get back to the show, shall we?

Whoa… there is some intense tutting and gliding going on here, and the audience LOVED it. The veteran was out-danced by the newbie for the first time, too! C-Apps is down with the drop and even more down with the idea of throwing pens through Cyrus’s ears. As a Cyrus fan, I gotta love when Nigel responds to the chatter about “why is he still here? He should’ve been gone weeks ago” with the fact that he’s NEVER been voted into the bottom! Suck it, suckers. Mary makes a comment about him being in “the Comfort zone,” which is decidedly less creepy coming from her than if it’d come from Nigel, and Cat refers to the dancers as the President and First Lady of Dubstep in a “is she or isn’t she being racist” moment.

That’s the end of the All-Star duets, but there are three more contestant dances to go. Witney & Chehon start out with a Cha-Cha, where he bumbles a lift/grab thing and generally fucks up. Witney predictably does fine, even though Mary unpredictably calls her Rachel Lindsay by mistake (BOOM 4th Friends ref!). After Cyrus’s solo to a classical/opera song (seriously, who does that? more importantly, who else could totally pull it off?), Eliana and Cole do a sheep-inspired Mia Michaels dance. It’s interesting and weird and very Mia. Nigel indicates some history of tension between himself and Mia, while Mary and Christina praise the dancers up and down; Christina calls Eliana “the perfect dancer.” Tiffany and Cyrus get an adorable, cheeky Broadway by Spencer Liff that explores interracial teenage romance in the 50’s with a dash of stripteasing. As weird as that might sound, it’s very entertaining and well appreciated. Somehow Nigel gets on the topic of “Honey Boo Boo Yogi Bear” before the show switches over to the guest performance by AXIS Dance Company. The able-bodied and wheelchair-bound pair reminds me of the talented paraplegic singer Ali from this year’s Glee Project, who was in that show’s final 3 but lost out in the end to a tall Bieber-haired actor boy… but that’s another blog for another day.

With all that behind us, who’s going to be on the finale show on Tuesday? Time to find out! Starting with the girls, all I care about is Eliana going through- Tiffany and Witney are a toss up. The first finalist is revealed to be… Tiffany! I sure hope that means the second girl is…. yay, Eliana! Witney misses out by a perfectly coiffed blonde hair, and we move on to the boys. No surprise that my favorite is Cyrus here, and Chehon’s ballet background makes him my second choice. Who’s the first male finalist? It’s Chehon! They cut to Eliana jumping around like crazy- do those two have a little sumthin-sumthin going on? Hmmm! Finally, it’s between the ninja and the hoodlum… Jackie Chan and Samuel Jackson… teriyaki and barbeque… uh, have I gone too far? Anyway, the final finale finalist is… CYRUS!!!! YES WE CAN! YES WE CAN!!! WHOOOOO!!!!!

Ahh, this is gonna rock! Thank you all for reading along with me, and I can’t wait to bring it all home for you next week!




  • Comment by Melissa W. — September 8, 2012 @ 11:30 pm

    Amy and Will! Noooooo! 🙁

    I could not get over how tired and sad Katherine looked the whole time she was on camera but I didn’t get that routine either. It was fine but there’s been plenty similar routines that didn’t get that kind of response. In fact, it made me think of this which I think was much better: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YFACU54KL4.

    If I remember correctly Marco gets left at the alter and then this happens: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czcpQyI-MH8 so it all worked out for the best anyway!

    While I’m referencing past routines, last week’s Ade with a brunette in purple reminds me of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORBnAy1DgcA

    Oh good lord, the critique of the cha-cha was maybe the worst thing I’ve seen this season (but then again I’ve fast forwarded through a lot of Mary Murphy). Wrong names and wrong dances referenced, Nigel doesn’t know a tango from a paso? Yuck.

    Tiffany is great and has surprised me how she’s lept to the front of the pack but I have a hard time believing she’ll beat Eliana. Honestly in the end I’d take any of the top three girls over the top three boys! What a year to finally have switched to double winners. I was sorry to see Cole go but not surprised. I think it will be Eliana and Cyrus in the end even though I’d like to see Chehon win in the name of dance.

    Awesome season. Awesome recaps. Thanks!

  • Comment by jeam — October 5, 2012 @ 6:06 am

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