More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance Australia - And The Winner Is...

Tonight was the finale of a great first up season of So You Think You Can Dance Australia. Not all things were perfect, but on the whole it was good.

Previous posts about the shows are here
Top 10 Live Show
Top 10 Verdict Show

Top 9 Live Show
Top 9 Verdict Show

Top 8 Live Show
Top 8 Verdict Show

Top 7 Live Show
Top 7 Verdict Show

Top 6 Live Show
Top 6 Verdict Show

Top 5 Live Show
Top 5 Verdict Show

Top 4 Live Show
Top 4 Verdict Show

Top 3 Live Show
Top 3 Verdict Show

Top 4 Individual Dancers

The show started off with a huge dance number choreographed by Matt Lee. It involved many many different styles and even the judges made an appearance. Bonnie did a ballroom dance with Jason Gilkison, while Matt and Jason did some jazz style dance with Kelly Abbey. It was a great energetic start to the show and got everyone fired up. It was fun to see the judges, who we all know have a lot of credentials in dance, actually show what they could do. And they were good.

Dean Perry's tap dogs then took over. It was fairly entertaining but felt a bit out of place. I was waiting to see the contestants. Maybe this could have been slotted in a bit later in the show. Also, usually the tap dogs utilise so many props and it's a huge spectacle, but this was a smaller set and it was quite good but not their best. The little "Tap Puppies" were very cute.

So I'm waiting and waiting for the contestants to get into their partner dancing, but instead we have another act that felt out of place. There was a hip hop routine choreographed by Project Moda for Khaly. It was performed to "Around The World" by Daft Punk. It wasn't a totally entertaining routine and was just a bit weird that it was at the start of the show. Also, as you will later see, why was Khaly doing a solo performance when everyone else did paired ones.

Still I'm waiting for the main show to kick into gear. And instead of seeing all 20 dancers, we next have the kids from the current Billy Elliot stage production. They were ok, but not great. The Billy Elliot kids did a much better routine on last season's Dancing With The Stars. This routine was a mish mash of things from the stage show I guess and didn't really have a story through it.

Finally, we got to see the Top 20 dancers. Instead of like the American versions, where all the choreographers from the season chose their favourite dances and those were performed, the Australian version had everyone doing a routine. I actually preferred the American way so that you get to relive all the best dances, even if that means some people do 3-4 dances because they were involved in the best ones. But I guess that doesn't reward everyone else who was also on the show by giving them a chance to perform. Anyway, they Top 10 performed a group routine by Nacho Pop and Juliette "Jet" Verne to "I Got Rythm". It was quite a strange routine and a bit stop start for me. It didn't really work.

The show started to kick into second gear when the Top 4, Kate, Demi, Rhys and Jack did a group routine. This time, it was a Kelly Abbey jazz routine performed to Christina Aguilera's "Ain't No Other Man". I loved this routine and it was a very high energy piece. Jack was again the stand out for me, with his smooth moves and great turns on display. Demi made a small slip up again but overall the routine was full of fun.

Next it was the first announcement of who would leave. Predictably, it was Demi. She has been great all season and was very honest and funny in her farewell speech where she joked with her sister Lorraine.

Next up were the Top 20 doing their best routines during the season. It wasn't the best best routines. Because if that were the case, people like Jack, Rhys and Kate would be doing 3-4 routines each. Instead, it was a selection of routines from the season so that everyone got to dance.

First up were Stephanie and Marko doing their Jason Gilkison Jive to The Veronica's "Untouched". They did this routine better than the first time they performed it. It was more controlled and in sync, but still I didn't really like it. It was one of a few of Jason's routines that wasn't fantastic. His skill was definitely on display tonight with so many of his routines being performed.

Camilla and Sermsah then reprised their Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon theme martial arts performance by Project Moda. They performed this better as well this time, with timing better and the moves sharper. I guess when you have more time to practise, you can definitely improve. Sermsah also made the lift this time.

Laura and Anthony's best dance was definitely their disco routine by Aleeta Blackburn to "Boogie Wonderland" by Earth, Wind and Fire. I enjoyed this routine a lot the first time round, but their reprisal was actually worse than their initial routine. Anthony lost his balance a few times, the lifts were much worse and Laura's spins were pretty bad.

Jemma and Rhys waltz by Jason Gilkison to Celine Dion's "A New Day Has Come" was still as wonderful as the first time. In fact, it was almost perfect the first time but I think it was even better this time.

Rhiannon and JD got to retry their infamous Tango routine where JD forgot the steps. Their Fabio Robles choreographed Tango turned out to be really really excellent. All the intricate steps that they missed the first time were very good. JD was ecstatic that he nailed the routine this time.

Kate and Hilton did the only dance they performed together, a Foxtrot by Jason Gilkison. The Kylie Minogue "Two Hearts" song they performed the Foxtrot too worked quite well to bring out the little bit of cheekiness in the routine.

Kassie and Graeme did their Sarah Boulter contemporary routine to "Yesterday". This version of the song wasn't by the Beatles, but instead a cover by someone. Their routine this time round was much better than their first try. They were much more convincing emotionally I thought and the lifts were even more spectacular.

Finally, Vanessa and Henry redid their Jason Gilkison Samba. They were equally fierce in this routine as they were the first time. Vanessa's moves were even sharper this time and all the lifts were excuted perfectly, especially the final death drop where Vanessa's head was even closer to the ground this time.

Strangely, Jack and Demi didn't do any routines. Unless I missed it while I walked away during the ad breaks. But I'm pretty sure they didn't do anything. Also, strangely missing was Courtney, who got eliminated the first week. Khaly got to do a solo but Courtney was nowhere to be seen.

Next up, Damien Leith did a cover of Gary Jules "Mad World", which Gary had covered from Tears For Fears. Gary Jules cover of Mad World is one time when the cover is so different from the original, and even better. Damien did a good job and was helped by Jacob, the 15 year old dancer who auditioned. He is truly an amazing talent. If he was in the show this year, I think he would have gone far. He got a scholarship to train at the Sydney Dance Company.

The next elimination saw Kate get eliminated. It was expected as the two boys were the standout all season. I think Kate's experience and professionalism really shone through in her speech. Whereas other people's speeches were all over the place, Kate speech was consise, eloquent and yet still contained emotion. She is truly a class act.

Leona Lewis then performed her worldwide smash hit "Bleeding Love". Leona is really beautiful. Grainy Youtube videos don't do her justice. I watched all her X-factor performances on Youtube and she has definitely become a much more confident performer and was working the crowd really well. Her blue eyes were so engaging.

The last performance of the night before the announcement of the winner was from Jack and Rhys. They did a medley of ballroom dances choreographed by Jason Gilkison. I managed to spot some jive, samba, cha cha and foxtrot in there. The song sounds like a song by The Cat Empire. I'm not sure. Maybe someone knows?

Then it was down to the announcement. Both Jack and Rhys reaction was of pure anticipation and excitement. And the winner is...Jack. The crowd erupted. The judges were standing up. Applause all round for both contestants. Glitter streamed all over the place. The other contestants rushed the stage and congratulated both guys. Nat gave a final farewell whilst everyone was on stage hugging everyone else.

And that was the first season of So You Think You Can Dance Australia. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and it has lived up to the American version that I have been comparing it to. The dancers were just as good. Some of the routines were outstanding. Others were a bit hit and miss. The emotions of the contestants really captured the nation I think. But in the end, it was about dance. And the best dancer in Jack, won. He was also the most loved dancer too, so I think the public, myself included, got it totally correct to vote Jack the winner. Here's hoping to bigger and better things for all the contestants. Now bring on season 2.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dancer during Damien Leith's performance of Mad World was called Caleb, not Jacob.

By the way, I loved that performance! I really have to buy Damien Leith's new album, Catch The Wind. I've heard it's really great.

4/28/2008 9:39 AM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Anonymous, you are correct. The guys names was Caleb. I even wrote that on my notes. But it was late and I was typing it up quickly and somehow I got Jacob out of that.

Damien's version of Mad World was very good. His previous album was quite good.

4/28/2008 11:31 AM  
Anonymous jdsbabysister said...

Thank you for your kind words about the tango that my brother did with Rhiannon last night!
I was so proud to see him nail it!
Loved your blog entry all together! GOOD WORK

4/28/2008 1:43 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Thank you JDs sister. Please pass on to your brother that I loved his work on the show and that he is a great dancer.

4/28/2008 2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank Goodness this shows over.

Now Fat Do can stop posting any more articles regarding this show and concentrate on his weak bladder.

5/01/2008 2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are really cool. i look up to you. exept how ur fat jkjk
im 11 and i was doing a project on the olympics and i saw ur website!!!!! ur a cool guy!!!!

9/22/2008 10:28 AM  

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