Also, check out the Dance Planet 15 blog post I did for Dance Spirit magazine.
It’s just that, after five seasons of the Fox summer hit, we’ve come to expect surprises — wallflower (and eventual winner) Jeanine Mason and underrated Jason Glover blossoming as lovers warring over an oh-so-symbolic heart-shaped locket in the killer contemporary number choreographed by former SYTYCD finalist Travis Wall, or normally sunny Kayla Radomski succumbing to a devilish Kupono Aweau in Mia Michaels’ devastating piece about addiction.
But nearly the entire show is a step-by-step reenactment of the season’s top numbers, powered by the personable 12 finalists (producers were compelled to add street dancer Phillip Chbeeb for a much-appreciated dose of eye-popping, well, popping, along with his partner Caitlin Kinney).
The others are Briton Emma Slater, who was in hit film Mamma Mia!
, 19 times Slovenian champion Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara, a dancer in US musicaldrama Glee.
When it was announced that Singapore would be the first stop on Burn the Floor’s multi-leg world tour, this writer may or may not have “squee-ed” in excitement.
The majority of the dancers are international champions (the current company has won over 100 championship titles between them) and are big names in the Dancesport world, hailing from a multitude of Dancesport meccas such as Australia, the United States and Italy.
And those indeed benefitted from the live format, particularly the closing routine from the first half of the show, the hip-hop-influenced Latin ballroom number set to “I Know You Want Me,” complete with water-splashed dancers. The extremely diverse crowd — a mop-topped 4-year-old who fell asleep on his mother’s shoulder, a handful of father-and-daughter duos, teenagers, couples on dates, seniors and scads of single ladies — lapped up the season’s standout routines, including the aforementioned Mason-Glover contemporary (never mind that the heart-shaped locket went flying off the chain at one point), the spaghetti-limbed Ade Obayomi and firecracker Janette Manrara’s literally mesmerizing “Love Sex Magic” funk routine, and Obayomi and Melissa Sandvig’s balletic contemporary about breast cancer.
Some of the more subtle partnered pieces fell a little flat, like Mason and Chbeeb’s don’t-go-to-bed-“Mad” hip-hop. The last thing I wanted to do was take my eyes off the stage so I could watch the dancers on the giant video screen. Also earning well-deserved standing ovations was Chbeeb’s unholy popping and contemporary dancer (and runner-up) Brandon Bryant’s potent, muscular solo — or it might have been for his super-tiny, equally potent black briefs.
But I did catch the judges’ comments and it seems I didn’t miss much of anything.] Joining Mary and Nigel tonight is Toni Basil. I do remember her being overly loquacious and quite grating, but we’ll see how she does tonight. And with that, I’m officially over Toni Basil as a judge. Mary thought it was elegant, flowing, and totally believable. It’s written all over her face (and the hat’s brim). (Unfortunately for Randi it will forever be known as “the butt dance”.) Mary thought they were terrific.
Sadly my favorite judge, The Shankman, won’t be back until the finale. Ok, I guess it might be one of those night where the judges and I aren’t on the same page. She thought it was one of the best numbers of the night.
Aliona Vilani, 29, became the fourth professional to quit the show.