On Our Way To Crazy

… like disco lemonade…

So You Think You Can Dance – Top 16. June 27, 2008

Filed under: Things That Are Awesome,TV — brandi @ 11:16 am

Top 16! Bring it, So You Think You Can Dance!


Has the guy who does the big jump at the beginning of the theme song always had on plaid pants? I have never noticed that before.

Cat is wearing some kind of crazy trashy wedding dress thing. Yeesh.

Jidges! Guest judge this week is Adam Shankman from Hairspray. I think he’s potentially pretty crazy. He recently choreographed… and Adam Sandler movie. Huh. Mary, whose hair is still crazy and appears to be wearing a mother of the bride dress, thinks this season is great because there are no frontrunners yet. Then she screams. Nigel spends some time talking about Cyd Charisse, a dancer who passed away this week and was in Brigadoon and Singing in the Rain, among others.

First up! Kherington and Twitch. This week’s video theme is… telling us about each other. Didn’t we do this last week? CREATIVE. Kherington says that Twitch sounds like a bear when he laughs and Twitch says Kherington has a shopping problem and has bought 427 shoes in the three weeks they’ve been there. Shoes, or pairs? Does she have an odd number of feet?

They get hip hop with Tabitha and Napoleon, who I think I really like. The routine is a prison break routine that looks like fun. They say it’s really difficult and they will have to be staccato and smooth at the same time. Sounds tricky.

They come out in orange jumpsuits and skull caps to “Don’t Touch Me Now” by Busta Rimes. It’s a really cute routine, but Kherington is bugging me. She’s making what I’m sure she thinks are hip hop faces, but it just looks silly. It reminds me of that SNL skit where Natalie Portman is a gansta rapper. Except, you know, not funny. Twitch is pulling it off, if for no other reason than he’s believable. I think she’s dancing it well, I’m just not buying it. They do a pretty sweet move where she does a handstand behind him and he picks her up over his head by the feet. But overall, meh.

Nigel says they are both brilliant dancers with lots of spirit and energy and does a fakeout about how there was nothing negative about it. Lame. I’m not sure what Mary is going to do with her fakeout plan taken away like that. She says they killed it and screams and screams and screams. Adam calls it awesome. I don’t really see it.

Next up is Courtney and Gev. Courtney tells us that Gev looked like a little girl when he was a kid, and Gev tells us Courtney is going to school to be a special ed teacher. I think he likes her a lot more than she likes him.

This week they’re doing a Tony Meredith rumba routine. Scary! It looks pretty sexy and he gets to touch her all over the place. So that’s fun. For him.

The song is “Wishing On a Star” by Rose Royce. Hee. I want to change my name to Rose Royce. They start out with a lift that turns into a pretty shaky move where she kind of slides down his leg. I have to say, this is not hot at all. I get how it’s supposed to be, but… no. The song isn’t helping, it’s possibly the lamest song I have ever heard. I think, again, they dance it well, but it’s boring. Courtney is wearing this schizophrenic dress that is completely modest with long sleeves and a long skirt on one side and pretty much nonexistent on the other side.

Here is where I take a minute to comment on the fact that any time a move is featured in the rehearsal video, the audience cheers when it happens on stage. Gev grabbed Courtney’s butt in this totally awkward way, and they went nuts. Cool it, audience!

Nigel thinks they are really good and compares Gev to Dominic. While I think that is a fair comparison, it feels a little forced since Dominic just happens to be in the audience. What are the chances! Nigel and Gev both get skeevy about Courtney’s dress. Mary thought it was great and only has minor criticisms. Adam talks about how exciting it is for the judges when dancers do well and has specific praise for Gev. Then he talks for about 20 more minutes and the other judges pretend to fall asleep.

Comfort and Chris. Comfort says Chris is a food moocher and we get footage of him actually eating off someone else’s fork. Gross. Chris tells us about Comfort’s stint in a beauty pageant as a kid. We see some footage from their trip to the bottom two last week, and I remember now that I don’t particularly like Chris and would not have been sad to see him go.

They are doing a Tyce Diorio jazz routine. Tyce calls it raw and earthy. It also involves some brown bedsheets that represent mud. Comfort says it will be “off the chain”.

They are dancing to the only Marilyn Manson song I know, “Beautiful People”. Interesting. Hmmm. I don’t particularly like it at first, but I think it gets better as it goes on. They’re don’t stay together very well. I like the choreography, but it feels like the kind of routine that should really hit hard and be big, and… it’s not. It’s like they’re dancing on the surface of the mud instead of getting down in it.

Nigel agrees with me. Finally! He says it was too soft and they didn’t sell it. He also criticizes the choreography a bit and the prop use, which is kind of out of their control. Mary says it should have been wilder and more animalistic. No screams from her. Adam says they didn’t have the performance value the routine called for.

Next up! Jessica and Will. Will tells us that Jessica goes by the nickname Ariel and Jessica says Will is an absolute gentleman and is super sweet. I have such a hard time with these two – I like him a whole lot but could do without her. But before she goes I would like for her to teach me how to put my hair up in a wrap like she has hers. That is cute.

This week they’re doing disco with Doriana Sanchez, who informs us that disco is ‘serious business’. Seriously? Why is this a real style on this show? I do not understand. Jessica plays around too much during rehearsal even though they are all pulling together to make sure she’s the one who shines this week.

The song is “Heaven Must Have Sent You” by Bonnie Pointer. Is she a Pointer Sister? I hope so. That would make me SO EXCITED. They are fine. Well, that’s not true. He is great. They can talk all day about not wanting her to be in his shadow, but he is EXCESSIVELY BETTER THAN HER. He just is. I like this routine… it feels like more ‘grownup’ disco than the routine Courtney and Gev did earlier. They do a few cool lifts and things, but they seem to make a few mistakes, too. He is just so much more fun to watch than she is – he has more personality and bigger movements and is just better.

Nigel says disco can look cheesy if you don’t do it well, which I would disagree with since it really looks cheesy all the time. He points out the mistakes but says they carried it off and danced it well. Mary agrees and says this routine was a turning point for them, in a good way, and that they owned it. Adam thought it was fantastic and challenging and calls Jessica a great dancer but calls her out on confidence issues.

Kourtni and Matt.
Matt tells us about Kourtni’s neck tattoo that says “…and so she would dance”, which comes from a poem her mom gave her. Kourtni tells us that Matt has a ninja mask that he wears a lot. Do ninjas wear purple and white striped masks? I don’t really think so.

Contemporary! Oh, this better be good. They are working with Sonja Tayeh, who we have never seen before and who has INSANE hair. It’s like a mullet/mohawk hybrid. Seriously. It’s bad. The routine sounds awesome, though. It’s about comic book characters who are fighting and flirting, and it’s meant to look like the frames in a comic book so it has a lot of holds and freezes. Cool.

The song is “Wrestlers” by Hot Chip. I don’t entirely get the comic book thing, but I love it. It’s so fun. Lots of crazy movements and faces and jumps and flips. They both get to show a ton of personality, which is something I think they have been lacking in their routines so far. They do a string of jumps and turns and are perfectly in sync with each other. I like the whole thing.

Nigel praises the quirky choreography and loved their technique. He tells Matt to relax, again, but overall liked it. Mary says it showcased their talent and points out the synchronized leaps I mentioned earlier. Adam says they have amazing control and says they are meant to dance.

Carrie Underwood and I drink the same VitaminWater.

Next up! Chelsea and Thayne. Chelsea says that she thinks Thayne wants to be a fashion designer because he is always telling her what to wear and he makes his own t-shirts. Thayne tells us that Chelsea steals flowers from gardens, restaurants, hotel lobbies. I think he is trying really hard to have a personality.

They are dancing a quickstep with Heather Smith. Uh-oh.

They are dancing to “You Can’t Hurry Love” by… Phil Collins? Really? Not The Supremes? Have I ever mentioned my severe dislike of Phil Collins on here before? Because, no. The only quicksteps I have ever seen in my life have been on this show, and I have never particularly enjoyed them, but I feel like they do a pretty good job. The song is really dragging the whole thing down. And isn’t a lot of the quickstep in their feet? Because she is wearing a big flowy metallic skirt. Bad job, wardrobe. I think they are good, but I am bored. Until the end, at least, when they appear to do the Kid’n’Play. That I can get behind.

Nigel says they danced it well but didn’t have any personality. He praises them and then… tells them to get their solos ready. Okay. Mary calls it okay, and says that is pretty good for a quickstep. She thinks they fell short. Adam says they are great dancers but did not look comfortable on stage.

I swear these are the longest commercial breaks ever.

Chelsi and Mark. Blah blah blah, they are adorable. Chelsi says that Mark’s pinkies are crooked, and Mark says Chelsi is a tomboy offstage.

They pull hip hop with Napoleon and Tabitha. He is a workaholic and she doesn’t want him to go to work. I think. They talk a lot about how they choreograph to the words. Interesting. Tabitha kind of looks like Sandra Bullock.

The song is “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis. Okay, you guys. They are great. Like, great great. The routine is awesome on its own, and they perform it amazingly. There’s a point where he walks around her in a circle and she just breaks down in the middle. It’s gorgeous. It is not, however, hip hop. I don’t think so, anyway. It’s more pop/jazz, bordering on contemporary. We really haven’t had any good hip hop so far this year, I don’t think. I like Tabitha and Napoleon, but calling what they do hip hop is a stretch. Either way, this routine is great. They are seriously so so good. They have so much emotion and life. They are definitely my favorite couple… I like some other individual dancers better, but as a couple, they are the best for sure.

Nigel says they were excellent and passionate and praises Napoleon and Tabitha. Mary loved it and gives us all a little speech on the state of the family in America these days. Adam talks a lot about the status of hip hop and says they were perfect and totally sold the story. Which is true. They were great. He calls them the couple to beat.

Last couple! Katee and Joshua. Katee says that Joshua is a softie and very sweet like a big teddy bear. Joshua says that Katee screams like a boy. Fascinating. I have the same problem with them that I do with Will and Jessica – I like him better than her. Maybe this week we cut Jessica and Katee so that Will and Joshua can dance together. (I would also accept cutting Thayne and Chris and pairing Comfort with Chelsea.)

They draw a samba with Tony and Meredith. This is going to be tough. Nether of them have ever done ballroom before and they seem to be struggling.

They come out to “Baila, Baila” by Angela Via, not “Balla, Balla” like I thought the first time I saw it. I think Katee’s dress was made by the same designer as Courtney’s. Joshua does a better job than she does, again. Katee seems to do well, though, I just don’t think she pulls off the sexy thing very well. She’s cute and smiley. Overall they are good but not great.

Nigel makes the same dress comment I did, then gets skeevy with Joshua for a change. He says they had great samba rhythm and pulled it off. He calls them outstanding. Mary calls them hot and yells a lot about personality and technical skills. She’s hurting my ears and my brain. She puts them on the hot tamale train, I think, but I can’t tell because I have lost my hearing. I think Adam liked it. I seriously can’t hear anything.

Favorites: Chelsi and Mark, Matt and Kourtni
Least favorites: Chelsea and Thayne, Gev and Courtney


Group routine! Based on the costumes and the feel of this, I would guess it’s Wade Robson if I didn’t know better. A handful of guys are onstage in these big black and white outfits with top hats and ruffles and canes. They start tapping the canes on the ground and screaming while some girls do a kicky awkward dance walk down the stairs. There are people everywhere running onstage with canes, umbrellas, all kinds of madness. Then they’re all in formation and dancing together… it’s flowy and jerky and contemporary-ish. Mia Michaels? It’s interesting to watch, and I think my new boyfriend Mark is the main guy, so I approve. Except… is that Comfort? She has a starring role in a group routine? Again? This time she is sucking her thumb and crying. No. More screaming and cane tapping. I think there’s a lot of cool stuff going on, it’s just so hard to tell when there are 16 people doing 16 different things. Mark is definitely the leader of this group – they are all dancing around him while he holds his cane in the air. The end all in a line with him at the head, and when he points at them they dance off stage. Cool. It doesn’t take much to make that boy look creepy. I love him.

Mia Micheals! I am good.

Jidges. They all look less crazy than yesterday, except Nigel who is wearing leather. Gross. We must have a full show, because we don’t talk to them.

First three couples: Thayne and Chelsea, Katee and Joshua, Chelsi and Mark. Thayne and Chelsea danced a quickstep that overall did not go well. Thayne has such a manufactured personality. Mary stretched the hot tamale train thing about as far as it can go. Nigel thought they needed to prepare their solos. Was he right? Yes he was. Chelsea and Thayne will DANCE FOR THEIR LIVES (dun dun dun). Katee and Joshua did a samba that everyone loved but I was not feeling. They are safe. Chelsi and Mark danced a contemporary hip hop routine that I thought was fantastic. Probably my favorite so far this season. The judges loved it, maybe a little too much, and they are safe. Love.

I think Cat’s dress might possibly be trying to eat her. It’s a gorgeous color, but that ruffle has got to go.

Next three: Kherington and Twitch, Gev and Courtney, Comfort and Chris. Twitchington did hip hop that was fun but not great. The judges inexplicably loved it. They are safe. Duh. Gev and Courtney danced a rumba, that, again, was okay but not great in my opinion. Something about them rubs me the wrong way. The judges fell all over themselves praising them and they are safe. Comfort and Chris had jazz with an African feel to it. It didn’t go well and the judges were not fans. They will DANCE FOR THEIR LIVES (dun dun dun).

Cat says America’s Best Dance Crew, Quest, is coming out later. Who is that? Is that show already over?

Last two: Kourtni and Matt, Will and Jessica. Kourtni and Matt danced an upbeat contemporary routine about comic book characters that I thought was super fun. The judges loved it. Have y’all noticed how much time we spend listening to the judges praise the choreographers? It’s too much. Will and Jessica got disco and he was way way better than her. I feel like they are trying hard to sell her to us but I am not buying it. Sadly, they are safe and Matt and Kourtni have to DANCE FOR THEIR LIVES (dun dun dun).

Ohhhh… they are not America’s Best Dance Crew, they are America’s best dance crew. I see. Apparently there’s some kind of dance reality show battle going on, and this is SYTYCD’s dig at ABDC. Quest is a dance crew that Dominic, Hok and Ryan, all former SYTYCD contestants, are members of. Gotcha. They are very cool. I love this kind of stuff. Obviously, I am a SYTYCD fangirl, but I love me some ABDC, too. At least they have hip hop.

Solos! Chelsea is up first. I think she is a really strong dancer and her solo is pretty, but I have a feeling this might be it for her. Thayne is next and does the same solo all those contemporary boys do. This week he dances to “Always” by Bon Jovi, which was my favorite song in eighth grade. He bores me and I hate his face. Cat says, “When the chips are down, bring out a bit of the Jovi.” Words to live by. Comfort comes out to Mary J, and I feel like she has danced to this before. She is losing her shine to me… I think she’s a one trick pony. I bet they keep her, though. Then Chris dances and I fall asleep. The last girl onstage is Kourtni, who once again is beautiful and does a great job. She is just so much more expressive than the other girls, and I feel like she puts work into her choreography instead of just flailing around. Matt is last and has on a terrible outfit. Seriously, did he raise his 3-year-old brother’s closet. No. I’m not gonna lie, I like his solo better because I like him more than the other guys.

Conference by the stairs!

Jordin Sparks is singing. I am not writing about that. Except to say that she is dressed like a bridesmaid.

Elimination time! The girls are first and they waste no time at all cutting Chelsea. We don’t even talk to anyone else. Wow.

Boys. They pull Matt out and Nigel apologizes for giving him a hard time. He calls him brilliant and he is safe. He then talks about how maybe America doesn’t like contemporary dancers since they keep ending up in the bottom two. OR! Maybe you guys cast too many versions of the same guy and America is bored by them. I mean, just a suggestion. Thayne is safe and Chris goes home. Excellent.

So next week Thayne and Comfort will be partners. Get ready for an annoying personality overload.


My personal Top Ten Movies. June 26, 2008

Filed under: Random,Things That Are Awesome — brandi @ 1:17 am

Jeff tagged me, and I haven’t done a meme in a while, so here you go!

The rules of the “game” are simple:
1. list your top ten favorite films (in no particular order).
2. if you’re tagged, you’ve got to post and tag 3-5 other people.
3. give a tag back (some link love) to the one who tagged you in your post
4. give a hat tip (HT) to Dan

Dan, Dan, he’s our man, if he can do it, anyone can!

I am actually not a big movie person. I don’t like to go to the movies very often. Aaron, on the other hand, would go see every movie that ever came out in the theater and rent the ones he missed. But I do have favorites, and I love them oh so very much. Just don’t expect any cinematic masterpieces on this list.

1. Almost Famous

Anytime someone asks me what my favorite movie is, I always choose Almost Famous. I love everything about it: the music, the t-shirts that say everything you want to say, the pencils and legal pads, the tour bus, Jimmy Fallon as the fancy new manager. I love the ending, when William finally gets his interview. I could watch it over and over and over. And have.

Sample quote: “This song explains why I am leaving home to become a stewardess.”

2. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion

Romy and Michele came out the summer before my senior year of high school. My friends and I probably saw it at the dollar theater about a hundred times. It is so completely ridiculous and so completely fun. And the whole movie is worth watching for the dance at the end.

Sample quote: “You look so good with blond hair and black roots it’s like, not even funny.”

3. That Thing You Do

I have written about my love of TTYD before. It is one of the most quoteable and joyful movies I know. I get a little teary every time they hear their song on the radio for the first time. I think I love it more now than I ever have, since our lives seem to parallel the movie a bit. We’ve done the label visit, the video, the big tours. Soon we will hear our song on the radio. And I will run screaming down the street, just like Faye.

Sample quote: “Are you crazy? A man in a really nice camper wants to put our song on the radio! Gimme a pen, I’m signin’! You’re signin’! We’re all signin’!”

4. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

I’ve been watching this movie for most of my life. Growing up, we stayed after school with a lady down the street who had a teenage daughter. She was a cheerleader and I completely idolized her. We watched this movie with her ALL THE TIME. I think it might have been where my dancing obsession began. Whatever happened to the guy who played Jeff? His red cut off t-shirt was too sexy.

Sample quote: “Velcro. Next to the Walkman and tab it is the coolest invention of the 20th century.”

5. Can’t Buy Me Love

This is another holdover from the babysitter days. Patrick Dempsey is so awesome in this movie. This and GJWHF are what 80s movies are to me. I love me some Molly Ringwald, but these are the best ones for sure. I was so jealous of the girl who wears a sports bra and overalls to school. That was a sweet outfit. Also, I may or may not be able to perform the African Anteater Ritual for you.

Sample quote: “You raise a doll-chopping homicidal maniac, and what do you do every time you see him? You give him money.”

6. Romeo+Juliet

Things that are awesome about this movie: Leonardo DiCaprio, the crazy carnival set on the beach, the amazing soundtrack, Leonardo DiCaprio, the balcony/pool scene, the colors and the dancing, Leonardo DiCaprio. I was already over the moon for him when this movie came out – I had loved him since his days as a homeless teen on Growing Pains. But Romeo+Juliet really put it over the top for me. It came on TV the other day and I couldn’t believe how young everyone looked… they seemed so grown up when I first saw it. And seriously. It has a great soundtrack.

Sample quote: “No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I bite my thumb, sir!”

7. Can’t Hardly Wait

This is one of those movies that it feels like no one saw but you, and then you drop a quote randomly and someone picks up on it and that’s how you know you were meant to be friends. This movie has everything – parties, long lost love, a good villain, the unknown who saves the day, personal growth and… Scott Baio. It is also my third favorite Ethan Embry movie. I love that boy.

Sample quote: “You know who else I like that didn’t get much play? Velma from Scooby-Doo. She was cool. She was a hip, hip lady.”

8. Rat Race

Is it bad that this is my third Seth Green movie? I have no idea what that says about me. I do know, however, that this movie makes me laugh every time. I love the rich guys at the hotel taking bets on who will puke first, or how much you have to offer a hooker to get in a jacuzzi filled with Pepto-Bismol, or which maid can hold onto the curtain rod the longest without falling. And I love Mr. Bean. The whole movie is just a mishmash of random things that I think are awesome. Like Lucy impersonators. And Smashmouth. (Just kidding on that last part.)

Sample quote: “What do you mean that’s it? I’m not giving up! And neither are you! And neither am I!”

9. Man On the Moon

I didn’t know anything about Andy Kaufman when I saw this movie. I’m not entirely sure why I ever saw it in the first place. But it is one of my very favorites. It’s such a crazy story, and I think Jim Carrey does an amazing job. The funeral scene is one of the sweetest I have ever seen. I’m not even embarrassed that one of my favorite movies stars Courtney Love. It’s that good.

Sample quote: “I am from Caspiar, an Island in the Caspian Sea. It sunk.”

10. Empire Records

Did I save the best for last? Possibly. I saw this movie for the first time my freshman year in college. I had this roommate that I am pretty sure hated me, but we watched this the first week we were there and I just fell in love with it. It has all the qualities of my kind of movies: music, teenagers, high school drama, more music, and Ethan Embry. It was made for me.

Sample quote: “Joe, I can categorically say that you are not a bigger banana-head.” (Such a hard choice!)

So let’s see… my top ten movies came out between 1985 and 2001, with only one coming out in the new millennium. The bulk of my movies are from high school/early college, which makes sense since it would have been when I was going to the movies the most. There’s not a single serious movie on the list, and I like it that way. I’m not ashamed that my favorite movies are teeny-bopper films. That’s the best kind.

Oh! I have to tag people! I choose Katie, Jacob, Jon and Jonathan


Here’s some stuff for you to read. June 21, 2008

Filed under: Random — brandi @ 8:06 pm

Ten Random Things From The Past Week

1. Last Thursday we went to this music contest thing that our friend Katie was a part of. Our friend is crazy good, but this whole event was insane. I’m pretty sure it was the worst thing we’ve ever been to in Nashville. At one point I thought we might get stabbed with a bow.

2. Then on Friday we got invited to a dinner with a private chef that another friend of ours won at some kind of event. When we got there, we realized it wasn’t exactly what we had expected – it was a sales pitch for pots and pans. He made us dinner, all right, but we had to watch and answer questions about vegetables while he did it. Then he made us a cake that involved carrots, zucchini, squash and… chocolate. He was all, “Isn’t it amazing how you can’t even taste the veggies?” and I raised my hand and said, “Ummm, I can taste them.” And then he didn’t really talk to us anymore.

3. After that dinner we got in the car and drove to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, on our way to the Ichthus festival in Louisville. We got there at 4:30am and had to be in Louisville at 10:00. So that was fun.

4. We spent all day at Ichthus with Remedy Drive… they played in the morning, and then we sold merch and ate and hung out the rest of the day. There were cicadas EVERYWHERE. Cicadas are gross. The highlight of the day was watching Leeland and Family Force Five from the side stage. It doesn’t matter how many times I see FF5 play. They are awesome.

5. Let’s talk about Leeland for a minute. Have you listened to them? I don’t listen to a lot of Christian music, but that kid is so talented. The first record was pretty good, and includes one of my favorite worship songs (“Beautiful Lord”), but this new record is great all the way through. Listen to “Opposite Way“, especially if you have any kind of influence with teenagers. I have used the concept of that song more times than I care to admit lately. It’s good stuff.

6. Sunday we drove to Birmingham because Remedy Drive filmed a video there on Monday. We got there, I went to church with Susan (which I loved… it was nice to get to go to church and not be responsible for anything) and then we walked 10,000 miles to eat Thai food. Luckily, it was delicious Thai food and I think everyone had a really good time. Especially the guys who would walk way ahead of us and then jump out of trees when we walked under them. Awesome.

7. Monday while everyone else did grown up responsible work-type things, I went shopping. I have been looking for a new every day bag for approximately five hundred years. I had very specific specifications (that I got from the Department of Redundancy Department) for this bag: it had to be leather, in a non-brown/black/white color, have only one strap, be big enough to carry a book, and have a long enough strap that I can pick it up with one hand and put it on my shoulder without using my other hand (ie: my elbow would fit between the strap and the bag itself). I know it sounds like a lot, but I did not expect to spend four months trying to find it. Then! I went shopping in Birmingham, and there it was! I am so happy with this bag, from Urban Outfitters.

8. We all came back to Nashville on Tuesday. Aaron and the guys had a bunch of meetings and I had a lot of stuff on my schedule, too. Which all ended up getting canceled. That worked out well, though, since Aaron decided we should have everyone (7 adults and 2 kids) over for a cookout that night. I ended up spending most of the day grocery shopping and prepping food. We had a great time, though, and the food was fabulous if I do say so myself.

9. Because I was running on about ten total hours of sleep for the past five days, I slept in a bit and didn’t go to ordination class. Which turned out to be a mistake. Last week at the end of class we took this hermeneutics quiz, which was fascinating, and this week they went through it and discussed their answers. I would have liked to have been there for that. (If you care, you can click that link and then click ‘take assessment’ on the right. I would be curious to hear how you score!)

10. The band finally left late late Wednesday night. The bus had alternator issues, so they were pretty much just killing time at our house. I had intended to use Thursday to catch up on all the work I didn’t do while they were around. However, thanks to an ill-advised sit-down at the blood pressure machine at CVS, I ended up passed out on the drugstore floor. Classy, I know. Luckily Aaron was there so I didn’t look like a total idiot. I should really know better. If something says “This may cause bruising or faiting”, I should probably not do it. I am smrt.


So You Think You Can Dance – Top 18. June 19, 2008

Filed under: Things That Are Awesome,TV — brandi @ 11:58 pm


Top 18! Last week we lost Rayven (sad) and Jamie (not so sad). Who will it be this week? Cat and her fluffy black dress would like to welcome you to So You Think You Can Dance!

Twitch goes last in the dance intros AND is wearing nerd glasses. Love.

Jidges. The guest judge this week is Mia, which means no Mia routine. Sad. I love her as a judge, though, so it’s okay. I guess. She declares this season ‘banoodles’, which is apparently defined as ‘insane’, or, perhaps, ‘Mia’.

First up! Chelsea and Thayne. This week’s video theme is good thing/bad thing about their partners. Oh my gosh, y’all, we do this with our kids sometimes on Sundays. You ask a junior high girl one good thing and one bad thing about her week and you are in for 20 nonstop minutes of talking. Just FYI. Thayne likes that Chelsea is super positive all the time, and… Chelsea likes that Thayne is in a good mood all the time. Wow. On the flip side, Chelsea falls asleep all the time and Thayne is super superstitious.

This week they’re doing jazz with Mandy Moore. We see lots and lots of shots of Thayne knocking on wood, but Chelsea thinks they’re going to kill it. No knocks.

The song is “Untouchable” by the Veronicas. I don’t think I like this very much. Mandy said the story is “a king and his forbidden love”, but the only reason we would know that is the weird jokery outfits they have on. It doesn’t seem like much happens in the routine. The music is about twice as fast as they are moving and it just feels like a lot of walking around. Meh.

Mia loved the concept but not the execution. She says he wasn’t regal and kicks them off the hot tamale train. Mary didn’t think they had chemistry and thought Chelsea looked uncomfortable. She puts them in the caboose. Nigel found it unbelievable and doesn’t like the costumes. Me either! I like it when the judges agree with me.

Mark and Cheslie. Mark likes how her hair smells and Chelsie likes how quirky Mark is. She thinks he is too quiet and he thinks she’s like an annoying little sister sometimes. I think they are both totally adorable.

They get argentine tango with Alex DiSilva. Mark says he loves ‘meaty dancing’ and calls himself a dancing carnivore. Interesting.

They are dancing to “Mi Confision” by Gotan Project. I don’t generally enjoy ballroom routines, but I think they do a good job. It’s all very intense, and Mark has a good intense face so they pull it off really well. Especially for the style of dance that Mark usually does, he really pulls this off. They look fantastic and are really really good.

Mia loved it. She calls them “fantastical” and praises both of them lavishly. Mary loved everything and thought they had great technique. I would like to take a moment to talk about how insane Mary looks tonight… she has ridiculous hair and huge necklaces and this awful off-the-shoulder leopard dress. It is bad bad bad. Nigel thinks they pulled it off but thought Chelsie wasn’t quite sleazy enough. Yes, he really says that.

Jessica and Will. Will likes Jessica’s personality and crazy attitude. Jessica likes that Will is so focused and professional… but sometimes he is too serious and internal. Will wishes Jessica was more confident in her abilities. Strangely, he does not say, “I wish she was a better dancer because I am freaking awesome.” Maybe next week. They will work twice as hard this week since they were in the bottom two last week.

They get hip hop with Cecily and Olisa, who I hope don’t make a guest judge appearance this year. They are excited to have something fun that will allow them to show personality, and Jessica proclaims that “America can relate to hip hop.” I… don’t know what that means.

They come out to “Whatever U Like” by Nicole Scherzinger. Will is clearly owning the stage in this routine. Jessica is… fine, but Will is blowing her away. The choreography is pretty fun, but the costumes (big jeans and blazers) make it hard to see what they are doing. I like it, though.

Mia loves the choreography but didn’t think Jessica held her own next to Will. She calls her “cheerleader-y” and says Will is a genius and Jessica has to step it up. Mary agrees and says Jessica is too powder puffy. She calls Will a “dancing machine” and a “force”. Nigel agrees with them about Will but disagrees on Jessica, saying she did a good job and pulled it off. He says Will will be in the final four.

Kourtni and Matt. Have I mentioned that I love them? I totally do. Matt likes Kourtni’s eyes and sometimes gets lost in them. Kourtni likes that Matt is always complimenting her. Selfish, but honest. She does not, however, like his singing. Matt doesn’t like how Kourtni doesn’t know good singing when she hears it. Cute.

They’re doing a foxtrot with Jean Marc. Kourtni feels confident that Matt will not drop her, but I am not so sure. Rehearsals do not go so well.

The performance, however, is great. I think, anyway. They are graceful and pretty and it just looks fantastic. I think their height really serves them well in this routine… everything looks long and the lines are beautiful. (Do you like how I am using dance words? Nice lines!) It’s totally charming and fun.

Mia takes a minute to talk about how she likes Matt and thinks he has personality and pizzazz. She calls him refined and elegant, and I agree with her. She also thinks Kourtni needs to “own her size and length” and be more confident. Mary loved the choreography but thought the performance was mixed. She was a little disappointed. Nigel calls Matt strong but says he’s soft everywhere else and lectures them a bit about giving an honest performance, but then says he thoroughly enjoyed it.

Next up is Courtney and Gev. Courtney likes how strong Gev is, and Gev likes that Courtney is really pretty. He does not like that she has a boyfriend. Courtney doesn’t like that Gev is short. Awesome.

Contemporary with Mandy Moore. Yay! It’s your basic love story routine. Gev comes off as a bit of a creeper in rehearsals.

The song is “Lost” by Anouk, and it is a really beautiful song. I am a sucker for a good contemporary routine, and I think they are pretty good. The choreography is great… really sweet and intimate and romantic. I think she is really good. She has great expressions and really sells the emotions. Gev does a good job supporting and lifting her. Overall I am a fan.

Mia loves the choreography but wants to see more “organic purity” from Courtney. Sometimes I think Mia has a grab bag of crunchy words and just pulls a couple out and mashes them together. She is proud of Gev and says he partnered her really well. That’s what I said! I should so be a judge on this show. Mary gets loud and crazy and just LOVED it. Nigel praises their partnership but didn’t believe the emotion in the routine.

Hey! America’s Best Dance Crew! I am a fan. Really. But proclaiming yourself “the best dance show on TV” during SYTYCD is just wrong. WRONG, I tell you.

Joshua and Katee, who I don’t want to like but do. Katee likes that Joshua is such a great partner and Joshua loves Katee’s smile. She doesn’t like how he is always picking on her, and he doesn’t like how she always does the same awkward dance.

They pull a Tyce Diorio Broadway routine, which should be fun. The routine is really fast with lots of running and expressions. Should be fun. They really are going to run a lot.

They are dancing to “All For The Best” from Godspell. It’s pretty cute, but I don’t love it. At one point Katee is supposed to be crying, but she has a huge smile on her face at the same time. Joshua busts out a huge backflip, which is pretty awesome. He seems to be way more committed to the routine than she is – all his movements are bigger and more exaggerated. They get out of sync toward the end a bit. It’s okay.

Ummm… Nigel is literally out of his chair running around on stage and playing air trombone. He is flipping out. He calls them fantastic and beautiful and entertainment at its best. Mary screams that they should come with a warranty: SATISFACTION GUARANTEED. I’m not sure Mary knows exactly what a warranty is. Mia calls it amazing. Clearly I missed something, because I do not understand this reaction. Hmmm.

Susie and Marquis. Marquis loves Susie’s energy, and Susie likes that Marquis is a goofball. She does not like that he is always eating and gets bad breath. Marquis doesn’t like how her eyebrows are too dark and she dresses so trashy. Oh, wait, that’s me. He doesn’t like how she always hit him in the face with her hair.

They draw salsa with Alex DiSilva, which is Susie’s style. Alex says this is one of the fastest routines he has ever choreographed. Then! He says that Susie not a REAL salsa dancer, she does street salsa. She overhears him, there is drama, whatever. I am a horrible person because that made me laugh.

The routine looks very salsa to me… I don’t really know. I don’t think he is very good. He very much looks like a contemporary dancer trying to do salsa. She seems to do well, though, and they do some really cool lifts and stuff. I don’t think they look very good together in general, so it’s hard to be objective about them when everything just looks off.

Mia, again, loves the choreography but didn’t love the performance. She says Marquis is not down and dirty enough and she expected more from Susie. Mary wasn’t feeling it either. She felt like Susie should have had a raw energy from street dancing but she doesn’t have it. Nigel says they made a lot of mistakes and Marquis isn’t a very strong partner and their hips weren’t doing what they were supposed to do. Bad news all around.

Twitch (!) and Kherington. He likes that she is positive and pretty mellow about things. She likes that he is really muscular and can lift her. He does not like that she has really strong legs because it hurts when she kicks him. She doesn’t like that he doesn’t know the difference between real and fake glasses and wears frames with no glass in them. She is wrong though. His glasses are awesome.

Oh, yikes. They draw the Vietnamese Waltz. (HT if you know where that’s from!) They’re working with the awesome but partially insane Jean Marc. The routine is inspired by JM’s daughter who is handicapped. So, no pressure to make it work, Twitchington. They seem unsure.

The song is “A New Day Has Come” by Celine Dion. The routine is pretty. The stage is lit kind of strangely… it’s kind of dusky with starry lighting and it makes it kind of hard to see them. I can’t actually tell if they are good. She is gorgeous and is all legs and it’s all really elegant. He doesn’t do much, but seems to partner her really well.

Mia criticizes Kherington for smiling the whole time, but Nigel jumps in and argues with her a bit. She thought Twitch stepped up and calls it beautiful. Mary gets all teared up and says it touched her and tells Twitch he was insane. Nigel dumps praise all over them, saying they breathed the music together and were fantastic.

Last couple! Comfort and Chris. She likes that he is so humble and has a good spirit, and he likes that she is versatile and a great partner but does not like how fast she talks. She does not like how much he sweats… because he is tall. Do tall people sweat more than short people? This is news to me.

Hmmm… they get krump with Lil’C. I think. She is going to rock this but I am worried about him. I don’t’ really see ‘krump’ when I see Chris. Lil’C tells them to get buck, which I have never heard and Chris hasn’t either. Should be interesting.

The routine is to “Come and Get Me” by Timbaland. It’s very hard with big steps and movements. She is freaking amazing, of course, and totally knocks it out of the park. And he actually does a really good job, I think… his face is into it and he stays low, which tends to be a big criticism in this kind of routine. I think he pulled it off.

Here’s a shocker for you – Mia loved the choreography. Duh. She loves Comfort and thought that Chris kept up with her. Mary thought they could have been better and says the energy dropped toward the end. (Cat jumps in and says Chris is ‘pretty fly for a white guy’, which is fun.) Nigel begins by disagreeing with Lil’C’s definition of krump. Because he knows better? Yikes. Then he demonstrates what he thinks krump should be verses what Chris did. It’s all a big mess and kind of scary. He thought they should have been way better.

My favorites: Chelsie and Mark, Kourtni and Matt
Least favorites: Chelsea and Thayne, Susie and Marquis


Group dance! This week it’s hip hop by Shane Sparks. We open with a Marquis solo and some sweet chest popping by Will, Joshua and Twitch before Twitch walks out of the trench coat he’s wearing. The guys dance, the girls dance, everyone dances together. Then we get a popper feature with Twitch, Joshua, Gev and Comfort, who completely rocks it. I love that they spotlighted her. They are amazing. The whole routine is really cool… full of hard hits and big beats. It ends with everyone laid out on the floor and Gev upside down on his head. Awesome.

Welcome to the show! Here are the jidges. Mia, just off the farm in an orange plaid button down, Mary, looking much less insane than last night, and Nigel, skeevy as per usual.

First three couples out: Chelsea and Thayne, Twitch and Kherington, Joshua and Katee. Joshua and Katee did Broadway and the judges went banoodles. Katee’s hair is down and very pretty and they are safe. Twitchington danced a Very Special waltz that was mostly praised by the judges. We get a backstage shot of Jean Marc telling them his daughter will love it. I admit it, I got a little misty. I’m not made of stone, people! Chelsea and Thayne, whose name is crazy but I can never remember, danced jazz and it didn’t go over well with the judges. They are the first couple to DANCE FOR THEIR LIVES (dun dun dun).

Next out: Chelsie and Mark, Matt and Kourtni, Will and Jessica. Chelsea and Mark did the tango and everyone loved it. I think they are just adorable. They are the first couple so of course they are safe. Matt and Kourtni did what I thought was a great foxtrot, but the judges were just okay on it. Will and Jessica did a hip hop routing in which Jessica was blah and Will was fantastic. They are both safe and they go absolutely crazy, which is super fun to watch. They were all four in the bottom three last week so it’s pretty exciting.

Last up: Susie and Marquis, Comfort and Chris, Gev and Courtney. Susie and Marquis did a horrible salsa routine that no one enjoyed at all. Not even a little bit. It was bad. They have to DANCE FOR THEIR LIVES (dun dun dun… and duh). Chris and Comfort krumped (kind of) and did an okay job. Nigel went insane on Chris and told him to get green and other craziness. Courtney and Gev danced a contemporary routine that I thought was really sweet and the judges thought wasn’t believable. The last couple to DANCE FOR THEIR LIVES (dun dun dun) are Chris and Comfort. Courtney and Gev are safe and secure from all alarms. For now.

Solos! Chelsea is first and does pretty well. I don’t really remember her from the auditions, so this is the first time I think I have really seen her on her own. She is a pretty generic contemporary dancer, but she has kind of an edge to her so it works for me. Thayne comes out next and does a typical boy contemporary solo – lots of jumps and kicks. Next up is Susie. She does that awkward ballroom solo where you just move your legs around really fast and maybe throw in a little booty shaking. Which, shockingly, she does. Marquis does another typical boy contemporary solo, but his includes a pretty cool cartweel flip thing where he lands sitting down. It’s kind of awesome. The last girl solo comes from Comfort. She’s a nice change from all the contemporary flailing around we’ve been seeing. (For as much as I love the contemporary partner routines during the show, I get so bored by these solos.) She pops and locks and bounces and while I don’t think it’s her strongest work, she is definitely safe. Chris the Tree is last and puts me back to sleep with yet another typical contemporary boy solo.

I think Susie is definitely going home. As far as the boys go… I’m pretty sure they are all exactly the same so it won’t matter much who goes home. If a girl gets a new partner she won’t even have to get used to him – she already is.

The jidges have a Very Serious Conversation near the stairs while Flo Rida performs at 4x his normal speed. Thank you, DVR.

And we’re back! it’s elimination time! Except… not yet, because Nigel has some Inspirational Words for us all. He starts talking about the NBA finals (which I am so sure he watched) and how even though he lost, Kobe congratulated everyone on the Celtics team. He then calls him not only a great player, but a great man. You forgot accused rapist, Nigel. I know, details schmetails. He turns that random topic into a speech about how, even if you go home tonight, be like Kobe and go out a winner. Which, sure, but… I’m pretty sure coming in second in the NBA finals and coming in EIGHTEENTH on a reality dance show aren’t quite the same thing. Still, though. Very inspiring.

Girls first. They liked Courtney but think she needs to be stronger in order to hold her ground against the stronger girl dancers. She’s safe. They think Susie has lost her fire and Comfort did not bring her A game, but in the end they send Susie home. SHOCKING. There was no way Comfort was going home in week two.

Boys. They liked Thayne and he is safe. How they know which is which is beyond me. They come down on Marquis, calling his solo all tricks and no dance. They liked Chris okay, and comment that his personality is increasingly less tree-like. Based on that, I guess, they keep him and send Marquis home.

So there it is! The most unsurprising elimination in history.

Next week! More dancing!


The day the dress took over my life.

Filed under: Things That Are Awesome — brandi @ 11:09 am

You guys, I think I have a problem.

This summer, I made a conscious decision to wear more dresses. I am, as a general rule, a jeans all the time kind of girl. I have a few pairs of capris, but I definitely do not wear shorts, so jeans it is. All the time. (The bermuda shorts I posted about a while back aren’t really working for me… I can’t get over feeling like they are mom shorts.) So this year? Dresses.

I don’t think I have told y’all before about my obsession with NY&Co. It’s actually more of a love/hate obsession, if that’s a real thing. Because I don’t dress up for work anymore, I have no use for about 90% of the things they sell there. But the other 10%? Oh, I love the other 10%. They have some great casual stuff and almost all of my jewelry comes from that store. And NY&Co is where I found THE DRESS.

One of the great things about the store is their coupons and sales. They will email me and tell me that I can get $30 off if I spend $75. I love that deal. So much. It was that coupon that led me to shop there when I first found THE DRESS.

I bought the black one first. Simple, easy, perfect for the couple of parties I had coming up. So I bought it. And I wore it. Twice in two days. Don’t judge me!

(Why can’t I manage to just smile like a normal person?)

(Both of those babies have since been borned.)

Then I got another coupon. They get me with their great deals! I am such a sucker for marketing! This time they had a couple of new colors and a pattern. I tried to buy the blue, but they didn’t have my size, so I got the brown. I was easing in to my newfound dress wearing. Start with neutrals. See how it feels.

(Like my necklace? Guess where I got it!)

I lived with the black and brown for a while. I wore at least one of them every week. I got a lot of compliments on them and loved being free from the bondage of my denim dependency. Then? Another coupon.

I just went in to look, I swear. But apparently I am not the only one in love with THE DRESS. Where there had once been three choices there were now ten. Every color and pattern you can imagine. Green? White? Black and blue checked? Brown with pink swirlies? They had it all. What was I supposed to do? How do you make a choice like that? Who needs three versions of the same dress?

I do, apparently. After much soul searching and trying on, I went with red. Bright! Bold! Way out of my comfort zone! I bought it a week ago and I have worn it three times. Sadly, I don’t have a picture, but just pretend this is me:

(I, of course, would never wear white shoes with THE DRESS, though. Seriously. What is happening there? Who styled this shoot?)

So now I have three versions of the same dress. And I still want this one. And this one. And this one. But that’s normal, right? A person can forge an entire wardrobe out of one item. Aaron does it all the time. If he can wear nothing but black and grey, I can wear nothing but the City Style Dress, right? Right? I don’t have a problem. I can quit anytime. I just need another coupon.


So You Think You Can Dance – Top 20. June 16, 2008

Filed under: Things That Are Awesome,TV — brandi @ 6:50 pm

Hi! Sorry this is like two years late. I didn’t actually watch the top 20 episode until last night, when I got to watch it with my friend and fellow SYTYCD obsessor Susan! Aaron and I are in Birmingham for a video shoot and Susan and I made plans to not watch the first real episode until last night when we could watch it together. I’m not gonna lie, y’all, it was NOT EASY. But! So fun!

Here we go!


I have to say, I already have a problem. They are introducing the Top 20 and I have no idea who most of these people are. Not only that, but it’s going to be really tricky telling them apart. All those contemporary guys are the same! Yeesh. I do love, though, that the intro is always the same, and I love when they dance off stage and Cat dances on. So fun.

Let’s talk to the “jidges”! Guest judge this week is Dan Karaty, wearing a suit that is approximately four sizes too big for him. What does he expect tonight? He doesn’t know, but the first few seasons had a favorite from the beginning but doesn’t see one so far this year. Mary Murphy? She is very proud of the group on the show because the talent this year has been so good. Nigel? He says there are early frontrunners because the audience already knows them, but this year there are five or six (or twelve or thirteen!) who the audience has never met. Which is true, but since they are all pretty much the same guy I’m not sure it makes much difference. Then he goes skeevy on us and takes some time to talk about Cat’s legs. Awesome.

First up: Rayven and Jamie. Rayven is a ballet/contemporary dancer. She’s the oldest on the show at 28. She talks about living with and helping her mom at a dance studio and we see footage of her teaching flamenco, which looks super fun. Jamie is a West Coast swing dancer who auditioned with his girlfriend/dance partner. They both made it to Vegas where she got cut but will “totally support [him] all the way to the top”.

They’re doing a Tabitha/Napoleon hip hop routine. He is wearing a boar jacket. I don’t know either. The routine is really cute… kind of a pop hip hop thing, very bouncy and expressive. At one point she pulls his pants down to reveal shiny blue underwear. They seem to hit it fairly hard, on the parts that require it, and they are really fun together. It’s cute.

Nigel likes it, likes the choreography, but wonders if it will be memorable at the end of the show. Mary pulls a fakeout involving screams and scary faces and calls the routine “cotton candy hip hop”. Dan and the Giant Suit doesn’t love it, saying they didn’t hit it when they needed to.

(Can I just say how much I hate the portion of the show where they mug for votes? It grates on me so much. It is one of the top five reasons I heart DVR.)

Susie and Marquis. Susie is a high school teacher with blond and hot pink hair and dark eyebrows. She says she can bring the sass and Miami flair and wants to show her boobs to her high school students. Or something like that. Marquis is 18 and had trouble as a dancer and, at one point, says his mom has no heart. I bet she does, though. That blood’s not gonna pump itself.

They get a smooth waltz routine by Hunter Johnson. Rehearsals do not go well. They perform it well, I guess… it’s all very smooth and pretty and graceful. I think he is better than she is. There’s a lift at the end that they definitely mess up. Honestly, the whole thing was pretty boring.

Nigel praises their dancing through the mistakes and talks about how it was a difficult routine that doesn’t allow for personality. Mary thought they were great and says they have a lot of room to grow. Dan and his grandpa’s jacket thought it was sexy and romantic and great.

Kourtni and Matt. Kourtni graduated high school early and moved to LA alone at 17 to pursue dance. I love her and think she is completely adorable. Matt grew up an athlete and… that’s pretty much all he says. They are both really tall. I like them.

They do a Mandy Moore jazz routine to Tainted Love by Soft Cell. They’re both in all black leather and the routine appears to be some kind of cat and mouse thing involving a giant diamond. It’s lots of of exaggerated steps and sharp movements and they are all legs.

Nigel thinks Matt needs more personality and to relax a bit, and says Kourtni reminds him of “Urma” Thurman and says she is already well-known by the audience like it’s some kind of mystery as to how that happened. Mary thought they were great and sexy but criticizes their lift. She’s not quite ready to put them on the hot tamale train. Dan and the Suit That Ate Manhattan loved the choreography and concept but didn’t think they hit it hard enough.

Next up are Chlesea and Thayne. Chelsea is a first-generation American from Jamaica who is excited to do something on her own. Thayne danced as a kid, but quit because he got made fun of, then picked it back up a few years ago. They are doing a chacha choreographed by Tony Merideth and struggle in rehearsals.

She looks fantastic on stage in this insane purple feathery thing. I think they are good, but it’s kind of hard to tell becuase it doesn’t feel like there’s much happening in this routine. He seems pretty goober-ish… cheesy smiles and moves. But I think he does the routine really well. It’s pretty fun.

Nigel thinks Chelsea is a ‘creature’ and fantastic, but that Thayne is up to the challenge. He loved it. Mary puts them on the very very loud hot tamale train and has high praise for Thayne and his partnering abilities. Dan’s suit makes a skeevy Nigel joke and thought they were unbelievable.

Chelsie and Mark. Chelsie has a giant family and is learning who she wants to be. She seems really young but is totally adorable. Mark is a contemporary dancer who blew the judges away with his final solo in Vegas. They get a Mia Michaels contemporary routine. Yay! Rehearsals don’t go so well and Mia is struggling with Mark. You don’t want to be on Mia’s bad side, Mark.

The song is Beautiful by Me’Shell Mdegeocello. I love this routine so much. It’s sweet and pretty and they dance it really well. It has some great lifts and moves, including one where she dives at his feet, then rolls down his leg and he flips over her. Awesome. I think it’s great.

Nigel compliments Mia’s ability to take what the dancers are good at and incorporate it into the routine. He thought they were brilliant. Mary loves Mark’s uniqueness and calls Chelsie an angel. Dan, wearing Paul Bunyan’s suit, discusses the long strange trip inside Mia’s head and says they were amazing.

Twitch (!) and Kherington are up next. He is an amazing hip hop dancer who should wear glasses all the time. Kherington missed her high school graduation to be on the show but doesn’t regret it.

They get Broadway with Tyce Diorio. Twitch gets kicked in the face about fifteen times in rehearsals. They look great together, though. Twich dubs their partnership ‘twitchington’. They perform to Too Darn Hot from Kiss Me Kate. It’s a really fun performance with lots of great moves and personality. I have to admit, as much as I love Twitch I was worried about how he would do in different styles. But y’all, he is fantastic. And she is adorable and explosive and it’s great.

Nigel loves them and says Twitch could be on Broadway. Mary goes nuts as per usual and says she’s expecting the sprinkler system to come on. Dan, using his jacket as a parachute, jumps in and says Twitch is nontraditional but they were fantastic together.

Comfort and Chris. Comfort is ‘the best female hip hop dancer we’ve ever seen’ and wants the world to know girls can get down like guys. Chris was told he has the personality of a tree during the auditions but is trying to show the audience he’s having fun. They pull a jive by Tony Meredith and rehearsals seem to go well.

The choreography is really fun and they look like they’re having a blast, but I have to say that I don’t think she’s all that great. She has a ton of personality and is really cute but it all feels awkward to me. They look good but I am just not feeling it. I do think he’s better than she is.

Nigel thinks she is super hot and praises Chris for keeping up with her. He says the technique wasn’t there but they have a ton of personality. Mary thought they were ‘flying’ and ‘kicking it’. Dan Karaty and the Sorcerer’s Suit talks a lot about how Chris did a good job partnering her and says they need to perform better together.

Wow! This show is long! Lots of couples!

Katee and Joshua. Katee is the girl who auditioned with her roommate and it came down to the two of them getting into the top 20. Joshua is a popper with some ballet training and cried when he got in. They get a hip hop routine by Tabitha and Napoleon. Apparently it’s a routine about going off to war. They insist that even though they are both big crybabies that they are TOUGH.

Ok, y’all. This is a problem for me. I do not want to like Katee. At all. She bugged me all the way through the auditions. But this routine is amazing. They are so good. Y’all. So good. She is sharp and emotive and graceful and he is strong and smooth and hits it hard. They are great. I want to watch it over and over again, even though it’s to that lame Jordin Sparks song about air. It’s so good.

Nigel is with me. He just says, “That was really really good.” He pours praise on them. Mary calls them tremendous and gets a little emotional AND stays mellow, which is great. The World’s Largest Suit says they killed it.

Jessica and Will. Jessica is contemporary and is the girl who awesomely spelled Vegas V-E-A-G-S. Will is from Nashville, so I like him, and he is great, so I like him. They are doing a Hunter Johnson tango and seem to get the hang of it. Will proclaims they will ‘perform their faces off.’

Are they good at this? I have no idea with ballroom. It looks very tango-y – dramatic, lots of flying arms and legs, long red shiny dress. I think he was a little better than her, but honestly I can’t really tell what’s happening up there.

Nigel thinks they look professional and calls Will majestic. He has some criticism for Jessica but thought overall they were wonderful. Mary yells at them and calls them strong and passionate. She loved Will. She also calls them the couple to beat, which is just plain wrong. The Suit and His Boy do not agree but thought they were hot like fire. Not like wasabi, though.

Last couple! Finally!

Courtney and Gev. Courtney is a Knicks dancer and is super cute. Gev is a b-boy from Kazakhstan who does crazy stuff with his body. He’s awesome. They are doing a disco routine with Doriana Sanchez, which never really goes well. Rehearsals seem to go well, except that they’re doing… disco. It’s so weird to me that disco is a real dance category on this show.

They have on crazy yellow sparkly outfits and don’t really seem to have it entirely together. I think it’s fine, but it’s not great. I can never really tell when it’s the dancers and when it’s the choreography, but either way, this is kind of messy. They do a few really cool lifts and spins, though. I am just not feeling it.

Nigel loves disco but did not love the performance. He says they did not get down and boo-gie and then says “You can’t go wrong with Earth Wind and Fire”, which I am going to go ahead and disagree with. Mary thought Courtney was good but Gev was just okay. Gev, by the way, has some gross hairy chest action going on. Dan and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Suit enjoyed it and dubs them ‘pretty good’.

Whew! Finally! That’s a lot of dancing. My favorites: Katee and Joshua, Chelsie and Mark. Least favorites: Courtney and Gev, Comfort and Chris


Disclaimer: I have no intention of recapping performances during this show unless they are someone I am interested in, which they generally are not. If you want the details of the Pussycat Dolls routine, please direct your attention to YouTube.

Group Dance! Susan and her excellent dance eye called that it’s a Wade Robson routine. Awesome. It looks like he’s not going to be a regular choreographer, but hopefully he’ll show up every now and then.

We open on what looks like a stage not ready for the show to begin… people talking, cleaning, producers going over notes. We get a quick shot of the judges talking and writing. Groups of Wade Robsony dancers come up through the crowd and we see Nigel’s empty chair. He’s been kidnapped by the crazy dancers! Oh no! This could be really lame, but at least he’s not in a jibjab ad this time. The routine is cool, kind of crazy… there are groups of dancers coming on and off stage and it’s all bright colors and big hair and lots of stilted movements. Nigel is tied to his chair and they are rolling him all over the place before abandoning him onstage. So there you go.

First three couples out on stage: Twitch and Kherington, Chelsea and Thayne, Chelsie and Mark. Who’s safe? All of them! Yay!

Next up: Matt and Kourtni, Susie and Marquis, Comfort and Chris, Rayven and Jamie. Matt and Kourtni and Rayven and Jamie will have to DANCE FOR THEIR LIVES. (dun dun dun)

Last three: Joshua and Katee, Jessica and Will, Courtney and Gev. Joshua and Katee are of course safe, and the final couple to DANCE FOR THEIR LIVES (dun dun dun) is Jessica and Will.

Solo time! Kourtni comes out and blows everyone away. Seriously, she is so good. She better be safe. I don’t really remember Matt from the auditions, but his solo is beautiful. He is a really strong dancer and can jump crazy high. Rayven wears a really unflattering costume but does a cool mix of contemporary and ballet. I don’t know how they dance on their toes like that. Jamie has on a vest for the sole purpose ripping it off as soon as the music comes on. I know that ballroom dancers are at a disadvantage when it comes to solo since their style is partnered by nature, but this is not good. The silky shirt does not help. Jessica’s solo is really generic contemporary. I am bored, even though she’s dancing to an acoustic version Misery Business by Paramore which I love even though I’m about 15 years too old for it. Will, on the other hand, is incredible. That guy is going far on this show.

Time to confer by the stairs!

I think if you go on that Moment of Truth show you get a ticket straight to hell, no questions asked.

Elimination time! Girls are up first. They loved Kourtni (yay!), she is safe with no questions asked. Nigel calls her magic. They have negative things to say about both Rayven and Jessica – they didn’t like that Rayven didn’t dance en pointe and call Jessica disappointing. And… Jessica is safe. LAME! Rayven is much cooler than Jessica. We get a heartbreaking shot of Rayven’s parents. Her dad is wearing a shirt with her face on it! How can they send her home? Sad.

Boys. Will was amazing and he is safe. Nigel says he could be in the final four. They like Jamie’s personality and Matt’s dance technique, and decide to keep technique. Jamie and his shiny shiny shirt are going home.

When Cat is introducing their going away video, she says, “Let’s take a look at your best bits.” That’s funny.

More SYTYCD on Thursday! Yay!


Please don’t make me have a serious conversation. June 9, 2008

Filed under: Introspection,Random,Things That Bug — brandi @ 11:30 pm

So last night was kind of frustrating. We had a great Sunday morning – lots of new kids, a really successful game and lessons, a big group for lunch after church. Yesterday afternoon I went shopping and bought a dress I already had in two different colors in a third. It was all set to be a fabulous day. And then last night happened.

I don’t want to go into the details, but the generics are this: last Sunday something happened. And it directly affected one of my people. Then a couple of follow up somethings happened and it turned into a Thing. So I said something, because I feel like it’s my job to take care of my people. Then someone else said something and someone else said something and before I knew it I was in the middle of a Thing that I did not want to be a part of. And that turned into an unnecessary Serious Conversation.

Y’all, I hate the Unnecessary Serious Conversation. We have a couple of friends who are Serious Conversation people, all day every day all the time, and it is exhausting. I am always up for talking about what needs to be talked about, but I do not love the Unnecessary Serious Conversation.

The gist of the USC was this – there is a way things are done, and people need to get on board with that. When you guys are older you will understand. Don’t rock the boat. Just let the grown ups handle it and everything will be fine.

Um, what?

Here’s the problem – the speaker was talking to me like I was on her team. Like WE, the adults, are in the right, and THEY, the young folk, are the issue. This is bad for multiple reasons. First, she has 15 years on me and I have 3 on the Problem Person. Second, even if I considered myself one of the Adults, she is still wrong. Like way seriously across the board wrong. Third, this is just another case of you thinking I think like you think when in fact I do not think like you think at all.

This whole thing is just exhausting. I am not a fan.

I don’t want to have sides or teams or any of that. But I work with the middle and high school kids, and we have the 20′s-ish care group. I do feel like it’s my job to speak up for those people. But more than that, I feel like it’s the ‘other’ side’s job to pay attention and listen to what they have to say. Their opinions aren’t less important because they have less life experience. There’s something to be said for optimism and for believing that you can change things for the better. You can tell me all day that you ‘remember what it’s like to be young’, but if you’re not letting people be who they are then it doesn’t make a difference.

Just don’t make me have an Unnecessary Serious Conversation about something if you’re not really interested in what I have to say about it. And please, PLEASE don’t quit on the USC when you realize that I’m not agreeing with you.

It’s just mean.


Vegas week and a dumb recapper. June 8, 2008

Filed under: TV — brandi @ 1:32 am

It’s Vegas, baby! V-E-A-G-S!

Can I just say in advance how much I love this round? It’s my favorite part of American Idol, too. I love watching them try so many different things and I love the group rounds and I love that it’s when the judges stop being polite and start being real. LOVE.

Here we go!

We’re starting out with a hip hop routine by Tabitha and Napoleon. (Note: I went to the SYTYCD website to get their names, and Wade Robson is not listed as a choreographer this year! What is that nonsense? His routines are always so interesting.) The routine looks marginally simple, but people immediately begin FREAKING OUT. The chief freakouter is my friend Robert from the first auditions. He immediately decides that he cannot do choreography at all, ever, the end. Nigel gives him a hard time and makes a huge production of bringing him onstage to do his solo so the judges can decide if they want to ask him to stay, which… what? I like this guy a lot, but it’s annoying that we’re spending so much time on this. Anyway, he does the solo, is amazing, they want him to stay, he doesn’t. He goes home. Sad.


Aaaaaaaaaaand this is the point in the show where I hit the wrong combination of buttons on the remote and DELETED the episode. I deleted it! The whole thing! Vegas is my favorite part of this show and I missed it. BLAST. I tried and tried to find a place to watch it online, but to no avail.

So! Based on only what I remember from past seasons, here’s what happened: they did hip hop, some people got cut, they did some other dances, more people got cut, there was crying and whining and talking back to the judges, more people got cut, they got put in groups and stayed up all night making up lame dances, more people got cut, some people who got cut blamed other people in their groups, they did a Mia Michaels routine and a bunch of people cried because she scared them, they got down to like 40 and then had them take a dramatic walk across the stage to find out if they made the top 20.

And here’s your top 20, who I only know because I looked it up:

• Twitch! Yay! I am excited to see what he can do. I love him.
• William Wingfield. Have we seen him before? I don’t recognize him, but he’s from Nashville so I like him already.
• Matt, contemporary. I kind of remember him, but he didn’t really leave an impression.
• Chris, contemporary dancer from Dallas.
• Josh, hip hop from Fort Worth. I remember him jumping really high.
• Thayne, contemporary from Utah. Meh.
• Gev! He is awesome. That’s exciting!
• Jamie, swing dancer from CA.
• Marquis, contemporary from NY.
• Mark, contemporary from LA.

• Kherington? Really?
• Kourtni. I think this is the girl who looks like her mom, who I like a lot less now based on the ass-spelling of her daughter’s name. I think this girl could be really great, and again, Mia will love her.
• Courtney, contemporary/hip hop from NY.
• Jessica, contemporary dancer from Charlotte.
• Chelsea, ballroom from Salt Lake.
• Rayven, contemporary and ballet dancer from LA.
• Chelsea, contemporary dancer from Dallas. She is gorgeous.
• Katee, contemporary from LA. Wasn’t she one of the roommates in matching pajamas? I think I liked the other roommate better.
• Comfort, hip hop from Dallas. I think she was the girl they called ‘the best female hip hop dancer we’ve ever seen’ but didn’t show her to us, ever. I’m glad she made it.
• Susie? What? Oh, yikes. Either she was fantastic in Vegas, or… Nigel is in charge of these decisions.

Hmmm. Six of the guys and at least seven girls are contemporary dancers. Really? That’s the best mix we could find? I… am not impressed.

But! Some people I really like (Twitch, Kourtni, Gev) are in, and it looks like there are some good characters bouncing around in there. I heart this show no matter what, so I am excited! It only gets better from here. Especially since I will actually get to see the shows, assuming I remember how to work the remote.


So You Think You Can Dance – Milwaukee auditions. June 5, 2008

Filed under: TV — brandi @ 6:53 pm

It’s the last audition show! Yay! We are in Milwaukee. I… know nothing about Milwaukee.

But first, a rundown of people from the other cities that we haven’t seen yet. What is this? Why didn’t they show them to us earlier? Whatever, I am not complaining. I like dancing.

• Michael, 21. He does some really cool… hip hop? Contemporary? It’s really fluid, but it hits every beat really sharply. Very cool to watch. The judges really love him. He goes straight to Vegas! Shut up! That never happens. Awesome.
• Katie, 19, and Natalie, 22. They are roommates and do weird workout stuff together in their apartment. They also have matching footie pajamas. Katie is up first… she does contemporary with some interesting choreography and is pretty cute, but nothing spectacular. Straight to Vegas. Natalie is a lot more expressive and her choreography is sharp and pretty literal to the song. I like her a lot better. The judges love her and sent her to Vegas. Yay!
• Janette, 24, and Romulo, 19. They are salsa dancers and I think they are fantastic. Lots of cool moves and flips and tricks and at one point she falls back and he catches her head with his foot. They are awesome. They go to choreography. Janette makes it but Romulo does not.

Ok… now we’re in Milwaukee.

• Bianca, 19. She does tap, which we haven’t seen before this year. You guys, I honestly have no idea if she’s good or not. She’s really cute, and her feet are moving really fast, but she doesn’t seem to be doing much else. But is she supposed to be? I have no idea. The judges say she’s great, though, so there you go. The send her straight to Vegas! Awesome.
• James, 25. He is… a mess. He spends a lot of time talking about how he has worked with a lot of choreographers who guarantee that he’s going to be in the top 20, but I am pretty sure that’s not going to happen. Oh my gosh! They compared him Willard from Footloose! That is awesome. He’s not good and he goes home.
• Evan, 20. He’s doing jazz, I guess. He’s kind of cutesy and doesn’t do much at first, but then he busts out a huge toe touch and some tricks with his hat and a big spin move at the end. I really like him a lot, and the judges seem to, too. He goes straight to Vegas.
• Victor, 29. Ugh. This is a huge waste of time. He’s not doing anything, AND he’s wearing an eye mask. It’s awful, he has a bad attitude, and they send him home. Lame.
• Travis, 25. No. Bad. I am not writing about these people anymore.
• Courtney, 18. She is with her mom, who looks exactly like her. She is a pretty dancer, but she also has an edge to her that I think makes her very interesting. They send her straight to Vegas. Mia Michaels is going to LOVE her.
• Tom, 24. I feel like I know this guy. He was that tall, goofy guy in your youth group that everyone thought was cute and funny but no one ever dated. If you were wondering what happened to that guy, he’s trying out for SYTYCD. Also, he raises earless goats. He goes home.
• Ashley, 25. She really, really wants this. Really. A lot. The first half of her routine is pretty much just removing her jacket and twirling it over her head. Then there is booty shaking. Lots and lots of booty shaking. She is not very good but is really fun and begs her way into choreography.
• Susie, 24. Y’all. She has on knee-high Converse boots. That is not good. I don’t really know what she is doing… lots of flailing around and tossing her hair. They send her to choreography, mostly I think because Nigel is kind of pervy.
• Rebecca, 19. Cute, blond, contemporary. She auditioned for this same season in LA and didn’t make it… she toned it down a lot and is trying again. I think she is okay, but we have seen several people who do this same kind of thing but are a lot better come through. They send her straight to Vegas, though. Meh.
• Brice, 18. He does some kind of interesting hip hop stuff, but I don’t love it. Plus, he has on a serious death face. I don’t think he’s great, but they send him to choreography.
• Choreography! Travis! In: Susie. Out: Brice, Ashley.

• Cooper, 19. He’s a contemporary boy with lots of big jumps and spins. I like him, I think, but he seems to be doing some specific choreography that doesn’t really go with the lyrics. Nigel compares him to Travis, which, NO. They send him to Vegas.
• Yesenia, 24. She tried out last year and made it pretty far in Vegas. I remember her, she was awesome. She’s lot a bunch of weight and looks great, but hurts her knee in the middle of the routine. So sad! She goes home but they tell her to come back next year.
• Phil, 20. He’s a breaker kind of guy. I think he’s alright but not great. But he’s friends with Yesenia and he gets all weepy and they send him straight to Vegas.
• Raymond, 22. He dances with a partner, and they are pretty good but boring. Nigel interrupts him because he just not that into it. There’s not a lot of dancing involved and he doesn’t do much. They send him to choreography.
• Hao, 27. He appears to be doing some kind of traditional native dance in a traditional native outfit, but it turns out he’s just wearing feathers and a wrap skirt and beads for no reason. He goes home.
• Lizz, 24. She’s a tap dancer and she is really, really fun. She dances without music and kind of taps out her own beats and it is very cool. They send her straight to Vegas, which… hmmm. She told them she auditioned last year but did contemporary and hip hop, and she didn’t get through. I don’t think she’ll get far.
• Choreography! Travis! In: no one we know. Out: Raymond. Milwaukee was not so impressive.

Then! This boy/girl hybrid person comes out on stage. They are all talk about how this “mystery guest” showed up unannounced and no one knew what was going on. He/she is dancing to “It’s Raining Men”, and at first it seems like some freakshow but then he busts out some serious kicks and spins and flips. Everyone is cheering, and after Nigel makes a lame Ryan Seacrest joke it turns out to be my boyfriend Travis! I love him. Did you know that.

Tonight! Vegas!


Flock your friends before they flock you! June 3, 2008

Filed under: Random,Youth Stuff — brandi @ 6:29 pm

It’s midnight. I am driving around town with my headlights off and the radio turned down. My car is full of high school kids who are trying, albeit not terribly hard, to keep their voices down. We’re unsure of our destination and are clearly a little bit lost. It’s our fourth night doing this in a row and we’re starting to get the hang of it.

Oh – and there are eighty pink plastic flamingos in the trunk.

These flamingos are taking over my life.

For our big camp fundraiser this year we are flamingoing our church members. It is so much fun. We made videos about the mysterious flocks of flamingos that have been spotted hanging out in the yards of Nashville families and warned the church to be on the lookout.

Every night we move flocks of 20 pink plastic flamingos from yard to yard all over town. The recipients then pay to have them removed and taken to someone else’s yard. So far we’ve flocked 32 families in our church and made enough money to send 11 kids to camp on full scholarships. This is working so well that we don’t have to do the other fundraisers we had planned.

I am exhausted. Exhausted, but very, very happy.


Next Page »