Sunday, 10 April 2011

So You Think You Can Point At Bits Of Paper For Half An Hour?

Choreography Camp: 9th April 2011

Previously : the hunt for Britain's Favourite (Not Best, Definitely Not Best, Did You Hear That Charlie Bruce?) Dancer was on! The cream of the UK's dancing talent (and some time-wasting Michael Jackson assholes) took the stage by storm! Nigel told a lot of people they were fabulous, Arlene mostly spoke from the groin region as per usual, and Sisco and Louise fought like only two people who know they're the ones under consideration for being the next ones tossed out of the balloon can. People tumbled, people jazz-handed, women were basically treated like Sisco's Dress-Up Contemporary Dance Barbies, something called Cordell hauled itself out of its pit like one of the Old Ones and terrified Britain.

But now as Celine Dion once belted, things are getting serious (OH THIS IS SEEEEEEEERIOUS!). No more comedy auditions, no more faffing about, no more second chances, if you mess up, you are GOING HOME (unless you are Katie Love. Or Fat Deaf Old Kirsty. Or Charlotte The Hipster Barmaid. Or...well you get the idea)! IT'S CHOREOGRAPHY CAMP BITCHEZ!


We join things in medias res from last week, as Cat Deeley breathlessly informs us, like the David Attenborough of So You Think You Can Dance, that 70 dancers are currently being put through their paces and pushed to their limits in Choreography Camp. Alexandra Burke has just been, insulted their swagger, and gone, leaving only 58 still standing, to face the trials of Broadway, Group Choreography, Contemporary and Solo, until only 20 remain. Some of whom we will hopefully have seen before (and I don't mean in the brief pre-credits montage of people being put into the Top Twenty WELL DONE SHOW! I know you are constitutionally incapable of going 5 minutes without showing Matt Flint in some capacity, but you already had shots of him flying across the stage and looking anxious in there. Such overkill.)

Guess who they've got to impress to get through those rounds? Yes, it's the same bunch of people it is every week - "Hollywood Impresario" Nigel Lythgoe ("Choreography Camp is just exhausting, darling! Now where's that kid with my latte?"), "Award-Winning Choreographer" Arlene Phillips ("I want the contestants to be dangerous!"), "World-Reknowned (so no awards then?) Choreographer" Sisco Gomes ("I don't wanna see no tired faces! Nothing but fire!") (I had a dream where Sisco saw nothing but fire. Felt good), and "Pop (itchy, burning) Sensation" Louise Redknapp ("Charlie Brown teacher noises"). Oh and some special guest judges as well, but trust me, we'll get to them.

Day 2 now, and Ryan (Steve spent some time last week talking about his tragic family history. I'm mostly going to be focusing on his terrifying cheekbones. He looks like if H from steps realised his full potential and had major facial surgery) breezes in in seventeen layers and five scarves twinkling "here we go!". Everyone else troops in after him, and starts warming up. (Lee Crowley, 20, Cwmbran, Jamie From As If), limbers up looking slightly awkward, whilst Katie Love immediately finds the nearest semi-naked man, straddles him, and applies lotion, giggling all the while that she's going to have a regretful drunken one-night stand with him later. [It's Jennifer Metcalfe all over again. - Steve] She then starts rolling around on the floor making kitten faces to camera about how this is the life of a dancer! Day 2 and she's already knackered! Oh Katie Love. Some boys wander around semi-naked (already this is the best auditions show of the series by a mile) and some girls apply their make-up in the toilets. Ryan lies there fully-dressed verbally begging someone to give him a morning stretch and a massage. Nobody complies. JJ & James tool around some more. Mercifully JJ will be disappearing soon, never to be mentioned again. [THERE IS A GOD. - Steve]

Once everyone's milling around in the studio, Bethany-Rose Lee tells us that the dancers have no idea what's coming next! The guys have been told to look really cool, while the girls have been told to look really sexy, but apart from that...nothing. Surprise Bethany-Rose Lee! It's an impromptu audition to be the new Countryfile presenter. Personally I'm hoping for Rithy.

NOT REALLY! As Cat told us in the opening, it's Broadway Round, with Special Guest Chroeographer, Giant Lady(/Karen Bruce)! Hooray! Not that her choreography was always great last year, but she both told Lizzie to get over herself (as therapy, natch) and also she is not Tyce Diorio. Which will do for me in a pinch. Giant Lady tells us all that Broadway is about taking on a character and telling a story (/mugging your face off), even if the routine is very simple. Behind her, the boys fly around like West Side Story whilst the girls are stuck being sexual with a hat, which as Dancing On Ice has taught us, is the HARDEST PROP OF THEM ALL. She briefly stops them all to tell them that they're all being a bit "MER!" where "MER!" looks a bit like Lionel Blair playing Catweasel when he should be playing Rum-Tum-Tugger. Bethany-Rose Lee says that she's just barely holding on for dear life (to her hat no doubt. Here's someone who has learnt from the mistakes of Jeff Brazier. Now if only Jeff Brazier would), some other girl says she hates Broadyway, Generic Paige says that it's really tough to do this in heels. GENERIC.

Meanwhile, the boys are having a whale of a time. Matt Flint says this is his FAVOURITE style, Australian Shane says that this is a really great routine for a guy to do, because it is fast and aggressive, and the suddenly appearing (Lee Bridgman, 21, Plymouth, Most Androgynous Human Being In The History Of The World) says that it's an opportunity to act really BUTCH, which he just LOVES. I have no idea if he's being sarcastic or straight-up with that, and I am intrigued either way. What these boys don't know is that they're going to be auditioning (possibly in more ways than one) in front of special Broadway Guest Judge (John Barrowman, 44, Glasgow, Oh good.

BARROWMAN struts into an empty aircraft hanger to the sounds of Ini Kamoze, saying that he wants to see the guys' personality (and the rest) and to be entertained, because this is showbiz and showbiz is ALL about entertainment. Anyone who saw more than 5 seconds of "Tonight's The Night" might take issue with you there BARROWMAN. Anywho, he takes up his seat between Arlene & Nigel, leaving Arlene with even more of no-one to talk to.

First up to perform are Ryan (jokily/not jokily asking the cameraman if he looks good, cheekbones fully turned up to Sycorax levels), (Luke Jackson, 30, Leicester, Simon Farnaby off the Horrible Histories programme) and (Tom Shilcock, 23, Also Leicester, Really Pissy That Matt Flint Is The Designated Tapper Boy This Year). Cat tells us via voiceover that both Luke and Tom are kind of boring and shit, but have somehow got this far anyway. Good for them. Ryan gushingly gushes to camera about how they're a really tight unit who've really worked hard to bring out the best in one another, and Luke mumbles something assenting that may or may not end in "i hate you so much i can barely breathe". [Luke <3 - Steve]

Out to the stage they go, dancing to "Luck Be A Lady", and they pretty much nail it. If I'm going in order of personal routine preference it'd be Luke > Ryan > Tom but they're all obviously made for this stuff, and Nigel and BARROWMAN mutter conspiratorially about how it's like watching the Jets from West Side Story (/the Jet from Gladiators). They close with Ryan looking frankly terrifyingly sexual, and BARROWMAN giving them all a Standing O. Everyone else follows, with Sisco last to stand up, which obviously officially means that Sisco is a rotten egg/smelly sally. The guys on stage all hug, and Luke still looks like he hates them both. But particularly Ryan. BARROWMAN enthuses about how they all worked as a team and kept an eye on one-another throughout (which other less trained people might not have spotted, but he is BARROWMAN AND HE SEES ALL!). It's three yeses from him, and Ryan's face reads "5 year old about to get a shiny red fire engine". [Insert joke about BARROWMAN's shiny red fire engine here. - Steve] Louise says that it made her feel like she was in the West End, Sisco says "LIVING!" about fifteen times (is this pre-publicity for where Series 3 is going to air? Because he needs to add a "Loves" at the end if it is), Nigel proclaims it to be veritably West Side Story, and all three are (duh) through to the next round.

Backstage, the show suddenly realises it might be an idea to get some footage of Tom down, so he sits and chats gamely with Cat about how very wow it was to get a Standing Ovation from the judges, and how great it was working with Luke and Ryan. Poor Tom. He's like the one guy who feels obliged to stay besties with both parties in a divorce.

Also quite good at the Broadway round are (because apparently we can only see two full routines per discipline MAX) are James of JJ & James, Welsh B-Boy Lee, Matt Flint (again), AndrogyLee, and Charlie Wheeller, with a little chyron confirming that no, really, it is spelled like that. For the girls we have Cat's Hip-Hop Girlfriend Rithy, Bethany-Rose Lee, Tiny-Faced Megan, (Katrina Lyndon, 20, Plymouth, Katerina Ballerina), and Katie Love (again). We also see Charlotte The Barmaid and Fat Deaf Old Kirsty put through, but obviously they weren't quite as transcendent. Also we see Katie Love blow some more kisses at Arlene, but I already can't deal with that, so we'll move on.

To the next group, featuring Horse-Mane Bruce from Week One, some guy who isn't important right now and never will be, and (Israel Donowa, 18, Hackney, E:20). Who very definitely is important right now and will continue to be. We visit with Israel at home in Hackney, where he pumps weights, is good to his mother, and tells us all that he's a hip-hopper and always will be. He trains really hard to be the best he can be. He very earnestly tells us that he was always a shy kid, and his parents weren't too sure about him taking up dancing. Before we can assume any "because it's not a solid profession/is a bit gay" stuff, like we normally would with this show, Israel's dad comes bounding in beaming to say that the reason he wasn't sure about Israel taking up dancing is that Israel used to dance like a jacked-up porpoise on water-skis. Or indeed "a twonk". But Israel tried hard, and proved his dad WRONG. Yeah!

We flash back to Israel's audition, where Louise and Arlene tag-teamed him and told him he was static and boring. But then Nigel and Sisco stuck up for him, and Louise and Sisco got into another tedious fight about it. Yay. Rest assured, they both still have opinions, and those opinions are not necessarily the same opinions.

Bruce gets a little promo package too, where he is set up as "born to perform". He jump-splits all over the place and demi-brags about how his mother is a dancer, and his father owns a circus in Mexico. Where he is a lion-tamer. Best backstory ever. Because either that's true, or Bruce Aguilar-Rohan is going to start claiming he's descended from Spanish royalty and once had sex in a cupboard with tv historian Dan Snow and it's all going to unravel and be amazing. We flash back to HIS audition, where Nigel smiles benignly, but Sisco tells him he dances like a girl and needs to "give it more RARGH!". Where "RARGH!" is basically "Cowardly Lion". Anyway, back in the now, Bruce gives Fate a filthy come-hither look by grinning that he's a "musical theatre student" so he's probably about to get his first good comments from Choreography Camp. Oops.

This Titanic struggle between bashful masculine hip-hopper and self-confident effeminate Broadway Child Of Privilege so established, they both go out to dance and do a passable, if slightly sloppy job. Louise mumbles to Arlene about how Israel is the only one who really gets the routine, but Nigel and BARROWMAN fight Bruce's corner, although BARROWMAN thinks Bruce needs to butch up.

They go to the judges, where Sisco calls out Israel first and tells him that he's a "Beautiful Disaster". Israel pulls epic Woobie Face, so Sisco points out to him that this is a good thing. His technique was a mess, but he had GREAT personality, and that's all that matters on this show. He's safe. BARROWMAN calls Bruce up next, and asks him what his frame of mind was in that performance. Bruce pants out "dealer, I was being a dealer" and BARROWMAN responds all "DEALER? MORE LIKE DIVA! LOLGAY!" and tells him to butch it up a little. He back-pedals a little, saying this isn't derogatory, because people have said it to him.

Mental Note : It is impossible to be derogatory to BARROWMAN.

Mental Note 2 : I wonder if he'd let me test that theory.

[Mental Note 3: I wonder precisely where this fits in with his infamous "not gay enough to play Will in Will And Grace" story. - Steve]

Arlene follows this up by telling Bruce that he is weak, soft, and inorganic, and this is the straw that breaks Bruce Aguilar-Rohan, and he bursts into super-butch tears. BARROWMAN repeats that he didn't mean to upset Bruce, and Bruce chokes out that it's not THEM that's upset him. Arlene at this point leaps to her feet, and mother hens her way out onto the stage, whispering to Bruce that he's such a talent, as Bruce weeps on about how he's been told this "be less gay" stuff before (occasionally face down in the boys toilets/with a steel dustbin over his head/in bed) and it's a real issue for him. Arlene starts yelling about how Bruce HAS THE POWER INSIDE HIM, whilst The Irrelevant One stares at the floor looking more awkward than Arlene as a judge during a hip-hop round. I think I feel for him most of all. Anyway, Bruce and Israel at the very least are both through.

Montage Of Suck now : Lauren Head-Trauma is called out on her stupid faces, some girl is told she barely made it out of that routine alive, some other girls being told that BARROWMAN could dance in heels better than they could, Sisco calls some other girl a "Dancing Apocalypse" (but...not in a good way?), Nigel tries to claw his own face off and chews some girls out for not knowing the routine, Sisco yells at someone called Andrew with amazing hair, BARROWMAN tells some girls they aren't being tits and teeth enough, Edgar Tummy-Ache screws up rotten and Arlene groans that she never wants to see him ever again. Woo!

Next up : BARROWMAN and Sisco throw gang signs at Bruce whilst Jessie J brays that she can DO IT LIKE A BRUDAH DEM MAN DEM SUGAR SUGAR on the soundtrack. This apparently is a "Man Up Workshop". Because if you ever wanted to learn how to get a man up, you'd ask BARROWMAN. To be fair, BARROWMAN's role mostly seems to be leaning lasciviously against a mirror and making sex-eyes at Bruce, so basically he's acting as some sort of bizarre "act like a MAN DEM MAN DEM SUGAR and you'll get lots of cock" carrot to Sisco's pushy Little Lord Fauntleroy FROM THE WEST SIDE stick. This is just poor isn't it? Bruce acts grateful for this nonsense, well aware that at least in this room he's not the punchline any more.

Whilst this was happening, 18 dancers have apparently been cut, as only 40 remain. Including Hip Hop Rithy, AndrogyLee, Generic Paige and Matt Flint. What a shock in all cases. Some baby-faced blonde piece who we will never see again says that today has been a good day. Another newbie - (Gian Luca Loddo, 32, The Town Of Italy, Aaron Johnson & Sylvester Stallone's love child) - says that all this is very new to him, so every time he gets through, it's something beautiful. In terms of overly enthusiastic Euros go, he is better looking than Smiley Fernando, which I guess is why Smiley Fernando has mysteriously disappeared into the same hole that Mullet Girl and JJ have. Everyone's packing up to go back to the hotel for the night when...

A WILD POKEMON APPEARS! And by "Pokemon" I mean, new round to be judged upon. Nigel calls everyone back on stage, tells them all to get into group, pick out a cd from Cat's Magic Bag, and then go and choreograph a routine to it in their groups, which will be performed tomorrow. Gian Luca looks baffled, James (of JJ & James) looks despondent, Katie Love looks pissed off, Angry Luke looks FURIOUS, Bruce looks sarcy, somewhere in the crowd Fat Deaf Old Kirsty looks PUMPED.

Anyway, everyone does as Nigel bids, and you'd think this would make for some fantastic American Idol Groups Round style carnage and autistic drama'd be wrong. We just get lots of shots of people looking tired and some random girl and (Not JJ but) James whining about how tired they are. What a bust. BE LESS PROFESSIONAL, PEOPLE!

Day Three now, and AndrogyLee cuts himself a nice thick slice of bread, as Generic Paige and some other girl bond over tea. James manges his way through a full English, as Bethany-Rose Lee bleary-eyes that she didn't get to bed until 3am. Whatever Bethany-Rose, Katie Love had to abandon that hot massage hook-up she set up earlier for this, you don't know how good you got it. That slow-release Poison Ivy she put in the lotion is going to kick in any second now, and that guy will NEVER sleep with her after that. Matt Flint says that he's shattered, because he's not been on camera in the last 2 minutes, and some other girl says that this is the HARDEST THING SHE'S EVER HAD TO DO AS A DANCER.

Eating over, everyone returns to the studios to perform their masterworks. As Australian Shane dreamily gets another semi-naked massage, looking like the cover of a Bel Ami DVD (definitely the best auditions episode yet) and we see Matt Flint yet again, Nigel and Arlene basically cop to the fact that this is more a psychological test to see who's going to crack like Louise's foundation, rather than anything to do with dancing. Good job really.

First (/only, because we're still zipping through these rounds to accrue valuable "pointing at bits of paper" time for later) group consists of Angry Luke, Katie Love, Bethany-Rose Lee, and Daniel Oval the Contemporary Skinhead. We're told that these are some of the judges favourites from earlier rounds, despite the fact that all we've seen of Daniel is two tumbles and a pirouette. They're dancing to "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This" from Sweet Charity. And by "dancing" I mean "not really dancing, just walking around a bit, and occasionally sitting down". Oh yes, they've brought chairs. Possibly as training for the Kate Prince Adventure Playground Hip-Hop routine that one of them will end up doing in the finals. Oh and Bethany-Rose has a really distracting beauty spot attached. The girls seem to be trying harder than the boys, although I think Daniel Oval is probably definitively the actual worst.

Oh and Nigel brays really loudly throughout about how bad it is, which can't be helping anybody. Indeed, when they've finished he tells them that was the worst choreographed routine he's ever seen in the years he's done this show. And he's sat through...well, Kate Prince. And it wasn't even danced well. This develops into a supreme hissy about how they were supposed to be DANCING for their place in the competition, and that was just WALKING. Angry Luke hilariously takes the bait and actually says "there's something to be said about walking in a piece that means so much mo..." before Nigel hops in to scream "THIS IS NOT SO YOU THINK YOU CAN WALK!". [Coming to Channel 5 this summer! - Steve] Angry Luke decides to keep on sticking his hand in the boiling water by snotting that this was a choreographical project, not necessarily a DANCE. Dancing would have been predictable. They wanted to do something DIFFERENT.

Status update : Daniel Oval - looking at Angry Luke with hands on hips, 50% admiration, 50% horror ; Bethany-Rose Lee - looking shame faced at the floor, hands clenched in the manner of a very solemn nun; Katie Love - adjusting her tits.

Oh Katie Love.

Louise says that she's very disappointed, because she knows they can all dance, and Arlene very accurately says that it just looked like they'd cobbled together some moves with the music as an afterthought. This causes Katie Love to cry real tears, possibly because she thought all that hoovering up to Arlene she did would pay off better than this. Then Nigel starts yelling at them all to tell him what the BIGGEST WORD IN SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CHOREOGRAPHY CAMP IS, reading from the screen behind them. Brilliantly, Daniel Oval actually turns round to check, like it's going to be "camp" or something. (Not now that BARROWMAN is gone it's not...). Angry Luke actually can't help himself and replies "yeah, but..." and Nigel full on flips his Rock-A-Doodle wig at Angry Luke until he finally breaks down and says "Dance". Nigel huffs that this is even worse because these four are amongst his favourites...or at least... THEY WERE!


I think this is my favourite auditions segment so far. Well that didn't involve male nudity. Nigel snots "LEAVE THE STAGE!", going full on West End Wendy.

This team of losers stomp outside, and Katie Love whisper-screams "I CAN'T TALK!" down the camera. It's left to Bethany-Rose to try to pull things together and talk about moving forwards, as Katie dramas, Angry Luke seethes, and Daniel wonders if maybe the biggest word wasn't "think". He's just going to go and check.

Now a Montage of Not Sucking, starring the following : Israel Donowa and his amazing contemporary choreography skillz ; Bruce Aguilar-Rohan, no longer too gay to function ; Tiny-Faced Megan ; Cat's Girlfriend Rithy ; Cheekbones Ryan ; Welsh B-Boy Lee ; Fat Deaf Old Kirsty ; Australian Shane ; New European Gian Luca ; (Danielle Cato, 24, Hampshire, giving it ears) ; Generic Paige.

Imagine them all waving cheerily at you, like the end-credits of Miranda/Hi-De-Hi. Fat Deaf Old Kirsty was BORN TO BE A YELLOWCOAT. This over, the WORST CHOREOGRAPHERS IN THE HISTORY OF THIS SHOW are called back to the stage, Katie Love blowing snot and tears the whole way, because Nigel forgot to tell them that they're through. Because they are. But, you know, *shakes fist*.

Oh good another montage. This time of Arlene being a bitch. Well at least it's on a topic I can get interested in. She tells a group including Charlie Wheelllllllllller that their routine was about as interesting as pushing a trolley around the supermarket at 6am when you don't want to be there. Concise as ever Arlene. Some other people are told they looked like they were being wheeled into a mortuary, and a group including AndrogyLee and eventual but hitherto invisible Finallist (Alice Woodhouse, 23, Lancaster, Boots Advert for Jessica Robinson) that their routine was a monster sized mess. She calls Alice a potato and a cabbage. *shrug* Not JJ But James is told that his routine was like Baby's First Hip-Hop, and then Arlene bugs her eyes out to Jesus and starts snapping at everyone to USE THEIR PEE.

Golden Showers Week on So You Think You Can Dance? I'm looking forward to it.

Anywho, Group Choreography Round is now so over, although Katie Love is still looking emotionally traumatised, sat on some packing crates backstage rubbing her forehead talking about what a strange day it's been. Gian Luca randomly wanders about crying and smiling and being European, as (Kristin Kelly Abbott, 29, Newcastle, Too irrelevant at this point for me to drum up a lookalike) vaguely disinterestedly talks about all the tension and "vibes" going on. Katrina Ballerina says that she's really going to have to fight for it now, and mild hottie (Ashley Lloyd, 19, Blackpool, Him from One Direction. No HIM. That one) says that it's so close now and there's only one day left until the big decision. Don't get your hopes up Ashley Lloyd.

Next up Day 3? It's Contemporary! As taught by (*be still my aching heart*) US Series 1 Winner Nick Lazzarini, and US Series 2 Runner-Up Travis Wall. Both of whom are amazing by the way. Particularly Travis. Particularly for this. Man THAT up, BARROWMAN. (Also, he choreographed this and this and this and this and MY GOD THIS AND *FANGIRL FLAP*). Cat totally bitch-slaps Nick by calling him a "finalist" in his series by the way. Oh Cat. (Travis is better though). Travis adorable gay-hobbits about how the dancers have to connect with themselves and with the audience and *doodles hearts on his notebook frantically*. That Travis never got to choreograph Drew is I think the biggest sin of all.

Louise mumbles something about Contemporary being the perfect vehicle for getting "you" over. Whatever Louise.

First group up is Fat Deaf Old Kirsty and Others (Tapper Tom, Edgar Stomach-Ache and Some Girl), and we're reminded that Arlene hated Fat Deaf Old Kirsty at first for being both fat and old (but not deaf, obviously), but since then Kirsty has won her over, and been amazing, presumably somewhere off-camera for most of it. Which she'll have to lean back on some more, as she messes up Travis' choreography horribly, just standing there for most of it, leaving Tapper Tom to just stand there waving his arms about where she presumably should be. To be fair to her, Edgar and Other Girl are messing up horribly as well. OBVIOUSLY not everyone can handle Travis' amazingness.

And Nick's. A bit.

Nigel snots "LEAVE THE STAGE" at everyone, as Cat informs us that Nigel's only going to make a decision as to who to cut from this round after everyone has danced. This sadly means no talking for this whole bit, except obviously for Nigel to pimp Israel some more, because that, generally, is the theme of this episode. Israel's great, kids! Oh and Alice is as well. You know? She was in that rubbish group with AndrogyLee? Arlene called her a cabbage? That's the one. Lee The Welsh B Boy is also proficient and Katie Love. Which, as it's her style, you'd hope. Head-Wound Lauren messes up a bit, and Arlene pulls a face. Poor Head-Wound Lauren.

Contemporary Round is now over, as watch a brief montage of Generic Paige, Matt Flint, Gian Luca, Angry Luke, Israel, and Big Ol Nelly Bruce looking tired and nervous backstage. They needn't worry, as they're all through. In fact all the boys are through, and the only girls who are cut look to be ones we've never seen, and Head-Wound Lauren who, let's face it, was never a major player. I am incredulous that this show has conspired to make the segment involving my BB Travis as irrelevant as possible. *TURBO POUT*

Day Four : Solos! And more male nudity, as a bunch of men limber up with their shirts off and their bums in the air. This isn't (just) me being a perve, that's pretty much all that happens. Cat goes David Attenborough again telling us that this is the last chance these fascinating creatures will have to show off their talents before the judges make the final decision. We then see tiny snippets of the solos, overlaid with music that...isn't the music that's being used. I appreciate this is a BBC show, and getting clearance rights is expensive, but still.

Anyway, to make this segment even more tragic and pointless, begging is to be incorporated after each routine. Danielle says that if she gets through to the live-shows it'd be a challenge, and she LOVES Challenge. Hey, maybe THAT'S where Series 3 is going to air. Israel says he can deliver so much more (Dominos, your local Chinese, the weather on GMTV). Some girl says something generic. Charlie Wheeeeeeeeller says that he wants the opportunity to get more dance into his stuff. Fat Deaf Old Kirsty says that dance is the only thing she's ever been able to do, and she really wants to achieve something amazing. Like win this show. Apparently. Ryan mumbles and cries about never feeling free anywhere other than on stage, as Angry Luke pokes pins in a doll somewhere off-camera. Rithy cries about how she wishes her mum could see her and how hard she's pushing to succeed. Lee-Boy says that he wants to prove that breakers can diversify. Stephanie Powell the Evil Professional decides to aid Sisco in his quest to make "LIVING!" happen and therefore is lucky that we're not voting to eliminate. Matt Flint Darren Gough's on about how he wants to show that dancing isn't just for girls, it's for MEN like what he is. Generic Paige is Generic.

After that? We're not cutting anybody. Of course. The dancers are sent home, all begged out, so the judges can push around bits of paper for hours, then be filmed doing it, then have people act like this is in any way good television. Australian Shane, Charlotte The Barmaid, Israel, Matt Flint, Pointless Kristin, Danielle, and Not JJ But James obligingly give quotes as they leave about how hard it's all been these last four days. So hard.

Anyway, so yes, the judges push around bits of paper (actually it sounds like sort of velcro padding which...nice use of the budget there) with the boys and girls names on, without us being able to see who they're talking about, forever, "picking their top twenty". This bit always sucks. I'd say I'm not recapping it, but...I kind of just did. This done, the judges set out off after the contestants to their home towns, in order to deliver the news to them, where they're most vulnerable, afraid and ashamed. That's right, it's with their family. Or friends and well-wishers. Or cafeteria workers. These people have busy lives. Those Clarks shoes won't shift themselves.

After we watch Sisco, Louise, and Arlene stomp around provincial towns trying to look fierce in order to fill time we're informed that Nigel, on the other hand, is in his LA mansion, literally phoning this segment in. Hooray Nigel! Charlotte The Barmaid is first up, and she says that she learnt so much at Chroegraphy Camp and had so much fun, that she'll be happy regardless of whether she moves forward or not. As she sits and vibrates on the floor of her parents house, in a corner, her skirt halfway up her thighs like a 7 year old at a wedding reception, her mum valiantly Disney good-cheers "whatever 'appens, we'll always be prahd of yah and I just want you to follah your dream". Charlotte The Hipster Barmaid wipes away a possibly imaginary tear. Her dad meanwhile grumps about having to wait for Nigel to get off her arse and ring. Match Of The Day 2 is on in a minute.

Fortunately for Charlotte's dad, Nigel rings that very minute. He tells Charlotte that he's not going to mess her about...and then messes her about, telling her that her hip-hop and classical sucked but...she's a nice girl, and this is "So You Think You Can Get People To Like You?" so SHE'S THROUGH. Charlotte The Barmaid's entire family bounce up and down screaming and Nigel makes comedy with his phone. I love that she's so happy she got through basically with a huge red rubber stamp saying "DEFECTIVE GOODS!" on her face.

Sisco is bothering Matt Flint next, as he teaches tap to a veritable army of attractive adoring females (and two guys, pushed right to the edge and back out of shot). Cat tells us via voice-over that Matt has been consistently amazing, and indeed, he is through. OH MY GOD, BIGGEST SHOCK EVER. All the girls in the room scream and gush and break down and rush his stands like screaming Usher fans. MATTFLINTMANIA! Even Sisco bothers to look vaguely excited, as Matt celebrates down the camera and talks about how overwhelmed he is. I guess it's more of a surprise when you don't know just how much screen-time you're getting.

Less important people now : Evil Professional Stephanie Powell is through! Tapper Tom is through! Generic Paige (now apparently a "Disco Freestyler" which...ok) is through! Alice The Cabbage is through! Australian Shane is through (and lives in a very nice flat by the looks of it)! AndrogyLee is through!

Next to find out their fates are Katie Love (basic sort of flat, sat with her very attractive male flatmate/boyfriend and her female friend, who either is Single White Female'ing Katie Love, or whom Katie Love is Single White Female'ing. You make up your own mind) and Angry Luke (backstage, in a dressing room, alone, possibly drunk). Cat reminds us that both these suckers screwed up the Choreography Round, but advanced anyway. Arlene arrives to see Angry Luke, and suddenly there are a whole bunch of people in the room with him. I bet Arlene brought them. Meanwhile, Louise rings Katie Love, her SWF friend goes bonkers and starts pulling faces, and Katie Love gives her the death-stare for pulling her focus. Amazing.

Oh, they're both through by the way. Poor Daniel Oval. I guess for some people it really DID matter.

Next up, the most heart-breaking segment of the whole show. Firstly, it's the decision being made about "Contemporary Dancer Chris". Who we have not seen or heard of before now. Hilariously and ironically Cat voice-overs that Chris "stood out" in his audition and in Choreography Camp. I mean...obviously he didn't. Secondly, "With Or Without You" is playing on the backing track, so you KNOW how this is ending before it even starts. Thirdly, he has clearly done his lighting in his living room specially to make this moment as special and memorable as possible. Fourthly, when the phone rings, he spazzes out all adorable. Fifthly, his friends and family also seem SUPER into this. Sixthly, he's not through. Seventhly, he auditioned last year and didn't make it. Eightly, he says that he'll just try out for next series. Ninethly, yeah, there's DEFINITELY going to be another series. Tenthly, he's being told he's eliminated by SISCO. Eleventhly, Sisco doesn't give less than one shit about this. Twelfthly , "it'll be good next year. Next time's my year" (*sniff*). Thirteenthly, he breaks down so hard they have to stop filming. Fourteenthly, a small dog licks his tears off his face as he cries.

Fifteenthly, he looked really good with his top off.


Next up getting rejected is James (not JJ) who is at work when Sisco drops by to drop the bomb on him. Clearly he is not expecting it, as he is barely holding his rage issues in. To be fair, this is the only person I'm surprised didn't make it, but hey ho. [As an aside, I love that this show sends the judges out to people to eliminate them in person. So deliciously cruel. - Steve] Sisco tells him to get more training and maybe try out for the show again next year, if his tv remote carries numbers high enough to find out where it's airing. James, clearly gutted, interviews that he'll just have to pick himself up and try again next year. As Sisco hugs him before he leaves, it kind of looks like he takes a big old sniff. Oh Sisco.

Next up Big Fat Deaf Old Kirsty, who is being visited by Louise. Cat reminds us in voiceover that Kirsty is deaf. Well, partially deaf. But that nickname is long and kind of ugly enough as it is. (I'M CALLING HER FAT AND OLD BECAUSE ARLENE SAID IT. WELL, ARLENE PARAPHRASED IT. ANYWAY, BLAME HER, NOT ME). As she welcomes Louise into her lovely provincial semi in the snow, Kirsty says that So You Think You Can Dance? has already changed her life. And she hasn't even started getting the death-threats yet! If you don't count Katie Love's.

Anyway, Louise messes with her by saying how tough it's been to create a Top Twenty, and how high the standard's been. But they needed a good all-rounder, so Kirsty's in! If the "roundness" has a chunk taken out of the side where the Contemporary (aka, the only really important genre on this show) should be. Everyone hugs Kirsty as she says this is a dream come true and beams like a pageant girl.

Time for some more unimportant people now. B-Boy Lee-Boy gets a call from Sisco, lurking in his garden, telling him that Sisco is RIGHT OUTSIDE HIS FRONT DOOR RIGHT NOW to give him the news. I'm kind of hoping that the next reveal is Arlene sat in Bethany-Rose's attic heavy breathing "the call is coming from inside the house!" at her. Anyway, B-Boy Lee is through, and all his family are really excited that Sisco has deigned to come to Wales. AN OUTSIDER! Maybe he has brought useful goods, such as spices and silks from the Orient!

Next, Louise tells Danielle Cato she is through, and it kind of looks like she's doing it in my grandma's living room. Nigel phones Gian Luca WHILST DRIVING to tell him that he's in the Top Twenty to be all charming and European, and Arlene pops around to a cafe to tell Charllllie Wheeeeller the good news. He too, is in the Live Finals. Sisco rings up Rithy to tell her she's in, and her best friend Gay Gasps appreciably. Katrina Ballerina is also rung by Sisco, is also through, and also has an adorably gay gaspy friend! Who would have thought women working in the performing arts knew so many homos/straight men who are unafraid to embrace their femininity whilst gasping?

The bandwagon rolls on with Cheekbones Ryan, giving some sort of Nativity themed theatre workship, being told by Louise that he is worthy. The Virgin Mary looks non-plussed. Bethany-Rose Lee is rung up in some sort of pub by the looks of it, is through, and is so excited she cuts Nigel off. Mercifully this is not an eliminating offence, although I wouldn't have been surprised if it had been.

This, my friends, leaves us with the final conflict that's been hinted at throughout. Israel vs Bruce. Israel has poor technique, but a big heart, and whilst he didn't impress the ladies of the panel with his audition, the avalanche of praise he's been buried under in this episode would have killed Tenzing Norgay. Bruce on the other hand has a pretend dad who owns the Bangkok Hilton, and generally comes from a life of privilege, but has great technique and auditioned superbly, and after his breakdown now dances LIKE A BARROWMAN DEM MAN DEM SUGAR SUGAR MAN DEM BRUDDA LIKE A DUDE. Who will make it through?

Bruce is waiting with his friends at dance college. Israel is at home with his family. Bruce is excited. Israel is nervous. Arlene arrives at the college. Sisco arrives at Israel's house. THE TENSION! *cough*. Israel is through, and excited, and his dad hugs him and sweetly and proudly proclaims "my boy! my boy!". Bruce is not, and left hanging on the dream of there being a next series, where he can audition dressed as a leather DADDY MAN DEM BRUDDA BARROWMAN DEM SUGAR.

(Let's be honest, Bruce was probably rejected directly in favour of AndrogyLee rather than Israel, but both Bruce and AndrogyLee are kind of femmey, so it makes less good copy.)

So...your top 20 then? Are as follows :

Cabbage Alice Woodhouse, who just appeared this second
Bethany-Rose Lee(/Harrison), who was a swing last year and who auditioned like a stripper
Generic Paige Smith, who apparently is a disco diva now?
Cat's Girlfriend Rithy Perreria, who is my favourite girl yes she is
Contemporary Danielle Cato, who also just appeared right this second
Katrina Ballerina (/Lyndon), who also just appeared right this second
Charlotte Scally The Barmaid, who was going to be a Comedy Audition BUT THEN WASN'T, but is still kind of crap apparently
Stephanie Powell, the EVIL PROFESSIONAL who auditioned with a Zombie Slave Boy
Katie Love, who has decided to make things even EASIER on herself by dying her hair candy-floss pink
Fat Old Deaf Kirsty Swain, who is not fat, or old, but is kind of deaf.

AndrogyLee Bridgman, who also just appeared this episode, but did so looking a bit like pre-facewreck Pete Burns, so is inherently more memorable than all these Fodder Girls
Israel Donnowa , who beat out poor Bruce Aguilar-Rohan personally
Tapper Tom Shilcock - like Matt Flint, but less so
Charlie Whee, who saw a guy on the Internet put his legs behind his head and thought "why not me?"
Matt Flint, the Woobie/Winner
Angry Luke Jackson, who has REAL FEELINGS which you know NOTHING ABOUT
Excitable Italian, Gian Luca Loddo, who is both excitable and Italian
Ryan Cheekbones(/Jenkins), whose brother died ON HIS BIRTHDAY
Lee-Boy Crowley, who is the only Welshman in the competition (HINT HINT WELSH VOTE. THAT'S RIGHT, BOTH OF YOU)
Australian Shane Collard, who will hopefully be removing some items of clothing again at some point

They all dance around, having had the worst make-over EVER (I bet Sisco did it), apart from Rithy, for whom Playbus Neons oddly work. Cat tells us all twenty of them will be dancing next week, and we'll actually get to see more than 5 seconds of it, and see them all dance to the music the choreography was devised for as well. Steve will be dealing with all that for you (*jealous*).


  1. Oh god Barrowman. Like I need to see more shots of him striding around empty warehouses. I've seen so many of these sequences now that I recognized him from his gait...

  2. It's the sheer MANLINESS of it isn't it?

  3. Will see if this works! Hate this comments box Chris but your blogs are the bestest evah. So long as Generic Paige doesn't win I think I will enjoy it.

  4. I nearly died laughing at BARROWMAN and Sisco, dressed like a mental clown, trying to teach anyone how to walk like a man.
    Katie = Katie Waissel?

  5. Anonymous - Generic Paige feels so much like a Charlie do-over (but now with added humility!) that the main thing making me think she doesn't is that she's a Midlander. My people never win.

    The Sh - I like to think that somewhere there is a factory/research lab building public hate-figure female reality show contestants all called "Katie *Noun*"

  6. Loving your blog. Could I just be a pedant and say that all the West Side Story stuff was annoying me because the number is from Guys & Dolls.

    Thank you

  7. Anonymous - I took them as just referring to the Jets because West Side Story is the most famous example of that "type" of dancing. Do they dance like that in Guys & Dolls? I've never seen it, unless you count The Simpsons parody, which let's face it is probably enough.

  8. I have just read this absolute drivel and I would like to say that if you have never been a talented, hungry for success dance student, you could never get anywhere near understanding what pressure and stress all the contestants are under. To mock their performances and their courage...putting themselves up for criticism and rejection in the faint hope they might be the successful contestant, is bravery beyond most people. And to mock their stories is cruel and stupid.