- First of all, that opening number was fantastic (and totally, obviously Wade, LOL! -- which is not a bad thing at all). I did love the many face shots of Mark, but would have liked a face shot or two of Neil. I found him easily enough, but I would have liked some close-ups. I mean I adore Mark and all -- heck, I've willingly watched plenty o' Lady Gaga (I do NOT get her) stuff just to see him -- but Neil's my all-time favorite So You Think You can Dance dancer. Still, it was fantastic seeing all of the dancers, and they were all, new and old alike, AMAZING.
- (Jazz) And then what joy, what bliss, not only is my beloved KENT! paired with my favorite female dancer (new)Lauren, but one of the all-stars they are dancing with is ... Mark. Seriously!? As I told harper47, I thought that Nigel hated us! Not surprisingly, it was FANTASTIC. I think Travis Wall goes a little over the top with the symbolism in his choreography sometimes, but I do think he's very talented and with such a quartet of dancers (Kathryn -- whom I like -- was the other all-star), they really made the most of his work. I especially liked the little bit of waltzing thrown in. KENT! was as wonderful as I thought he would be, matching the brilliant Mark step by step (although, I *think* he might have slightly stepped out of that first solo spotlight of his, but it could have been the choreography), and the whole thing was just awesome, getting the show off to a magnificent start.
- (Broadway) Is it bad that as much as I like Alexie, I'm quite thrilled that my two least favorite returning all-stars (Lauren (uck) and Allison) are together so I don't have to worry about seeing them again with other all-stars and dancers I prefer? Sigh, I don't know if it was my dislike of Lauren/Allison, but this was not that impressive. Of course, Tyce choreographed it. I love his contemporary, but his broadway -- his supposed speciality -- sucks. As always. Alexie did stand out the most for me, I will say. She is adorable, and I look forward to seeing her without Lauren.
*sigh* Re: Lauren. I know she's a great dancer, she just isn't as good -- from what we saw on the show -- as other much more popular dancers. And, frankly, she may be lovely and the judges/choreographers may love her, but she was NOT popular, no matter how many times they tell us so and the continuation of the Lauren-pimping still annoys. I can't help it. At least I won't have to see her dance with Neil for five weeks straight. There is that.
- (Hip-hop) I do like Comfort and Dominic, oh, and Twitch was there. As for the newbie, I do really like Jose ... and I loved this. So much fun, so good. I literally clapped aloud with glee when he revealed his colors. As much as I didn't like the last number, I loved this one. Awesome. So three out of four fantastic so far!
- (Ballroom) Whee, I really like Cristina. And Pasha! And, yeah, I like Anya, she's okay. Started out really hot, ended pretty hot, but fell apart a bit in the middle. Pasha was woo!boy!, but hello, it's Pasha. And while I do like Cristina, Anya outdanced her. She really did. She needs to step it up, Anya was sharper, jigglier (hips and bum, in a good way), just more zingy all-around.
- (Contemporary) Eh, Ade, not particularly thrilled either way. He's okay, but I love Alex and Billy so ... Interesting concept, I do love Mia, but she's quite hit or miss. When she hits, she's amazing, when she misses, it's, well, something like this. Kinda a mess, all over the place, little cohesion. Alex impressed me the most, but he was given the most actual DANCING to do. Ah well.
- (Jazz) NEIL! NEIL! NEIL! NEIL! Ahem, aaahhhh!! NEIL!!! Damn, Robert is so freaking hot! Why did we NOT see more of this Adonis prior to the last few minutes of the last episode? Oh, Courtney's the other all-star. Okay. She's okay. I have to say that I really wish that Robert and Ashley -- who we really haven't seen much of -- had NOT been paired with Neil starting out because, I'm sorry, but I did not want to look at anyone but Neil. Hell, I could barely look at anyone else, I just kept getting drawn back to Neil even when I tried to concentrate on the others. They were all good from what I caught, keeping up together, etc., but yeah, sorry, it's all about NEIL!!! God, I love him so much. The choreography was interesting -- loved that opening move Neil did, wowsers!. This was one of my favorite Sonya pieces, but still, yeah all about Neil.
Ah, I love that Neil was in the last group, and he was standing next to Cat -- whom I continue to adore -- because I got to see Neil through most of her closing spiel and sigh with love. Because I LOVE HIM SO MUCH!!!
Oh, the dancers dancing and fooling around as the credits roll. I can not be the only only one who would happily watch five minutes of these guys just doing that on stage. So joyous, so what the heart of dance is about. LOVE! Overall, very impressive and this may turn out to be an incredibly stellar season.
In non-dancing news, I liked the 11-second spots. Those that stood out well were: Lauren, KENT!, Alexie, Jose, Alex, Robert. The one that stood out badly was: Melinda. The rest were okay, but mostly non-memorable.
ETA: Reading comments on TWoP and I'm realizing that my initial worries really may have some validity. Other than KENT!, I really only cared about NEIL!!! and Mark. And, erm, two of those are all-stars. I did find myself watching the all-stars more than the newbies except when it was specific all-stars I don't care for. And that was my original worry all along. If Nigel wanted to bring back dancers, there should have been an all-stars season. Ah well. We'll see how it plays out when they're actually performing for votes and it's just the two dancers and not a group.
Oh, and I still hate that stage with neon-blinding rage. :)