Behind the Scenes: SYTYCD

July 30, 2008

If you watched last night’s So You Think You Can Dance and saw a brunette with long, wavy hair in the left corner of the screen sitting behind the choreographers, you spotted none other than moi! During a trip to California (expect some stellar photo shoots in the upcoming months), I got the honor of watching the show live. Seated one row behind Paula Abdul and 2 rows behind the choreographers, I have tons of backstage gossip for you!

Here’s my recap:

They’re just like us! Before the show began taping, the top 6 dancers formed a hokey-pokey circle and shook out their hands and feet. Watching them bop around, seeming both nervous and eager made me totally relate to them. We’ve all dealt with stage nerves!

I was ecstatic to hear that Adam Shankman was the guest judge. He’s hilarious, brilliant and has just as much energy as Mary does…speaking of Mary, her famous, explosive shrieks really do echo. Between Adam’s enthusiasm and Mary’s excitability, I wanted someone to tell me to jump on the hot tamale train too.

Did anyone else find it coincidental that David Cook’s “Time of My Life” was used for the Viennese Waltz during the same show that Paula came to see? Those sneaky producers! However, it was pretty cool to learn that Tyce and Adam danced with Paula in ‘90s during the Oscars. Paula and Tyce seemed to be pretty chummy and chatted between takes—cute!

Tyce and Sonya also danced along in their seats during Twitch’s quirky solo. Twitch definitely knows how to get the crowd’s—and the choreographers’—attention.

On the same note, Chelsie got the crowd riled up every time she shook her tail feathers—or rather, her red ruffles.

I wasn’t on Team Mark prior to seeing the show, but he has a certain je ne sais quoi that made me dig him. Perhaps it’s that he’s tall, dark and handsome. It could it be the silly faces he makes. Maybe it’s just that he took of his shirt during his solo! Whatever the cause, his unique movement and personality sold me.

Before last night, Courtney was one of my faves (I think I have a bias towards short brunettes from New York). The way she performed Sonya’s jazz routine made me even more of a fan. She may not top some of the other girls in terms of technique, but I adore her stage presence. And no matter who she is paired with, she always makes her partner look good.

Let it be known that Katee and Joshua’s contemporary routine stole the show. Props to Tyce! Both Adam and Mary told me exclusively that this routine was their favorite of the evening. Adam said it was “very special” and Mary named it one of her favorites from all the seasons! I guess Tyce, Katee and Joshua truly are the triple alliance to beat!

After the show, I walked out with Tabitha and Napoleon. I’ve been a fan of their work all season and last night’s conductor routine definitely lived up to my expectations. I asked them how they felt Chelsie and Twitch performed their choreography. The couple told me, “They did great! We’re most pleased that they pulled off the character. The character was the base of this choreography—it was as important as the story and movement. If the character was the base of the dance, then the stick was the dictator!”

On a side note, Cat Deeley is ridiculously pretty. And from a fashionista’s standpoint, I was totally sweating her Alexander McQueen feathered stilettos!

All in all, this evening was a highlight of my trip!

My final thought: vote people! Vote! We don’t want another “Will” situation, now do we?