So You Think You Can Dance Tour Report - Chicago

So you want to know if Donyelle is out of the tour? Want to know if Jessica has sabotaged the whole thing? And does Travis still have his racing stripe? Burning questions are answered in this week's recap. Here is rushmore with a report from Chicago!

by rushmore

On a rainy night in Rosemont (outside Chicago), our favorite Top Ten gave an awesome show. It feels like forever since Benji was crowned America's Favorite Dancer, but when the Top Ten took the stage, it was like welcoming back dear friends after a brief vacation!

Since we are the what? 9th stop on the tour, I don't want to rehash a lot of what has been said already about the show. Here are my impressions:

  • All the dancers shared the hosting, but Benji took the lion's share and seemed to enjoy it the most. He never referred to himself as the winner of SYTYCD, just talked about how Cousin Heidi saved his butt when he was about to get eliminated, and consequently he is now a part of this great cast.

  • Could've done without the video presentation of the judges' favorite highlights from the auditions,but at least they left out Vomit Girl. Their #1 was a montage of break dancing by Six-Step Crew set to ballet music, which was really cool.

  • There was some banter about whether Benji and Donyelle are an item. Could've done without that. It felt like dialogue from a high-school play. Donyelle did not take part in most of the group dances - Jessica danced instead. But Donny did her solo and also stomped out the Hairspray number in addition to a couple others, so if she is hurting she is doing a great job of hiding it.

  • Jessica and Jaymz are listed in the program as understudies. We did not see Jaymz. Jessica looked to me like she was embarrassed to be onstage.

  • Ryan did a fair amount of bare-chested dancing, including the Cuban Rumba. He looked fabulous from the waist up - better than Dmitry, in my opinion. His solo pants have been mentioned by a previous reporter - like a long white flapping diaper - really distracting and quite ridiculous.

  • By far the biggest fan reactions were reserved for Ryan and Alison. Ali is adorable, with a megawatt smile. On this night I felt she was the strongest of the female dancers. However, it was great to see EVERYONE (with the notable exception of Jessica) dancing with the joy and passion we remember from the competition.

  • Thank you to the previous reporter who mentioned that a fan gave Travis the T-shirt with his face on it. He did not mention that when he came out onstage in Chicago, so it seemed pretty conceited to me.

  • I have a special place in my heart for Ivan. He is adorable. He obviously loved being onstage. He and Alison rocked the Argentine Tango. I was a teensy bit disappointed in the contemporary number set to "Why?" This was my absolute favorite number from the competition, but it didn't have the same intensity in the live show. I thought I remembered them wearing white flowy costumes during the competition, but on tour they were both wearing black. The Sexy Love number with the umbrellas is seriously cute. I did focus on Ivan during Sexy Back (although it was hard to take my eyes off Travis, he so dominates that number), and there is a reason Ivan is in the back. I swear I could see him counting out the steps. It's okay, Ivan, you're still the cutest.

  • Travis has grown out the racing stripes in his hair, thank God, but now Ivan has them! Groan. I just don't see the point.

  • Dmitry introduced a tribute to the other 10 dancers who rounded out the Top 20. Great to see Musa again, even though it was just onscreen. I would have loved to see any number by Natalie and Musa, although her samba with Dmitry was plenty hot.

  • Speaking of Nats, she is the most theatrical of the dancers. She is a drama queen for sure.

  • I agree with the previous reporter that the group dances were the best, especially without the crazy camera work, and I could have done without the solos. However, it was important to the flow of the show to intersperse the solos with the couples and group numbers as well as some video highlights. The show lasted 2 -1/2 hours including intermission - that is a lot of dancing, and they had as much energy in the finale as the opening number. The finale, BTW, followed the Hairspray number, so everyone came out in geeky Hairspray costumes (Travis had gold and white tiger-striped Spandex pants, about as far away from his usual cargo pants as you can imagine!) and they all danced to a few extra choruses of "You Can't Stop the Beat."

  • The crowd was a nice mix of families and teeny-boppers. I am old enough to remember Beatlemania, and the girls' screams reminded me of the concert scenes from A Hard Day's Night.

Sorry I have no pictures, there were signs all over saying No Photography, which I unfortunately took seriously. I was seriously pissed off/disappointed to see how flagrantly everyone else disregarded this policy. I may have been the only one in the place not taking pictures! This is my first dance show, I will know better next time.

I loved, loved, LOVED this show. I can't imagine a more entertaining way to spend an evening in the theater. The chemistry among the cast was amazing. How can next year's group possibly top it?


Other Reports/Photos:
- St. Louis
- Portland
- Oakland
- Los Angeles
- Phoenix
- Seattle


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