Archive for June, 2009

[June 8th – 12th 2009] Final week of internship at the Edmonton Journal

… or technically my fifth week, if you add onto the three weeks I did during the Winter Break. (:

Articles I wrote for the week of June 8th – 12th:

So I found that the stories I did for the week of June 8th-12th inspired/affected me in different ways.

The story I did about the city recognizing volunteer drivers made me want to volunteer my time more. The story I did about Sylvan Lake’s partiers, made me want to go to Sylvan Lake sometime this summer (and party responsibly, or else be fined, ha ha). The story I did about the new recreation centre encouraged me to stay fit and active. The story I did about the drug research reminded me that, hey I probably shouldn’t do drugs and I’m also glad my mom doesn’t too.. The story I did about the Huggable Hero, Connor Hibbard, reminded me that KIDS CAN BE AMAZING AND INSPIRING INDIVIDUALS!!!! And the story I did about Owen Schlosser made me realize life is short, and you really don’t know what’s going to happen so you really SHOULD live every day to your fullest. Be happy, be healthy, and love your friends and family.

I’m really glad I got an opportunity, especially, to do the story about Owen Schlosser and his family. It was a first experience for me, speaking to a family where a family member has just died. I felt that it was a really important story and I feel honoured really, to have met and spoken to Owen’s friends, brothers, and sisters, and I spent a lot of time making sure the article was just right before filing it.

I received kind and encouraging words from the assistant editor and the breaking news editor, who were both my supervisors for the duration of my internship. We also discussed how probably the splitting-up of the five week internship from winter break and post-semester, probably wasn’t the best idea. I was kind of the guinea pig in terms of that little split-internship experiment. I suggested that in the future, definitely offer the three weeks to a student because that is great experience for sure, but have it be separate from the five weeks at the end of the semester, because I found that my last two weeks literally just flew by. I was there and then it was over. While the three weeks during winter, I had been improving and progressing and momentum was being had, until the winter break ended and it was back to school and the momentum was lost.

All in all, it was a great internship, both this leg of it, and the prior winter break portion, and just overall. I learned a lot. I made a lot of contacts and reporter friends and acquaintances. I feel I became a better writer, and more professional. And I got some great clips to add to my portfolio and overall experience. If I didn’t have summer plans, I would have asked if I could stay longer, honestly.

Now I need to work on .pdf-ing my articles (both from this end of the internship and the winter break end), because I just checked the links from the winter break portion of my internship and all the links don’t work anymore!

Linda (:


June 21, 2009 at 5:41 pm Leave a comment

Lindork’s So You Think You Can Dance Recap – Top 18 Performance & Results Thoughts

June 21 2009.

Okay so this is how I ranked the performances from Wednesday night:

1. Max and Kayla – Brian Friedman – Pop Jazz
2. Jonathan and Karla – Stacey Tookey – Contemporary
3. Brandon and Janette – Doriana Sanchez – Disco
4. Kupono and Ashley – Shane Sparks – Hip Hop
5. Ade and Melissa – Sonya Tayeh – Jazz
6. Jason and Caitlin – Shane Sparks – Hip Hop
7. Evan and Randi – Louis Amstel – Jive
8. Asuka and Vitolio – Louis Amstel – Waltz
9. Phillip and Jeanine – Tango

So let’s talk about…

The Under-Rated Hip Hop Performances:

Shane Sparks is back as couples choreographer this season and he choreos not one, but two routines this week! Both Caitlin Kinney and Jason Glover + Kupono Aweau and Ashley Valerio get Shane hip hop for Top 18 week, both coming off of very well-done, well-received performances from the week prior. Unfortunately both these routines are not to the judge’s liking. Personally I enjoyed both of these hip hop routines (Ashono’s more so than Caitson’s) and I think the judges weren’t fair in their critique. I felt both the males performed way better than the judge’s comments made it seem and I find it funny that while they state their very lukewarm comments for the performances and routines themselves, they all the while rave about how fantastic Shane is and how excited they are that he’s back. I doubt their compliments about Shane’s choreography and talent made him feel any better about the fact that the judges seemed to throw this hip hop foursome under a bus. Either way, I thought both hip hops were underrated and the dancers deserve some more credit for their performances.

To be fair, though, pretty much all of the routines from Top 18 week were only politely received and well, mediocre at best. Ones that stand out in my mind are Max & Kayla’s Pop Jazz choreographed by Brian Friedman (who also returns as choreographer this season! Exciting!! BFREE is fantastic), Jonathan & Karla’s Contemporary choreographed by Stacey Tookey from Canada! (And not just Canada, but she’s from Edmonton, Alberta! My hometown. She seriously gives me hope that Edmontonians can break into the SYTYCD America world! Of course, I’m no choreographer but I’m sure there’s a job for me in that industry somewhere… ha ha!). Brandon & Janette’s fun fun fun Disco choreographed by Doriana Sanchez, the Disco choreographing queen. Such a fun routine, despite Janette’s minor slipups, it was thoroughly enjoyable to watch.

This week’s pre-performance ‘get-to-know-the-dancers’ clip centered around something America doesn’t know about the dancer including secrets such as Kupono’s OCD (things cannot be diagonal! Too precious), Jeanine’s teddy bear boyfriend, Brandon never having worked out in his entire life, yet having the body that he has (this literally made me drop my jaw, I didn’t believe it!), Evan loves cars and building cars, Randi talks to her dog/treats it like a person, and more. Definitely a really likeable Top 18!

Overall though, I thought this week’s performances across the board were not as up to par as last week’s. I am pleased that Brian Friedman and Shane Sparks are back to choreograph, however, and I also hope that they bring back Stacey Tookey to choreograph more as well!

Now here are some things I noted for Thursday’s results show:

Bottom 3 guys and bottom 3 girls:
– Caitlin Kinney
– Jason Glover
– Kupono Aweau
– Ashley Valerio
– Kayla Radomski
– Max Kapitannikov.

This was an absolutely stressful bottom six, particularly in the case of the guys for me. (The guys are always more important to me, it is apparent, ha ha). Anyway the fact that Jason and Kupono were both in the bottom stressed me out to no end as they are my two favourite guys of the season. I was praying, praying, that the third guy would be either Jonathan or Max, who I felt could both be eliminated way before Jason & Kupono. Granted, Max has done a really brilliant job the past two weeks. It was a surprise that him and Kayla were both in the bottom this week but I took that as my answer from the SYTYCD Heavens, that they would sacrifice Max to keep Pono.

It was bittersweet really. I think it’s completely unfair that there are SO many likeable (and talented) guys in this season’s group. I can only see the remaining results shows becoming increasingly difficult and stressful to watch. I’m really glad the judges decided to give Pono another chance and I hope he lives on that stage for Top 16 week and really show everyone that the judges’ decision to keep him was not in vain. In terms of girl eliminations, I am really sad that Ashley was eliminated. It was NOT her time at ALL. She was becoming one of my favourite girls and is so, so talented. If it had been up to me, I would have chosen Caitlin to leave before Ashley or Kayla.

In terms of solos, again like the performance show this past week I thought that the solos were all only okay really. Jason’s solo stood out the most for me so it was completely understood when the judges spared him first. Also, Jason chose to dance to Robin Thicke’s Superman, so he gets extra points for doing a Travis Wall-danced song: NYCDA Pittsburgh Solo!

The other thing to note was that given Nigel’s prophetic blessing to Kayla that she was headed straight for the top, I knew there was no way in hell she was going to be eliminated.

Also, the Mia Michaels Top 18 Group Routine to “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder was, much like last week’s group routine, SO GOOD!!!!!!! Re-watch it here:

Ade, Jason, and Pono dead front & centre were all brilliant, thank you Mia for that positioning.

Ryan Kasprzak‘s S6 audition was also given considerable airtime during this week’s show. He better make Season 6!

So in the end, Max Kapitannikov and Ashley Valerio are eliminated quite bittersweetly for Top 18 week.

Be sure to check out THIS SYTYCDISM POST for videos of this week’s performances! (Hopefully the video police don’t take it down!)

Dancers remaining:

Comments are very welcome!

Linda (:

June 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm 2 comments

Lindork’s So You Think You Can Dance Recap – Top 20 Performance & Results Show Thoughts

June 12 2009.

Okay so this is how I ranked the performances from Wednesday night:

1. Phillip and Jeanine – Hip Hop
2. Ade and Melissa – Contemporary
3. Kupono and Ashley – Jazz
4. Jason and Caitlin – Bollywood
5. Randi and Evan – Jazz
6. Max and Kayla – Samba
7. Karla and Jonathan – Cha Cha
8. Paris and Tony – Hip Hop
9. Brandon and Jeanette – Foxtrot
10. Asuka and Vitolio – Broadway

Now for some of my thoughts and reasonings behind the rankings and the performance show itself!

What is in this post:

  • Thoughts about each routine from Top 20 Performance Show.
  • Notes about Top 20 Results Show.
  • Who was eliminated and thoughts.

Let’s start with the routines that I enjoyed:

The first performance of the night (and my favourite of the night) was done by Philip Chbeeb and Jeanine Mason with a NappyTabs lyrical Hip hop to “Mad” by Neyo. I loved this routine! I thought they both performed it fantastically but Phillip moreso, obviously because it is closest to his style. I also thought Phillip REALLY performed it well like NappyTabs like their routines to have a story and to have emotion and I felt Phillip really got into character and really put his emotion into the dance. You could feel it in his movements as well as see it resonate through his facial expressions (see photo).

Other things to note: I felt that Jeanine’s outfit was way too similiar to Chelsie’s from Mark & Chelsie’s Bleeding Love NappyTabs Lyrical Hip Hop last season. Also, I think Jeanine could very well climb up in the list of girls that I like! (But again, none of the girls this season will ever climb past any of the guys I like, lol).

My second favourite of the night was Ade Obayomi and Melissa Sandvig‘s Contemporary piece to “Right Here Waiting” by Richard Marx, choreographed by Mandy Moore. I thought this was a beauuuutiful piece. I loved the beginning with the very gentle wind — subtle but effective start! There were some great lifts, movements, and I don’t know what it was but I just thoroughly enjoyed watching this.

Other things to note: I was shocked actually that I enjoyed this so much because I didn’t care too much for both Ade and Melissa pre-Top 20 performance. (Well, I still don’t care for them that much but the routine was really well done). I also didn’t like that Ade had a pick in his hair for the entire rehearsal / pre-performance package and also you could totally tell Melissa is old.

Coming in at #3 (though I’ve re-watched this so many times now that it could easily get the first or second place spot now), is Kupono Aweau and Ashley Valerio‘s Jazz routine choreographed by the dance God himself, Wade Robson! My first opinion about this routine was that it was incredible BUT I was so distracted and thrown off by the costuming and white make-up that I couldn’t fully enjoy it first time around. Having said that, I still thought that the performances by both Kupono and Ashley were flawless. The execution was fantastic. They were so clean, they had great lines, great technique, and how in-character they both got (but especially Kupono), made everything ten times better. Taking all of that into account and then re-watching the routine and not letting the makeup and costuming throw me off, I appreciated the routine that much more. Wade truly is a genius and I seriously cannot imagine what goes on in his mind. His wife is also a genius.

Other things to note: I had been praying that Kupono would get Wade ever since I heard Wade would be choreographing a piece for this week’s show and I literally squealed when they revealed Kupono got Wade. I had been jotting down notes throughout the show and this was what I had written when I saw Kupono got Wade: “WADE ROBSON YAYYYYYYYYY JAZZ OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG
” Lol. In my eyes, getting Wade is like being ~blessed~ I’m waiting for a Pharoh-Egyptian-like routine from Wade specifically for Kupono in mind. I feel it will happen. Cross your fingers! Also, the cross dummy dog was adorable. Mark was sitting behind Wade in the audience looking fabulous. Oh and I had also written in my notes “I don’t know anything about Ashley but I hope she doesn’t suck because Pono needs a good partner.” Lol. She didn’t suck. So all is well. ♥

My fourth favourite routine of the night was Jason Glover and Caitlin Kinney‘s Bollywood routine by Nakul Dev Mahajan to “Jai Ho” from the Slumdog Millionare Soundtrack. I LOVED this routine. I think in terms of Bollywood, you are always going to get an entertaining, upbeat, energetic and exciting routine (or at least that’s what you should get and what the performers should be giving you) and in this case I think Jason and Caitlin delivered. But especially Jason. (Haha are you seeing this trend where I am flattering the guys more than the girls?) Anyway, I think this was a fabulous routine and I think the number one reason why it ranks high is that, simply put, it entertained me.

Other things to note: I really want to take like a Bollywood dance lesson. I also really love Bollywood costumes. I also downloaded the Pussycat Dolls version of Jai Ho the night of the performance and have had it repeating on my iTunes for some time now. Jason Glover is also adorable!

Now this Jazz routine with Evan Kasprzak and Randi Strong-Evans, choreographed by Tyce DiOrio to “I only have eyes for you” by Jamie Cullum, was originally #2 on my rankings. I thought it was sooooo good. I mean I still think it’s so good but comparably, it has to drop a little bit. Again with the emotion and the connection, I really felt it in this routine. I thought this Tyce piece was a lot better than his broadway, and I just really thought Evan and Randi performed this beautifully. There were some great moves throughout the piece that made me perk up. Really beautiful performance.

Other things to note: I laughed outloud at Evan’s comment about how he didn’t know big Randi’s husband was! Also, Randi being a contestant with a husband made me think she’s like the Kris Allen of So You Think You Can Dance. Of course, she isn’t REALLY because that means she’d be winning this season and we all know that’s not going to happen. (No offense to Randi, she’s proven quite good but I seriously don’t think a girl is winning this season).

The sixth routine that I thoroughly enjoyed was Max Kapitannikov and Kayla Radomski‘s Samba to “Jum Bah Day” by House of Gypsies, choreographed by Louis Van Armstrong. Again this comes down to entertainment value and I was completely entertained by their performance. Fast-paced, energetic, fun and they performed it really well.

Other things to note: Max is quite lucky he got his style pretty much this first week because pre-Top 20 performance I was absolutely certain that Max would have been the first guy to leave but lucky him, he got his style and I thought he did reallllly good! Max, quite non-sexy in photographs and standing still, can really turn on the hot factor in a samba I must admit. As for Kayla, I know for a lot of people online she appears to be the favoured female and for good reason she’s definitely good but again, none of these girls appeal to me on a higher level than the guys do.

Finally, I’m smushing the four remaining performances together:

Jonathan Platero and Karla Garcia‘s Cha Cha to “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga, choreographed by Tony Meredith, was not hot. I think Jonathan fails quite hard at being ‘sexy’. No hate intended, I think he’s quite adorable but it feels wrong watching him try and move his hips in a sexy way, it just doesn’t work. He doesn’t pull it off. I think Karla has been great in the very few youtube videos I’ve seen her in and she wasn’t bad in this routine either but comparably, it fell short.

Tony Bellissimo and Paris Torres‘s Hip Hop to “Let the Beat Rock” by the Black Eyed Peas, choreographed by NappyTabs. I didn’t think this was that bad. Honestly I can’t really remember it anymore though. I think the main issue I had with this, as superficial and horrible as it sounds, is Paris’s chin. I’m sorry. But once you notice it, it’s like you can’t get it out of your head and your field of vision and that’s all I kept coming back to and it just ruined everything for me. Am I horrible for making that big a deal about her chin? I just can’t focus on anything else. My bad.

Brandon Bryant and Janette Manrara‘s Foxtrot to “Come Fly With Me” by Michael Buble, choreographed by Louis Van Armstrong. It’s not that this wasn’t done well. I thought it was done quite well actually. It’s just that foxtrots tend to rank lowest for me in anything. Even if my favourites are doing foxtrots, out of say my favourite’s history of routines, the foxtrots would be at the bottom of the lists just because they don’t appeal to me very much. I thought Brandon did a really good job of putting personality and character into the routine though so props to him! It was a pretty dance but I’m just not interested in foxtrots and again, comparably, it couldn’t beat out the first six favourite routines on my list.

Asuka Kondoh and Vitolio Jeune‘s Broadway to “Hot Honey Rag” from Chicago, choreographed by Tyce DiOrio. BORING. This was my least favourite routine. Both dancers were so boring. It really did feel like they were just going through the movements. Broadway, I feel is ALL about the character and personality you put into it and there just none put into this. Unimpressive.

Overall though, as I wrote in the quick rankings write up prior to this post, I loved and was entertained very much by the top six routines that I listed ( ♥ ) and overall I thought it was a really good Top 20 performance show and I am so excited that WADE IS BACK!

Now here are some things I noted for Thursday’s results show:

– Bottom 3 guys and bottom 3 girls: Tony Bellissimo, Paris Torres, Vitolio Jeune, Asuka Kondoh, Jonathan Platero, Karla Garcia. (I completely agree with this bottom, no disagreements here).

– Kupono was wearing a Discrete Royalty shirt. The clothing line is designed by one of his friend’s (who is also Mark’s friend, which is why I know this) and I think the clothes from that line are really great. I also think it’s way cute and supportive of Kupono to model DR on national TV! (Side note, Mark has modeled for DR as well)

Adam Shankman and Nigel shouted out to Twitter! I think the fact that the judges are tweeting this season and that they are/will get thousands of direct tweets of opinions to them before each performance show and before each results show, is definitely going to have an impact on the results this year.

– I thought all 6 solos were weak and forgettable. In fact, I’ve already forgotten about them.

– Ashley and Kupono’s animal sounds was HILARIOUS!!

– Cat faked out Phillip and Jeanine and I believed it at first too. It was actually a really good fake out.

– The Shane Sparks Top 20 Group Routine to “Boom Boom Pow” by Black Eyed Peas was SOOOOO good! I loved it! A must re-watch. Why not re-watch it now?:

Also, did anyone else think of Heroes and the whole Claire “Save the Cheerleader. Save the World” thing when the “Save the Dancers. Save the World” voice happened at the beginning? Haha!

In the end, Tony Bellissimo and Paris Torres are the first to leave Season 5.

Are you sad? Am I sad? Not really. Tony had a fun personality but that can only take you so far and I hate to be superficial but I don’t think I could watch Paris dance each week because her chin is just so darn distracting, UGH I’m sorry if that comes off as extremely mean but seriously.. 😦

But, again, overall, a GREAT Top 20 week!!!! This season is really looking like it’s going to be a fantastic one and I don’t think I’ll dislike any of the dancers really! Yay for positivity! 😀

I also need to shout out to my friend Lisa. I watched the Top 20 performance show at her house this week on the East Coast channel. T’was a lot of fun. I don’t usually watch SYTYCD with people. Ha ha. (:

Be sure to check out THIS SYTYCDISM POST for videos of this week’s performances! (Hopefully the video police don’t take it down!)

And this is something I want to add in every week’s blog thoughts post:

Dancers remaining:

Comments are very welcome!

Linda (:

June 12, 2009 at 11:47 pm 2 comments

Lindork’s So You Think You Can Dance Recap – Top 20 Performance Show Rankings

June 11 2009.

I’ll add more details and my opinions tomorrow (well technically later today, since it’s about 1 a.m. June 11 now), but for now after watching and re-watching routines, this is my ranking for tonight’s performances:

1. Phillip and Jeanine – Hip Hop
2. Ade and Melissa – Contemporary
3. Kupono and Ashley – Jazz
4. Jason and Caitlin – Bollywood
5. Randi and Evan – Jazz
6. Max and Kayla – Samba
7. Karla and Jonathan – Cha Cha
8. Paris and Tony – Hip Hop
9. Brandon and Jeanette – Foxtrot
10. Asuka and Vitolio – Broadway

I basically think routines/couples one through six were fabulous though. ♥

It was a greeeat kick off to the season and I’m so stoked that Wade is back.

What do you think?

Linda (:

June 11, 2009 at 12:50 am 7 comments

[June 1st – 5th 2009] First week of internship at the Edmonton Journal

June 7 2009.

… well technically the fourth week if you consider this to be an add-on to the first three weeks that I interned there during the winter break.

Here are the articles I wrote that were published last week:

The stories got pretty good play in the paper, front page of the City section for two days, second page for the other day. Happiness!

I also worked on/interviewed a nine-year-old boy with diabetes who is in the running for a national contest. That story was supposed to run this past Saturday but there were layout/internal issues that went on that pushed back the story until this coming Saturday. I’m re-interviewing the boy and his mother later this week so I can tweak the story so it’s a bit more timely. 🙂

Overall the week went by very quickly. It was interesting to note the differences and similairities between last time I was here during the winter break and now. For instance, when I get out at 5 p.m. now, the sun is still shining and there feels like there’s still lots of time left in the day. This compared to the winter time’s dark skies, frigid air and snow I experienced at 5 p.m. each day last time. Also new this time, I’ve barely used my recorder at all! Most of the telephone interviews I do now, I just rest the phone on my left shoulder and type up what the person is saying. This saves a lot of time, and actually feels a lot more free-ing than when I depended on the recorder use. I think I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable just picking up the phone and calling out to sources as well. Another new thing this time ’round, the use of Twitter! I had had a Twitter account during the winter but I didn’t use it at all and neither did the majority of #yeg — Edmonton. Now, Edmonton is on Twitter like crazy and surprisingly the old computers here can actually access Twitter and allow me to tweet. This leading into something that hasn’t changed since last time… the old computers. They are still here and if possible I got an even worse one than before. Aside from the fact that Gmail, Facebook, and most websites on the interweb are inaccessible with Internet Explorer 5.1 for Mac (these Macs are Mac OS 9.2 btw. OLD!), this computer’s screen starts off normally coloured on the left hand side but as your eyes move from the left to the right of the screen, the color turns from white to yellow. It’s quite awful and hard on the eyes and I find myself blinking multiple times throughout the day in an attempt to avoid serious eye damage. Most of the people who share cubicle space with me are in the process of getting new computers but I won’t be getting one as I’ve only got one week left here.

That segways nicely into the fact that I’m only here for two short weeks. What does that mean? Well, the four full-time summer interns who are going to be working here for four months, all get to do some pretty cool stuff. For instance, they all have rotations for training in the cop room, something I don’t get a chance to do because, again, I’m only here for another week. They also get tours to city hall, the court house, and the Legislature. They also get assigned “mentors,” senior reporters who will go over some of their stories with them and advise them on what they could do better and you know, help mold them into becoming better journalists. And of course, they all get to switch to nice computers. Though to be fair, I have already taken tours to city hall, the courthouse, and the Legislature. One of the upsides of doing my journalism education at MacEwan. Speaking of interns, I’ve made friends with one from Ontario – Sneh Duggal. We share a wall and we also started sharing food! Sunchips, grapes, strawberries and chips, that kind of thing. She’s never been to Edmonton before getting the internship at the Journal so I offered to show her the sights or hang out if she ever wanted to. 🙂

Other things to note… I’m real good at managing my time this time around. Where I found last time I would finish things way too quickly and find myself bored with nothing to do, now I make sure I specify what time I’m going to do something, how long that should take me, what time that should take me to, etc, etc. That kind of thing, which ends up keeping me (fairly) busy until the end of the day. Again, I personally need to state that it doesn’t take me an entire day to finish a story. At all. I can do interviews and pump out articles very quickly if need be… I just choose to stretch it out over a longer period of time because if I didn’t, I’d end up sitting with nothing to work on. And I know, if an editor or someone was reading this, they’d be like ‘well in that case, you should be coming up with your own story ideas and working on that!’, and the fact of the matter is I still suck at story ideas and it’s kind of defeating when everything you would pitch, is already well-known to the rest of the newsroom and someone is already likely covering it. Lol. I like walking into the newsroom in the morning and getting a brand new assignment/new topic of the day to research and write about and will for sure end up in the next day’s paper. I don’t enjoy pitching an idea that may or may not work, and waste time trying to see if it will work, only to have it not, and thus nothing will end up in the next day’s paper. Does that make me a bad journalist? I don’t know. Have I mentioned I want to be covering entertainment in Toronto or Los Angeles yet? … lol. One day. One day I shall write about celebrities, musicians, movies, So You Think You Can Dance and other television shows! One day! Nothing wrong with getting my foot well-established in the City/news-writing sector first! 😉

Oh, and another thing to note is I really love the Journal’s newspaper layout. Their fonts, their pictures, their look and feel, I love it. I think it makes my stories look really good. Ha ha!

Also, did I mention why I’m only here for two short weeks yet? It’s because in order to graduate from my journalism program, I need a minimum of five-weeks experience in an industry newsroom. I had gotten the coveted three-week winter break internship spot with the Journal during the winter, and now the extra two weeks is really to just fill my requirements. I would have liked to have gotten the full four-month internship for sure, but alas I think it worked out for the better given my summer travel plans and what not.

Anyway, to conclude… the week of June 1st – 5th at the Journal went really well. I’m super comfortable with the other reporters too, given that I met most of them during the winter and I fostered better relations with them via Twitter over the past few months so it’s all pretty comfortable. (I actually also met up with two of them outside of work to advise them on how to go about making their own websites. Hehe) I think I’m definitely capable of reporting for the City section (and I think I’m doing a pretty good job thus far), and also I found a sushi place in walking distance to the Journal building today that has the cheapest bento box ever! Yum, sashimi.

Next week I’ll put up a summary blog post of my last week of Journal activities / articles, and then embark on the next chapter of my summer/life. Exciting. 🙂

(Before then there should be So You Think You Can Dance blog posts as well, lol)


June 8, 2009 at 5:54 pm Leave a comment

Lindork’s So You Think You Can Dance Recap – Here are the Season 5 Top 20 Official Photos!

June 5 2009.

Top 20:

(click for larger photo)

Top 10 Guys:

Kupono Aweau. 23. Lyrical/Contemporary

Phillip Chbeeb. 20. Popping

Evan Kasprzak. 21. Broadway

Brandon Bryant. 19. Contemporary

Jonathan Platero. 21. Salsa

Tony Bellisimo. 20. Hip Hop

Jason Glover. 21. Lyrical/Contemporary

Vitolio Jeune. 26. Contemporary

Max Kapitannitov. 26. Latin Ballroom

Ade Obayomi. 20. Contemporary

Top 10 Girls:

Randi Evans. 23. Jazz

Jeanine Mason.. 18. Contemporary

Karla Garcia. 23. Jazz/Contemporary

Asuka Kondoh. 25. Latin Ballroom

Caitlin Kinney. 21. Contemporary

Kayla Radomski. 18. Jazz/Contemporary

Paris Torres. 19. Contemporary

Ashley Valerio. 22. Contemporary

Melissa Sandvig. 29. Ballet

There’s your So You Think You Can Dance Season 5 Top 20!


🙂 Linda

June 5, 2009 at 8:13 am 6 comments

Lindork’s Top 4 So You Think You Can Dance Season 5 Dancers!

June 4 2009.

Here’s a summary of four dancers in this year’s Top 20 who I think deserve the the public’s support and who will likely (I hope) make it far in the competition.

1. Kuponohi’ipoi Aweau (KUPONO)

Name: Kuponohi’ipoi Aweau
(pronounced: Kupono-hee-E-poi Avay-ow or “Kupono”)
Style: Contemporary/Lyrical
Age: 23
Audition City: Seattle
Hometown: Hawaii, HI

Bio: 23-year-old Pono Aweau started dancing in the 5th grade and has been doing it ever since. He has been a part of Hawaii’s popular 24-7 Dance Force as both student and dance instructor, and was also a dancer, dance captain, and in charge of wardrobe with the Norwegian Cruise Line in 2005. Along with dance, Pono does costume design, set design, decor and interior design. Auditioning in Seattle, Pono was praised for his strong movements, look, and quirkiness. During Vegas Week, Pono excelled in all style challenges, group challenges, and solos. (Note, this) article says Kupono started dancing at grade 5, but the Fox Blog bio here says at the age of 16).

Personal Opinion: Pono is a very interesting dancer with an extremely interesting “look.” He’s got this quality about him that is hard to ignore, especially when watching him dance. His moves are clean, he hits it hard, but at the same time has a very soft and fluid motion with his movements. I think he can really go far in this competition. I love his style of contemporary, I love his hip hop, I love his “quirkiness”, and he’s also got one other thing going for him that is both advantageous and a disadvantage and that is his connection to S4’s Mark Kanemura. Plus side – it’s pretty much a guarantee that all Mark fans are going to latch onto and support/vote for Pono, thus taking him far in the competition. Down side to that – it may be that he’s only “loved” or appreciated (at least at first) JUST because of his Mark connection. This could (and already has actually) lead into unfair Mark/Pono comparisons and Pono sort of dancing in Mark’s ‘shadow’ to speak. Fans need to see that while there are smiliarities & while Mark & Pono are great friends and have danced together before, they’re two completely different people with two different styles. Pono should be given the opportunity to show America who he is and what he can do and fans should vote for him for him, not how much he may remind you of your Season 4 SYTYCD favourite.

That said, I love Pono. I think he’s got the technique, style, versatility, and personality to take him to the top. Emphasis on PERSONALITY! I love his personality!!! (The LISTS? Way cute. And I do that too. Lists for everything). I’m throwing my absolute support behind him and I can’t wait to see what he brings to the So You Think You Can Dance stage! 🙂

Go Pono!

Audition Clip:

Miss Hawaii USA Step Down Performance:

Pono did the above December 2008 performance’s wardrobe, concept, and set design. He’s also in it, the one with the black hat. Seen most clearly opposite Mark Kanemura at about 1:44 until the end of the video. 🙂

One way to Support:
Join the Kupono Aweau for So You Think You Can Dance Facebook Group.

2. Phillip Chbeeb

Name: Philip Chbeeb
(also known as “PacMan”)
Style: Hip Hop/Popping
Age: 20
Audition City: Los Angeles
Hometown: Los Angeles, California

Bio: Phillip “Pac Man” Chbeeb is a 20-year-old hip hop dancer and choreographer from Houston, Texas. Phillip pops, locks, break dances, and does underground and commercial hip hop. He first auditioned for SYTYCD back in 2007 (Season 3) and made it to Vegas. He auditioned again in 2008 (Season 4), and was also given a ticket to Vegas, but was unable to attend due to personal illness. The judges have praised him for having one of the “sickest” and unique hip hop, popping styles they’ve ever seen & that no one does what he does better than him. Last year Phillip hip hop “pop” battled Robert Muraine on the SYTYCD stage.

Personal Opinion: Phillip is incredible. He does things with his body that I’ve never seen before. He’s fantastic in his own style and he’s proved more than exceptional in other styles. After failing to make Top 20 for Season 3 and 4, I think this is the year for Phillip. He absolutely deserves to be on the show and he absolutely deserves to make it far in the competition. He’s shown so much growth since his first audition and his personality is so likeable. I think he’s got a great odds in making Top 4 this season. When he dances it’s hard to tear your eyes away and the fact that he’s auditioned twice before means he’s already got a well-established fanbase that’s only going to grow as the season progresses.

Season 5 Audition Clip with Arielle Coker:

Season 3 Audition | Season 4 Audition

“Fidelity” with Arielle Coker:

^ So freaking fantastic! Intricate, creative, beautiful!

One way to Support:
Become a Facebook Fan of Phillip.

3. Evan Kasprzak

Name: Evan Kasprzak
Style: Broadway/Jazz
Age: 21
Audition City: Memphis
Hometown: West Bloomfield, MI

Bio: Evan is a triple threat. He excels in dancing, acting, and singing. He first auditioned during Season 4 and made it through to the Vegas but didn’t make the Top 20 cut. He also starred in “After Hours“, a homage to dance sequences during the golden age of Hollywood musicals and has done many pieces choreographed by brother Ryan.

Personal Opinion: I think Evan is so good. His audition was so relaxed and gave me the same feeling I get when I watch Travis & Donyelle’s ‘Georgia on my Mind‘ performance (S2 <3) He seems versatile, he’s personable – his personality is fantastic! As well, his relationship with his brother is so incredible and it was absolutely heartbreaking that it had to be between him and Ryan. At this point I’m not sure how far Evan can go in the competition and I’m not sure how versatile he will actually be but I thought he was fantastic during the contemporary round of Vegas, which definitely showed his versatility, and I hope that continues throughout the season.

Audition Clip:

“After the Lights Go Down Low”:

One way to support:
Become a Facebook Fan of Evan.

^ The above choreography also by Evan’s brother Ryan.

4. Brandon Bryant.

Name: Brandon Bryant
Style: Contemporary
Age: 19
Audition City: Denver
Hometown: Miami, Florida

Bio: 19-year-old Brandon Bryant first auditioned for Season 4. Judges loved him and he was sent to Vegas where he made it to the very last stage, vying for the final Top 20 S4 spot with Gev Manoukian. This year his audition brought Mary to tears.

Personal Opinion: Brandon is a very strong dancer. He’s powerful, he’s technically sound, there is absolutely no doubt that he is good. His personality just may not translate as well to audiences. I think Brandon can go very far in this competition though and I hope that he does. He may fall into what last year’s Will Wingfield fell into however, very strong dances and very good performances, but an early exit. And for whatever reason, Mia seems to hate Brandon which isn’t going to help him but I thought he handled Mia’s comments very well, very smartly. I like his smile FYI.

Audition Clip:

Season 4 Audition Clip:

One way to support:
Join the Brandon Bryand for So You Think You Can Dance Champion Facebook Group.

Notable S5 Mentions:

  • Tony Bellissimo
  • Jason Glover
  • Jonathan Platero

Incredible dancers I will be supporting in future SYTYCD seasons:

Nathan Trasoras and Alex Wong for SYTYCD Season 6 (and/or) 7!


I really don’t care about any of these girls at this point. This could be an issue as the girls are going to end up paired with either of these 4 favourite guys of mine. Also, Mia’s personal attack on Brandon was uncalled for and really unjustified. My early favourites are all of the male persuasion, as they are each season, but this year my disinterest in the girls is the most its ever been. I was devastated about Alex Wong. Absolutely. As well, I thought the actual episode tonight was pretty boring. Highlight – Pono’s lists. Heh.

Random information – SYTYCD performance shows used to tape on Monday’s, this year they appear to be taped on Tuesdays. (Probably due to Season 6 prepping coordination).

And here’s a list of the entire Top 20 So You Think You Can Dance Season 5:

1. Kuponohi’poi (Kupono) Aweau
2. Phillip Chbeeb
3. Evan Kasprzak
4. Brandon Bryant
5. Vitolio Jeune
6. Jonathan Platero
7. Tony Bellissimo
8. Maksim Kapitannikov
9. Ade Obayomi
10. Jason Glover
11. Janette Manrara
12. Kayla Radomski
13. Paris Torres
14. Jeanine Mason
15. Caitlin Kinney
16. Melissa Sandvig
17. Ashley Valerio
18. Randi Strong-Evans
19. Asuka Kondoh
20. Karla Garcia

So how about you? Are you liking the Top 20? Who are your early favourites? Who would you like to see paired up? Are you just as clueless about the girls as I am?!

Linda (:

June 5, 2009 at 12:17 am 18 comments

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