Hyphen magazine - Asian American arts, culture, and politics


Hyphen TV: Sexy as Hell

8 Flavahz vogues right down to the ends of their hair

Ouch, rough week on The Voice. Adam described his team member Mathai as having a "carefree attitude" and chose "I'm Like a Bird" for her to perform because she was "born to sing" it. Eh, I don't know about that, Adam. To me the song made Mathai's vocal flourishes (read: sometimes weird affectations) seem like a pale imitation of Nelly Furtado, and the hanging dancer in the guy in the background didn't help things either. To be fair, when the dancer was mentioned Adam said that he had nothing to do with the decision to include him. Who knows how this crazy show works!

 Okay, that guy is pretty distracting.

Christina said that Mathai was her favorite member of Adam's team the previous week, but in this performance, Mathai didn't connect with the song and Christina found the whole thing feeling forced. Mathai was voted into the bottom, and Adam reluctantly sent her home after her performance of "Cowboy Casanova," citing her lack of "a moment" as his reason.

Cheesa followed up last week's big vocals with another big song, "I Have Nothing." Cee Lo called Cheesa "this generation's power vocalist," and once again I have to disagree with a mentor. Cheesa does indeed have a booming singing voice, but volume does not necessarily correlate to quality. It was touching to discover that this was Cheesa's first time to perform the song without her brother (they usually sing as a duet), and it was nice that Cee Lo and Christina both stood in the end, but I just didn't love it. This despite Cee Lo's nice declaration that the next big vocalist ought to be a "child bearin' grown woman."

  Cheesa belts it out with all she's got.

Indeed, Cheesa was also voted into the bottom of her group, and after her performance of "Already Gone" (seems like an odd choice of song for a show like this!), CeeLo sent her to join Mathai at home. Very sorry to see both of you leave, ladies, but I hope you work on your acts and come back better than ever.

It was Queen week over on American Idol, and Jessica performed that tune we've seen on the show oh-so-many times, "Bohemian Rhapsody." I could've done without the freaky floating heads in the background (and I know it's a reference to the video, but c'mon, how many Idol viewers know that), but it was even more distracting than a hanging dancer dude and much scarier. Jennifer had hoped for Jessica to run around the stage more and rock out, especially since she was wearing sneakers. Randy loved the performance and liked that Jessica didn't do any of her usual runs, but he would have liked to have seen her channel a little Tina Turner. Yeah, I can totally picture that. That would have been cool.

It's not just me; that's freaky, right?

Jessica's second song, "Dance with My Father," was performed in honor of her own father's deployment to Singapore. Jennifer said it may have been the best rendition of that song she's ever heard and emphasized the tenderness and feeling of the performance. Randy noted that Jessica finally made the connection they've been looking for all this time, and maybe he's right because Jess was voted into safety in the top three. Nice comeback from a near-elimination, Jessica!

Considerably less disturbing here.

America's Best Dance Crew was all about Madonna this week, and safe crew Fanny Pak had to perform "Girl Gone Wild" while dancing in heels and incorporating Waacking. They also used a giant mirror in their performance, and JC noted that they "had so much going on" in their "very dynamic performance."

That's the giant mirror on wheels. I love props!

Mos Wanted Crew was also safe; they danced to "4 Minutes" and had to do some popping in their routine. D-trix emphasized the crew's lack of stunts once again, stressing how impressive it is and telling them, "You guys have to be on this show ... I love women, but y'all are sexy as hell." The voters seem to agree so far!

These guys are exploding with goggle'd energy.

Safe crew 8 Flavahz truly impressed me with their take on "Vogue" (I know it's a bummer not to have the individual performances linked here; go ahead and watch the whole episode, seriously!). Lil' Mama couldn't have put it better: "I know y'all did not come out here and serve us like that!" For realsies, you guys! She also said that the young crew came in and "stood up to the challenge like women." Again, couldn't agree more. Those girls were pretty amazing.

FIERCE, girls! WERK!

Stepboys was the safe crew up next with "Ray of Light" and a challenge to move in fast forward like in the music video. They admit that they're "not the best choreography group," and they flaunted their humorous side once again -- maybe a little too much, in my opinion, as the rainbow colors, buttflap pajamas, propeller beanies, and giant lollipop felt like just a bit much in addition to the general silliness of the group. D-trix did appreciate that they were giving the judges more choreography and fewer stunts as they were asked, but he told them to "really tighten up on the choreo" if they want to improve. I'd take it a step further and ask them to act like they're taking the competition seriously. There are a lot of very talented crews this year, so goofiness without skills to back it up kind of stands out in this crowd.

A smidge too far, no?

Irratik was one of three crews in danger in this double elimination. They had to perform "Express Yourself" while using jazz moves in their routine, and though D-trix praises their jazz abilities and athleticism, they joined Funkdation in being sent home. Eliminating Canada and Mexico from ABDC? Kind of cold, guys. Not unexpected, I guess ... unless a whole lot of people are making long distance calls to get their votes in. Hope to see you around, Irratik ladies!

Bye, Irratik! I love those boots!

RuPaul's Drag Race tricked us by not announcing the winner during its "finale" (that'll happen during the reunion in the next episode), but we did get a bit of shocking information about Phi Phi during her chat with Ru: her father sent her to the hospital on her 19th birthday. We knew that she hasn't spoken to her father since she was 19, but we weren't fully aware of the awful circumstances until now. The judges praised Phi for her drive and the fact that she's grown more during her time on the show than any other competitor they've ever had, but we'll see whether she's America's next drag superstar.

Chris came in second out of the remaining five competitors on Top Shot, doing well enough with a machine gun to make it to next week's finale. Will the IT guy take home the top prize? I have do admit that I'm kind of giddy at the possibility.

In case there was any doubt, Christina is still getting plenty of insults on Survivor. Previous bully Alicia is still at it especially: "Christina's IQ is probably zero," she interviewed. Then she explained that she's a special ed teacher and compared Christina to her students. Too much, Alicia. That is seriously one mean woman -- I sincerely hope she's not like this at work. On the other hand, Christina seems strangely dense when it comes to self awareness: in a challenge where the remaining tribe members had to rank one another on likeability, survival skills, and other qualities, Christina came up in every negative quality assessment, and she seemed shocked. I don't know how anyone who's surrounded by people who so clearly dislike her can seemingly have no clue about it, but that seems to be the case. It's likely far too late for Christina to raise her own esteem in her fellow competitors' eyes at this point, so I'm sorry to say that it's just a slow wait until she's finally voted off by people who have no one else to fear.

I've actually been enjoying America's Next Top Model's "British Invasion" cycle, and I'm sorry that I got too behind in episodes to mention Candace earlier, a model wannabe who was eliminated early on. This week, the models had to pose in Hello Kitty couture designed by Filipino designer Francis Libiran. The dresses were made out of HK lunchboxes, jewelry, pens, and other merchandise. Taking photos for the shoot was 17-year-old photographer Ann He, finalist in Seventeen magazine's "Pretty Amazing" cover model contest. Her shots were pretty great, and it was cool to see such a young Asian American woman giving serious modeling critiques on a national show. Check out her amazing photos on her website and Flickr.

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Anonymous wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

i can't believe we lost

i can't believe we lost Mathai!!!! she was squandered!

Dianne Choie wrote 2 years 12 weeks ago

I'm usually on Adam's side,

I'm usually on Adam's side, but I really think that wasn't a good song choice. Ahh, Mathai! Maybe she'll have a record to promote at this time next year.

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About The Author

Dianne Choie

Dianne Choie's TV is in Brooklyn, NY. She has a cat, several reusable shopping bags, and other mildly annoying stereotypes of youngish people who live in Brooklyn.

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