Hyphen TV: Dance, More Dance, and Ken Jeong

May 31, 2011

I don't know who this SYTYCD auditioner is, but I enjoy his hair.

So You Think You Can Dance has returned, and with it some promising Asian American talent. Marko Germar is 22 and from Canoga Park, CA (originally from Guam), and was actually shot in the arm during a robbery in 2009. The bullet is still embedded just below his shoulder because surgery would involve breaking the arm bone and possible nerve damage. Though Marko has had to go to physical therapy three times a week, it seems to have no effect on his lovely contemporary, which had Mary Murphy impressed at his athleticism and speed. He was sent to choreography (which was led by season 4's Katee Shean -- hey, girl) and made it through to Vegas. No surprise, you guys.

Another dancer we're watching is Lilly Nguyen, a 23-year-old from San Jose who is a break dancer (rare enough to see a b-girl on the show, but I believe Lilly is the first Asian American one). She was awesome and went straight to Vegas. Can't wait to see more of your moves, Lilly!

                                     Lilly handstands like it ain't no thang

More dance as we ramp up to the finale on America's Best Dance Crew. Last year's champs Poreotics were back to demonstrate the moves that the remaining crews had to incorporate into their routines (dougie, boogaloo, isos), and all I have to say is that those guys better be back to perform in the finale. That much talent, sitting in the audience? No.

Before we got to the dancing, there was some major emotion from our man Moon of IaMmE, who revealed with tears in his eyes that his parents have never seen him perform live, and promised to fly to Los Angeles from China to watch the finale if IaMmE makes it. No pressure, guys! He then said that "There are always five people I love most right next to me, so I will never give up." Well the whole crew lost it with the crying and hugging, and I admit I got a bit choked up too. IaMmE HAS to win, you guys.

Is it me or did Moon seem like he was having more fun than usual during the performance, singing along and smiling bigger than I've ever noticed before? Maybe it's because he knew how hard they were rocking it: JC said the routine was "fantastic" and he "couldn't have asked for anything more ... your pictures are so unique ... nothing you guys do is expected." D-trix was "literally speechless" and told IaMmE, "You guys brain banged me." Lil Mama was also impressed, saying that they "absolutely define daring and original" and are a "powerful and self-confident group." It came down to IaMmE and Phunk Phenomenon; Moon was crying while awaiting the result, and then the whole crew was out-and-out sobbing when they discovered that ... they made it! So happy, and so can't wait for the inevitable parental tears when we meet Moon's parents.

           Workin' to get some judge love.

As is the tradition on ABDC, the finalists got to create their own music for their final competition performance. IaMmE went with an "elemental" theme, assigning a sort of element to each member (fire, water, wind, electricity, and machine for Moon) in a Captain Planet-esque construction, and they recorded themselves doing some spoken word to lay over the beat. Hilariously, we got to see Moon record "Everybody hands go up!" followed by "I didn't see your hands go up" as his crewmates laughed at his reading. The dance had each member introducing his or her element, with the usual IaMmE signature "brain banging" (ugh, will never get used to that) imagery that ended with them forming "IME" with their bodies at the end. The judges gave them a standing ovation as we learned that in next week's "ultimate battle round," IaMmE and fellow finalists ICONic Boyz will perform at the same time. Taking notes from The Voice, are we?

                      Check out those elements. And colors!

Voting is actually open through Friday, June 3, so please check out the episode if you haven't seen it and vote for IaMmE right here.

We finally got to hear from some of our ladies on The Voice. Julia Eason, the "gritty and free-spirited California girl" (per Carson Daly's description) had her adorable mom waiting backstage and a pretty strong showing on "Only Girl in the World," but she lost out to her competitor Raquelle. Really no surprise; how can you beat the child actress from the movie Jersey Girl? "Shy folk singer" (Daly again) Dia Frampton had stage fright problems, but she still managed a win on "Can't Hurry Love." Congrats, Dia!

                                       Go Dia!

One last Asian joke in Glee's season finale: Brittany, explaining the glee members' futures, said, "I know I'm gonna be a bridesmaid at Mike and Tina's wedding, and I'm gonna be anxiously waiting just like everyone else to see if their babies are Asian too." Speaking of bridesmaids, similar "is s/he really Asian" joke in the movie of the same title. Weird current zeitgeist?

Ken Jeong was on Conan to promote The Hangover Part II. He started right in with his crazy dude schtick, dancing and jostling his way onstage, then explaining that he was combining different dance styles: "There's a little bit of kabuki ... if you watch the replay, it's not racist." He talked a bit about the fact that he's a licensed doctor who specialized in internal medicine before his film and television career, sharing a story about how he talked Ed Helms's friend through a bout of food poisoning over the phone while on the Hangover set. The interview ended with his Mr. Chow nude scenes, naturally, and some "small dong" jokes, because Jeong is nothing if not classy. He appeared once more during Conan's interview with Rebel Wilson (from Bridesmaids ... hmm, noticing a theme) when she gave a nunchuck demonstration and asked ol' Mr. Chow to pretend to attack her like a ninja. Coincidence? Eh, probably. Right?? Check out Jeong's interview here.

                 Ken is ... thinking about something offstage?


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.



I'd just like to express my outrage at Marko's being sent to choreo. Really?!! The guy was amazing at contemporary, and the judges NEVER question contemporary dancers on choreo! They know contemporary dancers have training! Plus, was I seeing things or does the guy also breakdance? What the hell?? Choreo?! Lilly though. Exciting: yes, to have a female VIETNAMESE breakdancer. Not exciting: her outfit. Looked disturbingly boat people, girlfriend, and then the armpit sweatmarks? Please, better outfits!!