Monday, May 26, 2014

AMICI, la semifinale

It's getting serious on my favorite Italian talent show AMICI. This week they go from four semifinalists, two dancers and two singers, down to three finalists who get to sit on that crazy Italian throne thing you see in the above photo, I guess. During the behind the scenes they fnally got out of the AMICI house where they have been sequestered for five months or more to meet their fans at a local shopping center. The ragazzi were euphoric, as you can well imagine. Here they are:

This week's show started with Maria Di Filippi showing off her famous figure in some wacky, distasteful mother-of -the-bride dress which only made me love her more. Moreno, the captain of the white team who is last year's winning rapper, chose to start the show by singing a duet with guest star Annalisa, even though he is not a contestant. Annalisa should have probably opted for flats or at least lower heels.

 Then he let Debora duet with her and the height difference was still off putting somehow.
The blue team responded with Cristian dancing yet another number where all of the dancers look like matching curtains. It was a fast paced, purposefully effeminate farce centered around a tea party. The female dancer occasionally pulled up her skirt to show her matching panties and screamed theatrically. Cristian was wonderful in it, but it is the kind of thing the macho elements of the jury might be afraid to award with a point. But this time they kept an open mind and gave it to him.

Moreno then had a bitty boy tantrum and embarassed himself, claiming that he and Debora had been perfect and that Cristian had merely pushed some tables about. The nerve! The extreme faccia tosta! And I kind of like him usually, oh well. He responded with Vincenzo's dance ala Phantom of the Opera, which was not quite as good.

Next came Alessio who made the girls swoon, but we are not sure at first about the jury. Gabry Ponte chastised Moreno for his lack of sportsmanship, but perhaps to further embarrass him gave the point to Moreno's White team and Vincenzo.

Enter the final guest judge Cristain De Sica who makes the joke that with all the tension he is afraid physically for his life this evening.
Cristian, the dancer, was up first. He danced with one gorgeous girl after another.

Vincenzo did a speaking part in Debora's song. He wasn't at all nervous, the way most dancers are with public speaking. He did well, dai. And at least one jury member that we know of at this point voted for the white team.
Cristian tried his hand at hip hop, backed by a ton of break dancers. His gymnastic ability and timing are good, but he lacked a little power and his center of gravity was too high for hip hop, which is the downfall of many a contemporary dancer who tries to expand his horizons.

The white team chose to put dance against dance and had Vincenzo dance something from the brother and sister choreography team -the Paperini's - show of Romeo & Juliet.

Jury member Sabrina Ferilli defined the evening as a night of passion, but let's face it. That's Monday through Thursday for Sabrina. 

The vote went down like this: Sabrina 1000 % for Vincenzo, but De Sicca and Argentero and also Gabry for Cristian.

Debora sang a Cristina Aguillera song like nobody's business. Insert stank face here. It earned her a standing ovation from De Sicca. It was a MOMENT.

Alessio sang a Frankie Goes to Hollywood song with a full dance crew behind him. The vote was 2 to 1 in favor of Debora which tied up the teams in the first half, but the White team was awarded the win.

Cristian asked to be voted out so that the judges could finally make a decision between him and Vincenzo for the best dancer, the prize of which is 50,000 euro. Vincenzo then started off the second half. The blue team was only made up of Alessio and his band Dear Jack so we know he will be in every number for the rest of the show.

Vincenzo got to wear this kind of royal military suit, and those arches behind him were cool too. They had curtains that could be pulled to make it seem like the images of the arches were being refreshed every so often throughout the dance. Actually, scratch that. I think the effect was accomplished with light projections.

 Then Miguel Bose and Alessio sang a duet of a Cat Steven's song about a father and son. And it was refreshing to see the father wearing shit ton of eyeliner. I love the year 2014, don't you? Everyone was very moved by that sdolcinato schmaltz.

Debora and Alessio both sang a featured song from their new CDs and then special guest Cristian (yes half the men in Italy are apparently named Cristian) De Andre' sang with Miguel and then with Alessio.

Vincenzo finally got to dance with his fidanzata Giovanna and took home at least one point from the jury.
Debora managed to beat Alessio on the next song even though he sang in English, and she sang in Italian for which she has been criticized in the past. Alessio sang an original song that is a big crowd pleaser, but Debora sang I Paid My Dues and she belted that thing so hard that it gave me goosebumps. Alessio somehow got the point. I suppose it is because they didn't let me vote. Good for Alessio, though, because the big vote got him an assured place in the finals. This meant he got to climb up the AMICI staircase and claim his finalist tee shirt.
Vincenzo then saved his teammate Debora offering himself in the final voting against Cristian.
As they hold each other and Debora starts to cry, there is a malfunction of the graphics machine and there is a delay in game.
 And Debora is voted in as a finalist so she gets to trip up and down the stairs adorably and grab her jacket.

This is where I started crying like a schema.

Debora goes and hugs Alessio.

This sign says: "Debora renounce your Sicilian canoli, but don't ever give up your dreams. Your province is with you!!"

I know, Moreno, I know.
The show ends with a dance-off. A series of things that we have mostly seen before and one or two new ones.  Vincenzo's numbers had big sets and fancy backdrops while most of Cristian's were bare bones. The professors and jury and guest judge will all vote to determine the winner of the dance category. Sometimes I feel like Cristian should win for his honesty, but sometimes he comes across a little too moscio/soft.

Sorry that I can't show you the rest of the photos, but the site died and it won't show me the last ten minutes of the program. I won't leave you in suspense because I know that after the vote, a very disappointed Cristian was sent home. Debora ran to hug him when he couldn't hold back the tears any longer which was super cute. If Debora doesn't win I am going to go on a strike of some kind. It won't be a hunger strike because I live in Italy now and I'm not that crazy.

This just in:
So cute that they are holding hands . .

Stay tuned for what happens when our city stages a flash mob style picnic with a lot of rules including one that says everyone can only wear white. The urge to dress in neon tie dye is almost too much for me.

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