Well dance fans, we lost another two dancers last night in a bottom three that was vastly different from what I predicted last week. How will I do this time round?
Let’s take a closer look after the jump.
We learned right off the bat from our hostess extraordinaire that due to a very important sporting event, So You Think You Can Dance is going on a two-week hiatus after tonight. Unfortunately, many of the routines were largely forgettable, which means it’s going to be a long two weeks.
First up, the Charlie Chaplin-themed group number, choreographed by Tyce Diorio. Diorio was never one of my favourites, but lately his routines are really something to marvel at. Naturally, Amelia was the opening character dancer and those wide eyes set the tone perfectly. I enjoyed this one as many dancers had their little moments, but were all working together as a cohesive unit so it didn’t feel like anyone was excluded. Perfectly whimsical and light-hearted.
Onto the competition: Tiffany and George opened with a Nappy-Tabs hip-hop routine. I’ve said numerous times that George is one of my choices to win this thing, but honestly, throughout this routine all I could look at was Tiffany! She was hitting it hard, which made George fade into the background a bit. That’s not to say George didn’t do well, but he served a more complementary role in this number. It’s okay, seeing as he usually steals the spotlight anyway. Being the first of the night is difficult with so many competitors still in the game – it’s hard to be memorable. I think that despite a great performance, these two might be in danger. Prediction: Based on George being in the bottom (which I’ll grip about later) it seems America is having a hard time latching onto him. I think he might be in the bottom again but will save himself via solo. I think Tiffany will be safe unless the cursed “first routine” syndrome gets her.
Next up, a jazz routine featuring new partners Amber and Brandon. I was excited about this one as Amber finally drew a style that wasn’t ballroom, and I was hoping to see Brandon really shine. This routine was all kinds of HAWT with a naughty sensuality running throughout. Amber does most of the heavy lifting with regard to the dancing, but Brandon’s performance and partnering skills deserve a round of applause. I believed every moment of chemistry between the two: Brandon never took his eyes off Amber, maintaining the connection throughout. And I must take time out to applaud the costuming for this routine. Amber looked incredibly beautiful and oh my goodness, I needed to fan myself after just a glance at Brandon in that crisp white shirt unbuttoned all the way down. It didn’t help things when he was sweating (i.e. glistening) uncontrollably during the judges’ comments. Phew! Get the hose out – for me! Unfortunately, both these dancers were ultimately cut from the competition, but more on that later. If voting was determined by this routine alone, they would have been safe.
It was the cha-cha next with Janelle and Dareian. Sorry, but these two are my least favourite couple, due primarily to Janelle. I was choked to find out that Janelle was not only not the one booted from the competition, but somehow managed to avoid the bottom three entirely! Clearly I have no idea what America is thinking. This routine was utterly forgettable; it seriously felt like the longest 90 or so seconds of my life. No chemistry, and even with so many rhinestones, absolutely no sparkle. I also abhor the overplayed Carly Rae Jepsen tune, so that might have contributed significantly to my dislike of this routine. Prediction: Janelle needs outtie of this competition pronto. I don’t think Dareian will be able to save himself from the bottom three, nor save himself via solo, so he’s likely dunzo as well. It’s a shame because I do believe Dareian has potential to go quite far. Often times, you need a partner to push you to those new heights, and Janelle certainly isn’t doing it for him.
Lindsay and Cole are up next with a contemporary routine, which of course, was just lovely. It got me thinking about contemporary routines in general: have I ever disliked one? There’s just something about this genre that is impossible not to like on some level. The music is usually epic, the lines and movement are organic and graceful. And those beautiful flowing costumes – what’s not to like? So did I like this number? Of course. But was I moved by it? I’d have to say no. The dancers just need to add that certain something to push it from simply a beautiful routine to something profound. We’ve already established that pretty much all the contemporary genre choreographers are geniuses, so the routines on that level are always going to be stunning. Lindsay and Cole did well, but they didn’t push me to feel something during it. And all that hair on Lindsay was just way too distracting. She looked like Cousin It at times, which took me out of it. Prediction: Contemporary routines rarely land you in the bottom. These two are safe.
Jazz was up next with one of the strongest couples in the competition Amelia and Will. I actually enjoyed this routine, appreciating its creativity and difference. We haven’t seen something like this, and for me it was interesting and intriguing. I still continue to struggle with Ameila’s facial expressions, as sometimes they work magnificently (i.e. in the group routine that opened the show) but most times, they’re very distracting. I also agreed with Nigel that there wasn’t necessarily a connection between the pair, but honestly, I don’t think that this routine needed it. The inventive movements were enough to capture my attention. Prediction: Based on their cumulative performances and their personalities, these two should be safe for another week.
Another powerhouse couple Audrey and Matt were up next with a salsa, but what a disappointment this was! It was so incredibly awkward and slow and the musical accompaniment was dreadful. I think the choreographers let these two down, but it was the wardrobe department that really dropped the ball. What on earth was poor Matthew wearing? I realize there’s a certain look to male ballroom dancers but this was too much. Dareian drew ballroom as well, but didn’t look anywhere near as foolish as Matt did. I will cut these two some slack since they were both way out of their genres and we tend to be harder on the contemporary dancers, expecting them to excel in any style (which is just downright unfair). Having said that, however, this whole routine was a hot mess. Prediction: Likely both will be in the bottom, but being their first time in the bottom will save them from being eliminated.
Chehon and Witney were up next with the best routine of the night. All that talk before about wanting to be moved by a contemporary routine? Yep, these two nail it. Chehon is an absolutely gorgeous dancer – the goose bumps were out in full force. And Witney (way out of her genre) did amazing, as well. Her lines were just breathtaking. The partnering was incredible between these two – there was a moment where she was just resting in his arms as he pushed her gracefully down the stage. Swoon. It was those nuanced moments that made this performance for me. They took the time to rest and pause, being in the moments authentically and genuinely. This is what makes a routine come to life. I’m glad I was wrong about these two going home this week. Prediction: Safe!
The last routine was from Eliana and Cyrus, who seemed to draw an all-too-perfect Nappy-Tabs number. I sincerely doubt that this robot/ballerina concept would have been danced had another couple drew it, but nevertheless, it fit these two perfectly and I was glad we got to see it. Cyrus is just sick. I mean, I can’t even talk about it. Flawless. This is the closest thing to his genre, so we expect him to shine as brightly as he did. Eliana, who is my favourite girl, did very well, but I wasn’t as excited about her performance as everyone else seemed to be. Nearing the latter half of the number, I just wasn’t feeling it. It felt out of sync and too slow. I wanted more (perhaps I’m missing something?) She’s still one of my top picks though and this partnership is one I always look forward to seeing. Prediction: These two are safe.
Onto the results. As I mentioned, I have no idea how Janelle managed to save herself from the bottom three. It’s a travesty! I was also shocked to see Amber in the bottom – especially after her tango last week. And Eliana? Don’t get me started. Did you see that girl’s solo? Magnificent! She was rightfully saved. As for Amber, although she’s a beautiful dancer, I can understand why the viewers aren’t connecting with her. She’s got a very strong personality that can come off a bit severe. This was evident when it was announced that she was leaving the competition. Although I can definitely feel for her, it’s not the best situation to be in, she looked like she was choking back some serious amounts of rage. It was a real turn-off for me, especially when comparing it to her partner and fellow castoff, Brandon. He was all smiles and grace, happy and grateful to have had the tremendous opportunity and experience on the show. What a contrast between the two!
Speaking of the boys, what the heck was George doing in the bottom?! The only explanation I can think of is that he drew the foxtrot last week, which is a difficult style when it comes to getting votes. I’m ecstatic that they saved him, and I’m sure if he draws contemporary next week, he’ll get plenty of votes. It wasn’t as shocking to see poor Dareian in the bottom as I predicted last week. Thankfully his amazing solo saved him. I think between Brandon and Dareian, the judges made the right decision (although Brandon’s solo was pretty damn impressive as well). As for Lindsay, I do feel that Amber is a more versatile dancer, but Lindsay is simply more likeable.
- I think the show is doing quite well with cramming all of its elements into a single night. I’m delighted that we are still treated to routines from professional dancers in different genres. This week it was the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and what a treat it was. If I needed the hose after Brandon’s routine with Amber, I needed an all-out fire truck after this one. Looking beyond the drool-inducing physique of the dancers, the dancing itself was breathtaking. Raw, primal and completely engrossing.
- What on earth was on Mary Murphy’s hands? I think they were butterflies but it looked like the random blobs of rhinestones just latched themselves onto her like parasites. Ick.
- I didn’t mind Christina Applegate at all. Although she had trouble finishing her sentences – my new pet peeve – I think she gave some astute observations. If celebrity judges can be as productive as Applegate, I wouldn’t be averse to seeing more of them (*cough Zooey Deschanel cough*)
So what did you think viewers? Was this enough to hold you over for two whole weeks? Have you been practicing your National Dance Day routines? What are your predictions for bottom three? Sound off in the comments section below.
So You Think You Can Dance is on mini-hiatus due to the Olympics, but will return August 15th at 8:00pm EST on FOX