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So You Think You Can Dance 6/5 recap: It's Vegas, Baby!
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Well, dear readers, here we are. Four shows of sometimes thrilling but more often than not excruciating dancing, 8 hours of having to endure mind numbing assaults on our emotional heartstrings, 480 minutes of Mary’s cackle, and 28,800 seconds of our lives we’ll never get back. Has it all been worth it? Only 165,600 seconds til the end of the season and we know the answer.
Its Vegas, baby! Let’s hear it for all the Elvis impersonators! Can I get a Blue Suede Shoe? Strangely, tonight’s show had nary an impersonator in sight, Elvis or otherwise. Gone are the attention whores and the delusional, and in their places are 203 serious contenders for the Top 20. Our judges for this last round are Tabitha and Napoleon, Mia Michaels, Debbie Allen, Mary Murphy, and Nigel Lythgoe. First up for the dancers are Tabitha and Napoleon who are going to take them through a hip hop routine. They’ll have one hour to learn the choreography and then they will perform in groups of ten. After the hour up, sensational popper Robert Muriane is very discouraged. He doesn’t think he can handle all the choreography. Nigel (sporting a nifty cast he problem earned trying out his new hip hop moves) calls him up on stage to explain himself. Robert spills out a myriad of self-doubts and Nigel urges him to do his solo routine and let the other judges who have not seen him in action weigh in. He does, and it is as amazing as the first time I saw it. Unanimously, the judges want him to stay and see what he can do. He says no, he wants to go and that is the end of Popping Rob.
With that downer, the first group takes the stage. Included in this group are Courtney Galliano (she of the grandparents in Charleston) and the too sparkly girl, who made it on her second try. Courtney makes it to the next round, Sparkles gets sent home. By 3 pm, 150 dancers had performed and 62 had gone home. After some obligatory sun and bikini shots of the ones relaxing after making it through it’s back to the stage. Our first hot mess casualty of the evening is Claire Callaway (season two injury, mother, and got through to choreography after pouring on the tears). Tears weren’t going to save her this time and home she went. At the end of the day, just 129 of the 203 dancers who began the day were left.
Day 2 begins with the dancers learning a Broadway routine with Tyce DiOrio. As they begin to take the stage for the judging, Erica G tells us that it’s in the stars for her, it’s her third time, she’s definitely making it and I want to believe her. But, alas, what’s that? Do you hear it? Ah, yes, the sweet chime of foreshadowing. Oh, how I love those dulcet tones. And yes, Erica G goes home. Hey, do you remember Susie Garcia? She of the two tone hair that was popular for about three seconds and enough make up for 5 beauty pageant contestants? She elicits the best words of the night from Debbie Allen. Who tells her she fabulous but that she would still be fabulous with more clothes on her person. Oh, nifty kittens, Debbie, thank you for saying what I was thinking! Now can you suggest she chisel off some of that face paint?
The twins, Anthony and Antwain Hart, who I loved in Charleston, are put through their Broadway paces and unfortunately, Antwain does not make the cut. The irony was that he had fought to keep his brother in the competition and now Anthony goes though and Antwain goes home.
Remember Too Tallgate? When one rejected contestant was sure there was a conspiracy against tall girls in the competition? No we have Not So Blondgate started by the whiner who also felt the judges thought she wasn’t pretty enough and that was why she didn’t move on. Darling, you’re right, don’t get the plastic surgery. It will do nothing to improve that nasty personality of yours.
Ok, how hilariously funny was the pretend cat fight between Mia and Debbie over one of the contestants? It rocked my world. Ok, so I have a small world. Let me have my moment of joy before you mock, ok?
At the beginning of round three, just 94 dancers remain. And the dancers will be doing the foxtrot with Jean-Marc Generoux (See how much I love you, dear readers? I looked up how to spell that name just for you!) and his wife. Dallas hip hoppers Joshua and Comfort are not so happy with the ballroom dancing bit. They worry and stress right up to the time they have to perform for the judges. They held their own, though and earned a spot in the next round, even though Mia called them a hot mess. Apparently some hot messes are better than others. We see Pageant Paige paired with a hip hopper who isn’t quite getting it. He’s sent to the first we see of the Dance For Your Life crowd. She’s sent off to be paired with an actual ballroom dancer who has already made it through. It didn’t help her though, she was sent packing. Will, the hip hop ballroom flop does not survive, but another hip hop ballroom wipeout, Twitch, does. Jeremiah Hughes, the modern dancer from Charleston saves himself as well. The contestants think this is the end of Day 2, but crafty Cat Deeley tells them they are not through. They are to be put into groups and will choose a cd from a box she is holding. They must choreograph a group routine to the music on the cd and perform it the next morning.
Day three, the groups are tired, cranky and trying to psyche themselves up for the performance. First group we see includes Twitch, Bianca the brilliant tapper and someone named Jason Glover. The other two don’t even warrant reminding us of their names, apparently. Or I dosed off during that part. You decide. They have to dance to Every Breath You Take by the Police. It starts off with some weird dance moves, but then tapper Bianca comes in from stage left and steals the show. The judges loved her performance, but said it was a group even and it was not right that she had such a long solo part and the other dancers should have had their spotlight as well. Still, the only casualty from that group was Jason, who will have to Dance For his Life. The next groups perform in a montage and then we are treated to the only named group that I know of, calling themselves Angels and Demons. I’m surprised that Demons was plural, for the only demon-esque moments came from Derek who seemed to be pulling some kind of diva act. Happily, though, that attitude did not make it onto the stage and the group does a very nice routine that does a good job of showcasing each one of them and all 5 are through to the next round. When it is all said and danced, just 4 people were cut after this round. One of them was single mom Courtney Pearson. Jason Glover survives, though.
In the afternoon, the group has to face the formidable challenge of modern dance choreography by Mia Michaels. There are now 68 dancers left and they are all sleep deprived and exhausted. Liz, the tapping phenom from Milwaukee is one of those who is pushing herself to the limit. Her body is exhausted, she feels as if she is going to throw up and I prepare to turn my head quickly, if that should happen. In her group, she does reasonably well. As Nigel begins to critique her she begins to talk. And talk. And talk. All this talking does her in and she is cut more for her mouth than for her dancing. She’s not the only one who self-destructs as Jeremiah Hughes throws a temper tantrum during his performance and walks off the stage. He is not asked to stay on, but did learn a lesson in humility. I hope he tries out again next year. In the final Dance For Your Life, Dominic Pearson seems to be trying a bit too hard and collapses with a pulled muscle. How awesome was it of Debbie Allen to try and calm him and let him know it’s not over, he can try again next year. She is one amazing lady.
Finally, we are at the last round. The dancers must perform their solo routines for the judges and then they will be brought out one by one to learn their fates. Errr, can I just indulge myself for a moment and wonder aloud why we had to endure 4 shows of mostly crappy dancers with a few exceptional teasers and we only get a montage of the penultimate dance before the final judgment? And not even a particularly long montage, pretty much about the same amount of time Jeff Probst gives for the first Survivor voted off the island at the Reunion Show. Come on producers, give your viewers more credit than that!
We see them go out one by one to learn their fates until we are left with the last four dancers. First up are Gev Manoukian and Brandon Bryant. After witnessing his as one of the most powerful performances I had seen during the auditions, my jaw dropped as Gev was chosen over Brandon. I couldn’t believe it.
Then Katee Shean and best friend Natalie were brought out. Katee, a second timer through the process obviously physically and mentally exhausted made a comment about not being sure about trying out again next year if she didn’t make it this year. This sends all the judges into a tizzy who feel if she has that attitude then maybe she just shouldn’t be there. Natalie sticks up for her friend, but Nigel insists on sending the girls out again so the judges can discuss this. Oh for Pete’s sake folks, she’s young, she’s exhausted and although y’all are very respected in your fields, the show is not the zenith of anyone’s career in dance. I really didn’t think the reactions of the judges fueled by Nigel were warranted. They vote again and the result is tied. Nigel has the girls brought back in. They are told why they were asked to leave and then the tied vote is revealed. After all of that, Katee will stay and Natalie will still be going home.
After all the hoopla has died down, folks, here are your Top 20:
Joshua Allen, hip hop
Rayven Armijo, ballet
Jamie Bayard, swing
Steven “Twitch” Boss, hip hop
Marquis Cunningham, contemporary
Matt Dorame, ballet
Comfort Fedoke, hip hop
Courtney Galiano, contemporary
Susie Garcia, latin
Chelsie Hightower, ballroom
Chris Jarosz, contemporary
Thayne Jasperson, contemporary
Mark Kanemura, contemporary
Jessica King, contemporary
Kourtni Lind, contemporary
Gevorg Manoukian, break dancer
Kherington Payne, contemporary
Katee Shean, contemporary
Chelsie Traille, jazz funk
William Wingfield, contemporary
And, alas, we will be deprived of the joy of Debbie Allen as a judge for as long as William Wingfield is in the competition. He is a protogé of hers and it just would not be seemly if she remained on the judging panel (errr, aren't the dancers chosen by votes here on out? and if they really wanted to avoid the appearance of impropriety, wouldn't it have been prudent to not have Debbie judge the preliminaries? Just saying....)
Join Waywyrd and myself throughout the season as we bring you the good, the bad, and the we wished we never had to witness it. To all a good dance and good night.
PM me if you know what happened to Nigel’s arm….
Last edited by iguanachocolate; 06-07-2008 at 12:53 PM.
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