Welcome back to another episode of So You Think You Can Dance! Since Asuka and Jonathan were given the boot last week, we’re down to 14 dancers. Of course, the show is still two hours long. How ever will the producers fill that two hours, you ask? Filler! This week, the word is “recap.” Not only does the show start with a mini recap of the entire season, each couple will be recapping their time on the show, thus far: they’re going to talk about each dance, the judges reactions, their feelings…it will go on and on. Luckily for you, I’m not recapping any of it, so you just have to read about the stuff that’s happening for the first time.
This week’s judges are, as always, Nigel Lithgoe and Mary Murphy, whose face is now so immobilized that she looks like a ventriloquist dummy. I don’t even want to know who’s under the desk making her mouth move. Talk about hazardous duty pay. Joining them at the judges desk this week is the Meanest Woman in American, Mia Michaels. Seriously, Simon Cowell has nothing on our gal Mia. She’s brutal.
This is Mia’s first time judging this season and she’s already got an apology (of sorts) to make. Remember how Mia was SO vicious toward Brandon during the auditions? Yeah, she changed her mind and now thinks he’s pretty great. After admitting she was wrong, Mia does not burst into flames.
Before the dancing (and recapping) begins, Cat Deeley teases us about A Very Special Announcement that will be made later in the show. The cynic in me thinks it’s probably abut the SYTYCD tour….coming to a city near you!
Janette and Brandon
This week, Janette and Brandon will be dancing a Cha Cha choreographed by Jean Marc Genereux and his wife France. Jean Marc tells us that this dance will be sassy, sexy and fast. Based on the footage we see in rehearsal, it’s also very dangerous. With Jeanette’s feet flailing around, Brandon could easily be changed – as Dolly Parton so eloquently put it – from a rooster to a hen with one shot.
They dance to “HushHush Hush Hush” by the Pussycat Dolls and it’s everything Jean Marc said it should be: sassy and sexy and very fast. My only criticism would be that Brandon was a little tight in the hips. Cha Cha should be a little looser, I think. Otherwise, they were terrific. I like them more and more as a pair as the season continues. Did the judges like it too?
Nigel: It was possibly the best Cha Cha he’s ever seen in the show. Brandon has never trained in this style before and his feet were terrific: he’s the Michelangelo of the dance floor. He calls them a “wonderful couple.”
Mary: She hears a train coming. Ugh. She knows Janette is a Salsa dancer, but Cha Cha is much different in technique from Salsa. She keeps waiting for Brandon to end up with a style he can’t do, but it hasn’t happened yet. Then she screams and I mute.
Mia: She knows she’s scared the *bleep* out of Brandon. She then goes on to give the speech about being toughest on the ones with the most potential. He cries as she tells him that he will love and hate her on this journey. She thinks he’s amazing. Janette has been on fire since day one of this show. Miami should be very proud of both of them today.
Kayla and Kupono
Both Kayla and Kupono admit that the lowest point of the season for each of them was seeing their original partners sent home. This week, they’ll be working with Sonya Tayeh, who explains that this routine will be dark and vampiric, with Kayla pulling away from death and Kupono pulling her toward it.
They dance to “Eyes on Fire” by Blue Foundation and it’s pretty darned incredible. While Kupono is good, Kayla is amazing. Honestly, I hardly noticed him.
Nigel: He praises the fabulous choreography and says this will be the first time he won’t be talking about Kayla first. Kupono is a new man this week, he praises. There were so many good things in that routine, including really great technique. They’re both reaching their potential and really complement each other well.
Mary: She calls the performance “tremendous” and comments that Sonya really played to their strengths. Kayla has the most beautiful legs and the electricity between the two of them was obvious. Kupono really stepped it up this week. Once again, they’re on the Hot Tamale Train. I mute.
Mia: First of all, they’re aesthetically gorgeous together. The costuming, makeup and choreography were all brilliant: she calls it Sonya’s best ever. Kayla commits to everything and her lines are ridiculous. She admits she was so hard on Kupono during the auditions and compliments him for applying every note he was given. He keeps getting better and is showing his quiet power on stage.
Randi and Evan
This week, Randi and Evan will be dancing a Broadway routine choreographed by Amazon Joey Dowling. She towers over them like the 50 Foot Woman. She cautions them that this won’t be traditional musical theater. In rehearsals, Evan is clearly terrified of Joey, who expects them to pick up the choreography almost instantly. This could go either way.
The routine is almost Contemporary crossed with Broadway. It’s got a very Bob Fosse feel to it. Randi and Evan dance to “Rich Man’s Frug” from Sweet Charity and, although I liked it just fine, the judges weren’t so happy.
Nigel: He says it was a great homage to Fosse and compliments Joey on the routine. Randi did very well, but he’s a bit disappointed in Evan: he needs to bring more. Neither of them got the wrist articulation called for in this style. Still, Randi and Evan are in his Top 10.
Mary: Evan did the dance fairly well and did get the character really well. She also cites the problems with their wrists: they needed to be more flexible.
Mia: She’s known Joey for so long and when she dances, you wouldn’t know she’s 6 feet tall. That was the problem with Randi and Evan: you saw their height because they didn’t take the choreography to the next level. Randi’s movement was a bit heavy and she expected more from Evan. Still, it was a good job.
Caitlin and Jason
When any pair gets stuck with Brian Friedman, you know it’s going to be, well, interesting. This week’s
victimswill be dancing what Brian calls a “unique jazz dance.” Yeah, okay. Caitlin will be portraying an alien who destroyed the planet and is now searching for the last man on Earth, so she can impregnate her. “Unique” isn’t quite the word I’d use, but whatever, Bri. The routine will require Caitlin to be dominant and aggressive, which could be a problem, since she’s having trouble picking up the choreography.
Caitlin hits the stage dressed like an extra from Cirque du Soleil and they dance to “Creator” by Santigold. She’s in a sort of black unitard with tin foil wrapped around her body and little silver spikes on her head. Brian looks like a cast member on Lost. I can see where the choreographer was going with it, but these two can’t quite pull it off. It felt like Caitlin lost the character about half way in. Do the judges agree?
Nigel: Brian Friedman clearly comes from another planet. It was very weird and, with that kind of choreography, you have to commit 100% (the implication is that they didn’t). He’s not wild about Caitlin’s costume, which he says makes her look like a dancing condom. Cat pipes up with “Safety first, Nigel!”
Mary: Brian is out of this world, but the routine didn’t play to your strengths and, really, the routine didn’t sit well with her. She loves them both and hopes this doesn’t land them in the bottom 3.
Mia: She doesn’t think Brian thought this would be a brilliant routine: he probably just wanted to do something that was really “out there” and fun. She doesn’t like the foil on Caitlin’s costume, but thinks they danced the routine well.
Jeanine and Phillip
Once again, Jeanine and Phillip will be dancing a Hip Hop routine, this time choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha. For the entire routine, they will literally be chained together. This is supposed to mirror what they go through on the show when they’re basically tied to another dancer for the entire competition, whether they like the person or not. From what we see in rehearsal, this could go very badly and someone could really get hurt.
The routine, performed to “Love Lockdown” by Kanye West, is okay, although I’m not really a good person to ask, since I was fixated on the chain the entire time. I couldn’t stop watching it! I was sure one or both of them was going to get clotheslined at any moment.
Nigel: If you keep dancing like that, you should be chained together for life! He knows Jeanine is a fabulous Contemporary dancer, although she hasn’t performed that style yet this season. Obviously, this is Phillip’s style, so he did a great job.
Mary: She calls the routine “absolutely, incredibly creative” and says that things could go either way with a prop like that. She thinks they really brought it. She says Jeanine takes her breath away by how she is able to keep up with Phillip.
Mia: She’s a big fan of “NappyTabs” (gag), but has a little problem with the chain. She found herself caught up with the chain, which she calls “sloppy” and says that it took away from the sharpness of the dance.
Jeanine and Phillp tell Cat that they worked for at least 4 hours, figuring out all the different ways that things could go wrong with the chain and how they would handle any problem. Jeanine says they have chains all over their apartment. Because everyone involved with the show is 13 years old, you can imagine the snickers and jokes here.
Melissa and Ade
For the first time ever on the show, a couple is going to dance a classical pas de deux and all I can say is that it’s about time. This is one of those times when you know they didn’t pick this style out of a hat. Melissa and Ade will be working with choreographer Thordal Christensen on the pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet, which is one of my favorites. Of course, it won’t be the classic version choreographed by MacMillan (<- proof of complete ballet snobbery) but I’m not going to quibble. The choreographer tells us that Melissa and Ade shouldn’t play Romeo and Juliet, they should be Romeo and Juliet.
Of course, the music is the classic pas de deux from Prokofiev’s ballet and Melissa is lovely. This routine is really a showcase for her talent. Although Ade does a serviceable job, it’s clear he isn’t a ballet dancer: his feet look sloppy and his carriage is just off a bit. I totally admit I’m a dance snob: that’s what a dozen years of ballet classes will do for you.
Nigel: Who would have believed we’d be doing classical ballet on this show? Melissa was superb. Ade’s feet could have been better, but everything else was terrific. He then praises the variety of dance styles on the show.
Mary: She loved it and praises their flawless chemistry. It’s so great to see Melissa in her own style: she made it look effortless.
Mia: She’s so excited to be celebrating classical dance on this show. Ballet training is what solidifies all dance technique (AMEN!) and they danced so well. She also loves that it was a black and white Romeo and Juliet. Melissa was brilliant and true ballerina.
A Very Special Announcement
Okay, so I was wrong about the special announcement. They’re not announcing the SYTYCD tour. Instead, Nigel announces the establishment of The Dizzy Feet Foundation, which will (according the website, which you can find here: Dizzy Feet Foundation) “support, improve, and increase access to dance education in the United States.” The foundation will be giving out scholarships to dancers from underprivileged backgrounds, as well as accrediting dance teachers and providing dance education for disadvantaged kids. Now here’s where Katie Holmes comes in. Apparently she’s one of the founders of the foundation, along with Nigel, Adam Shankman and Carrie Ann Inaba from Dancing With the Stars. To celebrate the 100th episode of this show, Katie Holmes will be appearing in a dance tribute to Judy Garland. Katie will be donating her performance fee from that show to the Dizzy Feet Foundation. The cynic in me says she could just have her husband write a giant check, but that’s just me.
Anyway, no real snark there ‘cause it’s actually pretty cool. As someone who was lucky enough to have parents who could afford dance lessons 5 days per week, I can’t imagine what my life would have been like if I hadn’t been able to dance. Any foundation that wants to help kids get any kind of dance education is a-okay in my book. So, moving on….
Karla and Vitolio
Since their partners, Jonathan and
OscarAsuka got eliminated last week, this is the first week Karla and SweatyVitolio will be dancing together. It’s not going to be easy either: they pull the dreaded Quickstep, aka The Eliminator. Choreographers Jean Marc and France Genereux explain the premise of the routine. Vitolio is a statue in a museum…a really bendy statue that ballroom dances.
The routine - danced to “Puttin’ in the Ritz” sung by Rufus Wainwright – begins with Vitolio posed on a pedestal. Karla is wearing an odd-fitting black dress with white dots. Soon enough though, she reaches up and, with a tug at the shoulder, the top of the dress falls down to reveal a lovely pink ballroom dress: the black and white is now underneath the dress. Hard to explain, but really cool. It’s a serviceable Quick Step that ends with Karla up on the statue pedestal.
Nigel: There were so many good things about that dance: the choreography, Karla’s costume change, the footwork…. It was really entertaining. Vitolio’s personality is finally showing.
Mary: So much for the Kiss of Death Dance. Vitolio did an amazing job and Karla was beautiful.
Mia: Jean Marc is a genius. This piece was amazing. They both stepped up and performed the piece really well. At times during the competition, Vitolio has been all over the place, but not tonight. Her only critique of Karla is that she looked a bit scared at times. She was probably alarmed at all the sweat pouring off her partner.
With a few exceptions, it was actually a pretty great night of routines, especially compared with last week, which I thought was a pretty big disappointment. Who will be eliminated this week? Stay tuned for iguanachocolate’s recap to find out!