Hello all! As your recapper du jour, I have a confession to make…I’m a So You Think You Can Dance virgin. That’s right, it’s my first time. So please be gentle with me…
Cat Deeley appears at the top of the show to start her weekly hostess gig wearing a black mini-dress with a big fluffy collar resembling a black poodle my grandmother had when I was a child. Her name was Tootsie…the poodle, not my grandmother…but I digress. The top 10 will take the stage and Cat reminds us that America will now vote to determine who stays and who will be sent packing. The judges are still around to give us their take on the dances but they will no longer cut anyone. Voting will be for individuals and not couples. Another change this week…couples were broken up last week so not only will each dancer be performing a solo, but they will also be dancing with a new partner.
First up with a hip hop routine are Noelle and Ryan. With a desk and clipboards for props, the performance simulates sex in the office place….at least that’s my interpretation. Remember though, this is my first time so what do I know? One thing is for sure, it isn’t your average staff meeting. It’s more like the one people are talking about around the water cooler or on their smoke break. At the end, she slaps him with a harassment suit but the way she was gyrating and climbing on him, he could do the same. Nigel apologizes to Noelle for saying she wasn’t sexy last week. This week she’s very sexy and has great technique. To Ryan, he says that he’s strong but not enough funk. Overall, they have great chemistry and big congrats. Mary thinks they have great chemistry and great choreography. To her, Noelle looked like a different dancer. Ryan had it all going on and they’re a great partnership. Adam thought Noelle was smokin' and felt she was totally lost in the dance. He encourages her to dance from that guttural place from here on out. He thinks Ryan is a great partner.
Ashleigh and Legacy are up next with a contemporary routine that resembles the way my kids battle and roll on the floor. Legacy has nothing on the way my 5 year old can leap and fly across a room. Their routine shows great athleticism and is very aggressive; however, it leans a bit more towards hip hop than contemporary. It does end with a fantastic headstand by Legacy. Nigel is thinking they’ve just been abused by their choreographer and will be covered in bruises tomorrow. For the time they had, he thinks their effort and energy was superb. Mary thinks the phenomenal headstand left an outstanding visual. There were so many great moments in the performance for the audience to latch on to. Adam saw no fear, only attack. For him, it’s the best ending moment of the season.
The first solo of the night belongs to Mollee. Her backstory rolls first…she’s from Utah and grew up dancing. At age 13, she landed a role in High School Musical and got to rub elbows with the big stars. Her solo is a high energy gymnastic-like act in which she leaps around in painted-on jeans while her mom and grandma cheer like mad from the audience. My grandma would have croaked if she ever saw me in jeans that tight with my belly button showing. Just sayin’…times have changed. Anyway, if you liked her, vote.
Russell’s solo is up next. He grew up in a rough Boston neighborhood where his father tried to keep him off the streets. His parent’s support gives him the encouragement he needs on stage. They should have included some meds with that support because his solo is a spastic seizure-like routine. From the sounds of crowd, however, it is a dance and not a medical emergency. If you’re into that sort of thing, vote for Russell.
Don’t Be A Fool, Stay In School
Back to the couples, Kathryn and Nathan attempt a Broadway number that isn’t bad but kind of sleepy. Her dress is pretty though. They did a good job of staying in synch and captured the era of the music. Nigel thinks the style of routine suited them. The chemistry wasn’t there for him either. Mary thought the chemistry was there and that they made it look easy. Adam was worried about Nathan pulling off Broadway but thinks he did great. Kathryn brought a little maturity out in him.
Noelle’s solo is next. She grew up in a small town in South Carolina. She tried out last season and missed a lot of school. She thinks she sacrificed to get her high school diploma and dance on the show. Dramatically, she leaps and rolls across the stage. Not bad, but good thing she got that diploma. She might need it for her job at Sack ‘N Save if her dancing career tanks. Vote for her to keep her from wrecking her nails on the cash register.
Jakob and Ellenore do a fast-paced and fun Quickstep performance that actually holds my attention. The stage is set up like a mock Quickstep Competition and in the end, they’re holding the first place trophy. It’s easy to see why because the routine was fun and their steps were spot on. Ellenore’s dress is fabulous! Nigel thought it was fun, loved the tap, and thought they were good together. He jokes they should be on Dancing With The Stars. Mary thought they were wonderful and gave them a big congratulations. Adam said they were fantastic and loved it! He adds that Ellenore looks unbelievable in her dress.
Before hunky Bob Saget look-a-like, Ryan, takes the stage for his solo, we get his backstory. Dancing is the foundation for his whole family. His grandparents met dancing, his parents met dancing, and he met his beloved while dancing. See the trend? Toss in some crying proud parents and you’ve got Ryan’s story. His performance is full of twists and turns set to the tune of Scorpion’s Rock You Like a Hurricane. Vote for SuperRyan! I would…if I was voting.
Kathryn’s backstory tells us that she’s been dancing since she was three years old. With a dancing career in her dreams, she moved to California on her own to find her big break. Her solo is similar to the girls’ solo routines before her. Really, you’ve seen one and you’ve seen them all….but if Kathryn inspired you, throw her a vote.
Killing Me Softly
Mollee and Russell take on an emotional jazz piece with great choreography. Towards the end, they link arms and he flips her around. Beautiful. The song, “It Must Have Been Love” by Roxette adds to the romantic mood of the dance. Nigel thought the choreography was beautiful and congratulated them on a great partnership. He’s as proud of Russell as his dad is and thinks Mollee has grown leaps and bounds since last week. Mary thinks they’re a great partnership as well. Woooooooo! She thinks that Mollee fed off Russell’s strength. Adam says that when Russell gets out there and krumps, he’s “skeered” of him. But switching gears to contemporary dance is difficult and Russell excelled. Mollee shone as if this routine was her coming out party.
Time for Nathan’s solo…his brother’s got him started in dance. He was ten when he realized dance was what he wanted to do with is life. He’s thankful for his family and all teary to prove it. He looks anguished in his solo routine as he dramatically rolls around on the floor…similar to the way I did after a big Thanksgiving dinner. If you’re moved by Nathan’s tears, vote for him.
Walt Disney Is Rolling Over
To give the dancers plenty of opportunity to win over voters, they’re getting two couple’s dances in addition to the solos. Actually, one dance per couple doesn’t quite fill up the two hours designated for this dance-a-thon. Back with their second performance is the partnership of Noelle and Ryan with a waltz. It’s a bit of a snoozer for me but I’m not a judge. Or a voter. I’m a virgin, remember? Nigel thought they looked like a prince and princess in Disney movie that are falling in love. He loves the spins and open lifts. Ryan has great open carriage but Noelle could use a little more softness. He was captivated. Mary thinks they mastered both routines. Noelle was breathtaking and elegant. Ryan dominated the entire thing. For Adam, it was really good. He got a little high with their promenade and thinks they have a power partnership.
Solo time again and we learn that Ellenore grew up in Santa Cruz but convinced her family to move to New York so she could follow her dream. They were flat broke after using all of their money to get there but her family supported her dream. Ellenore’s solo is to a beatbox harmonica tune that helps her stand out from the other girls’ solos. It was unique so if you like that, vote for her.
Ashleigh and Legacy attempt to thrill in their hip hop routine that has Legacy them in vampire garb. They stalk each other and really get into character. I’m all about vampires, but Legacy is no Vampire Bill…not even an Edward Cullen. The performance is falls flat. Nigel wasn’t feeling it. He thought the routine was more about Legacy’s cloak and not so much about dancing. Legacy could have grooved much more considering it was a hip hop number. It didn’t work for Mary either. She wasn’t impressed. Adam felt it wasn’t challenging enough at this point in the competition. They could have taken it up a notch on the competitive side.
Nathan and Kathryn are back with a Rumba that gives a Nathan a chance to show how well he can move those hips. He still looks anguished. Maybe that’s just his look. Nigel reminded them to be careful with their chemistry. With Nathan’s “sour face,” it was hard to feel the chemistry. Mary didn’t find the passion was believable. She is proud of Nathan’s rumba back walks and hip movement but he was awkward in places. Adam thinks Nathan is very polarizing and people like him and that Kathryn danced as if she was competing and showed a lot of passion.
Legacy’s grew up in Miami. He and his friend saw the movie You Got Served and decided to move to LA to make it big on the break dancing scene. With their boom boxes, they danced on the streets to survive. His dad says he loves him…”honest.” His solo is a fun fast-paced version of a street dance. The music is lame but his routine is nothing if not entertaining. Afterward, his dad gives him a standing O and does his own solo from the audience. Cute, so vote for Legacy.
Jakob and Ellenore return with a contemporary piece that is captivating. Their creative and dramatic routine makes them stand out from the rest of the pack. Nigel yells in Mary-like fashion. He thinks they’ve rewritten the rules for chemistry…with each other and their choreographer. Both Ellenore and the choreographer are quirky and unique and they’ve dragged Jakob into their world. It’s his FAVORITE routine of the season. Perfect! Mary likes it a lot…wooooooooooo! They’re the new dream team and they delivered. She also thinks Jakob is one of the best dancers in the competition. Adam thinks it was one of Sonya’s most memorable pieces. It leaves an indelible impression.
The Hot Tamale Train is on the Track
Ashleigh’s solo is up next. She was born in Utah and introduced to ballroom dancing at age 12. After recovering from a rare parasitic infection, she realized that overcoming it and having opportunity to get on the stage is perfect. In a gold fringed outfit, she shimmies all over the stage like a jackhammer on speed. If you like shiny gold fringes or drug induced jackhammers, call in your vote for Ashleigh.
Mollee and Russell finish up the couple’s routines with a booty shaking jive….lots of energy and fun to watch. Nigel thinks they are the only couple that could have followed Jakob and Ellenore. Mollee’s dancing is maturing and he hopes they’re in the competition a long time. For Mary, hot tamales are back. She thinks the routine was fun and they brought it to like. She’s feeling it. Adam is feeling it too and loves their pairing. They have great partnership chemistry and they’re fun.
Jakob closes the show with his solo. He grew up in a small town in Florida. His dad pushed him to do various sports but one trip to Broadway sparked something in him. He focused on dance and his mom is his biggest fan. He touches her soul. His routine demonstrates his athleticism. Outstanding, so throw him a vote or two.
It’s in the voter’s hands now. Tune in to see who gets the axe or save yourself some time and read Phonegrrrl’s brilliant results recap. In closing, I must say that my first time wasn’t as painful as I anticipated. Hope it was good for you as well.