On Wednesday night, we had two fun-filled hours of eclectic styles of dance performed by the So You Think You Can Dance Season 3 top 20, and the manic laughter of the most obnoxious woman on television, Mary Murphy. On Thursday, we have one hour that’s somewhat less fun, but also has less Mary. Pick your preferred poison – or do what I did, and enjoy the dancing but fast-forward through Mary’s commentary. Of course you’ll still have to gaze upon her gopher teeth bared in a crazed smile, but I like to use those brief seconds to think of inventive ways to make her suffer – like locking her in a brightly-lit closet with Last Comic Standing judge Ant. I also like to imagine the two of them descending into the special hell that I’m sure is reserved for bad reality-show hosts/judges. With Chris Harrison as Charon and Simon Cowell as Satan. Now there’s a vision that Wade Robson could make into a spectacular group number.
And speaking of group numbers! What would any results show be without a group number? The top 20 is performing to Busta Rhymes’ “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See”, and I admit to feeling a little dirty just typing that song title out. The dance itself is “contemporary”, I suppose – meaning it’s a little odd but kind of cool just the same. The girls are decked out in black Bettie Page wigs and pay a brief homage to Paris Hilton with black-and-white horizontally striped leggings. There’s some neat lighting effects and before you can say, “What the hell was that?”, host Cat Deeley looms into view, resplendent in tight pink satin. She introduces the judging panel – Dan Karaty, Nigel Lythgoe, and That Woman. And fastasthat, we’re beginning the results part! I think I like SYTYCD results shows! Not as much as I would if they were only a half-hour, but still.
Proof that disco really does suck
Cat calls up the first three couples for judgement. First to hear their fates are Hok and Jaime, whose hip-hop routine garnered generally positive reviews from the panel. Turns out the viewers liked it too, because they are safe. Anya and Danny, who did the jive to an Avril Lavigne song – and oddly, it wasn’t anywhere near as weird as it sounds – were the judges’ darlings last night, and to no one’s surprise they’re safe as well. It’s bad news for Sabra and Dominic, whose disco number didn’t go over nearly as well – they are the first couple to land in the bottom three. Awww, even Sabra’s Afro is deflated. Judge Dan is unsympathetic to their plight, snottily telling the pair that they didn’t do anything to stand out during their performance. The pair will be the first to “dance for their lives”, in order to remain in the competition. Will Sabra and Dominic end up as dead disco ducks?
David & Goliath, if Goliath had been a really cute chick with great legs
Four more couples are called onstage – the first is Lacey & Kameron, who were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to perform a superb Mia Michaels contemporary number. The judges loved it, although Dan comments that Kameron was merely a “prop” for Lacey, and there’s a few clips of the performance that proves Dan’s point and should be enough to make Kameron feel a wee bit uncomfortable. However, the viewers thought it was all good and this pair is safe. Ashlee and Ricky, the mismatched couple who got stuck with an Argentine tango, were roundly panned by the judges – although it was mainly because Ashlee towers over Ricky by a good 4 inches in heels. The judges emasculate poor Ricky, commenting that it looked as though Ashlee was leading him and Nigel calls them a “dancing David and Goliath”, and takes a shot at the choreography of the piece. Unsurprisingly, they are the second pair to land in the bottom three. But wait – SYTYCD producers are a tricky bunch, because there’s two more couples still sweating it out in this group onstage. Sara and Jesus performed a “Wade Robson original”, which was so, um, original, that it defies being pigeonholed into any recognizable dance form. The judges proclaimed it “twisted, demented, and spectacular”, and that’s in a good way, because they are safe. The final pair is Jessi and Pasha, the cute girl and even cuter Ukrainian boy who waltzed to Norah Jones’ lovely “Come Away With Me”. Of course the judges loved them – it’s just not possibly to see such pretty people waltz and not fall in love with one of them. Or both of them. I’m not sure about Dan Karaty. The judges dub them the prom king and queen, and like all popular kids, they’re safe as well.
Hip hopping to the bottom 3
It’s down to the last three couples, and one of them will be joining Sabra, Dominic, Ashlee and Ricky in the bottom 3. Lauren and Neil, who are kind of like an updated version of Linda and Spicoli from Fast Times At Ridgemont High, danced a so-so salsa – according to Mary, Neil danced it “up here” when it should be “down there”. …nah, too easy. Anyway, the viewers figured their dance was up where it belonged, and they are safe. Hot Russian girl Faina is a Latin ballroom kind of gal, whereas her partner Cedric has his own unique brand of hip-hop movement. The judges didn’t care for Faina but felt Cedric shone in his style, and they’re made to wait while Shauna and Jimmy hear their fates. Shauna and Jimmy were stuck with a Broadway routine from “The Wiz”, which garnered mixed reviews from the judges and a nasty shot from Nigel about Shanna’s outfit, which according to him made her look “frumpy and dumpy”. Admittedly, her Good Witch frock did make Shauna look like she should be next in line for a Jenny Craig makeover – move over, Valerie Bertinelli! – so let’s hope Nigel’s crass remark doesn’t send her to the laxative section of the drugstore. But as it turns out, the fans are more forgiving of Shauna’s wardrobe faux pas and the couple is deemed safe, sending Faina and Cedric to the bottom 3.
Patriotism rears its ugly behind
There’s a burst of fangirl excitement in the audience for some guy named Benji Schwimmer. Seriously, last season’s winner of SYTYCD generates a response from his female fans that’s greater than the efforts of all the Claymates, Fanjayas, and Blaker Girls combined. All this for a scrappy little dude who wears bright red gloves. He excitedly recounts the past year for Cat and the audience, which apparently culminated in being felt up by Christina Aguilera. Now there’s a story to tell the grandkids someday.
Benji’s going to give the fangirls a thrill and perform a contemporary number to a song from The Talented Mr. Ripley soundtrack. This consists of Benji mostly running laps around the stage and ending with him dropping trou to display a glittery pair of boxer briefs emblazoned with the stars and stripes. And making me everlastingly grateful that I missed Season 2. Enjoy the rest of those 15 minutes, Benji.
If you had 10 seconds to live, what would YOU do?
Time for the solos, and up first is Sabra, who is as scantily dressed as possible and doing a contemporary number to David Gray’s “Shine”. Next is Dominic, who grooves to Earth, Wind, & Fire, does some cool breaker gymnastics, and ends with ripping off his shirt and covering his nipples. Geez, no one told me I’d have to send my kids to bed before I watched this show. Ashlee is up with Barbra Striesand’s (???!!!) “Cry Me A River”, and personally, I don’t get the dance nor her short granny-style dress. Ricky’s ready for basketball practice in his muscle tank and shorts, and does a decent job to Jamiroquai’s “Virtual Insanity”. Faina opts for Xtina’s “Ain’t No Other Man” and looks so incredibly gorgeous in her tiny black outfit, I doubt the judges even care about the dance itself. Cedric attempts to wow the panel with his Gumby-type moves to “Dream Within A Dream”, by SYTYCD friend Wade Robson. Cedric is so traumatized by his possible elimination, he admits to Cat that he’s on the verge of tears. He’s so obviously sincere that even Dan Karaty can’t help but be moved, and the judges scuttle off backstage to discuss who gets the axe.
Get off the stage, Shawty
Hey, did you know that Lloyd’s “Get It Shawty” is a super-duper popular hit song? So just in case you haven’t heard it a gazillion times already just this week, Lloyd is here to perform it. Lloyd’s got some snazzy dance moves of his own, but they seem to be taxing him unduly, because he’s audibly panting into his head mic. Plus, it sounds like he’s doing the dance mix version of the song, because it seems to go on forever. Cat Deeley likes it though, and goes all Bridget-Jones flirty with Lloyd at the end of the performance. These dance people are awfully hormonal, it seems.
F for effort and vocabulary
At long last, it’s elimination time, and the girls are first up on the block. Nigel has the job of pronouncing judgement, and he calls Sabra forward. It’s the best they’ve seen her dance, and she’s easily safe. Faina’s “style” is superb, and after gushing a bit over her hotness, Nigel proclaims her safe as well. As for Ashlee, she didn’t “show her entire vocabulary of movement”, which is apparently dance-speak for saying her dress wasn’t revealing enough. She gets the video journey good-bye, and is gracious in defeat, thanking the judges for the opportunity, yada, yada, yada.
The boys are next and Nigel sadly tells them this was the toughest decision. Gee, that must make Ashlee feel even better now. Ricky is called up first and told that he “didn’t give (us) his full potential”. Ominously, Nigel skips over his fate and goes on to Cedric, who he praises for not letting his partner down and tells him he’s safe. Dominic is slammed for always doing the “same tricks”, but the judges prefer his personality to Ricky’s, so Dom is safe and Ricky is out. Ricky looks more crushed than Ashlee, but remains stoic through his video clips. Nigel says he’s “heartbroken” but reminds the dancers that when they’re told to dance for their lives, they must give their best. Removing clothes doesn’t hurt either.
Next week – well, next week is pretty much the same thing all over again. Of course, it’s made all the more entertaining if you read Leo’s performance recaps, so what are you waiting for? Tango, hip-hop, salsa, or strip your way over there already! I’m reserving the jive for myself.
Does Mary Murphy look more like Chip or Dale? PM me.