Welcome to another episode of So You Think You Can Dance! I missed recapping last week’s episode because I was in a terrifying land called NoComputerville. I don’t recommend it: I’m still having nightmares. Last week we said goodbye to Paris and Tony in an elimination that I agreed with completely. Sorry, but I guess I’m just immune to Tony’s “charms.” This week, the remaining 18 dancers will perform and I will be crossing my fingers that none of them make it onto the Hot Tamale Train. Why it’s a good thing when that Botoxed maniac screams at you, I don’t know. I’d be running for my life. Mary Murphy and Nigel Lithgoe are back and are joined at the judging table by Lil C, who will take incomprehensibility to new heights. Our host, Cat Deeley, is dressed like a piñata tonight, so let’s get the party started!
Randi and Evan
The first pair out of the starting gate is Randi and Evan. Before we get started, I should warn you that the “cute” little interviews this week involve the dancers revealing a secret about their partners. How fun! So what big secrets could these two possibly have? They look like dancers from the Disneyland Parade so it can’t be too earth-shattering. As predicted, here are the big secrets: Evan is a gearhead. He loves cars and even built his own, from scratch. Randi has a dog she treats like a child: she even calls home to talk to it on the phone. This is the kind of lame stuff you’d put on your Facebook page. Way to fill the two hours, Fox.
This week, Randi and Even will be dancing a Jive choreographed by Louis Van Amstel, who says the Jive is his favorite dance. The word for this dance is FUN and we will hear it about 4 dozen times in this short little segment. The producers probably thought this was cute or clever. They are the same people who hired Mary Murphy, so there you go. The Jive – the “Shake a Tail Feather” by Ray Charles - is, indeed, fun, although there’s something missing.
The judges say:
Lil C: “Out of the box with a bang!” He cautions Evan that his movements are a bit too smooth and urges him to bust out a little. He calls Randi a firecracker and then compliments them as a great partnership.
Screech: If any 2 of the 18 remaining dancers were built for Jive it’s these two. It wasn’t bad, but it did fall short a bit. Evan was a little weaker than Randi.
Nigel: He congratulates Louis in the routine. He thought Evan would be better and explains that the double bounce in the knees that is needed for Jive just wasn’t there. Randi was much better, although they’re still tremendous as a couple.
Melissa and Ade
Alert the media! Melissa has been married for 4 years and her sister is married to Melissa’s brother-in-law. Ade has a long-ass African name, which I choose not to re-type here…mainly because I didn’t have time to write it down. They will be dancing a Jazz routine choreographed by Sonya Tayeh, she of the Mohawk ‘do. Melissa struggles a bit in rehearsal, admitting she isn’t used to being this physical with a partner.
Melissa and Ade dance to “24 Hours” by Terry Poison…or at least I think that’s who it’s by. This show is making me feel tragically un-hip where music is concerned. At least I know who Ray Charles is.
Lil C: I think he liked it. He reminds Ade of when they chose the top 20 and Ade was so surprised he made it. Now Ade is the one to watch. Lil C tells Melissa that Sonya gives dancers the steps and leaves it up to them to find the character. She did well.
Mary: Oh that Mary, she’s so clever. She tells the dancers that she has to give them some tough love….because it was tough to find anything she didn’t like in that routine. *guffaw* The style, technique and attention to detail were all phenomenal.
Nigel: He calls Sonya’s style “quirky” but notes that her style allows dancers to show their technique. While Ade was great, Melissa equaled his strength. It was a great routine and they both danced it brilliantly.
Caitlin and Jason
Apparently, Jason had a major Jacko obsession when he was younger. We see shots of him moon walking and grabbing his crotch to prove it. Caitlin talks in an annoying baby voice and does an equally annoying
Mary Murphyvelociraptor impression. This week, they’ll be dancing a Shane Sparks-choreographed Hip Hop routine and I have a bad feeling about this one from the start. I mean, “Hip Hop” isn’t the first, second or thirtieth thing that comes to mind when you look at either of these two.
Shane explains that this dance is all about chemistry and these two will need to look like they’re in love. Caitlin and Jason dance to “Missin’ You” by Trey Songs and, again, I have no clue. As I suspected, it’s pretty bad. It’s like the Mickey Mouse Club does Hip Hop.
What the judges thought:
Lil C: He didn’t love it and thinks that, by the end, the routine had become a nightmare. That seems a little stronger that just not loving it, don’t you think? He also thought the routine was a little corny, which I also agree with.
Mary: It was like Michael Jackson and Britney Spears – they were not in synch. Isn’t a performance with Jacko and Brit one of the punishments in the seventh ring of Hell?
Nigel: Nigel is actually a little nicer, saying that, considering these two dancers, he wouldn’t have expected a hard-hitting Hip Hop number. Shane just gave them a different, softer style of Hip Hop. Whatever, Polyanna.
Janette and Brandon
This week, Janette and Brandon will be dancing a Disco routine choreographed by Doriana Sanchez. Before we see that routine, we learn that Janette used to have really jacked up teefs. I’m talking major snaggleteeth here. Thank God for veneers. Brandon claims he never works out. Ever. The only thing he bench presses are girls….when he’s dancing. I get the feeling Brandon isn’t pressing anything girl-related off the dance floor.
Doriana Sanchez tells us that this is the fastest Disco routine she’s ever choreographed, much to the horror of her two dancers. Janette and Brandon dance really fast to “Love is Really My Game” by Brainstorm. You know, I lived through the 70’s and even took Disco lessons (it’s true), but I have no clue about this song. Whatever. It’s fast, it’s cute and the crowd loves it.
Do the judges?
Lil C: He rambles on about progression or some such nonsense. He calls the performance amazing, which clues me in to the fact that he likes it. He praises Janette’s recovery from a little stumble near the end of the routine.
Mary: She just screeches, or at least that’s all I hear before I mute the rest of her assessment. Do dogs hear her?
Nigel: He would stand up and scream like Mary if he could, but he doesn’t and for that I thank him. He calls it one of the best Disco routines ever on the show.
Asuka and Vitolio
Am I the only one who keeps hearing “Oscar” when they say Asuka’s name? Okay, maybe just me then. Asuka reveals that Vitolio is obsessed with motorcycles, while he tells us that Asuka has a charming habit of blowing spit bubbles all day long. Pretty. This week, these two will be dancing a waltz choreographed by Louis Van Amstel. Since last week’s routine was kind of a bust, Louis vows to choreograph a routine that will show what Vitolio has been through.
Asuka and Vitolio dance to “Dreams Are More Precious” by Enya and I’m immediately biased, because any time I hear Enya, it feels like a car commercial. The dance is okay, but the camera work is awful. The camera is spinning around, the dancers are spinning around and I’m just dizzy. I’m also distracted by the amount of sweat Vitolio is putting out. It’s like Albert Brooks in Broadcast News.
Maybe the judges liked it more than I did:
Mary: She’s in tears and isn’t any less screechy while crying. She loved it and tells Vitolio that this is the most honest he’s danced on the show.
Lil C: The technique wasn’t great, but the emotion made up for it. He then calls Asuka a dominant submissive and hey, isn’t this a family show?
Nigel: He calls me out by saying that anyone who wasn’t touched by the beauty of that routine is heartless. Whatever.
Kayla and Max
Max, the resident housedad of the group, and Kayla, the text-a-holic, drew the short straw and get stuck with choreographer Brian Friedman. Can you tell I’m not a fan? The routine features Kayla as a princess with Max performing for her and also trying to steal her throne. They perform to “Hot Like Wow” by Nadia Oh. In this “kingdom” they have a strange sense of fashion. Kayla looks like a reject from the “Lady Marmalade” video, while Max looks like a cross between MC Hammer and a submissive, complete with harem pants and dog collar. Someone needs to fire the wardrobe person immediately.
Lil C: He rambles on about dance vernacular and how Brian Friedman’s vernacular is very hard to pick up (and watch). He doesn’t critique Kayla and says Max picked the routine up well.
Mary: She screams, I mute.
delusionalhappy that Brian Friedman is back this season and gushes on about choreography that tells a story. He calls Kayla a frontrunner and says that Max’s only problem is going to be keeping up with her.
Karla and Jonathan
In spite of the fact that she’s mainly a contemporary dancer, Karla is also, according to Jonathan, a “bad ass Hip Hop dancer.” Jonathan loves to sing, but everyone wishes he didn’t: can you say “tone deaf?” This week, they’ll be dancing a contemporary number choreographed by Stacey Tookey, who was recruited from the Canadian version of this show.
Karla and Jonathan will portray strangers who meet by chance and have instant chemistry. They dance to “Falling Slowly” by The Frames and it’s very nice. Cat Deeley announces that this is the first appearance of the Deeley Chills: she’s got goosebumps. Did the judges get them too?:
Mary: Saying something she hasn’t ever said to any dancer on the show before, Mary tells Jonathan that he danced that style better than his own.
Nigel: There were no false moves in that routine. The performance is a lesson: they were almost eliminated last week and then came back and gave this performance.
Lil C: He tells them they danced beautifully and then says it was “buck.” Buck? Is that like “rufus?”
Jeanine and Phillip
As he is an engineering/physics major, Phillip is a supernerd. He is also a major reptile hoarder. Jeanine still hasn’t let go of her teddy bear, Spanky. She takes him with her everywhere and dresses him in little outfits. This week, Jeanine and Phillip will be dancing a Tango choreographed by Tony Meredith, who is surprised by their lack of ballroom knowledge.
Jeanine and Phillip dance to “Violento” by Bailango! (exclamation point: not mine) and it’s pretty bad. Phillip’s feet couldn’t point if you stuck them in a pencil sharpener.
Mary: gives them an A+ for attitude, but a C- in technique. She cites Phillip’s sloppy footwork. She calls Jeanine a “hot mama” and says she was better, technically, than Phillip.
Lil C: He’s a fan of Phillip, but says a lack of confidence is the big problem. Actually, what he really said was that a lack of confidence is an anchor on creativity. It’s the most cogent thing he said all night. He then criticizes Phillip’s bent knees and Mary quickly interjects: for this style of Tango, the knees should be bent. In order to prevent a cat fight, Cat Deeley calls on Tony Meredith. He confirms that the knees should be bent. Mary gloats.
Nigel: Phillip has a big following when he dances in his style. In other styles, he needs to work on his technique. Specifically, he shouldn’t be contorting his face like an Olympic weight lifter every time he picks up Jeanine. Yeah, especially since she weighs about 100 pounds…soaking wet…..holding a brick.
Ashley and Kupono
I have this friend whose 5 year old son is so obsessive compulsive that he lines up his crayons by color on the table when he draws. Well, that kid has nothing on Kupono, aka OCD Boy. He shows us his closet and explains the system by which he organizes his clothing. No point getting into that: you’d need a schematic. If you have a “worst first day of school” story, I can guarantee it’s not worse than Ashley’s. The girl projectile vomited all over the entire class. We have a winner!
Ashley and Kupono will be dancing a Hip Hop routine choreographed by Shane Sparks. They dance to “Imma Be” by The Black Eyed Peas and, in the routine, Ashley is supposed to be Kupono’s shadow, although I only know that because Shane Sparks said so. She does end up writhing around on the floor at the end near Kupono’s feet, but the only other clue is that she’s in black. The judges aren’t really sold either:
Mary: It was just okay. She didn’t hate it or love it: it wasn’t memorable.
Lil C: Kupono struggled and that made it hard for Ashley to follow him. He’s not mad at Ashley though, just so you know.
Nigel: The routine stopped just at the point where he was finally starting to enjoy it. He, too, was underwhelmed by it and admits he didn’t like either of Shane Sparks’ routines tonight. That makes two of us.
So that’s it for tonight’s show. How quick was that!? It practically flew by, I tell you. (ß sarcasm) Come back soon for the results show recap, brought to you by the fabulous iguanachocolate, to find out which two of our 18 dancers will get the boot this week!