Hello dear readers! Tis I, iguanachocolate, back once again to bring you all the glitz and glory that is the So You Think You Can Dance results show. Finally, the voting is put back into our hands where it belongs. Never mind that ultimately it is the judges’, and by judges’ I mean Nigel’s, decision and that until the final ten our votes really don’t matter all that much, but hey, it’s the thought that counts, right? On with the show!
First, in what I hope is the final stalker letter from Ms. Emmy Award winner herself, Mia Michel’s, here is the latest missive I received from her baldness:
I just wanted to say to all my gazillion fans that I feel your pain. I know that the contemporary dance routines this season without me will be shabby affairs at best. Legal constraints prevent my giving you the reason for my absence, but perhaps the attached may help shed some light.
Yours in Awesome Emmy-Winning Choreographerness,
Hmmmph. Enough said about that, I think.
The Cat Walk
But now, my very most favorite part of the shows – Cat Deeley!!!! (still waiting on that call, my little English biscuit). Yes Folks, it is the return of, wait for it…. The Cat Walk! My poor Cat was twice a victim of cruel wardrobe mistresses who must be jealous of her charm and beauty because on Tuesday we saw dressed thusly:
All I can think if is Lizardwoman Rides again. And the hair – really? Someone thought that was flattering? Shame, shame, shame. And on Wednesday she was dressed like an 80’s junior higher going to her first dance. Maybe 90’s. But both wrong in my book.
Let’s take a look at what our dancers did last night, shall we?
Kevin and Karen
Choreographer: Maria Torres
Hustle to Come to Me by France Joli
In a bit of back story, we learn that Karen has gone through a divorce and that Kevin has been able to perform hip hop all over the world. I have to admit to inwardly cringing whenever I hear the word ‘Hustle’ and getting weird flashbacks. But their dance was very exciting to watch. A few bobbles as there often are this early in the season, but still a hit dance. The judges gushed over them and Mary kept Kevin on the Tamale Train, but only Karen gets to ride first class.
Jakob and Ashleigh
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Jazz to Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
We find out that Ashleigh is a big nerd who studied political science in college and has interned on Capitol Hill. Jakob’s best friend is none other than Jeanine, the winner of Season 5. Usually when I see the use of a prop I get a flutter of fear in my heart for the dancers, but they truly did make it a part of their dance and it was not distracting at all. I really enjoyed the dance and the judges did as well. Again, a few bobbles, but mostly songs of praise for the duo. Adam comments that he likes seeing all the ways the choreographers come up with to have Jakob jump, but he is warned not to let his flexibility go too far.
Pauline and Peter
Choreographers: JT and Thomas
Quickstep to Hey Baby by Big Kahuna and the Copa Cat Pack
Peter says that the one thing people don’t know about him is his charity work with a group called Spin. Every year they do a talent show and he helps with their dances. And Pauline apparently eats everything she sees. Nice. Even given that this dance was the dreaded Quickstep, I can’t really give it any props. For one thing, I thought Pauline’s costume was really very distracting. They also seem to have more bobbles than the previous couples which are reflected in the judges’ comments. They loved the performance aspect of the dance but pointed out a lot of technical problems.
Kathryn and Legacy
Choreographer: Andy Blankenbuehler
Broadway to I Wanna Be Like You by the Swinging Fireballs
We find out that Kathryn does a lot of mission work and she really enjoys it. Legacy apparently has a soccer legacy (ouch, I know) and once had dreams of being a professional soccer player. Now, this song from Disney’s The Jungle Book has always been a favorite of mine, but I did not really like the dance. The dance lacked that special extra little something. It was, in a coconut shell, cute. I know, the kiss of death. The judges agreed with me. The enjoyed Legacy, but felt Kathryn was lacking just a bit in the character of the dance. Legacy was encouraged by Adam to go back and look at the great dancers who came before him: Fosse, Gene Kelly, etc.
Channing and Victor
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Contemporary routine to Be Be You Love sung by Rachel Yamaguta
Victor used to be a hard core gothic rocker with chains and make up, etc. Channing used to race lawn mowers and even won a trip to Disney one year. As they both lost partners last week, this is the first week they have danced together. They had the luck of the draw pulling their own style but it ended up being not such a good thing. When a dancer is dancing in their own style there is a higher expectation of the dance and they just simply did not meet that expectation. They were good, but the judges expected great and that it was not.
Ellenore and Ryan
Choreographer: Lil C
Hip Hop to Lost Boize Anthem by Tha J-Squad
Ellenore is 6 different ethnicities and considers herself a big American mutt. Ryan is an extreme sports addict and has dreams of being a superhero. Stay away from the kryptonite is all I have to say. Can I just say that if there is some robbing to be done, dressing in white is not the right fashion choice? I did not like this dance at all. It lacked the anger and intenseness that hip hop requires. Mary did not give them tickets for the Hot Tamale Train. Ryan was given props for making a huge leap out of his ballroom background, but neither performed especially well.
Molly and Nathan
Choreographer: Gustavo Vargas
Salsa to Quimbara by Celia Cruz and Johnny Pacheco
Molly says the one thing America does not know about her is that she is deaf on one ear. Shout out to her, as I have the same problem. And like me, she eschews the hearing aide. Trust, it is much easier to adapt without it. Nathan says that America does not know about him is his love for speed on the jet ski. Their salsa did not have me reaching for any chips, is all I can say. Nathan had the smoldering intenseness at times, but then would break it with a grin to the audience. And dear, sweet little Molly simply did not exude the sex the salsa requires. Hate to say it, but I felt like I was watching a couple of high schoolers. Adam says it was a bad luck of the draw and the number exposed all of their weaknesses.
Noelle and Russell
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Afro Jazz to Frog Dance by Mickey Hart and Planet Drum
Noelle says that she has a pretty big with 3 siblings. Her inspiration is her brother who suffered a stroke as a child. Russell’s hidden talent is that he is an artist and can draw anything. They are dancing an afro jazz routine, which according to Sean is a mixture of African dance and jazz, minus the jazz hands, for which I am thankful for. I loved this dance and though they took to this style extremely well. They did a series of double flips which were especially cool. The judges universally enjoyed them and Mary put them onto the Hot Tamale train, the royalty car. I say keep the afro jazz coming.
The opening number was a tribal theme dance to Warrior Pt 2 by Lloyd Banks and choreographed by Dave Scott. Before I get to the dance, can I just give you one word on the new set? Yes? Thank you. The word is: Yuck. But the dance was vibrant and exciting. I liked the extreme athleticism that was shown by the dancers and also how the interaction between them was not always girl/boy, but also featured girl/girl and guy/guy. What I did not understand was the giant Mayan temple projection at the back of the stage. It bugged me.
America is voting and Nigel seems disappointed that he won’t be able to vote the people off he wants to and Mary will let us know if she is relieved to not have to make the entire decision or not. Adam thinks that America will get it right, because it is America’s Favorite dancer, not necessarily America’s best dancer.
Out first are Ellenore and Ryan of the Lil C hip hop debacle. After a montage of the dance and judges comments we find out they are in the bottom three. Channing and Victor and Kathryn and Legacy are both safe. Ashleigh and Jakob are safe. Pauline and Peter are not so lucky and find themselves in the bottom three. Guess America needs a few props of their own for wanting technical prowess with their performance cheese. Noelle and Russell are, of course, safe. Of the last two couples Molly and Nathan are surprisingly safe, but Karen and Kevin will be dancing for their show lives.
The highlighted performance this week is done by a trio from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre dance troupe. Dancing to Episodes by Robert Ruggieri they epitomized what all dancers should strive for. Such control and passion they showed, as well they should for being privileged to dance with a premiere troupe. Watching performances such as this almost make me want to go back to dance. Of course, one would actually need rhythm and grace to reach their level and I have none of that. Minor technical details, I say, though. Let’s see where I put that dance academy number…..
First up is Ellenore, to Elaenor by Alexis Woodward, dances again in the quirky style that won the judges hearts during her audition, but did not hold the same charm this time around. Ryan does a Big Band inspired routine to Jump With My Baby by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. It was fun, but his tumbling is nothing to Ade’s from last year. Pauline does a piece to Took The Night by Chelley which I was not terribly impressed with. I don’t think it did her any favors in the judges’ eyes. Peter taps to no accompaniment which gave me great joy because I love the sound of taps. I really liked his performance. Karen dances to Celia Y Tito by Celia Cruz and Tito Puente. She embodied the hot sultry sexiness that a Latin dancer should. If Nigel has any say on it, I know she will not be going home. Kevin tries to score by dancing to Wade Robinson’s I Question Mark, and score he does. A ten, in my book anyway.
The three girls stand on stage awaiting their fate. Nigel gives a general note in that none of the dancers gave a decent enough performance in their solos. Predictably, the crowd boos and Nigel gets testy. As usual. Karen is told she may be intimidating to some of the voters, but she is safe and rightly so, I think. Of quirky Ellenore and Pauline, it is Pauline who gets the goodbye montage of her short stay on the show. Of the guys, Ryan is told he should not attempt acrobatics unless he can live up to Ade’s brilliance. Peter is told he is lacking star quality in his solo. Kevin is told he is getting better and better each week, he is safe. But the high hopes of tappers everywhere are dashed as Peter is the one sent home.
And that is all, folks. I hope you feel like dancing now. Until next week...