Billy Bell of 'So You Think You Can Dance'
Eeek, we’re down to our final six for this very special 150th episode of “SYTYCD.” Or, as I see it, our final five and one girl. Really, how weird is this? No offense to the boys, but a sausage fest isn’t what I was hoping for at this point in the competition. Fingers crossed there won’t be any more injuries, because I’m starting to think the way season seven is really distinguishing itself is as being the most harmful to dancers, and that’s kind of a drag.
Oh, wait, I spoke too soon. Uncross your fingers, Billy is injured. You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m almost wondering if the show needs to take a break so everyone can heal for two weeks, because this is getting to be ridiculous. If we actually lose three dancers in the top ten to injuries, well, whoever wins is going to feel like they got the title by default. I mean, yes, injuries are common in any athletic pursuit, but this is just a bit too much.
Anyway, let’s just get to the competition before anyone else hurts themselves.
Lauren dances with Twitch. It’s kind of a cowboy/hip-hop thing, and it’s pretty damn good. The routine is more of a slow, giddy-up kind of thing, so it doesn’t have the fire of Alex’s memorable routine, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t great in its own way. I’m rooting for Lauren, in part because, crap, she’s THE ONLY GIRL LEFT.
Adam says she’s not who she was in Vegas, because she tore it up. She was lost in the music, which is a good thing. Mia thought she went hard. Kenny Ortega is here (director of “High School Musical” and Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” tour movie and choreographer for everything important of the last twenty or so years), and he just wants to say he’s a fan of the show. Kenny, give Lauren notes! Or a job! Stop talking about the show! Aack! He says Lauren has the energy to power Los Angeles.
Apparently, Slingbox doesn’t like it when I yell at Kenny Ortega, and it promptly takes a crap on me.
Okay, hopefully I didn’t miss anything important, but we’re on to Jose. He’s going to be dancing with Allison to a Sonya Tayeh routine. Jose feels chemistry, and Allison melts when she looks at him. Everyone has a crush on everyone else, it seems. Dancers are quite the little hormonal horndogs, aren’t they?
Sigh. Jose looks like he’s in rehearsal. You know, that “I know the moves, I’m just going through them so I don’t pull anything” kind of look. If there’s chemistry here, I’m not feeling it. Although I love the routine. Allison is emoting enough for the two of them. But it just isn’t wowing me. Or, more specifically, Jose isn’t.
Adam says to Allison the cat’s out of the bag about her crush, so he hopes she doesn’t get KNIFED LATER. WTF? Adam, what, you’re insinuating Jose’s girl is a gang member? What? Would you say that to Kent or Billy? Ugh. And wasn’t Jose drooling all over all-star Lauren a while ago? Anyway, Adam thought his character was perfect, but he wasn’t dancing much. Although what he did do was perfect. Um, okay. Mia says it was pedestrian contemporary, which is about all Jose can do, but it was great. Kenny thought he was there for Allison. Lots of love for Jose. Nigel thought it was great that Sonya covered up Jose’s weaknesses. Great. Seriously, can we stop sugar coating it for Jose? Adam has no problem suggesting his girlfriend is a knife-wielding psycho, but God forbid any of the judges point out that Jose is just not that good.
He’s dancing with Lauren for a Toasty jazz routine. Lauren and Robert need to fall for one another. They’re fine with that. Because, as we previously discussed, dancers are horndogs. Apparently.
I like this, and I think Robert’s strong in the routine. Is it outstanding, though? Not really, but it’s solid. I know everyone’s kind of sick of the storytelling in the dances, but I do see how that makes them stick in your memory.
Adam thought they were smoking. He thinks Robert’s amazing. But he needs to watch his hands. Mia loves that it was just a strong, clean jazz piece. She thought it showed Robert was a solid dancer. But Robert needs to watch his head bobbing. See, judges? This is how you’re supposed to judge! Compliments, fair criticism and helpful hints! Kenny thought it showed Robert was grounded. Nigel thinks Robert’s legs are fine, so he can lose the head jerk. I do think Robert is improving – but let’s note, the judges give him pointers. Maybe Jose just has too far to climb to benefit from pointers, but I feel like the judges aren’t even trying with him.
First, a message from his mom. Everyone’s getting a message from the parents this week. Adechike’s mom loves him, and he should go for it. Yeah, this isn’t a whole lot of insight, but I suppose it’s meant to thaw voters’ hearts or something. Anyway, time for his solo.
I have now officially heard Maxwell’s cover of this song one time too many. But Adechike does a
great job of showing off his amazing leaps. The guy is a whole hella lotta graceful. And athletic.
Kent is dancing with Kathryn. And he’s so excited! It’s a jazz number by Sonya. Who is apparently very loud.
This is cute. Kent seems to be having a great time. Maybe too good of a time. He’s got Broadway face. But he can dance circles around pretty much anyone, so who cares? At least he looks like he’s having fun. This is at least suited to his strengths.
Adam says Kent makes the show more special. He loved the handspring. Mia says his animated expression makes the routine almost juvenile. Kenny says he’s a young Gene Kelly and the guy to beat. Nigel thinks Kent has almost outdanced the all-stars, which is a big compliment.
Robert’s mom says he takes life as a journey. His dad calls him the man. His parents love him. I’m sure they do, but what else are you supposed to say? I’d pay money to see some parents say, eh, we wanted to give him or her away but we couldn’t find any takers.
The shame of Robert’s solo is it feels like it’s just getting going when, blip, it’s over. It’s Robert’s birthday today, btw, so we should all throw him a vote, just to be nice.
Her mom thinks she’s very mature for her age. Her dad thinks she’s a great kid.
Lauren is a fierce dancer, even if she is wearing a sort of Tarzan and Jane castoff. C’mon, Lauren, stay in it for the girls!
He’ll be dancing with Comfort in a NappyTabs number. It’s a rocky relationship story. The only thing that concerns me is that it’s Comfort’s story, not Adechike’s. Hmm.
I’m sorry, but Cat’s dress tonight looks like it was made out of a torn-up curtain from a Victoria’s Secret display. By a drunk guy with a stapler. But her hair looks nice.
Comfort slaps Adechike in the dance, and they both look like they’re crying. Considering Adechike was a big blank just a few weeks ago, this is pretty amazing. He’s fierce, he’s angry, he’s seductive and he’s pretty good at this whole hip-hop thing. Great routine, great emotion.
Adam felt like it was watching a movie. He thinks it’s amazing for a contemporary dancer to succeed so well at hip-hop. Mia thought it felt real and that it was unbelievable. Kenny thinks it’s like what we’d see if Wesley Snipes could dance. Nigel felt it moved to another level. Nigel thinks he’s shown real honesty.
His mom is as proud as a parent can be. Jose’s dad says, what more prouder can he be? I honestly don’t know how to answer that not-really-a-question, Jose’s dad.
Jose isn’t using his ten seconds all that wisely, I’ve got to say. Lots of arm flapping and not a lot of real breaking. But he is smiling and looking happy, and that’s all the judges ever want to see from him anyway.
His dad thinks he’s an upstanding young man. His mom and dad are very proud of him. Aw, shucks.
Kent’s solo is, of course, very good. And the audience breaks out into tween shrieks of joy. They do that pretty much any time he appears, of course, but if he dances a bit, it really gets them fired up.
Robert and Lauren
Time for contestant couples! They’re dancing a samba by Dmitry Chaplin. Who looks like he could be Robert’s older brother. And, according to Robert, Lauren’s butt is a lethal weapon.
These two are pretty damn hot together. It’s hard to believe that Lauren used to get creamed for being too athletic and not sexy enough.
Adam loved Robert’s lines and felt Lauren’s retractions and footwork were unbelievable. Mia thought Robert looked like a samba dancer. But thinks Lauren plies too much. Kenny thought Robert got two out of two tonight. And says nothing about Lauren. Nigel likes their parents. And he likes Robert’s upper body. He thought Lauren made great contact with the audience and with Robert, though technically, not all there.
Adechike and Jose
They’re so excited, because they’re like brothers. Which is a good thing, because they’re doing a paso doble. Choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin and Legacy. This should be interesting.
I’m not sure if having them both dance with their shirts off was a great idea, because at the beginning it feels a bit like a West Hollywood Halloween parade kind of thing. It’s pretty good, though not great. There are some bungled kicks and tosses that were hard to overlook, though they get props for looking relatively fierce. If I had to pick a winner, though, Adechike looked a little smoother and more confident, except for the time Jose almost dropped him. Which would do a number on your confidence, I’m sure.
Adam loves that the guys were committed. He tells Jose to stretch his legs and feet and tells Adechike he needs more release. Mia thought it was okay but felt the legs were flailing, even though the commitment was there. Kenny felt it was a valiant effort. Nigel thinks they needed to work on their carriage.
Kent and... Billy?
They’ll be doing stepping with Chuck Maldonado. Billy is injured, of course, so Twitch is stepping (ha, punny) in.
Okay, this is one of the few times when I feel like Kent’s moves just aren’t measuring up. There is some white boy chest and leg slapping that looks mighty effeminate here. It might have been better if Billy had been his partner, just because Twitch clearly has a better feel for the genre than Kent does.
Adam is thrilled with all the new and exciting dance styles. And he wants to thank Kent for kicking ass? Did he actually watch this routine? He SO did not kill this. Mia thought it was disgusting and gross and loved it. What? Kenny brought stepping to the Olympic ceremonies, so he should be a good critic. But he thinks it was awesome, too. Nigel then points out this isn’t the first time stepping has been on the show. Ooh, burn! But he liked it. Maybe everyone was so fixated on the footwork that they didn’t notice that Kent’s upper body looked like that ridiculously awful guy slap fight in “Bridget Jones’ Diary.”
So, we may be down to five before tomorrow night’s show even starts, thanks to Billy’s injury. Although I’m still sad that Anthony Burrell (remember he of the pulled thigh muscle?) didn’t make the cut for this season, I’m starting to think that was a small mercy, given that the dancers are dropping like flies and he was already injured. Makes you wonder, though, if the judges knew something we didn’t about how physically stressful season seven was going to be. Hmmmm…
Do you think Billy will be able to rejoin the competition? Why do you think so many dancers are being injured? And who do you want to see win?
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