Recap: 'So You Think You Can Dance' - Top 18 Performances
Favorites Philip & Jeanine and Ashley & Kupono struggle, but Max & Kayla shine
Okay, before we get started, I have some questions. Why was Cat Deeley wearing a dead hibiscus as a dress? And do her friends really think Mary’s “so fabulous” for yakking about her Botox treatments? Or really, anything? I just find it hard to believe people who hang with Cat, who are undoubtedly sleek and glamorous, coo over a squawking, middle-aged ballroom dancer with bad ’80s hair. Don’t get me wrong, Mary’s good fun, she definitely knows her stuff, but fabulous? Really? And what was up with Cat screaming for a “three-way” chest bump with Ade and Melissa? Girl, just take your dead hibiscus and calm the hell down.
Alright, I’m done. Let’s move on to the important stuff – the dancing.
[Click through for the full recap of Wednesday (June 17) night's "So You Think You Can Dance."]
Randi and Evan
Verdict: Not a high five, but okay
First, we learn something new and exciting about our couple, a little humanizing technique which is only serving to make our dancers seem really, really boring and in some cases annoying and/or hateful. Word to producers: a little mystery is okay. I don’t need to know who blows spit bubbles and who does bad impressions and who has a felony record (okay, that would be interesting). All this cornball info just spreads a thin layer of ick over the entire show. But I digress. Anyway, Randi talks baby talk to a little white kickdog (as I said, annoying and/or hateful), and Evan built a car (okay, that’s pretty cool).
In jamming out a jive, our teensy tiny power duo did indeed look like they were having fun (and it seems like the producers and judges enjoyed themselves way too much running a count of how many times they could say "fun" in the segment). But as much fun, fun, FUN as they had, none of the judges were really wowed. Lil ’C said Evan was too smooth, Mary was a little disappointed given that Randi and Evan were made to jive (whatever that means), and Nigel thought Evan lacked pop on his double bounce (in other words, what Lil ’C said, but fancier). But am I still rooting for these guys? Yeah. C’mon, Evan built a CAR.
Ade and Melissa
Verdict: Nailed it
Not-so fun facts: Ade’s full name is Adetokunbo Isaac Kayode Obayomi, and Melissa and her sister married two brothers (yawn). Thank God, the dance was a lot more exciting. Melissa packed her inner ballerina away and brought out her sexy rocker chic and Ade got his grit on. Lil ’C was inspired to talk complete nonsense, which I’m beginning to realize is his not very clever cover for the fact he does not know crap about non-crunk forms of dancing. He gave props to Ade for "modifying his manipulation of movement," and even Nigel and Mary had to stop and make fun of him for that one. Dude, there is no shame in just saying you liked it, seriously.
Mary, of course, had to scare the crap out of the kids by saying it was time for tough love... tough for her TO FIND ANYTHING SHE DIDN’T LOVE ABOUT IT! Do Mary and Paula Abdul have the same writer, and is that writer an alumnus of “Hee Haw”? Nigel gave Melissa props for equaling Ade’s strength and for not coming off like a ballerina. It’s funny that everyone (including me) gives Melissa a pat on the head for not acting like a ballerina, when we all know ballerinas are STRONG, it’s just the tutus and updos that throw us off. Unfortunately, Cat had to ruin the moment with her request for a three way chest bump, which made even Melissa look like a graceless dork.
Jason and Caitlin
Verdict: Kind of a flop
Not-so-fun facts: Jason had an obsession with Michael Jackson and Caitlin does the baby talk (what is it with female dancers and the baby talk?) and imitates dinosaurs. Maybe it was seeing a 4-year-old Jason imitate the Gloved One that put Lil ’C off, but he felt the moves were so sharp and clean they were actually cornball, and the whole routine was “missing some nectar,” which actually sounds pretty gross to me. I prefer my dances nectar-free, honestly. Mary thought the pair didn’t really nail it, but Nigel thought they looked good. I’ll admit, Caitlin has a spark and brought some attitude to the routine, but together the pair seemed out of synch. It wasn’t a hot mess, but it wasn’t anything to write home about, and even though I wasn’t a fan of the Bollywood routine the judges loved last week, I’m hoping Jason and Caitlin don’t get the boot quite yet. Although if Caitlin does that velociraptor imitation again, I’ll change my mind about that right quick.
Janette and Brandon
Verdict: Definitely stayin’ alive
Not-so-fun facts: Janette had scary bad teeth as a kid, and Brandon doesn’t work out. Which made his being able to pull off this scary-fast routine even more impressive (or depressing, depending on your point of view – clearly, we’re all wasting time on the treadmill when we really need to be lifting whole people in the air instead). This routine was so darn fun I actually clapped along for a moment, until I remembered I was, in fact, not in the studio audience, and my dogs were looking at me like I was a little dim. Lil ’C, unable to find anything coherent to say, started talking about the routine inducing labor so progression could be born (um, ew?), which Cat helpfully pointed out was a positive, since I don’t think anyone was quite sure for a moment. Luckily, Lil ’C recovered sufficiently to tell Janette that her footwork flub was no big deal, and even went so far as to tell Brandon he was phenomenal. Which was a good thing, because I think if he hadn’t, Mary would have taken him out with her chair. Brandon’s biggest fan, of course, loooved it, telling the duo that they embodied everything that disco ever was, although I wonder if that included the rampant cocaine addiction and meaningless sex, but I’m guessing not. Nigel thought it all was tremendous and brilliant, but after Mary whooping and gushing on and on, I’m not sure anyone was really listening.
Asuka and Vitolio
Verdict: Hot to trot
Not-so-fun facts: Vitolio likes motorcycles and Asuka blows SPIT BUBBLES (remember what I said about mystery? I now will always look at Asuka and think, wonder if she’s working up a loogie. Yes, that will enhance my enjoyment of her dancing skills, don’t you think?). Anyway, when I saw that Asuka and Vitolio had drawn the waltz, I thought, man, these two have the worst luck. Not only do they get stuck with a snoozefest of a dance, they have to go on after Brandon and Janette set the floor on fire with their disco. But then, by some little miracle (and smart choreography), the dance turns out not to be a yawner at all, but a story based in Vitolio’s struggle with being an orphan and making it on his own. While I think the intro explaining the inspiration for the dance may have been more influential on the judges than the dance itself, the judges fell all over themselves to tell Vitolio how “painfully beautiful” (Mary) and “authentically emotional” (Lil ’C) his performance was (Nigel said that anyone who wasn’t touched was heartless, which was pretty feisty for him). Even though I thought the dance itself was only okay, I’m glad to see Asuka and Vitolio may be back in the race. Let’s just hope they don’t get, I don’t know, one-legged hip hop or underwater fox trotting or something else equally messed up next week.
Hey, did anyone else see Marlee Matlin in the audience?
Max and Kayla
Verdict: Hot Like Wow
Not-so-fun facts: Max cooks, Kayla texts, like, a hundred words a minute. Of course, Kayla’s more impressive skill is that she’s the best dancer in the competition. Or at least that’s what the judges seem to think, because the girl has yet to get one iota of criticism. Even Lil ’C, he of the nonsensical blathering, tells the girl he has nothing to say to her, though he’s hoping she screws up next time he’s on the show so he’ll be able to blow her away with one of his crazy ass comments (okay, he didn’t say it like that exactly, but that was the idea). Mary wasn’t a fan of Max’s outfit, and honestly, she only gave Max a pass, putting Kayla on the hot tamale train all by her lonesome. Nigel compared Max to a “young Kevin Spacey in ‘The Usual Suspects’”, which seemed like a pretty backhanded compliment for a dancer if you ask me (hey, you remind me of the crippled, evil guy in a movie! Whoo hoo!), but was generous enough to say both dancers bring something to the competition, because he could probably tell Max was either going to cry or accidentally slam Kayla against a wall during their next practice. I mean, it’s great to be paired with the judges’ pet, but when the only comment you ever get is, “Well, you were almost in the same league as Little Miss Perfect,” man, that’s got to get old.
Jonathan and Karla
Verdict: Sorta hot
Not-so-fun facts: Karla’s also a hip hop dancer, and Jonathan’s a crappy singer. Hey, they're just as boring as people as they are as dancers! I know the judges love Jonathan and Karla, and even Cat had to tell them they gave her the “first Deeley chills of the season,” which I guess is her lame attempt to start a hot tamale train catch phrase, which she should stop doing immediately. But I’m sorry, I don’t get these two at all. They just bore the crap out of me. However, Mary thought Jonathan was amazing, Nigel thought the pair had no false moves, and Lil ’C thought it was buck. Granted, it was better than last week, but that’s not saying much, if you ask me.
Phillip and Jeanine
Verdict: Flame out
Not-so-fun facts: Phillip is a science nerd who likes reptiles, Jeanine has a teddy bear named Spanky. Even though Phillip looked like he was having a root canal through most of this number, I thought Jeanine delivered some hot tango attitude. But it seemed like the judges couldn’t keep their eyes off Phillip, which is easy to understand due to the grimacing and the wincing and the generally appearing to be suffering an aneurysm thing. The best part of this routine honestly wasn’t the dancing, but the critique. After Lil ’C reprimanded Phillip for having bent knees all through the dance, Mary could not remain silent and had to tell the King of Crunk that, hey doofus, it’s a friggin’ tango, his knees are SUPPOSED to be bent. The only thing Mary could have done that would have been more embarrassing would have been pulling Lil ’C into her lap, yanking down his pants and swatting his bare butt on national television, but I have to hand it to the guy, he totally copped to his f-up. Of course, I’m sure this means all future commentary from the guy will be totally freaky and unintelligible as he won’t want to say jack about concrete things like technique, but hey, that’s the fun of this show. Mary gave the dancers an A+ for attitude, but a C- for technique, while Nigel pointed out that Phillip shouldn’t act like he’s smelling a fart whenever he does a lift. Which is, really, quite good advice.
Ashley and Kupono
Verdict: A big crash
Not-so-fun facts: Kupono has what appears to be a really bad case of OCD which should be treated with medication if you ask me, and Ashley threw up on the first day of first grade. My dorky underdog favorites, I was so rooting for them. The routine looked cool, too (she’s his shadow, c’mon!). And then my favorite crash test dummies hit the windshield. Lil ’C, for once tackling a routine he really understood, pointed out that the pair had no synchronization because Kupono was struggling. And then he actually hit on a point that sounded sorta logical – hip hop is all about chaos, and Kupono needed to find the serenity in the chaos. A guy who is seriously OCD is not going to find serenity in chaos. He’s going to freak the hell out in chaos, and possibly break out into a cold sweat and need some Paxil. No wonder he didn’t rise to the occasion. Mary called the sad little mess “not memorable,” Nigel was underwhelmed (and had to take a dig at Lil ’C for talking nonsense, although this was the one time when I thought the guy made a lot of sense), and Ashley got an overall pat on the head for not sucking as much as Kupono.
So, who will go? And don’t say Ashley and Kupono, because I will come to your house and... oh, I don’t know, mix up your blacks and whites with your denims. That’s what Kupono would do.
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