Ashleigh of 'So You Think You Can Dance'
Final eight. Or, um, seven. One of the girls is missing. And it’s (racking my brain, racking my brain) Ashleigh! No! This can’t be happening! Or maybe it isn’t, because Cat, who is dressed like a 1980s pirate who chooses to wear her ill-gotten gold as ugly shorts instead of burying it (though really, I’d suggest burying those shorts or at least melting them down for cash or a nice necklace), isn’t mentioning it. At all. She yacks about next week, and then this week, and I have just about decided that Ashleigh is dead and everyone’s too broken up about it to say anything or I just imagined she wasn’t in the intro and I’m having early onset dementia, when she finally tells Ashleigh to come onto the stage. So, at least I know she’s not dead. That’s a good thing.
Ashleigh, it turns out, has injured herself. In rehearsal, she accidentally popped her shoulder out of its socket and then got all war commando and popped it back in. Go, Ashleigh! I knew the girl was tough. Anyway, she’s not dancing tonight and seems pretty broken up about it, but we can still vote for her. I hope she gets the pity vote. She looks so sad when she’s not wearing high heels and a ridiculous sequined dress. Poor Ashleigh.
Anyway, everyone else can dance, so let’s get to it!
[Full recap of Tuesday's (Dec. 8) "So You Think You Can Dance" after the break...]
Kathryn and Ryan
Choreographer: Doriana Sanchez
Yawn. This week everyone has to talk about how excited they are to be here. You know what? I’m so over this brain-numbingly dull interview crap, and you know Ryan and Kathryn have the least engaging personalities in a field of raging bores, so let’s just get to the fun part because they’re doing DISCO! Yay! I love disco! Or at least I love disco the way Doriana choreographs it. It’s all kinda “Saturday Night Fever” crazy instead of druggy Studio 54, which is funny because you know back then everyone was doing heaping piles of cocaine but the movie was so much better than the reality.
I am SO excited! And... then, I’m not so excited. It’s good, but it’s not great. There’s no funk. The head snapping and the rolls seem too rigid, too schoolbook. It’s clearly a routine, one that’s precise and well performed, but there’s no sense of letting loose. And c’mon, it’s friggin’ DISCO, people. You really should be wearing rainbow Afro wigs and huge bellbottoms. People back then looked too silly to be serious! You’re supposed to go at the dance with wild abandon and a sense of unleashed hedonism. We want a hard R, and this is rated G. Maybe PG-13, given what Kathryn’s wearing, but really, it’s family friendly.
Adam says it’s fun. He says Ryan wears sequins well and Kathryn is beautiful, which is his nice way of avoiding really critiquing them. Mary says it won’t be the last dance. She can’t wait to see their other dance. Again, I think the judges want to be nice because otherwise these two might be going home, and they don’t want to savage anyone until they’ve seen a few more routines. Nigel decides to be honest. He hates Ryan’s sequins. And he thought Ryan was a little stiff. He lacked funk. Then, Mary argues with him that his stiffness was true to disco. Shut up, Mary.
Mollee and Jakob
Style: Viennese waltz
Choreographer: Jason Gilkison
Mollee hopes she’s able to live her dream a little longer. I say Mollee, time to wake up. Jakob says he’d like to win in a perfect dreamland. Jakob is too modest, because he is going to win this mother, I’m serious. If being stuck with Mollee doesn’t bring him down this week, at least.
Did anyone else notice Mollee looking at her feet at the beginning of this routine? But otherwise, this is a beautiful, beautiful dance. The choreography is gorgeous (so much better than a traditional waltz!) and Jakob is, of course, perfectly Jakob. And yes, Mollee is much, much better than I expected her to be. I will finally admit, she has improved to such an extent that I don’t think she’s dead weight anymore.
Adam says he could have watched it for two more hours. He tells Jakob he’s one of the best dancers he’s ever seen (again) and tells Mollee she’s blooming. Mary says there’s nothing ordinary about them. Nigel thought they were both excellent. Everybody’s smiley and happy. Personally, I liked Mollee’s skirt.
This is the time when Ashleigh is supposed to dance solo. But Cat drags her out, again, to show off her cast, I guess. Oh no, Ashleigh wants to tell people to vote for her. Although I was kind of hoping we’d get to see her pop her shoulder in and out of the socket. I’d totally vote for that.
Ellenore and Legacy
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Ellenore wants one last chance to show America what she can do. Legacy doesn’t want to let doubt get to him. I think they shouldn’t worry. They’ve both been so reliably good for the past few weeks I’d be hugely surprised if they didn’t make this cut. And really, I’ve almost completely forgotten about Ellenore’s tendency to make robot noises and hurl herself around like she’s having a seizure during her solos. Almost.
The dance is, essentially, Mr. and Mrs. Smith. This should be fun! And it IS. It is more than fun, it’s fierce. Wow, Ellenore has moves and superhero flexibility and just doesn’t hold back (Kathryn, take notes). Legacy delivers as well. I keep forgetting Legacy is a B-boy. While he really did struggle with some of the ballroom type stuff at the beginning, you can’t deny the guy is shockingly versatile. I really do like him better each week. If anyone is blooming, I’d say it’s Legacy, even if that’s way too flowery a description for him. Although the camera guy has to stop cutting to his dad in the audience, because that guy is so clearly a jerk it makes me simultaneously feel bad for Legacy and not want to vote for him, either.
Adam thinks they murdered it. Which they did! Mary says it was strong and tailor-made for the two of them. And she screams. Nigel thought it was dangerous and exactly what they needed to do. He thinks Travis Wall might get an Emmy nomination for the routine. And then we cut to Travis Wall, who’s actually saying, “Holy moley!” which is kind of adorable.
What can I say here? He’s perfect. He deserves to win. That is all.
Ashleigh and Russell
Choreographer: Shane Sparks
Russell says he will feel appreciated if he makes it to the finale. Russell, no matter what happens, we do appreciate you, honest. If Ashleigh makes it to the finale, she feels it would be a crowning achievement.
Shane Sparks promises he’s going to turn Ashleigh into a booty shaker. But we’ll never know if he succeeded, because she isn’t dancing. Oh well, Russell’s on his own, or kind of on his own, as he’s dancing with Shane’s assistant Rachel. At least he’s in his hip-hop/krump wheelhouse. And, of course, he brings it. How could he not? But I keep getting distracted watching Rachel, who doesn’t really have to bring it and is just going through the paces. Which is fine, I guess, and I’m sure her goal is to put the focus is on Russell, but I kind of want to shake her and say, if you’re on stage anyway, bring your A game! She acts like she’d rally rather be taking a nap.
Adam says it’s hard to dance without a partner and he was sad he didn’t get to see Ashleigh dance. Oh, and Russell was smokin’, too. Mary said she loves watching Russell. Nigel also missed Ashleigh, and he thought Rachel was great to step in. Oh, and he thought Russell was excellent, too. The judges need to stop fixating on Ashleigh. We all miss her, but Russell needs votes, too!
Mollee writhes and hops around in a slightly bunny-like way. Surprisingly, she doesn’t bust out the gymnastic moves. But I’d say, that’s a good thing. Mollee really is getting better. Is she Ellenore level better? No, but she might be some day if she keeps going the way she’s going.
Ryan and Kathryn
Choreographer: Jason Gilkison
Well, Ryan should have this sewn up, but surprisingly, they both kill it. Kathryn may be a contemporary dancer, but she hasn’t missed a stitch in other genres lately. I would never guess she wasn’t a ballroom pro watching this. And they’re both a hella lot sexier here than in the disco. But more than anything else, his is a great routine. If all cha-chas looked like this, I’d be much more interested in ballroom dance lessons.
Adam says it was one of the best ballroom routines they’ve had on the show. Mary said the floor was on fire. I think she might cry. Which is always better than the screaming. Mary thought Kathryn was phenomenal. Which she was. And then Mary gives them two tickets on the hot tamale train, and she points out she hasn’t said that very often this season. Which, now that she mentions it, is true. Nigel thought it was fantastic and thought Kathryn went everywhere she should have gone and Ryan’s moves were perfect.
Legacy is wearing a hat, so at first I think, who’s the little bald guy? But it’s Legacy, who is pint size, as I am reminded every time Cat puts her Amazonian arm around him.. He does his usual spinning and all the other moves that probably made him a tidy amount on the Third Street Promenade, and I kind of want to throw him a dollar. What’s different is that he’s using a huge cell phone as a prop. Legacy, don’t go for the gimmick, it’s distracting. And that phone is so five years ago. It’s huge!
Oh, thank God. Ellenore doesn’t do the wacky-twitchy stuff. She actually looks pretty graceful here. And I don’t even mind when she busts out the James Brown at the end.
And this would be why props are not a good idea. At first, I think it’s adorable that Russell is dressed up like Santa. And then he kicks off his shoe. And actually stops dancing to not only grab it, but put it back on. Russell, honey, ignore the shoe! Keep dancing! But I suspect going for the cuddly Santa thing will get him some votes with the tween set, so maybe it was the right thing to do after all.
Jakob and Mollee
Choreographer: Joey Dowling
In this routine, Jakob and Mollee are con artists, and Jakob is the brains of the operation and Mollee is the ditzy blonde. I will say nothing further.
This isn’t my favorite Broadway routine, but I will say Mollee and Jakob bang it out. I think Jakob has really brought out the best in Mollee. Of course, Jakob may actually have superpowers, so I shouldn’t be surprised whenever he does something exceptional, such as flying or speaking in tongues. That’s probably next week.
Adam thought Mollee’s legs looked like Anne Reinking’s. And then he tells Jakob he was one of the best dancers they’ve ever had on the show. But he thought Mollee was great. The message being that, you know, Jakob should win, but Mollee’s nice, too. Mary thought both of them really brought it on. Nigel thinks Mollee should go to Broadway, and adds that Jakob reminds him of Joel Grey. Then Cat calls Mollee a little absinthe fairy, which cracks me up.
This is a very nice contemporary routine. I think I’ve been really resisting liking Kathryn because she used to be such a blank slate, but in the last few weeks, she’s shown a lot more personality. I wouldn’t cry if she made it into the finals, honestly.
Ellenore and Legacy
Choreographers: Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo
Oh my, this is perfect for Ellenore. She gets to be a freaky space alien. As long as she doesn’t get to do the squeaky alien vocals, that’s fine.
And what should be perfect for Ellenore is instead stultifyingly dull. I am so bored. I can barely tell them apart thanks to the masks and hoodies, the costumes obscure their bodies and it’s just... dull. It’s not a challenging dance. I’m not even sure they’re breaking a sweat. NappyTab, this is not good. This is the kind of dance that gets people eliminated.
Adam wants to communicate with Ellenore in a language she can understand. So he squeaks and whines, then Mary chimes in and I just want to leave the room. Otherwise, he admits it’s not his favorite routine. Not mine, either. Mary thinks the beginning of the routine was great, but the rest disappointed. She didn’t think it looked synchronized and she didn’t love the costumes. Nigel thought the choreography overrode the dancing, and it was style over substance.
I think Ellenore may still make it through to next week, but NappyTabs may have torpedoed Legacy’s chances. Nice going, guys.
Ryan finally got rid of that crappy Scorpions song, and, even though his solo is all kinds of ballroom, he still looks pretty good.
Cat’s just about to shuffle him off the stage when he suddenly starts crying and asking people to vote for Ashleigh. Oh ma God, he’s so going into next week now. How can you not vote for the loyal husband? Especially after a week that’s been 24-7 Tiger Woods Mistress-a-thon TV
, it is rather refreshing.
Choreographer: Nakul Dev Mahajan
So, this time Alisha, who is Nakul’s assistant, is playing the role of Ashleigh for tonight’s performance. And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think Russell was born to Bollywood. Really, when you see Russell doing it, Bollywood seems to be a distant Indian relative to krumping. Russell is not only nailing it, but he looks like he’s having a ball. Which is pretty adorable.
Adam thinks Russell blew joy out of every pore, which sounds disgusting but I know what he means. He thinks he’s in there, by which I think he means the final. Because if he doesn’t, I don’t want to think too much about interpreting that. Mary thinks he’s elevated himself and did a great job despite having to dance with three different partners in a week. Mary hopes people don’t forget about Ashleigh. Nigel says he couldn’t take his eyes off of Russell and congratulates him for everything he’s accomplished, not just tonight but all season.
Cat asks the judges to give their advice to America. And Adam gets weepy because he loves all the dancers so much, but he urges people to pick up the phone. Mary says votes mean a lot. Nigel says people should vote. This is called filling up the dead air at the end of the show. Or we’re giving the judges a try-out for the Jerry Lewis MDA telethon (okay, beg for two minutes until the break. And... go!), who knows.
Can I just say I’m looking forward to the end of the season because the “SYTYCD” theme song is going to make me drive a fork through my skull pretty soon.
So, tonight the bar somehow got even higher, which I didn’t think was possible, and I’m challenged to really think of anyone who deserves to go home (yes, even Mollee turned in two great performances
). I guess it’s just easier to think of who I’d like to see win the whole shebang, and that’s gotta be Jakob. Or Ellenore. Or maybe Russell. Aw, crap.
Who do you think should win? Did you think Ellenore and Legacy’s hip-hop routine was the night’s weak link? Do you think Ashleigh deserves to make it through to the finals despite her injury?