Elimination time! I would like to say I was sitting on the edge of my seat with my fingers crossed, but I was just too bored. Any mouth-breathing ninny could have picked out the bottom six last night, and really, I so didn’t need to know which dancers had “raunchy” burps, made chicken sounds and sweated like pigs. Could’ve missed that utterly dull performance by Sean Kingston, too. But hey, let’s just get to the good part, even if Fox has to milk this competition for every ounce of tepid drama it can.
Things started out pretty well with a group number set to “Boom Boom Pow” by the Black Eyed Peas. It was hard to make out who was who, but I was surprised to notice that the two dancers who’ve seemed the most conservative, Caitlin and Max, brought it, creeping and crawling and ripping off their costumes with glee.
But from that high note, we had to suffer through the time-wasting, pre-recorded fluff. This time, it was an educational segment about how to work with a partner, which revealed that, while some of the pairings on the show are puke-inducingly cute, a few are, well, let’s just say challenging. Delicate ballerina Melissa burps like a drunken sailor, Jonathan and Phillip sweat like pigs and my favorite dorks, Ashley and Kupono, make goofy animal sounds (chicken and monkey, respectively). Even Cat looked a little skeeved out once the segment was finished, as if she didn’t quite want to believe these graceful, talented dancers are kinda gross when they’re not onstage. Although I totally give Ashley and Kupono props for just being themselves, which is kind of lame, but in a weirdly endearing way.
So finally, we get to the narrowing down of the couples, which is orchestrated in such a way to eat up air time while pushing the dancers ever closer to hemorrhagic strokes.
Kayla and Max
Like these two, who got an official ride on Mary’s hot tamale train, would be in danger. While ballroom dancer Max didn’t shine as much as his ballroom-newbie partner, these two would only be in danger of elimination if they played in traffic.
Randi and Evan
Another couple that turned in a sterling performance. But more importantly, while being pocket size may count against them as professional dancers, they’re just too tiny and cute not to get a devoted fan following.
Jeanine and Phillip
Although Phillip starts tearing up before Cat even mentions whether or not he’s on the chopping block, this was another no-brainer. While the producers tried to stun us by not putting any of the first three couples up for elimination, come on. We may be gullible reality television viewers, but we’re not stupid.
Caitlin and Jason
As bleh as I found their Bollywood routine, apparently everyone who loved “Slumdog Millionaire” threw these two a vote, and I can’t even say I mind. I’m still waiting for Caitlin to prove to the judges once and for all she isn’t the fuddy-duddy they thought she was.
Melissa and Ade
At this point, I was beginning to wonder if anyone was getting eliminated. Of course, this couple was definitely not one I would want or expect to be put on the block, given their amazing performance Wednesday night. Although a little part of me wouldn’t have minded seeing Melissa dance for her life once I saw she was wearing toe shoes – you just know her solo dance would be pretty damn awesome.
Ashley and Kupono
Okay, these two are becoming my favorite dark horses in this contest, and even though hearing Cat repeat “safe, safe, oh, yeah, you’re safe, too” over and over got dull, I was happy to see these two didn’t have to sweat it. Mainly because I didn’t want either one to bust out the barnyard sounds while under pressure.
Paris and Tony
Status: In danger
Big “duh” here. As likable as these two were as people, their dancing? Umm... well, judge Adam Shankman said it best when telling them that he received so many tweets about them: “There’s so much love for you, but it’s because you’re charming, not because you hit it.” Enough said.
Vitolio and Asuka
Status: In danger
As much as I hated their dance Wednesday night, and knew it would land them in the bottom three, I have to say – not fair. Not because the routine didn’t suck (because oh my God, it did, whoa), but because freaking Martha Graham couldn’t have pulled off that bizarro, bad jazz hands choreography. Mary admits she isn’t really shocked to see them in the bottom two, but I had my fingers crossed – no one should get booted when a crap routine is to blame.
Brandon and Janette
I don’t think they ever stood a chance of getting voted off, because Mary would have busted down the doors of a call center with an AK-47 and demanded the tallies be fixed to save her boy. And yeah, they were good, too.
Jonathan and Karla
Status: In danger
Hey! For once the audience bucked the judges, and (I think) got it right. Karla and Jonathan’s blah cha-cha was “Saturday Night Fever” without the fever, without John Travolta and distinctly personality free.
And finally, finally, we got to the solo dances. Which are way too short, if you ask me. Like they couldn’t have shaved some time from the burping/sweating/animal noises pre-recorded segment earlier in the show.
Sadly, Paris doesn’t bring it. Her performance looks like a warm-up routine, half-assed and not particularly difficult
If this is supposed to be Tony dancing for his life, well, he shouldn’t be in the competition. Sure, he’s charming, he’s funny, he has good ideas, but his skill set is not up to par.
Though she comes off a bit like an exotic dancer in search of a pole, at least Asuka paid attention to the judges’ comments about her lack of personality on Wednesday and shows some pep. Okay, it’s stripper pep, but it’s something.
While he indulges in some weird undulations that look like of like he’s trying to throw up something from deep in his intestines, you can’t deny the guy has amazing athleticism and fluidity. No way anyone’s sending him home.
The gut gets props for busting out the cheerleading/gymnastics moves, but the rest of his dance is pretty blah.
Before we can learn what the judges have to say, Sean Kingston has to waddle through his single, “Fire Burning.” I have to say, he may have to have a word with his management, because being a chubby guy with no moves on a dance show singing a song that’s not all that dance-y, well, that can’t be fun.
But finally, the judges reappear with their unanimous decisions. Karla is safe, Asuka is a “little star” despite having been stuck with some weird dances and it’s Paris who gets the boot. Paris seems pretty devastated, and I do have to admit that earlier in the competition I thought she’d be around longer (and if we’re splitting hairs, she was MUCH better than Tony in their Wednesday dance), but I can’t say the judges were wrong.
With the guys, Vitolio is safe, Jonathan gets criticized for his crappy dance moves (but a pat on the head for the backflips) and yes, Tony gets the boot.
So, a pretty predictable, yet largely satisfying outcome. Although someone needs to tell Cat Deeley to stop telling every contestant who gets eliminated that it’s “just the beginning.” Beginning of what? Post-contest depression? Their triumphant return to a minimum wage job? Knee braces and Tiger Balm? C’mon, Cat, try a little harder. These kids work hard.
Thoughts on this week's results?