The top twenty of season eight's "So You Think You Can Dance"
It’s time for the top twenty to dance, knowing that not two, but four people are going home tomorrow. Well, that’s either going to give us amazing performances or we’re going to see a thin veneer of panic over every dance of the evening. Let’s hope for the former.
The judges are Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and… Debbie Reynolds? Awesome! If you’ve ever seen “Singin’ in the Rain,” you know the woman isn’t just Princess Leia’s mom, she knows dance. Oh yay, we get to see a clip! I think she’ll have good comments, right?
So, it’s that “your partner reveals something embarrassing about you” theme for the evening. This is usually not a good thing. Ricky reveals Ryan’s leg hair grows really fast. Yes, this is the not good thing. Ryan reveals that Ricky’s real name is Roderick. They’ll be dancing a sexy jazz routine by Mandy Moore. They have to find their sexual attraction for one another. Because they have none.
The moves are hot but the performance is, well, not as hot. Ryan’s playing to the audience instead of connecting with Ricky. He seems excited and enthusiastic but not about her. The dance itself? Amazing. But the connection isn’t there.
Nigel thinks it was sensational. He thought it was raunchy. He could feel the sexual tension. Really? Mary was addicted to the two of them. Debbie loved it. Okay, maybe I’m expecting too much from Debbie.
Caitlynn’s feet turn blue because of her boots. Mitchell wears a zebra print Snuggie. You know, some of these reveals are cute and some of them are just guranteed vote killers. Anyway, they’ll be dancing to a Stacey Tookey contemporary.
This is just beautiful. Amazing. Here’s the connection the previous routine was lacking. Mitchell accidentally punched Caitlynn, but it fit the piece. And can I say, loved what Tookey did with depth of field. I’m glad we finally got to see Mitchell dance, because he does not deserve to go home.
Mary thought it was amazing. She thought there was believable chemistry and she thought Caitlynn defied gravity. Debbie thought they gave all of themselves. Then she sings. Oh no, she’s one of those attention starved old ladies you see on public access chat shows, tapping and singing off key and telling stories about famous dead people they slept with. This is so depressing. Nigel thought it was remarkable and he felt the inner turmoil of Caitlynn’s character. He says it was outstanding.
Missy says Wadi likes to use women’s hair removal cream on his chest. Oh, oh no. This reveal thing needs to stop. Wadi says Missy has a silly laugh. They’ll be doing a cha cha by Jean-Marc Genereux.
At first I was so impressed with Missy, I didn’t notice Wadi. And then I noticed Wadi, but for all the wrong reasons. I know doing a cha cha must have been hard for him, but his arms are flopping around and he almost seems to be walking through parts of the damce. It’s not terrible, but the cha cha isn’t one of his strengths.
Debbie Reynolds said it was muy bueno. Nigel knocks Wadi on technique. He had weak arms. Nigel tells Missy she was very, very good. Missy tells Wadi he needs to drop his weight and his body needs to be rhythmical. But she notes it’s his first time, and it was respectable. And Missy is the cha cha queen. Debbie offers to take Wadi home. Great, she’s a cougar on top of it all.
Nick says Iveta constantly talks to herself in the mirror. Iveta says Nick always wears shorts. They’ll be doing a Bollywood number by Nakul Dev Mahajan.
It seems a little frantic, but they seem to be getting it down and it’s at least fun to watch. I can’t say I’m a huge fan, but I think some of that is the routine.
Nigel thought they did a really good job. Mary thought they were entertaining. Debbie is so excited to be here. But she admits dancing Bollywood would freak her out, but she felt they freaked her out in a good way. Basically, Debbie’s really excited by anyone who doesn’t break a hip.
Robert is a grown man who thinks he’s a pro wrestler. Miranda has a crush on Tadd. Oh, this could be great or really awkward. They’ll be dancing a hip-hop routine by Napoleon & Tabitha Dumo. They’ll be woodpeckers.
I kind of loved this. Robert is, of course, great but Miranda really brings it. Yes, she falls, but it’s just a blip in the routine. This is, weirdly, fierce. Especially given that they’re pretending to be birds.
Mary thought it absolutely worked. She thought Robert was great but Miranda was amazing. Debbie thought they were good. Then she does a Woody Woodpecker imitation. Would someone shut her up, please? Nigel thinks Miranda is the best contemporary dancer do hip hop. And he gives her props for keeping going after she fell.
Clarice sleeps with her eyes open. Jess draws stick figure orchestras. They’ll be doing a Stacey Tookey contemporary routine.
Jess didn’t quite look like a contemporary dancer – he’s so well-trained in Broadway I just don’t think it’s possible for him to shelve his training and find the awkwardness that makes contemporary work -- but it was still well done. I think he struggles a bit with the lifts, but seriously, Clarice is bigger than he is. Anyway, she’s great.
Debbie thought they touched her heart so she wants to take them home with her. Nigel enjoyed parts of it. He liked their segments separately, but their work didn’t come together as a couple. Mary though Jess’ center was perfect and thought he had amazing control. She calls Clarice Miss Legs.
Jordan isn’t the brightest crayon in the box. Did Tadd just call his partner stupid? Seriously? Yes, I think he did. Tadd has O.C.D. and packs everything in Ziploc baggies. They get a Viennese waltz by Jean-Marc.
This is flowing and gorgeous. Which is a surprise, really. I did not expect Tadd to look like a guy who’s been waltzing for years, but he does. Elegant, graceful, excellent posture. And Jordan tones down the super sexy thing and delivers. Good job.
Nigel thought it was beautiful. Nigel needs to remind Tadd he’s a B-boy because his presentation was fantastic. Mary tells Tadd he’s the biggest surprise of the season. She’s so proud of him. And Jordan was good, too. Debbie tells her they were just as good as Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. Hey, a concrete compliment! That had nothing to do with her!
Melanie has ticklish ears. Marko loves to read romance novels. They’ll be dancing a jazz piece by Mandy Moore.
This is awesome. The show was feeling a little lackluster, honestly, but this absolutely gets it back on track. Melanie has amazing control, and Marko is a great partner, has amazing physical strength and doesn’t skip a beat when his hat falls off. These two may really be the two to beat this season.
Mary thinks they’re speaking loud and clearly. She thinks they can take on anything that gets thrown at them. Debbie worried Marko wouldn’t make it to catch Melanie after dropping his hat, but she thinks they’re the new musical stars of today. Nigel thinks they’re stars, too.
Sasha sweats like a dude. Alexander loves to look at himself in the mirror. They’ll dance a topical routine by Nappy Tabs. It’s about a soldier coming back from Afghanistan.
Alexander’s movements seem a little too fluid for hip hop. But Sasha brings lots of raw emotion to this, so it’s a powerful dance. Technically it’s not all there, but I don’t think anyone will pay attention to that.
Debbie thought they acted and made everyone cry. She’s weepy. Mary is so choked up she can’t speak. But she says Sasha’s emotions hit her hard. Nigel mentions that Obama is withdrawing the troops (so yes, topical) and that he thinks they carried it off brilliantly.
When Chris gets nervous, he smiles creepy. Ashley thinks she has swag and doesn’t. They’ll be doing Broadway thanks to Spencer Liff. It’s a prison dance. Ashley doesn’t think Chris is sexy, but Chris thinks Ashley’s sexy. Uh-oh.
But hey, not uh-oh. SO much better than last week. This is hot, it’s well-acted, the choreography makes incredible use of Chris’ upper body strength, Ashley is fiery. Good, good, good.
Nigel thinks Chris did an amazing job as a hip-hop dancer doing Broadway. He hopes Chris will stay in the competition for a looong time. And he’d like Ashley to visit him the next time he ends up in prison. Nigel, why go creepy old coot, why? Mary puts them on the hot tamale train. Debbie thought they were phenomenal.
While tonight wasn’t as flawless as last week, it was a great night of dance. Still, I can see there are a few candidates to get the ax. Not that anyone was truly bad, mind you. Even Wadi, who struggled with the cha cha, turned in a better second week performance than a lot of people who made it through to the top ten in previous years. It’s gonna be a tough season, alright.
Who are you voting for? Who do you think is going home? And can you dance like a woodpecker?
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