So tonight's episode of "So You Think You Can Dance" is going to be tough for me to assess based on having met so many of the dancers a few nights ago at the Fox press tour party. I didn't get to meet everyone (though yes, one of the people I spoke to is in the bottom this week -- FYI, I'll be writing up those interviews soon), but everyone I did meet was pretty adorable. I'd hate to see any of them go, as I still think this season may have the most consistently amazing dancers of the series. But, as we all know, only two can win this, so let's get to the dancing.
George and Tiffany
The Background: They have a baby-themed NappyTabs routine. This should be… well, fun. It's NappyTabs, so I go with fun.
The Dance: Okay, I loved this. Such a cute routine. And Tiffany is a baller.
The Judges: Nigel thought it was a great NappyTabs routine. He would like to see it get a little grungier with the hip hop, but thought it was a great opening. He also thought George seemed a little tired. Mary thought they were fabulous together. Christina thought Tiffany was tough and scary in a good way. She would like the soupy parts to be soupier. But otherwise she thought it was X marks the spot. I love Christina Applegate but I can barely make sense of anything she's saying.
Amber & Brandon
The Background: Amber is a hairstylist, and Brandon is in the main crew in "Step Up Revolution." Nice. Ray Leeper jazz piece about a hard-working couple in the South.
The Dance: I love their chemistry. And this IS sexy. You can feel the heat.
The Judges: Christina Appelgate swears her head off -- that's how much she loved it. She tells Amber that was her best dance on the show. She thought Brandon was so incredible she forgot he was a stepper. Christina is, in short, blown away. Mary thinks Amber delivered a soulful and sultry performance. She think Brandon has an unforced masculinity. Nigel called it baby making choreography. He thought Amber finally emerged and that Brandon needed to lower his shoulders a little. But it was excellent.
Before we can continue -- we get a plug for National Dance Day. The plug alludes to the Olympics, but we know what's really important -- people filming themselves looking spastic! You have time to learn the routines before the 28th! The Dizzy Feet Foundation fundraiser is sold out! Almost!
Janelle & Dareian
The Background: Dareian likes to skateboard and Janelle likes to rap. They'll be doing the cha cha to "Call Me Maybe."
The Dance: Is this actually a cha cha? They're both doing something entirely different. Oh, so sad. I like them both, but this wasn't working very well.
The Judges: Mary thought they had some phenomenal tricks, but there was no chemistry and the transitions were rough. She thought Janelle would have had better footwork. But she thinks they're adorable. Christina said they gave their best effort, but she was distracted by Dareian's "strange hand things." Maybe not the nicest way to say it, but she isn't wrong. Nigel also has a problem with the footwork. Nigel thought Janelle wasn't sexy and didn't feel them connect as a couple.
Lindsay & Cole
The Background: Cole takes his acting seriously. Lindsay has a foot phobia. His goal is to get her to give him a foot massage by the end of the season. Their dance is going to be a Mandy Moore contemporary routine about the fight between love and hate.
The Dance: So beautiful, says Cat, and she's right. Just graceful and emotional and so well done. Lindsay, who hasn't really registered before this week, is definitely registering now.
The Judges: Nigel loved the writing. He tells Lindsay her spirit was in the right place. Nigel thinks Cole is meticulously neat, which could be boring, but he's never boring. He's a genius. True. Mary thinks Lindsay has all the magic, despite what she said before. She thinks Cole can do ANYTHING. Christina loved it, too.
Amelia & Will
The Background: Will wishes he was in a boy band. Amelia applies SPF100 every time she goes out in public. Mandy Moore jazz routine
The Dance: This is fun. Not my favorite routine, but these two are always good. It's
The Judges: Christina says they are her dream team. She digs their chemistry and she thinks they're so good she can't even see their own styles. Nigel didn't feel it. He felt it was black and white. Whaa? But he loves them both. Mary is somewhere in the middle. She thought it was very good, but not as strong as their last numbers. And she thinks Will is the best partner in the competition.
Matthew and Audrey
The Background: Matt just started dancing at 16. Before that he was a golfer. Audrey wears a retainer, glasses and sleeps with a stuffed animal at night. They'll be doing a hot salsa that involves a tornado spin.
The Dance: Oh, I want to like this. They're so cute. But this is not sexy. I don't feel a lot of heat from this. I think Latin may never be in Audrey's wheelhouse.
The Judges: Mary says they are one of her favorite couples, but she thought it looked really uncomfortable. Christina thinks they're brilliant but she was distracted by the music. She felt a little lost. But she thinks they're wonderful! Nigel says it felt like a margarita mix on quarter speed. The pot stirrer was slow. But they're one of his favorite couples, too.
Witney & Chehon
The Background: Chehon eats his cereal with orange juice and plays violin. Witney speaks German, and so does Chehon. They're doing an impossible love story contemporary piece by Stacey Tookey. Chehon has lived it recently, so he's already sold on it. Witney is named after Whitney Houston (they'll be dancing to "I Will Always Love You"), so she has a lot to live up to.
The Dance: Very, very. Words fail. So, so good. So good.
The Judges: Standing O from the judges. Christina is choked up. She thought it was one of the most beautiful things she'd ever seen in her life. Mary also gets choked up. She thought the catch jump was the best, most memorable thing on the show to date. Nigel is so shaken up he keeps calling an Emmy an Oscar. He's so glad they didn't go home. Flawless.
Cyrus & Eliana
The Background: Eliana has been raising birds since childhood. And once she squished a bird in her sleep. Cyrus' bellybutton looks like a power button. They'll be doing a NappyTabs hip hop routine.
The Dance: She's a music box ballerina, he's a robot, together they're amazeballs. The weird thing is I think she's actually a little better than Cyrus. Granted, he's unbeatable with the robot moves, but when they come together? He's definitely outshone.
The Judges: Another standing O from the judges. She thought it was buck, or whatever you want to say. They're both on the damn train. Christina thinks Eliana is one of the best dancers she's ever seen. Christina tells Cyrus he's been lucky not to have picked contemporary. Nigel is amazed Eliana can do what she can do, and thinks she did some of the robot moves better than Cyrus did.
Aack, time for eliminations! We find out the three girls and three guys with the lowest number of votes.
This week, the judges want to see Last Chance solos. He requests them from Amber, Eliana, Brandon and Dareian. No pressure, kids!
First up, Amber. She's a feather, just incredibly graceful. Brandon is a big, angry muscle. I like this routine, but it doesn't move me. Eliana's routine is surprisingly athletic -- she really can move outside of her genre with impressive ease. Don't send her home! Dareian moves across the floor and it strikes me that I liked this routine -- him performing on his own -- more than any of his pair dances.
Time for a dance interlude. It's the Alvin Ailey troupe performing "The Hunt." You know these guys are fierce when they can pull off skirts.
Lindsay is saved. Eliana is saved. Aww, Amber. How much does it suck that she turned in an AMAZING performance tonight?
George is saved. Nigel doesn't know why he's there. He gushes over Brandon and Dereian. Nigel tells Brandon that they had a top twenty because they wanted to include him. And Brandon is going home. Wow. Did not see that coming, really. He and Amber were SOOOOO GOOD TONIGHT! Heartbreaking, for real.
The good news is that he's already working in the industry. I'm not worried for Brandon. At all. He doesn't seem worried, either. He's smiling and thanking Jesus and he's just happy he had so much fun. Amber seems okay, too. I'm glad. After tonight's amazing performance, they should be proud of themselves. And suddenly, I am really, really seeing the drawback of the combined performance/elimination episode.
Do you think Amber and Brandon should have gone home? Did you agree with the judges? Do you think Whitney and Chehon's performance was season-defining?
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