(A KISS BEFORE DYING. Even the Power of Pasha can't save Christina as the judge's send her home, perhaps a week too early.)
It's an all new season of SYTYCD! 10 Finalists Remain: 4 contempos, 1 jazz hands, 1 breaker, 1 salsa, 1 tappa tappa tappa, 1 lyric dancer and 1 ballet boy are ready to take it up a notch after an impressive first week of live competition. Welcome... to So You THINK You Can Dance!
They've finally figured out how to film the opening credit solos! Bravo! We greet the judges and then we get to see the contestants pair up with the All-Stars and find out what's they're doing. Some are not the easiest match ups: Billy gets Comfort and Krump (!!), Lauren gets Dominic and Lyrical Hip Hop, Adechicke gets Allison - so it's another week of Contempo from both, Kent gets Courtney and Jazz, Melinda gets Ade for Contemproary. Alex gets Lauren for Broadway, Christina gets Pasha for Paso Doble, Ashley gets Mark for Jazz, Robert gets ANYA! for Argentine Tango and then Jose gets Kathryn and Bollywood! Ohh, it's gonna be crazy. Also tonight the contestants tell us about their childhood dance memories, but they are really not worth going into separately. They all had a lot of energy and loved to dance! Shocking, no?
Christina - her number with Pasha is by Jean-Marc & France. There are a lot of lifts. They keep talking about it in the clip package as the "Passionate Paso Doble" which makes me wonder if there are other types of Paso Doble (like there are different variations on the tango or the waltz). In any event, this Paso Doble is not very passionate. The steps are fine, but there isn't a lot of heat between Christina and Pasha. It feels a little labored. When it's over, Pasha is allowed to stand with her for the critique, and the other All-Stars will likely follow suit! A good tweak, Show. The judges heap praise on her, but I didn't think it was quite all that. Better than last week, though. Pasha runs off before the numbers are read so the public is not confused about who they are voting for. However, if we keep getting rid of female dancers, the likelihood of seeing Pasha week after week dwindles.
Adechicke - his number with Allison is by Mandy Moore. It's very strong. There's no story. It's just emotion. Adechicke still has his great form on hand, but this time he's bringing some variation of facial expression with him as well. The judges give him praise for improvement, but still hold back on full praise. I still think he'll be the first guy to go when the judges get the chance.
Alex - his routine with Lauren is by Tyce. It's in the "style of Fosse" if you know what that means, tell me. Because it's not Fosse choreo. It doesn't even seem Broadway to me. I like both of these dancers, but I didn't like the routine. All the judges blame Alex, but I think that's ridiculous. It's Tyce's fault. Mia doesn't think the outfits fit the song. I just think the whole thing was ill-conceived.
Ashley - Now Ashley is here, suddenly sexy as all hell. When did this transformation take place? Kudos to her and Robert for escaping the almost certain fate of early elimination as a result of lack of screentime. She's my favorite girl now. She's dancing jazz* with Mark by Travis. They are gorgeous. They are dancing to Annie Lennox. It's Ashley's 20th birthday this weekend! I would kill for Mark's abs. * - The judges hate the choreo. Not that the routine wasn't awesome, but they insist it wasn't a jazz routine. I watched it back, and I have to agree. It has a very contempo vibe. But when have the judges ever dissed Travis. Travis looks so pissed in the audience. How DARE they question his choreo! You know you're in Bizarro World when Travis is the problem, not the solution.
Billy (Elliot/Jamie) Bell - The Krump with Comfort is being choreo'ed by Lil C. Oh, it just isn't right. No one wants to see Billy dance this way. He's giving it his best, but it's just not aggressive enough. You feel uncomfortable watching it. You just want it to end. The judges are as kind as possible to him personally while panning his performance. Comfort starts to stick up for her partner which is sweet of her, but she can't convince us that Bill was bucc during this number. Billy seems just relieved to never have to dance this style again in his whole life.
Robert - the Argentine Tango with ANYA! is choreo'ed by Jeanne Marc and France again. They make an incredibly good looking couple, but this dance is off from the beginning. It's not the steps. it's the style. I don't know a lot about a lot of dances, but i DO know that the man has to totally dominate the woman in the dance. His steps are weird and his face looks distressed and ANYA! is flipping and kicking away, but it doesn't look like Robert's leading her through it. Nigel tries to say that Robert succeeded as the dominant partner, but Mia, Adam and I disagree. I felt like she was doing all the work. ANYA! SPEAKS! She defends her man. Still I think this wasn't a great dance for him. He's still my NGBF though!
Melinda - her contempo routine with Ade by Stacey Tookey is all about Mother Nature. I... I'm sorry, Ima get right to it, I don't like this routine and I really don't like the costume Melinda's wearing. She's supposed to be mother Nature, but it's like... if Poison Ivy was a character on the 60's Batman show, that's the dress she would've worn. It looks cheap. Ade is strong and awesome as usual, but I think this is the weakest routine of the season so far. Sorry, Stacey Tookey! I've liked other routines of yours in the past! The judges offer her mixed reviews and try to soften the blow to Stacey herself - but all Mia can say is that she appreciated "the concept" but seem to be distracted by the crazy dress and the not stellar . I'm just kinda done with Melinda.
Jose - It's time for Kathryn and Jose to go Bollywood with Nakul Dev Mahajan. In rehearsals, no one knew each other's styles. Would they all be able to come together for an entertaining routine? You may be not-so-surprised to find out it worked out in the end. The only problem is that they keep losing bits and pieces off their costumes that i fear they will step on and hurt themselves during the routine. Also Jose's handwork is not great, but he makes up for it with his overall energy. The judges all give him a pass on technique for the entertainment value, and Jose is grateful to get through it.
Lauren - she's with Dominic handling some Lyrical Hip Hop by new choreographer, Tessandra Chavez. Lauren has to emotionally connect this week since she was a bit artificial last week. Lucky for her, she can tap into the always comfortable emotions of an abuse-themed routine! It seems like a tough place for her to go and it doesn't look like Dom's thoroughly pleased with being the abuser either. Still, Tessandra demands perfection! I remember her as a good hip hopper from Vegas, so I actually expect good things here. It's a good routine. I think Lauren really acquits herself from last week's technically strong, but emotionally sterile routine. I think this was probably the best routine of the night. the judges tell her all is forgiven and implore her to go farther in future routines so that maybe a girl will survive the the top 5 this season.
Kent - Jazz with Courtney and choreo by Tyce. It's very sexy and Courtney's like "sure. let's do it." and Kent is all "WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY DO IT???" Even before they start Cat informs us Courtney's about to eat him alive. In the dance, Courtney is dressed like a no-need-for-rehab Amy Winehouse and will be dancing to an Amy Winehoues song called "Amy Amy Amy." Kent is wearing some weird harness. Overall, I like this routine, there's some "Doing It On a Table" motifs that look good, but Kent looks slightly intimidated by Courtney the whole time, which is not the right tone for this kind of dance. The judges cut him no slack about letting his big personality and nerves overpower the feeling of the piece he's dancing. Nigel takes another opportunity to make a knock at Travis by thanking Tyce for an actual Jazz routine. There's a cut away shot to Travis sitting next to Tyce looking dumbfounded by all the disapproval shovelled his way tonight.
With Kent's dance done, we've got a little bit of time left so Cat replays the numbers and then we get an extended freestyle sequence between the All-Stars and the Contestants and Cat on stage. SO GOOD. Kinda better than any of tonight's routines actually.
In order of my preference tonight's routines went: Lauren, Ashley, Adechicke, Jose, Kent, Christina, Robert, Alex, Billy, Melinda. This should be a weird bottom 3 though because I think Billy might be too popular to fall so far into danger. Even after the Krump! Boy, it was a weird performance night this week!
So. here we go with elimination night. There's a group dance that looks cool, but my DVR is spazzing so I can't get a sense of the fluidity. Boo! The bottom 3 wind up being Christina (really?) Melinda (Really!) and Robert (NO!!!). Why is America turning on its New Gay Best Friend??
Before the solos, we get a routine from RemoteKontrol featuring Brian Gaynor, who has graced this stage with his awesomeness several times before, including Nashville this season. He's a SYTCYD All-Star in his own right. I like that the producer's continue to let the show be a platform for his dancing even though he could never be a contestant. I wanted to post a clip of this latest routine because it is both brilliant and kinda indescribable, but the producers have already taken it down off youtube. Lame and a shame! It needs to be seen.
Then the solos happen and they're not really that good. Then Debi Nova comes out to sing her song "Drummer Boy" but she employs 6 of the all-stars to be her back-up dancers and it is a WISE CHOICE. Also of note: Cat is several feet taller than Debi Nova.
After the break. Robert is spared despite the growing male female disparity of the contestants, and Christina is eliminated. I think it should've been Melinda, personally. Nigel lets it be known that he would've cut Melinda too, but he got outvoted by Adam and Mia. If she falls in the bottom 3 again and they save her again, the judges are crazy. Christina wills herself not to cry, thanks everyone sincerely and then the rest of the dancers rush onto the stage for a giant-sized group hug.
Next week, there will be nine dancers remaining and Melinda will be dancing with a giant target on her back. It will still look better on her than that Mother Nature Dress...