Cat Deeley introduced judges Nigel Lythgoe, Adam Shankman and Mia Michaels Wednesday for the performance show. Joining them was ballroom expert Toni Redpath. As with last week the dancers would perform three times this week – once with an All-Star, one solo and once with a fellow competitor. Billy Bell claimed his knee was better and he performed this week after an entire week of rest. Did his restful week give him an edge on the competition or will the public vote him into the bottom three? In a surprise twist last week nobody went home. However, two people are going home on Thursday. Who will it be?
Thursday started out as usual with the group number. It seems Jose has been missing from these the last few Thursdays due to an injured groin muscle but he didn’t miss a beat of his normal performances. He was back this Thursday but Lauren was not for the opening to Every Little Thing She Does is Magic by Sting choreographed by Mia Michaels. Lauren, however, is fine even though she had to sit out this one routine.
The first guest performance of the evening was the dancers from the movie Step Up 3D which was produced by Adam Shankman and featuring many previous SYTYCD dancers including Twitch, Ashlee Nino, Joshua, Legacy, Ivan and Musa. Tonight’s performance included special guests Season 5’s Tony Bellissimo and Lil’ C and they rocked the house. The next guest performance was musical act Christian TV singing When She Turns 18. Following this performance was Allison Iraheta singing Don’t Waste the Pretty. Look for an article coming soon on the music for SYTYCD.
Then the solos ensued and finally, judgment. Who stayed and who left? Do you agree?
So You Think You Can Dance All Star Routine: Kent Boyd
Kent Boyd chose the cha cha cha as his dance this week and was paired with All-Star Anya Garnis . They performed to My First Kiss by 3OH!3 ft. Ke$ha. Jean-Marc Généreux and France Mousseau choreographed a really nice dance but one that I thought was a tad light on the cha cha cha’ing. I especially missed some hip action once I saw how well Kent did it in the very beginning of the dance. The dance was entertaining but I wanted to see a little more of Kent shakin’ some boot-ay.
This is Kent’s second cha cha cha attempt and he clearly improved. His posture was good for the most part with a few shoulder slips, hips were loose but controlled and his feet were really good. Nigel mentioned an issue with his hands I did not really notice the first go-round but when I watched again it was glaring the second time around. So, that is something he could work on. Mia once again commented on his facial expressions but I thought they were fine for this dance. I did not feel he overacted or got cartoonish as he is sometimes wont to do. As for All-Star Anya, what’s to say? She did what she does so well.
“You need to watch your hands, they curl up sometimes”, remarked Nigel. But he went on to praise the overall performance. “So this time…it was better,” quipped Toni and continued to give him some constructive criticism on his posture but encouraged him that the effort was really good. All judges had minor critiques of the performance designed to help Kent improve it. However, all were in agreement that it was a solid attempt and much improved from his first attempt.
Result: Kent is clearly a judge and crowd favorite as well as being a talented dancer and performer. He was safe.
So You Think You Can Dance All Star Routine: Robert Roldan
All-Star Kathryn McCormick joined Robert Roldan for a contemporary routine to Heaven is a Place on Earth by Katie Thompson. Stacey Tookey did a great job choreographing a dance showing the connection between two people in love with one going off to war. The twist of the person going off to war being the woman as opposed to the man was brilliant and made you think. What I did not like about the dance – enough to mention it – was the music. I never really liked the Belinda Carlisle original but this version was painful. If you like the song or could ignore it to get to the dancing you would likely appreciate the routine.
I think Robert has a gift for taking a choreographer’s vision, getting the steps, getting the story and putting his own heart into it to make it his own. I have a bit of an issue with Robert in that I find his solos to be rather boring. I don’t see a lot of growth there and perhaps it is, like I mentioned in a previous article, that he is not a gifted choreographer. But he is a choreography sponge and when given material to work with he absolutely shines and has some powerful performances in and out of his discipline.
Nigel commented on Robert’s growth and maturing as a dancer. Toni commented on his partnering skills, “What it comes down to for me is, ‘would I want to be the woman you are dancing with?’ It’s a simple yes or no answer for me and tonight, oh yea, it’s a yes!” Mia commented on the restraint shown in the beginning and how much that shows maturity. Adam commented on the support for one another and said to Robert, “You killed it.” On a completely unrelated note, though, wouldn’t Robert and Kathryn make the cutest real-life couple?
Result: Robert was completely surprised when Cat announced he was safe.
You Think You Can Dance All Star Routine: Adéchiké Torbert
All-Star Courtney Galiano paired with AdéChiké Torbert for a Tyce Diorio jazz piece to Manteca by Dizzy Gillespie. What an incredible routine Tyce created to incredible music! It was fun, it was sassy and it was pure dancing. It also had all the elements to be disastrous if not performed expertly. It is not luck, though, that it was anything but disastrous. Courtney was divine and AdéChiké showed a lot of personality in addition to his incredible skill. He seemed as if he was having fun with the piece. I did agree with Nigel though in that AdéChiké could have loosened up even more. He needed to get down and dirty and tap into a bit more of a raw sensuality for this piece. It was lacking just a bit of abandon that would have made it perfection. The judges echoed my sentiments.
Cat went to Adam first this time and had to chide him for his use of colorful language during a live show but he commented both on the lack of heavy partnering that has seemed to encompass this season and the need to loosen up his back and hips. Mia commented on how the focus is often on his athleticism and strength and that she would like to see a little more finesse and style. Toni loved it and Nigel remarked that there needed to me more abandon though there was a lot of energy. Overall a great performance but everyone agreed that there needed to be a bit more soul in it.
Result: He has never been in the bottom three and this week was no different. He was safe.
So You Think You Can Dance All Star Routine: Jose Ruiz
Jose Ruiz partnered with All-Star Comfort Fedoke for a hip hop routine to Otis Redding’s Try a Little Tenderness. Marty Kudelka and Dana Wilson choreographed this piece and it was one of the most unique hip hop routines I have seen. It just goes to show what brilliant choreographers like these two and NappyTabs can do with street dancing. Comfort did an incredible job interpreting this dance. I was left wanting on Jose’s performance. He did a decent job but I don’t think there was enough oomph to the performance. I had a hard time, though, pinpointing exactly what I didn’t like about it. The judges were torn and after further review and consideration I think I agree with bits and pieces of each judge’s critiques and praises culminating in Adam’s final critique.
Regarding Jose’s arms and sharpness Nigel commented, “It was a bit flappy for me…I was a little uncomfortable in places with it.” Toni disagreed with Nigel but concentrated more on the character of the piece and thought Jose portrayed a schmoozer perfectly. Mia disagreed with Toni and thought he brought no swag. Adam pulled everyone’s conflicting thoughts together and came up with the perfect assessment of the dance, “I actually know what they’re all talking about…What I want to recommend to you to do is in a piece like this you have to dance the intention. What is the intention of your character? The steps become secondary…What should have been a little darker and a little more intimate became fun…as opposed to more sexy.”
Result: Jose’s lack of training is starting to pose a glaring contrast to the other dancers and he is not quite keeping up. The viewers sense it too and put him in the bottom three.
So You Think You Can Dance All Star Routine: Lauren Froderman
Lauren Froderman paired with All-Star Allison Holker in the first girl/girl dance of this season. Tyce Diorio choreographed a Broadway number to Who’s Got the Pain? from Damn Yankees. This dance was filled with energy and was designed to showcase the strength and athleticism of both women. It succeeded. The choreography was spot-on but then, we always expect that from Tyce. The dancing delivered with Lauren and Allison making a great team and a force to be reckoned with. The judges agreed with compliments across the board.
Result: While I think everyone is in agreement that Lauren is destined to ride this all the way to the final, it is likely people didn’t pick up the phones for Lauren this week because they figured everyone else would. This landed her with the final spot in the bottom three. Robert was possibly the most shocked of all.
So You Think You Can Dance All Star Routine: Billy Bell
Billy Bell came off his weeklong recovery to partner with All-Star Ade Obayomi for a Stacey Tookey choreographed contemporary piece to Mad World (Alternate Version) by Michael Andrews ft. Gary Jules. The choreography pitted two very different styled dancers against one another and took advantage of this in the characters they were to play – two different people from different sides of the tracks. It completely worked. The routine was wonderful with a great back story and the dancing equaled the task. But this is where I have an issue with Billy Bell.
Putting aside my bias for his not dancing last week even though he was cleared to do so, I think it is time for Billy to go. Billy is brilliant when he is working in his style. In fact, save Alex Wong, I think he is the best dancer when performing his own style especially in solos. But, he has not had consistent performances outside his style that truly wowed. Plus, I do not think he is a strong male lead to a female partner. Is he a great contemporary dancer? Absolutely. Is he a great all around dancer? Absolutely not. Have others in the competition exceeded him in this? Definitely. In fact, aside from Jose, I think they all have by now. Thus, time to go.
But to get back to this particular performance, it was Billy-Bell-brilliant. I admit I was disappointed to see him perform a contemporary routine at all this week because I really wanted him to shine outside his genre. We did not get to see if that was possible, though. What we did get to see was an incredible dance performed by both dancers exceptionally well from both an emotional and physical point of view. Based on that performance alone I could not recommend he go home. But overall, it’s time to part ways.
The judges agreed with my assessment of the performance. Everyone loved it and he got a standing ovation.
Result: Despite the good performance, I think a lot of America thinks similarly to me. Billy was in the bottom three.
So You Think You Can Dance Competitor Partner Routine: Kent and Jose
Kent Boyd and Jose Ruiz took on a Broadway number choreographed by Spencer Liff to From This Moment On from Kiss Me Kate. The choreography was delightful. It was playful, told a great story and used the music incredibly well. Kent shined. I really think he missed his calling and should be on Broadway, he is just built for it and Mia agrees. As for Jose, he did well but I think his pairing with Kent both helped and hurt him.
I think it helped because he had to keep up and work really hard to make his performance more professional looking. But it also hurt because compared to Kent, his lack of training was completely evident. He did a great job for a B-Boy. But at this stage in the competition we can no longer preface performances with “for a B-Boy…” and instead we need to see some real improvement as an overall dancer. Legs were not straightened, heights were not reached and toes were not pointed. These were beginner mistakes that as a whole are not terrible but when comparing to others in the competition are inexcusable at this stage.
Judges agreed. All thought Jose’s performance was good…”for a B-Boy”. But I think we have seen the last of Jose skating by on his charm and breaking ability. All thought Kent killed it with Adam remarking, “You were born to do this.” Mia agreed with, “You just found your home…you need to live in that world because everything about it fits you like a glove.” On a related note, who wants to see a pairing of Evan (Kasprzak from season 5) and Kent doing a Tyce Broadway number? Can we say dream team?
So You Think You Can Dance Competitor Partner Routine: Lauren and Adéchiké
Lauren Froderman and AdéChiké Torbert took on a foxtrot to Fever by Beyoncé Knowles as choreographed by Jean-Marc Généreux and France Mousseau. What was up with the song choice for this? Beyonce is a great singer but there are so many versions of this song available and so many BETTER versions why this one was chosen escapes my grasp. But chosen it was and I really enjoyed both the choreography and performance.
For two contemporary dancers they did well. It was missing a finesse – a smooth, sassy, sophistication that I expect from the foxtrot. Was it a perfect ballroom? No, for neither one of them but it was pretty good and I don’t think it hurt either of their chances to continue in the competition. Judges had a rather lukewarm reception to the dance also acknowledging their inexperience with the style and offering constructive criticism all the while echoing my own sentiments. Good job. Not great. Probably won’t hurt them too much.
So You Think You Can Dance Competitor Partner Routine: Billy and Robert
Billy Bell and Robert Roldan teamed up for a Bollywood routine to Ganesh from Bombay Dreams and choreographed by the incredible Nakul Dev Mahajan. This was probably one of the best Bollywood routines I have seen yet. That being said there were times I laughed out loud regarding Billy’s performance. He did well but there was a femininity in his movements I don’t think was intentional and not seen when he does his solos. Robert hit it and hit it hard. When I slowed the dance to really look at it closely Robert had better lines, better hands and better positioning. In my opinion, had Billy done this alone it would have been great but with Robert being next to him the difference was like night and day with Robert being far superior. They both really did well, though and it was a valiant effort.
Nigel liked them both but sent some special kudos to Robert for finishing his lines. Toni thought the performance would come down to personal preference. She made the analogy of pizza and burgers. You may like them both but burgers are better and Robert was a “big cheesy hamburger”. Mia liked the “big cheesy pizza” though. Adam was torn giving compliments to both.
So You Think You Can Dance Solos
All the dancers performed contemporary routines as their solos except Jose who did a break dancing routine. Jose Ruiz performed to Giant Squid by RJD2. It seems like every week Jose improves on his solos incorporating new moves and better technique. Lauren Froderman performed to (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin. A solid performance and what is expected of her. Billy Bell danced his solo to Lights Go Down by Telepathe. This was a stand out solo of the evening and I think one that reflected his sabbatical for the week. New moves and new power to it. It was the best solo performed this week.
Kent Boyd continued with A Song For You by Elliot Yamin that was a very close second favorite especially with the suicide coming out of nowhere. He is really a dynamic dancer who has evolved substantially throughout this season and it is no wonder he is considered the one to beat. Robert Roldan danced to A Beautiful Mess (A Raining Jane sessions) by Jason Mraz. It was good. It always is. But it is the same shtick I have seen throughout the competition in his solos. AdéChiké Torbert rounded out the solos with a performance to Pretty Wings by Maxwell that he danced wonderfully.
So You Think You Can Dance Results
Kent, AdéChiké and Robert were safe. In the bottom three were Jose, Billy and Lauren. Jose was up first performing to Hot Music by Soho. Billy was next with a performance to Szerencsetlen by Venetian Snares. Lauren rounded out the bottom three performances with Let’s Get it On by Marvin Gaye. The judges came back and they made a unanimous decision even though it was a difficult one. This was also the last judges’ decision of the season and from here on out America will choose their favorites.
Judges commented on Jose and they felt he learned a lot and his personality shined. For Billy they were complimentary about his dance ability but wondered why he had been in the bottom the past few weeks. They speculated about his androgynous style that may not have him connecting to America. I agree because one of the main issues I have with him for this show is that he is a very weak partner. Judges agreed that perhaps America simply did not pick up the phone for Lauren but they were unanimous and decided to keep her. She was safe.
So, it is with sadness we say goodbye to Billy and Jose but we are sure to see them again. Plus, next week promises to be thrilling. So stay tuned for next week’s exciting performances.