It was week two for Wednesday’s performance and now there are ten dancers left. This week there were no real stand out dances and I disagreed a time or two with the judges. But it was an interesting evening because most of the dancers performed quite out of their comfort zone. It was nice to see how versatile the dancers could be. Host Cat Deeley introduced the panel of judges consisting again of Nigel Lithgoe, Mia Michaels and Adam Shankman. Each dancer told the audience how they got into dancing and then they commenced with the performances.
For Thursday’s results show the remaining dancers performed a dance to Royal T by Crookers feat. Roisin Murphy choreographed by Sonya Tayeh. We saw Brian Gaynor during the auditions in Nashville. He could not make it on the show because of his physical condition, scoliosis, but he had a brilliant and inspirational performance. Nigel promised him he and his dance crew, Remote Control, would be a guest on the show and this was the day for it. They certainly did not disappoint with an amazing performance. Debbie Nova performed her latest single, Drummer Boy, accompanied by a few of the SYTYCD All Stars.
Great performances on Thursday but how did everyone do?
So You Think You Can Dance: Cristina Santana
The first dance was Cristina Santana paired with All Star Pasha Kovalev for a paso doble to Ira Deorum/Sanctus by James Dooley, choreographed by Jean-Marc Généreux and France Mousseau. The first thing that struck me about this dance was the power of the music and such music required an equally powerful performance. Cristina delivered. Her facial expressions were spot on and her movements strong and precise. The passion of the dance was portrayed to the audience. Cristina could very easily have gotten lost with a partner such as Pasha but she held her own. The judges and I agreed in this case. As Mia said, “It had every element to it. It was power, it was passion, it was the whole package and it was the perfect partnership… Fabulous. Thank you for that”
Choreography was perfect for a paso. The movements were strong and passionate. But they also added an element of difficulty that made the dance incredibly exciting to watch. Plus, there were tricks and lifts that were unique and only added to the dance.
Result: Unfortunately, Cristina was in the bottom three but she did not deserve to be there. Unfortunately, her solo did not save her and she was eliminated.
So You Think You Can Dance: Adechike Torbert
Next came Adechike Torbert with All Star Allison Holker for a contemporary dance choreographed by Mandy Moore. They danced to Listen to Your Heart (Edmee’s Unplugged Vocal Edit) by DHT. After last week’s disappointing performance I was looking forward to seeing if Adechike would redeem himself. There was definite improvement in my opinion but I was still left wanting. I want more from him. I feel his steps are perfection but his performance is contrived. Even when it seems as if he is making the correct facial expressions what is shown on his face does not reach the audience. Nigel and Mia agreed there was improvement but encouraged him to dig even deeper. AS Adam mentioned, “You’re dancing from your head. But you have so much passion in your heart and sometimes there’s a weight on there a little bit of heaviness… so you need to actually get out of your head…”
Mandy Moore did a great job on the choreography and I felt it had everything there to be a beautiful routine. It was good. But it did not move me. I don’t think that was the fault of the choreographer, though.
Result: The public disagreed and thought his performance was good enough to stay. He was safe.
So You Think You Can Dance: Alex Wong
Alex Wong joined All Star Lauren Gottlieb for a Tyce Diorio Broadway number to Summertime by Sylvester. Tyce explained he was channeling Fosse for this number so I was excited. Choreography-wise I could definitely see the Fosse inspiration though it was not a completely Fosse dance. There were bits of Fosse-esque movement with Tyce flair thrown in. I loved the choreography. Unfortunately, the performance was just short of Fosse style. Nobody can deny Alex is a brilliant dancer but this style, which was foreign to him, did not suit him perfectly. I would like to see him attempt it again after researching more Fosse pieces to see if he could channel the spirit of the dance a little better. The Fosse feel did not come through as strongly and I wanted him to take it to the nth degree…as Fosse would have. I think Alex is safe because he’s a brilliant dancer but I would like to see his versatility come out a bit more. So did the judges.
Result: It is really no surprise Alex was safe.
So You Think You Can Dance: Ashley Galvan
Ashley Galvan paired with All Star Mark Kanemura for a jazz number to Wonderful by Annie Lennox choreographed by Travis Wall. Ashley’s lines were gorgeous and she delivered a great performance. Both the judges and I agreed that there was still some improvement needed in emoting to the audience. It fell just short of perfect. But barely.
As I watched the choreography I thought it looked more contemporary than jazz and Nigel agreed with me. “Looking at this it was a well choreographed routine and danced brilliantly but I didn’t really get the fact that this was jazz. It just felt like a contemporary routine. ” Aside from that, though, the dance was choreographed nicely with some great lines and interesting movements between the pair. There were a few “wow” moments in the tricks. Great difficulty and danced beautifully.
Result: The dance must have wowed others and Ashley was safe.
So You Think You Can Dance: Billy Bell
The pairing of Billy Bell with All Star Comfort Fedoke made me a tad nervous especially when I found out he would be attempting krumping to a number choreographed by Lil’C. Lil’ C chose So U Think U Can Krump by Tha J-Squad for this number. So, I think Billy can krump. Sort of. I was blown away because I thought this was going to be a nightmare of epic proportions. It wasn’t. This is one of the dances I disagreed vehemently with the judges. Lil’ C said during rehearsals that he was going to have to “transform Billy Bell into Billy B Buck.” I thought he did a pretty good job. Was he the biggest, baddest gansta evah? Well, no but it was not the worst showing either and I was especially impressed with how in sync Billy and Comfort were.
The judges did not have many good things to say. I thought it was slightly harsh. Nigel said, “I believe that krump is a warrior’s dance and I don’t think you found the warrior in you yet.” Mia was slightly kinder with, “I think that you knocked on the warrior’s door but you were afraid to open it.” But then she really let him have it with, “I think Lil’ C tried to create that Billy B Buck but…Billy B Whack.” Adam agreed saying, “That was a failed experiment.”
The choreography was great. I loved it and I felt there was a level of difficulty that could have been disastrous for another dancer. This is one of those dances where I wished we could hear from the choreographer how they think the dancer did on their dance. I can’t help but think Lil’ C may have approved slightly more than the judges did.
Result: At least the public thought it was good, though. Billy was safe.
So You Think You Can Dance: Robert Roldan
All Star Anya Garnis partners with Robert Roldan for an Argentine tango to Libertango by bond choreographed by Jean-Marc Généreux and France Mousseau. First, I adored the choreography. But the problem I always have with Anya is it is hard to take my eyes off her no matter how good her partner is. Robert did pretty well. He was sharp and precise and I felt he showed his passion and dominance in the dance. The second time I watched it I paid particular attention to Robert’s facial expressions. There were some intense looks and while I did see a few minor issues with feet and legs they were exactly that – minor. I really liked it. Nigel agreed with me but the other judges did not.
“This role was the dominant male of the species taking on the woman and controlling them…and without question…you did that this evening, ” stated Nigel. But Mia disagreed and she felt that Robert needed more power. Adam felt he looked stressed out. I didn’t see it.
Result: But apparently the public saw something I did not. Robert was in the bottom three. However, he was such a strong dancer he was not eliminated.
So You Think You Can Dance: Melinda Sullivan
Melinda Sullivan and All Star Ade Obayomi took on a Stacey Tookey contemporary routine to Squander by Skunk Anansie. I think Melinda is a great performer but I was not crazy about this routine. Was it good? Yes. I also think it was vast improvement from last week. But it did not amaze me. I was not moved. The judges disagreed somewhat with only positive remarks for Melinda.
I think the reason I did not like it as much as the judges apparently did is because I felt the choreography was too simple. This is not a bash against Stacey, though – quite the contrary. I think she adapted her choreography to her dancer’s skill level to make her positive features shine. Ultimately, I think Melinda’s lack of experience in other dance styles may be a detriment to her continuing. I think the reason the judges liked it so much is because it was so vastly different from her roots in tap. For me, I was lukewarm about it.
Result: It seems others felt lukewarm about it too and did not pick up the phones for Melinda. She was in the bottom three. However, her solo created a split decision between the judges. Nigel thought she should go but she was saved by the majority vote of Adam and Mia combined.
So You Think You Can Dance: Jose Ruiz
Jose Ruiz and All Star Kathryn McCormick attempted a Bollywood routine to Marjaani Marjaani Kasama from Billu, choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan. I chose the word “attempted” purposefully. Uh oh. This was the best worst dance ever. I don’t really know what Jose was doing up there. It was definitely not Bollywood. I doubt it was anything like what Nakul intended, who, as usual, created a brilliant dance. But I smiled throughout the entire performance and even laughed out loud at times. Jose was obviously enjoying himself and he worked so hard. I hope the rest of the viewers thought it was enjoyable enough to keep him safe even if it was not even close to technically correct. Technically bad, fabulous performance. Again, best worst dance ever.
The judges mirrored my thoughts on the matter. All remarked on how it was not quite what was intended but he obviously worked hard and enjoyed himself and that will take him far. Adam said, “If there were a prize for the brightest light on this show you would have won it already. You are an absolute joy.”
Result: The rest of the viewers agreed it was enjoyable enough to keep him and he was safe.
So You Think You Can Dance: Lauren Froderman
Lauren Froderman partnered with All Star Dominic Sandoval for a lyrical hip-hop routine to If I Were a Boy by Beyoncé Knowles. Newcomer Tessandra Chavez choreographed this routine and I really like her style. She gave dancers everything they would need to make you take notice. I wanted to. I did not quite get there. I will agree with the judges that Lauren obviously took in the feedback from last week and applied them. I agree completely that there was improvement in the emotion. She was obviously moved by her performance and she felt the music so I must give her kudos for that. But I wanted more and this is what made it a little disappointing for me even though ultimately it was my favorite dance of the evening. The emotion I could feel and the power from the dancers made this my favorite but I think it could have been brilliant if they had given me more.
Mia summed up my sentiment precisely. “The only moments that I wanted to really, really feel more was the abuse part. I needed you to get out of the dance and be the abused and the abuser instead of being a dance step. Take what she gave you and now take it so far into reality that it’s really disturbing.” I wanted to be disturbed like I was for Mia Michael’s Season 5 routine to Gravity by Sara Bareilles about addiction. There is no denying it was a great performance and that Lauren improved immensely. Great job. I just wanted even more.
Result: Lauren was safe but nobody was really surprised.
So You Think You Can Dance: Kent Boyd
Kent Boyd and All Star Courtney Galiano danced a Tyce Diorio jazz routine to Amy Amy Amy by Amy Winehouse. This dance should have been sultry and sexy. All I could see was a farm boy in bondage. He actually did a great job but I think the need to act sexy was just slightly beyond Kent’s grasp just yet. I found myself grinning at it more so than taking it seriously. Technically he did well. Had I not known his personality I may have even bought the feel of it more than I did. It was choreographed brilliantly as I expect from Tyce. The judges agreed that it was danced perfectly but he needed to pull together the performance just slightly better so it was believable.
Result: Everyone loves Kent. He was safe.
So You Think You Can Dance: Results
After all the votes were in the dancers who were safe included Kent Boyd, Adechike Torbert, Jose Ruiz, Alex Wong, Ashley Galvan, Lauren Froderman and Billy Bell. The bottom three consisted of Robert Roldan, Cristina Santana and Melinda Sullivan. Cristina performed her solo to Quimbara by Celia Cruz and Johnny Pacheco. Melinda performed to Heels by Q-Tip and Robert performed to Everywhere I Go by Lissie. Nigel announced that their decision was not unanimous in their decision. It seemed as if everyone was in agreement that Robert should be safe, though. Nigel thought Melinda should be the one to go and I agreed. But, Mia and Adam thought she should stay and Cristina, unfortunately was eliminated. It was a rough elimination this week and I do not envy the judges’ task.