So You Think You Can Dance June 23rd

| June 23, 2011

Well, I believe I owe an apology. When I wrote last week about the top twenty dancers, I may have come off as some sort of smug expert thinking I know the way The Dance fans vote and who will emerge as the likely victors. Last week’s result show proved that I don’t know anything about who will be in the top this season, but gosh darn it, I’m a journalist and I must keep trying.
This week the top twenty danced again and Debbie Reynolds was the guest judge and she was delightful. I tend to experience nostalgia for time periods I never lived through, and Debbie’s can-do attitude and good ol’ fashioned pluck just rubbed me the right way yesterday. I reminisced with my friend about how, back in those Singin’ in the Rain days, every actor had to be able to act, sing, and dance (with necessary knowledge of tap dance – my favorite). “Now all they have to do is look good,” my friend said. Sad.
After having a dancegasm watching the Singin’ in the Rain clip (so much tapping!), it was time for some modern dance.
Ryan & Ricky did a Mandy Moore Jazz number and I have to say, I’m still not on board with Ryan. My friend informed me that she really showed some hard work at tryouts, but I still can’t get over how much she mugs for the audience. I know some dances call for smiling at the audience, but would it kill her to look at Mitchell? Mitchell is looking at her. Look back dagnabbit! It breaks that fourth-wall voyeuristic feeling that I love so. The choreography was good and the technique was good, but with competitors like they have this season, you absolutely need more than excellent technique. Also, “Addicted to Love?” Really?
Caitlynn & Mitchell did a Stacey Tookey Contemporary piece. Let me just say I love Stacey Tookey, not as much as I love Travis Wall, but pretty close. Caitlynn looked like she was floating. Absolutely gorgeous. Loved the jumps and catches. Loved the energy loved the choreography. They just kicked the tar out of Ryan and Ricky here. Wonderful.
Missy & Wadi performed a Jean Marc Genereux Cha Cha. My immediate thought was, “Oh, this is going to go badly.” And I was pretty much right. Another bad song choice: “Cannibal” by Ke$ha. I thought everything here was a little flat. As expected, Wadi was not great, but I didn’t think Missy was that great either, better than Wadi, but that’s not setting the bar high exactly.
Iveta & Nick did a Nakul Dev Mahajan Bollywood routine. Oh, I love Bollywood, and I love these two dancers. The choreography was tight and the routine brought all the Bollywood energy I love so much. Nigel mentioned Katie and Joshua being the stand-out and standard in his mind for a good Bollywood routine, but I always think of Caitlyn and Jason’s Season 5 Bollywood routine. Whether or not they were as good as any Bollywood routine, they’ll be around for a long time. Nick has the preteen girl vote and (here’s where I sound like a smug Dance snob) the girl vote gets a dancer VERY far in this competition.
Miranda & Robert did a Nappy Tabs Hip Hop dance about woodpeckers. They nailed it. Miranda reminds me a lot of Jeanane, winner from season five (my favorite season and I think the show’s, too, if you’ve ever seen the opening credits and bumpers). They just hit everything so perfectly. Hopefully this will keep them out of elimination. Can we keep them in long enough to have Miranda dance with Tadd? She revealed her crush on him last night and I think they need to make out in a Travis Wall number. Just sayin’.
Clarice & Jess danced another Stacey Tookey Contemporary number. Two in one night? Like. Have we all decided that Jess rubs us the wrong way? I thought he’d pull in a lot more votes than he did because he’s a little Broadway guy and the judges love him. Apparently that does not a Dance favorite make. I read a couple of fan posts and it seems like we’ve collectively decided we do not like Jess very much. I would hate for Clarice to go down with him, though, because she was beautiful in this.
Jordan & Tadd performed a Viennese Waltz by Jean Marc Genereux. Since when is a Viennese Waltz entertaining? Since when do street dancers know how to actually dance? What parallel universe have I stepped into? It was everything it needed to be plus enjoyable. Let’s hope this season keeps up a trend of really great ballroom numbers and this dance keeps these two out of the bottom.
Melanie & Marko did a Mandy Moore Jazz routine. These two totally carried this routine. I think Mandy Moore did a great routine once and I started to claim my love for her, but she has not done anything spectacular since (have you noticed this is my common complaint – Jason Lee, Amy Poehler, Tyce Diorio). Melanie and Marko are by far the best pairing this year. They are both just so hands down adorable.When Debbie Reynolds asked if they knew who Gene Kelly was, I thought both of their eyes would pop out of their heads. They are the darlings of the Dance this year. Great techinique. Great personalities. Love ’em.
Sasha & Alexander danced a Nappy Tabs Hip Hop number about a soldier returning from war. This was very serendipitous since President Obama just announced his plans for bringing the soldiers in Afghanistan home. Sasha killed it (in a good way) from beginning to end. When she was just dancing and Alexander was walking, that was great. That could have been the whole dance and I’d have liked it much better. I’ll go ahead and say it: Alexander was stiff. I think he was a bottom three candidate last week and think he should be this week. However, this was the breast cancer dance (season 5) all over again. The dance was great but the subject matter makes it a get-out-of-elimination-free card. I feel bad for the bottom three guys facing elimination this week but I have comfort in knowing Alexander will be sent home before top ten.
Ashley & Chris did a Spencer Liff Broadway routine. I had mentally started putting together my bottom three expecting Ashley and Chris to be a shoe-in bottom three candidate. Then I saw them dance. Ashley was great as she was last week, but the real surprise was Chris. Last week when Ashley danced circles around him IN HIS OWN GENRE, I thought he’d be very easy to dump like a sack of potatoes. I was shocked at how impressive Chris was on those bars. Big ups to Spencer for integrating that scenery into the routine. That was the epitome of a choreographer playing to a dancer’s strength. It worked. It worked. It worked and it worked. Well played indeed.
So who goes home? Remember last week’s bottom three: Clarice & Jess, Miranda & Robert, and Jordan & Tadd – some of my favorites. I’m hoping this does not repeat, but I fear it might. In a perfect world, here are the bottom three: Ryan & Ricky, Missy & Wadi, and Sasha & Alexander with Ryan, Missy, Alexander and Wadi going home. Being as this is not a perfect world and there if no way Alexander’s in the bottom three, here’s my prediction. Bottom three is Clarice & Jess, Missy & Wadi, and Jordan & Tadd with Clarice, Missy, Jess and Wadi going home. I think almost all the women are so evenly matched this season that it could be Jordan just as easily.
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My reaction to the results show the following day:
***********WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS***********
So the bottom three were exactly as I had predicted. Wait. No they weren’t. If I’ve learned anything from this predicting Dance results on the internet experiment, it’s that I know nothing. The bottom three did include Missy & Wadi and Ryan & Ricky – two of my in-a-perfect-world predictions (only one of my real world predictions). It also included Iveta & Nick. Now what did I say above about Iveta & Nick. Let’s see: “Whether or not they were as good as any Bollywood routine, they’ll be around for a long time.” This was actually one of two things I considered a sure thing. But just because they’re in the bottom two doesn’t mean they’ll go home, does it? I think we all expected Missy & Wadi to be sent packing. Someone’s gotta go.
But this week, with two couples going home, it seemed a shoe-in that Ryan & Ricky’s forgettable performance would send them packing. Unfortunately, Ricky was a solo explosion, so Nick got sent home which of course means Iveta had to join him. Wait, no, that’s not how The Dance goes. Dancers are dismissed individually, not by couple. So it looks like we’re stupidly going to have to look at Ryan’s mug for at least one more weak. Boo.

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