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So You Think You Can Dance 2, 6-21-06 – New Styles, New Moves


Ryan seemed to be disappointed to be paired up with Heidi last week, but he had to eat his words because, although not great, the two did a decent job with their Viennese waltz. He apologized profusely to her, “I didn’t mean it like that.” Heidi good-heartedly laughed it off. Tovaris explains to them that “pop” is what they would see upon turning on the television and watching choreographed “pop videos”… if that helps. I always thought you weren’t supposed to use the word you were defining in its own definition. I’ll let it go though because these intros are too long anyway, and I don’t want to dwell. Tovaris tells Heidi to play up the aggressive “girl power” in this number, which unfortunately results in a few accidental smacks to Ryan’s face. Oops. That’s what you get for bad-mouthing her last week. “I couldn’t ask for a better partner right now,” admits a battered Ryan.

Dancing to Walk Away by Kelly Clarkson, Ryan and Heidi did a decent job with what they had to work with. The make-up artists screwed up Heidi’s hair, making her look like a trashy version of Sandy from the end of Grease. It was obvious that the choreographer let some of his contemporary crap slip into this pop routine, and it looked very out of place. True, Heidi overacted the suggested aggression, making it unbelievable like Nigel pointed out, but I personally think they were handed the short end of the stick. Despite all that, Shane considers them “the group to beat,” not because of their moves, but because of their chemistry.

Triple step! Triple step! Limbs flailing? Genital injury? It must be Ben and Ashlee! The judges had called them one of the weakest couples, but viewers’ votes kept them out of the bottom three. Ben cusses upon realizing that they will be dancing American jive. Mary makes it clear that she is not optimistic about working with the couple. Whatever. They were a mess last week, but trust me, I wouldn’t be too thrilled with working with Mary. Pop-and-Locker Ashlee says her brain doesn’t quite understand what her feet are doing. Um, that’s called dancing, dear. Oh, but no need to smack her upside the head. Ben already did that… with his *ahem* manhood. While attempting to do a split jump over a standing Ashlee from behind, Ben didn’t jump quite high enough, and his groin area flew right into the back of her head. Although his jump wasn’t high enough, his voice probably hit a higher octave after that graceful move.

Although there were times when Ashlee did not look like she had the energy required for the routine, I think they did really well actually, jiving to Jerry Lee Lewis’ Great Balls of Fire. It looked fun, it looked campy, and I was entertained. I guess I was the only one though. Shane said simply, “I didn’t like that.” Mia thought they did a decent job but needed “some tightening up.” Nigel agreed that they had improved, but “was it perfect? No.” Tough crowd out there, folks.

Jason and Aleksandra were impressive with their contemporary routine but now they were attempting to master hip-hop. Jason jumps for joy. And we begin yet another intro that places a lot of emphasis on only one dancer. I think this competition would be so much better (and shorter) if we did without these intros because they create a bias for the viewers. Olisa and Cicely guide the dancers through the moves of old-school hip-hop, which looks a bit different than the current hip-hop moves than most people are probably familiar with today. I worry that the choreographers are handing them a raw deal because whether it’s because they’re east-coast or old-school, I know that it’s just not going to fly with the viewers. As expected, Aleksandra struggles. By the end, she hopes to find some kind of “street vibe” that will help her “get down and dirty.”

I don’t think she found it. Looking like a fashion nightmare in their pastel sweatsuits, Jason and Aleksandra bounce to Wrath of Kane by Big Daddy Kane. Remember the ridiculousness of Dmitry in his hip-hop routine last week? Aleksandra is the newest member to his club. Jason did perfectly as expected. Shane stressed, “you dance like a white giiiiiiirl, and I can’t give you props for that because that’s not what I want to see in hip-hop.” Mia’s comment “you hit it, you hit it, you did it, you got it” has to be taken with a grain of salt I believe because, well, she’s a contemporary choreographer sitting in a flowery muumuu. They will probably be in the bottom three because of Aleksandra’s awkwardness and because of viewers’ unfamiliarity with this old-school version of hip-hop.

Finally, Benji and Donyelle. Last week, it was hip-hop; today’s challenge was cha-cha. Mark Weiss describes the Latin dance as exciting with a lot of quick legs and feet. Donyelle is excited but understandably nervous with absolutely no training to build on. Benji was the usual goofnut he always is, in the hopes of keeping Donyelle from stressing out over the routine.

Los Amigos Invisibles’ Cuchi-Cuchi begins, and Donyelle twirls in a beautiful purplish glittered silky dress. Wow. That is the only word to describe them. Wow. The crowd goes crazy with screams. “The best performance of the night,” proclaims Shane. Although they may be the “most unlikely couple ever” in Mia’s opinion, she considers them to be utterly “fabulous.” Nigel remarks that even though he had said Martha and Travis were the couple to beat last week, “you’ve just beaten them.” The audience roars. Nigel continues, in regards to Donyelle’s past weight issues, “You look fantastic. You are one of the sexiest girls on that stage. You are an inspiration to a lot of girls that feel like that about their weight.” I agree, she most certainly looked incredibly sexy. I would never believe that this was Donyelle’s first Latin-dance performance after seeing that routine. Every move, turn, spin, and catch was perfect. Just wow.

So let’s see… my predictions? Aleksandra & Jason, Joy & Dmitry, and either Heidi & Ryan or Allison & Ivan. Just call me Captain Obvious.

Care to tango? Triple-step, triple-step, ball-change, pivot to polomex@realityshack.com.


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