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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

So You Think You Can Dance 2, 08/02/06 – Nigel Says It's Time To Get Real


Things are getting down to the wire now with only six dancers left. After the fun of having Benji and his cousin Heidi dance together last week, I’m hoping the law of averages will have them randomly choosing each other as partners again. They have a one in three chance and all. Helping us just tonight will be Nigel Lythgoe as always, peep Mary Murphy, and Mia Michaels whom we haven’t seen enough of this year.

Ivan picks Natalie from the hat, and she’s quite excited, as she’s been waiting to work with him for weeks and weeks. Their first dance will be jive, and they do an impromptu jive into the room to show off to choreographer Ron Montez. He says this dance needs to have a lot of go go go, and these two aren’t feeling very energetic. Apparently Natalie isn’t a morning person and she came in “dragging butt.” It’s not looking too good. They wake up and do their jive to Route 66 from the Cars Soundtrack. I think they look good, and I can only watch Ivan’s feet and thing how well he does with all this considering he’s a hip hopper. Watching Natalie I notice her knee brace, and know she must be completely blocking out that pain.

Nigel says right off the bat that we’re in the top six, and he’s not holding back this week with his critiques. He says the GIs used to do that type of routine, and it was just energy, energy.It needed to be just as fast at the end as it was at the beginning. However, he feels Ivan didn’t have that much energy at the end, and he felt he was more of a Boy Scout than GI. He saw Natalie dancing more of a solo routine than dancing with Ivan. Mary loved the ending, calling the “splat” on the floor unbelievable, yet she has to agree with Nigel, saying the leg action was very when when Ivan went from triple set to another triple set. She didn’t feel the chemistry was really quite right, and says it should have been high octane gas, but it was just more like regular gas. Mia goes a little more personal with it, saying it wasn’t fun and felt like fake fun. She could see what the choreographer gave them, as he gave them steps, and those steps felt fake. She believes we should have al be jumping around on our feet screaming, but weren’t because it felt false. Ivan and Natalie retaliate and say they felt they were having a darn good time.

Along with dancing two partnered routines, each dancer is also dancing a quick solo. Travis dances a contemporary dance to Lifehouses’s You and Me. It has a few good tricks in it, but his best trick is when he is done, he goes over to Cat Deely and raises his shirt to expose his voting phone number written on an additional shirt underneath. To the thrill of probably every man watching, Cat pretends she’s going to pick up her dress to do the same thing. I really like her as host. She has so much personality. Like a female version of Ryan Seacrest or something.

Here comes Benji to pick his partner from the hat, and with two dancers already done, he now has a fifty percent chance of picking Heidi, but instead picks Donyelle, his ex-partner. They are both thrilled. That makes two of us. They will be dancing Broadway with Tyce Diorio, and Benji says all the crazy jazzy snazzy moves remind him of Austin Powers. Donyelle offers to be his Foxy Cleopatra anytime. They dance to Le Jazz Hot from the Victor/Victoria Soundtrack. It’s just plain fun, and shows what Ivan and Natalie’s dance was missing. Still, though, to me it just doesn’t compare to the Broadway done last week by Benji and Heidi. I have finally figured out a good comparison for Benji. He’s like a young Dick Van Dyke, both in his humor and movements.

Nigel recognizes Benji and Donyelle’s chemistry and is delighted to see them back together again. However, he believes Benji is beginning to outdance her. She’s not finishing all her movements. To him, though, either you make the finals next week or you don’t, yet he still sees them as a fantastic couple. Mary can definitely see what Nigel is taling about in the begging, but she really enjoyed it. She likes her jazz hot, and they were hot, hot hot. She has to point out that Benji is a force to be reckoned with in the show. Mia think they got by on personality of it, though they are both amazing performers. If she sits back and analyzes it, Donyelle didn’t snap enough, and Benji ended up coming down to her energy, instead of her rising up to him. Donyelle definitely looks upset.

Natalie comes out for her solo, and dances to Ooh La La by Goldfrapp. It’s disheartening to see she’s back to playing the sexy vixen again. I wish she’s realize she’s so much more than that. She also adds in her unique move of doing spins on the tops of her feet.

Of course this leaves Travis and Heidi as our final couple, and their first dance with by the smooth waltz with Ron Montez. He says it has to have beauty, harmony, and grace. With romance and direction, he believes they can do it. Travis says it may bore some people, and they make no like it, but he wants it to make people want to fall in love. Because of storm warning in my area I miss the name of the song, but I know it’s by Cait Agus Sean. This ballroom is definitely better than Travis’ quickstep last week. It looks very smooth. Contrary to Travis’ thoughts, I do like it, and I’m not bored. As for falling in love, I’m not sure.

Nigel tells Travis it’s great to see his style used in ballroom. He doesn’t know many ballroom dancers that can do a triple arabesque pirouette. When you combine the two worlds, it can really work. As for Heidi, Nigel says she is the most improved girl in the competition. He says something about her feet, but the crowd roar drowns it out. Mary tells Heidi she is just sensational tonight … so elegant, so beautiful, so powerful. Her leg action was great and right on cue tonight. She tells Travis that she tore him to pieces last week in his quickstep, but tonight has to wonder who this guy is that is standing in front of her. Tonight she felt he was unbelievable on his feet. He was gliding and not just popping his feet all over the place. She tells him she is so impressed with him tonight. Mia tells Travis he embraces charisma, and that can’t be taught. He is so intense, and that’s what people would pay for, that kind of energy. Mia agrees with Nigel about Heidi, that she is the most improved danced on the show. She says Heidi has a special place in her heart. If she would critique anything, it would be for it to be a little more breathier and fluent. Other than that it was beautiful. Heidi and Travis both usher out thank yous to Ron.

Ivan steps out to dance his solo, and dances to choreographer Wade Robson’s It Was All In Your Mind. You can see how much Ivan has improved here, even in his hip hop. It’s really kind of interesting, as it seems he has brought in tiny little pieces of these other styles he has learned into his hip hop.

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