It’s time for our first results show, and therefore, time for our first big group dance number. Busta Rhymes’ Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See begins. The girls are dressed in black and white ‘60s garb with striped leggings. The boys are sharp in their all-black suits. There’s some excellent usage of space here, as the dancers do some cool moves and “point” to the next area of stage where a few more dancers take over. The camera follows their lead, from the stage, to the floor, to the tower, to the judges’ table, and back to the stage. The performance is very dark and twisted, stiff body movements used to accentuate the beat and create interesting human shapes. I’m going to take a wild guess here and say this is Wade Robson’s routine.
The choreography really is remarkable in the sense that it’s conscious of its television audience. One of my peeves about the show is that too often the camera operators spend their time spinning around the stage, trying to find the best angles, and the audience at home sometimes misses what is going on outside the camera’s view as a result. I wish there was a recorded version available online of just a steady, stable camera pointing straight at the entirety of the stage, just so I could see the dancers without all the crazy camera direction. This opening number, however, incorporates the camera into its choreography, and the audience at home probably got a better angle of the dance than the audience in the studio for once.
At the end of the performance, Cat Deeley emerges onto the stage in a hot pink (or is it magenta?) dress, a stark change from the 20 black and white outfits we just came from. I think she looks pretty good, but upon further inspection, I’m not so sure. With her tossed hair and flushed face, she looks like she just got interrupted from a, well, an “intimate” evening.
Cat introduces the couples to recap their work and give them their results. Jaimie and Hok, who did the first hip-hop number, are safe. So are Anya and Danny and their jive routine. Unfortunately and perhaps unsurprisingly, the disco put Sabra and Dominic into the bottom three. When Cat tells them this, Dominic looks disappointed, but Sabra breaks out a big, cheesy smile. Um, Sabra? The bottom three is a BAD thing. Dan Karaty isn’t surprised about their results either, saying that they have to bring their “A-game,” step it up, stand out, set the bar, etc. You get the idea.
After the break, the next four couples are waiting on stage for their results. Lacey and Kameron, who did an incredible job with their dramatic lyrical piece, are safe, of course. We see some backstage footage of Ricky and Ashlee before their Argentine tango, and Cat says, “It certainly looked passionate backstage.” Um, really? Maybe if you were passionate about being a lump on a log. This lack of passion as well as very little chemistry showed, and as a result, they are in the bottom three. They both nod knowingly, looking as if they expected this news, and Nigel says, “I’m saddened by it… they’re both brilliant contemporary dancers and have not been given the opportunity to show what they can do yet.” Again, he talks about the height difference, saying that the choreographer should have considered that. You hear that Alex da Silva? It’s YOUR fault.
Jesus “Chuy” and Sara had danced the pop-jazz “vagabond cabaret.” They’re safe, which really isn’t a surprise considering Cat’s already branded two of the bottom three, and we all know how these reality competitions go: draw the suspense out as long as you can. So I’m assuming that the last of the bottom three will be somewhere at the end, after they have recapped everyone. Following that logic, it’s expected when Pasha and Jessi and their smooth waltz are declared safe as well.
We come back from the break to recap Neil and Lauren’s non-sexy salsa. But they’re both cute, so the voters aren’t sending them home yet; they’re safe. Finally, Faina and Cedric’s hip-hop and Shauna and Jimmy’s Broadway. Now, considering all the judges really liked the latter’s dancing (though Nigel had objections to Shauna’s “frumpy” outfit… because Dorothy’s supposed to be sexy?), there’s not a whole lot of suspense going on here. The final couple in the bottom three is Faina and Cedric. Cat asks Mary Murphy what she thinks about America’s decision. We cut over to Mary who—OMG what is she WEARing? A white puffy blouse and a huge black ribbon around her neck. She looks like a KFC commercial. Anyway, when I manage to pull my eyes away from her atrocity of an outfit, I hear her say, “I think America got it wrong this time. I really do. I mean, they’re both so unique.” Yes, Mary, they’re all special, why don’t we just cancel the entire competition and call them ALL winners? YAY!
So now it’s time for the special guest, last year’s winner Benji Schwimmer. He’s donning a glittery blue-and-black-striped tie and wearing red gloves. Life’s been good after winning SYTYCD for Benji, who’s traveled the world a few times and danced in a video with Christina Aguilera. Yawn. Where’s the dancing?
So Benji comes out and does his thing to Tu Vuo’ Fa L’Americano from “The Talented Mr. Ripley” soundtrack. He does his swing kicks and spins and slides that we’re all familiar with, pulling faces the entire time as he always does. He knows how to work a crowd, that’s for sure. At the very end, he pulls down his pants and shows off his American stars-and-stripes underwear. Um… okay. Not sure what the point of THAT was.
Sabra must dance for her life to David Gray’s Shine. She does pretty well, but she seems to be all over the place. I guess I forgot just how short these solos are, and she has to pull all her tricks out of her hat in about 20 seconds. Dominic chooses to groove to Let’s Groove by Earth, Wind & Fire. He does a flip and spins a few times on his head, then completes his solo by taking his shirt off while spinning upside down. Ashlee hits the stage with Barbra Streisand’s Cry Me A River, a big contrast from the song before. “Just how hard is it to come out here and perform a solo like that, knowing that you’re doing it to stay in the competition?” Cat asks Ashlee after her performance. “I haven’t had an opportunity to show America what I can do,” she says excitedly. Well, everyone had the same opportunity to show off their skills, Amazon Ashlee. Yours just sucked.
Ricky dances to Virtual Insanity by Jamiroquai. It’s pretty good as far as lyrical pieces go, but it feels “heavy” to me. Not light or airy. Maybe it’s just me.
Faina emerges onto the dance floor with Christina Aguilera’s Ain’t No Other Man. Um… wow. Like, wow. From her outfit to her moves, she just screams fun and energy. I’m sure she’ll get her chance to do something non-hip-hop next week. Cedric dances to Dream Within A Dream by… did I read this right? Wade Robson? Choreographer AND musical artist? Are you kidding me? Craziness. “How does it feel to know you might be going home tonight?” Cat asks him after the routine. Cedric says he feels nervous. Well, duh.
The judges head backstage to decide which guy and which girl will be leaving. While they do that, it’s time for the “special guest” to perform: Lloyd with Get It Shawty. Didn’t I just hear this song a couple days ago? And again today when watching the recap? That’s enough in my book. I’m thinking he should have performed something else… that is, if he HAS anything else. And I’m usually pretty good with urban lingo, but can someone please explain to me what “get it shawty” means?
It’s time for the dancers to face the judges. Nigel tells Sabra and her big cheesy grin to step forward, telling her, “All three of us were unanimous in our thought that that was possibly the best we’ve ever seen you dance tonight.” Obviously, she’s safe. Faina steps forward, and Nigel tells her, “I would’ve loved to see you do that with a partner.” Are you volunteering, Nigel? She’s safe as well. Buh-bye Ashlee. Nigel says, “I think it’s really tough that the first thing you get is an Argentinean tango, but when it came to doing your solo tonight, you relied so much on emotion and didn’t really show us your entire vocabulary of movement.” When it comes time for the montage of Ashlee’s experience, I’m happy NOT to hear Daughtry’s Going Home or Powter’s Bad Day. Ah, Ashlee… how quickly we will forget you.
Now it’s the boys’ turn. “This was the toughest decision of all,” says Nigel, “these are three guys that are all unique in their own style.” Ricky steps forward, and Nigel tells him, “You have the potential of being one of the best dancers this year. We didn’t feel that you gave us your full potential this evening in what you did.” Ugh, I always hate that kind of judging. If he did well or better than someone else, than give him that credit. Don’t put him in a competition with himself. Nigel asks Cedric to step forward, telling him, “You are unique… and my worry was that you’d let your partner down. You certainly didn’t let your partner down last night in our eyes whatsoever. So, I’ve got to apologize to you and say I was wrong.” While I admire Nigel’s humility, I wouldn’t be handing out apologies just yet. After all, Cedric was in his element during his hip-hop performance. I want to see how well he can support his partner in a waltz or jazz routine. He’s safe, leaving us with Dominic. Nigel tells him, “You do bring another side to this competition as a b-boy. I think my worry is that you always constantly do the same tricks, and they are fabulous… but we will get sick of seeing the same tricks. However, you bring something else… and that is a wonderful personality. And that means so much to dancing; it means that you get to stay tonight.” That leaves us saying farewell to Ricky. Nigel apologizes to him but says that he didn’t do his best tonight. “Let that be a lesson to you other dancers.” Um, right, because I’m sure they were all just half-assedly working their butts off before.
Keep your pants ON at firstname.lastname@example.org.