With So You Think You Can Dance taking a week off for the 4th of July, it’s hard to remember the dancers, the people, the characters, etc. While they were being introduced at the beginning of tonight’s show, I found myself saying, “Oh yeah …” I wonder if it was wise to take this time off, as they were just building up momentum, and now there are even more summer reality shows added to the mix make us forget about the one that took that week off. As I see Pasha Kovalev and Sarah VonGillern, I remember that they lost their partners during the last results show, so they’ll now be a new pair.
A special guest judge is joining the panel this week, Adam Shankman, the director and choreographer for the film Hairspray being released soon. Nigel Lythgoe is asked by Cat Deeley about the feedback he received after the last show. When Jessie Peralta was let go, he received a petition with over 1000 signatures asking to have her reinstated, because America didn’t put her in the bottom three. Nigel explains they made the decision to make her bottom three since she wasn’t able to dance on performance night. They felt if they just let her continue on without dancing, it left them open for other dancers saying they didn’t feel good and skipping the week. He points out they don’t rerun a race in the Olympics for one person, and they couldn’t do it here. It’s subjective, but will be tomorrow night as well. They put the top 20 dancers in, and they love them and all ache every time one of them leaves. But as judges, they did what they had to do.
Mary is asked about losing Jesus Solorio that same week. She says it was really hard as he was one of her favorite dancers. He had a great spirit about him, and she will miss him on the stage. Adam is asked if he has been watching the show, and he says, after telling Cat she looks catastrophically fantastic, that while working on this movie three years ago, the 5 principal dancers every Wednesday night would eat Chinese and all sit down together and watch, discussing who had to go and who they thought should win.
Tonight we get to hear from the dancers something that we don’t know about them before we get to see this week’s dance. Kameron Bink says he’s a bit of a daredevil on weekends skydiving, and during the week he rides motorcycles and does pretty much anything else to make his mom go nuts. I’m sure she’s proud. His partner Lacey Schwimmer says she was a hair model and didn’t have control over what they did to her and had shaved pieces, extensions, been blonde, red, etc., meaning now she has a weave added to her short hair. Last week they did the Quickstep, which had been known as the kiss of death on the show, but they were quite successful with it.
This week Lacey and Kameron pull the Hustle, choreographed by Maria Torres from the hat. While everyone thinks of the 70s line dance, this is a partner dance from New York City. Kameron says he wasn’t prepared for how hard it was going to be, and Maria admits it’s the toughest dance for a partnership. They dance tonight to a newer version of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Inner Life. Lacey shows some of those great Schwimmer spins, and I feel like I’m watching Dance Fever.
Adam calls this showmanship awesome and demonstrates a little of the old 70s hustle, which I remember from junior high, saying that’s what he thought the hustle was. He thought they put it so far beyond all that and asks Lacey if it was a double or triple inside into the extension, and she confirms it was a triple. Kameron is told it was terrific partner work, especially with the changing of the hands. Mary says they were definitely hustling tonight, and she gives props to Maria for the first true hustle on the show. On a technical note, she gives Kameron props for leading and tells Lacey she’s killing it tonight. Nigel issues a warning to not rely on their partnerships as they’ll be broken up soon. He also says a couple weeks ago Dan Karaty said Kameron was a prop, and tonight Nigel thinks it’s because Kameron is missing a little bit of magic. It’s not that he’s not good, but his partner outshines him and he needs to come up to her level. As far as Lacey, he says last year people talked about her brother Benji being strong in performance and Travis being strong in technique. Yet he now sees Lackey’s technique as superior to Benji’s who is seen laughing in the audience.
Next up is the much maligned Cedric Gardner and Shauna Nolan. Something we don’t know about her is that she’s been snowboarding since she was 6, as her dad owns a surf/snow/skate shop. Cedric was the mascot for his high school and wore a purple and orange costume in parades. Last week they had contemporary, and they were both shocked at not being in the bottom three. This week they are doing the mambo which leaves him asking if it’s from the late 50s. Choreographer Alex DeSilva says this latin dance is very spicy hot and originates in Cuba and Puerto Rico. While he usually has one assistant he has three assistants this week, knowing he’d be teaching Cedric.
Tonight they dance their mambo to Flauta Y Timbal by Tito Puente, and it seems to be well-choreographed so that Cedric is doing as minimum as possible yet again while Shauna has long sets of spins. they both kick it in, though, and go off on some great footwork. Adam says this was so much better than he thought it was going to be. He knows Cedric was out of his element, but he feels he really stepped out. As for Shauna, she was twirling to save her life. He feels they were utilized well in the choreography.