Cat opens the show, “Every week we’re getting closer to finding your top ten dancers, which means that one guy and one ‘gull’ are going home tonight.” The opening number is Elevator by Flo Rida and Timbaland, and the dim light punctuates the men’s suits, fedoras, and hip-hop moves. The women replace them, wearing what I can only describe as a mix between a tank top and a girdle. Whatever it is, it’s hot, and so is the dance routine. Powerful, impressive, and urban… this has to be the work of Shane Sparks. Though I almost thought he wasn’t involved this season because we haven’t seen him at ALL yet. Not even in the auditions.
Cat says she hates Thursdays because it means two more dancers will have to go home. Thankfully, we don’t waste any time, and the first three couples are brought out to the stage. Katee and Joshua took on a Tyce Diorio Broadway routine that had the judges falling over themselves with praise, and Nigel Lythgoe out of his seat and dancing around the table. I’m generally not a fan of the Broadway routines, not because I don’t enjoy the genre, but because the dances generally don’t make sense out of context. Most Broadway songs aren’t meant to be taken on their own; they’re meant to be presented as part of a bigger story. But regardless, Katee and Joshua did a great job, so they’re safe.
Kherington and Twitch did a Viennese waltz by Jean Marc Generaeux, after which Mia and Nigel had argued whether it was appropriate to smile during the entirety of an emotional piece. While I think the smile per se was fine, I have to admit that Kherington’s smile specifically looks a bit like a Colgate commercial. I can understand why Mia thought it looked fake. Chelsea and Thayne performed a jazz routine by Mandy Moore which was… eh. Mia had said, “Great concept, wasn’t executed at all,” but I thought the exact opposite. I thought that the dancers did the best they could with what they had. They performed the steps excellently. It’s not their fault that Mia’s jazz choreography was utter crap, or that they were given costumes that made them look like clowns. Whosever fault it is, Chelsea and Thayne are in the Bottom Three, and Kherington and Twitch are safe.
The next three couples are on stage. Mark and Chelsie danced an Argentine tango that was executed precisely and brilliantly. Nigel was hoping for a bit more passion from Chelsie, but Mary loved everything about it. And so did America. The couple is safe and heads offstage.
That leaves Matt and Kourtni, and Will and Jessica. Both couples were in the Bottom Three last week. Kourtni and Matt did a foxtrot routine. Mia criticized Kourtni, Mia criticized Matt, and Nigel criticized the both of them. Jessica and Will did a hip-hop number, which could have been awesome had Jessica stepped it up a bit. I honestly couldn’t give the piece my full attention because Jessica was often ahead of the beat, putting her out of sync with partner Will. Cat opens the envelope, saying, “The second couple in our Bottom Three is…. not you Kourtni and Matt.” Um, okay. That seems an awkward way of saying things. The remaining couple looks a bit sad until Cat continues, “Jessica and Will, it’s not you either! You’re both safe!” This prompts a lot of jumping, screaming, and hugging on stage.
The last three couples are lined up on stage. Susie and Marquis performed a salsa that was less than impressive. (Tangent: can I say here how much I hate HATE Alex da Silva? He treats his dancers like they are pathetic idiots and likes to “show off” in his choreography by throwing in super-complicated lifts and tosses that don’t even ‘fit’ the dance! Susie had a breakdown while working with him, and she’s not the first to do so. That should say something.) Not surprisingly, they are one of the Bottom Three couples.
The final couple in the Bottom Three will either be Chris and Comfort or Courtney and Gev. Chris and Comfort attempted a krump routine which, again, I have more issues with the choreographer than the dancers. I think it was alleged that Lil’ C actually invented krumping (not sure how much I believe that) so I guess he can take any creative liberties with it that he wants. It appears that he’s trying to take the genre in another direction, away from the aggressive territorial moves it’s known for. Unfortunately, krumping is still relatively new to the general public, so you can’t change it up while the audience is finally starting to ‘get’ it. Like Nigel’s badly edited green face said, we’re expecting mean and tough and GRRRRR! Granted, I don’t think Chris has a single fiber of toughness in his body, but I also think that Lil’ C kinda screwed them over by presenting something that we normally wouldn’t identify as krumping.
Courtney and Gev danced a contemporary piece, which I thought was quite beautiful, but of course, Mia didn’t think Courtney had enough “organic purity”. Whatever that means. Nigel didn’t believe the emotion, which is CRAZY, because I found it to be incredibly emotive, possibly the most touching of the evening.
The final couple in the Bottom Three is Chris and Comfort, and once again, America got it right. Nigel says that the couple has had a bit of rotten luck, seeing as Comfort dislocated her shoulder last week and krumping didn’t particularly suit Chris this week. Go figure.
This week’s dancing entertainment is flamenco dancer, Timo Nunez, who probably had a mirror installed in his shower so he can stare at himself every day. He gives the ladies in the audience that “you know you want me” look because, of course, they DO want him and scream through the ENTIRE routine.
Chelsea is the first to dance a solo, spinning and twirling to Moloko’s Time Is Now. It seems a bit weak in my opinion because as the final seconds are counting down, I feel like she hasn’t even really DONE anything yet.
Thayne also dances in a contemporary style to Belief by Gavin DeGraw. Somersaults, pointy toes, leaps, and other moves that I don’t know the technical terms for. And, as Cat notes, he really does look like he’s enjoying himself.
Susie dances to Pitbull’s The Anthem. She’d look great at the club, I’m sure, but here on the SYTYCD dance floor, it’s a little raw. And not in a good way. Marquis dances to Stop and Stare by OneRepublic, and he’s pulling out all the stops. Moving across the entire stage with leaps, jumps, and twirls, exposing every trick in his book.
Comfort is next, moving to Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa. I think she does pretty darn well actually with her hip-hop, but again, it’s one of those dilemmas where you know it’s a hit in the club, but you’re not sure if it’s good enough for a stage in front of millions.
Finally, Chris dances a contemporary piece to John Legend’s Again, as if he needed to prove just how White he is. Honestly, I feel like he’s just winging it, that he didn’t plan this routine out at all. Afterward, Cat emerges with a sign from the crowd that says “Chris Is Not A” and hand-drawn picture of a tree. I guess that’s fair. Chris is obviously not a tree. He’s a boy. A very White boy.
All six dancers have performed their solos, so the judges go backstage to decide which boy and which girl will be leaving tonight. While the judges deliberate, we get the ‘treat’ of listening to Flo Rida. Listen, I love hip-hop and rap. This? This is not either of those. This falls under the genre of Stupid. All I can hear is the same chants over and over again: “Put your hands in the air” and “This is my jam.” Y’know what, Mr. Flo Rida? If this is YOUR jam, then you can put your OWN hands in the air.
Back from the break, Nigel starts talking about how he was watching the NBA Finals (Really? Nigel watches basketball?) and after the game, Kobe Bryant congratulated each of the winners, all while I wonder where this rambling is going. Kobe is apparently not only a good athlete, but also a good person. “You can fail, and still be a brilliant player. You can lose tonight, but that doesn’t stop you from being great dancers.” Ohhhh I get it. I think.
Chelsea steps forward. Nigel tells her that she has a great personality and she brightens up the stage. However, she’s going to have to step it up if she is going to last through the competition. For tonight though, she’s safe.
Susie steps forward. Nigel tells her that she did not use the stage nearly as much as she should have. She’s also not as “hot” as she was during the auditions. I didn’t realize waltzes were supposed to be fiery. And after working with da Silva, I wouldn’t be feeling so “hot” either.
Comfort steps forward. Nigel doesn’t think she has ever found her potential on the show, but that she came alive during the Shane Sparks opening routine. It is that small spark that is keeping her in the competition now. I didn’t even think those numbers were considered part of the competition!
Someone in my local programming station screws up because I start seeing commercials while everyone else in the nation is watching Susie’s farewell montage. I don’t think I’m missing anything.
On to the men. Nigel declares that it was very difficult for the judges to come to a decision, but it was unanimous. He points out that all three contemporary male dancers are in the Bottom Three despite their brilliance.
The judges believe that Thayne has a great personality and spirit and has a lot of potential. While Marquis is an excellent dancer, they worry that everything he did in his solo was nothing but tricks, and dancing is more than just tricks. Geez, he gets chided for going all out? What kind of craziness is that? Finally, Nigel is happy that Chris is dancing with some real personality, declaring that his solo was full of passion. I need to watch one of these shows live on at least one occasion, because apparently I’m missing something. I didn’t see any passion in Chris’ routine, and I thought Marquis was excellent, taking the term “dance for your life” to heart.
But it is Marquis going home tonight, which is complete ridiculousness if based on the solos but slightly understandable if based on the main performances. Both his waltz and his salsa were obviously ‘forced,’ and I think he would only continue to struggle in genres outside of his own. He seems like a good soul though, and I hope he finds success down the road.
You Know You Want Me at firstname.lastname@example.org.