It’ll be interesting to see how much of an impact Jessica King’s departure has on this week of So You Think You Can Dance. While she narrowly missed being eliminated last week, she suffered an injury this week. Being forced to leave the show, she was replaced by the dancer that left in preference for her, Comfort. Yet, they seemed interchangeable anyway, at least as far as the judges seemed to think last week. Aside from this, the pairs are being split up this week anyway, so either way Will Wingfield was going to get that much needed break away from Jessica.
Jessica does come back to the show for the initial moments, and she informs everyone that the pain in her side she’s been having is more than a cramp. She broke two ribs and has been told by the doctors she can’t dance for at least four more weeks.
Tonight, joining Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy on the judging panel is Lil’ C. Voting tonight goes to individual dancers for the first time, instead of couples. In addition, as mentioned before, they’ll get all new couples to dance with this week, and each couple will dance two different styles.
The first new pairing is Courtney Galiano and Joshua Allen. Their first style will be hip hop with Dave Scott, one of Joshua’s favorite choreographers. Courtney is nervous about the popping, as she’s never done that before. They dance tonight to Skippin’ by Mario, and it’s as if Joshua is a mad scientist that has created a monster in Courtney. It’s somewhat of an odd routine, but I think they dance it well for their first time together.
Lil’ C calls it great choreography, giving it up to Dave Scott. He finds it interesting, as he knows how Dave dances, very precise and very hard-hitting. Joshua killed it and Courtney did good as well, and should give it up for herself. He really enjoyed that they made the routine their own and had some camaraderie with each other. Mary thinks they had a lot of chemistry, and she calls it a lot of fun. She enjoyed the way he threw the comedy in with the slap and the “giddyap.” Joshua stole the show, but Courtney did a respectable job. Nigel compliments Dave as well, and refers to Joshua as “Dr. Spankenstein.” It was good dancing from Joshua, and while he enjoyed Courtney’s character, her dancing was lacking, dropping her leg in the arabesque. She needed to bring her dancing up a little to his standard.
Chelsie Hightower does the first solo, dancing one of her patented spinny Latin dances to Pon de Replay by Rihanna. It’s seems like the same thing we see her do in her little intro each week. It’s good, but nothing extremely different.
When Kherington Payne was split from Twitch, he handed down to her his lens-less glasses, which I’m sure a lot of people would pay good money for on eBay. She is now paired with Mark Kanemura. They pick the two-step, a So You Think You Can Dance style first, choreographed by Ronnie DeBenedetta and a very pregnant Brandi Tobias, who instruct the dancers that it’s not what most people think of as a two-step, but is a lot of turning and directional changes. Kherington corrects the name to five million steps in two seconds. They dance to Kick Back by Ty England and are definitely fitting in 5 million steps. They do well with it and seem to get a lot of tricks in , but it’s not terribly exciting.
Lil’ C calls this a fun routine and thinks they might have tried to attack it, but came out the wrong direction. In the beginning, he saw a missed turn, and he doesn’t think you can let that be seen on the floor. They nailed a lot of of the stunts and had great character, especially from Mark. Mary calls it one tough number, and says what quickstep is to fast footwork and body connection and frame, this is to arm connections and lots of tunneling. Kherington needs to be connected from the center in her arms, and it made it hard for Mark to handle her. She needs to tone up, as the turns are what it’s all about. Mark gets kudos because he was there when Kherington’s connection wasn’t there to meet him.
Nigel feels the problem here is that the trouble with this style requires partners to have complete faith in each other which was difficult for new partners. Kherington was leading too much of the way, and it’s probably because she wasn’t trusting him to be there. They didn’t give up, though, and didn’t let the routine defeat them. It’s the first time he has seen either of them out of sorts with a routine or partner. I’m guessing they’re hoping they won’t get paired with each other the rest of the time.
Gev Manoukian dances a B boy solo to Hello/Goodbye (Uncool) by Lupe Fiasco feat. Unkle. We see a little more from him than we normally see in his intro solos, and he even disrobes partway through. I think this showed what we needed to see from him.
Comfort is now being paired with Twitch, and we don’t see her picking a number or style, so we know they start this partway through the week. They learn the smooth waltz with Hunter Johnson, who wants them to be more like husband and wife than brother and sister. Twitch has to get “comfortable” with her butt for a lift. They dance to Open Arms by Journey, and I don’t know why, but I’m prepared not to like this. For this hip hopper that just came back to the competition after being eliminated, I think they do really well and find a great connection, although she does stumble a little coming out of the butt lift.
Lil’ C enjoyed this dance and understands that the competition requires so many emotions, as he calls it a “gumbo” mix. He thinks they need to put that aside, though, and be the routine. It wasn’t flowing for him, and they need to trust each other. Twitch had a great reach and Comfort was more graceful than he’s ever seen her on the show. Mary, the ballroom expert, can’t give it to them, saying it was lacking so much power. True, they were outside of their style, but the rise and fall was choppy and clunky. The lift was great, Comfort looked elegant, and Twitch tried to portray the part, yet the quality just wasn’t there.
Nigel thinks if anyone would turn the show on not having seen the rest of the season they wouldn’t believe these two were in the final ten. He didn’t believe the relationship. The rise and fall was not there. His fingers were crossed for their lift, and when they did it, it felt a little like Dirty Dancing to him, when we’re waiting to see if Baby gets the lift. Cat gets the line of the night, saying, “Nobody puts Comfort in a corner.”
Courtney comes out with her solo, dancing to I Want You to Need Me by Celine Dion. This is someone that looks like she belongs here, and I feel some fire in her dancing and can see refinements since she started.
Katee Shean picks Will, and they’ll be doing a Tyce Dioro Broadway routine. He feels the goal is for the audience to be entertained. Katee explains that in the routine Will is the conservative one, and she’s supposed to be the ditzy girl. Tyce likes them together, as they’re both technically strong, and they both get it. Tonight, they’re dancing to Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat from Guys and Dolls. She does great character work as usual. They’re definitely entertaining and probably the best pairing so far of the night. Of course, we get a Will shirtless moment as well. The judges always like them individually, so I’m sure they’ll like them here as well.