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

So You Think You Can Dance 6, Nov.10-11 – The Quickstep Kills Again


I feel this is all I’m doing this week, apologizing for my lateness. I had some sad family news and a paralyzing stomach flu that kept me away from the computer and the TV for much of the week. I’m back, though, and trying to get caught up. Here’s an abbreviated version of So You Think You Can Dance performances and results, making it almost seem like the first two weeks when we had it all in one show!

Tonight, sitting at the judges’ table we have Adam Shankman, Mary Murphy, and Nigel Lythgoe. So how come when Mia Michaels quit the show, Adam Shankman became a permament member of the panel, when it used to be a rotating spot? Not that I mind, I love the guy, I’m just wondering. And as a nice surprise, in the audience we have a selection of season five dancers. That’s nice to see.

Karen Hauer and Kevin Hunte are the first up tonight, and following our theme of the night, Karen tells us what she thinks we should know about her is that while she auditioned with her husband, they decided to divorce right after he was sent home. That’s … sad and shocking. Kevin wants us to know he’s been blessed with performing all over the world as he creates his own unique hip hop style. They’re doing the hustle this week with Maria Torres. In the story, Maria will be asking Kevin to dance, and he’s supposed to ignore her seducing ways, which he realizes will be hard, knowing Karen.

Hustling to Come to Me by France Jolli, Kevin certainly doesn’t avoid Karen for very long. It makes me wonder if Adam will and if he’ll get his ahooga eyes going again for her. They do some great death drops. There’s a point where I wasn’t sure if he was pulling it off as much as her, though. He messes up the lift at the end, but catches her and tries to make it look like it was planned, but I don’t think anyone was fooled.

Adam tells Kevin and Karen they didn’t only make it work, they made it work for themselves. They turned it all around. Adam thinks he saw Kevin for the first time as he jumped out at him. What was so beautiful to watch was the beautiful partnership developing. Karen performed with such beauiful constraint and knew when to give it and when to pull it back. She gave it energy and quiet fire.

Mary calls it a Sadie Hawkins Hustle. She thought Karen was amazing as a hustle queen, and Kevin was surprsiing with so much performance and attitude, but he does need to work on his leg action and the times he went to pick her up. She was worried, but is leaving him on the train, with Karen still there riding in first class. Nigel asks Kevin if his friends at home are watching him and says they must be so surprised at this street dancer doing double pirouettes. Nigel is absolutely delighted watching him grow, but he needs to be careful to not look nervous on the death drops. He thinks Maria did beautiful choreography, but thinks Karen manages to add a little to it every week, meaning she’ll go a long way in the competition.

Ashleigh Di Lello knows the one thing we don’t know about her is that she’s a big nerd, meaning studious and even interned in Washington D.C. What we didn’t know about Jakob Karr is that one of his best friends growing up was Jeanine Mason who won season five. Ashleigh and Jakob are doing jazz this week with Mandy Moore. Jakob admits to growing up doing jazz. They’re doing this with a cane and all, but they have to completely accept it.

The cane, Ashleigh, and Jacob jazz to Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, just for that nice blast from the past. She gets some great eye work in with the audience, just so that we don’t forget she’s there. We wouldn’t, as this is really good. Jakob’s manic face is terrific. This is just marvelous work by Mandy Moore, as well as them.

Adam tells Ashleigh that she really belongs on the show and is so good up there. What is so great about watching what’s going on in this partnership is they’re starting to breathe together and experience things. Adam picked up on a cane malfunction I totally missed, but they were able to get past it together. It was incredibly elgant and mature, but studied. He admits it’s fun each week for the chreographers to find new ways to make Jakob jump, and he has enormous strength and control in his flexibility.

Mary agrees it’s a perfect relationship, and she wants them to forget the “Relax, don’t do it,” and do it all they want. They were phenomenal and Mandy used the stage well with a terrific prop. Ashleigh has been developing every single character and stepping up every single week like a chameleon. Jakob is strong, passionate, takes on characters, and gets things to do because he can. She loves them. Nigel tells Mandy this is up to the standard of her table routine for him, and I agree. He really loved the intensity and thinks Ashleigh and Jakob helped that tremendously. He thinks Ashleigh is representing ballroom dance brilliantly, and Jakob reminds him of Joel Gray in his character work. Wow. Nigel doesn’t think the character work suited them, but they changed the character to suit them.

One thing Peter Sabasino knows we don’t know about him is that he volunteers his time at SPIN, which stsands for Special People in the Northeast, and he helps them with their talent shows. We also don’t know that Pauline Mata eats a lot. After the stomach flu, not sure I want to see it. They’re doing the quickstep this week with JT and Tomas choreographing. Peter compares the dance to a duck on water. The story is a Navy guy entranced by a beautiful hula girl and her hips.

Pauline and Peter quickstep to Hey Baby! (Shake Those Hula Hips) by Big Kahuna & The Copa Cat Pack. I have to admit the group there reminds me of Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters. I think this tap dancer and contemporary dancer do very well with the quickstep. It’s not the best I’ve seen, but it’s far from the worst. They brought their personalities into it really well.

Adam thanks JT and Tomas for an adorable routine, and he points out the smart thing that was done is that by giving a lot of story and character, they may have blown past some of the technical missteps. It was a great use of Pauline’s natural ethnicity, as he notes the interesting way Cat says “Pauline.” Pauline was also appropriately aorable. Peter was on fire as the 1940s Navy guy and threw an enormous amount of his natural charisma into the dance.


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