Will this week finally be the week Paula Abdul sits in the chair with her name on it at the judges’ table on So You Think You Can Dance? Will Adam Shankman relinquish his permanent guest host seat? Let’s see.
Sitting at the judges’ table are Adam, Mary Murphy, and Nigel Lythgoe. The answers to the above are no and no. It seems Adam’s spot there is not guest, and permanent host. Tonight the theme will be how the finalists got into dance, with the visual benefit of childhood photos and videos. In the interest of fairness, here’s 9-year-old Nigel. He’s saluting, but he calls it a gang sign. We get to see Mary as a young adult dancer, and Adam notes thanks to Botox, she doesn’t look any different. Adam looks in his photo like he’s ready to raise some hell. What, no pictures of Cat Deeley?
Ashleigh DiLello and Jakob Karr are the first up tonight, and she explains as a child she was very energetic, and always wanted to entertain. Her most memorable perfomance was a ballroom competition at 14 years old, just before she got sick and it took her out of dance for several years. When Jakob was a kid he was always artsy in the theater and got chucky in his awkward years, but lost weight in dance class. His memorable performance was a routine he did with a couple of friends. They’re doing hip hop with Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo, and the story will be the two of them in love. She thinks everything’s fine, but finds out he cheated on her. Jakob thinks with all the relationship things they’ve been through in their dances, it’s like a real relationship.
Whatcha Say by Jason Derulo is the music behind Ashleigh and Jakob’s hip hop, and I’m excited to say these two that couldn’t be more non-hip hop completely pull this off. They pull off both the techniques and the emotion to put this story into motion. It’ not as magical as some of their other dances have been, but it’s pretty good. Their emotion is so good here, that I don’t even notice through much of it that they’re doing their communication through texting.
Nigel calls it a greatly choreographed routine. Tabitha and Napoleon always find a gimmick, and texting it like that was great. He decides he’s going to go stright back and wipe his phone of all past texts. Every single week Jakob is challenged by the choreographers with different things, and he always comes up to scratch and adds to it. Nigel has no doubt he’ll continue to grow into the top ten. He always thought Ashleigh had the ability to grow, and he thought she’d ride Jakob’s coattails into the top 10, but she’s grown even faster than he figured. Not only is she contributing, but her style was really good tonight. He could name a number of people that didn’t give her a chance in this show who are now eating their words.
Mary tells Ashleigh she is a star tonight, as she was constantly drawn to her. Her passion was so believeable and hard-hitting. The choreography was phenomenal. Napoleon and Tabitha always hit it. Mary jokes that after the story of the dance, it’s a shocker to have another bad relationship on the show. Adam tells Jakob he’s about as sure a bet for top ten as there’s ever been on the show. He’s crushing it. Adam admits he was one of the guys that didn’t believe in Ashleigh, yet he now thinks she’s a contender for the top 10. It has nothing to do with riding coattails anymore. It’s awesome to see how much she’s changed.
Karen Hauer grew up in Venezuela and was extremely quiet and obedient. One of her most memorable performances was just after she moved to New York, trying to learn a new language and the language of dance. Kevin was always the man of the house as the oldest of six. He started dancing at age 17, and the most memorable was performing a tribute to Michael Jackson after he died. They’re doing Broadway with Spencer Liff, working with a song from Sweet Charity. The guy is someone who has just been given bad news, and it’s up to the woman to cheer him up. Spencer knows Karen and Kevin were shocked at how difficult this routine really is. He thought it would be a cakewalk for them, but was wrong.
If My Friends Could See Me Now is the Sweet Charity song Karen and Kevin are dnacing to, and I’m waiting for them to falter after the way that was just set up. For once Karen doesn’t get to be the sexy vixen, and just has to be chipper nd happy. It’s not my favorite routine of theirs by far, and Kevin’s leap at the end is kind of lame. It’s such a big song, and it doesn’t seem like they come up to it.
Nigel congraculates Spencer as a new choreographer to the family. It certainly was Broadway, and that style requires so much humor in the perfrmance, and you hear it in the way Christina Applegate sings it in the song. Broadway style requires you to add so much personality on the top. He recognizes this is the first time Karen was asked to not be sexual and had to be cute. He thinks it’s why he didn’t enjoy her as much as he usually does. He didn’t feell she brought humor to the role, yet she brought more than Kevin. With so much humor in street, that needed to be brought into this. He didn’t find they had the chemistry for each other or the characters.
Mary has to agree and says it needed to be so much more, and seemed nice and safe, but didn’t get into it. Karen did fair better. Kevin’s shoulders were so high; he was just awkward. He wasn’t really connecting. It’s a bump in the road for them. Adam calls it a great combination of staccato movement matched with lyrical ad smooth movement, and it challenged them a Karen and Kevin a little too much. It was amazing to watch Kevin even be able to get through it, and Karen got through it better, but was more equipped for it. He liked not seeing her have to be the tigress, and all in all, he thinks it was good for the show.
Wen Russell Ferguson was younger, he wasn’t shy at all about performing, as we see him singing. He’d sing, dance, whatever. He performed the hat show, another with a Michael Jackson routine – the socks, loafers, and his debut as himself. Noelle Marsh was crazy and a wild thing, being mischievious. She knocked her front tooth out that way. Her memory of the first performance was that she was not good at it, other than shaking her hips. They’ll be working on the fox trot with Eddie Simon, and the first time they fox trot, Noelle was injured and not allowed to do it with him. The whole piece is about partnership and having balance, and Russell thinks that’s what their relationship is built on anyway.