About LauraBelle

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

So You Think You Can Dance, June 23 – Pushed Out of a Comfort Zone


First off, I have to thank Christina for filling in for me last week. I knew I was leaving this season’s first performance and elimination recaps in very capable hands. I’m not really surprised to see that Alexie Agdeppa was the one to leave, or that Kent Boyd was still as cute as a bug. I’m guessing he still will be tonight.

While watching the intros I’m reminded again that I don’t remember Ashley week to week. I had to look her up reading Christina’s recap, and once I watched the show for myself, it’s not like I said, “Oh her.” Tonight, I can’t even remember who she danced with or what she did last week. Also introed are our judges, Adam Shankman, Mia Michaels, and Nigel Lythgoe. We watch everyone pick who they are paired with this week, as well as the styles, and poor Neil Haskell and Twitch are left out this week. Cat Deeley thinks they just went to the beach for the day. For the contestants, they’ll be sharing childhood memories with us tonight.

Cristina Santana was kind of shy when she was little and was a a flower in a performance, and her underwear was showing, making her cry. She is paired with Pasha Kovalev for a Jean-Marc Genereeux and France Mousseau paso doble. Jean-Marc says it requires a very strong man and very strong lady. She’s a gypsy, and he’s a tyrant. Jean-Marc explains it’s like a roller coaster, but Cristina doesn’t like roller coasters. I would love to tell you the name of hte song they’re dancing to tonight, but we’re under a storm watch right now, and they have it blocked. I have to say Cristina matches Pasha’s fire perfectly, and goes weak just when she’s supposed to in their fight.

Nigel thinks we need to remember the elements that are required, passion, power, and fire, and then control. He has to say Cristina brought all of that tonight. Critistina might not like roller coasters, but the entire season is a roller coaster. Last week she was in the bottom three, but he’s thankful she didn’t go home, as we would have missed that dance.

Mia “kind of thinks it was everything.” Like Nigel said, it was the whole package. It was fabulous, and she thanks them. Adam skips the obvoius joke of a Pasha Doble, but does say he found this “mucho caliente.” Cristina’s confidence and commitment to her character was extraordinary, and she set the stage on fire for a great start to the show. Interestingly, this week the All-Stars stand for the critique, where they didn’t last week.

When Adechike Torbert was a kid, he was always watching his dad, who also was a dancer, and tried to dance like him. Back in 2004 his family had a bad fire, and they lost all the pictures of Adechike’s younger performances. He’s paired with Allison Holker tonight for a Mandy Moore contemporary routine. For Mandy it’s not a dance with a story, just emotions, which could challenge Adechike after the judges called him out on lacking a connection to his parther last week. Mandy thinks he needs to connect the strength of his body with the power and passion in his heart. As they dance tonight to Listen to Your Heart by D.H.T. Feat. EDMEE, I have to ask if he has to pick her up with his arms on her boobs. That aside, he really brings the emotions this week. Mandy really helped him with that. I know what emotions he’s feeling; I feel them right along with him.

Nigel also sees a major improvement with Adechike bringing his emotions out, but wants him to be careful of not interrupting his emotional side with steps, as Nigel could see him breaking away to do his choreography, and geting away from the emotional journey of the routine. He notes Adechike has film star quality looks when he smiles.

Mia wants him to tap into that joy on a more consistent level, as he’ll find the moment, then smile, and it goes away, making it seem dishonest or false. Yet, it was better. HIs movmeent, when it’s small and internal is gorgeous, but the lengthy ones are stopped on top. She wants him to remember that dance is also a heart form, not just an art form. Adam tells Adechike he is so technically good, but he’s dancing in his head instead of listening to his heart. He needs to forget about the steps and just deliver and be there for his partner.

Alex Wong had a lot of energy when he was little and was dancing all the time, starting with jazz and tap lessons when he was 7, then moving onto ballet, which he found really boring. He’s doing a Tyce Diorio Broadway routine with Lauren Gottlieb. Tyce explains it’s Broadway inspired by Fosse, and Alex has to research it, not knowing that much about it. He does find a cool, sexy feeling to it. Tyce knows the same thing we do, that Alex can fly through the air, but he wants to see the style of him now. Tonight they’re dancing to Sylvester’s Summertime, and this ballet dance can pull it off quite well. Along with Lauren, you’d be hard-pressed to call just one of them a professional.

Nigel thinks what Tyce is trying to do is talk to Alex about Fosse, since he hadn’t heard much about it being in ballet. He encourages Alex to see him in Kiss Me Kate and The Little Prince, as he changes style a lot, using the music. Alex needs to try and bring a little more power to his performance, and it appeared he was dancing with his shoulders up which he doesn’t do in his own style. Alex explains he found when he researched Fosse how intricate, smooth, and internal it was.

Mia agrees that Fosse is so internal, but Alex was being so physically perfect and big, but she wanted it sinewy. He needs to know it’s not always about the tricks and power. Adam finds Alex’s talent so expansive, and says it’s not about ability, but versatility and growth. He saw more antithesis of Fosse in that there wasn’t a lot of levels, all at 11, a lot of smash and no smolder. It almost seems like he’s apologizing to Tyce as he says this. Alex thanks everyone and says that’s why he’s here to learn more, as he couldn’t do any more learning at the ballet company. You have to love that.


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