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

So You Think You Can Dance, July 27 – Lady Gaga in Tears


Melanie Moore is paired up with All-Star Neil Haskell, and they’re working on a Mandy Moore routine about being at the crossroads of a relationship. They’re going to have to nail the emotional highs and lows through the movement. The transitions and lifts will all have to look effortless. They bring that all in as they dance to Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart. It’s simply beautiful, and they definitely get to all of the highs and lows.

The judges give Melanie and Neil a standing O, and Gaga tells Melanie her hat is off to her. She is her favorite in the competition. She would hire her tomorrow to dance in her tour. There is something so athletic and so passionate and so beautiful, and she’s such a star and on the edge. She was the first dancer tonight that she didn’t watch the monitor. She just wanted her and to be near her.

Rob finds that beautifully said, saying there is something so poetic about what Melanie does, with flawless technique that is like magic. It’s who she is, and it comes across. She fills the room. She let go of the dance with her last move, and it’s so hard to do. Mary says there hasn’t been a single week where they didn’t use the words brilliant and amazing to describe her. The way she uses her strength and moves through the movement, she just melts and dissolves it. She leapt with all the gusto she has in her body and was fearless.

Nigel warned Sasha that he was fickle; he changed his mind, as Melanie is again his favorite. Gaga grabbed his arm when she collapsed into Neil’s arms on the floor. Ellen DeGeneres is in the house tonight, and he wants to quote her. She once said to a dancer, “You are a carpenter, because you just nailed it.” When she leaves the floor, she leaps into Neil’s arms one more time.

Ricky Jaime is dancing with Anya Garnis on a Jason Gilkison jive, and it’s one with no particular story or plot to it. They’re just supposed to look like they’re really dancing their asses off. They’re going to dance those asses off to Celine Dion’s River Deep Mountain High. He has his feet going, but it doesn’t seem like a reckless abandon jive. It just seems like it’s put on, while hers seems so much more effortless.

Rob tells Ricky his smile lights up the whole room, and he always dances with such joy. His legs go flying, and his technique is just out of this world. He would dig in maybe a little deeper, as he’s so pulled up and beautiful. Mary wasn’t really quite sure in the beginning, as he went in and out of it. But as he went, it started getting faster, and he started getting better, then there was a labored lift, and he brought it back on home again. It’s hard to do that in the jive, but he brought it back in the end.

Nigel doesn’t want to be over-critical, but he does think Ricky was a bit tall, as he needs to get down and over it more. There was one lift that seemed like Ricky belonged in a meat market instead of a dance routine. But Rob is right that the smile lifts up everything. Gaga has a sweet spot for Ricky and doesn’t know why and can’t explain it. She loves that he dances high, as that’s him. He looks so strong and so nimble and quick. It’s so beautiful to watch, and while Anya was more like Dancing With the Stars, it wasn’t as modern as what Ricky was giving.

Jess LeProtto and Lauren Gottlieb get together for a Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo routine about a guy chatting on a girl. He’s asking for her forgiveness and trying to win her back, but they’re not telling if he succeeds or not. They dance tonight to Rihanna’s Take a Bow, and it’s honestly a side of Jess I didn’t now was there. Who knew this guy could hip hop and get down like this? Or who knew he could love like that? By the way, he doesn’t win her over in the end.

Mary tells Jess “Progress.” Every week it’s progress, and as great as Lauren is, and she’s really good. He was really good tonight too. She felt like tonight was one of the really honest performances he has given them, like it really came from his soul. She feels him opening up more every week, and the articulation and isolation were really good. He had the swag tonight. Nigel agrees that Jess has matured significantly and learned a great deal. Listening to Neil Patrick Harris last week, he’s sure he would have enjoyed Jess’ performance this week.

Gaga has a lot of respect for him, as she went to school for theater. What she loved about this was there were some parts of the choreography that she didn’t personally love, but his performance outshines all of those things. She didn’t feel the flower needed to be there, as his hand extension said all that. Rob has known Jess since he was a little boy, and he was a star even then, being in the Grinch on Broadway. He has used the competition to grow, and it’s a beautiful thing, as it’s not easy to do. This was simple and pure and beautiful.

Tadd Gadduang got together with Lauren Froderman and took on a Mandy Moore routine. They’re supposed to be two masterminds about to pull off the biggest heist. They have to stay calm, cool, and collected the whole time. They keep the cool dancing to Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust. This is just fantastic and hard to take your eyes off.


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