About LauraBelle

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

So You Think You Can Dance, July 18 – The Cruelest of Eliminations

So far, I'm not overly thrilled with the new format of So You Think You Can Dance, but I'll reserve my judgement until after tonight. All twenty will dance again, and the the judges will decide which four of the six that the fans put in the bottom after last week will go home based on what they do tonight. Confused? I'm reserving final judgement until the end of tonight's episode.

The group dance is some sort of wicked Snow White thing without the elves. The girls look like they're all the evil queens, but the guys look like they're from an outer space version of Thriller. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say it came out of the twisted mind of Sonya Tayeh, but it turns out to be from Tabitha and Napoleon D'Umas. All the dancers are announced afterwards, and I really don't remember anything I saw last week with the show on only once a week now, which is a shame.

Joining Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy on the judging panel is Adam Shankman. He tells Cat Deeley she looks like a big, sexy tomato. She offers him a bite, and he seemed likely to take her up o it. Nigel explains the post office is issuing four stamps of legendary dancers on National Dance Day, July 28.

Lindsey Arnold and Cole Haribe are taking on a Christopher Scott routine. It takes place in a dentist office, with Cole playing a nervous kid, and Lindsey playing a sexy dentist. Christopher explains it's a trip to the dentist everyone wants … “or is it?” They dance tonight to Teeth by Lady Gaga, and play their parts really well. He's nearly as engaging as the nerdy kid as he was as the martial artist last week. And she seems to be more of an equal in this week's dance.

Nigel thinks it was a fun routine to start out the show, with good characterization from Cole, but he expects it, because he thinks Cole plays a real character in real life too. Cole answers still in character. Lindsey is an incentive to go to the dentist, and Nigel suggests she go to England, because they all need their teeth done there. It did feel a little immature to him, so she needs to be careful with a character like this to be sure to be the vamp, and to play to Cole instead of the audience.

Mary tells Christopher it definitely put a smile on her face. He agrees with Nigel that Lindsey needs to be a vamp. Mary adds that not only is she outside of her dance style, she's so far removed from her personal lifestyle that it's such a stretch. But part of this show is acting, and she needs to bring that skill to the table even more. Cole is a lean, mean dancing machine, and the nerd of all nerds tonight. It's good to see him in another character, but the fact that he's still in character is a bit unnerving. Cat tells Mary he could still kick her butt, and Cole lisps out that he doesn't believe in violence.

Adam thinks the American Dental Association should adopt the routine as their new campaign, as it would certainly get people to the dentist. He tells Cole he is totally freaking him out and asks what is up with him, yet if his pants were hiked up that might mean he'd be stressed out too. Lindsey needs to attack it, and she's not a hip hop dancer, so really needs to bring all the sex she can like Jennifer Aniston in Horrible Bosses. Every move has to be there, and she should breathe and be inside of it and invest in the character.

Will Thomas and Amelia Lowe are doing a Sonya routine that has them as two souls carrying the weight of the world and looking for light at the end of the tunnel. It's heavy, treacherous, and desperate. They try so hard to find that light, and Sonia is so proud of the way it came out. They dance tonight to 3326 by Olafur Arnalds. It's an amazing Sonya piece, and the two dancers show great athleticism.

With Sonya cheering in the audience, Mary gives a scream and tells them to listen to the crowd. She thinks this week Sonya is right on top of it. “It was a beautiful routine, Sister.” Yet the dancers brought the routine to life and were just in it. She loves and respects Amelia's individuality, who has so much trust in Will right now. He took her so far past her balance point. It was such a different routine from last week, and Will really brought it. Mary heard the elevators were broken in the building today, but they just went another floor up.

Adam gives a standing O and tells Sonya they're going to have words, “because that was sickness.” Amelia is so brilliant, and not because her lines were so perfect, but she was completely lost in the piece and took him on the journey with her. Will “stepped it up” a million percent, and yes it was a plug for his movie. He was never aware of their size difference in the routine because they were so perfectly in synch.

Nigel points to Sonya's growth in choreography that has gone from strength to strength. Amelia is a great quirky character, but he loves how she buried that to immerse herself in the routine. To the pair of them he says they're lucky that they're both contemporary dancers, have each other, had wonderful choreography, and that they're both brilliant dancers.

Amber Jackson and Nick Bloxsom-Carter are doing a tango choreographed by Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo.They want Amber and Nick to look like one dancer. Amber and Nick know they really need to connect, and she predicts it will be like bubble gum and oil. They dance their tango to Tanquera by Sexteto Mayor, and right away I am struck by the muscles in her legs. This is just so good. The dancers they have this year on the show are phenomenal. It's really a shame we only get to see them once a week. Her leg flicks are fantastic.

Adam tries to keep his character going just as Cole did. Adam tells them it was so hot. It was a great routine and the choreography suited them beautifully. Amber's dance was spectacular, and one dance series was dead on. What was really impressive aside from her lines was she fully inhabited the character. He was mesmerized with her. The good news and bad news was she was a brilliant partner. And Nick vanished a little because he was there so much for Amber.

Nigel doesn't think Nick made Amber look good; he thinks Amber made herself look good. She was a cobra ready to pounce and was frightened she was ready to slap his face at any time. It was tremendous the way she got herself in character, and she needs to remember to do the character work each week. Nick was very strong. He was in his element, and it showed. It was also great choreography from two of the world's greatest tango choreographers.

Mary thinks it wasn't only a great routine, but it was an extremely difficult routine that was physically demanding. They made it look easy, yet they were full of passion, and Amber was on fire. Nick made her watch Amber, and no one could have done the reverse pivots the way he did with Amber on their hip, and he did seven of them. Her hat's off to them.