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

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

Audrey Case and Matthew Kazmierczak are also doing a Sonya routine. She explains it's a robotic power struggle between a man and a woman. She intends to show a vicious, strong side of them. Amber is ready to show the world her aggressive side, yet Matthew doesn't think she has an aggressive side at all. Tonight, they dance to Hear Me Now (Dri, Lind & Lukka Mix) by Steed Lord, and she's yet another female dancer with great lines. Talk about athleticism. It's all here.

Nigel explains it's a two-fer routine. Two-fer choreography for Sonya. He loves this darker style even a little more than the balletic style. He loves when Audrey does the stank steps, and can't believe they're the same couple who did the love routine on the chaise lounge last week. That's what he loves about the show, that you can show you can move in every direction of dance. They're both incredible, and he figures they're one of America's favorite couples.

Mary knows Audrey and Matthew are one of her favorite couples. She loves the way they dance, and they are definitely a dynamic duo. They seem to maximize everything, their acceleration, extension and projection. They're so little, but dance all the way out. It's one of her favorite routines of the night. Adam is afraid that tonight belongs to Sonya. It was nuts. Up until the green mile, he was still doubting Audrey, but she has wiped all that out and was freaking brilliant and unbelievable. She's starting to get the groove of it into her body. He has just a few words for Matthew, and that's if he keeps it up like that, it's his to lose.

Janelle Isis and Dareian Kujawa are doing a Christopher Scott hip hop. It's an elaborate date for them that Dareian has planned, and at the end he plans to propose. Janelle isn't looking forward to being in love with Dareian, because he'll be Donald Duck. And he does propose on bended knee in full Donald Duck voice. They're dancing to My Girl by The Temptations. It's such a fun routine that I got caught up in watching it and not taking notes. As is the theme tonight, the character work seems just as important as the dancing.

Adam thinks this is a routine where they needed to get more invested in the characters. The dancing and character work is really important for getting people to vote for them. Dareian was a little more successful than Janelle with investing himself in the character work. With the walking step, she just needs to live and breathe the music and fill out each step, and make it about each other. It's as much of being a good dancer as any fancy dance move. He thinks it suited Dareian perfectly.

Nigel thinks so much of this depends on the choreography in the early stage of the competition when the audience doesn't really know the dancers. He doesn't want to be rude to Christopher, because he's brilliant, but it seemed a little uninspiring, as Janelle and Dareian are both capable of doing more than he gave them to do. It's going to be tough on America to judge by what they did here. Yet, he agrees with Adam that they need to bring more. There was nothing outstanding to make people pick up a phone.

Mary agrees, but she was really nervous when it came to the kiss. She doesn't want all that happening again and tells the guys to just leave her out of it. Adam pushes her out of the way and kisses Nigel (with his hand covering Nigel's mouth). Cat would like us to pick up the phone and vote for it to never happen again. Back to the routine, Mary thought it was sweet like cotton candy, light and airy, and thought they did it okay.

Janaya French and Brandon Mitchell are taking on a Sean Cheezman Broadway routine about two people meeting at a bus stop. The girl is reading a hot romance novel and gets frisky, and the guy is not having her, but she is relentless. She even hits him in his “precious jewels” when she wants to have her way. They start their dance on a bench with Bring on the Man (from Jekyll & Hyde: The Gothic Musical Thriller) by Linda Eder. Now this is great character work on both their parts. So much so, that I don't even notice the dancing until a great lift at the end.

Adam tells Sean he has to be happy, because he did a great job. It's another one of the character pieces that was very successful. It was a huge “step up” for Brandon. He really invested himself and saw what it was to get into each moment. It was great for Janaya with great lines, and she played the comedy fantastic. Nigel thinks the choreographers have to keep changing things just like the dancers do. Last week Sean did African jazz, and this week Broadway. It was fun Broadway with a lot of characterization behind it. Brandon's character was terrific, and Janaya really brought something he doesn't think she did last week. He particularly liked her hooking her foot behind his neck and doing the somersault.

Mary thought it was one of the most entertaining numbers of the night. She also thinks Brandon really did “step it up.” She thought they were maybe in danger after last week, but the acting, energy, and and entertaining people this week really came through. She meant business when she took off her shoes and just dove into that somersault with no fear. She was amazing. Cat sends them off to go read 50 Shades of Gray.

Eliana Girard and Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer take on a jive choreographed by Melanie Lapatin and Tony Meredith. He notes the jive is really energetic and a lot of fun, but the problem is the dancers don't know what they're doing. Uh-oh. But, it's Cyrus, so he'll probably pull it out. They dance tonight to I'm Shakin' by Jack White, and it looks exciting from the very beginning. These two have great chemistry together. Considering this guy is a street dancer, he's amazing with the partner work.

Mary tells Cyrus the name of the song is I'm Shakin', and she would be shaking if she were him and drew the jive. The transititons were rough, the feet weren't quite there, and the posture went in and out, but sometimes it was really good. What she loved was that in the partnering he was there every step of the way There were a lot of tricky moves, and he was there to support her in all the lifts. Yet throughout all this, he still looked like he was having a really good time. He never gave up. Eliana's star is still shining, and she's a phenomenal dancer.

Adam tells Cyrus if he were him when he drew that his head would be like the inside of a zoo with all the animals running amok. When he was dong his own style, his feet never left the ground. But here with this it's amazing he even got through it, and it's the reason he's standing there and on the show. Eliana seems to be the hardest working woman in show business, making him look great and making herself look great as well.

Nigel mentions that in this new format, the dancers pick out numbers, and that is how they choose their routine. He asks Cyrus what was left on the board when they picked, and other than jive, there was fox trot, Argentine tango, and Bollywood. Yeah, good choice. They knew sometimes he'd hit a brick wall with choreography, but he thinks Tony and Melanie did a good job with lifts in hiding Cyrus' abilities. He was there for her all the time,n but needs to fill in the blank spaces too. He thinks America is on her side. Eliana has a tough job, because she has to compensate for his lack of knowledge. She hasn't been able to show the country how great she is as a ballerina.

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