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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

Alexa Anderson and Daniel Baker worked with contemporary choreographer Dee Caspary this week. Daniel explains it's all about emotional connection. Dee notes the words aren't as important as the physical body. Their prop is a bath rub, which Dee feels represents the water drowning the words. Alexa is just trying to focus on the emotions and connection with Daniel. They dance to So Long My Friend by Yanni, and at times it's hard to believe this is the dancer who was chastised by nearly every single choreographer in Vegas for not being able to pull out emotion, and at others it's easy to see why.

Adam tells Dee it was an absolutely beautiful routine and extraordinary work with a difficulty level. The truth of the matter is “after that bath, I should have wanted to take a shower,” but he didn't. There was something that was really beautiful to him, but very chilly. He's not sure what was missing, but was aware of the technical elements and disavowed from the emotions.

Mary isn't sure what to say, but it could be a new dance genre, dance bathing. She warns people should not try this at home. She agrees with Adam, as it was all executed to a T, and was beautiful, but she's not sure what it is other than missing a little chemistry, while the ability is just unbelievable. Usually they have a prop that people don't really use, but Dee was very creative in the use of the tub, going in and out.

Nigel agrees the choreography was beautiful, but also agrees with the other judges. When it started they talked about concentrating on the emotional connection, but somehow they lost that by the time they got to the floor. They danced brilliantly, but they can't just dip their toe in the water. They have to fully immerse themselves in it.

Tiffany Maher and George Lawrence II are doing the fox trot, choreographed by Tony and Meredith. Tiffany compares it to starting over in dance. Melanie and and Tony are trying to teach them years' worth of knowledge in a very short amount of time. They take the floor tonight to I Want to Be Loved By You by Sinead O'Connor to show us their new command of this knowledge. This song always reminds me of Ginger singing it on Gilligan's Island. Just an FYI. As for the dancing, in this layman's view, it looks impressive, but I wouldn't notice footwork or frame and other technicals.

Mary would though, and she says the fox trot is probably one of he most difficult ballroom dances, because it's so slow and needs control and footwork to make sure it's gliding across the floor, but “Man oh man, did these do that!” The timing for both of them was just fantastic. It was a great routine, and Tiffany was living it. Mary adored her doing this. Everything was perfect for her, and George was a perfect partner.

Adam was madly in love with this. It brought him back to everything he loved about the MGM days, Fred and Ginger, elegance and grace. They just “stepped up” to a whole new level. They were “in-freaking-credible. ” Nigel is disgusted by the plugs, and Adam thinks the ones in Nigel's hair are just as disgusting. He's just pleased Tiffany and George were given a chance to dance, and they'd make an opening act for anybody, an incredible couple, and gave a lesson to all the other couples on how to connect. They obviously enjoy dancing with each other. This is why he got into dance, watching dances like this.

With the final dance of the night, Witney Carson and Chehon Wespi-Tschopp are doing a Bollywood routine with Nakul Dev Mahajan. He says this routine has no storyline, and is just all about the stamina, speed, and getting the hands right. Chehon has sore hands from all of it. Witney is wishing herself luck. They dance to Tanday Music by Aatish Kapadia. This is far from my favorite genre, but I have to say they do really well with it. They were so sharp with their moves.

Adam tells Nakul every time they do Bollywood it is pure delight, and this one was so much fun and a great way to end the competition part of tonight's show. They were both fantastic at it, but he warns Witney she should dance with a long neck. For Chehon, it was the first time he saw some joy and a shining personality. Mary thought it was absolutely perfect too. She thinks this is so much better than Chehon's samba last week. To see him really let go and really enjoy and take it all in, she didn't feel the steps, just the magic. She felt the chemistry, and Witney is still on fire.

Nigel can't believe Witney was doing knee turns. She had to be down there and had to be far down. He even detected a little bit of Katac in there. She and George really had to get down there. He asks if they studied online, and Witney admits she studied a lot of YouTube videos. He doesn't think they did themselves proud last week with the samba, but thinks they did this week.

All the other dancers now join Cat onstage. This is the not-so-fun part as she will name the bottom six. Janaya, Alexa, Witney, Nick, Daniel, and Chehon. The judges have known the votes since first thing this morning. Cat asks Nigel if they need to see any more. Nigel reports that after speaking to the other judges, as well as the choreographers from last week and this week, they do not need to see anyone re-dance.

After a preview of the new Step Up movie with Twitch, Tony Bellissimo, Phillip Cheeb, and Kathryn McCormick, the dancers mentioned, along with some others from the movie, dance a special routine.

Janaya, Alexa, and Witney are brought out onstage to find out which dancer will be saved. Nigel explains that America doesn't vote people off, but votes for the people they like, leaving people who still get thousands of votes in the bottom. It's important for them to stay unemotional about this, as they are some of the best dancers they've had. They aren't going to say you were great in this or brilliant in this. But they will say they are the best twenty dancers they saw audition this season.

After having talked to the choreographers and judges, Nigel announces they are saving Witney, sending Janaya and Alexa home. Alexa made so many memories and good friends. Janaya thanks everyone and says it's been an amazing experience she'll never forget.

Nick, Daniel, and Chehon now take the stage. Having spoken to everyone again, they have decided to save Chehon, sending Nick and Daniel home.

Wow, that just all seemed … brutal. It was among the most cruelest eliminations I've seen on reality TV. These people danced really well tonight. Daniel and Alexa were told they didn't have emotion showing all the time, so they were understandable, but Janaya was told she was amazing. Nick was told nobody could do the reverse pivots the way he did with Amber on his hip, and he did seven of them. But they're in the bottom because of how they danced last week. It's going to be hard to do this every week.

 

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