In tonight's show we had two welcome changes. One, we got to see very dancer do a solo, and two, we had our first guy-guy dance. I've been wondering from the beginning whether they might mix things up and do that, particularly since so many of the girls have already gone home, and none of the guys have. Meaning we've been able to see the all-star girls a lot more than the all-star guys. And boy, am I glad they did. I think we all are, right? Uh, duh.
But the night wasn't without its fumbles, as we can see with...
Melinda - I feel a little bad ragging on Melinda every week, because I actually really liked her back when she tried out, but honestly if this had been a top 20, I don't think she would've made it to the top 10. There's something about her that isn't connecting. And her Fabian Sanchez salsa with Pasha tonight was no exception. Though she soldiered on after a possible wardrobe malfunction, and was certainly trying hard to get the salsa steps down, it looked like she was trying, rather than it just coming naturally. And though her tapping solo was again good, I think it unlikely that she won't be in the bottom. Unless she gets sympathy votes, which does sometimes happen. And I was thinking that to myself while the judges were ripping into her too (like when they said they think they made a mistake letting Cristina go and not her last week. Which? True. But, your mistake, judges!). And, as a sidenote - what in the world was with Pasha's outfit? Was he supposed to look like a gay sailor?
Jose - I like Jose, but that samba just showcased again how he's not nearly as good of a dancer as the other guys in the competition (or the other two ladies, for that matter). Jose has been sailing by on his charming smile, and if he gets another pass this week, I don't know. That would bother me, but then that's what often happens. Anya helped to make Jose look better than he actually was in the Dmitry Chaplin choreographed routine, but I don't think it's fair how the judges give him basically nothing but compliments while acknowledging that he's not a great dancer, when they rip apart other people. Jose's solo wasn't really anything to write home about, particularly after having such an amazing b-boy in Legacy last year. Legacy, we miss you.
Billy - Billy's solo? Awesome. Unlike some of the solos we have seen on the show this season, he really did a good one, though maybe there was one too many bendy leg kicky things in there for my taste. We know you're weirdly flexible, okay? But his partner dance was a Stacey Tookey contemporary piece with all-star Kathryn. On paper, that sounds like it should be amazing, right? And that's what I was thinking it should be when they started, but... it fell kind of flat. I don't know if it was the choreography or if it was what Nigel said - that Billy is a great dancer, but he's not good at partnering. And after seeing what he did in his solo as compared to the routine, you know, I think Nigel might actually be on to something. I don't always agree with his comments, but if Billy wants to stick around, I think he should take that one to heart.
Kent - Kent, Kent, Kent. You know you're a big personality when Cat just has to say something like, "And we've got a... Kent." As if he's an animal species all to himself. And in many ways, his personality does make him seem like his own species. But that's what the judges are telling him to be conscious of, because he's starting to become too aware of the audience, and not focusing more on the partnering. He had a Mandy Moore contemporary routine with all-star Allison, and while it was decent, it wasn't great. And I think the judges comments were pretty spot on, truthfully. Not that I think he's going anywhere anytime soon, but you know. I will give him props for a thought out solo that was actually planned with the music for the time allotted. Good on you, little buddy! (Doesn't he sort of remind you of a wee little Gilligan?)
Robert - After being (unjustly) foisted into the bottom three last week, this week Robert got to strut his stuff with Courtney in a Sonya Tayeh jazz routine. I have to give him props, because my eyes were drawn to him the whole time, despite Courtney's heinous pants (seriously! those were perhaps the most unflattering pants I have ever beheld). Though I do think he could've gotten a little more down and dirty with it, because though Nigel did compare him to my beloved Mark, I don't think he was quite up to Mark's standard in a Sonya piece. That may be impossible, true. But Robert's solo was great. As Cat stated, "Robert and Ray LaMontagne in one routine, that's kind of heaven." Indeed, indeed. As soon as "Hold You in My Arms" came on, I was already hooked. And he worked it to his advantage. Hopefully it's enough to keep him out of the bottom three.
Adechike - I have to say, I was rather impressed with Adechike this week. While I do think he should've been in the bottom three the last two weeks, I don't think he deserves it this time around. His Dave Scott hip hop routine with Lauren actually got him to exhibit some personality, though, was it me, or did the routine seem to go on for forever and a day? It seemed really long. Anyway. What really made me like Adechike tonight was his solo. Now where has that been these last few weeks, dude? He owned that solo. If only he could bring what he does in his solos to his partner dances, he could be great.
Ashley - I feel like Ashley may be the under the radar contestant who somehow makes it through to the top 6 and we don't really know why or how. She had yet another contemporary tonight, this time it was a routine by new to SYTYCD choreographer Dee Caspary, with all-star Ade. And though certainly good, it did not blow my mind as much as the fact that they were using a Florence + The Machine song. I am currently obsessed with "My Boy Builds Coffins," so don't mind me. Her solo was also sort of a generic contemporary leap, leg, jump, la di da that we've come to expect. Not that it's not good, but...? I don't know.
Lauren - Lauren drew a Joey Dowling Broadway routine with all-star Neil. And can I just say, that is a broadway routine I can actually get behind. Most of the time they are just too over the top and like hey hey look at me weeeeee that I can't stand them. But this one was all about being sultry and seductive, and though the judges did have some criticisms for Lauren in that department (up until her strap came undone and she almost had her own Janet Jackson-y scandal), I thought she actually did really well. And her solo also seemed to be more put together than any of the girls' ones I've seen so far this season. I'm still not sure I like her, but she's maybe growing on me.
Alex - Wow. I mean, I know the audience and the judges went completely nuts over him, but what can I say? He was crazy good. His solo demonstrated his power, though I will say it did seem like he didn't plan any of it out and was just kind of going from thing to thing. I could be wrong. But! His NapTab hip hop routine with Twitch was great. For one - Twitch! We haven't seen him yet this season and it has been a crying shame! The concept was tons of fun, and Alex fully committed. Nigel was bandying about the word "Emmy", so you know it's number one in his book. But, I still want to tell you, Alex, you don't need to act a goofball during the random camera time. Because it feels like an act. And you know we like sincerity.
Is there any way Melinda isn't going home tomorrow? And if she does, how weird will it be to have six guys and only two girls left? The answer is: super weird, but whatever. And, as one last aside, though I have enjoyed having the all-stars, seeing the guy-guy routine made me miss how the contestants got to dance together before. Will they still get to do those each person dances with each other in the finale? I hope so.
Previous Episode -- Next Episode