Things have been kind of lackluster in the SYTYCD-verse since Alex was so rudely taken away due to injury, that I don't think things started to really recover until tonight. Or have they? Because after three weeks of injuries sidelining dancers, everyone was able to dance tonight. But then, at the very end, Lauren was taken off to the medics! What? This is just getting stupid. Hopefully she will be okay, otherwise it's another frontrunner taken out too soon. Sigh.
On to the dancers. Rather than ranking this week, I'm just going to go by the order they performed their solos. First up...
Jose - Ah, Jose. Where do we begin with Jose? I think the judges decided not to cut anyone last week because they would've cut Jose and felt bad about it because Billy hadn't actually danced while Jose had. It became quite clear throughout the evening that he will be getting the boot if he ends up in the bottom three. His solo, however, was I think his best on the show so far. It was well put together and I actually liked it for once! I also liked his hip hop piece with all-star Comfort, choreographed by Marty Kudelka and Dana Wilson, despite the judges deciding to crap all over it, apart from guest judge Toni Redpath. Honestly I thought it was one of his better dances of the season. Am I just crazy? Did I just really dig the choreography? Who knows. Jose's second partner dance of the night was a Spencer Liff broadway piece with Kent. And, well, sorry Jose, but Kent just way outshone you. Kent is born for broadway, so it's not really fair, but still. It was pretty apparent. Unless something crazy happens, I think this was the last performance show for the b-boy.
Lauren - Lauren got lots of praise tonight. The judges basically declared her the other top contender for the title, which is no surprise. While I don't think she can unseat the behemoth that is Kent, she is the only one who could maybe have even a little bit of a chance. Her solo tonight was fantastic. Rather than flailing about aimlessly, it was well thought out and performed. Her first partner dance was with all-star Allison in a Tyce broadway number. And, groan. Tyce and broadway. I'm sorry but that was boring. And there is something about the music in all of his numbers that always rubs me the wrong way. The judges were full of compliments, though Nigel did say he thought it was sort of forgettable. Her second partner dance of the night was with Adechike in a Jean Marc & France choreographed foxtrot. Whereas the music bugged me in her other dance, here I thought it was inspired, if maybe heavy-handed. The routine itself was great, the choreography lovely. The dancing seemed okay to me but the judges had a lot to say about ballroomy things being not right. Most of that was directed at Adechike, however.
Billy - Billy! What a night for twee Billy Bell. After suffering from an injury and deciding not to perform last week, Billy was granted a save from the judges and able to come back with a vengeance this week. His solo was awesome, as usual. He always thinks them through and has a plan, which I appreciate. And while he also did well in his Nakul choreographed Bollywood piece with Robert (dang! doing that on an injured knee must've been painful!), what I really want to talk about is his other partner dance. It was a Stacey Tookey contemporary piece danced with all-star Ade, and by golly, by gee, I got actual chills! Chills! This has been a very seriously rare thing this season! It helped that they had "Mad World" as the music, which is lovely. But hey, let's give props to not only Billy and Ade, but Stacey Tookey too. She had a great night tonight. I'll get to that again later. But Billy! Billy was playing a homeless man while Ade was playing a successful business man. They meet on the street and realize they actually used to know each other. And this probably could've all come across without the video package beforehand, which you can't always say for some of the routines. So, great job, Billy. Even though I kind of think this could be your last week too, unless someone else ends up in the bottom, you ended it on a high note.
Kent - If Kent doesn't win, I'll probably have the biggest jaw drop in history. The girls in the crowd just go made insane for him. And while I liked him at first, I must admit I am starting to get a little sick of it. His solo didn't really help matters, as it seemed overly dramatic without much actual dancing going on. His first partner dance of the night was with all-star Anya in a Jean Marc and France choreographed cha cha, which, if you'll recall, is the same style they danced in he first performance show. Cha cha redux. But I actually quite liked the routine, though now that it's over I can't really remember it all that clearly, I just wrote that I was impressed, but the judges were only so-so. Kent's second partner dance of the night was the aforementioned Spencer Liff broadway with Jose, and boy oh boy, Kent is just made for Broadway. He could seriously be a Broadway star. The judges basically said the exact same thing. Honestly Kent's routines weren't entirely overly memorable tonight, but I don't think it matters a whit anymore.
Robert - Now Robert, Robert also had a great night. While his solo was basically more of the same as what we've seen in previous weeks, his partner dances more than made up for it. In particular, his first dance with all-star Kathryn in a Stacey Tookey contemporary piece. Yes, Ms. Tookey had a great night as a choreographer! Though I thought this dance was going to be a message piece, it was actually danced rather beautifully and didn't seem as full of a message as it may have been. And that twist at the end! I did not see that twist coming! In case you missed it, the piece was about leaving for war, and while we were made to think that it was Robert leaving for war, in the end we found out it was Kathryn! What! I will say one thing about Robert, though. I wish he had better extensions and a little more abandon in some of his movement. There is just a little something he seems to be holding back. The judges really loved this number, though. Robert's second partner dance of the night also garnered a lot of praise from the judges. It was the Bollywood dance with Billy, and though it wasn't entirely synchronized in some parts, they both did a really good job with it. And it was a really hard routine, so I give them both props. The judges seemed to think Robert did a better job than Billy. I couldn't really tell either way.
Adechike - For someone who's somehow never been in the bottom three, Adechike gets a lot of negative comments from the judges. While his solo was more of his typical strong stuff, it wasn't his best of the season. And his strong-ness, I think, is what hurts him in his partner dances. I felt very vindicated when the judges brought up that very fact, because I had only wrote it down myself moments before. Psychic! Adechike's first partner dance was a Tyce jazz routine with all-star Courtney. And it was... fine. But there's something about his movement that lacks fluidity, he always hits things so hard and strong when it doesn't necessarily fit. The routine could've been better with a different dancer, honestly. His second partner dance of the night was with Lauren in that foxtrot, and the judges berated him for quite a few things, it seemed. Something about claw hands. And I'd say also the lack of fluidity again. I think Adechike is the only one the judges might oust over Billy if he got into the bottom three. But seeing as it hasn't happened yet (seriously? how has this not happened ever?), I'm not sure it will tomorrow.
In any case, if Lauren ends up being taken out due to injury, then what the heck is even the point of the finale? All of the best dancers will have been sidelined. And what a pointless season it will have become. It's already kind of become that already with Alex and Ashley... Sigh. Why do I bother?
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