So You Think You Can Dance – Episode 7-9

Here’s my issue with Ameriker’s favorite judges: they seem incapable of judging accurately, especially this season. Adam blathers on and on, and I’m never quite sure about what. Mia’s always harsh, to the point of being rude, unless you’re her favorite – in which case, you can do no wrong. Nigel can never shake his stodgy Brit persona in order to be constructive. A dancer is either awful, and makes them question why they were picked (Melissa), is never giving them enough of something which never can never quite identify (Lauren, Kent, Billy), or just so darn cute it doesn’t matter what they crap out on stage (Jose).

I would really prefer some actually critiques instead of the same recycled criticism and “OMG YOU’RE SO AWESOME, I LOVE YOU!!!” They’re supposed to be better than that.

On to the dancing!

Adechike and All Star Lauren, Broadway – Thank you, Dave Scott! He’s one of my favorite Hip Hop choreographers and the show never uses him enough. He brought out some fun in Adechike, and man, can that guy smile. Thoroughly enjoyed this routine, and it was nice to see Lauren do something other than Broadway.

Ashley and All Star Ade, Contemporary – “I’ll be a genie.” This girl’s got some humor, who knew? Unfortunately, she was stuck with a similar style for the third week in a row. I really liked the piece by new choreographer Dee Caspary, but they need to give her something funky ASAP.

Robert and All Star Courtney, Jazz – Another completely forgettable funky Sonya Tayeh piece. Her reused choreography used to be annoying. Now it’s just boring. Not Robert’s fault, and he soldiered through the routine (and those pants) with aplomb.

Melinda and All Star Pasha, Salsa – I like Melinda. She doesn’t have the “Look at me mugging at the camera!” vibe that 90% of SYTYCD contestants do. She’s pretty and funky. And this competition hasn’t done her any favors. That being said, her Salsa was choppy and heavy. Not sexy, fiery, or fun. Just plain dumpy. While she deserved criticism, I was surprised at the skewering she received. There have been worse Salsas, and she managed not to fall flat on her face when the dress was caught on her heel. Also, it was good work by Fabian Sanchez. Bring him back!

Lauren and All Star Neil, Broadway – I wasn’t feeling this. Lauren looked like a kid dancing with a grown up. She needed to breathe sensuality, but the sexy thang doesn’t work for her, no matter how hard she tries. Or maybe it’s that she tries so hard? The judges praised her, glossing over the fact that she’s needs a few years on her before she can exude the vibe necessary for this routine.

Billy and All Star Kathryn, Contemporary – Billy’s sensational, so when the judges try and critique him it just comes across as nitpicky. Mia rightly pointed out that this competition is about working on a commercial level, and while I agree that Billy may not have that automatically-lovable-Kent quality, this routine was centered around the female and his role was to be disconnected from her. I thought he did a swell job and should have been commended for it.

Jose and All Star Jose, Samba – Welcome back, Dmitry! May you choreograph more. I think Jose did an admirable job (just like Melinda) but I have no clue how he got away from the judges’ claws. Again. I don’t understand their comments either. Is he really that humble? We all remember him boasting that he was amaaazing, right? And did Mia call their routine a Salsa? Girl, it’s a Samba. Ugh, whatever.

Kent and All Star Allison, Jazz – Don’t worry Kent, I still love you. He didn’t really work this routine, but it was such a forgettable Mandy Moore creation that I’m not sure what else he could have done. The judges seem to dislike his cuteness, but as a viewer, I can’t get enough of it. I do think that he should learn to bring some edge to his work, but this routine wasn’t the time or place for it.

Alex and All Star Twitch, Hip Hop – Was this an earth-shattering, best Hip Hop on the SYTYCD stage ever?!?!? Was it mind blowing, incredible, genius work? No. The judges again demonstrated their ability to overstate. But it was certainly a great Hip Hop routine (which this show lacks), the best NappyTabs choreography, and Alex proved that he can do with Blake, Travis, Danny, Will, Kayla, and Jakob never did – pull off a rougher Hip Hop routine, with no vestige of balletic softness.

The best thing about this week? A nice variety of choreographers! It was a great mix of genres, some new faces, a lot of freshness, and what exactly I’ve been asking for. Thank you, Nigel! Please let them keep it up.

Bottom 3 Predictions

  • Robert – He was there last time, and this week didn’t help him any.
  • Jose – Is this just wishful thinking on my part?
  • Melissa – There’s no denying this one.

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