The So You Think You Can Dance judges keep saying that this year has some of the best dancers ever, but I’m just not seeing it. Maybe I’m expecting too much, but three weeks in and I’m not getting the chills I usually get at least once on a Wednesday night. It’s not that these kids aren’t great dancers — because they are — but we’ve seen some excellent dancers in past seasons and these guys aren’t living up to the hype.
Toni Basil is the guest judge seat, the package question of the night is “what would you be if you weren’t a dancer?” So…off we go…
Karla and Jonathan lead off the So You Think You Can Dance night with a hip-hop routine choreographed by Dave Scott. Dave asked them to put on their gangster faces, dancing like a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde. Sadly, they missed by a mile. Jonathan just doesn’t have the edge. Nigel said the routine lacked danger and Toni really came down on them for their lack of ghetto, saying the dance looked “store bought.” They should be in the bottom three tonight.
Next up was Asuka and Vitolio who said they would be a jewelry maker and a rock star if they weren’t dancers. They had that lovely waltz last week and this week it was a jazz piece by Mandy Moore. The performance came off like an 80’s video with the two of them working out to Pat Benatar’s Heartbreaker. Vitolio wasn’t bad but Asuka looked like she was rushing to keep up most of the time and the synchronization was way off. Nigel liked them, Mary didn’t and Toni fell somewhere in the middle. I’m betting bottom three.
Melissa and Ade would turn to Pilates and a sound engineer as their alternative careers. For their dance they got Rumba with Tony Meredith. Tony’s choreography wasn’t strictly ballroom. It was a much more theatrical style done to Emotion by Destiny’s Child. In general it was sultry and smooth. These slow dancers can be harder than quick ones because there’s no place to hide a misstep. Kudos from the judges — these two should be safe tonight.
Janette and Brandon also had hip-hop with Dave Scott. He set them up in a dance battle — Janette as a rock star and Brandon as a hip hopper who wants to rock. She channeled Cher in a black bustier, fishnets and boots and that alone should get them enough votes to stay in for another week. The judges gave them good marks, but it wasn’t exactly a rave.
Kupono and Kayla premiere
Dancing together for the first time were Kupono and Kayla. They both lost their partners last week, making this the first new combo of the season. They were given a Viennese waltz with Jean-Marc Generaux. Instead of going strictly traditional, Jean-Marc added in many other styles of dance in this lovely number about a girl dancing in a dream. I thought it was gorgeous. These two are a great couple. Their lines compliment each other so beautifully and the blue lit set and twinkling city lights background made this one of my favorite dances of the night. Oddly, Nigel said it wasn’t the kind of thing people would stand up and cheer for. The audience stood to prove him wrong.
My favorite couple, Randi and Evan was up next. Randi said she would be a special Ed teacher if she didn’t dance and Evan wanted to open a custom car shop. They were given an unusually light contemporary piece from Mia Michaels. It was all about Randi’s butt, (yes, really) with Evan as the old man who is mesmerized by that backside. The whole thing had a kind of Parisian Apache dance feel to it and even though the “plot” of the dance was silly, the dance itself was sultry and cool. Cue a series of “butt” jokes from the judges. In the end, these two should be safe.
Heading into the home stretch was Caitlin and Jason. This is another pair that I have a problem with. I really love the way Caitlin moves but Jason just doesn’t seem to be growing much. They bombed with a sad hip hop routine last week. This week they took on a bizarre Paso Doble by Jean-Marc. Instead of doing it in the traditional Spanish garb, they were dressed in costumes that I guess were supposed to be ancient Rome. The two big problems, the Paso has to be performed with an angry passion and Jason simply can’t pull that off. Second, they were dancing to Oh, Fortuna by Carmina Burana and I don’t think they came up to the power of the music. The judges liked it but I think these two could end up on the bottom again.
Jeanine and Phillip finished the night with a Tyce Diorio Broadway number set to Moses Supposes from Singing in the Rain. The centerpiece was a couch that Phillip had to jump over early in the dance. I could be wrong, but I think they couch they used on stage was much shorter than the one they used in rehearsal.
Believe me, I’m not diminishing the feat at all, I’m just glad they got the leap out of the way so I could stop holding my breath and enjoy the dance. As for the rest of the dance, Jeanine was adorable but I kept thinking how fabulous the number would have been if it had been Evan dancing with her and not Phillip. Nigel warns him that he can’t keep getting by on his popularity. He’s got to up his game.
With the stage covered in feathers thanks to a pillow fight at the end of the last number, another evening of So You Think You Can Dance comes to an end. Tune in tonight to see which guy and which girl will be headed home.
Watch So You Think You Can Dance Wednesdays at 8:00 and Thursdays at 9:00 on Fox.
Photo: Fox Broadcasting Company