So You Think You Can
Great dancing combined with complete kitsch...So You Think You Can Dance, where have you been all of my life? This week, guest judge and hot mess Debbie Allen was dishing out compliments from the honorary Paula Adbul Chair...and there were plenty to go around. But thanks to a last-minute shocker, I think it's pretty clear who will be going home tonight. Follow my logic thusly:
Sara and Jesus: Krumping
Kudos to the show for highlighting one of the most exciting modern forms around...but this was a far cry from the physical, brutal fierceness of krumping (on display best in the documentary Rize). The old fogey judges praised it while tacitly admitting their ignorance of the dance's mechanics, but the limp gymnastics of this routine had none of the spark that makes crumping great.
Shauna and Cedric: Contemporary
More of a theatre-movement piece than a dance, Mia Michaels' choreography did what it could to hide Cedric's complete inability to partner. Judge Mary called both Cedric and Michaels on this transparently sly move, but it wasn't anywhere near good enough in terms of execution. Afterward, Cedric's self-righteous defense of his lack of training ("I believe I've been put on this show by God") was embarrassing. I've yet to see why he's here in the first place. Let him go, and let's move on.
Lacey and Kameron: Quick Step
Despite being a completely different style altogether, the spirit and energy of Lacey and Kameron's routine wasn't far from their stupendous Broadway number last week. An obvious crowd favorite, they executed the carriage and footwork very well while never losing their enthusiasm and palpable enjoyment. If there's anyone who isn't thinking that they'll make it to the finals, think again.
Anya and Danny: Hip-Hop
In my mind, this week was the first true test of the prohibitive favorites; as ballroom and classical dancers (respectively), a street style is an enormous challenge for them. The verdict? Oh, it was okay, I guess...they shuffled street moves into something that looked like modern contemporary, and they never truly surrendered themselves to the style. Still, the judges raved, once again informing the audience that these two should be the winners. But I think it's far from a slam-dunk...and it's nice to know that even great dancers have limits.
Sabra and Dominic: Rhumba
After a rocky start in Week 1, these two -- the relative upstarts of the competition -- are gaining serious ground on the leaders. Part of their dark-horse appeal is their go-for-broke versatility; with neither even being able to pronounce "rhumba" a week earlier, their detailed form and line were stunning. It was also damn sexy...the hottest routine of the season. This is the surprise of the night, in my opinion. Safe for some time from here on out.
Lauren and Neil: Tango
I realize that I'm just a layman, but I've always thought that the tango was the most mesmerizing -- and most difficult -- of the ballroom forms. Tonight reinforced that opinion, as two good dancers fell short due to style. Their movement lacked precision, and the sensuous flair normally associated with this dance simply wasn't in evidence.
Jaimie and Hok: Jazz
To music from Memoirs of a Geisha, choreographer Wade Robson set up a bizarre dance about...hummingbirds. This is jazz? Okay, fine, whatever. The jerky arms, flapping hands, and crawling legs didn't show off the dancers particularly well, but that's not their fault. The movement left me particularly cold, like I was watching a bad childrens' ballet. I love this pair, so I hope they won't be sacked by the choreographer again next week.
After being rushed to the hospital earlier in the day for exhaustion, Jessi wasn't able to compete; Pasha danced with the choreographer's assistant, Melanie, instead. The whole thing became a non-starter, really. Pasha is great at ballroom forms, and the last-minute switcheroo of partners created a tsunami of goodwill from the judges and the audience. He'll definitely stay. Will the judges evict Jessi for missing the party? They announced that she'll either dance for her life Thursday on the results show...or be cut. WTF? Doesn't seem very supportive, does it?
Bottom Three Couples: Shauna and Cedric, Lauren and Neil, Sara and Jesus (or Jessi, I Guess)
Going Home Tonight: Cedric and Jessi