Last night’s competition show was full of So You Think You Can Dance firsts. It was the first time the difficult art of Tahitian dancing was performed on the SYTYCD stage, the first time judges said, “No way!” to Jose, and the first time Tyce Diorio brought us a Fosse inspired Broadway number—oh, wait, that’s every week. Put on your boogie shoes and jump below to see best, the worst and the rest of last night’s highlights.
THE BEST: Lauren and Billy‘s Jazz routine (choreographed by Mandy Moore) to “Boogie Shoes”. It was simply joyful and the judges dug it too. We’re filing away this “happy making” number to rewatch on a sad, rainy day. Also, anyone know where can we get ourselves a pair of those sweet rhinestoned Converse?
RUNNER UP: Kent and All-Star Neil‘s Broadway routine to “Shoeless Joe From Hannibal Mo” (choreographed by Tyce Diorio). Tyce Diorio brought us a Fosse number from Damn Yankees and Kent brought his deer in headlights look—both were totally working for this number. Nigel even said that Kent out danced Neil on this one. Could Kent be any safer this week?!
THE WORST: Jose and All-Star Courtney‘s Broadway routine to “Mr. Cellphone” from Chicago (choreographed by Joey Dowling). Let’s transition now from a great Fosse routine last night, to a bad one (Jose’s). Here Jose plays a sad stagehand who’s pining for a beautiful showgirl, but he’s practically invisible to her. Sad premise, but not as sad as the look on Jose’s face the first time the judges have ever given him actual criticism. It was like they had just told him there was no Santa Claus.
We are not going to discredit the fact that Jose is a phenominal natural dancer with zero training, who has worked hard to master dances normally reserved for people at the top of their game. But up until now he has gotten by on just his personality. Had the judges given him actual criticism week after week like the rest of the dancers in this competition, this wouldn’t have come as such a hard blow to Jose. While Adam was explaining some of the technique the B-Boy could improve on for next time, one of Nigel’s actual notes to him last night was, “You need dance lessons.” No one else dancing across that stage this season or any other season has ever gotten that note. Why? Because they’ve been training for YEARS! Again, we really blame the judges for letting Jose get by on just a smile until now. Had they treated him like the rest of dancers in this competition instead of a “special needs” case, it could have saved everyone a lot of heartache
RUNNER UP: Jose and All-Star Dominic‘s B-Boy routine (choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon). Okay, first of all this was total SYTYCD manipulation. Jose didn’t pull Dominic out of the hat. The judges/producers assigned the All-Star and the B-Boy style to him. We’re guessing that with Alex completely out of the competition, they wanted to do something to pull in viewers. And while Tabitha and Napoleon are known for their creative, mind blowing, and memorable dances—last night, we’re sad to say, certainly wasn’t one of them. As we’ve mentioned before, NappyTabs’ style seems to get lost when they try to incorporate break dancing into their own brand of Lyrical Hip-Hop. Last night’s routine didn’t feel like a Tabitha and Napoleon routine. It just felt weird. And as for the whole “Sword And The Stone” story, we’ve seen NappyTabs choreograph on a similar “Medieval Times” theme on rival dance show America’s Best Dance Crew. Only that time, it actually worked (like, really, really, really worked). The judges seemed impressed, or maybe they just couldn’t bear to see Jose’s sad puppy dog face two times in one night.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NIGHT: Robert gave two incredibly strong performances. The first was an emotional contemporary piece, choreographed by Travis Wall. The second was a fantasically fun Disco number that proved Robert should have been around in the 70s. He would have been a Disco King. Billy Bell danced a jive with Anya that Mia Michaels called “stellar”, but he couldn’t quite grasp Cat’s description of the dance as a “Sex Bomb”. And AdeChike defied gravity in his Contemporary “Musical Chairs” (as we’ve named it) number with Kent.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT went to Mia Michaels who overshared with America saying, “I have a duck in heat in my backyard.” It was almost like having Mary Murphy back.
WHO MIGHT BE DANCING FOR THEIR LIFE: Ashley is automatically in the bottom three because of her injury. If the prognosis is that she’ll be good as new for next week’s competition we highly doubt that the judges will send home an audience favorite, especially since we’re only down to two girls this season. In addition to his first taste of criticism from the judges, Jose will also have his first time dancing for his life. And joining him, we’re guessing will be AdeChike—for no other reason than we think that Anya over shadowed him in the ridiculously difficult Salsa routine last night. And unfortunately, America probably forgot about Chike’s breathtaking leap in his contemporary routine with Kent by the time they went to pick up the phones to vote.