Following a terrible episode last week and before going on a two-week hiatus, everyone tried to step up their game tonight on So You Think You Can Dance.
Group Performance (Choreographed by Tyce Diorio)
For once, the camera work on this number was fantastic. I don't mean the angles and stuff, which I'm usually pretty hard on, but the way color was used. The black-and-white filter was much more effective than the dance itself, which I was mostly bored by. There was a lot going on, and none of it was very interesting. It was Mia-lite, while still being reminiscent of so many of Tyce's previous pieces (specifically the "Send in the Clowns" number from season five). Not impressed.
Tiffany and George (Hip Hop by Nappytabs)
Okay, so this was a cute concept and the choreography was pretty good. But it's not really a concept that can be carried throughout an entire routine without the use of the actual kids they're supposed to be babysitting. Then it becomes like... why exactly are these two cartoony kids freak dancing while there's a baby crying in the background? Silly, really. Anyway, the performance itself was a mixed bag for me. Strangely enough, I actually preferred Tiffany to George; she got deeper into it, more grounded, funkier. George danced it a little too prettily, happily and smoothly.
P.S. - I wish Christina Applegate's show on NBC was funnier, because I love her and think she's hysterical.
Amber and Brandon (Jazz by Ray Leeper)
Let's get this out of the way: I fucking hate Ray Leeper's choreography. Having said that, I kind of loved this choreography. I say "kind of" because I don't know if I would have liked it as much with another choreographer's name attached to it; does that make sense? I was expecting the worst, something campy and stupid (like last season's "Americano"), and it was surprisingly good. So I think I just loved that it wasn't terrible... get it? The use of the chair was great, and the song choice was spot-on. But it wasn't all sunshine and flowers, because Brandon was awful. He was sloppy and totally off-kilter, off-balance, and off-beat at times. Amber, on the other hand, was beautiful. I was waiting to be impressed by her, and she brought it this week. With a more technical partner, she would have been even better and the choreography would've been elevated even further. Overall though, I was surprised and pleased.
Janelle and Dareian (Cha Cha by Pasha)
Wow, the producers really did all they could to make up for the fact that Janelle sucked last week, huh? She gets a style that's all hips set to the biggest song in the world right now. Now, I'm no expert on the cha cha, but this looked hard as hell (and I'd expect nothing less from Pasha). And despite all the attempts to get Janelle to shine, she wasn't very good. Her hips are magical, but her feet were FUCKING. UGLY. And that's saying something considering how ugly Dariean's feet always are, including in this performance. Otherwise, he faded into the background for me. There was no heat between them; I don't know if that's just because it was so damn cutesy (I hatehatehatehatehatehatehate "Call Me Maybe") or because they don't like each other or whatever, but it was boring.
Lindsay and Cole (Contemporary by Mandy Moore)
Holy shit, you guys. Everything about this performance was incredible. Mandy Moore's choreography was fantastic; her use of space is wonderful, having them fly across that stage and back over and over and over again. The lighting was so moody and dark and perfectly somber next to the heartbreaking rendition of "Wild Horses" they were dancing to. Both dancers were amazing; I don't like Lindsay, but she was so great dancing this routine, better than in her own style. Cole flew through the air. The connection was there, and they both performed the shit out of it. Love.
Amelia and Will (Jazz by Mandy Moore)
Two Mandy Moore routines in a row? I'm on cloud nine. And they could not be more different in tone and style. I want to see Amelia and Will challenged a bit; in three weeks they've pretty much been within their comfort zones. Hip hop was probably the biggest stretch, and the style of that routine (in week one) was more jazzy-Broadway than grungy hip hop anyway, so yeah. I love what they do, I just want to see them do more. As for the performance itself, it was cute but not overly impressive. I think they were shot in the foot by having them follow such a strong piece as "Wild Horses," and they just didn't rise up. I do love the two of them dancing together though, even if Will is the star of the couple.
Audrey and Matthew (Salsa by Liz Lira)
ENOUGH OF THE UGLY RED COSTUMES THIS SEASON. Sorry, I don't mean to yell. I love Matthew so much, but WOW, that was bad. He dragged on the tempo and just looked super awkward, though that could be in large part to the UGLY RED COSTUME. He also looked really femme, and I feel like in Latin ballroom that's just not good. Audrey did a little better, but again the tempos felt slow (could it be how bad the music was too?). There was no energy or fire. I'd rather forget this one happened.
Witney and Chehon (Contemporary by Stacey Tookey)
Okay, so... let's start with something that really bothered me: Chehon almost fell within the first 5 seconds. He was off balance in his arabesque, and I was totally put-off by that and it affected how I saw him through the rest of the routine. From that moment, I was looking for mistakes, and I kept seeing them. Knowing he's a ballerino, I expected more grace and elegance, and at times he just seemed clunky. And I didn't get much emotion from him, either. Witney's emotion felt more honest, and the moment they discussed in the intro with "hands saying no, but everything else saying yes" was there and truly beautiful. I loved her. But I didn't love the routine as a whole; I wanted something more epic to go with such an epic song. There was one incredible lift, but the rest was too subdued for me. And I just kept coming back to that damn wobble in the first movement from Chehon.
Eliana and Cyrus (Hip Hop by Nappytabs)
Last week, Cyrus bombed beyond belief. Like, one of the most embarassing performances... no, the most embarassing performance I've ever seen on the show. So this week Nappytabs catered directly to his strengths by allowing him to be a robot and basically do the same thing he did to get on the show in the first place. Fuck off. Anyway, the choreography was heinously boring and repetitive, and so referential of previous, more successful routines (Transformers by Shane Sparks, Mannequin by Dave Scott). Eliana surprised me by being actually decent; she gave a great performance. Cyrus did his thing, and I still don't like it.
Bottom Six: Amber, Lindsay, Eliana, George, Brandon, Dareian
No surprises here, really, except that Janelle wasn't joining Dareian in the bottom. Cyrus was so awful last week, but I know he's the kind of dancer people vote for, so whatever. Amber, Eliana, Brandon and Dareian were asked to dance solos, and the only one I really liked was Amber. After seeing that, I understood why she made it to the show: girl's got heart. So obviously she was sent home. Bullshit. Dariean's was showy and flashy, so he and George were saved. Bye bye, Brandon.
My Bottom Three Girls
My Bottom Three Guys
See you all in three weeks! (Stupid Olympics)