Memo to Nigel Lythgoe: No more Saw movie marathons — or any other flicks from the torture-porn category — for the rest of the So You Think You Can Dance season. Because frankly, I’m not sure I can handle another result-show telecast in which our at-risk dancers get stretched on the emotional rack, herded over psychological hot coals, and starved for a final verdict — only to be told at the last minute that they’ll all be back to dance again next week.
Yes indeed, tonight’s results were as grueling as they were confusing, but the bottom line is no one got the boot, and we’ll get to attend the world premiere of Top 20: Part Deux: The Return of NappyTabs next Wednesday night. Our stylish Mistress of Ceremonies, Cat Deeley, spent the top half of the hour doling out hard-to-swallow news of the three couples with the lowest number of viewer votes: Jordan Casanova and Tadd Gadduang (WHA? They were my third-faves on Wednesday); Clarice Ordaz and Jess LeProtto (Srsly?); and Miranda Maleski and Robert Taylor Jr (Okay, this I understand); along with Mitchell Kelly, who sat out performance night due to an elbow injury.
Here’s my 30-words-or-less rundown on this week’s solos (complete with letter grades):
Mitchell: One giant leap for Mitchell, but the mime-y shenanigans (covering mouth to John Mayer’s “Say”) were painfully literal. Nice lines and fluidity, though. B-
Jordan: When is it appropriate to wear a gold-chain badge over the right half of one’s bikini top? (Never?) When one’s routine ends with an invigorating tata shake. B
Tadd: Three cheers for B-Boy goodness mixed with Brian Setzer! Sure, it’s a showboat move to transition from ridiculous backspins to a scary headstand — but the good kind of showboating, people! A
Clarice: Extended her leg up and out, then spun it like the magic compass detecting a bloodsucker on Vampire Diaries. I pretty much passed out after that awesomeness. A-
Jess: Would totes crush So You Think You Can Pirouette, nailed the sliding backward move he tossed in to his “Mr. Bojangles” number, but requires 17% reduction in face-pulling. B+
Miranda: End of her pirouette looked a little clumsy, but Nigel is right that the woman’s got remarkable elevation, if not an overstock of charisma. B
Robert: Nonsense solo in a hideous yellow fringed sweatshirt and skull cap? If I didn’t know better I’d say the class clown secretly wants to go home! D
After solos, Nigel paused to send good energy to recent American Idol guest Clarence Clemmons — not random, considering we got a sneak peek at Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” video on which the saxophonist plays — and then asked Mitchell and Robert to repeat their solos. “What in tarnation is going on here?” I silently asked myself (and not just because Robert’s solo was just as elementary the second time around.) The guys were sent to the wings, and then Jordan, Clarice, and Miranda got positive feedback from Nigel, who then called all seven at-risk dancers back to the stage, critiqued the guys, and then declared that nobody was going home (though four will exit next week).
Cue tears! Cue group hugs! Cue Cat shouting, “That means I get my babies for one more week!” Was it all conceived during last minute deliberations among Nigel, Mary Murphy, and guest judge Megan Mullally, or was the “everybody’s safe!” idea pitched in a conference room at Fox headquarters back in January? It doesn’t really matter to me. At this point in the season — where we’ve seen so little of the dancers in question — is it really such a bad thing to get one more impression before deciding their fates? If the Top 20 deliver gifts next Wednesday on par with what they gave us this week, then I say we tear off the wrapping paper and enjoy.
What did you think of the judges’ decision to save everyone? Were you surprised by the bottom three couples? What did you make of Keri Hilson’s “musical” “performance”? Sound off below, and for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!