Any which way you slice it, this week’s So You Think You Can Dance results show was a trying one. Four of the Top 20 dancers — or 20 percent of the field — felt the cold grip of elimination icily massage their necks, and when it was all said and done, two early favorites, a World Champion, and one of Nigel’s certified lady beasts had fallen by the wayside.
But looking on the bright side, perhaps America’s loss will be Debbie Reynolds’ gain. Indeed, on Wednesday night’s performance show, the screen legend and bawdy guest judge jokingly offered to take home fetching b-boy Wadi Jones (after judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy gave him tough critiques), then extended the same offer to several other contestants. So who knows, maybe our quartet of evictees are raising their glasses and boogying on down with Princess Leia’s mama while their comrades are enduring blistered feet, bleeding toes, and bruised torsos in the pursuit of SYTYCD victory.
How did it all play out? For starters, not a single dancer who found him- or herself in jeopardy last week ended up in the Bottom 3 tonight (meaning that perhaps Nigel’s Wednesday-night prediction about Jess and Clarice’s failing fortunes activated their fan bases). Nope, after the always stunning Cat Deeley finished her dreaded duties, the following three couples were left as the lowest vote-getters and asked to dance solos for their competitive lives: Ryan Ramirez and Ricky Jaime; Missy Morelli and Wadi Jones; and Iveta Lukosiute and Nick Young. (Perhaps not coincidentally, these folks comprised three of the first four couples to hit the stage on Wednesday’s telecast.)
Here’s my superfast rundowns on this week’s solos (complete with letter grades):
Wadi: Dear Wadi, Please create a YouTube channel where I can watch your solos every day. Gravity is your bitch. And the namaste pose at the end of your spastic routine made me cry out with delight. A-
Missy: The sheer height of her leaps were mesmerizing…I just wish there’d been a few more of ’em. I mean, Missy has some lovely lines, but she didn’t really separate herself from the pack on this one, or any other dance this season, for that matter. B
Nick: How did that staggering pirouette and such slam-bang enthusiastic tapping result in the lanky cutie heading home? Only because Ricky’s performance was even better. A-
Iveta: It’s always tough for a ballroom dancer to excel in a solo slot, but the Season 8 version of Snow Urbin moved with such lightning speed and frenzied precision that I was certain Nigel and Mary would rescue her. Here’s hoping these last few weeks turn out to have been a very public (and successful) audition for Dancing With the Stars. That’s the natural environment for her gold-cutout bodysuit anyway. B+
Ricky: I was Team Nick heading into the solos, but Ricky’s Rubber Band Man leaps and twists and pirouettes were so hypnotizing, I had to applaud the judges for advancing him to the Top 16. If dude brings that intensity to his pairs work, he might have an outside shot to win this thing. A+
Ryan: If this had been an audition, I’d have asked Ryan to stick around for the choreography rounds before giving a final verdict on Vegas. I don’t understand the judges’ fascination with this sweet, solid, but not at all spectacular dancer who can’t ever seem to get that vacant smile off her face. And Nigel’s excuse for keeping her — that we haven’t seen all she can be — felt like an affront to Iveta and Missy. C+
Now before I turn things over to you, a few final notes…
Christopher Dave Scott-chorographed group performance was cold yet fabulous, suggesting Let’s Make a Deal through the eyes of Magritte.
* Mitchell and his campy energy continue to grow on me, but his white linen pajamas were better suited to a Folgers Crystals commercial than a televised dance competition.
* True confession: I teared up watching Sasha tear up as the producers rolled tape on her Wednesday-night duet with Alexander and their subsequent critiques.
* Anybody up for some Vitamin Water, because you know I’m not even trying to mention the name of this week’s aggressively product-placed sports drink! On that note…
What did you think of this week’s eliminations? Who had your favorite and least favorite solos? Were you surprised by the bottom three couples? Sound off below, and for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!