This week’s So You Think You Can Dance results show telecast was brought to you by the physically impossible. The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers flew through the air with the greatest of ease, leaving Cat Deeley gasping in shock and delight. Jess LeProtto pirouetted for so long and with such intensity that he may have left a dent in the SYTYCD stage. And Tadd Gadduang turned his arms into metal rods and fused himself at a perpendicular angle to a standing pillar. It was all rated TV:IM (for I Mean…)
When it was all said and danced, though, the judges whittled the field from eight terrific hoofers down to six, because with only two weeks left in this sensational eighth season, tough decisions are as much an inevitability as somebody on Team SYTYCD working overtime to convince us that Tyce Diorio hasn’t been delivering subpar routines over the past six weeks of live performances.
There’s a part of me that’s still a little despondent that we live in a world where the likable but slightly limited Ricky Jaime can sail into the Top 6 while Jess and Tadd are left fighting for his table scraps, but I also realize we’re at a point in the season where a “shock” at-risk announcement was an inevitability. (I was actually bracing for Cat to announce that Melanie or Sasha would be dancing for her life, but apparently I gnawed the inside of my mouth into ground chuck for naught.) Still, given the fact that Jess and Tadd delivered undeniably stellar solos while their female counterparts Jordan and Caitlynn put the ‘eh’ in ‘meh,’ I half wondered if Nigel Lythgoe & Co. might spare both guys and give us a Top 6 made up of four gents and two dames. (You may say I’m a dreamer, but too much sauv blanc and reality TV can make one’s world view a little loopy.) Anyhow, enough about my stable of psychological issues; let us move on to the evening’s solos:
Jordan: I don’t want to denigrate the contestant most likely to end up as a Pussycat Doll, but if Jordan really wanted to claw her way into the Top 6, it might’ve been nice to see her bring a different vibe to her solo (maybe scary like her black swan/vulture dance or wickedly uninhibited like her African jazz from Top 20 week) than her fallback position of “voluptuous lady sexytimes.” But alas, the minute Rihanna’s “S&M” began to play — and heavens do I hate that cynical slice of phoned-in pop music — you knew what you were gonna get. A series of lifted legs, a wide range of thrusted hips, and a whole lot of pouty lip. Grade: C+
Jess: Yes, half of this 20-second routine to Kevin Spacey’s “Mack the Knife” was a pirouette — but what a glorious effing display of spinning it was. (Excuse my French, but Jess’ center of gravity brings out the sailor in me.) There’s something about the way Jess moves, an effervescence that extends all the way past his fingers and toes and into the atmosphere around him — that I find electrifying. Anyone who can make me love him while decked out in a suspenders-and-fingerless-gloves combo has got to be something special. Grade: A
Caitlynn: Ahh, Caitlynn. At her best, she disappears into the dance so thoroughly that it’s easy to forget her as an individual entity in need of viewer votes. At her worst, though, she’s a green kid who could’ve used a few more years of maturity before setting sail on the SYTYCD Ocean. Unfortunately, tonight’s solo — which played like the neutered kitten version of Jordan’s sexy catlady routine — fell in the latter category. Grade: C
Ricky: Oh, wait, I keep forgetting he wasn’t even in the Bottom 2. Grade: Phooey.
Tadd: Wait, is Tadd wearing a variation on the same t-shirt he wears every results night? Strrrrrike one! Wait, is Tadd kicking things off with some air-guitar and dancing to yet another twee little shiny happy cutesy number (in this case “Jump in the Line”)? Strrrrrike two! Hold up now, is Tadd hanging onto a caged pillar thingy at a vertical angle, throwing his legs in the air, and waving ’em around like he just don’t care? That’d be a home run, America! And as he rounds the bases, dude does an amazing crawl-spin thingie and leaps off the stage with wicked abandon, just to remind us why he is not going to be going home this week. Grade: A
In other results-show news:
* The opening Tyce Dioro number featuring circus types may have moved Cat to tears, but all that clownish makeup and costuming (in particular, Jess’s exaggerated mouth and Tadd’s hideous and physique-masking “mime onesie”) are going to move me to waking nightmares at least through Sunday night. Does. Not. Want.
* Marko’s mom, backstage, sobbing. What else can I add to that?
* Jess’s strut off the stage (complete with shirt removal) after learning his Bottom 2 status bordered on obnoxious — but only if you’re in the camp that bought Nigel’s season-opening criticism that the kid has an attitude problem. In my mind, every second of every day of Jess’ life is about the movement, and there’s something exquisite about it all: You didn’t really expect him to walk off the stage like a regular human being, did you?
* Is Tadd married? And if not, why was he wearing a wedding ring tonight? And if so, how come it looked like he and Jess were going to smooch on at least three separate occasions this evening? (That wasn’t just my imagination, was it?) Okay, yes, I’m sure the official SYTYCD site has biographical info that would answer this “is he or isn’t he” query, but I have a Project Runway recap to write tonight, too, so you’ll forgive me for passing the buck, right?
* I really need to start watching the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers series on Hulu, don’t I? I loved when the lady wizard used her magic arm to topple all her cohorts on stage left, then stage right. And I was with Cat wondering if maybe there were invisible wires holding those writhing/levitating dudes in the air. Seriously, how does one go about attempting to pull off a move like that for the first time. (Probably with 20 tons of padding.)
* I love Gaga, I really do. But Haley Reinhart sang “You and I” better. Also, I’m not so sure about matching your hair color to chewed peppermint gum that’s been discarded and stuck to a subway platform for two days.
* Nigel said the judges “decided to go with America’s vote in this instance” in deciding which woman to send home, but I wasn’t sure if he meant they did the same when it came to the guys. NIGEL WHY CAN’T YOU JUST BE CLEAR, DIRECT, AND STRAIGHTFORWARD WHEN YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT THESE THINGS? Argh. Grr. Sheesh. I guess outrage is an important part of the process, right?
Okay, deep breaths. To recap…
Bottom Two Guys
Bottom Two Ladies
Now it’s your turn to hit the comments and share your thoughts on this week’s eliminations: Did the right dancers go home? Sound off below, and for all my reality news, interviews, and recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!