When contemporary dancer Alex took the stage to perform a hip-hop routine with tWitch on Wednesday night's episode of "So You Think You Can Dance," the expectations were not very high. After all, we all saw how Billy handled krumping last week.
It was the first time that two guys had performed hip-hop since season two when Benji and Travis gave us "Tranji." This would have to live up to that - and boy, did it ever.
Alex matched tWitch's hard-hitting moves, and looked like he had been dancing this style all of his life, earning what Cat Deeley called the biggest roar from the audience the show has ever seen. Alex has now been part of two of the best performances this season, and has shown he's a force to be reckoned with.
His routine was the last one of the night, but there were other highlights among the top nine, as well. Last week, I wrote that all of the guys would probably be outdanced by ballroom queen Anya, but I'm really happy to say that I was wrong. Jose actually stole the spotlight from her several times in their Dmitry Chaplin-choreographed samba. He certainly took the advice of his hero, Bruce Lee: "Be water, my friend." Okay, I'm actually not sure what that means, but I think he did it.
Just two weeks ago, Lauren struggled with getting into character. This week, she completely inhabited her character in a Broadway routine with Neil, causing Adam Shankman to compare her to Cyd Charisse. Despite a wardrobe malfunction towards the end (this show is live to people's TV sets, a concept which Cat helpfully explained), her performance is still what voters will remember most.
Ashley continues to slowly gain momentum each week, even if she has yet to perform outside of her own style (last week's "jazz" routine really doesn't qualify). I was really impressed with new choreographer Dee Caspary, and she shined in this very "cosmic" dance with Ade (the part where he appeared to catch her in mid-air was extraordinary). We also got to see her perform a solo for the first time(!), and that one didn't quite flow together for me. She'll be back next week, and here's hoping she'll finally get the chance to do something different.
One person who won't be back next week is perennial bottom three-dweller Melinda. She gave it her all - even smiling through a heel getting stuck on her dress - during her salsa with Pasha. However, it wasn't enough for the judges, or the audience, who gave her a pretty tepid response.
I think that Robert will join her in the bottom three for the second week in a row. I usually love Sonya Tayeh's choreography, but this time, it didn't really stand out for me, and despite a worthy effort (and appropriate usage of guy-liner), it won't be enough to save Robert.
The third person in the bottom three is a tough call, but I'm going to predict AdeChike, who really didn't hit it hard enough in his hip-hop routine with Lauren. The judges said that AdeChike showed great improvement here, but I really don't see it.
In the middle of the pack, we have Kent and Billy. There's something I didn't think I would ever write, but neither of them were at their best this week.
With Kent, it's been coming for a couple of weeks now, but the judges really went after him for playing to the audience, instead of to his partner Allison. I have to say they were right. Not that it matters, though, because Kent has a huge following.
Billy was similarly criticized for not partnering well, but I think that his extraordinary technique with Kathryn will almost certainly keep him safe.
For me, this week was certainly an improvement over last, and the choreographers are doing a better job of highlighting the competitors over the all-stars. What did you think? Let us know on video, or in the comments below.
Excellent post! I think you've encapsulated the mission of this blog and our challenge.
I think Melinda is toast. I didn't think Jose was realy that good.
My final 4 – Billy, Alex, Kent and Lauren, with Ashley going out 5th.
I thought, with the exception of Melinda and Robert, that this week was really good. I actually voted for AdeChike because I think he is actually a supurb dancer (on par with Alex and Billy) and he's just now gaining momentum in grasping the audience's attention. I say final four = AdeChike, Billy, Alex, and Kent
This was a good week to me. I missed the first live week and saw last week. The dancing this week definitely was better than last week. There were a lot of good for me, some bad, but one thing steal the show for me. Alex and twitch should not work on paper, but it does and it puts you out of your mind. That probably was the best hip hop on the show.
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