July 8th, 2010
10:58 AM ET

Ninjas strike and sparks fly on 'SYTYCD'

Wednesday night's episode of "So You Think You Can Dance" started out with one of the most heartbreaking announcements in the show's history: Alex - arguably the season's strongest dancer - was injured during rehearsals and is sitting out this week, and possibly for the rest of the season.

Considering that he's been involved in two of the most memorable routines of the season, here's hoping for a speedy recovery. No matter what the doctors say, he will automatically be in the bottom three this week (not entirely sure why viewers weren't allowed to vote for him, like they were for Ashleigh last season; maybe the rules to this show are like Calvinball).

Thankfully, the rest of the top eight contestants were determined to give us some memorable routines and several of them were quite successful in that, especially Ashley. She embraced her role as a hip-hop ninja with some of the hardest-hitting moves I've ever seen from a contemporary dancer, at times outshining all-star Dominic. Kudos to Tabitha and Napoleon for two straight weeks of show-stopping choreography.

The producers also had the crazy idea this week to allow the competitors to dance with each other. Perhaps they might grow together as dancers this way (what a concept!). When Kent and Lauren took part in this wacky experiment with a Travis Wall routine about a couple after their prom, the pair (who both recently went to their real proms) had loads of chemistry and performed it beautifully. As for that kiss at the end, I think Adam Shankman was on to something when he said that the connection between them was almost too "honest."

It was a great night for the two remaining girls all around, because Lauren also had a smokin' cha-cha with all-star Pasha, making her the first girl (including Cristina) to really be able to keep up with him. I personally would have liked to see the routine go a little faster, as that version of Lady Gaga's "Telephone" seemed slower than usual to me, but that's just a quibble. (I also wouldn't have minded if Nigel Lythgoe had put a lid on the creepy comments about her costume.)

Back to Ashley: She finished up her stellar night by performing the heck out of her quickstep with Robert, who was similarly outdanced by Kathryn in a routine where he literally had to show the emotional range of a Ken doll (note to choreographers: routines where dancers are robots or aliens rarely work). Depending on what the doctors say about Alex's condition, this could be it for Robert.

Also having a rough time of it last night was Adechike, who got a lot of criticism from Adam and Mia Michaels in his first routine with Courtney about - say it with me - not connecting with his partner, among other things. For once, they were in complete disagreement with Nigel, who felt this was the best routine outside of his own style. I'm taking Nigel's side on this one, despite the fact that I was not a fan of Adechike's last week.

His second routine was the where Alex got injured, and choreographer Nakul Dev Mahajan's assistant stepped in. I felt that he really sold his Bollywood number, especially towards the end when the tempo picked up. However, the judges weren't too impressed with it, causing Cat Deeley to remark on the fact that they gave Jose a lot more slack a few weeks ago when he performed Bollywood. This got her a standing ovation from the audience. Greatest. Reality. Show. Host. Ever. Just sayin' (and snubbed again at the Emmys!). Mia's response that Jose has "this heart thing that grabs everyone," which earned her a few boos.

Not that the audience is suddenly turning against Jose. His "heart thing" really worked for him in his contemporary routine with all-star Lauren, to INXS's "Never Tear Us Apart." Mandy Moore plus '80s music usually equals greatness to me, but the judges were throwing a lovefest for him afterwards, praising his lack of ego. I really liked it as well, but what a difference a Cat makes. His second routine, post-Bollywood - which actually had him hunting a different kind of cat, a jaguar played by Billy - was not as well-received with Nigel saying it lacked power. I really found myself in agreement with Nigel quite a bit this week.

It was actually Billy's second cat of the night, and I preferred it to his "Cats" routine with Katee, stepping in for the injured Allison (what is this, "Dancing with the Stars?"). Maybe it was just the excitement at seeing Katee on that stage again, but I felt like Billy really didn't stand out here. Look for him in the bottom three again.

Just to put the exclamation point on how Billy has faltered outside of his own style, take a look at Kent, who grew by leaps and bounds this week. Aside from his routine with Lauren, his Timberlake-esque hip hop routine with all-star Comfort was better than it had any right to be.

Lastly, I think Adam can officially retire the phrase "You'll see it all in playback" this week. And do you think Nigel has been watching the World Cup? I can't tell.

What do you think? Do you agree that the rest of the top eight pulled off a "fabulicious" show (thanks for another new word, Mia), despite Alex's absence? Do you think that kiss between Kent and Lauren was planned? Share your views on video or in the comments below.

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Harley

    Lauren and Kent are my 2 favorite dancers on the show. Their dance was fantastic, one of my favorites by far! It was real and you would never guess that they were acting, in fact, certain aspects of the dance make you wonder if they really weren't acting (i.e. the kiss at the end – I'm going to go ahead and say that it was not planned but just happened in the spur of the moment, continuing on the rush of the dance). Both dancers are talented and genuine, people can relate to them. Being on this show will make them well known and give them both a great career. Alex and Billy on the other hand, would have been well-off either way. Don't get me wrong, they are great dancers, but Alex already had a professional career going for him and Billy was well on his way. I was very impressed with Ashley this week. Up until now she has only danced in her style, it was great to see her be able to step out of it and do so well. Overall, I think this was one of the best episodes this season.

    July 29, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  2. Allison

    i love everyone and i dont think the kiss was planned between kent and lauren but it was great

    July 20, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. L.

    I disagree with you about Billy...I think he's a phenomenal dancer, right at Alex's level, and was really surprised to see him in the B3 again.

    July 9, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jim

    Ashley is awesome ! http://bit.ly/WatchSYTYCDnow

    July 9, 2010 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. MamaG

    Have to give kudos to Cat for calling out the judges and a big BOO to the Emmys for not nominating her. She is a great host! Also my heart breaks for Alex. Not only did he miss out on season 6 but now he may have to miss out on this season!! I pray to the dance gods that he will be able to continue. Was the kiss between Lauren and Kent real?? We may never know, but I totally got what Adam was saying – it was VERY uncomfortable to watch at the end of that routine.

    July 8, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Brittany

    I'm compelled to post a little prayer for Alex. Haven't really been engaged this year until his hip hip routine. Loved it. Loved that he held his own with Twitch.

    On the other hand, as much as I love watching Adechike ...it's going to be really hard for him to get back to the level of excitement he created last week. I don't know if he was upset, still having trouble with his contacts, or what...but he came across as very angry at the feedback and it seems to me that people who look angry don't get votes. Fingers crossed for these two.

    July 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Rose

    Mia does not like Adechike and it shows more and more each week. Yes, Alex is all our favoriate but let be fair to the other dancers. Where is Mary???

    July 8, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Steven

    I was completely in disagreement with the Judges. Adechike was dumped on and I thought his Bollywood was GREAT. And yes Cat Deeley was right and should have gotten the emmy nod. As per Billy, send him home with Robert. Kent and Alex will go all the way. Open your eyes Judges and maybe Mia M. should take a week off!

    July 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dwo

    Without Alex, I thought the boys this week really started to show some cracks, and for the first time the girls outdanced them. If Alex really does have a ruptured Achilles, the dance gods must be angry with him (and us) for some reason. And what's with the freakin' Emmys???? Cat gets stiffed AGAIN – I totally agree that she's head and shoulders above anybody else on reality TV (pun intended, haha).

    July 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  10. debbie

    PLEASE let Alex be okay. He is AMAZING. That said, I think Robert & Adechike will be the other 2 in the bottom and it's time for Robert to go.

    July 8, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sam

    Alex was my favorite dancer this season so to hear that he maybe out for the season was heartbreaking.

    July 8, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • sytycd fan

      Agree! I felt like I've lost all enthusiasm for the rest of the season. Seems like the judges spent the rest of the show trying to fill the gap by promoting the other dancers in Alex's absence. I also loved when Cat played devil's advocate! Did Adam give her the stink eye at that moment?! But credit to Mia for saying how much she missed Alex! So happy Addiction was nominated!

      July 8, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |

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