July 28th, 2011
04:15 PM ET
Lady Gaga's turn as a "So You Think You Can Dance" judge on Wednesday night did not disappoint. In case you weren't sure she was there, she towered over the other judges in a pair of impossibly high heels when it came time for standing ovations.
I feel a little bad for "Chicago"/"Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" director Rob Marshall. He did a great job critiquing the dancers, but he was completely overshadowed by Gaga.
On the whole, the guest judges this season, other than Carmen Electra, have really impressed me. Aside from the occasional off-color aside, Gaga proved to be a perfectly competent judge, and is undoubtedly a fan of the show, having used season 4's Mark as a featured dancer on her tour.
Between the all-stars and pairing up dancers, there were 12 routines in all, and most of them blew me away.
First, can I just say that Allison Holker may be the best dancer to come from this entire show. She just gets better every time, and when you pair her up with Marko, as Sonya Tayeh did - well, for one thing you get waterworks from Mary Murphy and Gaga. This was one of the best routines I've ever seen on the show.
I'm a little puzzled as to why I can't quite join the judges in their rapturous praise of Sonya's other routine, with Melanie and Sasha. It was perfectly well-danced, but it was also a little too robotic for my taste. I didn't connect with it at all, sorry to say. It certainly wasn't take-off-your-giant-boots-and-throw-them-on-the-stage good. (Cue boos from the audience.)
The choreographer who was firing on all cylinders this week was Mandy Moore. First, Melanie and Neil somehow brought new life to "Total Eclipse of the Heart" - a feat I thought impossible. That flying leap into Neil's arms, by the way - holy smokes, as Mary might say! (This week's recap brought to you by Dr. Seuss.)
Then Lauren Froderman came back to dance with Tadd and reminded us why she was last year's winner. Mandy's "Another One Bites the Dust" was one of the most fun routines of the season.
On a similarly jazzy note, Jordan and Ade were pitch-perfect in a Tyce Diorio routine, performed to Tina Turner, no less. This worked just as well in execution as it does on paper.
I found myself a bit surprised that I was not as into the lyrical hip-hop routines as I usually am. Jess and Lauren Gottlieb's "Take a Bow" (how has no one done a routine to this song before?) was all well and good, but it didn't really move me at all.
Meanwhile, Ivan outdanced Caitlynn. I wasn't getting any chemistry from them, unfortunately. But it was great to see Ivan again.
Even so, their chemistry was much better than Jordan and Jess. Lack of chemistry in a rumba is deadly, and I fear that these two might be in the bottom this week because of it. And by the way, I put most of the blame for that on Jordan.
Caitlynn may have escaped the bottom, however, by dancing a beautiful fox trot with Tadd. It was just like dessert.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say Sasha goes to the bottom, after an utterly forgettable - if quirky, and right up Gaga's alley - quickstep with Pasha. No one will pick up the phone for that. She has to hope that the audience liked her Sonya routine as much as the judges did.
Joining her in the bottom will be perennial basement dweller Ricky. He has grown on me, but the judges need to stop trying to make Ricky happen. His jive with Anya and his hip hop with Marko were great entertainment, but the audience isn't connecting with him. Nigel Lythgoe and crew (minus Gaga, by the way) have a very difficult decision to make tonight.
And finally, I want to thank Rachel Rodriguez for filling in splendidly last week. You should check out iReport in the next couple of days, as she has some plans for National Dance Day.
So, I think I may have said a few things you disagree with this week. By all means, let me know in the comments, or better yet, on iReport. I'll be back to see if it turned out the way I expect on Friday. 'Til then, peace out, little monsters.
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