October 28th, 2009
08:28 AM ET

Krumper fox trots, avoids 'Dance' axe

The top 20 dancers finally took the stage as ten couples on Tuesday night's "So You Think You Can Dance," and just as quickly got whittled down to the top 18.

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Without Noelle, choreographer Melanie LaPatin stepped in to dance a fox trot with krumper Russell, and you would think the guy had been doing this for years. Newly-minted permanent judge Adam Shankman praised his "effortless grace," and Nigel called him an inspiration for many dancers, and I couldn't agree more.

Jakob and Ashleigh took the stage just before that to perform a Tyce Diorio Broadway routine and it became clear that Jakob is going to be around for a long time. I have yet to be all that impressed with Latin ballroom dancer Ashleigh, and I thought she fell short here, but the judges once again felt that she continued to show growth.

Someone who also could have been easily out-danced was Kathryn, who was paired with B-boy Legacy for an inventive hip-hop routine by Dave Scott, where the two portrayed evolving neanderthals. I was stunned to find that she nearly stole the show here. As Mary Murphy said, "Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm really busted a move!"

Another stand-out was Ryan and Ellenore's "falling angel" jazz routine, and like much of what Sonya Tayeh choreographs, it was definitely out there. The pair really pulled it off, though, and it didn't hurt that this was in Ellenore's wheelhouse. Ryan is looking more and more like the one to beat.

The judges (especially Nigel) were cool to "androids" Ariana and Peter's hip-hop routine and Brandon and Pauline's smooth waltz, and I agree on the first one, at least. Considering that Brandon had a day and a half to rehearse, and this was less his style than Pauline's, I thought he wasn't half bad.

Meanwhile, the judges raved about Mollee and Nathan's disco, which I found lacking. Several of the tricks came off as awkward to me, though it finished strong. Channing and Phillip's jive suffered from the curse of being the first dance and didn't leave a lasting impression., while Karen and Kevin's mediocre cha-cha couldn't even be helped by the "Glee" cast's rendition of "Push It."

Finally, it was down to the judge's big decision. One of my favorites, Pauline, was placed in the bottom two girls with Ariana, while Brandon was placed in danger with, shockingly, Russell.

Neither Ariana nor Pauline blew me away with their solos, but Pauline is better, hands down, and the judges agreed.

As for Russell, what were the judges thinking? Well, we got a pretty good clue once Nigel announced that he was going to ask the powers that be to allow Brandon to try out for next season, as he would be leaving the competition. Plus, maybe they just wanted to see Russell dance for his life again.

Talk to you next week when they do it all over again. In the meantime, fire up your webcam and tell us which dancer impressed you the most, or share your thoughts in the comments below.

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Jamie

    Russell should've never been in the bottom! He's fantastic!I like them all and have major respect for all the dancers, they've got guts and hella talent! Just wish Billy was well and could be back on! 🙂

    October 29, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mindy

    Russell survived the fox trot. He can do it all! He's my pick from day one.

    October 28, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Vone

    Please let Billy come back for Season 7! SYTYCD is boring without Billy. Aside from Jakob, Russell, and Nathan, Billy stole the entire show. Yesterday's show was boring. None of the performances was remotely interesting except for the Legacy and Kathryn dance. Nathan's and Molly's was interesting but frantic.

    October 28, 2009 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Leigh-Anne

    Brooklyn Boy – he has mono. He'll be fine 🙂

    October 28, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mary

    Russell in the bottom 4: puzzling. All I can figure is that the male dancers who draw the foxtrot card might as well be dancing across a minefield. Nigel uses the standard of Fred Astaire to judge them, and that's a pretty much impossible standard to reach. I recall him critiquing Travis for a few minor lapses in what was (to my eyes) a gorgeous performance.

    What also puzzled me was the preponderance of ballroom styles: cha-cha, foxtrot, waltz, and depending on how one categorizes it, disco. I like ballroom but I hope this isn't a harbinger of the rest of the season.

    Molly and Nathan's disco number was the most over-rated by the judges. The choreography seemed "meh" to me, especially the weird Mexican-wrestling-inspired lifts. Admittedly, I share Adam's opinion of disco. I know it's a big crowd-pleaser, but I have a hard time seeing it as a distinct dance style. For Molly, disco was a lucky draw: it spotlighted her energy and stamina, and her likeable, upbeat personality, while downplaying her sometimes weak technique. Nathan is capable of more, I believe.

    So far, the men are standing out more to me than the women. Now that Billy is (sob!) gone, Jakob is tops–amazing leaps–but Russell's raw talent is a rare find, and I'm pulling for him as well.

    October 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. GEN

    the guys are so much stronger this season it seems; I have no favorite girl yet, but all the guys are awesome. And Russell....................... oh, my!!
    Molly annoys the heck out of me.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Scott

    What were they thinking, when it came to Russell? He continues to show adapability in whatever genre is thrown his way. Nigel's comments about Russell did not seem to indicate that he would be in the bottom 2 at all.

    October 28, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Brooklyn Boy

    I'm still upset over Billy's departure due to a unnamed illness. I hope he's okay and will get a chance to return next season, but wonder what this mysterious illness might be.

    October 28, 2009 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jen

    Legacy and Kathryn's caveman dance was by far my favorite of the evening! But then again, I'm absolutely smitten with Legacy as it is, so he has my vote all season. As does tapper Peter. I mean, come on! The guy did a head slide to the front of the stage! And Mollee and Nathan did an awesome job with the disco. I love those two as well. This is going to be a tough season, no doubt the best SYTYCD has seen!!!

    October 28, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Debbie

    I felt sooooo sorry for Brandon. What a roller coaster. But, NO WAY should Russell have been in the bottom. As for Ariana and Pauline – of the two – they got it right. But, I still think the bottom 4 were incorrect. Thank God America gets to have a partial say next time.

    October 28, 2009 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |

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