December 3rd, 2009
09:38 AM ET

Tween favorite eliminated on 'Dance'

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Once the competitors make it this far on "So You Think You Can Dance," there really are no "losers," as all of them will get the chance to tour the country next year. Still, it was somewhat bittersweet to see two more dancers go, after showing so much potential.

There was a lot going in Nathan's favor: first and foremost, his tween fanbase, not to mention the fact that he got a ticket to Las Vegas back in season five after auditioning at the age of 17. The judges certainly saw a lot in him, as they sent him through to the top 10, and at one point, Adam Shankman offered him advice on what to talk about in his video profile to connect with the viewers.

Yet, for whatever reason, the heartthrob was eliminated Wednesday night after getting the fewest number of votes. Where did it go so wrong? It might have had something to do with being paired with Mollee, which ended up emphasizing their immaturity. By the time the two were separated this week, he showed some progress with Kathryn, but she still outdanced him. It was too little, too late.

The same could be said of Noelle, who had one brief shining moment with Russell dancing Afro-jazz. She really got to show off both her elegance and her capacity to smolder onstage with Ryan, but it wasn't enough, as the contemporary dancer from North Carolina was sent packing.

One reason for this could have been that it was all too easy to compare her solo with Kathryn's, which was magnificent (and Noelle's solo was much better Wednesday night, as well). What's far less obvious is why Kathryn joined her in the bottom two girls. The only mediocre dance she had Tuesday night was a rumba, and that was mostly due to a lack of chemistry with Nathan. Mary Murphy couldn't believe it either, calling her the dancer she had only dreamed she could be, and comparing her to some of the greats, like Cyd Charisse and Ginger Rogers.

As for the other bottom two-dweller, Ryan wasn't given much to do in his hip-hop routine, and his waltz was as great as could be expected from a ballroom dancer. I was impressed with him early on, but let's face it, his solos have a very high cheese factor. He could end up falling victim to the curse of the ballroom solo - one of the trickiest things to pull off - before long.

A few more observations:

– Can I say that I'm enjoying the results show entertainment more than usual this season? The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers were absolutely incredible, and it was great to see Dominic and Hok's dance crew Quest again, with or without Snoop Dogg.

– The same can't be said for the group routine from Tyce Diorio. It didn't exactly say "Billy Joel" to me, and I could have done without that kiss between spouses Ashleigh and Ryan, thank you very much.

– Kathryn's former partner, Legacy, was safe, as was Ashleigh, his partner this week, so it's clear that Legacy's fanbase shouldn't be underestimated. At this point, only Ashleigh, Jakob and Legacy have yet to be in danger this season. Could this be three of the final four? If Ashleigh makes it that far, especially, that will be quite the feat.

Were you sad to see Noelle or Nathan go? Any more theories as to why Kathryn was in the bottom two and Ashleigh wasn't? Share your views on video or in the comments below.

soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Mary E.

    Hindsight is everything, and I suspect that we remember the outstanding dances from previous seasons, and forget the so-so ones. I didn't much like Dave Scott's vampire hip-hop routine for Legacy and Ashleigh, but they didn't dance it so well either: they were often out of sync, and that's not the choreographer's fault. Legacy excelled in the B-Boy moves, but he always does.

    I adored Sonya's routine, but I thought this week's show had more than a few other good numbers, for instance, Anya and Pasha's jive for Russell and Mollee, as well as Mandy Moore's lyrical jazz dance for them (I think Mandy Moore was the choreography). Tabitha's and Napoleon hip-hop for Noelle and Ryan was good, as was Kathryn and Nathan's 50s-era Broadway routine. I enjoyed Jakob and Ellenore's quickstep more than I ever remember enjoying a quickstep. And Legacy and Ashleigh's first routine, the athletic jazz-contemporary number was interesting, if kind of exhausting to watch.

    As much as I love Mia MichaeI' s work , I would get tired of constant lyrical-contemporary, or jazz-contemporary numbers. I would love it if Nakul Dev Mahajan would return to choreograph another Bollywood number, and I wish we could see even more internationally-inspired dance.

    December 4, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. MJ Cole

    Oh, for Pete's sake... Kathryn and Noelle are so NOT interchangeable!
    If you believe that, you haven't been watching very cosely....
    Kathryn's gonna blow us away... just watch.

    And for the record, I adore Elenore, too. And Jakob. And Russell. And Legacy. All for completely different reasons. They all have the "it' factor, but it's different in each case. But they all have a quality about them that draws us to them. And so does Kathryn, though hers is quieter and slower to come out. She's quiet and classy, but she's got It, too. Just watch... you'll see.

    December 4, 2009 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Terri

    I think alot will be determined by the choreographers in the next couple weeks. I feel that many of the dances the season have been weak and the dancers suffer for it if they are the ones unlucky enough to get assigned to a terrible dance. The hip hop dances have been particularly bad – that vampire thing with Legacy and Ashleigh was just terrible (along with her costume – how can you make a beautiful girl like that look ugly?). And Nathan and Mollee were very unlucky with many of the dances they got assigned. There are usually only one or two dances each week where I think the choreographers did a good job. Too bad Mia Michaels isn't doing the show this season – her dances were always great! The choreography from Season 5 was much much better. Each week there was a dance that you couldn't take your eyes off of, like Sonja's dance this week. I would love to see Ryan and Ashleigh do one latin ballroom number together before either one gets kicked off.

    I think the final four will be Jakob, Ellenore, Russell and Kathryn with Jakob the winner by a long shot. His technique is stunning and he looks good no matter what style he does. (Of course, I thought the same thing about Jeanette from Season 5.) Every time I see Jakob, I think of Joel Grey from Cabaret! They have a similar face!

    December 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sara

    Russell, Jakob and Elenore are my favorites. Ryan is good but his inherent manliness can be scary to the tween voting bloc. Ashleigh is great as well but I don't see her going all the way. Katherine hasn't shown enough personality. I don't get what everyone sees in Legacy. He is a good b-boy and is doing sell at the other styles but, in my opinion, pales in comparison to Dominic or even Hok on both counts. He always seems very detached in interviews. Mollee just bugs me to no end.

    Sonja is rocking my world this season!

    December 4, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bill - Los Angeles CA

    Jakob rocks! He is by far the best dancer remaining on the show... I am voting for him. Ryan's hot body has carried him as far as he can go... now he needs to go!

    December 3, 2009 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chris Dworin

    I've watched religiously, and before last night couldn't have told you Noelle's or Kathryn's name. Both are very talented, but appeared practically interchangeable, so I think they probably split the "nice, attractive, unmemorable, brunette who dances well" vote.

    Ryan seems like a great guy, but his dancing ability even in his own style doesn't hold a candle for originality and "wow" factor to the other dancers'–particularly Russell and Legacy. His solos are just warmed over repeats of the same moves we've seen a thousand times on this show from practically every ballroom dancer. Even Mollee and Ashleigh have much more interesting solos than Ryan. Jakob's solo is pretty trite, but he's such a perfect dancer and he does the difficult "standard" moves so flawlessly and effortlessly that he gets away with a lack of originality.

    My prediction for next week: Ryan's going down as the least talented, and Kathryn's going down as the least memorable. It won't matter how well they dance on Tuesday.

    My prediction for the final two: Jakob and Elenore. Jakob's the better technical dancer and has phenomenal grace and power but his personality is just "nice and ordinary." Elenore's the more interesting person and more interesting dancer, with a wonderful quirkiness and originality in every number she performs. Since this is a popularity contest as much as a talent contest, I'd give Elenore the slight advantage for first place.

    Russell (who's my personal favorite) is the sleeper here. His range is phenomenal; his solos are brilliant, and his personality is terrific. I'm just not sure he has enough of a fan base to win.

    Ashleigh's going to be in the top four but isn't really a contender for the top prize. I've grown to like her more as the show progressed, but felt early on that her smile and personality were somewhat artificial, and I've had a hard time shaking that feeling.

    Mollee's definitely improving, but at best her dancing isn't in the same league with Jakob, Elenore, Russell and Legacy, and she doesn't have a fabulous enough personality to overcome that deficit.

    Legacy is a fantastic dancer in his own style, and very good in other styles, but he's a bit too weepy, and Russell is a slightly better dancer and has a much more likeable personality. Of course, it all comes down to fan base, so it wouldn't shock me if Legacy bests Russell.

    December 3, 2009 at 7:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Michelle

    I AM TEAM Russell!

    December 3, 2009 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Tay

    It's all about Russell!! Yeah it's fun to watch Legacy's solo's but in terms of growth and personality I think Russell is much better. To watch the grace and talent he dances with every week is fascinating especially since he's had no formal training. I really hope he continues and makes it to the end.

    December 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jgroovydaisy

    Whenever I seeKathryn I think what a great job she does. Then I promptly forget her – so must a bunch of other people. For some reason she's just not memorable to me.

    December 3, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mary E.

    Kathryn landing in the bottom two: that was a stunner. I agree with all the praise showered on her by Mary Murphy, especially the ease and grace of her performances, but perhaps by making it all look so easy, she doesn't impress enough viewers. Still scratching my head . . .

    If ballroom dancing was my main passion, I would probably be voting for Ashleigh. In ballroom numbers, her precise footwork is impressive and she doesn't miss a beat. Noelle had one other shining moment with Russell (to my mind), the contemporary routine that was their last performance together. But I'm afraid that she made her breakthrough too late in the competition, as did Nathan.

    Right now, I see the final four as Jakob, Ellenore, Russell and Mollee. But Legacy's (rather than Nathan's) fan base has proved that it's a force to be reckoned with, and Ashleigh could be a sleeper. If the final two are being chosen two weeks from now, the eliminations will be coming fast and furious. Double eliminations (meaning four dancers going) next week? Possibly.

    December 3, 2009 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jan

    I think Noelle and Kathryn were so similar in style and looks that they
    weren't unique and distinquishable. That's why they were in the bottom two. Mollie, Ashley and Eleanore stood out as unique. I think
    Nathan got beaten down by Nigel and lost some of his joy. He danced great but was a little pitiful looking when talking or standing sstill.

    December 3, 2009 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. George Edwards

    Noel and Kathryn both have a strange quality, they are beautiful when they dance but kind of lose their sparkle when they are not. Mollee is a cheerleader on steroids so Ellenore will take the prize.

    Ryan is fun to look at but always seems to have his face forward instead of getting into his character, it is a bit distracting. The unfortunate contradiction of needing a partner for a solo will draw him to his doom unless he totally breaks out. It is really fun to watch him "twirl" his partners like they are batons, his effortless lifts are spectacular.

    Legacy totally upstages Ryan and Ellenore upstages the other girls.

    Both feel very real and totally passionate in every routine.

    Ellenore is incredibly beautiful, a spectacular dancer, extremely sexy, morphs into may roles, and I just want to watch her dance, talk, or just stand there!

    Legacy's journey is so incredible and he, like Ellenore, morphs into any role.

    Legacy and Ellenore are my picks for the final 2.

    December 3, 2009 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Terri

    I wasn't surprised to see Nathan and Noelle go based on all their previous work as opposed to just the dances from Tuesday night. I did think that Legacy and Ashleigh or Mollee would be the others in the bottom two and was very surprised Kathryn was there. Maybe it was the lack of chemistry between Kathryn and her partner, Nathan. Or sometimes there seems to be a backlash against someone when Nigel is pushing for them, as he does for Kathryn. (I feel that happened to the blonde girl who was in the final four in Season 5 – can't remember her name but she was Nigel's favorite for a long time.)Perhaps some people assumed Kathryn would be safe because she is so good so they didn't bother to vote. I bet she isn't in the bottom two next week.

    December 3, 2009 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. brett

    the two brunettes with similar dance styles did not have anything particular or spectacular to distinguish themselves from eachother so they split the votes....pretty simple really.

    December 3, 2009 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  15. Heather

    Here's the weird thing I noticed last night. After much talk about what good friends Mollee and Noelle are, they did not even go near each other at the very end, when all the dancers came back on stage to hug the ones being sent home. I know we only saw 1 minute of video there, but I would have thought Mollee would be the first to run and hug Noelle...sad. I hope they didn't have a fight.

    December 3, 2009 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |

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