“So You Think You Can Dance” mini-cap: a few of the top 18 struggle to find their footing


Mia Michaels is the guest judge on the latest episode of So You Think You Can Dance. I’ve gotta say, though, that I fell a little out of love with Mia. It seems to me that she told many of the boys how much she loved them but not so much the girls. (Maybe I just need more ice cream. Maybe she needs more ice cream. Maybe we all should journey down to the nearest grocery and clear the shelves of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia and shout amen.)

Was it National Dress Like Crap Day? Mary Murphy looks like Druzilla in a tight leopard print bodice and black chiffon half sleeves. Cat Deeley is wearing an elegant black dress from her shoulders to the top of her thighs but whose idea was it for the ring of black feathers at the hem? At any moment I expected her to squat and lay an egg. Michaels was wearing a drab drapey thing. And, I can’t believe I’m saying this, Lythgoe was the exception, looking rather natty in a neat suit with red tie and pink shirt with a red handkerchief neatly folded in his jacket pocket.

This isn’t What Not to Wear so let’s move on to the dancing.

Chelsea and Thayne start off with a jazz number. I loved their routine last week so I was eagerly anticipating this one and while it was pretty good, I was put off by the weird costumes. The piece is supposed to be about a king and his forbidden love but in a Tim Burton kind of way. I guess the costumes reflected that but ew. It’s hard to concentrate on the dancing when all I could think was, “I hope THAT costume designer was fired.” (See here I am going on about clothes again. I’ll stop. I promise. More Cherry Garcia please.) The judges didn’t love the performance. Micheals said it wasn’t executed well enough and Murphy said the chemistry wasn’t there.

Chelsie and Mark are next, with an Argentine tango. It’s like a tango only with a lot of pawing at the ground and whinnying. The best part? Deeley helping Chelsie with her shoe after the performance. She kneels down and gently slips her foot back in and moves the strap. (Can I vote for Deeley?) Michaels purrs that she likes it when a woman gets dirty like that. I rewind that comment about three thousand times. She goes on to say the routine was amazing. Murphy erupts in screaming and giggling. Maybe someone was stepping on her tail or maybe she liked the performance too, I dunno.

Jessica and Will have a lot of fun with a hip-hop routine. Jessica gives us a laugh at the end that feels genuine, like, yeah, I had a great time y’all. (And did Deeley say “Yo” right after they were done? Damn that’s cute.) Michaels said the choreography was ridiculous. (That’s Mia-speak for “Yeah, baby, yeah!”) She calls Jessica a little cheerleader and chastises, “If you’re going to have a partner like Will you’ve gotta set yourself on fire.” She then calls Will a genius, she proposes and they plan their June wedding.

Kourtni and Matt do an elegant foxtrot. No one told Kourtni about the holiday so she looks stunningly gorgeous in a kelly green gown that flows beautifully with their movements. What they do is a bit like Astaire / Rogers dance moves but with a contemporary feel. Mia tells Matt she loves him but tells Kourtni she hasn’t yet owned her size and length. Murphy was slightly disappointed and Lythgoe, apparently told that he can’t say “masculine” tonight, told Matt he looked “twee” with his arms, then started making these faces that I think were a signal to a universe far far away.

Next is Courtney and Gev. Their disco routine last week wasn’t strong so I’m hoping they’ve got something more in their comfort zone. They’re doing a contemporary piece which is great for Courtney but a wild card for breaker Gev. Mandy Moore choreographed this piece about a couple falling in love. There’s the usual rolling and writhing and emoting one would expect. Michaels thought that Courtney “jazzified” it and that’s not good. Gev, she exclaims, “You the man! I’m so proud of you!” Sure, as a breaker who’s not used to partner dancing, he did a credible job but I’m not sure he deserved this tongue bath. I can’t believe I’m writing this but I agreed with Murphy when she said she loved it. The screaming I could do without but hey, it’s Murphy. Deeley calls them a cute pocket couple. Aw.

Katee and Joshua run though a Broadway routine and I mean run. There’s lots of jumping and cuteness. Ick. It’s not my favorite style but it’s not all about me and really, they do a great job. “You make me believe!” Murphy screeches. Lythgoe does this crazy dance like a church lady getting on with the spirit and exclaims, “It’s entertainment!” Michaels deadpans, “I thought it sucked” then redeems herself by saying it was amazing.

Susie and Marquis are up next and they’re doing salsa. Susie should be in her element but frankly, she’s a little rough around the edges. She does a clunky handstand and a cartwheel that doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the moves. Her costume was pretty but I kept staring at her, um, parts, and wondering what was holding everything in. I hope all that super glue doesn’t scar. Murphy said their partnership wasn’t quite working and Michaels commented that she expected more from Susie. Me too.

Kherington and Twitch tackle the Viennese Waltz. The choreography by Jean Marc Genereaux was inspired by his disabled daughter. Dancing to a beautiful Celine Dion ballad, the two dancers floated together in a seemingly effortless dance – beautiful and very emotional. And the costumes! Kherington’s long flowing white dress was the perfect compliment to Twitch’s suave but sexy white suit. (Did I just call a man sexy? Call the lesbian police.)

Micheals was harsh with Kherington, telling her she didn’t need to smile the whole time. (Huh? I don’t remember a silly grin plastered on her face. Could my TV girlfriend be wrong?) Twitch, she said, really stepped up and I agree. Who thought a breaker could be so graceful? Murphy liked him too, commenting that he partnered like a real man. (Um, and a fake man would do it how?)

The last couple, Comfort and Chris, crunched through a crump routine. Comfort, a popper, was in her element. Chris looked like a white guy trying too hard. (To be fair, it’s a style he’s never done before and they only have a couple of days to learn it.) Michaels tells Comfort she loves her and says if she keeps dancing like that she’ll be in the competition a long time. Chris “pulled it off” but had “moments of funny little white boy.” Murphy deadpans that she’s a crumping expert and then tells Comfort she needs to hit it harder. (Because she’s the expert?) Lythgoe tells Chris his granny is more gangsta than him. Yeah, Lythgoe, and you’re certainly the authority.

Which couples do you think will be in the bottom three? I’ll bet it’s Susie and Marquis, Comfort and Chris (only because Chris dragged her down), and although I adore them, Chelsea and Thayne.

Tune in tonight to see what everyone’s wearing. Oh, and to see what two dancers will be eliminated.

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