“So You Think You Can Dance” mini-cap: a hot new choreographer is introduced and two more dancers go home


It’s week three and the competition is so tense I’m gonna need two bowls of ice cream for each night. I settle in on Wednesday night with the first one and whew! Cat Deeley is looking gorgeous in a white lace dress. Much better than last week’s chicken feather fiasco.

Judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy are introduced, as well as guest judge Adam Shankman. Shankman just wrapped up choreographing Adam Sandler’s new movie. (Dude, I’m not sure I’d mention that. It’s like saying you just finished the music for a Wayne’s World sequel but hey, that’s my opinion.) The cool thing is that he hired some dancers from last season including Lacy and Travis. (Damn, now I have to see the movie.) Shankman tells Deeley how pretty she looks and, “No joke, I almost wore the same thing.” Good for him for being his natural swishy self. No “not masculine enough” comments from him.

There’s a tribute to Cyd Charisse, a wonderful dancer who passed away this last week. As a certified old dance movie freak, I definitely know who she is. If you don’t know her work, rent Singing in the Rain. Yeah, Gene Kelly is fabulous but Charisse is the icing on that cake. Turns out Lythgoe danced with her years ago. Hey, maybe the guy does know what he’s talking about. I’m starting to warm up to his bad haircut and cheesy comments.

On to the dancers. First up is Kherington and Twitch. They’re doing a hip-hop routine choreographed by Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo. It’s a story about a prison break that’s fast and has some great pops like good hip-hop should, but with some smoother moves that really make the piece. The sound track has a siren and there are flashing lights and they’re dressed in prison-like overalls. Lythgoe says they danced brilliantly and I agree. Murphy screams something about an ancient Murphy proverb. (I think she liked it.) I’m just going to measure the decibels from now on and that’ll tell me how she really feels.

Courtney and Gev are next, doing a rumba. There’s a lot of hip action and at one point, he grabs her butt. Much is made of the butt grabbing. Whatever. It seems to me that she did most of the work but none of the judges mention that so heck, maybe I’m wrong. Lythgoe thought they did a really good job, Murphy commented that they nailed it and Shankman really loved it. Shankman also said that Murphy, “Looks like a really pretty disco ball.” Um, I think that was a compliment. She didn’t whack him so I guess it was.

Comfort and Chris stomp through an earthy jazz routine that I didn’t love. It was supposed to have an African feel but I didn’t get it. Maybe it was Marilyn Manson screaming through the song that was off-putting. At least there were no jazz hands. Lythgoe was disappointed and said they needed to be more animalistic. Murphy agreed. I’m pretty sure Shankman agreed but then he started going on about a chain, perhaps reliving some S&M fantasy we weren’t privy to.

Last week, Jessica and Will did some hip-hop choreography that did Jessica no favors. She hopes to redeem herself this week with a disco routine put together by Doriana Sanchez. This is one of my favorite dance styles – being an old disco hound myself – so I enjoyed their dance a great deal. Lythgoe said it was good overall but there were a few areas where it went wrong. Murphy added that they carried off an incredibly difficult routine (some of the lifts were amazing) and then she screams at about one thousand decibels and according to my chart, that means she loved it. Shankman tells Jessica she is so beautiful then goes on about how great Will is, that he’d like to get married and have many children with him.

Kourtni and Will work with Sonya, a new choreographer to the show. She gives them a contemporary piece that’s supposed to be a playful fight but it’s just weird. (Can I say, though, that Sonya is one fierce looking woman, with a gravity-defying mohawk that’s impressive.) Maybe the strange baggy costume poor Kourtni is saddled with is a problem. They dance it well but I didn’t love it. The judges disagree with me, saying that it was fantastic. Murphy commented that the synchronized leaps were flawless.

Next we learn that Thayne, who dances with Chelsea, is a fan of fashion. Well, two snaps to that, boyfriend. I’ll bet he approved of Chelsea’s fabulous metallic colored dress. I love how it swirled when she turned. Their quick step choreography was good although Lythgoe said it was too bouncy (Uh, isn’t this style supposed to be energetic?) and didn’t show their personalities. He added that their smiles seemed plastered on. I think so too. It’s the kind of smile you glue on when you’ve got to visit your great great uncle who tells the same story over and over again. (Bless him, you love the guy but you’ve already memorized the tale, you know?) Chelsea’s a better dancer in my opinion. Or maybe I just love a gal with great biceps. (Just let me lick one, OK?)

Chelsie and Mark are up next with an incredible hip-hop routine done by the Dumos. It’s an emotional piece about a workaholic and his girlfriend or wife. Damn. Just damn. It’s wonderfully executed and by the end, I’m begging the guy not to pick up his brief case and go to work. He leaves anyway. Jerk. This was theater, folks, with a great choreography that had enough pops to make it hip hop but beyond old school, with moves borrowed from other genres. Freakin’ genius. The judges loved it too, with Shankman calling them the couple to beat.

The last couple are Katee and Joshua. We learn that Katee doesn’t think she’s pretty but Joshua, bless his heart, says more than once that she’s hot. His mama taught him right. They do a sexy samba. The opening moves really set the scene, with her propping her foot on his shoulder, him grabbing her leg and looking at it like she was a luscious dessert. Their shoulder shimmies are hot! I expect a woman to know how to do those but it takes a special guy to get it right and he did. (Am I swooning over a guy? Write me a ticket and call me into lesbian court.) I fan myself after their dance and get more ice cream. Murphy screeches that they have two first class tickets on the hot tamale train. Two thousand decibels. She really loves it.

We find out the results on Thursday and I’m disappointed that Shankman isn’t wearing white lace. Instead, he’s looking pretty sharp in a black suit.

Opening the show is a demented routine by Mia Michaels. It’s creepy in a wonderful kind of way.

Deeley is wearing a short shiny bedspread with a starched ruffle pointing toward her chin. Lythgoe is wearing leather. No, not anything the gay boys would drool over but he’s looking pretty sharp.

After much fanfare, the three bottom couples are revealed and it’s Chelsea and Thayne, Comfort and Chris, and Kourtni and Matt. Of course we don’t find out right away who’s going home. Instead, we’re treated to Quest, a dance group that includes three former SYTYCD finalists. They do an awesome hip-hop routine that includes much spinning on their heads.

The bottom six each “dance for their lives.” (Why do I snicker every time Deeley says that? It’s all oh-so dramatic.)

Then Jordin Sparks sings. Damn but she’s got a killer voice.

The judges have deliberated. Lythgoe tells Chelsea and Chris they’re going home. Not fair, I liked Chelsea. I fully expected Comfort to go since her solo dance was rather uninspired. Do you agree with the judges? How do you think the new pairing of Comfort and Thayne will go? Well, go stock up on ice cream and meet me in front of the TV next Wednesday night.

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