DANI ALEXIS RYSKAMP: Week Four of So You Think You Can Dance revealed the season’s most pressing questions:
What on Earth was Cat wearing?
Does Debbie Reynolds’ entire wardrobe consist of sequined blazers?
And, of course, the question de resistance: “Did the choreographers steal my iPod or what?” (Of this week’s ten songs, seven are currently on my iPod – even Iveta and Nick’s Bollywood tune, from the Luck by Chance soundtrack. I do not have “Addicted to Love,” “Fade Into Me,” or “Coming Home.”)
That said, I question the judges’ decision to keep Ryan. I wasn’t feeling hugely attached to any of the bottom three girls, but the judges chose Ryan on the grounds that she (unlike, presumably, Iveta and Missy) wasn’t yet showing them the extent of what she could do. The judges have been saying this practically since the first audition, and I wonder if that’s so because there isn’t anything more Ryan can do. Except, perhaps, to learn to stop smiling all the time. She’s obviously in love with dance and that’s awesome, but not all choreography is suited to an ear-to-ear grin. This week’s jazz routine to Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love,” for example, could have used a lot less beaming on Ryan’s part.
The judges’ decision to keep Ricky, on the other hand, I am all about, especially after the astonishing solo performance he put in. I am, however, going to miss Wadi liek whoa.
I was leery about this whole “get rid of four dancers” thing, but watching Mitchell and Caitlyn’s contemporary routine to Adele’s “Turning Tables” more than made up for it – I was thrilled the judges held off sending anyone home for the week just so I could see Mitchell dance, because whoa. Clarice and Jess’s dance to “Cathedrals” was also lovely, though I sensed there were some choreography choices that were specifically made to cover up the fact that Jess isn’t a contemporary dancer by training and to play to his strengths. (Fair enough.) Melanie still makes me want to know why on Earth she isn’t majoring in dance – though if she keeps going like she has been, she won’t need to, because she’ll wind up being “America’s Favorite Dancer” anyway.
ZOË RICE: I knew, Judges, I knewwwwww it. Because they wussed out last week and wouldn’t cut anyone, now one of my favorite contestants, Tapper Nick With the Gleam in His Eye, will tap no more. On the plus side, however, we got a week of Debbie Reynolds, who proves that when you’re a silver screen legend you can do whatever the damn hell you please. It’s possible I rewound her Woody Woodpecker impression and watched it three times.
I agree with Dani about Ryan – although she seemed pretty sexy in her opening number I also kept wondering why she made those endless cheery faces. And her solo was much weaker than Missy’s. But then, her solos have always failed to impress me, including at auditions. There’s a desperation to them – flinging her body around all twitchy-like instead of giving us beautiful lines to admire. I have to admit I was also not blown away by Ricky’s solo. Alexander and Marko also represent contemporary dancers (even if Alexander will be coasting for a while on Sasha’s talent and appeal), and Tapper Nick was just pure joy to watch – and the only one of his kind in the competition. He will be missed.
Caitlin was a nice surprise this week, just lovely and moving in her contemporary routine. I do wonder, however, if we’ll get to see a healthy romantic relationship danced out this season, where no one is the villain. It seems like the choreographers must do nothing but read Lifetime movie scripts. My least favorite routine was probably Miranda and Robert’s Woodpecker hip hop, in part due to the choreography, though I do think Robert represented well in his genre (and Miranda had her moments, even if I’m not sure I agree with Nigel that she’s the best contemporary dancer to pick up hip hop). Jordan and Tadd continue to set the bar high and reach it, gliding gracefully across the stage in their Viennese Waltz. And Clarice continues to bore the heck out of me -but now I know when I see her with her eyes open, she’s probably asleep.
One last thing – obviously the results show had to have the obligatory “kids dancing” troupe routines – but wow, some of those girls looked straight out of baby Bring it On. Young girls in bras and caked on makeup – and I swear one talented tiny tot was about to flash the audience some kiddie porn. Let’s just make sure SYTYCD doesn’t cross the line to Toddlers & Tiaras.