Note: Do not read on if you have not seen the Wednesday, August 15 episode of Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance."
This week's comments, questions and concerns come without any technical dance knowledge and no actual dance skills ... just straight up love for "So You Think You Can Dance."
Michael Nunn & Billy Trivett, The Ballet Boys
Welcome back, everyone! We are fresh off two solid weeks of sitting on our couches criticizing the world's best athletes for sloppy turns and slow starts, only to shed a tear or two minutes later as their medals were awarded and their anthems played. So, it only seems fitting that we settle back into the cushy spots on our couches and start critiquing America's favorite dancers again, this time with more experience and a competitive edge, of course.
Cat Deeley hit the stage and the plan to judge from the safety of my own home went to pot. Turns out this episode is dedicated strictly to the fabulous works of Mia Michaels, who was in the crowd. For this week's episode, all of the choreography has been danced before on the "SYTYCD" stage, and become some of the most famous ever on the show, including the "Mercy"/Door routine, the infamous bench and bed routines and Mia's touching dance for her dad. Some of tonight's dances have even earned Mia Emmy Awards.
Things just got interesting. Let's get on with it, shall we?
Four dancers, two guys and two girls, were eliminated giving us the top 10. The bottom six were revealed after all of the dancers performed their partner choreographed routines, leaving George, Dareian and Matthew as the bottom three guys and Amelia, Janelle and Lindsay as the bottom three girls. After the judges asked all six of them to dance for their lives -- and boy, the guys did not make it easy, dancing three of the best solos I've ever seen on this show -- the judges wound up saving Lindsay and George to round out Season 9's Top 10 contestants.
Eliana & Cyrus
Mercy Dance (Katee & Twitch Season 4)
"Mercy" by Duffy
This was good, but not nearly as fantastic as the original -- but that will probably happen all night. It felt a little slow at points and almost like a step or two were missing. Cyrus (or maybe Mia) did a great job of giving him an opportunity to show off his unique style, but I can't help but think Cyrus may be ending his time on the show soon. The level of competition is just too high. Eliana was strong and "swaggerotious" (FYI -- not a word, Mary Murphy, but I I'll take it) and I can't help but think I'd love to see Eliana dance this one with Twitch himself.
George & Tiffany
Hometown Glory Routine (Season 4 Katee & Joshua)
"Hometown Glory" by Adele
Mia said she wanted George & Tiffany to be better than Kaytee & Josh were, and I must say, I do believe they did it. My initial thought was, "Whoa! George, where did you come from?!" And once again, because Nigel is inside my head, he shared my sentiments exactly. This is the most I've liked these two dancers all season, hands down. The beginning of the routine was remarkably good and really grabbed my attention 100 percent. These two really got me amped up for the rest of routines, because perhaps it's possible that I might like one more than the original. (Blasphemy!)
Amelia & Will
The Butt Dance (Randi & Evan Season 5)
"Koop Island Blues" by Koop
I must confess, I don't remember this dance from Season 5 all that well (or at all) and after Will and Amelia performed, I'm afraid the same can be said for Season 9. It was fine, it was good, but it wasn't all that memorable. I spent most of the time thinking about butt puns (to no avail). They are a great couple though and super strong. The judges were split on the like/dislike train, but unfortunately for Amelia, it would prove to be her last partner dance.
Janelle & Dareian
The Bed Routine (Twitch & Kherington Season 4)
"Dreaming With A Broken Heart" by John Mayer
More petals! I needed more petals and more from Janelle -- more passion and pain. Dareian was a monster in this routine and it felt like Janelle was more of a prop than a partner. It seemed like a one man show, which Dareian did incredibly well, but I remember Kherington and Twitch's original being edge-of-your-seat good. This one was only kicked-back-feet-up OK.
Audrey & Matthew
Mia's Dad's Piece (Lacey & Neil Season 3)
"Time" by Billy Porter
This ... is a tough one. The original is one of the most beautiful combinations of dance, music and plastic flowers ever and it almost seems unfair that they would even ask anyone to live up to Lacey & Neil's original. The emotions on the night this was first performed were so heightened and raw, remembering it still brings tears to my eyes. Unfortunately for Audrey & Matthew, the judges felt the same way I did -- this one just didn't work the second time around. The critiques were tough and although both dancers were complimented on their obvious talent and skill, this actual performance wasn't all that moving.
Witney & Chehon
The Bench Routine (Heidi & Travis Season 2)
"Calling You" by Celine Dion
I felt like I was watching this dance for the very first time and I clearly wasn't. I've seen Travis & Heidi's version a number of times, but Witney & Chehon did a phenomenal job of making this one feel brand new. Mia said, "America fell in love Travis & Heidi" during this original routine and I think lightning may have just struck twice because Witney & Chehon are so money. For me, these two just became the team to beat.
Lindsay & Cole
Addiction Routines (Kayla & Kupono Season 5)
"Gravity" by Sara Bareilles
This routine was so good. SO GOOD. If you missed it, find it and watch it, at least twice (I rewound and watched it twice more already and probably will again as soon as I'm done writing). These two were actually better than Kayla and Kupono. The routine was, for all intents and purposes, the same, but Lindsay and Cole's interrpretation was just the slightest bit different and it worked so well. I was literally mesmerized and will say this was easily the best dance of the night.
Question: Who do you think is the team to beat?
Comment: This episode has set me up for a night of YouTube doom. I'll be watching these old (and some new!) routines, until the sun comes up. Which are your favorite routines?
Concern: Eliminating four dancers a week seems a bit extreme. I don't think this format gives us a fair shot at getting to know the dancers.