The voting has begun on “So You Think You Can Dance”! Last night was the first time the viewers got a chance to vote for our favorite performer. After performing short duets, the Top 11 awaited comments from the three judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Mia Michaels, and Adam Shankman. There seemed to be a consensus among the judges last night: The dancers have very strong technique, but where is the emotion?
Billy Bell started the night off right, performing a Broadway duet with all-star Lauren Gottlieb to “Footloose.” I loved the high energy and quick intricate movement that both performers executed very well. The choreography, by Tyce Diorio, was extremely fun. But lockers? Did they really need them? They opened and shut them just once (sorry I am not a big fan of large props). And there was a reference to Karate Kid during the judges comments, something about Billy’s legs being longer than the title character’s. Not the reference I would have made, but Billy we definitely love your long legs!
Next up, was Cristina Santana performing a jazz duet with all-star Mark Kanamura. Let me first say, Sonya Tayeh, beautiful choreography. I think we all can agree that Cristina’s lines were exceptional. Overall, she got a great reaction from the judges, but they commented on her character and how she needed to dig deeper and show more emotion in her performance (this became the comment of the night).
“Beauty and the Weave” is how I remember the hip-hop performance by Jose Ruiz. Did Adam really say that? Yes, I believe he did. Dancing to “Beautiful Monster” Jose and all-star Comfort Fedoke performed Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo’s choreography with an animalistic quality. It was fierce. The judges gave him good feedback. Mia told him that she sees his growth as a performer, but he needs to work on being fully committed.
Adéchiké Torbert took the stage with his all-star lady in red, Kathryn McCormick. The choreography, by Travis Wall, was full of passion and sensuality, and Adéchiké played a daydreaming office worker. Unfortunately, he didn’t seem to connect to his character. The good news is he was able to take off both of Kathryn’s heels at the right moment—a tricky piece of costume-choreography. Phew!
Melinda Sullivan, our favorite tapper, performed the jive with all-star partner Pasha Kovalev. Even though the judges seem to think she will be dancing tonight for possible elimination, we still love her. She is such a pleasure to watch and I really hope she gets another shot at the competition next week.
Alex Wong was up next on the dance floor. Lets just say, WOW! Alongside all-star Allison Holker, he performed a contemporary piece to “Hallelujah”. The judges felt that choreographer Sonya Tayeh was brilliant and made good use of Alex and Allison’s strength. Neither technique nor emotion was an obstacle for this couple. I think we can expect great things from him!
Alexie Agdeppa followed performing a hip-hop routine with Stephen “tWitch” Boss. All three judges described her as a “cute little dancer” who needs to embrace the character she’s playing. I would have to agree, there seems to be no other way to describe her.
Lauren Froderman and all-star Ade Obayomi took the stage performing pop jazz to “Oh Yeah." Mandy Moore’s choreography was great, showcasing the technique of the dancers and giving them wonderful flirty characters to portray. Lauren’s lines were flawless, but she seemed to fall short on the emotional end. Adam was quick to tell her that he needed her to really listen to what he was saying and to not nod it off with a thank you.
Kent Boyd—who we learned was Homecoming King in Wapokaneta—partnered with all-star Anya Garnis, performed the cha cha choreographed by Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin. This was a thrill to watch. Kent seemed to have so much fun while swaying his hips and swinging his partner around the dance floor in this complicated Latin routine. The judges loved it; however, they weren't too excited about the moment when he swooshed his hips like a washing machine. But overall, it was a great and exciting performance. I think Kent is right, they did teach him some things on the farm.
Ashley Galvan, partnered with all-star Neil Haskell, performed a contemporary piece. I loved the choreography (thank you Tyce Diorio—amazing job). The dancers were intertwined—both in their movement and emotion—but again the judges were not completely satisfied with the emotional part of the dance. Mia said, “I felt your emotion, but I didn’t know what emotion.” I think we can expect good things from this performer.
The final contestant to perform was Robert Roldan partnered with all-star Courtney Galiano. They did an African jazz routine choreographed by Sean Cheesman that was unique in style with intricate rhythms. When he was getting comments from the judges, a “roaring” battle occurred (yes, Mia, Adam and Robert roared like animals at one another). Robert was described as the “dark horse” and the judges said that America hasn’t seen anything yet. I am excited to see what more he brings to the table this season.
So your votes are in! Who do you think will be eliminated tonight? Make sure to tune in tonight—you don’t want to miss out on great performances by Usher (a personal favorite) and the cast of Come Fly Away. And check back here tomorrow for our results recap.