Results show time! We dive right into an amazing So You Think You Can Dance group number – “Cell Block Tango” from Chicago. I love this song anyway, and Tyce DiOrio did an incredible job with the choreography on this routine. It’s a cliche, but the best word for this dance is “fierce.” I’m sorry I compared you to a skin disease before, Tyce. You’ve won me over now. My only complaint is that the dance doesn’t go on long enough – it only showcases ONE of the murders from the original song, and Natalie is given the spotlight for that part. Conspiracy!Cat’s dress manages to be tacky and awful without being funny. It’s just a black dress with some unfortunate cutouts. I’m not sure what would be wrong with her wearing a black dress WITHOUT unfortunate cutouts, but I can guarantee you that she never even considered that. In fact, maybe this started out as a normal dress, and then she took the scissors to it herself, because God forbid she should ever wear an outfit that’s lacking some little touch of whimsy.
I’m punk rock, bitches.
I really can’t bash Cat’s dress too hard tonight, though, because Mary is wearing the single ugliest outfit I have ever seen on this show. It’s a leopard-print bustier, under a black jacket, and then it has bizarro bright-orange long sleeves poking out of the blazer – are those sleeves attached to the bustier, or to the jacket, or are they just their very own garment? Are they on one of those strings inside her jacket, like you give to little kids to clip their mittens onto so they don’t lose them? Then, as if all of that weren’t enough, there is fringe on her orange sleeves, and don’t even get me started on the necklace. Oh, Mary. I think we need to have a little session.
My only guess is that this was sewn by Mary’s drunken, blind aunt in her group home.
In the process of introducing the jidges, Cat also tells us that there were “almost ten million” votes after the performance show. Hm – “almost” could mean a lot of things. But I guess I have no reason to believe she’s lying. Honestly, I can’t get all superior about not voting, because I don’t watch this show live and so I never have a chance. I can’t exactly promise that I wouldn’t be just the teensiest bit tempted.
Cat asks Nigel whether he’s surprised by the composition of the top eight. He says no, because the whole thing now is about popularity, essentially. Then he says that it doesn’t really matter, because the show is succeeding in its mission to “bring dance into America.” I think it’s funny that Nigel views himself as some sort of cultural ambassador. Most of the types of dance on this show are already prominent in American mainstream pop culture, via either music videos, Dancing with the Stars, or musical theater (which most high-school students are exposed to in varying degrees). I mean, why does Nigel think it’s called “Broadway,” anyway? He seems to think that America is this wilderness land where people have never heard of the whole concept of “dance,” despite the fact that quite a few of these dance styles were more or less invented in America.
I actually thought it was much more surprising when Dancing with the Stars premiered and it turned out that people were willing to watch an entire show about just ballroom, which is a style that may very well have most of its adherents outside the U.S. After the success of that show, though, I’m not surprised by the success of this one. Nigel goes on to brag that So You Think You Can Dance was the “most Tivo’d show” of the past week. How does one find that out? That’s kind of a cool fact. Nigel says that he is equally pleased by the success of Dancing with the Stars, despite the fact that it’s not a Fox show. Well, that’s very generous of you, Nigel. He also says “Americker” a couple of times.
Worship me, Americker. I have come down from on high to bring you culture.
Mary interviews that the most improved dancer in the competition is Ivan. That’s probably true, but he’s still not as good as the others. Mary rehashes the fact that she didn’t want Ivan in the top twenty. I think by now we are all as familiar with that fact as we are with our own phone numbers. Dan interviews that one of the difficult things about this show is the fact that the dancers have to take on so many different styles of dance, when most dancers in real life specialize. Cat recaps last night’s show. Then she shows us the four “girls” lined up on the stage, and she tells us that Busta Rhymes is going to be performing. Yay! Now, I already explained that the gaps in my musical knowledge are caused by the fact that I get most of my pop-culture information from celebrity-gossip publications rather than from the actual radio, but there’s another salient fact that I should have mentioned: I’m old. And Busta Rhymes is even older than I am, and that makes me happy.
After the break, Cat gives us a sob story about how, tragically, two more people will be going home. Natalie is wearing a big old knee brace. I remember that a commenter pointed out Natalie’s injury last week, but this is the first time I’ve noticed it myself. Cat says that the bottom two boys and girls will dance solos, but she makes sure we know that it’s too late for them to change the results. This seems even meaner than usual. I know they danced solos last week when it was likewise too late, but they were just repeats of their solos from the performance show, which DID influence the voting. Tonight, they have to do new solos that will be entirely wasted. I think this week’s performance show should have been an hour and a half, so they could have fit the solos in. I’m not sure why no one affiliated with this show seems to have ever thought of the concept of a time period that is MORE than one hour, but LESS than two hours.
I could make a really rude joke about Natalie wearing kneepads and the fact that all the boys inexplicably love her so much, but I am way too classy to do that.
Donyelle and Natalie are called up first. I bet Natalie is already sweating it, based on the theory that out of each pair, one will be safe and one won’t. Cat recaps their jidges’ comments, which remind me that Natalie got much better reviews than Donyelle did last night. Of course, it doesn’t make any difference, because Natalie is in the bottom two and Donyelle is safe. Donyelle does some gratuitous happy-dance leaping, which convinces me that her own injury is completely better. We move on to Allison and Heidi. I stand by my position that if Heidi goes home immediately after dancing that mambo last night, I will be outraged and this show can bite me. Luckily, my rage problem will be kept in check for the moment, because Heidi is safe and Allison joins Natalie in the bottom two.
By the way, there is a long and very persuasive comment on yesterday’s post setting me straight that Donyelle is not as strong a dancer as Natalie or Allison. I just want to say that I wholeheartedly agree with you. What I should have said is NOT that she’s been a great dancer overall, but that she’s been a great performer overall (and, I think, better than the other girls in that area only). She’s really good at connecting with the audience and it makes her fun to watch. Because of her choreography, she didn’t get to make that connection this week. However, I also admit that the more I watch this show, the more I realize that Donyelle benefited enormously from being partnered with Benji for so long. (Now I’m putting on my raincoat because I expect people to start hurling rotten tomatoes at me.)
This picture doesn’t have anything to do with anything. I just thought this caption advertising my local news was awesome.
After the commercial, it’s time for Cat to torment the boys. First up are Benji and Ryan. I think it’s pretty obvious which of these two is safe. Cat mocks Ryan a little for his mooning over Natalie. By the way, Natalie has been nowhere near as gushy and fondling with Ryan as she was with her previous partners. She also didn’t defend him during the performance show, when he got all the mean judges’ comments and she didn’t. Ryan seems to be the place where she draws the line with her partner-whoring, and that must make him sad. Aw, poor Ryan. As expected, Benji is safe and Ryan is in the bottom two.
Last up are Ivan and Travis. I really couldn’t say which of these two was better last night. They were both pretty average. Travis took a beating on his quickstep, so Ivan definitely had the edge with the judges, but I personally enjoyed that quickstep much more than I enjoyed Argentine Tango 2: Electric Boogaloo. Ivan makes it through, and Travis joins Ryan in the bottom two. God, how is Ivan still on this show? Put him out of his misery already, America. He really is the new Kevin Covais. It seems crazy unfair that Allison landed in the bottom two and Ivan didn’t. He obviously has a following located in the distant lands beyond my comprehension.
Travis looks really upset. This makes me so sad. Ryan looks like he wants to puke. Natalie and Allison are both giggling out of control. I’d say all four of them are extremely nervous; they do NOT want to go home.
Get the barf buckets ready.
Natalie does the first solo. It’s her standard fare, with the running and the leaping and the rolling around. She goes a little nuts in the middle, and it seems like she’s having an epileptic fit, but she recovers. Again, I am bothered by the whole idea of introducing this new solo dance from her at a point when it doesn’t matter at all. Nigel says that if Natalie is sent home, then Americker has got it wrong. Mary says Natalie is beautiful, and she shouts out Natalie’s bad knee. Dan cites Natalie’s love of being onstage.
Ryan dances to a Chris Brown song. It’s much slower than his usual routine, and I think not as good. Nigel talks about Ryan’s brilliant technique for the seven thousandth time. Then he tells Ryan that he needs to have more confidence in himself as a person, not just a dancer, because he’s a “lovely lad” with a lot going for him. I bet you a million dollars that’s the first time in Ryan’s life that someone has called him a “lovely lad.” Ryan smiles a beautiful smile when he finally figures out that Nigel is trying to compliment him. Mary says that Ryan has a gentle soul, but dances like a lion. Dan says that Ryan seemed like a marginal contestant at first, but has come into his own recently.
Now we have Allison, who tries to rock a little harder than she usually does. She ends up putting on quite a physical display, with some kicks that would have a mugger flat on his back. Cat points out that Allison is only eighteen. Nigel says that he’s running out of superlatives to describe Allison. He’s appalled that either Natalie or Allison will be going home, but he says he would have been equally horrified if it had been Heidi or Donyelle, because all four of them are amazing, and Dance is the real winner here. Mary lets out a “Woo!” Dan says that Allison is the most versatile dancer on the show. There are some hints dropped about Allison’s great future; Natalie didn’t get much of that, so I think Nigel’s inside information may be showing again.
Travis does a solo that is one of my favorites by him ever. It has all of his usual spins and leaps, but it’s a fast routine with some genuinely funky beats thrown in. Nigel says that Travis always makes him smile. Nigel makes a lame pun that it’s a “travesty” that “Travis” is in the bottom two. Mary echoes this. They aren’t saying so, but they obviously must think that Ivan belongs there instead; we all know they wouldn’t want Benji in the Danger Zone. Dan says that Travis has a great personality. (Don’t worry, he also mentions his dancing – it isn’t one of those “you have a great personality” consolation-prize remarks.)
Commercial, and then Busta Rhymes. Cat pretends to be down, by exhorting the crowd to “Make some noise for Busta Rhymes!” This woman has a dangerous flava deficiency; I think she needs a transfusion. Unfortunately, after my initial burst of delight at having heard of the musical guest, I end up being pretty bored by Busta Rhymes’ performance. It’s just him and this other guy yelling, with a backing track doing way too much of the work. Also, he takes the bogus-Yankee-hat trend to a whole new level with this hideous hat that has a tiny Yankees logo superimposed on the MLB baseball-player logo, which is in turn superimposed on top of a pinstriped hat.
Question: would an actual baseball player ever wear this? Then it’s NOT A BASEBALL CAP. Boo.
Cat gives Busta Rhymes a big hug and a kiss and a “Hello, baby.” She’s fanning herself. Then Nigel interviews that the tour is officially on, and will be starting on September 12 in Seattle. Tickets go on sale on August 12. Oh, man, I have to start rounding up my posse for this event. But oh, no – then Nigel says that the show will involve the audience dancing, too. I’m so not into that. I’m much happier with my current gig of critiquing people on how well they do something that I could never do myself if I did nothing but take dance lessons for the next thousand years straight.
Cat lines up all the dancers again. She summons Natalie and Allison. They are hugging all over each other like they can’t stand up. Allison is going home. Just like last week, Allison smiles really big as Natalie sobs. Shut up, Natalie. They practically kiss on the lips. Natalie appears to suffer major separation anxiety anytime anyone goes home. Hey, Natalie? You’re going on tour with all of them at the end of the summer. It’s not like they’re being sent off to the frontlines in Afghanistan. Priorities, please.
What on earth will happen when she, herself, is eliminated?
As promised in the title of this post….
I’d say that Allison going home is the wrong result. I’ve never been too personally attached to her, but she is probably the best technical dancer (female) other than Heidi, and her personality is better than Heidi’s. I always thought it was fair that Allison was tagged as a front-runner. Natalie, on the other hand, is adorable, but about 50 percent of her appeal comes from the Maxim-girl cheesecake factor. And finally, I just can’t believe that Ivan was not even in the bottom two, and Allison came in last, after they’ve danced together almost every week and she has generally carried him.
I do have one theory about why this happened. The problem is that the female contestants are better than the men, on average, but the show is formatted to always force one boy and one girl to go home. Allison might have gotten more votes than Ivan, Travis, and Ryan put together, but the show doesn’t send home the bottom two dancers. So she’s being punished for the fact that the female contestant pool happens to be better at the moment. Here’s my imaginary graph of this weeks’ vote totals:
Pretend statistics are fun.
Ivan looks shell-shocked. Meanwhile, Ryan gives a completely unwanted hug to Natalie’s back. What is the deal with these two? He really seems obsessed with her, and I don’t think she likes him at all, especially when you consider that her usual M.O. is to hang all over everybody. We see Allison’s clip package. Allison is handling it all really well. Natalie’s face is covered with tears and snot. Shut up, Natalie.
Then Allison does a completely new solo. Huh? Yes, it was lame last week when the losers did the same exact solo three times in the space of less than twenty-four hours, but this week’s system is so much dumber. No solo at all during the performance show (which counts); then two separate and new solos during the elimination show (which doesn’t count). Granted, this last solo seems to last about fifteen seconds, but still. It makes this show seem really bootleg the way they keep changing the rules every single week without bothering to explain why. Twice during her solo, Allison goes up and artistically wraps herself around Travis. He just stands there like a telephone pole. Hee. As we go to commercial, Ryan looks sick with nerves and Travis is crying.
The big reveal after the break is pretty anticlimactic. The guy going home is Ryan. I’m sad, but it really would have been unfair to send Travis home. If Ivan can’t leave, then I think Ryan has to. Ryan and Travis share a very romantic full-body goodbye hug. We see Ryan’s clip package. I am reminded of my favorite Ryan dance ever, which was the one when he “beat [Heidi's] bongos.” Ryan does his final solo to yet another Chris Brown song. Does Chris Brown have an endorsement deal with this show?
For next week, I would like to issue my own personal plea to America: Please vote. It’s the only way to protect your civil rights. And please, please, please, don’t vote for Ivan.