This week there’s another very special guest jidge in the form of the ADD-addled director of the movie Hairspray, and So You Think You Can Dance proves once again it is a whore for any dance movie. Well maybe that wording is a little strong. I mean, Nigel is just trying to bring DANCE to AMERICA in any way he can. Question though, who paid who for all the Hairspray plugging this week? Or are both owned by the same umbrella-entity, thus giving us our title this week? Discuss!
After a week off, I’m so excited to see Cat greets us from the rafters, welcoming us to SoYouThinkYouCanDance!
Ah, so nice to see their shining, sweaty faces again. Missed you guys! Before we can get to the dancing, Nigel takes a moment to address all the Jessi fans out there (I know, right? Those exist??) who decried her being booted off the show since America didn’t vote her there. Nigel’s all, yeah, but she didn’t dance either, so that’s why she’s gone.
Then Cat gets down to business, introducing this week’s special guest jidge, Adam Shenkman, director/choreographer of the new movie musical, Hairspray. I’m not a fan of these special guest jidges. The show worked so well without them, so why change something that isn’t broken? The first words out of his mouth are to Cat Deeley and they are: “You look cat-astrophically cat-tastic!”
Well, Adam, I officially don’t respect your opinions. This guy’s good. It took me three couples worth of comments before I lost all respect for Debbie Allen’s commentary. Adam Shenkman does it before anyone’s set foot onstage.
Our first couple tonight is Lacey and Kameron doing the Hustle. The getting-to-know-you theme tonight is tell the audience something they don’t already know about you. Kameron is a daredevil, Lacey actually has short hair and a weave. No shit. Fascinating.
There are rumors swirling around this here interweb that Lacy and Kameron are dating. They’ve since been refuted, but I do know that if they are dating, I pity Kameron because Lacey suddenly seems very high maintenance and whiny this week. Both of them comment how hard the dance is, but Lacey’s doing a lot of bitching at Kameron in the clips we see. Interesting.
Their actual performance is spectacular, as ush. I was a little wary of the Hustle, but I’m actually enjoying this. Kameron’s adorable, but Lacey is literally dancing circles around him.
The Hot Tamale Caboose
My God, Adam Shenkman has a lot of energy. He loved the showmanship and partnering skills exhibited by both of them. Mary lthought Kameron looked a little uncomfortable at times, but Lacey is so dependable that it didn’t matter. Nigel agrees that Kameron looks a little weaker and once again calls Kameron a prop in the routine. He says Kameron’s missing the magic that Lacey has. I bet that’s good for the partnership.
When Nigel references Benji in his comments to Lacey, the camera pans over to our favorite slice of ham sitting in the audience. And hey, there’s Heidi! It’s like a family reunion. Also, what happened Benji? I’ll get into this later because there’s so much more Benji to come, but he’s really lost all the goofy charm from last year and gained so much… blond hair.
Benji in 2007: now 50% douche-ier.
Next up are Cedric and Shauna. Shauna snowboards, Cedric was his school’s mascot – a giant purple and orange cat. Lol. I get the feeling Cedric has no friends at home. Cedric gains points with me when, after they draw Mambo as a style, he references West Side Story while trying to figure out what the Mambo is.
Well, their choreographer, Alex Da Silva, explains it as a spicy, hot dance from Puerto Rico and Cuba. Alex explains that normally he brings one assistant, but when he heard he had to teach Cedric, Alex brought three. See, that’s why Cedric probably shouldn’t have been in the Top Twenty to begin with, and certainly shouldn’t be here still – he can’t pick up choreography and is clearly less technically proficient than so many other dancers. Rehearsals look frustrating.
Their dance is not great – pretty much what you’d expect. Shauna’s just hoofing around the stage while Cedric kind of does the moves, but not really. They’re slow in the transitions and totally not in unison later in the routine.
The judges say they love it, but it’s totally reverse psychology they’re pulling on America. Like, NO WAY Mary Murphy really loved Cedric in that. She babbles about growth and how she really wants him to stay this week and it’s ALL LIES.
What we didn’t know about Anya is that she used to be blond and was in law school in Russia, so she was “Legally Blonde.” Heh. Danny has a secret obsession with sunglasses, which I’m sure is endearing him to America. Not.
No. Just… No.
This week Danny and Anya are dancing a contemporary routine by Tyce DiOrio. This is another painful goodbye contemporary dance, about a man who says its too late to say you’re sorry. In the interview, Anya talks about passion, while Danny talks about movement. That will be relevant in a minute.
They’re polished and professional as always. They’re dressed all in black and throwing themselves around the stage. Anya’s certainly bringing the passion, though I don’t think Danny’s getting to show all he can do, which is a shame.
Adam thinks that Danny is a beautiful dancer, but felt he was disconnected from Anya. Mary thought it was tremendous and comments on Danny’s great technique. Nigel liked it with caveats. He reminds the contemporary choreographers that relationships do work sometimes, so their dances don’t always have to be tragedies. He goes on to say that Anya was terrific, but thinks Danny is lacking some magic.
Suddenly Adam is back in the discussion and says that everyone knows that Danny has tremendous technique, but America isn’t voting for him because he’s arrogant. Nigel disagrees about the arrogance, just the x-factor, and calls Adam out for “talking crap.” HA! AGREED. The judges are still going back and forth, but Danny keeps his poise. Hey, whatever Danny, who cares what they think? The New York Times is on your side!
Next up are Sara and Pasha. Sara was a competitive figure skater until 7th grade. Pasha likes computers. Seriously, can we get rid of these segments in favor of more rehearsal footage? Sara and Pasha pull West Coast Swing, choreographed by Benji Schwimmer. Oh and Heidi’s assisting him. There’s a ton of mugging and bad skin and reminiscing from Benji. I think my favorite part of the whole episode is when Benji remembers aloud how Dmitri taught him to be sexy last year. “Well it didn’t work.” Pasha snarks, causing the whole room to LOL.
They’re dancing to “The Rockafeller Skank” aka, “Funk Soul Brother” by Fat Boy Slim. I hate this song, but the routine is pretty fun. If you missed the episode, just picture any solo or routine Benji did last year in his style. All his favorite moves are there: the heel slide, the cartwheel with partner, ass-slapping, and quick feet abound. It’s actually much better than I was expecting and uses the music really well. There are parts where they go into slow motion and it’s cute.
These shoes are killing me!
Nigel points out that this is what he means by “the magic.” Adam thought the pair got the job if this was an audition. Mary gives some hoots and was so impressed that they partnered so well for their first week.
Sabra was in High School Musical and they show a still of her. Lol, they have to circle her head or else you’d never find her. Dominic’s secret OF COURSE revolves around a secret crush. Can someone fuck him already? I’m so tired of his sad loser routine. Turns out his secret crush is on Cat Deeley, who he describes thusly: “7-feet tall, white teeth and a French accent? Can’t get better than that.” I don’t know, Dominic, would a British accent be better?
This week the pair are performing a Shane Sparks hip-hop routine. Shane says they’ve got “a hot boy, a hot girl, a hot song and hot choreography.” Something tells me this routine is going to be… what’s the word? Hot?
It is very cute. Both are dressed in red and white and black and chairs are involved. It’s a slower, softer hip hop routine, but there’s plenty of popping to be had. The routine takes a slightly abusive turn as it looks like he chokes her down to the floor. Random. Sabra’s “freeze” in an upside-down handstand goes off without a hitch and it’s another really solid performance from this pair. And to think I wanted Dominic gone that first week!
The towels weren’t aligned, bitch!
Adam, after teasing “Frenchie” Cat, goes on and on about the power of dance and emotion. I guess he liked it. Mary also liked it, calling them a “force to be reckoned with.” She liked it so much, there’s only one thing to do: Scream her head off. Except this week she spares our ears, giving a silent scream that somehow makes her look even crazier than the ones with sound.
I can’t hear you over that wind machine, J Lo!
Next up are Jamie and Hok, who give the most charming interview ever. Jamie wanted to be a basketball player, despite the fact that she’s 5’3″ and doesn’t know the rules. She tries to dance and play at the same time and ends up hitting her head on the ball. Nice.
Thank God her hobby isn’t knife juggling.
Hok’s secret is that he played the violin growing up. Like that’s a secret. You’re Asian! (And I say that as a violin-playing Asian.) This week the pair are performing a waltz. They’re dreading it. Toni Reopath is choreographing and Jamie and Hok are very familiar with the story, though no mention is made of the dance. All the cuteness of this interview is due to the fact that Jamie and Hok may or may not have a crush on each other and both decline to answer, with much bubbly giggling from Jamie. Aw, I love it. We can call them Jok!
This routine is badly lit and as boring as every other waltz I’ve seen. I love them, but snooze. Plus it’s to Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel,” which, as a female, I’m hardwired to love, but only when going through a break-up.
So You Think You Can Nap Nap Nap Nap
Adam loved Jamie’s lines and thinks her husband will have a great dance at their wedding. Oookay. He does not think Hok is suited to this type of dancing. Mary takes a pause before her comments, so you know she didn’t like it. She thought there could have been a better “rise and fall,” in the waltz, but the routine just wasn’t good enough for Mary. Nigel, too, loved Jamie’s lines, and says so mmm, about a million times, but also felt Hok was lacking.
Last up tonight are Lauren and Neil. Laura has an “Asian” alter-ego named Misha Chan. WEIRD. Way to alienate the Asian vote, Lauren. Neil’s secret is that he makes an awesome wookie sound. Clearly Neil takes these interviews as seriously as I do. Love it. This week the pair are performing a Jazz routine by Wade Robson that is actually jazzy. He calls it a comic book battle between good and evil. Neil is supposed to be devilish while Lauren is innocent, though all acknowledge that in real life the roles are reversed.
Once again Wade has choreographed a kick-ass routine. I think it would have been that much better if Lauren was ever believably innocent – to make the ending more shocking – but overall, it’s very cool. Neil is absolutely devilish, though his hair does remind me of Jamie’s Dragonball-Z ‘do from last week.
Where do they find these hairdressers?
Adam thought Neil had never been better and I agree. Neil actually frightened Mary and she loved the routine on the whole. Nigel manages to work in the fact that Vanessa Williams is in the audience and give the pair a compliment by saying that they’ve “saved the best for last.” Cheeze.
So what do you think next week’s stupid interview question will be? Is Danny arrogant? If yes, deservedly so? Are Jamie and Hok doing it? And what’s with all the cross-promotion? Discuss!