And now, Debbie Allen’s review of this So You Think You Can Dance recap: “Louis! You shined tonight. You brought us into your shine. We needed to be brought there, and you brought it. We were there with you. With you, Louis. There’s a play called A Delicate Balance — there was a balance, and you were so, so delicate on it. I don’t know why you keep ending in the bottom every week, but let me tell you: This week? You’re the top. You really were. The top of the bottom. Which is still the bottom. The bottom. Thank you.”
Really, what else needs to be said? Debbie Allen guest-judged and brought a bindle full of wisdom with her. She ruled, and she only sounded like an impromptu Maya Angelou poem six or seven times. The final ten dancers were paired with all-stars, and that meant we were reacquainted with ubertalented uberbeings like tWitch, Robert Roldan, Melanie, and Comfort. Pretty fab, and I only wept for years when the judges eliminated my blond sex mascot Nico and that dynamite superhero Makenzie in the eleventh hour. We’re gearing up for the end of the season, but before we get there (Debbie Allen emphasis), let’s break down tonight’s 10 routines according to fun, being hot, costume colors, and actual quality if there’s time.
Tucker and Robert: Brotherly Love?
Well, what am I supposed to do? Not love the boy-bonding routine featuring sexy Tucker and sultry Robert in tearful throes? I know Travis Wall claimed the whole routine was about brothers (otherwise, why would two male dancers EVER touch each other, CAN I GET AN AMEN, NIGEL?), and maybe it even was. But in any case it was refreshing to see two guys tenderly move and emote with one another on the SYTYCD stage. Such a necessary routine for this show, and Travis was smart for choreographing it. I actually wish we heard less about the terrifying backstories linking these dancers together, because it made judging the routine objectively almost impossible. Still: Fine gents. Robert will always be my season 7 Gay Porn Aladdin.
Jasmine and Marko: Throbbin’ Thicke
Nigel was right to point out the tremendous blend of styles in this jazz routine, even if the costuming was a straight Janelle Monae ripoff and the music was the not-so-jazzy “Blurred Lines.” Jasmine once again jived and kicked like an Amazonian Rockette, and I was dead-eyed on her flawless sauciness throughout the routine. That’s impressive considering that Marko’s beauty is masculine and gigantic. Those two looked like showstopping Animaniacs in their black and white suits, which means, officially, we should call ourselves “zany to the max.”
Amy and Brandon: I Will Always Love To Remix You
OK, I can’t give Mary Murphy too much credit for pointing out the obvious crappiness of the “I Will Always Love You” remix chosen for this “disco” routine because last season she wept at the original version like The Bodyguard had just opened at Mann’s Chinese. I’ll say this about the nutty choreography on display: It was effing speedy, and Amy performed it like a proper vixen and — most impressive for me? — maintained a mile-wide smile from beginning to end. I’m still gawping at the insane death drop that almost left Amy in gilded smithereens on center stage. That used to happen to Lauren Hutton all the time at Studio 54. Best and most accurate disco routine ever!
Aaron and Kathryn: An Ideal Husband
Aw, an emotional husband-and-wife dance! What could be worse? Ugh, get this, it was really, really good. The chemistry between Aaron and Kathryn, who wrapped her body around Aaron’s elegantly lumbering frame at least 1,800 times, was evident and tingle-worthy. I often think Aaron’s emotionality lacks gravitas, but something about Kathryn’s energy and his fixated stare made up the difference in a big way. Is he the frontrunner to win on the male side? Er, I’d say so? It’s just so hard to think critically about that half of the competition when my husband Nico isn’t going to be a part of the finale. You understand.
Fik-Shun and Melanie: Ugh, Try It Again With Con-Fik-Shun.
First of all, give it up for all-star Melanie’s hair, which is the kind of curly-yet-frizzy bob I’d expect Marsha Mason to have right now. Also: Give it up for Melanie in general because she somersaulted, slid under splits, and super-smiled her way to victory here. Fik-Shun was an admirable foil in this athletic event, but never quite as assured or electric. I’d appreciate slightly more shade thrown his way. A lamp top will do! Ahhh, shade.
Paul and Witney: Witney for the Prosecution!
Unless I’m missing something drastic and arty, the judges completely overlooked a couple of big errors between Paul and GLORIOUS GLAMOROUS WITNEY OF SALT LAKE CITY. I don’t blame the duo for falling out of sync a few times in the middle of this hyperspeed arrangement, but I do believe Paul dropped Witney on the floor following a key lift. I notice a couple of other bobbles during the face-to-face interactions, but Witney saved those by practically whirling into disintegration. Is it possible simply to disappear by spinning? Science indicates no, Witney’s bodily freakiness says yes. Love this duo, but this routine felt more frantic than feisty.
Hayley and tWitch: Debit Card Dubstep
I’m assuming that if Hayley wanted a real hip-hop showcase for herself, she wouldn’t have preferred a hokey, tie-tugging routine set in a bank. But that’s what she got, and she emanated an appropriate amount of stank while fending off tWitch. I’m afraid to concur with Mary, but tWitch brings such vivid personality to every single number that it was hard not to notice that Hayley’s technically perfect work was missing a special something.
Jenna and Neil: Something to Yawn About
Note to SYTYCD choreographers, right now: Do not select maudlin versions of tired-ass radio staples for your “emotional” contemporary routines. Particularly not an American Idol-abused ballad like “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” which Bonnie Raitt is probably effing sick of. You think she wants to be known for a Phil Collins-like dirge? Child, no. I thought Jenna punctuated this routine with admirable attitude and panache, but the fact is, this is a barely memorable routine in a night teeming with standing-O material. Also: Too many candles. Where are we, my great-aunt’s house?
Makenzie and Jacob: Hella Fitzgerald!
Well, here’s an unfortunate set of events: For reasons basically beyond the judges’ control, Makenzie was eliminated from the competition in a grim final vote. That’s hard enough to take, but then you realize her final routine was powerfully audacious and regally classic, think about how her swift reactions and joy remind you of Alanis Morissette in that old-timey dance video she did for “So Pure,” and now you’re actually in love with her. Makenzie was flawless and flailing during her red dress moment, but I guess if she had to go, this’d be the week for it. Let the booming, sweet tones of Ella Fitzgerald (glamor!) accompany her exit with pride.
Nico and Comfort: Growl Ur Freak On
Naturally this is how nervous 18-year-old wunderkind Nico has to leave — performing in his worst genre, forcing himself to make the craziest, most animalistic facial expressions for our amusement, and feeling dwarfed by the feral authority of Comfort. I’m not surprised he’s going home, but I still love certain things about him: his investment in learning styles and attitudes, his guileless interviews, and now, judging by the fun routine, the way he can hang upside down on a cargo net. I’ll miss that goofy grin. Even if it stays good forever. (Bold, me.)
Your turn. Who ruled this week?
Note: We’ll have interviews with most of the contestants and All Stars posted later today.