Uniqueness versus ability. Potential versus performance. Those were the questions the judges on So You Think You Can Dance
faced last night. They were the same questions they faced last week and will be the questions that haunt them until Cedric Gardiner is eliminated or learns how to dance with a partner. The judges final decision last night has baffled and infuriated fans, and for good reason. There's no real argument to be made that Cedric performed better on Wednesday's show than Jimmy Arguello, who was eliminated in his stead. No one would tell you that Cedric was better than Jimmy. No one.
Yet, the judges have chosen potential over performance. These decisions are never sound, but they happen all the time. Potential is a sexy entity, although it is rarely fulfilled to the degree that it is in your mind. Potential over performance is the kind of mindset that makes normally rational humans like Joe Dumars draft a person like Darko Milicic over Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Nigel Lythgoe and Mia Michaels fell victim to the sexiness of potential last night, simple as that.
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The bottom three couples this week were Shauna/Jimmy, Cedric/Faina, and Jessi/Pasha. Everyone, especially the judges, were outraged that Jessi and Pasha had been placed in the bottom three. They were arguably the best performers on Wednesday. The other two couples weren't a surprise.
The solo performances came and the one person who really saved herself was Shauna. She looked absolutely possessed out there, dancing for her life, and the judges basically told her that her solo routine saved her from elimination. Jessi's solo was disappointing to the judges and they told her to step it up next time. Cedric was his typical awesome self during the solos, and it saved him again. Faina and Pasha were both mediocre. Jimmy wasn't bad.
Unfortunately, Jimmy ended up getting the boot. Warranted? Eh, probably not, but if the judges were of the mindset that Jimmy wasn't going to end up winning the competition, then keeping Cedric around to see if he fulfills potential is a reasonable decision.
On the girls side, you knew they weren't going to eliminate Jessi, regardless of what she did on her solo. Shauna dominated her solo routine, so that left Faina Savich. Faina was eliminated, although she didn't deserve to be. However, someone had to go, and Faina was the best choice. Can't fault the judges there.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)