The top 14 remaining dancers on So You Think You Can Dance
are a talented bunch. The favorites seem to fluctuate on a weekly basis, and there's still not a clear group of favorites to make it to the end. In a word, there are no Sanjayas in this group. It's a good thing. The level playing filed makes each and every routine that much more important. One slip-up could mean a ticket home. Who succeeded tonight? Did Cedric finally step it up in a partner routine? How did the new partnership of Pasha and Sara work out?
The episode began with Cat's arrival and the mini-solo dances from each contestant. Next, Nigel addressed the highly contentious issue of Jessi's elimination last week. He was calm and reasonable in his explanation and, though I disagree with the decision, have no qualms with why it was made. Then the dancing began.
Lacey Schwimmer and Kameron Bink – The Hustle
The old disco style, The Hustle, was unveiled into the So You Think You Can Dance repertoire for the first time tonight. It was a welcome sight. The routine was extremely energetic and almost flawlessly executed. Lacey might be inching out in front of the pack, her performance tonight was incredible. The judges have a few qualms with Kameron for not living up to what Lacey is doing.
Cedric Gardner and Shauna Noland – Mambo
Cedric has taken the brunt of a lot of criticism thus far and, although it's entirely valid, we should remember that he's doing his very best out there. So, to be fair, his routine tonight was a big step forward in his development as a performer. However, and it's a big however, Cedric is still out of his league in this competition. He was sloppy in places, tentative in others. Shauna was spectacular, and the judges recognized her for it. They also praised Cedric unnecessarily.
Anya Garnis and Danny Tidwell – Contemporary
Tyce DiOrio choreographed a pretty great routine for these two and it was mostly spectacular. Anya dominated the “love story” routine, and Danny showed off his incredible technique. The judges have a long debate about Danny and what they believe is something missing from his dancing. They wonder whether it's a disconnect, arrogance, but they don't really settle on anything. It was actually quite confusing.
Sara Von Gillem and Pasha Pkovalev – West Coast Swing
These two new partners get a surprise: their swing routine is choreographed by last year's winner, Benji Schwimmer. Benji, his first time creating a routine for the show, does not disappoint. His routine is lunatic fun, energetic and perfect for these two. Sara is my favorite dancer on the show at this point, especially because of her incredible versatility. Pasha is no Dmitry: he's actually very good in a number of styles and could end up winning this whole thing.
Sabra Johnson and Dominic Sandoval – Hip/Hop
I thought this routine was going to better than it was. Not because of the choreography (which was good), or the performances (which were great), but because I thought it was just a little too easy. That's all. Shane Sparks created a romantic hip/hop routine that was unique and enjoyable, and the two dancers were great, but they didn't seem all that challenged.
Jaimie Goodwin and Hok Konishi – Waltz
This waltz wasn't really much of a waltz, more of a contemporary hybrid, and Jaimie shines. Hok, not so much. It's a slow dance, a very technical routine and Hok simply isn't polished enough to pull it off. Jaimie is another in the long list of remaining ladies on the show who continues to impress. It's going to be very hard choosing a girl to eliminate this week.
Lauren Gottleib and Neil Haskell – Jazz
Wade Robson concocts a bizarre, playful jazz routine that plays out like a campy comic book. Neil plays a cane wielding villain while Lauren plays a damsel-in-distress. It ends up being a give and take between the two as they run about the stage. Really, just an awesome routine that, in theory you wouldn't think would work, but does. The judges love it and Nigel thinks it was the best of the night.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of RealityTV Magazine)