The couples were generally strong on this week’s So You Think You Can Dance, with a few standouts like Jaimie/Hok’s interpretation of Wade Robson’s hummingbird/flower dance and Shauna/Cedric’s powerful Mia Michaels contemporary number. Even guest judge Debbie Allen was hard-pressed to say anything negative.
Spoilers ahead. Note: With so many couples still in the game, I can’t accomodate a full recap that includes comments on the dance, all the judges’ comments, song/artist and choreographer/dance style. I’ll fit in as much as I can, but on occasion, I’ve been known to miss stuff!
Sara/Jesus – Oh boy. I was so psyched to hear they were going to try their hand at krumping. If you don’t know what that is, just rent Rize, a great documentary about the dance. There were difficulties from the start because krumping isn’t usually choreographed, but they got help from Lil’ C. I’ll give them credit for the right attitude and hitting the moves. My problem is that it felt like a slo-mo version of krumping, in tandem no less. So, they did well, but I wasn’t keen on it. (Song: "It’s Okay (One Blood) — The Game)
Shauna/Cedric – I always look forward to a Mia Michaels contemporary routine, and the new partnership between these guys (after having lost Jimmy and Faina last week), looks promising. Wow, was that ever powerful and frenetic and passionate and other stuff that I didn’t really understand. Shauna really captured the wildness, and I think Cedric didn’t get a chance to really show off, especially that one portion where he was just sitting and fake crying. Regardless, I loved it. Oh, and how weird was it that they went back and forth that long about Cedric needing to learn? (Song: "I Thought We Had" — The Family Stand)
Lacey/Kameron – Even though they look the part, the quick step gets a ballroom update to the tune of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s "Big and Bad." I’m not too familiar with the particulars on their form, whether they’re supposed to break their hold that much or anything, but they looked fairly competent and energetic.
Anya/Danny – Very hot, creative and fun hip-hop choreography by Dan Karaty, but this couple didn’t quite get it. Don’t get me wrong: They were very strong, just not comfortable or committed to the boneless attitude. I liked it, but don’t think I would have if the choreography wasn’t that good. I felt they were stiff and formal, and Anya missed the beat at times. (Song: "Oh Timaland" — Timbaland)
Sabra/Dominic – Non-expert that I am, I have to say it didn’t feel like much of a rhumba to me. It was awesome though. Sabra has natural grace, and I was actually impressed with Dominic’s lines and movement. Having said that, here’s the same criticism that I had before. Dominic is too cheesy, too overt. He looks like he’s parodying what he thinks rhumba is all about. Is it right that I want to laugh when I watch him and he’s being earnest? Oh, and can someone derail Mary Murphy’s hot tamale train? Please? (Song: "Stickwitu" — Pussycat Dolls)
Lauren/Neil – Yes, this was an untraditional tango, but it still didn’t play well no matter what the rules. I didn’t feel any chemistry, and Lauren was dragging a bit, probably because of her flu. I disagree with Nigel and think Neil did well with the dance’s necessary drama and theatrics.(Song: "Tanguera" — Sexteto Mayor)
Jaimie/Hok – Hands down, the best and most intriguing performance of the night, thanks to Wade Robson’s imaginative choreography and the couple’s technical skills. How to describe this high concept jazz dance that cast Hok as a hummingbird who falls for Jaimie the flower? Damn if Hok didn’t embody that bird and make me almost blush when he was ravishing her. Jaimie’s style was controlled yet fluid, almost as if she were underwater. It seems like a boon for couples if they score one of Wade’s routines. (Song: "The Chairman’s Waltz" — Memoirs of a Geisha soundtrack)
Jessi/Pasha – We were actually Jessi-less tonight because she was in the hospital, and doctors wouldn’t let her perform. Instead, Pasha danced with the choreographer’s assistant, who was technically correct, but really showcased his skills. Impressive to say the least that he could carry off such an acting performance with a last-minute partner switch. He was just on fire, and I’m surprised Mary didn’t talk about the hot tamale train. (Song: "Let’s Get Loud"– Jennifer Lopez)
It’s a tough call, but I think my Bottom Three this week would be Lauren/Neil and — just because I have to pick two others — Lacey/Kameron and Anya/Danny.
What was the best/worst routine? Who should get the boot?