After Wednesday’s (June 29) love-in of a competition night, it was a little jarring to face the fact that two dancers — one girl and one guy — would be eliminated on Thursday’s show. But such is the tough love world of competition reality TV.
The week’s bottom three wasn’t all that surprising: Ashley and Chris, who drew a short straw with the Sonya Tayeh (who is usually fab) choreographed zombie routine, Caitlynn and Mitchell, whose samba was almost a little too bootylicious and Miranda and Robert — whose streetwalker-meets-music lover Broadway bit didn’t really do much for either of them.
We won’t keep you in suspense: Miranda and Robert ended up going home despite Nigel Lythgoe’s Wednesday statement that Miranda was the most-improved dancer in the pack and all of the judges’ flat out adulation of Miranda. We were kind of surprised to see Ashley make it through, but so far this season all eliminated dancers have been cut as couples. Either Miranda wasn’t strong enough to buck the trend or Ashley, who we thought might be packing up her bags, has a really effective guardian angel.
“It’s tough, said Nigel to Zap2it in a post-show interview. “I’m afraid I loved Miranda. I thought she was fabulous, but two people have got to go each week.”
When asked about how much the solos factor into the judges’ decision, Lythgoe said, “I think Ashley’s solo was the weakest one tonight, that the steps were hackneyed. But we loved her jail routine [from last week] and that’s what we voted on and remembered the routines she’s done across the seasons so far.”
And, Lythgoe, who had warned Robert about his strong personality earlier in the season, thinks that probably played a role in his repeated trips to the bottom three.
“I think personalities are very dangerous,” he said. “You can always overstep your mark. His personality outweighed his danceability.”
We didn’t get a chance to ask Lythgoe why he mistakenly told Chris he liked his woodpecker routine last week (that was danced by Robert and Miranda), but we’ll chalk it up to heat-of-the-moment confusion and give him a pass — this time.
Next week, stay tuned for the top 14 and guest judge Carmen Electra.