People always complain about getting too little, too late. It seems "So You Think You Can Dance" forgot that getting too much, too soon can be just as problematic.
Hearing the top seven couples would take on two routines each, I thought it seemed a little early for that, but was looking forward to being wrong. Sure enough though, Tuesday’s show left the dancers, choreographers and judges tackling more than they could handle, while we all had to watch, surprisingly unsatisfied.
You knew it was coming right in the beginning, too, when his holiness Will Wingfield actually missed a turn (gasp!). By now, we’re used to seeing his partner Jessica King get chastised like whipping post, but when Mary Murphy’s telling perfect Will she “wanted more,” it’s bound to be a rough night.
So rough, in fact, even Katee Shean and Joshua Allen had a little fall from grace, though I blame that largely on their choreography.
Their Mia Michaels routine did show off their dancing skills much more than Twitch Boss and Kherrington Payne’s bed stint. But unlike Twitchington’s routine and just about all of Mia’s work, it didn’t tell a clear story. In the end, it was a bunch of awe-inspiring tricks sprinkled between erratic moves that made no sense.
And while I’m usually a fan of Benji Schwimmer’s work, the Midwest swing routine he gave them nearly put me to sleep, which says a lot considering they were wearing the most aggressive shade of neon pink imaginable. Katee and Joshua really made the most of what they were given here. Unfortunately, it wasn’t all that much.
Similarly, Chelsea Hightower and Mark Kanemura started off with an I-Dream-of-Jeannie-esque routine that had me wishing I could cork them in a bottle to make it all end. The routine wasn’t even bad, but, like so many others, it was just middle of the road, and by that point I’d had enough.
There’s also a something about Chelsea that makes it obvious she’s a ballroom dancer no matter what style she’s doing. It was noticeable in last week’s hip-hop routine, but even more so this week, since we had their perfect fox trot as a same-day comparison.
Either way, I’m sure the judges will keep treating her like the second coming, but eventually her hip shaking and cherub smile will lose their novelty. I hope her game plan doesn’t end there.
For Twitch and Kherrington, time seemed to be the crutch. I can’t help but think their paso doble would have been perfect with just a little more practice. Overall, it was still an impressive performance, and I’m still trying to decide what was better: seeing Twitch without a shirt, or seeing him kick high enough to clock Shaquille O’Neal in the face.
But the sloppy first lift, cape-synchronization issues and Twitch’s tendency to "wear his shoulders as earrings" were enough to knock them out of the "banoodles" category they’re always in.
Comfort Fedoke and Thayne Jasperson followed suit with a mediocre Broadway routine and a good (not great) waltz. Why Mary was so surprised to see them back in the bottom three, is a mystery to me. Like Nigel Lythgoe, I’m over contestants expecting credit for dancing outside their styles.
It’s week four of the finals. If you pick the tango, we expect to see a really great tango, regardless of whether you’re a contemporary dancer, a ballerina or a wannabe-gangster/pageant princess/hip-hop dancer. Look no further than Courtney Galiano and Gev Manoukian to see why.
Pretty little contemporary Courtney hit their hip-hop routine so hard, no one tuning in for the first time would have ever guessed it wasn’t her expertise. And while Napolean Dumo’s suggestion that Broadway is Gev’s niche probably sent his street cred to the grave, it did show just how well the b-boy sold it in their second routine. These two in the bottom three was a bit of a shocker.
But I’m happy the judges wasted no time in sending them back to safety. Kourtni Lynd and Matt Dorame on the other hand, definitely earned their spot in the bottom three (again) and their exit from the show.
Nigel said their first routine was like hip-hop on sleeping pills. Matt said he thought they found their groove. If latter is true it was their groove and theirs alone. And though Matt actually did better than I thought, even calling Kourtni’s spastic moves hip-hop on sleeping pills is a stretch.
There was nothing hip-hop about that. And though their mambo was better, it still wasn’t good enough to stand with the other dances, even on an off night.
So we’re down to 12 as we say goodbye to the show’s tallest couple. Hopefully this week serves as a lesson for seasons to come: even on "So You Think You Can Dance," less sometimes really is more.