The top 12 results night on "So You Think You Can Dance" was particularly sad, because the two dancers who got cut just
missed making it into the top 10. If only they'd been able to hang on one more week, they'd be dancing with the allstars, heading out on the national "SYTYCD" tour, and hanging out with next week's fabulous guest judge, Neil Patrick Harris. Instead, they were sent home. How frustrating it must have been to get so close to, and yet still be so far from, "SYTYCD" victory.
The It was a little less frustrating for "SYTYCD" viewers, though, to be honest, since there were no major upsets or injustices this week. Both of this week's eliminated contestants, Ryan and Alexander, were dragging their respective partners (Ricky and Sasha) down a bit, so it really seemed like it was their time to go. It was a little
bit of a surprise that the judges unanimously elected to cut Ryan, since she'd been one of their early favorites (she had connections to former "SYTYCD" judge/choreographer Mia Michaels, and the judges had even saved her in week one despite her lackluster solo). But I'd always
suspected that if Sasha and Alexander were ever in the bottom three couples (which they were this week for the first time), the judges would quickly dispense with Alexander, whom Nigel Lythgoe had repeatedly accused of coasting on Sasha's glittery coattails. So there was no real surprise there.
But this was one evening when the solos by the up-for-elimination contestants really did seem to make a difference. Okay, Sasha probably could have gone onstage and done the Hokey Pokey and been safe. Yet I believe that the quality of solos was a major deciding factor between the other two girls on the chopping block, Ryan and Caitlynn. While Caitlynn's solo was full of energy and joy, Ryan already seemed like she'd given up (Nigel told her she looked "down and depressed"), and her movements were ungainly and unfinished compared to other girls'. She won some points with me (if not with the judges) for dancing to the killer Crystal Castles/Robert Smith song "Not In Love," but in the end, I was not in love with her clumsy and dejected solo.
Unlike the vote for the girls, the decision to cut Alexander was not
unanimous, and Mary Murphy revealed to reporters after the results show that she was the one judge who'd fought to keep him and send one of the other boys in the bottom six, Mitchell, home instead. However, when the boys did their solos, Mitchell magnificently charged onto the stage like a racehorse out of the gate, and Ricky was as awesome as always (Nigel said Ricky delivered one of the best dance-for-your-life solos he'd ever seen on the show)...but Alexander completely fumbled, coming across as amateurish, uncentered, and under-prepared. "Tonight your solo let you down very badly technically," Nigel scolded him. And so, the solo was Alexander's undoing as well.
Sad indeed, but in happier news, now we have our official top 10, and it's a strong bunch: Melanie, Sasha, Caitlynn, Jordan, and Clarice representing the girls (or, as they are more commonly known this season, "the beasts"), and Marko, Ricky, Mitchell, Tadd, and Jess comprising the final five guys. (Honestly, I think the judges are sorely underestimating the possibility that one of those very talented boys could win this season.) And these 10 dancers will be playing a whole new game starting next week. They'll be competing as individuals, not as couples; they'll be dancing with two new partners a week (one fellow contestant, and one allstar); and the judges will no longer have the power to save them from elimination.
While the allstars will rotate each week for the rest of the season, we do know that next week they will include Melody Lacayanga from Season 1; Allison Holker from Season 2; Pasha Kovalev from Season 3; Twitch Boss, Comfort Fedoke, and Chelsie Hightower from Season 4; Brandon Bryant from Season 5; Kathryn McCormick from Season 6; and Robert Roldan from last year. So this year's top 10 obviously have a lot to live up to.
Now this season is really about to get exciting. Cue music.
[photos courtesy of Fox]
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