WARNING: The following recap is not the musings of a certified dance expert. My qualifications for writing this column are: I am a reality TV lover with a DVR machine that I only sort of know how to use.
As every So You Think You Can Dance addict already knows, last week was an unnecessarily unprecedented SYTYCD event when no team was eliminated despite holding a voting round and toying with the nation's (and the dancers') emotions. So the promise is that four dancers will go home this week to make up for it. Swift retribution to up everyone's expectations. Delicious reality TV programming.
The evening got started late due to a Presidential address that we can all stand behind. Apparently, Obama’s got good news about bringing the troops home, and we're not going to keep bombing the hell out foreign countries since the results are less than promising. But let’s be honest, dance lovers: We want to find out who’s going to get kicked off from the double-elimination week of So You Think You Can Dance, amiriiiiiiiight?
Well, true to form, beloved host/giantess Cat Deeley shows up in a beautiful yellow dress and amazingly pulls the color off like she has the right to be wearing it. It’s a crap shoot with this lady—and she looks like tonight she’s actually aware that she’s on a popular national television show. She even did her hair tonight. When she's in it to win it, we're committed to a good next two hours.
Debbie Reynolds is the surprise guest host, and the audience applauds like they know who she is. Luckily, the classic “Good Mornin’” clip from Singin’ in the Rain helped everyone figure out what the balls was goin’ on. Debbie looks a little tipsy already. No surprises there.
Couple #1: Ryan and Ricky
We’re warned many times over that this is going to be a sexy routine, so get ready for them to either look like animals or like S&M bait. The song playing, though, is Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love,” which makes this a little more tame than promised.
Mandy Moore (not that one)’s choreography is pretty awesome with cool arm spins and hip twists, but their costumes are a little too ridiculous to see past it. Ricky’s corset is more alluring than Ryan’s, but it’s Ryan’s slutty vampire outfit that wins this round.
Debbie Reynolds points out that their outfits were coming off while they danced. This is going to be a good night.
[It's worth noting here that, during the commercial break, a trailer for the new MTV Footloose remake disappointed and appalled an entire nation. Is this really necessary, Dennis Quaid? Oh, but it’s apparently much more street. Krumping! Dancing in the Sheets! But hell and brimstone sermons from Dennis Quaid! I will call it Step Up 4: Da Lord. So it is necessary! And the factory dancing looks better than ever. Still... do we need to replace all six degrees of Kevin Bacon's dancing?]
Couple #2: Caitlynn and Mitchell
The revelations of the next pairing reveal that Caitlynn’s got smelly, weird feet and Mitchell is the gayest thing that’s ever had to pair with a girl for anything.
Their choreography is a Stacey Tookey original about an abusive couple, so they’re acting. Hard. There’s furniture and fighting. Oooooh, it’s Adele’s “Turning Tables.” Yeah, they’re doing great solo work in their black and white chairs. Lots of flipping and stretching and pulling. It actually looks violent and conveys what they’re going for. That’s a lot of crazy panty shots. Learning too much about Caitlynn by accident.
Oh, but then they’re done and we learn he PUNCHED HER. HE ACTUALLY PUNCHED HER IN THE NOSE during one of the moves. Her nose is bleeding! And nobody is freaking out about this! Mary is maybe (probably) already crying, and Nigel is very supportive in a tremendously nonchalant manner.
Mitchell’s given another chance to speak, and we are reminded he really is acting up a storm. HE ACTUALLY PUNCHED HER!
Couple #3: Missy and Wadi
Well, now we know Wadi uses Nair on his body. Footage from the week reveals how smooth it’s made his chest.
Their dance is the Cha-Cha, and we’re promised the most difficult routine Jean-Marc Genereaux has ever put together. Ke$ha’s “Cannibal” provides the hysterical soundtrack, and Missy’s outfit is more than a bit embarrassing.
I can’t imagine the voting public is going to eat this up, and neither do the judges. Nigel points out the weakness in Wadi’s technique but applauds Missy’s abilities. Mary provides useful advice to Wadi but then starts yelling praise at Missy.
To help his ego the best way a drunk lady knows how, Debbie awkwardly offers to take Wadi home with her. A dejected Wadi hardly notices her awkward advances.
Couple #4: Iveta and Nick
Ugh, Iveta is so old. She’s almost 30. So far on the show, she has only worn leopard print pants and gold lame. I couldn’t be happier.
Their assignment is Bollywood dancing to a little techno bhangra music. Bollywood? Bolly-GOOD, I say. But why are they shooting lightning from their hands and eyes during the rehearsal video? Seems like a poor use of all the money they could have been spending on these offensive I Love Genie costumes.
The song is awesome, though. I just want to listen to techno bahngra for the rest of my life. Their teamwork is a bit off (probably because she’s so much older than him), but they’re actually doing some impressive Bollywood moves. My, but what powerful thighs they both have! But, I mean, the Alladin pants and sequined headbands have gotta go.
What does Debbie Reynolds need to say? She’s crying? Nope. Just drunk. She’s overwhelmed (jealous?) by all the young people in sequins.
Couple #5: Robert and Miranda
The costumes keep devolving. Now it’s Apocalyptic Muppet Streetwear. They're wearing feathers on their eyes. Oh, and they’re doing puppet work. Muppet Street was right!
But white girl Miranda is handling the moves better than Robert is. It’s likely because her abs are inhuman. I can’t even wait to hear what Debbie Reynolds has to say about this Busta Rhymes soundtracked performance. Eek! A leap at Robert may have fallen short. Was that planned?
Mary Murphy awkwardly congratulates Miranda’s “swagger.” Debbie was mesmerized by their work. Oh! And now she’s doing a Woody Woodpecker impression. Yep, we’re all impressed by her talents: She’s still got it! But put it away, Debbie.
Nigel won’t stop praising the ladies because they just cannot do anything wrong this season. But I guess he’s correct. They really are incredible.
Couple #6: Clarice and Jess
Man, I feel so bad for Clarice because her tiny Broadway dancer partner Jess is just the worst.
He looks squatter than usual this evening dressed as a prince. The military pants are unflattering on his large bottomed frame. He looks Hobbit-y. He’s even shoe-less. I’m actually nervous about him lifting her, a normal human, what with his small stature. She’s too big for his hobbitness. That must be hard for a dancer to feel too big. Look how huge her long legs are next to him! Where’s Orlando Bloom when you need him?!
Oh, no, but now they’re next to Cat Deeley and she’s a GIANT. A yellow giant. I love her. We just noticed Debbie Reynold’s partially-sequined lavender jacket. What a drunk mess hitting on all of these young boys.
Nigel (the eye of Sauron) is being honest in a fashion we can actually use: “Fabulous dancers but not in synch.” Mary loves it but isn’t shrieking in her usual excited tones. I don’t believe her unless she’s exploding at least one of my eardrums.
Couple #7: Jordan and Tadd
Jordan reveals Tadd’s “OCD,” as evidenced by his rainbow-colored shirts he folds perfectly and packs perfectly in his suitcase. Mmmm-hmmmm: OCD.
Jean-Marc Genereaux provides the choreography for the Viennese Waltz, but there doesn’t seem to be much waltzing to this David Cook song. Tadd looks uncomfortable in his bell-bottom pants, so I’m just watching Jordan’s lavender dress. She’s giving Debbie Reynold’s sequined coat a run for its money.
Oh, finally they’re waltzing. But now she’s up on his shoulder and he’s up on a bench! Her dress even stayed up when he flipped her upside down. Like Nigel said, her “arabesque is ridiculous,” whatever that means. More compliments to the women from Nigel. Mary’s happy about Tadd’s transcendence from his B-boy limitations.
And, uh oh, Debbie’s ready to take Tadd home, too. Sorry, Debs, Tadd’s not interested. Remember the folded rainbow shirts?
Couple #8: Melanie and Marko
Here’s my favorite team. Melanie’s adorable and can put her leg over her head and then somehow wrap it all the way under her body again. Her legs are that long. Marko’s got a bullet in his shoulder AND reads romance novels. What?!
Mandy Moore (not that one) is their choreographer this week, and she’s making them do some crazy fast jazz thing. It’s wholly disappointing, however. First off, these outfits are just terrible. Costume shop dollar store leftovers that your fourth grade cousin used for her recital in Dallas last week. This remix is grating on my nerves, and the seizure-inducing strobe lights aren’t helping. I don’t like this, and that worries me. Because I am America.
But, much to my chagrin, Mary Murphy’s yelling again, so that helps ease my nerves. I also just noticed that Nigel looks surprisingly like Kermit the Frog when Kermit swallows his own face out of embarrassment.
Couple #9: Sasha and Alexander
“Sasha sweats like a dude. The girl’s a waterslide.” Yep, I’m ready for this duo.
Uh oh, longing eyes happening all over the place in rehearsal. More military storytelling. But this time it’s awesome. And to this Diddy-Dirty Money and Skylar Grey song—I love it.
They don’t match up quit right; he’s too soft to her sharp edges. But this choreography is awesome. He just did a handstand flip over her back. Why does every boy have to wear military pants? They don’t match. But this is awesome. Audience agrees. Debbie doesn’t get it. But her wig is feeeeeeeling it.
Mary’s crying. Her spray tan is leaking. She just wants all the soldiers to come home. What a story. She’s still the same old Mary below all that self-tanning makeup.
And in case you missed it, Nigel went and made it political. Exactly what this show was lacking: a reference to the Obama speech earlier tonight. But we can manage it. Yes we can.
Couple #10: Ashley and Chris
Ashley and Chris seem too young to be on this show. So of course they’re the team picked for the sexy time prison fantasy. Oh my. The word ‘sexy’ has been used 19 times in less than two minutes. So I guess we’re ready for the kiddos to show us the gritty truth of prison sex!
Costumes actually make sense this time, and there is a row of bars on stage that he’s hanging from. Hooray for her dress and their ability to keep kicking and kicking and kicking! So many (supposed to be) erotic moves that require an absurd amount of abdominal strength. But is this dancing? And are they old enough to be doing this? If poor innocent little Chris was ever in jail with those cheekbones, he’d be ripped apart in a matter of minutes.
Well, without a doubt, Nigel loves the routine. And he’s just blown away by them tonight. And Mary’s rambling in her loud, nonsensical ways, which can only mean she’s going on her Hot Tamale Crazy Train!!! Screaming and arm pumping aplenty. Finally, Debbie’s just drunk. She’s saying something about Elvis that no one understands. She’s ready for bed. Thank goodness we’re done.
Caitlynn and Mitchell (HE PUNCHED HER AND SHE HANDLED IT LIKE A CHAMP!)
Jess and Clarice (Hobbits and humans can never co-exist.)
Ryan and Ricky (Robert Palmer isn’t bringing sexy back.)
Missy and Wadi (Smooth chest or no, he’s gotta be able to cha-cha.)