Hairspray director Adam Shankman is back in the guest judge’s seat for tonight’s So You Think You Can Dance, which paired up the remaining eight dancers and gave the couples two numbers to perform based on styles picked from a hat. Tonight, the genre of dance was just as important as the choreographer in helping or hindering the contestants.
Spoilers ahead. Catch it before you proceed.
Sara/Danny – 1) How much do I love Sara? So much. This Argentine tango showed off her versatility, sexiness, ability to get into character. And that pretzel thing was highly impressive. While Danny’s pirouttes were pretty, I wasn’t feeling it. Somewhat disconnected. Oh, and lose the fan. (Song: "Whatever Lola Wants" – Sarah Vaughn)
2) Shane Sparks hooked them up with a really fun hip-hop routine. Probably inspired by the late ’80s Salt-N-Pepa track "Push It," the choreography had light-hearted attitude with an old school vibe and a few shout outs to the era like the worm, popping and locking, Hammer and breaking. It was a bit on the cutesy side, but I think it all went together.
Summary: I think they had two solid routines that showed off their skill and versatility, although Danny still lacks in the personality department.
Lauren/Dominic – 1) Wow. The second go at krumping this season was a vast disappointment. I expected to be blown away by the frenetic energy, but I was kind of bored. I wasn’t a fan of the synched Lil’ C choreography either, and that didn’t really work anyway because they were off. I thought it got a little better by the end when the movements showed a bit more freedom, twists and creativity. (Song: "Get Money" – 50 Cent)
2) Lauren got the smoldering and sensual down in her movements and expressions for this rumba. Dominic does a good job connecting to his partner, but I still get that acting vibe from him and he broke into a grin at times. Something didn’t quite work for me, and maybe it’s as the judges say, it wasn’t dancey enough. Oh, and the ending kiss? Ewww! (Song: "Ain’t No Sunshine" — Bill Withers)
Summary: Okay, Lauren’s grown on me, probably because she’s grown as a dancer, but Dominic has reached his plateau, despite his versatility.
Lacey/Neil – 1) Lacey handled the Latin Jazz technically fine and had some nice attitude, but boy, they did not even buy tickets to the Hot Tamale Train. No chemistry. Neil was just out of his element in the expression department. There were nice moments when their lines and movements lined up and were beautiful, effortless, but I think I was just watching for the moves, not the artistry. (Music: Ray Barreno, missed the title)
2) Mia Michaels, damn you for making me be verklempt. How moving was this routine? It even rendered Mary Murphy silent and crying. I gotta admit that even though I like Mia’s stuff, I was skeptical, especially when I heard the concept: a reunion in heaven between her and her deceased father. But it worked, and props to Neil and Lacey for making it so. Partner dances don’t have to be sexual, but there was definitely a connection there, a lovely, pure joy. I actually felt the mentoring feeling from Neil and that innocence from Lacey. No wonder Mia is Emmy nominated. (Song: "Time" – Billy Porter)
Summary: Lauren I have no problem with. I’m not a Neil fan since he’s so bland, but that second routine just might save him.
Sabra/Pasha – 1) Broadway is about theatrics, and Sabra rocked the house. Talk about stage presence and charisma. Pasha did some great partnering, but wasn’t quite a showstopper. I would pay to see this on Broadway. (Song: "A Wild, Wild Party – A Wild Party soundtrack)
2) I know nothing about the quickstep, so I will bow to the judges’ opinion that this was technically difficult but excellently performed. For me, it ws kind of fun, but not as precise as I thought it should be. Also, maybe it’s because of the size difference, Pasha was hunched up part of the time. Will America react like I did? (Song: "Mr. Pinstripe Suit" – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy)=
Prediction: Boy, this is hard. I might just have to guess without the distraction of tonight’s performances. For the guys, I want Neil to go despite the love he put into Mia’s routine. I’d be satisfied with Dominic being out though. As for the women, that’s much tougher. Lauren perhaps? She’s gotten better, but she was in the Bottom Four last week. I don’t know!!
Your assessment and predictions? Is it just me, or are the remaining women better and more consistent than the men?