SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE WEEK 5, OR POST ALEX, SOB!

Photo from Jonathan (which Alex posted on Twitter).

Uh-oh, where’s Ashley? Oh, another injury – a rib problem. So, she’ll be in the bottom three tomorrow night, could suffer same fate as Alex.

First on is Lauren dancing a Tahitian dance with Mark Kanemura. Wow, fun costumes. And music! At first I couldn’t take my eyes off of him, and then I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. It was repetitive movement — knees shaking for the man, hip shaking both side to side and front to back for her. It looked simple but that kind of movement takes precision and concentration to pull off because it is so repetitive and so fast. It’s the type of movement that could look really sloppy if you lose your concentration, you know? Mia says Lauren looked like a “duck in heat.” Hmmm.

Next, Adechike and Anya dance salsa. Wow, some really difficult lifts – I think this is the first overhead one we’ve seen this season, and perhaps even on the show? I mean that was a full-out overhead lift, like you see in classical ballet. And that opening throw and catch with a double twist in the air. It was really exciting to me, but I think the tricks kind of took over and made it difficult for Adechike to concentrate on getting his basic movement right. He was fine and he did all of those crazy tricks right and well, but the hips weren’t all there. It just wasn’t the sexy salsa I’m used to in competitions and in clubs.

Next, Jose and Courtney do a Broadway routine. Well, he did a jump in the air with a multiple turn that was exciting. But that was all to me, unfortunately. He just didn’t have the polish, there was no pizzazz with those jazz hands, the line wasn’t there – his barrel turn was just not a proper barrel turn at all. I mean, he looked like a regular person dancing that. As the judges said, it just showed how little dance training he has.

Now, Robert and Allison do a contemporary routine. Wow, well that’s the first time Allison has really blown me away.

I honestly can’t remember her much from the season she was on. It’s been a while ago now and I don’t think I watched much that season. Anyway, she really took my breath away – both the way she acted that and the way she danced it. I don’t know what happened to Travis Wall’s mother but Allison’s performance was incredibly moving. I’m sorry but Robert still didn’t come through for me. He was good, but just not great. It seemed like his posture was off, like his rump was sticking out a lot. Is it just me? Maybe it’s just the way his body is, but it seems like something is awkward. I think he’s fine; there’s just something in his movement that is lacking to me. Oh good lord, the judges are so emotional. Stop! The subject matter of the dance doesn’t make Robert’s dancing great.

Now, Billy and Anya jive. Oh yay, Louis van Amstel’s back. Wow, that was awesome! My favorite of the night so far! He had the speed, the height on those jive kicks, the precision, the lines with his arms, the lines on the rond de jambs, the flashiness (proper here) of the splits jumps. That was absolutely the best he’s done on the show and I’m really surprised – I didn’t think he would be that great at Latin. The judges are right though, about the partnering and connection because those pivot spins in close handhold were the most awkward-looking parts. And it looked like she came down a bit weird from that lift. But wow. Awesome performance from him.

Next, Kent does a Broadway number with Neil. Oh no, dancers imitating baseball players… Well, fun, gymnastic routine. Oh crap, I missed the all-star game last night… Well, they did a lot of side-by-side movement and I thought Neil was just so much better. Neil was so much sharper, so much more thrilling to watch. To me anyway. Great leap frog though at the beginning – Neil’s tall and he stood pretty upright, so big jump for Kent! Also, Kent did well with the hopping turns toward the end. We really needed to see him dance more alone because I thought Neil really showed him up. Judges don’t seem to be agreeing with me though…

Now, Lauren and Billy’s jazz routine. I loved it! This may be my favorite of the night. The routine’s about putting on your shoes and the shoes taking over and just making you move, and they both really worked those shoes! That was so much fun and so well danced. The routine was cute but their movement was sharp and just so on and that’s what made the dance work so well. And talk about connection — I think Billy connected with Lauren better than with any other partner before. It’s Billy’s night.

Next, Jose dances a b-boy routine with Dominic. Well, that was a lot of fun, a real treat to watch. I do think Dominic was so much better though, which you could see when they danced side by side. He was sharper, his movement had more power and speed, and he was just more thrilling to watch. This was Jose’s style so he should have been just as good. I like Jose’s personality but to me he disappointed this week. I really like how the all-star dancers are being so supportive of the contestant they’re paired with though. So sweet!

Next, Kent and Adechike perform a contemporary routine. I liked it after they got rid of the chairs and really freed up their movement. The chairs were a little restrictive. I thought Adechike gave just about his best performance this season. What height on those jumps! And he really showed how strong his technique is. He could really have blown me away with his movement alone, but he danced this so passionately, he was really in character and really wanted to keep Kent away from the bad influence on him. Kent was really knock-out too.

And the night ends with Robert and Kathryn (since Ashley’s out this week) dancing a Disco. Routine was a lot of fun, as always with Doriana Sanchez. Great spinning lift sequence at the end, and his body rolling at the end was good. But the rest of it — uh-uh. I agree with Mia on this, who says “I hope I never see you do that again.” I think he looked sloppy and actually monkey-like at points. And I thought I saw some pigeon toes which really just throws off the line. He didn’t look sexy and rhythmic and, I don’t know, I just don’t like him. I don’t get what the judges are going to wild about over him! Do you guys?

My favorites tonight were Billy, Adechike and Lauren. I have a feeling Billy may be going home soon though. It seems like I’m kind of in the minority in liking him so much… What do you guys think?

10 Comments

  1. I’ve missed most of this year due to my mother being very ill, but this is one of my favorite shows. I want to see some of Mia Michael’s choreography. She is awesome and so intuitive and creative with her dances. I hope they will let her do choreography again.

  2. Allison is so amazing! I think she and Travis are still my all time favorite. Season 2 was a good one because of them.

  3. I’ll join you in the minority. I think Billy’s amazing. Unfortunately in the first shows (when people start deciding their favorites) he was hampered by meh routines and overly harsh judging. Oh well, I think no matter what the outcome, he has one of the most promising futures of any of the contestants.

  4. I feel like I’ve gotten to know so much more about Billy Bell from your site. 😉 He was set to be my favorite in Season 6 and he is still my favorite by far this season. He is such an interesting dancer to watch and I hope that he will continue to grow at the pace he seemed to over the last 9 months (he has the ambition and talent to do so). And if he is destined to leave SYTYCD soon, at least he had one good week where the choreography and partners were on his side and he looked like he had fun.

  5. About Billy, I don’t know, but am I the only thinking he’s a bit “aloof”? Last week (Thursday specifically) when Adam made a comment like, Billy would be better off leaving the show, it was right before his bottom-3 solo, and that solo was not (IMO) danced to reach out to “the public”, not like what Ashley did. So I was completely shocked to see that Alex was leaving, ’cause Billy almost made it clear with his solo that he’d walk away.

    I don’t know about Billy, he’s there like, to get more opportunities for working with great choreographers (and national exposure)? But come on, at the end of the day, this is a national TV competition. That attitude just didn’t work with me, aside from him being a great technician.

    Still, my best “contestant” is Ashley – great technique, adorable features, and looking approachable.

  6. I think Billy and Robert have very similar problems: they’re too flexible and they simply don’t dance with much masculinity. Robert can be a bit goofy, which is fine, but neither he nor Billy really dance like strong MEN. They don’t really dance overly feminine, but just not masculine enough. Lauren is the one that, in my opinion, seems to be getting better and better.

  7. I am against these routines that rely on sentimentality (the breast cancer routine and the addiction routine also come to mind) to ensure a good response from the crowd and the judges. I also think it’s a blatant attempt to wrest an Emmy nomination for an otherwise forgettable contemporary dance. A dance should stand on its’ own merits, going for audience and judge sympathy turns me off.

    I like Billy. I thought Nigel’s comparison of Billy to Michael Jackson was right off Wack A Doo Island, they are two completely different styles of dance. What about Baryshnikov? He’s a famous dancer who continues to do pliés just about everyday.

  8. Thanks for the comments you guys. Thank you Beth! I’m so glad you’ve gotten to know more about Billy here! Marta, I’m glad I’m not the only one who likes him :) MikeNique, that’s interesting; I don’t remember that and I’ve never thought Billy was aloof. Liz, yeah, I guess he’s not really the most masculine dancer. That hasn’t really bothered me. I guess it’s that I interviewed him and he was such a nice, down to earth guy, and I’ve seen him dance live as well as rehearse. Maybe his magic is just not coming through on TV and it’s hard for me to judge him now that I’ve seen him dance live. Benita, I know, Nigel’s comment about Michael Jackson was insane! What was that about? I really didn’t understand the logic at all… I know, I agree about the choreography meant to appeal to the emotions. It’s really hard to be critical because you feel so mean and insensitive. Dancing Branflake, ah, I wish so much I’d watched more of that season. I didn’t seriously start watching this show until the third season when Danny and Pasha were on. Susan, I know, I liked Mia’s choreography too. I still don’t understand what they’re doing with the judges this season. I thought originally they’d said that Mary was not going to be a permanent judge and so that position would be rotating, but so far it’s been the same three every week.

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