Thursday, July 7, 2011

SYTYCD Top 14 Results

Our results show begins with a colorful Bollywood number--but we're missing one guy. I can't spot who it is amidst the whirling scarves, but I can see Ricky, Mitchell, Jess and Marko (I think--unless that's Tadd). Cat makes no mention of it, though, as she introduces the judges. (Could I just have missed a dancer?) Apparently my refusal to acknowledge the celebrity judge of last night worked, because Carmen Electra is not with us tonight. And nor is Travis' purple jacket. Tonight he's in a tux. Cat is in a minidress made entirely of glitter.

We waste no time in welcoming our first two couples onstage for their results. They are Melanie & Marko and Caitlynn & Mitchell--I don't think M&M are in danger, so we're either looking at C&M in the bottom, or no one. And given the rapturous reception of their dance last night, I'm guessing that Caitlynn and Mitchell are safe too.  (This means we'll have to dump 2 out of 3 of the middle set, and then one from the last.) M&M are declared safe first, and act so relieved that it looks a bit put on, to be honest. C&M are holding their breath, but they're safe too! Happy screams from the audience.

We come back to a bit about National Dance Day, but I'm not recapping this nonsense. (It's July 30, in case you're observant.)  Let's get to our next three couples--Cat brings out Chris & Ashley, Jess & Clarice, and Jordan & Tadd.  I think Chris might wear the same thing every results show. Does he have only one dancing t-shirt? What must that smell like by now?

Chris & Ashley are the logical pair to go home, except that Chris is a cutie and could get the teenybopper vote....but they don't. They're in the bottom three, and I think they're doomed. Nigel's over them. Now that America has voted, he reframes last night's mild criticism of their salsa style and says, "It really wasn't there." Dude, we won't kill you if you say negative things, honest! Moving the review of last night's dance, I am struck anew about how unflattering Clarice's romper was. We also review Jordan & Tadd's dance before revealing the results. I will also note that Jordan's bra top has blue feathers on one boob tonight. She has a lamental love of uniboob adornment--can't we stage a fashion intervention? Not now we can't, because Jordan will have to dance--she and Tadd are also in the bottom 3. Neither of them looks particularly surprised; they know it's hard to drum up votes when you're stuck with a slow dance like the waltz. Clarice & Jess are safe, and it seems like they've climbed up in the ranks for good.  At the very least, I think they may make the tour!

Now it's time for our final two couples, Ryan & Ricky and Sasha & Alex. One of them must be in the bottom--will Sasha & Alex pay for last night's lackluster hip hop? Has Ryan done enough to win us over? Does America prefer pink fringe or yellow eyeshadow? I will grudgingly say that Ryan looks better than she ever has--she got a soft wavy blowout and a smoky eye in preparation for tonight. Sasha looks like she thinks it's them. But no! It's Ryan and Ricky! America just will not have Ryan, regardless of Nigel's pushing. (OK, I suppose it could be Ricky we're rejecting, but I suspect not.) Travis seems blown away and expresses disbelief before urging them to dance for their lives. Honestly, does it even matter? Nigel's not getting rid of Golden Girl--he's going to dump Chris and Ashley.  It's OK--they're probably the weakest remaining couple. I do wish he was willing to split up some pairings, though! It would be interesting to see what happened if, say, he dumped Ryan and Chris so that Ashley partnered with Ricky.  I miss when the partnerships were mixed up every week.

While the soloists prepare for their dances, we watch the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet troupe, which reminds us what truly professional dancing looks like. These people have muscles on their muscles, and move with astounding fluidity and grace. Amazingly, I am able to appreciate their quality of movement without having someone tell me that it's a story about a man and a woman who are passionately in love.

Ashley is our first soloist, and to my untrained eye, her solo is terrible. It's mostly her stepping around the stage, kicking and pirouetting and smile-smile-smiling. She definitely didn't save herself with that. Chris, on the other hand, breaks out every trick he has and may have actually unscrewed his neck from his head. He is breaking as though his life depends on it. (Which, by the terms of the show, it does.) Jordan does a spin, several HMVs, and takes way too long to warm up given that she only has 30 seconds. Half these people don't know how to choreograph a solo--wouldn't you have at least a couple of 30-second bits in your pocket when you got cast?

Tadd breaks things up by starting his solo stage right and walk-breaking to center. He, too, has lots of tricks, but they're not as impressive and connected as Chris's. Ryan is next--hope she didn't get her hair did for nothin'! She's very flaily in the usual contemporary mode, and there's a bit of hairography, but she's also the only girl who's infused her dancing with any emotion. Probably enough to stay. Ricky starts with a slow arabesque and then does some amazing leaps, followed by the equivalent of the HMV for men. His movement is great, even if the poses aren't all that cohesive. I don't think he's in trouble tonight.

We take a break for Florence + the Machine while the judges deliberate. Does Florence have any relationship to dance at all? I know she's a pop star, but in an indie rock vein, no? Not exactly Lady Gaga.  I will point out that the band's drum & keyboard are festooned with flowers, and also note that this is the first act I've seen involving rock harp. If only it didn't sound so much like Tuvan throat singing.

We're back! The three girls are holding hands and on the verge of tears, but Ashley looks like she's resigned to going home. Sounds like the judges were unimpressed with the solos in general, because Nigel tells them all, guys and girls, that they need to up their game. He also specifically calls out Jordan on all the HMVs, though he calls them developpes. Then he tells her she's been excellent in all her routines on the show thus far. Ryan is called forward just to be told, "We love you. You were excellent tonight. Step back." Ashley comes forth and Nigel tells her that she's been good, but not really great, and she is dismissed. The audience doesn't seem surprised, or indeed, upset. Ashley's devastated but trying to put a brave face on it.

Now the boys are up, and we start with Ricky. Nigel says, "Travis believes that next to Marko, you are the best contemporary dancer we've got this season." Hmm, that's a bit weird--why ascribe that opinion to Travis and not yourself? Nigel goes on to say, "Somehow you and your partner are not connecting with America." That's weird, you guys--I must have missed the part where Nigel criticized Ryan for not connecting with the audience. I'm sure I would have mentioned it if he had! Chris does amazing solos (that's all we get). Travis says (per Nigel) he really wants to work with Tadd. (Go back.) Nigel calls Chris back up and says that although his solos are awesome, he's not keeping up in the main dances, so he's going home. Fair enough. There's a ripple of dismay in the audience, but not a big one--I think people know he's done the worst of these three guys.  They also know Nigel isn't splitting up partners, so once Ashley was gone it was pretty much a done deal. I think Chris and his amazing cheekbones will be OK. I can only assume there's a modeling contract in his future.

As Cat urges the audience to their feet and salutes the dancers, Chris and Ashley are smiling and weeping as though they really are going to be taken out and shot. Aw, they seem like nice kids. Best of luck, you two!  And that'll do it until next week!

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