This week's SYTYCD results show produced the most surprising outcome of the season, as I'll get to shortly.
The opening number was hip hop, danced to Universal Mind Control by Common. It was choreographed by Chuck Maldonado, who assisted with Nigel's hip hop routine a couple of weeks ago. It was hard hitting, as Mary would say, but I just didn't find it memorable, though the dancers were fully synchronized and the costumes were colorful. Cat then entered the stage, wearing a pretty white dress, and introduced the judges: Toni Basil, Mary, and Nigel, in a leather jacket and white t-shirt. I think he may be undergoing a mid-life crisis. Toni noted that she came from a theatrical background and had to look for people to help her, like Don Campbell and the Electric Boogaloos. and it was easier to find dancers in these styles today. She said that dancing was her addiction and the one of choice, and the other judges agreed. Then Nigel told us that American Idol had received 97.5 million votes for the Idol finale and over 40 million votes thus far for SYTYCD, and was thus asked to promote declareyourself.org, an organization committed to signing up potential voters. I was pleased to hear this call to voting during an election year with a captive audience. I think Nigel wore a VOTE t-shirt underneath his leather jacket, and if so, it would have been appropriate to have shown it at this point.
After this, we began with the eliminations.
Continued after the jump...
The show changed its format this week, borrowing the one from American Idol, where the dancers are shown backstage, in front of a monitor, and called out one by one to learn their fate. This causes more suspense, but is also painful as the results became apparent. First up was Katee, whose highlights were all complimentary, except for Toni noting that she had not danced as hard as she would have liked during her Broadway routine. Cat noted that that Nigel enjoyed every one of her routines. but had America? Not surprisingly, they did, and Katee was safe and ran off stage. Next up was Will. The highlights from the evening were good but not as strong as in the past. Nigel mentioned that his technique was not perfect in the Samba, and the judges praised his and Courtney's hop hop routine but not the dancers themselves. Still, the audience expected that Will would be safe. Cat said that it had been a fantastic evening for him but how did he do in the voting? To everyone's shock, Cat said that he was one of the boys in the bottom two but that she looked forward to seeing his solo.
Comfort's routines were shown, and we heard Mary say after her hip hop routine that Comfort was a great dancer (I don't remember Mary making such a remark in the past). Her foxtrot with Mark was panned widely, however, and Cat said that she and Mark had lost chemistry during the latter dance but did she find enough votes to make it to next week's show? She said she possibly might not and was in the bottom two. Next up was Mark, who was complimented for nailing his hip hip but not his foxtrot, although Toni praised his jazz quality and remarked that ballroom dancers made it look easy but that it wasn't. Cat asked if America had made any allowances for how difficult the foxtrot was, and in fact they did, and he was safe. Mark was shocked, hugged Cat, said, Oh, my God, as he stumbled off stage, continuing his stunned reaction by saying, What? What? This is the first time I remember a contestant being this surprised by his safe status. Perhaps he felt that Comfort's results would be the same as his own.
After the break, we saw the remaining dancers with their arms around one another. Chelsie was brought onto the stage and her highlights included praise from all three judges. She noted during the package that, dressed in bright pink for her disco routine, she looked like she had just gotten out of a Candyland box, which I found amusing. Cat said you had the lines but did you have the votes? Yep, and she ran offstage, as we panned to a very sad Courtney standing backstage. (I wish they had both been brought out together.) Twitch was up next and the highlights included Mary saying that his Broadway routine was terrific. Cat said that Mary clearly loved it but did America? I'm afraid not, and you're one of our bottom two boys. Twitch bent over and cried (I was really moved by his honest reaction) and Cat knelt down next to him and tried to console him. When he finally got up and faced the audience, they cheered wildly, and Cat said that she was sure everyone in the audience would like to see his solo. Joshua came out next and after receiving his package of compliments, Cat said, You know you're safe, you're absolutely safe, and we've got our bottom two boys. She stated the obvious--his means there is only one girl left backstage--and asked Courtney to come join her. They showed her highlights which were very complimentary, and Cat concluded by saying she couldn't wait to see her solo. (Has she ever said otherwise? Why would she?) I felt very badly for Courtney because of the way she was informed of her status and hoped it wouldn't be like this for the Top 6 results.
After the dancers went backstage to get ready, two dancers from the LA Ballet came out to dance a Pas de Deux to The Man I Love from the ballet Who Cares? I have to say I was somewhat disappointed. Although the dancing was lovely, the piece mostly highlighted the woman, who was stunning, but I felt the dance itself was unbalanced and I would have liked to have seen more of the man's dancing. A friend of mine, who is well versed in ballet, concurred. After the commercial break, there was more happy dancing and I wanted to strangle the Snuggle Bear, who, granted, was not to fault in the matter.
We finally got to see the solos. Comfort danced to Like This by Mims, and though she brought energy to her dancing, it seemed the same as it did every week. I agree with Nigel: her freestyle is never as good as her choreographed hip hop. Will was next, dancing to Closer by Goapele. I expected it to be brilliant, but it was not, IMO. After all of the energy and excitement he showed us the evening before with his James Brown routine, this dance flowed but seemed very subdued. Maybe Will hadn't expected to be in the bottom two; I don't know, but I enjoyed this less than I had any other of his solos throughout the season. Cat came to Nigel and stated that he had said a few weeks ago that Will was one of the best dancers we've got technically but he just needed to show more personality and he had during his James Brown solo the night before, so what went wrong? Nigel then proceeded to state that he didn't know, he thought Twitch and Will were the best dancers of the night, and that sometimes America thought the dancers were so good that they thought they were bound to get through and voted for other dancers. This irritated me because 1) that might be true, and certainly was, on American Idol (Michael Johns and Daughtry stand out), but wasn't fair to Joshua and Mark, and 2) Nigel made a special point of praising Will but Cat didn't come to Nigel or Mary after the other dancers performed, which I assume was Nigel's decision. Whether or not Will was the strongest male dancer, and he might have been, this highlighted Nigel's favoritism, which had been evident throughout the series.
Courtney danced to Pass On by Kreesha Turner, and I thought this was terrific, demonstrating both her personality and technique. I've always liked her solos best of all the girls. The final solo was by Twitch, danced to Hollywood Swingers by Kool and the Gang, and it was very funky, with lots of movement and musicality. I definitely thought that Courtney and Twitch's solos were the strongest of the night, no matter what the results turned out to be. The musical guest was LL Cool J, whom Cat described as a living legend in the world of rap, treating us to his debut TV performance of his new single Baby featuring The Dream (okay, we GET IT, Cat), and then we were treated to five minutes of lip syncing which always annoys me. Cat concluded by plugging his album, dropping in September, and I thought, let's just move onto the results already and stop the plugging.
Comfort was the first eliminated, and she did a funky dance before her package was shown to Come Home by One Republic (thank you, Natalie, and no thanks to SYTYCD, who never sees fit to provide us with this information). Comfort said that she'd had the best time ever, and was blessed to be here. After Cat said to put our hands together for our comeback kid, and she bounced to the side of the stage, the guys were brought center stage, and they gave each other big hugs, which I found touching. There was a great deal of suspense, and when Cat said that the guy leaving us tonight was Will, Twitch said, Oh, God, and they hugged each other again very hard, before Twitch left the stage, bowing before Will in a touching gesture. Will's highlight package was shown to Love Remains the Same by Gavin Rossdale, and Will gave his farewell speech, which I found very moving and heartfelt. He said, "All the dancers out there are working their butts off, you see it's possible, there is work, there is no depth to the ocean, keep swimming, you can make it happen, I love you all, thank you for the opportunity, show them what you all got." The judges gave him a standing ovation, followed by the audience, and fortunately there was time for all of the dancers to come on stage and hug Comfort and Will as the credits rolled.
So there you have it. I predict next week's couples will be Katee and Mark, Chelsie and Twitch, and Courtney and Joshua, IF the pairing is not random. I think the producers want each contestant to have the opportunity to dance with a new partner, and I would like to see this, but it might not be the case. And remember to vote for your favorite dancer! See you next week.