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So You Think You Can Dance: Top 10 Perform

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 17th 2008 12:44AM
So You Think You Can Dance's Comfort(S04E16) Well, what do you think about that? Before the show even began the Top 10 has changed with hip-hop dancer Comfort coming into replace Jessica. Apparently, Jessica suffered an injury that forced her to withdraw from the competition. Before the show began we didn't know any more specific details, so I wasn't sure if it was a physical injury or a psychological one at all the verbal abuse she's taken during her stint as Will's partner.

Luckily, another change this week is the established partnerships. Gone is Twitchington and from here on out we get rotating partners along with changing dance styles. It's at this point, with your Top 10, that it's time to separate the truly gifted dancers from the ones who are only good because their partner is good (like the judges thought about Jessica. Damn, I guess we'll never find out now). And now it doesn't matter who the judges hate because from here the only vote that matters is yours. No more "bottom three" leading to a judges' choice. Lowest vote means a quick trip home so pay attention and get it right!

It was interesting that they introduced the "Top 10" by only introducing nine of them. Then, Jessica came on screen to reveal that she'd actually cracked a rib and broken two more! I'm not sure when this happened, but if she's danced as well as she has with those injuries, she might be even better than we realized. But does this mean Comfort's on the tour, or will Jessica get to be on the tour? I'd put Comfort on as she's going to do the time from here on out, even if she gets eliminated this week, and have Jessica as an alternate, if she's fit to do so.

Tonight on the panel Mary and Nigel were joined by crumping expert Lil'C. I'm not sure what his expertise is beyond his style, but he was able to step right in there and praise the choreographers like the judges have been doing this year. And actually, he was pretty damned impressive, giving constructive criticism on ballroom routines as well as the expected hip-hop numbers. I like him as a "jidge."


Courtney & Joshua

--(Hip-Hop w/ Dave Scott - "Skippin'," Mario)
Joshua is a huge fan of Scott and really got off lucky by getting his own style in his first pairing outside of the magic he and Katee had created the past several weeks. Courtney is another strong dancer. I enjoyed the gimmick of the mad scientist and the "bride of Frankenstein." I thought Courtney hit her marks far better than she seemed to think she would and the chemistry was great between the pair of them. Joshua was as amazing as I expected him to be and I was pleased to see Courtney keeping up with him.
--(Rhumba w/ Jean-Marc Genereaux - "Hero," Inrique Iglesias) The passion was definitely there, and as usual Joshua is a strong and impressive lead on these kinds of dances. He was commanding and powerful, yet sensual and romantic. And Courtney was every bit of that right there with him. I was even impressed with how they handled the tricks, the footwork and the carriage. The only criticism was that they balked a bit going into the lifts. That was an amazing performance from two non-ballroom dancers.

Kherington & Mark
--(Two-Step w/ Ronnie DeBenedetta & Brandi Tobias - "Kick Back," Ty England)
Well, this is the first time the two-step has appeared on the show, and you can tell it's more about footwork than tricks because Brandi was about eleven-and-a-half months pregnant during the class. I'm pleased to see SYTYCD continuing to reach out to new genres and styles for inspiration. Unfortunately, you could tell these guys have never done anything like this before. They missed almost every arm grasp they needed to hit, and slopped the footwork, turns and everything else, managing to turn a high energy dance into a low energy disaster.
--(Jazz w/ Tyce DiOrio - "Canned Heat," Jamiroquai) This number definitely went better than their two-step. Both dancers looked strong and confident in their moves. The choreography was quirky with a lot of personality, which fit Mark's tendencies very well. And Kherington was back to her typically amazing self, nailing every move. They absolutely needed a strong performance like this to close out their night together.

Comfort & Twitch
--(Smooth Waltz w/ Hunter Johnson - "Open Arms," Journey)
Well, this was a recipe for disaster with two hip-hop dancers taking on such a romantically toned style. Comfort has shown real weakness in this area while Twitch has shown surprising versatility. Unfortunately, I thought they were both a little stiff and stumbling than the style demanded. There were some pretty moments to be sure, but they were trying too hard to get it just right and it came across a bit forced.
--(Hip-Hop w/ Dave Scott - "Forever," Chris Brown) If the last number was a recipe for disaster, then this piece was tailor made for amazing. They had a competition going to see who would hit it harder. In the end, I'll give the edge to Twitch, but not by much. They both pretty much nailed this one. They danced it more like it was a competition than as a couple working together, but I think that worked here. It was one of the strongest hip-hop routines the show has ever seen. Putting two hip-hop dancers on a great hip-hop routine gave us exactly what we could have dreamed of.

Katee & Will
--(Broadway w/ Tyce DiOrio - "Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat." (Guys and Dolls) Sam Harris)
Arguably the best female dancer in the competition and the undisputed best technical dancer on the show should make for an outstanding performance. Tyce went for an Emmy nomination dragging out a unique prop for this number in the form of a small boat. It was a high energy and quirky number put on two amazingly gifted dancers. As expected, it was danced brilliantly and with a lot of personality. It didn't blow me away as much as the boardroom or park bench numbers, but it was still pretty damned good.
--(Pas De Deux w/ Dwight Roden & Desmond Richardson - "Imagine," David Archuleta) Gee, I wonder how they got the rights to that version of the song ... I don't think we've had ballet choreographed on the show before, so it was pretty exciting to see it represented here with this particular style. I remember learning this when I was dancing, and it's not easy stuff. I guess Katee spent the week stretching because she was every bit as limber as the performance demanded. And save one missed inside turn, both dancers were technically astonishing.

Chelsie & Gev
--(Contemporary w/ Sonya Tayeh - "These Arms of Mine," Otis Redding)
Right away I liked how abrupt Gev's motions were. He wasn't as strong on his leaps as he needed to be, but Sonya catered the number to his breaking a bit and it worked out really well. They did change the drop on top of her to him falling to her side. Maybe his trousers couldn't handle his enthusiasm on that trick. Both impressed me a lot on this one. Chelsie is one of the other top female dancers and always blows me away with how well she gets into character.
--(Jive w/ Jean-Marc Genereaux - "The House Is Rockin'," Brian Setzer) I have to admit, they pulled this off way better than I thought they would. There was at least one missed hand connection, but the footwork was where it needed to be. I think Gev jived a lot lighter than Chelsie, who seemed as if she had weights on her heels through a lot of that. Overall, though it was a fun closer on the show.

  • Chelsie ("Pon de Replay," Rihanna) Well, I thought the dress she wore was absolutely horrible, flattering neither her figure or her dancing and I found the solo itself to be a lot of hip swaying and a lot more boredom.
  • Gev ("Hello/Goodbye (Uncool)," Lupe Fiasco f. Unkle) Gev missed his foot-grab trick and didn't recover from it until he let go of that foot. Other than that, I thought his energy was good and the rest of the number hit very well.
  • Courtney ("I Want You to Need Me," Celine Dion) Spins, legs, kicks, jumps and falling to the ground. With so many contemporary dancers on the show, it's hard to stand out in a positive way with these solos and I don't think Courtney really did, though she did everything she did very well.
  • Mark ("Bohemian Rhapsody," Queen) Mark's shirt would have gone well in Katee and Will's number. I'd almost forgotten how quirky and unusual Mark's dancing is, but it is something mesmerizing to watch. He's technically very strong, but moves with herky-jerks unlike any other contemporary dancer out there.
  • Comfort ("Need a Boss," Shareefa f. Ludacris) Comfort knows she's here by the grace of God and danced like it. She brought it more than we've ever seen from her and I saw some of that "best female hip-hop dancer we've ever seen" as Nigel called her early on. Incredible energy and effort.
  • Twitch ("I Question Mark," Wade Robson) That was just sick. What can you say to that. Just amazing. Everything ... EVERYTHING you could want in a hip-hop solo in how many seconds, incorporating the "So You Think You Can Dance" ending vocal and posing as Superman in his t-shirt at the end? Stupid sick!
  • Katee ("This Woman's Work," (MTV Unplugged) Maxwell) Again, Katee did a typical contemporary solo, but managed to make her movements look so much bigger than she is. She was beautiful and graceful, though!
  • Will ("Dance With My Father," Luther Vandross) Rather than just do the contemporary "tricks" we've come to expect, Will told a story to his song choice. The tricks were there, but so was that something extra: emotion and story!
  • Kherington ("Breakin' Dishes," Rihanna) Another contemporary solo that didn't really dazzle in any spectacular way.
  • Joshua ("Jam," Michael Jackson) What a great song to choose for what Joshua does. He was just out of this world with his hits on that. He was every bit as good as what Twitch brings to his solos.
I'm gonna give it a tie to Twitch & Comfort's hip-hop routine and Will & Katee's pas de deux. Both were just amazing examples of technique in such differing genres, beautifully showcasing the diversity of what dance is capable of. It's a shame the two-step was such a disaster.

The weakest on the night for me for the guys was Gev. He just danced so like he was out of his element throughout the evening. Doing the same on the girls' side was Kherington, which was actually a surprise for me as I've enjoyed her so much these past few weeks with Twitch.

Do I need to mention the weakest dance of the night?

After Nigel compared the final lift in Twitch and Comfort's routine to the lift from Dirty Dancing, Cat responded with: "Nobody puts Comfort in a corner." A great nod to the movie and a funny off-the-cuff bit from Cat.

"This is just the beginning. Wait until you see the rest of it." Joshua talking about how Will and Twitch "are always naked on stage" and he'll be soon following suit.

Who had the strongest solo?
Chelsie34 (4.3%)
Gev33 (4.2%)
Courtney27 (3.4%)
Mark82 (10.4%)
Comfort20 (2.5%)
Twitch187 (23.7%)
Katee133 (16.9%)
Will93 (11.8%)
Kherington18 (2.3%)
Joshua161 (20.4%)

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Victoria DeIorio

Please sign my petition to change the camera work on SYTYCD.


The camera work on So You Think You Can Dance does not allow the television audience to see the choreography as it's meant to be seen. The essence of dance is to see movement through space. If the subject is constantly in the center of the frame, you lose the perspective of the artform completely. Also, not being able to see the secondary dancers that are completing the stage picture takes away from the choreographer's vision. I've realized I'm not alone in this. Please sign the petition and hopefully we can alert the producers to the fact that the television public is missing out on such beautiful art.

July 19 2008 at 6:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'd have to disagree about Chelsie's footwork for the jive. She had much better control over it (as she should -- she's a Latin dancer by trade), but not that you could notice much of it because of the crappy camera work. They cut off the view of Chelsie and Gev from the waist down while they were doing the jive kicks!

(Actually, what the heck is up with that? It's been driving me crazy all season -- I want to see them dance. I don't need a crazy tight shot of their faces right. The editors keep choosing these really tight shots of the dancers from the waist up or not including all the dancers during the group pieces. I'm watching a dance show -- I want to see them dance! I doubt I would have loved Benji and Heidi's mambo as much as I do if they'd only showed them from the waist up during those toe-heel foot patterns. I think that's the real reason I hate the dancing this season. The camera work doesn't allow me to appreciate what they're doing.

July 18 2008 at 3:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well, we have technically had ballet on the show before; it was just called "lyrical" -- pretty much ballet for people who don't like to use that word -- and was then promptly dropped after the first couple seasons.

July 17 2008 at 1:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I believe it's spelled "krumping," Mr. Hughes.

July 17 2008 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I totally agree about Lil C being a great guest "jidge." His comments were constructive and spot on. I kind of wish he could be a permanent judge, since the other guest judges are only okay at best.

July 17 2008 at 12:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I picked the same two for my weakest of the night in my own review. Comfort might make it through for another week just by the second performance she had with Twitch. The first was horrible though. I loved Kherington with Twitch, but she just didn't do well at all last night, and the same could be said for Gev. Great with Courtney but not on his own. I loved his solo though. If anything saves him, it will be that performance. The guys are really stepping it up this year.


July 17 2008 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Gina's comment

I really like all the guy dancers, but Mark was definitely the weakest of the bunch. I thought Gev did really well in all of his performances. When it comes down to it, I think it's going to be between Joshua and Will for the male dancers. I think Joshua has shown amazing versatility and personality on the show so far, so he's got my vote.

As for the ladies, Katee is by far the best from my perspective. In fact, I could see her winning the whole thing. Coming in 2nd is Chelsie. I loved her last night. I like Courtney too, but I don't think she'll get into the final four. Kherington and Comfort will be the next two girls to get cut, I think, since Comfort has not been a strong enough dancer throughout the season and Kherington just seemed to fall apart and lose her spunk when given a new partner. She could have a comeback though, if given the opportunity.

July 17 2008 at 12:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I disagree that Gev was the weakest male. I think last night it was Mark. Was Mark's solo better than Gev. Marginally. But Gev outshone him with two solid performances. So again if I had to say which one was weaker overall last night, it was Mark.

Though if *I* had to pick then Will goes. Don't get me wrong, he's a fantastic dancer and has even shown some personality. But Joshua/Twitch are the undeniable frontrunners with Mark and Gev are the underdogs you want to root for. Will is just... Will.

As for the ladies, Kherington screwed up last night bad. Chelsea's solo was the worst though, but again she had two solid performances with Gev that should even that out. And who knows what America will do with Comfort? Her hip hop routine with Twitch was BUCK.

July 17 2008 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was waiting for them to bring Dave Scott and I'm SO happy they did. I love his hip-hop choreography more than any other choreographer's on the show. His style is always so much fun and uplifting while telling a great story.

Remember the Mannequin dance with Pasha and Lacey last year?

On another note, I find Sonja's choreography immature and don't really understand why she is on the show. Just my opinion though.

July 17 2008 at 10:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

looking at how the dancers are stacked, Gev is the weakest male. not to say that he is weak at all, because i agree that he is very versatile, but, compared to the others, he is at the bottom of the list.

i am torn about the girls though. i thought for sure that Comfort coming back would be a one week thing. but, Kherington was so horrible last night. Comfort outdanced her, even in her worst routine. i was so shocked to see that, without the force that is tWitch, Kherington would have nothing to stand on. interesting, but i would rather her go home than Comfort.

July 17 2008 at 9:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow. I 100% disagree that Gev was the weakest. I think he's proving to be so versatile. I couldn't even watch Chelsie (not because she wasn't doing well, because I know she was) during the jive because I was mesmerized by Gev. His solo was fantastic. No, not as strong as last week, but still amazing. And, I loved his and Chelsie's contemporary piece. At that point in the evening, it was easily my favorite.

Poor Gev, he has Kameron syndrome... when the judges, and apparently America, downplay how great he is. The best dancer? No, probably not. But CERTAINLY not the worst.

July 17 2008 at 8:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to fowak's comment

Agreed...Gev has sooo improved. I think you're right, he's being a bit overlooked. At the same time, which guy should go? I think again, we should have 2 girls go.
And also, what can I say about Comfort? I'm so over her. I didn't even watch her solo, because I could have just watched one off the DVR from a couple of weeks ago and it would be the same. I completely disagree that she brought it, nor has she brought it on any other night. I will give her the hip-hop # with Twitch, but that is a given. At this point, they're supposed to be able to dance areas other than their specialties.
I would send home COMFORT (again), and Kherington.

July 17 2008 at 9:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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