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Review: So You Think You Can Dance - Top 20 Perform

by Michael Pascua, posted Oct 28th 2009 12:55AM
Brandon Dumlao replaced Billy Bell on So You Think You Can Dance(S06E11) We finally get to the actual competition on So You Think You Can Dance. On tonight's episode, the judges cut one guy and one girl without America's help. It's okay, I don't trust America. Cat welcomes us in a stunning Chinese-inspired dress. I'm still amazed by Cat's ability to look good in anything.

As we watch the dancers open the show, we start with the newest addition to the Top 20: Brandon. Even after meeting these contestants yesterday, I still don't know them. To make it worse, the sound people kept using the live mic on the tappers, and at first I thought my ears were going.

The Good

Nathan & Mollee - Disco - I've dubbed this couple Team Jailbait because it makes me feel dirty for thinking the two are sexually appealing. While I usually don't like when Dorianna speeds up disco, the routine was amazing, mostly because the two were competent. The flip and lift sequences were amazing, and gaining trust like that in a week is commendable.

Bianca & Victor - Contemporary - Travis will probably fill the Mia Michaels space. I really like his choreography, and both Victor and Bianca showed strong technique. I loved the storyline and how Bianca would just flip around Victor.

Ellenore & Ryan - Contemporary Jazz - The storyline is about good angel/bad angel. There was such ease in all the lift sequences. The extensions of Ellenore's legs were amazing. Ryan didn't mug for the camera like Latin ballroom dancers usually do and the two had chemistry.

Kathryn & Legacy - Hip-Hop - The story involved cavemen trying to learn about hip-hop. I loved how the two got jolted up in the beginning of the performance. The rest was cleaner than Peter & Ariana's hip-hop. Legacy did a good job for not being the type to learn long sets of choreography.

Middle Ground

Russell & Noelle - Foxtrot - without Noelle, Russell is paired with Melanie. There were a few moments where I thought that Melanie was leading him, but I thought Russell held his own. He lacked a little bit of smoothness, but his willingness to learn is commendable.

Ashleigh & Jakob - Broadway - While Jakob is technical, I didn't believe the story. Ashleigh on the other hand has surprised me with how well she adjusted to a Broadway line even with extension problems. With Billy out of the way, Jakob is probably the best contemporary male left.

Channing & Phillip - Jive - Learning that Phillip was a spoken word performer, it made me dislike him more. As much as I dislike Phillip's face, his feet did well, as did Channing. The performance wasn't the best opener for the season because the two looked tired by the end.

The Bad

Pauline & Brandon - Smooth Waltz - There's supposed to be a light on the air quality about the waltz that wasn't there. For a short amount of practice time, I think Brandon did a good job. The two showed some great chemistry, but lacked quality of movement.

Karen & Kevin - Cha-Cha - Insert Glee cross-promotion here. Karen was overwhelmingly better than Kevin, similar to Dancing with the Stars where the pro over-dances to compensate for the celebrity. This was a bad performance because Kevin didn't do much and the last pretzel sequence was awkward.

Ariana & Peter - Hip-Hop - NappyTabs created a storyline about androids making chemistry and it failed. Who dressed Ariana as Tyra Banks? The two weren't synchronized, so the intricate choreography looked sloppy. The best part was when Cat made a Johnny 5 reference.

Nominations - Nigel announces that the four contestants (Ariana, Brandon, Pauline, and Russell) will be judged in an overall critique and not just the solo.

Ariana - Ariana's solo was a kitchen sink performance, frantically spinning from one side of the stage to the other.

Russell - I loved his solo because you just don't see Krump. I loved the faux-head turn motion

Pauline - She picked a song and pranced around. I got a little bit of Asuka vibes from her solo.

Brandon - I'm happy Brandon attempted a slow hip-hop with an interesting contemporary vibe.

The Elimination - After the judges conferred, the women are first. The judges had a unanimous decision. Nigel reminded that both girls were amazing dancers. After looking at every aspect, Ariana is going home and they hope to see charisma combined with her power.

The guys are next and again the judges had a unanimous decision. Brandon is leaving tonight. Nigel tells him he wasn't made to make it into the Top 20 because he was still rough. Nigel will try his best to talk to Fox to get him back next season.

If Brandon can get another shot into next season's Top 20, then I don't mind his early elimination. If Nigel was blowing smoke up his ass, then it was a bad move. The men should have been double eliminated next week. It would work if one girl was cut and Noelle didn't recover, the two men could have a Russian Folk, Hip-Hop battle, or some "manly" contemporary piece.

It's too early for me to have anything positive or negative to say about Ariana. I do think that Peter was the one holding back the hip-hop routine, not Ariana. Do you think the eliminations were right? Leave comments below.

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Nigel's network plea has nothing to do with Brandon. It's solely to bring BILLY BELL back for next season, now that he's reportedly been diagnosed with mononucleosis. Don't forget Billy also technically made it into the top 20 and rules state he can't be brought back unless the "network" (read: producers) allow it.

Get it over with, just give me this top 10 -- (Men) Jakob, Victor, Ryan, Russell, Legacy (Women) Channing, Mollee, Ellenore, Karen, Bianca

October 30 2009 at 3:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I realized last night that the thing that bothers me about Phillip is that he has Clint Howard's nose. Possibly more of Clint Howard's face as well, but definitely his nose. Odd.

October 28 2009 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think Nathan and Jakob are superb dancers. Ryan is also mentionable along with Ashleigh, Channing, and Karen. I think Mollee is cute but Nathan saved her last night.
I doubt Noelle will return and what was wrong with Billy?

There is something about Phillip I do not like, but can't explain what it is.
Hope Paula Abdul will add intelligent comments and criticism on this show. And, Mary's screeching? Please stop.

October 28 2009 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have my early favorites that weren't swayed too badly tonight, I need more time to see them all dance before I take a firm stance, BUT two of my early favs (Russell and Pauline ended up in the bottom AND my other fav Noelle might not be able to compete! SO I'm bummed!) My favorite routine of the night was Travis' contemporary piece with Biance (another fav) and Victor. . .

I wasn't too upset to see Ariana and Brandon go, since neither of them bleeped on my radar previously, but I always feel bad for the first eliminated, they don't really get the chance to show what they got.


October 28 2009 at 8:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think Ariana will be brought back next week. Not a spoiler, just a hunch. I mean, did you see how big that cast was on Noelle's leg?

I think Noelle will probably be forced to bow out and Ariana will take her place. I would be very happy to see that happen, and it would almost make this week's elimination a wash.

I say, the more contestants that drop themselves out of the competition, the better. America may be crazy voters, but the judges don't have an ounce of sanity in their decisions either. How you could put Russell up for elimination over someone like Phillip is beyond me, unless it was for more spotlight.

October 28 2009 at 7:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree so much with you this time, it's astounding. My favorites were Ryan and Nathan and unbelievable for me Legacy and Russell. Unreal but as soon as I heard that Philip did spoken word, I too knew why I really didn't like him. Your comment made me laugh out loud. I did like Ariana more than Pauline because Pauline is boring and Ariana had fire.

October 28 2009 at 2:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gerry's comment

What the hell is wrong with spoken word performing, as long as it is good stuff? Peter was wonderful last night.

October 28 2009 at 10:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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