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Review: So You Think You Can Dance - Top 10 Perform

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 2nd 2009 1:57AM
Ellenore Scott(S06E19) What an amazing and jam-packed night of dance. With ten couple dances and ten solos, it was wall-to-wall performances. Amazingly, almost every single one of the performances was excellent.

Honestly, I am so impressed with this entire Top 10, I can't say enough good things about them. Sonya Tayeh finally blew me away as a choreographer. Working with Ellenore is a match made in heaven for both of them, really.

We've got a lot to cover, so why are you still here? Jump into the article and get to reading about all of it already!


Noelle & Ryan

"Give It to Me Right," Melanie Fiona (Hip-Hop w/ Tabitha & Napoleon D'umo)
There were parts of the routine that I enjoyed, but there were just as many parts that felt awkward. I don't think Ryan danced with enough storytelling, but it came together much better for me when they stopped cavorting around the desk and got out on the floor.

"Jeux D'eau," Cirque du Soleil (Smooth Waltz w/ JT Thomas & Tomas Mielnicki)
Noelle got lucky pulling Ryan as her partner this week, as he was just flawless in this waltz, and he carried her through to sheer beauty, as well. I'm not going to take away from her performance, as I thought she was just stunning. This was the most moving waltz I've ever seen on this show.

Ashleigh & Legacy

"Poison," The Prodigy (Contemporary w/ Garry Stewart)
I'm guessing it was supposed to be angry and intense, but instead it looked like a dance workshop routine, showing us the specific steps. They had some synchronicity problems, and they just weren't hitting hard enough for me to believe the piece. Bottom line: they were showing their work too much for me. There were some nice moves in the dance, I'll admit.

"Slow Down," Bobby Valentino (Hip-Hop w/ Dave Scott)
I think Ashleigh has a hip-hop dancer somewhere inside of her, because she always seems to nail this style. Legacy was just perfectly in character, but I think she actually outdanced him in this one. Thankfully, they got to wrap their night on a higher note than their contemporary number, in my opinion.

Kathryn & Nathan

"Choreography," Danny Kaye (Broadway w/ Spencer Liff)
As Nigel suspected, separating Nathan from Mollee really helped him grow. He was in such command of his movements from the moment he slid onto the stage, and Kathryn was right in there with him. The joy of this routine was infectious from beginning to end, and they both nailed the ... choreography.

"Walk on By," Aretha Franklin (Rumba w/ Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin)
This didn't really feel like a rumba to me throughout most of it. Plus, Nathan unfortunately looked more like he was playing the strong male lead than owning the role. There were parts of it that I liked, but it just felt like something else.

Ellenore & Jakob

"Four Brothers," Manhattan Transfer (Quickstep w/ Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin)
The dreaded quickstep had a lot of pep in this couple; it was definitely one of the better representatives of the format that we've seen on the show. And, unlike some others we've seen, it looked like the quickstep in every moment of the dance, and they both looked ballroom from beginning to end.

"Tore My Heart," OONA and Dave Tweedle (Contemporary w/ Sonya Tayeh)
What a wonderful showcase Sonya has given both of these dancers to really shine and look great. I expected Ellenore to do well here, because she and Sonya come from the same school of weird, and Jakob tends to be great in everything. It was just flawless.

Mollee & Russell

"It Must Have Been Love," Roxette (Lyrical Jazz w/ Mandy Moore)
I think Russell may have elevated Mollee's game, he certainly lifted her enough times. That drop, and you know the one, was frighteningly awesome. There was some amazing partnering and trust throughout this and it turned into one of my favorite performances of the night. Russell is quickly rising to the top of the heap.

"Land of 1000 Dances," Jimmy Barnes (Jive w/ Anya Garnis & Pasha Kovalev)
What a great partnership; these two really worked amazingly well tonight. The energy and joy was there from both of them, and they both perfectly captured the performance aspect of the jive.


Mollee Gray ("Rock the Beat," LMFAO) - A lot of jumps and extensions and rolls throughout, though I wonder if it was musical enough to look like more than a very good cheerleader performance.

Russell Ferguson ("Outros," Black Milk) - I love watching Russell do his thing; what a beautiful showcase for Krumping. It's amazing when you see that intensity to think that Russell has done such amazingly delicate work in many of his other dances.

Noelle Marsh ("Every Time It Rains," Charlotte Martin) - There was a beautiful elegance to her linework, but she seemed a bit tired on some of her stunts.

Ryan Di Lello ("Rock You Like a Hurricane," The Scorpions) - Well, Ryan played the matador, but I have to say that I still don't think he's quite figured out how to do a solo as a ballroom dancer.

Kathryn McCormick ("Beautiful," Bethany Dillon) - That looked like a beautiful choreographed number, with a cohesive sense from beginning to end, rather than a string of stretches and tricks. Nicely done.

Nathan Trasoras ("Golden Train," Justin Nozuka) - The emotion of the piece came across perfectly, as did his restraint in the beginning. Who knew? I actually like Nathan this week.

Ellenore Scott ("Beatbox Harmonica," Yuri Lane) - That's how you stand out with a unique solo. Ellenore puts so much of her individual personality, and it's a great wacky persona, into her dances. I think I fell a little more in love with her in this competition after that.

Jonathan "Legacy" Perez ("No Air," Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown) - I don't think it's easy to do a b-boy routine as a dance solo, but Legacy pulled it off. Legacy went from the guy I didn't want in the Top 20 to a guy who's really grown to impress me. There were some great tricks and a nice musicality to it.

Ashleigh Di Lello ("Batucada Por Favor," Bob Azzam) - Having the same problem as Ryan, I thought Ashleigh handled how to showcase her abilities much more successfully than her husband. She utilized speed and showcased some familiar steps.

Jakob Karr ("Always Midnight," Pat Monahan) - I love Jakob as a dancer but I'm getting a bit over his leg extensions. It was a respectable solo, though nothing absolutely stellar.

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My bet is Nathan and Noelle (or Kathryn) will be cut. Nathan's Broadway routine was pretty solid but the solo and rumba were fairly unmemorable.

As for Noelle (or Kathryn), I'm still having trouble drawing a distinction between the two. They are both excellent dancers, but they are so similar it's hard to say who was really better (and both are in the same kind of trouble for the same reason; they're going to keep splitting the same vote until one or the other is helped out by their more memorable partner.)

December 02 2009 at 12:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My favorites of the night were Ellenore and Jakob, I think they broke the quickstep curse.

I think we're going to have a husband and wife elimination this week. I think Ashleigh & Legacy had the worst performances of the night (they had ZERO chemistry) and I think Ryan has never really shined (he always helps his female partner shine instead). . .

If it's not them, I think it might be Noelle (I'm not sure she has enough fanbase without Russell, although I'm pulling for her) and Nathan (I think America's turning on him, his personality during interviews and critiques aren't winning over fans)


December 02 2009 at 12:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I dreaded seeing Russell whom I love stuck with Mollee but wow he brought out the best in her! I adore Ellenore and Jakob and was looking forward to seeing them together and was not disappointed. Good night for most, tough call on who is saying sayonara.

December 02 2009 at 8:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm with you, Angel... I'm just not digging Nathan at all. It's like he has a can of facial expressions that he's pulling from for everyone to see, but he keeps pulling the wrong expression out of the can at the wrong time. It all just comes across as insincere to me. Did anyone notice that he mouthed "Thank you" and then "I'm sorry" to Kathryn after the critiques for their broadway routine? I wonder what that was about.

As for everyone else... what a great night!!! It's taken me a while to really get into this season, but after last night, I'm starting to feel that sense of excitement I got from seasons 4 and 5 again!

December 02 2009 at 8:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Decent review, but I have to disagree on one point: I personally thought Ryan's solo was much stronger than Ashleigh's. Her's just seemed horribly monotonous.

Also I really hope Nathan goes home tomorrow. I just can't get over the fact that he ALWAYS looks like a total douchebag. The girls seem like a toss-up though Ellenore is probably safe and I don't think Mollee will go quite yet.

December 02 2009 at 3:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Angel209's comment

I like this review and from my point of view I prefer Ashleigh.


December 02 2009 at 7:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i agree as well. Ryan did much better in his solo. it was smart of him to make it more contemporary that ballroom. i also thought Legs and Ashleigh's hip hop was tragic, but not because of their dancing. i think the only bad dances this week was due to choreography, because these dancers are seriously good. poor Noelle look tired out by the time her solo came around.

December 02 2009 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Difficult to predict this outcome or I don't want to. I, too was impressed by almost everyone. However, I am over Nathan - so over Nathan. He's not in the class with the other guys - he's never thrilling. Noelle, Kathryn - that's all I can say. They are excellent but not thrilling.

December 02 2009 at 3:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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