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Review: So You Think You Can Dance - Top 6 Perform

by Jason Hughes, posted Dec 16th 2009 1:35AM
So You Think You Can Dance: Top 6
For the first time in the history of So You Think You Can Dance, we have six dancers in the final performance show, which makes it even more unpredictable. It was a great night of dancing, but I'm not even going to venture a guess as to who might win, as a strong case could be made for at least five of them.

I would have liked to see tonight's episode be a two-hour showcase rather than tomorrow's finale. We could then have seen each of the dancers perform in solos, or perhaps some of the more diverse couplings and group numbers we've gotten on other finales.

Instead, we got nine dances, pairing each guy with each girl through the night. It was wall-to-wall dancing to pack it into an hour, which was a refreshing change, and we did get to see married couple Ryan and Ashleigh perform together ... and not in a ballroom routine.

Kathryn & Ryan (Samba)
"Magalenha," Sergio Mendes
The lifts and exchanges to open the number were a little choppy, but it improved tremendously when they finally got into the samba portion of the show. I actually think Kathryn outdanced Ryan throughout most of that. I loved the high energy of it and you can't deny the power of Ryan with that last throw.

Ellenore & Jakob (Broadway)
"I Gotcha," Fosse
What a strange piece. Ellenore manages to inject her very unique personality into every performance she has. Nobody moves quite like her. As brilliant as Jakob is, and he was stunning again here, I couldn't keep my eyes off of Ellenore, even when she was doing the smallest little things. A few moments, her focus slipped, but overall, they both brought the right level of bizarre to Tyce Diorio's piece.

Ashleigh & Russell (Lyrical Jazz)
"Angel Standing By," Jewel
It didn't seem like Ashleigh's job was to do much more than look elegant. I'm not sure if her shoulder injury was a factor in the choreography, but it became all about Russell. He was so elegant and beautiful throughout that performance, you would have thought he's had years and years of classical training. This routine affirms my belief that Russell should win this whole season.

Ellenore & Ryan (Jazz)
"Kontakt Me," Boyz Noise
Now that was an awesome number. Another strange concept for Ellenore, and another perfect performance. I loved that neither of their faces moved at all throughout the entire robotic routine; I thought it worked really well. Ryan was stiffer than Ellenore, and I'm not sure if that was per the choreography or because he's stiff in general, as we've seen in several different dances through the season. It was one of the more memorable performances on the season.

Ashleigh & Jakob (Foxtrot)
"Let the Good Times Roll," Chuck Brown & Eva Cassidy
This may have been technically danced very well, but for some reason I found myself a little bored. The dance didn't take any impressive risks or push either of the dancers. Of course, a lot of that has to do with the high caliber of skill they both brought to the floor, but I doubt I'll remember much of anything from it by tomorrow.

Ellenore & Russell (Paso Doble)
"Village Attack," Blood Diamond
Ellenore is having an incredible night. I'm still on board the Russell train to take the crown, and deservedly so, but after three quick performances, I can't really find any fault with what Ellenore has done tonight. Russell was solid and brought the perfect style of attitude, but Ellenore really was a revelation, so fluid and beautiful as "the cape." A great performance for possibly the two most entertaining dancers in the show.

Kathryn & Jakob (Contemporary)
"At This Moment," Michael Buble
I may have spoken too soon. That was one of the most extraordinary dances I've ever seen on any show. The lifts and intricate interactions between the two of them was simply mind-boggling. You can't call a lot of it lifts, because so much of it was on the floor, but you can call it awe-inspiring. As a former dancer, I would have been beside myself to get the honor to perform something like that. What a pleasure to have witnessed.

Ashleigh & Ryan (Contemporary)
"I'm There Too," Michelle Featherstone
We've waited all season to see this married couple perform together, and you could see the love throughout. My wife made an interesting point, wondering if Ryan was maybe "throwing" the competition in favor of his wife. I'm not sure about that, but she was definitely the more dynamic performer in this number. She had some beautiful extensions and a grace that belied her background as a ballroom dancer. Worth the wait, but unfortunate that it had to follow Kathryn and Jakob's routine.

Kathryn & Russell (Hip-Hop)
"I Can Transform Ya," Chris Brown (f. Lil Wayne & Swiss Beats)
A fun routine to close the night for sure, and a great showcase for the hard hitting krump style of Russell without giving him a solo. He's so solid in what he does, it was a wonder that Kathryn was able to hang in there with him as well as she did. Routine after routine, this turned into a great night of solid competition, and I'm really not sure at this point who should win. I was so glad to see this tonight, as it showcased the insane diversity of this show, and the diversity of these two dancers.

I have no idea who's going to win. Do you?

Who do you want to see win this season?
Ashleigh18 (3.0%)
Ellenore59 (9.8%)
Jakob204 (33.9%)
Kathryn112 (18.6%)
Russell202 (33.6%)
Ryan7 (1.2%)

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I voted for Kathryn and Jakob both, but Russell is a solid choice too.

I also think this season was well balanced, but Jakob was definitely the "star" in much the same way Kayla was a "star" in Season 5--teachnically perfect and a pleasure to watch dance, but waning in personality compared to Russell or Legacy.

December 16 2009 at 3:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm hoping for Jakob to take it, but I'd still be happy to see Kathryn, Ellenore, or Russell in the winners circle. The dancers are all so talented this season that there hasn't been a break away star! For more of my thoughts, check out my blog: http://toointerestingfortwitter.blogspot.com/2009/12/so-you-think-you-can-dance-top-6.html

December 16 2009 at 12:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the winner should be Russell. . .then Kathryn. . .then Jakob. I will be happy if any of them win, but Russell has been my favorite from the start, Kathryn has really become the show stunner these past few weeks and Jakob is so technically great.

I think the rest will be Ashleigh in 4th, Ellenore in 5th (stinks because she was an early fav of mine that faded in my opinion) and Ryan in 6th. I'll be really disappointed if Ryan places anything besides 6th, although I think he's a nice guy with great strength and partnering skills he just hasn't topped anyone else in the final 6.


December 16 2009 at 9:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
the Grape

I'm happy with the current poll result above. I think Jakob is the best dancer technically, but of course Russell's achievements this season are truly remarkable. The two top women are also a joy to watch every week.

I thought the season started slowly and wondered why they were hyping this as the best dancers yet. After the top 10 were left standing, I think they lived up to the hype.

Always sad when the season is over ;~{

December 16 2009 at 8:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have favorites (Russell & Jakob) but I have to say that I truly love all six of these wonderful entertainers and will not be sad at the outcome whatever it is...this is a first for me for this show and a testament to the quality of the finalists. For some reason Ashleigh & Russell's contemporary made me cry - they booth brought such tenderness to it and she truly was his angel. Then Kathryn and Jakob's contemp. just left me speechless with my jaw dropped - wow. Such talent.

December 16 2009 at 6:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm rooting for Russell and then Kathryn to win. Both of them have always continued to surprise me with just how inventive and ambitiously unique they both are regardless of what style they're dancing in.

As for the episode itself: you're right, it really needed the two hour treatment. It's bad enough there were no profiles on the dancers themselves or the packages on the dances that normally introduce each performance, though that did keep things moving tonight. But not having solos?That's just downright unfair to both the dancers and the audience. In past finales we'd be deciding between four dancers after seeing each of them in four different performances (three pairings and one solo). But this time, when we have six dancers to consider, we only get three performances apiece, and none are guaranteed to represent what they specialize at (except for Jakob since they figure out how to throw a leap or ten into everything he does). So we've got to make a tougher decision based on less information... All so Gordon Ramsay can have *another* cooking show. And after how good tonights pairings were, solos would have really helped a lot of viewers make up their minds.

But on the upside, I thought I wouldn't like having a six-person finale, and I was surprised to find that I think I now actually prefer it. And if there's a silver lining to the hour long format, it's that it kept Shankman from rambling on too long.

(just to be clear, I actually really like the guy, but he does sometimes ramble)

December 16 2009 at 4:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't know who's gonna win, but all I know is that Kathryn has been my favorite dancer since her first number. Kathryn and Ellenore have actually been my two favorite dancers and I never though either of them would make the finals.
Jakob and Russell were my two favorite males, and I think it would have been awesome if they had done a normal 4 person finale. I would have loved to have seen the girls and the guys dance with each other.
But oh well, I made my votes for Kathryn. Probably around 300-400, I stopped counting at 200.

December 16 2009 at 1:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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