This Week, Contestants on “So You Think You Can Dance” Fell Short

Dancing magic continued on Fox yesterday when “So You Think You Can Dance” 2012 continued on August 29, each of the top 8 finalists took to the stage to deliver both a solo and an all-star fueled duet. Overall, if it was my first time watching the show, I might be incline to pass up sitting through next week’s show, however, I know they can do better. Nonetheless, the cast will really need to step up their performances next week and show the audience why they think they can dance. Otherwise, the show will sink into its title as observer’s will mutually remark; “So You Think You Can Dance,” well you can’t.

Tiffany: She was lack luster. There wasn’t a bit of life in her solo. Nothing else needs be said. She did her last solo to “The Power of Love” by Celine Dion.  Jesse says the partner work was insane.  Mary says Tiffany was extraordinary and it was her best performance of the season. Nigel said it was fantastic and she’s a great performer while being humble. She also does a contemporary solo to a Glee song.  It’s fine, adept, but I don’t feel a terrific connection.

Will: Will says he was the class clown and dance helped him find purpose. Then he does a short solo without commentary. Will and Lauren I thought theirs was an outstanding routine. “Dance My Pain Away” was the furthest thing musically that could have been worked into a hip hop routine. But it worked. Brilliantly. And here’s why: Will needed to be the focal point of the dance, especially with Witney’s hip hop routine before him. As big and goofy as he appears to be (but isn’t when he’s on stage), he had something to prove. And by dancing at a huge distance from Lauren, it was the perfect showcase for him. It’s not often a dance routine can be pulled off without the partners even facing each other.

Lindsay: Lindsay used to dance at her mom’s studio with her sisters. Lindsay then does a flamenco-style solo that is my favorite so far tonight. Another incredibly performance. Lindsay, dancing with All-Star Alex Wong, should have been incredible in a contemporary routine, but the two just didn’t make an emotional contact with each other. The technique was great and the dancing was terrific, but there just wasn’t a connection between the two during a dance about sexual tension. It was a “no” in the chemistry department for Mary who said it was great dancing. She felt Lindsay was missing what was needed to put her into the next level. Nigel agreed and so did Jesse. This doesn’t look good for Lindsay when it comes to who is going home

Chehon has got some really fantastic solos in his arsenal. But he’s one of those dancers who doesn’t seem to click with his partners much of the time. It’s is angular moves that keep him cooking in the competition. But Chehon gets paired with all-star Anya for a tango and feels lost.  The walks, in particular, are challenging, he said.   Mary said there was something really special about the dance and it was her favorite number tonight.  Nigel said all his strengths came into play here.

Witney:  Witney said her dad doesn’t like to see her in her skimpy ballroom costumes.  She does an ok solo. No one is completely falling down tonight. Her’s was another white bread performance by a terrific ballroom dancer … dancing to to an awkward (for her) Rihanna tune. It didn’t work at all. Witney is dancing with tWitch to a hip-hop routine. Witney’s hair is distracting me. Nigel says it has urban attitude, which is a surprise from an 18-year-old from Utah.  Mary said it was fantastic and she was everything. Jesse said it was brilliant, even in horrendous diaper pant costumes.

Cole: The hybrid dance / martial arts schtick has run its course. I’m bored with it. But … the dude knows how to do his thing partnered. Cole and Alison are paired together and Cole is a sadistic man and Alison wants his heart. Didn’t he play a cruel guy a couple weeks ago. Is this his thing?  Jesse sends more love to choreographer Sonya and says Cole was insane. Mary loved the lifts and says it was stunning but a little creepy.  Nigel says Cole brings the power and is really unique.

Eliana: As usual, hopeful Eliana Girard rose to the occasion and impressed mightily with a pair of strong routines that gained not only admiration and praise, but the bizarre assurance from one panelist that he was not a stalker. Eliana’s first routine of the evening was a Jonathan Roberts Quickstep alongside SYTYCD season 6 favorite Ryan DiLello. The “That Man” number, which cast Eliana as a housewife in search of attention from her businessman husband, was fabulous. Not only was the dancing itself precise and the lines excellent, but the personality she put into her character was spot-on. She’s a hugely talented performer and could well take the title.

Before dancing her solo later in the show, Eliana shared a snippet of personal background with viewers. She said that although she grew up as part of a large family, she wound up living alone with her mother after her parents divorced. Then, at age 16, she left home to attend York’s prestigious Goffrey Ballet School. Though it wasn’t easy to leave her mom, whom she views as her mentor, she noted that it was the right decision, given her current success on the show. It was a pleasure watching Eliana do a routine all by her lonesome.

Cyrus‘routines are always fun to watch and the audience loves them, too. It’s part of the reason he’s still in the thick of it. Cyrus talks about how his dad died when he was 10 and his mom was his big support before his solo. Cyrus and Melanie was nevertheless a goofy routine without a whole lot of dancing going on. It was disappointing and didn’t do anything for or against Cyrus. It just was.

The verdict for this show or rather who went home? Will Thomas and Lindsay Arnold. I was disappointed to see Will let go. He’s a bit goofy, but he put on a great show.

It was the penultimate ouster for the judges. (And let’s not hear any hogwash about them “saving” someone, not eliminating someone. The feel good feelings don’t manifest themselves just because you say so into the camera.) Next week’s show is the last for the judges. The viewer’s get their say in who wins the thing afterward. They have a say in the semi-finals, they have a say in what gal and what guy takes the competition. Things will heat up and get busy. It’s what we’re all looking forward to.

Overall, contestants fell short of expectations. Next week the remaining dancers really need to step things up other wise “So You Thing You Can Dance” will be just that; merely a thought.

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