Friday, July 8, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance, Season 8: Top 14 Results

Another week, another two contestants gone. Yesterday I talked about the weak being separated from the pack, and last night continued that annual process. Some voting surprises, but overall a fairly predictable results night. Of course, next week we will find out who makes it into the Top 10, so there's plenty of drama left to be had. Let's remember what this feels like when we are bemoaning a shocking elimination later this season.

From missing judges to jaw-dropping solos, let's talk about the Top 14 results...

The night started off with a group Bollywood number choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan, the only Bollywood choreographer in the world according to So You Think You Can Dance. I loved the rainbow kaleidoscopic effect of the costumes and the overall sense of joy emitting from the dancers. This routine was more about the ever-changing staging rather than intricate choreography and the whole thing made me want to rewatch the end of Slumdog Millionaire. Of course, there was one thing missing from this routine: Chris. He suffered from dehydration earlier in the week and missed the rehearsal day for this piece. I'd like to say he was sorely missed, but... well... nope.

Also missing from the night's proceedings was Wednesday night's guest judge Carmen Electra. Darn.

And, of course, we had our weekly plug of National Dance Day! The videos for the dance celebration are now posted on YouTube, and I am loving Mary Murphy's "salsa for everyone" in her CAMOUFLAGE UGG BOOTS! Seriously... you can't make this up. Watch the video below:

I'll be practicing my sunshine arms, side crawls, paddle turns and Botafogos all weekend!

The first guest performance of the night was the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, a troupe of insanely muscled dancers that were the definition of strength. The music, "Ends" by Mikael Karlsson, was full of complicated syncopated rhythms, but the performers managed to pick up every note.

Of course, we couldn't escape the results forever. I was shocked that both Sasha/Alexander and Clarice/Jess managed to escape the Bottom Three after their performances on Wednesday—I guess I will just have to vote 80 more times for Jordan and Tadd next week, huh? Here's how the solos played out:
  • Ashley once again failed to deliver a memorable solo. It just felt like she was going through the motions without passion or connection with the audience. ("Lovely" by John West featuring Pusha T)
  • Chris had a much better solo this week, with a much improved sense of musicality and showmanship. I just wish he would give more face during every single one of his performances. ("Scars" by Basement Jaxx featuring Kelis, Meleka & Chipmunk)
  • Jordan has to be careful that all her solos aren't the same. She always brings a great ferocity to the stage, but the "sexy thing" is starting to get a little old. At least her top wasn't as offensive this week—no gold chain fringe! ("Commander" by Kelly Rowland featuring David Guetta)
  • Tadd should be as far away from the Bottom Three guys as possible. His solo was beyond brilliant. Not only is he insanely talented, but he has a lighthearted sense of humor in his solos that is so charming. I love the way he picks an unexpected song every time. I mean, c'mon—Gloria Estefan!!! ("1-2-3 (Remix)" by Gloria Estefan)
  • Ryan took on a big risk using "Adagio for Strings"—such an epic song could've made a lackluster solo look downright silly—and she pulled it off big time. This was the first time I really felt like Ryan was dancing for her life. ("Adagio for Strings" by Brno Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • Ricky's solo wasn't up to the level of his mind-blowing display from two weeks ago, which is unfortunate because he is such a talented dancer. He needs to figure out how to better connect with the audience instead of just wowing us with impressive turns and leaps. ("When You Say My Name" by Mario Spinetti)
While the judges deliberated, Florence + The Machine came out and performed "Cosmic Love" while I jumped and danced and screamed like a total fanboy all over my living room. I wish I was kidding. Even with the extreme autotuning, Florence is beyond fabulous. The only thing that would've made it better would've been a separate stage with an All-Star dance performance to the song. Right?!

During F+TM's performance, I began to get nervous about the upcoming elimination. I was fairly certain it'd be Ashley and Chris going home, but questioned whether Ricky's slightly lackluster solo, paired with the fact that this season is shaping up to be a bunch of contemporary dancers and Tadd, would result in a shocking Ricky elimination in order to keep another b-boy around. "They couldn't possibly!" I shouted at the television. And, once again, I wish I was kidding.

All of my shouting was pointless because in the end the judges pulled through and eliminated Ashley and Chris, making them the fourth couple in a row to be eliminated. This is the longest SYTYCD has gone without switching up the couples, and since the couples get split up anyway once we get to the Top 10, that means there won't be any unexpected coupling swapping in Season 8. Very strange. Very strange indeed.

I'll be back early next week with my predictions about who is most in danger of not making the Top 10, but for now: What did you think of this week's results? Are you upset there won't be any couple switch-ups? And are you planning on participating in National Dance Day? Sound off in the comments!

[Image Source: FOX]

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