"SYTYCD" Season 8: Elimination 4

July 14, 2011

Last night’s highly anticipated “So You Think You Can Dance” results show finally arrived—the Top 10 dancers were chosen and the All-Stars were revealed. (Before I get to the show itself, I have to talk about the amazing and gorgeous Cat Deeley, who received an Emmy nomination for Best Reality Host! As Nigel said, this was a nomination long overdue. Congratulations, Cat!)

Moving on to the show. The Top 12 first performed a fast, furious, and fiery group routine by Kelley Abbey to “El Fuego”. Jordan’s gigantic red skirt engulfed the stage, the guys wore alluringly tight black pants with little vests, and the girls dominated in sexy black heels while snapping their red fans. At last, a group routine that didn’t leave me yawning!

Then came an extremely sad announcement – Alex Wong ruptured his other Achilles tendon! Although he was supposed to be an All-Star, he is now in recovery for the second time. Get better, Alex!

Nigel named nine All-Stars who will be performing with the Top 10 – Melody Lacayanga, Alison Holker, Pasha Kovalev, Stephen “Twitch” Boss, Comfort Fedoke, Chelsie Hightower, Brandon Bryant, Kathryn McCormick, and Robert Roldan. The Top 10 will perform two numbers each week: one with a randomly-selected contestant and one with an All-Star. Certain dancers this season have either been held back or carried by their partners (ahem, Alexander), so it will be interesting to see who can hold their own once the couples are finally broken up.

Before the bottom six dancers performed, Jason Samuels Smith and his crew of tap dancers took the stage. The group certainly showed off how rhythmic and dynamic tap dancing can be, slipping and sliding across their small wooden board, keeping perfect time with each other. The only thing that was annoying was their rainbow of tap shoes – black shoes blend in more, allowing us to be amazed by the number of sounds they are making. The green and red shoes stood out boldly, perhaps to distract us from the dancers’ flailing arms on top.

The bottom three couples this week were Ryan and Ricky, Caitlynn and Mitchell, and Sasha and Alexander. Caitlynn performed well, although she had some awkward moments rolling on the floor where she seemed to momentarily forget her choreography. Mitchell showed off his beautiful lines, especially in his cute, short, pale blue unitard. Ryan danced another lackluster, unoriginal solo that left us wondering where her power had gone, and as Nigel said, she just seemed defeated from the beginning. Ricky blew everyone away, performing a sultry, cheeky, and technically brilliant solo to “Body Language”. Sasha resorted to her original African jazz style, showing more artistry than technique. And Alexander, though he had finally found his voice in his “That’s Life” duet with Sasha, danced a ballet solo with wobbly legs, uncoordinated turns, and flat feet.

As the judges deliberated, Nicole Scherzinger took the floor with several backup dancers. Although it was difficult to see amongst the multitude of careening stage lights, her dancing was impressive (except the ponytail whipping brought me back to the Glee “Hair” episode) and easily made up for her weak vocals. Between Robin Antin, Carmen Electra, and Nicole Scherzinger, “The Pussycat Dolls” are certainly trying to make a comeback—but in comparison to other guests on the show this season (like Cedar Lake, AXIS, and Eric Luna and Georgia Ambarian), Nicole’s performance was nothing spectacular.

After the commercial break, Nigel quickly announced that Ryan and Alexander would be heading home. Ryan, an early favorite in the competition, just couldn’t seem to grow like many of the other dancers. Alexander probably should have been eliminated before this week, but with such a strong partner as Sasha, this was the first chance the judges had to see him perform a solo.

What did you think of last night’s show? Did Ryan and Alexander deserve to go home? Which All-Star do you want to see as Alex Wong’s replacement?