So You Think You Can Dance
Meet the Top 20

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Anti-Confidence Dance

Slim pickings mean we have to treat "Broadway/Tap" as if it's a genre unto itself, for the sake of dealing with Jess LeProto and Nick Young. You remember Jess as the hyper-Broadway guy who's kind of annoying and who Nigel gave a hard time to for not seeming like he was enjoying himself. Kind of a bullshit critique, if you ask me, because a) you can totally tell he's enjoying it because "it" involves himself, and b) his transparent work ethic is totally charming. Meanwhile, Nick is new, and he's the lone tap-dancer this season; I thought we'd given up on tap after the tap-pocalypse of Season 6, but I'm willing to give it another go, because I already love Nick Young. Oh, sorry to kill the suspense, but both Jess and Nick get IN, though Jess has to put up with more hyper-scrutiny from Nigel (expect this to continue). On stage, the guys perform a hybrid Broadway/tap number from choreographer Christopher Scott, with kind of a downtown (Nick and his shinebox)/uptown (Jess and his dinner jacket) vibe. It's kind of an awkward pairing, to be honest, I think mostly because Jess is not all that good at tap. But Nigel ends up receiving it well, because he's a sucker for tap; he even mentions that six of the girls this year have tap training, so look for one or more of them to be sucked into the abyss of Nigel's childhood obsession. Nick, by the way, gives a lot of face during critiques, which is the kind of thing that got Robert in trouble with fans last year, but fuck them, Nick is amazing.

This show being what it is, we wrap things up with another contemporary group. IN are baby-faced Caitlin Lawson, the charismatic and limber Ashley Rich, and Mitchell Kelly, who survives despite saying that he feels confident. By the way, yes, there are a ton of dancers we're meeting tonight for the first time all season, which is annoying given the amount of time we've invested in dancers who got cut down. But more than almost any reality show, Dance has proved itself able to get you intimately familiar with a dancer within three minutes. It happens all the time. So while I'm still mourning Patty Ann and Arielle and China and Princess Lockeroo and D.C., I can't say I'm not wildly excited to learn what's awesome about Mitchell or Miranda or Chris Cole.

We finally arrive at the final two spots in the season, one guy and one girl. The final two boys left are heretofore unseen Alexander Fost and the redemption-seeking Jeremiah Hughes. The judges go for Alexander, which is fine, and unsurprisingly since Alexander expressed worry while Jeremiah expressed confidence. Kiss of death! But I worry about future dancers being discouraged from following Jeremiah's example of dusting himself off after embarrassing defeat and dedicating himself to improving and also taking his shirt off as much as humanly possible. Don't think for one second that's not the path to greatness, kids.

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So You Think You Can Dance




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