So You Think You Can Dance
The Top 20 Dancers Perform

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Daniel: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Crash Test Anxiety

And right off, I like it. Maybe it's the costumes: they're both in white costumes that simulate the look of crash test dummies, Ashley a brand new model and Kupono an old dummy with a tire tread across his torso. And they have a little robot dog! It's like a mechanical ballet, all loose-jointed in the right places, and thank god Wade resisted what I imagine would have been the temptation to have them do the robot. They hold hands and run off stage, we hear the sound of a car crash, and a tire comes rolling onstage.

Hee.

Adam doesn't say whether he likes it right away; he's too busy contorting himself to be able to pat himself on the back as part of a show that brings such a diverse array of culture into American homes. As for his actual criticism: he says their technique is exquisite and they're going to go far, and he calls Wade "one sick puppy" (in the audience, Wade points at his wife Amanda next to him) like for god's sake, they were crash test dummies, not people having sex with horses. Mary babbles on about how sometimes she makes the journey with Wade and sometimes she doesn't, but here she was right there with him, and she loved it, and then she puts the dog on the Hot Tamale train, because she's only truly happy when she's babbling a lot of meaningless bullshit. Nigel spends an hour or so tongue-bathing Wade and what a genius he is before getting around to the performance. He calls it a wonderful story and performance, and the dancers took them to a different world.

We're going to see Melissa and Ade next. Melissa's a ballerina, and apparently Adam called her a "naughty ballerina," and she says she's also been called the "buff ballerina" because she's very muscular. She's also, at 29, the oldest dancer in the competition, but she thinks she can hang with the kids. Contemporary dancer Ade attends Chapman University in Orange County, and he studies sound engineering, but dancing is his passion.

They're doing a contemporary routine by Mandy Moore, who says the piece is about the moment you fall in love, so there'll be a lot of sweeping movements and lifts. "I like a lot of different body parts in a lot of different places," says Mandy, and Melissa, the cougar, gets excited talking about playing dirty Twister with Ade, whose biggest concern was keeping the pick in his afro.

So this should be a sweet, tender piece, with -- oh, god, are you kidding me? You are not dancing to that ultimate '80s cheeseball ballad "Right Here Waiting" by Richard Marx, are you? You are. Well, you're not wearing a white suit shirtless with the jacket open, are you, Ade? You are? Ugh. Now I'm too distracted to pay attention to the dance with, does feature a lot of sweeping and lifts. They dance it well. It's very soft and romantic, I have to admit.

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So You Think You Can Dance

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