So You Think You Can Dance

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Monty Ashley: A- | Grade It Now!
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The Word For the Night is "Chemistry"

Ryan (Mr. Ashleigh) is a fitness nut. We know. Ellenore tells us a story about her father and her pregnant mother dancing together in a show, so she can claim to have been a dancer since before she was born. The number looks a little Up With People-y, except with a slight pop-lock addition. We don't get to see much of it. They'll be dancing a contemporary jazz routine by Sonya "Think You Can Dance" Tayeh. I would like to take a moment to address statement last night that "Teaching girls to be sexy is really hard for me because I'm not sexy at all." For the record, I think Sonya is totally hot. So there. Anyway, this is a number about angelic creatures and dark overlords and stuff. Ellenore throws down the gauntlet: "I think it's going to be one of the best pieces I have ever performed and maybe even So You Think You Can Dance has ever seen." Ah, hubris! It's a tragic flaw, you know.

Here they go, dancing to "Arcadia" by Apparat. It's very Sonya-y, with odd costuming choices (Ryan's shirtless in leather pants, which seems like a crowd-pleasing idea) and herky-jerky movements and the guy carrying the girl around while she kicks her legs out. I'm not sure I get it, but I like the dancers' commitment to whatever it was. Adam tells Sonya that she rocks his world and Ellenore/Ryan that they were very exciting. Mary dug the chemistry and praises the way Ryan was focused on his partner rather than playing to the audience, camera, or judges. Nigel gives up on criticizing technique in a weird genre like this and just says that he enjoyed it. As Ryan and Ellenore stand there and listen to the criticism, I think they look like refugees from Thunderdome. I chalk it up to all the feathers. And I should emphasize that I approve of that. We need more people dressed like they're from Thunderdome.

We've reached the part of the show where Billy Bell was supposed to be. His replacement is Brandon Dumlao, who will now be paired with Pauline. Pauline takes a lot of pictures. Brandon is a hip hop dancer, and is just trying to catch up with events. Good luck! They're doing a smooth waltz by Jason Gilkison. They dance to Whitney Houston's version of "You Light Up My Life", and they're supposed to be defying gravity. I know pretty much nothing about the smooth waltz, so I can only report that A) the song is in 3/4 time, and B) Pauline smiles a lot. Also, neither of them fell down that I noticed. Adam points out that Brandon's only been here a day and a half and praises some beautiful moments. He mentions Pauline's smile specifically, so I'm pleased that I picked that out. Basically, good job. Mary agrees that the situation was very difficult for both of them and praises their chemistry. Brandon's dancing wasn't really good enough for Mary from a technical point of view. Nigel tells them that he does like them and appreciates the situation. Having said that, he didn't think the dance was actually lighter than air. It was pretty, but not strong enough for him.

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So You Think You Can Dance

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