So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) Season 6
Judges: Nigel Lythgoe; Mary Murphy; Adam Shankman.
Fox Broadcast Date: November 17, 2009
After the Top 14 danced as seven couples, six performances sizzled; one fizzled, by Karen & Kevin, who face landing in the bottom-three couples after tonight’s voting by the American TV audience. The sizzlers indicated who might become the four finalists: Ryan Di Lello; Nathan Trasoras; Mollee Gray; Ashleigh DiLello. Here are the evening’s performances, starting with the best (the number shows the actual order in which the couples danced)-.
6th. Ellenore Scott & Ryan Di Lello danced a Contemporary routine to ‘Your Ex-Lover Is Dead’ by Star, choreographed by Travis Wall- the most memorable routine tonight, for choreography and dancing. The story was of a couple who meet up ten years later. She’s over the heartbreak; he’s realizing what he missed by having let her go. Ellenore & Ryan danced superbly. The passion and emotional intensity that they breathed into the bittersweet reunion made the performance magical. And it was sexy. When muscle-hunk Ryan cartwheeled over Ellenore and lowered himself down in controlled slow motion so their bodies were momentarily prone and frontal, he caused a permanent erotic image for the audience.
The judges unanimous lengthily and effusively praised their perfect performance. And were so grateful to have seen it. Adam stated that Ryan should end up in the Top 10 with his wife, Ashleigh. Mary stated that Ellenore & Ryan ‘should be proud and walking on tall cotton’, a phrase her grandmother had used to use. She praised Ryan’s impeccable timing with lifts, which professionals often take weeks to perfect- he had done so in just one. Enthralled with the performance, Adam said that he’d had to catch his breath. He announced with great joy, “Travis, Ellenore, Ryan… So You Think You Can Dance has kicked in- just now!”
1st. Ashleigh Di Lello & Jakob Karr danced a down-and dirty Hip-Hop to ‘Watcha Say’ by Jason DeRulo, choreographed by Nappytabs (Napoleon & Tabitha D’Umo). The judges couldn’t praise Ashleigh’s passionate spellbinding performance enough. Nigel remarked that Ashleigh has grown at a much faster pace and those who hadn’t given her a chance in this competition were eating their words. Mary told her, “You are a star tonight.” Adam said, “I was one of the guys who didn’t believe in you.” He added that she was ‘crushing it’ and rather than riding on Jason’s coattails to the Top 10, she was heading there on her own merit. Nigel said about Jakob that he more than met each choreographer’s challenge every week. Mary agreed. Adam thought him gripping. Ashleigh & Jakob have nailed their performances every week since the Top 20.
3rd. Noelle Marsh & Russell Ferguson danced a Foxtrot to ‘Baby (You’ve Got What it Takes)’ by Michael Bublé with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, choreographed by newcomer to SYTYCD Eddie Simon. The Foxtrot is second only to Quickstep for being the ‘kiss of death’ for dancers on SYTYCD. But Russell has survived it twice. He danced the Foxtrot for his first performance in the Top 20- with choreographer Melanie LaPatin since Noelle was out with a knee injury. Although he danced with elegance and style, his technique was lacking.
But this week, Russell was superb. Nigel called him vastly improved. ‘You are a star… your rise and fall was beautiful… you never cease to amaze me.’ He told Noelle that she was successful in her own right. Mary told Russell, ‘you made this look effortless’. She added, “I just love this guy.” She raved about his improvement and about Noelle’s technique and gorgeous tracking. Adam said, “You were fantastic. I love you guys.”
5th. Kathryn McCormick & Legacy Perez danced the Paso Doble to ‘Pursuit’ from the album Ka’ by Cirque du Soleil, choreographed by Tony Meredith. Kathryn played an Admiral’s concubine- Legacy played a shirtless Admiral. Passionate about the role, he had practiced for it all the time, everywhere, all week- so Nigel had noticed. Legacy’s technique exuded his power and passion. Nigel remarked that his stamina had increased tremendously. The judges agreed that Kathryn, who had disappointed them last week, had delighted them tonight with her magnificent dancing and intensity as a coy vixen. Mary preceded praising Legacy with, “Holy Smokes!” She praised his shapes, torques, fire, and matador ways. The judges view him as Top 10 material.
7th and Last. A disaster team last week, Mollee Gray & Nathan Trasoras danced a Pop-Jazz routine to ‘Bad Romance’ by Lady GaGa, choreographed by Laurieann Gibson, whose training technique is like that of a drill sergeant- in a good way. Laurieann believes that using the voice unlocks the spirit. She may be right. She restored Mollee & Nathan to their Dream-Team status this week.
Contrary to last week, Mollee & Nathan danced well and in syncopation. Was their dance- the last one of the night- the best? No. But as Adam said, ‘you’re back in the game’. He counseled the talented pair on strategy by saying they need to add more nuances- more shading- into their chemistry in order to seduce the audience rather than to just please them with cuteness. Nigel called Nathan one of the most talented young men he knew and told him that he has the ‘potential to be one of the best dancers on this series’.
4th. Channing Cooke & Victor Smalley danced Contemporary to ‘Blackbird’ by Bobby McFerrin, choreographed by Tyce DiOrio. Oh, wicked Tyce. He gave the pair a delicious, quirky routine. Channing & Victor played two curious eclectic blackbirds who come at each other in a fun way. The judges unanimously loved the choreography and the dancing. Their only criticism of Victor was that although superb, he wasn’t growing as fast as some of the other dancers. A highlight of the judges’ high praise for Channing was that she showed for the first time that she loved what she was doing. She really let go.
2nd and only lackluster dance of the night. Karen Hauer & Kevin Hunte danced a Broadway routine to ‘If My Friends Could See Me Now’ from Sweet Charity (2005 Broadway Revival), choreographed by newcomer to SYTYCD Spencer Liff. This couple has danced extremely well every week since the Top 20. But tonight was their downfall. The three judges agreed that Karen did not exude the intended humor of the number- and Kevin even less so. And that without Karen’s customary sensuality, the performance was bland. Nigel said the pair had had no chemistry for each other, the humor, or their characters. Mary told Kevin that his shoulders were too high and that his transitions didn’t work. However, the dancing was overall good and Adam said, “All in all- good for the show.”
Summary. Tomorrow night, the judges will name the three couples with the least number of votes from the American TV audience. The six dancers will dance solos for their lives. The judges will cut two of them- one boy and one girl. The cuts will be heartbreaking because all Top 14 dancers are awesome.
Prediction. Karen & Kevin will be cut- not because they’re a partnership. But because Karen is not as popular as the other female dancers and Kevin is starting to lag in performance quality. Yet, if they dance for their lives better than their four companions in danger, the judges will save them- and two others will instead go home.