July 22, 2009 07:27 PM by DA Southern
So You Think You Can Dance has the Top 8 performing for their chance at fame and glory and with every step, or misstep on the SYTYCD stage. With the dancers mere weeks away from a shot at the finale, it will take almost perfection to keep themselves from the bottom of the pile as the ever fickle American public criticizing their every move as well as the judges, who actually know dance technique and all that jazz.
Host Cat Deeley said that in just two weeks a new winner would be crowned, had the final eight do a little jig; chatted with the judges Nigel, Mary and guest judges, Mia Michaels and Ellen DeGeneres, as to what the dancers had to do to get into the finals. With the pleasantries out of the way, and a funny bit from Ellen, we then got into the performances.
Season two dancer, Travis Wall, who is now a choreographer for the show, choreographed the group number and it was a spaced-out theme that certainly had no stand-outs as the eight worked seamlessly together and the judges went all Lady GaGa for the routine. I really have no idea what that meant.
Cat Deeley then announced that tomorrow was the 100th episode and would be a festival to behold as well as feature a performance from Katie Holmes. The first partnership of the night was Evan and Janette and they were doing a Jazz routine from Sonja that was not your typical Jazz Hands routine. The duo were stars on the stage and Nigel loved them as did Ellen but Mary picked on Evan a bit but said that Janette was a star and is looking like one of the strongest in the competition and Mia echoed the sentiment.
The second paring of the night was Brandon and Jeanine and had a waltz for their first outing. Brando was worried about the vocabulary of the routine, but hopefully they won’t be judged on that. The couple looked a bit out of their element on the stage and Nigel announced said it was a tough routine but said the music was slow and was disappointed in them and Ellen actually liked them. Mary was disappointed as well but said it was respectable and Mia said she expected so much better and more pointless solo’s ensued.
A Cha-Cha was the next routine for the new partnership of Ade and Melissa, who were not new but simply reunited. It looked as though they were a bit hesitant in the routine from my perspective and they had some nice moments, well the ending was nice. Nigel said it was pretty good and had some sexy moves; Ellen said they nailed it; Mary said the execution was good but that the technique was a bit suspect and Mia added that it was Ade’s worse performance of the season. Look’s like trouble for the duo in their first outing and then Janette did a solo that was hot, but still pointless.
Jason and Kayla had a Broadway piece from Tyce Diorio to spice up the night, we hoped. I am a sucker for a good Broadway piece anyway and Jason and Kayla seemed to be a good pairing as both had a pretty good stage presence. Nigel said it was beautiful to watch; Ellen said they were good nailers; Mary said that everything was effortless in the routine and said that Kayla was on the Hot Tamale Train and Mia added that she loved the piece but wanted Jason to work on his upper body,something about lines but said that Kayla would be a star on Broadway.
Evan and Janette were up for a Rumba for their final chance to convince America that they should continue on and, from the looks of it, especially with Janette, sexy was not an issue. Although it was a slow rumba than what we are accustomed to, Nigel said it was a hard style to get votes with but loved Janette; Ellen loved Evan’s face and said it was charming; Mary said that they did a really good job for being a slower Rumba and Mia added that she agreed with Ellen about Evan and said that he had a Zoolander face.
Hopefully Brandon and Jeanine would regroup in their second outing in a Pop Jazz routine to a Jordan Sparks song, Battlefield. The couple did redeem themselves in a big way with much more energy than their first outing and Nigel said that they showed why they deserved to be in the Top dancers. Ellen said they looked good in their Armed Forces uniforms and Mary said they were finally on the Hot Tamale Train and gave the loudest scream of the night. Mia then said that they were a powerhouse couple and added “Wow” to describe their performance, which from Mia is huge.
Ade and Melissa were doing a contemporary routine from Tyce Diorio about breast cancer. OK,you had me at hello. It was an emotional piece and they danced it well and Nigel said that it showed him why he loved dance so much as it can express so much in movement and that it was one of the most memorable routines on this show. Ellen was visibly moved and said she was privileged to have seen the performance and Mary was also touched and was moved by their performance. Mia finished said that it was an important piece of work and cried as she extolled the praises of Ade and Melissa.
Jason and Kayla finished up the night’s performances with a Hip-Hop routine that at least gave us an upbeat way to end the night from choreographer Shane Sparks. It was all about being a zombie or something freaky like that. After the last performance, it certainly was a tad bit brighter and overall fun to watch. Nigel said that it was enjoyable and a great way to finish; Ellen said that if they keep dancing like that they would have their own talk show one day; Mary said that she loved every second of it and gave a scream and Mia said it was her favorite piece that Shane had ever done on the show.
With the second half of the show besting the first, it will be tough to see who goes home tomorrow night, but lose two we will and let’s just have Ellen be on the panel every week while we are at it.
Photo courtesy of Fox Broadcasting