So You Think You Can Dance
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Daniel: B | Grade It Now!
Four on the Floor
"Send in the Clowns" is the music for tonight's opening number, not by Krusty the Klown, but by Judy Collins, whoever that is. There's a box on stage, a present, from which the dancers (dressed in clown outfits, natch) climb out before starting to perform their slow circus ballet. Lifts and backflips. Very slow and dramatic.

Cat comes out in a sparkly shamrock dress and calls it the saddest routine she's ever seen. Sadder than Mia's dad and breast-cancer-is-bad? Then we watch a two-hour recap of what happened last night, but I'm not complaining, because each minute that we waste doing something else puts off the Sean Paul appearance for a minute.

After a commercial break, the women are on stage to find out who's in trouble. And after the video montage, Cat then goes over what each girl did, and says she's going to send one of them into next week's finale. "The first dancer in next week's finale is Jeanine," says Cat. She's ecstatic, and the judges give her an ovation, and Kayla and Melissa give her that "Oh, I'm so happy for you but scared for me!" smile thing and go off stage.

Lil' C agrees that she's a worthy candidate, because the competition can be savage, but it's survival of the fittest, of the most open-minded, most dedicated and who's the hungriest. "You have to have a voracious appetite for success and triumph," he says, adding that Jeanine is the epitome of that. Cat calls her also a pleasure to be around. Well, I'm already oh-for-one on my predictions.

Then Jessica and Will from last season come out to reprise Tyce Diorio's "Silence" from last season. I don't know if I remember this one. Maybe I was on holidays at that time. It's very sensual, with Jessica and Will dressed like Adam and Eve, or cavemen, depending on your thoughts about that, I suppose. There are many lifts and straddling, and Jessica runs at Will and leaps into a split that he lifts, and meanwhile the music is just this annoying keening that didn't exactly make me want to rush out and get the Unfaithful soundtrack.

After a commercial break, the men are on stage for the rundown of how they did last week, and finally we're getting away from the dancers acting annoyed when Cat delays the announcement until after everyone has been recapped. Anyway, it's Brandon who's through, and Mary takes great pleasure in reminding everyone that Mia Michaels and Lil' C didn't think Brandon was all that special, and then she screams at him to "believe in your heart" or some such.

And then it's another dance from last season, Mia Michael's "Mercy" routine, which I do remember. It's Twitch and Katee, with the door on the stage, and the two of them beating on each other and on the door. Katee hanging on the door as Twitch opens it. It's a dance version of the fucked-up couple who live down the hall from you who are always fighting and slamming doors, only it's OK to watch this.

After a commercial, it's another dance from Dmitry Chaplin, Chelsie and Joshua dancing "A Los Amigos," a tango that starts slow and speeds up, with Chelsie getting a lot of the leg work early on. She wraps her legs around Joshua and they twirl around very quickly. I'm not sure I remember this one so much either, but I think that for the most part each episode of So You Think You Can Dance pushes out my memories of the previous one, until I'm left with, like, Mia Michael's routine for her dad and Shane Sparks' Transformers routine, and that's it. Oh, and the one with the girl and the guy. You know? The one where they were dancing? That one.

Melissa's up to dance her solo first, to "I Put A Spell On You" again, and she's graceful as usual. I really like Melissa. Also, I think it's important that young people understand that senior citizens can accomplish things too. Then it's Ade's turn, who flings himself around the stage, dances in slow motion, does a back flip.

And then the JabbaWockeez, who I'm told won the first title of America's Best Dance Crew, come out for a fantastic popping and locking routine, featuring eight guys in red suits, yellow hats and white facemasks. They interlock, dance in unison, very mechanical, and when the beat speeds up throw in some breakdancing. I could have watched this for a full hour.

After a commercial break, Chelsie and Mark dance to "Bleeding Love," which is one I do remember, partly because the song perfectly complemented the routine, and I remember the workaholic plotline, and Chelsie being particularly good at being in character for this one, and Mark doing the chest pump thing on Chelsie.

Kayla comes out for her solo, the "You Found Me" by The Fray, with lots of kicks and leaps, reaching up to the sun, whipping her hair around, etc. Cat calls her "White Lightning." And then Evan's out to dance essentially the same solo he did last night, but he does it really well.

And then Sean Paul comes out to grunt at us for five minutes. Something about grinding, I think, and about how you should be his sunshine and windchimes or some such.

And now Melissa and Kayla are on stage to find out who's going home. Before the result is announced, Melissa looks like she expects it's going to be Kayla in the finale, and sure enough, that's who it is. Awww, I like her. I'm going to miss her. After we watch her montage, she thanks her husband and says she's proud of herself and tells all the ballerinas watching that they can do it too.

Then the men come out, and after Nigel makes a speech about everyone is a winner, and the top twenty is not one winner and nineteen losers, and blah blah blah. And then Evan is announced as the one who's moving on. Well, I rallied for three out of four for my predictions.

After Ade's montage, he says he's going to remember the energy of everyone on stage. He hugs Melissa and says it's been a great experience.

Four hours next week, America. Can you dig it?

So You Think You Can Dance




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