SYTYCD Week #4

So what was it about last night's SYTYCD that didn't impress me as much as it should have? I mean, the dancers were brilliant, overall, and the routines were generally innovative and well executed. But something about the entire evening didn't WOW me. I'm trying to figure out if it's the lack of highs and lows--no utterly outstanding dances last night, but no clunkers either--or if I'm generally prejudiced against this season's crop because few of them are striking me on an emotional level. Hmm. It's probably me.

Jeanette & Brandon (cha cha): I don't remember the last time Jean-Marc did a cha-cha, but this was a very clever routine. Lots of light and shadow. I object with Nigel, however, in that Pasha & Jessie from Season 3 performed the best cha-cha ever. *Sigh* for Pasha. I am suspicious of Mia's "I'm hard on you because I love you" speech, because it sounded too much like she was trying to save face.

Kayla & Kuponoh (contemp): This is the only routine from last night that I've watched more than twice. I keep going back to it and finding new and intriguing moves. Kuponoh is finally showing himself as being capable, and not just as an "I miss Mark" substitute. Kayla's feet are amazing. And although I didn't agree with Mia when she said that this was Sonja's best routine to date, because obviously her best routine was "The Garden," it wound up being my favorite of the night.

Randi & Evan (Broadway): I loved the Austin Powers meets Broadway meets the Mafia vibe, but I agreed with Mia in that this could have been more fantastic--bigger moves, more committed expressions. But more than anything, it didn't show us anything new about these two dancers. We know they're cute, lovable, funky, and fun. More please. If a viewer wasn't already a fan of them, this dance wouldn't do anything to change their minds.

Caitlyn & Jason (jazz): Friedman needs to get off the show. His ego and his high concept work are getting in the way of the dancers' abilities to connect with the audience. I think Caitlyn and Jason must hate each other, because they are both very good dancers, and yet they never seem to give a shit about each other when they perform together. Their body language is very antagonistic, as are some of the comments they make about each other in the packages. I would love to see them finally get with other partners. But as for the dance, if anyone felt like voting for "quirky" last night, they'd vote for the Sonja routine instead.

Jeanine & Phillip (hip hop): Did anyone else notice that the entire night seemed rigged? Tabitha and Napoleon have only choreographed three numbers this season, and Phillip gets two of those? The concept was fine, but again I was in agreement with Mia: the chain got in the way of what may well have been fine dancing. But I was too distracted. I would like to see Jeanine coupled with a more versatile partner.

Melissa & Ade (pas de deux): Again, another moment when I felt this was rigged. If they hadn't made such a big deal about how this was the first official pas de deux, which it wasn't because Katee & Will did one (not on pointe) last year, then it wouldn't have stuck out so badly. But it just so happened to be Melissa?? And then I got to thinking that Evan got Broadway, too, and Kayla and Kuponoh got contemporary. Hmmm. Anyway, this was beautiful and Melissa was lovely, but I found absolutely no emotional zing. What was missing?

Karla & Vitolio (quickstep): And then there was the cannon fodder. Poor dears. Rigged some more?? The routine was actually quite entertaining for a quickstep, which makes it all the more a shame that people will ignore it. I mean, how can they compete with Kayla & Kuponoh's Emo steampunk flaily deathdance? They can't. Oh, but Jean-Marc cracks me up. And I love France's utterly beatific expressions--must be her coping mechanism.

So what did you think, everyone? Were you left curiously deflated like I was? My bottom three are: Caitlyn and Jason, Karla and Vitolio, and *quelle shock* Randi and Evan. But if Jeanette and Brandon are down there instead, it'll prove just how insurmountable Evan and Phillip's fan bases are.

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