>Sorry about skipping last week’s “So You Think You Can Dance” performances recap, because overall the show was a little lackluster compared to the debut week of performances. Last night’s performance show was definitely a step up with some really good routines, good judges and it gives the viewers a good sense of which contestants are great and which should be on the chopping block soon.
Since in a few weeks, the couples will be switched up I wanted to run down who in these past three weeks have been the best, which couples are terribly mismatched and who just needs to go home.
1. Melanie and Marko.
These two are flawless in every way. They both are excellent technical dancers and they both are able to convey whatever character they pick effortlessly. Melanie from her first audition was one of my favorites, there’s just a real X-Factor with her. After the phenomenal Travis Wall routine from week 1, Melanie got all sexy on us with week 2’s Mandy Moore’s Jazz routine. And she proved more than capable of the quick staccato movements of one of NappyTabs best lyrical Hip Hop routines last night (clip below).
Her partner Marko is no slouch either, and is so far really underrated. He is just as fantastic as Melanie, he’s a technically excellent dancer and he also is able to really bring it with the characters he’s asked to portray. These two also have the strongest connection it seems when they are dancing together. Last nights Hip Hop routine was perfection because they were great, it could have fallen apart with other dancers but because they have such a great relationship it worked probably better than NappyTabs even imagined.
It will be sad to see this couple split up, but they both should be in the competition long enough to be paired up again towards the end.
2. Sasha and Alexander.
Unlike Melanie and Marko, Sasha is clearly the standout in this pairing. The NappyTabs routine they pulled last week (clip below) was great, but Sasha’s solo in the very beginning of the routine shows that she’s a powerhouse dancer. With every movement she makes she’s making a clear and strong statement. Alexander is great technically, but he doesn’t seem to match to power and intensity that Sasha brings. Despite the somewhat unevenness of this couple, they probably have had the most emotionally draining routines consistently and they always deliver.
In this case, I see Sasha going further than Alexander. Although last night Nigel gave him a critique that might end up helping Alexander, he told him his emoting needed work and that’s really his only flaw so we’ll see if he works on it next week.
3. Clarice and Jess.
The Broadway dancer Jess was not my favorite in the beginning, or the first week. However these past two weeks he’s emerged as a bit of a favorite. Last weeks routine, his character alone sold me, he completely owned the Prince role he was playing with so much grace, class and romance. And this week, he turned in a truly elegant and smooth rendition of a 1940’s Lounge singer and sold the vibe effortlessly (clip below). Add to that, he’s been a standout in some of the group numbers. His partner Clarice is just flawlessly beautiful with a great body, however her physical attributes aren’t her only shining grace. True, on last weeks routine Nigel was right, the chemistry wasn’t totally there, but last nights routine was so beautiful and flawless and she looked incredibly beautiful and carrying off the grace needed for one of the best routines of the night.
4. Jordan and Tadd.
Easily the cutest most adorable couple of the show, these two deliver but just not with the sheer strength of the above mentioned couples. They have had a pretty diverse run so far with a powerful African Jazz, a very elegant Viennese Waltz (clip below) and a fun Hip Hop last night. The problem is that with the other couples getting such great routines and owning, Jordan and Tadd’s routines are sometimes forgotten. They just need to up their performance levels to stand out, but I think in the next few weeks they’ll get a routine that really showcases both of their abilities and they will nail it and this won’t be a problem for them anymore.
5. Caitlynn and Mitchell.
The first week, Mitchell let Caitlyn down due to an injury. This week, I personally felt like Caitlynn let Mitchell down in their Samba where he killed but she seemed to fall flat. However their week 2 contemporary routine (clip below) was a perfect combination of both of their skills and their chemistry worked really well. Caitlynn on that number was excellent with her emotion and really understood what choreographer Stacey Tookey was asking of her. While Mitchell held his end of the deal by becoming really masculine and powerful in his dance.
So that’s only one great performance in three weeks, I feel like these two have potential but somehow are just finding it difficult to get a real connection going. However they are both individually two of the best on this season, so if they get it together they can be true competitors.
6. Ashley and Chris.
These two seem to suffer the same fate as Jordan and Tadd. Week after week they deliver, but just nothing too stand out. Last week’s Jazz routine by Tyce Diorio (clip below) was amazing in it’s uniqueness, and they did great with the choreography but personally they didn’t really over shadow the routine themselves. They are the type of couple who are good at executing the steps but don’t bring much else to the routines. Last night is a great example, the Sonya Tayeh routine was weird and creepy and the music was the same. They did good, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that if it were two other dancers, the routine would have been one of my favorites.
I’m not sure what this couple needs to become more dynamic and memorable, but they need to figure it out soon. (I actually feel they might be going home tonight!)
7. Ryan and Ricky.
This is a perfect case of a couple who really should have re-drawn from that hat. They are both really great dancers (of course Ricky is better than Ryan), but their chemistry is just all off. For all three of their routines so far, it seems like they are both in their OWN heads while dancing and not thinking of the couple aspect. Last nights Sonya routine (clip below) was unique and I give them major props for working with the long cloth which could have easily ruined their night, but I didn’t feel anything from them at all. They are both great technical dancers, but together there’s just nothing and that routine should have been way more epic than it was.
Also, aesthetically they don’t match up well. They have great height, and they both look like just long legs and long arms, but there’s something about their roles… sexually that bothers me. Second week they dressed Ricky up in what appeared to be a corset, and it only enhanced the fact that he’s a bit of a feminine dancer while Ricky sometimes is so focused it comes off harder and more masculine than it needs to be. Both of them are probably praying for the week they get paired up with an All-Star and Ricky will definitely shine when this happens. Not too sure about Ryan who has been decent this season, but has yet to really WOW.
8. Miranda and Robert.
Poor Things. They both seem to be pretty cool people in general, and they aren’t bad dancers, it’s just them combined doesn’t making for a winning duo at all. Robert has surprised me though, last nights Broadway routine (clip below) showed he’s capable of venturing out of his Hip Hop style just not far enough at this point in the season. Miranda has the misfortune of being with a dancer who isn’t as skilled as her, so sometimes I feel like she’s taking her performance down a notch as to not overshadow her partner which is a mistake. This is a competition after all and she’d be smart to out dance him if she has it in her. These two I also fear might be in the Bottom tonight.
I’m on the west coast, so if you’re on the east coast you have probably already seen who was eliminated this week… my predictions though are that Ryan/Ricky, Ashley/Chris and Miranda/Robert will land in the bottom. And I think Miranda and Robert might be the ones going home, unless Robert’s personality overshadows his shortcomings than Ashley and Chris will be out.