'So You Think You Can Dance': Breaking up is hard to do
So I'm bummed that both couples will be broken up next week! As for my dream matchups, I suppose it would be Ryan with Kathryn (she could perhaps benefit from getting a new chance to shine) and Ellenore with Victor Smalley, since Ellenore could bring more out of Victor both in terms of proficiency and personality.
I did like Victor and Karen Hauer's tango: It was very sharp and sophisticated, and even the costumes and lighting looked great; Victor especially brought a new maturity and manliness to his performance. Unfortunately, like the other couples tonight, I didn't think their second dance was that great. Their overly dramatic yet weirdly empty LaurieAnn Gibson hip-hop routine didn't give the audience much to latch onto, as Mary Murphy noted. Nigel Lythgoe said that he had nothing positive to say and none of the audience members booed. I think if we were playing around with partners, it might be interesting to see Karen with Nathan Trasoras, to see how she'd handle a piece of fresh meat like him.
I agree with Nigel that a "breakup" will benefit Mollee Gray and Nathan since a more mature partner could heighten both their skills. Not surprisingly, since I'm not their biggest fan, I agreed with Adam Shankman that they didn't hit their moves as hard as they should have during their Alexander Graham Bell-inspired (yes, really) hip-hop dance. Their cancan was a fun partner dance for the youthful pair, but I just can't fall in love with them. Since I don't think she sees all her moves all the way through, it might be able to see Mollee paired with Jakob Karr; he would step up the game of anyone paired with him.
The judges and I both were a little disappointed by Noelle Marsh and Russell Ferguson's samba: It just seemed to lack a little magic, plus it seemed like they ended the dance a measure too late. Their second dance was a pretty Tyce Diorio routine about them "painting" their relationship (I think it could have done without the literal paint) but I don't feel like this pair has sparkled as much as their individual talents would indicate. Russell and Ashleigh DeLilo could make for an interesting couple, since she seems to have a little mature sexiness that he could play off. This is terrible to say, but I'm not sure who Noelle is as a dancer at this point, so who would make a good potential partner for her? Definitely not Legacy -- if Kathryn has had to struggle to get in the spotlight, I think Noelle would have the same problem.
The judges are disappointed that this will be the last we see of Jakob and Ashleigh, whose Sonya Tayeh lyrical jazz piece was a quiet work of art (good night for Tayeh). They did a fine job with their cha-cha, although it didn't grab me as much as some of the other strong dances of the evening (but there were so many). Despite what the judges said, I'll look forward to seeing what happens when these two are paired up with new partners, just because I think we'll see more of each of them individually, which will be a good thing.
Which were your favorite dances from tonight? And who would be your dream new partnerships?
-- Claire Zulkey
Top row L-R: Russell Ferguson, Victor Smalley, Karen Hauer, Legacy Perez, Mollee Gray, Ashleigh Di Lello, Ryan Di Lello and Ellenore Scott. Bottom row L-R: Jakob Karr, Kathryn McCormick, Noelle Marsh and Nathan Trasoras. CR: Mathieu Young/FOX