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'So You Think You Can Dance': Deja vu, in a bad way

July 15, 2010 |  9:12 pm

_MG_4181 When the producers of “So You Think You Can Dance” decided that this season would be different, I hope they didn’t mean the way it’s turning out. For the second week in a row, a contestant was dropped from the competition due to injuries (and, from a selfish point of view, the audience sat through something of a red herring of a results show).  I had a feeling Ashley would be leaving us at the beginning of the show when she didn’t seem to appear in Tyce Diorio’s fun Broadway group number, and then later on when Cat announced, after Billy performed his solo, that there would be only one other solo, Jose’s, a possible hint that Ashley’s rib injury was fairly serious.

Maria Elena Fernandez e-mailed me earlier Thursday to express her disappointment that the show didn’t make as big a deal about Ashley’s injury and departure from the show as Alex’s, and while I didn’t think much of it last night, on Thursday night I did. Yes, Ashley will be able to join the show’s tour, unlike Alex, but didn’t it seem like the show mourned Alex’s leaving while Ashley’s departure was more of an unfortunate reality?   

In terms of the other dancers who were in the bottom three, I agreed with Nigel that Jose seemed to furiously give his all during his solo, while Billy sort of went into default mode. Then again, that’s what Adam had instructed Jose to do (although I got the impression Adam was going to say something stern to him, like “You don’t belong in this competition,” he U-turned his seriousness into a big pep talk).  

Aside from the elimination, there were some moments of note in the episode. We saw a young (10 and 11 years old) couple dancing ballroom to “Jailhouse Rock.” The kids were great (and I liked the young lady’s silver pants) but I have to admit when I watch kids do serious partner-dancing, I feel a tiny bit like I’m watching “Toddlers & Tiaras.” I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, the kids are amazing, but it is disconcerting to watch kids portray adults in a performance. After their dance, Cat kinda-flirted with the young man while the young girl seemed a little shy, which was endearing.

Then the big kids stepped in, as Jamar Roberts and Rachel McLaren from the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performed. Ailey dancers are always a treat to watch, all strength and grace and muscles that I covet. tWitch and Comfort then reprised their Dave Scott dance to “Forever,” a routine I had forgotten but enjoyed watching again: it’s just a cool, funky, happy routine, and while I’ve never been Comfort’s biggest fan, she rocks this one.

I wasn’t as impressed, however, by Christina Perri, who performed the song “Jar of Hearts,” which apparently rocketed her to iTunes after it was featured on the show a few weeks ago. I liked seeing a quieter performance on the show after all the big blockbuster summer hit performances, but I think the song is slightly forgettable. I don’t really see Perri as “future Lady Gaga,” as Cat described her. But she’s pretty and talented, and so Godspeed, Christina. You’re lucky you made it off the “SYTYCD” stage without getting hurt.

— Claire Zulkey

Billy Bell ® and Lauren Froderman (left). Credit: Mathieu Young / Fox