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'So You Think You Can Dance': Mia makes up words and Nigel mentions soccer

July 7, 2010 | 10:01 pm

Top8_MG_9884_1 Is anybody else ready for “SYTYCD” performance shows to go back down to one hour? With so many dances and partners per episode. I find myself having a hard time concentrating through all the routines. I like a lot of dancing, but I also liked it when only the top remaining tier of dancers performed twice per episode, sort of something that’s just reserved for the very best dancers who we WANT to see perform twice. There were some dances Wednesday night that I thought simply sufficed: They weren’t so great that they needed to be highlighted nor bad enough to complain about. Maybe I was just bummed because Alex sat the week out with a ruptured Achilles tendon (which gave Nigel a chance to mention David Beckham, and therefore soccer, once again).

Overall, I didn’t love the performances as much as I did last week, although I thought the judges were more excited about a couple of dances that I only found okay. I didn’t think Lauren sizzled or had enough authority during her cha-cha with Pasha (maybe it was the weird cut of “Telephone” that threw me off). Mia pronounced the dance “pure murderation,” but I’d say it was only partial murderation. I also thought the judges praised Kent for not being obnoxious during his hip-hop routine, which he was merely proficient in to my eyes: a sub-par Timberlake impression. Mia Michaels noted that he was lacking a bit of groove, but Adam claimed that he felt “drawn in,” which I didn’t get. However, I did think Kent and Lauren brought each other to another level when they danced together later on in the night: Uniting as two young strong dancers seemed to bring them new confidence.

I’m not a critic who ever claimed that Robert seems “arrogant,” but sadly I still don’t love him as much as the judges do. I feel like he could have come up with a more memorable character for his living doll dance with Kathryn. I don’t doubt that he is a completely nice, professional, hard-working guy, but I just don’t think he’s been able to summon a Simon-Cowell-type “moment” to date and I don’t feel like waiting anymore.

One of the reasons I love Mia Michaels as a judge on this show is that she’s not afraid to disagree with her other judges. I also love it when we have the same opinion, of course: I agreed with her that Adechike didn’t add anything special to his Mandy Moore dance with Courtney. Personally I thought the dance itself was something of a letdown: There was a surplus of preening and posing from Courtney, and I thought the set pieces were distracting and cheesy. I did think the judges were a little harsh on Adechike after the Bollywood routine, but I was then a little turned off by the way he pounded his chest after Cat second-guessed Nigel’s comments.

I did agree with the judges, though, that Ashley and Jose took steps forward Wednesday night. While Jose didn’t seem to delight the judges with his African jazz performance, he danced beautifully, and with a lot of grace, to Mandy Moore’s lovely romantic dance about soul mates. He seems a little more humble, more serious than when he first started off the show, which I appreciate. And Ashley also did a great job doing hip-hop, despite her awful diaper pants. I agreed with Adam that she could be a quiet contender in the competition.

I have a feeling that Thursday night might finally be Robert's last night: your thoughts?

-- Claire Zulkey

Pictured from left: Lauren Froderman, Jose Ruiz, Kent Boyd, Alex Wong, Ashley Galvan, Adechike Torbert, Robert Roldan and Billly Bell. Credit: Kelsey McNeal / Fox