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'So You Think You Can Dance': Three dancers left walking on the tightrope

_PG17595 I apologize, readers: For some reason Wednesday night I was under the impression that we’d have only two dancers in next week’s finale, but happily for the "SYTYCD" contestants, only one person was sent home last night. Of course, that’s not so happy for the person who was sent home.

The results show was pretty typical as results shows go, with a little additional fluff thrown in for your pleasure (or annoyance).  I enjoyed the Dee Caspary opening group number, featuring the dancers in Victorian garb: It was quirkily dynamic, a little dark but not twisted. And even though I didn’t participate in National Dance Day, the footage from the event made it look like a lot of fun (and who doesn’t enjoy seeing Nigel -- and Mia! -- dance?)

I loved Janelle Monae’s performance. I think she’s a unique and talented lady, and I loved the classy, elegant look of her and her backup dancers as she performed “Tightrope.” I put out a call on Twitter to learn if there’s a name for the smooth footwork they did in their two-tone shoes, and although I couldn’t find a specific style name, someone pointed me to this interesting post on dance history and gender (plus the song’s video).  

Although the dancers didn’t really have any reason to perform solos, I thought they all did a great job Thursday night (and the solos really aren’t my favorite part of the show). It seemed like they all tried a little extra hard to show us why they deserve to be on the show.

We also got a wonderful solo performance from Desmond Richardson, the co-founder and co-artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet who choreographed for Wednesday’s episode. He danced to "Sympathy for the Devil," and there was clearly a little influence from Mick Jagger in his performance, a swaggering, sexual, elegant humor.  

Of the celebrity performances, I thought Flo Rida’s was the least impressive, if only compared with who else performed and because Cat built him up so much. "Club Can’t Handle Me" is a fun, up-tempo jam, though, that would be perfect for my exercise playlist (maybe next to "I Gotta Feeling"), and the all-star dancers behind him looked like they were having fun and being themselves.  

I could have lived without the glorified Gatorade commercial in which the dancers went into the labs to learn that (duh) dancers have athletic bodies. I also started rolling my eyes for the promotion of "Step Up 3-D," but I have to admit that, from the clips shown, I started thinking I wouldn’t really complain if someone took me to see that movie.  

As for the results, it was revealed early on that Lauren would be in the finale, and then later, that Kent would also be a finalist (thus clearing up my confusion over how many people would be eliminated Thursday night). Wednesday night’s prediction that the judges’ "congratulations" to Adechike signaled his impending departure was correct: Robert will be back with us Wednesday night, but not Adechike.

So who’s your pick to win? This season I’m not feeling especially strong about the outcome, although I do prefer that it’s Lauren or Robert -- just because if Kent wins, his grin will probably break my TV.

-- Claire Zulkey

Photo: Janelle Monae. Credit: Frank Micelotta / Fox

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Comments () | Archives (9)

Aren't these filler result shows a drag?

Robert's gone from bottom-three, to dark horse, to contender. Lauren has become the epitomy of young womanhood, and Kent is...well, Kent. The boyish grins and spontaneity - mixed with a mastery of contemporary and Broadway dance - are real crowd-pleasers. He taps into the viewers emotions (okay, probably the emotions of girls to the max and like me, more than a few gay guys). However, this is a solid three-way race and no one has a lock on winning.

As an aside, It is incredible that Nigel thinks the audience gives a hoot if he tap dances.

While not taking anything away from the three very talented dancers remaining, the entire season feels compromised and only half-legit. With Alex Wong out of it due to injury, it's just so easy to feel like we're watching a race to second rather than a true crowning of the best. In fact, the entire season felt very ad-hoc and improvisational. Not comforting or confidence-inspiring.

I've wanted Kent to win since pretty early, but I think if Lauren won that would be ok too.

@ David, Alex was good, but IMO Kent is better. Kent has a better fludity of movement than Alex did.

Either way I've been pretty happy with the season (except for the injuries) I've loved seeing a lot of my favorite dancers again as All Stars (especially Twitch).

I think it's time for us to get over mourning for Alex Freaking Wong. I think Alex would appreciate that. Yes, he was over-the-top amazing and yes, he probably would have won, but our living in the past is keeping us from enjoying the NOW. (Wow... I sound like a shrink.) We gain nothing from wailing about what might have been. Meanwhile there are three stellar dancers in the finale!

I really enjoyed this season. I loved watching how the kids all got so close, how they supported each other. For me, that "human interest" element of the show drew me in as much as the dancing. With every little behind-the-scenes video package, we felt like we're getting to "know" them, and started caring about them as people. It's what makes a great show. I love that! It's totally addicting.

I adore all three of these kids. Personally I'm behind dark horse Robert, as he's pretty much been my No. 1 guy since the beginning, but Kent and Lauren are amazing in their own ways, too. Like Toni Redpath said, it's just a matter of personal preference: hamburgers or pizza? It's going to be a GREAT finale! Can't wait!

And PS: Nigel, we really don't want to see you tap dance.

Lauren might win, but I REALLY hope Kent does!!! He is, hands down, by far, the most talented and entertaining dancer of this season. He's like butta .. exquisite .. there's a reason they picked HIM to close Wednesday's show with Neil (who is also delectable) .. he flies .. he soars .. he immerses himself completely in every flawless move he makes. And just TRY to tell my I'm wrong in saying that he was the ONLY contestant that got us to unglue our eyes from Kathryn when they were paired together!

I think that footwork shall be henceforth known as "The Tightrope." She is a true visionary. I'm already starving for her next album.

I thought getting facts was the basis to writing for a newspaper! It took one click to find out Janell Monae's video for tightrope had been nominated for an MTV award three days before you posted, with the choreographer for the video listed! Then you could one click google him or any of the many articles about the choreography in the video and learn all the steps and the names of the steps and the name of the dance style and its history!
How lazy is it to "put out a twitter call" when you have google at your fingertips! It's one thing not to know five months after the video came out about a dance style that's been nationally hot for a year before that--but to not even bother to click when you claim to want to know--so discouraging!

Janelle Monae's tightrope video shows the steps up close and is def worth looking at. It has been out since March & was nominated for an MTV award three days before you posted---written up all over with explanations of the style.
It was choreographed by Charles "Lil Buck " Riley who has a nice short video showing three of the basic steps , the Kickstand, the Bug Jump & the L. The style is Jookin, which came from the 90's Gangster Walk , sort of like LA jerking now is to LA Krunk before. Here is LIL buck's Jookin intro tutorial on Dance Jam:

All I can say,
About the performance,
I saw that day.
It was simply marvelous.
I wish you may,
have a real chance,
to watch and you’ll reply,
That it’s just fabulous.
If y worry about tickets,
You can check Ticketsinvetory.com


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