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'So You Think You Can Dance': Making history already?

June 17, 2011 |  8:02 am

MB1_3258 "We're making history tonight!" Cat Deeley exclaimed Thursday night (how did you like her silver shoes this week, by the way?). I'm not sure how I felt about said history. Were you a fan?  

In case you missed the episode, let's get to the history lesson. After such an impressive start, who would be sent home?  Of course, we never get that information right away; first the entire group performed a seemingly dominatrix-themed dance, choreographed by Sonya Tayeh, that reminded me of old-school Madonna -- in all the right ways.

The guest performances (or "performances") were a little bit of a letdown, though. I liked the beat in Keri Hilson's song, "Lose Control," but it became apparent pretty early on that she was lip-syncing, which is always depressing on a show in which the contestants work so hard. The premiere of Lady Gaga's new video for "The Edge of Glory" seemed to confirm the rumors that the shoot had been scrapped partway through. It was noteworthy how not-noteworthy it was (particularly for a Lady Gaga video), with barely a change of costume or scenery to be found. However, I did like guest dancer Gennadi Saveliev, who performed a Russian folk dance. I've always felt bad for the Russian folk dance, which got such a bad rap in Season 5 when Philip and Jeanine performed it. Maybe it looks too old-fashioned compared with the other dances we see on the show. I'm probably defensive of Eastern European folk dancing (I don't think any wedding is complete unless there's a polka), but I think Russian dancing deserves a little more respect.

It was announced that Jordan and Tadd, Jess and Clarice, and Robert and Miranda were the bottom three couples, along with Mitchell, who didn't dance Thursday night due to injury. I rationalized that Jordan and Tadd suffered because they went first in the competition and thus may have been less memorable to the audience. And perhaps America wasn't into Jess' Broadway dancing and Clarice's working to catch up to him. I was really surprised, though, that Robert and Miranda were in the bottom three: I figured America would love their fun jive and Robert's personality. Maybe, like me, they were tired of his "woo!"

Everyone danced for their lives, and from my perspective, it was hard to determine who deserved to be there and who didn't, based on those little solos. It seemed like Jordan's and Clarice's dances were a little similar, both focusing a lot on sex appeal. Mitchell had beautiful, gentle extensions in his solo (his only chance to dance this week), and Tadd danced his butt off in his hip-hop solo. Jess' solo made me wonder why he was in the bottom three at all (I like that he was comfortable enough with his storytelling ability to include a little, quiet ending to his dance).

After the break and the judges' deliberations, Nigel, in an unusual turn of events, asked Mitchell and Robert to dance again. I was trying to hear what Nigel was saying over Robert's dancing: Did he say "Not dancing"?

At first, I thought Nigel was just drawing the results out to be annoying, as he addressed all the contestants and told them why they were great (singling out Jess), but in the end he revealed that the judges decided not to send anyone home this week!

The downside, of course, is that two couples will be sent home next week. I tend to find the episodes in which no one is sent home anticlimactic, but I also understand why the judges decided to go that way this week, because there didn't seem to be anyone who deserved to go home more than anyone else. Who knows, maybe every week the judges will decide to postpone the eventual elimination, then, in the season finale, 19 contestants are eliminated in one fell swoop. That could happen, right?

-- Claire Zulkey

Photo: Gennadi Saveliev. Credit: Michael Becker / Fox