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'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Titles mean nothing

June 30, 2011 |  8:57 pm

_MG_8126 Well, please remind me not to mention my favorite dancers by name anymore because it's apparently the kiss of death.

But aside from my sadness, I have a complaint. Something I love about "So You Think You Can Dance" is how seriously the judges take the hard work and talent of the dancers, but one thing I don’t understand is how the judges sometimes  can simply eliminate a dancer with no explanation to them (or, more accurately, to us) as to why.

The good news about Thursday night’s episode is that we were treated to some wonderful guest dance performances (which are almost always much better than the musical guests'.)  First, members of the AXIS dance company brought us a piece that consisted of a female dancer performing with a male dancer in a wheelchair (AXIS is made up of dancers with and without disabilities). It was sexy and sad, and the smoothness and grace of the wheelchair added to the performance instead of being a hindrance (which is the whole point of the company I imagine.)

Then Eric Luna and Georgia Ambarian performed one of the most gravity-defying performances I’ve ever seen on "SYTYCD." Technically, Eric and Georgia are ballroom dancers, but there was something a little more free-flowing and artistic about their performance than traditional ballroom. It was nearly a daredevil act as Eric picked up Georgia and held her above his head by the wrist, or twirled her on top of his head, or he held her as she leaned forward above the floor practically horizontally. It was magical and the tiniest bit spooky in the way that I like.

Oh, and one other kind of awesome thing happened: We saw footage of Melanie and Marko kissing offstage after the judges all made out after their performance. Is it time to start shipping this couple yet? OK!

But we were tuned in for bad news so let’s get to it. It was revealed that the bottom three couples would be made up of Ashley and Chris (no surprise, since the judges didn’t like their zombie dance that much); Caitlynn and Mitchell (I don’t think they had very believable chemistry Wednesday night); and Miranda and Robert. I didn’t think their Tyce Diorio Broadway dance was the best ever but I figured that Robert was a fan favorite and that the judges’ proclamation of Miranda as most-improved would guarantee their safety.

Well, I was wrong. So very wrong. After the solos (Chris' and Mitchell's were my favorites), Nigel gathered the girls and told them the judges' decision was not unanimous. He informed Miranda that despite what she had been told Wednesday night, she'd be going home. I would love to know why this was the judges' decision, but Nigel never really explained it.

On the guys' end, Nigel praised Mitchell's solos and Chris' work in the woodpecker routine (which he was not in), and then told Robert that since he's been a frequent guest of the bottom three, it was just time for him to leave. 

I'd say Miranda's elimination, if not Robert's was the first real shock of the season. Did you agree with the judges' decision? Why do you think the judges flip-flopped on her? Do you think the judges are consciously trying to keep the couples together?

-- Claire Zulkey

Photo: The top 16 contestants on "So You Think You Can Dance."

Credit: Adam Rose / Fox