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Emmys 2017
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So You Think You Can Dance recap: Eight Ball

After everyone reveals why he or she got into dance, the four couples try to show why they should stay

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Mark Kanemura

So You Think You Can Dance

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Nigel Lythgoe, Cat Deeley, Mary Murphy
Current Status:
In Season

As a stand-in for your most favorite jidge of them all, Mr. Adam B. Vary (who’ll be back next Wednesday), I know the legacy I must live up to for this one night’s recap of So You Think You Can Dance. I have to be worthy to type about the likes of Twitch’s chest pumps, Nigel’s perv-acious nature, and Mary Murphy’s all-powerful vocal chords. But if I say so myself, — I’m IV Real. I’ve watched every Cat-hosted season, I vote an absurd number of times for a handful of my favorite contestants, I download the night’s best songs — I’ve even lovingly forced my boyfriend and my roommate to watch until they knelt at the altar of Cat Deeley and NapTab.

We’re frighteningly close to the finale, as the mildly BeDazzled Cat reminded us tonight. Two weeks away? Time flies when you’re falling in love with new choreographers, an increasingly sensational host, and a cast of contestants with palpable heart and soul. You could tell that the producers were looking for ways to pad out a night of eight routines and eight solos, yet the solo dances remained short. But I guess we needed to hear the guest judge, the choreographer and singer Toni Basil (”Mickey”), define street hip-hop for us two or three times.

Will and Courtney were the first couple to pair up, and both seemed happy. Or maybe Will was just relieved he wasn’t calling out Comfort’s name, and Courtney was eyeing her ticket to the top six on the coattails of the judge’s crush. Jean-Marc Genereux, who choreographed the samba, agreed that we’ve seen too many gratuitous shots of Will’s chesticles. Of course wardrobe found a way to sneakily expose his pecs with a fishnet tank top — heinous! I know that the judges are on Team Where There’s a Will There’s a Win, but I was shocked when the pair received high praise from the panel. Overall, the samba looked clunky, and every time Will picked Courtney up, he looked as if he were hoisting a heavy sack of potatoes instead of the spry cheerleader she is. And when they did that clumsy face-to-face humping move? I saw awkward eighth-grade dance rather than the polished top eight. Even their hip-hop routine was lacking a sincere connection and didn’t even come close to ”No Air” and ”Bleeding Love” — or, um, making SYTYCD history, Will. A Napoleon-Tabitha routine is a waste on a couple that can’t kill it like Katee and Joshua.

Will’s James Brown solo was too gimmicky and too strange to enjoy. As a viewer, I haven’t been able to connect with the Debbie Allen protégé from the beginning, and — here goes, get your cyber tomatoes ready for me — I’d be happy to see him leave the show tonight. Yeah, yeah, he’s a ridiculously beautiful, talented, and amazing dancer, but for me, that’s not all the show is about. I thought Nigel’s early but brushed-off comparison to last season’s Danny was actually spot-on: Will is cocky and knows he’ll be successful with or without the title of America’s Favorite Dancer. He’ll just never have the same spirit we see every week in Twitch, Joshua, and Mark.

NEXT: Katee’s tabloid romance


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