Okay, it’s settled. Since the show didn’t bother to care much for coherent structure, I won’t either. I present you with the highlights and lowlights of last night’s SYTYCD, in completely random order:
Jason and Jeanine’s ”Heart Pendant”
I’ve already waxed on about their choreographer, but Travis’ routine would’ve been all of a hot mess if it hadn’t been for the fierce commitment of both these dancers. Keeping a handle on that heart pendant alone was super tricky — in fact, I suspect a healthy portion of you are going to be talking in the message boards about how the pendant was too literal and too cluttered, one artistic touch too many. But I actually loved how Jason and Jeanine let it make the number a little messy, keeping the smoldering story they were telling grounded in just how confusing it would be for two long platonic friends to start up a romantic relationship. Last week, I noted that Jason seemed like the guy with the most untapped potential, but I still had no idea he had this much expressive power packed into that (let’s be honest now) damn fine body of his. And Jeanine simply keeps getting better with every passing week; not only is her dancing simply terrific, but she’s the funniest presence in the interview packages by far. “Cue reel of lifts” — that’s some good comedy right there.
The new couples “picking” each other
I know we saw the female dancers pick their partners from a hat, but, um, did anyone else think most of the resulting partnerships a wee bit too on the nose to have been pure happenstance? The tallest woman picks the shortest man, and the shortest woman picks the tallest man. The two dancers whose partners went home last week get partnered up. And the most un-ironically effervescent, Midwestern girl picks the most strenuously eccentric, “exotic” (i.e. Hawaiian) man. Riiiiiiight. Totally unplanned.
Brandon and Ade’s solos
The girls may have gone wild for Brandon’s solo, and understandably so, given the male front-runner’s potent compilation of structured flailing. But for the second week, Ade had the best solo of the night, and that still would’ve been the case even if he hadn’t leapt into that death-defying back flip. Ade makes me feel like a jerk, quite frankly; I’d written him off in the early going, since he’d so often been given little more to do on stage than effortlessly lift Melissa, and he gave little more in his off stage interviews than the most blandly generic of sound bites. But after his dazzling solos this week and last week, and his hip-hop work with Janette (more on that in…a bit), I find myself finally understanding Lil C’s comment from Top 18 week that Ade is the real male front-runner this season. I don’t quite buy it yet, but at least I understand it.
NEXT: Janette proves she’s not perfect