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So You Think You Can Dance recap: Joy and Tears

Katie Holmes performs and there are surprising eliminations as the cast celebrates the 100th episode

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Sytycd Janette Manrara
Mike Ruiz/Fox

So You Think You Can Dance

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

Terrible choice, voters! You heard Nigel’s condescending post-mortem nag: ”I think Ameriker got it wrong.” (Zip it, Nigel.) Last night, ballroom specialist Janette Manrara, who turned out to be the most versatile female dancer of season 5, departed the So You Think You Can Dance laser dome after a very surprising elimination. I’m finding Jason Glover’s ouster a bit easier to stomach than Janette’s — nothing against Jason; I’m just not too thrown off and accept that it was probably ”his time.” I’m seriously shocked by Janette. I loved how Cat didn’t even know how to handle the news, so she proceeded to deliver 18 smacking kisses to the same spot on Janette’s tiny noggin. Is this behavior typical of cheetahs?

Here’s what shocked me the most last night: Evan didn’t land in the bottom two. Now, I agree with dance and wine expert Ellen Degeneres that he’s a ”very, very, very special guy,” but that’s just it. Evan strikes me as a kind, foppishly endearing court jester who does the same solo each week and barely keeps up in the partner dances. I just can’t consider him a proper SYTYCD star. We’re down to the final six and he’s still here, so maybe I’m missing something obvious. Perhaps Evan can change my mind next week with a hard-hitting krump. Melissa should pair up with him on that — she’s got a lot to prove, too.

Thursday’s results show kicked off with a trippy rendition of ”One” from A Chorus Line, brought to you by ”Mamma” Mia Michaels, who celebrated the big 100 by knotting her hair into her headwrap instead of just knotting the headwrap. I was a little thrown off when Mia referred to herself as the contestants’ mother, because Cat’s the one who’s always comforting them, saying ”C’mere, you,” and nestling their tiny, sweaty frames in her surely fragrant Amazonian armpit. She is so their mom if anyone is. But I suppose the wordplay did work in Mia’s favor.

Oh, did you hear? Thursday marked the series’ 100th episode. To commemorate the occasion, the producers whipped up a montage of impressive and/or memorable moments that inexplicably granted more screen time to the nationally reviled waste of space known as Sex. I also could have lived without Nigel’s facially abominable simulation of sex, but did enjoy revisiting some gems, like the time Cat tried on Twitch’s glasses, or the back-flipping auditioner with propeller-like Luigi legs. Not to mention virtually everything shown from seasons 1 and 2. When the clip show really kicked in, the shots basically alternated between (1) actual movement and (2) closeups of the contestants breaking down in tears. Dancing! Crying. Dancing. Crying! This is the essence of the show. I love both elements equally, and sat there with a goofy open-mouthed grin wondering ”Why, if 100 episodes is such an important event, isn’t this damn telecast two hours long?”

We did get to see a few reprises. Jaimie and Hok’s love story between a hummingbird and a flower was as delightfully weird as it was in season 3. Was my smattering of goosebumps a result of the air conditioner or Hok’s final series of flutters? I’ll never know. Later, Travis and Heidi’s beloved bench dance from season 2 showcased Travis even more than I remembered — this dance really was all about him, and rightfully so. Heidi’s blinding mop of hair put up a good fight this time around, but to no avail; she was still the sad little girl with the enormous flower who could never quite reach her brooding boy. Ooh, this was getting fun. Nostalgia was kicking in. Nothing against the choreography of this and last season, but the early creations somehow seemed more striking, especially back then.

NEXT: Katie Holmes struts her stuff