On paper, trying to judge tonight’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance would be kind of like asking an Olympic official to give scores in a competition that involved a diver, a gymnast, a figure skater, and a synchronized swimmer. (Whoa. In the absence of your regularly scheduled SYTYCD recapper Adam B. Vary, welcome to my gay fever dream!) Seriously, though, while all four of those events can be judged based on technical execution and difficulty, as well as artistic interpretation, their inherent differences make comparisons downright treacherous. And in that same vein, how do you stack up a goofy Broadway routine and the dreaded quick-step against an emotionally rich contemporary dance and a crowd-pleasing disco boogie?
Well, you do it because (like it or not) that’s how this particular game of reality TV is played. And once you accept that, all you can do is take Nigel’s advice not to judge the dancers based on the steps their choreographers give them, but rather, to look at how accurately and how passionately those sets of steps are executed. On that set of criteria then, perhaps it’s just a coincidence that the two dancers I think should and will exit the show on Thursday — Evan and Melissa — are the ones who drew the proverbial short straws in the choreography department. But before we get to the bad news…
Let’s start by sending Brandon and Kayla directly to safety, shall we? For most of the season, Melissa and Ade have been my favorite dancers on the show, but after tonight, a finale without the most technically flawless duo in the competition would have me reaching for the phone to dial 911 and report a double robbery. Honestly, as Mary noted tonight, neither Brandon nor Kayla have taken a bad step since reaching the top 20, and while they both found themselves at risk last week, I think that flirtation with elimination only fueled their inner fire tonight.
Take their Doriana Sanchez routine, set to Sylvester’s ”Dance (Disco Heat),” which Cat so amusingly declared was one of the most ”difficult disco dances to date” (before cheekily adding ”try saying that after a cocktail!”). Watching the rehearsal footage of Brandon and Kayla’s limbs going akimbo, all I could think was that the routine was looking like something out of Cirque du No-Way, and yet by the time they took the stage, they’d ironed out every wrinkle. I particularly loved the gender switcheroos Sanchez threw in, with Kayla exhibiting her strength on the his-and-hers death drops, as well as assisting Brandon with that final, dramatic flip. Brandon, not surprisingly, showed off his brawn, too, particularly during that insane lift during which Kayla’s head pointed to the floor and her legs formed a V formation that would be the envy of Canadian geese everywhere. Still, those moves were mere runners-up to Kayla and Brandon executing perfectly synchronized arm movements while she sat atop his shoulders. Cat totally stole the words from my brain when the fast and furious routine ended and she asked the breathless couple: ”Are you alive?” (Anyone want to join me in demanding more disco, and a little less waltzing, for next season?)
NEXT: Brandon’s flying high