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So You Think You Can Dance recap: Getting Better

A few dancers redeem themselves as the top 14 perform

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Think You Can Dance
Joe Viles/Fox

So You Think You Can Dance

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

At the beginning of last night’s episode, Cat promised us a nail-biting performance show. It would be exciting! Breath-taking! Filled with intrigue! Will some of our dancers redeem themselves for poor performances last week? Will some the mighty contestants fall in the race to the top 12? Will the growth on Mary’s shoulder officially swallow her whole?

Too bad the latter didn’t happen — the two-hour show could have used some excitement. That’s not to say the episode didn’t boast its fair share of stellar performances. But I can’t help but feel that season 6 is still coming up short. Yes, our dancers are strong, and they have performed some strong numbers. But are they inspired? I have yet to experience a moment this fall in which I was so in love with the dancing on screen that I simply couldn’t turn away, even if my cat bounded up to me with a pint of Chubby Hubby wrapped in her paws. By this point in season 4, for example, we had already seen such lovely numbers as Chesie and Mark’s ”Bleeding Love,” or Kherington and Twitch’s ”Dreaming With a Broken Heart.” (And that season’s week 4 boasted two dances from each couple.) Add to all that the fact that our judges practically whipped out copies of The Gettysburg Address to fill time last night, and things just can’t help but seem just a bit disappointing. Season 6 has been good. But I really need it to be great.

The episode, however, did have its highlights, starting with a non-dancing one: Our judges’ baby pictures! We had a picture of a 9-year-old Nigel who seemed to be living in the 19th century. (Where was his rolling hoop?) A teenaged Mary Murphy. (Mary, apparently, came out of the womb full grown.) And an ever-so-cute pic of Adam. But where was Cat? Anyone else dying to see what our lovable host looked like as a kid? Of course, she was likely beautiful and statuesque at all ages, which would inevitably make me hate myself even more for that bowl cut I tried to rock as a 7-year-old, so maybe it’s for the best. But let’s get to the dancing highlights, shall we? Here are my predictions for this week:


Ellenore and Ryan: Last week, the bottom three-dwelling duo suffered from luck of the draw. Well, this week, Ellenore and Ryan pulled a shiny, gold-plated lottery ticket out of the hat: choreographer Travis Wall. The SYTYCD alum is quickly becoming one of the show’s most exciting choreographers, and last night he handed Ellenore and Ryan the best gift they could ask for: a beautiful contemporary routine. The duo soared, twirled, and flowed with conviction. But then again, a pair of hamsters would soar, twirl and flow with conviction under the direction of the budding choreographer. Perhaps I’m alone — and judging by our panelists’ exhausting long-winded comments, I probably am — but I still haven’t drunk the Kool-Aid when it comes to this duo. During the entire routine, I was more focused on Ellenore’s lovely yellow dress than her dancing. And, until Ryan puts on a shirt, I’ll continue to wonder whether or not his shirt buttons are actually opposing magnets, rather than focus on the wonder of his dance skills. The routine — about a reunited couple — was definitely better than the pair’s foray into hip-hop last week, but unlike Adam, I found myself breathing just fine during their number. Regardless, when you consider the amount of time spent on the couple — and the fact that their fans will be working overtime after their brush with danger last week — they should be just fine.

NEXT: Abs aplenty