August 04, 2006 at 12:00 PM EDT

”So You Think You Can Dance”: Deep cuts

This week’s Most Ridiculous Audience Sign? ”Nigel’s hot.” I can’t argue with it or anything. Clearly Ameriker has spoken, and it thinks Nigel is hot. What can you do? It’s what Ameriker wants! (”Natalie is organic!” followed closely behind, but it lost because that’s such a Mia word.)

An unusually flat-haired Natalie got the boot last night. When she found out, she yelled, ”Opa!” I found this hysterical because I associate that word with receiving flaming cheese (saganaki) at Greek restaurants. According to a cursory Internet search, this word has no specific definition. I’m going to go with ”happiness,” because duh, flaming cheese, and also because happy sums up how Natalie looked when her name was called.

The good thing about the way the jidges completely crush some of the poor dancers’ spirits on Wednesdays is that when their time is up, they’re pretty much aware of it before the announcement. Appropriately, Natalie copped an eff-you attitude before Cat’s painfully drawn-out elimination shenanigans. When asked if the girls were ready for the verdict, Nat piped up that of course they were, silly kitten! Her ”whatever” shrug when the camera panned to her after the elimination was pretty cute, too. She was ready to leave.

Ivan knew it, too, and had as resigned an attitude about it as Natalie. I loved that he hadn’t gotten Mary’s Seabiscuit reference and still didn’t seem to care after she explained it again. The jidges went a little overboard with all that from-boy-to-man crap, but Ivan took it in stride and even got to speak up to thank everyone who ever voted for him.

The dancers all seemed tired this week, and quite frankly, so was I. Except for Heidi and Travis’ ”pop” routine (the word was even in quotes on the dry-erase board backstage), most of the dances looked like stuff we’d seen before: a jogging-in-place Broadway bit, a playing-hard-to-get hip-hop routine, and Ivan prancing around in a long-sleeved hemp blouse. Are these shirts an absolute requirement for contemporary? It’s Ivan dancing, not Mia. They should have thrown him into a tight tee.

Heidi and Travis received the most flattering jidge reviews on Wednesday night. (Thanks, Wade Robson!) Partners Natalie and Ivan were universally trashed, seemingly just for showing up for their two numbers. Gosh, did they think they could dance? They were so wrong! Benji continued his ”undefeated” streak — Nigel said he out-danced Donyelle in their hip-hop, and Mary was delighted by Benji’s plethora of different crowd-pleasing ”bones.” Crazy Mary was on a roll this week, threatening Mia with her animated talking hand for her harsh comments about Donyelle’s solo, and complaining that Natalie and Ivan’s jive offered ”just regular gas for me.” I wonder what kind of gut-clenching gas Mary’s system will get rewarded with next week if Travis and Benji end up dancing ballroom together.

Group choreographer and jidge Mia provided the most drama this week. Declaring Travis someone she’d hire and work with for the rest of her career was unnecessary and probably won’t help his case with voters. Her words to Natalie and especially Heidi were too harsh — calling Heidi out on a lack of versatility seemed inappropriate considering that, according to the other jidges, Heidi can do pretty much anything except contemporary. And if she had that problem with Heidi, why did Mia let off Ivan, an even bigger one-trick pony, with nothing but a breathless ”I love you!” Something must have gone down between the two women during a rehearsal session, or maybe Mia just can’t stand the twig because she’s not an active officer in Mia and Donyelle’s new ”Coalition of Big Butt Dancers Coalition.” If Mia’s going to jidge at next week’s ”performance finale,” perhaps she should feast on a special mixture of cinnamon granola and the tears of would-be contemporary dancers across Ameriker to put herself in a more pleasant mood.

Time to play Good Brit, Bad Brit! Note to Nigel: You need to stop with your whole British-granddaddy complex. You did not single-handedly bring dance to America. Young people dance all over this country — just because they never did it on TV until now (thanks to marvelous you!) doesn’t mean it never happened. And a major shout-out to Cat Deeley, who looks even more lovely in trousers than she does in a flowing white toga/dress. ”Come here and give us a squeeze, you,” she said while diving in for a Natalie hug last night. Who’s ”us”? And who could be more awkwardly hilarious while pretending to remove her dress after Travis revealed his vote-for-me undershirt? Loved that. You’re quite randy, you.

What do you think? Are Benji, Travis, Donyelle, and Heidi your ideal final four? Should Mia consider giving air, water, or fire a chance? And which dancer-puppet do you pick to go all the way?

Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and the viewers at home crown America’s Favorite Dancer.
TV Show
run date
In Season
Available For Streaming On
Complete Coverage

You May Like