''So You Think You Can Dance'' names its finalists, sending Lauren and Pasha home during a night of otherwise odd choices
”So You Think You Can Dance”: The final four
So here are the unequivocally good things about last night’s results show: As I’d hoped, Sabra, Danny, Lacey, and Neil are in the final four. Cedric is getting a full ride to Debbie Allen’s dance academy. Annnnnd…um…yeah. That’s it.
Things got funky real fast when Wade Robson’s opening routine tried to marry the Swamp Thing with Tom Waits, neither of which I’ve ever really associated with dancing. (I’m currently working hard to purge the image of Robson dreaming about a shirtless Nick Nolte dressed only in palm fronds doing the jitterbug on the bayou, but I. Can’t. Seem. To. Get. It. Out. Of. My. Head.) Then guest judge Debbie Allen nearly tripped over Steven Spielberg’s name after she dropped it introducing Titus Fotso, our first guest dancer of the evening. But Titus never showed up. Instead, this large shirtless dude wandered onto the stage and occasionally swung his arms and bobbed his head around like a guy who’d seen African tribal dancing before and wanted to know if he could pull it off himself — which the audience didn’t seem to be paying all that much attention to anyway, what with their wild cheering at totally random moments. And then it was over, and Cat took us to commercial while fending off the giant black bird with a bad hemline that was trying to eat her. And we still never got to see this mysterious Titus Fotso, who Debbie Allen swears is the Best Dancer She’s Ever Discovered While Producing a Steven Spielberg Movie. I hope he’s okay.
Then it was time for the Worst Fashion Show Ever, er, I mean the women’s solos. (Okay, I’ll stop with the Capital Letters Now, Promise.) I’m beginning to suspect that the wardrobe department must have one of the guys in the office betting pool; how else to explain how the women, in the words of one of my viewing companions, all looked like Hot Topic threw up all over them? I get that Lauren wanted to evoke the ’80s to best match her solo song choice of ”Heartbreaker,” but no one, ever, for any reason, should wear leopard-print leggings — ever! At least Sabra’s hair looked like it wasn’t styled by Edward Scissorhands, but then again those red tassel-hang-y-down things circling her dancing hot pants would barely work on an acrobat-clown in a Russian circus, and that’s during the Cold War. And though Lacey’s XXL T-shirt dress-jammies didn’t exactly go with her single hot-red half glove (unless she was aiming for that ever-popular Neverland Ranch sleepover look), I was happy to see that she chose not to bust out the Hustler magazine poses for her solo. Nope, instead she freaked me out but good by somehow twisting her right leg into positions that don’t appear to be exactly within the bounds of the medically possible. Way to get me hiding behind my laptop, Lacey!
The guys, thank goodness, fared far better in the sartorial department — until they screwed it all up. Pasha’s solo was the best he’s ever done — inventive, cohesive, and a true solo number and not partner dancing without the partner. But then he had to break out the cheeseball ”I was ironing my shirt and I burned it” line to explain his shirtlessness. (To be clear, it’s the line I’m not happy about; the pants-and-suspenders-only look worked quite well.) I’ve been impressed of late that Danny’s cockiness has finally been replaced by a calm confidence; of course, he did dance his solo as if he had the whole hour to perform instead of less than 30 seconds. And though at this point in the show Neil gets my vote for most improved, I really don’t think it was necessary for him to squeeze into that XS American Apparel-y long-sleeve top when no top would’ve been far more entertaining. (Again: Human = Me.)
So, it’s on to the results — right after this segment from So You Think You Can Dance Gives Back, a.k.a. Nigel Talks a Lot About How Great Dance Is and Then Mia and Shane Teach the Youngest-Looking Teachers Ever a Brief Routine That the Teachers Will Then Presumably Teach Over and Over and Over to Their Poor Inner-City Students Until They Too Can Do 30 Seconds of Body Swirling and Angular Arm Twisting. At least Nigel copped to the fact that they’re really all doing this to make themselves feel good, though it is pretty cool that they’re traveling to schools across the country to do so. And speaking of the inner city, we finally got to see what krumping is really all about: sick, often improvised, insanely fast hip-hop meets breaking meets tribal-dance movement that also apparently requires a great deal of crotch adjustment. Phew!
And now, finally, the results: Lacey and Danny were safe right off the bat, but I’m going to skip over all of that and go straight into the lockdown situation! Cat Deeley: ”Now, audience, my lovelies, remember to stay calm, leave in an orderly manner from the soundstage so that you’re not secretly texting the results to your mates’ MySpace blog. This is a lockdown situation, and we can’t have you telling anyone that by the time the show airs, my entire upper torso will be consumed by feathers and we most likely will already be in the middle of filming our season-finale performance episode anyway. If somehow you do breach the lockdown situation and spill the beans, Mary Murphy will eat you. That is all.”
But back to the final four. It’s hard to know for certain if Lacey was made to be ”safe” early because she got the greatest number of votes, but if we pretend for the moment that that is the case, then Sabra better step it up big time (pun semi-intended) if she’s going to beat Lacey for the top prize. I believe this means I’ve more or less written off Danny and Neil as runners-up, but I don’t really care so long as the finale follows last year’s formula and these two men do a routine together. Though it would be poetic justice if Benji’s sister lost to Travis’ brother, wouldn’t it?
Who do you think is the front-runner? Did you ”get” Titus Fotso’s routine? And were Mary Murphy and Debbie Allen blind when they praised Lauren’s class, elegance, and beauty while staring at a Cyndi Lauper music-video extra?