After a ho-hum performance episode, the judges send a not-so-spicy dancer packing

By Kate Ward
Updated June 25, 2010 at 06:54 AM EDT
Mathieu Young/Fox

For the pants alone, she should have gone home. Honestly, as soon as Melinda was announced as one of the members of the bottom three — wearing something Jessica Simpson would don if she were trying out for the next season of Rock of Love Bus — I figured the tapper was a goner. Why shouldn’t I have assumed such? After all, tappers are never really welcome on the So You Think You Can Dance stage (oh, for it to be the 1940s again!), and, on top of it all, Melinda fell victim to lackluster choreography, and one of the worst costumes in the reality show’s history. And, oh, those red spandex pants! In the name of Buddy Love, why the red spandex pants?!

Yet, even after questionable fashion choices and a tap solo I can only describe as ”meh,” Melinda was given a second chance to stay on the show, even though, as Nigel noted, she’s so cold, his tongue would freeze if he licked her. (You know he’s dying to.) Instead, Mia and Adam opted to send Cristina packing, regardless of the fact that the salsa dancer showed more spice in 30 seconds than she had during any of her previous partner dances. That’s not to say, however, that I didn’t understand the final decision. Nigel said it best when he called Cristina an ”empty vessel.” Unlike some of the competition’s other larger-than-life characters, Cristina was almost too moldable. She was missing the life, the spirit expected of most ballroom dancers. She was — in a word — empty.

After all, I’d prefer to sacrifice Cristina in order to keep Robert, an expressive, if a bit over-the-top, contemporary dancer who rather strangely found himself in the bottom three as well. I’d like to blame the judges — who were rather harsh on Robert’s Argentine Tango — but we have to keep in mind that ballroom very rarely inspires voters to pick up the phone. Add that to the fact that most SYTYCD fans seem to enjoy their routines without a huge slice of ham, and it’s no wonder that the guy couldn’t collect enough votes to run to safety. (But, I will say: Robert instead of Adéchiké? Seth and Amy say REALLY?!) Luckily, though, Robert saved himself with the only really inspired solo of the night, delivering gorgeous leaps and controlled extensions that would make Billy Bell green with envy. But we knew an inspired solo was coming — Robert had told Cat that he would be bringing his ”fighting spirit” to the stage. Or his Sally O’Malley spirit, based on the leg kick he accompanied with the phrase.

Curiously enough, however, the highlight of the evening didn’t come courtesy of any of the solos, Adam’s sassy remark that ”nobody’s above criticism,” or even the ho-hum opening group number choreographed by Sonya. Nope, the most rewind-able moment of the results episode came courtesy of a man deemed unfit for this season’s competition: Brian Gaynor and his dance troupe, Remote Control. Seriously, let’s hit pause for a moment, and talk about how amazing these three fellas were. The graceful gold-plated robots were so skilled and so hypnotic, I became overcome with the desire to kill the prime minister of Malaysia just mere seconds into their routine. And the fact that this non-competitor was the most awe-inspiring thing we’ve seen this week, well, that just makes me a sad panda.

But, before I go, I have to say, thank you, Baby Jesus, for backing our dear Kent. Apparently, you’ve gathered your three wise men and sheep together to power-vote for the small-town boy. (Baby Jesus is very skilled with technology.) Now, do me a favor and turn Pasha into wine, so I can drink him up, okay?

One note before I toss it to you kind folks: Because of a prior commitment, I will not be able to recap next week’s shows. But some good news: the legendary Adam B. Vary will be filling in, returning for a must-read, one-week only event! So show him the love he so deserves! And now, tell me, fellow So You Think You Can Dance fans: Should Cristina have gone home over Melinda? Do you wish Brian Gaynor would be given a chance to perform on the show as a competitor? Do you think Melinda’s red pants deserve to be burned, merely for existing? Do you, like me, wish the all-stars would dance behind all the guest singers the way they did during Debi Nova’s performance? (That would have certainly made Usher more enjoyable last week.) What other shows do you think Baby Jesus — the subject of the most ridiculous sign in this show’s history — is DVR-ing while watching SYTYCD?