On ''So You Think You Can Dance,'' the judges swiftly ax one down-on-her-luck dancer, but America sends the worst one sailing through

By Archana Ram
June 29, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
Joe Viles/FOX
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”So You Think You Can Dance”: Torn sympathies

For the second week in a row, I was shouting at my television set on a Thursday night. Last week it was because the judges granted Cedric a pardon after America rightly put him in the bottom. So you can imagine how loud I got last night, when Cat Deely announced Cedric had won enough votes to stick around another week.

See, this time I knew Cedric was going home. The judges knew Cedric was going home. Even Cedric knew Cedric was going home. But apparently, America didn’t get the memo. Even Cat, who usually has nothing interesting to add, said she wouldn’t have believed Cedric would be safe in a million years. America must’ve been hypnotized by his so-called ”inspirational” speech, which included a nod to the Big Guy upstairs. Nigel put it best when he said, ”Five million people voted and five million people are wrong.” If SYTYCD were controlled by producers, the cynic in me would say Cedric remains because it makes for good television — which may have been last week’s strategy when the judges kept him. But this week, America, I’m pointing the finger at you.

Luckily, last night also gave me a reason to shout with joy: Jessi was finally sent home! She was given the okay to dance from doctors and even performed her cha-cha with Pasha just for kicks — but by the end of the hour, the judges delivered their decision swiftly and with little explanation. What was she thinking with her solo? More importantly, what was she thinking with that ’80s getup? Baggy pants? Sideways hat? Zip-up hoodie? What happened to her trademark barely-there outfits? Maybe she was trying to tell us that there’s more to her than sex appeal. Well, there wasn’t. Her uninspired, unnatural hip-hop solo fell flat, and I’m sure she knew that had she performed her cha-cha the previous night, she probably would’ve been safe. I get that she wanted to show range with hip-hop, but when she performed a solo closer to her own style last week, she was just as bad. It just goes to show that Jessi didn’t belong on the show from the beginning. As she stood speechless after the quickest elimination I’ve ever seen, I didn’t feel too bad. I knew that Robin Antin was ready somewhere, with whip and garter, to make her into a Pussycat Doll.

Wednesday’s stellar performances got my hopes up for amazing solos come elimination night, but most were stale bread. Sara’s breakdancing was old news, Anya and Neil’s pieces relied on too many spins and tricks, and Jesus’ solo with a rock ‘n’ roll twist was cute but nothing that would wow the judges. The one shining star was Danny, who is becoming my new favorite. Showing off his crisp movements and crazy-long legs, his piece was the only one with performance quality. Special shout-out to Lauren, though, for dancing to Kevin Federline’s ”Popozao.” The dance was sub-par, but K-Fed? That takes guts, girl!

In the end, it was Jesus on the sidelines with Jessi. As long as it wasn’t Danny, I didn’t care which male dancer they cut, even though Nigel called Neil’s solo ”outstanding.” I could’ve done without one or two (or three) of his twirls, but then again, I could’ve also done without Fergie’s lemon-yellow pants. Hey, you can’t win them all.

Until next time, when your regular SYTYCD TV Watcher Adam B. Vary returns, here are some questions to ponder: Will Cedric finally get the boot next week? Is there one choreographer who guarantees votes? And what other Muppet-like outfits does Anya have in store for us?

Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and the viewers at home crown America’s Favorite Dancer.
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