SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE: Top 8 Performances - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE: Top 8 Performances

December 9, 2009 by  

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Tell me I wasn’t the only one floored last night when Cat mentioned that next week was the finale?  I nearly fell off my chair (which I’m glad I didn’t, as that probably wouldn’t bee good for someone recovering from back surgery). In the back of my mind I knew that they were going to have a six person finale, but it seemed a bit too sudden. I just wasn’t ready. But it’s true. Next week is the finale, and that means that all but the two going home tonight will be competing next week for the title of America’s Favorite Dancer.

But before we crown the winner, let’s take a quick look at last night’s performance show. Overall it was a strong night with a few standout routines. Although I know that this season has been a drag for some, there is no denying that the talent is of a much higher caliber this season. But what seems to be lacking is the chemistry, not between the partners, but between the audience and the dancers.

Last night we learned that Ashleigh had dislocated her shoulder and didn’t have medical clearance to perform this week. How devastating! The week before the finale and she didn’t give the audience one last opportunity to see why she deserves to be in next week’s finale.  I might have been cold to Ash at the start, but she really proved herself this season. And how tragic would it be for this girl to once again lose out on her chance to persue her dream because of an injury? Hasn’t she been through enough?

As she joined Cat on stage at the top of the show to make the announcement, Ashleigh’s true emotions betrayed her when the tears she tried so hard to fight back streamed down her face despite the smile she tried to put on. But I was the one crying when later in the show, after her husband performed his solo, he took the time to tearfully beg the audience to vote for his wife. Cat Deeley needed a moment to compose herself…I needed a full box of tissues.  And last night at 10pm sharp, when I picked up the phone to vote for Ashleigh, I was happy that it took many, many attempts before I was able to get through to place my vote.

Ok. On to the routines!

Kathryn & Ryan
Disco by Doriana Sanchez
Mary & Adam were really digging this number, but I was more with Nigel. I thought it was a little too stiff. And why aren’t the judges calling out Ryan on his cheesy smile? I know he’s a ballroom dancer, but his face is trying too hard to connect with the audience when he should be trying to connect more with his partner. I can’t say I was impressed with this routine.  But it takes something amazing for me to get excited about disco. (Video)

Cha Cha by Jason Gilkison
Hot damn! This was a fantastic routine. I not only went back and watched it again immediately, I even woke my sleeping mother up from her slumber on the couch to watch it. This was hot business. Not only did Kathryn and Ryan look amazing, but the choreography was so suave that it might just go down as one of my favorite routines of the season.

Mollee & Jakob
Viennese Waltz by Jason Gilkison

It’s amazing how Jakob Karr can make his partners look so good.  Pairing him with Mollee really did nothing to elevate Jakob’s game (although, I’m not sure it needs any elevating), but it did wonders for Mollee.  While I liked elements of this routine, I really think it would have been better if Jakob was paired with a more elegant dancer. I could see strain on Mollee’s face during some bits. I would have liked to see this dance with perhaps Kathryn or Ellenore. But Jason did some beautiful work tonight. (Video)

Broadway by Joey Dowling
Maybe I’m a sucker for anything from “Annie” but I loved this routine. Nigel was right, Mollee is meant for Broadway (if she can make it that is). This routine was fun, sassy and full of energy. Jakob and Mollee looked like they were having a lot of fun on the stage and in turn I had a blast watching them.

Ellenore & Legacy
Contemporary by Travis Wall

Another fantastic routine by Travis Wall.  I’m not sure I was expecting this hard hitting, “dangerous” number from Trav. He’s usually more about telling us a love story. But this spy vs. spy piece was awesome. Legacy and Ellenore made the whole routine look fun, but Nigel was right, it was in fact very dangerous.  Go back and watch it again and pay attention to the incredible timing on some of the jumps and lifts. One false move and someone could have been really hurt.  This isn’t the first Mr. & Mrs. Smith’esque routine we’ve had on SYTYCD but it was one of the best.

Hip Hop by NappyTabs
Can someone please explain to me why in three hip hop routines, none of the choreographers really took advantage of Legacy’s amazing skills? The last two weeks he’s had Hip Hop and both routines were poorly choreographed. The audience really lost out.  We saw more of his B-Boy skills in Travis’ contemporary piece last night and Sonja’s routine a few weeks ago. What a shame.  And it’s a shame that NappyTabs let down Ellenore and Legacy so much with that routine last night. It started off strong, but it jsut got all kinds of messy. I think it was danced ok, but I don’t think anyone could have really saved that routine. (Video)

Ashleigh & Russell
Hip Hop by Shane Sparks
For the second time in the competition, Russell had lost a partner due to injury.  Once again he had to take the stage with an assistant to the choreographer. But once again Russell showed no sign of stress. He killed both his routines tonight, and in both dances he was far better than his partner. I was bothered that the judges didn’t remind the audience that this is the second time Russell had to go it alone. The hip hop routine was hard hitting and very powerful. And as Nigel reminded us all, Krump is a derivative  of hip hop, so it wasn’t as if Russell was dancing in his genre. Although I’m sure she wanted to put all the focus on Russell, his partner really sucked. Maybe it was the nerves, but she kind of embarrassed herself on the stage last night. Good thing Russell could make up for her lack of partnership. (Video)

Bollywood by Nakul Dev Mahajan
How I love a good Bollywood routine! And I really would have loved to see Ash perform this alongside Russell. I think she would have looked beautiful in that costume.  This time around Russell had a formidable partner on stage to fill in for Ash, but even still my eyes were drawn to Russell.  He has this incredibly joyful face and you just can’t help but smile along with him. He nailed every little hand gesture and step. Way to go Russell!

Alone on the stage…
Each of the dancers got a chance to perform a solo in their own genre.  I don’t think anyone really bombed out there, but other than Russell I’m not sure anyone really stood out.  Well, Jakob did of course, because he’s Jakob, but I guess I wasn’t surprised because he’s always that good.  Russell on the other hand came out and did a hard hitting Krump solo while dressed up as Santa Clause. It was not only fun, but more importantly it was memorable.  Given that he lost his partner this week, I think Russell should have been able to be the final solo of the night, but either way he kicked ass. Way to go, Russell.

Going from 8 to the finale…
Tonight one more guy and one more girl will go home.  I honestly have NO idea how this is going to go down.

For the girls, it’s a no brainer for me. I want to see Mollee leave. No surprise there since I’ve wanted to see her leave since Week 1.

The guys is a bit tougher.  I suppose it will be Ryan leaving us tonight, but I can’t say that he really deserves to go. He’s had very few missteps this season, and with performances like last night’s Cha Cha, you just hate to see him go. But I think it’s going to happen.

So I guess that leaves my dream Top 6 as: Jakob, Ellenore, Legacy, Kathryn, Russell and Ashleigh.

I’ll be live blogging tonight’s results show, so be sure to set your alarm to come back here at 8pm EST to find out which two dancers will be going home, and which six move on to next week’s finale.

What did you think of the routines last night? Any standouts for you? Which three guys and which three girls do you want to see in next week’s finale, and why?


14 Responses to “SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE: Top 8 Performances”

  1. Amanda on December 9th, 2009 11:38 am

    Kathryn and Ryan’s cha cha was HOT. I really love her – so much so that I actually voted for the first time ever last night (for Kathryn, Legacy, and Jakob). I thought Jakob and Mollee’s waltz was beautiful, but of the 4 girls she should be the one to leave. The guys are tougher… for me it would be either Ryan or Russell, and I’m torn there. I can’t believe the finale is next week. That’s nuts.

  2. Tim G. (@rural_juror) on December 9th, 2009 11:59 am

    If I had my way, it’d be Mollee & Russell.

  3. Katey on December 9th, 2009 12:20 pm

    I absolutely loved the Cha Cha and, of course, the Travis Wall routine, because everything that boy does is just brilliant. This routine was so difficult, and Legacy and Ellenore totally nailed it and looked beautiful doing it. Ellenore looked kinda like a Bond girl, I thought. Amazing stuff. What a shame that their second routine was so disappointing, and it wasn’t their fault at all. When I watched the intro video, I thought it would be such a great routine, with Ellenore being her full quirky self, but it was kinda boring. I don’t know why NappyTabs always said that it would be a “weird” routine and kinda out of this world – it wasn’t. There wasn’t anything special or memorable. The only thing I kinda liked was the masks, but then again, we already had that in season 2 with Travis and Donyelle (I think it was a Shane Sparks routine), and that was a much better use of the whole trick with the masks.

    I also was a little disappointed by everyone’s solos – except for Russell’s of course. He was so much fun! The solos were technically as great as always, but I was looking for something unique, other than everyone’s signature moves that I already know by know. Well, except for Jakob, I wait for him to do that somersault thingy with his legs split, because that jump just seems physically impossible to me.

    As for who will leave, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be Ryan. And I hope Mollee will be leaving too. She really has improved, I’ll give her that, but she’s still not as good as the other 3 IMO.

  4. Elizabeth on December 9th, 2009 12:45 pm

    I have to say, not that big a fan of Legacy, wouldn’t mind seeing him go home tonight. Why aren’t they having a finale with the Final 4?

  5. Patty on December 9th, 2009 1:21 pm

    If they did Final 4 it would be on Christmas Eve.

    I hope it’s Mollee that leaves. While she has been better in the top 10, she is still not as good as the other three. But even if Ashleigh makes it, will they clear her to dance? LOVE Kathryn and Ellenore. Period.

    Boys is tough. Jakob should win. Hands down. I love Legacy but I think the choreographers have screwing him the past few weeks on hip hop. If they are not going to make him dance outside his style then the hip hop should be magnificent! What’s with the horrific costuming on both this weeks and last weeks hip hop numbers? Why do they insist on putting baggy sleeves and all that material on top? I would rather see them in spandex from head to tow than dance with a cape or those things they had on last night.

    I love Ryan and think he is one of the strongest partners we have ever seen. I couldn’t help but think that Russell is the weaker of the two since he has had two wounded partners. Does he drop them? I love that Ellenore could depend on Ryan to catch her in the lifts and all he had to do was tell her that. (ok and probably practice but I bet he knows how to drop someone with out hurting them too!)

    This has been my favorite season since Travis. I think it’s for sure a closer race than it has been in a long time. I really like everyone who is left (except Mollee)

  6. DJ on December 9th, 2009 4:01 pm

    I adore Russell, he kiled both of his routines and I don’t think people realize how much Russell has went through this season. two of his partners have been injured, he’s danced 5 ballroom routines and has been consistent the whole way through. He has such a magnetic personality that I can’t help but love him. I’m kinda bothered that there aren’t challenging Legacy his routines other than those 2 ballrooms have been so heavily hip hop influenced that he’s not really growing outside his own genre. My final 6 would be Russell, Jakob, Ellenore, Kathyryn, Ashliegh and I may be in minority here but I would choose Ryan over Legacy.

  7. Amanda R. on December 10th, 2009 6:08 pm

    Well, first of all I personally enjoyed season 5 more than this one, but only because this has all seemed a bit rushed and it’s unfortunate they had to compact the season into such a short time and have the finale with a large total of 6 dancers. This has been a memorable season, though, and I have looked forward to every episode.

    Even though it was on last night, I couldn’t see who was voted off, so I will still give my opinion as if it hasn’t been on already.

    For the guys, I have loved Jakob from the start, and I was so sad to see Billy Bell unable to take part in this season, but Jakob sure did take the stage this season, so to speak, for the remaining guys. Legacy has grown as a dancer quite a lot, and Russell surprised me from the start with his ability to conform to so many different styles, and his personality is fabulous… but, Ryan hasn’t grown very much as a dancer, (hence the still very ballroom-ish smile plastered on his face) …and has anyone noticed he hasn’t had any truly slow, calm numbers? (Like Jakob and Mollee last night) A lot of ballroom thrown for him and Ashleigh. Funny.
    I think, just by default, Ryan should go home. Even though he practically hasn’t made any mistakes or had any bad numbers, and is definitely one of the best partners in all of SYTYCD history, he just doesn’t measure up personality and dancer-wise to the rest of the guys.

    For the girls, I have LOVED Ellenore from the start. She is just so unique, fun, and a great performer and dancer. I adored her routine with Jakob last week. I can’t believe she is in the bottom two this week! (I’ve seen the episode up till the solos, none of which I have seen, so I know who is in the bottom and such.) I also related to Mollee from the start, which is why they went in-depth with her story before the auditions even really got into gear..for the “America’s favorite” aspect of her personality…everyone can enjoy her personality and spirit. But, alas, she isn’t as great a dancer as she could be. She has improved a LOT and I do agree Nathan probably held her back in the first few weeks of the show, but all in all she has had a good run. I was very upset to learn it was down to her and Ellenore. Very upset.
    I like Kathryn, but was surprised she was largely/popularly voted for because I have always thought it was unfortunate her personality shows a little less than the other girls and so have thought she was a little behind in the “America’s favorite” aspect…but apparently, not. To my happy surprise.
    I don’t like Ashleigh, and I haven’t from the start. She wasn’t supposed to be on the show originally for a reason, and Paula was a WAY better dancer than her, I was sad to hear she too, like Billy Bell, had something come in the way of her joining the show, and then Ashleigh took her place. Ash has gotten her style (or similar enough) handed to her repeatedly, and easier (not easy, but easier) styles to grasp than other couples have had, which I think helped her get this far, because I feel that she has a sticky (frustrating) personality and an annoying (sorry, it’s true) smile. It must be the Achilles heel of ballroom dancers, (their smile), when they’re trying to grow into other less-smiley-styles. She should have gone home long ago, especially before Noelle went home, and deserved at least to be in the bottom two if not sent home this week. The only reason she was not voted off was because all of America took pity on her story and (her husband’s tears) about her last chance to dance. Face it, if that hadn’t happened, way less votes would have been cast for Ashleigh and she would have at least been in the bottom two, as she deserves.

    My apologies for the raw content of my opinions, as I know I am in minority for being against the “Ashleigh topic”, but please listen to the rest of my opinions as I take time to make them accurate and well read. 🙂

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