'So You Think You Can Dance' sends two home
Posted August 22, 2012
Though all 10 finalists will be on the So You Think You Can Dance tour, only two can be America's favorite (male and female) dancers. Wednesday night, one guy and one girl had their final curtain calls.
Regulars Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy were joined by Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millipied to judge the top 10. After an opening number that paid tribute to Gene Kelly (Thursday marks his 100th birthday), the remaining dancers paired with SYTYCD All-Stars for viewers' votes.
Jazz dancer Tiffany Maher, 19, was paired with Season 5's Brandon Bryant for a disco performance host Cat Deeley called "Saturday Night Fever on steroids." Tiffany flew through 11 acrobatic lifts and "set the dance floor on fire" with the routine, said Mary. "You were fantastic," agreed Nigel.
Eighteen-year-old Latin dancer Witney Carson and Season 1 winner Nick Lazzarini played sexy ghosts in a jazz routine Mary called "smoldering." Nigel said, "You were even sexy when you were breathing. You could go all the way."
Cole Horibe, 26-year-old karate master, danced a cha-cha with Season 3's Anya Garnis. Though Cole "normally has fantastic lines," said Nigel, he struggled with his first Latin dance. "You need more pressure in the balls of your feet," recommended Mary. "I can't put you on the 'hot tamale train,' " she said.
Latin dancer Lindsay Arnold, 18, and All-Star Jakob Karr from Season 8 played with light (and showed off their svelte silhouettes) in a Broadway routine. Though the talented Jakob could have overshadowed Lindsay, she held her own. "Magnificent, yet again," said Nigel. Mary told Lindsay she was "on the 'hot tamale train,'" and Benjamin said the dance had "fireworks."
Contemporary dancer Will Thomas, 19, was a snake charmer with a flute, while Kathryn McCormick from Season 6 (and Step Up 4) was the snake in a playful Bollywood routine. Will was "chaming, unique and engaging," said Benjamin, while also maintaining "amazing control," said Mary. "You're one of the most likable guys on the show," she added.
Animator Cyrus "Glitch" Spencer, 22, took on contemporary — a genre way outside of his comfort zone — with Jaimie Goodwin from Season 3. The emotional dance (and fantastic lighting) won over the judges. "Dancing isn't about pointing your feet," said Nigel, defending Cyrus from viewers who complained the untrained dancer was too inexperienced to compete. (However, Nigel made no mention of Dareian Kujawa, the fantastic dancer who was kicked off because of his flat feet last week.) Benjamin said to Cyrus, "You have raw energy" and was "so compelling."
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp, 23, is a ballet dancer, but loosened up to dance hip-hop with Lauren Gottlieb from Season 3. Nigel thanked the choreographer "for taking the stick out of" Chehon, who the judges often complain looks too "trained." Mary said the performance could have been "a little more funky," but was a good step in the right direction for Chehon. Benjamin enjoyed the "spontaneous"-looking number.
Nineteen-year-old George Lawrence II, a contemporary dancer, danced a Broadway number with Season 2's Allison Holker. Benjamin thought George "attacked every step with a vengeance," and all three judges agreed George has "amazing technique." However, Nigel thought George's performance, which was supposed to be raunchy, was "a little immature." He added, "I didn't believe the character."
Ballerina Eliana Girard, 22, and Alex Wong from Season 7 got a standing ovation from the judges for their slowed-down contemporary performance. "You are proving to be my favorite girl this year," said Nigel. Benjamin said, "Your performance was driven by so much passion." "By far my favorite routine tonight," said Mary.
Jazz dancer Audrey Case, 18, and Stephen "tWitch" Boss from Season 4 were vampires emerging from a casket in a funky, comical number. Though Mary thought Audrey was eye-catching, Benjamin "thought it was a little bit unfair" to be paired with tWitch, one of SYTYCD's best-ever hip-hop dancers. "I wanted more from you," he told Audrey.
After all the dancers performed, the bottom four were revealed:
Witney, who had one of the judges' favorite routines last week; Chehon, Witney's partner in that routine; Audrey, who got lukewarm reviews last week; and George, who got extremely positive feedback last week. All four performed solos for survival.
After a performance from Benjamin's L.A. Dance Project, two were sent home.
Nigel, who said the judges "were not unanimous this evening," saved Witney and — because he "takes our breath away" — Chehon.
Next Wednesday, (8 ET/PT, Fox), the remaining eight take the stage.
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