Because of its goofy schedule and even goofier voting procedures, it’s difficult to figure out what the heck will happen next on So You Think You Can Dance. I will admit that, up until this week, I didn’t know for sure if there would be one winner this year, or a male and a female winner, as they’ve done more recently. Turns out, there will be one winner – America’s favorite dancer will be either a guy or a girl. The four left standing after this week’s vote will compete in the big performance finale – and then the following week, the winner will be announced. With only one winner this year, it seems almost certain that Ricky’s got this in the bag. And most of me thinks that’s true – however, each of the remaining contestants are fighting for it. This week’s show started off with a hard-hitting hip hop routine from Nick DeMoura. I have to admit, I was pretty impressed with this choreography, since Nick looks like he’s about 12 years old. I just wish we could’ve seen the dancers’ faces.
This week, each dancer will perform three times – once with their old partners, once with an All-Star and once on their own. First up are Ricky and Valerie, probably the most anticipated reunion of the night. The two of them just really shine together. I think it was theorized pretty early on that Valerie was being elevated to a higher level by partnering with Ricky, and maybe that was true – but now I think she’s really come into her own. Sure, she’s not as skilled as Ricky. No one is. But I think her genuine spirit makes every dance she’s in a little more special. The two of them are just lovely in a Spencer Liff Broadway routine. There’s a swing as a prop, but they don’t overuse it. Ricky even takes a couple leaps through the ropes, which make hold my breath in fear for him. Of course, he makes it each time. The judges and audience both go wild.
Hey, do you get motion sickness? Maybe then don’t watch Jessica and Casey in a disco routine by Doriana Sanchez. This is how the dance goes: spinny, spinny, spinny spin spin spin! Wheeeeeeeee! And that’s it. I have to commend the two dancers on their moves (and not vomiting) but this just wasn’t for me. Instead of being fun disco, it was cheesy disco. Also, will someone please tell Doriana Sanchez that she doesn’t have to pick a Donna Summer song every time? We get it. It’s disco, sheesh. After that, we have the return of Zacque! Zack and Jacque team up again for a Jean-Marc Genereux foxtrot and…it’s not great. I don’t think it’s as bad as the judges make it out to be, but even my Zack-loving self has to admit that he was all over the place, pulling faces and missing steps.
I’m pretty bummed out by Zack’s poor showing, but luckily my mind is about to be blown by the next act. Valerie is back with All-Star tWitch for what is easily one of the best routines of the season. I mean, let’s review: We’ve got hard, fast hip hop and twerking from choreographer Wildabeast. We’ve got tWitch and Valerie, just killing it and looking amazing while they do. We’ve got tWitch ripping off Valerie’s wedding dress to make a micro-mini. We’ve got Usher’s “Yeah.” They do the freaking Kid ‘n Play for God’s sake. It’s basically the perfect routine.
Based on everything I know about the next routine, I shouldn’t like it at all. First of all, there’s props. A big red exercise ball, to be precise. Second of all, the routine is from Jacque, my least favorite remaining contestant. She’s teaming up with All-Star Will for a Sean Cheesman contemporary routine. I don’t like Sean Cheesman all that much, either. To make it worse, the song is “99 Red Balloons,” and then a bunch of actual red balloons drop from the ceiling. I mean, really? Come on, now. But despite all the odds stacked against it, I enjoy this routine very much! The ball is utilized juuuuust enough and then abandoned for some really beautiful dancing. I think maybe we could have done without the actual balloons, but I can’t have everything, right?
Up next is Jessica, who is performing with All-Star Ade. They say this is a jazz routine, but I think Ray Leeper might be doing one too many drugs, because there’s nothing jazzy about this one. I feel bad for Jessica, because she keeps getting this over the top choreography and she’s unable to show any of her beauty or skill. The wacky characters, the costuming, the neon and strobe lights – this whole thing is a mess. Following that, we have Ricky again to perform with All-Star Anya Garis. Yay, Anya! Despite Ricky’s Cuban heritage, he’s never danced the cha-cha, apparently. Let’s face it, Ricky is a lot of things, but a hulking, manly-man is not one of them – and Anya, the original Hot Tamale, is a whole lotta lady. He does better than I thought he would.
While I definitely prefer Ricky and Zack, I have to say that I feel sorry for Casey this week. It seems certain that he will go home and he’s only recently shown us just how strong he can be. In the next routine, a contemporary number with All-Star Makenzie, he proves this yet again. The choreography itself, from Stacey Tookey, is a bit overwrought – a couple’s last day on Earth together. CORNY. But despite this, the emotion from Casey and McKenzie feels genuine. Mary Murphy even calls it the performance of a lifetime. And we’re all feeling impressed by Casey until the final routine of the night – wherein we forget all about him.
The closing number, from Zack and All-Star Fik-Shun, is exciting even before it begins. First of all, did you hear the part where it’s Zack and Fik-Shun, I mean WHAT!? Second of all, it’s the choreography debut of SYTYCD alum Phillip Chbeeb. WHAT?! Third of all, the dance is based on Rorschach inkblot tests – the two dancers will be mirror images of each other. Spoiler alert: OH MY GOD THIS IS AWESOME WHAAAAAAT. Prepare to have your mind blown, kids. Also, can we have more Phillip choreography please? Why have they been hiding him?
After that, it’s hard to see anyone but Casey going home, and I’m right on the money. It’s Casey and Jacque in the bottom again, and this time they’re gone for good. That means that Jessica, Valerie, Zack and Ricky will dance in next week’s performance finale – and one of them will win it all. Who do you think it should be?