Destination ‘So You Think You Can Dance’: What you missed

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During our weekly ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ chat today, inquiring chatter ‘Leee’ asked a very good question: ‘Why hasn’t Gev gone shirtless yet?’ ‘maybe he has modesty or a third nipple?’ offered fellow chatter ‘SafeTinspector.’ But before we could solve the riddle of the overclothed Mr. Manoukian, it was time for me to rush off to the show. ‘we’ll save that for next week,’ chat-leader Claire Zulkey assured us. And we were content with that. Because nobody expected for Gev to leave this week.

But he did leave. Along with perky blonde Kherington Payne, who seemed like a fan favorite from the get-go. In our chat today, it was pretty much accepted as fact that Mark Kanemura and Comfort Fedoke would leave us tonight. When I – a longtime Comfort-supporter – told the group that I would cry if I had to watch Comfort sent home twice in two weeks, kerouac9 sagely advised, ‘Bring tissues.’


We were all wrong. Especially me, with my recent diatribe about ‘Gev Manoukian: dark horse.’

So, what gives? If the support in the ‘Dance’ studio were the barometer, both Kherington and Gev would still be in the competition. What are people saying around the watercoolers of America today? Why did Gev Manoukian and Kherington Payne, who wowed the audience at the theater, lose out to Mark Kanemura and Comfort Fedoke, who received lukewarm crowd reception? Leave your best guess in the comment section. And now, as always, here are some snap judgments and studio secrets from my night at the show.

‘I love you, Cat!’

‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Barbie – er – Cat Deeley enters, in a fitted teal frock that compliments her summer glow. ‘I love you, Cat,’ bellows a voice from the audience. Duh. We all do.

Bollywood is back

Once again, Joshua Allen tears up the Bollywood routine! And for the first time in one of these group numbers, the dancers look like they’re having a blast.

Emmy nomination in danger

We hear that the makeup team has been nominated for an Emmy. I really hope the Emmy people were not watching Wednesday’s show. I’m afraid they could revoke the nomination based on Comfort’s silver lipstick during the futuristic hip-hop routine!

Can I keep the hair?

When the top 5 women come out for the Mia Michaels’ routine, they aren’t stretching their arms and shaking their legs like they usually do. They’re having too much fun petting and twirling their long, flowing hair extensions.

Dressing the part

Debbie Williams, stage manager extraordinaire, is in the spirit of the Mia Michaels number, also wearing an all-white peasant ensemble.

Random celebrity citing

Ashley Johnson, i.e. Chrissy Seaver from ‘Growing Pains’ is in attendance, and I get props from People reporter next to me for recognizing the former child star. Now back to the show.

Oh, Joshua!

It’s weeks into the competition, and dear Joshua Allen still can’t seem to rein in his victory dance. When he finds out he’s safe tonight, Joshua exits the stage doing the running man!

The following is a direct quote from my notebook:

‘Damn! Twitch’s biceps!’

Cat Deeley begs for sympathy

‘I hate Thursdays, and remember, I have to do it!’ Cat whines. Every Thursday, she gets bummed out like this. Can’t they all just stay?

Am I missing something?

I’m not really sure what the purpose was of having solos Wednesday night, since all of the dancers had to perform two couple numbers anyways. I’m also not really sure why they did solos tonight, since the decisions were already made.

I know it’s supposed to be a chance to show your stuff one last time, but it’s pretty tough to do anything stunning to the tune of ‘So you think you can dance dance dance…'

Slumped over

For the whole series, the contestants have the posture of lightning bolts. Those ‘bottom 2' chairs, however, have a crazy effect on the dancers. When Comfort and Kherington plop into those cursed chairs, they slump down so low that their heads are almost in their laps.

Arm-wrestling Will Wingfield

When the men take the stage for their Nigel Lythgoe routine, stage manager Debbie Williams sees a perfect opportunity to taunt Tommy the warm-up guy. She compares his muscles to Will Wingfield’s in front of the whole audience. ‘Guys, I did fourteen pushups this morning!’ quips Tommy.

I wanna be like Will

While the men wait for their routine to begin, most of them stretch and play. The ever disciplined Will Wingfield, however, runs through his moves. Oh yeah, we should do that, the others seem to decide. Soon, they follow Will’s lead, going through the motions in miniature until we’re back on air.

Silence is golden

Debbie warns the audience not to clap during the men’s routine, for fear that it will throw off the extremely specific steps. ‘Not that you don’t have rhythm,’ she jokes.

Gev Manoukian: Nicest guy on the show? Or on the planet?

While Gev Manoukian, Twitch Boss, and Mark Kanemura await their fates, Gev put his arms around his two pals, smiles, and shrugs, as if to say, que sera sera!

Will scream for candy

As we race toward the final moments of the show, Tommy the warm-up guy keeps the machine running with a steady stream of sweets. ‘We got M&Ms, Tootsie Rolls…'

And as he is wont to do, Tommy makes his candy distribution into a song, tonight to the tune of Kanye West’s ‘Gold Digger.’ ‘She take my candy…'

It’s not Comfort’s fault you asked her back!

Sheesh, the judges brought Comfort back, and now it’s like they’re making her pay! ‘Not everybody gets a second chance,’ Mary Murphy tells Comfort, when asked to offer a few words to the perpetual denizen of the bottom two.

Best sign of the season

Two gentlemen in my section have a sign that reads, ‘Katee, will you dance with us?’ Two big holes are cut out for their heads to poke through.

Mary Murphy’s poker face

If you ever want to win a little money, play poker with Mary Murphy.

From the moment that Mary begins to address Kherington, it’s clear Kherington is going home. Tears well up in Mary’s eyes while she speaks. If Kherington were just in the bottom two, there’s no chance Mary would be that emotional.

So that’s the point of the solos

From his song choice (‘Feeling Good’) to the way he jiggles his jaw, every bit of Gev’s thirty-second solo is thoughtfully crafted and riveting.

Comfort is as shocked as anybody

While Comfort and Kherington wait for Cat to dole out their fates, Kherington’s fanbase waves signs for ‘KHER BEAR.’

When Kherington is eliminated, Comfort is so shocked she can barely walk down the stairs. Gev and Mark are waiting at the foot of the stairs to embrace her.

A sad farewell

After watching his farewell montage, to the tune of ‘It Ends Tonight,’ Gev, as always, has the perfect response.

‘Why’d you guys have to pick that song?’ he asks, puffing out his lower lip in a frown. ‘That was sad.’

Seriously. ‘It Ends Tonight’? Are they trying to make him cry?

Kherington’s gentle farewell

And for all you Kherington fans out there, I hope it’s some consolation to know that she went out smiling. And that after all of her competitors embraced her, one by one, her former partner Twitch Boss cradled her in a nice long hug.

So, the moral of the story? As we learn anew every season, nobody is safe. With shocking cuts like tonight’s, ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ prognostication is a futile game. But let’s play it anyway. I say that Chelsie Hightower and Will Wingfield will be the last pair standing. Who do you all think will be duking it out for the title of America’s Favorite Dancer, come finale week? Leave your predictions in the comments section, and as always, join Claire Zulkey and me for a ‘Dance’ chat Thursday at 1pm. Till then!

-- Stephanie Lysaght