‘So You Think You Can Dance’: Pick a favorite, already!

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Unlike Nigel, I don’t flip-flop anymore when it comes to my favorite dancer. I’ve had a hard time since the beginning of the competition deciding who I liked better, Melanie or Sasha, but lately it’s become clear to me that Sasha’s who I really want to win the show. Her father summed up what I like about her when he described her as ‘Peter Pan.’ My worry, though, is that I tend to favor the underdog, so my liking Sasha makes me worry that that means she won’t actually win. It’s not that I don’t think she deserves to win, but I think the judges slightly favor Melanie, and while Sasha had a good night Wednesday night, Melanie had the edge thanks to a pretty remarkable solo.

I think Sasha and Kent’s dance was my favorite of the night. It was another amazing non-Broadway Tyce Diorio number, this one about a couple whose relationship has hit a wall (literally: the dancers used a wall as a prop.) The dance itself was gorgeous, with Kent holding Sasha up on his shoulders so her feet were up against the wall above her head, but the emotion was what made it truly special. I loved it when Kent (playing against type) threw Sasha against the ground and then, later when they ran up the walls. The judges praised Sasha for her raw realness and guest judge Lil’ C fought tears after her performance. I have to admit that as the season draws closer to the end, I tune out more when the judges speak. They offer less specific input but more often talk about what they like about the dancers as people. Sasha’s second dance, a waacking number with Ricky, was enjoyable, but for a pre-finale dance I wish she had gotten something a little more substantive (and it made me hope we see a future guest appearance from Princess Lockeroo.)


Melanie had two strong partner dances, although I hold her to such high standards I don’t know that I’d put either one of them in my top three favorite Melanie dances ever. She and Twitch performed a twisted Little Red Riding Hood routine from Nappytabs, and while I loved Melanie’s character in the dance, I actually thought that of the three girls, she had the least hip-hop swag. For her second dance, she and Tadd played a smitten dancer and a cruel choreographer in a Spencer Liff routine. I actually liked Tadd a little bit more in the dance, just because he was so mean and able to switch it off so quickly when his character needed Melanie to dance. After the dance, the judges spent a good deal of time praising Melanie’s solo, which was pretty amazing. It was definitely one of the best solos I’ve ever seen on the show: Every move was quirky or explosive and it was one of the few solos that made me wish the song would keep going for another minute.

Caitlynn was no slouch either! She and Pasha danced a sexy samba, although the judges wished she wouldn’t try so hard to make sexy faces when she danced. She had a “moment,” however, as deemed by guest judge Christina Applegate, in her dance with Marko. It was an aggressive, acrobatic Sonya Tayeh routine about an overbearing man and the woman trying to get away from him. It gave Caitlynn the toughness and seriousness she needs going into next week.

Is it possible that any of the guys are going to win this season of “SYTYCD”? Of course it’s possible, but Melanie and Sasha have gotten so much attention that the guys have been forgotten a bit. I think Ricky had my favorite of the all-star dances: I loved the Dee Caspary routine he did with Jamie about a guy trying to direct his lover (literally, with batons) in order to control her. The conceit was clever and it was gorgeous and sad. Next to that I liked Marko’s paso doble with Janette (who I’ll always love for this dance) and while I wanted to like Tadd’s Sonya Tayeh dance (I missed Ellenore!), I agreed with Nigel that the sexy, quirky number needed a little bit more dance and a little less sex and quirk.

Have you picked out your favorite to win the show yet? Do you think a guy could run away with the whole thing? And did choreographer Kumari Suraj have the best outfit Wednesday night or what?


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--Claire Zulkey