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So You Think You Can Dance
Season Four Review — Week Five

By Dr Matt 

Here are the weekly Recaps from the Top Twenty Dancers to the Final Four:

Top 20       18       16      14      12      10       8       6      Final 4

Aloha, Daffy Dance Fans:

This is the week that the field is cut to the final 10 competitors—and these 10 will automatically be part of the SYTYCD national tour. Last year at this time, the Judges had to eliminate one of three fantastic male dancers: Hok, Danny Tidwell, and Neil Haskell. B-Boy, Hok, was eliminated—but was eventually invited to join the national tour.

The dancers most in danger tonight will be: Thayne & Gev on the guys side, and Jessica & Comfort on the girls side. Let's hope "dancing" determines who stays . . . and who goes—as opposed to blind popularity.

I've given in to Nigel's intoxicating Vulcan Mind Meld, and therefore, am reconciled to the fact that there is no way that William Wingfield, the Magnificent, can be cut tonight—although he should land into the bottom three by default, because the top three couples are pretty much a lock, as far as popularity: Joshu-atee, Mark-elsie (pictured below), and Twitchington.

Will the actual dancing performances make a difference? Two of the most popular couples had poor performances in the Viennesse Waltz and Smooth Tango. Here are the Top 12 Dance Intros, as well as the Less to Best Rankings for Week Five:

Dr Matt's Red-Hot Review of SYTYCD July 9, 2008—Six Couple Recap

Dr Matt's Apology: Sorry about all the DEAD hyperlinks; Dick Clark Productions decided to exercise their copyrite privilege, and thus, crush our fun!

12 - Twitch and KheringtonSmooth Tango  (000)
        Choreographed by Jean-Marc Genereux
        "Assassin's Tango" from Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Finally, the producers quit tossing Twitch easy pitches. And again, Twitch and Kherington were a hot mess at doing Ballroom Dance.

Last week, Twitch botched the Paso Doble big time. But the ballroom-dance-ignorant audience didn't notice, and the girl with the winning smile and the guy with the six-pack abs . . . sailed serenely to safety—receiving the popular vote for king and queen of the prom.

This week Twithchington takes on the Smooth Tango . . . and not very well, I might add. Twitch looked like a beginning ballroom dancer—awkward and stiff. It only takes years to acquire the right technique; so why should we expect Twitch to GET IT in a week? Nevertheless, spectacular dancers like Danny Tidwell consistently come close to at least "looking right."

Weeks ago, I noticed Twitches lack of lower body control and footwork technique in the Viennese Waltz (do you remember that Viennese Waltz? The one that wasn't really a Viennesse Waltz? Which was a very good thing. You'll notice how Joshua looked like a clomping clydedale while trying to do REAL Viennese Waltz choreography (Twitch would have looked even worse than Joshua). Speaking of Joshua, he and his partner turned in an equally pathetic performance.

11 - Jessica and Will Quick Step   (000)
        choreographed by Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin
        "Bandstand Boogie" by Barry Manilow

This quickstep lacked precision in footwork, and Will-essica simply could not maintain their top line throughout the dance. You may have noticed that choerographer, Tony Meredith told Will-essica that Ballroom Dancers invest "years" into learning and creating a proper top line. Amen to that!

Interestingly, last years winner, Sabra Johnson (from Utah), mantained a marvelous top line during the Quick Step—but it does help when your partner, Pasha Kovalev, is holding up his half of the agreement.

This is the week that Will and Jessica will land in the bottom three; they have to by default, because there are three more popular couples ranked ahead of them: Joshu-atee, Mark-elsie, and Twithchington.

It seems the producers of the show wanted to assure Bottom-Three-Dom, by giving "superman" Will Wingfield some dancing kryptonite—the Quick Step. This way the judges will finally get the chance to give Jessica the AXE. After disrespecting Jessica constantly through five weeks of competition, you would think the judge would want to eliminate her. We shall see who delivers in the "dance for your life" solos!

10 - Katee and JoshuaViennese Waltz   (000)
        Choreographed by Jean-Marc Genereux
        "Iris" by Goo Goo Dolls

For the second week in a row, Joshua's dancing was heavy and lumbering while trying to tackle an Ballroom Dance. This amazing Popper-Hip-Hopper was not able to learn the ballroom dance technique in a week; which is understandable, for it takes years to develop. Nevertheless, the competition is: So You Think You Can Dance and if someone will be American's favorite dancer, he/she needs to deliver in every dance style.

Joshua has done better in the ballroom dance styles, compared to Twitch. Here's how Viennese Waltz ought to look when it is done well.

9 - Comfort and ThayneContemporary  (000)
        Choreographed by Mandy Moore
        "A Different Corner" by George Michael

Mia thought Mandy Moore's choreography was great, but says that Comfort has reached the limits of her abilities, saying “you can only fake it so much”—ouch! But it is true that Comfort showed weakness in technique; and I've been observing it for a few weeks now. She has weak legs and weak footwork—just like Twitch. Thayne, on the other hand, has strong total body technique from his hands to his feet.

Dr Matt's Recommendation to all future SYTYC-Dancers: Get lots of Ballroom Dance Training, along with Hip Hop and Contemporary. Ballroom absolutely develops strong lower body techique, and especially Latin Ballroom helps develop precise footwork and emotional expression.

If Kelly Baker (daughter of choreographer Bonnie Story) is smart, she's load up on Ballroom Dance classes between now . . . and the next season of SYTYCD. Consider that Chelsie Hightower is the sole representative of Ballroom Dance on the show. The producers are absolutely looking for dancers who can represent particular dance styles.

8 - Twitch and KheringtonKrump  (000)
        Choreographed by Lil' C
        "2 Buck 4 TV" by Tha J-Squad

Mia describes this number as "dirty and disgusting and nasty and ugly and stank and buck," and now you know why I don't particularly prefer Krump. I lean towards things loving and beautiful, but then again, I was raised by wolves and I'm warped.

Yah, give me stinky, ugly, and disgusting entertainment, . . . I just can't get enough of dirty, nasty, and buck dancing . . . NOT!

The judges clearly revealed their biased favoritism for Khering-twitch. Both Nigel and Mia decided to "ignor" messups by Twithington, and rate their performance high. This kind of favoritism is a real slap in the face for the other contestants—especially the couples who get harsh critisism, and don't get the equal benefit of how their "bad moments" ignored. Judging inconsisency rears its ugly head again.

7 - Comfort and Thayne Hip Hop   (000)
Choreographed by Tabitha & Napoleon
        "Can We Chill" by Ne-Yo

You've got to believe that Thayne and Comfort were extremely motivated to deliver a great performance and try to survive what appears to be inevitable elimination.

From the perspective of clean execution of the choreography, Thayne-fort did that. They danced the choreography quite competently, with good togetherness. I agree that the couple chemistry just isn't happening. Nevertheless, while other couples with GREAT chemistry (Twitchington) were floundering around the stage doing BAD ballroom dancing, Thayne and Comfort nailed down this number tight! Hence the higher ranking.

6 - Courtney G. and Gev Jazz   (000)
        Choreographed by Mandy Moore
        "Standing There" by The Creatures

I read a blog that describe this number as "Indiana Jones meets the Auto Club." That's funny! Nigel thought the number was fun and fluffy like cotton candy—lacking substance.

Even though this routine was not that memorable, Gev-ourtney delivered a solid performance. They've been a consistent couple throughout the competition; even when they draw a ballroom dance. Speaking of which, Gev-ourtney boarded the Hot Tamale Train with this next number:

5 - Courtney G. and Gev Cha Cha   (000)
        Choreographed by Pasha and Anya
"Don't Stop The Music" by Rihanna

I'll give them credit, they did dance this number with great enthusiasm and energy, but the proper Cha Cha techniqe was lacking. Learning proper latin techniqe takes years to cultivate. That's why Chelsie Hightower could have "killed" this choreography.

Even though they are not trained ballroom dancers, Chelsea T. & Thayne showed that "They Think They Can Dance" in the first week of competition, with a Cha Cha that comes closer to the correct technique.

Mary Murphy knows better than to put this performance on the Hot Tomale Train; this honor needs to be reserved for truly outstanding performances—and this wasn't one. The way Nigel was doing his "Choo Choo Train Whistle" . . . you have to believe this particular evaluation was pre-meditated and scripted.

Dancing with enthusiam is just another way of "faking it," which is the criticism Comfort received from Mia Michaels when she was told her technique was NOT good enough. Again, keeping the judging consistent from couple to couple is a major task.

Watch a great Cha Cha performanc by Charlotte Egstrand & Holger Nitsche just so you know, what you're missing.

4 - Chelsie Hightower and MarkBroadway  (000)
        Choreographed by Tyce Diorio
        "I'm A Woman" from Smokey Joe's Cafe

Mia says it worked and calls it a success, but says it showed Mark’s lack of training, but he compensate by his emotional intesity. Then Mia says that Chelsie's performance was hot, but she wanted more movement. More movement? Take to Tyce Diorio about that; he's the one who dictates the What, When, and Where of the dancing movement.

Nigel thought this number was hotter than the 110 degree temperatures in Las Vegas, where he recently visited. This routine along with Bollywood should receive a lot of YouTube views.

3 - Katee and JoshuaBollywood  (000)
        Choreographed by Nakul and Marla
        Music: "Dhoom Taana" from Om Shanti Om soundtrack

Great togetherness; especially syncronizing dance movements that were completely new to them. Great couple chemistry as usual. I though Joshua was totally a Magic Genie in this number. This piece is destined for the highest number of YouTube Views of among all twelve performances.

So why wouldn't I rate it higher than the next two numbers? Applying the "switch places" comparison, I believe that Mark-elsie could have killed this number; but, on the other hand, Joshua and Katee would NOT have done as well with extremely tough Salsa choreography.

2 - Chelsie Hightower and MarkSalsa  (000)
        Choreographed by Alex DaSilva
        Music: "Fuego" by Joe Bataan

Nigel describes Chelsie as "beautiful dynamite." Mia thinks Chelsie is so gorgeous that she could just "stab" her—I think this good stabbing, as opposed to bad stabbing. Either way, death is the result, but of course, it's "good death"—as it . . . "killing it."

So much for contradictory metaphors. Chelsie and Mark deliver another solid performance, which is their habit. And how did you like that vertical leg that little 5'2'' Chelsie kicked over Mark's shoulder—Smokin' hot . . . that's what I'm talking about.

And speaking of Smoking hot, Will-essica turned in a sizzling moulten hot lava contemporary performance:

1 - Jessica and Will Contemporary   (000)
      Choreographed by Tyce Diorio
       Music: "Silence" from the Unfaithful soundtrack

This piece was Will-essica's climactic moment on SYTYCD. It was their best performance of the season. The emotion was intense and convincing. The dance movement was beautiful and artistic. Mia called it "perfect human body art."

I like it a lot! And I thought Jessica did a fantastic job! Yet, Mia sings that tired old song "Jessica is pulling Will down." Was this line scripted? Is SYTYCD trying to create a soap-opera-like moment for people to gossip about at the water cooler tomorrow?

I know I'm tired of the judges dissing Jessica; and reading other SYTYCD Blogs, many others are tired of it too. Even Will fans who are looking forward to a different partner are saying "enough already, leave the poor girl alone."

Like Twitch, Will does the "no shirt" thing very well; but Will totally backs up his exhibitionism with completely fabulous dancing. Whereas Twitch needs to keep his shirt off and keep his six-pack abs on display.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

Averaging up each couple's two perfomances, here's the overall rank order for the couples in week five:

        6 - Kherington and Twitch         ( 8 + 12 )
        5 - Comfort and Thayne              ( 7 + 9 )
        4 - Katee and Joshua                    ( 3 + 10 )
        3 - Will and Jessica                       ( 1 + 11 )
        2 - Gev and Courtney G.             ( 5 + 6 )

        1 - Chelsie H. and Mark              ( 2 + 4 )


Twitch and Kherington absolutely deserve to be in the Bottom Three; they received the lowest cummulative rank on my list, yet I would guess that they will NOT be in America's Bottom Three—they've been very popular to this point.

Based upon their poor performance in the Viennese Waltz, Katee-shua might also deserve Bottom-Three-Dom as well, but I know that their popularity is even greater than Twitchington—so that's not going to happen. Katee-shua are at the top of the AOL Poll; plus, Joshu-atee closed the show with the Bollywood number, and their performance went over BIG.

Here's who I predict will be in the Bottom Three: Will & Jessica, Thayne & Comfort, and Gev & Courtney. But I would be very happy to see Twitch & Kherington in the Bottom Three, instead of Gev-ourtney.

The easy and obvious prediction for elimination is Thayne and Comfort; and if elimination solos are all about equal, that's the way it will be. BUT if somebody comes through with a BRILLIANT "dance for your life" performance OR if someone completely chokes . . . it will be interesting to see what the judges do then.

I know it's a novel idea to suggest, but wouldn't it be fantastic if the Dance Performances actually made a difference in this Dancing Competition. I mean, that's the idea . . . isn't it? You Dance Good, you stick around. You Dance Bad and you get eliminated. But what the Judges do when their favorites Dance Bad . . . is create logical explanations as to why their BAD performances was actaully Good.

Conversely, when less popular dancers . . . dance very well, the Judges are able to take that Good Performance and explain why it just wasn't good enough. That was pretty much what happened after Thayne-fort dances a very tight competant Hip Hop. Nigel was announcing Bottom-Three-Dom for Thayne-fort as if that's the way the script was written, days before.

If been trying to figure out WHY Nigel did this? Is he trying to prepare Thayne and Comfort for elimination so thoroughly that when they are . . . they can smile and be gracious—instead of tearful and sad and shocked.

Dr Matt's Results Show Recap July 10, 2008:

The Results show begins with Napoleon & Tabitha Choreography and here's a swtich: the dancers were NOT wigged-up, maked-up, and costumed-up so you couldn't tell who is who? Will the Magnificent was front and center at certain moments in the choreography.

Admittedly, he executed the dance movements with tremendous precision and snap; but here's the problem: Will is like a great singer in a choir that sings too loud, and won't back off and blend with the group. Will stood out in the group number, when he ought to blend in with the rest.

Five weeks running, I've predicted two of the bottom three couples: Thayne & Comfort, and Will & Jessica. The Third couple that I didn't guess correctly, was actually the couple ranked lowest in my Less to Best order. I never imagined that Twitch & Kherington would really land in the Bottom Three; but happily, America voted on "dancing performance" OVER popularity. Twitchington deserved to be . . . in the Bottom Three.

Here's the Dance For Your Life Solos:

Comfort . . . . Thayne . . . . Jessica . . . . Will . . . . Kherington . . . . Twitch

A revealing moment happened when Nigel said to Twitch "ya know, I'm really glad you are in the bottom three." Twitch reacted with a double-take and a look of disbelief.

Dr Matt Psychological Analysis: It appears by his look of disbelief, Twitch has been taking his stardom too seriously. Nigel explained that Bottom-Three-Dom was good for Twitch, because it serves as a wake up call.

I agree with Nigel, Jessica's solo was disappointing. She's needs to bring her "A" routine next week, because she should be dancing for her life, and Will is likely to be safe. Mary Murphy commented that Will would fit into the skill level of the Alvin Ailey Dance Group, and I second that motion.

Next Week is will be the exciting Five Couple Recap & the elimination to the Top 8 Dancers. See Ya then!

Dr Matt


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