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So You Think You Can Dance
Season Four Review — Top Ten

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

Hola Amantes De La Danza:

In last week's results show, Nigel said that if he could, he would eliminate two girls and keep all three guys. He gave Thayne high praise for his dancing excellence through the season. Along with Comfort, the other girl who was elimination-worthy was Jessica.

If the "powers that be" at SYTYCD want to help America eliminate the weakest guy and girl, together, they will pair up Jessica with Twitch. Obviously, Twitch is excellent in his own style, and he did a fantastic "dance for your life" solo last week; but he is not as strong across the difference dance styles, compared to the rest of the field.

If the producers want to finally give Will someone who can complement his dancing prowess, the best available contemporary dancer would be Katee and the best ballroom dancer (and the only ballroom dancer) would be Chelsie. We'll see if the show decides to throw Will . . . a big fat pitch that he can hit out of the ball park with a partner who can match his magnificence.

By putting Twitch and Kherington in the Bottom Three last week, America wisely decided that blind popularity was not the way to go! America GOT IT RIGHT by kicking Twitchington into the Bottom Three. Pat yourself on the back America!

As always, here are the Top 10 Intros (minus Jessica) and the Less to Best Rankings for Week Six:

Dr Matt's Red-Hot Review of SYTYCD July 16, 2008—Five Couple Recap

News Flash: Jessica has had pain in her side and come to find out, she has a couple of broke ribs. She's out of the competition and will take time off to heal for the SYTYCD Tour. How convenient, the very week when America is totally ready and willing to kick her to the curb, Jessica bows out with broken ribs. Comfort is called in to take her place.

Miss Fadoke returns just in time to possibly get kicked to the curb twice in two weeks—that can't be good for her self-esteem. That's my gut-level elimination-instinct prior to seeing the Wednesday night performances. To the right side of the Solo Rankings is the total number (000) of YouTube views, 24 hours after the fact—but only through a single submitter (kelxk3l).

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

Less to Best Solos:

                                        10 - Comfort                   (1976)
                                         9 - Kherington               (2415)
                                         8 - Chelsie                     (2881)
7 - Courtney                 (2292)
6 - Will                         (1967)
5 - Twitch
                                         4 - Joshua                  (2177)
3 - Gev                      (2219)
2 - Katee                  (3282)
                                         1 - Mark

Urgent Feedback for Chelsie Hightower: It is the overwhelming sentiment among SYTYCD viewers that Chelsie's solo was under-whelming; and her ability to put together some dazzling solos will determine whether she will make the final four. Ballroom dancers have delivered fantastic solos in the previous seasons, and made the final four. Look at the vote-inducing, Top 10 Solos of Benji Schwimmer and his cousin, Heidi Grosgreutz.

Like Lacey Schwimmer last year, Chelsie can do ANY choreography thrown at her. She urgently NEEDS someone to create some spicy Solo Choreography for her—as opposed to doing her done-one-too-many-times, sleep-inducing Samba-Hips.

Less to Best Couple Routines:

10 - Twitch and ComfortSmooth Waltz  (000)
        Choreographed by Hunter Johnson
        Music: "Open Arms" by Journey

Reality check: Is this the Top Ten? Aren’t the dancers supposed to be really good at this level? This was a weak routine by the new partnership of Twitch-fort, and Nigel said exactly that. This Waltz was just not good enough for a top 10 routine. While the lift at the end was pretty amazing, one trick will not a whole performance make.

For the third week in a row, Twitch is a hot mess at doing Ballroom Dance. America got it totally right by putting Twitch in the bottom three last week—as did I. Twitch has consistently proved to be a bad ballroom dancer. He's a Klomper when it comes to doing ballroom dance.

As for Comfort, she's just filling in for Jessica and since she's already been eliminated once, America may not give much weight to anything she does—although she may get a sudden surge in sympathy-underdog votes. For this Waltz, she just did ah-ight for a popper-hip-hopper. This forgettable routine is at the bottom of my heap.

9 - Mark and Kherington Country Two-Step   (000)
        Choreographed by Ronnie DeBenedetta and Brandi Tobias
        Music: "Kick Back" by Ty England

The ever-popular duo called "Twitchington" is replaced by a lack-luster imitation called: Markington! Last week, it was a fantastic idea to bring in the new style of "Bollywood," but the maiden voyage of "Country Two-Step" was a real stinker this week!

This routine went sour in a hurry; it began with two missed hand holds even before Ty England started singing. Kherington danced like she was waaaaaaaay out of her comfort zone. Mark held his own, but it was not enough to stop the hemorrhaging.

Lila' C saw the same goofs I did and spoke of the "wounds . . . bleeding" all over this routine. Nigel called this Two-Step "out of sorts"—and it was.

8 - Mark and KheringtonJazz   (000)
        Choreographed by Tyce Diorio
        Music: "Canned Heat" by Jamiroquai

This season the routines with a story line and rich emotional expression, have been the most popular. This piece had NO story line, just dance moves. It was pretty un-memorable for me! In fact it's so un-memorable that I can't even remember what I saw enough to say anything about it—except that is was un-memorable.

Wait a minute, I'm having a PTSD flashback due to dance-trauma: I vaguely remember a low pirouette by Kharington that transitioned into an impressive lift. But again, one trick will not do the trick. This Markington partnership is going nowhere. Nigel thought the routine lacked heart and passion.

As Kherington listened to something she's not used to hearing—a bad review—she looked like she just sucked on a lemon. She appeared perturbed and peeved; and so goes the unscripted drama of Reality TV.

Kherington's petulant look was more interesting than her dancing—the forgettable dancing that I can't remember, except for the occassional post-traumatic flashback.

7 - Joshua and CourtneyRumba  (000)
        Choreographed by Jean-Marc Genereux
        Music: "Hero" by Enrique Iglesias

Impressive lift as the end. Pretty good technique from Joshua; he does so much better than Twitch in the balloom dances, and on this basis, he is more deserving of the title "America's Favorite Dancer."

Courtney is stronger than Josh in this number and definitely gave it her all—she is able to capture the sensuality of the dance. On the other hand, Joshua looks like he was “trying” to be sensual instead of just "being" sensual. There was a mechanical quality during this dance that didn't allow the routine to generate molten-hot rumba heat; instead, this piece generated electric-blanket rumba heat. No fireworks here, despite the hyperbole that the Jeedges were drooling all over it.

I don't know what language Lil’ C. was speaking, as he called Courtney's performance “eloguent.” Maybe he was speaking the international language of Esperanto, and in that little known tongue, "eloguent" is a cross between “elegant” and “eloquent”—it could happen.

In the future, Lil' C. needs to spell check his comments prior to spewing them all over national TV—but then again, it's "kinda buck" to be "kinda inarticulate" doncha think?

6 - Twich and ComfortHip Hop   (000)
        Choreographed by Dave Scott
        Music: "Forever" by Chris Brown

Lil' C thought this number was . . . "kinda buck!" I thought this number was precise, and syncronized boredom. This dream duo from Hip Hop Heaven should have been more than "kinda buck"—they should have been buck-alicious or buck-tastic or buck-mazing; instead, they just buck boring.

Yes, Twitch's worm-on-his-back was mildly buck-mazing, but in the end, the couple chemistry just wasn't there; and even though Kherington is NOT as good at Hip Hop as Comfort, she brings delivers chemistry to the phenomenon called Twitchington. It's the chemistry that makes the audience "care."

In contrast, Twitch-fort's flagging chemistry overwhelms me with that "I don't care" kinda feeling. Unfortunately, Comfort has a nack for NOT having that chemistry-click with any of her partners. But on the bright side: It was better than their Not So Smooth Waltz—but so were nine other performances.

The story line for this Hip Hop was: Disco Dancing at Studio 54 in the year 2,087. Big Whoop-dee-doo . . . this futuristic setting really gets my juices flowing . . . NOT. I prefer the compelling scenario of Darth Vader and Chewbacca doing the Bunny Hop in a classic struggle between good and evil—now that's a story line!

5 - Katee and WillBroadway   (000)
        Choreographed Tyce Diorio
        "Sit Down, You're Rocking The Boat" from Guys and Dolls by Sam Harris

Even though the talented tandum of Will-atee were able to make dancing around a boat look interesting, I still have four words for this routine: More dancing . . . less boat!

Even so, they did pretty well doing the Virginia Reel AROUND and IN a stinking row boat—now that's what talent can do for you! It virtually impossible to make Katee and Will look uninteresting. Thus, I rank this routine higher than half of all the others.

Lil’ C praises this piece and call it, as he is so often wont to do, . . . "buck." I imagine that this is first time a Broadway number has ever been described as . . . "buck." The piece was nicely done, even though I could have used a whole lot LESS BOAT.

4 - Joshua and CourtneyHip Hop   (000)
        Choreographed by Dave Scott
        Music: "Skippin'" by Mario

This piece was more memorable compared to the Twitch and Comfort Hip Hop because it had an interest-grabbing Story Line: Courtney portraying the Bride of Frankenstein. When you break down the nuts and bolts of this number, compared to Twitch-fort's routine, you have to say that the dancing wasn't that impressive in comparison. But, in the gestault, Courtney and Joshua have emotional connection and chemistry that causes us to "care."

As she often does, Mary employs a pregnant pause before loudly blurting her approval, saying that the couple had chemistry and the performance was "a lot of fun."

3 - Gev and ChelsieJive   (000)
        Choreographed by Jean-Marc Genereux
Music: "The House Is Rockin'" by Brian Setzer Orchestra

We watched Chris and Comfort mess up a Jive earlier this season; and Will and Jessica didn't do much better. Enter Gev and Chelsie, they turned in the best Jive performance of the season—mainly because of the golden girl, Chelsie Hightower.

Lil' C. commented that Chelsie carried this piece completely—"you could make a mannequin look good, just dancing with it." Lil' C. added, "a lot of the time, Gev you weren't there . . . but she was like, hey I'll do it myself, it's all good."

Mary Murphy thought that this was like "Dancing with the Stars" with Gev as the amateur, and Chelsie the professional—dancing circles around him. This number was put in the pimp spot, because it was a crowd pleaser!

2 - Gev and Chelsie — Contemporary   (000)
        Choreographed by Sonya Tayeh
        Music: "These Arms Of Mine" by Otis Redding

Sonya from Mohawkia returns to make dancing magic again. The Story Line for this piece is "about a couple who are in love, soul mate status, and how they feel when they are apart, that yearning, craving feeling for each other."

Even though this Story Line has been played a thousand times before, America never gets tired of the quest for eternal love. So with that set up, how can this routine go wrong? It can't . . . and it doesn't. The acrobatics and emotion of the piece were impressive. Both dancers played their parts well. Nigel tries to stir up a little show-mance with the comments that Gev looked like he had "Courtney on the mind."

1 - Katee and WillPas de Deux  (000)
        Choreographed by Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden
        Music: "Imagine" by David Archuleta

If you want an excellent complement for Will's dancing prowess, you simply pair him up with the best contemporary dancer—Katee! They captured the top spot in my rankings. The piece was beautifully choreographed and beuatifully danced—with one glitch.

Dr Matt's Oh-By-The-Way Comment: Pas de Deux is not a style of dance. The words are French for “dance of two.” Technically, a Pas de Deux could be danced in any style, though the "dance of two" is usually done in Ballet. Ironically, this “pas de deux,” had the two dancers apart from each other at key moments—which is NOT the way a Pas de Deux is done in Ballet.

Best performance of the night. The choreography was extremely challenging. As Will warned "do not try these dance steps at home." Katee showed incredible flexibility, as she had to stretch and split her legs into all directions. Because the choreography was a tad ambitious, this was the primary cause of the aforementioned "glitch."

Note to choreographers: Create a dance that the Dancers can do, and CUT the impossible segments. I put the "glitch" on the choreographers. The impossible move that the dancers couldn't do smoothly, needed to be choreographed out.

As I've said all season, a great dance routine will have synergy among at least three elements 1) Great Music 2) Great Choreography, and 3) Great Dancing of the Choreography.

This piece had synergy. We already know how popular David Archuleta's "Imagine" was during the American Idol season (over Two Million Views at YouTube and counting). Now, all you need is beautiful dance movement to complement beautiful music—danced by two fabulous dancers: Will and Katee.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *

The first number below is the solo rank, followed by the rank of the couple performances. Adding up each dancer's two perfomances and solo, here's the overall rank order for the dancers in Week Six:

                     10 - Kherington                 ( 9 + 8 + 9 )
                       9 - Comfort                      ( 10 + 6 + 10 )
                       8 - Twitch                        ( 5 + 6 + 10 )
                       7 - Mark                           ( 1 + 8 + 9)
                       6 - Courtney                   ( 7 + 4 + 7 )
                       5 - Joshua                       ( 4 + 4 + 7 )
                       4 - Chelsie                      ( 8 + 2 + 3 )
                       3 - Will                           ( 6 + 1 + 5)
                       2 - Gev                           ( 3 + 2 + 3)
                       1 - Katee                        ( 2 + 1 + 5 )


Comfort got kicked to the curb last week; and one week later (due to Jessica's broken ribs), she gets a second chance to get kicked to the curb again. And if not Comfort, it will be Kherington—the girl with the winning smile.

It will depend upon how much America remembers Twitch-fort's Precision Hip Hop . . . OR how much they remember the Not-So-Smooth Waltz. Kherington had a bad night and certainly deserves to be booted; but this popular princess may escape elimination one more week because of her fan base.

Twitch and Mark are at the bottom of my rankings, and Twitch deserves to be kicked to the curb . . . the most. Mark had a great solo, and did the best he could with a partner who was NOT-Chelsie (the golden girl who can make mannequins look good).

Speaking of the Golden Girl, Chelsie Hightower, here she is dancing a Jive in Week #five, with Gev Manoukian.

Who would have thunk it? Popular princess, Kherington Payne, edging out once-eliminated Comfort Fadoke to be the girl going home in week #5. During the Results show, we discover that it is Twitch who was the more popular member of the dynamic dancing duo called . . ."Twitchington."

Dr Matt's Results Show Recap July 17, 2008:

The Results show opens with a Bollywood Group number, compliments of choreographer, Nakul Dev Mahajan. Bring on Bollywood! It's quite the rage lately!

This week America apparently remembered Twitch and Comfort's futuristic Hip Hop, and forgot the Not-So-Smooth . . . Smooth Waltz. America has taken a page out of the Jeedges play book: When a popular dancer does bad, you just "ignor it" and remember all the good moments.

Am I the only one in America that is noticing Twitch's sumo-wrestler-like KLOMPING in ALL his ballroom dancing routines? Twitch is a like-able guy and he's very good in his own style, but he's coughing up chunks on all the Ballroom Dance numbers.

Yet, America seems to love Twitch so much, that even if he had to dance the dreaded quickstep next week, American would likely keep him for one more week, and give Mark the Boot. I will say it again: Let the Dancing determine the way you vote. But I digress.

Final Five Girls

Before the girls were presented for elimination, the final five fillies danced a beautiful group number choreographed by Mia Michaels, to the music "Ave Maria" sung by Celine Dion. With great music, you don't really know if it's the dancing or the singing that is touching you more? That's the synergy of both song and dance working on you. Again, every great dance performance requires the backdrop of great music. This Mia Michaels piece will hit you in the heart.

I'm not sure that SYTYCD actually showed the real order of the popular vote this week? The first Girl to be saved was Chelsie. I find it hard to believe that she beat out Katee for the Top Spot among the Girls? How's that for un-emotional objectivity in regard to my hometown girl, Chelsie Hightower—born in the same city where I live.

The very limited AOL SYTYCD Poll results show that Katee is the top vote-getter of both Guys and Girls; with Chelsie being the #two girl, followed closely by Courtney G at #three. But this AOL Poll only has a meager total of 1000 votes, and it's probably not random and representative of America—instead, the voters are likely aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, and parents to the performers. Can you say "skewed"? . . . I knew you could.

If the order of being "safe" is an indicator, then it is Chelsie who is the top vote getter among the Girls. But I suspect that SYTYCD is trying to make it appear as if Katee is NOT the runaway favorite. It's the old, "let's contrive a competition" ploy—something that Dancing with the Stars is extremely BAD AT (did anyone really believe that NFL football player Jason Taylor could come close to competing with Ice-skating-queen Kristi Yamaguchi?).

After Comfort Fadoke was tossed in the Bottom Two, Katee Shean was the next girl to be safe. Courtney G. was appearantly the third top vote getter, with Kherington Payne being chucked into Bottom-Two-Dom.

Of course, it was Kherington who got the boot, and here's my theory as to why she fell off her popularity band wagon: As Kherington was listening to the Jeedges constructive criticisms, her face could not hide her great disappointment and discomfort—she was totally sucking on lemons!

I figure that America does not like pouters, and Kherington was POUTING BIG TIME. She made the candid comment that reflected her existential angst: "the Judges hate me!" Lil' C. explained to Miss Payne that she got it wrong: The jidges really love her and want her to improve. The truth is, it's America that hates Kherington's imputent, pouting attitude. That's my theory for her premature demise?

Hey, it's a tough life. It can't be easy listening to constructive criticism that basically says "You Suck!" But who said life was easy? Not me!

Final Five Guys

Before the Guys go through elimination, the final five perform a clever and peppy number to the tune "Five Guys named Moe," choreographed by a mystery choreographer. Come to find out it was Nigel Lythgoe that did the choreography. But he was quick to point out that his assistants, Chuck Maldonado and Sugar Pop, did the "stepping and the locking"—which means Nigel choreographed all the cute "body slapping." Yeah, I can see that.

First to be saved among the Guys was Joshua, and he IS, in my view, the most likely popolar vote leader among the Guys. It was Will who was saved second with Mark being tossed into the Bottom Two. From here, the "safe" order suggests that Twitch is the #3 vote getter.

Gev was eliminated tonight. One of my mistakes in evaluating how well Gev did, was to LUMP what he did in with Chelsie's successes. This was the first week that America got to vote individually, so we discover exactly which one of the previous couples was carrying most of the weight.

All performances being equal, next week it appears Twitch and Mark will be on the bubble among the Guys, with Comfort and Courtney G. being most in danger of elimination for the Girls.

Though these final solo performances did not impact who was eliminated, the survivors of the Bottom Two this week, Mark and Comfort, had a chance to influence future voting by putting a good performance. I thin Mark did just that, and Comfort is obviously running out of fresh material, having been in Bottom-Dom a few dozen times before. Here are the Solos:

                                Comfort . . . . . Mark . . . . . Kherington . . . . . Gev

Next Week, the climactic Four Couple Recap & the elimination to the Top 6 Dancers. See Ya then!

Dr Matt


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