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So You Think You Can Dance
Season 4 Four Review — Week Two

By Dr Matt 

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

Top 20       18       16       14       12       10       8       6      Final 4

Hi there dancing maniacs!

Below, I've ranked the performances from Less to Best, and provided handy hyperlinks to videos of each performance. In parenthesis are the (number of views) at YouTube—added as of Sunday June 22th. Watch the Top 18 do their dance intros.

Remember, Dr Matt is the only PhD on the Planet that can probe a messed up mind AND teach the Mambo—so I know what I'm talkin' about!

Dr Matt's Red-Hot Review of SYTYCD June 18, 2008 -- Nine Couple Recap

Especially this week, it is pertinent to ask: "What is the basis for my rank order?" Of course, the term rank order can be taken two ways—and both meanings will apply at times!

This week a dilemma of discernment arises: What happens when the choreography completely STINKS, but the dancers dance their pathetic patterns to perfection? This type of pathetic perfection was achieved by the couple in 9th position:

Dr Matt's Apology: Sorry for all the DEAD hyperlinks; Dick Clark Productions decided to exercise their copyrite privilege and crush our fun. Bummer! The LINKS should be working for the Top 4 performances.

9 - Chelsea T. and Thayne -- Jazz  (19200)

This Jazz number by Mandy Moore could be the WORST choreography in SYTYCD history. So, I'm in a big bind: Do I make my judgments based upon dancing execution only, and be blind to the whole performance before me, OR do I judge on the basis of overall entertainment appeal?

Did I enjoy this performance? No! Did the Dancers do the best they could with this disaster? Yes! For this piece, I decided to go with entertainment appeal and on that basis, this Jazz routine was BAD—but the sin be upon the head of the choreographer, completely. However, it may be the dancers who will suffer. We'll see how the voting goes.

Notice how the judges "danced" around with their critique of this number—careful not to say what is glaringly obvious: That Mandy messed this one up! Notice the way Mia Michaels parsed her words, "Great concept, but it wasn't executed at all." Concept? Yeah, great concept—but the actual choreography was spewing chunks.

Nigel commented that Chelsea's costume looked "clownish." BINGO, my sentiment exactly. And what's with Thayne showing cleavage? It may have been better if Thayne and Chelsea switched outfits. The Costume designers sunk to an all time low with this one.

The synergistic equation is expanded by yet another factor: Dance Style , Music Appeal, Choreography, and now Costume.

Chelsea neck ruffles were reminiscent of the wooden collar placed around the neck of a person being punished in medieval times. Even though this performance fell in the toilet by forces beyond their control, I do not think Thayne and Chelsea T., . . . with be in the bottom three—at least, I don't think they deserve to be. It may be too early to predict popularity patterns, but I think Chesea T. and Thayne will be popular enough to pull through.

8 - Jessica and Will -- Hip Hop   (19900)

This Hip Hop routine is LESS exciting than last weeks performance by our eliminated couple, Rayven and Jamie—watch and compare.

The judges, specifically Mary and Nigel, continue to coronate Will into the final 4. I would prefer if Will would "dance" his way into the final four, instead of simply be crowned to that position by reputation. Even though Debbie Allen has disqualified herself from Judging—to avoid bias—the bias continues anyway. Will is Debbie's protege and this has absolutely influenced the judges.

Psychological Moment by Dr Matt: If you know anything about "Cognitive Dissonance" this is a perfect case: the Judges are fond of Debbie Allen; Debbie Allen endorses Will; thus, there is dissonance created if the Judges attempt to bring a negative assessment to Will—who has Debbie's endorsement, the same Debbie to whom the Judges are very fond.

But to be fair, the judges have seen Will dance many times that the viewing audience has not; so, along with the Debbie Allen's significant influence, the judges are projecting their opinion of Will based upon the abilities he demonstrated through the try-out process. Will Wingfield is not going to be eliminated this week, no way! So, it will be interesting to see if his dancing prowess becomes more apparent to the view audience in coming weeks.

7 - Comfort and Chris -- Krump  (20200)

I like both of these dancers individually, but not together. Chris looks like a big brother dancing with his little sister. The height difference alone takes away from their "couple" chemistry. I think they executed the choreography from Lil'C . . . very well. That being said. I don't personally like krumping—and it doesn't matter who is dancing it.

Krumping . . . krumping! Interesting word. It's a word that might better represent: "The act of clearing one's throat." I don't know about you, but I'm adding "krumping" to my personal dictionary as the throat-clearing process—so let it be written . . . so let it be done.

Doing a Krump dance really well is equivalent to singing the wrong song well in the American Idol competition. We've all learned from past experience that "song choice" can make the difference between moving on . . . or being gone! BUT in the SYTYCD process, the dancers don't have any, or much, control over the factors that come together to make a great performance: Dance Style, Music, Choreography, and Costume. The dancers are victims of what I will call: the song-choice syndrome.

All Comfort and Chris had control of . . . was their performance, and it was just ah-right with me, but better than Will and Jessica's Hip Hop in my subjective assessment.

6 - Susie and Marquis -- Salsa  (5300)

This is supposedly Susie's area of dance expertise, so because she didn't rise to the level of expectations, the judges were disappointed. The judges expectations have been heightened directly because of performances like this one from Benji and Heidi—it's a Mambo, which very similar to Salsa.

But putting the Judges disappointments aside, this performance is quite entertaining to the average eye. And in watching it a second time, Susie danced her heart out. And get a load of that lift where Susie straddles Marquis's neck and then does a 360 dismount—impressive!

5 - Kourtni Lind and Matt -- Foxtrot  (3500)

Again, a great performance starts with great music. Jean-Marc Genereux knows this, and so he choreographs a Foxtrot to a song sung by Michael Buble. The dancing moves were fun to watch, the final lift and the ending pose—spectacular!

Mia Michaels says this of Matt "I think you're fantastic . . . refined, elegant, and I love you!" Quite a turn-about compared to last weeks tacky "stick" comment by Nigel. It's always good to have Mia Michaels on your side.

Curiously, Mary Murphy picks at the lack of ballroom dance technique, but does not apply the same "picking" to Twitch—who didn't even come close to executing the proper technique for a reverse turn. HELLO! That's what the Viennese Waltz is mostly—reverse turns.

4 - Katee and Joshua -- Broadway  (72800)

Josh . . . excellent back flip! Katee Shean projects the spirit of the dance beautifully—she has a fabulous performance personality. Tyce's "Broadway" razzmatazz is exciting for sure, but when you've seen his choreography a few time before: It's a little boring. Compare Katee and Joshua's routine to one performed by Benji and Donyelle in season 2.

What's up with Mia putting Joshua in the final four with Will. REALITY CHECK: this is week two of the competition. Shouldn't we see a little dancing FIRST, before we coronate a king?

3 - Chelsie Hightower and Mark -- Argentine Tango   (11300)

Fabulous choreography! Alex Da Silva creates movement magic! Mia Michaels thinks this is the perfect odd couple: a blend of Beauty and Quirkiness. And what did Mary Murphy like about this performance? . . . Everything!

Mark is intense, and dances with his face and emotions—making each performance completely believable. Aside from wanting more "sleaziness" from the angel from Orem, Utah, Nigel liked this performance a lot.

2 - Twitch and Kherington -- Viennese Waltz   (75500)

Choreographer Jean-Marc Genereux starts with great music, "A New Day has Come" by Celine Dion; add this to the fact that this dance is dedicated to the choreographer's daughter who is handicapped, and you've got got the making of a performance that was memorable.

Now if we could replace Twitch with Will or Matt, this performance would be even better. Twitch shows weakness in dancing out of his element. This wasn't even a real Viennese Waltz, it was more like a contemporary routine. Nigel recognized this by calling the performance a "French-Canadian Viennese Waltz." But the executive producer of SYTYCD concludes "what a beautiful routine." Watch Danny Tidwell and Lacey Schwimmer do a real Viennese Waltz.

After Kherington sheds tears about how happy Jean-Marc's daughter will be when she sees it, the judges didn't dare criticize Twitch's lack of technique. Twitch was especially weak in the lower body/footwork—but his arms were very good). Mia thought that Kherington didn't need to smile throughout the whole number, but should show a range of emotions.

But asking Kherington Payne NOT to smile during this particular performance, would be unnatural. Smiling is what Kharington does. Nigel defended this point against Mia's criticism.

1 - Gev and Courtney G. -- Contemporary   (51600)

Mandy Moore is a great choreographer, and shows her brilliance in this piece. Different than just liking the "concept," Mia Michaels says "Mandy Moore I love your choreography."

This performance rates a Mary Murphy scream! Breaker boy, Gev, shows the depth of his dancing ability by successfully dancing out of his element without a glitch (as opposed to Twitch, who glitched with the Viennese Waltz).

This week, Gev's lifts were sure and powerful, the way they ought to be—compared to his shaky lifts in the Disco routine.



This week we will find out the depth of the popularity factor. The dancers who had the weakest performances will NOT necessarily be the one's found in the bottom three. If you watched "Dancing with the Stars," you'll recall how Marie Osmond stayed in the competition a couple of weeks longer, than her dancing justified. So, popularity will be the determining factor.

On that note, I predict the bottom three . . . will be: Marquis and Susie, Comfort and Chris, and Will and Jessica. And if Will and Jessica make it in the bottom 3 again, Jessica should be gone. And if she's NOT in the bottom 3, then it's Ba Bye for Susie. The Guy to go will be Chris. When Nigel said of Chris "you have the personality of a tree," Chris has pretty much been foreordained to elimination.

Dr Matt's Results Show Recap June 19, 2008:

The Results show begins with a group number choreographed by Shane Sparks.

The first two couples announced "safe," are the same two couples that topped the popularity poll (below): Katee and Joshua, then Kherington and Twitch. Surprisingly, Thayne and Chelsea T. . . . were tossed in the bottom three.

Again, following the order of the poll, Chelsie Hightower and Mark are next to be safe. The other two couples standing on stage were Matt and Kourtni & Will and Jessica—both couples were in the bottom three the previous week. In the tradition of SYTYCD/IDOL, of trying to FAKE OUT the viewing audience, the scenario was set up as if one of these two couples would be . . . in the bottom three.

Total FAKE OUT: both are safe!

Two weeks running, I predicted two of the bottom three couples: Marquis and Susie, Comfort and Chris. And the third couple in the bottom three was the couple I placed dead last in my Less to Best ranking: Chelsea T and Thayne—but not because they danced bad, but because the choreography and costumes were atrocious.

The two dancers leaving the show ended up being Marquis and Susie. SYTYCD are establishing a pattern of eliminating couples together, at least early on. I predicted "Susie" would go as my second guess, if Jessica didn't make the bottom three.

If William Wingfield can show why the judges rave about him, then Jessica will be shielded from elimination by her more popular and accomplished partner. This is what happened last year as Lacey's popularity shielded Kameron week after week—all the while, the judges were hammering Kameron with criticisms. Last year, you got the definite feeling that the Judges would have liked to eliminate Kameron, but they never got the chance to do it. Eventually Kameron made the top ten dancers, and went on tour.

Here are the "Dance For Your Life" performances for the Bottom Three Girls and Guys:

      Chelsea . . . . Thayne . . . . Comfort . . . . Chris . . . . Susie . . . . Marquis

The SYTYCD poll at Ricky.org now has 1500 total votes total, so far, here are the rankings:

                1 - Stephen (Twitch) Boss              - 14% (203 votes)
                2 - Kherington Payne                      - 13% (201 votes)
                3 - Joshua Allen                                 - 12% (184 votes)
                4 - Chelsea Traille                             - 8% (125 votes)
                5 - Kourtni Lind                                 - 8% (124 votes)
                6 - Chelsie Hightower                      - 7.6% (114 votes)
                7 - Mark Kanemura                           - 7.5% (113 votes)
                8 - Katee Shean                                   - 6% (95 votes)
                9 - William Wingfield                       - 4% (61 votes)
              10 - Courtney Galiano                        - 3.6% (54 votes)
              11 - Gev Manoukian                             - 3% (45 votes)
              12 - Thayne Jasperson                       - 2% (35 votes)
              13 - Matt Dorame                                 - 2% (31 votes)
              14 - Comfort Fedoke                           - 1.9 % (29 votes)
              15 - Susie Garcia                                    - 1.6% (25 votes)    Hasta la vista, baby!
              16 - Chris Jarosz                                    - 1% (15 votes)
              17 - Marquis Cunningham                 - <1% (11 votes)   Ba Bye, kicked to the curb
              18 - Jessica King                                    - <1% (6 votes)

Here's combined ranking of an AOL Poll and the Ricky.org Poll (2,300 votes total):

               1 - Katee and Joshua                          27%
              2 - Kherington and Twitch               24%
              3 - Chelsie H. and Mark                     13%
              4 - Chelsea T. and Thayne                10%
              5 - Kourtni and Matt                             8%
              6 - Courtney and Gev                            6%
              7 - Jessica and Will                                 4%
              8 - Susie and Marquis                            3%     Gone with the wind
              9 - Comfort and Chris                            2%             

Not too many people have found the AOL SYTYCD Poll, but if you'd like to register a few votes for your favorite dancers, please do!

See Ya Next Week for the Eight Couple Recap,

Dr Matt

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