xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement

'So You Think You Can Dance': Top 12 perform

Tonight on So You Think You Can Dance, the Top 12 are fighting to make the Top 10 (and thus the tour). Also, this is the last time they'll definitely be dancing in these couples because next week they draw partners and styles out of a hat.

Ellenore and Ryan prepare for the Lindy hop with new choreographer Carla Heiney. Their performance is charming, retro, fun, full of lifts and tricks. I like the whole feel of it, and I really love Ellenore's outfit. (These dancing outfits can go wrong so quickly.) Adam Shankman says it was a fantastic start to the show and that they look "cute as all get out. ... I sound like my grandmother!" He mentions that Ryan has an injured back and handled everything well. Mary Murphy says she thought it was tremendous and a stunning routine. Nigel Lythgoe says, "I thought it was terrible ... that we haven't had Lindy hop on this season." Hardy-har-har.

Advertisement

Kathryn and Legacy are doing a jazz routine with Sonia Tayeh. It's wacky, as Sonia's routines always are, but it really uses Legacy's skills to his advantage -- there are a lot of moves that only he could have pulled off. The whole thing is sexy in a very weird way; I think this was a good draw of choreographer for the couple and vice versa. Adam immediately praises Sonia for the routine and for showcasing Legacy's bboy skills (see?). He says if they keep dancing like this, "you're going all the way!" Mary Murphy loves Legacy's crabwalks and the showcased moves, but she thinks the movements in between were pretty great, too, as were Kathryn's lines and movements. Nigel says that's one of his favorite routines of the season. He says Kathryn was sexy "without pushing anything" and that Legacy proved his musicality was amazing, better than anything he showed in Vegas. He agrees with Mary on the idea that these two are in the Top 10 for sure.

... OK, so a little bit off-topic, at least in terms of this just being a recap. But another fan of the show and I were talking about Legacy and how no matter what they've thrown at him this season, he's just grasped it, even when it's way outside his experience level or comfort zone. My friend's theory is that some dancers are just freaks of nature (that was his term) who can just be told and shown what to do and they automatically know exactly what to do with their bodies to make it happen. This is not to say he isn't working hard and practicing, too. His work ethic seems to be pretty high up there. This is a separate issue. I think most dancers have a really good sense of how to move their bodies in particular ways, but some people just seem to be preternaturally good at it, and I think Legacy is one of those people. I, on the other hand, have virtually no sense of myself in space, so I'm constantly running into things in rather spectacular ways. I'm jealous of the freaks of nature, it's true.

Karen and Victor are a new pairing after losing their partners last week. They're doing a tango by Melanie Lapatin, and it's intense and quite passionate. They convey the emotional side of it too, even in the the way they quickly look away from each other at the beginning. This is one of the first performances that Karen's been in when I actually spend most of it watcher her partner. Victor holds his own in this pairing, even though "sexy" is supposed to be Karen's wheelhouse. Adam says this partnership really ended up working out. He says it was really great for Victor, showing his poise, and Karen showed energy even in the stillness. Plus, great chemistry. Mary loved it, especially Victor's poise and Karen's movement. She also adds that the difficulty level was way, way up there, and they handled it. Nigel does talk with Victor about his back and his posture a bit, but he thought everything else was fabulous. He tells Karen that she has the same quality that Shakira and Jennifer Lopez have, that you can't take your eyes off them. I'm not saying she didn't do well, but my eyes were mostly on Victor.

Nathan and Mollee do a hip-hop dance with Jamal Sims that is about Alexander Graham Bell inventing the telephone. (Yes, seriously.) They dance to "Ring-a-Ling" by the Black Eyed Peas, and yeah, it's a little wacky, but it's a ton of fun, and they do really well with those elements. When it gets a little sexy or a tad raunchy (just a couple of moments), they don't quite pull it off, but the dancing itself is still good. Adam says that by and large, they really sold it. He especially thinks it was great to see Nathan do hip-hop because it was so obvious how much fun he was having. Mollee he thinks was having a little trouble with the choreography. Mary says it picked up steam as it went along and got better, despite a couple of bobbles. Nigel says he thinks they are both good dancers, but that they both need more mature partners because it felt a little twee.

Noelle and Russell work with Tony and Melanie on the samba. Noelle interviews that it's really hard, except for the hip action, that she has that part totally down. I think she would have been better served to keep that to herself because in the parts of the performance that were exclusively hip-shaking, sure, she had it. But in others, where, say, they were traveling across the floor and she should have been shaking her hips at the same time, she didn't as much. And when you're dancing to "Hips Don't Lie" by Shakira, you're going to be held to a high standard. Again, not that it was bad. Just could have been better. Adam says it was "a little too nice," that because they are so sweet, they didn't get into the "nasty party" part of the dance. Mary says there wasn't enough compression and bounce in the foot, so it felt a little shallow. Still, she loved their performance level, especially Russell's spirit. But she was a little disaapointed. Nigel says Shakira, who is performing tomorrow, oozes sexuality, and he needed more from Noelle in that regard. He says it felt a little clinical. To Russell, he says it's crazy that he doesn't have other lessons.

Ashleigh and Jakob are doing lyrical jazz with Sonia, about a time of contentment. So, I'll admit it. It took me a while to start to get Sonia's pieces, but I'm beginning to appreciate how they give a glimpse inside the mind of someone who thinks so differently from me. Does that make sense? I'm a little bleary after Dancing With the Stars tonight, too. Anyway, they piece is light and airy, as Jakob said they would try to be, and they dance it gorgeously. Adam: "That was so beautiful, I don't know what to say." He calls Jakob surreal and says it's his privlege to watch him. Mary says it's obvious they have so much fun dancing together because you can't fake that chemistry. She calls Jakob a technical genius and tells Ashleigh that it's no longer a surprise to see her doing well. Now they expect it. Nigel says this is now his favorite routine and professes his love for Sonia's work and for this partnership.

Ellenore and Ryan do a Broadway routine on the temptation of fame and fortune. I haven't been completely impressed by a Broadway routine in a while, but this one is great. Ellenore is fabulous as a puppet and Ryan delivers as her Svengali, too. Adam credits Spencer's choreography and says they totally nailed it. He adds that Ryan was good, but Ellenore was a rock star. Mary says Ryan dug in and got that character and she loved Ellenore, too. Nigel: "I loved the choreography, and I love you, too." Nigel wants to move six couples into the Top 10. I don't think that's going to work too well ...

Legacy and Kathryn work with Jean-Paul Generaux on a dance about a dancer who hasn't had opportunities and who is being guided by his guardian angel. The routine is lovely, but when the music gets very rock and roll, it just doesn't feel right for a Viennese waltz to me. They do a nice job with it, but it isn't as drop-dead amazing as the rest of the night. Before the judges even talk, Legacy is crying, and says he is glad to portray hope because that is his purpose on the show. "How can we be mean to you after that?" Nigel says. Adam says this was extraordinary attempt in ballroom for Legacy and that Kathryn was just gorgeous. Mary says they will both be OK, but no it wasn't the best ("The feet were just smacking around the stage"). Nigel says he can't be mean, but Legacy is lucky he's being judged by three people whose hearts he's stolen.

Advertisement

Karen and Victor learn a hip-hop number with Laurieann Gibson, a routine about moving a mountain. I want to love it, but I kind of don't, and I can't figure out if it's the routine (I usually love Laurieann's work) or them or what. The lifts are great, though. Adam says there was a lot of commitment and intensity, but the music didn't really match for him, but they danced it well. Mary says it was OK, but there wasn't anything really memorable about it. "There's nothing to latch onto," she says. Nigel says there was no chemistry between them or with the music.

Advertisement

Mollee and Nathan do the show's first can-can, with Tyce DiOrio. It's fast and fun, but it just seems kind of manic and like Mollee and Nathan are trying to keep up with the music the whole time, especially Mollee. Adam compares them to hopping Energizing Bunnies, but he thinks Nathan had a slightly better showing. He keeps mentioning Mollee's ankle, and I wish either he wouldn't mention it, or we would be told exactly what's going on because the vague references are annoying and it sounds like he's making excuses for her. Mary says they CAN-CAN! She loved their energy and Nathan's turns. Nigel says that the original dance was scandalous because the women didn't wear their underwear under all those petticoats. Mollee says she wore hers, and Nigel says thank goodness. (Yeah, that would have caused much more outrage than Adam Lambert's AMA performance this weekend!)

Advertisement

Noelle and Russell doing a piece with Tyce in which they have to "paint" the story of their relationship across each other's bodies. It's airy and intense at the same time, somehow. Cat Deeley compares it to "a pottery Ghost moment." Heh. Adam says they were just gorgeous and loved the sequence of "asymmetrical chaos." He doesn't think they will be in danger. Mary says it was special and clever and seemed endless. She thought it was out of this world. Nigel says they needed to give us something to remember them by, and they did. He also says Noelle committed to every move and that Russell's technique gets better every single week.

Ashleigh and Jakob close the show with a cha cha with Jean Paul and Franz. This is, as you may recall, Ashleigh's dance of choice. She has a total blast, and Jakob keeps up with her. Adam says, "This is Ashleigh's world, and we're all just visiting." He says Jakob managed to make himself look like a ballroom dancer, even pulling the "hungry jazz" faces. (His favorite, he says, is the look of surprise: "You know the routine. Why are you surprised?" I LOL'd.) Mary says they blew it out of the ballpark with both numbers and that it was fun to see Ashleigh do her style. (Despite the fact that they are basically accusing them of cheesing it up quite a bit ... that's not just me hearing that, right?) Nigel says Jakob was the fish out of water, but he didn't show it. He also says that he was concerned with the chair involved that it would be -- oh no! -- another concept piece, but it wasn't just that. Makes me wonder how he feels about some of these other story dances, though. Anyway, he loved it.

What did you think about tonight's performances? Who's in danger? Who's safe?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement