'So You Think You Can Dance': Karen Hauer and Victor Smalley pack their bags
It's official, folks -- we've got our "So You Think You Can Dance" season six top ten! And I honestly really like almost all of them. We had a close call in the elimination round, though -- the first of many to come, I suspect.
Nigel reminds us that this is the judges' last week in control, and although this would normally fill me with trepidation, I've been pretty pleased with America's choices so far. Keep it up, boys and girls. (Spoiler alert: America doesn't keep it up.)
Hip Hop/Tabitha & Napoleon/"What's A Girl Gotta Do?" by Basement Jaxx feat. Paloma Faith: We've got an Alice in Wonderland-inspired group number this week, and it's pretty wild. I'm not sure whether I mean that in a good way. It just didn't quite come together 100% for me, honestly. Sorry, NappyTabs!
Karen and Victor are the first couple to land in the bottom three -- not surprising, since it was pretty much a foregone conclusion. And yeah, Victor especially might as well pack his bags now. Mollee and Nathan join Karen and Victor in the bottom, but I don't anticipate trouble for either of them since the judges clearly love them both (deserved or not ... Mollee).
And holy curse word, you guys -- Ellenore and Ryan are the third couple in the bottom!!! I take back everything nice I've ever said about you, America. I don't care how safe you thought they would be! They were clearly one of the two best couples last night, and I don't see how anyone could argue otherwise. Weeeeeak. And also bad news for Karen, since I think Noelle's potential presence in the bottom was her only shot at staying in the competition.
Before the solos, ballerina Paloma Herrera from the American Ballet Theatre performs a lovely piece from "Don Quixote" that makes my toes and ankles throb just watching it.
Song - "She Wants To Move" by N.E.R.D.: Well, I have lots of sympathy for ballroom dancers trying to dance solo, but I think Karen's taken the "I'll just be super sexy while throwing in a few salsa moves here and there and hope it gets me through" thing a bit too far. A couple of those moves seemed like all they were missing was the pole, though with Nigel judging ...
Song - "Village Attack" from "Blood Diamond" (original soundtrack): It's ... quite dramatic. A little too dramatic, if you ask me, though I suppose that's a matter of taste. I hate to sound like a broken record, but I just can't help but compare this type of solo to Brandon's outstanding one last season, and Victor keeps coming up short.
Song - "Bulletproof" by La Roux: Wow, Mollee's really not taking it easy on that ankle, is she? She pulls out some impressive acrobatics again, and I like her energy. Having suffered through an ankle injury before, I know her pain and shakiness and just have to give her major props for powering through. I also thought this was a nice compromise between dancing like an adult without dancing like, um, Karen.
Song - "Going, Going, Gone (live)" by Stars: We already know Nathan can give good solo, and he doesn't disappoint. Why can't he dance with this much maturity the rest of the time? The judges may be right about a more mature partner helping him (and Mollee) out.
Song - "Bottom" by Zap Mama: If I didn't love her already, choosing a Zap Mama song would've put Ellenore over the top. The solo's still got a lot of her quirky-jerky style, but it has more power than her last one. Though she probably could've somersaulted across the stage and the judges still would've put her in the top ten (and rightfully so).
Song - "Baila Baila Conmigo" by Missiego: See, Ryan can actually pull off the crazy open shirt/vest thing, unlike Russell last night. He's got all kinds of energy, and though I can't say I was in love with the chest/pelvic thrust stuff, the leg work was awesome.
While the judges deliberate, Shakira and her army of backup dancers/singers teach us a lesson in booty shaking, pelvic thrusting, and lip synching.
The judges are unanimous in their decision on the girls' side. Nigel tells Mollee she truly fought for her place in the top ten with her solo. The judges apparently discussed what Ellenore could do to improve and get the audience to pick up the phone, and came up empty (save perhaps staying on this planet a bit more) -- she's already terrific. Nigel felt as though Karen's solo was a white flag, and that she didn't put her heart and soul into it. And indeed, she's headed home.
On the gents' end, the judges were surprisingly not unanimous. Wow. I would've though this one was an easy call. Nigel somehow finds a way to compare Victor to Kelly Osbourne on "Dancing With the Stars," which, okaaaay. (And why does he keep bringing up the competition?) He thought the solo was terrific, and really appreciates Victor's growth. Nigel recognizes the difficulty of a ballroom solo, but gives Ryan credit for his outstanding partnering (while suggesting that he work on his solos a bit).
However, Nigel feels that Nathan has remained a brilliant dancer, but hasn't grown. Apparently, he even voted for Nathan to go home! Seriously? Over Victor? I mean, at least Nathan has a fighting chance of shining with another partner. Victor's had three, and still fails to impress. I certainly don't think his solo was good enough to make up for that. However, Nigel got outvoted and Victor is rightfully headed home along with his partner.
Okay, America...Explain yourself! How did Ellenore and Ryan end up in the bottom?! How do you feel about our top ten?