Following a shocking non-elimination last week, the pressure increased for the 20 remaining contestants last night.
Along with Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, Debbie Reynolds sat in on the So You Think You Can Dance panel. Unfortunately, she thought everything was amazing and wanted to bring all the dancers to her home for some unknown reason, even those who struggled to earn passing grades...
Ryan & Ricky: Jazz (Mandy Moore) - Mandy wanted a sexual jazz routine and "Roderick" didn't seem like the type that would fit. While Ryan was sexy, there was something I didn't believe about Ricky involving their supposed sexual tension. Ryan had the right amount of camera mugging with partner eye contact and her leaps into Ricky were done with confidence. There were a few movements that Ricky did that were too feminine. My Grade: B-Caitlynn & Mitchell: Stacey Tookey (Contemporary) - The story was supposed to be an insecure girl wanting to leave her man. I liked the use of the props and the angle the camera kept for the beginning of the routine. I was amazed by Caitlynn's fearless leaps. Unlike Ricky, I believed Mitchell's character, possibly because he was given stronger choreography. You knew the dancers were into the routine when Mitchell accidentally punched Caitlynn in the face.
Missy & Wadi: Cha-Cha (Jean Marc Generaux) - Jean Marc didn't give any storyline, except for the fact that his cha-cha was difficult and supposed to be sexy. It was interesting that they wasted time tutting in the beginning. The cha-cha started a bit slow at points and Jean Marc tried his best to cover up the fact that neither were that good. There were definite areas where you could see the contestants thinking about the moves, especially Wadi. He showed fear in his eyes. It's a shame that Missy was lumped with him. My Grade: C+
Iveta & Nick: Bollywood (Nakul Dev Mahajan) - Nakul continues to increase the difficulty of Bollywood routines. I liked the silhouette in the beginning and the lift was graceful. I was impressed by both Iveta and Nick since Bollywood was far from their comfort zones, it helped that Iveta was in tune with her hips. Their synchronization could have been a bit better at points, but it may have been easier caught because of their height difference. The lift sequences at the end were amazing. My Grade: B+
Miranda & Robert: Hip-Hop (NappyTabs) - The dance was supposed to be about two woodpeckers and there was a lot of double entendre running through my head. I liked the pauses in the beginning, but the two needed to hit a bit harder. Miranda wasn't believable and she didn't have a street dirtiness about the dancing that Robert had. Miranda's stumble was pretty bad and I felt like the judges were trying to cover up the fact that she messed up. My Grade: C
Clarice & Jess: Contemporary (Stacey Tookey) - Stacey provided an easy storyline involving a prince and princess; the big challenge was the lifts. The routine had a good flow between moves and most of the lifts didn't seem that bad. Their side by side movements were really beautiful and I think that Clarice really brought the quality level up for the two of them. My Grade: B+
Jordan & Tadd: Viennese Waltz (Jean Marc Generaux) - The Viennese waltz emphasizes space and grace. This routine was definitely easier to fake than the cha-cha because it was mostly in hold. The lifts were done well and the couple did attempt a decent rise and fall. The routine had a nice flow, but there was something about the routine that was a bit forgettable; I blame David Cook. My Grade: B+
Melanie & Marko: Mandy Moore (Jazz) - We got another bowler hat jazz routine. The thumping beat of the song helped me like the routine more. The two had a nice confidence about them and the lifts were strong. The hat work was interesting, though Marko dropped his hat at one point. He managed to recover right before the routine's biggest jump routine. My Grade: A-
Sasha & Alexander: Hip-Hop (NappyTabs) - The routine was about a soldier and his wife reconnecting. We've seen similar with Katee & Joshua's "No Air" routine and it always was emotionally moving. The routine started really cool with Alexander's slow walk and Sasha proving why she should make the top ten. I really liked the head-flip on Sasha's back. The two really got into character and it made the routine more believable. My Grade: A
Ashley & Chris: Broadway (Spencer Liff) - The whole routine was supposed to be done behind bars and have that sexual tension. Chris started upside down and his slow descent had amazing arm strength. I really liked the routine and I loved how the two managed to still have their hands connected. The cameras were having a lot of fun circling around the whole routine. I didn't even notice that Ashley lost her glove. My Grade: A+