By Sabrina Rojas Weiss
Maybe it was unintentional, but this season of "So You Think You Can Dance" is suddenly more Debbie Downer than "Extreme Makeover." What doesn't America know about you, Karen? "I'm getting a divorce because my husband didn't make it to the top 20." What has been the highlight of being on the show, Phillip? "When my father passed away last week ..." What was the best part about racing lawnmowers, Channing? Oh, never mind. Between the awkward sob stories and two couples' unbelievably bad luck, let's just say Cat Deeley has her work cut out for her as she tries to end every segment on a high note.
Despite getting four dancers out of the way before we were finally able to vote this week, there are still a lot left — too many to recap all of them. So here's my brief assessment of the hot tamales and the ... stale tortilla chips?
Couple That Had Me Reaching For The Phone: Noelle and Russell
Yes, I have a massive crush on krumper boy, and I'm a big fan of African dance, so this Afro-jazz piece was tailor-made for me. Guaranteed crowd-pleaser, for sure. But Mary had the most surprisingly articulate assessment of this exuberant performance: "You weren't doing a bunch of steps."
Dancers Who Will Make Their Partners Look Great Just By Standing Next To Them: Jakob and Karen
I found it hilarious how much the judges were praising Karen's partner, Cheek Bones — I mean, Kevin — and Jakob's partner, Ashleigh. Seriously, I think I would look like Cyd Charisse if I got to dance next to Jakob. (Incidentally, how much did he look like Sark from "Alias" last night?)
Pity/ Popularity-Contest Vote Is Going To: Mollee and Nathan
I haven't seen a girl have so much trouble shaking her hips since Johnny Castle started teaching Baby the mambo. Celia Cruz was rolling in her grave.
Choreographer Who Didn't Do His Dancers Any Favors: Lil' C
Three points. First, this show has overdone the robbery motif. Second, I don't think it's entirely Latin dancer Ryan's fault that I got bored after 10 seconds of this piece. And third, giving Ellenore and Ryan some kind of characters probably would have helped them get more buuuuck.
Totally Falling Through the Cracks: Peter and Pauline, Kathryn and Legacy, Victor and Channing
Quickstep and Broadway are never vote-getters, and though I have a growing affection for Legacy, that number was yawn-inducing when he wasn't somersaulting over his partner. Victor and Channing: You guys are really good at leaning on each other and crumpling on the floor.
Best Lizard Impression: Cat Deeley
She is only woman in the world who could make that reptilian dress look cute.