''So You Think You Can Dance'': A couple cuts out
Let the head-scratching begin. After dancing for their lives, the first pair to be let go this season was the ''dancing David and Goliath'' tango team of Ashlee and Ricky.
While it was clear the writing was on the wall for Ashlee, whose solo to Barbra Streisand's ''Cry Me a River'' was big on mimelike framing and short on actual technique (not to mention what some consider an essential undergarment), Ricky's departure did come as a shock. Especially when Nigel Lythgoe teased us all by telling Ricky moments earlier that he had the potential to be one of the best dancers of the year.
So instead of cutting B-boy Dominic, whose limited ''tricks'' will be more apparent with every solo he gets, or Cedric, who has yet to prove he can delve into a style other than hip-hop, they cut an extremely versatile dancer like Ricky. It makes me think the judges are allowing themselves a bit of favoritism. Does having hip-hoppers and breakers draw younger viewers than say, boys who do pirouettes and grands jetés? If I see Cedric do a decent quickstep or lyrical dance, then I'll reconsider.
The only good thing about Faina's being one of the bottom-three women was that we got a reminder of how phenomenal she is at what she does. From the second she started to work her own Latin moves, she was nothing short of spectacular. Now she needs to catch a break with a style that maximizes her talents. I'm sure Mary Murphy fought to keep such a technically gifted ballroom dancer in her arsenal.
I have mixed feelings about the show's extras: Wade Robson's monochromatic opening number was an exciting start to the program I only felt a bit sorry for the girls, who were indistinguishable in their black wigs. The performance by Lloyd of ''Get It Shawty'' could have been, er, shawter, though I give him points for actually singing instead of lip-synching. (You could tell, since he was out of breath from all his dance moves.) Maybe the performance also seemed overlong because we knew this was the moment when the judges were deciding who was getting the ax, and the song was like an extended Jeopardyesque ''do do do do.''
The biggest disappointment, though, was seeing last year's champ, Benji, perform a sloppy routine that pandered to the audience. He's much better than the cheesy pops and locks and patriotic BVDs that he displayed last night. Let's hope he cleans up his wayward sideburns and ditches the goofy red gloves before he comes back again.
What do you think? Did the right people go home? Which choreographers would you like to see featured next week? Will Cat Deeley ever properly pronounce the word our? And how many of you out there consider yourselves dancers vs. couch potatoes?