So You Think You Can Dance recap: The Numbers Game |

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So You Think You Can Dance recap: The Numbers Game

The show's need to balance the types of dancers factors into at least one of the first two Top 20 eliminations

Sytycd Paris Torres

DON'T TAKE IT (TOO) PERSONAL Paris was undone as much because of the show's excess of contemporary dancers as because of her performance.

(Mike Ruiz/Fox)

So You Think You Can Dance

Season 5, Ep. 7 | Aired Jun 11

This is going to be short, dear readers, since last night’s So You Think You Can Dance results show was a night of practically zero surprises and entirely minor revelations. The best thing about it was the Shane Sparks group number that opened the show, which, after multiple viewings, I’ve decided was about mystical urban dance fairies led by an unconvincingly crazy-eyed Queen Caitlin, who has directed her hard-edged hip-hopping fairy underlings to blow their magic dancing dust upon the city’s downtrodden and homeless and turn them into more hard-edged hip-hopping fairy underlings, one of whom danced so hard-edged, he apparently danced himself to death and had to be covered with a black sheet that caused him to kinda levitate off the ground. Or something. All I really know is that kicked-off dancers Tony and Paris did far better in this massive hip hop number than they did in their partnered hip hop number Wednesday night. And that for yet another season, thanks to his defection to MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew, we can talk about Shane Sparks, but we’re still not allowed to see him in the audience. (Which is still marginally better treatment than Dancing With the Stars alum Louis Van Amstel, who’s been MIA from the audience and never once mentioned by Cat or the judges on the show even though he choreographed the two best couples’ routines this week. But I, as I do so often, digress.)

Of the two kicked-off dancers, I feel worse for Paris, who you could tell was working hard not to be crushed by Nigel’s brutally frank admission that the judges’ decision to cut her over Asuka had as much to do with the fact that they had a bajillion contemporary dancers and only two ballroom dancers as it did with Paris’ performance itself on the show. Again, while I was definitely cheesed by how baldly unfair that concession to ”good TV” was to Paris, I have to respect Nigel’s uncommon honesty about it, a rarity among realty TV producers and why this show is still so much classier than its older, more secretive sibling American Idol. And besides, Paris’ solo was the most lacking of the bottom three women, a boilerplate mishmash of standard movements that only came to life when she suddenly collapsed to the ground from standing (almost) en pointe. Karla, meanwhile, brought some charming musicality, deftly matching her movement to ”(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and turning in, for me, the most fully realized solo out of the bottom six dancers. Ballroom specialist Asuka may have leaned a bit heavily on check-out-my-sexy-rump sass towards the end of her solo, but at least she was able to imbue some real verve into her sans-partner dancing.

Her male ballroom counterpart in the bottom three, however, didn’t quite figure out the trick to bringing a style meant for two dancers into a solo performance. Indeed, Jonathan was smart to launch into those gymnastic flips given just how weak his solo otherwise was — I’m quickly beginning to wonder if he made it to the Top 20 mostly on the power of his winning smile and excellent skin. Fortunately for Jon, Nigel appeared to have given up on finding his Ivan for this season and cut loose the undeniably out-his-league Tony, who could only manage to display some fancy pointing and splits as the reasons for why he should stay on the show. If Tony means what he said in his farewell interview — ”I am dance and dance is me” — then the highly likable kid better get himself into some classes but quick and shore up his fundamentals if he ever wants to have a go at dance as a career. As for Vitolio, I don’t quite get why Nigel keeps harping on his so-called lack of personality; his solo to me had a quiet fire that was volumes better than anything Tony or Jonathan brought to the table, especially that unreal first leap.

NEXT: Cat deals out some unsuspenseful results