Dance! Show! has me all muddled up this season. On one hand, the dancing has been exceptional. Not every number is fantastic, but they’re all at least good, and I don’t think there have been any real stinkers all season long. This week’s show was another full of really amazing dancing and choreography, and it was just so fun to watch.
On the other hand, I’m much less invested in this group of dancers than usual. I blame the all-star format. I find I just don’t really care about who is going to win, who will be going home, and who is dancing with whom. In the opening number of the results show, I was super super excited to spot the all-stars on the stage – there’s Dominic! there’s Neil! there’s Anya! – and I had to watch it THREE TIMES before I even noticed that this year’s crop of dancers were actually on stage as well (other than Lauren, who I spotted right away, and then I wondered why she got to dance with the all stars when no one else did, and OOPS).
If they were to do another all star season, is there anyone from this season 7 that you’d add to the list? Would you squeal with excitement to see Robert as an all star? Would you get excited to see Kent show up in a future season? I’m not so sure about that. So while I would love nothing better than to see the all stars dance with each other week after week after week, the competition aspect of the show does make it more compelling somehow. I think they’ll do better in the ratings and produce a better show by going back to the old format.
As well, it’s quite sad that we lost another dancer this week to injury. Ashley was not my favourite, but I’m still disappointed to see her go home this way. Plus, it kind of turns the whole results show into a sham. We notice when a certain dancer does not even bother to dance for her life, even when you split the dances with a commercial break, Nigel! It’s obvious! Just set aside the fake drama about people we don’t really care about anyway, and get those kids to dance for the full hour instead.
Also this: did you notice that they told Alex, when he was eliminated due to injury, that they would “have him back next season” for another shot, while where Ashley was concerned, they only encouraged her to get better so she could maybe be chosen for the tour? Nothing personal, Ashley! Oh, wait.
I almost don’t even feel like bothering to rank the dancers, because a) I don’t care that much, and b) I feel like the order is kind of set in stone now and I can’t imagine anything that will change it. But just for historical reasons, let’s do it.
1. Kent. Kent is definitely going to win. There’s no denying the screams of the girls every single time he appears on the stage…or is shown in a clip…or referenced obliquely in any way. Although he’s not my favourite, I do admit that he is a really good dancer, and he’s done a fair job of toning down his Farm Boy persona. I would have been royally pissed off if he had won over Alex, but now that that’s not a danger, he can go ahead and take the title while I’m yawning in the background. On a related note: am I the only one who thought that Kent looked exactly like a mini-Neil during the baseball number? They were like Jango and Boba Fett – clones. Eerie.
2. Lauren. I love Lauren. Her number with Billy this week was one of my most favourite dances ever. So happy! So cute! It actually made me love Billy, more than a little bit, and that’s saying a lot. I think Lauren is that rare SYTYCD dancer who has immediate chemistry with everyone, and makes her partners look amazing. She reminds me of Jacob from last season in that respect – whoever danced with Jacob was going to look good simply by sharing the stage with him, and so far, Lauren has done the same for all her partners. She rocks. However: no more Tahitian dancing. Thank you.
3. Adechike. I think America is harbouring a secret crush on Adechike. He’s really grown into this show – he’s become a master at combining the modest looks during results show with the performance swagger on the dance nights. I actually thought he out-danced Kent in their number together this week (which overall, I don’t think quite clicked somehow, despite the massive judges’ praise). He did a fair job with Anya, and their salsa was SO CRAZY hard, the very fact that he survived says a lot. I like him.
4. Robert. I thought Robert was great the first few weeks. These past two weeks I think he’s faltered a bit, and yet, now he seems to have voter support, so what the hell do I know. His disco was pretty terrible – as we might have predicted, his cheesy personality took the cheese a wee bit too far, and it certainly didn’t help that he probably only got one day’s worth of rehearsal with Kathryn. As for his son-mother number with Allison…am I going to seem totally cold-hearted if I tell you I wasn’t all that impressed? It’s just like the famous breast cancer number from Season 5 – I thought it was too overdone, and I rolled my eyes more than I teared up. Robert is okay. But I’m no longer convinced he deserves to be in the top 4.
5. Billy. I totally fell in love with Billy this week. He held his own with Anya and oh my God, he was SO CUTE with Lauren. His solos still suck, though. Memo to Billy: Use your solo to tell us a story. It’s not about the movement. It’s about finding something to say. Tell us who you are and you’ll stick around.
6. Jose. I think the judges are more than ready to send Jose home. They were so tough on him this week. His dancing in his number with Courtney might not have been great, but the truth is, I hardly noticed that Courtney was even on the stage. My eyes and my heart were with Jose the whole time. On the other hand, the judges seemed to adore the B-Boy number but I thought it was only okay. I wanted to be really, really WOWED but I’ve seen better in solos by Joshua, Twitch, Philip (CHBEEB FOREVER!), and even Dominic. It’s going to hurt, but I do think it’s Jose who deserves to go home this week.
We’re down to six dancers…I assume this means just three weeks of Dance! Show! remain. At this point, I’m most interested in the finale, so I can see the Boogie Shoes number again, and the results shows, so I can see the all stars dancing together. And that’s not so good, I don’t think. I’ll be happy when we can move on to Season 8.