And cue music...

Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010 by Travis Cody in

Welcome to

Now that we've made it through the drama of Alex's injury and withdrawal from the competition, I've got to say that I think it's just about anybody's game.  There's no way to predict which way Alex's voting bloc will go.

If it was Alex and only Alex for them, they won't vote.  If it was Alex first and another dancer second, then they could simply shift votes to the next favorite.  Or it could be that it was Alex and only Alex, but as fans of the show they'll get over their disappointment and re-set to pick a new favorite based on performance over the next few weeks.

Anything can happen in the search for America's favorite dancer.  So let's see what's in store for our Top 7.

First, a Cat Deeley update...I'm liking the hair although it's not free and wavy, and I dig the Roman style multi-colored frock, off the shoulder and showing plenty of LEGSSES.

Judges are the standard trio of Adam Shankman, Mia Michaels, and Nigel Lythgoe.

Oh no!  Now Ashley Galvan is injured!  Dammit!  Just as she was rounding into a real contender.  As with Alex, she'll be in the bottom three tonight and will be eliminated if she is unable to continue.  She's got a rib injury, so maybe she'll be able to recover quickly.

So our Top 7 minus Ashley again had two routines, one with an All Star and the second with a fellow competitor.  Because there originally were an odd number of competitors, Jose's second dance was with All Star Dominic.

First up, it's the Top 7 minus Ashley with the All Stars.

Lauren Froderman, an 18 year old contemporary dancer, is paired with All Star Mark for a Tahitian dance choreographed by Tiana Liufau.  I know nothing about this kind of dancing.  The costumes are wild. but tastefully done and not distracting at all.  In fact, the costumes and make up did what they should; they enhanced the efforts of the performers.  I can report that Lauren had the hips rocking in what looked like the correct manner.  That is, she didn't roll them like in Latin style and she didn't thrust them like in hip hop.  The dance felt really primal and powerful.  Mark was out of breath after the routine, so that tells me how hard they were both working.  I enjoyed the performance.  It was fast and high energy.  I was impressed by the way Lauren attacked the choreography and embraced the style.  Welcome to the show Tiana!  Outstanding work Lauren! 

AdeChike Torbert, a 23 year old contemporary dancer, is paired with All Star Anya for Salsa choreographed by Liz Lira and Danny Davalos.  That opening lift sequence was so dangerous, but they pulled it off.  It wasn't smooth, but they got it done.  I'm not sure what it is, but AdeChike looks sloppy to me.  I never thought that while watching him during auditions, but the last three weeks he just hasn't looked good to me at all.  Now I do have to say that Salsa isn't about taught legs and strong lines.  The knees should be soft and relaxed, which he seemed to have done well enough.  But even given that, the dance just didn't look good to me.  I guess maybe that's about technique.  He didn't have it.  But he hung in with it, and his strength was important because that was a competition level piece of choreography.  I want to like AdeChike, but in the last three weeks I just haven't. 

Jose Ruiz, a 21 year old break dancer, is paired with All Star Courtney for Broadway choreographed by Joey Dowling.  I'll give him points for portraying the character well.  The problem was that he didn't dance big enough.  I think that with a routine like this, because the two dancers don't connect as much, the movements have to be exaggerated and strong.  Think of Gene Kelly.  No matter what the emotion in the story, Mr Kelly exaggerated his movement to emphasize it.  That's a tall order for Jose and I don't think he even got close.  Nigel blamed the choreography and character of the dance for letting Jose down.  I disagree.  There was nothing wrong with the dance itself and the choreography was very good.  Jose needed to understand better how to interpret it.  His inexperience kept him from injecting his personality and style into the piece.  Adam said it...he needs finish, lines, sharpness, stretch.  Jose needs to go to class.  It became clear in this piece that personality does not trump dance skill.  And that's not the fault of choreography.  And it's not really Jose's fault either.  He's a B-boy trying to learn and grow.  I respect that.  His fans are going to continue to vote for him, but others who focus on the dancing may not be swayed.

Robert Roldan, a 19 year old contemporary dancer, is paired with All Star Allison for contemporary choreographed by Travis Wall.  The story in this piece is that of a son supporting a mother through a crisis.  That was really beautiful.  Even without the introduction to the story, I felt the power in the piece.  And that's what real dancing should be.  Tell us the story, interpret the music, be the emotion...without letting it overwhelm the dancing.  Just tremendous.  Yet another perfect blend of dancers, music, story, and choreographer.  If Robert can't connect to the audience and get them to vote for him after that performance, then it's just not meant to be for him.  He was absolutely stunning in the dance.  It was a work of art.  Well done Robert, Allison, and Travis.

Billy Bell, a 20 year old contemporary dancer, is paired with All Star Anya for Jive choreographed by Louis van Amstel.  Louis!!  It's about time!  This is a traditional competitive Jive.  There was just a little bobble on the opening step, but Billy definitely turned up the personality this week.  Unfortunately the way the music was put together made the dance feel completely disjointed, and that threw me while I was trying to follow it.  I think Billy handled the style and the movement he was asked to do this week.  A Jive is supposed to be about quick flick kicks and sharp movement, and Billy had all of that.  There was plenty of content and Billy took the notes and criticism from the last few weeks and worked on his connection with Anya.  I'll definitely be watching that back, probably without the sound so I can focus on the dancing.

Kent Boyd, an 18 year old contemporary dancer, is paired with All Star Neil for Broadway choreographed by Tyce Diorio.  Now Kent gets a huge WOW for the pirouettes followed by the front suicide at the end of that routine.  Those were terrific.  The routine from start to finish was fun and energetic.  It was so full of tricks and jumps and acrobatics.  The choreography made use of both dancers' athleticism to outstanding effect.  Kent's "Kentness" was perfect for this piece.  That's the kind of big dancing to emphasize the character that Jose doesn't quite understand how to do.  I couldn't find anything to dislike in the routine.  That's taking advantage of the perfect vehicle and making it your own.  Well done young man!

Now let's see how our competitors dance with each other.

Lauren and Billy dance Jazz choreographed by Mandy Moore.  This routine had me smiling from the beginning.  Billy found his inner funky dude.  And the movement suited Lauren right down to the ground.  I absolutely loved the entire piece.  They had fantastic chemistry between them.  You've got to have the right pair of dancers to pull off that kind of groove, and Mandy threw it down with these two.  They both wear this style so well.  They just got lost in the dancing.  Outstanding!

Jose gets to dance with All Star Dominic in the first ever B-boy routine, choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon D'umo.  This kind of dancing is actually more technical than you might think.  Having them dance the same steps side by side the way they did really showed off the style to excellent effect.  The piece wasn't just about two guys throwing down a bunch of tricks.  It had tricks, but it wasn't just a battle.  At the end, the story gave the "kingship" to Jose, but I have to say that I thought Dominic out-danced him.  Don't get me wrong...Jose was excellent.  But I expected him to be.  I think he's raw and unpolished whereas Dom is a complete dancer...that was clearly evident to me.

Kent and AdeChike dance contemporary choreographed by Dee Caspary.  I expected to enjoy Kent in this piece.  But I really enjoyed AdeChike's work.  He was back in his element.  His technique was wonderful, and he seemed much more relaxed.  There's no doubt that Kent had a terrific night, playing both extremes of emotion.  He's growing rapidly as a performer.  But AdeChike made a tremendous come back in my mind with his dancing in this piece.  They were both powerful and strong, but also vulnerable and artistic.  Nicely done.

Robert gets to dance with All Star Kathryn due to Ashley's injury.  This is disco choreographed by Doriana Sanchez.  That was really fast and there were so many tricks and spins.  The transitions from trick to dancing didn't seem to go very smoothly.  I thought the performance was full of energy.  It just was movement after movement after movement.  I'm not sure if I liked it or not, but I appreciated the strength Robert showed as a partner.  I thought he improved in that area over last week.

What a great show!  I enjoyed the diversity of the choreography.  I've picked my favorite and I'm sticking with Billy until he is eliminated or wins.  HA!

Pam is still undecided.  She voted based on performance, but it was tough for her to choose.  She liked Billy, Robert, Lauren, and Kent.  So she split votes among them.

Tune in tonight for results.  We'll find out whether Ashley can continue despite her injury, and who is eliminated.  It only gets tougher from here.  Everyone is so good.         



  1. I think it is time for Jose to go. His personality has taken him as far as he can go in this competition. He lack of training is only going to become more evident each week. Jose needs to use this experience to build a base for a career in dance. He needs to get in the studio and get trained. He has plenty of time to become a successful dancer.

  1. Jamie says:

    Wednesday is the one day I can watch this show without same time conflicts so I really depend on you for the results. The dancing last night was excellent. It will take something wonderful to winnow it down to just a couple of favorites.

  1. Client dinner last evening, so I did not get to see it. On TiVo, so I will check out a few of the routines (based upon your comments) before the results show tonight

  1. Akelamalu says:

    Hope your boy goes all the way. :)

  1. Driller: I think it's going to come down to what the Alex fan-bloc does. I suspect Jose will get one more week.

    Jamie: There doesn't seem to be a clear favorite at this point, unless it's Kent.

    V: The dances are definitely worth the time.

    Akelamalu: Me too!

  1. BeckEye says:

    *sigh* Oh, Mark. I wish I could get stranded in the jungle with him. And then, somehow, in this fantasy he would enjoy the company of women. :)

    I haven't been watching religiously this year, but I really like Lauren, Kent and there's something about AdeChike I like. Jose does seem like a nice guy but the judges are pimping him way too hard and annoying everyone in America by refusing to hold him to the same standard as everyone else.