And cue music...

Posted: Thursday, July 22, 2010 by Travis Cody in

Edit:  Sorry...I guess I didn't hit publish before signing off!

Welcome to the 150th episode of

We're down to the Top 6 and I'm upset right off the top...Billy is not introduced in the opening. 

Cat in red...stunning.  It's not my favorite hair style for her, but I can overlook that because of the LEGSSES.

And our judges are Adam Shankman, Mia Michaels, and Nigel Lythgoe, joined by Kenny Ortega.

Billy Bell has injured his knee.  The doctors say he could perform if he felt well enough, but Billy says no.  So he'll be in the bottom three, but perhaps he'll be able to dance a solo tonight and earn a spot in the Top 5.

Damn these injuries!

Well, the Top 6 minus Billy dance three times...with an All Star, with each other, and a solo.

Lauren, 18 year old contemporary dancer, is paired with All Star Twitch for hip hop choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon.  Girl got moves, but this is not one of my favorite kinds of music or my favorite kind of choreography.  Still, I got into it as the dance went on and that is down to Lauren's skill.  She hit hard and to my untrained eye she had the rebound.  She took on the character.  I was impressed with the way she filled up the stage.  She was in control too.  She didn't over-extend the movements.  It was like she found the wall and hit right up against it, then bounced right into the next movement.  She's so much smaller than Twitch, but that didn't diminish her.  She stepped up to his size and held her own.  Well done young Lady.

Jose, 21 year old break dancer, is paired with All Star Allison for contemporary choreographed by Sonya Tayeh.  This is intriguing choreography because they spend the whole of the dance right at the edge of the stage.  It's a very powerful technique and emphasizes the emotion in the piece.  It also completely hides Jose's deficiencies.  He hasn't been asked to dance at all.  He rolls on the floor.  He lifts Allison.  He sits on the edge of the stage.  Don't get me wrong.  For what he was asked to do, he was adequate.  He was there for Allison as a partner.  But he just wasn't asked to do much.  I think making a dance that hides his weaknesses and doesn't challenge him to at least try to do what the other dancers are doing is a disservice to the competition and the other dancers.  It's saying that adequate is good enough for him.  In my opinion, an experienced contemporary dancer would have taken that piece with Allison to such an emotional crescendo.  This fell short.  Decent performance, but if I weren't already voting for Jose this would not make me do so.

Robert, 20 year old contemporary dancer, is paired with All Star Lauren for Jazz choreographed by Tyce Diorio.  For a piece that is allegedly about seduction, I didn't feel much heat between these two.  If I hadn't known that it was supposed to be about sex, I wouldn't have gone there.  Robert danced well, but I didn't get the impression that he wanted to get down in the sheets.  Maybe it was because they spent so much time dancing side by side.  What I did like about the routine was the pure Jazz feel of the movement.  Tyce choreographed up to and in excess of Robert's ability.  And Robert took hold of the movement he was given to really lose himself in it and perform.  Even though I didn't feel the rawness they were supposed to interpret, I did enjoy the dancing and sometimes that's enough. 

AdeChike dances solo.  This is what I like about the young man.  He is so at ease in the air.  His quality of movement is so wonderful, when he just focuses on that.

Kent, 18 year old contemporary dancer, is paired with All Star Kathryn for Jazz choreographed by Sonya Tayeh.  This is another routine with a clear Jazz quality.  Kent has learned how to interact with his partner and still sell the performance to the audience.  There were some transitions to lifts and tricks that really could have been awkward, but they were smoothly done.  This young man is really growing each week.  He's such a talented dancer, but he is learning how to bring off a performance and interpret what he's given.  I thought his musicality is outstanding.  Mia said that his facial expressions took the choreography to a juvenile level, but I didn't get that at all.  The music and the movement was fun, and that's what I saw...I saw Kent and Kathryn have a great time with each other and with the audience.  I can now say that I can embrace this young man as a potential champion.

Robert dances solo.  One of the first things I thought about Robert was that if I were sitting in front of the stage, I wouldn't hear him hit the ground after one of those leaps.  I find that astounding.  Happy Birthday young man!

Lauren dances solo.  I like this young Lady.  She dances with such joy.  Outstanding.

AdeChike, 23 year old contemporary dancer, is paired with All Star Comfort for lyrical hip hop choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon.  Comfort rocked this piece.  And AdeChike was amazing.  I could see him completely forget about steps and choreography and just fall into the experience of the piece.  It was raw and harsh.  Comfort expertly played the woman who works so hard to convince herself that she needs to get away, while AdeChike played a man who realizes he's down to his last chance and he isn't going to even get it.  That was really an incredible piece of art designed by Tab and Nap, who I think are at their best when they do this kind of lyrical piece.  The two dancers let the idea flow through them.  I think this was some of the best chemistry of the season.  And I think this is AdeChike's best overall performance of the season.  Well done young man.

Jose dances solo.  He's very good on the floor with his tricks.  It's unfortunate, but I've just been turned off by the the judges every week trying to make me see past the fact that he's an incomplete dancer.  The breaking isn't enough for me.

Kent dances solo.  I don't know how much more praise I can heap on the young man.  I'm a convert to his talent because he has grown as a performer.

The interesting thing about the Top 6 minus Billy pairing up is that every one of them is out of their comfort zone with the styles they'll be asked to do.

Lauren and Robert pair up for Samba choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin.  Lauren had the Samba flavor, but I thought Robert seemed a bit too stiff in his upper body.  The judges disagreed with me, but that's what I thought.  He didn't seem to dance in that fluid way that I've come to expect from Samba.  He was there for Lauren as a partner, but she was really the star of the style.  Robert just seemed a little awkward and uncomfortable to me, although I will say that he extended through the movement and he did do some good work with his hips.  I can also report that between them they did have good chemistry and I enjoyed the performance.

AdeChike and Jose pair up for Paso Doble choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin, assisted by Legacy Perez.  OK, this should be interesting.  This is two matadors in a battle against each other.  Neither of them maintained any type of aggressive posture during the cape work at the top of the piece.  I thought they both missed the fundamental characteristic of a strong Paso...leading through the chest and extending from the shoulders through the arms and out the fingers.  The music was big and bold, the choreography was difficult, but the movements didn't quite measure up to what they were given.  As focused as they were, neither Jose nor AdeChike seemed able to find the Paso attitude and so that dance fell flat for me.

Kent is paired with All Star Twitch due to Billy's injury, in the first ever stepping routine choreographed by Chuck Maldonado.  I didn't think Kent did as well as others have next to Twitch.  It felt kind of like stepping-light to me on Kent's part.  He didn't do badly, but in this case I thought it was difficult for him to overcome his "Kentness".  I missed what the judges saw in the performance.  It wasn't bad and I enjoyed it.  But I just didn't think Kent stepped up to Twitch and the choreography.  

Another diverse show!  I was locked in with my favorite, but with Billy down with an injury I have to be prepared to shift.  I did not vote.  I couldn't do it, since Billy hasn't been sent home yet.  So tonight we'll find out if he's well enough to continue, or if it's time for me to move on to a new favorite.

Pam really struggled and couldn't narrow her choice.  She voted her Final Four last night and rotated votes among Lauren, Kent, Robert, and AdeChike.

Later gang! 


  1. Akelamalu says:

    Glad you're enjoying it Trav. :)

  1. Thanks for the update because I missed most of the show. I am sad that Billy has an injury. This year is full of injuries.

  1. Another injury!!! Man this is causing the competition to be determined by health.

    Missed the show..was done on Beale and taking pictures...hoping to share over the next few days

  1. Julie says:

    I forgot how much i enjoy reliving the show through your descriptive accounts! I am enjoying several of these dancers. Of course Kent has been a fav from the start...sometimes just being a farm boy from Ohio is enough to make me take notice in a vat filled with good prospects. Then to drive through his town on our way to Michigan brought me closer to his roots. Robert/Lauren/Jose round out my favs. What a season!

  1. Akelamalu: I am.

    Pam: I hate to see it.

    V: It's really a shame.

    Julie: It's always a little better when you find some common ground with a favorite.