So what did I miss? I know I've been away for a while, off amid the Comic-Con throng and then fighting a wee bit of the nerd flu that has also overtaken our beloved Ausiello. (Thanks to my colleagues Mr. Stransky, Ms. Barrett, and Mr. Slezak for filling in so expertly in my absence, too.)
But by now, I'm sure, Brandon, Kayla, Ade, and the clear frontrunner Janette are well on their way to the So You Think You Can Dance fina…what? She what?! I … I … what happened?! Sigh. Well, I guess three out of four ain't terri … wait, WHAT? Evan?! Seriously?!
I step away for three shows, and Janette and Ade are out, Brandon and Kayla made the bottom two, and Evan is now the only dancer who's never been in the bottom two and must be officially cyber-slanged as "Evan FTW"?! (That's "For The Win," btw.) Has the world gone completely mad triple-question-mark-and-exclamation-points?!?!?
Okay, sorry, had to get that out of my system. Last night's results show put into high relief so many of my issues with this season, it rekindled all of the pent-up frustration I felt last week at Janette's redunkculous exit. Let us count the ways:
No. 1: Truly awesome hip-hop has been MIASure, we had moving boxes this week, and creepy zombies last week, but with the Chbeeb long gone, there's been nothing as flat out well-danced and fun to watch in the hip-hop department as that wicked JabbaWockeeZ "Freak-a-Zoid" number from last night. (P.S. With the “America's Best Dance Crew” winners getting the full spotlight and “Dancing with the Stars” star Louis van Amstel winning camera time and serious props from the judges on Wednesday, isn't it nice to see that we've reached televised dancing competition détente?)
I'm due to interview Nigel Lythgoe soon for EW's Fall TV Preview about “SYTYCD's” impending fall season, and you better bet I'm asking him if he's working to rectify this season's dearth of quality hip-hoppers, which was only compounded last night with the return of Twitch and Joshua. Which reminds me …
No. 2: So You Think Evan Has ‘Personality.’ Huh?While it was certainly great to see pretty much all the favorites from season 4 back on the “SYTYCD” stage, I was kinda disappointed to see that so many of their routines were a wee bit rusty — only "Bleeding Love" looked like it didn't need the spit and polish of an extra rehearsal or two. (That's right, Mark! I shall never forsake you!)
That said, even though Twitch and Joshua weren't exactly spot on in their respective "Mercy" and "A Los Amigos!" routines, they still brought more effortless personality into their performances than Evan's been able to muster since the top 20 week. I mean, look, I've been so hard on Evan because I've always felt like he was capable of far more than he's actually giving us, especially when it comes to personality. We actually got a few glimpses of that true potential last night, between Evan's doleful sad clown frown in Tyce Diorio's shockingly literal minded "Send in the Clowns" group number, and his results-night solo that popped with an extra spark of panache, as if that with his fate decided, he could finally let it all go. But the kid still has about as much sex appeal as Hello Kitty. And speaking of sex appeal …
No. 3: Where's the gosh-darned heat?
I guess I'm just human, because ever since Jason and his chest left the show, the couples dances have had all the sizzle of a watered-down glass of lukewarm ginger ale.
It's not like the ingredients aren't there. Melissa's never been afraid to embrace her inner naughty ballerina, Nigel is quite fond of pointing out that Kayla's legs just keep on going and going, and I think we'd all like to scrub from our memories the horny grandpa look on Nigel's face Wednesday night when he was checking out Jeanine's superhero décolletage.
As for the guys, one need only, you know, look at Brandon in those solo hot-pants of his to know he's capable of setting more than hearts aflutter, and no one could argue that Ade isn't a friend of the camera. Match them up, though, and you get nothing close to the passion of that kiss between Katee and Twitch, or the yearning between Mark and Chelsie, or the glasses-steaming heat passing between Jessicker and Will. And while I'm on the subject of Will…
No. 4: Brandon needs to get cockyEvery season, the show manages to find a male contemporary dancer who's long on uncommon talent and (what some have seen as) arrogant self-regard. Season 1, it was Blake. Season 2, it was Travis. Season 3, it was Danny. Season 4, it was Will.
From the start of this season, it looked like Brandon fit the role perfectly; as the show's progressed, however, he's lived up to the preternatural ability part like a champ, but his personality has drifted into the kind of generic happy blankness many people put on when they don't really believe they deserve all that's coming to them. Thank the March Hare's nutty fruitcake for Mary Murphy then, because she's clearly taken it upon herself to lovingly scold Brandon's self esteem back into fighting shape for the finale.
Kayla and Jeanine certainly don't suffer from a lack of what Little C. called a "voracious appetite for success and triumph," and Evan's fans and detractors alike can at least agree the kid knows exactly how to best play the puppy dog card. As Cat is so fond of reminding us, we're looking for America's favorite dancer. Brandon's certainly capable of the dancing, and how, but he better start believing he can also be the favorite, or I fear there's simply no stopping Evan from flea-hopping his way to the win.
So, dear readers, are you happy with this season's final four? Will you miss Melissa and Ade? Do you think Evan winning is a foregone conclusion, or do one of the other dancers stand a fighting chance? Are you still a little gobsmacked that "Bleeding Love" was nominated for an Emmy but the Joshua/Katee routine "No Air" was not? Which season 4 alum were you most excited to see return? And did anyone else notice that Nigel's stand-in during Sean Paul's pre-taped performance was almost certainly a woman?
And don't forget to log your picks for which dancers are going home next week at EW.com's SYTYCD Prediction Challenge!