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SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE (SYTYCD): Elimination round #3 (14 left) – The audience finally votes

Audience voting now means that some of the better dancers can be put
into jeopardy. As Nigel clearly stated, it’s not about being the best
dancer but the most popular, which can be two very different things;
case in point, Nathan and Molly who escaped being in the bottom six
due to their audience teen appeal. The judges also made it clear that
it’s now not enough to dance well. The dancers must lift the
choreography up to a higher level; they’re responsible to take the
dance beyond the steps, to make something of the dance and to make it
more. It is also the choreographer’s job to make their dancers look
good. The smart choreographer melds the individual talents of each
dancer with the choreographic intent. In doing so, a unique and
exciting hybrid is created, which shines a light on both dancer and
choreographer.

This week’s best choreography was the jazz dance with Ashleigh, Jakob
and cane. The cane allowed new and extended choreographic
possibilities rather than limiting them as we saw last week with the
tennis racket. The cane, used inventively, extended the line and
height of legs, and off-balance postures.

Weakest choreography was the Ellenore and Ryan’s hip-hop number. The
dancers just were not able to embody the style and as a consequence
looked uncomfortable and awkward. They were too nice. As Nigel said,
the dancers must be able to transcend their own style; it shouldn’t
matter what genre they’ve trained in.

Best dancing came from Jakob and Legacy. Jakob had great clarity,
style, personality and character. Legacy, who danced circles around
his partner Kathryn, was athletic, clear, and also danced with great
personality.

Weakest dancing came from Ellenore, Ryan, Kevin, Mollee, Nathan and
Noelle.  Kevin, who looked uncomfortable, just did the steps compared
to his partner who lived them. For Molly and Nathan, their lifts and
partnering were awkward and the chemistry between them missing.
Noelle suffered dancing next to Russell, who danced better and was
given more interesting things to do.

No surprise to see Ryan, Ellenore, and Kevin in the bottom six. Kevin
brought Karen down with him though it was interesting that Nigel
thought that Karen’s maturity and sexuality might be intimidating for
young female voters. I was surprised to see Peter and Pauline in the
bottom six. Though they were not my favorites, they danced better
than some of the others. Nathan and Mollee escaped the bottom because
they’re popular, not better dancers. The judges made it uncomfortably
clear to them that they should have been in the bottom. Certainly the
joy of avoiding elimination was wrest away from them.

Based on their solos, Pauline and Peter should have been and were
eliminated. She danced with too much effort and there was nothing
particular about her choreography. As one of the judges said, it
looked like steps learned in a dance class; it was conventional. For
Peter, tap comparatively just does not sell to a mass audience.