'So You Think You Can Dance' recap, first live show
Top 20 contestants Audrey Case and Matthew Kazmierczak perform a Contemporary routine to "Unchained Melody," choreographed by Travis Wall. (FOX)
Kenny says, "Amelia, I think we can all agree that if we had a kitty like you we'd play with her all day." I am clutching my pearls. Nigel likes this pairing of dancers and I do too. Nigel also agrees with me that it wasn't really hip hop. It scares me when I mindmeld with Nigel.
Mary's screeching, which means she likes it. Cat sends them off the stage with a "Go find a dumpster somewhere else." I love her.
Janelle Issis, 24, is from Birmingham, AL, loves purple, can cook, and likes roller coasters. We should totally hang out. Dareian Kujawa, 20, left home to join the circus, used to play ice hockey, and does a great Donald Duck impression.
Sean Cheesman has given them a very physical African jazz routine. Janelle does a move that looks like it twisted things that shouldn't be twisted. Ouch.
Seconds into this routine we learn how flexible Janelle is. Wow. I'm not sure if they're supposed to be synchronized for these side by side moves, but they aren't. Janelle looks very awkward doing the most basic steps. Perhaps the fluidity of belly dancing moves isn't translating to the more sharp, angular moves I expect in African dancing.
Nigel says these two are very exciting dancers. Then we get a rundown of Janelle's injuries, including when she whacked her head on the door after the "Green Mile" which they now tell us required five stitches. Dareian gets a compliment for his work in the group routine. Nigel thinks this routine was memorable and that Janelle and Dareian will do very well in the voting.
Mary singles Janelle out for praise as fantastic and then calls Dareian a "powerhouse" with "great body lines." Kenny compliments Sean on his choreography and then goes around the world with his metaphor.
Promo spot for National Dance Day with viewer-submitted videos. People, I do not recommend dancing in a port-a-potty.
Eliana Girard, 21, hates raisins and is addicted to True Blood. (Eliana, have you read Suffering Succotash?) Cyrus Spencer, 22, is a Pisces and has lots of "gauges" -- those rings you put in your earlobes. And he also loves shoes.
They're dancing a routine from "Hairspray," choreographed by Tyce Diorio. One of the moves in this routine is the running man. I feel bad for both Eliana and Cyrus. They're dancing to '50s-inspired music, with 90s dance moves in 80s fashion. How do you sell that? That being said, they both have some tremendous charisma.
Mary's screeching, so, again, she likes it. Tyce is making a fool of himself in the audience. Way to pull focus, choreographer. Mary says, "People are going to watch this routine over and over again." Viewing buddy Diane and I exchange a long dubious side-eye followed by definitive shakes of the head.
Kenny loved the choreography and the performance. If this is the epitome of a good Broadway routine, I guess I just don't like Broadway. Nigel is impressed by Cyrus's handling of the choreography and then really pumps up Cyrus as an early favorite. Nigel also doesn't think the routine showed Eliana off to her best advantage, but says she's the "benchmark" for female contestants this season.
Audrey Case, 18, from Oklahoma, can fart with her neck, and loves elephants. Matthew Kazmierczak, 21, loves hiking, is a cat person, is scared of sharks, has 6 tattoos, and is terrified of the mannequin in the interview room.
Travis Wall is giving them a Titanic-themed love routine, based on the couch/sketch scene. And it's set to "Unchained Melody," which makes those of us in the audience think of an entirely different movie love scene. (It's called "Ghost," young people. Look it up.)
Audrey is indeed a tiny thing and Matthew is able to fling her around quite well. Overall, though, this isn't one of my favorite Travis pieces. The crowd goes wild, though, so what do I know?
Kenny says it was "exquisitely choreographed and beautifully danced." Nigel says it was his favorite routine of the night, because the music and the movement of the dance fit together so well. And then he says "chaise longue" beautifully. Mary calls it breathtaking and compliments Audrey specifically.
Lindsay Arnold, 18, doesn't like spiders or tomatoes and can sew. Cole Horibe, 26, calls himself a ninja and claims to be descended from one of the 47 Ronin Samurai.
They're dancing a Paso Doble choreographed by Jason Gilkinson. Instead of the usual bull/cape metaphor, Lindsay's persona is that of poison slowly invading and trying to kill Cole.
The music starts out sound like it will play well to Cole's martial arts background. Cole is not wearing a shirt and I'm being quite superficial and enjoying the view. There's too much strobe lighting happening, though. I always feel like that detracts from, rather than enhances the performance.
Standing ovation from the judges. Kenny says it was "mesmerizing" and one of the best routines he's ever seen on the show. Mary's loud, and we know what that means. Nigel says that was the best paso doble he's ever seen a male dancer do on this show. Legions of Pasha Kovalev fans just threw things at their television (myself included).
We have to wait until next week to see who goes home -- such suspense!