The biggest surprise of last night's show was not that Tadd ended up in the bottom four instead of Ricky or that Jordan, a favorite of the judges, ended up going home. It was that Lady Gaga, who was on the judges' panel the night before, gave a relatively sane performance of "You & I" and "Edge of Glory." No giant eggs, no meat dresses, just a bunch of people crawling on the floor and the occasional dance move. Maybe it was the primetime setting, maybe she was self-concious after cutting down some choreographers for their use of props in Wednesday's performance show. Or maybe this whole "eccentric" thing is just getting tiring.
Jess, Tadd, Jordan and Caitlynn ended up in the bottom four last night. Nigel had predicted Ricky would be there, but I guess he's endeared himself to "America," or whoever's voting. It wasn't a shocker that Caitlynn and Jordan ended up in the bottom four; Melanie and Sasha are too strong and dance with a maturity the other two girls don't have. And Jess, as hard as he's worked and as versatile as he is, just doesn't have the image to become "America's Favorite Dancer."
The show opened with the Top 8 dancers performing a circus/marionette-inspired routine that was both playful and a little wicked, kind of like Tim Burton. Surprisingly, it wasn't choreographed by Sonya Tayeh, the queen of the abstract, but by Broadway choreographer Tyce Diorio.
In addition to the Gaga performance, we were treated to a routine by the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, which felt a little disjointed, like a bunch of solo acts instead of a cohesive ensemble performance.
Dance for your life was just about what you'd expect: Jess did a pirouette-rich Broadway routine, Tadd busted out his signature power moves (which are getting kind of tiring, by the way, Jordan did a strip-jazz number that showed off her extensions and Caitlynn did kind of the same thing.
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Nigel said the judges were disappointed in both the girls' solos, but they ultimately decided it was Jordan's time to go, which kind of mystified me. Caitlynn's been more or less as unpopular with "America" as Jordan, and the judges seemed to always like Jordan while cutting Caitlynn down for breaking the fourth wall.
With the guys, Nigel said it was a matter of being unique, and Tadd was the more unique of the two boys. So Jess is going home, which we normally would mourn because he was one of the strongest, most versatile dancers on the show, but then we realized his earlier smugness had kind of returned (Whipping off your shirt as you walk offstage? That "muggy" look on your face after you perform? Seriously?).
Next week: The last performances and eliminations before the finale. Hold on to your hats.
And don't forget to join Art Attack tomorrow, July 30 at 10 a.m. for National Dance Day. We'll perform an easy salsa routine choreographed by SYTYCD's Mary Murphy, and we hope you can join us. Details here.