exuberating banoodles

Okay, so "exuberating" is a word, but I'm pretty sure "banoodles" is not. It is a dance competition, after all, not a vocabulary quiz. But the "banoodles" bit pretty much set the stage for some annoying judging on last night's episode of So You Think You Can Dance. Ignoring Mia, Mary, and Nigel for a bit, though, here's what I thought of the nine couples. Overall, I didn't enjoy last night's episode as much as last week. I thought there were a handful of good performances, but much of the judging turned into a choreography love fest, which is almost always code for the dancers somewhat butchering what's probably not a stellar routine to begin with...without actually saying that.

All that knocking on wood couldn't save Chelsea and Thayne from a lackluster performance of probably my least favorite routine choreographed so far on SYTYCD by Mandy Moore. As a couple they just weren't as good as last week, but, as much as it pains me to write this, I don't think they were given the greatest choreography either.

Chelsie and Mark did some "meaty dancing" in the style of the Argentine Tango. I thought they did better than last week. Mark was a bit hunched throughout but that didn't bother me; his "quirkiness" is usually a plus, but Chelsie still hasn't quite grown on me. I felt like there were a few things she actually did better in the rehearsal footage.

Finally, a routine I can get excited about. I enjoyed Cecily and Olisa's hip hop routine, danced by Jessica and Will. I think the judges like Will a little too much. I really hate when they start predicting the top four dancers this early in the competition. That said, I do think Jessica will be eliminated before him and it's going to keep him near or in the bottom three probably more often than he deserves. She did better than last week but she's like the goofy guys this season. She needs to find some edge, especially given this kind of choreography.

Kourtni and Matt did a fox trot choreographed by the always entertaining Jean-Marc. Yay, ballroom. This is so not my thing, but I thought they did a pretty good job. Matt's actually growing on me a little, I'm not sure why.

And finally, a performance I can get a little excited about. I thought overall, Courtney and Gev did a pretty good job. I'm a fan of Mandy Moore, in case I hadn't already mentioned that, and even though I thought this was done better than the first routine of the night, it reminded me too much of something Mia Michaels might put together. Courtney was a little shaky here and there but I felt like there were a few moments that really worked and their chemistry overall was great.

As with Kherington and Twitch last week, I think I groaned a little when I heard that one of my favorite couples so far would be doing a Broadway routine. But like last week, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Another solid performance from Katee and Joshua, easily the tightest couple of the bunch, for me at least. Watching that clip again, though, I didn't realize the first time around how excited Nigel was at the end. I think all the judges were on a little crack or something last night.

Anyway, moving on to Susie and Marquis, who did a salsa routine. I wouldn't know the difference between street and non-street salsa, so that doesn't bother me necessarily. And I can't quite put my finger on it, but I just don't care for Susie. The girl can dance better than me, that's for sure, but I don't really understand how she's made it this far in the competition.

Another groan when I heard that Kherington and Twitch would be doing the Viennese Waltz. But I actually enjoyed it, and of course Jean-Marc's personal impetus for the routine certainly didn't hurt. Kherington is just lovely and Twitch continues to impress me. That said, I hope they get something a little edgier next time so Kherington can go at least a week without the wavy, feathered 'do. I mean, it's a perfectly fine hairdo, but the girl is barely out of high school. Why do they keep giving her mom hair?

The night ended with what I thought was a mediocre performance by Comfort and Chris, especially considering how excited I was to hear that they'd be doing a krumping routine put together by L'il C, Comfort being possibly the best female hip hop dancer they've seen on the show. But then I remembered that as much as I enjoy hip hop and I like when some krumping makes its way into other kinds of choreography, I rarely enjoy these routines. It's like listening to a song without melody or something, it just doesn't work for me.

Man, I'm such a negative sap this week. Oh well. At least we have a Shane Sparks group routine to look forward to tonight. And hopefully the judges are back on their meds.

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