E: Well, that’s not how I thought that was going to go.
It’s not looking good for the girls this season, is it? And okay, I know the male contestants generally have done better (winning 4 out of 6 seasons) and that in this season’s crop the buzz about the finalists has been very clearly male. But when the contestants who performed the best end up in the bottom three, you have to ask yourself. Can the carnage end? Perky-cute Ashley and Lauren escape the bottom once more, but that’s all that can be said for the ladies.
A Sonya Tayeh jazz routine opens the show, to the rollicking tones of Roisin Murphy. It’s good. And very jazzy. It’s like Sonya’s answer to Nigel’s question about the line between jazz and contemporary, which here is totally distinct.
Cat wears a strapless black leather minidress with an asymmetrical zipper across the front. Nice. And after some blathering about National Dance Day, she takes us right into the results. First group: Cristina, Kent and Adechike. Obviously it’s not Kent – I can’t imagine he doesn’t win the whole thing – but I know who of the other two deserves the bottom, and it ain’t the one who’s there. I’m going to admit it. I’m surprised that Adechike has as many fans as he does. I know I’m hard on him. I do like Adechike’s dancing, and he seems like a sweet kid. Maybe I’m still mad about Anthony Burrell – I don’t know. It just seems pretty clear who it ought to be. All I can say is that next week, he better draw something that is not contemporary (or jazz) so we can see what else’s he’s capable of.
In the second group we have Alex, Jose, Ashley and Melinda. Melinda seems the obvious bad apple. Or maybe that’s just her high waisted, shiny, candy apple red “pants”? Mother of God, those are heinous. She got some flack for last week’s sparkly green jacket but it’s nothing like these pants and that shortened t-shirt. She managed to find clothes more ridiculous than her costume, and that’s a feat. Now Ashley, on the other hand, seems just to be wearing practice clothes, but her abs are so stunning I can’t say anything about it. And, yes – it’s down to the two girls (of course) and it’s Melinda in the bottom. I’m surprised (but pleased) that Ashley is so popular.
Final group: Lauren, Billy and Robert. Lauren goes first, which means she’s safe. The contestants must catch on to that habit – but I bet they still have to look worried for the camera. Or maybe they’re just so worried that Cat might trick them? It’s either Billy (totally ranked on by the judges) or Robert (chiefly praised) and doesn’t it turn out to be Robert? Hmm. Was it the initial lack of screen time – or was it, perhaps, the preposterous wackiness for the camera? I’m not surprised that after that heinous “sick/six” crap Robert pulled when asking people to call his number, voters were turned off. Dude needs to stop shooting himself in the foot. I’ve said it before. The mugging must stop. Cure the ham, please!
Next up we have a fantastic performance from locker/scoliosis sufferer Brian Gaynor and his crew Remote Control, who we met back in the auditions. They’ve got on thick tunics and hats and gold masks so they look robotic, something out of Doctor Who, and I love it. They’re really very cool. They get a standing O from the judges. Three pretty unremarkable solos follow. Robert impressed me less than I was expecting. I might actually have liked Melinda’s the best, but Mr. E doesn’t think it’s enough to save her, and I think he’s probably right.
Debbie Novak performs her silly drummer boy song. You know, fine, she’s good looking and has a certain amount of stage presence, but she’s sorely lacking in the voice capacity. I enjoyed watching the All Stars dance – it was better than when she did the same song on Dancing With the Stars this spring – and I love Cat’s offer to be her bodyguard. Very cute. And that’s all I have to say about that wannabe Shakira.
Nigel tells Robert they considered cutting him for gender parity, but they won’t. What does that prove? Was it a warning to all the boys? Did he just give up all the girls for dead? Weird. Then he tells Melinda that she’s a fantastic dancer, but she’s not vulnerable enough for people to connect with (and you know I’m not a big fan of hers, but I’d rather have him tell her “learn to talk about stuff other than your ambitions” than what feels like “you need to be cutesy like Ashley and Lauren”). Then he says that he wanted to cut her, but Adam and Mia refused to let her go. She takes her Wonder Woman pants and heads into the audience. That means Cristina is gone.
I was pretty certain it was going to be Melinda, and I’m fascinated that it was Nigel who wanted to give the hoofer the old heave ho. No one bothers to say why Cristina got the boot instead. I mean, sure, it was her second week in the bottom, and whether or not the judges think it was deserved, this is a popularity contest in the end, and clearly neither Melinda nor Cristina are clicking. Don’t you wonder if part of that’s because Cristina went first both weeks? As with American Idol, it’s easy to forget about the person who went first. I don’t really know why people haven’t voted for her otherwise.
And there we are. Do the judges have to cut a boy next week, if given the chance? Six boys and three girls – that’s not a lot of work for the male All Stars, is it? Or is Melinda’s demise inevitable? Is it fixed immutably in the stars?