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“So You Think You Can Dance”, a Hip-Hop Heavy Finale?

August 1, 2008

kat.jpgThe search for America’s favorite dancer on Fox TV show “So You Think You Can Dance” narrowed Thursday night to a surprisingly strong showing from the hip-hop league.

After Mark Kanemura’s elimination, Twitch (Stephen Laurel Boss) and Joshua Allen advanced to next week’s finale, marking the first time hip-hop dancers will represent the top-two male performers and half of the final four — spots reserved in previous seasons for classically-trained dancers.

Hip-hop head spinners typically have the most difficult time demonstrating their versatility on the show as they transition from poppin’ and lockin’ to the Argentine tango and contemporary routines. 

So are Joshua and Twitch skirting by on charisma alone? Or does one of them deserve to win it all despite a lack of rock-solid technique?

Joshua proved on Wednesday night he could hold his own against partner Katee Shean, a very technically-sound dancer, as the pair performed a contemporary number choreographed by Tyce Diorio. Judge Adam Shankman raved about the divine nature of the pair, calling them the “Holy Trinity of dance.”

But even years of training and more than one million votes couldn’t save Chelsie Hightower, who has been a favorite of the judges this season. She was knocked out of contention, advancing Courtney Ann Galiano and Katee to the final round.

Chelsie danced a red-hot fire around her partner Twitch during a Mambo choreographed by Toni Meredith and Melanie LaPatin.  Shankman gushed, calling Chelsie an “animal” on the dance floor. But as last week’s shocking elimination of Will Wingfield demonstrated, the competition determines America’s favorite dancer – not necessarily America’s best.

(Reporting and Writing by Ashleigh Patterson)


I don’t think you’re being fair to suggest that Josh and Twitch are slipping through on charisma alone. Certainly both are hip-hop dancers by name, but both have proven themselves to be strong performers outside of their discipline. Especially Joshua, who has shown excellent form and solid technique across the board (who can forget the way he moved his hips in that spicy Latin number earlier in the season). Certainly Will would have been more deserving of the Top 4 than Twitch. But Will was gone last week, and I don’t believe Mark deserved to stick around longer than crowd favourite Twitch.

As for the ladies, the shock of this week was losing Chelsie over the decidedly lacklustre Courtney. Certainly Chelsie, as a ballroom dancer, struggled to captivate her audience with her solos. But was Courtney that much better? I think her weekly solos are all cut from the exact same mold – and quite frankly I’m bored with her.

I think it is abundantly clear that the race for America’s Favourite Dancer while officially down to four, is actually just between two. Now my only question is should I cheer for Katee or for Josh?

Posted by Stella | Report as abusive

I agree they aren’t all accomplished dancers but that’s kind of why the show is so good for us non-dance experts! Twitch is my favorite mostly because he’s most improved. I even found his logo t-shirts just like the ones he wears on the show –


Chelsie, possibly, and Will, probably, were victims of choreography gone wild. The voting public does not seem to be inpressed with “civilized” Hip-Hop routines. Hip-Hop is rough — and kinda scary. It shouldn’t be cute. If the judges want to see this type of creative Hip-Hop-flavored choreography, they should limit it to the early weeks when they can save a talented dancer from elimination, dispite an unpopular or misunderstood routine.

Posted by Terry | Report as abusive

Personally I was expecting the very talented Will to be in the top 4. However, Joshua is the better of the 2 men left. Of the girls, Courtney has been my favorite for several weeks. I love her passion and talent.

Posted by angie | Report as abusive

Is it me or has this season been, hmmm, less exciting than others? For a long time I wasn’t sure if it was the choreography (highly possible) or the dancers. Half way through the competition I was sure it was the dancers. Week after week the dancers took to the stage and danced. (Well duh) But there was something missing. Which is why Mark was slowly becoming my favorite, he PERFORMED, which to me was what the season was lacking, performers.

Now while his solo’s weren’t outstanding, they were different because I can only watch trained dancers spin and hip hop dancers pop but so many times before I get extremely bored. So I must say I was sad to see Mark leave, but I didn’t want him to win.

Given the dancers who are left, my vote would have to go for Josh. He’s the only dancer who’s solos I enjoy and he is suprisingly good at other genres of dance. Did you see him in that Pose Doble? I love Katee too because she’s a strong dancer, and she has a likable disposition. But I’m going to wait for Wednesdays show to decide who is more deserving of my phone call.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

Courtney is by far the best NY Knicks City Dancer and contestant on So You Think You Can Dance!!! Those other girls have nothing on her. What do you guys think? You can see her competition right here:

Posted by Carrie | Report as abusive

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