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Will the lawnmower racer and the “dream team” survive to top 14 on SYTYCD?

November 11, 2009
The World Series is over, which means voting for So You Think You Can Dance is back in the viewers hands for this week’s Top 16 dancers.

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The Season 5 dancers were in the house, taking a break from their North American tour. Was it really only this past summer that Jeanine Mason was crowned?

Before the show hustled down to business, executive producer Nigel Lythgoe and the other judges plugged the Dizzy Feet Foundation Show, telling viewers that dancers from the “dance reality TV trifecta” (SYTYCD, Dancing With The Stars and America’s Best Dance Crew) would all be performing.

Karen Hauer and Kevin Hunte kicked off the dancing, but not before Karen told the world that she and her husband — who auditioned with her — were getting a divorce. Awkward pause. The judges praised their Maria Torres hustle number, with Nigel telling Karen she was “going to go a long way in this competition.”

Ashleigh “nerd” Di Lello and Jakob Carr pulled a jazz routine with Mandy Moore, which judge Adam Shankman called an “incrediblyashleighjakobjazz_mg_5862 elegant and mature and studied, but fiery performance.” Judge Mary Murphy said Ashleigh was improving week to week, while Jakob was called “brilliant” and a “stunning dancer”.

Pauline Mata and Peter Sabasino took on the “dreaded quick step” (choreographed by JT and Tomas) and managed to avoid a trainwreck. The performance was technically poor, but as Nigel put it, “did I care? Absolutely not.”

Kathryn McCormick and Legacy Perez charmed with a broadway routine by Andy Blankenbuehler, but it was hip-hop dancer Legacy who really impressed the judges. Mary thought he was growing by “leaps and bounds” and said so twice, adding that it could take him into the top 10.

Who knew goth rockers and lawnmower racers could also be contemporary dancers? New partners Victor Smalley and Channing Cooke proved to be exactly that in their Stacey Tookie routine. It was deemed technically good, but Nigel was expecting so much more, given it was their own genre. “Was I emotionally carried away? No, I wasn’t.”

molleenathansalsa_mg_6744Ryan Di Lello and Ellenore Scott, aka the “Bobbsey Twins“, pulled a Lil’ C krump/hip-hop number that the judges felt did not suit their personalities — they were too “adorable”, “sweet” and “nice” to pull it off successfully. Mary thought it was a little sluggish for her and Nigel flat-out said that it wasn’t good.

Next up were audience and judges favorite, Mollee Gray and Nathan Trasoras. But the “dream team” wasn’t so dreamy this week. They struggled through a messy salsa routine choreographed by Gustavo Vargas that the judges said exposed all of their weaknesses. “Was it sexified? No, it was french fried,” Mary panned.

noellerussellafricanjazz_mg_6831Almost guaranteed safety this week are Russell Ferguson and Noelle Marsh, whose Afro Jazz dance by Sean Cheeseman made Russell the first king on Mary’s hot tamale train. “That was crazy good.”

Overall, Nigel called it a sobering night for many of the dancers and thought it was a good lesson to learn that “you’re not great at everything.”

Do you agree with Nigel’s assessment? Are you glad to finally have your say on who goes and who stays?

Follow us live on Twitter @Reuters_Fanfare for the east coast airings of the show.

Cat Deeley hosts SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE on FOX. © 2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Kelsey McNeal/FOX

Ashleigh Di Lello (L) and Jakob Karr (R) perform a Jazz routine choreographed by Mandy Moore on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE on FOX. © 2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Kelsey McNeal/FOX

Nathan Trasoras (L) and Mollee Gray (R) perform a Salsa choreographed by Gustavo Vargas on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE on FOX. © 2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Kelsey McNeal/FOX

Russell Ferguson (L) and Noelle Marsh (R) perform an African Jazz routine choreographed by Sean Cheesman on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE on FOX. © 2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Kelsey McNeal/FOX

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