Just when the season was getting a bit predictable with one great contemporary, jazz or ballroom dance after another, the creative forces at “So You Think You Can Dance” threw a style of dance our way that made onlookers, say, “Whaaattt?”
The style is called “waacking” and the lucky couple who got to give it a go were Sasha and Ricky. What is waacking? According to Wikipedia, it’s a “style of street dance that can trace its roots back to gay and nightclub cultures.” It’s a dance known for flamboyant arm moves. How did they do? Read below to find out.
The top six contestants had the tough task of taking on three routines Wednesday night: one paired with an all-star, a solo, and a duet with a fellow contestant. On hand for judging alongside Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy were Lil C and “Up All Night” star Christina Applegate (who sported hair eerily similar to host Cat Deeley. Shared a hairstylist backstage, perhaps?).
Did our favorites stay on top? Could a passion-less Paso Doble do in Marko? Is there any chance for Caitlynn to get through this week?
Let’s take a look…
Contestant and All-Star:
Melanie and tWitch: Hip-Hop
Tackling an edgy take on “Little Red Riding Hood,” it’s hard not to deliver an amazing hip-hop when you’re paired with an all-star like tWitch. Though his breakfast-table routine with Sasha was a favorite by fans, this one far surpasses on all fronts. Finally, we got the hard-hitting, strong, hip-hop routine the season’s been lacking. It was one of the best dances of the season for sure. Lil C loved it. Christina said, “You were so evil in this and so good.” Mary thought she was “on fire.” Nigel said, “Melanie is without question an absolutely phenomenal dancer.” He added, “tWitch was the wolf there but this is the first time we saw Melanie’s teeth and claws…Keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll see you in the finale.”
Sasha and Kent: Contemporary
Sasha and Kent delivered an emotional, tearful, and chilling contemporary piece about a troubled relationship that will likely be known as “the wall dance.” Dancing up and down a simple white wall in moves we don’t see much (thank you, Tyce Diorio) was the best use of a prop in a while. “You put a finger against a wall and you break my heart. That’s dance,” said Christina. “You made me shake. You were so brilliant. Thank you.” A teary-eyed Mary called it “absolutely intoxicating.” Nigel said Sasha’s gone back to being his favorite dancer. (He’s flip-flopped between Sasha and Melanie all season). Lil C bawled through his critique. “I would give anything to have worked with you this season. You just went up 10 more notches. You are phenomenal.”
Marko and Janette: Paso Doble
He was a matador. She was an animal activist. Good new twist on the ol’ Paso Doble theme. But the passion, fire, and chemistry needed in this dance just weren’t there. Besides, after Melanie and Sasha’s performances, nothing else seems to matter tonight. Mary noted he lost his footing, but his cape trick where he turned her dress into the cape seemed to make up for it. Nigel said, “That was that standout moment for me too,” but the dance “left me a little bit cold. I wanted a little more passion.” Lil C said, “It’s all about the crotch.” (Hey there!)
Tadd and Ellenore: Jazz
“I want to find that dirtier side of Tadd,” declared choreographer Sonya Tayeh in the rehearsal package. Mission accomplished. It was a period piece in which the couple has never been touched before and when they do, boy oh boy, do they go to town. Lots of kisses. And lots of swinging from a chandelier. “Wow, there were some interesting positions in that one,” said a seemingly blushing Nigel, adding that it didn’t have enough dance. Christina told the pair to “get a room,” adding that she likes “the dirtier side of the dance.”
Ricky and Jaimie: Contemporary
Enough with the props. Using skinny little sticks to punctuate this piece was not necessary. They looked like chopsticks. It just didn’t work. Lil C called it “buckness.” That’s a compliment. Mary thought the dance saved him this week. Doubt it. Nigel said, “I thought you danced it really well. Your lines are just beautiful.”
Caitlynn and Pasha: Samba
Could she lose the cheesy grin and bring the sex appeal? Eh. She’s beautiful, hot and in great shape, but her sexiness is more girly than womanly and that’s something the judges frown upon. “You are so beautiful and your body, like whatever,” said Christina. Mary said when a contestant gets a second chance to do a style, they expect it to be better. And it was. Nigel warned her about making faces. Lil C said, “I thought you were outstanding,” but also thought that she tried too hard. It would take a miracle for Caitlynn to make it through this week over Melanie or Sasha.
Watch Lady Gaga on Last Week’s “SYTYCD”:
Sasha and Ricky: Waacking
Pronounced “whacking,” the style comes from the ’70s clubs in Los Angeles. “It’s physically very, very difficult,” Ricky said. It’s a bit hip-hop, a bit cheerleader-ish, with a touch of Madonna’s “Vogue” and a bit of “Soul Train” thrown in. But these two seemed to be thinking too hard about the movements to appear to be having any fun. Mary said, “Both of you are outside your style right now so I think you did a very good job…Was the waacking slacking a little bit? Maybe just a pinch. Sasha, I think you waack a little better than Ricky.” “I didn’t think the waacking was lacking,” said Nigel. “Sasha, wow, you were fabulous in that.” Christina thought they could have “waacked it harder.”
Melanie and Tadd: Broadway
In a storyline where a dancer mistakes creative chemistry for true-life passion, Melanie showed off a more feminine, sexier and womanly side, which is something that’s been lacking. Cat Deeley thought it was very “Black Swan.” Before Nigel critiqued it, he did something he never does – commented on a solo. He said hers was the best, not just tonight, but maybe all season. As for this dance, he said, “You have gone back up to being my favorite dancer.” As for Tadd, he said, “You are outstanding in what you do as well.” Lil C added, “Your solo was so beefy! Arg! Love it!” Christina said she reminds her of Donna McKechnie in “A Chorus Line,” but so much better.
Caitlynn and Marko: Lyrical Jazz
Caitlynn was instructed to do away with the cute and sexy – and she did. It was nice to see an edgier, more intense side to a dancer who comes off as a pageant girl too often. While it was a notch up for her dance-wise, nothing will get her to the finals next week with Melanie and Sasha still alive. All four judges gave them a standing O. Lil C said it was “Murderous. Loved it,” and gave it a “double hashtag buck” on Twitter. Christina said it was her moment…”finally.” Mary thought she had another breakthrough. But, come now, a little too late, right? Right.
~Caitlynn’s taken over the sexy-dancer role left open by Jordan. Either of them can head to the Pussycat Dolls now.
~Tadd delivered a solo we’ve seen before, which is surprising because just last week he was applauded for the opposite. The judges won’t like that.
~Ricky seemed to be dancing for his life…again. The judges will love that.
~Sasha freshened up her solo moves with more passion and flair.
~Marko didn’t seem to bring it all on the dance floor tonight. What’s up with that?
~Melanie could do no wrong. Standing ovation!
And the best soloist was…Melanie.