So You Think You Can Dance: Four go home (spoiler alert)
I can only imagine what it must be like to try repeatedly to get on So You Think You Can Dance, to finally make Top 20 on the show and then get cut in the first elimination.
That was the fate that befell Iveta Lukosiute on Thursday as she became one of four dancers sent packing. You'll recall that Nigel Lythgoe and his fellow judges decided not to cut anyone last week because they were unhappy with who'd been voted into the bottom three, so that meant a double elimination this week.
A shame that, because I think Iveta would have hung on to dance at least another week had the judges been able to keep two girls instead of just one. But, despite being told she hadn't done all she could in her solo, Ryan Ramirez got the save. Iveta and Missy Morelli went home.
Don't get me wrong: I'm happy for Ryan. She's one of my favourite females so far this season. But Iveta was spectacular in Thursday's solo, better than either Ryan or Missy.
Nigel told Iveta that she deserved to be on the show and he told Missy that there was nothing in her dancing he could fault, but apparently it was Ryan's potential that kept her safe. "I do believe that there's even more inside you yet that we haven't seen," he told her.
The decision, Nigel said, was unanimous, which from what I've seen online has raised some eyebrows about why ballroom expert Mary Murphy didn't fight for Iveta, a world 10-dance champion in ballroom. No doubt we'll hear more from Nigel Friday when he responds to his detractors on Twitter, because I have no doubt he'll take some heat over this one.
Let's talk about the guys. The bottom three were Wadi Jones, predictable given his poor showing in the cha cha on Wednesday; Ricky Jaime and Nick Young.
I was a little surprised though not displeased that Jess LeProtto wasn't among that group since he had some trouble with his contemporary routine on Wednesday. Heck, even Jess looked surprised.
As for the solos, I was also surprised to hear Nigel tell Wadi that he hadn't given his best. The guy spun his whole body in mid-air, for crying out loud, and jumped from resting on his back straight into a cross-legged position, but whatever.
I thought Nick's solo was strong too, but I can see why Nigel lavished extra praise on Ricky: there's no question he was dancing for his life.
"I don't think we've ever seen you dance better than you danced in your dance for your life tonight," Nigel told him. "You laid yourself out tonight, you were absolutely brilliant in that, which is why we are keeping you on the show."
Despite the loss of four dancers in one fell swoop, the mood wasn't as sombre as you'd expect. There was no outrage expressed by the judges over who ended up in the bottom three or angst over having to cut so many at once.
The guest performers were the upbeat LMFAO with "Party Rock Anthem" and hip hop/break dancers Rage Crew.
The group routine, which was entertaining but not amazing, was choreographed by Dave Scott.
One last note before I sign off. I finally caught up with Chris Koehl and Ashley Rich's "jailhouse" Broadway routine from Wednesday night on YouTube. Good lord, I'm surprised those fake bars didn't melt into the stage. Never mind a ticket on the Hot Tamale Train; they were driving that sucker with that absolutely steamy routine.
So what did you think of tonight's elimination? Was it right for the judges to give Ryan another chance over Iveta, who still has a future in ballroom? Or do you think Iveta should have stayed, based on her sizzling solo?
Tune in next Wednesday at 8 p.m. on A to see the top 16 perform and look for the recap here.