‘So You Think You Can Dance’ review: Aaron Turner and Jasmine Harper vs. the quickstep

SYTYCDLet’s go ahead and get this out of the way: Carly Rae Jepsen was a horrible judge on tonight’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” and was basically the female version of Steven Tyler telling everyone on “American Idol” that they were “beautiful” all of the time. Honestly, we could have went up there with no dance experience (save for the robot and possibly the shopping cart if we’ve had enough to drink) and done just as good of a job.

But, we do understand why Nigel Lythgoe keeps bringing in these celebrity judges rather than someone who is a ballroom expert: Ratings. He needs the viewers if this show is going to continue, and people with names in theory attract fans. We just hope now that producers are starting to realize that it just doesn’t work. Just look at how well Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj did on his singing show this past spring, and they are way bigger stars than someone still riding on the hopes and dreams of “Call Me Maybe.”

Now, we move on (thankfully) to the dancers, who deserve our love and affection.

Alexis Juliano and Nico Greetham, jive – A technically-strong routine, but also a boring one. We want our jives to be frantic and intense, and not plodding and somewhat slow. We never felt thoroughly excited about this routine, and we really wanted to given the improvement that was there in recent weeks.

Jenna Johnson and Tucker Knox, contemporary – It’s a Travis Wall piece! And you sense that sort of emotional longing that he does so well, and the momentum and the stellar use of story. This was about a woman gaining self-control with the help of a support system, and it was touching. Plus, it felt a bit almost like an acrobatics routine with the help of the air props.

Mariah Spears and Bluprint, jazz – First of all, Mariah should not have been in the bottom this past week. She’s just struggling to get partners that she can connect with on some level. The Greek goddesses and her mortal man-lover was kind of a cool theme, and Bluprint even changed his hair color for it! There was a pretty awkward lift near the end, though, and had the intense part of the dance came later, the reviews may have been stronger.

Malece Miller and Alan Berstein, hip-hop – Why was Alan forced to dress like Justin Bieber? This routine was decent by hip-hop standards, but also like the jive from earlier. Pretty dull, and we’ve seen better from the style already this year. Malece seemed to have swag, but not really the content to go with it.

Hayley Erbert and Curtis Holland Jr., contemporary – Mesmerizing. This may be the first routine all season that we really actually felt something for Hayley, who we have constantly forgotten about time and time again all season. Plus, the ladder made it almost into “Fear Factor” since you increased your possibility of serious injury by about 200% having to remember moves suspended in the air.

Amy Yakima and Fik-Shun, Broadway – Fik-Shun is quickly becoming our favorite male dancer, as the guy has shown time and time again that he can do any style, even as a hip-hop dancer. This was just so much fun: Strange, entertaining, well-choreographed, and perfectly in character. So, so much fun, and Amy was equally strong.

Makenzie Dustman and Paul Karmiryan, hip-hop – Like Mariah, we didn’t really get Makenzie’s placement in the bottom, but this hip-hop routine should change that. These two are both great dancers, and while the 1930s theme was somewhat jarring, it was easily still enough to be the best of the night.

Jasmine Harper and Aaron Turner, quickstep – This is the dance that nobody on this show ever wants to get, and for a good reason: It’s a monster. It’s tough to dance correctly, and America typically falls asleep during it since it’s all nuance and very little flair. But these two could make Carly Rae Jepsen’s judging abilities look exciting. The personality here is magnificent, and it has turned them from a pair we had little expectations for to one of the best of the season.

Elimination – This made us somewhat sad. Neither Mariah nor Bluprint had the best routine of the night, but neither really had the worst, either. While we did see the animator struggle with some of his routines, his solo tonight was amazing. We just think Nigel wanted to eliminate him now since he felt like there are stronger dancers, and he could be more of a pull with fan votes. Personally, we would have sent Alan home.

As for Mariah, she was really the victim of just being in the bottom with Makenzie, who has been an excellent dancer all season. Who knows? Had she been on last season when she had a stronger edit early on, maybe she would have fared better.

Who was your favorite tonight? Be sure to share your picks below, and as always, head over here if you want to read some more “So You Think You Can Dance” news.

Photo: Fox

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