Vulnerability. It's a quality that is intangible and yet become so important in these final weeks of competition on So You Think You Can Dance. At this point, several (if not all) of the top four are on equal footing when it comes to dance ability, so whether the audience is able to view the dancers as "vulnerable" or not can win or lose the season for these contestants. Often, a far superior dancer will go home because of this perceived lack of vulnerability, which is what I guess happened here and why we have landed ourselves with this top 4. They certainly aren't the best dancers of the season, but they are perhaps the most vulnerable? Who knows? Who can argue with that?
In this episode, Vanessa Hudgens says, "being vulnerable is the connective tissue of your soul." Do you know what that means? Because I don't. This is probably why I don't have what it takes to be a contestant on this show. That's probably the only reason. Right?
Anyhow. On to the performances.
We were blissfully spared a group routine at the top of the show, but to make it up to me, the dancers all did solos which I wholly ignored. So hooray, I guess.
The first dance I want to talk about is Genessy's samba, which she performed with Season 5's Jonathan Platero. Technically, this dance was very good, and the judges seemed to have generally positive things to say about it. However, to me it seemed clear Genessy was uncomfortable. She was trying to mug and make a lot of ballroom faces, but it made her look nervous. From the neck down, she was dancing a sexy dance. From the neck up, it was like she was getting her teeth pulled. This really didn't do it for me.
In fact, Nigel commented that this was one of the strongest Top 4 nights of all time, but I have to disagree. Overall, three of the dancers were very underwhelming and ONE dancer was very surprising. I'll get to that in a minute. Some more hot takes though:
Later in the night, Jensen and Genessy perform a "broadway" routine choreographed by Travis Wall. I don't know why Travis Wall suddenly thinks he is a broadway choreographer because to me, this had little to do with actual Broadway dancing. It was contemporary masked with a whole lotta "jazz hands" posturing and of course, a Liza Minnelli song. Not good.
Jensen was one of the dancers I was pretty irritated made it into the Top 4, and this week did nothing to change my feelings about her. Jensen dances a contemporary routine with Robert Roldan, one of my FAVORITE SYTYCD dancers of all time. The choreography for this dance was beautiful. Robert's partnering in this dance was so strong. The strength it must have taken him to do some of those lifts is just incredible. He's such a good dancer. Meanwhile, Jensen has that giant grin on her face just like she always does and is performing out towards the audience rather than connecting with her partner at all. It was like these two people were dancing completely separate dances on the same stage. It was such a waste of Robert, and I was disappointed.
During judging, Vanessa goes on about how vulnerable Jensen is, which I guess is why she's here, although I see no personality in her whatsoever so I don't know where that vulnerability is coming from. Additionally, Jensen says my least favorite phrase of all time--"Everything happens for a reason." No, everything doesn't happen for a reason. The world is a chaotic mess and we just settle for whatever is thrown at us and THAT's why you think it happened for a reason. It's a coping mechanism, you dummy.
Phew. Now I feel vulnerable.
The real breakout star for me this week was Hannahlei, who has really risen in my estimations since Cole left. I don't know if she's getting better or if Cole held her back or if I just was so focused on Cole I couldn't see the great work she was doing or what. But whatever the case, Hannahlei is leaps and bounds above the remaining dancers, especially this week. During her African Jazz performance with Slavik, choreographed by Sean Cheesman, I was convinced that Hannahlei's body was absolutely capable of doing anything required of her. This was amazing.
Let's talk about Nigel's continued inappropriate comments about Hannahlei, which started with this number and continued throughout the evening. After this routine, Nigel tells Hannahlei, "Forgive me if this sounds rude, but..." and then he proceeds to compare her to a very strong ant. Here's the thing, a little word of advice for everyone: if you have to begin a sentence with "forgive me if this sounds rude," just don't finish that sentence. Just don't. Please. Later on in the night, Nigel is about to make a comment about the difference in Genessey's and Hannahlei's "body types" after the two dancers perform together, but thankfully Cat Deeley, bless her soul, cuts him off. He's just the worst.
Slavik has a difficult time all night, just as he did the week before, so I don't really have much left to say about him.
Obviously, at this point, my pick for the win would be Hannahlei, but I guess we'll just have to come back next week and see how it all shakes out. #teamhannahlei