SYTYCD 3, Top 10: Performances

Mia Michaels joined Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy at the judges’ table tonight on So You Think You Can Dance. But their roles are merely ceremonial at this point. The fates of the dancers are entirely in the hands of the viewers.

All of the partnerships were new this week, but in addition to the partner dances, each dancer performed a solo — the same solo, as a matter of fact. Wade Robson choreographed a routine to John Mayer’s "Waiting for the World to Change."

Wade decided to use the solo as a statement against war. Each of the dancers sported a different harmony-inspiring noun stenciled on their shirt, and the music stopped halfway through the routine so that the dancers could scream their frustrations. The scream stopped any momentum in the performance, and I absolutely hated it.

This "same solo" thing didn’t work for me for two reasons. First, all of the dancers danced the solo exactly the same way; Mia criticized them for not making their performances more personal. And second, they saved the judges’ criticism of each routine until the very end of the show, not immediately after each performance. By the time they aired, the critiques had lost any informative value they had for the audience.

Since all of the solos looked basically identical to me, I’ve just included one of Nigel’s comments for each soloist. The solos are numbered based on the last two digits of each dancer’s voting call-in numbers, and the word following the dancer’s name is what was written on his or her shirt.

Lauren & Pasha — Hip-Hop
Choreographer: Shane Sparks
Song: Pitbull, "Fuego"
Shane didn’t know if Pasha would be able "to hang," but he did a really good job with Shane’s "human transformers" routine — especially since Pasha’s totally un-gangsta. The performance was well-received by the judges. Nigel called Pasha "the best Russian hip-hop dancer I’ve ever seen." And Mary hollered, "Nigel, I’ve got a fever tonight. And the only prescription is more Pasha & Lauren!"

01. Jamie — "Honesty"
"No emotional dynamism."

02. Dominic — "Love"
"Some of your technique is lacking."

Sabra & Kameron — Contemporary
Choreographer: Tyce DiOrio
Song: Crystal Lewis, "Amazing Grace"
While these two seem fond of each other, Sabra totally outshone Kameron. For his sake, he’d better hope this is a brief partnership. "I don’t see the magic between the two of you," said Mary, who went on to call Sabra "pure perfection." Mia told Kameron, "I feel like you’ve been exposed tonight," and called his technique "immature."

03. Sara — "Hope"
"You need to make your dancing bigger than you are."

04. Pasha — "Communication"
"You’re out of your league."

Lacey & Danny — Samba
Choreographers: Dmitry Chaplin
Song: Club Des Belugas, "Hip Hip Chin Chin"
I love this song! Totally hot performance. Nigel reminded Lacey, "Use Danny as a partner." Mary said Danny’s performance "wasn’t my favorite tonight" because of his technique. Lacey, on the other hand, was "fabulous." Mia called the performance "the sexiest dance this season."

05. Lauren — "Patience"
"You showed me how well the music works."

06. Neil — "Humility"
"Every time you bring your arms forward, it looks ugly."

07. Sabra — "Unity"
"You are small, but you dance so large."

08. Kameron — "Trust"
"You brought emotion out."

Jamie & Dominic — Viennese Waltz
Choreographer: Toni Redpath
Song: Linda Eder, "Man of La Mancha"
Dominic was excited about the chance to "manhandle" Jamie in this Spanish-influenced waltz. Nigel thought the song was more appropriate for a Paso Doble instead of a Viennese Waltz, and he thought Dominic overacted it: "It didn’t work for me at all on any level." Mia warned Jamie to stop opening her mouth so much.

09. Lacey — "Peace"
"Darling, you have everything."

10. Danny — "Understanding"
"You were like honey dripping out of a bottle. You were so smooth."

Sara & Neil — Disco
Choreographer: Doriana Sanchez
Song: Rachel Stevens, "Knock on Wood"
Great lifts and tricks, plus some super corny outfits. Totally fun. "I love disco," cooed Nigel. "It was terrific. You entertained everybody here." Mia said, "You guys are, like, the biggest dorks — in the best possible way."

My favorite dances were Sara & Neil’s Disco and Lacey & Danny’s Samba, and I think I’ll throw my vote to Sara tonight.

Tomorrow night, the boy and girl with the lowest number of votes will be sent home, without any intervention from the judges. Based on tonight’s performances, Jamie and Dominic should be in the most danger. Jamie could be toast, but I suspect that Dominic’s earned enough goodwill to stick around. My guess is that Kameron goes home, instead.