So You Think You Can Dance: Judges' Pets Get Unfair Advantage - Here's The Rankings
Commentary by RTVC Senior Staff Writer Joseph Braverman
July 31, 2012
Matthew Kazmierczak Current Ranking: 1         Previous Ranking: 1
Yes, Matthew and Audrey were horrific in their Salsa, but these two have proven so popular with the fans that this screw-up will be as a big a fluke as when Melanie and Marko botched their Disco routine. In other words, the pair wonít even get a scratch. Matthew still has the star magnetism that no other guy possesses this year, and I imagine heíll only continue to skyrocket as Americaís favorite dancer.
Audrey Case Current Ranking: 1         Previous Ranking: 1
Audrey fared a little better than Matthew at the Salsa, but the pair still delivered an atrocious train wreck that was danced as laboriously as its choreography looked. Audrey has already made two very strong impressions on America, so I highly doubt one poor routine will damage her or Matthew too much, but the pair has judgesí pets Chehon and Witney nipping at their heels, so Audrey needs to prove her diversification in the different genres if she wants to avoid a backlash.
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp Current Ranking: 3         Previous Ranking: 13
Clearly the judges have selected their Ballet dancer to back, and itís the much-improved Chehon. Chehon may not bring the emotion or personality to the stage that I feel is necessary to win the show, but he certainly knows how to be a strong partner. His strength gave Witney the faith to leap into his arms in such an intricate yet powerful way in their contemporary piece this week. I still feel like Chehon could falter if he proves to be a snooze fest for the remainder of the season, but doing so well on a routine that had Whitney Houston at its center has undoubtedly surged him from the bottom of the barrel to the cream of the crop.
Witney Carson Current Ranking: 4         Previous Ranking: 10
I have a feeling that the judges, Nigel especially, are rooting for a Ballroom girl to finally win this year and have placed all their bets on Witney. The choreographers have supplied her with routines that make her truly shine, and although I didnít care for her Samba or Bollywood as much as everyone else seemed to, even I cannot deny the greatness of Witney in Stacey Tookeyís contemporary piece, regardless of how attention-grabbing the routine itself was. Witney finally proved to me why I had held her in such high regard after watching her audition, and even though it took awhile for her to come back into my good graces, sheís pretty much getting there. I doubt very much that Witney fill find herself in any danger after nailing such an emotionally captivating contemporary routine.
Will Thomas Current Ranking: 5         Previous Ranking: 3
So yes, maybe Will and Ameliaís Jazz routine last week wasnít as far-reaching as weíd expect for a couple thatís so playful, quirky, and somewhat edgy. I wanted more, but I thought the pair danced brilliantly, and Mary was right in saying that Will is the best partner around. His physical strength is the reason why the lifts seem so effortless, but I will caution Will, no pun intended, to perhaps be a little lighter on his feet. Sometimes he dances a bit heavy, and when the show narrows down its field of dancers, the smallest problems will be front and center if they arenít corrected beforehand.
Amelia Lowe Current Ranking: 6         Previous Ranking: 4
Amelia was still her lovable and quirky self, but unfortunately her individual voice was lost in last weekís Jazz routine. She simply went through the motions without adding that extra layer of eccentricity that the routine needed to get people enticed. Still, her and Will have proven amazingly popular with the fans, and so I doubt theyíll be in the bottom next week.
Cole Horibe Current Ranking: 7         Previous Ranking: 7
Cole continues to excel in every style heís given, and is without question the most versatile dancer of the season. My only bit of advice is to start tapping into the softer, slower elements contained within a dance. Sometimes heís so speedy and precise that he glosses over places that could be given an extra layer of emotion if focused on. Still, Cole is cutting through this competition like a knife through butter. Heís currently the dark horse to win it all.
Lindsay Arnold Current Ranking: 8         Previous Ranking: 14
Lindseyís spirit was certainly resonating in last weekís contemporary piece. While I still feel like her juvenile emotion is a little one note, itís hard not to root for someone who gives it all her each week, and with such enthusiasm in tow. I feel like the judges want to give Lindsay the opportunity to continue growing, and will save her if she continues to create magical moments like her most recent Mandy Moore jazz number.
Cyrus Spencer Current Ranking: 9         Previous Ranking: 15
Cyrus is the second coming of the always-disappointing Evan from Season Five.
While viewers are slowly coming around to the frustrations I had with Cyrus since the beginning, heís still popular enough to escape the bottom of the votes. Cyrus was given a routine to play to his strengths, but he still managed to dance worse than Eliana, someone who isnít even familiar with the genre. Cyrus is a lost cause, and itís a shame that a dancer like Daniel Baker is gone before him, but alas this is the way the show runs, and I can do nothing but ask you all to vote as fairly as possible. Letís see what happens!
Eliana Girard Current Ranking: 10         Previous Ranking: 6
Eliana reminds me so much of Natalie Fotopoulos from Season Two, one of my favorite dancers who never got a chance to shine. However, I was a huge Musa fan, so I wonít say that he brought Natalie down, simply that she was being overshadowed by some truly heavy hitters. If I had it my way, Natalie and Allison would have been the last two girls standing that year, but America chose differently. Eliana is not embraced by the fans as much as she should be, and that is truly unfortunate. However, I hope Nigel and Co. continue to stay in her corner, because sheís worth it. She blazed through that Hip-Hop routine like nobodyís business. My only criticism was that her solo was a tad underwhelming, although well danced and somewhat creative, but I hope sheís better prepared the next time she falls into the bottom three girls. Címon America, donít let Cyrus bring Eliana down in the votes!
George Lawrence II Current Ranking: 11         Previous Ranking: 5
George Lawrence II really plummeted in the minds of the viewers. The bottom line is that the guy simply doesnít make for interesting television, and thatís unfortunate to say given his talent. Iím not sure how much longer the judges will be able to save all these male contemporary dancers, but surely they weigh the fansí opinions heavily when making their final decisions. George Lawrence II possibly could have won any other year, but with the competition being as tight as itís ever been, he may have to settle for a Top 12 finish.
Tiffany Maher Current Ranking: 12         Previous Ranking: 8
I didnít feel that either Tiffany or George shined in this goofy Hip-Hop routine. It was silly, and instead of adding some satirical value to the piece, they made it seem more juvenile than it already was. The problem I have with Tiffany is that sheís just so invisible. I barely remember her at all, but I think her week one routine was so magnificent that it has to still be lingering on in peopleís minds if they continually keep her safe. However, I donít believe that Nigel and Co. find her as interesting a contestant as the rest. Therefore, I believe her days are sadly numbered.
Dareian Kujawa Current Ranking: 13         Previous Ranking: 9
Dareian, not his partner Janelle, finds himself in the bottom three already and it doesnít look good for the guy whom the judges felt had so much initial promise. Ultimately, Dareian will be cut due to the poor quality of his routines, not because of his individual dancing skills. There is a possibility that Dareian could be spared to partner up with Eliana if she falls into the bottom again, but this is all assuming that Cyrus lands in the danger zone, and thatís hard to believe.
Janelle Isis Current Ranking: 14         Previous Ranking: 16
The judges have been trying their damndest to get rid of Janelle for some time now, but America must still be in love with her stellar African Jazz piece like I was, and still am. Janelle hasnít particularly shined in her past two routines, but somehow her personality always seems to come across to America. Janelle was one of my favorites initially, but itís so difficult to really root for someone whoís been inconsistent of late when there are so many dancers left that have both shined and been consistent. I really loved what Janelle brought to the African Jazz piece, and while Iíd rather see Tiffany go, I wonít hold a grudge against the judges if they eliminate my favorite belly dancer.
Brandon Mitchell Cut in Top 16
Amber Jackson Cut in Top 16
Well, those are my Top 14 rankings for the remaining dancers. What do you all think?
Donít forget to check out the website I work for in your spare time, www. awardscircuit.com. Also, donít forget to follow me on Twitter @JBAwardsCircuit.
Enjoy the show, and continue to stay with me as I provide rankings for the rest of the season!
Alexa Anderson Cut in Top 20
Janaya French Cut in Top 20
Nick Bloxsom-Carter Cut in Top 20
Daniel Baker Cut in Top 20
Joseph Braverman is a 22 year old graduate with a Bachelors of Arts in Film and Digital Media from the University of Santa Cruz, California. Aside from being a Reality TV junky, he loves reading, watching films, and spending time with friends and family. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at Joseph@RealityTVCalendar.com.
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