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There's no room for sympathy on `Dance'

SHOW TRACKER

Jessi Peralta finds out that even with a health issue you have to perform. And if you're not good, you go home.

June 30, 2007|Claire Zulkey | Special to The Times

It might have been a controversial results show on "So You Think You Can Dance" if it didn't seem that, in the end, the judges and America sort of got it right.

Potential controversy No. 1: The "dream team" of Anya Garnis and Danny Tidwell was voted into the bottom three while Shauna Noland and Cedric Gardner, whom the judges had all but assured would go home, were safe. Was it because America pitied Cedric for his dressing-down or assumed that Anya and Danny would be safe? Or did it have anything to do with Cedric's little speech? To his credit, when addressing the judges after their brutal evaluation of him, Cedric was gracious and didn't try too much to explain himself or mouth off like contestants do on other shows. However, one did wonder if other contestants thought it would be nice for them to plead their case as well.

Potential controversy No. 2: Because of a health problem, Jessi Peralta couldn't dance Wednesday night and, as explained by judge Nigel Lythgoe, would be forced to dance for her life on Thursday in addition to the three bottom girls. Jessi got no pity points and was summarily dismissed by the judges, with no explanation or well wishes, which was unusual. What was up with that?

In the world of dancing for your life, though, one would think that Jessi would have left her oxygen-deprived, still-beating pink little heart on the dance floor on Thursday night during her solo, but she varied little from the small, boxy, jerky dance that she tends to perform. She's a beautiful and intriguing girl, but as a dancer she left us feeling a bit cold. The judges were correct that none of the solo female dancers did their best on Thursday night, but we've seen the other three offer more promise.

As for the males, Danny (maybe the person on the show who comes closest to looking host/giantess Cat Deeley in the eye) was safe, and Jesus Solorio was sent home. A cynical viewer might have felt that Jesus' days were numbered on Wednesday night when he proclaimed that his goal in life was to "pay it back." It was a bit Miss America, and his final performance got left in the dust compared with Danny's and Neal Haskell's. A good dancer, a seemingly nice, cute guy, but unfortunately, he didn't offer up anything new or special.

Although Thursday's show was somewhat surprising, it wasn't a total upset, and the show moves on toward finding the most essential dancers. We hope, as well, the producers will also find their sweet spot when it comes to fixing the show's audio, because if the quality continues to deteriorate the way it did this week, next week we'll just be listening to the tone of the Emergency Alert System instead of judge Mary Murphy's screaming (but would that be so bad?).

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