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So You Think You Can Dance Fiore: Week 8 Top 8

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cross posted at amplificathon, my journal, and AO3

 

 

Have your tears finally dried after last week's drama-palooza? Mine haven't. Heck, the tears haven't even stopped yet. I have a few things to address before we get to the dances, and I'm going to break my formula a little. First of all is the Cana reveal. After days of frantic internet research, Cana offered us this nugget which doubles as our tweet of the week:

Aww! Yay! But that's not all I found out. Remember how I promised developments in the Laxus story as they became available? Well. Developments have occurred, big time. Normally I avoid getting too sidetracked in my reviews. When adding outside content, I try to stick with short tweets, and only one a week at that, but this has to be addressed. Laxus posted an open letter online. And it's.... well, check it out for yourself.

 

There's been a lot of speculation since left So You Think You Can Dance and it's time to set the record straight. I'll be clear, sending me home was absolutely the right choice.

When Gramps kicked my dad out of the Makarov Dance Company, I was pissed. Dad was a great dancer. I wanted to prove how good Dad was by being even better. I knew the reason Gramps sacked him was because he had injured other dancers by pushing them too hard, but I didn't care. I only understood how hurt I felt.

The first lesson my Dad taught me was that a dancer is only as good as his partner. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. I couldn't be the best unless my partner was even better. That thinking destroyed my dad's career and it almost destroyed mine too.

What I did is not ok. Apologising is pointless because it's already done, but I'm thankful my actions caused no lasting harm to anyone else.

 

Wow. That is... not what I expected. I can't believe I'm saying this, but kudos, Laxus. I still don't want you back, but kudos.

Ok, ok. Let's get to reviewing the dances, for real now. I have a nagging feeling there was a theme to this week, but I can't put my finger on it. Hmm. Maybe it'll come to me as I go.

Group Dance

Jazz, Cartoon Heroes, choreographed by Ray Leeper

Suddenly, only eight dancers on stage looks like a small number. I enjoyed this high energy jazz routine - I especially liked the colourful superhero costumes. Every person got their own unique outfit so there was none of that can't-tell-the-dancers-apart nonsense. All in all, this dance had zero substance. It was pure cotton candy fluff. Which, after last week, was exactly what we needed.

Mirajane & Erza

Foxtrot, Spiderman Theme, choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin

Two lady foxtrot! And it was a good one. Erza was in her own style so naturally she was flawless, but Mirajane wasn't left behind by any means. What really made this routine special was the attitude that both dancers brought to it, a combination of confidant and blasé. It was amazing! For the about-the-dancers segment, they did something a little different this week. Instead of asking the dancers a question about themselves, they were each asked what superpower would best suit their partner. It looks like Erza and I are one the same wavelength, because she also called Mirajane a hip hop demon and cited this as her superpower. Personally, I agree. For Erza, Mirajane proposed that since Erza own so many clothes, her power should be to magically change outfits. For a normal person, this doesn't sound super useful, but for Erza, I bet she could use that power to rule the world if she wanted.

Lucy & Gray

Contemporary, Star Spangled Man, choreographed by Mandy Moore

Soft contemporary routines don't get much softer than this one. Not my personal cup of tea, but I can't deny it was well danced. Lucy and Gray make quite good partners, as we saw the last time they danced together way back in week one. I still miss the Lucy/Natsu combo. As for superpowers, Gray said that Lucy’s power would be making lots and lots of friends. Which... yeah, that sounds really nice. For her part, Lucy said that Gray's would have to include being immune to cold. Which makes total sense now that I think about it. It must get really chilly never wearing a shirt. Speaking of which, I can't look at Gray the same way now that I've seen his pole. Pole dance, that is.

Juvia & Freed

Rumba, Kryptonite, choreographed by Jean Mark Généreux

Not your typical rumba piece by any means, and I enjoyed it. It wasn't quite 'standing ovation' good, but it was solid. For once, I think this routine could have benefited from being more traditional - for a ballroom it was a little too out there. I'm just worried this routine won't get as many votes, but we'll see. Another problem is that I just don't find any chemistry between Juvia and Freed. They had this problem back in week one too. Neither one was very interested when asked about what superpower the other would have. Freed mentioned that Juvia drinks lots of water during rehearsals and takes a long bath each evening, so her power would probably be being made of water. Juvia said something about Freed making up rules for others to follow, but I could tell her heart wasn't in it.

Natsu & Gajeel

Hip hop, Untitled Self Portrait, choreographed by Pharside and Phoenix

Oh man, this dance was a riot! Natsu and Gajeel were both in their own style and milking the 'dark' theme of this routine for all it was worth. I didn't that these two would have such great chemistry, but they really did! Gajeel didn't look quite as angry as he did in his solo last week, but he still looked pretty mad about something. Natsu, as usual, looked like he was having a blast. But... a dark blast. So, so dark. This pair also had great answers for the superpowers question. Gajeel said that Natsu would be able to eat fire - literally. Not to be outdone, Natsu claimed that Gajeel's power would be to eat metal - because Gajeel has lots of piercings? None of that even make sense but I love it!

Top 4 Boys

Contemporary, Iron Man Armored Adventures Theme, choreographed by Travis Wall

Such a small group! It was cool seeing the four remaining boys dance together. I'm sad to say there were no lifts. We need more dudes lifting dudes! One thing that I noticed is that of the four, it was Freed who looked most out of place in this routine. I find this especially interesting given that, as a contemporary dancer, Freed was technically the only person in his own style for this dance. But Natsu, Gray, and Gajeel all have such big personalities, it's no wonder that Freed is getting left behind.

Top 4 Girls

Jazz, Supergirl, choreographed by Sonya Tayeh

The girls got to lift each other! Yes! Both Mirajane and Erza looked rock solid lifting other people. I already know I'd trust either of them with my life or limb. Actually, this dance had great teamwork front to back. Erza and Mirajane, who are hands down the best two female dancers didn't overpower the routine. And Lucy, who's obviously the weakest, didn't fade to the background the way Freed did. This routine definitely wins the Teamwork Olympics. Try again next time, boys.

Wendy Marvell (guest dancer - Modern)

Wonder Woman (instrumental)

TINY DANCER! I'd never heard of Wendy before, unlike Gildarts, but she was awesome! I can only assume that, also unlike Gildarts, she isn't anybody's father. But who knows, I've been wrong before. Wendy's movements were so free and flowing she looked like she was dancing on air. Modern dance isn't a style that's normally featured on So You Think You Can Dance, and it was really nice to see something fresh like this. I hope we see Wendy again! Maybe she'll audition to be a contestant when she's old enough.

Eliminations and Closing Thoughts

I AM NOT OK. Mirajane was voted off? It's all down to the votes now, so I can't even blame the judges! This is your fault. YOU! You know who you are. I also can't say it's because Mirajane had a weak routine or solo last week because they were both awesome! It does happen sometimes where a dancer is so good that they slip through the cracks because everyone assumes they'll be safe. That must be what happened; it's the only thing that makes sense.

Freed's elimination is much more logical. While remaining at the top of the group in technical skill, he's been losing the personality aspect of the competition for a while now. At least now he can hang out with Laxus again. That should make Freed happy.

And yet. And yet. I keep coming back to Mirajane. She simply should not have been voted off. I've been hearing some rumblings around the interwebs that it should have been Lucy sent home this week. And, I'm sorry, but I have to agree. Lucy is, hands down, weaker than any of the other ladies still left on the show. She's nice and all, but she doesn't have Natsu's force of personality to fall back on either. A hugely unsatisfying ending to an otherwise excellent week.