Season 4: So You Think You Can Dance Top 8 Surprise Results a Shocker!!!

How can you say you were wrong and not eat a bit of crow? Well, we were half right, but the audience threw a major curve at us. The best of the guys goes home. Even Nygel Lythgoe said, they got it exactly wrong and the two best from last night were in the bottom two.

(We have updated this review and added videos, please go to this article if you want the latest)

This was reminiscent of Daughtry. The shock on Will’s face was total bewilderment, and was in every way the same face Daughtry had that fateful day he took the fall in fourth place on American Idol after performing two Elvis tunes the night before. Everyone knew Daughtry was better than anyone on that stage. So how did it happen?

Some said arrogance. Some said it was not Daughtry’s style. And still others said it was a voting fluke because everyone assumed Daughtry would win, so they voted to keep in their other favorites and inadvertently voted out Daughtry. Whatever theory you choose, the music charts say it was a mistake. The only true American Idol from that season is Daughtry touring and bringing hit after hit.

Now, Will was humble. Will was not arrogant in any way, so you can’t say that. Certainly, it was not because he was out of his style. He nailed his dances and his solo. So, what was it that garnered Mark more votes after an abysmal solo and, while great performances, not up to what appeared to be Will’s, or any of the other men’s level for that matter?

We will never know for sure. All we know is Mark got more votes. Will is destined to begin practicing for the tour. We will add a couple of interviews at the bottom of this article to ask why you think Will was sent packing. We have our opinions, but we won’t tell.

Interestingly enough, the voters on our site showed Will in the lead, but overall, there was a total disinterest in the guys. Katee drew vote after vote with Chelsie playing catch up. So perhaps this is telling us the men just aren’t drawing the audience like the women, and the focus is really on who will be the ultimate winner, not which gender they are.

Other than the shocker with Will, tonight went off pretty much as expected. Comfort was eliminated as we predicted. She also garnered zero votes on our web site saying she was destined for tour practice. But we are looking forward to seeing her perform during the tour. She is a fantastic talent and we are lucky she got this far.

The criticism of Joshua on numerous web sites surprised us last night, bringing us to his defense. We believe it was directly related to the difficulty of his dances. It works like the Olympics. There is a handicap. If you do a single flip off the horse it is way less complex than a double inverted somersault. If you do the first one perfectly, you get less points than if you do the latter perfectly because of the difficulty!

The audience got that right big time. They saw Joshua’s strength, and he did not get into the bottom 2. The fact that Twitch did, though, was another shock to the system. How could you watch those sets with Katee and not believe those performances were vastly better than Mark and Comfort?

So how does an audience properly catch the subtleties in a complex dance in Joshua’s case and yet miss the incredible performances of Twitch and Will? Sometimes those cell phones can get confusing to use while driving a car. Be more careful next week folks.

As far as the women go, our poll was right on, the bottom two should have been Courtney and Comfort. Courtney is so good, but Katee is better. Is Chelsie? We are not so sure, but you know what? They are so close that any preference could turn a vote. If you prefer the ballroom style, you go towards Chelsie. If you prefer the contemporary style, you call for Courtney.

We think Courtney was number 2 and Chelsie number 3 this week. We had that backwards, but only by a notch. But when it comes down to it, all that matters is who was eliminated. Comfort and Will. Next week is an entirely new game.

We leave you with Will and Courtney’s emotional hip hop dance:



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3 thoughts on “Season 4: So You Think You Can Dance Top 8 Surprise Results a Shocker!!!”

  1. It may seem shallow, but I honestly think part of the reason Will was voted off was because there are/were many fans of Mark who liked him simply for his looks. Will has a great dancing body, but because he doesn’t look as young as Mark/isn’t as sexually appealing he doesn’t appeal to the young female audience. That’s the science of reality shows, for the most part. At least one major decision is made on the basis that the person is good-looking, rather than the fact that they are talented. Therefore, at least one good talent must be voted off so what some believe to be a better-looking competitor can eventually leave anyway.

    Of course, in the end voters who are serious will make sure they pick the most appropriate person. Would you believe fans are willing to sabotage a person they don’t want to win by voting for someone who doesn’t deserve it? Reality shows are made mostly for entertainment and to promote the network, but this show brings out some true heart and it’s sad to see voters manipulating the competitors as if it won’t affect their lives. On the whole, however, there are many serious voters who I believe can make the right decision during the final cut.

  2. We are grateful for your fantastic effort doing this critique. Your writing is excellent.

    We too have brought up a few of the possible reasons for Will’s ejection. The fact is, no one will ever really know, so all we can do is guess.

    We have surmised that it could have been the slow dances, lulling the audience to sleep a bit. We have noticed younger watchers losing interest very quickly during the slower performances, because they just aren’t hip. And they are the bulk of the audience and the bulk of the voters.

    Another reason is reflected in our polls. Many people feel it was Daughtry syndrome, where the fans just believed that Will would win and voted to keep in their other favorites because it was a given Will would be there.

    And it could have been teacher’s pet syndrome as you suggest. Doesn’t everyone hate the teacher’s favorite student?

    It appears that in many reality shows, there is at least one, if not more, surprise eliminations. And they will always be left to total conjecture. But that is what makes writing our reviews fun!!!

    And so do responses like yours. We loved it!!!! Thank you so much. And please contribute again!!! Who knows? If you submit a review to our editors, and they like it, we may print it, with your approval of course.

  3. Your poll is glaringly missing one particular highly probable reason: Audience disdain for blatant judge bias (or teacher’s pet syndrome for short).

    The judges made it very clear from before the Top 20 competition dances that their favorite was Will. During the first three weeks of the top 20 competition dances, they all but kissed the ground he walked on, despite his mistakes. Meanwhile they blatantly attempted to disregard Katee for their dislike of her attitude at the top 20 announcements. This despite the fact, that Kashua’s very first dance captured the audience. Check YouTube view counts if you need evidence to this fact (summing the view counts of only the 3 highest count clips of this dance yields over 691600 views as of this moment).

    Consider this. Early on, on most forums, in most discussions that I’ve read, people wanted to hate Katee for her attitude. They thought that Natalie should have gotten the chance. Meanwhile, there were many people looking forward to Will’s performances. But week after week of the judges over appraisals of Almighty Will and contemptuous slights of overlooking Katee’s inherent brilliance left the audience feeling disconnected from the judges and made it very clear that Will was getting unworthy praise.

    The general masses are not fools, just not educated to the degree of the judges on technique. Therefore, technique alone will not garner votes. Entertainment and captivation will. And that is precisely what Kashua brought to the table. They captured the attention of what is generally considered easily distracted audiences. They soldified a strong following. The clip with the highest number of views of Kashua’s hip hop routine continues to be commented on even in the last few minutes! That is notably weeks after it was performed. And their other wonderful performances (Bollywood, Samba, Viennese Waltz, Paso Doble, Contemporary) are all also receiving more views and comments in the last few minutes! They have a very strong following. They deliver. They were underpraised.

    Will was overpraised to the point of Jessica being scorned by the judges (remember Mia Michaels spiteful comments of her brining Will down and him needing a new partner). The masses saw right through that and the judges doomed Will’s chances. If we could take into account for a moment the alleged leveling that his skill should be considered based solely on the judges appreciation of promotion of him, then no partner would have been able to cost him any votes. He and Jessica should have had a lead of 3 to 1 over any other couple on their assessments alone, even if she had simply been a ragdoll. It was hype. He became the competition equivalent of a teacher’s pet. I’m sure anyone can remember disliking those types at one point or another.

    Its obvious to me that to win this competition, the dancers must captivate and entertain the audience. And the judges must not interfere with that beyond constructive criticism and appropriate worthy praise. If they overdo it before the dancer has the opportunity to capture their fan base, then the dancer’s chances are lost. I wonder, with the performances of the top 6, if they have become aware of how the audience hates overpraise and perhaps conspire now to sabotage Joshua and propel Katee forward with their high praise of him while failing to give Katee her due props. It certainly seemed that was in their critique of their reunion dances. It matters not though, since Kashua has established their fan base. The judges would only manage to alienate non Kashua fan’s from Joshua with these same methods that I believe devastated Will’s chances.

    And now to provide some context for my perspective: I was no fan of this show (rarely of any reality show for that matter). My wife is though. In the evening when relaxing with her, I’ll generally tolerate watching (what I generally consider mindless) reality shows just to spend time with her. However the first competition dance by Kashua managed to dismiss my elitist attitude for these kinds of shows and captivated my senses. I was drawn in by the sheer power and emotion of their performance and so took an interest.

    I don’t know how this season’s dancers compare to previous seasons (I saw about half of last season, but the only dances that I can really remember was the Hok/Jaime butterfly/flower dance and the Mia Michael’s lost relative piece). I’m not a dance expert, so Will’s technical brilliance was lost on me. Too me, technical brilliance is nothing if the performance does not connect. Will’s performances never connected with me. But I believe that may have been hindered due to my distrust of the judge’s shameless bias, again well established before the top 20 performed their first competition dances.

    With my awareness of their bias firmly rooted in my mind and furthered week after week by their assessments, it became easy to catch or project the times when he was seemed smug or brazen. It was difficult to appreciate nearly any of his performances. For those that I found enjoyable, it was usually due to some brilliance on the part of his partner. For a couple or so of rare dances, I actually enjoyed his and his partner’s performance as a couple. I’ll even give props to his James Brown routine, but I still found fault with it. The costume was too much. It reminded me of those kids back in school who would win science fair competitions because they had a cool looking and feature rich project (usually of a functional mock volcano). In otherwords, it looked paid for. That added an element of disingenuity which otherwise prevented my from thoroughly enjoying that routine. As spiteful or irrational as that may sound, it was still a real phenomena that kept me from picking up the phone for him.

    So in summary, you should consider the very real and probable possibility that Will was voted off because people simply could not enjoy his performances. That he was mired in a predicament that was not entirely his fault if at all, but that he did not make enough effort to clear himself of. That the judges condemned his chances by their infatuation.

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