This summer was dedicated to Lost early on, but I have strayed toward So You Think You Can Dance since then. My interest and dedication to SYTYCD has gone so far as to make a chart of the genres each contestant has performed in and how many times. Now, as the finale is only six days away, anyone who has talked to me knows my preference lies with either Robert or Lauren. I like Kent, don't get me wrong, but he is not my favorite contestant now or ever, even though he has had some really good routines. But you know who else had good routines? Billy and Alex and Ashley and Cristina and AdeChike and they're all kaput (I personally loved both of Cristina's routines before she was cut; she really should've made it a week longer than Melinda).
My main problem with Kent is that, though he has certainly grown as a dancer and as a person, the growth is much more apparent in his competitors at this stage. I've always liked Robert and his goofiness never bothered me, but his goofiness has become less of his personality and more of an occasional quirk as time has gone on. He has proven himself a serious, beautiful, and talented dancer. If AdeChike had learned how to let himself go more, he could've been the strongest looking partner on the show, but since he didn't, that honour goes to Robert, in my opinion (also, if Alex had lasted longer he might've taken that crown). Lauren has always been freakin' talented. We didn't get to see too much of Ashley to know how talented she was, but the other three girls were no rival for Lauren's skill (even though I will consistently remind the world that Cristina surprised me hugely in her two weeks on the show, but alas, we only got two weeks of her). But Lauren seriously has tackled so many genres and conquered them. She never looks uncomfortable or awkward and she's gotten really good at getting into character. Not to mention that the package when the other top six described each other and Lauren was pegged as the weirdo she became my hero. Also, the zillion and a half activities she does? I don't care that she's two years younger than me; I want to be Lauren when I grow up.
Comparing the remaining dancers, I can go on and on about how Robert's disco was better than Kent's and how Robert's hip hop was better than Kent's or how more physically stronger Robert comes across in all his ballrooms where Kent still looks like a kid, but I think that it's fruitless at this point to really hope for a Robert victory (as much as I want it). Robert's had a journey making it out of the bottom 3 the times he has (WHY? WHY did it take so long for the audience to wise up to the fact that AdeChike, despite all his strength and talent, just couldn't bring the it factor to most of his routines save three - contemporary with Kent, hip hop with Lauren, and lyrical hip hop with Comfort). I am so freakin proud of Robert for making it this far because he has been surprising me since the first week and winning my love over the course of the show.
But even Kent's greatest routines leave me unwilling to vote for him. Maybe it speaks to personal preference, but I'll take Robert's goofiness over Kent's rambling messes of speech anyday. I just don't get Kent, I guess. Talented, yes. Appealing to younger audiences, yes. But he is not the strongest contender on the show, he has not been the most attractive on the show, he has had some really stellar routines, but he makes the same consistent mistake week after week (as Mia will happily point out, the pulling of the faces) and that still didn't lose him any steam, although apparently it did for AdeChike eventually (his lack of connection and looseness in many of his routines).
It's kind of disappointing that the dancers who've grown the most have been the ones who've been in the bottom more. Lauren overcame her "girlishness," Robert overcame his goofiness, and Billy overcame his own problems with partnering as shown in his freakin' gorgeous contemporary with Ade last week. But Billy's gone and Robert was at risk of departing the competition several times and even Lauren's been in the bottom. But it took three weeks to give Melinda the boot when she wasn't growing, it took way too long to give Jose the boot after he'd stopped growing, and if Kent's got more growth to show, he is taking his sweet-ass time.
For this reason, I'm really glad Kent got disco. I'm glad Jose got that Broadway. Because choreographers can hide a contestants weaknesses all they like and get praise (a la Jose's pretty Sonya contemporary routine with Allison, which was pretty but really didn't need much skill from Jose), but it's important that a dancer's weaknesses are shown too. If the audience ignores them, whatever, but it's important to see them nonetheless. Through this we can understand what the problem with the dancer is. The problem with Jose, for instance, was that he was all personality and very unrefined talent. The problem with Kent is that as adorable as he comes across, there is a lack of strength there too. The problem with Melinda was that, even with a partner as talented and gorgeous as Pasha, she still didn't even bother to connect with him either time she danced with him, though it was very clear HE was trying.
I am happy with the finale three we've got, though, because as much as I complain about Kent, it's not because I don't think he's talented. I just think he would've deserved his potential win if he'd have auditioned in a couple seasons, when he he could actually exude more maturity, especially outside of the dance. Because when he dances, it is possible to forget the "farmboy" he is (well, in his best routines, like his contemporary with Lauren, or with AdeChike, or with Neil). But once the dance is over, I remember why I am not a Kent fan.
If only Alex Freaking Wong were still around! If it was Alex, Robert, and Lauren in the top three my dreams would've come true. But next season! Next season, dearest Alex will be back and the judges better get Anthony Burrell into the top 10/20 next season. I was annoyed enough when he didn't make it this season. :(
PS: I saw Despicable Me. It was pretty darn cute.