So You Think You Can Dance: The Semi-final – Liveblog – 6 February 2010

by Gerard McGarry

I’m still reeling from the loss of Yanet last week – but here’s a quick reminder of who’s still on the show: Lizzie, Tommy, Mandy, Robbie, Charlie and Alastair remain. You all know that I believe Robbie and Alastair are among the best in the competition this year. Tell me who your favourites are in the comments!

What do you think of Nigel Lythgoe’s new haircut? He looks a lot more business-like this week!

Lizzie and Robbie

Newly partnered, Lizzie and Robbie have to dance two styles – their first is a Broadway number. Their routine sees them dressed up as bellhops and dancing around suitcases – it’s not unlike a routine last week which drew Arlene’s criticism for too many props. As entertaining and comical as it is, it’s also a bit annoying.

Nigel: It demanded that you do vaudeville, meaning that you had to use your faces, your personalities. I have to be honest with you Lizzie that sometimes your personality doesn’t come across. Tonight that wasn’t the case. A lot of fun in that routine and it came across really well tonight. Arlene: This routine demands a cartoon-like quality, and I have to tell you I did not think you two could get close to this. You absolutely ate this style up. Louise: It’s slapstick comedy, it’s about storytelling and it’s about comic timing. Lizzie, outstanding. Robbie, I think you’re getting into this character dancing.

Charlie’s solo

Charlie starts the solo routines with a lively routine, looking fantastic, young and funky. I really like this girl. And not in that way! Nigel compliments her on how she’s matured as a dancer.

Mandy and Alastair

Mandy and Alastair are reunited as a partnership tonight. From the rehearsal footage, this routine looks like a real punisher! Dancing to Coldplay’s Fix You, the two have a dance-fight, getting increasingly lively as the music progresses. It was a fun concept, and nice to see the two of them acting out their roles so well.

Arlene: Contemporary dance is about the expression of words through movement. I loved the double throw lift. Mandy, you were phenomenal. Alastair, you were good – it could have been weightier, it could have been more passionate. Louise: I totally believed in what I just saw. Mandy, last week I was worried about your routine. Alastair, I think you’re getting stronger. Sisqo: It was like watching an episode of Eastenders. Alastair, you really had to be a support system to Mandy throughout that. Mandy – great job. I’m glad you were reunited, because the chemistry between you is the best in the competition. Nigel: I did believe it. There was one part where you run at him and the steps got tiny. The choreographer gave you some really difficult stuff to do.

Lizzie’s solo

Lizzie’s solo to Bleeding Love is quite unique – but like all these solos, it was far too short. Arlene calls it breathtaking – your standing backfall was phenomenal.

Tommy and Charlie

These two are kitted out in hot red PVC tonight, so the dancers will be pleasing on the eye. Will the routine be as stunning as the costumes? Charlie’s under instructions NOT to be cute – this’ll be interesting! Some futuristic lighting and the two dancing inside big white boxes. They’re dancing to Britney’s Circus. All eyes are on Charlie for this, but she’s vindicating herself brilliantly, and there’s great chemistry between her and Tommy.

Louise: Tommy, the body – you’re ripped! Charlie, you were not upstaged by Tommy’s torso tonight. The first 30 seconds of the routine were so hot. Sisqo: Cheeky Tommy, helloo. You’ve been so consistent in this competition since day one. Nigel: Both of you, it really was terrific. There was hip-hop within that jazz routine, and I love the way these styles are coming together. Arlene: Tommy, you are proving to be one of our most versatile dancers. Charlie, you cannot keep in time with the music. It’s a big problem.

Alastair’s solo

Alastair does his usual ballet-inspired solo, but it kind of falls flat in my opinion. Not as exciting or as dynamic as in previous weeks. Louise tells him that he needs to use the whole of the stage and that he has more to give in this competition.

Robbie and Lizzie

Robbie’s bouncing back from being in the bottom two males last week. We see Nigel telling him that he’s “doing everything right”. This week Robbie and Lizie have been given a hip-hop routine. I like the staging – a large ‘bed’ stting vertically, so that it looks like they’re dancing in bed.

Nigel: The choreographers have gone prop-happy this week! It wasn’t my favourite routine tonight. I think you did it well. You were tight in areas. In a semi-final, it’s not gonna make me want to rush out and pick up a phone for you. Sisqo: Guess who disagrees with Nigel? Last time you did this kind of dancing, it was the hip-hop apocalypse. Lizzie, you proved why you’re here – front-runner for the girls. Amazing. Arlene: Lizzie, this is your baby, this is your style. You brought Robbie with you. It’s the first time I’ve seen him look cool.

Tommy’s solo

First breathtaking male solo of the evening is from Tommy – dynamic and refreshing, and it’s all to a remix of the South Bank Show theme! Sisqo raves at him and even ends his comments in a call for the public to vote for Tommy. Definitely one of the strongest tonight.

Mandy and Alastair

I love Alastair’s support network – if Little Britain did a reality TV support campaign, it would include dogs wearing t-shirts and tractors parading through the high street! The second routine of the night for Mandy and Alastair is altogether more dramatic. Mandy is eyecatching in a purple skirt, and I’m sure the lady-viewers aren’t complaining about Alastair’s form-hugging costume! Best of the night so far?

Nigel: The music sounded like something out of The Exorcist – you should be possessed, you weren’t. You’ve got to feel it, you’ve got to live it. Mandy, you had about as much passion as a cloak. That was the worst routine I’ve seen the pair of you do on this programme. Arlene: If I’d been given this routine, I’d have loved it. Alastair, you’re supposed to be a matador. You’re supposed to be a fighter! Louise: I don’t know if you grasped the music. Mandy, I can see the passion and the aggression when you do your solos.

Robbie’s solo

An enthusiastic dance from Robbie, full of personality as always – marked down slightly for using Scouting For Girls as his track. Arlene tells him she’s seen all those trick before in his solos – “not repeat what we’ve been seeing since the auditions!” Fair point – although it clearly works for him!

Charlie and Tommy

Doing a ballroom routine isn’t a problem for these two, who’ve been owning the show this week. Charlie looks like she’s having tons of fun, and Tommy pulls off some brilliant moves along the way. Really entertaining dance from these two!

Arlene: First of all Charlie, you kept in time perfectly. The quick-step is the hardest ballroom routine to learn, and you only had a day to learn it. You were awesome. Louise: I found it fun, I found it entertaining. Tommy I loved how you played air guitar on Charlie. Sisqo: Wow, you blew me away. Nigel: The quickstep is the dance of death! That was 100% entertaining, and that’s what we’re here to judge. That was terrific!

Mandy’s solo

We’ve seen some stilted solos this week, but Mandy gives us a vibrant routine involving much spinning and somersaulting. Sisqo praises her consistency and her dedication.

The results show is in about an hour. Leona Lewis is performing on the results show, which I’m looking forward to!

Gerard McGarry is a jet-setting, world-renowned Reality TV critic. In real life, Gerard works with web and social media strategy. His personal blog is at or follow him on Twitter @gerrybot