As Emmy-worthy host Cat Deeley exclaimed Wednesday night on SYTYCD: the “Curse of Season 7” (aka injury) struck again for the third week in a row! Yes, after a serious injury took frontrunner Alex Wong out of the competition and left everyone in tears, followed by quiet contender Ashley last week, injury claimed another victim on Survivor: The Dance Off, as the show has been renamed by ExecProd Nigel Lythgoe. I almost could not believe it when in the opening sequence of the performance show on Wednesday I counted only 5 dancers and no Billy…why oh why?!

Billy Bell suffered a knee injury and though he was cleared by a doctor to dance this week, he smartly opted not to fearing that it would exacerbate the injury and jeopardize his future on the show, as well as, most importantly, his dance career. By resting his knee and giving it some time to heal, he would be able to perform in next week’s show without problem… if he made it through this week. The judges, harboring some contempt that I felt was uncalled for, underhandedly criticized Billy for CHOOSING not to dance.

Billy automatically fell in the Bottom 3, joined by b-boy Jose and the beautiful Robert. Despite landing in the Bottom 3 frequently, the judges could not have, in all fairness, sent Robert home. Robert attacked his solos and he delivered some great performances this week, although perhaps not the most memorable; personally I really appreciate a man who can samba like a pro! The judges could potentially vote Billy off because they disapproved of his decision, but why would they when Jose is so clearly unfit among all the brilliant dancers left? But the surprise of this week was not the Curse of Season 7 striking again, it was the judges’ shocking verdict in the results show—in an unprecedented move, the judges decided not to send anyone home this week.

This result, although it brought on smiles and hugs all around, was really unnecessary and just plain wrong. Although, I’m glad that the judges broke the rules, they picked the wrong week to do it! Perhaps they didn’t want to send Jose home over Billy, who didn’t perform, and hurt the boy’s feelings but last time I checked this is a dance competition and the judges usually favor good dancers! The judges had the perfect opportunity to send someone home who had overstayed his welcome and was dragging down the quality of dance on the show, not only for his fellow partners but also for the choreographers who have to dumb down their dancing to a “pedestrian” level that will mask his lack of technique. Perhaps it was the even number of judges on the panel this week with guest judge Kenny Ortega that resulted in a hopeless deadlock, who knows.

I, like the judges, was completely enamored with Jose for the first half of the season when all I could do was watch him smile and laugh at his ridiculous yet charming routines. But my Jose love died down 2 weeks ago when the choreographers stopped giving him pieces through which his charm and bright smile could shine and therefore make it thoroughly amusing even if horribly danced. To my disappointment, he is not another Legacy, who showed incredible growth across all the genres and emotionally left us right before the finale. Apparently other voters, though not All-Star Allison with her not-so-secret crush, feel the same as he has landed in the Bottom 3 again this week.

To make up for no elimination this week, the judges will send 2 dancers packing next week, when they hope everyone will perform (damn you curse of season 7!) and can be judged evenly. I’m grateful at least that they didn’t act on their clear disdain for Billy and send him packing, which would’ve been a big mistake seeing how great his performances have been lately (one of my top 5 for this season is last week’s “Boogie Shoes” with Lauren, it’s so much fun I just can’t get enough of it). Also, what bullshit was it when the judges said Robert wasn’t growing anymore? Clearly the whole panel was delusional—making up lies about Robert, giving Billy attitude about his decision to sit out, and refusing to send Jose home. All in all it was a crazy night but I look forward to next week when we can rightfully eliminate Jose and then have a drag-out fight over what 2nd dancer should be sent home.

P.S.: were you disappointed that Cat broke her recent streak of good dress choices with that monstrosity of a red/nude clown costume?

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