Cole Mills was on top of the world on “So You Think You Can Dance,” but in week two of the live shows he fell near the bottom of the heap, at least with his first dance with partner Hannahlei Cabanilla, a stepping routine choreographed by Joe Brown. He was Gold Derby’s favorite to win the season going into this week’s show, but not only did he face sharp criticisms from the judges (while Cabanilla got nothing but rave reviews), he also landed in the bottom four when the results were announced at the end of the night.
Mills rebounded when he and Cabanilla performed a disco routine later in the evening, and the judges saved him from elimination at the end of the night, but might his stepping performance force him to step off stage for good when next week’s results are announced? Watch Mills and Cabanilla’s performance above, and read what the judges had to say about it below.
Twitch: “First of all, it is awesome to have some HBCU culture. Thank you, Joe Brown, for bringing that culture to the stage. Thank you very much. Also, shout out to being part of the team for that epic Beyonce Coachella performance. Listen, stepping is heavily based in rhythm, and what I do have to say is that y’all definitely brought the energy to it, especially you Hannahlei. Cole, you were struggling a little bit, and there were parts that I just did not believe, and this is just me being real with you. It’s the second week, and you have to really sink your teeth into this style. You should be very thankful for your partner for bringing the energy that she brought because she really helped to raise your level on that.”
Mary Murphy: “I have to say that I just loved the style. It’s just starting to grow around the world right now, and you guys did it justice today. I agree with you Twitch. I think it didn’t quite sit on [Cole] just right, but … you threw yourself in it 100-percent. And Hannahlei, I could swear she really is the head of some troupe someplace because you looked like you were doing that your entire life. I loved you in this piece.”
Nigel Lythgoe: “I think if I’m right, Twitch, this was stepping and strolling. The stepping part obviously has got to be tight and everything else, but the scrolling part is supposed to be there. They call it party-walking, so you’ve got to bring your personality out in that bit. Without question, everyone said it: Hannahlei, your personality just shone through. And Cole, keep working at it.”
Vanessa Hudgens: “I agree with everything that was said. Hannahlei, your energy was like crazy. Cole sat a little on top of it than in it, but great work, that was so much fun.”
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