When So You Think You Can Dance 2012 continued on August 29, each of the top 8 finalists took to the stage to deliver both a solo and an all-star fueled duet. As usual, hopeful Eliana Girard rose to the occasion and impressed mightily with a pair of strong routines that gained not only admiration and praise, but the bizarre assurance from one panelist that he was not a stalker.
Eliana's first routine of the evening was a Jonathan Roberts Quickstep alongside SYTYCD season 6 favorite Ryan DiLello. The "That Man" number, which cast Eliana as a housewife in search of attention from her businessman husband, was fabulous. Not only was the dancing itself precise and the lines excellent, but the personality she put into her character was spot-on. She's a hugely talented performer and could well take the title.
The judges didn't disagree. Ballroom specialist Mary Murphy called her "spectacular" and "fabulous." Guest Jesse Tyler Ferguson declared "holy smokies, Lord have mercy" and praised her "accessibility" and range of emotion. Despite his glowing and rather long-winded appreciation of her skills, however, he also assured Eliana that he's "not a stalker." Nigel Lythgoe was "shocked by the technicality" of the routine and remarked that the show was made for someone like her who could successfully take on any style of dance.
But the evening wasn't all about the duets.
Before dancing her solo later in the show, Eliana shared a snippet of personal background with viewers. She said that although she grew up as part of a large family, she wound up living alone with her mother after her parents divorced. Then, at age 16, she left home to attend New York's prestigious Goffrey Ballet School. Though it wasn't easy to leave her mom, whom she views as her mentor, she noted that it was the right decision, given her current success on the show.
Her "Infra 8" ballet solo was, as always, a great fusion of skill, technique, artistry and personality. With the night's results in, Eliana moves on to the top 6 show, but can she win the whole thing? Watch her next performance when So You Think You Can Dance 2012 continues September 5 on FOX.