Group Routine – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall
["Wind Beneath My Wings" by RyanDan]
Zoe: It’s beautiful! Way too beautiful to see!
Jason: So wait, they’re, like, gay couples or something?
Zoe: The music is beautiful! (Then the percussion comes in.) Oh, no. Wait a minute. This is not too delicate. Maybe I don’t want to do it. Maybe I’ll just do the first part.
Erica: Zoe did fabulously. I’m sure Ricky, Zach, Valerie, and Jessie also did beautifully. But I was mainly watching Zoe.
Kate: I wish I were watching Zoe! This was a lovely routine. And SYTYCD supports all types of couples, Jason.
Erica: Actually . . . it hasn’t been much on display this season but Nigel’s usually pretty homophobic. Maybe he’s changed since Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s been judging. Although Adam Shankmann was around before. But JTF is a more delightful judging presence.
Cat Deeley’s Ensemble
Kate: This is Cat at her finest!
Erica: Yes. That is how I’m feeling about this ensemble. Just, Yes.
Kate: Lurrrve the hair and dress. This is what she should wear, like, every week.
Erica: I am still confused as to how a final decision is getting made. Unless it’s not getting made tonight? And actually next week is the finale? That’s probably the answer, isn’t it?
Kate: Yes, although they kept/keep referring to tonight as the “finale”, it’s really just the performance finale. I think results are next week.
Erica: Jesse Tyler Ferguson is judging tonight and he is my second favorite (behind Christina Applegate). So yay!
Kate: And I am doing this while performing my first-ever Fantasy Football draft. My multi-tasking abilities have increased tenfold since getting engaged to Ian (i.e., wedding planning while working).
Valerie & Ricky – African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman
["Voices of Savannah" by DJ Chus]
Erica: I really can’t tell the difference between “offensive cultural appropriation”/”this is what the adorable brown people do” and a genuine and faithful representation of a culture’s (or many cultures’) dance traditions when it comes to African Jazz on this show. Especially when Cat references Simba. So I will just shut up about that and say that Ricky looked amazing and Valerie looked good.
Kate: I actually didn’t love this as much as I wanted to, but it might have been the choreography. I don’t know it just seemed a little sloppy, even Ricky. Wah!
Erica: I don’t know what Nigel is on about with the quitting and the winning and the losing and whatnot. And Mary talking about survival. Like, they’re in a dance competition. Not the Hunger Games. Calm the eff down.
Jessica & Zack – Broadway, choreo by Spencer Liff
["Hernando's Hideaway" by Ella Fitzgerald]
Erica: Ol’ Spence loves his props, doesn’t he?
Zoe: I love that outfit! And the stage! Well, I meant the stage-y thing.
Kate: Me too, Zo. This is the type of Broadway routine I very much enjoy.
Erica: Jessica is really built for Broadway. What is her native style? Contemporary? I guess I’ll find out when she does her solo later.
Kate: Methinks it’s jazz, and I agree she is perfect at Broadway. I thought this was exquisite.
Erica: Zach was reasonably impressive, too.
Valerie & Zack – Contemporary, choreo by Tasty Oreo
["Pearls" by Sade]
Erica: Oh, good it’s an “issues” piece. Because she’s blind, see? And Tasty Oreo is a totally sensitive and deep dude.
Kate: I think we could have gotten “blind” without her using an actual cane, but ok.
Erica: I will say, they did an amazing job with this piece. It’s not their fault that Tasty irritates the crap out of me.
Kate: Yes, good, but not quite finale-level.
Jessica & Ricky – Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper
["F For You" by Disclosure feat. Mary J. Blige]
Kate: Ermmmmmm YES!
Erica: Have they danced together before? (Yes, Nigel says they were together in the Top Twenty.) It was funny that Jessica said being with Ricky is pushing her. That’s what they usually say about all-stars. I guess they all know who’s going to win.
Kate: Er I swear, that is exactly what ran through my head while watching this. I think this was only the second time they were together, which is a shame because they complimented each other so well. I loved this.
Erica: This was pretty much the best she’s ever been. She really did elevate to Ricky’s level. I mean, not quite to Ricky’s level. But she looked really good.
Kate: I think it was my favorite jazz routine on this show, ever?
Erica: Ray also irritates me, but I end up loving his routines, usually. I loved this. Also, I loved Jesse Tyler Ferguson calling them sprockets and noting — AS I HAVE — that Ricky makes his dancing look like the natural expression of his body.
Kate: Everything just flows seamlessly out of his fingertips and toetips.
Erica: I’m not covering Jason Mraz. No one is dancing.
Kate: But this is an awesome time to link to that awesome Jeanine and Jason routine to If It Kills Me by Jason Mraz!
Jessica & Valerie – Bollywood, choreo by Nakul Dev Mahajan
["Ghagra" from the Yeh Jawaani Hal Deewani Soundtrack]
Erica: So, not to be completely shallow, but when Nakul said that this was a dance about two diva-ish Bollywood princess-y girls…I was expecting cooler outfits.
Kate: And I was expecting cooler moves. This didn’t do it for me.
Erica: I did not think they were very precise at all. Lots of energy and they had the right expressiveness and joy, but without the precision it didn’t look that great.
Kate: Yea, Valerie had a better Bollywood personality than Jessica in that it was a little more authentic than cheesy, but neither of them really got the whole Bollywood thang down, you know?
Zack & Ricky – Hip-hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix
["The Antidote" by District 78]
Kate: Ok so Ricky started off a TAD awkward and I was worried he wasn’t going to pull it off, but he stepped it up and did a great job.
Erica: I went into this thinking, ‘God, if there’s one genre Zach might be able to do better than Ricky, hip-hop is probably it.’ But I thought they both did pretty well in this. Although their height difference didn’t really help things.
Kate: Zack is better suited to it, but Ricky pulled it out. They were both great at the stunts and lifts.
Erica: Is it wrong that I want a playing card baseball shirt?
Kate: I don’t think so. I don’t know why I still don’t have a Dillon Panthers shirt.
Valerie & Season 10’s Aaron – Tap, choreo by Anthony Morigerato
["Love Me or Leave Me" by Sammy Davis, Jr.]
Erica: I know you’re super-excited to see this all-star again.
Kate: Ugh. Ian and I were both very upset to see his face again.
Erica: This was all pretty literal and corny. Which is not to say I didn’t like it.
Kate: No, they’re both very talented tappers, and they were pretty good together. But I like Valerie doing other things more, now.
Erica: I just feel like the song was pretty loud for a tap number. Aren’t we supposed to hear the taps?
Kate: THAT IS MY ISSUE WITH ALL TAP ROUTINES ON THIS SHOW!
Erica: So why are Mira Sorvino and that other pretty girl in the room? And why is Nigel randomly pointing them out, other than to remind us that he’s heterosexual?
Kate: I didn’t notice that???
Erica: There’s this advice columnist I really like, Captain Awkward, and she’s also a film teacher, and she talked about teaching class and informing the guys that the opinions of their boners are not important to the discussions in class. Like, when she’s showing the cinematography of, let’s say, Out of Sight, and the boys feel the need to open with, “Jennifer Lopez is hawt,” and she’s like, yeah, now that we know how your boner feels, let’s talk about the film. I feel like Nigel could use this lesson. We don’t need to know how your boner is doing, Nigel.
Kate: Ew, Nigel boner.
["Skin & Bones" by David J. Roch]
Kate: BLERGH I love this songgggggggggggggggggg.
Erica: I got nothing.
Kate: I mean, he’s just perfect. That’s all there is to it.
Ricky & Season 6’s Kathryn – Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey
["Not About Angels" by Birdy]
Kate: I love this song too but when she says “Not about angels” I always imagine she’s saying “Naughty by nature”. He he.
Erica: Hee. I can barely see Ricky. And good lord, he’s maybe the only dancer that might make you want to look away from Kathryn. I mean, I get what they were going for. You know, she’s the light angel who brings him out of the darkness. But I can’t see him.
Kate: But it was a beautiful routine. They were made for each other.
Erica: Oh, Jesse Tyler Ferguson. You do, in fact, give away standing ovations. But it’s okay, I love your poetic stylings. (For those of you who read this but don’t watch the show (?), Jesse Tyler Ferguson started singing, to the tune of “Hey, Mickey”, “Hey, Ricky, you’re so great/If you were older, we could date.”)
Kate: To be fair, Jesse doesn’t give away standing ovations; Nigel and Mary do. Especially this season.
Erica: And then Nigel’s got to bring in suicide. Thanks, Nigel. We were all laughing and feeling good.
Kate: Yeah, that was too much. And he made Ricky cry, which made me very sad.
["Valerie" by Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse]
Erica: I love this song.
Kate: Oh, I get it.
Erica: And it still took me hearing Cat say, “If you love Valerie,” to realize she picked the song because it’s her name. I swear, having children does so make you dumb.
Kate: I dislike tap solos, so. Yeah.
Zack & Season 10’s Aaron – Tap, choreo by Anthony Morigerato
["Piano Man" by Billy Joel]
Kate: Oh joy, we get Aaron for two routines.
Erica: Well, the good thing is, this song doesn’t already have a strong percussion. So the tap can function as tap is meant to.
Kate: I thought the SAME. THING. Finally, first time ever on this show, I heard the taps clearly. And they sounded ok. I think I liked Zack better than Aaron?
Erica: Damn, girl, it’s like we’re related or something. Yes, I did, too. I really like Zack tapping. I know you have an anti-tapping bias, which I do not share, but I agree – I like Valerie better when she’s doing other things. But I like Zack best when he’s tapping.
Kate: Yea. I liked this, but I don’t like that I liked it.
Erica: You know, Mary might be annoying, but wouldn’t you want her to be, like, your aunt or the lady who runs the coffee shop you go to on the regular or something? Have her be so supportive and enthused about you all the time?
Kate: Um I am a huge fan of Mary, voice and all. I love when she screeches and puts people on the Hot Tamale Train.
["It's a Man's Man's Man's World" by Juliet Sims]
Erica: Ugh, I hate this song. No matter who’s singing it.
Kate: This is a horrible version of it.
Erica: Also, I guess you were right; this is more jazz than contemporary?
Kate: Yea, her main style is jazz. I’m fairly certain. This wasn’t as good as her other solos, or her partner routines on this episode. I just knew she was gonna do that little hat/hair-whipping trick.
Jessica & Season 6’s Robert – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall
["When I Go" by Over the Rhine]
Kate: So I’m pretty sure I’m still in love with Robert. Yum.
Erica: My heart hurts.
Kate: This could be the best of the season, definitely top 3. Definitely Jessica’s best ever — if Ricky pushed her, Robert elevated her to an entire different realm of dancing.
Erica: This was too good. Travis, how could you do this to me? I feel wrecked. Can someone do a jive now or something?
Kate: That’s the Power of Robert Roldan. <3
Erica: And Travis. I don’t know why, when the theme of a dance is “blindness” or “breast cancer” or “like, war, man,” I’m all sarcastic and irritated, but when it’s heartbreak, I turn into a sobbing baby. But I do.
["Superstition" by Adam Raherty]
Erica: And again, good tap song choice because it doesn’t have its own percussion.
Kate: I suppose.
Erica: Right, no results tonight. The votes from tonight and from last week will be totalled to get the winner. Right? Right. I think I get it now.
Kate: Right. And I voted! For Ricky! Everyone else, do the same.
Erica: I’ve never voted.