Emmys 2015

Kate: Fashion Police on E! is back, and SO ARE WE with the 67th annual Primetime Emmy Awards!

Erica: Yeah, we’re back from the not-even-a-week-long hiatus we took between SYTYCD and this.

Kate: I’m curious as to why E! didn’t ask us to replace Kelly Osbourne and Kathy Griffin.

Erica: Please. We are way too classy.

Kate: Well put your mittens around your kittens and AWAY we GO!

Allison Janney
Erica: I love Allison Janney so very much. And I love this dress.
Erica: It reminded me of an Alice Temperley collection I loved a while back, but, you know, shiny, and formal. And I thought it was just the right mix of classy and sexy for this occasion/person.
Kate: It’s pretty sexy for an older gal, but I think she looks great.

Amy Poehler

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Kate: Solid basic black choice, but what has she done to her hair?

Erica: I kind of like it.

Kate: I want to like it, but it’s throwing me off. I think I have to sit with it for a little while.

Erica: That’s okay. I understand. Change is hard.

Kate: I do not have to sit with those crazy rubbery bracelets, though; they suck. But, she’s Amy Poehler, and Parks & Rec was such an amazing treat for the world, and she looks like she does not give one f*ck, as usual, so WHATEVER! Yay Amy!

Erica: I feel like, as with most of the people this time around, the ensemble is fine. Not exciting, not beautiful, but not dreadful either. Fine. Also, yes, Parks & Rec <3, and also yes, not giving a f*ck, yay!

Amy Schumer

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Kate: Ok, I love this color. A lot. I want to emphasize that.

Erica: Yes. The dress itself is fine and the color is lovely.

Kate: However. I HATE the hair, and think the eye makeup is way too dark. I’ve been watching a lot of her show and she always pokes fun at herself for not being that pretty/skinny/whatever, but she actually is, especially with very light (in terms of colors and amount) makeup, like with a nice peachy lip gloss to play up her fair skin and light hair, and with her hair in very loose tousled ringlets. This is on the opposite side of the tousled spectrum. Like I’m wondering if she actually meant for her hair to look like that.

Erica: Yeah, I thought maybe the hair was going to be part of a bit of some kind. And then when she and Amy Poehler went up to present the first award and did that little beautification thing in front of the stage, I thought, “Oh, they’re going to fix it!” But. No. Not so much.

Kate: The neckline of the dress isn’t the most flattering either — a necklace may have helped — but, again, absolutely love the color and love her very much.

Anna Chlumsky

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Kate: Oh, she wanted to wear a DNA diagram on her dress.

Erica: See, I first saw this when she was in the audience and I kind of liked it. I thought it was romantic and fetching. Then I saw a picture of her from the front and realized that no, it was not at all fetching. But I did love her enthusiasm every time a Veep person won.

Kate: By enthusiasm you mean crazy intense faces? I pretty much hate this. Her hair looks nuts.

Erica: I don’t mind the concept of the hair, which I know you do, but it looked pretty frazzled.

Ariel Winter

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Kate: Luurrrvvveeeeeee.

Erica: Yeah? I mean, she looks very nice. But I don’t know that I LURVE.

Kate: Absolutely perfect shade of red, perfect silhouette, perfect hair, perfect perfect perfect. She is one class act.

Erica: It’s a good color for her. I’m not into the waistline and I’m not into the purse/rings and I don’t know. It’s not wowing me.

Aubrey Plaza

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Erica: Like the dress. Like. She looks sexy and a little chill and it’s a good look for her.

Kate: Also love the angled bob in theory, but in practice it looks a little casual for that dress/this event. A sleek bun like Ellie Kemper’s (see below) may have worked better. Really love the dress, and PERFECT shoes.

Erica: The hair is not quite as sleek as it needs to be and the make-up could be a little stronger. I do appreciate that she didn’t overdo the jewelry.

Kate: Honestly this would already be a best dressed nominee if not for the hair.

Cat Deeley

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Kate: Cat! It’s our Cat! Hi Cat!

Erica: Do you think if we met her in person we’d just start talking to her like we know her and she’d freak out and call the police?

Kate: Yes to the first part, but she’d love us too much to call the police. Um, she’s pregnant? That explains all those weird dresses on SYTYCD!

Erica: You know, I thought it was just light hitting the dress weird, but you could be right. That makes me happy. Cat Deeley should definitely be replicating.

Kate: I am right, pregnancy confirmed. Her hair is absolutely perfectly Cat Deeley-esque, and I think the gold is great on her. A zillion times better than anything she wore all season long.

Erica: Seriously. And we almost never see a side part on her on the show, which I like quite a bit.

Christina Hendricks

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Kate: Ok so she was on Watch What Happens Live fairly recently and looked way too skinny to me, but this is the Christina I know and love. VA-VA-VOOM!

Erica: I get the feeling her weight fluctuates a lot. She looks fantastic but I do not love the dress.

Kate: I love her hair like that so very much, and I think very few people other than her could pull off that dress. The crazy patterns and textures accentuate and flatter every inch of her body.

Erica: I do love her hair. The dress — I just want to chop off the sleeves. That’s all.

Claire Danes

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Kate: Oh no Angela, this is all wrong. All of it — hair style, hair color, dress color, neckline, silhouette, sequins, chains — ALL WRONG!

Erica: Everything she wears on the red carpet looks like a sack hanging off a skeleton. Claire, either eat a sandwich or dress your skinny frame in a flattering way, please.

Kate: Worst dressed nominee.

Erica: I was going to say, I don’t know that it’s that bad, but tonight was pretty boring in terms of fashion, so yeah, probably.

Danielle Brooks

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Kate: That neckline with that hair is a little too harsh on her, but the dress itself is a lot of fun.

Erica: Yeah, the hair could be some other way, but I like the dress and I like how much she appears to love it.

Dascha Polanco

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Kate: Oh no.

Erica: Oh. I love her work on the show, though. But no. She looks like a person made famous by being rejected by some horrible old music star on a VH1 reality show.

Kate: She always looks a hot mess on the red carpet, let’s get her a stylist shall we? Brad, are you free to take on another client?

Erica: She needs help. She’s a lovely and talented person but she dresses like…Well, I’m too much of a lady to say what she dresses like.

Elisabeth Moss

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Kate: Oh, so that’s where Amy Poehler’s hair color went.

Erica: She’s been doing that hair for a while now. We do not like, Elisabeth Moss. We like you, but not blond hair on you.

Kate: Not a fan at all. The hair color is way too harsh against her skin. I like the dress color, but the dress itself is rather boring. This falls flat for me all around.

Erica: See, I agree that it’s not the most interesting thing ever, and I hate the hair and I don’t love the red lips with the pink gown, but grading on the Elisabeth Moss curve? It’s fine.

Ellie Kemper

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Kate: For some reason on anyone else I think I’d hate this, but on this adorable woman who plays such an adorable character, I love it. (Please note that it looked a lot better during the Emmys than it does in the photos.)

Erica: I actually like it quite a bit. It’s pretty and interesting, looks well made, flatters her nicely, fits her “brand,” and she (or someone else) styled it well. Good job, Ellie!

Kate: I also love the severity/formality of her hair and clean, classic makeup in contrast to the funkiness of the dress. BEST DRESSED NOMINEE!

Erica: Definitely under consideration.

Emma Roberts

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Kate: ExCUSE ME Julia Roberts’ niece!

Erica: OH! Is that who she is?

Kate: Yes! Hot damn she looks incredible. I love this dress. In ivory or another shade of white, and maybe a slightly less shiny material, it could be a fabulous wedding dress? Kind of looks like mine maybe a little? No? Ok.

Erica: I did like the dress a lot although I thought it was a teensy bit too pale/shiny.

Kate: The only thing that’s throwing me off is the dress being almost the same color as her skin, which we know I don’t like, and the very light hair. This would have been absolute perfection on a brunette. (Sorry blonds, I am usually not this prejudiced against you.)

Erica: Yeah, you usually hate that. I agree, brunette (which she sometimes is, no? Or do I completely not know who Emma Roberts is?), lack of shine, perfect.

Heidi Klum
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Kate: No.

Erica. It’s so bad it’s funny. I’m certain she meant it to be this bad, really.

Kate: No.

Erica: She’s like, “I am Heidi Klum. Let’s test the ‘Anything would look good on me’ theory!”


Erica: She does go ALL OUT for Halloween. Maybe this is her dress rehearsal.
Kate: Yes, if she plans to dress up as Big Bird this year.

Jane Krakowski

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Kate: I think the overall look is very classy and elegant and pretty, and I even like the color blocking, but I CANNOT with the peplum — I thought we were over that! — and I think it would like a lot better as a column instead of a flared skirt.

Erica: It feels like those pieces were just added to the dress to f*ck with us. The dress would be great without them. And her hair and make-up are lovely, and also, I want Jane Krakowski to be in more things.

Kate: So, when CAN we be done with the peplum?

Erica: When can we be done with the shoulders-forward-hunch pose?

Joanne Froggatt

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Kate: I wasn’t going to include her but then I heard that Brad Goreski styled her, so yay!

Erica: I’m sure I know who that is.

Kate: We’ve been over this: He was Rachel Zoe’s assistant, then got his own show on Bravo, now is a Fashion Police judge, and stylist to the STARS. I love the two-tonedness and the silhouette and the ribbonyness of this dress a lot.

Erica: It’s not my usual thing but I like it and it looks pretty on her.

Kate: However, I do not like the hair at all. Way too casual. That’s what my hair looks like a few hours after I let it air dry and it has lost all life. NOT red carpet appropriate.

Erica: Oh, in pics, I thought it looked nice. A little casual, sure, but pretty, and great color. Did it not look as good in motion?

Kate: Nope, dead and flat. Although, in her defense, with that complicated neckline, I’m really not sure what hairstyle would have been better.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Kate: Ok, we all know how much I love JLD, right?

Erica: Yes.

Kate: I like this, and she looks gorgeous, but I don’t love it nearly as much as her last, like, 20 red carpet looks. It’s just a little basic. And the earrings are a little too much with the dress and the hair is a little too not enough. Ya know?

Erica: I think it’s boring, as most of the fashions were, but damn if she doesn’t look good. She is keeping it seriously tight, and I thought here hair looked gorgeous.

Kate: No, you know what, I take it back. I didn’t mean any of that, she looks perfectly amazing. Please don’t be mad at me JLD!

Julie Bowen

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Kate: This is a surprisingly safe and classic choice for her — kind of like JLD’s! She usually tries a little harder than this, no?

Erica: I remain convinced that she is lulling us into a false sense of security.

Kate: Well I actually like it. I could do without the third strap around the neck, but without that it’d probably be a little too basic. She’s even channeling her inner Sofia Vergara with that mermaid bottom.

Erica: One day we will be EXPECTING something perfectly classy and nice from her — “Oh, Julie Bowen, yes, she used to dress like a madwoman, but not anymore!” we will say to ourselves, then BOOM! Something horrific.

Kerry Washington

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Kate: It looks like Michael Jackson’s and Prince’s closets got together and had a baby and that baby is this horRENDOUS dress.

Erica: Aw. I was kind of intrigued by this. It was not boring.

Kate: No, it’s gross. Also truly terrible hair. Is that the thing where you tuck long hair under so that it looks like a bob? If so it was very poorly done. SO over you, Kerry Washington!

Erica: I will never be over you, Kerry Washington. Although I did stop watching Scandal. I’m sorry. I couldn’t keep track of who I was supposed to like anymore.

Kiernan Shipka

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Kate: I get what she’s doing here and I really don’t like it.

Erica: I don’t know. I’m intrigued.

Kate: There just comes a point where I wonder if people wear things that they actually think look good on them or look good in general, or if they just wear it because they heard it’s on trend or just for the shock value. I don’t appreciate that.

Erica: I feel like she’s definitely making a very fashion-forward choice, but I did actually think it looked good on her, and in general — well, it’s interesting. It is not at all boring. And she kept the hair and make-up really perfect and simple so that it didn’t look like she was wearing a costume. She’s getting to have such an interesting and lovely face.

Kate: Worst dressed nominee!

Lady Gaga

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Kate: Of all the people I would expect to wear a basic black one-shoulder gown, Lady Gaga would never be one of them. Her dress, JLD’s and Julie Bowen’s could be interchangeable.

Erica: That seems to be the thing she’s doing now. Normal.

Kate: As I’ve mentioned a few times now, I don’t really like that unnatural blond hair color on anyone, but damn, she cleans up nice. I really love the makeup. Maybe I should do fake lashes for the wedding…

Erica: The makeup was a little much for me but nice.

Laura Prepon

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Kate: I think a lot of people are going to disagree with me here, but I like the messy updo. A lot.

Erica: I like it in and of itself (although I will always like her better as a redhead, and in any event, that color is way too harsh for her), but I don’t like it with that particular dress.

Kate: And you know, I like the idea of the dress, but wouldn’t it have been great as a strapless red number WITHOUT the beaded turtleneck cape/shrug thing? They are separate pieces, right?

Erica: Well, then it wouldn’t have been the look she was going for. I don’t like it for the Emmys or for a person her age (she needs about 20 more years before that’s a good look) but I think without the shrug, it’s just another red mermaid dress.

Kate: I seem to recall her having very odd red carpet looks before, though, so I think this is the step in the right direction.

Laverne Cox

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Kate: That color again! Is it the color of the night?

Erica: I think we just like that color.

Kate: (It looked very similar to Amy Schumer’s on the pre-show, but not so much in pictures.) The ridiculously yellow neon nails AND shoes ALMOST ruin it, but everything else is flawless. Love the long loose waves, love the dress. The material looks so flawless.

Erica: I like it. I even like the shoes/nails as a contrast color. I usually hate Laverne Cox’s red carpet looks, and I’m happy to see her in something simple but still interesting, with great hair and makeup.

Lena Headey

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Kate: Eh, no.

Erica: I saw her first on stage, not on the red carpet, so my first thought about the dress was that she was carrying it weird. But then I loved her hair and make-up. And I decided I like the dress.

Kate: She usually takes pretty big risks on the red carpet, but I think this would have worked as a more slinky number and not a huge poofy skirt. The color is great, but it’s overall a little too overwhelming for me.

Erica: I don’t know; more slinky would have been more normal/boring. I don’t know that I LOVE this dress, but I like the overall look on her. Also, she was robbed. (Was she robbed? She lost, right?) She was magical on GoT this season.

Kate: I think GoT has won enough things for me to not feel like any of them have ever been/will ever be robbed.

Maisie Williams

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Kate: Oh it’s so weird seeing Arya in a strapless bubblegum pink gown!

Erica: Aw, she should get to feel pretty sometimes!

Kate: I mean, I think she looks nice, but nothing about this really stands out to me.

Erica: It’s a cute dress, but it needs to be a couple of inches shorter, and while I understand why she might want to put furry shoes with it, I don’t think it looked right, and the heel was too chunky. But hey. She only gets to girl it up some of the time.

Maggie Gyllenhaal
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Erica: So I don’t like the two-tone formal dresses, in general, but this one was cut very beautifully out of a lovely material and it didn’t make her boobs look, like, excessively droopy like they usually do on the red carpet, so I kind of have to give it to her.
Kate: Yeah, I surprisingly liked the silhouette of this a lot.
Mindy Kaling
attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Kate: You know what? This color is risky, but I like it on her.
Erica: She has the perfect skin tone for this color. No risk for lovely Indian ladies.
Kate: I don’t love it, especially because the earrings and bag are the same color so it’s just like a lot of that one color, but I think she overall looks quite nice.
Erica: I think she did the matchy-matchy on purpose and I kind of applaud it. Not my usual thing, but she committed and I appreciate that.
Kate: You know who else is wearing a similar color and does not look quite nice? Heidi Klum.

Natasha Lyonne

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Kate: She also always kind of looks a hot mess on the red carpet, particularly dress length-wise, but I don’t think she actually really cares at all.

Erica: She most definitely 100% does not care at all. This might actually be the nicest I’ve seen her look on the red carpet.

Kate: I also see some way-too-chunky shoes underneath that — shudder — fringe.

Regina King
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Erica. So as long as I was only looking at her from the waist/hips up, I really liked the dress. I love stark white on dark-skinned ladies, and I liked the structure in the top. But the bottom was a tad too structured. And I hate when formal gowns hit right above the foot like that.
Kate: It’s a Christmas tree. She is literally wearing a white/silver Christmas tree on her body. (Great makeup and hair, though.)

Samira Wiley

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Kate: Yeeeessssssss.

Erica: Absolute perfection. One hundred percent doing everything right.

Kate: Very Lupita. Perfect color on her, flawless makeup (despite the weird facial expressions in the photo). Best dressed nominee, certainly best dressed OITNB cast member!

Erica: Yes, very Lupita. Which is a compliment of the highest order.

Sarah Hyland

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Kate: That’s a great dress, but what is she 36 now?

Erica: Yes. That is exactly the age she should be when wearing that dress.

Kate: She dresses way older than she needs to, and that haircut and super-dark makeup make it even worse. She should take a page out of Ariel Winter’s style book.

Erica: See, I’ve liked previous Ariel Winter looks better than tonight.

Kate: Also don’t love the earrings and matching bracelet (which is halfway up her arm?) with that dress, kind of cheapens it. Also feel like we’ve actually seen this dress before? Maybe on Tina Fey?

Erica: Yeah, I was trying to figure out if this was a Covet dress or something. It looks really familiar.

Kate: On second (or third or fourth) thought, I do like how the shoulder straps continue as one long horizontal strap in the back. Sexy. But, too sexy on her?

Erica: I think it’s just too old. She looked cute at the afterparty. (Still with a bracelet halfway up her forearm for some reason, but it looks cuter there.)

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Sofia Vergara

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Kate: That is the least amount of cleavage I’ve ever seen on Sofia Vergara on the red carpet.

Erica: That is probably a true observation.

Kate: Also, not a mermaid bottom? A slightly underwhelming choice for her but, Jesus Christ, she’s a smokeshow no matter what. Her talking about her perfume to Ryan Seacrest during the pre-show was quite entertaining.

Erica: According to Julie Bowen, she is basically her character.

Taylor Schilling

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Kate: Ugh, no no. This is pretty bad.

Erica: There are some things I like conceptually about this dress, but man, were those concepts executed terribly.

Kate: The asymmetrical neckline is awkward, the color is just OK, the length and ruffle at the bottom are dreadful, and the matchy-matchy shoes? Terrible. I also don’t like the flapper hairstyle but I know that’s like, “in”, right now.

Erica: Hair and makeup are the least offensive things happening. Look, if you are blond and pale, you need to be careful about yellow. That is all.

Taraji P. Henson

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Kate: So she looks pretty sexy, I’ll give her that. But the chain straps? Come on. So tacky. Why are these on more than one person tonight?

Erica: I thought hair and makeup were flawless and I really should be watching Empire, I think, but I did not like the dress and also thought it hung weird on her boobs.

Kate: Is the skirt all fringe? Not a fan. Also not a fan of the very dark purple/blue eyeshadow — too much. Great bob, though.

Erica: I only saw the makeup on stage where it looked terrific.

Taryn Manning

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Kate: Morticia Addams. No.

Erica: She’s so cute. Why doesn’t she dress/style herself like a cute person? Why does she wear dreadful dresses and slick back her hair all weird?

Tina Fey

onstage during the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

onstage during the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Kate: She really loves that black-and-white fancy waitress look, doesn’t she?

Erica: I really don’t like that look. At all. I think I’m on the record on this issue.

Kate: I mean I think she looks very nice but it’s not thrilling me.

Erica: Look, if she and Amy would host again, the two of them could wear whatever they wanted and I’d say nothing but nice things about it. Andy Samberg is…Not my favorite.

Uzo Aduba

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Kate: Similar neckline and hair to Danielle Brooks’ but it works a lot better on Uzo.

Erica: She looked good and was very charming in her acceptance speech. Wait, did she beat Lena Headey? Then maybe Lena Headey did not get robbed. Although, now that I’m thinking about it, while Uzo Aduba’s portrayal of Crazy Eyes is quite fabulous all of the time, this wasn’t a particularly great season for her character the way it was for Lena Headey’s.

Kate: No, Uzo won supporting, Viola Davis won lead. I think I would like this dress a lot more without the black in the middle (or is that navy blue?), but she overall looks very lovely.

Erica: I don’t like the dress, but she looks good in it. I feel about it the way I feel about almost all of the dresses tonight — it’s fine. It’s not my thing but it’s fine.

Viola Davis
poses in the press room at the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

poses in the press room at the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Erica: Pretty good dress. Didn’t love the make-up. Didn’t actually recognize her when she first came out because the make-up was not making her look her best.
Kate: The dress is nice but I really don’t like how she wears her hair or makeup so it kind of ruins it for me.

Yael Stone

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

attends the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards at Microsoft Theater on September 20, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Kate: Ummm why have we not seen her on the red carpet with her fellow OITNB nominees before? She looks incredible!

Erica: Oh! It took me a minute to figure out who she was! She looks cute!

Kate: What a fun, high fashion, couture dress. I want to not like the ponytail with it but I think it really all works very well.

Erica: Yeah, that’s messy updo done well. And the dress is fun, if a little bit heavy-looking.

Kate: Alas, best dressed?

Erica: How do we even pick when this was a night of meh? My personal fave was probably Allison Janney. But she is also my personal fave person. Samira Wiley probably deserves it most.

Kate: Or Ellie Kemper? Worst dressed?

Erica: I mean, Heidi Klum is definitely the worst, but she’s baiting us to say that. So Claire Danes?
Kate: I’ll give them a tie for worst. WARST!

SYTYCD Season 12 – The Winner is Announced

Group Routine (Top 10 + All-Stars): Contemporary, choreo by Nick Florez & RJ Durell

“Archangel” by Two Steps from Hell

Kate: V cool, especially when all 20 were together. When they broke off in pairs it got a little awkward, as has been the case throughout the season, but the rest was stunning.

Erica: I liked it. I didn’t love it – I sometimes think 20 is just too many on stage at a time, especially when you’re watching on TV as opposed to seeing it live. But I thought it looked pretty cool.

Kate: Also, was this contemporary? It almost felt like a big group pasodoble with a little hip-hop action (when Jasmine was in the front).

Erica: Idk, man. Jazz? Is that what this was?

Kate: Literally no idea.

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: Absolutely perfect Cat hair. Yes.

Erica: Yes. Loved the hair.

Kate: Fun dress, especially the back, but slightly awkward potato-sacky length.

Erica: I did not like it. A sparkly brown sack.

Jason’s 1st Pick – Virgil & Joshua: Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“Let’s Go” by Trick Daddy feat. Twista & Lil Jon

Kate: I still didn’t love this routine, although it felt much better danced this time around.

Erica: For the first half, yes.

Kate: But then there was some awkward thing with the music and that seemed to kind of fumble them up for the rest of it? Am I the only one who noticed that?

Erica: The cartwheely thing where Virgil is wrapped around Joshua’s waist looked super-awkward this time around.

Paula’s 1st Pick – Edson & Megz: Contemporary, choreo by Talia Favia

“You There” by Aquilo

Kate: I love that we don’t have to hear the judges’ commentary tonight, so let’s keep their explanations of their favorites to a minimum, shall we?

Erica: Absolutely.

Kate: This was lovely, as it was the first time, but I feel confident that Megz should definitely not have moved further in this competition.

Erica: You know, I was reminded fairly strongly of why I liked her so much. I’m not disagreeing with you, but I’m glad we got to see as much of her as we did.

Paula’s 2nd Pick – JaJa & Ricky: Broadway, choreo by Al Blackstone

“Let’s Face the Music and Dance” by Nat King Cole

Kate: Oh just so freaking adorable. JaJa really is an incredible performer.

Erica: Yeah. It’s almost too bad that she’s dedicated to hip-hop; she can do so much.

Cat’s Pick – Team Street: Hip-Hop, choreo by NappyTabs

“Ready Or Not Here I Come” by District 78 feat. Chelsea

Kate: I love that Cat gets a pick, and I love that her pick is a group routine, and I love that her group routine pick is one of the only (or the only?) NappyTabs routines this season. She should def hang out with us. Also, how did JaJa change so fast?

Erica: You could totally see in this routine who stayed long enough in the competition to up their game and who didn’t.

Kate: They were great in this, but I think they were great in this the first time around too, when we were sure the street dancers were way better than the stage ones.

Erica: Who’s we?

Kate: Both of us agreed in the beginning of the season that Team Street was better than Team Stage, overall!

Twitch’s Pick – Gaby & Neptune: Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

“Take My Hand, Precious Lord” by Ledisi (Selma soundtrack)

Kate: Not commenting on the message or theme or obviousness of this routine again, but it was once again beautifully danced by both.

Erica: I forget everything. I kind of like the song.

Cyrus & Phoenix lil’Mini

“Emergency” by District 78

Kate: Is that his daughter? Who is this little chick?

Erica: So you do have to actually listen to the nattering of the judges every once in a while. This is some chick who performed with Cyrus at the Dizzy Feet Gala recently. I thought she was adorable.

Kate: Oh. This was cool and all, but I continue to not be all that impressed by animation.

Erica: Oddly, I thought she was better than Cyrus.

Hailee’s Pick – Hailee & Robert <3: Jazz, choreo by Nick Florez & RJ Durell

“Haunted” by Beyonce

Kate: I mean, this would be my pick too, if I were Hailee.

Erica: I think she’s overdoing the squeeing.

Kate: I actually think it was better danced the first time, but, Robert <3. Sigh.

Travis’s Pick – Gaby & Joshua: Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“I’m Really Hot” by Missy Elliott

Kate: YES I’m so glad Travis picked this! The judges hated on this routine so hard and I loved it.

Erica: I was not huge on it the first time around. I thought she danced it better this time.

Kate: Such a fun hip-hop routine concept and so well danced by a tap dancer. Love it love it love it.

Herman Cornejo (American Ballet Theater)

“Le Corsaire: Act II ‘4. Grand Pas: Var. Ali'” by Evergreen Symphony Orchestra

Kate: It’s Jim and Alex’s long lost brother.

Erica: I need to start going to the ballet. I enjoyed that so much.

Kate: I mean, just incredible. His turns. His legs. His turns. Good lord.

Jason’s 2nd Pick – Team Stage: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Beautiful Friends” by Helen Money

Kate: No, Jason, Travis is not your friend, no matter what he says. He is only pretending for the show, he really thinks you are unqualified idiot.

Erica: I don’t know; Travis strikes me as the kind of guy who, when standing in a group of bitchy dance people, is the one going, “Aw, come on guys, he’s not that bad.”

Kate: This routine looked even cooler this time, BUT, I must say I don’t think it translates as well to a live audience as it probably does to a TV audience because of the crazy camera angles and lights. No?

Erica: You’re probably right but so much of this show I suspect looks better live. I’m glad to see them using the medium in which most of their viewers are experiencing them. I almost developed respect for Jason DeRulo for picking it, except that I know that the producers come up with a list of what they want in the final episode, and then the judges just pick which one of those they want to “claim”.

Kate: Ugh, it’s all a lie.

Virgil’s Pick – Virgil & Hailee: Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“Runnin'” by Noahplause

Kate: I think this is when I really started to want Hailee to win (when we first saw it, I mean). They were awesome in this.

Erica: They were terrific but I keep returning to how much I respected Jasmine Harper for not choosing as her favorite dance one that was in her original genre.

Nigel’s 1st Pick – Jim & Alex: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“November” by Max Richter & Alexander Balanescu





Nigel’s 2nd Pick – Jaja & Alex: Contemporary, choreo by Tarissa Chavez

“Youth” by Daughter

Kate: Henceforth forever known as The Notebook Dance.

Erica: Except they’re not allowed to say that.

Kate: Brilliant, as usual, from these two.

Academy of Villains

“Crunk” by Noahplause

Kate: I thought this was the top 10 street dancers until right this second, whoops.

Erica: Heehee. That said, the mimes scared me.

Travis Wall & Jenna Dewan-Tatum

“Gimme All Your Love” by Alabama Shakes

Kate: Oh my, what would Channing say about this?

Erica: Probably “Good job, sweetie,” because they are both professional performers. Also, Travis is gay. Which he got to say out loud tonight, probably because he is a choreographer and not a contestant.

Kate: I forgot that she could, like, really dance. They looked phenomenal together, and this was a great dance. This is the kind of thing I feel like we used to see from the contestants ALL THE TIME.

Erica: I didn’t hear who she was the first time around. And yeah, I kind of didn’t realize she was an actual talent. This was pretty amazing.

JaJa’s Pick – JaJa & Jim: Hip-Hop, choreo by Christopher Scott

“No Woman No Cry” by Bob Marley and the Wailers

Kate: I love how much Jim we’re getting tonight.

Erica: Me, too. He will definitely be back as an all-star. I loved this routine, but it is hardly the one that challenged JaJa the most over the season. I would have respected another choice more.

Group Routine: ?, choreo by Christopher Scott & Jessica Lee Keller

“Revolt” by Nathan Lanier

Erica: You know, this was a really talented season. I feel like I’m not often looking at the top 20 at the end of a season and missing so many of them.

Kate: What? I thought we agreed that they weren’t nearly up to the skill level as previous seasons? I feel like tonight was the only time they all performed up to the level and quality to which we have become accustomed, and it didn’t even matter anymore because votes were already in.

Erica: I’m thinking individually, not necessarily as a group. I know that doesn’t make any sense. But it’s interesting that you observe that they’re only good tonight because it doesn’t matter. Maybe that’s why they were better. I’ve been reading a lot about how our whole notion of competition making people perform (at any task) better is a crock.

Gaby’s Pick – Gaby & Robert <3: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Angel” by Sarah McLachlan

Kate: See? All the girls pick their Robert <3 routines.

Erica: That really makes me respect Robert. He’s not just talented, he’s good to work with.

Kate: AND HOT. Again, brilliant. She’s a beautiful dancer.


Kate: And the winner is….

Together: GABY!

Kate: Huh.

Erica: What? I thought for sure when JaJa made the top two, it would be her.

Kate: I mean, honestly, of the two stage dancers, I think Hailee was actually more technically skilled, but I can see why people lean more toward Gaby.

Erica: Yeah. I think one of the problems with Hailee is that she didn’t particularly grow over the season, whereas Gaby did. Or at least it seemed like she did. And also Hailee had a lot of “personality,” which voters tend to reward in male contestants but not in female contestants.

Kate: However, between Gaby and JaJa, if we’re doing “favorite” and not “best” dancer, I am surprised JaJa didn’t win. She was the comeback story, the fighter, the picture of perseverance. I’m not convinced the right person won here, but I really liked all three of these ladies a lot.

Erica: I actually thought that JaJa was the more exciting performer. She had more fire and more range, and I thought they were technically pretty comparable.

Kate: Well, here’s hoping they pick up So You Think You Can Dance season 13 with ALL NEW JUDGES!

Erica: Or some old ones. Like Mary Murphy. And Christina Applegate. Thanks for taking this journey with us, friends! See you next week for the Emmys!

SYTYCD Season 12 – The Penultimate Episode

Kate: I can’t believe it’s the finale (part 1) already.

Erica: I feel bad about this, but I’m kind of like, ‘Oh, thank God, it’s the finale at last.” It’s not that I didn’t like this season. But moving it to Monday kind of f-ed up my life.

Kate: But we have to wait until next week for results, even though there will be Monday Night Football to compete with? I thought the two-part finale was usually in the same week?

Erica: I think not in a while.

Cat’s Ensemble

Kate: Cat, the hair, down! Always down, never up!

Erica: I think it looks nice. I mean, she’s got gorgeous hair and I want to see it, but sometimes up is okay.

Kate: Actually, come to think of it, that’s kind of how I want my wedding hair…

Erica: Okay, I’ll see what I can do. (I’m joking. I’m hopeless at doing hair.)

Kate: But that dress print is positively dreadful.

Erica: Yeah. If this is, like, a trend, I do not want. Actually, the print isn’t bad. It’d look good on a make-up bag or an umbrella or something. But a whole, excessively modest dress? Not so much.

Hailee (stage) & JaJa (street): Hip-Hop, choreo by Misha Gabriel & Nick Bass

“Put It In The Bag” by Kalenna feat. B. Simm

Kate: No, Travis dear, I love you but Hailee did not “outshine JaJa in her own style”, as he said in the pre-routine package.

Erica: I thought Hailee gave a very good performance and kept up with JaJa.

Kate: Hailee did a great job, but JaJa was a zillion times better, the routine was basically tailor made specifically for her. Hailee was a little stiff in some areas and kept adjusting her hat, whereas JaJa quite perfectly danced her a$s off and did not GAF.

Erica: I liked the choreo. I’m not a huge fan of Pharside and Phoenix so I’m in favor of branching out when it comes to hip-hop choreographers. (I do like Christopher and Dave Scott [no relation]. And if NappyTabs want to come back, I’d be happy about that.)

Gaby (stage) & Virgil (street): Lyrical Hip-Hop, choreo by Phillip Chbeeb

“Slip” by Elliot Moss

Kate: Virgil is my height. #Justsayin

Erica: He is a tiny, tiny man.

Kate: I feel like they had super-awkward transitions and overall partnering, but it honestly may have been the choreography. It had the potential to be really cool but it just fell flat.

Erica: I do not understand what lyrical hip-hop is, as opposed to jazz or even contemporary. Although I guess contemporary is more balletic. This was just not there, and I think it was both the choreo and the dancing. Not bad, definitely some interesting stuff, but it could have been better on all fronts.

Kate: Lyrical hip-hop usually looks a lot more hip-hop than this did.

Gaby (stage) & JaJa (street): Contemporary, choreo by Nick Florez & RJ Durell

“Woman (Oh Mama)” by Joy Williams

Kate: Hey, Joy Williams is one half of The Civil Wars! Oh how I wish they would get back together :(

Erica: Did they break up, like, romantically? Is that why they are not singing together anymore?

Kate: They were never romantically together, officially, but I think they secretly were and that’s why they broke up professionally. Listen to Poison & Wine, there’s NOW WAY they weren’t COMPLETELY in love.

Erica: I love that song. I love all their songs that Ian gave me. That one breaks my heart.

Kate: This dance was cool and pretty, but I didn’t like that the skirts were kind of being used as a distraction.

Erica: I liked the outfits, though. I mean, you’re right, but I didn’t much mind being distracted.

Kate: And, as JaJa was so clearly better than Hailee at hip-hop, Gaby so clearly outshone JaJa in technical skill here. All of JaJa’s turns and leaps and kicks were just a little less than Gaby’s.

Erica: I think JaJa is still a superior performer, though. I mean, I felt the song more from her than I felt it from Gaby. I mean, good job, both of them, and also, Jason DeRulo, shut up about mojitos and just call you Jose DeRulo. Just shut up.

Kate: Once again, I fast-forwarded all judges’ commentary because I just cannot anymore.

JaJa (stage) & Virgil (street): Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

“I Love You (Acoustic)” by Woodkid

Kate: Damn, two routines in a row for Gaby and JaJa? That’s good memory and a ton of endurance, and kind of not that fair?

Erica: What? Only JaJa is going twice in a row, no? I think she can handle it. Did you notice how short this rehearsal package was? Not that I’m complaining.

Kate: Gaby had two in a row just before. They danced this beautifully together, JaJa especially, even though Virgil finally proved a little something to me. I think she’s going to win.

Erica: You may well be right. This was quite lovely, and she was luminous.

Hailee (stage) & Virgil (street): Broadway, choreo by Josh Bergasse

“Billy-A-Dick” by Bette Midler

Kate: Broadway is so literal, huh?

Erica: I’m pretty sure I’ve read a romance novel with this premise.

Kate: So this was fun, but I feel like Hailee was really not as sharp and exaggerated as she should have been. She didn’t really dance to the tips of her fingers and toes, you know?

Erica: I wonder if that was a choreo decision, only because we know she can dance to the fingertips, and the moves where she didn’t looked deliberate to me.

Kate: I was paying too much attention to her to watch Virgil, but I think he was fine. Not as good as in the contemporary routine.

Erica: He was cute. They were cute. The whole routine was cute but not spectacular.

Gaby (stage) & Hailee (stage): Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Do Not Hang Your Head” by Elizabeth & The Catapult

Kate: See? These two partner better together than either of them have with Virgil.

Erica: Travis is so intense. I don’t know if I could deal with living in his head.

Kate: They moved beautifully together. Parts of this were reminiscent of the Fix You routine, in a good way, but that makes sense since both were choreographed by Travis.

Erica: They were so beautiful and natural with each other. I think Travis is such a good choreographer not just because he designs beautiful dances, but because he really seems to bring out the best in his performers. Also, on a shallow note, loved the costumes. ALSO on a F’ING NIGEL note, he goes into this whole thing about how girls can feel comfortable being this emotional with each other and performing this emotionally with each other and isn’t it a shame that guys can’t. Really, Nigel? REALLY? Are you in no way conscious of the fact that YOU PERSONALLY ALL THE TIME contribute to a culture that dictates an incredibly strict performance of masculinity? REALLY?

Gaby’s Solo

“Magalenha” by Sergio Mendes

Kate: As I am unimpressed by JaJa’s krumping solos because I know she can do so much more now, I feel similarly about Gaby’s tap solos. I think her talent is much more obvious in a contemporary routine.

Erica: Totes get you. I haven’t really been charmed by her tap solos. And generally speaking, I like tap.

Virgil (street) & Joshua (season 5): Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“Let’s Go” by Trick Daddy feat. Twista & Lil Jon

Kate: An answer to the Run the World (Girls) routine, as in, guys rule the world? Ummm…

Erica: I mean, it was basically a performance of Nigel-preferred masculinity. As he demonstrate by bouncing around like an idiot in judging. I’m not even going to ding him for referring to this as Virgil’s “roots” because maybe he just means his dance roots. And not, “You’re brown so you come from hip-hop-tinged poverty.” Maybe.

Kate: I’m sorry but because of their size difference, this looked like a father-son routine. They were very together and good and energetic and all, but it wasn’t too far from two buddies dancing on the street or in a club, it didn’t feel top-notch in terms of performance quality and technical skill.

Erica: You have some crazy talented buddies, then. Although they didn’t feel particularly together or polished; you’re right about that.

Virgil’s Solo

“A Beautiful Mine” by RJD2

Kate: Hey, Mad Men!

Erica: I’m kind of surprised they could have the rights to this.

Kate: I feel like he used the song and costume as a cheap distraction.

Erica: I think Virgil’s focus is a performance that makes people happy, not a showcase of technical skill. That’s what he does and who he is and I respect that, even though I wouldn’t vote for him, if I voted, which I don’t.

Hailee (stage) & Marko (season 8): Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“All Nite (Don’t Stop)” by Janet Jackson

Kate: Well, this was fun.

Erica: I thought she and Marko sold the hell out of this routine. I didn’t actually think the routine was that great.

Kate: She did better in this than the hip-hop earlier tonight, I think; she even got down a little lower and danced a little raunchier than she has for any hip-hop routine to date. Still, I didn’t get the length we usually get from her in all the arm and leg extensions.

Erica: Maybe she’s tired. She is starting to give me a little bit of the impression that she is determined to be a STAR. Which is fine and I hope she gets what she wants.

Hailee’s Solo

“Cold Hearted” by Paula Abdul

Kate: Really, a Paula song? That’s even cheaper than Virgil’s Mad Men shtick.

Erica: Yes. On the other hand, I’d believe that this is a song she’s done in her dance career before.

Kate: I’d be happy if anyone but Virgil won, but Hailee should win in terms of pure talent and skill, despite everything I’ve said about her tonight.

Erica: I think she’s fantastic, but also, I’d be happy if JaJa wins. But Hailee has been my fave for a while.

JaJa (street) & Cyrus (season 9): Hip-Hop, choreo by Christopher Scott

“Kaolo” by Yellow Claw

Kate: What’s with all the continuation of old routines tonight? Have the choreographers run out of original ideas?

Erica: Yes.

Kate: This isn’t my favorite style of hip-hop, but it looked really cool. They were perfect together, very sharp.

Erica: She’s really good at this. She gives it a much better performance than anyone I’ve seen. Including Cyrus. And I’m trying not to be this person (no, I’m not), but I notice that Nigel doesn’t say anything about JaJa going back to her roots in this number. Even though her dancing roots are hip-hop, and, IIRC, specifically animation. Because she’s not brown. #justsaying.

JaJa’s Solo

“Street Side” by 20 Killz

Kate: Not what I wanted to see from her just now.

Erica: Because we just saw it, essentially. And we know how much better she is than that. Dancers are not always great choreographers, people.

Gaby (stage) & Zach (season 11): Tap, choreo by Anthony Morigerato

“Dibidy Dop (Swing Mix)” by Club Des Belugas feat. Brenda Boykin

Kate: I think I wore that costume in one of my old tap routines, and I’m not talking about Gaby’s.

Erica: Heehee.

Kate: This was very cool and very well danced together, especially the little tidbits of partnering. Might be my favorite of the night?!

Erica: This was really a great tap routine (and, like I said, in general, I like tap routines). They had great chemistry and both seemed to be just having a great time. The set pieces were well-used and didn’t feel gimmicky. Yeah, I’d go for this as a favorite. I have to say, I think one of the reasons I’m sort of going, “I can be done with this season now,” is the judges and the total inanity coming out of their mouths every single week. First Nigel is all, “We almost didn’t take you. WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THAT, GABY?!” And she can’t say, “I learned that your decisions are kind of arbitrary and a lot of life is about luck, jackass.” Then Paula talks for a very long time and says nothing at all. Please, SYTYCD. Please, FOX. Beg, bribe, or kidnap Mary Murphy, and bring back funny and/or intelligent judges next year. Christina Applegate. Debbie Allen. Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Christina Applegate. Anna Kendrick. Lady Gaga. (Seriously, she gave great commentary.) Christina Applegate. You can just bring in Christina Applegate. She and Nigel can do this together. (We can keep Nigel, if only because I need someone to hate-watch. Also, I think Christina Applegate can handle him.)

Kate: Oh, the finale is next week because we are only getting one dancer, not one stage one street instead of one boy one girl? We were wrong all along?

Erica: I am really not clear on all of this. I think it is that they treat “stage” and “street” the way they have always treated boys and girls, but just one winner, which has been true of boys and girls for most of the seasons. See you next week! #TeamHailee! Or possibly #TeamJaJa!

SYTYCD Season 12 – Top Six Perform; Two Are Eliminated

Group Routine: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Everybody Hurts” by Jasmine Thompson

Erica: I love this cover.

Kate: This song will never not be My So-Called Life.

Erica: Very pretty choreo. I prefer to open shows with a more flashy, high-energy number, but this was very pretty and I thought they, as a group, have never looked better.

Kate: Yea they usually start energetic and end with something like this, and mostly for just Team Stage this season, but lovely. Just lovely.

Cat Deeley’s Outfit

Erica: Oh good, more modest prints. You better show up next week in something freaking spectacular, Cat. I remember one time you dressed like Grace Kelly and you looked amazing.

Kate: I hate dresses with that awkward pre-hem around the butt, flattering on NO ONE. Her hair is either way too long or she put in way unnecessary extensions.

Erica: I’m excited that they’re partnering with each other as well as the All-Stars. I wish they’d do that more. Instead of solos, for instance.

Kate: Preaching to the Anti-Solos Choir.

Gaby (street) & Marko (season 8): Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“Emergency” by Icona Pop

Erica: So I’ll be honest, I was super into the steampunk costumes. Because I’m a nerd.

Kate: I do not understand this “steampunk” or why it is in our lives at all. But this was a fun dance.

Erica: She really looked like she was having a good time with the routine. Which she should; it was a fun routine. She gave a great performance as well as a very good dance.

Kate: She was a teeny-tiny bit sloppier than usual, but she has such a good stage presence that she’s still really fun to watch.

Virgil’s Solo

“Rock the Bells” by LL Cool J

Kate: Just nothing special, sorry.

Erica: Fine. If I were a judge, I’d tell him to be careful not to let his cutesy character stuff to get in the way of his steps, but I’m not a judge. I’m not even a voter.

Kate: Well, we both should be voting with all this commentary we do.

JaJa (street) & Alex (season 7/10): Contemporary, choreo by Tessandra Chavez

“Youth” by Daughter

Erica: Oh, good. An issue. A tissue issue. A The Notebook-inspired JaJa-has-Alzheimer’s-and-Alex-is-her-husband issue.

Kate: I was fast-forwarding all the pre-dance packages so I didn’t know that was actually the theme, and as soon as it started I was like, oh, she’s Rachel McAdams.

Erica: Look, I’m not going to lie, I got choked up. This was heart-breaking. And they did an amazing job with a good routine that was only marred by some over-literal moments.

Kate: As was the movie. Yes, this was great, I really think JaJa has learned the most and come the farthest and will probably win.

Erica: Do you think Jim and Alex will dance together?

Kate: Only if this damn show started giving the people what they want again!

Hailee’s Solo

“Elastic Heart” by Sia

Erica: I’m a huge Hailee fan, but this didn’t feel quite right to me. She seemed a little off.

Kate: Oh I liked it, as much as I can like a solo. But maybe it was just the song.

Megz (street) & Joshua (season 4): Hip-Hop, choreo by Christopher Scott

“Freedom” by Pharrell Williams

Erica: I think she’s a little done. I mean, last week, we were saying we think we’re done with her, but now I think she’s done.

Kate: She’s way done, and I wasn’t even that impressed with Joshua here and he was a winner!

Erica: I’m not saying she danced badly. She didn’t. And I liked the choreo. But there was something about her that just looked like she was ready to GTFO.

Kate: It was overall quite boring.

Erica: Jason DeRulo reveals that they only get seven hours with the choreographer, and Nigel looks like maybe he’s going to kill Jason DeRulo. And then he goes on about how dance comes from the “streets”. And then gets elevated. Or some nonsense. And then he gets insulted when Cat teases him. Weirdo.

Kate: I fast-forwarded all of his comments because I JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

Gaby’s Solo

“It’s Your Thing” by Christian McBride feat. Dee Dee Bridgewater

Kate: Way crazy makeup. Tap tap tap tap tap.

Erica: She’s having a good time tonight.

Jim (stage) & Anya (season 3): Samba, choreo by Dmitry Chaplin (season 2)

“Chillando Goma” by Fulanito

Erica: Oooh, it’s Anya!

Kate: What a freakin’ smoke show.

Erica: I thought Jim was very believable. I guess he found dancing with Anya inspirational. As one ought to.

Kate: Yea, I hated that the judges dissed him so hard on this one — yes he looked a little unnatural in some areas with the shimmying and the shaking, but he did an AMAZING job. I really love watching him.

JaJa’s Solo

“Laundry” by eDiT

Erica: Okay, so I liked this animator solo more than I’ve liked her krumping solos.

Kate: Me too.

Virgil (street) & Melanie (season 8): Contemporary, choreo by Justin Giles

“All Is Now Harmed” by Ben Howar

Kate: Yay Melanie!

Erica: More issues. More tissues. This time sad, survivor-guilt stricken solo and wife. Great.

Kate: They do military themes too much on this show. Let’s focus on the dancing.

Erica: I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t look at him once during this performance. Melanie is just so good.

Kate: She is so graceful — like, she’s a small person, but she’s not wafer-thin, she’s CUT, but she’s so light on her feet. I missed her. Let’s get a season going with all the past winners! A Super-All-Star Season!

Jim’s Solo

“Ra” by Nathan Lanier

Erica: Seriously, I want to watch nothing but this all the time.

Kate: RIGHT? He is so good! I have a sinking feeling he is not going to win, though… :(

Hailee (stage) & ROBERT <3 (season 7): Jazz, choreo by RJ Durell & Nick Florez

“Haunted” by Beyonce

Erica: I thought she looked very well-matched with Robert. Which is definitely a compliment.

Kate: I mean, who wouldn’t? Can we just talk about him for 5 seconds? He’s so super-good at partnering it’s ridiculous. He’s not just a beautiful dancer in and of himself, he is always so connected and in sync with whomever he is dancing with. I love him so much.

Erica: I have yet to be really impressed with anything these choreographers have done on this show, though.

Kate: But this was great. V jealous of Hailee and would have had the same reaction to dancing with him as her, if not more so.

Megz’s Solo

“Let It Go” by James Bay

Erica: This is a different solo from her and I like it. But she has a definite “leave it on the floor” quality tonight that I think means she’s done.

Kate: Bye.

Jim (stage) & Gaby (stage): Broadway, choreo by Josh Bergasse

“Fever” by Michael Buble

Erica: I love this song. I mean, I love this song when it’s sung by Peggy Lee. Michael Buble is okay, I guess.

Kate: I like all of his covers, actually.

Erica: I feel like these two are spectacular in this number. They’re different dancers but they’re complimenting each other well and they look like they’re having a ball. And the judges totally disagree with me.

Kate: I KNOW, WTF JUDGES? They hate on Jim so much. No they didn’t look attracted to each other because THEY’RE NOT, but this was incredible! Both so well danced, and I think he even took some of their ballroom advice and applied it here where he could. Stop hating on Jim!

Hailee (stage) & Megz (street): Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

“Sarajevo” by Max Richter & Sara Leonard

Erica: More feeeeeeelings! Kate, I love you. (The piece is about sisters being separated forever.)

Kate: I know, but why? We didn’t get a full explanation. (Love you too.)

Erica: I thought this was a really interesting piece. I’m not sure I knew Stacey Tookey had something this unusual in her.

Kate: I think they danced very well together, but Hailee is exceptionally more talented.

Erica: Nigel apparently invented Megz as a dancer.

Kate: LOL

Virgil (street) & JaJa (street): Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“If You Crump Stand Up” by EdiT

Erica: Gimmicky. Again. JaJa as Alice and Virgil as a Cheshire cat figure. P&P are always so gimmicky.

Kate: But why couldn’t they just say Alice in Wonderland? They literally described it but didn’t say the name, even the outfits were exact — copyright/trademark issue??? SO weird.

Erica: She’s better than him, I think. I did not love this routine, though. My problem with P&P’s choreo is not so much that it’s gimmicky. I like gimmicks. It’s that, without those gimmicks, I’m not sure there’s a there there, you know?

Kate: No, the music made it seem so slow and stop-and-go and they did not fill the stop holes with anything so it was very stunted. I blame the choreographers way more than the dancers for this one.

Erica: Nigel ties this to Paula Abdul’s Opposites Attract video. Because Virgil is a cat. Also, Nigel is bringing hip-hop into acceptability in a society that has resisted it. He has a powerful imagination, does Nigel.

Kate: Who care’s about Paula’s videos, though?

Erica: Our top four are JaJa, Gaby, Virgil and Hailee. I’ve got to say, I’m a little surprised Hailee won over Jim. I think she is surprised, too. Damn, Jim. I will watch you do anything. And you got to dance with Anya tonight, so that’s still a win, right? Also, Hailee, I still think you are fabulous.

Kate: I’m not surprised because Hailee is more in line with the “America’s favorite dancer” thing. Jim is just as talented as Chehon and should have been in the finale, but I don’t think people other than you and I really connected with him. I’m sad for him, but I hope he still goes far in dance and makes zillions of dollars.

SYTYCD Season 12 – Top Eight Perform; Two Are Eliminated

Group Routine – Jazz, choreo by Tyce Diorio

“Lilies of the Valley” from the soundtrack of Pina

Kate: Hey, they stole my 2009 Halloween costume! And are we no longer referring to Tyce as Tasty?

Erica: I am not overly fond of the Addams Family outfits but this dance was kind of great. As with all of the group routines so far it could have been a little sharper, but the choreography here was neat and weird and I liked it. It felt a little Wade Robson to me.

Kate: Ehhh I didn’t love it. There should only be one Wednesday if they’re going for that theme, not several. It was ok.

Erica: I only disagree with your point about the costuming because if they had tried to costume them all differently, they would have gone over the top and it would have been distracting.

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Erica: Oh God that is so much worse in terms of excessively modest cocktail dresses. Is this a trend now? Is dressing like your own great-grandmother cool?

Kate: The right Cat Deeley hair and makeup, but that thing in the middle of her neck? Yikes!

Erica: I did like the hair. I like it better wavier but I like it this way, too. The whole ensemble, though, is just…Why? Right now there are middle school algebra teachers nearing retirement, who haven’t so much as glanced at a piece of fashion journalism since they were subscribers to Sassy, who are going, “That’s a little frumpy, no?”

Virgil (street) & Jasmine (season 11): African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

“Kintamani (Hanoman’s Forest Mix)” by Transglobal Underground

Erica: Virgil did not seem convincingly “evil”, as they said he was supposed to be in this routine. Jasmine’s limbs just go on for days. The costuming was great her for her. I loved watching that skirt swish around. Toward the end there, they both got a little flail-y.

Kate: Yeah I saw no evil, but they were both very good. It didn’t blow me away, but good. To me he is just a lesser version of Fik-Shun.

Erica: Oh my goodness, Nigel got two of the best black female dancers on this show mixed up. I am shocked and surprised by this development. (Last week he said Jasmine had appeared in something that actually Sasha [season 9)] appeared in.) Oh, good, then he makes a penis joke. If it weren’t for the recapping we do, I don’t know that I’d watch the judges anymore. I DO THIS FOR YOU, PEOPLE!

Kate: I am really over the jokey-jokeyness of this season.

Erica: Virgil gets to open his own envelope. He’s safe.

Jim’s Solo

“The Four Seasons – Summer” by Antonio Vivaldi

Erica: Was he adopted with a biological sibling? Because his sister is also the ridiculously cutest. (There’s a photo of them in Halloween costumes in his little “How I started dancing” package.)

Kate: Again, the only solo worth watching. He moves so beautifully.

Erica: Holy sh!t he is amazing. I want to watch that solo all the time. I want to program it as a, like, screen saver and having it playing on every screen in my house when nothing else is on.

Kate: Well I wouldn’t go that far, but it was very good, as he is very good. Imagine him dancing with Chehon?

Erica: Yes, please. I think I’m making Jason jealous with how much I’m admiring this. Even though I’m not at all admiring it in a romantic/sexual way.

Derek (stage) & Jaimie (season 3): Contemporary, choreo by Tyce Diorio

“Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer” by Stevie Wonder

Erica: I’m not a huge fan of Tasty Oreo’s contemporary routines. This was fine but I didn’t really love it. I didn’t think anything about it was particularly inspiring or remarkable. They danced it well (although Derek suffers from having gone on stage right after Jim) but I thought the dance itself was boring.

Kate: Using a Stevie Wonder song cheapened it and made it seem tacky instead of the intended tortured love story. They danced very well together, but agree, didn’t like it.

Erica: I’m not a huge Stevie Wonder person and this song was too sappy for me. I really liked Jaimie’s hair, though. Derek is in the bottom. Again.

Kate: Hold the phone, Jason DeRulo doesn’t believe them. Go back and do it from the top, Derek and Jaimie!

Jaja’s Solo

“Hype City” by Tight Eyez

Kate: I’m sorry but I just don’t want to see her do this stuff when I know she can do all the other stuff. It’s not believable anymore.

Erica: I feel like the stage/street distinctions are mostly bullshit. They’ve all trained in a lot of different styles.

Kate: But, I’m saying, she is better than these solos.

Hailee (stage) & Fik-Shun (season 10): Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown

“Let it Go” by Chonique Sneed

Kate: I loved this. Loved it loved it loved it. Fik-Shun is still so good.

Erica: I wished they’d taken the jackets off much sooner. I wanted to see what their upper bodies were doing. Overall, I thought this was good, but I didn’t love it. More because it wasn’t my speed than anything else.

Kate: She could have gotten a little lower and looser in a few areas. The part where she did the little Team Stage-y moves was VERY reminiscent of the Alex Wong Twitch routine, but didn’t work quite as well. She definitely did a much better job at hip-hop than the other stage ladies.

Erica: Hailee’s in the bottom! What?! Now I’m nervous. We’re too close to the end for me to be blasé  about this now. It’s her and Derek, right? It’d better be f-ing Derek, America.

Gaby’s Solo

“Oye Como Va” by Santana

Kate: Whoa, her arms are all over the place. Crazy.

Erica: I really hate her costuming decisions (if they are, in fact, hers) for her solos so far but, you know, she can dance.

Megz (street) & Paul (season 10): Pasodoble, choreo by Jean Marc Genereux

“Blade of Blood” by Tom Player

Kate: Blaaahhhh I hate pasodoble.

Erica: I was just thinking that there had been relatively little ballroom this season. I like pasodoble sometimes. I get creeped when Nigel goes on and on about the gender dynamics of it, but there have definitely been pasodobles I’ve liked on this show.

Kate: Honestly, this looked like someone asked me to get up and do a pasodoble without actually teaching me the choreography. Looked really terrible all around.

Erica: I think I liked the choreography but I thought she was pretty awkward. Given her already nontraditional gender expression, the pasodoble could have been very interesting for her, but she didn’t really bring any of that into it. She looked like she was just focusing on getting through it.

Kate: The judges pointed out her lack of training, which they probably didn’t need to do, but it’s true. You don’t train, you don’t look good performing. Sorry not sorry!

Erica: Why should you be sorry? I hate the meme in American culture that wants everything to be “natural” talent with no work. Work is good! Work is important! If a skill is important to you, hone it! She’s on the bottom, and quite honestly, if she goes home tonight, as much as I’ve enjoyed her, I won’t be sorry.

Derek’s Solo

“Two Men in Love” by The Irrepressibles

Kate: Boring! Not nearly as good as Jim’s.

Erica: The song choice cracked me up. Trying to slip in your sexuality under FOX’s/Nigel’s radar, Derek? I may be fine with losing you tonight, but still — go, you.

Neptune (street) & Kayla (season 5), Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“Infinity” by The XX

Kate: So they were together and everything, but I can’t help but think that it only looked good because she MADE it look good, you know?

Erica: She is quite divine. I remember her from her season; she was spectacular then and she’s spectacular now. I really enjoyed seeing Neptune in rehearsal footage make her laugh because I don’t know that I’d seen that before.

Kate: Why am I having so much trouble remembering her?

Erica: I must say, I’m usually pretty mixed on Ray Leeper but I quite liked this. It had its own personality in a way that Tyce’s earlier offering, I thought, didn’t. Neptune is in danger. So it’s him and Megz, right? I don’t really care either way, but I’m hoping it’s Megz, just because I’m feeling like, this show and she have done what they can for and with each other and it’s time to be done.

Virgil’s Solo

“i” by Kendrick Lamar

Kate: So boring, I can’t even.

Erica: I’d rather see an extended video of three-year-old Virgil. That was so damn cute.

Jim (stage) & Comfort (season 2): Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“Hey Mama” by David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha & Afrojack


Erica: I saw your line before I saw what the dance was going to be, and then they said Greek mythology and I laughed. I find Pharside and Phoenix a little gimmicky but this was definitely in our catnip pile.

Kate: AND AN AMAZING SONG CHOICE! (I hate to admit that I love it, but I do.) I want to learn this routine, like, right now. I thought Jim did very well at hip-hop. He could have been a little less stiff in just a few areas but he looked great, disagree with the judges wholeheartedly.

Erica: Yeah, I thought he was amazing. He was a little more silly than swag (a very little bit) but so is Fik-Shun and so is Virgil. He actually looked like he was keeping up with Comfort, which is pretty rare. He and Hailee are my top two.

Kate: How can you not be silly in a dance about Medusa? It was BEYOND fabulous!

Hailee’s Solo

“Vanguardian” by Steed Lord

Kate: V aggressive song, costume and choreography. She didn’t need to do that, we already love her.
Erica: Well. Apparently not everyone loves her.

Kate: Which is dumb, but that’s America for you.

Gaby (stage) & ROBERT <3 (season 7): Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Angel” by Sarah McLachlan

Kate: OH my god, Robert, dance with me. Please just dance with me some time.

Erica: He’s your Pasha.

Kate: He kind of looks a little bit like Jon Hamm, no?! From afar?

Erica: Ummm… I mean, it’s there if you’re looking for it, I guess.

Kate: This was incredible. She always lucks out with these routines, but she is very good, and they were just wonderful together. Absolutely perfect lifts.

Erica: Mandy Moore loves these songs, doesn’t she? If you’re my age and you had a period of loving a song, Mandy Moore will use it. This dance was really incredible and they danced it beautifully, but mainly I want to talk about her dress. Because it was so pretty.

Kate: And also Robert. <3

Megz’s Solo

“Delirious (Boneless)” by Steve Aoki, Chris Lake, & Tujamo feat. Kid Ink

Kate: Yeah, time for Megz to go home.

Erica: I did like this better than last week’s solo. It was a little more fun. But I just feel like there’s no new places she’s going to go on this journey.

Kate: How philosophical of you!

JaJa (street) & Ricky (season 11): Broadway, choreo by Al Blackstone

“Let’s Face the Music and Dance” by Nat King Cole

Kate: Yay Ricky!

Erica: I definitely first heard Al Blackstone say “lobster” rather than “mobster”. It was great to see Ricky. He’s so natural and wonderful.

Kate: He’s a new choreographer, no? She looked like a pissed-off Nicole Kidman in this, but not in a bad way. Sometimes I thought she was focusing a little too much on her face, but she moved like pure liquid in most of the dance. Lovely.

Erica: You’re right, the fact that she’s so good in numbers like this makes her hip-hop solos look childish. Not because hip-hop is childish but because she really does look better in non-hip-hop numbers. JaJa, you should consider expanding your career options. Broadway looks good on you.

Kate: But I love hip-hop, and she doesn’t necessarily do that, she does crumping and popping and locking, which should just be part of hip-hop, know what I’m saying?

Neptune’s Solo

“Get Big” by Dorrough

Kate: Over it.

Erica: I also prefer him in non-hip-hop contexts. I feel like I’m saying that a lot this season but I can and have liked hip-hop a lot in the past. This season the hip-hoppers and the hip-hop routines are not sending me.

Team Street: Hip-Hop, choreo by Dave Scott

“Finna Get Loose” Puff Daddy & The Family feat. Pharrell Williams

Kate: Puff Daddy still records songs? Under the name Puff Daddy? Or this is old?

Erica: How old can it be if it features Pharrell Williams? I’m asking; I don’t know.

Kate: JaJa is obviously the best left in this crew; I hadn’t realized Team Street had gotten so small.

Erica: They’re the same size. Four each. That’s the rules this year, that one from each team gets voted off.

Kate: Right. Honestly, the rest of them are not much better than just anyone dancing in a club. I’m sorry but I just don’t see it.

Erica: They all have very different attitudes and it makes them look like they’re not doing the same dance. I liked this routine; I thought it was fun. I wonder if most of them were primarily dancing in contexts where it was just them as individuals doing a performance? Because they (except JaJa) do seem to have trouble sort of being at the same level as the other people on the stage.

Team Stage: Contemporary, choreo by Tessandra Chavez

“Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran

Kate: I love this song!

Erica: It’s very pretty.

Kate: Just lovely. They dance so much better together than Team Street.

Erica: I really loved the choreography on this piece as well. I liked the beginning, with its small, sharp, synchronized movements, and I liked the way the movements always looked like part of an organic whole even when they weren’t the same steps. You’re right; the stage people are better at looking as if they’re all part of the same group.

Kate: Derek blends in, whereas the other three really stand out. Also, I almost just typed Edson instead of Derek, the two were basically interchangeable for me all season.

Erica: In the beginning, Derek was the one I couldn’t remember from week to week.

Kate: Thank GOD Hailee didn’t go home! There’s hope for you yet, America!

Erica: Much relief over here.

Kate: I am completely fine with Derek and Neptune going home. Buh-bye!

Erica: We’re getting super-close to the end, you guys! I am excited and scared at the same time.

SYTYCD Season Twelve – Top Ten Perform; Two Are Eliminated

Group Routine: Jazz, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

“Earth Intruders” by Bjork

Kate: This had Sonya written ALL over it.

Erica: I saw vast improvement this week, both in terms of the cohesiveness of the group, and in terms of the cohesiveness of the choreography. (And I felt that way before I knew it was a Sonya routine.) It’s very fierce and sharp.

Kate: I did not feel that way about the non-stage dancers in this one.

Erica: So it sounds like a ton of stuff is going on tonight. All-Stars, J. Lo, “Empire”? Which is a show I’m not sure why I’m not watching?

Kate: I can’t. Let’s just DANCE, PEOPLE!

Erica: Team Street is ahead again in the votes, though they are a person short. JJ hurt her ribs. Are injuries this much of a problem in dance in general, or is this show excessively pushing their dancers? I mean, I know dancers get injured a lot, I’m just wondering if this show is ahead of the curve.

Kate: Par for the course.

Cat Deeley’s Outfit

Erica: I’m not into the excessively modest cocktail dress.

Kate: Too pageanty all around, I prefer her looking like a semi-glam California surf girl.

Erica: I must say I think Paula looks good. Oh, and J.Lo is going to put the winner in her Las Vegas show. Damn, that woman has amazing skin. What is she doing? Bathing in the blood of unicorns?

Kate: Illegal!

Erica: The deal with “Empire” is that each of the top ten is doing a solo to a song from “Empire.” Just so you know.

Kate: Oh good, I love solos. (No.)

Virgil’s Solo

“Conqueror” from “Empire” feat. Estelle & Jussie Smollett

Erica: Virgil is 28. He’s been on Broadway. That makes sense.

Kate: Meh.

Erica: He’s taking the song very literally in places.

Kate: Meh.

Hailee (stage) & Brandon (season 5): Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle

“It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got that Swing)” sung by Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga

Erica: I can’t figure out why I didn’t love this. I love Broadway. I love this song. I thought they both danced it beautifully. There were some amazingly subtle moments in otherwise big and bouncy choreography that I just adored. So why didn’t I love this?

Kate: Well I didn’t love it because Hailee wasn’t quite dainty enough for the role, but I don’t think she could do anything about that.

Erica: Maybe I’m just in a mood. (I am, in fact, in a really bad mood.) The choreographer was full-on jumping up and down when they finished. Oh, I looked him up, he choreographed the show Virgil was in. So he’s worked directly with Virgil? Is that kosher? Probably. Dance is a small world, isn’t it?

Kate: Yes it is. I still love Brandon’s disco routine.

Erica: Hailee is safe because duh. She’s going to win.

Neptune’s Solo

“Power of the Empire” from “Empire” feat. Yazz

Erica: Neptune has a daughter in the Bay Area and he lives in Dallas and he wants to move up in the pro dance world to spend more time in…The Bay Area? Okay.


Erica: Again, he was taking some of this song literally. Dancers are not necessarily awesome choreographers. This looked like what you do in front of your bathroom mirror if you’re trying to psyche yourself up.

Derek (stage) & Kayla (season 5): Jazz, choreo by R.J. Durell & Nick Florez

“Got It” by Marian Hill

Erica: Derek laughs during rehearsal that he’s not ordinarily the sexy, aggressive type. I think what he means is he’s not ordinarily straight.

Kate: I knew you were going to say that.

Erica: I don’t keep pointing this out because I want to laugh about how very gay he or any other dancer is. I point this out because every moment this show plays coy about male dancers’ sexuality irritates me.

Kate: Why don’t I remember Kayla at all? This was good in theory but…Awkward in reality?

Erica: I thought she was selling the hell out of the sexiness of this routine. I thought he was kind of awkward. Not just in the “so not straight” way, but in the lifts and stuff. He looked like performing the steps was taking enough concentration and he couldn’t really spend time on the acting part. And I have to say, I really did enjoy the choreography. I just think he didn’t sell it.

Kate: Agree.

Erica: Paula agrees with me.

Kate: Uh oh, what’s happening to us?

Erica: He’s in the bottom two. (Not bottom three this week. Which makes sense when you’re down to ten.)

Gaby’s Solo

“Can’t Truss ‘Em” from “Empire” feat. Yazz

Erica: Her mom was a dancer and her dad a percussionist and now she’s a dancer. That’s adorable. Also she’s friends with a bunch of Season 11 people, including winner Ricky.

Kate: Yay Ricky!

Erica: I’m a very terrible person because I feel the need to point out that those jeans are super-unflattering on her. She’s a pretty amazing tap dancer, though.

Kate: This solo didn’t make me like her any more, but it felt very Save the Last Dance.

Erica: Even though JJ isn’t soloing, we get her little video package. She’s 30. She acts about 19. She’s in the bottom two so she might go home this week, and if she doesn’t, she’s in the bottom next week.

Virgil (street) & Comfort (season 2): Hip-Hop, choreo by Christopher Scott

“Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)” by The Temptations


Erica: I love Comfort. I love it when they do hip-hop routines to not-hip-hop songs. (I know you don’t, Kate. You’re a purist.) The routine is basically a domestic couple appreciating each other in a boring domestic moment and it’s sweet and adorable and I pretty much love it. Bad mood is on its way to being cured.

Kate: I love this song and I loved the dance, but the overall message of the routine didn’t match the song, unless them living together was just in Virgil’s imagination?

Erica: Jason DeRulo says consistency is what it takes on this show. I thought it was “growth”? Also, Whoopi Goldberg is in the audience for some reason.

Kate: I thought I saw her but wasn’t sure. I thought this was adorable but mostly because Comfort is so so so so so SO good, and she made Virgil better, even though he wasn’t nearly as good or as sharp as her about half the time.

Erica: Paula asks if Virgil comes with a lifetime warranty. Oh, Paula. That’s a cruel question to ask any dancer, and during this brutal run especially. Virgil, after cutesy interplay with Cat, is safe. He’s so short and she’s so tall, he looks like her child.

JaJa’s Solo

“Keep It Moving” from “Empire” feat. Serayah McNeill & Yazz

Erica: She actually can choreograph, I think. Or at least, I felt her choreography was more compelling than Virgil’s or Neptune’s.

Kate: She is starting to look so different from when we first saw her in season 11 auditions.

Megz (street) & Marko (season 8): Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“Canned Heat” by Jamiroquai

Erica: As is often the case, Megz does, as tWitch observed, look more like she’s playing than like she’s working. But she’s still a fantastic dancer. I thought the routine was a whole lot of fun, without being amazingly memorable.

Kate: I loved seeing Marko again! See I thought this would have been amazing with someone other than Megz, she did NOT do it for me here. Way too loose and not in a good way.

Erica: I note that Cat says if she could dance with anyone, it would be Marko, which I find quite a statement. I feel like, if she’s being sincere, which I believe she is, that’s a big compliment, because she not only watches them dance a lot, but I think she also gets to know them better than the judges do.

Kate: Also, you can’t really dance to this song without doing the routine from Center Stage.

Erica: Megz is in the bottom two tonight. I’m kind of surprised, to be honest, because she’s so interesting, but it’ll be JJ to go.

Jim’s Solo

“You’re So Beautiful” from “Empire” feat. Jussie Smollett & Yazz

Erica: He’s in the Houston Ballet, but he wanted to do some different things, which is why he’s here. It’s quite a lovely solo. Boy can jump. And be joyful without losing technical precision.

Kate: Heeeeee iiisssss soooooo goooood. This is one solo I can get behind.

Edson (stage) & Jaimie (season 3): Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Your Day Will Come” by Son Lux

Erica: Look, I love watching Travis Wall routines. But isn’t it weird that he gets to choreograph his own team member?

Kate: Yea that’s maybe not that fair? I was alarmed that I didn’t remember her but I didn’t watch season 3 so all good.

Erica: This routine is really interesting, and the lighting and camerawork are great. The lighting is basically just a single bright light and the music is stark and the movements are sharp and clean and spare. The only thing I don’t like is the silent scream, because I think it’s a bit much, but the routine is really raw and amazing. Travis wants to make me cry all the time.

Kate: I thought this was absolutely beautifully danced, and it was the first time I really even noticed Edson let alone liked him.

Erica: I do think that it was incredible due to Jaimie, who is just amazing. Did I appreciate her this much in her season? Edson is the last to get into the bottom two.

Hailee’s Solo

“Nothing to Lose” from “Empire” feat. Jussie Smollett

Erica: The editors of this show are trying to make a tragedy of Hailee’s parents’ divorce, but it sounds like a pretty healthy situation, so it’s not really working.

Kate: Blah solos blah.

Erica: She pulls some weird faces in the solo but her moves are pretty terrific.

Neptune (street) & Jasmine (season 11): Hip-hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“Milk was a Bad Choice” by Yultron

Erica: I guess Jasmine’s really embraced hip-hop since her SYTYCD days. Last year. BTW, this is a great song title.

Kate: This was a really great routine. BizARRE, but great. Well done, Neptune!

Erica: So this is the Frankenstein monster and his bride at dinner. I feel like — and I’m not doing any checking to see if I’m right about this — Pharside & Phoenix’s routines are always very costume-dependent, no?

Kate: No, just bizARRE.

Erica: I did not like this at all. I think it was mostly the choreography and not the dancing. The dancing was fine. The choreography was not really inspiring in my opinion. And the music, despite (or maybe because of) the cool title, was highly off-putting.

Kate: That kind of music is generally off-putting to me but I thought this was actually really cool. Maybe it was just Jasmine’s magic, though.

Erica: Nigel says, “Well, the last time Jasmine danced on a table, it was with tWitch, and we know what a star he became.” That’s super-weird to say. tWitch was big before that. He was in that routine as an all-star, and probably the show’s most popular all-star.

Derek’s Solo

“Drip Drop” from “Empire” feat. Yazz & Serayah McNeill

Erica: Derek saw Travis dance when he was a boy, on this very show!, and that’s why he wanted to be a dancer.

Kate: …Duh.

Erica: I gotta say, I think he’s gone tonight and I’m not really sorry about that, but his solo is pretty amazing.

Kate: Not even close to how amazing Jim’s was.

Jim (stage) & Jessica (season 11): Contemporary, choreo by Dee Casparay

“Heal” by Tom Odell

Erica: “This is about a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.” I think that’s what Dee Caspary said.

Kate: Beautiful.

Erica: I think they told us Jim was having trouble in rehearsals because they wanted to trick us. He dances this beautifully. I think this is the only number where I’ve been paying more attention to the contestant than to the all-star.

Kate: Me too but I ALSO don’t remember Jessica even though it was last year?! I love Jim. Soooo much.

Erica: Some of the judges have some issues with his performance (as opposed to his technique) but I think the real reason this didn’t shine is it was similar to and not as good as Travis’s piece tonight.

Megz’s Solo

“No Apologies” from “Empire” feat. Jussie Smollett & Yazz

Erica: Megz is 29. Most of these kids are older than I thought they were.

Kate: I’m over her.

Erica: She’s much tougher and less fun in her solo than I’ve seen her be so far.

JaJa (street) & ALEX!!! (seasons 7 & 10): Bollywood, choreo by Nakul Dev Mahajan

“Naacho Re” from Jai Ho

Erica: So it’s about a princess escaping the palace and the guard who captures her. That’s adorable.

Kate: That’s Aladdin! Kinda?

Erica: JaJa does not seem quite able to keep up to me. but she can her make her movements sharp and she’s putting a lot of personality into it. I think this show has improved my mood; I find I’m very willing to be charmed by this.

Kate: Your bad mood is affecting your vision — she was AMAZING in this. Incredible. I’ve never seen someone not previously trained in Bollywood do Bollywood as good as her. Perfect personality, perfect faces, perfect energy, kept up the whole time. Absolutely loved it. Also, ALEX!

Erica: Nigel points out that Whoopi is in the audience. Great. Also he is amazed that they’ve got a Czech dancer on an American show doing an Indian number. It’s like Nigel is trying to recreate the British Empire in dance form.

Edson’s Solo

“I Wanna Love You” from “Empire” feat. Jussie Smollett

Erica: His parents tried to manage his energy via sports but nothing worked until cheerleading.

Kate: Yay cheerleading!

Gaby (stage) & Joshua (season 4): Hip-hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“I’m Really Hot” by Missy Elliott

Erica: Another costume-dependent routine — geisha and ninja — that I don’t think lives up to the promise of its promise/premise. You know, NappyTabs makes routines that are pretty gimmicky, but a lot better. Then again, I used to complain about their gimmicks, too.

Kate: You know what though? I loved this theme, I feel like it was actually unique and really fun. I also love few things more than a hip-hop routine set to a Missy Elliott song, as I have done plenty of them myself. Her songs are just the most perfect for hip-hop routines.

Erica: I think this is the only routine of the night where the contestant is out of her element by a lot. And I’m sorry, but it kinda shows. I thought she looked sloppy. Of course, my main complaint about Pharside & Phoenix is that I think they choreograph kind of sloppy, so maybe it’s not her. But Joshua didn’t look sloppy.

Kate: No he didn’t, and I wouldn’t use the word “sloppy” but she definitely looked off. She had the right swag and she got down low and all that, but her arms were very jazzy and straight and not hip-hoppy.

Erica: Nigel’s faves from each team are Gaby and JaJa, he says. Mine are Hailee and…Virgil, probably. But I’m rooting for Hailee.

Kate: I still like Gaby very very much, but I think JaJa is going to win.

Erica: Tonight, it’s JJ (not surprised) and Edson (a little surprised) going home. So my prediction of losing Derek tonight did not come true. But it will.

Kate: Ugh JJ was really fun to watch, and Edson was finally worth watching tonight. MEH!

SYTYCD Season 12 – Top 14 –> Top 10

Kate: I’m still reeling from my question being read to Christina Applegate by Andy Cohen last Sunday.

Erica: It is pretty cool. But I’m still puzzling about what the hell happened on this show. They didn’t ask any of their previous guest judges to come back. Mary’s gone. Is it FOX? Nigel? What is going on? (I mean, I suppose if I really cared, I’d Google it.)

Group Routine: Jazz, choreo by Brian Friedman

“100% Pure Love” by Crystal Waters

Kate: Ok. #1, it has to be hard to dance in those outfits/wigs.

Erica: It should come as no surprise to anyone that I pretty much loved the costumes.

Kate: #2, my very first “dance memory” is from that recital during which I wore the skirt with the musical notes and two high school girls doing a jazz routine to this song.

Erica: Oh my goodness you were so cute in that little outfit. And you were a million times better than the other girls in your group. You made eye contact with the audience, you smiled big, and you shimmied the hell out of the routine, with no pausing to try to remember the steps or looking off stage or anything. I was so proud of you.

Kate: I don’t remember any of that, just Pure Love, but thanks! #3, this was their best group routine to date, they finally looked almost all together!

Erica: This definitely had some really good moments. Huge improvement.

Kate: #4, have we not seen a very similar routine before, though? Like same costumes just different song/dance style, perhaps contemporary?

Erica: I don’t know; shall we just link everything Brian Friedman has ever done?

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: She has definitely been reading our posts, as her hair is once again perfectly down and wavy and Cat Deeley-esque.

Erica: Cat, if you’re reading this, I totally want to take you out for drinks and mani-pedis. Next time you’re in Chicago, call me!

Kate: Not a fan of the rainbow dress, however. The style is nice, I just don’t like the colors.

Erica: I’m reasonably sure that Mom has bought that dress for Zoe. It’s silly but I’m cool with silly.

Kate: I do very much like the blingy necklace, though.

Jim (stage) & Yorelis (street): Contemporary, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

“Asht” by Nebulo

Kate: FINALLY we get a number from one of the choreographers we know and sort-of love (when she’s not freaking us out completely)!

Erica: I like Sonya. Even when she is freaking me out.

Kate: Well this was just full of perfect lines and feet and arms all over the place. Really well done on both their parts.

Erica: I loved everything about this. This was so very slick and professional. The dancing was amazing. Jim is, in fact, overwhelmingly awesome and Yorelis just so well embodied what Sonja wanted to do. And what Sonja wanted them to do, her choreography, was thoughtful and intellectually stimulating and just freakin’ cool. Jim is safe, because duh, and Yorelis is in danger, because there are just too many awesome dancers. But tonight four are leaving, so I’ll cross my fingers for her.

Edson (stage) & JaJa (street): Hip-Hop, choreo by Misha Gabriel

“She Came To Give It To You” by Usher Feat. Nicki Minaj

Kate: This threw me off quite a bit — the costumes were so anti-hip-hop, the song had more of a jazz beat than a hip-hop one, and JaJa didn’t look that good for once.

Erica: “Having to be sexy with JaJa is a little bit awkward” because I’m gay. I’m a gay man and for some reason I’m not allowed to just say that on a dance show.

Kate: They had great energy, particularly Edson, but it was overall not working for me. I want to mostly blame the choreographer, though.

Erica: I really hated the choreography. It was sort of Michael Jackson-esque, and not in a good way. It was very much not tight and none of the motions seemed to match the music. I thought they were doing their best to sell it but it was not a great routine.

Kate: Ewwwwww Nigel said “I like to be wacked”! Ew ew ew!

Erica: He also felt this was Michael-Jackson-esque, but he did mean it as a compliment, and was blaming the dancers and praising the choreographers. They’re both in the top ten.

Hailee (stage) & Virgil (street): Contemporary, choreo by Tasty Oreo

“Cellophane” by Sia

Kate: Another old favorite choreographer! Fox must have read our blog TOO!

Erica: I hate Tasty Oreo. And I hate his contemporary choreography most of the time (though I do, begrudgingly, like his Broadway). I haven’t been saying anything about the silly dancers-interviewing-each-other thing, but Virgil likes Clueless. I think we need to know that.

Kate: Yes, points for that, and your hatred for Tyce is misplaced. She definitely overpowered him here, but I think that was the whole point of the routine, or “the theme”. Overall very impressive.

Erica: She’s my favorite. She was just stunning here. Virgil was honestly doing very well in this. His movements are very tight and compact. Hers were bigger, so it didn’t always look cohesive, but then, it wasn’t really supposed to? She’s just so incredible. I think she’s going to win.

Kate: More weirdness from Nigel saying he’s known some “manic women”, he best not be talking about Mary Murphy????

Erica: He got in a dig at Simon Cowell, though. I didn’t mind that. I’m not at all shocked to report that these two are both safe.

Alexa (stage) & Ariana (street): Burlesque Jazz, choreo by Tracy Phillips & Dominic Carbone

“Circus Fish” by Vermillion Lies

Kate: Sexy fish, really?

Erica: Hey, you remember the fish sequence in the “Nutcracker Suite” in Fantasia? That has sexy fish.

Kate: I mean, I think they did the best they could with this weird nonsense? Alexa did not get over her reluctance from rehearsals because she missed a lift (which Cat even noticed!), fumbled a turn and her form was way off most of the time, considering she’s a stage dancer.

Erica: I am not the type of person who goes, “Sexy fish? Too weird.” But you know what? This was a little too weird. I felt Nigel was way wrong about his commentary, though. I thought this needed smiles and sexy cheek, and the moments that had it were the best ones. I did think that the choreographers needed to do a better job of embracing the concept they set out and it was not quite the dancers’ faults. They’re both in danger. I don’t know what will happen. I like them both but I don’t know that I like them more.

Derek (stage) & Megz (street): Hip-Hop, choreo by Dave Scott

“Worth It” by Fifth Harmony feat. Kid Ink

Erica: Megz asked about Derek’s man crush. As if all of his crushes aren’t on men. You can tell because his answer was Zac Efron. Otherwise straight guys do not have man crushes on Zac Efron. Come on, FOX. Or Nigel. Whoever is responsible for this sh!t.

Kate: Oh gosh this was quite a disaster.

Erica: I suppose. I didn’t totally hate it.

Kate: His face was WAY too male cheerleader the whole time, made everything he did look so corny, and that kind of rubbed off on Megz. She is not used to this exact type of hip-hop, particularly not the femininity of it, so not even she could save this routine.

Erica: It’s weird; I think she can be sexy, but feminine is harder for her.

Kate: Imagine this routine done by, like, Comfort and tWitch though? Or Fik-Shun and Amy? Coulda been great.

Erica: Yeah. I’d take Comfort and tWitch first, though. Let’s make them do it. Derek is in danger because of his injury last week, and Megz is in the top 10.

Gaby (stage) & Neptune (street): Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

“Take My Hand, Precious Lord” by Ledisi (Selma soundtrack)

Kate: Ugh, a “humanity” and “prejudice” routine set to a religious song from a movie about racism with one dancer wearing a half black, half white outfit — you’re making it hard to like you, Stacey Tookey!

Erica: It was very literal.

Kate: I just can’t take the MESSAGE-NESS of it all! Let’s just focus on the DANCING: He struggled in a few places, particularly turns, but overall got the job done. She is a very beautiful, talented dancer and looked very beautiful dancing this routine. I am back to wanting her to win it all.

Erica: They danced it incredibly well. Hailee is my #1 but Gaby is very good. And Neptune may become my #2 boy, after Jim.

Kate: And then Nigel with the prodding questions about what this meant to Neptune, not to Gaby, I CAN’T TAKE IT!

Erica: And he even starts that part by refusing to call Neptune by his chosen name, which is incredibly patronizing and rude. Gaby is safe, Neptune is not. I’m hoping Neptune pulls through. And Yorelis. And Ariana. And Alexa. I guess I’m going to be disappointed.

JJ (street) & Kate (stage): Jazz, choreo by Brian Friedman

“A Different Beat” by Little Mix

Kate: Well HELLO KATE, is that a little personality I detect there!?

Erica: This was an unbelievably adorable routine. A little more of my catnip.

Kate: I am so happy she did better in this routine! She was not quite as well suited to it as JJ, and where one lacked skill the other made up for it in sass, and vice versa, so I really enjoyed it.

Erica: I thought Kate was more controlled and more performance-y, but JJ is more naturally sassy.

Kate: Possibly the most adorable costumes in SYTYCD history, would like one or both for a future Halloween.

Erica: Seriously. Too cute. I once read a blogger who talked about having worked for Sony, and the best part of the job was they had access to the costume closet, so she borrowed one of the baseball uniforms from A League of Their Own for Halloween one year and got hit on more than at any point in her life. I think these costumes would have a similar effect. JJ is safe; Kate is in danger. I don’t know if I can give her my hope over any of the others. I guess she and Alexa are a toss-up for me? Oh, but they’re both Team Stage. Damn, I want to save all of Team Street and both the girls on Team Stage.

Stage Routine Minus Jim Plus Season 7’s ROBERT <3: Contemporary, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

“Lift Me” by The Bengsons

Kate: Not commenting on this theme. Focusing on my love for Robert Roldan.

Erica: Sonya Tayeh is really good at her job.

Kate: Hold on, why was Jim able to dance his regular routine and not this one? What is this alleged “injury”?

Erica: I think he wasn’t able to dance during the rehearsals for the group dances. Look, I’m all for them taking injuries very, very seriously. You don’t treat it well immediately and there goes your dance career.

Kate: This was danced very beautifully by everyone. I felt like Kate had too much leftover personality from the sexy sailor routine so that was a tad awkward, but gosh darn Robert is so good. I remember wanting him to win his season.

Erica: Really incredible routine, and done very well.

Street Routine: Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“Dragula” by Rob Zombie

Kate: Once again, a theme we PROBABLY would have understood from the general MUSIC, COSTUMES/MAKEUP, PROPS and, you know, DANCING!

Erica: Yeah this was pretty obvious.

Kate: I thought the stage routine was better danced this week. The theme kind of took over this one and made it impossible to focus on the actual dancing, of which there was not much.

Erica: Oh, I thought the dancing was quite good. They’re looking more together than ever. The theme was a bit distracting, rather than enhancing, but I thought they pulled it off.

Kate: Wait, why are we getting rid of four not two? WTF? Kate!!! (Talking to the dancer, not myself.)

Erica: They’ve been saying it all episode, Kate. Pay attention.

Kate: “What is wrong with you America” is right, Cat Deeley! UGH!

Erica: Derek and Neptune are in the top ten. The two boys. Just to observe. Wow, I think that’s the save that’s made me the most unhappy. Derek was the only one of the six I actually wanted to see go, and of Team Street…Okay, I don’t know. I liked all of the Team Street people on the bottom. It’s all just too upsetting.

SYTYCD Season 12 – Top Sixteen Perform; Two Are Eliminated

Kate: YOU GUYS! Remember when I said I submitted a question to Andy Cohen about Christina Applegate being a judge on SYTYCD? HE READ MY QUESTION TO HER ON HIS SHOW SUNDAY NIGHT! ME! YAY!

Erica: I am torn between “That’s so cool!” and “But you know Andy Cohen is the actual devil, right?”

Kate: Her answer was disappointing because she said the show has not asked her, Jesse Tyler Ferguson or any other fun/actually qualified people to come back as guest judges, and she’s really upset because they love doing it. Something fishy is going on here!

Erica: That is really disappointing, and fishy. Is it FOX? Do they not want to pay for guest judges? Or is it something with Nigel? WE DEMAND ANSWERS.

Group Number: Jazz, choreo by Nick Florez & RJ Durell

“Love is Free” by Robyn & La Bagatelle Magique feat. Maluca

Erica: So, first, I freakin’ loved the costumes. Very punk, red and yellow plaid with lots of black leather and mesh and spikes, but then also some of the girls had white tulle under their skirts and it just looked really cool. It is a style I am not super-into but like, and an interpretation of that style that I just thought was top-notch.

Kate: The costumes were Angela + Rayanne’s clothes, on crack.

Erica: That is probably why I liked them. The dancing, for me, was fine. They’re getting better and they’re getting better at looking cohesive as a group. The choreography is still not really impressive. I don’t know why they don’t have choreographers who know what to do with a big group.

Kate: I did not think they looked better or cohesive as a group, at all. V disappointing.

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Erica: Very much digging the hair. A little more wavy than last week, and I approve. And holy moly do her legs go on forever.

Kate: Agree, she must have read what we said about not wearing her hair up.

Erica: I feel like the dress is weirdly saggy. Good concept for her, not great execution.

Kate: I thought it was fine. Can’t go wrong with a black dress.

Erica: In case you’re keeping score, Team Stage still won the night last week, but only by 1% of the vote. And we’ve got a missing dancer. Derek has been injured; he’ll be in danger next week. I still can’t remember his face for more than five minutes at a stretch.

Kate: I don’t like when they do that.

Erica: Paula’s hair is mega tonight. Mega.

Hailee (stage) & JaJa (street): Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“Endangered Species” by Dianne Reeves

Erica: For the first time this season they’re having the dancers say something in the pre-dance footage. JaJa is engaged. Awesome, JaJa! She and her fiance have sports jerseys that say “His” and “Hers” on them. Like, she wears one that says “His” and he wears one that says “Hers.” I will leave that for your information without comment.

Kate: In the wide world of wedding nonsense, that’s not that bad. Just depends where they wear them.

Erica: Hailee shares that she’s not a natural blonde. It’s fascinating.

Kate: She still looks like Miley Cyrus to me.

Erica: The dance is about “female empowerment.” Oh, good. Oh, and they’re calling themselves “Hail-Ja!” Which sounds like “Hell, yeah!” It’s cute.

Kate: Onto the dancing, now?

Erica: So it should be clear that these women are both beasts. Like, insanely good.

Zoe: She meant to say that they had a really flexible split.

Erica: I did really love that sort of run into a split thing they did. Amazing. The thing is, though, as really especially wonderful as JaJa is, Hailee is a wee bit better.

Kate: Hailee was more than a wee bit better, and they were a little off from each other at times, but they are both so fun to watch and I think the two favorites so far.

Erica: I didn’t think much of the choreography. I thought it was fine, but that the girls really sold it. It was more them being awesome than Ray Leeper choreographing something awesome for them. During the judging, Hailee’s pretending — as she should — that it’s not true, but no, Hailee. It’s you, too.

Kate: I thought the choreography was just fine.

Erica: Yes. Just fine. Not exciting. Paula also has something fascinating going on around her neck. It’s way more fascinating than what’s coming out of her mouth, but that was a given.

Kate: I hate her more and more with each passing week.

Erica: Surprising no one at all, both these ladies are safe.

Alexia (stage) & Neptune (street): Hip-hop, choreo by Dave Scott

“Flex (Ooh Ooh Ooh)” by Rich Homie Quan

Erica: Neptune has a four-year-old daughter. Alexia has a blind toy poodle.

Kate: These tidbits are uninteresting to me.

Erica: This is the second two-person dance. Now that we’re down to sixteen, do they need to do pairs for the air time? I was so excited about a season of mixing it up.

Kate: I noticed that too, but I don’t mind because I like the pairs. They need the practice.

Erica: There is a padded wall. They are mental patients. Or at least he is. He’s in a white straight-jacket thing. She’s in all black, but it’s possibly a straight-jacket, too. With extreme dominatrix overtones.

Kate: I felt like the overall tone was a little silly-jokey for mental patients, but she was super fun to watch in this.

Erica: She was actually pretty amazing. This whole thing was terrific. I really like Dave Scott’s choreography. I thought they had fun chemistry. I was very impressed by both of their dancing. Well, I was very impressed by the performance. When I stop to critique, I could say that he seemed looser than the choreography called for, and she was pulling some weird faces, and although they had great chemistry, their moves were not always as in sync as one might like. But I really enjoyed the performance so let’s not nitpick, shall we? Oh, is that what we’re here for? Well, okay, then.

Kate: No I agree with what you said, I thought it was fun and she was surprisingly good at hip-hop but it wasn’t perfect.

Erica: And both of these guys are safe. BTW, if anyone cares, Nigel is wearing a cotton-candy pink blazer with a white button-down. I don’t normally care about boy clothes but I do not like this. It looks very thrown randomly together and it’s too many similarly pale colors with no point of interest.

Kate: They say it takes real men to wear pink, but I don’t think they mean this shade of pink when they say that.

Erica: Pink is fine but the color was very pale and the shirt did nothing to make it work.

Not-Derek (stage) & JJ (street): Argentine Tango, choreo by Leonardo Barrionuevo & Miriam Larici

“Due de Amor” by Astor Piazzolla

Erica: Derek still gets his rehearsal footage thing. He wants us to know he’s adopted. JJ wants us to know she loves the top knot. Yeah, JJ. I think we had gotten that. But Derek injured his back lifting JJ in rehearsal. Reason #441 to look for older, stronger dancers. The male choreographer will be dancing in his stead.

Kate: So I was fast-forwarding most of the non-dancing parts of this episode, and I thought this was a routine by two professional dancers, aka not contestants, so I almost skipped it. Luckily I rewound and was subsequently BLOWN. RIGHT. THE F. AWAY.

Erica: So tangos in general are very sexy and the choreography for this one was very sexy (the first move where he grabs her hip, I think I ovulated just watching) but it ended up looking a little awkward in places. Like, a lot of places. Again, you should maybe go with female dancers old enough to own their sexuality.

Kate: WHAT? I thought this was amazing! She seemed so effortlessly graceful, and I think it had a lot to do with dancing with that MAN. The lifting and all the tricks were just like, WOW!

Erica: But then, the judges seem to disagree with me. Nigel invokes Mary Murphy, WHICH JUST MAKES ME MISS HER MORE, NIGEL?! WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER?!

Kate: And Christina Applegate and Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Adam Shankman and Tyce Diorio and Anna Kendrick and Lil’ C and Lady Gaga and EVERYONE ELSE ON THE ENTIRE (DANCE) PLANET?

Erica: I like JJ’s hair. Can my hair be like hers for your wedding, Kate?

Kate: Also love her makeup, and sure, but I have you down for an updo, which that is not.

Erica: Both of these cats — Derek, too, from last week — are in danger.

Ariana (street) & Jim (stage): Contemporary, choreo by Sean Cheesman

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Lorde

Erica: Ariana, if she was not a dancer, would be a special effects makeup artist. Ariana, honey, you can do both. Having a thing that can pay the bills, that’s flexible in terms of time, AND that could very well involve some of the same contacts as your other passion, is a wonderful thing for someone in a creative/performative field.

Kate: Minimal caring over here.

Erica: Jim loves bubble baths.

Kate: Not surprising.

Erica: Oh, good, it’s an “issues” dance. About depression. Set to a pretty f-ing depressing song. When I’m struggling through a depressive period, I am very strict with myself about what I can and cannot listen to, watch, read, etc. This song would definitely be something I would restrict.

Kate: They danced it beautifully, though.

Erica: As much as I snark, it was very good. I continue to like Ariana and not understand what the voters are not seeing in her. And Jim was completely fabulous. And I liked the choreography a whole lot.

Kate: Me too, me too, me too and me too.

Erica: Nigel mentions that dancing is a good way to shake off a bit of depression, and that’s true. I especially like putting on the Pop Danthologies and throwing myself around. Jim is safe. Ariana is in danger again. After being saved by Twitter last week. What’s going on there? That’s weird, right?

Gaby (stage) & Virgil (street): Broadway, choreo by Al Blackstone

“Where or When” by Sammy Davis Jr.

Erica: Virgil sings in a jazz band. I would totally watch that. Gaby wants to have a cooking show despite the fact that she can’t cook. I would not watch that.

Kate: Blah blah blah.

Erica: They let Gaby tap dance a little which is cool. This was an adorable routine set to an adorable song with completely adorable dancers. It wasn’t perfect technically but it was a good time. My favorite romance blogger talks a lot about finding your “catnip” — that thing you’re going to love in a book no matter what. This number was my catnip.

Kate: I knew you’d say that, but I wasn’t feeling it. This is the first time I haven’t loved Gaby — their connection seemed very forced and not at all natural, and, like, too Broadway. Broadway to me is generally too cutesy anyway.

Erica: Jason DeRulo went to college for musical theater. Don’t tell me that, Jason DeRulo. I don’t want reasons to like you. These two are both safe.

Asaf (street) & Kate (stage): Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

“Braveheart” by Neon Jungle

Erica: Asaf loves the American delicacies of peanut butter and doughnuts. Possibly together? He is pretty giggly and maybe stoned in the footage.

Kate: Hate. Him.

Erica: Kate was almost kidnapped by a serial killer when she was four years old. Because her dad was the DA for DC. That is in fact pretty weird.


Erica: Asaf has his shirt off a lot in the rehearsal footage. It is very pretty. But then he is so bad at the lifts and that’s the anti-sexy. Not because he’s not physically strong enough but because, again, he doesn’t seem to understand that it is his job to support his partner. Pasha was a lot smaller than him and always made his partners feel safe. I’m just sayin’.

Kate: Pasha is also your catnip.

Erica: Yes. Yes, he is. Kate is so adorable. She’s another one I don’t understand the lack of audience love for.

Kate: Oh see I like her a lot in terms of technical skill, but she does lack enthusiasm, and this routine was, in a word, terrible.

Erica: I did not like this dance much. The choreography was confusing and Asaf was not pulling it off. And the costumes were seriously stupid. Nigel thinks I’m wrong about that but look at what he’s wearing.

Kate: You could tell neither of them wanted to be there doing that dance with each other, it was uncomfortable to watch.

Erica: They’re both in danger. I guess I could say where’s the Kate love? But at this point, I like almost all the girls. And six of the 16 will be the bottom six, every week.

Marissa (stage) & Yorelis (street): Hip-hop, choreo by Christopher Scott

“Let Go” by Kezwick feat. Mimi Page

Erica: Marissa was a power tumbler? She thinks we will be surprised to hear that but she’s a dancer. Gymnastics and dance are pretty compatible. Yorelis thinks we’ll be surprised that she also go-go dances in the clubs. Hey, girl, get paid. No one’s judging. Or surprised.

Kate: Marissa’s abs? Damn.

Erica: So Yorelis is hypnotizing Marissa into becoming a street dancer. They have crazy good timing together, I think, and Marissa gets to show off her tumbling. Yorelis does this crazy jump thing with her that’s awesome. And their insane abs are rocking their early ’90s hip-hop outfits. Overall? Fab.

Kate: Yes, I thought they really embraced the hip-hop here. Marissa’s facial expressions were at times a little too “I’m trying to do hip-hop, aren’t I so thug-like?” but her abs distracted from that a lot. Damn girl.

Erica: Yorelis’s makeup also looks fantastic. She’s safe; Marissa is not. Let’s kick off two more boys and let these girls rock out together.

Edson (stage) & Megz (street): Contemporary, choreo by Talia Favia

“You There” by Aquilo

Erica: Edson is a cheerleading coach. Megz loves her sneakers. She has 378 pairs. That is pretty nuts. That said, I really need good sneakers.

Kate: Yay cheerleading!

Erica: This choreographer is new, right?

Kate: Many of them are new this season — maybe Nigel pissed THEM off, too!

Erica: This piece was about temptation and I actually found it more affecting than the depression one. Megz was seriously impressive, and they really were very cohesive. Great chemistry. More clothing removal than I would have thought necessary.

Kate: I absolutely adored this — best of the night, one of the best of the season so far. Really incredible movement from both of them, and I don’t really want to like Megz.

Erica: Paula is going to break down, for real.

Kate: That’s because she has a hard time speaking the English language.

Erica: I did like the exchange where Nigel said, “I think this is the first time in SYTYCD history that a shirt has come off for a good reason,” and Cat said, “So you say,” very quickly, and it was cute.

Kate: Yea that was a fun little dig, especially since Asaf’s shirt had just come off during his routine with Kate.

Erica: They’re both safe. And the stage dancers’ costumes look very intriguing.

Team Street: Hip-Hop, choreo by Luam

“Commas” by Future

Erica: I am hardly a hip-hop aficionado, but this was one of the more interesting tracks I’ve heard in a while. And another new choreographer, right?

Kate: Yes and yes — this was extremely “street”, if you know what I mean.

Erica: My eye was continually drawn to Yorelis. For whatever that’s worth. I liked this routine pretty well. They looked confident and rhythmic and, for the most part, together.

Kate: Because it suited each one of their specific hip-hop styles perfectly.

Team Stage: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Beautiful Friends” by Helen Money

Erica: Travis is using the concept of the theater standard “ghost light” to do a ghost dance. You guys, I have some difficulty with ghost stuff. I read Turn of the Screw by Henry James a long time ago, and then Maybe This Time, Jennifer Crusie’s take on Turn of the Screw, at the exact wrong time in terms of post-partum hormones. So now sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I’m absolutely convinced I see the dead-eyed ghost of a nineteenth-century governess standing over my child’s bed (sigh). Aren’t you glad I’ve put that image in your head?

Kate: I thought this theme was a serious reach for Travis. I just don’t think we NEED themes, ESPECIALLY for group routines. Let’s just dance in a group for dancing’s sake!

Erica: The dance was…wow. I don’t think anything that creative and amazing has been done on this show before. I even loved the camera work. Each of the dancers is carrying a lamp and, for the beginning, whoever’s lamp is on is the only light. Then all of them turn on so now you know that they were all on stage, hiding in the dark. Gah. Creepy. And the choreography was amazing. Gorgeous. Stunning. For real. This might be my favorite SYTYCD dance ever. Of course, I can never watch it again. Or sleep. Or enter an empty theater. So thanks, Travis.

Kate: I don’t think it was my favorite ever but it was really impressive and creative, silly theme aside. Do we expect anything less from Travis?

Erica: Twitter inexplicably saves a guy who didn’t dance tonight (Derek) and a girl who’s not nearly as impressive as Kate, Marissa, or Ariana (JJ). I guess they felt sorry for Derek but you know what, America? He hurt his back trying to lift someone. Even if he’s okay enough to dance next week — and I bet he won’t be — he’s not strong enough for the competition.

Kate: Yeah, I want him to go home.

Erica: The judges save Kate and let Marissa go, which I’m sad about, but I like them both, so what’s going to make me happy? Nothing. And they send Asaf off and Nigel makes his “ass off”=”Asaf” pun a second time and that’s fine. I mean, it’s fine Asaf is leaving. I would have liked if either JJ or Derek left instead of Marissa, but hey, I didn’t tweet, so I guess I can’t complain.
Kate: So glad Asaf went home. And as much as I like Kate, I think she should have gone home over Marissa. Really disappointing. (And I feel personally responsible for this as I was unable to vote on Monday night.)

SYTYCD – The Ten-Year Anniversary Party

As a reminder, this list he post that’s going up because Kate can’t do this week’s episode yet and we didn’t want y’all to suffer. So I decided to recap the Tenth Anniversary Special that ran a couple of weeks ago.

Cat informs us that ten years ago as of the day of this airing, SYTYCD burst into the world. She does it in a thin glittery headband in her fabulously wavy hair. Then we get a group routine to “My Tears Are Becoming a Sea” by M83. I’m going to go ahead and assume this is a contemporary routine because everyone’s in their pajamas.

The first couple we see is Travis Wall (S2) and Allison Holker (S2). The smile luminously at each other. Then Travis moves to a chick I don’t recognize who – oh, they’re all being passed to each other now. But I can’t see anyone’s face any more. I’m pretty sure one of those girls is Kathryn McCormick (S6). And do I see Robert Roldan (S7)? There’s  a whole lot of dramatic flailing and it’s very pretty. It ends with them all in a line, looking off stage, reaching for something. It’s a move Nigel once begged auditions not to do, as it’s so very cliche, but it’s cliche for a reason.

Cat’s bright aqua-blue dress is a little fancier than her usual and it’s very pretty, sort of Greek and draped. I continue to be a fan of her hosting. I feel like she really balances being cute and adorable and enthusiastic with being, to some degree, authentic.

For some reason, Nigel, Paula, and Jason are still in the judge’s chairs even though, as an anniversary episode, they should be featuring MARY MURPHY, GODDAMNIT.

I mean, some of our older and more venerated judges from the show’s 10-year history. Seriously, Nigel, WHAT DID YOU DO TO MARY THAT SHE WON’T EVEN SHOW UP TO THE TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY?!

Cat introduces ten years of audition lines (like, lines of dancers outside the theater, not lines of dialogue or lines created by the dancers’ bodies on stage) and stories from the last ten years. Oh, my God, there’s tWitch when he auditioned! Aw! Lots of people cried. Nigel once had very ’70s long hair. It was not a good plan. There’s a lot of people who did become contestants but it’s all going too fast for me. Oh, now they’re going to show the thirteen winners, being told they’re in the top twenty. They all cry.

You know what would have interested me? You know how in auditions you might be sent straight to Vegas, or you might be asked to stay back and do a choreography routine? Were all the winners sent straight to Vegas? That’s what I’d have liked to see.

The judges all get to choose a favorite routine to see performed tonight. Nigel’s favorite routine is up first. It’s this one (I’m really sorry; all the YouTube videos of this routine suck), which won the show its first Emmy and launched both Mia Michaels and Travis Wall, and it does seem to be the routine known even by people who don’t watch the show. It originally featured Travis Wall and Heidi Groskeurtz (who is S2 winner Benji Schwimmer’s cousin), was also performed during the Mia Michaels tribute show in Season 9 by Chehon and Witney, and tonight will be featuring Travis and Kathryn. In case you’ve forgotton, it’s to “Calling You” by Celine Dion. Zoe, who is at my shoulder, is super-into this. Travis is, of course, amazing, and Kathryn almost breaks down at the end in quite a beautiful way.

The current season’s Gaby & JJ do ten seconds of dancing for some reason.

Then Cat sends us to Ryan’s trick-or-treating show. I’m not paying attention to this.

Back from the break, Neptune and already-voted-off Moises do ten seconds. This was a stupid use of time and the current dancers. I don’t know why they decided that this was the best way to incorporate the current crop of dancers.

Jason DeRulo gets a choice. He’s been a judge for a hot second. WTF? He chooses this routine, which, incidentally, performer Jasmine also chose when asked to pick a favorite from the season. It’s the first time two girls did hip-hop (according to DeRulo, but since I can’t think of a counter-example, I’ll go with it), and it’s also, incidentally, Michelle Obama’s favorite. So Season 2’s Comfort Fedoke and Season 11’s Jasmine Harper come on out to reprise NappyTabs’s routine for “Run the World (Girls)” by Beyonce. Comfort is just a crazy amount of beastly. Jasmine is actually less loose in this routine than she has been previously.

Zoe wants to give this routine 25,000 A+es. Mainly because it’s a song that was used in Pitch Perfect 2.

Another montage shows us dancers who’ve gone on to do other stuff. There’s tWitch, who’s been in the Magic Mike movies and the Step Up series. Kent Boyd (S7), who was in … Teen Beach Movie? Sure. S4 winner Joshua Allen was on “American Horror Story”? Cool. Courtney Galiano (S4) is on a show called “Hit the Floor”? Huh. It’s a show on VH1 about basketball dance teams. Allison Holker is on it, too. This is possibly worth checking out. Dmitry Chaplin (S2) was on “Bones”. For an episode. About ballroom dancers. That doesn’t really count. On stage, Melanie Moore was Peter Pan in Finding Neverland, which I guess was a musical of the movie with Johnny Depp? Her agent should be seeking opportunities for her to play Gennifer Goodwin’s little sister in something at some point. Alex Wong (S5 but not really, then S7) was in Newsies on Broadway, which I did know. And then a bunch of them are, wouldn’t you know it, dancing! Jasmine Harper dances with Beyonce (in addition to her Degree commercials). Good for you, Jasmine! Comfort Fedoke dances with Missy Elliott, which makes sense. Mark Kanemura (S4) dances with Lady Gaga, which I think we knew. Oh, and Lady Gaga’s stage debut was back in Season 4 with her premiere of “Just Dance” on this very stage! Well, not this stage. The stage they had back in Season 4. Katy Perry and One Republic and Florence the Machine all debuted on SYTYCD, too, as did Christina Perry, with Stacey Tookey’s use of “Jar of Hearts” for a Billy Bell/Kathryn McCormick S6 routine. They are amazing, but I am distracted by the ill-fitting white pants Billy Bell is wearing. They are bunching up around his butt like a diaper.

Back from the break, Virgil and Jim do ten seconds. Seriously, this is the stupidest way to use these guys. I understand that they don’t want to give them, like, a whole routine to learn when this is an extra episode and not part of the regular season. But you know what would have been cute? If they picked a few of them – the ones with the most showman-esque personalities and a certain degree of intelligence – and gave them their own judge’s table. Then let them pick a couple of routines and even do a judge’s table critique of the all-stars. They could have had a lot of fun and it would have been fun to watch and it would have seemed like an actual thing that was planned for this super-special anniversary, rather than just, “Ugh, go get the kids. Make them move. We have 20 seconds to fill.”

Why don’t I have a job in television?

Paula chooses the famous The Flower and The Hummingbird routine, a Season 3 Emmy-award winning routine for Wade Robson, set to “The Chairman’s Waltz” from Memoirs of a Geisha. It is perforrmed by its original dancers Jaime Goodwin and Hokuto “Hok” Konishi. This was a truly stunning routine. It still is, although their chemistry has diminished from hears of not dancing together.

Cat introduces a montage of “memorable” (read: crazypants) auditions. I’m not really that interested in recapping this nonsense.

Kate and Jaja do their thing. Even Jason DeRulo is clapping like “What is this shit and why are we doing it?”

Back from the break, Asaf and Alexia do ten seconds. Then Cat introduces a montage of auditioners over the years with “new” dance styles. A lot of them are fucking stupid. Or have names that the judges giggle over because they sound kind of dirty. There’s a clip of Debbie Allen getting down with Nigel. It’s pretty amazing.

Cat chooses the routine from Season 10 set to “I Am the Best” by 2NE1 in which Season 10’s Jenna Johnson danced with and was choreographed by Season 4’s Mark Kenamura in what Cat is describing as a “K-Pop” routine. When this aired originally, Kate and I were thoroughly sick of Jenna, not so much because she was bad, but because she kept getting saved by the judges over dancers we liked better. I liked this routine the first time; Kate didn’t. Jenna has controlled her lip-syncing tendencies this time around, but she’s not as good as she was originally.

Cat wants to remind us of an “inspirational” dancer from this year’s auditions, Cody. He has Down’s Syndrome. He is pretty good. Also, apparently, the Special Olympics is introducing a dance category. The kid is in the audience, and we learn that has been invited to dance in the Special Olympics. That’s nice. He says he’s excited, but that his mom is nervous. That’s pretty awesome. Is that typical of Down’s Syndrome? I know that they ave a tendency to be very positive and kind, not really seeing meanness or participating in it. Do they also have a limited capacity for insecurity? Because that’s like a superpower right there.

Hailee and Yorelis’s ten seconds take us out to the break.

I want a YouTube video exclusively of small children participating in National Dance Day.

I also need to learn one of these routines some time and participate myself. It looks like a good time. Maybe next year.

Megz and Edson show off their moves. Then it’s time for the viewer’s favorites. The runner-up is this routine from Season 7, choreographed by Travis Wall, set to Coldplay’s “Fix You”, and performed by Robert Roldan and Allison Holker, then and now. This is too emotional for me. I want something else. I mean, it’s lovely, but, as we’ll discuss when we post the discussion of this week’s episode, there are certain songs I avoid when I’m feeling depressed, and “Fix You,” as much as I like it, is one of them.

Marissa and Ariana show off. Marissa got booted last night, though. I’m still sad about that.

Back from the break, Burim and Derek do ten seconds. Burim is gone now though. And Derek should be.

Cat kicks off a montage of “magical moments” from the past ten seasons. No, I’m sorry, they’re just a lot of dances. You know, not that these weren’t great dances, but you show .10 seconds of anything and it looks amazing.

Oh, I forgot that Neil Patrick Harris has judged this show. Can he come back? And Megan Mullally? And Anna Kendrick? Seriously, showing us some of our favorite guest judges over the years while sticking us with Paula and Jason DeRulo all season long? This was not a good plan.

Then it’s time for the viewers’ all-time favorite. No surprise, it’s the Season 7 Alex/Twitch routine that Kate won’t stop posting, set to “Outta Your Mind” by Li’l Jon feat. LMAO. Weirdly, tWitch looks a little stiff. Those pants too tight, tWitch? Whatever, it’s an amazing routine. It’s funny and clever and amazingly well-performed and just fantastic.

I have to say, this was not as exciting as it could have been. I feel like they could have had a lot more fun and done a lot more cool stuff to really celebrate their ten years. They could have had some of their winners/all-stars do routines from the new stuff they’ve been doing for a little fun and cross-promo action. They should have had way more group routines, including a NappyTabs number. You know what would have been awesome? Nigel and Paula attempting a Jason DeRulo routine. Also where are our favorite judges/choreographers from the past ten years? No Mia Michaels or Alan Shankmann or Debbie Allen? NO MARY MURPHY?! For real, how could you have a ten-year anniversary party with no Mary Murphy?

I mean, it was nice to see some old favorites, but some of them weren’t that old and some of them, we’ve seen 800 times. As it was, this just felt like a filler to build an audience for the Ryan Seacrest’s Friends Go Trick-Or-Treating show. Boo. Hiss.

Where the fuck is Mary Murphy?!

SYTYCD Announcement

Greetings, fans! The regular SYTYCD assessment cannot go up today, as Kate is on a business trip and hasn’t been able to watch yet. But we don’t want you all to suffer. SO  at some point today I will post a recap of the 10 year anniversary show from a few weeks ago.

I wanted to have that ready for you for this morning but I have a kid. So that isn’t really working out.