SYTYCD – Top Twelve

Kate: I don’t know about y’all but I get downright giddy when we start seeing 2 dances from each couple per episode of SYTYCD. There’s just more of a focus on the actual dancing, nah mean?

Erica: Yes! I didn’t realize what they were doing right away but I did notice the lack of “let’s do some stupid thing to ‘get to know’ the dancers” bits and the quick pace Cat kept with the judges. And hey guess what I know? Jesse TylerFerguson was in the original cast of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee! I loved him as a guest judge; I thought he was terrific. He didn’t give great critique, but he was funny. And I must say, Sonya Tayeh did give pretty good critique.

Kate: I know, it was frightening how many times I agreed with Sonya. She’s still obnoxious though.

Erica: Well, she’s still got that hippy-dippy blather that Mia Michaels does, but I felt she was much less condescending and much more comprehensible than Mia Michaels. (That said, I like a Mia Michaels’s choreography better.)

Kate: I enjoyed Jesse as well, sometimes I was like okay that wasn’t funny but other times I was like okay, that was funny. Know what I’m saying?

Erica: I liked that he made some silly metaphor and then worried about it being ‘lame.’ Seriously, dude. Look to your right. Then look one more over to your right. Do you think you can be lamer than them?

Kate: I loved Cat’s whole look, minus the dead bird on the bottom of the oh-so-sparkly dress and the way-too-heavy smoky eye makeup. How can I get my hair to do all those perfect little flippy things?

Erica: Hire a team of stylists to work on it for three hours.

Kate: All right, let’s get down to business.

Sasha and Alexander (1)

Erica: See, when choreographers Tony and Melanie were going on about how this was a “different” pasa doble because it was about strength and fighting and masculinity and femininity, I was going, “Isn’t thatthe pasa doble?” But then I saw what they meant! Sasha wasn’t in a skirt!

Kate: Sooo I missed this one. It was only this one though I swear, and it was due to a certain canine distracting me.

Erica: And hey, guess what ELSE I know? Melanie was once on What Not To Wear! They let her wear Dansko shoes because they found some cute ones she could still teach and dance in. And they put her in gorgeous non-neutral neutrals.

Kate: Look at you, knowing so much. I did actually catch the judges’ critiques of this, and I think that if they tell Alexander that he is in Sasha’s shadow one more time he might just go apesh!t and start killing people. Starting with Nigel.

Erica: Well here’s the thing—Sasha was definitely more manly than Alexander. By far. And I didn’t think it was hot. AND because I can’t resist, I want us all to keep in mind that it’s okay for girls to be matadors and bulls, but it’s still not okay for boys to be capes. Got it?

Jordan and Tadd (1)

Erica: Aw, Travis, baby, did some evil bitch break your heart? I’m sure you can find many willing to mend it.

Kate: Any time I hear the words “a Travis Wall contemporary routine” my heart flutters a bit, but was this not a bit TOO similar to that hummingbird vs. flower piece (that was him, right?)?

Erica: No. Wade Robson. I think Travis Wall has some weirdness in him like Wade Robson, but he’s not as weird. And he’s got some emotional stuff like Mia Michaels, but he doesn’t go off the deep end like she can sometimes. I love him. This, I thought, was ALMOST as good as the hummingbird piece.

Kate: Well, copy cat or not, they were fantastic in this.

Ryan and Ricky (1)

Kate: See!? See what I mean!? The judges totally agree with me on this chick, she’s too much. Everyone was very careful not to point out the shoddy choreography on this routine, and that’s really what the problem was, but the dancers did not perform it well at all. They could have salvaged it a little with some seriously extended movements and exaggerated this and that, but it fell completely flat. There was just nothing going on, like, ever.

Erica: Okay, they can go home now. I thought Ryan actually did a good job with character here and that Ricky was too stiff—it looked like someone had dinged his lack of masculinity at some point.

Kate: Disagree, they BOTH stunk up the place. And oh HELL NO Cat did not refer to Ryan as Audrey Hepburn. Bite your tongue you sassy little Aussie.

Erica: I think she was just referring to the outfit.

Kate: Still!

Caitlyn and Mitchell (1)

Kate: Ugh she has great flippy hair too! Minus the bangs. How can I get that? And more importantly, why does it look like that for dance rehearsal?

Erica: Stylists. An army of them. Oh, speaking of dance rehearsals, I was a little shocked to hear the judges say that they saw a dress rehearsal! They aren’t seeing these routines for the first time when they are judging! That’s so magic-ruining for me.

Kate: Oh yea, big oops on their part. But, I digress.

Erica: We both do.

Kate: Here we go with another “message” routine, and this one was really far fetched. It was, however, the first one the judges disliked! Shocking! I for one felt super awkward when they were critiquing it, and I felt especially bad for that choreographer. I think he might join Alexander in the stabbing Nigel party. But I would like to point out that while these 2 were not together at all, it was more an issue of Mitchell being significantly better and sharper than Caitlyn. If you just watched him, the dance wasn’t half bad.

Erica: We know how I feel about “special.” And “moving.” And “important.” But here is the thing—it’s usually bad for two reasons. One is that the choreographer tends to do hackneyed work when s/he has a “special,” “important” message that s/he’s hoping will “move” you. That was definitely the case here. Too much flailing of arms and flipping of hair. Too many moves I could have made up when I was 12. Two is that frequently the judges tongue-bathe the message without critiquing the dance. Here they critiqued the dance, and they were right on; Caitlyn and Mitchell did not dance together and did not seem to fill the choreography. I agree, Mitchell was sharper, but even he was just not good enough in this routine.

Melanie and Marko (1)

Kate: Loooooove love love, look at Miss Melanie sassing her man with a tango. I agree with Mary that there were a couple awkward moments but like she said, some professionals can’t even do those moves. And wait, Marko is Asian?

Erica: Yes? Could you not see his face before? Love them. Love them. Love them some more. Thought her hips could be looser and he could look stronger. But they are such freakin’ performers and I too am sad that that was their last dance together. I can’t imagine either of them with anyone else.

Clarice and Jess (1)

Kate:  A-dorable. I’m really becoming a fan of these 2. And thank goodness for Boyce Avenue’s version of that song, much better than the original version in my humble opinion.

Erica: Oh! That wasn’t Bruno Mars, then! I thought it didn’t sound like him but I wasn’t 100% sure.

Kate: No it was Boyce Avenue‘s cover, they (or is it just one guy?) do awesome covers often better than the original songs.

Erica: I have to tell a story here that may be embarrassing to you. When Kate was little we had a tape of Alvin & The Chipmunks songs. She loved it; we listened to it all the time. One of the songs on it was “Uptown Girl”. One day we were in the mall when the actual, non-Alvin “Uptown Girl” came on, and Kate said, “Hey, it’s that song! But it’s by a different guy!” That’s how I felt when I heard this song start up, because I’m so used to the Glee version.

Kate: Well I’m used to the devil’s aka Bruno Mars’ version. Bleh.

Erica: They did a great job with this. I liked that they did a kind of hip-hop where Jess didn’t need any swagger. Although if someone could please explain to me the difference between “jazz” or “pop” and “lyrical hip-hop”—especially when the song in question isn’t even a hip-hop song—I’d be grateful.

Kate: For starters, pop isn’t a dance genre. You know what jazz looks like, and you know what straight-up hip-hop looks like. Put those together and you sort of have lyrical hip-hop (my favorite form of it actually, and what I tried to choreograph in my dance class last year), which sometimes just means slow hip-hop or hip-hop routines set to non-hip-hop songs. Ha, I guess I can’t offer that great an explanation so if anyone else has one feel free to jump in (in the comments section below)!

Sasha and Alexander (2)

Kate: This was somethin’ else. These 2 finally connected and it really worked for them, in fact this routine put them right up there with Melanie and Marko. Sasha has uncanny control over her body and can thus completely let it go. I admire her so much.

Erica: Gorgeous. Tyce D’Orio is hit-or-miss for me; this was a hit. Alex ALMOST came up to the level of Sasha. ALMOST. But it was still not Melanie and Marko for me.

Jordan and Tadd (2)

Erica: Really, Jordan? The concept of French kissing is gross to you? How old are you? Maybe if you learned to enjoy some French kissing you could have danced that song like you knew what it felt like to wanna wail at the moon like a cat in heat.

Kate: Ha, I knew that was going to bother you. It bothered me quite a bit too. I had high hopes for this one when I heard the beginning notes of “Out Tonight”, but it disappointed.

Erica: I knew it was going to be a Rent number when they said “Broadway” and showed the outfits before the commercial.

Kate: Once again I agreed with the judges (what’s going on here?) that they could have done so much more with their characters and, you know, the dancing. Can we please talk about the extreme silliness of Tadd’s outfit, though?

Erica: Sure, let’s talk about it. I have to say, for the first minute there, he was kind of rocking it.

Kate: Oh but it’s just so silly, and so Disney! But, if nothing else, this dance highlighted Jordan’s insane legs. Her leaps, turns, kicks and extensions were all over this piece in the best possible way; those stems are forces to be reckoned with.

Erica: She just didn’t dance with any joy. That song is joyful.

Ryan and Ricky (2)

Kate: God help me I agree with Sonya Tayeh on something (although I don’t express all of my thoughts in patronizing tones with question marks at the end of things that are not questions). Ryan IS far too desperate and “pressured” and it shows in her dancing; she was okay at some of the fast cha-cha moves but she was so stiff and focused on herself that she forgot her saucy little partner was there to cha-cha WITH her.

Erica: Again, the judges loved Ricky and criticized Ryan, but I thought her character was good and he wasn’t sexy enough. Is it me? Am I getting too old to have dirty thoughts about the boys on this show? Or am I right, they just aren’t that sexy this year? I miss Pasha.

Kate: They certainly aren’t sexy together, and I miss Pasha too. I actually laughed out loud when Mary put Ricky on the Hot Tamale Train and Cat said, “And he’s got the right suspenders for the train.” #Goodonegoodone

Caitlyn and Mitchell (2)

Kate: Whoa! Well, you obviously like this one for the song. I liked this better than their first and I thought they were very into it, but Caitlyn was perhaps a little too into it and trying too hard to be sexy. Like, fake sexy.

Erica: Yes! Fake sexy! Because none of these girls can publicly declare that they know how to be actually sexy!

Kate: And I thought that one lift was going to break her leg! (Caitlyn, or whomever your costume person was this week, can I please borrow that outfit?)

Erica: I’m pretty sure you can get it at

Kate: So, where I ordered my Halloween costume that one year? (PS HAH is in fact a website for sexy lingerie, which I only discovered when I looked up the site to see if it was worth hyperlinking!)

Erica: Anyway, I do love that song but I just didn’t think they were sexy enough. Or, like, in time with the music. Also, Nigel? Everyone knows you are a dirty, dirty old man.

Melanie and Marko (2)

Kate: Perfect. There’s just nothing else to say, except can I borrow her outfit as well?

Erica: Gorgeous, perfect, love them all the time.

Clarice and Jess (2)

Kate: And another winner from these 2 cuties! I never like the jive but this was great, they seemed to have so much fun with it.

Erica: I love a good jive. That was a very good jive. She looked gorgeous with her legs and he just makes it look like he learned to dance before he learned to walk. I love it.

Kate: Wait, why the heck are they switching partners next week? Does this happen every year? Last year’s “all-star” season has me all kinds of confused.

Erica: Yes, they always start mixing it up after the top ten. I kind of heard rumors that they’re doing something all-star-y this season once we get to the top ten this year as well? I hope so. I have love in my heart for some of these boys—Jess, Marko, a little bit Mitchell—but it is the love of a big sister for a little brother. I want a different kind.

Kate: Well I predict Ryan and Ricky are out. Maybe Caitlyn and Mitchell. I just don’t know.

Erica: My bets to go home are Ryan and Ricky, but I’d be happy if they lost Alexander and Caitlyn instead (and kept Sasha and Mitchell). My bet for the win is Sasha.

Kate: My ideal top 6: Sasha and Alexander, Melanie and Marko, Clarice and Jess. Boom.

Erica: Who are we, Ari Gold?

Kate: Does Ari say “boom” often?

Erica: Yes. My bet for the final 4 is Sasha, Melanie, Marko, and…Tadd. But it’s possible Melanie and Marko will implode without each other, in which case…Clarice and Mitchell? Who knows? I’m always wrong anyway.

Kate: You are not always wrong, it’s just that I’m always right.

Erica: WAIT, Cat Deeley is up for an Emmy! She should win based on hair alone. And if they throw legs into the judging, whoa baby.

Kate: The whole show is nominated! How do we know which dances were nominated?

Erica: I dunno. Watch? Pacey and Sookie from “Gilmore Girls” are
hosting. (What, do they have real names?)

Kate: Who’s Pacey from “Gilmore Girls”?

Erica: Obviously, I meant Sookie, from “Gilmore Girls,” and Pacey, from Paceyness.

Kate: By Paceyness you mean Dawson’s Creek. Got it. What random Emmy hosts?

Erica: Possibly they just made the announcement? Anyway, who went home? I didn’t watch last night.

Erica: Ryan and Alexander. Not at all upset.

Kate: Good job, America!


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