SYTYCD XI – Top 14 Perform (and we go down to Top 10)

Group Routine – Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

[“Last Moment” by Christophe Filippi]

Kate: Stunning. These costumes are right up my alley. (The dancing was stunning, too.)

Erica: To absolutely everything about this routine, I say HUZZAH! (Except the camera work. A girl got thrown across the stage and we missed the beginning of it.)

Kate: I know Ricky was supposed to be the focal point of the routine, but he seriously just outshined the entire world here. My gosh, his feet!

Erica: But seriously? The whole, whole thing was AWESOME. More, please!


Cat’s Ensemble

Erica: I think I have a dress or two in that vein in Covet.

Kate: Holy hoops! Hair a wee bit too slicked back, but I suppose that look goes with huge hoochie hoops. (Yes, that is a real term!)

Erica: I mean, I always love Cat having her hair down. But yeah, with those hoops? It was the right decision.

Kate: Fun pattern on the dress. Tres summery. I normally don’t like that particular cut on the arms/neck, but it flattered her body well.

Erica: She is one of the maybe twelve people on the planet who could pull it off.

Kate: Wait, those SHOES. They are like totem poles!

Erica: I think they are totes approps, no?

Kate: YES, Christina instead of Misty! Finalmente!

Erica: Regardless of Misty fatigue, I am ALWAYS happy to see Christina Applegate.

Kate: I would also be fine if all 6 of these folks went home. Not sorry about it.


Bridget & Emilio – Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

[“Long Road To Hell” by Avicii]

Kate: Although this particular routine was closer to Emilio’s original style, Bridget was stronger than him quite often in this routine.

Erica: Ugh, Ray Leeper annoys me. I mean, I liked this routine, but I still kind of want to punch him in the face.

Kate: However, they fumbled a few times, and she seemed absolutely clueless about dancing in sneakers. Like, I’m pretty sure she had never done that before. And she made some WEIRD faces. WEIRD.

Erica: Really? I thought she was pretty good. I thought that they were both pretty good. I didn’t find her face nearly as distracting as the SWOOPY CAMERA.

Kate: Seriously, Mary Murphy? Did someone tell you you couldn’t make any commentary this season except “Good job, you’re pretty”?

Erica: Maybe she’s tired of doing this show. She’s just running out of things to say.


Tanisha & Rudy – Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

[“Seduces Me” by Celine Dion]

Kate: How weird is it to hear Celine Dion trying to sing all sexy-like?

Erica: Really? You’ve never heard this song before?

Kate: No. Tanisha wasn’t that great here. Kind of shaky. Rudy was very strong and they had some great lifts — um excuse me Mr. One-Handed Lift — but I even saw him fumble on a couple transitions.

Erica: I thought this was very uneven. There were some moments that they were just flowing like water, and other moments that looked super-awkward and strained.

Kate: Must we comment on the solos? I never enjoy them. Serge’s wasn’t that great.

Erica: Yeah, I’m fine with not commenting. I mean, solos are tough, ballroom solos are tougher, and male ballroom solos are nearly pointless.


Jacque & Zack – Paso Doble, choreo by Jean Marc Genereux

[“Dragula” by Rob Zombie]

Kate: I cringed when I heard Cat say “Paso” before the commercial break. I NEVER like those. Then I cringed even more at Jacque’s “vampirey” faces, and the song nearly made me throw up from pain in my ears.

Erica: I have no beef with pasos. When done well, I love them. When not done well, I don’t like them, to the same degree that I don’t like anything not done well. But I totes hated this.

Kate: They were both pretty sharp, but he didn’t portray much dominant masculinity in my opinion. And I just hate this style. (Also, showing clips of Jacque being a perky grocery store employee before her doing a Paso made her look fairly ridiculous.)

Erica: I mean, I don’t think either of them did anything wrong (although I saw Jacque stumble but mostly they were fine). I just hated the choreography and the music and the whole nonsense concept. I feel like the longer this show goes on, Jean Marc Genereux moves further away from the actual dance he’s supposed to be choreographing. This didn’t look like a paso to me; it just looked like two people stomping around in dark costumes.

Kate: I also saw her fumble a couple of steps. I know it’s a small error, but this calibre of dancer should not be fumbling on a lunge. They just shouldn’t!

Erica: I really think it was mostly a choreography problem.

Kate: I love Carly’s solo song, but I could take her or leave her at this point.

Erica: I can’t remember who she is from moment to moment.

Kate: I need to catch up on my Step Up movies. I never saw the second or fourth ones, and now the fifth one is coming out!

Erica: Yeah, you best get on that.


Emily & Teddy – Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle

[“From This Moment On” from Kiss Me Kate (Original Soundtrack)]

Erica: Well, I mean, this is pretty much my wheelhouse. I like Broadway, I like Cole Porter, I like Kiss Me, Kate.

Kate: …Eh? This may have been the fault of the choreographer, but this was a little dull for me. I don’t love these two dancers — I SAW EMILY SLIP ON A LUNGE, TOO, WHAT GOES ON PEOPLE?! — and I just didn’t get anything from this.

Erica: I thought they were mismatched. He was very spaghetti-ish and she was more . . . I don’t know. Sharp? No, that’s not it. In any event, they didn’t look like they were dancing the same kind of dance.

Kate: His pirouettes were pathetic. Truly, on the level of mine. Which are horrible.

Erica: Yeah?

Kate: Oh yeah. I’m overall disappointed with Broadway on this show the last couple seasons. Do you think they should start phasing it out as a main style?

Erica: No! I love Broadway! I just want better choreography.

Kate: Oh, I forgot Casey existed. His solo was good, though; great legs/feet. But not as good as Ricky’s, obviously.

Erica: I forget like 90% of these dancers. I don’t know what’s wrong with me this season. No one is grabbing me.

Kate: Emily’s solo was like ballet on speed. Did not enjoy.

Erica: I kind of did.


Jessica & Casey – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Like Real People Do” by Hozier]

Kate: Oooooh kissing! Kissing kissing kissing!

Erica: I know you don’t watch the little pre-rehearsal stuff, but seriously, do these kids know what awkward is?

Kate: Sorry, I eat that sh!t up on this show. They were actually quite fabulous together, great chemistry and very in sync. Now I kind of don’t want either of them to go home.

Erica: I really loved this. Really, really loved. It just filled my whole heart with sunshine. I loved the kiss, I loved the movement she made when it happened, and it was all just really sweet. I find her faces a little over the top, but they worked here. But, God, as good as they were, Travis Wall is just f-ing genius.

Kate: OMG I love Christina Applegate. Seriously love.

Erica: I know. If Mary is tired, Christina can come on as a permanent judge.

Kate: Teddy’s solo song — I haven’t heard it since high school. Love. His choreography was way too fast for the beat, though. He needs to go.

Erica: I feel like he’s not really a hip-hopper. I feel like he’d be better in some other genre.


Carly & Serge – Quickstep, choreo by Jean Marc Genereux

[“A Cool Cat In Town (Aerophon Mix)” by Tape Five feat. Brenda Boykin]

Erica: I really liked this. I have to take back my previous comment about Jean Marc Genereux – this looked totally like a classic quickstep.

Kate: If we are doing a step in which the defining characteristic is “quick”, and in which the only thing you really need to see is the feet, why would we put the female dancer in a costume which blocks your view of the feet and makes the female almost trip every 4 seconds?

Erica: I think that’s the classic quickstep style of dress.

Kate: I thought this was overall awkward. And not very quick.

Erica: Really? I was impressed with them. I thought their feet looked great. I thought her upper body could be held a little stiffer but other than that I was really pleased. I can’t figure out, though, how often they make a big deal of when ballroom dancers do ballroom styles that are not their ballroom style. Like, okay, I believe the quickstep is pretty different from a salsa, but is it really more different than a quickstep is from a contemporary number?

Kate: Apparently, yes. Jessica’s solo was good, not amazing. As I’ve said before, she gets a little too strippery sometimes.

Erica: I effing love that song. I didn’t know Beyonce had covered it.

Kate: Beyonce covers everything.


Valerie & Ricky – Hip-hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

[“Turn Down For What” by DJ Snake & Lil Jon]

Kate: This is a great song for a hip-hop routine, but I didn’t think the doll concept matched the song. But that’s the choreographers.

Erica: First of all, SWOOPY CAMERAS! I want to see the contestants dancing, not the cameras! Second of all, and I hate to harp on certain things (ha ha no I don’t) but the trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey came out this week so I just want to remind America that when a man wants to completely control a woman, it is, as Ricky said, creepy, and not sexy and romantic. Third, I kind of loved her costume.

Kate: So, Ricky can do ANYTHING.

Erica: He sure can.

Kate: He was fanTASTIC at hip-hop! As was she! I want them to win. It’s just one winner again now, right? Not guy and girl?

Erica: I haven’t the foggiest. Nothing this show does is clear to me. I think if it’s one winner, it’ll be him.

Kate: Hey, I was at a wedding on National Dance Day! That counts!

Erica: Hey, I was at a wedding the day AFTER National Dance Day! And I was dancing up a STORM!

Kate: We win!


Girl Routine – Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

[“My Immortal (Band Version)” by Evanescence]

Erica: This was good, but it didn’t have the magic of the opening routine.

Kate: They were very strong all together in this, but “My Immortal” doesn’t really convey “girl power”, Mandy.

Erica: Yeah, I can definitely see your point there. And if they’re supposed to be demonstrating the strength of women dancing together, why does the song end with them all standing and facing away from each other? But I have to say, more than any other season, I think the group routines look so cohesive.

Kate: Agreed. This may actually be one of my favorite group routines on this show. Well done.

Erica: Yeah? I felt like it was good but not amazing.

Kate: Again, I love Christina Applegate. “Go watch it!”

Erica: I know. She is awesome. And I enjoy Nigel being all, “Remember, it is THIS SHOW that lets you experience the magic!”

Kate: Hah. The Academy of Villains thing was pretty cool. I definitely appreciated the basket toss at the end!

Erica: Yeah, it was a lot of fun.


Guy Routine – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Wave” by Beck]

Kate: Hey I saw Beck recently! He did this song! Cool points for me.

Erica: You’ve gotten so much cooler since you started dating ***.

Kate: I didn’t find this to be quite as strong as the girls’ piece, but that is perhaps because the guys have Ricky shining brighter than any star in the sky and absorbing all the attention.

Erica: I think the boys were somewhat less cohesive than the girls, and it wasn’t just Ricky. But overall they did a good job in this number and I just really love Travis Wall. He just keeps surprising me and getting better and better. (And so does Christina Applegate.)




Kate: Not at all surprising, given Jessica and Casey’s routine.

Erica: Right. I mean, I’m a little sad about Serge because he was the closest person to a grown up on the show, and I liked Teddy’s spaghetti-ness, but Casey hit it out of the park tonight, so good for him. As for the girls who didn’t get to go on…I’m not going to remember who they are by the time the next show airs.

Kate: I didn’t pay much attention to the all-star announcement, but did they say they’re back in two weeks not next week?

Erica: Wait, first…Is this thing with the judges not having a say for the Top Ten on? I thought that was just the final decision previously? Second, JENNA is back? (I mean that in a negative way.) Third, LAUREN is back? (I mean that in a positive way.) Finally, yeah, I didn’t catch whether they’re on next week. I hope they are because there’s no reason I can’t do this in real time with you next week.

Kate: Correct, from now on it’s America’s votes only. No judge input. Tune in next week (or the week after, or both), dance fans!

SYTYCD XI – Top 16

Group Routine – Jazz, choreo by Mandy Moore

[“Take Me To The River” by Annie Lenox]


Erica: The minute I saw “Annie Lennox,” I thought, “Sonya Tayeh”. Then I thought, “Wait, no, it’s gotta be Mandy Moore. She’s all about the ‘80s”.


Kate: I love Annie Lennox songs on this show. (Ah, what a perfect place to provide a link to Ashley and Mark’s season 7 dance to ”Wonderful”!)


Erica: I was sad that they got rid of the swoopy scarves so early. I like swoopy scarves.


Kate: I was sad that the girls weren’t together at all.


Erica: I gotta say, they looked pretty professional for this number. Way better, more energetic and together than last week’s hip-hop. Even though I liked last week’s bizarre concept and costuming and stuff.


Kate: Yes, but I didn’t think the girls were that strong together. The partner stuff was cool, and they looked great at the end. Can we talk about the dumb/weird little choreo things they now do during introductions?


Erica: No, I skip them or go get a Coke or something.


Kate: I’m not a fan. They always look awkward. Who drinks Coke anymore?


Cat’s Ensemble


Erica: Ew feh.


Kate: You know I didn’t realize “feh” was a Yiddish word until a couple weeks ago?


Erica: I didn’t realize “klutz” was until very recently.


Kate: Anyway, it is July. This is a January outfit. (Except for the fact that mock turtlenecks are a never outfit.)


Erica: Her hair is great, although my preference is for last week’s hair, and makeup is A-OK with me. But I don’t dig the dress. Maybe it’s a personal thing.


Kate: No, it’s a mock turtleneck thing.


Erica: Is Mary, like, on purpose trying to look old?


Kate: Oh, I like her outfit. Hah. I find myself liking old lady clothes more and more these days.


Erica: Misty again? Is this to honor Misty or because people are tired of guest judging for this thing?


Kate: I heard she’s permanent now!


Erica: So no more guests?


Kate: This I do not know.


Valerie & Ricky – Bollywood, choreo by Nakul Dev Mahajan

[“Dilliwaali Girlfriend” from the Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani Soundtrack]




Kate: This is when I don’t pay attention.


Erica: Oh, and of course she doesn’t know how to be sexy because of f*cking course.


Kate: So Ricky was fabU here, duh. Valerie had great energy as usual, and decent form/technique, but was nowhere near sharp or quick enough for this style. Not surprising, but disappointing because I want her to be good.


Erica: You know what, she really doesn’t know how to be sexy. And yeah, great energy from both of them but she was not precise enough. I loved her costume, though. When Nigel said that Bollywood reminds him of something, I thought he was going to say, “When England owned everything”, but he didn’t. He had Misty to back up this idea that Nigel basically introduced Bollywood to the Western world.


Kate: Didn’t he?


Bridget & Emilio – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“The Leaving Song” by Chris Garneau]


Erica: I like her. I don’t want her to go home.


Kate: Me too. Me either.


Erica: So I’m watching this on my iPad so that I can type on my computer at the same time and, boy, the lighting was not okay for me here. But I can see well enough to know they can’t send her home, right?


Kate: I kept thinking, “Where’s the actual bed? They’ve used actual beds on the show before, what gives?”


Erica: Kate, it was like, symbolic and stuff.


Kate: Ah. Symbols. This was very good.


Erica: I really liked it. I really, really liked it. I mean, it was pretty literal in terms of the interpretation of Travis’s stated ideas, but I don’t mind that and I thought they — especially her — did a pretty fantastic job of it.


Kate: Agreed, very strong. She has crazy (in a good way) legs. I think she’s my favorite right now?


Erica: Well, if I say she’s mine, she’ll be cut tonight so I’ll shut up.


Tanisha & Rudy – Hip-hop, choreo by Dave Scott

[“Good Kisser” by Usher]


Erica: Rudy’s faces in his first performance are killing me.


Kate: In what way?


Erica: OMG SO CUTE. He’s, like, 11? And he’s doing salsa and he is pulling SO MANY FACES. Hey it turns out the brightness on my iPad was way down. I fixed it.




Erica: So I thought she was very good at the non-hip-hoppy moves. Her legs and hips are very fluid. And I liked the concept and the costumes and all. But the whole thing didn’t really gel for me.


Kate: See, I unfortunately really enjoyed this. I say unfortunately because I don’t want to like Tanisha, but in this I did. A lot.


Erica: I don’t know if it was the choreo but I honestly don’t think it was. It just kind of felt like they weren’t in the same dance.


Kate: See I thought the choreo did get a little repetitive towards the end (like, enough hip shakes) and was overall corny, but I still liked it a lot. What is happening to my brain?


Erica: Maybe I’m just too old to find any of these kids sexy. But I am enjoying Cat dishing.


Kate: P.S. There’s a Chris Scott hip-hop choreographer and now a Dave Scott hip-hop choreographer. Will wonders ever cease?


Erica: Chris Scott is the skinny white one. I like him. I like Dave, too.


Jessica & Marcquet – Foxtrot, choreo by Dmitry Chaplin

[“I Put a Spell on You” by Nina Simone]


Erica: I think I’m hitting my lifetime limit on this song.


Kate: What about the Hocus Pocus version?


Erica: I mean, Bette will always be Bette but I’m just tired of it. It’s not a bad song or anything, I just see it come up and go, ugh.


Kate: How about Tab Benoit’s? He is very sexy.


Erica: I don’t know who that is. Isn’t this a little fluid for a foxtrot? And, like, sexy, with their pelvises against each other and all?


Kate: Yes, and isn’t she a bit too stripper-ish? Sorry, not trying to be catty, but she was way too much here. Too much.


Erica: So Marcquet is totes going home.


Kate: Shame, he’s good.


Erica: I LOVE it (in a totally non-sarcastic way) when Nigel actually criticizes the choreography. Also I need to learn to do that cat’s eye thing like on Jessica’s eyes right now.


Kate: You’re the one who taught me how to do eye makeup, I’m sure you could figure out the subtle cat eye.


Erica: It’s hard; it works best with a liquid liner, which is hard to control. And I’m out of practice at makeup in general.


Kate: Use the liquid liner Mom and I use from Lancome. Great stuff. (Lancome did not sponsor this post in any way). So this dance sucked, next?


Erica: Okay, buy me some. Also, Lancome, if you’d like to sponsor a post, we’d totes take your money. I really like your eye makeup remover!


Kate: Sephora’s house brand makeup remover is actually better. (Sephora is not a sponsor of this post either, but we’d take it.)


Erica: Oh, I have the Sephora one! I’m taking it with me this weekend! (To my sister-in-law’s wedding in San Francisco, if you’re curious.) BTW, readers, we are both doing this recap in real time and we’re in a commercial break right now. That’s why the long chat about make-up. Also someone stole my Diet Coke. Damn it.


Carly & Serge – Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

[“Foolish Games” by Jewel]


Erica: What’s in the water over there? Everyone’s sexing it up this week.


Kate: You toooooook your coat off, and stood in the rain. You were always craaazy like that. Er, this song is soooo your high school years!


Erica: 🙂 Zoe likes this song.


Kate: So does Aunt Kate!


Erica: It’s giving me flashbacks to adolescence.


Kate: Yikes. Hey, this dance was great, and one move in particular reminded me a lot of Robert Roldan and Allison Holker’s “Fix You” routine from season 7 (which I think is my favorite season ever?) — let’s watch that one now!


Erica: This was a lot less of a literal interpretation of the theme but beautifully danced. I just caught sight of Cat’s shoes. They kind of make me like the rest of the outfit more.


Kate: She lucked out with another good routine, and I like her despite not wanting to, similar to how I feel about Tanisha. This was very good.


Erica: I don’t like her personality much but I think she’s a fine dancer. And I like Serge quite a bit. Maybe because he’s not 12.


Kate: Yes, he’s very good. And I loved his first-ever ballroom competition outfit. And right, doesn’t Carly’s personality just irritate the crap out of you?


Erica: Yah.


Emily & Teddy – Salsa, choreo by Oksana & Jonathan

[“Bruk It Down (Soca Remix)” by Mr. Vegas feat. Alison Hinds]


Erica: I couldn’t remember who these people were – but now I’ll remember that Teddy is freakin’ adorable as a kid. And Oksana is like some sort of living Russian stereotype.


Kate: What else do you expect with that name? They are my least favorite dancers (skill-wise, not personality-wise). I totes noticed Emily’s slip and contrary to what Misty said, I think it did mess her up for the rest of the performance because she slowed down and hesitated from there on out and just looked to nervous to do it full out.


Erica: She looked super awkward. Her hips did not look like salsa dancing hips.


Kate: And his hips are just CREEPY. Bleh.


Erica: Isn’t that what male salsa hips are supposed to look like?


Kate: I guess, but he looks so creepy doing it. Me no likey.


Erica: Misty’s voice is starting to make me kind of nuts. Still appreciate her commentary. Oh, wait, Emily’s dancing injured? I hate that. I’m too much of a nervous Jewish mother.


Kate: When Misty was commenting on Teddy her words said “I love you” but her tone said “I think you suck but I’m paid to be somewhat nice”.


Erica: Heehee


Jacque & Zack – Jazz, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

[“Back to Black” by Beyonce feat. Andre 3000]


Kate: Of ALL the people to cover my girl Amy Winehouse, I would NOT want it to be Beyonce. I’m so over her.


Erica: Overkill? Damn, Sonya is being tough on Jaque.


Kate: What do you mean overkill?


Erica: Your Beyonce hate. Her costume is f-ing bizarre.


Kate: I’m sorry I’m just over her! And YES, I thought the same thing about the costume. Not relevant to the routine/song/century.


Erica: You know what, though, Sonya was right. She is kind of relying on pretty. And Misty seems to agree.


Kate: I think she’s talented, but not the most talented. I was surprised at how they pulled off sexual attraction in this routine as I cannot see them together in real life, but I enjoyed their chemistry and thought this was overall great. Could have been more the choreography than the dancing, though?


Erica: Well, Sonya is a pretty amazing choreographer. Isn’t she the one dating Rudy?


Kate: Sonya? No. Jacque? Yes.


Erica: Sorry, that’s what I meant. Sometimes I forget the whole pronoun-antecedent agreement thing.


Brooklyn & Casey – choreo by Will “Wildabeast” Williams

[“Hustle Hard Remix”, Ace Hood feat. Rick Ross & Lil Wayne]


Erica: They’re pulling some pretty cute faces.


Kate: Oh my god, this was quite possibly the least hip-hop routine to ever grace the SYTYCD stage. Oh my god I gasped OUT LOUD, like, SEVERAL times during this, that’s how bad I thought it was.


Erica: No way. No way. I’m not saying it was super-swag or anything, but there have been some seriously non-hip-hop hip-hop routines on this show.


Kate: What drugs are you/the judges on right now? This was SO BAD! Her faces were painful to watch! There was no swag! No getting down! Gah!


Erica: Excuse me, Kate, but her faces were HILARIOUS to watch.


Kate: No, there were like “Oh, this is hard, ah, this is harder, ahhh I look crazy, eh what’s next? Oh!” No. No no no no no.


Erica: Like I said. Hilarious.


Kate: Also known as horrible.


Erica: Excuse the F out of me, Nigel, but hip-hop DOES in fact require technique and precision, you pretentious, condescending, “benign racism” racist old man. God.


Mini-Group Routine # 1- Jazz, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

[“So Broken (Live)” by Bjork]


Erica: So, yes, I’d prefer a group routine to solos. But can someone explain to me how this happened? Did they tell this group, like, last week, that they were in the bottom and then have them practice this? So when they bring them on stage and “reveal” it, they actually already know? Or did Sonya whip this up backstage like five seconds ago? Did all the dancers rehearse it and then just the six step into their “parts”? SO MANY QUESTIONS.


Kate: My guess is they knew the bottom 6 by, like, last Thursday, and the learned this in a couple of days. This was a first, right?


Erica: Yes, it’s a first. Wait, no, there are four couples here. I’m confused. I have the short-term memory of a fruit fly so I can’t even remember which of these people are actually in danger.


Kate: Yea, now I’m confused too. Off with their heads!


Erica: Again, I’m in favor of the idea. But they need to be clearer about the whole rules aspect of this thing. Maybe these are the bottom eight and they just didn’t tell them which of them were actually the bottom six?


Kate: My brain hurts trying to figure it out, but I think I liked this better than the first group routine. Tanisha did do very well tonight. Hmmm..


Erica: Wait a second. Marcquet isn’t there. He was in the bottom six, wasn’t he?


Kate: Brain. Hurts. Also, it’s only 9:38? Is there another routine still?


Erica: Maybe it’s two mini-group routines, irrespective of people in danger? That’s been done before, right? In Melonie and Sasha’s season?


Kate: By George, I think you’ve got it!


Erica: Anyway, I agree with the judges. I think Sonya might be my favorite. And yup, there’s a Travis routine coming. Wow, that could have been clearer.


Hey what are you doing?


Mini-Group Routine #2 – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic]


Erica: I love Travis’s brain. Sometimes he’s like, “It’s about a couple in love,” and I’m like, ugh, boring, but it usually isn’t. And then he comes up with some crazy amazing concepts and I just love him.


Kate: LOVE! Love this song, loved this routine. It had me dancing (on the couch). LOVE.


Erica: I think Ricky might be my favorite boy now. Also this was cool. Just cool. Good job, Travis. Good job, dancers. And good job, Cat’s hair, cascading down her back like that when she was at the bottom of the stairs.


Kate: And good job, girl I’m not sure who you were, with the Full Down (that’s a cheerleading term)! Yea, Ricky is clearly the best on the show this season.


Erica: Do you think Sonya was looking at Travis like, “I’m going to put a knife in your neck at the wrap party”?


Kate: Ya, this totes shat on her mini-group routine. Sors Sonya.


Erica: Aw, man, hers was good, too! More group routines in general, that’s what I say!


Kate: Hear hear!




Erica: Nigel’s “Yeah, thanks, Cat,” was totally sarcastic. Wait, four dancers next week? Why? Fox skimping on time for SYTYCD? Or is Nigel playing with us and they’re saving everyone this week?


Kate: Fox is way skimping. They give this who less and less time every season; I fear the day they finally — gasp — cancel.


Erica: Can you tell we’re doing this in real time? Okay, so it’s Marcquet and Brooklyn. Not surprised about Marcquet. Not even really that surprised about Brooklyn although I think she’s pretty good.


Kate: Me either. Happy with it. Moving on now, tune in next week for the top 14, after which we’ll skip over the top 12 and go right to the top 10, at which point the judges will have no say anymore whatsoever! Right?


Erica: I don’t know. I can’t keep up with the rules on this show. So this week, we are posting, like, right now. Next week might be late. I am getting home from San Francisco at some time I can’t remember when but I’m sure I won’t be able to get a post up before mid-day on Thursday.


Kate: Yes, so patience, young grasshoppers.


SYTYCD XI – Top 18 Perform (Though Without Marlene, How Can They Call It The Top ANYTHING?!)

Erica: Before we begin, I want to tell you all that I saw Godspell this weekend and I was reminded of Katee and Joshua, my favorite couple ever, dancing to “All for the Best”, which is from that show. And this was basically just an excuse to link the video.


Group Number – Hip-hop, choreo by Pharside & Krystal Meraz

[“How It’s Done” by District 78]

Erica: So in this one, half the dancers are in all black and half all white – but very quirky and not uniform at all. Then they hip-hop.

Kate: Very Gaga-esque, no?


Kate: I thought this was too much clothing to be able to dance well in. The routine had its moments, but I don’t think everyone was fierce or sharp enough to give the full effect of what it was supposed to be. You know?

Erica: I don’t know about the clothing being an issue. I did not think everyone was sharp; this group does not seem to be great, in aggregate, at hip-hop. And I thought the dance itself took a while to warm up. There were some cool moments at the end, but for the most part it dragged.

Kate: Hold on, Misty again? I appreciate her legitimate critiques, but are they having trouble booking other guest judges already?

Erica: Yeah, I don’t know what’s up with that. I mean, yes, please, real dancers giving intelligent critiques that teach me about dance. But it’s pretty weird for them.


Cat’s Outfit

Kate: Hmmm. I like it, but not with all the necklaces (specifically the shorter ones, or is it all one necklace?).

Erica: Oh, really? I kind of like the necklaces.

Kate: Wait, it’s a jumpsuit? Never mind. Hate. Good makeup (darker than usual) and hair, though.

Erica: I am, as a principle, against jumpsuits. However, IF there were a jumpsuit that was marginally acceptable, and IF there were a person suited to wearing one, then Cat would have looked pretty good tonight. Many, many yeses on hair; I thought the make-up was a touch overdone.

Kate: Meanwhile, an animal has died on Mary Murphy’s head and she stole my Wednesday Addams dress!

Erica: I am not understanding Mary’s situation at all. At. All.


Jacque & Zack – Hip-hop, choreo by Keoni Madrid & Mari Martin

[“Stay With Me” by Sam Smith]

Kate: Weeeeee Sam Smith! Sam Smith! Seriously, I’ve been listening to him for five days straight. “Nirvana” is my new favorite.

Erica: Is he the dude you were kvelling about last week?

Kate: Yes! So Zack did a great job in this, he continues to impress me. However. Jacque looked awkward, like she had trouble getting down and dirty for the hip-hop, which is surprising because she did well at that with the African Jazz last week.

Erica: Well, this wasn’t really down and dirty hip-hop. I don’t even think I know what hip-hop is anymore. But yes, he was better than her.

Kate: Also, how could the judges have properly seen the beginning with them on the floor? That’s bad choreo (for TV), Keoni and Mari!

Erica: Well, no, it’s fine for TV. It’s bad for a live performance. How much do you love when Cat is in her gossip-monger mode? If this show ever ends, she should interview teeny-bopper celebrities on E! or something.


Jourdan & Marcquet – Contemporary, choreo by Dee Caspary

[“Disappear (Demo Version)” by Mikky Ekko]

Erica: Dee Caspary’s explanation of the dance and the story sounded to me like Contemporary Dance Mad Libs.

Kate: I may not have been paying attention to that.

Erica: I don’t like her. I can’t escape it. I just don’t. And, seriously, the two of you? We are supposed to be “surprised” to learn that Jourdan works out a lot and Marcquet…Dances? But hip-hop in addition to ballroom? Well, blow me over with a feather.

Kate: Her ballet legs paid off here, and she finally impressed me a little.

Erica: I did like this dance, but I think I might have liked the song more than the dance. I mean.

Kate: But I didn’t feel much emotion and passion from either of them. (Goodness gracious I agree with Nigel.)

Erica: Don’t you love Nigel’s “I’m not bragging, I’m just telling you the facts” face when he’s announcing Emmy nominations and other ways in which his little show is SAVING THE WORLD?

Kate: Hey, we love his little show!


Jessica & Stanley – Jazz, choreo by Tyce Diorio

[“Funkier than a Mosquito’s Tweeter” by Nikka Costa]

Erica: Oh my God, Fox has the longest commercial breaks.

Kate: I was all excited for Tasty Oreo, and then this left me with a befuddled expression on my face. Wah.

Erica: Why were you excited? I hate that dude most of the time. Especially when it’s jazz and not Broadway. Although I now have to give him gratitude for introducing me to the phrase, “funkier than a mosquito’s tweeter”.

Kate: I thought you used to like Tyce? II just didn’t get what he was doing here? And Stanley is really great, but I don’t think these two are a good match. Isn’t this her style, too?

Erica: I don’t know what her style was. It probably should be Broadway. She pulls a lot of faces and they’re cute, but Misty was right. They were a little too much here. I really like Stanley. He’s very long and graceful. (I’m sorry, Stanley. By saying I liked you, I have probably doomed you.) But it made her look kind of short and stumpy, which she’s not, but…Yeah. They don’t look good together. And this whole dance was super-weird and stupid and pretty much exactly what I expect from Mr. Oreo.


Bridget & Emilio – Jive, choreo by Anya Garnis & Pasha Kovalev

[“Happy” by Pharrell Williams]

Erica: PASHA! Holy sh!t the years are being so good to him. Her, too. I love Anya.

Kate: Well! What a great Jive song this makes, eh? Who woulda thunk it?

Erica: Too bad her outfit was so stupid. Did the costume people use up all their budget for the opener?

Kate: So this was really fun, and I really like her and thought she was a natural at the Jive. She was a little better than him, and I’m sad that she is one of the bottom three girls for the second week in a row.

Erica: She was sharper and kept better posture, I thought. Plus her attitude was exactly on point. But look, generally speaking, the more Jive I see, the more happy I be.


Emily & Teddy – Contemporary, choreo by Tyce Diorio

[“Ne Me Quitte Pas” by Nina Simone]

Kate: He was better than I thought he’d be at contemporary, and I’m starting to like her a little more, but I still just don’t love either of them.

Erica: Who are these people? I have no memory of them from last week.

Kate: And I’m just not sure what’s going with Tyce. Is he in a bad place right now?

Erica: No, he’s always kind of sucked. Except at Broadway, and, like, one contemporary dance ever. I will say they had some moments that were pretty small but quite lovely — at least one of the lifts, she looked like she was floating or something.


Brooklyn & Casey – Jazz, choreo by Bonnie Story

[“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Michael Buble]

Kate: Boy and girl at prom? Hello Lauren and Kent routine from season 8! (One of my faves!)

Erica: Yay links from dances past!

Kate: They both have great legs and this was cute and fun, but she fell off a little at the end and stopped hitting things.

Erica: I liked it. But, I mean, it was right up my alley.


Valerie & Ricky – Viennese Waltz, choreo by Lacey Schwimmer

[“I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz]

Kate: What a DRESS! Did Zoe very much enjoy that fashion?

Erica: Zoe was busy watching Wall-E with her boyfriend Otis, who was sleeping over last night. Why is Lacey blonde now? Was she sad being the only brunette in Utah?

Kate: So this was far from perfect from a ballroom technique perspective, especially on her part because of her loosey-goosey arms, but they both performed it so great and I just love them so much. Like, so much.

Erica: Well, Valerie is my girl now that Marlene is gone. It did seem to me that they were leaving, like, no room for the Holy Ghost, you know, but other than that, I didn’t think a lack of technique negatively affected this. The Viennese Waltz can be boring as all get out; this wasn’t.


Carly & Serge – Hip-hop, choreo by Luther Brown

[“Senile” by  Young Money feat. Tyga, Nicki Minaj & Lil Wayne]

Erica: Really, Serge? Carly liked to dance in college? I’m very surprised. Although his snarky delivery kind of saved it.

Kate: Um, I didn’t appreciate the condescending tone about her joining a dance team. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with THAT, people!

Erica: I think he was mainly teasing her about insisting that it was different from cheerleading.

Kate: EITHER WAY! I didn’t want to like this routine — seriously Luther, skeleton costumes? — but I did. They were both better at hip-hop than I thought they would be, even at the subtle things. Serge more so than Carly.

Erica: I guess. I continue not to be massively impressed at this group’s handle on hip-hop. I mean, it was okay but it didn’t sing for me.


Tanisha & Rudy – Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle

[“Sing Sing Sing (Part 2)” from Fosse (Original Broadway Cast)]

Kate: This did not work for me. I am in almost complete disagreement with the judges this season, eh?

Erica: Really? I thought it was totes fabulous.

Kate: I mean, the winner of the competition is going to star in a new Broadway show. Neither of them were sharp enough to star in a new Broadway show, they just weren’t! They were barely even together the whole time!

Erica: Really? This one sang for me. I thought they were very sharp and great. And then Cat got all match-makey and it was adorable.

Kate: Well, that was pretty cute. So I was overall disappointed with this episode. Nothing really melted my heart.

Erica: I try to remember that I feel this way at the beginning of almost every season, but I’m kind of eh on the contestants this season.


Non-SYTYCD Performance

Kate: Hey look how cool I am — I saw A Great Big World live in New Orleans, they were a surprise guest during Christina Aguilera’s Jazz Fest performance.

Erica: Yes, Kate. You’re very cool. I love this song, btw. That’s okay, right? I know I sometimes have absurdly horrible taste in music but this is legit good, no?

Kate: Yes!





Erica: Well, I’m glad Jourdan is gone, so I don’t have to critically examine my visceral dislike of her.

Kate: Jourdan I understand, but Stanley? Seriously?! He was one of the best guys!

Erica: Yeah, I thought he was so elegant. But I’m not going to cry for him like I did for Marlene.

Kate: Well, tune in next week for the top 16, when America and the dancers hopefully get it right this time!

SYTYCD Season XX – Top Twenty Perform (Again)

SYTYCD Season 11 Top 20, Part 2

Kate: Dag nabbit we did it again!

Erica: We did what again? Watch the Top 20? By the way, folks — I, like some of our fans, didn’t know that the real thing started last week. Fortunately, Kate was on hand to give me this link where they had videos of all the dances. (Kate, can you send me the link again?)

Kate: Like last season, we are watching the Top 20 again, but 2 of them will be eliminated by the end of the show. Hence the “Top 20, Part 2”. MEH.

Erica: I don’t like this “watch the sitting ducks dance” nonsense. I don’t know how to better structure it, but I don’t like this.


Group Performance – Broadway, choreo by Josh Bergasse

[“New York, New York” from On The Town]

Erica: I eat this sh!t up.

Kate: FAB costumes. Fab fab fab.

Erica: Seriously. And the cast as a whole was so good at the Broadway attitude — the right amount of face-pulling, the right bounce in their steps.

Kate: I felt like the routine choreography was a bit all over the place, but I suppose that’s Broadway. I didn’t notice anyone being particularly amazing or horrible.

Erica: It’s not only Broadway, it’s this particular type of number, popular in some of the musicals of this era, with the sort of “Check out the whole setting” vibe. It works much better live, and, unfortunately, most of this show’s audience is, you know, watching on the TV, and I continue not to like the camera work on this show, but I did quite enjoy the dance. It is definitely my kind of thing.


Cat’s Outfit

Erica: Wait, first, can we talk opening credits? Because they changed them to have those sort of science-y motion tracking graphics and I think I like it.

Kate: They’ve been doing that. Cat’s giving me a little bit of a Victoria Secret model look right now, and I like it!

Erica: I am not a fan of animal prints, period, the end. But I like the shape of this and the overall vibe.

Kate:  I normally hate booties with skirts/dresses because they make legs look stumpy, but it works on legs like that.

Erica: Yeah, I don’t think there’s a force in the universe that could make Cat Deeley’s legs look stumpy.

Kate: Amen.

Erica: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. So the choreographer of the first dance is choreographing that very show on Broadway — and the winner will star in it? Seriously? Isn’t that…Kind of a big deal that should have been introduced in a more big-deal way? Rather than a sort of aside by Cat?

Kate: They mentioned that in the beginning of all the audition episodes, and I think it’s a sweet prize but don’t they also have to be able to sing and, you know, ACT, to star in a Broadway show?

Erica: And…Cat looks super cute in her baseball shirt and cut-offs. I don’t really understand what’s happening with the baseball stuff, but she looks cute. They all look cute, really. Even Nigel.


Tanisha & Rudy – Jazz, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

[“You Need” by Bengsons]

Kate: I still don’t really like her.

Erica: I like her. I mean, I don’t adore her the way I adore Marlene, but I like her.

Kate: I don’t know, there’s just something rubbing me the wrong way. This was a good routine and they did well, but I still saw moments of them hesitating and stumbling and just trying too much. I don’t want to see them try, I want to see them do.

Erica: I only saw one moment that looked hesitant — when she was on his thigh and stretching her leg. Other than that, I thought they were pretty good. Also, I think I’m right — Sonya Tayeh’s choreography is heavily influenced by her emotional life, and right now her emotional life is gettin’ it.

Kate: We’re doing dance-a-longs between commercials now?

Erica: Totally in favor of this development. Zoe wouldn’t practice with me because apparently the crocodile from Peter Pan and/or a shark is in our library and we can’t stand on the ground but I plan on going back later and giving this a whirl.


Valerie & Ricky – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Oh Darling” by Gossling]

Erica: Aw, man, the judges changed. I liked the baseball uniforms.

Kate: Ricky has quite impressive and expressive feet.

Erica: Valerie is maybe the cutest person ever. And I seriously love her costume here.

Kate: I am thrilled that they are paired together right now, and I am thrilled that she is good at genres other than tap. Contrary to what the judges said, I thought she was very good at conveying the emotional aspect of contemporary dancing.

Erica: I thought this was simply stunning. Great Travis Wall choreography; Ricky’s technique was amazing — his feet, oh my God, his feet! And yeah, I agree with you, her emotion was fantastic and I thought she was quite good at the dancing even if her technique wasn’t quite where his was. I mean, that back-bend? Where she stood on his thighs and just went all the way back? Holy moly.


Bridget & Emilio – Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown

[“Work” by Iggy Azalea]

Kate: I was worried about her getting hip-hop, but she did not do badly with this.

Erica: I fell in love with Bridget when she answered the “Vampire or werewolf?” question with a stank face and a “Neither. Wizard!”

Kate: She had moments of surprisingly good swag here, mostly toward the beginning, but she also had other moments of oh-she’s-so-cute-trying-to-be-gangster-but-it’s-not-quite-working. He was obviously very good.

Erica: I feel like hip-hop on this show is mostly oh-she’s-so-cute hip-hop. I didn’t love this choreo — I didn’t think it looked that hard, frankly. So yeah, she did great, and yes, he was very good, but it looked like a routine I could probably pull off to an acceptable degree if I practiced. I mean, I usually like Luther Brown, but this just didn’t impress me much. I loved Emilio’s little hand motions while Cat was exhorting the audience to vote.


Jessica & Nick – West Coast Swing, choreo by Benji Schwimmer

[“Respect (Weird Live Version)” by Aretha Franklin]


Kate: Ya, ow/ew. But this was beyond bizarre. And I had no idea there was a difference in Swings, but West Coast doesn’t look like the Swing I know and love.

Erica: Because of the weird nature of the number, it looked like we were watching a warm-up for a while. But I liked it, and I thought they were pretty adorable in terms of the personality for the song and all. And she sure has a cute rear end. BUT SHE POPPED HER SHOULDER OUT DURING PRACTICE. Is that not a problem?

Kate: You can pop it right back in, dancers and athletes are fairly used to that I think. But the song just didn’t even feel like a real song until halfway into the routine, so their dancing looked completely off! (No offense to Miss Aretha.)

Erica: I like how he’s ballroom, it’s so amazing he can switch to…Swing? Aren’t those styles pretty closely related?

Kate: This is what I’m saying.

Erica: I do love when they have actual professional dancers as their guest judges.

Kate: Yes, Misty is actually providing valuable, legitimate critique, not just repeating Nigel’s and Mary’s comments in a less-intelligent-sounding way.


Carly & Serge – Contemporary, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

[“Latch (Acoustic)” by Sam Smith]

Kate: As soon as Sonya started describing the routine, I KNEW it would be a Sam Smith song. Yay me and yay Sam! (Er, seriously, listen to him. He’s so good.)

Erica: Yes, ma’am.

Kate: Carly is lucking out with staying in her style and getting good routines and choreographers — if she had Tanisha’s routine last week and Jessica’s this week, she’d be outta here. She is good, just not amazing.

Erica: I’m not yet at the stage where I remember these people from week to week. So I’m sure you’re right; I just don’t remember. I liked this routine quite a bit and I thought that they were both quite good.

Kate: Serge delighted me at contemporary. I loved the part at the end where they were just grabbing each other all over (not in a sexual way).

Erica: I just hope Serge doesn’t go away. He’s the only boy on this show old enough for me to find attractive.


Emily & Teddy – Hip-Hop, choreo by Dave Scott

[“Don’t” by Ed Sheeran]

Erica: Ed Sheeran is just everywhere lately, isn’t he?

Kate: Yeah, and he sounds EXACTLY like Nick Carter. #BackstreetsbackALLRIGHT. Anyway, she was sharp and quick where she needed to be, but was WAY too stiff for hip-hop. No swag whatsoever. Bridget did a much better job, I think.

Erica: Meh. Meh to the whole thing. Choreo, their technique, everything.

Kate: I just don’t love him at all — he’s too much like a random dude dancing on the street and not enough of an exceptional performer.


Marlene & Stanley – Broadway, choreo by Spencer Liff

[“I’ve Got Your Number” by Nancy Smith]

Kate: Holy hairdo Marlene! …I want it.

Erica: I’m just glad she’s not wearing that weird neon thing from the opening.

Kate: She had the perfect amount of sass for this routine, but the props were way too much. It seriously limited the amount of dancing TOGETHER, and I would have loved to see them together because they are both so good. Bad move, Spencer.

Erica: I adore her. She’s so sexy and adorable and fun. It would have been nice to see them interact more.

Kate: Also, the camera angles were even more off than usual. I rarely could even see them both at the same time.

Erica: Yup. It really feels like the judges are dinging the dancers for stuff that was the choreographer’s fault. They should have thrown the phones down? They should have danced more together? How is that their fault?


Jourdan & Marcquet – Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

[“Work Work” by Britney Spears]

Erica: Something about her puts me off completely. I should like her because she knows many digits of pi but I just can’t. During the dance, it occurred to me that she and Marlene illustrate the difference between “performing sexy” and actually being sexy.

Kate: And ballet rears its ugly head. She was not sharp or quick AT ALL here. The judges were all completely wrong and must have been on drugs.

Erica: Again with the porn-y premise/outfit/song. Oh, but I forgot about Marcquet when I said Serge was the only crush-worthy boy for me.

Kate: He honestly wasn’t doing much to save her, which is disappointing because he has been good at styles other than his own. ALSO, the edited version of this song is nowhere near as fun as the real one. You better WORK, B!TCH.

Erica: I don’t like this song in either iteration. Britney Spears to me is the epitome of performing “sexy” without being sexy.

Kate: But we still support her general mental health and well-being. Poor Brit.


Brooklyn & Casey – Argentine Tango, choreo by Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo

[“Gallo Ciego” by Louis Bravo’s Forever Tango]

Kate: She was great, he was not. I did not think either of them were as “grr” as the music and style called for, but she is very good and has ca-ray-zay legs.

Erica: I thought neither of them were great, although she was better than him. Her legs and her hips seemed to be able to move completely independently of the rest of her body, and of each other, and really, of the way normal bodies with normal joints can move at all. But I thought there were so many moments that were supposed to look slow-and-sensual, but came across as more hesitant and uncertain instead.

Kate: Disagree wholeheartedly with the judges. He was not a good ballroom partner. Off weeth hees ‘ead!

Erica: He looks like such a child up here. Eighteen-year-old girls can sometimes vaguely imitate “woman”-ness, but eighteen-year-old boys can rarely pull of “man”-ness.


Jacque & Zack – African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

[“Dibiza (Kick *** Mix)” by Danny Tenaglia]

Kate: What interesting costumes/hair/makeup, eh? She was much better than Jourdan outside their style, but that was to be expected.

Erica: Definitely interesting. I liked them at first, and not just because I love it when they don’t put the “African Jazz” dancers in super-stereotypical “African” garb. But then I found them distracting. I really can’t tell whether or not they were good at this dance. (Also at the beginning when she was straddling his neck, it kind of looked like his hair was…Well, never mind. I won’t say it.)

Kate: There were moments where he was not completely with her, but they both had such great energy and personality. I like her a lot.


Kate: Do we want to comment on the Beyonce tap routine?

Erica: I was excited about this crew competition idea, until it involved Justin Bieber. Then I wanted to forget the whole thing existed.

Kate: They did better than most in making the taps sound okay with music, but still. It’s just not right. I’d rather see actual stepping.

Erica: I didn’t love it. I mean, I wanted to love it because girls and tapping and Beyonce, but I just didn’t not feel enthused.



Kate: MAN OH MAN! I really liked Marlene.

Erica: Mother-effer. I can’t even tell the rest of them apart. And I LOVED Marlene! What is wrong with SYTYCD voters? They never like the sexy, mature girls. They always like the teeny-bopper nonsense girls. Also, damn, Jourdan’s skin is reacting very badly to whatever is happening on this show.

Kate: EW, Nigel, don’t tell her she made it to the Top 20 on her looks. Gross.

Erica: Seriously, @sswipe. She is all things fabulous and you’re not good enough for her. Sh!t, she looked really sad.

Kate: I thought Serge would go home, but I’m also not surprised it’s Nick. I feel like he barely made the top 20.

Erica: Wait, so once we hit the Top Ten, it’s all about who’s got the lowest votes? No judge’s decisions anymore? I thought that didn’t happen until the very end.

Kate: Me too, but they constantly keep us guessing how this show actually works. Catch us next week for the Top 18!

SYTYCD XI – Top Twenty!


Erica: Well, I’m trying very hard to be back.

Kate: This show makes me so inexplicably happy, I can’t even.

Erica: And when you’re happy, I’m happy, my dear.

Kate: Let’s start with…

Cat’s Outfit

Erica: Meh.

Kate: I like the longer, beachier hair, and I like the dress, but it almost looked too big for her (the slits on the side were not tight against her skin), which leads me to believe she has lost weight, which she did not need to do. Bad Cat.

Erica: I did not much like the dress. Her hair continues to spectacular. How do we feel about Mary’s hair?

Kate: Looking froofy but good.

Erica: I do think she looks better as a brunette but I kind of like the shape.

Opening Group Number — Jazz, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

[“Stalker Ha” by Kingdom]

Kate: A little sexier than usual, no?

Erica: A little, yeah. I think Sonya Tayeh’s choreography is very reflective of where she is emotionally, so maybe she’s getting some.

Kate: She does have some interesting new hair. Regardless, I thought they were all very synchronized for this routine. That said, I didn’t love the routine as a whole. Not enough “wow factor” for the first performance of this group, know what I’m saying?

Erica: Really? I quite liked it. Creative choreo, really showed off some of these dancers’ ridic legs, and they were all very much dancing as twenty parts of one whole. I especially loved when they were sort of dancing in a clump but with partners.

Kate: I did like the cheerleader-esque stunts. 😉

Brooklyn & Serge – Cha Cha, choreo by Dmitry Chaplin

[“Hell Yeah” by Midnight Red]

Kate: Isn’t he your fave, Er?

Erica: No, PASHA is my fave!

Kate: Oh. These two are very talented individually — very snappy and sharp with non-human fast legs — but they did not completely connect in this, and I feel like of all dancers ballroomers should be the ones to most easily connect.

Erica: I was not thrilled by the choreography. We’ve seen more interesting cha cha routines. And then the lights went all crazy and it felt like they were trying to make up for the lackluster choreo.

Kate: I am excited about the number of ballroom dancers this season, though, and I think they will both be very good at other genres.

Erica: Of course Nigel loved Serge’s, you know, heterosexuality. And of course he had to do a long lead-up to his commentary, talking about him doing something arts-education-related. Yes, Nigel. Good job bringing dance to the world, Nigel.

Emily & Casey – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“All of Me” by John Legend]

Kate: It was only a matter of time before they did a contemporary dance to this song.

Erica: I’m so out of it. This song…I mean, I guess it sounds familiar?

Kate: I surprisingly did not love this (surprisingly because it’s Travis Wall). I was not happy she made it to the top 20 as she barely impressed me in the auditions and callbacks, and I saw her wobble more than once in this routine.

Erica: I was more impressed by him than I expected to be given how young he is. And I did really like this routine. I mean, it won’t be Travis Wall’s Best Ever, but I liked it.

Kate: It was also not nearly as fluid as the usual Travis Wall routines, and they did not connect AT ALL as partners. AND, when she ran and jumped on his back, it reminded me too much of at least, like, three other recent routines. (Maybe from the Melanie season?)

Erica: Well, all the choreographers have their tics.

Valerie & Zack – Tap, choreo by Anthony Morigerato

[“Sing” by Ed Sheeran]

Kate: I must start off by saying that I LOVE VALERIE. I am not usually a huge fan of tap on this show, but she was incredible at other styles during callbacks and she has a really adorable charm about her.

Erica: She is like the cutest little puppy on the block. These two make me feel ancient.

Kate: And yet, I didn’t love the tap routine. The mini-staircases added a little awkwardness to their movements, and I caught both of them looking down a lot to make sure they weren’t going to slip and fall, which caused me to worry they were going to slip and fall. I also don’t like how tap makes dancers’ arms just kind of wave around in the air doing their own thing and there’s no sharpness.

Erica: I thought she was lightness and grace itself. I barely paid attention to him. But can we talk about Jason DeRulo having a tap background?

Kate: I cannot figure out if he is serious, or why he was guest judging the very first episode of the season.

Bridget & Stanley – Contemporary, choreo by Bonnie Story

[“Doesn’t Mean Goodbye” by Jon McLaughlin]

Kate: Excuse me while I do my best impression of Mary Murphy: WAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! WOO WOO WOO! HOLY SMOKES! HOT TAMALE TRAIN!

Erica: I mean, I don’t know about “hot” but great gadzooks, these kids were fabulous.

Kate: This is EXACTLY what I would have expected from a Travis Wall routine, and I am now in love with this Bonnie lady. Bridget and Stanley had amazing chemistry and incredible technique, they were so in sync with each other. I think this is my favorite of the night.

Erica: They were both just so graceful. They hit all of these poses with the perfect, like, fingers and toes and it was just all in sync.

Kate: I do think Stanley outshines Bridget a little, but he will make her better. I hope they stay together as partners for a while. The only thing I would change about Bridget is her corny facial expressions.

Erica: They won’t, though, right? I didn’t love her personality. He struck me as intelligent and thoughtful.

Jourdan & Jacque – Ballet, choreo by Marat Daukayev

[“Pas De Deux – Black Swan – Tchaikovsky” by Richard Bonynge & The London Symphony Orchestra]

Erica: Fine?

Kate: These ladies are lovely, but this dance was way too hard for them. Fifteen fortes in a row at the beginning of the routine? They both had a hard time recovering from that for the rest of the performance, especially Jourdan. “Strict Russian ballet teacher” is an understatement for this choreographer.

Erica: I was definitely not excited by this routine. I mean obviously they are doing things I could never do, and well, but they are no Eliana.

Kate: I am also a little worried about them doing other styles. They will obviously excel at Contemporary and maybe even Jazz, but Hip-Hop? Broadway? Ballroom? Not so sure.

Erica: By the way, did you know that Nigel can get REALLY, REALLY big deal choreographers to do this show? Like, BIG.

Jason DeRulo Performance

Kate: I’m sorry, we must address this.

Erica: Really? Must we? Because I could happily live without ever acknowledging the existence of this performance.

Kate: This is a real song? “You know what to do with that big fat butt”?

Erica: Pop music is just done with the whole pretending-to-be-art thing.

Kate: I mean, props to the sole white girl for keeping up with everyone else and wiggling her not-at-all-fat butt, but geez Louise this was absurd. I would have liked to have seen some SYTYCD alum up there!

Erica: I would rather not see them sully themselves.

Malene & Marcquet – Brazilian Samba, choreo by Louis Van Amstel

[“Morning Drums” by Gregor Salto]

Erica: I thought this was very Brazilian. Snerk.

Kate: I was a little bit in love with Marlene during auditions, but then she looked horrible doing a hip-hop routine at callbacks and I thought she wouldn’t make the top 20. Alas.

Erica: I did, in fact, see Marlene’s audition. She was the one who gave the sexy little look over her partner’s shoulder before the music started. I kind of adore her.

Kate: Marcquet is definitely a force to be reckoned with, and I foresee him staying on for a long time.

Erica: Hey, a man who can look that good in that stupid shirt is ok with me. And he gyrated even better than she did.

Carly & Rudy – Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

[“Take It Easy” by Jetta]

Kate: I developed a serious disliking of Carly during callbacks when her group routine drama was shown, so I may now have a negative bias against her dancing.

Erica: I didn’t see it but I am certainly not all that impressed.

Kate: This was good, but I feel like it was good because of all the tricks and not necessarily because of the dancing? I do really like Rudy, and I didn’t understand the judges saying multiple times that he has “heart” but not “technique”. He has both, folks!

Erica: I hate that sh!t. If he doesn’t have technique, why is he in the Top Twenty? Especially considering that this is the best Top Twenty EVER!!!

Kate: ALSO, during the whole judges’ critique Carly had her shoulders hunched. I know it’s a tiring experience, but you are a DANCER — stand up straight for goodness’ sake!

Emilio & Teddy – Hip-Hop, choreo by Christopher Scott

[“Nightshift” by The Commodores]

Kate: What a HORRIBLE song choice for a hip-hop routine. Simply horrible!

Erica: I am generally in favor of the contrasting music genre/dance style thing. But this music, combined with this concept — was no one else getting a porn vibe?

Kate: This was a little corny (I didn’t get a porn vibe), but most of Chris Scott’s routines are. Emilio and Teddy were not always together, possibly because they are so differently shaped/sized, but they are both very good. I look forward to seeing what else Teddy can do.

Erica: I liked Emilio more than I expected to, given that he annoyed me in the little 8-seconds-tell-us-about-yourself thing.

Kate: I also appreciate that Emilio still had to go through callbacks and not just walk onto the top 20 because he made it last year but then got injured. Three cheers for fairness, Fox!

Erica: Here, here!

Jessica & Ricky – Contemporary, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

[“Vow” by Meredith Monk]

Erica: Holy moly.

Kate: Whoa.

Erica: That was perfection. That was incredible. I am comfortable crowning these two right now.

Kate: I must admit, I fell asleep during this one and had to re-watch. I am officially 90 years old. But this was phenomenal and these two are now tied with Bridget and Stanley as my favorite of the night/the most talented dancers this season (as evidenced by this episode; I know that can change).

Tanisha & Nick – Cha Cha, choreo by Louis Van Amstel

[“I’m a Freak” by Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull]

Kate: Why were two cha chas allowed in the opening episode? I don’t like that.

Erica: Because they had Louis Van Amstel and that’s what he does? I’d prefer more variety but I tend to like cha chas the second most, after jives, so whatevs.

Kate: They were not nearly as good as the other ballroom dancers nor is Nick as good as his BFF Rudy (I know they do different styles, but still). I don’t think either will last long on the show.

Erica: I thought Tanisha had spark. Nick looked like a boy playing a man’s role to me. But maybe that is because I am SO FRICKIN’ OLD.

Kate: Ok so OVERALL, I think the guys need a little more practice in lifting these ladies, and everyone needs a little more practice in partnering (except Marcquet and Marlene). I also want the judges to be a little harsher next week because they were too happy-go-lucky and not providing any real critique.

Erica: See this is what’s weird to me. They don’t usually have voting for this top-twenty, dance-your-own-style episode but I guess now they are? Anyway, I am pleased as punch to once again be in the company of the young, hopeful dancers, Cat, and even Screechy Mary and the Lewd Racist Homophobe (Nigel). See you next week!