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!


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