SYTYCD Season XI – Top 6 Perform

Group Routine – Hip-hop, choreo by Nick DeMoura

[“Hide (Tropkillaz Remix)” by N.A.S. feat. Aynzli Jones]

Erica: I am not huge on the gimmick of the black light glowy sh!t with which this routine started. Some of the choreography was fun and boppy and super-cute, but this group remains the least sharp at hip-hop of any group so far.

Kate: You took the words right out of my mouth — I feel like I say this every week, but they were not sharp enough. This routine was straight out of America’s Best Dance Crew, costumes and masks included, ergo I expected to see another level of sharpness.


Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: Unnecessary Necklace Syndrome.

Erica: Her whole look has a very ’70s vibe. I like it. I don’t love it, and I feel like their needs to be a little more lipstick. But overall, I approve.

Kate: I don’t like when hair is too straight and not layered enough, but I think I am projecting my feelings about my own hair onto Cat. Sorry, Cat.

Erica: So tonight, they’ll be dancing with an all-star, dancing with a fellow contestant, AND dancing with themselves. You know what would make solos infinitely more amusing? If they all had to do them to the song “Dancing with Myself“.

Kate: I hate that song almost as much as I hate solos on this show.

Erica: Mary looks like a totally normal human being, and Christina Applegate is here! What a night!


Ricky & Valerie – Broadway, choreo by Spencer Liff

[“I’ve Got the World on a String” by Frank Sinatra]

Erica: I feel like this is pretty much a dream team, for me personally. Style, song, costumes, dancers. I’m in.

Kate: What a great dress!

Erica: Valerie has totally improved through the season. She was good before but she’s got more confidence and style than she did at the beginning.

Kate: Agree, but after a few weeks apart, this routine made it obvious how much better Ricky is than her. He is on another level of grace.

Erica: I’m not even talking about Ricky because what needs to be said? What can be said? He is everything that is wonderful.


Jessica & Casey – Disco, choreo by Doriana Sanchez

[“Dim All the Lights” by Donna Summers]

Erica: Right before the break, Cat observed that her costume looked like these guys’ costumes. Why do they keep stealing my jokes? Should I be writing for this show?

Kate: I like how she said “frock”.

Erica: And then after the break, we learned that the top six are not dancing “with fellow contestants” as I said before; they are dancing specifically with their former partners. Which is interesting. I don’t know that we’ve ever had a top six where all six were previously partners.

Zoe: I love the outfit but I hate the hairstyle. The outfit would go nicely with a braid.

Kate: Hi Zo!!

Zoe: Such a big crowd. Wow, I never knew they would be so famous. Like, how many seats are there? 70?

Kate: At least.

Erica: Jessica’s faces really work for this dance. She is the best I’ve seen at being both sunshiney and sexy and having neither look phony.

Kate: Faces yes, moves no! This was so awkward for me.

Erica: I mean, look, it’s disco. It looks the same to me just about every time. And I’m not a huge fan of the genre. But they did pretty well with it.

Kate: Disagree. I thought it was super-awkward, and I’m back to disliking Casey.

Erica: Alright. BTW, I LOVE Christina Applegate so much. “You looked like you were holding back snot.” Of course she would notice that, and of course she would say it out loud.

Kate: I know.

Erica: So, I’ve been trying not to pay attention to anything lately. But even I have noticed that the ALS ice bucket is, like, a thing. But here’s what I don’t get. How does this benefit ALS research? Is there some form of money that gets donated or something? Because I would totally dump a bucket of ice over my head if it would help but I don’t get how that works. (I ask because apparently we’re going to see Nigel do this later.)

Kate: Don’t even get me started with that.


Ricky’s Solo

[“My Tears are Becoming a Sea” by M83]

Kate: *Sigh*

Erica: I mean this kid is just a crazy talented dancer. His feet. His everything. Crazy.

Zoe: It’s gotten to commercials now, so we’ll be waiting.

Kate: DVR, Zo!

Zoe: We’re totally skipping them now.

Kate: 🙂

Erica: In case you can’t tell, Zoe is dictating things for me to say on her behalf as we watch. But she’s going up for her shower soon, so we’ll be without her voice for a few dances.


Jacque & Zack – Foxtrot, choreo by Jean-Marc Genereaux

[“Anything Goes” by Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga]

Erica: I swear I used to like Jean-Marc Genereaux. I used to find him charming. And can we discuss for a second — Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga doing “Anything Goes”? When and under what circumstances did this happen?

Kate: Gags is a true artist, didn’t you know?

Erica: Zack, during rehearsal footage: “I’m totally straight, I swear!” I mean, not that I think he’s not. It’s just that sometimes the male dancers make these comments about the female dancers and it sounds like they doth protest too much.

Zoe: Too French. Oh, oh, oh, too French. Oh, now it’s too New York. Did you see how he lifted her up? It was crazy, right?

Kate: It was crazy, Zo. Wait, what do you mean “too New York”? Should I take offense to that?

Erica: It sounded disapproving, but sometimes she means “too” as a compliment. I don’t know.

Kate: This was a cute foxtrot but there was a lot of bumpiness in their transitions. I felt like her hand was constantly just flailing about without connecting with his.

Erica: What about this was foxtrot-y? Did I miss it while trying to type Zoe’s comments?

Kate: Um…

Erica: And Mary doesn’t like it so I feel totally justified in not being moved. I am also totally confused as to how the votes are going to work for this and for the finale.

Kate: Didn’t even pay attention to that part.

Erica: And I completely still love Christina Applegate. She’s just so awesome.


Jessica’s Solo

[“I Was Here” by Beyonce]

Kate: See, she was so good here but not at the disco!

Erica: She was wearing, like, no clothing. Hasn’t it been a while since a dancer’s been this nakey?

Zoe: She looks fine like this.

Erica: I’m skipping the prepubescent singer, okay?

Kate: Please yes.


Valerie & tWitch – Hip-hop, choreo by WilldaBeast Adams

[“Yeah” by Usher feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris]

Erica: So, Kate, is this what you and Ian will be doing for your first dance?

Kate: ObviousLY.

Erica: Valerie is so cute here.

Kate: Yes but she looked so much more hood during rehearsal! I think it was the Madonna-esque dress. Either way, I loved this. Obviously.

Erica: Yeah, I think it was just the outfit. I thought she did very well. Nigel, they looked like a very happy couple. Shut it.


Casey’s Solo

[“Lay Me Down” (Acoustic Version) by Sam Smith]

Kate: I just closed my eyes and listened to Sam’s blissful voice. Casey who?

Erica: So this Sam Smith character is one I should be paying attention to, huh?

Kate: Oh my god.

Erica: I thought this solo was pretty boilerplate.


Valerie’s Solo

[“What I Like About You” by The Romantics]

Erica: Appreciate the song choice.

Kate: Eh. Fine.

Erica: Also appreciate the brevity and humor of her brothers’ comments.


Jacque & Will – Contemporary, choreo by Sean Cheesman

[“99 Red Balloons” by Sleeping At Last]

Erica: Will! Oh, Will! Also, was there some sort of competition among the choreographers to see who could cause injury to the dancers via prop?

Kate: Omg the song was called 99 red balloons and a bunch of red balloons fell from the ceiling at the end. SOOO CLEVER!

Erica: I really liked the choreo and the concept — despite my snark — but did Jacque look sort of…Awkward and clunky? Or is it just because I don’t really like her?

Kate: She looked way less awkward and clunky here than during the foxtrot. This was just ok for me.

Erica: By the way, the Grand Duchess of Snark, our mother, is in the house tonight, but she was napping until a few minutes ago, and now she’s reading next to me, so I don’t know if she’ll be the source of any good lines. I’ll keep you posted.

Kate: I was wondering if she was watching.


Zack’s Solo

[“Butterfly” by Jason Mraz]

Erica: I think this was a better tap solo than Valerie’s. But I still like Valerie way more as an overall dancer.

Kate: Yea, this might be the best I’ve seen of Zack. Very sleek.


Jessica & Ade – Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

[“Boneless” by Steve Aoki, Chris Lake & Tujamo]

Erica: Boy, Jessica really drew the short end of the stick when it came to costumes tonight, didn’t she?

Kate: If the Valerie-Ricky-Liff routine was your dream team, this was my nightmare team.

Erica: Also, they keep talking about how 18-year-old Jessica’s never been to a club. But she’s been a dancer for a while, right? So…Why should her lack of club experience be relevant?

Kate: Seriously, this routine nearly gave me a seizure.

Erica: I think she’s a fabulous little thing, but I didn’t love choreo, and the costumes were distracting.

Kate: Her solo was so great, her partner routines so far from great.

The Grand Duchess (Mom): You know what’s interesting about these performances? There doesn’t actually have to be any talent. It’s all about the gizmos. Not that they’re bad, but with the costumes and the lights…You know what I mean?

Kate: I always know what you mean, Mom.

The Grand Duchess: (regarding Mary Murphy) Maybe she could have some surgery to fix that voice.

Erica: OH MY GOD NIGEL IS CRITICIZING RAY LEEPER. I love it when he does that. But then he’s back to criticizing Jessica. Boo, hiss. And I don’t mention this enough but I love Cat, too.


Jacque’s Solo

[“Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by The Andrews Sisters]

The Grand Duchess: You know, I watch these young ladies, and there’s no one as good as Kate was.

Kate: Mom.

Erica: I told her you can’t dance on your toes. Interesting song choice for a ballet solo. I kind of liked it. Mom didn’t.

Kate: I actually love that she chose a non-traditional ballet solo.


Ricky & Anya – Cha-cha, choreo by Jean-Marc Genereaux

[“Dare (La La La)” by Shakira]

Erica: So this is another number basically designed to make me happy. I was afraid that he’d look like a little boy being led around the dance floor like she always makes the guys look, but he didn’t. And Anya is all that is sexy in this world. I want to write her as a romance heroine.

Zoe: Mom, can you come in and help me find Rebecca’s robe? (Rebecca is one of her American Girl dolls.) Dad is really pissing me off.

Kate: Such language Zoe!

Erica: Ricky: “Seriously, I’m totally straight.” Look, Ricky, I’m sure even gay guys will consider Anya.

Kate: So I don’t think I could love this more. I really don’t. Favorite of the night. Favorite of the season?!?!???!!!!!

Erica: I mean, I don’t know if it’s my favorite of the season, but it was definitely one I could watch any old time.

Kate: And, gay or straight, I thought Ricky was sexy in this. AND…Anya is such a REAL dancer; like, she was strutting and twisting and doing her thang and then just brushed her hair out of her face while giving a smoldering look. That was not in the choreography, that was just her. Damn.


Casey & Makenzie – Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

[“Over You” by Ingrid Michaelson feat. A Great Big World]

Kate: Ugh, there Casey goes again making me like him because of a good contemporary routine.

Erica: I like Makenzie sexy better than I like Makenzie sad. I mean, overall, I prefer all things that are sexy or funny better than sad, but with Makenzie, I especially prefer it.

Kate: This was extremely lovely. I agree with Mary; it flowed so smoothly and every move just melted into the next.

Erica: The thing in the beginning when she was sort of leaning on his shoulder looked awkward but after that it got a lot better. Like when she gripped his waist with her knees and dropped backward. Holy moly.

Kate: Yea, great lifts.

Erica: I mainly liked Makenzie, though. Casey continued to be prop-esque to me.

The Grand Duchess: Has anyone been allowed to choreograph since Bob Fosse?

Kate: What? There are lots of choreographers in the world now.

Erica: And then Nigel doesn’t do the ice bucket thing. Because he has a heart condition. So that was a big (well, medium) build up for nothing. But he did write a check, which I have to imagine is more useful.


Zack & Fik-Shun – Hip-hop, choreo by Season 5’s Phillip Chbeeb

[“Sail (Unlimited Gravity Remix)” by Awolnation]

The Grand Duchess: Well, they’re pretty good.

Kate: Right before this routine I said, “Poor Zack”.  I stand corrected.

Erica: Maybe tappers are good at hip-hop because their movements are already pretty sharp and staccato. I loved this concept — actually, I thought that the concept was very confusing until I saw it and then I thought it was really cool, so good job, Phillip. I thought they danced it really well. Fik-Shun is still the better character actor but Zach did really well.

Ian: It’s hard to dance next to Fik-Shun, but Zack really did a good job.

Kate: Agree with sister AND fiance — Zack kept up with Fik-Shun very well here. I think he did luck out, though, with awesome choreography that allowed him to keep up with Fik-Shun, you know?

Erica: Nigel tried to walk back his meanness but it didn’t work very well. Nigel, you shouldn’t say that you’d be surprised if one of your contestants is in the finale. On the show. It’s not right.

Kate: That was SO MEAN! Even Christina was like, “Um, no”.

The Grand Duchess: These women all have the same dye job.



Erica: So in the finale it’s Jessica, Ricky (who looks surprised — don’t be ridiculous, Ricky), Valerie and Zack. I know Nigel is surprised but I’m not. Ricky is going to win for the boys anyway (and he’ll win the whole thing if there’s not a female winner, too), and I’m not surprised Jacque is gone.

Kate: I’m not either. Jacque is technically a better dancer than Valerie, but Valerie has been much more fun to watch. I want Ricky to win everything ever. (Also, might this be the first time two tappers have made it to the finale?)

Erica: Me, too. Okay, folks, we’ll let you know if they change the prizes next week from “some amount of money, something in a magazine only dancers read and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it number in the Broadway revival of On The Town” to “everything ever.”



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