SYTYCD Season 12 – Top Eight Perform; Two Are Eliminated

Group Routine – Jazz, choreo by Tyce Diorio

“Lilies of the Valley” from the soundtrack of Pina

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

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

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

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

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jim’s Solo

“The Four Seasons – Summer” by Antonio Vivaldi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jaja’s Solo

“Hype City” by Tight Eyez

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

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

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

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

“Let it Go” by Chonique Sneed

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

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

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

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

Gaby’s Solo

“Oye Como Va” by Santana

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

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

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

“Blade of Blood” by Tom Player

Kate: Blaaahhhh I hate pasodoble.

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

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

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

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

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

Derek’s Solo

“Two Men in Love” by The Irrepressibles

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

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

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

“Infinity” by The XX

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

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

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

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

Virgil’s Solo

“i” by Kendrick Lamar

Kate: So boring, I can’t even.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Hailee’s Solo

“Vanguardian” by Steed Lord

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

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

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

“Angel” by Sarah McLachlan

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

Erica: He’s your Pasha.

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

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

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

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

Kate: And also Robert. ❤

Megz’s Solo

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

Kate: Yeah, time for Megz to go home.

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

Kate: How philosophical of you!

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

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

Kate: Yay Ricky!

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

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

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

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

Neptune’s Solo

“Get Big” by Dorrough

Kate: Over it.

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

Team Street: Hip-Hop, choreo by Dave Scott

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Team Stage: Contemporary, choreo by Tessandra Chavez

“Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran

Kate: I love this song!

Erica: It’s very pretty.

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

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

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

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

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

Erica: Much relief over here.

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

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

SYTYCD Season Twelve – Top Ten Perform; Two Are Eliminated

Group Routine: Jazz, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

“Earth Intruders” by Bjork

Kate: This had Sonya written ALL over it.

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: Par for the course.

Cat Deeley’s Outfit

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

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

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

Kate: Illegal!

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

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

Virgil’s Solo

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

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

Kate: Meh.

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

Kate: Meh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neptune’s Solo

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

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


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

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

“Got It” by Marian Hill

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

Kate: I knew you were going to say that.

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

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

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

Kate: Agree.

Erica: Paula agrees with me.

Kate: Uh oh, what’s happening to us?

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

Gaby’s Solo

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

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

Kate: Yay Ricky!

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

JaJa’s Solo

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

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

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

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

“Canned Heat” by Jamiroquai

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

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

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

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

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

Jim’s Solo

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

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

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

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

“Your Day Will Come” by Son Lux

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

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

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

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

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

Hailee’s Solo

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

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

Kate: Blah solos blah.

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

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

“Milk was a Bad Choice” by Yultron

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

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

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

Kate: No, just bizARRE.

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

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

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

Derek’s Solo

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

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

Kate: …Duh.

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

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

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

“Heal” by Tom Odell

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

Kate: Beautiful.

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

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

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

Megz’s Solo

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

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

Kate: I’m over her.

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

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

“Naacho Re” from Jai Ho

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

Kate: That’s Aladdin! Kinda?

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

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

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

Edson’s Solo

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

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

Kate: Yay cheerleading!

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

“I’m Really Hot” by Missy Elliott

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SYTYCD Season 12 – Top 14 –> Top 10

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

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

Group Routine: Jazz, choreo by Brian Friedman

“100% Pure Love” by Crystal Waters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Asht” by Nebulo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Cellophane” by Sia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Circus Fish” by Vermillion Lies

Kate: Sexy fish, really?

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

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

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

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

“Worth It” by Fifth Harmony feat. Kid Ink

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

Kate: Oh gosh this was quite a disaster.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Erica: It was very literal.

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

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

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

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

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

“A Different Beat” by Little Mix

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Lift Me” by The Bengsons

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

Erica: Sonya Tayeh is really good at her job.

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

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

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

Erica: Really incredible routine, and done very well.

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

“Dragula” by Rob Zombie

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

Erica: Yeah this was pretty obvious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

SYTYCD Season 12 – Top Sixteen Perform; Two Are Eliminated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: I don’t like when they do that.

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

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

“Endangered Species” by Dianne Reeves

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

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

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

Kate: She still looks like Miley Cyrus to me.

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

Kate: Onto the dancing, now?

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: I thought the choreography was just fine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: These tidbits are uninteresting to me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Due de Amor” by Astor Piazzolla

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Lorde

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

Kate: Minimal caring over here.

Erica: Jim loves bubble baths.

Kate: Not surprising.

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

Kate: They danced it beautifully, though.

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

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

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

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

“Where or When” by Sammy Davis Jr.

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

Kate: Blah blah blah.

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

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

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

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

“Braveheart” by Neon Jungle

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

Kate: Hate. Him.

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


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

Kate: Pasha is also your catnip.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Let Go” by Kezwick feat. Mimi Page

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

Kate: Marissa’s abs? Damn.

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

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

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

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

“You There” by Aquilo

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

Kate: Yay cheerleading!

Erica: This choreographer is new, right?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Team Street: Hip-Hop, choreo by Luam

“Commas” by Future

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

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

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

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

Team Stage: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Beautiful Friends” by Helen Money

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: Yeah, I want him to go home.

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

SYTYCD – The Ten-Year Anniversary Party

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why don’t I have a job in television?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where the fuck is Mary Murphy?!

SYTYCD Announcement

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

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