SYTYCD Season 14 – Top 8

Kate: Wait, they DO dance with each other this season? Not just the all-stars?

Erica: I guess. They do what they want to do.

Kate: I canNOT keep up!

 

Cat Deeley’s Look

Kate: I normally prefer her hair down and wavy, but I am digging this loose high pony. And makeup.

Erica: But not the dress.

Kate: The dress is absurd, but it kind of works on her and on this particular show. The only thing I could do without is the earrings — I think the dress speaks for itself, no additional bling required, you know?

Erica: I think she should wear the earrings and not the dress. I can appreciate that coming up with looks that are new every week and not, you know, stupid looking, is hard. But they failed this time.

 

Group Routine (Everyone): Jazz, choreo by Mark Kanemura

“Call Me Mother” by RuPaul

Kate: Only Robert was worthy of being in this routine — and by “worthy” I mean “sharp enough”.

Erica: Oh, I quite liked it. Though he was the number one best.

Kate: Wait, no, Comfort was too. Obviously. Oh, and Jasmine.

Erica: So happy she’s still around.

Kate: There were just a lot of intricate steps and hand movements that were not executed well. Maybe there were just too many people?

Erica: I didn’t have a problem with it. I also had a baby crawling on me while watching it so maybe I didn’t catch everything. I did think every person was doing a weird thing with their mouth at one point or another.

 

Kione & Marko: Jazz, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Handclap” by Fitz and the Tantrums

Kate: Er, no story! Aren’t you happy? Ian is thrilled.

Ian: No story?!

Erica: I am pretty happy. I mean, stories are fine (sometimes) but it’s nice to not struggle to come up with some stupid shit.

Kate: I feel like this is the only style (so far) that she wasn’t immediately amazing at, TECHNICALLY, but her personality and overall performance quality kind of made up for it.

Erica: I thought she was terrific. This might not make any sense to you, since you can actually dance, but to me, she looks like what I look like in my head when I’m dancing. Like, I understand that I DO NOT look like that, but the creature in my head whose moves I’m following does.

Kate: I honestly feel like Marko wasn’t that great at this style either; like, maybe even messed up a few steps? I also missed their chemistry but I suppose that’s what happens when you have A DANCE WITH NO STORY.

Ian: Ew, Hudgy-Wudgy!

Kate: Yes, ew, Hudgy. Who do you think you are with that silver-blond wig, Daenerys Targaryen? IN YOUR DREAMS!

Erica: You are being very unkind. You do not understand the plight of those living without a personality. Sometimes they have to wear stupid hair to feel like they might, in fact, exist.

 

Taylor & Robert: Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown

“Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B

Kate: I was soooo nervous about these 2 doing hip-hop but they freakin’ CRUSHED IT. Crushed it!

Erica: They really did. She was terrific. I feel like they’ve tried to create this “sweet, soft good girl” image for her but she actually has a lot of sass.

Kate: She adapted to hip-hop so much better than she did to samba. She was so feisty in every place she was supposed to be. I feel like she loved having that long high pony, too.

Erica: Her face reminds us a bit of Anne Hathaway, yes? Yes.

Kate: Yes.

 

Lex & Gaby: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Work Song” by Luke Wade

Kate: I’m not a huge fan of his, but he is obviously a standout within his own style. This was very enjoyable to watch. Probably my favorite from these 2 so far.

Erica: I quite liked the song, which I feel like maybe I’ve heard and commented on before. I thought he was quite lovely in this. Like, yes, he should manage not to suck in the style that got him on this show. But also, he didn’t suck. He was very good.

Kate: Every time I see Vanessa Hudgens’ hair, I get extremely angry.

Ian: Quiet, Hudgy!

Erica: It’s amazing, the total void she adds to this already pretty meaning-lite conversation.

 

Kaylee & Cyrus: Cha-Cha, choreo by Val Chmerkovskiy

“Respect” by Aretha Franklin

Kate: Again, another routine I was nervous about, but it was fab! Kaylee, I am so sorry for misjudging you in the first episode. I actually really like you as a dancer and think you did a phenomenal cha-cha!

Erica: They keep coming up with costumes and concepts that allow her to hold on to her androgyny, which is fine, but I’m kind of curious about how she’d do if they made her do a waltz in a floaty pink dress. That said, she was a sass-machine in this number and it was terrific.

Kate: They both had great form/ballroom posture the entire time. It must have been hard doing such a traditional dance to such a non-traditional song (for the type of dance, I mean), but they pulled it off, even in the pauses where there were no real movements. Really loved it.

Erica: I do feel like ballroom, especially Latin ballroom, has a lot of room for non-traditional song choices.

 

Mark & Comfort: Broadway, choreo by Spencer Liff

“Criminal” by Scott Bradlee’s Modern Jukebox feat. Ariana Savalas

Kate: No. Didn’t work.

Erica: I don’t love the concept. We don’t need another Comfort-is-a-man-eater number. That said, I still feel like he forces their connection too much. They might have one but he always looks like he’s trying to demonstrate to the audience that they have one, rather than just having one.

Kate: I just feel like he was doing an imitation of a Broadway dancer, not being a Broadway dancer himself, you know? It didn’t feel sexy, it felt creepy and wrong. Just didn’t like it. Let’s have Comfort re-do this with someone else?

Erica: Comfort can do anything she wants ever and I will watch it. Maybe next time they can get handcuffs that aren’t quite obviously broken and therefore not holding Comfort back at all.

Kate: NIGEL YOU ARE SUCH A CREEP STOP MAKING THOSE COMMENTS!

Erica: For our readers who missed it, this dance starts with Mark tied up and Comfort shimmying all over him. Nigel claims Spencer just choreographed Spencer’s own personal fantasy. Nigel, you won’t let Spencer choreograph his own fantasies. Because his own fantasies involve two dudes, and you are uncomfortable with that. (Well, two or more dudes, I guess. I don’t know Spencer’s mind.)

 

Kiki & Jenna: Jazz, choreo by Travis Wall

“Pop Hd” by Atom TM

Kate: Not really what I’d call “jazz” and not really what I’d expect/want to see from Travis Wall. And that music and lighting? No thank you!

Erica: So, I was kind of amazed to see Zoe get really into this piece. She even recognized that it was supposed to look like a Roy Lichtenstein painting. I mean, she didn’t remember his name but she recognized the style. So I was pleased about that.

Kate: I couldn’t even pay attention to the dancing because I was too focused on the awful music and seizure lighting. Still seeing spots.

Erica: This routine was interesting, but it was not for me. But I can’t gauge my reactions accurately because Jenna just makes my whole body clench.

 

Dassy & Fik-Shun: Contemporary, choreo by Jaci Royal

“Breathe” by Son Lux

Kate: She danced this beautifully. He was kind of just there, which was ok for this routine, I think.

Erica: I was not entranced by this routine.

Kate: The girl dancers are really strong this season, I like them all so much! And Jaci Royal is new to the SYTYCD choreographing family, right? So far, I’m into her.

Erica: Not me. I didn’t like this routine. I thought it looked very going-through-the-motions and I thought that was her fault, not Dassy and Fik-Shun’s. Well, not Dassy’s, in any event.

 

Logan & Allison: Lyrical Hip-Hop, choreo by Christopher Scott

“Say You Won’t Let Go” by Boyce Avenue

Kate: This was barely “lyrical hip-hop”, in my expert opinion, but I’m not sure what else I would call it, so, fine.

Erica: As far as I can tell, “lyrical hip-hop” is either “jazz, but the motions go faster than the song,” or “hip-hop, but to a non-hip-hop song.” This was the former.

Kate: I felt it was very corny and not believable that they were husband and wife but maybe that’s because we already know she is married to Twitch and they made sure to remind us of it during the rehearsal footage? Like, he really did seem more like her annoying little brother than her husband?

Erica: He’s a lot younger than her, and it showed. I thought this was cute but not spectacular. Like, I thought each of them danced it very well, and it was a pretty cute routine, but I won’t remember this happening in a month.

Kate: Speaking of which, why isn’t Twitch at any of the tapings?! 😦

Erica: I would love to see him and Allison dance together. Also, Nigel’s joke about his divorce made me sad.

 

Group Routine (All-Stars): Contemporary, choreo by Jaci Royal

“Truth” by Balmorhea

Kate: The props were distracting. Was it about looking in a mirror or being separated by thin barriers or shattering ceilings or what? WHAT WAS THE STORY, JACI?

Erica: I thought it was cool. I think it was about, like, the ways we separate ourselves from each other, or something. I liked it. But also, as a person who has been a nervous Jewish mom even before she was an actual mom, this piece terrified me. Zoe really liked this one, too.

 

Taylor & Lex: Jazz, choreo by Spencer Liff

“An American in Paris” by James Levine & Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Kate: I feel like she just kept wanting to do ballet and then remembered this was jazz. I liked her hip-hop routine much better.

Erica: Oh I liked it. It is my kind of thing.

Kate: And similar to her ballroom routine last week, she was just too stiff in some areas. She has a hard time letting go and being fluid, I think. Why are the judges standing? No standing! No standing! This was not good!

Erica: Her spine could have used a little loosening. But other than that, I thought it was pretty good. Not as great as the judges thought it was, but I thought she was charming.

Kate: Also, despite that little “history” comment from Cat and the pre-rehearsal footage and the kiss on stage, they have no chemistry.

Erica: Yeah, I didn’t understand what that was about. I thought we were about to hear that they, like, had a dance class together when they were four, or something.

Kate: Hold on, “one of the best routines ever on So You Think You Can Dance”? Do I need to update my contacts prescription again?

Erica: I feel like she was just standing before the judges going, “How long are they going to keep talking? When can I take my ginormous eyelash feather things off?”

 

Kione & Kiki: Salsa, choreo by Val Chmerkovskiy

“Dança Molengo” by Bonde do Rolê feat. Rizzle Kicks

Kate: Important question: How does Kiki practice dance while wearing glasses?

Erica: I would think contacts would be really important for a dancer. But what do I know?

Kate: Anyway, I love her. She’s a natural at ballroom. She kind of stole the show from him, literally. I think she could win this show. I think she should win this show. Maybe she won’t, but maybe she should.

Erica: She’s definitely rocketing up there for me. She looked terrific. I feel like the costume department dropped the ball a bit on this one — she’s in a sort of mismatched crop top and cha-cha skirt, and then he’s in, like, what he wore to grab a pizza the night before – but she was super-adorable. And he was good, too. In his own style.

Kate: There IS an awful lot of kissing going on here, Mary!

 

Kaylee & Logan: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Shadows” by Woodkid

Kate: Now THIS is what I want and expect from Travis Wall. Excellent. Didn’t she kind of remind you of Nightcrawler?

Erica: I…had not really heard of that movie before.

Kate: Also, what a “concept” — they had to be perfectly in sync because she was his shadow, so they had to dance the exact same movements most of the time, like, you know, a…normal…choreographed…dance…routine? GROUNDBREAKING!

Erica: Heehee. I thought this was cool and they did a terrific job. They are such different dancers — I mean, I know they’re both contemporary, but they feel so different to me. So to do a routine like this was very interesting and I thought they did a great job.

Kate: Sorry, Travis, love ya, but come on. So silly.

 

Dassy & Mark: Hip-Hop, choreo by Christopher Scott

“Titled” by Christine and the Queens

Kate: This isn’t “So You Think You Can Toss An Umbrella”, Chris Scott. Let them dance, for crying out loud!

Erica: I don’t know why this didn’t land for me. I don’t mind dancing with umbrellas. I love Dassy. This should have been so in her and Mark’s wheelhouse. And yet, somehow, I just didn’t love it.

Kate: The umbrellas took away everything that could have and should have been cool about this routine. Their movements were not big or sharp enough, it was all about the damn props. I really like her and now I’m worried this will hurt her chances of moving forward.

Erica: You know, I’m wondering if the umbrella handles just needed to be a bit longer.

 

Results

Kate: I am ready for Mark to go home. Unfortunately that is not going to happen, though, because only girls are in the bottom 3. America, why are you so bad at voting?

Erica: I was going to write a feminist rant about American voting, but then I got too sad and had to watch that commercial with the new baby 800 times to make myself feel better.

Kate: Well, this sucks. Dassy had a lot of potential and was fun to watch, but I am enjoying watching Kaylee more and more each week.

Erica: Aw, man. That’s really disappointing. Dassy is really, really good and I’ll miss her. I like Kaylee. But Kione and Taylor are competing for tops in my heart right now.

Kate: Until next time!

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SYTYCD Season 14 – Top Nine Perform

Cat Deeley’s Look

Kate: Yaaaaaaaaaas THIS is my favorite version of Cat Deeley hair.

Erica: Yes. Yes. Yes. Well, this is probably my second favorite. I like it when there are just those big loose curls at the bottom a scooch better. But God she is so pretty. I want to brush it.

Kate: And only someone a bazillion feet tall, like her, with teeny-tiny skinny arms, also like her, could pull off that dress. Love it love it love it.

Erica: I think she looks great in that dress. That dress is not my particular thing, but it is a perfect example of the thing it is.

 

Group Routine – All: Hip-hop, choreo by Luther Brown

“Ya Ya” by Jonte

Kate: Why was no one nearly as sharp as they needed to be, all-stars included?

Erica: Here’s what I was thinking during this routine: Okay, so it’s African jazz? But what’s the difference between African jazz and jazz, other than outfits? Well, this is sharper and harder than most jazz. More like hip-hop. Is African jazz just hip-hop with different outfits? And then it was hip-hop after all. In African jazz outfits. But it’s still not clear to me what distinguishes African jazz from other dance forms.

Kate: I did not like the outfits, or the routine, at all.

 

Logan & Allison: Jive, choreo by Emma Slater & Sasha Farber

“5 Months, 2 weeks, 2 days” by Louis Prima

Kate: I do not feel that his feet were as good in this, and your feet HAVE to be good in a jive. That’s the whole point!

Erica: Oh, I enjoyed this quite a bit. There was still a lot of contemporary in him, but I thought he did very well. Maybe it’s just that I love a jive.

Kate: Ugh but I LOVE when Mary Murphy gets all technical in her critiques, reminds me that she actually knows what she’s talking about as opposed to *SOME* other judges.

Erica: I know; I kind of want Mary Murphy to give us a little class some time. Like, get some of the ballroom all-stars on stage and be like, “Look, this is what the feet are supposed to do during a samba/waltz/foxtrot, this is what the arms are supposed to do,” etc.

Kate: “Wow…You guys, like…really DANCED, you know? Heehee!” *eye roll*

Erica: Vanessa Hudgens is so terrible. You know, I was going to show Zoe High School Musical now that she’s the right age for it but I think I won’t. (She also hates Vanessa Hudgens, so that’s fine.) Why couldn’t they have Christina Applegate?

Kate: She was fine in that movie and Zoe would like it, she is just not fine as a So You Think You Can Dance judge. I think something *happened* with Christina Applegate and Fox.

 

Kione & Marko: Hip-hop, choreo by David Scott

“You Don’t Own Me” by Grace feat. G-Eazy

Kate: Trying not to focus on the fact that one of my favorite songs by one of my all-time favorite singers has been turned into a hip-hop remix, I looooovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvved this routine.

Erica: They didn’t even remix it that well. It was just kind of that song, with some hip-hop bits in between. But yes, this routine was brilliant and she was brilliant in it. Like, seriously, seriously brilliant.

Kate: Kione is so so good. She is great at hip-hop, she is great with Marko, she’s even starting to outshine him a little.

Erica: Yeah. Yeah, she is.

 

Dassy & Fik-Shun: Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“Bring the Funk Back” by Big Gigantic

Kate: This was fun, and again the contestant was outshining the all-star, a bit. I think this style suited her well.

Erica: I am more and more impressed by Dassy. I actually thought she was better than him in this. Or at least more comfortable being sexy. Funk is clearly a good style for him, but she was great.

Kate: Agreed!

 

Mark & Comfort: Contemporary, choreo by Talia Favia

“Ending” by Isaiah Danielson

Kate: She is such a beautiful dancer. I am unimpressed by him overall.

Erica: So I agree that she is more or less carrying him, but this one hit me in all the feels. This was another unhealthy romance piece, with more violence and more despair, and I really felt it. It hit me.

Kate: No pun intended?

 

Group Routine – All Stars: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Strange Fruit” Nina Simone

Kate: Well this was a bit jarring.

Erica: I hate “issues” pieces. I hate pieces that rely on you watching on TV rather than being in the live audience. And yet. I thought this was magnificent. Beautiful choreography. Astounding performances. Just a beautiful piece of art. In my opinion.

Kate: I’m surprised this was a Travis Wall routine, but I won’t say anything else for fear of being misinterpreted.

Erica: It’s okay, Kate. You can dislike this piece and also still hate racism. I must confess, I was completely confused about how they got out of their first outfits. I had to rewind and watch again and I’m still a bit confused.

Kate: Oh, yes, the outfits confused me. It was beautifully danced.

 

Lex & Gaby: Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle

“Miss Otis Regrets” by Bette Midler

Kate: I WANT her dress, except I’d wear it as a tank top.

Erica: She looked incredible. I love this song and she was so good. He was…There? I’m not really sure about that; most of the dance didn’t seem to want me to notice him.

Kate: I am as unimpressed with Lex as I am with Mark, I think.

 

Sydney & Paul: Hip-hop, choreo by  Luther Brown

“Really? Yeah!” by Kyle

Kate: Ah, these two can’t really do hip-hop, can they?

Erica: No. Sydney was doing the same shoulders-hunched-equals-swag thing that fellow ballroom-er Kiki was doing last week.

Kate: For once I agreed with the judges, she was too cutesy/smiley in this. I continue to dislike the odd things she does with her mouth.

Erica: She was just sort of smirking the whole time. I think she thought that was swag as well.

Kate: None of what she does, ever, is “swag”.

 

Group Routine – Top 9: Broadway, choreo by Chris Baldock

“Hey Pachuco!” by Royal Crown Revue

Kate: At first I thought this was just the guys — contestants and all-stars — and then I was like, ‘Wait, why are there so many guys?’ and then I realized the girls were in it too. The suits and hairstyles threw me off.

Erica: You are so funny. I must say, I hated the suits.

Kate: Me too. Didn’t love any of the group routines tonight, really.

Erica: This routine should have done it for me and it did not. But maybe I was distracted by the weird-a$s suits.

 

Kaylee & Cyrus: Jazz, choreo by Spencer Liff

“Less Talk, More Art” by Vito Fun & Koil

Kate: I really thought I did not like her at first, but last week and this week she has really grown on me. Maybe Cyrus brings it out in her.

Erica: They were very good. She was very good. But more than that, this routine was very, very good. It was fun and cute and sharp and difficult enough to show off their skills while still being a coherent piece. And I liked the hats. Good job, Spencer Liff.

 

Taylor & Robert: Samba, choreo by Jean-Marc Genereux

“Bun Up the Dance” by Dillon Francis & Skrillex

Kate: Dammit. I loved these 2, but they didn’t live up to weeks 1 and 2 with this routine. She was WAY too stiff and rigid in her back for this particular ballroom style, it just wasn’t as fluid as it was supposed to be.

Erica: See, I didn’t think she was nearly as bad as they were saying! Yes, a little rigid in the back, but, you know, they slobbered all over Lex and Logan and were very forgiving of their minor missteps, and much harder on Taylor for, I think, similar flaws.

Kate: Yes, because she was SO GOOD the last 2 weeks. Robert looked like he wanted to KILL someone when the judges were giving them criticism. You were obviously great, Robert, it’s Taylor that stunk up the place! We still love YOU!

 

Kiki & Jenna: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by George Michael

Kate: This song makes me sad because I think it’s the song Mom and Dad heard on their first date and he thought she didn’t know anything about music and asked her who sang it (the original, not George Michael) and she did know.

Erica: Really? That’s a good story. I like it.

Kate: Everyone was all hyped up about their chemistry in this, and I didn’t really see it, but I did like him more than I have before in this routine. He can stay.

Erica: I mean, he was fine and the piece was nice, but she’s become one of those people where, she could be saving puppies and curing cancer on stage and I’d still be having this overwhelming “Ugh” reaction so I don’t know if I can be objective about them.

 

Results

Kate: Good, Sydney in the bottom 3 again. Oh good, Sydney going home. Bye, weird mouth!

Erica: I can’t believe Dassy was on the bottom. Right now, she, Kione, and Taylor (yes, still) are my favorites. I am ready to say goodbye to Kiki and Lex. And if I could lose Mark without losing Comfort, I would. I’m fine with the Sydney decision. Bottom 3 twice in a row? Sure, time to go.

Kate: I also do not like that Dassy was in the bottom. Get it together, America (in many ways).

 

SYTYCD Season 14 – Top 10 Perform (2)

Erica: Welcome back, dance lovers!

Kate: Nothing makes me love/miss dance more than this show.

Erica: Well, I will say, Nigel is looking a touch healthier this week, and Mary Murphy’s outfit is at least 65% less insane. Vanessa Hudgens is making up for it, though, by wearing the Slutty Business Lady outfit from Trashy.com.

Kate: I’d call it Dominatrix Whore Barbie, Junior. Am completely disgusted by it. My 9-year-old niece is watching this show and seeing someone dressed like that? Not cool.

Erica: Don’t worry; my baby has taste. She hates it. Also, Vanessa really wants you to notice her claws.

Kate: As usual, I just can’t get behind that trend.

Erica: Just FYI, there are solos from each of the 10 contestants tonight but we’re not covering them because they’re boring. Just assume that each of them managed to not suck at 30 seconds of their own style. Also, the all stars joined the step team of the coming feature film, Step, the leader of which auditioned for this show, but, while it was a fun routine and I’d like to take Zoe to see the movie, I don’t feel the need to cover it. I mean, you could barely see the all stars.

Kate: I thought the step routine was awesome, 1) because they talked about it during auditions then actually did it; 2) because our high school had an amazing step team that I loved to watch and it reminded me of them; and 3) because the all stars joined the step routine halfway through so I liked to think of these Baltimoreans teaching the routine to the all stars. I took a step class in college (in Baltimore, coincidentally), and that sh!t is HARD to learn. So, YAY step!

 

Cat Deeley’s Look

Kate: Again, alarming at first because of the lighting, but I kind of love the hair and the disco outfit to match the disco group routine. Her makeup continues to be too much.

Erica: Not a fan. Not a fan of anything. Except the makeup. Zoe liked the pants.

Kate: Ditto, Zoe.

 

Group Routine: Disco, choreo by Mandy Moore & Val Chmerkovskiy

“You Should Be Dancing” by The Bee Gees

Erica: Had there been a late ‘90s/early ‘00s remake of Saturday Night Fever, this would have been the opening routine. And I mean that as a compliment.

Kate: Absolutely loved this. They obviously had so much fun with costumes this week, starting with this routine. The partnering was a little sloppy but the mini-groups were awesome. We haven’t seen a good disco on this show in a while.

Erica: I normally hate disco on this show. But this was so much fun. I mean, it was cheesy, but very deliberately so. And it was so clearly suited to the sensibilities of this cast.

Kate: Great way to start off the show.

 

Comfort & Mark: Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“Hater” by Various Production

Erica: Well, Sadie liked it a great deal. She kept looking at the screen and going “Oh!” And “Wow!”

Kate: Sadie and I are on the same page; I loved this more than I expected to. However, Mark is not nearly sharp enough to be dancing this style with Comfort.

Erica: The dance was about a couple in an intense and unhealthy relationship. I thought the choreo was pretty good and they were each individually pretty good, but the connection and chemistry between them feels a little forced. Not so much that it isn’t there, but that they are both very conscious of making it look like it’s there. I do feel like Comfort is such a goddess though.

Kate: She is just too good for him, literally. She’s soooo sharp. He is not.

 

Gaby & Lex: Argentinian Tango, choreo by Leonardo Barrionuevo & Miriam Larici

“Red & Black (Rojo y Negro)” by Ryota Komatsu

Kate: Mehhh…Not my favorite.

Erica: This did not land for me. There were lifts that were supposed to look slow-motion, but some of them looked just a little awkward, and those fast-foot kicky things looked 100% awkward and off. I know those must be super hard, but, you know, one of these people is a professional dancer and one is trying to be.

Kate: His legs were all wrong for this dance, I think.

 

Jenna & Kiki: Hip-hop, choreo by Luther Brown

“Caroline” by Amine

Erica: Ugh, I still hate her. It’s possibly irrational. It’s not that I think she’s a bad dancer. In this, she was actually quite good. I just…Ugh.

Kate: The choreography of this routine played up her dislikeable-ness. A lot. I was pleasantly surprised at both their abilities to do a hip-hop routine like this and look good doing it, but neither of them are my favorites by far.

Erica: I did not like him in this routine. It feels like someone told him “swag” meant “shoulders somewhere around your ears” and he committed to that 100%.

 

Paul & Sydney: Contemporary, choreo by Jaci Royal

“The Letting Go” by Melissa Etheridge

 

Kate: I knew everyone was going to fawn all over this routine, but the non-dancing parts were not dancey enough at all for me. I don’t want to see them walking and hugging, I want to see them DANCE-walking and DANCE-hugging. It was more like a skit in a play than a choreographed dance routine.

Erica: How come the choreographer spells her name “Jaci” but pronounces it “Jackie”? That’s wrong. In other non-dance-related musings, I really like Melissa Etheridge’s voice. I know it’s not technically great but it is very appealing to me.

Kate: Am officially not a fan of “Jaci”’s choreography OR name spelling.

Erica: I thought Sydney was very good. Better than I remembered her being. Gorgeous long legs. Some great lifts. Weirdly awkward when she ran. For someone who had literally just lived this routine — breaking up with a hometown boy so you can go pursue your dreams — I thought her acting could have been better.

Kate: She does odd things with her mouth during all routines.

Erica: And then Mary Murphy was like, “I’ve lived this routine, too!” And now I want to go get a bunch of margaritas with Mary Murphy and hear all about it.

 

Allison & Logan: Jazz, choreo by Brian Friedman

“In the Morning” by Jaded

Kate: Well, someone’s shoulder is feeling better!

Erica: Doesn’t she look a lot like My So-Called Life-era Claire Danes?

Kate: No? It felt like she had something to prove in this routine so, again, all eyes were on the all star. It was good, and they were good together, but she took all the attention away from him.

Erica: I like her a lot. I might even like him. I was not a huge fan of this routine. I just didn’t really understand what was so special about it besides the outfits.

Kate: And then the inappropriate comments about the breast area of her outfit from…Nigel!

 

Cyrus & Kaylee: Hip-hop, choreo by Pharisee & Phoenix

“I’m Better” by Missy Elliott, feat. Lamb

Erica: The concept here was that they are aliens who just took on human bodies and are figuring out how they work. That seems appropriate for these two. I like her better this week as a hip-hopper than I did last week when she was in her own style.

Kate: Absolutely blown away. Totally bored by her last week, loved her this week. They were amazing together in this routine and I loved watching every second of it. She also impressed me during her solo, so I think I have changed my mind about little miss Kaylee.

 

Robert & Taylor: Broadway, choreo by Al Blackstone

“The Man that Got Away,” by Judy Garland

Kate: Yaaaaaaaaaaasssss. Robert! Yasssssssssssssssss. Loved it loved it loved it.

Erica: Okay, so this was a gimme for me. Broadway? Yes. Classic, Fred-and-Ginger-y dancing? Yes. Unrequited love? That outfit? A street lamp? Yes. Yes. Yes. I am here for all that. But even if this wasn’t 100% my catnip, I still think they were completely spectacular and if voters are voting on sheer talent, Taylor will be the winner. She was incredible in this. Grace and technical perfection and acting and so much amazingness. I am a fan.

Kate: Big fan of Taylor, but I think she lucked out getting Robert as a partner. This was fantastic, and this is the type of Broadway I want to see on this show. And when do the voters ever vote on sheer talent?

 

Marko & Koine: African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

“Speaking in Tongues II” by Sheila Chandra

Kate: So the routine itself wasn’t as great as last week’s for these 2, but when they are literally physically connected — by hand, by foot, whatever — they truly dance as one. I want them to get married.

Erica: Nigel wants you all to know that this show is basically the United Nations. All these different ethnic groups (dancers from Japan and Guam, choreographer from Canada, African/Caribbean style, British/Indian singer) coming together for one routine! Amazing! We will heal the world with (So You Think You Can) Dance!

Kate: The world is beyond our, and So You Think You Can Dance’s, help. I think the routine was tough and they were shaky in a few parts, but they still make a great pair.

Erica: I don’t know if I liked it. I don’t have any other routines about the lifecycle of an insect to compare it to. I’ve also never been an insect, so, you know, I don’t know if I connected to it. But I think they danced it well?

Kate: Well, but shaky in some parts, but v connected. Koine’s solo was also great.

 

Jasmine & Robert: Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

“Otherside” by Perfume Genius

Erica: I just like her so much. She’s so beautiful and fluid and I want to watch her dance forever.

Kate: Yes, I keep remembering why we loved her so much during her season. They are good together, but she is so obviously better than him. Tough break.

Erica: The piece is lovely — two sad people find each other at a hotel — but I think, you know, you can’t put a bench in a routine on this show. It’s been done and we all remember.

Kate: Oh, so true. They said he didn’t have the emotion, but I disagree. His solo was THOROUGHLY enjoyable, I just don’t think he’s going to last long on this show.

 

Fik-Shun & Dassy: Bollywood, choreo by Nakuru Dev Mahayana

“Radha Nachegi” from the Tevar soundtrack

Kate: I really loved the Broadway routine, but I might have loved this even more. Dassy seemed so excited to do Bollywood and was so natural in it, it was just a super-fun thing to watch.

Erica: I thought they did very well. A little sloppy-looking toward the end, but damn, they kept up very good energy and amazing verve.

Kate: Yes apparently there was a fumble toward the end that I did not notice?

Erica: I saw it. They recovered very well. Bollywood seems to be a good fit for Fik-Shun — it’s sharp and precise like a lot of hip-hop is, plus it’s happy and bouncy. (Well, I understand not all of it is happy and bouncy. But a lot of it is.)

Kate: For once, I wasn’t watching the all star, I was watching the contestant, which I think is the right way to do a routine.

Erica: Nigel complimented her outfit in a way that felt a little dirty, but also, I really liked her skirt and would like one, too, please.

Kate: I thought he said the costume designer did great on everything the whole night?

 

Erica: I was really surprised by who was on the bottom. I thought Kaylee was gone for sure.

Kate: Samesies.

Erica: I have to say, the main thing that makes me sad about Robert going is that Jasmine is therefore gone as well. Maybe they’ll keep her around and use her if, like, one of the other all star girls needs a break?

Kate: She will for sure stick around, I think. I’m not sad about Robert, but I think Sydney should have been the one to go. Her mouth. It bothers me.

SYTYCD Season 14 – Top Ten Perform (1)

SYTYCD Season 14 Top 10

Erica: Greetings, dance fans! Boy, it’s been a long time!

Kate: Over 2 years, to be exact. We boycotted last year’s stupid season, and this season started a bit later in the summer than usual.

Erica: We boycotted last season because we don’t believe in the exploitation of children. Nor did we want to hear what Nigel had to say about 13-year-old girls.

Kate: Ew.

Erica: This season, I’ll confess, I was on the fence. We hadn’t done last season and I hate lack of continuity. Plus I have a baby and the baby makes it difficult to get anything done.

Kate: I didn’t even know it was starting again until a dear friend reminded me via text and confirmed they were done with the 13-year-old nonsense.

Erica: But then! Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles! THEY BROUGHT MARY MURPHY BACK! So, decision made and here we are.

Kate: Yes, that was also a factor.

Erica: Now, it seems they’re changing some things up this season. It’s the top 10, not the top 20, dancers, for one. Plus, if I am not mistaken, something new happened with the selection of the top 10? Did the all-stars get to pick? I didn’t watch. I really should watch.

Kate: They only held auditions in New York and Los Angeles, and each audition episode was only one hour, then the top 100 dancers went to an “academy” to be whittled down to the top 10 by the all-stars, with whom each top 10 contestant will be dancing throughout the season. Fox is clearly a) about to cancel this show and b) trying to make it as close to Dancing with the Stars as possible. They also had a very similar setup to The Voice when they were going from 100 to 10 and the all-stars were picking people for their “teams”, but the “teams” didn’t last very long.

Erica: Okay, ready?

 

Cat’s Outfit

Kate: That first lighting/camera angle wasn’t great, but I love her no matter what! Dress is v Jessica Rabbit.

Erica: She came out gripping the skirt, indicating that she cannot walk in the dress. So it’s sexy and slinky and red, with the right amount of sparkle, but if you can’t walk in it, it looks stupid. Period the end.

Kate: I don’t think Jessica Rabbit had an easy time walking in it, either.

Erica: I’m digging the hair, I must say.

Kate: Always.

 

All-Star Group Routine: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Knocking on Heaven’s Door” by Raign

Erica: Alright so the all-stars for the season, minus Allison, who hurt her shoulder, come down from a platform. The girls are in purple swirly outfits and the boys are in just pants. The number is a very classic contemporary number. Lots of intense gazes and beautiful flailing and everyone looks fairly tragic. They sometimes couple up, sometimes dance individually, sometimes move into smaller groups. I want to provide you all with some description of the actual dancing this year, but hoo boy, I am not very good at it. Kate?

Kate: I love the beautiful flailing more than anything.

Ian: They are ruining a good song.

Erica: I agree with Ian. I thought the pros looked great, as they should. Very beautiful and professional number. It’s not going to reside in my memory or haunt my dreams, but it was pretty good.

Kate: Agree. Allison hurt her shoulder, like, that day, or the day before, which sucks, but she’s married to Twitch, which doesn’t suck.

Erica: It’s probably worth mentioning that they’ve got a new stage this year. It’s very nice. More open, like their early years. Less proscenium-esque.

Kate: Did not notice that AT ALL.

Erica: Oh, and apparently Nigel was ill! Oh, I’m so sorry, Nigel. This information will not be likely to make me be nice to you, though. It’s not my job. It’s not what we’re all here for. I’m sure you understand.

 

Fik-Shun (Season 12 Winner) & Dassy: Hip-Hop, choreo by Popin’ Pete

“Shake Your Pants” by Cameo

Erica: So they’re in zoot suits, which makes me feel extraordinarily positive right off the bat.

Kate: Don’t like it.

Erica: I think it’s terrific. Fun and poppy and jerky. Pretty much what you’d expect from Fik-Shun. I particularly liked a move when they were facing away from each other but their back feet hooked.

Kate: I wasn’t into this number — not the dancing, not the music, not the outfits — which sucks because I used to love Fik-Shun (I think).

Erica: You did. The judges seemed to like it. Nigel made a terrible pun. So terrible I think he’s not really feeling better yet.

Kate: Doesn’t he always make terrible puns, though?

Erica: This was even worse than usual. Also I feel it should be Poppin’ Pete, not Popin’ Pete, but obviously what do I know?

 

Audrey (Season 9/Allison’s replacement) & Logan: Contemporary, choreo by Tasty Oreo

“Protocol” by Leon Else

Erica: More purple flowy contemporary here. He seems pretty strong. And man, he leaps, like, really well.

Kate: She has great hair.

Erica: The routine was pretty intense. It was a couple fighting and making up (sort of) and then still fighting and it was really good and I’m feeling a bit broken and sad now. I usually am not impressed by Tasty’s contemporary choreo but this one really hit me.

Kate: I never understood why you don’t like Tyce. This was good, but other contemporaries of the night were better.

Erica: Nigel reveals to Allison that the dancer she didn’t choose is now Mr. Mistoffelees in Cats on Broadway. He says it like it’s a good thing, so good for you, unchosen dancer!

Kate: Except that my boss saw Cats last week and said it was absolutely dreadful.

Erica: Cats is, in general, pretty dreadful.

 

Jenna (Season 10) & Kiki: Cha-Cha, choreo by Dmitry Chaplain

“There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” by Shawn Mendes

Kate: Every time I hear this song I envision myself doing some kind of fabulous dance routine. Kind of like this one.

Erica: She’s the one who drove us crazy, right? The one the judges would not send home no matter how many times she was in the bottom?

Kate: Yes, Ian pointed out that I hated her during her season, but I couldn’t stop watching her during this routine. She was fab.

Erica: Is it me or were her hips not nearly Cha-Cha enough?

Kate: It is you. I loved it.

Erica: It’s hard to talk about him because ballroom so often shows off the girl, and the guy does more subtle support work that is harder for the average viewer (like me) to see. So, as far as I can tell, he did well. But I thought the routine was not particularly special and did not allow either of them to really show off technically.

Kate: It didn’t highlight him at all, in my opinion.

Erica: Vanessa Hudgens is so far coming of as a giggly ditz.

Kate: Don’t EVEN get me started!

Ian: Hudgy!

 

Cyrus (Season 9) & Kaylee: Contemporary, choreo by Tessandra Chavez

“Clown” by Emeli Sande

Erica: So this is twice now that a male all-star was between a male and a female partner and chose the female partner and I have to say I think it’s not a coincidence. Nigel doesn’t want to watch two dudes dancing together for the season.

Kate: Supposedly the judges didn’t have any control over that, though; it was all the all-stars’ choices.

Erica: Sure. Nigel is also Executive Producer. She’s got a ton of emotion. It’s an emotional piece, another couple fighting but less tragic, more angry. And she really sells the hell out of the story.

Kate: I was kind of surprised to see Cyrus in this style and then I remembered how great he was and how he almost won his season (right?).

Erica: I sort of remember that he was great at his thing but never really came up to scratch on other stuff. But the audience loved him.

Kate: Yes, so much so that they voted him into the finale or almost the finale, I think. This format is tough because, similar to Dancing with the Stars, I tend to watch the one who is more talented and forget about the one who’s supposed to be learning/competing.

Erica: All of the things Mary is saying make it sound like she didn’t think this was very good. She calls the choreographer “clever” and tells Cyrus he was “there for her”. None of the judges are really impressed.

Kate: They actually made some pretty harsh comments and then Cat had to be all “YAY YOU’RE GREAT” to make her feel better. Also, Mary Murphy is wearing several marshmallows sewn together.

 

Gaby (Season 12 Winner) & Lex: Tap, choreo by Anthony Morigerato

“More” by Bobby Darin

Erica: I hate her costume so much. I know that’s not her fault. I do think it’s possible that the same person dressed her and Mary tonight. Sorry, Mary! I’m still happy to see you even if you are wearing a hideous back-alley wedding dress from 1983!

Kate: I thought the same thing! It’s hard to make tap LOOK really good, but these two worked it out.

Erica: The two of them seem to have great chemistry and the dance is cute and fun. I feel like his movements could be a little freer but maybe that tux jacket is restrictive.

Kate: I want to see more than tap from him, for sure.

Erica: The audience goes nuts. I think tap is pretty crowd-pleasing. They’re going to spend the season harping on his “personality” and it’s going to irritate the crap out of me.

Kate: Yea, this got a standing ovation? It was good but not THAT good.

Erica: You know, I feel they should be more sparing with the Hot Tamale Train. I know it’s Mary’s “thing” but maybe save it for truly sexy numbers, not cute little tap dance routines where the girl is dressed like a fundamentalist Mormon bride (albeit with see-through legs).

 

Comfort (Season 4) & Mark: Hip-hop, choreo by Luther Brown

“Red Mercedes” by Amine

Erica: I love Comfort. I always forget that she’s so gorgeous. I kinda wish she’d chosen the girl.

Kate: She changes her look so frequently, I didn’t even recognize her on the “academy” episodes. But yes, I love watching her dance.

Erica: He was good but I thought he could have been sharper and more precise, especially next to Comfort.

Kate: Yes, and despite Vanessa’s obnoxious commentary, I agree with her that Mark looks like Rufio.

 

Marko (Season 8) & Koine: Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

“Memories” by Alex Sommers

Erica: This show is now at least 15% Hawaiian, right?

Kate: These 2 are my early favorites. When Marko (whom I LOVED in Season 8) was deciding between her and another girl at the “academy”, and the other girl was perfectly fine but then he danced the same exact routine with Koine, it was like WOW. If these 2 aren’t banging already, they need to be. AMAZING chemistry.

Erica: Happy contemporary flailing this time. Quite beautiful. Her dress really sells it. I f*cking hate the song, though. Like, maybe I want to plunge an awl into my ears.

Kate: Ouch. Best routine of the night by far.

Erica: Oh, it’s a beautiful happy routine but maybe it’s just her remembering her dead love? Aw, that’s sad. But also it utilizes some visuals that only make sense to the television audience, like that Polaroid that only we could possibly see. That annoys me.

Ian: I hate when they use props.

Erica: Nigel implies that Marko and Koine will get married. Then Cat calls him “Yentl,” which is incorrect, Cat. You mean “yenta”. I know, I know. Jewish is hard.

 

Paul (Season 10) & Sydney: Ballroom, choreo by Val Chmerkovskiy

“All Stars” by Martin Solveig feat. Alma

Erica: Now, he was the one partnered with that girl we liked (Makenzie?) who went home when we felt Jenna should have, if memory serves.

Kate: Oh, so that’s Paul, eh?

Erica: Did her back look a little stiff? Am I just looking for things to criticize? I don’t know.

Kate: She was good and he was good but they weren’t connecting, literally — they kept missing connections after turns and things so he was pulling on her wrist instead of holding her hand. V awkward, and I kind of blame him for that and not her. He is the All-Star, he should know better.

 

Robert (Season 7) & Taylor: Contemporary, choreographer by Travis Wall

“Change is Everything” by Son Lux

Erica: Robert dancing to a Travis Wall number? Kate, what could make you happier?

Kate: Literally, nothing. If you recall, that number he did with Allison to “Fix You” by Coldplay was a Travis Wall. Those 2 (Travis and Robert, not Robert and Allison) make an amazing pair. Let’s see THEM dance together, eh?!

Erica: Yeah I don’t think that’s going to happen (as amazing as it would be). The third male dancer (who I think is actually gay) who could choose between a female dancer and a male dancer chose the female dancer. I am dying of shock.

Kate: Robert had a hard time getting the dancers to be on his team, apparently, which I’ll never understand. I love watching him dance, and I think he makes a great partner for anyone he dances with. This song was hard to listen to, but they moved beautifully.

Erica: There’s this amazing…lift?…where she’s on one of his thighs and kind of falls off slowly, so tight and controlled and it’s pretty amazing. They are showing so much control in their lifts and flails. I think it’s spectacular. And you know, SYTYCD SHOULD be proud of themselves for helping Travis Wall have a career, but damn, don’t pull a muscle patting yourselves on the back, there.

Kate: I think these two are the best TECHNICALLY and Marko and Koine are the best CHEMISTRY-ALLY.

 

Jasmine (Season 10) & Robert: Hip-Hop, choreo by Chris Scott

“Perm” by Bruno Mars

Erica: I think he’s kind of adorable. Definite personality. Good chemistry with Jasmine and technically he looked pretty good, too, right?

Kate: Again, hard to stand out next to Jasmine, but they worked well together. Want to see them in other styles together.

Erica: Jasmine was on tour dancing for Beyoncé. That’s pretty good. (Also, as a note, I don’t know how to make the accent mark on anything, but Google Docs knows how to properly spell Beyoncé.)

 

Everyone Group Routine: Jazz, choreo by Wade & Amanda Robson and Tony Testa

“This Time” by Son Lux

Erica: So. I loved Wade Robson back when he did this show regularly. I like weird. And this was weird. But it was too hard to see. There were things that only work for the TV audience (the close-ups on fingers) and so many things that only work for the live audience. The camera work was frenetic but how could it be otherwise? It did not work for me.

Kate: Agree that was a distraction but it was a pretty cool routine. I like how the judges were going on and on about Jasmine and Robert and Jasmine was like GOTTA GO CHANGE FOR THE NEXT ROUTINE YOU FOOLS. Ah, the life of a dancer.

Erica: You know what did work for me? Sadie clapping when everyone else clapped. That was pretty good.

Kate: 🙂

Erica: So, I’m glad we’re back, people, and I’ll enjoy watching this show with you! Predictions for loser this week? For me it’s Kaylee.

Kate: Oh, yea she stunk.

Erica: See you next week!