SYTYCD Top 8

Erica: I want y’all to know that I’m using my precious the-baby-is-asleep-and-I’m-not time to do this recap instead of reading China Rich Girlfriend, the second in the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. So I hope someone is reading it. Kate, have we talked Crazy Rich Asians? Have you read it?

Kate: No and no, but the movie looks funny.

Erica: You should read the books; you would love them.

 

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Erica: This is such an extreme improvement from last week that I have to assume it’s a different stylist. I am very much charmed by the oversized scalloped edges on the halter neckline.

Kate: Yes she looks great. Love a high pony on a tall blonde.

Erica: So very much dancing tonight. Each couple dances twice, then each dancer does a solo (which we won’t cover unless something exciting happens, which it won’t), then there’s a girls’ routine and a boys’ routine. So that’s cool.

Kate: Ugh, solos.

Erica: Also I still hate Hudge but I like her hair tonight. I can be nice.

Kate: Yes, her hairstyle on this particular episode is the most redeeming thing about her. Ever.

 

Group Routine: Contemporary, choreo by Christopher Scott

“Runaway” by Nathan Lanier

Erica: This was a very high concept piece. The four boys were on platforms in black outfits and stretchy cords attaching them by the shoulders to their platforms. They struggled against these cords until their ladies came on the platforms dressed as pantsless doctors. Eventually all the boys except the straight guy got out and then he was left on stage alone and panicked. It was extremely bizarre.

Kate: The cords distracted me from the dancing at first. I love this version of this song.

Erica: I thought the flailing was a little sloppy at times. But it was a routine that was mostly about the choreography, not the dancing. IMHO.

Kate: And the props.

 

Jensen & Jay Jay: Smooth Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

“I Got You (I Feel Good)” by Jessie J

Erica: She has really good hair. Like, not so much in this costuming (although it’s fine), but in general. That’s not a dance comment but I felt it needed to be said.

Kate: Yes, she does. I do not like this version of this song. Also, there is a difference between “Jazz” and “Smooth Jazz” in dance as well as in music? Odd…

Erica: Am I just being a b!tch? I felt like a lot of the lifts were super-awkward and labored. Because of the tempo of the song, you can’t really use momentum to throw your partner around; you have to look smooth like honey, and they didn’t.

Kate: No you are not you are being correct, they are still severely lacking in connections when it comes to lifts and turns and I do not understand why because they are good everywhere else. She also seemed very unsure and held back throughout this entire routine.

Erica: I did really like the choreography.

 

Genessy & Slavik: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Fall For You” by Leela James

Erica: Ugh they are trying to showmance these two and I am not interested.

Kate: Did she say “He is definitely one of my soulmates?” WTF does that mean?

Erica: I don’t have anything to criticize about their dancing except that I didn’t fall in love with them and I wanted to fall in love with them. The dance was supposed to be about the moment they decide to say “I love you,” so I wanted to have that little sigh, that heart-gasm™ (Sonali Dev), and I didn’t. Maybe because I was already annoyed by the showmance stuff.

Kate: I did like them in this routine better than I have in any other routines so far, but, yea, don’t care about their showmance.

 

Magda & Darius: Hip-Hop, choreo by Phoenix & Pharside

“Killa” by Disto

Erica: Between the weird bulkiness of their wolf-ish costumes, the lighting and the camera angles, I couldn’t really tell whether they’re doing this well or not. I suspect not.

Kate: I really, really hated the costumes; at first I thought it had something to do with The Wizard of Oz and she was the cowardly lion. However, she was actually better at hip-hop than he was, I think.

Erica: Also holy sh*t is Hudge the most useless human. “Wolf! There it is!”, she crowed, as if she somehow managed to have an original thought instead of having her only comment be a joke that would have felt dated when I was a freshman in high school.

 

Hannahlei & Cole: Broadway, choreo by Travis Wall

“Get Happy” by Judy Garland

Erica: Okay. I don’t like him. But they were adorable in this piece. And this piece was adorable. Travis Wall really is kind of a gift to dance.

Kate: I don’t get why everyone loved this so much. This is possibly because I wasn’t paying much attention to it. Oops.

Erica: Go back and pay attention because it was the first routine of this season I’m going to remember. I mean, I already like Broadway, but honestly, this was good.

 

Genessy & Slavik: Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“House Work (Extended Mix)” by Jax Jones ft. Mike Dunn & MNEK

Erica: This is exactly what I do when I clean my house. I felt that they were not nearly in sync enough or sharp enough.

Kate: Yea, they are back to boring me. I don’t think she’s really that good of a dancer.

Erica: I must give tWitch all the props for being actually critical. And Nigel none of the props for pushing the showmance so awkwardly and annoyingly.

Kate: I hate it.

 

Magda & Darius: Contemporary, choreo by Jaci Royal

“Undertow” by Ane Braun

Erica: This is not about the dancers at all. I have many questions about Jaci Royal. Like, why is your name spelled like that when you pronounce it “Jackie”? And, what about “story about a bad relationship using an on-the-nose prop” is NOT a “typical contemporary routine”?

Kate: Oh I kind of loved this.

Erica: The coolest part of this routine was the way they slipped around on the floor. The thing I liked least about this routine was when they got too close on her when she was holding her hands out ahead of her, so that instead of it looking like she was finally free, it looked like she was a zombie with ginormous hands.

Kate: I thought they danced it beautifully!

Erica: No disagreements there. I didn’t like the camera work. Ooh, Nigel dinged the choreographer. That almost never happens. And Mary and tWitch argued with him, and everyone was, like, cohesive and basing their arguments on dance rather than screeching. And Hudge is silent.

Kate: That’s because “cohesive” is not in her vocabulary. Literally.

 

Jensen & Jay Jay: Hip-Hop, choreo by Hef & Randi

“Cookin” by Fat Joe, Remy Ma & French Montana ft. RySoValid

Erica: Have we seen these choreographers before?

Kate: Not that I can recall.

Erica: I was worried that this routine would be too prop-heavy — they were cooks and there was a kitchen counter on stage, and at the beginning they played with pans and stuff — but they left that behind pretty quickly and did what I thought was a pretty cute routine that they performed really well. They weren’t always perfectly in sync but they had good chemistry and performance, and really, overall, I thought they did really well.

Kate: Oh, I freakin’ loved this. They both had the perfect sass for this routine, and they finally didn’t look completely terrified of touching/lifting each other (although the tumbling was a bit bumpy). Loved it!

Erica: Did I miss something? Why did Mary give a shout-out to Aretha Franklin? And then Nigel pitched his next reality show idea: Jensen’s dancing Mormon family.

Kate: Honestly, wouldn’t be surprised if I saw that on Lifetime.

 

Hannahlei & Cole: Cha-Cha, choreo by Sasha Farber & Emma Slater

“Sing It Back” by Moloko

Erica: I hate to say it, but he was really good in this. She was pretty good, too. And the choreography was pretty great. My only complaint is the lighting in the beginning, which was too much. And that it’s forcing me to compliment Cole.

Kate: Her solo was also really great, I think. I am now starting to dislike him as much as you do, though, so get back on that train with me.

Erica: Actually, when they showed that trick that impressed Mary again, I see that it was a little labored. But still. Great dance. I still hate his personality.

 

Group Routine (Girls): Contemporary, choreo by Talia Favia

“Wanderlust” by Empara Mi

Erica: Not in sync. Not enough in sync. It seems to be a running theme this week.

Kate: Oh, not in sync at ALL. But Jensen really stood out from the rest as someone who actually knows what she’s doing.

Erica: This piece had a bit of a performance-arty feel to it that I didn’t love. But the bit where they were all running in place while holding hands was cool.

Kate: Agree.

Erica: And the girls’ results were announced at this point, which honestly makes sense. Jensen was safe. I agree with America on this issue. Magda, who was in danger last week, was once again in the bottom. Genessy was also in the bottom, so Hannahlei was safe. And after tonight, there’s no way she would be sent home, so that’s fine.

 

Group Routine (Boys): Hip-hop, choreo by Luther Brown

“Juice” by Yo Gotti

Erica: So, first, the stuff that’s not on the dancers — this is further evidence to me that Luther Brown does not find the standard boy-girl pairing inspiring. I thought this routine was great. Fun without being cartoony, with terrific costuming and lighting, and a good marriage between music and moves.

Kate: Kind of like a sophisticated version of that Magic Mike “It’s Raining Men” routine. 🙂

Erica: Now the dancing — individually, I thought they were all good. Jay Jay continues to stand out for me, and (ugh) Cole was pretty good, if a little too performative. But, again, not in sync enough, and not sharp enough.

Kate: How can a dancer be “too performative”?

Erica: He was mugging too much. It was distracting. And it frequently feels to me like he doesn’t try to feel the emotions in a piece; he just tried to show them. Not that this piece is a showcase for that. Just something I feel in general.

Kate: Ok.

Erica: And on to the results. Jay Jay was safe because he’s the bestest. Cole was in danger, but after tonight there’s no way they’ll send him home. He had a good night. Slavik was safe, so does that mean Darius is out? I have to say, I wasn’t into Darius much, but his solo tonight, I thought, showed he proved to be here, even if he did insist on wearing velvet pants during it.

Kate: I like him better than Slavik and Cole, though.

Erica: Oh, wow. They went with the voters to clear bottom two, so Cole and Magda are gone. I thought the girls’ could have gone either way but I really thought Cole’s performances tonight would save him.

Kate: Oh darn, I was starting to like Magda. But you hated Cole, so that’s ok, right?

Erica: Yes, that’s ok. See you next week, folks!

 

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