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 XI – Finale!!!

Erica: Okay, for real this time! This is it! We get to watch two hours of dancing/pretending that we don’t already know that Ricky has won!

Kate: If he didn’t, I would give up on this world. (I feel like I say that a lot?)

Erica: Now, this is the night where they pick some of their — and our? — favorite dances to re-dance, so commentary will be somewhat more limited tonight than usual. Also I’m not covering any special performers.

Kate: If you don’t dance, you don’t get comments from us. So THERE!


Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Erica: Fabu.

Kate: I mean, I just love her most when she’s in semi-loose sparkly dresses with her long beachy wavy blonde hair swishing around her shoulders.

Erica: I actually don’t “like” the dress; like, by itself, I wouldn’t pick it up off the rack and go, “Ooooh,” but it looks fantastic on her and her hair looks really great.

Kate: She’s always so tan.

Erica: I do wonder why it’s so much more casual than the finale ensemble normally is.

Kate: Is it? I don’t remember.

Erica: So, like, all the judges that ever have been here are here with us. I’m happy to see Adam Shankman and Debbie Allen — I wish Debbie Allen was around more, and I wish Adam Shankman was choreographing more. Tara Lipinski is also here for reasons I don’t fully understand, and Mrs. Magic Mike is…very pretty.


Top 20 Group Routine – Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle

[“Doctor Jazz” from Jelly’s Last Jam]


Kate: Camera making me NAUSEOUS.

Erica: I mean, this is pretty much exactly my thing. A fun, sharp, bouncy, jazzy Broadway routine with everyone in tuxes? Yep, sign me up for that.

Kate: It was pretty great. A lot going on, almost too much, but great.

Erica: They sure are featuring what’s-his-name on camera lot. Rudy. (I had to go look him up.)

Kate: Oh, I thought there was a good amount of focus on Ricky.


Mary Murphy’s Choice: Jessica & Casey – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Like Real People Do” by Hozier]


Erica: Yeah, I liked this routine a whole lot. Still do.

Kate: Me too, but Casey looked a little wobbly. Jessica was quite lovely.

Erica: It can’t quite capture the magic of the first time because it’s not a surprise this time. Also I’m pretty sure Casey almost dropped her when he swung her over his head.

Kate: Right?!

Erica: Super love this song.


Debbie Allen’s Choice: Ricky & Valerie – Hip-hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

[“Turn Down for What” by DJ Snake & Li’l Jon]


Erica: Damn these two are good.

Kate: Valerie’s hip-hop face is so cute. Ricky was better at the hip-hop swag this time than the first time.

Erica: I had completely forgotten this routine — which is not surprising; my short-term memory lately has been practically non-existent — but once they were on stage I remembered loving it the first time, and I think it has only gotten better. I wish they wouldn’t do goofy things with the lighting, though.

Kate: I continue to not get the relationship between this song and the doll concept, but whate’er.

Erica: Her costume, too, is maybe my favorite in a while.


Zack’s Choice: Zack & Season 10’s Amy – Contemporary, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

[“Europe After the Rain” by Max Richter]


Kate: I liked the dancing-to-the-sound-of-rain only a little more than last time, but I think they both did very well here. Probably better than the first time.

Erica: Wouldn’t it be funny if one of the top four dancers didn’t pick one of their own dances as a favorite of the season? It would be super-funny if they simply didn’t dance; they just got to watch it. But it would actually be pretty interesting if they then took one of the places in that dance. I think they should require that next year. Also, I think Fox should hire me.

Kate: I love that idea, and I’m not sure why Fox hasn’t paid us to do these blog posts yet. Marketing, people!

Erica: I liked this dance the first time. I still do.


Nigel’s Choice: Rudy & Season 2’s Allison – Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

[“Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson]


Erica: So, first I thought, oh, great, I missed this one! Then I thought, oh, shit, no Allison? But then they managed to get Allison back from her new “Dancing with the Stars” gig, a popular place for SYTYCD alumni, so that’s great and I didn’t really need to know that they almost didn’t have her and then they did have her and all that, Nigel.

Kate: He definitely has a Thing about DWTS. She is so freaking sharp and FIERCE.

Erica: Yeah, if I had seen this the first time, I would have had stronger positive feelings for Rudy. And…okay, I’d still find Ray Leeper creepy and annoying, but I do like his choreo.

Kate: I just hated all the rando MJ songs from that episode, and I didn’t want to hear them again.

Erica: And Allison is perfection as ever.

Kate: I cannot even.

Erica: So then Paula Abdul, who judges for SYTYCD Australia, is suddenly on stage. I don’t know what’s happening right now. Did she do something to her nose? Anyway, she’s here to introduce the winner of SYTYCD Australia, Michael Dameski.

Kate: Poor Paula. She needs our help.


Michael Dameski’s Solo

[“Unstoppable” by E.S. Posthumous]

Erica: Holy moly.

Kate: They grow good dancers down undah!

Erica: I mean, there were lots of impressive flips and twirls and whatnot, but toward the end, where he pauses to make a sexy face at the camera, but he looks about 12 years old, I kind of started giggling. Remember that scene in The Wedding Singer where all the 13-year-olds are trying to get Drew Barrymore to dance with them? It was like that.

Kate: Yes, but his legs, leaps and turns are quite impressive. I’d like to see him, Ricky and Chehon in a routine together. Look out!

Erica: Also, should one really call oneself “Posthumous”? A little tempting fate there, no?


Valerie’s Choice: Valerie & Zack – Tap, choreo by Anthony Morigerato

[“Sing” by Ed Sheeran]


Kate: I continue to be very concerned about those stairs.

Erica: See, this makes me lose respect for her a little bit. She’s grown a lot as a performer and yet she picks her very first number and the style she came in with.

Kate: Could not agree more.

Erica: I shouldn’t be so hard on her. She’s very young. And she’s probably very tired. Maybe she just wanted something she knew she could handle easily. But Zack picked a contemporary number instead of a tap piece for his favorite.

Kate: She was just much better in many other routines.

Erica: I also think Valerie has lost weight over her time here. Not for good or ill; just an observation. Anyway, they definitely performed this very well. High energy, and no one fell off the steps.

Kate: Ugh those steps!

Erica: And now, a special performance from Les Twins

Kate: Who???


Les Twins

[“Fading Flower” by Yuna]

Erica: It is unclear to me who these two are or what their connection to the show is, but I am super-digging this hip-hoppy, jazzy, performance art-y piece with the two of them. Their bodies are like silly string and their performance is so expressive and fun.

Kate: I know! I, too, haven’t a clue where they came from, but I very much enjoyed the routine. They were very loose and fun.

Erica: Also I like the song so I wanted to make sure I’d remember what it was called or at least have a record of it.


Ricky’s Choice: Jessica & Ricky – Contemporary, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

[“Vow” by Meredith Monk]

Kate: Gorgeous. Just gorgeous. Better and sharper and more passionate than the first time? Gorgeous.

Erica: See, I don’t really remember this piece. At all. I like it. And it must have been performed fairly recently, and, you know, I must have written about it and everything. But I don’t remember it at all.

Kate: I do! And I love it even more now!

Erica: Ricky’s feet and Sonya’s foot-centered choreography are really a match made in heaven.


Viewer’s Choice: Carly & Serge – Hip-hop, choreo by Luther Brown

[“Senile” by Young Money feat. Tyga, Nicki Minaj & Lil Wayne]


Erica: I only dimly remember this one, too. And…it’s not that good. Voters, what are you thinking?

Kate: Carly continues to be too ballet for hip-hop; her back is just too rigid.

Erica: It is possible that this was better the first time around. This performance looked incredibly phoned in.

Kate: Well, I felt like I could feel both their anger at not being in the finale. I would love to see Jasmine and tWitch do this.

Erica: Like these two, having not made the final whatever, were really willing to go, “Screw it.” And yet they’re getting a standing O. Yeah, right, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, you don’t give those away.

Kate: Hold on, of all the performances this season, THIS won the viewers’ choice? Or perhaps it came in, like, 10th, and the others were already going to be performed because the judges chose them?

Erica: So now, Season 10’s Jasmine, who has been appearing on Degree commercials all season, has brought on Ciara to spout reality show nonsense at the finalists. I’m pretty sure this is either a commercial for Degree, or for Ciara, or what. I don’t know what that was about, really.


Mrs. Magic Mike’s Choice: Tanisha & Rudy – Contemporary, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

[“You Need” by Bengsons]

Kate: Booooo Tanisha.

Erica: Again with the lights.

Kate: I know, it’s like they want to see how many seizures they can bring on.

Erica: I mean, expensive light show, complicated costumes, professional stage, and two chairs they pulled out of the waiting room at the local insurance company?

Kate: Nothing wrong with being resourceful!

Erica: The dance was pretty good. The performance could have been a little better.

Kate: I don’t think I liked it the first time, and I didn’t need to see it again.

Erica: I’m skipping Enrique Iglesias (as fun as that name is to say) and Sean Paul.

Kate: I cannot believe those two are still performing and trying to seem cool. Especially Enrique.


Adam Shankman’s Choice: Zack & Ricky – Hip-hop, choreo by Pharside and Phoenix

[“The Antidote” by District 78]

Erica: Honestly, I feel like everyone is not bringing the same sharpness and energy that they brought to these dances originally.

Kate: Oh, I felt like Ricky, again, was slightly more hip-hop than the first time, and Zack was slightly less? But I did like the first time better.

Erica: I mean, don’t get me wrong. These guys are still pretty awesome. But it looked a little rushed this time, and less sharp than the first time.

Kate: Agree. I love the part at the end where they’re both in semi-lunges and wiggling their hips. So cute.

Erica: I think it’s also worth observing that a pretty high percentage of these choices are featuring top four finalists.

Kate: Well, they are supposedly the best, no?

Erica: And now for some results. Really? Now? The person in fourth place is Zack. I am not surprised. I mean, look, he’s pretty amazing. And then he playfully pushes Ricky, so I guess he knows Ricky is going to win, too.


Tara Lipinski’s Choice: Emilio & Season 10’s Jasmine – Hip-hop, choreo by NappyTabs

[“Get Low” by Dillon Francis & DJ Snake]


Kate: I don’t think I ever much liked Emilio, but I will say that Jasmine looked even better in this than the first time. Does that count for anything?

Erica: So Tara chose one of the ones she was there to judge originally. Is it because a) it was just that good a dance, b) the live experience adds a lot to the enjoyment and appreciation of these performances, or c) she didn’t actually watch any other episode?

Kate: Methinks it might be option C.

Erica: What honestly goes through NappyTabs’ heads? “A king and his pet snake”? Sure, why not. It’s a lot of fun, though. And Jasmine looks super-sexy. Although those pants are sure weird on her hips/crotch.

Kate: I know, and I know, but who cares? I loved her in this. Both times.

Erica: After the break, Jesse Tyler Ferguson walks out and everyone cheers because he is the best forever. He does a laughably terrible job of being the host and tells us not to worry about where Cat is. He also says Travis Wall is his spirit animal and they do a little bit together and it’s adorable. Because these people are adorable. Then there’s footage of some sh!t I don’t even know what we’re watching. Audition montage? Why?

Kate: I like montages!

Erica: “Hey, look at all these people who aren’t here right now. And a couple who are.” What is happening right now? I’m tired. I have to go to sleep at some point tonight. Wait, now it seems to be a whole season recap. Why? Why is all of this happening?


Group Routine – Top 10 & All Stars, choreo by Sonya Tayeh & Christopher Scott

[“Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap]

Erica: So we’re in a train station and everyone seems to have a different story. There’s a fighting couple, a just-meeting couple, a homeless guy…Just a bunch of stuff.

Kate: OH MY GOD.

Erica: I feel like there’s supposed to be some kind of “And we’re all connected, no matter how different we seem” message here, and we know how I loathe messages, but this is a really terrific performance. Totally cool choreography, great performances, very high energy. Just neat.

Kate: This blew me away, truly. I think this is one of my favorite group routines on the show, ever. I loved the concept — it could have gotten really messy with the wrong choreography/dancers, but luckily we had awesomeness of both. It was executed beautifully.

Erica: But doesn’t NappyTabs usually do the Top Ten + All Stars group routine? And by usually, I mean, for the last two seasons? Are we not getting one of those?

Kate: I don’t know that it was a regular thing? I don’t even know what to categorize this dance as because it had hip-hop and contemporary. Let’s make a new genre: Contemporary Hip-Hop?

Erica: After the break, we get the winner of the dance crew competition, which Cat describes as having received a “record” number of votes. Isn’t this the first time you’re doing this competition, Cat? I mean, I guess it’s technically a record but…

Kate: Boring.

Erica: Anyway, the winners are a Bollywood outfit whose name I can’t understand.


Wanted Ashiqz

[“Dhoom Again” from Dhoom 2]

Erica: You know, I don’t know if I can fully appreciate this. I never saw the first Dhoom.

Kate: What the heck is going on here? This is Bollywood?

Erica: Look, I’m not going to say these guys aren’t good. But my favorite part of any Bollywood number is usually the girl’s outfit. There are no girls in this group.

Kate: But there is no shortage of sassy guys. This was good, but I couldn’t help but laugh at the extreme silliness of the main guy and all their faces and sassiness.


Jessica’s Choice: Jessica & Season 6’s Robert – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“When I Go” by Over the Rhine]

Kate: Be still my heart.

Erica: It’s okay to just admit you wanted to dance with Robert again, Jessica. None of the voters will blame you.

Kate: I certainly don’t. I loved this routine before and I love if even more now.

Erica: I knew they were going to do this routine at some point tonight. It breaks my heart. It’s very effective and beautiful and well danced and also I never want to see it again.

Kate: I do, but mostly for Robertttttttttt ❤

Erica: It’s time for more results. Jessica is out. She’s so pretty. I’m not worried about her. By the way, I dig Valerie’s costume right now. It’s like the dance version of that newspaper dress Carrie wore on SATC that one time.


Cat’s Choice: Ricky & Valerie – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Oh Darling” by Gossling]

Erica: See, and this one I felt was even better than the first time. Valerie really has improved as a dancer.

Kate: I love that Cat gets a choice.

Erica: Also, Travis, you’re breaking my heart. For real. I think you’re breaking Valerie’s heart, too. She looks like she’s about to lose it.

Kate: I don’t remember the first time of this one, but Valerie looked like a contemporary dancer up there for sure. Brilliant.

Erica: Now before we hear Cat announcing that Ricky wins, we are going to look at a montage of Ricky and Valerie dancing. You know, I think they genuinely adore each other. I mean, it’s not surprising. They are both such cheerful, joyous people.

Kate: Hoorah hoorah for Ricky, all is right with the world!!!!

Erica: And then Ricky wins, to no one’s surprise at all except maybe Ricky but come on, dude, and yes, NappyTabs did not do a big group routine and as much as I loved Sonya Tayeh and Christopher Scott’s routine, I am sad about that.

Kate: How expensive do we think On The Town tickets will be?!

Erica: That’s it from us for this year! Thanks for reading!

Kate: Til next summer, folks!

SYTYCD Season XI – Top Four Perform

Group Routine – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Wind Beneath My Wings” by RyanDan]

Zoe: It’s beautiful! Way too beautiful to see!

Jason: So wait, they’re, like, gay couples or something?

Zoe: The music is beautiful! (Then the percussion comes in.) Oh, no. Wait a minute. This is not too delicate. Maybe I don’t want to do it. Maybe I’ll just do the first part.

Erica: Zoe did fabulously. I’m sure Ricky, Zach, Valerie, and Jessie also did beautifully. But I was mainly watching Zoe.

Kate: I wish I were watching Zoe! This was a lovely routine. And SYTYCD supports all types of couples, Jason.

Erica: Actually . . . it hasn’t been much on display this season but Nigel’s usually pretty homophobic. Maybe he’s changed since Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s been judging. Although Adam Shankmann was around before. But JTF is a more delightful judging presence.


Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: This is Cat at her finest!

Erica: Yes. That is how I’m feeling about this ensemble. Just, Yes.

Kate: Lurrrve the hair and dress. This is what she should wear, like, every week.

Erica: I am still confused as to how a final decision is getting made. Unless it’s not getting made tonight? And actually next week is the finale? That’s probably the answer, isn’t it?

Kate: Yes, although they kept/keep referring to tonight as the “finale”, it’s really just the performance finale. I think results are next week.

Erica: Jesse Tyler Ferguson is judging tonight and he is my second favorite (behind Christina Applegate). So yay!

Kate: And I am doing this while performing my first-ever Fantasy Football draft. My multi-tasking abilities have increased tenfold since getting engaged to Ian (i.e., wedding planning while working).


Valerie & Ricky – African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

[“Voices of Savannah” by DJ Chus]

Erica: I really can’t tell the difference between “offensive cultural appropriation”/”this is what the adorable brown people do” and a genuine and faithful representation of a culture’s (or many cultures’) dance traditions when it comes to African Jazz on this show. Especially when Cat references Simba. So I will just shut up about that and say that Ricky looked amazing and Valerie looked good.

Kate: I actually didn’t love this as much as I wanted to, but it might have been the choreography. I don’t know it just seemed a little sloppy, even Ricky. Wah!

Erica: I don’t know what Nigel is on about with the quitting and the winning and the losing and whatnot. And Mary talking about survival. Like, they’re in a dance competition. Not the Hunger Games. Calm the eff down.


Jessica & Zack – Broadway, choreo by Spencer Liff

[“Hernando’s Hideaway” by Ella Fitzgerald]

Kate: Adorable!

Erica: Ol’ Spence loves his props, doesn’t he?

Zoe: I love that outfit! And the stage! Well, I meant the stage-y thing.

Kate: Me too, Zo. This is the type of Broadway routine I very much enjoy.

Erica: Jessica is really built for Broadway. What is her native style? Contemporary? I guess I’ll find out when she does her solo later.

Kate: Methinks it’s jazz, and I agree she is perfect at Broadway. I thought this was exquisite.

Erica: Zach was reasonably impressive, too.


Valerie & Zack – Contemporary, choreo by Tasty Oreo

[“Pearls” by Sade]

Erica: Oh, good it’s an “issues” piece. Because she’s blind, see? And Tasty Oreo is a totally sensitive and deep dude.

Kate: I think we could have gotten “blind” without her using an actual cane, but ok.

Erica: I will say, they did an amazing job with this piece. It’s not their fault that Tasty irritates the crap out of me.

Kate: Yes, good, but not quite finale-level.


Jessica & Ricky – Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

[“F For You” by Disclosure feat. Mary J. Blige]

Kate: Ermmmmmm YES!

Erica: Have they danced together before? (Yes, Nigel says they were together in the Top Twenty.) It was funny that Jessica said being with Ricky is pushing her. That’s what they usually say about all-stars. I guess they all know who’s going to win.

Kate: Er I swear, that is exactly what ran through my head while watching this. I think this was only the second time they were together, which is a shame because they complimented each other so well. I loved this.

Erica: This was pretty much the best she’s ever been. She really did elevate to Ricky’s level. I mean, not quite to Ricky’s level. But she looked really good.

Kate: I think it was my favorite jazz routine on this show, ever?

Erica: Ray also irritates me, but I end up loving his routines, usually. I loved this. Also, I loved Jesse Tyler Ferguson calling them sprockets and noting — AS I HAVE — that Ricky makes his dancing look like the natural expression of his body.

Kate: Everything just flows seamlessly out of his fingertips and toetips.

Erica: I’m not covering Jason Mraz. No one is dancing.

Kate: But this is an awesome time to link to that awesome Jeanine and Jason routine to If It Kills Me by Jason Mraz!


Jessica & Valerie – Bollywood, choreo by Nakul Dev Mahajan

[“Ghagra” from the Yeh Jawaani Hal Deewani Soundtrack]

Erica: So, not to be completely shallow, but when Nakul said that this was a dance about two diva-ish Bollywood princess-y girls…I was expecting cooler outfits.

Kate: And I was expecting cooler moves. This didn’t do it for me.

Erica: I did not think they were very precise at all. Lots of energy and they had the right expressiveness and joy, but without the precision it didn’t look that great.

Kate: Yea, Valerie had a better Bollywood personality than Jessica in that it was a little more authentic than cheesy, but neither of them really got the whole Bollywood thang down, you know?


Zack & Ricky – Hip-hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

[“The Antidote” by District 78]

Kate: Ok so Ricky started off a TAD awkward and I was worried he wasn’t going to pull it off, but he stepped it up and did a great job.

Erica: I went into this thinking, ‘God, if there’s one genre Zach might be able to do better than Ricky, hip-hop is probably it.’ But I thought they both did pretty well in this. Although their height difference didn’t really help things.

Kate: Zack is better suited to it, but Ricky pulled it out. They were both great at the stunts and lifts.

Erica: Is it wrong that I want a playing card baseball shirt?

Kate: I don’t think so. I don’t know why I still don’t have a Dillon Panthers shirt.


Valerie & Season 10’s Aaron – Tap, choreo by Anthony Morigerato

[“Love Me or Leave Me” by Sammy Davis, Jr.]

Erica: I know you’re super-excited to see this all-star again.

Kate: Ugh. Ian and I were both very upset to see his face again.

Erica: This was all pretty literal and corny. Which is not to say I didn’t like it.

Kate: No, they’re both very talented tappers, and they were pretty good together. But I like Valerie doing other things more, now.

Erica: I just feel like the song was pretty loud for a tap number. Aren’t we supposed to hear the taps?


Erica: So why are Mira Sorvino and that other pretty girl in the room? And why is Nigel randomly pointing them out, other than to remind us that he’s heterosexual?

Kate: I didn’t notice that???

Erica: There’s this advice columnist I really like, Captain Awkward, and she’s also a film teacher, and she talked about teaching class and informing the guys that the opinions of their boners are not important to the discussions in class. Like, when she’s showing the cinematography of, let’s say, Out of Sight, and the boys feel the need to open with, “Jennifer Lopez is hawt,” and she’s like, yeah, now that we know how your boner feels, let’s talk about the film. I feel like Nigel could use this lesson. We don’t need to know how your boner is doing, Nigel.

Kate: Ew, Nigel boner.

Erica: Sorry.


Ricky’s Solo

[“Skin & Bones” by David J. Roch]

Kate: BLERGH I love this songgggggggggggggggggg.

Erica: I got nothing.

Kate: I mean, he’s just perfect. That’s all there is to it.


Ricky & Season 6’s Kathryn – Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

[“Not About Angels” by Birdy]

Erica: Lighting?

Kate: I love this song too but when she says “Not about angels” I always imagine she’s saying “Naughty by nature”. He he.

Erica: Hee. I can barely see Ricky. And good lord, he’s maybe the only dancer that might make you want to look away from Kathryn. I mean, I get what they were going for. You know, she’s the light angel who brings him out of the darkness. But I can’t see him.

Kate: But it was a beautiful routine. They were made for each other.

Erica: Oh, Jesse Tyler Ferguson. You do, in fact, give away standing ovations. But it’s okay, I love your poetic stylings. (For those of you who read this but don’t watch the show (?), Jesse Tyler Ferguson started singing, to the tune of “Hey, Mickey”, “Hey, Ricky, you’re so great/If you were older, we could date.”)

Kate: To be fair, Jesse doesn’t give away standing ovations; Nigel and Mary do. Especially this season.

Erica: And then Nigel’s got to bring in suicide. Thanks, Nigel. We were all laughing and feeling good.

Kate: Yeah, that was too much. And he made Ricky cry, which made me very sad.


Valerie’s Solo

[“Valerie” by Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse]

Erica: I love this song.

Kate: Oh, I get it.

Erica: And it still took me hearing Cat say, “If you love Valerie,” to realize she picked the song because it’s her name. I swear, having children does so make you dumb.

Kate: I dislike tap solos, so. Yeah.


Zack & Season 10’s Aaron – Tap, choreo by Anthony Morigerato

[“Piano Man” by Billy Joel]

Kate: Oh joy, we get Aaron for two routines.

Erica: Well, the good thing is, this song doesn’t already have a strong percussion. So the tap can function as tap is meant to.

Kate: I thought the SAME. THING. Finally, first time ever on this show, I heard the taps clearly. And they sounded ok. I think I liked Zack better than Aaron?

Erica: Damn, girl, it’s like we’re related or something. Yes, I did, too. I really like Zack tapping. I know you have an anti-tapping bias, which I do not share, but I agree – I like Valerie better when she’s doing other things. But I like Zack best when he’s tapping.

Kate: Yea. I liked this, but I don’t like that I liked it.

Erica: You know, Mary might be annoying, but wouldn’t you want her to be, like, your aunt or the lady who runs the coffee shop you go to on the regular or something? Have her be so supportive and enthused about you all the time?

Kate: Um I am a huge fan of Mary, voice and all. I love when she screeches and puts people on the Hot Tamale Train.


Jessica’s solo

[“It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” by Juliet Sims]

Erica: Ugh, I hate this song. No matter who’s singing it.

Kate: This is a horrible version of it.

Erica: Also, I guess you were right; this is more jazz than contemporary?

Kate: Yea, her main style is jazz. I’m fairly certain. This wasn’t as good as her other solos, or her partner routines on this episode. I just knew she was gonna do that little hat/hair-whipping trick.


Jessica & Season 6’s Robert – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“When I Go” by Over the Rhine]

Kate: So I’m pretty sure I’m still in love with Robert. Yum.

Erica: My heart hurts.

Kate: This could be the best of the season, definitely top 3. Definitely Jessica’s best ever — if Ricky pushed her, Robert elevated her to an entire different realm of dancing.

Erica: This was too good. Travis, how could you do this to me? I feel wrecked. Can someone do a jive now or something?

Kate: That’s the Power of Robert Roldan. ❤

Erica: And Travis. I don’t know why, when the theme of a dance is “blindness” or “breast cancer” or “like, war, man,” I’m all sarcastic and irritated, but when it’s heartbreak, I turn into a sobbing baby. But I do.


Zack’s Solo

[“Superstition” by Adam Raherty]

Erica: And again, good tap song choice because it doesn’t have its own percussion.

Kate: I suppose.



Erica: Right, no results tonight. The votes from tonight and from last week will be totalled to get the winner. Right? Right. I think I get it now.

Kate: Right. And I voted! For Ricky! Everyone else, do the same.

Erica: I’ve never voted.


SYTYCD Season XI – Top 6 Perform

Group Routine – Hip-hop, choreo by Nick DeMoura

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

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

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


Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: Unnecessary Necklace Syndrome.

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

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

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

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

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


Ricky & Valerie – Broadway, choreo by Spencer Liff

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

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

Kate: What a great dress!

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

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

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


Jessica & Casey – Disco, choreo by Doriana Sanchez

[“Dim All the Lights” by Donna Summers]

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

Kate: I like how she said “frock”.

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

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

Kate: Hi Zo!!

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

Kate: At least.

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: I know.

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

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


Ricky’s Solo

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

Kate: *Sigh*

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

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

Kate: DVR, Zo!

Zoe: We’re totally skipping them now.

Kate: 🙂

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: Um…

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

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

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


Jessica’s Solo

[“I Was Here” by Beyonce]

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

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

Zoe: She looks fine like this.

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

Kate: Please yes.


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

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

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

Kate: ObviousLY.

Erica: Valerie is so cute here.

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

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


Casey’s Solo

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

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

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

Kate: Oh my god.

Erica: I thought this solo was pretty boilerplate.


Valerie’s Solo

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

Erica: Appreciate the song choice.

Kate: Eh. Fine.

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


Jacque & Will – Contemporary, choreo by Sean Cheesman

[“99 Red Balloons” by Sleeping At Last]

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: I was wondering if she was watching.


Zack’s Solo

[“Butterfly” by Jason Mraz]

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

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


Jessica & Ade – Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: I always know what you mean, Mom.

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

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


Jacque’s Solo

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

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

Kate: Mom.

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

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


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

[“Dare (La La La)” by Shakira]

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

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

Kate: Such language Zoe!

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

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

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

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


Casey & Makenzie – Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: Yea, great lifts.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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


SYTYCD XI – Top 8 Perform

Erica: So I am in the Berkshires. My TiVo won’t stream the episode to me. I don’t know why I thought it would, except that my husband told me it would. In any event, I am utilizing the work of the fine pirates of YouTube, who already have the videos up half an hour after the episode aired. Good job, pirates!


Group Routine – Jazz, choreo by Travis Payne

[“A Place with No Name” by Michael Jackson]

Kate: Ugh, an all MJ episode? So all dances will be to MJ songs? Not sure how I feel about this.

Erica: Well, I mean, he had some pretty good songs. Even if I feel weird about the intense valorization of him posthumously.

Kate: But they have Michael’s actual choreographer, so I guess that’s cool?

Erica: I mean, yeah. It is.

Kate: Either way, the opening number was OK. I didn’t like it starting out with a close up on Rudy’s not-ready face, and they were not quite as sharp as people should be while wearing silver suits and dancing to Michael Jackson.

Erica: Yeah, Rudy’s face is not nearly as cute as I think they’d like us to believe. I really liked the choreography. It did look just a smidge under-rehearsed, like one more day could have really sold the movements.

Kate: On the other hand, Mary Murphy is apparently going to her daughter’s wedding after this because that is a straight-up MOB dress.

Erica: Did you think that Valerie looked like Mac from “Veronica Mars” in this piece?


Erica: I noticed Jessica’s face-pulling. There’s a fine line between adorable and annoying. I’m not sure which side she’s on yet.


Cat’s Ensemble

Kate: I luuuurrrvvee the dress. Well, the front of the dress; the back looks to have some kind of cape, which I am anti.

Erica: Oh, I am not anti-cape, but I can’t really see this one, as I’m just watching YouTube clips and not the full episode.

Kate: I also do not like when long hair is pinned up to look short like that. Good makeup and fun, blingy jewelry, though!

Erica: See, I thought that looked cute. I mean, it’d be irritating as an everyday look but for funsies, why not?


Erica: So I just shouldn’t watch those clips?

Kate: Tanisha’s was actually horrible. I feel like that skirt messed her up majorly.

Erica: So I should, in fact, watch the clip of her.

Kate: If you do so choose.

Erica: I disagree with your assessment. While it was high in acrobatics, given that it was a ballroom routine, it wasn’t bad and I thought she used the skirt to decent effect. I mean, we’ve discussed this before. Solos are boring; ballroom solos are nearly impossible. On the scale of all things being meh, this was no meh-ier than anything else.


Ricky & Season 3’s Jaimie – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Smile” by Michael Jackson]

Erica: (Sigh)

Kate: Beautiful. I didn’t think they connected great as partners, but his dancing is just beautiful.

Erica: I thought they connected well physically, if not emotionally, if that makes any sense. And actually, I felt that more from Jaimie than from him.

Kate: I still can’t get over those feet. Or how creepy MJ sounds singing that song.

Erica: His feet are insane. I’m not super-big on MJ’s version.


Erica: Then I won’t watch.

Kate: Zack’s was very MJ-ish in costume and dance style, I suppose.


Valerie & Season 6’s Ryan: Samba, choreo by Jean Marc Genereux

[“Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’’’ by Michael Jackson]

Kate: This could be the most annoying Michael Jackson song ever, if not the most annoying song ever, period.

Erica: Oh, come on. There are way more annoying songs out there.

Kate: But um excuse me Miss Thang! Look who’s sexin’ it up!

Erica: I know, right?! Someone looked all grown up tonight. Even with the stupid thing on her butt.

Kate: I was starting to get over her last week, but I think she was great in this!

Erica: Yes, last week was a sad misstep. This was fantastic.


Erica: Didn’t see it.

Kate: I like this song though. Casey did well enough. Still not as good as Ricky.

Erica: What song?

Kate: One of those emo instrumental-ish songs that is now on various commericals. MEH MORE SOLOS

Erica: I’m sorry to hear that.

Kate: I didn’t like Rudy’s.

Erica: Of course you didn’t. It was a male ballroom dancer solo and it was paso-esque. You hate that sh!t.


Casey & Season 4’s Comfort – Hip-hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

[“Xscape” by Michael Jackson]

Erica: I’m always happy to see Comfort. Her hips were insane in this routine. (Her faces were kind of insane, too, but not in a good way.)

Kate: We’ve done a spider kiss of death routine before, no?

Erica: Yeah, but, you know, it was Broadway that time. Also they love “strong,” deadly, sexy women. The choreographers have some issues.

Kate: I can see how Casey tried to keep up with Comfort, and it was a valiant effort, but he just couldn’t do it. She was too quick and crazy and sharp and tough and aggressive for him to even come close, he even looked goofy doing it. In a bad way.

Erica: Yeah. Kind of. He looked like a prop.

Kate: “Here you dancers are doing these styles that you never did before” — THAT’S THE POINT OF THE DAMN SHOW, NIGEL. THE. ENTIRE. POINT. !!!

Erica: For realz. We’re down to the Top 8. We’re expecting them to do this now.


Erica: 🙂

Kate: Jacque’s was good, though. She’s very elegant.


Tanisha & Season 1’s Nick (Winner) – Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

[“She’s Out of My Life” by Michael Jackson]

Kate: Well, this was way better than her solo.

Erica: I thought she danced quite beautifully.

Kate: It was hard to focus on her and not Nick.

Erica: There’s something about him I find extremely off-putting.

Kate: I also feel like there wasn’t enough dancing in this — too much embracing, not enough synchronized movement.

Erica: I did not like the choreography. They moved pretty, but there was nothing that drew me in or excited me.

Kate: Wait, why does Nigel want her to show weakness? How would she show that while being a good dancer?

Erica: Because she’s a girl. And girls are weak. And Nigel is a misogynist pig. Actually, I think he’s saying that a dancer being in touch with his/her vulnerability makes them more in tune with the emotionalism in the dances, and Mrs. Channing Tatum did say that the emotional component of this dance was a bit missing for her, and I think she was right. So Nigel might have a point. But I’m not wrong, either.


Erica: I’m not watching them.

Kate: Jessica showed excellent control in her turns here. I continue to like her very much.


Rudy & Season 2’s Allison – Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

[“Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson]

Erica: This one’s not up! YouTube pirates, you’ve failed me!

Kate: They had GREAT chemistry together. Watch out, tWitch and Jacque!

Erica: Yeah? I’m not such a huge Rudy person so I can’t imagine that tWitch needs to watch out for anything.

Kate: Seriously, I really loved this. Allison is so good, and she brought out the best in Rudy. They had some ca-ra-zay lifts!

Erica: Man. I love Allison.

Kate: This was also a perfect combination of awesome choreography perfectly timed to the song with very, very skilled dancers.

Erica: Blergh.

Kate: Oh please send Casey home instead of Rudy!

Erica: Yeah? I can’t see this dance so I continue not to care about either of them.


Erica: I don’t think this is up, either.

Kate: And Valerie dressed up as Michael Jackson. At this point I’d rather watch her do anything but tap.


Zack & Season 10’s Makenzie – Broadway, choreo by Spencer Liff

[“The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson]

Kate: This song will never mean anything other than Center Stage. Also, THIS is the kind of Broadway routine I’m talkin’ about!

Erica: Oh my goodness I’m so excited for Makenzie.

Kate: I loved this routine. Zack is very good for Broadway. That said, he did not completely shine in this on his own, if that makes sense.

Erica: I thought he was terrific. I mean, he was terrific with Makenzie, but that’s what’s supposed to happen in a partner dance, right?

Kate: Why is Nigel putting down his own show? (He did have something to do with American Idol, right?)

Erica: I thought he was an executive producer. But I don’t think that was a big put-down. He was just pointing out that Broadway sometimes gets a bad rap in the entertainment world and it doesn’t deserve it.

Kate: I don’t mind solos when they’re Ricky’s, I suppose.

Erica: Which is why he’s going to win. He reminds me of Season 9’s female winner Eliana, in that he dances like it’s a natural expression of how he feels.

Kate: I mean, do we even need to say anything else about him?

Jacque & Season 4’s tWitch – Hip-hop, choreo by Dave Scott

[“Slave to the Rhythm” by Michael Jackson]

Erica: I take for granted sometimes how completely awesome tWitch is. He’s so freakin’ good.

Kate: I don’t know if this was because of the choreography or the fact that this is tWitch’s style and the opposite of Jacque’s, but at times it felt like Twitch was dancing to the fast beat of the song and Jacque was dancing to the slow beat, and it didn’t exactly synch up.

Erica: I get what you’re saying but I thought she did really well. She has a more flowy style than tWitch but I thought it mostly worked. I was more, like, what is up with the stage? Are they post-apocalyptic but finding joy in each other’s presence? And…Okay. But why? But okay.

Kate: Yeah, I got the post-apocalyptic feeling too, and I could have done without that corny beginning. She did loosen up her ballet stances enough for hip-hop, but she made really bad facial expressions and didn’t match tWitch enough.
Erica: I didn’t notice her face too much. Maybe I was too busy looking at her belly. Or her hair.

Kate: I also can’t wrap my mind around how difficult that hairstyle must have been to put in, and must be to get out. Ouch.

Erica: Yeah. Also, Nigel, you should not use the word “swag.” It sounds dumb coming from you. I’m just telling you because we’re friends.

Kate: You are not friends, you hate him! Ugh, Jacque in the bottom? Please oh please send Tanisha home over her. Come on you stupid country.


Jessica & Season 4’s Will – Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

[“Earth Song” by Michael Jackson]

Kate: Quite a silly song/routine theme combination, but they were very passionate together.

Erica: Sigh. Will.

Kate: I kind of hope she wins…?

Erica: Yeah, you know, I didn’t even notice her for so long and now she’s the girl I’m rooting for. But — have we determined if there will be one boy and one girl winning this year? Because if not, definitely I’m in Ricky’s camp.

Kate: Oh right, me too. The Control Freakz routine was very cool and interesting and fun. I love that little moonwalk move where the do it while turning in circles.

Erica: I need to go to sleep pretty soon. I don’t think I’m gonna watch.



Kate: Oh, boo. I wanted Casey to go home because I feel like Rudy has more potential and versatility, Casey is a little corny. But ok. Byeeee Tanisha!

Erica: I’m not sure I care about Rudy at all but then again, I didn’t see his routine tonight.

Kate: Did you see her snub Jacque for a hug? Wonder what’s going on there.

Erica: I didn’t really notice. And I was looking. But maybe they hate each other. Valerie had a pretty unhappy look on her face. Wonder who she didn’t want to see go? Or who she didn’t want to see stay?

Kate: Oh wait, that’s Jacque’s little boyfriend! Awww shoot guys.

Erica: Yeah, shoot. Because I’m sure that they are totes having an actual relationship and that this hurdle is a reason to be concerned for them.

Kate: Eh, they’ll get over it. Tune in next week for the top 6 everyone!


SYTYCD XI – Top Ten Perform

Group Routine – Hip-hop, choreo by Jamal Sims

[“Bang Bang” by Jesse J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj]

Erica: I don’t know if I feel better about myself or worse because I know who all three of the artists responsible for this song are.

Kate: You know how I feel about 1/3 of them.

Erica: So I’ve been having some pretty outlandish dreams lately, and when this routine started, I wasn’t totally sure I was awake. Because there were cowboy outfits? But in, like, ‘80s neon brights? And the song was kind of pop, kind of hip-hop, and a little…folk? But no, it was not a dream. Though images from it will probably appear tonight.

Kate: I didn’t love it; they weren’t completely together until the end. Valerie looked good, though.

Erica: This did not work on TV, like, at all. The dancing was kind of disjointed in places and the way the camera kept moving around did not help at all. It was probably pretty good live but on TV it was a swirling mess.

Kate: Agree, VERY BAD camera work.

Erica: Even live, though, there were parts of the dance that kind of dragged, like the bright, poppy costumes were doing most of the work. Well, the costumes and Ricky, of course.

Kate: Speaking of costumes, how the H did they change out of them so quickly?! Was the group routine — gasp! — prerecorded?!

Erica: DUDE! I think you’re right. And I’m very sad about that.


Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: This is the Cat I know and love!

Erica: LOVE so much the hair. That is exactly what I wish my hair looked like all the time. I mean, I don’t follow that wish up with, like, a blow dryer or anything. But I do wish.

Kate: Me too, but my color.

Erica: Yeah, we’d both look pretty silly blonde. The dress is…not the worst thing I’ve ever seen on her?

Kate: No I like it, but my gosh can we get this woman a belt? Or a seamstress? I get that it’s supposed to be loose fitting but it just plain old doesn’t fit her.

Erica: Mary looks refreshingly like a normal person.

Kate: As normal as Mary can get.


Bridget & Season 5’s BrandonBollywood Disco, choreo by Nakul Dev Mahajan

[“Disco Khisko” from the Dil Bole Hadippa soundtrack]

Erica: So…This is different from non-disco Bollywood because…Brandon spun her on his shoulder?

Kate: They 1000% made up this genre for this episode, because Brandon was good at disco on his season.

Erica: I was really impressed. She really kept up the joy and spirit of Bollywood while doing what looked like a really challenging dance routine, and she was pretty sharp. Not as sharp as Brandon, who was a dream, but really very good.

Kate: Not as sharp as him at all, or as quick/bouncy. I didn’t love her in this.

Erica: So now each of the dancers will find out if they are in the bottom four right after they dance? And Bridget is in the bottom two? This is pretty weird. I mean, the way they’re structuring this is weird. Bridget has for some reason not been getting very high votes consistently, even though she’s pretty fabulous.


Tanisha & Season 6’s Ryan – Argentinean Tango, choreo by Miriam Larisi & Leonardo Barrionuevo

[“The Gaucho’s Pain” by Tango Jointz]

Kate: Why don’t I remember him???

Erica: I had forgotten him, too. I didn’t keep very careful track of Season 6. But he was a ballroom dude who was in the competition with his wife. Here’s him doing samba with Kathryn. And here’s a Broadway routine with Ellenore, who I loved that season and kind of lost interest when she was kicked off.

Kate: Oh I remember the wife thing.

Erica: I had forgotten (or possibly never knew) that ballroom was Tanisha’s style. Damn, it showed. She was even sexy. Maybe Ryan brought it out in her.

Kate: She was extremely sharp and strong here. Sexy? I’m not there yet.

Erica: There was that one lift where her arms didn’t look right to me, but I don’t know anything about tango besides what I’ve seen on this show. And, you know, that dance movie with Antonio Banderas.

Kate: Take The Lead!?

Erica: That’s the one! Tanisha is safe tonight. This remains a stupid way to do this. There has to be a better way of registering the public’s votes when Fox won’t give them a second day.

Kate: I’m ok with it? It saves time?

Erica: I don’t think it does, though, because now we have to go through the suspenseful opening of the envelope after EVERY dance instead of just all at once.


Emilio & Season 10’s Jasmine H. – Hip-hop, choreo by NappyTabs

[“Get Low” by Dillon Francis & DJ Snake]

Erica: It’s interesting that Jasmine’s doing hip-hop, because she came in last season as a contemporary dancer. Then she did “Run the World” with Comfort and was all, “I want to do hip-hop!” and I thought so highly of her for stepping out of her style instead of playing it safe and now I guess she’s sticking with it.

Kate: Weeeeeeeeeeee NappyTabs!!!!

Erica: Aw, I missed NappyTabs. They have the kookiest stories.

Kate: Weeeeeeeee!!

Erica: I mean, it was a fun routine. I thought Emilio was pretty good. I thought Jasmine’s pants didn’t fit her right. They were bagging all weirdly in the crotch region.

Kate: I loved this. Obviously. She was much better here than at hip-hop during her own season. Emilio was good too, but I was honestly watching her for most if it

Erica: Nigel: “Young man, do you know how good this show has been for you? Kiss the ring.”

Kate: *LOL* (For real though.)

Erica: And Emilio is in the bottom. This continues to be weird.

Kate: Eh, I’m not too broken up about it.


Valerie & Season 5’s Ade – Jazz, choreo by Tasty Oreo

[“Hearts a Mess” by Gotye]

Kate: She said in the little Dove-promoted clip that she holds back sometimes, and she did just that here. The energy and intent was there, but she could have elongated 85% of her movements in this and it would have been wam-bam-WOW.

Erica: There were some really cool moments in this, and then some moments that I thought looked really awkward, and I really can’t tell whether the issue is with the choreography or with the dancing.

Kate: Possibly somewhat the choreo, but I do think she should have given more. Even though I like her as a dancer very much.

Erica: I tend to prefer blaming the choreography, and not just because I don’t like Mr. Oreo. I just think it’s always a better idea to critique the system in which people work and not the people themselves, unless the system is a good one.

Kate: I don’t remember the reason for your hatred of Tyce?

Erica: Yeah, I don’t, either. But just because I can’t remember doesn’t mean that the hatred isn’t TOTALLY LEGITIMATE AND DESERVED. And of course, the judges are blaming the dancing, and not the choreo, but they almost never blame the choreo.


Rudy & Season 10’s Jenna – Cha-cha, choreo by Louis van Amstel

[“Maps” by Maroon 5]

Erica: So, you all may remember that Kate and I had it in for Jenna last year.

Kate: Way in.

Erica: I just want to clarify that we didn’t think she was a bad dancer. It’s just that she was consistently voted to the bottom and they saved her over other dancers we liked a lot better. Like Makenzie.

Kate: Totes.

Erica: That said, I was not so into this. Isn’t cha-cha supposed to have hips? I mean, I went in fighting my “Ugh, Jenna” and my “Ugh, Adam Levine” feelings, and then they were so much with the faces and I just…Bleh.

Kate: She was good because ballroom is her thing, but Rudy was way too corny. I like just could NOT.

Erica: Oh my God, Mary needs to stop trying to fake out the audience. She is fooling no one. Ever.

Kate: Not with that voice she’s not.

Erica: And Rudy is safe this week. For those of you keeping track.


Jacque & Season 9’s Chehon – Contemporary Ballet, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Adagio for TRON” by Daft Punk]


Erica: Are they just making up dance categories for the hell of it?

Kate: But this made-up genre seemed less made up than “Bollywood Disco” (come on now), and I LOVED this. I loved that there were traditional ballet movements and a traditional overall tone, with a contemporary spin (including music and costumes). Hah, SPIN, get it?!

Erica: Does contemporary ballet just mean “not wearing glittery tutus”?

Kate: Excuse my why aren’t we squealing over Chehon being back!? Weeeeee!

Erica: Weee! So what I could see of this dance looked good. Too bad it looked like they were performing through some sort of California brownout.

Kate: Oh the spotlight in the beginning was dreadful. But the movement was so beautiful.

Erica: I felt like I couldn’t see the whole damn thing. Jacque is the other girl in the bottom two.

Kate: Wah!


Ricky & Season 7’s Lauren – Jazz, choreo by Mandy Moore

[“Bossa Nova, Baby” by Elvis Presley]

Kate: Lauren is one of my favorites, and I was ecstatic Ricky got her (a show winner).

Erica: Oh my God, Ricky has been dreaming of this since he was eight. I am so f-ing old.

Kate: Yea, you’re 33. Gross.

Erica: So this was basically everything I ever want from this show. Like, if you went into my head and designed a routine based on what I personally want to see, this would be it. Fantastic choreo, fantastic dancing, fantastic performance, and tons of fun.

Kate: They were obviously perfect together.

Erica: I liked Mary’s phrase, “the skills that pay the bills”. I don’t have any of those. Ricky is safe because duh but Nigel making a big thing of how not surprising that is, I find a little unprofessional. You’re still a judge on this program, Nigel.

Kate: He really should win.


Casey & Season 6’s Kathryn – Broadway, choreo by Spencer Liff

[“Maybe This Time” by Liza Minelli]

Erica: This song kills me.

Kate: I like Kristen Chenowith’s version from Glee.

Erica: Casey really did luck out to get Kathryn but he held his own. He has such a baby face but he really can dance like a grown-up.

Kate: Yes but I didn’t think he was outstanding here — he had some good moments, but he was a little hesitant in some areas. He’s super lucky he was saved last week via that wonderful routine.

Erica: Making Kathryn do some of those kicks in such a long skirt looked a little silly. I mean, she can make anything look good; I’m just saying.


Jessica & Season 4’s tWitch – Hip-hop, choreo by NappyTabs

[“U Got Me Up (Underground Goodie Mix ‘93) by Cajmere feat. Dajae]

Kate: I love when I get Twitch + NappyTabs.

Erica: A number about an old man creeping on some young gorgeous dancer? Is this a tribute song for Nigel? This was terrific, though. I mean, tWitch is always a joy, and I really did think Jessica held her own. I hadn’t even registered her until last week, and now I am really impressed with her. I mean, are we looking at her legs? Her legs are so freaking strong.

Kate: (So he says during his critique!) I thought she was great with him too. The type of Jazz she does obviously translated well to hip-hop, and she definitely kept up with him.

Erica: OH MY GOD NIGEL STOLE MY JOKE! I don’t know if I’m mad about it or impressed as hell that he’s that self-aware.

Kate: You are probably mad about it.


Zach & Season 10’s Amy – Jazz, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

[“Europe, After the Rain” by Max Richter]

Erica: I love Sonya Tayeh. And I have to give props to Zach and Amy. She did so well at hip-hop with Fik-shun that I forget that contemporary is her home. Those lifts were absolutely unreal.

Kate: Me too and me too, but the beginning and end dancing to JUST the sound of thunder and rain was WEIRD in a bad way. None of the movements looked/felt right.

Erica: I loved the dancing when there was no music, only rain. I loved the piece as a whole. See, I like blaming the choreo, but I like praising it when it deserves to be praised. This choreo so deserved it.

Kate: So we disagree there. At least they didn’t spend 10 minutes crying about the dance’s subject.

Erica: Hee. So Zach is in danger and I guess we’ll find out in a few minutes if he’s the one who’s gone. Honestly, I thought he danced this well, but I am not crazy about him. But this was good.

Kate: This was, but more because of Amy than Zack.

Erica: Oh, jeez, and then Nigel goes on about how all of his choreographers deserve Emmys and why aren’t they getting them and I love Sonya but for real, Nigel? That’s not classy.

Kate: Yea he went off a little there. Calm it down.


Guest Singer – Christina Perri

Erica: Hey, did you know this show discovered Christina Perri, too? Kiss the ring, Christina Perri.

Kate: Dumb. She sounded horrible.

Erica: I’m only commenting because Kathryn and Chehon are doing the dancing. It’s a really cool performance – they’re, dancing around the platform on which Christina Perri is singing and the camera is having a hard time with it. But they look amazing together. Kathryn and Chehon, I mean.

Kate: I would have preferred to see Kathryn and Chehon dancing together without Christina Perri.

Erica: The song of hers that Stacey Tookey used was “Jar of Hearts”. I kind of like that song, for all its emo-osity. This song did not thrill me. But watching Kathryn and Chehon did.



Kate: Not surprising, but I did like Bridget/saw a lot of potential in her.

Erica: I’m sad to lose Bridget. I liked her personality-wise and I thought she was a pretty terrific dancer. I won’t remember who Emilio is tomorrow.

Kate: But I am glad to still have Jacque.

Erica: So now they’re going to tell us every week which all-star each contestant is dancing with next week? I don’t know why but okay. Here it is: Tanisha will be with Nick (Season 1’s winner?); Valerie is with Season 8’s Ryan; Rudy is with Season 2’s Allison (and he is very excited about it, as well he should be); Jacque is with tWitch; Ricky is with Season 3’s Jaime, she of the flower/hummingbird number with Hok; Casey is with Comfort – that should be a sight to see; Jessica has Season 4’s Will (OMG I’m so excited Will is coming!); Zach is with SEASON 10’S MAKENZIE I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS DAY!!!!

Kate: Ian is thrilled for Makenzie.

Erica: You know what the hell of it is? I don’t know what my tech situation is going to be next week; I don’t know how I’m even going to do this recap.

Kate: We always find a way!

SYTYCD XI – Top 14 Perform (and we go down to Top 10)

Group Routine – Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

[“Last Moment” by Christophe Filippi]

Kate: Stunning. These costumes are right up my alley. (The dancing was stunning, too.)

Erica: To absolutely everything about this routine, I say HUZZAH! (Except the camera work. A girl got thrown across the stage and we missed the beginning of it.)

Kate: I know Ricky was supposed to be the focal point of the routine, but he seriously just outshined the entire world here. My gosh, his feet!

Erica: But seriously? The whole, whole thing was AWESOME. More, please!


Cat’s Ensemble

Erica: I think I have a dress or two in that vein in Covet.

Kate: Holy hoops! Hair a wee bit too slicked back, but I suppose that look goes with huge hoochie hoops. (Yes, that is a real term!)

Erica: I mean, I always love Cat having her hair down. But yeah, with those hoops? It was the right decision.

Kate: Fun pattern on the dress. Tres summery. I normally don’t like that particular cut on the arms/neck, but it flattered her body well.

Erica: She is one of the maybe twelve people on the planet who could pull it off.

Kate: Wait, those SHOES. They are like totem poles!

Erica: I think they are totes approps, no?

Kate: YES, Christina instead of Misty! Finalmente!

Erica: Regardless of Misty fatigue, I am ALWAYS happy to see Christina Applegate.

Kate: I would also be fine if all 6 of these folks went home. Not sorry about it.


Bridget & Emilio – Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

[“Long Road To Hell” by Avicii]

Kate: Although this particular routine was closer to Emilio’s original style, Bridget was stronger than him quite often in this routine.

Erica: Ugh, Ray Leeper annoys me. I mean, I liked this routine, but I still kind of want to punch him in the face.

Kate: However, they fumbled a few times, and she seemed absolutely clueless about dancing in sneakers. Like, I’m pretty sure she had never done that before. And she made some WEIRD faces. WEIRD.

Erica: Really? I thought she was pretty good. I thought that they were both pretty good. I didn’t find her face nearly as distracting as the SWOOPY CAMERA.

Kate: Seriously, Mary Murphy? Did someone tell you you couldn’t make any commentary this season except “Good job, you’re pretty”?

Erica: Maybe she’s tired of doing this show. She’s just running out of things to say.


Tanisha & Rudy – Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

[“Seduces Me” by Celine Dion]

Kate: How weird is it to hear Celine Dion trying to sing all sexy-like?

Erica: Really? You’ve never heard this song before?

Kate: No. Tanisha wasn’t that great here. Kind of shaky. Rudy was very strong and they had some great lifts — um excuse me Mr. One-Handed Lift — but I even saw him fumble on a couple transitions.

Erica: I thought this was very uneven. There were some moments that they were just flowing like water, and other moments that looked super-awkward and strained.

Kate: Must we comment on the solos? I never enjoy them. Serge’s wasn’t that great.

Erica: Yeah, I’m fine with not commenting. I mean, solos are tough, ballroom solos are tougher, and male ballroom solos are nearly pointless.


Jacque & Zack – Paso Doble, choreo by Jean Marc Genereux

[“Dragula” by Rob Zombie]

Kate: I cringed when I heard Cat say “Paso” before the commercial break. I NEVER like those. Then I cringed even more at Jacque’s “vampirey” faces, and the song nearly made me throw up from pain in my ears.

Erica: I have no beef with pasos. When done well, I love them. When not done well, I don’t like them, to the same degree that I don’t like anything not done well. But I totes hated this.

Kate: They were both pretty sharp, but he didn’t portray much dominant masculinity in my opinion. And I just hate this style. (Also, showing clips of Jacque being a perky grocery store employee before her doing a Paso made her look fairly ridiculous.)

Erica: I mean, I don’t think either of them did anything wrong (although I saw Jacque stumble but mostly they were fine). I just hated the choreography and the music and the whole nonsense concept. I feel like the longer this show goes on, Jean Marc Genereux moves further away from the actual dance he’s supposed to be choreographing. This didn’t look like a paso to me; it just looked like two people stomping around in dark costumes.

Kate: I also saw her fumble a couple of steps. I know it’s a small error, but this calibre of dancer should not be fumbling on a lunge. They just shouldn’t!

Erica: I really think it was mostly a choreography problem.

Kate: I love Carly’s solo song, but I could take her or leave her at this point.

Erica: I can’t remember who she is from moment to moment.

Kate: I need to catch up on my Step Up movies. I never saw the second or fourth ones, and now the fifth one is coming out!

Erica: Yeah, you best get on that.


Emily & Teddy – Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle

[“From This Moment On” from Kiss Me Kate (Original Soundtrack)]

Erica: Well, I mean, this is pretty much my wheelhouse. I like Broadway, I like Cole Porter, I like Kiss Me, Kate.

Kate: …Eh? This may have been the fault of the choreographer, but this was a little dull for me. I don’t love these two dancers — I SAW EMILY SLIP ON A LUNGE, TOO, WHAT GOES ON PEOPLE?! — and I just didn’t get anything from this.

Erica: I thought they were mismatched. He was very spaghetti-ish and she was more . . . I don’t know. Sharp? No, that’s not it. In any event, they didn’t look like they were dancing the same kind of dance.

Kate: His pirouettes were pathetic. Truly, on the level of mine. Which are horrible.

Erica: Yeah?

Kate: Oh yeah. I’m overall disappointed with Broadway on this show the last couple seasons. Do you think they should start phasing it out as a main style?

Erica: No! I love Broadway! I just want better choreography.

Kate: Oh, I forgot Casey existed. His solo was good, though; great legs/feet. But not as good as Ricky’s, obviously.

Erica: I forget like 90% of these dancers. I don’t know what’s wrong with me this season. No one is grabbing me.

Kate: Emily’s solo was like ballet on speed. Did not enjoy.

Erica: I kind of did.


Jessica & Casey – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Like Real People Do” by Hozier]

Kate: Oooooh kissing! Kissing kissing kissing!

Erica: I know you don’t watch the little pre-rehearsal stuff, but seriously, do these kids know what awkward is?

Kate: Sorry, I eat that sh!t up on this show. They were actually quite fabulous together, great chemistry and very in sync. Now I kind of don’t want either of them to go home.

Erica: I really loved this. Really, really loved. It just filled my whole heart with sunshine. I loved the kiss, I loved the movement she made when it happened, and it was all just really sweet. I find her faces a little over the top, but they worked here. But, God, as good as they were, Travis Wall is just f-ing genius.

Kate: OMG I love Christina Applegate. Seriously love.

Erica: I know. If Mary is tired, Christina can come on as a permanent judge.

Kate: Teddy’s solo song — I haven’t heard it since high school. Love. His choreography was way too fast for the beat, though. He needs to go.

Erica: I feel like he’s not really a hip-hopper. I feel like he’d be better in some other genre.


Carly & Serge – Quickstep, choreo by Jean Marc Genereux

[“A Cool Cat In Town (Aerophon Mix)” by Tape Five feat. Brenda Boykin]

Erica: I really liked this. I have to take back my previous comment about Jean Marc Genereux – this looked totally like a classic quickstep.

Kate: If we are doing a step in which the defining characteristic is “quick”, and in which the only thing you really need to see is the feet, why would we put the female dancer in a costume which blocks your view of the feet and makes the female almost trip every 4 seconds?

Erica: I think that’s the classic quickstep style of dress.

Kate: I thought this was overall awkward. And not very quick.

Erica: Really? I was impressed with them. I thought their feet looked great. I thought her upper body could be held a little stiffer but other than that I was really pleased. I can’t figure out, though, how often they make a big deal of when ballroom dancers do ballroom styles that are not their ballroom style. Like, okay, I believe the quickstep is pretty different from a salsa, but is it really more different than a quickstep is from a contemporary number?

Kate: Apparently, yes. Jessica’s solo was good, not amazing. As I’ve said before, she gets a little too strippery sometimes.

Erica: I effing love that song. I didn’t know Beyonce had covered it.

Kate: Beyonce covers everything.


Valerie & Ricky – Hip-hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

[“Turn Down For What” by DJ Snake & Lil Jon]

Kate: This is a great song for a hip-hop routine, but I didn’t think the doll concept matched the song. But that’s the choreographers.

Erica: First of all, SWOOPY CAMERAS! I want to see the contestants dancing, not the cameras! Second of all, and I hate to harp on certain things (ha ha no I don’t) but the trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey came out this week so I just want to remind America that when a man wants to completely control a woman, it is, as Ricky said, creepy, and not sexy and romantic. Third, I kind of loved her costume.

Kate: So, Ricky can do ANYTHING.

Erica: He sure can.

Kate: He was fanTASTIC at hip-hop! As was she! I want them to win. It’s just one winner again now, right? Not guy and girl?

Erica: I haven’t the foggiest. Nothing this show does is clear to me. I think if it’s one winner, it’ll be him.

Kate: Hey, I was at a wedding on National Dance Day! That counts!

Erica: Hey, I was at a wedding the day AFTER National Dance Day! And I was dancing up a STORM!

Kate: We win!


Girl Routine – Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

[“My Immortal (Band Version)” by Evanescence]

Erica: This was good, but it didn’t have the magic of the opening routine.

Kate: They were very strong all together in this, but “My Immortal” doesn’t really convey “girl power”, Mandy.

Erica: Yeah, I can definitely see your point there. And if they’re supposed to be demonstrating the strength of women dancing together, why does the song end with them all standing and facing away from each other? But I have to say, more than any other season, I think the group routines look so cohesive.

Kate: Agreed. This may actually be one of my favorite group routines on this show. Well done.

Erica: Yeah? I felt like it was good but not amazing.

Kate: Again, I love Christina Applegate. “Go watch it!”

Erica: I know. She is awesome. And I enjoy Nigel being all, “Remember, it is THIS SHOW that lets you experience the magic!”

Kate: Hah. The Academy of Villains thing was pretty cool. I definitely appreciated the basket toss at the end!

Erica: Yeah, it was a lot of fun.


Guy Routine – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Wave” by Beck]

Kate: Hey I saw Beck recently! He did this song! Cool points for me.

Erica: You’ve gotten so much cooler since you started dating ***.

Kate: I didn’t find this to be quite as strong as the girls’ piece, but that is perhaps because the guys have Ricky shining brighter than any star in the sky and absorbing all the attention.

Erica: I think the boys were somewhat less cohesive than the girls, and it wasn’t just Ricky. But overall they did a good job in this number and I just really love Travis Wall. He just keeps surprising me and getting better and better. (And so does Christina Applegate.)




Kate: Not at all surprising, given Jessica and Casey’s routine.

Erica: Right. I mean, I’m a little sad about Serge because he was the closest person to a grown up on the show, and I liked Teddy’s spaghetti-ness, but Casey hit it out of the park tonight, so good for him. As for the girls who didn’t get to go on…I’m not going to remember who they are by the time the next show airs.

Kate: I didn’t pay much attention to the all-star announcement, but did they say they’re back in two weeks not next week?

Erica: Wait, first…Is this thing with the judges not having a say for the Top Ten on? I thought that was just the final decision previously? Second, JENNA is back? (I mean that in a negative way.) Third, LAUREN is back? (I mean that in a positive way.) Finally, yeah, I didn’t catch whether they’re on next week. I hope they are because there’s no reason I can’t do this in real time with you next week.

Kate: Correct, from now on it’s America’s votes only. No judge input. Tune in next week (or the week after, or both), dance fans!

SYTYCD XI – Top 16

Group Routine – Jazz, choreo by Mandy Moore

[“Take Me To The River” by Annie Lenox]


Erica: The minute I saw “Annie Lennox,” I thought, “Sonya Tayeh”. Then I thought, “Wait, no, it’s gotta be Mandy Moore. She’s all about the ‘80s”.


Kate: I love Annie Lennox songs on this show. (Ah, what a perfect place to provide a link to Ashley and Mark’s season 7 dance to ”Wonderful”!)


Erica: I was sad that they got rid of the swoopy scarves so early. I like swoopy scarves.


Kate: I was sad that the girls weren’t together at all.


Erica: I gotta say, they looked pretty professional for this number. Way better, more energetic and together than last week’s hip-hop. Even though I liked last week’s bizarre concept and costuming and stuff.


Kate: Yes, but I didn’t think the girls were that strong together. The partner stuff was cool, and they looked great at the end. Can we talk about the dumb/weird little choreo things they now do during introductions?


Erica: No, I skip them or go get a Coke or something.


Kate: I’m not a fan. They always look awkward. Who drinks Coke anymore?


Cat’s Ensemble


Erica: Ew feh.


Kate: You know I didn’t realize “feh” was a Yiddish word until a couple weeks ago?


Erica: I didn’t realize “klutz” was until very recently.


Kate: Anyway, it is July. This is a January outfit. (Except for the fact that mock turtlenecks are a never outfit.)


Erica: Her hair is great, although my preference is for last week’s hair, and makeup is A-OK with me. But I don’t dig the dress. Maybe it’s a personal thing.


Kate: No, it’s a mock turtleneck thing.


Erica: Is Mary, like, on purpose trying to look old?


Kate: Oh, I like her outfit. Hah. I find myself liking old lady clothes more and more these days.


Erica: Misty again? Is this to honor Misty or because people are tired of guest judging for this thing?


Kate: I heard she’s permanent now!


Erica: So no more guests?


Kate: This I do not know.


Valerie & Ricky – Bollywood, choreo by Nakul Dev Mahajan

[“Dilliwaali Girlfriend” from the Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani Soundtrack]




Kate: This is when I don’t pay attention.


Erica: Oh, and of course she doesn’t know how to be sexy because of f*cking course.


Kate: So Ricky was fabU here, duh. Valerie had great energy as usual, and decent form/technique, but was nowhere near sharp or quick enough for this style. Not surprising, but disappointing because I want her to be good.


Erica: You know what, she really doesn’t know how to be sexy. And yeah, great energy from both of them but she was not precise enough. I loved her costume, though. When Nigel said that Bollywood reminds him of something, I thought he was going to say, “When England owned everything”, but he didn’t. He had Misty to back up this idea that Nigel basically introduced Bollywood to the Western world.


Kate: Didn’t he?


Bridget & Emilio – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“The Leaving Song” by Chris Garneau]


Erica: I like her. I don’t want her to go home.


Kate: Me too. Me either.


Erica: So I’m watching this on my iPad so that I can type on my computer at the same time and, boy, the lighting was not okay for me here. But I can see well enough to know they can’t send her home, right?


Kate: I kept thinking, “Where’s the actual bed? They’ve used actual beds on the show before, what gives?”


Erica: Kate, it was like, symbolic and stuff.


Kate: Ah. Symbols. This was very good.


Erica: I really liked it. I really, really liked it. I mean, it was pretty literal in terms of the interpretation of Travis’s stated ideas, but I don’t mind that and I thought they — especially her — did a pretty fantastic job of it.


Kate: Agreed, very strong. She has crazy (in a good way) legs. I think she’s my favorite right now?


Erica: Well, if I say she’s mine, she’ll be cut tonight so I’ll shut up.


Tanisha & Rudy – Hip-hop, choreo by Dave Scott

[“Good Kisser” by Usher]


Erica: Rudy’s faces in his first performance are killing me.


Kate: In what way?


Erica: OMG SO CUTE. He’s, like, 11? And he’s doing salsa and he is pulling SO MANY FACES. Hey it turns out the brightness on my iPad was way down. I fixed it.




Erica: So I thought she was very good at the non-hip-hoppy moves. Her legs and hips are very fluid. And I liked the concept and the costumes and all. But the whole thing didn’t really gel for me.


Kate: See, I unfortunately really enjoyed this. I say unfortunately because I don’t want to like Tanisha, but in this I did. A lot.


Erica: I don’t know if it was the choreo but I honestly don’t think it was. It just kind of felt like they weren’t in the same dance.


Kate: See I thought the choreo did get a little repetitive towards the end (like, enough hip shakes) and was overall corny, but I still liked it a lot. What is happening to my brain?


Erica: Maybe I’m just too old to find any of these kids sexy. But I am enjoying Cat dishing.


Kate: P.S. There’s a Chris Scott hip-hop choreographer and now a Dave Scott hip-hop choreographer. Will wonders ever cease?


Erica: Chris Scott is the skinny white one. I like him. I like Dave, too.


Jessica & Marcquet – Foxtrot, choreo by Dmitry Chaplin

[“I Put a Spell on You” by Nina Simone]


Erica: I think I’m hitting my lifetime limit on this song.


Kate: What about the Hocus Pocus version?


Erica: I mean, Bette will always be Bette but I’m just tired of it. It’s not a bad song or anything, I just see it come up and go, ugh.


Kate: How about Tab Benoit’s? He is very sexy.


Erica: I don’t know who that is. Isn’t this a little fluid for a foxtrot? And, like, sexy, with their pelvises against each other and all?


Kate: Yes, and isn’t she a bit too stripper-ish? Sorry, not trying to be catty, but she was way too much here. Too much.


Erica: So Marcquet is totes going home.


Kate: Shame, he’s good.


Erica: I LOVE it (in a totally non-sarcastic way) when Nigel actually criticizes the choreography. Also I need to learn to do that cat’s eye thing like on Jessica’s eyes right now.


Kate: You’re the one who taught me how to do eye makeup, I’m sure you could figure out the subtle cat eye.


Erica: It’s hard; it works best with a liquid liner, which is hard to control. And I’m out of practice at makeup in general.


Kate: Use the liquid liner Mom and I use from Lancome. Great stuff. (Lancome did not sponsor this post in any way). So this dance sucked, next?


Erica: Okay, buy me some. Also, Lancome, if you’d like to sponsor a post, we’d totes take your money. I really like your eye makeup remover!


Kate: Sephora’s house brand makeup remover is actually better. (Sephora is not a sponsor of this post either, but we’d take it.)


Erica: Oh, I have the Sephora one! I’m taking it with me this weekend! (To my sister-in-law’s wedding in San Francisco, if you’re curious.) BTW, readers, we are both doing this recap in real time and we’re in a commercial break right now. That’s why the long chat about make-up. Also someone stole my Diet Coke. Damn it.


Carly & Serge – Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

[“Foolish Games” by Jewel]


Erica: What’s in the water over there? Everyone’s sexing it up this week.


Kate: You toooooook your coat off, and stood in the rain. You were always craaazy like that. Er, this song is soooo your high school years!


Erica: 🙂 Zoe likes this song.


Kate: So does Aunt Kate!


Erica: It’s giving me flashbacks to adolescence.


Kate: Yikes. Hey, this dance was great, and one move in particular reminded me a lot of Robert Roldan and Allison Holker’s “Fix You” routine from season 7 (which I think is my favorite season ever?) — let’s watch that one now!


Erica: This was a lot less of a literal interpretation of the theme but beautifully danced. I just caught sight of Cat’s shoes. They kind of make me like the rest of the outfit more.


Kate: She lucked out with another good routine, and I like her despite not wanting to, similar to how I feel about Tanisha. This was very good.


Erica: I don’t like her personality much but I think she’s a fine dancer. And I like Serge quite a bit. Maybe because he’s not 12.


Kate: Yes, he’s very good. And I loved his first-ever ballroom competition outfit. And right, doesn’t Carly’s personality just irritate the crap out of you?


Erica: Yah.


Emily & Teddy – Salsa, choreo by Oksana & Jonathan

[“Bruk It Down (Soca Remix)” by Mr. Vegas feat. Alison Hinds]


Erica: I couldn’t remember who these people were – but now I’ll remember that Teddy is freakin’ adorable as a kid. And Oksana is like some sort of living Russian stereotype.


Kate: What else do you expect with that name? They are my least favorite dancers (skill-wise, not personality-wise). I totes noticed Emily’s slip and contrary to what Misty said, I think it did mess her up for the rest of the performance because she slowed down and hesitated from there on out and just looked to nervous to do it full out.


Erica: She looked super awkward. Her hips did not look like salsa dancing hips.


Kate: And his hips are just CREEPY. Bleh.


Erica: Isn’t that what male salsa hips are supposed to look like?


Kate: I guess, but he looks so creepy doing it. Me no likey.


Erica: Misty’s voice is starting to make me kind of nuts. Still appreciate her commentary. Oh, wait, Emily’s dancing injured? I hate that. I’m too much of a nervous Jewish mother.


Kate: When Misty was commenting on Teddy her words said “I love you” but her tone said “I think you suck but I’m paid to be somewhat nice”.


Erica: Heehee


Jacque & Zack – Jazz, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

[“Back to Black” by Beyonce feat. Andre 3000]


Kate: Of ALL the people to cover my girl Amy Winehouse, I would NOT want it to be Beyonce. I’m so over her.


Erica: Overkill? Damn, Sonya is being tough on Jaque.


Kate: What do you mean overkill?


Erica: Your Beyonce hate. Her costume is f-ing bizarre.


Kate: I’m sorry I’m just over her! And YES, I thought the same thing about the costume. Not relevant to the routine/song/century.


Erica: You know what, though, Sonya was right. She is kind of relying on pretty. And Misty seems to agree.


Kate: I think she’s talented, but not the most talented. I was surprised at how they pulled off sexual attraction in this routine as I cannot see them together in real life, but I enjoyed their chemistry and thought this was overall great. Could have been more the choreography than the dancing, though?


Erica: Well, Sonya is a pretty amazing choreographer. Isn’t she the one dating Rudy?


Kate: Sonya? No. Jacque? Yes.


Erica: Sorry, that’s what I meant. Sometimes I forget the whole pronoun-antecedent agreement thing.


Brooklyn & Casey – choreo by Will “Wildabeast” Williams

[“Hustle Hard Remix”, Ace Hood feat. Rick Ross & Lil Wayne]


Erica: They’re pulling some pretty cute faces.


Kate: Oh my god, this was quite possibly the least hip-hop routine to ever grace the SYTYCD stage. Oh my god I gasped OUT LOUD, like, SEVERAL times during this, that’s how bad I thought it was.


Erica: No way. No way. I’m not saying it was super-swag or anything, but there have been some seriously non-hip-hop hip-hop routines on this show.


Kate: What drugs are you/the judges on right now? This was SO BAD! Her faces were painful to watch! There was no swag! No getting down! Gah!


Erica: Excuse me, Kate, but her faces were HILARIOUS to watch.


Kate: No, there were like “Oh, this is hard, ah, this is harder, ahhh I look crazy, eh what’s next? Oh!” No. No no no no no.


Erica: Like I said. Hilarious.


Kate: Also known as horrible.


Erica: Excuse the F out of me, Nigel, but hip-hop DOES in fact require technique and precision, you pretentious, condescending, “benign racism” racist old man. God.


Mini-Group Routine # 1- Jazz, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

[“So Broken (Live)” by Bjork]


Erica: So, yes, I’d prefer a group routine to solos. But can someone explain to me how this happened? Did they tell this group, like, last week, that they were in the bottom and then have them practice this? So when they bring them on stage and “reveal” it, they actually already know? Or did Sonya whip this up backstage like five seconds ago? Did all the dancers rehearse it and then just the six step into their “parts”? SO MANY QUESTIONS.


Kate: My guess is they knew the bottom 6 by, like, last Thursday, and the learned this in a couple of days. This was a first, right?


Erica: Yes, it’s a first. Wait, no, there are four couples here. I’m confused. I have the short-term memory of a fruit fly so I can’t even remember which of these people are actually in danger.


Kate: Yea, now I’m confused too. Off with their heads!


Erica: Again, I’m in favor of the idea. But they need to be clearer about the whole rules aspect of this thing. Maybe these are the bottom eight and they just didn’t tell them which of them were actually the bottom six?


Kate: My brain hurts trying to figure it out, but I think I liked this better than the first group routine. Tanisha did do very well tonight. Hmmm..


Erica: Wait a second. Marcquet isn’t there. He was in the bottom six, wasn’t he?


Kate: Brain. Hurts. Also, it’s only 9:38? Is there another routine still?


Erica: Maybe it’s two mini-group routines, irrespective of people in danger? That’s been done before, right? In Melonie and Sasha’s season?


Kate: By George, I think you’ve got it!


Erica: Anyway, I agree with the judges. I think Sonya might be my favorite. And yup, there’s a Travis routine coming. Wow, that could have been clearer.


Hey what are you doing?


Mini-Group Routine #2 – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic]


Erica: I love Travis’s brain. Sometimes he’s like, “It’s about a couple in love,” and I’m like, ugh, boring, but it usually isn’t. And then he comes up with some crazy amazing concepts and I just love him.


Kate: LOVE! Love this song, loved this routine. It had me dancing (on the couch). LOVE.


Erica: I think Ricky might be my favorite boy now. Also this was cool. Just cool. Good job, Travis. Good job, dancers. And good job, Cat’s hair, cascading down her back like that when she was at the bottom of the stairs.


Kate: And good job, girl I’m not sure who you were, with the Full Down (that’s a cheerleading term)! Yea, Ricky is clearly the best on the show this season.


Erica: Do you think Sonya was looking at Travis like, “I’m going to put a knife in your neck at the wrap party”?


Kate: Ya, this totes shat on her mini-group routine. Sors Sonya.


Erica: Aw, man, hers was good, too! More group routines in general, that’s what I say!


Kate: Hear hear!




Erica: Nigel’s “Yeah, thanks, Cat,” was totally sarcastic. Wait, four dancers next week? Why? Fox skimping on time for SYTYCD? Or is Nigel playing with us and they’re saving everyone this week?


Kate: Fox is way skimping. They give this who less and less time every season; I fear the day they finally — gasp — cancel.


Erica: Can you tell we’re doing this in real time? Okay, so it’s Marcquet and Brooklyn. Not surprised about Marcquet. Not even really that surprised about Brooklyn although I think she’s pretty good.


Kate: Me either. Happy with it. Moving on now, tune in next week for the top 14, after which we’ll skip over the top 12 and go right to the top 10, at which point the judges will have no say anymore whatsoever! Right?


Erica: I don’t know. I can’t keep up with the rules on this show. So this week, we are posting, like, right now. Next week might be late. I am getting home from San Francisco at some time I can’t remember when but I’m sure I won’t be able to get a post up before mid-day on Thursday.


Kate: Yes, so patience, young grasshoppers.


SYTYCD XI – Top 18 Perform (Though Without Marlene, How Can They Call It The Top ANYTHING?!)

Erica: Before we begin, I want to tell you all that I saw Godspell this weekend and I was reminded of Katee and Joshua, my favorite couple ever, dancing to “All for the Best”, which is from that show. And this was basically just an excuse to link the video.


Group Number – Hip-hop, choreo by Pharside & Krystal Meraz

[“How It’s Done” by District 78]

Erica: So in this one, half the dancers are in all black and half all white – but very quirky and not uniform at all. Then they hip-hop.

Kate: Very Gaga-esque, no?


Kate: I thought this was too much clothing to be able to dance well in. The routine had its moments, but I don’t think everyone was fierce or sharp enough to give the full effect of what it was supposed to be. You know?

Erica: I don’t know about the clothing being an issue. I did not think everyone was sharp; this group does not seem to be great, in aggregate, at hip-hop. And I thought the dance itself took a while to warm up. There were some cool moments at the end, but for the most part it dragged.

Kate: Hold on, Misty again? I appreciate her legitimate critiques, but are they having trouble booking other guest judges already?

Erica: Yeah, I don’t know what’s up with that. I mean, yes, please, real dancers giving intelligent critiques that teach me about dance. But it’s pretty weird for them.


Cat’s Outfit

Kate: Hmmm. I like it, but not with all the necklaces (specifically the shorter ones, or is it all one necklace?).

Erica: Oh, really? I kind of like the necklaces.

Kate: Wait, it’s a jumpsuit? Never mind. Hate. Good makeup (darker than usual) and hair, though.

Erica: I am, as a principle, against jumpsuits. However, IF there were a jumpsuit that was marginally acceptable, and IF there were a person suited to wearing one, then Cat would have looked pretty good tonight. Many, many yeses on hair; I thought the make-up was a touch overdone.

Kate: Meanwhile, an animal has died on Mary Murphy’s head and she stole my Wednesday Addams dress!

Erica: I am not understanding Mary’s situation at all. At. All.


Jacque & Zack – Hip-hop, choreo by Keoni Madrid & Mari Martin

[“Stay With Me” by Sam Smith]

Kate: Weeeeee Sam Smith! Sam Smith! Seriously, I’ve been listening to him for five days straight. “Nirvana” is my new favorite.

Erica: Is he the dude you were kvelling about last week?

Kate: Yes! So Zack did a great job in this, he continues to impress me. However. Jacque looked awkward, like she had trouble getting down and dirty for the hip-hop, which is surprising because she did well at that with the African Jazz last week.

Erica: Well, this wasn’t really down and dirty hip-hop. I don’t even think I know what hip-hop is anymore. But yes, he was better than her.

Kate: Also, how could the judges have properly seen the beginning with them on the floor? That’s bad choreo (for TV), Keoni and Mari!

Erica: Well, no, it’s fine for TV. It’s bad for a live performance. How much do you love when Cat is in her gossip-monger mode? If this show ever ends, she should interview teeny-bopper celebrities on E! or something.


Jourdan & Marcquet – Contemporary, choreo by Dee Caspary

[“Disappear (Demo Version)” by Mikky Ekko]

Erica: Dee Caspary’s explanation of the dance and the story sounded to me like Contemporary Dance Mad Libs.

Kate: I may not have been paying attention to that.

Erica: I don’t like her. I can’t escape it. I just don’t. And, seriously, the two of you? We are supposed to be “surprised” to learn that Jourdan works out a lot and Marcquet…Dances? But hip-hop in addition to ballroom? Well, blow me over with a feather.

Kate: Her ballet legs paid off here, and she finally impressed me a little.

Erica: I did like this dance, but I think I might have liked the song more than the dance. I mean.

Kate: But I didn’t feel much emotion and passion from either of them. (Goodness gracious I agree with Nigel.)

Erica: Don’t you love Nigel’s “I’m not bragging, I’m just telling you the facts” face when he’s announcing Emmy nominations and other ways in which his little show is SAVING THE WORLD?

Kate: Hey, we love his little show!


Jessica & Stanley – Jazz, choreo by Tyce Diorio

[“Funkier than a Mosquito’s Tweeter” by Nikka Costa]

Erica: Oh my God, Fox has the longest commercial breaks.

Kate: I was all excited for Tasty Oreo, and then this left me with a befuddled expression on my face. Wah.

Erica: Why were you excited? I hate that dude most of the time. Especially when it’s jazz and not Broadway. Although I now have to give him gratitude for introducing me to the phrase, “funkier than a mosquito’s tweeter”.

Kate: I thought you used to like Tyce? II just didn’t get what he was doing here? And Stanley is really great, but I don’t think these two are a good match. Isn’t this her style, too?

Erica: I don’t know what her style was. It probably should be Broadway. She pulls a lot of faces and they’re cute, but Misty was right. They were a little too much here. I really like Stanley. He’s very long and graceful. (I’m sorry, Stanley. By saying I liked you, I have probably doomed you.) But it made her look kind of short and stumpy, which she’s not, but…Yeah. They don’t look good together. And this whole dance was super-weird and stupid and pretty much exactly what I expect from Mr. Oreo.


Bridget & Emilio – Jive, choreo by Anya Garnis & Pasha Kovalev

[“Happy” by Pharrell Williams]

Erica: PASHA! Holy sh!t the years are being so good to him. Her, too. I love Anya.

Kate: Well! What a great Jive song this makes, eh? Who woulda thunk it?

Erica: Too bad her outfit was so stupid. Did the costume people use up all their budget for the opener?

Kate: So this was really fun, and I really like her and thought she was a natural at the Jive. She was a little better than him, and I’m sad that she is one of the bottom three girls for the second week in a row.

Erica: She was sharper and kept better posture, I thought. Plus her attitude was exactly on point. But look, generally speaking, the more Jive I see, the more happy I be.


Emily & Teddy – Contemporary, choreo by Tyce Diorio

[“Ne Me Quitte Pas” by Nina Simone]

Kate: He was better than I thought he’d be at contemporary, and I’m starting to like her a little more, but I still just don’t love either of them.

Erica: Who are these people? I have no memory of them from last week.

Kate: And I’m just not sure what’s going with Tyce. Is he in a bad place right now?

Erica: No, he’s always kind of sucked. Except at Broadway, and, like, one contemporary dance ever. I will say they had some moments that were pretty small but quite lovely — at least one of the lifts, she looked like she was floating or something.


Brooklyn & Casey – Jazz, choreo by Bonnie Story

[“Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Michael Buble]

Kate: Boy and girl at prom? Hello Lauren and Kent routine from season 8! (One of my faves!)

Erica: Yay links from dances past!

Kate: They both have great legs and this was cute and fun, but she fell off a little at the end and stopped hitting things.

Erica: I liked it. But, I mean, it was right up my alley.


Valerie & Ricky – Viennese Waltz, choreo by Lacey Schwimmer

[“I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz]

Kate: What a DRESS! Did Zoe very much enjoy that fashion?

Erica: Zoe was busy watching Wall-E with her boyfriend Otis, who was sleeping over last night. Why is Lacey blonde now? Was she sad being the only brunette in Utah?

Kate: So this was far from perfect from a ballroom technique perspective, especially on her part because of her loosey-goosey arms, but they both performed it so great and I just love them so much. Like, so much.

Erica: Well, Valerie is my girl now that Marlene is gone. It did seem to me that they were leaving, like, no room for the Holy Ghost, you know, but other than that, I didn’t think a lack of technique negatively affected this. The Viennese Waltz can be boring as all get out; this wasn’t.


Carly & Serge – Hip-hop, choreo by Luther Brown

[“Senile” by  Young Money feat. Tyga, Nicki Minaj & Lil Wayne]

Erica: Really, Serge? Carly liked to dance in college? I’m very surprised. Although his snarky delivery kind of saved it.

Kate: Um, I didn’t appreciate the condescending tone about her joining a dance team. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with THAT, people!

Erica: I think he was mainly teasing her about insisting that it was different from cheerleading.

Kate: EITHER WAY! I didn’t want to like this routine — seriously Luther, skeleton costumes? — but I did. They were both better at hip-hop than I thought they would be, even at the subtle things. Serge more so than Carly.

Erica: I guess. I continue not to be massively impressed at this group’s handle on hip-hop. I mean, it was okay but it didn’t sing for me.


Tanisha & Rudy – Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle

[“Sing Sing Sing (Part 2)” from Fosse (Original Broadway Cast)]

Kate: This did not work for me. I am in almost complete disagreement with the judges this season, eh?

Erica: Really? I thought it was totes fabulous.

Kate: I mean, the winner of the competition is going to star in a new Broadway show. Neither of them were sharp enough to star in a new Broadway show, they just weren’t! They were barely even together the whole time!

Erica: Really? This one sang for me. I thought they were very sharp and great. And then Cat got all match-makey and it was adorable.

Kate: Well, that was pretty cute. So I was overall disappointed with this episode. Nothing really melted my heart.

Erica: I try to remember that I feel this way at the beginning of almost every season, but I’m kind of eh on the contestants this season.


Non-SYTYCD Performance

Kate: Hey look how cool I am — I saw A Great Big World live in New Orleans, they were a surprise guest during Christina Aguilera’s Jazz Fest performance.

Erica: Yes, Kate. You’re very cool. I love this song, btw. That’s okay, right? I know I sometimes have absurdly horrible taste in music but this is legit good, no?

Kate: Yes!





Erica: Well, I’m glad Jourdan is gone, so I don’t have to critically examine my visceral dislike of her.

Kate: Jourdan I understand, but Stanley? Seriously?! He was one of the best guys!

Erica: Yeah, I thought he was so elegant. But I’m not going to cry for him like I did for Marlene.

Kate: Well, tune in next week for the top 16, when America and the dancers hopefully get it right this time!