SYTYCD Season 14 – Finale

Kate: Ok, NOW it’s the finale. I think.

Erica: Yes. Yes, this is definitely it.

Kate: And we’ll be doing everyone’s favorite dances throughout this less-than-thrilling season. Yippee.

Erica: I hate that there’s nothing new. Except group routines. I’m happy about new group routines.

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: Love the tousled long waves, as usual, but the makeup feels too heavy and smoky for such soft beachy waves.

Erica: Well, but it was right for the dress, right?

Kate: Yes, the sparkly dress and tall black boots (which feel inappropriate given that it was 85 degrees today) required the smoky makeup, so…The hair was the wrong thing? Say it ain’t so!

Erica: Nah, let’s just say it was all good.

Kate: As for the rest of their ensembles, it looks like an evil daffodil threw up all over Hudgy, and I HATE red/orange eyeshadow like that. It makes you look ill, no matter what.

Erica: You know I tried to do pinkish eyeshadow a few times way back when I worked for Aveda and wore makeup often enough to get bored and try new things, and some makeup thing somewhere told me that pinkish reddish was good for people with blue eyes. It was not.

Kate: It still is not. And I don’t hate what Mary Murphy is wearing, I just hate her hair with it. It’s too flat on top/slicked back away from her face.

Erica: Makes her forehead look too big.

Kate: We’re so mean.

 

Group Routine (All): Jazz, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Dancing On The Ceiling” by Nick Wells

Kate: This felt VERY High School Musical to me. Like, intentionally so.

Erica: Yes. Good description. It was kind of adorkable. But I would say it was feel-good without requiring or showing off that much skill. Like, I could do half those moves. Not with only one week of practice, and I wouldn’t look as good in booty shorts and a crop top, but it didn’t look significantly more challenging to me than a Just Dance routine.

Kate: I had the same problem with the sharpness that we’ve been having all season, except for Koine. She looked perfect and should absolutely win.

Erica: Yeah, she sort of embodies this number in that it’s exactly suited to her cuteness. But also she’s capable of more than this choreography gave her. I did like the newsprint clothes, though. Which should tell you exactly how much of a dork I am.

 

Group Routine (Academy): Every Dance Genre Ever, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Brand New” by Atwater Men’s Club feat. Luke Wade

Kate: Well, this is a first.

Erica: You mean, the whole pre-filmed-ness of it?

Kate: Yea. But of course it was cool, it was every style ever with 100(?) dancers, AND they had time to edit it and do cool camera work that we get so mad about during the live telecasts.

Erica: If anything it really illustrated how much luck goes into who gets on the show and who doesn’t. Because if some of these people are the people who didn’t make it, then damn. They’re pretty good. (Koine and Taylor still stood out in their group, though.) But I am confused. This was seen before, right? When they started the academy episodes? I didn’t watch the academy episodes. I probably should have. Because if it wasn’t shown then, this doesn’t make any sense.

Kate: This song was played a lot, but not this entire routine with everyone in it.

 

Koine & Kiki: Salsa, choreo by Val Chmerkovskiy
“Dança Molengo” by Bonde do Rolê feat. Rizzle Kicks

Kate: Interesting choice by Mary, but glad I got to see Koine in this again. Even Kiki was more tolerable in it this time.

Erica: She is just the embodiment of joy. You’re right, he seemed a little more dynamic this time around. Maybe now that the pressure is off, he can let loose.

 

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

“You Should Be Dancing” by The Bee Gees

Kate: Figures this would be Hudgy’s choice, of all routines.

Erica: Well, when this routine originally aired, I said it was the routine that would have been in a turn-of-the-millennium remake of Saturday Night Fever, had one existed. And, had one existed, Vanessa Hudgens would have aspired to be in it. So that makes sense.

Kate: I enjoyed it then and I enjoyed it now, I just think she could have chosen a more interesting or difficult routine.

 

Taylor & Lex: Broadway, choreo by Spencer Liff

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

Kate: For some reason their romance is bothering me. I don’t know if it’s them talking about it too much, or if I suspect it’s fake/just for the show, or what, but it’s just not doing it for me.

Erica: It’s cooked up. Right? It’s got to be.

Kate: This was quite adorable, again, though.

Erica: Yeah, it was nice, but I also wonder if Nigel chose it in part because it evokes one of the most memorable routines of the show’s run, the Hok-Jaimie bird routine.

 

Group Routine (All-Stars + Top 9): Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown

“Ya Ya” by Jonte

Kate: I now agree with you that I don’t like the hip-hop routine being done in tribal costumes.

Erica: Given that I largely know things about dance because of this show, it makes me think that the distinctions between genres of dancing are largely superficial.

Kate: The dancing was pretty much fine, though.

Erica: Yeah, they did well.

 

Dassy & Fik-Shun: Hip-Hop, choreo by Popin’ Pete
“Shake Your Pants” by Cameo

Kate: Didn’t like it then, don’t like it now.

Erica: Kinda liked it then. Still think it’s fine. I have to say, Fik-Shun has never been my guy. His face is more mobile than the rest of his body and it’s sort of exhausting.

 

Group Routine (All-Stars + Top 8): Jazz, choreo by Mark Kanemura

“Call Me Mother” by RuPaul

Kate: I guess I didn’t like this much the first time around, but this time I did! Despite an obnoxious song, the moves and the costumes and the hair and makeup created quite the dramatic production that I really appreciated and enjoyed.

Erica: Nigel was really pimping how amazing the show is when he was introducing this routine. “Millions watched it online! The lighting guy is amazing!” I liked this routine, though. It’s so weird and silly. It’s like the word “frivolous” in dance form.

 

Koine & Lex: Broadway, choreo by Al Blackstone

“L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole

Kate: See, this is weird. We JUST saw this for the first time last week. This season has not been long enough/there haven’t been enough DANCES for us to be picking all of our favorites, FOX!

Erica: I mean, there’s sort of no way to avoid this. If your favorite dance was last week, then that was your favorite. And this, I can’t complain about this being reprised. Nothing else was really something I was looking forward to seeing again. But this? I love this.

Kate: But, again, Koine was adorable as ever.

Erica: I really love the way she gets off the couch in the beginning. Like, she’s even cute when she’s being purposefully not cute. This is maybe the only routine from the season that I will think about when this season is over.

 

Group Routine (All): Contemporary, choreo by Mia Michaels

“Hyper-Ballad (Paky Di Maio Remix)” by Paola Canestrelli

Kate: Now here’s the Mia Michaels we know and love, er, are most of the time weirded out by. It was supposed to be a meeting of addicts, yes?

Erica: I think so. Or boxers.

Kate: Well, powerful message/sob story aside, it was danced beautifully and sharply and with great transitions and drama and tricks and leaps and kicks. Finally, a little of the old SYTYCD!

Erica: Yeah, this was beautifully choreographed and very well danced. Interesting and weird and pretty intense. A bit of a weird note to strike in the finale, but I’ll take it. If this isn’t the last season, they should do whatever it takes to get Mia Michaels to be around more.

Kate: AND A BASKET TOSS AT THE END! YAY, CHEERLEADING!

 

Robert & Jasmine: Hip-Hop, choreo by Chris Scott

“Perm” by Bruno Mars

Kate: Oh, Robert. Forgot you existed.

Erica: I didn’t because I was never not missing Jasmine.

Kate: This was a fun routine then and now, but the constant hairspray spraying really grossed me out. (Although I’m assuming the cans weren’t filled with real hairspray.)

Erica: Hah. But it was super cute.

 

Lex & Travis Wall: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“TEAR, Part 1” by Son Lux

Kate: Did we seriously expect me to watch anyone or anything besides Travis in this routine?

Erica: No. Very exciting to see him dancing again. So is Son Lux a person who is a big deal other than on this show? Because there have been like 82 Son Lux songs this season.

Kate: I have only ever heard his/her/their songs on this show. Super-cool routine. It felt very Peaky Blinders, but probably just because of the costumes.

Erica: Holy mikeys, that was intense. Very, very, very good choreography. Well danced. See, that routine should let Nigel know that, to the extent that this show is getting stale (it is — I’m sorry, I love it, but it is), it’s because he will not back away from a boy-girl-pair format. I’m not saying that there should be no boy-girl pair dancing, but play with the format, for God’s sake! More group dances! More same-sex pairings! More trios and quads and whatever! There’s nothing about the show that requires nearly every dance to be two dancers, one boy and one girl. Mix it up!

Kate: YEAH!

 

Koine & Marko: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Korpinen & Elizabeth Petrin

“You’re The Last Thing On My Mind” by Aron Wright

Kate: Still love these 2 together, still love her, still love this routine.

Erica: Oh, no, not this routine! It makes me so nervous! Seriously, though, I thought that there were some great moves but that this as an overall piece was a bit lacking. This time around, I felt the transitions were a little more fluid, but I still think this was almost a great routine.

 

Lex & Gaby: Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown

“Humble” by Kendrick Lamar

Kate: I liked this A LOT better than last time. He was still a tiny bit too stiff in his back in some areas, though.

Erica: He may have danced it better but to me this was still not a particularly memorable routine.

 

Kiki & Jenna: Cha-Cha, choreo by Dmitry Chaplain

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

Kate: Still love this song, still want to do a dance (like this) to it, still hate her a lot.

Erica: She really works my last nerve. It’s at least 85% unfair of me but it’s there and I can’t seem to stop it. Hot outfit, though.

 

Taylor & Robert: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

“To Make You Feel My Love” by Mick McAuley & Winifred Horan

Kate: I mean, DUH! Her legs are so twirly.

Erica: This was quite beautiful and she was quite beautiful in it (as was he). I also really like this version of this song.

Kate: I prefer Koine, but I would not be mad if she won at all. (And I prefer the Adele version of this song.)

Erica: Yeah, either one of them would be fine with me. Taylor was my first favorite but Koine stole my heart. But they are both blessings to dance and deserve America’s love.

 

Results

Kate: Oh MAN, no one picked last week’s Mi Gente group hip-hop routine as their favorite?! 😦

Erica: Oh, yeah, that was a good one. I complained at the time but it was still fun.

Kate: I feel less “Oh MAN” about Kiki being in 4th place, though.

Erica: Yeah, that’s fine.

Kate: Oh my god, Hudgy is performing. She sucks. She’s not even DANCING. NOR IS SHE A GOOD SINGER. DAMMIT HUDGY!

Erica: God, she’s so annoying. It’s too bad because I think I’d like this song if it were sung by someone else.

Kate: Oh, there she goes, with the dancing, with ROBERT!? Not fair. Does not deserve him. She barely did anything, he did everything, obviously.

Erica: I mean, if I were allowed to pick anyone, I’d pick him. But yes. If I ever have jillions of dollars I will buy you a dance with Robert.

Kate: Ian often watches this show and repeatedly complains that he and I could do these dances no problem. For this one, he is absolutely right.

Erica: Video or it didn’t happen. (No, but you probably could.)

Kate: And Nigel’s face while everyone is clapping (and he is not) plus Mary Murphy’s forced smile SAY IT ALL. They don’t like you either, Hudgy!

Erica: He’s trying so hard to keep it together. Poor Nigel. Hoisted very much on your own petard.

 

Kiki, Koine, Mark & Taylor: Contemporary, choreo by Sean Cheesman
“Still I Rise (Maya Angelou)” by Alexis Henry

Kate: Oh, I thought we were done with routines, but we had to squeeze in one more because of Trump and hurricanes and #TaketheKnee and every ISSUE the world is currently facing.

Erica: This show is going to save us all. Nigel told me so. I like this routine, though. It’s interesting, even if they flubbed it a bit. (Again, Nigel, the show is better when you break format a bit.)

Kate: It was pretty funny when Cat chased them off stage. Lots of weird live show errors this season…

Erica: Mark didn’t want to leave. I liked Cat comparing them to “boxes of frogs”. I don’t know if that’s an Australianism or just a Cat-ism, but I like it.

 

More Results

Kate: TAYLOR is in 3rd place?! LEX COULD POTENTIALLY WIN THIS SH!T? America, we are in worse shape than I thought. And I thought we were in the absolute worst shape possible.

Erica: I do not believe that they accurately report results. A boy went so now a girl does because Nigel is so very dedicated to boy-girl evenness.

Kate: Oh my god, screw this. I give up. I’m done with this show, and I blame Trump.

Erica: MFer. It’s Lex. It’s because he’s a boy. We probably can’t exactly blame Trump, but they are symptoms of the same disease. Which is misogyny, in case you don’t realize it. Koine is a queen and she deserved it and Lex is dumping Taylor with no scruples right now.

Kate: Booooo!

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SYTYCD Season 14 – Top 4 Perform

Erica: This week is similarly a freakin’ mess. Sorry, guys. We came back on the red-eye from Vegas Saturday night/Sunday morning, I worked Sunday, and since then, I’ve been trying to catch up on life. Including this, and the Emmys.

Kate: I don’t think anyone reads these anymore, unfortunately.

Erica: I’m so freaking tired, you guys. I don’t know if this will make me more or less generous in my judging.

Kate: Oh holy hell, it’s not the finale, next week is. I can’t keep up.

 

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Erica: Hair? Delightful perfection. Dress? I dig the concept of the dress but I feel it could be executed better. Still, the color is perfect on her and she just looks one hundred percent leggy, gorgeous blonde.

Kate: Yes, yes, yes and yes Cat. YES CAT! LOVE IT ALL!

Erica: Hudgy and Mary look like they coordinated tonight; they’re both in black lace. This is definitely Hudgy’s most normal look. Mary looks like she felt whatever is supposed to go under her lace was not modest enough so she threw on something completely unrelated and weird. BUT I LOVE YOU SO MUCH MARY MURPHY.

Kate: Yes, the most normal, but still, I hate her more than I ever thought possible.

Erica: I think sometimes people do not understand my love for Mary Murphy. When this show started, I was not a big fan. She was so screechy and so dippy sometimes! But then. She danced on stage with Dmitry Chaplin and I understood what the point of Mary Murphy is.

 

Group Routine (All): Hip-Hop, choreo by NappyTabs

“Mi Gente” by J. Balvin & Willie William

Erica: This number involved a lot of black-and-white patterned panels wandering around the stage, and then the dancers were in various black-and-white hip-hop outfits, and I’m not really sure how the live studio audience could possibly have seen any of this, but on TV, the visuals were pretty good. But again, sharpness? This routine required less precision than last week’s, but still, they looked like background dancers at a party in a movie. Like, almost deliberately not sharp so as not to look unrealistic. (Except my girl Jasmine who was fire as always.) Are they just not giving them enough time to rehearse these pieces?

Kate: No, you’re wrong, this was amazing. First of all, I am obsessed with this song, but for a long time I only knew that beat and not the words or title or artist, and today I learned the title and artist, therefore listened to it ALL DAY and imagined myself doing a dance EXACTLY LIKE THIS. I WANT TO LEARN IT! Favorite group routine this season by so so far.

 

Group Routine (Top 4): Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall & Christopher Scott

“Elements” by Nathan Lanier

Erica: Christopher Scott and Travis Wall are so thrilled to death with themselves for this concept. (Which, for those of you who didn’t watch, is that the four dancers are the four elements.)

Kate: So literal.

Erica: Koine is Earth and starts the routine dashing about in sand. Then it fades on Lex dancing with water raining down on him. Then Kiki dances and sets off flames around him. Then Taylor drops down from the sky with the wind machine going full blast. As a mother and as a former stage manager, all of these things together and separately made me nuts. Like, someone’s going to have to clean up that shit. Also, where are they? Where are they on stage? Because when they come together I see no sand or wetness. I don’t understand how this looked live.

Kate: Same, I feel like it had to have been filmed ahead of time and they were tricking us. It all looked really cool, though.

Erica: Then once they get together, the magic sort of fizzles. I had high hopes for a Scott-Wall mashup and I don’t think this lived up to my expectations.

Kate: Agree, they at first came together in anger and I was like, no, the elements kind of have to work together.

 

Kiki & Taylor: Cha-Cha, choreo by Anya Garnis
“Don’t Cha (Ralphi’s Hot Freak 12” Vox Mix)” by The Pussycat Dolls

Erica: Do we feel it’s unfair that Kiki gets to be in his style and Taylor isn’t?

Kate: No, don’t they all eventually end up in their styles at some point tonight?

Erica: For those of you who don’t remember, Anya came on this show as a contestant with my beloved Pasha. Kiki ponders if he can bring out Taylor’s sexy side. Pasha would have been able to.

Kate: Oh yay, she’s choreographing now!

Erica: I hate that I hate her outfit. I usually like cha-cha outfits. This remix is very weird. This dancing is very weird. They don’t look like they’re in the same routine. As they showed in the rehearsal footage, Taylor’s leg really can go all the way up. And she’s doing better than he is so I guess my concern about this being unfair was unfounded.

Kate: They are both very good and were good in this but didn’t really CONNECT, in my opinion, and this dance requires some connection. It felt very separated.

 

Lex & Koine: Broadway, choreo by Al Blackstone

“L-O-V-E” by Nat King Cole

Erica: She is freaking adorable. I love her hands and feet. They’re always so engaged and cute. And she’s a terrific actress and comedienne. And dancer. And this routine was so cute and silly and funny and she just performed the hell out of it.

Kate: Yup, it was pretty much perfect. It seems like that robe was made for her, literally.

Erica: He was on stage as well.

Kate: I continue to barely notice his existence.

Erica: No, no, he was pretty good. But she was just a shining star from heaven and I love her.

 

Jenna & Kiki: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” by Jeffrey Gaines

Erica: So the performers are regurgitating their favorite dances of the season. In other seasons, I have looked forward to this. This season, there are so few dances that I really loved that I’m like, “Ugh.”

Kate: Oh, at first I was like, hey did they did this song already. I need to work on my listening skills.

Erica: He made a good choice, though. This remains a lovely piece.

Kate: Lovely, but highlights her more than him. It doesn’t make me think he should be voted America’s Favorite Dancer.

Erica: And then Jenna has to make it all about her by crying about how much she loves dancing with Kiki. I’m such a bitch. Sorry.

Kate: No, that was gross, and so fake.

 

Koine & Marko: African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

“Speaking In Tongues II” by Sheila Chandra

Erica: This is not my favorite of her routines but I think it’s an interesting choice by her.

Kate: Yes, the “song” drives me nuts, but I think it’s cool. Great tricks throughout.

Erica: I should clarify — there is nothing wrong with this routine. The choreography is interesting and the dancers execute it well (although actually Marko looks off this week, but not Koine because she is made of dance). It’s just not my particular thing.

 

Group Routine (All-Stars): Hip-Hop, choreo by Keone & Mari Madrid

“DNA.” by Kendrick Lamar

Erica: Am I supposed to think anything about Kendrick Lamar?

Kate: He’s a good rapper, apparently. This was cool enough, but I wish they had just done the first group routine again. Mi gente!

Erica: I liked this choreo and I thought they were more on it than in the first routine but still could use a little more precision.

Kate: In the words (and accent) of Rafiki: Nope, wrong again!

 

Koine & Taylor: Jazz, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Black and Gold” by Brenna Whitaker

Erica: These two have very different bodies but great chemistry and terrific synchronicity.

Kate: Oh, I don’t agree. I loved this routine, partially because it was a different version of a song we definitely did back at Loyola Dance Company, but I thought their different styles felt kind of awkward next to one another.

Erica: That said, this made clear that my favorite is Koine. I’m just obsessed with her hands. Damn, though, Taylor can kick high. They were both spectacular, really.

Kate: Taylor is still better technically, and Koine is just a better all-around performer. I felt she really threw herself into this one perfectly, more so than Taylor.

 

Lex & Kiki: Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown

“The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” by Missy Elliott

 

Kate: Another FANTASTIC song choice.

Erica: I mean, they were not bad. But there have definitely been dancers on this show who could have done this routine better. I did like the choreography.

Kate: They did their very best, and better than I expected them to. They shouldn’t (and hopefully won’t) win.

Erica: I also think there was a problem with the way the costumes and lighting were working against this routine. Like, I couldn’t really see them well enough.

Kate: That might just be a you problem. I love that Cat has started to critique the dances a little bit this season before handing it over to the judges — perhaps to compensate for stupid Hudgy?!

 

Taylor & Robert: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Change is Everything (A Cappella Version)” by Son Lux

Erica: Yes. Expected choice from her but also gorgeous routine performed beautifully.

Kate: Oh, yay! I love them together so much. This was even better than the first time. Although, I wonder if my love for her is somewhat (or mostly) tied to my love for Robert…

Erica: Nigel once danced with Cyd Charisse. That’s…Amazing.

Kate: But doesn’t excuse his gross comments/general behavior.

 

Lex & Gaby: Tap, choreo by Anthony Morigerato

“More” by Bobby Darin

Erica: Do you think he chose this because he wanted to make Gaby wear this dress again? They seem to have the kind of relationship where he would needle her like that.

Kate: I think he chose this because he’s a tapper? Is he not a tapper? He’s not a tapper. I just don’t care about him or Kiki, I’m sorry.

Erica: It’s a nice routine. They do it well together. I like his bouncy splits. His feet seem a little heavy, though, no?

Kate: He’s just not that good.

 

Kiki & Koine: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell

Erica: Who?! Who was it who hurt Koine’s heart?! I will kill you with a knife.

Kate: I’ll be there also, with a baseball bat!

Erica: The camerawork here was unfairly swoopy and WTF was with the Koine closeups? The choreography was lovely, though. Prop-heavy but good use of them.

Kate: The closeups must have had something to do with the rapid costume changes.

Erica: Does Kiki die in the end?

Kate: If he’s the one who broke her heart, then yes. This was wonderful, but mostly because of her.

 

Lex & Taylor: Contemporary, choreo by Mia Michaels

“You Matter to Me” by Sara Bareilles feat. Jason Mraz

Erica: I’m sort of disappointed, having waited all show for the Mia Michaels routine, that it’s not a group routine.

Kate: Where has she been?

Erica: Lex and Taylor are in love. Lex and Taylor are in love?! How do I feel about this? Do we think this is even true? If it is true, do they know that if they stay in love and get married and have babies and all that, Nigel will show up to their weddings and baby showers and everything forever, declaring loudly his own part in bringing them together?

Kate: Among other creepy statements. They really did kiss for a long time in a lot of the parts. I don’t like her with him as much as I like her with Robert DANCE-wise, but they definitely had lovey-dovey chemistry.  

Erica: The choreography is gorgeous and they perform it well, especially Taylor. But there is an unfair close-up on her at the end. I think the cameramen agree with me that the girls are the best.

Kate: How could they not?

 

Results

Erica: No results tonight. Tune in to next week’s finale for last week’s and this week’s results and the winner. Which should be Koine but I will also accept Taylor but if Lex wins because of the combined forces of misogyny and this announcement of Twu Luv, I will be mad.

Kate: So then, what will they be PERFORMING next week? I guess we’ll have to tune in and see!

SYTYCD Season 14 – Top 6 Perform

Erica: Sorry about the delay this week, guys. This is one of about 20 things I SWORE I would get done BEFORE leaving for Vegas. Which is where we are now. I am writing this from the plush velvet couch in our lovely room at the Palazzo at 6:00 in the morning because my kids haven’t adjusted for the time difference.

Kate: Yea, we have LIVES, guys. (I also forgot to watch Monday and Tuesday night.)

Erica: And for those of you keeping track at home, two will be eliminated tonight and then I guess next week is the finale because Fox wants to get this show done already. Listen, Fox, you are wrong and this show is delightful but why you gotta play things like this?

Kate: It used to be delightful, but I have to admit it has lost a good chunk of its charm for me.

Erica: And, as ever, there will be solos, but we will not cover them.

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: Good hair. Bad makeup.

Erica: Her hair looks great. The dress is not my thing but it’s fine I guess.

Kate: I’m just not into prints like that. The silvery-smoky makeup is too matchy-matchy with the dress, and the shoes don’t go at all. I know they’re black, but they just don’t go. Ugh, I am so mean!

Erica: Are we covering the other ladies? Because Hudgy looks strange but it’s not her stupidest outfit. And Mary looks like she’s wearing your maiden aunt’s nightgown from 1972. I say this with love, Mary Murphy. With love.

Zoe: Mary Murphy’s outfit isn’t bad this week.

Erica: Well, we all have our own opinions.

Kate: I have hated every single “look” of Vanessa Hudgy’s on every single episode of this season. It looks like her face is painted actual red. That is an accurate description of Mary’s outfit, Er, and it makes sense that you don’t think it’s bad, Zoe. (Love you.)

Group Routine (All): Contemporary, choreo by Christopher Scott
“Prism” by Nathan Lanier

Erica: So, as a routine, I thought it was pretty neat. The boys were in all black and started the routine with these white boxes, which, I know, props are annoying, but I didn’t think these were a bad use of props. Then they rather spectacularly revealed the girls in white. And the routine was very sharp and precise and cool. But the dancers were not as sharp as they needed to be. The choreo was great; the dancers were not all living up to it.

Kate: I loved the concept — very synchronized swimming without the water. The sharpness has been an issue this entire season; like, seasons 1-5 judges/voters would NEVER have stood for this low level of sharpness.

Erica: There was an especially telling moment where Cyrus and Fik-Shun were doing the same thing, and Cyrus looked 180 times as sharp as Fik-Shun did.

Kate: Yes, I am becoming more and more pro-Cyrus than I ever was during his season.

Lex & Gaby: Samba, choreo by Sasha Farber
“Chillando Goma” by Fulanito

Erica: I am super into her outfit. There’s these really colorful tassels on her skirt and I am in favor.

Kate: I was really into this routine, more so than usual for these two, but I can’t help but wish two REALLY GOOD ballroom dancers had performed it instead. Cool tricks, though.

Erica: Was this sort of African-jazz-inflected samba? I felt like with those flexed-wrist-and-ankle it was. And then Mary Murphy backed me up there. So I know things now.

Kate: That’s kind of what it felt like at first, but then it went mostly into samba.

Erica: I thought it was fine. Fun and wild. But not particularly sexy, as they were saying it was supposed to be in the rehearsal footage.

Kate: …And then Nigel told Lex to go and take some ballroom lessons before the tour? Ouch! (Also, HOW MANY TIMES CAN THEY PROMOTE THE DAMN TOUR IN ONE EPISODE? I went once, and it was super-cool, but come on guys.)

Koine & Marko: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Korpinen & Elizabeth Petrin
“You’re the Last Thing On My Mind” by Aron Wright

Erica: So this was a routine centered around this big closet set piece and that was making all of the Jewish mother instincts I have in me scream “No! Get off that! Stop it!”

Kate: Haha. (Real laugh.)

Erica: I thought there were some really beautiful moves — like when they were both hanging from the hanger with their legs entangled — but it didn’t cohere for me. It felt like a series of moves as opposed to a dance. That’s more about the choreo than the dancing. Koine, as ever, was gorgeous and perfect.

Kate: Yes, it was very heavy on the acting/tricks/props more so than the dancing, but I am a sucker for super-emo contemporary to slow songs about sad relationships. So sue me.

Ian: I feel like you and I could do this on the playground, but the judges are going to say it’s incredible.

Erica: And then Nigel has to be gross to Koine and women in general, and insulting to Mary Murphy, by speculating that he would like to hang a piece of lingerie in his closet and get a beautiful woman but with his luck he’d probably get a Mary Murphy. You so wish, Nigel. Shut up.

Kate: Ewwwwwww.

Zoe: Taylor’s solo was pretty amazing, but it had a pretty weird outfit in an awful color.

Kate: Zoe, we’re not covering solos! But you’re right, it’s like someone cut up a bridesmaid dress (in not that awful a color?) and made it into a dance costume.

Kiki & Jenna: Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper
“Proud Mary” by Tina Turner

Kate: Such a fun song, but it would lend itself better to a bigger group routine.

Erica: I did not see one second of this dance because Sadie was dancing next to me on the couch and for one thing I had to prevent her from falling off but also it was SO DAMN CUTE YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW.

Kate: Next time, film it!

Zoe: Jenna’s outfit is really sparkly and I like that but it’s also a little weird-looking.

Kate: It’s very Tina.

Erica: The few moves I did see looked like the moves everyone ever does to “Proud Mary,” so way to phone it in, there, Ray Leeper.

Kate: Yes, Ian was extremely upset about this routine and this show overall, I won’t even include all of his very angry comments. Her stupid facial expressions were very distracting, and he looked a bit unsure of himself. Fun, but not great. PS Jenna totally said “Ray Leeter” instead of “Ray Leeper” and that made me feel really good about myself.

Kaylee & Cyrus: Hip-hop, choreo by Phillip Chbeeb
“Die Trying” by Michl

Erica: For a minute I thought this was another piece with a prop to make me nervous. But they didn’t stand it up so that was good. Kind of stupid for the live audience, but good for my heart.

Kate: They were SUPER prop-happy this week. I love these two.

Erica: I continue to be impressed by her attitude. I could not tell why this was hip-hop and not jazz but it was cool and well-performed.

Zoe: LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT!!!

Kate: Me too, Zoe! Love all your commentary this week. You sat and watched with Mommy the whole time, eh?

Erica: But also Sadie started dancing and she was AMAZING. Nigel continues to be a little passive-aggressive to her.

Kate: Nigel is passive-aggressive to Sadie? I’ll kill him.

Group Routine (All-Stars): Contemporary, choreo by Andrew Winghart
“Floreana” by Baauer

Kate: I really didn’t know what to make of this style — they were all wearing pasodoble outfits, but doing some kind of modern-jazz-contemporary mashup. Hey, how come we don’t do “modern” on this show?

Erica: It’s not 100% clear to me what the difference would be between “modern” and “contemporary”. But I don’t think “jazz” is really its own style any more, and “Broadway” hardly means anything at all, so who knows?

Kate: Modern is more flexing, contemporary is more pointing. Of the feet, I mean. The weirdness/annoyingness of the song and the shiny red-and-black skirts were quite distracting, but this was overall ok.

Erica: They gave Jenna a little solo and I hate her so much. I know it’s irrational. Zoe is sitting next to me, going, “You know she’s a pretty good dancer, right?” And I do know. I do. But I hate her. This number was fine but not memorable.

Taylor & Robert: Hip-hop, choreo by Mari & Keone Madrid
“Numb & Getting Colder” by Flume feat. Kucka

Kate: Now HERE was the sharpness I’ve been waiting for. Excellent.

Erica: Oh my goodness. This was cool as anything I’ve seen.

Kate: I thought it was simply perfection. Love these two.

Erica: Love these two. Love the choreo. The wobble they did? The perfectly in sync WOBBLE. Are we kidding? So good.

Zoe: Amazing amazing amazing.

Logan & Allison: Contemporary, choreo by Dee Caspary
“The Other Side” by Ruelle

Kate: It is very hard to believe these two could have a romantic relationship in any routine they’ve done this season, but this is the closest they’ve come so far.

Erica: I’ve always liked Logan, although I acknowledge the chemistry problems between these two. This piece really showed him off perfectly. They were amazing in it.

Kate: The dancing itself was fantastic, very sharp and synchronized. God help me, I liked Hudgy’s description of it: “Sexy Contemporary”.

Erica: But it’s accurate. I also have positive feelings about Dee Caspary, though I’m struggling to remember what specific other routines he’s choreographed that I’ve liked.

Kate: I know we’re not covering solos, but Kiki took his shirt off at the end of his and Mary IMMEDIATELY stood up and started clapping with a VERY happy/satisfied look on her face. It was silly.

Lex & Koine: Disco, choreo by Doriana Sanchez
“Knock On Wood” Amii Stewart

Kate: I don’t know if disco suits these 2, or if these 2 suit each other, because this felt a little off.

Erica: I don’t generally like disco on this show, and I’m not a big Lex fan. I felt a lot of moves looked unfinished and their chemistry and trust were non-existent.

Kate: She was adorable, though, with great legs and lifts and turns, so maybe it was just him?

Erica: I like her a lot. But she was pulling some weird faces here. I kept thinking she was chewing gum. But I still love her. And I think she pulled her weight more than he did.

Kate: Quite awkward when they were talking about his potential injury/Cat was trying to tell him where to go after revealing he was in the top 4/finale, which I am not happy about. WAIT, DORIANA SANCHEZ WAS IN DIRTY DANCING? OMG YES, SHE WAS ONE OF THE FUN DANCE FRIENDS! YAY DORIANA!

Erica: Blergh. I don’t want to yay Doriana. And that was a super-awkward way to handle results. I didn’t like it at all. It was like they were trying to build tension but they flubbed it. And they’ve been doing this too long to flub it.

Taylor & Logan: Jazz, choreo by Mark Kanemura
“Gypsy” by Lady Gaga

Kate: What. Is with. These. Costumes.

Erica: I…Definitely had that outfit in 1995. Or I wanted it.

Kate: Fine, fine, outfits aside, I like him better when he is with her. She is so talented. I can’t decide between her, Koine and Kaylee! Maybe she is the most skilled technically, Koine the funnest, and Kaylee the most interesting/most improved?

Erica: God the three of them are spectacular. I also have to put in another plug for Kaylee’s overall attitude. I love all three of them. Also maybe I like Lady Gaga? Is that okay?

Kate: Duh?!

Kiki & Kaylee: Bollywood, choreo by Nakul Dev Mahajan
“Gallan Goodiyaan” by Dil Dhadakne Do (Soundtrack)

Kate: And in what should come as a surprise to no one, Kaylee was very good at Bollywood. Better than Kiki. But he was still good too.

Erica: She brought the joy. She didn’t look like she was acting happy; she looked like she WAS happy.

Kate: You might have Sadie doing cute dances, but Ian danced to this entire song while also making me my nightly cup of sleepy tea, so he called it his “tea dance”, so now I have that in my life.

Erica: That is a pretty amazing thing to have in your life and I also wish you had filmed that.

Kate: Oh my god, I think Nigel made his most inappropriate/racist comment yet: If Kiki doesn’t get picked up by Dancing with the Stars next season, he can always be an Uber driver in Mumbai. !!!!!!

Results

Kate: So Kiki, Lex and Taylor are all in the top 4/finale. I am sad that either Koine or Kaylee is going home.

Erica: I really could do without both Kiki and Lex.

Kate: OH BUT I’M SO HAPPY IT’S KOINE IN THE TOP 4/FINALE! YAY! Good job, Kaylee. Bye, Logan.

Erica: I mean, I like both the people leaving better than I like Kiki or Lex. I GUESS THAT’S WHAT I GET FOR NOT VOTING, HUH?

Kate: Yeah, I usually only vote in the finale. Hypocrite, much?

SYTYCD Season 14 – Top 7 Perform

Cat Deeley’s Look

Kate: The hair, makeup and jewelry is all way too Khloe Kardashian for my liking.

Erica: I do not know enough about the Kardashians to recognize these things as such, and I still hate everything.

Kate: The plaid is atrocious.

Erica: I like that hairstyle, if you’re going to kickboxing class. Or the beach.

Kate: Meanwhile, Mary’s dress is trying to eat her.

 

Group Routine (All): Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle

“Overture” by Merrily We Roll Along (2012 New York Cast)

Kate: I feel it was messy and it was the fault of the choreographer, not the dancers.

Erica: Yes. None of the dance moves were particularly impressive in their own selves, nor did they look particularly impressive as a whole. And the camera was swooping around like crazy to make you think you were watching a coordinated piece, but you were not.

Kate: Maybe I just don’t really like the Broadway dance genre as a whole?

Erica: No. I love the Broadway genre. I was really excited for this song and for this look. It was a disappointing dance.

Kate: Yes, YOU love it, but maybe I do not. Hold on, we’re going from 7 to 4 dancers/next week is the FINALE? Fox, just cancel the show already. This is weird.

Erica: Holy moly. That is super-weird and abrupt. I don’t want them to cancel but if this is as much faith as they have, then, yeah. Time to go.

 

Lex & Gaby: Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown

“Humble” by Kendrick Lamar

Kate: Well, he has much more “swag” than she does, but it’s still not much. He was kind of stiff.

Erica: There was a moment when Gaby was doing that puppet master thing with Lex and the camera was off to the side. That tells me that either a) the camerawork on this show is kind of shoddy, or b) they knew the move didn’t look good from the front.

Kate: It was good, just not what I’d really want/expect to see in the episode before the finale/top 4 dancers. Ya know?

Erica: The judges seem wild about it. I’m not seeing what they’re seeing. Nigel (whose suit is kind of dope tonight, no?) is definitely talking like this show is ending. “When I started this show, I wanted every genre of dance to be respected.” That’s some “I’ve had the time of my life” talk.

Kate: Yes, Nigel’s suit is nicer than usual.

 

Logan & Allison: African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

“Kabila” by Lord KraVen

Erica: BTW, there are solos tonight, but we’re not covering them. Assume the dancers managed, once again, to not suck in their own genre for thirty seconds.

Kate: He is much more muscular than I thought he was.

Erica: So…Sean Cheesman is black, and therefore this isn’t racist? Okay.

Kate: Why would it be racist?

Erica: African Jazz always gives me a bit of liberal white guilt. Because it feels — and this routine was maybe the epitome of that — very “Oh look at the adorable savage way these Africans dance!” But I think it’s a problem with figuring out where the line is between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation/adaptation. And I never know where the line is and sometimes I think it comes down to things like, “Well, Sean Cheesman is black, so that’s okay.”

Kate: But African Jazz is a real dance genre. It’s not racist. This was one of the better routines they have done together, but I’m not obsessed with it. Why did it get a standing O?

Erica: Oh, I thought it was very good. I thought the two of them moved their bodies in amazing ways, in a very coordinated fashion. Also, Sadie? Super into this routine. Bopped her butt, clapped, and made “ooh” sounds at the appropriate moments.

Kate: Well, then I love it.

 

Kaylee & Cyrus: Contemporary, choreo by Tasty Oreo

“DKLA” by Troye Sivan feat. Tkay Maidza

Kate: Loved it. She/they started out as my least favorite dancer/pair, and now look at her/them.

Erica: This was really quite good. She’s better than he is.

Kate: I just think she has embodied what this show is all about — growing as a dancer and becoming an expert in all styles, not just your own.

Erica: Her attitude is just terrific. I felt that Nigel was a little passive-aggressive about his commentary — “Oh, Tasty gave you the right moves so that you could look good together,” but I think that was unfair, at least as far as she is concerned. She’s shown over and over again how well she can handle things outside her comfort zone.

Kate: And, you know, Nigel said his real name, “Tyce”, not “Tasty”.

Erica: Whatever.

 

Kiki & Jenna: Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle

“Dancin’ Fool” by Barry Manilow

Kate: THIS Broadway, I like. His ballroom-ness made it kind of a sexy-Broadway, which I liked more than I expected to. Bravo, Kiki! (Still think that name is weird.)

Erica: I thought this was much better choreography but only slightly better dancing. They had a lot of verve and personality but there were too many moments where they weren’t together. And she seemed to not really be following through on all her moves.

Kate: More importantly, I loved Jenna’s red dance shoes. And THIS standing O, I understand. Even Cat loved it! Wait, why did she love it SO much, though?

Erica: Boy, you’re tough to please.

 

Koine & Marko: Jive, choreo by Dmitry Chaplin

“Rock Around The Clock” by Bill Haley & His Comets

Kate: What a perfect jive song.

Erica: Classic. The definitive.

Kate: She is just adorable, and they do great tricks together. I think her style of dancing makes it look very effortless, which I like, but in this particular one I think she should have gone for more “cutesy” than “come hither”.

Erica: She’s just so cute. So freakin’ cute. I did think she was mostly cutesy and less come-hither, but YMMV. Her hands were, as the kids might say, extra.

Kate: What is “YMMV”? HUDGY, don’t ever try to do the hot tamale train again. Ever.

Erica: Seriously. Mary Murphy has that trademarked.

Kate: She did NOT like it.

 

Group Routine (All-Stars): Jazz, choreo by Brian Friedman

“Derniere Danse” by Indila

Kate: See, I know the LIVE AUDIENCE is not seeing this in black and white with the pink accents, so why is the camera work showing us that?

Erica: I mean, I get that they’re going for the “look” but it comes across just fine once we lose the filter, so just staaaahhhp.

Kate: Still, this was pretty cool. And well danced. Had we seen that choreographer before? He has some good stuff.

Erica: Yes. He’s been on this show a lot, actually. (Like, check this baby out.) I think he was a big deal in the early seasons and now he kind of comes back occasionally as a favor or something. Anyway, I’m glad you liked this dance. I really liked it but I thought maybe I was just being too entranced by the outfits.

 

Taylor & Robert: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

“To Make You Feel My Love” by Mick McAuley & Winifred Horan

Kate: Ugh, when I heard “contemporary” next to these two’s names, I knew it’d be good. And with a version of this song? Yup. All of it good and nice. (I don’t remember hearing one note of it, but I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of this song.)

Erica: Every part of her is just so long. Long legs, long arms, long torso. And every move goes all the way through each body part. Stunning.

Kate: Her legs were absolutely perfect in every single step and move here.

Erica: And she can act, too. I mean, it can’t be hard to act like you are deeply connected to Robert, but still. She feels what she’s doing. I feel what she’s doing. Damn.

Kate: Why is Nigel giving us a personal history lesson with each routine?

Erica: I’m telling you, I think it’s because he knows he’s about to be off of our TVs.

 

Mark & Comfort: Hip-Hop, choreo by Misha Gabriel

“No Twerk” by Apashe & Panther x Odalisk

Kate: This concept sounded really cool but it wasn’t what I thought it would be, and he did not seem sharp enough even though this is his own style???

Erica: I honestly (sigh) thought neither of them were sharp enough to pull off the idea here. I’m so sorry, Comfort. I love you. And I thought that the choreography was cool, but missed some opportunities.

Kate: Did Comfort lift him??? She’s awesome. Is this a new choreographer?

Erica: Yes. That was the coolest sequence. I think it might be.

Kate: Hold on, need to comment on one of the pre-solo background videos: They have mini-ballroom competitions for kids? And Lex danced ballroom as a little baby kid? Nothing is cuter.

Erica: Of course they have mini-ballroom competitions for kids. We like making kids act like mini-adults.

 

Lex, Logan & Kaylee: Contemporary, choreo by Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson

“Strange” by LP

Kate: This was extremely visually pleasing — lighting, costumes, dancing, even camerawork, for once. Really loved it.

Erica: Yeah. I found it, somehow, emotionally satisfying. Like I just had some really delicious and healthy soup.

Kate: I hadn’t heard of these “legendary” choreographers they were all gushing about, but I really enjoyed this dance of theirs. Why was only one of them shown in the rehearsal footage?

Erica: I feel like I have heard of them but only from this show. Like, I feel like either they’ve come on before or been mentioned in some capacity. Maybe they are in some way connected to Debbie Allen? I hate how Nigel is damning Kaylee with faint praise. Kaylee is amazing and versatile and doesn’t need to “keep up” with these boys (who were also spectacular in this). But also f you, Nigel, just because she doesn’t make you happy in your pants place doesn’t mean she’s not an amazing dancer.

Kate: Ew.

 

Kiki, Koine, Mark & Taylor: Contemporary, choreo by Sean Cheesman

“Still I Rise (Maya Angelou)” by Alexis Henry

Kate: Dancing to a spoken poem rather than a song is a first for this show, I think, which must be tough to choreograph to, but it worked. Awesome tricks, leaps and lifts all around.

Erica: I started off feeling a little irritated by the performance art of it all, but man. They sold it. The choreography was good enough to get away with an irritatingly self-righteous concept, and they performed the hell out of it. They did a series of tricks to a poem and made it look like a dance.

Kate: It’s tough to pick a favorite between Taylor, Koine and Kaylee right now.

Erica: Seriously. Taylor is so elegant, but Koine has also had elegant moments and Kaylee has proven herself to be capable of taking on any persona. Koine is so adorable, but Taylor can shine and Kaylee can be anything, including cute. Kaylee is such an actress, but Taylor can also pour soul into her performance, and Koine in that ex-beauty-queen routine acted the hell out of it. They’re all SO GOOD. I love this show.

 

Results

Kate: Wait, how are the bottom 3 just in danger and not officially off if next week is the top 4/finale? I guess we are only kicking off 1 right now?

Erica: I don’t know. I understand nothing. I’ll just keep showing up until they name a winner, I guess.

Kate: Mark is going home and I am totally, more than fine with that.

Erica: Yes. Just fine. Okay, so, as of right now, I’m fine with any girl winning. I think Logan is my favorite guy but I’m not sold on him.

Kate: We’ll see if next week is really the finale, I guess!

SYTYCD Season 14 – Top 8

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

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

Kate: I canNOT keep up!

 

Cat Deeley’s Look

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

Erica: But not the dress.

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

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

 

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

“Call Me Mother” by RuPaul

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

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

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

Erica: So happy she’s still around.

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

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

 

Kione & Marko: Jazz, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Handclap” by Fitz and the Tantrums

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

Ian: No story?!

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

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

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

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

Ian: Ew, Hudgy-Wudgy!

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

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

 

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

“Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B

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

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

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

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

Kate: Yes.

 

Lex & Gaby: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Work Song” by Luke Wade

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

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

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

Ian: Quiet, Hudgy!

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

 

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

“Respect” by Aretha Franklin

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

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

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

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

 

Mark & Comfort: Broadway, choreo by Spencer Liff

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

Kate: No. Didn’t work.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Kiki & Jenna: Jazz, choreo by Travis Wall

“Pop Hd” by Atom TM

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Breathe” by Son Lux

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

Erica: I was not entranced by this routine.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Truth” by Balmorhea

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

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

 

Taylor & Lex: Jazz, choreo by Spencer Liff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Kione & Kiki: Salsa, choreo by Val Chmerkovskiy

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Kaylee & Logan: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Shadows” by Woodkid

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Titled” by Christine and the Queens

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

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

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

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

 

Results

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

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

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

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

Kate: Until next time!

SYTYCD Season 14 – Top Nine Perform

Cat Deeley’s Look

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Ya Ya” by Jonte

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Erica: Yeah. Yeah, she is.

 

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

“Bring the Funk Back” by Big Gigantic

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

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

Kate: Agreed!

 

Mark & Comfort: Contemporary, choreo by Talia Favia

“Ending” by Isaiah Danielson

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

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

Kate: No pun intended?

 

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

“Strange Fruit” Nina Simone

Kate: Well this was a bit jarring.

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

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

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

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

 

Lex & Gaby: Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle

“Miss Otis Regrets” by Bette Midler

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

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

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

 

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

“Really? Yeah!” by Kyle

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Hey Pachuco!” by Royal Crown Revue

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

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

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

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

 

Kaylee & Cyrus: Jazz, choreo by Spencer Liff

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

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

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

 

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

“Bun Up the Dance” by Dillon Francis & Skrillex

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

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

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

 

Kiki & Jenna: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

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

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

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

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

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

 

Results

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

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

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

 

SYTYCD Season 14 – Top 10 Perform (2)

Erica: Welcome back, dance lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Cat Deeley’s Look

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

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

Kate: Ditto, Zoe.

 

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

“You Should Be Dancing” by The Bee Gees

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

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

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

Kate: Great way to start off the show.

 

Comfort & Mark: Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“Hater” by Various Production

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Kate: Mehhh…Not my favorite.

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

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

 

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

“Caroline” by Amine

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

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

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

 

Paul & Sydney: Contemporary, choreo by Jaci Royal

“The Letting Go” by Melissa Etheridge

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Allison & Logan: Jazz, choreo by Brian Friedman

“In the Morning” by Jaded

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Robert & Taylor: Broadway, choreo by Al Blackstone

“The Man that Got Away,” by Judy Garland

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

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

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

 

Marko & Koine: African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

“Speaking in Tongues II” by Sheila Chandra

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jasmine & Robert: Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

“Otherside” by Perfume Genius

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Radha Nachegi” from the Tevar soundtrack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Kate: Samesies.

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

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

SYTYCD Season 14 – Top Ten Perform (1)

SYTYCD Season 14 Top 10

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

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

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

Kate: Ew.

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

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

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

Kate: Yes, that was also a factor.

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

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

Erica: Okay, ready?

 

Cat’s Outfit

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

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

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

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

Kate: Always.

 

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

“Knocking on Heaven’s Door” by Raign

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

Kate: I love the beautiful flailing more than anything.

Ian: They are ruining a good song.

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

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

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

Kate: Did not notice that AT ALL.

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

 

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

“Shake Your Pants” by Cameo

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

Kate: Don’t like it.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Protocol” by Leon Else

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

Kate: She has great hair.

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

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

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

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

Erica: Cats is, in general, pretty dreadful.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: It is you. I loved it.

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

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

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

Kate: Don’t EVEN get me started!

Ian: Hudgy!

 

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

“Clown” by Emeli Sande

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

“More” by Bobby Darin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Red Mercedes” by Amine

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Memories” by Alex Sommers

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

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

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

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

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

Ian: I hate when they use props.

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

 

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

“All Stars” by Martin Solveig feat. Alma

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

Kate: Oh, so that’s Paul, eh?

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

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

 

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

“Change is Everything” by Son Lux

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Perm” by Bruno Mars

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

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

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

 

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

“This Time” by Son Lux

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

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

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

Kate: 🙂

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

Kate: Oh, yea she stunk.

Erica: See you next week!

SYTYCD Season 12 – The Winner is Announced

Group Routine (Top 10 + All-Stars): Contemporary, choreo by Nick Florez & RJ Durell

“Archangel” by Two Steps from Hell

Kate: V cool, especially when all 20 were together. When they broke off in pairs it got a little awkward, as has been the case throughout the season, but the rest was stunning.

Erica: I liked it. I didn’t love it – I sometimes think 20 is just too many on stage at a time, especially when you’re watching on TV as opposed to seeing it live. But I thought it looked pretty cool.

Kate: Also, was this contemporary? It almost felt like a big group pasodoble with a little hip-hop action (when Jasmine was in the front).

Erica: Idk, man. Jazz? Is that what this was?

Kate: Literally no idea.

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: Absolutely perfect Cat hair. Yes.

Erica: Yes. Loved the hair.

Kate: Fun dress, especially the back, but slightly awkward potato-sacky length.

Erica: I did not like it. A sparkly brown sack.

Jason’s 1st Pick – Virgil & Joshua: Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“Let’s Go” by Trick Daddy feat. Twista & Lil Jon

Kate: I still didn’t love this routine, although it felt much better danced this time around.

Erica: For the first half, yes.

Kate: But then there was some awkward thing with the music and that seemed to kind of fumble them up for the rest of it? Am I the only one who noticed that?

Erica: The cartwheely thing where Virgil is wrapped around Joshua’s waist looked super-awkward this time around.

Paula’s 1st Pick – Edson & Megz: Contemporary, choreo by Talia Favia

“You There” by Aquilo

Kate: I love that we don’t have to hear the judges’ commentary tonight, so let’s keep their explanations of their favorites to a minimum, shall we?

Erica: Absolutely.

Kate: This was lovely, as it was the first time, but I feel confident that Megz should definitely not have moved further in this competition.

Erica: You know, I was reminded fairly strongly of why I liked her so much. I’m not disagreeing with you, but I’m glad we got to see as much of her as we did.

Paula’s 2nd Pick – JaJa & Ricky: Broadway, choreo by Al Blackstone

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

Kate: Oh just so freaking adorable. JaJa really is an incredible performer.

Erica: Yeah. It’s almost too bad that she’s dedicated to hip-hop; she can do so much.

Cat’s Pick – Team Street: Hip-Hop, choreo by NappyTabs

“Ready Or Not Here I Come” by District 78 feat. Chelsea

Kate: I love that Cat gets a pick, and I love that her pick is a group routine, and I love that her group routine pick is one of the only (or the only?) NappyTabs routines this season. She should def hang out with us. Also, how did JaJa change so fast?

Erica: You could totally see in this routine who stayed long enough in the competition to up their game and who didn’t.

Kate: They were great in this, but I think they were great in this the first time around too, when we were sure the street dancers were way better than the stage ones.

Erica: Who’s we?

Kate: Both of us agreed in the beginning of the season that Team Street was better than Team Stage, overall!

Twitch’s Pick – Gaby & Neptune: Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

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

Kate: Not commenting on the message or theme or obviousness of this routine again, but it was once again beautifully danced by both.

Erica: I forget everything. I kind of like the song.

Cyrus & Phoenix lil’Mini

“Emergency” by District 78

Kate: Is that his daughter? Who is this little chick?

Erica: So you do have to actually listen to the nattering of the judges every once in a while. This is some chick who performed with Cyrus at the Dizzy Feet Gala recently. I thought she was adorable.

Kate: Oh. This was cool and all, but I continue to not be all that impressed by animation.

Erica: Oddly, I thought she was better than Cyrus.

Hailee’s Pick – Hailee & Robert <3: Jazz, choreo by Nick Florez & RJ Durell

“Haunted” by Beyonce

Kate: I mean, this would be my pick too, if I were Hailee.

Erica: I think she’s overdoing the squeeing.

Kate: I actually think it was better danced the first time, but, Robert <3. Sigh.

Travis’s Pick – Gaby & Joshua: Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“I’m Really Hot” by Missy Elliott

Kate: YES I’m so glad Travis picked this! The judges hated on this routine so hard and I loved it.

Erica: I was not huge on it the first time around. I thought she danced it better this time.

Kate: Such a fun hip-hop routine concept and so well danced by a tap dancer. Love it love it love it.

Herman Cornejo (American Ballet Theater)

“Le Corsaire: Act II ‘4. Grand Pas: Var. Ali'” by Evergreen Symphony Orchestra

Kate: It’s Jim and Alex’s long lost brother.

Erica: I need to start going to the ballet. I enjoyed that so much.

Kate: I mean, just incredible. His turns. His legs. His turns. Good lord.

Jason’s 2nd Pick – Team Stage: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Beautiful Friends” by Helen Money

Kate: No, Jason, Travis is not your friend, no matter what he says. He is only pretending for the show, he really thinks you are unqualified idiot.

Erica: I don’t know; Travis strikes me as the kind of guy who, when standing in a group of bitchy dance people, is the one going, “Aw, come on guys, he’s not that bad.”

Kate: This routine looked even cooler this time, BUT, I must say I don’t think it translates as well to a live audience as it probably does to a TV audience because of the crazy camera angles and lights. No?

Erica: You’re probably right but so much of this show I suspect looks better live. I’m glad to see them using the medium in which most of their viewers are experiencing them. I almost developed respect for Jason DeRulo for picking it, except that I know that the producers come up with a list of what they want in the final episode, and then the judges just pick which one of those they want to “claim”.

Kate: Ugh, it’s all a lie.

Virgil’s Pick – Virgil & Hailee: Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“Runnin'” by Noahplause

Kate: I think this is when I really started to want Hailee to win (when we first saw it, I mean). They were awesome in this.

Erica: They were terrific but I keep returning to how much I respected Jasmine Harper for not choosing as her favorite dance one that was in her original genre.

Nigel’s 1st Pick – Jim & Alex: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“November” by Max Richter & Alexander Balanescu

Kate: OH MY GOD THEY REALLY DO READ THIS BLOG, OTHERWISE HOW WOULD THEY HAVE KNOWN TO PUT THESE TWO BRILLIANT DANCERS TOGETHER?!

Erica: I HAD THE EXACT SAME REACTION!

KATE: BAHHHHHHHHHHHH THEY WERE SO GOOD TOGETHER! SO GOOD!

Erica: NOW THIS IS WHAT I WANT PLAYING ON ALL MY SCREENS ALL THE TIME.

Nigel’s 2nd Pick – Jaja & Alex: Contemporary, choreo by Tarissa Chavez

“Youth” by Daughter

Kate: Henceforth forever known as The Notebook Dance.

Erica: Except they’re not allowed to say that.

Kate: Brilliant, as usual, from these two.

Academy of Villains

“Crunk” by Noahplause

Kate: I thought this was the top 10 street dancers until right this second, whoops.

Erica: Heehee. That said, the mimes scared me.

Travis Wall & Jenna Dewan-Tatum

“Gimme All Your Love” by Alabama Shakes

Kate: Oh my, what would Channing say about this?

Erica: Probably “Good job, sweetie,” because they are both professional performers. Also, Travis is gay. Which he got to say out loud tonight, probably because he is a choreographer and not a contestant.

Kate: I forgot that she could, like, really dance. They looked phenomenal together, and this was a great dance. This is the kind of thing I feel like we used to see from the contestants ALL THE TIME.

Erica: I didn’t hear who she was the first time around. And yeah, I kind of didn’t realize she was an actual talent. This was pretty amazing.

JaJa’s Pick – JaJa & Jim: Hip-Hop, choreo by Christopher Scott

“No Woman No Cry” by Bob Marley and the Wailers

Kate: I love how much Jim we’re getting tonight.

Erica: Me, too. He will definitely be back as an all-star. I loved this routine, but it is hardly the one that challenged JaJa the most over the season. I would have respected another choice more.

Group Routine: ?, choreo by Christopher Scott & Jessica Lee Keller

“Revolt” by Nathan Lanier

Erica: You know, this was a really talented season. I feel like I’m not often looking at the top 20 at the end of a season and missing so many of them.

Kate: What? I thought we agreed that they weren’t nearly up to the skill level as previous seasons? I feel like tonight was the only time they all performed up to the level and quality to which we have become accustomed, and it didn’t even matter anymore because votes were already in.

Erica: I’m thinking individually, not necessarily as a group. I know that doesn’t make any sense. But it’s interesting that you observe that they’re only good tonight because it doesn’t matter. Maybe that’s why they were better. I’ve been reading a lot about how our whole notion of competition making people perform (at any task) better is a crock.

Gaby’s Pick – Gaby & Robert <3: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Angel” by Sarah McLachlan

Kate: See? All the girls pick their Robert ❤ routines.

Erica: That really makes me respect Robert. He’s not just talented, he’s good to work with.

Kate: AND HOT. Again, brilliant. She’s a beautiful dancer.

Results

Kate: And the winner is….

Together: GABY!

Kate: Huh.

Erica: What? I thought for sure when JaJa made the top two, it would be her.

Kate: I mean, honestly, of the two stage dancers, I think Hailee was actually more technically skilled, but I can see why people lean more toward Gaby.

Erica: Yeah. I think one of the problems with Hailee is that she didn’t particularly grow over the season, whereas Gaby did. Or at least it seemed like she did. And also Hailee had a lot of “personality,” which voters tend to reward in male contestants but not in female contestants.

Kate: However, between Gaby and JaJa, if we’re doing “favorite” and not “best” dancer, I am surprised JaJa didn’t win. She was the comeback story, the fighter, the picture of perseverance. I’m not convinced the right person won here, but I really liked all three of these ladies a lot.

Erica: I actually thought that JaJa was the more exciting performer. She had more fire and more range, and I thought they were technically pretty comparable.

Kate: Well, here’s hoping they pick up So You Think You Can Dance season 13 with ALL NEW JUDGES!

Erica: Or some old ones. Like Mary Murphy. And Christina Applegate. Thanks for taking this journey with us, friends! See you next week for the Emmys!

SYTYCD Season 12 – The Penultimate Episode

Kate: I can’t believe it’s the finale (part 1) already.

Erica: I feel bad about this, but I’m kind of like, ‘Oh, thank God, it’s the finale at last.” It’s not that I didn’t like this season. But moving it to Monday kind of f-ed up my life.

Kate: But we have to wait until next week for results, even though there will be Monday Night Football to compete with? I thought the two-part finale was usually in the same week?

Erica: I think not in a while.

Cat’s Ensemble

Kate: Cat, the hair, down! Always down, never up!

Erica: I think it looks nice. I mean, she’s got gorgeous hair and I want to see it, but sometimes up is okay.

Kate: Actually, come to think of it, that’s kind of how I want my wedding hair…

Erica: Okay, I’ll see what I can do. (I’m joking. I’m hopeless at doing hair.)

Kate: But that dress print is positively dreadful.

Erica: Yeah. If this is, like, a trend, I do not want. Actually, the print isn’t bad. It’d look good on a make-up bag or an umbrella or something. But a whole, excessively modest dress? Not so much.

Hailee (stage) & JaJa (street): Hip-Hop, choreo by Misha Gabriel & Nick Bass

“Put It In The Bag” by Kalenna feat. B. Simm

Kate: No, Travis dear, I love you but Hailee did not “outshine JaJa in her own style”, as he said in the pre-routine package.

Erica: I thought Hailee gave a very good performance and kept up with JaJa.

Kate: Hailee did a great job, but JaJa was a zillion times better, the routine was basically tailor made specifically for her. Hailee was a little stiff in some areas and kept adjusting her hat, whereas JaJa quite perfectly danced her a$s off and did not GAF.

Erica: I liked the choreo. I’m not a huge fan of Pharside and Phoenix so I’m in favor of branching out when it comes to hip-hop choreographers. (I do like Christopher and Dave Scott [no relation]. And if NappyTabs want to come back, I’d be happy about that.)

Gaby (stage) & Virgil (street): Lyrical Hip-Hop, choreo by Phillip Chbeeb

“Slip” by Elliot Moss

Kate: Virgil is my height. #Justsayin

Erica: He is a tiny, tiny man.

Kate: I feel like they had super-awkward transitions and overall partnering, but it honestly may have been the choreography. It had the potential to be really cool but it just fell flat.

Erica: I do not understand what lyrical hip-hop is, as opposed to jazz or even contemporary. Although I guess contemporary is more balletic. This was just not there, and I think it was both the choreo and the dancing. Not bad, definitely some interesting stuff, but it could have been better on all fronts.

Kate: Lyrical hip-hop usually looks a lot more hip-hop than this did.

Gaby (stage) & JaJa (street): Contemporary, choreo by Nick Florez & RJ Durell

“Woman (Oh Mama)” by Joy Williams

Kate: Hey, Joy Williams is one half of The Civil Wars! Oh how I wish they would get back together 😦

Erica: Did they break up, like, romantically? Is that why they are not singing together anymore?

Kate: They were never romantically together, officially, but I think they secretly were and that’s why they broke up professionally. Listen to Poison & Wine, there’s NOW WAY they weren’t COMPLETELY in love.

Erica: I love that song. I love all their songs that Ian gave me. That one breaks my heart.

Kate: This dance was cool and pretty, but I didn’t like that the skirts were kind of being used as a distraction.

Erica: I liked the outfits, though. I mean, you’re right, but I didn’t much mind being distracted.

Kate: And, as JaJa was so clearly better than Hailee at hip-hop, Gaby so clearly outshone JaJa in technical skill here. All of JaJa’s turns and leaps and kicks were just a little less than Gaby’s.

Erica: I think JaJa is still a superior performer, though. I mean, I felt the song more from her than I felt it from Gaby. I mean, good job, both of them, and also, Jason DeRulo, shut up about mojitos and just call you Jose DeRulo. Just shut up.

Kate: Once again, I fast-forwarded all judges’ commentary because I just cannot anymore.

JaJa (stage) & Virgil (street): Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

“I Love You (Acoustic)” by Woodkid

Kate: Damn, two routines in a row for Gaby and JaJa? That’s good memory and a ton of endurance, and kind of not that fair?

Erica: What? Only JaJa is going twice in a row, no? I think she can handle it. Did you notice how short this rehearsal package was? Not that I’m complaining.

Kate: Gaby had two in a row just before. They danced this beautifully together, JaJa especially, even though Virgil finally proved a little something to me. I think she’s going to win.

Erica: You may well be right. This was quite lovely, and she was luminous.

Hailee (stage) & Virgil (street): Broadway, choreo by Josh Bergasse

“Billy-A-Dick” by Bette Midler

Kate: Broadway is so literal, huh?

Erica: I’m pretty sure I’ve read a romance novel with this premise.

Kate: So this was fun, but I feel like Hailee was really not as sharp and exaggerated as she should have been. She didn’t really dance to the tips of her fingers and toes, you know?

Erica: I wonder if that was a choreo decision, only because we know she can dance to the fingertips, and the moves where she didn’t looked deliberate to me.

Kate: I was paying too much attention to her to watch Virgil, but I think he was fine. Not as good as in the contemporary routine.

Erica: He was cute. They were cute. The whole routine was cute but not spectacular.

Gaby (stage) & Hailee (stage): Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Do Not Hang Your Head” by Elizabeth & The Catapult

Kate: See? These two partner better together than either of them have with Virgil.

Erica: Travis is so intense. I don’t know if I could deal with living in his head.

Kate: They moved beautifully together. Parts of this were reminiscent of the Fix You routine, in a good way, but that makes sense since both were choreographed by Travis.

Erica: They were so beautiful and natural with each other. I think Travis is such a good choreographer not just because he designs beautiful dances, but because he really seems to bring out the best in his performers. Also, on a shallow note, loved the costumes. ALSO on a F’ING NIGEL note, he goes into this whole thing about how girls can feel comfortable being this emotional with each other and performing this emotionally with each other and isn’t it a shame that guys can’t. Really, Nigel? REALLY? Are you in no way conscious of the fact that YOU PERSONALLY ALL THE TIME contribute to a culture that dictates an incredibly strict performance of masculinity? REALLY?

Gaby’s Solo

“Magalenha” by Sergio Mendes

Kate: As I am unimpressed by JaJa’s krumping solos because I know she can do so much more now, I feel similarly about Gaby’s tap solos. I think her talent is much more obvious in a contemporary routine.

Erica: Totes get you. I haven’t really been charmed by her tap solos. And generally speaking, I like tap.

Virgil (street) & Joshua (season 5): Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“Let’s Go” by Trick Daddy feat. Twista & Lil Jon

Kate: An answer to the Run the World (Girls) routine, as in, guys rule the world? Ummm…

Erica: I mean, it was basically a performance of Nigel-preferred masculinity. As he demonstrate by bouncing around like an idiot in judging. I’m not even going to ding him for referring to this as Virgil’s “roots” because maybe he just means his dance roots. And not, “You’re brown so you come from hip-hop-tinged poverty.” Maybe.

Kate: I’m sorry but because of their size difference, this looked like a father-son routine. They were very together and good and energetic and all, but it wasn’t too far from two buddies dancing on the street or in a club, it didn’t feel top-notch in terms of performance quality and technical skill.

Erica: You have some crazy talented buddies, then. Although they didn’t feel particularly together or polished; you’re right about that.

Virgil’s Solo

“A Beautiful Mine” by RJD2

Kate: Hey, Mad Men!

Erica: I’m kind of surprised they could have the rights to this.

Kate: I feel like he used the song and costume as a cheap distraction.

Erica: I think Virgil’s focus is a performance that makes people happy, not a showcase of technical skill. That’s what he does and who he is and I respect that, even though I wouldn’t vote for him, if I voted, which I don’t.

Hailee (stage) & Marko (season 8): Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“All Nite (Don’t Stop)” by Janet Jackson

Kate: Well, this was fun.

Erica: I thought she and Marko sold the hell out of this routine. I didn’t actually think the routine was that great.

Kate: She did better in this than the hip-hop earlier tonight, I think; she even got down a little lower and danced a little raunchier than she has for any hip-hop routine to date. Still, I didn’t get the length we usually get from her in all the arm and leg extensions.

Erica: Maybe she’s tired. She is starting to give me a little bit of the impression that she is determined to be a STAR. Which is fine and I hope she gets what she wants.

Hailee’s Solo

“Cold Hearted” by Paula Abdul

Kate: Really, a Paula song? That’s even cheaper than Virgil’s Mad Men shtick.

Erica: Yes. On the other hand, I’d believe that this is a song she’s done in her dance career before.

Kate: I’d be happy if anyone but Virgil won, but Hailee should win in terms of pure talent and skill, despite everything I’ve said about her tonight.

Erica: I think she’s fantastic, but also, I’d be happy if JaJa wins. But Hailee has been my fave for a while.

JaJa (street) & Cyrus (season 9): Hip-Hop, choreo by Christopher Scott

“Kaolo” by Yellow Claw

Kate: What’s with all the continuation of old routines tonight? Have the choreographers run out of original ideas?

Erica: Yes.

Kate: This isn’t my favorite style of hip-hop, but it looked really cool. They were perfect together, very sharp.

Erica: She’s really good at this. She gives it a much better performance than anyone I’ve seen. Including Cyrus. And I’m trying not to be this person (no, I’m not), but I notice that Nigel doesn’t say anything about JaJa going back to her roots in this number. Even though her dancing roots are hip-hop, and, IIRC, specifically animation. Because she’s not brown. #justsaying.

JaJa’s Solo

“Street Side” by 20 Killz

Kate: Not what I wanted to see from her just now.

Erica: Because we just saw it, essentially. And we know how much better she is than that. Dancers are not always great choreographers, people.

Gaby (stage) & Zach (season 11): Tap, choreo by Anthony Morigerato

“Dibidy Dop (Swing Mix)” by Club Des Belugas feat. Brenda Boykin

Kate: I think I wore that costume in one of my old tap routines, and I’m not talking about Gaby’s.

Erica: Heehee.

Kate: This was very cool and very well danced together, especially the little tidbits of partnering. Might be my favorite of the night?!

Erica: This was really a great tap routine (and, like I said, in general, I like tap routines). They had great chemistry and both seemed to be just having a great time. The set pieces were well-used and didn’t feel gimmicky. Yeah, I’d go for this as a favorite. I have to say, I think one of the reasons I’m sort of going, “I can be done with this season now,” is the judges and the total inanity coming out of their mouths every single week. First Nigel is all, “We almost didn’t take you. WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM THAT, GABY?!” And she can’t say, “I learned that your decisions are kind of arbitrary and a lot of life is about luck, jackass.” Then Paula talks for a very long time and says nothing at all. Please, SYTYCD. Please, FOX. Beg, bribe, or kidnap Mary Murphy, and bring back funny and/or intelligent judges next year. Christina Applegate. Debbie Allen. Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Christina Applegate. Anna Kendrick. Lady Gaga. (Seriously, she gave great commentary.) Christina Applegate. You can just bring in Christina Applegate. She and Nigel can do this together. (We can keep Nigel, if only because I need someone to hate-watch. Also, I think Christina Applegate can handle him.)

Kate: Oh, the finale is next week because we are only getting one dancer, not one stage one street instead of one boy one girl? We were wrong all along?

Erica: I am really not clear on all of this. I think it is that they treat “stage” and “street” the way they have always treated boys and girls, but just one winner, which has been true of boys and girls for most of the seasons. See you next week! #TeamHailee! Or possibly #TeamJaJa!