SYTYCD Season 15 Finale

Erica: So this is it. The end of the crazy quick and, IMHO, uninspiring half-season.

Kate: Almost didn’t even care about watching this. (Almost.)

Erica: It was a lot of repeated dances and a couple of special performances. We are noting the existence of the special dances but not reviewing them.

Kate: It was the only way.

 

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Erica: Fine. Not my thing, but fine. Certainly one of the better ones of this season. I feel like, once upon a time, she wore more formal things for the finale, no?

Kate: I didn’t watch the super-early days, so I don’t know. This dress was fine, but I hated her hair. That semi-wet/slicked-back-or-to-the-side look is really not my thing.

Erica: The hair to me was good in theory but in real life looked greasy and stringy.

Kate: This is how my hair has been looking lately no matter what I do and it’s REALLY starting to bother me. Just, you know, as an aside.

Erica: Hudge looked good again. It’s good to have something going for you.

Kate: Yup, liked her makeup a lot, actually. Hate to say it, but I did.

Erica: Cat announced that Mandy Moore won an Emmy for this show and I panicked, thinking Kate and I missed the telecast, but of course we didn’t. Choreographers don’t get to have awards during the actual telecast.

Kate: Nope, just the Creative Arts Emmys were the other night. Actual Emmys are the Monday 17th!

 

Group Routine (Top 10): Jazz, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Top of the World” by Greek Fire

Erica: So this was a Macy’s ad. Everyone in the audience had Macy’s star t-shirts on, and five of the dancers were holding sparkly diamond cutouts that, when put together, theoretically formed a Macy’s star. And the dancers were all dressed like the back-to-school Macy’s catalog. At the end, a whole bunch of balloons were thrown on stage. So.

Kate: Yeah, this felt so corny to me, not just because of the stars, but because of the actual routine, but if that’s how this show is staying afloat, a Macy’s sponsorship, then…OK? I don’t know. I DON’T KNOW.

Erica: The dancing was fun and fine and exactly what one might expect from a Macy’s ad. I was also reminded how Jay Jay and Darius were robbed. After this episode I’m thinking that, though Jay Jay was my early favorite, Darius might be better.

Kate: They are both so talented. I was happy to see them again.

 

Jensen & Jay Jay: Tahitian, choreo by Tiana Nonosina Liufau
“Lugahiva” by Te Vaka

Erica: The first dance was Hudge’s choice and it was a solid one. This was pretty good then and it was pretty good this time, too. I don’t know why, but I feel like Jensen’s hips looked better in this dance than they do in her Latin dances.

Kate: I don’t know, I felt that she was pretty low-energy in this. I know the competition aspect is essentially over but, like, come on Jens. Give us a little somethin’.

 

Genessy & Lex (Season 14): Contemporary, choreo by Mandy & Elizabeth
“Be Brave” by My Brightest Diamond

Erica: Genessy chose her contemporary with Lex, which is unsurprising. It continues not to be my favorite routine, but they performed it well.

Kate: Agree.

 

Hannahlei & Cole: Cha-Cha, choreo by Sasha Farber & Emma Slater
“Sing It Back” by Moloko

Erica: Mary’s choice was a samba with Hannahlei and Cole that I have to confess I didn’t even remember. I looked back and I liked it the first time. This time was pretty good, too, although that last trick with her weaving between his legs still looked labored. I also feel like, Mary was really selling the sexiness of this routine, but I didn’t fully buy it. They’re not connected enough and there’s not those sort of slow, slinky movements.

Kate: I KNOW! Mary was like, “This was the sexiest Cha-Cha ever”, and I was like, wha?

 

Genessy & Slavik: Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown
“Round & Round” by Fabolous

Erica: I don’t like when the final four choose routines like this. He chose it because it was in his own style, and he got good feedback the first time he did it. It shows me that he doesn’t really value the growth and challenge of being in this competition. I realize that this is a very “Get off my lawn!” sentiment, though.

Kate: No, you’re right, and I didn’t think he even did all that great in this, his own style, the first time around or this time around. He’s always too LOOSE.

Erica: I have to say, I think they did better this time around, which becomes a theme of the night. One might suppose it’s because they’ve got this extra week of rehearsals, but I think that it has more to do with the competition being over. I think people in general and creative types in general don’t do their best work under competitive conditions.

Kate: But that is the heart of this show!

Erica: Cat then introduced a blooper reel that was not really that funny or blooper-y, so, cool. Then we got a special tap performance from this season’s Evan, and last year’s winner, Lex.

Kate: Yes, that was odd, because Nigel said he specially requested it to be in the style of a specific person, and I was like, wha?

 

Jensen & Jay Jay: Hip-Hop, choreo by Hef & Randi
“Cookin” by Fat Joe, Remy Ma & French Montana ft. RySoValid

Erica: Jensen chose this number, which I respect, and she killed it because nothing was at stake and she could just enjoy herself. At the end, they pulled Mandy Moore’s Emmy out of the oven and the crowd went wild.

Kate: That was cute, as was this routine the first time and this time, and she was much more high-energy here than in her first routine, so that’s good.

Erica: I am a little sad that we don’t get to see their African Jazz number but maybe she just didn’t want to work that hard. That dance was crazy.

Kate: Yeah, I was kind of hoping she’d pick that one.

Erica: Then we got an encore of an Academy performance that I don’t really know what it was but it was good. Then an ad for the tour.

Kate: I loved the tour the one time I went. I would go again if it was, like, just Robert dancing. And maybe tWitch.

 

Magda & Darius: Jazz, choreo by Mandy Moore
“Fever” by Peggy Lee

Erica: This was tWitch’s pick. I liked it fine the first time; I continued to like it fine this time. Again, I thought they were better now, when they didn’t have to worry about anything.

Kate: Disagree! Everyone way too chill about the dancing!

 

Hannahlei & Marko (Season 8): Contemporary, choreo by Robert Roldan (Season 7)
“Welcome Home” by Joy Williams

Erica: This was Hannahlei’s pick, and I’d have liked to see her in her Travis Wall Broadway again, but this was quite beautiful.

Kate: Yup probably my favorite of hers but possibly because of the song.

Erica: Then there was some more review-of-the-season footage. I don’t know what the point of it is.

Kate: They’re always like, “OMG this was the best season so much happened yay we’re the best”, and I’m like, wha?

 

Genessy & Slavik: Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper
“House Work (Extended Mix)” by Jax Jones ft. Mike Dunn & MNEK

Erica: This was tWitch’s other pick, which was surprising to me because he was pretty critical of it the first time. So was I; I thought they were not sharp enough. I’d still love to see more sharpness, but it was better, and at least they looked like they were enjoying themselves.

Kate: Again, not impressed by Slavik whatsoever, even in “his” genre.

 

Group Routine (Girls): Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown
“Bump” by Trish

Erica: They brought back this fairly fabulous group routine and added the other two girls to the mix about halfway through. It was great, again.

Kate: Yup yup yup, loved the addition of the other girls.

Erica: Then we got a song and routine from the world’s first international pop group? Which has been put together by someone connected to this show? I am confused about who these people are and why, but they’re cute.

Kate: What does it mean to be the world’s first international pop group? No one else has that title? They all looked so young, but were good dancers. I don’t know.

 

Jensen & Hannahlei: Heels, choreo by Brian Friedman
“Dem Beats” by Todrick feat. RuPaul

Erica: Hudge chose this number next, which makes sense to me, because I feel this number is all style and little substance, much like her.

Kate: Wow, burn! I actually liked it better this time.

Erica: Then Cat and Vanessa joked about performing this together at the wrap party, which, I sincerely hope they did.

Kate: Oh, yes, let’s see some wrap party footage.

Erica: There was some footage of the top four saying what it would mean to them to win. No one gave an interesting answer.


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

“Juice” by Yo Gotti

Erica: This continues to be a fabulous routine, and was made even more fabulous by tWitch coming in halfway through and showing these boys how it’s done. Then Nigel walked on at the tail end, and you know what, he knew he couldn’t do much, and he enjoyed what little he did, and I thought it was cute. I know I rag on him, but, you know, he does love dance, which is why he does this show, and I’m glad he took advantage of the opportunity to have a good time.

Kate: Oh, this was the most adorable. tWitch really makes it look so effortless and really does show these boys how it’s done, and Nigel just looked so happy to be up there. I think we should incorporate judges dancing more, didn’t Mary used to do that every now and then?

Erica: You know, he once choreographed a terrific boys’ group routine, back in Season Four, which might have been my favorite season. Check it out. It’s got tWitch!

Kate: Oh, super-cute.

Erica: Then we got some footage of contestant tWitch and it was cute, although honestly they could have showed more of his really great moments on the show.

Kate: Oh, the audition footage was actually the most adorable thing, and I forgot how good that “Mercy” routine was.

 

Magda & Darius: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall
“Glass Heart Concerto” by Blondie & Philip Glass

Erica: Mary’s pick was this contemporary, which is and was fab. I think they were even more passionate this time around, although there were still a couple of labored moments.

Kate: Agree, lifts were not perfect but overall emotion was. Maybe that’s because they, like, lost?

 

Jay Jay & Lauren (Season 7): Jazz, choreo by Mandy Moore
“Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars

Erica: Nigel brought back this super-fun jazz routine and also reminded us that we apparently don’t like jazz.

Kate: I mean, I don’t like it as much as, say, hip-hop or contemporary, but I don’t hate it.

Erica: I also — I’m sorry, Kate — I like this song.

Kate: Why are you sorry, because I used to hate Bruno Mars? I think that has subsided, and this song is quite catchy indeed.

Erica: And Slavik is out. Okay, then. A girl is going to win.

Kate: YAS! THANK YOU, AMERICA! Or, the America that still votes for this show.

 

Group Routine (All): Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown
“Yummy” by Gwen Stefani ft. Pharrell

Erica: Another group routine by Luther Brown, which, yeah, he did some fabulous group routines, including this one, but I’m also wondering what happened to NappyTabs. They were at auditions; why don’t we have a big group routine from them?

Kate: Yep I liked this, and excellent question.

 

Darius & Taylor (Season 14): Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall
“It Takes A Lot To Know A Man” by Damien Rice

Erica: Nigel, obviously, chose the Big Message piece so he can pat himself on the back again for, after 15 years of helming a dance competition, letting someone admit they’re gay on live TV. He also says “acceptance” is the greatest thing humanity can possibly achieve. I can’t roll my eyes hard enough.

Kate: I think you are a weeeee bit hard on him. This was a great routine then and now.

Erica: It was a really good routine, performed beautifully, but I have two caveats: 1) I know the show is dedicated to boy-girl pairings, but wouldn’t it make more sense if the Taylor character here was played by a male dancer? For story purposes? 2) If Darius is in three of your favorite pair dances, SHOULDN’T HE BE IN THE FINAL FOUR?

Kate: Yes, he should, but the judges didn’t choose the final four, America did. Or, the America that still votes for this show.

Erica: And then it was time to announce the winner. It was not Genessy. Apparently Hannahlei and Jensen were close, but…It’s Hannahlei! I am surprised and it is not my preference but it is fine. Fine.

Kate: Oh, I wanted it to be Jensen, but…Ok! Fine! I know we said this with the season with the kids, but, I think we are finally, finally done with this show. A sad day, but an inevitable one.

 

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SYTYCD Season 15 – Top 4 Perform

Erica: So, this was not the finale. This was the pre-finale. Just for the record.

Kate: How do they get a pre-finale episode, especially when we’re now running into Monday Night Football season, but only a top 10 and a few one-hour audition episodes?

Erica: I can’t believe that the top four includes three girls and one boy, given that, on this season, unlike any other, I thought the boys overall were better than the girls, and given that THEY CUT THE TWO BEST BOYS. But whatever. Whatever. Let’s carry on.

Kate: I know, I’m still so mad that Slavik is there.

Erica: Also for the record, there was no opening group routine this week, just an opening video about how all four of them have been in this competition.

 

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Erica: Lord, that dress looked like a Muppet at a rave. Do raves still exist? Did they ever?

Kate: I think so. I got itchy just looking at it.

Erica: Perfect hair, though. Straight-ish but with a little volume on the top. I mean, it is difficult to mess up the gorgeousness that is Cat Deeley’s hair.

Kate: See I loved the hair at first but then it was so obvious to me how much of it was fake and that kind of ruined the magic for me.

Erica: And because I haven’t had a good feminist rant yet this season, I’ll take the opportunity to note that in the sequence in which each dancer is announced, the outfits were as follows: Hannahlei in a sparkly bathing suit; Genessy in a one-piece that consisted of sparkles over her boobs, bikini bottoms, a flap of material over her butt and otherwise just sheer mesh; Jensen in an almost-modest LBD with a high slit and spaghetti straps and vertical sparkly stripes. All three had a pound and a half of make-up on their faces. And Slavik? Slavik was in a gray tee shirt and black sweatpants with no visible makeup. (I mean, it’s TV, so I’m sure there was some makeup, but his face looked like his regular face.) What is my point? I have none. I’m just sitting here, observing.

Kate: I am sure Slavik had on boy dancer stage makeup.

Erica: The outfits are their solo outfits, as it turns out, which doesn’t really diminish my point. Which I do not have. I gotta say, Hudge actually looked acceptable on this episode. And Cat pointed out how tWitch’s lost voice made him sound all kinds of sexy, which, yes.

Kate: Yep, enjoyed that.

Erica: Cat mentioned again that Fox will be doing a live Rent, and I gotta say, I loved that musical hard as a teenager, but I’m not sure it’s aged well. Poverty seems a little less romantic now, you know?

Kate: I don’t understand why we keep doing the live musicals on TV; haven’t all of them been pretty bad?

Erica: Honestly, I’ve missed most of them.  

 

Genessy & Slavik: Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown

“Poke it Out” by Playboi Carti & Nicki Minaj

Erica: NOT SHARP ENOUGH!

Kate: NO, BUT…I actually liked Slavik in this. It was the first time that I was, like, oh, yes, I do think you can dance. Sort of.

Erica: I also thought — and I don’t know if this is a choreography problem or a them problem — that they were dancing too close to each other, so they couldn’t make their moves big enough without smacking each other in the face.

Kate: I did not notice that.

 

Jensen & Hannahlei: Heels, choreo by Brian Friedman

“Dem Beats” by Todrick feat. RuPaul

Erica: “Heels” is apparently a combination of jazz, contemporary and burlesque. Sure.

Kate: Oh I was CERTAIN that was a typo. WHAT?!

Erica: I’m going to go ahead and guess, based on the track and the style and everything else, that this is actually a dance style that comes from RuPaul’s Drag Race/the drag world. I don’t see why it’s different from, like, jazz, but what do I know?

Kate: I thought it was a little hip-hop-y, too.

Erica: I thought that the dance didn’t really demand much from them. They made a big deal of dancing in heels, but, dancing in heels is not beyond either of these girls’ abilities, especially Jensen, who is a ballroom dancer and therefore always dances in heels. Jensen looked better technically to me; Hannahlei looked like she was doing better in terms of attitude and stage presence.

Kate: I disagree, I thought Jensen completely outshone Hannahlei in every possible way. Like, actual size difference aside, Hannahlei looked like a little sister copying her big sister or even mom who’s, like, a super-professional dancer.

Erica: Hudge was more incoherent than usual. I think she was blinded by Brian Friedman’s rhinestones.

 

Genessy & Jonathan (Season 5): Samba, choreo by Elena Samodanova

“Watch Out for This (Bumaye)” by Major Lazer feat. Busy Signal, the Flexican, & FS Green)

Erica: Is she chewing gum? Is that supposed to be cute?

Kate: She was just making all the horrible facial expressions in this, I think.

Erica: All of her moves look unfinished to me. She looks like she’s always thinking of the next step.

Kate: She is not a very good dancer! She’s just not! No, I do not think she can dance!

 

Slavik & Melanie (Season 8): Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Gun” by Mas Ysa

Erica: Oh, we loved Melanie. She remains adorable. And I think she’s ideally suited to Travis Wall choreography. But we’re not talking about her because she already won. We’re talking about Slavik. Who I thought was remarkably good in this piece.

Kate: Ohhh we SO loved Melanie. Indeed she is suited to Travis, but not to Slavik, who is not a great dancer/is just OK. (And, man, we have been doing this for a LONG time.)

Erica: I agree with the judges that this piece was more about acting than dancing, which was fine with me, at least some of the time.

Kate: See I don’t think he pulled off the more-acting-than-dancing thing.

 

Hannahlei & Slavik: African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

“When Rivers Cry (Moon Drums Mix)” by Somi feat. Common

Erica: Sean Cheesman has definitely become a favorite choreographer of mine, but damn, his pants in the rehearsal footage? Like, we need to talk, Sean Cheesman.

Kate: I did not pay attention to the rehearsal footage in this episode.

Erica: I thought the choreography was cool as sh!t and they performed it adequately. Like, I’m sure we’ve seen dancers that could have done that better, but they didn’t embarrass themselves or anything.

Kate: She did great in this. I continue to not be impressed by him.

 

Jensen & Genessy: Broadway, choreo by Travis Wall

“Maybe This Time” by Liza Minnelli

Erica: The song, the costumes, the Travis — this is so much Erica catnip. I do wish Jensen’s hair had been styled better.

Kate: Oh my god I hated this SO much.

Erica: I thought it was cute but that Travis’s other Broadway number was better.

Kate: They both looked awkward and terrified and not sexy and confident as I would think they would want to be in this kind of routine. Honestly felt like it was one of the worst I’ve seen in SYTYCD history.

 

Hannahlei & Fik-Shun (Season 10): Hip-Hop, choreo by Randi & Hef

“Move Something” by DJ Quik & Problem

Erica: I’m, like, 90% sure Fik-shun has already had a routine about moving. I’m also somewhat disappointed that, given the jokes that were made during the rehearsal footage, they didn’t have Hannahlei inside one of the boxes at the beginning of the routine. I mean, if you’re going to have props and an on-the-nose song, you might as well go all the way to cheese.

Kate: I think you’re right but I don’t have time to find a clip of it right now. I almost forgot how much I loved him — he’s so great, so energetic, so…What’s the word? GOOD AT DANCING. That’s three words, but, yeah.

Erica: I thought she did very well. Her cheerleader past probably serves her well in this kind of cheerful, fun hip-hop. She even had some moves that I think I’ve seen cheerleaders do.

Kate: I was mostly focused on him but yes she did well.

 

Jensen & Robert (Season 7): Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Kina Grannis (from the Crazy Rich Asians soundtrack)

Erica: Kate, have you read Crazy Rich Asians yet?

Kate: No, I’m reading another Ken Follett book so I won’t be done until 2019.

Erica: You should go read it right now. It’ll take you, like, an hour. It’s super fun. It’s like Real Housewives of Singapore, with a plot.

Kate: Maybe in 2019.

Erica: This was the best she’s ever done. By far. This was the first time I thought I would be happy to see her win. But really. It’s because of Robert. Robert makes everyone shine. Some of those lifts were just heartbreakingly lovely. And the choreography was gorgeous. But really, Robert was gorgeous and he made Jensen more gorgeous and it was great.

Kate: This made my heart simultaneously ache and soar. I love Robert so, so very much. He was amazing in this and he made her even more amazing. I think she should/is going to win.  

Erica: Also, holy moly, she’s her mom’s mini-me.

 

Genessy & Hannahlei: Contemporary, choreo by Talia Favia

“Numbers” by Daughter

Erica: Good. Right? They did well? I wish their waist cinchers matched because it came across like they just couldn’t find the same two, but the dancing was very good.

Kate: Yes, good, right, they did well. Their outfits were more, like, outfits, than costumes. Ya know?

Erica: Yes. I am not a fan of the formal short, but, if a formal short we’re an appropriate item, these would be things you’d wear on occasions that called for formal shorts. It speaks a lot about the dance that I’m more focused on the frankly boring outfits.

 

Jensen & Slavik: Cha-Cha, choreo by Oksana Platero

“Boom” by Tiesto & Sevenn ft. Gucci Mane

Erica: I think Slavik was very lucky to be dancing with Jensen for this number. Ballroom dancing is meant to show off the girl, so he didn’t have to do much. Mary assures us that the little he did, he didn’t do particularly well.

Kate: I for the life of me cannot remember this routine. Maybe I accidentally fast-forwarded through it? I imagine she was great and he kind of sucked, though.

Erica: That is correct! I liked Jensen in this and at this point, I’d be happy to see her win. But we know how America feels about competent women.

Kate: Oh see I think she will win because she’s the cute blonde girl and America is America after all.

Erica: Maybe her blondeness will save her. We’ll find out next week!

Kate: We sure will!

 

SYTYCD Season 15 – Top 6 Perform

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: This dress needs 2 less sleeves, one less turtleneck and one less obnoxiously large bow on the shoulder, then it’d be fine. Although the combination of velvet AND sequins is a little aggressive.

Erica: The bow is, to me, the most egregious thing. I don’t much like the dress, but it’s also just not my sort of thing.

Kate: Love the hair — silky smooth — and makeup, though.

Erica: Fully agree. Perfect. Also, it must be said; neither Hudge nor Mary look like a crazy person styled them tonight.

Kate: Ehhh…

 

Group Routine: Contemporary, choreo by Mia Michaels

“Spring 1” by Max Richter, Andre de Ridder, Konzerthaus Kammerorchester Berlin & Daniel Hope

Kate: Oh, kind of lovely, no?

Erica: I really enjoyed the choreography and I thought the performance was better than they have been. Also I kind of want a skirt like the girls were wearing. For, um, Sadie. And not for myself. At all.

Kate: I liked the mix of a classical/ballet-type song with contemporary Mia Michaels-type dancing.

Erica: I was surprised Nigel approved of the boys dancing all girly.

Kate: Also, this is the top 6 already? Does that mean next week is the finale since it’s the top 4?

Erica: Yeah, it sounds like it. That’s what happens when you start with just ten dancers.

 

Jensen & Kiki (Season 14) Cha-Cha, choreo by Jenna Johnson (Season 10)

“Bailar (Radio Edit)” by Deorro ft. Elvis Crespo

Kate: Ok so I think when we talk about her and Jay Jay having trouble with the connections, it’s actually her, because I noticed it here too, which is weird because isn’t ballroom her thing?

Erica: Yeah. It is. It did feel like the two of them were in different dances.

Kate: They said in the thing before the dance that she was sick this week, and I feel like I could kind of tell; she was not going full out, which is something I said about one of her performances last week I think.

 

Genessy & Lex (Season 14): Contemporary, choreo by Mandy & Elizabeth

“Be Brave” by My Brightest Diamond

Kate: Why was she crying in the thing before the dance?

Erica: Because it’s a struggle, y’all.

Kate: Well, even though I’m not totally in love with her, she did great in this, but who wouldn’t with Lex as their partner?

Erica: No no we hate Lex. I didn’t love the conceptual on-the-nose-ness of this piece, but I thought she danced it very well.

Kate: We do? Don’t remember that. I just feel like I finally was able to see her range of movement here, you know?

Erica: Yeah. We definitely saw her legs like we had not seen them before. I will say, Nigel kind of said without saying that it was good she wasn’t dragging around Slavik anymore.

 

Slavik & Jaja (Season 12): Hip-Hop, choreo by Comfort Fedoke (Season 4)

“Beggin & Pleadin” by Brandy

Kate: Still not that impressed with him. Like, at all.

Erica: I hate to say it, but…I didn’t like this choreography. Man. I love Comfort. But I thought this was not an interesting piece. And I’m all for dancing a style that doesn’t match the music, but it did not work here.

Kate: I thought it was ok, but it was a pretty odd Brandy song that I had never heard before. Also, isn’t hip-hop his genre? I didn’t find him to be sharp or down low enough at all.

Erica: The judges were pretty harsh. Although Nigel did also make reference to the not-at-all-happening showmance.

 

Hannahlei & Marko (Season 8): choreo by Robert Roldan (Season 7)

“Welcome Home” by Joy Williams

Kate: Marko! Robert!! And a Joy Williams song (she’s one half of the now nonexistent duo, The Civil Wars)!!! Oh, be still my heart; it’s too much. TOO MUCH!

Erica: The piece was quite lovely. Not going to change the world of dance, but pretty and danced well.

Kate: They weren’t  t o t a l l y in sync but this was beautiful and she did great, especially with all the lifts and tricks.

Erica: Yeah, I was impressed with her. There were moments of very honest connection that I thought worked really well.

 

Jay Jay & Lauren (Season 7): Jazz, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars

Kate: Oh, I thought all the routines would be choreographed by former contestants, which would have been cool. Also, really, Mandy Moore? This show doesn’t respond well to jazz?

Erica: Hey, that would have been cool. Maybe there’s some statistic she has access to that indicates voters don’t vote for jazz? I have to imagine that people who work on this show have access to and obsess over stats we don’t know about.

Kate: Oh, I hadn’t thought about that; probably. Lauren is also another one of my favorites; I think her and Robert’s season was my all-time favorite. The golden era of dance, if you will.

Erica: Hah! But yeah, they were good.

Kate: And although she’s one of my favorites, I feel like she did her job as an all-star and really let him shine in this routine; his jazz sass and attitude were pretty on point. (Lots of dance puns in that sentence.)

Erica: He has something that no other dancer has this season — he makes it look easy. I thought he was fab in this as he has been in just about everything. And of course I was delighted to see Lauren again. She’s great.

 

Darius & Taylor (Season 14): Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“It Takes A Lot To Know A Man” by Damien Rice

Kate: Wait, didn’t we love Taylor?

Erica: Yes. We loved Koine a skootch more, but we loved Taylor next best last season.

Kate: Um, I know this is a Big Message piece, but may I just say that the eye makeup on him here was just gorgeous?

Erica: Here’s my thing — they let Travis say that he’s gay. Out loud. It’s…Like…Progress.

Kate: Hooray for progress! They danced a little awkwardly together and I don’t know if that was intended because of the choreography or what; but other than that, this was great and he was great. He has a lot of range, I think.

Erica: Oh, I thought they were perfection together. I think any awkwardness was intentional. He was spectacular and this piece was spectacular. You and I often don’t love Big Message pieces, but I think the thing is that a lot of the time the dancing suffers in service of The Message. In this piece, the dancing was brilliant, and The Message and the dancing were enhanced by each other. And he was so good. I’m so glad we didn’t lose him last week.

Kate: Aaaand there’s Nigel’s awful commentary. I cannot even. And stupid Hudge is “legit shook”.

Erica: Nigel, there have been gay boys on your show for 15 seasons and this is the first time one of them was allowed to admit it. Don’t pull a muscle patting yourself on the back, there.

 

Jensen & Jay Jay: Tahitian, choreo by Tiana Nonosina Liufau

“Lugahiva” by Te Vaka

Kate: Well, this was new. And WOW costumes.

Erica: This is because of the popularity of Moana. Kate, I forget, did you manage to watch this with the girls at some point? It’s so good.

Kate: I have still never seen it, but Ian plays the songs for me frequently. And I think Nigel said that this lady choreographed Moana, so, duh. But how does one choreograph an animated movie? Anyway, they were only slightly better on their connections here but individually they both danced this great; him a tad bit better, though.

Erica: I think it was nice for these two that this dance wasn’t super-dependent on connections. I thought they were individually very good and her hips were excellent.

 

Genessy & Slavik: Salsa, choreo by Jonathan & Oksana

“Machika” by J Balvin, Jeon & Anitta

Kate: Their silly little romance thing is just too…Silly…For me to believe this was a “sexy salsa” routine as indicated in the pre-dance thing.

Erica: Yeah, weirdly, the parts that they were supposed to be really rolling their pelvises together or whatever looked the worst.

Kate: Their lifts and tricks were also super-awkward throughout, very labored. Didn’t really like this, so I’m back to not liking her, and I still don’t like him or their silly little romance.

Erica: I thought she was better than him in this. But not great.

 

Hannahlei & Darius: Argentine Tango, choreo by Leonardo & Miriam

“Tanguango” by Ryota Komatsu

Kate: It sucks/is interesting that these are the only 2 left in the competition not with their original partners, no?

Erica: I suppose, but also, again, the small numbers made that inevitable.

Kate: Also, the way the 2 choreographers were dancing in the pre-dance thing made me want to watch THEM do some Argentine Tango!

Erica: Oof. I forgot to pay attention to that.

Kate: Also, they NAILED this. That beginning lift? Damn. All the lifts? Damn damn damn. (Except that one at the end when they kind of bumped heads, oops.) Really amazed. What a great night they both had!

Erica: I thought they danced it very well but didn’t sell the sexy. I also have to give props to the choreographers, who put in some really cool moves, which the pair of them pulled off.

Kate: “The pair of them” is a very Nigel-esque phrase. And, um, awkward AF when he asked Fox if they can have a top 20 again. I just don’t see it for you, Nigel.

Erica: Aw, poor Nigel.

Kate: Jensen is safe. Yay/duh.

 

Group Routine (Boys): Lyrical Hip-Hop, choreo by Christopher Scott

“Violence Broken” by No Mono

Kate: Hmm, not my favorite concept, but Jay Jay and Darius so clearly outshine Slavik.

Erica: I didn’t mind the concept. Christopher Scott loves his props but I thought these worked okay. And I thought Darius was the best in this one.

Kate: This really was just a weird routine.

Erica: Well. Yes. It was. I thought it was interesting but did not shine. I liked Luther Brown’s boys’ piece last week.

Kate: Slavik is safe. Are. You. Kidding. ???

Erica: I’m telling you, the power of the heterosexuality is working for him right now. I am super-enjoying, too, that the girls had to come out for results with their hair wrapped up because they were in the middle of prepping for their next routine. This show is usually pretty good about not showing its bones like that, but I enjoy when they do.

 

Group Routine (Girls): Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown

“Bump” by Trish

Kate: SO much more fun/interesting than the boys’ routine.

Erica: I’m telling you, we need Luther Brown on the group routines more.

Kate: I actually really enjoyed this routine and I actually think that Genessy was best of the 3, followed by Hannahlei then Jensen, but I still love Jensen. I would very much like to learn this routine, Luther.

Erica: I liked Hannahlei the best in this one but I thought it was mostly that it was a fun routine.

Kate: Hannahlei is safe, which is good, as is Jensen, which is not good. America, I am once again not at all thrilled with you. Jay Jay and Darius are way more talented than most of those people in the top 4. UGH!

Erica: I have no objection to the girls, as I didn’t have a huge attachment to any of them, but once Slavik was safe I knew America had not been healed. No matter how many times tWitch wishes Luther Brown “mazel tov”. So our top 4 are Hannahlei, Jensen, Genessy and Slavik. Wait, so, first of all, for the first time ever, they have chosen not to do an even number of boys and girls, and also, Jay Jay and Darius are the best on the show? WTF? I call racism.

Kate: Ugh, until next week, I guess.

 

SYTYCD Season 15 – 10 Dance, 8 Remain

Erica: Before we begin, I’ve got to plug for a friend of a friend. My friend Melonie Johnson (whose debut novel will be out in April) is friends with Alexis Daria, whose debut novel Take the Lead won the RITA (the BFD romance novel award) for Best First Book. It takes place on the set of a reality dance competition (which is more Dancing with the Stars than SYTYCD) and you guys, if you are into romance novels, it’s a really good one. I recommend. The second in the series is out, too, but I didn’t know that so I haven’t read it yet.

 

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: Oh, no. This is way too young for her.

Erica: In that it would be more appropriate on a four-year-old? Who is in some sort of pageant? In Tulsa, Oklahoma, circa 1968? Yeah. It’s too young for her. Holy sh!t. Did her stylist need a day off, so Mary’s took over?

Kate: It’s also just too much — the bow, the high half-pony, the sparkly hoops, the sparkly floral mini-dress, just no. Great eye makeup, though, I think?

Erica: I mean, sure. Yes. But that’s a little, “But other than that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?”

 

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

“Yummy” by Gwen Stefani ft. Pharrell

Kate: Well, that was fun! A much better opening than last week’s, no?

Erica: I really, really liked it. I thought it was so much fun, so funky and really showed off the dancers.

Kate: Except I can’t tell if it was fun/better than last week’s mostly because of the song and the costumes and the concept and the choreography and not the actual DANCING. You know?

Erica: I don’t think last week’s was bad. It just wasn’t as peppy as I’d like the opening number for the first real episode to be. (I will say, I loved the costumes. They always do a good job with those sort of Victorian-glitter-goth looks. But what was up with the pastel Willy Wonka set? Was it because the song was called “Yummy”? Did not seem to match.)

Kate: Wow, and it was a Luther Brown routine, so I retract what I said last week. …Somewhat.

Erica: Maybe he’s just not inspired by one boy dancing with one girl all the time. …Nigel.

Kate: And, praise be, tWitch IS a permanent judge this season. Praise. Be.

Erica: In His Name. (“His” being tWitch.)

 

Magda & Darius: Bollywood, choreo by Nakul Dev Mahajan

“Badri Ki Dulhania” by Badrinath Ki Dulhania (Soundtrack)

Kate: I feel guilty for not paying enough attention to these two last week. Oh how I love these outfits.  

Erica: Yeah? They were fun but not my favorite.

Kate: I love a good Bollywood routine as much as the next person, and they had great energy throughout, but they were not even close to being sharp enough at any point in time.

Erica: I thought they looked like they were having an incredible amount of fun, which is great. They could have used more sharpness. There were also a lot of moments where they needed to make their bodies look the same as each other, and they sort of missed the mark.

Kate: Actually, I think they put way more effort into the energy and attitude of Bollywood rather than the sharpness in the movements, which is really absolutely key in these routines. Seriously less than thrilled.

Erica: I give a lot of leeway, though, because that kind of precision takes more practice than they could reasonably be expected to develop in a week. Do you recall them ever doing a group Bollywood routine on this show? I’d like to see that.

Kate: I do not recall but I would also like to see that.

 

Chelsea & Evan: Lyrical Hip-Hop, choreo by Christopher Scott

“Love on the Brain” by Rihanna

Kate: Oh, what a song for lyrical hip-hop, and this theme.

Erica: I’d never heard this song. The tune it’s sampling is one of my favorites. I liked it very much.

Kate: She was probably my favorite last week, but I was very impressed by his rhythm and moves here — you know, for a tap dancer.

Erica: Yeah, totally. They were very connected, and he seemed really great.

Kate: Also, Christopher Scott, or whomever is in charge of props on this show, I think we would have gotten the concept just fine without all the boxes of stuff. So corny.

Erica: I thought “corny” was part of the definition of “lyrical hip-hop”.

Kate: Also also, I don’t know what the judges were talking about with their chemistry; I thought their chemistry was great. But, as we know, I am NOT on the same page as the judges this season. Except tWitch — love ya always, boo 😉

Erica: I felt like Mary, at least, wanted it to be a different story than it was.

 

Hannahlei & Cole: Step, choreo by Joe Brown

“Pump It Up” by Joe Budden

Kate: I just want to brag about the fact that I spelled her name right on the first try. Biggest accomplishment of the week.

Erica: Mazel tov.

Kate: Also, since when are they doing step as its own category on this show? That’s new this year, right? I did a step class in college and messed up pretty bad during a performance; it is REALLY hard. But it is REALLY fun to watch when it’s a ton of people who know what they’re doing. That said, it sounds REALLY weird when it’s just 2 people…Over music. Step is usually NOT done over music because the clapping and stomping kind of IS the music, know what I’m saying?

Erica: Yes. The part where the music went quiet, they were not loud enough or sharp enough. And isn’t it usually done with, like, at least 25 people?

Kate: Yes. I thought they were actually kind of terrible at this. Too hyper and smiley and high up, not low and steppy enough.

Erica: Very smiley. Not sure if it’s them or the choreographer. Her cheerleader roots are showing.

Kate: I want to be offended by that but I’m not.

 

Jensen & Jay Jay: Contemporary, choreo by Jaci Royal

“Lost Without You” by Freya Ridings

Kate: This was gorgeous for the most part, but a few of the lifts and connections could have been a little smoother, which was my exact feedback on their salsa last week. They need to be more aware of where the other is at all times.

Erica: I thought that aspect improved since last week. And I thought that she did a better job of performing with him as opposed to mugging for the camera.

Kate: Eh, sort of. Also — and this is a comment on the choreography, I know, but whatever — I prefer my sad-relationship-contemporary routines with much more separate synchronized dancing rather than partner lift-y dancing a la Robert and Allison’s Fix You (honestly, any excuse to link to that routine).

Erica: Oh, but I thought in this particular routine, it worked, because she was trying to get him back, so she was throwing her body at him. No? (Fully support your linking to that routine, though.)

Kate: ROBERT AND ALLISON!

 

Genessy & Slavik: Jive, choreo by Sharna Burgess

“Jump, Jive An’ Wail” by The Brian Setzer Orchestra

Kate: Really, Sharna? Couldn’t come up with a song that didn’t have the word “jive” in it? I’m reminded of Miranda Priestly saying “Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.”

Erica: Hey, sometimes a classic is a classic for a reason.

Kate: For all his worry about being a hip-hop dancer doing jive, I thought he did much better than her. He was better at the really quick movements while she was lagging quite a bit and seemed overall very nervous and tired the whole time. Like, he was kind of carrying her.

Erica: I thought they both looked a little heavy. I love jive and just the fact of the dance should make me love it but I thought this could have been better. He is, by the way, using his heterosexuality to get votes (from the watchers who are way younger, or pervier, than us).

Kate: Eh, toward the end they were better, but she still failed pretty miserably at this in my eyes. But don’t worry, the judges gave them a standing O, so it’s ok. Ugh!

Erica: I think that’s the power of the jive. It just makes everyone happy.

 

Magda & Darius: Jazz, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Fever” by Peggy Lee

Kate: Ok so we’re just going for the MOST stereotypical songs per genre? Fine.

Erica: Okay but I love this song.

Kate: Well I liked this better than their first routine but still, neither of them are really doing it for me in any way shape or form.

Erica: They looked a little stiff, and they weren’t coordinating when to be flirting with each other and when to be flirting with the audience. Also, what about this was out of Magda’s ballroom dance comfort zone? She said she was having to unlearn everything, but I didn’t see it. tWitch said he wished he was them in this routine and honestly, I’d have liked to see him (and his wife) do this routine, too.

Kate: Oh, so much same.

 

Chelsea & Evan: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Snowing” by Sonya Kitchell

Kate: Oh, Travis. You’re so…Deep.

Erica: This was quite lovely.

Kate: This was beautiful. He could have been a little more sure-footed (and sure-armed? Is that a thing?) on those lifts, but overall I really loved this and am really starting to love these two.

Erica: Yeah. She’s my favorite. And he’s not bad either.

Kate: But, AGAIN, MUST WE BE SO LITERAL with the white outfits and the “it’s snowing” song and the LITERAL FAKE SNOW FALLING FROM THE CEILING? Come ON!

Erica: Look, SYTYCD is just trying to embrace its cheesy, cheesy soul in its last trip around the sun.

 

Hannahlei & Cole: Disco, choreo by Doriana Sanchez

“Last Dance (12” Version)” by Donna Summer

Kate: Have we ever seen a disco routine on this show NOT choreographed by Doriana Sanchez? ALSO, SERIOUSLY, THIS SONG? We really are going for the most stereotypical of songs!

Erica: I think one time there was a different disco choreographer?

Kate: Again, they have the pizazz of the genre but not the skill. He did OK but she was too flaily (and not the controlled kind), and most of their lifts made me grimace in fear that someone would be on their @$$ any minute.

Erica: Yeah, they seemed to have to concentrate too hard on connecting with each other. Even in small moments, like when they put their arms around each other. I really can’t stand him. I don’t know why he rubs me the wrong way so much.

 

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

“Run” by Hybrid Core Music + Sound

Kate: Um, super, super, super-duper cool. Costumes + dancing. I like that Sean Cheesman said “There’s nothing pretty about this. I hope they get that”, because that really is true about certain dances and is pretty hard to pull off.

Erica: Loved the choreography. Want to see Sean Cheesman do more group routines.

Kate: I think she could have been a little sharper in some areas, but he really nailed it. These two are probably my other favorites besides Chelsea and Evan.

Erica: Jay Jay and Chelsea are my favorites. Jensen is growing on me. But I thought both of them could have been the teensiest bit sharper, gotten more air under them when they jumped and lifted, etc. They were good, though.

Kate: And wow, Jensen’s makeup is incredible.

Erica: Yeah, it’s pretty good. I like tWitch ordering us all to try to do, like, one movement that they did. Which might actually kill me but I should probably try.

Kate: Oh, they did some results before the final routine. Odd. Hannahlei and Jay Jay are safe. Why TF did they do the results like that?

Erica: Nigel, when I said I wanted you to break form a little, do something new and different, this wasn’t where I wanted you to focus your energy.

 

Genessy & Slavik: Broadway, choreo by Al Blackstone

“Someone to Watch Over Me” by Ella Fitzgerald & London Symphony Orchestra

Kate: Um, a bench and a flower? Are we serious?

Erica: If you don’t know what she’s talking about, a) who are you and how did you come to be reading this post? and b) here.

Kate: Fine, this was fairly adorable, but I don’t know that it was a great showcase of their dancing, you know? She had some pretty moments with her legs, though.

Erica: I loved the choreography. I think she’s a beautiful dancer, but not a great actress. She didn’t really sell the story.

Kate: I cannot get over the fact that someone put a bench on the SYTYCD stage after THE bench, though. And no one even mentioned it!

Erica: That, to me, is the most unusual thing. Nigel loves recalling the history of SYTYCD.

Kate: Ok, more results. Jensen and Genessy are safe.

Erica: Fine.

Kate: Oh, they’re sending home one guy and one girl each week. Man, this show is definitely on its way out the door. Sad.

Erica: Well, they always do that. But with only ten to start with, this season is going to go fast.

Kate: LOL my first two favorites are of course going home, and how convenient that they were a couple so the producers don’t have to refigure the pairings? *thinking face emoji*

Erica: Blergh. Chelsea, I would love to see you in something else. Please return to my screen sometime soon. Cole, I do not like you and I wish you had gone home tonight.

Kate: Well, see you next week, folks!

 

SYTYCD – Season 15, Top Ten Dancers Perform

Erica: Well, I’m guessing this is the last season. What do you think?

Kate: I don’t know, I keep thinking that, and then the following season comes up with even more changes and shorter air times, and this time around we’re only seeing the top 10 dancers instead of the top 20. Yikes.

Erica: I would be sad, but remember how mad we were about the RAMPANT SEXISM that deprived Koine, or even the infinitely superior Taylor, of the win, and gave it to sub-par Lex instead?

Kate: I do remember this rampant sexism, now that you mention it.

Erica: And Nigel has remained so committed to boy-girl pairings and a stale formula for so long that I’m kind of exhausted by it.

Kate: This season’s auditions in particular exhausted me because every single piece of feedback was, like, “You’re not that great but we like you so yay you move on to the next round!” Literally, almost 0 negative feedback. Is this part of the whole everyone-gets-a-trophy movement? Because I have to say, I hate it.

Erica: So we’re not going to be as on top of this as we usually are. Kate is very busy with non-SYTYCD-blogging work, and I am being reminded that having a toddler is even more exhausting than having an infant. So we’ll do our best, and we’re pretty sure y’all are over it anyway.

Kate: Seriously, does anyone even still watch this besides us? Hello?

 

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Erica: I hate to say it, but man, is she looking tired.

Kate: Yup she looked very haggard throughout auditions and academy weeks, this is actually an improvement. I love her long flowy hair, and the color of her dress, but not the style of the dress, and good god whoever did her and Mary Murphy’s makeup should be fired. They look neon!

Erica: Cat’s hair still looks great.

Kate: Duh.

 

Group Routine (All): Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Dream State” by Son Lux

 

Erica: So much sparkly.

Kate: Yes, distracted by the sparkle.

Erica: I didn’t think it was the dynamic, energetic beginning we could have used, but the choreography was lovely and the dancers, for the most part, looked sharp and made some beautiful lines. I haven’t watched anything yet, so I don’t know these guys, but there was one guy, I think Jay Jay, who looked really gorgeous.

Kate: I could tell this was a Travis routine immediately. I enjoyed it because they look a hell of a lot better dancing all together than individually or in pairs, but that’s not saying much with this group.

Erica: So just in case you want a little guidance as to the format, tonight each couple will dance twice, once in the girl’s style and once in the boy’s style. I don’t know if they’ll stay in the same couples for any of the rest of the season. Also, tWitch is a judge, which I’m excited about. Almost makes up for bringing back the Hudge.

Kate: Wait he is a permanent judge, not just a guest for the first episode? Please let that be the case. Hudge is the worst.

Erica: Her voice sends me into some sort of parallel state.

 

Jensen & Jay Jay: Salsa, choreo by Jean-Marc Genereux

“Mad Love” by Sean Paul & David Guetta feat. Becky G

Erica: No female person who’s not a dancer is named Jensen. So she’s the ballroom dancer, by the way. In case you’re keeping track. Ladies first, it seems.

Kate: And the younger sister of a former contestant, also a ballroom dancer, I think? Lindsey/Lindsay?

Erica: There were some awkward moments — like that last one where she’s sort of sliding down his thigh — but overall, I thought it was pretty good. He didn’t look obviously out-classed. She was a little overly smiley for my taste but I thought not bad.

Kate: They missed a whole lot of connections, which to me is what makes ballroom so cool (besides all the lifts and tricks). The connections should be almost invisible — they should just completely flow together as one, which they most certainly did not. They are both fun to watch separately, though.

Erica: What is with Hudge’s nails? She’s so weird.

Kate: SHE IS THE ACTUAL WORST.

Erica: So, Jensen is Mormon, right? She’s young and engaged. She’s got a big family that also dances. She’s got that adorable blonde cute-as-apple-pie look. Right? I didn’t watch all the auditions and everything.

 

Hannahlei & Cole: Contemporary, choreo by Tyce D’Orio

“They Won’t Go When I Go” by George Michael

Erica: She seems adorable but now I’m hoping she gets voted out early because her name is going to be hellish to type every time. My autocorrect does not like it. So they’re dancing through the apocalypse, as you do.

Kate: This song felt way too upbeat for the apocalypse.

Erica: I think I like her. I think she’s got a lot of presence and she’s got the acting piece down, as well as being a lovely dancer. I particularly like one of their first lifts, which isn’t so much a lift because she just sort of wraps herself around his torso.

Kate: Was honestly too distracted by the song vs. the theme to notice much of the dancing, so I guess the dancing wasn’t that attention-grabbing.

Erica: He seems fine but he didn’t stand out for me. Oh, and, BTW, they are staying in these partnerships for the duration. Or some duration.

Kate: Right, until people get voted off.

Erica: Hudge is Filipino? Okay.

Kate: Hudge is the worst, is what she is.

 

Chelsea & Evan: Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monae

Kate: Ok, finally a routine I actually enjoy! I think she’s pretty good, maybe the best so far?

Erica: She pulls a lot of faces, which feels appropriate to a jazz routine, but we’ll see how that tendency plays in other styles.

Kate: I do feel like she could have elongated and exaggerated several movements a little more in this routine.

Erica: tWitch says something about these being the moments they’ve dreamed of their whole lives. And this show has been on long enough that that’s very likely true.

 

Genessy & Slavik: Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown

“Round & Round” by Fabolous

Erica: Oh, wait, it’s not all ladies first. This is his style. Genessy is also a name you don’t hear outside the reality dance world.

Kate: I really did not like the choreography of this routine and it reminded me that I think I don’t usually like Luther Brown’s choreography in general — it’s like, not enough HAPPENS, you know? GIVE ME MORE, LUTHER!

Erica: They’re pretty cute together. Great chemistry. Hate to agree with the judges, but it’s true.

Kate: Fine, yes, but I need to see a different routine to accurately judge that.

 

Magda & Darius: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Glass Heart Concerto” by Blondie & Philip Glass

Erica: This is also his style first; she’s ballroom. Also, Blondie & Philip Glass? I’m so confused right now.

Kate: I…didn’t pay much attention to this routine. Oops.

Erica: Ooh, she’s playing him like he’s her cello to open. It’s cool. Then he gets the bow. Damn, the choreo is really cool. I mean, I expect it from Travis Wall, but he delivers.

Kate: Yes that part I saw and thought was cool.

Erica: They’re both pretty good, but he’s better. In this, anyway. It is his style.

Kate: Correct.

Erica: Nigel claims they’ll be talking about this routine for many seasons to come, but I don’t believe him.

Kate: Yes, because there may not be many seasons to come. Or any. Yikes!

 

Hannahlei & Cole: Paso Doble, choreo by Jean-Marc Genereux

“Heroes of Chaos” by Tybercore

Erica: I try not to comment on the rehearsal footage but I can already tell he’s going to irritate me.

Kate: Don’t I also not like paso dobles, usually? I didn’t enjoy this.

Erica: I didn’t love it. And I’ve seen paso dobles that I do like. It’s not an auto-love category for me (like Broadway or Jive), but it’s not an auto-hate, either. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve decided I don’t like him, but I didn’t feel like he was doing a great partnering job. And she was not extending enough sometimes. And they didn’t look like they trusted each other.

Kate: I don’t think these 2 should be in the top 10.

Erica: Oh, and I hate the costumes. Nigel liked them, but he’s wrong. I’m for some reason reminded of that low-budget Supergirl movie from when I was a kid.

 

Jensen & Jay Jay: Jazz, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Ex’s & Oh’s” by Elle King

Erica: I love this song. I hate their costumes but not as much as I hated the last ones.

Kate: Most exciting routine of the night.

Erica: She’s way smiley. And she smiles at the audience instead of at her partner. Well, she also smiles at her partner. But she needs to interact with him more.

Kate: Yes but she did great in not-her-own style, and they had good (dance) chemistry, and the choreo was great and their energy was great. Finally!

Erica: I think he might be my favorite. We’ll see.

Kate: Yes, he’s great.

Erica: Nigel is criticizing their sexiness? For this song? That’s so weird. Like, I actually think the problem was not that they were too sexy; it’s that she was sexing up the audience instead of her partner.

 

Chelsea & Evan: Tap, choreo by Anthony Morigerato

“Singin’ in the Rain” by Jamie Cullum

Erica: I feel like this is a style that is really quite difficult for anyone outside the style to do well. And I don’t love this version of this song although it does allow their taps to sing.

Kate: Oh I hated every single second of this. I hated this version of this song, I hated the choreography, and I hated that it was a tap routine with, like, barely any taps! It was just awkward silence!

Erica: Her feet look super heavy. She’s acting the hell out of the piece but it is quite obvious that she is not in her style.

Kate: Yeah, and Nigel said this is the first time they ever made someone whose original style isn’t tap do tap, but I feel like that can’t be true, can it?

Erica: I think it might be. For years, if you came in as a tapper, you were only ever going to tap during your solos. Then they had that season with three tappers. But I don’t think they have ever asked a non-tapper to tap, and if they haven’t, then there’s a good reason. It’s not really something you can just do. I believe converting to any dance style from one you specialize in is probably tough, but tap seems to me to be its own category.

 

Genessy & Slavik: Contemporary, choreo by Talia Favia

“An Evening I Will Not Forget” by Dermot Kennedy

Erica: Slavik is going to get votes for being the only straight dude here, isn’t he?

Kate: He doesn’t do much for me.

Erica: I think we are both too old for him. So I liked this choreo. It’s your usual emotional contemporary flailing, but it was good. Not gonna change the world of dance, but good.

Kate: Agree.

Erica: I thought they looked a little more genuinely flail-y, and not controlled-contemporary flail-y, but I think that either their amateur movements worked for the piece, or they were actually quite brilliantly performing imperfection. Nigel is totally giving them a spiel designed to make voters think they’re the underdogs and therefore vote with alacrity.

 

Magda & Darius: Cha-Cha, choreo by Val Chmerkovskiy

“I Like It Like That” by Pete Rodriguez

Erica: Even after fourteen seasons of watching this show (I missed the first one), I don’t feel qualified to talk about the technical aspects of their performance, but I thought the attitude on both of their parts was good. I could have used more sexiness. Nigel felt it was the right amount of controlled sexiness, so maybe I’m just less prudish than Nigel.

Kate: This was much better ballroom than the first one, but I felt like too much separate ballroom rather than partner ballroom, if that makes sense; but that’s the fault of the choreographer. Is he new?

Erica: No. I only know that because I searched our recaps to see how to spell his name. So, I’m pro-Jay Jay. I’m anti-Cole. I have yet to develop a strong feeling about the girls but so far Chelsea might be my favorite, despite the poor tap performance. Genessy is pretty good, too. Thoughts?

Kate: Agree about Chelsea. Let’s see what happens!

 

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!

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!