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!

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SYTYCD Season 14 – Top Nine Perform

Cat Deeley’s Look

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Ya Ya” by Jonte

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Erica: Yeah. Yeah, she is.

 

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

“Bring the Funk Back” by Big Gigantic

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

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

Kate: Agreed!

 

Mark & Comfort: Contemporary, choreo by Talia Favia

“Ending” by Isaiah Danielson

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

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

Kate: No pun intended?

 

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

“Strange Fruit” Nina Simone

Kate: Well this was a bit jarring.

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

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

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

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

 

Lex & Gaby: Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle

“Miss Otis Regrets” by Bette Midler

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

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

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

 

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

“Really? Yeah!” by Kyle

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Hey Pachuco!” by Royal Crown Revue

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

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

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

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

 

Kaylee & Cyrus: Jazz, choreo by Spencer Liff

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

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

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

 

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

“Bun Up the Dance” by Dillon Francis & Skrillex

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

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

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

 

Kiki & Jenna: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

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

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

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

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

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

 

Results

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

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

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

 

SYTYCD Season 14 – Top 10 Perform (2)

Erica: Welcome back, dance lovers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Cat Deeley’s Look

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

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

Kate: Ditto, Zoe.

 

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

“You Should Be Dancing” by The Bee Gees

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

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

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

Kate: Great way to start off the show.

 

Comfort & Mark: Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“Hater” by Various Production

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Kate: Mehhh…Not my favorite.

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

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

 

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

“Caroline” by Amine

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

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

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

 

Paul & Sydney: Contemporary, choreo by Jaci Royal

“The Letting Go” by Melissa Etheridge

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Allison & Logan: Jazz, choreo by Brian Friedman

“In the Morning” by Jaded

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Robert & Taylor: Broadway, choreo by Al Blackstone

“The Man that Got Away,” by Judy Garland

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

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

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

 

Marko & Koine: African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

“Speaking in Tongues II” by Sheila Chandra

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jasmine & Robert: Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

“Otherside” by Perfume Genius

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Radha Nachegi” from the Tevar soundtrack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Kate: Samesies.

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

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

SYTYCD Season 14 – Top Ten Perform (1)

SYTYCD Season 14 Top 10

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

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

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

Kate: Ew.

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

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

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

Kate: Yes, that was also a factor.

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

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

Erica: Okay, ready?

 

Cat’s Outfit

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

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

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

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

Kate: Always.

 

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

“Knocking on Heaven’s Door” by Raign

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

Kate: I love the beautiful flailing more than anything.

Ian: They are ruining a good song.

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

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

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

Kate: Did not notice that AT ALL.

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

 

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

“Shake Your Pants” by Cameo

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

Kate: Don’t like it.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Protocol” by Leon Else

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

Kate: She has great hair.

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

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

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

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

Erica: Cats is, in general, pretty dreadful.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: It is you. I loved it.

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

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

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

Kate: Don’t EVEN get me started!

Ian: Hudgy!

 

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

“Clown” by Emeli Sande

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

“More” by Bobby Darin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Red Mercedes” by Amine

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Memories” by Alex Sommers

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

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

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

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

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

Ian: I hate when they use props.

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

 

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

“All Stars” by Martin Solveig feat. Alma

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

Kate: Oh, so that’s Paul, eh?

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

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

 

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

“Change is Everything” by Son Lux

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

“Perm” by Bruno Mars

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

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

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

 

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

“This Time” by Son Lux

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

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

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

Kate: 🙂

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

Kate: Oh, yea she stunk.

Erica: See you next week!

SYTYCD Season 12 – Top 14 –> Top 10

Kate: I’m still reeling from my question being read to Christina Applegate by Andy Cohen last Sunday.

Erica: It is pretty cool. But I’m still puzzling about what the hell happened on this show. They didn’t ask any of their previous guest judges to come back. Mary’s gone. Is it FOX? Nigel? What is going on? (I mean, I suppose if I really cared, I’d Google it.)

Group Routine: Jazz, choreo by Brian Friedman

“100% Pure Love” by Crystal Waters

Kate: Ok. #1, it has to be hard to dance in those outfits/wigs.

Erica: It should come as no surprise to anyone that I pretty much loved the costumes.

Kate: #2, my very first “dance memory” is from that recital during which I wore the skirt with the musical notes and two high school girls doing a jazz routine to this song.

Erica: Oh my goodness you were so cute in that little outfit. And you were a million times better than the other girls in your group. You made eye contact with the audience, you smiled big, and you shimmied the hell out of the routine, with no pausing to try to remember the steps or looking off stage or anything. I was so proud of you.

Kate: I don’t remember any of that, just Pure Love, but thanks! #3, this was their best group routine to date, they finally looked almost all together!

Erica: This definitely had some really good moments. Huge improvement.

Kate: #4, have we not seen a very similar routine before, though? Like same costumes just different song/dance style, perhaps contemporary?

Erica: I don’t know; shall we just link everything Brian Friedman has ever done?

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: She has definitely been reading our posts, as her hair is once again perfectly down and wavy and Cat Deeley-esque.

Erica: Cat, if you’re reading this, I totally want to take you out for drinks and mani-pedis. Next time you’re in Chicago, call me!

Kate: Not a fan of the rainbow dress, however. The style is nice, I just don’t like the colors.

Erica: I’m reasonably sure that Mom has bought that dress for Zoe. It’s silly but I’m cool with silly.

Kate: I do very much like the blingy necklace, though.

Jim (stage) & Yorelis (street): Contemporary, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

“Asht” by Nebulo

Kate: FINALLY we get a number from one of the choreographers we know and sort-of love (when she’s not freaking us out completely)!

Erica: I like Sonya. Even when she is freaking me out.

Kate: Well this was just full of perfect lines and feet and arms all over the place. Really well done on both their parts.

Erica: I loved everything about this. This was so very slick and professional. The dancing was amazing. Jim is, in fact, overwhelmingly awesome and Yorelis just so well embodied what Sonja wanted to do. And what Sonja wanted them to do, her choreography, was thoughtful and intellectually stimulating and just freakin’ cool. Jim is safe, because duh, and Yorelis is in danger, because there are just too many awesome dancers. But tonight four are leaving, so I’ll cross my fingers for her.

Edson (stage) & JaJa (street): Hip-Hop, choreo by Misha Gabriel

“She Came To Give It To You” by Usher Feat. Nicki Minaj

Kate: This threw me off quite a bit — the costumes were so anti-hip-hop, the song had more of a jazz beat than a hip-hop one, and JaJa didn’t look that good for once.

Erica: “Having to be sexy with JaJa is a little bit awkward” because I’m gay. I’m a gay man and for some reason I’m not allowed to just say that on a dance show.

Kate: They had great energy, particularly Edson, but it was overall not working for me. I want to mostly blame the choreographer, though.

Erica: I really hated the choreography. It was sort of Michael Jackson-esque, and not in a good way. It was very much not tight and none of the motions seemed to match the music. I thought they were doing their best to sell it but it was not a great routine.

Kate: Ewwwwww Nigel said “I like to be wacked”! Ew ew ew!

Erica: He also felt this was Michael-Jackson-esque, but he did mean it as a compliment, and was blaming the dancers and praising the choreographers. They’re both in the top ten.

Hailee (stage) & Virgil (street): Contemporary, choreo by Tasty Oreo

“Cellophane” by Sia

Kate: Another old favorite choreographer! Fox must have read our blog TOO!

Erica: I hate Tasty Oreo. And I hate his contemporary choreography most of the time (though I do, begrudgingly, like his Broadway). I haven’t been saying anything about the silly dancers-interviewing-each-other thing, but Virgil likes Clueless. I think we need to know that.

Kate: Yes, points for that, and your hatred for Tyce is misplaced. She definitely overpowered him here, but I think that was the whole point of the routine, or “the theme”. Overall very impressive.

Erica: She’s my favorite. She was just stunning here. Virgil was honestly doing very well in this. His movements are very tight and compact. Hers were bigger, so it didn’t always look cohesive, but then, it wasn’t really supposed to? She’s just so incredible. I think she’s going to win.

Kate: More weirdness from Nigel saying he’s known some “manic women”, he best not be talking about Mary Murphy????

Erica: He got in a dig at Simon Cowell, though. I didn’t mind that. I’m not at all shocked to report that these two are both safe.

Alexa (stage) & Ariana (street): Burlesque Jazz, choreo by Tracy Phillips & Dominic Carbone

“Circus Fish” by Vermillion Lies

Kate: Sexy fish, really?

Erica: Hey, you remember the fish sequence in the “Nutcracker Suite” in Fantasia? That has sexy fish.

Kate: I mean, I think they did the best they could with this weird nonsense? Alexa did not get over her reluctance from rehearsals because she missed a lift (which Cat even noticed!), fumbled a turn and her form was way off most of the time, considering she’s a stage dancer.

Erica: I am not the type of person who goes, “Sexy fish? Too weird.” But you know what? This was a little too weird. I felt Nigel was way wrong about his commentary, though. I thought this needed smiles and sexy cheek, and the moments that had it were the best ones. I did think that the choreographers needed to do a better job of embracing the concept they set out and it was not quite the dancers’ faults. They’re both in danger. I don’t know what will happen. I like them both but I don’t know that I like them more.

Derek (stage) & Megz (street): Hip-Hop, choreo by Dave Scott

“Worth It” by Fifth Harmony feat. Kid Ink

Erica: Megz asked about Derek’s man crush. As if all of his crushes aren’t on men. You can tell because his answer was Zac Efron. Otherwise straight guys do not have man crushes on Zac Efron. Come on, FOX. Or Nigel. Whoever is responsible for this sh!t.

Kate: Oh gosh this was quite a disaster.

Erica: I suppose. I didn’t totally hate it.

Kate: His face was WAY too male cheerleader the whole time, made everything he did look so corny, and that kind of rubbed off on Megz. She is not used to this exact type of hip-hop, particularly not the femininity of it, so not even she could save this routine.

Erica: It’s weird; I think she can be sexy, but feminine is harder for her.

Kate: Imagine this routine done by, like, Comfort and tWitch though? Or Fik-Shun and Amy? Coulda been great.

Erica: Yeah. I’d take Comfort and tWitch first, though. Let’s make them do it. Derek is in danger because of his injury last week, and Megz is in the top 10.

Gaby (stage) & Neptune (street): Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

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

Kate: Ugh, a “humanity” and “prejudice” routine set to a religious song from a movie about racism with one dancer wearing a half black, half white outfit — you’re making it hard to like you, Stacey Tookey!

Erica: It was very literal.

Kate: I just can’t take the MESSAGE-NESS of it all! Let’s just focus on the DANCING: He struggled in a few places, particularly turns, but overall got the job done. She is a very beautiful, talented dancer and looked very beautiful dancing this routine. I am back to wanting her to win it all.

Erica: They danced it incredibly well. Hailee is my #1 but Gaby is very good. And Neptune may become my #2 boy, after Jim.

Kate: And then Nigel with the prodding questions about what this meant to Neptune, not to Gaby, I CAN’T TAKE IT!

Erica: And he even starts that part by refusing to call Neptune by his chosen name, which is incredibly patronizing and rude. Gaby is safe, Neptune is not. I’m hoping Neptune pulls through. And Yorelis. And Ariana. And Alexa. I guess I’m going to be disappointed.

JJ (street) & Kate (stage): Jazz, choreo by Brian Friedman

“A Different Beat” by Little Mix

Kate: Well HELLO KATE, is that a little personality I detect there!?

Erica: This was an unbelievably adorable routine. A little more of my catnip.

Kate: I am so happy she did better in this routine! She was not quite as well suited to it as JJ, and where one lacked skill the other made up for it in sass, and vice versa, so I really enjoyed it.

Erica: I thought Kate was more controlled and more performance-y, but JJ is more naturally sassy.

Kate: Possibly the most adorable costumes in SYTYCD history, would like one or both for a future Halloween.

Erica: Seriously. Too cute. I once read a blogger who talked about having worked for Sony, and the best part of the job was they had access to the costume closet, so she borrowed one of the baseball uniforms from A League of Their Own for Halloween one year and got hit on more than at any point in her life. I think these costumes would have a similar effect. JJ is safe; Kate is in danger. I don’t know if I can give her my hope over any of the others. I guess she and Alexa are a toss-up for me? Oh, but they’re both Team Stage. Damn, I want to save all of Team Street and both the girls on Team Stage.

Stage Routine Minus Jim Plus Season 7’s ROBERT <3: Contemporary, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

“Lift Me” by The Bengsons

Kate: Not commenting on this theme. Focusing on my love for Robert Roldan.

Erica: Sonya Tayeh is really good at her job.

Kate: Hold on, why was Jim able to dance his regular routine and not this one? What is this alleged “injury”?

Erica: I think he wasn’t able to dance during the rehearsals for the group dances. Look, I’m all for them taking injuries very, very seriously. You don’t treat it well immediately and there goes your dance career.

Kate: This was danced very beautifully by everyone. I felt like Kate had too much leftover personality from the sexy sailor routine so that was a tad awkward, but gosh darn Robert is so good. I remember wanting him to win his season.

Erica: Really incredible routine, and done very well.

Street Routine: Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“Dragula” by Rob Zombie

Kate: Once again, a theme we PROBABLY would have understood from the general MUSIC, COSTUMES/MAKEUP, PROPS and, you know, DANCING!

Erica: Yeah this was pretty obvious.

Kate: I thought the stage routine was better danced this week. The theme kind of took over this one and made it impossible to focus on the actual dancing, of which there was not much.

Erica: Oh, I thought the dancing was quite good. They’re looking more together than ever. The theme was a bit distracting, rather than enhancing, but I thought they pulled it off.

Kate: Wait, why are we getting rid of four not two? WTF? Kate!!! (Talking to the dancer, not myself.)

Erica: They’ve been saying it all episode, Kate. Pay attention.

Kate: “What is wrong with you America” is right, Cat Deeley! UGH!

Erica: Derek and Neptune are in the top ten. The two boys. Just to observe. Wow, I think that’s the save that’s made me the most unhappy. Derek was the only one of the six I actually wanted to see go, and of Team Street…Okay, I don’t know. I liked all of the Team Street people on the bottom. It’s all just too upsetting.

SYTYCD Season 12 – Top Sixteen Perform; Two Are Eliminated

Kate: YOU GUYS! Remember when I said I submitted a question to Andy Cohen about Christina Applegate being a judge on SYTYCD? HE READ MY QUESTION TO HER ON HIS SHOW SUNDAY NIGHT! ME! YAY!

Erica: I am torn between “That’s so cool!” and “But you know Andy Cohen is the actual devil, right?”

Kate: Her answer was disappointing because she said the show has not asked her, Jesse Tyler Ferguson or any other fun/actually qualified people to come back as guest judges, and she’s really upset because they love doing it. Something fishy is going on here!

Erica: That is really disappointing, and fishy. Is it FOX? Do they not want to pay for guest judges? Or is it something with Nigel? WE DEMAND ANSWERS.

Group Number: Jazz, choreo by Nick Florez & RJ Durell

“Love is Free” by Robyn & La Bagatelle Magique feat. Maluca

Erica: So, first, I freakin’ loved the costumes. Very punk, red and yellow plaid with lots of black leather and mesh and spikes, but then also some of the girls had white tulle under their skirts and it just looked really cool. It is a style I am not super-into but like, and an interpretation of that style that I just thought was top-notch.

Kate: The costumes were Angela + Rayanne’s clothes, on crack.

Erica: That is probably why I liked them. The dancing, for me, was fine. They’re getting better and they’re getting better at looking cohesive as a group. The choreography is still not really impressive. I don’t know why they don’t have choreographers who know what to do with a big group.

Kate: I did not think they looked better or cohesive as a group, at all. V disappointing.

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Erica: Very much digging the hair. A little more wavy than last week, and I approve. And holy moly do her legs go on forever.

Kate: Agree, she must have read what we said about not wearing her hair up.

Erica: I feel like the dress is weirdly saggy. Good concept for her, not great execution.

Kate: I thought it was fine. Can’t go wrong with a black dress.

Erica: In case you’re keeping score, Team Stage still won the night last week, but only by 1% of the vote. And we’ve got a missing dancer. Derek has been injured; he’ll be in danger next week. I still can’t remember his face for more than five minutes at a stretch.

Kate: I don’t like when they do that.

Erica: Paula’s hair is mega tonight. Mega.

Hailee (stage) & JaJa (street): Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“Endangered Species” by Dianne Reeves

Erica: For the first time this season they’re having the dancers say something in the pre-dance footage. JaJa is engaged. Awesome, JaJa! She and her fiance have sports jerseys that say “His” and “Hers” on them. Like, she wears one that says “His” and he wears one that says “Hers.” I will leave that for your information without comment.

Kate: In the wide world of wedding nonsense, that’s not that bad. Just depends where they wear them.

Erica: Hailee shares that she’s not a natural blonde. It’s fascinating.

Kate: She still looks like Miley Cyrus to me.

Erica: The dance is about “female empowerment.” Oh, good. Oh, and they’re calling themselves “Hail-Ja!” Which sounds like “Hell, yeah!” It’s cute.

Kate: Onto the dancing, now?

Erica: So it should be clear that these women are both beasts. Like, insanely good.

Zoe: She meant to say that they had a really flexible split.

Erica: I did really love that sort of run into a split thing they did. Amazing. The thing is, though, as really especially wonderful as JaJa is, Hailee is a wee bit better.

Kate: Hailee was more than a wee bit better, and they were a little off from each other at times, but they are both so fun to watch and I think the two favorites so far.

Erica: I didn’t think much of the choreography. I thought it was fine, but that the girls really sold it. It was more them being awesome than Ray Leeper choreographing something awesome for them. During the judging, Hailee’s pretending — as she should — that it’s not true, but no, Hailee. It’s you, too.

Kate: I thought the choreography was just fine.

Erica: Yes. Just fine. Not exciting. Paula also has something fascinating going on around her neck. It’s way more fascinating than what’s coming out of her mouth, but that was a given.

Kate: I hate her more and more with each passing week.

Erica: Surprising no one at all, both these ladies are safe.

Alexia (stage) & Neptune (street): Hip-hop, choreo by Dave Scott

“Flex (Ooh Ooh Ooh)” by Rich Homie Quan

Erica: Neptune has a four-year-old daughter. Alexia has a blind toy poodle.

Kate: These tidbits are uninteresting to me.

Erica: This is the second two-person dance. Now that we’re down to sixteen, do they need to do pairs for the air time? I was so excited about a season of mixing it up.

Kate: I noticed that too, but I don’t mind because I like the pairs. They need the practice.

Erica: There is a padded wall. They are mental patients. Or at least he is. He’s in a white straight-jacket thing. She’s in all black, but it’s possibly a straight-jacket, too. With extreme dominatrix overtones.

Kate: I felt like the overall tone was a little silly-jokey for mental patients, but she was super fun to watch in this.

Erica: She was actually pretty amazing. This whole thing was terrific. I really like Dave Scott’s choreography. I thought they had fun chemistry. I was very impressed by both of their dancing. Well, I was very impressed by the performance. When I stop to critique, I could say that he seemed looser than the choreography called for, and she was pulling some weird faces, and although they had great chemistry, their moves were not always as in sync as one might like. But I really enjoyed the performance so let’s not nitpick, shall we? Oh, is that what we’re here for? Well, okay, then.

Kate: No I agree with what you said, I thought it was fun and she was surprisingly good at hip-hop but it wasn’t perfect.

Erica: And both of these guys are safe. BTW, if anyone cares, Nigel is wearing a cotton-candy pink blazer with a white button-down. I don’t normally care about boy clothes but I do not like this. It looks very thrown randomly together and it’s too many similarly pale colors with no point of interest.

Kate: They say it takes real men to wear pink, but I don’t think they mean this shade of pink when they say that.

Erica: Pink is fine but the color was very pale and the shirt did nothing to make it work.

Not-Derek (stage) & JJ (street): Argentine Tango, choreo by Leonardo Barrionuevo & Miriam Larici

“Due de Amor” by Astor Piazzolla

Erica: Derek still gets his rehearsal footage thing. He wants us to know he’s adopted. JJ wants us to know she loves the top knot. Yeah, JJ. I think we had gotten that. But Derek injured his back lifting JJ in rehearsal. Reason #441 to look for older, stronger dancers. The male choreographer will be dancing in his stead.

Kate: So I was fast-forwarding most of the non-dancing parts of this episode, and I thought this was a routine by two professional dancers, aka not contestants, so I almost skipped it. Luckily I rewound and was subsequently BLOWN. RIGHT. THE F. AWAY.

Erica: So tangos in general are very sexy and the choreography for this one was very sexy (the first move where he grabs her hip, I think I ovulated just watching) but it ended up looking a little awkward in places. Like, a lot of places. Again, you should maybe go with female dancers old enough to own their sexuality.

Kate: WHAT? I thought this was amazing! She seemed so effortlessly graceful, and I think it had a lot to do with dancing with that MAN. The lifting and all the tricks were just like, WOW!

Erica: But then, the judges seem to disagree with me. Nigel invokes Mary Murphy, WHICH JUST MAKES ME MISS HER MORE, NIGEL?! WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER?!

Kate: And Christina Applegate and Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Adam Shankman and Tyce Diorio and Anna Kendrick and Lil’ C and Lady Gaga and EVERYONE ELSE ON THE ENTIRE (DANCE) PLANET?

Erica: I like JJ’s hair. Can my hair be like hers for your wedding, Kate?

Kate: Also love her makeup, and sure, but I have you down for an updo, which that is not.

Erica: Both of these cats — Derek, too, from last week — are in danger.

Ariana (street) & Jim (stage): Contemporary, choreo by Sean Cheesman

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Lorde

Erica: Ariana, if she was not a dancer, would be a special effects makeup artist. Ariana, honey, you can do both. Having a thing that can pay the bills, that’s flexible in terms of time, AND that could very well involve some of the same contacts as your other passion, is a wonderful thing for someone in a creative/performative field.

Kate: Minimal caring over here.

Erica: Jim loves bubble baths.

Kate: Not surprising.

Erica: Oh, good, it’s an “issues” dance. About depression. Set to a pretty f-ing depressing song. When I’m struggling through a depressive period, I am very strict with myself about what I can and cannot listen to, watch, read, etc. This song would definitely be something I would restrict.

Kate: They danced it beautifully, though.

Erica: As much as I snark, it was very good. I continue to like Ariana and not understand what the voters are not seeing in her. And Jim was completely fabulous. And I liked the choreography a whole lot.

Kate: Me too, me too, me too and me too.

Erica: Nigel mentions that dancing is a good way to shake off a bit of depression, and that’s true. I especially like putting on the Pop Danthologies and throwing myself around. Jim is safe. Ariana is in danger again. After being saved by Twitter last week. What’s going on there? That’s weird, right?

Gaby (stage) & Virgil (street): Broadway, choreo by Al Blackstone

“Where or When” by Sammy Davis Jr.

Erica: Virgil sings in a jazz band. I would totally watch that. Gaby wants to have a cooking show despite the fact that she can’t cook. I would not watch that.

Kate: Blah blah blah.

Erica: They let Gaby tap dance a little which is cool. This was an adorable routine set to an adorable song with completely adorable dancers. It wasn’t perfect technically but it was a good time. My favorite romance blogger talks a lot about finding your “catnip” — that thing you’re going to love in a book no matter what. This number was my catnip.

Kate: I knew you’d say that, but I wasn’t feeling it. This is the first time I haven’t loved Gaby — their connection seemed very forced and not at all natural, and, like, too Broadway. Broadway to me is generally too cutesy anyway.

Erica: Jason DeRulo went to college for musical theater. Don’t tell me that, Jason DeRulo. I don’t want reasons to like you. These two are both safe.

Asaf (street) & Kate (stage): Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

“Braveheart” by Neon Jungle

Erica: Asaf loves the American delicacies of peanut butter and doughnuts. Possibly together? He is pretty giggly and maybe stoned in the footage.

Kate: Hate. Him.

Erica: Kate was almost kidnapped by a serial killer when she was four years old. Because her dad was the DA for DC. That is in fact pretty weird.

Kate: Um, WHAT! THAT’S CRAZY!

Erica: Asaf has his shirt off a lot in the rehearsal footage. It is very pretty. But then he is so bad at the lifts and that’s the anti-sexy. Not because he’s not physically strong enough but because, again, he doesn’t seem to understand that it is his job to support his partner. Pasha was a lot smaller than him and always made his partners feel safe. I’m just sayin’.

Kate: Pasha is also your catnip.

Erica: Yes. Yes, he is. Kate is so adorable. She’s another one I don’t understand the lack of audience love for.

Kate: Oh see I like her a lot in terms of technical skill, but she does lack enthusiasm, and this routine was, in a word, terrible.

Erica: I did not like this dance much. The choreography was confusing and Asaf was not pulling it off. And the costumes were seriously stupid. Nigel thinks I’m wrong about that but look at what he’s wearing.

Kate: You could tell neither of them wanted to be there doing that dance with each other, it was uncomfortable to watch.

Erica: They’re both in danger. I guess I could say where’s the Kate love? But at this point, I like almost all the girls. And six of the 16 will be the bottom six, every week.

Marissa (stage) & Yorelis (street): Hip-hop, choreo by Christopher Scott

“Let Go” by Kezwick feat. Mimi Page

Erica: Marissa was a power tumbler? She thinks we will be surprised to hear that but she’s a dancer. Gymnastics and dance are pretty compatible. Yorelis thinks we’ll be surprised that she also go-go dances in the clubs. Hey, girl, get paid. No one’s judging. Or surprised.

Kate: Marissa’s abs? Damn.

Erica: So Yorelis is hypnotizing Marissa into becoming a street dancer. They have crazy good timing together, I think, and Marissa gets to show off her tumbling. Yorelis does this crazy jump thing with her that’s awesome. And their insane abs are rocking their early ’90s hip-hop outfits. Overall? Fab.

Kate: Yes, I thought they really embraced the hip-hop here. Marissa’s facial expressions were at times a little too “I’m trying to do hip-hop, aren’t I so thug-like?” but her abs distracted from that a lot. Damn girl.

Erica: Yorelis’s makeup also looks fantastic. She’s safe; Marissa is not. Let’s kick off two more boys and let these girls rock out together.

Edson (stage) & Megz (street): Contemporary, choreo by Talia Favia

“You There” by Aquilo

Erica: Edson is a cheerleading coach. Megz loves her sneakers. She has 378 pairs. That is pretty nuts. That said, I really need good sneakers.

Kate: Yay cheerleading!

Erica: This choreographer is new, right?

Kate: Many of them are new this season — maybe Nigel pissed THEM off, too!

Erica: This piece was about temptation and I actually found it more affecting than the depression one. Megz was seriously impressive, and they really were very cohesive. Great chemistry. More clothing removal than I would have thought necessary.

Kate: I absolutely adored this — best of the night, one of the best of the season so far. Really incredible movement from both of them, and I don’t really want to like Megz.

Erica: Paula is going to break down, for real.

Kate: That’s because she has a hard time speaking the English language.

Erica: I did like the exchange where Nigel said, “I think this is the first time in SYTYCD history that a shirt has come off for a good reason,” and Cat said, “So you say,” very quickly, and it was cute.

Kate: Yea that was a fun little dig, especially since Asaf’s shirt had just come off during his routine with Kate.

Erica: They’re both safe. And the stage dancers’ costumes look very intriguing.

Team Street: Hip-Hop, choreo by Luam

“Commas” by Future

Erica: I am hardly a hip-hop aficionado, but this was one of the more interesting tracks I’ve heard in a while. And another new choreographer, right?

Kate: Yes and yes — this was extremely “street”, if you know what I mean.

Erica: My eye was continually drawn to Yorelis. For whatever that’s worth. I liked this routine pretty well. They looked confident and rhythmic and, for the most part, together.

Kate: Because it suited each one of their specific hip-hop styles perfectly.

Team Stage: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Beautiful Friends” by Helen Money

Erica: Travis is using the concept of the theater standard “ghost light” to do a ghost dance. You guys, I have some difficulty with ghost stuff. I read Turn of the Screw by Henry James a long time ago, and then Maybe This Time, Jennifer Crusie’s take on Turn of the Screw, at the exact wrong time in terms of post-partum hormones. So now sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I’m absolutely convinced I see the dead-eyed ghost of a nineteenth-century governess standing over my child’s bed (sigh). Aren’t you glad I’ve put that image in your head?

Kate: I thought this theme was a serious reach for Travis. I just don’t think we NEED themes, ESPECIALLY for group routines. Let’s just dance in a group for dancing’s sake!

Erica: The dance was…wow. I don’t think anything that creative and amazing has been done on this show before. I even loved the camera work. Each of the dancers is carrying a lamp and, for the beginning, whoever’s lamp is on is the only light. Then all of them turn on so now you know that they were all on stage, hiding in the dark. Gah. Creepy. And the choreography was amazing. Gorgeous. Stunning. For real. This might be my favorite SYTYCD dance ever. Of course, I can never watch it again. Or sleep. Or enter an empty theater. So thanks, Travis.

Kate: I don’t think it was my favorite ever but it was really impressive and creative, silly theme aside. Do we expect anything less from Travis?

Erica: Twitter inexplicably saves a guy who didn’t dance tonight (Derek) and a girl who’s not nearly as impressive as Kate, Marissa, or Ariana (JJ). I guess they felt sorry for Derek but you know what, America? He hurt his back trying to lift someone. Even if he’s okay enough to dance next week — and I bet he won’t be — he’s not strong enough for the competition.

Kate: Yeah, I want him to go home.

Erica: The judges save Kate and let Marissa go, which I’m sad about, but I like them both, so what’s going to make me happy? Nothing. And they send Asaf off and Nigel makes his “ass off”=”Asaf” pun a second time and that’s fine. I mean, it’s fine Asaf is leaving. I would have liked if either JJ or Derek left instead of Marissa, but hey, I didn’t tweet, so I guess I can’t complain.
Kate: So glad Asaf went home. And as much as I like Kate, I think she should have gone home over Marissa. Really disappointing. (And I feel personally responsible for this as I was unable to vote on Monday night.)

SYTYCD XI – Finale!!!

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

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

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

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

 

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Erica: Fabu.

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

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

Kate: She’s always so tan.

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

Kate: Is it? I don’t remember.

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

 

Top 20 Group Routine – Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle

[“Doctor Jazz” from Jelly’s Last Jam]

 

Kate: Camera making me NAUSEOUS.

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

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

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

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

 

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

[“Like Real People Do” by Hozier]

 

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

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

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

Kate: Right?!

Erica: Super love this song.

 

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

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

 

Erica: Damn these two are good.

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

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

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

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

 

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

[“Europe After the Rain” by Max Richter]

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

[“Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson]

 

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

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

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

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

Erica: And Allison is perfection as ever.

Kate: I cannot even.

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

Kate: Poor Paula. She needs our help.

 

Michael Dameski’s Solo

[“Unstoppable” by E.S. Posthumous]

Erica: Holy moly.

Kate: They grow good dancers down undah!

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

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

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

 

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

[“Sing” by Ed Sheeran]

 

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

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

Kate: Could not agree more.

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

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

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

Kate: Ugh those steps!

Erica: And now, a special performance from Les Twins

Kate: Who???

 

Les Twins

[“Fading Flower” by Yuna]

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

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

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

 

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

[“Vow” by Meredith Monk]

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

[“You Need” by Bengsons]

Kate: Booooo Tanisha.

Erica: Again with the lights.

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

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

Kate: Nothing wrong with being resourceful!

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

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

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

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

 

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

[“The Antidote” by District 78]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

Kate: Methinks it might be option C.

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

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

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

Kate: I like montages!

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

 

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

[“Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap]

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

Kate: OH MY GOD.

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: Boring.

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

 

Wanted Ashiqz

[“Dhoom Again” from Dhoom 2]

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

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

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

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

 

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

[“When I Go” by Over the Rhine]

Kate: Be still my heart.

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

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

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

Kate: I do, but mostly for Robertttttttttt ❤

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

 

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

[“Oh Darling” by Gossling]

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

Kate: I love that Cat gets a choice.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: Til next summer, folks!

SYTYCD Season XI – Top Four Perform

Group Routine – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Wind Beneath My Wings” by RyanDan]

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: This is Cat at her finest!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Valerie & Ricky – African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

[“Voices of Savannah” by DJ Chus]

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

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

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

 

Jessica & Zack – Broadway, choreo by Spencer Liff

[“Hernando’s Hideaway” by Ella Fitzgerald]

Kate: Adorable!

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

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

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

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

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

Erica: Zach was reasonably impressive, too.

 

Valerie & Zack – Contemporary, choreo by Tasty Oreo

[“Pearls” by Sade]

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

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

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

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

 

Jessica & Ricky – Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

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

Kate: Ermmmmmm YES!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jessica & Valerie – Bollywood, choreo by Nakul Dev Mahajan

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

[“The Antidote” by District 78]

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: THAT IS MY ISSUE WITH ALL TAP ROUTINES ON THIS SHOW!

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

Kate: I didn’t notice that???

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

Kate: Ew, Nigel boner.

Erica: Sorry.

 

Ricky’s Solo

[“Skin & Bones” by David J. Roch]

Kate: BLERGH I love this songgggggggggggggggggg.

Erica: I got nothing.

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

 

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

[“Not About Angels” by Birdy]

Erica: Lighting?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Valerie’s Solo

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

Erica: I love this song.

Kate: Oh, I get it.

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

Kate: I dislike tap solos, so. Yeah.

 

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

[“Piano Man” by Billy Joel]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jessica’s solo

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

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

Kate: This is a horrible version of it.

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

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

 

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

[“When I Go” by Over the Rhine]

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

Erica: My heart hurts.

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

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

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

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

 

Zack’s Solo

[“Superstition” by Adam Raherty]

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

Kate: I suppose.

 

Results

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

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

Erica: I’ve never voted.

 

SYTYCD Season XI – Top 6 Perform

Group Routine – Hip-hop, choreo by Nick DeMoura

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

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

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

 

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: Unnecessary Necklace Syndrome.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Ricky & Valerie – Broadway, choreo by Spencer Liff

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

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

Kate: What a great dress!

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

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

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

 

Jessica & Casey – Disco, choreo by Doriana Sanchez

[“Dim All the Lights” by Donna Summers]

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

Kate: I like how she said “frock”.

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

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

Kate: Hi Zo!!

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

Kate: At least.

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: I know.

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

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

 

Ricky’s Solo

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

Kate: *Sigh*

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

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

Kate: DVR, Zo!

Zoe: We’re totally skipping them now.

Kate: 🙂

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: Um…

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

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

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

 

Jessica’s Solo

[“I Was Here” by Beyonce]

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

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

Zoe: She looks fine like this.

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

Kate: Please yes.

 

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

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

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

Kate: ObviousLY.

Erica: Valerie is so cute here.

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

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

 

Casey’s Solo

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

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

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

Kate: Oh my god.

Erica: I thought this solo was pretty boilerplate.

 

Valerie’s Solo

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

Erica: Appreciate the song choice.

Kate: Eh. Fine.

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

 

Jacque & Will – Contemporary, choreo by Sean Cheesman

[“99 Red Balloons” by Sleeping At Last]

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: I was wondering if she was watching.

 

Zack’s Solo

[“Butterfly” by Jason Mraz]

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

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

 

Jessica & Ade – Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: I always know what you mean, Mom.

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

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

 

Jacque’s Solo

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

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

Kate: Mom.

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

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

 

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

[“Dare (La La La)” by Shakira]

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

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

Kate: Such language Zoe!

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

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

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

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

 

Casey & Makenzie – Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: Yea, great lifts.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Results

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

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

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

 

SYTYCD XI – Top 8 Perform

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

 

Group Routine – Jazz, choreo by Travis Payne

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

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

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

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

Erica: I mean, yeah. It is.

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

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

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

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

Kate: YES, THAT IS WHO SHE LOOKS LIKE ALWAYS! THANK YOU!

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

 

Cat’s Ensemble

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

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

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

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

Kate: MEH SOLOS.

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

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

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

Kate: If you do so choose.

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

 

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

[“Smile” by Michael Jackson]

Erica: (Sigh)

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

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

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

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

Kate: MEH SOLOS.

Erica: Then I won’t watch.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: MEH SOLOS.

Erica: Didn’t see it.

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

Erica: What song?

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

Erica: I’m sorry to hear that.

Kate: I didn’t like Rudy’s.

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

 

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

[“Xscape” by Michael Jackson]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: MEHHHH MOORREE SOLOOSSS

Erica: 🙂

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

 

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

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

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

Erica: I thought she danced quite beautifully.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: MEH MEH MEH SOLOS.

Erica: I’m not watching them.

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

 

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

[“Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson]

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

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

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

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

Erica: Man. I love Allison.

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

Erica: Blergh.

Kate: Oh please send Casey home instead of Rudy!

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

Kate: MEH MEH MEH SOLOS.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[“Slave to the Rhythm” by Michael Jackson]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

[“Earth Song” by Michael Jackson]

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

Erica: Sigh. Will.

Kate: I kind of hope she wins…?

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

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

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

 

Results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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