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.



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

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

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

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

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

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


Cat Deeley’s Look

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

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

Kate: Ditto, Zoe.


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

“You Should Be Dancing” by The Bee Gees

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

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

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

Kate: Great way to start off the show.


Comfort & Mark: Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“Hater” by Various Production

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

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

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

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


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

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

Kate: Mehhh…Not my favorite.

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

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


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

“Caroline” by Amine

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

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

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


Paul & Sydney: Contemporary, choreo by Jaci Royal

“The Letting Go” by Melissa Etheridge


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

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

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

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

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

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


Allison & Logan: Jazz, choreo by Brian Friedman

“In the Morning” by Jaded

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Robert & Taylor: Broadway, choreo by Al Blackstone

“The Man that Got Away,” by Judy Garland

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

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

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


Marko & Koine: African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

“Speaking in Tongues II” by Sheila Chandra

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

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

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

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

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


Jasmine & Robert: Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

“Otherside” by Perfume Genius

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

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

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

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


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

“Radha Nachegi” from the Tevar soundtrack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Kate: Samesies.

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

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

SYTYCD Season 14 – Top Ten Perform (1)

SYTYCD Season 14 Top 10

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

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

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

Kate: Ew.

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

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

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

Kate: Yes, that was also a factor.

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

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

Erica: Okay, ready?


Cat’s Outfit

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

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

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

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

Kate: Always.


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

“Knocking on Heaven’s Door” by Raign

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

Kate: I love the beautiful flailing more than anything.

Ian: They are ruining a good song.

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

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

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

Kate: Did not notice that AT ALL.

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


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

“Shake Your Pants” by Cameo

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

Kate: Don’t like it.

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

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

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

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

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


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

“Protocol” by Leon Else

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

Kate: She has great hair.

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

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

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

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

Erica: Cats is, in general, pretty dreadful.


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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: It is you. I loved it.

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

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

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

Kate: Don’t EVEN get me started!

Ian: Hudgy!


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

“Clown” by Emeli Sande

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

“More” by Bobby Darin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

“Red Mercedes” by Amine

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

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

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

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


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

“Memories” by Alex Sommers

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

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

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

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

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

Ian: I hate when they use props.

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


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

“All Stars” by Martin Solveig feat. Alma

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

Kate: Oh, so that’s Paul, eh?

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

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


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

“Change is Everything” by Son Lux

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

“Perm” by Bruno Mars

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

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

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


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

“This Time” by Son Lux

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

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

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

Kate: 🙂

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

Kate: Oh, yea she stunk.

Erica: See you next week!

SYTYCD Season 12 – The Winner is Announced

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

“Archangel” by Two Steps from Hell

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

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

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

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

Kate: Literally no idea.

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: Absolutely perfect Cat hair. Yes.

Erica: Yes. Loved the hair.

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

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

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

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

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

Erica: For the first half, yes.

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

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

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

“You There” by Aquilo

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

Erica: Absolutely.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Erica: Who’s we?

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

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

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

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

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

Cyrus & Phoenix lil’Mini

“Emergency” by District 78

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

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

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

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

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

“Haunted” by Beyonce

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

Erica: I think she’s overdoing the squeeing.

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

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

“I’m Really Hot” by Missy Elliott

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

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

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

Herman Cornejo (American Ballet Theater)

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

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

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

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

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

“Beautiful Friends” by Helen Money

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

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

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

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

Kate: Ugh, it’s all a lie.

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

“Runnin'” by Noahplause

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

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

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

“November” by Max Richter & Alexander Balanescu





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

“Youth” by Daughter

Kate: Henceforth forever known as The Notebook Dance.

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

Kate: Brilliant, as usual, from these two.

Academy of Villains

“Crunk” by Noahplause

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

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

Travis Wall & Jenna Dewan-Tatum

“Gimme All Your Love” by Alabama Shakes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Revolt” by Nathan Lanier

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

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

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

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

“Angel” by Sarah McLachlan

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

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

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


Kate: And the winner is….

Together: GABY!

Kate: Huh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SYTYCD Season 12 – The Penultimate Episode

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

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

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

Erica: I think not in a while.

Cat’s Ensemble

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

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

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

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

Kate: But that dress print is positively dreadful.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Slip” by Elliot Moss

Kate: Virgil is my height. #Justsayin

Erica: He is a tiny, tiny man.

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

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

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

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

“Woman (Oh Mama)” by Joy Williams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I Love You (Acoustic)” by Woodkid

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

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

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

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

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

“Billy-A-Dick” by Bette Midler

Kate: Broadway is so literal, huh?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gaby’s Solo

“Magalenha” by Sergio Mendes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Virgil’s Solo

“A Beautiful Mine” by RJD2

Kate: Hey, Mad Men!

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: Well, this was fun.

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

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

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

Hailee’s Solo

“Cold Hearted” by Paula Abdul

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

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

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

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

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

“Kaolo” by Yellow Claw

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

Erica: Yes.

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

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

JaJa’s Solo

“Street Side” by 20 Killz

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

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

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

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

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

Erica: Heehee.

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

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

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

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

SYTYCD Season 12 – Top Six Perform; Two Are Eliminated

Group Routine: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Everybody Hurts” by Jasmine Thompson

Erica: I love this cover.

Kate: This song will never not be My So-Called Life.

Erica: Very pretty choreo. I prefer to open shows with a more flashy, high-energy number, but this was very pretty and I thought they, as a group, have never looked better.

Kate: Yea they usually start energetic and end with something like this, and mostly for just Team Stage this season, but lovely. Just lovely.

Cat Deeley’s Outfit

Erica: Oh good, more modest prints. You better show up next week in something freaking spectacular, Cat. I remember one time you dressed like Grace Kelly and you looked amazing.

Kate: I hate dresses with that awkward pre-hem around the butt, flattering on NO ONE. Her hair is either way too long or she put in way unnecessary extensions.

Erica: I’m excited that they’re partnering with each other as well as the All-Stars. I wish they’d do that more. Instead of solos, for instance.

Kate: Preaching to the Anti-Solos Choir.

Gaby (street) & Marko (season 8): Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“Emergency” by Icona Pop

Erica: So I’ll be honest, I was super into the steampunk costumes. Because I’m a nerd.

Kate: I do not understand this “steampunk” or why it is in our lives at all. But this was a fun dance.

Erica: She really looked like she was having a good time with the routine. Which she should; it was a fun routine. She gave a great performance as well as a very good dance.

Kate: She was a teeny-tiny bit sloppier than usual, but she has such a good stage presence that she’s still really fun to watch.

Virgil’s Solo

“Rock the Bells” by LL Cool J

Kate: Just nothing special, sorry.

Erica: Fine. If I were a judge, I’d tell him to be careful not to let his cutesy character stuff to get in the way of his steps, but I’m not a judge. I’m not even a voter.

Kate: Well, we both should be voting with all this commentary we do.

JaJa (street) & Alex (season 7/10): Contemporary, choreo by Tessandra Chavez

“Youth” by Daughter

Erica: Oh, good. An issue. A tissue issue. A The Notebook-inspired JaJa-has-Alzheimer’s-and-Alex-is-her-husband issue.

Kate: I was fast-forwarding all the pre-dance packages so I didn’t know that was actually the theme, and as soon as it started I was like, oh, she’s Rachel McAdams.

Erica: Look, I’m not going to lie, I got choked up. This was heart-breaking. And they did an amazing job with a good routine that was only marred by some over-literal moments.

Kate: As was the movie. Yes, this was great, I really think JaJa has learned the most and come the farthest and will probably win.

Erica: Do you think Jim and Alex will dance together?

Kate: Only if this damn show started giving the people what they want again!

Hailee’s Solo

“Elastic Heart” by Sia

Erica: I’m a huge Hailee fan, but this didn’t feel quite right to me. She seemed a little off.

Kate: Oh I liked it, as much as I can like a solo. But maybe it was just the song.

Megz (street) & Joshua (season 4): Hip-Hop, choreo by Christopher Scott

“Freedom” by Pharrell Williams

Erica: I think she’s a little done. I mean, last week, we were saying we think we’re done with her, but now I think she’s done.

Kate: She’s way done, and I wasn’t even that impressed with Joshua here and he was a winner!

Erica: I’m not saying she danced badly. She didn’t. And I liked the choreo. But there was something about her that just looked like she was ready to GTFO.

Kate: It was overall quite boring.

Erica: Jason DeRulo reveals that they only get seven hours with the choreographer, and Nigel looks like maybe he’s going to kill Jason DeRulo. And then he goes on about how dance comes from the “streets”. And then gets elevated. Or some nonsense. And then he gets insulted when Cat teases him. Weirdo.

Kate: I fast-forwarded all of his comments because I JUST CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE!

Gaby’s Solo

“It’s Your Thing” by Christian McBride feat. Dee Dee Bridgewater

Kate: Way crazy makeup. Tap tap tap tap tap.

Erica: She’s having a good time tonight.

Jim (stage) & Anya (season 3): Samba, choreo by Dmitry Chaplin (season 2)

“Chillando Goma” by Fulanito

Erica: Oooh, it’s Anya!

Kate: What a freakin’ smoke show.

Erica: I thought Jim was very believable. I guess he found dancing with Anya inspirational. As one ought to.

Kate: Yea, I hated that the judges dissed him so hard on this one — yes he looked a little unnatural in some areas with the shimmying and the shaking, but he did an AMAZING job. I really love watching him.

JaJa’s Solo

“Laundry” by eDiT

Erica: Okay, so I liked this animator solo more than I’ve liked her krumping solos.

Kate: Me too.

Virgil (street) & Melanie (season 8): Contemporary, choreo by Justin Giles

“All Is Now Harmed” by Ben Howar

Kate: Yay Melanie!

Erica: More issues. More tissues. This time sad, survivor-guilt stricken solo and wife. Great.

Kate: They do military themes too much on this show. Let’s focus on the dancing.

Erica: I’ve got to be honest, I didn’t look at him once during this performance. Melanie is just so good.

Kate: She is so graceful — like, she’s a small person, but she’s not wafer-thin, she’s CUT, but she’s so light on her feet. I missed her. Let’s get a season going with all the past winners! A Super-All-Star Season!

Jim’s Solo

“Ra” by Nathan Lanier

Erica: Seriously, I want to watch nothing but this all the time.

Kate: RIGHT? He is so good! I have a sinking feeling he is not going to win, though… 😦

Hailee (stage) & ROBERT ❤ (season 7): Jazz, choreo by RJ Durell & Nick Florez

“Haunted” by Beyonce

Erica: I thought she looked very well-matched with Robert. Which is definitely a compliment.

Kate: I mean, who wouldn’t? Can we just talk about him for 5 seconds? He’s so super-good at partnering it’s ridiculous. He’s not just a beautiful dancer in and of himself, he is always so connected and in sync with whomever he is dancing with. I love him so much.

Erica: I have yet to be really impressed with anything these choreographers have done on this show, though.

Kate: But this was great. V jealous of Hailee and would have had the same reaction to dancing with him as her, if not more so.

Megz’s Solo

“Let It Go” by James Bay

Erica: This is a different solo from her and I like it. But she has a definite “leave it on the floor” quality tonight that I think means she’s done.

Kate: Bye.

Jim (stage) & Gaby (stage): Broadway, choreo by Josh Bergasse

“Fever” by Michael Buble

Erica: I love this song. I mean, I love this song when it’s sung by Peggy Lee. Michael Buble is okay, I guess.

Kate: I like all of his covers, actually.

Erica: I feel like these two are spectacular in this number. They’re different dancers but they’re complimenting each other well and they look like they’re having a ball. And the judges totally disagree with me.

Kate: I KNOW, WTF JUDGES? They hate on Jim so much. No they didn’t look attracted to each other because THEY’RE NOT, but this was incredible! Both so well danced, and I think he even took some of their ballroom advice and applied it here where he could. Stop hating on Jim!

Hailee (stage) & Megz (street): Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

“Sarajevo” by Max Richter & Sara Leonard

Erica: More feeeeeeelings! Kate, I love you. (The piece is about sisters being separated forever.)

Kate: I know, but why? We didn’t get a full explanation. (Love you too.)

Erica: I thought this was a really interesting piece. I’m not sure I knew Stacey Tookey had something this unusual in her.

Kate: I think they danced very well together, but Hailee is exceptionally more talented.

Erica: Nigel apparently invented Megz as a dancer.

Kate: LOL

Virgil (street) & JaJa (street): Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“If You Crump Stand Up” by EdiT

Erica: Gimmicky. Again. JaJa as Alice and Virgil as a Cheshire cat figure. P&P are always so gimmicky.

Kate: But why couldn’t they just say Alice in Wonderland? They literally described it but didn’t say the name, even the outfits were exact — copyright/trademark issue??? SO weird.

Erica: She’s better than him, I think. I did not love this routine, though. My problem with P&P’s choreo is not so much that it’s gimmicky. I like gimmicks. It’s that, without those gimmicks, I’m not sure there’s a there there, you know?

Kate: No, the music made it seem so slow and stop-and-go and they did not fill the stop holes with anything so it was very stunted. I blame the choreographers way more than the dancers for this one.

Erica: Nigel ties this to Paula Abdul’s Opposites Attract video. Because Virgil is a cat. Also, Nigel is bringing hip-hop into acceptability in a society that has resisted it. He has a powerful imagination, does Nigel.

Kate: Who care’s about Paula’s videos, though?

Erica: Our top four are JaJa, Gaby, Virgil and Hailee. I’ve got to say, I’m a little surprised Hailee won over Jim. I think she is surprised, too. Damn, Jim. I will watch you do anything. And you got to dance with Anya tonight, so that’s still a win, right? Also, Hailee, I still think you are fabulous.

Kate: I’m not surprised because Hailee is more in line with the “America’s favorite dancer” thing. Jim is just as talented as Chehon and should have been in the finale, but I don’t think people other than you and I really connected with him. I’m sad for him, but I hope he still goes far in dance and makes zillions of dollars.

SYTYCD Season 12 – Top Eight Perform; Two Are Eliminated

Group Routine – Jazz, choreo by Tyce Diorio

“Lilies of the Valley” from the soundtrack of Pina

Kate: Hey, they stole my 2009 Halloween costume! And are we no longer referring to Tyce as Tasty?

Erica: I am not overly fond of the Addams Family outfits but this dance was kind of great. As with all of the group routines so far it could have been a little sharper, but the choreography here was neat and weird and I liked it. It felt a little Wade Robson to me.

Kate: Ehhh I didn’t love it. There should only be one Wednesday if they’re going for that theme, not several. It was ok.

Erica: I only disagree with your point about the costuming because if they had tried to costume them all differently, they would have gone over the top and it would have been distracting.

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Erica: Oh God that is so much worse in terms of excessively modest cocktail dresses. Is this a trend now? Is dressing like your own great-grandmother cool?

Kate: The right Cat Deeley hair and makeup, but that thing in the middle of her neck? Yikes!

Erica: I did like the hair. I like it better wavier but I like it this way, too. The whole ensemble, though, is just…Why? Right now there are middle school algebra teachers nearing retirement, who haven’t so much as glanced at a piece of fashion journalism since they were subscribers to Sassy, who are going, “That’s a little frumpy, no?”

Virgil (street) & Jasmine (season 11): African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

“Kintamani (Hanoman’s Forest Mix)” by Transglobal Underground

Erica: Virgil did not seem convincingly “evil”, as they said he was supposed to be in this routine. Jasmine’s limbs just go on for days. The costuming was great her for her. I loved watching that skirt swish around. Toward the end there, they both got a little flail-y.

Kate: Yeah I saw no evil, but they were both very good. It didn’t blow me away, but good. To me he is just a lesser version of Fik-Shun.

Erica: Oh my goodness, Nigel got two of the best black female dancers on this show mixed up. I am shocked and surprised by this development. (Last week he said Jasmine had appeared in something that actually Sasha [season 9)] appeared in.) Oh, good, then he makes a penis joke. If it weren’t for the recapping we do, I don’t know that I’d watch the judges anymore. I DO THIS FOR YOU, PEOPLE!

Kate: I am really over the jokey-jokeyness of this season.

Erica: Virgil gets to open his own envelope. He’s safe.

Jim’s Solo

“The Four Seasons – Summer” by Antonio Vivaldi

Erica: Was he adopted with a biological sibling? Because his sister is also the ridiculously cutest. (There’s a photo of them in Halloween costumes in his little “How I started dancing” package.)

Kate: Again, the only solo worth watching. He moves so beautifully.

Erica: Holy sh!t he is amazing. I want to watch that solo all the time. I want to program it as a, like, screen saver and having it playing on every screen in my house when nothing else is on.

Kate: Well I wouldn’t go that far, but it was very good, as he is very good. Imagine him dancing with Chehon?

Erica: Yes, please. I think I’m making Jason jealous with how much I’m admiring this. Even though I’m not at all admiring it in a romantic/sexual way.

Derek (stage) & Jaimie (season 3): Contemporary, choreo by Tyce Diorio

“Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer” by Stevie Wonder

Erica: I’m not a huge fan of Tasty Oreo’s contemporary routines. This was fine but I didn’t really love it. I didn’t think anything about it was particularly inspiring or remarkable. They danced it well (although Derek suffers from having gone on stage right after Jim) but I thought the dance itself was boring.

Kate: Using a Stevie Wonder song cheapened it and made it seem tacky instead of the intended tortured love story. They danced very well together, but agree, didn’t like it.

Erica: I’m not a huge Stevie Wonder person and this song was too sappy for me. I really liked Jaimie’s hair, though. Derek is in the bottom. Again.

Kate: Hold the phone, Jason DeRulo doesn’t believe them. Go back and do it from the top, Derek and Jaimie!

Jaja’s Solo

“Hype City” by Tight Eyez

Kate: I’m sorry but I just don’t want to see her do this stuff when I know she can do all the other stuff. It’s not believable anymore.

Erica: I feel like the stage/street distinctions are mostly bullshit. They’ve all trained in a lot of different styles.

Kate: But, I’m saying, she is better than these solos.

Hailee (stage) & Fik-Shun (season 10): Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown

“Let it Go” by Chonique Sneed

Kate: I loved this. Loved it loved it loved it. Fik-Shun is still so good.

Erica: I wished they’d taken the jackets off much sooner. I wanted to see what their upper bodies were doing. Overall, I thought this was good, but I didn’t love it. More because it wasn’t my speed than anything else.

Kate: She could have gotten a little lower and looser in a few areas. The part where she did the little Team Stage-y moves was VERY reminiscent of the Alex Wong Twitch routine, but didn’t work quite as well. She definitely did a much better job at hip-hop than the other stage ladies.

Erica: Hailee’s in the bottom! What?! Now I’m nervous. We’re too close to the end for me to be blasé  about this now. It’s her and Derek, right? It’d better be f-ing Derek, America.

Gaby’s Solo

“Oye Como Va” by Santana

Kate: Whoa, her arms are all over the place. Crazy.

Erica: I really hate her costuming decisions (if they are, in fact, hers) for her solos so far but, you know, she can dance.

Megz (street) & Paul (season 10): Pasodoble, choreo by Jean Marc Genereux

“Blade of Blood” by Tom Player

Kate: Blaaahhhh I hate pasodoble.

Erica: I was just thinking that there had been relatively little ballroom this season. I like pasodoble sometimes. I get creeped when Nigel goes on and on about the gender dynamics of it, but there have definitely been pasodobles I’ve liked on this show.

Kate: Honestly, this looked like someone asked me to get up and do a pasodoble without actually teaching me the choreography. Looked really terrible all around.

Erica: I think I liked the choreography but I thought she was pretty awkward. Given her already nontraditional gender expression, the pasodoble could have been very interesting for her, but she didn’t really bring any of that into it. She looked like she was just focusing on getting through it.

Kate: The judges pointed out her lack of training, which they probably didn’t need to do, but it’s true. You don’t train, you don’t look good performing. Sorry not sorry!

Erica: Why should you be sorry? I hate the meme in American culture that wants everything to be “natural” talent with no work. Work is good! Work is important! If a skill is important to you, hone it! She’s on the bottom, and quite honestly, if she goes home tonight, as much as I’ve enjoyed her, I won’t be sorry.

Derek’s Solo

“Two Men in Love” by The Irrepressibles

Kate: Boring! Not nearly as good as Jim’s.

Erica: The song choice cracked me up. Trying to slip in your sexuality under FOX’s/Nigel’s radar, Derek? I may be fine with losing you tonight, but still — go, you.

Neptune (street) & Kayla (season 5), Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“Infinity” by The XX

Kate: So they were together and everything, but I can’t help but think that it only looked good because she MADE it look good, you know?

Erica: She is quite divine. I remember her from her season; she was spectacular then and she’s spectacular now. I really enjoyed seeing Neptune in rehearsal footage make her laugh because I don’t know that I’d seen that before.

Kate: Why am I having so much trouble remembering her?

Erica: I must say, I’m usually pretty mixed on Ray Leeper but I quite liked this. It had its own personality in a way that Tyce’s earlier offering, I thought, didn’t. Neptune is in danger. So it’s him and Megz, right? I don’t really care either way, but I’m hoping it’s Megz, just because I’m feeling like, this show and she have done what they can for and with each other and it’s time to be done.

Virgil’s Solo

“i” by Kendrick Lamar

Kate: So boring, I can’t even.

Erica: I’d rather see an extended video of three-year-old Virgil. That was so damn cute.

Jim (stage) & Comfort (season 2): Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“Hey Mama” by David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha & Afrojack


Erica: I saw your line before I saw what the dance was going to be, and then they said Greek mythology and I laughed. I find Pharside and Phoenix a little gimmicky but this was definitely in our catnip pile.

Kate: AND AN AMAZING SONG CHOICE! (I hate to admit that I love it, but I do.) I want to learn this routine, like, right now. I thought Jim did very well at hip-hop. He could have been a little less stiff in just a few areas but he looked great, disagree with the judges wholeheartedly.

Erica: Yeah, I thought he was amazing. He was a little more silly than swag (a very little bit) but so is Fik-Shun and so is Virgil. He actually looked like he was keeping up with Comfort, which is pretty rare. He and Hailee are my top two.

Kate: How can you not be silly in a dance about Medusa? It was BEYOND fabulous!

Hailee’s Solo

“Vanguardian” by Steed Lord

Kate: V aggressive song, costume and choreography. She didn’t need to do that, we already love her.
Erica: Well. Apparently not everyone loves her.

Kate: Which is dumb, but that’s America for you.

Gaby (stage) & ROBERT ❤ (season 7): Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Angel” by Sarah McLachlan

Kate: OH my god, Robert, dance with me. Please just dance with me some time.

Erica: He’s your Pasha.

Kate: He kind of looks a little bit like Jon Hamm, no?! From afar?

Erica: Ummm… I mean, it’s there if you’re looking for it, I guess.

Kate: This was incredible. She always lucks out with these routines, but she is very good, and they were just wonderful together. Absolutely perfect lifts.

Erica: Mandy Moore loves these songs, doesn’t she? If you’re my age and you had a period of loving a song, Mandy Moore will use it. This dance was really incredible and they danced it beautifully, but mainly I want to talk about her dress. Because it was so pretty.

Kate: And also Robert. ❤

Megz’s Solo

“Delirious (Boneless)” by Steve Aoki, Chris Lake, & Tujamo feat. Kid Ink

Kate: Yeah, time for Megz to go home.

Erica: I did like this better than last week’s solo. It was a little more fun. But I just feel like there’s no new places she’s going to go on this journey.

Kate: How philosophical of you!

JaJa (street) & Ricky (season 11): Broadway, choreo by Al Blackstone

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

Kate: Yay Ricky!

Erica: I definitely first heard Al Blackstone say “lobster” rather than “mobster”. It was great to see Ricky. He’s so natural and wonderful.

Kate: He’s a new choreographer, no? She looked like a pissed-off Nicole Kidman in this, but not in a bad way. Sometimes I thought she was focusing a little too much on her face, but she moved like pure liquid in most of the dance. Lovely.

Erica: You’re right, the fact that she’s so good in numbers like this makes her hip-hop solos look childish. Not because hip-hop is childish but because she really does look better in non-hip-hop numbers. JaJa, you should consider expanding your career options. Broadway looks good on you.

Kate: But I love hip-hop, and she doesn’t necessarily do that, she does crumping and popping and locking, which should just be part of hip-hop, know what I’m saying?

Neptune’s Solo

“Get Big” by Dorrough

Kate: Over it.

Erica: I also prefer him in non-hip-hop contexts. I feel like I’m saying that a lot this season but I can and have liked hip-hop a lot in the past. This season the hip-hoppers and the hip-hop routines are not sending me.

Team Street: Hip-Hop, choreo by Dave Scott

“Finna Get Loose” Puff Daddy & The Family feat. Pharrell Williams

Kate: Puff Daddy still records songs? Under the name Puff Daddy? Or this is old?

Erica: How old can it be if it features Pharrell Williams? I’m asking; I don’t know.

Kate: JaJa is obviously the best left in this crew; I hadn’t realized Team Street had gotten so small.

Erica: They’re the same size. Four each. That’s the rules this year, that one from each team gets voted off.

Kate: Right. Honestly, the rest of them are not much better than just anyone dancing in a club. I’m sorry but I just don’t see it.

Erica: They all have very different attitudes and it makes them look like they’re not doing the same dance. I liked this routine; I thought it was fun. I wonder if most of them were primarily dancing in contexts where it was just them as individuals doing a performance? Because they (except JaJa) do seem to have trouble sort of being at the same level as the other people on the stage.

Team Stage: Contemporary, choreo by Tessandra Chavez

“Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran

Kate: I love this song!

Erica: It’s very pretty.

Kate: Just lovely. They dance so much better together than Team Street.

Erica: I really loved the choreography on this piece as well. I liked the beginning, with its small, sharp, synchronized movements, and I liked the way the movements always looked like part of an organic whole even when they weren’t the same steps. You’re right; the stage people are better at looking as if they’re all part of the same group.

Kate: Derek blends in, whereas the other three really stand out. Also, I almost just typed Edson instead of Derek, the two were basically interchangeable for me all season.

Erica: In the beginning, Derek was the one I couldn’t remember from week to week.

Kate: Thank GOD Hailee didn’t go home! There’s hope for you yet, America!

Erica: Much relief over here.

Kate: I am completely fine with Derek and Neptune going home. Buh-bye!

Erica: We’re getting super-close to the end, you guys! I am excited and scared at the same time.

SYTYCD Season Twelve – Top Ten Perform; Two Are Eliminated

Group Routine: Jazz, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

“Earth Intruders” by Bjork

Kate: This had Sonya written ALL over it.

Erica: I saw vast improvement this week, both in terms of the cohesiveness of the group, and in terms of the cohesiveness of the choreography. (And I felt that way before I knew it was a Sonya routine.) It’s very fierce and sharp.

Kate: I did not feel that way about the non-stage dancers in this one.

Erica: So it sounds like a ton of stuff is going on tonight. All-Stars, J. Lo, “Empire”? Which is a show I’m not sure why I’m not watching?

Kate: I can’t. Let’s just DANCE, PEOPLE!

Erica: Team Street is ahead again in the votes, though they are a person short. JJ hurt her ribs. Are injuries this much of a problem in dance in general, or is this show excessively pushing their dancers? I mean, I know dancers get injured a lot, I’m just wondering if this show is ahead of the curve.

Kate: Par for the course.

Cat Deeley’s Outfit

Erica: I’m not into the excessively modest cocktail dress.

Kate: Too pageanty all around, I prefer her looking like a semi-glam California surf girl.

Erica: I must say I think Paula looks good. Oh, and J.Lo is going to put the winner in her Las Vegas show. Damn, that woman has amazing skin. What is she doing? Bathing in the blood of unicorns?

Kate: Illegal!

Erica: The deal with “Empire” is that each of the top ten is doing a solo to a song from “Empire.” Just so you know.

Kate: Oh good, I love solos. (No.)

Virgil’s Solo

“Conqueror” from “Empire” feat. Estelle & Jussie Smollett

Erica: Virgil is 28. He’s been on Broadway. That makes sense.

Kate: Meh.

Erica: He’s taking the song very literally in places.

Kate: Meh.

Hailee (stage) & Brandon (season 5): Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle

“It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got that Swing)” sung by Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga

Erica: I can’t figure out why I didn’t love this. I love Broadway. I love this song. I thought they both danced it beautifully. There were some amazingly subtle moments in otherwise big and bouncy choreography that I just adored. So why didn’t I love this?

Kate: Well I didn’t love it because Hailee wasn’t quite dainty enough for the role, but I don’t think she could do anything about that.

Erica: Maybe I’m just in a mood. (I am, in fact, in a really bad mood.) The choreographer was full-on jumping up and down when they finished. Oh, I looked him up, he choreographed the show Virgil was in. So he’s worked directly with Virgil? Is that kosher? Probably. Dance is a small world, isn’t it?

Kate: Yes it is. I still love Brandon’s disco routine.

Erica: Hailee is safe because duh. She’s going to win.

Neptune’s Solo

“Power of the Empire” from “Empire” feat. Yazz

Erica: Neptune has a daughter in the Bay Area and he lives in Dallas and he wants to move up in the pro dance world to spend more time in…The Bay Area? Okay.


Erica: Again, he was taking some of this song literally. Dancers are not necessarily awesome choreographers. This looked like what you do in front of your bathroom mirror if you’re trying to psyche yourself up.

Derek (stage) & Kayla (season 5): Jazz, choreo by R.J. Durell & Nick Florez

“Got It” by Marian Hill

Erica: Derek laughs during rehearsal that he’s not ordinarily the sexy, aggressive type. I think what he means is he’s not ordinarily straight.

Kate: I knew you were going to say that.

Erica: I don’t keep pointing this out because I want to laugh about how very gay he or any other dancer is. I point this out because every moment this show plays coy about male dancers’ sexuality irritates me.

Kate: Why don’t I remember Kayla at all? This was good in theory but…Awkward in reality?

Erica: I thought she was selling the hell out of the sexiness of this routine. I thought he was kind of awkward. Not just in the “so not straight” way, but in the lifts and stuff. He looked like performing the steps was taking enough concentration and he couldn’t really spend time on the acting part. And I have to say, I really did enjoy the choreography. I just think he didn’t sell it.

Kate: Agree.

Erica: Paula agrees with me.

Kate: Uh oh, what’s happening to us?

Erica: He’s in the bottom two. (Not bottom three this week. Which makes sense when you’re down to ten.)

Gaby’s Solo

“Can’t Truss ‘Em” from “Empire” feat. Yazz

Erica: Her mom was a dancer and her dad a percussionist and now she’s a dancer. That’s adorable. Also she’s friends with a bunch of Season 11 people, including winner Ricky.

Kate: Yay Ricky!

Erica: I’m a very terrible person because I feel the need to point out that those jeans are super-unflattering on her. She’s a pretty amazing tap dancer, though.

Kate: This solo didn’t make me like her any more, but it felt very Save the Last Dance.

Erica: Even though JJ isn’t soloing, we get her little video package. She’s 30. She acts about 19. She’s in the bottom two so she might go home this week, and if she doesn’t, she’s in the bottom next week.

Virgil (street) & Comfort (season 2): Hip-Hop, choreo by Christopher Scott

“Just My Imagination (Running Away with Me)” by The Temptations


Erica: I love Comfort. I love it when they do hip-hop routines to not-hip-hop songs. (I know you don’t, Kate. You’re a purist.) The routine is basically a domestic couple appreciating each other in a boring domestic moment and it’s sweet and adorable and I pretty much love it. Bad mood is on its way to being cured.

Kate: I love this song and I loved the dance, but the overall message of the routine didn’t match the song, unless them living together was just in Virgil’s imagination?

Erica: Jason DeRulo says consistency is what it takes on this show. I thought it was “growth”? Also, Whoopi Goldberg is in the audience for some reason.

Kate: I thought I saw her but wasn’t sure. I thought this was adorable but mostly because Comfort is so so so so so SO good, and she made Virgil better, even though he wasn’t nearly as good or as sharp as her about half the time.

Erica: Paula asks if Virgil comes with a lifetime warranty. Oh, Paula. That’s a cruel question to ask any dancer, and during this brutal run especially. Virgil, after cutesy interplay with Cat, is safe. He’s so short and she’s so tall, he looks like her child.

JaJa’s Solo

“Keep It Moving” from “Empire” feat. Serayah McNeill & Yazz

Erica: She actually can choreograph, I think. Or at least, I felt her choreography was more compelling than Virgil’s or Neptune’s.

Kate: She is starting to look so different from when we first saw her in season 11 auditions.

Megz (street) & Marko (season 8): Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“Canned Heat” by Jamiroquai

Erica: As is often the case, Megz does, as tWitch observed, look more like she’s playing than like she’s working. But she’s still a fantastic dancer. I thought the routine was a whole lot of fun, without being amazingly memorable.

Kate: I loved seeing Marko again! See I thought this would have been amazing with someone other than Megz, she did NOT do it for me here. Way too loose and not in a good way.

Erica: I note that Cat says if she could dance with anyone, it would be Marko, which I find quite a statement. I feel like, if she’s being sincere, which I believe she is, that’s a big compliment, because she not only watches them dance a lot, but I think she also gets to know them better than the judges do.

Kate: Also, you can’t really dance to this song without doing the routine from Center Stage.

Erica: Megz is in the bottom two tonight. I’m kind of surprised, to be honest, because she’s so interesting, but it’ll be JJ to go.

Jim’s Solo

“You’re So Beautiful” from “Empire” feat. Jussie Smollett & Yazz

Erica: He’s in the Houston Ballet, but he wanted to do some different things, which is why he’s here. It’s quite a lovely solo. Boy can jump. And be joyful without losing technical precision.

Kate: Heeeeee iiisssss soooooo goooood. This is one solo I can get behind.

Edson (stage) & Jaimie (season 3): Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Your Day Will Come” by Son Lux

Erica: Look, I love watching Travis Wall routines. But isn’t it weird that he gets to choreograph his own team member?

Kate: Yea that’s maybe not that fair? I was alarmed that I didn’t remember her but I didn’t watch season 3 so all good.

Erica: This routine is really interesting, and the lighting and camerawork are great. The lighting is basically just a single bright light and the music is stark and the movements are sharp and clean and spare. The only thing I don’t like is the silent scream, because I think it’s a bit much, but the routine is really raw and amazing. Travis wants to make me cry all the time.

Kate: I thought this was absolutely beautifully danced, and it was the first time I really even noticed Edson let alone liked him.

Erica: I do think that it was incredible due to Jaimie, who is just amazing. Did I appreciate her this much in her season? Edson is the last to get into the bottom two.

Hailee’s Solo

“Nothing to Lose” from “Empire” feat. Jussie Smollett

Erica: The editors of this show are trying to make a tragedy of Hailee’s parents’ divorce, but it sounds like a pretty healthy situation, so it’s not really working.

Kate: Blah solos blah.

Erica: She pulls some weird faces in the solo but her moves are pretty terrific.

Neptune (street) & Jasmine (season 11): Hip-hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“Milk was a Bad Choice” by Yultron

Erica: I guess Jasmine’s really embraced hip-hop since her SYTYCD days. Last year. BTW, this is a great song title.

Kate: This was a really great routine. BizARRE, but great. Well done, Neptune!

Erica: So this is the Frankenstein monster and his bride at dinner. I feel like — and I’m not doing any checking to see if I’m right about this — Pharside & Phoenix’s routines are always very costume-dependent, no?

Kate: No, just bizARRE.

Erica: I did not like this at all. I think it was mostly the choreography and not the dancing. The dancing was fine. The choreography was not really inspiring in my opinion. And the music, despite (or maybe because of) the cool title, was highly off-putting.

Kate: That kind of music is generally off-putting to me but I thought this was actually really cool. Maybe it was just Jasmine’s magic, though.

Erica: Nigel says, “Well, the last time Jasmine danced on a table, it was with tWitch, and we know what a star he became.” That’s super-weird to say. tWitch was big before that. He was in that routine as an all-star, and probably the show’s most popular all-star.

Derek’s Solo

“Drip Drop” from “Empire” feat. Yazz & Serayah McNeill

Erica: Derek saw Travis dance when he was a boy, on this very show!, and that’s why he wanted to be a dancer.

Kate: …Duh.

Erica: I gotta say, I think he’s gone tonight and I’m not really sorry about that, but his solo is pretty amazing.

Kate: Not even close to how amazing Jim’s was.

Jim (stage) & Jessica (season 11): Contemporary, choreo by Dee Casparay

“Heal” by Tom Odell

Erica: “This is about a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.” I think that’s what Dee Caspary said.

Kate: Beautiful.

Erica: I think they told us Jim was having trouble in rehearsals because they wanted to trick us. He dances this beautifully. I think this is the only number where I’ve been paying more attention to the contestant than to the all-star.

Kate: Me too but I ALSO don’t remember Jessica even though it was last year?! I love Jim. Soooo much.

Erica: Some of the judges have some issues with his performance (as opposed to his technique) but I think the real reason this didn’t shine is it was similar to and not as good as Travis’s piece tonight.

Megz’s Solo

“No Apologies” from “Empire” feat. Jussie Smollett & Yazz

Erica: Megz is 29. Most of these kids are older than I thought they were.

Kate: I’m over her.

Erica: She’s much tougher and less fun in her solo than I’ve seen her be so far.

JaJa (street) & ALEX!!! (seasons 7 & 10): Bollywood, choreo by Nakul Dev Mahajan

“Naacho Re” from Jai Ho

Erica: So it’s about a princess escaping the palace and the guard who captures her. That’s adorable.

Kate: That’s Aladdin! Kinda?

Erica: JaJa does not seem quite able to keep up to me. but she can her make her movements sharp and she’s putting a lot of personality into it. I think this show has improved my mood; I find I’m very willing to be charmed by this.

Kate: Your bad mood is affecting your vision — she was AMAZING in this. Incredible. I’ve never seen someone not previously trained in Bollywood do Bollywood as good as her. Perfect personality, perfect faces, perfect energy, kept up the whole time. Absolutely loved it. Also, ALEX!

Erica: Nigel points out that Whoopi is in the audience. Great. Also he is amazed that they’ve got a Czech dancer on an American show doing an Indian number. It’s like Nigel is trying to recreate the British Empire in dance form.

Edson’s Solo

“I Wanna Love You” from “Empire” feat. Jussie Smollett

Erica: His parents tried to manage his energy via sports but nothing worked until cheerleading.

Kate: Yay cheerleading!

Gaby (stage) & Joshua (season 4): Hip-hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“I’m Really Hot” by Missy Elliott

Erica: Another costume-dependent routine — geisha and ninja — that I don’t think lives up to the promise of its promise/premise. You know, NappyTabs makes routines that are pretty gimmicky, but a lot better. Then again, I used to complain about their gimmicks, too.

Kate: You know what though? I loved this theme, I feel like it was actually unique and really fun. I also love few things more than a hip-hop routine set to a Missy Elliott song, as I have done plenty of them myself. Her songs are just the most perfect for hip-hop routines.

Erica: I think this is the only routine of the night where the contestant is out of her element by a lot. And I’m sorry, but it kinda shows. I thought she looked sloppy. Of course, my main complaint about Pharside & Phoenix is that I think they choreograph kind of sloppy, so maybe it’s not her. But Joshua didn’t look sloppy.

Kate: No he didn’t, and I wouldn’t use the word “sloppy” but she definitely looked off. She had the right swag and she got down low and all that, but her arms were very jazzy and straight and not hip-hoppy.

Erica: Nigel’s faves from each team are Gaby and JaJa, he says. Mine are Hailee and…Virgil, probably. But I’m rooting for Hailee.

Kate: I still like Gaby very very much, but I think JaJa is going to win.

Erica: Tonight, it’s JJ (not surprised) and Edson (a little surprised) going home. So my prediction of losing Derek tonight did not come true. But it will.

Kate: Ugh JJ was really fun to watch, and Edson was finally worth watching tonight. MEH!

SYTYCD Season 12 – Top 14 –> Top 10

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

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

Group Routine: Jazz, choreo by Brian Friedman

“100% Pure Love” by Crystal Waters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Asht” by Nebulo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Cellophane” by Sia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Circus Fish” by Vermillion Lies

Kate: Sexy fish, really?

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

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

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

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

“Worth It” by Fifth Harmony feat. Kid Ink

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

Kate: Oh gosh this was quite a disaster.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Erica: It was very literal.

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

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

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

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

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

“A Different Beat” by Little Mix

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Lift Me” by The Bengsons

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

Erica: Sonya Tayeh is really good at her job.

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

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

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

Erica: Really incredible routine, and done very well.

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

“Dragula” by Rob Zombie

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

Erica: Yeah this was pretty obvious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

SYTYCD Season 12 – Top Sixteen Perform; Two Are Eliminated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: I don’t like when they do that.

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

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

“Endangered Species” by Dianne Reeves

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

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

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

Kate: She still looks like Miley Cyrus to me.

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

Kate: Onto the dancing, now?

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: I thought the choreography was just fine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: These tidbits are uninteresting to me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Due de Amor” by Astor Piazzolla

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Lorde

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

Kate: Minimal caring over here.

Erica: Jim loves bubble baths.

Kate: Not surprising.

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

Kate: They danced it beautifully, though.

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

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

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

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

“Where or When” by Sammy Davis Jr.

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

Kate: Blah blah blah.

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

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

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

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

“Braveheart” by Neon Jungle

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

Kate: Hate. Him.

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


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

Kate: Pasha is also your catnip.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Let Go” by Kezwick feat. Mimi Page

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

Kate: Marissa’s abs? Damn.

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

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

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

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

“You There” by Aquilo

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

Kate: Yay cheerleading!

Erica: This choreographer is new, right?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Team Street: Hip-Hop, choreo by Luam

“Commas” by Future

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

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

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

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

Team Stage: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Beautiful Friends” by Helen Money

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: Yeah, I want him to go home.

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