SYTYCD Season XI – Top Four Perform

Group Routine – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Wind Beneath My Wings” by RyanDan]

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: This is Cat at her finest!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Valerie & Ricky – African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

[“Voices of Savannah” by DJ Chus]

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

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

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

 

Jessica & Zack – Broadway, choreo by Spencer Liff

[“Hernando’s Hideaway” by Ella Fitzgerald]

Kate: Adorable!

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

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

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

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

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

Erica: Zach was reasonably impressive, too.

 

Valerie & Zack – Contemporary, choreo by Tasty Oreo

[“Pearls” by Sade]

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

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

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

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

 

Jessica & Ricky – Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

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

Kate: Ermmmmmm YES!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jessica & Valerie – Bollywood, choreo by Nakul Dev Mahajan

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

[“The Antidote” by District 78]

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: I didn’t notice that???

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

Kate: Ew, Nigel boner.

Erica: Sorry.

 

Ricky’s Solo

[“Skin & Bones” by David J. Roch]

Kate: BLERGH I love this songgggggggggggggggggg.

Erica: I got nothing.

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

 

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

[“Not About Angels” by Birdy]

Erica: Lighting?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Valerie’s Solo

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

Erica: I love this song.

Kate: Oh, I get it.

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

Kate: I dislike tap solos, so. Yeah.

 

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

[“Piano Man” by Billy Joel]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jessica’s solo

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

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

Kate: This is a horrible version of it.

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

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

 

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

[“When I Go” by Over the Rhine]

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

Erica: My heart hurts.

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

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

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

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

 

Zack’s Solo

[“Superstition” by Adam Raherty]

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

Kate: I suppose.

 

Results

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

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

Erica: I’ve never voted.

 

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SYTYCD XI – Top Ten Perform

Group Routine – Hip-hop, choreo by Jamal Sims

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: Agree, VERY BAD camera work.

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

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

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

 

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: This is the Cat I know and love!

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

Kate: Me too, but my color.

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

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

Erica: Mary looks refreshingly like a normal person.

Kate: As normal as Mary can get.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

[“The Gaucho’s Pain” by Tango Jointz]

Kate: Why don’t I remember him???

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

Kate: Oh I remember the wife thing.

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

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

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

Kate: Take The Lead!?

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

Kate: I’m ok with it? It saves time?

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

 

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

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

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

Kate: Weeeeeeeeeeee NappyTabs!!!!

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

Kate: Weeeeeeeee!!

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

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

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

Kate: *LOL* (For real though.)

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

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

 

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

[“Hearts a Mess” by Gotye]

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

[“Maps” by Maroon 5]

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

Kate: Way in.

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

Kate: Totes.

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

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

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

Kate: Not with that voice she’s not.

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

 

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

[“Adagio for TRON” by Daft Punk]

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: Wah!

 

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

[“Bossa Nova, Baby” by Elvis Presley]

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

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

Kate: Yea, you’re 33. Gross.

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

Kate: They were obviously perfect together.

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

Kate: He really should win.

 

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

[“Maybe This Time” by Liza Minelli]

Erica: This song kills me.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Kate: I love when I get Twitch + NappyTabs.

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

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

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

Kate: You are probably mad about it.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Guest Singer – Christina Perri

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

Kate: Dumb. She sounded horrible.

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

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

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

 

Results

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

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

Kate: But I am glad to still have Jacque.

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

Kate: Ian is thrilled for Makenzie.

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

Kate: We always find a way!

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

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

 

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

[“How It’s Done” by District 78]

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

Kate: Very Gaga-esque, no?

Erica: EXACTLY WHAT I WAS THINKING!

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

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

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

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

 

Cat’s Outfit

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

[“Stay With Me” by Sam Smith]

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Jourdan & Marcquet – Contemporary, choreo by Dee Caspary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: Hey, we love his little show!

 

Jessica & Stanley – Jazz, choreo by Tyce Diorio

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

[“Happy” by Pharrell Williams]

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

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

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

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

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

 

Emily & Teddy – Contemporary, choreo by Tyce Diorio

[“Ne Me Quitte Pas” by Nina Simone]

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

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

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

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

 

Brooklyn & Casey – Jazz, choreo by Bonnie Story

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

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

Erica: Yay links from dances past!

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

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

 

Valerie & Ricky – Viennese Waltz, choreo by Lacey Schwimmer

[“I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz]

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Tanisha & Rudy – Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle

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

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

Erica: Really? I thought it was totes fabulous.

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

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

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

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

 

Non-SYTYCD Performance

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

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

Kate: Yes!

 

Results

 

Kate: WHAT? SERIOUSLY?

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

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

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

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

SYTYCD XI – Top Twenty!

Kate: WE’RE BAAAAAAAAAACKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!

Erica: Well, I’m trying very hard to be back.

Kate: This show makes me so inexplicably happy, I can’t even.

Erica: And when you’re happy, I’m happy, my dear.

Kate: Let’s start with…

Cat’s Outfit

Erica: Meh.

Kate: I like the longer, beachier hair, and I like the dress, but it almost looked too big for her (the slits on the side were not tight against her skin), which leads me to believe she has lost weight, which she did not need to do. Bad Cat.

Erica: I did not much like the dress. Her hair continues to spectacular. How do we feel about Mary’s hair?

Kate: Looking froofy but good.

Erica: I do think she looks better as a brunette but I kind of like the shape.

Opening Group Number — Jazz, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

[“Stalker Ha” by Kingdom]

Kate: A little sexier than usual, no?

Erica: A little, yeah. I think Sonya Tayeh’s choreography is very reflective of where she is emotionally, so maybe she’s getting some.

Kate: She does have some interesting new hair. Regardless, I thought they were all very synchronized for this routine. That said, I didn’t love the routine as a whole. Not enough “wow factor” for the first performance of this group, know what I’m saying?

Erica: Really? I quite liked it. Creative choreo, really showed off some of these dancers’ ridic legs, and they were all very much dancing as twenty parts of one whole. I especially loved when they were sort of dancing in a clump but with partners.

Kate: I did like the cheerleader-esque stunts. 😉

Brooklyn & Serge – Cha Cha, choreo by Dmitry Chaplin

[“Hell Yeah” by Midnight Red]

Kate: Isn’t he your fave, Er?

Erica: No, PASHA is my fave!

Kate: Oh. These two are very talented individually — very snappy and sharp with non-human fast legs — but they did not completely connect in this, and I feel like of all dancers ballroomers should be the ones to most easily connect.

Erica: I was not thrilled by the choreography. We’ve seen more interesting cha cha routines. And then the lights went all crazy and it felt like they were trying to make up for the lackluster choreo.

Kate: I am excited about the number of ballroom dancers this season, though, and I think they will both be very good at other genres.

Erica: Of course Nigel loved Serge’s, you know, heterosexuality. And of course he had to do a long lead-up to his commentary, talking about him doing something arts-education-related. Yes, Nigel. Good job bringing dance to the world, Nigel.

Emily & Casey – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“All of Me” by John Legend]

Kate: It was only a matter of time before they did a contemporary dance to this song.

Erica: I’m so out of it. This song…I mean, I guess it sounds familiar?

Kate: I surprisingly did not love this (surprisingly because it’s Travis Wall). I was not happy she made it to the top 20 as she barely impressed me in the auditions and callbacks, and I saw her wobble more than once in this routine.

Erica: I was more impressed by him than I expected to be given how young he is. And I did really like this routine. I mean, it won’t be Travis Wall’s Best Ever, but I liked it.

Kate: It was also not nearly as fluid as the usual Travis Wall routines, and they did not connect AT ALL as partners. AND, when she ran and jumped on his back, it reminded me too much of at least, like, three other recent routines. (Maybe from the Melanie season?)

Erica: Well, all the choreographers have their tics.

Valerie & Zack – Tap, choreo by Anthony Morigerato

[“Sing” by Ed Sheeran]

Kate: I must start off by saying that I LOVE VALERIE. I am not usually a huge fan of tap on this show, but she was incredible at other styles during callbacks and she has a really adorable charm about her.

Erica: She is like the cutest little puppy on the block. These two make me feel ancient.

Kate: And yet, I didn’t love the tap routine. The mini-staircases added a little awkwardness to their movements, and I caught both of them looking down a lot to make sure they weren’t going to slip and fall, which caused me to worry they were going to slip and fall. I also don’t like how tap makes dancers’ arms just kind of wave around in the air doing their own thing and there’s no sharpness.

Erica: I thought she was lightness and grace itself. I barely paid attention to him. But can we talk about Jason DeRulo having a tap background?

Kate: I cannot figure out if he is serious, or why he was guest judging the very first episode of the season.

Bridget & Stanley – Contemporary, choreo by Bonnie Story

[“Doesn’t Mean Goodbye” by Jon McLaughlin]

Kate: Excuse me while I do my best impression of Mary Murphy: WAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! WOO WOO WOO! HOLY SMOKES! HOT TAMALE TRAIN!

Erica: I mean, I don’t know about “hot” but great gadzooks, these kids were fabulous.

Kate: This is EXACTLY what I would have expected from a Travis Wall routine, and I am now in love with this Bonnie lady. Bridget and Stanley had amazing chemistry and incredible technique, they were so in sync with each other. I think this is my favorite of the night.

Erica: They were both just so graceful. They hit all of these poses with the perfect, like, fingers and toes and it was just all in sync.

Kate: I do think Stanley outshines Bridget a little, but he will make her better. I hope they stay together as partners for a while. The only thing I would change about Bridget is her corny facial expressions.

Erica: They won’t, though, right? I didn’t love her personality. He struck me as intelligent and thoughtful.

Jourdan & Jacque – Ballet, choreo by Marat Daukayev

[“Pas De Deux – Black Swan – Tchaikovsky” by Richard Bonynge & The London Symphony Orchestra]

Erica: Fine?

Kate: These ladies are lovely, but this dance was way too hard for them. Fifteen fortes in a row at the beginning of the routine? They both had a hard time recovering from that for the rest of the performance, especially Jourdan. “Strict Russian ballet teacher” is an understatement for this choreographer.

Erica: I was definitely not excited by this routine. I mean obviously they are doing things I could never do, and well, but they are no Eliana.

Kate: I am also a little worried about them doing other styles. They will obviously excel at Contemporary and maybe even Jazz, but Hip-Hop? Broadway? Ballroom? Not so sure.

Erica: By the way, did you know that Nigel can get REALLY, REALLY big deal choreographers to do this show? Like, BIG.

Jason DeRulo Performance

Kate: I’m sorry, we must address this.

Erica: Really? Must we? Because I could happily live without ever acknowledging the existence of this performance.

Kate: This is a real song? “You know what to do with that big fat butt”?

Erica: Pop music is just done with the whole pretending-to-be-art thing.

Kate: I mean, props to the sole white girl for keeping up with everyone else and wiggling her not-at-all-fat butt, but geez Louise this was absurd. I would have liked to have seen some SYTYCD alum up there!

Erica: I would rather not see them sully themselves.

Malene & Marcquet – Brazilian Samba, choreo by Louis Van Amstel

[“Morning Drums” by Gregor Salto]

Erica: I thought this was very Brazilian. Snerk.

Kate: I was a little bit in love with Marlene during auditions, but then she looked horrible doing a hip-hop routine at callbacks and I thought she wouldn’t make the top 20. Alas.

Erica: I did, in fact, see Marlene’s audition. She was the one who gave the sexy little look over her partner’s shoulder before the music started. I kind of adore her.

Kate: Marcquet is definitely a force to be reckoned with, and I foresee him staying on for a long time.

Erica: Hey, a man who can look that good in that stupid shirt is ok with me. And he gyrated even better than she did.

Carly & Rudy – Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

[“Take It Easy” by Jetta]

Kate: I developed a serious disliking of Carly during callbacks when her group routine drama was shown, so I may now have a negative bias against her dancing.

Erica: I didn’t see it but I am certainly not all that impressed.

Kate: This was good, but I feel like it was good because of all the tricks and not necessarily because of the dancing? I do really like Rudy, and I didn’t understand the judges saying multiple times that he has “heart” but not “technique”. He has both, folks!

Erica: I hate that sh!t. If he doesn’t have technique, why is he in the Top Twenty? Especially considering that this is the best Top Twenty EVER!!!

Kate: ALSO, during the whole judges’ critique Carly had her shoulders hunched. I know it’s a tiring experience, but you are a DANCER — stand up straight for goodness’ sake!

Emilio & Teddy – Hip-Hop, choreo by Christopher Scott

[“Nightshift” by The Commodores]

Kate: What a HORRIBLE song choice for a hip-hop routine. Simply horrible!

Erica: I am generally in favor of the contrasting music genre/dance style thing. But this music, combined with this concept — was no one else getting a porn vibe?

Kate: This was a little corny (I didn’t get a porn vibe), but most of Chris Scott’s routines are. Emilio and Teddy were not always together, possibly because they are so differently shaped/sized, but they are both very good. I look forward to seeing what else Teddy can do.

Erica: I liked Emilio more than I expected to, given that he annoyed me in the little 8-seconds-tell-us-about-yourself thing.

Kate: I also appreciate that Emilio still had to go through callbacks and not just walk onto the top 20 because he made it last year but then got injured. Three cheers for fairness, Fox!

Erica: Here, here!

Jessica & Ricky – Contemporary, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

[“Vow” by Meredith Monk]

Erica: Holy moly.

Kate: Whoa.

Erica: That was perfection. That was incredible. I am comfortable crowning these two right now.

Kate: I must admit, I fell asleep during this one and had to re-watch. I am officially 90 years old. But this was phenomenal and these two are now tied with Bridget and Stanley as my favorite of the night/the most talented dancers this season (as evidenced by this episode; I know that can change).

Tanisha & Nick – Cha Cha, choreo by Louis Van Amstel

[“I’m a Freak” by Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull]

Kate: Why were two cha chas allowed in the opening episode? I don’t like that.

Erica: Because they had Louis Van Amstel and that’s what he does? I’d prefer more variety but I tend to like cha chas the second most, after jives, so whatevs.

Kate: They were not nearly as good as the other ballroom dancers nor is Nick as good as his BFF Rudy (I know they do different styles, but still). I don’t think either will last long on the show.

Erica: I thought Tanisha had spark. Nick looked like a boy playing a man’s role to me. But maybe that is because I am SO FRICKIN’ OLD.

Kate: Ok so OVERALL, I think the guys need a little more practice in lifting these ladies, and everyone needs a little more practice in partnering (except Marcquet and Marlene). I also want the judges to be a little harsher next week because they were too happy-go-lucky and not providing any real critique.

Erica: See this is what’s weird to me. They don’t usually have voting for this top-twenty, dance-your-own-style episode but I guess now they are? Anyway, I am pleased as punch to once again be in the company of the young, hopeful dancers, Cat, and even Screechy Mary and the Lewd Racist Homophobe (Nigel). See you next week!