SYTYCD Season X – FINALE!!!

Erica: It is the end.

Kate: (To the tune of “Edge of Glory”, because that’s been stuck in my head) This the end, the end, the end, the end, the end!

Erica: At the end of the night, we will crown Amy and Fik-Shun the winners, but let’s see how we’ll spend time until then.

Kate: Rightfully so!

Cat’s Outfit

Erica: Her hair is a lot blonder, right? I don’t like it.

Kate: At least it’s nicely straightened; I’m starting to get back into that look, because my hair looks so ratty when I don’t do that to it.

Erica: Also, you thought Paula Abdul’s hair required monstrous amounts of hairspray last time? Whoa baby.

Kate: I had to take three steps back when they showed her hair. Good lord.

Erica: Adam Shankmann, good to see you! Can we see you choreograph?

Kate: Ugh!

Erica: The montage thing – montages always make me sentimental. You could chop together footage of virtually anything, set it to a power to ballad, and I’ll be all “Aw, I love you guys! Sniff!”

Group Routine: “Wonderwall” by Paul Anka, choreo by Season 2’s Ivan Kournaev

Erica: So, as it turns out, Paul Anka? Not just the dog on “Gilmore Girls”.

Kate: I do not know how I feel about this song in this style.

Erica: I kid, I kid. For those of you who don’t know, Ivan was Allison’s partner back in Season 2, and this routine of theirs totally made me cry at the time. (Also how cute is it when they giggle about “intimacy”? I normally don’t include rehearsal footage in my video links, but I just kind of had to.)

Kate: That was before I started watching the show.

Erica: I thought this routine was fun but not outstanding. I did like the song. I am a sucker for songs I know covered by artists of different genres. I won’t even tell you how excited I got the first time I heard “Rainbow Connection” by Kermit the Frog as covered by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. Also this explains why a cappella appeals to me so much.

Kate: I thought it was pretty great, you know I love giant group routines.

Erica: Okay, so now, the judges – Paula Abdul, Nigel, Mary, Adam, and tWitch – each get to pick a dance, and also we’ll be counting down auditioners, and the top four get to pick, and Cat gets to pick but I want to rescind her picking because she likes disco too much, and also some other routines get thrown in. So here we go!

Paula Abdul’s Pick: Paul & Makenzie – Contemporary: “Edge of Glory” from the Lady Gaga live Thanksgiving special; choreo by Mandy Moore

Erica: I was so relieved to see Mak again. I’m hoping she becomes an all-star; she’s so pretty. And this is one of the few routines where she’s not being sexy.

Kate: This is why the song has been in my head. Yes, I am happy to have her back, but doesn’t she seem, like, totally removed from the show now?

Erica: I did love how Paula Abdul was all, “This dance will show us that love really IS the answer to all the struggle in the world today,” and you’re like, “Yeah, Paula. These two pretty teenagers dancing will TOTALLY fix Syria. Assad’s just gonna lay his weapons down tonight.”

Kate: Oh, that’s what she was referring to?

Erica: Anyway, I thought they did better with this the first time. Mak had a weird energy tonight and the movements seemed more rushed and sharp than the first time.

Kate: Why are you calling her Mak?

Erica: Um . . . because that’s what I call her in my notes and now that’s how I think of her? Sorry, did I just reveal too much of my process?

Memorable Auditioner #5: Mongolian bowl dancer

Erica: I mean, the dance is pretty cool. But they all seem to be stuck on the fact that, when the dancer is trying to explain that the bowl is traditionally full of horse milk, it kinda sounds like she’s saying “whore’s milk,” and we’re apparently just going to get a lot of the judges saying “Whore’s milk?” over and over and then giggling. Good use of time, guys. Thanks for that.

Kate: Yea not amused.

Jasmine’s Pick: Jazz with Season 8’s Marko: “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke; choreo by Ray Leeper

Erica: So, I appreciate when she says that she chose the dance that pushed her the most, the same way I appreciated it last week when she chose an all-star and a style outside her comfort zone. I like that about her. That said, this was not a number I thought was particularly spectacular from her and I’d have liked to pick another one.

Kate: True, but she did much better with it this time. I mean, you can’t LEARN swag, but she was way more energetic and sharp.

Adam Shankmann’s Pick: Twitch & Fik-Shun – Hip-Hop: “Hello Good Morning” by Diddy Dirty Money; choreo by Luther Brown

Kate: YES YES YES YES YES!!!

Erica: Good choice, good choice. Adam appears to also be under the delusion that this show will fix Syria.

Kate: I LOVE THIS DANCE SO MUCH!

Erica: Fik-Shun appears even more confident tonight. Because he knows he’s won.

Kate: No, I think all the dancers are more energetic overall tonight because they know they’re no longer dancing for votes, they’re just dancing to dance.

Ad for movie Erica will not be seeing (but Kate sure will – it’s got that guy from Lost!)

Dance by guys from movie Erica will not be seeing, with a song title/artist description far too long and confusing to be dignified here; choreo by Dave Scott

Erica: Zoe did the best dance to this. Although Jason was disturbed because, in the middle, she pulled her pants to her knees and wiggled her butt at us for a while. He thinks she’s going to become a stripper now. I haven’t been to many strip clubs, but to my knowledge they don’t usually giggle maniacally while waving their butts in your face and demanding to know whether or not you like their nak’dy butts.

Kate: She has such a great career in front of her.

Nigel’s Pick: Aaron, Alexis, & Curtis Tap, “You Really Did It” by Jason Mraz; choreo by Anthony Morigerato

Erica: Were these different costumes? If so, I liked them better.

Kate: I didn’t pay attention, because I hate that Nigel chose tap.

Twitch’s Pick: Hayley & Nico – Broadway: “Kiss of the Spider Woman” by Jeffrey Huard & Chita Rivera (Kiss of the Spider Woman – Cast Recording); choreo by Sean Cheesman

Erica: This was a pretty good routine. And they nailed it again.

Kate: Agreed. She is great.

Erica: Seriously that move where he hauls her over his shoulder with her leg perfectly straight up? How does she not pull something?

Memorable Auditioner #4: Stuttering Shane

Erica: Isn’t it bad that they made the word for “stutter” a word that’s easy to stutter on?

Kate: Aw, poor guy.

Aaron’s Pick: Contemporary with Kathryn: “I’m Kissing You” by Des’ree; choreo by Stacey Tookey

Kate: God I love this song.

Erica: See, this is where I’m like, if Kathryn loves dancing with him that much, he must be pretty good.

Kate: Wrong, she’s a dancer AND an actress.

Top Ten Boys: “Sand” by Nathan Lanier feat. Karen Whipple; choreo by Christopher Scott

Erica: I don’t know that anyone specific picked this; it seemed to just appear. Hallelujah. I love this routine.

Kate: Wait why did this happen again? I would have preferred a new top ten boys routine, even though this one was good.

Erica: Christopher Scott is my new favorite.

Memorable Auditioner #3: Anthony the Tiny from Texas

Erica: Kid’s pretty cute.

Kate: Not as cute as Zoe.

Cat’s Pick: Jasmine & Comfort – Hip-Hop: “Run The World (Girls)” by Beyoncé; choreo by NappyTabs

Erica: Okay, I’m sorry, Cat, you deserve a choice. This was pretty fab. Again.

Kate: I can’t get enough of this song.

Erica: So it was at this point that President Obama broke into the program. And I was like, dude, what are you so worried about? Paula and Adam and some teenaged reality show contestants have got this Syria thing COVERED. We’re going to bomb them…with LOVE. And DANCE.  It’s totes taken care of, Mr. President. Go snuggle with your wife.

Kate: I was on the phone with Mom during this stupid interruption. She was relieved the speech didn’t interrupt Jeopardy.

Erica: Anyway, the issue is, I wasn’t watching live. I was trying, but certain forces in my life were preventing me. So I did my best to record the end of this but I ended up with a huge gap. And seriously, FOX, when sh!t like this happens, send the message to the DVRs that the show is going to be longer. Or, srsly, DVRs, make that not only possible but easy-peasy for networks to do. ‘Kay? Thx. Bye.

Kate: I was watching live, so I was able to see it all.

Memorable Auditioner #2: Stripper Dude Performs Private Lap Dance for Mary

Erica: I’ll own up – until I saw this audition, I thought watching male strippers was a kind of icky experience. But this dude may have changed my mind.

Kate: Watching male strippers with Mary Murphy is ALWAYS a great experience.

Mary’s Pick: Tucker & Robert – Contemporary: “Medicine” by Daughter; choreo by Travis Wall

Erica: Unsurprising pick, lovely dancing.

Kate: They complement each other very well.

Top Twenty: Hip-Hop: “Puttin’ On The Ritz” by Herb Alpert feat. Lani Hall; choreo by NappyTabs

Erica: Ridiculous amounts of squee-ing from me. Again.

Kate: Again, why was this shown, again? Couldn’t we do a new top 20 routine?

Erica: This also wasn’t anyone’s pick; it just appeared. Y’all should pick more group numbers. What about that one where they, like, dove into the big mountain on stage? That was cool. BTW, have you seen this, Kate?

Kate: No! She is so pretty.

Erica: Okay, then they review the episode where the all-stars choreographed and we get:

Jenna & Season 4′s Mark Kanemura – Jazz: “I Am The Best” by 2NE1

Erica: I don’t think she was mouthing this time, Kate.

Kate: I still think it was an atrocious routine, and I can’t believe I was forced to witness it again.

Erica: Then Amy and Fik-Shun picked the same one:

Amy & Fik-Shun – Hip-Hop: “After Party” by Dorrough Music; choreo by NappyTabs

Erica: And as much as I like this routine and them doing it, I must say that I kind of disrespect the choice. This dance was the one they were practically designed to do, the one they could have done blindfolded when they arrived in Las Vegas. I really like that Jasmine wanted to choose something that stretched and changed her; these two, as awesome as their comfort zone is, don’t want to leave it.

Kate: But this was probably their best, and I was THRILLED they picked this.

Erica: It was still a lot of fun to watch.

Kate: Duh!

Erica: AND THEN THE MOST AMAZING THING HAPPENED ON MY TV SCREEN YOU GUYS. I STILL HAVEN’T FULLY PROCESSED IT. IT WAS . . .

NIGEL & MARY & A SURPRISE GUEST: “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye

Erica: My life is now awesome.

Kate: I know, this is the best thing the show has ever done.

Erica: It was awesome from the moment Nigel and Mary hit the dance floor. But THEN Adam Shankmann joined them!!!!  Seriously, I don’t know now what else to hope for.

Kate: I only wish Adam had been on the stage longer, what a tease!

Memorable Auditioners #1: Random Duo Called Movement Box?

Erica: They did a thing to “This Life” by Gene Shinozaki. It was pretty cool. One of the beatboxes and the other dances and it’s cool. I don’t know what else to say about it.

Kate: I don’t remember them at all from auditions?

Erica: No me neither but I didn’t watch the auditions. I did, however, see a one-man beat-box show by the husband of a professor at UIC whose classes I never took but totally should have. And then the people have chosen:

Amy & Travis Wall – Contemporary: “Wicked Games” by James Vincent McMorrow

Erica: Yup. Good. Again. Nice job, guys.

Kate: Oh Travviiisssssssssssssssssssssssss.

Erica: And then I’m missing whatever happened between that and the announcement of the winners. Thanks, NObama. I’m not voting for you anymore.

Kate: Well, that’s unfortunate, because you missed what I thought was the highlight of the night, BESIDES the glorious Mary Murphy/Nigel dance:

Top 10 & All-Stars – Jazz/Hip-Hop?: “Rock Lobster (District 78 Remix)” by the B52s; choreo by NappyTabs?

Kate: I think NappyTabs choreographed this, even though Cat didn’t announce it, because I saw some tweets from them about the end-of-summer routine in the finale. This was an adorable 60s beach scene dance which I absolutely 100% want to perform, like, now.

Erica: Okay it’s up on YouTube this morning. That was pretty damn fabulous. Although I think I like last year’s better. But whatever, I am FULLY in favor of a yearly Top 10 + All-Stars Nappy Tabs routine. Boy, I sure have come around on them, haven’t I?

Kate: Naturally, as they are the best choreographers on this show, with the exception of my love Travis.

Erica: So, in a move that surprised NO ONE, not even Jasmine, who was making a face like, “Just say Amy’s name already, Cat,” Amy and Fik-Shun win this thing. Good job, guys. Jasmine, Mak, Malece, and maybe Nico and Tucker? Hope to see you again. And Paul. He’d be fine, too.

Kate: Thank goodness America came to its senses, in one respect, anyway! I’d like to give a special shout-out thank you to our loyal readers of this blog, who definitely know they can dance: Anna P., Colleen S., Kelly E., Nicole G., Raina P., and Whitney L. Thank you for reading and commenting, guys!

Erica: And also my friend Nicole R-S! Thanks for the support!

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SYTYCD Season X – Top 4 Perform

Opening Number

Kate: No opening number again?! Not cool Fox.

Erica: Don’t they know group numbers are what we like best?

Cat’s Ensemble

Kate: Eh….

Erica: It felt like a good idea that went bad in the execution.

Kate: I mean, at first I liked the hair and dress, but up close she looked a little crazy. Perhaps she is just not aging well?

Erica: Oh, geez, Kate.

Kate: On the other hand, holy moly those shoes. Those are SO Carrie Bradshaw, and NOT in a good way.

Erica: I actually sort of love the shoes, because they are insane, but just a little black dress with them would be fine. Kind of digging Paula Abdul’s hair, what do you think?

Kate: I generally oppose feathers, sorry. I do dig it, but the amount of hairspray it took to make it look like that makes me cringe.

Erica: Also, I’m confused. Was there no vote last week? And we get to vote on some pieces for next week? I don’t like that.

Kate: Yeah, I was wondering how tonight would be a “finale” since they changed the voting/elimination process at the beginning of the season.

Amy & Aaron – Jazz: “Primal” by Richard Vission and Luciana; choreo by Ray Leeper

Kate: Their costumes are freaking me out.

Erica: Yes. Especially his, actually. Because while hers is insane, at least it’s one look. He’s got the bizarre sex club black bands, and the earthy hippy vest, and pants that, like, my dad wears on casual Friday. WTF?

Kate: I really do not like him as a dancer. He is so clunky and awkward, basically the opposite of Amy.

Erica: I don’t have the problem with him you do. I think, on the continuum for dancers between strong and graceful, he’s definitely on the strong side, but I like him overall. But yeah, he’s not anywhere near as good as Amy, who is both insanely strong and insanely graceful.

Jasmine & Fik-Shun – Contemporary: “Spiegel im Spiegel,” by Vadim Gluzman & Angela Yoffe; choreo by Travis Wall

Kate: So this is the only realm where Fik-Shun really doesn’t shine, because he has to be serious and can’t show his wonderful charisma.

Erica: He looks like he can do the steps, but he doesn’t feel it in his body. He’s thinking, “Okay, now do the thing with my chest. Okay, now hold out my hand for her. Okay, now leap.” And he leaps well, and he does the thing with his chest well, and whatnot, but the motion is just not inside him in the way it should be.

Kate: You know I don’t normally like Jasmine, but she outshined him in this piece. He did some things very nice and clean, but like last week he looked too hesitant to really push himself into the style.

Erica: I just adore her. I think Amy will win, but I like Jasmine better. At the beginning it looked like he was holding her back. Wait, wait, wait, wait. Paula Abdul is judging but she’s also hosted another show that Fik-Shun was on? Isn’t that…No fair?

Kate: I had no idea what she was talking about – what show? Not Idol?

Erica: No, they said the name. I can’t remember now.

Aaron & Season 7’s Melinda – Tap: “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars; choreo by Anthony Morigerato

Kate: Bruno Mars, Aaron, and tap. It’s like my worst SYTYCD nightmare.

Erica: Heeheehee.

Kate: I hated this. I really did. The taps sounded awful with the song, and not just because I hate Bruno Mars.

Erica: Yeah, I don’t know why they did a song at all. I know you CAN tap, and well, with actual music in the background, but you don’t HAVE to, and in this context, why would you?

Kate: Also, I watched season  7, and I have zero recollection of Melinda.

Erica: The more I look at her face, which is lovely, the more I think I remember it. But look, they haven’t had a lot of tappers. They had to find one. I would like someone to explain to me the logic behind her costume. She looks like a 15-year-old band geek who suddenly shot up five inches over the summer and now her skirt’s too short.

Kate: This has to have been one of, like, five times they’ve even done a tap number on this series, right?

Erica: Yeah, well, they don’t handle it all that well when they have it. I mean, I’m all for not losing tap; I like tap. But this wasn’t a good representation of it.

Jasmine & Comfort – Hip-Hop: “Run The World (Girls)” by Beyoncé; choreo by NappyTabs

Kate: It shocks and amazes me that my email spell checker knows to put that little accent on the “e” in “Beyoncé”.

Erica: That is fairly awesome.

Kate: This was very enjoyable for me, but only because of the song, NappyTabs and Comfort, not really because of Jasmine. Well, also because of their 90s grunge outfits.

Erica: I have to say, I respect her decision to choose to dance outside her own style. It’s saying, “I came to SYTYCD to do something different, and lookie, I can now.” And yes. Their outfits. Love.

Kate: But no, she can’t dance outside her own style very well. I just don’t think she ever loosens up or gets down low enough to do stuff like hip-hop, and that in turn makes her look sloppy and lazy. Especially next to someone like Comfort.

Erica: I thought Jasmine acquitted herself fairly well. She could get a little lower in her hips but I thought she looked good up there with Comfort and I loved the routine. Oh, my God, Nigel, do you have an Olympic athlete on the panel or something?

Amy & Fik-Shun – Tango/Paso Doble: “Hazardous Zero” by PP Music; choreo by Miriam and Leonardo

Kate: Um, I didn’t know you could combine the two genres?

Erica: I guess if you can combine any two ballroom styles, it’s those two.

Kate: Fik-Shun was better in this than the contemporary, I think, but still not as strong as I know he is/wish he could be in the performance finale.

Erica: These two have trouble looking hot together. She was very good but not particularly sexy; he looked awkward and little boyish, even though he didn’t, like, obviously screw up.

Kate: They did a great job with lifts, though, and Amy was flawless as usual.

Jasmine’s Solo: “Ready for Love” by India.Arie

Kate: Sorry I was distracted during this routine by my very macho male roommate/boyfriend singing along every word to this India.Arie song. ?!!?!

Erica: I am not surprised. Ian is quite the music aficionado.

Kate: She looked lovely in this, but I still like Amy a million times better.

Erica: I adore her. How does a person who looks like that and dances like that and has such a sweet personality lack confidence? I like her better than Amy. I think Amy is amazing. And she is so So You Think You Can Dance. But Jasmine? Oh, she’s just a dream to me.

Jasmine & Aaron – Samba: “Can’t Touch It” by Ricki-Lee; choreo by Dmitry Chaplin

Kate: Oh boy.

Erica: I still really like her.

Kate: Those dreadful 10 seconds when he just could not get her extra skirt thing off was so awkward and uncomfortable and awful – he did NOT recover well from a mistake.

Erica: Well, he might not have recovered well, but that’s also the costumer’s fault. And the outfit looked so much better without the extra skirt.

Kate: She, however, surprised me; I still think she needs to loosen up for some styles, but she shook it pretty good here. Not great, but good.

Erica: I could watch her all day. I defer to Mary Murphy always on ballroom, but I still enjoyed Jasmine’s performance in this one.

Fik-Shun’s Solo: “Gangnam Style” by Psy

Kate: I will never accept that fact that this song’s lyrics are not in fact “Open condom style”.

Erica: Ha!

Kate: I was disappointed that he chose this song, but he did a great performance. I very much want him to win.

Erica: He was mouthing the words, though.

Kate: Eh, only a little.

Erica: No, you’re right, he did really well with this.

Amy’s Solo: “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers

Kate: She edited the song really weird.

Erica: I love this song. She just used a very particular section. But the outfit was a weird choice.

Kate: It was beautiful, and she had great control over her legs, but she actually did a couple weird stomps in this that didn’t go with the rest of it.

Erica: I don’t think she’s as good at choreographing as Jasmine is. Which is not to say that her dancing isn’t amazing, but I just don’t like her choreo.

Fik-Shun & Season 4’s Twitch – Hip-Hop: “Hello, Good Morning” by Diddy Dirty Money; choreo by Luther Brown

Kate: Um, YES!

Erica: Yeah, this is what we pay for.

Kate: Not to agree with Nigel or anything, but it really was like Twitch and Twitch Jr.! Because of their height difference I really was thinking during the performance ‘It’s kind of like they’re father and son’.

Erica: I was thinking brothers, but okay. I was actually thinking about that number in Meet Me in St. Louis where Judy Garland performs with her total ham of a little sister. But, you know, with hip-hop.

Kate: OMG YES! Side note, I was just talking about that movie because our friends we visited in St. Louis have never seen the movie, so I am now forcing it upon them.

Erica: It’s the best. Well, not the best. But supremely enjoyable.

Kate: I almost almost almost think Twitch held back a little to let Fik-Shun shine, and that he did.

Erica: This was just a ton of fun. Loved it.

Kate: I do wish the routine was a little faster and really showed off both of their hip-hop skills, but that’s the fault of Luther Brown. They were really great together.

Erica: I liked the choreo. I didn’t need it faster. Also, can we please, PLEASE see Nigel and Paula Abdul dance together next week? That would make MY life awesome.

Aaron’s Solo: “You and I (Acoustic)” by Jason Mraz

Kate: No.

Erica: Just, we don’t need music for a tap routine. We just don’t.

Kate: Just, no.

Amy & Season 7’s Robert – Contemporary: “Say Something” by A Great Big World; choreo by Stacy Tookey

Kate: Oh man, I love watching Robert dance.

Erica: Oh, man, this storyline is one that gets me right where I live. And I loved the song. And I may or may not be a little teary-eyed.

Kate: They were obviously great together. I think her best moment on this show was her routine with Travis a couple weeks ago, and this wasn’t too far off.

Erica: This was amazing. Choreo, dancing, all of it. Amazing.

Fik-Shun & Aaron – Broadway: “The Jitters” by Big Bad VooDoo Daddy; choreo by Tasty Oreo

Kate: Do you see that, America? Can you tell the difference between someone who has clean, sharp, energetic movements versus someone who is sloppy and clunky and overall oafy but relies on a semi-decent personality?

Erica: Meh, I didn’t think either of them particularly shone, dance-wise, in this piece, so what we had left was two personalities, and Fik-Shun is just more bouncy.

Kate: Seriously, the difference between them is night and day. Fik-Shun MUST win.

Erica: Well, he will. But can we discuss? Has Broadway run out of songs? Is their a problem getting rights? What on earth is going on? This routine was strongly reminiscent of Gene Kelly’s “Gotta Dance” number in Singin’ in the Rain, or at least the on-the-street part of it…So we couldn’t set it to “Gotta Dance”?

Kate: I don’t know what’s going on with Broadway on this show, but this was my favorite in a while.

Erica: Paula, you’re responsible for releasing Tasty Oreo on the world? I’m not sure I wanted to know that about you. I still have a lot of “Opposites Attract” affection left for you.

Amy & Jasmine – Jazz: “The Diva Dance” by Eric Serra; choreo by Mark Kanemura

Kate: What the hell was that?

Erica: It was a routine from Gaga’s lead dancer.

Kate: Truly one of the most bizarre routines to appear on this show, and not in an awesome way like Sonya’s.

Erica: Well, I didn’t like Sonya at first, either. In all types of art, you can teach a wack job to pull back a little, but you can’t draw out wackiness from someone who doesn’t have it. I think what we’re seeing is Mark Kanemura before he’s learned to pull back and I think he’s got an interesting career ahead of him.

Kate: But…They actually looked pretty good together? Very in sync, very energetic, good kicks and leaps. What a pain in the arse it must have been to have that hula hoop around their waists the whole time, eh?

Erica: Yeah, I thought they did well. They are both terrific. I thought Amy had the slight edge over Jasmine in terms of acting here, but they were both so good.

Kate: Can we comment on the judges real quick?

Erica: I LOVE commenting on the judges.

Kate: They got a lot of stupid judges this season, meaning people who added NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, to the dance conversation. Gabby, you’re great at flipping around and all, but saying “good job” to every dancer is not a critique. Paula, seriously, what happened to you? Did you have a stroke and lose certain speech functionality? And Carly Rae Jepsen? I can’t even.

Erica: Didn’t that happen to Paula a long time ago? I mean, they don’t have people like Gabby on because she’s going to be really good at critiquing dance; they have them on so Nigel can be all, “An Olympic athlete wanted to be on our show!!”

Kate: Wait, that really did happen to Paula? Now I feel bad. She just always sounds like she’s about to cry. And I prefer when they have fun celebrities on who – SURPRISE! – happen to have a dance background most people don’t about, like Christina Applegate.

Erica: No, not actually, I just mean that at “Idol” she had the reputation of being all loopy and weird and like maybe something had done some damage at some point. So her persona on this show is not new.

Kate: The finale is almost here, folks! Tune in next week to see who wins — I cast my votes, make sure you do the same!

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Erica: I totally didn’t. But you should. But can I say something? Next year, let’s have only one winner, but let’s not commit ourselves to voting off one boy and one girl every week. Maybe for the first 5 weeks. But once we’re down to a top 10, let’s just vote off the two lowest regardless of gender. I mean, we already know they can choreograph dances for two members of the same sex, so who cares, right? And then we’ll be going purely on best dancer, not best boy and girl.

Kate: No, I like that they changed it to best boy and best girl, because the two genders do dance very differently.

Erica: I don’t know; Tucker and Jasmine dance pretty similarly. I think differences have more to do with genre. Anyway, it’s been a fabulous run, and I can’t wait to see all these people do their thing next week! Praying now that one of their favorite dances stars Makenzie! And/or Malece!

SYTYCD Season X – Top Six Perform

Erica: First of all, Miss Katie Boe, I have a bone to pick with you.

Kate: What?!

Erica: You did the VMAs without me!

Kate: It was spur of the moment, and I figured you didn’t watch the actual show.

Erica: I almost never watch the show! Can we do them together next year?

Kate: Certainly!

Erica: Okay, on to the show.

Opening Number –

Erica: Wait. There is no opening number. What’s going on here?

Kate: Yea, WTF mates?

Cat’s Ensemble

Erica: Dress? Fine. Vast improvement. Necklace? Fab. Want. Hair? My favorite. Nice job tonight, people who dress Cat!

Kate: Yes, she redeemed herself from last week, but I don’t like the awkward length of the dress.

Mary’s Ensemble

Kate: Sorry, need to comment because I kind of loved Mary’s hair and shirt tonight. Until she stood up and a I realized it was a dress.

Erica: Fair assessment. Okay, so they introduce the six dancers, and then we meet the judges – Hi, Jesse Tyler Ferguson! So nice to see you! I saw you on stage this summer in The Comedy of Errors but it was super rainy and we were kicked out of the theater and then we were let back in and then the sound was out and then it started raining again really hard and then everyone I was with wanted to leave so I left but you were great!

Kate: He’s such a cutie.

Erica: And now we’re getting the group number.

Group Number – African jazz; “Hlohonolofatsa” by Soweta Gospel Choir, choreo by Sean Cheesman

Erica: Now, see, I liked this. I think the costumes make a difference. Simple white costumes with no “ethnic” markers or “wild,” “primitive” accessories make this look beautiful to me instead of racist.

Kate: Yes to the costumes, but I thought the dance itself was a bit messy. I get that African Jazz may be less about being together and in sync than other styles, but everyone looked a little too sloppy for my taste.

Erica: Amy had her cheer face on a little too hard; her motions were more exaggerated than the rest of the group and it looked goofy. And I still miss Makenzie. But otherwise I really liked this; I thought it was beautiful.

Kate: I know, she’s got to stop with that, but then I noticed Fik-Shun was being cheer facey too.

Paul and Season 6’s Katheryn – Jazz, “Tied Up” by Yello, choreo by Tasty Oreo

Erica: Liked the dancing but not so much the choreo.

Kate: I loved this! They were very good together.

Erica: I also thought the design concept was weird. The judges kept going on about the skirt but I just thought there was a disconnect between the look chosen and the song.

Kate: I didn’t focus on the theme, JUDGES, just the dancing. Which I thought was swell.

Amy solo – “Anna’s Theme” from The Red Violin

Erica: Her movements are very frantic. I’m not sure it’s quite fitting with the song.

Kate: Check out her crazy back muscles, though!

Hayley & Season 4’s Joshua – Hip-hop, “Work Hard Play Hard” by Wiz Khalife

Erica: Wow, it’s been a while, Joshua. I almost forgot how sexy you and Katee were. (I’d post links but YouTube is being funny about it. Did a whole bunch of users have their Fox videos taken down? Is it my computer? I don’t know.) So level with us now – you guys were doin’ it, right? If not, you should have.

Kate: Joshua is too gangsta for Hayley.

Erica: The camera was very swoopy here. I found it annoying.

Kate: Yea cameras were going nuts tonight. What I mean by my previous comment is, she did not do a bad job at hip-hop, but next to Joshua she looked pretty silly.

Erica: See I liked the choreo here but thought the dance wasn’t quite . . . something. They didn’t seem together to me. Although maybe it was the swoopy camera.

Kate: No, it was her lack of hood-ness.

Erica: Were you excited to see Baby NappyTabs?

Kate: I….wasn’t paying enough attention to notice. *Bad Kate*

Erica: You know, Nigel said something about there is always criticism of who goes home and who stays but it all works out because what a talented top 6, and, you know, this top 6 is pretty good (I like Aaron more than you do, Kate), but I’m not really rooting for any of them. I miss Malece and Makenzie, and if either Nico or Tucker was still in the competition, I’d probably be rooting for him over any of these three. As it stands I suppose I favor Jasmine for the girls but it’s gonna be Amy, and I guess of these three, it’s Paul for the boys but it’s gonna be Fik-Shun. Although my reluctance to root for Fik-Shun has more to do with the judges and less to do with him.

Fik-Shun solo – “Look At Me Now” by Chris Brown feat. Li’l Wayne & Busta Rhymes

Erica: Do not approve the song choice – or, rather, artist choice – but damn this boy is good.

Kate: He is going to win.

Aaron and Season 8 winner Melanie – Broadway, “Faith” by George Michael, choreo by Spencer Liff

Erica: Seriously, Spencer Liff, what do you have against choreographing Broadway dances to Broadway tunes? Or is this song in some jukebox musical I am not yet aware of?

Kate: Seriously, I was like, ‘When was this song used in a Broadway show? How behind the times am I?’

Erica: I have to say, I liked this. And, um . . . Aaron’s arms . . .

Kate: No.

Erica: I know he dropped her. And that was bad. But . . .

Kate: No! He’s not that good, guys! He’s so not graceful and clunky, and you know how I said the all-stars had been bringing out the best in the contestants? That did NOT happen here. Ugh I am getting very angry at him.

Jasmine solo – “Amazing Grace” by Destiny’s Child

Erica: The title of the song was longer than that but it confused me and it sounded like “Amazing Grace” to me so that’s what I went with.

Kate: It’s the “outro” on their album “The Writing’s on the Wall’. Duh.

Erica: She’s so strong and so fluid. I really like her. And I love her mom.

Kate: She’s still not as good as Hayley, in my humble opinion.

Paul solo – “Mamba Negra” by Herecco

Erica: Fab. I think ballroom solos are easier for guys. Nigel’s probably very sad Paul never did a paso this season.

Kate: I love him, he’s so talented.

Fik-Shun and Season 9’s Witney – Foxtrot, “Sexy Silk” by Jessie J, choreo by Jonathan Roberts

Kate: Foxtrot is one word, huh?

Erica: Yeah. I don’t think we’ve seen this choreographer before. And I don’t mind if we don’t again. The dance was so focused on “Witney is a hot sexy mama!” that the parts that were actually foxtrot seemed tacked on. Which, I mean, I suppose watching it is still enjoyable, but then don’t call it the foxtrot. Call it something else that can be more easily tacked on to a “But Witney, seriously, hot, right?” number.

Kate: I noticed that too.

Erica: I wasn’t bothered by him much but if Ballroom Expert Mary Murphy says he didn’t do well, he didn’t do well.

Kate: He was extremely overpowered by Witney, but he didn’t look fumbly and awkward and like he was missing steps.  He seemed confident in a few things he was doing, and Mary was right about his lines being good, but then he kind of didn’t do everything he was supposed to.

Hayley solo – “Be Mine” by Robyn

Erica: I think hers was my favorite of the girls’ solos.

Kate: Because she’s the best girl!

Jasmine & Season ‘s Neil – Contemporary, “Unfaithful” from the Unfaithful soundtrack, choreo by Tasty Oreo.

Erica: Oh, good, and ISSUES piece.

Kate: Ha, I’m sorry, but I couldn’t get behind the hurricane thing. And I’m technically a “victim” of Sandy.

Erica: OMG, Tyce, you are, like, SO sensitive, you know? This pieces was, seriously, SO IMPORTANT. You, literally, you like, saved the world? With this dance? No more tsunamis, people! No more! Never forget to not let tsunamis happen and to prevent them with DANCE!

Kate:  Yeah, and there they go again being too literal with the dances and the “message” and the papers blowing all around them on the stage. Why can’t you portray “hurricane” to me without that crap?

Erica: I mean, they danced it beautifully. It’s just that I think Tyce is a version of The Girl At The Party You Wish You Hadn’t Started a Conversation With.

Aaron solo – “Use Me” by Bill Withers

Erica: Oh my goodness I could not watch one second of this because the camera angle was such that the bright spotlight over his head was right in my eyes. I’m sure he did fine.

Kate: Oh my goodness I hate tap. It sounds so bad. It just does not work on this show.

Amy & Season Never’s Alex – Bollywood, “Munni Badnaam Hui Darling” from the Dabangg Soundtrack, choreo by Nakhul Dev Mahajan

Erica: This was like the best Bollywood ever.

Kate: It sure was! She is perfect for Bollywood.

Erica: I mean, outside actual Bollywood.

Kate: Holy moly those knee turn things – my quads hurt just looking at them.

Hayley & Paul – Contemporary, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by Sleeping At Last, choreo by Dee Caspary

Erica: So, first, this song. This was a nice arrangement of this song. I like it in its original form by The Proclaimers. And also we use that tune to do “Hinei Mah Tov” at my Hebrew School and the kids love it.

Kate: I couldn’t tell what the song was for a while.

Erica: Second thing, I think it was a little unfair that Hayley and Paul had to dance together while the other four got to be relinked with their original pairs.

Kate: ? But their original partners are gone.

Erica: Right, but they could have mixed all of them up. Amy dance with Paul or Aaron, Jasmine dance with Fik-Shun or Paul, and Hayley dance with whoever.

Kate: True. But Hayley and Paul were great together, and I was thrilled to see Amy and Fik-Shun back together.

Third thing, I usually really like Dee Caspary but tonight I didn’t find this piece particularly inspiring. Fine, but not as good as his stuff usually is. But Paul and Hayley did a beautiful job with it.

Kate: Yes, I didn’t feel particularly moved, but I thought they connected very well together because they are both very good dancers. They are the best on the show, but they won’t win.

Erica: How much did you love Jesse Tyler Ferguson mocking Carly Rae Jepsen?

Kate: Lots, she was the worst guest judge since Lil’ C.

Amy & Fik-Shun – Hip-hop, “Lemme See” by Usher feat. Rick Ross, choreo by David Scott

Kate: Looooooooooooooooooveee

Erica: Really, David Scott? Your inspiration is “Women be shoppin'”? Can we have another one in the key of “And men never stop to ask for directions!” Then maybe you can do one about airline food or mothers-in-law.

Kate: Shush, this was great.

Erica: I wasn’t terribly impressed with this number, although it was more the choreo than either of them. And my general state of annoyance.

Kate: No, I was so happy to see them back together, they are so together when they are together. He is SO GOOD at what he does.

Erica: And judges, seriously, what was with y’all on this one? Nigel, I’m SO GLAD you brought up Miley Cyrus because that is SO RELEVANT to anything that happened on stage (although I admit, for a hot second I thought Amy might start twerking (Yes, autocorrect, it’s a word, and I’m sad about that, too.)). Mary, the Tom Clancy quote? I like that quote (“The difference between fiction and real life is that fiction has to make sense.”) but what on earth did it have to do with anything? And Jesse Tyler Ferguson I love you so much but you were not “literally” blown away by anything tonight because look at you sitting right there and all in one piece.

Kate: Hey, no one has been able to not bring up Miley all week, and Mary was making a pun because of “fiction” and Fik-Shun, duh!

Aaron & Jasmine – Jazz, “Mirror Mirror” by Lord KraVen, choreo by Sean Cheesman

Erica: Now that Sean Cheesman is keeping his pec cleavage under wraps I’m going to start obsessing about his massive neck.

Kate: Ew!

Erica: I hated this. I mean, not them, not Aaron and Jasmine. Aaron’s arms continued to . . . um . . . impress me tonight (Hey, if Jesse Tyler Ferguson can have a crush on him, I can have a brief evening of attraction, Kate!) and I love his jumps, and Jesus H. Christ, Jasmine’s legs with the what in the hell did she do to make them go like that? But the choreo, the song, the look, everything. Hated.

Kate: Again, we are too literal with the songs and the dances and the “messages”, but this was one of their better routines for me. I still do not think he deserves to be here, though.

Erica: And then Hayley and Paul went home. I am sad but not particularly surprised. Actually I’m a little surprised Paul went home before Aaron.

Kate: I am once again appalled by America, but I admire both Hayley’s and Paul’s non-weepy reaction. They were just like, “Aright, see ya!”

Erica: Well, look, tWitch, who did not win his season, is the superstar forever of SYTYCD. And Joshua, who did win that season, just showed up again now. And Travis, who did not win his season, is a fabulous choreographer for SYTYCD, whereas we see Benji, who did win that season, like, almost never. Kathryn didn’t win her season. Allison didn’t win her season. At this point, making it this far, they will have careers. We are not to worry.

Kate: So help me god, America, if Aaron wins over Fik-Shun………………………..

Erica: That will not happen.

SYTYCD Season X – Top 10 Perform

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Erica: Zoe was watching with me for the first few dances and watching me take notes. She insisted I write the following in my notebook: “Zoe, Ricki’s daughter, loves her mommy. I love  you, Mom. Love, Zoe.”

Kate: What about Aunt Kate?!

Erica: I will keep you posted on other things she had to say.

Opening Number – Contemporary; “The Gravel” from The Village soundtrack; choreo by Christopher Scott

Erica: I thought the concept and choreography were very cool – they’re all in rocking chairs; sometimes their bodies are moving with the rocking motions. There’s a kind of stark, ’30s Dust Bowl feel to the thing. But it felt like it need a few more hours of rehearsal. The dancers weren’t finishing movements, weren’t sharp enough, weren’t in tune with each other enough, I thought.

Kate: The rocking chairs were very distracting. I find it hard to grasp that Christopher Scott choreographs contemporary and hip-hop.

Erica: Also, they featured Jenna pretty heavily, in a further effort to prove to me that she’s a good dancer. Which she is. But I still liked Malece better and when a dancer spends WEEKS on the bottom and you keep SAYING this isn’t a search for America’s BEST dancer, it’s a search for America’s FAVORITE dancer, and use that as an excuse to keep your pet b-boys around so that you can patronize them for weeks . . . I may have lost the thread of this sentence. But my point remains – WHY HASN’T JENNA GONE HOME YET?!

Kate: I don’t know, she really bothers me.

Zoe: And there was pretty music.

Cat’s Ensemble/Opening Business

Erica: I thought she looked fine.

Kate: In certain lighting she looked AWFUL.

Erica: I do still love her personality. She’s like what a super-intelligent computer would spit out if you asked for the perfect competitive reality show host.

Kate: I mean, I much prefer her to the likes of Ryan Seacrest.

Erica: And I’m happy to see Debbie Allen. I would like for Debbie Allen to be my . . . life coach? Therapist? Aunt? I don’t know. Something.

Kate: Ditto, but, um, WHERE IS ADAM SHANKMANN!?

Erica: I’d actually rather have Adam Shankmann choreographing than judging. So this is the week the All-Stars start. Nigel wants to pretend that we’re not seeing the Bottom Four (Nico, Tucker, Jenna, and Makenzie) perform their solos because we’ve seen these solos, but a) have we seen Nico’s?, b) We haven’t seen Jenna’s in weeks because YOU KEEP SAVING HER FOR SOME REASON, and c) we all know it’s because you’re back up to ten duets after dropping down to six last week so let’s not play.

Kate: I’m pretty sure we’ve seen Nico’s, and I am thrilled to not have to look at solos.

Amy & Season 5’s Brandon – Disco; “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston; choreo by Doriana Sanchez

Erica: Doriana Sanchez promised us “everything you would expect” from a disco routine. Because she’s been choreographing the same thing since 1973.

Kate: I had a huge problem with the remix of this song, it made for VERY awkward dancing.

Zoe: These guys are great. These boy and girl are great.

Erica: I have to say, I was more impressed than I expected to be. There were some seriously insane lifts in there. Though you’re right about the mix of the song. Awful.

Kate: Yes, insane lifts, but I thought they missed a LOT of connections and that Brandon looked a little shaky and out of practice. But didn’t he do an awesome disco in his season?

Erica:Yes, but he was also amazing in other things.  And, if you’re interested, has show up on “Glee” at least once, as a dancer in the “Let’s Get Physical” number. Amy has major cheerface. Nigel compared her to Melanie but Amy is mostly good at performance as long as performance means “Smile and be super-duper bouncy and excited.” Melanie is an actress.

Kate: Also, Brandon is COVERED in glitter, and also also, Amy has Mel B. hair.

Aaron & Season 6’s Kathryn – Contemporary, “I’m Kissing You” by Des’ree; choreo by Stacey Tookey

Erica: I just need a minute to discuss how adorable Stacey Tookey is. Because she is adorable with her hair and her make-up and just so cute.

Kate: Er! This song! I only know this song because of you! I love this song!

Erica: Jason didn’t remember this song but it was pretty popular when we were in high school. It was in Romeo + Juliet. I loved it, too.

Kate: Did you know they are remaking that A-GAIN? But what did you think about the dancing? I think Kathryn has gotten better and better since leaving the show (and also sort of different looking?), but I think she stole the show here. Aaron didn’t do much dancing at all, just tossed her about.

Zoe: They were good at dancing with pretty music.

Erica: I don’t know, I thought he was good. I mean, she’s spectacular, and yes, his main job was throwing her around. But he did that well, right? And Katherine <3ed him so hard so I’m going to go with, Aaron is amazing in ways I have not appreciated yet.

Fik-Shun & Season 8 Winner Melanie – Jazz, “Feeling Good” by Jennifer Hudson; choreo by Mandy Moore

Erica: We love you, Melanie! Oh, yes we do! We don’t love anyone as much as you!

Kate: If this wasn’t a Hot Tamale Train qualifier, I don’t know what is. Man I thought they were great together! She really brought out the best in him.

Erica: So I promised myself that I would pay attention to Fik-Shun because after all he is the competitor here but my eyes couldn’t leave Melanie. She’s just everything a performer ought to be. So the second time I paid attention to him and he’s . . . he’s not bad. He really isn’t. But they spend so much time talking about his journey and his challenges and whatnot and here is the thing – they have too many different buy-ins on this show. You can EITHER have a show in which hella talented, rigorously trained young dancers come on to hone their craft and get exposure, or you can have a show in which relatively untrained but amazingly talented dancers come on to learn the craft and go on a journey. But you cannot have those two groups competing against each other. I mean, Fik-Shun has a made-for-reality-TV personality, and he’s a very talented dancer, but I don’t want to here about his journey while watching gorgeous dancers like Malece get kicked off.

Kate: Well, he’s never been in the bottom this season, so there is something to him. I hate how Nigel patronizes him, and he is not the best dancer I’ve ever seen, but, honestly, the guys aren’t that great this season, and he stands out to me.

Erica: Cyrus was never in the bottom, either. And Fik-Shun is way better than Cyrus. But still. I mean, did you  hear Mandy Moore in the rehearsal footage? “Melanie was the Season 8 WINNER. Fik-Shun has to meet her half-way”? That’s not encouraging. And yet he’s popular so he stays. Whereas Jenna has been in the Bottom 3 EVERY FUCKING WEEK FOR THE LAST A MILLION WEEKS. Because even if she’s technically great, no one likes her. And you can’t have those two things being at the crux of the same damn competition. God.

Zoe: I AM NOT SLEEPY! I AM NEVER GOING SLEEPIES! (Snore)

Paul & Season 9’s Witney – Cha-cha; “Live It Up” by Jennifer Lopez; choreo by Jean-Mark Genereux

Erica: So Witney has a movie coming out? It’s East Side Story and it’s got a ton of SYTYCD alumni – Comfort, Brandon, Jordan, Russell, Witney, and Chehon all appear. It looks seriously low-rent, though. And, hey, Witney, Chehon – IMDB needs your photo, dudes. What’s up with that? Pay a publicist. God.

Kate: Wait, I don’t like what the name is leading me to believe it might be, but I’d love to see those dancers (says the girl who loves the second third and fourth Step Up and Bring It On movies).

Erica: I did not connect with this. I don’t know if it’s that I think the cha-cha is something that it’s not, or if this wasn’t choreographed well, or if it wasn’t danced well, or if the song sucked, or what, but I just didn’t like it. And I like Paul and I’ve always been a fan of Witney’s dancing so I don’t know what the deal is.

Kate: Well their size difference wasn’t ideal, but I thought they actually connected well and cha-chaed their little hearts out. I feel like I’ve said this before, but, Paul is GREAT at body rolls.

Erica: Paul is still growing, right? Because I think he’s a great dancer, but he’s so . . . adorable. As opposed to sexy. Is it because I’m getting old?

Kate: No, he weighs less than I do. That can’t be sexy in a guy.

Hayley & Season 4’s Twitch – Hip-hop; “Locked Out of Heaven (District 78 Remix)” by Bruno Mars; choreo by Christopher Scott

Erica: Are you going to say something about Bruno Mars?

Kate: I’m excited that District 78 blocked out most of his stupid voice.

Erica: I kind of want to talk to Hayley about eyebrow and eye make-up choices. She’s seriously cute but her decisions in those arena are diminishing, rather than enhancing, her cuteness.

Kate: What makes you think those are her choices at this point?

Erica: Because I’m talking about how she looks in rehearsal footage, how she looked at auditions, etc. Her eye makeup and eyebrows looked better on stage.

Kate: …

Erica: This was really very cute and fun. Twitch is the ultimate SYTYCD dancer/performer and Hayley clearly lit up dancing with him.

Kate: Yes, I felt this dance focused too much on Hayley and not enough on Twitch. She was OK at hip-hop, but not as good as she has been at everything else, and I just would have preferred to watch him. AND ALEX WONG!

Jenna & Season 3’s Neil – Contemporary, “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Mark Masri

Erica: Boy, he sure filled out.

Kate: He is the Calling You bench dance guy, right?

Erica: No, that’s Travis. He did the Mia Michaels dead dad piece with Lacey Schwimmer. In his own season, he did stuff like this.

Erica: The thing is, Jenna is not a bad dancer. She’s a good dancer. And she can give basically whatever the choreographers want her to give. I mean, obviously, she doesn’t suck – she made it onto this show and she’s not a b-boy. But there’s nothing interesting or unique about her dancing, either. She’s a blank canvas for choreographers. She was good here, she really was. But I’d still rather have been watching Malece.

Kate: Ditto! The all-stars are really bringing out the best in the dancers this week, but I don’t think that’s fair because they should have been dancing like this all along.

Erica: As a former stage manager/producer, I was sort of rolling my eyes at the set. All those candles. That is some irritating work to set up and break down right there.

Kate: As our mother’s daughter, I thought that was fraught with peril.

Jasmine & Season 8’s Marko – Jazz, “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke feat. Pharrell; choreography by Ray Leeper

Erica: I was wondering when we were going to get this song!

Kate: I, like, JUST heard this song for the first time. And still have not seen the video.

Erica: I am somewhat embarrassed but I kind of love this song. And have failed to be at all offended by the video (which I’m not linking, because it’s NSFW, and I am all about protecting you, my readers). I am terribly pleased and proud that Nigel managed not to say anything lewd about Jasmine and the costumes of the girls in the video.

Kate: I didn’t love Jasmine in this. I felt like she was trying way too hard to have jazz swagger, whereas Marko seemed to come by it very naturally. And, talk about awkward size difference – Nigel said he thought he was watching two all-stars at times, and I thought Jasmine was the guy and Marko was the girl, at times.

Erica: I thought it was cute and fun and they were both very good but they did not look like the same person.

Makenzie & Season 6’s Jakob – Broadway, “Too Darn Hot (RAC mix)” by Ella Fitzgerald, choreo by Spencer Liff

Erica: I don’t remember this guy at all. Where’s Pasha?

Kate: I think he was ballroom, no?

Erica: I really, really hate the arrangement of this song. And I LOVE this song and I LOVE Ella and I don’t know who RAC is but I am not a fan of them right now.

Kate: But I thought they were great in this together! Very into the characters/theme, very in sync, very connected; I felt like this was right up Makenzie’s alley.

Erica: So on the one hand, I’m like, oh, great, another number in which Makenzie is a sexpot. And then I’m like, damn, Makenzie is so good at being a sexpot. I mean, she was phenomenal in this number. Supernova. And it was tough because this number wasn’t great. The choreography was not particularly original or exciting. But Makenzie made it sing. See, choreographers, this is who you should want to work with. Not Jenna, who can do exactly what you tell her to do, but Makenzie, who can make any shit you throw at them SING.

Kate: She’s so pretty it’s not fair.

Erica: Also, her hair and make-up were TO DIE FOR. I mean, she’s a pretty girl; it’s not like it’s hard to make her look good. But this look on her was A-MAZ-ING.

Kate: Not fair.

Erica: And then Nigel is all, “To borrow from Marc Antony, I suppose I should bury you and not praise you,” and, a) true confession time – at first I thought he was talking about the singer and it took me way longer than it should have to realize he was quoting Shakespeare, b) I’m not really sure it was an appropriate quote from Shakespeare because interpreting it in the context of Julius Caesar, one would conclude that what he meant was this was her last show, to the extent that interpreting it in the context of Julius Caesar gave it any meaning at all, and c) I think what he meant was, “Maybe I should say nasty things about you instead of praising you all the time so the voters will have sympathy for you and vote to save you from my evilness,” but . . . that doesn’t really have anything to do with the quote. It’s okay, Nigel. You have a British accent. We Americans already assume you’re smarter than we are. You don’t have to pull out the Shakespeare.

Kate: I had NO IDEA what he was referring to there. Thanks for clearing up.

Nico & Season 2’s Comfort (!) – Hip-hop, “Get Ur Freak On (Amended LP version)” by Missy Elliott; choreo by NappyTabs

Erica: You know that scene in Mean Girls when the song comes on and Damien goes, “I love this song,” and Janice Ian goes, “I hate this song,” and Cady goes, “I know this song!” all pleased with herself? That’s how I felt when this song started up.

Kate: I ADORE this song, ESPECIALLY for awesome hip-hop routine dancing. I thought it was an excellent combination of forces – NappyTabs, Comfort, and Missy.

Erica: So, NappyTabs, reptiles are precise and deliberate and explosive? I . . . alright. If you say so.

Kate: I loved this. I mean, this might have been one of my favorites of the season so far, it’s so me. I think Nico did an awesome job getting into this character and having hip-hop swag and matching Comfort’s level. I kind of knew it was too little too late for him, but I always knew he had this in him.

Erica: I thought it was very good and I thought that Nico was much better than I was expecting him to be. Also, Mary Murphy, no one in the known universe believes you when you try a fake-out. No one.

Tucker & Season 6’s Robert – Contemporary, “Medicine” by Daughter; choreo by Travis Wall

Erica: I didn’t know Robert was in an accident. That sucks.

Kate: I’m in lerve with him. He is muh fave boy dancer from this show after Twitch.

Erica: So they were spectacular and I’m even going to give a pass on the sentimentality because it’s not an “issue” and also I was kind of thinking about my dad and uncle and how much they help each other out so, you know. I liked it.

Kate: I like when they pair boys together on this show, like the Kent and Neil baseball routine from season 7, and these two were a perfect match.

Erica: Hey, where is Kent? He was great. Looking up all these videos is reminding me of all the past performers I’d love to see as All-Stars.

Kate: He and season 7 winner Lauren never participate in anything. Makes me wonder…

Erica: Kind of unfair giving Tucker contemporary, though, right? When Nico, who he’s up against, is also a contemporary dancer, and did hip-hop? And wasn’t in a life-threatening accident?

Kate: But Nico killed it in the hip-hop, and don’t they, like, pick out of a hat for their styles that week? Or is that a lie and I’m very, very naïve?

Erica: Very naive. I mean, seriously, the two dancers who were in a tragic accidents are paired for a contemporary routine with Travis Wall by sheer coincidence? No.

Eliminations

Erica: WHAT IS JENNA DOING? IS SHE MAKING THEM CUPCAKES? IS THAT IT? IS THAT WHY MARY MURPHY IS ON A DIET? BECAUSE SHE’S BEEN MAKING THEM CUPCAKES?!

Kate: I can’t even.

Erica: Whatever. I’m going to miss you, Makenzie. You’re gorgeous and it’s not your fault that straight guys don’t vote.

Kate: I hope she becomes the highest-paid dancer in the history of everything and stars in an insanely successful Broadway show and just stomps all over this stupid, STUPID country.

Erica: As far as the boys, I think Nico had a better week than Tucker this week, by some small margin, but I think they are both fairly fantastic and, you know, it’s fine.

Kate: Yeah, I am not emotionally invested in either of them. Now, what’s this about something special going on next week?

Erica: What?

Kate: Cat said something special was happening next week. Guess we’ll have to wait and see!

SYTYCD Season X – Top 12 Perform

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Opening Number – Bollywood: “Pandeyjee Seeti” from Dabangg 2 (Original Soundtrack); choreo by Nahul Dev Mahajan

Kate: Have they ever done a group Bollywood routine before?

Erica: No.

Kate: I don’t know if this works. It’s hard for me to tell if anyone is good at Bollywood when they are in a group setting.

Erica: See, I felt like it ought to have been better, because it was group, and it is my understanding that most Bollywood numbers in, like, actual Bollywood movies are in large groups but this didn’t feel…full enough? I don’t know.

Kate: Amy is CHEESING so hard. And, coming from a former cheerleader, she looks WAY to cheerleadery in this.

Erica: I got the sense that they were all directed to keep up cheerleader-esque smiles the whole time. And Amy is exceptionally good at that.

Cat’s Outfit

Kate: She looks like a 35-year-old doll.

Erica: That’s super-awful and weird.

Kate: I like the concept of the dress, but it’s a little too much for me.

Erica: I don’t even like the concept. I like the hair, though.

Kate: Again, that is how I want my hair to look every day.

Bottom 6

Kate: ANOTHER injury? This is getting ridiculous

Erica: Seriously. Are they working them harder this season or did they get a bunch of guys who aren’t so good at taking care of their injuries or what? Oh, and is Mary wearing body glitter?

Kate: I think it’s the latter.

Erica: I also want to be on the record as hating Kenny Ortega. I’m not sure why but I’m pretty sure I do.

Kate: Oh I like him – he is responsible for bringing Dirty Dancing into the world!

Erica: He’s pissed me off on this show before. Can’t put my finger on why.

Kate: Why do they constantly save Jenna? There is a REASON she is constantly in the bottom, “judges”!

Erica: THEY’RE SAVING JENNA OVER MALECE AND AMY?!!!!! WTF, JUDGES?! WTF?!

Tucker’s Solo: “Maestro” from “The Holiday” (Original Soundtrack)

Kate: Wait, he’s injured but can do a solo? How does that work?

Erica: I think the situation was, he was too injured during the week to rehearse, but the knee is better tonight.

Kate: He does look unsteady on that knee.

Erica: Really? I thought it was miraculous that he could do what he did on a bad knee at all. Then again, it was infected, not sprained or something.

Amy’s Solo: “Je Suis Malade” by Lara Fabian

Kate: My viewing partner said she always looks unbalanced and ungraceful – I didn’t think that before, but in this solo…Yeah, she kinda does.

Erica: Maybe she’s not a good choreographer.

Kate: I still like her a lot, but she kind of thumped around unsteadily here. Not good for the decision later in the show.

Malece’s Solo: “Patient Love” by Passenger

Kate: Um, red is SO her color!

Erica: I know this has nothing to do with anything but I really like the song.

Kate: She is very talented. I’m not sure why she is in the bottom?

Erica: Me neither. This solo was great. It was better than Amy’s. But both of them should still be in the competition; Jenna should be out. What is wrong with you, America? And what is wrong with you, judges?

Alan’s Solo: “Mas Que Nada” by Sergio Mendes Feat. The Black Eyed Peas

Kate: Ew.

Erica: I don’t know what your problem is.

Kate: He is SHIMMYING. He’s a guy, shimmying! Not ok! So CREEPY I can’t stand it!

Erica: He’s a ballroom dancer! They shimmy. Don’t be so gender essentialist about it.

Kate: Also, he is kind of a lesser version of Mario Lopez.

Erica: Can Mario Lopez dance?

Kate: I mean in terms of appearance.

Hayley & Nico – Broadway: “Kiss of the Spider Woman” by Jeffrey Huard & Chita Rivera (Kiss of the Spider Woman – Cast Recording); choreo by Sean Cheesman

Erica: One thing I learned about Hayley is that she’s much cuter without the thick eyeliner and over-plucked brows.

Kate: I have never heard of this song or this show, so it doesn’t count as Broadway.

Erica: Oh, Kate. Kiss of the Spider Woman is kind of a big show. Vanessa Williams was in it last time it was revived.

Kate: So it started off a little weird for me, but it got better as it went on.

Erica: I thought it was quite good. I have been lukewarm about Hayley – and positively cold on Sean Cheesman – but I really liked this.

Kate: I think she is very talented, but I was hoping for more from the two of them as a pair. Lots of super cool lifts, though.

Erica: Super cool. That one where he just flipped her over his shoulder with his leg straight: Amaze. And their character work was great, too. I’d not seen that from Nico before, I don’t think.

Kate: That’s the lift to which I was referring.

Erica: I do think we need to maybe start some sort of group therapy for some of the SYTYCD choreographers. Get into their thing about women and their evil sexuality.

Kate: Here we go.

Erica: Also – how much do I hate it when Nigel is all, “That could almost be on the actual stage!”? Like, first of all, what are they standing on, a raft? That’s a stage. They’re entertaining millions. This is it. Second of all, these dancers are looking for professional dancing careers on actual stages. They’re not second-graders. Or me. It’s condescending, not complimentary, to be amazed that they’re almost there.

Malece & Alan – Jazz: “Come Dance With Me” by Michael Buble; choreo by Mandy Moore

Kate: Yayyyy Mandy Moore is back!

Erica: Bring on the cheese!

Kate: So, ignoring Malece’s Audrey Hepburn comment, I liked this surprisingly a lot. It was fun and they did well with it.

Erica: I must say, if I were dance instructor, I would have a film portion of the class where they have to watch, like, Gene Kelly, and Bob Fosse, and what not. But the routine was adorbs. Malece was a little dream boat. What is wrong with you, America?!

Kate: I even thought the judges were a little harsh on them. But I agree they did not connect well, probably because she too is extremely creeped out by Alan.

Erica: He doesn’t seem…I don’t know, I’m not creeped out by him like you are, but I feel like that’s a consistent problem with him. His solos, I think, are always good, but his partner work is never quite as good. Which is weird in a ballroom dancer. But the judges were being WAY harsh which makes me think that they’re setting up justification for bumping her and not their darling Amy. WHEN IT REALLY SHOULD BE JENNA, YOU FOOLS!!!!

Jenna & Not-Tucker – Paso Doble: “He’s A Pirate (Ship ahoy Tribal Remix)” by Chris Joss & Klaus Badelt; choreo by Jean Marc Genereux

Kate: Ok, the little clip before the dance was WAY too much for me. I hate the Pirates movies, and I didn’t need all that “omg Pirates!” crap from Jenna, whom I don’t think should even be there, and Jean Marc, who creeps me out almost as much as Alan does.

Erica: I’m thinking that they actually do read this blog and listen, because last time I complained about how I hadn’t see a Paso in a pretty skirt in a while, and look here! Skirt!

Kate: Oh look, a perfect opportunity for us to show the Alex and Twitch dance!

Erica: Weird to choose him for this dance. He’s not a ballroom guy, and they have all-start ballroom guys around. Right?

Kate:  Yes, it’s interesting that Alex stepped in as the all-star to save the day but had never done Paso Doble, or even ballroom, before this.

Erica: Where’s Pasha?!

Kate: I think this theme would have worked better as not a Paso Doble, but I liked it more than the usual Paso Dobles with all the male violence and swooshing capes.

Erica: See, I think it’s the perfect theme for the Paso, but I didn’t think this particular Paso was that good. What are they seeing in Jenna that I’m not seeing? You know what? Wondering why the judges love Jenna when I’m seeing mediocre (for this show) dancing is leading my brain to very bad places so I’m just not.

Makenzie & Paul – Contemporary: “The Edge of Glory (Live From ‘A Very Gaga Thanksgiving’)” by Lady Gaga; choreo by Mandy Moore

Kate: A very Gaga Thanksgiving? Really?

Erica: I really enjoyed Makenzie knowing how TV worked, prompting the editors to find footage of Paul. And then Paul pretending, for her sake, that she ever doesn’t look beautiful.

Kate: I was hoping for a really great sappy Grey’s Anatomy-type song when I heard the theme of the dance, but whatever.

Erica: Really? I was expecting “Leader of the Pack.” I like this version of the song but I also like the original.

Kate: I truly love that moment in contemporary dances when the pair breaks apart and dances together but not as partners (example: Robert & Allison’s “Fix You” dance). The kicks and leaps and turns always look so perfect and give me chills upon chills.

Erica: These two are just…sigh. I mean, I know I make fun of her a lot, but when shes dancing, she is just perfection. And he is really quite unbelievably wonderful, too. And also I love Mandy Moore.

Kate: Anyway, this was wonderful but not any more wonderful than anything they’ve done before. She is so gorgeous it’s not even fair.

Erica: Nigel: “I can’t wait for next week, Paul, when you get an all-star and there’s a shot in hell I’ll look at you. For right now I haven’t even realized you’re on stage because have you SEEN Makenzie?”

Amy & Fik-Shun – Viennese Waltz: “A Thousand Years, Pt. 2” by Christina Perri feat. Steve Kazee; choreo by Jean Marc Genereux

Kate: Um, they look lovely! And kind of in love? How do you like that for “different characters”!?

Erica: They’ve always played themselves. This was themselves, slow and sweet. It was fine, but not super-remarkable to me. And I hated her dress. But of course they’ll tongue bathe them a little to justify saving Amy. I did like what Kenny Ortega said about Fik-Shun – he would figure out how to fly if it was required of him.

Kate: I did not see so many technical things wrong, judges. I think they moved beautifully together and had great frames and hit all their connections. The dance looked very effortless to me – I mean, shoot, he lifted her with one arm!

Erica: OH, MY GOD, CAT, LET’S NOT HOPE THEY END UP UNDEAD AND CREEPY LIKE BELLA AND EDWARD HOLY LORD. Also Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson never, for one second, actually dated.

Kate: Eh? I didn’t catch the Twilight reference, I guess, but we all know how I feel about that.

Erica: Oh, wait, what did I say? I said I hated it when the judges mentioned having seen a dress rehearsal. And tonight Nigel just says he saw Fik-Shun’s bad arms in the video instead of saying anything about rehearsals. THEY ARE TOTALLY READING US.

Jasmine & Aaron: Hip-Hop: “Gold Rush” by Clinton Sparks Feat. 2 Chainz, Macklemore & D.A.; choreo by NappyTabs

Kate: It’s not FAIR that THESE TWO got NappyTabs.

Erica: NappyTabs crack me up. Stage coach robber and gold digger. Of course.

Kate: It would have been such a great routine with a different couple – Amy and Fik-Shun, to be specific. Jasmine and Aaron did OK, but they got really lazy in some parts and just didn’t hit everything the way NappyTabs moves are supposed to be hit. I don’t care that it’s harder for you because you’re tall and long, Aaron, you work at it.

Erica: They were just a tiny bit lazy, I agree. They seemed like they were dancing in the middle of the dance floor at a party, not doing a professionally choreographed dance on stage. But her hips did some crazy things. And I really liked the routine.

Top 6 (but really 5) Boys – Hip-Hop: “It’s A Man’s Man’s World” by Joshua Ledett (American Idol contestant); choreo by NappyTabs

Kate: I would like to see the WHOLE group do a NappyTabs hip-hop routine, but I’ll settle for just the guys, I guess.

Erica: I’m sure you’ll see it at some point.

Kate: It was actually kind of weird seeing a group of guys dance to this, because I feel like they’ve used this song on this show for, like, girl power routines a lot.

Erica: I loathe this song. So much. Good and fun routine but God I hate this song. And it doesn’t make any sense as a girl power routine, either.

Top 6 Girls – Contemporary: “Young and Beautiful (DH Orchestral Version)” by Lana Del Rey; choreo by Stacey Tookey

Kate: Wow.

Erica: Beautiful routine. Hideous outfits.

Kate: Cheerleader stunts! I see cheerleader stunts!

Erica: Did you not think it was hilarious that there was the theme of aging starlets being performed by the very young contestants on a reality show? Did you not think it simply bent the whole concept of irony on its ear?

Kate: Cheerleader stunts!

Elimination

Kate: I’m shocked!

Erica: I’m not.

Kate: I really thought they’d send Amy home; I was under the impression that they looooved Malece. She is so So You Think You Can Dance!

Erica: They’ve always had it in for her. Been more critical than I thought was fair. And Amy has been their darling from the beginning. BUT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN JENNA, PEOPLE! IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN JENNA! Seriously. This is some bullsh!t. Jenna, you’re on my list. And judges…WTF, judges? Just, WTF?

Kate: So happy about Alan, though. Bye creeper!

SYTYCD Season X – The Top 14 Perform

Opening Group Routine – Contemporary: “Dimmon Kryper Sakta In” by District 73; choreo by Sonya Tayeh and Dmitri Chaplin

Kate: Sorry but… I didn’t really watch this part.

Erica: I had trouble with this because the cameras were SO SWOOPY and I couldn’t really get a sense of what was going on. I think I was also in a very snarky, cynical mood last night and liked almost nothing.

Cat’s Outfit

Kate: I HATE her hair, HATE her earrings – they make her look like she has no neck.

Erica: Why is her hair ever up? Her hair is so pretty!

Kate: And…I can’t even put into words how much I hate that dark shade of lipstick. It doesn’t look good on anyone.

Erica: The whole make-up look sort of clashed with the dress.

Kate: I do love the dress color and material, but it’s an awkward length and probably more appropriate for going to a wedding than hosting a reality competition show.

Erica: Yeah, I wanted to like the dress more than I actually did.

Bottom 6

Kate: Curtis is injured? Oh he’s out.

Erica: Yup.

Kate: I’m angry but not surprised that Makenzie is in the bottom for the third week in a row (right?). We all know Alexis is going home.

Erica: Yup. I continue not being surprised by Makenzie’s place in the bottom, not because she’s not good, because she’s spectacular, but because she doesn’t inspire any empathy. She’s too pretty, too sexy, too talented, too inaccessible despite pretending to have a crush on Paul. There’s no struggle there, so there’s no story and nothing to root for.

Alexis’s Solo: “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King

Kate: She has absolutely zero energy! What is she doing?!

Erica: I don’t know. She knows she’s done.

Jasmine’s Solo: “Endangered Species” by Diana Reeves

Kate: She really shouldn’t be in the bottom. But her hair looks much better like that!

Erica: She’s really, really pretty. I think I only began noticing this week.

Jenna & Tucker – Hip-hop: “Slight Work” by Wale feat. Big Sean; choreo by Luther Brown

Kate: Well…She tried.

Erica: This was laughably awful on all levels.

Kate: He has absolutely no hip-hop in him. His moves were way too pretty, despite giving a good effort on the hip-hop “personality”.

Erica: I have more swag than both of them.

Kate: There were also too many awkward non-choreography breaks, but I blame Luther for that.

Erica: Yeah, normally I like him very much but this was a bad song and bad choreography; there was too little for them to do.

Kate: HAH – did you see Anna Kendrick roll her eyes at Nigel!? (I LOVE that she is this week’s guest judge, by the way!)

Erica: OMG I need to fangirl swoon about Anna Kendrick a little. I mean, I love Pitch Perfect, obviously, but I’ve loved her since CampAnd now she’s going to be in Into the Woods, which is in my top five favorite musicals, maybe in my top three, although I’m nervous about the movie. The IMDB plot description right now reads, “A witch conspires to teach important lessons to various characters of popular children’s’ stories” and that’s not exactly what the stage musical is about and if that’s what the movie’s going to be about, it’s going to be worse than the musical by a lot. But she’s also going to be in the movie of The Last Five Years which I’ve only ever heard, not seen, but I LOVE it and it makes me sob uncontrollably and I can’t wait. Okay, I’m done.

Alexis & Nico – Contemporary: “Ashes” by The Bengsons; choreo by Sonya Tayeh

Kate: It’s not really fair that she got contemporary when she is in danger of going home because with contemporary you don’t have to do too much difficult choreography to actually look good. You know?

Erica: I still think she looks only okay, not great, and the performance was over-the-top. But that was also the choreo, which I thought was way too literal and obvious and annoying. I haven’t disliked a Sonja Tayeh routine in a long time, but I didn’t like this.

Kate: But…He is EXTREMELY talented. I’d like to see him and Tucker dance together, actually.

Erica: Yeah. I do like him quite a bit more than I like her.

Hayley & Not-Curtis – Argentinian Tango: “Este Es El Rey” by Juan D’Arienzo; choreo by Leonardo & Miriam

Kate: Some more unfairness is going on here, because she got to dance with THE CHOREOGRAPHER!

Erica: Yeah . . . but she still had to work.

Kate: Unfairness aside, she was phenomenal. She had the perfect pace and gave very effective dramatic pauses. She might be giving Makenzie a run for her money.

Erica: I actually thought this was slightly less good than her samba, but she really hit it. But she’s still my favorite girl.

Makenzie & Paul – Jazz: “You’ll Find A Way” by Santigold; choreo by Sonya Tayeh

Kate: Paul kind of looks like a Latin Joseph Gordon Levitt?

Erica: TOTALLY! Thank you.

Kate: Well he keeps getting better and better week over week. And, man can she point a toe!

Erica: And be sexy.

Kate: They both had great body rolls throughout.

Jasmine & Aaron – Contemporary: “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” by Birdy; choreo by Justin Giles

Kate: Oh no! The Giving Tree always makes you cry!

Erica: No, no, no, I’m GLAD we’re bringing to light what an F’ED UP book that is.

Kate: I thought this was good but too literal. I honestly feel choreographers and dancers should be able to show us “giving tree” without her dressed in green and holding an apple.

Erica: Well, in a night of lots of literalness, this didn’t bother me so much, because the apple was doing something, although that dress kind of looked awful on her beautiful self.

Kate: Also, he looks like a guido from our high school straight out of 2003 in those awful capris.

Erica: He kind of always does.

Kate: Oh good, another lesson from Nigel!

Erica: Seriously. Nigel. Every child in the English-speaking world knows the damn story. Also, it’s about unconditional love but it’s also about EXTREME CO-DEPENDENCY and illness and I thought the dance actually showed that pretty well. Not perfectly, but pretty well.

Amy & Fik-Shun – Hip-hop: “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye; choreo by Chris Scott

Kate: Oh man, I can’t believe she fell. But I can believe it because I just KNEW something bad would happen when he poured too much water from the pitcher onto the table which then got onto the check portfolio things which then dripped onto the chairs/floor.

Erica: Yeah.

Kate: Anyway, I feel like this is exactly something actual Fik-Shun would do to actual Amy in real life.

Erica: They are all adorable, all the time.

Kate: And I don’t like how Nigel said he’s sick of them playing the same characters – that’s not their fault at all! Mr. Scott, and other choreographers, should know they can do much more with them in terms of characters.

Erica: Also, SYTYCD, please – chyron your choreographers. And give them some space on your web page. I know you don’t want to acknowledge the paid professionals that make your otherwise cheap-to-produce reality show a hit, because then you might have to pay them, like, more, but seriously. Make this the tiniest bit easier for us.

Kate: They used to do it though, I don’t know why they stopped and replaced them with hashtags. #Socialmediaistakingover

Malece & Alan – Salsa: “Pa Los Rumberos” by Tito Puente and his Orchestra; choreo by Jonathan Platero

Kate: She is better at hip-hop than Latin ballroom.

Erica: Yeah. But honestly, she didn’t do too badly here.

Kate: I’m sorry but she looked way too awkward and shaky and uncomfortable shimmying and swaying her hips.

Erica: Yes, she can’t do sexy very well. Last year, I said that Witney struck me as someone who didn’t really feel “sexy” but could perform “sexy” like a very, very good mimic. Malece also gave off the feel of a mimic, but she’s not as good at it as Witney. But she can do lifts and stuff.

Kate: He continues to completely creep me out.

Mini Group #1 (Makenzie, Alan, Nico, Hayley, Malece, Jenna, not Curtis) – Broadway: “Come Together” by Joe Cocker (Across the Universe soundtrack); choreo by Spencer Liff

Kate: This is not a song I picture hearing at bar and wanting to break into dance, but the dance was awesome.

Erica: I was trying to remember if Across the Universe came to Broadway, and if not, why do we keep choreographing Broadway dances to non-Broadway tunes when there are so many good ones? But yeah, I thought the dance was fantastic.

Kate: I loveeee the costumes and hair. But it doesn’t seem fair (that seems to be my theme today) that all the best girls were in one routine?

Erica: I think I like Jasmine more than I like either Hayley or Jenna. And Amy is probably better than all of them.

Mini Group #2 (Alexis, Fik-Shun, Tucker, Amy, Aaron, Jasmine, Paul) – Contemporary: “Tears of an Angel” by Ryandan; choreo by Bonnie Story

Kate: I’m so tired of hearing about this topic, as if bullying was just invented this decade.

Erica: I thought she said “bowling” at first. I’m like, we’re going to have a traumatic routine about . . . bowling? But yeah, I don’t like the way the word, which is really so general, gets flown around, context-free, and so self-righteously. “I’m against bullying. And mean people. And frowns. But I love nice people and puppies and rainbows!” Well, good for you, sugar.

Kate: It was a beautiful dance without the “social conscience” crap. And excuse me miss new choreographer, just because I personally specifically don’t actively prevent bullying, I am part of the problem? I don’t think so. What a loony tune.

Erica: Well . . . yeah, if you see bullying happening around you, and you don’t do anything, you are kind of part of the problem. I mean, no one expects you to don a cape and go flying through the night, rooting out bullies in their lairs, but one of the things that one can say about “bullying” that is actually useful is that when there are social consequences for the bully, rather than social rewards, bullies tend to bully less. So be someone who makes consequences for the bully or at least does not reward them. But I still agree that the choreographer was a loony tune.

Kate: But she made it seem like even if I don’t see it going on around me but I still do nothing about it I am part of the problem. I’m twenty-freaking-five years old, I don’t see bullying!!

Elimination

Kate: Wow, that was more quick and to the point than usual.

Erica: Love it. Want that level of conversation all the time. “You two? Gone.” No more of this, “Let me talk to each of you individually and then do the ‘if you stay’ routine when you already know if that person is going to stay!”

Kate: Totally! But we are not surprised by the judges’ decisions one bit.

Erica: No.

Kate: I know they have a new baby and all, but next we can we get at least ONE NappyTabs routine!?

Erica: Maybe they could use the baby as a prop!

SYTYCD X – The Top 16 Perform

cat-deeley

Group Number: “New World” by The Irrepressibles; choreo by Stacey Tookey and Peter Chu

Erica: So at first I thought this was another Sonja, what with the dystopian-ness and the flexed feet and sharp movements. Then it started to seem to Sonja-ish to be Sonja, so I’ve decided it’s Stacey Tookey trying her hand at something Sonja-ish.

Kate: I don’t know if it was Fox or my TV, but the sound was not on for the first half of this dance. Therefore, I don’t feel I got the full effect of it. It seemed nice, though.

Erica: I liked it very much. I thought it was really cool and really showed how talented this cast is. The dress flying off of Jasmine (no H anymore) really was a little cheesy, though.

Cat Deeley’s Outfit

Erica: This is a much more cas, Cali look, no?

Kate: This is my favorite outfit of hers so far this season. Like, I wouldn’t wear it, but I love it on her.

Erica: I thought her eye makeup looked overdone but her hair looked cute. As did Mary Murphy’s, though I like her better as a brunette.

Kate: No I liked her eye makeup a lot. And that is essentially how I want my hair to look every day, only in my color.

Erica: Carly Rae Jepsen proved to be exactly the kind of judge I expected her to be.

Kate: UGH! She was completely useless. No one knew why she was there.

Erica: Anyway, congrats on all the Emmy nods, dudes! Keep up the good work!

Kate: *Applause*

Erica: So, this week, Makenzie, Mariah and Jenna were the bottom three girls, and Curtis, BluPrint, and Alan were the bottom three boys. I am sad but not surprised to see Makenzie up there – because, like I said, not a lot of straight boys vote.

Kate: But she is so talented!

Erica: She is. But she is too beautiful and too aware of her own beauty to get teenage girls to vote for her.

Kate: Yeah, she might go home soon. Which is a shame.

Erica: So they apparently decided that a) calling it “dancing for your life” is f-ing stupid, so yay! and b) Jenna doesn’t have to do a solo because they saw solo last time. But Mariah also did a solo last time. So I don’t know. But then Cat seems to indicate that that means she’s safe from elimination, which wasn’t clear to me, really, but seems to play out in the end.

Kate: They MUST read this blog and make decisions immediately after. However, it made me mad that Jenna didn’t have to do a solo again.

Makenzie’s Solo: “Claire de Lune” by Laura Sullivan

Erica: She’s a beautiful girl who dances beautifully and keeps such a tight rein on her emotions, if she ever gets as famous as she wants to be, she’s going to be hell on wheels. I think I’ll make the thirty-year-old version of her a character in a romance novel some day.

Kate: I love this song!

Alan’s Solo: “Return of the King” by X-Ray Dog

Erica: Now, that’s a ballroom solo.

Kate: Now, that is CREEPY TO THE MAX!

Erica: He had performance, he had character, he had an actual dance. I wonder if it’s easier for men to do a ballroom solo than women because women are kind of props in the dance and depend a lot on lifts and such. Whereas men can just bring a cape and it’s like, same diff.

Kate: But, ew, I hated this. And I really don’t like him. Not only does he not connect to the audience at all, he creeps us out!

Erica: You just don’t like paso doble.

Curtis’s Solo: “Used To Love U” by John Legend

Erica: Fine.

Kate: Fine?! I really liked this! And I still really like him!

Erica: By “fine” I didn’t mean I hate it. I just meant that I don’t have anything interesting or humorous to say about it.

Mariah’s Solo: “Set It Off” by Kardinal Offishall feat. The Clipse

Erica: I liked this one slightly better than last week’s, as it seemed to be a little bit more of a dance than a series of poses, but not by much. And what was that spin in the beginning? Do crumpers frequently spin? Or was she just trying to show that she can do something different?

Kate: See I didn’t like this much. Although I like her and think she has great potential, she also sort of annoys me for acting too gangster. You know?

BluPrint’s Solo: “Illusion of Choice” by Gramatik

Erica: I feel like this song title should be the name of Jonathan Franzen’s next novel.

Kate: I don’t know who that is. BluPrint adequately displayed his talent in this piece, but he has yet to make more than two facial expressions on this show.

Erica: What do you mean, you don’t know who Jonathan Franzen is?

Alexis & Nico – Jive: “Mayhem” by Imelda May; choreo by Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin

Erica: So this week the kids are telling us a little something about themselves (they think) we don’t already know. And Alexis won Olympic medals? In . . . dance? They have dance in the Olympics?

Kate: Oh I thought she said figure skating?

Erica: Oh. Did she? I thought the choreography was great but they didn’t bring quite enough fun and the lifts looked super-labored. And then that lift that Mary pointed out, that you’re usually dropping the girl down, not rolling her up, didn’t the stunt people do something more complicated than that in rehearsal? It looked really unfinished.

Kate: I did not like this choreography at all, and they did a fairly horrible job at it. Very awkward connections and a serious lack of rhythm, I thought.

Erica: Loved the song, though.

Jenna & Tucker – Contemporary: “Hangin’ by a Thread” by Jann Arden; choreo by Travis Wall

Kate: When I saw the performance start and the song name/artist pop up on the bottom of the screen I thought, ‘Hm. That sounds familiar. It’s probably one of those sappy songs from one of those sappy shows I like. Like… Grey’s Anatomy. Or One Tree Hill. Or Dawson’s Creek…OH MY GOD THIS IS A SONG FROM AN EPISODE OF DAWSON’S CREEK!’

Erica: I kind of want to hate-watch Dawson’s Creek again with you. So Travis does this occasionally, where he’ll choose a concept and then use a song and do a staging bit that’s REALLY OBVIOUS and REALLY LITERAL and I’ll roll my eyes and be all cynical and then the dancers will start dancing and I will stop because oh my God. This is one of those times.

Kate: Yeah, well, a) he’s Travis, b) he has two great – if slightly annoying/boring – dancers to work with. BUT. I think they could have taken this concept and ran with it WITHOUT the red string things! They annoyed me thoroughly throughout the performance.

Erica: I do have to say, though, as a Jewish mother – they only got to practice with those straps today? Is that safe? Really? Because that doesn’t seem safe to me. Even if they weren’t actually supporting much weight.

Kate: They were leaning on them too much, literally and figuratively. It was a beautiful piece, but it truly did not need the prop.

Erica: Also, Jenna – you look EXACTLY like the kind of girl who bakes cupcakes.

Mariah & BluPrint – Jazz: “Fall Into the Sky” by Zedd & Lucky Date feat. Ellie Goulding; choreo by Brian Friedman

Erica: So I recognize Brian Friedman but only barely. He did this and this and this. (BTW, found some of those with the help of this site. Awesome, obsessive job, guys.) It appears his jazz, or contemporary, or whatever they call it that season, is always flavored by a lot of hip-hop. So you’d think Mariah and BluPrint could handle it!

Kate: I am currently reading the Percy Jackson series, so I got all psyched when they said “This dance is about a Greek goddess falling in love with a mortal man”. I was like, “Weeeeeeeee! Which goddess did they pick!? Aphrodite? Athena? Oh those silly gods always falling in love with mortals and producing half-god children! What a world!” And then they did that.

Erica: You know, right away when the judges started talking, it was like, if you didn’t know it already, they did. This was this couple’s swan song. All the judge’s comments were slightly modified versions of, “Thanks for playing!”

Kate: But it wasn’t just awful dancing, it was an AWFUL (and very non-Greek-goddess, might I add) song, it was NOT jazz, and the whole thing just felt so so wrong.

Erica: I know; I was so jazzed for the concept and then it was just terrible. And I loved it when Nigel was like, “Do you guys research the history of every style we give you?” A) Nigel, how much time are you giving them with an Internet hook-up, and B) What would they research when “jazz” can mean anything from “pretty much Broadway but we didn’t use a showtune” to “pretty much hip-hop”? In other words, blow it out your butt.

Kate: THAT WASN’T JAZZ!

Malece & Alan – Hip-hop: “Bass Line” by Chris Brown; choreo by Dave Scott

Erica: Oh, are we using Chris Brown songs? Chris Brown songs in which he brags about how little he cares about our disapproval of him? Can I register my “Don’t do that” right now?

Kate: Oh, this made me so very uncomfortable.

Erica: So Malece? AWESOME. Just unbelievable. Damn, girl. I don’t even know. And the outfit was pretty cool.

Kate: So Malece? Did a GREAT job as a tiny little white ballerina doing hip-hop. She did! I’m not saying she didn’t! But it was hard to pay attention to her because I was just wincing at Alan the whole time. Also, I don’t like using certain types of rap and/or hip-hop songs for hip-hop choreography. Just because it’s categorized as rap or hip-hop doesn’t mean it makes a good dancing song.

Erica: His outfit? Well, he got the diaper pants. Memo to hip-hop choreographers/costume people – diaper pants? Not the new Hammer pants. Not the new saggy jeans. Simply a mistake. Even the judges all talked about how much they hated them. But you know what? He wasn’t great, but he was kind of better than BluPrint.

Kate: …No.

Erica: Oh, listen. Nigel is explaining about how to use urban slang! Tell us more about “swag,” please, Grandpa Nigel!

Hayley & Curtis – Contemporary: “Don’t Let Go Yet” by David J. Roth; choreo by Dee Caspary

Erica: First of all, FOX, would it kill you to chyron the choreographers like you used to? It took me WAY too long to find Dee Caspary’s name. (I eventually got it from these guys. Thanks, you guys!) So here’s some other stuff he’s done. I like him.

Kate: Poor Curtis.

Erica: I liked this a lot, and Hayley really impressed me for the first time. But again, my Jewish mother came out. How long did they have to practice with the ladder? And it was wobbly? You know, godforbid a dancer should fall and hurt him/herself and then actually have the balls to sue you guys.

Kate: It did look quite wobbly, and yes it was good but, again, I do not think we needed the prop. Can’t we create the illusion of this height and flying with nice leaps and turns and general flailing around?

Erica: They were pretty harsh on Curtis. If he doesn’t get the votes next week, he’s gone.

Kate: I know, which is a shame, because he has real potential. I didn’t even NOTICE that shoulder thing and it seems to have ruined Nigel’s life.

Erica: AND THEN WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO HIS BURGEONING RELATIONSHIP WITH HAYLEY?! OMG YOU GUYS THEY WENT ON A DATE! SUSHI! HE PAID AND EVERYTHING! THE FACT THAT HAYLEY IS IMPRESSED WITH THIS IS A CLEAR SIGN THAT SHE LUUUUUUVS HIM.

Kate: I know, I can’t believe Cat asked that question before the judges were even done judging!

Erica: Seriously, it was pretty adorable that Cat brought it up (although I am willing to accept the possibility that she is also drunk or high – her eyes were looking pretty red tonight. Although maybe that’s the eye make-up.) and that the judges got so interested. I was amused.

Kate: ‘Twas cute.

Amy & Fik-shun – Jazz: “Under the Bridge” from the Triplets of Belleville soundtrack; choreo by Tasty Oreo

Erica: Do they keep getting lucky every week or are they that good?

Kate: THEY ARE THAT GOOD! I LOVED THIS!

Erica: I thought the judges were a little overly nuts about it, but I did really like it. And I was getting tired. I didn’t start watching until after nine o’clock; I was dying my hair tonight.

Kate: I think it’s because everything else throughout the night was so surprisingly subpar, but this really wowed me, especially after I’ve been saying I don’t like the Broadway dances anymore. They were so in sync with each other and the music, had great facials and very sharp movements and really understood what they were doing up there. They may not be the two best dancers separately, but they are, in my humble opinion, the best couple.

Erica: But seriously, folks. I know that we are all excited about the royal baby. I know. But His Highness (is he His Highness yet? I know he’s already got some title or another, even if he doesn’t have a name) does not need to be brought into every conversation. He simply does not. And he most certainly will not be christened Fik-Shun, no matter how delightful the dancing was tonight.

Kate: I don’t know, Will and Kate are pretty progressive.

Makenzie & Paul – Hip-hop: “Pretty Lil’ Heart” by Robn Thicke feat Li’l Wayne; choreo by Dave Scott

Erica: So Cat announced that, after the break, we’d be seeing a hip-hop routine from Makenzie and Paul. Who were all done up ’20s style. And we’d been promised a quickstep earlier in the show. So I’m going, Is Cat REALLY high? They’re obviously dressed for a quickstep, not hip-hop. But no. It was hip-hop. ‘2os (Not ’30s; Nigel was right, Dave.) style. And you know what? It was pretty damn cool.

Kate: Hah, I didn’t even notice that. But I thought this was cool, this is the type of “hip-hop” routine you want to get when you are someone like Makenzie or Malece. And, um, hel-LO Paul! 😉

Erica: I am just going to go ahead and refuse to believe their pretense of a showmance, though. I mean, if Paul is straight, then I’m sure he’s attracted to Makenzie. But I don’t believe Makenzie allows herself to feel such plebeian things as “attraction,” unless she can use it to further her career.

Kate: I know they were all oohing and ahing over her sexiness, and she is fabulous, but I thought he really came into his own in this piece. He’s been fairly unnoticeable because of his stellar partner, but he really strut his stuff in this one and impressed me.

Jasmine & Aaron – The Dreaded Quickstep: “Pencil Full of Lead” by Paolo Nutini; choreo by Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin

Erica: So I totally noticed that his posture wasn’t perfect and their steps weren’t quick and sharp enough. But damn does she have legs.

Kate: Yeah, I can’t believe the judge/audience reaction to this, as I sort of hated it.

Erica: She also seems like, of all the contestants, the one I would most want to, like, have lunch with. She seems like a cool person.

Kate: Well who in their right mind put her in that kind of costume for a QUICKSTEP routine? It completely covered up her marvelous legs and kept getting in the way of all the quick stepping!!!!

Eliminations

Erica: Okay, so, no surprises here; Mariah and BluPrint were sent home. And Mariah was pretty weepy about it.

Kate: Yeah, I was wincing again. I wish Alan had been the one sent home, but I’m not going to cry about it.

Erica: And next week, I’m sure we’ll be saying good bye to Curtis (or maybe Alan, who knows?) and God willing Alexis? They seem determined to keep Jenna (and she deserves it this week) and I’d hate to see any of the other girls go just yet.

Kate: Fine.