SYTYCD Season XI – Top Four Perform

Group Routine – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Wind Beneath My Wings” by RyanDan]

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

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

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

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

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

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


Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: This is Cat at her finest!

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

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

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

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

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

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


Valerie & Ricky – African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

[“Voices of Savannah” by DJ Chus]

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

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

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


Jessica & Zack – Broadway, choreo by Spencer Liff

[“Hernando’s Hideaway” by Ella Fitzgerald]

Kate: Adorable!

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

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

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

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

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

Erica: Zach was reasonably impressive, too.


Valerie & Zack – Contemporary, choreo by Tasty Oreo

[“Pearls” by Sade]

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

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

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

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


Jessica & Ricky – Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

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

Kate: Ermmmmmm YES!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Jessica & Valerie – Bollywood, choreo by Nakul Dev Mahajan

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

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

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

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

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


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

[“The Antidote” by District 78]

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Kate: I didn’t notice that???

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

Kate: Ew, Nigel boner.

Erica: Sorry.


Ricky’s Solo

[“Skin & Bones” by David J. Roch]

Kate: BLERGH I love this songgggggggggggggggggg.

Erica: I got nothing.

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


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

[“Not About Angels” by Birdy]

Erica: Lighting?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Valerie’s Solo

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

Erica: I love this song.

Kate: Oh, I get it.

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

Kate: I dislike tap solos, so. Yeah.


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

[“Piano Man” by Billy Joel]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Jessica’s solo

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

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

Kate: This is a horrible version of it.

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

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


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

[“When I Go” by Over the Rhine]

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

Erica: My heart hurts.

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

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

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

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


Zack’s Solo

[“Superstition” by Adam Raherty]

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

Kate: I suppose.



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

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

Erica: I’ve never voted.


SYTYCD XI – Top 8 Perform

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


Group Routine – Jazz, choreo by Travis Payne

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

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

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

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

Erica: I mean, yeah. It is.

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

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

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

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


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


Cat’s Ensemble

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Kate: If you do so choose.

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


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

[“Smile” by Michael Jackson]

Erica: (Sigh)

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

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

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

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


Erica: Then I won’t watch.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Erica: Didn’t see it.

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

Erica: What song?

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

Erica: I’m sorry to hear that.

Kate: I didn’t like Rudy’s.

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


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

[“Xscape” by Michael Jackson]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Erica: 🙂

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


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

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

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

Erica: I thought she danced quite beautifully.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Erica: I’m not watching them.

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


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

[“Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson]

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

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

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

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

Erica: Man. I love Allison.

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

Erica: Blergh.

Kate: Oh please send Casey home instead of Rudy!

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[“Slave to the Rhythm” by Michael Jackson]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

[“Earth Song” by Michael Jackson]

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

Erica: Sigh. Will.

Kate: I kind of hope she wins…?

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


SYTYCD XI – Top Ten Perform

Group Routine – Hip-hop, choreo by Jamal Sims

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: Agree, VERY BAD camera work.

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

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

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


Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Kate: This is the Cat I know and love!

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

Kate: Me too, but my color.

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

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

Erica: Mary looks refreshingly like a normal person.

Kate: As normal as Mary can get.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

[“The Gaucho’s Pain” by Tango Jointz]

Kate: Why don’t I remember him???

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

Kate: Oh I remember the wife thing.

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

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

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

Kate: Take The Lead!?

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

Kate: I’m ok with it? It saves time?

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


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

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

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

Kate: Weeeeeeeeeeee NappyTabs!!!!

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

Kate: Weeeeeeeee!!

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

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

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

Kate: *LOL* (For real though.)

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

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


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

[“Hearts a Mess” by Gotye]

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

[“Maps” by Maroon 5]

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

Kate: Way in.

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

Kate: Totes.

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

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

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

Kate: Not with that voice she’s not.

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


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

[“Adagio for TRON” by Daft Punk]


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: Wah!


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

[“Bossa Nova, Baby” by Elvis Presley]

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

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

Kate: Yea, you’re 33. Gross.

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

Kate: They were obviously perfect together.

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

Kate: He really should win.


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

[“Maybe This Time” by Liza Minelli]

Erica: This song kills me.

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

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

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

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


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

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

Kate: I love when I get Twitch + NappyTabs.

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

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

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

Kate: You are probably mad about it.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Guest Singer – Christina Perri

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

Kate: Dumb. She sounded horrible.

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

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

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



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

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

Kate: But I am glad to still have Jacque.

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

Kate: Ian is thrilled for Makenzie.

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

Kate: We always find a way!

SYTYCD XI – Top 14 Perform (and we go down to Top 10)

Group Routine – Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

[“Last Moment” by Christophe Filippi]

Kate: Stunning. These costumes are right up my alley. (The dancing was stunning, too.)

Erica: To absolutely everything about this routine, I say HUZZAH! (Except the camera work. A girl got thrown across the stage and we missed the beginning of it.)

Kate: I know Ricky was supposed to be the focal point of the routine, but he seriously just outshined the entire world here. My gosh, his feet!

Erica: But seriously? The whole, whole thing was AWESOME. More, please!


Cat’s Ensemble

Erica: I think I have a dress or two in that vein in Covet.

Kate: Holy hoops! Hair a wee bit too slicked back, but I suppose that look goes with huge hoochie hoops. (Yes, that is a real term!)

Erica: I mean, I always love Cat having her hair down. But yeah, with those hoops? It was the right decision.

Kate: Fun pattern on the dress. Tres summery. I normally don’t like that particular cut on the arms/neck, but it flattered her body well.

Erica: She is one of the maybe twelve people on the planet who could pull it off.

Kate: Wait, those SHOES. They are like totem poles!

Erica: I think they are totes approps, no?

Kate: YES, Christina instead of Misty! Finalmente!

Erica: Regardless of Misty fatigue, I am ALWAYS happy to see Christina Applegate.

Kate: I would also be fine if all 6 of these folks went home. Not sorry about it.


Bridget & Emilio – Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

[“Long Road To Hell” by Avicii]

Kate: Although this particular routine was closer to Emilio’s original style, Bridget was stronger than him quite often in this routine.

Erica: Ugh, Ray Leeper annoys me. I mean, I liked this routine, but I still kind of want to punch him in the face.

Kate: However, they fumbled a few times, and she seemed absolutely clueless about dancing in sneakers. Like, I’m pretty sure she had never done that before. And she made some WEIRD faces. WEIRD.

Erica: Really? I thought she was pretty good. I thought that they were both pretty good. I didn’t find her face nearly as distracting as the SWOOPY CAMERA.

Kate: Seriously, Mary Murphy? Did someone tell you you couldn’t make any commentary this season except “Good job, you’re pretty”?

Erica: Maybe she’s tired of doing this show. She’s just running out of things to say.


Tanisha & Rudy – Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

[“Seduces Me” by Celine Dion]

Kate: How weird is it to hear Celine Dion trying to sing all sexy-like?

Erica: Really? You’ve never heard this song before?

Kate: No. Tanisha wasn’t that great here. Kind of shaky. Rudy was very strong and they had some great lifts — um excuse me Mr. One-Handed Lift — but I even saw him fumble on a couple transitions.

Erica: I thought this was very uneven. There were some moments that they were just flowing like water, and other moments that looked super-awkward and strained.

Kate: Must we comment on the solos? I never enjoy them. Serge’s wasn’t that great.

Erica: Yeah, I’m fine with not commenting. I mean, solos are tough, ballroom solos are tougher, and male ballroom solos are nearly pointless.


Jacque & Zack – Paso Doble, choreo by Jean Marc Genereux

[“Dragula” by Rob Zombie]

Kate: I cringed when I heard Cat say “Paso” before the commercial break. I NEVER like those. Then I cringed even more at Jacque’s “vampirey” faces, and the song nearly made me throw up from pain in my ears.

Erica: I have no beef with pasos. When done well, I love them. When not done well, I don’t like them, to the same degree that I don’t like anything not done well. But I totes hated this.

Kate: They were both pretty sharp, but he didn’t portray much dominant masculinity in my opinion. And I just hate this style. (Also, showing clips of Jacque being a perky grocery store employee before her doing a Paso made her look fairly ridiculous.)

Erica: I mean, I don’t think either of them did anything wrong (although I saw Jacque stumble but mostly they were fine). I just hated the choreography and the music and the whole nonsense concept. I feel like the longer this show goes on, Jean Marc Genereux moves further away from the actual dance he’s supposed to be choreographing. This didn’t look like a paso to me; it just looked like two people stomping around in dark costumes.

Kate: I also saw her fumble a couple of steps. I know it’s a small error, but this calibre of dancer should not be fumbling on a lunge. They just shouldn’t!

Erica: I really think it was mostly a choreography problem.

Kate: I love Carly’s solo song, but I could take her or leave her at this point.

Erica: I can’t remember who she is from moment to moment.

Kate: I need to catch up on my Step Up movies. I never saw the second or fourth ones, and now the fifth one is coming out!

Erica: Yeah, you best get on that.


Emily & Teddy – Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle

[“From This Moment On” from Kiss Me Kate (Original Soundtrack)]

Erica: Well, I mean, this is pretty much my wheelhouse. I like Broadway, I like Cole Porter, I like Kiss Me, Kate.

Kate: …Eh? This may have been the fault of the choreographer, but this was a little dull for me. I don’t love these two dancers — I SAW EMILY SLIP ON A LUNGE, TOO, WHAT GOES ON PEOPLE?! — and I just didn’t get anything from this.

Erica: I thought they were mismatched. He was very spaghetti-ish and she was more . . . I don’t know. Sharp? No, that’s not it. In any event, they didn’t look like they were dancing the same kind of dance.

Kate: His pirouettes were pathetic. Truly, on the level of mine. Which are horrible.

Erica: Yeah?

Kate: Oh yeah. I’m overall disappointed with Broadway on this show the last couple seasons. Do you think they should start phasing it out as a main style?

Erica: No! I love Broadway! I just want better choreography.

Kate: Oh, I forgot Casey existed. His solo was good, though; great legs/feet. But not as good as Ricky’s, obviously.

Erica: I forget like 90% of these dancers. I don’t know what’s wrong with me this season. No one is grabbing me.

Kate: Emily’s solo was like ballet on speed. Did not enjoy.

Erica: I kind of did.


Jessica & Casey – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Like Real People Do” by Hozier]

Kate: Oooooh kissing! Kissing kissing kissing!

Erica: I know you don’t watch the little pre-rehearsal stuff, but seriously, do these kids know what awkward is?

Kate: Sorry, I eat that sh!t up on this show. They were actually quite fabulous together, great chemistry and very in sync. Now I kind of don’t want either of them to go home.

Erica: I really loved this. Really, really loved. It just filled my whole heart with sunshine. I loved the kiss, I loved the movement she made when it happened, and it was all just really sweet. I find her faces a little over the top, but they worked here. But, God, as good as they were, Travis Wall is just f-ing genius.

Kate: OMG I love Christina Applegate. Seriously love.

Erica: I know. If Mary is tired, Christina can come on as a permanent judge.

Kate: Teddy’s solo song — I haven’t heard it since high school. Love. His choreography was way too fast for the beat, though. He needs to go.

Erica: I feel like he’s not really a hip-hopper. I feel like he’d be better in some other genre.


Carly & Serge – Quickstep, choreo by Jean Marc Genereux

[“A Cool Cat In Town (Aerophon Mix)” by Tape Five feat. Brenda Boykin]

Erica: I really liked this. I have to take back my previous comment about Jean Marc Genereux – this looked totally like a classic quickstep.

Kate: If we are doing a step in which the defining characteristic is “quick”, and in which the only thing you really need to see is the feet, why would we put the female dancer in a costume which blocks your view of the feet and makes the female almost trip every 4 seconds?

Erica: I think that’s the classic quickstep style of dress.

Kate: I thought this was overall awkward. And not very quick.

Erica: Really? I was impressed with them. I thought their feet looked great. I thought her upper body could be held a little stiffer but other than that I was really pleased. I can’t figure out, though, how often they make a big deal of when ballroom dancers do ballroom styles that are not their ballroom style. Like, okay, I believe the quickstep is pretty different from a salsa, but is it really more different than a quickstep is from a contemporary number?

Kate: Apparently, yes. Jessica’s solo was good, not amazing. As I’ve said before, she gets a little too strippery sometimes.

Erica: I effing love that song. I didn’t know Beyonce had covered it.

Kate: Beyonce covers everything.


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

[“Turn Down For What” by DJ Snake & Lil Jon]

Kate: This is a great song for a hip-hop routine, but I didn’t think the doll concept matched the song. But that’s the choreographers.

Erica: First of all, SWOOPY CAMERAS! I want to see the contestants dancing, not the cameras! Second of all, and I hate to harp on certain things (ha ha no I don’t) but the trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey came out this week so I just want to remind America that when a man wants to completely control a woman, it is, as Ricky said, creepy, and not sexy and romantic. Third, I kind of loved her costume.

Kate: So, Ricky can do ANYTHING.

Erica: He sure can.

Kate: He was fanTASTIC at hip-hop! As was she! I want them to win. It’s just one winner again now, right? Not guy and girl?

Erica: I haven’t the foggiest. Nothing this show does is clear to me. I think if it’s one winner, it’ll be him.

Kate: Hey, I was at a wedding on National Dance Day! That counts!

Erica: Hey, I was at a wedding the day AFTER National Dance Day! And I was dancing up a STORM!

Kate: We win!


Girl Routine – Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

[“My Immortal (Band Version)” by Evanescence]

Erica: This was good, but it didn’t have the magic of the opening routine.

Kate: They were very strong all together in this, but “My Immortal” doesn’t really convey “girl power”, Mandy.

Erica: Yeah, I can definitely see your point there. And if they’re supposed to be demonstrating the strength of women dancing together, why does the song end with them all standing and facing away from each other? But I have to say, more than any other season, I think the group routines look so cohesive.

Kate: Agreed. This may actually be one of my favorite group routines on this show. Well done.

Erica: Yeah? I felt like it was good but not amazing.

Kate: Again, I love Christina Applegate. “Go watch it!”

Erica: I know. She is awesome. And I enjoy Nigel being all, “Remember, it is THIS SHOW that lets you experience the magic!”

Kate: Hah. The Academy of Villains thing was pretty cool. I definitely appreciated the basket toss at the end!

Erica: Yeah, it was a lot of fun.


Guy Routine – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Wave” by Beck]

Kate: Hey I saw Beck recently! He did this song! Cool points for me.

Erica: You’ve gotten so much cooler since you started dating ***.

Kate: I didn’t find this to be quite as strong as the girls’ piece, but that is perhaps because the guys have Ricky shining brighter than any star in the sky and absorbing all the attention.

Erica: I think the boys were somewhat less cohesive than the girls, and it wasn’t just Ricky. But overall they did a good job in this number and I just really love Travis Wall. He just keeps surprising me and getting better and better. (And so does Christina Applegate.)




Kate: Not at all surprising, given Jessica and Casey’s routine.

Erica: Right. I mean, I’m a little sad about Serge because he was the closest person to a grown up on the show, and I liked Teddy’s spaghetti-ness, but Casey hit it out of the park tonight, so good for him. As for the girls who didn’t get to go on…I’m not going to remember who they are by the time the next show airs.

Kate: I didn’t pay much attention to the all-star announcement, but did they say they’re back in two weeks not next week?

Erica: Wait, first…Is this thing with the judges not having a say for the Top Ten on? I thought that was just the final decision previously? Second, JENNA is back? (I mean that in a negative way.) Third, LAUREN is back? (I mean that in a positive way.) Finally, yeah, I didn’t catch whether they’re on next week. I hope they are because there’s no reason I can’t do this in real time with you next week.

Kate: Correct, from now on it’s America’s votes only. No judge input. Tune in next week (or the week after, or both), dance fans!

SYTYCD XI – Top 16

Group Routine – Jazz, choreo by Mandy Moore

[“Take Me To The River” by Annie Lenox]


Erica: The minute I saw “Annie Lennox,” I thought, “Sonya Tayeh”. Then I thought, “Wait, no, it’s gotta be Mandy Moore. She’s all about the ‘80s”.


Kate: I love Annie Lennox songs on this show. (Ah, what a perfect place to provide a link to Ashley and Mark’s season 7 dance to ”Wonderful”!)


Erica: I was sad that they got rid of the swoopy scarves so early. I like swoopy scarves.


Kate: I was sad that the girls weren’t together at all.


Erica: I gotta say, they looked pretty professional for this number. Way better, more energetic and together than last week’s hip-hop. Even though I liked last week’s bizarre concept and costuming and stuff.


Kate: Yes, but I didn’t think the girls were that strong together. The partner stuff was cool, and they looked great at the end. Can we talk about the dumb/weird little choreo things they now do during introductions?


Erica: No, I skip them or go get a Coke or something.


Kate: I’m not a fan. They always look awkward. Who drinks Coke anymore?


Cat’s Ensemble


Erica: Ew feh.


Kate: You know I didn’t realize “feh” was a Yiddish word until a couple weeks ago?


Erica: I didn’t realize “klutz” was until very recently.


Kate: Anyway, it is July. This is a January outfit. (Except for the fact that mock turtlenecks are a never outfit.)


Erica: Her hair is great, although my preference is for last week’s hair, and makeup is A-OK with me. But I don’t dig the dress. Maybe it’s a personal thing.


Kate: No, it’s a mock turtleneck thing.


Erica: Is Mary, like, on purpose trying to look old?


Kate: Oh, I like her outfit. Hah. I find myself liking old lady clothes more and more these days.


Erica: Misty again? Is this to honor Misty or because people are tired of guest judging for this thing?


Kate: I heard she’s permanent now!


Erica: So no more guests?


Kate: This I do not know.


Valerie & Ricky – Bollywood, choreo by Nakul Dev Mahajan

[“Dilliwaali Girlfriend” from the Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani Soundtrack]




Kate: This is when I don’t pay attention.


Erica: Oh, and of course she doesn’t know how to be sexy because of f*cking course.


Kate: So Ricky was fabU here, duh. Valerie had great energy as usual, and decent form/technique, but was nowhere near sharp or quick enough for this style. Not surprising, but disappointing because I want her to be good.


Erica: You know what, she really doesn’t know how to be sexy. And yeah, great energy from both of them but she was not precise enough. I loved her costume, though. When Nigel said that Bollywood reminds him of something, I thought he was going to say, “When England owned everything”, but he didn’t. He had Misty to back up this idea that Nigel basically introduced Bollywood to the Western world.


Kate: Didn’t he?


Bridget & Emilio – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“The Leaving Song” by Chris Garneau]


Erica: I like her. I don’t want her to go home.


Kate: Me too. Me either.


Erica: So I’m watching this on my iPad so that I can type on my computer at the same time and, boy, the lighting was not okay for me here. But I can see well enough to know they can’t send her home, right?


Kate: I kept thinking, “Where’s the actual bed? They’ve used actual beds on the show before, what gives?”


Erica: Kate, it was like, symbolic and stuff.


Kate: Ah. Symbols. This was very good.


Erica: I really liked it. I really, really liked it. I mean, it was pretty literal in terms of the interpretation of Travis’s stated ideas, but I don’t mind that and I thought they — especially her — did a pretty fantastic job of it.


Kate: Agreed, very strong. She has crazy (in a good way) legs. I think she’s my favorite right now?


Erica: Well, if I say she’s mine, she’ll be cut tonight so I’ll shut up.


Tanisha & Rudy – Hip-hop, choreo by Dave Scott

[“Good Kisser” by Usher]


Erica: Rudy’s faces in his first performance are killing me.


Kate: In what way?


Erica: OMG SO CUTE. He’s, like, 11? And he’s doing salsa and he is pulling SO MANY FACES. Hey it turns out the brightness on my iPad was way down. I fixed it.




Erica: So I thought she was very good at the non-hip-hoppy moves. Her legs and hips are very fluid. And I liked the concept and the costumes and all. But the whole thing didn’t really gel for me.


Kate: See, I unfortunately really enjoyed this. I say unfortunately because I don’t want to like Tanisha, but in this I did. A lot.


Erica: I don’t know if it was the choreo but I honestly don’t think it was. It just kind of felt like they weren’t in the same dance.


Kate: See I thought the choreo did get a little repetitive towards the end (like, enough hip shakes) and was overall corny, but I still liked it a lot. What is happening to my brain?


Erica: Maybe I’m just too old to find any of these kids sexy. But I am enjoying Cat dishing.


Kate: P.S. There’s a Chris Scott hip-hop choreographer and now a Dave Scott hip-hop choreographer. Will wonders ever cease?


Erica: Chris Scott is the skinny white one. I like him. I like Dave, too.


Jessica & Marcquet – Foxtrot, choreo by Dmitry Chaplin

[“I Put a Spell on You” by Nina Simone]


Erica: I think I’m hitting my lifetime limit on this song.


Kate: What about the Hocus Pocus version?


Erica: I mean, Bette will always be Bette but I’m just tired of it. It’s not a bad song or anything, I just see it come up and go, ugh.


Kate: How about Tab Benoit’s? He is very sexy.


Erica: I don’t know who that is. Isn’t this a little fluid for a foxtrot? And, like, sexy, with their pelvises against each other and all?


Kate: Yes, and isn’t she a bit too stripper-ish? Sorry, not trying to be catty, but she was way too much here. Too much.


Erica: So Marcquet is totes going home.


Kate: Shame, he’s good.


Erica: I LOVE it (in a totally non-sarcastic way) when Nigel actually criticizes the choreography. Also I need to learn to do that cat’s eye thing like on Jessica’s eyes right now.


Kate: You’re the one who taught me how to do eye makeup, I’m sure you could figure out the subtle cat eye.


Erica: It’s hard; it works best with a liquid liner, which is hard to control. And I’m out of practice at makeup in general.


Kate: Use the liquid liner Mom and I use from Lancome. Great stuff. (Lancome did not sponsor this post in any way). So this dance sucked, next?


Erica: Okay, buy me some. Also, Lancome, if you’d like to sponsor a post, we’d totes take your money. I really like your eye makeup remover!


Kate: Sephora’s house brand makeup remover is actually better. (Sephora is not a sponsor of this post either, but we’d take it.)


Erica: Oh, I have the Sephora one! I’m taking it with me this weekend! (To my sister-in-law’s wedding in San Francisco, if you’re curious.) BTW, readers, we are both doing this recap in real time and we’re in a commercial break right now. That’s why the long chat about make-up. Also someone stole my Diet Coke. Damn it.


Carly & Serge – Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

[“Foolish Games” by Jewel]


Erica: What’s in the water over there? Everyone’s sexing it up this week.


Kate: You toooooook your coat off, and stood in the rain. You were always craaazy like that. Er, this song is soooo your high school years!


Erica: 🙂 Zoe likes this song.


Kate: So does Aunt Kate!


Erica: It’s giving me flashbacks to adolescence.


Kate: Yikes. Hey, this dance was great, and one move in particular reminded me a lot of Robert Roldan and Allison Holker’s “Fix You” routine from season 7 (which I think is my favorite season ever?) — let’s watch that one now!


Erica: This was a lot less of a literal interpretation of the theme but beautifully danced. I just caught sight of Cat’s shoes. They kind of make me like the rest of the outfit more.


Kate: She lucked out with another good routine, and I like her despite not wanting to, similar to how I feel about Tanisha. This was very good.


Erica: I don’t like her personality much but I think she’s a fine dancer. And I like Serge quite a bit. Maybe because he’s not 12.


Kate: Yes, he’s very good. And I loved his first-ever ballroom competition outfit. And right, doesn’t Carly’s personality just irritate the crap out of you?


Erica: Yah.


Emily & Teddy – Salsa, choreo by Oksana & Jonathan

[“Bruk It Down (Soca Remix)” by Mr. Vegas feat. Alison Hinds]


Erica: I couldn’t remember who these people were – but now I’ll remember that Teddy is freakin’ adorable as a kid. And Oksana is like some sort of living Russian stereotype.


Kate: What else do you expect with that name? They are my least favorite dancers (skill-wise, not personality-wise). I totes noticed Emily’s slip and contrary to what Misty said, I think it did mess her up for the rest of the performance because she slowed down and hesitated from there on out and just looked to nervous to do it full out.


Erica: She looked super awkward. Her hips did not look like salsa dancing hips.


Kate: And his hips are just CREEPY. Bleh.


Erica: Isn’t that what male salsa hips are supposed to look like?


Kate: I guess, but he looks so creepy doing it. Me no likey.


Erica: Misty’s voice is starting to make me kind of nuts. Still appreciate her commentary. Oh, wait, Emily’s dancing injured? I hate that. I’m too much of a nervous Jewish mother.


Kate: When Misty was commenting on Teddy her words said “I love you” but her tone said “I think you suck but I’m paid to be somewhat nice”.


Erica: Heehee


Jacque & Zack – Jazz, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

[“Back to Black” by Beyonce feat. Andre 3000]


Kate: Of ALL the people to cover my girl Amy Winehouse, I would NOT want it to be Beyonce. I’m so over her.


Erica: Overkill? Damn, Sonya is being tough on Jaque.


Kate: What do you mean overkill?


Erica: Your Beyonce hate. Her costume is f-ing bizarre.


Kate: I’m sorry I’m just over her! And YES, I thought the same thing about the costume. Not relevant to the routine/song/century.


Erica: You know what, though, Sonya was right. She is kind of relying on pretty. And Misty seems to agree.


Kate: I think she’s talented, but not the most talented. I was surprised at how they pulled off sexual attraction in this routine as I cannot see them together in real life, but I enjoyed their chemistry and thought this was overall great. Could have been more the choreography than the dancing, though?


Erica: Well, Sonya is a pretty amazing choreographer. Isn’t she the one dating Rudy?


Kate: Sonya? No. Jacque? Yes.


Erica: Sorry, that’s what I meant. Sometimes I forget the whole pronoun-antecedent agreement thing.


Brooklyn & Casey – choreo by Will “Wildabeast” Williams

[“Hustle Hard Remix”, Ace Hood feat. Rick Ross & Lil Wayne]


Erica: They’re pulling some pretty cute faces.


Kate: Oh my god, this was quite possibly the least hip-hop routine to ever grace the SYTYCD stage. Oh my god I gasped OUT LOUD, like, SEVERAL times during this, that’s how bad I thought it was.


Erica: No way. No way. I’m not saying it was super-swag or anything, but there have been some seriously non-hip-hop hip-hop routines on this show.


Kate: What drugs are you/the judges on right now? This was SO BAD! Her faces were painful to watch! There was no swag! No getting down! Gah!


Erica: Excuse me, Kate, but her faces were HILARIOUS to watch.


Kate: No, there were like “Oh, this is hard, ah, this is harder, ahhh I look crazy, eh what’s next? Oh!” No. No no no no no.


Erica: Like I said. Hilarious.


Kate: Also known as horrible.


Erica: Excuse the F out of me, Nigel, but hip-hop DOES in fact require technique and precision, you pretentious, condescending, “benign racism” racist old man. God.


Mini-Group Routine # 1- Jazz, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

[“So Broken (Live)” by Bjork]


Erica: So, yes, I’d prefer a group routine to solos. But can someone explain to me how this happened? Did they tell this group, like, last week, that they were in the bottom and then have them practice this? So when they bring them on stage and “reveal” it, they actually already know? Or did Sonya whip this up backstage like five seconds ago? Did all the dancers rehearse it and then just the six step into their “parts”? SO MANY QUESTIONS.


Kate: My guess is they knew the bottom 6 by, like, last Thursday, and the learned this in a couple of days. This was a first, right?


Erica: Yes, it’s a first. Wait, no, there are four couples here. I’m confused. I have the short-term memory of a fruit fly so I can’t even remember which of these people are actually in danger.


Kate: Yea, now I’m confused too. Off with their heads!


Erica: Again, I’m in favor of the idea. But they need to be clearer about the whole rules aspect of this thing. Maybe these are the bottom eight and they just didn’t tell them which of them were actually the bottom six?


Kate: My brain hurts trying to figure it out, but I think I liked this better than the first group routine. Tanisha did do very well tonight. Hmmm..


Erica: Wait a second. Marcquet isn’t there. He was in the bottom six, wasn’t he?


Kate: Brain. Hurts. Also, it’s only 9:38? Is there another routine still?


Erica: Maybe it’s two mini-group routines, irrespective of people in danger? That’s been done before, right? In Melonie and Sasha’s season?


Kate: By George, I think you’ve got it!


Erica: Anyway, I agree with the judges. I think Sonya might be my favorite. And yup, there’s a Travis routine coming. Wow, that could have been clearer.


Hey what are you doing?


Mini-Group Routine #2 – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Love Runs Out” by OneRepublic]


Erica: I love Travis’s brain. Sometimes he’s like, “It’s about a couple in love,” and I’m like, ugh, boring, but it usually isn’t. And then he comes up with some crazy amazing concepts and I just love him.


Kate: LOVE! Love this song, loved this routine. It had me dancing (on the couch). LOVE.


Erica: I think Ricky might be my favorite boy now. Also this was cool. Just cool. Good job, Travis. Good job, dancers. And good job, Cat’s hair, cascading down her back like that when she was at the bottom of the stairs.


Kate: And good job, girl I’m not sure who you were, with the Full Down (that’s a cheerleading term)! Yea, Ricky is clearly the best on the show this season.


Erica: Do you think Sonya was looking at Travis like, “I’m going to put a knife in your neck at the wrap party”?


Kate: Ya, this totes shat on her mini-group routine. Sors Sonya.


Erica: Aw, man, hers was good, too! More group routines in general, that’s what I say!


Kate: Hear hear!




Erica: Nigel’s “Yeah, thanks, Cat,” was totally sarcastic. Wait, four dancers next week? Why? Fox skimping on time for SYTYCD? Or is Nigel playing with us and they’re saving everyone this week?


Kate: Fox is way skimping. They give this who less and less time every season; I fear the day they finally — gasp — cancel.


Erica: Can you tell we’re doing this in real time? Okay, so it’s Marcquet and Brooklyn. Not surprised about Marcquet. Not even really that surprised about Brooklyn although I think she’s pretty good.


Kate: Me either. Happy with it. Moving on now, tune in next week for the top 14, after which we’ll skip over the top 12 and go right to the top 10, at which point the judges will have no say anymore whatsoever! Right?


Erica: I don’t know. I can’t keep up with the rules on this show. So this week, we are posting, like, right now. Next week might be late. I am getting home from San Francisco at some time I can’t remember when but I’m sure I won’t be able to get a post up before mid-day on Thursday.


Kate: Yes, so patience, young grasshoppers.


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

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


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

[“How It’s Done” by District 78]

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

Kate: Very Gaga-esque, no?


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

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

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

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


Cat’s Outfit

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

[“Stay With Me” by Sam Smith]

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

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

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

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

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

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


Jourdan & Marcquet – Contemporary, choreo by Dee Caspary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate: Hey, we love his little show!


Jessica & Stanley – Jazz, choreo by Tyce Diorio

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

[“Happy” by Pharrell Williams]

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

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

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

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

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


Emily & Teddy – Contemporary, choreo by Tyce Diorio

[“Ne Me Quitte Pas” by Nina Simone]

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

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

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

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


Brooklyn & Casey – Jazz, choreo by Bonnie Story

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

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

Erica: Yay links from dances past!

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

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


Valerie & Ricky – Viennese Waltz, choreo by Lacey Schwimmer

[“I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz]

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Tanisha & Rudy – Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle

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

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

Erica: Really? I thought it was totes fabulous.

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

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

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

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


Non-SYTYCD Performance

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

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

Kate: Yes!





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

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

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

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

SYTYCD Season XX – Top Twenty Perform (Again)

SYTYCD Season 11 Top 20, Part 2

Kate: Dag nabbit we did it again!

Erica: We did what again? Watch the Top 20? By the way, folks — I, like some of our fans, didn’t know that the real thing started last week. Fortunately, Kate was on hand to give me this link where they had videos of all the dances. (Kate, can you send me the link again?)

Kate: Like last season, we are watching the Top 20 again, but 2 of them will be eliminated by the end of the show. Hence the “Top 20, Part 2”. MEH.

Erica: I don’t like this “watch the sitting ducks dance” nonsense. I don’t know how to better structure it, but I don’t like this.


Group Performance – Broadway, choreo by Josh Bergasse

[“New York, New York” from On The Town]

Erica: I eat this sh!t up.

Kate: FAB costumes. Fab fab fab.

Erica: Seriously. And the cast as a whole was so good at the Broadway attitude — the right amount of face-pulling, the right bounce in their steps.

Kate: I felt like the routine choreography was a bit all over the place, but I suppose that’s Broadway. I didn’t notice anyone being particularly amazing or horrible.

Erica: It’s not only Broadway, it’s this particular type of number, popular in some of the musicals of this era, with the sort of “Check out the whole setting” vibe. It works much better live, and, unfortunately, most of this show’s audience is, you know, watching on the TV, and I continue not to like the camera work on this show, but I did quite enjoy the dance. It is definitely my kind of thing.


Cat’s Outfit

Erica: Wait, first, can we talk opening credits? Because they changed them to have those sort of science-y motion tracking graphics and I think I like it.

Kate: They’ve been doing that. Cat’s giving me a little bit of a Victoria Secret model look right now, and I like it!

Erica: I am not a fan of animal prints, period, the end. But I like the shape of this and the overall vibe.

Kate:  I normally hate booties with skirts/dresses because they make legs look stumpy, but it works on legs like that.

Erica: Yeah, I don’t think there’s a force in the universe that could make Cat Deeley’s legs look stumpy.

Kate: Amen.

Erica: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. So the choreographer of the first dance is choreographing that very show on Broadway — and the winner will star in it? Seriously? Isn’t that…Kind of a big deal that should have been introduced in a more big-deal way? Rather than a sort of aside by Cat?

Kate: They mentioned that in the beginning of all the audition episodes, and I think it’s a sweet prize but don’t they also have to be able to sing and, you know, ACT, to star in a Broadway show?

Erica: And…Cat looks super cute in her baseball shirt and cut-offs. I don’t really understand what’s happening with the baseball stuff, but she looks cute. They all look cute, really. Even Nigel.


Tanisha & Rudy – Jazz, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

[“You Need” by Bengsons]

Kate: I still don’t really like her.

Erica: I like her. I mean, I don’t adore her the way I adore Marlene, but I like her.

Kate: I don’t know, there’s just something rubbing me the wrong way. This was a good routine and they did well, but I still saw moments of them hesitating and stumbling and just trying too much. I don’t want to see them try, I want to see them do.

Erica: I only saw one moment that looked hesitant — when she was on his thigh and stretching her leg. Other than that, I thought they were pretty good. Also, I think I’m right — Sonya Tayeh’s choreography is heavily influenced by her emotional life, and right now her emotional life is gettin’ it.

Kate: We’re doing dance-a-longs between commercials now?

Erica: Totally in favor of this development. Zoe wouldn’t practice with me because apparently the crocodile from Peter Pan and/or a shark is in our library and we can’t stand on the ground but I plan on going back later and giving this a whirl.


Valerie & Ricky – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

[“Oh Darling” by Gossling]

Erica: Aw, man, the judges changed. I liked the baseball uniforms.

Kate: Ricky has quite impressive and expressive feet.

Erica: Valerie is maybe the cutest person ever. And I seriously love her costume here.

Kate: I am thrilled that they are paired together right now, and I am thrilled that she is good at genres other than tap. Contrary to what the judges said, I thought she was very good at conveying the emotional aspect of contemporary dancing.

Erica: I thought this was simply stunning. Great Travis Wall choreography; Ricky’s technique was amazing — his feet, oh my God, his feet! And yeah, I agree with you, her emotion was fantastic and I thought she was quite good at the dancing even if her technique wasn’t quite where his was. I mean, that back-bend? Where she stood on his thighs and just went all the way back? Holy moly.


Bridget & Emilio – Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown

[“Work” by Iggy Azalea]

Kate: I was worried about her getting hip-hop, but she did not do badly with this.

Erica: I fell in love with Bridget when she answered the “Vampire or werewolf?” question with a stank face and a “Neither. Wizard!”

Kate: She had moments of surprisingly good swag here, mostly toward the beginning, but she also had other moments of oh-she’s-so-cute-trying-to-be-gangster-but-it’s-not-quite-working. He was obviously very good.

Erica: I feel like hip-hop on this show is mostly oh-she’s-so-cute hip-hop. I didn’t love this choreo — I didn’t think it looked that hard, frankly. So yeah, she did great, and yes, he was very good, but it looked like a routine I could probably pull off to an acceptable degree if I practiced. I mean, I usually like Luther Brown, but this just didn’t impress me much. I loved Emilio’s little hand motions while Cat was exhorting the audience to vote.


Jessica & Nick – West Coast Swing, choreo by Benji Schwimmer

[“Respect (Weird Live Version)” by Aretha Franklin]


Kate: Ya, ow/ew. But this was beyond bizarre. And I had no idea there was a difference in Swings, but West Coast doesn’t look like the Swing I know and love.

Erica: Because of the weird nature of the number, it looked like we were watching a warm-up for a while. But I liked it, and I thought they were pretty adorable in terms of the personality for the song and all. And she sure has a cute rear end. BUT SHE POPPED HER SHOULDER OUT DURING PRACTICE. Is that not a problem?

Kate: You can pop it right back in, dancers and athletes are fairly used to that I think. But the song just didn’t even feel like a real song until halfway into the routine, so their dancing looked completely off! (No offense to Miss Aretha.)

Erica: I like how he’s ballroom, it’s so amazing he can switch to…Swing? Aren’t those styles pretty closely related?

Kate: This is what I’m saying.

Erica: I do love when they have actual professional dancers as their guest judges.

Kate: Yes, Misty is actually providing valuable, legitimate critique, not just repeating Nigel’s and Mary’s comments in a less-intelligent-sounding way.


Carly & Serge – Contemporary, choreo by Sonya Tayeh

[“Latch (Acoustic)” by Sam Smith]

Kate: As soon as Sonya started describing the routine, I KNEW it would be a Sam Smith song. Yay me and yay Sam! (Er, seriously, listen to him. He’s so good.)

Erica: Yes, ma’am.

Kate: Carly is lucking out with staying in her style and getting good routines and choreographers — if she had Tanisha’s routine last week and Jessica’s this week, she’d be outta here. She is good, just not amazing.

Erica: I’m not yet at the stage where I remember these people from week to week. So I’m sure you’re right; I just don’t remember. I liked this routine quite a bit and I thought that they were both quite good.

Kate: Serge delighted me at contemporary. I loved the part at the end where they were just grabbing each other all over (not in a sexual way).

Erica: I just hope Serge doesn’t go away. He’s the only boy on this show old enough for me to find attractive.


Emily & Teddy – Hip-Hop, choreo by Dave Scott

[“Don’t” by Ed Sheeran]

Erica: Ed Sheeran is just everywhere lately, isn’t he?

Kate: Yeah, and he sounds EXACTLY like Nick Carter. #BackstreetsbackALLRIGHT. Anyway, she was sharp and quick where she needed to be, but was WAY too stiff for hip-hop. No swag whatsoever. Bridget did a much better job, I think.

Erica: Meh. Meh to the whole thing. Choreo, their technique, everything.

Kate: I just don’t love him at all — he’s too much like a random dude dancing on the street and not enough of an exceptional performer.


Marlene & Stanley – Broadway, choreo by Spencer Liff

[“I’ve Got Your Number” by Nancy Smith]

Kate: Holy hairdo Marlene! …I want it.

Erica: I’m just glad she’s not wearing that weird neon thing from the opening.

Kate: She had the perfect amount of sass for this routine, but the props were way too much. It seriously limited the amount of dancing TOGETHER, and I would have loved to see them together because they are both so good. Bad move, Spencer.

Erica: I adore her. She’s so sexy and adorable and fun. It would have been nice to see them interact more.

Kate: Also, the camera angles were even more off than usual. I rarely could even see them both at the same time.

Erica: Yup. It really feels like the judges are dinging the dancers for stuff that was the choreographer’s fault. They should have thrown the phones down? They should have danced more together? How is that their fault?


Jourdan & Marcquet – Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

[“Work Work” by Britney Spears]

Erica: Something about her puts me off completely. I should like her because she knows many digits of pi but I just can’t. During the dance, it occurred to me that she and Marlene illustrate the difference between “performing sexy” and actually being sexy.

Kate: And ballet rears its ugly head. She was not sharp or quick AT ALL here. The judges were all completely wrong and must have been on drugs.

Erica: Again with the porn-y premise/outfit/song. Oh, but I forgot about Marcquet when I said Serge was the only crush-worthy boy for me.

Kate: He honestly wasn’t doing much to save her, which is disappointing because he has been good at styles other than his own. ALSO, the edited version of this song is nowhere near as fun as the real one. You better WORK, B!TCH.

Erica: I don’t like this song in either iteration. Britney Spears to me is the epitome of performing “sexy” without being sexy.

Kate: But we still support her general mental health and well-being. Poor Brit.


Brooklyn & Casey – Argentine Tango, choreo by Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo

[“Gallo Ciego” by Louis Bravo’s Forever Tango]

Kate: She was great, he was not. I did not think either of them were as “grr” as the music and style called for, but she is very good and has ca-ray-zay legs.

Erica: I thought neither of them were great, although she was better than him. Her legs and her hips seemed to be able to move completely independently of the rest of her body, and of each other, and really, of the way normal bodies with normal joints can move at all. But I thought there were so many moments that were supposed to look slow-and-sensual, but came across as more hesitant and uncertain instead.

Kate: Disagree wholeheartedly with the judges. He was not a good ballroom partner. Off weeth hees ‘ead!

Erica: He looks like such a child up here. Eighteen-year-old girls can sometimes vaguely imitate “woman”-ness, but eighteen-year-old boys can rarely pull of “man”-ness.


Jacque & Zack – African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

[“Dibiza (Kick *** Mix)” by Danny Tenaglia]

Kate: What interesting costumes/hair/makeup, eh? She was much better than Jourdan outside their style, but that was to be expected.

Erica: Definitely interesting. I liked them at first, and not just because I love it when they don’t put the “African Jazz” dancers in super-stereotypical “African” garb. But then I found them distracting. I really can’t tell whether or not they were good at this dance. (Also at the beginning when she was straddling his neck, it kind of looked like his hair was…Well, never mind. I won’t say it.)

Kate: There were moments where he was not completely with her, but they both had such great energy and personality. I like her a lot.


Kate: Do we want to comment on the Beyonce tap routine?

Erica: I was excited about this crew competition idea, until it involved Justin Bieber. Then I wanted to forget the whole thing existed.

Kate: They did better than most in making the taps sound okay with music, but still. It’s just not right. I’d rather see actual stepping.

Erica: I didn’t love it. I mean, I wanted to love it because girls and tapping and Beyonce, but I just didn’t not feel enthused.



Kate: MAN OH MAN! I really liked Marlene.

Erica: Mother-effer. I can’t even tell the rest of them apart. And I LOVED Marlene! What is wrong with SYTYCD voters? They never like the sexy, mature girls. They always like the teeny-bopper nonsense girls. Also, damn, Jourdan’s skin is reacting very badly to whatever is happening on this show.

Kate: EW, Nigel, don’t tell her she made it to the Top 20 on her looks. Gross.

Erica: Seriously, @sswipe. She is all things fabulous and you’re not good enough for her. Sh!t, she looked really sad.

Kate: I thought Serge would go home, but I’m also not surprised it’s Nick. I feel like he barely made the top 20.

Erica: Wait, so once we hit the Top Ten, it’s all about who’s got the lowest votes? No judge’s decisions anymore? I thought that didn’t happen until the very end.

Kate: Me too, but they constantly keep us guessing how this show actually works. Catch us next week for the Top 18!


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


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


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!


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!

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!


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.