The night began with yet another stunning introduction by the ever-exquisite Cat Deeley. The night continued as the season shaped up as one of the best in SYTYCD history. Joined by Lil’ C and the ever glamours Kristin Chenoweth, Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy were highlighted on this glorified and perfectly joined panel of experts. Just a simple question, can we keep this quartet of judges all season long?
Last night’s performance show brought all the summer TV should bring. Fun, smiles, cheerful attitudes, big vocabulary, humor, and … well, do you need anything else? Kristin Chenoweth and Lil’ C were two priceless gems to have joined the panel this week, and let me just say it was an unexpected and perfect pairing made in SYTYCD heaven. Who else is down for a Lil’ C rapping performance later this season? Hopefully he’ll bring along those Twitch-like glasses as well. Without further adieu, let’s progress to looking at the dance numbers in chronological order. We won’t be looking at the group routines, since they will only be used as an afterthought for the judges when the Bottom 3 is revealed tonight.
Sasha & Alexander, “Belong” by Dee Caspary | Let me just kick off the review by saying that Sasha has this commanding aura about her when she’s on the stage. I haven’t quite placed my finger on it, but she shares something with Melanie that just tickles the cockles of my heart. Sorry, keeping in with last night’s theme, I think. Did anyone else get goosebumps when her hands came out to “play” the last few chords with Alexander at the end of the piece? Sasha is octaves above many of the dancers this season, and we’re looking forward to her sticking around quite some time. Alexander is more than technically qualified for this show, but he is, unfortunately, being overshadowed by his illustrious partner. He will have to work more come Top 10 when it’s time to shine on your own with an all-star.
Caitlynn & Mitchell, “Put It In A Love Song” by Jean-Marc Genereux | Let me start off this review by saying that we are all blessed by the fact that Mitchell’s injury at the beginning of the season did not last longer. It has been such a pleasure to watch him take the stage. That said, this number was full of hawtness and probably set the tone for the the rest of the night. Caitlynn was, as Cat said, “bootylicious.” Those hips didn’t lie (both of them, in fact) and these two danced their way to complete buccness and into the Top 14.
Miranda & Robert, “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” by Tyce Diorio | I fear that this couple could be in danger for a couple of reasons. I personally enjoy Tyce and his choreography. This one fell a little flat for me. I wasn’t sure where the judges were praising the routine, other than the fact it was fun. Sure, Miranda and Robert sold the characters, but I am not sure they were given much to sell. I also think they might suffer due to their placement as only the 3rd dance of the night. Look for this pair in the bottom 3.
Melanie & Marko, “I Got You” by NappyTabs | If there ever was a glimpse of heaven to be caught on your television, this was it. M&M + NappyTabs = Speechless. The dance says it all. In my opinion, this was the best performance of the night. Marko and Melanie equally shined and hipped and hopped across that stage with so much power and elegance. And you thought hip-hop had no room for elegance.
Ashley & Chris, “Lights Go Down” by Sonya Tayeh | This performance did look like it was straight out of the jungle. And I’m not sure if that’s always a good thing. It was sultry, seductive and animalistic, but I think that might all it had going for it. I’m siding with Nigel here in that it was technically well performed, but the lack of story and character connection might endanger this couple this week. In the costume department, however, best of the night. Sonya Tayeh obviously put more effort into her second piece (see below) and this one might have suffered a tad.
Clarice & Jess, “Fly Me To The Moon” by Jean-Marc Genereux | The first foxtrot of the season was more than a solid performance for this hit or miss style, but I am going against the judging opinion here and saying that Jess infused too much of a broadway face here. I think Jean-Marc infused a little bit of broadway to play to Jess’s strength, but the facial expressions were a bit too strong for me. The piece was very elegant and had some pretty solid synchronous movements. Jess did win the woman over in the end. America, on the other hand, might be up in the air.
Ryan & Ricky, “With Every Heartbeat” by Sonya Tayeh | Like I mentioned above, Sonya put nearly all of her energy into this piece and by golly (ya, I just said that), it showed. The use of the piece of fabric to tie them together and keep hold of was genius. The vulnerability not only came through from the dancers, but what was felt mostly throughout this piece was the vulnerability from Sonya herself. I’m glad Nigel told us who inspired that piece because that’s what I was wondering about during most of the performance. I won’t lie. This piece choked me up. I know it did for you, too. Solid effort by Ryan and Ricky, as well.
Jordan & Tadd, “Memories” by NappyTabs | It was humbling when Jordan reminded us that in 1999, she was in 1st grade and did her first dance to the Spice Girls. I’ll pause for a moment to see how that makes you feel. This last piece of the night was just pure fun. NappyTabs have never failed in my book, but I’m not sure if this will go down as one of their creative highlights. The concept was very interesting, and it was extremely well executed. Jordan and Tadd should be in no danger here and NappyTabs are still among the show’s choreography gems, but I’m glad the Contempoary group number was the show’s closer. I’ll end here before you all start thinking I’m hating.
As for tonight’s bottom 3, I will go forward and make a prediction for tonight. Based on a number of criteria in my super secret way of predicting, let’s see who might make up the bottom 3.
1. Miranda and Robert
2. Ashley and Chris
3. Clarice and Jess
What’d you think of tonight’s performances? Who makes up your bottom 3? And who else will be down for KChen guest judging every week? Also, if you have a question for tonight’s eliminated couple, shoot us a comment. Yours just might be chosen by the Yak!