With an opening a la American Idol (which makes sense considering our executive producer), I was taken aback for approximately 0.16 seconds. But then I realized I was about to watch a redux of last week’s Top 20 introduction to America and my eyes were glued to the TV. I hadn’t been aware of the news that Debbie Reynolds would be tonight’s guest judge. Had I known that, I could have gotten 0.16 seconds of my life back because that brief amount of worry would be overshadowed by the legend’s presence. What a huge boost of credibility to the show that doesn’t need any cred when it comes to their powerhouse dancers, knowledgeable judges, and Emmy-winning choreographers. That said, Mama Debbie looked thoroughly entertained tonight, Mary Murphy gave 2 expresses passes on her hot tamale train, and Nigel Lythgoe threw in a very minor political rant (wrong platform pops, but it is your show, I guess). All in all, SYTYCD lived up to it’s bold decision to send no one home last week. Reintroducing America to our Top 20 was the best thing that could have happened to these amazing dancers…problem now, America has a tough call on their hands to give the judges a Bottom 3, of which 2 couples will be sent packing. Without further adieu, let’s crack open these 10 performances.
Ryan & Ricky ~ Jazz by Mandy Moore | Shave those hairy legs, Roderick! Wait…ah well, who cares? That’s the least of our concerns as this R rated dance kicked off the family hour on the SYTYCD stage. And you know what? I wouldn’t have had it any other way! Ryan looked the part, Ricky acted the part. Not only did Ryan and Ricky channel their inner animalistic tendencies, but they helped release a SYTYCD secret – there is sexual tnesion between Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe, according to pops. And in case you didn’t think this was live, refer back to when Cat and Ricky were telling Ryan to avoid a wardrobe malfunction. And on a fitting night (with Sasha and Alexander’s dance), Ricky’s uncle was able to take off boot camp to watch his nephew. I’m sure he was loving every minute of this one!
Caitlynn & Mitchell ~ Contemporary by Stacey Tookey | Did this pair make you want more than a zebra “Snoogie” and new boots? You betcha! (Crap, how did Sarah Palin get in here?) The parallel dancing between the two chairs for Caitlynn and Mitchell was just genius choreography and it was danced beautifully by these two. The raw emotion in this piece was totally the bang this pair needed, especially since this is the first time they are able to dance for America as a couple, compared to the others. Maybe the punching was a product of their first time on stage together, but we know Mitchell of all people wasn’t out to injure Caitlynn. Speaking of, she took on the role of the heartbroken with no hesitation. I was sold from the minute I knew they would be dancing to Adele.
Missy & Wadi ~ ChaCha by Jean-Marc Genereux | Okay, I am apparently going against the judges on this one, but while I enjoyed this piece (I usually enjoy all on this show), I felt that both Missy and Wadi were a little out of place. Sure, they were out of their elements, which can’t be easy this early on in the competition, but I thought both of them looked as if they wanted to get off the stage ASAP. The judges, on the other hand, disagree. Mary thought Missy was queen. Nigel thought she was great and Debbie wants to take Wadi home. Sure, I’m no dance know-it-all, but, I also didn’t see this as Lady Murphy, comparing that piece to DWTS. Wadi was not just a student and Missy wasn’t quite an all-star. They both just were. And that’s neither good nor bad.
Iveta & Nick ~ Bollywood by Nakul Dev Mahajan | Pack away those chicken legs and quit talking to yourself in the mirror .. just long enough to enjoy this piece! Nick and Iveta didn’t let their inexperience with the Bollywood style stop them here. From the first beat, you could tell they were both enjoying every second of their cultural immersion. Iveta looked a little out of place (and slightly uncomfortable, rightfully so), while Nick, an unofficial Yakkster (!), rocked it and looked more enjoyable. Like every SYTYCD fan, Nigel compared this piece to Joshua and Katee. Now, you can’t have Bollywood on this show without comparing to that high energy, well danced piece, but there is a right time and a wrong time to compare dancers to the likes of Katee and Joshua. Top 20 Bollywood vs. Top 10 is apples and oranges. Nick and Iveta have great chemistry, the likes of Katee and Joshua. It may not have been the most technically perfect Bollywood number, but I actually rewound this just for the fun.
Miranda & Robert ~ Hip Hop by Tabitha & Napolean | Before we get to the elemental dancing of Miranda and Robert, can I just break to say “Thank You” to the SYTYCD crew for bringing back NappyTabs. We missed them last week, but they made up for it tonight! Who else can take woodpeckers and make a pretty hoppin dance? Starting off lunging onto the stage and ending by lunging off of the stage was artistical genius. Yes, I make up words sometimes. I’m a little torn on Robert toning down his quirkiness. Nigel made it pretty clear he isn’t a fan of the “wooo”man, but to expect Robert to fully rid himself of that aspect of his personality is redics, sir. Thankfully, Robert was in his element tonight and Miranda fit RIGHT in. No questions asked. You know things are going in the right direction when Debbie Reynolds impersonates Woody Woodpecker on national TV!
Clarice & Jess ~ Contemporary by Stacey Tookey | Maybe next week, the choreography should incorporate the stick figure orchestra. Until then, we’ll take the royal wedding on the SYTYCD stage. Before we go any further, just know Clarice was flawless tonight. Ever since we were briefly introduced to her in the audition rounds, I am continuously drawn to the TV to watch her dance. Jess was obviously out of his Broadway element, toning down the character exaggeration. He did so very well, but it was obvious that the lifts were mighty difficult for the little Broadway engine.
Jordan and Tadd ~ Viennese Waltz by Jean Marc Genereux | Before anyone hops on SYTYCD’s own airline (which doesn’t exist Miss Jordan), be sure to pack your shirts in a color coordinated fashion. Anyone need ziploc bags for their goodies? Bringing in David Cook as the musical interlude for this piece was pretty masterful. Now on to the dancing … Solid. Pure and simple. Jordan was extremely elegant and I forgot Tadd was a b-boy. His lifts were solid and powerful, adding to the flow of the piece and highlighting Jordan’s extensions. And cue SYTYCD rumor mill…Was that a kiss at the end? Don’t tell Missy!
Melanie & Marko ~ Jazz by Mandy Moore | Who woulda guessed it? One of the Yak’s best buds on the twitter is into romance novels. Hold the presses on that one because have more important matters to discuss…like how totally into this piece me and surely most of America were. The use of the hat as a prop was clever, maybe not as clever as the use of the butt in a oldie Mia Michaels piece, but clever nonetheless. This piece was a fun, hoppy bit of choreography that showed us a different side of these two gems in a field of amazing dancers on this show. Mary was so right. You can give these two anything and they will take what’s thrown their way, work hard with it and bring just that to the stage every week. And if we were going to get one wardrobe malfunction tonight, we’re glad it was this and not Ryan. It’s a family show.
Sasha and Alexander ~ Hip Hop by Tabitha and Napolean | You know it’s a great sign when it’s 10 seconds in and I’m wishing I was watching this on the TV with the DVR so I could rewind. Yes, rewind and watch the first 10 seconds again. Sasha was flawless. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her from the second Skyler Grey’s voice started playing in the background. Her emotion and anguish in the beginning before Alexander joined her was … well, I can’t find a word for it dammit! Not that we didn’t expect solid choreography from our favorite duo NappyTabs, but the headstand off Sasha’s back was pretty damn clever. In my eyes, this was one of their finest and actually reminded me a little of Katee and Joshua’s “No Air” back from Season 4.
Ashley and Chris ~ Broadway by Spencer Liff | First off, bring more Spencer Liff on this show! That choreography was genius. Sure, throwing some bars in the middle of the dance can be dangerous, considering it could eat up (or in this case, lock up) the dancers from showcasing their abilities. That was not the case here. Starting and ending the show with some pretty solid sexy routines was well planned on SYTYCD’s part. The synchronicity and complementing moves of Ashley and Chris were pretty amazing. Get these two a conjugal visit because they are the season’s first passengers on the hot tamale train!
And because tonight was such a tight race yet again, I reserve the right to not predict America’s Bottom 3 until next week. I’m pulling a Nigel.
So, what’d you think about tonight’s performances? Who are you expecting to crack our bottom 3? Who was your favorite tonight? Let us know all that and more!