0:00 – Introduction
1:27 – General thoughts about the bottom 4 and voting
4:12 – Bottom 2 Girls routines: Audrey & Witney
7:35 – Bottom 2 Guys routines: George & Chehon
10:57 – Other routines: Tiffany, Cole, Lindsay, Will, Cyrus, and Eliana
22:45 – Wrap-up
Episode Length: 23:42
As we move into the final set of live shows, the voting for this season continues to confuse us as Witney once again ended up in the bottom 2 girls. In particular, we’re unable to understand why she is not connecting with the audience (we think she’s fantastic!), but Tiffany, who’s been off the radar for us and seems to be an easy choice to send home, continues to avoid the bottom. We discuss the possible reasons for this, as well as what may have caused Audrey, George, and Chehon to also land in the bottom 4. Beyond the eliminations, we were extremely excited to see the return of all-star Jakob Karr, our favorite dancer to ever be on the show. We also discuss Cyrus and the way choreographers have been handling him this season, which brings up the question we asked at the end of season 8: should the show aim to choreograph/judge the dancers according to a universal standard, or should each dancer be considered individually according to his/her skill level? We should also mention that we loved the Eliana/Alex routine by Stacey Tookey, which demonstrated that with a proper partner Eliana is capable of amazing things!
TOP TWO ROUTINES Eliana Girard w/ Alex Wong – Contemporary
This one I thought was a no brainer for myself (if not for most people). This really showed Eliana’s technical prowess and her performance level all rolled into one. Though I’ll admit I was a little disappointed it wasn’t further away from ballet because I am sure she has had quite a bit of training or background in contemporary. Having Alex as a partner definitely helps her, she held her own and really shoned the most from the Top Ten during this episode.
Witney Carson w/ Nick Lazzarini – Jazz
Witney got to show the sexy in this routine and did she ever. She and Nick had charisma and steam oozing for days. It was loads of fun watching Nick on the show finally (especially with Melody coming on as an All-Star last season)… that was a real treat. Granted Jazz isn’t too much of a stretch for Witney to begin with, but she looked like she was having loads of fun.
MIDDLE THREE ROUTINES Lindsay Arnold w/ Jakob Karr – Jazz
What is it with both ballroom girls getting Jazz this week? I mean really. Granted Lindsay did a fantastic job and I actually believed Jakob being her shadow during the first portion of the routine. However, what really threw me was not that she didn’t dance it well, but rather that during the times that they should be in sync I felt that they weren’t. Like when Jakob does his amazing back bend or flicks his head one way or that, Lindsay wasn’t using her full body like Jakob did. Nevertheless this was a strong routine and she really held her own, but she has got to focus on the details if she wants to melt with other dancers that are just that polished.
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp w/ Lauren Gottlieb – Lyrical Hip Hop
Understandably Chehon had a bit of trouble with the choreography, but dammit he was loose, he was free and he was having fun! What more could you ask for from someone that was doing ballet most of his life? You can’t help but be drawn into this pairing and you can’t help but notice how he just feels the music and the warmth that was emanating from him. Even though the dance wasn’t perfect he really grew leaps and bounds through this routine.
Will Thomas w/ Kathryn McCormick – Bollywood
Will’s a goofball and I haven’t seen a routine that Will has done that he wasn’t allowed to tap into his goofiness. Sometimes it fits and sometimes it doesn’t… this is one of those routines where it works and it works well enough. Will danced the routine really well but dammit, sometimes I wish he’d tone down the goofiness a bit.
BOTTOM THREE ROUTINES Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer w/ Jaimie Goodwin – Contemporary
He could have easily screwed this up, Travis could have easily cut more corners and have Jaimie dance around Cyrus more than she did, but he didn’t. This routine truly emphasized Cyrus’ strengths in emotion, passion and partnering… yes I noticed that he struggled a bit on making the lifts seamless and his technique wasn’t perfect but dammit he really did surprise me with how much he has grown. Travis did a smart job in creating a routine that would push Cyrus to reach Jaimie’s level and even though he didn’t meet by any stretch of the imagination he did grow and grow a lot. That being said, he still wasn’t strong enough, as long as he keeps growing exponentially as he has he should be fine for at least another week.
Cole Horibe w/ Anya Garnis – ChaCha
Yes, this wasn’t the best for Cole but honestly I am not going to thrown him under the bus for it… why? Because of the following:
Sigh, the Dr says I have to stay off my foot for at least 2 days. What? No practicing!? I said, Doc, do you understand what genre I pulled??
You read that right, Cole was actually injured this week and sidelined for two days due to that foot injury. So one couldn’t expect his feet to be perfect considering what he was going through. That being said I don’t necessarily agree with the judges saying that he connected with the audience more than Anya, I felt that there were times when he was splitting his focus with one eye on Anya and the other on the audience. I really liked these two together and Cole was always one for characterizations. If anything I would agree with Mary in the sense that I would have liked more, but I think that Cole did well as to be expected due to his injury… unfortunately despite that injury it didn’t really give as much of a cushion as it could.
Tiffany Maher w/ Brandon Bryant – Disco
There isn’t much for me to talk about with this routine, Tiffany was more in the air than on the floor so critiquing was going to be difficult. There were moments that I thought that she had a to work a bit to make the transitions smooth between tricks but it wasn’t bad. This was a very energetic routine that she did well in, however, I haven’t been able to feel much from her throughout the season and she hasn’t really captured my attention yet.
ELIMINATED ROUTINES George Lawrence Jr w/ Allison Holker – Jazz
No surprise here, George’s performance seemed to fall flat for me here, but I had always had trouble connecting with George no matter how beautiful of a dancer he is. The one issue with this routine was the use of the cane which I kept comparing to that of Season 6′s Ashleigh and Jakob’s routine which was leaps and bounds more memorable than this. Even though the storylines differ I’ll still remember the Season 6 routine over this one.
Audrey Case w/ Stephen “tWitch” Boss – Hip Hop
I really wanted to like this routine, I really did, but dammit I couldn’t, I simply couldn’t. Audrey is another of those dancers that I haven’t been able to connect with throughout the season and she always appeared to fall flat for me. In the case of this performance she is put against someone like tWitch who is just oozing charisma and personality and she doesn’t come up to scratch she’s going to appear like a moving prop… which unfortunately is what happened to me.
It was a tribute to Gene Kelly, who’s 100th birthday is this week. Tyce took classic, iconic elements of Gene’s movies & incorporated them into the dance. So there’s Singin in the Rain with the umbrella (Chehon’s part), Cyd Charisse (Eliana, in a beautiful green dress), Fair Weather, Anchors Aweigh (at least that’s what I thought of when I saw Audrey, Lindsay & Witney in sailor/navy costumes but that could have also been On the Town), when he danced with Jerry Mouse, things like that. [...] There were a few props on stage: director’s chair with Gene Kelly on the back, a ladder, trash can lids that Will, George, & Tyce (filling in for injured Cole) danced with, Chehon’s Singin umbrella. [...] Everyone kind of danced in their own little groups seperately at various points of the dance, then all came together at the end to dance in one big group. Cole did show up at the close of the routine; [...]
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Since I wasn’t able to see the show til the morning after… I’m posting everything now. Please bare with me and I apologize for the delay.
Dancer: Top 10 Dancers Style: Broadway Choreographer: Tyce Diorio Song: Mark Isham – “The Cool World Stomp”
ROUTINES WITH THE ALL-STARS Dancer: Tiffany Maher All Star: Brandon Bryant Style: Disco Choreographer: Doriana Sanchez Song: Cobra Starship feat. Sabi – “You Make Me Feel…” (Disco Fries remix) Instant Thoughts: It was rather difficult to develop any kind of criticism because this was just shock full of tricks and lifts, which were executed really well. What I would have loved to have seen was more foot work, but what can you do? In the sense of the dance they were energetic and fun and you can’t help but want to get into the beat and groove in the movement.
Dancer: Witney Carson All Star: Nick Lazzarini Style: Jazz Choreographer: Travis Wall Song: Moloko – “Sing It Back” Instant Thoughts: Witney needs help being sexy? Really? And she’s what? 18? I really liked this routine, definitely caught my attention and considering it is Jazz, she did rather well.
Dancer: Cole Horibe All Star: Anya Garnis Style: ChaCha Choreographer: Dmitry Chaplin Song: The Wanted – “Glad You Came” Instant Thoughts: I was expecting a lot out of Cole this week and was a little bit disappointed. Well, he did connect with Anya but I wanted him to really dig into the steps more.
Dancer: Lindsay Arnold All Star: Jakob Karr Style:Broadway Choreographer: Spencer Liff Song: Fosse – “Dancin’ Dan” (Me and My Shadow) Instant Thoughts: This was fun to watch and I really enjoyed it. It wasn’t a perfect shadow at the beginning and that was a little distracting but once they started dancing together I was enjoying it more.
Dancer: Will Thomas All Star: Kathryn McCormick Style: Bollywood Choreographer: Nakul Dev Mahajan Song: The Dirty Picture – “Ooh La La” Instant Thoughts: Will is just one massive goof ball and that is fine by me. I thought he did decently well with this dance, he had energy but yeah sometimes that goofiness comes off as too much but in this case it works… barely.
Dancer: Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer All Star: Jaimie Goodwin Style: Contemporary Choreographer: Travis Wall Song: M83 – “Outro” Instant Thoughts: Wow, just wow… Cyrus definitely impressed me this time around. Pushed beyond what we perceived to be his limit… his strengths were shown with his partnering and as the judges were calling it “raw talent”. Unfortunately it also showed a little of his lack of training in this area, but considering just how much he is growing on the show that is always a positive.
Dancer: Chehon Wespi-Tschopp All Star: Lauren Gottlieb Style: Hip-hop Choreographer: Dave Scott Song: Maxwell – “Pretty Wings” Instant Thoughts: This was another routine that wowed me, Chehon doing hip-hop? Yeeeeaaaah. He looked like he was having fun with his partner and there were a killer team together.
Dancer: George Lawrence, Jr All Star: Allison Holker Style: Jazz Choreographer: Tyce Diorio Song: Hazmat Modine – “Bahamut” Instant Thoughts: When I saw the cane I immediately thought of another routine in Season 6 and unfortunately I couldn’t keep myself from comparing between the two. George is a strong dancer, but he just has’t wowed me in the grand scheme of things.
Dancer: Eliana Girard All Star: Alex Wong Style: Contemporary Choreographer: Stacey Tookey Song: Nancy Sinatra – “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” Instant Thoughts: Definitely a favorite, this really appears to really show off Eliana in ways that she wasn’t when she was partnered with Cyrus. She really shined in this piece and having a well-trained partner like Alex definitely helped with that as well.
Dancer: Audrey Case All Star: Stephen “tWitch” Boss Style: Hip-hop Choreographer: Dave Scott Song: Janelle Monáe – “Sincerely, Jane” Instant Thoughts: For some reason I wasn’t really feeling Audrey tonight, she danced the piece decently enough, but when compared to someone like tWitch she has to really step up her game and she just didn’t for me which is unfortunate.
SOLO ROUTINES Witney Carson: Santigold – “You’ll Find a Way” (Switch & Sinden remix) Audrey Case: Jennifer Hudson – “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” Chehon Wespi-Tschopp: Ólafur Arnalds – “Til Enda” George Lawrence, Jr.: Olafur Arnalds – “Brotsjor”
Summary The top 6 proved to be an interesting week as it wasn’t clear which dancers were going to be in the finals and what two were going to be sent home. It turned out that Caitlynn and Ricky were the ones that had their journeys end, which was predictable but still sad to see. Ricky did well in his contemporary in showing us why he made it as far as he did in the competition and Caitlynn had an excellent night with two solid routines. In another season with a weaker pool of girls Caitlynn may have made it into the finals.
The top 4 makes for an intriguing mix and we go over their performances from this past week. Like last week, we spend some time on Tadd and go over what we liked from him, but that we feel like the choreographers, for better or worse, aren’t challenging him in the same way as the rest of the contestants. Marko, Sasha and Melanie all have been strong the entire season and we’ve loved nearly everything put forward by Melanie and Marko. Any of these four contestants can win the whole win, which is not a normal situation for most SYTYCD finales. Next week should prove to have a gripping conclusion.
We spend a few minutes going over and debunking the “Melanie conspiracy.” We don’t see any evidence for this view and it’s not something we like seeing appear all over the internet, not because we’re Melanie fans but because we like to keep the dialogue about reality competitions honest and based in what we see, not what we imagine.
We wrap up by giving our list of good routines from this season that we’d like to see appear in the finale.
Please let us know your thoughts by dropping us a comment here after listening! We love to hear feedback and what you thought of the show. We also encourage you to check out our blog and twitter feed to keep up to date with us!
Episode Length: 35:11
0:00 – The guest judging by Christina Applegate and Lil ‘C
1:35 – Eliminated: Ricky – Contemporary and Waacking
5:57 – Eliminated: Caitlynn – Samba and Jazz
9:05 – The end of the Tyce kiss of death
10:45 – Top 4: Tadd
15:10 – Top 4: Marko
17:45 – Top 4: Sasha
20:18 – Top 4: Melanie
24:00 – The alleged Melanie conspiracy
27:30 – Who’s going to win overall?
28:15 – The routines we’d like to see reprised in the finale
34:33 – Wrap-up
I don’t know how I’m going to do this. There’s a clear-cut Top 4 that will probably happen, but there’s every chance there will be a mix-up. I really, really wish they would drop the bottom guy/girl combo. All three girls are so strong and I’d love them all to be in the Top 4.
And I’m not sure how they’re going to do the Top and Bottom tomorrow. Probably the Top Girl and Top Guy, but I’m going to list them in the order of how strong I think their night was, based on how I liked the routines, how I think you liked the routines, my perceptions of the dancer’s popularity and their growth.
1. Sasha – Her contemporary with Kent was the best routine of Round One. Gorgeous and amazing and so surprising. Her solo was stellar. She had an alright (and fun) waacking routine with Rickey, but she ended on her lowest note of the night. Her biggest downfall might be that some people dislike what we see of her personality, but one of her biggest pluses is that she’s been visible all season, but she’s fought herself forward every step of the way.
2. Melanie – Her hip-hop with Twitch was also surprising, but it was the first routine. If it’s possible for her to be forgettable, her first routine is in the “least memorable” position. Her solo was one of the best ever and definitely the best this season, which is tough since it came on the heels of Sasha’s. Her ending routine with Tadd was a definite high note for them both. However, her biggest downfall is that people feel she hasn’t been challenged enough (hopefully tonight changed those minds) and that the judges have been too easy on her.
3. Caitlynn – I know everyone expects her to leave tomorrow, but she may be the dark horse. The complaints against Sasha’s perceived arrogance and the favoritism shown to Melanie may split the vote. And she had a great night. A solid samba with Pasha, her best solo yet and then the last routine of the night, which just happened to be a really amazing Sonya routine with Marko.
4. Marko – His paso with Janette was excellent, but early in the night. His solo was strong, but not a huge stand-out considering Sasha and Melanie wrestling for the best solo of the night. But he had that phenomenal last routine with Caitlynn and he’s been the favorite guy most of the season.
5. Tadd – I loved his quirky routine with Ellenore, though there was some critique that there wasn’t much dancing. His solo wasn’t his strongest (he stood on his hand too long), but he ended on a high note with Melanie.
6. Rickey – His contemporary with Jaimie was really incredible, but Christina Applegate said it right for me – there’s some lack of intention or follow-through when he dances. It’s not entirely complete. His solos have been saving him the last few weeks and he’s picked up some fans. But his waacking routine with Sasha was probably the weakest of the second set of routines.
The gimmie answers is that Rickey and Caitlynn are going home tomorrow night and our Top 4 will be Melanie, Sasha, Marko and Tadd. Unless there’s a shakeup, which is entirely possible if people vote like crazy tonight to save somebody or fans assume Melanie and Sasha are safe. OR, if the judges decide that the Top 4 doesn’t have to be 2 guys or 2 girls. It’s hard to predict how this could go down if a shake-up happens. So, I need your help.
Who are YOUR Top 4? You can only pick 4, but you don’t have to pick 2 guys and 2 girls. Pick any 4 dancers you want, as long as they’re YOUR Top 4.
My live thoughts and yours, too. Excited to see what All-Stars we’ll have next week. I just realized that Jaimie Godwin was supposed to be an All-Star this week and I guess she was replaced by Allison. I must’ve missed something – did they explain why Jaimie wasn’t on last night? Maybe they’ll say something tonight.
LOOOOOVED Tyce’s Top 8 routine! It’s routines like this that remind me what he’s capable of and make me even more annoyed with his lackluster choreo. It had hints of Wade and Sonya and was just so fun and cool and was a great opportunity for the dancers (especially Jess, as the ringmaster).
I also love Cat’s dress, especially the sleeves. Gorgeous.
Rob Marshall really nailed it when he said that SYTYCD puts dancers back in the center of attention, rather than in the background. That’s what I love about the show, too. Or at least part of it.
It’s cruel that they went to break without saying which of the four girls is in the bottom! Fine, keep us on edge, but soooo mean to the dancers.
Spoiler space for the rest…
Well, I was right about the girls. Melanie and Sasha are safe and Caitlynn and Jordan are in the Bottom Four.
Oh my gawd, I almost lost it watching that little clip of Marko’s mom hugging him backstage. I think he almost lost it too, judging by his face when they went to him on stage. Not surprised Marko’s safe and Jess is in the bottom, but I have to say I loved Jess peeling off his shit as he strolled off stage. Okay, I kinda like him a tiny bit more and more each week.
I *am* surprised that Rickey is safe and Tadd is in the Bottom 4, but maybe I shouldn’t be after some of your comments lately that he seems arrogant. I don’t see it myself, but apparently enough people do to put him in danger.
LXD always makes my day. It was nice to see Christopher Scott dancing on the SYTYCD stage, too. And, am I crazy or was that Ashley Galvan in the line of dancers?
The National Dance Day segment was really fun.
Jordan’s solo was her best, I think, but the leg extensions were still prominent, of course. Jess’s solo was full of character and entertaining. BUT, I thought Caitlynn really danced her best solo yet and that it was better than Jordan’s. I hope the judges agree and keep her! Tadd’s was clearly the best, full of character and performance. Love the song, love the tricks, love the whole attitude. He has some of the best solos.
Liked Lady Gaga’s performance, but most especially seeing Mark dancing with her so prominently.
Whew! Glad Caitlynn is safe. I thought Nigel was really respectful and nice to give such a positive build up to cutting Jordan. I’m surprised the judges could bear to cut Jess, but Tadd really earned it with his solo. He threw everything he had onto that stage.
The goodbye sequences made me realize two things
-I liked some of Jordan’s performances more than I remember (the bed hip hop with Tadd namely)
-I warmed up to Jess right as he was leaving.
They never announced the All-Stars for next week. Hmmm….
Happy Monday! Thought I’d put up some videos of our week 2 all-stars, since A. it’s fun to look back at some great routines and B. younger viewers of the show may not know about some of the all stars from seasons 2 and 3.
let’s go by season
season 2: IVAN
Ivan and Allison were the youngest pair in the top 20, and they definitely sometimes acted like it. But when they did “Why”, choreographed by Tyce in week 3, they suddenly grew up. A hip hop dancer, Ivan’s skills were definitely unusual and really really cool, but what I think held him in the competition so long (until top 6) was his personality, he just seems like someone who would be a blast to hang out with, and he’s a fabulous partner.
here’s his contemporary w/ Allison
hip hop w/ Allison (choreographed by Shane Sparks)
season 3: LAUREN GOTTLIEB, NEIL HASKELL, JAIMIE GOODWIN, ANYA GARNIS, PASHA KOVALEV
These 5 actually have a number of routines they did together, so I’m going to combine a few b/c they are some fun numbers. Pasha and Anya are just such spectacular ballroom dancers, and Pasha especially had a lot of success outside of his genre, part of the reason he and Lauren Gottlieb made it to top 6. Also, he’s just so darn hot!!
Anya/Pasha’s audition season 3
Pasha and Lacey’s hip hop-he just oozes personality and his hip hop was pretty darn good too!
Anya and Danny’s foxtrot
Neil, obviously, was an All-Star last year, and his charisma, incredible talent, partnering skills and just all-around All-American hotness definitely carried him to the top 4 during season 3. He was part of some of the best routines from last season so I’m quite excited he’s back.
Neil and Sabra’s ’80s power lunch (emmy nomination came for Mandy Moore)
Neil and Lauren’s “Night of the Dancing Flame”
Lauren has been assisting for Tyce, even before she was on the show, as well as a lot afterwards. Quite excited to have her as an All-Star again. She partnered both Neil (her original partner) and Pasha on the show and was really strong in both.
Jaimie was another of the very strong group of top 5 girls from season 3 (Lacey, Sabra, Lauren, Sara, Jaimie, not bad!!). She’s a stunning contemporary dancer, and spent a lot of time as Travis Wall’s dance partner bc her dance teacher was Travis’s mom. Just a personal opinion, I think she got dealt kind of a rough hand on the show, being partnered with Hok, who is unbelievable in his style but struggled somewhat in other styles. With the Hummingbird & the Flower (embedded below), though, Wade was able to meld their 2 styles into an Emmy-winning routine.
season 5: ADE
another returning All-Star, fans were pretty bummed not to see the supremely talented Ade in the season 5 finale (though I’m thinking that if Jess keeps in the competition, we might see Evan at some point). Ade is just so strong and consistent, he and Melissa (a partnership I think was one of the best ever made by the show) were so good at everything!! I’m embedding their first routine on the show, “Right Here Waiting” choreographed by Mandy Moore because I think it’s a great representation of the trust they had in each other and Ade’s incredible strength and gentleness as a partner.
season 7: LOFRO
Our first All-Star former winner!! Maybe poor Jess will actually get a partner closer to his height!! I’m really excited to see her back, Lauren really grew over the course of the season. Thinking back to her week 1 dance w/ Ade, it was pretty terrible and I totally thought she was going to get cut early. She really grew on me, especially because of the commitment she put into each of her routines. Though I was personally rooting for Robert in the finale, it was nice to see another girl win!
Lauren and Dominic’s lyrical hip hop (week 2)
a week after falling apart in her dance with Ade, Lauren redeemed herself in a BIG way with this number. She was totally committed and present, and she and Dom had a fabulous partnership (good thing now, since they’re dating!) It’s an emotional number done incredibly well.