Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and guest judge Lil’ C talk about the week 8 elimination on So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) Season 8! Also hear from Caitlynn and Ricky about their SYTYCD journey, and from All Stars Kent Boyd and Lauren Froderman. Video Below
Watch our extended interview with Ricky and Melanie from the Top 6 of So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD) Season 8! Video Below
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.
Sorry this is late! I’ve just caught up on the episode. Thanks for all your comments, y’all!!
I really wish this wasn’t going to be broken down into Top 2 Girls and Top 2 Guys vs. Bottom 2 Guys and Girls. I really want three girls in the top and I have to put one of my favorites in the bottom. :’(
1. Melanie – While I agree she hasn’t been as challenged as some of the other dancers (she does tend to get contemporary/jazz) and never gets critiqued, I also love her. Her contemporary with Neil was the best of the night, I think and then she ended on a high note with Sasha at the end.
2. Sasha – She was stymied with a weaker partner at the beginning, but she’s gotten almost as much face time as Melanie since Vegas Week *and* she’s had to stretch herself more. Her routine with Twitch last week was maybe the best of the season. I liked her quickstep with Pasha, but it was the first routine. However, she and Melanie had that lauded Sonya routine at the end.
3. Marko – He had a stellar contemporary with Allison, has been part of the Power Couple with Melanie and had an alright hip hop with Rickey later.
4. Tadd – His heist routine with LoFro was great, despite his hat malfunction. He was very MJ-ish and had one of the more popular All-Stars, plus good chemistry. Also, his foxtrot with Caitlynn was really classy and elegant and I think might’ve surprised a lot of people.
5. Caitlynn – I’d like to put her in the Top if this wasn’t broken down by gender. She had an alright hip hop early on with Ivan, but I really, really liked her foxtrot with Tadd. I think she’s grown enormously and she’s been challenged a lot, even just in tonight’s episode.
6. Jess – He surprised me in his hip hop with Lauren G., but his later number with Jordan wasn’t good. He was stronger than her, to be sure, and I know he’s got a fan base, but I think he’ll be in the bottom. I think he should be, anyway.
7. Jordan – She’s annoyed me more and more each week, with her “sexy” pouting and vamping, not to mention her leg extensions. She danced an alright jazz with Ade, but I think whatever strength the routine had was Ade’s, not hers. She didn’t connect with him or later, Jess, at all. Her rhumba with Jess really sucked. It’s time for her to go home, in my opinion.
8. Rickey – His jive with Anya was pretty good, but not nearly the most memorable routine of the night and then he was called out as the weaker link in his hip hop with Marko. He’s been in the bottom a lot and if he is again, it’s probably his week to go.
It makes me nervous that I didn’t get to vote, but I’m fairly confident that Jordan and Rickey will be going home tonight. What do y’all think?
Also, I BOUGHT MY TICKETS to the tour!! Whooo hooo! Has anybody else gotten theirs yet? I’m going to see it in Atlanta this year, with my mom and (I’m sure) Amanda.
1. Sasha (& Twitch) – Sasha had the best combination of incredible routine, chemistry with a popular All-Star and her own popularity (she came in 5th in our Top 10 Prediction Poll). I think it was the most memorable routine of the night. Plus, it came in the 2nd half of the routines and towards the end is always a nice little bonus.
2. Caitlynn (& Pasha) – Caitlynn was 4th in the same poll and she had a breakout performance with Pasha tonight. This was one of the sexiest, most sensuous Argentine tangos I’ve seen. She’s quickly become my #2 favorite and I think this routine will help win over a lot of holdouts (if there are any).
3. Melanie (& Pasha) – Melanie came in first in our poll. Her Viennese waltz might’ve been just slightly better technically than the Argentine tango, but I’m going to put it in the bottom of the Top 3 because tangos seem to be a little more popular than waltzes. That could just be me, though.
1. Marko (& Chelsie) – Marko was 2nd in our poll and while his samba with Chelsie was really good, it was also the first routine of the night and I think the choreo showed off Chelsie more than him. I still think the combination of his own popularity and people’s excitement that Chelsie was back on the show will make the routine memorable enough to keep him safe.
2. Jess (& Kathryn) – Jess ranked 6th in our poll. While he’s not a favorite of mine, he probably danced his best routine tonight with Kathryn, who is a very popular (and talented) dancer. She brought out a lot in Jess tonight, but I can’t help wishing it’d been another dancer in Jess’s place, in the routine and with Kathryn.
3. Clarice (& Robert) – Clarice was 7th in our poll, but I think that dancing a strong Bollywood with Robert and being the last of the episode will help her a lot. Her solo surprised me tonight and it’s hard to tell how she’ll do without Jess. I think she danced better with Robert than she did with Jess, but that she still might be one of the weakest.
4. Tadd (& Comfort) – Tadd was 3rd in our poll and his solo rocked. If not for those two things, I think he’d be in danger tomorrow (and he might still). It was one of the weaker routines, or at least not my favorite because it felt very strange. Comfort redeemed herself a bit as an All-Star last season, but she’s not the most popular of the All-Stars.
1. Rickey (& Allison) – Rickey was 8th in our poll and his solo tonight wasn’t as strong as it could’ve been. I think he’s picking up more of a following apart from Ryan. He probably danced his best in this routine and it was one of the later ones, but I had to put somebody in the Bottom 3, so I put him here because of his low ranking in the poll and his solo.
2. Jordan (& Brandon) – Jordan was 9th in our poll. I could see her trying to change up her solo, but she seems over-reliant on the same moves, not growing as much as other contestants. She danced the 2nd routine of the night and while it was beautiful, it might not be the most memorable. Some people struggled to connect to Brandon in his season and sometimes people don’t connect to Desmond & Dwight routines, so those factors might not do her any favors.
3. Mitchell (& Melody) – Mitchell was 10th in our poll, danced with one of the lesser known All-Stars and was unlucky enough to get the weaker of Tyce’s two routines, an awkward Broadway (hit or miss with voters). His solo was really strong, but he looked like he was wearing a large diaper. I thought he handled the judge’s comments really well – he’s come a far way in my opinion, but I think this may be the end of the road for him.
Because we can vote for individual dancers, they probably won’t arbitrarily cut 1 boy and 1 girl anymore. Still, it might be kneejerk for the judges and I think they might cut Jordan and Mitchell tomorrow night. Oh, wait, we’ll only lose 1 dancer a week now, won’t we? Well, if that’s the case, I think Mitchell will be the one to go tomorrow night.
So, this is the really tough one. I’m going to base my Power Rankings on tonight’s routines and my perceptions of the fan support the dancers/couples have and of course, my own opinions. I hope you’ll let me know what you think in the comments and I’m going to include a poll so you can pick your Top 10 at the end of this post.
Melanie & Marko – Not only have they been the most consistent in performance and approval through the season, but they had two hands-down great routines. Their tango was phenomenal and while they’re contemporary wasn’t as mind-blowing, it was strong and beautiful.
Sasha & Alexander – Sasha seems to have been carrying this couple most of the season with Alexander flying largely under the radar. She (or they) have been picking up steam approval-wise and have had some stellar routines, two of which were tonight. While they were the first to dance in both sets, I think their performances were both memorable enough to keep them safe.
Clarice & Jess – They had a great first routine and were the last performances of the episode. While their jive at the end of the episode wasn’t all that great, they have been picking up fans as a couple. A lot of people have been vocally supporting Jess in particular lately. But mostly, every time I put them in the Bottom 3, they’re safe, so I’m going to just call them safe now.
Caitlynn & Mitchell – I want them to be safe and I think there are a lot of people like me who love Caitlynn and have enjoyed watching her relationship with Mitchell grow. But, they had two sucky routines this episode. I hate to say it, but I don’t think their hip hop or even their Travis Wall were all that great. I hope people vote for them like I did, though, cause I’d love to see Caitlynn in particular in the Top 10 dancing with All-Stars (ahem, Robert).
Jordan & Tadd – Their first routine was a FABULOUS Travis Wall routine, but their second one was a kinda awful Spencer Liff Broadway. I think people are getting annoyed with Jordan and her overuse of her one leg (I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes whenever she raised her one leg in the routines), but they’re loving Tadd more than ever. It’ll be interesting to see whether Tadd’s growing popularity and their awesome first routine saves them from the Bottom 3.
Ryan & Rickey – I hate putting them here, but of all the couples, they had the two worst or least memorable routines. I liked their Spencer Liff Broadway, but the judges panned it. I didn’t love their Louis cha cha, though Rickey got put on the hot tamale train for it. Ryan’s been losing popularity big time over the course of the season, so I’m afraid they’re probably going to land in the Bottom 3 and possibly go home.
I think if R&R land in the Bottom 3 and the judges stick with this season’s annoying eliminating couples together policy, they’ll probably go. However, if Clarice & Jess are in the bottom, I can see them splitting a couple and eliminating Clarice and maybe Mitchell. If the Bottom 3 I’ve predicted happens, I hope they split the couples and keep Caitlynn, Tadd and Ryan. I’d be okay with Jordan, Mitchell or Rickey leaving this week.
You know, this is really hard. Why don’t you help me out here and pick who you would like to see in the Top 10 (you can pick 10 dancers).
Just consider this whole thing a spoiler. But, just in case, I’ll delay posting this for a little bit. I can never tell if my Power Rankings are how it is or wishful thinking on my part, so you tell me. Either way, this gets harder and harder every week. Here we go…
Top 3 Couples
1. Caitlynn and Mitchell – they had a phenomenal Mandy Moore routine and the benefit of going last before the Top 7 Girls routine. They grow on me more and more every week. They got a standing O from the judges and were really cute together on stage. I’ve decided that them being in the Bottom 3 last week was a mistake, so I’ve put them at the top of the heap. Perfect storm of great dancing, great routine and great placement in the episode.
2. Ryan and Rickey – I know they’ve been losing favor, particularly Ryan and have also been in the Bottom 3, but their Chucky Klampow jazz routine full redeemed them for me and they also danced later in the episode. I think they started their comeback last week and sealed the deal this week. I hope, anyway, cause it’d suck if they were in the Bottom 3 again, especially if they didn’t get saved.
3. Melanie and Marko – Their Ray Leeper Latin-fused jazz was interesting and strongly danced, but had the bad luck to be the first routine of the night. However, they are the most popular couple by far, so I’ve put them in the safety zone. Hopefully, people won’t assume they’re safe and forget to vote for them. I wouldn’t want them to get Kherrington’d.
Am I crazy putting my favorite 3 couples in the Top 3 or do y’all agree?
4. Sasha and Alexander – I don’t love them as a couple, but Sasha in particular is very popular and is feautred prominently in group routines. She’s always given strong choreography and really immerses herself. I think they’ll be safe, but I could foresee an alternate set of events where they’re in the Bottom 3 and one of the other couples is here by the skin of their teeth.
Bottom 3 Couples
We *have* to have a Bottom 3 and despite the fact that I keep putting the same ones in danger and they always seem to be safe, I’m doing it again…
5. Jordan and Tadd – I could see them switching with Sasha and Alexander and being safe. However, I think their routine, while a great Toni Redpath routine, was a waltz towards the front half of the show. It was, at least to me (and Travis), a bit awkward at times and not as smooth as it could’ve been. I hope they’ll survive thet Bottom 3 cause I love them and would love to see them in the Top 10.
6. Clarice and Jess – They seem to be picking up steam, so they could also switch with Sasha and Alexander. They had their best routine together (in mine and Travis’s opinions, again) and one of my favorites of the night. I’m putting them here because I think they’re less popular than Sasha (and Alexander) and Jess really needs to dance with someone else to prove his mettle. At least as far as I’m concerned.
7. Ashley and Chris – Their salsa was the hands down weakest performance, by most definitions. I wouldn’t mind seeing either one of them dance with someone else, but I find that they are more consistantly the weakest of the couples and my least favorite. Which is so hard to say because they’re such great dancers and their personalities are shining more each week. I think, all things aside, they’ll be the ones to go tomorrow.
Okay, how delusional am I this week?
Tonight’s episode reminded me of the Meet the Top 20 episode, it had so many great routines. Especially with the addition of these two Eight/Top 16 Routines. It makes it pretty hard for me to figure out the power rankings, to be sure, so my Bottom 3 picks are probably going to be a bit more personal, though I’m gonna try to factor in how they performed (of course) and how I think fans will vote. Away we go…
Top Three Couples:
Melanie and Marko – Back on top. Not only are they my favorite couple, but I think they’re one of the few couples where both partners seem to have a strong fan base individually, as well as together. Plus, they keep killing their routines (let’s not talk about last week). Melanie consistently stands out in the group routines, probably because she’s almost always in the front, which seems to indicate she’s a darling of the choreographers. But they’re both humble, yet confident and both their personalities and their dancing shine.
Jordan and Tadd – Their Nappytabs hip hop would’ve been memorable even if it hadn’t been the last couples routine of the night. They’re adorable and they bring so much out in each other. This routine was sexy and fun and perfectly suited them.
Sasha and Alexander – Their routine was first, but it was very, very good and memorable. Especially that bit with Sasha’s hands at the end. Sasha seems to have a huge following. Plus, Alexander showed a lot more personality than ever before when he licked Sasha’s face while Cat was campaigning for votes for them.
Middle of the Pack:
Caitlynn and Mitchell – Their samba got rave reviews, but was a bit frenzied and had some awkward connections, even if Mary didn’t mention it. I think they both did a stand-up job, regardless and I’m really loving Caitlynn lately. I think they’ll be safe, but there were several stronger and more memorable routines tonight.
Ryan and Rickey – There’s been a big backlash against Ryan after last week’s cuts, but their routine tonight was really good and I hope it’s redeemed her and kept them in the safety zone. It’s hard to tell.
Bottom Three Couples:
Miranda and Robert – Miranda’s getting a lot of love from the judges and I know she’s got some fans. But one of the judges even said it – Miranda blends in too much. She’s great at taking on characters, except she’s not terribly memorable. I think if she’s given a chance to stay around, she may really come out of her shell. However, as routines go, this was not one of the most memorable of the night and I don’t think Robert captured his character as successfully as Miranda (he just seemed like a version of himself). If you combine a lack of a memorable routine with one dancer disappearing into her characters, they may be in danger.
Ashley and Chris – They got the most negative comments of the night, which weren’t terribly critical. It was an ok routine, but also not very memorable. Ashley is another one who doesn’t stand out – Lil C even labeled her the “silent assassin” and admits he forgets about her, though he loves her when he watches her dance. They had the most memorable routine last week, but weren’t so lucky this week.
Clarice and Jess – I predicted they’d be here last week and they were safe. They got rave reviews from the judges tonight. Why am I putting them in the Bottom 3, then? I think there are still a lot of people who don’t like Jess, or who like him less than other dancers. Clarice would probably fare better with a different partner, but she seems rather bland at the moment. The foxtrot is not always a huge fan favorite and this one wasn’t a stand out, especially against the shinier routines of the night.
I think they may end up splitting a couple. Maybe pairing Miranda and Chris, or Robert and Clarice. I wonder what would happen if Ashley and Jess were paired? If one couple is going to both get cut, I think it’ll be Ashley and Chris. But who knows how it’ll pan out. What do y’all think?
I feel relatively confident in 2 of the Bottom 3 couples, but I feel like whichever dancers I pick for that third slot, there’s going to be lots of dissent. Which, is a good thing. It means we’re passionate. So, bring it on! I’m dying to know which dancers y’all think will be in the Bottom 3.
Top Three Couples:
Caitlynn and Mitchell – I think they had the best routine of the night. This is the first time we get to see them dance together on stage and I was really please with their chemistry and their strengths as dancers. They were both in their style this week, so that certainly helped them a lot, but they could’ve both been hurt by Mitchell’s injury last well.
Sasha and Alexander – People were really affected by this piece and the timing couldn’t be more fortuitous, on the same night as the President’s announcement about the troop withdrawal. Plus, it was the second to last routine and Sasha seems to be a favorite.
Ashley and Chris – As the last routine, it’s one of the more memorable anyway. Plus, it was really upbeat and sexy. The song was great, their moves were great, as was their chemistry. Plus, they were safe last week when Jordan and Tadd probably had a better routine, so there seem to be some fans on their side.
Middle of the Pack:
Melanie and Marko – This is probably the favorite couple. It’s mine, for sure. They’ve consistently had about half the vote in our favorite dancer poll. But this routine didn’t live up to its promise. It had everything going for it – great dances, great choreographer, interesting song, funky moves. But it didn’t entirely come together. Still, I don’t think they’ll be in danger.
Ryan and Rickey – This is another opportunity of a not-quite-right routine danced by a favorite pair. I think they’ll be safe, but Ryan and Rickey’s Mandy Moore wasn’t all that it could’ve been and Ryan was smiling (sometimes weirdly) throughout the piece, playing to the audience. Plus, it was the first routine. But, I think they’ll be safe too because they’re such favorites.
Iveta and Nick – They came in #2 in our favorite dancer poll and they had a fun but not very memorable Bollywood routine. They have a good partnership, to be sure, but the routine was pretty early. Still, they’ll probably be safe.
Miranda and Robert – I know a lot of people, like our reader beth, disagreed with my comments about this routine and really loved it. Plus, Robert toned down the more annoying parts of his personality while still being playful. So, even though these two were in danger last week, they’ll probably be safe this week.
Bottom Three Couples:
Missy and Wadi – I hope they survive, but I think they’ll be here in the bottom. I really love Wadi and it hurt to see him so sad after the judges’ comments. It’s gonna be a tough week though and I think that as one of the two dances with obvious flaws, they’re in danger. However, many people may just vote for their favorites and I’m pretty sure lots of people love Wadi and like his partnership with Missy.
Clarice and Jess – They don’t have a great partnership and they were in the bottom last week. This week, their routine was the other obviously flawed one. They looked so awkward whenever their were paired. Clarice is not very big, but Jess sets up his lifts so obviously that he makes her seem like this huge weight. I think I’d like them better with different partners.
Jordan and Tadd – A lot of people liked this Viennese waltz, but I thought it was pretty boring. Plus, it’s not a style that people vote for unless it’s a phenomenal, stand-out routine. Their stint in the bottom 3 might hurt them again this week.
Personally, I’d lose all the girls to keep Wadi and Tadd. Regardless of who they keep, if this IS the Bottom 3, I hope they switch up the couples. Maybe Missy and Tadd or Jordan and Wadi.
What do y’all think?
Tomorrow’s episode is gonna be tough, man.