SYTYCD Top 8 Performance Thoughts

It’s not that far into the show, but I’m already getting the feeling that the couples I worried about having chemistry aren’t gonna do so badly afterall. My thoughts, as they happened:

-Hmmm. We’re missing one girl at the beginning. Is it Top 6 and I wasn’t paying attention. Nope, there are 4 guys. It’s Ashleigh missing. Oh no. My first thought is that I was looking forward to seeing how she and Russell were going to do together and this is Russell’s 2nd injured partner. What is he doing to them? My next thought is…crap, I think Ashleigh should go home because she’s not dancing, although clearly it’s not her choice and she’s super cute as she appeals to dance. But it won’t be fair if she gets through after all the other girls bust their butts to get there and she doesn’t dance at all this week. Not in my opinion.

-Adam let me down a little, for the first time. As much as I love Kathryn, I wanted him to own up to the fact that that disco with Ryan was a bit awkward. Nigel did, so it’s funny that I’m agreeing with him. I love Kathryn. But I hate disco and they couldn’t make me enjoy it anymore than usual.

-I was so worried about Mollee and that Viennese waltz. She seems to falter with slower routines and thrive with high-energy pieces. But I loved the chemistry between them and I think Jason Gilkyson’s idea and choreography was perfect for them. It was gorgeous and touching and I was so impressed with Mollee. She was so mature – Cat had it right when she said she looked like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday. Only thing I wondered – Mollee’s capable of the same acrobatic leaps that Jakob is, so where were the simultaneous leaps?

-Ashleigh’s adorable, but I think it’d only be fair for her to go this week. 🙁

-OH MY GAWD with that Ellenore/Legacy Travis Wall contemporary. Travis is a GENIUS!! I was worried about Ellenore and Legacy, too. She’s taller than him and waaaay stronger (not just in dance, but I seriously think she has more muscles than him). Travis was soo smart in his story behind the routine and in using their skills. By making them rivals and letting them both be strong, but allowing there to be sexy elements to the routine, I think he allowed them to show themselves in the best possible light. 🙂

-Jakob’s solo was alright. I think he’s just so good that he’s plateaued for me – at least as far as solos go. They don’t seem to ever be different to me. Of course, he’s brilliant, even so.

-I was really disappointed not to see Ashleigh in that routine with Russell. Rachel did a’right as her stand-in, but of course it’s not the same. Did Shane Sparks re-use another routine from previous seasons this season? So not cool. But everyone seemed to love it and I admit I love Russell. He’s in my Top 4.

-I liked Mollee’s solo a lot. You can see her working for it, to be sure. She’s a talented lady and I loved her song choice in particular.

-LOVED Kathryn and Ryan’s cha cha!!! Thank goodness this was their second routine and can allow us to forget all about that disco. They were astounding together. I’d love to see them dance together more. HOT TAMALE TRAIN, as we speak! Whooo hooo! Yay for Jason Gilkyson for using contemporary, great songs for his two ballroom routines tonight, and for choreographing to his dancers’ strengths. I love Kathryn. She’s amazing. And that last hold at the end. Ryan is such a strong partner. Standing O, yes! I hope that means Kathryn’s safe.

-Legacy’s solo was unimpressive to me. A bunch of running around between tricks. But the audience seemed to love it.

-I agree with Cat that Ellenore always looks like she’s having fun with she dances. I like that she tries interesting movements, rather than always angling for some sort of sexiness, which just comes off desperate a lot of the time, in solos. She’s like a jazz musician, playing around with her solos. And it was like she was tapping at the end of this one. 🙂

-Didn’t know they could have props for their solos! Russell’s was all too awesome, but seemed rather unfair because there was absolutely nothing not to like there. Me and Cat were having way wrong thoughts, methinks. Just as they broke to commercial, she said, “I’ve been a very good girl this year.” Rwor, Cat! 🙂

-Mollee and Jakob should be a Broadway duo. They should always dance together. They’re just the right height for each other, they have complimentary strengths and acrobatic abilities. This couple was a dream for me and, unlike what I predicted early in the Spoiler Comments, I don’t think anyone could say that “Jakob saved Mollee” if she makes it through to the Top 6. She is fighting every inch of the way for her place and I agree that she was captivating and hard to look away from. She should always have a retro look like in her two performances tonight. She was so classy and elegant and mature. Imagine if Mollee and Jakob had danced together from the beginning?

-I loved Kathryn’s solo. She really reminded me of some of Jeanine’s best solos with this one.

-I heard the concept of the Nappytabs routine (aliens) and immediately thought OH NO! Remember what happened last season with alien impregnation? I enjoyed the routine a lot, but I agreed with the judges on that one about style vs. substance (which is in no way the dancers fault – and I think Nappytabs were really trying to play to Ellenore and Legacy’s strengths. I thought the package beforehand (with the Nappytabs alien kiss and the end) was adorable and I loved Adam’s, “I wanna speak in a language Ellenore will understand” and Mary’s, “I had a feeling she was gonna say that.” And the judges were right that I think that spectacular Travis Wall will overwhelm the not-so-hot Nappytabs for them tonight.

-Hated Ryan’s solo, as usual (I’m so sorry) and then was incredibly touched when he urged folks to vote #1 rather than #8 because Ashleigh deserves to be in the finale. That was awesome. I liked seeing Ashleigh’s mom’s reaction and I think everybody appreciated his gesture.

-It would’ve been great to see Ashleigh dance this Bollywood routine with Russell, but I was glad they should her rehearsal footage and I really liked Russell dancing with a professional Bollywood dancer. He kept up, for sure. He had a cheesy, maniacal grin on his face (and a bit of terror sometimes, I think), but that’s required for Bollywood routine – a bit of cheesiness.

-I hate that they keep asking the judges for voting advice. I liked Adam’s response, though, about each of their growth and the “America, just vote for your favorites.” And I liked that Nigel pointed out that we can’t assume our favorites will get through. I’m most thankful that none of the judges named favorites. Yay!

But what do you think? Who are your favorites?