Top 16 Performance Thoughts

Here are my thoughts on tonight’s episode, live as they happen (after the jump). I hope you’ll add your 2+ cents as well, in the comments below. Let’s get this discussion started!

SOOOO excited that Kristin Chenoweth is the guest judge!!

Looooove Cat’s look tonight, the finger waves in her hair and the flapper dress. But Cat, being Cat, has an adorable personality to match her appearance. She nailed it when she referenced last week’s “brutal, quadruple elimination.” When chaos erupts on SYTYCD, we always have Cat Deely to keep things sane.

It’s good to see Lil C back, too. He made me laugh when he said he’d been a “busy little buckster, maintaining my buccness.” He’s great. AND, did you catch him double dog dare Mr. Producer Lythgoe into booking him for the finale? Would you like to see Lil C as the musical guest?

Here’s a spoiler line for the rest, just in case…

Love the news that we’re getting more group numbers. Tyce’s Broadway/jazz routine with half of the Top 16 was awesome. A bit disturbing in parts, with all the violence back and forth between the guys and girls, but I agree the girls were killing it. The guys were click. I’m glad they mastered the chair-throwing, all around because that could’ve sucked. Also, i didn’t realize the girls were wearing sunglasses. I thought their eyes had been painted black. It was a weird look with the low lights. Anybody else think so?

Sasha & Alexander’s Dee Caspary contemporary was an excellent place to begin the dancing. Such a beautiful performance. I generally think that Sasha outdances Alexander and this was no exception, but I think he’s an interesting foil for her because he generally seems more introverted (personality and dancing-wise) than her. Well, at least I thought so until he flicked her nose and then licked the side of her face while Cat was doing her Couple #1 spiel. He out-Sasha’d Sasha with that one and I was glad to see that little bit of his personality and their relationship. Can’t wrap this up without saying how much I really loved Sasha’s hands “dancing” with Alexander’s on the keyboard of the piano. I got chills and that doesn’t happen too often.

Caitlynn is quickly becoming one of my favorites and her partnership with Mitchell is making me warm up to him a lot. I thought they did a good job with the samba, but it felt kind of frantic. I know sambas are fast, but this felt a little panicked, especially since they kept missing connections. They did a really good job of correcting, but I saw several places where they missed each other when they should have connected. I was disappointed that Mary didn’t say anything about it. It didn’t feel honest that she didn’t. But I really liked their attitudes and postures and I think they did a pretty good job.

I thought both Miranda and Robert’s intros foreshadowed something in their Tyce Broadway routine. Miranda mentioned her first performance involved tap and she had a little pseudo-tap interlude in the piece. Robert’s first performances was imitating Michael Jackson and I think he channeled a little MJ shoulder action in the piece. I like Robert so much more now than I did. I’m glad he’s scaled back all the woo-ing and has started to let his dancing speak for him. Cat cracked me up when she accused Tyce of seeing a little too much Pretty Women recently and I liked Lil C’s comment to Miranda that “with legs like that, who needs arms.” She’s a great dancer and they’re a good couple.

Melanie and Marko continue to be my favorites. They rocked that Nappytabs, which reminded me a bit (superficially, at least in theme) of Travis’s contemporary with Jeanine and Jason. They are amazing and I agree completely with Lil C that they are a “pair of limited edition Swiss Army knives.” And that kiss! THAT KISS! Wow! I got chills again. The kissing frenzy during their “critique” was funny. It was funny enough with Nigel kissed Mary, even funnier when Kristin kissed Lil C and just crazy when Nigel kissed Lil C. Craaaazy. And again, Cat is a treasure. “It’s like walking in on Mom and Dad!” and “The doors are locked, nobody’s getting out.”

Sonya cracked me up when she asked, “Why is everybody scared of me?” I actually agreed with Nigel a bit – I liked the song but I did feel like it was a bit overwhelming. It seemed like a lot of the same movements repeated over and over. I enjoyed it for the most part and I think they’re both amazing, but it wasn’t nearly as memorable as their routine last week. OR Lil C’s nickname for Ashley – “the silent assassin.” I’m worried they’ll get overshadowed.

I liked Clarice and Jess’s foxtrot, but I think the two of them are better dancers on their own than they are together. They’re definitely getting better. When I saw how close in height Jess and Jean Marc are, I hoped that Jean Marc could give him some pointers on how to be a stronger partner and it really looked like that panned out. The choreography was smart and kind to both dancers and it looked like Jess was dealing with the lifts better in general. But they’re not the most exciting partnership.

Sonya may have redeemed Ryan, I think. She has a great partnership with Rickey anyway, but Rickey clearly fought hard in his solo last week. There’s been a lot of speculation that Ryan didn’t deserve to stay – I think it’s clear that the judges were basing their decision on the whole season (and maybe Vegas Week last season, too) and not just on her solo. I’m glad she stayed and I’m glad they had a great routine. I agree with Mary that I’m glad they’re here in this week, as sad as I am about Missy, Wadi and especially Nick. It was an intricate routine and they danced beautifully.

It doesn’t surprise me that Jordan growled at people as a kid. 🙂 Or that Tadd was a nerd. They’re both so cute. They had a KILLER Nappytabs routine tonight, one of my favorite Nappytabs routines in a while. It suited their personalities very well. It was really fun and showcased them both really well.

Dee Caspary’s contemporary with half the Top 16 was phenomenal. Such a great way to end the night. A lot of my favorite dancers were in this routine and it was just so stylish and demented, which I always love. Reminds me of a great Wade Robson routine, at least in aesthetic.

So those are my thoughts. What do y’all think? Lemme go work on the Power Rankings and you guys take over. Sound off! 🙂