SYTYCD Season 9: Top 20 Power Rankings

Wow… just wow. I just wrote a few quick thoughts on all the routines of the night and tossed a few polls asking for your opinions on which routines you enjoyed, and which dancers you’d love to see move on based on what we saw tonight. What I am going to do is rank all the routines we saw tonight from what I really enjoyed to what was forgettable. Then I will rank all the guys and all the girls w/ no real commentary. Let’s see how this goes.

1. Lindsay Arnold & Cole Horibe – Paso Doble
I mean come on! That was almost too good to be true. Such power, such strength, such passion and fire. I knew that Cole had some prior dancing training in addition to martial arts, but I would like to think that it is because of the martial arts that he is so clearly able to bring forth the necessary power and fire that the man needs in a proper paso doble. Lindsay at first came across as a bit of a wholesome, sweet kind of girl and then she comes out all guns blazing and I feel like I am getting a bit of the case of the whiplash because I didn’t see that coming a mile away! At first I thought that of the two Ballroom Barbies, Witney would win out, but man right now? I don’t know, I think Lindsay is making a very good case for herself here… and personally I think this is going to be a very strong partnership down the road.

2. Audrey Case & Matthew Kazmierczak – Contemporary
It’s a Travis Wall routine, so what is not to love? In all honesty though, I really did enjoy this routine a lot… these two just seem to work together so effortlessly. Audrey just seems to float in the air as opposed to jumping up there. Prior to today’s routine, Audrey didn’t really seem to stick out much for me. She hasn’t much more since except when she’s dancing with Matthew and Matthew I really really liked. Granted between the two Jazz girls I see myself drawn more to Audrey over Tiffany, but that again could be because I liked this routine just slightly more than the previous one. Perhaps it is the fact that Audrey just seems to emote that much more than Tiffany did… who knows. In the end this was a very strong routine and definitely one of the more memorable ones.

3. Amelia Lowe & Will Thomas – Pop-fusion/Hip Hop
Can’t help it, I’m drawn to this dance. They looked like they were having just so much fun in this routine. I would say that they are playing a bit of a “cat and mouse” game here, except I think they are suppose to be both cats, in which case… MEOW! I didn’t know much about Will Thomas prior to the Meet the Top 20 episode and honestly, he really caught my attention right away. In this routine the craziness between Will and Amelia was just fun to watch. I am so sure that Will was having so much fun playing with Amelia. I watched the routine over and over again because I found myself just smiling as I am watching them dance.

MIDDLE FOUR ROUTINES (this is probably the most difficult four to put together)
4. Eliana Girard & Cyrus Spencer – Broadway
I’ll agree that this didn’t really show off the dancing strengths for Eliana, but dammit it was fun to watch and really that’s all that matters at the end of the day. Cyrus picked up the choreography rather well for the first time out of the gate. The thing I really like about Broadway routines is that they require a hell of a whole lot of personality, unfortunately that is also at the sacrifice of dance at times, which is what seems to be the case here. What Cyrus lacks in training, he more than makes up for it in personality, charisma and entertainment value. Eliana with her dance/performing background has charisma and entertainment value for days, so I see this as a very good match. Here’s hoping that they could do just as well in the upcoming week.

5. Janelle Issis & Dareian Kujawa – African Jazz
I might be in the minority when it comes to this routine, but I really really liked these two together. I didn’t know what to expect but the intricacies in this routine and movement really came together and if either dancer misses anything, then the whole dance is shot (much like Sean Cheesman’s other routine, but more on that later). As I said before, what these two brought to the table is chemistry and entertainment. There were a few times where they were actually off, but like I said… I really preferred this routine of the two that Sean has created and having two dancers that connect really helps the routine along.

6. Amber Jackson & Nick Bloxsom-Carter – Viennese Waltz
When I saw Nick for the first time in the Meet the Top 20 episode, I liked him, a lot. So I was a bit sad when they already started critiquing him in the Meet the Top 20 episode. Amber Jackson I remembered seeing from previous episodes but almost saw nothing of in Season 9, so when there were rumors swirling around that they were paired together I got scared because these were two fairly unknown dancers who did not have much screen time, how would they fare? Well for a Viennese Waltz they did rather well. One thing I really love about this particular dance was that it really felt like you were dancing amongst the clouds, like a dream. Personally I think they did rather well and should be ok. Only time will tell

7. Witney Carson & Chehon Wespi-Tschopp – Samba
I had a rough time between this routine and number 8. This had a lot of fire and I really love Chehon a lot in this routine. He has very good technique but I agree with the judges that he just seems to be trying too hard. If he can get his head out of the game and just feel the dance it would flow so much better. There isn’t much to say about Witney except that she did excel rather well in this number. Though Chehon seemed out of place in this routine, I don’t think it is going to be much of an issue in later routines since hopefully by then he’ll start emoting more into the dances and routines.

8. Tiffany Maher & George Lawrence II – Contemporary
The reason I ended up placing them a lot lower than I originally thought I would is because I had to separate myself from the awe that is Sonya’s reinvention of herself into this contemporary movement from the dancers themselves and how they performed the routine. I really really do like this routine, but for some reason other than the fact that this is atypical of Sonya’s routines this was just not a memorable routine for me. This couple emoted rather well overall and I really like George in this routine, but Tiffany just wasn’t memorable for me. So I don’t know

9. Alexa Anderson & Daniel Baker – Jazz
This was a very technically difficult routine and given to two really technically advanced dancers it should have shone but it fell flat. I didn’t feel any chemistry between the two of them let alone with the audience. Between the two I preferred Daniel over Alexa, but then again I think they should have been paired with different partners, perhaps they would have done better emotionally. Granted I felt that Daniel was more emotionally committed to this particular routine over Alexa, but then again I am probably in the minority in this.

10. Janaya French & Brandon Mitchell – Hip Hop
This was another rather forgettable routine for the most part. For some reason I didn’t feel a connection between the two dancers and it felt a little bit like a “dance by numbers” kind of routine with the emotions and facials becoming little more than an afterthought, particularly on Janaya’s side of the fence. I really enjoyed Brandon’s interpretation for the most part, but again the routine as a whole seemed to have fallen flat for me which is rather sad since in any other season they would have been middle of the pack or higher.

Amelia Lowe
Lindsay Arnold
Janelle Issis
Cole Horibe
Cyrus Spencer
Will Thomas
Audrey Case
Eliana Girard
Witney Carson
Amber Jackson
Matthew Kazmierczak
Dareian Kujawa
Nick Bloxsom-Carter
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
Tiffany Maher
Alexa Anderson
Janaya French
Daniel Baker
George Lawrence II
Brandon Mitchell

Mind you this is my own opinions on the matter… why don’t you let me know yours! Until next week…