SYTYCD Season 9: Top 16 Power Rankings

We have already lost four dancers at the end of today’s episode… knowing that, what I am going to do is this… I will still rank the routines if they are missing one of the dance partners but focusing more on the partner that is still in the competition. Any routines where both dancers are eliminated I will also mention at the end of the rankings. I have already posted various polls on the dancers that remain as well as posted the music with my instant thoughts.

At the end I will do what I did last week and rank the individual dancers as well…

1. Witney Carson & Chehon Wespi-Tschopp – Bollywood
Very rarely has a Bollywood routine disappointed me, and this did not break the trend. Granted I was watching Chehon much more than Witney, but that could be because a lot of the poses that he held were just something to see and a testament to his ballet background. But one thing that Chehon did this time around that he did not do last week was enjoying the dance. He not only enjoyed the dance, he showed that he enjoyed the dance and that makes all the difference in the world. Witney has been a fireball of energy since the beginning, however for me it is getting to the point that it is overwhelming. This is still a very good partnership, and I hope they continue to balance one another out.

2. Tiffany Maher & George Lawrence Jr – Foxtrot
As I said before, this was a very fun, smooth routine, this is a very strong couple and they seem to mesh well together. Considering one is a Jazz dancer and the other a Contemporary dancers they did remarkable well in a genre that neither is related to… Then again that could also be because the choreographer manage to work the routine around the skill sets of whom they have. These two also had strong chemistry together which the audience can sense and will react well to. If they keep this up with two strong routines under their belt then I don’t see them falling to the bottom three anytime soon.

3. Amelia Lowe & Will Thomas – Contemporary
What is there to say? I really liked their routine last week and I still like them this week. They were blessed with two strong routines that seem to cater to their strengths. Then again they did a Jazz and a Contemporary routine which aren’t far stretches from their genres (both are contemporary), so naturally they are going to be strong in these routines. The real test will begin the moment they get a chance to work on something outside of their styles. With similar personalities they mesh well and seemed to be rather in sync with one another in this routine staying in time, which is considered difficult since Will is a considerably larger person over Amelia… but you would never really have guessed.

4. Audrey Case & Matthew Kazmierczak – Jazz
They were lucky to have another strong routine this week and with a Sonya Jazz piece that seems to be stretching beyond her “norm” that we have seen over the seasons. They danced this routine really well, but that is to be expected considering that Audrey is a Jazz dancer while Matthew is Contemporary so they didn’t really moved all that far from their genre in the past two weeks. Knowing that, I am seriously hoping that their next routine would be different from either genres so we could really see what they can do. At the moment they are a strong pairing and seem to connect with one another rather well.

5. Janaya French & Brandon Mitchell – Broadway
It is too bad that Janaya is gone because I felt that she really did redeem herself considerably in this routine. There was chemistry between her and her partner, she emoted and characterized well, you can tell that they were both having fun with the routine. Brandon (being a stepper) reminds me a little of Twitch and Joshua from Season 4, his movements closer to that of Joshua for some reason… especially when he is rising up from his toes at a point. I loved Brandon in last week’s routine and I still like him in this week’s routine. It will be interesting to see how he fares with Amber Jackson as his partner.

6. Lindsay Arnold & Cole Horibe – Hip Hop
Being the first routine of the night they are at an instant disadvantage of being forgotten as the episode goes on, and quite honestly to me Lindsay was forgettable in this routine while Cole knocked it right out of the ballpark. He was quirky and funny in this routine and he really characterized the geek really really well, whileas with Lindsay I didn’t quite believe her in this number, it was definitely too cute to be a seductress and the connection – though there at times – didn’t wow. After riding a high from last week, I would consider this to be a small baby step backwards. I don’t think Cole would be in danger, but Lindsay is another story entirely. However, they work well together so who knows?

7. Janelle Issis & Dareian Kujawa – Lyrical Hip Hop
To be honest, I really enjoyed this routine despite it being “cute” and the connection between Janelle and Dareian wasn’t there for a fair chunk of it until the very end when Janelle sees the ring and the kiss. OMG the kiss… if she had connected with Dareian with as much intensity as that kiss then I think this routine would have been a lot better and would have shined a lot brighter. I would agree to an extent that neither dancer was shown to the best of their ability, but with a character driven routine how could you expect it? Then again the closest comparison would the contemporary routine of Kent and Lauren’s prom night… Janelle definitely seemed to be enjoying herself while dancing, but due to her belly dancing background I could see how she would have a tendency to look out to the audience more than her partner, but that is something that she needs to work on if she wants to have a chance in continuing in this competition. Dareian was just dreamy despite moments where I cringed at his feet, he did emote more but it seemed to have stalled since Janelle wasn’t connecting with him. This is two weeks of good routines but not strong… here’s hoping that next week brings something new to the table.

8. Eliana Girard & Cyrus Spencer – Jive
I love this pairing, I truly do… so it kills me to have to put them at the bottom of the barrel like this, but what choice do I have? What carried them in this routine was not just Eliana’s technical prowess but also their combined personality and charisma. That is what makes America love them, their personalities just shine no matter what they do and they just seem to be having the time of their lives in their routines. They get along well, which is also a plus, so that chemistry can be felt from the audience perspective as well. In some ways Cyrus reminds me of Cedric Gardner from Season 3 who was amazing in what he did but faltered a lot when it came to adapting to other choreographers’ routines. Here is hoping that in the coming weeks Cyrus shows improvement because I really love him as a person and dancer and Eliana needs to be shown off as much as possible as opposed to over compensating for Cyrus.

9. Amber Jackson & Nick Bloxsom-Carter – Argentine Tango
Argentine Tangos… as I have said in a previous post… I would consider to be either a hit or a miss. You either got all hot and bothered or cold and this felt cold to me. It was danced well, don’t get me wrong… but as has been the case for most of the night, the chemistry in this piece simply was not there. Then again, I don’t believe that Amber and Nick really had strong chemistry to begin with. I feel bad for Nick because that is two weeks in a row that he is drawn dance styles that are closely connected to his genre but what can you do? With Nick gone it will be interesting to see how Amber and Brandon are going to fare together since Nick isn’t really a strong personality while Brandon is.

Alexa Anderson & Daniel Baker – Contemporary
ARGH! I would consider this routine one of my favorites of the night despite Alexa not being able to emote nearly as much as Daniel did (or I felt he did). This was not only a well danced routine but an incredibly technically challenging routine. It is such a shame that Daniel was also eliminated because I felt that he did far better in the characterization department both last week and this week over Alexa. I agree with Alexa being eliminated because the emotional / mental growth that she appeared to have shown during Vegas Callbacks all disappeared when the lights are on and she’s in the spotlight. If Daniel was paired with a more charismatic person I wonder how that would have worked for him? But then I guess we’ll never know.

NEW PAIRING: Amber Jackson & Brandon Mitchell
A contemporary dancer and a stepper, this is going to be an interesting pairing. Brandon is a very strong personality who has been characterizing and emoting well in his routines thus far while Amber hasn’t nor has she been able to connect with her partner. Depending on the dance style they will have next week will help gauge how this couple will do, but I don’t think Amber is going to last much longer than a week, perhaps two. She didn’t really connect well with Nick and as thus the audience is left feeling cold and the chance of them picking up the phone for her is not very high… still… we’ll see how it will work out come next week.

Alexa Anderson: this is one elimination I totally agreed with, she just wasn’t growing in the way that everyone is hoping that she would

Janaya French: we can see that she is a gifted dancer, and I believed redeemed herself this week with the Broadway routine with Brandon, but due to her lack of chemistry last week… her personality just comes across as flat.

Nick Bloxsom-Carter: he was someone that I really liked on the show, he reminded me a little bit of Benji Schwimmer from Season 2, except a bit more mellow. His lack of a connection and chemistry with his original partner may have done him in but dammit I wished we didn’t lose a ballroom boy this early

Daniel Baker: I was very disappointed with this elimination, though in comparison to the boy left standing I wasn’t terribly surprised. Much like with Nick, I believe in Daniel’s case his lack of a connection with Alexa may have left the audience cold and unwilling to pick up the phone for him, which is disappointing because I have seen him in videos posted by his friend Alex Wong from Season 7 and it was just so much fun to watch him dance in other styles. This is a loss in my opinion but what other option was there?

Amelia Lowe
Eliana Girard
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
Cole Horibe
Audrey Case
Witney Carson
Janelle Issis
Will Thomas
Brandon Mitchell
Dareian Kujawa
Lindsay Arnold
Amber Jackson
Tiffany Maher
George Lawrence II
Cyrus Spencer
Matthew Kazmierczak