So You Think You Can Dance Top 18 to 16

11 07 2013

Group number

Song: “Pretty Face (Nathan Lanier Remix)” by Soley
Choreographers: Sonya Tayeh and Christopher Scott

I got goosebumps. It did not surprise me that it was in part choreographed by warrior woman Sonya.

Group

The judges

Paula Abdul and Erin Andrews joined Happy Birthday boy Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy to judge tonight’s group of dancers. Cat says that last week’s format was not received well so they are changing it back to reveal the dancer who is going home at the end of the show. Jade has to have surgery (so I am guessing he is the male competitor going home).

The Bottom 3

Jasmine Mason, BluPrint, Jenna, Curtis, Alexis, and Jade. Nigel informs them that with Jade being unable to continue in the competition, BluPrint and Curtis can continue and do not have to dance for their lives. They, however, are going to ask all 3 ladies to dance for their lives in routines in their style. The decision will be made at the end of the show. Alexis is up first, tapping to “Try A Little Tenderness” by Otis Redding. I loved it. My ankles hurt for her. Jasmine danced to “10 Seconds” by Jazmine Sullivan (Jasmine dances to Jazmine–that’s kind of cute!). Here is the thing I have issues with. They come on the show and get exposed to all these terrific choreographers and I never see what they have learned incorporated into their solos. They revert back to what the judges call self-worship and rolling on the floor. Finally Jenna dances ballroom to “Wild” by Jessie J featuring Big Sean. This routine had life. I appreciated that she did not do the self-worship stuff in a Latin routine. Clearly I feel that Jasmine’s was not the best one.

Couples

Dancers: Amy and Fik-Shun
Style: Paso Doble
Choreographer: Jean-Marc Genereux
Song: “Tactical Dominance (Orch Hybrid Version) by Jack Trammell

Ten seconds in and I completely loved it and got chills. They had my complete attention. I am not a ballroom expert and usually I yawn through a lot of them, but not this. Fik-Shun had a few moments when his lines were not perfectly straight, but for this not being his genre, he did a tremendous job. I still cannot get over how much Amy could pass as a cousin of Melanie Moore especially when she is smiling.

The judges: Mary loved his passion. Technically it needed a bit of work but it seemed like her enjoyment overall is going to let those issues slide. She felt that Amy is a warrior princess. Erin said it is the chemistry and connection they have together. She felt they set the tone for this evening. Paula felt they committed to the feeling that was necessary for the routine and made them believe in it. Paula said she would have had Amy in the front center if she was around during the days Paula did choreography. Fik-Shun was apparently on Paula’s show when he was 16 (that’s interesting). She is so proud of him. He has studied and grown and done his homework. Nigel said they demand attention when they come in stage, a hallmark of a great performer. Nigel suggested to Fik-Shun that he relax his shoulders.

AmyFikshun

Dancers: Jasmine H. And Aaron
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Song: “They Just Keep Moving The Line (SMASH Cast Version) by Smash Cast featuring Megan Hilty

Broadway always seems to get the dancers in trouble on this show. I think the young voters appreciate contemporary and hip-hop more. The story is that Aaron is a detective on a case and Jasmine is the victim whose spirit appears. This played to both their strengths. It reminded me of a soft-shoe style and Aaron excelled in that. I believed Jasmine was a spirit reconciling the fact that she was dead. They are another power couple who have fantastic chemistry together. There was a lot of shouting going on from the audience in favor of the style they delivered. I think this was a winner.

The judges: Erin thought it was fantastic. She thought that during rehearsal Aaron was overshadowing Jasmine but not tonight. She thought Aaron made the dance effortless. Paula felt like it reminded her of the dancers of the past who were under MGM contract during that era. He was grounded yet graceful. She thought both did an amazing job. She added that Jasmine reminded her of Cyd Charisse. Nigel said they could have graced the streets of Broadway with every bit of elegance in which the pros are now dancing. Mary said this week it was all about the legs. It was about style and class. They gave 100% and captured what Spencer wanted.

JasmineAaron

Dancers: Makenzie and Paul
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Lindsay Nelko
Song: “No Day But Today (Live from Soundstage)” by Idina Menzel

The story of the dance is that Makenzie is dying and Paul has to come to terms with that. They immediately got into character before the music even started and it moved me. Wow this is a tough night! Everyone is bringing their “A” game. I sobbed. It is an amazing thing to witness when the dying are always the ones to console us when it should be the other way around. I always love Idina Menzel singing. I have adored her since I heard her in “Wicked”. Lindsey is going to be a great addition to the choreographers on the show.

The judges: Paula thought it was a beautiful dance. Poor Paula called him Alan. Nigel felt they kept the technical ability to the piece and brought in the “something else” that is necessary to do their routines. Mary loved it and she was crying. She said Makenzie was liquid gold. Paul surprised her–he finally gave an honest performance. Erin thought it was fantastic was well.

MakenziePaul

Dancers: Jasmine M and Alan
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Shawn Cheesman
Song: “Veins” by Charlotte Martin

This is about the mundane life of being a royal. It was very quirky with some tricks. I enjoyed it. Jasmine performed much better here than in her solo but I still think she is going home.

The judges: Nigel thought it was very “Prince William and Katie.” Nigel steals my word “quirky.” He wished they were more quirky with it. Mary loved the beginning and end. Mary agreed with Nigel. Erin agreed with them. Paula loved the routine and thought it was a lot of fun. She also agreed with Nigel and Mary.

JasmineMAlan

Dancers: Jenna and Tucker
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Keone and Mariel Madrid
Songs: “Dangerous (Immortal Version)” by Michael Jackson

Femme fatale meets average guy. I am looking to see if Tucker can let go of his posture and get down with the song. It was lacking the intense hitting you see in this type dance and both were too straight in their posture although they get some points for effort. I disagree with the judges who lavishly praised it. It was okay; it was not the best performance of the night. I am really not connecting emotionally with Jenna or Tucker even though they are technically great dancers in their genres.

The judges: Mary thought it was less hip-hop and more jazz but thought it was great. Erin complimented them. Paula thought it was a hipster kind of jazz and loved it. Nigel thought Jenna reminded her of Audrey Hepburn in a movie with Fred Astaire. It was one of his favorite routines tonight.

JennaTucker

Dancers: Malece and substitute dancer Marko Germar
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: “In The Embers” by Sleeping At Last

My guess is that Marko is going to elevate her dancing tonight. Before tonight, Sonya said in the rehearsal she was going to have to help Jade but since he has an injury, he withdrew from the competition. Marko saved her for another week. I had not been too pleased with her dancing this season but she did a superb job with Marko. I got goosebumps.

The judges: They were on their feet. Erin thinks Malece is a Tinkerbell. Paula loved it. Nigel said that Sonya said Jade was doing really well this week. Nigel saw the same thing I saw. Marko brought something out in Malece he has never seen before–the woman in her. Mary agrees with Nigel, but she knew Malece would have this moment at some point in the show.

MarkoMalece

Dancers: Hayley and Curtis
Style: Samba
Choreographer: Jean-Marc Genereux
Song: “Straight to Memphis” by Club des Belugas

Curtis posture was terrible. His lack of experience was grossly evident. He has a wonderful personality though and it carries him through sometimes in these routines. Hayley did a great job. The song was fun and lively. It was not, however, up there on the top of my list of favorites for this evening. Hayley’s lipstick was smeared on her tooth (when they judges were critiquing them).

The judges: Paula thought Hayley nailed the samba hips. She brought fire and ferocity. She gives Curtis a lot of credit being a tap dancer in this, but he needs to work on being a little more grounded and not to be afraid to move her and control her. Nigel said he needed to be the dominant role in this dance, unlike last week when it was right that Hayley was, and he did not achieve that. He looked a little immature. Hayley’s footwork looked good to him. Mary gave Curtis tips about his technique and how to improve that. Hayley was on fire. Erin encouraged Curtis to take the critique and work on it. Hayley was fabulous, a vixen that keeps getting better.

HayleyCurtis

Dancers: Alexis and Nico
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Song: “I Put A Spell On You” by Nina Simone

The story is that Alexis is hypnotizing Nico. Kissing during a routine always gets votes. There were times I felt Alexis was in the dominant role but then sometimes it felt like she slipped out and Nico was in control. I was thinking during this song what it might have been like if Nico put the spell on Alexis but then I laughed that would not be accepted as well. It is okay when a woman puts a spell on a man because she is the seductress, but if a man were to do that to a woman, he is taking advantage of her. For a tap dancer, Alexis did a great job. I think the choreography limited Nico being able to shine completely.

The judges: Nigel liked it. Paula jumped in that Alexis has come back into the forefront for her. Nigel felt Nico was really good. Mary pretended to be hypnotized. Nico was brilliant. Alexis surprised her. Erin was checking on Nigel after Paula play-attacked him. She felt Alexis did well at adapting to a style of dance that is not her strong area. She thought they were more in sync than they were in dress rehearsals, and there was no sleeping about Nico tonight.

AlexisNico

Dancers: Mariah and BluPrint
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographer: Luther Brown
Song: “Bring The Noize” by M.I.A.

Two hip-hop artists doing hip-hop? They better bring it (they do have the pimp spot on the show tonight). The synchronicity suffered in a few places especially in the beginning. I loved it and was laughing so hard when BluPrint pulled his shirt up and the ladies went wild. They are definitely safe this week. It was full of energy. I felt bad for BluPrint after the judges gave their critique. He looked defeated.

The judges: Mary thought Luther did well with all the choreography in there, but she is dying for more of BluPrint’s performance. She thought it was sick tonight (which is one step down from ill. Mariah was just “livin’ it out there.” Erin loved it. She wants Luther to come out with the next work-out video. She agrees with Mary that BluPrint needs to loosen up. She felt it when he lifted his shirt, but they need to see more moments like that. She enjoyed his abs but want to see that from his face. Paula thought they were in sync. There were static moments in the routine when they could breathe, but they have to keep in character. She feels BluPrint is holding back. Mariah’s personality was times 10 and covered for BluPrint sometimes. Nigel agreed with Paula. He added that personality holds a lot of weight sometimes even over great dancers and gave him examples of people who won in the past. It is in his hands what he wants to do. If he does not show his personality soon, he will be going home soon.

BluPrintMariah

The results

Jade by default of his injury will be going home this week. He said the judges and the choreographers are unanimous in their decision that Jenna will be staying. To Jasmine he said that the choreographers feel that there is a lot of self-doubt with her. The judges too feel that at times with her (but not so much tonight). He asked her to try to lose that. The choreographers feel that with Alexis they give her a note but 5 minutes later it is gone. However, Jasmine will be the one leaving this evening.

My predictions for next week

So who are in my bottom 2 for guys and girls? Girls: Jenna. Although I enjoyed Alexis’ dancing tonight, I have a feeling if she winds up in the bottom 3 next week and she does not improve on this issue the choreographers have with her, she will be sent home. For the guys, Tucker and maybe BluPrint if he is not making a connection with the audience but in technique he did well whereas Curtis had a difficult time and this is what Nigel was talking about–personality will carry you far.


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