So You Think You Can Dance Season 11: Top 18 Perform, 2 Go Home

17 07 2014

Opening Number

Song: “How It’s Done” by District 78
Choreographers: Christopher “Pharside” Jennings and Krystal “Phoenix” Meraz (From Academy of Villains dance crew)

I loved it!

Judges

Mary, Nigel and Misty. Mary and Nigel changed chair places tonight.

Bottom 3 Guys and Gals

Bridget, Emilio, Emily, Stanley, Jourdan, Teddy

Routines

Dancers: Jacque and Zack
Style: Hip hop
Choreographer: Keone and Mari
Song: “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith

Me: Goosebumps! Totally out of their genre and it was lovely. I believe their chemistry.

Judges: Mary was feeling it. Nigel loved when it went around the stage and wasn’t so tight. Misty thinks they make a great partnership. They are not tapper and ballerina; they are dancers!

Dancers: Jourdan and Marcquet
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Dee Caspary
Song: “Disappear (Demo Version)” by Mikky Ekko

Me: Jourdan did a better job than Marcquet. You could tell he was not completely comfortable in this genre.

Judges: Nigel thought it was good. He said that they were an interesting couple because he was not personally connecting with either of them. OUCH. He said that there was a slight lack of discipline in Marcquet’s work. Misty said she saw Marcquet this week in his partnership versus last week. She thinks there is something missing in his partnering technical wise. Jourdan is strong, has the lines, the energy but her face needs to match what her body is doing. She wants the audience to feel the passion she is giving through her body. Nigel added that he is not sure if there is a lack of vulnerability with Jourdan; he can’t put his finger on it. Mary said the first stance as magical. She agrees with everyone. Jourdan’s execution is amazing but there is some magic that isn’t there. She likes how Marcquet it leading her in his partnering but he has to watch his technique.

Dancers: Jessica and Stanley
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: “Funkier Than a Mosquito’s Tweeter” by Nikka Costa

Me: It was fun but I didn’t feel any connection to it otherwise.

Judges: Misty mentions her face again and Stanley too (both overdid it). Their bodies are doing enough. Stanley has to carry the “wow” extensions to other parts of the routine. Mary loved the whole piece. She encouraged Jessica not to oversell. Nigel worried about the overreaction with her face. Stanley needs to save some of his strength for his core.

Dancers: Bridget and Emilio
Style: Jive
Choreographer: Pasha Kovalev and Anya Garnis
Song: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams

Me: That made me happy (pun intended). Technically I have no idea if they did well or not.

Judges: It made Mary happy too. They were jiving it. She loved every second of it. Bridget picked up the technique better but Emilio’s energy made up for it. So impressive. Nigel reminded Emilio that Fik-Shun never pointed his toes once last year and he did really well. He does not understand why they are in the bottom 6 this week. Misty said this is the perfect example of not overdoing it in the face. Bridget was perfection tonight. She was light, precise and beautiful. They made her happy too.

Dancers: Emily and Teddy
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: “Ne Me Quitte Pas” by Nina Simone

Me: I felt the pain and desperation but no goosebumps. I think Emily did a better job than Teddy (better lines, extensions and emotion).

Judges: Nigel liked these “ugly” lifts Tyce put in there because love is not all beauty. He thought it was great. Misty said Emily’s body was speaking French. She was singing with her body. Misty is. Fan of Teddy. He transcends to every genre. Mary thinks there isn’t anything Emily can’t do. This is the first time she has been mesmerized by Teddy.

Dancers: Casey and Brooklyn
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Bonnie Story
Song: “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Michael Buble

Me: That was fun. I think they took Bonnie’s criticisms during rehearsal to heart.

Judges: Misty was impressed. However she did see some technique-face in there sometimes during things she was not comfortable with. She just needs to get comfortable with movement outside of ballroom. Casey was so fabulous. Mary thought it was a fun number. She loved every second of it. She thought Casey was on fire. Nigel told Brooklyn she needs to mature very quickly.

Dancers: Valerie and Ricky
Style: Viennese Waltz
Choreographer: Lacey Schwimmer
Song: “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz

Me: Immediate goosebumps. I expect perfection from Ricky (because he is going to win this year) but I am so impressed with Valerie. They have fantastic chemistry and they are my favorite couple. The dance was so joyful. LOVED IT!

Judges: Mary was crying. Nigel was on his feet. Mary said it was magical and dream-like. Ricky’s top line was so amazing. However he has to work on that leg action. Valerie’s feeling was so perfect and she is so beautiful up there. She has to watch her top line. Nigel won’t talk about their technique but their performance was beyond reproach. Misty said tonight was Valerie’s night. Ricky is beyond what they are used to seeing.

Dancers: Carly and Serge
Style: Hip hop
Choreographer: Luther Brown
Song: “Senile” by Young Money featuring Tyga, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Wayne

Me: I really enjoyed it most particularly when they were standing more still in that middle section. Carly did a better job than Serge. Serge was too straight.

Judges: Nigel thought it was a tough one for him. He knew how hard they had both worked but he does not think it is going to drive people to go vote. Misty somewhat disagrees. She thinks it is important to educate the audience in how difficult it is to switch genres. Serge continues to impress her. She thought Carly was great tonight. She loved it. Mary loved it too. Carly was a beast in this. She felt serge worked so hard too.

Dancers: Tanisha and Rudy
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Warren Carlyle
Song: “Sing Sing Sing (Part 2) by Fosse (original Broadway Cast)

Me: Wonderful. I think Rudy needs to be careful of his facial expressions.

Judges: On their feet. Misty felt they embodied everything they needed to be. They were the closers! Mary said it was a show stopper. She will remember that number at the end of the season. Nigel gave warren a trophy 30 years ago for tap dancing. Tanisha had the technique and what Rudy lacked in technique he made up for in personality.

Artist Performance

A Great Big World performed “Say Something” with the West Los Angeles Children’s Choir. Very lovely. Not the same emotion as it has with Christina Aguilera but it was sweet.

Going Home

Based on tonight, my guesses were Jourdan and Stanley. They decided to go this week with America’s vote. And Stanley and Jourdan are leaving. I think Marcquet is in danger of being in the bottom next week. Possibly Serge. Jessica might be in the bottom for the girls.





So You Think You Can Dance Season 11 Top 20 Perform

3 07 2014

Opening Number

Song: “Stalker Ha” by Kingdom
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh

My thoughts: It was okay. Usually Sonya pieces blow me away but that is okay. We have many weeks to go.

Interesting twist. In past seasons the first night we get to just watch them dance with no pressure. Tonight they will dance in their own style and the bottom girl and bottom guy will be going home. Then they mix up the dance partners for next week’s show.

Judges

Mary Murphy, Nigel Lythgoe and Jason Derulo.

Top 20 Perform

Couple: Brooklyn and Serge
Style: Cha-cha
Choreographer: Dmitry Chaplain
Song: “Hell Yeah” by Midnight Red

My thoughts: It’s a fun opening. It sizzled. Death drop was impressive.

Judges: Mary loved it but pointed out to Brooklyn that she saw her nerves in her missteps. She thought Serge looked magnificent. Jason wants to add that routine to his show. Nigel said they uplifted everyone with their energy. He wants Brooklyn to play to her partner as well as to the audience; otherwise it looks fake. Serge’s hard work over the years is paying off.

Dancers: Emily and Casey
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Song: “All of Me (Spotify Live from Milan)” by John Legend

My thoughts: I had goosebumps but I had problems connecting with this version of the song. It did not seem like the choreography synced with the song–either the song was too slow or the dance was too fast.

Judges: Jason did not want the routine to end. Their performance brought the story to life. Sometimes it is not about technique but the story you tell. Nigel said they brought the technique with the emotion which made it absolutely superb. Mary said it was a beautiful love story between the two of them. It was yummy.

Dancers: Valerie and Zack
Style: Tap
Choreographer: Anthony Morigerato
Song: “Sing” by Ed Sheeran

My thoughts: Gosh they make it look easy. And to do it together? You can’t hide any mistakes in there.

Judges: Nigel: “Wow, wow, wow, wow.” They were both magnificent. Mary said they were on fire up there. She loved the rhythmic conversation they were having with us. Jason said he comes from a tap background and that was unbelievable. He educated the audience that the taps on the shoes are actually slippery so to add the stairs in there was crazy.

Dancers: Bridget and Stanley
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Bonnie Story
Song: “Doesn’t Mean Goodbye” by Jon McLaughlin

My thoughts: Major goosebumps. That was beautiful.

Judges: Jason Derulo crying? Wow! Mary thought it was wow. It was so authentic, completely from the heart. Jason said it looked effortless. We felt like we were a part of the story. Nigel said it was tremendous.

Dancers: Jacque and Jourdan
Style: Ballet
Choreographer: Marat Daukayev
Song: “Pas de Deux-Black Swan”–Tchaikovsky

My thoughts: It is not as exciting as contemporary or tap but it was lovely to see classical dance on the show. Based on the lack of applause I worry for them.

Judges: Jason thought it was beautiful. Nigel gave them tips on technique. Mary said what they did took incredible strength. She also thought they looked like sisters.

Jason Derulo and Snoop Dog performed to Jason’s hit song, “Wiggle”.

 

Dancers: Marlene and Marcquet
Style: Samba
Choreographer: Louis Van Amstel
Song: “Morning Drums” by Gregor Salto

My thoughts: That was really fun and well done. I still think Marlene looks like Mila Kunis.

Judges: Nigel loved how her energy came bursting through at the very beginning. Marcquet is a force to be reckoned with. He felt the technique was strong too. Mary said there were hot samba rolls cooking in the oven today. She thought Marcquet was wonderful except for the jive part. Jason could tell they were in their element. He enjoyed it.

Dancers: Carly and Rudy
Style:  Contemporary
Choreographer:   Stacey Tookey
Song: “Take It Easy” by Jetta

My thoughts: I am such a sucker for contemporary. Goosebumps! I like the serious side of Rudy!

Judges: Mary said the passion just poured out all over the stage. Rudy has heart and it touches you. Carly is stunning. It was special. Jason felt like when looking at them anything was possible. Nigel felt like they have the best top 20 dancers they have ever had. Carly’s technique is terrific and Rudy is so damn likable.

Dancers: Emilio and Teddy
Style: Hip hop
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Song: “Nightshift” by The Commodores

My thoughts: Teddy looks like he could be Robin Thicke’s relative. I love this style as much as contemporary. A few parts were not in sync but it was wonderful nonetheless.

Judges: Jason said it was super dope. It was seamless. Nigel said they are both soloists but they found a way to connect. Mary said it was sharp, clean and easy to read. She hopes to see both of them in the next Step-Up movie.

Dancers: Jessica and Ricky
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: “Vow” by Meredith Monk

My thoughts: I gasped before they even took a step. I was iffy about Jessica but her performance tonight changed my mind completely. This was breathtaking, goosebump-making awesomeness. THIS is the Sonya Tayeh I love. My favorite so far this evening.

Judges: The judges were on their feet. Nigel wants America to know they just witnessed an entirely different level of performance. It was other-worldly. Ricky is the magician of dance. Jessica is a star in her own right. One of the best routines he has ever seen. Mary said that came from heaven. It was the best number of the night. Jason thanked them for blessing all of us. Jason held his breath the whole time.

Dancers: Tanisha and Nick
Style: Cha-cha
Choreographer: Louis Van Amstel
Song: “I’m A Freak” by Enrique Iglesias featuring Pitbull

My thoughts: I feel sorry for anyone having to dance after Ricky and Jessica. It was fun but Nick had some facial expressions that annoyed me. I felt he was playing more to the audience than he was interacting with his partner.

Judges: Mary said it was fun, fast and fabulous. Jason said they hit it hard. Nigel thought it was great.





So You Think You Can Dance — S10 — Top 14 to 12

1 08 2013

Opening Number

Song: “Dimman Kryper Sakta In” by District 78
Choreographers: Sonya Tayeh and Dmitry Chaplin

That is a unique pairing of styles! I enjoyed it. It wasn’t my absolute favorite but it was different.

Judges For Tonight

Cat has bad news. Curtis injured his shoulder and the doctors said he cannot perform this week. Nigel, Mary and guest judge Anna Kendrick.

Bottom 6

Jasmine, Alan, Alexis, Curtis, Makenzie, and Nico. Jasmine? Are you friggin’ kidding me America? This is a GROSS injustice. She is one of the top 3 girl dancers! The judges do not want to see any of the guys dance a solo. Makenzie is going back to safety. Jasmine and Alexis are dancing solos. Jasmine is phenomenal, so you know at this point Alexis is going home.

Alexis dances a wonderful tap routine to the song, “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King. She is a wonderful tap dancer. Jasmine dances to “Endangered Species” by Dianne Reeves. She is a force of nature. She is safe. If she is not, then I question the wisdom of the judges.

Couples Dance

Dancers: Jenna & Tucker
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Luther Brown
Song: “Slight Work” by Wale featuring Big Sean

Jenna did a better job than Tucker but I did not like the routine. Personal taste issues. Tucker was too stiff. Jenna was less so but still needed more. The bendover-bottom move will get some votes. Also dance moves that Tucker needed to be tighter and more hard-hitting in fell flat. I was bored. My interest was re-ignited when they went to the platform, but it was short-lived.

The judges: Nigel thought it was unconvincing. Mary agreed but paid them some compliments. Anna thought it was not their strongest but it was a little cute.

Dancers: Alexis and Nico
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: “Ashes” by The Bengsons

The story is it is at the point of a relationship where it all falls apart. it was fantastic. Alexis really channeled some intense emotions. I always love Sonya’s routines but it did not elicit goosebumps. I found my eye drawn more to Alexis this time than Nico.

The judges: Mary gave specifics about what she loved and thought it was spectacular. Anna said it was lovely. Nigel felt that Sonya gave them a vehicle to show emotion this week.

Dancers: Hayley and Curtis
Style: Tango
Choreographer: Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo
Song: “Estes Es El Rey” by Juan D’Arienzo

The story is that they meet for the first time on the dance floor. Leonardo is subbing for the injured Curtis. And THAT is what it looks like when dancing with the real deal. It was fabulous. Still did not give me goosebumps but I think Curtis really would have had trouble with the lifts even without a shoulder injury.

The judges: Mary was on her feet. Anna felt if she had Hayley’s body just for one day she would be invincible. Nigel felt she nailed it and it was stunning. Mary said it was impressive and gave the more technical descriptions of the dance. Mary wants to be her today too so she could dance with Leonardo.

Dancers: Makenzie and Paul
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song: “You’ll Find a Way (Switch & Sinden Remix) by Santigold

I loved it 5 seconds into the song. I knew then it was going to ooze sexy and sultry and heat and passion. I got my goosebumps on.

The judges: Nigel said they were brilliant. Mary feels the same. She enjoyed every second of it. Anna felt Paul was pulling an MVP and Makenzie was powerful in this.

Dancers: Jasmine and Aaron
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Justin Giles
Song: “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” by Birdy

A piece based on The Giving Tree.” I already have goosebumps and I haven’t even seen the dance yet. I am already welling up with tears in my eyes and they have not started dancing. It is without a doubt my favorite book of all time. It is even more special in that I got to read this book to my niece’s classroom on one of my trips up to New Jersey, a special honor I will cherish forever. Because of the severity of my son’s autism and my first child dying I never got to experience many things that parents with neurotypical children get to do in regular classrooms. My damn mascara is running and I now have raccoon eyes. Ugh. Okay, let’s get past the first 5 seconds or their practice. Deep breath. My goosebumps runneth over. That was my favorite routine of the night.

The judges: Mary gives props to the prop and to them for making it look effortless. The dance was endearing and she loves watching them dance. Anna believed the emotions. She loves Jasmine’s grace. She told Aaron that she roots for him. And she wants a piggyback ride on Aaron’s back. Nigel tells them the story. He feels that as partners they have unconditional love for each other just as the tree had for the boy. He loves them as a couple (and so do I).

Dancers: Fik-Shun and Amy
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Song: “Let’s Get It On” by Marvin Gaye

Fik-Shun orders the catch of the day at a restaurant (which is Amy). This was fun and quirky and flirty.

The judges: Anna thinks they are cute. Amy is her favorite dancer on the show. Nigel felt it was tremendous. He worries that they are playing similar characters each week. Mary agrees with Nigel and Anna. She did not want it to be over.

Dancers: Malece and Alan
Style: Salsa
Choreographer: Jonathan Platero (season 5 contestant)
Song: “Pa’ Los Rumberos” by Tito Puente and His Orchestra

This dance had a lot of acrobatics and tricks but I was bored. Sorry I am just not excited by ballroom most of the time. It’s like country music for me–every now and then I pay attention but it takes a phenomenal song (or in this case dance).

The judges: Nigel thought it was well choreographed and danced. Mary said the routine was insane. Anna said it made her want to take lessons or have an affair on a tropical island. She wants them to make a baby.

Dancers: Malece, Curtis, Alan, Jenna, Nico, Hayley, Makenzie
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Song: “Come Together” by Joe Cocker (Across The Universe Soundtrack)

Spencer substituted for the injured Curtis. I enjoyed that. I never heard that version of the song before. Very sexy. I don’t know why Mad Men was springing to mind because I have never watched the show, only promos. Spencer looked like he really enjoyed doing that.

The judges: Anna wanted to give a shout-out to the steady-cam operators. She also gives the group kudos. Nigel said his eye was on Spencer. He thought the girls were tremendous. Mary thought Spencer was great. She thought the girls killed it.

Dancers: Aaron, Amy, Paul, Jasmine, Tucker, Fik-Shun, Alexis
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Bonnie Story
Song: “Tears of an Angel” by Ryandan

A story about being bullied and people walking by and ignoring it. No words, only tears. That was so beautiful. It was SO powerful.

The judges: They were all on their feet. Mary thought it was a beautiful piece. Anna thanked all of them and thought it was fantastic. Nigel called attention to cyber bullying (Oh gosh Nigel if you only knew, and some of those bullies pretend to be victims in a sick, twisted way to control people insidiously).

Who goes home

Curtis and Alexis are going home.

Who is in the bottom this week/my picks

I hate to keep picking on Alan, but–fooled you. This week Tucker is on the bottom and that may be just because Alan got a dance in his own style this week. Nico might also be in the bottom 2. For the bottom girls, I am going to have to say this week Malece and Jenna and only because the other girls were just a little bit better.