So You Think You Can Dance Season 12 New York Auditions

7 07 2015

SoYouThinkYouCanDanceThe final leg of the auditions for season 12 were in New York. Virgil Gadson had auditioned in season 8. He had almost made it into the top 20 but got cut. He kept practicing and got a part in “After Midnight” on Broadway. He chose “Uptown Funk” to audition with this time for Team Street. As he got started, Paula whispered to Nigel that he reminds her of Fik-shun. He glides like ice across that stage which is hard for hip-hop. He has great star quality. Nigel said he set the bar for that day for hip hop. It was unique, great things in it, lots of different angles, wonderful personality. It was exactly what he was looking for. Paula said he was a like a day of Disneyland in a minute and a half. He is born to entertain. Jason said his technique was the dope part about it. It was amazing to watch. He gets a ticket to Vegas.

Alexia Meyer was up next trying out for Team Stage. The choreography had a lot of thought to it. I thought the eye wink was a bit odd. I really enjoyed the dance overall. Paula said she had great showmanship. The hardest thing for her is that she saw moments of great connection, and then she kind of went off and lost it a little, and then would fall back into it. Paula got booed! She thought nerves got to her. Jason got booed before he even started. He didn’t know if that was the end of Paula’s boos or the start of his. He thoroughly enjoyed it and he is not just saying that because they booed. Nigel enjoyed it, too. She gets three yeses.

Korey Cleveland had a tough road in getting to the audition. His dad was never there and his mom was battling her addiction. He, too, has struggled with crack cocaine to the point where he was incarcerated for 2 years in Missouri. Dance saved him. He would rather dance than do drugs. He said if he made it to 30 days clean he would come to the audition. He danced to Keys and Krates “Treat Me Right.” That was wicked. When he was moving his upper trunk around his head (or is that the head around his upper trunk) that was phenomenal. It has been awhile since I saw someone do that so well. Paula said she is proud of him because he proves you can live your passion and inspire people. Jason said he was inspiring. A lot of people can relate to his situation. He felt his passion. Paula and Jason both say yes. Nigel said that it is 2 months before Vegas. That means he is going to have to stay clean for 90 days. He said he’ll bring his 90-day key to show them. He gets a conditional ticket to Vegas.

“Hoofing” dancer Justin Ballasy wants to show what he can do to the song “Love Ain’t Gonna Let You Down” by Jamie Cullum. His tapping was insane. I didn’t see the tapping story translate into the song being played however. Paula said she felt like she just saw the movie “Whiplash” with tap. It was very impressive. Great timing, fast, clean. She didn’t know where the music and the tap made sense. Nigel asked him what time signature he was using. He said 4/4. Nigel said, no, and Justin asked three-four? That was Nigel’s complaint to him. He loved his tap and loved what he can do but it had absolutely nothing to do with that music. Justin said it was difficult to hear himself up there in his defense (not sure that was a good idea—the judges don’t like excuses). Nigel said he is so against people coming in and laying down machine-gun tap. Jason said it made him feel something—his heart started to race. But at the same time the musicality in it means so much to tap. If they didn’t say something, all the tappers out there would have been saying “What?” He is worried. He asks to do something a capella. They say no, but they say yes to Vegas.

The next auditioner’s family call him “Mr. Hollywood.” I smell trouble. Thomas Condello chooses “As Long As You Love Me” by Justin Bieber. He has some rhythm and some moves, but they were sloppy. The competition is fierce this year and he dances fine for entertaining, but not to win the show. All the judges were smiling but you know they are just going to thank him for making them smile. He said he did impressions, like Jason Derulo, and they invite him to show them. Paula said he has a lot of heart. He is not through.

Angely “Cookie” Deaza and Angela “Angyil” McNeal try out together for Team Street. I don’t know why they reminded me of Japanese robots that I saw on an episode of Almost Human on Fox. I loved them. Jason looked like he was really getting in to it (and, in fact, gave them a standing ovation). Jason said he would pay money to see that. Angyil and Cookie are a yes for him. Angyil is a yes for Paula. She thinks Cookie is limited in her style. Paula advises her to lift it and elevate it and get out of that monotone aspect and add character. She doesn’t think Cookie is ready. Nigel says a yes for Angyil and a no for Cookie for this year.

Allyson Wilcox works on the Vegas strip as a dancer in a show that is similar to Medieval Times. She is trying out for a spot on Team Stage. She chose “Wasting My Young Years” by London Grammar. Some of her moves I liked. I thought she spent too much time on the ground. Sometimes her lines were fabulous; other times they weren’t. Paula thought she had tremendous control. The start of her choreography was spot-on, but then she felt like her ability was far better than her choreography. Jason thought he saw things he hadn’t seen yet that day. Her arabesque was beautiful. Nigel gives her a ticket to Vegas.

One of the last auditions for this day was from a special man named Alain “Hurrikane” Lauture from Haiti. He chose Jeremy Joshua’s “Thinking About Your Face” to show his locking routine for the judges. His routine demonstrated a great command for choreography and the nuances of the music. He has a lot of talent. I was drawn to him. Employing the stairs as a prop to his routine was different in a smart way. Nigel liked it because it was fun. Paula thought it brought back the 1980’s fun and saw influences of Shabba Doo and Boogaloo Shrimp. All agreed his smile was terrific. He gets three yeses.

Kenya Welch and Connor Bermingham decided to audition together versus separately. They chose A Great Big World’s “Say Something.” Their decision proved to be the right one. I felt the choreography of the number as well as the performance of the number was something you would actually see on this show. I loved their emotion. Well done!!! Paula said she didn’t expect that and it was a very nice surprise. Paula kind of got lost in it. Nigel chimed in that it was one of the best they had seen all day. Jason thought it was awesome and a joy to watch. He said more like a fan than a judge. Both of them are through to Vegas.

As day two begins I am not sure who I like better, the contestant or his mother! Ryan Raffloer decided to try out without a partner in Latin ballroom to Tom Jones’ “Sex Bomb.” He was a surprise! I felt certain he was stoned out of his mind, but he turned into someone else while he was dancing. I could have done without the overindulgence in facial grimacing but his dancing for a Latin solo was unbelievable. I had a feeling Nigel was going to compare him to Dmitry Chaplin. Nigel thought he was excellent. It was over the top and too much but it is what you have to do when you are auditioning yourself. Paula thought he has this “je nais sais quoi”, a presence about him, it stands for something important. Jason felt he brought this grand presence. Jason thought “expensive” was the right word and Paula went “ooo”. He gets three yeses.

Bobby “Anime” Major dances to District 78’s “I Need an Explosion.” Wow!!! He is FANTASTIC! The judges were on their feet. There was no feedback; just a ticket to Vegas.

Eliazer Chapman brought “The Bronx” break dancing to the SYTYCD audition stage with a song from Madcon called “Beggin.” He had some really great moves. Nigel said it was raw and exciting. Paula thought it was entertaining. Jason said he was a strong b-boy and he wants to see what else he has. He is going to Vegas.

The next audition combines break dancing and ballet to form his unique style. Ian Williams surely doesn’t lack confidence as he dances to “Clocks” by Coldplay. His extensions and lines aren’t even there for his ballet. I saw no waacking. Jason looks like he is trying hard not to break out laughing. Nigel is a no. Paula said he is not ready yet. Jason said it was a no for sure.

Darius Drooh has a huge crush on Paula Abdul. She inspired him to dance. He chose Michael Buble’s “Cry Me a River.” He was fabulous. Jason said it was awesome. The choreography didn’t have a lot of the bing, bang, boom, but he liked the straightforward choreography a lot. Nigel said it was beautiful, but he just wanted the flow to stop every now and then. But it was magnificent. Paula thinks he has a beautiful technique and strength. Darius calls up a friend from the audience to do Paula’s “Coldhearted Snake.”

The last contestant of the day is Alyssa Guerrieri. Her grandmother was a dancer. Alyssa dances to “Take Me to Church” by Sofia Karlberg. She has beautiful lines and great personality in her dance. Paula said she is a breath of fresh air. Her technique was beautiful and her choreography was seamless and yummy. Jason felt her confidence was through the roof. Her acrobatics were right on. And it fit right in with the contemporary. Nigel said she is like a little ray of sunshine. Three yeses.

And this concludes the auditions for season 12. This gives Team Travis 114 hopefuls for a spot in the top 10 for stage dancers and 105 would join Team tWitch for a spot in the top 10 for street dancers.





So You Think You Can Dance S11 Hell Week

2 07 2014

SoYouThinkYouCanDanceDuring the Pasadena, California callbacks, Adam Shankman, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, Tara Lipinski, and Irina Dvorovenko joined Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe.

 

CallbackJudges

Solos were first. One hundred and fifty-seven contestants danced in front of the judges. Tanisha Belnap‘s solo was okay, but now that I’ve seen other ballroom dancers, she is not quite at their level. I loved Steven Kador. Even “tWitch” went “oooooo.” After this round, 36 dancers were cut including puppet-dancer Paul Brushaber. One hundred twenty-one dancers remained.

The first choreography challenge was hip-hop. Christopher Scott and Jasmine Harper demonstrated the routine. The contestants had the night to rehearse. Steven Kador and Malene Ostergaard danced together and were through. Marie Poppins was through. Jessica Richens was asked to dance for her life. Marcquet Hill was fabulous and was put through. Trevor Bryce, Caleb Bruner, Megan Marcano, and Franchesca Bass were sent home. Jessica Richens danced for her life and made it through to the next round of choreography.

ScottAndHarper

Sonya Tayeh put them through the paces with a jazz routine. George Lawrence II and Amy Yakima demonstrated the dance. Alla Kocherga was a no, but Zach Everheart moved on. Serge Onik, Johnny “Waackd” Gibson, and Jourdan Epstein are all through. Steven Kador, Shafeek Westbrook, and Marie Poppins all were sent home. Jana “Jaja” Vankova had to dance for her life and she was sent through to the next round of choreography along with 64 other dancers.

SonyaTayeh

The dreaded ballroom was choreography round 3 with Dmitry Chaplin and Anya Garnis demonstrated. They were once again given the night to practice. Zach Everheart and Valerie Rockey were through.

DmitryAnya

Travis Wall led round 4 of choreography for contemporary dance with the lovely Makenzie Dustman. Bridget Whitman and Landon Anderson had to dance for their lives. After the contemporary rounds, 29 boys and 21 girls were left to compete.

Travis

Group night was next. Once again they were given overnight to choreograph and learn their steps.  They were broken up into groups of five and given a CD of music. They are required to choreograph and perform the routine. “One Love” consisting of Ryan Johnson, Ryan Redman, Carly Blaney, Novien Yarber, and Serena Pav did not do well at all. Tara thought it was “a mess” as did Irina. Mary told Serena that international rumba is not done on the show for a reason. Nigel said they need smart dancers and that was not smart. He makes the group go decide who will go home. When they could not reach a decision, and because they were willing to all go home versus give up a name, Nigel puts them all through.

The group containing Trenton Williams, Kamille Upshaw, Zach Everheart, Malene Ostergaard, and Johnny “Waackd” Gibson did a wonderful job dancing to “All of Me” by John Legend. I had goosebumps. Adam Shankman thought it was lovely. Tara said it showed they thought about each other but showcased their individual strengths as well. It was Nigel’s favorite routine of the morning.

At this point there were 44 dancers left. They were asked to dance their final solos. Ricky Ubeda may be my favorite dancer this year. I had seriously major goosebumps. In the background you could hear Adam Shankman say, “He’s the best dancer you have.” The four dance crews who will perform are “Academy of Villans“, “Wanted Ashiqz,” “Control Freakz” and “Syncopated Ladies.”

The dancers who walked the final mile were: Ricky Ubeda, Jessica Richens, Jacque LeWarne, Teddy Coffey, Stanley Glover, Carly Blaney, Emilio Dosal, Jana “Jaja” Vankova, Novien Yarber, Serena Pav, Armen Way, Johnny Wacckd Gibson, Bridget Whitman, Valerie Rockey, Zach Everheart, Jourdan Epstein, Casey Askew, Emily James, Landon Anderson, Haley Payne, Justine Lutz, Nick Garcia, Rudy Abreu, Tanisha Belnap, Serge Onik, Malene Ostergaard, Brooklyn Fullmer, Marcquet Hill, and Erik “Silky” Moore.





So You Think You Can Dance S10 Performance Finale Show

5 09 2013

Tonight was the last performance show that would count for voting before next week’s announcement of the top girl and top guy winners. It was a terrific season with such wonderful dancers. There were highs and lows but overall the quality level of the performers continues to improve each year. At the end of 10 seasons, this show has not lost its appeal. I think part of that is because other networks are not producing dance shows that are causing us to fatigue of them unlike perhaps American Idol. Although I have a special place in my heart for Aaron and Jasmine, Amy and Fik-Shun had a terrific night as well. I think they will have wonderful careers ahead of them regardless of whether they win the big prize. Every dancer had the opportunity to work with some of the best choreographers in the business and provided a wonderful education for them. Let’s review tonight’s show.

The Judges

Gabby Douglas, Paula Abdul, Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy.

The Dances

Dancers: Aaron and Amy
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Song: “Primitive” by Richard Vission vs Luciana

Rawr! Rawr! Rawr! It is nice to see Aaron always connecting with his partners whoever they may be. It was high energy. They both extended themselves with each stretch. I think Aaron kept his shoulders down, too. I think there may have been a time or two when I think Aaron’s leg should have been extended more if I was comparing it to Amy’s legs. I liked the mixed tempo of the song, too because it allowed for a mixture of dance styles which I guess is why Ray was calling it jazz fusion.

The judges: Nigel said it was a great way to open the show. He loved the costumes. They laid down the gauntlet. Mary said they knocked it out of the park again. They had so much strength said they attacked it ferociously. Their strength as dancers blows her mind. Gabby said it had spunk and attitude. She loved the costumes. Paula said Amy’s center is ridiculous and stunning. She felt Aaron is a generous partner. He does not steal focus from Amy. He breathes character into each one he portrays. He takes her breath away watching him. The two of them are fantastic–great opening.

Dancers: Jasmine and Fik-Shun
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Song: “Spiegel Im Spiegel” by Angela Yoffe and Vadim Gluzman

Couple growing apart floating away from each other (imagine under the ocean). I thought it was lovely how they were already into character before the song even started. I am very impressed with Fik-Shun and how much he has grown. There were definite issues with height here though. At times it was clumsy because of it but there were times when I felt myself breathing in their ebb and flow. Jasmine always stole my eye but Fik-Shun rose to the occasion. It embodied a great sense of sadness. Not quite goosebumps but right on e edge for me.

The judges: Mary was standing. She thought Travis was brilliant. It was such beautiful movement. They looked beautiful together. Jasmine is captivating to watch. Fik-Shun throws her off all the time. His emotion and his tenderness and his partnering to her is so magnificent to watch. The beat hit in the chest got her. Gabby had goosebumps. Jasmine’s lines are phenomenal. Paula admires Jasmine. She has been exquisite this entire season. She bought that they were underwater. Every time she sees him on stage, she is increasingly aware of the incredible journey he has made on this show. Nigel thinks that Jasmine’s lines were just perfect. Nigel said Paula nailed it in her critique. In Vegas he was like Bambi on ice and now seeing him now extending himself, and this routine did not allow for him to show his personality–it forced him to dance. Both did really well.

Dancers: Aaron and all-star Melinda Sullivan
Style: Tap
Choreographer: Anthony Morigerato
Song: “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars

I have not had opportunities to see a lot of tap done to modern music. Next time I have an argument with my husband I will suggest tapping it out. So nice seeing Melinda back. The depth of emotion was there as well. I really enjoyed it. Go Aaron!

The judges: The panel was standing. Gabby thought it was just incredible performance. She loves tap. They nailed it, they killed it, were on fire, and wow–just incredible. She was in awe. Paula is excited that there was a tap routine. She thinks Aaron is the ultimate storyteller of this season. Nigel thought who could have thought of doing so much in a couple of step pickups. He thanked Aaron for being the first tap dancer in the finale. It was a great concept that you can have a conversation tap dancing. It was well danced. Mary LOVED IT!!!! She thought it was spectacular and the complex rhythms that they brought to the dance right now was music to her ears.

Dancers: Jasmine and all-star Comfort Fedoke
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographer: Tabitha and Napoleon D’Umo
Song: “Run The World (Girls) (Nappytabs Remix) by Beyonce

Bikes! Girl power! That was fabulous. I know exactly why she picked this–strategy. She knew Amy was going to choose contemporary. She wanted to show us she can handle anything, and she can. She kept up with the fabulous Comfort. That was so fast and hard-hitting, I am amazed these finale dancers have the energy and strength to do so many dances tonight. The audience was crazy excited, too.

The judges: Paula said wow, unbelievable. If these two girls ran the world life would be really fun. She was ferocious on this stage. Nigel said Jasmine is showing us that she is better than just contemporary. She is “in it to win it” tonight. She is fighting to win. Mary said Jasmine danced it like she choreographed it. She is a bad ass in the best possible sense. Gabby said she should get a call from Beyonce–that routine was the bomb. She is looking for a new floor routine for 2014 and maybe that was it.

Dancers: Amy and Fik-Shun
Style: Argentine Tango
Choreographer: Leonardo Barrionuevo and Miriam Larici
Song: “Hazardous/Zero Signs” by PP Music (UK)

I think this music was on Battlestar Galactica (the newer version). I thought she was leading. He tried hard and did his absolute best but Amy did a better job. I really do admire his spirit.

The judges: Nigel thought this was Fik-Shun’s toughest challenge yet. It was a brave attempt but was not strong enough for him. He felt Amy was really strong in this. The competition begins now between Jasmine and Amy. Mary said he was there for her as a partner but pointed out some weaknesses in technique. Amy is one of the most dominating dancers on all the seasons of So You Think You Can Dance. Gabby loved it and the emotion and chemistry. Paula thought Fik-Shun was handling Amy pretty darn well and Amy was perfection.

Dancers: Jasmine’s solo
Song: “Ready For Love” by India.Arie

I could watch her all day and get goosebumps all day long. I also now want her haircut. New news–Cat Deeley fought for her to be in the top 20. So Aaron and Jasmine were both not supposed to be here and here they are, poised to take it all. I love you Cat Deeley!

Dancers: Jasmine and Aaron
Style: Samba
Choreographer: Dmitry Chaplin
Song: “Can’t Touch It (Radio Edit) by Ricki-Lee

That was soooo entertaining! But where were the samba hips? Felt it was danced more like a jazz or Broadway dance versus a samba. Wardrobe malfunction but in this case the costume would not come off Jasmine. Aaron’s arm positioning is a bit sloppy.

The judges: Mary said it was not danced very well. Jasmine fared a little bit better. This was not the best thing for both of them but not bad. Gabby loved it. It was not their strongest one. Paula said they have been one of her favorite couples of all time. The energy and the synergy are beautiful. Nigel said every single thing you do tonight has to be outstanding. He wanted more from them. The chemistry was not there tonight. He felt they were not comfortable with the routine tonight.

Dancer: Fik-Shun’s solo
Song: “Gangham Style” by Psy

I like what he said in his montage. He may not be America’s best dancer, but he could be America’s favorite dancer. I had my doubts about how this would turn out with such an iconic song. I loved that he pulled some of Psy’s dancing and made it his own. I enjoyed it so much.

Dancer: Amy’s solo
Song: “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers

We’ll never forget your dance with Travis either. Amy has such passion and such beautiful technique. I have said it before and I will say it again. She reminds me of Melanie Moore.

Dancers: Fik-Shun and all-star tWitch
Style: Hip-hop
Choreographer: Luther Brown
Song: “Hello Good Morning (Remix) by Diddy-Dirty Money featuring Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross

Wow! Fik-Shun is short! They looked like a father and son dancing together. That was a fun routine. I was watching tWitch, however. I could not help myself. I thoroughly enjoyed that.

The judges: Gabby thought it was fantastic and she loved it with the spark and attitude she loved. Paula wants to dance with Nigel. Nigel thought it was tWitch and tWitch Jr. It was fantastic. He gave Fik-Shun some career advice that tWitch kept growing after the show was over and that is what he needs to do, too. Mary loved it. She thought he is going to be very proud when he sees it play back later.

Dancer: Aaron’s solo
Song: “You & I (Acoustic) by Jason Mraz

He truly has made me fall in love with contemporary tap. The height on that jump! Nigel said it–Fate has brought you to us for a reason. I believe it.

Dancers: Amy and all-star Robert Roldan
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Song: “Say Something” by A Great Big World

It is a story about courage and bad timing. Best friends; he’s been in love with her for years. She realizes that she loves him back. She has to find the courage to tell him before he goes. Goosebumps! Oh my God. That was my favorite routine of the night. I held my breath when he lifted her up in the air and held her for a second before coming down. It was so powerful and vulnerable at the same time. I felt every part of the story as they danced. And the story did not have a happy ending. Maybe there will be a part 2 of this story. I love Robert.

The judges: Paula said this was her favorite routine of the night. The pairing of the two of them was a symphony up there. Her raw emotion–she just steals her heart every time. Nigel said this was terrible choreography–why did he leave her? They were getting along very well (he was kidding). The combination of emotion, performance, technique from the pair of them was intoxicating. She stepped into his lead tonight. Mary loved it. Amy gives every single part of herself. The energy comes from her soul and radiates outward across that stage. Gabby said it was one of her favorites this evening. Everything was on-point.

Dancers: Fik-Shun and Aaron
Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: “The Jitter” by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy

Enjoyable. They both did a good job but it is not quite my style. They complimented each other well.

The judges: Nigel said it reminded him of a Michael Kidd routine. It gave them fun stuff. They did not stop dancing since the music began and they must be exhausted. Mary said that absolutely was the cutest thing ever. Aaron was back on top again with this number and Fik-Shun just charms the pants off everyone. Gabby loved the energy. They were fantastic, phenomenal. Paula said both of them were in their element completely. The two top showmen of the season. She also reminded the audience that Tyce was paper of her dance crew a long time ago.

Dancers: Amy and Jasmine
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Mark Kanemura
Song: “The Diva Dance” by Eric Serra

Mark has been hanging out with Lady Gaga too long. Siamese twins from the fierce jungles of Saturn? The music reminded me of The Fifth Element. Wait! It is the same music–when the blue diva who has the stones inside of her and she sings opera and gets shot and dies but not before Bruce Willis does a c-section and delivers wind, fire, water, and earth stones. I am not really sure about this one. It was different and creative. The ladies did a wonderful job. It will be something I never forget and that is a good thing.

The judges: Mary said she has a bit of clown in her soul too and that was crazy and creative and quirky and she loved it. If Mary could vote them both into first place she would. Gabby thought it was a great way to end. It was crazy and fun and had humor to it. Paula said she finally felt like she was home. E.T phone home. She loved it. Nigel said it was a zany routine. It was loopy which is why he understands why Paula felt at home. It was fun. He felt this year the girls have stolen the show for him. If they were both in competition with the boys this year, he felt they would both would have won. They are some of the best dancers they have ever, ever had.

I will have to agree with Nigel here. Both Amy and Jasmine overall did the best job tonight.





So You Think You Can Dance S10 Top 8 Perform

21 08 2013

Don’t faint. I actually was able to write this up within 24 hours after the show.

Opening Number

Song: “Move To The Ocean (Baauer Remix) by Brick & Mortar
Choreographer: Mia Michaels

That was just weird. I am not sure how I feel about that. I usually love the choreography of Mia too. Oh well. That is why it is art. Some people will love it, some people won’t, and some people will scratch their heads.

Judges Tonight

Classically trained Jenna Elfman joined Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy to judge tonight’s special event where the all-stars from previous seasons will not only dance but also choreograph their routines.

Bottom 2

Fik-Shun, Jenna, Hayley and–Tucker???? That is just so wrong on so many levels. All four will do solos. Fik-Shun is up first dancing to “If You Crump Stand Up” by edIT. I forgot that he is an animator. That was fun! Hayley chose “Skin & Bones” by David J Roch. That was great–goosebumps. Jenna danced to “Greyhound” by Swedish House Mafia. It is so difficult to do a Latin ballroom solo, but it did get my attention. Tucker danced to “Beautiful Child” by Rufus Wainwright. That was delightful.

Couples

Dancer: Aaron and all-star Chelsie Hightower
Style: Jive
Song: “Great Balls of Fire” by Million Dollar Quartet (Broadway Cast Recording)

That was a lot of fun! High energy, great chemistry, good leading by Aaron indeed! Top 2–here you come.

The judges: Mary picked out some areas for Aaron that were weak so he can learn and apply to future opportunities. Jenna thought it was awesome. She has been so impressed with his journey. Nigel thought he would have done better being a tapper but reminds America to take everything into account across the season in casting their vote tonight.

 

Dancers: Fik-Shun and all-star Allison Holker
Style: Contemporary
Song: “Skinny Love” by Birdy

A dance about discrimination. That was beautiful and gave me goosebumps and I got a bit teary-eyed. Allison really brought out things in him we have not seen before, but his partnering skills are still an issue where he messed up in a lift move but the pro Allison recovered so she did not fall. He may need to try some weightlifting to build up those necessary muscles.

The judges: Jenna said that Fik-Shun can do no wrong. He is already an all-star and is pure life force. Nigel pointed out that her routine must have been inspired with her relationship with tWitch (and they are getting married later this year). He said, in short, that while Fik-Shun lacks in a lot of technique, his quality that cannot be ignored. Mary agrees with everything being said.

 

Dancers: Tucker and all-star Courtney Galiano
Style: Jazz
Song: “Clarity” by Zedd featuring Foxes

Romeo and Juliet. I had goosebumps! I LOVED that!

The judges: Nigel told us that Courtney was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and she has lost half the vision of her left eye. (Courtney–my business is a sponsor of our local MS Walk in October!). Mary was teary-eyed as was I and she loves Courtney and Tucker and Tucker’s dad (they showed a clip about how supportive his father has been, which many times does not happen from a dad whose son wants to dance). Jenna said Tucker is so special and he moves her every time she sees him.

 

Dancers: Paul and all-star Comfort Fedoke
Style: Hip hop
Song: “Dum Dum” by Tedashii featuring Lecrae

Paul just had an Alex Wong moment (when he danced with tWitch). Latin ballroom dancer can get down!!!

The judges: Mary said he is one of the most versatile dancers on the show. She thinks he is going full steam ahead on the hot tamale train. Jenna is so inspired by him. Nigel said Paul got down and dirty.

 

Dancers: Hayley and all-star Dmitry Chaplin
Style: Rumba
Song: “Meant” by Elizaveta

They are an engaged couple. She finds out he cheated on her. That dance sizzled. I felt like I was watching a very private moment between the two. You could feel the angst. This is the kind of ballroom dancing I love.

The judges: Jenna thinks there is not anything Hayley can’t do. Nigel says that there is not anything she has done wrong in this competition. She has grown week after week. Mary said Hayley got it right tonight. It was phenomenal.

 

Dancers: Jenna and all-star Mark Kanemura
Style: Jazz
Song: “I Am The Best” by 2NE1

This is a fusion of styles. I saw elements of Bollywood and hip hop. That was so different and so quirky. I loved it.

The judges: Nigel thought it was phenomenal and fantastic. He thinks she is a brilliant dancer. Mary thought it was great and had some Bollywood and African and Middle Eastern and New Age Funk to it. Jenna said it was marvelous. Jenna loves Jenna’s name. She is a beautiful technician who has a long career ahead of her.

 

Dancers: Jasmine and all-star tWitch
Style: Hip hop
Song: “The Power” by District 78 featuring Cheesa

Superheroes! The fact that Jasmine can hold her own with tWitch speaks volumes to her talent. That was indeed on the level of superhero dancers!

The judges: Mary said she could have been intimidated by him but she was not. She is the superhero and conquered this routine tonight. Jenna thought Jasmine owned it. She thinks there is something so beautiful about her, unique and wonderful. Nigel agrees with Jenna. She thinks she out-tWitched tWitch. She has stolen his heart.

 

Dancers: Amy and all-star Travis Wall
Style: Contemporary
Song: “Wicked Game (Live at Killkenny Arts Festival, Ireland/2011” by James Vincent McMorrow

This is going to be good and I don’t know the whole story yet. The story is about the games that are played when first entering a relationship. This is the very best I have seen Amy dance. I really believe that partnering her with Fik-Shun was a disadvantage. Her dancing like this reminded me why I fell in love with Amy during the auditions. Travis Wall–you’ve done it again. Amy made it look effortless.

The judges: Were standing. Jenna said Amy is perfect, so full of heart and soul and technique. She thinks the world is such a better place because of both of them. Nigel thinks we saw something very special there. He thinks Travis is a genius. Mary agrees. She thinks it was mature and sophisticated.

 

Going Home

Jenna and Tucker go home. Tucker going home is SO wrong.

 

My picks

It is so difficult to choose at this time. I think Fik-Shun should be going home next week. Paul and Aaron should and deserve to be the top 2 guys. As far as the girls, Jasmine and Amy did the best job tonight, so that would leave Hayley going home.

I really enjoyed seeing the all-stars do choreography. The show should keep that aspect for next year.

Who are you favorites?  Leave a comment!  Let’s talk about it, but please keep the discussion civil. 





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.





So You Think You Can Dance Top 18

3 07 2013

Yes it happened again. My DVR did not record the show last week. I think I finally got it fixed though. I still do not like the way we are getting the results. All 20 have to put their best efforts forward even though only 18 will remain by the end of the show. But it is what it is.

Tonight joining resident judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy was Christina Applegate.

Opening number

Song: “The Heroic Weather-Conditions Of The Universe, part 1: A Veiled Mist” by Moonrise Kingdom (Original Soundtrack)
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio

That was fabulous. They look like a real dance troupe that have been working together for years. It is one of those odd dances–like a circus with so much going on you are not quite sure where to look and when you do look you do look out of the corner of your eye you find you are missing a lot.

Group

Yikes! Cat Deeley is already announcing the bottom 3 guys and girls. That is going to either dampen their psyche, or make them dance better in their couples’ routines. Bottom 3 girls: Mariah. Makenzie, Brittany. Bottom 3 guys: Alan, Jade, Carlos.

This season the judges get to save 2 contestants right away. This week it is Alan and Makenzie are saved.

Solos

Mariah danced to “Hard In da Paint” by Waka Flocka Flame. I adore a female hip-hop dancer. Carlos danced a solo to “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons which I just knew would show up on this season’s show somehow when I heard it. It is the ringtone of my timer on my IPhone. I thought it was a fabulous solo outside of a little but too much rolling on the ground. Brittany danced to “Hacksaw” by Ooah. Was that Ballroom or Jazz? Hard to tell, but there was a lot of self-worship with her hands on her body a lot–something I know the judges dislike from previous seasons’ auditions. Jade danced to “De Novo Adagio (Intro) by Alicia Keys. He is an amazing animator. I felt like he was a maestro pulling on our strings, but in a way it was very smooth like the water. It is very hard to describe.

Oh GEEZ! They are actually telling us who is going home before the couples dance? That is not right at all. I do not like this format. Nigel said he was disappointed in their solos. He did not feel they were dancing for their lives at all. The decision is made by the choreographers’ input as well as what they saw in Vegas and how they feel the contestants would grow. Carlos and Brittany will be leaving the show.

Couples

Dancers: Hayley and Curtis
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Style: Jazz
Song: “Mama Knows Best” By Jessie J

I loved it when she was pushing him down. What back control and strength. Some of Curtis’ lines need work. I also think he needs to emote more, like Hayley does. It seemed like he was trying to remember the steps too much.

The judges: Nigel could not take his eyes off Hayley but felt Curtis was a good partner. Mary loved it and felt Hayley was a force to be reckoned with on the show. Christina forgot Curtis was a tapper. She felt like maybe everyone should leave to give them some privacy. She gave some helpful points they could take away and put into their work the next time around.

HayleyCurtis

Dancers: Aaron and Jasmine H. (who I affectionately have named #JasTurns)
Choreographers: Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo (NappyTabs)
Style: Lyrical hip-hop
Song: “Tears Always Win” by Alicia Keys

The story is he is a man going in and out of her life. He expects her to be there for him when he does. For a tapper, Aaron does a great job with hip hop. I am so glad he was #11 and someone dropped out because of an injury. There is a lot of chemistry between these dancers. Jasmine conveyed the feelings of being upset with him yet longing for him at the same time. I LOVED it. When he flipped her over into a backbend it was so fluid. It was beautiful.

The judges: Mary loved it. Jasmine is a star. Aaron was sexy. Christina had notes written from the dress rehearsal that she tossed away. She thinks they are the couple to beat at this point. Nigel felt an honesty in the routine. He feels that Aaron is a major asset to the series this year.

AaronJasmine

Dancers: Malece and Jade
Choreographer: Nakul Dev Mahajan
Style: Bollywood
Song: “Radha” by Student Of The Year (Original Soundtrack)

The girl plays hard to get and the guy woos her back in. I know that every movement had purpose including positioning. Would I know if they made a mistake? Nope! I love Bollywood because it is always interesting and full of energy. It makes me want to get up and move. You have to be in superb physical shape to survive those songs.

The Judges: Christina gave Jade some words of encouragement. Nigel is shocked that Jade picked up the choreography as well as he did. He thought Malece is like a little pixie. Mary felt Jade was having fun and Malece did a really great job.

MaleceJade

Dancers: Alexis and Nico
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Style: Contemporary
Song: “Old Skin” by Olafur Arnalds & Arnor Dan

This piece is a sequel to Robert Roldan and Kathryn McCormick’s dance from season 7. Kathryn’s character left to go to war; in this piece, she (Alexis) is coming home. These are big shoes to fill. In a sense you can say she had returned from war a changed person quite literally. I cried. I tried to imagine the joy of what real families go through when their loved ones return from war. I think Alexis and Nico found the joy.

The judges: Nigel thinks Nico gets better every week. He felt that Alexis had the hardest job this week because as a tapper they don’t straighten their legs. He felt she did very well but she is going to have to work harder. Mary said they let the music take them some place. She felt Nico was fabulous and Alexis’ performance was so honest. Christina thought it was great and that Alexis has “it.”

AlexisNico

Dancers: Brittany and BluPrint
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Style: Broadway
Song: “It’s Oh So Quiet” by Ice Princess (Original Soundtrack)

Two students in a late-night cram session and they fall in love. The vulnerabilities of BluPrint’s dancing are obvious, but he does get an “A” for trying and being a good partner.

The Judges: Mary adored this piece. She felt like BluPrint was really going to have to make sure the lines get hit. Christina gave BluPrint advice if he gets Broadway again. Nigel agreed with Christina.

BrittanyBluPrint

Dancers: Jasmine M and Alan
Choreographers: Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo
Style: Tango
Song: “Escape From Slavery” by PP Music (UK)

Innocent girl wooed by an evil man. Alan had a powerful male presence but I felt like it was overacting a bit. I believe he did not believe he was evil. The footwork looked good. He did a great job on the lifts.

The Judges: Mary gave them a standing ovation. Christina joined her. Christina thought they had a “moment” like they did last week. Nigel agreed. Mary said it is all about passion and they spilled it all over the stage.

JasmineAlan

Dancers: Makenzie and Paul
Choreographer: Sean Cheesman
Style: Jazz
Song: “‘Mannequin (Skeet & Tito Remix) by Trish

Mad scientist Paul creates Makenzie. Paul has some good moves there, but he also had some awkward ones, too. His face doesn’t seem to match the story. He looks angry–has that weird pouty face. He also looked out at the audience like you would do in ballroom which I kind of felt was out of place. Mackenzie was doing a great job.

The judges: Nigel loved the routine. He thought they both did fantastic. Mary loved it. She called Makenzie a dance diva without the attitude (hmmm…in order to be a diva you must have attitude). Christina loved it. She urged Paul to get of his carriage in these kinds of numbers.

MackenziePaul

Dancers: Mariah and Carlos
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Style: Contemporary
Song: “Dead In The Water” by Ellie Goulding

Carlos has been in an accident and lost his memory. Carlos is supposed to have this glazed-over look and with the emotion of having to go home tonight, that has to be so very hard to do, but does speak volumes to his professionalism. I could feel the pain in Mariah’s movements. I would never think she was a hip-hop dancer. I got goosebumps! This was so beautiful!

The judges: They were on their feet. Mary told Mariah if she kept dancing like that she will make it to the other side of the rainbow. Christina thought it was like they had an umbilical cord between the two of them. The chemistry was the best she had seen tonight. Nigel said Mariah did a brilliant job at emoting.

MariahCarlos

Dancers: Amy and Fik-Shun
Choreographer: Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo
Style: Hip-hop (ratchet?)
Song: “After Party” by Dorrough Music

The story is about two bellhops who love their job. For a contemporary dancer, she did a great job. The audience loved booty dances, too. That will definitely bring in the votes. And what I can I say. There is still #TruthInFikshun! (Yes, I first said that on Twitter).

The Judges: Christina loved that so much. She thought Fik-Shun is something special. She thinks Amy brings him up, too. Nigel said he knew that he was going to love this routine. Both of them light up the entire studio when they dance. He predicted if they kept dancing like that this and they would be in the finale. Mary said they were the pre-party, party-party and after-party.

AmyFikshun

Dancers: Jenna and Tucker
Choreographer: Dmitry Chaplin
Style: Cha-cha
Song: “I Like It Like That (Aaron Jerome Remix) by Pete Rodriguez

Story about a guy who knows everyone in a nightclub and thinks he owns the place; Jenna’s job is to put him in his place. It was very good. It didn’t blow me away but it was respectable. They both played their parts well. It seemed they had the right posture for Latin dancing. It sizzled in spots but it did. It move me emotionally in any direction.

Judges: Mary thinks Jenna is a chameleon. She missed rhythmical action from Tucker. She thought he had it in moments. Christina was thoroughly entertain and loved the story and the characters they portrayed. Nigel felt Jenna did not give enough cha-cha and she was in heroin genre. He actually wanted it to look more like “Dancing With The Stars.” He blames Dmitry.

TuckerJenna

It is hard to predict who might be in the bottom two. I would say for the guys Tucker and BluPrint. For the girls, Jenna and maybe Malece? Picking out the girls is a bit more difficult.





So You Think You Can Dance — Top 4 Perform

13 09 2012

Tuesday night was the last time we could vote on our favorites, the finale sort-of version. One more episode to go–to crown not just one winner but two: America’s favorite girl and guy. Lending critiques to the evening’s performances are resident judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy. Award-winner Rob Marshall was in the house lending his extensive knowledge to the mix.

Dancers: Eliana and Cyrus
Choreographer: Jason Gilkison
Style: Paso Doble (Eliana is the matador and Cyrus the bull)
Song: “The Game Has Changed” by Daft Punk

My thoughts: Cyrus is one determined bull, but was ultimately defeated by the lovely Eliana who continues to bring her strength of character to each role she embodies. It was a great opening number and a very smart move on the part of the choreographer, knowing that Cyrus’ lack of technique would not work in this situation.

The judges: Nigel thought Eliana had secured her place in the industry. He pointed out some things to Cyrus to help him improve and commended him on good partnering. Mary said that Cyrus conquering the paso doble must have felt like skinny dipping with snapping turtles and was very masculine. Eliana was on fire tonight. Rob loved how Eliana threw away technique and focused on the story. He told Cyrus it was exciting to watch them let it happen in the moment.

Dancers: Tiffany and Will Wingfield (Season 4 All Star)
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Style: Jazz
Song: “The Time is Now” by Moloko

My thoughts: Tiffany was really enjoying herself. She is a little spitfire with a lot of grace and strength. It was nice to see Will back, too. The music was a bit boring.

The judges: Mary that she was a star tonight. She loved it and felt there was great partnering. Rob thought Tiffany was great–fearless. Nigel said Tiffany is so little but her lines are so strong, so big. She is a tremendous dancer.

Dancers: Chehon and Eliana
Choreographer: Marat Daukayev
Style: Ballet
Song: “The Nutcracker Suite (Pas De Deux)” by Bruton APM Studios

My thoughts: FINALLY! The first time two ballet contestants were paired up with each other to actually do ballet. I had chills. The dance was exquisite. Poor Eliana almost had a wardrobe malfunction.

The judges: Rob said it showed their versatility. Eliana’s extensions were breath-taking. Nigel made mention that the choreographer, Marat Daukayev, was the principal dancer with the Kirov Ballet. He said that Chehon made it look so easy. Mary thought it was spectacular.

Dancers: Tiffany and Cyrus
Choreographer: Tessandra Chavez
Style: Lyrical hip-hop (story is that Cyrus has broken Tiffany’s heart).
Song: “Best Thing I Never Had” by Beyonce

My thoughts: It was a good pairing. I did get chills (or was it just the air conditioning?) I still have not been WOWED tonight.

The judges: Nigel mentioned that neither of them had been in the bottom 2 or 3 the entire competition. Both were so good at emotional routines and were incredible. Mary thought they killed it. Rob thought that they had “abandon”. He said it was his favorite so far of the evening.

Dancers: Tiffany, Cyrus, Chehon and Eliana
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Style: Quirky (is that a style?) I guess Broadway
Song: “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (District 78 remix) by KPM Studio Artists

My thoughts: That must have been the most difficult piece to showcase all their unique, diverse skills. I did not care for it personally, but I respect Tyce’s challenge.

Dancers: Chehon & Allison Holker
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Style: Contemporary
Song: “Leave” by Once–A New Musical (Original Broadway Cast)

My thoughts: My favorite so far tonight. Those leaps Chehon does are incredible. Allison’s face was so full of expression. I think Chehon is finally peaking, taking in all the feedback he has been given and applying it.

The judges: They received a standing ovation. Mary had a WOOOOO yell. She said that Chehon was free at last, free at last, and that his performance ability was growing and growing. Rob thought the height on his leaps was unbelievable. Allison was fierce. Nigel thought Allison should be an actress. With Allison, Chehon came alive.

Dancers: Eliana and Tiffany
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Style: Pole dancing? (Broadway)
Song: “When You’re Good to Mama” by Chicago–The Musical (1996 Broadway Revival Cast)

My thoughts: I did not care for it. I understand it is difficult and some of the moves defied gravity. It’s okay; one does not have to like all the dances.

The judges: Another standing ovation. Rob (who won an Academy Award in 2002 for the movie Chicago) said he was trying to imagine Queen Latifah doing that. Mary said the two ladies were extraordinary. It was fun and sassy. Nigel said he could not say anything that would not get him into trouble.

Dancers: Cyrus and Chehon
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Style: Jazz — (story is their struggle for the top)
Song: “Fangs (District 78 Remix)” by Little Red Lung

My thoughts: These are always weird dances. They are either hits or misses. Benji and Travis’ dance of the nerds was memorable. Alex Wong’s dance with Twitch was memorable. This was okay for me. Chehon is definitely the better dancer but Cyrus always tries to keep up and should be commended for that as well.

The judges: No standing ovation this time. Nigel thought Sonya choreographed this well. Cyrus has improved so much as a dancer and he is so proud. Chehon has also grown as a person and is his favorite dancer. Both were inspirational. Mary thought both have had a tremendous journey. Rob felt like they were lifting each other up as dancers always do.

Dancers: Eliana and Alex Wong
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Style: Contemporary
Song: “Without You” by Harry Nilsson

My thoughts: Two ballet dancers doing contemporary. Usually I have chills with every dance Travis choreographs, but this one not. The dancing was awesome, but I think I would have chosen the slower Mariah Carey version of the song. I think that is what was not resonating with me.

The judges: Were on their feet. Rob said it was poetry. They (Eliana and Alex) got lost in it and we (the judges) did, too. Nigel said it was his favorite routine of the night and that Eliana was his favorite of all time on the series. (Nigel–Melanie Moore will be very hurt). Mary said it was her favorite of the night as well. Eliana had extraordinary passion that oozes from her body.

Dancers: Tiffany and Chehon
Choreographer: Dmitry Chaplin
Style: Rumba
Song: “Love Me Tender” by Adam Levy and Norah Jones

My thoughts: Wooooo Tiffany! You have been cute, but this was sexy and sophisticated. It must have been hard to come out and dance like that after hearing all this gush about Eliana. Well done young lady. Dmitry said during the rehearsal shots that this dance you have to feel uncomfortable watching it. Was I? No. And I think that was an issue with Chehon. He needed to bring more Latin steam.

The judges: Mary thought it was beautiful. She did not believe the chemistry but the movement was gorgeous. Tiffany was fabulous. Rob thought it was sexy. He thought the connection was beautiful. Nigel said this dance was so much sexier than the pole dance. He commented to Chehon that they couldn’t find a shirt with buttons for him? Mary laughed and said, “Dmitry was the choreographer!”

Dancers: Cyrus and Twitch (Glitch meets tWitch)
Choreographer: Christopher Scott (with the assistance of Madd Chadd, an animator)
Style: Animator (story is they are robots in a secret lab).
Song: “Like A Criminal” by District 78

My thoughts: THAT ROCKED!!!! It was so Terminator-like. Rise of the Machines. Watch out. My favorite routine of the night.

The judges: Standing ovation. Rob said it was crazy; the two guys were superstars. Mary loved it. Nigel wanted people to know that tWitch worked so hard at that because he is not an animator. Hip hop and animation are so very different. He mentioned that Christopher Scott felt they were world class in what they do.

Then Nigel really upset me. Cyrus is having a moment, the time of his life, and Nigel drops a spirit-crushing blow to Cyrus: I am supporting Chehon for my own personal reasons. And goes on and on about it. That Nigel “loved his bones, but won’t vote for him.” Nigel has been a mentor to Cyrus. Nigel’s opinions hold great weight to Cyrus. I remember thinking, “Why don’t you just tear out his heart and stomp on it, Nigel?” Did you really HAVE to say that? Could you have just critiqued his performance and left it at that?

I have always respected Nigel. In that moment, I lost a generous portion of that respect. Did Nigel just have a gaffe on live TV where he said something he should not have? It reminded me of his comments last year to the two guys that one of the girls would win the competition for which he later apologized. Again a spirit-crushing moment to Tadd and Marko. Or are you trying to manipulate voters? Either way, it is not cool, dude. Nigel, I love your bones but that move made me not vote for either one. I do not appreciate being manipulated into voting.

Solos

Eliana danced to “Passacaglia” by Johann Johannsson. Interestingly, she said in her interview that she did not want to be typecast as just ballet, but then she does a ballet number. It’s beautiful but I see no risk-taking here. Cyrus decided to go with something we’ve already seen–his solo during Vegas week to “Holy Ghost (Helicopter Showdown and Sluggo Remix)” by Messinian. It would have been nice to have seen something different. Tiffany danced to “I Believe” by Fantasia. With her, too, I think I have seen all these moves in previous solos. Chehon’s solo was the best. He danced to “How It Ends” by DeVotchKa. I liked the use of a prop other than a costume. I liked it already. His solo incorporated all that he has learned and not just another ballet routine, which is his strength. It was risky and I admired him for it.

Guest Performance

A B-boy dancer named Jean Sok from Paris, France took the stage. The young man only has one leg and uses crutches sometimes. It was a beautiful combination of strength and grace. I stopped breathing for a moment. He danced to the song, “Expression” by Helen Jane Long.

Who will be the winners?  I think it could go either way.