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!


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

Bottom 3 Guys and Gals

Bridget, Emilio, Emily, Stanley, Jourdan, Teddy


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.

The XFactor Season 2 Top 16 Perform

1 11 2012

XFactor: Top 16 Perform

The judges took center stage, with Demi Lovato sporting a new brown color and straight bang, and Simon Cowell sporting fangs, fitting for a Halloween show. Is he just playing around or is it his signal to the other judges that he is out for blood?

Co-hosts Mario Lopez and Khloe Kardashian Odom did a great job. Mario is a veteran show host, but I know nothing about Khloe other than hearing her name in the news a lot. It seemed to work. Mario thought on his feet when Jason Brock said to him, “Can I pinch your butt?” He said, “Hey this is a PG-13 show.” Khloe pressed the judges with some hard questions that would hopefully give the contestants more information to take away from the experience to learn. Tonight’s theme was “Made in America” but I really did not understand it at all. I spotted Brian Friedman (from So You Think You Can Dance) doing some of the choreography.

Demi Lovato‘s Young Adults

Contestant: Paige Thomas
Twitter @PaigeAva
Song: “What is Love” by Haddaway

My thoughts: Paige was sporting a freshly shaved head and a wild costume that resembled a shiny version of something that gets stuck between my dog’s paws all the time. She had a hard time keeping breath control while singing and dancing, which is incredibly difficult to do. Otherwise her notes were on key and she was entertaining.

The judges: L.A. Reid did not like the song choice, but thinks she is a star. Simon and Britney also loved it.

Paige Thomas’ headpiece

Contestant: Jennel Garcia
Twitter: @JennelGarcia
Song: “Home Sweet Home” by Motley Crue

My thoughts: Since Jillian Jensen did not make it into the top 16, Jennel was my second favorite. Maybe my expectations were too high. She looked beautiful and loved her makeover. The stage was just too big for her small frame. She needs to work on her performance as well. Her vocal was just okay, not stunning.

The judges: LA Reid said it was a 10. Britney said she rocked it out and she loved it. Simon said she just defined the theme, “Made in America” but also thought Demi was trying to clone her in her image. Demi was so proud of her.

Jennel Garcia

Contestant: CeCe Frey
Twitter: @CeCeMissXToTheO
Song: “Because the Night” by Patti Smith

My thoughts: I like that the spots are gone. I was okay with her blonde hair. The make-up and the way she performed, she reminded me too much of a Lady Gaga wannabe. Perhaps a combination of nerves and dancing, she was pitchy and notes I know she could have belted out if she was just standing still, she could not do.

The judges: LA Reid said vocally it was not great. Britney said she loved her performance but vocals were weak at times. Simon Cowell said he likes her because she is fearless and interesting, but it was not the best vocal. Demi even said she knows she can do better vocally.

CeCe Frey

Contestant: Willie Jones
Twitter: @ThatKiddWill
Song: “Here for the Party” by Gretchen Wilson

My thoughts: Willie is a nice guy. It was okay. His outfit did not say “country music.” It looked more like Las Vegas lounge singer of the early 1970’s.

The judges: LA Reid thought it was an “adequate performance.” Britney said he was a true star. Simon thought it was silly and cheap. Demi was proud.

Willie Jones

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Britney Spears‘ Teens

Contestant: Arin Ray
Twitter: @ArinRaySings
Song: “You Keep Me Hanging On” by The Supremes

My thoughts: The stage swallowed him up even with the dancers surrounding him, or maybe he seemed amateurish because the dancers were better? It could be that the dancers hurt him.

The judges: L.A. Reid thought he was slightly off with the tune. Demi thought he was a little stiff. Simon (agrees with me) thinks the dancers were a bad idea. Britney, of course, loved it.

Arin Ray

Contestant: Diamond White
Twitter: @DiamondKWhite
Song: “Hey Soul Sister” by Train

My thoughts: Her vocals were extremely pitchy and they were very rough. It was a bad song choice for her voice. I was expecting better from her because she has a lot of talent.

The judges: LA Reid said it was robotic, mechanical. Demi said the song choice was great but Diamond was a little reserved. Simon said she had some tuning issues, but she had massive improvement since they last saw her.

Diamond White

Contestant: Beatrice Miller
Twitter: @BeatriceMiller
Song: “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz

My thoughts: Most of the song was in her lower range and her lower range is horrid. She is also just singing because there is no way at her tender age that she could know the depth of love of which Jason Mraz writes. It was a bad vocal (extremely flat or sharp). She looked petrified.

The judges: LA Reid said he believes her and he loves her. Demi was impressed. Simon said the style was right but there were tuning issues/nerves. Britney said she was a true star.

Beatrice Miller

Contestant: Carly Rose Sonenclar
Twitter: @CarlyRoseMusic
Song: “Good Feeling” by Flo Rida

My thoughts: She needs to stop touching her hair with her left hand, but other than that distraction I thought she did a great job. Her lower register needs work. She sings the words, but does not feel the words.

The judges: LA Reid thought she has a beautiful voice but did not feel like she was having fun. Demi thought she has one of the best voices but she was not having fun. Simon said he didn’t feel like she was connecting to the song. Britney thought it was amazing, a great, great job.

Carly Rose Sonenclar

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L.A. Reid’s Over 25’s

Contestant: David Correy
Twitter: @DavidCorrey
Song: “My Love is Your Love” by Whitney Houston

My thoughts: I’m being hypercritical here, but I thought his pants were too saggy in the crotch. He is also doing that shaking of the right hand again when he is trying to put emphasis on his vocals. It is distracting. But when I close my eyes and just listen to him, I thoroughly enjoy his voice.

The judges: Britney loved it. Demi thought it was pretty good. Simon thought his performance was manic. L.A. Reid said it was really good.

David Correy

Contestant: Vino Alan
Twitter: @VinoAlan
Song: “Gotta Be Somebody” by Nickelback

My thoughts: His lower range was horrid. LA Reid picked a bad song for his voice. It was pitchy. This is not the Vino who wowed me in the auditions. And what’s up with his pants?

The judges: Britney said it was really good but she was a little bored. (Okay). Demi was rooting for him, but the beginning was shaky. Simon said the song arrangement for him was wrong. He is a soul singer not a rock singer.

Vino Alan

Contestant: Tate Stevens
Twitter: @TateStevensCtry
Song: “Tough” by Craig Morgan

My thoughts: I don’t like country music, but if I had to choose this type of song over a twang-like-thang that Sister C delivers, I prefer this because it soothes me versus my hair standing up on the back of my neck. I can relate to him. He emotes and connects. He has had a lifetime of experience to draw upon during his songs.

The judges: Britney said it was amazing. Demi said she was bored at the beginning but he stood on his own and gave her chills. Simon Cowell thought he was a good, honest man, a definite keeper. LA Reid thought it was really good.

Tate Stevens

Contestant: Jason Brock
Twitter: @JasonBroccoli
Song: “Dance Again” by Jennifer Lopez

My thoughts: Were there any other lyrics in this song than “dance again?” I was entertained, but would Jason be accepted as a mainstream pop star? Probably not. I do see a wonderful career for him on Broadway.

The judges: Britney said it was entertaining. Demi felt it was not the right song choice and he needed more sass. Simon likes him but everything about this performance was wrong. LA Reid enjoyed him and called Simon a hater.

Jason Brock

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Simon Cowell‘s Groups

Contestant: Sister C (Cirby, Carli and Celbi)
Twitter: @OfficialSisterC
Song: “Hell on Heels” by Pistol Annies

My thoughts: Simon Cowell hates country music week on Idol, so to have a country music group is odd. When Simon tells them that they are not connecting with the audience, one of them says that they think it is because they don’t have a “sob story”, that they have been blessed. Actually they come across to me as those girls in high school who are stuck up. I don’t like their vibe. I hate the “twang.” I hate most of country music. But judging strictly on their performance, I feel no warmth from them, like they are just singing the words and not feeling them. And then I thought about it–because they have been blessed in their life (and that is always a wonderful thing), most singers have to channel from their road of pain, grief, love, all the extremes of life, living in a car in order to make a living — whatever. That is their missing element (even despite my dislike of the twang and dislike in general of country music. And what was Simon thinking having them sing their audition song again?

The judges: L.A. Reid said it was good but did not like that it was a repeat of their audition song. Britney liked it. Demi said they seemed stiff and they were lacking performance. Simon, of course, thought it was a fantastic performance.

Sister C

Contestant: Lyric145
Twitter: @Lyric145
Song: Mash up of “Boom Shake the Room” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince and “Gangnam Style” by Psy

My thoughts: I was entertained. Lyric Da Queen is the star of this group. I loved the energy and was grooving in my chair to the rhythm.

The judges: LA Reid thought the soul was taken out of them. Britney was genuinely entertained. Demi had so much fun. Simon Cowell thought they were sensational.


Contestant: Formerly LYLAS, now 1432, which means “I Love You Too”
Twitter: @1432
Song:  “We are Never Ever Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift

My thoughts: They need some work in being a group but they sounded good for only being together a short time. I don’t like Taylor Swift songs, so I tuned it out.

The judges: LA Reid said it sounded like karaoke. Britney said their energy drew us in. Demi said 1 person in the group shined and when pressed by Khloe to name names, she said Camila. Simon thought it was fantastic.

1432, formerly known as LYLAS

Contestant: Emblem3
Twitter: @EmblemThree
Song: “One Day” by Matisyahu

My thoughts: I never particularly cared for these guys during the audition process. They looked like they were not taking things seriously. I thoroughly enjoyed this performance. Their vocals were great. Their command of the stage was great. I would say they are keepers.

The judges: LA Reid said he hated to say it but Simon got it right this time. Britney thought it was great. Demi has a crush on them and she was swooning. Simon said they were future superstars.


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My picks for going home

From Simon’s group, time to say goodbye to Sister C. In Britney’s group, it is going to depend on her strategy, but I would say Arin Ray or Beatrice Miller is in danger. In LA Reid’s group, I think Vino is in danger (and he should not be because it was a bad song choice). In Demi’s group, I think Willie might be in danger, but I would have picked Jennel because I do not think she did as well as the judges heard in that theater. It pains me to say that since she is my second favorite contestant.

Who are your picks to leave tonight?