SYTYCD 9: Top 6 Perform & Two Are Eliminated

Howdy folks, I’m back in the driver’s seat again after Adam took over the reins while I spent over two weeks gallivanting around Europe and dancing to my heart’s content CC Blooms in Edinburgh, complete with an epic “Call Me Maybe” CRJ dance off! A HUGE thanks to Adam who killed the reviews each week, and may actually be a little better than I am at recapping these episodes. Could it be so? Perhaps we should both do the recap each week and see how our comments flush out without knowing each other’s responses first? Thoughts folks?!

I have to admit, I just blew threw the last two recap articles to learn who did what, and who managed to squeak through to the top six performing tonight. Due to all the disruptions this season with both the airings and the new format, I really haven’t connected with any of the new dancers and find myself routing for Alison each week as if she still has a chance at winning. Believe me, I wish that were the case. Sadly, I think this is the last season for the show, as my this point Nigel is usually boasting about the next season already being picked up and talks of where the auditions will be held. Stealing the words from a lot of the comments last week, it really pisses me off that the judges are still deciding who stays and goes. This has now become, “So Nigel Thinks You’re The Best Dancer”. Lame to the max.

The night started off with Cat Deeley looks weirdly bohemian chic in her getup, reminding us that next week is the performance finally and only four dancers would be making it through. Let’s not forget the other ridiculous twist this year; there will be two winners. Co-winners. That’s right. Haven’t you always wanted to be there person that said you were the co-best? Especially when this competition is supposed to be based on the total number of votes, and the odds if it actually being a tie is almost impossible? Yeah, cool, me too. Joining Skeletor and Screamin’ Mary on the judge’s panel this week was Christina Applegate AGAIN. Clearly Gaga wasn’t available.

We kicked off the night with the typical group routine with all six dancers hitting the stage and right out of the gate I didn’t see myself really routing for anyone tonight. My early predictions are Cole, Whitney, and Cyrus making it through to the finale. The last spot is a wild card that I’d like to see go to Chehon and the show finally do something original by putting three boys through. Too much for old, biased Skeleter? I’m willing to bet it won’t be a shocking announcement at the end of the episode!

Also, is anyone still fooled into thinking the opening number is actually performed live and the dancers are able to make it back stage, strip of all the crazy make up and costumes and get into their street attire to run out? Yeah, me too. The performance was to “Scream” by Kelis and choreographed by Sonya Tayeh.

UGH. Cat then immediately went on to ruin my night by announcing the final six would be dancing THREE times each tonight. I seriously want to scream at the TV with the amount of nonsense being crammed into these episodes! I won’t be commenting on their solos, as I just don’t have the patience and I feel each dancer deserves to give it their all without me harping all over them. And I’m hella lazy.

Tiffany Maher & Benji Schwimmer

Genre: Jive
Song: “What I Like About You” by – Lillix
Choreographer: Jean-Marc Généreux

Okay, this is absolutely the WORST way to start off the night in my opinion. COME ON! For all you Canadian readers, could there be anything worse that listening to Jean-Marc ramble on and on again?! I thought we were rid of him when SYTYCDC ended. Anyway, on to the critique. Tiffany was lucky to have season two winner Benji as her partner, as I’m sure a ton of viewers from seven years ago are still watching and willing to cast another vote her way, simply by association. Man oh man; I really have nothing nice to say about this routine. It was incredibly forgettable, and better suited for Dancing with the Stars, IMHO. The judges were on their feet as someone had lit their chairs on fire (that’s the only reason I can think of them getting up).

Whitney then took to the stage to perform her ballroom solo.

Cole Horibe & Melanie Moore

Genre: Jazz
Song: “Too Close” by Alex Care
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh

Cole once again pulled the lucky straw out of the bag, landing last season’s winner, Melanie as his partner to tackle a Sonya Tayeh Jazz number. Ridiculously awesome. From this routine I was instantly reminded as to why Melanie won it all last year. Her style and technique is absolutely out of this world, and she was built to embody Sonya’s complex dance characters. Unfortunately, I don’t feel as those Cole rose to Melanie’s level this week. He tried to bring out a softer side and it just didn’t work. Was I the only one?

Chehon was the next soloist to take to the stage and remind everyone why has made it this far.

Stephen “tWitch” Boss & Eliana Girard

Genre: Hip-hop
Song: “Please Mr. Postman” (District 78 remix)” by The Marvelettes
Choreographer: Christopher Scott

Hot DAMN do I love me some Christopher Scott. I’ll admit, I was excited to see what he would put together for Eliana and Twitch from season four. The concept for the dance itself was a little goofy, but actually worked really well once the two dancers was in character. I’ll give the classically trained ballerina some credit; she really pulled off the choreography. There were a few times when she pointed her toes when I wish she had been a little harder in her step, but then Twitch popped and everything was right in the world again. Eliana also killed her side aerial flip. Epic routine from my dance crush. Job well done to the trio!

Side note: I could care less about what the judges have to say at this point. Let me know if there were any gems I should have listened to…

Tiffany was up next to perform her Contemporary solo. I loved her song choice.

Kathryn McCormick & Chehon Wespi-Tschopp

Genre: Contemporary
Song: “Eli, Eli” (A Walk to Caseara) by Sophie Milman
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio

Wow, did Tyce overdramatize the meaning of this routine. Tradegy and emotion, combined with a suitcase. The best part of this whole routine was Katherine’s performance. While not as full bodied as her lead role in Step Up Revolution (heck yes I threw in that reference), she nailed the character she was forced to portray in this dance. I found myself watching Katherine the entire time and thinking, well that boy is doing a great job of lifting and partnering. Chehon could have easily been replaced by Cole and that piece would have looked the same. For whatever reason, I just wasn’t buying the forced emotion of this piece. Just because someone tells me something is sad and revolves around devastation doesn’t mean I’m going to cry if the story isn’t relatable. And the fact that Mary was crying (oh I paused when I saw her blubbering), pretending to relate to a story about poor people living out of a suitcase while she’s rocking and enormous amount of pearls made me want to vomit.

Cole was up next to perform his martial arts-infused solo.

Witney Carson & Marko Germar

Genre: Lyrical Jazz
Song: “No Nothing” by Curtis & Reinhard feat. Blaire
Choreographer: Ray Leeper

Holy SMOKES! I almost didn’t recognize Marko from last year. He looks WAY different with a shaved head, and I was genuinely excited to see him dance again! Sadly, I wasn’t impressed by this piece. The music and styling/costumes didn’t match the apparent theme that was to depict these two dancers getting married. Why was Whitney in a pink short dress at her apparent wedding? More importantly, why was this choreographer brought onto the show?! This was one of the worst performances of the night and could easily spell the end for Whitney. My earlier prediction of Whitney making it through to next week could be way off.

Eliana was up next to perform her solo. It was by far my favourite of the girls for the night.

Comfort Fedoke & Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer

Genre: Dubstep
Song: “Cinema” (Skrillex remix) by Benny Benassi feat. Gary Go
Choreographer: Christopher Scott

Okay, if this routine wasn’t put together to single handedly get Cyrus through to the finale call me a unicorn and paste a horn to my head. This was so obviously produced, I want to scream. Clearly Skeletor wanted a chance to bring back Cyrus’ roommates and crew, and look like a hero for doing so in the finale. Over the production influence; however, I was still ridiculous stoked to see this routine. I also loved that SYTYCD alumni Phillip was in rehearsals to help Chris Scott teach the routine. Yeah yeah! The music for this piece was CRAZY! For me, the best part of this whole routine was the tutting section right in the middle. Sick was that part hot. The rest of the routine came across as slightly under-rehearsed and a little off sync. Once again the judges were on their feet, in large part due to the confusion induced by Skrillex.

Up next we had Whitney and Chehon coming together for their final performance of the night.

Witney Carson & Chehon Wespi-Tschopp

Genre: Cha-cha-cha
Song: “Where Have You Been” by Rihanna
Choreographer: Jean-Marc Généreux

No no, Cha Cha. No no, Cha Cha Cha. This style of dance on this particular program is absolutely the kiss of death for most dancers. For Whitney, it was her saving grace. Whit needed to perform her own style to have a fighting chance (regardless of Skeletor’s drooling), and she definitely shined in this routine. Sadly, I can’t say the same for Chehon. His technique just wasn’t up to Whitney’s level, and his tank top/flared pants combo simply added insult to injury. This routine just didn’t work, and clearly the dancers were asked to do too much this week, and Chehon wasn’t able to master all of the different styles.

Cyrus was up next to perform his solo. It looked a lot like his performance with Comfort. Just saying.

Cole and Eliana were up next and pretty much won the jackpot with a Mia Michael’s Contemporary routine!

Eliana Girard & Cole Horibe

Genre: Contemporary
Song: “Adagio for Strings” by Brno Philharmonic Orchestra
Choreographer: Mia Michaels

Okay, Mia Michaels is really starting to look like a human cat. Seriously pause the video when she’s on the screen and I dare you not to see it. Mia based this routine on hatred and was inspired by the way rams butt heads. Genius or crazy? I say genius, at least on Eliana’s part! She danced this routine from her head down to her unbelievably flexed toes! Eliana has officially become the dark horse in the competition that everyone now needs to fight to compete with. I had to go back and watch this routine a second time just to see Cole and watch his part of this piece. This was hands down my favourite routine of the night.

Tiffany and Cyrus were up next to take on a Broadway routine. I don’t have a lot to say about that…

Tiffany Maher & Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer

Genre: Broadway
Song: “Treat Me Rough” (Girl Crazy) by Debbie Gravitte
Choreographer: Spencer Liff

…or do I?! Of course! I love trashing hot mess routines! The best part of this routine was Tiffany’s cropped demin jacket complete with shoulder pads. I’m sure there are millions of people out there who enjoyed this routine. I, however, was not one of them. I just don’t buy this style, regardless of how sexual a choreographer tries to make it. Plus, Cyrus just hasn’t truly mastered any style outside of his own and this routine really showed that it’s ridiculous that he’s still in the running.

After all the dancers were finished for the night and before we learned the results, Sebastian Grub and Joel Brown took to the stage to perform an incredibly unique dance piece. One of the performers was confined to a wheel chair, and this routine did an excellent job of showcasing how a human disability can be transformed into a beautiful piece of art. Adam, thoughts? I’m going to leave this wide open for you…

Up next were the results! The girls were up first; Whitney, Tiffany and Eliana. Cat rattled off the routines from last week prior before revealing that Tiffany would be making it through the finale! Wow, I did not see that coming! Either my early prediction, Whitney, or the unofficial dark horse, Eliana, would not be making it through. Dang. Cat then went on to reveal that Eliana would be joining Tiffany in the finale, sending Whitney out for her final curtain call.

Up next were the boys; Cole, Chehon and Cyrus. Wow, I just realize thats alliteration. Random. Anyways, the first boy to learn his fate and making it through to the finale was Chehon. Would it be Cole or Cyrus joining Chehon? DUH! Cyrus! I was spot on with the boys this time around.

There you have it folks, the final four dancers. If I were in Vegas I would be going all in for Cyrus and Eliana to take the final two winner spots. Mark my words.

  • Gabriel

    Great recap (especially your parallel of Mia as “Human Cat”….so true) and as this season comes to a close, I find myself disappointed once again. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I have followed this show faithfully from the beginning and I must say that the production antics have gotten out of hand. There is no way that Cyrus should be in the finale (how does he “randomly” draw DUBSTEP?!?). Even Nigel’s shady rhetoric throughout this season of emphasizing America’s “Favorite” dancer over the BEST dancer. What is the f*cking point of the show to choose winners based on personality, sex appeal and the ability to pull a feeble heartstring…I digress. The Mia Michael’s tribute was the beginning of the end for the series, and I honestly think this may be the end. The consistent format changes, Nigel’s transparent production manipulations and creative choke hold and the show’s decline in ratings seem to mark an inevitable death. This saddens me in that America (the world) needs this sort of mainstream dance exposure. Here’s to hoping for a return to the original SYTYCD OR for a major network to give us a dance competition that shows the diversity of the art without cheapening it.

  • Gian

    Why got Cole got eliminated? He was one of the best dancers this season! Oh well. I hope for Eliana or Chehon to win.

    When I watched Cole and Eliana’s dance routine, it reminded me of Lacey and Sabra’s fox dance on Season 3 finale. Was it just me? Hihi.

  • Mason

    I’m glad I got to see Cole & Eliana dance together, and that Mia gave them something worthy of their talents. Tiffany seems to be peaking, just as Jeanine did. It is possible that SYTYCD will miss a season or two but come back. However, the fact that there are “Vegas Experience” packages in the works suggests the franchise may simply shift to a new platform. Which is great for dancers, but sad for folks like me who look forward to witnessing a showcase of talent every summer. But of course, when all of us commentators point out the worse and it’s not balanced by an eager voting public, Fox (like CTV) will assume it’s time to pull the plug. I hope I’m wrong…

  • Mason

    Almost forgot: Christina Applegate is my favourite guest judge. That just might be because she actually takes dance lessons, and can offer critiques (and compliments) grounded in reality.

  • JimmyMackey

    Eliana is definitely a force to be reckoned with this season and she is getting more and more praise as each episode comes along. I agree that her performance was stupendous this time, like usual. The choreography has been better the last two shows, partly because Mia has had so many numbers. Two hours of a show can be difficult to fit in, in one evening, so I really appreciate that I can watch commercial free with Auto Hop on my PrimeTime Anytime recordings when my Dish coworker comes over. I finish the show in a little over an hour and use the extra time to watch a sitcom.

  • May

    >:(
    I don’t hate Cyrus or anything, but for God’s sake, the premise of the whole show is dancing versatility. It’s admirable that he tries, but an established, varied technical background is supposed to count for something, right? That’s why they send people to choreography in auditions; you’re supposed to prove your technicality right off the bat. Out of all of the couple dances he’s done, maybe two (one of them being the hip hop) have been done well in dance terms. WHAT WHAT WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE

  • Dan

    Gabriel – AMEN!

    Mason – thanks for the commentary, and I agree with you about Christina Applegate. There were a few times when I stopped fast forwarding to hear her thoughts, and thankfully they weren’t atrocious!

    May – I feel your pain over Cyrus. Put Cyrus into season four and he wouldn’t have even made it through day two of Vegas. ARGH!

  • I’m only 10 minutes in but HAVE to comment (not looking where I shouldn’t in the article or in the comments i promise)..
    One. “So Nigel Thinks You’re The Best Dancer”… HA!!! TOOOOO true dan!
    Two. Thank you SO much for such sweet words about the review I truly appreciate though I can never steal your crown 😉
    Three. This show is ROUGH to review every.single.dance… you are a TOUGH man to take this on mr!
    Four. LOVED the opening act. LOVED it. (“scream” by kelis and looking for best remix now btw… just for you dan! we FINALLY got a good song!!).
    Five. Cat looks AH-maze in her tight orange dress… who pulls off orange!!??
    Six. Chehon SUCKED BALLS at the opening act… watch him closely. I’ve already given up on him and we’re 10 in.

  • Oops! just saw you knew already about the Kelis song haha but we’re on the same wavelength we picked it out as a goodie!!
    Also, weirdly i think i liked the first dance with Benji a LITTLE more than you did… benji is heinous with his terminal gay face but I kind of liked their crazy energy as he tossed her around… that said, i don’t think this girl IS unique enough to win this thing.
    HOWEVER i commmmmpletely agree that fREAKING jean-marc is the WORST thing they could have imported to the states. this guy and his terrifying accent and rants are the worst thing to come out of french canada since poutine (hahaha i said that only to get a rise out of you dan 😉 x

  • Cole and the amazing Melanie… hmmmm I thought melanie had a couple slips but she is near perfection to me so overall awesome. Sonya as well KILLS me every time and they well matched their moves during the coordinated parts which i super love. glad cole was SLIGHTLY ‘softer’ but not his greatest one for sure i agree dan. also christina trying to spell her way around getting bleeped was kinda hilarious.

  • hated chehon’s solo. that’s all i have to say. outfit was HEINOUS and moves were desperate and looked like a gay dancer completely cracked out and dancing for the voices in his head in the middle of the street. … too harsh?

  • just realized you disagreed dan haha i think we’re on different sides of the road a a lot tonight haha.

  • eliana’s standing aerial KILLED me. she REALLY pulled off some good moves in this. christina DID have a pretty good “what do they say on idol? you could sing the phone book? what’s the equivalent for dance.. ?you could dance YMCA for hours in front of me and i’d love it”. it was pretty good.
    Skeletor kinda tore her a part a bit but the comments were ALL about the choreography and nothing about her and he’s COMPLETELY blaming her for it …. freakin’ idiot. she killed the dance she was given. dan you’d LOATHE this review if you like you some chris scott cause he is gettin’ it harsh here and they’re being SUPER indirect and passive aggressive about it :S

  • tifanny’s solo was actually really good but that’s where her type of style shines so i was not too surprised… also HOT guy standing up in her section of the crowd of family fans…. gay sexy brother?!?!

  • Can a dance be TOO dramatic…? sorry but that’s what i’m calling this one out on. dan i haven’t read your commentary yet but while i love hearin’ some maudlin Israeli (?) music .. the constant silent screaming and throwing around of the suitcase was TOO over the top for me. maybe i’m an evil person but it’s fishing for emotions when more subtle would have worked… skeletor “thanking fox” when probably a dozen of its heads would deny the holocaust is a BIT too ridiculous for me. i’m out.

  • dan. i JUST read your review. SOOOO happy we’re back on track!!!! it completely made me feel normal to know you felt the same!!!!

  • I have noooooo memory of Marko… no joke.
    loooooved whitney’s dress and look in this dance. pretty as she’s ever been for sure. the dance was meh. marko could have been anyone and whit wasn’t challenged enough at all considering how late in the game this was. throw away for sure.

  • ummm “death cab for cutie”..???? Eliana JUSt won my heart and i don’t care about anyone else here on in. FACT.

  • Dammmmn dan you are BACK! you call out the crap on this show like no other! (including the pre tapped opening routine which i NEVER picked up on.. you smartie!). this was sooooooo made just to keep this kid on some level that they can claim his staying in this comp is “reasonable” and not producer crap. christina hilariously says this routine was “carved out for him” and i’ll bet she got her ass kicked the second the cameras were off as she revealed something she didn’t realized she was suppose to. the middle of this thing was INSANe but i totally agree they were slightly off sync and it hurt this a lot. HOW has this kid never been bottom two?? he is NOT the best and not even the most personable necessarily… he’s so quiet and seems to try the least out of the remaining guys… arrrgh.

  • omg.. jean marc AGAIN?!?! rihanna too? a bit easy there frenchie.
    WHOOOA huge mistake about 10 seconds into this one… assuming it’s chehon’s fault.. either way i don’t think either of these two deserve the gold ring so not too sad by the flop. the dancing was way lamer than JM’s first routine tonight… this one was easy and boring to watch. fail. (typing this without reading yours dan ! hope you agreed).

  • are you kidding me? cole and eliana get mia for the first time in forever? dear SYTYCD … WHO did you want to win? oh right these two. the ONLY reason i’m not more upset is that i love these two and they ARE the best but commmme onnnnnn SY.. admit to the manipulation. acting like we’re idiots and don’t see it and that this is all “random” is just freaking rude.
    take a note Tyce. THIS is how you do drama. while there WERE screaming faces it was not the insane melodrama that was the nazi regime escape from diorio from earlier on. it wasn’t my FAVE routine ever but the camera operation was outta control on this and there was a LOT of work and production thrown at this puppy and it showed. strong moves, simple dress and hair and big story. this is a winner.

  • cyrus and tiffany… umm i liked their outfits..? also, yeah, the 1950s mix race couple being left home alone.. as gauche as it is to mention not EXACTLY “historically accurate” and kind of something sad to realize and awkward to think about such a bad time…

  • holy.freaking.cow….. COLE IS OUT?!?!?!
    I hate this show and I hate the voters. cyrus? seriously?!?!?!

    just crap. no other words for it. eliana is the only unique talent left. dan i have NO WORDS.

  • oh and comment on the two male dancers…. a little too artsy for me but the guy with the hand shake thing in the air is HOT that i’ll say.

    if cyrus wins this i DO hope this is the final year of this show as “america’s favourite dancer” or whatever they claim this show awards is just plain popularity and back story. just crap.

  • Dan

    Okay – I love seeing my article jump from seven comments to 24, all of which belong you to A-ro.

    First, YOU ATTACK POUTINE?!? COME ON (as Jean-Marc would say) 😉

    Chehon’s solo commentary – I’m dying. And yes, a little harsh.

    I didn’t see Tiffany’s bro during her solo so I’ll have to pop back and watch (I totes FF every solo to save myself from the awfulness – WHOOPS).

    As for your next question, ‘can a dance be too dramatic?’ Yes, yes it can, and this show proved it. Dramatic for now reason, just to say something’s dramatic, makes me hate it.

    As for Marko, he was Melanie’s partner for the first five or six week’s last season. She really helped him to shine! They did the statue dance together…sigh…

    A-ro, I completely agree with you about the Mia/Cole/Eliana routine. Best of the night.

    As for who’s going to win it all, I can’t wait to hear your commentary next Tuesday!!!