SYTYCD Season 8: Top 16 Performances

Well folks, we’re back on the couch for another night of incredible performances as the top sixteen take to the stage this week after last Thursday’s CRAZEBALLS elimination that saw two guys and two girls leaving the competition. I’ll admit, I was surprised when Ryan made it through when pitted against the lone ballroom dancer, Iveta, in the bottom three; however, I think Nigel had the commonsense to know better after his non-elimination episode in week one blew up in his face.

What could make this show even better? Guest judge Kristin Chenoweth! YEEEESSSSSSSS! I fucking love her (pardon my language)!! I am extremely excited to see what cutie-pie Kristin has to say about the routines and the remaining contestants. I guarantee she’s going to give it to them straight (finally)! I nearly shrieked when Cat Deeley announced that Kristin is releasing a COUNTRY MUSIC ALBUM! YES! Is there anything this girl can’t do?!
Over and above the couple routines that we’re used to seeing, the group of dancers has also been split in half to perform two group routines throughout the night. One of these group routines was up first, performing a Tyce Diorio routine.

SIDE NOTE: DID ANYONE ELSE SEE MY BOY KENT, FROM LAST SEASON, STANDING IN AS AN ASSISTANT TO TYCE?!?! Atta boy!!!!

Sorry for the random side note, but I couldn’t NOT talk about it! Back to dancing though. I hate to say it but I didn’t like the group routine. There were a few good performances, mainly from Ryan and Sasha, but there was a lot of sloppiness and more often than not the dancers were out of sync. Nothing frustrates me more than a lack of focus and keeping a routine clean! On a positive note, I did LOVE Chris’ standing back tuck. I love a random insertion of athleticism and gymnastics into a dance number. That’s all I really have to say about that…

Sasha Mallory & Alexander Fost (Contemporary)

Song: “Belong” – Cary Brothers
Choreographer: Dee Caspery
The first couple to hit the stage and perform as a duo was Sasha and Alexander taking on a Dee Caspary Contempory routine. I love a night that starts with a contemporary dance, it’s usually a really great way to get the audience excited and set the bar for the rest of the performers. The piece was performed to one of my favourite artists on the planet, Cary Brothers, so naturally I was set to love it from the second it started. Wow, Sasha was fantastic in this piece, yet again. Her styling was perfect for this choreography and I truly believed the emotion. Sadly, Alexander was lacking as a partner and even missed placing Sasha in the right position back on the piano. Brutal. I am desperately sad for Sasha as I feel she is pulling her partner along as Alexander continues to drag her down. Skeletor and Mary rambled on for minutes before we finally got Kristin, and her compliments to Sasha were exactly how I feel about her as a dancer. For some reason she liked Alexander and I guess I was watching a different routine!

Caitlynn Lawson & Mitchell Kelly (Samba)

Song: “Put It In A Love Song” – Alicia Keys feat. Beyoncé Knowles
Choreographer: Jean-Marc Généreux
The second couple to perform were Caitlynn and Mitchell tackling a Samba from the wildly obnoxious Jean-Marc Generoux (from So You Think You Can Dance Canada). The piece was performed to Put It In A Love Song by Alicia Keys featuring Beyonce, and that was the only saving grace for this style! Was the routine danced well? Sure. Did Caitlynn look gorgeous? Definitely. Did the two have chemistry at any point in the routine? No. What was the reason? Mitchell being a gay man with crazy feminine hip movements and it completely distracting from Caitlynn’s movements!! What did Kristin have to say about the whole thing? ‘SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. SHUT THE BACK DOOR. SHUT THE DOOR TO THE GARAGE.’ Thank goodness for her humour!

Miranda Maleski & Robert Taylor, Jr. (Broadway)

Song: “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” – Sophisticated Ladies
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Up next on the stage were Miranda and her partner Robert dancing a Broadway routine from Tyce Diorio. I really like the premise of Miranda playing an ‘upper class working girl’. I guess they didn’t want to say prostitute on prime time TV! I hate to continually be negative, but this just wasn’t good. I’ve never been a Broadway fan and this particular routine reminded me of my dislike for this style. Kristin claimed that earlier in the rehearsals she wasn’t fond of this piece; however, she changed her tune after seeing them perform in costume. Well Kristin, I definitely didn’t feel the same way. The one positive note I will toss out is Miranda’s abilities as a dancer. Her technique is incredible and her aerial cartwheel was superb! Realistically I shouldn’t fault the dancers for bad choreography, but sadly there is not a lot else that America will be judging them on.

Melanie Moore & Marko Germar (Lyrical Hp-Hop)

Song: “I Got You” – Leona Lewis
Choreographer: Nappytabs
The fourth couple to take to the stage was Melanie and Marko, my absolutely favourite couple in the competition. These two gems pulled a Hip Hop routine from Tabitha & Napolean and I am SOOOOOO excited to see these two tackle an emotional hip hop number. Sigh. The dance was performed to I Got You by Leona Lewis. I knew these two would absolutely nailed this number, and the kiss in the middle of the piece was executed flawlessly! I believe every second of this number and I continue to fall in love with these two after each routine they perform on the So You Think You Can Dance stage. The piece complimented these two dancers beautifully and I loved the look on Melanie’s face from start to finish. What did Kristin have to say? Sadly, I didn’t get to it as SKELETOR decided to lean over and plant a kiss on Mary. Disgusting! What was Cat’s response to this nightmare? “It was like walking in on your mother and father.” I couldn’t agree more Cat! After that atrocity, Kristin gave one of the most amazing and heartfelt critics, followed by laying a huge kiss on fellow judge, Lil’ C. Hilar-BALLS!

Ashley Rich & Chris Koehl (Jazz)

Song: “Lights Go Down” (District 78 remix) – Telepathe
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
The fifth couple to perform was my girl Ashley and Chris, who has quickly become one of my favourite men in the competition. The two selected a Sonya Tayah routine and I was SOOO pumped to see what they do with this Zombie themed piece! Hot DAMN this performance was stellar. The technique was outstanding and quite possibly the best we saw all night. I’ll admit, it probably won’t end up being a fan favourite as the song and theme were a bit wild, but I really hop these two live to see another week. Skeletor then went on a ramble about American Idol, like a tool, and complained about not connecting with the music and the piece lacked in character and connection. Hey Skeletor, your old-balls and sixty years old, get over yourself. Mary tried to save some face for his ridiculous comments and I’ll admit she did a good job bringing the crowd back around to loving this pair. Thank goodness! Kristin then went on to drop a Paula Abdul comment, which was absolutely brilliant, and for that, I love her to death. Kristin also called out Ashley as being one of her favourite’s as well – HECK YEAH we think alike!

Clarice Ordaz & Jess Leprotto (Foxtrot)

Song: “Fly Me to the Moon” – Frank Sinatra
Choreographer: Jean-Marc Généreux
Clarice and Jess were next on the stage, and I audibly groaned when this segment started. Sorry folks, but I’m so frustrated that these two were saved from elimination in week one. These two luckily selected a Jean-Marc Fox Trot routine, which should play in to Jess’s Broadway talents. I’ll graciously award Jess a compliment and say his technique and rise-and-falls for this style were well executed. Clarice did an okay job as well, for a girl dancing far out of her style. Would people remember this routine at the end of the night for them to rake in enough votes to keep them safe? I still doubt it. Mary loved it and Kristin had nothing but praise for these two, including calling it her favourite performance of the night, so if you believe these two judges over my critic, then grab your phone and vote!!

Ryan Ramirez & Ricky Jaime (Contemporary)

Song: “With Every Heartbeat” (Acoustic) – Robyn
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
The next couple to perform was Ricky and Ryan performing a Sonya Tayeh routine, and I’m super excited to see these two embody this style of choreography. The song choice was epic too – THE ACOUSTIC VERSION OF WITH EVERY HEARTBEAT BY ROBYN! Dying. Wow, was this performance stunning. It had a large part to du with my absolute desperate love for this song, and the combination of words and movement were outstanding. Goodness me, I just had to watch that three times through to let it fully sink in. And the make-up less look for Ryan made me love it even more, as the true emotion of the piece was shown through her face. Love, love, love this number. Thank you So You Think You Can Dance for putting this on TV. Kristin had nothing bad to say, and heaped praise which was rightfully deserved on both dancers.

Jordan Casanova & Tadd Gadduang (Hip-Hop)

Song: “Memories” (FMIF Remix) – David Guetta feat. Kid Cudi
Choreographer: Nappytabs
The last couple to take to the stage was Jordan and her partner Tadd. The also chose Hip Hop with Nappy-Tabs, and performed to Memories by David Guetta featuring Kid Cudi. I absolutely loved the concept of two people waking up after a one-night-stand, realizing what they’ve done and instantly regretting it. I didn’t like the endless clothing changes throughout the piece, as it completely distracted from the dancing. To be fair, that might have been a good thing, as I didn’t love the steps in this number. Kristin Chenoweth referred to the routine as a dessert for a night of great dancing, and I definitely think it was a good way to wrap up the couples’ routines.

The final group performance of the night was choreographed by Dee Caspary and was performed to Poison & Wine by The Civil Wars. Wow, now THIS was an incredible way to end the night. This piece was FUCKING amazing, and the song was the perfect accompaniment. I couldn’t take my eyes off Melanie, and every time she came together with Chris I found myself aching from jealousy at their abilities. Absolutely stunning. Ashley was fantastic in this number as well! I am so excited to see who survived this week!

Bottom three couples:

  • Caitlynn and Mitchell (sadly, I don’t think they had enough to make it through)
  • Miranda and Robert
  • Clarice and Jess

My nomination for routine of the night (to add a little positive twist in the middle of bad news) goes to Ryan & Ricky.

The male and female dancers leaving the competition this week:

Clarice and Robert. That’s my opinion folks and I’m sticking to it!

  • Terry Jaxxon

    Hi Dan! Great recap.
    Melanie and Marko — fucking love this couple. Melanie for the win!!!
    Ricky and Mitchell — they are sooooo gay, it’s hard to buy into their love affairs. IMO, they cannot pull off the characters.
    Ashley and Chris — it pains me, hard, to agree with skeletor, but i just didn’t connect with this one. I liked it a little better the second time i watched it, but only marginally.
    Sasha and Alexander — completely agree with you Dan, he is holding her back. She’s awesome, and he’s stiff as a board. and not in a good way! 😉

  • Mike

    DAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Loving this weeks recaps…but no videos?? =/
    I missed the show last night

  • Dan

    Hi Terri! Thanks for the added thoughts. If Melanie doesn’t win this season, I think I might just lose my mind!!

    Mike – The videos are up now! Sorry, there was a small miss when posting the article but it’s up now! Enjoy. Looking forward to what you have to say about the routines!!

  • Tyrell

    DAN! I cannot believe you didn’t comment on Nigel kissing Lil C!!! For all those (Adam) who think SYTYCD hides the gay, not anymore, Nigel clearly went in for some male lip locking.

  • Terry Jaxxon

    Dan… I meant to ask your opinion or insight into the choreographers. I noticed the past two episodes have only had a couple/three choreographers that choreograph two dances.. rather than several choreographing different dances. I liked the several approach (Travis, Tyce, Sonya, Nappytabs, etc) during the night which offered more variety and artistic styles. Thoughts?

  • Dan

    Hey Tyrell – you’re right, I totally forgot to add that in!! To be honest, I think my mind put that memory in a far back corner and refused to acknowledge that it truly happened…

  • Mike

    Thanks for the videos Dan..here are my thoughts

    SASHA – She was awesome! She kills it in every dance..I actually think she is better than your fav Melanie. (notice how I am not even going mention Alexander = useless

    CAITLYN & MITCHELL – I actually liked it. I am fan of that ballroom dances. Both did a good job, but I agree with you, Mitchell; shook his ass WAAAAY more and actually BETTER

    MIRANDA & ROBERT – I love this chick! once again I agree with ya. I can’t keep my eyes off her when they dance. He was ok…he can go already!

    MELANIE & MARKO – I actually love this couple, BUT I dont think Melanie killed it like she has in the past. STILL it was cute and the storyline was belivable…Marko looked adorable!

    ASHLEY & CHRIS – I liked the dance, fun, creative and interesting..Another girl I like…Chris is just “eh” to me

    CLARICE & JESS – uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuughhhhhhhh!! GO HOME!

    RYAN & JAIME – Perfect!! Very cool use of that fabric!! Fav routine!

    JORDAN & TADD – I biased cuz I think Tadd is F*cken HOT!!! Seeing him without his shirt is yummy! Cool routine and you gotta give them credit! very creative and difficult!

    GOING HOME *IN MIKE’S PERFECT WORLD*:
    Alexander & Clarice!!

  • Dan

    Mike – In a perfect world, I agree with the two people who should be leaving!

    Terry – I’m torn on the multiple dances from the same choreographer each week, but I have to assume it’s due to availability of the choreographers. Guaranteed SYTYCD isn’t paying Travis as much as he’s worth to develop amazing performances week after week. With that said, I would definitely like to see a few more names added to the weekly roster, such as Mandy Moore, a Mia Michael’s routine, and a little less of Jean Marc.

    Anyone in particular you would like to see choreograph more Terry?

  • Gabriel

    Both Sasha and Melanie/Marko are brilliant! HOWEVER, Alexander needs to go the f*ck home. He is no where near Sasha and she is carrying dead weight through the competition…

  • Gabriel

    I just re-watched Ashley and Chris’ routine and it is one of my favorites of the night…Ashley’s extensions are in-freakin-sane and Chris is showing some great technique for someone who has limited technical training. He is obvi a hard worker.

  • Robyn

    I cannot take my eyes off of Melanie… Even in the group routines. She just outshines everyone.
    I thought the performances this week were better than last and Ryan definitely redeemed herself but I’m still not a fan… can’t quite put my finger on it. I also loved most (except Tyce… really?!) of the music choices this week. Acoustic Robyn.. c’mon!
    My almost 8 year old came running from the other room when she heard Kristin’s voice… “GLINDA?” And she would hear no other judges comments except “Glinda’s”. We love her too.

  • I’m only 40mins in but HAD to comment… MELANIE FOR THE WIN.. no joke, the producers want her to win and I want her to win.. unless this horsie breaks her leg she’s going for the gold with NO ONE near by as far as I’m concerned.

  • Dan

    Robyn – I LOVE that your little 8 year old ran into the room and knew Kristin as Glinda!! That’s AWESOME!!!