SYTYCD 9: Top 16 Perform & Two Get Eliminated

Tonight is a night FULL of dance folks! Not only will I be recapping the episode for you in a few minutes, but I also scored advanced screening tickets to see the latest film in the Step Up franchise, Step Up Revolution. WOW. What a drastic improvement over the third installment. What the film is once again needless show in 3D, the dancing is phenomenal and the cameos from some of the best SYTYCD alumni were brilliant. The movie stars one of the most memorable contestants from So You Think You Can Dance, Kathryn, and supported by Twitch and the infamous Mia Michaels even makes an appearance. Christopher Scott also had a brief stint iat the end of the film and my dancer crush was instantly reconfirmed. That man is solid gold hotness. The film officially hits theatres this Friday and you HAVE to check it out. If you love dance as an art form, you’ll love this movie. It’s cheesy to the max, but deep down, that’s really the best part.

On with the show! I’m back in the driver seat after Adam graciously stepped in to fill my shoes for two weeks while I was on the road for business. Thankfully my job takes me to awesome places live Comicon 2012 down in San Diego, but I’ll leave those details for another article. This week we’re treated to the top sixteen dancers performing once again for America’s votes. Cat Deeley looked gorgeous as introduced the opening routine performed by the complete group of sixteen, danced to The Here and After by Jun Miyake. I absolutely loved the black and white effect with the one red umbrella. The routine was stunning and danced really well for such a large ensemble. After the top sixteen were introduced, Cat made two big announcements.

Opening Number

Song: “The Here and After” – Jun Miyake
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio

The first big announcement was that the show is taking a two-week hiatus to make room for the 2012 London Olympics (as the rates drop across the board for all channels during this time period, so it’s actually a smart move). Secondly, two more dancers would be leaving the competition again tonight (duh). Joining Screamin Mary and Skeletor on the judging panel tonight was celebrity guest judge, back for a second round, Christina Applegate. HECK YEAH! Did you know she’s an Emmy winner? I didn’t. Huh!

Tiffany & George

Genre: Hip Hop
Song: “Out of my Mind” by B.O.B. and Nicki Minaj
Choreographer: Nappy Tabs

The first couple to hit the stage was Tiffany and George, taking on Nappy Tabs hip-hop routine! The perfect way to start the night! The performance was danced to Out Of My Mind by B.o.B. feat. Nicki Minaj. I loved seeing these two so far out of their element. This routine actually demonstrated that these two aren’t simply one-trick-Contemporary-ponies. I really enjoyed this piece, and I can’t really say why…maybe it was the perfect pairing of dancers, coupled with a solid track and brilliant costumes. Sadly, Christina Applegate didn’t really add much to the judging panel, except for coining the term ‘soupier’. We’ll see if that catches on…

Amber & Brandon

Genre: Jazz
Song: “Dr. Feelgood (Love is Serious Business)” – Aretha Franklin
Choreographer: Ray Leeper

The second couple to take to the stage was Brandon and Amber. Cool fact of the night, Brandon is in the MAIN crew from Step Up Revolution! I’m gonna see him dance TWICE tonight! This is new pairing this week, dancing a Ray Leeper dance routine. Alright SYTYCD, about time we saw a new choreographer showcase their work! The piece was performed to Dr. Feelgood (Love is Serious Business) by Aretha Franklin. Preach it! Holy smokes, watching Amber dance tonight I instantly thought I was watching Sasha all over again, from last season’s run. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing? As for Brandon, he definitely stepped up his game tonight, but his technique was nowhere near as good as Amber. He was a fantastic partner during the lifts; however, this show is about so much more. Amber 1, Brandon 0. After the performance, I don’t know if was just the feed I was watching but Christina’s words were BLEEPED out when she was saying ‘Jesus’. Is that really something that gets edited out on American television?!

Janelle & Dareian

Genre: Cha Cha
Song: “Call Me Maybe” – Carly Rae Jepsen
Choreographer: Pasha Kovalev

The next couple to take to the stage was Dareian and Janelle taking on a Latin ballroom routine from SYTYCD alumni, Pasha. YES!! What could make this routine even better? Setting the routine to CALL ME MAYBE BY CARLY RAE JEPSEN! I kid you not, this will absolutely be the highlight of the night for me, and I’m calling it before the routine even begins. This song can do no wrong in my books. It was incredibly smart of Pasha to pair this routine to one of the biggest songs of the summer to help both dancers pull in the votes. Was it the best dancing of the night? Absolutely not. Was the song amazing, and was I dancing in my chair? Hells yeah! Thank you SYTYCD. You did well.

Lindsay & Cole

Genre: Contemporary
Song: “Wild Horses” – Charlotte Martin
Choreographer: Mandy Moore

The fourth couple to take to the stage and perform for America’s votes was Lindsay and Cole, taking on a Mandy Moore Contemporary routine. I was wondering when Mandy would be making her first appearance this season, and I’m so happy that these two dancers landed this choreography. I hope they kill it! Mandy pieced the routine together with Wild Horses by Charlotte Martin. I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I just didn’t love it. Yes, the piece was stunning and danced really well by both Lindsay and Coly; however, there just wasn’t anything new to the piece and I’m just getting a little numb to this style. What’s happening to me? Nigel took the time out to congratulate the LIGHTING TEAM for getting an Emmy nomination before he critiqued the dancers. Ridiculous. That’s all.

SIDE NOTE: I do think it’s great that this show racked up six Emmy nominations. I don’t think it’s great that they talk about it all the time like they’ve already won. Skeletor, stop it.

Amelia & Will

Genre: Jazz
Song: “You!” – The Creatures
Choreographer: Mandy Moore

The next couple to take to the stage was my favsies girl Amelia and her partner Will. They selected a Mandy Moore jazz routine, and I’m REALLY hoping that this second routine of the night will dazzle me. Come on Mandy! The piece was performed to You! by The Creatures. Now THAT’S a Jazz routine worth talking about! Amelia absolutely stole the show for me. Her quirkiness fit perfectly with the choreography and soundtrack. Nick did a good job to keep up, but I definitely found myself watching Amelia 85% of the time. She. Was. Brilliant. I really hope I see her sail all the way through to the top two dancers, and walking away with the win!

Audrey & Matthew

Genre: Salsa
Song: “Cinco Salsa” – Sverre Indris Joner/HSC/Kork
Choreographer: Liz Lira

The sixth couple of the night to take to the stage was Audrey and Matthew (sigh). These two were taking on a Liz Lira Salsa routine, and I’m really worried that this is going to turn into one hot mess on the stage! The piece was danced to Cinco Salsa by Sverre Indris Joner/HSC/Kork. That’s a tough one to find on iTunes. Unfortunately I wasn’t far off with my hot mess comment. I just wasn’t able to connect with this routine or appreciate the dancing, as the song and the atrocious outfit Matthew was forced to wear threw me off. What were those pants? Ugh, these two could have been so much better off if they hadn’t selected this style of routine from the apparent ‘board of dances’ each week. Sorry kids, this just wasn’t your night!

Witney & Chehon

Genre: Contemporary
Song: “I Will Always Love You” – Whitney Houston
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey

The next couple to perform was Whitney and Chehon, who were saved from elimination last week, taking on the second Contemporary routine, this time choreographed by Stacey Tookey (who looks a heck of a lot like Mandy Moore I might add). The piece was performed to the late Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You. I love the tidbit of information that Whitney (the contestant) was named after Whitney Houston. Amazing. From the first note of the song I was in love with this routine. Mandy Moore did this song justice. The routine was hauntingly beautiful and I felt as if I was watching the climactic dance routine at the end of a movie. Incredible. I don’t want this piece ruined by Nigel’s voice, so I skipped over the judge’s critiques entirely. I did see the judges giving the two dancers a standing ovation while I fast forwarded, so that’s at least a good sign! My mind has been changed back to good in regards to Contemporary routines.

Eliana & Cyrus

Genre: Hip Hop
Song: “Toxic”—District 78 feat. Cheesa
Choreographer: Tabitha and Napoleon D’umo

The last couple of the night was Eliana and Cyrus taking on the second Nappy Tabs hip-hop of the night. The piece was performed to Toxic by District 78 feat. Cheesa. I’ll start with loving this song for 100 Alex! I love a Britney remix ANYDAY. I’ll follow that up with my compliments. What a beautiful way to end the night. The tutting in this routine was spot on and created to play off Cyrus’ strengths, and that it did. Eliane was RIGHT THERE with him though, and that’s the best part of this show. When a dancer WAY out of their element comes in and destroys a style they’ve never danced before. Once again the judges were on their feet, and I definitely felt this routine deserved the praise.

After the performances wrapped up, we once again found ourselves at the difficult point of the evening; eliminations time. Who would make up the bottom three girls and boys tonight? Would one of your favourite dancers find themselves in danger?

All the contestants were instantly brought on the stage (no commercial break needed) to learn their fates. The bottom three girls were Amber, Lindsay and Eliana. The bottom three boys were George, Brandon and Darian. Am I surprised? I’m not sure, as I can’t remember the routines from last week at all. I’m sad to see Brandon in the bottom three for the boys, and Lindsay for the girls, but the rest of the dancers seem to make sense.

Bottom 3 Guys & Girls (Dance 4 Your Life Solos)

With half an hour left in the show, we’re going to see Amber, Eliana, Brandon and Darian hit the stage one more time each to perform solos. That seemed like a strong indication that both Lindsay and George were safe regardless, which was a little harsh for the judges to leave them out of the ‘dance for your life’ portion of the night. Definitely unfair bias shining through Skeletor…

After the solo performances, we were forced to watch a filler performance before learning the fate of the dancers in the bottom three girls and boys. The piece was called The Hunt and danced by aggressively strong men in long black skirts. This was by far one of the most bizarre routines ever to be performed on a So You Think You Can Dance stage. Did anyone understand what was happening? The awkward pairings at the end had an oddly homo-erotic feeling to it as well, which I’m sure was not intentional…

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – “The Hunt”

After all THAT we find ourselves at the elimination stage of the night, starting with the girls. After Skeletor rambles on and on about people getting votes, but just not as many as the rest of the contestants, he sent Amber home, saving Lindsay and Eliana to safety and the chance to perform next week. The boys immediately followed, with George being saved right out of the gate. This left Brandon and Dareian on the chopping block, and after the phenomenal solos, Dareian managed to convince the judges to keep him around for another week, sending Brandon home.

There you have it folks! Brandon and Amber are leaving the competition, winding us down to the remaining fourteen dancers!

  • Russel

    Is Brandon the one in Step Up Revolution dancing in the first 3 minutes clip? If so, at least he is in the movie!

  • Dan

    That’s him Russel. He’s already landed a pretty sweet dancing gig role prior to this show, so I’d say he’s doing alright as a Stepper!

  • gridlockmanifesto

    Wow! Was “The Hunt” fantastic or what? Their execution was perfect, each dancer similar in height, build and appearance which made the routine seem much more believable. The night wasn’t stunning from beginning to end but there were some real surprised, like how well Amber did, despite being cut. Given how intense the show is now, I started watching the next morning instead of the next evening and then I can talk about the show with my Dish coworkers the next day. When I select the option to watch commercial free with Auto Hop on my PrimeTime Anytime recordings I save enough time to watch while I’m getting ready for work.

  • Yay! Dan is back!! Good lord I thought Idol was hard to recap.. there’s so much going on with a single episode of this puppy with soooo many damn contestants.

    I’m writing my reply as I watch the show ps haha.

    First, ANOTHER hiatus? this is the second of the year on top of the huge format change to once a week… while it makes sense to not compete with the olympics i’ll say it’s lucky this show has such young kids watching or else they’d lose confused viewers.

    LOVED the first dance- thank god the lighting is finally being fixed and attention paid to. Very cool colouring and fun dance.

    Tiffany and & George were fun but i’m (ugh) agreeing with skeletor that this show’s version of hip hop is super bubble gum. also “soupier” was NOT a strong start to the show for the former lil’ miss bundy.

    Amber & Brandon… HOLY.HELL. I was blown away and already think this will be my favourite dance of the night. They are SO sexy together and have such perfect bodies and good god that girl is gorgeous in every way. it was SO sexual (as oppose to “sexy”) and i loved it. also REALLY ?? was that all she said that got her bleeped… it seemed like 5 words were taking out… how can she NOT say jesus christ? good lord fox.. check yourself.

    Janelle & Dareian – i think the only thing that will help them is getting THE most recognizable song of the night. i love janelle … D i’m not the biggest fan of… too short haha.

    Lindsay & Cole – I LOVE a good remix of this song but this was NOT a great cover… bad choice. also that girl needs to control her hair.. dan i DO think i liked this one more than you did but that’s despite cole as he is NOT my fave now that his little personality quirks our coming out E.v.e.r.y. episode. we get it: you want to be an actor. also , SERIOUSLY about the lighting comment..they’ve been getting RAKED over the coals for the past weeks of crap so NOW they actually put some effort in (i’m SURE someone got fired) and while the silhouettes were very cool for this one they do NOT need to keep patting themselves on the back.

    Amelia & Will – WHY do people like the tubby queen so much? i do NOT get the appeal of him… i’ll take brandon any day thank you very much. I don’t think I connected with this one as much as you did dan but i think that might be my aversion to will..

    Audrey & Matthew – BAD night for them. he IS cute but his eyes are too close together.. that said this music was atrocious, the routine was boring, i barely followed it and if they stay in it’ll be because this guy is so hot and that alone…

    Witney & Chehon – Dan!! You were over contemp? they MAKE this show for me. you actually DO need to watch this judge panel cause christina is ADORBES and totally makes up for the rambles leading up to this. this dance was VERYYYYYY good. stacey (sp?) – who totally looks like mandy- was brill and very smart and risky to do something so deep with a whitney song. if adam shankman was up there he would have been BAWLING… which the ladies did themselves. the jump catch fall huge move at the beginning is EXACTLY why i like this show and my favourite type of move- dramatic and dangerous. also, DO watch the women judge.. DO skip skeletor (he talks about TWO more emmy nods or whatever… no joke…)

    Eliana & Cyrus – Brittany.. hip hop.. dub step… robots…. this is mixed concept and i think it was better on paper than in person… i liked the beginning and the cool set up but their timing was on enough for me for a hip hop routine which is ALL about symmetry it seems to me. that says the judges seemed to LOVE it.. Dan i just read you did too… maybe i’m demanding too much expecting them to be perfectly in sync but then DON’T choreograph it that way cause it will never happen with one week of training… christina really picked up the steam towards the end of this show and found her voice and i loved seeing her get past “soupier” 😛

    OKAY. elim time. SO happy to see dance for your life is back… well sort of… amber was BRILL i thought in hers.. too many girls just spin around over and over but i thought she put it out there. Brandon was a bit frenetic but i’m sure people who know dance thought it was great haha . not exactly my style ha. can we talk about eliana’s 80s spandex outfit? is that for real or…? I don’t think her’s was nearly as good as ambers… just imo. then there’s darian who we already know isn’t my fave. he was full of tricks which i always like. his mid air scissor kick spin was insane.. i wonder if flying around will be enough to convince them..? it DID seem a better dance than brandon’s i thought. WEIRD that the better lower dancers didn’t get to dance i agree dan.

    I ABSOLUTELY skipped that weird samurai looking thing by the way.. good to hear it was so creepy.

    SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT amber’s out?!?!! I’m shattered.. i loved her and think she’s the prettiest thing on this show. so ridiculous. And now brandon? the show just got a little less sexy after these votes. that said i didn’t totally love his final solo so not the biggest surprise. they were SOOOO good tonight arrrrgh.

    There we go with my two cents. thanks for the great review dan!!!!