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.
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
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
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
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
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
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!