Alright my So You Think You Can Dance friends, I have good news and bad news. The good news is, obviously, we are back. (Bad news to that good news – the Olympics are over and I have to wait 4 more years for all my swimmers to come back on the TV. In the meantime, I’ll troll Tumblr) The SYTYCD related bad news: to make up for all the lost time, Nigel is being cut throat and sending 4 of these lovelies home:

Who will it be? I’m not telling you yet. You have to read (or scroll) through my recap to find out. I prefer if you read it, but whatever…

Tonight, as you may have heard from me and many other sources, is Mia Michaels night on SYTYCD. I think it’s funny it took until Season 9 before Nigel did any sort of theme night a la Idol. But I guess it’s not as easy here… Either way, if you are going to have a dance theme, you can’t do better than Mia Michaels.

However I still remain skeptical that these dancers will live up to their predecessors. Looking at the list of dances we will be seeing tonight, there are some real classics that are as much about the original dancers as they are Mia. I basically shook my head saying “Oh dear…” looking at the songs. I mean they are sacred dances in the SYTYCD canon. But I’m taking a big girl breath and moving on, fingers crossed this entire night isn’t a disaster.

The guest judges sitting along side Nigel Lythoe and Mary Murphy tonight are Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt of the Ballet Boyz.

Of course, we started out with a group routine. Choreographed by NappyTabs. Just kidding. They are busy with that adorable newborn of theirs, London Riley. It was choreographed by Mia, of course. I don’t know what this was supposed to be about. All I know is everyone made out while the guys where hanging upside down from Cirque du Soleil ropes. and then roses fell out of the sky. So that happened…

Eliana & Cyrus – Mercy

(Katee & tWitch – Season 4)

Okay, so this routine, also known as the door routine, is one of my all-time favorites. Katee and Twitch were perfect. And immediately I started dealing with what I feared. These two weren’t bad. They were pretty good. Eliana is a gorgeous dancer and Cyrus seemed to be having more fun than he’s had up until this point. Buuutttt… the whole time I was thinking, “Yeah, I miss Twitch and Katee and need to go YouTube that number now.” And Nigel even basically said that it’s difficult to disassociate from those routines. It’s like he was second guessing this whole idea. What cracked me up is The Ballet Boyz were like “I’ve never seen this dance… I think I’ve heard of this Mia chic though. Where am I? Who did this? Get my agent on the phone!” Clearly, I’m paraphrasing. But I guess it is good there are “fresh” eyes looking at these routines. But it seemed odd to have judges who have NEVER SEEN THIS SHOW. Anyway…

Tiffany & George – Hometown Glory

(Katee & Joshua – Season 4)

Oh, these two – taking on the Season 4 winner and Katee (who very well could have won as she was ridiculously perfect in every way) is quite a big task. I think it may help that as far as all the dancers go they are still probably two of the lesser known ones this season. It also helps that this routine, while popular, isn’t as sacred as some of the others. I think their version was missing a bit. Especially, the assisted run which wasn’t nearly as good (although Mary disagreed… what do I know?). But overall, it was a nicely done routine. If I hadn’t so recently watched the original, I would have loved it. As it is, I liked it. I think The Ballet Boys guy hit it on the nose – it looked more like two solos than anything.

Amelia & Will – Koop Island Blues 

(Randi & Evan – Season 5)

This routine was known as the “butt” routine because Randi’s bum was such a major focus. I think Will could actually do this really well because it requires a certain amount of silliness, which Evan had, and so does he. Obviously. Also, Amelia is very much about the performing, which is needed here. I think that, while an Emmy winning classic routine, these two had a little more room to make it their own.  They did a good job. A bit over the top, but they both danced it really well and handled the character portion nicely. Nigel didn’t love it, but Mary did as did the Ballet Boy they allowed to speak. I think Nigel was a little too obsessed with Randi’s butt to let anything go. (Dirty old man alert!) I’d like to take a moment to say that this night has been really hard to judge! Everyone else think so?

Janelle & Dareian – Dreaming With a Broken Heart

(Kherington & tWitch – Season 4)

I appreciate that immediately Dareian says that living up to tWitch is basically impossible. Because it is. But I think he has a lot of potential to stand out on his own. Janelle too, especailly because she tells Mia she is going through some tough stuff in her relationship right now. Well, I feel like I’m just going to be repeating myself… they did good, just not better than the original. Honestly, they did do really well. I like that they pointed out this routine was more about the male than the female. And that they didn’t have the same connection as Twitch and Kherington. I’m not sure what to really say. I will say this though – the “I have no idea who you dancers are, or who the previous dancers are, and I clearly was not even given notes about any of it” judging from the Ballet Boyz is just frustrating and awkward.

Audrey & Matthew – Time

(Lacey & Neil – Season 3)

This was a gorgeous routine danced originally by two gorgeous dancers. It was the routine about Mia’s dad passing away and is one of the more emotional routines the show has seen. Matt and Audrey did a lovely job, but there some disconnect. I felt like they were dancing – I could see them do the movements. Here’s the thing about the routine, you can’t really critique it too much because there is such meaning behind it for Mia, and Mary too. And Nigel is so close with Mia he takes this all very personally. That being said, there was NO REASON for Nigel to basically attack Matthew and Audrey for not knowing enough about Mia’s life. What was that?? She had, what, a couple hours with them to show them the choreography? Did she give them a full bio before hand and tell them there would be a quiz on national television? I thought it was rude and unnecessary. I get the dance is personal, but come on.

Witney & Chehon – Calling You 

(Heidi & Travis – Season 2)

Ohhhh dear. The Emmy winning bench routine. I don’t care if Mia “tweaks” the choreo. It is sacred. SACRED GROUND. I mean… Travis Wall. TRAVIS. Ugh. I don’t even know. I basically held my breath through the whole thing. Thankfully, they both showed the proper amount of awe in the rehersal footage. As they should. Mia seemed to like it. I thought Witney was a bit smiley for the routine but she was gorgeous. Of course, I don’t think she knows how not to smile. Again, Nigel is obsessed with these darn youngsters not knowing enough about Mia. I get this is a story, no just a dance. But if they didn’t know the story…. Anyway, he liked it. I think they did well. Not as well as the judges seemed to think though.

Lindsay & Cole – Gravity

(Kayla & Kupono – Season 5)

Here’s the thing with the dance. If I hear the song Gravity, I start to cry because of this routine. Seriously. One time I was in the grocery store and it started playing and I had to choke back tears. I may be slightly emotionally unstable. But, if anyone was going to take on this routine, I was actually glad it was these two. Cole, as we know, really gets into character, and he needs to with this one because Kupono nailed it. And after watching the routine, I’m glad we ended on this note. I think they did a tremendous job. Lindsay was fragile and perfect. And Cole did a completely different version of the addiction villain than Kupono which was the smartest decision he could have made. I didn’t compare them. For the first time tonight, I wasn’t thinking, “Oh I miss the other one.” I LOVE the original. But I loved this too. Well done.

Bottom 3 Guys: George, Matt, Dareian

Bottom 3 Girls: Amelia, Janelle, Lindsay

I’m devastated that Matt is in the bottom. I love him. Okay – I’m going to take this opportunity to rant about something else. Yes, I’ve been a bit ranty today. Sorry. I’m not in love with the new set-up. I know, we all don’t like the one night a week routine. But I feel like I don’t know any of these dancers yet and we are already going to be down to the Top 10! Some of that may have to do with the long break for the Olympics. I don’t know. But there has been a big disconnect. I write about the show, but if pressed, I probably wouldn’t have been able to name all 14 dancers if you had asked me this morning. That’s not a good sign.

Anyway, the solos happen and if I had to pick based on solos alone, I’d have saved Amelia and Matt. But that isn’t how things work on the show and they saved….

 George and Lindsay (In no small part, due to tonight’s routines)

Excuse me while I go into mourning over Matt. I may go watch The Notebook to console myself. What? He’s not Ryan Gosling?? See, I told you I didn’t get to know the dancers well enough.

Don’t let your favorites go home next week! Vote! You can use the new official SYTYCD app, or the Fanaticly app I reviewed. Or go to Or the texting or the phone calls. There are many many ways to vote is my point.

See you back here next week! Who do you think will be sent home next?

Written by Melissa Miller. Find her on Twitter @serrae

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