Well, due to the whole new “So You Think You Can Dance was forced to only be on one day a week if they wanted to stay on the air” debacle, the entire Top 20 is performing again tonight. And then at the end, 4 dancers – 2 guys, 2 gals – go home. Sad face. Let’s get to a recap of what went down tonight on the show!

Once again, we start with a group dance,  this time from NappyTabs, performed to Marilyn Manson’s Beautiful People.  Of course, Cyrus is a featured performance because, well, why wouldn’t he be? I wasn’t a huge fan of the number. Mostly I think it was the staging, not the dancing or choreo. The camera was all over the place, the combo of the smoke and lights… it just was too much to try to keep track of it all. In related news – I’m getting old.

This week, the group is introduced as the pairs, not individuals. Which is kind of funny because they are being voted on as individuals this year, not pairs. Anywho, who cares about logic??

A very tan Cat introduces tonight’s guest judge.. former regular judge, and director of Rock of Ages, Adam Shankman. Shanks is sure to be fun, which should help us through already losing 4 dancers! Right? RIGHT? 

Now, apparently, people still use the post office (just kidding… I LOVE MAIL!) is issuing special edition stamps on National Dance Day with several famous choreographers (old school, obviously). Cool.

After more explanation of how things work this season, we finally get to the dances…

Lindsay & Cole

Christopher Scott – Hip Hop

Is anyone a little creeped out by a dentist routine? I couldn’t help but think of Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors. Oh well… that’s my theater/movie upbringing come back to haunt me. Let’s start with the good – Cole was incredible with getting the character and he hit every move really well. He even continued with the character during judging which was adorable! Lindsay, on the other hand, looked like a Ballroom Dancers doing Hip Hop, which is to say, not great. As Nigel said, she played to the audience, not to her partner – ballroom, not hip-hop. But she can work on that. She also needed to hit those moves a lot harder.

Amelia & Will

Sonya Tayeh – Contemporary

Man, Sonya is on fire this season, huh? Her routines are just moving and gorgeous and full of such perfect transitions. And the way she used the music for this number… the big and small moments of the sounds matched the movements  of the choreo in such a splendid way.  I’m not sure what I think of Amelia, but her lines are impeccable and she is just… unique. And Will was such a strong partner. I honestly was worried for him because he is such a big goober and Sonya is intense – but he really immersed himself in it and was there for Amelia. Despite my reservations about how this routine would go – I loved it.

Amber & Nick

Miriam & Leondardo – Tango

Well, I was impressed to start – Amber’s kick at the beginning of the routine…. daaaaayum! That leg went on forever! But after that it was just okay for me. They had great technique. Obviously Nick did – again he gets Ballroom! But he was throwing his face a lot and Amber seemed to be avoiding looking at him. They had zero chemistry. No amount of talent and perfect lines was going to make up for that for me. I feel like Nick and Amber have never spoken to each other at all outside of things related to the rehearsal. Which was bothersome for me. The judges seemed to not be as bothered by it. I guess they did dance it well though, and I suppose the show is called So You Think You Can DANCE, not So You Think You Have Chemistry.

Audrey & Matt

Sonya Tayeh – Jazz

Shirtless Matt! Sorry… I had a moment. Anyway, I was quickly distracted by the intense dancing to care that everyone was scantily clad. These two are a great partnership. They move together. They are totally in the moment, together, with every breath. These two are the two that I suspect will make it far. Like quite possibly final four far. Especially Matt. He is such a strong partner and dancer. Audrey, for such a teeny tiny thing, dances HUGE. I really wish I had more profound things to say about these two, but I’m basically just repeating myself. Favorites! Love! Yay! Gosling! What? I got lost.

Janelle & Dareian

Christopher Scott- Lyrical Hip Hop

So this was… eh. And the judges agree with me. There was no connection to the characters they were trying to be. They weren’t as connected to each other as they should be. Dareian seemed to be trying a little bit more than Janelle, maybe  it is just something he is used to. I also agree the choreo was weak. Christopher is normally fantastic, but here’s the thing… The theme of the dance was quite similar to the Travis routine for Lauren Froderman and Kent Boyd in Season 7 and that one had so much feeling. This was… not. It was the sad little sister of that routine. I like the dancers, but they didn’t give it their all so I won’t be surprised to see them in the bottom next week. If they don’t get the boot tonight…

Janaya & Brandon

Sean Cheesman – Broadway

And this is how you do character! (Fun fact before I go on – I saw this musical, Jekyll and Hyde, that the music is from with the actress singing it – Linda Eder. She gave me chills.) Anyway, these two both did great. And hurray for Sean for making up for those two frenetic routines from last week (though I liked the African routine). This one was just a whole lot of fun! They did great acrobatics, and used the big movements to suit the big story.

Eliana & Cyrus

Tony & Melanie – Jive

I’m nervous. This is a big leap for Cyrus. Frankly, the jive has big a leap for most dancers on this show unless they’ve trained in it in ballroom. Eliana really tried to sell it and did, I think, a good job. Cyrus seemed to be spending most of the time trying to get the steps down that he was barely having fun, but he tried to fake it. I love Cyrus. I really really do. But in this case I felt a little bad for Eliana because I think she could have done amazing with a better trained partner. But he really tried. I don’t want Cyrus to go home on Jive. Eliana is just a brilliant dancer and I’m not worried about her. I just can’t wait to see her dance something not… strange.

Alexa & Daniel

Dee Caspary – Contemporary 

My initial thought: a bath tub + Yanni = Cialis commercial. I don’t know why my mind went there. First of all, Yanni isn’t used for Cialis, as far as I know. And there is only one, not two tubs like Cialis inexplicable uses. But, that is where my mind went and I couldn’t get rid of that thought. That said, the two danced it beautifully. I didn’t feel the connection between them (or the audience) at all and neither did the judges. But then I started to think, man if Audrey and Matt danced this it would have been perfect – that missing element wouldn’t have been missing. Alas and alack… it was gorgeous but not perfect.

Tiffany & George 

Tony & Melanie – Foxtrot

Oh, the notorious Foxtrot. I just always imagine a bunch of hip-hop and contemporary loving teenagers picking up their phones to text when this style comes up. So while I think they did really nicely and, as someone completely untrained in this style (all styles, if I’m being honest, but especially this) I thought they looked like they had been doing this for awhile. I mean they could have been dancing alongside Fred & Ginger. But again – who was paying attention? I don’t know. I guess we will see when they voting results are announced next week.

Whitney & Chehon

Nakul Dev Mahajan – Bollywood

Real talk for a second – no one, and I mean no one on this show will do Bollywood as well as Katee and Joshua did in Season 4. So, while this one was perfectly nice, it is hard for me to judge it because I will forever compare to that one. (It’s like disco – no one will ever do that as well as Brandon and Janette). I think Whitney looked beautiful and did a nice job. Chehon was so much better than last week and I think did a little bit better than Whit. But overall… good. Not fantastic. But good.

Bottom Girls: Janaya, Alexa, Whiney

Bottom Boys: Nick, Daniel, Chehon

Okay, small rant – instead of allowing them to dance for their lives, they instead promote Step Up 4. Listen, I want to see the movie. I think the Step Up franchise is a great representation for dance in the mainstream. I even think this group number is very good, and I was happy to see all those SYTYCD alum, as always. But this show is supposed to be about the 20 dancers we just saw leap around the stage. Not allowing them the opportunity to dance for their lives is wrong. As I’ve stated in the past, solos can have a tremendous impact on a dancers chance to stay on the show, and there is a really good chance something could have turned out differently tonight. That being said….


Not bad choices. I think they are both immensely talented. I think Janaya was destined to get lost in the shuffle, and Alexa has, I suspect, rubbed the viewers the wrong way to ever get out of the bottom.  I mean, did you see her reaction at being in the bottom? Go back and watch it again. Yikes. Nick was cursed with “I never got a backstory before the Top 20” and Daniel, while an immensely talented dancer with a super awesome accent, he has never developed that oh so necessary personality. And hey – Chehon had that solo in Vegas (SEE), and I bet that had a lot to do with it.

So what did you think?  Do you think the right 4 went home? Who are you suspecting will be in the bottom next week?

And just a note – I’m currently on vacation (yay!) and will be in Disneyland next Wednesday. A recap will be up, but it night not be up right away on the West Coast like I normally do. However, the following week… back to normal. And I will have more of my “during the week” articles back then too. Thanks for understanding! And I will see you back here next week. SYTYCD viewing isn’t the same without all of you!

Don’t forget to vote! If you didn’t catch the numbers, remember you can vote online at http://www.fox.com/dance/vote.

Written by Melissa Miller. Find her on Twitter @serrae

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