Can you believe we are already to the Top 8? Even with all the weeks off for things like July 4th and the Olympics, I still feel like the season has flown by! I’m going to miss it when it is gone. (Hopefully not forever….) There are some great all-stars this week and one of my favorite judges, so let’s get to the So You Think You Can Dance Top 8!
Aren’t they a fun looking bunch? (Does it make anyone else sad Will’s not in on the sign the other three guys are doing?)
At this point, with the way it has been going, I have no idea who will be in the bottom three and who will be safe going into the show. I try not to think about it because when we get this far into the competition, I’m always a little bit upset no matter who it is. But if I had to guess, right this moment, who the guy and girl winners would be, I’d say Cole and Eliana. Cole because he’s awesome, and Eliana because she is uber-talented and Nigel has basically professed his love for her and would never send her home before the final.
But let’s get to the rest of the show, because as far as I know those are the two going home tonight.
Cat Deeley is looking I think they best she has all season, so I feel the need to point that out even though I haven’t normally been commenting on her looks each week. Some have been a bit cray cray, but this week – wowza. She looks fabulous!
The guest judge tonight is Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson. I think I may have mentioned that I adore him, yes? Because I do. He is one of my top 3 favorite guest judges (Neil Patrick Harris and Debbie Allen rounding out the other two spots) because he is funny, knows his stuff, and he is not afraid to critique. I hate when the guest judges are just like, “You are so pretty” when the dancer was not good. I feel validated that Cat loves him so much too.
Before the regular dances, the group number. It was…. Fine. I don’t know. I wasn’t moved by it too much. I mean, it was danced wonderfully and the styling was pretty for the girls. It was choreographed by SYTYCD newbie Peter Chu. Hmmm. Let’s move on.
This week, the dancers all get a little bit more of a complete bio. They explain how they get into dancing and we get to meet people in their life (parents and the such) and then they dance solos which count as their “dance for their life” solo in case they are in the bottom later. Since solos are a bit harder to critique, I’m just going to focus on the duets. I’ll mention the solos at the end when we find out who the bottom dancers are.
Witney & All Star Twitch (Season 4)
Luther Brown – Hip Hop
First of all I love Witney’s rehearsal footage because watching that adorable little white girl from Salt Lake trying to figure out what Luther and Twitch were talking about was hysterical. “Is that like Bucc?” Love it. Now maybe it is because she is naturally a bit sassy, or because there wasn’t the distraction of a gimmick like the vampire story, but I liked this much better than Twitch’s routine with Audrey last week. Witney really gave it everything and kept up Twitch. She hit it all with the same emphasis as he did (almost) and didn’t look like she shouldn’t be there with him. The judges loved it for good reason. And we saw that Jesse was given cards with peoples names on it. Is this new after The Ballet Boyz? Hyserical.
Side notes – I enjoyed the cut away to her parents. The look on dad’s face said “I’m happy for my daughter, but not entirely pleased with some of the things being said about my daughter being sexy.” Which we see in her bio package is exactly what he was thinking. Poor Mormon daddy.What I didn’t like was Nigel trying to be hip. Stop it, old man.
Cole & All Star Allison Holker (Season 2)
Sonya Tayeh – Contemporary
So… Wow. Right?? I mean…. wow. That was a gorgeously haunting routine. Even Sonya seemed haunted by it and she choreographed the thing. Before I get to the dance, I just have to say that I am so glad Allison and Cole are paired together, because I wanted them to be at some point during the All Star weeks. And I was not disappointed. They were completely in sync the entire dance both with their dancing and their acting – as Jesse said, she is one of the best actresses the show has seen.
Here’s what I loved about this routine – every single movement, no matter how big or small, seemed huge and almost overwrought in the best way. Like when Allison was upside hanging on Cole – the movements of their arms and hands were not huge but they felt monumental. It was a fascinating routine. The judges adored it and had a lot of the same things to say. It was very Sonya. And like Jesse said, I could really use a cocktail after this one.
Eliana & All Star Ryan Di Lello (Season 6)
Jonathan Roberts – Quickstep
Ruh-roh Scooby! It’s the dreaded quickstep! But if anyone can handle that isn’t already in ballroom, it’s Eliana, right? It’s nice to see Ryan again (remember him and his wife Ashleigh?) but where is Pasha?! I need Pasha on my TV! I guess Ryan will do. And as for the dreaded dance style – well, I thought it was pretty good. I don’t claim to have much (really, any) knowledge on the technique, but I think Jonathan did them a service by attempting to put a storyline in there.
Eliana did amazing. She never seemed to really falter. And she partnered well with Ryan. (Better than Ryan partnered with her, if that makes sense.) I like that Jesse brought up what many people may have forgotten about Eliana, and one of the reasons I loved her – she was a pole dancer. I mean, she studied in other forms, obviously, but that was what she was doing prior to her LA audition. She was one of my favorite auditions, and I’m glad she is living up to that no matter who she is partnered with or what style she is given.
Lindsay & All Star Alex Wong (Season 7)
Sonya Tayeh – Jazz
First of all – how did it take this long before anyone choreographed a routine to Somebody I Used to Know by Gotye? Because, as soon as I heard it I kind of assumed the contemporary choreographers would fight each other for it. Ah well… It was great as always to see Alex, but I think the dance was okay. I wasn’t totally sure why I wasn’t loving it, but Nigel summed it up – there was no actual sexual tension between the two.
They both danced it technically brilliantly. Of course. They are wonderful dancers. But that tension and passion that Lindsay described in the rehearsal footage – there was none of that in the way it was performed. The choreography was very good, but it didn’t come across. It was just a nice dance. No chemistry. Too bad, because I love these two and had high hopes.
Will & All Star Lauren Gottleib (Season 3)
Christopher Scott – Hip Hop
This routine stars Will, Lauren and some Ikea furniture. I’m honestly a little distracted because I just keep picturing all the production assistants sitting there back stage before the show trying to decipher those picture instructions that come with Ikea furniture and trying not to lose the little allen wrench in what I assume is the complete madness of the SYTYCD backstage area. But once I got past that (my mind is a crazy place, my friends) I really enjoyed the routine.
Will is just the sweetest. I adore him and every moment we have had to spend getting to know him better has made me love him more. You can tell that the people around him just genuinely like him. He’s a big goofball. He did a great job handling the moves that Christopher gave him and I think he did a wonderful job keeping up with All Star extraordinaire Lauren (is there anything she can’t do?).
Also, I like that Jesse brought up Will’s bio video where he talks about how dance saved him. The arts are SO IMPORTANT to have in schools. They save people, you guys. (If you need me, I’ll be fighting to just have 45 minutes of art a week for each grade in my kids’ elementary school.)
Cyrus & All Star Melanie Moore (Season 8)
Mandy Moore – Jazz
Hey, remember the time I saw Melanie Moore’s audition and said “She is going to win the season” and then a few months later she did?! Yeah, I remember that too. That was pretty cool, huh? She is my favorite winner and one of my favorite dancers ever on the show. (Travis, Kent, Allison and Twitch probably make up the rest of my Top 5, but don’t hold me to it.) I kind of wish she hadn’t been paired with Cyrus, but what are you going to do? I still loved every second she was on the screen because she perfect. (And you can see her every week on All The Right Moves )
The Fosse inspired routine was a lot of fun. I’m not positive, but I think the song Mandy used sampled the song used during the Rich Man’s Frug number from Sweet Charity that this dance seemed to be inspired by. It was a fun number. Listen, I don’t want Cyrus to win it but he is a lot of fun, and is clearly a magnetic personality. I’m very torn on the whole thing. I would have loved to see Melanie dance it with someone else, but I can’t hate on Cyrus.
Here is what I don’t like… When Matt and Audrey weren’t completely informed about Mia’s background Nigel gave them so much crap and sent Matt home. It was a mini-inquisition up there. But Cyrus doesn’t know about BOB FOSSE and Nigel’s like, “Oh, well, it’s important you learn about one of the most important choreographers ever whose style you just danced. You know, if you have the time, or whatever.” So what we are saying is that Mia Michael’s entire personal life is more important to know than the basic work of a seminal choreographer whose style was just used on the show?? I could rant more, but I’ll move on.
Chehon & All Star Anya Garnis (Season 3)
Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo – Tango
If this show magically went on for another 10 or 20 years, Anya could probably still All Star ballroom routines. She is amazing. That was an intense Tango. As Cat pointed out you could hear a pin drop during parts of that number. Anya and Chehon were completely together in their dancing and it was almost like we as an audience at home and in the studio were afraid to break the magic.
Mary pointed out that Chehon finally had a really good performance. He is such a masterful technician that it was often missing from the other dancers. I think what really showed how great it was, was how obviously happy with the dance Anya was as it was happening. She was so proud of him when it was done. It was one of his best, non-solo, moments.
Tiffany & All Star Ade Obayomi (Season 5)
Mandy Moore – Contemporary
Not a good sign – I had forgotten about Tiffany by the time we got back to her. Sorry Tiff. But she was cute singing along with Celine in the rehearsal footage. And yes, Tiffany, I’m sure everyone was singing along at home too. (I was.)
How lucky was she to partner with Ade? How do I put this – I don’t think Ade should have won his season, but I think there should have been a special category of “best partner ever” because he totally is. He is so strong and always 110% there for his partner. His pas de deux with Melissa… That was almost entirely about her, but it wouldn’t have worked without him. This dance had similar qualities, such as the series of lifts that Mary mentioned. The judges adored it. And it was a really great dance made better by Ade. I don’t think I loved it quite as much as the judges, but it was good and Tiffany was lovely.
And now – the bottom 4 are announced:
Bottom Girls – Witney & Lindsay
Bottom Guys – Cole & Will
The girls, it’s a draw for me, but based on tonight, I’d bet they save Witney. The guys, well, I’m upset either way, but Will is going to go home. There is no way they are getting rid of Cole.The solos didn’t do much to persuade either way, especially in the case of the girls.
SAVED: Witney & Cole
Given who was in the bottom, I don’t think the decisions were that surprising for anyone. Including the two who were sent home. Now, if Will could come over and watch the rest of the episodes with me, that would be great. Although I don’t think Cat is going to let go of him.
So, only one more week until the finale. What four dancers are going to make it, readers? Give me your guesses and tell me what you thought about tonight’s episode!Facebook, by Email, RSS, & on Twitter
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