On this week’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance, judge Misty Copeland returns and the top 18 dancers perform for America’s vote. Of course, two of these dancers will go home before the night ends – and again, it’s not necessarily the right dancers. It’s hard to care, though, after a night of blah performances and irritating judges’ critique. I found myself fast forwarding more often than not this week, and I didn’t feel the need to rewatch any of the routines. All in all, a poor showing for SYTYCD, even this early into the competition. I expect the performers to be weaker in the beginning, but I don’t expect to be bored to death, you know?
This week’s show kicks off with an opening group number choreographed by dance crew Academy of Villains members Pharside and Phoenix. The number – kind of a spooky/funky chess game – was really enjoyable. My only complaint was that the wigs and makeup made it difficult to tell the dancers apart. I was only able to identify a few (Ricky and Marcquet, for instance) because of defining facial hair and/or skin color. I’d just like to be able to tell the dancers apart, is all I’m saying. I still don’t know much about Carly/Brooklyn/Jourdan/Jacque/Emily. Are they one person? Are they Orphan Black clone seestras? It’s anybody’s guess.
After that, Cat Deeley appears to announce the bottom six. Again, it’s delivered without ceremony: Bridget, Emily, Jourdan, Emilio, Stanley and Teddy. Wow, no love for the hip hop, huh? I’m not terribly surprised by the girls (again, I couldn’t tell you what Emily did last week and I still cannot distinguish between Jourdan and Jacque) but the guys do seem a little off base. It’s a shame about Stanley, especially, because he’s incredibly talented – unfortunately, he’s not memorable. Right now, with 17 other dancers around you, you have to stand out.
The first duo of the night is Zack and Jacque. Spoiler alert: all my votes last night went to Zack. I just like him so much! The number is what I guess you’d call “smooth” hip hop, which is kind of boring, but both of them really commit to their parts. For a tapper and a ballerina, they’re pretty damn impressive, especially with all the intricate hand and foot work involved. I’m getting a little tired of the Sam Smith/SYTYCD love affair, but hey, whatever.
Next up are Jourdan and Marcquet, who are performing a contemporary routine by Dee Caspary. The concept is pretty interesting (the dancers are disappearing) and the props and lighting are really gorgeous, but the dance itself is kind of lame. I don’t know if it’s the choreography that’s lacking or the dancers themselves. The judges seem pretty certain it’s the latter. Nigel is especially critical of Marquet and he’s definitely setting him up to go home next week. I don’t disagree – neither dancer connected with the crowd, or each other. Following that is another hot mess, Jessica and Stanley. This new duo was formed after their partners were sent home last week. On paper, you’d think this was great – two very strong, fluid dancers with gorgeous extensions performing a
Tasty Oreo Tyce DiOrio jazz routine. In reality, it’s pretty bad. Stanley is all over the place. He doesn’t connect at all. Jessica has the moves, but she keeps pulling her face again. It’s unintentionally comedic. Um. The rug is pretty?
Thankfully, the next routine turns out to be my surprise favorite of the night. Both Bridget and Emilio are in the bottom six and while that sometimes brings a dancer down, I think it elevates them to the next level. Their jive number is to my least favorite earworm in the history of music, Pharrell’s “Happy,” but I will forgive choreographers Anya and Pasha, because duh. Anya and Pasha. This routine probably secures both Bridget and Emilio a spot in the competition for at least another week.
Man, Tasty Oreo is all over the place tonight. I actually always enjoy his contemporary routines and this number from Teddy and Emily is really beautiful. Unlike many of their fellow contestants, Teddy and Emily have actual chemistry, which is a good thing, since this whole song is about the building connection between two people. Teddy is starting to make a name for himself as a versatile dancer. I hope he gets more popular with the voters. Emily was also beautiful to watch. The following routine is a Bonnie Story jazz number from Brooklyn and Casey. God, they are killing me with the music tonight. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” is irritating enough when it’s Queen, but the Michael Bublé version? Ugh. This performance is cute, but I didn’t find it to be memorable. I honestly don’t think Brooklyn is very compelling, in or out of her own style.
Just when the show starts losing me again, Lacey Schwimmer shows up to choreograph a Viennese waltz. Lacey! Lacey is so damn talented. I hate to say it, though, but she’s starting to look like a future guest star of Botched. Lacey stop it, you’re beautiful. You know what else is beautiful? The way Ricky and Valerie perform this waltz. They’re just gliding and floating and Valerie looks like a fairy princess and I LOVE it. It’s the kind of dance that makes you give a dreamy sigh.
Next up is a hip hop number from Luther Brown, starring Carly and Serge. The judges mention that this routine is difficult to critique, because you can tell that both Serge and Carly worked really hard, but it’s just not a performance that’s going to make the crowd go wild. I actually don’t agree with that – I think it was a somewhat weird, lackluster routine but I also think that they just weren’t very good. Serge specifically looked like he hadn’t quite learned all the steps and was struggling to keep up. The final performance of the night comes from Tanisha and Rudy, who do a Broadway number, complete with canes. Like, the Fosse kind, not the old person kind. This was a very fun, energetic number, which I’ve already come to expect from Tanisha and Rudy. I must confess, though, that the Rudy schtick might me getting old. I KNOW, I KNOW. Sorry!
Then, it’s time for eliminations. The judges have decided to just go with America’s votes tonight and send the contestants with the lowest number of votes home: it’s Stanley and Jourdan. Oh well. I cannot say I’m surprised. I guess that means Jessica has a new partner again. And speaking of Marcquet, my prediction for next week’s bottom six are: Marcquet, Serge, Casey, Brooklyn, Carly, Bridget. What do you think? Who should go home? Who were your favorites this week? Let me know in the comments!