Something really great happened on this week’s So You Think You Can Dance – something I’ve been waiting to happen all season. The group came together. I don’t just mean in a dance routine, although they did that a few times. No, what I mean is that I finally felt season 11 as a cohesive group for the first time. One of the best parts of So You Think You Can Dance has always been the way each season gels together. Dancers from all over the world, from every style, growing and learning together. Becoming a team. Getting hurt and picking each other up, falling deep into character and coming out closer than ever. It’s when the dancers really feel their connection to each other, that we as the audience really feel the emotion behind their movement. I think that finally happened this week and it was a beautiful thing.
Right off the bat, we have a Mandy Moore piece, and it’s probably the most impressive group routine we’ve seen yet. Yes, the Broadway number from a few weeks ago was fun, but this is gooood. It’s contemporary that doesn’t make you want to throw yourself off a building (those exist!) and it showcases how much these dancer have grown. Plus, you can’t really go wrong with Annie Lennox. I mean, Annie Lennox, you guys.
Last week, I predicted that the bottom six would be Marcquet, Serge, Casey, Brooklyn, Carly and Bridget. In reality, it’s Marquet, Serge, Zack, Brooklyn, Tanisha and Bridget. Zack and Tanisha, America? Really? Dumb. I am sad, but comforted by the fact that Marcquet will most certainly go home and I will have at least one more week with my beloved Zack. (Seriously, people, vote for Zack!) I’m not as certain about the girls, though I am guessing Brooklyn, because she’s done nothing to stand out.
Our first pairing of the night is one who has no problem getting votes: Ricky and Valerie. They’re performing the first Bollywood routine of the season, which makes me very excited, because I love watching Bollywood. I do, shut up. When I was in college, my dorm mates and I would stay up all night, and at about three o’clock in the morning, the only thing on our dorm TVs would be this all-Bollywood channel. It was very random, but I got pretty addicted. But I digress! Ricky and Valerie! It’s not the strongest Bollywood I’ve ever seen, but they do a decent job. Ricky is maybe a little too…fluid? But it’s energetic and fun to watch.
Side note: after I wrote that part, I got sucked into a YouTube vortex of Joshua and Katee videos and I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to make it out again.
Next up is a Travis Wall contemporary routine from Emilio and Bridget. I have to admit that I am growing more fond of Bridget. This number is beautiful and powerful – and for once, I liked the prop of the bed frame. I think that Bridget is really bringing Emilio to a new level as well. He’s downright graceful here! It’s lovely to see him grow. I guess I don’t hate Bridget as much as I used to, though she’s still in my bottom. After that, we’ve got Rudy and Tanisha in a Dave Scott hip hop routine. Now, here’s my thing about Tanisha. I know she’s sexy. There’s no question that she’s sexy. But I don’t understand why we have to put her in like, a mesh catsuit to prove it. The way this girl can move, she could’ve been just as sexy in a matching suit with Rudy. I’m just saying. It’s kind of overkill. That aside, this number was pretty good. As usual, Rudy gets by on charm and Tanisha out-dances him. It’s also hard for me to take Rudy seriously as a sexual match for Tanisha – I know they’re close in age, but they don’t seem like it. After this, I’m positive that Tanisha will not go home tonight.
Yikes, the next one. Oh dear. Poor Jessica just cannot catch a break this season. She and Marcquet are now partnered and we all know he’s doomed, even before the routine begins. It’s a Dmitry Chaplin foxtrot and boy, I do not enjoy the foxtrot. Plus, honestly, this is just not good. I’m not a huge fan of the number itself, but Jessica and Marcquet are awkward and sloppy. DOOMED. The funny thing is, I’m pretty sure next week is the last episode before all-stars, so Jessica will never have a consistent partner from this season. After that hot mess is a bee-yoo-tiful contemporary piece from Mandy Moore. It’s to Jewel’s “Foolish Games,” so Mandy is obviously killing it in the music department tonight. Serge and Carly come together in this piece so wonderfully. I just smiled the whole time. Nigel gives Serge the unofficial “Most Improved” award and I have to agree – he’s so stunning here, and I never would’ve expected this from him a few weeks ago.
Teddy and Emily are up next with a very – I mean very – fast salsa routine. WTF kind of salsa is this, though, seriously? People are getting a little too liberal with their ballroom, if you ask me. This semi-salsa is particularly complicated and there are a few mistakes. Emily slips at one point, but quickly recovers. We also find out after that she’d dislocated her shoulder earlier that day – ouch! Considering these setbacks, she and Teddy do a pretty nice job. After that, we have Zack and Jacque, whom I want to call “Zacque” every week and so I am finally going to do it. Zacque gets a Sonya Tayeh jazz routine to this Beyoncé/Andre 3000 version of “Back to Black” that I’ve never heard and really enjoy, by the way. The dance is also pretty cool. Zacque have good chemistry and both continue to impress me each week. The last pairing of the night is Casey and Brooklyn, who attempt a hip hop routine choreographed by Willdabeast. It’s a pretty badass dance. Unfortunately, neither Casey nor Brooklyn are badass dancers. It falls kind of flat.
For some reason, we also get two mini-group routines this week. I am not complaining! As I mentioned above, this is the week the contestants really gelled for me and you can truly see it in these two routines. The first – a contemporary routine from Sonya Tayeh – is powerful and impressive. It’s easily the best performance of the night, especially when you see how emotionally involved the dancers are. I had chills the entire time. Sonya Tayeh is a f*cking genius, you guys. The second number – another contemporary from Travis Wall – is to this awful One Republic song (am I watching The Voice?) but it still blows me away. It’s sexy and strong, with just enough tricks to make it memorable.
Of course, we still have eliminations. As predicted, Marcquet and Brooklyn are sent home. They handle it like pros. Next week, I’m not sure who could be in the bottom. Most likely, Casey and Emily will be there. Perhaps Jessica and Teddy as well. Not so sure, after that. What do you think? Who should be in the bottom next week and who were your faves?