So You Think You Can Dance Top 18

Good news all, Noelle is back! Cat Deeley is so cute with the way she interacts with the dancers. “Hello my gorgeous dancers!” Like last week, there is no second night for eliminations so the judges will be making those decisions at the end of the show. (Blame the World Series, Let’s Go Yankees!) Still playing around with the Paula Abdul chair. More good news from Nigel: the producers have agreed that Billy Bell can skip to Vegas and Brandon can reapply to the show next season.

Today you can kind of see the forced smile on Cat’s face. Is she getting sick of saying the same things over and over again. The theme of the week: best and worst about partners.

Noelle and Russel first. Apparently Russel sings and he always wears his sunglasses. Noelle is funny but she gets injured a lot. They’re dancing with new choreography Jamal Sims (Step Up, Miley Cyrus) doing a tennis themed dance. Hip hop. It’s really fast and while Noelle hits the moves she isn’t nearly as sharp as Russel. The prop seems a bit cumbersome and in the way at times. Adam thinks they did well but they seemed a bit overwhelmed. (“Let the small be small, let the big be big.”) Mary says Russel won the match (duh! it’s his style) and it got labored by the end but good job. Noelle, no signs of injury (Mary kept looking for it but didn’t find it) she got more than was expected. Nigel thinks it was so fast that neither one got hold of it. (She messed up her cartwheel.) Nigel isn’t sure if Noelle’s performance was strong enough but for Russel this was better than last week. The standard is soo high. Nigel was a bit disappointed.

Ryan and Jakob do wedding themed dance with Tony and Melanie to do a Viennese Waltz. (Least favorite style.) There’s a moment where Jakob should be looking at her and isn’t. I don’t think the chemistry is quite there. Adam says they can do no wrong but he has some complaints about the actual choreography. Too much lifting, not enough waltzing. (Awkward for Tony and Melanie actually sitting in the audience.) Mary says “is just a kiss a kiss?” Jakob isn’t perfect, his dancing could have been better. He needed more power. He was always there for Ashleigh. She thinks Ashleigh is wonderful. She was smooth, great lines. (Remember when she wouldn’t have made it in. Does Nigel think that they’re a power couple? Well, a beautiful couple. Nigel kinda sidesteps that question. Jakob is a beautiful dancer. Ashleigh says she’s proving everyone who thought she couldn’t cope wrong but watch your arms a bit (soften them).

Bianca and Victor are third. Bianca is loud and her hair changes all the time. Victor has a great laugh (“laughing vomit”) and always wears bright colors. They get Tyce for a “southern moved by the church spirit” piece. Something felt so off about this piece but I’m not sure what. Adam says it is very important as a dancer to be studied and know what came before you. (Basically, do your homework!) For him, they danced well but they didn’t “lose it.” He was overly aware of the dance and not the spirit. Remember to figure out the point of the dance. Mary says it was good but she agrees that it didn’t go there. Complete abandonment. Nigel agrees, the characters weren’t strong enough. Victor looked awkward and didn’t take it somewhere else. Bianca needed more exuberance as well.

Molly and Nathan get a Bollywood routine. They’re the cute young couple. Molly has a big and bright personality (which helps him because he’s shy) but she goes to the bathroom a lot. Nathan is attractive but he’s easily distracted with himself. Nakil Dev Mahajan choreographs a story about a prince going to war and the princess who is unhappy with that. Molly says it has more energy than she’s used to. I think it was really cool though Molly got a bit gypped on the moves. Nathan got all the cool stuff. It’s different than the usual Bollywood. Adam says they’re an exciting couple. Molly is coming into her own and dances with maturity now. She embraced stillness. Mary says it was like a Hollywood movie in the beginning, she adored it and it just got better. It could have been good or bad (remember Josh and Katie?) but they have a new, outstanding energy. (As evident from her shrieking.) Nigel thought it was fabulous. Nathan, tremendous. Fingers terrific, control great. Merging the styles. Tremendous.

Channing and Phillip now. Channing has amazing eyes but she can take him down. Phillip always smiles but he talks too much. They will be doing a samba with Tony and Melanie. Meh. Another style I don’t love. Much better costumes this week so far. The music makes the dancing seem awkward. Trouble on that lift…I don’t know, they seemed to struggle through it. Adam says he could see the struggle. Make it work people! Channing made great strides in the hip action and feet movement. He did like some good personal interactions. They’re very supportive. Mary says yes, they struggled. She wanted to feel the party of it all. But the rhythmical actions were right on. Phillip’s feet were sloppy and the tricks were labored. Channing was coming to life and she “got into the floor.” Phillip let her down. (Sje gets some boos but not many.) Nigel said he was stiff and didn’t get into things. Chemistry didn’t work. Channing looked nervous going into the lifts. Channing looks good in the blue…Sucks they pulled out another ballroom this week. (They’ll probably be in the bottom two…hope Channing doesn’t go home. Don’t care about Phillip.)

Karen and Kevin. Kevin is sweet but his hair is huge and ridiculous. Karen is beautiful and dynamic but she outshines him. Hip hop with Tabitha and Napoleon, this is Kevin’s style. Kevin is the mechanic and Karen is the hot girl who comes into the shop. Karen says it’s like going to a foreign country and having a language barrier trying to do hip hop. The way she walks in is very “hi I’m doing a concert.” She doesn’t quite get the movements, not sharp enough in my mind but I don’t think Kevin is either. It ends with Karen throwing him off stage. Adam falls off his chair for Karen. She got out there and made it work. (Eh.) More confidence than Kevin, she tore it up. Kevin was expectantly great. He enjoyed the character. Mary says hot tamale train, with ease. It factor. Kevin was phenomenal. Articulate, confident. She loves it. On the train this week. Nigel says picking what you’re good at is lucky. The compliments go to Karen who moves parts of her body that he didn’t know could be moved. Pleasure to watch. Great personality. (I wonder if America loves her as much as the judges do. I don’t care for her all that much.)

Kathryn and Legacy next. Legacy is multi-lingual but he has an annoying cricket whistle.. Kathryn is sentimental/emotional but she accidentally hits him during practice. Stacey Tookey choreographs contemporary. It’s about a woman struggling with fear (Legacy being the embodiment of fear). Song is “2 Steps Away” by Patti Labelle.) It’s pretty awesome though I would have liked to see more struggle (gt better throughout). Adam thanks Stacey because it’s special and compelling. Legacy was a different man, huge step forward. He pointed his feet, dancing! Great partner in Kathryn. He’s definitely growing on me. Mary says it was abandonment into the routine and huge growth. He’s grown faster than anyone ever on the show. And Kathryn keeps nailing it. Nigel compliments Stacey (reminiscent of Addiction by Mia). Kathryn is like Jeanine, an unknown before the Top 20.

New couple Pauline and Peter are ninth. Pauline takes pictures of everything but she’s obsessed with sneakers. Peter treats everyone like family but he thinks he’s a ladies man. Wade Robson does a new impression of Starry Night. (What if there were characters originally in the painting that were then painted over? They’re back to haunt Van Gogh.) I’m excited. Well, I liked it but I would have liked if it didn’t look so easy to do. Adam thinks the piece might be controversial. They committed, as Wade Robson pieces require. Peter especially. Mary loved it. She doesn’t think it will take them anywhere. Nigel says he hopes they stay on the show. Nigel thinks it’s unforgettable. Peter needs to be careful with his tight shoulders, open them up. Pauline danced to the full extent for the first time.

Ellenore and Ryan
are last. Ryan always has a protein shake and he’s like a bodyguard. Ellenore is quirky and isn’t quite normal. (Maybe she’s an alien?) Miriam and Leonardo choreograph and Argentine Tango. Very dangerous routine. Tango is lame. (Sorry Mary it’s just so dull even with the cool lifts.) Ellenore’s dress was caught in her heel and yet she continued which was impressive. They maintained a solid connection. Ellenore was mature. Ryan did a great job. Mary says she’s impressed that they didn’t even betray thoughts of the costume malfunction. Spot on and it worked for both. Stands up for a shout out. Nigel says the public tends to not understand the difficulty of the routine (I do, I just don’t like it anyway) and he doesn’t know if another couple could have done better. The Argentinian Tango is like Nigel, reserved.

So my guesses for the bottom are Noelle and Russel, Channing and Phillip, and/or Bianca and Victor. I’m hoping to keep Russel, Victor, Noelle, and Channing. Sorry tappers.

Time for the judges nominations. Nigel asks groups Noelle and Russel, Bianca and Victor, Channing and Phillip to step forward. Russel step back. Noelle is in the bottom. Channing is safe as well. Phillip is in the bottom. Bianca and Victor are in the bottom as well. So far going my way. Solos after the break.

Solo time. Noelle first. Finally a solo I enjoyed! There is no hint of injury in the way she danced. Next is Victor. Another enjoyable solo. (Way to step it up this week!) Now is Bianca. (I’ve seen a tap performance or two in the past and while I enjoy tap and I thought she did a good job, I didn’t love it.) Phillip next. I think he forgot the come out big rule. Again, a good job but didn’t love it. Time for the judges to confer.

Decisions have been made. Beginning with the girls as always. They don’t think either girl was their best in the performances, the decision is not unanimous. Bianca has grown over the years. Noelle’s solo was an excellent solo and she will be staying. (Yes!) The other dancers are crying. Now for the guys. This is an upsetting decision for Nigel. Phillip will be let go this evening. Victor will be staying. (Yes! I got everything that I wanted.)

Do you agree with the decisions?

Also, an update on Mia Michaels. She isn’t on the show because she’s got tons of opportunities. Read this article and get excited.

Read about the Top 16’s Performances.

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