So You Think You Can Dance: Season 8 Winner Revealed

It is time to find out who is America’s Favorite Dancer for season eight. But before we find out who won, we get our top twenty dancers back onstage to perform what looks like a Sonyah Tayeh piece. It particularly suits Ryan’s quirky dance style, which seems to be the best style for her. Am I the only one who noticed how much time she had front and center before the Final Four came out? It was nice of Sonyah (who was in fact the choreographer) to give the Top Four a bit of a break here.

The guest “judges” this week include Sonyah, Tyce, Robin, Lil C, and most importantly Jesse Tyler Ferguson! (Sonyah looks surprisingly put together this week.) The rest of the choreographers are in the audience.

From the audience reaction, Marko and Tadd have zero chance of winning this one. The cheering for Sasha and Melanie were so much louder.

Final words from the judges:
Lil C– Congrats for surviving this far. (and some other nonsense)
Robin– So proud. You’ve all won.
Tyce– Your spirit meets your talent and hold onto that.
Sonyah– Thank you for making me a better person and choreographer. Your future is glorious.
Jesse– You all possess a spark that no one can take away.
Mary– You’re all extraordinary dancers and you’re humble. You have the best spirit.
Nigel– Each one of you is inspirational. (Nigel also apologizes to the guys for saying they have no chance of winning.)

Time for the judges’ favorites. Mary goes first and she picks Kent and Sasha’s Tyce routine from last week because it hit a chord for her.

Next we get a segment about the Nigel-Mary love affair. Leading into Nigel’s choice, which is Marko and Melanie‘s Nappy Tabs lyrical hip hop routine about the girl who is comforting her friend and he realizes he loves her. This routine reminds me just how much leaping Melanie did this season into other guys’ arms. Nigel seems to have moved on to Jesse. But Cat is jealous.

Robin’s favorite routine is Tadd and Lauren Froderman‘s Mandy Moore routine. (Personally, I loved Lauren’s routine with Marko better but they can’t have the same two people doing all of the dances.) This time around we get to see Tadd do his whole routine with the hat on. This routine is yet another reminder of how much Lauren has grown since last season.

This season has been full of strange characters and scenarios, which brings us to Lil C’s choice of the season. He picks the Nappy-Tabs routine danced by Miranda and Robert (Woo Man?). I don’t even remember these dancers it has been so long. I do want to say to Lil C–this was your favorite of the entire season? Really? Miranda is really not that good. Well, I guess compared to Melanie and Sasha lately.

Cat gets to pick a routine this year and she likes the routine because Tyce made her cry–the Top 8 circus routine. Good choice Sonya, another one of Tyce’s few successes. I don’t know about cry-worthy but it reminds of the Allison Wonderland routine last year. (Was that just a video?)

Next up, Matt Flint, the winner of the UK version performs a tap routine with Jess and Nick. I want Jess’s coat to be more flowy like everyone else’s. Jess still mugs on stage, didn’t really expect that to change.Nigel thinks it was one of the most exciting tap routines.

Mary chooses Mandy Moore’s Neil and Melanie routine. Another excellent choice which earns a standing ovation from the judges.

Jesse’s turn to pick the dance and he choose a Sonyah Tayeh routine danced by Marko and Allison. I’m just happy that Allison will be dancing this week. (I don’t like the rotating all stars, I like seeing the same awesome ones over and over again.) This is such an atypical Sonyah piece, which makes it all the more impressive.

Tyce has chosen the nasty, sick Sonyah piece about Geishas, danced by the Top 10 Girls to which I say, Tyce…really. This was a favorite? Not that it isn’t good but I think there was better.

I will say that I have missed Mia this season. I want choreography from her! I also want the show to look into choreographer Sabrina Mathews from SYTYCD Canada. Virtually every routine she has done this season has been impressive and emotional and beautiful.

Time to get back into competition mode, it is almost time to discover our winner. Also, don’t you think there should be a viewer’s choice dance? Let America vote online or something. The finalists are called up so that we can eliminate one of the dancers (I notice the guys are wearing matching suits and I am trying to figure out why). 11.5+ million votes came in and Tadd has come in fourth, as expected.

Lil C gets another choice, in which he selects Chris and Ashley‘s Spencer Liff routine about a woman visiting her husband in jail. I don’t really care for Lil C’s choices (if they even are their choices).

The Top Four are greeted by Heather Morrison, Harry Shum, and Naya Rivera with tickets to go to the Glee 3D Movie premiere (which they thought was rehearsal for an extra Top 4 dance). Good job at cross-promoting Fox.

Nigel wants to see Chris Scott’s routine starring Twitch and Sasha as a married couple who are not happy in the morning.

Sonyah picks Chris Scott’s Top 10 Guys‘ routine.

Jesse chooses a ballroom number (really were any good?) choreographed by Miriam and Leonardo, danced by Caitlynn and Pasha.

Mary picks the statues dance of Marko and Melanie, choreographed by Travis Wall. I was wondering when this routine would come up. They opted for no makeup this time around because that would make everything else complicated (though it does minimize the statue feeling).

Time for some more results and my biggest question is all female top two? Sure enough, Marko is the next person eliminated.

The final judges’ pick of the night is Nigel’s but first he thanks the lighting director and director for their job. Another Sonyah Tayeh routine is selected as the final routine of the night.

Now it is time for us to learn who the winner is. America’s favorite dancer is…Melanie.

What do you think? Did America get it right? (This is the first time the winner has been the clear frontrunner from the very start and is considered one of the best technical dancers as well.)

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So You Think You Can Dance: Finale Performances

Time for the final performances by our Top Four. Kenny Ortega and Katie Holmes are the guest judges for the night (and I have to admit that I spent much of Katie’s commentary thinking “Why are you here?”).

Marko and Melanie are paired for the first number of the night, a disco choreographed by Doriana Sanchez. This should have been a cinch since they have danced with each other so often and have so much chemistry, but it ended up looking mostly awkward, especially in the lifts. For one of them it looked like he had to heft her up over his shoulders. Melanie’s face is overly corny. Did Marko mess up in his final pose? It looked like he pointed the wrong way.
Judges Say:
Kenny- electric opening
Katie- strong and energetic
Mary- the lifts were a real struggle and they went in and out of the style
Nigel- A bit of a struggle, uncomfortable in the style.

Sasha and all star Mark are choreographed by Sonyah Tayeh, which is always a pretty good sign. The number is about overcoming obstacles (Mark being the obstacles). I thought Melanie would have it in the bag for the win but after a weak opening number and a strong number from Sasha, I’m not so sure. (However, Mark does seem to be the stronger of the two (probably because he hasn’t been in the competition and therefore isn’t exhausted).
Judges Say:
Katie- powerful, grace, and integrity
Mary- Whoooooooooo
Nigel- warrior, fighting to the end
Kenny- Sasha Warrior Princess

Tadd and all star Joshua get a Lil C hip hop number, which is right in Tadd’s wheelhouse. The pattern seems to be a dance with an all star in their own style and dances with each other out of their styles. Russel also comes off as the stronger dancer. The number is fine but it isn’t my favorite hip hop number.
Judges Say:
Mary- hard-hitting
Nigel- a little too sweet, still some way to go to win that title
Kenny- perfect pairing
Katie- terrific hustling

Melanie and Robert are paired for a contemporary Stacey Tookey routine about unrequited love. I didn’t get the unrequited part of this, which may be more a fault of the choreography than anything else. Which isn’t to say it wasn’t a great routine, it just gave off a couple in love feeling more than anything else. A much better number for Melanie
Judges Say:
Nigel- challenge accepted
Kenny- would push himself to the front of the line to work with her
Katie- blown away
Mary- in a class of her own

Sasha and Marko are paired for a Spencer Liff Broadway number. This is easily one of the better Broadway numbers. The song, dance, and story seemed connected, there was a good (not cheesy) energy.
Judges Say:
Kenny- great fun
Katie- Sasha is a beautiful, strong woman, Marko is incredible
Mary- Marko changed his character so much
Nigel- not knocked out, Sasha is a better warrior than vamp, Marko needed more character

Melanie is the first solo of the night. The solo has me hopeful that she will one day come back and choreograph someday. It is definitely one of her better ones.

Marko’s sheer sweetness factor may garner him votes and boost his chances at a win. He too has stepped up his solo to deliver his best of the season.

Mark Ballas choreographs a cha cha for Sasha and Tadd which ends up being just sort of okay. Tadd is too short to partner Sasha for this and it looks silly (it doesn’t help that she has Mohawk hair). She definitely outdanced him.
Judges Say:
Katie- gave a lot over the season
Mary- both were struggling with connections and technique
Nigel- didn’t work
Kenny- everyone knows what you can do but maybe too ambitious for tonight

Tessandra Chavez choreographs a contemporary routine for Marko and all star Lauren Froderman about a failed love story. Easily the best routine so far. Lauren has really grown up since last season. I also would love to see more of Tessandra as a choreographer. You can see the emotional connection between the pair.
Judges Say:
Mary- you are living greatness
Nigel- fabulous performance
Kenny- the connection came alive
Katie- stunning and magical

Tadd’s solo is pretty standard fare for him—fun but not full of diverse dance moves. It feels like he does the same one trick or two over and over again. All I want is some more diversity.

Tadd and Melanie are partnered for a Ray Leeper jazz routine about a woman who discovers that her boyfriend is cheating on her. This isn’t a perfect routine but it is definitely not the worst of the night.
Judges Say:
Nigel- Melanie had character, Tadd redeemed himself
Kenny- Melanie brings theater to the performance, good chemistry
Katie- fun to watch
Mary- strong, dynamic

Sasha has the final solo of the night and she shows that she too can pull out a strong, emotional solo. Her best of the season.

Stacey Tookey choreographs a contemporary piece for Sasha and Melanie about repressed housewives who want to break free. The piece wasn’t my favorite of the night. They both danced well but it felt more sexual than it was intended to be. I also really didn’t like the yellow dress on Melanie. A nice blue or green would have been preferable. The orange on Sasha looked great though.
Judges Say:
Kenny- powerful, beautifully executed
Katie- gorgeous work
Mary- just gorgeous
Nigel- any company would be lucky to have you two

Tadd and Marko are partnered for a final step routine choreographed by Chuck Maldonado. Unfortunately, the pair’s obvious fatigue showed. They were out of synch and out of step (Marko more than Tadd).
Judges Say:
Katie- strong with a lot of athletic ability
Mary- solid gold and cute
Nigel- better in bigger groups, weren’t together

After a questionable night, it looks like Sasha may have won the season, though the audience has seemed to be more enamored with Melanie throughout. Marko had too many poor performances, I don’t think even his excellent dance with Lauren could help. My friend points out one very interesting fact: Sasha has danced in her own style only on occasion while Melanie has danced within her style consistently. So though this is neither dancer’s fault it does seem like Sasha has shown us the most. The lesson of the night: Cat Deeley has the best laugh ever.

Who do you think will win? Should win?

So You Think You Can Dance: Top 6 Results

Time to find out who our Top 4 dancers will be. But first we start the show off with the Top 6 dancing around an enormous flower. The lighting and costume colors were pretty cool though the flower was a little silly. Poor Caitlynn and Tadd were hidden in the back for much of the beginning of it. There is a weird sort of couples dancing thing going on in it that is both interesting and strange. And then the flower floated away and I have no idea what to do with that. But good choreography Justin Giles.

Christina Applegate is not around for the results show (for some reason most guest judges aren’t interested). Cat does give Nigel a nice intro for once. The judges are finally not partaking in the judging. The bottom two will leave the competition (because revealing the bottom four would reveal the top two which might ruin the surprise for next week).

Sasha is up first for another attitude-filled solo routine. This one felt a bit rushed but still interesting. The judges give it a standing ovation.

Caitlynn comes up next with a much less impressive solo. The judges give this another standing o and I am beginning to see a pattern.

Melanie has the last girls’ solo of the night in a better solo outfit that we often see from her. She basically obliterated Caitlynn’s solo with a much more emotional one.

Before we get some results and the final solos, we get some videos of (Inter)National Dance Day.

Tadd‘s solo is as silly as ever though there seemed to be a bit more power (and more adoring audience members). But no standing ovation from the judges?

Marko must really be feeling James Morrison since both his solos this week were to his songs. Marko has a surprising amount of cartwheels and flips for a contemporary dancer.

Ricky‘s final solo was one of his best and it is unfortunate he didn’t pull it out yesterday.

Lauren Froderman and Kent Boyd dance their prom dance from last season which reminds me how much chemistry they both had (something that not many contestants this season could manage even though they were tremendous talents). Unlike the boys’ solos, this does earn another standing ovation. The two are so cute together.

Lauren, Robert, Mark, and Joshua (season 4 winner) will be the all stars for next week. Now that we know that, let us here some results. Girls first: Melanie is sent through right away. We move to the guys, who come out doing a silly conga line: Marko is immediately sent through with Melanie.

We get a performance from the Bad Boys of Dance who put on a highly impressive ballet routine that could really draw in younger people who have a hard time enjoying the classic ballet.

Sasha and Caitlynn are called back up for the last of the girls’ results. Nigel gets a moment to put a word in and he says he loves them both but Caitlynn performs more from her head while Melanie dances from her heart and Sasha dances from her soul. All three are incredible and ultimately dance wins. As expected Sasha joins Melanie and Marko while Caitlynn goes “home,” despite her stellar week.

Pia Toscano performs her new single “This Time.” I sort of missed her ballgown dresses. It was weird to see her walking and talking and wearing pants. (And a bad tan.) Wasn’t this what got her kicked off American Idol? Where is the ballad? Shouldn’t that have been her first single and then spread out from there once you got people intrigued?

Time for the guys’ results which Tadd once again leads out with silliness. This is why he is so much more fun than everyone else. Not surprisingly, Tadd is through and Ricky is done.

What do you think of the results? Did America make the right choice?

So You Think You Can Dance: Top 6 Perform

It’s our last week before the finals and our top six take the stage alongside the all stars for a final shot at making it. The only thing to note about the opening is that Melanie’s little solo dance was decidedly not contemporary (inspired by the shiny black leather pants perhaps?) and Tadd’s was ever more the comic route that he has been embracing during his regular solos.

This week’s guest judges are Christina Applegate and Lil C. (Christina Applegate apparently danced when she was three until she had a baby. She also thinks this is the best season thus far.) Mary is looking decidedly orange.

National Dance Day was this weekend. We get a quick clip of some exciting clips from around the world. (It might have to become International Dance Day–that would be kind of cool actually.)

Melanie is paired with Twitch for a Nappy Tabs routine about Little Red in the Hood. Twitch is the big bad wolf, surprised to find that Little Red has some swag. It’s a bit weird to watch because some of the moves she hits really well and others feel a little awkward. (So she will probably get a bunch of compliments.) That cool lift was well done though.
Judges Say:
Lil C- That was a difficult routine (tough music and fast moves). It was shaky in the beginning but it ascended to buckness.
Christina- Melanie gives her hope every week. In this she was so evil.
Mary- Mary’s brother has never called her about a contestant until now to say Melanie has such charm. This was the first time she had something so hard-hitting.
Nigel- Melanie is a phenomenal dancer. There have been accusations that she hasn’t been given challenging styles but it is just that she’s just good at everything. See you in the finale.

Sasha and Kent get a Tyce Diorio routine about a couple who have hit a wall in their relationship. This piece is all about the emotion. Can Tyce pull it out in a way he has not been able to do in quite a while? Kent’s facial expressions might be stronger than they were during his season here. There’s a lot to be impressed with here and you can see how invested Tyce is, he’s teary-eyed (maybe the problem with so many of his routines is that he wasn’t doing things that are close to home). Mary and Christina are crying too.
Judges Say:
Christina- There are many amazing technicians in the competition but Sasha can break her heart and that’s dance. So brilliant.
Mary- That was intoxicating. A superstar.
Nigel- Tyce at his creative best. And Sasha brilliantly draws us into the dance and has gone back to his favorite.
Lil C- (trying not to cry and losing his thoughts and ultimately unable to stop crying) He loves the way she dances and wishes he had worked with her this season. Ten notches past amazing.

Marko and Janette are paired for a pase doble choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin. Marko is a hunter and she is an animal rights activists. Did Janette always have such a strong accent? Am i remembering someone else? Not really feeling the passion and competition in the dance. The dancing is fine but this was one of Marko’s weaker moments for me.
Judges Say:
Mary- This dance is so passionate and riveting. The style was spot on despite losing his footing at times.
Nigel- Left him sort of cold tonight. Wanted more passion.
Lil C- It was a pleasure to watch him perform because a lot of dancers just do the steps but Marko was so connected to the piece.
Christina- She knows nothing about the genre but she is a huge fan of Marko.

Ricky is the first solo of the night and I couldn’t help but think that he looked a bit more lanky than anything else. He is a good dancer but I wanted to be more impressed. Come on people, you’re fighting for the finale, time to really pull it out.

Tadd is paired with Ellenore for a Sonya Tayeh routine about a couple living during a conservative time when their first touch leads to lust-filled action. She wants to find the dirty side of Tadd. I don’t think Ellenore’s outfit covers enough for her time period. There’s a lot of cool moves in this, Tadd hanging onto the chandelier is particularly fun. (Cat is just dying for a go for herself.)
Judges Say:
Nigel- It was…it was! I would have liked to see more dancing but it was very interesting. Too short.
Lil C- Sonya showcases a dancer’s fundamental abilities. He needed to make each move feel like it was lasting longer. Live in the moment more.
Christina- Christina loved it. She loves Tadd so much.
Mary- Tadd’s ability is extraordinary. He is still growing.

Caitlynn has the next solo. This is one of her better solos, it drew you in in a way most of the solos have not been doing.

Ricky and Jamie get a Dee Caspary routine about a couple where the guy becomes controlling in an attempt to keep his girlfriend from slipping away. The sticks feel like a bit of a silly prop for an otherwise pretty dance. (I do miss Allison though.) Ricky does not look awkward here.
Judges Say:
Lil C- Dancing with a prop is hard, especially when it alters how you would normal dance.
Christina- Ricky is a beautiful dancer, but she’s noticed he doesn’t dance with the clearest intention, which would take him up to extraordinary.
Mary- All of that. And beautiful free-flowing movement.
Nigel- The routine was lovely. He wants him to dance lower though (he is tall Nigel, he can’t help that!) but he has beautiful lines.

Tadd‘s solo is another crazy laughfest of silliness. He’s good at this though I feel like he could add more diversity into his moves.

Sasha has the fourth solo of the night. I like how much attitude she brought to it. It really felt like she had a point of view rather than just your usual pretty performance.

Caitlynn and Pasha are paired for a Dmitry Chaplin samba. At this point there is very little chance of Caitlynn making the finale and this isn’t a routine that is going to help her. Not because she did a bad job of it but because this isn’t the sort of routine that will drive the audience to tears or be memorable for years to come. (That is the unfortunate thing about most of the ballroom/Latin numbers. It is just the style of dance they are.)
Judges Say:
Christina- That looked really good and beautiful, not dorky like so many others.
Mary- That was better than the last samba. On fire. The only criticism was some of the funny faces but the body was dancing.
Nigel- Fabulous roles but watch the “sexy faces.”
Lil C- She danced it amazingly. But approach being sexy more subtly.

Marko has the last guys’ solo of the night. His routine is full of tricks that make it fun to watch.

Melanie has the final solo of the night and she pulls out one of the more interestingly bizarre numbers of the night. Easily the best solo of the season I think (even soiled by that silliness at the end). Most shocking is that she as figuring out her solo at the last minute backstage.

Sasha and Ricky
are paired for a new dance style, called Whacking (remember Princess Lockaroo?). The choreographer is Kumari Suraj. It is a style that apparently requires a lot of control. It’s interesting though perhaps should have been brought in earlier in the season. The last move was pretty cool.
Judges Say:
Mary- A great job though not as good as Princess Lockaroo. Sasha whacked a little better.
Nigel- He didn’t think the whacking was lacking. He liked the fun but Ricky should have relaxed more.
Lil C- He would have loved to see them enjoy it more.
Christina- They could have whacked it harder.

Melanie and Tadd are choreographed by Spencer Liff about a dancer falling in love with her choreographer and being heartbroken. Spencer like so many other choreographers makes sure to utilize Tadd’s natural athleticism. Melanie definitely did a better job here than in the hip hop routine and I think she outshined Tadd, which is not particularly surprising.
Judges Say:
Nigel- Just a moment about the solo–it was the best on the show ever. She is a brilliant dancer on top of her incredible dancing. Tadd didn’t suck either.
Lil C- Melanie’s solo was so beefy and Tadd is growing.
Christina- Melanie has taken dance to a new level. Tadd has better technique than some ballet dancers.
Mary- Everyone has said it all.

Caitlynn and Marko are paired for a Sonyah Tayeh routine for the last performance of the night. Marko is an overbearing man and Caitlynn is trying to get away and find her own voice. No sexy here. And no niceness either. This routine is a much more successful Sonyah piece that showed Caitlynn off more than she has been in a while. I got her desperation more than I got Marko’s controllingness. The judges give it a standing ovation, the only one of the night.
Judges Say:
Lil C- This routine was double hashtag buck.
Christina- Wow. Marko is a beast too, not just the women. That was Caitlynn’s moment.
Mary- I didn’t really care for it…are you kidding me! That was Caitlynn’s best number of the series.
Nigel- This routine proves why Sonyah is a world-class choreographer. Stunning. Caitlynn came of age tonight.

After that, who do you think will be joining Marko, Melanie, and Sasha in the finale?

SYTYCD: Top 8 Results

We open with a circus themed performance by our top eight here Jess looks a bit terrifying but otherwise I have little to complain about . The style particularly suits Sasha. It is definitely one of the better group numbers, choreographed by Tyce. (Maybe he’s just better with group numbers?) It sort of reminded me of Mia’s Alison Wonderland routine.

Sadly, eliminations will still be done by gender so the bottom two guys and bottom two girls will perform and one of each will go home.

The four girls are up first to get their results as a group. The two girls who are safe are…going to be announced after the break. The top two girls after the biggest vote of the season are Sasha and Melanie, as expected.

The four remaining guys come up next and here is where things are a bit trickier. Marko is obviously safe but I am less sure of the others. Tadd seems most likely but that might just be my hopes. Marko is quickly sent to safety and Jess finds himself in danger. Surprisingly, it is Ricky who is safe and Tadd is in the bottom. (Anyone else think it is Jess going home?)

But before the solos, let’s watch some awesome LXD (Legion of Extraordinary Dancers). This crew seems to get bigger every time I see it and it only seems to have a fewq of the same people from one performance to the next. That being said, it is always awesome. (Christopher Scott is one of the choreographers.)

It is not surprising at all that Jordan chooses to dance her solo to S&M which is carefully edited to be appropriate for the Fox audience.

Jess‘s solo is Broadway appropriate but and his spinning is even impressive but it wasn’t anything new from him.

Caitlynn shows good technique but I’m not sure she has convinced me. Especially since the judges seem to love Jordan.

Finally it’s Tadd who continues with an impressive bit of strength and entertainment but not enough actual content for me. I know he’s a b-boy and that’s how they work but I wanted more dancing. The judges seem to like it enough to give it a standing ovation.

Lady Gaga performs “The Edge of Glory” and “You and I.” We have already watched “The Edge of Glory” performed on Fox during American Idol but I’m pretty sure they have at least changed the costume and dance this time around. However, the sound is a little off and it can’t possibly be “live” since that was a lot of equipment to manage so quickly. She continues rocking the blue hair but otherwise nothing so shocking about her clothes. Even her shoes aren’t that high. I wonder if she will ever get tired of being wild and just want to be pretty one day. Not even permanently, I just think that one awards show it would be shocking if she just showed up as a well dressed, normal-haired woman. I’m not sure people would even recognize her.

The judges were not originally unanimous about the decision but now it is time to look towards the winner. They are picking the potential winner not just the greatest talent. A fabulous dancer will be going home.

Both girls had disappointing solos. Going with America’s votes, Jordan will be going home this week

Tadd is so unique that they cannot let him go so Jess will be joining Jordan and leaving the show.

SYTYCD: Top 8 Performances

Cat Deeley has opted for a sweet, simple outfit, so as not to compete with crazily dressed guest judge Lady Gaga. Rob Marshall is another guest judge. (Why do we need two guests? To fill time?) Lady Gaga is actually not as crazily dressed as she might be (though wearing sunglasses indoors seems like a bad plan, that theater is not very bright).

Sasha and Pasha are paired for a quickstep ballroom routine choreographed by Jonathan Roberts. It is meant to be a crazy character driven waltz. Sasha looks incredibly awkward in the beginning (almost like she and Pasha just aren’t the right sizes for each other or something. I don’t see the crazy characters there either. This might be Sasha’s worst performance of the season yet.
Judges Say:
Rob- Sasha is astonishing and beautiful and elegant. The genre doesn’t show off the things you do well.
Mary- You pulled it off. You create a fantastic vision. Best body position of anyone yet. Get knees softer.
Nigel- Sasha is his favorite dancer by a hair’s breath, at least this week. A little too stiff in the upper body line.
Gaga- Sasha is as shiny on the outside and the inside. Disagree with Nigel. The strange posture was interesting. Maybe could have been a little looser.

Caitlynn
is paired with all star Ivan for a hip hop routine with Marty Kudelka about a girl sick of her boyfriend and swept off her feet by another guy.The routine starts way too slowly but it clear that Caitlynn can hit the sharp hip hop moves. Her steps aren’t as smooth as I would like. The connection isn’t great and I think this is more due to the dance and the music than the dancers.
Judges Say:
Mary- Caitlynn wasn’t brilliant but good.
Nigel- Caitlynn is a lovely dancer but she needs to open her legs and get a firmer base to get down into the swagger more. Stayed in character well.
Gaga- (the sunglasses have come off) Caitlynn is sexy and the connection was magical (really?). Don’t rely on the center and stop so much, move through the movement more.
Rob- Great, a beautiful style but needs to lose herself more in the style (the way Lady Gaga does). Work on becoming more of a character.

Jordan and Ade get a Tyce Diorio jazz number about a secret rendezvous. This number felt a little disjointed for me, like each individual move worked but it didn’t come together into a cohesive or fluent whole.
Judges Say:
Nigel- Is there anything that little body can’t do? It was a fun routine.
Gaga- She’s a star!
Rob- Dynamic and full of meaning when dancing.
Mary- She was the badass Tyce wanted.

Melanie and Neil get a Mandy Moore contemporary routine about being at the crossroads of a relationship. Not my favorite Mandy Moore dance but my favorite of the night so far. (Just not feeling the emotion the way I want to.) It does get a standing ovation from the judges (and the audience goes wild), which elicits giggles from Cat when she sees how tall Gaga is.
Judges Say:
Gaga- Melanie is my favorite, I would hire her for my tour tomorrow. (crying)
Rob- It is poetic what she does. Amazing.
Mary- How many more adjectives can we use to describe her?
Nigel- I’ve changed my mind, Melanie is my favorite dancer.

Ricky and Anya will be jiving to Jason Gilkinson’s choreography. I liked Ricky a lot in this piece. There was only one moment where I noticed him looking at his feet instead of up.
Judges Say:
Rob- Ricky dances with such joy and the technique is out of this world.
Mary- He missed some of the feel but it got better. He pulled it off.
Nigel- Ricky was too high but one of the lifts looked too labored.
Gaga- I have a sweet spot for Ricky, he looks strong and nimble.

Jess and Lauren Gottlieb (!) get a hip hop number by Nappy Tabs about a guy who cheated on his girlfriend and is trying to win her back. Much as I like Lauren, this wasn’t my favorite performance by her either. Or my favorite Nappy-Tabs number. That being said, Jess was pretty good.
Judges Say:
Mary- Every week has been progress. Jess was really good this week, it felt really honest.
Nigel- Jess didn’t oversell it.
Gaga- There was something I didn’t love about the props but you outshone them.
Rob- Jess has used the competition to grow. Simple and pure and beautiful.

Tadd and Lauren Froderman are paired for a Mandy Moore routine about pulling a heist. Did Tadd lose his hat in the beginning of that routine? This routine felt more hip hop than contemporary (which suits Tadd) but it is a lot of fun.
Judges Say:
Nigel- This style suits Tadd.
Gaga- I liked the attitude and style.
Rob- Very special.
Mary- Very cool up there. Tadd’s got this thing.

Marko and Allison have a Sonyah Tayeh contemporary routine about being cruel to someone and wanting to change. It is hard to believe Allison didn’t win her season because she truly is one of the best dancers to ever be on this show. Marko is also pretty fantastic here. Everyone from Marko’s mom (who flew in from Guam) to Allison and Marko to Lady Gaga to Mary are bawling. Another standing ovation.
Judges Say:
Gaga- I’m so proud, Marko really loves to dance. Absolutely incredible.
Rob- Allison is a true artist. It was an incredible partnership. So fluid and beautiful.
Mary- Amazing, you can’t say it enough. Marko adds a volume and finishing to his steps. By far my favorite.
Nigel- We’ve seen a moment here that is more than the competition.

Caitlynn and Tadd are paired for a Johnathan Roberts ballroom number. Caitlynn’s costume makes it difficult to see what she’s actually doing with her feet which is sort of annoying. Not a fan of this number and especially its music. Which is not a commentary on their dancing which seemed to get stronger as the night wore on.
Judges Say:
Rob- Sparkling from beginning to end.
Mary- I need more power in the base , slightly awkward when in hold but gorgeous when side by side.
Nigel- I was just in heaven watching it.
Gaga- I loved it. The lean back and the “hello I’m a star.” Every once in a while, you’re hands get a little “I’ve won a lot of trophies.” Relax them a little.

Marko and Ricky get a Nappy-Tabs hip hop number about “waste management technicians.” It looks like Ricky might have missed up in the middle. He doesn’t have as much swagger as Marko in some places and Marko doesn’t quite get it as well in other places. Almost like they took turns to get it quite right.
Judges Say:
Mary- I loved it. Fabulous. WOOOO!
Nigel- It was a lot of fun, there were good characters. Marko got nasty. Ricky is still a bit high (he’s also taller). Ricky might be in the bottom.
Gaga- I think both are incredible dancers, it was amazing. The only thing for me but the “interpretation of hip hop felt a little contrived.”
Rob- What astonishes me is the range of the pair.

Jordan and Jess get a Jason Gilkinson rumba about a woman blinded by love. Jordan’s facial expressions threw me a bit. They did a good job but it didn’t pull me in.
Judges Say:
Nigel- Fabulous lift Jess. Didn’t feel the chemistry. Watch the swayed back.
Gaga- There was nothing wrong with it. It had beautiful moments. I would have interpreted it differently.
Rob- You brought out the best in each other. You both work from an acting place.
Mary- What was lacking was the elasticity in the arms and the sensuality. Still beautiful.

Sasha and Melanie are paired for a Sonyah Tayeh jazz routine. (That much was obvious when you saw their outfits.) This is Sonyah at her greatest. It is just such a bizarre and interesting routine. Another standing ovation and even Sonyah looks a bit shocked. Twitch in the audience is wowing, the audience (and Ellen Degenerous) are unable to stop cheering. Gaga even starts banging on the table. (Sasha is definitely redeemed for anything I did not like earlier.)
Judges Say:
Gaga- Performance of the evening. Absolutely incredible.
Rob- Unbelievable.
Mary- Talk about strength and power, my goodness. The best number of the night and ever done by Sonyah.
Nigel- Fantastic. I don’t know who is the better dancer. One of these two could be this year’s champion.

Who do you think will be in the bottom this week? Who should be going home?

SYTYCD: Top Ten Results

After last night’s first contestant-all star performance, it is time for our first true individual performances.

The show opens with our top ten performing a Broadway piece which never seems as awesome on TV as it does in the many Broadway shows I have come to love. I think mostly I don’t like the music (and by extension the style) the choreographers on this show tend to select. Where is the more modern work? Enough of the contemplative/slow stuff.

Instead of having a true single elimination, there will be a bottom two guys and bottom two girls and an elimination of one each. I suppose they are concerned that all of one gender will be cut out once again.

NPH says he likes the results shows on SYTYCD because on other shows, the group performances tend to be…meh.

First results are Melanie, Mitchell, and Tadd. So Melanie is safe. Mitchell probably isn’t. Tadd was said to out-dance his all star so it would be surprising if he went in the bottom. Mitchell may actually be heading home tonight. The second dancer in the bottom four is…neither of them. Tricky Cat Deeley, that was a bit mean and tricky.

Our next group to get results is: Marko, Sasha, and Clarice. Presumably it is Clarice who is in danger here. (I’m not clear why they are doing it this way. Whenever there are two of one gender and only one of the other, it is pretty clear that one person of the majority gender will be in the bottom. Marko is quickly sent to safety (maybe they just new Melanie and Marko would definitely safe so it only makes sense to do it this way. Sure enough, Clarice is the first girl in danger.

Next week’s all stars are: Ivan, Jaimie, Anya, Pasha, Lauren Gottlieb, Neil, Ade, and Lauren Froderman. A winner returning! Bring back the others!

Jess and Ricky are next in the harder to call decision of the night. Ricky seems not to have won the audience over on his own because he is sent to the bottom.

Lastly, we have Caitlynn and Jordan. another indefinite. Jordan if history repeats itself, which it does.

Deneil Thinkin (name?) of the French ballet, who is the least suave looking guy I have ever seen does some dance to some French music. He’s sort of creepy looking. Not a bad dancer, he’s very good, it was just so weird. Why didn’t they have the week’s all stars perform a group number? That would be awesome.

Our dancers were tested by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute to help them improve their performance through health. They go through tests to determine the body composition, measure reaction time, and physically reacting to stimulus. The tests show that they are just as fit as other professional athletes.

Solos:
Clarice- Nice but not particularly special.
Mitchell-Something about holding a towel makes this look more impressive than it is.
Jordan- More emotion than usual.
Ricky- very intense music.

While the judges go make their decision, blush featuring Snoop Dog perform. Unfortunately the singing was sub-par.

The judges are unanimous but before Nigel reveals the losers he wants to explain all that the winner will get and their need to not be depressed for being in the bottom. Twitch was in the bottom 3 times and Alison was in the bottom 4 times and look at them now. Mitchell and Clarice are fantastic but they will be going home tonight.

The competition is starting to get tight an soon it will be harder to determine who will be leaving. Do you think the judges made the right choice this week?