7:40 – Welcome Dance fans! Sorry for missing out on last week, I was off at the beach indulging way too much. I am super excited to be back again this week, and cannot wait to see what the Top 20 has in store for us. Sadly, we will be losing four dancers this week, which has me a bit nervous. Last year, losing four at the beginning had a little bit of a devastating effect on the start of the live shows. Season 8 really did not seem to recover until the All-Stars were introduced, so here is hoping that does not happen again. Regardless, tonight should be jammed pack and definitely filled with tension given the high stakes. See everyone here at 8:00PM!
7:50 - So who do we think is in danger tonight? This early in the season, I think it is based on a few things. First, you have to consider who had the best night during the first Top 20 performances in the competition? I think that makes Audrey and Matt safe, along with Lindsay and Cole. Second, you have to ask yourself who had a great Vegas week and/or audition? That makes Amelia and Cyrus safe, bringing their partners Will and Eliana respectively along with them. Third, who does not really have any name recognition at this point? I think that Amber and Nick are in real trouble here, because we saw almost nothing of them before the Meet the Top 20 episode. Finally, where were the poor performances last week, either the dancing, choreography or both? I have to go with Alexa and Daniel as well as Janaya and Brandon being in trouble. Chehon and Whitney did not have the best of nights either, plus they went first in a two hour show, so I would not be shocked to see them in danger also. Of course, given all of this, I will be totally wrong and something crazy and unexpected will happen tonight. We will just have to see!
8:03 – Red is really a great color on Cat. And speaking of color, girl is tan tonight! Another great color on her. Also, the legs! Cat is clearly feeling it tonight, and why shouldn’t she? Go on with yourself!
8:04 – Not a bad Top 20 routine from NappyTabs. Not a shock to see Cyrus as the star of it, and I really enjoyed the way they directed around the camera. Too often the choreographers on this show forget the primary audience watching is a television one, and do not really choreograph to us. Also, they did some really nice group work. Hip-Hop was made for a ton of dancers coming together to make interesting and creative pictures, and this routine definitely did that.
8:07 – Adam Shankman in the house! I was pretty ambivalent about him when he was permanent judge, but I like him in a multi-appearance throughout the season kind of way.
8:10 – Up first is a Christopher Scott Hip-Hop routine about a dentist visit for Lyndsay and Cole. Oh Lyndsay, honey. No. That was rough for her for sure. I totally agree with Nigel, it just felt like a very immature performance from her. She was not hitting anywhere near hard enough, and her body looked very unsure throughout the routine. I know the judges threw out there that this was well out of her comfort zone, but that is really not an excuse. The dancers know what they are getting when the sign-up, and that was simply not good enough. Cole, on the other hand, sold the hell out of it. Not only did he have nice crisp movements and smooth flowing ones when needed, he really owned that character. He is fast becoming the male favorite this season, and the other guys better step up to his level.
8:17 – Amelia and Will then dance a Sonyah Tayeh Contemporary routine. Guys, Sonyah is on this season. I am living for what she is delivering so far this season. Gorgeous stuff, really. To a certain extent, I feel terrible for Will. He is truly a great dancer, but Amelia is just owning that stage every time she is on it. Her lines, her emoting, her partnering, everything is just so phenomenal. And do not get me wrong, without Will’s support, she does not get the opportunity to do half of what she just did. It just sucks that he is being used more as a supporting dancer right now. Also, I loved the fact that Nigel commented on Sonyah’s growth on the show. I could not agree more.
8:24 – Amber and Nick are now up with a Tango. While they displayed some fabulous technique, I just did not feel the chemistry. I think they both performed, but not to each other. If anything, Nick was really throwing his face to make up for their lack of connection. Watch the routine again, and look at how much Nick seems to be willing a spark between them. Of course, that does not take away from a very beautiful and difficult dance they performed. What does take away from that, however, was a poor wardrobe choice. Nick’s jacket was absolutely terrible, and totally obscured his midsection and upper-legs. A lot of his fantastic lines could not bee seen, because the thing was too damn long. Bah. Also, is Amber the best non-ballroom, ballroom dancer this show has had? She was fabulous both this week and last. If she is not, she is definitely the best in a long time.
8:35 – Sonyah is back up tonight with a Jazz routine for Audrey and Matt. See, that is what I mean about chemistry. There is an absolutely undeniable connection between these two dancers, and it shows in every routine. There movement was great together, and they just partner extremely well. Also, they really owned the quirky and different kind of motions and movements that Sonyah likes to put into her routines. That is not easy, because it is not hard for that stuff to come off as overwrought and unnecessary. I actually disagree with Nigel, I prefer Sonyah’s softer and more delicate pieces to this kind of style she does. Still, I really liked this one and agree with Adam that this could be her night.
8:42 – Janelle and Darien are next with a Lyrical(?) Hip-Hop routine. Man, the judges comments have been so precise and accurate this season. In the past season, I felt like they would miss the mark a lot of time, but not this one. And there goes Nigel stealing the words right off my fingers. It was weak choreography, but neither Janelle or Darien brought enough to the routine character-wise. Well, Darien did have some nice tricks, but that is about it. And how passionless was that kiss at the end? Here is a hint to the girls this season, do not tell us before the dance how much you cannot see yourself liking your partner in a romantic way. It will definitely not help you fake it on the stage. Speaking of wasted kisses: Adam, if you are going to kiss Nigel, do not put your hand on his mouth before you do it! In for a penny, in for a pound sir.
8:51 – Sean Cheesmen attempts to redeem himself from last week with a stellar Broadway routine for Janaya and Brandon. There you go guys, there is some character and personality for you! They also topped it off with some impressive skill. Mary hit the nail on the head, that was pure entertainment on the dance floor. The comedy, the shoe throwing, and campy nature was all just clicking for me. Furthermore, that last lift near the end of the routine was unreal. I actually stood up a little when they pulled that move, because damn! Finally, BAHAHA to Cat calling her cray-cray. Gold. Best host on television people!
9:00 – Eliana and Cyrus are up next with a Jive routine by Tony and Melanie, and that was……..something. Jives are notoriously difficult on this show, and this one is no exception. You could really see how uncomfortable Cyrus was with the routine. He was just not in it at all. It is especially damning when you consider how slow everything was and what little use of the floor the choreography had. Loved Mary listing how he did tons of things wrong, but tried to rescue him at the end with some faint praise. Lady, you listed about 90% of the dance! I also feel bad for Eliana, because with a stronger partner, it was pretty clear she could have turned this thing out. Like I said, though, part of the beginning of the season is total luck and who you get for a partner. Not much you can do about that.
Can we talk really quick about what Nigel said about the routines and the dancers having quasi-control on picking what they do? Say what? Why did they change up the system at all? This really does not make any sense. Oh show, just because you needed to change somethings, did not mean you had to change everything.
9:11 – Oh election season, can you please hurry up and be over. Thanks!
9:12 – Love me some Dee Caspary, and love this Contemporary routine he gave Alexa and Daniel. Dee always brings a lovely flowing quality to his work, and this dance was no exception. Light, elegant, and delicate, the choreography had it all. The bathtub was also an interesting choice, and I am glad he had the dancers use it throughout the routine. It did not just feel like a one-off prop that was used for a few seconds in the beginning and then left alone. The problem, as Adam called to attention, was the lack of emotion between Alexa and Daniel. Fantastic execution on Alexa and Daniel’s part, but nothing was coming across between them. I think the problem is that both Alex and Daniel are internal dancers. They really do not emote when they move, and so it is even more pronounced when you put the both of them together.
9:22 – Tiffany and George then take the stage with a Tony and Melanie Foxtrot. I will be honest, I will pretty much default to whatever Mary says here. I do not know the first thing about the Foxtrot, so if she thinks it was on point when it comes to technique, I will take her word. To my untrained eye, it was definitely elegant and beautiful, and it felt real. It did not look like two amateurs attempting to tackle something they did not know, but two expertly trained people dancing something they had done for years. My fear with Tiffany and George is that they will slip through the cracks, because they do everything well, if not exciting. Hopefully, they get a breakout routine next week!
I have no idea why I want to call George, Will, but I have corrected it above. Probably because he reminds me of Will Wingfield from Season 4. My bad!
Quote of the night from Nigel Lythgoe, “The plugs on this show are just disgusting.” Yes sir, they are.
9:31 – Whitney and Chehon close out the show with Bollywood by Nakul Dev Mahajan. You know, Katee and Joshua just absolutely ruined this genre for everybody else. They destroyed it so hard that first time back in Season 4, that nobody will ever really compare. The big thing that really made that routine such a success was their chemistry, because they just came alive with each other. As for Whitney and Chehon, I think they did a respectable job. Chehon definitely had the better control of the routine, and it did get a little sloppy at the end, but I like what they did with it. Nothing to write home about, but passable.
9:37 – And here we go with the the Bottom 6 being called out. Janaya, Alexa, Whitney, Nick, Daniel, and Chehon are called out onto the stage. Damn, that was quick. I kind of like that actually, because there was no mind games involved. Shockingly, Nigel does not ask for anybody to dance for their lives. Um, what? I truly could care less about the Step-Up stuff. Gives these kids a chance to burn that stage one last time, dammit!
9:41 – Just a quick self-high-five moment. Go me for calling out these six at the top of the show. Definitely did not think I would be that accurate. Okay, I am done.
9:43 – They save Alexa and Chehon. Maybe Daniel, but not Nick. I seriously doubt Janaya, and Lindsay is still there to represent ballroom. That is what I am predicting.
9:45 – I am not going to cover this plug, because really, you are costing these contestants time to dance for this. It is really in bad taste, in my opinion.
9:50 – It was good for what it was, but I would have easily preferred the amazingness of six dance-for-your-lives where only two can be saved. Please, SYTYCD, do not let this be a pattern for future shows.
9:53 – Mass execution time folks. I want it to be Whitney and Chehon, but God knows how this will play out.
Oh spare me Nigel. “We only save people.” Take yourself elsewhere. I will agree, the dancing level is very high this season.
9:55 – WHITNEY! Yes! I am very pleased. I am “meh” about Alexa, and am actually glad we do not have Ryan situation on our hands here. I am a little more sad about Janaya. She really turned it out tonight.
9:56 – CHEHON! Yes! Nick never really had a chance when he received no airtime before the Top 20. Between his emotionless dancing and just a touch of attitude, I am not shocked to see Daniel gone either.
9:59 – Of the six who were in the bottom tonight, I feel like judges got it right. Honestly, I would have sent home Cyrus and either Darien or Nick for the guys. For the girls, it would have been Alexa and Janelle for me.
10:02 – So there you have it folks. What did you think of tonight’s results. Did you miss the dance-for-your-life dances? Terribly sad or mad to see anybody stay and/or go? Noticed the lighting has been atrocious this season? Really, though, what is with that? Let’s fix that please!
Til next week!