So You Think You Can Dance Recap: The Top 12 Dance Their Last Dance
Which, because they didn't split up a single couple yet, was particularly poignant..at least to Cat, who brought it up a million times.
I wasn't quite as broken up about it as Cat, as I'm finding all the couples to be incredibly talented, but none of them being out of this world on the chemistry front. Maybe that's just me? I think we've established that my opinions are officially the product of Opposite Day to some folks :)
Last night each couple did two routines, and we were treated to two guest judges...one Sonya Tayeh, the wacky-mohawked choreographer (or Sonya is the new Wade, if you prefer) and one Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Cue scratching record sound (and for those of you who are younger than 25: A record is this flat black disc that you played by placing a needle on it. I know, right?).
So Jesse originated a role in that Spelling Bee show on Broadway, which is cool. But that show features exactly no dancing, which is not that cool. And I guess he did his time on cruise ships and theme parks...which is the least cool thing I've ever heard.
Now, as it turns out: Jesse was a delightful judge who really watches the show, was willing to criticize, and was overall kind of adorable. But still.
So, on to the two couples, whose two dances I will group together.
1. Sasha and Alexander
a. First they danced a paso doble routine by Tony and Melanie, to a song called "March of the Trolls." (Why yes, I did envision nasty commenters on the Internet, how did you know?)
Now unlike most pasos, this one involved two matadors. She was clearly stronger than him, which she has been since the beginning. And call me square, or anti-feminist, or whatever, but I missed the cape...where was the cape? While there was no cape, there were a couple of sloppy points where they seemed a bit out of synch and a bit unbalanced. I thought it was OK, but not awesome.
b. Then they danced a contemporary routine by Tyce Diorio, to "That's Life," sung by Aretha.
I completely agreed with the judges that this was the best Alexander has ever been. He owned the style and seemed more Sasha's match in this number than ever before. Of course that might be because there were a couple of literal stumbles, mostly hers, but why be mean? It had great energy and was perhaps my favorite routine they've done. And now they're being torn apart!!!!! Dramatic Sob!
2. Jordan and Tadd
a. First, they danced a contemporary routine by Travis, to a instrumental piece by Olafur Arnalds.
Wow, so we're all about the men triumphing over those evil women who dare to be strong tonight, eh? Since both the Sasha/Alexander paso that came before it and this routine ended with a strangled woman, it was a bit of a weird way to start the night. Just me? I've gone from anti-feminist to overly feminist? This was OK, but given that Nigel just gave Jordan feedback about over-relying on her monumental developpees, I thought it was funny that there were about 20 of them choreographed into this piece. Not her fault, I guess, but I was saying "OK, I get it already!" to the TV. Again, good, but didn't knock my socks off.
b. Then they danced a jazz routine by Spencer Liff, to "Out Tonight" from Rent.
I thought this was pretty terrible. First of all, it took a really long time to get going. If this were Dancing with the Stars, Len would have grumbled about that for about five minutes. Then once it got going, well, it didn't really get going. There wasn't a ton of stuff that felt like actual dancing, and overall the effect was amateurish and not interesting at all. One of the worst routines of the night for me.
3. Ryan and Rickey
a. First they danced a Broadway routine by Spencer Liff, to "All I need is the Girl" from Gypsy sung by Sinatra.
I liked it more than the judges. I thought it was nice and precise and very evocative. I did feel Ryan was a bit heavy on her feet, but I thought the two of them together were stylish...I didn't miss the style.
b. Then they danced a cha cha routine by Louis Van Amstel, to a tune by Enrique Iglesias
Oh, this was not so great. She seemed a bit behind the whole time. He had it going on, but there was an awkwardness between them. Especially at the end. The end was uncomfortable and awkward. Another not-so-good routine.
4. Caitlynn and Mitchell
a. First they danced a hip-hop routine by Christopher Scott, to a tune by Lupe Fiasco
Wow, it was kind of a rough evening. Must have been all that emotion over the fact that it was the last time dancing together for all for all of these couples!!!!!! Dramatic Sob. She wasn't very hard-hitting. He was better, for sure, but that just made it more obvious that it wasn't well-synched. This was set up to be all about Something! Very! Dramatic! And important! [Seriously...child soldiers in the Congo.] And I didn't see it in the dance at all. And for once, the judges actually called out the choreographer on it. Poor guy...he must have been wondering why all of a sudden after ten seasons they finally decided to ascribe some measure of responsibility to the person who actually creates the moves the dancers are asked to undertake.
b. Then they danced a Contemporary routine by Travis Wall, to "Piece of my heart" by Janis Joplin
Who was the rock star? It didn't seem like it was her, am I right? This involved lots and lots of posing and preening and pouting, but it didn't move me at all. So OK, she looked hot. She was dressed in hooker gear, after all...tell me who on the stage doesn't look hot...with or without the hooker gear, for that matter?
5. Melanie and Marko
a. First they danced a tango by Louis Van Amstel, to a tune by Gotan Project
They had great commitment and style, but sometimes I thought they were a bit off balance. She was hanging on for dear life sometimes. And that ending was a big WOW moment, but it also introduced a bit of awkward where there had been mostly elegance.
b. Then they danced a contemporary routine by Dee Caspary, to "Skin & Bones" by David J Roch
This was lovely. OK, so pretty soon the choreographers are going to run out of props and set pieces to use as the focal point...tables, doors, beds, chains, flower petals, a bench, a bra ribbon, rolling chairs....and now a light bulb. What's next? The breakfast nook! The indoor grill! The tea kettle...its whistle represents the far off passage of time, or the hunger for traveling on a train! Anyway...the light bulb was mostly a distraction for me, but I did like seeing Melanie and Marko do contemporary which is, after all, what they do best.
6. Clarice and Jess
a. First they danced a lyrical hip-hop routine by Christopher Scott, to "Just the Way You Are" sung by Boyce Avenue, not Bruno Mars
This was sweet. And heartfelt. And more emotional than Scott's Congo hip-hop number earlier in the evening, despite the much lighter subject. I think Jess is just a joy to watch...he makes it look easy. I will say that we like our women insecure and needy on SYTYCD...that's the way to avoid ending up strangled in the end. I know, I just can't help myself.
b. Then they danced a jive by Tony and Melanie, to a tune by Robert Randolph and the Family Band
Some of the moves got a little messy at the end, but he has a style that is just impeccable. The music was awesome too. They both looked like they were going to keel over and die by the end though, so stamina was a bit of an issue, but overall...great way to close the evening.
Bottom Line for the Bottom Three:
I think the Bottom Three will likely be:
Ryan and Rickey
Caitlynn and Mitchell
Jordan and Tadd
And since they're breaking up the couples next week anyway, perhaps the ones to go home will be:
Ryan and Tadd?
What did you think?
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