Tonight we find out for the first time where support lays based on your votes America. The eliminations start now on So You Think You Can Dance.
Tyce Diorio kicked off the night with the last performance we will see of the Top 20 to The Heroic Weather-Conditions of the Universe from the film Moonrise Kingdom, because tonight we see the first two major cuts of the season. Christina Applegate is always a great addition to the judges table, because of her first hand experience in stage, television and the big screen. She always seems to know just the right things to say mixed with the right amount of wit and emotion. Love her.
Right out of the gate, Cat announces how America voted and placed Makenzie, Mariah and Brittany on the girls side and Alan, Jade and Carlos for the boys in the bottom three. The judges spare Makenzie and Alan from elimination and ask the other four to dance for their lives. Wow! Does anyone else hate this format?
The first solo was Mariah Spears krumping to Hard in da Paint by Waka Flocka Flame, then Carlos Garland dancing to Radioactive by Imagine Dragons, followed by Brittany Cherry performing her solo to Hacksaw by Ooah, and lastly animator Jade Zuberi danced to De Nova Adagio by Alicia Keys. Nigel said that he was not impressed with the solos and reminded the dancers that dancing for your life means dancing to save your existence on the show, and he didn’t feel that coming from any of them. However, sometimes it’s a mystery what the judges are watching in comparison to what the audience sees on television, because Brittany Cherry and Carlos Garland both looked like they were dancing for their lives. Ironically, those were the two dancers he then proceeded to kick off the show. Makes perfect sense. NOT!
Wait…. What? The contestants they just kicked off the show still have to perform their routines? Oh, what genius came up with this format? Hey kid, I know we just kicked in your teeth and flushed your dreams down the toilet, now dance monkey, dance! This is just wrong…
First to perform were Hayley Erbert and Curtis Holland getting together with Ray Leeper for some Jazz to Mamma Knows Best by Jessie J. This was the first time the audience got to see what Hayley was talking about in her early interviews when she mentioned that people commented how sexy her dancing was. And How! Curtis was just along for the ride and was barely noticed. Nigel seemed out of breath and said she was moving parts of the body that he didn’t know could move, Mary claimed Fourth of July must have come early since Hayley was like fireworks tonight, and Christina thought Hayley was insanely sexy and joked that they should have all left the room for a few minutes.
Jasmine Harper and Aaron Turner were up next in a lyrical hip-hop number put together by new parents Napoleon and Tabitha, set to Tears Always Win by Alicia Keys. Once again proving they are a power couple, Mary thanked them for the chemistry lesson, Christina proclaimed they are the couple to beat, and Nigel said he’d forgotten that Aaron was a Tapper and called him a huge asset this season despite backing into the show.
Next up were Malece Miller and Jade Zuberi (who gave his worst solo performance to date), drawing the dreaded Bollywood card. The audience can always count on Nakul Dev Mahajan to throw together a rich routine, but Bollywood is such a demanding dance, it is always up to the dancers to step up to requirements. Christina said she thought the pair did a commendable job since this was so far out of their wheelhouse, Nigel praised Malece for getting it right and was shocked that Jade picked up the choreography as well as he did, and Mary said that Jade nailed the touch choreography. The judges were very generous, because Nigel was right when he said he was sure that they offended someone in India.
Back in season 7 Stacey Tookey choreographed an amazing tribute to American troops with a tear-jerker between Robert Roldan and Kathryn McCormick, when Kathryn leaves for war. For the first time in SYTYCD history, she created a sequel to that piece showing that same character coming home to her love, with Alexis Juliano filling Kathryn’s shoes and Nico Greetham taking Robert’s spot to Old Skin by Olafur Arnalds and Arnor Dan. No one really cared what the judges said, because they were in tears. Stacey is so great at digging deep to pull out the emotion in her dancers and is always relevant.
The great thing about Brittany Cherry and BluPrint drawing Broadway is that they were able to work with the amazing Spencer Liff and perform to It’s So Quiet by Lucy Woodward from Ice Princess. The terrible thing is that we already knew that Brittany had been eliminated (wrongfully). How unfair is it to expect her to perform at her absolute best? How unfair is it to BluPrint to have that negative energy tied to him? The performance was so much fun, they both were terrific in it, the judges were way too hard on BluPrint, and all the audience could do was think about was how sad they were that Brittany was leaving this show to soon. Still hating the format!
They’re baaaaack… Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo are back with their style, smile, drama and brilliant Tango choreography. With Alan Bersten’s experience in this genre, Jasmine Mason is in very capable hands and they should pair very well together dancing to Escape from Slavery by PP Music. The performance got a standing ovation from Mary and Christina, which Christina said she was worried that the pair wouldn’t have a moment again like they had last week but was proven wrong, and Mary said the number was all about passion.
The most creative routine of the night was a Sean Cheesman Jazz number by Makenzie Dustman and Paul Karmiryan about a mad scientist creating a fembot, danced to Mannequin, a Skeet & Tito remix of the Trish original. This was a routine usually to the level of later in the season, so it will be curious to see what Sean has up his sleeve for his next trick. Only few dancers this season could handle this routine, but Makenzie and Paul were phenomenal. Mary said Makenzie is a dance diva but without all of the drama, and Christina said Paul was giving off a vibe like Patrick Dempsey in Can’t Buy Me Love.
Stacey Tookey’s second routine of the night showcased Carlos Garland’s last performance with Mariah Spears to Dead in the Water by Ellie Goulding. Mary got emotional as she pondered how both of these dancers ended up in the bottom three, and felt it was America’s loss that Carlos will be gone. Christina said she was so sad that America got it wrong, and thought Carlos was a great partner and the pair had the most chemistry of any couple tonight. FYI – America might have put him in the bottom three (six), but you all put him off the show.
Best routine of the night was by Amy Yakima and Fik-Shun jamming to a NappyTabs hip-hop number to After Party by Dorrough. They brought a really simple premise about two bellhops using a luggage truck as a prop to life with so much vivacity and spirit, like little Wizard of Oz monkeys. Nigel said he knew he was going to love the routine since both dancers have the ability to light up the entire studio when they dance, and if both dancers keep performing like this they’ll be in the finale.
Jenna Johnson and Tucker Knox ended the night with a Cha-Cha choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin to I Like It Like That by Pete Rodriguez. Not sure if Dmitry was trying something new or if he was dumbing it down for this couple, but this was not really a Cha-Cha. Jenna was really into the performance, but Tucker seemed a little lost throughout the piece. Mary called Jenna a star and said she was in her element, Christina claimed to be thoroughly entertained and thought the characters were spot-on, but Nigel said there was not enough Cha-Chaing going on.
Okay America, let’s not have anymore mistakes. Show your support for the dancers you feel are truly the best dancers of the season and vote, vote, vote.
Share comments and suggestions on So You Think You Can Dance Examiner FACEBOOK orTWITTER #sytycdExaminer