So You Think You Can Dance: Top 12 Perform

Posted: July 13, 2011 in So You Think You Can Dance, TV
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So You Think You Can Dance

Top 12 Perform

So You Think You Can Dance, SYTYCD Cast

This is it folks. This is the day that decides who will be in our Top 10. Today, I have decided I do not want an article of Cat’s clothing. This time, I want her sparkly black eye shadow. Today’s dress makes her look like an ostrich. I don’t know if I want to wear it, or make sure it’s properly fed throughout the night. I definitely think those white things strategically placed over her chest, needs to go.

We learn that tonight’s guest judges are Sonya Tayeh (does this mean no choreography from her?) and Jesse Tyler Ferguson from Modern Family. Also, the contestants will be dancing twice. Wohoo! Let’s get to it!


Couple #1, First Routine.
Who:  Sasha and Alexander
Dancing Style:  Paso Doble
Choreographer: Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin
Rehearsal: I’ve missed these two choreographers. Usually their paso doble’s are hot, hot, hot. Concept – it’s a battle between masculinity and femininity.
Song: “Alley Dash/March of the Trolls” by Taylor Long and Rick Powell

Performance: It started off strongly, but then Alexander missed Sasha’s hand and everything seemed to go downhill from there. The lyrics “Weeble’s wobble, but they don’t fall down,” comes to mind when I think of this routine. There was a section in the middle where the pace slowed down, and it showed some of their weaknesses. Alexander’s look and stature is almost be perfect for this kind of dancing. He seems like an intense type of dude. Although he had great character and stage presence, I feel like he needs a little more. Sasha is great, and I think it could benefit her well with a new partner. Love the little surprise kiss at the end. Grade: B- (for effort)
Nigel: Alexander kept up with Sasha. It was a bit sloppy but he was much stronger than before. Sasha is strong did brilliantly.
Mary: The routine was hot. Sasha is fearless. Alexander had a break through. He was strong.
Jesse: Sasha is a pillar of strength, and Alexander stayed with her.
Sonya: Sasha rocks her socks. Sometimes she doesn’t trust Alexander’s partnering, but knows he has it in her.

Couple #2, First Routine 
Who:  Jordan and Tadd
Dancing Style:  Contemporary
Choreographer: My Love, Travis Wall.
Rehearsal: The routine is a metaphor for women who take advantage of weak men. Jordan is a  vulture and Tadd is a deserted wanderer. Travis says it’s a dark and heavy piece.
Song: “Brotsjor Olafur” by Arnalds

Performance: This is the most intense piece Travis has done. His Mr. And Mrs. Smith routine a couple seasons ago was crazy, but not as intense as this routine. This piece caught my attention with the first beat of the song. I don’t know if it’s Travis’ choreography or if it was Jordan’s performance, but I wanted Jordan to be weirder, and crazier and jerkier (like how I imagine Sonya or Wade would have choreographed it). Jordan wasn’t evil enough. It got better at the end, where I could just feel the rage and pain and evilness oozing out of Tadd’s skin. The little neck break at the end was perfect. Tadd just amazes me. He’s definitely the most diverse guy on this show, adapting to all styles well, and with his shirt off we could see all his extensions and muscles moving and twitching and it was great. Jordan had some great moments, but Tadd definitely outshined her. Good work, Travis, but get a little weirder please. Grade: A-
Mary: Beautiful. Dark. Magnificent. Jordan demolished it.
Jesse: (Jesse is adorable.) Tadd is in it to win it.
Sonya: “I really wish I could swear. A lot.” That quote is awesome, and says it all.
Nigel: It was remarkable. Tadd incorporated his b-boy style into the piece. The pair were tremendous.

Couple #3, First Routine
Who:  Ryan and Ricky
Dancing Style:  Broadway
Choreographer: Spencer Liff (Looking especially adorable today.)
Rehearsal: In this routine, Ricky fantasizes a movie star from a poster coming to life. Ryan is old Hollywood glamour. Ricky is smooth. Spencer says the two are going to have to fight hard to get into the top 10.
Song: All I Need is the Girl” by Frank Sinatra

Performance:   This routine felt simple. Not to say that I could do it if I tried, but it looked and felt simple. Ryan was cute and for once her goofy smile fit with the routine, but the routine was missing something. Frank Sinatra has this epic and grand feel to him and they were lacking that. Grade: C
Jesse: Their abilities were more than what the performance allowed them to do. The performance was muted and it didn’t sparkle. (I agree)
Sonya: No matter what you get the execution is key. She felt like they were questioning everything.
Nigel: If they don’t sit comfortably in the style, they lose the flavor of it.
Mary: They started off great, but then they lost the style. They could have done more with the steps they were given.

Couple #4, First Routine 
Who:  Caitlynn and Mitchell
Dancing Style:  Hip Hop
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Rehearsal: In this routine they are representing the children in Uganda who are forced to fight in war. Mitchell thinks everyone will be touched by it
Song: Break the Chain, Lube Fiasco

Performance: Whoa, Caitlynn got into it man. That’s my first thought. My next thought is that I don’t get what they’re wearing, and I’m too distracted with trying to figure out what those words on their tank-top say. They had some great tutting moments in there, when they were using their arms and hands to emphasize the beat, and Caitlynn was hitting it hard. Mitchell, did a good job, but wasn’t up to her energy level. I didn’t notice, like what the judges said, about them not being in unison, but maybe it was because I was watching them individually, rather than as a duo. And, I guess, that’s a problem. I also didn’t get the message that the dance was trying to convey.  Grade: B-
Sonya: She got lost in translation when it was too jumbled and they were not in unison.Nigel: He didn’t buy it. He needs more out of it, especially when they’re trying to convey a message.
Mary: They commanded attention, but it wasn’t in unison. It fell a little bit short.
Jesse: They dance with so much power. He didn’t see the message in the dance.

Couple #5, First Routine 
Who:  Melanie an Marko
Dancing Style:  Tango
Choreographer: Louie Van Amstel
Rehearsal: There’s no storyline. They just have to get the passion and character of the dance. Louie is teaching the couple great discipline.
Song: “Triptico” by Gotan Project.

Performance:   First thoughts: Melanie’s dress is incredible, and I really want to mess up Marko’s hair. That bit where he dips her off the side of the stage was sexy, but then they had a little issue getting up. There’s also a section where the music builds and builds and builds, but their energy and movement don’t seem to fit with the beat. However, their faces are just right. The end trick is surprising, I just wish they landed it stronger. It was almost there.  Overall, good effort, they worked hard at it. Melanie was sexy, and Marko adapted well, but it could have been more. Grade: B- (for effort)
Nigel: Much better than what they did at rehearsal.
Mary: It could have been better, but it was a really hard routine and they did well.
Jesse: They both possess a spark. They both have it and no one is taking that away. (I did see that spark!)
Sonya: Every time they dance, they make her lose her breath. They have conviction, even when they falter.

Note: The dancers seem to be struggling more this episode. Why? Because they are finally dancing out of their comfort zones. Now we’ll really see who the stand-outs are. Bring it, Nigel.

Couple #6, First Routine 
Who:  Jess and Clarice
Dancing Style:  Lyrical Hip Hop
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Rehearsal: The routine is about a woman’s insecurities, and Jess is there to tell her she’s beautiful. Clarice finds it challenging because of the intricate and fast tutting.
Song:  “Just The Way You Are” by Boyce Avenue (Hey doesn’t Bruno Mars sing this? Guess he remade it.)

Performance: Okay Jess, I think you FINALLY won me over. I’m glad they got you out of those suits and gave you more tricks out of your style to work with. I think Jess adapted to hip-hop really well. And he definitely dominated this routine. He just eased right into those b-boy tricks. Clarice was pretty good. I felt like Jess had a little more to do than she did, which is unfortunate, but she had little moments that I enjoyed. And I loved the portion of the dance where they danced in unison.  Grade: B
Mary: It was a cute and innocent number. They have a pulse and swag that’s the same.
Jesse: “I didn’t care for it. Happy Opposite Day, I loved it! Clarice do you have a boyfriend? I do too, but I think we should get married! You make me so happy. You just have this light within you. It’s not going to be a happy marriage, I’m very difficult to live with, but I need you in my life…” I love you JTF!
Sonya: They’re adorable and they slayed it.
Nigel: He loved the simple story. And they found a bounce/swag.

Couple #1, Second Routine
Who:  Sasha and Alexander
Dancing Style:  Jazz
Choreographer: Tyce
Rehearsal: The piece is about life. Alexander appreciates that Tyce allows them to be themselves. They are putting their story into this piece.
Song: “That’s Life” by Aretha Franklin

Performance:  You can tell they really enjoyed dancing this piece. They were so powerful and so care free. Alexander did this AMAZING leap where he did the splits in mid-air. He has such great extension. And Sasha is a beautiful dancer. I love that part in the beginning where Sasha walks along the dance floor as Alexander pushes her. I also liked when he spun her around in the air, her feet flat to the ceiling. The piece was so care free and I could tell they were dancing for themselves, and as themselves. Alexander was really showing off his personality. Question: Did Sasha get dropped at the end? Oh well, I guess, that’s life! Grade: B+
Jesse: The dance was amazing. It’s his favorite number of the night.
Sonya: “Tyce is…I can’t swear, can I?” Alexander dove in and it was amazing. He broke his shell.
Nigel: He feels like Sasha has been carrying him, but not with this dance. (I agree). The only shaky thing on the floor was the lamppost.
Mary: There was a freedom in Alexander’s dancing and it was nice to watch him let go.

Couple #2, Second Routine
Who:  Jordan and Tadd
Dancing Style:  Broadway
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Rehearsal: The routine is about a princess who’s been asleep forever and Tadd has to come and kiss her awake. Spencer is surprise Jordan isn’t more acrobatic. Jordan, “Flips and I aren’t besties.”
Song: “Out Tonight” Rent Soundtrack

Performance: For the second time tonight I feel like something was missing, and now I wonder if some people just stand because the other people around them are standing. My qualms: First, Tadd’s costume was distracting, second, the song didn’t fit with the costumes (and I love this song from RENT), third, Tadd just didn’t have that much to do. Jordan pointed her little toes, put on a cutesy smile and there were some lifts in between, but again, nothing really popped or stood out. It could have been more. It’s funny how this is the second routine of Spencer’s that I just didn’t really like. Is it Spencer or is it the dancers? Grade: B-/C+
Sonya: She knows their abilities but didn’t see it. She was underwhelmed.
Nigel: It could have been quirkier and sillier. They could have brought more character to it.
Mary: The dancers have to find a way to make it work, but it wasn’t strong enough.
Jesse: He has a straight boy crush on Sonya. He felt like it was a grab-bag of style, music, and costume. It wasn’t his favorite.

Couple #3, Second Routine
Who:  Ryan and Ricky
Dancing Style:  Cha-Cha
Choreographer: Louie Van Amstel
Rehearsal: Louie wants to keep them out of the bottom three. Ricky is excited because they’re dancing out of their style, and it’s HOT. Ryan is not so excited.
Song: “Tonight I’m Loving You” by Enrique Iglesias

Performance: I liked it. I admit it, I did. It was really fast and Ryan was getting into it. She looked especially HOT in this routine. Her smile was a bit too big at times and I felt like her footwork was sloppy because she was trying to be almost TOO fast. Does that makes sense? However, that trick they did with Ryan grabbing her leg and Ricky spins her first upright, than on the floor was pretty amazing. Looked really difficult and I think they pulled it off. I also appreciate the fact that they weren’t over the top. Ricky was very in control. I think a bit more of his personality could have come out, but that he was a strong dancer.  Grade: B
Nigel: Ricky was tight. He had great style and class. Ryan almost got TOO into it and felt she was a bit sloppy.
Mary: Ryan was great in the beginning, but the feet got sloppy in the end. Ricky was great. Then she slips in a bunch of dance terms I couldn’t repeat if I tried. Ricky’s on the tamale train.
Jesse: “I don’t have the authority to put anyone on the hot tamale train, but I agree you need to be on it.” Ricky is brilliant.
Sonya: Ricky was enjoying it, but sometimes Ryan wants to do so well she gets caught up in it. (She hit the nail on that one.) She just needs to embrace it.

Couple #4, Second Routine
Who:  Caitlynn and Mitchell
Dancing Style:  Jazz
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Rehearsal: Set in the 1970’s. Caitlynn is a rock star. Mitchell, the guy she’s in love with, is actually married. Caitlynn is scared to slap him because she’s never done it before. It’s kinda adorable the way she’s freaking out about it.
Song: “Piece of my Heart” by Janis Joplin

Performance: Dude, I’ll say it again, Caitlynn is intense! They both really got into characters. I loved all those times she danced over Mitchell like he was nothing. I also loved the move where Mitchell caught her at the knee and she did a back flip. She’s just a little powerhouse, and she is fearless. I also felt like Mitchell was dancing like a man. The little boyish qualities in him were gone. He was a dude, you know? She should have slapped him really hard at the end, again. I’m just sayin’….that would have been perfect.  Grade: A-
Mary: Slightly naughty, a little intense, gutsy, and she loved it.
Jesse: “Only you can prevent forest fires, by never dancing in a forest like that, because you would start a fire. I don’t care if that was lame, I’m sticking with it.”
Sonya: Caitlynn is hot. Mitchell is a reliable partner, but she wants him to forget about thinking about it and just indulge himself into it.
Nigel: The routine was sensational. He wishes they didn’t play to the audience and they should have just danced at each other.


Couple #5, Second Routine
Who:  Melanie and Marko
Dancing Style:  Contemporary
Choreographer: Dee Caspary
Rehearsal: It’s about a couple slipping in and out of the light. Marko is in a dark place and Melanie is trying to convince him to go into the light.  Dee thinks they are really special.
Song: “Skin and Bones” by David J. Roch

Performance:  I kind of interpreted this piece in a different way, I think (which is okay). Marko was so adamant about Melanie not going to the light. I felt more like she was dying and he is trying all he can to get her away from the light. Just look at Marko’s face as he literally DRAGS her away from that light. It’s like “don’t go!” This piece really hit me, in a strange and great sort of way. It was so beautiful and amazing. I loved the parts where dancing different steps, yet still somehow dancing together. I also loved how as they got closer to the light Melanie just kept gracefully reaching and reaching for it. She just kept saying let me go, and he kept saying no.  It flowed, like Nigel said, like a wave, just back and forth and back and forth. Grade: A
Jesse: This is Jesse’s new favorite dance of theirs. He has goose bumps.
Sonya: Wants them to stay humble and true, and they are amazing.
Nigel: He can’t bear to break them up because they’re magical. His favorite style of choreography is when it flows and when it doesn’t feel like steps.
Mary: Their connections and transitions were flawless. They are shining stars.

Couple #6, Second Routine
Who:  Jess and Clarice
Dancing Style:  Jive
Choreographer: Tony and Melanie
Rehearsal:  The routine is rock and roll, fast, with spins, turns, and kicking. According to Jess, “You name it, it’s in this jive.”
Song: “Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That” by Robert Randolph and The Family Band

Performance:  I think if Jess and Clarice got this routine 2 weeks ago, I would have hated it. This is because I think Jess would have performed it with his usual over the top, slightly arrogant facial expressions (in my opinion it felt like arrogance). But today, I thought he performed it really well! He was so genuine about it. And I loved his bouncing splits. That lift though…ouch! Clarice, on the other hand, was so gorgeous. I loved the way she played with her dress when she danced. She’s just so cute, and I think her personality really shined, more than the last dance. She definitely stood out this time around. Grade: B
Sonya: Love it. Adorable. Perfect. Amazing.
Nigel: Very good. For Jess the lifts are a bit uncomfortable (I agree).
Mary: Felt like the routine lost steam. Mary wanted more facial expression from Jess (I disagree).
Jesse: Jess is fantastic. It was a fun and exciting performance.

Random Thoughts

  • Love that Jesse Tyler Ferguson calls Broadway, “B-Way.”
  • Love Alexander’s little blush when Cat pointed out the lipstick on him. Love Sasha’s blush when Nigel asked if the kiss was choreographed and it was obviously not.
  • I appreciate Alexander’s shout out to Melanie and Tony and their friend with cancer. It was so adorably sweet. This dude is so sweet!
  • I love how Sonya wanted to swear. Just let it out girl!
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson should judge every night. He’s so funny and genuine.
  • LOVE: Sasha’s little head bob/snap when Nigel says that Sasha wasn’t carrying Alexander anymore.
  • LOVE: Tadd and Jordan are alone on the stage after their dance and Cat runs up onto stage saying, “Oy vey,” because she’s late.
  • After Mary screams over Ricky, j’adore Jesse’s reaction of being deaf and numb on the right side of his body.
  • First, it’s awesome that Robert is helping Travis choreograph Caitlynn and Mitchell’s routine. Next, I love Travis screaming at Caitlynn to slap him and she does that little bounce. You know the, “I can’t do it” bounce. Cute!
  • Love Jesse talking about his “legion” of twitter fans.
  • Melanie and Marko are the Josh and Katee of Season 8. Almost everything they do is AMAZING.
  • FINALLY Jesse tells it how it is calling Cat the best reality host and she should be voted for an Emmy. Cat’s face is so red and I really think she may cry.


Jesse: I got my first boo!
Cat: How’d that feel?
Jesse: It felt horrible.

Jesse: “Are all the Osmond’s accounted for? Because I think Mary Murphy might be the lost Osmond.”

Jesse, about Jess and Clarice’s routine: “I didn’t care for it. Happy Opposite Day, I loved it! Clarice do you have a boyfriend? I do too, but I think we should get married! You make me so happy. You just have this light within you. It’s not going to be a happy marriage, I’m very difficult to live with, but I need you in my life…”

Cat “I love it when Nigel talks street.”

Cat: What happened?
Sasha: We danced.

Jesse to Sasha: “Will you tell your sister I say hi? I love her.” Awww

Jesse: “Ryan, you’re flirting with me.”

After Caitlynn and Mitchell’s 2nd Routine.
Mary: Did you really hit him?
Mitchell: Yes!

Order of Routine Preference

  1. Melanie and Marko – Contemporary
  2. Jordan and Tadd – Contemporary
  3. Caitlynn and Mitchell – Jazz
  4. Sasha and Alexander – Contemporary
  5. Jess and Clarice  – Lyrical Hip Hop
  6. Ricky and Ryan – Cha-Cha
  7. Jess and Clarice – Jive
  8. Melanie and Marko – Tango
  9. Caitlynn and Mitchell – Hip Hop
  10. Sasha and Alexander – Paso Doble
  11. Jordan and Tadd – Broadway
  12. Ryan and Ricky  – Broadway
Bottom 3 Prediction
Ricky and Ryan
Jordan and Tadd
Sasha and Alexander
Alexander and Ryan or Jordan should be sent home.  The thought of anyone other than these two (or three) going home physically hurts. What’s your prediction? Who are you rooting for? I voted for my favorite: Caitlynn and Mitchell, and Melanie and Marko. What was your favorite routine? Are you as excited for the Top 10 and the All Stars as I am? I hope Allison Holker is one of the all stars. Who do you hope to see?
  1. Anonymous says:

    Yes, you CAN write. I enjoyed reading your sytycd top 12 review. You have a balance of humor and sensibility, and a couple of rants. You are not without bias, but you also speak of facts. I see you going the path of Slezak, where eventually, you will just be carefree in expressing your thoughts. Great blog – congratulations for the commitment to updating it. Why do I think that somehow you are in the finance field??? So random…

  2. scarlet says:

    I think best dance was mel/marko contemperary! they are amazing dancers who live in the moments! statue routine was best way to start this partnership this was the best end for them but I think they will dance together one more time at final 4!:) my other favorite was tadd/jordan routine concept was amazing I only hoped they were really in the story they danced good but I wished to see the darkness at their face but overall ıt was amazing routine
    b3 girl: ryan jordan,caitlyn ryan bye bye
    b3 boys: ricky,mitchell, tadd (I hope alexander will be there but I dont think so! sasha has a amazing secret fan club and they will not be there! ricky or mitchell will gone

  3. Monica says:

    TOTALLY agree with your predictions for those going home. I was actually sitting watching the show just now and I decided to check your blog to see if you agreed with who I thought/hoped was going home and you did.

  4. Ana says:

    I didn’t like it that they didn’t do interviews on how they will miss their partners as it may be the last time they’ll dance with each other. I loved the season 6 interviews, I would have loved to watch what Melanie and Marko say how they’ll miss each other.

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