This week’s SYTYCD, the top performers are performing some of Mia Michael’s best routines. This will either be a very cool idea, or a big, big disaster. Read on to find out which one it was!

 

So You Think You Can Dance: Season 9

Top 14 Perform/2 Eliminated

 
Well…that was awkward…

There’s no denying that most of my favorite routines on SYTYCD consist of Mia Michael’s routines. However, doing a show dedicated to her greatest routines, recreated by a new generation of dancers did a great disservice to the current competitors. It was hard, if not impossible, not to compare the routines to the original, especially when most of the performers didn’t add their own spin to things.

Also, that being said, the guest judges (ballet dancers who call themselves the Ballet Boyz…with a z….) Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt, had the advantage of never seeing the original performances. However, I don’t think they’ve ever seen the show (or possibly any other form of dance) before either. Their presence, to say the least, was awkward. Do your homework guest judges!!

Routine #1
Who:   Cyrus and Eliana
Routine: The Door, originally performed by Katee and Twitch (Season 4)
Original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhrxfHCtMJA&feature=player_embedded
Performance: As much of a fan I am of Eliana, her performance could not live up to Katee’s. Katee just had this thing that really made the piece what it is. Eliana just didn’t seem as tough. Katee was crazy in the original piece. She just let it all go. Eliana was more controlled. That being said, Cyrus is no Twitch. There is only one Twitch and Cyrus isn’t it. Twitch just has this swagger that cannot be imitated. Though Cyrus’ animation in certain parts of the routine was really cool. Eliana not only overshadowed Cryus, she buried him.
The Judging: Nigel and Mary both mention how strong Eliana was. For once, they weren’t pushing Cyrus which I appreciated. I’m glad they gave Eliana her due. Michael and Billy thought the routine was fun.

 

Tiffany Maher and George Lawrence II Contemporary So You Think You Can DanceRoutine #2
Who:   George and Tiffany
Routine: Hometown Glory, originally performed by Joshua and Katee (Season 4)
Original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yte-HphZEVc&feature=player_embedded
Performance: One of the coolest parts of the originally routine was the assisted run that Tiffany herself even talked about. However, I can’t tell you how these guys executed it because the camera angle was all wrong! Dah! If anything it looked more like he was carrying her rather than the fact that she was running/floating. Tiffany was trying too hard, she wasn’t taking any breaths in the routine she was just balls-to-the-walls dancing. Not as good as the original, but good effort. She was definitely a powerhouse and showed her great dancing technique, I just wished she took more beats.
The Judging: Mary says Tiffany needs to be careful about over performing and that George elevated the routine. Nigel feels this routine was the best of George. Billy and Michael felt almost as if they were watching two solos.

 

Routine #3
Who:   Amelia and Will
Routine: The Butt Dance, originally performed by Randi and Evan (Season 5)
Originalhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iY8aPKhlL24&feature=player_embedded
Performance: In retrospect, this routine could not have been more perfect for they. It had qualities similar to their earlier alley-cat routine. However, it’s as if they forgot about all that quirkiness. This was the perfect character piece for Amelia, and I feel like she failed. She wasn’t slinky enough. There wasn’t enough of her personality in there. Will tried, but I also felt like he could have done just a bit more. It’s a weird routine, obviously not made for them in any way, but they still could have brought their own goofiness to it, and they didn’t. Amelia was disappointing, and Will easily overshadowed her. I really want to like Amelia, but I feel like she’s slowly disappearing. I also feel like the camera needed to get in a bit closer. Especially with a piece like this, it’s all about the acting and the facial expressions.
The Judging: Nigel immediately cannot let go of the original performance, and creeps us all out talking about Randi’s butt. He expected more of Amelia and thought she could have brought out more character. He also admits this routine was purposely choreographed for the original counterparts, which means from the beginning they were set up to fail. Mary felt like Will was over the top, which doesn’t make sense because a routine like this has to be over the top, I mean that’s the premise? Right? Billy thought the routine was endearing and wished they could have been a bit more subtle during some parts.

 

Routine #4
Who:   Janelle and Daerian
Routine: The Bed, originally danced by Kherington and Twitch (Season 4)
Original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdjK4-zL5Ro&feature=player_embedded
Performance: This is a routine of Mia’s that I haven’t endlessly played over and over again, which I feel helps in my critique of Janelle and Daerian’s interpretation. I thought Daerian was really amazing. He added his own and danced the hell out of it. He does this little b-boy twist move on the mattress that was a real WOW moment. Janelle didn’t really have much to do, but I believed her performance and felt it was authentic.
The Judging: Guest judge Michael calls Daerian “the gentleman” and Janelle “the young lady” AWKWARD. Billy calls Twitch, “Titch” and calls the movements Daerian was doing, Twitch’s when it’s actually Mia’s choreography. Double Awkward. I feel uncomfortable. Nigel and Mary love Daerian, but didn’t feel like Janelle had much to do, therefore she did not standout. Nigel even says Daerian’s technique is better than Twitch’s. Mary says at the end Janelle was overacting which I disagree with.

 

Routine #5
Who:  Audrey and Matthew
Routine: Time, originally performance by Neil and Lacey (Season 4)
Original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvK4N2I9w3E&feature=player_embedded
Performance: This couple not only has the pressure of living up to the original, but it’s also about such a sensitive subject that’s so dear to Mia, there was the added pressure of doing it justice, original be damned. Matthew took is so seriously (I mean that in a good way). You could see it in his face from the beginning of the rehearsal that he wanted to get it right. I thought Matthew and Audrey did a nice job. It was a little more serious in tone than the first, but I thought it was sweet and I was touched by it. However their movements didn’t feel big enough. I feel like they could have danced bigger and stretched to the tippy-tip of their fingertips and toes. That being said, Matthew’s face at the beginning of the routine sold me.
The Judging: Mary says she didn’t feel the passion or truth from Matthew, which I get. She thought Audrey was amazing. Billy felt like Matthew lost focus. Nigel says the routine was more serious than originally intended. It wasn’t as lighthearted as Neil’s interpretation. However, I feel like that’s what it was Matthew’s interpretation of the routine. Yes, it’s supposed to be joyous, a gone father visiting his daughter, but there can also be an edge of sadness too it. I guess Matthew just needed to find that balance.

 

Routine #6
Who:  Witney and Chehon
Routine: The Bench, originally performed by Travis and Heidi (Season 2)
Original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38XIFZLlIiM&feature=player_embedded
Performance: This is probably my favorite routine of Mia’s and what made me fall in love with SYTYCD. One of the reasons why is because of the story behind it. Mia was so hard on Heidi who was having a difficult time of breaking out of her comfort zone, but when Heidi eventually broke down, she pulled off an amazing performance. And almost every single moment in this piece meant something to me. I never knew what this piece was really about until I read this article. I thought Witney and Chehon did an amazing job. Chehon has such control which was important for this piece, but I also feel like he failed to execute my favorite part of the routine when Travis slips off the bench letting it hit every part of his body to the music. Chehon just sort of slides down and it doesn’t have the same impact. However, this is probably the first performance that I felt did the original justice. CHehon played it with just the right amount of cool-ness. I enjoyed it almost as much as the first and you can tell how much the dancers (and everyone else) respect it.
The Judging: Nigel felt the story. And he felt the passion. He thought they did it justice. Mary thinks they pulled it off and tells Chehon he has a great center, and great technique, but that he needs to let go more.

 

Routine #7
Who:   Lindsey and Cole
Routine: Gravity or “Mia’s Addiction Piece,” originally danced by Kayla and Kupono (Season 5)
Original: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_48OKZqYzHM&feature=player_embedded
Peformance: What Cole does with this piece is what Nigel is talking about when he says he wants the dancers to bring in their own interpretations to the routines. Cole is absolutely mesmerizing to watch and he brought something really cool and different and creepily sinister to the part. I also feel like Lindsey really let herself get into character as well. She wasn’t pulling against Cole as much as I would have liked and I wish Mia broke her down a bit more. She was still too “pretty” as Mia called it. But I love, love the fact that Lindsey had virtually no make-up on. I also feel like they were too nice with each other. They needed to be a bit more brutal and dark and rough with each other but definitely my favorite performance of the night.
The Judging: Billy was impressed and excited about it. Mary liked them the best tonight and calls that routine Mia’s best. She calls Cole fascinating and loved what he did with it. Nigel has been disappointed because the dancers haven’t adapted to the routines that were not choreographed for them. He thinks these two dancers came out on top. And loves how unemotional and destructive Cole was. I agree. Nigel used some fantastic words there.

 

The Bottom Six
George, Amelia, Janelle, Daerian, Matthew, and Lindsey are all in danger. I agree with this bottom. And based on these choices, I’d guess that it’s Daerian and Janelle’s time to go home. Janelle, definitely. Honestly, I wouldn’t be too heartbroken if either George or Daerian went home (Matthew belongs in the top 10), but I feel like it’s just Daerian’s time (even if he did have a great performance today).  Oh crap, I just realized 2 of each dancer are going home. Shoot. My guess then is Daerian and George for the boys, and….Amelia and Janelle for the girls? Crap. I don’t know for the girls. Between Amelia and Lindsey, it’s tough. I really really want to root for Amelia, but I feel like she needs to be broken down. She needs a breakthrough in the personality department. Lindsey the past few weeks has really grown and fought for this top 10. I don’t know guys! I don’t know!!

The Solos

Solo #1: Amelia
Song: “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova
Performance: I wish I could like her so much than I do. This solo wasn’t as bright as her usual work, but it was still lovely. She wasn’t dancing for her life though. Grade: B

Solo #2: Janelle
Song: “Inta Omri” by Elie Attier
Performance: Belly dancing. I’m sure Nigel loved it. I didn’t. But I know girl knows she’s going home. You can see it in her face. At least she had some fun out there. Grade: C.

Solo #3: Lindsey
Song: “Hip Hip Chin Chin” by Club Des Belugas
Performance: It seems like the typical, awkward, ballroom dance solo, but she gets the change to show off her sexy legs, and she looks like she’s having fun. The audience loves her, and that dress is adorable!  Grade: B+

Solo #4: George
Song: “So Long, Lonesone” by Explosions in the Sky.
Performance: This also, was not a dance for your life solo. However, George is just wonderful to watch. He extends really well, probably the best out of all the other male dancers on this show.  Grade: B+

Solo #5: Daerian
Song: “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” by Joshua Ledet
Performance: Daerian has had some of the best solos. And tonight was no exception. I love his solos. Grade: A-

Solo #6: Matthew
Song: “Delicate” by Damien Rice
Performance: I really, really, really like Matthew, and I really, really, really do not want him to go home…however, his solo tonight was a lot of rolling around on the floor and I feel like he’s a lot better than that. His technique is excellent, on par with George’s. I wish he showed more of his personality in his routines like Daerian does.  Grade: B

 

Eliminations
Dammit. Amelia is going home. I could kinda feel it. Lindsey really rocked it with tonight’s performance, but it’s sad to see Amelia go. Damn the double elimination!! Bye Janelle, but it was your time…Look at Daerian’s face. He knows that he’s going home. Oh my god…they saved George. What? WHAT? I did not see that coming! How? How is Matthew going home? George is fantastic, don’t get me wrong, but Matthew should have made it into the top 10. Do you think the dancers knew it beforehand? Because Audrey was sobbing from the moment she heard Matthew was in the bottom…Ugh, I’m so frustrated with you Nigel. Nothing against George…but it was his time to go over Matthew!! I haven’t been this upset since Nick Young was voted off last year! Sigh.

 

Random Thoughts

  • I hope to god “swagerocious” does not become a thing on this show. Let’s just forget about that one shall we?
  • I understand what Nigel was testing these dancers adaptability with “moving in” to parts that were for other dancers, but I wish Mia could have choreographed new routines for all these dancers as a tribute. Or – even tweaked the routines even more to fit the new dancers, such as a “reboot,” as it were.
  • Mia’s opening routine danced to “Hanging On” by Active Child was very Cirque D’Soleil-esque. I thought dancing with the ropes, looked extremely hard and dangerous, that made it all that much more amazing. Mia’s routines have definitely been getting weirder. The making out was a little much though.
  • Seeing Amelia cry at being voted off with I think the first time we’ve seen real emotion from her.
  • I want to see Will and Allison Holker dance together personally. I think Will will benefit the most from a new partner.

Quotes

  • “She sticks it out really well – like a French poodle.” Mia about Amelia’s butt.
  • “There is nothing going to be stopping you but those tootsies.” Mary to Daerian.
  • “Those feet can be fixed!…If you vote for him.” Good segue Cat, that’s why you’re Emmy nominated.

 

Well, thus ends another SYTYCD. Double eliminations are hard, you guys. At least we bring back the All Stars now. I think this Top 10 is excellent, but Matthew should be there over Cyrus. One thing I loved about tonight? We spent a lot of time watching the dancers say goodbye to each other. I love that. Who are you looking forward to seeing from the All Stars? I felt like Amelia was holding him back. Until next time, my lovelies!

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments
  1. Monica says:

    I totally agree with you! Cyrus needs to go. As much as I loved him during Vegas, people like Matthew (who I totally thought was top 4 material!) should be there instead of him. I can’t wait until he no longer has eliane to get him through the rounds.
    I also definitely would’ve LOVED to see Amelia over Lindsey in the top 10. Lindsey looks so so young when she dances and it’s so hard to believe that Amelia and her are the same age. I agree, Amelia should have been broken down. Lindsey had NOTHING on Kayla for the addiction piece. I can’t believe she’s still around.

  2. Arielle says:

    I am agree with you too. It is very sad to see Amelia go. I feel that the Butt dance didn’t show her true abilty because the choreography is very similar to the Cat dance. Same goes to Matthew, He was given a dance with a passive role. Cyrus should thank the choreographer for making him looked good but didn’t really dance much on the stage.

    • It didn’t. I don’t think the choice to re-perform old routines was a good one. But also, I wish Amelia and Will had performed the addiction piece so we could see a different side of both of them, and that Matthew and Audrey had performed the bed routine. The routine choices were too obvious for the contestants, they should have been taken out of their comfort zone. What Mia does best is break people down and it brings out great performances.

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