It’s here. All-Stars! And I can’t wait. This is where the men get separated from the boys and women from the girls. It all comes down to this…okay, not really, but I needed something dramatic to write there.
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE
TOP 10 with All-Stars/Wrong 2 Eliminated
We open the show with a beautiful contemporary number consisting of rocking chairs. Jenna and Aaron stand out, probably because the camera did a lot of focusing on them. I personally think it’s unfair to the other dancers, but whatever. There’s this leap, where Aaron jumps up but leans back at the same time and I’m amazed at how light and graceful it is. Aaron never ceases to amaze me. I’m not surprised that the routine was choreographed by Christopher Scott. He has been on fire this season with excellent routines. (Song: “The Gravel Road”, from The Village Score Soundtrack)
Guest judge today is Debbie Allen and I can’t help but say…FINALLY. I always love it when she guest judges because she comments on all the dancers like they are her babies and I just can’t help but find new things to obsess over about the dancers from her critiques.
Dancers in the Bottom:
Jenna, Mackenzie, Tucker, and Nico
My vote would be for Jenna and Tucker to go home. It’s not to say they aren’t fantastic dancers (though Jenna seems to be more versatile than Tucker) it’s just they haven’t connected with me as much as Mackenzie and Nico have. Mackenzie has grown so much from the first few performances and Nico is the total definition of the underdog. Time after time he’s been beaten down by the judges only to prevail with excellent performances. Nigel says he doesn’t want to see anyone solo because we’ve seen them solo. Have we seen Nico solo? I don’t think we have. So…I’m pretty sure Nigel is just saving time. Come on NICO, I’m rooting for you!!
Amy and All-Star Brandon
Disco with Doriana Sanchez
It wasn’t perfect , but I have to say the routine was incredible. There were so many lifts and cool and difficult things happening there and it was a lot of fun. Brandon really allowed her to shine (I’m mean I’d even go so far as to call him the king of lifts) and I think Amy pulled it off. One thing I noticed – this is the first routine in a while where we’ve actually been able to see her legs and I definitely saw some wobbles and slips. I also thought the song choice was strange, it did not fit with the routine. Also, Amy’s cheerleading smiley face went into overdrive, which has been getting annoying. Again, it wasn’t perfect, but was high energy and exceptional choreography. Mary agrees with me that the song was a strange choice, but she loved the routine and what Amy did with it. (Song: “I Will Always Love You (Hex Hector Radio Mix)” By Whitney Houston)
Aaron and All-Star Kathryn
Contemporary with Stacey Tookey
Where do I even begin? How about…what did Kathryn say to Aaron at the end of that routine? It’s like she said, “It’s okay,” or something like that. (I’m partial to this explanation, myself.) I don’t know what or why she said that because the routine was FLAWLESS. If that’s even what she said. Kathryn’s dancing has matured so much. Her talent is breathtaking. There was one lift where Aaron reached back and lifted her up with one hand on his back hip, then he placed her down on her tip tip tipey toes (with no toe shoes mind you) and she balanced there. It was just so…perfect! Aaron was such a great partner. Every breath she took or move she made, he moved with her and they blended together. This piece took my breath away…literally because I’m pretty sure I was holding my breath throughout. It’s easy to forget that Aaron is not a contemporary dancer and that just makes this piece all the more amazing. Also, I LOVED the song. It always makes me think of Romeo and Juliet, so there’s that too. Nigel mentions, in probably what I consider his most sincere moment ever, that the way Kathryn was looking at him after the routine made him realize just how special Aaron is. (Song: “I’m Kissing You” by Des’ree)
Fik-Shun and All Star Melanie
Jazz with Mandy Moore
I have to say, Fik-Shun shocks me. Usually come Top 10 Time, there’s always that one guy that hangs around that you know doesn’t have “it” but that the judges keep GUSHING over. And on this show, you’d think that person would be Fik-Shun, but it’s not. I truly believe he deserves to be in the Top 10. Do I think he could have pulled off what Aaron or Brandon did before him? No. But at the same time, I also don’t think Aaron and Brandon could have pulled off what Fik-Shun brought to this routine. He has a certain je ne sais quoi. Maybe it’s his personality, maybe it’s just what’s naturally in the kid. He truly dances with all his heart and I believe when he does dance we are seeing the real him. He immerses himself in character and just dances with heart and passion like he could be doing it for the rest of his life. And the kid is humble to. There’s nothing showy about him. Sure, Mandy’s routine catered to Fik-Shun’s abilities, and Melanie could dance with a paper bag and make it look good, but there’s no one like him and I’m glad to be watching him every week. (Song: “Feeling Good” by Jennifer Hudson)
Paul and All Star Whitney
Cha Cha with Jean Marc Genereux
Sometimes Jean Marc Genereux’s routines can be hit or miss for me. This routine was good and it gave Paul a lot of things to do, but something was just off. I don’t think their chemistry was as hot as everyone raved it was. I’ve never been big fan of Whitney (how is she an All-Star…I mean really? Where is Chelsie Hightower when you need her?), and even though she looked ravishing and super skinny in that dress that was held together by string and shiny paperclips, she’s just o.k. for me. The routine wasn’t perfect, they missed a hand grab or two, but I still love Paul. He’s a wonderful dancer and just seems like an overall sweet and humble dude. Can we put Paul back with Mackenzie please? Thank you. (Song: “Live It Up” by Jennifer Lopez)
Hayley and All-Star Twitch
Hip Hop with Christopher Scott
I don’t know how I feel about this routine. First of all the song was an ODD ODD choice, but something else was OFF and I can’t put my finger on it. While there were some cool parts like when Haley jumped on Twitch’s back and did some tutting, her tutting was just not up to par with Twitch. It was too…girly. Maybe that’s what was missing, some grit. It was too cutesy for me. And I thought Hayley did just okay. She didn’t really have much chemistry with Twitch. This is the catch to the All-Stars, while they bring out the best in the dancers (or worst) they can also overshadow the current contestant. Such was this case, because Twitch is THE. BEST. PERIOD. Nigel thinks Hayley is a dark horse. (Song: “Locked Out Of Heaven (District 78 Remix)” by Bruno Mars)
Jenna and All-Star Neil
Contemporary with Mandy Moore
I’m not saying she’s a bad dancer, because she’s not, but I don’t think Jenna’s a very good performer. She just doesn’t know how to connect with the audience. This routine could have potentially been that moment. That moment when that dancer just takes your breath away, but she didn’t have it in her. While her dancing was beautiful, she doesn’t let it consume her. It’s too calculated. I want to see her dance with a more abandon. The routine was beautiful and sad, but I want more out of Jenna. I want this. Nigel commends her on her strength acknowledging how hard it must be to be voted in the bottom three every show and having to perform knowing she could be voted off. (Song: “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Mark Masri)
Jasmine and All-Star Marko
Jazz with Ray Leeper
Jasmine was created to dance. I’m convinced of it. And this Jazz dance gave her the chance to shine. Up until Marko did his fantastic leaps and jumps I completely forgot he was even in this routine, mesmerized by the way Jasmine moved her body. I loved the concept that instead of doing partnering work they just danced together in sync. And in sync they were. They were Justin Timberlake, JC, Chris, Joey, and Lance. Totally in sync. It was a fun routine, very precise. I feel like Jasmine may have lost a little bit of energy nearing the end, but it was a lot of fun. I also loved Ray’s face at the end of the routine. His “oh my god” was perfect. The judges say Jasmine stole the show and rightfully so. She did. You go girl. (Song: “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke feat Pharrell)
Mackenzie and All-Star Jakob
Broadway with Spencer Liff
Man! Girl knows how to work a red dress. She made that long red dress look hot hot hot. Mackenzie’s legs are fantastic, I have to say. This routine was so much fun. It felt less Broadway and more Jazz, but whatever, it was a great great routine. Like Mackenzie, I always felt that Jakob had great feet, too bad they were both covered up for both the dancers. That being said, Mackenzie showed a lot of personality in this routine which I loved but also great technique. Her extension is beautiful. Something I wish Jenna had more of. Mackenzie looked like she was letting loose the party girl in her. Nigel says the thing about loving their feet and I just want you all to recognize, I said it first. (Song: “Too Darn Hot (RAC Mix)” by Ella Fitzgerald)
Random Thought: Cat tells me Nico is up next doing a hip hop routine with Comfort and unless he’s totally amazing, I think that is going to be the nail in his coffin. I have never been a fan of Comfort and well, you saw what happened last time Nico tried to do hip hop. It’s like he is being set up for failure. Come on, Nico, I hope you pull it off man.
Nico and All-Star Comfort
Hip Hop with Tabitha and Napoleon
I liked it! I really did. Nico let something go. It’s almost like he just said “eff it, I’m just gonna do this.” And he did. He let it all hang out. He was gritty and dirty and sure at times he looked like a white boy doing hip hop, but you know what, that’s what he is! He got into character, he hit it hard, and he kept up with Comfort. It was MILES and MILES above the last time he tried it. Nigel, the old hard ass, of course, had to knock it down, but I loved the routine. It was super creative and weird and crazy and Nico did an outstanding job. You know Nigel has been calling for quirk all the time and finally he gets it and he’s Mr. Cranky pants about it. Cut the kid a break Nigel, we know he has to go home, but you can still say good things about him even if you’re sending him home. (Song: “Get Ur Freak On” by Missy Elliott)
Random Thought: Okay, so, Tucker got Travis Wall and Robert Roldan? Yeah, yeah…I see what you’re doing Nigel. I SEE What. You’re. Doing. And I don’t LIKE IT. Random my ass. (In case it’s not clear to everyone else, hooking Tucker up with a popular choreographer, doing an emotional contemporary piece that is close to home for the dancers that the judges will no doubt love is…well “tipping the scales” in Tucker’s favor.)
Tucker and All-Star Robert
Contemporary with Travis Wall
I have to say the look on Tucker’s face when the routine ended was utterly heartbreaking. You could tell both guys were caught up in such emotion. I feel like it’s a bit of a cheat that the judges know so much about the dancers and what they’re going through and the emotions they’re playing off of and us, as the audience, are left in the dark about it. Of course they are going to find the piece especially poignant because they know the deeper darker story behind it. Basically what I’m trying to say is, what happened to Robert Roldan? (Nigel said it was a fall…but I found this.) But my indifference to Tucker really holds me back from truly loving this piece. I feel like I’ve been manipulated into loving it. While it was a really great piece, I would have much rather seen Travis and Danny dance it. It was after all choreographed about him. I know I didn’t talk about his dancing, which was great, but the dancing was overshadowed by something bigger. Second Look: Okay upon 2nd look, this really was a great piece. If you strip away the back story, the dramatic “rehearsal period” and the stories of the two dancers and just watch them freakin’ dance, this piece is a really special piece. I was definitely feeling more emotion from Robert. He’s a really extraordinary dancer. Tucker was graceful, but there’s something about the way he dances that doesn’t appeal to me. The ending look on Robert’s face just before he gives Tucker a real genuine hug is devastating. (Song: “Medicine” by Daughter)
Well, after listening to the judges critiques I’m pretty sure it’s going to be Jenna and Nico going home.
OH. MY. GOD. Seriously? Seriously!?! Jenna over Mackenzie?! SERIOUSLY?!?!?! First of all let me just say it is rude telling the contestants that everyone unanimously felt Tucker deserved to stay more than Nico. Especially when Nigel constantly shoves it down our throats that the choreographers put in their two cents about who they want to work with more, I find it insulting and in poor taste. I mean Nico obviously already knows he’s going home, but to say that the choreographers wanted him to go as well is just RUDE. Second of all, seriously? Jenna over Mackenzie? Why? WHY? Can someone explain to me why? Can we do like a jury type thing where we bring all 15 people out who voted and see who said Jenna and who said Mackenzie? Then later I’ll ask them, why? Why? Why??? Argh! I’m so frustrated right now! What does Jenna have on these people? Okay, that’s not fair. I’m being unreasonable, I know. She’s a good dancer. I mean put me next to her and I’d look like this, only probably not as good. She’s obviously talented and a hard worker, but Mackenzie is the better performer.
Performances in Order of Preference (Best to Worse)
- Aaron and Kathryn
- Mackenzie and Neil
- Amy and Brandon
- Jenna and Neil
- Tucker and Robert
- Nico and Comfort
- Jasmine and Marko
- Fik Shun and Melanie
- Hayley and Twitch
Dancers in Order of Preferance
Cat to the dancers: “It all comes down to your performances tonight, so eye of the tiger babies.”
Cat to Brandon re: Jenna: “There are no strings on this girl. The only thing whizzing her above your head were these guns here.” Points to Brandon’s muscles.
Cat regarding Brandon: “He’s even covered in gold sparkles from Amy’s hair. It’s kind of ridiculous.”
Cat regarding Melanie: “She knows how to work a dress that one doesn’t she?”
Mary to Hayley: Your hands were flat as pancakes which I can’t eat anymore because I’m on this diet. I loved it.
Cat: I just love how out of left field Mary Murphy is.
Mary: I’m hungry, Cat. I’m hungry.
Cat: I know you are. Drink some more water it will fill you up!
Nigel: That’s not water.
Nigel: “All those candles on stage I knew it was Paul’s birthday I didn’t know it was Mary’s as well.”
Cat: “You’re crusin’ for a brusin’. She’s on a diet as well so it’s going to be awful.”
- Love Cat’s little “terrible” at her spelling out the words D.I.S.C.O. and B.R.E.A.K.
- Love the shot of Amy’s Dad crying in the audience. Makes me think back to the auditions where he was super supportive of her.
- Love the cute/excited scream between Fik-Shun and Melanie at the end of the routine.
- Neil got skinny!
- For a second I was totally distracted by the red marks Hayley’s shoes left on the dance floor during her routine.
Seeing Nico’s sad sad sad face is so heartbreaking. He had to go sometime, I know. I mean there was no way he was going to be in the final four. And I know my love for him is getting in the way of the reality that the fact he has been unable to connect with the judges and the audience has to say something. But it still burns. Mackenzie over Jenna, however was the absolute wrong choice. And remember how at the beginning of the season I didn’t like the girl? She really worked hard and turned it around. If Mackenzie wasn’t voted off I would have said she, Jasmine, Aaron, and Paul would be in the final four. But now who? Amy? Probably Amy or Hayley could be the dark horse. I really am sad to see the both of them going. It’s going to take me a bit to get over this one. I guess all my voting for Nico didn’t work! Boo! Until next week when the All Stars choreograph! Nigel, if you want to make this up to me…have Anna Kendrick back okay? And also pair Allison Holker with Aaron, thanks.