So You Think You Can Dance Season 11: Top 20 Perform

Posted: July 6, 2014 in So You Think You Can Dance, TV

One of my favorite things about So You Think You Can Dance is watching the other dancers get so excited about each other’s work and performance. There’s something really special about the way they support each other and Not Vegas, aka Pasadena, was a great reminder of just that fact. At the end of Pasadena, when the Top 20 was revealed, I had my favorites, tappers Valerie and Zack, Marcquet, and of course Jessica (I mean her solo was amazing). Did that remain with the Top 20 Performance? I guess we’ll find out!


So You Think You Can Dance
Season 11
Top 20 Performances



Who: Top 20
Choreographer/Style: Sonya Tayeh/Jazz
Song: “Stalker Ha” by Kingdom
My Thoughts: This piece definitely had Sonya’s signature all over it. It was energetic and it showed off everyone’s stomping skills. I will never understand her costume choices though. Is it weird to say one of my favorite parts of the performance as the end when the kids are just breathing heavily. There’s just something about them all breathing in as one that’s really beautiful.

I have already decided Ricky is my favorite. I think it’s the beard. I hope they don’t make him shave it. It really makes him stand out, well that and his crazy flexibility. I can’t wait to see more. My overall impression of this group, a lot of the girls and guys look really similar. SYTYCD definitely has a type.

Jason Derulo is the guest judge, which is, well strange because this show doesn’t seem like his thing. I know he’s a performer and all, but I enjoy the show a lot more when they hire other dancers to judge…you know…the dancing. Maybe he will surprise me.


Time for the Performances, each dancer will be dancing in their own style.


Who: Brooklyn and Serge
Choreographer/Style: Dimitry Chaplin/Cha Cha
Song: “Hell Yeah” by Midnight Red
The Routine: I’ve never been a big fan of Dimitry’s as a choreographer. As a shirtless ballroom dancer? Hell yeah. Choreographer, not so much. I’m not a fan of the use of contemporary music in ballroom music, it just doesn’t always work. And Dimirtry is a fan of using strange songs in his routines. I’m also just not a big fan of his choreography. That being said, the couple looks HOT. Serge is STRONG, and as for Brooklyn, she looks great, but I’m distracted by what seems like a label sticking out of the bottom part of her dress. Yes, I’m checking out her butt, I don’t know why. Serge definitely killed this one but Brooklyn needed more strength and control.
Judges: Mary felt that Brooklyn was nervous, but that Serge looked great. Jason thought the routine was steamy. Nigel thought they uplifted the group with their energy.
My Grade: C


Who: Emily and Casey
Choreographer/Style: Travis Wall/Contemporary
Song: “All of Me” by John LEgend
The Routine: This routine has me from the beginning with the help of the lighting, the costume choices and the amazing amazing song. But the dancers really bring it. Casey has incredible strength and I love the move where he lifts Emily by spreading his arms and standing on his toes and she clings to him like a monkey. Okay, that didn’t sound very lovely, but it LOOKED lovely. Casey also transforms when he dances. He has this “pretty boy”, “”well groomed thing about him, but when he dances, it all fades away. And his dancing really shines. As for Casey, I feel like she could be a bit more graceful, but then I forget all my critique with that great stretching balancing act. Girl uses every single muscle when she dances from the tippy tips to her toes and fingers. It’s very beautiful.
Judging: Jason is excited and uses great words to describe the dance. It was vivid! And they did tell a great story. I’m impressed Jason. Nigel loves how the choreography fit the music and loves the lengthening of their styles as the music went into falsetto.
My Grade: B+


Who: Valerie and Zack
Choreographer/Style: Anthony Morigerato/Tapping
Song: “Sing” by Ed Sheeran
The Routine: I’ll be honest guys, I can barely walk up (or down) a set of stairs without falling. Maybe it’s an inner ear thing, but I digress. What these kids did is so awe-inspiring. Nothing only were they tapping up and down, backwards and forwards, one leg and two legs, but they were keeping an intricate delicate rhythm. And they were in sync. It was quite thrilling. Plus they’re ADORABLE. Valerie has this Ashley Williams kind of thing about her and I‘m pretty sure I could fit Zack in my pocket (even if he is as tall as Cat). The routine was extremely difficult, but they made it look easy and fun.
Judging: Nigel thinks they are magnificent. He thinks their technique is great and they are very likeable. Mary loves the rhythmic conversation and felt like they were teaching her the song. Jason has a tap background (who knew) and appreciates how difficult that routine was.
My Grade: A


Who: Bridget and Stanley
Choreographer/Style: Bonnie Story/Contemporary
Song: “Doesn’t Mean Goodbye” by John McLaughlin
Routine: There’s something about Bridget that I really like. I think it’s just that she seems like a normal girl. She’s not over made, she’s just a normal, beautiful girl. She also has great chemistry with Stanley and when they dance side by side together I get goosebumps. It’s so beautiful. Though nothing special amazing happened, the routine was sweet, the dancing was graceful, and the story was compelling.
Judging: Mary loved the “love roll” where they held each other’s heads and rolled on the ground. She loves Stanley’s legs and leaps and loves Bridget’s lightness. Jason said they looked effortless, then asks Bridget to massage his feet…um…awkward. Nigel loved their classic technique.
My Grade: B


Who: Jacque and Jourdan
Choreographer/Style: Ballet
Song:  Pas de Deux from Black Swan
Routine: Is it weird I want to immediately dislike Jourdan because she spells her name with a u? Is it weird that the spelling of Jacque’s name frustrates me? Is it unreasonable? Does that make me s vindictive? Okay, just checking. Fortunately, Ilike them more when I realize they will be doing ballet on point. The routine is great, unfortunately they aren’t really together. They don’t have a connection. I know it’s hard and difficult and with time it could have been better but their mistakes were too distracting. Now I admit, I’d never in my life be able to do anything close to that, but I just wish they were a little more together, that would have made all the difference.
Judging: Jason gives us this jem, “That was beautiful, I loved to watch it.” Nigel can’t wait to see what else they can do, but you can tell he didn’t like it as much as he wanted too. Mary loves to see ballet on the stage.
My Grade: C


Who: Marcquet and Marlene
Choreographer/Style:  Louie Van Amstel/Brazilian Samba
Song: “Morning Drums” by Gregor Salto
Routine: Marcquet is even more my favorite now that I hear he’s afraid of ants. Why? I can’t really tell you. It just does. And after seeing them dance, I have to say I’m a fan of these too. They just looked like they were having so much fun out there. And that color looked amazing on Marlene. There was a nice build up into their shakes and shimmies and I couldn’t help but smile. The routine was so full of energy and even though I don’t know much about ballroom, their routine was better than any ballroom routine I’ve seeon on SYTYCD. They looked professional and showed great personality.
Judging: Nigel loved it and thought they had incredible passion. Mary loved their “hot rolls” and loved their intention.
My Grade: B


Who: Carly and Rudy
Choreographer/Style: Stacey Tookey/Contemporary
Song: “Take It Easy” by Jetta
Routine: Rudy seems like a big goofball and Stacey wonders if he can pull himself together. He knows he needs to get serious. As the routine starts, I can’t help thinking that Carly reminds me of Allison Holker. She just puts everything into her dancing. The routine is really quite beautiful, even though Rudy struggles a bit with the lifts, the windmachine is working really hard to make it all look effortless. And when they dance side by side in sync it is so beautiful. I really enjoyed it. They both put so much heart into it. Cat teases Rudy about how he’s a crier and that makes me like the both of them even more.
Judging: Mary thinks it was really beautiful. She notices that the lifts are a bit labored, but loves his heart. Jason felt that anything was possible watching them. Nigel loves Carly’s technique and thinks that Rudy has room to grow and that he wears his heart on his sleeve.
My Grade: B+


Who: Emilio and Teddy
Choreographer/Style: Christopher Scott/Hip Hop
Song: “Night Shift” by the Commodores
Routine: First impression, Teddy is a pretty boy, and he’s a bit strange. I think he’s trying too hard. I also can’t believe he’s a b-boy. That being said, the two boys have a lot of chemistry. The routine is light and fun, and the boys glide around the stage like it’s covered in wax. Emilio shows a lot more personality than Teddy…who I’m still not convinced is a hip hop dancer. He totally looks contemporary.
Judging: Jason runs his joke from the beginning of the show into the ground and beats the dead joke with a stick. He loves the routine and thought it was seamless even though they spent a lot of time dancing apart. Nigel loved the boys’ ability to connect and loved Emilio’s tricks. He also mentions Teddy is not all hip hop and it all makes much more sense to me. Mary loved Christopher Scott’s musicality.
My Grade: B-


Who: Jessica and Ricky
Choreographer/Style: Sonya Tayeh/Contemporary
Song: “Vow” Meredith Monk
Routine: Ricky and Jessica connected in more ways than one during rehearsal. Their heads, literally connected. Could they connect in this piece? The answer is yes. This performance was the definition of breathtaking. The music was so quiet, just a woman, singing acapella, a song that sounds similar to the Star Trek Theme, but it was so mesmerizing. It captivated you. It made the piece less noise, serene, subtle. Your focus was soley on the dancers and it was so captivating you couldn’t help but hold your breath. I frankly couldn’t take my eyes off of these two, they’re probably the shortest in the competition but Ricky with his beard had such strength and control, and Jessica’s legs are just crazy special. I do wish this couple was an actual pair because I agree with Nigel, they would have fun away with the competition.
Judges: Standing O. None of them could stop raving about the piece. Jason Derulo was holding his breath, just like I was. Also, you know a piece is good when the choreographer herself is taken aback by the performance and can’t help but say WOW.
My Grade: A+


Who: Tanisha and Nick
Choreographer/Style: Louie Van Amstel/Cha Cha
Song: “I’m A Freak” by Enrique Iglesias feat Pitbull
Routine: Tanisha reminds me of an actress who I can’t place right now, but when I do, you’ll totally get what I mean. Unfortunately she has zero chemistry with Nick. I think their high difference was really a detriment to him. He seemed to be struggling a bit and I really want to like him. They both had a lot of energy, but I wish they had more of a connection.
Judging: They don’t really have much to say, which makes me think they didn’t really like it all that much.
My Grade: C



My Prediction:
I think the bottom three girls will be Jourdan, Jacque, and Tanisha or Brooklyn and the bottom boys Nick, Casey and Serge. Right now, it’s hard to put those guys in the bottom three. I think the guys are really strong this season, but I need to see a bit more personality from the ones that I picked for the bottom. In fact all the bottom 6 I picked need to be able to seperate themselves from the pack. So, who will go home? My guess is either Jourdan or Jacque…and as for the boys? No idea. Nick, I guess?


Top 5 Routines:

1)      Jessica and Ricky – Contemporary
2)      Valerie and Zack – Tap
3)      Emily and Casey – Contemporary
4)      Marlene and Marcquet – Brazilian Samba
5)      Carly and Rudy – Contemporary


Overall Thoughts:
This is going to be a good season, and I ALREADY can’t wait for all stars. Who wants to see Ricky dance with Alison or Jessica dance with Alex Wong? This girl. My favorites are still the same, but I’ve added Ricky to the list. Oh Ricky…




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