So You Think You Can Dance Season 11: Top 8 Perform, 2 Eliminated

Posted: August 14, 2014 in So You Think You Can Dance, TV

So You Think You Can Dance

Season 11
Top 8 Perform, 2 Eliminated


Being toted as a “A Very Special SYTYCD”, today, the dancers will be paying tribute to Michael Jackson. Now is it just me or does the phrase “Very Special SYTYCD” scare you. I mean we saw what happened with the Very Special Mia Michaels Tribute episode right? I’m also skeptical about the choreographers being boxed into creating performances around only Michael Jackson songs. Sometimes when you have certain restraints the dancing can feel restrained. But I guess we shall see. Maybe I’ll eat my words. Sometimes my words can be fun to eat.


Group Performance: Top 8
Choreographer: Travis Payne (MJ’s choreographer)
Song: “Place With No Name”
Performance: Random thought,  Jacque looks like Selena Gomez during this dance, is that a weird thing to say? The dance is cool, and funky, and for the most part they all do the same sharp moves, which is super cool, but also points out all the flaws. Ricky starts out in the forfront as is usual for these group dances, but each person gets their own moment to shine which is nice. Well except for Zack, he doesn’t really get a moment.


Cat comes out looking fabulous. I mean seriously fabulous. She looks so chic in that white dress with the cape in the back and the white belt. That dress is adorable! Per Instagram, Cat says that dress is an Alexander McQueen, which means it’s breathtaking as well as expensive…as most things are. The guest judge is none other than Channing Tatum wife. Oh, what she has an actual name? It’s Jenna Dewan-Tatum, former dancer/actress/wife to Channing Tatum.


The Performances


Solo #1: Tanisha
Song: “Warrior”/Havana Brown
Performance: I appreciate that it’s not the typical ballroom routine. It has some flips and tricks that makes it exciting, and her skirt is amazing. Matte black on the outside, shiny/sparkly black on the inside. It really makes her stand out. Grade: B+


Couple Performance #1: Ricky and All-Star Jaimie
Choreographer/Style: Travis Wall/Contemporary
Song: “Smile”
Performance: The routine was really pretty. It was almost as if they were doing a Viennese Waltz but in the air. There were so many lifts it was crazy. But it definitely showed off Ricky’s flexibility and technique. The thing I love about Travis’ choreography is that he always finds ways to push the envelope. When coming down from their lifts, the dancers never just landed straight down on their feet, they always landed creatively, whether it be to the side, into a leap, into a turn. And that movie where Ricky picks Jaimie up and spins her around by her shoulders is really fantastic. I’ve never really been that big of a fan of Jaimie. I’ve never been able to connect with her, but she was great in this piece, even if I focused more on Ricky (as I rightfully should). Nothing was really WOW in this piece, but collectively it was a pretty spectacular routine.
Judging: Jenna thinks this piece really highlighted his extension and it blew her away. Mary says it was perfection. Nigel feels like there were some really difficult moves in the piece but that Ricky doesn’t just dance and excel at it, he transcends it. Grade: A-
Ricky’s Status: Safe, was there any doubt?


Solo#2: Zack
Song: “Gotta Get Through This (Acoustic Version)”/Daniel Beddingfield
Performance: I’ve missed seeing Zack tap dance. Though he had a little slip in his solo, I loved how he used the entire stage. He looked calm, cool, and in control and looked adorable in his hat. Honestly, I could watch tap dancing forever. Grade: A-


Couple Performance #2: Valerie and All-Star Ryan
Choreographer/Style: Jean-Marc Genereux/Samba
Song: “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’
Performance:  First of all YOWZA! Valerie looks HOT. They gave her extensions, and then a dress with no underwear. Haha, I would be SO scared to dance in something like that. The beginning was definitely a bit awkward, even though she was smiling you could see her dancing the moves in her head. You could see her thinking about it. But halfway through, once they got into the rolls she really let herself go and she became more relaxed. That made the performance much more enjoyable. I don’t know technicality-wise how she did, but I thought she looked great and wore the style well, even if it wasn’t perfect. And I love that she doesn’t pull those cheesy ballroom faces (mouth open, dramatic gasping, looking like someone stepped on her toe), she just dances as herself.
Judges: Mary said she attacked it and if Mary is happy, you know the girl did well. Nigel said Valerie showed us how to dance today. Jenna says Valerie has amazing spirit, but she was also super sexy today. Grade: B
Valerie’s Status: Safe! Yes! I think it was my 6 votes.


Solo #3: Casey
Song: “Outro”/ M83
Performance: Casey is definitely a different dancer than from the beginning of the show. He just lets it all go. His solo is so mesmerizing. I love that he’s FINALLY broken out of his shell. Grade: A


Solo #4: Rudy
Song: “Warrior”/ Drehz
Performance: Rudy gives a strong, powerful, shirtless performance. The kind that Nigel loves. He shows off his musicality and I can’t help thinking he needs a red cape in his hands. Grade: B


Couple Performance #3: Casey and All-Star Comfort
Choreographer: Pharside and Phoenix/Hip Hop
Song: “Xscape”
Performance: I don’t know how I feel about this routine. I think it almost became too much about the concept. Especially in the beginning. It was more posturing, less dancing. But that’s not the dancers fault. That’s the choreographers fault. I have to say Casey was really sexy in this piece. It was a whole different side then we’ve seen from him. The best parts were the parts when they danced side by side. Their chemistry seemed a bit off, but it’s also because they are polar opposites. Casey is more quiet and reserved and Comfort is wild and crazy and out of control so their different styles didn’t really seem to fuse. I’m not sure if I liked it or not. I think if you break it down to pieces and individual performances, I liked it. But as a whole it was lacking something.
Judging: Nigel says Casey is growing so much on the show. Jenna says his presence takes over the stage and she loved his performance. Mary says he was strong and committed and it got better as it went on Grade: B
Casey is: IN THE BOTTOM? What?  (please, please don’t tell me the bottom 2 are Casey and Zack! I won’t be able to pick!)


Solo #5: Jacque
Song: “Nocturne in C Sharp Minor, (Op. Posth.): Lento”/Dejan Lazic & Pieter Wispelwey
Performance: She does a ballet solo and I have to say I love it. I’m a sucker for ballet. It’s graceful and sweet. Grade: B+



Couple Performance #4: Tanisha and All-Star Nick
Choreographer/Style: Stacey Tookey/Contemporary
Song: “She’s Out Of My Life”
Performance: First, is it terrible to say whenever I hear this song I think of the N’SYNC version first? Second, as for the routine, it was quite lovely. I have to say though Nick definitely stole the show. The two didn’t really have much chemistry and with such a great song and tender routine they really needed to sell the chemistry. Nick, on the otherhand is amazing, his leaps, his jumps, and he was winner Season 1, 11 years ago. Think about that!
Judges: Jenna says she loved the dancing, but that she wanted more from her performance. Mary says that Tanisha can do anything. Nigel says she’s such a strong dancer with a great core, but that she needs to show her vulnerable side more.  Grade: B-
Tanisha’s status: In the bottom.


Solo #6: Jessica
Song: “Taking Chances”/Celine Dion
Performance: Jessica just explodes all over the stage with her performance. Part Celine’s vocals, part strong dancing, Jessica just has this energy and presence that cannot be denied. So far her solo is my favorite of the night, purely on energy alone. Grade: A


Couple Performance #5: Rudy and All-Star Allison
Choreographer/Style: Ray Leeper/Jazz
Song: “Dirty Diana”
Performance: Rudy, I love ya kid, but put you next to Allison and she will eat you ALIVE and she does. Allison just had a completely different energy than Rudy did. She left it all on the floor. Her being my favorite dancer it’s impossible for me not to look at her. I couldn’t keep my eyes off her. And while Rudy danced great and showed a lot of strength, I feel like he could have done more. He didn’t grab me or fight for my attention. And with such a dramatic song and routine like this he really needed to do that. Instead he let Allison overshadow him. He had an outstanding partner, a bad ass choreographer, and a great routine, he just didn’t live up to its demands. I wonder what the judges think since I know they love him.
Judges: Mary loved it. Nigel was invested in the story but felt sometimes Rudy fell out of character a bit. He thinks this routine elevated Rudy to another level. Jenny thinks Rudy held his own. (Upon second glance, I see what the judges are talking about, but Allison still stole the show.)
Rudy’s Grade: B // Routine and Allison Grade: A
Rudy’s Status: Bottom Two


Solo #7: Valerie
Song: “Dance With Me Tonight”/Olly Murs
Performance: Valerie makes me happy. That’s all I have to say. Grade: B+



Couple Performance #6: Zack and Mackenzie
Choreographer/Style: Spencer Liff/Broadway
Song: “The Way You Make Me Feel”
Performance: This song is probably one of my favorite Michael Jackson songs. And it always makes me think of Center Stage when I hear it. While I don’t think his character really exuded cool (maybe he needed a leather jacket or something) I thought he danced it really well. They had a lot of chemistry together and it was just a lot of fun. Though it was nothing WOW, they entertained me. I really want Zack to have a breakout moment.
Judges: Nigel is proud of Zack, Jenna thought Zack had a lot of control and personality. He put everything out there. Mary can feel Zack’s spirit and he’s a pro. Grade: B
Zack’s Status: Zack is SAFE! Yay!


Solo #8: Ricky
Song: “Haegt, Kemur Ljosio”/Olafur Arnalds
Performance: You can tell how much in love everyone is with Ricky and what he did in his solo is why. He shows technique, he shows musicality, he shows personality, and he just lights up the stage. He’s very similar to Jessica in the way he just enjoys the moment. There’s a reason why everyone loves him, and this is it. Grade: A-


Couple Performance #7: Jacque with All-Star Twitch
Choreographer/Style: Dave Scott/Hip Hop
Song: “Slave to the Rhythm”
Performance: Is it weird for me to say I am distracted by Jacque’s stomach? It’s so toned! Moving along I have to say this routine was pretty spectacular. Jacque was dirty, she got low, she was in the groove, she felt the music. I liked that it was more mature and intricate and it gave her a chance to actually dance and not just act like some of the routines we’ve seen.
Judges: They thought Jacque was having a party with it. Nigel noticed Jacque used different muscles and really challenged herself. She has swag. Grade: B+
Jacque’s Status: She’s in the bottom


Couple Performance #8: Jessica and All-Star Will
Choreographer/Style: Mandy Moore/Contemporary
Song: “Earth Song”
Performance: This routine had so many CRAZY tricks that showcased just how strong of a core Jessica has. I mean she was doing some crazy one handed moves that I don’t think anyone could pull off. I love the shapes they made and that danger element with each move. And I love how they’d make one formation, and then it would morph into another formation. It really was quite gorgeous. I loved the move where she fell down Will with one leg out then he picked her up and she switched legs.  And crazy thinking, but Jessica reminded me a lot of Allison Holker in that routine. Performance and acting wise. Does anyone else get that sense? Like she could be the next Allison?
Judges: Mary says what Jessica has been producing is extraordinary. She thought she looked terrific, and outside of the crazy tricks it’s the passion that sold it for her. Nigel calls her one of his favorite performer. She was magnificent. Jenna thinks Jessica is the dancer that pops and flourishes. And it was her favorite routine of the night.  Grade: A
Jessica’s Status: Hello, safe, have you been paying attention?


Bottom Four:
Casey, Rudy, Jacque, and Tanisha

My Prediction:
In a perfect world Casey gets to stay. As for the girls, I never really connected with either of these girls, but Jacque may have a slight edge because of the ballet, then again Tanisha has been having strong performances. I don’t know who I’d pick to stay, but I’d be find with either of them going home, is that a weird thing to say. As for Rudy, I love him, but I’ve enjoyed Casey’s body of work more. And I just love that kid as a dancer and performer, he’s really broken out.


Rudy and Tanisha.


My Thoughts:
I think Rudy knew it. He was crying before anything happened. On the tears on his face just breaks my heart. I’m okay with this. I’m glad that Casey gets to stay, but ugh Rudy is breaking my heart right now!


Top 5 Favorite Routines

  1. Jessica and Will – Contemporary
  2. Rudy and Allison – Jazz
  3. Ricky and Jaimie – Contemporary
  4. Valerie and Ryan – Samba
  5. Zack and Mackenzie – Broadway

Next Week Who’s Dancing With Who

  • Ricky and All-Star Anya
  • Valerie and All-Star Twitch
  • Zack and All-Star Fik-Shun
  • Jessica and All-Star Ade
  • Casey and All-Star Mackenzie
  • Jacque and All-Star Will



Final Thoughts:
Zack holding Rudy? I can’t even take it. Is it weird to say I wanted to see more of the dancers comforting each other? Sometimes seeing them cry over each other leaving is what makes me like the dancers even more and I think reavealing the all-stars kind of ruins that moment. Is that a weird thing to say too? I mean I guess it ends the show on a happier note, but give me my drama. I like my drama. Anyway! I’m so glad my favorites are still in: Ricky, Valerie, Zack, Jessica and now Casey. My guess for the final 4? Ricky, Casey, Valerie and Jessica. I LOVE Zack to death, but I don’t think he’s going to make it with the performance he had this week. Can you believe we only have 2 shows left?! Unreal! Until next week my friends!





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