So You Think You Can Dance Season 11: Top 4 Perform

Posted: August 28, 2014 in So You Think You Can Dance, TV

It’s the last episode for the finale. The final four. And I think this is the perfect final four. They are all well-rounded, extremely passionate about what they do and different styles. Final four shows are always spectacular and I can’t wait to see what happens (I write my reviews on the episode as I watch them…) Let’s do this people.



Top 4 Perform

Top 4 Group Routine
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Song: “Wind Beneath My Wings”/Ryan Dan
Performance: While I loved the fact that the girls danced with the girls and guys danced with the guys, and the piece was beautiful and flowly, I felt like it was too somber for an opening number. I was waiting for that WOW, take my breath away moment and it never came. Travis can do better. It wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t what I wanted at that moment.


The guest judge for this week is Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Though he doesn’t give critical critique he always gives such great quotes. He’s just so alive and excited to be there and that’s what you want from a judge rather than just platitudes.

Today everyone will be dancing with everyone else and an All-Star and a solo. So let’s get to it!


Routine #1: Valerie and Ricky
Choreographer/Style: Sean Cheesman/African
Song: “Voices of Savannah”/DJ Chus
Performance: Their faces were so intense. I have to say Valerie really pulled out all the stops with her facial expressions today. While there were some other pieces I felt like she was holding back with emotion, or that all she could play was happy bubbly characters, she really kept her face intense this entire routine. And I appreciated it. As for the dancing, I thought it was high energy, bouncy, and in sync. They danced together, Ricky didn’t outshine Valerie and Valerie didn’t outshine Ricky. They danced as one.
Judges: Nigel says they proved they have stamina. Mary says they got down and had a lot of animal instincts. Jesse says they were amazing. Grade: B


Routine #2: Jessica and Zack
Choreographer/Style: Spencer Liff/Broadway
Song: “Hernando’s Hideaway”/Ella Fitzgerald
Performance: Despite the fact that I’m pretty sure Jessica is the shortest girl in the competition, somehow her legs looked so long and elegant this routine. This routine was definitely one of Spencer’s best. It was sexy, it was sneaky, it was fun, and I loved how he incorporated the stairs and table. Those set pieces gave the routine a WOW factor adding so much more to the movements. I also love the lift that happened on the stairs, if I had done it, me and my partner wouldn’t have made it out of that lift alive. Is it weird to say I also LOVE what Zack is wearing? That suit jacket is so debonair. Like a pea coat suit.
Judges: Mary said Jessica was slinky, and Zack has some great legs. Jesse said they were both spectacular and could be on Broadway right now. Nigel says the choreography was strong and Zack is one of the most gifted dancers of the season. And for him Jessica stands out. Grade: B+/A-


Routine #3: Valerie and Zack
Choreographer/Style: Tyce DiOrio/Contemporary
Song: “Pearls”/Sade
Performance: First of all, I feel so bad for Zack having to perform back to back. Secondly, I just don’t like Tyce anymore. Third, was the whole blind concept distracting to you? I don’t know if it was Valerie’s performance, or the extra emphasis on being blind in Tyce’s choreographer, but every time she searched for Zack’s face or had that goofy, far away-gaze, smile on her face I just cringed it felt SO weird. That being said a lot of the movement was really pretty. I just wish the concept had been different. I also felt like the piece was building up toward something but then never got there. It was totally anticlimactic and just not satisfying. I loved the move where Zack picked Valerie up mid leap. I love assisted lifts.
Judges: Jesse said Valerie sold the performance and loved that the routine was light despite a heavy concept. Nigel said the routine touched him and that they danced it beautifully. Mary loved the honesty in Zack’s face and loved the moment Valerie touched his face. (Am I missing something here? Am I just a hard ass? Am I the only one that found it goofy? Is my dislike for Tyce overshadowing my ability to judge this routine?) Grade: B


Routine #4: Jessica and Ricky
Choreographer/Style: Ray Leeper/Jazz
Song: “F For You”/Disclosure feat. Mary J. Blige
Performance: These two have such amazing chemistry. They would give each other looks throughout the piece that seemed to fire each other up. And it was like this spark of light and electricity would jolt through you. They played off each other well and it’s a shame we haven’t seen them dance together more. I loved their energy and their athleticism. I loved how hard they were hitting it, and I loved that look in their eyes when they were dancing. They were having a lot of fun.
Judges: Nigel says as a couple they complement each other.  Mary said they had a lot of power and the routine was funky and fun. Jesse calls them “adorable sprockets.” Grade: A-


Routine #5: Jessica and Valerie
Choreographer/Style: Nakul Dev Mahajan/Bollywood
Song: “Ghagra”/Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (Soundtrack)
Performance: A happy Bollywood number is the perfect routine for these two bubbly girls. Unfortunately it left me a little unsatisfied. I feel like a lot of these routines leave me hanging and end before the story is complete. Despite that, I thought the performance was light and fun and bouncy. Valerie seemed to be losing a bit of steam near the end of the routine. Jessica’s leaps looked higher and stronger. Overall the routine was a lot of fun, but nothing amazing. I wanted more.
Judges: Mary calls them stunning, Jesse says he felt like he lost 10 pounds just watching the routine. Grade: B+


Routine #6: Ricky and Zack
Choreographer/Style: Phoenix and Pharside/Hip Hop
Song: “The Antidote”/District 78
Performance: There’s nothing I like better, then watching two-whiter-than-white white guys doing hip hop. (See Benji and Travis’ hip hop Season 2). This routine was KILLER! I probably haven’t been this excited about a hard-hitting, hip hop routine since Twitch and Alex Wong’s routine (though Comfort and Jasmine’s routine came close.) There were so many cool tricks I can’t even name them all. When Zack picked up Ricky by his arms and lifted him as Ricky still had his feet out. When Ricky jumped up, and Zack caught him up by his shoulders and bent back so Ricky could catch him by the head, when Zack pulled Ricky and he jumped up on his stomach, Ricky’s sexy Channing Tatum worm move on the ground, Zack swinging Ricky around by the ankles…SO MANY GOOD THINGS TO WATCH! It was just so well-choreographed, so well danced (they were hitting it HARD), and if a routine can make me write in ALL CAPS, then you know it’s greater than good!
Judges: Cat calls it brilliant. Hardcore, tattooed Phoenix is making a heart with his hands towards Ricky and Zack, so that’s gotta say something, right? The judges are blown away, loved the routine, and loved how hardcore they were. Grade: A+


Routine #7: Valerie and All-Star Aaron
Choreographer/Style: Anthony Morigerato/Tap
Song: “Love Me or Leave Me”/Sammy Davis Jr.
Performance: Ok, see, that’s how you end a routine! It doesn’t have to be fancy or dramatic, but it has a clear ending. That’s how I like my dances. This tap routine was a lot of fun. I love the intricate beats they were creating with their feet. Can I also say I LOVE what Valerie is wearing, especially those adorable red tap shoes? I saw Valerie looking at Aaron a lot and I wish he looked back at her so they could connect more. But if this was about Valerie, I thought she was adorable and a lot of fun to work. And the footwork was pretty spectacular too. I love seeing Aaron back. He was one of my favorites on his season.
Judges: They loved the tapping routine and that Aaron is back to dance with the tappers. Mary thought Valerie was tremendous. Jesse calls Valerie the Michael Jordan of tapping, even though he doesn’t know sports. Grade: B+


Routine #8: Ricky and All-Star Kathryn
Choreographer/Style: Stacey Tookey/Contemporary
Song: “Not About Angels”/Birdy
Performance: I love love LOVE the incorporation of pieces of Kathryn’s dress into the routine, I thought it was really creative and made for some beautiful moments, especially at the end when they made Angels wings. I also loved how for once it was the woman supporting the man. Stacey really gave Ricky a lot to do in this piece and showcased his talents while Kathryn took more of a backseat. I love that about the routine because sometimes you feel like the All-Star is carrying it. I also love how from the opening frame of the dance Ricky was already in the moment, tears in his eyes. It was really a beautiful piece with just great music and costume choices all around.
Judges: Mary loves Ricky’s feet and says he takes her breath away. Jesse says Ricky truly moves people when he dances. Grade: A-


Routine #9: Zack and All-Star Aaron
Choreographer/Style: Anthony Morigerato/Tap
Song: “Piano Man”/Billy Joel
Performance: Words can’t even describe how special this piece was. It was just these two guys having a conversation…with their FEET and I could understand everything they were saying. It was BEYOND dancing. And just the performances performance was amazing and their connection genuine. You could see the passion behind their eyes and I felt like they were telling me this grand old story. I really loved it and want to watch it again. It had so much feeling and grace and passion…I feel like I’m saying the same things over and over again, but that’s because what they did goes beyond words. It was just pure bliss.
Judges: Cat calls it divine, I love it. Jesse says he’s grown so much throughout this show and he’s a brilliant dancer. Nigel says he has such good rhythm. Mary thinks he shows passion in everything he does, not just tap. Grade: A+


Routine #10: Jessica and All-Star Robert
Choreographer/Style: Travis Wall/Contemporary
Song: “When I Go”/Over The Rine
Performance: Travis, you son of a b*tch. You’ve done it again. I don’t even know how a guy like Travis exists. He’s just too creative for his own good. And he knows how to punch you in your heart. This routine is one of the greats. This one will go down in SYTYCD history as being one to remember. I love everything about this it. I love how one movement blended into the next and into the next so there was no stopping no disjoint. Then end of one breath was the beginning of another it was fantastic. I love how they were ripping and pulling and pushing each other. I love when they were climbing on each other. It was raw, and beautiful, and disturbing, and heartbreaking, and breathtaking. I could not take my eyes off of Jessica. I love when she grabbed his face, I love when Robert lifted her feet with his. I love when she fell to the ground, he picked her up by the head to rest it on his leg, and she did a back somersault off his leg over his back. I love when he kicked her leg down and she fell to the ground and he twisted over her and she in turn used her legs to twist over his head. It was all connected. Just outstanding, Travis.
Judges: Nigel thinks she’s become a great actress as well as a dancer. Mary says every single thing she did was electric. Jesse says this routine was his favorite. Grade: A+




Who: Ricky
Song: “Skin and Bones”/David J. Roch
Performance: Seriously, how does Ricky kick his leg up SO fast and so straight. It’s unbelievable. I love his solo, even if it’s a lot of the same things he always does. It’s more than just the dancing. It’s the presence. It’s the love. It’s the feeling he projects when he dances. I love it all.
Rating: 8/10


Who: Valerie
Song: “Valerie”/Mark Ronson feat. Amy Winehouse
Performance: God, I cannot say enough good things about this girl. First of all, not even talking about her tapping everything about her during this solo is perfect. Perfect song choice, perfect outfit (white pants, red top, red shoes), perfect smile. I love her so much.
Rating: 7/10


Who: Jessica
Song: “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World”/Juliet Simms
Performance: I think what I love so much about Jessica’s solo is not the actual dancing, but the fact that her solo’s start in the middle of the crescendo of the music. It gets you excited. She comes out like a firecracker as if someone just plugged her in, but she was always on.
Rating: 9/10


Who: Zack
Song: “Supersititon”/Adam Rafferty
Performance: Calm cool collected sleek and suave. Love this guy, and his style seems to be getting better and better!
Rating: 8/10


My Prediction
As MUCH, as MUCH as I love Ricky (and Valerie and Zack), I think the winner should be Jessica. There’s just something about that girl. She’s been killing it the last few weeks and her talent and stage presence is undeniable.


Random Thoughts/JTF Quotes:

  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson, always the life of the party.
  • Jason Mraz is the first performance I’ve watched on this show. I’ve pretty much fast forward through the other routines.
  • Love Cat trying to put the stage hands who moved the cards on the stage into the spot light. ADORBS.
  • Love the way Jesse teased Mary and Nigel after the hip hop routine.
  • I love how excited Emilio is for the guys after the routine ends.
  • Jesse: “When I was judging last year I confessed to Aaron that I had a crush on him and I thought that after a year it would have gone away but WOW it didn’t.” Probably the most adorable moment.
  • Jesse: “Hey Ricky you were great, if you were older we could date.” LOVE. IT.
  • Could the final four be any cuter? Jumping up and down in a circle and then running around holding hands in a circle. So freakin’ adorable.


Top 5 Performances of the Episode:

  1. Ricky and Zack – Hip Hop
  2. Jessica and Robert – Contemporary
  3. Zack and Aaron – Tap
  4. Jessica and Zack – Broadway
  5. Ricky and Kathryn – Contemporary


top 4


Final Thoughts
I don’t know how the dancers did it. Doing so many physically demanding routines in a row with barely a break. But they all performed SO well and I have to say that if Jessica, Ricky or Zack win I’ll be completely satisfied. I’ll be totally fine with any of them winning, but my vote goes for Jessica taking home the gold. How am I voting? 10 votes for Jessica, 8 votes for Ricky, 2 votes for Zack. Next week is the finale and it’s too soon! Too soon! Until then my fellow dance lovers…





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