My Top 12 Favorite Performances of So You Think You Can Dance – Season 11

Posted: September 2, 2014 in just because I can, So You Think You Can Dance, TV

We hope this day wouldn’t come, but it has. The finale of So You Think You Can Dance is tomorrow (Wednesday). Tomorrow we will be getting a recap of some of the judges favorite performances of the season. I’ve complied a list of my 12 favorites and I hope I get to see some (if not all) of them tomorrow.

 

My Top 12 Performances of Season 11 – So You Think You Can Dance 
(Because I couldn’t narrow it down to just 10)

 

#12 –  Jessica and Casey (Top 6 Perform Episode)
Choreographer/Style: Doriana Sanchez/Disco
Song“Dim All The Lights”/Donna Summer
My Original Review: “I gotta say, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a Disco routine that’s been this good. Usually it’s a lot of glitz and glamor and flips and spins and lifts and frantic chaos. And while this routine had the first 5 things, there was this cool sense of ease about it. Like they didn’t have a care in the world. It was so much fun. It started out with Casey spinning Jessica around super-fast – I mean seriously faster than normal and it was just uphill from there. I loved seeing the cool disco moves with them dancing side by side. The lifts felt easy and simple (even though they were not) and it looked like they were having a lot of fun out there. I also loved the seemingly abrupt ending. It was just a super fun routine.

 

#11 –  Casey and All-Star Kathryn (From the Top 10 Perform Episode)
Choreographer/Style: Spencer Liff/Broadway
Song“Maybe This Time”/Liza Minnelli
My Original Review: “The thing I love about Casey is that I feel like he’s just here to dance. It seems like whenever he talks to the camera or is too much in the spotlight he feels a bit uncomfortable, but when he dances that’s when his personality comes out. And man on man, his personality came out in this routine. The routine started out sweet and simple-like, and Casey was pulling out some great moves. Then there was this breakout moment, where Casey just seemed to shed all the restraint he usually shows and he just let it all out. It was sassy and really just spectacular. Seeing a dancer have that breakout moment always makes me excited. I thought Casey was outstanding and he’s quickly moving up to be one of my favorites.”

 

#10 –  Jessica and All-Star Twitch (From the Top 10 Perform Episode)
Choreographer/Style: Nappy Tabs/Hip Hop
Song: “U Got Me Up (Underground Goodie Mix ’93)”/Cajmere feat. Dajae
Performance: This routine was so much fun and I have to say Jessica tore it up. I saw a whole different side to her usually sweet personality. She had sass and an attitude and sex appeal. As Nigel would say she danced like a woman. It was a really cute routine and Twitch as always is a great performer. I could watch him dance all day long.

 

 

#9- Valerie and Zack (From the Top 20 Introduction Performance Episode)
Choreographer/Style: Anthony Morigerato/Tapping
Song: “Sing”/Ed Sheeran
My Original Review: “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.”

 

#8 – Emily and Teddy (Top 18 Perform Episode)
Choreographer/Style: Tyce DiOreo/Contemporary
Song:  “Ne Me Quitte Pas”/Nina Simone
My Original Review: “Can I just say, I was totally into this piece, until I HEAR Tyce yell “YES” in a quiet moment and I suddenly become distracted. COME ON TYCE. Let the dancers just dance. Okay, moving on. The piece was actually really powerful. It wasn’t conventional. It was dirty and frustrating, and took me to another place. Everything was right about this piece. The song was perfect because it took me to another place. Like a French couple fighting in the streets trying to figure if they should stay together or not. Teddy was killing it. He just gets it and his movement is so beautiful. As for Emily, there were moments I didn’t think she was very strong, but then she pulled out some brilliant move or emotion that made me think twice. That ending was brutally gorgeous. I really liked this piece.”

 

#7 – Ricky and Zack (From the Top 4 Performance Episode
Choreographer/Style: Phoenix and Pharside/Hip Hop
Song: “The Antidote”/District 78
My Original Review: “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 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!”

#6 –  Rudy and All-Star Allison (From The Top 8 Performance Episode)
Choreographer/Style: Ray Leeper/Jazz
Song“Dirty Diana”/Michael Jackson
My Original Review: “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.” (My current thoughts – I like this performance so much more upon repeat viewings, and thats thanks to Allison)

 

 

#5 – Jessica and Ricky (From the Top 20 Introduction Performance Episode)
Choreographer/Style: Sonya Tayeh/Contemporary
Song“Vow”/Meredith Monk
My Original Review: “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.”

 

#4 –  Bridget and Emilio (From the Top 16 Perform Episode)
Choreographer/Style: Travis Wall/Contemporary
Song“The Leaving Song”/Chris Garneau
My Original Review: “I’m pretty sure I could have watched a full 2 hours of this routine. In fact, I felt as if the story was just getting started, and I wanted to learn more. There were SO MANY wonderful things about this routine. And if Bridget goes home after this performance it will be a TRAVIS-TEY (see what I did there? Couldn’t resist). Her movements were so stunning, and visually striking. She fully got into character and her sweet demeanor just disappeared. I almost forgot Emilio was a hip hop dancing until Travis incorporated some of his movement into the choreography. The only thing I wish was that there was more light so I could see what was going on. Love the pose when Emilio lifted her up and she spread her arms and legs. Love her dipping down, chest out leg up as he caught her. That took a lot of trust. Love her grabbing onto his leg with her legs and holding onto the bars for support. Really I wish this routine would have continued for 2 more minutes, I felt like it was 30 seconds long. Emilio’s face is so full of emotion when the routine is over.

#3 – Jessica and All-Star Robert (From the Top 4 Perform Episode)
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. (Current thoughts: I like this piece mostly because of the choreography, if you couldn’t tell. Travis is a genius.)

 

#2 –  Brooklyn, Casey, Emily, Emilio, Tanisha, Serge, Valerie, Zack  (Group Routine from the Top 16 Perform Episode)
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Song“So Broken (Live)”/ Bjork
My Original Review: “I really really REALLY liked this piece. It was so brutal, and ugly, yet beautifully haunting at the same time. I felt like they were dancing as the group, they weren’t trying to be showy. I loved the move where they all fell over at the same time. It was really a WOW moment. This piece was subtle and not subtle at the same time. And I LOVE the closing shot on their faces just breathing and being in the moment. This piece left me tense, staring at it through clenched eyes. Cat said it right, it was gorgeous.”

 

 

AND MY FAVORITE PERFORMANCE OF THE SEASON GOES TO….

 

 

# 1 – Jessica and Casey’s Routine (From the Top 14 Perform Episode)
Choreography/Style: Travis Wall/Choreography
Song“Like Real People Do”/Hozier
My Original Review: “Travis Wall has done it again people. He took me to another place. I felt like I was watching a romantic indie movie montage where the couple is running through a field of daisies all happy and in love. There were so many great moments in this piece that sent shots of warm fuzzies to my heart when they happened. The jolt Jessica felt all throughout her body when they first kissed. When she went spread eagle into the air as the music crescendo. When Casey swung her around from side to side like. This Jessica was the Jessica that we saw at the beginning of the show. She had this light inside of her that we saw during the Top 20 performance. And that light was also in Casey. He was definitely swoon worthy with this performance. He was so careful, and gentle, but masculine at the same time in the way that he took care of her during this piece. Plus there was one moment in the piece where he had a genuine loving smile on his face. I loved it. It was SO SO gorgeous. Now excuse me while I download this song and rewind the performance to watch it again, with the same goofy little, smitten smile on my face.” (Current thoughts: I rate this as the highest performance due to my emotional response and the way it made me feel. Other routines may have been technically better with bigger WOW moments, but this one hit me like a shot to the heart.)

Turns out a lot of the performances I liked were from Jessica…go figure. What were some of your favorite performances of this season? Are you ready for the finale tomorrow?

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