After weeks of auditions and a grueling 2-episode Vegas week, the time has come for the Top 20 Dancers to finally show their stuff! And to also see how exactly this whole Stage vs. Street thing is going to work!
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE: SEASON 12
Top 20 Perform
The show starts off very dramatic, the dancers walking out from their respective venues in super slow motion, but then it turns into this super cool montage of the dancers showing off their skills. It’s pretty cool. All that intensity turns in to a battle of the styles like Top 10 performance to “Revolt” by Nathan Lanier (Choreographed by Christopher Scott and Jessica Lee Keller). And it’s like stimulation overload! So many places to look…wait is that Asaf?
After the cute introductions, our Host extraordinaire Cat Deely comes out wearing a really cute outfit. The top is a mixture of white graphic shapes held together that attaches to the skirt with a black panel underneath and a simple black pencil skirt (according to her Instagram it was designed by Thierry Mugler).
Cat tells us that the injured dancer teased from last episode is Hurricane and he had to leave the show. Taking his place is Asaf, which in a way is surprising for me. I hope they are keeping him because he really is good and not just for the drama. This show doesn’t need that kind of drama. It should just be about the dancing. I guess we shall see.
Who: Megz, Neptune, Jessica — Team Street
Choreographer: David Scott
Song: “The Illest” by Far East Movement feat. Riff Raff
Performance: It’s a cool routine, but it also felt mellow to me and it was lacking a bit of energy. Maybe it was because of the music? I was a little distracted from the weird camera work (can’t you just keep the entire dancer in frame from the front head to toe?) to the choppy editing (side, front, dolly, steadicamp, side shakiness, pick a shot and stay on it for more than 3 seconds!). But about the dancing, I wanted more, and as much as I love Jessica, Megz stuck out the most for me. She has such a unique look. My Grade: C
Judges: Paula wants the dancers to commit to their characters. Jason was a little let down by the performance and he wanted them to think more about their movements.
Who: Moises, Gaby, Derek – Team Stage
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Song: “Luminous” by Max Richter
Performance: The routine was really pretty and flowy and I love it when dancers dance to instrumental pieces rather than poppy pieces. Stand outs were definitely Gaby and Moises. Moises has great extension, next to Derek you could just see he just reached a little bit further than Derek and Gaby, being a tappy was pretty brilliant. She moved like a contemporary dancer. I liked that the routine focused on how the three of them worked together rather than tricks. My Grade: B+
Judges: Paula thought it was beautiful. Jason thought it was unreal and thought Gaby was incredible. Nigel loved it when they danced in unison. Nigel was impressed by Gaby.
Who: Lily, Jaja, Asaf Burim – Team Street
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Song: “Easy (Switch Screens)” by Son Lux feat. Lorde
Performance: As much as a train wreck rehearsal seemed to be, the performance was really incredible. First, Asaf really surprised me. He kept up with the choreographer and was able to bring his brooding personality into it. Same for Jaja, her movements were sharp and tight and she was still able to provide personality and facial expressions. Lily and Burim didn’t stand out as much as I liked them too (except for the beginning where they each had their moment to shine) but overall I was really impressed by the routine and how in sync they were. My Grade: B+
Judges: Standing O from the judges. Jason call sit beasty. Nigel thinks Lily sticks out. Paula thought it was strong, powerful and awesome.
Who: Alexia, Hailee, Marissa – Team Stage
Choreographer: Brian Friedman
Song: “New Dorp. New York” by SBTRKT feat. Ezra Koenig
Performance: The routine was strong and sexy. I thought this routine had everything going for it. Costume, stilettos, music, props, it was the full on performance very well thought out by Friedman. Hailee stood out for me but not in a good way, she seemed a bit shaky and a bit off to me. My Grade: B
Judges: Nigel says they need to be careful about being too sexy in their performances. Paula adds on saying they are dressed sexy the routine is sexy so they need to be more subtle in their performances. Their dancing however was great.
Who: Darion & Jim – Team Stage
Choreographer: Benoit Swan Pouffer
Song: “Blood and Stone” by Audiomachine
Performance: I love how connected the two guys were with each other. It started off a little rocky and seemed like they were both in their own little worlds, then Darion looked at Jim, their eyes connected and they were in total sync with each other. The routine was powerful, strenuous, and beautiful. It was empowering, you could feel the strength and endurance the guys needed to get through this performance. It really was incredible. My Grade: A-
Judges: Paula loves these two dudes, Jason was floored and says he will remember this performance. Nigel thought Jim stood out and his incredible feet. He wants more light in Darion’s eyes.
Who: Yorelis, Virgil, Ariana – Team Street
Choreographer: Pharside and Phoenix
Song: “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars
Performance: While the song was a little distracting and the concept of the routine a little cheesy, I have to say Virgil killed it. He was the definitely stand out for me. He reminds me a lot of Fik Shun mixed with Carlton. He has just this goofy personality and this stunning smile that makes him hard to take your eyes off of. He his personality really shines thorough when he is dancing. He just seems like a really fun dude. And to be honesty the other girls just faded into the background. He was definitely the star. I loved the tutting section and the part where Virgll laid on the ground and popped himself up like he was levitating. My Grade: B-
Judges: Jason liked the tutting section. It was good not great. Nigel uses the word fly that he should never use again. Nigel wants them to push it even more and thought the girls held their own against Virgil. Paula wants them to always be in the moment even when it’s not their moment.
Who: Edson and Kate – Team Stage
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Song: “Shaped Like a Gun” by Taylor
Performance: This might be my favorite performance of the night. I love those performances you just get so engrossed in. I loved the gentle, delicate moments and also the moments of intensity. Once thing Travis always does well is create these beautiful transitions like Edson tossing Kate in the air and her landing on one foot. OR Edson dragging Kate back and she flips over doing this kick move. Each movement never ends where you think it’s going to end. Kate was the standout for me. Grade: A-
Judges: Nigel didn’t understand what their emotions in the piece was about. He doesn’t like the whole reaching and smiling thing. Paula didn’t feel the chemistry; she felt like they were holding something back. Jason wants them to live the movement.
Who: Team Stage
Choreographer: Warren Carlyle
Song: “Body Language” by Queen
Performance: I thought the routine was really great. It was sleak and chic. I love Moises tapping with Gaby, I loved when they dance in unison with each other. It was just an overall slick routine. My Grade: A
Who: Team Street
Song: “Ready Or Not Here I Come” by District 78 feat. Cheesa
Performance: SO…okay. It’s a cool routine. But I can’t help be distracted by Asaf. He’s so off. The girls are killing it. They are tight they are put together. Everyone is hitting it hard. Virgil is so freakin’ adorable I can’t help but love him. But come on Nappy Tabs, don’t think I didn’t notice how Virgil and Burim disappeared for the last 45 seconds of that routine, and then all Asaf did was lift up Virgil. At least Burim did some sweet B-Boy moves. My Grade: B
- Love Cat doing the Chris Pratt for the dancers.
- Asaf is such a personality. I feel bad they are all giving him a hard time.
- Cat says something about Asaf that I didn’t get, but before she said it she let out this huge sigh of relief. I feel like he is a WILD card for everyone. He’s that kid that no one knows what he will do or say or how he will act. This will be an interesting show.
- Choreographer Brian Friedman was on SYTYCD the earlier years wasn’t he? Or am I crazy? He was a judge right?
- Travis has total Stage Mom expressions when he over sees the dancers rehearsals: furrowed brow, intensely watching the feet.
- Paula makes a comment to Darion and Jim saying I hope their costuming gets better and Jim does this little covering of his legs that is super adorable.
- Quote of the Day — Cat: “Everyone likes a little nice with their nasty.”
- I don’t understand why the judges didn’t like Edson and Kate’s performance. I liked it. Maybe their chemistry wasn’t hot hot hot, but I thought they did a great job and Nigel is just crazy. Travis agrees with me and thought they were amazing. If Travis agrees with me, then we both must be right.
- Nigel tells Jason they are running over and have to cut something. I don’t think we were supposed to hear that. Ruh Roh.
- Napoleon is a terrible terrible…actor.
- Asaf is causing drama…like usual. Its weird thought because I want him to do good. I want him to prove to everyone his crappy attitude off sets his abilities…Don’t think it’s going to happen though…
- Okay, seriously, isn’t “Ready or Not” by the Fugees? What’s up with this cover?
Although Jessica kind of disappeared this episode, but my favorites are still my favorites. I still love Jaja, Virgil, Gaby and Jim. I think Asaf and Burim will be in danger with Asaf going home. Lily, Ariana, Hailee, and Derek might be in danger too, only because I feel like I didn’t really get a sense of who they were. Next week we lose two dancers and get a bonus episode. Until then my friends!