So You Think You Can Dance Season 12: Top 20 Perform & 2 Eliminated

Posted: July 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

So, I’m still skeptical on this new format. So many new and weird things. No more duets? Now we have trios and mini-groups? That’s just weird, you don’t get a chance to know the dancers. And the twitter saves? Cool, but it leaves out the West Coast viewers…Like me! How can I vote if I don’t know how they’ve performed yet? But the one thing that hasn’t changed about this show are routines that you feel passionate about, that make you say WHOA, or that make you rewind it time and time again…Here we go folks! (And as always I recap the shows in real time.)


Top 20 Perform/2 Eliminated

The show opens with a really cool opening Top 20 hip-hop number to the song “Baila Como Yo” by District 78 –only the routine wasn’t completely hip hop. It blended a lot of styles, latin ball room, breaking, I think I spotted a little bit of African style dancing too, etc. All the dancers are dressed in the style of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The routine is high energy, really giving the street performers a chance to shine. My favorite move by far was Virgil’s run into a in the air somersault as he is caught by another dancer. Definitely a WOW moment.  (Choreographed by Pharside and Phoenix)

I’m mesmerized by Cat’s jewels that are designed by XIVKARATS. They swing from Cat’s ears hypnotizing me, so I’m barely paying attention to her into. Something about Ryan Secreast…the show has 8 Emmy Nominations…something something…eliminations tonight!…live tweet? Totally unfair to the West Coast. I don’t like SPOILERS but I’d still like to have a say. What gives East Coast?

Who: Darion & Hailee (Team Stage) and Yorelis (Team  Street)
Style:  Salsa
Choreographed: Oksana and Jonathan
Song: “Blucutu” by Saamara
Performance/My Thoughts: First of all, salsa as a trio? Super weird. Trios for ballroom dancing are just as awkward as solo ballroom dancers, second, Darion already has a lot against him with Travis calling him out during rehearsals. As for the performance, it just felt a little low energy, especially from Darion and Yorelis. I didn’t feel their personalities come out. Hailee out shined them just a bit really committing to her role. That being said the routine, overall felt really difficult. It was so intricate, there were so many moving parts and twists and turns. It looked so much harder than just a couples routine, but I guess that’s just the thing, even if it is hard, it shouldn’t look hard and the whole routine just looked labored. Even though Mary isn’t here, they still don’t belong on the hot tamale train. Grade: C
Judges: Jason says he missed the heat and sexiness of the routine. Nigel thinks the girls were really hot, but Darion lacked the energy. The judges also noticed the botched lift. Paula thought the ladies gave it their all. Hailee has great focus. Paula recognizes the fact that Darion has it hard because he had to partner two girls.

Who: Derek (Team Stage) and Ariana (Team Street)
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Song: “Cry Me A River” by Michael Buble
Performance/My Thoughts: Great song. Great great great song. Downloading it now. This song was so intense and it really elevated their performance. At first I wasn’t sure. The costumes were strange, they weren’t dancing in sync, I just wasn’t really feeling it. But then the music picked up and their dancing did too. They hit these steps and leaps where they were perfectly together and everything else just seemed to fall into place. I LOVE the fact that their outfits were simple, and there wasn’t the pretty but distracting poofy skirt. I loved the routines just elevating the performances on their face. Derek is great, but Ariana really won me over. I thought she was fantastic. Derek may have stretched and reached just a bit further but she really brought the emotion and intensity through her sharp hand and arm movements. Grade: B
Judges: Paula liked the juxtaposition between the song and the dancing. Paula thought Ariana nailed it even though she used the word “attempt.” However she thinks they needed more of an emotional connection with each other. Jason wants to see more of a performance behind the eyes. Nigel is shocked by Ariana’s performance. Nigel loves Derek’s technique but feels like Derek needs to change his expression.

Who: Alexia (Team Stage), Virgil & Megz (Team Street)
Style:  Contemporary
Choreographer: Dee Caspary
Song:  “Until We Go Down” by Ruelle
Performance/My Thoughts: Alexia really stood out for me in this piece and you can tell she was meant to. Her dancing was super strong and powerful. Megz is such a personality but unfortunately I felt like some of it was lost and she was overshadowed by Virgil and Alexia.  I really wanted her movements to be much better. Virgil held his own. I thought he was really great in supporting these girls and bringing out some of himself in the movements. When they danced together they were great and they had a lot of energy even though it seemed that Megz was slightly off. Overall it was good, but there’s definitely room for improvement. Grade: B-
Judges: Nigel says Alexia slides under the radar, but she’s so good and her performance should be recognized. Nigel loved Megz movement, and says that Virgil’s personality shines through. Paula loved them all. Jason calls Virgil a top contender.

Who: Lily, Burim (Team Street), Gaby, Edson (Team Stage)

Style: Bollywood
Choreographer: Nakul Dev Mahajan
Song: “Dhol Baaje” by Ek Paheli Leela (Soundtrack)
Performance/My Thoughts: Oh Burim Burim Burim…you are trying. I see you you’re trying your little heart out, but he was just off this entire piece. I kinda felt bad for him. The ladies definitely outshined the men with Gaby winning the day. It seemed like Edson and Burim needed more energy. Their jumps and movements were lacking height and excitement. Bollywood is high energy with sharp and precise movements and high high energy and the boys felt like they were lacking. It was hard to tell Gaby and Lily apart but they both did a great job and were just giving it a bit more than the boys were. Gaby definitely had a few moments where she stood out. You could just tell the way she was moving was different from the others. Grade: B-
Judges:  Jason thought they had a lot of energy. Nigel thought the girls were terrific but that he didn’t learn much from the boys. He thought they could have been stronger. Paula enjoyed the number she could tell Burim was having fun.

Who: Kate (Team Stage), Neptune, Asaf (Team Street)

Style: Broadway
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Song: “All About That Bass” by Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox feat. Kate Davis.
Performance/My Thoughts: The routine felt simple. Like really simple. That’s not to say I couldn’t see what Spencer was going for. But I also saw what it could have been. First let me say Neptune is FANTASTIC. Every time he has his bit where he pulled on his Tuba or what not he just OOZED with personality. It was electric. Kate was sexy giving off a very good performance even if it seemed like she was less dancing and more posturing. And I was just afraid to look at Asaf. He tried to keep up. But overall this routine was waaay too simple, I want a little more POP and WOW. Grade: C
Judges: Paula thought Spencer’s choreography was very inventive. She thought Neptune was creative and innovative, thought Kate was beautiful, and that Asaf is the most improved. Jason says Kate has a quiet confidence and that he’s proud of Neptune. Nigel notices how hard Neptune has been working and tells Asaf to get out of his head.

Who: Ja Ja (Team Street) and Jim (Team Stage)
Style: Hip Hop
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Song: “No Woman, No Cry (Live Version)” by Bob Marley & The Wailers
Performance/My Thoughts: Ok, see, that is what I’m looking for in my So You Think You Can Dance Routines. Emotion, creativity, camera in close, two dancers connecting…UGH, this routine was pretty much just PERFECT. I love animation. The little ticks animators do using every heartbeat of the music. And both Jim –A Ballet Dancer—and Ja Ja a hard core krumper animator were able to do this to an emotional heart felt piece. This piece just had so much joy. And I loved the emotion on Ja Ja’s face. It felt real and genuine. There was so much stuff to love about this piece. The tutting the section, the glides, the jumps, Ja Ja’s wacking part… Ja Ja is a star. She’s a force to be reckoned with and it’s hard not to watch her when she’s on screen, but Jim held his own and this piece was fabulous. Grade: A
Judges: Nigel loved seeing the world of Ballet come together with Hip Hop and connect. It made him emotional. Paula loved the softness in Ja Ja. Jason loved seeing different sides of the dancers.

Who: Marissa, Moises (Team Stage), JJ (Team Street)
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Ray Leeper
Song“I’m So Sorry” by Imagine Dragons
Performance/My Thoughts: Despite some wobbles and bobbles, I really liked this piece. I thought it was powerful, energetic, flashy and hardcore. Marissa is a beast. I thought she knocked it out of the park she had such power and movement and she was really invested in the piece. JJ didn’t shine as bright as Marissa but she really held her own and in the times when she was dancing with Marissa or all three together it really worked because they were all dancing the same. As for Moises, he really had a lot to do in this piece and he was doing it all. In the beginning he made some mistakes but at the end he really picked it up and he didn’t let the girls outshine him. All the dancers threw themselves into this piece. Grade: B+
Judges: Jason loves Moises strength, he thought Marissa and JJ’s emotion was inconsistent, that her smile brought him out of the story. Nigel makes a bible joke and thought Moises held his own against the two strong women. Paula disagrees with the boys saying when you’re beating up on a boy you should have a smile on your face. Right on Paula!

Who: Team Street
Choreographer: Phillip Chebeeb & Christopher Scott
Song: “Time” by Nathan Lanier
Performance/My Thoughts: This piece was super cool and super intricate and there were so many places to look. I really love the whole see saw thing. It really made for some creative shapes. One of the things I love about Christopher Scott is that he really knows how to make each dancer shine. My only thing is that there was so much to do and see and a lot of the cool moments took a lot of time to create on stage that I felt like the camera got lost sometimes. I wanted to look somewhere else from where the camera was shooting. Who’s directing this stuff? Grade: A-

Who: Team Stage
Choreographer: Travis Wall
Song: “Stabat Mater” by Woodkid
Performance/My Thoughts: Where is there was too much to look at on Team Street, Team Stage really danced as one. They may have been dancing different steps sometimes, but it just felt more cohesive. The routine was really intense and they used the stage really well. I had to rewind Jim’s trust fall move because it was really incredible. The dancers swung him up a couple of times then he did a backwards somersault into a one legged move and then fell back. It was CRAZY cool. Overall this routine was heart pumping, intense and exciting. It also made me tired just watching it. Grade: A



  • Darion – Team Stage
  • Derek – Team Stage
  • Ariana – Team Street
  • Lily –Team Street
  • Neptune – Team Street
  • Moises – Team Stage


Twitter Saves: Neptune and Moises

Judges Save:  Derek and Ariana

Going Home: Lily and Darion

My Thoughts:  Based on this weeks performances the right people are going home. Moises killed it today and he deserves to stay. Neptune and Ariana did fantastic work today while I felt Derek, Darion, and Lily disappeared into the background in this weeks routines. However if you combine this week with last week, I think Darion should have been given another chance (his ballet routine last week was so great). Lily and Ariana is a tougher call. Ariana had a rough week last week while Lily shined in her routine, but this week Ariana stood out and Lily faded into the background. I’ll be sad to see Lily and Darion go.


  • The bad thing with street vs stage is that it seems as if all the judges are going easy on the street dancers because everything is out of their style and are going harder on the stage dancers or looking them over because it is in their style and they are expecting them to be good. I don’t think that’s entirely fair.
  • Asaf struggling with choreography:
  • Asaf: “Whoa, never give up.”
  • Spencer: “Never give up? You’ve been here for 10 minutes.”
  • I love Paula telling Asaf to just enjoy the process because he will never have anything like this again. It’s true. Where is Mia Michaels to give this kid a breakdown when you NEED her?
  • Whoa…I am surprised Asaf is safe over Neptune. REALLY?
  • Ja Ja: “I almost said a curse word.”
  • Christopher: “That’s okay, I can’t understand what you’re saying anyway.”
  • Are those tears in Christopher Scotts EYES? I love it! I. Love. It.
  • Who wins the Group Routine Battle, in my opinion? TEAM STAGE (The Judges seem to agree.)


  1. Jim and Ja Ja – Hip Hop
  2. Team Stage Group Routine
  3. Team Street Group Routine
  4. Marissa, Moises, JJ – Jazz
  5. Derek and Ariana – Jazz

My favorite are still Ja Ja and Jim, they have my votes. My other favorites JJ and Gaby could have stood out a little more this week. As for next week Asaf is definitely in danger…can he please be in danger?  I’ve just had enough of his drama. Either put him in danger or someone break him down so he can bust out and be super super amazing . Also in danger? I’d say Hailee, Kate, Edson and Burim. Well that’s all folks until….TOMORROW!! For the 10 year (even though there’s been 12 seasons) anniversary of So You Think You Can Dance! Dance! Dance!


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