So You Think You Can Dance, Season 12: Top 18 Perform + 2 Eliminated

Posted: July 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

I don’t always like who gets eliminated on these shows, but this was the first show where I really felt strongly that the judges got it WRONG. So wrong….

Season 12

Top 18 Group Routine
This routine had a little bit of every style in it. I felt some Latin Ballroom, Bollywood, and African Styles in there. It was joyful and happy and Virgil was the PERFECT person to put in the forefront. His smile is contagious. He looked like he was having a lot more fun than the other dancers. While I felt that some dancers had more energy than the other dancers, overall this was just a fun routine and a great way to kick off the show. (Song: “Let the Groove Get In” by Justin Timberlake, Choreographers: Reina Hidalgo & Asiel Hardison)

Cat emerges and tells us Team Street has 48% of the vote and Team Stage has 52%.


Who: Alexia, Derek (Team Stage) and JaJa (Team Street)
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Song: “All Waters” by Perfume Genius
Performance: Trio’s are always a little awkward. But this one actually worked pretty well.  The piece was haunting and I could feel the emotion coming from the dancers. I have to say Derek really won me over in this routine. I haven’t been the greatest fan of him, and maybe it was the uniform and the haircut, but I felt like he was really strong. He had this great moment where he did this leap then dragged himself backwards across the stage, it was so powerful. Alexia and JaJa were equally as fantastic. Alexia’s in the air pirouette was beautiful and JaJa brought a little something extra to her movements, her animation technique really coming out. The piece really was beautiful and emotional. Grade: A-
Judges: Nigel loved seeing Derek partner with the ladies. Alexia was strong and JaJa looks like a contemporary dancer. He really understood her emotions. Paula loves how Stacey blended the dancers strengths. Paula felt like Derek has never danced better and she loves how much JaJa is growing. Jason understood the story that the dancers were telling.

Who: Megz (Team Street) Moises, and Jim (Team Stage)
Style: Hip Hop
Choreographer: JaQuel Knight
Song: “Whuteva” by Remy Ma
Performance: Megz was straight up killin’ it. She just had this undeniable presence all the while she was on stage. She totally stole the show. She will not be denied. I loved her attitude, the way she was light on her feet and just the way she moved with total ease. Like this was just another walk in the park for her. The boys had a harder time. While they both started off strong, I felt like Jim grew weaker and weaker throughout the performance. He definitely had to think about what he was doing. Moises looked natural while playing the part, but they both definitely had to keep up with Megz who was a force to be reckoned with. Grade: B-
Judges: Paula calls the routine not technically challenging and wanted more emotion and swag from the dancers. Jason definitely felt that Megz was stronger and the boys were her backup dancers. Nigel said it didn’t work and feels like the dancers need to find their attitude.

Who: Edson (Team Stage), JJ, and Yorelis (Team Street)
Style: Jazz
Choreographer: Tovaris Wilson
Song: “Restart” by Sam Smith
Performance: I don’t know if it was the choreography, or the dancers, or what, but the whole routine felt AWKWARD. Was it just me? I did focus more on Edson who didn’t quite get into character. The girls felt like backup dancers and didn’t really have their moment to shine. It was just an awkward routine. Something was WAAY off. Grade: C-
Judges: They dancers need to work on their techniques, Edson needs to be more free, overall performance not that great.

_W5A9631_hires1Who: Asaf (Team Street) and Marissa (Team Stage)
Style: Cha Cha
Choreographer: Jean Marc Genereux
Song: “”+1” Martin Solveig feat Sam White
Performance: So, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it wasn’t great. The two dancers never connected with each other. Marissa was hot, and Asaf looks hot, but they didn’t sizzle together. It’s like the other person didn’t even exist. The lifts were labored and while Marissa had some great facial expressions they didn’t seem to be 100% generous. There was one lift where Asaf actually took a few moments to place Marissa on the ground, it really took me out of the piece. As for dancing the actual cha-cha? It’s times like this you need Mary Murphy to explain it….Grade: D
Judges: Nigel says it doesn’t feel like Cha Cha, as if the piece were choreographed to protect them. Nigel said Marissa didn’t connect with Asaf. Though Asaf didn’t dance well he acknowledges that he worked hard. Paula says Asaf should continue to grow and that Marissa was selfless in her dancing. Marissa says she wasn’t there for her partner.

_W5A9688_hires1Who: Gaby (Team Stage), Ariana and Burim (Team Street)
Style: African Jazz
Choreographer: Sean Cheeseman
Song: “Gorilla” by Lord KraVen
Performance: The piece opens up with them looking like a spider. That’s pretty rad. Then they go into the routine with crutch like pieces on their hands that go up and down. It’s pretty unique. The whole routine is gritty and dirty and messy  and fully of energy. I LOVE IT. Ariana was killing it and Gaby was right there with her. That series of flips the girls did was pretty incredible. While Burim wasn’t perfect (he needed to get low and throw his head into it like the girls were) I was surprised by how much he held his own when in the package he seemed to be totally off. Sure the piece could have been better but the great choreography and the exciting story really made this routine a performance to remember. Grade: B
Judges: Paula loves that Burim made it through the routine. Paula thought the performance was refreshing and the girls were super strong. Jason acknowledges a little mess up Burim made where he missed Gaby’s foot, he thought conceptually this was one of the best pieces. Nigel thought Ariana looked comfortable and is proud of Gaby. Nigel suggests that Burim get down.

_W5A9821_hires1Who: Kate (Team Stage) and Neptune (Team Street)
Style: Contemporary
Choreographer: Justin Giles
Song: “Promise” by Ben Howard
Performance: I love how the music was simply and flowy and gentle while their movements were sharp and jagged and raw. I also love how connected the dancers seemed with each other even though I wish they were even more. There were a few moments in there where they just looked at each other and smiled and I wanted more of those moments. There was also a moment where the music swelled and I wished the dancing matched that moment. That being said the piece was beautifully danced and very emotional. I love couples dancing, can we just have all couples? Grade: B+/A-
Judges: Jason loved their connection and thought Kate was great. Nigel thought so much was said during the routine and he loved what the dances gave them. Paula worried about Kate letting go and thought she was just right in the piece. Neptune is becoming Paula’s favorite and she sees how emotional he was.

_W5A9882_hires1Who: Hailee (Team Stage) and Virgil (Team Street)
Style: Hip Hop
Choreographer: Phoenix and Pharside
Song: “Runnin’” by Noahplause
Performance: It’s so insane just how good this piece was. I mean it was SO good. It was out of this world. Haha, get it? Hailee really won me over. Her personality came out in loads in this piece and I LOVE IT. They were both in total sync all the time, they moved like robots, and they used every piece of their body to do cool things. There was animation tutting with the hands and feet. Hailee stepped up on Virgil’s ARM – that was insane! – and there was just so much to love in this piece. It made me excited. It made me yell out at the TV, it made me rewind my DVR. And that’s what I love about this show. Grade: A
Judges: Nigel loved their personality in this piece. He says the routine was very memorable. Paula loved their committement and thought it was a lot of fun. Jason thought Hailee was incredible at street and had no idea she could be that good.


Team Stage Group Routine
Choreographer: Jaci Royal
Song: “For My Help” by Hayden Cainin
Performance: I love the musicality of this piece. This piece was so raw and the dancers had to have so much athleticism. I love when the dancers have to use their entire bodies and they just threw themselves around the stage. They even dragged a dancer around on their heads! I love the shapes they created, how the men fit the women together like legos, but then the piece exploded with the crescendo of the music. I also loved Alexia dancing on the backs of the other dancers almost like she was flying. Excellent, excellent piece.
Grade: A


Team Street Group Routine
Choreographer: Marty Kudelka
Song: “Break Ya Neck” by Busta Rhymes
Performance: They were slick, they had swag and attitude, but I think this piece would have been a lot better had they danced in sync. It was hard core, but they could have hit it harder. Some dancers were dancing better than others, but I found it lacking. I knew what it could have been and should have been, but it wasn’t really.
Grade: B

Bottom Six

  • Moises – Team Stage
  • Edson – Team Stage
  • Kate – Team Stage
  • Asaf – Team Street
  • Ariana – Team Street
  • Burim – Team Street

My Thoughts
Who do I want to go home? Well Asaf and…ack, I can’t decide between Moises and Edson. I like them both! Moises has more personality than Edson, but Edson is a better dancer. As for the other dancers in the bottom six Burim and Kate were really good today, and it’s not Ariana’s time to go home yet.

Twitter Save: Ariana and Kate

Judges Save: Asaf (???) and Edson

Eliminated: Burim and Moises

My Thoughts
WHAT!? Really?? Asaf over Burim? Come on! Burim killed it today and Asaf was terrible. Why why are they keeping Asaf? Is it just for the drama? Seriously, someone tell me why!? I’m sad to see Moises going home, but Edson is the better dancer even if I think Moises did better than Edson tonight.

Random Thoughts

  • How many hats do you think Twitch owns?
  • I love how Cat gives the dancers words of encouragements even when she’s delivering bad news
  • When judging Asaf Paula says I could tell you all the things you did wrong, but I won’t do that. What matters is that you’re trying. Um…shouldn’t you tell him what he did so he can get better? Isn’t that what you’re judging? You’re not just here to deliver superlatives, give him some actual critique he can use to do better! Come on!
  • I miss judges that actually give real critique. Yes, Mary Murphy was crazy, but at least she gave some real feedback, most of the time.
  • I also miss the guest judges, what happened to the jokes of Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the snarky quips of Anna Kendrick, or just Neil Patrick Harris. Paula is too nice, and Jason has no idea what he’s talking about. You can’t take any of his “critique” seriously. BOOOOORRRRING!

Favorite Quotes:

  • Cat: So what he’s saying is keep your options open.
  • Nigel: That’s my girl.
  • Paula: Burim, I love watching your package.
  • Cat as Virgil was leaving the stage: “Look at his little butt going.”

Top 5 Performances

  1. Hailee and Virgil – Hip Hop
  2. Team Stage Group Routine
  3. JaJa, Alexia, and Derek – Contemporary
  4. Kate and Neptune – Contemporary
  5. Burim, Ariana, and Gaby – African Jazz

Final Thoughts
I still can’t believe the judges saved Asaf over Burim. But hopefully that means he’ll be going home next week because I seriously don’t know who would be up for elimination next week. Maybe Marissa, but she’s a great dancer she just had a lousy partner. Maybe Ariana again because she was only so so today. But seriously it’s crazy how much these dancers have grown on me. My votes tonight are for JaJa, Neptune, and Virgil…Kate might get one vote. While I think Team Stage won the group routine, Team Street won individually.

***ALSO! Next week and probably from now on, my review on the show might now come so quickly. In fact, you may have to wait for the weekend. But it will come.***

  1. belinda says:

    Confused during the routine review if Afro Jazz u said Ariana was killing ut…then at the bottom under eliminations u said Ariana because she was just so so today…make uo ur mind or proof read ur comment before posting the next because your RANTS are making u look a little Crazy 🙂

    • First of all Belinda, you are so right! 🙂 Second, to be fair, I did warn you before hand I was a crazy person….I think the thing with Ariana is that she just doesn’t stand out. She did KILL it in her routine, but since I write the article as I watch it…apparently I immediately forgot just how good she was! That doesn’t bode well for the girl. Anyway thanks for reading!

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