Another week of SYTYCD has come and gone; leaving behind mostly happy memories, but sadly losing two great dancers in the process. Ça la vie.
Starting things off on a happy note, to a tune Nigel has been singing for the past 10 seasons I might add, we got to see the ever-lovable Paula Abdul on the judging panel. Erin Andrews also guested this week as we trimmed the field from 18 to 16 dancers.
As promised, Nigel changed the results format for the eliminations after fans spoke up about the cruelty of asking already eliminated dancers to dance again with their partners, after already being told to pack their bags. Thank you, Nigel!
BluPrint and Curtis found themselves in the bottom this week, but unfortunately it was animator Jade who was heading home (by default) due to an injury he sustained during the week. Cat announced Jasmine Mason, Jenna Johnson and Alexis Juliano as the bottom three girls who would dance for their lives before finding out results at the end of the show.
Finally it was time to see some dancing, and first up was fan-favorite Fik-Shun and partner Amy with a Jean-Marc Genereaux paso doble. Fik-Shun continued to impress with his ability to tackle difficult numbers and he and Amy gave another strong performance. Guest Judge Paula Abdul, having remembered Fik-Shun as a semi-finalist from her stint on Live to Dance, praised the dancer for his growth, “You’ve come such a long way. I am so frickin’ proud of you!”
Next up was Jasmine Harper and Aaron Turner with a Broadway number from Spencer Liff. The dance was set in a crime scene with Aaron as a police officer and Jasmine as the ghost of a murder victim. Paula said Aaron reminded her of “those dancers who were under contract in the MGM era,” and she compared Jasmine to Cyd Charisse. Nigel told the couple who have been on his list of “power couples,” that they “would have graced the Broadway stage with every bit of elegance I saw [this past weekend].”
Paul and Mackenzie took on a contemporary piece from new choreographer, Lindsay Nelko. Playing a woman with a terminal illness and her heartbroken boyfriend, the piece was emotional and raw. “I believed in what you were doing… there was so much life in a piece that had so much terminal illness to it,” said Paula. A tearful Mary praised the pair as well, “I know it doesn’t look like I enjoyed it, but I swear I did.” We hope to see more of newcomer Lindsay Nelko!
From one extreme to the other, we went from emotional to quirky-fun with Jasmine Mason and Alan Bersten’s jazz routine. The Sean Cheesemen routine was an odd choice to follow such an emotional previous performance, but more than that neither dancer really seemed to get into it. “You can have more fun with routines like this,” Nigel scolded and both Paula and Erin agreed there could have been more “whimsy” in the piece. Jasmine had already danced for her life at this point; could this lackluster performance effect the judge’s decision?
Jenna and Tucker also got a brand new choreographer this week and a hip-hop piece from Keone Madrid. While the piece was honestly a tad slow and maybe even a bit boring considering the hip-hop pieces we’ve seen on the show; the judges seemed to enjoy it. “You just annihilate everything given to you, “said Mary. While Nigel compared Jenna to Audrey Hepburn (what?!) from Funny Face and that this was one of his favorite performances of the night. I’m not sure I understand, but you can see for yourself.
Malece was up next and due to Jade’s early exit from the show; she was paired with all-star Marko for a Sonya Tayeh routine. Getting paired with the season 8 alum proved to be just what Malece needed to finally show us what she’s made of. She received a standing ovation from all the judges and Sonya was seen doing a celebratory dance in the aisles. “Watching you mature in front of our eyes is beautiful,” said Paula. Nigel told her, “Marko brought out the woman in you, and it was a joy to see.” And of course Mary was gushing and gave high praise to the dancer, “I knew that you would have this moment someday on the show; I knew it from the minute I saw you.”
Hayley and Curtis were up next with another Jean-Marc Genereaux number. The couple did their best efforts to tackle the samba, but only one of them succeeded. Hayley was given high praises for bringing the heat and nailing the “samba hips,” but Curtis did not fare so well. “You were dominated (by Hayley) You have to be the strong one in this relationship, when required. You came off a little young,” said an un-impressed Nigel. Paula was her always-encouraging self, “For being a tap dancer, I give you a lot of credit.” Curtis already found himself in the bottom this week and this performance did not succeed in securing him a spot next week.
Alexis and Nico took on a Spencer Liff jazz routine and it was clear Alexis was dancing for her life once again as she dazzled the judges as a hypnotist who has her sights set on transfixing Nico. “You’ve come back in the forefront for me; I don’t understand why you’re in the bottom three,” Paula told Alexis. Nico is consistently proving himself a great dancer, “I think you are a really, really, really good dancer,” praised Nigel. I’m ready for Nico’s “moment” like Malece had this week; luckily voters love him and I think his chance will come.
Last up was newly formed couple (thanks to last week’s eliminations) Mariah and BluPrint. The couple got a hip-hop routine, which you would assume would be an automatic “job well done”. However the number came across as messy and inconsistent. BluPrint continues to be stoic and shows little-to-no personality while he’s dancing, “I’m dying for more of a performance; you didn’t come alive in the face,” Mary said. Paula felt like he was “holding back” and Nigel reminded the dancer that at the end of the day “personality usually wins [the day].”
After all the couples had their moments to shine it was time to face the elimination. Curtis and BluPrint were safe due to Jade’s injury, so which one of the girls failed to impress? It ended up being Jasmine Mason who didn’t make the cut this week and was sent packing.
Next week’s show will be replaced by the MLB All-Star game, so luckily for all for all of the contestants they get an extra week to re-coop and prepare to come back swinging on the 23rd. Who will be in jeopardy when we return in a couple weeks? Will Curtis and BluPrint find themselves back in the bottom? Did frontrunner Jenna do enough to escape dancing for her life again or will her less-than-impressive hip-hop routine send her (and her partner) into the danger zone?
Let us know what you think!