After a two week hiatus, So You Think You Can Dance came back tonight with an interesting take on the top 14 performance episode. Every routine was a previous famous Mia Michaels piece from past seasons, with an additional cool group piece involving ropes that may have (un)intentionally evoked a certain terrible currently popular "novel." You may have been able to decipher my opinion on said "novel" by that statement, and that's where I'll leave that.
Joining Nigel and Mary on the judging panel were a couple SYTYCD newbies - the Ballet Boys Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt, who had the interesting position of being the only people on the judging panel to not have seen these routines performed by their original dancers. Let's get to it...
Eliana & Cyrus - The Door routine (originally performed by Katee and Twitch in season four)
Still a great routine, but not as great with Cyrus in place of Twitch, I must say. Honestly I think Cyrus has been pretty lucky these last few weeks by not getting into the bottom, just based on personality alone. Personality can only go so far, however, and next week things could go south for him. Eliana, on the other hand, hasn't had a real chance to showcase her talent, though tonight I thought she killed it. Hopefully she gets someone awesome when they switch up partners next week. Oops, giving away that they both already made it through! Oh well.
Tiffany & George - Hometown Glory (originally performed by Katee and Joshua in season four)
What's funny about this one is that they made this big deal about the assisted run in this dance, and when it actually came to that part, it was a huge letdown, it didn't seem a showcase of the routine at all, but I'm not convinced it wasn't partially the camera's fault too. The judges really harshed on Tiffany, but I actually thought she was getting into character really well. Who knows.
Amelia & Will - Butt dance (originally performed by Randi and Evan in season five)
Now, I was never ever a fan of Evan in season five, so I liked Will in this so much better than I did in the original, but I have to say that I agreed with the judges on Amelia. There was something just not quite there, not as much butt, but not as much performance with the butt there was too. It's hard to take something that's become sort of iconic and make it your own but still pay homage too, which was sort of a theme of the night.
Janelle & Dareian - Bed dance (originally performed by Kherington and Twitch in season four)
I was reading about the whole tribute to Mia earlier today, where they listed all of the dances that were going to be performed, and they mentioned that in this one, they never actually touch, which I don't think I'd noticed before, but makes it all the more effective. Honestly this was the first time I thought Janelle was okay, and Dareian was pretty great if you ask me, though the ballet boys did get on his case about his feet again. Poor kid needs to get his feet under control. If he had them under control, the results may have been different. But I'm jumping ahead.
Audrey & Matthew - Father/daughter routine (originally performed by Lacey and Neil in season three)
This one got perhaps the most flack of all the routines of the night, and I'm not sure it was exactly fair. I think it was mostly because it's such an emotionally charged piece that people have become attached to, that it's hard on the dancers to get it just right for each person. That said, I liked the sense of innocence that Audrey brought to it that was different from the original. I did think that Matthew wasn't quite as expressive as Neil, and that was likely his downfall.
Witney & Chehon - The Bench (originally performed by Travis and Heidi in season two)
This is perhaps the most iconic of Mia's routines, perhaps just because it's really the first one that really made such an impact. That said, I thought these two did it justice pretty well. It was one of the better ones of the night, although Chehon did still get a little finger wagging for not letting himself go more. That's the ballet dancer in him, clearly. He likes to be in control of his movement. I enjoyed it, though. They did a good job.
Lindsay & Cole - Addiction (originally performed by Kayla and Kupono in season five)
I saw this routine in person when it was first performed by Kayla and Kupono, and I can honestly say that it is probably one of my favorites from the show, ever. And, OMG, what Cole did in that role was totally amazeballs. He did exactly what the judges had been wanting everyone to do and really made it his own. The twitchy nature of his movement, the sheer creepy scary sinisterness of it, I loved all of his choices. By far the best one of the night. Lindsay did fine in it too, though honestly I was just so drawn to Cole it didn't much matter.
After all was said and done, the dancers who were in danger after the last show's voting were:
Unlike the last few weeks, they actually had everyone perform solos. With the girls, it was pretty apparent even before they came out who I thought they were going to save, and there was no change after. Lindsay's in. I'm not really upset about the other two going, honestly I think Janelle out-stayed her ability already.
Out of the guys, however, I had an inkling who I thought they were going to save, but I wasn't sure, it could've gone any way. Matthew, however, sealed his fate by doing an ultra-flaily solo without a lot of dancing. George was controlled power, and Dareian had my favorite solo of the night. Honestly, if he didn't have his foot issue, I think that solo would've saved him. Alas, George is the one sticking around for now.
So that dwindles the number down to the top 10. Next week the partners are getting broken up, and the all stars are coming in to play. I'm not sure which all stars are going to be around, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see. (Please let there be some Mark?)
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