“SYTYCD” Season 7 Recap: Top 8 Performance

 

Last night’s episode of “So You Think You Can Dance” was jam-packed. Overall it was a great episode and I have my prediction for who’s going home tonight. But more on that later. This episode mixed up the format: Each contestant performed one routine with an all-star and a second routine with another contestant. Finally, we get to see them dance together! Naturally this would lead to some boy-boy pairs, as there are only two ladies remaining. Onto the recap…

 

Cat Deeley, stunning as always in a sparkly gold ensemble. She can do no wrong. But she has some sad news for us: Alex Wong won’t be performing. During rehearsal, he injured himself pretty badly. Nigel informs us that he might have a ruptured achilles tendon (the same injury that sidelined soccer superstar David Beckham for nearly six months). So, Alex is automatically in the bottom three this week and if he can’t perform next week he’ll be out of the competition. My heart broke for Alex last night. He left Miami City Ballet to be on this show and is without a doubt this season’s favorite contestant. The show will lack without his presence, so here’s wishing him a super speedy recovery and quick return to the competition. On with the show.

 

Contestant: Lauren

All-Star: Pasha

Style: Cha Cha

Choreographers: Jean Marc Genereux and France

Song: “Telephone” by Lady Gaga

“I don’t know much about the Cha Cha, but I know it’s supposed to be hot,” Lauren says during rehearsal. And hot is exactly what it was! She pulled off the routine fabulously and looked incredible in that slinky little number. At times, she even looked like Anya! There were a few parts where Lauren looked nervous and she needed to be more pulled up throughout the routine, but once she relaxed and trusted Pasha, she worked it. According to Mia, the routine was “pure murderation.” Whatever that means. Apparently it was a compliment.

 

Contestant: Jose

All-Star: Lauren

Style: Contemporary

Choreographer: Mandy Moore

Song: “Never Tear Us Apart” by INXS

Mandy did a wonderful job of choreographing this routine for Jose and his particular skill set. The piece opened with him doing a series of freezes, twists and spins on the floor around Lauren before he transitioned into the smooth, sexy choreography. There was so much passion in the piece and I loved the lifts. Jose is starting to prove that he can pull off more than tricks and b-boy stunts. He’s becoming very versatile both as a soloist and as a partner, and that was very clear tonight. Nigel said he “looked amazing.” Oh, and it didn’t hurt that Jose is clearly totally into Lauren. According to his interview footage he “can’t stop talking about her butt.” Too cute.

 

Contestant: Kent

All-Star: Comfort

Style: Hip Hop

Choreographer: Dave Scott

Song: “You’re Not My Girl” by Ryan Leslie

Hate me if you want to, but I don’t like Dave Scott’s choreography. I think he’s a cool guy, but his stuff just never does it for me. It almost always falls flat and never has that “Wham, boom, pow” moment you want in hip hop. But I thought Kent did a great job with what he was given. (Perhaps Comfort’s lesson in “Booty Poppin’ 101″ really worked.) The dancing was smooth and fluid, and Kent was oh-so-Justin Timberlake in his fedora. Not the most exciting routine of the night, in my opinion, but Kent is growing on me and I think he’s a very consistent, solid dancer.

 

Contestant: AdéChiké

All-Star: Courtney

Style: Jazz

Choreographer: Mandy Moore

Song: “Is You Is Or Ain’t You Ain’t My Baby” by Dinah Washington

OK, let’s start with this: What was Courtney wearing? And why did her hair look like that? I was so distracted by her massive comb-over that I couldn’t focus on the dancing too much. Can Cat Deeley start styling the dancers, please? I’m sure she wouldn’t mind. The judges loved AdéChiké in this routine; I did not. At this point, he is my least favorite contestant. He’s sweet and adorable, but he doesn’t have the “It” factor for me, and can’t compare to the other dancers remaining who have the total package (ahem, Alex Wong). I thought this routine was awkward and didn’t believe the characterization. So that’s that.

 

Contestant: Billy

All-Star: Allison/Katee

Style: Broadway

Choreographer: Spencer Liff

Song: “Macavity: The Mystery Cat” from Cats

Oh my injuries tonight! Allison was paired with Billy for a Broadway routine, but a pre-existing injury sent her to the hospital. Enter Season 4’s leading lady, Katee Shean, to save the day. Remind me again why she wasn’t an all-star to begin with? Anyway. Though the costumes didn’t work for me (they didn’t look like cats at all—weren’t they supposed to?), I loved this routine. There were a few timing issues, but Katee learned the choreography at the last minute, so you can’t hold that against them too much. Plus, we’re judging Billy here, not the pair. This style really worked well for Billy. It was quirky, bendy and a bit odd. Nigel said it was the best Billy has danced all season outside his solos, and Mia coined another new (weird) term: “Fabulicious.”

 

Contestant: Ashley

All-Star: Dominic

Style: Hip Hop

Choreographers: Tabitha & Napoleon D’umo

Song: “How Low” by Ludacris

I loved this routine. Love love loved it. Dominic is SO good and Ashley rocked it right alongside him. When did she get so good?! Their Ninja Assassins-inspired routine was hard hitting, fun and entertaining. I loved her booty popping and the bits of comedy worked into the piece. And at the end, when she fell into that split? Ouch! Great piece.

 

Contestant: Robert

All-Star: Kathryn

Style: Afro Jazz

Choreographer: Sean Cheesman

Song: “Sinking Feeling” by Roison Murphy

They were supposed to be Barbie and Ken. Meh. I didn’t love it (although the judges did). But again, what I didn’t love about this piece was the choreography. The dancers did a brilliant job with what they were given. But the repetitive, boring music didn’t excite me at all. Robert, a solid performer throughout the season, has consistently landed in the bottom. Nigel decided to talk about that, even though he had just performed fantastically. Evidently, Nigel “went online” and read (somewhere?) that people “think Robert is arrogant.” Then all three judges, plus Cat, defended Robert. I thought this was really uncomfortable. Poor Robert’s jaw dropped upon hearing the word “arrogant” and I don’t know…it was just strange.

 

Contestants: AdéChiké and Alex

Style: Bollywood

Choreographer: Nakul Dev Mahajan

Boo, Alex can’t perform! According to AdéChiké, rehearsals were like “Bollywood Boot Camp.” Because Alex injured himself, AdéChiké performed with Nakul’s sister. His toothy grin is infectious and I loved when they really got down midway through the routine. Plus, AdéChiké’s giant center jumps toward the end were amazing. Overall, I thought it was pretty good. But the judges didn’t. Mia said “I miss Alex right now. Hard.” True, the routine would’ve been exponentially better had Alex been onstage alongside AdéChiké. But he wasn’t, so kudos to AdéChiké for doing his best and making me smile.

 

Contestants: Lauren and Kent

Style: Contemporary

Choreographer: Travis Wall

Song: “Collide (Acoustic Version)” by Howie Day

The piece is about saying goodbye after prom night. How fitting since both dancers recently attended their own proms. Very adorable. The routine was beautiful from the start. Lauren and Kent were totally in sync with each other and the whole thing was filled with youthful, innocent passion. Well, innocent until that long, steamy kiss at the end! Cat had to tear them apart! Loved it. It was so sweet when they just kept holding onto each other. A budding romance perhaps? Lauren, Kent and even Travis were all at their best last night and so in their element. This was perhaps my favorite routine of the evening.

 

Contestants: Robert and Ashley

Style: Quickstep

Choreographers: Jean Marc Genereux and France

Song: “Man with the Hex” by The Atomic Fireballs

Ah, the quickstep, so affectionately referred to as the “kiss of death” dance on “SYTYCD.” And last night, though I don’t think it was a kiss of death, it certainly wasn’t great. Both dancers looked so nervous and I swear I kept seeing Robert mouthing the counts to the steps. It was a bit stiff and not something I’ll remember for very long. Meh.

 

Contestants: Billy and Jose

Style: Afro Jazz

Choreographer: Sean Cheesman

Song: “The Hunt” by Mickey Hart

This routine, like so many of the others from the night, really showcased each individual dancer’s style. Jose did his tricks, Billy did his weird stuff and it was visually very stimulating. Groundbreaking? No. Super powerful? Not really. But entertaining? Yup.

 

Overall it was a pretty good night of dance. I’m ready to see AdéChiké go home (in case I didn’t already make that clear). I want to keep the girls around for a little while long and I’m seriously praying that Alex Wong is healed. The show needs him.

 

What’d you think of the episode? Let us know! And check back tomorrow for our results show recap.

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