“So You Think You Can Dance” Season 10 Recap: The First Elimination
The Bottom 6: Mariah, Carlos, Alan, Jade, Brittany and Makenzie. (FOX/Adam Rose)
“First is the worst, second is the best…” Okay, so the first part of that saying might not be true here (last week’s episode was pretty amazing, too), but I’m willing to bet that this second episode with the Top 20 is the best so far this season! There were so many jaw-dropping moments last night (even if we did have to say goodbye to Brittany and Carlos in the first five minutes—what?!), it’s going to be tough for me to pick my own Top 5. But seeing as “SYTYCD” is a competition, it seems only right to spotlight the best—and the craziest—of the best…
1. Makenzie’s in danger?! Wait, no, she’s saved by the judges! This just floored me. After all the critical acclaim Makenzie had racked up in previous weeks, she’d landed squarely in my sights as the girl who was going to kill it technically—and on a regular basis, too. I mean, she practically radiates consistency, right? While it seemed that America didn’t initially agree with me, the judges took pity on this utter diva, immediately bailing her out. Thank goodness for that, because the fembot/mad-scientist routine she later danced with Paul promises more mesmerizing performances from her in the future.
2. Speaking of mesmerizing, there must’ve been something in the water this week at “SYTYCD.” Nearly every routine was smolderingly sexy, from Stacey Tookey’s sensitive and intimate choreo for Nico and Alexis, to Jenna and Tucker’s blazing hot cha-cha. And can we talk about how Curtis grabbed Hayley’s derrière for, like, ten years during their aggressive jazz number? Pretty sure that crossed the line from sultry/awesome to just kind of awkward.
3. Guest judge Christina Applegate gets full marks for awesomeness! Mary and Nigel (but especially Mary) can sometimes get a little carried away with the gushing. Of course I agree that “SYTYCD” contestants are out-of-this-world talented. But really, there are only so many ways to say, “Oh my gosh, you’re a really good dancer and I love the way you just danced!” Christina brought a breath of fresh air to the judges’ panel by humbly offering constructive criticism. While also offering her fair share of compliments, she also suggested paying attention to a song’s lyrics (not just to its instrumental elements) and to focus on telling the story of a Broadway piece. I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for stopping by, Christina!
4. A rare fashion miss from Cat Deeley. Please tell me I’m not the only one who thought that quasi-bikini top just didn’t work. Maybe I was just disappointed because I love to see Cat in all her super-blonde glory, and her braided chignon this week confined those gorgeous waves. Here’s hoping next week’s Cat-tire is as chic as usual—and incorporates some form of sparkle!
5. Mariah and Carlos’ contemporary routine to Ellie Goulding’s “Dead in the Water.” For me, this dance represented all that is good in the world of contemporary dance. I’m talking cool lifts, genuine portrayals of emotion, poetic lyrics, and moments that simply take your breath away. In that instant when Mariah sat frozen on Carlos’ shoulders, her arms raised helplessly, I’m pretty sure I had a mini contemporary catharsis. (Yes, I just invented that term. But I think you know what I mean.) Adding to the piece’s high emotional level was the fact that Carlos had already been eliminated, and Mariah barely escaped elimination herself. Oh, reality TV. Why must you pluck at my heartstrings so?
Yikes! I really didn’t mean to end on such a gloomy note. If you now find yourself in need of a smile, I highly recommend Fik-Shun and Amy’s adorable bellhop dance. If bouncy Nappytabs hip hop on a luggage cart doesn’t cheer you up, I don’t know what will.
Don't forget to enter our "SYTYCD" finale sweepstakes contest—you could win a trip to the Season 10 finale!
Much of Janelle Ginestra's career has been about helping others shine. She's dedicated herself to supporting and cheerleading her partner, WilldaBeast Adams; the emerging talents in their dance company, ImmaBEAST; and the countless dancers she inspires at master classes and conventions. Her YouTube channel has become a launching pad for young talents like "Fraternal Twins" Larsen Thompson and Taylor Hatala, thanks to viral videos featuring Ginestra's creative vision.
But Ginestra's a skyrocketing success in her own right—an in-demand choreographer, a social media influencer, and a dance entrepreneur, building a legacy one eight-count at a time. It's time for her turn in the spotlight. And she's more than ready. "I want to be a legend in whatever I do," she says. We'd argue that she already is.
If you've ever seen a Janelle Ginestra class video, you know how lit her combos are. What you don't see in those clips is how devoted Ginestra is to her students. We went behind the scenes at one of her sold-out IMMA SPACE classes to see Ginestra in her element, mentoring some of L.A.'s most talented dancers. It was an inspiration feedback loop.
All photos by Joe Toreno.
In our "Dear Katie" series, former NYCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email email@example.com for a chance to be featured!
I love ballet, and I've been told that I have a lot of potential. I can see myself dancing professionally one day. But I'm also working toward my black belt in karate—and I'm passionate about that, too. How can I keep up my technique while also making time for the other things I love? Is that even possible?
What do you get when you combine a Beyoncé anthem, fierce girls from all over the world, and choreography by legends like Ellenore Scott and Lamar Lee? You get the epic music video below. The viral video features little girls who live everywhere from Tanzania to Washington D.C. dancing and lip-syncing to Queen Bey's song "Freedom," and the result is electrifying. These littles can dance—and they bring a determination and enthusiasm to their movement that's truly inspiring.