Definitely not Nico's best look. (by Adam Rose/FOX)
Whew! I’m pretty sure I’m just as exhausted as the dancers must be in the aftermath of this week’s episode. Yes, they were the ones who actually performed all the super-tough choreography, but I had to sit and watch two more out-of-this-world talents get sent home. And the show’s producers didn't even try to spare our emotions this week. So glad I had the added fun of the All-Stars to keep my spirits up! So how am I supposed to pick just 5 moments from last night? I don’t mean to sound like a reality TV judge (okay, maybe I do), but this was a really tough decision…
1. Christopher Scott’s rocking chair-themed opening number. It, well, rocked! I’ve never really been hip hop’s #1 fan, but this season has proven to me that Christopher Scott can do no wrong. His choreography from last night had all the ingredients of a terrific opening number: organic but creative partnering, inventive use of props to further a concept and some good old-fashioned acrobatics. (Ordinary cartwheels are going to seem so boring now, compared to the wildly kinetic ones the Top 10 pulled off on those rocking chairs!) Oh, and that final moment when the dancers scattered instantaneously, only to reveal one chair rocking by itself at center stage? Magic, pure and simple.
2. The wardrobe department was all over the place this week. Results ran the gamut from hot to, um, not. The good: Cat Deeley’s studded wrap dress, Amy’s sassy fringed disco number and Makenzie’s retro chiffon circle skirt. The bad: Jenna’s skimpy lavender nightgown (with white granny panties—yikes!). The ugly: Nico’s reptilian getup. Yes, I know he was supposed to be something totally bizarre and otherworldly, but that floppy turtleneck with the random spots completely swallowed up his lanky neck and torso. And while his All-Star partner Comfort’s reptile makeup was pretty fierce, Nico just looked like someone had smeared greenish dirt on his face—not good.
3. Mary acted even crazier than usual! Wait, is that even possible? Apparently so, and we have her new diet to blame. The weirdness started after Hayley did a hip-hop routine with All-Star tWitch. Mary got so excited about Hayley’s flat-as-a-pancake hands that she started to go off about how she can’t have pancakes on this new diet of hers. Then, while commenting on Jenna’s contemporary performance alongside All-Star Neil, ice cream became a metaphor for sinuous partnering. Huh? These unusually awkward moments were of course punctuated by an ample dose of Mary’s usual silliness (lots of squealing, The Hot Tamale Train, you know the drill). Here’s hoping Mary goes back to "normal" soon. I’m not sure I can handle this much crazy from her on a regular basis!
4. Amy and Fik-Shun’s partnership had to end with the arrival of the All-Stars. Yes, we knew that this time would come sooner or later. Still, it’s kind of sad to think that we won’t be seeing any more of their combined kooky charm on the “SYTYCD” stage. But both Fik-Shun and Amy proved this week that they can produce great chemistry with other partners, too. Amy tackled disco with her trademark spunk alongside All-Star Brandon Bryant. Meanwhile, Fik-Shun blew me away with his maturity and confidence as he partnered Season 8 winner Melanie Moore through a percussive jazz routine. Maybe the end of “Fik-my” (or “A-Shun”?) just means we’re in for even more diverse performances from both Fik-Shun and Amy as this season continues.
5. Jenna, Makenzie, Nico and Tucker all end up in the danger zone, and we say goodbye to Makenzie and Nico. This may not have been a huge shock, but it was so sad to see two such technically gifted dancers go. Hopefully, the exposure Makenzie and Nico gained on the show, along with their obvious talent and ability, will garner them plenty of professional opportunities soon. Best of luck, you two! (Oh, and Makenzie? You may not be America’s, but you’re definitely My Favorite Dancer.)
Next week promises plenty more “SYTYCD” excitement, with the All-Stars choreographing for and performing with the remaining 8 dancers! Will you be tuning in? Did the judges choose the right guy and girl to send home this week? Let us know what you think in the comments section!
Dancer Yesenia Ayala first caught our eye in the off-Broadway production of Sweet Charity with Sutton Foster earlier this year. So, we were super excited when we found out she was making her Broadway debut in this spring's sweetest new show Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. (Both productions were choreographed by Joshua Bergasse.)
Since the NYC premiere of Alexei Ratmansky's Whipped Cream at American Ballet Theatre's spring gala Monday night, the DS editors haven't stopped talking about its creepy-cute sets and costumes, created by artist Mark Ryden. Well, the obsession is about to get even crazier, because we just heard that Ryden's artwork for the ballet is now on display in not one, but TWO locations in NYC.
Yes, yes, we know: Dancers are athletes as well as artists. But we haven't seen anything hammer home just HOW athletic dancers are quite as well as this video from Self magazine, which features American Ballet Theatre principal/fairy princess Isabella Boylston trying to teach top-level CrossFit enthusiasts ballet.
There's a reason Mia Michaels' nickname is "Mama Mia." The legendary choreographer invests deeply in her dancers, whether they're competitors on "So You Think You Can Dance," members of the Radio City Rockettes, or part of her own elite assistant squad. And now, Michaels is launching a project that aims to give more dancers access to her gifts as a teacher and mentor.
And that's a wrap on "Dancing with the Stars" Season 24, ladies and gents! It's certainly been one for the books. From injuries to shocking eliminations, let's just say Season 24 has had its emotional ups and downs. But despite all that, the season made for some seriously phenom dancing and some killer performances. And as usual, we've loved watching every second of those cha chas, foxtrots, and waltzes.
Let's get right to the exciting stuff, though: Last night's winning couple of "Dancing with the Stars" is...
Nearly 80,000 dance-loving Instagram followers can't be wrong: Quinn Starner is one to watch. And what's just as impressive as the 15-year-old's rabid online following is her ever-growing list of competition accolades. Quinn, who trains at Indiana Ballet Conservatory and Stars Dance Company, been named first runner-up at The Dance Awards for two years in a row (as a junior and a teen); was the 2016 West Coast Dance Explosion Teen National Champion; earned first place in contemporary and third place in the classical division at Youth America Grand Prix Regionals in Pittsburgh last year; has won the Grand Prix Award at ADC|IBC; and was a gold medalist at World Ballet Art Competition Grand Prix. Plus, she made it to the Academy round on last year's "So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation," and has performed as Clara in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Here's what Quinn has to say about her favorite songs, teachers, and career highlights.