Dance News

Oh Paula, what is that outfit?! (Adam Rose/FOX)

Before we get to the good stuff, a few observations:

  • Nigel actually listens to viewer feedback! We all hated learning which dancers were heading home at the beginning of last week's episode (and then painfully watching them dance their routines), so they switched up the format. This week we learned who's leaving the competition at the end of the episode.

  • Jade tore his meniscus, has to have surgery and won't be able to dance for 3-4 months. BUMMER.

  • Paula Abdul (in neon lace?!) was at the head of the judges' table in Nigel's seat this week. But since he waited 10 seasons for her, I guess that makes sense. Erin Andrews also made her "So You Think You Can Dance" judging debut this week and is now on my list of favorite guest judges.

  • Cat Deeley was looking smokin'!

Now, here are my Top 5 Moments:

1. The opening number. I loved Christopher Scott and Sonya Tayeh's choreo (Cat said it right—they really are the dream team!), but mostly I just wanted to play on the volcano set. Anyone else want to jump into the foam pit? My only complaint is that the number was about a minute too short—give me more!

 

2. Amy and Fik-Shun's Paso Doble. I loved Jean-Marc Genereux's Matrix-y take on the ballroom style, and Amy and Fik-Shun looked strong and technical doing it. Fik-Shun was a great partner (he handled all those crazy lifts like a pro!) and Amy, unsurprisingly, more than held her own.

 

3. Jasmine Harper and Aaron's Broadway routine. Oooh, I love me a little Spencer Liff! As usual, his choreo and concept did not disappoint. Plus, how cute are Jasmine and Aaron together? They have great chemistry and it makes them a blast to watch.

 

4. Jenna and Tucker's hip-hop (or "jazz-hip") routine. I was thrilled to see one of our favorite up-and-coming power couples Keone and Mari Madrid making their choreographic debut on the show. The moves were subtle and intricate, yet totally hard-hitting. And Tucker and Jenna looked pretty darn great sailing through the routine. But someone please tell me, what in the world was Jenna's costume? Yikes.

 

5. Malece's contemporary routine (with all-star Marko filling in for Jade). Sonya's on fire! This routine was one of her best yet. And, Malece! I feel like she really turned a corner this week. This was some of the most technical dancing I've seen Malece do so far. I think she's going to be one of those dancers who really comes out of her shell and improves insane amounts over the course of the show.

 

Since Jade had to pull out of the competition on his own, the judges only had to send a female dancer home this week. I was sad to see Jasmine Mason go, but I have no doubt we'll see her doing amazing things soon. Can't you totally picture her on tour with Beyoncé?

Be sure to tune in next week for more "SYTYCD" action. And in the meantime, don’t forget to enter our “SYTYCD” finale sweepstakes contest—you could win a trip to the Season 10 finale!

Dance News

And the Top 20 finalists are: (bottom row L-R) Malece Miller, Amy Yakima, Makenzie Dustman, (middle row L-R) Fik-Shun, Tucker Knox, Brittany Cherry, Nico Greetham, Alexis Juliano, Jade Zuberi, Paul Karmiryan, Curtis Holland, Mariah Spears (top row L-R) Jasmine Harper, Jenna Johnson, Carlos Garland, Alan Bersten, , Hayley Erbert, Bluprint, Jasmine Mason and Aaron Turner (by Mathieu Young/FOX)

I kind of can’t believe this week’s episode lasted a full two hours: it went so fast! There was so much classic “SYTYCD” drama to focus on, it felt like the episode was over before Mary Murphy could even mention the Hot Tamale Train. Along with plenty of nail-biting moments as the Top 20 were chosen, Cat Deeley kept reminding the audience that there’d be a total of ten (!!!) performances squeezed in between footage of anxious would-be Top 20-ers facing the judges. Yet among all this craziness, a few moments still managed to really stand out from the rest:

1. Aaron Turner made it into the Top 20 at the last minute! Aaron had gotten cut at this very point last season, and we all thought that history would repeat itself in Season 10 as the judges told Aaron he was going home. But lo and behold, Emilio Dosal’s unexpected injury freed up a spot for Aaron! You can’t really get excited about such a turn of events, but points to Aaron for his amazing performance in Anthony Morigerato’s tap routine last night—way to prove that you deserve to be on the show.

2. Tucker Knox is in! Yay! Call me cynical, but it seems like everybody on reality TV has to have a tragic sob story—and the (arguably excessive) on-camera waterworks to go with it. But Tucker’s history really grabbed me. (After a serious car accident, his ability to walk, let alone dance, was in grave danger.) Tonight, Tucker cried tears of joy after dancing the Stacey Tookey routine, left almost inarticulate by how his life has changed since the accident. But I still can’t decide if Mary Murphy totally ruined the genuinely emotional moment when she cooed, “You’re just overwhelmed, aren’t you?” Awkward.

(L-R) BluPrint and Jade Zuberi: the biggest things in animation since Cyrus (by Adam Rose/FOX)

3. Against the odds, both Jade Zuberi and Dorian “Bluprint” Hector made the Top 20. The “SYTYCD” producers were totally messing with our minds here: the decision came after dramatic footage was shown of Jade’s struggles with partnering, tWitch repeatedly told Bluprint to “come back and see us again” and Cat wondered out loud several times whether there was a spot in the Top 20 for an animator. Who would’ve known that both animators would make it through? I know I’ll be on the edge of my seat for the rest of the season where these two are concerned. Will Jade and Bluprint become a dream team or bitter rivals? Or will they just crash and burn under the pressure of having to perform new styles?

4. Did anyone else notice that Amy Yakima and Jasmine Mason had Sonya Tayeh-style topknots for their victory performance (which, um, Sonya Tayeh choreographed)? I certainly hope that was a conscious choice, or it would just be too funny a coincidence. Mary called them “princess warriors,” but I thought they looked more like Amazons from outer space—in the fiercest way possible, of course.

5. Christopher Scott’s sand routine for the top 10 guys. This was just so cool that I almost wish it had been the episode’s final number. It seemed like choreographer Scott got really excited about carrying out the concept of the piece, which he described as man “manipulating the earth.” With epic music and stunning visuals (strong, tough-guy hip-hop danced while sand floated through the air), this number made me think of Cirque du Soleil. Even Nigel was blown away (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun). He raved, “When I die, I would like you to dance with my ashes like that.” Um, whatever you say!

Since you’ve got a whole week to kill before another thrilling episode airs, why don’t you enter our “SYTYCD” sweepstakes? You could win a trip to see the Season 10 finale live and in person!

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