Before we get into this week's recap, let's all show some love for Travis Wall, who had a day yesterday. Just hours before "So You Think You Can Dance" was set to air, Wall was at Disneyland (with friend and "Modern Family" star and aspiring Shaping Sound member Jesse Tyler Ferguson, NBD), where he found himself at a bit of a standstill—literally. "Not gonna be able to make 'So You Think' tonight...because I'm stuck on Indiana Jones," Wall shared on Instagram yesterday afternoon.
But hooray! He eventually did get off the stalled ride, and was in the audience alongside Mandy Moore. We're glad you made it, Travis!
On to the show:
This week, the Top 9 performed solos and duets with their All Stars. You know the drill. As always, we'll skip the solos and get right to the good stuff. (Though the solos were, like last week, so good.) Here's how it all went down.
This week, we're in the Big Apple: home of Broadway, New York City Ballet, and Dance Spirit HQ! They say if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. So who made it to The Academy this week? Pretty much everyone—with lots of amazing Vanessa Hudgens one-liners along the way. (We love you, Vanessa!)
Stacey Tookey transforms the girls. (Adam Rose/FOX)
This episode didn’t start off well: For the second week in a row, it was bad news bears for the boys. Tucker (no!) has an infection in his knee and can’t compete this week. Then, who’s in danger? Almost all of my favorites! Amy, Malece, Jenna, Tucker, Nico, Alan. Sigh… As soon as the dancing started, though, the episode got much better. This group is the Top 12 for a reason, and number after number just looked amazing! It was hard to choose, but here are my top 5 moments from this week’s show:
1. The battle-for-your-life solos. Not that I ever want to see amazing dancers in the bottom, but one perk is that we got to watch them dance! Tucker, it seems, had made a miraculous recovery and danced flawlessly. Amy showed off her firecrackery self. Malece was beautiful, and Alan was just too cute. Can’t we keep them all?! (P.S. Can we discuss how the judges saved Jenna AGAIN? Not that I don’t love me some Jenna, but this is getting a little predictable.)
2. Hayley found her inner Gypsy. It’s no secret that Hayley is one of the most technically perfect dancers on the show, and when combined with Nico’s charm and Sean Cheesman’s choreography, it’s magical. Then there was that leg grab/lift/throw/flippy thing. Whoa!!! I’m going to go ahead and dub that the best leg grab/lift/throw/flippy thing on “SYTYCD” ever. But seriously, it was amazing. Standing ovation!
3. Pirates of the Paso Doble. Jenna and Tucker (who apparently coats himself in Axe body spray before rehearsals. All bad.) were paired up for this striking Jean-Marc Genereax number. Due to Tucker’s injury, Alex Wong (yay!) fills in. Jean-Marc is certainly at his best when he’s choreographing a paso. And I missed you Tucker, but these two made a great pair. Fierce pirate fun, I say. And, as if it couldn’t get any better, Nigel told the Best. Joke. Ever. “Why are pirates called pirates? Because they argghhhhh.” I’ll be giggling at that one all day.
4. Fik-Shun and Amy waltzed it up. Confession: When a couple pulls the Viennese Waltz, it’s often my cue to take a break and get a snack. But these two kept me captivated. As Amy said, it was the perfect way to rap up their partnership. So lovely—and so different from their kooky personalities! Mary said there were technical issues, but I certainly didn’t notice them. And we knew after this piece (because Nigel and Kenny Ortega essentially told us so) that Amy would be saved, and we’d say goodbye to Malece. Way to ruin the surprise, guys!
5. Stacey Tookey turned the girls into women. My goodness, I love Stacey Tookey. You know who else I love? These girls! The final six formed such a cohesive, technically strong group, and as Mary said, there was no weak link. This fountain of youth-inspired dance will go down as one of my favorite group routines. I couldn’t take my eyes off the TV. Another well-deserved standing ovation!
When it came down to elimination time, Nigel gave Malece and Alan the boot, but told them he still wanted them to go on tour. So here you have it, boys and girls, your TOP TEN DANCERS! Amy, Aaron, Jasmine, Hayley, Fik-Shun, Makenzie, Jenna, Nico, Paul and Tucker will kick off the tour on October 1! We’ll be there. Will you?
We can't wait for the All-Stars to join the show next week. But in the meantime, enter our “SYTYCD” finale sweepstakes contest—you could win a trip to the Season 10 finale! And don’t forget to let us know what you thought of this week’s episode in the comments!
“Dance Moms,” I’ve missed you this last month. In fact, I’ve missed you so much that the fact that this episode was full of Cathy and her fame-hungry dance dads, way too much crying and almost no Mackenzie moments only mildly upset me. (But don’t do it again!) At least it was also chock full of dancerly romance! Here are my top three AWESOME and AWKWARD moments.
AWKWARD: Maddie and Gino sitting in a tree… While this little crush is the cutest thing in the whole wide world, the way the adults handle it is pretty disgusting. Apparently, Gino gave Maddie a kiss on the cheek at the last competition. While this was no make out (Mom Melissa makes that very clear), it was definitely the most scandalous kiss in “Dance Moms” history. At least Abby and Cathy can finally agree on one thing: no kissing the enemy!
AWESOME: The “group” dance—although you can hardly call this the group without Paige, Brooke or Mackenzie. Still, Maddie, Chloe, Nia and Kendall make an excellent foursome of “bad girls.” They couldn’t have been more in sync if they were clones of each other, and the choreography was so cute! Even if Candy Apples’ bicycle/unicycle dance hadn’t been kind of all over the place, I still think the girls would have nailed the top score.
AWKWARD: Gino and Zack do an emotional dance about Anthony’s late father. While I generally love when choreographers use their own emotional experiences to inspire movement, this was probably not the best venue to honor your dad who died only one week earlier, Anthony. Plus, this routine, while sweet, was pretty darn boring. Only Candy Apples would bring in fabulous dancers from all across the country and then give them choreography that’s mostly just hugging and caressing each other. Where’s the dancing?! Abby, as usual, was honest about not liking the dance, and the Apples freaked out. It all ended in a ridiculous fight where Cathy cried because no one had her back. The dads get all awkward and uncomfortable, except for Jalen’s dad, who has clearly decided that his life goal is to live up Cathy’s butt. Then Gino’s dad asks to join the ALDC. Sigh… In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not the biggest fan of the adults associated with Candy Apples.
AWESOME: Chloe and Maddie dancing together. Thank goodness we get to take a break from this little battle (although it looks like it’s coming back in full force on the next episode…). Again, their synchronization was insane. That first place win was no surprise. Now the question is: How is Abby going to decide who goes on the top of the pyramid next week?
AWKWARD: Mom Kelly, for this entire episode. I don’t even know where to start. First, Abby told her that both Brooke and Paige would be featured at competition, which upset her for a reason I must have missed. Then Mom Jill stirred up trouble and Mom Christi yelled in Paige’s face. So now Kelly has an actual reason to be upset, but says she’s not upset. Then both her daughters do really well, so she cries and says she’s leaving the ALDC. I’m confused…
AWESOME Brooke gets to dance with the seniors! Oh, was Brooke too old for this group of munchkins? Of course she was! She’s not quite at the seniors' level yet, but at least she’s finally being challenged. And holy beautiful dancers, Abby. It’s eye opening to see how well-trained and professional Abby’s kids grow up to be (yup, she knows what she’s doing!). To make this little twist even better, cute 17-year-old Kevin is a part of this dance, and he takes Brooke on a date (because Abby makes him). Turns out, Kevin can eat a lot of dessert. I think these two are just precious together. Can I be invited to their wedding, please?
Time for the QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
“Miss Abby always says, no boys, no boys. But this is the second date she’s set me up on!” – Brooke
And, just for kicks, here’s a fun fact that will blow your mind: ALDC dancer Kevin (Brooke’s date) and Candy Apples dancer Gino (Maddie’s crush) are BROTHERS! Both beautiful dancers, they study at Dance Attack in Miami, FL. (Apparently, Kevin’s been competing this piece with ALDC as a guest all season.) Oh Lifetime, as if this show wasn’t scripted enough…
That’s all for this week. Tune in next week for more “Dance Moms” fun and, of course, another recap.
Looks like those private lessons on facial expressions really stuck with Kendall.
Nothing thrills me more than a two-hour episode of "Dance Moms"—unless that means two hours of Cathy. This week’s "Candy Apple Showdown" had no shortage of the scheming leading lady, not to mention uncomfortably long catfights and confrontations. However, double the "Dance Moms" does mean double the dancing, and I couldn’t wait to see the routines we’d been teased with in last week’s pyramid. Here are my top three AWESOME and AWKWARD moments.
AWESOME: Cathy’s dream team. I hate to admit it, and I credit none of this to Cathy herself, but her group of “Apple Cores”—three incredible boys (including Zack from Abby’s Ultimate) and new girl Victoria—is a force to be reckoned with. I can already tell from rehearsal footage that their level of technique paired with Anthony Burrell’s choreography is going to be stunning.
AWKWARD: The Christi/Kristie showdown. These two share a bad attitude as well as a name. As soon as Kristie Ray was introduced to the moms, I knew this face-off was in the works…but I was hoping it wouldn’t be this awful. Colorful (to say the least) insults flew, making me eager for the scene to end. Unluckily for me, the two were at it again multiple times throughout the episode. The topic? Whether or not 7-year-old Asia Ray ever cried. Abby overhears them fighting and deems it wise to revive the argument in the dressing room in front of all of the girls. She mentions (in front of Chloe) that she hopes mom Christi gets slapped in the face. Nice.
AWESOME: The moms take Brooklyn! At a local bar, Kelly and Christi recap their subway experience, explaining their fear of being trapped forever beneath the city streets, forced to “eat bugs” to survive. A very skeptical Dr. Holly replies: “I do want to remind you that a subway is not in a rainforest or a jungle. It is in an urban environment.” Great to see the moms having fun together amidst all the drama (even if Jill is unsure if it’s NYC or L.A. that’s known as “the city that never sleeps”).
AWKWARD/AWESOME: Jalen and Vivi. I may not be a fan of Cathy, but Vivi-Anne seriously cracks me up. Last week, Cathy interrogated a reluctant Vivi about a possible budding romance with breaker Jalen. This week, we see the youngsters exchanging deep personal information, including (but not limited to) their favorite colors and video games. Things get a bit more serious as they share their sentiments regarding the drama between their parents in the studio—an awkwardness Vivi quickly counteracts by finding a quarter on the floor.
AWESOME: SOLOS! Asia's turn as a fierce and feisty robot (in a Buzz Lightyear-esque costume), Maddie’s flawless lyrical piece, Chloe’s elegant and sharp contemporary number, and Kendall’s sassy jazz dance were all on point this week. Asia and Maddie took first in their divisions, Chloe third (tied with Zack) and Kendall fourth. All received hugs and congratulations from Abby—a reward that's probably harder to earn than a first-place trophy!
AWKWARD: Anthony and Cathy ripping poor Paige to shreds. Everyone knows that talking about another dancer at a competition is a huge mistake—not only are you poorly representing yourself and your studio, but you’re probably sitting only a row or two away from that dancer’s family, friends and teammates. The looks on Paige and Kelly’s faces were heartbreaking—but I must say I was incredibly impressed with Paige for having the courage to face the perpetrators. We love you, Paige!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Cathy didn’t beat me. One little girl who she stole, three little boys who she stole, and a guest choreographer beat me. That, I can handle.” -Abby
We’re left with a horrifying cliffhanger: Abby warns the moms that she’s looking for property in L.A., perhaps to relocate and open a new studio. After that, I had no choice but to sit through the first 15 minutes of "Preacher’s Daughters" in order to see the promised “exclusive sneak peek at the 'Dance Moms' summer premiere”—and it didn’t disappoint.
Be sure to tune in next week for more drama (and hopefully full dances!) in a mid-season reunion special, and mark your calendars for the return of new episodes on June 4th!