"So You Think You Can Dance" Recap: The Academy, Week 2
Guess who's back? Back again? The Academy's back! Tell a friend.
After one day at The Academy, the All Stars have successfully taken the Top 100 down to 62. But their work is just getting started: Now they need to keep narrowing the field to a Top 10, ultimately deciding who each will partner with during the live shows.
Last night, Travis Wall led the contestants in a contemporary choreography round, followed by a ballroom round with Dmitry Chaplin and his partner, Jenya NoLastName. (No, seriously. They never tell us her last name.) Those who survive and make it onto an All-Star team will go on to the [dreaded] group round. (You know, the one where the dancers have to stay up all night choreographing a routine, and then perform it for the All Stars super early the next morning.)
You can tell so many of the dancers hoping to make the Top 10 totally idolize Travis Wall. As soon as he walks onstage, their eyes brighten. And then he opens with, "I'm just gonna warn you, it's a pretty hard combo." Bless you, Travis. He says he's "not interested in building robots today," and is giving the dancers lots of room for self-expression (including starting the combo with a freestyle section—love that).
Here's what went down during the contemporary round:
- Taylor Sieve from the L.A. auditions was gorgeous. She wanted to land a spot on Robert's team—and she did! "She's got that heart that I'm looking for," Robert says. (She was then joined on Team Robert by Jonathan Wade and Jennifer Florentino.)
- Ariel Disciascio was sent home. Sad.
- Dancers who were already chosen to be on All Star teams were still dancing. This is confusing. Why do the dancers have to keep going through the motions—literally, the choreography motions—when they're already on a team? Nigel, please explain.
- Tapper Chaz Wolcott was sent home. He was out to get redemption after a tough hip-hop round, and at 29 years old, this was his last shot at making the Top 10. Robert tells Chaz he loves his smile and personality, but bye.
- Havoc and Klassic from the NYC auditions had a rough go. TBH, they both botched the choreography. Klassic was sent home, but Cyrus isn't ready to say l8r to Havoc, so he asked him to dance for his life. He did, the All Stars loved it, and he made it to Team Cyrus.
On to the ballroom round!
The dancers are given one hour to master a cha cha—a style Dmitry says many dancers spend an entire lifetime trying to perfect. NBD!
Here's how the ballroom round shook out:
- Jensen Arnold wanted to join a team so badly. She was paired with Logan Hernandez (Team Allison represent!), and she's so good and cute (and is a total #twinsie of big sis Lindsay). After a tear-jerking (and very stressful, TBH) speech, Jensen nabbed a spot on Team Robert.
- Remember Vasily? It seemed like he was going to get sent home, but at the last minute, Paul was all, "Join my team."
- Matthew Deloch got sent home, which is sad because he's so good! But he was classy about it, and said he's going to go take ballroom and hip-hop classes, and will return next season to make the Top 10.
- Alexis Gilbert from the L.A. auditions—you remember her sultry jazz routine, right?—landed a spot on Team Jenna. Good job, Alexis!
The dancers were given a night to choreograph and perfect a group routine before the next morning—which started at 6 am. That's just unkind.
The dancers were told they'd be performing in groups for the All Stars, and each All Star would eliminate one member from his or her team. So this went from "So You Think You Can Dance" to "America's Got Talent" to "Survivor," basically.
First up: Paul's group!
This group clashed during rehearsal. A lot. Kristina and Vasily were vicious, and the choreo was a little awkward, and the performance wasn't jaw-dropping. Paul said he expected more, and he was clearly disappointed that his kiddos didn't get along. He said he wanted to connect with and trust the person on his team. So Vasily, please pack your knives and go. ("Top Chef." Anyone?) Vasily looked shocked to be headed home, and Kristina was just like, "Boy bye."
Then it was time for Team Allison.
Oh, Team Allison. Beautiful, lovely, wonderful Team Allison. Her team consisted of Logan, Zachary, Abby, and krumper Kevin Davis Jr. They told Allison that the night went really well, and that even though Kevin struggled to keep up with his contemporary counterparts, he maintained an A+ attitude.
And the routine was so good. Allison loved it and seemed so proud, and maybe we cried a little bit watching, but so did Allison, so it's fine. (We predict Logan will ultimately be Allison's live show partner. Anyone else?) But Allison still had to send someone home, and that person was Kevin.
But plot twist!
Jenna stole him! After Allison told Kevin he'd been voted off the island, Jenna swooped in to save him. She was all, "I'll never let go, Kevin," so now he has a spot on Team Jenna. But, as a result, Jenna had to send two of her existing team members home. Bummer for them, but yay for Kevin. (Again, Nigel, the rules! We did not know stealing was allowed!)
As the episode wrapped up, Robert sent Jensen home (boo! hiss! but considering her DNA, we think she'll be just fine), and we found out that there's still one more week of The Academy. Next week, Sonya Tayeh joins the ranks to teach the remaining dancers some jazz. And now that summer is half over, we can't help but wonder: When are these live shows ever going to start?!
Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.
We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.
Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.
Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."
Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?
If you're a hardcore Broadway baby, today is the worst Sunday of the year. Why, you ask? The Tony Awards were last Sunday, so basically there's nothing to look forward to in life anymore—no James Corden being James Corden, no teary acceptance speeches from newly minted stars, no thrilling excerpts from the hottest new shows. Oh yeah, and there are 50 more Sundays to go before our humdrum lives are once again blessed with the next annual iteration of Broadway's biggest night.