"SYTYCD" Season 8: Double Elimination

"After a mouth-watering cocktail of dance (or something), we're left with a headache: two couples have to go home tonight!" Enter Cat Deeley, in a hot red dress, already dishing out the drama.

 

Since no couples were sent home last week, four contestants will be sent packing tonight. It is all very intense.

 

My favorite part of the "So You Think You Can Dance" results show is almost always the opening number, but tonight's left me feeling blah. I was surprised to hear that Dave Scott choreographed the "Sinnerman" routine for the Top 20. I normally love his stuff, especially for large groups, but I didn't feel enough energy from the dancers. They looked mighty dapper in madras Bermuda shorts, ties, blazers and bowl hats, but the choreography wasn't cleaned up and it came across as messy.

 

Nigel, Mary and guest judge Debbie Reynolds spend a big chunk of the hour walking us through the previous night's performances. Some couples are safe, some are in the bottom, and there aren't many big surprises. Three couples will be sent to the bottom three and those contestants will each perform a way-too-short-to-be-able-to-show-off-anything-but-tricks solo. We call this "dancing for your life."

 

But you knew all that already, so on with the highlights:

  • The couples "in danger of leaving the show tonight" are Missy and Wadi, Iveta and Nick, and Ryan and Ricky. 
  • Before the soloists perform, Cat tells them, "I can't wait to see your solos. They're going to be so great." Her encouragement is adorable, and I wish I had a little Cat Deeley sitting on my shoulder at all times, giving me little affirmations and bits of positivity. 
  • The guest act on tonight's show is Rage Crew. This is the group's third time on the show and they are always so much fun. The kids—who are getting so much bigger and older each time they perform—are small and talented and ridiculously energetic. As I watch them from the comfort of my couch, I feel lazy. The performance is clean (Top 20, are you paying attention?) and filled with acrobatic tricks to get the audience all riled up. It works. They've got skills.
  • The solo performances are exactly what you'd expect: B-boy moves and a megawatt smile from Wadi, some flexed-feet and thrashy things from Missy, adorably charismatic tapping by Nick, a fringe-clad Iveta moving her hips faster than I ever thought possible, shirtless Ricky leaping and jumping and doing layouts and Ryan dancing for her life by way of curly hair-driven contemporary stuff. Those are my very professional critiques of the solos. You're welcome.
  • We get a live performance from LMFAO. They rock out to "Party Rock Anthem" while Quest Crew (one of my favorites!) performs. I loved this, mostly because the Quest Crew guys are adorable and not only do they perform in zebra print pants, they also managed to work the running man into their choreography. Geniuses? I think so.

 

At the end of the night, the judges are uninamous in their decision. Goodbye Missy, Iveta, Nick and Wadi. "You all have charisma and you're all going to be stars," Nigel says. Translation: "Sorry, you're not good enough. Have a good night. Please be sure to leave your room keys on the dresser on your way out."

 

So? Do you agree with the judges? Tell us. Now. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @Dance_SpiritMag and on the DS Facebook page

(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

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.

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Photo by Erin Baiano

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?

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Photo by Erin Baiano

Click here to vote for Emma.

There's a story Kate Walker, director of dance at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, loves to tell about Emma Sutherland, who just graduated from the program. "We were watching the students run a really long, challenging piece," Walker recalls. "Several kids couldn't quite make it through. But Emma did make it all the way to the end, which is when she walked up to us faculty and very politely asked, 'May I please go throw up?' "

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