"SYTYCD" Season 8: Elimination 3

After all the ridiculous drama of the elimination that wasn't, and then the doom and gloom of last week's double elimination, we were kind of assuming that we'd be bored silly by this week's back to life, back to reality elimination. Happily, it turned out to be pretty darn fun. We laughed, the dancers cried, and everyone, for the most part, had a good time.

Here are our top three awesome—and awkward—happenings from last night.

1) The opening Bollywood group number. Oh, Bollywood. How can we resist your delicious cheesiness? Actually, let's run with this metaphor for a second. Bollywood is like (fine, now it's a simile) Velveeta: It's almost shockingly tangy and colorful; it's like nothing found in nature; and we'd be ashamed to admit we liked it if it didn't make us so happy. Also, were the rainbow-colored costumes a shoutout to New York's recent gay marriage triumph? Probably not, but we're going to pretend so.

2) Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. Talk about a class act. Ebony Williams is our hero. And yay for amazing concert dance that actually translates well to television!

3) Cat Deeley's outfit. Who but Cat can take a disco ball of a New Year's Eve minidress, funk it up with a wrestling-championship belt and some big ol' dominatrix heels, and make the whole ensemble seem so fresh and summery??

1) Florence and the Machine's performance. Not that we don't love Ms. Welch (and her machine), and she did look be-yew-ti-ful, but her act confused us. She's done such AWESOME things with dancers before—why wouldn't she use dancers on a dance show, for goodness' sake? Was TWall really too busy guest judging to whip up some choreo for her?

2) Pretty much every one of the "dance for your life" solos. Ugh, you guys. Nigel was right: We're tired of seeing you do the same old song and dance week after week. Show us how versatile you are! We're looking at you in particular, Jordan: It's time to stop with the HIGH-WATTAGE SEXY. And the secabesque developpés. And the embellished bra tops.

3) Having Cedar Lake perform right after a bunch of those lackluster "dance for your life" solos. It's funny—we've always thought of "SYTYCD" as a sort of feeder for companies like Cedar Lake. (Remember when Sabra was a Cedar Laker for about 5 minutes?) But after watching the "SYTYCD" contestants and CL perform back to back, we're suddenly noticing the subtle (and not-so-subtle—you won't be seeing the CLers wink at you anytime soon) nuances that make the Cedar Lake dancers far more sophisticated artists. We love our "SYTYCD" kids, but they have some growing to do.

In the end, we said goodbye to Ashley and Chris. That seemed about right, given that the only note we made during Ashley's solo was "pretty skirt," and that we weren't exactly sure who Chris was until this week. But we're excited about the remaining contestants. They're a strong, talented bunch, particularly the ladies. Y'all better bring it next week!

What do you guys think? Are we crazy? Are we saying all the things you're too nice to say? (Both?) 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.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

In our "Dear Katie" series, Miami City Ballet soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email dearkatie@dancespirit.com for a chance to be featured!

Dear Katie,

When I sit with the soles of my feet together, my knees easily touch the floor, and most exercises to improve turnout are easy for me. But when I'm actually dancing, my turnout is terrible, especially on my standing leg. Why doesn't my flexibility translate to turnout?


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Dear Katie
Via Twitter

Would that we could all live in Taylor Swift's Pride-topia, booty-popping with Todrick Hall and sharing snow cones with Adam Rippon in our rainbow-flag-bedecked RV park. But much as we're loving "You Need to Calm Down" and other similarly upbeat celebrations of Pride month, this is also a time to recognize the battles the members of the LGBTQIA+ community have fought—and are still fighting. That's one of the reasons why "I'm Gay," a new dance video by Eugene Lee Yang of The Try Guys, is so important.

The dark, deeply personal video is Yang's coming-out moment. We see Yang being rejected by his family, condemned by a preacher, and attacked by a hostile mob after attempting to express himself as a gay man. Though not a professional dancer (as we found out in "The Try Guys Try Ballet"), Yang is a gifted mover; he choreographed the project himself, and gathered a group of talented performers to bring the story to life.

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