Category: So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD)

The nice thing about Bollywood as an opening number is Nigel can’t trot out his “I’m sure you’ve just insulted a lot of people with your hand movements” comment. We get it, Nigel. The hand movements have to be precise, and they seldom are. Move on.

Cat looks fab, but has to prod the audience to express more disappointment when she says she has bad news for the second week in a row. Why don’t you just tell us, Cat, and then we’ll know how disappointed to be? Yeah, I’m in a mood today.

The bad news is Tucker has a knee infection, so he wasn’t able to rehearse a lot. Does that mean he won’t be dancing tonight? Cat tells us it does mean he’s automatically in the bottom three next week. Not good; isn’t Top 10 when the judges’ save goes away? I don’t know.

Speaking of judges, Kenny Ortega is the guest judge tonight, and I have to pause here to ask why is it only the guest judges seem to remember to congratulate the choreographers? Although at least they never seem to blame the dancers for a poorly-choreographed routine. Anyway, yay, Kenny! I notice he’s not on Twitter. Smart man. My account is only active when I publish these blog entries these days. I always thought that if you joined Twitter, you’d get to follow your favorite celebs and they’d follow you back and you’d get to kinda tweet with them. But none of mine are following me back. C’est la vie.

Bottom three guys: Alan, Nico, Tucker. Oh, dear. I’m going to be losing a favorite if Tucker or Alan goes. Bottom three girls: Jenna, Malece, Amy. What? America, are you on drugs? Amy and Tucker are NOT who I thought I’d see there. Nigel confirms Tucker can dance tonight, then sends Nico and Jenna to the top ten. Why not Amy? The top ten separates the couples anyway.

Solos. I think Tucker truly is dancing for his life. So does Amy. Malece seems to be, too, but I liked Amy’s routine better. Alan’s certainly giving it his all, but I think if he doesn’t enter into whatever character he has later in the show, he’s gone.

Hayley and Nico – Broadway – Sean Cheeseman. It looks contemporary to me, so I don’t pay a lot of attention, which means when Nigel starts talking about the great lifts, I have to rewind, and holy crap! That one leg over the shoulder is incredible. Mary commends Nico’s passion and power. Kenny is equally effusive.

Malece and Alan – Jazz – Mandy Moore. I’m glad they drew this style; I think Alan’s comfortable in it, but I’m really not getting any chemistry from them. Kenny tells Malece she sparkled, but agrees with me about the lack of chemistry. Nigel does as well, and calls them on their technique. Mary feels like she’s on the hot seat, but agrees about the technique. She claims she saw chemistry, but I think these two are gone.

Jenna and Tucker – Paso Doble – Jean Marc. Evidently either Tucker’s solo screwed him up so he couldn’t dance this number, or he just missed too much rehearsal time, because Alex Wong is dancing in his place. I’m delighted to see Alex, but worried what this might mean for Tucker. I think I’d rather keep him than Alan. Jenna’s not doing too badly, but I can’t take my eyes off Alex, who’s busy proving why he’s an All Star. Our ballroom expert Mary loved it. Kenny says something in Spanish to Jenna which I think translates to “Jenna, Jenna, Jenna, I’ve never loved you more” except he says cara, which means heart. Then he says she’s at the top of his heart, so I guess that’s what it meant. Nigel makes a bad pirate joke (the theme of the routine) and reminds us Alex never had a chance to dance ballroom in his own season.

Makenzie and Paul – Contemporary – Mandy Moore. Gah. Can I just fast-forward through this? I’m watching it on Thursday afternoon, after all. OK, thanks! Well, everyone’s on their feet, so I guess it was good. I fast forward through him, too, when he starts complimenting them on their breathing, of all things (yeah, I know, breath control’s important). Mary’s full of praise for both of them and she calls out something that makes me rewind to try to catch it, but I can’t figure out what she’s seeing, if I got the right moment. I just couldn’t deal with it. Kenny makes them very happy when he tells them they’re two of his favorite dancers.

Amy and Fik-Shun – Viennese Waltz – Jean-Marc. JM has a very interesting concept for this piece. Since it’s their last dance together as a couple (the Top ten dance with All Stars from now on, in case you’ve never seen this show before), he tells them to dance it as themselves having a victory lap over how well they’ve done to get this far. And it’s simply beautiful. I think Fik-Shun’s shoulders might be a little high at times, but he is, as they say, there for her and has no trouble at all with some lifts that I’ve seen more powerfully built men struggle through. I’m looking forward to Mary’s critique, if she can get it out through her tears. She says there were some technique problems, but that Fik-Shun took the note about the shoulders. Kenny thinks Fik-Shun could figure out a way to fly if a choreographer asked him to. Nigel says he was transported to the Viennese palace with them and remarks on Fik-Shun’s improvement. He refrains from flat out telling Amy she’s safe, but I’m not too worried now.

Jasmine and Aaron – Hip hop – Tabitha and Napoleon. I love it. Hope the judges do, too. And America. Well, the judges are on their feet, along with the audience, so . . .

Kenny praises Nappy Tabs. Nigel tells Jasmine that he didn’t know the pelvic girdle could move like that anatomically. He’s always got something like that to say. Mary calls the routine money.

Boys Men – Hip Hop – Nappy Tabs. Tucker’s sitting this one out, too. It’s pretty fab, tho. Nigel calls Alan out, so I’m pretty sure he’s gone. Nigel just seems to have been against him from Day one. Mary and Kenny liked it, and Kenny commends Alan. I admit it; I don’t want any of the guys to go home.

Girls – Contemporary – Stacey Tookey. I’m sure it was fine. The judges are standing again, and Mary’s crying. No one says anything that makes me want to go back and actually watch the routine. Mary says they’re the top six girls out of all ten seasons. Kenny calls them divas in the making, which is a compliment when you know the original meaning. Nigel agrees with Mary and says they all looked like professional contemporary dancers. In this case, I wouldn’t mind if Malece went home.

Nigel agrees with what I saw during the solos: All four really fought to remain. Nigel says he doesn’t have a lot to do with the tour, but will recommend the two going home as alternates for it. He adds that it’s unanimous before he sends Malece and Alan home. I agree.


Anna Kendrick is tonight’s guest judge, and she’s not much better than last week’s Carly Rae Jepson in that she knows nothing about dance except what she likes. I guess nowadays you just have to be a celebrity fan of the show to be a guest judge. At least some of them have *some* dance background, like Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Christina Applegate.

Cat is all dolled up and looks gorg. Opening number seems like Sonya, and it is. Plus Dmitri Chapin, who’s getting more work here than on DWTS. I don’t know why America hates Alan and Jasmine. They’re both incredible dancers. Hey, Cyrus is the one who dumped her, remember? Be nice if they just send Curtis home, since he’s injured this week and has been in the bottom three forever. None of the guys have to solo, but Alexis and for some reason, Jasmine do. I have no clue why the judges saved Makenzie. I hope Jasmine and Alan kill it in their respective routines.

And now it’s time for the routines, including a couple of “mini-group” ones. I have 10.5 hours of TV to catch up on, and still hope to blog some of it, so I’m just gonna get right to it and make this quick and dirty.

Tucker & Jenna. Luther Brown, Hip hop. I’m not feeling it. Nigel agrees with me.

Alexis and Nico. Sonya. Contemporary. Alexis is doing her best to kill it emotionally. I’m still not feeling the routine, but I’m blaming Sonya for that, because I was turned off by how she described it. Mary loved it.

Hayley and Curtis. Miriam and Leonard, Argentine Tango. No wonder Curtis hurt his shoulder – those lifts are crazy. Leonardo steps in for him, and Haley does a beautiful job of keeping up with him and keeping the attitude required for this dance. The judges all agree with me.

Makenzie and Paul. Sonya, Jazz. Normally I have a hard time distinguishing contemporary from jazz, but I can see how this seems to be harder hitting. I like it.

Jasmine and Aaron. Justin Giles, Contemporary. I love these two second only to Amy and Fik-Shun. I even enjoy this routine, and y’all know I’m not a fan of contemporary.

Amy and Fik-Shun. They have a Christopher Scott hip hop routine, and isn’t he the one that gave them their bell-boy routine a couple of weeks ago? I think Fik-Shun’s doing well to keep drawing his own style. They’re adorable as always, but perhaps a bit twee. I want to see them do Latin or something completely out of both their worlds. Amy slips and falls at one point, but makes it look like part of the routine, and Fik-Shun is able to wait for her to get to her place so they can synch up without it looking odd. Of course, the judges all have to call it out, but otherwise make positive comments.

Malece and Alan. Johnathan Platero, Salsa. I had to Google Johnathan to remember he was on Season 5 with Jeannine Mason. As a fan, I get so involved in these shows that I feel positive I’d recognize the kids if I saw them again, but not only did I not recognize Johnathan, Jeannine actually won and was in a class with me last year and I didn’t recognize her until one of the girls came out into the hall and said she’d spotted the credit on her resume.

It’s so good to see Alan in something close to his own style. He partners Malece quite well, but after seeing how well Haley did earlier, I can’t help but wish he was paired with her instead. I just can’t like Malece. Mary disagrees with me.

Spencer Liff – Broadway. Spencer steps in for Curtis in an incredible routine, and Nigel unfavorably compares Nico and Alan to him. Mary agrees.

Bonnie Story – Contemporary. It’s a beautiful routine, and I see Jasmine giving it her all as one of the bullies. The judges are on their feet, and I expect first-time SYTYCD choreographer Bonnie will get an Emmy nod for this. Mary calls Fik-Shun on his lack of technical skills but compliments him on his emotion (he was one of the ones being bullied). Nigel tells him to take the opportunity to add technique to his dance and he’ll be unstoppable.

Without any dilly-dallying, Nigel cuts Curtis and Alexis loose. That was the right call.

Nina Lisa

OK, I wasn’t able to watch last week’s episode until today, so I’m just going to start this off with a few paragraphs about my personal favorites. The dancers get off the plane and head straight to the dance venue, because they have to dance again to earn a room key. Good-bye to Mrs. Exorcist, who was here alone (and who shouldn’t really have gotten through to begin with, IMO), Katelyn Rodriguez, whose brother we’ll be looking for in three years, and Donovan Gibbs, of Desert Eagle Productions dance studio, which doubles as his family home. As I suspected, Toshi is out in Round 2, but beginning to catch the judges’ notice are Amy Yakima and Fik-Shun. Round 3 gives us the infamous drop on the head, and while the couple both go through, Shanshan is out. My Top 20 pick Jenna Johnson continues to shine, and my new favorite, Fik-Shun, continues to kill it. It was a close call for him in the group routine, tho. Or so they’d have us believe.

There are two Jasmines here, one of whom used to date Curtis. She’s the one with the short hair. Fastest tapper in the West Curtis is still here, and dropped-on-her-head Malece, who’s the girl who psyched Nigel out about being deaf, is also staying strong. Armen, who is the one who dropped her, appears to be redeeming himself. Another animator who caught my eye, Jade, is asked to battle it out with BluPrint, for whom my fingers are seriously crossed. Until they battle, and then the fingers are crossed for both. Luckily, once Ms. Tookey sees both of them (she gets to decide since it was her routine they blew), she realizes they need them both. At the end, all the dancers are asked to explain to the judges why they should be the one kept, and out of all the ones I’ve mentioned as going through so far, only Armen is asked to leave. I’m honestly not surprised. I was surprised that a) Mary fought for him and b) they let her win. After all, she’s the same one who bawled out Sysko for deserting his partner on the audition trail. I can only put it down to her favoring him because he was a ballroom dancer.

I have no idea what happened to any of the other ones I’d taken note of: Prince Charming (probably gone), Nico, Nevien Yarber, Caleb, Jason Kidd (unless he was the surprisingly good haunted house make-up artist; because I know he’s out), Gene and Elena, Elyse Frelinger, Courtney Thurston, Paul Karmiryan, Phillip Kudryavstev, Sebastian Serra, Shannon Tarantino (no idea if she’s related to Quentin), Emilie, Makenzie, Hayley Erbert, Jennie Begley, Anthony Savoy, or Kate Kapshandy, but I guess we’ll find out soon.

And now for your regularly scheduled recap of The Green Mile.  Can I mention just one more time how much I hate the whole one night only thing? OK, thanks.

Nigel’s comment about investing in the dancers this season makes me think both Jade and BluPrint are through. Cut to the holding room a few days ago. Cat wanders through the rows of seats, teasing everyone as she is wont to do, but finally stopping.

Fik-Shun is up first. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t make it. Nigel’s trying to psych him out. OMG, I totally did not recognize Mia! Ah, one of the ones I was missing: Emilio. He is through. Marcus, who I kinda recognize now that they reminded us he got this far on Season 4, is out. I suspect Mariah will go through. Minnie’s the one who called her in Austin. We cut to the choreographed dance so Cat can tell us Emilio injured himself and had to drop out. That sucks. I’m wondering if this show should maybe emphasize conditioning for their amateur dancers, since this competition notoriously has serious injuries every season? Mariah and Fik-Shun start a routine choreographed by Luther Greene, and she is definitely keeping up with him. Nigel agrees, in fact, he thinks she was better. He tells Fik-Shun he needs to be stronger. Mary agrees. She’s very sparkly tonight and gives Mariah a scream. Adam joins in the constructive criticism and praise of Mariah. Fik-Shun is such a little cutie.

Contemporary time. Makenzie’s up. And through. Jasmine Harper is through, no surprise. Ryan somebody is out. So are three girls I don’t recognize. Spine-breaker Tucker Marx and Nico (yay!) are sent up together. I hate this; sometimes this means they’re only going to take one. But they’re both through, and now the first four contemporary dancers are dancing a Stacey Tookey routine. I’m sorry, but I’m going to zone out now. We’re not voting on these, and I’m trying to eat dinner. After the judges’ criticism and praise, Cat sends us out to commercial with the promise of extraordinary animation. Which means Jade and BluPrint are both through, right?

Our three tappers, Aaron, Curtis, and Alexis await their fate. Alexis is up first, and Nigel interrupts Twitch’s speech to tell him to let her know she’s in already. Curtis is next, and Adam gets to tell him the good news. Aaron is worried. This is where he got cut last year. And this is where he gets cut this year. When we come back from commercials, tho, it turns out that since Emilio had to drop out, Aaron was next up, so now we get to see all three of them. They do a great routine, utilizing what I think are pieces of a floating dance floor as sliders. I didn’t catch who choreographed it. Adam starts the lavish praise. Nigel gives a shout out to Anthony someone, who evidently was the choreographer, and touts Aaron for joining in at the last minute, then gives one of Mary’s train high signs. She follows through.

Six guy’s slots remain; now we get to see if Jade and/or BluPrint got through. And they have to walk the Green Mile together. BP is getting the dreaded personality lecture from Twitch, and while they start in on telling Jade he needs to work on partnering due to his height, Mia interrupts to say the choreographer needs to account for that. So they tell Jade he’s through, and then Twitch tells BluPrint to come back and see them. He nods graciously, and Twitch adds, “Like, come back and see us soon. As in the Top 20.” Blu is incredulous at first, and Jade is really happy for him, too. We get to see them do a Christopher Scott routine, and I’m looking forward to seeing how far they go. Nigel mentions his comment on investing in dancers, and I just giggle because that’s why I was sure they both made it. Mary continues the love fest, and Adam shouts out to Christopher. Cat throws us to commercial.

More contemporary. Carlos something is up. Nigel lists all the judges who love him, but still has to spell out that he’s through. David Lorenzo is out. Ah, another one I liked: Hayley Erbert is next. Adam asks her how she is, and she says she’s scared. He doesn’t BS her but tells her she’s through, sending her into paroxysms of tearful joy. Malece is sitting in the interview room with Cat (I presume) when a knock at the door gives her her cue. Mia asks her about the accident, and tells her she started to decline after that, which we now see Nigel commenting on in flashback but didn’t see before. Mia tells her they want fighters, and she needs to fight, because she’s through. More tears of joy. And Mia is the choreographer for these three. As usual, she’s come up with an interesting routine. The girls are wearing fifties dresses, and the carpet they’re on looks like it took its design from a Twister board. My apologies, but I can never understand contemporary routines, even the ones where the story is explained beforehand. I’ve only once ever had one move me the way the judges always get moved, and that was Kellie Pickler and Derek’s freestyle on DWTS. Mary starts off and gives a shout-out to Mia, who’s sitting next to Louis Van Amstel. I do love how the two shows share dancers. Adam gives some constructive criticism on getting votes. Nigel assures Malece she’s going to gain the maturity she needs and wishes them all luck. Cat sends us to commercial.

Time for the ballroom dancers. There are six dancers remaining, and I already know four of them are guys, so I don’t think Gene and Elena are two of them. In fact, a Serge and a Brittany get to walk the Green Mile together since they auditioned together in L.A. I’m afraid I don’t remember them. They hold hands. Mary quickly cuts Serge and puts Brittany through. Now it’s Jenna’s turn. I’m crossing my fingers, but not holding my breath. Until I hear that her two sisters got cut at this point seasons past. Ah, but Mary starts talking about a jinx, and she sucks at trying to psych people out. Also through is Paul Karmiryan, another one of my missing faves and a jive dancer. Which means that one of the Bersten brothers is not through. Alan’s through. Ah, I didn’t realize Gene of Elena and Gene was the other one. Except I only vaguely recall this whole brother thing the show’s belatedly trying to play up, and only remember them sending Elena through because it’d supposedly suck for Gene to be there without her. But she must’ve been one of the ones cut without even a whimper or a notice, unlike the last married couple we had. Louis choreographed this dance, and it’s smokin’, as uzh.

Cat tells those of us who aren’t mathematicians there are two spots left. I wonder how many girls there are left? Six. Yeesh. Amy’s one of them, I think, and I’m right, as Cat sends her off to the Green Mile. I have faith in her. I don’t recognize the girl with the huge blue opal statement necklace, but I want the necklace. The judges give Amy’s dad a shout out, and call her a beast. I don’t think she’s this year’s beast, but I’m prejudiced. Marissa, Tess, and Gabby (the one with the necklace) are out. Jasmine Mason and Megan Branch are left. Neither one made it last year. Only one will make it this. Adam has the unpleasant duty. Jasmine is in. Amy and Jasmine do a Sonya Tayeh routine. Cat promises the top ten guys after the break.

Chris Scott is ready to whip them into shape. It’s one of his usual fascinatingly intense scenes that reminds me of a dance with water once choreographed on DWTS, by Derek, I think, but this is with sand. Cat calls it amazing, and she’s right. The judges are on their feet. After the fulsomeness, Nigel has to add the creep factor by asking them to dance with his ashes like that after he’s dead. Shut up, Nigel. You’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Despite what American Idol seems to think. Cat promises us the girls and a jazz routine when we finish not watching the commercials. Except I’ve been keeping up fairly well and can’t fast-forward.

The girls have been choreographed by Ray Leaper. (I’ll correct all these names next time, I’m sure). And I get some cultural education, as they’re dancing to “Let’s Have a Kiki”, which I’ve only heard as a mash-up on Glee. So it sounds a bit strange to me without Rachel Berry and Kurt Hummel’s interjections of “Mother”. They’re wearing black and silver sexy cheerleader costumes with white elbow length gloves and go-go boots. Both Adam and Nigel want to have a kiki with them, but it’s less creepy from Adam since they’re not his type. Cat promises us a Top 20 Sonya Tayeh routine, and we close out the show with the ubiquitous awesomeness that entails.

I presume that the above comment is why we’re listening to Elvis’ A Little Less Conversation, which was the theme song for the TV show Las Vegas. As opposed to any other Elvis song, since we’re in Memphis. My favorite improver ever (sorry everyone I’ve worked with), Wayne Brady is the guest judge.

So the first guy up is a member of Cyrus’ crew, Dragon House, but evidently not one of the other two who auditioned with him last year. Except I think I recognize the hair from the flashback tape. His street name is Blueprint. And he’s good! Vegas, right? No, they’ll probably send him to choreo. Or maybe not, since he just caused Mary to drop the F bomb. Yep.

Now we’ve got a tapper whose name I didn’t catch but who wants to be the fastest tapper ever. This should be good, but I suspect they’ll send him to choreo. His theme is Flight of the Bumblebee aka the theme from The Lone Ranger. And he’s tapping to classical music, and he is freaking awesome! Wayne has to go up on stage and hug him. Uh-oh, Mary’s judgement doesn’t sound good. Ah, good; choreo.

Tonight’s perseverance-through-tragedy story is Tucker Marks. I wish they’d do without the re-enactments. Watching him now after hearing he’d broken his spine in two places makes me realize what an incredible recovery he’s made. Nigel, as usual, has to ask the weirdo questions, but in this case, it’s to lead up to tell him to come up and get his ticket to Vegas.

Montage of contemporary dancers who go to Vegas.

And judging from what’s coming up, I’m hoping it’s a montage of horror shows. Because now that they’re only on one night a week, they’ve managed to cut back on making us suffer through them. Speaking of Fox shows cutting back, maybe American Idol should try the whole “eliminate them on the same night” trick.

Next up is Dance Dad and Daughter. If Cat said her name, I didn’t catch it. Judging from what’s going on right now and what’s going to happen, I’m guessing they tell her she’s not good enough. Ah, the chyron tells me her name is Courtney Thurston. And I think she’s pretty good. That Russian split in mid-air was rather high. Evidently the judges all think she’s good, too. Aha, here’s the twist — Dad married her dance teacher!  Geez, these “lucky pigs” must be a theme from the school. Yeah, he’s not really dancing, just running back and forth and getting the crowd worked up. Oh, an extremely tiny bit of animation. And she’s through to Vegas.

Time for the horror show montage. Correction, deluded horror show montage.

Now it’s time for someone whose name I won’t be able to spell correctly without the chyron. OMG, Nigel knows the dance. Why am I not really surprised? Ah, Shanshan Qiao. She’s quite good. And the outfit she’s wearing is very reminiscent of the “proper” clothing belly dancers are supposed to wear. In fact, I think I have patterns for all of it. I wonder if they’ll send her to choreo? They will, but the crowd is ready to boo the Brit before he finishes, per uzh.

For the upcomings, it looks like either Shanshan or the tapper will be leaving, but since it looked like Mary told the heavy Latin dancer in the blue she couldn’t scream for that instead of who she actually said it to, I don’t believe it until I see it happen. (It’s called Frankenediting, evidently, and is especially prevalent on the type of reality show that has excessive talking heads).

Next up is contemporary dancer Nico. Whose mother has caught Nigel’s attention.  Nico’s only 18, according to the chyron, which is too bad, since he’s rather cute as well as being quite good. I predict Vegas, and lechery from Mary. Or at least on the hot tamale train. And Vegas it is. (Since that’s where the train goes).

Final competitor before choreo is Elyse, a trapeze instructor on the Santa Monica Pier. I hope she’s good, she sounds interesting. Her start shows she’s extremely flexible. Great body control, too. I’m calling Vegas. Yes, excellent!

Ah, the tapper’s name is Curtis. I’m not sure he’s going to make it. The camera spends more time on him, however, so I have no idea how Shanshan’s doing in comparison. What little I see seems fine, but fine isn’t going to cut it this season. And Nigel manages to psych us both out, but she gets through. And so does Curtis. So that’s good. And six more who didn’t get camera time will be through, too.

Interesting, I guess they’re still in Memphis next week. Oh, no, fooled again. Two hours, you silly wabbit!

First interview with Cat is Jenna Johnson, who’ll be doing cha cha. And yes, she’s wearing fringe. Tassels have knots at the top. The “spark” between her and her partner seems more brotherly than romantic. And I’m right. Oh, she’s good! No wonder she has four titles. Top 20. Calling it now. The judges called someone on an earlier show, and they probably know better than I do, but damn! The judges don’t even bother to comment, they just hold tickets up.

OK, I give up. I can’t catch the names, and I’m just going to have to put them up when the chyron comes up, if it does. The next guy shows us he can mix technique into his hip hop, and knows Nigel prefers male dancers to be masculine, so I’m hoping for a good hip hop dancer who goes straight through to Vegas. Novien Yarber. Ah, contemporary, not hip hop. Almost an African Jazz quality to it. I’m thinking Vegas. Oh, he loses it at the end, but the rest was fantastic. Which is what I’m typing even as Nigel says it. Wayne encourages Mary to scream. He then tells Novien he looks like he’d kick somebody’s ass while he was dancing. Nigel gives him a ticket.

Next will be a pair of salsa dancers. He looks older, and yes, she’s the only one with a number. Isabel. OMG those turns. Assisted handstand. Whoa! Loving the lifts. Vegas! Hmm, sounds like Mary wants her to go to choreo. And so does Nigel. And then the montage set us up for losers.

Well, maybe not; the tape shows us Caleb’s pretty good at hip hop. But he’s doing contemporary. He’s still good, though, and he makes it a comical one, which shows the personality the judges are looking for. Vegas, he listed his experience. Yes, amazing is a good word. His dad is pretending to threaten Nigel. Which means they’re going to call him up to dance. Ah, a father-son hip hop dance off. Hey, dad’s not bad. Not as good as the father who owned a dance studio, but good. And Caleb kills it some more. The judges wave tickets at him.

OK, the “Wayne channels Li’l C” is going to be good.

Montage of excellent male dancers.

Next up is a Larry Booze. The looking at the city bit throws Nigel, as he incorporates it into his dance, which is beyond belief. What he can do with his feet! Vegas? Or choreo? Choreo. Hope his “crazy feet” get him through.

Hmm, dramatic previews, judging from the off-screen producer’s reaction. Back from the break, Cat tells us this girl’s name is Jasmine. Ah, she and Cyrus used to be a thing. She claims she taught him how she dances (contemporary), but he couldn’t teach her animation. Sounds like after he became someone, he dumped her. Ah, no, it was the pressure of the show, and what’s worse is he was her best friend as well as boyfriend. Yes, it can be extremely difficult to maintain a relationship when you’ve got that much stress going on. She is a beautiful dancer; I hope she makes it on. Yep, Vegas.

Coming up, one of the dancer’s dads is an Elvis impersonator. Of course. Or maybe not, because we get a montage of out-of-towners set to Elvis’ Burning Love. Which leads us to Paige, and her father. She claims it was the only town he’d let her audition in. She runs the list of training for them, and when they ask about her parents, of course they have to get Dad up there to sing. He gives a couple of lines a capella, and isn’t too bad. Nigel makes a bad attempt at his own Elvis impersonation, and then Paige takes the floor. With the training she rattled off, they won’t be sending her to choreo. But they will be sending her to Vegas. And I’m wrong. They’re sending her to choreo, with a note to connect with the audience. I remember last year it took forever for one girl to get that.

We watch the choreo practicing, and Larry Booze just isn’t getting it. Rather than let his partner down, he decides to withdraw so she can hopefully get a faster learner to dance with. Isabel’s in the first group, and she seems to be missing some steps. She’s done. So is Paige. But seven others make it through, and maybe we’ll find out who some of them are next week.

Two hundred dancers will be descending on Vegas next week. Some are fabulous, some are horrible, some are told to lose the attitude. I can’t wait. See you then.

Nina Lisa

So, thanks to Google Chrome being extra obnoxious, I wasn’t able to watch the broadcast of 5/21 until yesterday afternoon, but was able to watch most of last night’s episode despite the satellite continually cutting out. Which just reminded me of the problems I’d been having with the previous episode.

Anyway, I hope SYTYCD is on not just for the next three years but for another 11 beyond that, because in Austin we had two of the most adorable break-dancing (animation, mostly, I think) 4 year olds to ever grace the SYTYCD stage. I know Nigel tried to hook up a 9-year-old with the little boy, but I think he’s a better match with the Exorcist’s daughter. Same age, same dance style, yadda yadda.

I liked the ballet dancer who auditioned in board shorts, and the guy from Orlando. ALL the ballroom dancers, especially the one whose name we didn’t learn who took his shirt off for Mary per Nigel. I’m afraid he’s going to get the no camera time edit.

Wow, the family who gave up their home and car to keep their dance studio. At first, I was thinking I would’ve gone the other way ’round, but keeping it helped keep their son out of a gang, and then it turns out that dad is a dancer, too, so I totally get the “giving it all up to follow your passion”. And in the father son battle the dad just KILLS it. I would’ve given a Vegas ticket to him!

Oh, dear, this guy’s not going to be any good, is he? Haunted house make-up artist. Sigh. Hello! Way to psych us all out, show. He may not be as good as some of the people we’ve already seen, but he’s no Sexx, either. Speaking of, we get “treated” to a zillionth time returnee who claims he’s not a diva any more, then promptly quits when he doesn’t get through to Vegas. Which gives the producers and judges leeway to choreo-fake a fabulous dancer, who, after an INCREDIBLE routine, smiles and says, “OK” to that judgement call and starts to happily trot off the stage, before they call him right back and point out the lack of hubris which led him to accept that decision, when in fact he’s going straight to Vegas. Another dancer is evidently so good, they have to parade on stage themselves to give him his ticket (I blame the satellite cutting out, not my being distracted by playing games on Facebook).

I’m so glad Shane Garcia got through. He was just enough better than Slick that I can see it, but I really wish they’d also sent Ernest through. I thought he was about the same level. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Toshi, but I’m afraid the choreography in Vegas will kill him, like it did that one awesome Asian popper chick last year. And I totally agree with Joe R: this show has you trained for horrible backstories, so when the gal was talking about her older brother with the sad song in the background, I thought it would turn out that he’d been killed, too.

Complaints: Well, I can kinda see why they sent Hampton “The Exorcist” and his wife through, she did do enough of her style, almost, but I’m surprised they didn’t send her to choreography. But sending Elena through because they knew what Gene could do and “it would be a shame if your wife wasn’t there with you” is a cop-out. She needed choreography, too.

Now to see if I can find watchable video of all the Masterchef I’ve missed.


I won’t be able to live blog every week, and I know it’s difficult to follow along when I do, but I’ve been meaning to get back to blogging, and tonight I have an opportunity to do so while watching SYTYCD.

First, let me say that the two Latin dancers last night really impressed me. That and the blonde girl who pretended she was deaf for a hot second to psych Nigel out. Well played.

Tonight, I am in awe of the gentleman who was first up. What control that man had over his body! Incredible. And I love it when a street dancer gets a pass through to Vegas without having to “prove” themselves in choreography. (Hi, Cyrus). Now I’m settled in, and will unpause the DVR, but not before saying that I’m extremely disappointed ABC has joined the “competition and results in one night” format for DWTS.  It didn’t work for me for SYTYCD  last season, and I don’t think it’ll be any better this. I think it will be just horrible for DWTS. OK, rant over. On with *this* show.

Oh, dear. I saw this in the teaser and I really don’t want to watch this dad dancing. OK, he kept it short and it wasn’t too terrible. Ah, contemporary. Not one of my favorites because I never know what to say about it or watch for. Or what I’m supposed to be feeling. (And I hate that they’ve incorporated it into DWTS, too.) Well, everyone’s crying, so it must be good. Guess she’s going to Vegas. And another commercial break. Way to keep me interested in the hour, Fox.

I don’t think this is going to go well, with this guy who’s dedicating his solo to his grandma. I don’t know why, just a feeling I get. I’m generally wrong, tho, and they seem to be enjoying it. What ever that leaping turn in the air is called, he did well. Ha! I was going to guess choreography. I kinda think it should’ve been.

Oh, cool, another regional dance. This looks like fun. Like a cross between tap and breakdancing. (I’m old fashioned, I can’t distinguish between all those various types there are now.) Ah, I sit corrected. More like a cross between jive/charleston and breakdancing. Makes sense. Let’s see a full performance now. Oh, I hope he goes straight through! Wow! They’ve really raised the bar this season. Looks like a bit of tribal in there. That somersault! Dang! Oh, my, here’s what I saw on the preview. Mary, you asked for it! LOL Hip roll, huh? Yes, he’s even better at this. I bet they make him go to choreography, tho. Yep.

Hmm. Looks like Twitch has a six pack to me. Time to fast forward. Love DVRs.

Well, I was hoping that if they had time to show us Twitch, they’d cut out the idiots completely. Looks like that was in vain. No, that’s not hip hop. That’s club. Hey, he almost did that headstand. Guess they have to entertain the tired judges and audience somehow. I think 26 is too old, anyway. Isn’t the cut off 25? OK, lets see how Cisco does in choreography. I hope he kills it.Wait, what’s he doing? Crap. I think he just screwed up. Yep. Good on Cat, getting him to commit to coming back next year.

Another nice thing about pausing a live performance is getting to fast forward not just through the commercials, but through the horrible performances like that gangam style travesty that’s been shown often enough that I’ve seen enough.

OK, I like tap as much as the next person, but I don’t think this guy is as good as those three who went through a couple seasons ago, and certainly not the “best in ten years” that Mary’s about to give him. Vegas, yes, though. OK, she clarified it to tap. But I still think there were a couple others that were better. Maybe it’s because I don’t know how hard it really is. (Anything that looks that easy has got to be difficult. General rule of thumb, y’all). Day two is looking good.

I wonder if we’re going to get to see these girls who brought their families along actually dance/audition, or just this montage. Well, the brunette in white should go to Vegas. So should pink halter top. Reserving judgement on the military brat, who I think was first. Ah, they’re all going through, and now I’m not sure there weren’t two with pink tops. I meant the second and third, in case I got them mixed up. And the gangam style wasn’t too excrutiating. Commercials.

And I’ve caught up. And why is male exotic dancing less deragatory a way of making money than female? I hope they’re good. Whoo! Yeah, so far. Vegas! Hmm. Interesting choice, but I think they did the same thing last year with Dragon House. Wow. Send them all through! Whoa! I can see why he likes to dance with his shirt off. I would’ve liked to see that first guy with his shirt off to see all the muscles moving like this. SEND THEM THROUGH!!! Oh, I think Nigel’s just messing with them now. I hope so. Ah, well, I’m not too surprised. They were the best two. Shades of Cyrus again. Uh oh. Prince Charming doesn’t look like he’s picking it up. But he’s better than Smiles.Yes!!!! He made it! Most excellent. Yes, I’m old-fashioned and stodgy, and I have this show to thank for enabling me to appreciate street dance in all its various permutations.

Time to switch to CSI, which I will *not* be live blogging, sorry.

Nina Lisa

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