TVTV Recaps

SYTYCD Top 20 Performance Episode Recap

It’s all been fun and games so far for the Top 20 but this week, they’re dancing for votes. With so many routines, let’s just dig in. Be sure to share your favorite routines/dancers in the comments!

SYTYCD Top 20 + Choregraphers Group Performance
Puttin’ on the Ritz by Herb Albert
That was awesome! The Top 20 not only did a group opening number, but it started outside and worked it’s way through the studio. I don’t think they’ve done a routine like that on the show before. Everyone looked great, though it did seem like the animators had the easiest moves as they were mostly seated. It was great to see the choregraphers dancing with them as well, and often not even in their styles (Nigel as the puppet master of the animators!).

Mariah (Hip Hop) & Carlos (Contemporary)
Jason Gilkison’s Jive
Get it Right by Fantasia
That was a super fast moving jive! That was not an easy routine, especially for a hip hop-er for Mariah. Mary thought it needed more bounce to make it look less labored. Wayne Brady wanted them to have more fun, it looked like they were a bit frantic instead of fun. Nigel thought they needed more technique – better flicks, bounce, feet, etc but they had the energy. I dug it, but definitely could tell they were working for those tricks and flips and flicks. Great effort from both of them though as this was a extremely fast routine and neither of them are ballroom dancers.

Jasmine (Jazz) & Alan (Ballroom)
Travis Wall’s Contemporary
Can’t Help Falling In Love (Live at Daytrotter) by Ingrid Michaelson
Blindfold dance – love is blind
Wow, that was incredible. That would have been a fantastic routine even without the blindfold hook. Wayne loved that while watching them, he was never worried about them messing up, even with them blindfolds, because they were in such control. Nigel thought the blindfold hid the full emotion in Alan’s face, but Jasmine shone through. Mary loved how light Jasmine’s work was – she was floating on that stage. See the amazing routine for yourself:

Malice (Contemporary) & Jade (Animator)
Travis Wall’s Jazz
Silver Screen (Shower Scene) by Felix da Housecat
I liked the touch of black & white shots in the beginning and the end. While the clothes were very 20s, the music was so modern. Nigel saw their dress rehearsal and thought it was poorly danced, but this finished routine was like night and day. Jade’s never partnered with anyone before, and ended up being there for her the whole time. Wayne Brady thought Jade turned this in to “So You Think You Can Pimp”, but does think he needs to work a bit on polishing his technique. Mary loved his confidence and how he’s not shy in his movements. Malice got in touch with her internal diva and danced with much more maturity than I was expecting her to get to so early on in the competition.

Jenna (Ballroom) & Tucker (Contemporary)
Tyce Di’orio’s Broadway
That’s All by Kevin Spacey (Beyond the Sea Soundtrack)
Mary thought it was playful and fun, it made her so happy watching. She thought they looked like broadway stars up there. Wayne got a little tongued tied, it was that good. He was reminded of Donald ‘Conner (Singing in the Rain) and Cyd Charice. Nigel thinks they’re a power couple and can’t wait to see their future routines together. All that praise from the judges, but personally I was left indifferent. Yeah, it was playfun and cute but I don’t think people will finish this episode and really remember it. I don’t think it’ll stand out against a couple of the routines we’ve already seen and there are still 6 more routines to go tonight.

Brittany (Ballroom) & BluPrint (Animator)
Sean Cheesman’s Afro-Jazz
Drumming Circle by Professor Trance & The Energizers
Wayne thought BluPrint is following in Twitch’s footsteps – he’s much more than just an Animator. Wayne “didn’t expect [Brittany] to have the motherland” in her. Nigel thought that was one of the best routines he’s ever seen a non-trained dancer do; it’s incredible that he’s hardly ever done choreography before. Mary puts them on the hot tamale train and even stands up for their performance. I was expecting this to be a bit rough, but it was amazing to see BluPrint excel in a style very different from his own. Watch the routine here:

Alexis (Tapper) & Nico (Contemporary)
Christopher Scott’s Hip Hop (with some help from Cyrus)
Last Time (Knife Party Remix) by Labyrinth
Nico’s piroette was great, but the routine was kind of boring overall. The routine felt slow and they didn’t hit nearly as hard as hip hop should. Nigel didn’t think they felt that routine and just accepted that they don’t do swag. Mary thought it was more “pleasant-hop” instead of hip hop.

Mackenzie (Contemporary) & Paul (Jive/Latin Dancer)
Jason Gilkinson’s Viennese Waltz
I’m With You by Avril Lavigne
That such a pretty routine. Cat thought it was “very Roman Holiday”. Mary thought it was like a romantic fairytale and would have never known it was their first Viennese Waltz. Wayne thought they should be on top of a wedding cake, they were just so cute. They had such grace and fluidity to their movements. While Mackenzie was great, she’s going to have to do a lot to stand out from the girls. Right now, for me, Mackenzie, Jenna, and Brittany are nearly indistinguishable at this stage in the show.

Jasmine (Jazz) & Aaron (Tapper)
Sonya Tayeh’s Jazz
Bottom of the River by Delta Rae
Jasmine’s slow split down to the floor and all of her extensions/splits were just incredible. She’s so tall, which makes it look so impressive. Wayne thought Jasmine was just amazing and so powerful. He did a pretty amazing Lil C impression also. He was also impressed that Aaron can move with such grace when he’s such a big dude that you wouldn’t expect it. His dad is a Las Vegas singer and Wayne thinks he dances like his father sings, which means – amazing! Nigel thinks he’ll be on the show for many weeks to come and they’re another power couple. Mary loved the technique and thought Aaron danced his heart out up there. It was a great routine, but not among the better Sonya routines. I hope Jasmine gets Sonya again down the road, they could make some great routines working together.

Hayley (Contemporary) & Curtis (Tapper)
Christopher Scott’s Hip Hop
Go by Delilah
Nigel thought they nailed the attitude in the routine. They got the swag they needed to pull of such a story/choreography. Mary thought they had so much stage presence and Hayley was a vixen (by night) up there. Wayne feels like he’s seen up grow up from auditions to now, which is good because he needed to do that in order to believable dance with women like Hayley in a routine like this. This was such an improvement over the other Christopher Scott routine from tonight! I’m very impressed that Hayley was able to get in to that sexy character, since it seems very against type from what we’ve seen of her in auditions and interviews.

Amy (Contemporary) & Fik-shun (Hip Hop)
Sonya Tayeh’s Contemporary
Elsa by The Valerie Project
The storyline of Amy’s problems personified by Fik-shun reminds me of Mia Michael’s Addiction routine set to Gravity. Every moment looked like a great photograph. Cat said it was the “first chills of the season” and everyone gets up for a standing ovation. Mary thought Sonya was bringing out the best of them in the choreography. Mary thought Fik-shun wasn’t even solid in his own style last week and now he’s showing this entirely different side to him tonight. Wayne again compared him to Twitch and even thought this was his style at first. This was Nigel’s favorite routine of the evening and thinks they’ll be in the top 4 from the night. This routine was truly fantastic – the music, costumes, lighting, and of course the dance talent all came together and worked so well. After all the airtime and personality that Fik-shun’s had already this season, he’s definitely the contender for fan favorite. Watch the routine here:

Best Routine
While I loved the final contemporary routine from Amy & Fik-shun, my favorite still goes to the Travis Wall “Love is Blind”. If it had been danced as a normal routine without blindfolds, I still think it’d be my favorite of the night. Plus, this is from two dancers that weren’t even on my radar throughout the audition process and even last week.

Worst Routine
This was definitely goes to the swagger-less hip hop routine from Nico & Alexis. While they’re both great dancers, it’s so early in the show that this may be enough to get the booted. There just isn’t a relationship between them and the viewers and I don’t see the judges sending other dancers home over them based off the routines tonight.

What did you think of the Top 20 Performances? Sound off in the comments!

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The Author

Kristal Bailey

Kristal Bailey

With a soft spot for movies that fall into the “So Bad They’re Good” category, Kristal Bailey regularly watches B-movies, 80s comedies, and sci-fi from the 50s and 60s. She also refuses to grow up if that means she has to hide her love for Disney and Pixar films.

In her free time, she enjoys reading graphic novels or books that are soon to be turned into movies, watching hours and hours of television, and spending way too much time on Twitter.