TVTV Recaps

SYTYCD Top 20 Performance & Elimination Recap

Christina Applegate joins the judges this week. While she’s not known as a dancer, she does have extensive Broadway experience and has been an excellent judge in seasons past and provided some very useful and spot-on constructive feedback. For the first time in the show’s history, they’re getting the eliminations over with in the beginning and the 2 that have to go will still dance with their partners this week. Awkward! But first, there’s the group routine.

SYTYCD Top 20 Group Routine
The Heroic Weather Conditions of the Universe from Moonrise Kingdom Soundtrack
Tyce Di’orio’s Contemporary
I guessed this was Tyce before they officially thanked him for his work. You know how I knew it was him? Because I was bored. A pretty routine with great costumes but no substance or stand out moments – that’s basically Tyce’s M.O.

This week, the bottom 6 are: Carlos, Mariah, Jade, Brittany, Alan, and Mackenzie. I was most surprised to see Alan in the bottom since his routine was the standout for me last week. Luckily, the judges opted to save him and Mackenzie so they didn’t have to dance for their lives.

Overall, the solos were pretty forgettable. I didn’t think anyone really showcased their talent to the best of their abilities, especially Jade with his slow animator routine. However, after they danced, Jade and Mariah ended up surviving for another week. Very surprised they kept the two lesser trained dancers, but as soon as Nigel said they were looking to keep people who could truly grow during this season it was a pretty obvious decision. In case you’re curious, here are the tracks they danced to:
Mariah – Hip Hop / Hard in da Paint by Waka Flocka Flame
Carlos – Contemporary / Radioactive by Imagine Dragons
Brittany – Ballroom / Hacksaw by Ooah
Jade – Animator / De Nova Adagio (Intoro) by Alicai Keys

Favorite Routine of the Night:
It’s a tie!
Mackenzie & Paul
Sean Cheeseman’s Jazz
Mannequin (skeet & Tito Remix) by Trish
Paul’s flips and that body snake was damn impressive. Nigel was shocked Mackenzie was in the bottom 3, but hopefully since this routine was so much stronger than that pretty but boring waltz, she’ll be on more voters’ radar. I loved the music, the story, and they just nailed the movements.

Carlos (eliminated) & Mariah
Stacey Tookey’s Contemporary
Dead in the Water by Ellie Goulding
You have to wonder that if he’d had a chance to perform this before the eliminations if he’d still be going home over Jade. That was a fantastic routine and garnered the only standing ovation from the judges of the night. Mary loved that Mariah did not look like a hip hopper – every single moved just oozed in to the next. Christina got goosebumps from the grace, pain, and beauty in their movements. Nigel thought she was brilliant at emoting. Seriously, so sad to see Carlos going home. And this likely means that Mariah and BluPrint will be partnered together moving forward. With both of them hip-hop/untrained dancers, they are not going to grow as much as they could have with their original partners.

Most Overrated:
Hayley & Curtis
Ray Leeper’s Jazz
“Mama Knows Best” by Jessie J
That was a sexy routine! But did Curtis pull off that bad buy persona? Nigel couldn’t take his eyes off Hayley, so he didn’t know but Mary thought he nailed it. Mary thought they were explosive and Hayley’s a force to be reckoned with. We know she can pull off the sexy, dominating character between this and last week. I want to see her play someone sweet and innocent before she gets stuck in this persona. Christina didn’t think they “oozed into the words” within the choreography and needed to be more fluid to build that sexy anticipation.

Most Improved:
Alexis & Nico
Stacey Tookey’s Contemporary
Old Sknin by Olafur Arnalds & Arnor Dan
Nigel thinks Nico gets better every week. Alexis handled the straight lines of Contemporary very well, which is not something tappers ever do. Mary thought they were uninhibited and really let the music and story take them away. They definitely are the most improved from last week, I hope we see more like this from them than that lackluster hip hop routine.

Most Consistent:
Jasmine M. & Alan
Miriam & Leonardo Tango
Escape from Slavery by PP Music (UK)
The finishing lift was truly fantastic! Mary thought they had passion all over that stage! Given how strong their routine was last week (the blindfolds) I thought for sure they’d be taking a step down this week. However, they had another “moment” as Christina said.

Everything else:
Jasmine H. & Aaron
Tabitha & Napoleon’s Lyrical Hip Hop
Tears Always Win by Alicia Keys
Mary thought their chemistry was unbelievable and Jasmine was an absolute star with her acting skills coupled with her dance moves. Christina thinks they’re the couple to beat – they are just beautiful dancers, a great couple, and very sexy together. Nigel thought there was something very honest about this routine and he even forgot that Aaron was a tapper. He wasn’t even supposed to be on this season and he’s become a stand out for many early on in the competition. It was a solid routine, but up until the last sequence of moves with the flips and partnering I wasn’t blown away. It ended on such a strong note that will definitely help it be memorable from tonight.

Jade & Malece
Nakul Majahan’s Bollywood
Radha by Student of the Year Original Soundtrack
Christina thought it was fun and adorable. She thinks Jade has to work harder than everybody else because she doesn’t want him to be in the bottom 4 again. Nigel’s eyes were just drawn to her throughout that routine. He was shocked Jade picked up that choreography that well, but noticed that he didn’t get the specific hand motions down. They were both really hitting the moves and seemed to be having fun with it. Bollywood is a very joyous style and they definitely nailed that aspect of it. I am glad that Nigel called him out for his lackluster dance for your life solo – he can do so much more than what he fit in that 30 second slow, wave-filled number.

Brittany (eliminated) & BluPrint
Spencer Liff’s Broadway
It’s Oh So Quiet from Ice Princess Original Soundtrack
Christina wanted BluPrint to just let go and have a bit more personality. It’s all about “sell, sell, sell” and BluPrint was a little too reserved for this routine.

Amy & Fik-shun
Tabitha & Napoleon’s Rachet
After Party by Dorrough Music
Fik-shun has just so much personality! That was fun and hard hitting. Christina thinks he’s really something special, and she’s so talented that she brings him up even more. They both just light up the stage when they dance. Nigel thinks that if they can keep this up, they’ll make it to the finale. Bold words for so early in the tournament!

Jenna & Tucker
Demitri Chaplin’s Cha Cha
I Like it Like that Aaron Jerome Remix by Pete Rodriguez
Mary thinks everything she does is going to be her element, like a chameleon. However, Tucker was missing the rhythmical action in his movements. Christina was so engrossed in the story and characters. She also commended him on his “raw dirtyness” that most contemporary dancers couldn’t do. Nigel thought there wasn’t enough Cha Cha in there, it blended in a bit of Jazz that dilutes the entire premise of the show. His beef was more with the choreography though than anything they necessarily did wrong. While valid criticism, I don’t know if saying that publicly was the best route. Voters aren’t voting on what choregraphers were best, they’re voting on the dancers. It’ll be too bad if they end up in the bottom based off criticisms based off things outisde of their control.

Bottom 4 Predictions:
Jade, Tucker, Hayley, Jenna

What did you think of his week’s So You Think You Can Dance? 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.