SYTYCD Recap: Repeat Offenders

Heading into last night’s Mia Michaels tribute episode of So You Think You Can Dance, I was a little worried the judges would get so caught up in praising new renditions of the choreographer’s seven most memorable routines that their actual critiques would be reduced into something of a “You get a gold star! And you get a gold star! And you get a gold star!” mess.

What I wasn’t expecting was the sight of Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy in a bad cop-bad cop routine, interrogating dancers beneath a single, swinging lightbulb to determine whether or not they’d put in enough hard work and homework to be worthy of standing at the precipice of the Top 10 — and a spot on the SYTYCD 2012 tour. (Guest judges Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt of the Ballet Boys, meanwhile, played the role of the precinct’s befuddled temporary desk clerks, relying mostly on generalities to mask their total lack of knowledge about the SYTYCD universe. Of course, maybe their role was to make Katie Holmes look competent and critical by comparison?)

The episode started out with a tremendous new Top 14 routine of Michaels’ creation featuring frizzy-haired ladies clinging to ropes that hung from the rafters, writhing men trying to get with them, and plenty of climbing, leaping, kissing, and whirring for everyone. Eliana, in particular, proved her fearlessness by clasping the ropes and leaping well out into the crowd — her face a mask of pure, joyful abandon. If she doesn’t make the finale, it’ll be a robbery so insane, it could fuel the plot of Ocean’s 15.

From there, though, it was a rollercoaster ride with rusty wheels — a creaky, unsteady affair that had its peaks and its exhilarations, but too often stalled beneath the weight of lofty expectations and comparisons to the original versions of the routines done in SYTYCD seasons past.

For the purposes of this recap, though, I’m going to try to judge each routine on its own merits — did it work, or didn’t it? — without referencing the original SYTYCD rendition, and whether it surpassed or fell short of that standard. And so without further ado…

DANCE OF THE NIGHT Lindsay Arnold & Cole Horibe I’ve never felt so much from a contestant dancing so coldly, but as the face of addiction tormenting Lindsay’s ragdoll frame, Cole brought to life a strange, impish villain that’ll probably haunt my nightmares for weeks to come. Lindsay, for her part, completely inhabited her character without overplaying it — a stellar effort that should keep her far away from next week’s Bottom 3.

RUNNER-UP | Eliana Girard & Cyrus Spencer The judges were right that Eliana dominated the proceedings with her stunning flexibility and easy sexuality — I’m surprised the door itself didn’t turn to dust out of sheer deference — but Cyrus brought some of his own “touching the electric fence” jitteriness to the stage, too. Sometimes on SYTYCD, it seems as though the serious “issue” routines get more praise than the more lighthearted fare, so here’s hoping fans didn’t forget to vote for this crowd-pleasing intro number (or at least its female half).

BEST STORYTELLING | Witney Carson & Chehon Wespi-Tschopp I agreed with Mary that Chehon could be ever so slightly looser in his movement, but without even knowing the backstory of “the bench” routine — woman loves man; man loves woman but isn’t in love with her because he’s gay; man and woman engage in awkward non-starter courtship till he walks away — every emotion and every nuance of the tale was totally evident. I loved how Whitney completely surrendered to the movement — her leap off the bench into Chehon’s arms was the most fearless thing we’ve seen on SYTYCD since Melanie’s Tookey-ian dive in Season 8. And Chehon, for his part, may be the best pirouetter (is that a word?) in the history of the show. The Ballet Boys offering him a job at any time and any place only confirmed it.

WORST STORYTELLING| Matthew Kazmierczak & Audrey Case Even with Mia’s reminder that the piece was about reconnecting with her late father in the afterlife, all I could get from the actual execution was a pair of twee, peekaboo-playing nincompoops tip-toeing through the tulips. Nigel may have seemed way harsh when he grilled Audrey about whether she knew how old Mia was when her dad died, or pointedly asked Matthew if he knew what Mia’s dad did for a living, but I didn’t think it was unfair to delve into what intention — if any — they tried to bring to the floor. The only thing more tone-deaf was watching Audrey perkily hold up the “vote No. 5!” hand while Matthew, who clearly realized he’d been marked for elimination, appeared to suppress a world-class crying jag.

MOST QUESTIONABLE CRITIQUE | Tiffany Maher & George Lawrence II Was it just me, or did the judges completely get it wrong when they told Tiffany she’d “overperformed” her part in the gorgeous “Hometown Glory” routine. The tactility of the intro was amazing — with George and Tiffany bouncing off that invisible forcefield, and then seemingly massaging a mass of actual liquid with their hands — and my only problem with the assisted run was the surprisingly poor camera work that failed to capture it in all its glory. My suspicion is that Tiffany’s critique was less a commentary on her performance, and more a way to set up her exit at the end of next week’s hour. (Someone’s got to go, right?)

ROUTINE I NEVER REALLY LOVED | Amelia Lowe & Will Thomas I know “the Butt Dance” is an Emmy-winning piece of choregography, but to me, it’s kind of a one-trick badonkadonk, with too much “ha cha cha” miming and not enough real sexual tension. To my eyes, Will displayed a surprisingly light touch for such a big hulking guy, while Amelia danced perfectly well, without necessarily investing fully in the back end of the routine (pun intended). I hate to see this partnership end, to be honest, but we’ll always have those alley cats, yes?

MOST IMPROVED | Janelle Issis & Dareian Kujawa The judges were right that Janelle had a lot less to do than Dareian in the “Dreaming With a Broken Heart” mattress piece — she does get an A for hairography, for whatever it’s worth — but Dareian was something of a revelatio in this routie. That one-armed twist that turned the mattress into a trampoline was a jaw-dropper, and his general agility (and crazy-perfect abs) absolved him of the clunky feet the judges are always criticizing.

As for the week’s eliminations, it was pretty clear how it would play out even bfore the solos were danced. With Amelia, Janelle, and Lindsay at risk, Janelle was the obvious goner (plus, her belly dance was sexy, but just not all that different from her prior solos), and it was going to be next to impossible to eliminated the blonde ballroom baby after her awesome Addiction piece. When Amelia’s solo came across as a wee bit slow and clumsy, and Lindsay delivered a lightning fast display of 10-foot-long legs and whirling pink fringe, Nigel’s choice became even more clear, and Amelia’s journey ended. As for the guys, Matthew could’ve turned water into wine in his solo and still gone home, leaving George and Dareian dancing for the final spot in the Top 10. I actually thought the latter contestant’s solo was more compelling — his fast pirouettes and sick displays of flexibility left nothing in the tank — but George’s general consistency (and better feet, I suppose) saved him in the end.

Now, as for the next set of results, a few predictions:

Audrey Case
Tiffany Maher
Will Thomas
Cyrus Spencer

Audrey Case
Tiffany Maher
Will Thomas
Cyrus Spencer

What did you think of this week’s SYTYCD? Who was best in show? What did you think of this week’s eliminations? And who will and should be in the bottom next week? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. I agree with you on the judges setting up Tiffany’s elimination. Somebody has to go and it will likely be either Tiffany or Audrey since they’re almost interchangeable.

    • Lu says:

      Nooo! I am way more impressed with Tiffany. The tulip dance was awkward and Audrey although a beautiful powerful dancer doesn’t have the same expressiveness as Tiffany that molds into any dance (so far). I think Eliana should go. I always find her a bit stiff compared to the others. And the original version of the door routine was more passionate and felt spontaneous — this version felt like a bland remake.

      • I think that could be said for almost every dance last night and I agree that both girls have been standouts thus far, but Elianna is probably the most talented of the girls remaining and Witney and Lindsey simply have bigger fanbases and their friendship story-arc is still probably garnering them some mutual fans. I don’t think its fair, but I do think this next week we will see either Tiffany or Audrey get sent packing.

        • dance troll says:

          Not sure how big Whitney and Lindsey’s fanbases are since they’ve both been bottom 3 at some point. Though I do think Whitney’s picking up fans somehow despite Lindsey being better all around on the show.

          • Jake says:

            Clearly the judges critiques are biased knowing who is in the bottom. Also, last night exemplified what is wrong with this show…the contestants are dependent on good choreography/music and they have no control over that…Michael, I wonder how you would rank each dance without taking consideration choreography…my guess is your ranking would not veer off too dramatically from your ranking of last night’s performance…it’s easier to make an impact “being” an addict that being a girl with dancing bum…this show should just be called “So You Think You Can Choreograph” because, seriously, it’s not like a great dancer can save themselves if they get stuck with an unimaginative dance.

          • If I had to put my money on a girl at the moment it would be Witney, I think her bttm 3 appearance was a fluke. And I agree that Audrey and Tiffany not being there yet is impressive I actually can’t see either of them making the finale. I think the finale will consist of Witney and Eliana and probably Cole and Cyrus.

  2. amelyrose says:

    I miss the old stage!! And can you please brin back the cameraman from the earlier seasons? They seemed to be doing a much better job than the ones they have right now. Maybe I would have enjoyed Tiffany’s work better if the camera wasn’t all over the place! And I really don’t agree with you … I though The Addiction routine was laughable at best. I didn’t felt the emotions at all.

    • djm says:

      I totally agree – the camera work in earlier seasons was far superior to what we saw last night. I also agree about the “Addiction” dance – sorry, but Cole is no Kupono and his robotic movement did not in any way, shape, or form represent something that could be considered “addictive”. When Kupono danced it he was menacing, dangerous, sexual and evil – he embodied someone that I could see another person being addicted to – or a substance or behavior or whatever. The way Cole danced it last night I felt at the end that it would be easy to walk away from him – there was nothing to pull her back in, which is what addiction is all about.

      • tripoli says:

        Agreed. I don’t think any of the routines lived up to the originals. In particular the addiction one. I haven’t faithfully watched the show the past few seasons, but I’ve caught most of this season. With that said, there was no comparison for me with that routine. I can remember how wowed I was by Kayla and Kupono and although the tribute routine was good, it was pretty lacking. You described the original performance so well and ht all the points about Kupono’s performance that made it si mazing. It was chilling and really easy to feel that pull of addiction that was being played out.

        • KevyB says:

          I could not disagree more. I remember distinctly watching the original routine and thinking Kupono was making mean faces but his dancing wasn’t the slightest bit menacing. The success of the original was about 80% due to Kayla. While Lindsay didn’t match her intensity, she at least left that annoying ballroom girl far behind. And Cole was menacing in both his performance and his dancing. And I think the routine ended up being more successful because the performances meshed far better this time.

          As for Michael thinking Dareian’s solo was better. Sorry, but I have no clue why he chose to do a routine which was basically a showcase for his Fred Flintstone feet. Dareian is great above the waist, but if you watch his feet, he never gets them very high or very straight. When some English newbies notice them in a routine that doesn’t require as much feet action, I knew he was a goner. His solo sealed the deal. Though why keep George, whose spent more than one week in the bottom, and send home Matthew, who was there for his first week?? And then add insult to injury by telling Matthew he needs to connect with the audience? If George was connecting with the audience, he wouldn’t keep showing up in the bottom!

          • Temperence says:

            I’m with you. Cole’s version was totally different, but still a fascinating embodiment of a concept.

          • Liz says:

            Totally agree. Something about George always leaves me cold. Technically he is excellent, but I always think meh when I see him. Good dancing shouldn’t leave you that way. Matthew may be less refined, he has less experience so that’s natural. But something about him always made me want to see more.

      • Rain says:

        djm – thank you, I was just about to write almost the same comment about the difference between the 2 routines. Kupono’s sensuality with the dance really captivated you and and made you understand why someone would keep being drawn back. While I love Cole, his robotic performance ruined the whole idea of being seduced into addiction and just left me cold.

    • Dee says:

      I thought the addiction routine was ok, it was no way shape or form better than Kuppono and Kayla… I like Eliana and Cyrus, but the door routine fell short, really really short. This was a terrible idea, all this episode shown was how the dancers from past seasons were beast compared to the decent dancers.

      • Dee says:

        *this season

      • Rain says:

        Agreed. I thought this whole concept of redoing Mia’s work was an epic FAIL! I adore Mia, and some of these routines are in my top 5 favorite of all time, but not one of the performances this week manged to even come close to how good they were performed in the past. All this did was remind me how much better past contestants are compared to the crop this year.

    • sfbsailor says:

      I agree that the current high tech stage actually detracts from almost all of the dance performances. All of the mia michaels routines were originally performed on a much more organic stage. When you see all that glitz lighting and crap in the background it definitely distracts. in my opinion, most of the production values for the past couple of years have been far inferior to past years! I agree that the camerawork often sucks and, as many have pointed out, the music often sucks big time!

  3. Amy says:

    Loved Cole and Lindsay but, really….could they not have done something different with her hair?? Kayla’s had that just from the shower or else not washed in weeks look that just added so much to the desperation of the character. Linsday’s was in her face for most of the dance and was so irritating. Cole was stellar.

    • D says:

      I HATED all of the hair on the females this episode, with the possible exception of Witney. Even Cat’s hair was horrific.

      • yah_i_said_it says:

        Yes, blech, the hairography this season has been ridiculous, although Audrey has seemed to be able to beg wardrobe for a hair tie. I firmly believe that part of Melanie’s appeal (and sasha) is that you could see their emotion from every angle as they performed. Not that any contestant this year has 1/4 of their stage presence or conviction.

        This season is starting to resemble an SNL spoof, which makes me sad and angry. When your results show has been cancelled due to ratings WHY eff with what remains in any semblance of a format. One week this happens, the next week it arbitrarily changes, very little chance to know the dancers before they are booted, and lack of authentic judging because they already know who is in the bottom. For the first time in nine seasons I’m rarely even rewatching performances. Where are the hilarious guest judges from last year? Mary’s witty commentary? Cat is being spun around in so many directions that she has no opportunity to shine and snag that emmy. I’m so afraid that this is indicative of the show’s last gasp, especially with a bizarre Mia tribute.

        Tonight was particularly awful. The poor dancers trying to fill legendary shoes when we are barely even given nine seconds to know them, then being berated (on air, and on twitter since then) for not doing their choregraphy homework by a strangely nasty Nigel, subdued Mary, and the awkward, bored, bemused ‘Ballet Boyz’ who were too arrogant to even scribble a name down or research the show at all. I’m sure Witney would have appreciated any sort of acknowledgement on her amazing performance rather than blather on how ‘great Salt Lake dance schools are’. What a twat..and Titch?? Titch???

        Please, dance Gods, let the allstars and couple change ups breathe life into my favorite show with what episodes are left in this embarassment of a season..

  4. I really like Will, but I think Amelia was holding him back. I’m excited to see what he can do with a new partner. I wish Matthew could have stayed a well.

    • Will says:

      Really? I thought Amelia was amazing and that Will was this goofy guy who was wildly out of her league in dance skill the whole time. That stupid head bopping in the dance this week made it even worse. Maybe I’m off base because I haven’t even paid attention to him while Amelia was dancing, but I think that kind of speaks for itself.

    • Rain says:

      I’m interested in what Will will be like now as well. In his packages I’ve always like him, but I disliked Amelia so much that I think it biased what I thought of their routines.

  5. Ann VerWiebe says:

    I was bummed out that they sent 4 home last night since they had two weeks off. Fox is really burning through this season as fast as possible.

  6. Forwarddad says:

    The whole episode was flat. Ballet dudes were clueless Titch???? I was a bit surprised they let Amelia go but I always felt she was do much like last years winner Melanie that she didn’t stand a chance. I am not a fan of Witney though it’s obvious Nigel is….

  7. big cheddar says:

    Was it just me, or did Mia look really pissed after Cole & Lindsey performed the “Addiction” dance?

    The double eliminations suck! Amelia was robbed, but Lindsey absoluted killed in her performance last night, so she really did deserve to stay.

    And I agree with you, the two guest judges were absolutely useless last night. How rude is it to not even know the contestant’s names? Also, couldn’t they at least hit youtube the hour before to watch the original performances to get a base understanding of what they were going to see? Jeez-a quick search and the could have found an interview with Mia AND links to all the dances posted Tuesday night!

    • I have a sneaking feeling that Nigel asked them not too. There was absolutely no way that Nigel and Mary would be impartial because these are some of the most iconic and beloved routines in SYTYCD history so they had to find judges who could look at the performances based on what was actually happening now not what was done before. None of our standard judges could do that because they are all addicted to the show.

      • EveatEden says:

        I agree. I thought the judges not knowing the routines or the past contestants was a positive thing. I also think they were very knowledgable judges and I’d rather have them over a Katie Holmes or others who know very little about dance.

        • Corky says:

          Please tell me one critique they actually gave that was knowledgable except commenting on Dareian’s feet and offering Chehon a job. They couldn’t even be bothered to get the dancers’ names! They were rude and bored and I am not sure they even knew what show they were on or even who Nigel was. Clueless and I agree with Michael they indeed made Katie Holmes look brilliant–at least she cared.

  8. SR says:

    It bothers me that the Tiffany Maher & George Lawrence II dance was changed from the original. The choreography was different and for me that is hard not to notice. Instead of dancing at one point Tiffany did an awkward walk about with straight arms and the original had Katie dancing, Another pivotal move from the original choreography was the jump and catch that had Katie jumping straight across in front of Joshua and his stopping her (picture her jumping through a hoop made of his arms), this was changed into a strange lift. I am not comparing the dancers I am comparing the routine.Although I have to say that the routine to me seems more jarring than the first and it was not as moving to watch. The assisted run wasn’t an assisted run and they were right to comment on it. Instead of running Tiffany stepped and took a leap. It almost seemed to flow less well than the previous routine and like they were rushing things to try to fit everything into the music. I found it funny to note Cat’s little quip about “murdering and battle wounds” it didn’t sound like a complement.

  9. Watching this episode just made me realize how much I miss seeing Katee dance!

    • big cheddar says:

      No kidding! What a phenominal dancer. I thought it was interesting that two of Mia’s iconic dances were performed by her. I also miss Kayla.

  10. I think that you are grossly underestimating Cyrus’s fan base if you think he is going to be in the bottom next week. If that jive couldn’t bump him into the bottom then his pretty darn good work this week probably isn’t going to. I know he threw a different interpretation in there that people are either going to like or hate ( I liked it, my best friend who is equally addicted to the show hated it) but he really did do a good job. Eliana was amazing of course. If she doesn’t win for the girls it will be a crime. I’m super excited to see her dance with someone else. I think that Gravity/Addiction saved Lindsay’s perky little butt. The judges seem so fixated on Amelia’s “quirky star quality” that if she hadn’t underwhelmed the Butt Dance and Lindsay rocking the Addiction piece Lindsay would have been sent packing. Once again I respectfully disagree about George but I’m used to that now. I thought that routine was heavy and awkward with Tiffany’s much larger height and frame and George’s more slender build. The tactile movement in the beginning was very good but the lifts felt clunky and heavy and the assisted run was no where near as good. George just doesn’t have the upper body strength to lift Tiffany like Joshua did with Katie. Joshua practically levitated her all the way across the floor. Of course it probably doesn’t help that Tiffany and George are almost the same size unlike brick house Joshua and waif Katie. Also Tiffany and George have no chemistry. Zip, Zero, Zilch. As for Darien and Janelle… meh. That routine really depended on the chemistry between the partners and it was just missing. It’s kind of par for the course though because I’ve never seen couples with chemistry as good as season 4. Twitchington, Joshua and Katie, Mark and Chelsea, Courtney and Gev…. That season had couple chemistry that was ridiculously intense. Even if it was all on one side it still managed to come through in the dance. Could someone please tell me what in the heck Hawaii does to it’s dancers to make them so insanely good as character dancers?! First Mark, then Kupono and now Cole. This is crazy. Cole is my pick to win for the boys. He has that quality that I love so much in Mark’s dancing where he takes on a character and doesn’t over act it because he IS it.

  11. Kam says:

    Nigel keeping Whitney 2.0 was a mistake. Amelia is a better dancer and brought something different. They are getting rid of all the unique dancers. You can tell which ones they set up to be in the bottom. Cole and his partner were the best last night. I didn’t like enjoy the bench piece as they seemed to.

    Regarding the guest judges…did Nigel owe someone a favor? They didn’t seem interested or even care to do their research. Saying you heard about the pieces, but didn’t care to see them is rude and tacky. Not caring to write down the contestants names, is rude. Please don’t have them on again.

    • Sha says:

      no offense, but the only unique thing I find about amelia is her hairstyle and white skin. Her dancing is typical of most average female contemporary dancers. There were only 3 ballroom dancers this season, two now. compared to like 14 contemporary dancers…

      • I totally agree. Although I tip my hat to Amelia for realizing that a signature look would help her get on the show she never showed anything at all unusual for a contemporary dancer in her routines. Of course that is partially her and her partners fault for picking their own style week after week. It’s a little bit NappyTabs fault too because the one week they were outside their genre with hip hop, Nappy Tabs gave them a piece that was jazz not hip hop ::shrug:: If they’d taken bigger chances and stepped outside their style and impressed people then maybe she wouldn’t have gotten eliminated. That being said I never saw anything unique about her except her appearance. Lindsay may not being strikingly different looking but she’s been out of her own style all but one week and she is killing it and keeping up with Cole who is great. That is what this show is about to me. Someone totally outside their comfort zone who can still perform a routine and kill it.

  12. Anissa says:

    I know that both Audrey and Tiffany are good dancers but try as I might I can’t recall them (well Audrey I can but only as she was Matt’s partner). That’s not a good sign. I do wonder what would have happened if Audrey/Matt and Chehon/Witney had swapped dances. I have the feeling Matt would have been stronger in the bench than in the flowers as it was a more dramatic piece. Maybe he wouldn’t have gone home?

    • I seriously doubt that Matt could handle the turns. Travis is one of the best turners(is that a word?) that has ever been on this show. Matt doesn’t have anywhere near a good enough center to have pulled those off and Cheon did them without even breathing hard. There is a fluidity to the spins that just doesn’t work if you don’t have a perfect center. I do feel bad for Matt and Audrey as I think they got the weakest routine of the night but they definitely wouldn’t have been able to do the Bench routine.

  13. Danny CInicic says:

    The new format makes it pretty easy to know who will be booted as the judges definitely twist their comments to criticize those in the bottom three from the previous week more harshly. It was SO obvious who was going last night. Even if they danced well they were smacked upside the head for something.

  14. SR says:

    i also have to say that I think Nigel is getting more and more outragous about his sexual harrassment to the female dancers and his comments are starting to make me question why no one has said anything. I feel sorry for the people who end up on his casting couch. Also Mary was showing her colors last night and who she wants to win by wearing a number 6 on her shoulder all evening. How are the contestants supposed to feel when they already know that the judges want certain people to win and are actively wearing signs to show it? This is by no means a show where a caller’s vote matters anymore. Let’s be honest it is all about who Nigel thinks will get him the best ratings and the larest revenue in ticket sales on the road.

    • Danielle says:

      How is Mary wearing the number 6 on her shoulder in any way related with her wanting Cole to win? Because he clearly is the judges’ pick to move forward. The only thing he gets that is in the neighborhood of criticism is things like, “You’re so perfect that you might be considered boring…but you’re NOT!!!”. They’ve toned it down a little after the Melanie over-praise-fest, but it has a very similar feel to it.

      • D says:

        I thought Cole was #7 anyway… Chehon was #6.

      • SR says:

        Mary absolutely GUSHED over Witney last night. GUSHED. She did not say any bad to Chehon either. They were number 6. My point is that the JUDGES should be fair and shouldn’t be wearing any numbers or ANYTHING that would show their bias in anyway during a voting episode.

        • Danielle says:

          Mary criticized Chehon once again about his being “stiff”. It’s become a meme with her. The person she gushes about is Cole on the boys side and Witney on the girls side. And I was being sarcastic about her wearing the number 6 on her person. First, I didn’t even notice. Second, do you really thing people are going to be swayed by some imagined subliminal suggestion? I voted for a couple of dancers, but had to replay the tape to even know what their numbers were. Once I found out, I didn’t scan the screen hidden displays of those numbers. Who knows, maybe I missed Will’s number tatooed on Nigel’s forehead. My point? Ridiculous.

          Next time, I will make an effort to find Cole’s number hidden in Cat’s dress pattern. He is the Chosen One (no criticism, except for Adam being annoyed with his nerd character). Has been the CO since top 20.

          • SR says:

            @ Danielle I am sorry you feel the need to get into an argument. Do I feel that people will be swayed by subliminal suggestion? No. Do I feel that it is wrong, unfair and biased for judges of any competition to wear, promote or express their “vote” before or during a competition? YES.
            First, a show like this should have people that are cognizant of the fact that they should not wear anything on their person that could be taken as promoting one contestant over the other. Sure they are allowed to give their opinion, but judging from the facebook page for SYTYCD etc, people notice. Second, this was not subliminal, it was obvious.
            Also you probably had to go back to the tape to see the phone numbers but in all likelihood you remembered who danced first, who danced third, who danced sixth and who danced seventh?

    • KathyB says:

      Just as an FYI – the 6 pin is part of a campaign for military veterans:

      • SR says:

        Thanks KathyB. I was unaware of this program and I had not heard them even mention it on SYTYCD. If they haven’t, then they certainly should as it looks like a great program. I appreciate your letting me know what it was all about and helping to spread the program’s message.

  15. montie329 says:

    I was really surprised they let Matthew go. I like George’s dancing but he has been in the bottom three every week, which means the viewers aren’t voting for him. Matthew and Audrey were a good team although their salsa wasn’t good and their routine last night was only average. I wasn’t surprised they kept Lindsay based on her addiction routine, which I thought was great. However, Nigel didn’t apply the same thought to Amber the previous week. Her dance with Brandon was incredible that night, but Nigel didn’t take it into account when eliminating her and he should have. Amber and Brandon were terrific (her other partner, Nick, was terrible) and had great chemistry. I think Eliana is a beautiful dancer but having Cyrus as a partner has been terrible for her. I hope this coming week she gets a great all-star partner and fabulous choreographer so we can all see what she is capable of. She is my pick to win the girl dancer. Haven’t fallen in love with any of the guys. I thought Cole was creepy-good last night, but hated his nerdy dental patient thing a couple weeks back. Can’t they let him just dance without having a character? Does anyone know who the all-stars will be?

  16. Dee says:

    I think that this season isn’t as good as past seasons, because we’re already in the top 10, and I’m not that invested. This is definetly one of the weaker seasons to me. Some of the dancers aren’t even memorable and that’s pretty bad considering how far we are into the competition. The guest judges were terrible, besides not being familiar with anything about the show, they didn’t really offer much of a critique to be dancers themselves. Lindsay is always in the bottom, yet they keep saving her. It’s time for her to go, she really isn’t as great as they make her out to be.

    • Tom_b says:

      We’re in the top ten but we’ve only seen 3 performance shows. That’s why I think that I’m not invested in any of them. I would have preferred that they stick with a top 16 rather than the bloodbath eliminations they are having. And they have cut interview time in half to that Nigel and Mary can run off at the mouth and still have time for the elimination, so we know less about them. And now in the final weeks, when it used to be solely up to the vote, it appears that Nigel will still be able to save his favorites. Maybe the all stars next week can help save this muddled season.

    • Playhouse says:

      Have to agree. Economics be damned, the show should’ve kept the two-night format. Hopefully, next summer they’ll get the chance to go back to it.

  17. EveatEden says:

    Cole, Lindsay, Eliana and Cyrus better be safe. Audrey, Tiffany, George and probably Will should be the bottom next week. If Lindsay, Eliana or Whitney go home before Audrey or Tiffany I’ll be pissed. Still mad that at least one of them was not in the bottom 3 this week to get sent home. I did’nt think Amelia was great this week but I still like her better than either of them.

  18. MAS says:

    I appreciated the concept, but ultimately think bringing back these stellar routines did no one any favors. Even when Darien and Cyrus added something, they still weren’t tWitch. tWitch had the performance down and that made him fun to watch. Darien did a stellar job and had some amazing moves and if there was nothing to compare it to I would have probably loved it.

    I also really don’t get the Cyrus love. Love his talent and love an underdog story, but I don’t seem him improving or progressing. Now that he has made the tour so people can see him live, can we please let him go home?

    • tewence says:

      i agree about cyrus…he didn’t really do anything in the door routine last night. however, i could watch him all day doing his specific style.

    • TheBeach says:

      I agree. Last night’s show was set up to fail from the get-go. When you dedicate an entire show to one choreographer and choreo (contemporary) and make it all about re-dancing lots of dedicated viewers’ sacred routines originally performed by favorite past contestants, there’s no way not to compare them, usually unfavorably. Dumb idea, Nigel! I also thought it telling and somewhat hilarious that when each of the contestants recalled their favorite past dances, not one of them named a Mia number.
      I’m sure he’s a terrific guy but I find myself more and more irritated when other much more talented dancers are sent home while Cyrus advances.

      • Larry says:

        ”I’m sure he’s a terrific guy but I find myself more and more irritated when other much more talented dancers are sent home while Cyrus advances.” No kidding. Cyrus is only good WHEN HE DANCES IN HIS OWN STYLE. He has not proven adept at anything else. Sure he\’s fun, and his own style is cool, but come on. At least Russell and Legacy proved they were strong dancers in other styles, but this season the choreographers seem to just throw in animation in every routine and that’s it.

        • tripoli says:

          Is it really even about crowning the best dancer? The average person is going to vote for whoever they like, largely due to personality, rather than the dance skills they possess. Seems to be the norm for most reality shows. Vote for who you like and connect with, even if they aren’t the most skilled/talented.

  19. Playhouse says:

    I have to say I was really disappointed this week. I’m all for praising Mia’s work on the show, but the idea of recycling 7 dances from previous seasons was both unkind to the dances and unfair to the dancers. The show should be working to create all new moments not get bogged down by the now ever-present nostalgia fetish that seems to be choking most creative projects in Hollywood.

    Nigel attempted to justify this exercise by using the defense that dancers are often asked to step in and do choreography original created for someone else. It’s a fair argument … if you’re dealing with live stage performance. Since this is television, these dances have been immortalized on film (okay, tape) and so many of the audience are already intimately familiar with the original performances. (Not to mention the fact that some of these have already been repeated on the show before; this was actually the third time for the door dance as Katee and Twitch gave their own encore performance of it.) The whole endeavor comes across lazy, a bit too sentimental, and ultimately hollow in comparison to the originals.

    I do have to agree that Cole and Lindsay’s dance was easily the best of these reduxes. It was the only one that really felt organic. The others, while competently danced at points, just felt like lesser imitations. To me, that puts unnecessary pressure on the dancers. Not only are they competing with each other but they are competing with past dancers and indelible images. In the end, that just took away from the whole evening.

    And as much I enjoy Eliana, was I the only one who felt like she was just acting through her part? There was none of the investment or honesty Katee brought to the role.

    • tewence says:

      unfortunately, in the dance world you are always compared to others on every level…and if they are going to try to treat these guys like they would be out in the real world, it would be fair to judge them against the originals. having said that, they haven’t tried to look at them as dancers out in the real world in this manner thus far, so why are they doing that now?

      • D says:

        Well, it was an interesting experiment, but given that they were doing the absolutely BEST routines of Mia, it was destined to fail in comparison to the previous performances (and even the encore performances done by the original dancers).

        • dance troll says:

          They didn’t do only her best. They also did the bed routine, the father routine and the butt routine.

          • tripoli says:

            Those routines are still some of her best and most loved routines. It really was destined for failure. The dancers who originally did those routines are so loved and remembered that redoing what was already so amazing was pointless and in no way endeared any of this seasons dancers to me. If anything, it just proved how far this show has fallen.

  20. Olya says:

    I actually miss SYTYCD Season 2-7. I don’t why, Season 8 just didn’t do it for me. At all. I was happy when the All-Stars were back and that’s it. Same thing this year. I hope something will change. Untill then I just want to rewatch Season 3, 4 and 7.
    As for this week’s episode, I was really happy at first because I loved every single dance Mia choreographed. But when they started dancing… I just realised that they are just not strong enough or not mature enough (it depens on the routine) to pull those dances off. So I was dissapointed. But I have to agree, The Addiction dance was the best of the evening, but still way worse than the original.

    • Me too. I’ve been re-watching most of season 4 and some of 5 today. I miss the more mature dancers. I also miss Wade Robson. Where is he?

      • Olya says:

        YES! Wade! I was so happy when he did a routine in Season 7 and then he just vanished. Remember the old days – The Hummingbird, Night of the Dancing Flame, Ramalama etc.??? Well, I guess I don’t like changes

  21. Trina says:

    the Shankman kiss of death when he told matthew that it was his to lose.

  22. gazebo says:

    Next week my dream would be for Cole and Mark to dance together. Can you even imagine what that would be like? But Mark is probably unavailable – anyone know? I love them both so much and I love that they’re friends.

  23. Ally says:

    Sorry to be a pedant but it’s BalletBoyz…

  24. Carmen says:

    I was really bummed that Amelia got booted. Now it’s the two blonde ballroom dancers that are practically interchangeable, the two tiny brunettes that are also mostly interchangeable (Audrey being the better dancer. Or is it Tiffany?), and Eliana who I hope gets a new dance partner so she can win this thing!

    • Luke says:

      I agree I think Amelia was one of the most interesting and talented dancers. To me she outdanced Randi in the original. I don’t get what Nigel was talking about. If Nigel doesn’t like you – good luck getting him to notice your dancing. The camerawork and editing is far inferior to the earlier years. I really miss the original staging. Show is far less inimate.

      • Dude, you have got to be kidding me. Amelia was no where near as good as Randi and I didn’t even LIKE Randi. Randi had this amazing loose limb flow that almost felt like she was drunk but utterly controlled at the same time. Compared to her, Amelia was stiff as a board. You combine that with the expression on her face that was pure naughty Burlesque and Randi made Amelia look like a little girl trying to copy her mommy dancing. Again, I didn’t even like Randi in her season, I actually like Amelia better than Randi but there is no way that she was better or anywhere near as good as Randi was in the original. Compared to Lindsay who was doing arguably the most difficult piece to copy of the night (and doing a darn good job of it) there was no way that Amelia should have stayed. These double eliminations are harsh but I like it better than on having a top 16 instead of top 20.

  25. Amber A. says:

    This entire season has been as exciting as finding a turkey sandwich in the fridge three days after Thanksgiving. Last night’s episode felt really flat, especially after a 2 week wait. I came to the conclusion that the lack of consistency in new episodes, the quick eliminations, and the one-night-a-week show instead of two, has really damaged this season. Because of the erratic schedule, I can’t remember many of the dancers. Consequently, I have not become emotionally invested in this season. I realized last night that I really just don’t care; and that saddens me.

  26. The Squatch says:

    I really liked Amelia and hated to see her go. She may not be the best female dancer but there was just something about her that I liked. It’s kind of the opposite of that for Cyrus with me. I just don’t get why people seem to like him so much. Outside of his “style” I don’t think he’s very good at all. I admire the fact that he tries so hard and does as well as he can, but I just can’t get behind him. I think my overall favorite dancer would probably have to be Cole. To be honest though, that is more about his martial arts background than his dancing. hehe

    Maybe they can start a whole new Broadway trend in honor of him. “Ninja on the Roof”, “The Ninja of the Opera”, “My Fair Ninja”, “Ninja of La Mancha”, “Hello, Ninja!”, “Les Ninjarables” … all instant classics, I tell ya!

    • Ann says:

      You have nailed what I DON’T like about Cole’s performances. There is that element of “ninja” (which he is very proud of, judging from his tweets) in everything he does, beginning with the so-called hip-hop trio where he used the bat as a marital arts weapon, right through to Weds. performance. I want to see a dancer, not Jackie Chan. Gymnasts do arabesques, but that doesn’t mean what they do is dancing. Cole is the least interesting male left. I’d rather watch Cyrus do one solo rather than see Cole do 5 more contemporary or jazz ninja attacks. His arms and legs fly through the movement, rather than express it.

      • The Squatch says:

        I can totally see where you’re coming from with this and I respect your opinion completely. I fully admit that I am more of a casual fan of dance. I don’t know the names of all of the moves or even some of the styles. I mostly just watch to see an occasional interesting routine. To be perfectly honest, I fast forward through a lot of the modern dance or exceedingly slow routines. As for Cyrus, and this is only my opinion, I don’t really consider most of what he does in his own “style”, as well as what a lot of the other contestants and hopefuls like him, to even be dancing so much as it is just moving his body in weird ways while music is playing. I just can’t see someone winning a dance contest because they have the most “personality”, which seems to be what the judges like most about him.

        As for Cole… as I said, I like him mostly because we share a background in martial arts, but I would never claim he is the best male dancer. He may not even be that good. I don’t know enough about dance in general to judge. I just know what I like. That said, if he did one of those slow modern-type routines, I would fast forward through it as well. heh

  27. VickiH says:

    Now that Amelia is gone, I have deleted the rest of the season from my DVR. That Cyrus is still there, and other much better dancers have left, that they put Cyrus in the Top 20 to begin with, I have had enough. I hope now that Eliana wins for the girls, and Will for the guys (just because I like him the best, not because he is the best).

    • Daisy says:

      I know! I barely feel like watching the show anymore too. I will not be buying a ticket for the tour this year (I have gone the last few years) because I loved Amelia. I don’t get why people hated her so much, but I thought she brought a wonderful quality to her dancing and I loved her partnership with Will. They were my favorite couple. I’m bummed that she won’t be on tour as Will and Amelia’s Love Cats routine was one of my favorites of the season. Then again, they will probably do that dance on tour with a different dancer, which I just don’t think I could tolerate :)

  28. sfbsailor says:

    If I remember correctly, all of these routines were originally performed on a more organic and less high tech stage. In my opinion, this high tech stage actually detracts from most performances and I thought it seriously detracted from all of the mia michaels pieces! I usually skip listening to the judges’ mostly inane comments, but I couldn’t help noticing that the blathering brit started jumping in with comments even before he was called on by the host. While I am grateful that we have this dance show to watch, I find myself disliking the blathering brit more & more as time goes on. I was very sad to see the amelia in the bottom 3 and then cut from the show. She was my favorite and I thought she was the most unique and interesting contestant.

  29. professor1453 says:

    I believe the proper adjectival form of Tookey is Tookeyesque.

  30. Luna Maya says:

    I was literally UPSET that Lacey-Kameron routine “Dancing” was not on the show. I thought the routine would be absolutely perfect for Matthew & Audrey. And now my favourtie lovliest couple has gone T.T

  31. Leni says:

    All of Nigel’s programs are businesses — the entertainment industry, and the contestants are products. Choreography is chosen for the contestants to obtain the results that Nigel wants. The original contestants were chosen for variety, to attract viewers — so many of different races, styles, novelty. But notice that the two best-friend Latin dancing blondes (whom they made an exception in accepting) were paired with the two dark-haired, exotic men with unusual dancing styles (Cole and Cheeyon) — and given the powerful romantic and sexiest dances, the girls always in the most beautiful, flowing outfits. Read: princesses & princes (Cole just gets to play bad boy sometimes.) And that Whitney Houston number — please! Talk about a heart-tugging setup. Other dancers consistently get novelty numbers that don’t create that kind of heat, or that are just too difficult (the tango for Janelle.) When Nigel wants to eliminate someone, he just gives them a really embarrassing choreography, so they look bad no matter how well they dance, damping down the voting and “confirming” his decision. Some contestants (Will and Amelia) never got a serious romantic number at all (the Sonya number was compelling but dark and painful) — they were treated as a novelty duo all along — as though their “unusual” style meant they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) be presented with the kind of chemistry audiences might fully respond to. You can always tell who’s going home when you see the dances that are chosen for them on results night. The less attractive the choreography, you know they’re the goner. That way, there’s a lot less likelihood of backlash toward Nigel afterward. You don’t want somebody he’s picked to leave looking great that night. At this point, I hope Eliana wins — she’s by far the best overall dancer among the girls — and I believe there may have been an agreement at the beginning that she be a mentor to Cyrus in return for being saved if she ever landed in the bottom 3…..

  32. veils and tiaras says:

    I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s
    equally educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I came across this in my hunt for something concerning this.