So You Think You Can Dance Recap: Hard Eight

sytycd willWe’ve reached that point in the So You Think You Can Dance season where every cut is painful, where any negative critique becomes a larger harbinger of impending doom. It’s times like this when we need a guest judge like Jesse Tyler Ferguson, a guy who’s clearly a fan of the show and of every dancer on the stage, and a man whose lightning quick wit provides a much-needed counterbalance to the sting of losing absolutely terrific competitors like Lindsay and Will.

Whether pointing out the difficulty Witney must’ve had dancing in “diaper pants,” or declaring his need for a cocktail after Cole and Allison’s “American Horror Story promo,” Ferguson is that rare persence on the panel who’s genuinely funny, and yet can provide insightful critique despite mistaking gauchos for nachos. If Uncle Nigel decides to use only Ferguson, Christina Applegate, and Debbie Allen in the “third chair” slot in Season 10 (because there just has to be a Season 10, right?) I, for one, would be perfectly content.

As an aside, I’d also be perfectly content if Uncle Nigel continued to shake up the choreography rotation for the remainder of Season 9. Peter Chew’s geishas-and-assassins opening number was strange and memorable, while Luther Brown and Jonathan Roberts both impressed with their first routines of the season.

Anyhow, without further ado, let’s rank the four gals and four guys based on their non-solo routines this week:

Top 4 Gals
1) Eliana and All-Star Ryan, Quickstep: I know, I know, Mary and Nigel have pretty much been declaring Eliana the Season 9 champ for several weeks running, but just because they’re obvious and manipulative doesn’t mean they’re wrong. Eliana was tremendous as the bored and very sexy housewife in this tricky ballroom routine. That “waterfall” into a back layover was positively eye-popping, and as Jesse noted, Eliana has an accessability that makes you feel like you truly know her, even if you don’t. Plus, her smile has enough wattage to power a small city in the event of a weather-related blackout.

2) Witney and All-Star Twitch, Hip-Hop: Like a Pointer Sister, I was so excited to see a harder-edged hip-hop routine instead of the lyrical shmyrical stuff we’ve been getting all season. And Witney brought an interesting mix of femininity and nastiness to the floor, while nailing every fast, furious arm movement, and never once surrendering focus to her equally magnetic partner Twitch.

3) Tiffany and All-Star Ade, Contemporary: When the routine finished, my husband verbalized the thought that was percolating in my head: “Wouldn’t that routine have been more moving had it not been set to Celine Dion’s ‘Power of Love’?” Not to be all music-snobby, but that particular track just seemed a little too…obvious? Over the top? Cornball? And so while Tiffany flew about the stage with the speed and lightness of a hummingbird, and while it was terrific to see Ade back in the mix, the overall effect left me a little less in rapture than the judges, who rose to their feet with a Standing O.

4) Lindsay and All-Star Alex, Jazz: I hate to put Lindsay at the bottom of the pack this week, especially since I’d say that aside from Eliana, she’s been the most versatile, consistent performer on the women’s side overall. And frankly, I’m not even sure it’s Lindsay’s fault that she was fourth out of four this week. The stuttery movements and cacophonous connections she was given by Sonya Tayeh seemed destined to be more intellectually stimulating than truly soul stirring. But you knew when the judges started harping on Lindsay and Alex’s lack of chemistry, and then Nigel declared she had “the ability to be a fantastic dancer,” that the show was fixing to axe the girl who’s always been viewed by our panel as the lesser of the two Utah ballroom powerhouses. I just wish Nigel had publicly acknowledged that it was Lindsay’s solo this week was vastly superior to Whitney’s. Anyone else agree?

Top 4 Guys
1) Will and All-Star Lauren, Hip-Hop: Call me crazy, but I thought Will was hands-down the best of the guys this week, articulating Christopher Scott’s tricky “voice in guy’s head comes to life and helps him through a tough time” routine with real passion and admirable precision. Dude proved to be fleet and sharp, and stayed in sync with a woman who wasn’t even in his line of sight for half the routine. How the panel marked him for elimination is a mystery so bizarre, I half-expect it to be the subject of a Nova episode in 2013.

2) Chehon and All-Star Anya, Tango: This was definitely a sexy dance, almost like watching two satin sheets slowly intertwine atop a mattress, but I thought I caught Chehon looking a little wobbly at the end of those spins with Anya on his shoulders, no? Plus, I missed a little bit of the dynamic tension you’d usually get from a tango, though I’m not sure if that was Chehon’s doing, or the choreography concocted by Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo.

3) Cole and All-Star Allison, Contemporary: In my mind, Nigel’s veiled criticism said it all: “It’s difficult to judge anybody when Allison is dancing.” Indeed, Ms. Holker was so wickedly expressive as the desperate woman of Sonya Tayeh’s piece — her face frozen like a horrified doll when Cole held her upside down with her limbs splayed — that it practically transformed her character into the stronger one when compared to Cole’s more subdued performance. Also, that move where Allison hopped upward, and appeared suspended in the air next to her partner, will be replaying in my mind at least 10 times today.

4) Cyrus and All-Star Melanie, Jazz: I adore Melanie. I adore anyone who adores Melanie. I adore anyone who adores anyone who adores Melanie. But I did not enjoy this trifle of a routine from Mandy Moore, with its synced-up fisticuffs and jauntry struts. When it was all said and done, I couldn’t help but wonder if the choreography had been stripped down to allow untrained Cyrus to master it. Plus, his lifts still look like he’s hauling bags of potatoes to a loading truck. The guy is adorable and admirable, but I’m just not convinced he’s Top 6 material. Still, let’s all thank Uncle Nigel for banging the “America’s favorite dancer” drum, as if the title shouldn’t be synonymous with America’s best dancer.

And before we get to your comments, here’s my rankings of the week’s solos.

1) Lindsay (loved how she made the skirt-cape her partner!)
2) Eliana
3) Tiffany
4) Witney

1) Cyrus
2) Chehon
3) Will
4) Cole

And as for the results…

Bottom 2 Guys
Cole (saved by the judges)
Will (eliminated by the judges)

Bottom 2 Girls
Witney (saved by the judges)
Lindsay (eliminated by the judges)

What did you think of this week’s SYTYCD? Hit the comments with your feelings on the eliminations, and who should advance to the finale!

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!

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  1. Maria says:

    Jesse Tyler Ferguson confused GANCHOS (the hooking of the legs) with nachos. Gauchos are the men of the Pampas. =)

  2. The only thing I disagree with is the tango. That was the #1 dance for me. I’m a sucker for a good tango. I’ve been a tango addict ever since Janette and Brandon murdered that Miriam & Leonardo routine in season 5. And this one was fabulicious as well. :D

    And yeah, totally agree about song choice for the contemporary routine. How many times has Mandy Moore used a Celine Dion song for her routines? It’s super cheesy and it’s getting old.

    Also, Cyrus is putting me off a bit. I don’t like having the judges constantly remind me, week after week, that “oh, he’s never gonna be the best dancer but he has so much personality and gives his all every time he’s on that floor”. I get it. But it’s the same shtick every week. It’s difficult when you have such a unique, out-of-the-box style, but still, I can’t help myself but be annoyed by it. :/

    Finally, Nigel needs to stop expressing his feelings about Lauren every week. We get it, you’re the creep who wants to do the nasty with the poor girl. Ugh.

    Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Christina Applegate FTW!

    • At this point I think the judges are desperately trying to diffuse the hatred being sent their way because Cyrus is still in the competition. They have no control over it. He has NEVER been in the bottom. If he isn’t in the bottom they can’t eliminate him. I think that no matter when Cyrus was in the bottom he was going to be axed but they haven’t had the opportunity and now for some very strange reason everyone is mad at THEM. It’s not their fault if he gets more votes than everyone else. If he’d been in the bottom and not eliminated THEN we’d have the right to be outraged at them. I’m outraged at America for voting him over DANIEL let alone Will, Cole or any of the other boys. I think you mean Witney, not Lauren. Lauren has only been on a couple times but Witney is the one he is creepily commenting on every week. You’ll notice that he was more subtle this week. Amazing what having her daddy staring at you in the audience will do.

      • Liana in San Diego says:

        Totally agree. It’s an absolute travesty that he is still dancing, when better dancers have been sent home. I realize that the Nigel would love for it to be about the favorites, but the show is supposed to be about dancing, not a personality contest. This is outrageous, and simply points to the fact that the public knows diddly squat about dancing. They’re voting for who they like irrespective of their skills. Yes, Cyrus can do what he does well, but that’s it. He cannot dance. It’s ridiculous. I watch for the dancing, but with the exception of Melanie and a few others, I have always been unhappy with the final few.

      • mercedes says:

        I understand your point that there’s nothing the judges can do now, but it was the judge’s desire to have his unique style on the tour that put them in this situation. Cyrus never should have been top 20. It was obvious, even in the early rounds, that as nice as Cyrus seems, he couldn’t dance in any style but his own, and I’m not really sure if it’s dance or performance art. The first time Twitch auditioned he did not make the show. He was told to go home, study other forms of dance, and come back and try out. He did and the results are an extraordinary dancer who deserves all the accolades he gets. If the judges are in the position of having hatred thrown their way, well, they put themselves in that position by putting someone in the top 20 who didn’t belong there. My favorite dancer or the best dancer doesn’t always win, that’s easy to accept. But the winner should be someone who CAN dance.

        • It’s true that they put him into the top 20 but from a producer standpoint it makes sense. Votes equate to ratings and obviously Cyrus is very very good for ratings since he has never been near the bottom. So if you’re thinking like a producer it looks like this: Best case scenario, he gets in the top 20 generates a ton of votes, gets a huge following, his presence on the show generates conflict which in turn is talked about giving the show free advertising and exposure. Worst case scenario, he goes on the show, isn’t very good and gets eliminated in the first couple weeks but they can still say that the show embraces a diversity of dancers and is giving people with less training the opportunity to dance. It’s a win win for them. So as exceptional as he is in his own style there wasn’t a whole lot of risk in putting him through to the top 20. We may not like it as the informed audience but I bet the network and the producers are happy about it. It’s just that the judges are the ones catching the heat for it. Nigel is part of that decision but I don’t think he honestly thought it would ever go this far. He can’t really call it a mistake though when so many people love Cyrus that he is safe week after week. He just has to be caught in the crossfire as the people who love Cyrus out number the ones who don’t.

      • My Alter Ego says:

        Lauren, I agree with your outrage (regarding far better dancers being eliminated before Cyrus — and at the rate we’re going, he may be the “last man standing”) about 500%. Ironically, this is the first year I’ve paid any attention to the show — and, what I get/see is the same irrational process that I’ve learned about AI (in the last couple of years).

        However, it isn’t Cyrus’ fault that the viewer/voters are using flawed logic in their choices.

        • I agree. It’s not his fault. It’s not the judges fault either really. I don’t think it was a horrible decision to put him through to the top 20. I think it just back fired on them when he developed a huge following. I blame the people voting. Not the judges or Cyrus.

        • I do blame the Judges , they keep giving Cyrus a pass during the judging because he does not have formal training ,

          • S. says:

            Someone is also requesting the choreographers to dumb down the choreography. If they did not and made a performance and refused to change their vision, he would not still be on the show. But then again the choreographers would not have a job.

      • Fred says:

        Even though it was not the judges fault, Nigel should not have emphasize so much on “America’s favorite dancer”. He said at one point that they admired Cyrus’s heart in doing all this, so do all the other dancers.
        Stupid Americans should have some sense to see that Cyrus is not capable (at this point) to really dance outside his genres, pity pity.

  3. tjj50 says:

    I do agree that Lindsey had the stronger Ballroom solo. Much more dynamic and better use of the stage. But I definitely think it was her time. It was, what, her third or fourth time in the bottom? She’s done herself proud though! Frankly, I loved the whole night. I thought everyone really brought it, and all the routines, partnering, and solos very strong. I think these next couple of weeks are going to be awesome!! And, I’m sorry, but if there’s even a remote doubt that Fox is going to renew this show, SHAME ON THEM!!! We’ll have to flash mob the Fox corporate offices!!

  4. Agreed that Will was the best guy tonight. I knew before they announced who the bottom 2 of each that Will and Lindsay were goners. The judges always give it away. With Lindsay they doled out heavy criticism to cover. With Will they went heavy on how adorable he was to soften the blow for him. I am very sad to see Will go, he is such an overgrown child, but his sheer joy of dance (like Cyrus) matched with actual skill in more then one style quickly made him my favorite guy. I hope to see him come back as an all star in season 10 because yes there has to be a season 10.

  5. ktbanks says:

    1.) JTF needs to be on all the time. Or at least more than once a season once they go Live.
    2.) Lindsay’s Solo>Witney’s
    3.) I’m totally rooting for Eliana & Chehon at this point, but Tiffany might be the Jeanine Mason of this season.
    4.) The Celine song didn’t really throw me too much….it IS a Mandy Moore piece after all. Obvious, OTT, and cornball songs are kinda her thing. Total Eclipse of the Heart anyone? lol

  6. Mindy says:

    Will should not have been sent home. I still don’t get the appeal of Cole. To me, it seems like the choreographers are making routines to match his look as much as they are Cyrus.

    I also knew Lindsay was a goner, and so did she, when Nigel started with the criticisms. He needs to be a little less obvious on who’s going home.

    • TW says:

      The difference, I think, is that the choreographers are creating routines that showcase Cole’s strengths as a dancer. Nothing wrong with that. I think they actually do that for all the dancers.

      The reverse is true with Cyrus. With Cyrus, they are in the awkward position of having to come up with routines that camouflage his weaknesses and limitations beyond his own genre.

    • djm says:

      I agree – there is no scenario I can create where Will goes home before Cyrus and Cole – it just doesn’t make sense. Sorry – the reason Cole looked good last night was Allison – she was the best thing about that dance. And let’s not forget Cole’s dance with Anya last week – it was a hot mess. I thought Will’s routine with Lauren last night was the dance of the night – I re-watched it like 4 times.

    • Lisa says:

      Weird. I’m not getting the Cole dislike. I actually think he’s one of the best male dancers on the show. Chehon is probably the best male dancer in the competition, but I don’t find him appealing for reasons I’m unable to articulate (I suspect others feel the same given he’s been in the bottom multiple times). The judges basically begged the audience to give him votes because, yes, he is the best male dancer, but he’s obviously not a lot of people’s favorite to watch.

  7. C says:

    I can’t even begin to fathom how Cyrus is still around. I like him. He’s a little bit like cute, lovable Jose from Season 7. And maybe even a little like Tad from Season 8 (though with far less skill). But the fact that I’ve had to watch Will go home, Matthew go home, even slightly meh George go home BEFORE Cyrus seriously makes me question things. I know this is America’s favorite dancer…but I don’t get it. Why would someone clearly less superior in pretty much every respect except personality and a single dance style come out on top of a competitive dance show. This is still suppose to be about dance right? RIGHT?

    • Jenn says:

      Have you seen Uncle Nigel’s other prize cow? This is how it works on American Idol all the time. Granted, Cyrus isn’t the patented attractive WGWG (white guy with guitar), but the situation is still the same.

      • soundscene says:

        Nigel does pull an agenda on both shows, yes (although for some reason it’s more blatant on American Idol), but ultimately the winners are the product of the members of the audience who vote and their particular demographics. That’s what Nigel is playing to. He may care somewhat who the ultimate winner of the competition turns out to be (great winner, great advertisement for the show), but he wants ratings more than anything. With American Idol people think it’s about how successful the winner is after the competition–that’s not what it’s about. It’s about how successful the show is during the season. A money-making winner can help, but a lot of people don’t give a hoot about past winners once they’re off the show.

        With SYTYCD, the idea of a “successful winner” is far more ambiguous because most people don’t follow dance. So while Nigel obviously likes when alumni make good, he is focused on the show’s ratings–who wins at the end isn’t the ultimate point. Cyrus is popular; having a popular dancer around is good right up until it isn’t.

    • Very simple, America votes for him. America votes him out of the bottom so the judges can’t eliminate him. It has nothing to do with Nigel or the rest of the judges or the show. They’ve pointed out his flaws week after week and apparently America doesn’t care because they keep him safe. Saying that this is Nigel’s fault somehow is ridiculous. I think the judges have just been waiting for a chance to eliminate him but they haven’t gotten it.

      • Liana in San Diego says:

        I beg to differ. Nigel is executive producer. He has a choice on how the show is run. He has a choice on what the format will be. Stop giving the public so much leeway. They clearly know nothing about dance and only vote for personality. If this is going to be about dance, keep it that way. Otherwise, change the damn title to “So you are a great personality who maybe can dance….”

        • Seriously? Do you read the comments on here every week complaining that the judges are still eliminating? People are pissed at the judges for not stopping eliminating at the top 10 let alone taking away their ability to put people into the bottom to BE eliminated. The ratings would plummet if they tried to take away more control from America. It may seem unfair to those of us who know dance but if it gets ratings there is no way the Network or the producers are going to change the format to something that enrages most of the fan base on the sole justification that the fan base are too stupid to pick good dancers. That would go over like a lead balloon.

        • Rain says:

          Liana I think you’re missing the point of the show. The public is getting so much “leeway” because without it we’d stop watching. The winner(s) are crowned America’s FAVORITE dancer for a reason, it’s not that they’re the best dancer per se, it’s that they’ve managed to connect to their audience and have gotten them to pick up a phone and call in for them.

          I’m glad Cyrus is still around because he truly seems to be grateful of the experience and every week gives his all. He may not be the best dancer, but every week I’ve enjoyed seeing his smile.

          • My Alter Ego says:

            Yes, but Rain, the show is called “So You Think You Can DANCE,” not “Who Has the Most Winning Smile.”

      • mercedes says:

        As I said earlier, it is Nigel’s fault. Cyrus was put in the top 20 only to make sure they have his unique style on the tour. He never should have been top 20 to begin with. HE CAN’T DANCE!!!

        • Miri says:

          I like other dancers but I have to disagree. Cyrus can definitely dance! His solo is amazing. He just dances well only in his style, but very well.

  8. Monica says:

    While Cole has shown himself versatile and an apt character actor, so has Will–but I find Will the more likable in real life. And isn’t likability THE most important factor in this show, according to Nigel (at least when he’s talking to Cyrus) ? Will has a strength and a grace, and they finally to gave him GREAT meaty routine that really showed off his serious talent, not seen since his Sonya routine with Amelia. Not happy this year. But I DO hope there will be a next year.

  9. Rain says:

    So sad to see Will go, he was such a joy to watch. I would have much preferred Chehon to go. I know he’s a technically beautiful dancer, but I have zero connection to him. I’m not a fan of his partnering, he never has any chemistry with the ladies he’s paired with.

    I’m glad they saved Witney, I’m not sure why she’s been in the bottom so much since I find her captivating. This is the first time tWitch has been in a routine where I actually watched the person he’s with just as much as I’ve watched him!

    Am I the only one that completely enamored with Eliana? I’d much prefer to watch Witney or Tiffany and from reading comments I seem to be the only one! As for Tiffany, her piece with Ade was beautiful regardless of the horrid Celine Dion wailing on in the background!

    • Rain says:

      That should have read “NOT completely enamored with Eliana” I hate not being able to edit!

    • Steve n PS says:

      One great thing I’ve missed about this season is that the shortened schedule made them cut out the male couples pairings, where in the past we’ve seen some of the very best dancing!
      Can you imagine how terrific it would have been to see Chahon and Matthew together?!

  10. I agree– I don’t know how Cyrus is still around. He’s solid but none of his routines have stood out to me. It’s as if he’s just coasting through on safe dancing… And getting through because everyone know he’s profoundly talented at his genre.

    I agree that Will was the tops this week — it was horrible to see him go.

    Also, I do love JTF. Still think some of their guest judge choices are questionable, though.

    And lastly, Cat Deeley’s bit is getting on my nerves this season. I’m pretty much over the “Say hello to your…. joodges” bit.

    • Did you laugh hysterically when JTF totally threw the producers under the bus when he held up the card that had the dancers names on it? He totally dissed the Ballet Boys and ratted out the producers when he held up that card and was like “as IF I wouldn’t know who you are!” I laughed so hard I almost fell off my couch. BURN Ballet Boys, BURN.

    • Vivi says:

      Cat’s been saying that ever since Season 3. During Season 2, it was like a weekly water cooler on the internet. ‘Jidges’. So cute. From Season 3 onwards, she’s hardly says it.

  11. Karen says:

    I’m so mad that they eliminated Will, that I might stop watching the rest of this season all-together. Ha has yet to perform badly on the show, and is one of the only people this season with a personality.
    But possibly even angrier that the judges are still deciding who goes home. Had it instead been Will who had the lowest number of votes, I would have been able to accept it, I think.

    • Nigel Is Pervy says:

      Will was in the bottom maybe once but Witney has been in the bottom FOUR times! Nigel keeps saving 18 year old Witney because he is a lecherous, dirty old man. Plus he is so transparent that the viewer can easily tell who is going home. LOVE the show with the exception of Nigel.

      • D says:

        Um, Lindsay has been in the bottom a whole lot as well.

      • Nigel is Petty says:

        I couldn’t agree with you more! Nigel slavers over Witney and it’s disgusting. He is also extremely petty about Chehon who is the most beautiful dancer on the show. Jealous of Chehon’s manliness and intensity. I thought Chehon’s tango with Anya was the highlight of this season so far.

  12. reen says:

    The dancing this season has been incredible, and last night’s was no exception. Un-friggen-fabulous. Great choreography, great dancing, great variety. I have loved the all-star mix since they added it–I think it ups the game for both the choreography and the dancing.
    Kudos to Nigel & Co. for the way they have upped the ante this season. They lost a day, but they created a judging system that allowed us to see dancers that might not have made it as far in the past. They have brought in additional choreographers. We might not see as many dances (probably better for the health of the dancers), but we are seeing incredible work.
    I think Cyrus must be getting a ton of votes, way more than the others–it can be the only reason Nigel keeps reminding us about the “favorite” dancer title. The man can rock his style, though. Total personality, total humility…. but not quite the total dancer. Great that they are having both a male and female winner–because all three girls more than make up for his lack of depth!
    Love, love, love this show. (:

  13. Trina says:

    Stacie Tookie – Yes – Mandy Moore – not so much anymore.

  14. Pat says:

    Lindsey and Will were my favorites for a lot of reasons including their positive attitudes and their ability to grow over the past several weeks. I knew Lindsey was going home a few seconds into Tiffany’s delightful routine but I must say I was shocked about Will. Although I am also a fan of Cole, I truly thought Will earned it with the hip hop routine but clearly the decision was made already prior to the show. I didn’t like the routine with Whitney and Twitch… I didn’t think it was crisp enough and it felt like Twitch was adapting to Whitney’s level rather than the reverse. It does feel that from day one, we all knew that if it came to a choice between Lindsey and Whitney, Lindsey will be heading home.

    And I totally agree that even to my untrained eye, the Melanie and Cyrus routine looked very lightweight. It’s hard not to think they are frantically coming up with routines that will try to show why cyrus is getting all these votes. Very nice guy but he is just outclassed by the others.

    But that being said…how can you not love a show with these 8 great amateurs and Twitch!!!, Alison!!!, Melanie!!!!, Alex!!!! and Jesse….the best fanboy guest judge ever! All the routines and solos last night were truly outstanding and if SYTYCD gets cancelled, we will know for sure that evil lurks in the universe….

    • Tamara says:

      Totally agree- despite Lindsay proving herself to be the better, more versatile dancer of the two, it was always going to be Witney over Lindsay in the biased judges’ eyes. So annoyed at the Witney love.

  15. Gabby says:

    I’m do upset that Will is gone!! He was my favorite make dancers and really one of the only ones with a personality. I think they made a mistake sending him home. It should have been Cyrus going home he’s the weakest of the make dancers and I’m just not a fan. I also think Tiffany should have gone home. She’s forgettable IMO.

  16. Mando says:

    First of all i just want to set the record straight, Cyrus did not deserve to be in the top 20 and much less deserving to be in the final 3. Considering all the bull coming from all of those on the panel on any given week, it’s obvious that the show is skewed to keeping Cyrus for whatever reason, I’m not sure. I think it would be hilarious if Cyrus is judged to be the best male dancer of “So you think you can dance 2012”. Nigel deserves him. He handpicked him and has made sure everyone on the panel supports him. Cyrus has been protected by every choreographer that has had to create a routine for him. When such great talent is taken off the show because the watching audience are either too blind or too stupid to not vote him off. When he was declared in the top 3, my only comment was “Sh–t!!!”

    • D says:

      The reason is VERY obvious. Ratings ($). He is obviously popular, since he is getting the votes. I guess Nigel has a nose for who will get the votes 9 seasons in.

  17. saj says:

    The right people went home. Chehon (that’s his name) and Anya were FANTASTIC last night. Eliana should take it for the girls. She can do anything. Nigel was 100% right when he SAID, not “harped” that Lindsay and Alex had no connection. I didn’t feel any frustration. Alex was much better with Eliana last week.

    • CAM says:

      Agreed! Alex and Eliana had more chemistry than we’ve seen all season! I would have preferred to see Tiffany leave even though she had her best night of the season (though no chemistry with the amazing Ade). I wanted to Cyrus to leave. He really should not have made the top 10 despite his wonderful attitude and how wonderful he is to watch in his own style.

  18. bass says:

    I’m glad Will went home. He did nothing for me.

  19. Mike says:

    I agree with a lot of what you said, but my main disagreements are with the hip hop performances. I think we’ve gotten to a weird place where different levels of good are acceptable for different genres. Ballroom gets the toughest critiques because Mary is on the panel. (Cole was very good last week but came across as subpar, when that performance in any other genre would have felt much stronger.) Hip hop, by contrast, seems to be a little more anything goes. If the dancers are doing the movements in the right time and getting the essence of the character, then the dance is usually declared a success, but I didn’t think Will or Witney was as great as the judges said they were this week. Both were good, Will more so than Witney, but there were a lot of times for me when it just didn’t look like hip hop. I thought Witney was weakest among the girls this week (I would easily have saved Lindsay instead, based on the last two weeks especially), and Will was third of four among the guys.

    I’ve never been a big fan of Mandy Moore’s choreography, which is almost always overly cutesy and somewhat lacking in substance (as was the case with the jazz routine and most of her jazz routines) or ridiculously cheesy (as was the case with the contemporary and most of her contemporary). I couldn’t believe the judges gave that contemporary routine a standing O.

  20. Jess says:

    I do like Cyrus but I would like to think, given the opportunity, the judges would have sent him home already. America is keeping him out of the bottom 3 and they haven’t had the chance. I think he was top 20 material but top 6 is pushing it for me. I was very sad to see Will go home. I guess that’s the risk they took putting Cyrus in the top 20.

  21. Donna says:

    Although I thought Witney was hard hitting I was not impressed with her in the overall routine. Between Witney and Lindsey, I liked Lindsey the best. Her “Me and My Shadow” routine was awesome and I think she did very well last night. I even liked her solo, but I noticed Mary’s face when L. finished; Mary did not look pleased. So, I knew Lindsey was a gonner. As a former ballet student, I love E & C. Can’t wait for them to partner next week — you know it’s going to happen! Yeah!

  22. Kel says:

    Soooo unhappy they let Will go rather then Cole. Will has such amazing energy and heart and is a joy to watch dance. It was pretty much confirmed by his mom that Cole’s got into dancing to segue into acting. Will dances to dance!
    As for the girls, I’m for Tiffany all the way!

  23. ASH1157 says:

    Between his solo and his partner routine with Anya, I thought Chehon stole the night. He showed more emotion and passion in both routines than he’s shown all season. Great night for him…and great to see his mom in the audience.

  24. PFitzDC says:

    Too bad about Will. I like him a lot and thought he was terrific with Amelia. But he was WAAAAY over-praised for his Bollywood number last week. He was cute and personable, but his footwork was very lazy (in those hops, he barely got his feet off the floor) and Nakul didn’t even give him much handwork like there usually is in those numbers, instead giving him the prop of the flute.

    The good thing about the results-night-less format is that we get to see our competitors an additional time, before the cut. It’s a shame, when they really pull it out with a strong performance. But if it was the old format, he’d have been gone last Thursday, with no chance to see him again….

  25. Lucas says:

    Will should not have been sent home! Why couldn’t they have shipped Cole out instead?? I feel like the judges are on, and craming down our throats Cole, Cyrus & Whitney – I’m over all 3 of them!

  26. wordsmith says:

    I totally support your motion to limit the third judge seat to Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Christina Applegate and Debbie Allen. Though I’d fight for Adam Shankman as well – he’s got that right mix of passion for the show, humor and articulate, useful criticism.

  27. I guess that I’m just not on the same page as everyone else this week. I thought the choreo in both hip hop numbers was great but neither dancer lived up to it. Witney didn’t have enough definition and Will was too fluid even though his synchronization was perfect. I’m not saying they were bad, just that they weren’t awesome. I knew Lindsay was a goner as soon as they said she was in the bottom. If she’d been up against Tiffany she might have had a prayer but the judges are so Witney biased there was no hope for her. It really didn’t help that the Sonyeh piece was disjointed and set to totally the wrong music for the piece (even though I love Gotye) and there was zero chemistry there. I loved the two Ballroom pieces tonight. I thought Eliana and Cheon were the stand out numbers this week. I loved the work in Tiffany’s number but the song made it cheesy instead of stunning to see her floating around the stage. I barely registered Cole in that dance because of how fabulous Allison was. The choreographers really need to keep in mind who they are supposed to be showcasing, no matter how tempting the All-Stars may be. Cyrus… well what can I say. The boy is absorbing choreo at a rate that is mind boggling for someone with his lack of training and I’m glad he is in the top 10 because he’ll get to go on tour but I think the judges were praying for the opportunity to off him and are upset that they didn’t get it. That is why every week now they shrug helplessly, point out his technical deficiencies and say “oh well, it’s about who the favorite is and obviously America loves you” AKA, we’d off you if we could but America is keeping you safe from us.

    I LOVE JTF. I usually hate celebrity non-dancer judges but he is so freaking funny. I really loved when he scoffed at the idea that he wouldn’t know who they were (take that Ballet Boys) and repeatedly said that he needed a drink because he couldn’t handle it. Also geeking out like a total fan boy was adorable.

  28. Ann VerWiebe says:

    This has just been a joyful season full of wonderful dance. I have to believe that someone’s going to snatch up Will for a production of Footloose ASAP!

  29. J says:

    I am an adoring fan of Melanie’s. I cried and screamed for joy when she won last year. But you are absolutely right Mr. Slezak her dance with Cyrus was not a dance danced upon the SYTYCD stage. It was tailor-made to help Cyrus – and his legions of fans – which I am one of – so rock on Cyrus – get through a dance routine by Mandy Moore. And as for who should win this truncated lighting fast of a season? I like Eliana and Chehon for the wins. Eliana is the BEST female dancer left and Chehon is the BEST male dancer left. Who is favored? Cyrus of course. But if Cyrus wins we may not see a season 10 because the show would have jumped the shark. Cyrus – in all his beauty, charm and talent – is not a SYTYCD winner. The poor guy wouldn’t know what to do with that honor. So, I’ve enjoyed this season and I absolutely love this show – thanks for still reviewing!

  30. Realist says:

    It’s refreshing to read a lot of the comments regarding Cyrus’ undeserved position in the Top 6. He’s great in his style, but none of his other routines have been worthy of being in the competition. It was interesting to see the audience’s reaction to Cyrus’ solo – the girls in the front row looked so bored. I’m glad the judges didn’t give him a standing ovation.

    His jazz routine was awful – I was disappointed to see Melanie paired up with him, not only because she’s a great dancer and is capable of far more than simple choreography, but because her popularity might push Cyrus into the Top 4, leaving Cole and Chehon in the bottom two next week.

    In terms of Cole, I really couldn’t take my eyes off of Allison in the contemporary routine. Her performance quality, acting and technique are brilliant. I thought Cole was great though – I think the dark/evil characters that he always plays gets a little repetitive though. I still think he deserves to be in the Top 2 guys over Cyrus though.

    My favourite routine of the night by far was Chehon’s tango. Miriam and Leonardo’s choreography is always excellent and it’s nice to see Chehon dance in a variety of genres.

    I’m not too fussed that Will left – I really enjoyed his Bollywood routine last week, but he hasn’t been challenged overall. Most of his routines have been in his style, his first week hip hop was heavily jazz influenced, then he had contemporary, jazz, contemporary again, bollywood and lyrical hip hop. I thought the hip hop routine wasn’t bad, but I really think Christopher Scott should stick to group routines. All of his couple routines haven’t impressed me. I think Will would have been capable of performing a ballroom routine well, it’s just a shame that he got stuck with lyrical hip hop with Lauren Gottlieb. I don’t understand why this girl is an all-star for hip hop, let alone an all-star at all. She pales in comparison to all-stars like Allison and Kathryn.

    In terms of the girls, I really liked Witney at the beginning of the competition (maybe more so than Lindsay), but I didn’t enjoy her samba or her two solos. She has great extension (albeit slightly labored sometimes), but she isn’t grounded enough when she’s dancing latin – it’s a little bouncy compared to Lindsay. Lindsay is much smoother in her movement and has more mature artistry. I’m not surprised that the judges kept Witney over Lindsay. It would have been nice to see Lindsay dance a latin routine, like a cha cha or samba. Kind of disappointing that she danced contemporary, contemporary, broadway (which is essentially jazz) and jazz in the past four weeks. I think Lindsay had far better ballroom technique and I found her classical technique to be stronger than Witney’s.

    Kind of on the fence with Eliana now – I don’t think she’s done anything exceptional in the competition and as a result, the judges favoring of her isn’t justified. I love her technique though. I enjoyed her contemporary routine with Alex last week, but I don’t think it was exceptional.

    Tiffany has been the biggest surprise for me in this competition. When she was introduced in the first Top 20 show, the crowd was dead silent. I really thought that George was going to carry her through the competition (based on the amount of screen time he had in Mia’s Eyes routine and being singled out for praise in the Precognition boys routine), but it’s humbling to see her perform well in every style she’s been given. I didn’t really care for her solo last night, but her contemporary routine with Ade was great.

    As of this stage of the competition, Chehon and Tiffany are my favourite guy and girl.

    • D says:

      “bang bang” NOT exceptional? Good grief!

    • Jessica says:

      I fast forwarded through Cyrus’ solo, and it was the only one I did that with. His dancing just bores me. I bet he will win best male dancer anyway. Sigh.

      • Kate says:

        I did the same lol. Dancers who take my breath away – Chehon and Eliana – I am in awe of. Cyrus meh. Its interesting, once, and then I’m done. In his style he is awesome but I don’t really like his style and I cringe watching him do whatever else they give him. He is adorably caught up in the learning curve of it though, I’ll give him that.

    • Sha says:

      totally agree with you about Lauren gotlieb. She was mediocre during her season and has yet to impress. I’m also confused as to how she became a hip hop all-star. They should try to get that bgirl sarah from the same season, she was fantastic!

  31. lissab99 says:

    I’m sad that my Pacey is gone. (Will reminded me of Pacey.)

  32. YowzaPowza says:

    I adored Will and I’m upset he’s gone. Cyrus should have been gone weeks ago. The guy is great at what he does, but like you, I don’t think he should be in the final 6. But truthfully, they’ve been getting it wrong all season with who they eliminate.

  33. D says:

    I am thinking that next week, it is a distinct possibility that whoever was voting for Lindsay will vote for Witney. She may make the top 2 girls.

  34. Miri says:

    I would love for Chehon to finally get some ballet or difficult contemporary routine. It seems like everyone else has danced closer to their style, but he keeps getting ballroom. I love ballroom but it would be nice to see him showcased in his style, especially since his solos are so great.

  35. victoria says:

    I love it how you guys are bashing witney like you could ever do what shes does!!!! On the contrary i thought her routine last night was one of the best. To be honest i wasnt that all impressed with elianas routine, it kinda bored me alittle and i knew lindsey would be sent home from the minute she was going against witney. Nigel is not a dirty old man for keeping on saving witney, he obviously sees something in her that he doesnt see in the others. TOP 2: WITNEY AND TIFF

  36. Mary Ann says:

    I also disagree with the elimination of Will. He is charismatic and a great dancer. I don’t get the Cyrus love at all. He’s a one trick pony. He always looks stiff and awkward during his routines. Plus what he did to his ears is horrible. I can barely look at him without wincing.

  37. wilogden says:

    There are several factors that make a great dancer and only one of them is being technically correct in execution. Personality, partnering strength, having an individual flavor, and acting are also factors. Cyrus is as good as it gets in three of those and pretty good at the other. His execution is not always as graceful as a well-trained contemporary dancer, but he’s in the right spots at the right times. As we learned watching Alexa, execution and grace are nothing if you can’t smile. The right girl went home, Will should have been in it to the end.

    • Tdonni says:

      Finally someone makes sense! I have tired of the negativity regarding Cyrus, not because I don’t understand it, but because of the insinuation that SYTYD is a competition won by people who “deserve it.” It’s not about who DESERVES to win, but rather, who EARNS the win through hard work, getting their fans to vote, and impressing the judges with their passion and perseverance. I also do NOT agree that the judges would delightedly axe Cyrus. I actually believe that he was put in the Top 20 for a darned good reason…no one has worked harder and not one other dancer can say they started without training. Also, although people like to harp on the fact that Cyrus is “untrained,” remember that most of these competitiors are teens anyway, meaning they haven’t even lived long enough to have had years and years of training EITHER. They may have been training for a few years (10-12 at the most), but it is obvious that MOST of them stick to a specialty and are working extra hard to make up for this. Why is it any less appalling that Eliana was described by a choreo as being “too perfect?” When people say that someone doesn’t “deserve to be there” it implies so much more than that the person is not able to dance at a certain level…and Cyrus’ fans don’t agree with the exclusionary premise that dancing must be ballroom or jazz to be relevant. The same treatment was given to hip hop (musicwise) and even jazz dance at some point (many people believe you don’t dance to jazz, and jazz music was once considered vulgar because of it’s association with African-American culture). There will always be someone who is critical of the breakdancer, the stepper, the animator (and yes I am mentioning so-called “black” genres purposely), simply because people in the dance community don’t want to legitimize them. Cyrus winning doesn’t take away from the competition…it adds to the variety of it. And ALSO, wouldn’t it be AWESOME for SYTYD to add one of THOSE dance genres to the show? It’s not SYTYD in four or five traditional styles (even the hip hop is watered down to make it more dance world acceptable). I wish all the contestants luck. And finally, I LOVE that this show is about the votes of the people at home and not professionals. Dancers, like all performers (like it ot not), do dance for the public.Dance is beauty through movement, and the greatest compliment any dancer can get is “you made me FEEL” NOT “your toes were well pointed.”

  38. Ashley says:

    I completely agree with all of you opinions about last night. This was the first episode of the season that had more than one memorable routine and that I got really excited about. And I’m glad to see that I’m not alone in being over Cyrus. Yes, he has the passion and personality, but as someone else said, you can tell that choreographers have to conceal Cyrus’s weaknesses, rather than challenge him even more out of his comfort zone and showcase his strengths. I love Will for his dancing and personality. I have yet to decide who was/is my favorite guy of the season, but he definitely should have been in the top 6. I’m over Tiffany, too. I just don’t get it with her. I’ve been much more impressed with Eliana and Witney.

  39. wendy says:

    My two favorite winners never are used for all-stars – Joshua and Sabra – Has anyone heard why?

    • Mary Ann says:

      Joshua was on last year, but I haven’t seen Sabra at all. Another missing winner is Benji, who never should have been chosen over Travis Wall. Travis has so much more talent and likeablity.

  40. Juan says:

    It was a great night though I disagree with you on best male dance, I thought the cole and Allison routine was an incredible routine and I think my fav. Contemporary routine this season, it was so good and Allison is phenomenal she just took thr part impeccably. Also agree that jazz routine with Melanie was definitely dumbed down, Melanie is fantastic but the was just not enough, I really think that they dumb down te choreographersfor Cyrus, he is great but I just really don’t think he should have made it this far, and especially over Will who was and is amazing, my fav guy

  41. Harris says:

    not saying this to be judgemental or critical, but is it possibly that mothers with sons are threatened by witney and that it’s contributing to her continually being in the bottom? she has an extremely mature look and style that i could imagine reading as “watch out for that girl. she’s going to get you in trouble.” when watching these shows where america’s determining the outcome, i can’t help but speculate on viewers psychological proclivities. are they relevant or are people generally willing to vote objectively? i also wonder about other factors that affect to the results. for instance, does geography have an impact? do people ever vote based on loyalty to their region? i don’t know… i’m dumb and i dig the sociological aspect almost as much as the dancing. almost.

  42. Lana says:

    I agree the dancing is dumb down for Cyrus and I am upset about Will leaving but I am upset with America, not the Judges since its not their fault he was not in the bottom. I truly don’t know who I would have picked since my two favorite is Cole and Will though Will was slightly in the front. My favorite girl is Eliana but I do like Whitney, to be honest the only one I would be upset about winning is Cyrus and thats only because he can only do one kind of dance and thats the kind he made up. He has a great personality and smile and if thats all you need to win in this show then dance should have nothing to do with this and it should just be a pageant and Fox can get Steve Young to host it. I do hope SYTYCD will be renewed as it is the only show you can really get to see all sorts of dance and I just adore dancing and could watch hours and hours of it. Please Fox don’t let me down!!!

  43. Mariana says:

    Cyrus in the top 6 – ridiculous and stupid! Just once, I’d like to hear the judges actually critique him on his dancing. Perhaps he wouldn’t get as many votes if the judges actually kept it real. This is after all a show about DANCING! I would hope that if Cyrus wins, SYTYCD doesn’t get renewed. I don’t believe anyone wants to see a person who cannot dance win a dancing show. This reminds me an awful lot of “Vote for the Worst” on American Idol.

  44. Julie says:

    I was heart broken! I think Will and Cole have been more versatile this season than Cyrus and Chehon and I think Lindsay has shown much more growth than Witney. I, for one, have never gotten Tiffany, I had to scroll up to even remember her name. She’s good, but she doesn’t stand out like the other three ladies. Will was my pick to win it all for the guys, so now I’m pulling for Cole (though Chehon is starting to step it up, so that wouldn’t bug me). I’m happy for Cyrus to see his growth, but he isn’t up the caliber of performance of the other guys.

  45. SteveZ says:

    I am so sad to see Wil go; however, I didn’t really care for his solo. For a guy of his stature, I was wondering why he was done on the floor for half his solo. He may not have the jump height of Chehon but he should have taken advantage of his height more to show power and grace.

    Its so obvious that TPTB at SYTYCD put Melanie with Cyrus to save him. Screw Jesse’s comments about the pants, I couldn’t take my eyes of Melanie for the entire number.

    I wish they would have put Wil with Courtney instead od Lauren… when they had that green light on her at the begining I got that Tinkerbell/Jiminy Cricket vibe from her, but Courtney’s smaller size would have played more naturally to that (but wasn’t Lauren Wade’s assistant or something before she tried out for the show?)

  46. Babybop says:

    Just watched. This is the first week I’ve had the 100% same lineup as you!

  47. I could’ve used Eliana’s wattage to watch this show in real time instead of having Isaac rob me of the opportunity. And I agree with most of what you said…to a degree. Lindsay’s solo this week was definitely more technical than Witney’s, but she never manages to have that same draw that Witney has. I really hope she works on and develops it, because I will admit that I gave Lindsay much less credit than she was due for her abilities at the beginning.

  48. Sandy says:

    The judges and the choreographers DO have their hand in the blame for Cyrus still being on the show despite him not being in the bottom They have lowered the standards for him and praise him WAYYYY more than he deserves and America responds by voting for him. If the judges were smart they would ignore the voting if for some reason Cyrus gets more votes than Chehon and have Chehon the winner. Otherwise they are going to lose a lot of viewers. I am already so disgusted that I changed my mind about purchasing tickets for the tour.

  49. Annette says:

    So agree! I can’t fathom HOW Cyrus made the top 20 and WHY he is still here!!! Having Cyrus in the top 4 completely ruins the integrity of SYTYCD. If he is what is considered top talent, then I might as well start watching Dancing With the Stars. So disappointed in this season. Big thumbs down Fox.