SYTYCD Recap: And Then There Were Four

eliana cole sytycdSilent screams pierced the So You Think You Can Dance stage this week, and it had nothing to do with Mary Murphy’s voice giving out during a Hot Tamale Train boarding call, or young female dancers responding to lascivious feedback from Nigel Lythgoe.

Au contraire, Mia Michaels and Tyce Diorio separately concocted routines that respectively found Eliana and Cole miming howls of rage and aggression, and Chehon and his All-Star partner Kathryn releasing their agony into the wind. In both instances, the unintentional homages to Edvard Munch proved deeply moving, so much so, in fact, that I worry the SYTYCD choreographers’ pool will mercilessly flog the device till we’re witnessing some NappyTabs “shouting into the drive-thru microphone at Wendy’s” ridiculata, or a Doriana Sanchez disco extravaganza with a backstory about young lovebirds playing Marco Polo at Studio 54.

But let’s not fret about what’s yet to happen. This week’s show found the Top 6 dancing three times apiece — once with an All-Star, once solo, and once with a fellow Season 9 hoofer — before receiving the results of last week’s viewer votes, and then getting whittled down to a Top 4.

Interestingly enough, Cat Deeley (in a patchwork sequined dress that looked much better from afar than it did in closeup) never gave out any numbers to vote for the contestants. Next Tuesday will bring us the Season 9 “Performance Finale” — and a chance to vote for the respective female and male champs — followed by a Sept. 18 finale when the results of those votes are revealed.

So last night’s dances? Instead of directly resulting in a frenzy of texts and phone calls, they’ll just have to contribute to the public’s cosmic consciousness when they officially go to the polls next week.

Who fell just short of the Season 9 Finale? Witney (perhaps the missing ‘h’ in her name resulted in one too many  text-vote typos?) and Cole (whose “method” approach to dance may have left viewers fearing he was the human embodiment of drug addiction, or at least a sociopath). Which leaves Eliana and Tiffany, certainly among the two strongest Season 9 women, on the ladies’ side, and Cyrus and Chehon battling in the men’s bracket.

While Uncle Nigel starts a collective chant of “Favorite dancer! Favorite dancer! Favorite dancer!”, let’s rank the nine partnered dances from best to worst — leaving out the six not-exactly-inspired solos:

1) Eliana and Cole: I was a little dubious about Mia Michaels’ “rams at war” concept, but I was sold from the first headcrash, and practically on my feet by the time Eliana ravaged Cole’s torso, threatening to roll him off the stage. Much like the Melanie-Cole routine from earlier in the night, this performance really allowed the female partner to put on a display of brute strength. The stunning, swirling camera work and exquisite lighting didn’t hurt, but this was one dance worthy of a Standing O.

2) Tiffany and All-Star Benji: No, this diner-set jive didn’t have an “emotional” backstory, but dang if Tiffany and Benji didn’t mesmerize with moves so fast and precise, they might qualify as possible sidekicks for the good heroes of The Avengers. (Pow-POW! Kick, flick, and destroy!) I loved the flirtatious way the duo looked toward one another in their side-by-side moves, and the triple-cartwheel trick was a stunner. Hats off to the underutilized Jean-Marc Genereux for one of the season’s best ballroom moments.

3) Chehon and All-Star Kathryn: This “immigrants arriving at Ellis Island” number was undoubtedly Chehon’s high-point this season — the perfect marriage of his technical brilliance and a willingness to tap into his well of emotional reserves. (It was also a high-point for choreographer Tyce Diorio, no?) It certainly didn’t hurt to be paired with as evocative a partner as Kathryn, but seriously, I got chills watching Kathryn stand atop Chehon’s back as he bent his torso perpendicular to his legs, not to mention the much-lauded move where he leapt toward his suitcase.

4) Cyrus and All-Star Comfort: I understand the frustration with Cyrus making the finale despite his questionable skill set, but for me, that didn’t detract from the joy of seeing him let loose on a loopy little dubstep routine about a guy getting pulled into a movie projector by a sexy screen siren. The “Jacob’s ladder” portion of the proceedings was indeed worthy of my DVR rewind button. Good stuff.

5) Cole and All-Star Melanie: I adored the physical power Melanie displayed in this piece about a guy trying to flee a bad relationship — whipping Cole around like a dad hurling his baby skyward in a swimming pool — but if one is trying to make sense of Cole’s exit, it has to be said that, in much the same way as he did last week with All-Star Allison, Cole got outshone by the Season 8 champ this time around.

6) Tiffany and Cyrus: This Spencer Liff Broadway number about 1950s teens getting a little freaky when the parental units went out for the night was a cute way to end the show, but I don’t understand why the judges made absolutely no mention how, in their side-by-side maneuvers, Tiffany was significantly more precise and pronounced than Cyrus. Just because America loves the affable animator doesn’t mean dude wouldn’t benefit from a shred of constructive criticism, does it?

7) Eliana and All-Star Twitch: I’m just going to come out and say it: I don’t care for hip-hop routines set to Golden Oldies fare. So while Eliana shook her booty with gusto to “Please Mr. Postman,” I’d have to agree with excellent guest judge Christina Applegate: Jay-Z won’t be looking to hire the charismatic ballerina anytime soon. (Side note: How come Twitch’s postman shirt stayed on for the whole number? Just asking.)

8) Witney and All-Star Marko: My notes mention a Ray Leeper number involving a reluctant bride, but my gut tells me this one will be flushed from my memory bank quicker than a Kim Kardashian marriage hitting divorce court. (Uh-huh, I went there!) I simply didn’t feel any connection between Witney and Marko, and the music was absolutely distracting, to boot.

9) Whitney and Chehon: Like an old door hinge in need of some WD40, Chehon’s hips creaked and flinched in this cha cha, while the usually charismatic Witney seemed oddly disconnected throughout. Then again, if you knew your partner was about to lift you as clumsily as a gangly Target stockboy trying to place a lawnmower atop a 15-foot shelf, you’d be a little distracted, too, no?

What did you think of this week’s SYTYCD? Hit the comments with your thoughts!

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. Jenks says:

    I agree with part of your recap, Slezak. Tiffany/Benji and Cyrus/Comfort were the high points of the night. But I am sick beyond description of these overwrought, more-of-the-same routines from Mia Michaels (more relationship conflict)and Tyce D’Orio (another Cancer Dance). If I want that much drama and angst, I’ll watch an Ingmar Bergman movie. Puh-leeze, Nigel, bring in some new choreography blood next season.

    As for the dancers, I am happy to see Eliana and Tiffany in the finals. Either one will make a worthy Girl Champ. Cyrus will almost certainly win for the boys, and I don’t much care. I didn’t connect with any of the boys this year.

    • Jake says:

      True dat…this was Tyce’s yearly blatant attempt to be nominated for an Emmy…his Broadway routines are always so weak and every year he pulls out one manipulative contemporary dance that is begging to be loved…it’s so manipulative…did it deserve it tears from the judges!?!? I mean c’mon…I understand for Nigel it must be tough that Tyce is the only regular choreo that never got nominated for an Emmy—but really, stop trying so hard.

  2. Rain says:

    Witney and Marko’s piece was actually my favorite of a rather boring night. I keep saying it but I have ZERO connection to Chehon. I don’t get why so many love him. He can’t do a lift to save his life which ruins most of his partner dances. I realized after watching last night just how little I care about any of the dancers left this season. This is the first season where I can say I’m not at all interested in the finale since not one of the dancers I liked early on made it to the end. If the show gets renewed I really hope they bring in some fresh choreographers because I have a feeling that’s part of my disconnect.

    • KD says:

      I have loved Chehon since his audition. I find his “journey” /per Nigel/ for this show to be one of the most interesting. Like the others, he has had some low points, which they are quick to point out and chide him for, but his highs have been many. And breathtaking.

  3. JVC says:

    A bit disappointed to see cole go but I can see why. His last two weeks he wasn’t on top of his game caught up with him. Not surprised by Whitney going home. A pity the top two girls this year can’t be the seasons top two in general. Either way I’ll be okay with which one is the top female, although my money is on eliana. As for the guys, while it should be Chehon, the male winner will be Cyrus. I mean this could be the year of mediocrity amongst the male winners of reality shows like this (including the voice and American idol).

  4. reen says:

    Wow. Last night left me troubled, and your recap did a bit, too. No mention of the obvious diss of Witney? Although she wasn’t my favorite, she was absolutely drubbed last night. That girl knew she didn’t have a prayer of making it into the final four–she probably knew that from last week, too–but Christina telling her she wasn’t a ballroom dancer, she knew contemporary too well; having all three judges blast the lack of hip shaking (isn’t that a choreography issue?); and having Mary call her Lindsey…. jeez. At least she can dance more than her genre, which is more than I can say for Cyrus—who benefited from lady partners who absolutely carried routines and choreography that basically had him doing NOTHING. Dude is humble and charismatic, and a joy to watch in his genre–but jeez. By the end of the show I just had this really bad taste in my mouth. Which is a shame, because I agree with your top three routines–they were incredible.

    • Carly says:

      I mostly agree with you, but I think Christina Applegate meant to give Witney a compliment when she said Witney’s not just a ballroom dancer – no need to qualify anything, she’s a dancer, period, because she’s so awesome at all the forms of dance she’s done.

    • wilogden says:

      Dance is not technical. Dancers learn techniques to express their art, but the technical side of things is always secondary to conveying the art to the audience. Cyrus may not have the technical background of the better trained dancers, but he is an absolute master of reaching the audience.—An artist would never try to create a marble scupture if he was being paid to work with a block of clay, they work with the materials they have. Even if they’d prefer a block of marble, they can only do what the clay can do. A good sculpture will never make you realize that it could have been marble. So a good choreographer won’t try to make Cyrus look bad but will certainly stretch him to the limits of where he could look good.

      • KevyB says:

        He hasn’t been stretched AT ALL. Eliana was literally doing 90% of the dancing in that partnership, and he has only gotten mildly better. This is SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, not SO YOU THINK YOU CAN CONNECT WITH AN AUDIENCE AND MOVE AROUND A LITTLE BIT.

    • The Squatch says:

      Totally agree with you when it comes to Cyrus. I don’t have anything against the guy as, like you mentioned, he seems really nice and down to earth. However, it just doesn’t seem fair to me that they’ve basically choreographed all of his numbers for him to stand there like a post, or just do his own thing, while a returning all-star dances around him. Throw in an occasional lift or a few easy steps and people act like he’s the second coming of Fred Astaire. I just don’t get why people are voting for him so much. Despite what Nigel keeps saying, (over and over and over) about this being about “America’s Favorite Dancer”, I notice that he has only been saying that this season, about Cyrus. Before this season he always harped on peoples’ dancing ability and finding the best dancer. As I said, I have nothing against Cyrus, but clearly we can see he just isn’t a very good dancer outside of his style. (And, to be perfectly honest, I’m not even sure I would call what he does “dancing” anyway.)

  5. Garrett says:

    The fact the Cyrus keeps getting choreography that does not expose his lack of ability in anything other than his specialty, is frustrating. No way he belongs in this group. He should have gone home weeks ago, as I believe the name of the show is “So you think you can dance” and not “So you think you can be a better dancer by the end of the show”.

    • Amy says:

      Oh, your last statement is so true!!

    • Lisa says:

      I really do think the judges would have let him go long ago if only America would have stopped saving him from the bottom two.

      • Garrett says:

        Maybe, however the choreography he keeps getting doesn’t require that he dance and he remains unexposed to those who don’t understand the art of dance…

    • Shannon says:

      I get why your frustrated because Cyrus is the least technical dancer of any of the top 20 but, as this show as always said since the 1st season, it’s America’s FAVORITE dancer not America’s best dancer. Cyrus has this magnetic quality that makes draws you in and makes you want to root for him. He has not been my favorite male dancer but every week I find myself rooting for him because he really is an underdog just trying to compete with all these much more talented dancers. He also just has this humble, awestruck, “I can’t believe I’m here” quality that I think really resonates with people. He has never been in the bottom 2 so the judges never even had to think about putting him on the chopping block. The blame falls to America who constantly votes him through each week.

      • big cheddar says:

        Well said, Shannon! Given the pressure & the internet hate this guy gets on a weekly basis, I admire the fact that he’s able to hit the stage every week and do the best he can, with a huge, genuine smile on his face. I don’t vote, but I can see why he has a huge fan base. Besides, while Cole didn’t win, I’m sure he’s gotten enough exposure to really go out and do what he clearly wants to do – act.

      • mercedes says:

        Because while it is America’s FAVORITE dancer, and not necessarily the best dancer – the word dancer is still in there, so you should at least be able to dance. It is not called “He who has a winning personality.”

        • really? says:

          He CAN dance. I don’t understand why people think he can’t. Just because it’s not contemporary, ballroom, jazz, ballet, or traditional hip hop doesn’t mean it’s not dance.

      • Lana says:

        You are right, which is why I may not mourn the demise of SYTYCD which I was going to at first but because America picked Cyrus over Will and Cole I realized I did not want a show where wonderful dancers were dissed by people who knew nothing about dance and all the beautiful moves that these dancers did and only cared about the personality and coolness of the street dancer. I mean Twitch dances those wonderful street moves but he was able to also do the contemperary and ballrooms, broadway and so on. Cyrus could not do anything but his own and the chreography was always toned down to very simple moves no matter what style it was. No other dancer was given easy dance moves like that. They wanted to make sure he did not totally stumble over his feet. For damn sure he did not get Bollywood, Paso Doble, Quick Step or any of the more difficult dances. He didn’t even get the Cha Cha Cha or even the Waltz. At least it makes saying goodbye to SYTYCD easier since I don’t think its getting renewed. I will say it was sooo great in seeing my favorite Benji and his new awesome Bod and that he is just as cool as ever. It would be nice to see him in the finale!!

        • big cheddar says:

          Umm, Lana? To be fair, Melanie didn’t draw most of the dances you mentioned last season, either. If I recall, most of her dances last season Contemp or Jazz, and I remember that the waltz she got (while she was partnered with an all-star) was very lift heavy. It’s the luck of the draw. Besides, it seems like the runner-ups and the also-rans are having more success than the winners.

          Also, I really think the two double elimination weeks really contributed to this outcome. I know that Cyrus was never in the bottom two or three, but there were a couple of people eliminated pretty early that never got a chance to grow a following.

          • Steve n PS says:

            Actually this season it was NOT the luck of the draw. Because of Cyrus (and the 2 Mormon blondes ) being in it the producers discarded the random drawing of dances. So Cyrus never got ballroom or latin/partner dances to do. Worst season ever

    • ladyhelix says:

      I don’t believe Nigel would agree with you – if pushed (he has voiced this on air several times this season) he would say his show is about “So you think you can be a better dancer by the end of the show”. That is the way they are leaning right now – probably because it’s more “palatable/relatable” to us non-dancers.

  6. FWIW, voting accepted both Witney and Whitney, so don’t think that was the problem. ;)

  7. Beth T says:

    For as often as Nigel has mentioned that Cyrus is there because he gets enough votes to avoid ever getting to the dance-offs, I have to assume the judges would have let him go if they’d ever had the opportunity. I think they’ve avoided really harsh criticism because that can often backfire and amp up the voting and the only hope they had was to keepthe comments essentially neutral (“great personality, great in your own genre”). But as one of the few truly untrained dancers ever to get that far in the competition, I think voters latched on to the “underdog” story early and never backed away.
    That said – I would certainly have preferred to see Cole with Chehon as the final two boys. I am very happy with Eliana and Tiffany as the final two girls. (I really never warmed to Witney and actually preferred Lindsey).
    I totally agree with Michael’s top 3 routines, though I’m not sure I could rank any one over the other. I can’t say any of the rest of the routines really made an impression on me. Not even Cyrus and Comfort.
    I would love for the top two to be Eliana and Chehon. I think Eliana is a strong possible, but I don’t think there’s anything that will stop the Cyrus train. If there was still only going to be one top dancer this year, I’m betting that would have been Cyrus.

  8. Ha Ha says:

    So just some of YOU have “zero connection” to Chehon means he should have been eliminated? Well in MY OPINION, Chehon is a great dancer and I have a GREAT connection with him. Not everyone has to be a blond, girl-next-door, or cheerleader type to get my attention. I’m sick of some of you acting like your opinions are the bases for someone to be eliminated. Cyrus is still here because AMERICA is VOTING for him. Did you vote for your favorite? Anywaysr it’s Eliana’s competition to lose. She has everything a great dancer can be.

    • tripoli says:

      Calm down. There is nothing wrong with someone stating that they would have preferred someone was eliminated because they personally felt no connection to the dancer. It’s been the gripe of many this season. Not enough time to really connect and feel attached to any of the dancers. Why would they want to keep someone in who they couldn’t feel a strong connection to, and therefore want to continue to see them dance? Even if they were talented and perhaps deserved to still be in the competition. This show is not only about who has the best skills. It’s also about feeling a connection to the dancers, and wanting to root for someone, at any skill level. See Cyrus. He was heavily featured early on and has managed to connect with people every week, and good for him. This show has often crowned a winner who wasn’t technically the best, but had a strong and loyal fan base. Both are worthy reasons to get to the end.

  9. I’m still kind of stunned that Cyrus is there. I know that he is extremely popular but seriously people?! The FINALE!! I power voted for Cheon and Cole last week and I’ll vote for Cheon this week but I don’t know if it’ll be enough. I sincerely hope that all of the Cyrus haters out there are putting their votes where their mouths are and not just whining online. I don’t hate Cyrus any more than I hated Twitch who was grossly out matched by people like Will and Mark and yet he made it to the finale over them. I just really don’t think he should win. Oh and please, do not reply with outrage over comparing Cyrus and Twitch. Season four is my absolute favorite season and I love Twitch and am excited whenever he comes back to the show but in his season it was his charm and charisma and Kerrington’s technical abilities that carried them through to the top 10. It certainly wasn’t HIS dancing or HIS technique. He was not nearly as good in his own season as he is now. So, just chill on that. For the girls this season has been all about Eliana for me but I find myself kind of warming to Tiffany in the last couple episodes. It’s clear that she’s a work horse and totally professional and I can respect that. I’ll be voting for Eliana but I can honestly say I won’t be crushed or outraged if Tiffany wins. I hope Eliana is en pointe in her solo next week. I love, love LOVE Mia Michaels. I’ve missed her so much this season. Her spellbinding quality of movement and ability to evoke a response in her dancers is pure joy for me. I normally love Tyce’s lyrical pieces (way more than his Broadway, thank you for pointing it out Christina) but this felt a little preachy to me. I think he needs to focus on emotions and not messages. His work is so much better when he does that.

    • D says:

      I loved Tyce’s piece this week. The cancer dance seemed preachy to me, but if this week’s dance was preachy, I am not sure what it was preaching. Some people like Slezak got immigration out of it, but I got nothing of the sort. For me it evoked the early part of the movie Schindler’s List-the first step where the Jewish people were leaving their homes with suitcases, eventually to be heading off to the concentration camps. For this reason (and the music itself) I found it purely very sad. Pure emotion. Others got an Oakies in the Dustbowl impression. I think the many different interpretations show that is it art.

      Mia’s piece was moving too, but not as moving as Tyce’s for me.

      • I meant preachy in the sense that the dance seemed more focused on conveying a statement than evoking emotion about the subject. Tyce’s mission seemed to be, look at this dance I made about people who’ve lost everything rather than showing through a certain quality of movement or choreography what it feels like to lose everything. I love Tyce’s lyrical and contemporary pieces but he has a tendency to get a little too literal sometimes in his choreography. Mia’s pieces breathe the emotion into the dancers by forcing them (and us) to feel what she’s feeling through unusual movement. Tyce can do that too but not as consistently as Mia. In all fairness though, I’m not sure I got the full effect of that dance due to the camera work. I think it might have felt very different if I was in the theater.

  10. Jim says:

    I knew going into this week that Witney was going home. She is as talented as Tiffany, but is too sexy and less girl-next-door, which means that Witney got few female votes.

    • Lars says:

      You hit it right on the nose! Witney was too threatening – the kind of girl other young teen girls find intimidating. Built-in hostility toward her for her sensuality alone. Little to do about the dancing.

      • Julia says:

        oh my god, thank you! i commented on this last week but no one followed up so i thought, “well that must not have been it.”

  11. LisaM says:

    I have adored Chehon since his audition and I’m thrilled he’s in the finale. Wish Cole was there too but I knew that Cyrus would get the votes. Speaking of which, when do we get to see Cyrus do a Cha cha or a Samba or better yet, a Viennese Waltz??? I don’t recall seeing him dance ballroom yet—all the other men have…just wondering. Like everyone else I think Cyrus is great at what he does and he comes across as a really great guy (he’s got an incredible smile) and yes it’s America’s Favorite Dancer…so the person should be able to…well..Dance!

    • Liz says:

      I was actually thinking the same thing during the episode. As they were criticising Chehon for his Cha Cha, not completely unjustly, I was imagining the train wreck that would have been Cyrus doing the same dance, and wondering what the judges would have said. I’ll tell you, ‘who cares about technique, we love you for just standing there and smiling”. Sheesh. This IS a dance competition people.

      • ladyhelix says:

        Didn’t Cheon do a jive early on with Eliana? I think the field was deep enough then to protect him. I also think he had a better chance at a good performance with Eliana; recall how sure and intense Cheon’s tango was with the more mature and giving Anya than his ballrooms efforts with “look at me” Witney? They say in ballroom the partner makes all the difference – I’m inclined to believe that. She’s adorable but she is young – and I don’t think she’s feeling her partners – unless they reach out to her.

  12. Jax says:

    At the start of Chehon’s solo, did anyone else think he looked like a mortal combat character?

  13. Liana in San Diego says:

    Please just change the name to “America’s Favorite Dancer,” and be done with it. That way no one has to lie and the choreographers don’t have to dumb down their dances for people like Cyrus who can’t DANCE their way out of a shoe box (not animate… dance, for pete’s sake). Cyrus has in no way been challenged at all the way the other male dancers have. Someone got thrown off (apart from voting points) because of constant criticism that his feet were pointing the wrong way. When has any of the judges ever said a bad word about Cyrus? Not one whit. He gets applauded for his personality… This isn’t a popularity contest. It’s about who can dance and have charisma while doing so. Despite what one commentator said, technique DOES matter and Cyrus has none in any of the other genres but his own. That does NOT make him a dancer.

    I’m so fed up with this show. It’s just a bunch of lies. Count me out for next year.

  14. Mary B says:

    I really like Cyrus but I think Cole should have been the one to go forward. Cyrus has done amazing with his limited dance experience but when you come down to it Cole was without a doubt the better dancer.

  15. Wendy says:

    I have one word for this season – overwrought. The praise was way too much for Cyrus – they seem to not care that he isn’t adapting to other styles that well – in past seasons, they would’ve said ‘by this week, we expect more’ so the ‘everyone just loves you’ sentiment has become old and perplexing. The standard just wasn’t as high for him as past years. Look how hard they were on Evan that year – he was also getting the popular vote – It seemed to piss Nigel off big time. And the praise lavished on some choreographers like Tyce. I cannot stomach seeing his face as he is getting compliments – He kept repeating “Thank you, oh thank you…” last night. Blechhh! It’s bad when you are more anxious to hear what the guest judge has to say than the regulars. I speed search through Nigel because his pomposity and self-promotion is too much. Eliana looked upset that Cole didn’t make it last night. I bet those girls dread having to do the numbers with Cyrus that require lifts, etc. and the last week will be hard for them.

    • mercedes says:

      I’m starting to think that perhaps the show is in trouble because the audience is skewing older and networks never like that. Perhaps Nigel thought someone like Cyrus would bring in a younger audience. I’m not sure that happened, but his lack of dance skills really pissed off quite a lot of the regular season to season viewers.

    • Lee says:

      It’s become such a ridiculus love fest for Cyrus it makes me cringe!

      Other dancers like Cheon get criticized if they mess up a style that isn’t theirs but it seems Cyrus can do whatever, they’ll just praise his personality. Hell, the judges might even left the studio to take a piss & come back after the dance to give the exact same feedback!

      They had the social case dancers before on the show, the untrained dancers who deserved a chance. That’s cool. I mean Russel for example even WON! And he was amazing & improved so much over the show & tackled every challenge he got.

  16. J says:

    I’m a little worried. I like Cyrus and all..but oh no! Really? He’s in the final 4? I feel a little bad for Tiffany, Chehon and Elaina. Partnering with Cyrus is like dancing through mud. I’m not really sold on Chehon being in the final 4 as well. He really messed up dancing with Witney. Poor Cole. I don’t know about this season. I hope there is a season 10 because I love this show so very much…but with all the changes and now the word “favorite” being nailed in our skulls, there may not be any show left to be excited about.

  17. Lana says:

    I wasn’t a Chehon fan at first but he has really impressed me each week and his solo’s are fantastic week to week so I do think he belongs in the finale. I love the two girls and I loved Whitney or Witney but I think Tiffany and Eliana are by far the best. I used to be all Eliana but Tiffany has won me over so now I’ll be happy with whoever wins though that smile of Eliana’s is hard to beat. I did want Cole but Chehon is quite good and he may not Cha well but he sure can Tango!

  18. Dave in Alamitos Beach says:

    I’m so glad I can come here for a dash of sanity. I guess I can believe that people find Cyrus so popular, but I’m completely baffled as to why. His story is good I guess, but there have been a lot of people like that. I don’t even find him to be the most compelling street/hip hop dancer they’ve ever had. I really just don’t get it. During that dance with Tiffany, she was moving and working that stage and Cyrus was, what, just standing there sometimes? Well good for him, but this isn’t supposed to be “best effort” or “most improved.”

    And it’s certainly not Cyrus’ fault. He showed up and did what they asked. It’s the show’s fault for not challenging him. Chehon is asked to do ballroom and he’s not that great, but prettty good. Then he does it again and he’s a little bit better. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Where are Cyrus’ ballroom dances?

    Okay, enough about that. I think Eliana is the best dancer by far of the season, but if Tiffany wins for the girls, I’ll be okay with that. She’s always been great.

  19. Realist says:

    I’m glad Witney was eliminated – her cha cha and solo were both awful. Her solo was incredibly sloppy – the lines, the meek flicking of her dress, and the movement and placement of her feet were weak and all over the place. Her dance technique in this solo just didn’t compare to the paso doble solos (including Lindsay’s last week) done in the past. I think I stopped being a Witney fan in week 2, after I noticed her poor lines in her Bollywood routine.

    I would be happy if either girl won. Tiffany did a great job in the jive but her solos make me cringe. They’re so generic and lack artistry and originality. Having said that, she is by far the most versatile female dancer this season.

    If Cyrus wins for the guys, I think Fox should just call it a day with the show. Cole was robbed. Arguably the most versatile male contestant this season eliminated over someone who not only cannot dance outside his own genre, but hasn’t even been challenged half as much as the other contestants this season. Not only that, he hasn’t been challenged or grown as much as previous contestants with similar backgrounds. Part of the entertainment value of this show is watching the contestants excel in genres outside of their own. Yes, it’s America’s favorite dancer – but surely America’s favorite dancer should be able to dance well outside of their own genre? The argument of most anti-Cyrus fans isn’t that he cannot dance at all – it’s that he should be able to dance in all styles. That is the premise of this show after all.

    At this point, Chehon is the rightful male winner if this show wants to preserve any credibility whatsoever. Although neither of the male dancers are as deserving as the girls, Chehon has at least been challenged with a multitude of styles, whereas Cyrus has been a prop or forklift in most of his routines, and his routines have been dumbed down with simple choreography to work with his limitations. Cyrus fans: The choreographers aren’t deliberately not challenging Cyrus. The choreography is simple because Cyrus cannot do more than what he is given to work with. This is shown in the fact that so many of his routines have had animation parts and lifts. Disguise it as artistry all you want, but you cannot defend the low difficulty level of his routines over dancers like Cole or Chehon. Chehon has had 3 challenging ballroom routines – 2 average latin routines and a stand-out tango, but he has been judged very harshly in comparison to Cyrus. In comparison, Cyrus danced a heavily watered down jive in week 2 poorly and wasn’t raked over the coals for it. If Cyrus was given the cha cha to dance instead of Chehon this week, the result would have been much worse than what happened to Missy and Wadi’s cha cha.

    I don’t find Cyrus’ personality that likeable or endearing – he doesn’t even know who Fosse is and was treated like a puppy for not knowing. In comparison, Matthew and Audrey were shunned for not knowing the occupation of Mia Michael’s father. I still find it incredibly selfish that he can audition for this show knowing that he cannot dance other styles. There are a variety of talent shows catered for individuality that he can participate in. The quality of his dancing across genres doesn’t compare to the other contestants in the Top 20, or even the bulk of the dancers in Vegas week. To think that Cyrus can make it over dancers who have auditioned multiple times and shown much more growth in the past: Adrian Lee, Brandon Dumlao, Arielle Coker, Rebecca Hart, etc. Yes, it’s the producers/judges’ fault for putting him through, but he could have withdrawn from the show. There are lots of dancers who made it to Vegas week and realised the difficulty of being able to dance in different styles and withdrew themselves from the competition.

    Cyrus is by far one of the worst contestants in SYTYCD history – the only worse person I can readily think of is Allan from Season 1, but he didn’t make the finale.

  20. LisaM says:

    While this season boasted some great technical dancers, I think the biggest problem was there was no one with the magnetism of a Melanie Moore or Alex Wong. When they dance, they draw you in and it’s a very emotional experience. At least it always was for me. I couldn’t wait to see what they would dance next. I think Chehon, Eliana and Tiffany are incredibly talented and I truly enjoy watching them perform but they don’t have the “it” factor of Melanie or Alex. If SYTYCD is going to continue and I certainly hope it does, they need to find more charismatic dancers.

  21. sandi says:

    I don’t think any of the dancers are the quality of last season. You see the heavy footednes, I need to move here, next I need to step over there. No fluidity, even with the all stars. Cole was by far the best dancer. Cyrus was a nice guy but he couldn’t do any other genre

    • Ann says:

      Tadd made the top 4 mainly because he was personable and had technically weak, yet entertaining solos. Marko was pretty good, but had consistent stability problems. They never said anything to Sasha about her sickled feet, nor did they ever say anything to Melanie about her hunched shoulders or her awkward transitions in her jazz pieces. I don’t see a big gap between this year’s group and last years. Except for Cyrus. I thought Comfort outdanced him even in parts of the hip-hop. The animation parts were good, but he was stiff as a board in the top rock sections.

  22. Jenny Pope says:

    Each year I feel the show and the dancers’ get exponential better, until this year that is. I have to agree with the previous comments that Cyrus is not the best dancer. He wows me with his animation, his smile, and personality, but that is it. My husband (could care less about the show) walked past the TV as Cyrus was doing his jive and said “that guy is awful” and I agreed. Judges? Raked Chehon over the coals and totally let Cyrus off the hook. It truly has become a “Miss Congeniality” pageant. What a disservice to the dance profession.

  23. Steve n PS says:

    Agreed with the general consensus that this season is the weakest and worst SYTYCD has ever given us . And I am (er..was) a big fan from the very first
    But this whole Cyrus debacle has shown what this show has become- due totally to Nigel Lythgoe- as a pimpout for ratings and tour tickets. Stripped of any pretense at dancing quality it’s turned into an “America’s Got Talent” phone-in ‘reality’ show. The ‘auditions’ were referred to as ‘casting’ and thats exactly what happened.
    NO random selection of dances drawn from a hat like seasons past. NO requirement from all the cast to do at least ONE ballroom/latin dance. And a sad selection of ‘judges’ obligated to prattle about Cyrus’ personality because they needed the job ( Yes I’m talking to you Mary!). Worst ever and I’m done with it. Shame

    • Suzy says:

      THIS! Worried SYTYCD is becoming yet another talent show that attracts people without much talent but a lot of emotional back story…

      And the judges being rarely critical & especially the guest judges (like CA in th elast show) being all about giving compliments and showing America what supportive people they are does not help to show to have a non-trashTV-image :/

      • Steve n PS says:

        Dead on Suzy! Hate him if you will but Simon Cowell set the bar for judging because he wasnt afraid to say bad things. All ‘guest judges’ these days have a show or a CD or a movie to shill so they all want to be liked by the greatest number of people! So NO negative comments, even for the very worst performers

  24. Suzy says:

    Christina Applegate is the worst guest judge ever! HORRIBLE! She’s so mesmerized by herself & is just trying wayyy too hard to make everyone else feel that way, too…

  25. Leea says:

    Cyrus doesn’t even get challenges thrown at him. It’s his partners & the choreographers who have to dance around him so he wouldn’t fall over his own feet!!!

  26. no2CA says:

    Christina Applegate is like a spoiled 9-year-old who expects a pat on her back or applause for every single word she says

  27. Steve n PS says:

    I have a comment. Maybe one reason a lot of people cant ‘feel it’ for Chehon – as great a dancer as he is – might be because of his ‘hair’. It is very distracting even to me and I think if he took it off he’d be sensational

  28. KittyKat says:

    I find the Cyrus situation a bit frustrating too though it’s certainly not his fault. I just think that if the choreographers are being limited in what they can routine then it’s become a bit of a problem. I kinda wish that they would give him some choreography that would challenge him a little more so he can be stretched further as he’s obviously very willing to try whatever they throw at him anyway. Maybe the judges would feel more able to be critical as it does feel a bit unfair at times that he seems to be graded at a different level to the others.