So You Think You Can Dance Recap: Summer Lovin' (Had 'Em a Blast)

so-you-think-you-can-dance-recap-season-11-top-18-rudy-jacque-showmance

I know it’s early into Season 11, but I’m not sure So You Think You Can Dance‘s effervescent Rudy can do any wrong.

OK, maybe he should consider a 10 percent reduction in wide-eyed golly gee-ness when he gets positive feedback from the judges — it’s sometimes a fine line between wicked heartthrob and ventriloquist’s dummy — but you’ve got to admit he’s as loveable as a teacup chihuahua peeking out from a cashmere blanket (or a newborn kitten cradled in an endive leaf, if you’re not really into canines).

Tonight, Rudy scored some additional (and probably unneeded) personality points by admitting to a percolating crush on Jacque — a crush that the sultry ballerina apparently reciprocates. “She’s perfect,” he sighed in response to Emmy-nominated host Cat Deeley asking what drew him to Jacque, while tens of thousands of voters punched a chad (or 50) on his behalf.

Was it all a calculated ploy? It’s hard to say — though I’d like to think these young artistés aren’t quite so cynical. And yet, as Stanley (whose androgyny was called out by exquisite guest judge Misty Copeland) and Jourdan (whose pre-performance package focused on her weigh-lifting regimen) got booted at the end of the telecast, I wondered if Fox would’ve pushed this showmance story arc so aggressively — if at all — had Rudy developed feelings for one of his male competitors, or if Jacque had kissed a girl backstage (and liked it).

Oh c’mon — it’s not hard to imagine any same-sex pairings blooming stage left at SYTYCD. But the way “masculinity” continues to carry as high a premium as beluga caviar with head judge Nigel Lythgoe — and the way even occasional male-male or female-female routines never get described in a romantic way by choreographers — the sudden slow clap for Rudy and Jacque struck me as perhaps a little… unfair? Troubling? Worthy of at least a little hrrrmm?

Heck, even when you take questions of gay or straight or bi or questioning out of the equation, you’re still left with contestants like Marcquet and Jourdan — who got dinged by Nigel for “not personally connecting” with the audience. But isn’t personal connection a helluva lot easier when producers have painted you standing outside somebody’s bedroom window, boom box held over your head, Peter Gabriel at full blast?

I dunno exactly what point I’m trying to make. I’m not even 100 percent sure I’ve made the right decision by trying to make it in the midst of this recap. But it was the thought that got lodged in my head as I sat down to write — and so I figured I’d throw it out there for discussion. I mean, if Mary Murphy still gets to screech at top volume as she puts dancers on the Hot Tamale Train, should any bullet point really be relegated to the holster?

On that note, let’s hand out awards for the night’s 10 routines

DANCE OF THE NIGHT
Bridget Whitman and Emilio Dosal (Jive) | OK, I’m still genetically programmed to couch-dance every time “Happy” plays in my living room, but even so, Bridget and Emilio were so fleet-footed and flirty during their routine — and aided by such kicky costumes — that they decimated any bad mojo that might’ve been in or around me. As Misty noted, Bridget was “light and precise and beautiful,” while Emilio (while perhaps not quite as sharp) moved with such purposeful joy that I swear I’ll storm Fox HQ (at least in my head) if he’s in the Bottom 3 guys again next week.

CO-RUNNER-UP
Tanisha Belnap and Rudy Abreu (Broadway) | Rudy had a couple flail-y moments with his cane work — and his back bend was only half of Tanisha’s — but for the most part, the duo’s crazy-energetic piece set to “Sing Sing Sing” was one of the better Broadway numbers in recent SYTYCD history. As Mary noted, at the end of the season, this is one we’ll remember — not just for the synchronization and wicked footwork, but from the sheer transference of positive energy radiating from Tanisha and Rudy.

CO-RUNNER-UP
Emily James and Teddy Coffey (Contemporary) | Some of the chroreographed lifts in this lovers’ dance were indeed a bit “ugly,” as Nigel noted, but there was a connectedness and an emotional honesty running through the whole routine that made it downright magical. If I had to nitpick, I wish Emily had been a little more vibrant in her moments of stillness, but Teddy was so invested in every line and extension, I’d have believed it if you’d told me his specialty was secretly contemporary.

WORST OF THE NIGHT
Brooklyn Fullmer and Casey Askew (Jazz) | Wait, this Bonnie Story routine was supposed to be about a guy asking his crush out on a date? Because from my vantage point, this looked like two solos happening on one stage — by a pair who could barely be bothered to look at one another. Casey has some undeniable agility in his spins and leaps, but there’s something that strikes me as unformed in his movement. Brooklyn, meanwhile, never quite looked happy to be there — making her my No. 1 pick for next week’s ouster.

MOST OVERPRAISED
Carly Blaney and Serge Onik (Hip-Hop) | I absolutely loved this pair last week, but while Misty was right in noting how Carly truly embodied the skeleton character she was asked to play, Serge never managed to look like her equal throughout the hip-hop number. I mean, not only did the dude never truly drop it to the ground and get nasty, but his energy began to lag at the midway point. Maybe he was distracted by the heinous clear-plastic priest collar in his outfit? Maybe he was just too far outside his comfort zone? But my initial impression that he’s a serious contender for the Season 11 crown is now in question.

MOST SURPRISING
Valerie Rockey and Ricky Ubeda (Viennese Waltz) | Valerie’s never been the most graceful mover — but her sheer joy (and Disney princess dress) allowed her to capture the romantic spirit of Lacey Schwimmer’s choreography. Still, for my money (and despite what the judges said), Ricky was still the MVP — sure of foot, explosive with his strength and more limber than a ten-foot Twizzler.

PERFORMANCE I’LL HAVE FORGOTTEN BY TOMORROW
Jacque LeWarne and Zack Everhart (Hip-Hop) | Jacque seemed a little sluggish in her transitions, while Zack, so memorable last week, kind of faded into the background. I won’t be shocked if she’s at risk next week.

MOST DISAPPOINTING
Jessica Richens and Stanley Glover (Jazz) | I was struggling to figure out why this routine irked me so much — and then the mesmerizing Misty (who really ought to be a semi-permanent third judge) went and succinctly summed it up: Jessica and Stanley oversold it with their magic-carpet ride routine with facial expressions that were void of any genuine feeling. Let’s be honest: Jessica’s transcendent Week 1 dance with Ricky can only take her so far.

PERFORMANCE I’LL HAVE TO WATCH AGAIN (SINCE THE JUDGES SEEMED OVERLY HARSH)
Jourdan Epstein and Marcquet Hill | I loved the physical strength and slinky sensuality of Jourdan’s performance, but Nigel was right that Marcquet didn’t seem entirely sure-footed during his lifts.

And now… the Bottom 6, based on last week’s vote — and then narrowed down by the judges based on this week and last week’s performances:

Bottom 6
Bridget
Emily
Jourdan
Emilio
Stanley
Teddy

Eliminated (the judges did not deviate from the two lowest vote-getters)
Jourdan
Stanley (anyone feel like a lot of untapped potential got wasted with this elimination?)

What did you think of the Top 18? Take our poll below to vote for your three favorite routines, then hit the comments with your thoughts on the performances, our amazing (repeat) guest judge and eliminations!

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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132 Comments
  1. CINMG says:

    Pretty much figured out from the get-go that Jourdan and Emily would be in the bottom 3 and if so that Jourdan would be the one to go. The guys surprised me. Did not see Emilio and Stanley being in the bottom 3 and certainly did not see Stanley being eliminated. Outside of Ricky, I no longer have any idea how anybody will do in this competition. It seems to be just one big jumbled mess of dancers and I keep waiting for someone other than Ricky to break through. And despite the judges’ raves, I did not think that the Tanisha/Rudy Broadway routine was all that special. None of the dances tonight really hit home for me. Some decent ones, but nothing more than that. “Bah, Humbug!” in July? Possibly.

    • Sara says:

      I agree with you about Rudy/Tanisha not being anything special. I was actually really annoyed by that dance as I felt it was really messy. They (especially Rudy) lost control of their props numerous times and just let them swing around. Bob Fosse would have had a lot to say about that dance and it wouldn’t have been praise.

      • Leigh says:

        I thought Rudy/Tanisha were the worst and was shocked they got a standing ovation. Maybe they did great in dress rehearsal or something so the judges had predetermined to praise them so highly. I don’t know. Even though they had some good moments, they were totally out of synch at the beginning and sporadic off throughout. I don’t get it…

        • Kathryn says:

          So glad I’m not the only one! I thought it was incredibly sloppy (especially Rudy) and not in unison. The props were just clumsy. I could not believe they got a standing ovation. I thought about watching it again to see what I missed, but I couldn’t even bring myself to do that. I don’t get it either.

          • elr says:

            I agree with all of you about the standing ovation and how it wasn’t deserved. I wonder if it was more for the choreographer than the dancers?

          • Trinity says:

            I thought it was a hot mess.. and was stunned by the Standing O…

          • Ashly says:

            Totally agree! I’m so glad there are other people who didn’t think it was any good. It was actually at the bottom of my list. I know I’m not a professional dancer but still… That dance was no good.

      • PIMB says:

        I disagree. I liked Rudy and Tanisha. That was a difficult routine. Whatever. Who cares what Fosse would say. Contrary to anything that was said, this was nNOT a Fossesque routine. I thought last night was a bore.

        • The Costume Department says:

          Agreed. I liked Rudy and Tanisha. She is fabulous and might be dragged down a bit by his lack of technique.

          • Mona Cattanach says:

            Though I am not on the Rudy bandwagon, I’ve been a fan of Tanisha from her intitial audition. I think she is polished and professional and has strengths far beyond ball room that we haven’t seen yet!

        • Sara says:

          Yes, that was a difficult routine, however they did not perform it up to standing ovation standards. They were messy. They were uncontrolled. And it what universe was that not a Fosse inspired routine? It was a jazzy broadway routine that included footwork in there that was pure Fosse.

          • Sara Stinks says:

            Suck it Sara.

          • Corie says:

            In the universe of reality “Sara” – the choreography was not inspired by Bob Fosse’s. You obviously have no first hand knowledge of Fosse’s style. It’s interesting that you write this same comment about the choreography of dance resembling Fosse’s style on numerous sites under different names.

          • Sara Stinks says:

            That’s why I told Sara to suck it. She is a loon. Uncontrolled??????????

    • Bryna says:

      I have trying to figure out how to describe this group of dancers and “jumbled mess” is the words I have been looking for…very accurate..

    • Jenks says:

      I agree. There has been only one dance so far that I have watched more than once — Ricky and Jessica’s routine on the first show. I don’t know if it’s the performances or the choreo, but nothing much has blown my skirt up so far.

    • ekolint48 says:

      I agree about the Broadway. I think the choreographer did a great job and the dancers (moreso Rudy) failed to execute it to its full potential. My eyes were drawn to Tanisha who I felt carried the no. but of course the judges had to overpraise Rudy their 2nd fav guy this season.

    • ChrissieK says:

      I kept going “ewww” “ewww” when Rudy and Tanisha did that awful Broadway number…and then I see all 3 judges giving them a Standing O? Oh No! They really lost me on that one.

    • Mo Mos Mo Problems says:

      I agree. Although when I saw Stanley in the bottom three, I was heartbroken and hoping he wouldn’t leave, but after seeing all three bottom guys dance, I felt it had to be him – I’m finding I’m not ready to give up Emilio or Teddy based on their dances last night.

      As for the dances themselves, I really didn’t get all the love last night. I also thought Rudy and Tanisha were out of sync, at least very obviously at the beginning of the piece, and not worthy of a standing o. I thought Ricky looked like a hobbit in his waltz attire, and that Valerie is shaping up to be this year’s Cyrus – cute as a button, and just not that great a dancer. I did love Teddy and Emily’s dance, although it helped that I love love love “Ne Me Quitte Pas”. And then Nigel had to tell everyone to go look for the song’s lyrics, because they are amazing (and they are) …and then he goes and quotes the stupidest, schmaltziest, most Hallmark-card rhymey-wimey, absolutely-NOT-the-translation lyrics and made me want to hit him upside the head (again).

      • PIMB says:

        I think I remember the Jack Jones version. And for pure dripping schmaltz there is always Neil Diamond. I like Teddy too! Rudy and Tanisha may have been out of sync but she was really good so I blame Rudy. Who btw I think has a crush on Jaques not Jaque

  2. Elena says:

    I really liked the dance between Marcquet and Jordan and was not happy to see the judges (mostly Nigel) basically nitpick at different aspects is each performer but mostly poor Marcquet. He danced a wonderful solid dance and was rewarded with a barrage of criticism on both his technique and performance capability. The critique just seemed overly harsh and nitpicky. Why does technique matter for one performance and not the next?
    Anyway, my three favs of the night were also the top three listed here. Teddy really surprised me tonight. I usually see a hint of awkwardness in hiphoppers who go contemporary but he adapted quite well.

    • Emily says:

      I agree with you. I liked the dance between Marcquet and Jourdan. This was the first time I actually liked Jourdan, so I am sad that it was the week she is going. But, poor Marcquet is getting a very harsh critique, and no one else had that. It seemed that Nigel went out of his way to be particularly harsh on Marcquet. I think that Nigel needs to be more consistent with his critiques. That being said, I very much liked Teddy and Emily, Rudy and Tanisha, and Ricky and Valerie tonight. They were really good tonight.

      • PIMB says:

        I thought Jourdan was very good. However she has not connected with me since the beginning. Marquette has disappointed me 2 weeks in a row. However I thought the commetn about not knowing who he is was unnecessary. He is trying to be a well rounded dancer. That is who he is!

        • Jenks says:

          Comments like “I don’t know who you are” really annoy me, especially since the judges will turn around and ding somebody for not being “in character.” Which is it? I get that a performer has to have a distinct “voice,” so to speak, but it always sounds like really lame criticism.

          • The Costume Department says:

            Exactly! I always want them to say: I am who the choreographer wants me to be.

          • PIMB says:

            Really. Some get criticized for making faces others for not being in character. I guess it depends how much they like you.

          • Corie says:

            To – The Costume Department says: Love your comment. And that is absolutely the right answer.

        • Mo Mos Mo Problems says:

          Hi Pinky – I completely agree about that comment, and you’re right on the money on yours. Nigel’s comment made no sense, but heck, what else is new. Marcquette did however struggle with the lift, and one of the judges (I have to admit it might even have been Nigel, but I prefer to ignore that because I refuse to admit that he can actually make any sense) that his toes curled up as he tried to find his balance as he lifted Jourdan. I didn’t really care for the dance, and the gray palette added to the meh feeling about it.

          • PIMB says:

            Yeah, he is bumming me out. Maybe Marquette will pull it all together. But Nigel remains a tool!

      • Trinity says:

        I didn’t like it at first but grew to like it as it went on.. Since I didn’t see their time with the choreographer I was confused by Jourdan’s smile throughout the dance.. It had a dark feel and the smile was off putting was I missing something?

  3. Julie Anderson says:

    I thought Casey was phenomenal in that dance, though it did feel a bit like a solo.

    I’m sorry I just do not see what the judges are seeing with Valerie. She seems like such sweet person, but I get distracted by what I can only describe as a lack of grace.

    I’m most impressed with Carly among the girls and Ricky, Zach and Casey among the boys.

    • shankate says:

      I thought Valerie looked large and ungainly. Her dress was beautiful, though.

    • Mo Mos Mo Problems says:

      “Graceless” was exactly what I thought about her dancing, too.

      • Corie says:

        Hi Mo Mo – completely agree with you. She seems like a really sweet girl, but I’m getting so tired of the judges hyping her dancing each week. She doesn’t have the same skills/technical level as the other female dancers and yet seems to get praised more.

        • Mo Mos Mo Problems says:

          Hi Corie – I think we’re in for a long stretch of that, unfortunately. Just switch the gender on your comment: “He seems like a really sweet guy, but I’m getting so tired of the judges hyping his dancing each week. He doesn’t have the same skills/technical level as the other male dancers and yet seems to get praised more.” Pretty much word-for-word what we were all writing about Cyrus a couple of years back, right? In his case, he was carried by Eliana, who in turn suffered from not getting good enough dances that could really showcase her skills. In Valerie’s case, she’s carried by Ricky, who in turn suffers… oh, you know how it goes.

  4. CINMG says:

    It was very nice of Mary to dress like a Pilgrim to celebrate…..what, Festivus?
    I can hardly wait to see what she wears to celebrate National Dance Day. Maybe some Saturday Night Fever garb?

    • PIMB says:

      I agree CINMG. A cross between a pilgrim and Barbra Streisands oscar attire. Luckily she limited the see-through aspect. But what was going on with her head. Wild ferrets??? Overall a great night for the Costume Department. Cat looked fab. That waltz dress was exquisite. I liked Tanisha’s dress. No epic fails. Well done!!!

      • Trinity says:

        Defiantly no diaper pants, leopard hippo pants, Miss Mary Cleavage.. speaking of cleavage maybe since the CD got so much flak for showing us ample twins last week they decided the twins had to be put to rest this week.. so they went Pilgrim.. Maybe a happy medium next week… Just no more 80’s padded shoulders please.. and Hair Department please tame the wild ferret look on Miss Mary’s head..

    • Mo Mos Mo Problems says:

      Mwahahahahahah, Festivus. Goes well with “The Airing of Grievances” we’re having here, after all! :-)

      Cat looked amazing, and I would usually hate what she was wearing yesterday, but on her, as usual, it was great. Damn that woman! Note to the Costume Department to pass to the Makeup Department: please, no more heavy face makeup on guys who sweat as much as Serge – It looked like he was melting before my eyes. Speaking of which, it also looked like some of the makeup was running into his, and he kept trying to blink it away. Next time, I guess, please, just tons of baby powder on that face!

  5. analythinker says:

    Hm, on singing competition, I tend to agree with you, Michael. But not on dance. I thought Serge was good! Not great, I know, but admirable job. I’d agree with you about Bridget & Emilio though :)

  6. I totally disagree with your ratings on this one Michael. Misty was spot on with her critiques as always, especially of the Jourdan/Marcquet routine. The emotional disconnect was so obvious. Serge was not bad in the hip-hop. He was outdanced by Carly, sure, and less grounded than her, but I’ll still take him over Bridget last week. For a ballroomer, he did decently well. The Jive lacked dance content, despite being entertaining, and the Waltz was so awkward that I’m still shaking my head how the judges are praising it. Performance of the week, by a mile, goes to Teddy and Emily.

    • Cynx says:

      I completely agree with you on this one, but the Luther Brown Carly/Serge number was actually my favorite, with Teddy and Emily’s routine a close second.

  7. kevin says:

    I so disagree. I thought Brooklyn and Casey was one of the best. But I agree that if any “Same Love” was going on, we would have never heard of it. While this show skews ” younger”, I think any same love would cost the dancers votes

  8. David4 says:

    I love Ricky, he is so fun to watch and such a nice seeming guy.

    I really miss the solos. I know they are useless but every once and awhile they just make you remember what you voted off.

    • PIMB says:

      Ricky has lost me with two sub-par dances and his ridiculous vamping for the cameras. How did he fall so far so fast for me :(

      • Jenks says:

        I kind of agree about the vamping, but I don’t see anything sub-par in his dancing, other than having to drag Valerie around the floor. He is so graceful that he makes her look heavy-footed and awkward. I think it’s a bad pairing for both of them.

        • PIMB says:

          OK. We disagree.

          • Corie says:

            Hey PIMB – you know I love you dearly – but I’m with Jenks on this one. You have every right to not like Ricky’s personality, but I don’t think you can logically/factually dispute that he’s a breathtakingly talented dancer. XOXOXO

          • PIMB says:

            He was in auditions, not so much in the last two weeks.

      • Ronnie says:

        I’m so glad you said this. I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one who felt this way!

    • Princess Easter says:

      I think we forget these kids are so young until their silliness shows up when they are not dancing. However, when he dances he morphs into something amazing. Can’t blame him for being a kid though. I think choreography is the key. And when he is paired with an all-star, yippee, we are going to melt.

  9. Babybop says:

    The jive and the waltz were the winners tonight with the broadway close behind. As far as the “relationship” thing goes – I think it’s a ploy. They know people like romance. IMO, what (or who) these people do in their personal time none of our business.

    • giselle says:

      This show used to be the best of the reality shows IMO. Why can’t producers stick with what worked instead of messing up a good thing? I agree with your opinion of the “relationship” thing. The way this show’s ratings are declining, I guess, is forcing them to dig deeper into anything that will boost interest. What happened to Mia Michaels? Her choreo was always so good. Hope they keep Misty around for the rest of the season. Her comments seem true to her real opinions, not what the show seems like it is trying to promote.

  10. MC says:

    I was really happy to see a nice picture of Bridget at the top of this page. I decided to finally visit the dreaded Facebook page and cast twenty votes for her. Bridget absolutely cannot be in the bottom six again after delivering such a wonderful jive. I encouraqe Bridget’s fans to get out the vote this week. The fringe benefit of visiting Facebook is they have a great still photo of last week’s terrific African Jazz number. Lastly, I think they should make Misty the permanent third judge for the remainder of this season.

    • giselle says:

      I’d really like to vote for anyone this season. Unfortunately, because of the voting change, I will just be a viewer, instead of a participating viewer.

  11. Jane says:

    Sorry Mike, but how did this become a gay issue? Why can’t it be a I’m sick of showmances issue?

    • Mona Cattanach says:

      I agree Jane. I know the producers think we will be more likely to vote for the dancers if we know something about them and occasionally an interesting fact does surface, but this just came off as shameless pandering of votes for me.
      I should say, I am not a fan of Rudy. I can see that he has potential and I guess he is supposed to be our “growth” story this season, but I don’t care to watch him grow. Every week he is less convincing with his “gosh me” act which seems fake to me and like still more vote pandering.
      I have also noticed that as in seasons past, some dancers are getting much more camera time during judges’ comments and the “how to vote” spiel. Tonight Kat just prolonged Rudy’s camera time by bringing up the romance question. As a contrast, remember how there was no time left to critique Nick and Tanisha’s dance the first week. It may not have had anything to do with Nick ending up in the bottom 6, but I don’t think it was completely coincidental that Nick got so few votes.

    • PIMB says:

      Rudy and Jaque are as much of a thing as I am with Maks. You figure it out :)

  12. I will Fix Idol says:

    Marquet and Jourdan got saddled with a routine that was hard to connect to – and didn’t deserve the tongue lashing they got from Nigel especially — Stanley we definitely loss too soon – last week’s routine did him no favors – he needed a Sonya or Travis routine to probably really break through…it’s an odd season no one save Ricky and maybe Teddy seem to be connecting -

    • Trinity says:

      Since we never even saw Teddy prior to the top 20 announcement.. he has become my dark horse.. Loving him… I get more excited with Teddy and Serge then Ricky.. I know Ricky can dance I want to see them grow!!!

  13. Faye says:

    I really like Serge and hope he is not eliminated next week but Carly was the star of that number. He seemed limp and lifeless, even for a skeleton.
    Rudy’s enthusiasm comes off as hammy to me and very distracting. And that was not my idea of a show stopping performance. Standing O ? no way.
    I enjoyed Zack and Jacque because they seemed in tune and connected which is what I feel Jourdan and Marcquet lacked.
    Bridget and Emilio’s Jive was fun and flirty. Valerie and Ricky dance was lovely.
    But there has yet to be anything so far that I would call outstanding…..overly-praised ? yes.

  14. Mytake says:

    None of the dances for the past two weeks have been wonderful. They range, to my mind from good to not great with the odd moment in some routines that shine for a few seconds. The one dancer that as far as I’m concerned is head and shoulders above the rest is Ricky. If he was paired with even one of the average to good female dancers I think we would be witnessing amazing routines with he and his partner every week. As much as Valerie I’m sure is a very good tapper and no doubt a lovely girl that is working her butt off to learn the routines, the fact is I personally feel she is by far the least skilled female dancer on the show. Due to this I have no doubt at all that Ricky and her routines have been “dumbed down” so that she can manage them. Unfortunately, that means we the viewers are being deprived of the wonder and spectacular abilities of Ricky. What is the point of having someone that is truly an amazing dancer on a dancing show when his artistry and superb abilities are shacked week after week :(. It does the show no favours. It does him a complete disservice and worse of all it inhibits we the viewers of witnessing mind blowing and thrilling dancing that I know he can show us if he had a partner that was remotely in his league.

    • Tamara says:

      Totally totally agree. I know Valerie is super popular but she is nowhere near Ricky’s level and unfortunately it looks like we have to wait until top 10 for Ricky to reach his full, dazzling potential! Let’s keep voting till them to ensure he reaches top 10.

    • Bryna says:

      I have been rooting for Valerie since the beginning..There is just something likable about her and I think she is exciting to watch because you think “Is she gonna be able to pull this genre off?” Last night, I found myself thinking the same thing as you Mytake, Ricky is like this phenom (word maybe a little strong but for the sake of the point..) and Valerie is like a little butterfly waiting to fly…Which both are good things, Ricky just does not have the opportunity to be challenged…

    • Jenks says:

      I could not agree more. You expressed exactly what it wrong with this pairing, especially the part about dumbing down the routines so Valerie can [sort of] do them. She’s a lovely girl and probably a good tap dancer, but she can’t keep up with Ricky. Maybe they put them together so the whole thing wouldn’t be a wild run-away like it was with Melanie Moore.

    • Daisy says:

      I really thought that Michael would vote for Ricky and Valerie as the most overpraised pair of the evening. I’m not a ballroom dancer, but I thought that Valerie’s frame was lacking and that she just didn’t embody the grace and elegance that the waltz needs. She wasn’t horrible, but to get all the praise that she did really surprised me. She needs to pick up her shoulders–she almost always seems hunched, which seems to be the style of tappers–loose in the shoulders. I thought her dress was gorgeous and she has a winning personality, but her technique on this particular dance wasn’t all that great (IMHO). :)

  15. Margaret says:

    Jacque and Zack’s–if Bleeding Love (Chelsie & Mark) and Mad (Jeanine & Philip) had a baby? I’d have to agree with Michael that it was good but not particularly memorable, at least not in the way those routines have been since they were originally performed.

  16. eman says:

    After the opening show I thought we were in for a fantastic season, but after two weeks of a few good dances, to mediocre and even bad I am beginning to wonder. Ricky is clearly talented, but he made Valerie look oafish in comparison this week. The waltz is all about grace and beauty and yes Valerie was into the dance and knew the steps but she is so far below Ricky’s level that it is painfully obvious regardless of what the judges said. She is a sweet girl, but she should have not made the top 20 and we are getting deprived of seeing Ricky at his best because of his weak partner. We are going to have to wait until we get to the top 10 for Ricky to be unleashed.

    The jive was fun and Bridget nailed it and both dancers had great energy and passion throughout. I enjoyed the Broadway number, but Rudy is very hammy. I am not sure what the judges were seeing but Serge did not look good in the hip hop number whereas Carly nailed it, she hit it hard yet embodied a skeleton, she was great. I’m not sure about the overall dance, but Casey looked fantastic while Brooklyn looked truly out of her element and will be going home next week.

    The rest of the dances ranged from decent to weak for me. I am also waiting for a female dancer to step out and shine, but while we have some good ones no one has stepped up like Amy did last year or Melanie the year before.

    This might be the year where we have a lot of good dancers but no truly great dancer although if Ricky gets a better partner he could be fantastic.

  17. Mona Cattanach says:

    After reading thru all the comments, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one that is not a Rudy fan, thought maybe I was the only “old cranky, just doesn’t get it” viewer out there
    I wonder if Nigel is pushing Rudy so hard because while the cast is good this year, and Ricky is amazing dance wise, there are no real big personalities. I personally find it refreshing that these dancers seem pleasant and real and hard working but I guess Nigel needs an over the top personality (read-ego) to make his season complete.
    I am keeping an eye on Carly, as I think she will be the girl to break out. From the first audition show, my opinion has been that the guys are generally stronger than the girls this season. I think Carly may have the “girl power” needed to keep up with the boys.
    I am a big Valerie fan and enjoyed the waltz tonight, but I also agree that she looked somewhat awkward next to Ricky. I think part of the problem is that she is taller than him. I realize that’s a bit of an antiquated statement and height does not affect the quality of someone’s dance, but the Viennese Waltz is an antiquated dance and the height difference did not help. Also at times in the choreography it looked like Lindsey had Valerie leading, especially when Ricky stood on one foot and Valerie turned him. That visual was odd to me.
    While Valerie’s dress was beautiful, not sure what was up with that head piece they had on her. The giant rose on the right side was not doing her any favors.
    Finally, am I the only one getting the sense that Nigel is loosing faith in Jessica? I really get the feeling he wouldn’t fight too hard to save her if she were in the bottom 6. I guess the little “sex kitten in the hat” audition piece can only carry you so far.

  18. Jason says:

    -Frontrunners are definitely Carly, Jacque, and Tenisha for the girls & Ricky and Rudy for the guys.

    -I get that Ricky is great, but I wish that the judges would stop saying that he’s in a league of his own. I also didn’t like how Nigel’s first comment on Carly & Serge’s routine was that it wouldn’t get votes. Let the voters decide what they want to vote for and give us you critique of the actual dancers (ex. Mary and Misty)

    -Marcquet should be happy he has Jessica and Jessica should be happy she has Marcquet (Jordan and Stanley/Nick were not great partners).

    Bottom 6: Casey, Brooklyn, Marcquet, Emily, Serge, Jessica .

    • Ronnie says:

      “-I get that Ricky is great, but I wish that the judges would stop saying that he’s in a league of his own. I also didn’t like how Nigel’s first comment on Carly & Serge’s routine was that it wouldn’t get votes. Let the voters decide what they want to vote for and give us you critique of the actual dancers (ex. Mary and Misty)”

      This is probably the thing that bugs me most about Nigel. Anytime he is involved with a show, he tries to blatantly manipulate the audience votes. Come on, at least be A LITTLE subtle about it!

      • Corie says:

        Well said. I hate the overt manipulation too and it seems to get worse each season. While I do agree with Nigel that Ricky is an extraordinarily skilled and beautiful dancer, that was rude to all the other dancers. And I thought he was totally off the mark when he spoke about Luther Brown’s routine for Carly and Serge being not vote worthy. At least both Mary and Misty disagreed with him. Not sure why they try to steer the audience to vote for certain dancers – but wish they would do what you write about – and just let the TV audience experience the dances on their own and not tell viewers who vote and are easily manipulated – who they should vote for.

  19. PIMB says:

    I hate when they disguise the dancers in the opening numbers. the only ones I recognized were Marquette and Lady Gaga.

    • Aprilcot says:

      That’s funny, because I was just talking to my husband about how much I love it when they do that. I feel like I focus more on the dance itself and less on finding individual performers within the piece.

      • PIMB says:

        I see your point but if someone takes the time to vote it would be nice to know if their favorite was good or was the person messing up the dance.

  20. Anthony's Weiner says:

    Rudy has a crush on Jaque like I will be elected President. Maybe he thought Jaque is actually “Jaques”.

  21. Cyndro says:

    I like Tanisha the black girl.

  22. PIMB says:

    Overall last night was a bore. Magic carpet??? Look like it needed to be hung up on a line and beaten. The best parts of the night were Pasha (and Anya, sigh) and the Maks and Val sighting!!!! Also some people appeared to be making bubbles in that pool :) I would like to see an Ego to the death cage match Ballas Vs Teith during National Dance day. Valerie’s dress was the star of the night!!! Ricky disappointed again. And I have to ff’wd through the comics due to his over the top antics. Stanley got Tyced…yep.

    • NayNay says:

      Ego to the Death match, yes. They both are way too full of themselves. And I will never understand why everyone on SyTYCD is so crazy about Teith.

  23. LOL says:

    LOL Rudy and Jaque. Why didn’ t they have Val in flats? I think it would have looked better.

  24. The Costume Department says:

    We think the clear plastic collar around Serge’s neck was supposed to be removed before he went onstage (dang, what WAS that?).
    We had a lot of fun with the dresses last night, except Jessica’s mud colored dealie. Not sure what that was. Tyce must have picked that.

    Misty wasn’t nearly so intense last night so her comments were really enjoyable. Especially with the Nigel burn: I’m of THIS generation, so I LIKE hip hop. Hahahahaha

  25. The Costume Department says:

    We agree – the wild garden at the top of Valerie’s dress and the matching hairpiece…too much. A little Carmen Miranda.

    I think she is very talented…but how graceful is anyone going to look when they tower over their partner? We should have put her in flats.

    And of course it’s too early to tell. But is Jessica a mini grim reaper? Everyone she has danced with has gone home…

    • Mona Cattanach says:

      I had the exact same though about Jessica, The Costume Department. Apparently dancing with her is the kiss of death-makes me wonder if all the fault is on the side of her partners or if she needs to check her own partnering skills!

    • PIMB says:

      She is in cahoots with LLF Teith :)

  26. The Costume Department says:

    And while Emily’s personality grates on us (we still don’t know why), she did a great job tonight. Our personal favorite costume was Bridget’s light blue number.

    Rudy is a great performer, but he lacks the grace Tanisha has.

    • Mona Cattanach says:

      Not only was Bridget’s costume adorable; when I once again grow young and slim-it could happen right?-I want her dress! Emilio’s costume was a great match to Bridget’s and solved the mystery of Zack’s missing wing tip tap shoes. They morphed into Emilio’s wing tip jive shoes. Great touch Costume Department!

  27. elr says:

    I must say the Costume Department was on fire last night, even the skin and bones looked good. It was a really good night of dance and I loved, loved , loved the performance by Great Big World. I wonder how long it will be before we see it used in a routine. I know I almost had the entire song choreographed.

    • Jess says:

      It was aleady in a routine, last seaon I think. I thought this show is what made that song popular. Honestly I wish they’d played their new song (or any other song) as Im sick of hearing that one.

      • elr says:

        Thanks Jess, that is probably why I was able to “see” the dance in my head. I just went back and watched Amy and Robert’s routine. Spectacular, beautiful, and amazing!

    • Sara says:

      Amy did a routine to it with All-Star Robert last year to it.

  28. The Costume Department says:

    Thank you to Misty for saying that they’re not just genres, the contestants are DANCERS.

    • elr says:

      I know, there should really be a drinking game for every time the judges are shocked by someone dancing well outside of their genre. Although, then everyone would be sloshed and not able to vote!

  29. NayNay says:

    Poor Stanley, got liffed last week and Tyced and Nigeled last night. He never had a chance. Hope he continues with his dancing. Glad to see Misty back. None of the routines grabbed me last night, although I thought Rudy and Tanisha were the best. Ricky and Valerie were good, but I knew he would get easy ballroom and his personality is getting on my nerves. Too fake. I thought the skeleton routine looked cool. Liked the jive to happy. Cat looked gorgeous last night. That is all.

  30. Mike tseng says:

    You think that the routine performed by Zach and jaque is the one you’ll forget by tomorrow? You obviously have no idea how good keone and Mari’s choreography is. It’s modern. It makes Luther’s hip hop look elementary.

  31. I am absolutely convinced that Spencer Lif’s horrible choreography last week was the primary reason that Malene went out last week and Stanley followed her this week. It didn’t help Stanley that he ended up with Jessica – and an odd piece by Tyce. Bad luck to get the worst choreo of the show twice in a row.

  32. sarah says:

    Emilio/Bridget and Teddy/Emily should not have been in the bottom! I am glad that the judges went with Americas vote and sent Jourdan and Stanley home!
    Personally I am not a fan of Rudy’s he is way to over the top.
    Once again I agree with most everything you said about the dances, however I liked Jacque and Zack’s hip hop.
    Of all the dancers left next week Marquet and Jacque should be sent home.

    • Montie329 says:

      Marquet and Brooklyn should go home – she was terrible last night and also in the dance with Serge, which was her own style.

  33. Morisot says:

    Michael, when Cat started really pushing the “crush” inquisition of Rudy, I wondered, “What the…?”

    When I dropped in here to see what you had thought of the dances, for the first seven paragraphs I thought, “What the…?” ( A “Rant” — “Here endth the Rant” warning would have been appreciated.)

    My one dance comment: I think Hip-Hop is supposed to be hard-hitting. Those were two rather rubbery skeletons, especially Serge.

  34. I.R.E. says:

    My predictions of both Jourdan and Stanley getting eliminated are 100% correct!

  35. juliebug04 says:

    I really WISH that the judges would at least ATTEMPT to act like they haven’t already made up their mind on who is getting cut that week. You could easily tell by the lackluster comments that the judges gave to Stanley and Jourdan that they were the ones getting the boot–on the flip side, they were tripping over themselves to flatter Emilio and Bridget, and were very complimentary to Teddy and Emily too. It’s particularly annoying to me because, as much as I adore Emilio and the performance factor (and I do!!), his technique was awful in that jive. Bridget sold it, for sure.

    I actually was impressed by the piece that Tyce did for Teddy and Emily–it was very unique and grounded, and they performed it VERY well, I thought. Quite frankly, I don’t get Brooklyn and Casey. His technique is great, but I’m just not on his bandwagon….can’t put my finger on the why of it, I’m just not. I actually thought it should have been him and Brooklyn that went home week 2 instead of Malene and Nick, but maybe that’s just me… I loved the Viennese Waltz that Ricky and Natalie performed with choreography by Lacey Schwimmer. It was really sweet, and it really captured their abilities and strengths well–and I just LOVE that song by Jason Mraz.

    Already ready for next week. :)

  36. J says:

    Sad for Stanley! Untapped potential for sure. I really enjoyed Tanisha and Rudy’s routine that it’s the only one I remember. I am not sold on Rudy’s antics though. The kid needs some ritalin in my opinion. And yes I agree that the budding romance between two 18 year olds (or whatever) is cute and really the only one SYTYCD has ever advertised – it’s not that interesting. Lacey Schwimmer was in love with Hyuck (only my observation – *sigh* so many great dancers on this show) and Twitch and Allison are married! I also agree the show is homophobic. It’s so tiring. But I think the season will be a great one and Misty Copeland is superb!

  37. BrazenSongBird says:

    Poor Jessica. Saddled with two sub par dances in a row and get’s called out for overselling it. Both times! Sorry, but that’s what you do with a crap number. You perform the hell out of it and hope it goes over, because you sure as hell know that it’s not going to please the audience on substance alone. That magic carpet routine was a joke! Nothing about the choreo made sense or had any thru-line. I knew what she was doing and I also knew that Nigel would call her on it, because he never criticizes an established choreographer on his show.
    Poor Valerie. She’s a perfectly fine tap dancer, but that can’t and doesn’t stand up to the brilliance that is Ricky. Misty is right. The Ricky’s of the world don’t come around very often, but when they do, every dancer, and those who love dancers, watch what he does in awe and admiration. The personality? That will level out with maturity. Don’t forget he’s only 18. If you take it as the over-excited puppy that he still is, it’s not so annoying. As a matter of fact, I find it endearing.

    • Mytake says:

      Totally agree with everything you said! Jessica is an amazing dancer that has been saddled with less than great routines. She is one of the best female dancers as shown by her solos and when she paired with Ricky.

  38. Pam says:

    Zach and Jacque’s hip hop routine was my favorite of the night and I have rewatched it several times since. I was really surprised to find today that their routine gets very little mention. I hope there was enough folks like me who voted for them to get them through to another week. Zach, Ricky and Emilio are my favorite male dancers at this point with Jacque, Bridget and Carly for the girls.

    • Amy L says:

      I couldn’t agree more! I rewatched it over and over and barely a mention? They gave me chills. I think Zach has a legitimate chance to win.

  39. Anne says:

    It’ll be interesting to see next week if Marquet and Jessica can give each other some mojo next week, they both had disappointing partners this time around.

  40. Ashly says:

    I put Valerie and Ricky’s dance as my #2 favorite for the night. Ricky is so mesmerizing to watch. I kind of wish he could be paired with Bridget who is quickly becoming my favorite female dancer.

  41. Emma says:

    I find Rudy’s personality extremely grating which makes it impossible for me to enjoy his dancing. I would have given the most overpraised to Valerie, I thought she was awkward and clumsy in that waltz, she’s lucky Ricky is her dance partner. Nobody really blew me away last night, I thought the dancing and the routines were all very mediocre. Hoping next week is better. My picks to go home are Emily & Teddy.

  42. Joshua Hastings says:

    I hope Carly and Serge aren’t in danger of being in the bottom 6 based on Nigel’s overly skeptical comments. That performance definitely caught my attention and as a Hip-Hop dancer I was feeling it! I like when they actually dance to Hip-Hop music and it isn’t commercialized. The choreo was great and it gave the dancers some authentic moments to just vibe! I think Nigel’s caution was in thinking that it would be too “Hip-Hop” for the viewers and I’m glad that Misty and Mary put him straight. I want them to be diverse and not safe on the show and this week showed a step in that direction. Great having Misty on the show in what seems a weekly position and it was a great show this week!

  43. rafaelzzz says:

    Jacque and Zack were the best!

  44. zenemijyahoo says:

    Ugh, Rudy. I can’t with that one. His dancing is mediocre, heavy-footed, and inelegant. His personality is so “on” all the time…I’ve proceeded to cover my ears when he’s talking. And now that showmance’s going to ensure he sticks around even longer

    I don’t get all the hatin’ on Valerie. I thought she did great. Is it because people feel she’s dragging Ricky down? If Eliana survived all the way having to drag Cyrus I think Ricky will be OK.

    And btw have we seen Ricky dance *really* outside his comfort zone? The hype is strong on this one but it’s very early in the game.

    I thought Teddy and Emily, Emilio and Bridget, and Zack and Jacque were the top 3 in that order. Carly merits special mention but I agree with Nigel (I know, kill me now) that the dance/routine was a bit limp.

  45. PFitzDC says:

    I think the facial expressions of Jessica and Stanley were only a small percentage of that number’s failure–the bigger problem was that it was simply DREADFUL choreography. It was one of Tyce’s absolute worst ever. Also, Slezak, go back and look at Zack and Jacque again–that was a great number! Finally, a request…Michael, can you find out why NappyTabs has been AWOL this season?

  46. KCMSH says:

    I had the exact same thought about the whole gay vs. straight couple thing. I’m sure that there have been several behind the scenes romances through the years on this show, but they don’t put those on display. I want to believe that’s only for the dancers’ benefits, as much of America might turn against contestants rather than root for them if their showmances were made public. I can’t really believe that’s the case though. If anything, that’s the excuse the producers would use when defending the straight relationships they exploit for votes.

  47. CrazyDaezy says:

    I feel like they’re trying to force an Amy and Fikshun arc with Valerie and Ricky. Think about it. Ricky’s the highly trained champion who can do no wrong. Valerie’s the subpar compainion who has enough personality to carry her throughout the competition (even though she probably doesn’t deserve it). It’s just gender-swapped, so it probably won’t work as well.

    • Mona Cattanach says:

      I’m not sure what reasoning the producers, or who ever puts the dancers in couples, use when pairing the dancers. However the show has a long history of paring more advanced dancers with those of less represented genres who may be less versatile. Notice I did not say less talented, because I think Valerie is very talented though she may have less training outside her style.
      Of course everyone remembers Amy and Fik Shun from last year, but think about Eliana and Cyrus from season nine. And yes I was moaning every week about how we couldn’t see how amazing she was because, as personable as he was, he couldn’t dance to her level.
      Season 6 paired Jakob Karr an amazing contemporary dancer, with Ashleigh De Lellio, a mediocre-in my opinion- ballroom dancer. That same season had Kathryn McCormick, one of the best known contemporary girls to come out of the series, with Legacy, the break dancer. I know Legacy was a crowd favorite, but to my eye his skills in other styles were sub par at best.
      Season 5’s eventual winner Jeanine Mason, a contemporary/jazz dancer was paired with popper Phillip Chbeeb. His popping was amazing, but he had no skill in any other genre. He was so poor, that posters on blogs blasted Jeanine for “outdancing” her partner. Come on what was the poor girl supposed to do, dumb her dancing down to match his?
      My point, and I do have one, is that what ever the powers that be were thinking when they paired Ricky and Valerie, it’s not a new thought and I think it’s unfair to take it out on Valerie that she was paired with Ricky.
      It’s tough not to compare when she is dancing beside arguably the best dancer of this year’s top twenty, but give the girl a break and judge her on her own merits.

      • CrazyDaezy says:

        I, personally, love Valerie. I’m just a recent viewer of the show who’s starting to notice this. I’m a sucker for a big personality ;), but I also acknowledge that she has to work a little harder in order to truly get to half or Ricky’s level.

  48. Dora says:

    WHERE IS THIS WEEK’S RECAP??? Come on, Michael, don’t leave us hanging!

    • Mona Cattanach says:

      Sadly Dora, I don’t think there is going to be a recap this week. I did some Googling and found a twitter post , and trust me it took some doing because I’m not on Twitter. Anyway, apparently Michael tweeted that he would not be recapping SYTYCD this week because he would be at a concert..
      Frankly this is killing me because I had so many snarky things to say like-
      Why was Jacque dancing in my Grandmother’s bedspread and lamp shade?
      Did Brooklyn and Casey just come from underwater target practice? Or was there some other reason for their scuba suits and bullet-proof vests?
      What the Heck was up with Casey’s shorts, did he just forget to take them off before he came on stage?
      Finally, I was curious to see if anyone else noticed Valerie’s pink fuzzy slippers during the end of the show?

  49. fan says:

    Michael quit wasting time on Raise the Wall or whatever that talentless show is called and keep up with SYTYCD. :)

  50. Stacey says:

    Does anyone know what happened to Tabitha & Napoleon?

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