SYTYCD Recap: 100 Percent Pure Dance

“Turn down these voices inside my head,” requested Bonnie Raitt, in her epic 1991 hit “I Can’t Make You Love Me.”

That’s not a bad philosophy, as it turns out, for watching So You Think You Can Dance — still breathtaking in Season 12, and yet also unflinchingly manipulative in its pre-performance packages, judges’ comments and even post-dance interview soundbites.

As the Top 14 took the stage this week for a septet of uneven routines — and brutal double cuts on Team Stage and Team Street that would narrow the field to a Top 10 — I decided to fast-forward through everything except for the dancing. No parroting of Paula and Nigel by Jason Derulo. No lengthy “this is what you’re about to see — and what you should feel” sound bites from the choreographers. And no mispronunciations of “choreography” by the otherwise flawless Travis Wall.

Most important of all, no strategically edited gobbledygook warning me who was struggling in rehearsal, no knowledge of which contestants were being strapped to the blacktop and readied for the crushing weight of Nigel Lythgoe’s bus, and (thank goodness) no “you’re ollllldddd” punch lines lobbed in Paula’s increasingly Dorian Gray-esque visage.

So don’t mock me if I misinterpreted a drug-addiction number as “creepy spiders in a jar” or a tragic love story as “jazz musician is not about to let some chump steal her shine.” This week’s recap will contain my reactions — and my reactions only — to the pieces put in front of my eyes. After all, isn’t that how dance is supposed to be enjoyed?

With that said, let me spill the results, then endeavor to rank the night’s routines, and, finally, cook up power lists for the Street and Stage sides based on individual members’ performances during the entire episode.

Bottom 3 Team Stage (Based on Last Week’s Vote)
Alexia
Derek
Kate

Bottom 3 Team Street (Based on Last Week’s Vote)
Ariana
Neptune
Yorelis

Twitter-Saved by America
Derek (correct, America!)
Neptune (whoa! two for two, SYTYCD-ers! Well done!)

Eliminated
Alexia
Kate
Ariana
Yorelis

And now, let’s dish who’s left…

Routines (Ranked Worst to Best)
7. Alexia and Ariana (Tracy Phillips and Dominic Harlow, Blatant Sabotage Burlesque Jazz) | This was one of the worst pieces of churrography (as Travis would call it) in SYTYCD history — with “costumes” (a generous word for those black and green snakeskin ribbons and booty shorts over sheer netting) just as unappealing. Here’s an idea: Former contestant Travis has turned out to be one of the show’s great go-to choreographers: Why not allow some other former alumni to come back and try their hands at routines? It couldn’t be any worse than this cacophonous vision of two young women being asked to writhe uncomfortably on the ground, unable to mask their apathetic response while still displaying some impressively athletic prowess. Question: Were Alexia and Ariana asked to make those oddly exaggerated facial expressions or was that just a misguided choice on their part?

6. Jaja and Edson (Misha Gabriel, Hip-Hop) | I’ve generally enjoyed Jaja and Edson all season, but they looked about as connected and natural together as Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly on a roller coaster. (Side note: What would happen to Donald Trump’s hair on a roller coaster?) Granted, Edson’s open shoulders and lovely extension prevented him from dipping deep into any kind of groove, but Jaja’s unexpectedly blank expression and utter lack of engagement with her partner were almost as disappointing. Things came to life a bit on the last-act disco-y breakdown, but that’s like putting delish frosting on a cake that’s already collapsed.

5. Kate and JJ (Brian Friedman, Jazz) | What was this routine supposed to be? Vargas Girls stumping for the navy? I always feel a little bad for contestants who are given routines that don’t involve any kind of emotional arc or interesting storytelling, but JJ definitely dove deeper into her campy-sexy-upbeat persona than Kate — whose lack of any real za-za-zow had me jotting the phrase “50 shades of beige” in my notes.

4. Yorelis and Jim (Sonya Tayeh, Jazz) | Poor Yorelis didn’t get a lot of great routines during her run on the show, but at least she got to work with Sonya before her exit, right? The skittery music and ominous costumes provided a creepy backdrop to a duet in which Yorelis and Jim stalked each other across the stage, like two insects in a glass jar, fighting for precious little oxygen. To my untrained eye, Yorelis didn’t allow Jim to out-extend or out-finesse her — no small task considering Jim’s stunning technical skills — though a little more facial intensity could’ve made this one a best-in-season proposition rather than midpack-this-episode one.

3. Hailee and Virgil (Tyce Diorio, Contemporary) | Given the routine’s technical difficulty and overall maturity, mmmmmaybe I should’ve ranked it at No. 2 — or even No. 1 — for the night. That lift where Hailee had Virgil perched on her leg, with his feet in the air. That mesmerizing twist where Hailee’s foot wound up beneath Virgil’s chin. The way she latched him with her feet to end the routine, with him dragging her into the darkness? In my head, this piece looked like a dance between two tragic souls about to succumb to a zombie apocalypse — the pair of front-runners really good actors in addition to being fabulous dancers — and that should be more than enough to keep ’em safe next week.

2. Megz and Derek (Dave Scott, Hip-Hop) | I’m partial to Fifth Harmony’s “Worth It” — don’t judge, it’s no worse than “Problem,” and none of the girls are nasty donut-lickers like Ariana Grande! — which made me naturally inclined to buy what Megz and Derek were selling. Still, girlfriend was so haughty-fabulous — throwing side eye at Derek’s hapless suitor, prancing like a panther and not getting at all thrown by the literal horn prop — that I could’ve watched another 10 minutes. Derek, for his part, dropped down as low to the ground as Megz and used his puppydog charm to great effect. Maybe not the most challenging piece of the night, but hands down the most fun.

1. Gaby and Neptune (Stacey Tookey, Contemporary) | The vulnerability Neptune showed in the dance’s opening pick-yourself-up, dust-yourself-off moments was remarkable — and reiterated just how powerful simple movement can be. Gaby, meanwhile, swept in with a gracefulness bordering on angelic, her character guiding and comforting Neptune on a path toward greater confidence, and also revealing some of her own struggles in the process. Maybe that’s not what Ms. Tookey intended? I can’t say for sure — but the fact that Neptune and Gaby invoked so much backstory in under two minutes is remarkable. No doubt Gaby’s a serious front-runner now. Let’s just hope Neptune can finally break free from the bottom next week and maybe inch his way closer to the finale, too. If he can keep dancing this well, I wouldn’t mind, to be honest.

Team Stage Individual Rankings (for the week)
1. Gaby
2. Hailee
3. Derek
4. Edson
5. Jim

Team Street Individual Rankings (for the week)
1. Megz
2. Neptune
3. Virgil
4. Jaja
5. JJ

With that, I turn things over to you. What did you think of Season 12 Top 14 results night? Take our polls below, then sound off in the comments!


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

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91 Comments
  1. Logan says:

    Tonight, I think Slezak is on point. Gaby at Number 1, Hailee at Number 2, Jim in last? That is exactly how I’ve thought since top 20!

    Team Street too actually. Sad to say, JJ does belong at the bottom. And boy was it a bad night for Jaja. Go Megz! Great night for her. I loved her in that number with Derek.

  2. Dave says:

    What a night tonight was. Easily the best routine was Gaby and Neptune. Such a beautiful routine! Neptune has to be saved next week. I think that the rankings should have Neptune at 1 and Megz at 2. Weird to hear Virgil get an actual critique. I thought he was great. I think that fish routine was absolutely terrible. That’s on the choreographers. Alexia and Ariana did the best they could with what they were given. I thought Derek performed well in the hip hop, but overall felt Alexia deserved the save.
    Predictions for Bottom 2:
    Team Stage: Derek, Edson. Saved- Edson. Eliminated- Derek (In my opinion he has no business being in the top 10.)
    Team Street: JJ, Megz (based on popularity even though I think Jaja should be there.) Saved- Megz. Eliminated- JJ

  3. I honestly can’t understand how you put that Megz/Derek Hip-hop second. It was atrocious all around.

    • Connor says:

      Agreed

    • Mytake says:

      I loved Megz and thought she should have received a standing ovation from the judges. Derek sucked but Megz put herself into the character. Just earlier the judges were telling the 2 girls that danced the fish number how they have to believe in the character and go along and act it even if they weren’t into it. And they just couldn’t do it. Then along comes Megz and although it’s plain to see she’s a Tomboy type, she threw her spirit right into being sexy and desired and just had a ball with the concept/dance. She wasn’t even on my radar up to tonight, but her spirit tonight just made her my second favorite dancer! My first is Hailie.

    • sillyemmy says:

      Totally agreed. There was something off about Megz tonight. Not enough wiggle? Does that make sense? And Derek just is not good at hip hop. I didn’t like most of the routines last night, honestly, and this one was definitely near the bottom for me.

    • Susan Curry says:

      Agreed. I don’t think Slezak and I were watching the same show. Derek embarrassed himself and should not have been saved.

      • Logan says:

        I just watched the show again, and I loved Megz and Derek’s performance as much as I did the first time. Megz rocked it. She has such an amazing character, and Derek sold the part of a hiphop dancer who could not dance hip hop. Didnt you see the part where Megz was looking at him in disbelief? The whole story worked together in a really good manner and further showed why Megz is one of my favorite dancers.

  4. Aki says:

    I was actually really surprised to see Derek make it. Alexia struggled but she totally was sabotaged by the choreo and by being too much in her own head. I wonder how much further Derek can go, but he definitely has more personality than Jim, so who knows. Jim is such a beautiful dancer but he has all the personality of one of the fish that was supposed to make an appearance in Alexia and Ariana’s number.

    • Yes, Aki, Alexia is one of my fave dancers and she got a raw deal as did Yorelis. Why do girls who dance exquisite get picked over guys who miss one week and dance terribly the next in my opinion

  5. Christi says:

    I wish I had the opportunity to skip through all the commentary and pre-performance packages that you did. Agree with you on the ranking for the week (though I would switch Megz with Neptune), but I don’t necessarily feel like I saw the bring-it attitude with Derek that some stage dancers brought to hip hop routines (kind of 50/50 this season).

  6. Lisa says:

    I loved the Megz Derek routine. It had the kind of quirky I like, unlike that terrible fish routine.

  7. Derek above Jim? Did you actually watch the show, or were you cleaning your house? Honestly, Derek was awful…again this week… and Jim was powerful. What show did you watch?

  8. Biscuit says:

    Fish.

  9. Jenna says:

    Gaby just made it to the final 4 with her performance tonight… now fingers crossed she gets hip hop next week with Nappytabs or Christopher Scott!!!
    —–
    Neptune wont be in trouble again for a while… could make it pretty far… father than Virgil ??
    —–
    Kate seems so stuck up.
    —–
    Poor Yorelis never got a good routine until tonight.
    —–
    I honestly just wish they wouldn’t even let routines like the fish one on the show… just setting the dancers up to be eliminated.
    —–
    Edson and JJ are good, but no where near as good as the rest of their teams.
    —–
    Jim’s time will be up at final 6
    —–
    Megz’ facial expessions during the judges comments annoy me so much
    —–
    Jaja needs to step it up again or she could be in danger soon
    —–
    ***Gaby is gonna win this show … hoping that her, Valerie, Zack, and Aaron all do a group routine in the final episode
    —-
    Hope its Amy and Edson, Fikshun and Gaby, Neptune and Katherine, Jim and Jasmine H, Jaja and Ricky, Megz and Dmitry, Hailee and Rudy, Tanisha and Virgil, Comfort and Derek, JJ and Robert

    • Logan says:

      Gaby better have made top 4 with that performance. She is the best dancer there imo.
      ———————————————–
      I agree Neptune won’t be in trouble and that irritates me because that leaves it open for Jaja to be in trouble from that horrid routine.
      ———————————————–
      Kate and Yorelis had no personality for me. Both needed to go (thank goodness). Though, Ill admit, I did really like Yorelis’ number last week. Much better than most of the contemporaries we see, ugh (Im not a contemporary fan).
      ———————————————–
      Edson and JJ should both be going home. Both got their free weeks from their spectacular routines last week (Yes, I did like Edson’s contemporary).
      ———————————————–
      Lets hope Jim’s time is up at top 6. He needs to go. The guy pisses me off so much. I peg him 4th over Hailee though :(
      ———————————————–
      Megz has a right to be like that because the judges were wrong tonight about her. She knows how to act, and it fit the routine well. She was the only reason I liked the routine.
      ———————————————–
      Jaja is likely in trouble next week. After being shown up be Hailee last week and this weeks horrid performance (I blame choreographer and Edson, it wasnt her), I feel like the past two weeks are putting her lower than some of the others. She has this next week to fix it though with JJ’s likely exit. And maybe even the week after if Neptune goes. Then we will really have the Top 3 Street Dancers.
      ———————————————–
      I want Gaby to win it so bad, she is an amazing dancer. Even better than Jaja, Virgil and Jim, my currently predicted Top 4.
      ———————————————–
      I miss Tanisha so much. She was so much better than Ricky last season and did not deserve Top 8. Once she left, the season went wrong. Valerie top 2? Jessica only 3rd? Like wow…

      • Python says:

        Your precious jaja is going to be fine. Sorry Jim ruins the show for you because not every one of his routines is not a crowd pleasing gimmick.

  10. Python says:

    Most of the choreographers participating tonight should be given the rest of the season off.

    Was stacie tookie planning that routine just for neptune?

    • Mytake says:

      The choreographers routines tonight we’re pretty awful with the exception of Stacey, Sonja, Dave and tyce. The rest were either lacking in variety or difficulty or were just plain stupid (the fish dance). Unfortunately, good dancers can be eliminated due to crappy choreographers. I wish we had more Sonja and Mia and Mandy.

  11. Imagecrafters says:

    I watched without commentaries and extras and enjoyed it more. Though I like JaJa, Hailee, Gaby… No one is a particular standout for me like in previous seasons.

  12. Olivia says:

    Why did they let 4 go tonight? Just to move the show along more quickly? I am really sad to see Yorelis go. I think she’s a better all-around dancer, but Neptune has a wonderful personality. He is also a good dancer, especially in showing emotion.
    I like Gaby and Hailee, but haven’t connected with the stage guys. Megz is my favorite overall.
    I haven’t watched for a few seasons. Are the top 10 automatically paired with the all-stars?

  13. Mary says:

    In a dance where she was supposed to be “sexy” I got none of that from Megz. All I saw was her pulling the same faces she did in that hip-hop a few weeks ago with Jim and Moises. She was great last week, but she dances in her own style she seems to go a little over the top for me.

    I have really grown to love Neptune. You can tell that he works his hardest every single week, and is putting his everything into this competition. Same goes with Gaby on the other side. There has yet to be a style that she has been given that she has not dominated. Those two along with Virgil and Hailee have been my favorites of the season.

  14. fran says:

    First I must say I really like Paula Abdul this year. She seems to have cleaned up and I find her comments to be constructive and technical ( well not as much as Mary’s were…. but Jason Derulo ? wow- hes useless)- she recovered the very nasty comments from Nigel.
    I found the program very manipulative this week. Poor Ariana and Alexa were set up. Fishes? Burlesque jazz?? wow. I did not hate it as much as many, but wrong casting. Imagine swapping with the pin up routine . It might have gone over very differently.
    And frankly, the costumes this year are just awful all around. They look cheap, poorly made, and bland. They distract more than they enhance.
    Finally, The choreographers are very unequal, and it is the dancers who suffer. I miss ballroom. I miss Mary too.

  15. msemmyjones says:

    Wow, Megz and Derek should be WAAAAYYY lower. That was just…awkward.

    • lila says:

      To be honest. I think they are right where they should be. They had terrible choreography but they did what was asked. Even trying to be sexy is a weird costume. It wasn’t great but they did their best

  16. Mike C. says:

    I hate that they don’t do ballroom at all anymore.

    • msemmyjones says:

      JJ did an Argentine tango last week

      • Jay says:

        There has been 2 ballroom routine so far. and no ballroom dancers this season at all. last season they had 6 ballroom dancers, all of them except for tanisha were eliminated before top 10. This show really has let go of ballroom and its a real shame.

        • Ali says:

          Im happy that one ballroom guy from Vegas who made the show quit… nigel tried to pretend like there would be ballroom but that guy wasn’t stupid. Good for him

  17. Colleen says:

    What in the name of all that is holy was that fish routine? Is anyone seeing blatant, blatant sabotage like I am? Judges-zero credibility for not pointing out what a mess that dance was choreograph-wise, instead choosing to call out the dancers’ “dislike” for it. Ummm..yeah..I would have hated to dance to it too!!!!

  18. Babybop says:

    Derek is cute, but he was awful tonight. He should not have stayed over Yorelis. That routine with Megz and Derek was just… embarrassing.

    • Daisy says:

      I completely agree with you on Derek (though personally I don’t find him that cute :)), but because Yorelis danced for Team Street, it was either save her or save Neptune. I wish that it didn’t have to be one dancer from Team Street and one dancer from Team Stage to save because the dancers that should have been saved were Neptune and Yorelis (both Street dancers). Derek didn’t dance last week and was saved via twitter (WTF?!) and again tonight for that horrid hip hop. He was terrible. I’m surprised that Michael thought that his dance ranked so high–I normally agree with him! :)

  19. Colleen says:

    And, I hate to say I was disappointed with almost every routine. I think it’s awful that obviously targeted dancers are given sub-par routines (Ariana, Alexia) or forced to perform uncomfortable movements (Kate). I love Megz, but she seems to land an awful amount of hip hop routines. The shame is that, as Slezak pointed out, the manipulation is rampant and leaves me with a very bad taste in my mouth. I feel like I should have enjoyed Gaby/Virgil’s dance so much more. Nigel, curse you and return this show to its old, charming display of talent!!!!

  20. Danelle says:

    I just do not get your love for Megz, Michael. Like at all. I thought costuming was subpar this episode as well. And no Ballroom. On the plus side, Robert.

    • Kyla says:

      No one understands your hatred for megz.. America clearly likes her considering she hasn’t been in the bottom. You don;t have to like her but don’t hate one Michael because he does

  21. Dave says:

    Does anyone know the name/artist of the music from the group dance(freak show)?

  22. Wynne says:

    America did not vote. The East Coast and 200 people in LA voted. Decision was made before the show hit my time zone.

  23. Danelle says:

    Okay about that fish routine. I gotta say I wasn’t unhappy with it overall. Here’s why. Every first time we do a new style of dance on SYTYCD it’s been subpar. The first Bollywood, for instance, everyone hated. The russian dance. Disco. I don’t think the choreographers fully fleshed the idea out. There were definite kinks. I would have told the girls that they were sexy mermaids tired of being treated like plain old fish. Also I would not have given that dance to the dancers whose confidence have taken a hit due to being in the bottom. I think Hailee and Gabby would have rocked that routine. Or imagine it in the hands of some of our favorite all stars like Melanie or Kathryn. I think giving untested choreographers to dancers with low confidence levels was a recipe for failure but the choreo itself wasn’t that bad in my opinion. *shrug*

    • msemmyjones says:

      I totally agree with you. I feel like the issues with the dance were much more the fact that the girls weren’t in sync and were clearly uncomfortable with the number rather than issues with the choreography itself. Burlesque IS campy and goofy. And the number could have been great with two girls who were more confident and committed.

      • Danelle says:

        Travis called it in the package. This dance will be what you make of it. There was some artistic expression in this dance vs the fluff that was the pin up dance. I bet Alexia wouldn’t have been complaining about doing that one. *sigh*

    • Logan says:

      I kept thinking to myself that all it really needed was to be cheekier. People have said Ariana was the most underrated dancer on the show, but i rather liked her in that routine. Just more tongue and cheek as burlesque should.
      However, your comment about kinks isnt completely valid. Look at Jenna and Mark. Way different. First time on the show. Spectacular though. And it even showed up on the best moments in the first 10 years of SYTYCD history (over a whole lot of blasted contemporaries. We need more Ballroom dances!)
      And, can I say, did anyone else think that that fish costume made Alexia look fat? She obviously not because shes a dancer, but still, it looked like it to me.

      • Danelle says:

        Actually that is one of my least favorite performances mostly because I do not like Jenna. So it’s hard for me to be impartial on your comment. lol

        • Logan says:

          Shame you didn’t like Jenna. I am in love with Ballroom dancing, so I was partial to her, not against her. Even still, you can’t deny the skill required to do that routine. I know I can’t deny the skill on all the contemporary numbers that I strongly dislike. You may not have liked it, but Jenna’s performance was new and well executed at the very least. So that means that all new styles are not necessarily doomed. Thats all I’m saying :)

          • Danelle says:

            I love ballroom, too and I am always rooting for ballroom to go the distance. I am sure that Jenna is actually very nice, and thought she got the short end on a lot of choreo, but I could never get into her (and judging by how often she was in the bottom a lot of other viewers couldn’t either). Kinda like Megz. I can’t get into her either. Yes Mark’s dance required a lot of skill but I don’t think Jenna was the only dancer that could have pulled it off. She got lucky by getting Mark and I think that routine got a lot more praise than it deserved because of Mark’s reputation. I’ve always looked at it like a one off, not a type of dance that could be modified and repeated.

    • Jan says:

      Are you kidding? “Everyone” hated the first Bollywood routine? That was one of my all-time favorites! Joshua & Katee were so brilliant.

      • Danelle says:

        I love ballroom, too and I am always rooting for ballroom to go the distance. I am sure that Jenna is actually very nice, and thought she got the short end on a lot of choreo, but I could never get into her (and judging by how often she was in the bottom a lot of other viewers couldn’t either). Kinda like Megz. I can’t get into her either. Yes Mark’s dance required a lot of skill but I don’t think Jenna was the only dancer that could have pulled it off. She got lucky by getting Mark and I think that routine got a lot more praise than it deserved because of Mark’s reputation. I’ve always looked at it like a one off, not a type of dance that could be modified and repeated.

      • Jane L. says:

        Yes! Katee & Joshua sold that first bollywood routine so well that we knew it would be a style that would come back season after season. I don’t remember anyone hating it.

  24. Choir Girl says:

    Well that pretty much does it for me and this show. It’s been a thrilling ride but probably time for it to end. Stage/Street got in the way of letting the best dancers go forward. Would have traded dynamic and technically precise Yorelis over any of the bottom 3 on stage side. Also choreography quality so uneven now, makes dancers more effected by luck of the draw than ever. And heavily weighted airtime and “packages” clearly made some dancers favorites early on, not necessarily based on talent or stage presence, more on offstage antics. That’s not what I watch this show for, so would rather remember at its best rather than the way it was tonight.

  25. Choir Girl says:

    So, onward…Gaby is a total dream. She’s Rita Moreno, Syd Charisse and Lucille Ball all rolled into one. Last week’s Bway was absolute perfection. Megawatt Virgil and Hailee were born for the stage. Neptune is all heart. Would love to see one of them win this likely final season.

  26. Choir Girl says:

    So, onward…Gaby is a total dream. She’s Rita Moreno, Syd Charisse and Lucille Ball all rolled into one. Last week’s Bway was absolute perfection. Megawatt Virgil and Hailee were born for the stage. Neptune can get funky but is all heart. Would love to see one of them win this likely final season.

  27. Jay says:

    Uh, why are you so excited about derek? his hip hop routine was second best to you? i dont get it. And you think its ok for the twitter vote to save him, after doing nothing last week, and this weak routine? He has showen no versatility, he has literally only done contemporary and jazz, styles he does, beside tonight, and it wasnt good. and i bet that his tango wouldnt be as great as it was with leo and JJ. Alexia should be ion the top 10, derek Should not be there

    • I agree. Alexia should be top ten. She had a certain something that should have been highlighted but wasn’t

    • Logan says:

      My best guess was to make it 5/5. 5 amazing girls, 5 mediocre at best guys. Edson needs to go, as does Derek. Jim has no personality and Neptune has not clicked for me. I dont understand the Neptune love or the Jim love. As for the girls, I love all 5 even though its pretty evident JJ is going home.
      A time when women should have proven superior to the men, and the SYTYCD producers messed it up. Alexia (or Yorelis) deserved that spot over Derek.
      So lets kick off the guys (except Virgil), and then we will actually have a competition!

    • Boney steak says:

      He does some pretty incredible acrobatics, my issue is his hair cut and boring personality.

    • Heather Smith says:

      Totally agree!

  28. suesox says:

    Why isn’t there as much ballroom as hip hop and contemporary? The numbers seem heavily weighted toward the skills of Team Street.

  29. Rafael says:

    Hailee and Virgil rule the night, best criticisms and saved for the best!

  30. Ali says:

    I hate how Nigel openly favorites some dancers and literally says that Gaby is his favorite…she’s my favorite too but to say that in front of everyone on the show just seems rude and disrespectful to the other dancers. He was also the only one out of the three judges who tweeted to save dancers (Alexia and Neptune) which I don’t think is his place at all. How should Derek feel after Nigel basically said he wants him off the show?? I really only like Paula tbh.

  31. I slept on it, and I still find your thoughts this week on SYTYCD completely baffling. Jim in last place? Derek should have been saved? Derek’s 2nd place dance? I really have no idea what show you saw this week… but it wasn’t SYTYCD.

    • Dave says:

      Agreed, I don’t understand how Megz gets number 1 when Neptune and Virgil were so much better. Neptune was clearly number 1, Virgil was clearly number 2. Megz should have been 3 or 4. Blatant favoritism of Slezak’s part. He hasn’t taken her out of the top 3 from day one. Clearly his ranking was not solely based on the dance.

  32. mrmcgee says:

    Can w get some live for the group routines? They were great this week, especially the contemporary number.

  33. Heather says:

    As a long time fan, I’m still sort of watching but I truly cannot stomach Paula and Jason. The change in judges and format has completely ruined the show. Paula cannot put a sentence together to save her life and Jason adds NOTHING. This was the only good reality show on TV and now, it’s one of the worst. Glad the recapper only talked about the dances!

  34. Jan says:

    The judges are still blaming dancers for less than stellar choreography. Very annoying! Sure miss having ballroom and Mary Murphy in the mix!

  35. LyannaStark says:

    I loved, loved, loved the top three routine chosen by Slezak.
    All three for different reasons but i agree they are the top one!
    Maybe i wouldn’t have saved Derek, i would have saved Kate. I don’t like him very much. Also in the routine with Megz he wasn’t very participant.

  36. savvy says:

    I have watched the show from season one…loved it every year. Why is it so freaking boring this year???? I love Jim and Gaby but even their work is forgettable. What has happened to the show?????

    • Rafael says:

      I apologized on what went wrong this season, but it looks like it was accidentally included as part of the FOX teen entertainment marketing system (this show, AI, New Girl, TMP). But we already know that this system was badly setup and created by former/fired FOX member Kevin O’Reilly.

      Any type of system badly setup and included any show, like this one, in it, can both mess up and turn down any show along the way. But after this system was officially shutdown, this show was forced to refresh in a new scratch, which is, of course, unpleasant. This shutdown situation also forced Mary Murphy to depart from this show, since she was both getting too popular and paid too much than the other judges of this show.

    • Repunzel says:

      I agree savvy. This year is just boring. The choreographers are not putting together good routines for the dancers. I had to quit watching. I just couldn’t take anymore. I don’t like Paula and Jason’s comments. I wish they would bring back Mary Murphy. Her higher pay was worth it. You get what you pay for and she was great at critiquing the dancers in a way to help them improve. I also liked it when they had guest judges, that made for a different take on the performances. Hoping for changes for next year.

  37. sistia says:

    I wish Nigel would keep his opinions to himself about who he thinks is best. I don’t care who he thinks can dance. I do care that I can’t vote because I now have some favorites who I can’t support. I did like the Gaby/Neptune routine best. There definitely was something “fishy” about that terrible routine for Alexia and Ariana. It smelled like the catch of last week. I kept wishing for Bette Midlar’s routine to cut in and end the misery.

  38. gts says:

    That fish routine is a great example of why choreographers should be drug tested before they start.

  39. Mona Cattanach says:

    I totally agreed with the Twitter save. It was Kate’s time to go in my opinion. I just didn’t get any connection from her and felt she came across as disingenuous. I actually enjoyed Derrick in the hip hop routine. I thought Megz missed the mark of what the choreographer wanted from her. I didn’t get the sexy and she was not helped by her costume

  40. Susan Curry says:

    I was very disappointed in the show this week and found last week’s show to be far superior. Most of the music this season has been awful to boot. Megz continually mugz for the camera…ugh. So offputting. Mary Murphy must be rolling over in her lukewarm tamale train.

  41. I’m sorry Michael but I think you might have been drinking the kool-aid when you watched this episode. That hip-hop number with Derek and Megz was literally painful and uncomfortable to watch. Derek couldn’t sell that piece if his life depended on it and it should have. Megz gave the exact same faces she always does. The choreographer said he wanted something more feminine and sexy and Megz could have rocked it and she didn’t. In my head I picture what Comfort or Lauren or Sasha could have done with that choreo and I wince.

    The burlesque dance could have been epic. I can think of a dozen previous contestants who could have rocked it but those two bit it big time. They executed it horribly. It was out of sync and looked like amateur hour at a strip club. Their faces were the nail in the coffin. If ever a dancer’s face said “I hate this dance, I hate these costumes and I hate this makeup” it was those two. New styles are not always a disaster. The first Bollywood was amazing and the first pole dance was too. The dancers just have to throw themselves into it.

    I can understand the desire to not be manipulated by the pre-package but at the same time it should affect the way you look at the dance. A dancer’s abilities have to include doing the choreography and performing the piece the way the choreographer instructs them to. Dancers have to embody characters, ideas and messages that come from choreographers. They don’t get to just do whatever the heck they want to. That is what solos are for. That is the measure of a good dancer.

    One more comment on costumes, props or choreography during the dancers critiques and I am going to lose it. Confine yourselves to what they can actually control.

  42. Jared says:

    Sad to see Yorelis get the boot, she one of my faves. At least she got some nice screen time in Team Street’s “Commas” routine from last week!

  43. Heidi says:

    Even though I read Slezak’s post every week, I never comment, but just HAD to say one thing. I really like Megz, but really thought she missed the mark this week with the whole “sexy” thing (partly due to a lame costume…really? High-waisted, pleated, cropped pants?!), BUT what I am posting to ask is…was anyone else TOTALLY annoyed that Paula kept criticizing Megz and Derek’s routine because her prop was a trumpet and not a saxophone?!?! She seriously said it like 5 times and the look on Megz’s face was hilarious, like WTF am I am supposed to do about the choreographer giving me the wrong instrument?! Paula should have brought that up in dress rehearsal, no??

    • Tristen says:

      I totally agree! I feel like the top of the costume was sexy, but she could’ve worn something like a miniskirt or a pair of shorts.
      And Paula/Jason criticizing the INSTRUMENT of all things was really annoying. I actually enjoyed Paula as a judge this season. I think her and Mary are like fire and ice and it was a nice change.
      However, her criticizing the smallest little details was unbearable. It really doesn’t matter because it’s been played on a trumpet before. Like, really, Paula? Really?!

  44. Michelle says:

    Okay, I have something to say to everyone whining about Alexia and Yorelis being eliminated.
    Alexia was a mediocre dancer at best, and no one really clicked with her emotionally because her routines had literally ZERO emotional influence except for the bravery one with Derek and Jaja, who outdanced her.
    Yorelis had the same problem. She got the short end of the stick with most choreography and in turn never got to shine fully until the end. But she did leave on a spectacular high note, and will probably come back next season (if there is one).
    Am I the only one who just didn’t like Alexia as a person? I found her attitude really whiny and apathetic, same with Kate.

  45. Sophia says:

    I doubt they’ll be inviting the “jazz” choreographers (who did the fish burlesque routine) back for another round.

  46. PFitzDc says:

    Interesting how all four that were eliminated were women and now we have an even gender top 10. Conspiracy theory? Who me?

  47. Sarah says:

    I hated Season 12 . What a waste of beautiful technical dancers. Won’t be watching Season 13 if the same format is repeated.

    • Rafael says:

      1.) The latin-ballroom talent has grown too fast with too much teen marketing before season 12.
      2.) Of course, season 13 format will be back to the same format as season 11.
      3.) Mary Murphy took season 12 off, but will return with Nigel and Paula and replace Jason in season 13.
      4.) Even if the ratings are low, up or down, does not mean that this show will get officially cancelled yet, due to its strong dancing talent, permanently.