So You Think You Can Dance Recap: The Students Become the Teachers [Updated]

So You Think You Can Dance Travis AmyIf last week’s introduction of the Season 10 All-Stars added a little snap, crackle and pop to the So You Think You Can Dance Tuesday-night cereal bowl — come now, let’s all admit flakes and milk are not just for breakfast anymore! — then tonight’s decision to let the show’s alumni choreograph all eight competitive routines was like an additional dollop of blackberries, strawberries and wheat germ.

Let’s be clear: More important than the nostalgia factor of old pals Allison Holker, Mark Kanemura and Courtney Galiano (among others) bringing their energy and grace to the stage was the simple pleasure of experiencing the art of dance channeled through fresh, new eyes.

No disrespect to NappyTabs, Stacey Tookey, Spencer Liff and Jean-Marc Genereux, but six consecutive weeks that played out like “I Know What You Choreographed Last Summer” had sapped Season 10 of the element of surprise, the vibe that there were still steps left unstepped on the SYTYCD stage.

The nifty “let our alumni be our guides!” approach — suggested in this column just a few weeks ago, for what it’s worth — was exactly the right move at exactly the right time, the tonic to salvage a snakebit season from its own internal toxins. And yep, the fact that Top 8 week also marked the judges’ final opportunity to meddle with America’s votes didn’t hurt, either.

Anyhow, enough of my pontificating — let’s examine how the episode played out:


Fik-Shun: A wickedly fun bit of animation that started out with a backbend so ridic, I’m pretty sure the kid’s spine is made of putty
Hayley: A blah bit of contemporary dancing that didn’t in any way indicate these could be some of her final moments on the stage
Jenna: A cheesy but fleet burst of ballroom somewhat marred by a hein sequined bustier and cheap taffeta cape
Tucker: A throw-everything-against-the-wall display of athleticism that managed to wow — in spite of hideous tan pants and ugly print t-shirt

Jenna (which probably means Nigel’s gonna start tossing around the phrase “America’s Favorite Dancer” in 5, 4, 3, 2…)
Tucker (and just when that “Who Inspires You” pre-performance package — and two weeks of fantastic routines — turned me into an unabashed fan!)

And now my quick take on the night’s eight competitive routines:

What did you think of this week’s SYTYCD? Who was best in show? Who will and should be at risk? Take our poll below, then sound off in the comments. And for all my reality-related news, recaps, interviews and videos, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!