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While I’m not rating them, it’s worth saying that tonight’s show also featured three exquisite group numbers. While all three were wonderful, my favorite was the last: Travis Wall’s gritty, Batman villain-esque number which showcased Ricky phenomenally. Except for my usual complaint of So You Think You Can Dance's rampant overly hyper camera blocking, it was a nearly perfect group number.
Like last week, I will write a recap of each dance and give it a rating of zero to five stars. Feel free to comment below with your favorite/least favorite routine of the night.
Valerie & Ricky, Bollywood – * * * *
Out of all the styles thrown at the SYTYCD contestants, Bollywood seems one of the most difficult. It’s incredibly fast, intricate and has a technicality that’s so far removed from either tapping or contemporary, Ricky and Valerie’s specialties. As expected, both of these front-runners performed it well, especially given the herculean difficulty level. Sure, I would have loved to see Valerie move just a little bit lighter around the floor (and execute that sloppy lift a bit better), but overall this was a fun routine. Was it the best of the night? Not by a long shot. But it’ll surely keep both dancers safe another week.
Bridget & Emilio, Contemporary – * * * * *
I was a little worried because Travis Wall’s concept sounded scarily close to Mia Michael’s perfect addiction routine, but there was absolutely nothing to worry about. The raw emotions! The gorgeous, fluid movements! Those inventive lifts! This is an astounding piece of choreography and one that I will definitely remember at the end of the season. Bravo.
Tanisha & Rudy, Hip-Hop – * * * ½
While the pair may have executed Christopher Scott’s dark hip-hop routine well, my problem with it lies with their acting…or should I say Rudy’s acting. While I bought Tanisha in her role as a leather-clad, red-high-heeled vixen, Rudy seemed too immature and lighthearted to portray an intimidating underworld thug. I just didn’t buy his role or their chemistry together. My quibbles with their acting chops didn’t ruin the number, but it definitely made me rank this dance lower than some of their previous efforts.
Jessica & Marquet, Foxtrot – * * *
Jessica looked beautiful and the two did manage to capture the smooth, jazzy vibe of this business attire foxtrot. But even I, a ballroom dancing novice, noticed something was off in their technique.
Carly & Serge, Contemporary – * * * * ½
I haven’t been a huge fan of Serge’s thus far in the competition, but this Mandy Moore number showcased his best work in weeks. Sure, a lot of that was due to Moore’s amazing choreography, but the two captured the raw emotion and brazen physicality of the piece like pros. Besides, that ending tableau was probably the most moving image I’ve seen this season so far. Before seeing this routine, I would have probably sent Serge home tonight, but now I’m not quite sure.
Emily & Teddy, Samba – * * ½
Yikes, Emily is having a bad day. First she dislocates her shoulder and then she slips on-air. Emily did soldier on through it all but it left the routine with a shaky, somewhat timid approach to a rip-roaring samba. With so many gravity-defying lifts, it’s no surprise that the pair were worried about execution, but that fear showed just a little too much.
Jaque & Zack, Jazz – * * * *
In another great Sonya Tayeh routine, Jaque and Zack executed a steamy, down-and-dirty, dark jazz routine to a steamy, down-and-dirty, dark song. They performed it well, acted the piece superbly and pulled me right into Tayeh-land. That being said, I am a “audience member who maybe doesn’t know the smallest details about dance” (as the sublime Misty Copeland put it), so a few points must be taken off for the occasional moments of wonky technique.
Brooklyn & Casey, Hip-Hop – * * ½
Brooklyn and Casey just felt terribly white in this number. I know that’s not their fault. (And yes, this is a bad case of the pot calling the kettle black…or perhaps white. Oh Lord, that was a terribly choice of metaphor). But both needed to hit harder, get more grounded and disappear into the character of the style more if they ever get hip-hop again. Based on this performance, though, I’m not sure they’ll be sticking around the show a lot longer.
Bridget, Marquet, Brooklyn, Serge, Tanisha & Zack.
Who Should Have Gone Home:
Brooklyn & Marquet
Who Actually Went Home:
Brooklyn & Marquet