New Show Recap: So You Think You Can Dance “Top 14 Perform”

Last Wednesday’s SYTYCD was a tribute to Mama Mia Michaels, with dancers performing many of her classic routines, and four more dancers were sent home. Needless to say, it made me feel feelings. 

Instead of jumping right into the group number, as in previous episodes this season, Cat opened the show with her delightful vamping as she introduced Mia and explained the theme. I was momentarily afraid there would be no group number, but we got one, a brand new routine from Ms. Michaels. It had all the hallmarks of a Mia piece, and I really enjoyed it. We also saw a picture of Baby Nappy Tabs, London, who is pretty cute, even though I think most newborns look exactly alike. The guest judges were a pair of ballet dancers, The Ballet Boys, Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt. Real dancers as judges? I approve.

Each contestant shared his or her favorite dance from past seasons before they danced, which is fun.

Eliana and Cyrus

This pair redid the door dance made famous by Katee and Twitch, set to Duffy’s “Mercy.” Honestly, it pales compared to the original, but both dancers did their best. They used the same weird, choppy cut of the song as in the previous version, which took me out of the moment. Cat, who was dressed as a glittery flamingo (that’s a compliment, I like both glitter and flamingos) told Cyrus she wanted to smack him after the performance, which I think was also a compliment. Nigel liked Eliana more than he liked Cyrus, but was pleased overall. Mary thought it was great, and called Eliana “swaggarocious.” The Ballet Boys came into the show blind, having never watched before, so they were able to judge the individual dances without knowing the history, and they both liked it a lot.

Before the next dancers performed, we got a lengthy report on National Dance Day.  This took us to the thirty minute mark of the show with only one couple having performed.

George and Tiffany

These two danced the Hometown Glory piece from season four, originally done by Katee and Joshua. Again, it wasn’t as good as the original, but both dancers did a nice job. Mary called it a murder, in a good way. Ballet Boy #1 found it emotional and powerful, but thought it looked like two solos instead of a pair. Nigel didn’t think they’d seen the best of George until this performance.

Amelia and Will

These two did the butt dance originally performed by Randi and Evan. I loved this dance originally, butts and all. Of all of the dances from last Wednesday, I think this is the only pair that really outdid the original, but I think Amelia and Will have both shown way more personality than Randi or Evan ever did. The judges, as usual, don’t agree with me. Nigel talked about being obsessed with Randi’s butt for three years, because he is a dirty old man. Mary liked it more than Nigel, but thought Will was over the top, but thought Amelia looked exquisite. Both wanted more eye contact from Amelia with the audience. Ballet Boy #2 thought it was strong, musical and endearing, but wanted a bit more subtlety.

Janelle and Dareian

This pair danced the bed dance originally done by Carrington and Twitch, which bored me the first time out and kind of bored me on Wednesday. It could be the song; John Mayer makes my teeth hurt while simultaneously boring me. Ballet Boy #1 loved the choreography, but didn’t like Dareian’s feet. Nobody likes Dareian’s feet. He wanted more clarity and less hair from Janelle. Ballet Boy #2 liked it. Nigel did not. Mary thought this pair lacked the raw passion of the original.

Audrey and Matthew

I still can’t tell Tiffany and Audrey apart. Audrey and Matthew danced the piece Mia wrote for her dad after he died, originally done by Neil and Lacey. It’s okay, but it’s not quite as powerful as the original. Matthew doesn’t have the same magic as Neil, although he’s got the potential to be as good a dancer. Mary cried, as she’d recently lost her father, too, but she didn’t find the same magic. Ballet Boy #2 called Audrey flawless, but didn’t feel that Matthew committed to it fully. Nigel thought Neil captured the spirit of Mia’s dad more than Matthew, and thought Audrey danced it as a little girl, instead of as an adult.

Witney and Chehon

This pair danced the bench dance from season two, originally danced by Travis and Heidi. Witney was only ten when she saw it, which means I am a dust-farting dinosaur. I never really got the appeal of this dance, but Mia didn’t start growing on me until several seasons later.  It was okay? Mia cried, I assume that meant she liked it, and the crowd went wild. Nigel explained the backstory, in which Mia fell in love with a fellow who couldn’t return her love because he was gay. He didn’t say much about the dance itself. Mary wanted Chehon to let go more, and try to be less controlled. She thought Witney was fearless. Ballet Boy #1 told Witney he liked Salt Lake City, where she’s from, and told Chehon he could have a job with The Ballet Boys. Sorry, Wit.

Cole and Lindsey

Oh god, the addiction dance. I hated this dance the first time, I hate this dance now. That’s all I’m saying on it.

The Results

The bottom six were Lindsey, Amelia and Janelle on the women’s side; Matthew, George and Dareian on the men’s. All six danced for their lives, and all six solos were pretty strong. I thought Amelia and Dareian stood out the most, but apparently I live in Bizarro World, because Lindsey and George were the ones saved. Amelia, Janelle and Dareian, I’ll miss you most of all, Scarecrows.

A new episode airs tonight, I’ll be here in a week with the recap.

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[E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

One thought on “New Show Recap: So You Think You Can Dance “Top 14 Perform””

  1. I actually liked the addiction dance better this time around, but I think it’s because I LOVE Cole, and I was not in any way a fan of Kayla.  I disagree with you on the butt dance though – even despite my bias (I knew Evan and was a fan of his dancing even before the show, and I assure you he has LOTS of personality) I thought that Amelia and Will failed to capture the fun, and more importantly, the sexiness of the dance.  I was glad to hear Mia talk about the dance’s hidden difficulty though, because I always felt like it was unfairly maligned as being “too easy” the first time around.

    I’ve not been thrilled with who the judges have been saving overall, although I admit that in this particular show, Lindsay’s performance was better than the other two night-of.   I feel like the judges, every season, try a little too hard to shove perky blondes down our throats (and I’m a perky blonde myself.)  Ryan last season, Alexa and Lindsay this season…ah well.  I also find it a little weird that the top five girls included two impossible-to-tell-apart brunette jazz dancers and two slightly-less-impossible-to-tell-apart blonde ballroom dancers.  And my respective favorites from each pair were in danger top ten night.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  As long as Eliana (did you see her tonight?  I was SO EXCITED!  She paired one of my favorite dancers the show has ever had, and they kicked ass!) and Cole keep moving forward, I’ll be happy.

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