Oof. If you just finished watching the show like I did, you know that tonight’s cuts were not easy. Double eliminations, over the course of SYTYCD history have been known for being extra bad because, somehow, some really promising talent gets swept under the rug and tonight… well, I won’t spoil it.
The night opened with a mesmerizing Stacey Tookey routine and one that definitely did a good job of showing all the dancers off. The routine gave me so much hope and promise for a good night of dancing and while that’s what we got, I’m still left a little bitter. But let’s talk about that…
Cat, soon after, revealed our Bottom 3 which wasn’t terribly surprising. Three couples: Casey & Jessica, Serge & Carly and Teddy & Emily would be dancing for their life and (yay!) they actually got to dance solos.
Pair #1: Bridget & Emilio (Jazz) – I’ve always been kind of iffy on Ray Leeper’s routines and this was no exception. I felt like Emilio really did own his character and the quality of movement, but Bridget was in and out. Last week, she was truly committed to that routine, but this week was closer to her hip-hop a few weeks ago. If she’s not in the Bottom 2 come next week, I’ll be fairly surprised.
Pair #2: Rudy & Tanisha (Contemporary) – Mandy Moore’s routines always feel a little old fashioned, especially because of her music choices and this routine had a bit of that staleness, but what it lack in vitality, I felt like Rudy brought in emotion and passion and Tanisha brought in movement. Neither of them had both though so, while I love them as a couple and have for weeks, this wasn’t one of their best. Hopefully next week they’ll both bring it again with the all-stars.
Pair #3: Jacque & Zack (Paso Doble) – I think it was Mary that said she felt like this routine lost a bit of steam midway through and that was exactly how I felt. The two of them came out ready and raring to go and by the end, it just didn’t have that same bite (pun intended?). I do appreciate them being challenged and pushed as a couple and as far as ballroom technique goes, it wasn’t terrible but I could have used more fire in it.
Pair #4: Emily & Teddy (Broadway) – The judges were right that this routine did fall apart a little in the last few seconds, but up until that point, I really felt the chemistry that they’ve developed as a couple. Teddy is, like Emily said, such a sexy dancer. Everything he does just oozes swagger and Emily has a classiness about her that my sister compared to Audrey Hepburn and I can’t say I disagree. She just has a strength and grace to her movement, like Audrey.
Pair #5: Jessica & Casey (Contemporary) – Truth be told, Travis did create a stunning piece. It captured that butterflies of a first kiss perfectly and Jessica’s twitch when Casey went in for the kiss was all that and a bag of chips but, like week’s past, I felt like she stole the spotlight from her partner and Casey, while technically on point, faded into the background emotionally and didn’t tell the story in the same way that she did. Maybe that’s just me, but she did give me everything I needed to call this one of my favourite routines of the night.
Pair #6: Carly & Serge (Quickstep) – Not exactly the genre you want to get on the night when you need a stunner, but Carly and Serge really delivered with this one. Serge’s ballroom technique paid off in spades, even if he’s classified as Latin Ballroom. He made it all look so effortless and while Carly’s frame dropped a bit along the way, she still gave personality out the wazoo which is half the battle.
Pair #7: Valerie & Ricky (Hip-hop) – Finally these two get the style I’ve been wanting to see them do from the word go and they handled it well. Ricky redeemed himself in my eyes by putting more gusto behind his moves and hitting them the way I wanted to. Valerie gave a good doll performance but in the pure hip-hop parts, she felt a little light compared to her partner. I think this routine bodes well for both their futures with the all-stars, given how much personality they’re capable of delivering combined with technique.
After all that, we were treated to two gendered group routines from Mandy Moore and Travis Wall. I have to say, both blew me away. Mandy’s, set to the Evanescence classic “My Immortal” truly embodied feminine strength and showed off why every girl deserved their place in the Top 14, while Travis’s water piece struck me hard, especially the moment where the seven boys let out of cry of rage. Both numbers were just the perfect displays of talent and teamwork and I think that way Christina Applegate described them, as a “gift” from the choreographers and dancers to the audience is truly what it was.
And then, it was time. The six contestants in danger returned to the stage and the judges told us they were unanimous in their choices. I was a little shocked by that, but nothing could compare to my shock when they proceeded to save Casey and Jessica. Jessica, sure, she was still riding the wave from her routine with Ricky in Week 1 and tonight’s number was a reminder of just how good she is in that style – but Casey? Casey who’s been completely lackluster every week and did just okay tonight? I have to say, I’m shocked. I really thought they’d save the much more charismatic, consistent and memorable contestants: either Teddy or Serge. To lose both of them as well as contemporary talents Carly (who’s slayed everything she’s been in) and Emily (who, like I said, is just such a strong dancer) is a huge blow and, if I’m being honest, makes the Top 10 much less interesting. Unfortunately, I get the feeling they were all eliminated because they posed a threat to the winner that the producers seem to want. See if you can figure out who that is. But until then, vote below and tell me which routines you liked and, vote in the second poll and tell me which two people you would have saved!