Tonight’s So You Think You Can Dance opened with punky show piece that looked like a crossover with Project Runway with the interesting myriad of costumes and mannequins. (Brilliant costumes were the theme of the evening.) There were a lot of head rolls and the usual montage of street dancer vignettes.
Team Stage dancer Derek was injured during rehearsals and sat in the audience per doctor’s orders. Should he earn enough votes to stay in the competition another week, Derek will automatically be in danger next week.
Hailee and Jaja were up first in a Ray Leeper piece to “Endangered Species” by Dianne Reeves. The dance was unusual and so creative! Both girls gave powerful performances and Jaja has continued her development into a strong, versatile dancer. Both Hailee and Jaja are safe this week.
Choreographer Dave Scott returned to the show to give Alexia and Neptune a Hip Hop routine with a padded wall. The duo danced it out against the wall to “Flex (Ooh Ooh Ooh)” by Rich Homie Quan. Unfortunately, the concept was the most interesting part of the piece. The choreography was like a series of suggestive poses and not to the taste of yours truly. Alexia and Neptune are also safe to dance another week.
Derek was to have been JJ’s partner in the Argentine Tango choreographed by Miriam and Leonardo. As a result of Derek’s back injury, JJ had the opportunity to perform with Leonardo himself. JJ held her own with her most excellent partner. There was one slight-almost imperceptible-snag but otherwise the intricate swan lift was gorgeous and the overall piece was very memorable. Unfortunately, after that triumphant performance, Cat announced that both JJ and Derek are in danger.
Sean Cheesman’s Contemporary piece to “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Lorde was next for partners Jim and Ariana. In the piece Jim struggled with Ariana as the embodiment of depression. The theme and the characters were so clear in this performance that it earned a standing ovation. But while Jim is safe this week his equally impressive partner Ariana is in danger.
Anyone needing a smile needs to see Al Blackstone’s Broadway choreography for Virgil and Gaby. It was another standing ovation for this “meet cute” set on the streets of New York City. Both dancers really understood their characters, the choreography, and how to play off each other. It was a beautifully performed piece and certainly worth seeing both Gaby and Virgil safe to dance again next week.
Kate and Asaf were an interesting pair in Sean Cheesman’s next piece to “Braveheart” by Neon Jungle. Kate turned into a club dancer with an attitude and was incredible in her part even if she showed some apprehension in lifts with Asaf during rehearsal. Asaf’s performance was worlds away from last week’s disaster and yet still a little delicate. It would be nice to see him work on emoting a little more. Both Kate and Asaf are in danger.
Stage dancer Marissa teamed up with street dancer Yorelis teamed up for some Hip Hop choreography from Christopher Scott. The clever story featured Yorelis hypnotizing Marissa to dance Hip Hop. Both girls were dynamic and showed a wonderful variety of Hip Hop vocabulary. However, only Yorelis was safe while Marissa was in danger.
Choreographer Talia Favia made her debut on the show with a Contemporary piece for Megz and Edson. In a piece that could have been disastrously mismatched, Megz really stepped up her technique and passion for the part. There were a couple of tiny stumbles for footing but otherwise she threw herself bravely into the lifts and kept up with Edson whose home technique is Contemporary. Both Edson and Megz are safe this week.
Team Street’s group dance was the creation of choreographer Luam. The crew danced as a cohesive unit and showed their strengths in abundance. It was nice to see that each dancer seemed as strong as the last.
Team Stage’s choreographer was Travis Wall for a ghostly Contemporary piece. The costumes and manipulation of light in this piece were particularly stunning. Again, all the dancers were so invested in the piece that there was no choosing a favorite.
At elimination time we learned that viewer votes had saved JJ and Derek. The judges decided to save Kate and Ariana sending Marissa and Asaf home.
Readers, be sure to keep your favorite dancers from elimination by voting at the SYTYCD website. Viewers hold even more power this season because we’re able to vote during the show, too!
Albuquerque viewers can catch SYTYCD Monday nights at 7 p.m. (MST) on KASA channel 2. Don’t miss it!