The opening number to “100% Pure Love” by Crystal Waters looked a bit like a music video set in the royal court of Louis XIV. The So You Think You Can Dance contestants were all decked-in glamorous period attire (complete with wigs) as they manipulated fans and candelabra. It was a pretty piece of choreography but not quite as exciting as some we’ve seen in the past.
Sonya Tayeh’s Contemporary piece for Yorelis and Jim was a very difficult act to follow. Yorelis showed a distinct broadening of her technical ability beyond a sexy stage presence. It was a brilliant surprise. Jim’s incredible partnering technique and control was the only thing that managed to upstage her. And this was all despite having suffered and injury this week! If you missed tonight’s show, this is one performance you absolutely must watch. Jim immediately went on to the Top 10 while Yorelis was in danger.
Choreographer Misha Gabriel set a Hip Hop piece for Jaja and Edson where the pair played some high profile models on a runway. The performance was just a lot of fun to watch and it is great fun to see Jaja joking in rehearsal and completely becoming a snobby fashionista on the stage. Even though the judges had mixed reviews on this one, both Jaja and Edson are in the Top 10.
Hailee played the crazy ex-girlfriend to Virgil in Tyce Diorio’s Contemporary piece to “Cellophane” by Sia. There were some very beautiful moments in this piece. Hailee had a gorgeous grand battement where she grabbed and held her foot in a freeze. Virgil’s pike into a forward roll was flawless. The ending moments where Hailee hooked her feet around Virgil’s knees and he dragged her along the floor was also memorable. Hailee and Virgil are in the Top 10.
Tracy Phillips and Dominic Carbone made a special appearance to give Ariana and Alexia a Cabaret-style number. The two girls played fish and had trouble connecting with the characters. The bits of technique were pretty wonderful but you could tell that neither Alexia nor Ariana really put her heart into the performance. Both girls were in danger this week.
Megz and Derek worked with Dave Scott on a Hip Hop routine to “Worth It” by Fifth Harmony. Megz’ character was a Jazz trumpet player who sees Derek in the audience and invites him to dance with her. There was something jarring about the red costume for Megz and so it was a little distracting beside Derek’s more neutral suit. Paula Abdul had an excellent point when she advised Megz to never stand perfectly still even if Derek was dancing his solo. Megz is in the Top 10 while Derek was automatically in danger because he was unable to dance last week.
Stacey Tookey worked with Gaby and Neptune on a Contemporary piece based on race relations. Gaby was absolutely stunning in this particular performance. The lifts that always seemed to be precarious to the point of being dropped were skillfully executed. That moment of suspense was the major point of interest here. Gaby is in the Top 10 while Neptune was in danger of going home.
Last but not least JJ and Kate danced as two pinup girls in Brian Friedman’s second piece of choreography for the evening. Strutting around the stage like a girl from the 1940’s was apparently just the formula Kate needed to come into her own. That being said, the piece was a little “young” for the SYTYCD stage but no less excellent in its execution. JJ is in the Top 10 but Kate found herself once again in danger.
Team Stage’s group dance was the creation of Sonya Tayeh. Her concept was the first seconds after one receives tragic news. Jim was replaced by All Star Robert as he missed rehearsals this week due to injury. The quality of this performance was in line with a major, national dance company like Martha Graham Dance Company. It was worth watching even if the subject matter was difficult to relive.
Team Street-who had won 53% of last week’s viewer votes-worked with Pharside and Phoenix in a dark, circus-themed routine. The sinister carnival concept was not to the taste of yours truly but the performance was truly excellent. It was worth a viewing just to see Jaja as the “bearded lady” and Neptune as the “strong man.”
Tonight’s elimination was a tough one sending home not two but four dancers. Viewer votes saved Derek and Neptune for the Top 10. Unfortunately, that meant Alexia, Ariana, Kate, and Yorelis are all going home.
Albuquerque viewers can see SYTYCD Monday nights at 7 p.m. on KASA Channel 2. Everyone can vote to save their favorite dancers from going home at the SYTYCD website.