So You Think You Can Dance tonight opened with a tribal/Contemporary piece of Sonja Tayeh’s. The dance to “Earth Intruders” by Bjork almost could have been confused for work by Shawn Cheesman had it not been for the interesting series of lifts. One included a dive where Virgil’s limbs were held by his fellow dancers.
Unfortunately, JJ suffered a rib injury during rehearsal week and was advised by doctors to sit out this week. If JJ makes it through the competition this week, she will automatically be in danger next week.
Tonight we also learned that the Top 10 would be dancing solos to music from the soundtrack of hit Fox show Empire in addition to duets with the show’s All Stars. And we learned that the winner of this season’s SYTYCD will earn a spot in Jennifer Lopez’s Vegas Show.
First up was Virgil reintroducing himself before he danced his solo to “Conqueror” from the Empire soundtrack. As it happens, Virgil was a member of the cast of After Midnight on Broadway before he auditioned for the show.
Next came a very quick Broadway number for Hailee and All Star Brandon by choreographer Warren Carlyle. The dance required a lot of energy and an impeccable sense of timing. The performance was beautiful but there were a couple of poses where one could see that either it was too quick to be done cleanly or another week of rehearsals would have done the trick. Whatever the case, Hailee is safe to dance another week.
Before Neptune danced his solo to “Power of the Empire,” we learned that he auditioned for the show hoping to make it as a professional dancer in L.A. Neptune’s goal is to move from Dallas to California in order to be closer to his daughter.
Derek was paired with All Star Kayla for a Nick Florez and RJ Durrell Jazz number. The piece-danced to “Got It” by Marian Hill-was a great showcase for Derek’s nearly perfect technique. The only problem here was Kayla’s stage presence vs Derek’s stoic technical ability. Kayla was almost too much for him at times. Derek found himself in danger of going home again this week.
Gaby’s Tap solo was danced to “Can’t Truss ‘Em.” Her background is Cuban-American from Miami, Florida where she danced with some familiar faces from last season including America’s Favorite Dancer Ricky.
JJ hopped up on stage to do her own little “reintroduction” spot. She moved to Los Angeles from Japan to pursue her love of dance. JJ did find herself in danger this week.
Choreographer Christopher Scott gave Virgil and Comfort a Hip Hop routine to “Just My Imagination” by The Temptations. The dance, based upon a couple’s first night in a new apartment was absolutely adorable. Jason Derulo said it best when he compared the performance to a “cool breeze on a hot summer day.” It was easy, light, and pleasant to watch. Virgil is unsurprisingly safe this week.
Jaja talked a little bit about being cut last season and how happy she is to have made it this season, instead, for the Stage vs Street competition. She danced her own style to “Keep It Movin’” from the Empire soundtrack.
Megz performed with All Star Marco in a Ray Leeper number to music that fans of Center Stage will appreciate: “Canned Heat” by Jamiroquai. Megz hopped a little bit to get out of one of the initial turn sequences but, otherwise, this performance was fantastic. Hands down it was Megz’ best work so far this season. Megz was in danger this week.
Jim danced his ballet solo to “You’re So Beautiful.” Before the solo he spoke a little bit about being adopted from South Korea and earning himself a contract with the Houston Ballet at 18-years-old.
Travis Wall worked with Edson and All Star Jamie for a Contemporary piece to “Your Day Will Come” by Son Lux. Edson was so fluid and precise with a deep understanding of his character in relation to Jamie’s. The lifts were gorgeous and he even showed the proper level of emotion. Despite all this, Edson found himself in danger of going home.
Hailee introduced herself as a native of Utah and a lifelong dancer with a supportive family. Then she danced her frenzied Contemporary solo to “Nothing to Lose.”
Choreographers Pharside and Phoenix returned to give Neptune and All Star Jasmine an interesting “Frankenstein’s monster and Bride of Frankenstein at dinner” Hip Hop dance. The choreography required some bizarre double-jointedness and attitude but was danced very well. Neptune is safe this week.
Derek’s Contemporary solo was to “Drip Drop” from Empire. Derek told us that he is a native of Massachusetts although his parents sent him to Miami to train at the age of 16.
Jim and Jessica were paired together in Dee Caspary’s Contemporary piece to “Heal” by Tom Odell. The judges encouraged Jim to build a better connection with his partner because his technique is pretty flawless at all times. It is one of the facets that was missing from the performance. Also, several of the partnering moments seemed very forced but it was difficult to tell if it was due to that lack of connection or needed to be scrapped from the piece. Jim is safe this week.
Megz solo had “No Apologies” as its backdrop. We also learned that she comes from a family of dancers including two professional ballroom dancer parents.
Jaja danced a Bollywood piece to “Nacho Re” from Jai Ho with All Star Alex. Choreographer Nakul Dev Mahajan’s work was fun and exciting for this Hip Hop dancer! Jaja kept the timing and even articulated the intricate hand gestures so beautifully that it was a performance quite worthy of her safe status. If you missed tonight’s show, this is the piece to watch!
Edson told us a little bit about his background in cheerleading and a dance team coach in his journey to SYTYCD. Then he danced a Contemporary solo to “I Wanna Love You.”
Gaby and All Star Joshua danced in a “Geisha vs Ninja” piece from Pharside and Phoenix. The content was so unique and brilliantly execute to “I’m Really Hot” by Missy Elliot. Gabby showed an entirely new dimension to her technique as she paid attention to detail with her hand movements and even twerked! Gabby is also safe this week.
JJ, Megz, Edson, and Derek were all in danger this week and in need of viewer votes to stay in the competition. In the end, JJ and Edson were sent home leaving Derek and Megz to advance to the Top 8 dancers.
Albuquerque viewers can watch SYTYCD Monday nights at 7 p.m. (MST) on KASA Channel 2. Everyone can vote to keep their favorite dancers in the competition at the SYTYCD website.