Tuesday, September 11, 2012

SYTYCD 9: Top 6 to Top 4 Recap!

Welcome Back, Dance Fans! ALL-STARS! Your Super Sexy Top Six! 2 ballerinos, 1 Baller. 1 Jazz Hands, 1 Tokyo Popper, and 1 Kung Fu Hustler.remain. ZERO Contempos. Still getting used to that. Who will make the finale?? We are ready to find out!

The pre-taped group number is pretty cool. We've got some Phantom-esque half masks going on. It's always fun to play "Guess The Choreographer" but this one feels distinctly Sonya Tayeh to me. They dance to "Scream" by Kelis, and the group is really working well together. Lots of great character, some fun changes in tempo and style mixed in. Hopefully a good sign of things to come!

Cat's dress tonight is insane. It's like orange patchwork which shouldn't work but then somehow becomes increasingly awesome the longer you stare at it, and stare at it you will! Cat tells us the finale performance episode will be on Tuesday next week instead of Wednesday. And then the following week is the actual finale. So there's no voting tonight and this week is just kind of a freebie? Cat's not making it totally clear. She asks us to set our DVR's which is troublesome if the show wants us to vote live.

This week the dancers are each doing three dances: one with an all-star, one solo, and one with another contestant. This week's results are entirely vote-dependent and will be from here on out. No more saving from the judges!  Christina Applegate is back as guest judge, and I like her style so we're cool. P.S. I'm not recapping the solos. You can rest assured that they all kicked, leaped, spun, shook and popped at their accustomed levels of excellence.

1) Tiffany and ALL-STAR: Benji Schwimmer, WINNER Season 2! dancing a Jean-Marc Genereaux jive to "What I Like about You" by Lillix. It's so nice to see Benji back on the show as a performer. Dude has been through a lot since his win 6 years ago. Haven't we all? If you're ever home sick from work and are stuck on the couch for several hours you should listen to his Mormon Talk interviews on Youtube, in which he talks about his experience on the show, Mormonism, coming out and life in general. It's really an interesting interview that goes on FOREVER.  Anyway, Benji is back with newly giant arms and a shirt I hate with checkered flag weirdness down the front. Much like with her success in the disco two weeks ago, Tiffany's seemingly unlimited energy supply is a tremendous benefit in this routine. They both come out guns blazing and feet flicking all over the place. They look like they're having the best time. They do an impressive triple-cartwheel move that I was nervous about mostly because Tiffany is TINY. Those things work better with same size partners. She did it though! Benji's a total pro in this genre but Tiffany more than holds her own. They get a standing o from the judges for their efforts. Well-deserved! Nigel congratulates Tiffany for holding her own with Benji, the show's best ever swing dancer. Mary loves Tiffany's jive kicks. Christina confesses she and Benji have taken dance class together in LA. She thinks Tiffany did an amazing job in the routine.Seriously, we can't vote for her this week?

2) Cole and ALL-STAR: Melanie Moore! Dancing a Sonya Tayeh jazz routine to "Too Close" by Alex Clare. Concept: Cole wants to be set free but Melanie isn't ready to let him go. Their is a bit of gender role reversal in this piece as Melanie seems to be lifting Cole more than he is lifting her. Melanie is a BEAST. I thought this was a very solid routine, that suffered a bit just from having followed a very WOW routine. Christina loved the androgyny of the routine and then says something that gets her censored. It had to do with foot position in the pirouette and her not caring about it. Nigel liked gender role reversal in the piece. He also says how says he's been so happy to have him here on the show. Nigelspeak for GOODBYE! Oh no!!

3) Eliana and ALL-STAR: Twitch! Dancing a Christopher Scott hip-hop routine to "Please Mr. Postman (District 78 Remix)" by The Marvelettes. Concept: Eliana has a crush on the mailman and is sending him a letter. Okay... I don't like this routine. It's kinda flimsy. Eliana is mugging way too much. Twitch is trying to sell it strictly on charm. There's a good 10-12 seconds where Eliana is just sitting on top of a mailbox. That's a lot considering the dance might be a 80 seconds long tops. I think this is Eliana's worst routine of the whole season, and if you recall, I wasn't a big fan of some of her early routines with Cyrus. Christina gingerly offers that Eliana won't be cast in a Jay-Z video anytime soon, but it still was fun. Nigel once again states Eliana is his favorite girl but didn't think there was enough dancing on display here. Mary says that she found it really... entertaining. She hated it. Maybe it IS a good thing we can't vote this week!

4) Chehon and ALL-STAR: Kathryn! Dancing a Tyce Diorio contemporary number to "Eli, Eli (A Walk to Caesarea) by Sophie Milma. Concept: A suitcase symbolizes tragic loss and how people move on and dance around it. It's a really pretty dance. It's also very sad. It has a bit of a holocaust vibe to it, but it might just be Kathryn's dress that makes me feel that way. The crowd gives them a standing o as well. Nigel thought is was beautiful and emotional and thanks Fox for supporting the show. Nigelspeak for "See you in Season 10"? I hope so. Mary is crying and feels she witnessed a magical moment in their dance careers. Mary really loves dance, y'all. I say that seriously. You can tell she really loves it. She's not just collecting a paycheck on a panel. Christina thought it was beautiful and notes that Tyce's contemporary choreo is much stronger than his Broadway. INDEED. This was a very good effort from Chehon. He's come a long way this season as a performer.

5) Witney and ALL-STAR Marko Germar from Season 8! Dancing a Ray Leeper lyrical jazz routine to "No Nothing" by Curtis Y Reinhold feat. Blaire. Concept: Witney wants to leave Marko at the Altar. Witney is very graceful and Marko is a great partner. They balance each other very well and have amazing movement. I don't really love the routine though. It's tough, man. With everyone in such good form now and with All-Stars bringing it, it really depends on the depth of the choreo as to who is really gonna impress. I don't know if this one really had the stuff. Mary thought they were lovely together but her praise kinda hangs there. She didn't like seeing Marko left at the end. Christina thought Witney's technique was beautiful and notes her natural hairography talents. Nigel reminds Witney that the judges have saved her several times now because they believe she is a star. Nigelspeak says "Goodbye, Witney! We can't deny the public vote no longer!"

6) Cyrus and ALL-STAR Comfort from Season 4! Dancing a Christopher Scott dubstep routine to "Cinema (Skrillex Remix)" by Benny Benassi feat. Gary Go. Concept: Comfort is in a movie Cyrus is watching and then they are together and then they switch places. The choreo is tight and Cyrus really excels here. Comfort is great too. I wasn't a super fan of hers back in Season 4 but she is a great partner as an All-Star. Their routine ALSO gets a standing O from the judges. Christina loves it. Nigel also loves it and notes for the naysayers that they haven't even been saving Cyrus. He's never been in the bottom! Mary agrees and mentions that there's some Twitter kerfuffle over how Cyrus is still around. He's very likable! There were definitely weeks that he had one of the three weakest routines, and that's why Eliana found herself in the bottom 3, but his character lifted him when his technique didn't. He's really incredible at what he does. No one else in the competition can do what he does.

Now we'ver entered the old school portion of tonight's episode where contestants actually dance with each other! Witney and Chehon are doing a cha-cha by Jean-Marc Genereaux. Concept: Sexy Chemistry! They dance to "Where Have You Been" by Rihanna. It's bad. There's a lift that goes wrong right at the beginning and Chehon almost drops her. It's ROUGH. They bounce back and Witney is hot like always, but Chehon doesn't have the form and it's just off. Mary says it was better than his samba a few weeks back. FAINT PRAISE! Latin dancing is not a strength for Cheon and his response is basically a plaintive wail that he knows. Then Mary calls Witney "Lindsay"AGAIN and unlike last time a couple weeks ago, Cat and Chehon won't let it slide, and it flusters her. Lindsay and Witney are basically Mary's blonde ballroom twin daughters so you can see why their names are pretty interchangeable in her mind. Christina claims they were so sexy in the opening move she just doesn't remember anything after that. Nigel thinks Witney was hampered by the partnering since the style and technique were not there for Chehon. Man, he'd been on such a role! Hopefully people will forget this clunker of a routine by next week.

Cole and Eliana are dancing a Mia Michaels routine inspired by rams fighting. The song is "Adagio for Strings" by the BRNO Philharmonic Orchestra, There's a starting move where they literally ram into each other on all fours and look like they could maybe break both their necks. They survive and dance a beautiful dance. There are some impressive tricks between them. Lots of trust involved here. It ends with a silent scream for both. Guys, don't be frustrated! You did great! Nigel explains Mia was really inspired to by their own combative relationship and not rams. Mary loved the power and strength they brought throughout the routine. Christina, of course, is a HUGE Mia fan choreography and thought they shined.

Tiffany and Cyrus have the last dance of the night. They're dancing a Spencer Liff Broadway routine to "Treat Me Rough (Girl Crazy)" by Debbie Gravitte. Yay no Tyce! The concept: horny 50's teenagers alone at home for the evening. Cyrus can't get his jacket off at the beginning and it's stuck on his arm. We miss a butt grab of Tiffany that we saw a lot about in the rehearsal footage as a result. D'oh! The routine is fun. Spencer is great at infusing character in his choreo in a very fun way. It's not a total power house performance, but it's solid. Tiffany and Cyrus definitely came out on top this week. But again, no votes! The judges all loved it, for sure.

We have time for a guest performance, before the results so we get a routine from the AXIS Dance Company. I like this company a lot. It combines dancers with and without physical disabilities. They've been on the show before. the choreography is cool and the dancers very captivating to watch.
But they can't stall forever it's time to make some cuts! We get a recap of last week when all the girls brought it hard. Tiffany makes it into the finale first, followed by Eliana. That means Witney is done. That feels about right. I love Witney, but Tiffany has been coming on so strong and Eliana's technique is insane. Witney is amazing though. I hope she comes back as a ballroom all-star.

Now to the boys. Cat says Chehon is in and he almost collapses from shock. And the second one in is Cyrus. I mean, obviously. He wasn't gonna suddenly fall to the bottom for no reason.

Routines in Order of my Preference:

Tiffany and Benji's Jive
Cyrus and Comfort's Dubstep
Cole and Eliana's Contemporary
Chehon and Kathryn's Contemporary
Cole and Melanie's Jazz
Cyrus and Tiffany's Broadway
Witney and Marko's Jazz
Chehon and Witney's Cha Cha
Eliana and Twitch's Hip Hop

Next week the Final Four face off with JUST performances! And then the following week is the Finale/Results where we name America's Favorite Guy or Gull Dancer! See you there!

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