BREAKING DOWN THE MOVES: Natalie Weiss Recaps SYTYCD featuring Broadway's Warren Carlyle, Tyce Diorio
Note: BWWTV, one of BroadwayWorld's burgeoning spin-off sites, is honored to welcome our first ever Celebrity Guest Recapper this week, the host of BREAKING DOWN THE RIFFS Natalie Weiss. To check out some of Natalie's dance moves, watch the videos in this article.
So now, take it away Natalie:
I am so honored and thrilled to be the first guest So You Think You Can Dance recapper for BWW! It is now 2:15 A.M. and I am putting together my A.D.D. notes into cohesive sentences after watching tonight's episode on DVR. (I got home at midnight from judging the semi-finals of the weekly competition, "So You Think You Can Belt" at the West End Theatre uptown). It's pretty ironic that they're on the same night of the week.
First thing's first: Cat Deeley looked absolutely STUNNING. I was living for that black onesie. Okay, that's all. Weiss out. Goodnight. No, but for real...onto the good stuff! Tonight, we learned that Rudy and Jacque have a massive crush on each other. Also, some people pointed their feet, jumped up and down, and spread their legs.
Okay, I'll get serious now. I promise.
The opening routine was to "How It's Done" by District 78, and was centered around a chess board, where half the dancers were dressed in black and half in white. Marcquet betta krump in the front of that dance! Remember, people.... He is a ballroom dancer! OMG, then Tatiana decides to stand in the front and krump too??!! Sick! Like I said last week, she is definitely one to beat. I always love trying to guess who has choreographed the opening group number before they announce it. For this routine, my guesses were Nappytabs, Sonya Tayeh, or Wade Robson. I figured I was bound to get one out of three right. Nope, WRONG! It was a new pair of choreographers, Pharside and Krystal Meraz, from the crew, Academy of Villains. They will be back to perform as one of the winners of the Justin Bieber dance crew competition in a few weeks. I'm definitely excited to see more from them.
ABT dancer, Misty Copeland, was back again this week as a guest judge, and it appeared that Nigel and Mary may have switched seats on the judging panel.
Last week we learned that SYTYCD earned seven Emmy nominations! I am SOOO happy that Travis Wall got nominated for his "Wicked Game" dance. That routine literally BLEW MY MIND last season.
I distinctly remember rewinding it over and over, screaming at the screen during four EPIC moments: One where she jump turns into his arms at 1:13, one where she abrubtly arches her back from on top of his shoulders and crawls to the floor at 1:25, one where they do four pirouettes then directly shoot their legs out to second perfectly in sync at 1:29, and one where she launches into his arms from the ground at 1:37. Well, that just gave me an excuse to revisit that routine on YouTube.
Last week, I predicted that these contestants would be in the Bottom Six:
Bridget - Jessica - Brooklyn - Rudy - Teddy - Stanley
I only got two correct. Oops.
After last week's vote...
Bottom 3 girls:
Bottom 3 boys:
Now, onto the routines:
Dancers Zack Everhart & Jacque Lewarne
Choreographers: Keoni & Mari
Genre: Hip Hop
Song: "Stay with Me" by Sam Smith
This was the second week in a row that a choreographer used a Sam Smith track! YES! I'm so glad he's getting so much recognition. I feel like he is a mix between Jessie J and Boy George. [Check out my cover of "Latch" by Sam Smith: - shameless plug ;)]
I loved the floor work in this and how specific all of the hand choreo was. I have never really seen anything like this on the show before. I had CHILLS when they went into the "big spoon/little spoon" position. In addition to being extremely precise with the movements, I thought the pair of them had a lot of chemistry. You would never know that she is a ballet dancer and he is a tapper! I definitely think Zack is one to watch out for in this competition. I LOVE watching him perform. There were a few moments where they were a millisecond ahead of the beat and not truly in the pocket, but I'm totally being obnoxiously nitpicky. Overall, I was obsessed with this routine. Cat even compared it to Mark and Chelsie's "Bleeding Love" by Nappytabs.
I can't wait to see more from these choreographers!
Dancers: Jourdan Epstein & Marcquet Hill
Choreographer: Dee Caspary
Song: "Disappear" by Mikky Ekko
Yes! A fellow Jew! Jourdan Epstein. Nice to meet you, I'm a Weiss.
I absolutely LOVED their opening pose. Her feet are ridiculous. I felt like this dance was MOSTLY good. I felt a little disconnected from them. Maybe it was the choreography or lack of story? Maybe it was too short? It seemed that throughout the LA finals, Marcquet was going to be a top competitor, someone who was good at every style, but this dance definitely showed more of his weaknesses. That being said, I STILL think he's a strong competitor, especially in ballroom and hip hop. He's also extremely likable. I thought it was hilarious when Cat asked Nigel to clarify his reasoning for why the knees needed to be over the toes. I guess it's good that Cat is just the host of the show. Silly girl, that's like ballet 101. We'll forgive her! Oh no, Mary said the word "SHTRONG" again. It is STRONG. STA-RONG. STRONG. There is no H in there, girl;) #petpeeve #42ndShtreet
Dancers: Stanley Glover & Jessica Richens
Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
Song: "Funkier than a Mosquito's Tweeter" by Nikka Costa
[Side note, in the footage they showed before the actual dance, Stanley's modeling photos were STUNNING] #ANTM
Jessica and Stanley were paired together this week because their respective partners were eliminated. The concept for this dance was centered around a magic carpet. This choreo was def not my fav (#somanyabbrevs). I thought they did a good job with what they were given, but overall, I was left feeling kind of "eh." That's all I got for this one. Stanley sure gets height on those leaps in second though!
Dancers: Emilio Dosal & Bridget Whitman
Choreographer: Anya & Pasha
Song: "Happy" by Pharrell Williams
Side note: I didn't know that Anya was the originator of the Hot Tamale train! Great. Now we can blame Anya for us becoming deaf from Mary's piercing mixy screlt.
I was a little worried about Emilio being able to do this style, but honestly, I think he might have even done better than Bridget in this dance! I loved the Frug (Fosse) throw back choreo that Anya and Pasha used! The lift where Bridget jumped up in a full straddle and he flipped her under him to land in a squat was awesome! I LOVED towards the end of the dance when she had a slow high fan kick, as he was slowly pushing himself back to his feet from a push-up position. That was sick. They weren't pulling face too much throughout the routine. They looked like they were just having fun.
Okay, first of all, I said this last week and I'll say it again. Teddy is seriously gorgeous. He has such a different unique look. I feel like he should be on Vampire Diaries, True Blood, or Pretty Little Liars with those cheek bones! Oh, and wait, he's hot AND he likes board games??!! (mentioned in opening footage) Not sure if he is into chicks, but hey, I'm single!
The concept for this dance was the phrase, "Don't Ever Leave Me". This. routine. was. stunning. They were both incredible. You would NEVER know Teddy was a hip hop dancer. Are you kidding me??!! It might have even been one of the best I've ever seen a hip hop dancer perform a contemporary routine. Even though Emily is SO obviously muscular and strong, she was still able to make her movements seem light. Tyce's choreography was SO much better than his earlier routine. It was actually one of my favorite routines from Tyce EVER! I LOVED in the beginning of the dance when she was hanging around his neck for the first few seconds with her feet flexed and knees bent. Another stunning moment for me was when she swung her legs three times back and forth at the end. I seriously could NOT get over the fact that his strength is hip hop. He was LIV-ING in this style. Some audience member legit screamed "YAS!" towards the beginning of the dance. Now that I think about it, it actually might have been Tyce.
I love how Misty asked Emily if she spoke French. She said she didn't. Misty responded, "Your body does." She described it as "singing with her body". I totally agree. I rewound this dance and it was just as amazing the second time. I would have watched it over and over, but now it's 3:30 am and I'm still only half done with this article (hehe).
I actually had this thought after this dance: Wouldn't it be interesting to see if it would also have been THIS amazing if a different couple would have danced it?! I would be curious to add this as a challenge one week on the show: Have all couples do the same routine. I'm not exactly sure how it would work, but I'd love to see it! Imagine if Emily and Teddy performed the addiction dance!!
Wait...Now that I think about it, a challenge should be for each couple to perform a nominated routine from a past season!! LET'S DO IT!! Why haven't they done this??!! #Iwantroyaltiesforthisidea
Dancers: Brooklyn Fullmer & Casey Askew
Choreographer: Bonnie Story
Song: "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Michael Buble
Side bar: One of my favorite auditions of all time was actually Bonnie Story's daughter, Kelli Baker. I don't know what happened to her in Vegas Week that season. I guess she got cut???
I apparently did not enjoy this routine as much as the judges did. Brooklyn's first leap was beautiful. I actually feel like she was SO FIERCE in the first half. Unfortunately, it got worse from there. Her last 8-counts were a bit awks and her ending pose was...well...not great. She really needs to step it up if she wants a shot at being in the competition much longer. Nigel was reiterating that it must have been hard for her considering she had never been trained in this style, but unfortunately when she admitted she actually HAD been, it proved that she's just not as strong of a contender as the others.
As far as Casey goes... He was definitely much stronger than Brooklyn. Not that I could do any better, but I definitely noticed that for a trained contemporary dancer, his port de bras was actually really stiff. It was actually distracting at times. I'm only being critical because I'm writing this article. I did love his pirouette where he grabbed his foot, even though he fell off balance a bit. [My next sentence was my actual reaction in real time] "WAIT, ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THESE TURNS in coupé??!!...getting slower as he pliés??!!" Rewind. No. Screaming.
I always look forward to Ricky every week. He is THE best dancer this season.
Wait, that was LACEY in the audience?? I noticed a blonde woman standing next to Bonnie Story who looked gorgeous, but also looked like she could be on one of the Housewives shows. IT WAS LACEY!! OMG! Lacey was one of my FAVORITE dancers of ALL time on SYTYCD! Here are two of my Lacey favs:
(with the famous dramatic leap into his arms at 1:15)
I loved how Lacey used the taping-their-bodies-together technique for this routine. I DEFINITELY had a different reaction than the judges on this one. I thought Valerie really struggled with this style. She looked stunning in that dress and it was gorgeous when he twirled her around, but to me, she just didn't look very feminine or dainty. I was drawn to her the entire dance, but unfortunately not in a positive way. [Dance finishes..] Wait, Nigel stood for this dance? Was I watching a different dance? It just wasn't my favorite at all. I've seen more graceful Viennese Waltzes on the show before.
I mean...if you must know, I'm pretty fierce at the Viennese Waltz. But this isn't about me.
Dear Mary, it's not Lacey "Swimmer". It's SCHWIMMER. The Second Season winner of your show was Benji SCHWIMMER. Mary also totally said "Swimmer" last week when she referred to Benji. We'll forgive her. I will say this: Valerie is SOOOOO adorable. Okay, I guess she did PRETTY well considering her strength is tap. We'll give it to her. Also, what Misty said is true; Ricky is "BEYOND what they're used to seeing". He is THE one for whom to watch out.
In the very beginning of the dance, they were NOT in sync. I think it was Serge rushing the beat. He wasn't really in the pocket the whole dance. Carly, on the other hand, was, as Luther said, a "beast"! She was SICK! When she held her leg up to her face with a flexed foot...DAMN. I thought she TOTALLY embodied the essence of a skeleton (however one would do that). I didn't agree with what Nigel said. He said that it wasn't a routine that would make people pick up their phones to vote. I feel like that would be more of a critique aimed at the choreographer. Carly was all kinds of fierce in this, ESPECIALLY for a contemporary girl. Also, she's beautiful even with all the skeleton makeup on. Misty disagreed with Nigel and said, "I loved it...but I'm from this generation"...basically calling Nigel old (HAHA).
Dancers: Rudy Abreu & Tanisha Belnap
Choreographer: Tony-Winner Warren Carlyle
Song: "Sing Sing Sing (Part 2)" from FOSSE (Original Broadway Cast)
ALL three judges stood after this routine. I do think Rudy has amazing showmanship and a very likable personality, but I just don't think his technique is as up to par as Ricky's. Misty's comment was RIGHT ON. "The both of you danced in perfect unison, but yet you were individuals". I LITERALLY screamed "WHOA!" when Tanisha arched her back... ALL the way back. I also LOVED the aerial with the canes. My roommate just pointed out that Nigel said Warren Carlyle was Susan Stroman's assistant for years, but failed to mention that he just won the Tony for choreography in AFTER MIDNIGHT! Silly Nigel.
A Great Big World also performed tonight. The band tweeted earlier that day: "Almost one year ago, Amy Yakima and Robert Roldan danced to 'Say Something' on So You Think You Can Dance and our lives changed forever" Since then, they have become worldwide superstars.
It's kind of amazing that this show has been such a platform for so many up and coming singer/songwriters. Remember when "Jar of Hearts" was used on the show, and the next day, Christina Perri was famous?!
(They disabled embedding on this video, but click on it anyway.)
Best of the night in my opinion: Emily & Teddy's contemporary routine!!
Sent home tonight: Stanley & Jourdan
Might be in bottom 3 girls next week: Brooklyn, Jessica, & Jacque(torn between her and Valerie)
Might be in bottom 3 guys next week: Marcquet, Casey, & Serge
*As for the results tonight - the judges decided to send Jourdan & Stanley home based on the fact that they received the lowest votes.
In my opinion, I really miss the show airing two times a week; where there is one performance show then a results show the next day...that way you never have to remember last week's performance, and for what reason they were in the bottom. Also, isn't it weird that the Bottom Six don't get to dance for their lives this season??
Alas, it was another awesome night of dancing! Isn't this show the best??!!
It's 4:53 A.M. Goodnight all!
If you enjoyed Natalie's take on SYTYCD (and how could you not?), you can get more by following her on Twitter @Natalie_Weiss or by checking out her hit web series, BREAKING DOWN THE RIFFS. Our regular recapper Matt (@BWWMatt) will be back next week, but after Natalie's epic recapping debut, he's got big shoes to fill.