BWW Recap: Did SYTYCD's Top-16 Episode Feature the Show's Sexiest Routine Ever? Updated & with Pictures
Ok, after our Celebrity Guest-Recapper Natalie Weiss was absolutely on fire last week, I figured I had to step up my game tonight. So, as I did last year, I will be live updating tonight's Top-16 Episode of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. So, after every routine hit refresh, and I will have details and my Mini-Review for each.
Tonight, American Ballet Theatre's Misty Copeland is back for her third straight week on the judging panel. While you won't hear me complaining about getting to look at Misty for another week, I wish they would either make her an official judge, or return to the rotating third chair. Misty brings an exceptional amount of technical expertise, and an obvious joy for the art form, but at times I feel like she might be nitpicking and being critical, just to prove her worth. I would love to see Christina Applegate, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Adam Shankman, Debbie Allen,
Paula Abdul, Jenna Elfman, Lil' C, Carly Rae Jepsen, or Anna Kendrick return to the panel, even for just one night. Could it be that Misty is just a much cheaper option than the bigger name stars, therefore saving the show money as it continually fights for renewal? (Later Edit: Ok, now we know that Misty is leaving the show this week to do BLACK SWAN in Australia... I wonder if she is playing Natalie Portman or Mila Kunis... So, who are you hoping takes over in the third chair next week? Shankman is busy directing a star-studded production of HAIR for the Hollywood Bowl for a few weeks, so I have a feeling he's out until that's over. Let me know your picks in the comments or on Twitter.)
We are also apparently going to get a performance from PRETTY LITTLE LIARS' star Lucy Hale. While I loved her on the Joanna Garcia-led PRIVILEGED, her country music career has been far less exciting. Again, if this lines the show's coffers, and gets us closer to a Season 12, I can accept it.
Alright, feel free to add your thoughts of each performance to the comments below, or send them directly to me on Twitter @BWWMatt. "Ok, now it's time for a breakdown........"
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Song: "Take Me to the River" by Annie Lennox
Three-Word Review: Water on FIRE!
Girls in Danger (in order of announcement)
Guys in Danger (in order of announcement)
Valerie Rockey and Ricky Ubeda
Choreographer: Nakul Dev Mahajan
Song: "Dilliwaali Girlfriend" from Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (Soundtrack)
Three-Word Review: Bollywood Butt-Drumming!
There probably isn't a more fun SYTYCD genre than Bollywood... when it is done well, and these two definitely did that. Not only was the routine energetic and fun, they showed an incredible amount of stamina, and an ability to stay synchronized despite the increasingly fast and intricate movements. Valerie's personality made her one of my favorites during Hollywood Week, despite not being the best female dancer of the group. However, coming from a tap-dancing background, her skill is improving each week, and being paired with early favorite Ricky has given her a chance to go a long way. Misty has almost given up critiquing Ricky, because he is just so good already. It would be an absolute shock if he is not in at least the Final Four.
Bollywood Instructional Video: While there is absolutely no chance of me ever trying my hand at these dance tutorials they are running during the commercials, I think they are wonderful ways for SYTYCD to continue to give back to the dance community, and to contribute to growing the art with younger viewers.
Bridget Whitman and Emilio Dosal
Choreographer: Broadway vet Travis Wall
Song: "The Leaving Song" by Chris Garneau
Three-Word Review: Unique, Striking, Powerful
Much of the judges' critique was on Travis' emotional choreography, and rightly so; it very well could earn him another Emmy nod. However, I do not believe that the execution should be underappreciated. Bridget and Emilio's movements were sharp and abrupt, often leading into momentary pauses that gave the routine a nightmarish quality. As I have said all season, anyone expecting Emilio to only be good at Hip Hop isn't paying attention. After last season's injury, it is clear that he has worked on his weaker genres, and it showed here. Additionally, Bridget continues to improve and some of her slow elegant kicks were very impressive.
Tanisha Belnap and Rudy Abreu
Choreographer: Dave Scott
Genre: Hip Hop
Song: "Good Kisser" by Usher
Three-Word Review: Sexy Slow Jams
Ok, I'm not going to bury the lede on this one: Tanisha was the definition of sexy in this routine. There have been a lot of sexy outfits in the show's history, but this one was on a whole other level. Ok, now onto the dancing: often times we think of Hip Hop as being "hard" or "dirty" or "sick," but this one was "slow" and "smooth" and, of course, "sexy." It was as if we saw a couple's entire night, from meeting at a bar to hitting the sheets. Rudy's personality has carried him pretty far, but tonight, his technical performance was as strong as it has been thus far. The silky undulations of Tanisha's body, especially in that get up would definitely drive any man crazy.
Annoying Cat Cliché #1: Ok Cat, I get it, you think picking on Rudy and Jacque for having a budding relationship is cute, but embarrassing them on national TV about it seems a little gross.
Jessica Richens and Marcquet Hill
Choreographer: Dmitry Chaplin
Song: "I Put a Spell on You" by Nina Simone
Three-Word Review: Don't Understand Critiques
Look, I don't know the first thing about the Foxtrot, but what I do know is story and character, and I was with Marcquet and Jessica from the beginning. The plot that Dmitry laid out in the opening package was fully realized through the pair's performance and moves. While the judges' critique might influence voters, I enjoyed this routine far more than nearly any other ballroom number this season, and I would hate for either to be eliminated because the judges didn't get it.
Annoying Cat Cliché #2: Ok Cat, I get it, you think it's fun to say the word "Shazam" and then tell the audience that you can't help it, but guess what. You can. I don't mind the "Shazam!" thing, but don't try to convince me that it is some Pavlovian response to seeing the word on the teleprompter.
Carly Blaney and Serge Onik
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Song: "Foolish Games" by Jewel
Three-Word Review: Solid Mid-Season Routine