SYTYCD Top 20 (again)

The President Obama thinks he can Pre-Empt Edition

By now, you've just sat through President Obama's speech commemorating the 10th year we've been in Afghanistan and that the troops will start to be withdrawn.

I've been extremely distracted with trying to get this new look for the blog up and running.  I hope you like it.  If you don't like it, I hope you don't tell me.  But let's try for the quickest re-cap of So You Think You Can Dance in my (albeit recent) re-cap history.  Part of what will also make this re-cap so quick is that I honestly can't even bear to write down the "embarrassing things we learn about contestants" montages.

There's a quick reminder of the DRAMA from last week.  THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE PEOPLE!!  And then, without so much as an opening dance (perhaps because of the President's speech or perhaps because we've got to keep things moving here with 20 contestants still) we're into the partner introductions.

Sasha & Alexander win the intros with an impressive throw!

Tonight's Judges are Nigel, Mary and Debbie Reynolds.  I'm good with this decision.  Debbie has proven her chops.  If you can keep up with Gene Kelly and you've grown old gracefully, you've certainly earned the right to judge some flashy young'uns.  I can't wait to see what she has to say about Jordan.

Cat:'s fantastic to have you here
Debbie: It's fantastic to be alive!

This should be all sorts of wonderful

Dance #1:
Couple: Ryan & Ricky
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Style: Jazz
Song: Addicted to Love by Robert Palmer
We're warned that this is "x-rated" and that they just feel "awkward".  Luckily the only thing awkward is  Ricky's faux-leather corset and suspenders ensemble.  This is a great song and the dancing is solid.  None of that weird smiling from Ryan that we had last week.  They at least attempt to get in to character and the moves are done with the necessary precision.

Oh no, during the break we get a glimpse of the remake of Footloose.  This has awful written all over it. I'm not even sure what accent the guy playing Wren is supposed to be doing.  It sounds like it might be some sort of Boston-related accent, if a Boston accent sounded like someone was literally trying to swallow their words.  It's the same exact movie, but with less relevance and even more already-built-in nostalgic cheese.  Oh and old buses instead of tractors.

Dance #2:
Couple: Caitlynn & Mitchell
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Style: Contemporary
Theme: Relationship gone haywire!
Song: Turning Tables by Adele
For the first few bars, it's hard to concentrate on Mitchell.  He seems so far away on television.  He has a giant jetee that is beautiful though.  There's the usual punctuated dramatic reaches, but it flows well and they seem to be a really good partnership.  Solid and borderline impressive. We find out Mitchell has unintentionally gone all Ike Turner on Caitlynn.

Dance #3:
Couple: Missy & Wadi
Choreographer: Jean-Marc Genereux
Style: Cha-Cha
Theme: SPICY!
Song: Cannibal by Kesha

It's not as impressive as their routine last week, and they seem to be dragging a bit, but they're both really  trying to keep it together.  Wadi is especially trying, but it's just not all come together quite yet.  Whoa, Nigel is already telling Wadi "if you're in the bottom three..." but they can't praise Missy enough.

Dance #4:
Couple: Iveta & Nick

Choreographer: Nakul Dev Mahajan
Style: Bollywood
Song: Baawre from the Luck By Chance soundtrack

Bollywood, when done even adequately, is impressive to me, but their timing seemed a bit off and I don't know that Iveta really finished off all over her wrist flicks, etc.  Debbie admits that attempting to do Bollywood would "Freak Her OUT!"

Dance #5:
Couple: Robert & Miranda
Choreographer: Napoleon & Tabitha
Style: Hip Hop
Theme: Woodpeckers...what? 
Song: Break Ya Neck by Busta Rhymes

I'm pretty psyched that Robert got Hip Hop and Miranda does more than keep up.  This is a really impressive routine.  I hate to jump the gun, but it's reminiscent of the Outa Your Mind Routine though this routine never reaches the speed of that one.  But the precision is well done and Miranda does a standing backflip.  Come on!
Debbie's words "They're just fabulous"

Dance #6:
Couple: Jess & Clarice
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Style: Contemporary
Theme: A Royal Love Story with lifts!
Song: Cathedrals by Jump Little Children

Jess is not in his element and Clarice is.  That's the easiest way to describe this.  I mean Jess is ok, but he's awkward in the partnering here.  

Debbie's words: "Let's all go home with Mommy Debbie"

Dance #7: 
Couple: Tadd & Jordan
Choreographer: Jean-Marc Genereux
Style: Viennese Waltz
Theme: Space & Grace
Song: Fade Into Me by David Cook

Uh Oh, there's a bench involved.  This instantly conjures up images of one of the most-known routines of all-time on this show.  It's not as good as that routine, but it's definitely more of a success than the Cha-Cha routine.  It was actually really well done on both of their parts.
Debbie's Words: I actually think what she says is slightly blasphemous and I'm having trouble typing it.  Ok, here goes she says "Have you ever heard of Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire...and Cyd were just as beautiful as them".  

Dance #8
Couple: Marko & Melanie
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Style: Jazz
Theme: Hats and old school style
Song: Sing with a Swing (Raf Marchesini Radio Edit) by DKS

I think Marko has the flashier role here and his partnering is definitely solid.  I love this couple.  I can't help it, they're fantastic.

Debbie's Words: I thought "if he doesn't catch her you'll be split"

Dance #9:
Couple: Alexander & Sasha
Choreographer: Napoleon & Tabitha
Style: Hip Hop
Theme: Soldier Comes Home
Song: Coming Home by Diddy Dirty Money (I feel a little dirty money just having written that alias) and Skylar Grey

It's an impressive amount of eye contact to build the chemistry.  I think the first part is stronger than the second part though.  And I still think Alexander is the weaker dancer in this partnership.  Sasha just tears up the floor.

Debbie's words: "We loved you"

Dance #10:
Couple: Chris & Ashley
Choreographer: Spencer Liff
Style: Broadway
Theme: The Big House (with props in the form of bars) with a side of sexual tension
Song: Please Mr. Jailer by Rachel Sweet

Chris displays a surprising amount of upper-body strength through the routine.  It is kind of odd that there isn't much use of stage space with this number but there's a lot of stuff that works here.  It's a bluesy slinky song with matching choreography.

Debbie's Words: "You're just wonderful, you're both great...sensational"

Oh man, Debbie better be back tomorrow!
Speaking of tomorrow, if I'm calling it, the bottom three dances are:

Missy & Wadi
Jess & Clarice 
Iveta & Nick

But I was having a difficult time coming up with a third dance.  I do think this week changed a lot of perceptions.  It'll be intriguing to see who gets the boot now.  Or maybe they don't get a boot, maybe they get to go home with Mommy Debbie. 


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