SYTYCD 9.14-Asian Fusion and Gold Bowties

It's Wednesday, it's 8 o'clock pm Eastern Standard Time, Jesse Tyler-Ferguson is BACK(!) and there are people in spandex with giant fans on stage, it must be So You Think You Can Dance time!!

Let's talk about that opening number first, before we jump too deeply into the requisite "enhanced dancer background" pre-rehearsal chit chat, which will inevitably include home videos.  First of all, I have to say, for some reason this intro dance caught me a little off-guard, not terribly off-guard, just a little "huh...oh".  Is it wrong that if I was titling this dance it would be "Asian Fusion"?  It's all red and black, mandarin collars and exotic prop fans.  Both Cole and Chehon get nice stand-out leaps but Will and Cyrus get the short end of the stick, reduced to lots of reaching, dramatic plies.  Eliana gets the closest to standing our for the ladies, who are pretty much forced to unison moves the whole time.  With the soaring strings and pounding percussion, it all feels very dramatic, but not necessarily emotional.

Intro Group Dance Song: "Run Boy Run" by Woodkid

As for the individual introductions, I like that Cole didn't bother to change out of ninja mode, he realizes it fits his style the best.  Also Cat looks fantastic, that dress is classic, it just had to be said. Oh it looks like we're going to be getting individual solos along with the couple numbers, so that's how they're going to fill the time with the dwindling contestant numbers

Tiffany's solo song: "I Was Here" by the cast of 'Glee'

Couple #1: Whitney & Twitch
Choreographer: Luther Brown
Style: Hip Hop
Artist: Lil' Wayne f/Big Sean
Song: My Homie's Still

I think Whitney totally holds her own here.  It was definitely hardcore hip hop, with lots of hits and lots of beats TO hit and although the choreography during the choruses feels like it was made up as they went along, the rest was lots of attitude and precision.  Nigel pumps himself up by telling Whitney that he's glad that they've saved her, Mary rambles off a ton of adjectives that signal she's trying just a little too hard to keep with the hip hop theme, while Jesse, as almost always, has the best comments, even if they're not about dancing.  He and his rockin' gold bowtie (bowties ARE cool) tell Whitney that she looked beautiful and how she danced in those "diaper pants" he'll never know and that his favorite part was when they were doing the "waiting for the bus move".  Someone needs to make a GIF of him interpreting this move stat.

Will's solo song: "Better Man" by James Morrison

Couple #2: Cole & Allison
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Style: creepy contemporary (you know what Sonya does best)
Artist: Bjork
Song: Possibly Maybe

There is too much to love about this routine to list.  Also, there has been a severe lack of Ms. Tayeh's choreography this season.  Allison is an absolutely amazing dancer and she brings everything here.  The air she gets on the  assisted one-armed lift that Cole partners her for is unbelievable.  If any criticism, I would just say that I feel like Cole doesn't get a lot of chances to show off his own skills, but when he does it's impressive.  Jesse says that it was like an "American Horror Story promo" and he's totally right.  He loves the performances of both dancers.  Mary says "the name of that song was possibly, maybe.  Possibly you'll be in the finale, maybe you'll be in the finale; if you keep dancing like that, PROBABLY you'll be in the finale".  Nigel says it was "powerful, it was dramatic...slightly quirky and scary" and that Cole brings a "uniqueness" to all of his performances.

Lindsay's solo song: "Senorita" by BOND

Couple #3: Eliana & Ryan
Choreographer: Jonathan Roberts
Style: Quickstep
Theme: Desperate Housewife
Artist: Caro Emerald
Song: That Man

Oh, Ryan, I didn't realized I'd miss him until now.
Take a moment to watch my favorite Ryan performance:

There's a bit of Broadway camp in this routine and I'm curious what Mary will have to say about the technique.  From where I sit, I thought Eliana's frame in the traveling sequences is fantastic and the lifts are really impressive (including the flip into another ridiculously gymnastic move.  Mary says she was "spectacular". Jesse quotes Ms. Murphy and then says that Eliana's "range of emotion is extraordinary" and that she's very "accessible".  Nigel thought her technique was the best that he's seen a non-ballroom dancer do.

Chehon's solo song: "On the Nature of Daylight" by Max Richter- I can't lie, with the family stuff and the letting the guard down, Chehon could begin to grow on me.  Why didn't you do this all season?!?!  I knew this song sounded familiar.  It's because I'm used to it being paired with "This Bitter Earth"

Couple #4: Lindsay & Alex
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh (it's a two-fer night guys!!)
Style: Jazz
Theme: Chemistry, tension, all that intense stuff
Artist: Gotye
Song: Somebody that I Used to Know

It's finally happened people, someone has finally used Gotye's song on So You Think You Can Dance.  I'm unnaturally excited.  Yes, now I know for sure, there simply hasn't been enough Sonya Tayeh for me this season.  This is another awesome routine.  I hope somewhere someone's made a "Alex Wong can do no wrong" shirt because this guy is another simply amazing dancer.  I think I actually like this dance better than the Cole routine, but it could be just because I love that song.  Cole and Allison's was a more emotional piece though.  Nigel says he didn't feel Alex and Lindsay's chemistry, but that their technicality was great.  Mary also jumps on the lacking chemistry bandwagon.  Jesse, aside from agreeing with Mary and Nigel, also calls Lindsay "a-ding-dong-dorable".

Couple #5: Will & Lauren
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Style: hip hop
Theme: Dance the pain away
Artist: Wye Oak
Song: Dance My Pain Away (I swear I didn't know the song choice, it's almost too easy)

I feel like there's so much prop work that they should get credit just for the difficulty.  I thought the majority of their work in unison was really impressive and that, although there were some parts where Will didn't hit as hard as he could have, the choreography was also lyrical enough to allow him to get away with a lot.  I like Lauren's work here a lot more than in her last routine.  Mary loves the routine and thinks it was "articulate and precise".  Jesse really liked that Will pulled back the adorable a bit and clearly thinks Will is great.  Nigel says that it was "really important" to pull back the personality and then brings on the perve factor before simply saying it was a "really good job".

Whitney's solo song: "Where Have You Been" by Rihanna

Cole's solo song: "Arise" by E.S. Posthumus (either this song is in a million movie trailers or it should be)  I seriously just think he's amazing

Couple #6: Cyrus & MELANIE!!!
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Style: Jazz
Theme: This is how the cool kids roll
Artist: Freddy Fresh f/ Fatboy Slim
Song: Badder Badder Schwing

I feel like this is the first week that I've seen legitimate growth in technicality from Cyrus.  His musicality has always been great and there's no doubt that he can pick up the moves easily, but this was much more engaging.  This is definitely one of his best routines.  Also, Melanie's up to her old trick of being awesome, so it's a great pairing.  Jesse says Cyrus' "charisma and your spirit and those pants kept my eyes on you" and says that Cyrus' uniqueness will keep him synonymous with the show.  Nigel says "America must love you" and that Cyrus is a people-magnet.  Mary is in awe of Cyrus animator moves and says that even though it wasn't perfect that Cyrus blows her mind.

Eliana's solo song: "Infra 8" by Max Richter

Couple #7: Chehon & Anya
Choreographer: Miriam and Leonardo
Style: Tango
Theme: This is what a Tango is
Artist: Jesse Cook
Song: "Breathing Below Surface"

 I have to say, this doesn't remind me much of the "Scent of a Woman" tango, but what do I know?  The beginning makes use of Chehon's amazing balletic prowess, but Cat, along with the judge's standing ovation, assure us that this was a special routine, so what do I know?!  Mary calls it her favorite number tonight and applauds Chehon's performance. I will say he's danced better tonight than any of his previous performances.  Jesse states, and I agree, that tonight is full of really amazing performances.  Where was this the rest of the season?! He also comments on Chehon's nachos aka "ganchos"(the quick footwork) and puts him on his Jalapeno Bus.  Nigel loves the connection.

Cyrus' solo song: "Existence (VIP)" by Excision & Downlink- he clearly gets the loudest response of the solos of the evening.

Couple #8: Tiffany & Ade
Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Style: contemporary
Theme: Epic song=epic dance?
Artist: Celine Dion
Song: "The Power of Love"

Ade is just such a strong partner.  That was an impressive dance as well.  The lifts were amazing because, as I've said before Tiffany looks like she's about equal with a feather on the scale.  Jesse says "the partner work was insane".  Mary says Tiffany is "extraordinary" and that this was "her best performance of the season". Nigel says he thought it was "going to be fantastic and it was" and then he quotes One Direction right after Cat makes the reference, keep up Nigel.

And it's immediately into the bummer part of it all, the results:



Oh no, I don't feel good about this at all.  With all of the solos being part of the show, there's no need for the judges to see them again, so they're just going to get straight to the point.



I do appreciate that they don't pad the results portion with drama and drawn out commercial breaks, I can't help feeling it's cruel in a way to just put up the chopping block after everyone is probably feeling really great from awesome performances.  Well, there's no complaining now, we're only two episodes away from the finale.  Don't forget we're crowning a Favorite King AND Queen this year, so the season is even shorter. Well until next week, same time, same place, I'll be busy working on how to incorporate fans and jumping on furniture into my daily life.


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