So You Think You Can Dance Recap: The Top Twenty
Hiya Trashmi! Did you all have a happy 4th? We lost power for two days in my neighborhood which made for some crankiness here in the Mouth House. Also contributing to the crank? Assholes shooting off fireworks for three nights in a row, PMS, and NO fucking air conditioning. Other than that, my 4th was wonderful!
Ooooooooo, looks like Cat’s cranky too. Of course she prolly had her yearly BBQ with the SYTYCD dancers, judges, and other staff. Damn. Thinking about Cat having to entertain Nigel and Mary makes me ashamed of complaining about my power snafu.
Also……..how come you never invite ME, Cat?
Alright, enough complaining about a freaking holiday for crying out loud! Let’s get to the show. Our very first group number of the season is a piece choreographed by Sonya Tayeh – oh goody!
Excuse me while I go find some Bonine. What the hell, cameramen?????? I see we’re in for another seasick season of camera work. I don’t know about you all, but I am just overjoyed at the thought of constant nausea.
I don’t even know what to say about this number since I could barely even tell what was going on with the super crappy camera work that went on throughout. It certainly didn’t blow me away, that’s for sure. But I really wish I could have REALLY seen what was going on. Between the crap lighting and the crap camera work, I don’t feel like I saw enough of the dance to even have an opinion on it. So we’re already off to a great start!
We go through the dancer intros and then Cat comes out to let us know it’s the 200th show. Wow. Such little fanfare accompanies this announcement, but I have to admit that I’m thrilled that we’re not being made to sit through another episode milestone that involves Katie Holmes trying to dance.
Cat reminds us that we just finished up the callbacks and now we’re on to the performance rounds. But this season we’re switching it up just a little bit in that each dancer will be paired up with someone from their own style so they can really strut their stuff and show us what they can do. Hmmmmmm…..I might like this switch. Hey, Nigel has to get something right every now and then!
Coming from an idiot like you I take that as a compliment.
As always, Mary is also here and joining Beavis and Buttcrack at the judges’ table is Jason Derulo. Eh. I’d rather have Misty Copeland back. Or Twitch. Or anyone who’s not a singer that’s going to assault our ears later in the show.
Another thing that’s changed this year is the prize package. They’re still competing for $250k and the cover of Dance Spirit Magazine, but this year’s winner also gets a part in the new Broadway revival of “On the Town”. I’m guessing it will be a part in the dance chorus, but honestly, I’m not gonna scoff at that one because HELLO! Broadway!
As is always the case, the show feels the need to cram some filler down our throats. SPOILER ALERT: they’ll be wishing they had some of the time spent on this crap back before the night is over. This week’s filler provides each dancer with 8 seconds to us something about themselves. Oh joy.
First up are Brooklyn and Serge…..
Now that we’ve gained a deeper understanding of what makes these two tick, let’s catch up with them as they join Dmitry in the rehearsal space. He’s choreographed a Cha Cha for them and tells us this dance is super fast and super steamy and hot. Serge will illustrate all of this by being super sweaty.
Eh. It felt very stilted to me. Also, Brooklyn should wear her hair back if she’s going to spend the entire performance eating it. I think Serge could do well paired with someone else, but I’m already putting Brooklyn on the bottom of my list and we just got this show started. I guess you could say I’m not a fan of the routine.
Naturally the judges do not agree with me. Mary thinks this is a great way to start the show this season, although she could tell that Brooklyn was nervous and gives her some constructive critique before we move on to Jason as Mary screams in his ears.
Nigel says they’ve uplifted the room with their energy. Damn. The poor man must’ve taken a bottle of valium before the show started if that performance gave him energy. He also tells Serge that he loves how strong and masculine he is and then tells Brooklyn that she’s a faking faker and needs to play more to her partner.
Out next pairing is Emily and Casey and I know you’re DYING to hear what they can tell us about themselves in 8 seconds each.
They’ll be performing a Travis Wall contemporary routine, so naturally it’s about a couple and the pushing and pulling in their relationship. How original.
So here’s the thing about this dance for me: while it was danced beautifully, it felt SOOOOOOO unoriginal. Yes, I know, I know, it’s not their fault Travis has run out of ideas. But it does affect how I feel about the routine as a whole, I just can’t help it. Stale choreography aside, they really did do a good job here of dancing it. I’m just not blown away by them is all.
Jason loves the storytelling of the routine because story time is his favorite time of the day. He is so excited and says he couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. He says sometimes you just have to touch people and they touched everyone.
Nigel thinks they were superb and thinks John Legend would be super happy if he saw the fantabulous job Travis did choreographing a routine to it.
Mary thinks they were just yummy.
Next up are the two tappers, Valerie and Zack.
So……..annoyingly happy AND annoyingly smart. Thanks for the warning.
Me too, Zack, me too.
Anthony Morigerato is back to choreograph a routine for them and he has decided to really fuck with them by incorporating stairs into their routine. Damn, Anthony. That’s way harsh.
This one was a bit lop sided for me. I really love watching Zack; he gives great rhythm and has lots of pep in his step. I thought he really did a fantastic job here. In my opinion, Valerie’s not at the same level as Zack. She did an okay job, but I could feel her struggling through Anthony’s piece and a few times she seemed like she was dragging a bit.
Mary’s up on her feet giving them a standing O so I guess we know how she felt about it. Nigel is a tap lover, so naturally he lurved it lots and lots. He just wishes the audience would have shut the fuck up so he could hear the tapping sounds.
He also makes sure we know that there are only three of them on the show that can tap (I doubt that) and then says the choreography form the now closed After Midnight will be coming to the show in a few weeks to do a number. Hmmmmmmmmmm………..I WONDER who will get him?
Mary screeches about how much she loved it and then screeches in Jason’s ear as she hands it off to him.
Jason also loved it and tells us all that it’s a little known fact that he comes from a tap background as well. He also gives a shout out to the stair tapping, talking about how hard it is as the taps can be super slippery on the smoothness of the steps.
We’re moving on now to Bridget and Stanley.
Their choreography is Bonnie Story with yet another angsty contemporary piece. UGH. You know, it IS possible to create a HAPPY contemporary number. I’m not really looking forward to this as I pretty much hated Bonnie’s whole bullying dance she created for the show the last time she was here. I have low hopes for this one.
Awesome. Please title it TRUTH HURTS.
I am sorry I doubted you Bonnie. That was gorgeous. Well thought out, showing off exactly what these two are capable of, and danced so well.
Alright, alright, let’s not get TOO carried away now!
I know I normally have two pictures of the long dancing shots of the performances, but I had to include the second one because these guys brought such connection and chemistry to the piece that it kicked it up another notch for me. What the judges were trying to sell us on with Emily and Casey, Bridget and Stanley delivered. These two weren’t even on my radar but they just landed themselves there.
Mary thinks they told the STORY amazingly, get it? Get it? She loves the authenticity and says she fell for it hook, line, and sinker. She also loved what she’s calling the “love rolls” where they held each other’s faces and, well, rolled.
Mary also points out how insane Stanley’s height in his leaps is. She says they are unmatched in this competition. She thinks they both have it all going on.
Jason loves how effortless it looked and he also gives props to Stanley’s elevation, adding that Bridget’s was pretty great as well. But that’s enough dance talk. He wants to know about Bridget’s foot fetish. He’s got a couple of BIG bunions that might get her hot and bothered.
Nigel feels a need to point out that Jason’s girlfriend (Jordin Sparks) is in the audience. Yes, nothing like a little subtle cross promotion Nigel. Am I supposed to give a crap?
Nigel thinks they were tremendous; their classic technique was fantastic. He was thrilled to see that. He says he’s starting to be sad that they’re changing partners next week, but it’s gotta happen.
Time for some ballet! Hooray! Let’s find out a little more about this season’s prima ballerinas, Jacque and Jourdan.
Choreographing a special pas de deux for our ballerinas is Marat Daukayev, a former star of the Kirov Ballet and owner of his own ballet academy in L.A. Being a Russian ballet instructor, Marat has no time for fun and games.
Damn. I miss ballet class.
I absolutely HATE that they dressed these girls identically. I can’t fucking tell them apart! They couldn’t have done an Odette/Odile thing instead? Costuming bullshit aside, I have to admit that I’m disappointed. For sure, the choreography here was NO JOKE, but they didn’t come close to living up to my expectations here. Whoever is on the right had a particularly hard time, falling out of a couple of turns, losing momentum, not staying up over her box, and so on and so forth. There are issues I see here that were some of the same issue I had with Melissa when she was on the show, and let’s face it, neither of these girls comes close to what Eliana brought to the table. At least not from what I’m seeing here.
But enough of what I think. Jason, what did you think?
Nigel first gives us all a little lesson about Marat and who he is and what he’s done. Yes Nigel, we already know. And speaking of Baryshnikov, why don’t you get HIM on this show? Choreographer, judge, personal assistant to moi, whatever works.
Yes Trashmi, there was a love of my life before Hugh Jackman.
Uh oh. Looks like I just got myself in trouble.
So Nigel thinks the ladies danced well and calls out the fifteen fouettes that Marat threw in there for them. He calls out Jourdan on some of her technique issues and says he can’t wait to see what else they can do. Rut roh.
Mary says it takes unbelievable strength to do what they did up there. She also can’t wait to see what they do next. One or both of them is definitely landing in the bottom. For sure.
Next up is Jason’s performance with a special appearance by Snoop Dog. That’s all I have to say about that. There’s also a plug for National Dance Day and the Dizzy Feet Foundation. Blah, blah, let’s get back to the actual dancing!
Time for Malene and Marcquet.
Louis van Amstel has returned to the show and will be choreographing a Samba for these two. He tells us that this routine will have a lot of gyrating because Nigel told him he would be fired if he didn’t have Malene gyrate all over the stage.
I really despise ballroom hands; they always look so spazzy to me. Hands aside, they did a great job here. Both of them really worked it and were fun to watch. I hated the music, so I wanted the dance to end sooner than it did because of that. With different music I could have watched these two for a long, long time.
Nigel says there was something about Malene even as she was waiting to dance that was so fantastic. He also tells Marcquet that he is a force to be reckoned with. Tremendous, he loved every second of it.
Mary also loved it, especially the hot samba rolls. She tells Malene that she had her at hello.
Jason says he could tell they were in their element; they showed us all how a samba is done.
Our next dancers are Carly and Rudy.
They’ve been paired with Stacey Tookey for, you guessed it, another contemporary piece. Stacey tells us it’s about slowing down and enjoying life which she thinks they should be able to relate well to with all that’s going on right now in their lives. Apparently Rudy is a total goofball so at some point we should expect to see Nigel giving him a lecture about being serious.
What’s with the fan blowing her dress all over the place? So………meh. Again, they weren’t terrible, but they didn’t blow me away, even with that industrial fan action going on. I have a feeling I’ll forget about this one by the time the show is over.
The judges all think that Rudy is low man on the technique totem pole, but they give him high marks for personality. Whatever. I mean, yes, he seems like a sweet kid, but the doe eyed earnestness is already grating on my nerves.
I’m going to move on before I start getting annoyed by all the “adorable” talk.
Next to dance are the hip hop boys of the season, Teddy and Emilio.
Christopher Scott is choreographing the piece for these two and he’s also decided to throw a mop and bucket into the mix. Yay, props! Nothing like a little prop stress to spice up the dancers’ evening.
It wasn’t until the fourth viewing of this number that I even watched Teddy. Have I mentioned how much I love Emilio? LOVE him. It’s crazy because like so many of you I cannot imagine last season without Aaron, and it feels weird to say because I’m not glad Emilio got hurt. But I sorta am. If that makes sense. I can’t wait to see what else this guys does and I really, really hope that he lives up to the expectations that I have of him.
Ummmmm…….I like your eye shadow?????
Jason thinks it was super dope. He loves how they meshed together their different styles and loved watching them when they danced apart and together.
Nigel also loved it and how they found a way to connect. He gives Emilio kudos for his tricks, saying they are fantastic. And then also points out that Teddy tap dances. Like I care. Mary thinks they could both end up in the next Step Up movie: Step Up 783, Get to Stepping.
Time for another contemporary pairing, this time it’s Jessica and Ricky.
Sorry Ricky, but you set me up for that one! Loveudidntmeanwhatisaidabouturpenis!
These two have scored Sonya as their choreographer and she tells us this routine is about the ultimate connection; they both need each other to survive. Oh, and the partner work is NO JOKE people.
HOLY SHIT. I could watch this one about five thousand more times and still want to see it again. WOW. These guys were fucking amazing here. The power, trust, and control that this dance requires is unreal and these guys fucking nailed it. Best dance of the night.
All three judges are up on their feet after this one as well they should be. Nigel is up first and he says it’s really important that we all understand that this is another level of dancing that we just witnessed. Yes Nigel, we know – we are not the morons you think we are you jackass.
He says it’s the first time that he’s heard the live audience shut the fuck up during a performance. That’s how mesmerized they all were by this. It was other worldly. He also tells them that on one hand he’s heart broken that they’re going to be split up as partners, but on the other hand he’s glad because if they stayed together they’d run away with the entire season.
Shut up Nigel! They don’t need your help.
Cat tries to move on to Mary but Nigel just keeps talking and talking and talking and talking.
Finally Mary gets her turn and she says that that just came from heaven. It touched every single person and she thinks if anyone didn’t feel connected to that number and to them then there is something wrong with them. So basically if you didn’t like this number you are a heartless, stupid person. Just so you know. Mary says it was the best number of the night for her.
She also does not shut up and so Jason is left with two seconds to give his opinion.
What is so nuts is that I totally forgot we had another couple left to go. I was just thinking that this is such a fabulous way to end the first performance show of the season. And then…..Tanisha and Nick.
They’ve also got Louis van Amstel and he’s got a Cha Cha with their names written all over it.
I see the costumers love Tanisha as much as I do. I didn’t like this at all. Of course I really don’t like Tanisha so that doesn’t help, but I did think my like of Nick might bring it up a notch or so. It did not. These guys had ZERO chemistry and they should both give thanks that they’re switching partners because these two suck together.
Mary and Nigel sucked up so much time in their Ricky/Jessica critiques that they speed talk through this one. Rude! Hey, I know I’m not a fan, but it’s pretty shitty the way they handle this, even if they’re saying nice things at warp speed. In fact, they go through it so quickly that they’re then left with time to fill which Cat uses to talk to Nick and Tanisha.
UGH. Have I mentioned I don’t like her?
And there you have it, Trashmi. The first performance show is now in the can. What did you think of this year’s crop of dancers? Did you like the new format for the top twenty show? Anyone you love already? Despise? Who do you think will land in the bottom? Go Home???? Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!
P.S. Sorry – this recap ended up being even later than I had thought it would be – I got hit with an extreme migraine yesterday that landed me in bed in the dark for the duration.
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