Top 7 perform on SYTYCD

I heard a promo for SYTYCD earlier tonight where they mentioned that Alex had to leave the competition and so now, any of the remaining seven contestants can win the competition. To me it sounded like they were saying, "Well, we lost our expected winner. Now we're left with this lot." I think the remaining seven deserve a little more credit than that.

Holy cow...Lauren was the only girl in the opening dance intro. Ashley must be injured now. Yep, Cat confirms it. Ashley was taken to the hospital on Monday with severe rib pains, and she's been advised not to dance. Looks like she's not even in the audience. Hope she's okay. So, Ashley's in the bottom three automatically.

Cat also gave us an update on Alex. He had surgery on Monday to reconnect his Achilles tendon. Seriously, any time I mention that injury, I shudder. He's still in the hospital.

Each contestant's dancing two routines tonight. The second draw was random, but first they found out with which All-Star they're paired with. (It'll be a dancer they haven't formerly been paired with.)

ContestantAll-Star PairingContestant Pairing
Adéchiké (AC)Anya
Cultural (huh?)
No more contesntants...he gets to dance with Dominic

Here we go!

  • Lauren and Mark
    Style: Tahitian (first time ever on the show)
    Choreographer: Tiana Liufau
    Song: Junle by Lost Voices

    Lots of hip shaking in this one. Tiana tells us that dances were used to pass down the history and mythology of the Tahitian culture before they had a written alphabet. The dance is about Night and Day, Mark's Night, Lauren's Day. As Lauren said, "This is going to be the best Tahitian dance this show has ever seen....becuase it's the only Tahitian dance they've ever seen." Mark has gorgeous tribal tattoos on his chest and back and looks really good tonight! As for the dancing....nice! Like I said, lots of hip shaking, and Lauren made it look effortless. Nigel said it was great and fun, but technically, he has no idea what to say. Mia called it fascinating, and compared it to a duck in heat." Umm...okaayyyyyy. Adam said, "Lauren, I can't believe you just did that...it was amazing!"

  • Adéchiké and Anya
    Style: Salsa
    Choreographer: Liz Lira (& Danny Davalos) (new?)
    Song: Oyelo Que Te Conviene by Eddie Palmieri

    Liz tells us this is a traditional competitive salsa with a little more "oomph." The rehearsal looks intense. AC was bleeding and at some point, he sort of kicked Anya in the head. I hope they make it through! Anya looked fantastic. AC did okay, but I don't think his posture was right...he seemed hunched over. Looked like he was having fun though. His facial expressions were a little distracting too. Nigel, however, said AC pulled it off, and his posture and lack of lines was how it was supposed to be. See? This is why I'm not a judge on the show. Mia said there were bumps here and there. Adam asked what was in AC's mind when he first saw "Salsa" and he said, "Bottom Three." But, he pushed himself knowing that he didn't want to go home. Adam said it was "hard-ass choreography" and that AC did great.

  • José and Courtney
    Style: Broadway
    Choreographer: Joey Dowling (she looks just like Maggie Gyllenhaal)
    Song: Mister Cellophane - from Chicago (Motion Picture soundtrack)

    Aw...I love this song. So, in this routine, Courtney is a show girl, and José is a stage hand in love, but she never sees him. I think this might be difficult for Jose because he has to play a sad desperate character, but he's always so happy and has that gorgeous smile. He did okay--seemed a little awkward, but I really liked the choreography. As Nigel said, by taking away his smile and personality, we focused that much more on his dancing, and it wasn't good enough. He said the steps just weren't danced well. And now, Jose really does look sad, and Mia's having a hard time giving him more bad news. She said his lack of training was very evident. Adam said Nigel and Mia weren't wrong, but he gave constructive criticism on dancing sharply and maintaining lines. They basically said he needs lessons and training.

  • Robert and Allison (recovered from her injury last week)
    Style: Contemporary
    Choreographer: Travis Wall
    Song: Fix You by Coldplay

    Travis did this piece about his mom, who just had massive surgery. Robert is representing Robert, and Allison is his mom, and her struggle through life and her journey. On a personal note...I just got some sad news from a close friend, so I'm already in an emotional state before it starts. Oh wow. Let me go wipe my eyes. It was beautiful. The piece ended with Allison placing her feet on top of Robert's, as he walks for the two of them. Powerful. Nigel said the if the audience doesn't connect with Robert this week, there's something wrong. Mia said it's the best she's Robert dance this season. Adam said Travis deserves an Emmy nomination, and that this is probably going to be one of the performances of the season.

  • Billy and Anya
    Style: Jive
    Choreographer: Louis van Amstel
    Song: Paradise by the Dashboard Light by Meatloaf

    During rehearsals, anytime Billy got uncomfortable, he had this nervous laughter. He's supposed to be building chemistry with Anya. I don't think he quite got there, but his dancing is great. Anya, as always, looks amazing. He gave her a quick peck when it was over. Nigel said it was the hardest Billy has worked in getting chemistry. He felt it was a bit "up in the air" when Billy could've afforded to get down and low, still he thought this week was better than previous weeks. Mia thought it was a stellar performance. Adam said it was his favorite performance of Billy's. Hmm...I didn't like it as much as the judges did, but they're the pros and I'm not.

  • Kent and Neil
    Style: Broadway
    Choreographer: Tyce Diorio
    Song: Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, MO from Damn Yankees (1994 Broadway cast)

    The dancers are playing baseball players. Wow. Kent came out and leap-frogged over Neil who was standing tall. Wow! That was fantastic! Very acrobatic, and I think Broadway suits Kent really well. Nigel called Kent the MVP tonight, and said he even out-danced Neil the all-star. Mia said it was great entertainment and she loved the strong, male dancing. Adam first told Tyce it was so awesome. And he told Kent that he has a huge future in Broadway if he wants it. Adam appreciated that they made it look completely effortless.

  • Lauren and Billy
    Style: Jazz
    Choreographer: Mandy Moore
    Song: Boogie Shoes by KC and the Sunshine Band, of course!

    Mandy's inspiration was having two shoes meeting up and wanting to boogie. In rehearsals, Billy's got on bright blue Chucks, and Lauren's wearing pink ones. For the real dance, the shoes are all sparkly! What a cute routine. I loved it. Billy and Lauren were great--especially Lauren. Nigel said it was an "absolutely adorable routine" that just makes you smile. He again thanked Billy for connecting with his partner. He also said that jazz seems to suit Billy nicely. He told Lauren not to click her heels three times because she's not going home. Mia said it was completely "in the pocket." She said it was quirky and groovy. That's a great description. Adam said it was so happy-making. He said Billy finally got lost in the dance. He told Lauren that the boys have something to be afraid of.

  • José and Dominic! The dance I've been waiting for!
    Style: All B-Boy
    Choreographer: Tabitha and Napoleon, and Legacy is there too!
    Song: Battle for the Beat by District 78

    This is the first time there's a break dance piece on the show. That was fun to watch, but I gotta say, I think Dom's style is a little tighter than Jose's. I just love Dominic and am so glad he's on the show this season. Nigel said that Jose redeemed himself from earlier. No other dancer on the show this season could do what he just did. That's fer shure. Mia loved it, but she asked that Jose work on his strength. She said he needs some fine tuning that will make his windmills tighter and more precise, his jumps higher, etc. (So, she saw what I saw.) Adam said, "That's the way to compete, buddy." He then said, "America, he is the sweetest, most sensitive guy in the world, and I know how much that hurt earlier tonight, and I know how hard you took that, and then for you to come out and SCHOOL US LIKE THAT? That was HOT!" Dom said, "Jose's a beast."

  • Kent and Adéchiké
    Style: Contemporary
    Choreographer: Dee Caspary
    Song: You Only Disappear by Tom McRae

    So, this week the dancers were asked to tell America what we don't know about their dance partner. Adechike said, "Kent has a secret, a secret crush on Lauren Froderman, and that kiss last week was not a part of the choreography!" Kent looked flabbergasted and said, "Yes it was...." (rather lamely, methinks) and then AC adds, "and, he enjoyed it!" So, in the dance, Kent is in a poisonous relationship, and AC is his friend trying to get him out of the relationship. Dee comments that this is the first time he's done a male contemporary duet. During rehearsals, I notice that these two seem like good friends in real life and that they're having fun. That was beautiful. Both of them had amazing leaps. AC did a leap in the air and seemed to hang there for several seconds before coming down so gently. Nigel said it was tremendous. Nigel called attention to the same leap. He complimented Kent for underplaying the role. He also said that Kent stands a good chance of being this years' champion now that Alex is gone. Mia enjoys his organic quality of movement and his strength. Mia hoped AC would have a great week, and he did. She compared his jump to that of a gazelle. Adam said Kent & AC taught him so much tonight about dance and performance, despite the fact that Adam's the one who's supposed to be imparting that to them.

  • Robert and all-star Kathryn, subbing for injured Ashley
    Style: Disco! Finally! Where've you been all seasson?
    Choreographer: Doriana Sanchez
    Song: Instant Replay by Dan Hartman

    Doriana tells us this piece is supposed to be fun and big party time. It's supposed to look fun and easy, but during rehearsals, Ashley assures us it's not. Oh man, they could've chosen a better song. Oh well. Beyond that, the white disco suit looks good on Robert. Wow...that was energetic! They did a lift where Robert picked Kathryn up as she was straddling his shoulder, and then he dropped her back and went into a spin. I gasped out loud. Nigel had high praise for Robert and Kathryn. Mia said, "I hope I never see you do that again." She was looking for a masculine weight. Nigel disagrees with Mia that Robert didn't look masculine in this dance. Adam enjoyed it.

My overall rankings this week:

5. Jose (sorry Jose....I still love ya!)
4. Billy
3. Robert
3. Adechike
2. Kent
1. Lauren

I have AC and Robert tied this week. I loved both their contemporary pieces, and thought they did well with their other routines too. It's hard for me to pick a favorite. Robert was part of that Travis Wall routine, but then AC was so beautiful in the performance with Kent. The decision's so difficult! Because of his lack of trainign, Jose is the weakest dancer, but that doesn't mean he's not good. ALL of these dancers are good.

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