SYTYCD top 16

I almost forgot SYTYCD was on because I was watching The Voice finale.  My man Javier did his thing and won.  I love him, and his duet with Stevie Nicks tonight was oh so good.  I'm happy for him.  And yay Adam Levine for picking the winner.

So, we've got 8 couples dancing tonight.  Kristin Chenoweth is the guest judge.  Lil C is on the panel tonight too, as are Mary and Nigel.

Something new...there are group performances tonight.  The judges won't be critiquing these performances, but they will take them into consideration tomorrow night when they're deciding who should stay and who should go.

Tyce Diorio choreographed the first routine for the first group.  He wants to showcase the girls' strength.  The first group consists of Marko, Mitchell, Chris, Tadd, Ryan, Sasha, Clarice & Miranda.  Song:  Hit the Road Jack by Ray Charles.  Fun routine.

Sasha & Alexander go first, doing a Dee Caspary contemporary routine.  Alex is playing a guy who has nothing, and Sasha is a memory of what he's lost.  It's centered around a piano, the keys of which represent the keys to his heart.  Song: "Belong" by Cary Brothers.  They are a great couple and their performance was really nice.  I think Sasha slipped at one point, but recovered quickly.  Nigel said Alex needs to work on pulling emotion from the audience.  Mary loved the love story, and thinks they pulled it off.  Kristin said Sasha's amazing and she loved Alex in the piece and said he did show the acting part of it, she loved his extensions (not the ones on her head).  I think that Lil C said threw in the word meleflous into his critique.  I think he said that it's difficult to meet Dee Caspary's expectations when working with him, but that Sasha and Alex did it effortlessly.  He then threw in the word mellifluous at some point.

Caitlynn & Mitchell are next.  They are performing a Jean-Marc Genereux "hot and spicy" Samba routine.  Song:  "Put It in a Love Song" by Alicia Keys feat. Beyoncé.  I think Mitchell's got the booty shaking down..he shook it more than Caitlynn!  Mary said it was spectacular.  Kristin said, "SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!  Shut the back door.  Shut the door to the garage.  Shut the door."  Lil C loved it too.  Nigel said Mitchell's samba was incredible.  Compliments for Caitlynn too--he said something about the articulation of her body.

Next are Miranda and Robert.  They're doing a Tyce Diorio Broadway routine.  Miranda's an "upper class working girl."  Robert's a "groovy cat" who feels the music.  (This is all according to Tyce.)  Song:  "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got that Swing)" from the Sophisticated Ladies soundtrack (1981).  That was fun.  I think Broadway suits Robert very well.  I thought he out performed Miranda this time.  Kristin said they killed it.  She said they should make intricacies as strong as possible, but she has nothing bad to say.  Lil C says Miranda leaves him in awe every time, and that she's already growing the most.  He said Robert has the kind of personality you receive only if the planets are perfectly aligned when you're born.  He says Robert should keep practically applying that to every style he pulls out of the hat.  Nigel agreed with C.   Mary loved it.  Said Robert's a star, and is getting a little shinier every week.  She acknowledged Miranda's transformation.

Melanie and Marko are next.  They're doing a lyrical hip-hop routine by NappyTabs.  M&M play best friends.  Marko has just been left at the alter.  Halfway through the dance, he realizes the woman he should be loving has been in front of him all the time.  Song:  "I Got You" by Leona Lewis.   WOOOO!!!  The didn't tell you that when he has his big realization in the middle of the routine that he runs over and lays a huge kiss on her!!  I loved this routine!!!  I had to watch it again before hearing the critiques.  It was the best so far tonight, in my opinion.  And this is my favorite couple.  They're amazing.  Lil C pointed out that when the dancers draw dances out of a hat, it's also a raffle for the choreographers too, and Tabitha and Napoleon were probably thrilled to see they'd be working with M&M.  He also said it was "Buck!"  Nigel said he can't judge them individually because they actually dance together--breathe together, hearts beat together.  Nigel thinks they're the couple to beat.  Mary said they knock out a special performance every single week.  She asked about the kiss...she started to say, "How hard is it?  They asked me to kiss someone on Broadway, and I knew he was engaged..." and then Nigel planted one on her!  Kristin said, "We sing because we can't speak anymore--dance is an extension of that.  We can't speak anymore, so we move.  You are the epitome of the kind of language that I understand....I'm very moved and very touched.  In fact...."  And then she planted one on Lil C, and knocked his glasses off!

Ashley and Chris are next.  They get a jazz routine.  Chris said when he saw they had jazz, his first thought was, "Crap, I hope we don't have Sonya."  Guess what?  There's Sonya.  Sonya says she was inspired by Beetlejuice and looking at two sides of yourself.  Song:  "Lights Go Down" (District 78 Remix) by Telepathe.  That was good.  I couldn't take my eyes off Chris.  Nigel felt there wasn't enough character, heart or soul in the piece.  He didn't connect with it.  Mary felt their synchronization was very clean and sharp.  And she gave kudos for how far Chris has come.  Kristin said she was amazed.  She said it's not the kind of number she connects to, but that being said, they blew her mind.  She said Ashley is one of her favorites in the show.  Lil C said Ashley is the sleeper cell of the competition and that she's amazing.

Clarice and Jess.  An aside:  in a little clip of Clarice as a little girl, she's sitting in front of a couch that's the same fabric as my parents' furniture.  Never seen it anywhere else, so that was kind of cool in a weird insignificant way.  They get a Jean-Marc fox trot about a crooner ready to work the room with his voice, but instead of singing, he dances.  Song:  "Fly Me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra.  It was lovely.  I say it every week, but Jess really is a great dancer.  Mary said the fox trot is supposed to be, "gliding, sophisticated, jazzy in its solo work, and that's exactly what you guys did!"  She doesn't think any other dancer in the show could've done what Jess just did.  Kristin said it was her favorite performance of the night.  She said they're like Fred and Ginger.  Lil C said Jess is a phenom.  Nigel said Clarice was beautiful and that Jess is a master at this style.

Ryan and Ricky get a Sonya contemporary piece about a couple whose relationship is ending.  It's about the fight to let go.  Song: "With Every Heartbeat" (Acoustic) by Robyn.  This is their best performance together.  They use a long ribbon/rope/some kind of prop the whole time and really did a beautiful job.  Kristin said Ricky has amazing jumps and that Ryan's a beautiful dancer.  Lil C said they're also a power couple in the competition.  He said they kill it every week--um, I disagree there.  Nigel said he's proud that they kept her last week because she really delivered.  He thought Ricky was incredible.  Mary loved every second of it.

The last couple is Jordan and Tadd.  They get to work with NappyTabs in a hip-hop story of a one-night stand after a wild night.  They wake up and think, "who are you, what happened?"  Song: "Memories" by David Guetta feat. Kit Cudi.  Holy crap.  I can hardly watch the performance when Tadd is shirtless.  Ooo la la!  Another fun routine.  Lil C loved it, the concept, the execution.  Nigel said it was great fun.  Mary said they put the "whammy on all of us."  Kristin said, SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! (etc).  She said the performance was dessert and she liked every bite.

And finally, the second group performance featuring Robert, Ricky, Alexander, Jess, Jordan, Caitlynn, Ashley & Melanie.  This one is a contemporary routine choreographed by Dee Caspary.  It takes place in the medieval era and everyone's trying to poison each other.  Song: "Poison & Wine" by The Civil Wars.  Another great performance.

Wow...I didn't dislike any performance tonight.

My faves were Melanie & Marko, Jordan & Tadd, Jess & Clarice and Ashley & Chris.

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