So You Think You Can Dance Season 9 Episode 7 Recap: Top 16 Perform
Jul 25 2012 11:02 pm ET
Two more dancers get the cut this week as Cat reminds us that that the show won't be back until after the Olympics. I didn't realize how much the Olympics paralyzed all television outside of NBC. I mean, America's Got Talent felt like it started years ago, but they have an excuse to not be on. Is Cat going to be in the UK doing special reporting because I would watch that in a heartbeat?
Our group dance was inspired by Charlie Chaplin. That obviously meant that our period-piece Amelia was in front. I was impressed by the umbrella coloring effect than I was with the performance. The choreography was quirky but whoever had the umbrella has really minimalistic choreography (I assumed that it was predominantly Cyrus). When I realized that the choreography looked too chaotic, Cat reminded us that Tyce created the routine. Oh.
We welcome the couples as we see Amber and Brandon together as our new couple. I'm happy they look like they work well together. Along with Nigel and Mary was Christina Applegate and for the five people that only know her from Married with Children we're reminded she has Tony and Emmy nominations.
Tiffany & George - Hip-Hop - NappyTabs wanted to do a baby-inspired piece. They're babysitters that don't know what to do. The couple had more intriguing props, though their sitting choreography was great. Once they got up, I didn't really like the routine until the krump/Nicki Minaj portion. The two weren't putting enough emotion into the routine.
Grade: Tiffany - B / George - B
Amber & Brandon - Jazz - Ray Leeper is providing a sexy couples routine and was hoping the chemistry would grow immediately. Amber is perfect when she hits different bests to songs. The two worked really well together and the chair work was not contrived like something Tyce would have done. The routine oozed sex and even though Brandon's not in the contemporary/jazz category, he did great.
Grade: Amber - A / Brandon - A
Janelle & Dareian - Cha-Cha - Pasha's back and doing choreography and I'm sure his experience on Strictly Come Dancing helped choreograph to less experienced couples. Janelle was faking it a lot better because she has natural hip motions but Dareian did his best to support her. They had an intricate lift sequence that Janelle did decently, there were just a few extra moments where Janelle looked like she needed one extra step between some of the choreography. Her arm also flailed funny.
Grade: Janelle - B / Dareian - B-
Lindsay & Cole - Contemporary - Mandy Moore wanted a love/hate relationship so she stereotypically made Lindsay the lightness and Cole the darkness. Just once, I would love to see a reverse. The two did an amazing job considering that neither are contemporary dancers. One thing I loved was their shadows against the background. The two managed to get into character and pull the audience in.
Grade: Lindsay - A / Cole - A
Amelia & Will - Jazz - We get even more Mandy Moore about how opposites attract. Mandy Moore was oddly attracted to Will like I am (there is no reasoning, it just happens). I appreciate this juxtaposition from the sex/jazz routine we had earlier. This one was quirkier and suited the two of the dancers perfectly. Will made all the lifts look easy as Amelia trusted every jump.
Grade: Amelia - B+ / Will - B+
Audrey & Matthew - Salsa - Liz Lira's biggest challenge teaching the two was all the spins. The slow section was great and as the tempo picked up I thought the pot-stir was a bit of a cheat since Audrey got up during the routine. Then the routine never got up to the right speed. I like my salsas oozing sexual chemistry and the two spent way too much time away from each other. It makes me nervous when I liked the cha-cha better than this. They ended with an amazing flip, but it wasn't enough to save the routine.
Grade: Audrey - C / Matthew - C-
Witney & Chehon - Contemporary - Stacey Tookey wanted the impossible love story in her piece. Chehon was in his category as he started the routine. Witney gave every line and shape possible and impressed me since this wasn't her background. While the music cuts were jarring, the aerial tricks the two did were amazing. Chehon was there for every motion and the ending was so sudden and beautiful.
Grade: Witney - A / Chehon - A+
Eliana & Cyrus - Hip-Hop - NappyTabs decided to play up the strengths of each dancer and started Eliana as a ballerina. Cyrus got to animate while Eliana spun around. For being out of her element, Eliana hit moves sharp and hard. She paired with Cyrus perfectly and made Cyrus look out of his own element. It was a great ending to the group routines.
Grade: Eliana - A+ / Cyrus - A-
The sixteen contestants lined up and Cat announced the bottom six contestants.
Girls: Amber, Lindsay, Eliana
Guys: George, Brandon, Dareian
Nigel discussed with the judges but wanted to see Amber, Eliana, Brandon, and Dareian. I'm assuming that in future episodes with fewer dancers there will be more time to fill with solos or start doing two dances per couple.
Amber - Solo - Amber has an intensity that the rest of the girls lack. I loved that she was so close to the edge of the stage and didn't fall off. She gave everything without having to run around and do too many reaching out into nothingness moves.
Brandon - Solo - He bounced around to get himself pumped and it was actually great to see his solo because I haven't seen a solo step routine in a long time. He actually had really good tricks to supplement the step. The only downfall was that he almost fell out of his last turn.
Eliana - Solo - It's a shame that Eliana had two back to back routines but she composed herself and changed quickly. The performance was graceful and showed a completely different side of her dancing range from the hip-hop routine she just did. I loved her flexibility.
Dareian - Dareian had a lot of power in his choreography and his final spin sequence was so fast that it was amazing to watch. The rest, I would have preferred
Guest Performance - Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater - Watching "the hunt" was amazing. It's something these contestants dream of getting to. Some of the choreographers were probably taking notes as well. It was masculine even in skirts and in hold.
Nigel had the tough news to eliminate the contestants. Nigel decided to save Lindsay (thankfully because she didn't even have a solo) and Eliana. Amber had a great night, but it was all for naught. As for the guys Nigel saved George (again, no solo) and Dareian. Brandon was also eliminated. There goes the Franken-couple from last week. I guess I'll see you all in half a month.
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