Kate: Dag nabbit, we did it again!
Erica: We did what again? Watch the Top 20? By the way, folks — I, like some of our fans, didn’t know that the real thing started last week. Fortunately, Kate was on hand to give me this link where they had videos of all the dances.
Kate: Like last season, we are watching the Top 20 again, but 2 of them will be eliminated by the end of the show. Hence the “Top 20, Part 2”. MEH.
Erica: I don’t like this “watch the sitting ducks dance” nonsense. I don’t know how to better structure it, but I don’t like this.
Group Performance – Broadway, choreo by Josh Bergasse
[“New York, New York” from On The Town]
Erica: I eat this sh!t up.
Kate: FAB costumes. Fab fab fab.
Erica: Seriously. And the cast as a whole was so good at the Broadway attitude — the right amount of face-pulling, the right bounce in their steps.
Kate: I felt like the routine choreography was a bit all over the place, but I suppose that’s Broadway. I didn’t notice anyone being particularly amazing or horrible.
Erica: It’s not only Broadway, it’s this particular type of number, popular in some of the musicals of this era, with the sort of “Check out the whole setting” vibe. It works much better live, and, unfortunately, most of this show’s audience is, you know, watching on the TV, and I continue not to like the camera work on this show, but I did quite enjoy the dance. It is definitely my kind of thing.
Erica: Wait, first, can we talk opening credits? Because they changed them to have those sort of science-y motion tracking graphics and I think I like it.
Kate: They’ve been doing that. Cat’s giving me a little bit of a Victoria Secret model look right now, and I like it!
Erica: I am not a fan of animal prints, period, the end. But I like the shape of this and the overall vibe.
Kate: I normally hate booties with skirts/dresses because they make legs look stumpy, but it works on legs like that.
Erica: Yeah, I don’t think there’s a force in the universe that could make Cat Deeley’s legs look stumpy.
Erica: Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. So the choreographer of the first dance is choreographing that very show on Broadway — and the winner will star in it? Seriously? Isn’t that…Kind of a big deal that should have been introduced in a more big-deal way? Rather than a sort of aside by Cat?
Kate: They mentioned that in the beginning of all the audition episodes, and I think it’s a sweet prize but don’t they also have to be able to sing and, you know, ACT, to star in a Broadway show?
Erica: And…Cat looks super cute in her baseball shirt and cut-offs. I don’t really understand what’s happening with the baseball stuff, but she looks cute. They all look cute, really. Even Nigel.
Tanisha & Rudy – Jazz, choreo by Sonya Tayeh
[“You Need” by Bengsons]
Kate: I still don’t really like her.
Erica: I like her. I mean, I don’t adore her the way I adore Marlene, but I like her.
Kate: I don’t know, there’s just something rubbing me the wrong way. This was a good routine and they did well, but I still saw moments of them hesitating and stumbling and just trying too much. I don’t want to see them try, I want to see them do.
Erica: I only saw one moment that looked hesitant — when she was on his thigh and stretching her leg. Other than that, I thought they were pretty good. Also, I think I’m right — Sonya Tayeh’s choreography is heavily influenced by her emotional life, and right now her emotional life is gettin’ it.
Kate: We’re doing dance-a-longs between commercials now?
Erica: Totally in favor of this development. Zoe wouldn’t practice with me because apparently the crocodile from Peter Pan and/or a shark is in our library and we can’t stand on the ground but I plan on going back later and giving this a whirl.
Valerie & Ricky – Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall
[“Oh Darling” by Gossling]
Erica: Aw, man, the judges changed. I liked the baseball uniforms.
Kate: Ricky has quite impressive and expressive feet.
Erica: Valerie is maybe the cutest person ever. And I seriously love her costume here.
Kate: I am thrilled that they are paired together right now, and I am thrilled that she is good at genres other than tap. Contrary to what the judges said, I thought she was very good at conveying the emotional aspect of contemporary dancing.
Erica: I thought this was simply stunning. Great Travis Wall choreography; Ricky’s technique was amazing — his feet, oh my God, his feet! And yeah, I agree with you, her emotion was fantastic and I thought she was quite good at the dancing even if her technique wasn’t quite where his was. I mean, that back-bend? Where she stood on his thighs and just went all the way back? Holy moly.
Bridget & Emilio – Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown
[“Work” by Iggy Azalea]
Kate: I was worried about her getting hip-hop, but she did not do badly with this.
Erica: I fell in love with Bridget when she answered the “Vampire or werewolf?” question with a stank face and a “Neither. Wizard!”
Kate: She had moments of surprisingly good swag here, mostly toward the beginning, but she also had other moments of oh-she’s-so-cute-trying-to-be-gangster-but-it’s-not-quite-working. He was obviously very good.
Erica: I feel like hip-hop on this show is mostly oh-she’s-so-cute hip-hop. I didn’t love this choreo — I didn’t think it looked that hard, frankly. So yeah, she did great, and yes, he was very good, but it looked like a routine I could probably pull off to an acceptable degree if I practiced. I mean, I usually like Luther Brown, but this just didn’t impress me much. I loved Emilio’s little hand motions while Cat was exhorting the audience to vote.
Jessica & Nick – West Coast Swing, choreo by Benji Schwimmer
[“Respect (Weird Live Version)” by Aretha Franklin]
Erica: SHE POPPED HER SHOULDER OUT DURING PRACTICE.
Kate: Ya, ow/ew. But this was beyond bizarre. And I had no idea there was a difference in Swings, but West Coast doesn’t look like the Swing I know and love.
Erica: Because of the weird nature of the number, it looked like we were watching a warm-up for a while. But I liked it, and I thought they were pretty adorable in terms of the personality for the song and all. And she sure has a cute rear end. BUT SHE POPPED HER SHOULDER OUT DURING PRACTICE. Is that not a problem?
Kate: You can pop it right back in, dancers and athletes are fairly used to that I think. But the song just didn’t even feel like a real song until halfway into the routine, so their dancing looked completely off! (No offense to Miss Aretha.)
Erica: I like how he’s ballroom, it’s so amazing he can switch to…Swing? Aren’t those styles pretty closely related?
Kate: This is what I’m saying.
Erica: I do love when they have actual professional dancers as their guest judges.
Kate: Yes, Misty is actually providing valuable, legitimate critique, not just repeating Nigel’s and Mary’s comments in a less-intelligent-sounding way.
Carly & Serge – Contemporary, choreo by Sonya Tayeh
[“Latch (Acoustic)” by Sam Smith]
Kate: As soon as Sonya started describing the routine, I KNEW it would be a Sam Smith song. Yay me and yay Sam! (Er, seriously, listen to him. He’s so good.)
Erica: Yes, ma’am.
Kate: Carly is lucking out with staying in her style and getting good routines and choreographers — if she had Tanisha’s routine last week and Jessica’s this week, she’d be outta here. She is good, just not amazing.
Erica: I’m not yet at the stage where I remember these people from week to week. So I’m sure you’re right; I just don’t remember. I liked this routine quite a bit and I thought that they were both quite good.
Kate: Serge delighted me at contemporary. I loved the part at the end where they were just grabbing each other all over (not in a sexual way).
Erica: I just hope Serge doesn’t go away. He’s the only boy on this show old enough for me to find attractive.
Emily & Teddy – Hip-Hop, choreo by Dave Scott
[“Don’t” by Ed Sheeran]
Erica: Ed Sheeran is just everywhere lately, isn’t he?
Kate: Yeah, and he sounds EXACTLY like Nick Carter. #BackstreetsbackALLRIGHT. Anyway, she was sharp and quick where she needed to be, but was WAY too stiff for hip-hop. No swag whatsoever. Bridget did a much better job, I think.
Erica: Meh. Meh to the whole thing. Choreo, their technique, everything.
Kate: I just don’t love him at all — he’s too much like a random dude dancing on the street and not enough of an exceptional performer.
Marlene & Stanley – Broadway, choreo by Spencer Liff
[“I’ve Got Your Number” by Nancy Smith]
Kate: Holy hairdo Marlene! …I want it.
Erica: I’m just glad she’s not wearing that weird neon thing from the opening.
Kate: She had the perfect amount of sass for this routine, but the props were way too much. It seriously limited the amount of dancing TOGETHER, and I would have loved to see them together because they are both so good. Bad move, Spencer.
Erica: I adore her. She’s so sexy and adorable and fun. It would have been nice to see them interact more.
Kate: Also, the camera angles were even more off than usual. I rarely could even see them both at the same time.
Erica: Yup. It really feels like the judges are dinging the dancers for stuff that was the choreographer’s fault. They should have thrown the phones down? They should have danced more together? How is that their fault?
Jourdan & Marcquet – Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman
[“Work Work” by Britney Spears]
Erica: Something about her puts me off completely. I should like her because she knows many digits of pi but I just can’t. During the dance, it occurred to me that she and Marlene illustrate the difference between “performing sexy” and actually being sexy.
Kate: And ballet rears its ugly head. She was not sharp or quick AT ALL here. The judges were all completely wrong and must have been on drugs.
Erica: Again with the porn-y premise/outfit/song. Oh, but I forgot about Marcquet when I said Serge was the only crush-worthy boy for me.
Kate: He honestly wasn’t doing much to save her, which is disappointing because he has been good at styles other than his own. ALSO, the edited version of this song is nowhere near as fun as the real one. You better WORK, B!TCH.
Erica: I don’t like this song in either iteration. Britney Spears to me is the epitome of performing “sexy” without being sexy.
Kate: But we still support her general mental health and well-being. Poor Brit.
Brooklyn & Casey – Argentine Tango, choreo by Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo
[“Gallo Ciego” by Louis Bravo’s Forever Tango]
Kate: She was great, he was not. I did not think either of them were as “grr” as the music and style called for, but she is very good and has ca-ray-zay legs.
Erica: I thought neither of them were great, although she was better than him. Her legs and her hips seemed to be able to move completely independently of the rest of her body, and of each other, and really, of the way normal bodies with normal joints can move at all. But I thought there were so many moments that were supposed to look slow-and-sensual, but came across as more hesitant and uncertain instead.
Kate: Disagree wholeheartedly with the judges. He was not a good ballroom partner. Off weeth hees ‘ead!
Erica: He looks like such a child up here. Eighteen-year-old girls can sometimes vaguely imitate “woman”-ness, but eighteen-year-old boys can rarely pull of “man”-ness.
Jacque & Zack – African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman
[“Dibiza (Kick *** Mix)” by Danny Tenaglia]
Kate: What interesting costumes/hair/makeup, eh? She was much better than Jourdan outside their style, but that was to be expected.
Erica: Definitely interesting. I liked them at first, and not just because I love it when they don’t put the “African Jazz” dancers in super-stereotypical “African” garb. But then I found them distracting. I really can’t tell whether or not they were good at this dance. (Also at the beginning when she was straddling his neck, it kind of looked like his hair was…Well, never mind. I won’t say it.)
Kate: There were moments where he was not completely with her, but they both had such great energy and personality. I like her a lot.
Kate: Do we want to comment on the Beyonce tap routine?
Erica: I was excited about this crew competition idea, until it involved Justin Bieber. Then I wanted to forget the whole thing existed.
Kate: They did better than most in making the taps sound okay with music, but still. It’s just not right. I’d rather see actual stepping.
Erica: I didn’t love it. I mean, I wanted to love it because girls and tapping and Beyonce, but I just didn’t not feel enthused.
Kate: MAN OH MAN! I really liked Marlene.
Erica: Mother-effer. I can’t even tell the rest of them apart. And I LOVED Marlene! What is wrong with SYTYCD voters? They never like the sexy, mature girls. They always like the teeny-bopper nonsense girls. Also, damn, Jourdan’s skin is reacting very badly to whatever is happening on this show.
Kate: EW, Nigel, don’t tell her she made it to the Top 20 on her looks. Gross.
Erica: Seriously, @sswipe. She is all things fabulous and you’re not good enough for her. Sh!t, she looked really sad.
Kate: I thought Serge would go home, but I’m also not surprised it’s Nick. I feel like he barely made the top 20.
Erica: Wait, so once we hit the Top Ten, it’s all about who’s got the lowest votes? No judge’s decisions anymore? I thought that didn’t happen until the very end.
Kate: Me too, but they constantly keep us guessing how this show actually works. Catch us next week for the Top 18!