SYTYCD Season 12 Top 20, Part 1

Kate (pretending to be Cat Deeley): WELCOME to SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, SEASON 12!

Erica: OMG you guys I’m so excited.

Kate: Let’s recap for our readers, especially those who (like you, Er) missed auditions and Vegas: This season, since no season can ever be the same anymore, they are doing the top 10 “street” dancers versus the top 10 “stage” dancers, which really means hip-hop/krumping/popping/locking vs. ballet/contemporary/ballroom. Street’s “captain” is Twitch, yum, and Stage’s captain is Travis Wall, also yum.

Erica: So I’m pretty sure I just saw Travis walk into a dance studio with the 10 stage dancers, and then Twitch let the street dancers out of a cage. And then they put them back in. That’s something that just happened? I’m not hallucinating? You know, I knew this whole stage/street thing was going to be an excuse to be even more racist/classist than usual, and I was right.

Kate: Also, just to continue the recap, we desperately miss Mary Murphy, as Paula Abdul can barely clap her hands and string two sentences together let alone judge a dance competition. And if you thought Lil’ C was the worst male commentator of all time, you are sorely mistaken; that title now belongs to Jason DeRulo. WORST.

Erica: Jason DeRulo is one of those people towards whom I just have an “ugh” reaction. I don’t know anything about him personally, but every time I see his face or hear his voice, I’m like, “Do not want. Do not want!” I feel the same way about Sienna Miller and Kirstie Alley.

Cat Deeley’s Outfit

Kate: How very architectural.

Erica: That is not for me. It looks like she already had a wardrobe malfunction and they were like, “Okay, let’s just throw this white piece of cloth we had lying around the costume shop over her black tube bra thing and it’ll be fine.”

Kate: I’m a fan, it just looks quite uncomfortable. And she is keeping her arms very close to her body, which makes me think she is actually scared of a malfunction.

Group Routine: Stage & Street, choreo by Christopher Scott & Jessica Lee Keller

“Revolt” by Nathan Lanier

Kate: This was not at all sharp enough for me. Especially the guys.

Erica: You are right. And it was really just a big mish mosh. An impression not helped by the super-swirly cameras.

Kate: It just looked to me like they didn’t have enough time to practice, but it may also have been sloppy choreography. Have we ever seen this Jessica Lee Keller before?

Erica: Not in my memory. I think in this instance it was both. The choreography wasn’t really doing anything, and the dancing did appear somewhat tired and off.

Street Routine 1 (JJ, Megz & Neptune): Hip-hop, choreo by Dave Scott

“The Illest” by Far East Movement feat. Riff Raff

Kate: Also not clean enough for me, especially Neptune.

Erica: Yeah, Neptune is not as good as the two girls here. He looks sloppy. It’s weird that Dave Scott was like, “I want to bring out his personality,” and then Nigel said the same thing, and all I see from him is personality. Not, like, technique.

Kate: I do really like JJ, though; during auditions and Vegas she had this extra jazzy little hip-hop flavor which made her stand out from the rest. I think that worked well for her in this routine, but she still has some work to do.

Erica: I really liked JJ. I can’t wait to see her ballroom. It’ll be interesting. Megz will be interesting, too. But JJ was the one drawing my eyes.

Stage Routine 1 (Derek, Gaby & Moises): Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey

“Luminous” by Max Richter

Kate: Gorgeous. Beautifully synchronized lines all over the place. MUCH better than the first two. Want her dress.

Erica: Did someone walk in front of the camera for a second there?

Kate: Holy cow, I forgot that Gaby is a tap dancer! Oh she’s already a frontrunner, fo sho.

Erica: Her feet are amazing. I mean, as if I know anything, but they looked amazing to me. And this was a very pretty routine. I really like Stacey Tookey. She’s like a soothing balm.

Street Routine 2 (Asaf, Burim, Jaja & Lily): Hip-hop, choreo by Christopher Scott

“Easy” by Son Lux feat. Lorde

Kate: This group was much stronger than the first, for the most part, but I think the choreography played more to their individual strengths.

Erica: Okay, so I think Asaf is my dude this season.

Kate: NO WAY. He had MAJOR attitude in Vegas, he needs to check that before he gets a fan out of me. I’m not sure how I feel about him coming in at the last minute after someone else got hurt. I also don’t know how I feel about Jaja coming back, I didn’t love her during last year’s auditions.

Erica: Oh, he did? That’s a shame. He’s super-cute. Also, holy moly, those girls have ABS. I really loved the choreography on this one. And they kept up with it, so go, them.

Kate: …Did Nigel just say “shalom” to the Israeli guy? Is that offensive?

Erica: I mean, it is Nigel. So let’s go with “yes.” Even though I can’t actually come up with a reason why.

Stage Routine 2 (Alexia, Hailee & Marissa): Jazz, choreo by Brian Friedman

“New Dorp. New York” by SBTRKT feat. Ezra Koenig

Kate: “Women can be strong and women can be dominant” …while dressed like actual whores, eh, Brian Friedman?

Erica: I’m getting into your head! You’re caring about things like this! I love it.

Kate: Theme/message/costume aside, these three were great together. I like the first stage routine better as a whole, but Hailee is super fun to watch. It makes sense that she was front and center most of the time.

Erica: I thought it was mostly awesome, although there were a few moments here and there that they looked like, “Oh, we’re supposed to be here right now.” But overall I really liked the routine and the three of them. I’d love to see the three of them dance together more often.

Kate: …Did Nigel just say it was TOO sexy? Did hell freeze over?

Erica: That was a pretty weird comment, that they weren’t subtle and sly enough, that they were too overt about the sexuality in a dance where they were all wearing black underwear. And then Paula and Jason agreed. I actually thought their performance was about the right level of sexy. I mean, if you want dancers who can do subtle, sophisticated, mature sexy, then why do you keep pulling eighteen-year-olds into the competition?


Stage Routine 3 (Darion & Jim): Ballet, choreo by Benoit-Swan Pouffer

“Blood and Stone” by Audiomachine

Kate: I have to agree with Nigel in the most non-racist way possible: Jim does remind me a lot of Alex Wong. He’s incredible. I hope he does an amazing hip-hop routine with Twitch too…Hey let’s watch that dance for the 100th time!

Erica: It’s not an SYTYCD season until we link to that routine, people.

Kate: I think Darion was messing up a little, though, or the two of them were just not in sync a lot. They could both use more practice partnering.

Erica: I just couldn’t take my eyes off their thighs. And I don’t mean that in a gross way. I just have some much respect and awe for these dancers, for the kind of discipline they’ve applied to be able to move like this.

Kate: Also, could he have picked a worse song for ballet? Ew.

Erica: Oh, I thought it was fine. But Paula? It’s not the first time SYTYCD has had two ballet boys.

Kate: I THOUGHT THAT TOO! She is so dumb.

Erica: Daniel and Chehon, Season 9, remember? And I kind of thought their costumes were cool.

Street Routine 3 (Ariana, Virgil & Yorelis): Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“Locked out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars

Kate: Oooooh very strong, these three have great chemistry together. This is my favorite of the night, despite the song (artist) choice!

Erica: This was so silly and cute and, yes, the three of them appeared to be, like, three friends in a Disney channel movie who were having a sleepover and broke out into a dance break. I pretty much loved it. On the subject of Bruno Mars — I was kind of convinced that this was an actual ’80s song I’d heard a million times before, and then, no, it’s Bruno Mars, which means that he is achieving what he sets out to achieve. I don’t love his voice, and you don’t love his personal history, but I respect his ability to fulfill his ambitions.

Kate: They missed a few transitions and were off a few times, but for the most part they were really great to watch. Yay #TeamStreet!

Erica: I think Nigel imitating Jason DeRulo was more offensive than him saying “shalom” to Asaf. You know, if we’re keeping score.

Stage Routine 4 (Edson & Kate): Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Shaped like a Gun” by Tailor

Kate: Ooooh I love destructive relationship routines. So much angst.

Erica: She was so smooth. And he was so strong. This was so pretty.

Kate: May have to change my previous statement about Street Routine 3 being my favorite, as this blew me right the f away. This is a routine we’d usually see in, like, the top 8. Brilliant, absolutely perfect, wholeheartedly disagree with the judges, ⅔ of whom I am probably more qualified to judge than.

Erica: I mean, Travis, man. Travis. I sort of see what Nigel was saying about the performance. But the dancing was so amazing that I didn’t care that much.

Kate: If this show is just turning into a platform for Jason DeRulo performances, I’m going to be very angry. I’M STILL GOING TO WATCH, but I’m going to be very angry about it.

Erica: I love TiVo. That is all.

Team Stage Routine: Broadway, choreo by Warren Carlyle

“Body Language” by Queen


Erica: And? Were you better than them?

Kate: Probably not. They were a little shaky, especially with the props. I’m tellin’ you, as a whole, Team Street is stronger than Team Stage. Gaby and Hailee are the most fun to watch of this group, I hope they go far.

Erica: I thought it was pretty adorable. I mean, you’ve got a choreographer who says, “I want to do it like Fosse but a little more modern,” I’m there. And then set it to the same song that Pasha and Sara did their adorable suspenders routine to? Yes. This is Erica candy. I think it’s mostly that the girls are standing out, on both teams, not that Street is better than Stage. But we’ll see.

Team Street Routine: Hip-hop, choreo by NappyTabs

“Ready Or Not Here I Come” by District 78 feat. Cheesa


Erica: Okay, I think we’re both right. Street is superior to Stage (maybe), AND the girls are better than the boys.

Kate: I’m cool with that. They were so together and so energetic, I really love this group. JJ stands out for me a lot.

Erica: I think she stands out for the choreographers, too. I mean this was pretty much fun, like NappyTabs routines tend to be. I actually thought in some places they were not as together as I would have liked, but I still enjoyed the routine, and their personalities.

Kate: That’s all folks, tune in next week for the first eliminations/top 18 perform! …Hold on, Cat said “new groups”. Are there no partners AT ALL this season???????

Erica: I don’t know that I’m against that. I enjoy the group routines and the choreographical creativity that comes from not just putting them in boy-girl pairs.

Kate: Ok, I just have no idea what’s going on this season. I also think the teams will never have to learn the other teams’ styles, which I am even more against, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!


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