SYTYCD Season 12 Top 16

Kate: YOU GUYS! Remember when I said I submitted a question to Andy Cohen about Christina Applegate being a judge on SYTYCD? HE READ MY QUESTION TO HER ON HIS SHOW SUNDAY NIGHT! ME! YAY!

Erica: I am torn between “That’s so cool!” and “But you know Andy Cohen is the actual devil, right?”

Kate: Her answer was disappointing because she said the show has not asked her, Jesse Tyler Ferguson or any other fun/actually qualified people to come back as guest judges, and she’s really upset because they love doing it. Something fishy is going on here!

Erica: That is really disappointing, and fishy. Is it FOX? Do they not want to pay for guest judges? Or is it something with Nigel? WE DEMAND ANSWERS.

Group Number: Jazz, choreo by Nick Florez & RJ Durell

“Love is Free” by Robyn & La Bagatelle Magique feat. Maluca

Erica: So, first, I freakin’ loved the costumes. Very punk, red and yellow plaid with lots of black leather and mesh and spikes, but then also some of the girls had white tulle under their skirts and it just looked really cool. It is a style I am not super-into but like, and an interpretation of that style that I just thought was top-notch.

Kate: The costumes were Angela + Rayanne’s clothes, on crack.

Erica: That is probably why I liked them. The dancing, for me, was fine. They’re getting better and they’re getting better at looking cohesive as a group. The choreography is still not really impressive. I don’t know why they don’t have choreographers who know what to do with a big group.

Kate: I did not think they looked better or cohesive as a group, at all. V disappointing.

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Erica: Very much digging the hair. A little more wavy than last week, and I approve. And holy moly do her legs go on forever.

Kate: Agree, she must have read what we said about not wearing her hair up.

Erica: I feel like the dress is weirdly saggy. Good concept for her, not great execution.

Kate: I thought it was fine. Can’t go wrong with a black dress.

Erica: In case you’re keeping score, Team Stage still won the night last week, but only by 1% of the vote. And we’ve got a missing dancer. Derek has been injured; he’ll be in danger next week. I still can’t remember his face for more than five minutes at a stretch.

Kate: I don’t like when they do that.

Erica: Paula’s hair is mega tonight. Mega.

Hailee (stage) & JaJa (street): Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“Endangered Species” by Dianne Reeves

Erica: For the first time this season they’re having the dancers say something in the pre-dance footage. JaJa is engaged. Awesome, JaJa! She and her fiance have sports jerseys that say “His” and “Hers” on them. Like, she wears one that says “His” and he wears one that says “Hers.” I will leave that for your information without comment.

Kate: In the wide world of wedding nonsense, that’s not that bad. Just depends where they wear them.

Erica: Hailee shares that she’s not a natural blonde. It’s fascinating.

Kate: She still looks like Miley Cyrus to me.

Erica: The dance is about “female empowerment”. Oh, good. Oh, and they’re calling themselves “Hail-Ja!” Which sounds like “Hell, yeah!” It’s cute.

Kate: Onto the dancing, now?

Erica: So it should be clear that these women are both beasts. Like, insanely good.

Zoe: She meant to say that they had a really flexible split.

Erica: I did really love that sort of run into a split thing they did. Amazing. The thing is, though, as really especially wonderful as JaJa is, Hailee is a wee bit better.

Kate: Hailee was more than a wee bit better, and they were a little off from each other at times, but they are both so fun to watch and I think the two favorites so far.

Erica: I didn’t think much of the choreography. I thought it was fine, but that the girls really sold it. It was more them being awesome than Ray Leeper choreographing something awesome for them. During the judging, Hailee’s pretending — as she should — that it’s not true, but no, Hailee. It’s you, too.

Kate: I thought the choreography was just fine.

Erica: Yes. Just fine. Not exciting. Paula also has something fascinating going on around her neck. It’s way more fascinating than what’s coming out of her mouth, but that was a given.

Kate: I hate her more and more with each passing week.

Erica: Surprising no one at all, both these ladies are safe.

Alexa (stage) & Neptune (street): Hip-hop, choreo by Dave Scott

“Flex (Ooh Ooh Ooh)” by Rich Homie Quan

Erica: Neptune has a four-year-old daughter. Alexa has a blind toy poodle.

Kate: These tidbits are uninteresting to me.

Erica: This is the second two-person dance. Now that we’re down to 16, do they need to do pairs for the air time? I was so excited about a season of mixing it up.

Kate: I noticed that too, but I don’t mind because I like the pairs. They need the practice.

Erica: There is a padded wall. They are mental patients. Or at least he is. He’s in a white straight-jacket thing. She’s in all black, but it’s possibly a straight-jacket, too. With extreme dominatrix overtones.

Kate: I felt like the overall tone was a little silly-jokey for mental patients, but she was super fun to watch in this.

Erica: She was actually pretty amazing. This whole thing was terrific. I really like Dave Scott’s choreography. I thought they had fun chemistry. I was very impressed by both of their dancing. Well, I was very impressed by the performance. When I stop to critique, I could say that he seemed looser than the choreography called for, and she was pulling some weird faces, and although they had great chemistry, their moves were not always as in sync as one might like. But I really enjoyed the performance so let’s not nitpick, shall we? Oh, is that what we’re here for? Well, okay, then.

Kate: No I agree with what you said, I thought it was fun and she was surprisingly good at hip-hop but it wasn’t perfect.

Erica: And both of these guys are safe. BTW, if anyone cares, Nigel is wearing a cotton-candy pink blazer with a white button-down. I don’t normally care about boy clothes but I do not like this. It looks very thrown randomly together and it’s too many similarly pale colors with no point of interest.

Kate: They say it takes real men to wear pink, but I don’t think they mean this shade of pink when they say that.

Erica: Pink is fine but the color was very pale and the shirt did nothing to make it work.

Not-Derek (stage) & JJ (street): Argentine Tango, choreo by Leonardo Barrionuevo & Miriam Larici

“Due de Amor” by Astor Piazzolla

Erica: Derek still gets his rehearsal footage thing. He wants us to know he’s adopted. JJ wants us to know she loves the top knot. Yeah, JJ. I think we had gotten that. But Derek injured his back lifting JJ in rehearsal. Reason #441 to look for older, stronger dancers. The male choreographer will be dancing in his stead.

Kate: So I was fast-forwarding most of the non-dancing parts of this episode, and I thought this was a routine by two professional dancers, aka not contestants, so I almost skipped it. Luckily I rewound and was subsequently BLOWN. RIGHT. THE F. AWAY.

Erica: So tangos in general are very sexy and the choreography for this one was very sexy (the first move where he grabs her hip, I think I ovulated just watching) but it ended up looking a little awkward in places. Like, a lot of places. Again, you should maybe go with female dancers old enough to own their sexuality.

Kate: WHAT? I thought this was amazing! She seemed so effortlessly graceful, and I think it had a lot to do with dancing with that MAN. The lifting and all the tricks were just like, WOW!

Erica: But then, the judges seem to disagree with me. Nigel invokes Mary Murphy, WHICH JUST MAKES ME MISS HER MORE, NIGEL?! WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER?!

Kate: And Christina Applegate and Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Adam Shankman and Tyce Diorio and Anna Kendrick and Lil’ C and Lady Gaga and EVERYONE ELSE ON THE ENTIRE (DANCE) PLANET?

Erica: I like JJ’s hair. Can my hair be like hers for your wedding, Kate?

Kate: Also love her makeup, and sure, but I have you down for an updo, which that is not.

Erica: Both of these cats — Derek, too, from last week — are in danger.

Ariana (street) & Jim (stage): Contemporary, choreo by Sean Cheesman

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Lorde

Erica: Ariana, if she was not a dancer, would be a special effects makeup artist. Ariana, honey, you can do both. Having a thing that can pay the bills, that’s flexible in terms of time, AND that could very well involve some of the same contacts as your other passion, is a wonderful thing for someone in a creative/performative field.

Kate: Minimal caring over here.

Erica: Jim loves bubble baths.

Kate: Not surprising.

Erica: Oh, good, it’s an “issues” dance. About depression. Set to a pretty f-ing depressing song. When I’m struggling through a depressive period, I am very strict with myself about what I can and cannot listen to, watch, read, etc. This song would definitely be something I would restrict.

Kate: They danced it beautifully, though.

Erica: As much as I snark, it was very good. I continue to like Ariana and not understand what the voters are not seeing in her. And Jim was completely fabulous. And I liked the choreography a whole lot.

Kate: Me too, me too, me too and me too.

Erica: Nigel mentions that dancing is a good way to shake off a bit of depression, and that’s true. I especially like putting on the Pop Danthologies and throwing myself around. Jim is safe. Ariana is in danger again. After being saved by Twitter last week. What’s going on there? That’s weird, right?

Gaby (stage) & Virgil (street): Broadway, choreo by Al Blackstone

“Where or When” by Sammy Davis Jr.

Erica: Virgil sings in a jazz band. I would totally watch that. Gaby wants to have a cooking show despite the fact that she can’t cook. I would not watch that.

Kate: Blah blah blah.

Erica: They let Gaby tap dance a little which is cool. This was an adorable routine set to an adorable song with completely adorable dancers. It wasn’t perfect technically but it was a good time. My favorite romance blogger talks a lot about finding your “catnip” — that thing you’re going to love in a book no matter what. This number was my catnip.

Kate: I knew you’d say that, but I wasn’t feeling it. This is the first time I haven’t loved Gaby — their connection seemed very forced and not at all natural, and, like, too Broadway. Broadway to me is generally too cutesy anyway.

Erica: Jason DeRulo went to college for musical theater. Don’t tell me that, Jason DeRulo. I don’t want reasons to like you. These two are both safe.

Asaf (street) & Kate (stage): Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

“Braveheart” by Neon Jungle

Erica: Asaf loves the American delicacies of peanut butter and doughnuts. Possibly together? He is pretty giggly and maybe stoned in the footage.

Kate: Hate. Him.

Erica: Kate was almost kidnapped by a serial killer when she was four years old. Because her dad was the DA for DC. That is in fact pretty weird.

Kate: Um, WHAT! THAT’S CRAZY!

Erica: Asaf has his shirt off a lot in the rehearsal footage. It is very pretty. But then he is so bad at the lifts and that’s the anti-sexy. Not because he’s not physically strong enough but because, again, he doesn’t seem to understand that it is his job to support his partner. Pasha was a lot smaller than him and always made his partners feel safe. I’m just sayin’.

Kate: Pasha is also your catnip.

Erica: Yes. Yes, he is. Kate is so adorable. She’s another one I don’t understand the lack of audience love for.

Kate: Oh see I like her a lot in terms of technical skill, but she does lack enthusiasm, and this routine was, in a word, terrible.

Erica: I did not like this dance much. The choreography was confusing and Asaf was not pulling it off. And the costumes were seriously stupid. Nigel thinks I’m wrong about that but look at what he’s wearing.

Kate: You could tell neither of them wanted to be there doing that dance with each other, it was uncomfortable to watch.

Erica: They’re both in danger. I guess I could say where’s the Kate love? But at this point, I like almost all the girls. And six of the 16 will be the bottom six, every week.

Marissa (stage) & Yorelis (street): Hip-hop, choreo by Christopher Scott

“Let Go” by Kezwick feat. Mimi Page

Erica: Marissa was a power tumbler? She thinks we will be surprised to hear that but she’s a dancer. Gymnastics and dance are pretty compatible. Yorelis thinks we’ll be surprised that she also go-go dances in the clubs. Hey, girl, get paid. No one’s judging. Or surprised.

Kate: Marissa’s abs? Damn.

Erica: So Yorelis is hypnotizing Marissa into becoming a street dancer. They have crazy good timing together, I think, and Marissa gets to show off her tumbling. Yorelis does this crazy jump thing with her that’s awesome. And their insane abs are rocking their early 90s hip-hop outfits. Overall? Fab.

Kate: Yes, I thought they really embraced the hip-hop here. Marissa’s facial expressions were at times a little too “I’m trying to do hip-hop, aren’t I so thug-like?” but her abs distracted from that a lot. Damn girl.

Erica: Yorelis’s makeup also looks fantastic. She’s safe; Marissa is not. Let’s kick off two more boys and let these girls rock out together.

Edson (stage) & Megz (street): Contemporary, choreo by Talia Favia

“You There” by Aquilo

Erica: Edson is a cheerleading coach. Megz loves her sneakers. She has 378 pairs. That is pretty nuts. That said, I really need good sneakers.

Kate: Yay cheerleading!

Erica: This choreographer is new, right?

Kate: Many of them are new this season — maybe Nigel pissed THEM off, too!

Erica: This piece was about temptation and I actually found it more affecting than the depression one. Megz was seriously impressive, and they really were very cohesive. Great chemistry. More clothing removal than I would have thought necessary.

Kate: I absolutely adored this — best of the night, one of the best of the season so far. Really incredible movement from both of them, and I don’t really want to like Megz.

Erica: Paula is going to break down, for real.

Kate: That’s because she has a hard time speaking the English language.

Erica: I did like the exchange where Nigel said, “I think this is the first time in SYTYCD history that a shirt has come off for a good reason,” and Cat said, “So you say,” very quickly, and it was cute.

Kate: Yea that was a fun little dig, especially since Asaf’s shirt had just come off during his routine with Kate.

Erica: They’re both safe. And the stage dancers’ costumes look very intriguing.

Team Street: Hip-Hop, choreo by Luam

“Commas” by Future

Erica: I am hardly a hip-hop aficionado, but this was one of the more interesting tracks I’ve heard in a while. And another new choreographer, right?

Kate: Yes and yes — this was extremely “street”, if you know what I mean.

Erica: My eye was continually drawn to Yorelis. For whatever that’s worth. I liked this routine pretty well. They looked confident and rhythmic and, for the most part, together.

Kate: Because it suited each one of their specific hip-hop styles perfectly.

Team Stage: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall

“Beautiful Friends” by Helen Money

Erica: Travis is using the concept of the theater standard “ghost light” to do a ghost dance. You guys, I have some difficulty with ghost stuff. I read Turn of the Screw by Henry James a long time ago, and then Maybe This Time, Jennifer Crusie’s take on Turn of the Screw, at the exact wrong time in terms of post-partum hormones. So now sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I’m absolutely convinced I see the dead-eyed ghost of a 19th century governess standing over my child’s bed (sigh). Aren’t you glad I’ve put that image in your head?

Kate: I thought this theme was a serious reach for Travis. I just don’t think we NEED themes, ESPECIALLY for group routines. Let’s just dance in a group for dancing’s sake!

Erica: The dance was…Wow. I don’t think anything that creative and amazing has been done on this show before. I even loved the camera work. Each of the dancers is carrying a lamp and, for the beginning, whoever’s lamp is on is the only light. Then all of them turn on so now you know that they were all on stage, hiding in the dark. Gah. Creepy. And the choreography was amazing. Gorgeous. Stunning. For real. This might be my favorite SYTYCD dance ever. Of course, I can never watch it again. Or sleep. Or enter an empty theater. So thanks, Travis.

Kate: I don’t think it was my favorite ever but it was really impressive and creative, silly theme aside. Do we expect anything less from Travis?

Erica: Twitter inexplicably saves a guy who didn’t dance tonight (Derek) and a girl who’s not nearly as impressive as Kate, Marissa, or Ariana (JJ). I guess they felt sorry for Derek but you know what, America? He hurt his back trying to lift someone. Even if he’s okay enough to dance next week — and I bet he won’t be — he’s not strong enough for the competition.

Kate: Yeah, I want him to go home.

Erica: The judges save Kate and let Marissa go, which I’m sad about, but I like them both, so what’s going to make me happy? Nothing. And they send Asaf off and Nigel makes his “ass off” = “Asaf” pun a second time and that’s fine. I mean, it’s fine Asaf is leaving. I would have liked if either JJ or Derek left instead of Marissa, but hey, I didn’t tweet, so I guess I can’t complain.

Kate: So glad Asaf went home. And as much as I like Kate, I think she should have gone home over Marissa. Really disappointing. (And I feel personally responsible for this as I was unable to vote on Monday night.)

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