SYTYCD Season 12 Top 8

Group Routine – Jazz, choreo by Tyce Diorio

“Lilies of the Valley” from the soundtrack of Pina

Kate: Hey, they stole my 2009 Halloween costume! And are we no longer referring to Tyce as Tasty?

Erica: I am not overly fond of the Addams Family outfits but this dance was kind of great. As with all of the group routines so far it could have been a little sharper, but the choreography here was neat and weird and I liked it. It felt a little Wade Robson to me.

Kate: Ehhh I didn’t love it. There should only be one Wednesday if they’re going for that theme, not several. It was ok.

Erica: I only disagree with your point about the costuming because if they had tried to costume them all differently, they would have gone over the top and it would have been distracting.

Cat Deeley’s Ensemble

Erica: Oh God that is so much worse in terms of excessively modest cocktail dresses. Is this a trend now? Is dressing like your own great-grandmother cool?

Kate: The right Cat Deeley hair and makeup, but that thing in the middle of her neck? Yikes!

Erica: I did like the hair. I like it better wavier but I like it this way, too. The whole ensemble, though, is just…Why? Right now there are middle school algebra teachers nearing retirement, who haven’t so much as glanced at a piece of fashion journalism since they were subscribers to Sassy, who are going, “That’s a little frumpy, no?”

Virgil (street) & Jasmine (season 11): African Jazz, choreo by Sean Cheesman

“Kintamani (Hanoman’s Forest Mix)” by Transglobal Underground

Erica: Virgil did not seem convincingly “evil”, as they said he was supposed to be in this routine. Jasmine’s limbs just go on for days. The costuming was great her for her. I loved watching that skirt swish around. Toward the end there, they both got a little flail-y.

Kate: Yeah I saw no evil, but they were both very good. It didn’t blow me away, but good. To me he is just a lesser version of Fik-Shun.

Erica: Oh my goodness, Nigel got two of the best black female dancers on this show mixed up. I am shocked and surprised by this development. (Last week he said Jasmine had appeared in something that actually Sasha [season 9)] appeared in.) Oh, good, then he makes a penis joke. If it weren’t for the recapping we do, I don’t know that I’d watch the judges anymore. I DO THIS FOR YOU, PEOPLE!

Kate: I am really over the jokey-jokeyness of this season.

Erica: Virgil gets to open his own envelope. He’s safe.

Jim’s Solo

“The Four Seasons – Summer” by Antonio Vivaldi

Erica: Was he adopted with a biological sibling? Because his sister is also the ridiculously cutest. (There’s a photo of them in Halloween costumes in his little “How I started dancing” package.)

Kate: Again, the only solo worth watching. He moves so beautifully.

Erica: Holy sh!t he is amazing. I want to watch that solo all the time. I want to program it as a, like, screen saver and having it playing on every screen in my house when nothing else is on.

Kate: Well I wouldn’t go that far, but it was very good, as he is very good. Imagine him dancing with Chehon?

Erica: Yes, please. I think I’m making Jason jealous with how much I’m admiring this. Even though I’m not at all admiring it in a romantic/sexual way.

Derek (stage) & Jaimie (season 3): Contemporary, choreo by Tyce Diorio

“Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer” by Stevie Wonder

Erica: I’m not a huge fan of Tasty Oreo’s contemporary routines. This was fine but I didn’t really love it. I didn’t think anything about it was particularly inspiring or remarkable. They danced it well (although Derek suffers from having gone on stage right after Jim) but I thought the dance itself was boring.

Kate: Using a Stevie Wonder song cheapened it and made it seem tacky instead of the intended tortured love story. They danced very well together, but agree, didn’t like it.

Erica: I’m not a huge Stevie Wonder person and this song was too sappy for me. I really liked Jaimie’s hair, though. Derek is in the bottom. Again.

Kate: Hold the phone, Jason DeRulo doesn’t believe them. Go back and do it from the top, Derek and Jaimie!

Jaja’s Solo

“Hype City” by Tight Eyez

Kate: I’m sorry but I just don’t want to see her do this stuff when I know she can do all the other stuff. It’s not believable anymore.

Erica: I feel like the stage/street distinctions are mostly bullshit. They’ve all trained in a lot of different styles.

Kate: But, I’m saying, she is better than these solos.

Hailee (stage) & Fik-Shun (season 10): Hip-Hop, choreo by Luther Brown

“Let it Go” by Chonique Sneed

Kate: I loved this. Loved it loved it loved it. Fik-Shun is still so good.

Erica: I wished they’d taken the jackets off much sooner. I wanted to see what their upper bodies were doing. Overall, I thought this was good, but I didn’t love it. More because it wasn’t my speed than anything else.

Kate: She could have gotten a little lower and looser in a few areas. The part where she did the little Team Stage-y moves was VERY reminiscent of the Alex Wong Twitch routine, but didn’t work quite as well. She definitely did a much better job at hip-hop than the other stage ladies.

Erica: Hailee’s in the bottom! What?! Now I’m nervous. We’re too close to the end for me to be blasé  about this now. It’s her and Derek, right? It’d better be f-ing Derek, America.

Gaby’s Solo

“Oye Como Va” by Santana

Kate: Whoa, her arms are all over the place. Crazy.

Erica: I really hate her costuming decisions (if they are, in fact, hers) for her solos so far but, you know, she can dance.

Megz (street) & Paul (season 10): Pasodoble, choreo by Jean Marc Genereux

“Blade of Blood” by Tom Player

Kate: Blaaahhhh I hate pasodoble.

Erica: I was just thinking that there had been relatively little ballroom this season. I like pasodoble sometimes. I get creeped when Nigel goes on and on about the gender dynamics of it, but there have definitely been pasodobles I’ve liked on this show.

Kate: Honestly, this looked like someone asked me to get up and do a pasodoble without actually teaching me the choreography. Looked really terrible all around.

Erica: I think I liked the choreography but I thought she was pretty awkward. Given her already nontraditional gender expression, the pasodoble could have been very interesting for her, but she didn’t really bring any of that into it. She looked like she was just focusing on getting through it.

Kate: The judges pointed out her lack of training, which they probably didn’t need to do, but it’s true. You don’t train, you don’t look good performing. Sorry not sorry!

Erica: Why should you be sorry? I hate the meme in American culture that wants everything to be “natural” talent with no work. Work is good! Work is important! If a skill is important to you, hone it! She’s on the bottom, and quite honestly, if she goes home tonight, as much as I’ve enjoyed her, I won’t be sorry.

Derek’s Solo

“Two Men in Love” by The Irrepressibles

Kate: Boring! Not nearly as good as Jim’s.

Erica: The song choice cracked me up. Trying to slip in your sexuality under FOX’s/Nigel’s radar, Derek? I may be fine with losing you tonight, but still — go, you.

Neptne (street) & Kayla (season 5), Jazz, choreo by Ray Leeper

“Infinity” by The XX

Kate: So they were together and everything, but I can’t help but think that it only looked good because she MADE it look good, you know?

Erica: She is quite divine. I remember her from her season; she was spectacular then and she’s spectacular now. I really enjoyed seeing Neptune in rehearsal footage make her laugh because I don’t know that I’d seen that before.

Kate: Why am I having so much trouble remembering her?

Erica: I must say, I’m usually pretty mixed on Ray Leeper but I quite liked this. It had its own personality in a way that Tyce’s earlier offering, I thought, didn’t. Neptune is in danger. So it’s him and Megz, right? I don’t really care either way, but I’m hoping it’s Megz, just because I’m feeling like, this show and she have done what they can for and with each other and it’s time to be done.

Virgil’s Solo

“i” by Kendrick Lamar

Kate: So boring, I can’t even.

Erica: I’d rather see an extended video of three-year-old Virgil. That was so damn cute.

Jim (stage) & Comfort (season 2): Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix

“Hey Mama” by David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj, Bebe Rexha & Afrojack


Erica: I saw your line before I saw what the dance was going to be, and then they said Greek mythology and I laughed. I find Pharside and Phoenix a little gimmicky but this was definitely in our catnip pile.

Kate: AND AN AMAZING SONG CHOICE! (I hate to admit that I love it, but I do.) I want to learn this routine, like, right now. I thought Jim did very well at hip-hop. He could have been a little less stiff in just a few areas but he looked great, disagree with the judges wholeheartedly.

Erica: Yeah, I thought he was amazing. He was a little more silly than swag (a very little bit) but so is Fik-Shun and so is Virgil. He actually looked like he was keeping up with Comfort, which is pretty rare. He and Hailee are my top two.

Kate: How can you not be silly in a dance about Medusa? It was BEYOND fabulous!

Hailee’s Solo

“Vanguardian” by Steed Lord

Kate: V aggressive song, costume and choreography. She didn’t need to do that, we already love her.

Erica: Well. Apparently not everyone loves her.

Kate: Which is dumb, but that’s America for you.

Gaby (stage) & ROBERT ❤ (season 7): Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore

“Angel” by Sarah McLachlan

Kate: OH my god, Robert, dance with me. Please just dance with me some time.

Erica: He’s your Pasha.

Kate: He kind of looks a little bit like Jon Hamm, no?! From afar?

Erica: Ummm…I mean, it’s there if you’re looking for it, I guess.

Kate: This was incredible. She always lucks out with these routines, but she is very good, and they were just wonderful together. Absolutely perfect lifts.

Erica: Mandy Moore loves these songs, doesn’t she? If you’re my age and you had a period of loving a song, Mandy Moore will use it. This dance was really incredible and they danced it beautifully, but mainly I want to talk about her dress. Because it was so pretty.

Kate: And also Robert. ❤

Megz’s Solo

“Delirious (Boneless)” by Steve Aoki, Chris Lake, & Tujamo feat. Kid Ink

Kate: Yeah, time for Megz to go home.

Erica: I did like this better than last week’s solo. It was a little more fun. But I just feel like there’s no new places she’s going to go on this journey.

Kate: How philosophical of you!

JaJa (street) & Ricky (season 11): Broadway, choreo by Al Blackstone

“Let’s Face the Music and Dance” by Nat King Cole

Kate: Yay Ricky!

Erica: I definitely first heard Al Blackstone say “lobster” rather than “mobster”. It was great to see Ricky. He’s so natural and wonderful.

Kate: He’s a new choreographer, no? She looked like a pissed-off Nicole Kidman in this, but not in a bad way. Sometimes I thought she was focusing a little too much on her face, but she moved like pure liquid in most of the dance. Lovely.

Erica: You’re right, the fact that she’s so good in numbers like this makes her hip-hop solos look childish. Not because hip-hop is childish but because she really does look better in non-hip-hop numbers. JaJa, you should consider expanding your career options. Broadway looks good on you.

Kate: But I love hip-hop, and she doesn’t necessarily do that, she does crumping and popping and locking, which should just be part of hip-hop, know what I’m saying?

Neptune’s Solo

“Get Big” by Dorrough

Kate: Over it.

Erica: I also prefer him in non-hip-hop contexts. I feel like I’m saying that a lot this season but I can and have liked hip-hop a lot in the past. This season the hip-hoppers and the hip-hop routines are not sending me.

Team Street: Hip-Hop, choreo by Dave Scott

“Finna Get Loose” Puff Daddy & The Family feat. Pharrell Williams

Kate: Puff Daddy still records songs? Under the name Puff Daddy? Or this is old?

Erica: How old can it be if it features Pharrell Williams? I’m asking,; I don’t know.

Kate: JaJa is obviously the best left in this crew; I hadn’t realized Team Street had gotten so small.

Erica: They’re the same size. Four each. That’s the rules this year, that one from each team gets voted off.

Kate: Right. Honestly, the rest of them are not much better than just anyone dancing in a club. I’m sorry but I just don’t see it.

Erica: They all have very different attitudes and it makes them look like they’re not doing the same dance. I liked this routine; I thought it was fun. I wonder if most of them were primarily dancing in contexts where it was just them as individuals doing a performance? Because they (except JaJa) do seem to have trouble sort of being at the same level as the other people on the stage.

Team Stage: Contemporary, choreo by Tessandra Chavez

“Give Me Love” by Ed Sheeran

Kate: I love this song!

Erica: It’s very pretty.

Kate: Just lovely. They dance so much better together than Team Street.

Erica: I really loved the choreography on this piece as well. I liked the beginning, with its small, sharp, synchronized movements, and I liked the way the movements always looked like part of an organic whole even when they weren’t the same steps. You’re right; the stage people are better at looking as if they’re all part of the same group.

Kate: Derek blends in, whereas the other three really stand out. Also, I almost just typed Edson instead of Derek, the two were basically interchangeable for me all season.

Erica: In the beginning, Derek was the one I couldn’t remember from week to week.

Kate: Thank GOD Hailee didn’t go home! There’s hope for you yet, America!

Erica: Much relief over here.

Kate: I am completely fine with Derek and Neptune going home. Buh-bye!

Erica: We’re getting super-close to the end, you guys! I am excited and scared at the same time.


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