Group Routine (Top 10 + All-Stars): Contemporary, choreo by Nick Florez & RJ Durell
“Archangel” by Two Steps from Hell
Kate: V cool, especially when all 20 were together. When they broke off in pairs it got a little awkward, as has been the case throughout the season, but the rest was stunning.
Erica: I liked it. I didn’t love it — I sometimes think 20 is just too many on stage at a time, especially when you’re watching on TV as opposed to seeing it live. But I thought it looked pretty cool.
Kate: Also, was this contemporary? It almost felt like a big group pasodoble with a little hip-hop action (when Jasmine was in the front).
Erica: Idk, man. Jazz? Is that what this was?
Kate: Literally no idea.
Cat Deeley’s Ensemble
Kate: Absolutely perfect Cat hair. Yes.
Erica: Yes. Loved the hair.
Kate: Fun dress, especially the back, but slightly awkward potato-sacky length.
Erica: I did not like it. A sparkly brown sack.
Jason’s 1st Pick – Virgil & Joshua: Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix
“Let’s Go” by Trick Daddy feat. Twista & Lil Jon
Kate: I still didn’t love this routine, although it felt much better danced this time around.
Erica: For the first half, yes.
Kate: But then there was some awkward thing with the music and that seemed to kind of fumble them up for the rest of it? Am I the only one who noticed that?
Erica: The cartwheely thing where Virgil is wrapped around Joshua’s waist looked super-awkward this time around.
Paula’s 1st Pick – Edson & Megz: Contemporary, choreo by Talia Favia
“You There” by Aquilo
Kate: I love that we don’t have to hear the judges’ commentary tonight, so let’s keep their explanations of their favorites to a minimum, shall we?
Kate: This was lovely, as it was the first time, but I feel confident that Megz should definitely not have moved further in this competition.
Erica: You know, I was reminded fairly strongly of why I liked her so much. I’m not disagreeing with you, but I’m glad we got to see as much of her as we did.
Paula’s 2nd Pick – JaJa & Ricky: Broadway, choreo by Al Blackstone
“Let’s Face the Music and Dance” by Nat King Cole
Kate: Oh just so freaking adorable. JaJa really is an incredible performer.
Erica: Yeah. It’s almost too bad that she’s dedicated to hip-hop; she can do so much.
Cat’s Pick – Team Street: Hip-Hop, choreo by NappyTabs
“Ready Or Not Here I Come” by District 78 feat. Chelsea
Kate: I love that Cat gets a pick, and I love that her pick is a group routine, and I love that her group routine pick is one of the only (or the only?) NappyTabs routines this season. She should def hang out with us. Also, how did JaJa change so fast?
Erica: You could totally see in this routine who stayed long enough in the competition to up their game and who didn’t.
Kate: They were great in this, but I think they were great in this the first time around too, when we were sure the street dancers were way better than the stage ones.
Erica: Who’s we?
Kate: Both of us agreed in the beginning of the season that Team Street was better than Team Stage, overall!
Twitch’s Pick – Gaby & Neptune: Contemporary, choreo by Stacey Tookey
“Take My Hand, Precious Lord” by Ledisi (Selma soundtrack)
Kate: Not commenting on the message or theme or obviousness of this routine again, but it was once again beautifully danced by both.
Erica: I forget everything. I kind of like the song.
Cyrus & Phoenix lil’Mini
“Emergency” by District 78
Kate: Is that his daughter? Who is this little chick?
Erica: So you do have to actually listen to the nattering of the judges every once in awhile. This is some chick who performed with Cyrus at the Dizzy Feet Gala recently. I thought she was adorable.
Kate: Oh. This was cool and all, but I continue to not be all that impressed by animation.
Erica: Oddly, I thought she was better than Cyrus.
Hailee’s Pick – Hailee & Robert <3: Jazz, choreo by Nick Florez & RJ Durell
“Haunted” by Beyonce
Kate: I mean, this would be my pick too, if I were Hailee.
Erica: I think she’s overdoing the squeeing.
Kate: I actually think it was better danced the first time, but, Robert <3. Sigh.
Travis’s Pick – Gaby & Joshua: Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix
“I’m Really Hot” by Missy Elliott
Kate: YES I’m so glad Travis picked this! The judges hated on this routine so hard and I loved it.
Erica: I was not huge on it the first time around. I thought she danced it better this time.
Kate: Such a fun hip-hop routine concept and so well danced by a tap dancer. Love it love it love it.
Herman Cornejo, American Ballet Theater
“Le Corsaire: Act II ‘4. Grand Pas: Var. Ali'” by Evergreen Symphony Orchestra
Kate: It’s Jim and Alex’s long lost brother.
Erica: I need to start going to the ballet. I enjoyed that so much.
Kate: I mean, just incredible. His turns. His legs. His turns. Good lord.
Jason’s 2nd Pick – Team Stage: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall
“Beautiful Friends” by Helen Money
Kate: No, Jason, Travis is not your friend, no matter what he says. He is only pretending for the show, he really thinks you are unqualified idiot.
Erica: I don’t know; Travis strikes me as the kind of guy who, when standing in a group of dance people, is the one going, “Aw, come on guys, he’s not that bad.”
Kate: This routine looked even cooler this time, BUT, I must say I don’t think it translates as well to a live audience as it probably does to a TV audience because of the crazy camera angles and lights. No?
Erica: You’re probably right but so much of this show I suspect looks better live. I’m glad to see them using the medium in which most of their viewers are experiencing them. I almost developed respect for Jason DeRulo for picking it, except that I know that the producers come up with a list of what they want in the final episode, and then the judges just pick which one of those they want to “claim”.
Kate: Ugh, it’s all a lie.
Virgil’s Pick – Virgil & Hailee: Hip-Hop, choreo by Pharside & Phoenix
“Runnin'” by Noahplause
Kate: I think this is when I really started to want Hailee to win (when we first saw it, I mean). They were awesome in this.
Erica: They were terrific but I keep returning to how much I respected Jasmine Harper for not choosing as her favorite dance one that was in her original genre.
Nigel’s 1st Pick – Jim & Alex: Contemporary, choreo by Travis Wall
“November” by Max Richter & Alexander Balanescu
Kate: OH MY GOD THEY REALLY DO READ THIS BLOG, OTHERWISE HOW WOULD THEY HAVE KNOWN TO PUT THESE TWO BRILLIANT DANCERS TOGETHER?!
Erica: I HAD THE EXACT SAME REACTION!
KATE: BAHHHHHHHHHHHH THEY WERE SO GOOD TOGETHER! SO GOOD!
Erica: NOW THIS IS WHAT I WANT PLAYING ON ALL MY SCREENS ALL THE TIME.
Nigel’s 2nd Pick – Jaja & Alex: Contemporary, choreo by Tarissa Chavez
“Youth” by Daughter
Kate: Henceforth forever known as The Notebook Dance.
Erica: Except they’re not allowed to say that.
Kate: Brilliant, as usual, from these two.
Academy of Villains
“Crunk” by Noahplause
Kate: I thought this was the top 10 street dancers until right this second, whoops.
Erica: Heehee. That said, the mimes scared me.
Travis Wall & Jenna Dewan-Tatum
“Gimme All Your Love” by Alabama Shakes
Kate: Oh my, what would Channing say about this?
Erica: Probably “Good job, sweetie,” because they are both professional performers. Also, Travis is gay. Which he got to say out loud tonight, probably because he is a choreographer and not a contestant.
Kate: I forgot that she could, like, really dance. They looked phenomenal together, and this was a great dance. This is the kind of thing I feel like we used to see from the contestants ALL THE TIME.
Erica: I didn’t hear who she was the first time around. And yeah, I kind of didn’t realize she was an actual talent. This was pretty amazing.
JaJa’s Pick – JaJa & Jim: Hip-Hop, choreo by Christopher Scott
“No Woman No Cry” by Bob Marley and the Wailers
Kate: I love how much Jim we’re getting tonight.
Erica: Me, too. He will definitely be back as an all-star. I loved this routine, but it is hardly the one that challenged JaJa the most over the season. I would have respected another choice more.
Group Routine: Choreo by Christopher Scott & Jessica Lee Keller
“Revolt” by Nathan Lanier
Erica: You know, this was a really talented season. I feel like I’m not often looking at the top 20 at the end of a season and missing so many of them.
Kate: What? I thought we agreed that they weren’t nearly up to the skill level as previous seasons? I feel like tonight was the only time they all performed up to the level and quality to which we have become accustomed, and it didn’t even matter anymore because votes were already in.
Erica: I’m thinking individually, not necessarily as a group. I know that doesn’t make any sense. But it’s interesting that you observe that they’re only good tonight because it doesn’t matter. Maybe that’s why they were better. I’ve been reading a lot about how our whole notion of competition making people perform (at any task) better is a crock.
Gaby’s Pick – Gaby & Robert <3: Contemporary, choreo by Mandy Moore
“Angel” by Sarah McLachlan
Kate: See? All the girls pick their Robert ❤ routines.
Erica: That really makes me respect Robert. He’s not just talented, he’s good to work with.
Kate: AND HOT. Again, brilliant. She’s a beautiful dancer.
Kate: And the winner is….
Erica: What? I thought for sure when JaJa made the top two, it would be her.
Kate: I mean, honestly, of the two stage dancers, I think Hailee was actually more technically skilled, but I can see why people lean more toward Gaby.
Erica: Yeah. I think one of the problems with Hailee is that she didn’t particularly grow over the season, whereas Gaby did. Or at least it seemed like she did. And also Hailee had a lot of “personality,” which voters tend to reward in male contestants but not in female contestants.
Kate: However, between Gaby and JaJa, if we’re doing “favorite” and not “best” dancer, I am surprised JaJa didn’t win. She was the comeback story, the fighter, the picture of perseverance. I’m not convinced the right person won here, but I really liked all three of these ladies a lot.
Erica: I actually thought that JaJa was the more exciting performer. She had more fire and more range, and I thought they were technically pretty comparable.
Kate: Well, here’s hoping they pick up So You Think You Can Dance season 13 with ALL NEW JUDGES!
Erica: Or some old ones. Like Mary Murphy. And Christina Applegate. Thanks for taking this journey with us, friends! See you next week for the Emmys!