Following their debut performances last week, the top ten dancers of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE season 14 had one last chance to dance before facing the season’s first live elimination. Each contestant performed twice: a solo in their own style and a duet, along with their all-stars, in whichever style the SYTYCD gods decided to force on them. At the end of the night, Cat Deeley revealed the bottom three based on last week’s results, leaving the judges to make the final, difficult choice of which dancer to send packing.
Check out our SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE recap to find out all about tonight’s performance and, perhaps more importantly, who won’t be performing again next week.
Intros, group dances, and all that
Given the great level of talent on this season of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, the opening group dances are going to have to be better than tonight’s disco number.
Were the costumes great? Absolutely. Was the choreography? More or less. Was the whole thing a lot of fun? Sure, sure.
But the dancing? It felt sluggish. Quite frankly, that was a major disappointment — especially with the all-stars up there.
But Cat Deeley made the evening’s opening moments entertaining again by reminding everyone that the hot tamale train was back in the station: “If you haven’t heard she’s back, you just might want to get your ears checked.”
Girl, we’ve heard. We’ve. Heard. (And we need to get our ears checked.)
The first performance of the night came courtesy of Mark Villaver and Comfort Fedoke.
Comfort Fedoke, jazz, Ray Leeper. Once upon a time, those words, when put together, would’ve been a nightmare combination.
I don’t know what kind of transformation Comfort has gone through since her days as a SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE contestant? But I’m here for it. The girl who was once quite familiar with being in the bottom three has no reason to fear that awful position right now
And neither does her partner.
Mark and Comfort had great chemistry and style in a jazz number that was, thankfully, actually jazz. Could the dancers have been sharper a few places? Totally. But did they do really well, just the same? Yep.
Judges’ comments. Vanessa Hudgens liked seeing “a bit more intensity” from Mark, rather than his usual, goofy personality. For Mary Murphy, there was “no hate — but love — here.”
Nigel Lythgoe was impressed by Mark’s focus and sharpness. But (like me!) he also had to take a moment to compliment Comfort for getting “stronger and stronger every season” before discussing this season’s contestant.
…and then it got very weird. Like, you know that thing that Nigel and Mary do? They kind of did that, but it also involved Mark Villaver thrusting his pelvis to show how excited he was to be a part of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE season 14.
Up next, SYTYCD featured back-to-back solos by Koine Iwasaki and Logan Hernandez.
Both dancers showed off some unique, dynamic movement. Koine’s solo had some really nice highlights, like the slide across the floor and the articulation in her feet during an accented moment in her music.
But since nobody’s perfect, Logan and Koine also have some areas of technique that they could stand to work on. For Koine, it’s all about relaxing the shoulders.
And Logan…Did those scrunchy toes really come from the same studio that created Ricky Ubeda? Honestly? Let’s just hope the problem was isolated to a single episode of SYTYCD.
The evening’s second duet was an Argentine Tango from Lex Ishimoto and Gaby Diaz.
“This is the week that Lex becomes a man, even though he’s still wearing a ponytail.” Um. Can we not? Especially in the dance world, where outsiders already stereotype the men as “girly?”
Great. Now that we’ve moved beyond that little wrinkle, let’s talk about the actual performance.
There was a very big disconnect between the level of character that Gaby showed and the sort of wall that I felt Lex place between himself and his partner. Compared with Comfort and Mark’s chemistry, this performance was ice cold. Gaby, all weird pre-performance commentary aside, was putting forth all of the steam that the piece needed.
Unfortunately, the old saying about it taking two to tango is one hundred percent factual. And this tango only seemed to have one.
Judges’ comments. Mary thought there were “some awkward moments in there,” but she also talked about what a “hot, sexy” night viewers were in store for.
Nigel drew more attention to himself and Mary, as if the whole pelvic thrust via Mark didn’t make tonight’s episode of SYTYCD weird enough. After saying that any couples having trouble should do the tango together, Nigel turned to Mary and asked if she wanted to teach him how to tango.
So you think you can explain this judges’ panel?
Vanessa was kind enough to bring the commentary back to the shiny dancing: “You were shining up there. I love watching you dance.”
The next soloist was Taylor Sieve.
I’m just going to copy my notes word for word on this one.
Beautiful control. And we get it: You have great extension. But I want more. Now, let’s all hop on the Youtube and find some better solos from Taylor.
And then Kiki and Jenna attempted a Luther Brown hip hop number.
Dance gods, help us all. No, really. Luther himself even prayed to “our lords to send down the swag.”
Meanwhile, Jenna and Kiki thought they were going to be “the two coolest ballroom dancers doing the hoodest hip hop,” and Jenna said Kiki’s shot at redeeming himself in hip hop was going to be “lit.”
The whole thing just needed to be stronger. Was Kiki better here than in his Academy hip hop fail? Yes…but that’s not exactly a high standard to set.
Judges’ comments. They all liked it, I guess?
Nigel “Money” Lythgoe (he was on a $100 bill, ok?) admitted to being surprised the all-stars kept Kiki because his showing at The Academy was “that bad.” But, somehow, he felt like Luther Brown’s prayers were answered here. He even asked Jenna if there was anything she wasn’t good at.
To which I say: Ummm, that?
Nigel wasn’t alone in his praise, though, so his words of encouragement weren’t caused by his money status. Vanessa Hudgens said it was lit, just like a youth would, and Mary called the duet “a game changer.”
Mary, honey, why?
Kaylee Mills’ solo was the perfect palate cleanser to follow Kiki’s “lit” hip hop.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you show off control without doing the same, stale extensions we’ve all seen a million times. The feet, on the other hand…Sigh.
Sydney Tormey and Paul Karmiryan were totally out of their element in contemporary. Somehow, though, it worked.
What an beautiful concept from Jaci Royal.
Sydney was actually excited to get contemporary, and she seemed to really connect with Jaci’s story about leaving behind the people you love to pursue your dreams. What Sydney managed to do, in terms of breath and suspension — and even stretched feet! — was impressive.
The performance lacked a certain connection between the partners, though. I feel like, given several more weeks of working together, Paul and Sydney would have made this into one of those SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE classics. As it was, the piece was beautiful; and both dancers had their own, individual moments.
The problem was that they were individual moments.
There was a certain sense of longing, of having to lose each other, that the partners just weren’t yet ready to attack. Should these two dancers last in this year’s competition for more than just a week or two, though, I’ve no doubt that their partnership will advance to the point where it could come back and revisit Jaci Royal’s choreography (finale night?) and absolutely kill it.
Judges’ comments. Vanessa loved seeing Sydney as a contemporary dancer, saying she really delivered on “such moments of stillness and silence that were really beautiful and super strong.”
Mary agreed: “It was sweet. It was tender. There was a freedom about the way that you moved, Sydney, that was just gorgeous.”
Nigel wasn’t about to be the odd man out here. He pointed out some of his favorite steps before reminding everyone of one of the best parts about being a dancer: “There’s nothing better than dance to put across emotions that you can’t talk about.”
Add it to the collection of dance quotes on my grave, folks.
Robert Green and Dassy both showed off their solos before the next duet.
Just like Cat Deeley said, Dassy was “here to pop her way into our hearts.” And Robert? His performance style is absolutely, without a doubt, the most fun SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE has had in a long time.
Logan Hernandez finally had the opportunity to dance with his all-star, Allison Holker. Bonus: The pair was graced with choreography from Brian, “we’re doing jazz, not contemporary,” Friedman.
Real jazz, twice in one night? Hashtag, so blessed.
The concept was totally bizarre — a blind date that involved actually blinding the participants — but it was so unbelievably good.
Logan did a great job here, but his partner totally out-danced him. There’s a certain style of movement that has to happen in order for a dancer to really nail Brian Friedman’s choreography, and Allison’s just got it. With that being said, Logan Hernandez isn’t the first talented dancer to be overshadowed by Allison; and he definitely won’t be the last.
I’m still very confused by Logan’s feet, though.
Judges’ comments. Mary loved having Brian back (dude had better be like “same” out in that audience); and she gushed over Logan like only Mary Murphy can, calling him “a truly gifted, gifted young man.”
Nigel complimented Logan for diving forward into a side split, so Mary said Logan learned it from Nigel.
Oh, and there was also something about Woody Woodpecker in there. Youths can’t relate. He was a cartoon bird, kiddos. It was lit.
Vanessa was, yet again, in the awkward position of having to stop Nigel and Mary. This time, she did it by talking about how much she was blown away by Logan’s unique movement and strength.
Shine away, Logan. Shine. Away.
Just before the break, the Lethal Ladies of Baltimore hit the stage.
Everyone, please go see STEP. What an inspiring group of young ladies.
…but why did we need to water down their performance by adding the all-stars? We get it, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE: Your dancers can do just about anything. It doesn’t mean that they always have to show it.
Also: He’s amazing in his own style and all, but I’d be quite happy to never see Paul attempt stepping ever again. Just like I’d never want to see myself attempting it. (But if Blessin Giraldo wants to give me a call and teach me something, I’m down. Just don’t show it to anyone.)
Still with us? Click through to check on the last five duets and solos, as well as tonight’s big elimination!