SYTYCD Week 8, Top 6—Fighting For The Title

courtesy 19 Entertainment and Dick Clark Productions

Coming to you guys a day earlier since FOX shifted the show to Tuesday to make room for Simon, LA and the teenyboppers to eviscerate a new crop of hopeful singers….

It’s coming down to the finish, with the Top 6 performing three times in addition to the opening group number–an All-Star number, a duet with one of their fellow competitors, and their solos. A return engagement for Christina Applegate tonight in the guest judge’s chair (I suspect she and Jesse Tyler Ferguson are about to get long-term contract considering how often they’ve been here lately. It’s cool, though–they actually seem to know what they’re talking about, and in some cases how to say it. *side eye at Nigel*).

Top 6 Jazz
Sonya Tayeh’s version of a courtly, S&M sort of thing….it’s like she mashed Madonna’s Human Nature video and the Vogue tour routine together.

Top 6 intro—Cute that Cx3 did each other’s styles….

I’m sorry—I lost ALL focus when Cat got past Jean-Marc Genereux and jumped straight to…BENJI!!!!!! About time they call my hunny back to actually dance! Tiffany could be dancing on one leg with a Carmen Miranda hat on for all I care. *sigh* I must be objective, however, and will force myself to watch her closely. (Note: the TiVo was on pause for a LONG time as I typed this.)

Mr. Schwimmer really bulked up….no, watch TIFFANY!!!! We’re jiving tonight, and Tiffany almost has some Anya going on. I’m amazed she even got any work done in a room with both Benji AND Jean-Marc. This just might replace “Boyfriend” (with the aforementioned Ms. Garis and Danny Tidwell) as my favorite jive of the series. Damn I hate it when I underestimate dancers on this show….

BTW, Mary—why in the Sam Hill didn’t this girl get a ticket on the Hot Tamale train?!?

Same type of contemporary solo as last week, same perfect technique. My 19 year old self is starting to hate you, Tiffany…..from the intricate musicality to the insane number of pirouettes on a dime—do you REALLY have to be the female Travis Wall of the series? Ugh! *pouts and stomps off to my room*

Dancing with Melanie and working with Sonya Tayeh, Cole gets to explore “his softer side” and tries to break free of an unhealthy relationship. I’m sorry, I’m TRYING to wrap my head around Melanie being mean and clingy, but, um….I’m gonna need to watch this. *1:30 later* Nope, still not buying it. But the softer side of Cole is interesting. Though I think I like the stronger personas, I was intrigued by this number. I was more distracted by Melanie lifting Cole, but having stood next to her I KNOW she’s a solid block of muscle and totally capable. And Christina can suck it about his foot in that pirouette—I slowed it down and unless there was a sickle I couldn’t see from our angle, there wasn’t a thing wrong with his foot.

Have I mentioned that I really love Cole’s mom?

Our boy almost has some real Chehon-style grace going on in that solo….nice work, Cole. I love the concept. I’m reluctant to tag this Twilight the Ballet ‘cause I’m not all that crazy about the series, but that’s about the most current reference that would be relatable to everyone. Hell, this dance might actually get me interested in it…especially with Cole in the starring role.

So after doing Twitch’s hip-hop number for Mia week, she actually gets to dance with him this time in a Christopher Scott piece. Vamp goes after the postman—really cute. Almost the same role she played in last week’s foxtrot, but a different decade…though you gotta give girlie props for those hip-hop kick-up thingies (I could have used a less technical term, I know….but I’m a rebel).

I want to hate her too for being such a pretty dancer, but she just draws me in with her solos and makes me forget I couldn’t do what she did in that solo with all the Epsom salt and Icy Hot in the world. Okay, maybe the piqué turn and the pirouettes….but I’d still need all of the above AND some WD-40.

Terminator 4: The Ballet. I think he might have been way more nervous than usual, because he doesn’t usually fall out of his pirouettes like that. But I love the strength and badassery—it’s a nice change from the vulnerability he does so well.

Tyce is getting deep again, pairing Chehon with Kathryn McCormick and musing on tragedy and survival. I think I got out of this what everyone else got out of the “Hallelujah” number Alex and Allison did in Season 7. Chehon is really going emotionally deep into these pieces—I love the combination of display of passion and skill that defied Danny Tidwell in Season 2. Not that Danny wasn’t multifaceted; it just never carried across to the audience. Ray Charles could see that in Chehon, and he’s blind AND dead.

Paso solo—I grudgingly admit Lindsay’s from last week had more substance. But damn if Witney isn’t captivating. I hope this doesn’t hurt her.

I still can’t get behind Marko having no hair….but I digress. Witney and the man who was supposed to take ME away with him perform a Ray Leeper lyrical jazz where my sweetie looks like he’s about to get left at the altar AGAIN. See Marko, Witney’s dad has a shotgun in the back….I TOLD you to come back for me. And Melanie’s moved on, so…oh well, Mr. Germar—that’s the way it is now. Very nice job from the pair of them, both in technique and performance. Witney really has a good grasp of technique and emotion that clearly demonstrates she was meant to be here.

And no, Christina—you did NOT invent “hairography.” It’s been rampant in dance competitions for AGES. You just brought it to a nationally televised stage.

OK, as much as I love my boy, I’m starting to understand why a lot of people are bristling at his longevity. Somebody knew this was coming, because introducing dubstep was NOT a coincidence. But dubstep it is, with a very girly Ms. Fedoke in tow. Christopher Scott choreographs Cyrus and Comfort in a no-holds-barred dubstep routine, which apparently is harder than just freestyling. I wish I knew more about what dubstep is, but I’ll watch it to see what variations there are from regular hip-hop. (I see our dear Comfort has gotten over her aversion to dancing in a bra and beads.) That was nice—sort of a 21st century Nasty, where the lady lures the guy into the movie with her…and leaves him there.

And anybody who can do ANY variety of hip-hop to a Sarah Brightman song has got my respect….

The kids pair with each other again for a third dance number for the evening:

Witney/Chehon: Cha-Cha
This ought to be interesting…let’s see if Chehon’s Latin ballroom hips loosened up any since his first go ‘round with Witney in the samba. Jean-Marc’s back again…and oh, the irony of dancing to Where Have You Been for the second week in a row for Little Miss Firecracker…. I’m having flashbacks of “Hip Hip Chin Chin” with Lacey and Danny right about now, and I thought Chehon was much more relaxed and enjoying himself this time around…though Mary and Nigel tore this number apart with all their technical hyperfocus. I’m with Christina—who noticed any of that?

And can someone tell me how Mary keeps mistaking Witney for Lindsay?!?

Eliana/Cole: Contemporary
An original Mia Michaels for the kids, they butt heads in a piece that could have easily turned into the Foxes routine of Season 3 (I came to appreciate it much later, but on fresh viewing it was pretty out there). Fortunately, there was enough abstraction and pure athleticism to make this accessible. The first time I’ve seen Cole thinking—it was just a split second, but once you’ve gotten used to seeing someone completely disappear into their character it’s an easy thing to spot. Eliana looked a little more pained and defeated than outright angry/hateful, but the aggression I wanted to see in Mercy was in this piece tenfold.

Tiffany/Cyrus: Broadway
The kids take on a Spencer Liff Broadway number in a 50s style “teens gone wild” thing. Didn’t we do this number with Janaya and Brandon already?

AXIS Dance Company fills the space tonight—I dig them for this innovative fusion with able-bodied and physically challenged dancers. And was the able-bodied dancer deaf? If he wasn’t just acknowledging any hearing impaired audience members with the applause sign, I’m all the more impressed.

And (drumroll please….), our Top 4 finalists competing for the twin titles are:
Tiffany (no surprise)
Eliana (it BETTER have been, but no surprise to me)
Cyrus (saw it coming)

So Witney and Cole get the “cruelest cut of all,” the show before the finale. No #ninjaballetfusion for me. However, I love all three of these boys, so any combo they made would’ve rocked my socks.

No phone numbers this week—which I guess explains the TWO future entries in my TiVo. A performance finale and a grand finale…which is moving a day ahead and giving me a little less time to obsess over details.

Eliana and Cyrus were my faves going in, but I have marveled so much at Chehon’s development I’m once again at a point whether I’m good with either boy winning it. I almost hope Chehon does win just to avoid the vehement backlash I know would come from Cyrus taking the title and possibly reducing fan and ratings numbers again—which is part of why we’re stuck in this format anyway. My boy Cyrus is going to have to pull something really incredible out of his earlobe to make a large faction of America accept him as America’s Favorite Dancer. Tiffany concerns me—she’s been sneaking up and is invisible no more. She is definitely a fierce contender for Eliana to take on, and I really need my girl to fire it with both barrels. It’s about time a ballerina won this thing, and if I have to fall asleep with the phone in my hand like I did with Sabra, so be it. Tiffany definitely deserves to win, no doubt—but I’m sticking with the girl I brung to this here party. We’ll see what happens.


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