So You Think You Can Dance – Episode 7-6

Remember how I thought the awkwardness of the All Stars was only because it was a Meet The Contestants episode? Yeah, no. It’s still awkward. Part of why the All Stars were chosen was because of their popularity, but we haven’t heard a peep from them so far. They are barely mentioned in the intro packages, they dance, they leave the stage. We never hear anything about them or what they’ve been up to for the past few years, and yet somehow, they manage to out-dance the actual competitors. This is turning out a lot like Season 6 – good idea, but executed poorly. And it would be nice if the judges didn’t insist the new format was working so well when it’s not.

On to the dancing!

Billy and All Star Lauren, Broadway – This was another perfectly serviceable Broadway routine by Tyce Diorio. It was fine, I suppose, but nothing special, and ten minutes later I forgot it happened. Where are the other Broadway choreographers? Billy looked slightly out of his element with a bouncy and fast-paced routine, but really – what can’t that guy do with his body?

Cristina and All Star Mark, Jazz – Did anyone even notice Cristina in this routine? No, because it was all about Mark! His quirky style suited this piece perfectly, and even overshadowed Sonya Tayeh’s lackluster, recycled, and boring choreography. Seriously, can the show get some new blood? All I want is for a choreographer to be featured a single time during the show.

Jose and All Star Comfort, Hip Hop – Comfort can dance! Maybe not anything other than Hip Hop, but she can dance. This was another routine that was all about the All Star for me. Jose who? Oh, that guy moving at a glacial pace next to Comfort. He can’t even perform B-Boy tricks as good as we’ve seen them done on this very show. What’s he doing here again?

Adechike and All Star Kathryn, Jazz – This was one of the first routines from Travis I wasn’t completely wowed by. It seemed like an odd rehash of the Hip Hop routine done by Noelle and Ryan last season. That being said, Kathryn wowed. My eyes never left her. I don’t know how Adechike couldn’t respond to all she was giving him in her performance, but while she played sexy, he played wooden. No chemistry.

Melinda and All Star Pasha, Jive – This wasn’t the best Jive, but it was a really fun one. When Melinda’s stripped of her edgy tap persona, she cleans up really well. I don’t know what was up with her footwork, but it was a really admirable effort on her part, and Pasha is always a joy to see. More of him, please! Shirtless.

Alex and All Star Allison, Contemporary – Talk about overpraising. Best in history of SYTYCD? No way. Don’t get me wrong, this was good. It was nice to see Sonya try something different from her usual stop-and-freeze. But Tyce sometimes does better than this, Mia regularly does better than this, and Wade always does better than this. At most, this was maybe the best routine of the night, but that’s about it. I think Alex and Allison were able to elevate the work, and Alex proved to be the only newbie capable of outshining his partner. Mia informs us that Allison has lived a lot of life since she was last on the show, but we have no clue what she means since Allison hasn’t had a chance to speak yet.

Alexie and All Star Ade, Hip Hop – Ugh. NappyTabs are generally questionable in their approach to Hip Hop, but this has to be one of their worst routines  to date. I had actually been looking forward to this song being used in a fun Jazz piece, but this…? I’m surprised Twitch could work his way through this without laughing. I disagree with the judges about Alexie’s performance. NappyTabs gave her cutesy choreography in a cutesy routine to a cutesy song. What was she supposed to do, go out there and give them stankface? She worked with what she was given, and the judges threw her under the bus instead of calling out NappyTabs sugary sweet brand of Hip Hop.

Lauren and All Star Ade, Pop Jazz – In case anyone is just tuning in, Mandy Moore really, really loves the 80s. Sometimes it can be awesome, but usually it turns into this. The music was super distracting, Ade was trying to make it work, and Lauren gave the audience the vapid smile of a beauty pageant contestant. It’s no surprise, if you remember Lauren’s audition, she is actually a cheerleader. Tonight she looked like one.

Kent and All Star Anya, Cha Cha – My favorite routine of the night! Others were better technically, but this was soooo much fun and the only routine of the night with some spunk. And finally, someone pulled off a dance not in their style! This was cheeky, quick, and fun to watch. Everything a Cha Cha should be.

Ashley and All Star Neil, Contemporary – I really liked this routine, and I thought the judges were a bit hard on Ashley. I felt the emotion (maybe it translated better on TV?) and thought it was well danced. Sometimes I feel like the judges have their critiques in mind before the performance, and Nigel clearly expected her to say she’d never been in love. I had an inner smirk when he couldn’t continue on that line of critiques. Silly Mia said she felt something, but wasn’t quite sure what. Whatevs, please go back to choreographing. I enjoyed it, and had forgotten there was an Ashley in this competition. Now I might actually remember her.

Robert and All Star Courtney, African Jazz – I loved this piece, maybe even more than Kent’s Cha Cha. It was raw and energetic, powerful and sinewy, and I didn’t want it to end. Robert has this Colgate smile and “Ohmigod-you-didn’t-just-say-that!” reaction when he’s praised, but as much as his personality quirks don’t work for me, he can move like no other. What a way to end the show!

All in all, I left the episode with the feeling that they need to invest in new choreographers. Sonya Tayeh, NappyTabs, and Tyce Diorio all had two routines each in this episode. Give me a break. This is the best dance show in the country, you’re telling me they can’t get any better? More variety, please!

Bottom 3 Predictions:

  • Ashley – I liked her, but she’s had zero screen time, did an annoying robot voice, and the judges didn’t exactly praise her.
  • Melissa – Again, wasn’t completely and totally praised by the judges, and it happened early on in the show.
  • Adechike – Almost as robotic as Lauren’s routine, but he’s not a cute All-American blonde.

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