Thursday, July 17, 2014

So You Think You Can Dance: Top 18 Perform

This week the top 18 dancers performed.  The show started with an elaborate top 18 dance to "How It's Done" (District 78).  The dancers moved like chess pieces across the stage in a number choreographed by the Academy of Villains crew members.

Cat Deeley introduced the judges, "three divine devotees of dance" - Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Misty Copeland.

The bottom 6 dancers were announced:  Bridget, Emily, Jourdan, Emilio, Stanley, and Teddy.

This week the dancers all told America something they did not know about their partner.

Jacque said that Zack loves to swim.  Zack confided that Jacque is obsessed with fellow dancer Rudy.  They then performed a lyrical hip hop number by Keone and Mari.  The song was "Stay With Me" by Sam Smith.  The dance started with  the dancers lying down and then moved upward.  It was lovely and emotional.  Mary commented on the "articulation of movement."

Marquet told America that Jourdan is always working out.  Jourdan said that Marquet is in a hip hop crew.  They then performed a Dee Caspary contemporary dance about a couple trying not to disappear.  The song was "Disappear" by Mikky Ekko.  There was an umbrella prop.  The dancers did not seem to connect, and I agree with the judges, who wanted to see more vulnerability with Jourdan.

Jessica told America that Stanley is an aspiring model.  Stanley said that Jessica likes to surf (but not very well!).  They then did a Tyce Diorio number about a magic carpet ride.  The song was "Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter" by Nikka Costa.  I'd never heard this song before but think I like it because the title is fun.  Stanley did some great leaps and extensions.  The judges commented on Jessica's mugging for the camera during her dance.

Bridget told America that Emilio is a ninja.  Emilio said that Bridget is a Renaissance Festival nerd who has a magic wand.  Then Anya and Pasha were magically on my tv screen.  Pasha!  Pasha Kolakev is my all time favorite dancer from SYTYCD and the friends I watch with have teased many times that he is my "tv boyfriend."  They choreographed a jive for Emilio and Bridget to "Happy" by Pharrell Williams.  It was a fun number!  Bridget really did well in this genre.   The speed of the dance was fast and light.

Teddy told America that Emily likes deep sea fishing.  Emily said that Teddy is very competitive at board games.   They danced a Tyce Diorio number about a poetic look into someone's eyes with the thought "don't ever leave me."  The song was "No Me Quitte Pas" (Nina Simone).  The meaning of the song ("Don't ever leave me") was apropos to both of them being in the bottom 6.  I agree with Nigel's comment that they made some ugly lifts beautiful.

Casey told America that Brooklyn skateboards.  Brooklyn said that Casey takes fashion seriously.  They danced a Bonnie Story jazz number about a prom to "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" (Michael Buble).  It was a fun number, and Casey stood out with his megawatt smile.

Ricky told America that Valerie is obsessed with pigs.  Valerie said that Ricky was a high school mascot and dressed as a barracuda.   They danced a Lacey Schwimmer choreographed Viennese Waltz.  Good to see Lacey again -- one of my favorite SYTYCD alumni.  The song was "I Won't Give Up" (Jason Mraz).  Valerie wore one of the prettiest dresses I have ever seen (photo of Valerie and Ricky above).  It was like the Jessica McClintock meets Laura Ashley dream dress from my teen years. Nigel gave them a standing ovation.  Mary said the beginning was "dreamlike," while Misty commented that it was Valerie's night.  This was easily my favorite dance of the evening - absolutely beautiful.

Carly told America that Serge is friends with Maks and Val from Dancing With the Stars.  We then saw a clip of them playing pool together.  Serve said that Carly joined the college dance team.  They danced a Luther Brown hip hop number clothed as skeletons.  The song was "Senile" (Young Money).  The dance was very ominous and hard hitting -- not my cup of tea.  I agree with Nigel, who did not care for it.

Tanisha told America that Rudy has a crush on Jacque.  Rudy said that Tanisha has a massive family.  They then performed a Broadway number choreographed by Warren Carlyle.  It was danced to "Sing Sing Sing" from Fosse and included cane tricks and a soft shoe routine.  It was truly a showstopper!

My favorites of the night were Valerie and Ricky, Tanisha and Rudy, and Bridget and Emilio.  I also thought Zack and Jacque were very good.

The judges decided that Stanley and Jourdan would go home based on America's vote.   I think this was the right choice.

Looking forward to next week's show already!   I wonder who the guest judge will be?  I would love to see Adam Shankman or Twitch back on the judging panel.

What did you think of the Top 18 show?  Did the right dancers go home?  You can leave comments below.

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