So You Think You Can Dance: The Top 20 Perform, Take 2

So You Think You Can Dance: The Top 20 Perform, Take 2
FOX

Last week, the judges couldn't make a decision n who to send home because, you know, their job is so hard, so they rolled it over to this week and will send four dancers home tonight instead of two. Yeah, it's kind of bogus, but that's showbiz, and last night we were treated to performances by the Top 20 dancers once again. We also got to hear Debbie Reynolds' Woody Woodpecker impersonation, found out Mitchell has a zebra-print Snuggie and heard Mary scream "woooooo" way too many times.

All in all, a classic SYTYCD episode. On to the recap.

Ryan and Ricky (or Roderick, as he's otherwise known) take on a sultry Mandy Moore modern jazz routine, and their execution is both sexy and exact. Too bad their dancing to Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love," which isn't a bad song, but seems incredibly out of place for this routine. It doesn't matter, because the judges love to see the two contemporary dancers out of their comfort zone. Nigel says he could feel the sexual tension, Mary says she's addicted to the pair of dancers and Debbie says something about falling out of the top and falling out of the bottom. Not entirely sure what that means, but it's Debbie freaking Reynolds and she can say whatever she wants.

Caitlynn and Mitchell follow with a Stacy Tookey lyrical routine. In rehearsal it's not entirely promising: A story about a relationship falling apart, Mitchell saying his character is soooooo opposite from his own personality (it's called acting, Mitchell), and, of course, there's the Snuggie. But the performance is easily my favorite of the night. The camera work here is stunning: We see Mitchell sitting behind Caitlynn at a distance, still haunting her, before they get into the controlled leaps, lifts and intricate choreography of the routine. Mitchell accidentally punches Caitlynn in the nose (the magic of live television), but the judges praise the couple's chemistry and flawless technique.

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Next up are Wadi and Missy with a cha-cha choreographed by Jean-Marc Genereux. I think it's kind of exciting to see b-boy Wadi take on the delicate ballroom choreography, but Nigel thinks his technique needs work and his arms are weak. Mary agrees that Wadi fell short, and Debbie wants to take him home with her. The judges praise Missy's technique and her teamwork with Wadi.

Iveta and Nick, who wowed everyone last week with their ballroom number, started out a little awkwardly with a Nakul Dev Mahajan Bollywood routine, but find their footing and get a clean finish. The judges avoid talking about technique and instead talk entertainment factor. Nigel calls it a "good, entertaining job," and Mary says it was "super entertaining."

 

Miranda and Robert's dance sounds ludicrous when explained in rehearsals (a hip hop routine about woodpeckers learning to fly) but it turns out to be a bit of all right. On the one hand, it's hilarious to see their dance moves imitate the flapping, head-bobbing and pecking of birds; on the other hand, they show amazing control and restraint in their steps, keeping them from becoming animalistic caricatures, something Mary praises. I thought a few somersaults and lifts looked a little awkward, but the judges ate it up and Debbie did her Woody Woodpecker impression.

Jess and Clarice dance a Stacy Tookey lyrical routine about a prince and princess. Yep. Jess was having trouble with the lifts in rehearsal but pulled them off in performance. Mary praises his control and pirouettes, but the judges think the couple's chemistry is off.

We finally get to see Jordan do something besides jazz. Unfortunately, it's a Viennese waltz. She and Tadd dance it perfectly, but the choreography and storyline are so boring that it's difficult to appreciate these two strong dancers. Mary says Jordan's arabesque is ridiculous, Nigel for the umpteenth time can't believe a b-boy is doing well in another style, and Debbie asks the kids if they know who Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse were.

Marko and Melanie are probably the strongest dancers in the competition, and they hang up their contemporary shoes for a night and don jazz heels instead. Marko loses about two seconds when his hat falls from his head and he has to pick it up right before catching Melanie, and the judges go crazy over it. They seem to have gotten their technique, teamwork and everything else right.

Alexander and Sasha lost points with the judges last week because their connection wasn't really there, something they had to work on in this week's Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo (Nappy-Tabs) hip hop routine about a soldier being reunited with his wife. "There has to be a real connection or people won't believe it," says Napoleon in rehearsal. Fortunately, Sasha and Alexander perform with both emotion and technique. Their dancing brings Mary and Debbie to tears, so Nigel is left to say they carried it off beautifully.

Ashley and Chris close out the evening with a Broadway number choreographed b Spencer Liff. Because the story is about a woman visiting her man in prison, they have to dance the entire time with bars between them. It's sultry, humorous and tense all at once. The judges love it and Mary says they're on the hot tamale train. And if someone can ever tell me what that means, I will be eternally grateful.

Tonight: Four dancers are eliminated, unless the judges change their minds again.


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