SYTYCD 11- Top 8 Dance, 2 Go Home – Live Blog

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The Top 8 Opening Group Number-
Is there a group routine that doesn’t feature Ricky? I get it, they want Ricky to win. He’s practically already an All-Star. I think if he had been eliminated in a shock vote early on, he would have been immediately brought back as an All-Star. While we’re at it, could Philip Chbeeb come back at some point as an all-star? Maybe if another Popper ever makes the Top 10? As far as this routine goes, it’s sick, futuristic, and awesome. Great way to start the show.

Pole Dancer Appreciation Compilatio...
Pole Dancer Appreciation Compilation - Pole Inspiration For Beginners

Tonight, the dancers dance to the music of Michael Jackson. I expect Nigel to congratulate Allison at some point too, though I don’t remember him ever congratulating Witney… who is also a Dancing With The Stars pro.

Jenna Dewan-Tatum has returned to the judging panel. Too bad she didn’t return to the Step Up franchise. Witches Of East End is fun, if you guys haven’t seen anything of it.

Everyone gets a solo tonight. My prediction, as a reminder, is that we are saying goodbye to Jacque and Casey this week.

Casey is joining Mackenzie, and Jacque is joining Will next week.

Join me again next week.

1) Tanisha’s Solo- Warrior
She’s fierce. I wonder if she has a future as a SYTYCD All Star or as a Dancing With The Stars pro. She’s definitely grown on me.

2) Ricky and Jaimie- Contemporary by Travis Wall- Smile by Michael Jackson
Ricky’s inspiration is Victor Smalley, a former SYTYCDer. He was from Season 6. He’s Ricky’s teacher. Travis says that Ricky is the person to beat in the competition. Jaimie is taller than Ricky, which makes this a little interesting. It’s not a dark piece, which is a nice change for Travis. It’s beautiful to watch, but I’m not sure this will be the performance that will be remembered from this season. Cute. Fluff. Ricky, as usual, danced it beautifully. Jenna tells Ricky that he’s incredible, and blows her away, as does Travis. Mary says there are no clouds for Ricky.

Is Ricky Safe? Yes. He’s made the Top 3 Boys. He’s also dancing with Anya next week.

3) Zack’s Solo- Gotta Get Through This
Zack’s solo is really fun to watch. It’s easier for him to show his talent and uniqueness in a few seconds than some of the other dancers in other styles.

4) Valerie and Ryan- Samba by Jean Marc- Wanna Be Starting Something
Kathy Simpson is Valerie’s teacher. Valerie’s Dress is hot. She looks uncomfortable, like a Dancing With The Stars contestant would in one of the earlier weeks. Of course, she’s outdancing the Stars. But, if I’m being honest, she’s underwhelming. She’s very still in her movements, and lacks the body roll ability that you usually see in these routines. Her hips failed her, her shoulders failed her. A good attempt, but we’re at Top 4 week. Mary says Valerie attacked it, but had some minor criticisms. Nigel says she looks vivacious. Jenna says she was sexy, and on fire.

Is Valerie safe? Yes. She’s made the Top 3 girls. She’s dancing with Twitch next week.

5) Casey’s Solo- Outro
I’ve seen Casey spin a lot before, and this routine was a lot of spinning again.

6) Rudy’s Solo- Warrior
He’s the second soloist to dance to a song called Warrior tonight. It was an interesting solo. His family has Rudy Abreu T-Shirts to support him.

7) Casey and Comfort- Hip Hop by FarSide and Phoenix-
Tandy and Mandy are his dance teachers. The routine is called 8 Legged Love. Comfort is a spider trying to give Casey the kiss of death. Casey’s on a huge web at the top of the number. I’ll remember this number. Slick choreography, cool concept, and a very fierce Comfort. If Casey goes home this week, he finishes on a very strong note. If he stays, he’s made a case for him being in the Final 4. Best routine of the night so far. Nigel reminds us that Casey grows every week. Nigel wants him to keep growing, no matter what the results are. Even Nigel thinks Casey is gone. Jenna says Casey has incredible stage presence. Mary says it’s hard not to watch Comfort, and Casey got his jam on and was committed.

Results. Is Casey safe? No. He’s in the bottom two. We don’t find out if he has a partner next week.

8) Jacque- nocturne in C Sharp Minor
That was a pretty ballet solo.

9) Tanisha and Nick- Contemporary with Stacey Tookey- She’s Out Of My Life by Michael Jackson
Tanisha’s dance teacher tells us she’s excited to come to work, and loves seeing her work on the show. Tanisha plays the one who got away. Nick says Tanisha has a strong core. Another pretty contemporary routine. It had more purpose than Ricky’s routine, and was less fluff. It was just a beautiful routine. I liked it. Jenna wanted more angst in Tanisha’s face, but called her freaking amazing. Mary thought Nick was spectacular, and Tanisha stepped up to the plate. Mary calls her solid and consistent. Nigel says her core is tremendous, but she needs to show her vulnerability.

Is Tanisha safe? No. She’s in the bottom two.

10) Jessica’s Solo- Taking Chances
One of her stronger solos. I loved that she seemed to put some thought into making sure the dance matched the song.

11) Rudy and Allison- Contemporary by Ray- Dirty Diana
Rudy’s inspiration is Tokyo. It’s a dark routine. Allison is killing it. she’s destroying Rudy emotionally. She knows how to commit 200%. He was good, but she was great. Standing O from all three judges. I understand the standing O, but it’s honestly for Allison, who SLAYED that. Mary says Allison went all in, and Rudy went in with her. She says Rudy lifts her up. Nigel reminds him to stay in character. No mention of Allison’s new job. Hmmmm. Jenna says Allison isn’t normal, and Rudy is phenomenal. Apparently Rudy messed it up in dress rehearsal.

Rudy & Allison – Contemporary – SYTYCD Season… by IdolxMuzic

Is Rudy safe? No. He’s in the bottom two. I think this is his first time in the bottom.

11) Valerie’s Solo- Dance With Me Tonight
Zack is more of a showman than Valerie, who stays put a lot, when Zack covered most of the stage in his routine. She played it safe.

12) Zack and Makenzie- Broadway by Spencer Liff- The Way You Make Me Feel
Zack’s mentor Mark Goodman says he’s his all time favorite student. Zack is a showman, and dances so well you forget he’s a taper. That being said, this isn’t my favorite routine, even if Zack has stage presence for days. Makenzie is barely an all star. The good thing is that she’s not showing Zack up at all. She could be competing again, and no one would notice. Sorry Makenzie fans. I think this routine sets Rudy up to be in the final four in the finale. Nigel says he’s proud of Zack. Jenna says he nailed it and grows every week. Mary says Makenzie knocks her off her feet. She says Zack keeps growing, and does everything wholeheartedly.

Zack & Mackenzie – Broadway – SYTYCD Season 11… by IdolxMuzic

Zack is safe, and is dancing with Fik-Shun next week.

13) Ricky’s Solo- Haegt Kemur Ljosio
Better than Casey’s solo, but not the best solo of the night.

14) Jacque and Twitch- Hip Hop by Dave Scott- Slave To The Rhythm
Jacque’s inspiration is her older cousin Christianne. Twitch says she has to be street Jacque. There’s assorted garbage on the floor to help her go street. Her hairstyle this week is different… I like it. It’s hard not to be stood up by Twitch in Hip Hop. I think she’s actually one of the best girls at hip hop this season. She’s more believable in the style than some of the other girls were. Jenna says Jacque did it, and loved her neck and body rolls. Mary says Jacque was mesmerizing. Mary says she conquered it. Nigel says they were an incredible couple, and Twitch should do ballet next week. Nigel says Jacque has swag. Nigel drops bitch, but it gets edited out. lol.

Is Jacque safe? No. She’s in the bottom two.

Jacque, Tanisha, Rudy, and Casey are in danger. Obviously, this means Jessica is now safe.

The Michael Jackson exclusive is a new music video for a new Michael Jackson song. A Place Without No Name.

15) Jessica and Will- Contemporary with Mandy Moore- Earth Song
Jessica’s mentor is Talia, who scared her at first. Will represents the beauty and nature of earth, and Jessica represents someone who lives the fast life. Jessica is a beautiful dancer, who lacks the emotional connection to her work. Will gives 1000 percent. He’s fantastic. I’m glad they brought him back. He’s bringing out a better dancer in Jessica, but she still doesn’t connect emotionally. Standing O from the judges. Nigel bows to Will. Mary predicts Jessica will be in the finale. She is proud of Jessica. Nigel says Will is one of his favorite all stars, and says Jessica stole his heart with her dance for her life.

Jessica will dance with Ade next week.

Control Freaks, one of the dance crews, dances. They have tables and chairs on the stage. They’re all poppers. It looks like a super cool routine.

I still think Casey and Jacque are leaving us tonight.

WOW. Tanisha and Rudy are leaving. I totally got that wrong. Rudy’s dad looks devastated. Rudy is sobbing. Jacque doesn’t seem to care. I wonder if they broke up. Tanisha is composed, and gives a very poised response. Rudy is SOBBING.

About SirMac 241 Articles
Contributor to EIC of, Contributor at Holds a BA in Film from the University of Central Florida.


  1. I have to say…I was pretty impressed with Valerie tonight. She did better than I thought she would with ballroom.

  2. I thought I did the post already but I guess not. Lol

    Were on the same page about them featuring Ricky so much in the group routines. They just going to throw it in our faces they want him to win.

  3. Ooh, Burn on The Dawg. It’s true though. Never understood the put down on Broadway.

  4. I have to say, some of the all stars are really killing it tonight. Especially Comfort and Allison. It’s hard to pay attention to the actual contestants when they’re next to such talent. Although Casey did impress me with how hard he hit that hip hop.

  5. Yay! Jenna Dewan. is a judge! Step Up 1 will always be my favorite of the series, due in part to the awesome chemistry of the two leads and the fact that they were both very good dancers who didn’t have to hide behind backup dancers or rely on camera tricks to make it look like they could dance. But I digress!

    Rudy’s solo dance seemed like an Incredible Hulk re-enactment I’m not sure that was the effect he was trying to create. I loved the dance with him and Allison though. My favorite so far (although I missed the first tow performances)

    Casey and Comfort were good together but I always get distracted by Comfort’s arm movements, LOL!. I actually prefer Jasmine as an all-star HIp-hop partner

    WTF??!!!! Valerie had one of the worst performances last week, but she’s still safe. Whereas Tanisha gave one of the best performances last week and is in the bottom 2. I don’t get it. Well at least her Samba was better this week, She looked lovely in her outfit and some parts were great, but a lot of times she just looked stff and awkward whenever they had to dance close together. I want whatever the judges are smoking,because that was not good!

    So far, I’m liking the Michael Jackson theme tonight.


  6. Am I the only one who has not been impressed with Jessica since her audition. IMO she was this season’s let down on the dance floor. She reminds me of Alexa from season 9. On the other hand, I have been so impressed with Tanisha and even Valerie, although the latter owes a lot of her success to the fact that she had Ricky as a partner.

  7. ITA. I had to make a point to watch the contestants. Allison KILLED tonight. I know that Rudy was on the stage, but I don’t remember anything he did.

  8. Bummer!!! Tanisha deserved to be in the finale more than any of the other three girls. She didn’t make a wrong step throughout the season. Too bad! TPTB seem to be trying to do whatever they can to ensure that Jessica wins. I wonder who she is connected to because her dancing certainly isn’t connecting with the audience.

  9. I’m surprised that voters don’t see the technical merit of Tanisha, but I can understand that much of the voting is based on personality, and her’s is kind of quiet. The top 3 guys are all very strong, so it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

  10. Something must be connecting, because at this point, it’s not up to tptb. It’s all up to the audience.

  11. What! Tanisha is my favourite. :( I guess I’m on Jaque’s team now, but I don’t think she’ll last. And I can’t believe Rudy got eliminated. I honestly thought he was TCO. But he overacts too much so I don’t really like him.

  12. Ricky is ridiculous. That solo…I mean, he has this freakish control over every muscle in his body, from his fingertips to his toes, but dances with absolute abandon. That is why he’s special. You can teach technique, but he has this quality you can’t teach.

    I also love the versatility and performance swagger of Zack. Offstage he seems pretty chill but onstage that dude is completely in charge.

    Ricky and Zack actually remind me somewhat of Travis and Benji. Tranji 2.0? Come on, America, do it, do it….

    Anyway, in like 10 seasons, my preferred final four were the actual final four only once- in season 3. This season the hope is still alive. While Tanisha, Jacque and Casey all really grew on me, I still want to see Zack/Val and Ricky/Jess reunited for another dance. We’ve had a lot of amazing choreo and a really, really strong top 10, but for me no duet has topped Jess/Ricky and Val/Zack’s two numbers from the top 20 showcase.

  13. This is true. Rudy was probably my least favorite guy left but I still think he’s entertaining and will be sad that he’s not dancing next week. One of the best top tens in awhile. Course I’ve always been partial to tap and contemporary so maybe that’s why I love this group lol.

  14. I noticed the same thing, re: Rudy and Jacque, they basically ignored each other. Maybe that’s partly why he was overly emotional. In any case, really surprised Tanisha went home, but I guess someone’s gotta go. They are all so good at this point.

  15. Aw, first Emilio, now Tanisha. I’m sad.

    At the start of the episode I wanted Rudy to be eliminated, but then I actually felt really bad for him when he was. Those tears were genuine.

  16. Surprised by the results, I thought both dancer would go to the finals. Tanisha was the best overall girl this year and Rudy has that boyish charm that seem to go a long way with the voters.

    I guess the Rudy/Valerie power couple hype of the first few weeks has still enough steam to carry her through even tough she’s not that great.

  17. The right two people went home tonight. Rudy was over the top emotionally and not a great dancer. Tanisha was a good dancer but just didn’t connect emotionally with either the routines or the audience.

    I picked Zack to win this but I thought the vote for Ricky message was pretty clear tonight. He truly is the best dancer technically but Zach is more interesting. I thought Casey was really good tonight but he will be the next to go.

    I disagreed with the reviewer on Valerie tonight. I thought she danced really well in a style that should have made her look worse. Her hip action looked great to me and she looked pretty amazing in that outfit. Jessica was pretty okay but I felt her partner outdid her. I’ve watched every year of this show but I don’t have a clear memory of Will…they should have him on more. I think Jacque is a beautiful dancer but her connection with the audience is not quite on par the other girls.

    I think Casey and Jacque go next week if there are no Nigel inspired new wrinkles.

  18. I have a background in dance and IMO Valerie should not have been in the top 20.

  19. Tanisha does not have a traditional dancers body but she brings it big time when she dances! Not liking the Michael Jackson music at all. So boring!

  20. Well somebody saw something in her because she seems to be doing quite well. Remember…it’s America’s FAVORITE dancer.

  21. It probably didn’t help her that she was most effortlessly sexy of the girls to make the top 10. It’s easy for people to think that sexiness is standing in for or covering for a lack of talent (which is what Nigel accused Malene of before she was eliminated). With Tanisha, though, that sexiness comes from the fact that she has great control over her body positions and dances from her core.

  22. Does anyone else think jaque looks like caitlinn lawson from s8?? Sucks that tanisha left. She deserved the spot more than even jessica and valarie. heck CARLY deserved the spot more than jessica or valarie IMO

  23. True….and if there’s anything we’ve learned from other shows like DWTS: America’s favorite dancer sometimes has very little to do with how well they dance. I just expected a higher standard from a show like SYTYCD

  24. Will Wingfield was a contestant in Season 4. My favourite routine of his was with a dancer Katee Shean to Imagine that season in the top 10 (perhaps top 8 or 6 but he was not in the final 4 that year). He did not wear dreads in those days so perhaps that is why you don’t recall him? Very talented dancer and a humble gentleman. Nice to see him as an All Star.

  25. I completely agree (and I also have a dance background). People like Valerie’s personality and think she’s cute, but to me, she’s not at the same level as any of the other top 20 dancers, which is why its almost a travesty that she’s outliving all of them… I keep hearing the argument that she “connects” with the audience or that she has more personality. This might be true based on her offstage interviews. But when it comes to the actual performance, that connection completely evaporates.

    Tanisha is the opposite. She doesn’t seem to have much of a personality in her offstage interviews, but once she starts dancing, she completely transforms into this different person, which I find pretty cool. It’s even more striking in the group dances where she frequently outshines a lot of the other dancers. To me, that’s where the connection really matters. I suspected that she wouldn’t be an audience favourite, but her elimination is really a shame.

  26. In the end, this show mostly gets it right I think. The best combination of dancer/personality usually prevails. Tanisha may not have went out in the order you preferred but she wasn’t going to win and in the end…neither will Valerie. You could make the case that Carly was better than either one but she is long gone so I’m sure some folks are equally upset about that. Besides, two tappers this late in the competition is Nigel’s ultimate dream and that may be the real driving force.

  27. With Tanesha, one of my favorites, gone, I’d be happy with a Ricky or a Zack win. I really haven’t noticed the Ricky pimping as much as everyone else, but maybe that’s because I understand the hype. Even in today’s group number, he was only briefly featured at the very beginning, but I still found it hard not to notice him over the others. I love Zach too, and I’d be cool with him winning, but I think that Ricky is just more versatile.

    The girls are a little trickier to judge. Last year was a lot easier, because I thought Amy and Jasmine were easily the frontrunners. This year, Tanesha seemed to be the only consistent female, but now she’s gone! I’m not sure why I’m so surprised. She doesn’t have that cute or bubbly look that often attracts viewers, and I don’t think she’s Nigel’s “type”, I just hoped that it wouldn’t matter, given how much she came to life onstage. Jessica is my 2nd favorite. Her performances have been a mixed bag (although it could be partner or choreography- related), but she’s usually flawless, and I like her on-stage personality. Then there’s Valerie’s, whose continued presence still baffles me, Even the gorgeous Samba outfit couldn’t hide the fact that her actual dancing was anything but smooth or sexy, and the fact that the choreographer had to give her one of the easiest Samba routines, speaks volumes. She’ll probably be safe again. Sigh. That leaves Jacque, who is actually very good, but somehow not incredibly memorable (not sure why) Maybe that will change with fewer constestants left!

  28. I always enjoy SYTYCD! Valerie is such a good dancer. I have been casting votes for her and for Casey. I wonder if he can sing as I can picture him on Broadway. I mentioned that he reminded me of Bobby (Mickey Mouse Club, 1950s), but I could see him playing Dick Van Dyke bio. Silly, I know.

  29. Agree with you on Valerie…still a little stiff but has come such a long way. If your going old school with Casey (Bobby) then I have to say Zack gives me a Howdy Doody vibe with some of his looks…ha. He’s my pick this year.

  30. Allison Holker is the best dancer in the history of this show, I can’t wait to see what she does on DWTS. Maybe they are adding Contemporary into the mix?

  31. I’m with you on all counts. I was hoping Jessica would go home a couple of weeks ago. Although she has a lot of my male friends totally grabbed and they vote like crazy. It’s like there is no one else on the show!

  32. I’m so disappointed that Tanisha is gone. Isn’t this the second week in a row Jessica got the pimp spot? they are doing everything to push her.

  33. Of the dancers left, Valerie is clearly the weakest. She’s cute and reminds me of a “girl next door” type, and that’s what’s saving her. As was stated above, she did look like a “Dancing with the Stars” contestant. I had to laugh when I read that because that’s exactly what was going through my mind last night. It didn’t help that those hair extensions looked kind of ridiculous. Just didn’t suit her at all.

  34. You have to have a strong fanbase when you get ballroom. Otherwise you will be in the bottom. Rudy and Tanisha were great in their ballroom routines but… That’s why it’s best to get ballroom when Nigel can save you. And I think that’s why Ricky is getting ballroom next week. I don’t think we’ll vote on those routines. We’ll vote on the F4 routines.

    Tanisha has been the most consistent girl performer but she doesn’t have the look that the young girls gravitate toward. Jessica is cute and good in contemporary/jazz. They even gave her a jazz routine for hip hop and Nigel reminds us every week how good she is. Valerie is the spunky girl who tries hard and conquers, Jacque is the pretty girl who everyone likes.

    Rudy was stung by ballroom. Even the Hot Tamale Train couldn’t save him. Ricky has been coddled all season and Nigel reminds us every week how good he is. Zack’s been given a lot of contemp/jazz routines lately to try to keep him in. Nigel loves Casey. Every since he ended in the bottom from his showcase, Nigel has been taking up for him. It finally paid off. Kind of like Kayla in S5.

    The show manipulates the routines and critiques so much that it takes all the joy. I know Ricky is the favorite but he hasn’t proven anything to me. I look for SYTYCD winners to be versatile with performance quality. For me, the only one left who’s close to that is Zack.

  35. Honestly, i know its pointed out so many times, but how could they have 4 contemporary routines in one night? The fact that they gave out one?? ballroom routine only, it just makes me that much sure that they are not even trying to hide about the fact that they no longer care about diversity. Also i know Ricky is fantastic and all, i agree on it wholeheartedly, but he danced contemporary again and even got paired up with Jaime for a piece choreographed by TRAVIS!! They are really desperate for him to win.

  36. Jessica is my favorite; shows we all see different things. All of these dancers are wonderful. My least favorite is Jacque … Tanisha is far better dancer, imho. Living on West coast and needing to be at work early, I’ve been recording, so not voting. Time to change my ways.

  37. Does anyone know if ABC has figured out there may be a market for
    creating DVDs of each season? I sure would buy them.

  38. Can’t at ALL agree with you about Jessica. I can’t imagine how much more emotion she could have conveyed! From her face to her forced stamps, to her lyrical turns and reaches … she agonized in that piece (and others). There were a few weeks where some awkward partnering threw her, but I think her emotionalism is what sets her apart, as I’ve seen better technical dancers on the show. I absolutely agree about Will, who remains one of my favorite male dancers EVER on this show–I’ll take all the Will they want to include! :-)

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