Join me here tonight as two more dancers are sent home, and our top 8 is revealed. We’re down to the wire here. Who will win this thing?
Tonight the Top 10 dance with All-Stars. I’m excited.
Top 10 Opening Number Choreographed by Sonya Tayeh: Earth Intruders by Bjork
It’s a weird opening number. A little tribal. It does a fair job of evenly showcasing all the dancers. I hate when a group number favors one or two dancers over the rest. This one evenly matches them. Lots of cool lifts.
I haven’t mentioned this, but Twitch’s level of swag this season is on point. Those hats. Love it.
Which team pulled in the most votes last week? Team Street won again with 51% of the votes, and Team Stage got 49%. More bad news tonight. JJ has damaged her ribs, and can’t perform tonight. If she survives this week, she’s automatically in danger next week. The judges will decide who goes home. So no more twitter save, but the judges get to pick.
Our judges are still Paula, Jason, and Nigel. I gotta say, both Paula and Jason have grown on me. I’ve seen them both deliver some fine feedback this season. The winner gets to dance in J.Lo’s show in Vegas. It’s not quite On The Town, but… it’s something.
The Top 10 choreographed solos to songs from Empire. Synergy!
1st Solo- Virgil- Conqueror
Virgil has a package before his solo. He was in After Midnight on Broadway. His package doesn’t bring up that he almost made the Top 20 in a previous season. I didn’t forget though. I’m glad they get to do solos. They haven’t done them in so long. Virgil’s was good. A little bit of floor work.
1st Routine- Hailee and Brandon Bryant- Broadway with Warren Carslyle- It Don’t Mean A Thing by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga
I wish they invited Evan Kasperzak back for Broadway, but whatever. Hailee looks fantastic. She probably has a future on Broadway. Brandon has only gotten better. Hailee doesn’t pale in his shadow though. This girl can win guys. I really believe it. I know I gave it to Megz, but it was by a tiny hair. I might even change it next week. This was a happy routine. A fluff piece. It showed off Hailee’s personality. Standing O from the judges (OK, it wasn’t THAT good, calm down). Does Brandon dance for Britney Spears? Nigel praises Warren, who choreographed After Midnight (fun fact). Paula says she was like Liza Minelli, and she breathes life into her characters. Jason says she was a star. RESULTS! Hailee is safe!
2nd Solo- Neptune- Power of the Empire
Neptune is from Northern California, but lived in Arkansas for a while, and eventually Dallas. He’s been dancing since 13. He wants to move closer to his daughter. His solo is mostly Krump, and its solid.
2nd Routine- Derek and Kayla- Jazz by RJ and Nick-Got It by Marian Hill
Derek is basically in his style this week. Kayla is just so incredibly sexy in this. Her hair is like a character all its own. Derek is believably masculine in this. I’m impressed. That over the back flip was amazing. This is Derek’s best dance this season. Not crazy about the music, but the choreo is on point. Kayla is on point. She’s incredible. Paula says his strength prevailed this week. Paula loved the flip also. Her constructive criticism is that he needs more passion in his dance. Jason says we saw a different side of him, and says it was fly. He fed off of Kayla’s magnificent energy. Nigel says he couldn’t take his eyes off Kayla, but Derek pulled it through in the end. He credits Kayla for pulling a different side out of him. RESULTS! Derek is in the bottom two stage dancers.
3rd Solo- Gaby- Can’t Truss Em
Gaby is only 19. Wow. She always seemed older to me. Her mom was a dancer growing up, and her dad is a musician. She’s friends with Nick, Rudy, and Ricky from last season. FIERCE solo. My favorite so far. She showed so much attitude in just a few seconds. Great job.
4th Solo- Would have been JJ
We get JJ’s package, even though she can’t dance. JJ mentioned she had a hard time picking up choreo, so she started taking dance classes. RESULTS! JJ is in the bottom two.
3rd Routine- Virgil and Comfort- Hip Hop by Christopher Scott- Just My Imagination by The Temptations
They’re playing a couple who is spending their first night in their apartment together. It’s a smooth hip hop routine. So much personality on this stage. They’re a great duo. Evenly matched. And they have chemistry. I love this routine. My favorite of the night so far. Virgil is making a play for the crown. LOVED THAT. Jason says it was “just right”. He says Virgil is the one to beat. Nigel thinks Virgil was born to dance, and thinks Virgil and Comfort would have nice babies. Paula says he makes everyone smile. Paula thinks Virgil runs on batteries. Virgil’s girlfriend is in the audience. RESULTS! Virgil is safe.
5th Solo- Jaja- Kepp It Movin
Jaja is from Czech Republic. She was cut last year, but she’s happy to be on this season. I love her solos. She’s a great soloist. Perhaps the best on Team Street. She just killed it. My favorite Team Street solo so far tonight. Lily is in the audience!
The Top 10 is touring! Good for them. Ticket sales begin August 25th.
4th Routine- Megz and Marko- Jazz with Ray Leeper- Canned Heat by Jamaroquai
Marko is a formidable dancer for her to be against. Honestly, she comes across a little stiff for me. She’s definitely having fun, but Marko is outperforming her. It’s the first time I can say that from a routine tonight, that the dancer is obviously being outperformed by the all star. It’s just a little stiff for me. Marko just flows better in the style. This isn’t so far from hip hop either. Those flips were a cool way to end the routine, but it was just OK for me. Nigel loved it. He says she stands out every performance she gives. He says she’s sensational. He tells her to work on her flexibility a bit. Paula says she was magnificent, and tells the audience to give her a round of applause. Paula says Ray is saving jazz dancing. Jason says she’s always been one of her favorites because of the pocket she dances in, and she’s catapulted herself to a contender on the show. RESULTS! Megz is in the bottom two. WOW. Bye, JJ. That means, automatically, Neptune and Jaja are both safe.
6th Solo- Jim- You’re So Beautiful
Jim is 26? Wow. He danced with Houston Ballet. He gets SO MUCH AIR in his solo. He could be a basketball player. Not my favorite solo, but it was really short. It felt shorter than the others for some reason.
5th Routine- Edson and Jamie- Contemporary with Travis- Your Day Will Come by Son Lux
Edson gets a Travis routine. That’s how you make a comeback. The stage is almost too dark. I can’t really see his face that well. Or Jamie’s for that matter. It’s hard to see if he’s connected emotionally the whole dance. There are some moments where he doesn’t look invested, and others where he does. I can’t tell if the lighting choice helps or hurts him. As far as a dancer, he’s just doing a lot of lifting, so it shows off his strength I suppose. Not my favorite Travis routine. Standing O from the judges. Maybe it played better live. Nigel thought it was a powerful routine, and thinks this was Edson’s best so far on the show. Paula says this was one of her favorite Travis routines ever. She calls this a game changer for Edson. She loved his transitions, and the lifts. I loved the lifts too, to be fair. He was really strong in this. She says this was one of the most magical numbers. Jason says Paula just wrote a song. LOL. He says that it was definitely his breakout performance. He thinks it’ll be remembered for a long time. RESULTS! Edson is in the bottom two. That means both Gaby and Jim are safe. My gut instinct says Edson stays over Derek.
7th Solo- Hailee- Nothing To Lose
She auditioned in Season 10 and Season 11. Her parents were going through a divorce when she first auditioned in Season 10. I wish contemporary dancers would refrain from falling back on pirouettes in their solos. I didn’t care for Hailee’s solo. It was just alright.
6th Routine- Neptune and Jasmine- Hip Hop by Pharside and Phoenix- Milk was a Bad Choice- Yultron
It’s Frankenstein and his Bride. OK. I love this routine. That back crawl was cool. It’s a crazy routine, and it shows off Neptune’s bone breaking abilities. Jasmine is always welcome back too. Neptune really embodied the character. Dark horse, definitely. Standing O from the judges. Jason says it was crazy. He says Neptune brings it every week, and could be one to beat as well. Nigel loves the theatricality of the dance, and his daughter will be proud of him. Paula says Neptune keeps getting better and better. Nigel says something about Jasmine making Twitch a star… but Twitch has been around a lot longer than Jasmine. Nigel be crazy. RESULTS! We already know Neptune is safe.
8th Solo- Derek- Drip Drop
Derek started dancing because of So You Think You Can Dance. Travis inspired him. That must make Travis feel old. He studied with Victor Smalley, at the same studio of Ricky from last season. Some cool tricks in his solo. He took more advantage of his time than Hailee did. He opened with the pirouette, and didn’t come back to it.
7th Routine- Jim and Jessica- Contemporary with Dee Caspary – Heal by Tom Odell
Jim struggled learning the routine. This music is fantastic. I think he’s making more of a moment here than Edson did. He’s incredible. Jessica is incredible too. He’s invested in the routine. Fantastic job. I’m surprised the judges didn’t give that a standing O. Nigel thought it was a beautiful routine, and can’t fault Jim’s technique. He says his technique takes his breath away. He wants Jim to connect more, and have more chemistry with his partner. I thought he had more chemistry than Edson. Paula agrees, and says he’s truly magnificent. Jason tells him to throw the technique out, and just focus on the storyline. Depimping Jim? It’s happening. Paula says she really did enjoy it. RESULTS! Jim is already safe.
9th Solo- Megz- No Apologies
Megz is 29. Wow. Her parents are professional ballroom dancers. She originally didn’t want to dance. She auditioned in Season 5, and got cut in Vegas. She’s shocked that she’s still here. Megz kills a fierce and angry solo. It also felt shorter than the others. But, she killed it.
8th Routine- Jaja and Alex- Bollywood with Nakul- Naacho Re from Jai Ho
Jaja gets stuck with Bollywood. At least she’s doing it with Alex. Twitch says Jaja is struggling. Jaja being a girly girl is a nice contrast to her solo, where she was anything but. I gotta say, she’s pulling this off better than I thought she would. Alex is killing it. Cute routine. Lots of fun. She actually surprised me. Standing O from the judges. Paula praises Nakul for the routine, and says Jaja can do it all. She says Jaja is a firecracker. Jason calls her a chameleon. Nigel says WHOOPIE over and over. Whoopi is in the audience, and apparently loves Jaja. Nigel says she’s a princess of dance. He calls her brilliant. RESULTS: Jaja is already safe.
10th Solo- Edson– I Wanna Love You
Edson used to play a lot of sports, and even used to be a cheerleader till he got teased for doing it. He auditioned for the kids he teaches. My favorite contemporary solo. He actually tried to do something different, showing his personality, and putting on this sexy/cool thing. I think Derek and Hailee both missed their opportunities, but Edson took full advantage of it. Good job.
9th Routine- Gaby and Josh- Hip Hop by Pharside and Phoenix- I’m Really Hot by Missy Elliot
Gaby’s dancing with a winner. That’s tough. She’s doing a good job in this Geisha inspired routine. She spent a little too much time sitting on the floor while Josh dances. I think she’s doing a good job, but… against Josh? It’s hard to say they’re on the same level, cause they aren’t. But, I still loved the routine. She just had a really tough all star. Standing O from the judges. Jason didn’t know she had that in her. He enjoyed it thoroughly. Nigel says this was his favorite show of the season. He says every dancer has done great tonight. He says he adores Gaby. He picks Gaby and Jaja as his favorites right now. Paula says she’s mastered everything in dance. She has swagger and attention to detail. She’s truly a remarkable contestant. RESULTS! Gaby is already safe.
SAFE SO FAR:
Team Stage: Hailee, Gaby, Jim
Team Street: Virgil, Neptune, Jaja
Team Street: JJ, Megz
Team Stage: Derek, Edson
I’m hoping they save Edson and Megz. Wait… the judges aren’t picking? What was that crap about JJ automatically being in danger next week?
Edson and JJ are leaving the competition.
Wow. We kept Derek around again. He just defies the odds.
I know Nigel doesn’t read my liveblog, but if he does… can I just make a small request? You have so many dancers that have actually appeared on Broadway, that to use someone like Brandon, is almost insulting. Alex had to dance Bollywood, instead of doing Broadway, despite having spent quite a bit of time in the cast of Newsies. And why not invite Evan Kasperzak back as the Broadway all-star? He’s the only one to ever make the top 20 as a Broadway style dancer. There are other dancers, but my point is… I’d like to see Broadway dancers as Broadway all stars.
Join me again next week as the Top 8 become the Top 6. You gotta vote. Otherwise Derek will knock out another deserving dancer. Yes, I went there. #sorrynotsorry. It’s all fun and games until Derek knocks out Hailee or Gaby. Then the rage starts.
Sound off in the comments. Sad to see JJ and Edson go?