Tonight, the top ten dancers compete LIVE for America’s votes as we begin to narrow the field to find this season’s champion. In this first two-hour episode of the season, the ten remaining contestants will be paired together and dance twice, in two different styles, with two choreographers. Twitch officially joins the judging panel for the rest of the season and voting commences at the conclusion of the show.
Voting for SYTYCD is easy. You can choose any (or all) of these methods to cast your votes:
1. at fox.com/dance/vote – a valid facebook or email is required
2. using the FOXNOW app – no login required once you download the app
3. text – use the information under the dancer’s name to cast a vote via text message
Each method has a limit of twenty votes, though you can vote more if you use a different facebook/email/or text number. While power voting isn’t as easy as season’s past, it is still possible for those trying to save their favorites. For more information, go to fox.com/dance and click the voting f.a.q. link.
We begin with a gorgeous group routine. This show does group numbers like no other. Everyone in the top ten gets a chance to shine, regardless of genre of dance. So pretty. Travis Wall is responsible for the choreography here. Out comes Cat and we are off! The winner of this season will join the cast of “Rent,” which is airing on FOX in January.
Jay Jay & Jensen – dancing a samba choreographed by Jean-Marc Genereux
Well, this is Jensen’s style, and it showed. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. Unfortunately, Jay Jay wasn’t able to keep up completely. He was an adequate partner but some of those tricks were a bit rough looking and you could tell this was one of the first times he is trying out the samba. It was a good, fast, and exciting number to start the show but it was all about Jensen here.
Mary says it was great. She gives Jay Jay some pointers on how to improve his samba but she is proud of him. Mary compliments Jensen on a job well done. Nigel expected Jensen to be fantastic. He tells Jay Jay that he had really good samba hips. Vanessa was excited to see the duo. She calls Jensen a star and says Jay Jay crushed it. Twitch loves the partnership due to trust and commitment. He calls it a beautiful thing.
Text “Jay Jay” to 21523
Text “Jensen” to 21523
Cole & Hannahlei – dancing contemporary choreographed by Tyce Diorio
Had I not known Cole was out of his style, I would have thought he was a contemporary dancer. As opposed to the first routine of the night, I saw what was needed from both partners. A lovely and emotional piece danced beautifully by these two. If I need to critique something, I would say that I saw a couple of moments where the pair wasn’t in-sync while doing some side by side steps but with contemporary, it is rather difficult to know if that is on purpose or not.
Nigel compliments Tyce on the idea of the dance. He declares Hannahlei is this season’s warrior princess. He compliments Cole on being a ballroom dancer who does contemporary this well. Vanessa agrees with Nigel and calls it magical. She loves Hannah’s lines and Cole’s pure and honest movement doing contemporary. Twitch continues the praise and is amazed at how beautiful it was. Mary says it was their “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” moment. She says they have it and everyone else has to catch it.
Text “Cole” to 21523
Text “Hannahlei” to 21523
Evan & Chelsea – dancing jazz choreographed by Ray Leeper
Hmm. That was cute. I’m not sure it was exuding as much chemistry as the rehearsal package showed. Evan looked a bit uncomfortable at times. Chelsea did a solid job but I don’t think the two are there yet in terms of looking like a power couple doing a routine. It was a good dance that didn’t really have anything super memorable for me that I would think back on once the night is over.
Vanessa was feeling and loving it. She feels they are both incredible performers. She gives a couple of critiques regarding Chelsea, feeling as though some technical aspects could have been stronger. Twitch thanks them for bringing heat. He feels there was a bit of a disconnect as the dance went on. He wants them to sell it more. Mary was convinced they were having fun but she feels the chemistry looked a bit forced. Nigel agrees and has nothing else to say. Well, ok then.
Text “Evan” to 21523
Text “Chelsea” to 21523
Slavik & Genessy – dancing hip-hop choreographed by Luther Brown
Wow. Slavik is a beast in his style. That was really, really good. I don’t think Genessy matched him but she did well enough where it didn’t bother me. She had some good groove going. They had chemistry off the charts here, which helps sell the dance. I think had Genessy been a bit more in the pocket with getting down and dirty, this would have sailed into being my favorite dance of the night. Without question though, a showcase for Slavik.
Twitch says Genessy is no longer flying under the radar. He says Slavik’s confidence is so high and he thanks them both. Mary says she bought every single bit of it. She says she is no longer in agony about Genessy being in the top ten. Nigel says they made the routine look easy when it isn’t. Nigel says he is “lit” right now. Vanessa wasn’t expecting the duo to be as on point as it was.
Text “Slavik” to 21523
Text “Genessy” to 21523
Darius & Magda – dancing contemporary choreographed by Travis Wall
MMM. So good. So so good. I loved the use of the prop- playing one another as instruments. It added another layer to a piece that was already filled with emotion. Magda was lovely. Darius was stunning. Perhaps the most technically proficient dance of the night so far.
Twitch gives Travis compliments. He loved how much Magda surrendered in the dance. Mary says this routine made the two of them very dangerous dancers for the rest of the couples. She says Darius dominated it and Magda kept up completely. Nigel says everything came together. Vanessa is kind of speechless. She says the both of them blew her away.
Text “Darius” to 21523
Text “Magda” to 21523
Cole & Hannahlei – dancing a paso doble choreographed by Jean-Marc Genereux
As expected, Cole is stunning in ballroom. Those staccato paso steps were on point. He was the man, in charge, and powerful throughout. Hannahlei could have matched him a bit better in parts but she took to it decently. It was a very simple paso- with all the expected technical aspects clear and precise. A good dance and these two have had a good night overall.
Mary thought they did a great job. She felt Hannahlei went in and out a bit. She still thinks it was an amazing job. She felt Cole was strong throughout. Nigel thought the choreo was smart in hiding some of what Hannahlei was missing in technique. He preferred the first dance from them. Vanessa loved Cole’s lines and how masculine he was. Twitch felt Cole is a dependable partner and Hannahlei put a lot of trust into him.
Jay Jay & Jensen – dancing jazz choreographed by Mandy Moore
I enjoyed this more than the pairings first dance of the night. The outfits, for me, were a tad distracting. I didn’t see the need for them. But the dancing was good. Jensen took to jazz really well and Jay Jay had some lovely athletic moments in that.
Nigel is in a bit of a dilemma. He feels the dance was a bit too sharp at times and it takes away from the emotion. He felt a little bit cold. Mary disagrees. She feels Jensen was a beast. She calls it flawless. Vanessa also disagrees with Nigel. She loved it, especially Jensen’s precision. And Twitch also disagrees with Nigel. He agrees with everything Mary and Vanessa said.
Evan & Chelsea – dancing tap choreographed by Anthony Morigerato
Okay, so Evan is a brilliant tap dancer- this we already knew. He handled the heavy lifting here of course. And he was fabulous. Kudos to Chelsea for giving it a go. She did a competent job. Was it perfect? No. She got out of sync sometimes with Evan and her parts were very watered down but I have to give her some credit because hello, she isn’t a tap dancer and having such a limited amount of time to learn a routine with tap is so very difficult.
Vanessa says Evan’s tapping is on another level. She says Chelsea did her best to sell it. Twitch says Evan was awesome but he also gives Chelsea credit for doing a tap number. Mary thinks the routine wasn’t up to Evan’s level but she calls it sweet and thinks people at home will love it. Nigel says the choreo was diluted to make it work and it worked somewhat. He wants to see Evan dancing with Gaby. OUCH NIGEL. Don’t be so mean.
Slavik & Genessy – dancing contemporary choreographed by Talia Favia
WOW. Who is this Slavik? LOL. Like seriously, this dude just took to contemporary like a fish to water. I am so impressed. It was a really nice routine elevated by an undeniable chemistry I am seeing from these two. Genessy was clearly better here than in hip-hop earlier but man, this routine and the first tonight showed me that Slavik isn’t playing on this show. He came to dance.
Twitch compliments Slavik’s commitment and calls Genessy beautiful. Mary says both of them had two standing ovations tonight. She loved it. Nigel says both were put through for growth. And he feels that tonight, this couple really nailed it. Vanessa says it was beautiful.
Darius & Magda – dancing a cha-cha-cha choreographed by Val Chmerkovskiy
Darius is such a showman. He is pure entertainment. Magda was of course, great in this. A little issue with the choreo, and I have the same issue when Val is on that other dancing show I blog for. He tends to waste time in a dance and he tends to like to showcase the couple too much without them dancing together. He does that quite a bit. I wanted to see more cha-cha from both together as opposed to feeling they were doing their own thing for so much of the time. But there’s no denying Magda’s skill here and Darius’ work as a showman. Good stuff.
Mary compliments Darius’ vibe. She feels his footwork had some issues though. She screams for Magda. Nigel says this was controlled sexuality. He says both were great. Vanessa starts singing the song. Yes, she does. She calls it fire. Twitch calls it dope and loved how it was like they weren’t doing a routine.
And with that, the first live show of the season comes to a close. Voting for your favorites is now open and I will be back in a week’s time for another episode, which will sadly include eliminations. :( Don’t let your favorites slip away. A guy and girl will be leaving next week (not necessarily a couple) so we could be switching things up. Have a great week all. :D