SYTYCD Recap: Top 8

Things I loved about the opening of the show: Cat Deeley's lacy black dress, Chehon's mint green jeans (don't try this at home, boys) and the realization that Jesse Tyler Ferguson would be the guest judge this evening. He should just be a permanent judge. I wonder if he'd be great on American Idol too? I'm sure he would. Let's give him the job! But I digress. 

Best. Judge. Ever.

Remember last week how I discovered the judges (particularly Uncle Nigel) really telegraphed the results in their critiques? I'm going to try to guess this time.

Witney & All-Star Twitch - East Coast Hip-Hop
She really sold that, didn't she? There was nothing about that performance that would make anyone suspicious she was anything but a hip-hop dancer, much less actually a ballroom dancer. The judges lavished her with praise and Nigel even mentioned saving her previously, so I'm guessing she is safe tonight. She should be. Unless he brought up saving her because... no, she has to be safe, right?

Cole & All-Star Allison - Contemporary
This number once again let Cole show off his strength and ability to really get deep into a character. But has he really had his technique challenged yet? I enjoyed Jesse Tyler Ferguson's critique that it seemed like an American Horror Story promo, because that is right on (how CREEPY have those teasers been, by the way!?). The judges comments leave me feeling comfortable that Cole is safe tonight as well. His solo just might have been the best of the night, too- he packed everything he could into the little time allotted.

Eliana & All-Star Ryan - Quickstep
Board housewife wants attention? Haven't we seen this story a few times on this show already? Regardless, for a dance that has been the kiss of death for so many contestants, Eliana seemed to have no trouble with it at all. It's so easy for her, it's almost not fair. She must be safe.

Lindsay & All-Star Alex - Jazz
How awesome is it to have Alex Wong back on the show? It might be the show's greatest tragedy that he never got to make it through a season as a competitor. I didn't buy the chemistry at all. For sure. The judges agree and the somber critiques foreshadow that Lindsay will be in trouble. With her so-so solo (ballroom solos are tough enough, you can't waste any time getting into it, girl!), I believe she might be done.

Will & All-Star Lauren - Hip-hop
I like goofy Will, but serious Will isn't so bad either. He showed in his solo he could take things seriously too (was that the first solo we've seen from him?) so it was great seeing this side of him, although it would have been nice to see him do some more partnering with Lauren. Nigel told him that he didn't believe he had to worry about feeling down tonight. Safe?

Cyrus & All-Star Melanie - Jazz
Nigel didn't even try to pretend that Cyrus had a chance at being in the bottom this week. So he's safe. But now I'm confused because I seem to think everybody (except Lindsay) so far is safe. The worst part about him being safe all the time is that we haven't gotten to see him do his thing in WEEKS! So amazing. i just don't understand how anyone can move like that. P.S. I was reminded why I adored Melanie last season. She is fantastic.

Chehon & All-Star Anya - Tango
Ballroom is funny. I was thinking that although beautiful, it was the least tangoey tango I had ever seen, and wouldn't you know it, they get a standing ovation. He has to be safe too? I'm so confused.

Tiffany & All-Star Ade - Contemporary
SHE IS SO RIGHT about this being a song that's impossible not to sing along with... even though it's impossible to sing it properly (note to Anna, my Celine-loving friend: make sure you watch this intro video when you eventually return from beautiful Ireland and watch this episode). You can't not have an amazing performance to a song like this.

Ranking the Top 8:
  1. Chehon
  2. Cole (saved!)
  3. Eliana
  4. Witney (saved!)
  5. Will
  6. Tiffany
  7. Cyrus
  8. Lindsay

Results & Who Should Go Home:
They tricked me! I had a feeling that Cole might slip into the bottom instead of Cyrus, since he's just too darn loveable... but Nigel promised Will he wouldn't feel down tonight. And then he eliminates him? That seems cruel. But, I am of course thrilled they kept Cole. The girls were easier to call.

Judges don't get a save next week. My guess? Tiffany's standing ovation secures her a spot in the finale and if Witney fans rally to make up for her almost being eliminated the past two weeks and she gets the added benefit of Lindsay's votes, there might be a little upset. It seems like Cyrus can do no wrong, and with Chehon's emotional night (bonus points for mom!) he just might make it in over Cole. Sigh. They all deserve to make it!

But seriously. Shouldn't they just make Jesse Tyler Ferguson a permanent judge? ALL ABOARD THE HOT JALAPENO BUS!!! And can we have NEIL back as an All-Star next week!? Maybe Kent? And the other Lauren? Those are my wishes.

SYTYCD Recap: Top 10 & All-Stars!

SO excited for the reveal of the All-Stars. I resisted the temptation to look up who they would be in advance so they better not let me down! How could they though, really?

Tiffany & All-Star Brandon (season 5) - Disco
Eleven lifts! Eleven!!! I still think TIffany was lucky to get in the Top 10 over Amelia or Janelle, but she definitely gave an exciting, energy-filled performance. I still wouldn't pick up the phone to vote for her.

Witney & All-Star Nick (season 1) - Jazz
Witney dazzled next to the inaugural champ on a piece by Travis Wall. She'll dazzle her way through to the finale, I imagine.

Cole & All-Star Anya (season 3) - Cha-cha
Cat referred to Cole being slightly injured at the top of the show but the judges didn't say anything more about it and he definitely didn't dance like he was hurt. This wasn't my favorite Cole performance, but his cha-cha moves impressed my amateur eye anyway.

Lindsay & All-Star Jacob (season 6) - Broadway
That was fun! I enjoyed that very much. I think my problem with Lindsay is that she reminds me of somebody I don't care for very much and that's certainly not her fault so I should try to get over that.

Will & All-Star Kathryn (season 6) - Bollywood
I completely understand Uncle Nigel's inner battle about wanting Will to calm down a little bit but also loving how much personality he is able to infuse into his dancing. Love him, but would like to see a choreographer challenge him with something more mature soon.

Cyrus & All-Star Jaimie (season 3) - Contemporary
Cyrus? Contemporary? Travis Wall? I'm worried. He definitely has storytelling down, and his partnering ability seems to have come a very long way. It definitely wasn't perfect (that leap, not so great) but he has really proven he deserves a spot on this show. But does he deserve to stay over these other guys? That I'm not so sure about.

Chehon & All-Star Lauren (season 3) - Hip-hop
First of all, Lauren is one of my favorite all-stars. Love her. Second, does Chehon have a great smile or what!? Am I just noticing this or has he not really been smiling much (I guess it must be the latter, based on Nigel's comments)? Third, this lyrical hip hop choreography definitely favored Chehon over something more hard-hitting, and it was lovely.

George & All-Star Allison (season 2) - Jazz
Poor George. I don't know about you, but I watched Allison the whole time. I'm sure he did a great job. Nigel, you're disappointed? MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE SAVED MATTHEW OR DAREIAN (PROBABLY MATTHEW).

Eliana & All-Star OMG! It's Alex Wong! (season 7) - Contemporary
As J-Lo would say, goosies!!! My favorite of the night. Plus, I just love her hair.

Audrey & All-Star Twitch (season 4) - Hip-hop
Loved the concept! I have to agree with Mr. Natalie Portman though- Audrey danced like she was #2 to Twitch, and who can blame her?

Ranking the Top 10:
  1. Chehon (OMG he displaced Cole as my favorite and he had to be SAVED?!)
  2. Cole
  3. Eliana
  4. Witney (saved!)
  5. Will
  6. Cyrus
  7. Lindsay
  8. Audrey
  9. Tiffany
  10. George

Results & Who Should Go Home:
How could Witney and Chehon be in the bottom!? At least there was no suspense going into the eliminations. You know that Audrey and George knew they were dunzo. I'm sad about Audrey, but the judges really should have gotten a clue about George earlier (he has does an amazing solo each time though- especially tonight- I'll give him that). Thinking back, I think you could have guessed from Nigel's comments who was in trouble tonight. I'm going to have to play that game next week.

Oh yes, next week... because the finale needs to be Witney-Eliana-Cole-Chehon, I guess that leaves Lindsay-Tiffany and Will-Cyrus as who I think should be the bottom four dancers. I hate to say it, but it's time for Cyrus to go. Having said that, I'm not sure he'll be in the bottom- I think we may see Cole slip in there with his so-so cha-cha (see what I did there?).

SYTYCD Recap: From 14 to 10

I miss the Olympics, but I happily welcome Cat and Uncle Nigel back to my Wednesday nights! I'm already feeling uneasy about the eliminations tonight, and that was even before I got this text from Anna:

I thought I was OK with the results show being eliminated, but I'm not so sure anymore. There must be a better way? But really, it's going to be sad to lose any of these dancers when they are all so good.

Also, I think I'm excited to see all of these Mia Michaels numbers again, but I'm worried the dancers are being unintentionally set up for failure- how can they measure up to the original? Then again, maybe that's why they brought on guest judges who have never seen the show before. I'm also unsure about how I feel about that.

So, basically, I am confused all around.

Eliana & Cyrus
I loved this dance back when Twitch and Katy did it, and I liked it almost as much the second time around too. The best moment was Cyrus laughing as he slammed the door on Eliana- which isn't exactly a dance moment, but once again showed what a fantastic entertainer he is. And I don't ever think about Eliana being a ballerina in real life. Yet somehow, I'm really nervous about both of these two being sent home tonight.

George & Tiffany
There is no denying George and Tiffany are both beautiful dancers, but these two just don't excite me. There was so much talk about the assisted run that in the end it was a little anticlimactic. I expect to see them both dance for their lives (and perhaps for the last time?) later tonight.

Amelia & Will
The butt dance perfectly illustrated why I don't love them re-doing these dances from the past- as Uncle Nigel said, Mia Michaels choreographed this for two specific dancers. I'm not sure that Amelia was totally committed to her character, though, and Will was trying just a little bit too hard. Having said that, I still adore them both.
Dareian & Janelle
Huh. His feet really must be that bad, although I can't say I've ever noticed. But I can't stop saying I wish they would stop with the comparisons! I think Dareian did an excellent job and contrary to what the judges said, I did feel the emotion from Janelle. If they survive this week though, they really need to step up (see what I did there, Adam Shankman?) their game.
Audrey & Matthew
Ugh! I'm going to sound like a broken record. Uncle Nigel, this has got to stop! You can't do a tribute show and criticize these kids for not being the original dancers! I did not appreciate him putting these two on the spot, after they have already been chastised for not being Neil (sigh!) and Lacey, about Mia's inspiration behind the choreography.

Witney & Chehon
I didn't watch the season this dance was originally from, and in this case, I appreciated Nigel's explanation of Mia's choreography (then again, he was actually OK with Witney and Chehon being Witney and Chehon). These two are so beautiful to watch. And I suddenly find myself worried about them too.

Lindsay & Cole
One of Cole's greatest strengths- outside of his dancing- is his ability to completely immerse himself into the character he decides to play in his performances. These last two dances were definitely my favorites of the night. I still don't love Lindsay, though, and I'm still not sure why.

The Girls:
  1. Eliana
  2. Witney
  3. Amelia
  4. Audrey
  5. Lindsay (saved!)
  6. Janelle
  7. Tiffany

The Guys:
  1. Cole
  2. Chehon
  3. Will
  4. Matthew
  5. Dareian
  6. Cyrus
  7. George (saved!)

Results & Who Should Go Home:

I wasn't quite as heartbroken about the bottom six as I feared I would be (you can see that I guessed four of the six of them in my previous recap). I am bummed about Amelia, though. As far as the guys go- I am shocked they saved George, who has been in the bottom every week (? is that only twice? I guess maybe you can say the same about Dareian?) but he just doesn't have the excitement factor of Dareian or Matthew.

However! I am excited for the ALL-STARS to join us next week! I'm still perplexed by this voting system that will send someone home next week based on this week's dances but after they dance with an all-star... whatever. And it's going to be an overall bottom 3 next though, right, no more gender parity? My guess for the bottom is: George, Tiffany, Lindsay.