Recap: So You Think You Can Dance, Top 9 Week

Posted by Angela on July 3rd, 2010

The week again starts off with clips of the dancers picking their partner’s after last week’s show. Most notably, Alex picks Twitch for a hip-hop routine! He looks completely confused to see a guy on his slip. This should be interesting. Cat also says the dancers will also be performing solos tonight. Yay!

Source: FOX

Adechike shows up first, doing a Dave Scott hip-hop number with Lauren. Personally, I don’t care for this couple. Still, it’s fun and energetic and the judges finally praise him for showing some personality.

Up next is Ashley who does a contemporary routine with Ade, choreographed by new choreographer Dee Caspary. The routine is beautiful, though my eyes are drawn more to Ade than Ashley. This is the problem with having some of my past favorites as sideshows this season! The judges compliment her and say that this was her best performance yet. Mia says that Ashley is her favorite dancer of the bunch, which surprises me since she doesn’t seem to be particularly different.

Billy takes the stage next to do the first solo of the night. It’s amazing, as to be expected. He has got to be one of the most flexible dancers on the show.

Robert comes up next and is partnered with Courtney again. They take on a contemporary piece by Sonya Tayeh and it’s her usual: snappy, dramatic, and hard hitting. Robert does well and Nigel says that while certain dancers can’t pull off Sonya’s work, it “certainly fits” Robert.

The second solo is next, and it’s Jose. He spins on his head and does some typical b-boy moves. I don’t think he’s the best breaker we’ve seen (That would still be Legacy from last season for me.), but it’s good nonetheless.

Melinda gets paired with Pasha again this week and is doing a salsa routine, choreographed by Fabian Sanchez. She says she’s Columbian and that salsa is in her blood, but it doesn’t seem that way at all to me. She’s slow and her form is completely off. She also pauses midway through to pull her dress off her heel where it was caught, which just makes it worse. The judges really take a shot at her, with Mia and Adam, who saved her last week, even admitting that they probably made the wrong decision.

The adorable Kent is up next with a solo and it’s great. I love that he’s gaining confidence and you can see his performances improving with it. The fans absolutely love him.

Alex does his solo next, and it’s just incredible. He’s an unbelievably strong and beautiful dancer.

Cheery Lauren shows up next for a Joey Dowling Broadway routine with Neil. It’s a story of a 1940s paperboy daydreaming about a sexy movie star. I’m not a huge fan of the routine but Lauren pulls it off and the judges shower her with praise.

The next solo is performed by Ashley, who we haven’t seen perform a solo so far in the competition. She’s a beautiful dancer, but it’s a fairly typical contemporary solo. I don’t see anything special in it or her.

Billy hits the stage with Kathryn next, which is fun to watch since they were already friends from last season. They do a contemporary routine by Stacey Tookey and Billy reveals that Kathryn’s partner from last season, Legacy Perez, is his biggest inspiration in the pre-performance clip. He says him perform in Florida at the age of 12, and took up hip-hop himself after that. The routine is powerful and beautiful. I love Stacey Tookey’s choreography and I’m so glad she’s been added to the show. The judges pan Billy for not connecting to the character or his partner enough though, which I disagree with completely. I was captivated and thought he and Kathryn had great chemistry.

Robert performs his solo next and it’s fantastic. He’s a very strong dancer who reminds me a bit of all-stars Ade and Mark. His personality seems to be a bit lacking though, as he landed in the bottom two last week. I’m hoping that isn’t the case again this week.

Jose does a samba with Anya next, choreographed by season 2 contestant Dmitry Chaplin. My eyes are drawn to Anya almost the entire time, not a good sign for Jose. He doesn’t seem to quite have a handle on ballroom. Still, the judges praise him, with Nigel telling him that he has magic in his eyes and smile. I don’t think the judges are being fair at all here. They obviously play favorites and avoid giving those favorites critique even when they perform badly. Meanwhile, they find the smallest things to criticize in fantastic performances like Billy’s.

Melinda does her solo next and taps to Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind,” a surprising choice. Despite that, she does really well and I enjoy it a lot. She seems to be having a lot of fun with it.

Kent is up with his duet with Allison now, and it’s a contemporary routine choreographed by Mandy Moore. Once again, his challenge is to be a man in this piece. I’m sensing some repetitiveness here. Again, he slays it but the judges criticizes him for not connecting with his partner enough and trying overly hard to please the audience. I don’t think he is at all and disagree with the judges again tonight.

The next solo is Adechike’s, and we’ve already seen it; it’s the same that he performed when he danced for his life in Vegas. Nothing much I can say about this, it’s strong but I’m still not a fan of his.

Lauren hits the stage next and delivers a great solo, again demonstrating her flexibility and musicality. I love her style and the solo is great, but I’m a little unsure about her future on the show; I haven’t been particularly impressed by her performances so far.

Finally, we have Alex and Twitch with a hard hitting hip-hop routine from Tabitha and Napoleon. Alex says he’s completely out of his zone and the choreographers don’t seem thrilled to be working with him either in the pre-performance clip, so I’m worried. It turns out to be one of the most amazing hip-hop routines ever done on the show though; the choreography is great with some cute moves and a funny story and Alex surprises me. He has no problem keeping up with Twitch. The crowd goes absolutely crazy and Cat declares that she’s never heard “a roar from a crowd like this” in So You Think You Can Dance history. The judges go crazy, with Nigel telling him that he expects both Alex and the routine to be up for an Emmy this year, Mia saying he’s “defied everything about the ballet world,” and Adam just standing up and bowing. I agree that it’s certainly the highlight of the night and will probably end up becoming one of the best of the season.

My bottom three picks: Melinda, Adechike, Jose
My bottom three predictions: Melinda, Robert, Ashley

After a dramatic opening routine to “O Fortuna,” Nigel announces that the performance shows will be changing starting next week. Each contestant will perform two routines, one with an all-star they haven’t yet been paired with and one with one of their fellow competitors. Sounds like fun and I’m excited; I’ve been missing seeing the contestants bond throughout the season.

The bottom three is revealed to be Melinda, Billy, and Robert, and it seems immediately obvious who will be going since this now marks Melinda’s third straight week in the bottom three.

Cat also announces that the show will begin featuring memorable past performances from the 12 all-star dancers, as well as a little bit about their start on SYTYCD. Tonight, Courtney and Mark are the special all-stars, and they perform “The Garden” from Season 4, choreographed by Sonya Tayeh and nominated for an Emmy.

The cast of Cirque du Soleil’s Viva Elvis takes the stage to perform an army-themed routine by Napoleon and Tabitha and Mandy Moore. It’s awesome and a real treat to watch. After that, Ne-Yo takes the stage to perform his new single “Beautiful Monster.”

The solos are up next and Billy starts with a beautiful solo to “Fly” by Ludovico Einaudi. He’s easily one of the most technical dancers on the show. Robert takes the stage next to dance to “Hater,” and his solo is quirky, fun, and snappy. It’s very reminiscent of all-stars Mark and Ade’s styles. Finally, Melinda taps a cappella. It isn’t bad, but it’s always hard to connect to a tap solo, especially without music.

At last, Nigel announces (with no suspense whatsoever) that Melinda is heading home. She doesn’t seem surprised at all and gracefully thanks the judges.

Now we’re left with just two girls and all six guys, which should be interesting. Everyone left seems to have a fanbase so it’ll be tough to guess the bottom three. At this point, I would rank the Top 8 (from favorite to least favorite) as follows:
1. Alex Wong
2. Billy Bell
3. Kent Boyd
4. Robert Roldan
5. Jose Ruiz
6. Lauren Froderman
7. Ashley Galvan
8. Adechike Torbert

What about you? Are you excited for next week on SYTYCD?

Category: So You Think You Can Dance, TV recaps