By Jasmine Williams
This week, we were faced with the bittersweet reality that the honeymoon period is over, and four dancers will be leaving at the end of the show. Although some super standout performances made this episode worthwhile; it also seemed rather soft choreography-wise. Maybe it’s just me, but I miss the hard-hitting moves of krumpers like Comfort and choreographers like Lil C. Even the hip hop numbers on this week’s episode were barely recognizable.
Here’s what I learned on this week’s episode:
1. NappyTabs does… jazz?
Every week my mom and I play a game with the opening number called “Guess the Choreographer”. After years of following the show almost religiously, we have become pretty adept at recognizing Sonya’s sharp and technical style or Tyce’s peppy broadway numbers. But we were both floored when Cat pointed to noted hip-hoppers Napoleon and Tabitha as the choreographers of this week’s group number. A dark, Alice in Wonderland-esque jazz number with an unexpectedly awesome dubstep break in the middle, the piece was set to Marilyn Manson’s “Beautiful People” of all songs. It was different, but totally amazing, showcasing popper Cyrus’ unique skills. These two can do no wrong.
2. Sonya Tayeh = choreographer of the night
Sonya’s routines were definitely some of the stand-out performances of this week’s show. First couple Amelia and Will got a contemporary routine that was simply breathtaking. Amelia’s legs seemed to go on for miles, and Will was there for her every step. It was obvious that they were so comfortable with this. They deserved the standing ovation from guest judge Adam Shankman. Second couple Audrey and Matthew got a more traditionally Sonya routine but killed it as well, bringing power and sexiness to the fierce routine.
3. Brandon and Janaya’s Broadway
This had me from the first smirk on Janaya’s face. This Shawn Cheesman routine was so cute and creative, with Janaya playing a romance-crazed girl and Brandon being the recipient of her unwanted attention. They played their parts perfectly, and the song “Bring on the Men” was the perfect choice for this comical and athletic routine. But the best part? The cool twisting flip Janaya did that brought her to Brandon’s shoulders. I’m still trying to figure out the physics of that one.
4. The Step Up Dancers
After Adam Shankman shamelessly plugged his new movie all night, the audience was finally treated to a performance from the actual dancers from the new Step Up movie, Step Up: Revolution. Featuring SYTYCD alums like Twitch, Phillip Chbeeb and Kathryn McCormick, the dance was, as Shankman would say, “sick!” Great choreography, cool lights and fog, and it gave the show the hit of hip hop energy it was sorely lacking.
5. What we’ve all been waiting for
And finally the eliminations. Unlike previous seasons, we don’t get to see the contestants “dance for their lives” and are instead picked somewhat coldly by Nigel Lythgoe to come forward. After some deliberation, ballroom dancer Witney and her partner Chehon were saved which meant that Janaya French, Alexa Anderson, Nick Bloxsom-Carter and Daniel Baker are out for good. Alas, it is the nature of the beast.
See you next week!