So You Think You Can... Episodes

2005, TV Show

So You Think You Can Dance Episode: "Top 14 Perform"

Season 8, Episode 12
Episode Synopsis: The Top 14 dancers perform.
Original Air Date: Jul 6, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance Episode Recap: The Top 14 Perform Season 8, Episode 12

Carmen Electra is the celebrity guest judge tonight, but we didn't realize she had dance experience beyond the Pussycat Dolls. Apparently, she trained in ballet and modern dance. Choreographer (and So You Think You Can Dance alum) Travis Wall also joined the judges' panel tonight. Although I'm happy to hear his insights, I'm bummed he won't be choreographing any routines.

Last week we lost Miranda and Robert after their uneven Broadway performance, and it remains to be seen tonight who will surprise and who will fall short. Let's get down to it:

Boys Group Dance, jazz
Choreographer:
Justin Giles
Song:
"Prague," Damien Rice
The remaining seven guys are representing the seven stages of grief (damn, we wanted the deadly sins!) It's actually a cool and progressive routine, spotlighting each stage first and then having all the guys together. I appreciate that it's very conceptual and uses clothing to represent their various states of mind. It's emotional without being too literal, but it's still powerful. Awesome.

Melanie and Marko, jazz
Choreographer:
Ray Leeper
Song:
"Americano," Lady Gaga
There's some talk about their characters running off to get married, but it seems more like they're in the seduction phase. The costuming is sexy and flamenco-y with little asymmetrical twists -- a missing stocking, no shirt under the suspenders. The routine is fiery and almost angry and full of energy. Melanie of course draws the eye, but Marko is the perfect partner for her.
The judges say:
Travis says Marko commands attention and admits that Melanie is his favorite dancer in the competition. Carmen says Melanie's strong legs are "ridiculous" and that Marko took control like a bull. Mary is all "wow!" and renames Marko the "Domination Man." Nigel says that it was "joyous" since their level of technique matches their performance.

Sasha and Alexander, hip hop
Choreographer:
Shaun Evaristo
Song:
"To the Moon," Miguel
It's a light love story and maybe that's why it feels weak. There's no chemistry at all between the two, and Sasha, while entertaining to watch, isn't really excelling as usual. Alexander is not convincing at all and doesn't hit hard enough. It's not a trainwreck but it's not fun to watch.
The judges say:
Carmen praises Sasha for "popping so hard" but didn't feel they were a couple. Mary gets booed when she admits she didn't see the swag. It was lacking and she didn't connect with the routine. Nigel called it "Hip Hop 101" and "Hip Hop for Dummies." Yes, more boos. Travis is more positive, saying he enjoyed the routine but he did have problems with their technical shading and musicality.

Jordan and Tadd, waltz
Choreographer:
Toni Redpath
Song:
"Nocturne," Secret Garden
Watch out, Tadd! Jordan is a siren bent on seduction and ultimately, your death. Jordan looks like a gypsy with pretty extensions, and overall it's a sweet and pretty performance. They absolutely killed the Viennese waltz previously, but this slower pace seems more challenging. Tadd gives so much through his emotional performance and his arms are gorgeous. The lifts look effortless, and Jordan's body is strong throughout. It's good, but doesn't rock my world.
The judges say:
Mary says it was properly dreamy and romantic, praises Tadd for his tenderness and Jordan for her strength. Nigel gives props to Tadd for being a hip-hop dancer who's able to pull this off. Travis found it beautiful, but would have preferred it to be smoother. He's also "freaked out" by how easily Tadd takes to styles outside of his genre. Carmen also found it beautiful emotionally.

Clarice and Jess, contemporary
Choreographer:
Justin Giles
Song:
"Light Through the Branches," Celeste Lear
Now this is how a story is conveyed through dance! Clarice and Jess are supposed to be lovers whose relationship is ending, and I actually feel the anger and anguish in each of them. Clarice is incredibly strong and emotive, and Jess partners her well. There are moments of sync and power as they turn on each other, but the back and forth works well. It's the most impressive routine of the night in my eyes since I didn't think they had it in them.
The judges say:
Travis says that the couple came alive and it's his favorite performance from them. He also gives very good, specific criticism to Clarice. I appreciate that he's constructive in his comments. Nigel says that despite the staccato and jerky nature of the music and number, the honest emotion comes through. "It was tremendously danced, tremendously choreographed." Carmen believed in the story. Mary says their partnership has been growing throughout the competition.

Ashley and Chris, salsa
Choreographer:
Liz Lira
Song:
"Mambo Beat," Tito Puente
At the very beginning it seemed that Ashley had the upper-body tempo, attitude and sinuousness ... and then it's pretty much downhill from there. Neither of them have captured the sexy, passionate flavor of the salsa. There's no joy, and Chris definitely does not have the hips. The lifts were the highlight though, with Ashley posing several times in mid-air. This was kind of painful to watch.
The judges say:
Travis can't really say anything positive except the disclaimer, "I love you guys." The energy wasn't there for him. Carmen says it felt like they were hesitating on delivering the proper fiery feel of the salsa. Mary reminds them that they're the only ones on the Hot Tamale Train (from their earlier prison-themed dance), but there were only moments of swagger from Ashley and none from Chris this time. Nigel praises the lifts, but says that Chris didn't have the right feel for salsa.

Ryan and Ricky, jazz
Choreographer:
Chucky Klapow
Song:
"Fashion," David Bowie
The costuming is totally punk-meets-Rocky Horror, and the choreography is reminiscent of Thriller's zombies. It's an interesting routine and fun to watch, but since this is supposed to be freaky, I didn't feel it was freaky enough. Ricky is great. He has the attitude and movements, but Ryan falls a bit short for me. I didn't feel the proper strangeness from her.
The judges say:
Carmen loved all of it -- from the music to the energy. Mary loves to see quirky on the dance floor and says Ryan went "full-tilt zombie." Nigel calls it "Zombie Zoolander" and says that it suited both of them. Travis thinks they "killed it"  and that they were able to transition admirably from thrash-y to triple pirouettes.

Caitlyn and Mitchell, contemporary
Choreographer:
Mandy Moore
Song:
"To Love You More," Celine Dion
This is not the funky, emotionally wrenching type of contemporary routine we're used to. Instead it's like the romance novels that Mitchell likes to read, incredibly beautiful and uplifting. And it's uplifting in a different way as well. The sheer number, power and gorgeousness of the lifts overshadowed everything else. Caitlyn flies into Mitchell's arms and he's a strong partner. I just wish he had a bit more to do dancing-wise solo. I wasn't as emotionally as touched as I thought I'd be, but it was pretty to watch.
The judges say:
It's Mary's favorite of the night because it's so darn beautiful. She rightfully praises how Caitlyn seems to defy gravity and that she's fearless and uninhibited. She says that this is their moment and they should run like the wind. Nigel's breath was taken away. Travis was surprised at how Caitlyn has grown and was impressed by the equally gorgeous and unexpected partnering. Carmen says they did what dance is supposed to do -- make you larger and more powerful outside of yourself.

Girls Group Dance, jazz
Choreographer:
Ray Leeper
Song:
"My Discarded Men," Eartha Kitt with Bronski Beat
What is with the girls having such homicidal tendencies this season? The seven girls play women who are widows at a funeral after killing their spouses. To be fair, I think this was much cooler concept and execution that that weird medieval poison thing in another episode. The costuming is a fun play on sexy widows -- little hats with the mesh veil, stockings and bustiers. The movements are sultry and sinister and it's fun to see them in a twisted version of a chorus line and occasionally breaking out some boxing moves. They put the "fun" in funeral!

 

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Carmen Electra is the celebrity guest judge tonight, but we didn't realize she had dance experience beyond the Pussycat Dolls. Apparently, she trained in ballet and modern dance. Choreographer (and So You Think You Can Dance alum) Travis Wall also joined the judges' panel tonight. Although I'm happy to hear his insights, I'm bummed he won't be choreographing any routines.

Last week we lost Miranda and Robert after their uneven Broadway performance, and it remains to be seen tonight who will surprise and who will fall short. Let's get down to it:

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Premiered: July 20, 2005, on FOX
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