So You Think You Can... Episodes

2005, TV Show

So You Think You Can Dance Episode: "Top 20 Perform Again"

Season 8, Episode 8
Episode Synopsis: The Top 20 dancers perform for a second time.
Original Air Date: Jun 22, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance Episode Recap: The Top 20 Perform (Again) Season 8, Episode 8

After last week's reprieve, the Top 20 once again get to compete, which is good. But four of them will get cut tomorrow, which is bad. They've had one more week to get closer to each other, so when a fifth of the group is cut, that's going to be pretty traumatic. But hey, that's tomorrow. Tonight, we dance!

Debbie Reynolds is our guest judge this week and wearing much lavender. Anyone else a fan of Singin' in the Rain and Tammy and the Bachelor? But I digress. Before she became the mother of Princess Leia, Reynolds was a bona fide movie star who was the consummate triple threat — acting, singing and yes, dancing. The lady knows hoofing, so it's appropriate she's judging. I'm digging the guest judges this season so far. I think it shines a light on people we didn't know danced or reminds us of who we may have forgotten. Plus, it's Debbie Reynolds!

They've kept the same pairings, so we get to see the same 10 couples again this week. Oh, and Mitchell is apparently well enough to compete.

Ryan and Ricky, jazz
Choreographer:
Mandy Moore
Song:
"Addicted to Love," Robert Palmer
It's supposed to be sexified, and at least the costumes convey that. Leather, nipples (Ricky's), bustiers, cleavage! They're amazing movers and throw themselves into the routine with abandon. They're incredibly strong too. But that smile Ryan had on her face last week keeps cropping up again. She needs to school(?) her expression better. I think it was less sexy and more farcical. There's a point where she grabs her ponytail, and it feels like she's playing at the whole thing.
The judges say:
Nigel is aroused and says it was "so raunchy" that it borders on the chemistry he has with Mary. Mary meanwhile, emphasizes their power and energy. Debbie is hilarious: "You fell out of your top, you fell out of your bottom — you gave us your all!"

Caitlyn and Mitchell, contemporary
Choreographer:
Stacey Tookey
Song:
"Turning Tables," Adele
Two armchairs, one white and one black, a few spotlights. It's minimalist set decor and all about their violent dance. This is the passion I wanted from Ricky and Ryan. Not only do they have the technical side executed perfectly — the height on leaps, the extension, feet and hands deliberately angled — but I'm feeling the desperation. Caitlyn really wants Mitchell and at one point launches herself off her chair and takes flight. And when we say violent, we're not exaggerating. At one point Mitchell accidentally punches Caitlyn, and so the poor girl actually has blood on her face when she's done.
The judges say:
You can hear that Mary is touched also. She says it was flawless, that they had amazing chemistry, and that Caitlyn defies gravity. Debbie thought it was beautiful, dramatic and noted, "You bled for us!" Nigel rightfully points out that he's glad they kept Mitchell so we could see this pairing. He says they brought out the language of the soul tonight.

Missy and Wadi, cha-cha
Choreographer:
Jean-Marc Genereux
Song:
"Cannibal," Ke$ha
Okay, I'm pretty impressed with Missy. I had to check what genre of dance she trained in (jazz) because she looked pretty convincing as a ballroom dancer. She had the fast legs and hip action down. Wadi? Not so much. He's a good partner when it comes to lifts, but his arms and hands are really floppy.
The judges say:
Debbie says they were "muy bueno." Nigel isn't as kind and points out Wadi's weak arms. He's into Missy's "spicy" attitude though. Mary says Wadi was merely "respectable" and hailed Missy as the "cha-cha queen." Debbie isn't happy with them picking on Wadi and says she'll take him home.

Iveta and Nick, Bollywood
Choreographer:
Nakul Dev Mahajan
Song:
"Baawre," Lucky By Chance soundtrack
This is a high-energy, bouncy routine, and overall, they do a good job. Nick's better than Iveta, probably because as a tapper, he has those fast feet. She's not quite as bouncy and definitely looks a little stiffer, especially with the deep-knee bends. Their partnering is just OK.
The judges say:
Nigel and Mary aren't blown away, but both say it was fun. Debbie is so excited and feels 20 years younger. She identifies with Nick as a tapper also and says if she got Bollywood, "it would freak me out." And it did freak her out, but "in a good way."

Miranda and Robert, hip hop
Choreographer:
Napoleon and Tabitha
Song:
"Break Ya Neck," Busta Rhymes
They're supposed to be woodpeckers. Robert is the wise one, while Miranda is the young one learning to fly. It's really intricate, and I feel Robert keeps up admirably, but she feels out of sync, just half a beat slow. She has the attitude right but not the technical side. The forward flip off the stage at the end was pretty nifty. As NappyTabs routines go though, this was just aight.
The judges say:
What are they smoking? Mary says Miranda was hard-hitting, sharp and had swagger (I'll give her the swagger). Nigel said that Miranda is one of the best contemporary dancers on the show to do hip hop. Uh, what? Debbie has the best responses of the night. She does the Woody Woodpecker laugh. Everyone is stunned and delighted after that.

Clarice and Jess, contemporary
Choreographer:
Stacey Tookey
Song:
"Cathedrals," Jump Little Children
They're supposed to be a prince and princess, and Clarice is just a treat to watch. She's incredibly lyrical in her movement. It seems effortless. Jess isn't the strongest partner when it comes to lifts and he comes off as a bit pose-y at times. What separates his work from her leaps and centered pirouettes is his strength. They don't have much chemistry and feel more like friends. Good job, but no romance.
The judges say:
Debbie wants to add them to her SYTYCD collection with Wadi. Nigel agrees with me and so now has redeemed himself with this review. He says their partnering was a bit "uncomfortable" and they didn't get together as a couple. Mary, on the other hand, thinks the emotions were perfect and calls Clarice "Miss Legs."

Jordan and Tadd, Viennese waltz
Choreographer:
Jean-Marc Genereux
Song:
"Fade Into Me," David Cook
This is my boy and he does me proud. Tadd jokes that he thought this was the Vietnamese waltz, but whatever you call it, they both did surprisingly well considering their comfort zones (she's jazz, he's a b-boy). Although there's not that much of the traditional hold going on, they've got the flowing, rise-and-fall movement throughout. Tadd actually has a great carriage and light arms. It's romantic, sexy, powerful and yes, adorbs. One of the best dances of the night.
The judges say:
Nigel says, "It had everything" and that it was beautiful. He also reminds Tadd that he's supposed to be a b-boy so he shouldn't be so great at the presentation part of this style. Mary says that Tadd is the biggest surprise of this season and that he had perfect, cool timing and tenderness. Debbie compares them to Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse. Whoa.

Melanie and Marko, jazz
Choreographer:
Mandy Moore
Song:
"Sing With a Swing (Rat Marchesini radio edit)," DKS
Marko is fast and flexible, and Melanie is in her element (although, what's with the purple hat and gloves?). This is one of those moments where the glitz of the production detracted from the performance. Once the strobe light started, it made their routine look slower, and thus laggy. There's a moment where she jumps, and it's a nail-biter until he catches her in a split. Technically they were excellent, but I much preferred their amazing statue routine from last week better.
The judges say:
Mary says their dance voice is speaking loud and clear. Debbie says she was really worried when Marko dropped his hat that he wouldn't be able to catch Melanie in time, but she calls them this generation's stars. Nigel agrees with the stars comment and states, "The gods of terpsichore must have been smiling" when the two were chosen as partners. He gives big ups to their technique and passion.

Sasha and Alexander, hip hop
Choreographer:
Napoleon and Tabitha
Song:
"Coming Home," Diddy-Dirty Money and Skylar Grey
The concept is that Alexander is a soldier coming back from Afghanistan and Sasha is the wife who's been waiting. This is what I wanted out of my NappyTabs. Not lame woodpeckers. The choreography truly tells the story from the beginning when the two dancers are apart and Sasha is obviously upset, flinging her limbs about in a jerky, anguished fashion. It almost feels like contemporary. Once they're together though, it moves back to hip hop and you can see the couple getting back into the groove of their relationship, feeling each other out, sometimes together, sometimes exultant, but nothing too overdone. Ryan's Joker-type smile would have been horrible here, but Sasha and Alexander brought out the subtlety of the emotion. We're not really sniffling. It's just allergies. Really. 
The judges say:
Both Debbie and Mary are almost too choked up to speak, but Debbie thought it was beautiful and says they can act as well as dance. Mary is dabbing tears and says Sasha brought out the soul. Nigel says that the show was delayed because of Obama's announcement about the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and imagines many homecomings as touching as this danced one. He applauds them both and says the dancing, which was great, is secondary to the artistry.

Ashley and Chris, Broadway jazz
Choreographer:
Spencer Liff
Song:
"Please, Mr. Jailer," Rachel Sweet
There's a short set of jailbars in the middle of the stage for them to dance beside and through — mirroring or interacting with each other. Overall, it really works. It's a fun and sexy routine, mostly from Ashley's side. She's got the attitude coming from her face and body. He doesn't feel quite as strong or emotionally there, but I've got no real complaints.
The judges say:
Nigel wants Ashley to visit him the next time he's in jail. Um, next time? Mary starts a really confusing commentary about the temperature of boiling water (212 degrees) and says that creates steam and that powers a steam engine. Uh, oh, do you hear it coming into the station? That's right! It's the first HOT TAMALE TRAIN of the season and she give the classic Mary Murphy "Woo hoo!" Her voice is indeed back! Debbie talks about Elvis and his Jailhouse Rock and says they were sensational.

Who were the strongest? Which four would you want to go home? Did this week feel more fair now that the dance genres were randomly picked from a hat? How did you like Debbie Reynolds?

 

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After last week's reprieve, the Top 20 once again get to compete, which is good. But four of them will get cut tomorrow, which is bad. They've had one more week to get closer to each other, so when a fifth of the group is cut, that's going to be pretty traumatic. But hey, that's tomorrow. Tonight, we dance!

Debbie Reynolds is our guest judge this week and wearing much lavender. Anyone else a fan of Singin' in the Rain and Tammy and the Bachelor? But I digress. Before she became the mother of Princess Leia, Reynolds was a bona fide movie star who was the consummate triple threat — acting, singing and yes, dancing. The lady knows hoofing, so it's appropriate she's judging. I'm digging the guest judges this season so far. I think it shines a light on people we didn't know danced or reminds us of who we may have forgotten. Plus, it's Debbie Reynolds!

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