So You Think You Can Dance 14×12 will have us dancing all week long, right up until the penultimate episode of season 14
So You Think You Can Dance season fourteen is coming to a close. With a double elimination set for next week, we will be down to a bottom four before our next roundtable. The finale is only two episodes away, and we are closer than ever to discovering who is America’s favorite dancer this year. After Mark’s elimination, the remaining contestants include: Logan, Kiki, Kaylee, Taylor, Koine, and Lex. Starting with next week’s double elimination, judges Nigel, Mary, and Vanessa won’t have as much say in the competition from here on out.
It’s interesting that we are left with a perfect male to female ratio. In fact, from the moment the all-stars chose their partners, we have had equal girls and guys. It begs the question – how much of this show is being manipulated in order to preserve the ability to pair off the dancers? We certainly aren’t suggesting that gender alone is getting contestants eliminated, but we have to wonder if it has become a factor in the overall decision. Regardless, we can’t get enough of this show, and all of these dancers.
Here to discuss Monday’s amazing night of dance is our roundtable.
Austin (@theaustinmayor) – Dancer, choreographer, and teacher
Janine (@J9DH) – Mom of 2 and fan of talent shows like SYTYCD and American Idol
Terry (@rockinchick66) – Asset Manager by day, Wife, Kitty Mama and SYTYCD super fan by night!
Tracy (@tjohn68) – Dance fan, TV fan, Superhero fan
Brandon (@indigo_15) – Writer, dance enthusiast, lover of pop culture. Supporter of imaginations running wild.
1. Who was tonight’s MVP?
Austin (@theaustinmayor): Everyone was soo good tonight!! It’s so hard to pick… Okay I’m going to have to go with Lex as the MVD (most valuable dancer). First he did a Luther Brown hip hop number and absolutely crushed that. Then he did one of the best solos I’ve ever witnessed with a TRIPLE tour. AND then he did a group number that will be very memorable!!
Janine (@J9DH): Can I just say Kiki’s solos are HOT! Unfortunately Kiki’s routine with Jenna had no partnering or lifts in it, since the focus of the choreography was so much on the darn props, so he wasn’t given the opportunity to really shine in that number. MVP tonight was very close between Lex and Kaylee. Both had outstanding solos, and both performed exceptionally well in their all star and group routines.
Brandon (@indigo_15): As much as I enjoyed everyone’s performances, my MVP this week was Lex. Is he even human? His Luther Brown hip-hop routine with Gaby was hard-hitting and a lot of fun to watch. And that solo? The guy is a beast. He is, in my opinion, the epitome of SYTYCD. And I have to give an honorable mention to Kiki (and Jenna) for not dropping or missing a single cane in their Broadway piece, because I’d be lucky to have only caught one or two.
Tracy (@tjohn68): Once again, everyone killed it tonight! However, and I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but Kiki really blew me away! That Warren Carlyle routine was so difficult! All those canes! I was laughing with relief when they were done and would have taken that victory lap with Cat! And then, what he did in the Sean Cheeseman routine was amazing! He and the other three, I didn’t feel anybody out danced each other, they were all cohesive it was beautiful.
Terry (@rockinchick66): This season is so fantastic that I find it hard to narrow it down to just one MVP each week! For tonight I would have to say Lex Ishimoto. He really surprised me with his Hip Hop routine and his solo was fantastic!
2. Which group dance did you prefer?
Austin: I preferred the group dance with Kiki, Mark, Taylor, and Koine. Sean Cheesman is such a great Canadian choreographer and this routine was one of my favourites to date. All of those different kinds of lifts and flips and intricacies…and the spoken song was so beautiful!! Love love loved it!
Janine: I preferred the contemporary routine featuring Lex, Logan and Kaylee. Their performance was flawless, their power & strength undeniable and their ability to emote is among the strongest of this Top 7. I enjoyed the group number with Taylor, Kiki, Koine and Mark, but it was evident they were struggling with some of the lifts.
Brandon: The group routine featuring Taylor, Kiki, Koine, and Mark will likely go down in SYTYCD history as one of the most poignant, powerful, and relevant pieces to ever grace that stage. Such a beautiful story about the power of unity, love, and togetherness, set to the spoken word of Maya Angelou, and it was told expertly through all four dancers’ movements. I got chills as they caught, supported, and lifted one another. Perfection.
Tracy: In regards to both of the contestants group dances, both were so wonderful! I loved Dwight and Desmond’s choreography, and Lex, Logan, and Kaylee were amazing! But I’ve got to go with Sean Cheeseman’s Rise routine. I was crying throughout the whole thing. Kiki, Koine, Mark, and Taylor performed it so perfectly! That one will stay in my heart for a long time. I have so many routines from so you think that seared themselves on my brain, but this one touched my heart and will never leave me.
Terry: I loved both group dances by the contestants this week for different reasons. The group number with Lex, Kaylee and Logan really showcased each of their talents. Kaylee really surprised me and I couldn’t take my eyes off her throughout the routine. The group number with Taylor, Kiki, Koine and Mark was a stunning, timely piece. I loved everything about it!
3. Which dance did you most enjoy?
Austin: I liked Brian Friedman’s all star number!! It was so different! Like the black & white with one coloured item that everyone was wearing made it visually appealing and it was French themed. I guess that’s why it made it so different and that’s why I enjoyed it! It was kind of French sexual if that makes sense haha.
Janine: I thought the African Jazz routine with Allison and Logan was very strong. The choreography, music, costumes & lighting along with the dancing really came together beautifully. A close second was Kaylee and Cyrus, who performed a very powerful and emotional contemporary routine. I was very impressed with Marko and Koine’s jive routine-wow was that routine action packed with very challenging lifts and fast paced jive moves! I thought Lex and Gaby did a great job in their hip hop number but I found the costumes to be very distracting, especially Gaby’s.
Brandon: My favorite routine of the night (outside of the group routine with Taylor, Kiki, Koine, and Mark) was Logan and Allison’s African jazz piece. I always love Sean Cheesman’s work, but this was my favorite piece he’s done in quite a while. The lighting and costumes were spot-on, and I really liked the bit with the scooters. The routine was so fast, yet also sinewy and primal. Logan has yet to disappoint me, and Allison was (as always) a force to be reckoned with.
Tracy: Going back to pairs, I’ll say Taylor and Robert. It was the perfect romantic dance. Mandy Moore created such a lovely, effortless, light choreography, that I know that routine was neither Light nor effortless. And Robert and Taylor looked like the perfect couple. It was beautiful to watch.
Terry: My fave group number was the I Rise routine choreographed by Sean Cheesman. This will be a number that is remembered for years to come!
4. Which all star/contestant dance was the best?
Austin: Technically, Lex’s solo. Hands down. It was the best because not many people can do a triple tour, let alone make it look as easy as he does! Visually, the group of 4 contestants.
Janine: How could we possibly pick just one as the best after this Emmy award soon to be nominated show?? I have to go with Allison and Logan with several close behind-Kaylee & Cyrus and Marko & Koine.
Brandon: I thought Taylor and Robert’s Mandy Moore piece was exquisite. As soon as I heard they were doing contemporary, I knew we were in for something special, and they certainly delivered. They are pure magic together.
Tracy: Again, I’m surprisingly myself by saying that Tyce’s routine for Kaylee and Cyrus played so much to both of their strengths, but it still told a cohesive story and was so intense and strong. My favorite routine yet from both of them.
Terry: I have 2 fave duos. Jenna and Kiki’s Broadway routine by Warren Carlyle was fantastic! I loved the costumes, the song and the props! I also loved Taylor and Robert’s contemporary number choreographed by Mandy Moore! Such a gorgeous routine!
5. Which dancer maybe could’ve done better?
Austin: Honestly, I don’t think any of them! This was a really good week of dancing and I didn’t see anyone that didn’t live up to expectations. But once again, I didn’t really enjoy Kaylee in the groups, but her solo was really powerful!
Janine: I thought Comfort out performed Mark in his style, and he seemed to struggle in the group number so definitely Mark. What was Logan thinking spending most of his solo spinning on his head? That was a missed opportunity to showcase his skills, so he could have done better in his solo. I also don’t feel Taylor’s routines convey the emotion they deserve
Brandon: Everyone had a strong night, though some were still stronger than others. I noticed that Kaylee was out of sync a few times in her group routine with Logan and Lex, so she’d be my pick, even though her contemporary with Cyrus was arguably her strongest performance to date.
Tracy: At this point, everyone is completely bringing their A-game! I just don’t think anybody made a misstep. Even in the solos, I remember thinking that Taylor finally brought a solo worthy of her talent.
Terry: Honestly, they all did fantastic and Kaylee really stepped up to the plate tonight. I can’t pick one.
6. Prediction time: Who will be the top 4?
Austin: Okay…Lex, Taylor, Logan, and Koine. I may or may not have put them in order that I think they will finish the whole competition as well… But those are the 4 that have crushed every style that’s been thrown at them, they are all very technically trained, and their partners compliment them perfectly!
Janine: Who I predict will be Top 4 is different than who I want to be Top 4. Prediction: Lex, Logan, Kiki and Taylor. Who I want as Top 4: Lex, Kiki, Koine and Kaylee.
Brandon: I think Taylor and Lex are as close to shoe-ins as you can get, for obvious reasons. Everyone else left in the competition has been in the bottom at least once, and everyone had a strong night this week. I’m going to (tentatively) say Logan and Koine will round out the top 4. I could be wrong, though, because Kiki seems to have a pretty large fanbase (not to mention, some powerful support in the Chmerkovskiy brothers), so I wouldn’t be totally surprised if he sneaks in there.
Tracy: My preference would be for Koine, Lex, Logan, and Taylor to be the top four. But, I feel like everybody has been so incredible, that if Kiki, or Kaylee made it instead, I wouldn’t be mad.
Terry: I don’t really want to predict because every time I pick someone to win I get it wrong! I guess if I have to….(in no particular order)
At this point I don’t know who America will vote for. Kaylee obviously has lots of fans who kept her in it this week and Kiki is a fantastic ballroom dancer so either of them could also be in the top 4.
7. This is becoming redundant (because many of us keep expecting the same dancer to go home) but who is the one dancer you most think should go home?
Austin: Do I even bother answer this? I’m pretty sure everyone’s answer is going to be the same!…I think?…
Janine: Honestly I think Taylor is the one dancer who should be going home. Her ballroom number a few weeks back was horrible, I felt her hop hop number last week left a lot to be desired and I generally feel as though she does not properly convey the emotions for her assigned routines. She has yet to hit the bottom though so I am doubtful she will go home.
Brandon: One of the two has to be Kaylee. I like her uniqueness, and I will always love her initial audition, but she has clearly had the most uneven journey out of all of the contestants. Seeing Mark go home (and Dassy last week) before her was a kick to the gut, because he’s been fascinating and thoroughly entertaining all season, and Kaylee struggled for the first several weeks of the live shows. And because two are going next week, I’m going to say the other will be Kiki, even though he’s exceeded all of my expectations and seems to have grown the most out of everyone.
Tracy: Well, I just don’t think I would’ve sent Mark home before Kaylee. But she had an incredible night tonight, and I can’t take that away from her, and she was really good last week as well. So we all knew that from top 8 going forward, eliminations were just going to get ridiculously hard, and here we are. I do think that I would go ahead and send Kaylee home next week though. But, don’t ask me to pick a second person out of the other five that are left, because I can’t.
Terry: If the decision is based on the season I would have to say Kaylee.
Final Verdict: At this risk of sounding like a broken record, tonight’s episode was the best one yet
The highlight of tonight’s competition was undoubtedly Sean Cheeseman’s “Still I Rise” piece. Timely and impactful, the entire dance was performed over spoken word. As Maya Angelou’s famous speech was read aloud Taylor, Koine, Kiki, and Mark moved in incredible sync and beautifully brought the words to life. This routine was undeniably important, and will certainly be talked about for years to come. Other highlights included Robert and Taylor’s contemporary routine, Logan and Allison’s African jazz, and Jenna and Kiki’s Broadway routine. How any of these dancers will top this week remains to be seen, but we can’t wait to find out.
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE returns next MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11th at 8/7C on FOX.