So You Think You Can Dance 14×08 was two hours of incredible dancing, but the choreography stole the show.
So You Think You Can Dance went live this Monday for the first time this season. Over the course of two hours (as opposed to the previous one-hour timeslot) our top ten was slowly introduced. Each All-Star chose the dancer they most wanted to work with. For Fik-Shun, that was Dassy Lee – the dancer who moved to America to chase her dancing dream. Allison went with Logan, Jenna with Kiki, and Cyrus with Kaylee – the blue haired talent that calls herself “Impavido”. Robert picked Taylor; Paul, Sydney, and Comfort, Mark. Jasmine chose Robert, and Gaby, Lex – the early frontrunner from auditions.
Although it was not mentioned by judges Nigel, Mary, or Vanessa, it’s hard not to notice a pattern here. Every one of these couples is male/female. That’s perfectly fine, as long as the dancer that was chosen was truly the best of the two. Let’s hope that none of these fantastic dancers were chosen purely because the All-Star preferred to dance with someone of the opposite sex. With that out of the way – there was much to discuss.
Here to talk it out 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. Okay, let’s start with an obvious question – who’s got your vote this week?
Austin (@theaustinmayor): Comfort and Mark!!! They suit each other so well and his personality shines!! It’s not the best dancer that wins the show, it’s the FAVOURITE dancer and that usually ends up being the one with the best personality (aka Fikshun)
Janine (@J9DH): Okay, let’s start with an obvious question – who’s got your vote this week? I voted for Koine, Dassy, Kaylee and Robert. I found each of their performances interesting and moving, and I look forward to seeing their growth over the season.
Brandon (@indigo_15): I split my votes between Kiki and Taylor this week.
Tracy (@tjohn68): There were so many great pairs tonight! But I’ve got to say, Robert and Taylor were such a surprise to me, they work so well together! They physically complement each other, and they just had such a solid connection with each other. But I also have to say Marko and Koine and Dassy and Fik-shun were awesome together as well.
Terry (@rockinchick66): Oooh! This is a tough one as everyone did fantastic! I would have to say Dassy Lee though as she is one of my faves!
2. Which choreography did you love most?
Austin: I’m going to go with Taylor and Robert!! The song…that first fall…the lifts…everything was so beautiful!!! Very good partnership as well!
Janine: I thought the choreography for Marko and Koine was beautiful and emotional. I always love Stacey Tookey’s choreography! I also thought Chris Scott’s choreography for Jasmine and Robert was high energy and super fun! I was a little bit disappointed with the choreography for Fik-shun and Dassy, and I feel as though their costume with the long coat and baggy pants took away from the impact of their hip hop routine since many of the sharp moves in their body were not visible, and were hidden behind the baggy costumes.
Brandon: Travis Wall’s choreography for Robert and Taylor was stunning in every way, and everything I’ve come to expect from Travis. But I also have to give an honorable mention to Wade (who is a genius, as far as I’m concerned) and Amanda Robson’s piece. It was so exciting to see their work back on So You Think You Can Dance!
Tracy: The one that left my jaw on the floor was Robert and Taylor, choreographed by Travis Wall! Wow! Travis just keeps upping himself with his choreography. It was emotional. it was beautiful. Just incredible to watch!
Terry: Oooh! Another tough one! I loved Dassy Lee and Fik-Shun’s number (and costumes!) but I also loved Jasmine and Robert’s hip hop routine!
3. There were a couple dancers that Nigel (and the audience) didn’t remember. Did you like Taylor?
Austin: Yeah I loved her! I didn’t really remember her either, but now after tonight I definitely do! Her and Robert make an excellent pair!
Janine: There were a couple dancers that Nigel (and the audience) didn’t remember. Did you like Taylor? I remembered Taylor, and thought she did a good job, but for some reason I was not as emotional over her performance with Robert as I was with the performance from Marko and Koine. Taylor is a talented dancer though.
Brandon: I really, really liked Taylor! I’ll admit, she wasn’t really on my radar during the auditions at all, and I only vaguely paid attention to her during The Academy, but now she has my full attention! That’s how you make a mark on the SYTYCD stage!
Tracy: I did! I actually noticed her during the Academy for the Travis Wall contemporary round. My Eyes went straight to her when I saw her perform that freestyle open to Travis’ piece However, she did really come to life tonight with Robert for me.
Terry: Taylor was one that I chose for the top 10 so, yes, I liked her and I loved their routine! LOL
4. How about Sydney?
Austin: I may or may not have a slight dance crush on Sydney…so you could say I like Sydney…hahaha! I’m glad Paul picked her.
Janine: Sydney is a strong ballroom dancer, but I found the choreography didn’t really showcase her as well as it could have. The lift seemed to be botched and none of the judges mentioned it. I was wondering if Val C kept the choreography more to the DWTS methodology of no lifts- I was underwhelmed by it even though I think Sydney is talented.
Brandon: Sydney is another dancer who flew under my radar until The Academy. Unfortunately, Paul’s team didn’t get much airtime, and I think we only saw Paul’s final two, Sydney and Christina, for a few seconds at the most. I thought Sydney did well on the live show with Paul, but in a night that contained three powerful contemporary pieces, a fiery cha-cha, and a captivating tap routine, I feel it was one of the least memorable performances of the night.
Tracy: She’s another story. I did not notice her at the academy at all prior to Paul choosing her for his top two.
Terry: Sydney was also one of my top 10 picks and I think she and Paul are a great pairing!
5. Did you disagree with any All-Star decision?
Austin: I think Cyrus should have went with Havoc. It was his style and a boys animation number would be absolutely sick! Plus, even Mary said that Cyrus didn’t do as well as she had hoped during contemporary…so I think it will be a short lived time for them this year.
Janine: Yes, I felt that Allison had a much better dancer in Zachary Downer than Logan, but I was aware that Zachary took over Ricky Ubeda’s lead role in CATS on Broadway, so I knew he wouldn’t be on the show. Obviously Zachary is quite talented to get this high profile, lead role from a prior SYTYCD winner. I was also disappointed that Jenna picked Kiki over Konkrete. While Kiki is obviously very well trained in ballroom, I feel as though Konkrete would have been a more interesting choice with better potential to have a high growth arc over the season.
Brandon: I’m fairly surprised (and very happy) that accurately predicted nine of the ten finalists, so I wasn’t really disappointed with any of the All-Stars’ decisions. The only one I initially disagreed with was Taylor, but after the performance she and Robert gave, I’m more than happy to have been wrong about her!
Tracy: No, I can’t really say I disagree with any of them. I pretty much nailed all my predictions for who the All-Stars would choose. The only one I didn’t was Paul with Sydney. She really kind of flew under the radar at the academy so we’ll see how that plays out for Paul in voting.
Terry: I picked 8 out of the top 10 dancers. The 2 that I didn’t pick I was okay with the All-Star decision. Honestly, the top 20 were so fantastic that the All-Stars really couldn’t go wrong with who they picked!
6. Which pair has the best chemistry?
Austin: 3-way tie between Comfort and Mark, Robert and Taylor, and Marko and Koine. I mean, Nigel even said that he wants to be invited to Marko and Koine’s wedding!!! If that’s not chemistry, I don’t know what is!
Janine: Oh, this is a very tough question because I feel as though many of the pairs have great chemistry! If I had to pick one I would say Marko and Koine! But Fik-shun and Dassy have great chemistry, as do Robert and Taylor, Jenna and Kiki, Jasmine and Robert and Comfort and Mark. It is too bad that Allison was injured because I think her chemistry with Logan is good too. I am intrigued by Kaylee and Cyrus and am looking forward to seeing them develop better chemistry together.
Brandon: I feel that Jenna and Kiki have had undeniable chemistry every time we’ve seen them dance together. But then again, we’ve only ever seen them do ballroom so far, so it’ll be interesting to see if that same spark will be there when they have to tackle other styles. Robert and Taylor, obviously, also had a powerful connection.
Tracy: I wish I had had the opportunity to see Alison dance with Logan before I answer this. But I did very much enjoyed Marko and Koine, Fik-Shun and Dassy, Robert and Taylor, and Jasmine and Robert. I feel like chemistry is 50% of it, and the other 50% is what kind of routines they’re able to draw.
Terry: This is another tough question! I can’t choose just one pair so my top 3 are Fik-Shun and Dassy (of course!), Jasmine and Robert and Lex and Gaby!
7. Of the past SYTYCD seasons, which is your favorite?
Austin: SYTYCD Canada season 3. Why? Because a dancer that lived close to my hometown was on it and made it to the top 6! And since then he has choreographed many of my solos, judged me at competitions, and mentored me!
Janine: Of the past SYTYCD seasons, which is your favorite? This is also a tough question, but I am probably tied between Seasons 4 and 7. I voted for Joshua in Season 4 but also loved Twitch. Season 4 also introduced us to Mark Kanemura, Will Wingfield, Katee Shean, Courtney Galiano, Chelsea Hightower and Comfort Fedoke! In Season 7 Lauren Froderman was my favorite, but I also loved Kent Boyd, Robert Roldan, Billy Bell, Adechike Torbert and Alex Wong.
Brandon: Such a hard choice! I’m partial to so many seasons, including seasons 2, 4, 7, and 8…but I guess my favorite was season 11. So many of my favorite dancers, like Ricky, Valerie, Zack, Jessica, Rudy, Tanisha, Emilio, and Teddy were on that season.
Tracy: It’s a tossup between season three and season nine. Season three was the first full season I watched of So You Think, and I just loved that entire top 20. For season nine, My eyes were on the eventual winners, Eliana and Cheon, from the auditions. I just really connected with those two, and was thrilled when they both won the season.
Terry: I would have to say Season 12 is my favorite season. Everyone was so fantastic! I also saw the tour so I could be biased! LOL
Final Verdict: Apart from a few surprises, the Top 10 was pretty much what we expected!
Our roundtable nailed the Top 10 predictions, and most of our favorites ended up on the live shows. How long they stay there, however, is a different story. It seems everyone has a different favorite, so whichever way the competition goes from here, it’s sure to be a close vote! This was just week one of the actual competition, and things are about to get fierce. Be sure to vote for your favorites if you want to see them continue on, because this is entirely in the audience’s hands now!