Date of Episode: Tuesday / 07/09/2013
Top 17 Perform
But only 17 dancers open up the show, with a routine set to Nathan Lanier's remix of Soley's “Pretty Face” and choreographed by the dream team of Christopher Scott and Sonya Tayeh. The missing dancer is Detroit Animator Jade Zuberi, who unfortunately tore his meniscus and is now out of the competition for the season while he rehabs his knee.
Hostess Cat Deeley lets everyone know that since last week's experiment with eliminating dancers at the top of the show was not well-received by the fans, the series is going back to revealing who will be cut at the end of the show.
“College Football Saturday” host Erin Andrews joins Mary Murphy and birthday boy Nigel Lythgoe as a guest judge this week—and, for the first time ever, the legendary Paula Abdul also takes a seat at the judges' table. Nigel remarks that tonight has been ten years in the making, with the result that Paula is finally appearing on the show.
Without further ado, our Top 17 contestants are: Hayley Erbert and Curtis Holland; Jasmine Harper and Aaron Turner; Alexis Juliano and Nico Greetham; Jasmine Mason and Alan Bersten; Makenzie Dustman and Paul Karmiryan; Amy Yakima and Du-Shaunt “Fik-Shun” Stegall; Jenna Johnson and Tucker Knox; new partners Mariah Spears and Dorian “BluPrint” Hector; and Malece Miller.
Based on last week's votes, the bottom six performers are Jasmine Mason, BluPrint, Jenna, Curtis, Alexis and Jade. Nigel lets us know the obvious—since Jade is out due to injury, neither guy has to dance now and both are safe—but Nigel wants to see all three girls dance for their lives. The judges will make their decision based on the girls' solos and their routines for the evening, along with everything they've done prior. The first girl up is Alexis, Tapping her heart out to Otis Redding's seminal “Try a Little Tenderness.” Next is Jasmine M, performing a Jazz number to “Ten Seconds” by Jazmine Sullivan. Lastly, Jesse J and Big Sean's “Wild” sets the stage for Ballroom dancer Jenna's solo.
Amy and Fik-Shun are the first couple of the night, and they're trying on the Paso Doble for size, as performed to to Jack Tramell's “Tactical Dominance (Orch. Hybrid Version).” Choreographer Jean-Marc Genereux says he wants his dancers to show real passion in a “fight to the death.” Mary welcomes Jean-Marc back and says she likes the new term “Paso War.” She notes that Fik-Shun still needs some work but his passion was unbelievable, and she calls Amy a warrior princess and says she can't believe how she goes from cutie patootie to warrior. Erin says that Fik-Shun has done a heck of a job taming the beast (Amy) and tells the couple that they've set to the tone for the show and are now the pair to beat, which is hard to do with bull's-eyes on their backs. Paula says she is happy to finally be here and lets Amy know that she would have been front and center if she had been around when Paula was choreographing. Paula also says Fik-Shun has come a long way since being turned down from her show “Live to Dance,” and she is very proud of him. Nigel comments that despite the routine taking away one of the group's weapons in their smiles, they still command attention and have yet do a single thing wrong.
Next, Spencer Liff's Broadway choreography features Aaron portraying a detective who is investigating Jasmine Harper's murder when her ghost appears to assist. The couple perform to “They Just Keep Moving the Line,” from the cancelled NBC show “Smash.” Erin laughs about Aaron's fans hoisting up giant versions of his head in adulation. She thinks the routine was fun and there was nothing dead about Jasmine's performance, and she also mentions that despite his size, Aaron was able to make it look effortless. Paula adds that Aaron is a throwback to the old MGM contract dancers, and she jokes that she'd love to come back to life as one of Jasmine's legs. Wisely, Nigel decides to comment about coming back as the other one, because he didn't want to get in trouble on his birthday. He also mentions his own trip to Broadway over the weekend and says he thinks this couple would have fit right in. Mary believes the dancers captured the essence of style and class, which is exactly what Spencer wanted, and she says it would be a crime if the pair lands in the bottom three next week.
Makenzie and Paul perform a Contemporary piece put together by new choreographer Lindsay Nelko, danced to Idina Menzel's “No Day But Today (Live From Soundstage).” The piece revolves around Makenzie dealing with having a terminal illness and Paul having trouble accepting this, and Nelko urged the dancers to shed their technique and be more organic with the number. Paula thanks Lindsay for her work and speaks about her own time working with Make-A-Wish kids, which she says allowed her to be able to relate to the dance. Nigel jokes that he's starting to get depressed between Jasmine being dead in the last number and Makenzie dying in this one; but he wasn't joking about Makenzie being one of the most technical dancers on the show who was able to shed all of that like she was supposed to. Mary found herself crying, enjoying the piece. She calls Paul a real surprise who surprisingly gave an honest performance, and she compliments Makenzie's fluid movements that made her appear to float like liquid gold.
Next up is Sean Cheesman, who speaks about the mundane life of being a royal, as he had choreographed a piece for “King” Alan and “Queen” Jasmine Harper (set to “Veins” by Charlotte Martin) that showed just how boring a royal family's life is. Nigel says he liked the routine and thought Alan's strength was amazing, although he wanted to see him be a little more quirky. Mary says that she loved the beginning and end of the piece because of how crisp it was, but she also wanted to see even more quirk from both dancers, since routines like this are supposed to be fun and eccentric. Erin chimes in by joking that “Kate” should be more quirky since she's about to have a baby. The general feeling that the pair should have been looser continues with Paula, who also wanted to see the couple be more out there.
The King of Pop's “Dangerous” provides the music for a hip-hop piece, choreographed by newcomers Keoni and Mari Madrid, and performed by Tucker and Jenna. Mary welcomes the Madrids to the show and says she loved the Jazzy choreography, which Nigel calls “hip-jazz.” Mary again notes that there's nothing Jenna can't do and urges the crowd to applaud for her, commenting that Christopher Scott will love getting together with her. Mary says this style also fits Tucker well, and Erin agrees with Mary and adds that she was reminded of Michael Jackson a little bit while watching Tucker. Paula notes that Michael Jackson borrowed from Jazz a lot, and she says Jenna is a movie star whom the camera loves; she is also enjoying Tucker in the competition, with his strong grace. Nigel points out that we give an umbrella term to hip-hop, but it really borrows from all walks of life, and he notes that Jenna reminded him of Audrey Hepburn in “Funny Face.”
With Jade out of the picture, Malece has the privilege of dancing with All-Star Marko in a Sonya Tayeh number set to Sleeping at Last's “In the Embers.” The piece, according to Sonya, is about maintaining a legacy. The performance brings the crowd and the judges to their feet, and Sonya is dancing for joy in the aisles. Erin says she has been dying to be in Sonya's presence since she first came on the show, and she calls Malece a little Tinkerbell whose moves are effortless. Paula thanks Marko for stepping in and expresses how much she adores Malece, saying the number was her favorite of the night so far and noting that the camera loves Malece, whose face takes on so many dimensions and colors. Still, Nigel points out that he's sorry to see Marko here since that means there was an injury, and he wishes Jade a speedy recovery. Nigel lets us know that Sonya thought Jade was performing well in rehearsals, but Marko had been able to bring out something in Malece that he's never seen before. It was a joy to see her mature before his very eyes. Mary agrees with her colleagues and says she knew that Malece would have this kind of moment someday, since she's so captivating to watch—Malece reminds her of Season 8 champ Melanie.
For Jean-Marc's second routine of the evening, the choreographer calls upon Hayley and Curtis to Samba to the sound of Club des Belugas' “Straight to Memphis.” Jean-Marc says this was a party Samba that is an 11 on a 1 to 10 scale of difficulty. Paula comments that Hayley nailed the Samba hips and was sexy on the stage. She also gives Curtis a lot of credit for being a Tap dancer, but says he should be more controlling in a dance like this. Nigel agrees and says Curtis needs to mature, like we just saw with Malece. Mary believes that Curtis never really got into the routine “ball flat” and looked uncomfortable doing some of the Samba walks, and she jokes that the fringe of Hayley's dress was enough to blow out the candles on Nigel's birthday cake. Erin calls Hayley a “big sin” that keeps getting better every week, and she wants Curtis to take all of the critiques he was given and grow from them.
Next, Alexis and Nico join up with Spencer Liff for an enthralling Jazz number in which Alexis hypnotizes Nico into having her way with him. No other song will do for this one except Nina Simone's “I Put a Spell on You.” Nigel commends Alexis for her work in this dance, and Paula says she doesn't understand how she was ever in the bottom three. Nigel also believes that Nico is a very good dancer who has been hitting on all points. Mary says she was mesmerized, and she too doesn't know how Alexis could rank in the bottom group. Erin offers her thoughts that Alexis was able to adapt to this routine wonderfully and Nico had gorgeous turns in the piece, which was a breakout performance.
Newly paired duo Mariah and BluPrint tackled a hip-hop piece from Luther Brown that complements their individual Krumping and Animating styles as they perform to M.I.A.'s “Bring the Noize.” According to Brown, the number is called “Go,” since there is no stopping. Mary still wants to see more emotion from BluPrint but says Mariah was living the number, and she calls the pair “sick” this week, which is just one step down from “ill.” Erin offers that she loved the routine and thinks Luther should come out with a workout video. She says Mariah looked effortless on the floor, and the duo looked comfortable on their home turf. Paula says she liked the energy of the routine and thought the pair was very in sync, but she feels that BluPrint is holding back a bit—although Mariah's personality more than made up for it. Nigel gives BluPrint a history lesson by mentioning that personality usually trumps skill on this show, and he cites Sabra winning over Danny and Benji coming out ahead of Travis as examples.
The moment of truth has arrived. The judges convene and decide that all the choreographers and the judges are unanimous in their opinion that Jenna should be safe. The choreographers feel that Jasmine has some self-doubt in her, but she shouldn't, since she's a wonderful dancer. Alexis' choreographers feel that her inability to retain certain instruction is a detriment; but despite that, Jasmine will be the one leaving the show tonight. There is now only one Jasmine remaining and one male hip-hop dancer left as we bid goodbye to Jasmine and Jade.
So make sure to keep voting for your favorites to keep them moving up in the competition, as “So You Think You Can Dance” returns in two weeks on July 23.
"Pretty Face"Buy on iTunes
"Try A Little Tenderness"Buy on iTunes
"10 Seconds"Buy on iTunes
"Wild"Buy on iTunes
Jessie J ft Big Sean
"Tactical Dominance (Orch Hybrid Version)"Buy on iTunes
"They Just Keep Moving The Line (SMASH Cast Version)"Buy on iTunes
SMASH Cast ft Megan Hilty
"No Day But Today (Live from Soundstage)"Buy on iTunes