Date of Episode: Tuesday / 07/23/2013
Top 16 Perform
“New World” by The Irrepressibles sets the stage for the reintroduction of the top contestants, as the show kicks off with a number choreographed by Stacey Tookey and Peter Chu. Joining Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy at the judges' table this week is singer Carley Rae Jepsen, making her debut on the series. Nigel also proudly mentions the seven Emmy® nominations the series has received—including nominations for choreographers, hostess Cat Deeley, lighting, and the show's overall recognition for Outstanding Reality Program.
Cat introduces the Top 16 dancers for the evening: Amy Yakima and Du-Shaunt “Fik-Shun” Stegall; Jasmine Harper and Aaron Turner; Makenzie Dustman and Paul Karmiryan; Jenna Johnson and Tucker Knox; Hayley Erbert and Curtis Holland; Alexis Juliano and Nico Greetham; Mariah Spears and Dorian “BluPrint” Hector; and Malece Miller and Alan Bersten. By the end of the night, we'll be down to only 14 of them.
After a recap of the last show from two weeks ago, Cat reveals the bottom three guys and girls for the week: Mariah, Alan, Makenzie, BluPrint, Jenna and Curtis are all in danger of going home tonight. Nigel says the judges have been debating the relevance of “Dancing for Your Life,” but says the solos are a good reminder of the dancers' genres and why they made it into the Top 20. He also announces that since we saw Jenna dance last week, she gets a reprieve tonight and is safe, leaving the other five to perform individually. The judges are not saving a guy at this time.
First up is Makenzie, dancing to Laura Sullivan's “Claire de Lune.” Alan brings out a cape to perform to X-Ray Dog's “Return of the King,” and Curtis performs a Tap routine to John Legend's funky “Used to Love U.” Krumper Mariah does her thing to “Set It Off” by Kardinal Offishall and Clipse, followed by BluPrint performing a hypnotic Animation number to Gramatik's “Illusion of Choice.”
Since the show was on hiatus last week, Cat takes a moment to reintroduce the dancers. Alexis is actually a three-time Olympic medalist, having won in the 2005 Tap Olympics—she jokes that she's the Michael Phelps of dance. Nico apparently received all kinds of yellow cards for his high kicking in soccer; apparently dance and soccer don't mix. The pair performs a Jive number from Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin, set to Imelda May's “Mayhem.” Nigel thinks the routine started well but says they lost the good feeling and energy halfway through. Mary says she enjoyed the number and is glad to see Tony and Melanie back, while she disagrees with Nigel's evaluation and jokes that the pair must have had some of Honey Boo Boo's “Go Go Juice.” On a more practical note, she advises the pair they should work on keeping their feet underneath their bodies in this sort of routine. Carley says she couldn't keep her eyes off Nico, loved Alexis' dress and thought the couple was good even dancing out of their element.
Next up we are reacquainted with Jenna, who has a passion for baking and runs a cupcake business back home in Utah. Tucker used to be the kid who dressed up in weird costumes, but that's because his mother dressed him as a mouse every Halloween. The pair tackles Travis Wall's Contemporary choreography in a routine danced to Jann Arden's “Hangin' by a Thread” where Tucker is supposed to be the inspiration for Jenna as she gets rid of her puppet strings. Mary says the routine is going to be remembered as one of the best of the season; the pair has done something great every week but just needed “that moment,” and this routine was it. She says she's too choked up to yell that the couple's on the Hot Tamale Train, but they definitely are. Carley was impressed by the number and thinks it was beautiful. Nigel points out that this routine served to remind everyone why choreographer Travis was nominated for an Emmy, and he says Ballroom dancer Jenna just lifted the entire game with her performance.
Jazz choreographer Brian Friedman teams with Mariah, who was a cheerleader in high school and not the hardcore Krumper she appears to be, and BluPrint, who reveals a talent as at pencil drummer, to show them a piece about a Greek goddess who falls for a mortal man. The two Hip-Hop dancers perform to a track by Zedd and Lucky Date (featuring Ellie Goulding) titled “Fall Into the Sky.” Carley comments that the number was fun, striking and powerful. Nigel welcomes Brian back to the show and points out that Jazz can borrow from many styles, noting that this routine was filled with a lot of Hip-Hop influence, which helped the pair master it. Mary says she thought the outfits were spectacular and notes that when the music began to pick up, the pair really hit it hard. She says she's amazed by BluPrint's ability every week and she thinks Mariah gave a good performance this week as well.
Although Malece says she's only 5'2" and 98 pounds, she claims can out-eat a man twice her size. Alan said that despite looking big and strong and tough, he's a huge crybaby and only hopes he can keep it together for the rest of the season. The pair team up for a futuristic Hip-Hop routine from Dave Scott, with Chris Brown's “Bassline” acting as the soundtrack for this couple's first dance together. Nigel jokes that Malece is a mean little alien and advises Alan that he has to put on a mantle when performing routines. In this routine, he had to come out with a swagger and it seemed he was a little stiff—it might have to do with the pants. Mary agrees, not liking the pants but also saying it seemed as if Alan was just dancing steps and not performing; but on the other hand, she thinks Malece was on fire tonight and her star is shining bright. Carley says Malece is adorable, and even though Alan did a good job, she just couldn't take her eyes off Malece.
Next, Hayley admits that she's actually a beauty queen, having won the title of Miss Kansas Teen USA. Her partner Curtis thinks he'd be a basketball player if he wasn't a dancer. The pair combine for a Dee Caspary piece in which they climb and dance around a ladder prop to the soundtrack of David J. Roch's “Don't Let Go Yet.” The couple earns a standing ovation for the unique routine. Mary says that she enjoyed the number and thought it was creative and interesting. She liked all of the number's little transitions, although she advises that Curtis needs to watch his shoulders more and pull them down when creating lines, but Hayley was spectacular with how effortlessly she handled the unstable ladder. Carley says this was the first time she saw such good chemistry between partners, and Curtis reveals that he took Hayley out for sushi to work on their chemistry. Nigel offers that he was also disappointed by Curtis' shoulders and thought the routine was ruined because of it—a comment the crowd boos—but on an emotional level he thought Curtis gave a good performance and Hayley was magnificent.
Amy and Fik-Shun have played bellhops onstage, and now they're appearing as a pair of hobos for a Jazz routine from Tyce Diorio. Amy gives a little background on herself, saying that with three sisters, she has taken up being her dad's sidekick for all the boy stuff, and she loves fishing. Fik-Shun reveals that he's a first-year black belt. Tyce says he hadn't placed a lot of restrictions on the pair and he allowed them to create within his choreography, which was set to “Under the Bridge” from the soundtrack to “The Triplets of Belleville.” Carley comments that she thinks the pair was adorable and made the routine look flawless, making this her favorite routine so far. Nigel quips that he can't say the pair grew a little bit this week—because Tyce had choreographed one of the best routines he's ever come up with, and the pair grew enormously this week. In Nigel's eyes, Amy is a choreographer's dream, and they can do anything with her, and he jokes that if the royal family saw this number, they'd be naming the baby Fik-Shun. Mary chimes in that it looks like Fik-Shun is no longer afraid and he's having a ball out there, and Amy is anything she needs to be when she needs to be it. These hobos need some serious transportation—on the Hot Tamale Train! Nigel gives props to Tyce and all of the sensational choreographers on the show.
We then learn that Makenzie is obsessed with James Franco and thinks her partner Paul is Franco's identical twin. Paul is an artist both on the stage and with a pencil. The pair tackle the second Dave Scott routine for the night, with Makenzie playing the part of a model in the '30s and Paul a photographer trying to get her out of her shell in a number set to “Pretty Lil' Heart” by Robin Thicke and Lil Wayne. The pair receive a standing ovation for their effort. Nigel is at first speechless, but then jokes about Paul trying to get the sexy out of his partner—although he says there was no need to try, since Makenzie is plenty sexy. He sums it up by saying the pair was on his Hot Tamale Train, and he's driving. Mary joins in to comment that Nigel got it right for once—but that Makenzie is the one driving that train, not Nigel. According to her, Makenzie takes one step on the stage and the sexy just comes out. Carley comments that she was on the edge of her seat and thought the choreography was spectacular in a number reminiscent of a Baz Luhrmann movie.
The following number features Jasmine, who says she was a huge tomboy when she was younger, even asking people to call her Jack. Aaron is a musician on top of being a dancer, and he says music surrounds his entire life. The tallest couple of the season has drawn the only style that has the adjective “dreaded” attached to its name. Jasmine and Aaron take on the “Dreaded” Quickstep, choreographed by Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin. The choreographers say this is the hardest Quickstep they've ever assembled, but Paolo Nutini's “Pencil Full of Lead” helps the pair burn up the floor. Apparently the word “dreaded” is not in either dancer's vocabulary, as they earn a standing ovation. Mary notes all of the different styles incorporated into the dance, but loves that they just went for it. She also loved the couple's confidence. Carley says the pair made it look so easy. Nigel was struck by how the choreographers allowed Aaron and Jasmine to show their personalities since they're both so vivacious.
After ending the routines on an infectiously happy note, it's time for the moment of truth. The judges have spoken to the choreographers and now are forced to make the hard decisions. Nigel reminds everyone that this a dance competition show. He points out that the guys were especially hard to judge—Alan brought something special to his solo but not his partner work, and he needs to find a comfortable medium. He also reminds Alan that he'll need to bring out some character work in his routines as well. Nigel wonders how many times choreographers have had to give the shoulder note to Curtis, and how many more times they'll want to. But despite being amazing at what he does, BluPrint is the one who will be going home this week. As for the remaining two girls, Nigel says Makenzie has cemented her spot on this show tonight, which means Mariah is going home.
The Top 14 are now set for the next round. As always, the judges will make the final decision, but you still have the power to determine who will go on the chopping block next week as the bottom three guys and bottom three girls—so keep voting to save your favorites.
"New World"Buy on iTunes
"Claire de Lune"Buy on iTunes
"Used to Love U"Buy on iTunes
"Set It Off"Buy on iTunes
Kardinal Offishall ft The Clipse
"Illusion of Choice"Buy on iTunes
"Mayhem"Buy on iTunes
"Hangin' by a Thread"Buy on iTunes
"Fall Into the Sky"Buy on iTunes
Zedd and Lucky Date ft Ellie Goulding
"Bassline"Buy on iTunes
"Don't Let Go Yet (Radio Edit)"Buy on iTunes
David J Roch
"Under The Bridge (Sous le pont)"Buy on iTunes
The Triplets of Belleville (soundtrack)
"Pretty Lil' Heart"Buy on iTunes
Robin Thicke ft Lil Wayne
"Pencil Full of Lead"Buy on iTunes
"Live It Up"Buy on iTunes
"Treasure"Buy on iTunes
"What We're Here For"Buy on iTunes