Thursday, August 22, 2019

So You Think You Can Dance S16E11: Top 10 Perform, Round 2

Two of the dancers get cut
by Stephen Mosher

Starting out the second of the Live Shows this week was a Travis Wall group piece to the song 'Sign of the Times' by Harry Styles. Last week I said that Travis Wall’s choreography has a look, that it’s predictable - and this week everyone in my house said “This is a Travis Wall dance!” because it has his stamp, his look, his emotion. And it was stunning. This is a Travis Wall number that shows why he is an Emmy winner. Just beautiful, from him and from all the dancers. It was gorgeous.

And so was Cat! Oh my gosh, what an outfit, what a hairdo, what a raving beauty!

Alright, let’s get to it. Last week I predicted that Eddie and Anna would go home this week and tonight all the dancers perform, in spite of knowing two will depart at the end of the show. The suspense begins now.

Up first! Stephanie and Gino were given a chance to work with Emma Slater and Sasha Farber on a jive to the Little Richard song 'Long Tall Sally', and this number was nothing but personality! These two kids have each others’ backs, that’s how in tune they are with one another. The number was a joy to watch but the real joy was watching Gino step out of his style and go to live in another style! Kid was AMAZING and all the judges said so. After a standing ovation, they all basically said “yeah, yeah, Stephanie … BUT GINO!” It was overwhelming.

Gino: Safe. Stephanie: In Danger

Moving on we get to Sophie and Eddie, who worked with Travis Wall on a contemporary piece to the Billy Eilish song 'When the Party’s Over'. This number was classic Travis Wall, if a bit simple, one assumes to accommodate Eddie, but it was beautiful in its simplicity and Eddie did a wonderful job, particularly by being a good partner to Sophie. He protected her, he was there for her, he held her up so all could see her brilliance. The judges were complimentary to Eddie, though maybe a bit nonplussed with their comments, seeming to go into detail with their Sophie critiques and favoring vagueness in their Eddie estimations. Mary did call Sophie Liquid Gold and told Eddie she was proud of him.

Eddie: In Danger. Sophie: Safe.

Benanna are up next and Randi & Hef gave the kids a hip hop dance to 'Lottery' by K Camp. Both are actually cute at the acting bits that the choreographers gave them, but it was odd that Benjamin outshone Anna, dancing in her own style. I think it is because he dances with his heart, indeed, he leads with his heart. Everything he does is with his heart, and it affects the vibe between him and the crowd. As dancing goes, they were both good, and the number was cute, but tonight was all about Ben, who Laurieann told “your calling is absolutely to dance” but she was down on Anna. When Cat told the twosome their results, Benjamin almost cried when he was hearing he was safe, and then he did cry when he heard Anna was not. He’s a good boy who cares about his partner.

Benjamin: Safe. Anna: In Danger.

Madison and Ezra scored when they got Ray Leeper to choreograph a jazz routine for them to Joe Cocker’s ''You Can Leave Your Hat On because this was one for the SYTYCD history books. They were both extraordinary but Ezra really stepped into the light with this one, showing nuances and gumption that people possibly did not expect from him. The commitment was incredible and the chemistry was off the charts. Nigel told Madison Bob Fosse would have loved her and Mary told them they lived up to one of the sexiest songs in history. Laurieann said “there’s dancing and then there’s DANCING!” and she was right. This is one of the routines on SYTYCD people will remember for years to come.

Ezra: In Danger. Madison: Safe.

Mariah and Bailey, the couple to beat, pulled a hip hop routine with Luther Brown to the song 'Tempo' by Lizzo ft. Missy Elliot and it turned out to be the best number of the night. These two are simply astonishing, with so much attitude, such skill, and oodles of personality. Everyone had to be wondering who was sexier in this nasty number, and even though Bailey is all the damn things, it’s all Mariah. Who would have EVER thought a classically trained dancer could get this down in the pocket? And down in the pocket is what Mary said they were. The judges gave them a standing ovation and both Mary and Nigel told them they were the couple to beat. That poetess, Laurieann, said “do not make any other choice but believing in the greatness you were born with.”

Both dancers are Safe.

During the eliminations it was made specifically clear that the judges factored in that night’s performances, as well as all that had come before. Then they sent home a tearful Stephanie and a resigned Eddie. He seemed to know it was coming, but she was hurt. And what this writer wants to know is this: if they factored in last week, and this week, and everything else, why did Stephanie go home instead of Anna? Stephanie has been giving solid performances, they praised her work tonight, she is always good. Anna has been hit or miss since Academy and she gets critiques and still they have kept her. Clearly, they just have a thing for Anna, and maybe it’s a thing I don’t see but I am determined to keep an open mind. It’s just difficult to figure them out at times.

In the meantime, though these two young ‘uns are off the show, their careers are started. They will go out on tour with the show and, eventually, land on Broadway or Dancing with the Stars, so it was all worth it. They are on their way.

So You Think You Can Dance airs Mondays at 8 PM on Fox.

What did you think of this episode? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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