‘SYTYCD’ Top 10 Recap: Allstar Games Begin!
Well, we're finally down to a top 10 on "So You Think You Can Dance," so you regular viewers/readers know what that means: ALLSTARS TIME! This is the point where this year's hopefuls part from their partners and pair up with allstars--that is, popular contestants from past seasons. This is both a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing for viewers, of course, who happily get to see some of "SYTYCD's" best and brightest strut their stuff once more. But it can be a curse for the current crop of finalists, who often struggle to hold their own alongside dancers who may be more charismatic (Twitch Boss), more limber (Jakob Karr), more vivacious (Anya Garnis), more experienced (Allison Holker), or more beloved (Alex Wong) than they are.
Yes, just as Season 9's contestants found themselves in the tough and unenviable position of being compared to past "SYTYCD" dancers last week, when they were forced to reprise iconic Mia Michaels routines, this week they once again had to face inevitable comparisons, now that they were paired with established allstars. But this time they all fared much better, and a couple of them even came across like allstars themselves. Here's how everyone did...
Tiffany Maher with allstar Brandon Bryant - Disco
Disco dominatrix Doriana Sanchez--the whip-cracking lady known for her back-breaking lifts and whiplash-speed choreography--was back in a full force, packing this fun and frenetic first routine with no fewer than ELEVEN crazy lifts. Luckily, Season 5 runner-up Brandon--one of my all-time favorite "SYTYCD" alums--was totally up for the task. But that didn't mean that Brandon did all the heavy lifting in the proverbial sense. Tiffany was a dyn-o-mite disco dynamo, boogie-ing to Cobra Starship's "You Make Me Feel" (yep, I guess Cobra Starship are a disco band now) with enough energy to light up all the multi-colored tiles on that famous Saturday Night Fever dance floor. "Saturday Night Fever on steroids" is how hostess Cat Deeley described this routine, and the judges were equally effusive. Nigel Lythgoe called Tiffany "sensational" and exclaimed, "Whatta way to open the show!" Said Mary Murphy: "You had all the fireworks tonight! You were full of energy and life up there! It was just a party." And this week's guest judge, French ballet dancer Benjamin Millepied (better known as Mr. Natalie Portman to some of you), declared in his sexy exotic accent, "You had a chance to be fearless tonight...I was mainly impressed by the energy you kept all the way through."
Witney Carson with allstar Nick Lazzarini - Jazz
Witney got to go back to the old-school, teaming with "SYTYCD's" O.G., Season 1 winner Nick. Additionally, this routine was choreographed by Season 2's runner-up (and, in a transparent bit of cross-promo, Nick's "All The Right Moves" co-star), Travis Wall. This was a great routine for Witney, and one of the only routines of the night during which I genuinely thought that the contestant upstaged the allstar. Blonde ballroom bombshell Witney has been repeatedly advised to tone down her almost Pussycat Doll-like sexiness on this show, but for this sultry Fosse-inspired routine, set to Moloko's "Sing It Back," she was allowed to finally let it rip. And she certainly did not hold back. She wasn't vulgar, however; Witney kept it classy. But this was sexy-classy, bringing to mind a bit of Roxie Hart and Madonna circa "Open Your Heart." It just worked. Benjamin praised the couple's great use of release and tension and ability to "really make us feel like time is stopping." Nigel told Witney, "You were totally committed to that. You were even sexy when you were just breathing!" And Mary cried out (new catchphrase alert), "Lord have Murphy! You are a star."