This week, the top 10 on “So You Think You Can Dance” separated from their partners and paired up with all-stars, including none other than Chelsie Hightower, who appeared (but didn’t win) on season 4 of “SYTYCD,” only to move on to pro status at our other favorite dance show, “Dancing with the Stars.”
Chelsie and Marko kicked the evening off with the fastest Samba we’ve ever seen, proving that Marko truly is a jack-of-all-trades and has the versatility to win this thing. Even guest judge Neil Patrick Harris echoed our sentiments in saying that Marko “is the guy to beat.”
As for the other “one to beat,” Marko’s previous partner Melanie brought her A-game and proved she’s a force to be reckoned with on her own. She performed a beautiful Viennese Waltz with all-star Pasha that prompted Neil to call her his favorite dancer.
Catch Up With Last Week’s Episode:
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In the dancers’ second offering of the night – the top 10’s solos – Sasha’s solo moved us the same way she did in the audition rounds proving that, well, her ex-partner (the departed Alexander) really did weigh her down a bit. Melanie’s solo was another highlight, dancing to a slowed down version of the “Grease” hit “You’re the One that I Want” by Angus and Julia Stone. Unfortunately, the guys just aren’t quite stacking up.
Let’s take a look at the top 10/all-star dances…
Marko & Chelsie: Samba
Choreographer Jason Gilkison is known for his super fast routines and this one was extra fast, causing many bumps and bruises along the rehearsal way. Great to see the “Dancing with the Stars” favorite return to her stomping grounds in a style she always knocks out of the park Oh, but, yes, we’re here to write about Marko and this dance proved he can shine without Melanie and without the comfort of his own style – contemporary. “That was so dirty, what a dirty way to start a show!” says Neil Patrick Harris, giving props to the scissor kick around his face. “We think you’re ahead of the field, we really do,” said Nigel Lythgoe.
Jordan & Brandon: Contemporary
Jordan brought out her “beast” side tonight in a chilling piece that really helped the hopeful step up her game. “You were just fierce tonight,” said Mary Murphy. “You are just fantastic. You are fighting to take this next position and I can see it. You are dancing solid sister.” Nigel said, “You don’t have many weaknesses.” Neil loved it too: “I was breathing deeply as I was watching it.” Neil also mentioned how beautiful and yoked Brandon was. Indeed.
Tadd & Comfort: Hip-Hop
Comfort brought up the hip-hop swag monster in Tadd. Unfortunately, he had a hard time keeping up with her step-wise. But, it didn’t seem to matter to the panel – they were wildly entertained by this number. “This was a great, fun routine to do and there was so much going,” said Nigel. Neil thought he was amazing and then revealed that a hip-hop dance choreographed by Spencer Liff will be on an upcoming episode of “How I Met Your Mother.” Mary said, “This routine was fired right out of the canon and it didn’t let up,” adding that Tadd has “swagger for days!”
Mitchell & Melody: Broadway
I didn’t love it. Neither did the backstage onlookers who went from staring at the TV monitors with their eyes glued to Melanie’s solo to getting up for beverages during this dance. Not a good sign. “I didn’t get that much at all,” said Neil. “I didn’t get the airplane theme. It all seemed incredibly disjointed and not very thought out for me.” Ouch.
Caitlynn & Pasha: Argentine Tango
Again, the addition of the all-stars really has stepped up every single contestants game to the point that it feels like all-stars dancing with fellow all-stars and this dance was no exception. Pasha simply brought out the best in Caitlynn. Mary Murphy gave her a standing ovation, noting how effortless she made the dance look. “You were a complete woman out there and it was real,” she added, referring to past comments about how she dances a bit young. “You just took your dancing to another level. Oh my gosh!” Nigel agreed. “Tonight you were a woman and far sexier than anything you’ve done in this competition.”
Sasha & tWitch: Hip-Hop
This was the pairing I was waiting for. Sasha’s hip-hop with Alexander was a total flop, but tWitch (who recently signed on for “Step Up 4” movie) helped her show she can strut this side of her stuff as well. Though this was more of a romantic lyrical hip-hop than the hard-hitting stuff we love tWitch for, it still rocked. Nigel was speechless at first. “This is a very memorable routine,” he finally said. “I truly think this is the first time, Sasha, that I’ve seen you with passion with your partner.” Mary Murphy called it “sexyass.” “Sasha, you are an all-star tonight!” she yelled.
Jess & Kathryn” Contemporary
It’s embarrassing at this point to see Jess, the smallest dancer on the show, struggle week after week with lifts. He’s simply not strong enough, but, while he struggled through the lifts in this piece, at least he didn’t drop Kathryn (who, by the way, got the lead in “Step Up 4”). Still, his lack of strength and inability to put on a serious face will likely do him in, in this competition. “I think that that was an extraordinary designed performance by Stacey [Tookey],” said Neil, but criticized Jess’ “muggy” face. “Just kind of own it and be real,” he advised poor Jess.
Melanie & Pasha: Viennese Waltz
Melanie must be a woman in love because the emotions, feelings, chills, and thrills she evokes in her audience on every single dance just oozes something intensely deep within her. This waltz was breathtaking. And this time it wasn’t so much an all-star lifting up a competitor but a competitor already being at the pro level and that is what Melanie is: a pro. “It just seems right now that your feet just never touch the floor. It was as if you were just floating across the floor,” said Mary. “I honestly don’t know how you do it.” Nigel called it a “master class in lifting” and said the flow was beautiful. Neil added, “Sometimes I watch the show and you’re like superhero people.”
Ricky & Allison: Jazz
Allison turned Ricky into a man tonight with this riveting, on-the-edge piece that made backstage fans go, “What?” “Wow!” “Oh my God!” A must watch-back moment of the night. Nigel gave kudos to choreographer Tyce Diorio. “I thought this was a sensational piece,” said Nigel. “Pretty bold call,” said Neil, who noted that he seems to dance “young” sometimes, but tonight he was fierce, strong, and powerful.
Clarice & Robert: Bollywood
Robert wowed us with his Bollywood performance from last season so it’s no wonder they brought him back to give it a go with Clarice. It was sexy, passionate (a big wet kiss toward the end) and energetic, but I don’t know that it’s enough to keep Clarice in the game when the other girls’ delivered much more hair-raising performances. Neil said he never connected with Clarice, but she came more alive tonight (especially after that kiss!). Mary Murphy said it was exhilarating to watch.