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SYTYCD: The skeletons on a magic carpet Jive episode

Judge Nigel Lithgoe
Judge Nigel Lithgoe
Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images for SAG Foundation

The Top 18 opened the show to “How It’s Done” by District 78 in a chess-themed dance. The choreography had a lot to look at with elements from Hip Hop and a sort of Renaissance ball. The costumes looked like they were taken from a Tim Burton film.

Guest judge Misty Copeland from American Ballet Theatre was back again for another round. As mentioned last week, it is worth tuning in for her constructive criticism alone. (Thank you, SYTYCD!)

Unfortunately, it was a matter of some unpleasant business before the couples were to perform. The six dancers in jeopardy this week were Bridget, Emilio, Emily, Stanley, Jourdan and Teddy.

Choreography team Keone and Mari Madrid popped into the studio to give Jacque and Zach a Hip Hop routine. They danced to “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith. The style of this dance was almost Lyrical with a lot more expressivity and technical elements than the usual Hip Hop choreography on the show. Jacque and Zach were quite good and did not give any indication that this was not their most comfortable dance technique. It was revealed in the pair’s introduction that Jacque has a crush on Rudy but we discover later that the feeling is mutual. Too cute!

Jourdan and Marquet worked with Dee Caspary on a Contemporary piece to “Disappear” by Mikky Ekko. Jourdan and her gorgeous feet stole the show from Marcquet. Marcquet is a fair partner but it was obvious that Contemporary is not quite a comfortable technique for him yet.

Tyce DiOrio returned to give Jessica and Stanley a magic carpet themed Jazz dance to “Funkier Than a Mosquito’s Tweeter” by Nina Simone. (What in the world is a “Mosquito’s Tweeter?”) This was a very rhythmic performance with a lot of lifts and synchronized movement that required perfect timing. Technically pleasing, the dance was well done by both dancers and with turns on a carpet no less!

SYTYCD alumni Anya and Pasha created a Jive for Bridget and Emilio to Pharrell Williams’ “Happy.” To see these two in jeopardy this week was a little confusing. Bridget and Emilio were a little rough on each other in rehearsal but the performance itself was very “happy.” It was difficult not to smile while watching this one. Both dancers were light on their feet and a complex series of lifts proved Emilio’s mettle as a partner. They interacted with each other very well and Emilio’s small Hip Hop sequence was well-placed.

Another track from Nina Simone (“Ne Me Quitte Pas”) was featured in Tyce DiOrio’s Contemporary piece for Emily and Teddy. Teddy and Emily are obviously very talented with a great series of lifts and brilliant sharing of weight while remaining grounded. It was very easy to forget that Teddy was a Hip Hop dancer. However, there was a slight impression that these two were dancing together but never really connected as a pair.

Emmy nominated choreographer Bonnie Story worked with Brooklyn and Casey in the studio. Their Jazz dance was set to “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Michael Buble. The performance was upbeat with a lot of tricks and a particularly adept series of turns from Casey. In fact, one tended to watch Casey the entire time. Brooklyn had a few moments where she was in over her natural depth but was an appealing stage presence and very brave in the lifts.

Lacey Schwimmer-another SYTYCD family member-returned to give Valerie and Ricky a Viennese Waltz to “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz. First, it’s worth mentioning that Valerie’s “princess dress” was a great costume for this performance. The waltz itself was joyful and light. Ricky in particular was very agile. Valerie and Ricky seemed to be enjoying themselves and the connection they shared seemed to be a secret amusement. Brilliant!

Luther Brown gave the Hip Hop treatment to Carly and Serge. They took to the stage in skeleton costumes with “Senile” by Young Money. The choreography was a wonderful treat for Carly who appeared more cat-like than skeleton-like on the stage. Serge faded into the background a bit because of Carly’s prowess but was no less talented.

Tanisha and Rudy closed the show with a wonderful Warren Carlysle Broadway number. If you missed tonight’s show, this is the performance to watch. Tanisha and Rudy danced to “Sing Sing Sing” from Fosse with amazing energy and zeal while using canes as props. Rudy was truly in his element and Tanisha matched him step for step. Their footwork was impeccable and these two really knew how to dominate the stage.

Just before the final eliminations were announced the band A Great Big World performed their single “Say Something.” It was a year ago that the song premiered on the SYTYD stage and caused the band’s career to take off.

At the end of the evening the judges decided to bow to the viewers’ votes with their elimination. Jourdan and Stanley were sent home and graciously agreed that they would have both done it all over again.

Albuquerque viewers can catch So You Think You Can Dance Wednesdays at 7 p.m. (MST) on Fox Channel 2. Everyone can vote for their favorite dancers (including favorite dance crew) via the show website or the smartphone app through Thursday at 10 a.m. (PDT). Each voter gets 20 votes to divvy as they see fit.

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