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SYTYCD: The Tokyo rave episode

Guest judge Christina Applegate
Guest judge Christina Applegate Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Seasoned guest judge Christina Applegate joined Nigel and Mary tonight as the Top 6 showed us their dancing chops. Choreographer Nick Demoura had a rave DJ Hip Hop routine for them to “Hide (Tropkillaz Remix)” by N.A.S.A. feat. Aynzli Jones. It was a great show opener.

The duo of Valerie and Ricky reunited for Spencer Liff’s Broadway piece to “I’ve Got the World On a String.” These two bravely bore manipulating a swing on stage and we saw what the rehearsal looked like (the swing did not want to let go of Valerie’s dress) and so they were doubly brave. Ricky also crisply leaped over the still swinging prop. Otherwise, the piece was a beautiful marshmallow and looked like a lot of fun.

There was a dizzying Disco piece from choreographer Doriana Sanchez for Jessica and Casey. All the spinning was right up Casey’s alley and the style suited Jessica’s generally gorgeous grace. They made wonderful use of their spotting to transition in and out of the innumerable spinning lifts.

Jacque and Zack (dubbed “Jacque Rogers” and “Zack Astaire” by choreographer Jean-Marc Genereux) danced the Foxtrot to “Anything Goes” by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. This really should have been a fun marshmallow for ballet dancer Jacque with the beautiful extensions. And should have been a breeze for tapper Zack. However, they were just lacking that Rogers/Astaire effortlessness and (although always lovely dancers) seemed a little on the uncomfortable side.

Valerie and All Star tWtich danced a fun, wedding-themed Hip Hop dance from Willdabeast to “Yeah” by Usher feat Lil Jon and Ludacris. No semblance of the Broadway honey remained as Valerie killed this choreography. She really had a sense of the Hip Hop technique and played the character impeccably.

“99 Red Balloons” by Sleeping at Last was a wonderful soundtrack for Sean Cheesman’s Contemporary choreography. Jacque and All Star Will delicately and effortlessly manipulated a red ball ending in a sea of red balloons on the stage. This sweet, warm piece could have gone on much longer without a moment of boredom.

Jessica and Ade worked with Ray Leeper on a crazy, Tokyo rave Jazz piece to “Boneless” by Steve Aoki, Chris Lake and Tujamo. Bizarre yet fun is the best way to describe these two decked out in neon colors (and Jessica’s neon pigtails).

Colorful Jean-Marc Genereux had a Cha cha cha for Ricky and All Star Anya to “Dare (La La La)” by Shakira. Anya is absolutely stunning and at times it was difficult to watch only Ricky. However, his footwork and body language was so convincing that it was easy to forget that he is in reality a Contemporary dancer.

Stacey Tookey’s emotional Contemporary choreography brought Casey to a whole new level with his partner All Star Makenzie. They danced to “Over You” by Ingrid Michaelson feat. A Great Big World. Casey’s strengths in this competition have been the upright performance and turn-minded techniques. However, his emotional side took over and you could see this remarkable transformation in him as elevated by Makenzie no doubt.

Season 5 alum Phillip Chbeeb created an inkblot-inspired Hip Hop routine for Zack and All Star Fikshun. They danced to “Sail (Unlimited Gravity Remix” by AWOLNATION and yours truly was blown away by Zack’s technique. This guy has absolutely done anything he was given and proved himself an amazing dancer no matter the technique. If you missed tonight’s show, this performance is worth several watches.

In between the duets, the Top 6 performed their solos in their personal styles. Ricky danced to “My Tears Are Becoming a Sea” by M83. Jessica’s solo was performed to “I Was Here” by Beyonce. “Lay Me Down (Acoustic Version)” was Casey’s solo track. Valerie tapped her way around the stage to “What I Like About You” by The Romantics while Zack tapped to “Butterfly” by Jason Mraz. Jacque performed her solo to “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” by The Andrews Sisters looking like one of the ladies on the USO tour.

The dancers going into next week’s finale are Jessica, Valerie, Ricky and Zack. Jacque and Casey were so gracious and earned a standing ovation upon leaving. Of course, you will see them again touring the Top 10 beginning this October!

Albuquerque viewers can catch the So You Think You Can Dance Wednesday, August 27th at 7 p.m. (MST) on Fox Channel 2. Next week Jesse Tyler Ferguson (a former resident of Albuquerque) will be at the judges' table.

Readers, your votes mean more than ever this week! 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.