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SYTYCD: The Top 10 episode

Tara Lipinski guest judged this week's show
Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

The Top 10 opened the night to “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj. Choreographer Jamal Sims did the unthinkable by pairing brightly-colored (neon, really) cowboys in a saloon with Hip Hop. The high level of energy and the interesting shapes made this fun to watch.

This week the contestants danced with SYTYCD alumni and these pairings really elevated the performance level with amazing results. Even guest judge Tara Lipinski seemed to agree.

Nakul Dev Mahajan concocted a clever Bollywood Disco mash-up for Bridget and All Star Brandon. These two were really conscious of the technique and energy required for this style of dance and were nearly flawless. The best bit was Brandon’s back flip at the end. He melted right to the floor as though he were gliding through water. Viewer votes were announced following the dance, however, putting Bridget in the bottom this week.

Legendary Tango team Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo created a precise and passionate Argentine Tango for Tanisha and Ryan from Season 6. They danced to “The Gaucho’s Pain” by Tango Jointz and were breathtakingly gorgeous. Tanisha had a wonderful solo for the first few seconds in the dance and then Ryan stepped out of a shadow to join her giving a real sense of drama. Tanisha was safe thanks to viewer votes.

The Nappy Tabs team returned to SYTYCD to give Emilio and Jasmine from Season 10 a Hip Hop routine to “Get Low” by Dillon Francis and DJ Snake. The snake-charmer themed dance featured Jasmine as the snake hoping to get revenge and an amazing conglomeration of Hip Hop techniques. Unfortunately, Emilio was announced to be in the bottom despite his fantastic performance.

Valerie (who is safe to dance another week) danced with Ade in Tyce DiOrio’s Jazz number to “Hearts A Mess” by Gotye. Valerie did have a little difficulty consistently carrying the grittier character required for this piece. However, she did show great improvement when paired with the talented Ade.

Ballroom choreographer Louis van Amstel had a Cha-cha-cha for Rudy (another fan favorite who is safe) and Season 10’s Jenna to “Maps” by Maroon 5. Rudy is a bit of a ham in general but his footwork and brilliant partnering kept up with Jenna step for step.

Tonight a Contemporary Ballet piece was performed for the first time on the SYTYCD stage. Season 10 champ Chehon partnered Jacque in Travis Wall’s choreography to “Adagio for TRON” by Daft Punk. The stark white costumes and light only served to accentuate the intense series of lifts. Chehon is an amazing partner and Jacque definitely danced at his level even though viewer votes put her in the bottom this week.

Choreographer Mandy Moore made a Rockabilly/Jazz dance to “Bossa Nova Baby (Viva Mix)” by Elvis Presley for Ricky and Season 9’s champ Lauren. Visually pleasing yet deceptively complex this dance was a crowd pleaser. Ricky had no trouble keeping up with Lauren and the viewer votes kept him safe for another week.

Season 6’s Kathryn McCormick joined Casey in a Spencer Liff Broadway number to Liza Minnelli’s “Maybe This Time.” They danced their fluid “he loves me, he loves me not” characters with plenty of turns for Casey who (as usual) spins like a top. Casey is also safe for the week.

Nappy Tabs performed double duty for Jessica and tWitch to “U Got Me Up” by Cajmere feat. Dajae. Jessica danced looking like a Betty Grable-like pinup girl with (grandpa) tWtich who meets his dream girl at the bus station. Fun, upbeat and amusing these two were a great pair. Jessica (who is safe this week) really stepped up the technique and kept up with her partner better than anyone could have imagined.

Zack danced with last season’s Amy in a Sonja Tayeh Contemporary piece to “Europe After the Rain” by Max Richter. This piece was an emotional tribute to one of Sonja’s friends who had passed away and brought out the absolute best we have seen in Zack so far this season. He melted into the part with effortless grace. We also learned that the talented Tayeh would be going to work with the legendary Martha Graham Dance Company. (Wow!)

Kathryn and Chehon accompanied special guest Christina Perri. She sang her new single “Burning Gold” as the dancers performed around her. Bridget and Emilio were revealed to have the lowest number of viewer votes and were sent home.

Albuquerque viewers can catch So You Think You Can Dance Wednesdays at 7 p.m. (MST) on Fox Channel 2. Next week the contestants will be dancing with different All Stars to the music of Michael Jackson!

Readers, keep your favorite dancers in the competition! 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.