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So You Think You Can Dance's Top 6: Routine of the Week

So You Think You Can Dance S09E13: "Top 6 Perform/2 Eliminated"

One of the more unexpected side effects of this So You Think You Can Dance's new format is what a mind-f*ck it must be for the contestants. Until this week, judges began episodes knowing who would be in the bottom, but could essentially be convinced to "save" dancers based on the routines they would go on to witness that night. But this week SYTYCD did away with judges' saves and simply eliminated the bottom two vote-getters from last week. Which meant that the two people going home had to learn and perform FOUR routines for almost no reason. Can you imagine that? As though competing on a nationally televised reality competition weren't enough of an existential nightmare! These poor kids. These poor, glorious, insanely talented kids.

Anyway, this week's Top 6 installment of So You Think You Can Dance was absolutely jam-packed with performances—17 if you include the visiting dance company—and as you'd expect this late in the game, almost all were uniformly excellent. Generally the presence of tWitch or Comfort would guarantee a routine would be my favorite (and I definitely did love Comfort and Cyrus's Christopher Scott DUBSTEP (!) piece), but for my money the best routine belonged to Mia Michaels.


ROUTINE OF THE WEEK

True story that is boring: Sometimes when I watch a DVR recording of a show that's still on, it'll suddenly catch up to the live feed and skip over about ten minutes. So when I first sat down to write about this episode I realized I hadn't seen Cole and Eliana's Mia Michaels routine! Boy am I glad I went back and watched it. SO GOOD. I laughed out loud when Mia Michaels introduced her concept with "This piece is about hatred." Haha dang, Mia Michaels! But the excellence of this piece was no laughing matter, starting with an opening move that made my heart race while it was happening:

The head-butting! And that part where Cole grabs Eliana's waist and spins her like a music box ballerina. Just such good stuff. Nigel made some jokes during his critique that alluded to his rocky relationship with Mia Michaels over the years (hirings, firings, demotions, quittings), but hopefully whatever happened between them can be put aside so that she can continue busting out more of this brilliance on a regular basis.

Also, somehow in an episode with 16 performances, the producers still were able to fit in this extraordinary piece from an outside dance company:

You know, I'm not even sure WHAT was happening here, but I was absolutely riveted. In his earlier praise of a particularly emotional routine (more on that in a sec), Nigel explicitly praised Fox for allowing SYTYCD to air this kind of material on national television, and I nearly applauded in my living room. It's definitely true: This show, believe it or not, is one of the biggest, most widely watched forums for the fine arts on national television. I am so glad it exists.

Last thing: I know the judges adored Tyce Diorio's broadway routine (Mary Murphy seemed to be fighting back tears), but I thought it was effing ridiculous. I mean...

Sorry. I am probably biased against Tyce Diorio's general phoniness, but this whole thing, from the suitcase to the costumes to the melodramatics, was like something out of a Christopher Guest film. Nope! Just nope. Not for me.


WHO WENT HOME

This was the first week in which America had 100 percent of the power, so the judges merely had to observe the voters' harsh wisdom play out on stage. To the judges' credit, however, they mentioned that four of the remaining six had been "saved" from elimination throughout the season. As someone who doesn't particularly love the "America votes" aspect of any reality show, I'm glad this show has given the judges so much power to shape the contestant pool well into the competition. I mean, they know more about dance (and the contestants!) than we do, but in particular they know who makes the best SYTYCD stars. So despite whatever whims the voting public may be experiencing from week to week, it's this balance of power that has ensured deserving people last longer. That two deserving people nonetheless went home this week really just means we're nearing the end of the season...

Goodbye, Witney and Cole! Witney was my favorite girl. Cole was Cole. Both will probably be back as all-stars. Fortunately my favorite remaining guy, Chehon, is still in it, but his chances of beating out Cyrus are pretty slim, don't you think? As for the girls, it could seriously go either way: Both Tiffany and Eliana are pretty well-matched, popularity-wise. It's anyone's game!


JUDGING THE GUEST JUDGE

All right, who canceled at the last minute? Not that Christina Applegate doesn't deserve to be a regular guest, but TWICE in a season? It was just surprising, is all. But yeah, Applegate delivers the goods when it comes to guest-judging: She's thoughtful, warm-hearted, unsparing, yet hilarious. LOVED when she repeatedly asked Cyrus if she could try to throw her pen through his earlobes. And we already knew Applegate had dance experience in her youth, but this week we learned she seems pretty serious about her dance classes these days, going so far as to take them with beloved SYTYCD alumni Benji (who appeared looking surprisingly buff!). So yeah, clearly Applegate can now be considered part of the SYTYCD family, and although it would've been nice to see the ranks of guest judges expand, I'm not even mad about seeing this cool lady again.


ETC.

... Forgot to mention it last week, but how cool/adorable is Chehon's mom?

... Loved when Witney told the camera, "Just because I'm an 18-year-old from Utah doesn't mean I want to get married." And how cool was it seeing Marko again? I barely recognized him with the shaved head, but the second he opened his mouth it brought back all those good memories of partnering with Melanie.

... Speaking of All-Stars, where is Sasha? Or NEIL?

... What on earth do you suppose Christina Applegate said during those five interminable seconds during which she was bleeped? Did she let fly a crazy amount of expletives or did my audio just cut out?

... Should District 78 just come on and be a guest-judge already? It seems like they remix EVERY song on this show now.



What was YOUR favorite routine of the night?

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Neil is currently in Bring It On on Broadway!
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I agree with everything this blogger said except his attitude towards Whitney, or should I call her Lindsey? Whitney is beautiful, she is unique looking, she is star material and she is a fabulous dancer, but she stuck to her genre as much as possible, just like everyone else. Nigel said ballroom dancers rarely make it on the show. She went very far, VERY far and you shouldn't feel sorry for her, she will be rich and famous now. Eliana is better than Whitney. She is the Barbara Streisand of dance. She deserves to win this show. Also, the fact that they had to learn 3 dance routines 'for nothing' is not necessarily a bad thing. It's best to show your talent on national TV as much as possible when you're trying to make a name for yourself in this business. What they "had" to do was much better for them than inside some dance studio or stage in American Fork, Utah.
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Cyrus? Seriously? Cheon? Seriously? It was obvious to me that Nigel and Mary personally disliked Cole all season. Cole is by far the best dancer this season. America and the judges get pulled into the dancers personal background stories and let that influence their decision. That is why Cheon and Cyrus are the final two male dancers. Eliana should win...she is definitely the best dancer; she is flawless. Tiffany can keep up and learn anything but you can see alot of cheerleading in her dance. I could tell she was a cheerleader before it was revealed in one of her stories. Cheon and Cyrus for 2 more weeks? I definitely will not be watching the rest of this season. I will say I have nothing to compare this show to because this is the first season I watched. Audrey definitely better dancer than Witney. My choices were Cole and Eliana.

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Apparently the producers set out to destroy the SYTYCD brand this year.



There were so many good dancers this season, that it was a shame to have the show diminished by some of the production decisions.



I did not like the new format. It is just idiotic to have people vote on a set of performances, then have the same dancer's dance the following week. That sets up the possibility that someone can dance brilliantly, bring the house down and be out the door by the end of the program.



Producers rethink this option..If no one watched the results show, maybe it was because is was littered with nonessential information.



What about going back to the two night schedule and on the results show night - First have a group of younger kids competing. Make sure these kids are real talents - not the pageant type performers.



Choose a winner each week and gift these young dancers with a camp or dance scholarship where they can continue to learn and advance their skills. A SYTYCD scholarship of sorts. Then follow that up with the results from the night before.



From the get go, the judges were over the moon for Cyrus and in promoting this young man above so many more skilled talents they did a disservice to those individuals as well as Cyrus himself.



Thanks to this favoritism for Cyrus, I believe they have "gifted" him with anger and nastiness from viewers that wouldn't have existed if they had played by the rules of past seasons.



Obviously this young man has a talent and personality- and he has shown that he can grow. But many routines were tailored to accommodate his one talent - that was so blatantly unfair to so many other young dancers. This show is still tiled, So You Think You Can Dance? Not, So You Think You Can Learn to Dance?



Since they loved this new style why not work with Cyrus in some other capacity outside of this show's parameters? Either develop his style so he can innovate and teach others or give him classes in various styles so he can aspire to compete on another season of the show? The favoritism left a bad taste. Let an talented new comer make a guest performance but don't make special considerations for one person - it's not fair to anyone.



And what was up with the judges this year and "We aren't choosing the best dancers but choosing who to save?" Cop Out. Seemed designed for favorability and take them off the hook.



I don't like the guest judges - they seem to be there only to give positive props. Please go back to the guest choreographers. Get people in there who know what it takes to be a real dancer. Barring that - how about using guest Broadway or back up dancers - those that have been there and are in the know?



Nigel needs to cut out the titillating remarks to the young female dancers. It's more than a bit pervy and has the aura of the casting couch about it.



And although a bit better this year, Mary still needs to lower the volume to about a 1. She does have some good comments, but I automatically turn off the sound your fast forward for much of her critique because she likes to scream so much.



On the plus side, I like the fact that one girl and one guy are being awarded top prizes this year and I enjoyed seeing so many amazing young talents.



However, Cole was my favorite guy this year and it is a crime that he is not in the final four.
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So which girl (Tiffany or Eliana) do you think would win?



So which guy (Cyrus or Chehon) do you think would win?
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i think she was spelling out S-*-I-T or something!
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I have forgotten to vote the last two shows and I'm upset that excellent dancers have been kicked off, while that one-note Cyrus remains. (Not that my insignificant contribution of votes would have saved any of them!) He's good at his style, but that's it. I will make sure and vote the next time for Chehon since he's a legitimate talent. I also like Eliana. I've liked her since her audition and will vote for her as well.

The best routine was the "guest" dancers with the wheelchair. Simply brilliant! Who are they? Good Luck to Cole. You have a bright future ahead of you!
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I watch with closed captions, and I can't remember what Christina said, but it was all very proper :)



I'm really sad Cole got kicked, I LOVE him! I'd rather see Chehon win, but since Cyrus was never even in the bottom 3 - not ONCE this season, it's pretty clear he's going to be the men's winner.



For the women, Eleana all the way - I really, really love her dancing!!!



As for All-Stars, I think who shows up on any given season depends as much on who's actually available as anything else. Thankfully, a lot of the former contestants are getting work from what I understand.
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The highlight of the night was seeing my beloved Benji again. I adore him and watching him dance...he's just so awesome and the best swing dancer out there...and yes lightyears better than his sister. Then there was Twitch who I never get enough of, Komfort who is also amazing and Melanie! Love her. I love seeing the all stars back.



I did not like Tyce's routine...but I rarely enjoy his work. Mia of course had a great one. I'm bummed about Cole, I thoroughly enjoyed that kid and his technique.
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Come on the routine of the night is Tiffany and Benji / Cyrus and Comfort those two were the best i didn't like Tyce's routine or Mia's routine.

It's clear who's going to win ELIANA AND CYRUS who agrees with me ?
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I feel like the choreography this season has really sucked. I mean the entire episode devoted to old Mia routines was heinous. The love affair the judges get with certain choreographers bugs me--I don't like Tyce and I don't like Mia. If you didn't listen to their story the dance would haven't half the supposed "power." I thought the Tyce routine was a depressing waste of talent. Why make Cheon do the samba and the chacha? All those crappy ballroom numbers that have no actual ballroom in them. Like when has Jean-Marc ever choreographed a ballroom routine that wasn't 80% lifts?



I like Cyrus, but he can't do anything but his style. I do think he will win and he is so much fun, I even liked him better than Comfort. I am kinda hoping he dances with Twitch in the finale. But if they make Cheon do one more ballroom routine I'm gonna be so frustrated.
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To answer your question about Sasha: As far as I know she's busy dancing for Madonna on her MDNA-Tour :)
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Staff
Ooh really? That's awesome!
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CHRISTINA spelled S H I T MY fav routine anything with Whitney, America never embraced her and that was very confusing IMO the best dancer and the most improved!!
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Not like me to agree with a reviewer but I have to completely concur with the comments on the Tyce routine. It was just overblown tedium and I although did actually watch every dance without skipping any, I was reading email during that routine. I'm not a fan of overdone emotional stuff either (i.e. Mia routines) so at least I can disagree on that bit.



My personal favourite routine was the very first, the Tiffany/Benji jive. It made me really wish I could dance.



As for who went home - all 6 dancers are pretty special so it was always going to be a bit of a tossup. Chehon is my favourite guy and Tiffany my favourite girl so I was was pleased and it's pretty certain that Whitney and Cole will not have too much trouble getting constant work after the tour is over. It is after all, as Nigel keeps saying, America's favourite dancer, not Americas best dancer.



Maybe next season they could scrap the badly done Bollywood stuff (it makes my teeth itch to see such joyous dance done so badly) and include a classical ballet routine or two to sort out the real dancers. Plus perhaps, a couple of classic unadulerated hollywood routines?
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Cyrus is probably going to win and this really annoys me. He can't do any styel of dancing outside of his own, and Comfort outdanced him tonight too. He is a one trick pony, it was cool at the start but I'm getting tired of it now.

I loved Mia's piece, I thought it was full of raw emotion but I understand why people are fed up of her too and the way the show panders to her. I was delighted that she came back, but now I think they should have let her go.

I'm conflicted about the new format in regards to the results. I understand why they have to do it this way, as no one watched the results show because it was too long and boring. But now a voter makes their descision, votes out who they don't like, but then the voter sees this contestant dance again the next week and maybe the contestant has an amazing routine and the voter wants to change their mind but can't. I think Will would have been saved if people had voted after his sofa dance somehow (not that I was a Will fan). I guess I'll have to come up with another format and revolutionise the reality tv industry...
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I don't even understand what happens next week. Like the show's over right? The winners getting voted on based on the dances from this week? Cat said that next week is the last performance show. Are they just going to do routines from the season?
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I never even thought of that with the final, that makes no sense. Why can't they give the viewers an hour to vote after the show, film the results, show them for 10mins an hour later or show them at the start of the next episode. BBC always do a lot of their results like this.
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PRICE!! How can you find Mia's choreography riveting and yet find Tyce's terrible? They're clearly BOTH terrible. There's not a choreographer on this show that makes her routines more about her than Mia. I'll give her slight credit for basing it on "Goats" this week instead. Seriously though, who bases a routine on goats?! I skipped through the rest after the first 30 seconds of it.

Mia has had some amazing routines (addiction, door, butt, that group routine where everyone was dress in suits and had the flood lights). But every time I watch a promo package for one of her routines I always get the feeling that she's the most important person in the room. She wants 'A Mia Michaels routine danced by....A and B', instead of 'A and B dancing a Mia Michaels routine'. I'm aware that is confusing, but it's the best I've got to try to get the point across. They seriously enable her to (who decided to give Mia a whole show to herself?)

In conclusion, Tyce and Mia and both self centered, but Tyce has more routines that are about nothing as opposed to being about him.

Worst routines on the show ever - Tyce's cancer routine and Mia's dead dad routine.

It should be about the dancers not the choreographers, we aren't voting for the choreographers.
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I think there were alot of weak routines this week, especially since it's the top 6.

Group - good

Tiffany/Benji - good, got me excited for the show

Cole/Melanie - meh, did not diminish or add to my excitement

Stephanie/Twich - sigh, awful music choice. ruined the routine.

Chehon/Kathryn - terrible, super dumb

Whitey/Marko - meh

Cyrus/Comfort - Applegate is right, tailormade routine, cyrus delivered. routine of the night.

Witney/Chehon - awful, fastforwarded after the series of 5 lifts where chehon did nothing.

Eliana/Cole - 'this routine is based on goats' - stupid. Hate you most of the time Mia.

Tiffany/Cyrus - meh, Cyrus's lake of technique really showed through



Witney - ballroom solos are never going to be good

Chehon - good for a solo, not great for a chehon solo

Tiffany - fine

Cole - eye thing was kinda cool, solo was fine

Eliana - fine

Cyrus - good solo, expected from Cyrus

Does it seem like the solo's in auditions are usually much better than the ones on the show? How does that make sense?
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Eliana/ cole routine was based on rams (not goats)



and Eliana/ twitch did the hip-hop routine not Stephanie......
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I'd rather have one of the choreographers than the same guest judge every week.

Lots of good routines though. A bit disappointing not to se Witney be able to show off her best moves since she got paired with Chehon.
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I know he's not a choreographer, but Adam Shankman 'guest' judged an entire season of SYTYCD. The fall season, season 6 I believe. Before that season he was my favourite guest judge but he got really stale watching him for a whole season and it made me realize how nice it is to mix up the 3rd judge. Even if they're bad, at least the next week you can say "at least it's not Debbie Allen this week".
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