This season So You Think You Can Dance has revamped its format. Taking a page out of the Dancing with the Stars book, the show is now pairing its contestants with professionals. However, on this show the professionals are actually all-stars from seasons past.
I wasn't sure how the new format would work out. The all-stars are such fan faves that I was kind of worried that viewers wouldn't pay attention to the contestants. In most of tonight's performances my original theory was proved wrong.
(1) Billy & Lauren: Broadway
When Billy Bell and all-star Lauren first started the performance all I could think was, "Oh no, that Footloose song." As soon as Billy and Lauren started kicking, I forgot all about my lack of enthusiasm for Footloose. I literally got chills. The performance was fun, but something was missing. The judges noted Billy needs to work on his performance more and I agree. Focusing a bit more on his performance will add so much more to it.
(2) Cristina & Mark: Jazz
I LOVE MARK! I LOVE SONYA TAYEH! I LOVE MARK IN SONYA TAYEH NUMBERS! As soon as I heard Mark was performing with Cristina in a Sonya Tayeh number, I was thrilled! The theme of this dance was a cobra. As Nigel said, it was "the son of the garden." For those of us who've been watching SYTYCD for a while now, you'll recognize that he's citing the number Mark and Courteney did with Sonya 2 years ago. That was the perfect way to describe this piece. Cristina really performed. Her movements were fluid and looked great.
(3) Jose & Comfort: Hip Hop
Before this number even started I was already impressed with Jose. This B-Boy does yoga, and I was in awe. Getting back to the actual performance, I wasn't sure if Jose would be able to pull off the mean character because he's so sweet, but the boy did it.
(4) Adéchiké & Kathryn: Contemporary
Travis Wall's choreography is amazing. In this number he had Adéchiké fantasize about Kathryn. I thought the concept was great, but the execution could have been better. Don't get me wrong, Adéchiké had all the right moves. His technique was awesome, but his performance needed work.
(5) Melinda & Pasha: Jive
Melinda's been one of my faves since this season started. She just has this star quality about her that draws me in. With that being said, I'm afraid I wasn't focused on her at all during this number. My eyes just went to Pasha the whole time. He's just so good. I hope she doesn't get voted off because I'd love for her to redeem herself next week.
(6) Alex & Alison: Contemporary
My new Facebook friend (no really) Sonya Tayeh outdid herself with this one. From beginning to end you couldn't tell who was the competitor and who was the all-star. I can totally see why the Miami City Ballet didn't want to release Alex from his contract 2 years ago. He's that good and definitely one of my favorite guys this season.
(7) Alexie & Twitch: Hip Hop
Alexie is cute. Twitch has swag. Do cute and swag go together? Um, you be the judge. I didn't really think these two fit together so well. Alexie was lacking a bit of that extra edge that Twitch bought to the table. Hopefully in the upcoming weeks she can do better. (Also, yay Twitch for getting so much better since your appearance on the show!)
(8) Lauren & Ade: Pop Jazz
Remember how sexy Lauren was in the casting process? If you do, then like me you too probably were cracking up when Lauren was having trouble finding her sexy while rehearsing for this number. Luckily she had her sexy down-packed during the performance. Oh, and she danced it well too.
(9) Kent & Anya: Cha Cha
Kent is so freaking likable! I love when he said he hoped to appear older in this number. Mind you, to him "older" means 19. Well Kent, I can honestly say, "YOU LOOKED 19 UP THERE MY FRIEND!" This is the part of the show when I realized I miss Mary Murphy. With all his hip action and shaking, she would have surely given him a first class ticket on the Hot Tamale Train. Whoo, whoo!
(10) Ashley & Neil: Contemporary
I think Ashley is the most underrated dancer this season. She's the one who I feel no one really remembers until they see her dance. Ashley was really good in this piece, and I'm excited to see more from her.
(11) Robert & Courtney: African Jazz
The choreography for this was so memorizing and the pair dance it beautifully. I think after Kent, Robert's my favorite guy. He has this quirky quality about him that's very Mark-like, and he's such a brilliant dancer to watch. Keep an eye on him.
This was a great start to the competition. The top 11 contestants truly deserve to be in the top 11. The only thing I have to say is that each week they have to make sure they bring the performance. Like the judges said, the contestants already have the technique down. It's really their performance that needs work.