Last week the “So You Think You Can Dance” Top 10 performed for viewer votes for the first time in season 14. Then on Monday night, August 14, they all returned to perform once more before learning which dancer and all-star partner were eliminated from the competition. To kick off the show the cast joined on stage for a disco routine to “You Should Be Dancing” before host Cat Deeley announced that each dancer would perform twice — once with their all-star coach in a style randomly chosen for them and once in a brief solo to show off their own strengths. Then by the end of the show a bottom three would be revealed and one dancer would be eliminated, all based on votes from last week’s show.
So which of the dancers advanced to the Top 9, and which performances did the judges feel strongest about this week? Read our “SYTYCD” episode 9 recap below to find out and let us know your own thoughts in the comments.
First up were Mark Villaver and all-star Comfort Fedoke with a jazz routine choreographed by Ray Leeper to “Hater.” Judge Mary Murphy complimented Mark on successfully conveying a a darker, moodier tone considering how he’s the comedic personality of the season. Then after contemporary solos from Koine Iwasaki and Logan Hernandez, Lex Ishimoto and Gaby Diaz took on an Argentine tango by Miriam and Leonardo to “Rojo y Negro.” The panel would have liked if the couple had turned up the dial on the sexuality in the routine, but even though there were a few hiccups the judges were impressed by Lex once again working outside of own style with decent results.
Taylor Sieve was up next for her solo, followed by a Kiki Nyemchek and Jenna Johnson‘s hip hop routine to “Caroline” from Luther Brown. As two ballroom dancers, the stakes were raised for Kiki and Jenna to prove that they can be just as strong outside of their comfort zone. Judge Nigel Lythgoe told Kiki that he proved this week why Jenna kept him around after such a terrible hip-hop performance during Academy week. Kaylee Millis then took the stage for her solo before making way for Sydney Tormey and all-star Paul Karmiryan to take the stage for a contemporary piece to “The Letting Go.” Choreographer Jaci Royal thought the dance had the potential to bring on the tears, and though judge Vanessa Hudgens thought the technical aspects were on point it seems the routine fell short of reaching the emotional breakthrough moment.
Robert Green and Koine went back to back with their solos just before Logan and all-star Allison Holker took on a jazz routine by Brian Friedman about a futuristic blind date. After Allison’s injury last week, this was the first time the couple was dancing together in the finals. The piece to “In the Morning” was high-energy and fun, but more than anything showed off their strength and chemistry together as partners. Then, in a break from the competition, Nigel followed through on a promise he made to The Lethal Ladies of Baltimore to perform a step routine on the live shows for a special presentation of their style rarely highlighted on the show.
Following Lex’s solo, Kaylee and Cyrus Spencer brought a Phoenix and Pharside hip-hop rendition of “I’m Better” to the stage. Nigel thought Kaylee was too contained last week, but this time came out of her shell excelling at unique moves outside of her style. Next up were Taylor and all-star Robert Roldan with a Broadway routine by Al Blackstone. The dance to “The Man That Got Away” was a chance for Taylor to develop character in a performance, and having earned a standing ovation from the judges panel succeeded in her goal.
After Sydney’s solo, Koine and all-star Marko Germar took on an African jazz piece by Sean Cheesman to “Speaking in Tongues II” inspired by insects. The judges loved the intricacy and strength of the acrobatic and animalistic routine. Mark’s solo came next, followed by Robert and all-star Jasmine Harper‘s contemporary routine by Stacey Tookey. Dancing to “Otherside” offered Robert the opportunity to show a more vulnerable side of himself, but unfortunately the work failed to resonate emotionally with Nigel. A solo from Kiki followed, and then Dassy Lee and Fik-shun‘s Bollywood routine to “Radha Nachegi” choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan closed out the show. Aside from a minor stumble during the routine, all the judges thought Dassy came to life in the style and kept up with the demand of such a high energy dance.
Then without wasting any time, Cat brought the 10 couples back on stage to reveal the bottom three based on votes from last week. For the first elimination of the season, Logan, Sydney and Robert were the dancers in danger of going home. Taking into account both last week and this week, Nigel admitted to being shocked that these were the bottom three dancers, but easily dismissed Logan to safety backstage. Down to Sydney and Robert, the judges were not unanimous in their decision, but ultimately sent Robert home.
Next Monday, “SYTYCD” will move forward with the Top 9 dancing once again for your votes and revealing the lowest vote-getters from this week with one pair being eliminated. Who is your favorite dancer in the top 9 and who do you think will be eliminated next week? Let us know in the comments below.