The top seven contestants danced across the “So You Think You Can Dance” stage Monday night with performances that will help determine who moves on to the season 14 finale on September 18. That means with this week’s elimination reducing the field down to six, next week there will be a double elimination based on tonight’s audience votes to bring the competition to its final four. Which dancer graced the stage this week only to be cut at the end of the show, and which six are still in the running for the finale? Find out in our season 14, episode 12 recap below and let us know your own thoughts in the comments.
This week the dancers opened the episode with a group number to “Overture (from ‘Merrily We Roll Along’)” choreographed by Warren Carlyle. From there, each dancer was set to take the stage for three more performances: once with their all-star partner in a random style, once in a solo choreographed by themselves, and then a final time with each other in mini-group routines. First up for the night was Lex Ishimoto and his all-star Gaby Diaz with a hip-hop routine by Luther Brown. Dancing to Kendrick Lamar‘s hit single “Humble,” Lex finally got the chance to put technique aside and focus on vibe and attitude instead. Though all the judges responded positively, Mary Murphy was most enthusiastic about the performance, referring to Lex as the “Iron Man” of the season for his proficiency in so many styles.
After Taylor Sieve‘s solo, Logan Hernandez and Allison Holker took on a fast-paced African jazz piece by Sean Cheesman to “Kabila” that not only had elaborate costumes, but utilized a number of props as well. The difficult routine earned a standing ovation from the judges panel.
Mark Villaver‘s solo preceded the next duet by Kaylee Millis and Cyrus Spencer. After taking on the cha cha out of her comfort zone last week, Kaylee got to work within her own style again with a character-driven contemporary piece to “DKLA” by Tyce Diorio. Judge Vanessa Hudgens complimented Kaylee on the “rawness” and “ferocity” that she displayed and encouraged her to be proud of her work.
Koine Iwasaki‘s solo was followed by a Broadway duet from Kiki Nyemchek and his partner Jenna Johnson, also choreographed by Warren Carlyle. “Dancin’ Fool” was a high energy, fast-paced number complete with canes being thrown on and off stage and at the conclusion the audience erupted into applause on top of a standing ovation from the judges.
Logan was the fourth to dance solo just before Koine and Marko Germar came to the stage for a jive to “Rock Around the Clock” by Dmitry Chaplin. After yet another standing ovation from the judges, Nigel Lythgoe took the lead on judges comments and pointed out their chemistry and reliance on each other under high difficulty.
Kaylee’s solo came just before a special group number choreographed by Brian Friedman to “Derniere Dance” that was performed by the 10 all-stars, including those whose partners were already eliminated from the competition. Host Cat Deeley prefaced Taylor and Robert Roldan‘s contemporary number by Mandy Moore as a potential “new favorite,” suggesting that it would be one of the best of the night. The gentle and romantic choreography was set to “To Make You Feel My Love” and Taylor’s execution was as graceful and gorgeous as Cat promised it’d be.
After Lex’s solo, Mark returned for his duet with Comfort Fedoke in a ninja-inspired hip-hop routine by Misha Gabriel set to “No Twerk.” As has always been the case with Mark, the judges remarked upon his personality and high energy as the best part of his performance. Kiki then closed out the first two rounds of the night with his solo.
Then came the group dances. Lex, Kaylee, and Logan were the first group and they worked with choreographers Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson for “Strange,” a contemporary piece about finding commonality through differences. Nigel spoke the most highly of Lex, recalling his mind-blowing moves in his solo as well as during the group number, but the judges loved all three of them and thought the piece was a perfect fit for Kaylee’s uniqueness. That left Kiki, Taylor, Koine, and Mark for the second group routine, “Still I Rise,” choreographed by Sean Cheesman. The interpretive spoken-word dance received yet another standing ovation from the judges, but most of the congratulations were bestowed upon Sean rather than the dancers.
With only a few minutes left, Cat announced the bottom three based on last week’s votes: Kaylee, Mark, and Kiki. To make the decision easier, the judges fell back on last week’s results and sent Kiki back to safety, leaving Kaylee and Mark vulnerable. To the surprise of the audience, the judges chose to eliminate Mark, noting that they simply went with who received the least amount of votes.
Next Monday “SYTYCD” will continue with the top six dancers before your votes will once again reveal the bottom three, with two pairs being eliminated and the remaining four advancing to the finale. Who is your favorite dancer in the top six and who do you think will be eliminated next week? Sound off in the comments below!