“So You Think You Can Dance” season 15 held its second live show on Monday night, August 13. Once again the top 10 contestants performed for the judges and for America’s votes, but only 8 came out. There was a double elimination at the end of the night based on America’s vote results from last week’s show. One man and one woman exited the competition, so who were they, and did you agree with America’s picks? Find out below in our live blog with all the minute-by-minute developments.
Gold Derby users have been predicting “SYTYCD” since right after the first live show, and Latin ballroom dancer Cole Mills has emerged as the front-runner to win the competition with 7/5 odds as of this writing, but it’s far from an open-and-shut case. Fellow Latin ballroom specialist Jensen Arnold is next in line with 5/1 odds, followed by Slavik Pustovoytov with 8/1 odds and both Darius Hickman and Hannahlei Cabanilla with 10/1 odds. In fact, our readers are split eight ways when trying to forecast this season’s winner.
But we were pretty sure we knew one dancer who would be eliminated: Chelsea Hough, a jazz dancer who made history as the first non-tap dancer to attempt a tap routine during the competition. Unfortunately, her performance got poor reviews from the judges, so the show’s experiment might turn out to have been at her expense.
However, this was our first real opportunity to find out what America thinks of these dancers. Maybe viewers were inclined to rally behind Hough in her hour of need. And maybe Mills was more vulnerable than we thought; even if America loves him it can be dangerous if a fan base gets complacent thinking their favorite is safe. So what did we learn from this week’s results, and what does it mean for the rest of the season? Follow along below starting at 8:00pm (all times listed are Eastern).
8:00 p.m. – Before we said goodbye to any of the top 10 dancers, they assembled for a show-opening group routine to “Yummy” choreographed by Luther Brown. Noticeably, Chelsea was not in the routine due to a slight injury, but Cat Deeley assured us that she would be dancing later on in the night with her partner Evan DeBenedetto. The partners were all set to dance twice again this week, but out of both of their elements each time with no dancer performing in their own style tonight.
8:07 p.m. – The first dance of the night was by Magda Fialek and Darius in a Bollywood routine choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan. Neither had danced in the style before taking on “Badri Ki Dulhania,” a routine that turned out to be more than they could handle as a pair. Whether it was the high energy and quick movements that through them off it’s hard to tell, but they were never quite in synch and lacked the cleanliness that was expected of them. That being said, the judges applauded the “joyousness” of the dance, as Vanessa Hudgens put it, and congratulated them on somehow finding the energy to complete the routine.
8:17 p.m. – Next up with a Christopher Scott lyrical hip hop routine to “Love on the Brain” was Chelsea and Evan. The piece was inspired by Christopher’s personal life, involving the process of moving out after a break up so there were a lot of props required of them. Once again Evan showed his aptitude for performing well outside of his own style (tap!) and Chelsea rebounded very nicely by leaving her own heart on the stage as well. After a rough week 1 the couple was able to breathe a sigh of relief at the end! tWitch Boss didn’t think they were together throughout the piece and said that they were “in and out” of their chemistry and then Mary Murphy backed him up in agreement. Sounds like the judges are setting us up to say goodbye to at least one, if not both, of them tonight.
8:28 p.m. – The next duet featured Hannahlei and Cole who followed up their strong first week performance with a Joe Brown step routine with a throwback theme. During rehearsal Cole felt a little behind Hannahlei, who was able to to pick up on the choreo more easily due to her background in cheer. Sure enough, during “Pump It Up,” Cole’s stepping was not as crisp as Hannahlei’s, and while both embodied the spirit of the dance to the best of their ability it just didn’t provide the oomph that I was hoping for. For tWitch and Mary, Cole did not hit the marks and should be thankful that Hannahlei was able to raise the bar for the both of them.
8:38 p.m. – For their first dance of the night, Jensen and Jay Jay Dixonbey worked through a contemporary piece from the mind of Jaci Royal. The routine, “Lost Without You,” offered both he chance to show an emotional side as well as their strength at partnering for lifts. Of all the dances so far tonight they certainly exuded the most chemistry with one another and as such received the most acclaim from the panel. Mary called it an “honest” performance and Nigel Lythgoe singled out Jensen as a powerhouse and for being courages, but acknowledged that a lot of that is due to her trust in Jay Jay as a partner.
8:49 p.m. – For Genessy Castillo and Slavik tonight was a chance for them to settle their nerves, though drawing a jive by Sharna Burgess meant they’d have to focus on footwork and technique. “Jump, Jive an’ Wail” actually turned out to be something that both dancers could handle with Slavik really surprising me at how on top of it he was–at times he outperformed Genessy who I expected to be the better of the two! Nigel really loved the choreography and was blown away that Slavik could keep up with it as a hip hop dancer. All around the panel was blown away at how well they worked together and commended Slavik for his achievement.
8:56 p.m. – We saw Magda and Darius dance for the second time to a Mandy Moore jazz piece to “Fever.” In rehearsals, Mandy was impressed by how far she could push both of the dancers and in the performance they delivered stunning partner work and sensual chemistry. Nigel was really into the performance, saying it was “danced brilliantly” in the cool and sophisticated style of jazz that he grew up learning. That makes them two for two with the judges tonight, likely securing themselves a spot through next week!
9:06 p.m. – Travis Wall choreographed the second dance of the night for Chelsea and Evan. He gave them a contemporary piece he hoped would be a breakthrough for them “about waking up” set to “Snowing.” The performance ended up being a true showcase for Chelsea who was bent and pulled in all possible directions throughout while Evan provided strength and support for her every move. tWitch felt the piece was the best emotional connection the two have shown so far this season. Mary also thought they finally found their chemistry with this dance and told them not to lose it.
9:17 p.m. – The season’s first disco routine was given to Hannahlei and Cole tonight, paired with choreographer Doriana Sanchez who called the dance both “romantic” and “sassy.” Donna Summer‘s “Last Dance” provided the soundtrack to the piece that was a another high energy event for the pair and got Mary on her feet clapping by the end of it. Once again, Hannahlei was the star and earned the biggest compliments from the judges, but they also liked Cole a lot more in this piece than in their earlier one. Granted, he is a ballroom dancer, even if not specifically a disco dancer.
9:28 p.m. – Jensen and Jay Jay returned to the stage with an African jazz routine from Sean Cheesman. The dance was well out of the comfort zone for both dancers and also included a rare occurrence of the female dancer lifting her male pair. At the conclusion of “Run” all four judges were on their feet for a standing ovation, applauding the couple on completing moves that they’ll probably never do again in their careers. Nigel called them the strongest couple on the show and Vanessa completely agreed, calling the “animalistic” routine “dumbfounding” and saying that none of the other couples could have done it as well as they did.
9:35 p.m. – After calling the rest of the dancers to the stage, Cat delivered the first set of results from last week’s voting. She had Hannahlei and Jay Jay step forward to learn that they were both safe, leaving eight to await their own news later in the show.
9:41 p.m. – Genessy and Slavik worked with Emmy nominee Al Blackstone tonight on a broadway number about the smells and places that trigger memory. “Someone to Watch Over Me” was a piece Genessy called the “most romantic thing” she’s ever done so it was a pleasant surprise to see how in tune they were with one another as a couple. Overall the piece was as sweet and fluid as promised, sending Vanessa into yet another fit of tears. Once again Slavik was the real surprise, expanding his arsenal into another genre of dance.
9:48 p.m. – More results! Cat asked Genessy, Darius, Jensen and Slavik to all step forward and receive the news that they all advanced to the next round. That left a bottom two male dancers: Evan and Cole, bottom two female dancers: Magda and Chelsea for the judges to choose between for who goes home and who stays.
9:54 p.m. – With the first tough decision set in front of them, the judges acknowledged that Chelsea may have suffered because of her tap routine last week while Magda was a surprise for them to find in the bottom. For the men, they assumed the audience have had a hard time connecting with Evan while Cole has had a tough time connecting with his partner. With all the being said, the judges were unanimous in their decision that both Magda and Cole would remain in the competition while the couple Chelsea and Evan were eliminated.
9:57 p.m. – Next week the top 8 will perform and two more dancers will be eliminated based on votes amassed from tonight’s performances. Who are the six dancers YOU think should advance after seeing all of the routines tonight?
Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Monday on FOX. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.