What were the judges on this week? I feel like they were playing the devil’s advocate or something; I completely disagreed with practically every pronouncement they made.

1) Cristina and Pasha Paso Doble: Judges loved her. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him, which means she didn’t deliver to me. I thought she did all the steps right and she tried hard to make her body shaping proper (the hips need to be really far forward in PD) but her form just wasn’t perfect, and next to his it was all too obvious. She kept up though, and some of the lifts tricks were really difficult. She just didn’t blow me away.

2) Adechicke and Allison Contemporary: Judges didn’t like him that much. I loved him.

Or maybe it was just that he did so much better than last week. Anyway, I thought he had great form, excellent technique and he interacted with her well. It could have used a bit more passion but that was a very difficult routine and with all the times she’d throw herself at him and he’d catch her, I thought he acted it as well as he could while making sure he didn’t drop her. I thought he did well.

3) Alex and Lauren Broadway: Judges weren’t so into him this week either and I loved him! I guess I haven’t seen a whole lot of Fosse but I thought he did really well with it – it didn’t look at all balletic to me! I thought it was very jazzy, not at all lyrical the way a ballet dancer would move, and his movement was slick and sexy, and he really hit those lines right on the beat, the way a Broadway dancer would. I don’t know, maybe I’ll have to watch Fosse’s The Little Prince too to see what Nigel was talking about.

4) Ashley and Mark Jazz: I loved this one too. This was actually my favorite performance of the night. I know it was more contemporary than jazz, as the judges complained, but it was choreographed by Travis Wall so what did they expect? It didn’t matter to me anyway; I love watching people do their own style. She had absolutely gorgeous lines – -perfect leg lines, really stunning. And she was so light on her feet with those lifts. There were some really hard moves – not just that crazy dive Nigel mentioned but her turns on the floor — very hard, and she made it look so easy and had no problem bringing the passion and emotional intensity to it even with the difficulty level.

5) Billy and Comfort Krump: I actually thought he did really well with it. I think he made it his as best he could and all those kicks had weight and power. He did look a bit silly grabbing his crotch, but frankly, I think everyone does when they do that. I thought he looked pretty close to Eminem. And I loved when he licked her neck!

6) Robert and Anya Argentine Tango: Judges loved him – or at least Nigel and Adam did. I didn’t. The footwork was mad fast and he got it all without tripping himself or her, but his posture was all wrong. His body wasn’t firm and solid; he was way too wavey. Mia mentioned something along those lines as well and I think it’s the first time I agreed with any of the judges all night. At one point, Anya pulled dramatically away from him, kind of to create – oh, what is it called … there’s a term in West Coast Swing where the couple has a push and pull like a rubber band but you have to do it together or it doesn’t work. Anyway, he just kind of stood there; he didn’t give her anything in return. He didn’t have the attitude either. He was blank to me, even though he got the difficult footwork right.

7) Melinda and Ade Contemporary: I thought this was pretty good, albeit nowhere near Ashley’s contemporary performance. Melinda’s lines were good but at one point coming out of a lift she flexed her feet when I thought they would have been pointed (it could have been the choreography, but I’d have thought they were meant to be pointed) and she just didn’t have the overall extension with her legs and breadth with her body that Ashley had. I have to say though, I would argue with Nigel that last week her solo did not constitute “dancing for her life.” I thought her solo was absolutely spellbinding. It’s tap, come on Nigel!

8) Jose and Katherine Bollywood: I thought this was cute but I didn’t think Jose’s lines were what they were supposed to be most of the time (but not all of the time! – there were moments where he properly flexed his hands and feel!) But in all, he looked like a b-boy dancing Bollywood. Still, a lot of fun though. I like him!

9) Lauren and Dominick Hip Hop: I thought there was a lot of passion and intensity here that was missing from her last week’s performance, so I think it’s very good that she improved. I enjoyed watching this routine, but I do think that she looked too lyrical for hip hop. Her upper body was far too fluid, the way she’d arch way back. She almost looked like Sara Mearns (my favorite ballerina in NYCB). It was really beautiful, but for a lyrical routine. But I mean that breadth of movement is what brought the passion and intensity here, to me. So, even if the movement wasn’t proper hip hop, I still greatly enjoyed her performance.

10) Kent and Courtney Jazz: He didn’t blow me away tonight like he did last week. Maybe it was that the routine itself didn’t really speak to me. I thought his best movement was at the beginning on the table. I think he’s a sweet guy; he just didn’t move me tonight.


  1. This is another reason I don’t watch this show (I’m only watching it for Pasha) but if they’re going to do Fosse, use a goddamn Fosse SONG! That song is 3 decades (possibly four) older than Fosse! ARG that made me mad.

  2. “there’s a term in West Coast Swing where the couple has a push and pull like a rubber band”
    The only thing I know is a Sugar Push…

    Yah, just watched it and it was okay… I love Anya and he’s good looking but yah it was kind of blank faced as Broadway Legendary vocal coach Seth Rudetsky would have put it.

    Robert reminds me at least in looks a little like Madison Hildebrand from BrovoTV’s Million Dollar Listings

  3. I went back and forth with the judges’ comments as well. I kind of think Adechike needs to go. Sure, he’s a fabulous dancer, but he needs to learn to perform better, and I think the only way he’ll really do that is by living life and maturing. I thought Alex’s Broadway was one of the few Tyce routines that I really enjoyed, but you could still see the ballet dancer coming out, especially during leaps and kicks. He’s so precise, but that wasn’t necessarily what the style was about. I was really almost shocked that Nigel liked Robert’s tango so much. He got all the steps “right,” but like Billy Bell, he needed to be more precise and powerful rather than expansive and light.

  4. Tonya, Thank you so much for such a thoughtful review of last night’s SYTYCD. I’m so glad you watched it and really appreciate all your ballroom/ ballet expertise and insight. I think that is why I am missing Mary Murphy so much on the Judging Panel. I’m certain Ms. Murphy would have been able to articulate more informed and helpful comments to the dancers. Poor Alex getting stuck with Tyce DiOrio’s lame Fosse knock-off! And those suits? Is it just me or did most of the costumes look extremely cheap last night? And how can Nigel Lythgoe call it All-Stars without Danny Tidwell???

  5. I’m not watching this season. The lighting and the set are too distracting. I can never see what the dancers are doing. What about a simple backdrop, lighting, camera angles so we could really judge?

    • Hi Peg – I totally know what you mean. It is distracting. And the camera angles are horrible. Several times they’ve been such that you can’t even see the dancer you’re supposed to be watching because s/he slips out of the screen and the camera-person doesn’t adjust the camera. Or they’ll focus on the star dancer and you can’t even see the one competing. I’ve found the camera work particularly bad this season.

  6. i loved reading your reviews last season, and i’m glad you’re still doing them! i so agree that the judges were way off this week. it felt like they knew exactly what they were going to say before the performance, and were really trying to tear the guys down (except robert and jose). i agree with everything you said except that i loved kent’s performance. i was amazed that he pulled of sexy that well, and i thought he was really strong and just what the choreography called for.

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