So You Think You Can Dance Recap: The Top 14 and Carmen Electra

And Travis Wall in a burgundy tux...what's that about?

Thanks to Julie for subbing in last week in her inimitable, awesome style. I definitely felt I needed to step up my game this week, playa!!

Anyway, welcome to the week of the Top 14 and to the continued guest judge weirdness. When I saw Carmen Electra sitting there I did say "huh, what?" So, silly me, I guess I never knew she was a pre-Nicole Scherzinger Pussycat Doll, but is that really the qualifier now? Of course, then I remembered that the PD founder was one of the judges during the audition rounds, and it got me wondering what kind of weird SYTYCD/PD ongoing partnership had been formed. I was starting rumors in my heads about Nigel and that PD founder. And that wasn't actually a pleasant moment inside my head.

It was more pleasant to see Travis Wall there as a second guest judge...given Travis is the new Mia. But dude. Burgundy tux? What is this, your prom? In the 70s? Someone get that guy a stylist, stat!

Last night each couple danced once and the boys and the girls each had a group number.

The first group number was the Top 7 Guys Group doing a Contemporary routine with Justin Giles, anew choreographer. The concept was the seven stages of grief, and because this is SYTYCD, it was of course grief over a woman who cheated. Damien Rice provided the soundtrack, which is always good. I really enjoyed this number and felt it was different from a lot of the same old contemporary we get used to seeing on this show. The seven dancers were allowed to express a lot of individuality, and the movement was quite contained, angular, aggressive...not just flingy and flaily (which tends to be my beef with a lot of contemporary routines). Elisa likee. And so did my S.O.

Image courtesy FOX

Then we got to the couples:

1. Melanie and Marko danced a Ray Leeper jazz routine to a Lady Gaga tune

This routine involved a lot of stomping and swinging skirts around, but really? Not much dancing. It was a Sonya kind of thing, now that I think back on it. They were good and everything, but I didn't find it all that compelling. A little been there, done that for my taste. but apparently the judges disagree because Travis basically called it for Melanie. Carmen kind of cracked me up when she praised them for being "so technically trained". Because, you know, they all are. Except her. The judge. And Mary just made me want to check her back for moles with all that tanning.

2. Sasha and Alexander danced a Shaun Everisto hip-hop routine to a Miguel tune

It is completely true that Sasha had way more swagger than he did. And way more precision with the poppy-locky moves. (A totally technical term, whut?) But I was totally distracted by the 80s outfits. So ugly. Have you noticed the 80s is one fashion era that has never really made a comeback? Look, I lived it...and I can totally see why! I didn't agree with the judges who thought it was terrible, but I also saw that it wasn't the best of the bunch.

3. Jordan and Tadd danced a Toni Redpath smooth waltz routine to a Secret Garden tune

She was very flowy; he was trying really hard, and all I could really think was that for a "smooth" waltz, this seemed a little herky jerky to me. There seemed to be a lot of stop and start, not to be confused with rise and fall. I didn't like it that much, but Tadd will likely score them a ton of audience points for being a Hip-hop dancer doing ballroom.

4. Clarice and Jess danced a Justin Giles contemporary routine to a tune by Celeste Lear

I liked the intricacy and intimacy. I think I like this new Justin Giles fellow. But once again, the costuming distracted me. Whenever I see these poor girl dancers, especially the brunettes like me, I gotta wonder why they're always putting them in short white boy shorts, or in this case a sort of romper thing. Does anyone else worry about the grooming issues? Is that just me? Am I disgusting? But seriously: Short. White. No margin of error. I love that the dancers on this show are really strong and often have substantial real muscles. So why make them shave like a Playboy bunny? There, I said it. I apologize. <slinking off furtively>

5. Ashley and Chris danced a Liz Lira salsa routine to a Tito Puente tune (and a little Tito Puente can only help!)

This started out with some promise, but completely ran out of gas by the end. Particularly Chris. They got out of synch on the side by side stuff, and they just seemed to be struggling through by the end. A big yikes.

6. Ryan and Ricky danced a Chuckie Klapow jazz routine to David Bowie's "Fashion"

I didn't get the theme or story of this at all: Slaves to fashion who become zombies? Or something like that. Aren't zombies so yesterday yet? Because if they're not, they totally should be. I'm done with them. I like her because she's very precise and solid. I never watch him. But overall, the piece was kinda Melanie's and Marko's.

7. Caitlynn and Mitchell dance a Mandy Moore contemporary routine to, of all things, a Celine Dion song

Image courtesy FOX

OK, I know the judges basically had a dancegasm over this, but It seemed a little violent and flingy for a romantic love story. Like I kept thinking that those moves must have bruised after a couple of days of rehearsal...and bruises aren't really romantic. Just me? Last night I was more obsessed with costuming than I usually am, and thought diaphanous material alone does not make a love story. I simply was not on Cloud Nine like the judges.

Finally, the evening ended with the Top 7 Girls dancing a Jazz routine to "My Discarded Men" by Eartha Kitt and Bronski Beat. This was very "Cell Block Tango" from Chicago, and I did not care. I liked the men's piece so much, I was doubly underwhelmed by the ladies.

Bottom Line for the Bottom Three:

My guess is:

Jordan and Tadd

Ashley and Chris

Ryan and Ricky

And Ashley and Chris will go home.

But what did you think? And what are your thoughts on zombies? Over? Awesome? Inevitable?

Elisa Camahort Page
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