So You Think You Can Dance will take us the finals next week, meaning all the dancers were going as hard as they could to make it through last night.
Along with Nigel and Mary, the guest judges were Christina Applegate and Lil' C, with the former giving some strong comments, proving she is a fan of the show.
Melanie & Twitch - Hip-Hop (NappyTabs) - The concept was Little Red Riding Hood gone buck. They had time to set up several trees, which looked similar to the one that tripped up Sasha earlier this season. The dancing didn't seem as strong as it could have been and it wasn't Melanie, it was the boring choreography. The whole routine should have been harder hitting at every point possible, but Melanie tried her best to be as into character as possible. My Grade: B-.
Sasha & Kent - Contemporary (Tyce Diorio) - Tyce provided us with a contemporary piece that was less about the choreography and more of trying to get Kent to emote. Sadly, Kent had blank expression the whole performance. Sasha was dancing from her head to her toes. There were some creative uses of the wall like the kickoff. My Grade: B+.
Marko & Janette (pictured) - Paso Doble (Dmitri Chaplin) - Dmitri created a story of a bull fighter and an activist set to musicality instead of counts. The traditional music choice and costuming was beautiful; if they had a microphone on their feet, I would have been happier. Jeannette was more amazing than I remembered and she was the fiery Latina she promised. My Grade: A-.
Ricky - Solo - Ricky was smart going from a soft to harder beat during his routine to show some range in his talent. His look to the stars to match the lyrics was smart. He fell out of his spin sequence, but recovered well.
Tadd & Ellenore - Jazz (Sonya Tayeh) - Sonya wanted a period piece where all sensibility goes the wayside. As the routine began, I liked Tadd's walking and how he matched Ellenore's quirky sensibility. Tadd didn't transition between moves well. The use of the chandelier was cute and creative, but does spinning on a chandelier count as dancing? My Grade: B+.
Caitlynn - Solo - Caitlynn stands out from Melanie who is technical and Sasha who has an edge to her dancing. Caitlynn danced with levity in her step, gliding through the whole routine. This was probably the first time I appreciated her solo.
Ricky & Jamie - Contemporary (Dee Caspary) - Dee wanted to use sticks which was awkward to watch. If the sticks had strings, were thicker, or were crosses the routine would have made more sense. The dance looked like Ricky was going to beat Jamie with chopsticks. The two danced well but it’s par for the course for Ricky and Jamie. The lifts and extensions were great and there were no blaring issues, but it was typical contemporary. My Grade: B-.
Tadd - Solo - Tadd projects the most fun with his solos, because he picks the most energetic music. He spent the most time on one arm showing his strength on the side of the stage.
Sasha - Solo - Sasha wins automatically for picking my favorite Lady GaGa song "Teeth" and brought her animalistic spirit to match. The routine was everything that Sasha has shown from her first audition.
Caitlynn & Pasha - Samba (Dmitri Chaplin) - Caitlynn finally got to use the sex kitten to her fullest. While I was staring at Pasha the whole time, Caitlynn did great shaking every asset she had. The dance had everything you want in a Samba: the carnival spirit, the quick turns, and really strong hip action. My Grade: A-.
Marko - Solo - Marko's mother is amazing. Marko started his routine with a tumble that kick started the music, I'll forgive the fact that he blaringly fell out of his turns. His backflip was a strong ending to a powerful routine.
Melanie - Solo - Melanie must have been inspired by her interactions with Sonya Tayeh because her routine had really nice combinations of hard hitting shimmies and soft leaps.
Sasha & Ricky - Waacking (Kumari Sulaj) - The waacking wasn't aggressive as we saw Princess Lockeroo earlier in the season, but Sasha was closer to having the spirit that Lockeroo emoted. Ricky looked out of his comfort zone. Sahsa had the spins where she was working her arms that Lockeroo was amazing at, but a lot slower. My Grade: C+.
Melanie & Tadd - Broadway (Spencer Liff) - The routine was about a choreographer seducing his dancer. Both dancers were highlighted because Tadd got to do break moves and other moves were covered by the chair; Melanie was as technical as she's always been, her leaps and splits were easy. The two had a decent chemistry and the story was well told. My Grade: A-.
Caitylnn & Marko - Jazz (Sonya Tayeh) - Sonya wanted Marko to be a controlling man and Caitlynn trying to leave; the same dark, interesting routines that Sonya loves. The performance picked up after Marko dragged Caitlynn across the stage. The dance matched the heavy lyrics. The run around the stage had so much depth to it even though it was running. My Grade: A.