Recap: 'So You Think You Can Dance' - Lady Gaga judges the Top 8
Tonight, the dancers are doing what I thought they were supposed to do last week – dance one routine with an All-Star, and then another paired up with fellow finalist. This exciting (to me) news is quickly dispensed with, however, so the show can get to what it deems the most important element of the night: Guest judges Rob Marshall and Lady Gaga. I must admit, that’s a lot of star power to blow on one episode. Gaga looks relatively normal, you know, if tonight’s episode turns out to have a Sgt. Pepper theme.
Sasha & All-Star Pasha
The rhyming couple is paired for a self-professed “bizarre” quickstep choreographed by Jonathan Roberts. There’s a ton of dancing to do tonight so little time for rehearsal packages, which is just fine and dandy if you ask me! The dance itself is quirky, lively and a lot of fun.
Rob calls Sasha beautiful and one of his favorites, but thinks the genre is a bit too restrained for her strengths. Mary says she pulled it off and compliments her technique. Nigel says Sasha is his favorite dancer by a “hair’s breadth” and calls the routine tremendous. Gaga loved it as well and calls it really beautiful. I can’t concentrate when Lady Gaga talks because I want to move her hair out from under those sunglasses. How does she not go insane?!
Caitlynn & All-Star Ivan
Caitlynn and Ivan are given a hip-hop routine choreographed by Marty Kudelka, about a guy winning back his girlfriend after a fight. The choreography is fairly tame and doesn’t give Caitlynn a real chance to shine. It will be interesting to see the judges’ reactions.
Mary calls it “really good” but not brilliant, and spends most of her time fawning over Ivan. Nigel says the word swag. I really need to look up what that means, don’t I? He does complement her ability to play the character as well. Gaga thinks Caitlynn is sexy and the connection between her and Ivan was magical, and gives some good constructive criticism about following through the movement. Rob says she needs to lose herself a bit more in the dance.
Jordan & All-Star Adé
Jordan and Adé pull a Tyce DiOrio routine about being bad, or bad asses, or something. It’s very…Tyce. Jordan and Ade attack the dance and have a heck of a lot of fun, even though the “bad ass” didn’t particularly translate to my eyes.
Nigel loved it. Gaga says Jordan being short gives her hope, because she’s short as well. Then she shows off her insane shoes, which must require some sort of pulley system to get on her feet. Rob compliments the routine and loves Jordan for giving herself over to the dance with abandon. Mary simply screams her patented Mary scream, so I guess she liked it.
Melanie & All-Star Neil
Melanie and Neil get a contemporary routine from Mandy Moore, set to Total Eclipse of the Heart which means it’s automatically my favorite. The song isn’t the only perfect thing, as the routine itself is absolutely stunning. The running lift literally had me screaming “Oh my God!” in my living room. And I live alone.
The judges give them a standing ovation, which is good because it gives me time to rewind and watch that lift again. It’s so good! While they’re standing we see how Lady Gaga’s shoes make her a foot taller than Nigel. It’s sort of hilarious. Gaga literally doffs her hat to Melanie, dubs her the favorite, and basically gives her a job right there on the spot. I’m not going to lie, the idea of Melanie and Mark Kanemura dancing together gives me chills. Rob says Melanie is exquisite and fills the room. Mary compliments the lift in particular. Nigel immediately regrets saying Sasha was his favorite, and dubs Melanie his favorite again.
Ricky & All-Star Anya
Ricky and Anya dance a Jason Gilkison jive. To Celine Dion. Talk about two things you would never expect to see together! The routine is very high energy, and despite some trouble with a lift it is generally decent.
Rob likes the joy Ricky brings to his dancing. Mary thought the beginning was shaky but he pulled it out in the end. Nigel says Ricky was too “tall” in the dance and points out the wonky lift. Gaga says she has a sweet spot for Ricky and praises his modernity.
Jess & All-Star Lauren G.
Jess and Lauren dance a hip-hop routine by Tabitha and Napoleon. Surprisingly, it’s about a couple having some sort of disagreement! They never do that! Jess is fine but I spend most of the number looking at Lauren, which is problematic.
Mary is up first, and cites the progress Jess makes every week. Nigel points out the lack of mugging, and praises him for it. Gaga has respect for Jess because she also has a theater background, and then disses the choreography which automatically makes her the best. Rob calls it beautiful and talks about how he’s known Jess since he was a little boy because Jess was in a show choreographed by Rob’s partner, which is interesting.
Tadd & All-Star Lauren F.
Tadd and Lauren also get a Mandy Moore dance, this time a heist-themed jazz routine. The number is a hoot, and even though Tadd loses his hat he plays it off fairly well. Also, it’s great to see Lauren again! Tadd does such a good job with all of the different styles, which is always impressive to my eyes.
Nigel says the style suited him very well, and compliments him on picking up choreography so well. Gaga loved it, especially the styling and the story. Rob, who I just noticed is shockingly orange, gives him props for going with the flow after losing his hat and calls him special. Mary calls him a young Elvis Presley AND a young Michael Jackson, and predicts he will be in the finale.
Marko & All-Star Allison
Marko & Allison perform a Sonya Tayeh contemporary routine about being mean to people on the internet. (That’s what she meant, right?) Allison, Marko, Sonya and Jeff Buckley are pretty much a match made in heaven, and although the choreography probably showcases Allison a bit more than Marko, it’s still an achingly lovely dance with that bit of edge Sonya always brings.
The judges give another standing ovation, this time with bonus crying from Gaga! She’s so moved she can barely speak, and it’s actually really surprising how genuine and sweet she is to Marko. Then Marko reveals this is the first time his mother has been able to see the show, and apologizes to her for being kind of a jerk growing up, and then I’m crying. Rob focuses on the incredible partnership between Marko and Allison. Mary loves his sincerity and honesty and calls Marko her favorite dancer. Nigel calls the moment “more than the competition.”
Caitlynn & Tadd
Caitlynn and Tadd are paired up for a foxtrot from Jonathan Roberts, which he calls the “most classic of all foxtrots.” The only thing I generally like about the foxtrot are the costumes, but for a foxtrot this was…fine. I’m sure my indifference to this classic style of dance makes me a heathen of some sort. (That wouldn’t be the only thing, folks.)
Rob loved it, complimenting Tadd’s ability to do the style. Mary doesn’t think it was the most memorable of the night, but it was beautiful and elegant. Nigel was in heaven watching. Gaga loved it as well, but tells Caitlynn to watch her competition hands. She uses a giant, rambling, confusing metaphor about trophies and platinum records to say this, but say it she does.
Marko & Ricky
Marko and Ricky dance a hip-hop routine about garbage men by Tabitha and Napoleon. Hooray for same sex partners! It’s always fun when they mix things up a bit. The routine is completely gimmicky, but Marko and Ricky are obviously having a great time. Marko feels a bit more authentic but overall it is pretty great.
Did Cat Deeley just sing the Super Mario Bros. theme song. CAT DEELEY FOR ALL THE EMMYS!
Mary loved it in a screamy way, and thinks brooms are the answer to our debt ceiling crisis. At least that’s what I heard. Nigel calls Marko “nasty” but thinks Ricky might be in the bottom this week. Gaga loved the routine and thinks they’re both incredible dancers, and then disses Tabitha and Napoleon AGAIN. It’s sort of awesome. Rob then immediately compliments the choreography to make up for Gaga, and points out the range of both dancers.
Jordan & Jess
Jordan and Jess get a Jason Gilkison rumba, which is a dance I admit I’m not familiar with at all. It’s nothing like I expected, almost a contemporary/ballroom-type style, and very enjoyable. Jordan was definitely the star of this one for me, though.
Nigel compliments Jess’ lifts, but didn’t feel the chemistry between the two and did not like the routine. Gaga didn’t feel the choreography fit the song, but they danced it well. Rob actually disagrees and thought they brought out the best in each other. Mary also compliments the lift, but found the technique didn’t have time to develop in such a short rehearsal time.
Sasha & Melanie
Sasha and Melanie? And Sonya Tayeh? In a dance together?! Whoever made this decision deserves a raise. It’s funky and awesome and weird and something I want to watch again immediately. And, although Melanie is my favorite, I think Sasha was the queen of this crazy warrior princess dance.
Gaga throws her shoe at the stage as a compliment, which if you aren’t paying attention has the potential to kill you instead of giving you props. Rob singles out Sonya’s work and calls the dance unbelievable. Mary loved the strength and power and calls it the best number Sonya’s ever done. Nigel also thought it was fantastic and says Beyonce must have named Sasha Fierce after her. Gaga then gives her other shoe to Sonya. It’s shoe bedlam!
Well, this was another great performance episode for this incredibly strong group of dancers. The best numbers of the night, in my estimation, were Melanie’s Mandy Moore’s contemporary routine, Melanie and Sasha’s Sonya Tayeh number, Marko and Ricky’s Tabitha and Napoleon hip-hop, and Tadd’s Mandy Moore jazz heist. As for bottom four, Caitlynn, Jordan, Ricky and Jess might be in some trouble.
What did you guys think? What were your favorite and least favorite dances? And what did you think of Lady Gaga and her towering shoes of terror?