It’s the Top Seven. Yay. Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m still unreasonably sad that Alex is gone. I know, I know, get over it, but still, it’s just depressing. I’m wondering who all the Alex loyalists are throwing their vote behind, too. It really could be anyone given that there’s such a strong batch of dancers this season. Yikes, Cat has announced another contestant has been injured – Ashley. What the hell? Drink more milk, kids, and remember to stretch!

Monday, Alex had surgery and is still in the hospital. And he sent a little video of himself in his hospital bed, because he hopes to see everyone soon. I do hope he comes back for a third season, although I have to wonder if that’s really in his best interest.
 
Anyway, time to see our line-up!
 
[Full recap of Wednesday's (July 14) "So You Think You Can Dance" after the break...]
 
Kent will dance Broadway with Neil
Adechike will salsa with Anya
Robert will dance contemporary with Allison
Ashley would have rumba-ed with Pasha
Billy will dance the jive with Anya
Lauren will get all Tahitian with Mark
Jose will dance Broadway with Courtney
 
And on to the contestant pairings…
 
Adechike and Kent will dance together
Ashley will dance with Robert. They are super excited about this, because they’re besties.
Lauren will dance with Billy
Jose will dance with… a gold star. So, he’ll dance with an all-star, Dominic.
 
Lauren
 
She’s learning a Tahitian routine from Tiana Liufua. Tiana explains many things to us about Tahitian dance, but all I can think is it’s sort of hula-related and seems like an odd choice for “SYTYCD,” as I’m worried voters will start thinking about vacation plans instead of paying attention.
 
Wow, Lauren is wearing so many feathers I feel like I’m watching Cher in concert. There’s a lot of hip shaking and it’s certainly fun, but I’m not sure what to think.
 
Nigel has no idea what to say. But he likes her fast hip shakes. Adam thinks her hips don’t lie. Nigel has no idea if it was technically accurate. No kidding. Mia thought it was fascinating, like watching a duck in heat. And she loves ducks and has one in heat in her backyard. I think that’s TMI, Mia. Adam thought it was amazing. And he actually has a friend in the audience who taught Tahitian dancing, and she gives the dance a thumbs up, so thank God, someone knows whether this was crap or not.
 
 
Adechike
 
Liz Lira and Danny Davalos are going to teach Adechike how to salsa. This looks like one hell of a tough dance, based on the rehearsal. You go, Adechike!
 
Holy crap. Once I got past the wretched neon costumes, this was an insanely fast dance. Although I’m impressed Adechike got through it, it looked a little rough in places, especially when he has to flip Anya around like a pizza. But he never dropped her, so that’s a good thing. I just don’t understand why the choreographers gave them something so impossibly hard, because struggling through a hard routine is never as impressive as mastering a slightly less agonizing one.
 
Nigel thinks Liz is a crazy woman. And he thinks it’s amazing that a contemporary dancer could loosen up so well. Mia thought the tricks and leg hinges were awesome, but there were bumps here and there. She felt the back thing didn’t work completely. Adam thought he did great and he never showed weakness.
 
 
Jose
 
Joey Dowling, the ass-kicking Broadway choreographer, wants Jose to feel the pain of rejection. And imagine his favorite cat dead. This seems a little mean
 
This doesn’t wow me. Jose doesn’t look tortured as much as maybe a touch headachey, and there’s no real angst here. He just looks pained. None of the moves pop, and it all looks kind of sloppy.
 
Nigel loved Joey’s choreography. But, oops, having Jose play a tortured soul makes the judges unsmiley, and it forces them to (gasp) judge his actual dancing. Nigel says the routine wasn’t danced well. Mia can’t even look at Jose, but has to agree with Nigel. She felt the pathetic part was maxed out and there wasn’t any hope. Adam felt he needed finish. Jose admits he was a fish out of water.
 
 
Robert
 
He’s dancing with Allison, who was injured last week. And the routine is a Travis Wall contemporary dance about his mother. Who just had surgery of some kind. So I’m expecting a cancer dance kind of thing, very emotional, lots of storytelling. And once the Coldplay starts and Allison comes out wearing what looks like a pink gauze hospital gown, well, now I’m really expecting the cancer dance of Season 7.
 
But the whole thing kind of explodes into wild dancing in the middle, so it’s more like cancer dance bookends, but it’s still very good. Robert does a great job. Cat gets teary, which is always the mark of a good performance.
 
Nigel thought it transcended a dancing competition. And he can’t understand why Robert keeps ending up in the bottom three. Mia starts crying, because this reminded her of the week before her mom died. Not surprisingly, she thinks this was Robert’s best dance of the season. Adam tells Travis he deserves an Emmy nomination. Adam starts crying. Lots of crying tonight. Adam thought Robert was brilliant.
 
 
Billy
 
He’s dancing a Louis van Amstel jive with Anya. Anya’s having a tough week doing two dances, but hey, hopefully she got combat pay. Now if only Billy could stop giggling. C’mon, Billy, you’re dancing to Meatloaf, you’ve gotta man up.
 
And, amazingly, he does. Sure, there are a few moments when he looks more playful than fired up, but at least he seems to be enjoying the dance and, more importantly, enjoying the fact he’s dancing with Anya. No, it doesn’t match the unbridled joy of his solos, but it’s good.
 
Nigel thinks Billy worked hard to create chemistry with a partner. He’d like to see him get down a little more, but he was much happier with this performance. Mia thought it was a stellar performance. Adam says it was one of his favorite Billy performances.
 
 
Kent
 
He’s paired with Neil for a Toasty Oreo Broadway routine. It’s a baseball routine. Wow, I love all the ways they’ve found to make guy-on-guy dancing butch!   
 
This is pure Broadway, and Kent nails it. Actually, I think this is Kent’s future more than contemporary. He’s just totally meant for Broadway, especially old-school revivals.
 
Nigel loves the routine and says Kent was the MVP of the night. Mia loves boys and loved everything about it. Adam says this is Fosse’s other side and tells Kent he has a huge future on Broadway.
 
 
Lauren and Billy
 
Oh, yay. The contestants must tell secrets about one another. Billy says Lauren eats like a squirrel, and Lauren says Billy loves soda. Wow, groundbreaking stuff.
 
Mandy Moore has a jazz routine about magic shoes for them. And it’s all kinds of cute. Lauren and Billy are just cute as buttons in this, and it really suits them, as it’s athletic and not too sexy, just fun.
 
Nigel thought it was adorable. He gives Billy props for connecting with his partner. And he tells Lauren she ain’t going home yet. Mia thought it was completely in the pocket. And it was quirky and groovy. Adam thought it was happy making. And thought Billy got lost in the dance, which is a good thing. And Lauren could get way up there.
 
 
 

Jose and Dominic

 

 

 

 

 

 
Here’s what Dominic’s learned about Jose. The guy likes to put toilet paper down on the seat whenever he uses it, even at home. How gross is his house? I just don’t want to know any of this.
 
It’s a NappyTabs routine involving a sword, the show’s first ever B-boy routine. And Legacy works with them, too. It’s fun, and Jose is great, but I’d expect that from a B-boy doing a breaking routine. When Dominic and Jose actually start dancing with each other instead of mirroring each other, it definitely elevates the routine.
 
Nigel tells Jose he redeemed himself. Of course he did, it’s a breaking routine. Duh. Mia loves boys. She wants him to do some training, though. Adam loves that he went for it and came back strong and schooled the judges.
 
 
Adechike and Kent
 
Kent reveals that Adechike wants to write a cookbook for dancers. Oh, and Adechike reveals Kent has a crush on Lauren. And that passionate kiss last week? Not acting. Well, this is interesting.
 
It’s a contemporary dance by Dee Caspary. And they’ll be using chairs. It’s very cool and, shockingly, very butch, which we’ve seen from Adechike but, honestly, not Kent. This is the most regular guy I think we’ve seen Kent, and it’s a good thing.
 
Nigel loved the piece. He loved Adechike’s leaps and was thrilled Kent underplayed it. And he thinks Kent could win the whole season now that Alex is out of the way. Mia thinks Kent is an unbelievable dancer. She thinks it’s been a great week for Adechike. Adam thinks they’re super athletes and super artists.
 
 
Robert
 
He was supposed to dance disco with Ashley, but oh well. Robert says the secret people don’t know about Ashley is that she’s in love with him. He’s joking. Ashley says Robert laughs really loud.
 
Doriana Sanchez, queen of disco, is back! I love her routines. Robert is dancing with Kathryn. But, strangely, this isn’t one of my favorite Doriana routines. It’s just as fast, but the song is sort of plodding and it weighs down the dance. Robert’s fine, but it’s just not wow.
 
Nigel thinks Robert did it all. Mia hopes she never sees Robert do disco again, and it didn’t have masculine weight. Adam thought it was fun and he bought it.
 
 
So, no one really bombed tonight and a lot of dancers nailed it, though there was nothing that established anyone as the next Alex, even if Nigel does want to anoint Kent in that position. I think Robert and Billy emerged as stronger presences, but whether that will keep them out of the bottom three, hard to say. In other words, tune in tomorrow, because no matter what, it’ll probably be a surprise.
 
Do you think Kent is the new Alex? Do you think Jose’s Broadway was subpar? Who do you think is going home?