So You Think You Can Dance: Top 18 Performance
July 18, 2014 2:02 PM - Season 11, Episode 8 - Subscribe

The Top 18 dancers perform, along with a performance from A Great Big World. Judging panel for this week is Mary Murphy, Nigel Lythgoe, and Misty Copeland.

Top 18 Group Performance, choreographed by Chris "Pharside" Jennings
Jacque and Zack's hip hop routine, choreographed by Keone and Mari Madrid - "Stay With Me"
Jourdan and Marquet's contemporary routine, choreographed by Dee Caspery - "Disappear"
Jessica and Stanley's jazz routine, choreographed by Tyce DiOrio - "Funkier than a Mosquito's Tweeter"
Bridget and Emilio's jive routine, choreographed by Anya Garnis and Pasha Kovalev - "Happy"
Emily and Teddy's contemporary routine, choreographed by Tyce DiOrio - "Ne me quitte pas"
Brooklyn and Casey's jazz routine, choreographed by Bonnie Story - "Crazy Little Thing Called Love"
Valerie and Ricky's Viennese waltz, choreographed by Lacey Schwimmer - "I Won't Give Up"
Carly and Serge's hip hop routine, choreographed by Luther Brown - "Senile"
Tanisha and Rudy's Broadway routine, choreographed by Warren Carlyle - "Sing Sing Sing (Part 2)"

This week's eliminations: Stanley and Jourdan.
posted by yasaman (8 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I thought this week was the most entertaining week of the season. My favorites were Jacque and Zack's routine and Bridget and Emilio's routine.

I am really enjoying Misty Copeland as the guest judge. She actually critiques the dancers while also being supportive. I found myself not in line with a lot of the judges views this week. I was not nearly as excited about Tanisha and Rudy or Emily and Teddy.
posted by bove at 2:25 PM on July 18, 2014

I thought the performances were all great, but that skeleton hip hop routine stood out as the weakest for me. The woman doing it was pretty good but the dude doing it must be a modern dancer because he was so light and smooth instead of "hittin' hard" that hip hop requires. So the whole thing seemed kind of wishy washy and not hard hip hop at all.
posted by mathowie at 3:00 PM on July 18, 2014

I really loved Tanisha and Rudy's piece! Wish that Tyce was no longer a choreographer, and Lacey still makes me crazy.

I am really appreciating the new choreographers they're tossing into the mix. I hope to see more of Luther Brown's work, but I really miss the Shane Sparks days.

I'm afraid Ricky is going to suffer from a lackluster partner. Valerie is a great tapper (and you can tell how much she's improved since the beginning of the show already!), but she's holding back the quality of their dancing otherwise. I thought Travis's piece for them last week was really interesting because a lot of the flashy stuff and the lifts and extensions that are usually all showing off the girl, were actually Valerie providing a base for Ricky while he extended and leapt and balanced.

Other than Ricky, I really like Marquet! I really liked Jourdan, too - it is great seeing a strong lady doing ballet. Sad to see her go!
posted by ChuraChura at 3:12 PM on July 18, 2014

I want Misty Copeland to be a permanent judge. I feel like she's made Nigel and Mary step up their critiquing game considerably, because they're giving a lot more constructive criticism now.

I think my favorite routine of the night was Emily and Teddy, particularly that last lift and how they didn't break character until the last moment. I was impressed with the quality of their performance, and how well they acted and danced in it.

And ChuraChura, I also kind of wish that Tyce was no longer a choreographer, despite the fact that I still like some of his contemporary routines like this week's Ne me quitte pas, and the truly excellent and wrenching Fool of Me with Sasha and Kent from a few seasons back. I'm almost willing to bear his horribly hacky Broadway and jazz routines if it brings us more of the likes of Fool of Me.
posted by yasaman at 7:38 PM on July 18, 2014

It's so amazing how much more I like the show when we get constructive criticism, and if it takes keeping Misty Copeland on the show for the next bajillion years, so be it. I generally fast forward through the judging, but I'll stick around if it's not just Mary screaming randomly while Nigel bloviates.

I really loved that Broadway final number on the first go-around, but when I rewatched it you could see how out of sync they were. Tanisha killed it, though. I love Valerie's sweetness, but yeah, her tap posture never really goes away and her partner is so light-boned that he makes her look bigger than she is and so the lifts can look a little awkward.

I was rooting for Marquette but he seems to have fallen back a bit while other dancers get more impressive. Casey, for example - he seems like he's kinda vacant, but he blew me out of the water in the Bonnie Story number (and poor Brooklyn, she's already not that memorable and she was barely visible on stage).

Tyce does occasionally put out good routines, but they tend to be jazz (he did Evan and Randi's first piece and it was what made me fall in love with Evan, I think) and sometimes contempo. His Broadway pieces are usually flaming balls of crap, though. Thank god for Spencer Liff (and I even kinda liked the vibe of the telephone kiss-of-death piece he did last ep).
posted by PussKillian at 9:03 PM on July 18, 2014

I think, on balance, my favourite concept/routine was Luther Brown's skeleton dance, closely followed by Anya and Pasha's jive. As a Brit, I get the pleasure of seeing Anya and Pasha every year as professionals on Strictly Come Dancing and I loved finding out that they came to prominence through SYTYCD and trawling through their old routines on YouTube.

I also thought Ricky and Valerie were overrated and though I love Lacey I also thought the choreography wasn't that great. The acrobatic drop thing in the middle really punctured the sweetly romantic mood for me.

Kinda hoping Jessica gets saved again this week, it's really hard to judge her when she's been lumbered with some rough routines. Yeah she was mugging for the camera a bit too much, but how else are you supposed to act when your concept is 'you are on a flying carpet'?!
posted by dumdidumdum at 5:13 AM on July 19, 2014

Misty Copeland is absolutey making this season for me. She's brilliant, and is refusing to lower her standards and offer empty praise simply to make the show/dancers look good (which many other guest judges and certainly Nigel and Mary do), but is nonetheless never cruel or overly critical. She gives the dancers feedback on things they can actually work on (concrete technical corrections) as well as more internal things that will make them better and more adaptable artists. I love her.

Also, Ricky is way, way, waaaayy too good for this show. I don't think he'll last because his style/aesthetic isn't commercial enough for the majority of the voting audience, but he is just so sublime and so much more subtle/nuanced/artistically mature than most of the other dancers. I want to steal him away and lock him in a studio and make one million dances for him.
posted by Dorinda at 8:30 AM on July 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Bridget & Emilio's Happy routine didn't make me nearly as happy as I thought it should've. It seemed like half the time they forgot the other person was on the stage. When they remembered, they connected awesomely. Brooklyn and Casey, on the other hand, seemed to always have this awareness of the other person, that made their dance electric.

I was transfixed by Carly & Serge's routine. It was so weird and awesome.

And as much as I love Marquet and his decision to not button his shirts, it was not enough to make me like the contemporary style.

And yes, the judging this week was way better than usual. I tend to skip through it and only pause or go back if they have criticism instead of just rah-rahing. So most weeks I skip it entirely. This week I listened to about half of them.
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:36 PM on July 19, 2014

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