TV Time: SYTYCD Season 10 “Top 20”

Summer generally means a slowdown in my TV watching habits, but that doesn’t mean I will be completely abandoning my recapping/reviewing duties until fall. Instead, I’m going to focus on my ultimate summertime favorite, So You Think You Can Dance. Each week, I’ll bring you some brief thoughts on the episode as a whole as well as my standout performers and favorite routine (as well as my favorite solo when we reach that point).

This week began the voting portion of the season on strong footing with some interesting pairings, a great guest judge (the incomparably charming Wayne Brady), and a fun opening number from Tabitha and Napoleon.

Were there some duds this first week? Of course (Carlos and Mariah’s labored jive comes to mind, as does Alexis and Nico’s uninspired hip hop). Was I sad to see Alexis, one of my beloved tap dancers, in a routine that was torn apart by the judges? Of course. But I was also pleasantly surprised by the praise given to her fellow tappers Aaron and Curtis (which was deserved since both were strong in their routines). I also found myself thoroughly enjoying the majority of the dances last night, which isn’t always the case with the first bunch of performances.

I loved Malece’s poise in her jazz routine with Jade. I thought Curtis and Haley did a great job with an incredibly nuanced hip hop number. I got goose bumps watching Jasmine M. and Alan show the strength of their chemistry so early in the competition. I adored every powerful moment of Jasmine H. and Aaron’s routine, and I have a feeling she’s going to be one of my favorite dancers this season. And, like the judges, I was blown away by Amy and Fik-Shun’s fluid and emotional contemporary routine.

All in all, it was a pretty great way to set the tone for what looks to be a strong season.

Standout Performers: Jasmine M., Alan, Jasmine H., Aaron, Curtis, Haley, Amy, and Fik-Shun

Favorite Routine: This week’s choice came down to a Battle of the Jasmines. Jasmine H. and Aaron’s routine certainly had the strength and controlled power I’m usually drawn to in dancers, and I’m pretty sure they have a combination of genuine chemistry, stage presence, and technical ability that’s going to make them one of my favorite couples as the season progresses.

However, if we’re talking about technical ability and chemistry, there’s no one that even came close to Jasmine M. and Alan last night. Their Travis Wall contemporary piece was breathtaking—even without factoring in the fact that THEY WERE BLINDFOLDED. I’m sure those blindfolds allowed for some visibility, but I cannot imagine dancing with something constantly restricting my vision. Heck, I used to hate it when I danced and my false eyelashes would sometimes get in my field of view. I honestly have no idea how they managed to execute everything so perfectly and also convey a true sense of intimacy without the use of their eyes (no matter what Nigel said about a lack of emotion).

For Jasmine to be able to throw herself into Alan’s arms like she did and execute that trust-fall at the end of the routine so fearlessly says a lot about what he must be like as a partner. The amount of trust already existing between them in this routine is pretty astounding considering the fact that they just started dancing together. And from a purely aesthetic perspective, their bodies and their movements were beautifully in-synch. This dance had a gorgeous fluidity of movement to it, which is amazing considering the level of difficulty.

From the choice of music to the pause when the blindfolds were finally removed, every detail in this routine was beautiful. I’m so excited to see more from these two in the coming weeks.

3 thoughts on “TV Time: SYTYCD Season 10 “Top 20”

  1. First off, my favorite routine was the opening number. It was amazing. Wonderfully choreographed, brilliantly shot and delight to those of us who are fans of the show to see interspersed choreographers getting in on the game. I am with you on the bulk of your assessment of the evening and I am going to throw down the gauntlet and put Aaron alongside Danny and Twitch among the male dancers I have adored from day one. His and Jasmine’s routine was far and away my favorite. I think the power and equal matching of their ability to rise up to the routine they were given was compelling.
    I am not sold on Malece, but I really like Jade so I am willing to be persuaded. I liked Amy and Fikshun’s routine, but wasn’t blown away as others were. And can someone pull Tice aside and tell him to stop it. Talk about disserving your dancers. I will be curious to see who loses out next week. There were some really forgettable numbers which I think will be where we lose dancers, as opposed to the labored/bad routines that Mariah and Alexis were in.
    My money is on Mackenzie and Paul going home. But Jenna and Tucker should be scared.

    • I love that you’re a fellow Aaron lover! He caught my eye in both his tap number and the guys’ routine last week, and he immediately became a dancer I was ready to love. I’m so happy he performed so well this week and seems to have been given an excellent and well-matched partner. (You also have excellent taste in male dancers, by the way—Twitch and Danny were always two of my favorites.)

      I also agree with you about Tyce. His style of Broadway choreography does not do his dancers any favors. It’s bland and lacks the spark that great musical theater numbers need to have to be memorable, which is a shame because I actually really love him as a contemporary and jazz choreographer on this show.

      • I’m in the “No Broadway From Tyce” coalition – whenever I hear them announce a Broadway number, I just groan. It’s kind of like quickstep – a tough sell to start with, and the choreographer/dancers that really rock it are NOT easy to find.

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