“SYTYCD: The Next Generation” Season 13 Recap: The Top 6 Perform

August 22, 2016

“The Top 6 are back with their All-Stars and are ready to go for gold!” The Olympics may be over (tear!), but the Olympic-themed puns were sprinkled heavily throughout this episode. The real gold medal for this episode should go to Cat Deeley’s braids, with a silver medal going to her impossibly chic mock turtleneck-style dress. The bronze medal? We’ll let you decide. Welcome to “So You Think You Can Dance!”

We have to be honest: At this point in the competition, the episodes are starting to feel kind of repetitive. We’re down to the Top 6 (and Top 5 by the end of the episode), so it’d be nice to see them start to mix things up. Let’s see the dancers perform nothing in their regular styles. Let’s see new partnerships (we’d already seen mashups of Tate/Kida, Emma/J.T. and Ruby/Tahani), or the contestants performing with other All-Stars. These kids are good—give them some more challenges!

But just because the format felt a little stale and there was so. much. filler. content. (the new skills? the forced onstage interviews? more dancing, plz!), there were still plenty of highlights to keep us happy and clapping from our couches. Behold, our Top 5 moments from last night’s episode.

(Photo via FOX)

1. Travis Wall’s opening number

What’s that smell? Oh right, it’s the smell of an Emmy nomination for Travis Wall. This piece was so good. It featured the contestants and All-Stars, and was set to a hauntingly beautiful version of “What the World Needs Now is Love.” It was a stunning way to kick off the show. Travis, never stop doing what you do. (When J.T. walked through the line of dancers at the end and brought everyone together? Ugh. Lovely.)

2. Tate and Kathryn’s contemporary duet

Duh. These two get a contemporary piece every week, and every week it’s perfection. This one was choreographed by Mandy Moore and was a sweet piece about sisterhood. Can these two dance together forever? They are #flawless, and Tate is just on another level. She could hold her own on the regular version of “SYT,” not just among the Next Gen crew. (And that curly ponytail! #hairgoals) “Your grand battements go through the roof and to Mars and back,” Jason said, and that actually seems about accurate. We’re also obsessed with how much Kathryn simply adores Tate. It’s such a special partnership.

(Photo via FOX)

3. Tate and Kida’s Paso Doble

This Mark Ballas routine was so fun! Usually Paso Dobles are so serious, but this one was really fun. These two played off each other really well, and Kida—who you’d think might be out of his comfort zone with a ballroom piece—showed confidence and bravado. It was nice to see them both performing something other than their usual styles (though we still got a few classic sky-high battements from Tate), and the audience agreed: The piece earned a standing ovation from the crowd.

(Photo via FOX)

4. J.T. and Robert’s Broadway routine

We know, this is like the Tate and J.T. show at this point. But it’s hard not to love watching this little kiddo, particularly in pieces like this one: an Al Blackstone routine to “Mr. Bojangles.” J.T. seemed so happy and in his element, and he made us all awwwww when he said, “My Mr. Bojangles is Robert, because he inspires me to be a better person and to always believe in myself.” Jason called these two the most consistent pair on this show, which, OK, we love them…but has he seen Kathryn and Tate?

(Photo via FOX)

5. The All-Star performances

Yes, this show is supposed to be about the Next Gen-ers. But still the All-Stars totally stand out. Gaby, Jenna, Kathryn and Sasha performed a Mandy Moore routine (that red hair!), and later Comfort and the All-Star guys performed a Luther Brown piece. The young contestants are good, but these All-Star performances remind us how much we love watching older, more seasoned and mature dancers.

(Photo via FOX)

Ultimately, a cut needed to be made, and Cat spared us the bottom two announcement, instead just cutting right to it: this was the last day of competition for Ruby.

Ruby, we have no doubt you’ll go on to big, ballroom-y things.

Your Top 5!

Next week: the 250th episode of “So You Think You Can Dance.” Someone’s getting old!

What did you think of this week’s elimination? Was America right to send Ruby home? And who are you rooting for at this stage of the competition?

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