"SYTYCD" Season 12 Recap: The Top 10 Perform

August 17, 2015

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I love when “So You Think You Can Dance” gets down to the Top 10, because there’s so much dance and so little time for anything else. Last night’s episode felt especially decadent: Each performer took to the stage no fewer than three times—once for the group’s opening number, again for some all-too-brief solo action and finally for a duet with an All-Star. (That’s right, baby: All-Stars are back!) Ready for some fantastic news? It was announced that in addition to gracing the cover of Dance Spirit, the winner of “SYT” Season 12 will get a chance to dance in Jennifer Lopez’s upcoming Las Vegas show.

Of course, this being “SYT,” there was some bad mixed in with the good: Jessica “JJ” Rabone was sidelined this week due to a few injured ribs. And there were still eliminations. JJ was in the bottom four, along with Megan “Megz” Alfonso, Derek Piquette and Edson Juarez. But let’s look on the bright side for a little while, shall we? Here are my five favorite elements from last night’s ep:

1. Sonya Tayeh’s intense opening number to Bjork’s “Earth Intruders.”
When the lights went up on the wedge of dancers stomping in unison, did anyone else get an image of Pina Bausch’s Rite of Spring? (You’ll see what I mean in this excerpt.) It was dark, it was complex—it was totally Tayeh.

The Top 10 contestants in Sonya Tayeh’s opening group piece (PC: Adam Rose/FOX)

2. The tasty little
Center Stage
morsel buried in the episode.
When Megz and All-Star Marko Germar went all out in a Ray Leeper routine set to Jamiroquai’s “Canned Heat,” my head exploded. And not only because Megz is amazing: “Canned Heat” is, of course, Center Stage‘s workshop finale. Eee! (Also, for those of you who loved Warren Carlyle’s great Broadway routine earlier in the evening: Did you know he did THIS in Center Stage??)

All-Star Marko Germar and Megan “Megz” Alfonso (PC: Adam Rose/FOX)

3. Virgil Gadson’s duet with All-Star Comfort Fedoke.
Choreographer Christopher Scott is on a roll this season with story-fueled hip-hop masterpieces. And his newest, set to The Temptations’ “Just My Imagination,” was a perfect fit for Virgil’s charisma and Gene Kelly–like movement quality. There’s also something to be said about competitors—like Virgil—who can not only hold their own next to an All-Star, but even outshine them.

D’awww. Virgil Gadson and All-Star Comfort Fedoke (PC: Adam Rose/FOX)

4. Gaby Diaz and All-Star Joshua Allen in Pharside & Phoenix’s hard-hitting hip-hop piece.
Gaby might be the most versatile dancer this season. From tapping to twerking to contemporary-ing, she can do anything. I wouldn’t even be surprised if she showed up next week in a pair of pointe shoes. After all, as Nigel Lythgoe says, “Whether it’s Team Street or Team Stage, it’s all Team Dance.” That may be the cheesiest thing ever said, but Lythgoe also hinted at Gaby and Jana “Jaja” Vankova as possible finalists, and I’m not going to argue with that one.

All-Star Joshua Allen and Gaby Diaz (PC: Adam Rose/FOX)

5. Pharside & Phoenix’s Frankenstein-goes-to-dinner take on Yultran’s “Milk Was a Bad Choice.”
Starring Eddie “Neptune” Eskridge as Frankenstein and All-Star Jasmine Harper as his bride, this routine’s clever concept had me from the first silver tray slam. That said, while Neptune’s bone-breaking skills were occasionally highlighted, Jasmine seemed to be featured more prominently, and I got tired of scanning the stage for Neptune. He’s the one competing this time around—shouldn’t he have a little more to do?

Eddie “Neptune” Eskridge and All-Star Jasmine Harper (PC: Adam Rose/FOX)

But seriously…what is that? (PC: Adam Rose/FOX)

In the end, JJ and Edson were sent packing. I’ll certainly miss both of them, but I can’t wait to see what the remaining dancers bring to the table next.

What do you think? Were the right dancers sent home? Could Paula have found a stranger necklace? (Probably.) Let us know in the comments, and we’ll see you back here in a week when the Top 8 perform!