‘So You Think You Can Dance’ recap: Top 8 performances

SYTYCD season 11, top 8 dancers perform routines to all Michael Jackson songs. Credit: FOX/Adam Rose
SYTYCD season 11, top 8 dancers perform routines to all Michael Jackson songs. Credit: FOX/Adam Rose

It was a special night on SYTYCD as the Top 8 performed with all-stars to music by Michael Jackson. The Top 8 opened the show to “A Place With No Name” choreographed by Travis Payne, who choreographed for Michael. Jenna Dewan Tatum joined Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy on the judge’s panel and we found out that the season 11 winners will be announced in just three short weeks! But until then, here’s a recap of the top 8 performances:

Ricky and all-star Jamie performed a contemporary piece about a best friend who picks you up when you’re down and will always be there for you. Let’s be honest, is there anything Ricky can’t do? His jumps look effortless and his leg extensions are insane. Nigel said he dances in a Zen-like state and transcends the choreography. It should come to no surprise that Ricky was safe from elimination.

Valerie and all-star Ryan danced a Jean-Marc Samba to “Wanna Be Startin’ Something.” Mary said she completely attacked the routine and did an amazing job. It’s easy to forget that Valerie was originally a tap dancer. Regardless of what style of dance she’s doing, it’s clear that she finds joy in dancing. She may have been a little stiff in her samba rolls but she was safe from elimination.

Casey was paired with Comfort for his first hip-hop performance to “Xscape.” In the routine, Comfort was the kiss of death but Casey wants her even if it kills him. It was a spider-caught-in-a-web kind of routine. Jenna said she loved Casey’s stage presence and he was surprisingly not overpowered by Comfort. Casey is tall and lengthy, which is great for ballroom and contemporary, but when it comes to hip-hop he needed to get a lot lower. Unfortunately, Casey is in the bottom two guys again.

Tanisha was paired with season one’s winner Nick. The couple did a contemporary performance about the love that got away and danced to “She’s Out of my Life.” It was a beautiful routine choreographed by Stacey Tookey and Tanisha danced so fluidly through it. Nigel said she’s one of the strongest dancers he’s ever seen but wants more emotion from her. Tanisha was in the bottom two girls this week.

Rudy and all-star Allison performed a contemporary dance about a dark obsession to “Dirty Diana.” In the routine, Allison wants him but Rudy pushes her away because he’s already taken (by Jacque). This was by far the best performance of the night. Their performance was intense, passionate and spot on. The couple worked so well together and got a standing ovation. However, for the first time of the season, Rudy was at risk of going home.

Zack and Mackenzie performed a Broadway dance to “The Way You Make Me Feel” about a country girl falling for a city boy. Zach can pretty much conquer any dance thrown at him but Broadway seems to fit him well and Jenna thinks he has the control that Broadway requires.

Jacque performed a hip-hop routine with all-star Twitch to “Slave to the Rhythm.” Jacque quickly went from ballerina to hip-hop diva. Jenna loved that she could pull it off and Nigel said Jacque and Twitch make a great dance couple. However, Jacque was in the bottom two for the girls.

Jessica performed with all-star Will to “Earth Song” in which Will represented Earth and Jessica was mankind. Jessica continues to wow us week after week. The couple got a standing ovation from the audience and the judges. Mary said Jessica is right up there with the All-stars and everyone forsees her in the finale.

Unfortunately two dancers had to leave at the end of the show and it was a shocking elimination. Rudy and Tanisha were sent home, which means Jacque and Casey were safe.


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