SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE “Top Ten Perform” Review

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE “Top Ten Perform” Season 8 Episode 16 – Now it’s time for the All Stars, the best dancers of previous season come to partner up with the top five guys and gals. We’ll also see a bunch of solos. Along with the All Stars, guest judge Neil Patrick Harris join Nigel and Mary at the table to offer some of his always-appreciated insight. NPH is probably the best guest judge on any talent show: he totally stole Simon’s thunder on American Idol, and he fits right at home on SYTYCD. Once again, I call for the entertainment industry to recognise his crazy talent and insert him into everything, from SYTYCD to Avatar 2.

First up is Marko dancing a samba with Chelsie and he is dancing up a storm with his fast and fluid movements. The judges love him, NPH aptly describing one of the many amazing moves as “a scissor kick around your face” and Mary’s jewellery has gone ninety.

Jordan is paired up with season 5’s Brandon. It’s a beautiful routine and the judges love it. You have to love Cat when she suggests that Brandon hit the gym to tone his muscles. The judges love it.

Tadd and Comfort take on hip hop and try to be “gutter sexy” which is apparently the equivalent of “ghetto fabulous”. Tadd “out hip hopped Comfort” and after a brief moment where Mary and Cat consider kicking Nigel off the end of the bench, they

I’m not really covering the solos because they’re showcasing what the dancers can do best so aside from saying “they’re fantastic” there’s not much else I can add, except what the hell was the stand up split head roll thing from Melanie? I want to do that! And the acoustic song from the Grease soundtrack? That was fantastic!

Mitchell and Melody and take on airplanes. No, seriously. Airplanes. Jazzy airplanes. They can dance, but there is nothing sexy about airplanes. The judges agree: NPH thought there was too much wedged in, Mary calls it “overbaked” and Nigel wants more in style than technique.

Tacking the tango is Caitlyn and Pasha. There was some cool camera work in this piece, and compared to the airplane luggage bit from earlier it certainly felt way more intimate. Mary gives a her a standing O. Nigel goes for his creepy old man comments and NPH says that the dance actually made him want to learn the Argentine tango. They all agree that it was a hypnotic, sensual performance.

Sasha and Twitch take on breakfast as their boring breakfast routine is broken for some passion. It’s so cool! NPH can keep his Argentine tango, I want to learn this routine. Their dance has both Mary and Nigel wringing their hands. Nigel goes into a tangent about soggy cornflakes. NPH declares it the best of the evening. Mary is ready to have a “hot attack”. Mary is such a great judge: she’s so over the top enthusiastic and funny that she makes all of the judges on American Idol seem like dour old sourpusses. You can tell that she loves dance, whereas American Idol judges just seem like they love their pay checks.

Jess joins Kathryn in a lift-filled dance of despair and loneliness. To me, his lifts seem quite strained. Compared to the other guys, they lift up the girls like teddy bears. In fact he looks very drained and put out by the end. NPH calls on him to be less muggy, though he’s not enthusiastic. Mary really likes it, so does Nigel, who calls it “endearing”. The judges aren’t exactly falling over themselves praising it, but they do like Jess and commend his lifts.

Melanie and, once again, Pasha, go for the Viennese waltz. It’s weirdly similar to the Jess and Kathryn dance of loneliness, which is, I’m sure, just a crazy coincidence. I do love the Viennese waltzes the show does (sometimes): the set design and costumes, not to mention dancing, is always beautiful. A piano is taken out to do REM’s famous suicide ballad. Dances always work really well when the guys where as little clothes as possible. Mary puts her right at the top of the leader board. Nigel calls it a “masterclass in lift and lift technique” and NPH calls her “easily” his favorite dancer on the show. So far, I have to agree.

Ricky and Allison from season 2 take on bad dreams, which seems very interesting. Much more so than the airplane thing. Well, that’s until the light keys kick in. Creepy is not helped with the arrangement of this song, which for me kills the routine. Though this is about the dancing, and Ricky is more powerful than I’ve seen him. The judges love it.

Clarice and Robert take on Bollywood. It certainly is mad and fast and there is a kiss-though it doesn’t even come close to the spontaneity of Jeanine and Jason from way back when, though that’s probably because the VT killed the surprise. Other than that, it was certainly a blood pumping piece. NPH disagrees with me on the kiss. Mary compares it to a “well-fitted Chanel suit” and Nigel continues on with the clothing similes comparing it to a “hand fitting into a glove”.

Well, that’s that. Who do you think might be in trouble? Logic goes that the first one in is the first one out, so Marco, despite opening the show with a brilliant number, might be at risk. But I wouldn’t be surprising to see Jess or Mitchell or perhaps Jordan or Catlynn go home. It’s really hard because there were so many fantastic performances tonight.

Who did you think shone tonight? And who do you think is in danger of getting the boot? Sound off in the comments below.

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