SYTYCD Dance Academy Week 2

SYTYCD Dance Academy week 2. How are the all-stars going to decide who to pick? The best kids are at the academy, the all-stars picked 5 dancers, then made cuts. But now they have to cut everyone else except for the one kid they will mentor and dance with.


The kids are starting with Nappy Tabs, with Maddie Ziegler watching on. Tab wants to see character and connection. The kids only get an hour.


Comfort has Tahani dancing with Josiah from Robert’s team. Leave it all on the stage. This is Tahani’s area, but I’m impressed with lyrical dancer Josiah. The kids killed it. Then Comfort and Robert’s teams perform together. It’s weird how the kids all don’t seem to be doing the same dance. We have JT and PHoenix. It’s okay. They aren’t connecting. It’s kind of meh. When the cuts come, Robert cuts Gavin, who says a sad Thank You. Safe are JT and Josiah. Logan and Phoenix are called forward. They are both going to have to dance for their lives. Aniyah and Tahani continue. The kids are practicing and they look so freaking serious. Logan is a b-girl and she goes first. Windmills and poses, she looks like she’s having fun, but it’s not completely smooth. Phoenix does her animatrix thing, which she’s really good at, but we’ll have to wait until after the Pepsi emoji commercial to see the result. You can see the concentration in her face, and girl looks strong even though she’s tiny. Comfort says goodbye to Logan and tells Phoenix not to forget that she saved her. Phoenix is super sad.


Emma did well, as did Ruby, Romeo, Jake and Avery. Going home – Merrick and Lev the ballroom dancer, who I thought was adorable. He’s very sad and that makes me sad. At 4pm the rest of the dancers (30 of them) learn a routine with Travis Wall. He’s treating them like adults, but he shouldn’t because these are some little kids. Then again, Tahani says she has to let her nerves not to get to her or it won’t go well, which is very grown up sounding. They get 90 minutes of practice. Each team of 3 will perform together. Kathryn’s team goes first, with Tate, Avery, and Quinn. Again, they are all moving differently, so I wonder if they had some improv sections. Quinn has beautiful arms; Tate is so strong. Avery seems so much older than she is. Kathryn is going to have a hard time! But she says goodbye to Quinn. I would have booted Avery, I think. They both are sad about Quinn leaving.


Sasha’s team goes; Robert’s team goes. Sasha sends Ashley home. Robert sends Sage home. They are both told they are special. But not special enough, obviously.


Gabby’s tap dancers go next on the contemp. Ryan, Emma and Lucas, who apparently has had a tough time. Lucas’ studio doesn’t have contemp technique classes so he’s feeling insecure. Gabby says to get the feeling right, that’s what she’ll be watching for. Lucas does not look as good as Ryan or Emma, who is terrific. Gabby doesn’t weep or fall apart, she cuts Lucas after telling him how proud of him she is, and how much he’s grown. She should be hired by other companies to fire people. That was smooth. I hate seeing the crying kids!


Jenna’s team seems to do pretty well. Tahani looks great. Fik-shun’s team looks full on awesome. Jenna cuts Dougie. Robert cuts Victoria. Paul cuts Lenox, Joshua cuts Trey, Sasha cuts Aniyah, Fik-shun cuts JJ. Sad kids walking away makes me sad.


One more cut! Each all-star picks one, but they meet one on one with each kid, and watch them dance a solo. It looks like the final decisions are going to be sad for the all-stars too. Avery likes all the styles – she wants to be a well-rounded ballerina. Tate, who the all-stars were fighting over. Kathryn is so proud of Tate, and that is who she ends up selecting. Avery seems happy for her friend, but here come the tears.  Sasha chose Jordan, and Fik-shun picked Kida. Joshua and Jake are the remaining. Jake who is 12? What? He’s a wee thing! Joshua has been kicking butt all week. Jake is the little creeper in training. Joshua is out, and I bet he’s regretting that he called Jenna a bigger lady. Jake is crying. Robert has Josiah and JT, while Joshua has Romeo and Shaeden? Not sure of spelling. Joshua picks Shaeden, Robert takes JT, which I think is not the right choice.


There’s a national dance day break. Paul has to choose between Ruby and Sophia the Instagram star. They are mature, disciplined, hardworking, humble, but Ruby is moving on. Sophia will have to take comfort in her millions of Instagram followers. Very cool styling for these youngsters, btw. Ruby’s dad is adorable, they are sobbing with happiness.


Gabby has Emma and Ryan to choose from. Emma’s favorite part of the week is sleeping. Gabby chooses Emma. Again, no nonsense from Gabby.


Jonathan had Camilla and Daniela. His decision is for Daniela. Her grandmother is adorable. Comfort has to choose between Phoenix and Tahani. Comfort is torn. Phoenix is raw, Tahani is sweet, cute, bubbly. Comfort wants Tahani to get grimey. Comfort wants to Frankenstein them, but that would be wrong. She believes she can pull the rawness out of Tahani, so Tahani it is, even though Phoenix is amazing. She’s crying.


Performance. All dancers are on stage in a weird special effect. The contemp section is lovely. You can see the difference when they pair off with their all stars. Standouts for me are Tahani, Tate, Ruby and Emma, but I always have a hard time picking out performers in these group numbers, I may watch again to reassess. Welcome Cat, who is gorgeous in a beautiful blue floral suit. Christopher Scott choreo’d the opening which makes sense. Marko will be stepping in for Joshua now that they’re performing. Cat introduces the jidges. Hi Paula! Jason has a manbun. Not a good look, IMO. They welcome Maddie Ziegler as a judge. She’s very chill.


The kids will dance a solo, and will dance with their all-star. Apparently there will be a talking section. Kida said he has butterflies, but he seems very relaxed.  They take a look at rehearsal. Kida messes us Christopher Scott’s last name. The routine has a lot of isolations. Maddie says they are legit robots.


Winning Figazz is the song. Kida and Fikshun are in crazy Kpop suits. Fikshun is so good, but Kida is in there, he still wants to sing along with the song. Fooling around with their suspenders. Nice move with the jackets, and the final seated spin in slow motion is cool. Jason wows Chris Scotts explosive choreography. Says its fly, fly. Kida has rhythm, Nigel says. Nigel has something wrong with his hand. The only difference between Kida and Fikshun is performance level. Kida is nailing the dancing, will learn the showmanship from Fikshun. Maddie thinks “you guyses” performance is terrific. Clean and incredible. Great smiles, Cat says. She is hoarse.


Emma’s solo is first. There’s a Q&A between her and Gabby. She is rocky road ice cream. Zodiac sign: monkey. Because she doesn’t know what zodiac signs are. Team tap. Emma is cute and sparky and is clearly comfy performing. Perfect timing on the ending.


Tate will talk to Cat. Tate has noticed her voice is squeakier than she thought on TV. Gross Tyce DiOrio choreod (seriously watch Every Little Step to see how horrible he is). Tate is a butterfly and Kathryn wants to touch her wings, but then she won’t be able to fly. Kathryn makes her feel safe. Maddie has chills. The song is Goldenheart by Dawn Richard – which sounds like it’s set to Claire de Lune….because it is. Tate has really long legs and  they are actually performing at the same level in my untrained eye. Kathryn has such a beautiful face, Tate’s face always looks a little sad. It’s really quite lovely. She’s polished and they are lovely together. Really nice jete where Kathryn and Tate’s long legs move together. But damn, I think Kathryn killed the butterfly. They get a standing O from the judges.


Nigel connects the shortness of a butterflys life with that of a dancer. He says she is up there with the brilliant dancers they’ve had on the show. They were magical according to Paula, she’s so articulated with her body, thoughtful and brilliant. Maddie says “you guys” are effortless, easy and they have chemistry. She has no words. Jason agrees with his colleagues, he thought it was an emotional performance.


Tahani and Comfort have 30 seconds. Parents just don’t understand. What’s up w/feather, Comfort loves dreamcatchers. Would be amazing if animals could talk. They’d be hairy people. It will be greateriffic. Anyway, Chris Brown. Kids shouldn’t be listening to him, IMO. Tahani’s solo is strong, she has such strength in her movements. Comfort did bring out a little griminess in her.


Up next Jake who is a tiny hambone. He’s doing amazing, he’s getting a lot of advice, especially from the choreographer Jean Marc Generaux. He just irks me. Cha cha. Jake has to be the man, but he’s maybe 3 feet tall.. Maddie says he needs to dance larger than life. He gives her a rose at end of rehearsal. Little creeper. The song is called Toca Toca. It’s just weird to see. Jenna is so good. He is only looking at her but again, he seems very comfy on stage. I’m glad they stayed away from really sexy moies. There was one body roll but it was tame. It felt like it went on forever, though – Kathryn & Tate I could have watched for another hour. Paula loves him. Good routine, great partner. He has a huge career ahead of him. His bachacadas, everything. Maddie: ‘you guys’ were incredible, he was a ball of energy. Handled his taller partner well. Jason agrees, welcomes America to the next generation. Nigel – size does not equate to his talent. His wonderful personality steals heart. He should go into politics. There’s just something phony about this kid.

JT and Robert – how many teeth are you missing? None, 4 growing in. Trampoline? No. Girlfriend, No. you? No. He’d like to leap really high. Pogo stick is his favorite thing to do. JT to me seems genuine unlike Jake. He’s so freaking cute and his solo is charming.


Someone in the KFC ad department is on drugs.


Shaeden with Marko. I don’t know if i’m spelling his name right. He talks to Cat. Amazing, he feels confident, wants to have fun and give it everything he’s got. Pharcyde and Phoenix. Boogeyman themed hip hop. Marko says he loves dancing with him, that Shae matches him. He is going to be scary.


Why I’m Here is the song. Marko is scared of the boogeyan but they dance together. He’s making some Haka faces. We didn’t see too much of him but he’s quite good. Maybe not as good as Kida, though. He is good in the faster sections but I like his stillness when he’s in the pocket. Maddie loves the choreography, Shaeden embraced the character. “The tricks was cool”. Yes, Maddie said that. Jason says the punctuation needs to be worked on, the periods and commas. Fun stuff. His acro and character was great from Nigel, thinks it will be memorable. Paula is impressed with how he’s coming out of shell, his showmanship has gone way up.


Ruby and Paul – Oldest? You? Who do you have a crush on he promised. Mackenzie. Cat Deeley impression, she says the wrong show. Unstoppable. Ballroom solos are always hard, but she’s pretty dynamic and fiery when she gets going. This looks like a paso doble.


Next we meet Jordan, who is bonding with everyone but is not cool with someone else’s farts. She is dancing with Sasha, and it’s beautiful. It’s a story where sasha needs help and Jordan is her support. This is a real thing for Jordan, she’s the one with the tough family sitch, she’s been homeless. The Light that never Fails by Andra Day. She is a mini-Sasha and is giving so much. I feel like they’ve really connected. She explodes with joy at one point. Sasha has been one of my favorites for a long time, and Jordan is maybe my favorite dancer this season.  I’m a little teary eyed. Perfect blend of technique, emotion and performance from Jason. Nigel says he hasn’t seen this beauty and confidence from her. Paula says Jordan blew her away, and is glad that Sasha chose Jordan ( me too, Paula.) Maddie Z. can’t really speak English, you guys, you guys.


Daniela and Jonathan. She likes dolphins and then tries to imitate them. Not so good. Jonathan  would cut his hair for a million dollars, but she would not. She’s never heard of his favorite movie Armageddon. She’s smiling so much her cheekbones hurt.  As always, ballroom solos are tricky, but she does a jive to Ike & Tina’s Proud Mary, and damn, the girl is mega flexible.


The Allstars dance to Unsteady by X Ambassadors. These guys are pros, so it’s well danced, there’s some nice supported tossing. I’m surprised it’s a band I’ve never heard of because Mandy Moore is the choreographer and she usually picks songs from my era. Sasha is kind of the star of the ensemble in my eyes.


Now Emma talks to Cat, we look at their rehearsal. Emmas’ a little nervous about the ramps. She has lucky socks, which are crunchy. Gross. Watch Me Do by Meghan Trainor. Emma was born to perform. They aren’t always totally in sync, but she’s super cute. Choreographer is Anthony Morigerato, and I like him because he’s a little chubby. Paula says she’s exceptional. Maddie liked it, firecracker. Jason agrees with Nigel about Emma not rushing and sitting in the pocket.


Kida and Fikshun talk. They both like red, belly dancing and girls that can animate. Fikshun likes Gabby. Something about sucking on a big toe, neither one of them has done that, apparently.  


Then comes his solo – Ants edIT. He has this cool stillness when he animates. He’s really just cool.


Ruby and Cat talk. She loves being Hollywood. We see her rehearsal. She is doing a cha cha with Paul. She says it’s fun. Paul says she’s strong and versatile. Jean Marc Generaux loves her. Maddie loves her laugh and how Ruby finds everything funny.  How Deep is Your Love by Calvin Harris and the Disciples. It starts slow. She has great legs. Then it starts kicking up, some of her moves are not as refined as an adult dancer, but she’s good. There’s a cool lift in full split. Paula says they are a wonderful couple. Maddie says Ruby is mature as a dancer. The lift was just woah. Jason talks about the trust between them. She set the floor ablaze. Nigel said she made no mistakes and says it won’t be long before she’s the senior Latin ballroom champion.


Jordan’s solo – we see her and Sasha doing Q&A. Car: red mustang. New dance move – spin boogie. She doesn’t do math, she only needs to count to 8 and to count money.


Solo – Freedom, Anthony Hamilton and Eayna Boynton. She is serious. She is very strong and expressive. It’s a little overchoreographed, – too much flailing, but she is good.


Tahani sits down with Cat. Everyone remembers her from puking. Everyone said she handled it well. She’s dancing with Comfort and Luther Brown. They are just getting it. She just wants to do it. Goosebumps and chill. Maddy says Comfort is bringing out the rawness. Tahani says can’t’ is not in her vocab. Cut it Ot Genasis (and a bunch of other names) . It is fun to watch. Tahani is keeping up with Comfort. Great faces. Cat wants to be in their gang. Maddie loved the choreo, thought they matched. She’s kind of lost her cuteness, now she’s a beast. Amazing. Jason – said it made him want to get on the table and dance and get down with them. Just right in the pocket. He feels better after getting a dance out. Nigel says “do you know my favorite move” Tahani says the old man step. He said it wasn’t but he loves the moves, then he said he couldn’t keep his eyes off her Tahani because of her personality. Paula – loves Comfort, says she’s bringing out the best in Tahani. Can’t wait to see everything. I love her, too, she’s my other favorite.


Tate and Kathryn – VCR? Dress, U fave letter, Zed because she can’t think of a word, Kathryn doesn’t know that word. Tate’s’ solo is to the Beginning by Factor Eight. Of course it’s fantastic, she has flexibility, power, strength.


Cool a commercial with Misty Copeland! Love her.


Top 10 will dance together. Now we have Daniela sitting with Cat. She loves Cat’s outfit. She’s surprised to be in the top 10. She’s a cutie. Rehearsal with Jonathan and his wife Oksana Platero who is the choreographer. He says it’s a professional routine. She is scared of a couple of parts. She needs to trust him.


The song is Latinos, by Proyeto Una – I like it. She is not as polished as Ruby. A lot of tongues hanging out. He is tossing her around. Jason – dope, Nigel compliments her connections, she worked the camera. Maddie, firecracker, incredible. I think they are short on time.


Shaeden & Marko – how do you spell arabesque. Marko can’t. But Shaeden doesn’t know either. He can be dramatic. Who does Marko have a crush on, he says Kathryn. Look At Me Know, Chris Brown w/ my favorite fast rapper Busta Rhymes. Damn he can say a lot of words. It’s cute and Shaeden is good but I think he doesn’t really stand out enough.


JT he’s having fun, he loves working with Robert. Who is perfect just the way he is. We see their rehearsal. Mandy Moore – says it’s about telling the world who you really are. Miss Mandy is pushing him to be more expressive. He has to buckle down. She doesn’t want people to pass him off as the cute kid with a bowtie. Maddie says he should be pushed just as hard as everyone else. He wants to work hard.


Stand in the Light by Jjordan Smith. He’s a mini Robert. He has a look of wonder on his face. Even though he’s tiny he’s stretching as far as he can. He’s keeping up with Robert. Nice lighting, SYTYCD. It’s good, lovely. I’m teary eyed. Nigel, thought it was very emotional, complimented the choreo. I agree with him completely. He apologizes to JT, Nigel was disappointed when he was chosen, but he says he’s more than cute. Paula is crying (like me) she thinks the universe put them together, she loves their emotional connection. Her fave of the evening. Now JT is crying. Maddie – feels the same, she’s thinks it was beautiful to experience. Jason says it’s the kind of piece that is supposed to happen, that someone out there is supposed to see and be moved by it. He can see it speaking to single fathers, or kids without dads. He said it felt like a movie, like a life being reenacted on the stage. Damn you, show, you  made Jason Derulo say something meaningful! Robert is barely holding it together.


Jake and Jenna – ballroom or be able to fly/swim. Ballroom. Travis or Twitch – he picks Jenna. She likes to burp and she sweats a lot. Sorry. He does his solo routine, I Like it Like That by Tito Nieves. He’s good, I just don’t like him.


We revisit the performances.
Closing show next gen top 10.  Move If You Wanna, MIMS, hip hop. Kida center stage with Tahani. Shaden has a fun moment. I love it. And that’s all we have time for.


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