SYTYCD: Top 16 Catch Up

So I finally managed to catch up on the season – thankfully I was only three episodes behind (not counting all the goddamn auditions) – and I have to say, this season is looking pretty solid. I only caught about half of Season Five and was suitably not remarkably impressed. I was completely in love with Season Four, and I think this cycle is shaping up to be markedly similar.

There are a whole lot of new things going on. The awesome new stage. The new and exciting fall time slot. The tragic departure of Mia Michaels. The questionable possibility of Paula Abdul. The puzzling theft of Tim Gunn‘s catch phrase. The mutant-like expansion of production detail, and so on. The absolute best change is making Adam Shankman a permanent judge. I will miss having the choreographers sub in every week, but Adam was always my favorite so I am so delighted to have him around more often. Plus, it means that I don’t ever have to go a week without a new Tyce Diorio or Tabitha and Napoleon routine.

It’s only Week Three and the eliminations are only going to start being influenced by audience votes starting tomorrow. It’s difficult to predict what’s going to happen (not that it’ll ever get easier). Best not to get too invested this early on, but I definitely have some clear favorites already in terms of couples and other individual dancers:

Nathan and Mollee

They are the cutest thing ever. No question about it. Best dancers? No. But they are both very good, and they are excellent performers. It’s like echoes of Season Four’s Courtney and Gev.

Ryan and Ellenore

After Week One I was ready to swear that Ryan was unquestionably the stronger of the two, but Ellenore has definitely stepped up to match him and together they are completely riveting.

Legacy and Kathryn

My favorite couple, hands down. So much fun, so much talent, and they are both so attractive, which always helps. Plus, this is the most connected couple in the competition for me – they have a really strong personal and performance dynamic.


He is just SUCH a beautiful dancer. I can’t even stand it.


I’m always inclined toward the female Latin dancers on the show. But she is seriously just so amazing. And – I believe she’s the oldest female competitor – she has a real womany maturity and sexiness that the eighteen-year-olds who dominate competition just can’t measure up to.


I don’t know how long he’s going to last if he doesn’t start improving real fast, but his performances are a huge amount of fun to watch.

In terms of routines so far this season, I don’t think there’s been anything absolutely spectacular quite yet. The one that amused me most was Kevin and Karen’s Top 20 cha-cha which was set to “Push It” – the Glee cast version. Other cool routines included Legacy and Kathryn’s Top 18 contemporary routine, the Top 20 fallen angel routine by Sonya Tayeh, and the Top 18 Argentine Tango. My favorite, though, as I am a crazed art history nerd, was definitely Wade Robson‘s mad Van Gogh-inspired routine for Top 18. It was weird, it was fascinating, and just really, really cool.

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