'So You Think You Can Dance' Recap: The Top 16 Compete
'So You Think You Can Dance' Recap: The Top 16 Compete
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
After last week's massive cut of four dancers, there are only 16 remaining So You Think You Can Dance season 9 competitors to perform. And two more dancers won't continue. Who got America's vote last week? Who deserves it this week? Check out our recap for everything you need to know!

First of all, a question: Have you all figured out the new format yet? I certainly hope so, because this is your only chance to learn anything before mid-August. That's because So You Think You Can Dance will be off the air for the next two weeks. Sorry! You can thank the Olympics for that. No more dancing until August 15!

But let's forget about that for now. It's dancing time!

Have you forgotten last week's dances already? That's OK -- remind yourself with our SYTYCD recap!

OK, did the producers of So You Think You Can Dance develop this entire routine just for Amelia? I mean, a stage full of Charlie Chaplins? Maybe she was just the inspiration. Whatever the case, the red umbrella is pretty cool.

Unfortunately, the black-and-white footage of everything else makes it difficult to really watch the dance. It seems pretty cool. Kind of all over the place. But in a good way.

Tyce Diorio choreographed that one.

Remember, thanks to last week's eliminations, Amber and Brandon are now partners. As for the rest, mostly they're notable for making Cat Deeley laugh repeatedly.

Not that this is news, but Cat Deeley totally has the audience eating out of her hand. It's kind of awesome. Also, there's another guest judge -- Christina Applegate is back for the new season.


Tiffany Maher and George Lawrence II

Choreographers: Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo
Dance Style: Hip hop

George peed once at the beginning of a race. Tiffany had a 5.22 GPA. How is that even possible?

Anyway, this dance seems to take place in some weird Dr. Seuss nursery. It's very bright. Tiffany and George both hit their moves very well, although Tiffany's hip-hop style seems a little cleaner than George's. I don't know if it's the fluorescent colors or the dancers' unfamiliarity with the style, but this dance doesn't inspire much emotion.

It is amusing though.

"Good ending to the show, guys!" Cat Deeley, after the first dance of the night

Nigel liked the choreography and the light-hearted performance. Mary screeched and called the dance both "fabulous" and "cute." Christina was shocked, scared of Tiffany and wanted "soupier" dancing. Everyone agreed that Tiffany was totally awesome.


Amber Jackson and Brandon Mitchell

Choreographer:
Ray Leeper
Dance Style:
Jazz

Amber is a hair stylist. Brandon is in the Step Up: Revolution movie.

Totally unrelated-to-anything note: Ray Leeper has a voice very similar to that of Louis Litt on Suits.

Now, I don't really like the style of music used here, but this dancing almost makes me re-think that preference. Brandon and Amber are pretty much the physical embodiment of the song -- all angst-filled romance and sex. All over the stage. Not knowing the details of the jazz style, I don't know if this is perfect (and there are occasional hesitations), but I liked it.

I can't report all of what Christina said because the network bleeped out a good 5 seconds of her words. Otherwise, she loved it. Mary mentioned cereal for some reason. And then she expressed enthusiastic love for the performance. Nigel was excited to see more performance from Amber and counseled Brandon on his suspenders.

"This was baby-making choreography." -- Nigel Lythgoe (followed by a disturbing reference to Tabitha and Napoleon)


Janelle Issis and Dareian Kujawa

Choreographer: Pasha Kovalev
Dance Style: Cha-Cha

Dareian skateboards. Janelle raps.

Wait, I thought we were done with "Call Me Maybe" now. Oh well. At least it pretty much works for this dance. These dancers are both excellent at keeping up with the high speeds of the choreography. Janelle has the right look for Latin ballroom out there. Dareian not quite so much, but his moves are great.

Mary loved the tricks but felt the style and chemistry were lacking. Christina gave an A for effort (except for Dareian's weird hand stuff). Nigel criticized Dareian's appendages and Janelle's lack of sexiness.


Lindsay Arnold and Cole Horibe

Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Dance Style: Contemporary

Um, we all know that Cole takes acting seriously after last week. Lindsay hates feet. I'm with her on that one.

The dance begins with a lot of swaying in the dark. I don't really get the good vs. evil themes here, but it's gorgeous to watch. When Cole spins Lindsay especially, the dance is pretty incredible. I'm not so sure about the music choice -- great song ("Wild Horses"), terrible version. But they did manage to transcend that.

Nigel complimented the beauty of the choreography and lighting (citing Emmy nominations) before moving to Lindsay's spirit and Cole's neatness. Mary basically apologized for faking-out Lindsay a few weeks ago and then was disbelieving of Cole. Christina called Cole an enigma and had trouble finding words for Lindsay.

"There is no way you're boring, young man. You're a genius." -- Nigel Lythgoe to Cole Horibe


Amelia Lowe and Will Harris

Choreographer: Mandy Moore
Dance Style: Jazz

Will wants to be in a boy band. Amelia wears a lot of sunblock. Shocking.

These two dancers have way too much charisma for their own good. They also do well with quirky. This is quirky. Personality aside, this dance requires insane precision and timing -- they're pretty incredible at it. We're talking about moves where they can't see each other and still do things at exactly the same moment. Awesome.

Christina called them the "dream team" and made a compliment sound like a criticism. Nigel didn't feel it. Whatever. Mary liked the dance but didn't think it was as good as other performances.


Audrey Case and Matthew Kazmierczak

Choreographer: Liz Lira
Dance Style: Salsa

Matthew used to golf before he danced. Audrey at Night is a cute nerd.

Their costumes are very red. And one second in -- Matthew isn't doing sexy well. Audrey has that, but neither dancer seems to be much in time with the music. Is that the dancing or the music? Whatever the case, it seems weird. Once they get back in time (or whatever), the dance seems better, but I swear Matthew is barely there.

Mary called the dance uncomfortable and withheld her fire. Christina concurred. Nigel compared dancing to alcoholic beverages.


Witney Carson and Chehon Wespi-Tschopp

Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Dance Style: Contemporary

Chehon puts orange juice on cereal and plays the violin. Witney speaks German terribly.

Blue lights and Whitney Houston! This is super twisty. Not in a plot sense, more in a Twister-style physicality that's really cool. The story is incredibly easy to get in this case, even if they hadn't told us ahead of time. The lighting unfortunately makes it difficult to see some of the cooler tricks, but what I can see is impressive.

The judges gave a standing ovation for this one. Christina started out near tears and used a lot of positive adjectives. Mary broke down fully when talking about Whitney Houston and the crazy catch-jump trick. Nigel was moved to forget that TV stuff wins Emmys, not Oscars. Then he called them flawless.


Eliana Girard and Cyrus "Glitch" Spencer

Choreographer: Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo
Dance Style: Hip hop

Eliana squished a bird while she was sleeping one time. Cyrus' belly button looks like a computer power switch. Yikes.

There could not be a more suitable dance for this duo than a music-box ballerina style. But no music-box ballerina I've seen looks like this. It's creepy and highly sexed in a way that makes me think this is not appropriate for all ages. Cyrus is obviously a bit more precise with his robot stuff, but Eliana does pretty well too. I'm just creeped out by it all.

And there's another standing ovation from the judges. Mary screamed about insanity. Christina was generally amazed (and warned about contemporary). Nigel was glad that they took a chance on Cyrus.

"You're both on the damn train. Get out of here." -- Mary Murphy


Bottom Three Guys and Girls

Now for the sad part.

Bottom Three Girls
Amber Jackson
Lindsay Arnold
Eliana Girard

Bottom Three Guys
George Lawrence II
Brandon Mitchell
Dareian Kujawa

Amber, Eliana, Brandon and Dareian will all dance for their lives.

Amber looks good and energetic. But I'm not sure there was anything interesting enough for the judges to fall in love with.

Energy apparently is Brandon's thing. The crowd loves it, and rightly so. It's also the first time we've really seen stepping.

Eliana goes minimalist in her ballet costume this time. But the dancing is almost heartbreaking in its beauty.

Dareian is definitely daring in his moves -- they often look like falling down. The dancing is pretty incredible.

Of the two girls, I would say that Eliana had the better solo. Of the guys, Brandon seemed to do better -- but it was close...

While the judges deliberate on this, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater does something called "The Hunt" on stage. It's pretty insane. You know, insane in a good way.

Eliminations

Of the girls, the judges save Lindsay Arnold and Eliana Girard.

Amber Jackson has been eliminated by So You Think You Can Dance.

Nigel wasn't happy about it.

Now the guys: The judges save George Lawrence II and Dareian Kujawa.

Brandon Mitchell has been eliminated by So You Think You Can Dance.

Seriously, Nigel looks like he is going to cry. It's hard to disagree with him too -- Amber and Brandon were amazing tonight.

Oh well.

What do you think of the eliminations this week? Should someone else have gone instead? Will you even be able to remember these results when So You Think You Can Dance finally returns on August 15? Leave your comments below!

(Images courtesy of FOX)