'So You Think You Can Dance' Recap: The Top 14 Dance
'So You Think You Can Dance' Recap: The Top 14 Dance
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
The Week 4 is upon us, which means even tougher competition. Is this the week when we'll see a beloved front-runner disappear from the stage? It has to happen eventually... With only 14 dancers remaining in the So You Think You Can Dance competition, it gets more and more likely all the time.

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But at least there are no eliminations tonight! Thank goodness for that. There are instead a whole lot of dances, plus yet another guest judge. Who is it this week? Carmen Electra, that star-ish person of tabloid and screen will join Mary and Nigel and the judges' table for week 4 of season 8. Rumor has it that Travis Wall will join the judges as well...

Let's get to the dancing!


Yep. That's Travis Wall. He made Cat bounce.

First dance -- the Top 7 guys have a group performance.

Top 7 Guy Routine
Not sure about the style, but it's all masculine (chests are pounded). And about grieving. The dance is choreographed by Justin Giles.

Kind of a dull beginning. But that's OK, because the shirts are coming off. Nothing boring about that. Honestly, this looks like angsty performance art. I'm sure it's good, but it's not exactly likable.

Apparently, it's tough being a man.

Marko and Melanie
Marko made a very pretty girl. Melanie's boyfriend was present for last week's kiss. They'll be dancing a jazz routine with Ray Leeper.

Too bad that pose was in the dark. It looked neat. This is jazz? It's very Latin-looking. They're obviously having fun with the dance, but it looks more like a bullfight to me than an elopement. The passion isn't lacking either. I don't like this quite as much as some of the pair's past dances, but that doesn't mean it's not good. Actually, quite excellent.

Nigel: "What's joyous here is that their technique matches their performance."
Mary: "Wow. Can I just say, wow!" "You two have the passion in heaps and bounds, you're flying with it all over the place."
Carmen Electra: "So, so strong! I mean girl, those legs are ridiculous!" "You guys together are so passionate."
Travis: "What an amazing way to start the show!" "Marko, you're so strong." "Melanie, you come out here, you make eye-contact with all of the judges." "You are, by far, my favorite dancer in this whole competition."


Alexander and Sasha
They party at Sasha's house. Alexander needs an education in '70s TV. They're dancing a hip-hop routine choreographed by Shaun Evaristo.

They made fun of Alexander's lack of "swag," but he's at least dancing well. Maybe not enough swagger, but he does have a sort of smoothness that would fit with an old-school pimp type. Sasha is, of course, killing this routine. Possibly too much -- it's kind of easy to ignore because she's making it look too easy. This is one of those laid-back hip-hop dances that might not go over well with voters for looking too easy.

Nigel: "It just felt like Hip Hop 101 for me." "I didn't feel the swag, if you want, from either of you."
Mary: "I wish I could say that I saw the swag -- I didn't, unfortunately." "It was lacking." "I didn't feel the connection between the two of you."
Carmen Electra: "Dang girl, you were popping so hard!" "I didn't really get the feel of the two of you together as a couple."
Travis: "I didn't hate it as much as they did, actually." "You guys do need to work on your shading and musicality."


Tadd and Jordan
Jordan has a cute puppy. Tadd had some identity issues as a kid. Their waltz is choreographed by Toni Redpath.

Lots of smoke for this one. Through the clouds, it looks very pretty. Lots of spins and stuff, which pretty much make up my knowledge of what a waltz is supposed to look like. Jordan does look like she's after Tadd, so that works well with the story. He might be a little too aloof, but that could also be "strong male lead" in action. Pity we don't really get to see that big death moment. Stupid clouds.

Nigel: "You used your arms very well." "He did progressive twinkles!"
Mary: "Was it dreamy and romantic? Yes it was." "The beginning was absolutely beautiful from both of you."
Carmen Electra: "I really enjoyed it. Even so much more than in rehearsals."
Travis: "I thought it was beautiful." "Could it have been a little smoother? Yes." 


Jess and Clarice
Clarice likes her parents a lot. They seem to deserve that liking. Jess required a formal introduction to meet people as a child. They will be dancing a contemporary routine choreographed by Justin Giles.

Another violent, angry dance. This seems to be a thing tonight. Jess does a lot of acting on stage, even when you're not expecting it. This is definitely one of the more jerky dances we've seen on the show this season. Somehow, though, it's still very pretty. Their synchronicity is also pretty amazing. I think that might be my favorite dance of theirs so far this season.

Nigel: "It really was an honest emotion that went between them." "I really felt the sort of anger that you felt." "I think it was tremendously danced, tremendously choreographed."
Mary: "I think this partnership has been growing every single week this season."
Carmen Electra: "I really believed your story."
Travis: "You guys just came alive right there." "It's the first time I felt that the chemistry was honest." "I believed you guys."


Ashley and Chris
Ashley wants to have a cooking show. Can you combine dance with food? Chris has many siblings, which requires cleaning. This samba was choreographed by Liz Lira.

Chris seems to have figured out the hip thing OK. He looks like a lot of the guys I've seen in Latin clubs, with the swagger. They don't necessarily seem to be flowing in their motions the way they might. And a lot of what they are doing doesn't seem to go with the music at all. Still, it was quite pretty. Just not the best.

Nigel: "If we're talking about the freedom of salsa... Then we lost it a little bit." "It was a bit like me trying to do a krump."
Mary: "I think it was weak too." "Some things are simmering though."
Carmen Electra: "I felt like you guys were hesitating. It was almost there." "There was something that I wasn't feeling."
Travis: "It started out really hopeful." "Once you guys broke away from each other is when it started to get..." "The chemistry just wasn't there." "I think you didn't have as much energy as the others."


Ricky and Ryan
Ryan owes an awful lot to Mia Michaels. Ricky was a cheerleader. He liked it. They have a jazz routine, choreographed by Chucky Klapow.

There are fashion cults? OK then. More zombies? Didn't we have zombies last week? This looks like a music video from the early '80s. The music is definitely helping with that impression. It's certainly different. Honestly, it's so weird, that I can't even figure out if it looks good or if I like it. Not sure if that's a good or a bad thing. I do think they're dancing well. Whatever that was.

Nigel: "I think this sort of zombie Zoolander routine actually suited you very well." "I loved the quirk of this."
Mary: "This was kind of an experiment of movement, down on the quirky side." "You went full-tilt zombie!"
Carmen Electra: "You guys rocked! Yeah! Great music choice, great energy!"
Travis: "It was amazing. You guys had my attention the entire time." "I see both of you past Top 10 for sure."


Mitchell and Caitlynn
Caitlynn comes from Moses Lake, WA. Do you know that as you drive through Moses Lake, there's a local radio station that broadcasts town events? And there's a big billboard to advertise this. Mitchell was homeless for awhile as a kid. That sucks. Their contemporary routine was choreographed by Mandy Moore.

Ugh. Celine Dion music? Really, show? The positions in the dance look vaguely impossible -- in a good way. This is all fast and passionate in a way that we haven't seen much tonight. If there's a flaw, it's that Caitlynn is way more obvious out there than Mitchell. He's good, but she's more eye-catching in some way. It's almost like Mitchell serves as a prop for Caitlynn.

Nigel: "The emotion in that routine just grabbed us all." "The leaps in that were fantastic, the lifts..." "The whole routine took my breath away! As Mary said, best routine of the night."
Mary: "That was my favorite number of the night! Mitchell, Caitlynn, that was so beautiful... I just can't remember..." (trails off into tears) "This is your moment, you just need to grab onto it and run like the wind now!"
Carmen Electra: "You guys were all that and even more -- best performance of the night!"
Travis: "I kept finding myself trying to catch my breath." "I never saw any of it coming."


Top 7 Girl Routine
This aggressive (of course) routine was choreographed by Ray Leeper.

I like the introductory line. Way to set up the scary at the beginning. This is much prettier than the guys' routine, even if it is just as negative. The dancers aren't always perfectly in sync, but it's close. I'd be willing to guess that this routine was no one's priority this week. Still good though!

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That's the show! Who was your favorite tonight? Who is in trouble and who is likely to be safe? What did you think of Carmen Electra as a judge? Leave a comment below to let us know what you think!

(Image courtesy of FOX)




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