'So You Think You Can Dance' Recap: The First Season 9 Eliminations
'So You Think You Can Dance' Recap: The First Season 9 Eliminations
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Weeks of auditions. More weeks of dancing without eliminations. It almost seemed like the first eliminations of So You Think You Can Dance season 9 would never come. But come they did -- and four dancers go home tonight to prove it!

Who is up for elimination? Who is safe? Find out here!


But before we do that, one thing: Hi! Your faithful recapper is back from San Diego! Just in time to see dancers leave... Typical. Anyway, I promise I did watch last week's SYTYCD episode and therefore have at least a vague idea of where the dancers might stand. I do not, however, have any clue of who America might like.

There's going to be a whole lot of dancing tonight, so let's get to it!

Need a reminder about last week's dances? Check out the BuddyTV SYTYCD recap here!

Of course, we must start off this bloodfest with a big dance number. Appropriate then that it's a zombie/skeleton-esque dance choreographed by Nappy Tabs to Marilyn Manson music. It's kind of amazing. I may need to give the excellent camera work credit for some of the horrific insanity on the stage, but the dancers are doing their thing in pure style.

In the interest of saving a wee bit of time in this over-packed episode, the dancers are introduced in their pairs. Fitting everything in tonight will be interesting. Could we actually get a reality show without filler?

"You're like a big, sexy tomato!" -- Adam Shankman to Cat Deeley (OK...)

There will be choreographer stamps issued on National Dance Day. This makes Nigel very happy.

First up...


Lindsay Arnold and Cole Horibe

Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Dance: Hip hop

We start off the night with one of those odd, highly narrative hip-hop numbers from Christopher Scott. It's a nerdy patient/sexy dentist routine. Of course.

They manage to make Cole look like a nerd (somehow) -- and he doesn't break character even during the criticism. The judges like Cole's characterization, but thinks Lindsay was a little too immature (even if she was sexy). Both were praised for stepping outside of their styles well.

"I don't believe in violence." -- Nerd Cole

Um, I'm getting a little unnerved by Nerd Cole. The transformation is creepy.


Amelia Lowe and Will Thomas

Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Dance: Contemporary

This is one of those minimalist contemporary dances, isn't it? It's very beautiful and the characterizations are spot-on. You can tell that both dancers are comfortable in this. Since this is more energetic and less intentionally ugly than many Sonya Tayeh dances, I like it in spite of myself.

They get a screech and elevator analogies from Mary Murphy, a standing ovation from Adam Shankman, and choreography/dancer praise from Nigel.

"You're lucky that you are both absolutely brilliant dancers!" -- Nigel Lythgoe


Amber Jackson and Nick Bloxsom-Carter

Choreographers: Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo
Dance: Tango

"Me and Nick trying to connect is like bubble gum and oil." -- Amber (yikes!)

Amber starts the dance off right with some pretty cool kicks. And yes, the connection isn't that great. They do need more passion and less stony-facedness. Good tangos have both anger and passion, but this one sticks mostly to anger. Technically, it seems pretty good, especially from Amber (whose kicks really are amazing).

Adam thinks the dance was hot and called Amber a "fire-breathing dragon." He didn't notice Nick as much. Nigel calls Amber a "coiled spring" and "cobra," while Nick was strong. Mary points out that the routine was very difficult, even though it looked easy.


Audrey Case and Matthew Kazmierczak

Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Dance: Jazz

Sonya Tayeh is back for some aggression. Despite what Matthew says, Audrey does seem a bit aggressive when dancing. It's just when she's still and all giggly that she's an adorable child. As seems to be the pattern tonight, the girl is more noticeable than the guy. But Matthew does seem to dance well too.

Nigel gets up to dance Sonya's "stank steps" and can't believe these are the same kids who channeled Titanic last week. Both Nigel and Mary call them favorites. Adam continues the Sonya-love (and didn't like Audrey in auditions??? What's wrong with him? She was awesome!)


Janelle Issis and Dareian Kujawa

Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Dance: Lyrical hip hop

Donald Duck voices aside (Dareian is too good at that), these two are way cute in their retro jive. That's retro in terms of costuming anyway. The steps are borderline hip-hop. Might be a little too cute, but it's certainly likable.

Adam thought they should have been more invested in their characters, even if they were adorable. Nigel actually insults (politely) the choreographer. Mary was mostly worried about the kissing. This prompted a kiss from Adam Shankman to Nigel Lythgoe.


Janaya French and Brandon Mitchell

Choreography: Sean Cheesman
Dance: Broadway

Well, there shouldn't be issues with characterization in this one. This is so much more acting than dance. And that's not a criticism. They're incredibly entertaining in this weird fight for love.

The judges are cheerful about this one. Adam takes a chance to plug Step Up for the second time of the night. Nigel noted the improvement between the two weeks. "It was one of the most entertaining numbers of the night." -- Mary Murphy

And Cat sneaks in a 50 Shades of Grey reference. Oh my.


Eliana Girard and Cyrus "Glitch" Spencer

Choreographers: Melanie Lapatin and Tony Meredith
Dance: Jive

You mean the ballet dancer and the robot guy don't know the jive? Not unfair at all here... At least they're personable and excellent dancers?

Actually, they're pretty darn good. There may be a small lack of precision in a couple of places, but they're minor. The big positive here is that neither dancer is more noticeable than the other. I kind of really liked that.

The judges figure that Cyrus must have been terrified, criticize his form and praise his style and ease. No one has anything bad whatsoever about Eliana.

They are choosing these dances? No wonder the ballroom kids keep getting their own styles...

"Eliana, you've got a tough job -- you've got Cyrus as a partner." -- Nigel (Really, Nigel? Really???)


Alexa Anderson and Daniel Baker

Choreographer
: Dee Caspary
Dance: Contemporary

They're starting out in a bathtub. It's symbolic, not cleaning. Have to admit I'm impressed by all the movement in such close quarters. The dance isn't quite as amazing when they get the whole stage instead. But it's still very pretty and graceful. Since this is a dance that's more about expression through movement than open emotions, the gorgeous (and occasionally sexual) motions work just fine.

Although this may not be appropriate for all audiences...

Adam thinks the dance is beautiful but chilly. Mary thinks "dance bathing" could be a new style. Nigel praises the choreography but criticizes the connections between dancers and dancers/audience.


Tiffany Maher and George Lawrence II

Choreographers: Melanie Lapatin and Tony Meredith
Dance: Foxtrot

The footwork doesn't seem quite as light and quick as it ought to be, but both have the personality turned on full-force. Tiffany, especially, is emulating all the sparkles on her dress. The suave style suits George. This helps offset his visible lack of comfort in the style.

Great performance, probably not technically the best.

Mary thinks they got the foxtrot just about perfect, spits out a lot of dancing words and screeches a lot. Adam is "madly in love with that." Nigel loves their coupling and connections.

So what do I know anyway?


Witney Carson and Chehon Wespi-Tschopp

Choreographer: Nakul Dev Mahajan
Dance: Bollywood

Ooh! Hand dancing! That's cool.

I may be distracted by the bright colors and sparkly bits, but this actually seems pretty good. Both dancers actually have the athletic skill to pull off the moves. Also, they manage to dance "together" even when apart. There may be some lack of synchronicity on the occasional movement. But it's not bad.

Adam says they're fantastic -- "Chehon. It was the first time I saw joy." Mary screeches. Nigel uses words that confuse both Cat and myself.


The Bottom 6 Dancers

This is the depressing part. Oh well.

  • Janaya French
  • Alexa Anderson
  • Witney Carson
  • Nick Bloxsom-Carter
  • Daniel Baker
  • Chehon Wespi-Tschopp

Wow. And they don't need to see re-dances. Looks like we're losing at least one ballet dancer!

But before we get to find out anything about these first So You Think You Can Dance results, we get an extended look at Step Up Revolution.

Kathryn McCormack seems to be the star of this. A whole pile of SYTYCD alumni are in Step Up as well. And of course, as made obvious by all the plugs, Adam Shankman is the producer.

The Step Up Revolution dancers are on hand for a performance as well. It involves a lot of fog and lasers. Fog and lasers are cool.


Results

Who is saved? Who is going home? The judges' results are in and...

SAVED
Witney Carson
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp

ELIMINATED
Janaya French
Alexa Anderson
Nick Bloxsom-Carter
Daniel Baker

Janaya French, Alexa Anderson, Nick Bloxsom-Carter and Daniel Baker have been eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance season 9.

And that's it for the first eliminations of So You Think You Can Dance season 9. Do you agree with the judges' choices? Were any of the bottom dancers a surprise? Who would you have eliminated?

Leave your comments below and check back soon for reactions from the eliminated dancers (I'm talking to them tomorrow!).

(Images courtesy of FOX)




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