All-Star Old Favorites Work Celestial Magic on SYTYCD Last Night

For the first time this year I actually got excited about more than one performance last night on SYTYCD. The All-Stars worked their magic, bringing out latent skills, energy, and, yeah, pizzaz in the remaining contestants. The cell phones were sizzling between sister Katie and me during commercial breaks.

I couldn’t get over Fik-Shun. He’s like the Energizer Bunny. Just keeps going and going and going, and all with that kid-in-the-candy-store wide-eyed sparkle. When they announced he would be paired with our all-time favorite Melanie Moore, though, Katie and I were a little disappointed. After all, Melanie IS dance. She embodies dance like it’s an essential piece of flesh and bone equipment.. I’ve never seen anything like her. Poor little Fik-Shun, we thought.—  NOT!! —  FiK-Shun not only kept up, he partnered Melanie smoothly, and kept the tempo and razzle-dazzle at maximum warp. Those moves were aMAYzing. Everything melded, blended, exploded in this exceptional choreography by Mandy Moore — the music (Jennifer Hudson singing Feeling Good), the costumes, lighting, and the execution of those awesome moves. Melanie oozed, snapped, kicked, jumped, and all in perfect sync with FiK-Shun — who absorbed every electrifying ion from his partner, judges, and audience, and gave it back in spades. Even with a rotten headache (sinus infection), I was yelling and, virtually, on my feet and stomping. Melanie hasn’t lost an iota of her gift for knocking your socks off, and paired with Fik-Shun . . . MAN! — it’s a wonder I even have a pair of shoes left. (If you want technical dance jargon you’ll have to read some other blog; I just call ’em as I feel ’em).

Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly

My second favorite was Makenzie and All-Star Jacob Carr. Ella Fitzgerald’s “Too Darn Hot” was the fuel that set the stage on fire when combined with Makenzie’s bright red against Jacob’s background-gray. It was like color on canvass in this Spencer Liff broadway routine. And those red shoes pointed at the end of that long leg – yes — as a couple of judges noted, Cyd Charisse comes quickly to mind. Makenzie was also compared to Rita Hayworth in looks. And again the judge — Nigel, I think — got it right. But then again, I couldn’t agree with the result that sent Makenzie — this beautiful red ruby — home. How many times does it make — four or five — that the judges have saved Jenna over ones I liked better? And, though Jenna is a great dancer, if she doesn’t click with the audience — she doesn’t click. The judges have sent dancers home for just this reason before. The favoritism and flapping by the official voting panel just may backfire — unless they intend to shove her through for the win. I’m still not over Malece getting the boot because of Jenna. Can you tell? And we’ll never know whether the viewers actually voted for Malece (or some of the other bottom row dancers) over the judges’ picks.

Rita Hayworth

That said, I will go on to give Jenna her props in a Mandy Moore contemporary with another favorite All-Star, Neill Haskell. The lifts were a refreshing fusion of symmetry and grace. Beautiful and effortless, they flowed along with the song, “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Mark Masri.

The cutest routine of the night was the Tabitha and Napoleon reptile hip-hop number. I know it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it was funny and cute, and Nico was right there in the running with All-Star Comfort. (Comfort even showed a tad of personality). These two really “Got Their Freak On” and gave a memorably bizarre performance. Nico’s darting head and motions were so entertainingly creepy I nearly got my own freak on. I hated to see either Nico or Tucker go. To me, they always gave a good performance, were lithe, agile, and committed. But, of course, someone has to go home. It’s just a bad year for that because there are so many good dancers this year


The worst routine was the disco with Amy and All-Star Brandon. This number by Doriana Sanchez had all the bells and whistles, and our couple gave it lots of energy. But it wasn’t disco by a long shot. I give a big thumbs up to Mary Murphy who pointed out that the music was all wrong. You’d think disco music carried an airborne disease the way they shy away from it on this show. The music and the dancing may not be the creme de la creme of song and dance, but it was fun in the seventies and it’s still fun (to watch) when it’s done right. You’d think this choreographer had never heard of a disco ball, John Travolta, and the BeeGees. Here’s a great example. I don’t recommend Saturday Night Fever as a movie — it gets a little too graphic for my taste, and it needed some deep-down editing — but the music and dancing does what it’s supposed to. It makes you wanna move.

There were instances where the All-Star out-shone the contestant. Twitch, for example, just so totally outperformed the luckless Hayley, that it was hard to NOT watch him. And Twitch doesn’t seem to be the kind of guy to upstage anyone. He just always gives 100% because he can’t help himself. Not that Hayley didn’t perform adequately, but . . . you catch my drift.

I also did not take a shine to Jasmine in her channeling-Michael Jackson-number with All-Star Marko. She looked like a man and never really measured up to Marko’s glittering performance. And yet, the judges essentially insulted Marko by over-praising Jasmine and almost totally ignoring him. Except there was a remark or two about HIM not keeping up with her. I don’t know what planet the judges were on, but they missed that mark by a mile. All of the wonderful things that make up Jasmine’s popularity with the public were just gone. Packed away somewhere in that awkward, awful outfit, and under that too-closely pleated hair.

Then there were those couples who just did not look right together. Paul was awesome as usual, and I could have loved the routine if he had not been paired with All-Star Witney (who is now a regular on Dancing With The Stars). Separately they both turned in outstanding performances for their cha-cha. Together they looked like Mutt and Jeff, dark and light, poles apart. In this instance, the Mutt and Jeff refers not to height, but weight. Witney made two of Paul. Some of these girl dancers are hefty. But Paul never let it deter him a bit. They just looked odd together.

Then we have beauty and the beast with Aaron and All-Star Kathryn. It was a beautiful Stacy Tookey contemporary, and I had been looking forward to seeing Kathryn, who is my runner-up favorite. But this pairing was all wrong. Yes, Aaron is a great dancer. Yes, he gives all the emotion and gentleness required. But he’s a great big beast of a fellow, and that works with Jasmine. With Jasmine his sheer physical presence doesn’t loom like it did with the fairy-like Kathryn. She was perfection in every inch, floating and wafting through each movement, as if she were made of a wind-swept, puffy pink cloud.. Aaron did a fine job of bringing the emotional content, and following through with the lifts..How could he not. It’s a wonder he didn’t over-compensate and send her crashing into the ceiling. They did not look right together in spite of all the hooplah by the panel.

And last, but not least, was the very emotional brother routine with Tucker and All-Star Robert, based on actual events in the lives of both the dancers and the choreogrpher Travis Wall. Both Tucker and Robert had been in car accidents which almost ended their lives and makes them dancing miracles at the moment. Travis Wall’s brother, Danny Tidwell, was runner-up one year on SYTYCD.

Danny and the Wall family’s paths crossed at a dance studio run by Travis’s mother. They noticed the little boy who hung around and often invited him home. After discovering that the child sometimes walked ten miles home afterward, and had very little adult supervision, Travis’s mother Denise sought and got full custody of the boy at the age of twelve. Danny is now very successful in the field of dance.The routine last night was about brother rescuing brother from hitting rock bottom. It was about getting a second chance at life. This routine resounded with all three young men, as well as their audience.

Now here is the sad conclusion to this delightful evening.


34 thoughts on “All-Star Old Favorites Work Celestial Magic on SYTYCD Last Night

  1. I literally breathed a sigh of relief to see some decent routines for a change last night. But I completely agree with you about mis-matched partners. I COULD NOT believe it when Makenzie was sent home instead of Jenna. Where genre is concerned, Jenna is a ballroom dancer and the only reason I could see for the judges and choreographers voting to keep her was that she was constantly praised for succeeding at other styles (as they do for Fik-shun.). Nigel wasn’t happy about it, hence his elaboration on Makenzie’s talent, being a choreographer’s dream, best feet he’s even seen, and a future full of opportunities. He admitted he wanted her to stay, but was out voted 9 to 6.

    I predict that the final will be Jasmine and either Aaron or Fik-shun. But I’m getting ahead of myself. About the performances…..

    ~I adored Christopher Scott’s opening routine. Brilliant! Great music, too.

    ~I liked Amy & Brandon’s disco routine except for how they murdered that gorgeous Whitney Houston song. The should have used The BeeGees, ala “Saturday Night Fever.” I absolutely adore that movie and it’s sequel, too, “Staying Alive.” But if you think SNF is “graphic,” I don’t recommend you watch “Staying Alive.”

    ~Aaron & Kathryn’s routine took my breath away. I liked that Aaron is a big man because it made Kathryn seem so fragile by comparison. I thought that worked perfectly…sorry you didn’t. I keep forgetting his genre is tap because he’s so good at everything else. He should ditch tap and become a contemporary dancer. I do agree that he’s better suited to partnering Jasmine. They have amazing presence and are a pair to be reckoned with when they dance.

    ~Fik-shun & Melanie – Awesome. I was alarmed when I saw they were paired, but Melanie can pull off ANYTHING with ANYONE and Fik-shun’s proving that he can as well. They were terrific. Loved Jennifer Hudson singing “Feeling Good,” but I can never hear this song without thinking of Adam Lambert singing it on Idol..

    ~Paul & Whitney’s cha-cha was OK, but I felt the same as you about this pairing. Your Mutt & Jeff comparison was spot on.

    ~Haley & Twitch’s hip-hop was good, considering I don’t care for hip-hop. Was Halley actually there? I couldn’t take my eyes off Twitch so if she was, I didn’t notice. LOL Was it you who told me Twitch is getting married? He’s marrying a dancer from a previous season.

    ~Jenna & Neill – A VERY beautiful routine.

    ~Jasmine & Marco — I don’t know what to say about this. I think it was a waste of Marco’s talent and he’s too short for Jasmine. SURELY there’s an All-Star whose at least as tall as Jasmine? This was a clever, even mesmerizing, routine — for someone else — but I didn’t like it for Jasmine. She’s an exquisite dancer and this routine didn’t show that at all. I also think Jasmine is gorgeous and seeing her hair slicked down and wearing men’s clothes offended my senses.

    ~Makenzie & Jacob were terrific in their Broadway routine set to Ella Fitzgerald. Makenzie looked gorgeous and danced exquisitely. I’ll never understand how she (and Malece) didn’t get to stay on the show longer.

    ~Nico & Comfort — I thought this routine was just plain silly. “Bizarre” is the perfect description. HOWEVER…..I loved it when Comfort excited stage right like a spider. That was the best part of the routine IMO. *still chuckling*

    ~Tucker & Robert — wow! WoW! WOW! What a heart wrending routine. By the end, the dancers, the judges, even Travis all looked emotionally spent. Thanks so much for the storry about Danny Tidwell and Travis. I was planning to Google Danny tonight because I didn’t know anything about his story.

    Next week should be interesting because the All-Stars will be doing the choreography. I hope it will not only interesting, but wonderful.

    • That’s okay. I read it as heart rending. Didn’t think about wrenching. But aren’t words wonderful. Even when you spell ’em wrong they sometimes make sense. And, by the way. I used to be a cracker jack speller. Not anymore. Seems physical ailments robs my brain as well as my energy. When I was a young sapling I mistakenly though I could weather anything physical as long as it left my brain intact. Pipe dream. However, when I have really good days, I can come up with stuff almost as good as Scarecrow when he got his brain — except in language, not in math. Other days I just struggle to put a logical sentence together. Hopefully, better days are a-comin’. Have a good one yourself.

      • I’m basically a pretty good speller, but I’ve become quite dependent on spell checkers. I have to pay attention to what I’m writing here though because WordPress doesn’t let comments be previewed on spell checked. Live Journal does both so I’ve gotten lazy.

      • I’m too OCD about writing to depend on spell checker, though WordPress automatically does it. Most of the time it’s wrong, but occasionally it catches typos or words that I failed to space after. If in doubt, I go to Google to spell the word, or give me a deeper definition. I almost never go to my old dictionary now. I’ve had it for years. Gave it a workout. It’s big enough to be a doorstop. Has archaic words newer dictionaries don’t have.

      • Another thing we have in common. I rarely use my dictionaries anymore either. I have a Websters but also an Oxford Unabridged I use Google all the time to check spelling…especially the names of famous people.

        My biggest problem is one a spell checker can’t catch. I frequently write words that are pronounced the same, but spelled differently and I don’t know why. Like their/there, know/no, When I proofread, I also frequently see that I’ve typed that when I meant this/the or typed while instead of when. I could give you endless examples and I can’t figure out why I do it.

      • If you could figure it out, you’d be rich.because we all do it. I think my dictionary is a Webster’s Unabridged. Your sounds like mine. It’s give you a hernia to pick it up.

      • My Websters is the Collegiate Eleventh Edition — 1924 pages. My Oxford Unabridged is about 6,000 onion skin pages. It’s not within reach so I can’t check, but it’s HUGE..

      • Mike says he wonders how long huge dictionaries you could use for doorstops will be around. They are somewhat obsolete except for the elderly who don’t use computers, and people who don’t have computers.

        Anyway, I will say good night. Mike and I are going to watch a couple of Fraziers. We’ve been on a roll with that lo the past few days.

      • Well, Mike raises a very good point. I read recently that “Encyclopedia Britainnica” just published its last edition and won’t be around anymore. I look up everything via Google now. The only encyclopedia in my house is a scientific one.

  2. I’ve just watched a bunch of Danny Tidwell videos, including all his solos and a number of the routines. He’s a GORGEOUS dancer. I think I started watching SYTYCD the season after he was on. I loved this Viennese waltz he did with Lacey. It looks totally effortless and he lifts her as though she weighs nothing.

    • Mike and I absolutely LOVED this. I recognize him now. I didn’t from the head shots that I Googled. I’m going to try to find one with better video quality. They are hard to find. It’s not the writing of the SYTYCD review that takes so long. It’s the prep reading and looking for just the right videos and still shots that won’t get snatched right back off. Oh, I forgot to tell you that one of those you sent me — last week? — was pulled. And you’re right. Danny is absolutely fabulous!!! Gosh, I sound like the old gorgeous guy with the hair that made “fabulous” such a by-word. Can’t think of his name. Too pretty for my taste.

      • I was really REALLY impressed with Danny’s dancing. And he’s cute as a button, too. In some articles I was reading about him, they said he came across as arrogant. One was a judge’s comment in a video of a SYTYCD routine with Danny. Nigel replied, “You’re talking crap!” Made me laugh. An interviewer asked Danny why he thought people had this impression of him and he said he thought it was because he took dancing very seriously. But in the videos of him on SYTYCD, he was all smiles and friendliness, He’s now a principal dancer with the National Ballet of Norway.

        I like this SYTYCD video of his foxtrot, too. It’s in two parts.

        I found it. This is the video where Nigel tells Adam Shankman that he’s talking crap (about Danny,) It’s also a great routine to one of my favorite songs: “Apologize” by One Republic.

        You know what? I think I’d kill to see Jasmine and Danny dance together. That would be a match made in heaven, just like Melanie and Marco.

    • Thanks for the link. Agreed with some. Most not. Fik-Shun ain’t goin anywhere. She’s delusional about that. I usually read several blogs before I start mine to catch the drift of thought and to refresh my memory about songs and choreographers. It helps to pull my thoughts together whether in agreement, differences of opinion, or “hey, jack, what planet did you fly in from” :). I also go to youtube looking for pictures and videos. I found a great still shot of Melanie and FikShun that I wanted to use, thinking of going back to it later. Never ever could find it again. Weird. Keep sending your own thoughts on the show and any others you think relevant. I love getting an amalgam of opinions. Often I can see their point, but still stick with my first impression. Or, less often, I find myself going back to review the dance to see what planet I was on while it was going on. I’ve done that with some of yours. Still LOVED Fik-Shun and Melanie and I watched them as a couple, not as a single entity. I loved Fik-Shun all the more because neither Katie nor I expected him to be able to partner an icon like Melanie. And he looked like he enjoyed the whole thing. Amazing.

      • Sorry I can’t keep up our dialogue at night. I love it, by the way. But I’m having to take my diabetic medication all at one time at night now instead of being broken up into twice a day. Just one of those pills in the morning ruins my whole day. No energy. Sleepy all the time. So now I take it as late as I dare at night, and it knocks me out. I am not good with medication. I can’t even take Dramamine without the Sandman come knocking me out. Once when I was with the newspaper, a colleague gave me one because my stomach was yukky feeling. When the staff came back from lunch they found me asleep under the bookkeeper’s desk where a pile of newspapers looked like such an inviting pillow. I never heard the end of that one.

        Right now I’m fighting a really bad sinus infection. Had to go to the doctor. Again I’m on an antibiotic twice a day. And my kidney/bladder infection is back. They are sending off the culture for analysis and may send me to a urologist. Okay. Wait for this — 🙂 — I once asked a doctor didn’t he think it was confusing to see signs that read, “Void where prohibited”. It’s an oxymoron if you think about it. He got it by the way. Ha cha cha cha. I gotta million of ’em. Start the day with a smile.

      • At least you know how medicine affects you so you don’t get a nasty surprise while driving. That would NOT be good. Falling asleep under a desk is funny, falling asleep at the wheel is not.

        I like your “Void where prohibited” story. I had never seen it as a double entendre, but it is

      • Okay, I’ve spent the last ten minutes writing a long and involved answer. I know. I know. Cut and paste. Cut and paste. But do I listen? No. Oh, well, the long and involved was probably boring anyway. I was telling you how, not long after I began this type 2 regimen I nearly passed out at the wheel coming home. I made it to a little park and had to rest for about and hour. Then pulled into a Waffle House where the waitress wanted to call 911. I must have looked a mess. But I drank some milk and ate a BLT and rested for another hour till I felt strong enough to make it home. But, the doctor I had at that time said it wasn’t possible to be too high or too low on that stuff. Bull. I bottomed out big time.

        Yes, I love fun with words. Mike and I are punsters. That’s “p” not “m”, though some who have heard the puns might disagree.

      • I don’t actually open Word when I write a long comment. I used to, but what I do now is write an email to myself, copy every three of four paragraphs into the email, then send it to myself before I hit “Post Comment” here. If something happens to my comment, all I have to do is open the email and copy/paste it into a new comment box. Takes less time than opening Word.

      • Okay. I’ve been watching the videos you sent, then switched to read this one and the one with the videos disappeared. Anyway, I had just finished watching it all and YES what a match made in heaven would be Jasmine and Danny. He has the long, elegant legs, his extensions are awesome, and I agree he’s like a gazelle.

      • OK, I think you need to have a heart-to-heart with the people who maintain WordPress. NOTHING should be disappearing that you write. It’s YOUR blog. I can understand them not giving a crap about people who comment or doing anything to make it easier for us, but this should not be happening to the owner of a blog.

        You said my comment with the videos disappeared. It’s still visible for me. Maybe there are so many comments now that you can’t locate it. I’ve lost track of where I am and it seems like my comments aren’t appearing where they should. They’re miles away from the comment I’m replying to.

        If Jasmine and Danny danced together, Mary Murphy might fall off her Hot Tamale train and expire from excitement of it all. They could do a routine called “Extensions” and see who could out-extend the other. LOL They are both such elegant dancers. How awesome they would be together. .

      • I agree with all of the above. I have missed some of your comments because they were in the wrong place. I always try to respond to each, though sometimes it may take longer than others. But I love this so much better than Facebook. I get lost in the madding crowd in there. And I can’t believe some of the things people I know will say on a public forum. At least we are always aware that our comments and replies can be “overheard”. Facebookers are under the illusion “it’s just family and close friends”. Right.

      • When I reply to a comment, I leave the email alert open, too, so I can see what you said. The actual comment is usually too far away on the WordPress page to see it at the same time I’m writing a reply. I click on “Reply” in the email alert, but instead of taking me to your comment, the “write” box is located at the end of the entire thread.

        Even with it’s shortcomings, WordPress is waaaay better than Facebook. I have NEVER said anything here or anywhere else that I would be upset if the whole Internet saw. But the people who do Facebook posts are rarely at all careful. It’s shocking.

        I’m leaving now, too. Have a bunch of TV shows recorded that I want to watch. It’s always so much fun chatting with you. I love it.

      • Yes, I agree about Melanie and Fik-shun being a good pairing, although I had my misgivings before seeing their routine.

        I agree, too, about Fik-shun. I don’t think he’ll be leaving anytime soon.

    • What a wonderful article. Thanks so much for posting it. I agree with everything this reviewer said and, as you know, I loved BOTH movies pretty much equally. I’ve forgotten….which is the one you didn’t like?

  3. I’ll lay odds that the Makenzie vote of 9 to 6 consisted of mostly male votes for, and female votes against. I’m just saying.

    • I don’t think I’d take those odds. After all, Nigel admitted to his favoritism.–speaking of which, favoritism is a word that keeps coming to the foreground of my mind this year. Thanks for your comment.

      • In an earlier show he also mentioned that women may not be voting for her out of jealousy, and I don’t think he was too far off from the truth. She’s a vixen, but I love it. Then again, I’m male. The show will be far less exciting to me without her.

      • I liked Makenzie, too, and I’m not of the male persuasion. So did my sister and another female commentor. Beauty, talent, and personality. You can’t beat it. But, of course, there’s always the possibility of the green-eyed monster. There are too many good talents this year and it hurts to see them go. And, yes, when you lose a favorite the show loses its edge. When the judges sent Malece home, my brother-in-law was so mad he threatened to ban it for the season. But in the end he couldn’t help himself. Ya just gotta watch.

    • Thanks for the uplink. Yes. It was. I’m glad they can laugh at themselves. Shows character. I’m a little behind on my writing and replies this week. It’s been a full one. Got a couple of posts in the works and also have had lots of company. Barely got my SYTYCD done. In fact, almost missed it altogether. Had to pull up a couple of the dances. Thanks for hanging in there.


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