After a two-week hiatus “So You Think You Can Dance” returned Wednesday night to Fox. In lieu of the Olympics, the dance competition honored its own gold medalist, contemporary dance guru Mia Michaels, by re-enacting her most iconic routines on the show. Michaels was a judge and choreographer on “SYTYCD” for most of its nine seasons, earning the show and herself three Emmy awards.
Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt, also known as the Ballet Boyz, joined judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy to help narrow down the search for America’s favorite male and female dancer. Four dancers — Amelia Lowe, Janelle Issis, Dareian Kujawa and Matthew Kazmierczak — were eliminated in the comeback episode. The top 10 dancers remain and will return next week as the real battle begins.
Here’s how the dancers performed:
Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer and Eliana Girard
Not only did Glitch and Eliana have the pressure of opening the show, they had to do it with Michael’s Emmy-nominated season-four “door routine.” Originally performed by “SYTYCD” favorite “Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss and Katee Shean, this number was a crowd pleaser. Bringing their own pizazz, energy and chemistry, Glitch and Eliana rose to the occasion and remain one of our favorite couples on the show.
George Lawrence II and Tiffany Maher
Taking on the season-four “Hometown Glory” routine was no easy task, but boy, did George and Tiffany make it look it. “You’re going to have to call 9-1-1 because they just murdered it!” judge Murphy exclaimed as the petite couple let it all out on the stage in a vulnerable yet strong performance that showed off their true potential. Although George inched just a touch ahead of Tiffany, this pair is one to watch out for.
Will Thomas and Amelia Lowe
And then there was the “butt dance.” The couple with the most character was endowed (no pun intended) the task of bringing this Emmy-winning routine back to life, and got some mixed reviews. The performance fell flat for Lythgoe who compared the dance to the original, while Murphy enjoyed Will and Amelia’s take, and the “Ballet Boys” thought it was “strong” for never having seen the routine before.
Dareian Kujawa and Janelle Issis
Breakups are hard, as Dareian and Janelle learned while doing the season four “Bed Routine.” While attempting to enhance their performance with their own struggles, the couple fell short (literally and figuratively) of greatness. The tiny pair had a hard time emulating the extensions of the original performance, although Dareian came close. Janelle received another mediocre review, this time with her hair to blame.
Matthew Kazmierczak and Audrey Case
Matthew and Audrey were assigned Michaels’ most personal routine called the “Time Piece,” in honor of her late father. While the couple’s friendship resonated joy and invoked tears in Mary Murphy, who was reminded of her own father’s battle with lung cancer, they lacked a real connection to the story, especially Matthew. Lythgoe put it best when he said, “It seemed a little too focused on the dance steps.”
Chehon Wespi-Tschopp and Witney Carson
One of season nine’s power couples was destined to the season-two Emmy Award-winning “Bench Routine.” The original routine was responsible for truly putting “SYTYCD” alum Travis Wall on the map and Chehon and Witney did it justice. The pair was passionate in depicting a true but sad love story, and brought their own personalities to the routine, but Chehon did fall ever-so short of Wall’s brilliance because of a little too much control in his movement. The ballet dancer did get an offer to join the “Ballet Boys,” though so there’s not much to complain about.
Cole Horibe and Lindsay Arnold
Is there anything this couple can’t do? That is the real question. The show closers were season nine’s other power couple, Cole and Lindsay, who took on another Emmy Award-winning number called the “Addiction Routine” and rose to the top. “Versatility is so important in this business and you both have it, in bucket loads” Trevitt told the pair. Cole consistently delivers with immense commitment to character on top of his dance ability, and Lindsay grows with every passing performance.
How do you think these performances fared in comparison to the original routines? Share your comments below!