For many dancers, performing on Broadway is the ultimate dream. For alums of SYTYCD, besides winning the competition or returning as an All-Star, the Great White Way has been a great way for dancers like Neil Haskell, who reached the top three in season 3, and Thayne Jasperson, Jess LeProtto, and Alex Wong, who all had their time in front of the cameras before sharing the stage together in Newsies, to be able to work and do what they love. However in 10 seasons, no winner has yet to make it to Broadway.
That all will change this season (well, probably) as the singular winner will be offered a role in the upcoming Broadway revival of the classic New York-loving musical On the Town. Just in case you don’t know the classic 1949 film adaptation with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra (but since you’re reading this recap, it’s likely you’re interested in dance is already high), tonight’s episode opened with an homage to the Big Apple and Leonard Bernstein from Smash choreographer Joshua Bergasse, who will later become one of the winner’s bosses when they join the cast sometime next year. With ballerina Misty Copeland returning as guest judge and the first elimination of the season, tonight would definitely be informative of what’s to come for the rest of the summer.
Fortunately, the really bad news wasn’t given till the end of the night though Brooklyn, Casey, Jourdan, Nick, Malene, and Serge all had to perform with the anxiety and knowledge of already being in the bottom six. Oh, and did anyone mention that it was Nigel’s birthday, too? (Go Dodgers!)
Tanisha Belknap and Rudy Abreu
Style: Jazz, Choreography by Sonya Tayeh
Music: “You Need” by Bengsons
Only the second week in and Rudy has already found a performance that thematically works perfectly for his mohawk hair style. The grimy and physical performance demonstrated again how great a performer Rudy is, but he was able to share the spotlight a little more this time with his partner. He still seems a little too excited to be there and even though he has a great smile, we came to really see his toes, not his teeth. As he gets more comfortable and less nervous each week, Rudy will always be a highlight. Tanisha was a strong partner in the aggressive game of musical chairs. If she uses some of Rudy’s excess energy, they may be able to to balance each other’s personalities and bodies throughout the competition.
Valerie Rockey and Ricky Ubeda
Style: Contemporary, Choreography by Travis Wall
Music: “Oh Darling” by Gosling
Poor Valerie. First she was told she would have to rise up to Ricky’s level in order to succeed this week. As Nigel noted, both Ricky and Valerie had great partners last week, but that may have just been because Valerie was paired with fellow tapper Zach, and Ricky can just make anyone seem great. That just might make Ricky the best and worst partner on the show; he will elevate your dancer to a higher level but will still always look better than you (He may look even better if he shaved again). Misty told Valerie she could benefit and learn from looking at Ricky. I think that lesson could be applicable to all of America.
Bridget Whitman and Emilio Dosal
Style: Hip-Hop, Choreography by Luther Brown
Music: “Work” by Iggy Azalea
For a contemporary dancer, Bridget should be a little more comfortable with the hip-hop genre. Maybe it was just the editing of the rehearsal footage, but it seems the producers really wanted you to think this dance would take Bridget way out of her element. Though it wasn’t perfect, there were definitely moments where she looked like she knew what she was doing. But with some falling bracelets and overall interesting wardrobe choices for her and her dancing hobbit of a partner Emilio, Bridget also had moments of slight cluelessness.
NEXT: To dance the truth