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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

So You Think You Can Dance Season 14 Ep. 12 Top 6 Review

If you haven't read/noticed by now, I love dance. It is very close to my heart and I personally find it to be such a therapeutic activity. So naturally, I love the show "So You Think You Can Dance", especially because it incorporates so many different styles of dance and such impressive choreography!

So I thought it would be fun to share some of my thoughts on the dancers and choreography etc. I would love to hear your guys' thoughts too! 😊

Since the focus is supposed to be on the contestants, I have arranged the performances from the night in countdown order - according to which dances I think were performed the best by the contestants involved.

Top 7 "Personal Style" Solo Routines & Countdown

7. Kaylee Millis
Grade: C

This just felt like a rehash of her previous solos. There was nothing really new here and nothing too impressive either. This solo was disappointing and greatly underwhelming. Definitely not Top 7 worthy.

6. Koine Iwasaki
Grade: B

First off, Koine should never wear this suit ever again. It is so distracting and unflattering, I'm shocked she'd wear something like this. Did no one tell her how bad it looked? It's a shame about this outfit because this was definitely the best solo that Koine has done in the competition so far. The first half of this was especially strong as she showed off some beautiful grace and technique. Unfortuntately, towards the end, her solo started to "fall apart", as she seemed to either forget her moves or run out of better ideas. It's also interesting how she's always trying to get in some little hip-hop move at the end of her solos - even though they're completely disjointed with the rest of the choreography in her solos. She needs to work on making that incorporation much smoother so it's not so abrupt.

5. Kiki Nyemchek
Grade: A

Let's just start off by saying that the rose was such a cheap trick! I can't believe so many females find this little geeky guy to be so attractive - they must all be teenage girls. That being said, this was definitely Kiki's most impressive solo to date. He finally used more time just showing off those ballroom skills that he has. This seemed like the quickest we've ever seen him and his turns were flawlessly clean, as usual. This was the first solo by Kiki that I can actually say was legitimately "impressive". Well done Kiki.
*Side Note: Kiki's dad seems like such a cool guy from the video package!

4. Lex Ishimoto
Grade: A-

While there is no denying Lex's amazing abilities as a performer and dancer, the same can't exactly be said about his choreography skills - or at least not in the time the dancers are given to come up with their solo routines. Some of the choices that Lex makes in this solo are odd ones and don't show enough of his exceptional and unique abilities. That being said, there were some sprinkles of that in this routine, but not a ton. Of all of the solos that Lex has done so far, this was the least impressive.

3. Mark Villaver
Grade: A-

This was easily Mark's best solo yet. Not only was this choreography a lot better than what he's been doing so far, even the song choice was better. Mark is at his best when he's energetic and having fun. As I've said before, emotional break-dancing is a tough sell as break-dancing is more of an energetic and upbeat style of dance. I'm glad that this week Mark went with the more traditional, classic break-dancing style. He showed off some neat tricks but not too much that we haven't already seen before. While he's definitely making consistent progress, he still needs to challenge himself more.

2. Taylor Sieve
Grade: A-

This was by far Taylor's best solo yet. I think working with Lex last week, really made her step up her game. For the most part, this routine was beautiful! Taylor showed off her flexibility and talents here very well and she clearly pushed herself more than she has up to this point. Unfortunately, the ending of her solo was very awkward and underwhelming - especially compared to how it was going until that point. The biggest downside to Taylor's dancing is that she has very little grace. Her moves feel very rushed and there's no "airy" gracefulness to them; Which is ironic because being graceful is like an unspoken requirement of contemporary/lyrical dancers.

1. Logan Hernandez
Grade: A-

So I have no idea how Logan basically defied gravity and managed to start spinning faster on his head without using his hands to help propel him in any way but WOW, was that totally impressive! Mark is going to have to look out because Logan shouldn't be able to do more impressive break-dancing tips than Mark can do, considering break-dancing is Mark's specialty and not Logan's (which is supposed to be contemporary). As usual, Logan's flexibility and technique is beyond impressive. Unfortunately, this solo by Logan was not as good as his previous ones - albeit still a very good solo though.

Top 7 Partner (with All-Star) Routines & Countdown

7. Kaylee & All-Star Cyrus

Choreographer(s): Tyce Diorio, Contemporary
Song: “DKLA” by Troye Sivan ft. Tkay Maidza

Contestant Grade: B-
It's not that surprising that Kaylee said she was going to miss the cha cha; She's definitely a better cha cha dancer than she is a contemporary dancer. Kaylee is definitely not graceful in her movements and her technique and flexibility could use some work. Usually, Kaylee is pretty good at emoting but she wasn't so captivating in this performance. It's become clear that Kaylee is far better at playing happy and silly characters than serious ones. This was the first time she's done a contemporary piece like this since the first week of live shows and while this was definitely an improvement, there are clearly some areas that she hasn't really improved on in the intermittent - not a good sign.

All-Star Grade: C-
Cyrus did a decent job here. Whenever he's not doing a hip-hop routine, he doesn't seem to give too much effort. It seems the choreographer here probably worked around that by giving Cyrus less to do and what he did do, was more in his own style. Overall, this didn't really seem of the caliber of a contestant performance nor an all-star performance.

Pairing Chemistry Grade: B

Choreography Grade: B-
This routine was more interesting than entertaining or impressive. There were a few cool moments but there was also a lot of wasted choreography here. As emotional a story line as this was supposed to be, the choreography didn't exactly match those expectations. Overall, this was a very inconsistent routine that had few highlights but tons of low points. An underwhelming routine that failed to capitalize on the potential it had. I definitely disagree with Vanessa's assessment that this routine was "gorgeous"... Not really - but it could have been.

6. Koine & All-Star Marko

Choreographer(s): Dmitry Chaplin, Jive
Song: “Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets

Contestant Grade: B+
Casting Koine as the "beauty" is like casting a dog as a pet. It's a no-brainer; Koine is a very beautiful young lady. She could've easily played the "geek" part too, but as Dmitry said, "Koine is a lot prettier than Marko." I think the salsa routine that Koine did last week really helped her with the tricks in the routine this week, as they were somewhat similar and equally impressive, as well. Unfortunately, I also think it kind of hurt her in the sense that she started incorporating too much of that ballroom style in this jive routine. Aside from that, this routine was very energetic and upbeat and Koine easily met that criteria. She didn't take to the hoppy jive/swing style as well as I thought she would but perhaps this goes to her issues with strength - especially in the legs. (And this is not to say that she did a bad job or anything like that. She's still one of the most versatile dancers this season. It takes a lot to reach perfection.) For the most part, Koine did a really good job and she didn't mess anything up, but she also didn't perform as sharply as the routine called for. That being said, she did do an excellent job.

All-Star Grade: A-
Marko did such a good job with the "geek" character here yet he also got a chance to really show off his technique. His turns were very clean and his overall execution was very sharp. He really took to this jive style much better than Koine did. He didn't exactly come off like a professional jive/swing dancer, but he also didn't look that far from one, either.

Pairing Chemistry Grade: A

Choreography Grade: A 👏
Jive routines have some of the most/best potential to impress, as well as deliver a blast of fun overall. This routine certainly had some impressive tricks and was a lot of fun as well - a classic jive routine! It doesn't seem like it reached it's full potential but it did provide a very engaging and exciting performance nonetheless.

5. Kiki & All-Star Jenna

Choreographer(s): Warren Carlyle, Broadway
Song: “Dancin' Fool” by Barry Manilow

Contestant Grade: B+
In the beginning of this routine, Kiki seemed a little nervous and a little off queue. As the routine progressed however, he quickly started to loosen up and deliver a better performance - primarily after the 2nd cane was introduced. His confident picked up and he really started to have fun. Kiki definitely has a problem with getting too ballroom in his routines and it shows because it looks out of place with the rest of the choreography. Interestingly enough, as each new cane was introduced, it seemed like Kiki's energy was invigorated as his face filled with joy every time he caught the newly introduced prop. 

All-Star Grade:  A-
Jenna had the greatest smile throughout this performance. It was so fitting with the routine and I think Kiki even took it as a queue to pep up himself. As usual, Jenna looked pretty natural and not like she was dancing out of her style. Her turns were clean and she emoted like a professional - providing the perfect feel for this broadway routine. This wasn't a perfect performance - there were just a couple moments where Jenna seemed nervous or off queue but they were very minor and almost unnoticeable. She was also out of sync with Kiki which took away from the performance. Aside form those few notes though, this was another solid performance by Jenna. She is definitely one of the best all-around dancers and it's a joy to watch her do any style of dance.

Pairing Chemistry Grade: C+
I don't know if Jenna was jealous at the chemistry between Kiki and Koine last week or what was going on, but what used to be nothing but compatibility and chemistry between Kiki and Jenna suddenly became tension, and there was definitely less chemistry between these 2 than the last time we saw them together. This was evident in the video package AND on stage. Whatever happened there, they need to work it out or this will undoubtedly hurt them. They look like they practiced most of this routine separately, rather than together, because they were often out of sync with each other. It was tough to know which one was going too fast or which one was going too slow etc. This was definitely the lowest amount of chemistry we've ever seen between these 2 all season; A far contrast from the "sexy" chemistry going on starting in Academy Week.

Choreography Grade: A- 👏
This routine was super fun! The canes really added a nice touch to this routine and they were incorporated really well! This routine just felt like a bundle of fun! It wasn't as challenging as I prefer broadway choreography to be, but that's usually the case when you involve props. This routine was energetic and certainly entertaining. 

4. Taylor & All-Star Robert

Choreographer(s): Mandy Moore, Contemporary
Song: “To Make You Feel Love" by Mick McAuley & Winifred Horan

Contestant Grade: A-
This was definitely the softest and most graceful that Taylor has looked in a partnered routine with Robert so far - though that's not really saying much considering she's usually lacking grace. And it also had the least amount of hiccups - though no hiccups would be preferred. Her technique could still stand to be a little sharper but this was a vast improvement from all of her previous routines - except for the one she did with Lex. This routine was almost like a completely different Taylor than what we've been seeing before - one that better matches the undeserved hype she's been getting up to this point; This time she actually earned it. I only wish that more of her performances were of this caliber, since they usually aren't.

All-Star Grade: B+
Robert had a more supportive role in this routine, leaving the brunt of the choreography to Taylor. Robert's definitely gotten better at physically supporting Taylor as he seems to struggle a lot less than he used to - though it's still not what it should be yet. Aside from those hiccups, Robert's contemporary work was beautiful. Almost flawless.

Pairing Chemistry Grade: A-

Choreography Grade: A 👏
This dance was very soft and beautiful with some very captivating and touching moments. This was also a pretty challenging piece, incorporating quite a few tricks. The lifts were very stunning and the turns were well-placed. Overall this was a very entrancing and mesmerizing routine. Really beautiful.

3. Mark & All-Star Comfort

Choreographer(s): Misha Gabriel, Hip-Hop
Song: “No Twerk" by Apashe & Panther x Odalisk

Contestant Grade: A
Mark delivered a perfect performance here - except that it wasn't exceptional. Since this was the routine that incorporated the most of Mark's break-dancing talents, one would expect it to have much more impact than it actually had. It seemed just a bit like a missed opportunity in that sense. That aside though, Mark did an excellent job. He was completely on beat and kept his energy up to fit this routine (though I'm sure the energy was no problem for him!). While Mark is usually pretty perfect with his characterization, this routine was a little inconsistent, switching from serious ninja to classic semi-goofy Mark. Mark already has a ton of stage presence, so it would've benefited him to be a little more consistent. It also seemed like Mark was just slightly not as sharp as possible - but in a very minuscule amount? Overall, this was a perfect performance but it just seemed like something was missing to take it to that next level of "above and beyond" - perhaps a touch of more "toughness". (As the competitors narrow down, this is the time to get picky and start expecting perfection and better.)

All-Star Grade: A+ 🙌👏
Comfort always brings her A-game in every routine she does, but she was especially exceptional in this routine! The sharpness and tough persona that was required here, was right in her "comfort" zone and she was flawless with it. She plays a perfect ninja. Her energy was perfect and her emoting was impeccable. This may have been the first time that Comfort looked better than Mark on stage. Her consistency helped make her performance, superb.

Pairing Chemistry Grade: A

Choreography Grade: A-
This routine was an interesting and fun idea. The choreography here was sharp and required very specific characterization to take it to the next level. This was definitely one of the best hip-hop routines of the season so far. It wasn't the most impressive or challenging hip-hop routine, but it was definitely one of the most energetic, entertaining and captivating ones. The concept of ninjas and the "dance battle" was very amusing and enjoyable.

2. Lex & All-Star Gaby

Choreographer(s): Luther Brown, Hip-Hop
Song: “Humble" by Kendrick Lamar

Contestant Grade: A+ 🙌👏
Is there any style of dance that Lex can't do amazingly? As Luther Brown said, "Lex is DOPE! Lex be killin' this hip-hop!" And boy, was he right! Lex looks almost as good in his hip-hop dancing as he did in his contemporary (which is off-the-charts insane)! It's not surprising that he'd be good at hip-hop, as he has incorporated a lot of that style in his previous solos. However, it is surprising how good he is at hip-hop though, since it looks like he was born to do hip-hop dancing; he comes off so natural and relaxed! If I hadn't known he was such an exceptional and phenomenal contemporary/lyrical dancer, I would've thought he was an excellent, professional hip-hop dancer. Lex has insane control of his body and he really knocked this routine out of the park. As I've noted before, Luther Brown's choreography requires a lot of character and "swag" - which Lex brought plenty of! Even with Luther Brown's "warning" that "Lex be killin' this hip-hop!", he still exceeds expectations. BRAVO! As Nigel said, Lex represents what this show is all about: Turning great dancers into excellent all-around dancers!

All-Star Grade: B
Hip-Hop is definitely not Gaby's strong-suit, but she took to it a lot better than most of the non-hip-hop dancers we've seen try out Brown's choreography. She definitely understands the value of character work in a routine like this and she seems to really give herself to the character. She doesn't have the same swag in character or moves that Lex has, but she does a pretty good job and certainly doesn't look too awkward or anything like that. She comes off like a pretty good hip-hop dancer but not a great one.

Pairing Chemistry Grade: B+

Choreography Grade: A+ 👏
Luther Brown's choreography is incredibly reflective of the dancers he has, maybe even more than the other choreographers. The lamer the dancers are at hip-hop, the lamer the choreography tends to be whereas the more "swag" his dancer has, the more "swag" the routine has. This dance was no different. The choreography here shows off Lex's talents and allows him to stand out. There is a ton of personality in this dance and the moves require a lot of confidence and control. Aside from maybe his first routine of the season (with Mark & Comfort), this is Brown's most intricate choreography yet. There isn't a beat wasted, every second there is constant motion - and none of it is wasted on the lame gimmicks that were used for the likes of Kiki, Sydney or Taylor etc. This routine is very impressive and unique, as well as energetic and entertaining, giving the dancers a great chance to shine.

1. Logan & All-Star Allison

Choreographer(s): Sean Cheesman, African Jazz
Song: “Kabila" by Lord KraVen

Contestant Grade: A+ 🙌👏
When Logan says the choreography is "hard", the choreography is actually "incredibly hard". Logan is really the only person in the entire competition that is anywhere near Lex's level. Those 2 are by far the best dancers on this show, without a doubt. It's an interesting and welcome sight to see Logan pushed so much. (After all, this show is all about pushing great dancers to be even greater!) Despite all of the talk about how hard this was, Logan did a phenomenal job! He may not have known anything about African Jazz before this routine but he certainly made it look effortless by the time of this performance! Logan's technique was gorgeous in this routine, just absolutely stunning and perfect!

All-Star Grade: A+ 🙌👏
Allison was flawless in this routine! These tricks were complicated and intricate but she made them look effortless! Allison looked like such a natural as well as a professional here. Her technique was perfect and not overshadowed by Logan - which is a great testament to her talents as a dancer!

Pairing Chemistry Grade: A

Choreography Grade: A+ 🙌👏
Similar to Cheesman's routine with Koine and Marko, this routine is very intricate! At some points, Logan and Allison really seem to blend in as one. The tricks in this choreography were so stunning, captivating and impressive! Wow! The use of furniture dollies as a prop was totally risky but totally spectacular as they gave a remarkable effect. The choreography here was so beautiful and breath-taking! This was definitely a tough and challenging routine but they usually also tend to be the best and this one is no different! This was easily one of the best routines of the season, so far! As Nigel said, "That is probably one of the most difficult yet impressive pieces of choreography that I've seen Sean Cheesman do. Congratulations Sean!" I second that Congratulations!

Contestant Group Routines

2. Koine Iwasaki, "Kiki" Nyemchek, Taylor Sieve & Mark Villaver

Choreographer(s): Sean Cheesman, Contemporary
Song: “Still I Rise (Maya Angelou)” by Alexis Henry

Koine's Grade: A-
Even though Koine is easily one of the more versatile dancers this season, she's not one of the best contemporary dancers this season. This routine exposed some of the shortcomings she has - particularly where strength and flexibility/technique are concerned. (Not saying she is severely lacking in those things; Just that she has room to grow where those things are concerned.) When it comes to emoting however, Koine does a perfect job. She is clearly passionate about dance and that never wavers, regardless of the style of dance she's doing, or the amount of people she is dancing with. This was a solid performance by Koine but I know she has more potential than what was shown here.

Kiki's Grade:  B+
This had to be a more challenging routine for Kiki than what was mentioned in the video package. As a ballroom dancer, tumbling and other moves that are characteristic of contemporary can't come easy to him yet he does a good job. Unfortunately, he messed up in the first ripple sequence - something that is incredibly apparent in a group number - but he executed all of his lifts and tricks perfectly. There were just a few moments where he was a tad slower than the rest of the group, but it wasn't painfully obvious. He still has some work to do as far as his emoting and stage presence goes, but otherwise he did a really good job. He also clearly showed some great strength with all of the lifts involved in this routine - particularly where he lifted Mark!

Taylor's Grade: A-
Taylor is honestly one of the most consistently inconsistent dancers I have ever seen. I've never seen someone able to be so brilliant and yet so flawed in the same dance. In some moments, Taylor doesn't seem to be giving full effort, like she's just going through the motions halfway (messy lines and off queue). Other times, she does beautiful and splendid things with her body and technique that are just awesome. Her emoting in this routine is flawless but her performance is not. She still has a lot of work to do when it comes to grace. She had a special chance to really shine in this number and I wish she would've done more with it.

Mark's Grade:  A
Even though Mark is not the most flexible, he always gives full effort in whatever style of dance he is given. This routine is no different. While he might not be very flexible, he's definitely very strong as all of his lifts look effortless. For a break-dancer, he has pretty good technique (pointed toes!) and has taken to those lessons very well. Mark has the perfect intensity and emoting in this routine, hands-down the best of this group. His stage presence and ability to adapt to anything given to him, easily makes him the stand out performer in this group as well. Mark is surprisingly remarkable when it comes to touching and captivating routines - probably because he's so fascinating himself.

Group Chemistry Grade: A

Choreography Grade: A- 👏
I don't see how this routine is supposed to "stand against hate" or "showing strength in a time of need". If it weren't for the video package, I would've just thought this was one of those routines without any story line. As what is usual from Cheesman, there were some brilliant intricacies in this number, though not nearly enough to match the criteria set by the "concept". Also characteristic of Cheesman, is the no-count-wasted - which I LOVE! Although that being said, some of the moves in this routine were a little questionable, odd and/or inconsistent with the rest of the choreography. This routine definitely challenged all of the members involved to push themselves, which is what this show is about! The 2nd floor sequence with the low turn and roll-over was visually stunning! Having Mark and Kiki do that very intricate flip/roll was also a very unique and remarkable visual as well. Overall, this was an incredible routine. Not one of Cheesman's best routines, but still a great one nonetheless.

*Side Note: Vanessa said that these words by Maya Angelou are "something that our country needs right now, to see that unity." Do her ears work? These words were not unifying at all, they were divisive and hyperbolic; Literally the exact opposite of what our country needs right now. This poem is indignant and bigoted, assuming the worst of humanity and looking at history in a very narrow-minded way. Such negative attitudes like that portrayed in this song/poem, are exactly the kinds of attitudes that are destroying this country; Not trying to save it.

*Side Note: Mary Murphy says THESE are "the most powerful words I have ever heard in my life"... Really?! Not any of the following quotes - or the tons of other equally inspirational quotes over the time-span of humanity?:
  • "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal'... I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." - Martin Luther King Jr., I Have A Dream Speech
  • "Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves... There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot Speech
  • "You can't change how people treat you or what they say about you. All you can do is change how you react to it." - Mahatma Gandhi
  • "Revenge provokes revenge which provokes revenge which provokes revenge — forming an unbroken chain of death and destruction linking nations of today to barbarous tribes of thousands and thousands of years ago... We may never dissuade leaders of our nation or any other nation from responding vengefully, violently, to every insult or injury. In this, the Age of Television, they will continue to find irresistible the temptation to become entertainers, to compete with movies by blowing up bridges and police stations and factories and so on… But in our personal lives, our inner lives, at least, we can learn to live without the sick excitement, without the kick of having scores to settle with this particular person, or that bunch of people, or that particular institution or race or nation. And we can then reasonably ask forgiveness for our trespasses, since we forgive those who trespass against us. And we can teach our children and then our grandchildren to do the same — so that they, too, can never be a threat to anyone... Only well-informed, warm-hearted people can teach others things they’ll always remember and love. Computers and TV don’t do that... By working so hard at becoming wise and reasonable and well-informed, you have made our little planet, our precious little moist, blue-green ball, a saner place than it was before you got here." - Kurt Vonnegut, Commencement Speech at Agnes Scott College

1. Logan Hernandez, Lex Ishimoto & Kaylee Millis

Choreographer(s): Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson
Song: “Strange" by LP

Logan's Grade: A 👏
Logan is so talented, he has some of the most gorgeous turns and leaps! For the most part, Logan is very graceful and very strong - and those things do elevate his performance. In the part where he had a chance to do a quick "solo" sequence, this seemed underused by him, unfortunately. Aside from that though, this was another perfect performance by Logan - though I would like to see him push himself more.

Lex's Grade: A+ 🙌👏
Lex is one of the most phenomenal dancers ever. He's so amazing that I don't think it's out-of-line to say he could be a modern day Mikhail Baryshnikov. (In fact, I'd LOVE to see him do some of his routines.) His turns and leaps are spectacularly flawless! His understanding of the connection between emoting and dancing is superb! He was just absolutely flawless in this routine. Everything was as perfect and beyond as possible. His strength, his control, his emoting, his technique - it was all PERFECT! His "solo" sequence was remarkable, impressive and absolutely gorgeous - not a moment wasted! He's just so inspiring to watch. His dancing is so captivating and enthralling; It's unique ability and talent like his, that takes dancing to the next level and inspires a new generation of dancers. I think Lex Ishimoto might be the greatest thing to ever happen to SYTYCD since Travis Wall - which is the highest compliment I could possibly give him. Perfection and ability like Lex's (and Travis Wall's) holds the same inspiration that made me fall in love with dance. It's just impeccable. BRAVO! Nigel really hit the nail on the head when he said, "Mind-blowing!"

Kaylee's Grade: B-
Placing Kaylee in a group number with just Lex and Logan - two of the greatest dancers ever on SYTYCD - is just unfair to Kaylee. All this did was expose her: her lack of technique, her lack of grace, her lack of accurate emoting and her lack of flexibility. Actually, this routine kind of begged the question "Why is Kaylee still in this competition?" That being said, this was one of Kaylee's best contemporary performances so far this season. It's amazing how much dancing with top dancers, pushes the other dancers around to be better. Her "solo" sequence was easily the weakest of the 3 and seemed misplace in this routine, as it was more of her fusion style yet not even the best version of it. Actually, quite frankly, her solo sequence was quite lame and incredibly underwhelming. Did she miss her turns at the end as well? Or was that done because she couldn't properly execute them? Either way, her performance here was disappointing compared to her peers.

I would love to know what it is that Nigel is seeing in Kaylee. because it seems like there is something personal there. He praises her like she's so wonderful when in reality, she kind of sucked compared to Logan and Lex. She did not keep up with them and certainly not "brillliantly". It's really weird how biased Nigel is towards her. I wish it made some kind of sense.

Group Chemistry Grade: A-

Choreography Grade: A+ 🙌👏
Brilliantly perfect! Aside from Kaylee bringing this routine down, this was just absolutely phenomenal. A great routine to showcase the show's 2 greatest dancers right now. Splendid!!

Overall Countdown

(which dancers I think did the best overall this week)

7. Kaylee Millis*

Best Dance: Group Routine (with Logan & Lex)

6. Koine Iwasaki

Best Dance: Group Routine (with Kiki, Taylor & Mark)

5. Kiki Nyemchek*

Best Dance: Personal Style Solo Routine

4. Taylor Sieve

Best Dance: Partner with All-Star Routine

3. Mark Villaver*

Best Dance: Partner with All-Star Routine

2. Logan Hernandez

Best Dance: Partner with All-Star Routine

1. Lex Ishimoto

Best Dance: Group Routine (with Logan & Kaylee)

* These 3 dancers ended in the "bottom" and faced elimination: Kaylee Millis, Kiki Nyemchek and Mark Villaver.

So far, it has been a pattern that whenever a dancer is in the Bottom 3 for the 2nd time (usually in a row), then they are the dancer eliminated. This week, there were 2 dancers who had previously been in the bottom 3: Kaylee and Mark. Kaylee was in the bottom last week but Mark was in the bottom 2 weeks ago.

Kaylee is the only person that never got a *gasp* when announced she was in the bottom 3 - this time or last time - because NO ONE was surprised. Kaylee has had some of the weakest solo, duet, group and overall performances of almost the entire original Top 10. Even Dassy, who has already been eliminated, was a stronger performer than Kaylee.

Kiki was in the bottom 3 for the 1st time during this entire competition, even though he deserved to be in the bottom 3 at least twice since the live shows started. He's never been one of the best performers in any week; He's usually in the bottom half or around the middle though.

Mark was in the bottom 3 for the 2nd non-consecutive time, even though he's rarely deserved to be. In the first week of live shows, Mark stood out as the best performer. The second week was his weakest week but mainly because his solo was kind of lame while most everyone else's wasn't as lame. The third week he was the best performer outside of Lex and Logan - yet that was the 1st time he entered the bottom 3, go figure! Last week, he was again the best performer outside of Lex and Logan. If there's anyone in the bottom 3 this week that should definitely not be going home, it's Mark. As of right now, overall, he IS the best performer outside of Lex and Logan - which is saying a lot considering Lex and Logan are 2 of the most phenomenal contestants to ever be on this show! Mark deserves to be in the TOP 4!

It was weird that Nigel said he was "going to rely on America's votes".. Then why are the judges even there?! The whole point of their presence is to help curb undeserved favoritism so that the best dancers don't get robbed. As soon as he said this, it sounded like a cop out to justify making the WRONG call. It's not surprising that he announced Kiki as being "safe" from elimination considering this was the 1st time he was in the bottom 3. He told Kaylee she was "magnificent" tonight which was already a sign of corruption since she was clearly this week's weakest performer. He had nothing bad to say about Mark other than eliminating him, which was a reasonable shock. (Even Cyrus seemed shock that Kaylee was safe.)

I give all the credit to Mark for taking it like such a champ because Mark was completely robbed! If Nigel didn't have some WEIRD BIAS for Kaylee, this choice was clear. Kaylee has NO shot whatsoever of making the Top 4 but Mark clearly did! He was clearly making a lot of progress and growing as a performer - even though he was already one of the best all-around performers starting early on. I could NEVER see Kaylee becoming a legitimate all-star on this show but I can EASILY see Mark being one someday. I sincerely hope he gets to come back and show off more of his incredible stage presence and dancing ability.

What did you think of this week's show? Do you agree that Mark was completely robbed in favor of Nigel's clear bias towards Kaylee?
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