‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Recap: Top 20 Perform, Team Street Takes The Spotlight
Team Street and Team Stage went head-to-head during the first live episode of season 12 of So You Think You Can Dance.
The first live episode of the season began with a heartbreaking shakeup: Hurrikane suffered an injury, leaving Team Street one man down, and Asaf Goren, the dancer from Telaviv who divided the judges in Vegas, has come in to take his place.
SYTYCD Season 12 Top 20 Perform Live
The Top 20 took the stage to open the show with a routine from Christopher Scott and Jessica Lee Keller.
After the Top 20 were introduced, it was time for the competition to begin.
Team Street’s Megz Alfonso, Neptune and JJ Rabone were up first, performing a Dave Scott routine to “The Illest.” Neptune comes out strong, as does Megz, but all three struggle a bit with the choreography and have trouble getting on the same page.
Gaby Diaz, Derek Piquette and Moises Parra of Team Stage are next, performing a Stacey Tookey routine to “Lumious.” Judge Jason Derulo loved the routine, noting that when all three came together on stage, it was magical.
Lily Frias, Jaja Vankova, Burim Jusufi and Asaf of Team Street took the stage to perform a routine from choreographer Christopher Scott. Scott, one of the best choreographers of the show, knows exactly how to play to these dancers’ strengths and gives all four a chance to shine (note: Lily is a BEAST.) Asaf quicky wins points with the audience by grabbing the mic and thanking his fellow dancers after the performance, but we’ll see just how far that good will goes with the voters.
Up next from Team Stage were Hailee Payne, Marissa Milele and Alexia Meyer, who performed a Brian Friedman routine to “New Dorp. New York.” Friedman envisioned a jazz routine that would “show that women can be strong,” but the heels, bondage outfits and sexy moves get the girls in trouble with Nigel Barker. Nigel warned the girls about being too sexy in their performances, something new judge Paula Abdul agreed with.
Darion Flores and Jim Nowakowski, also from Team Stage, took the stage to perform a Benoit Swan Pouffer routine to “Blood and Stone.” The ballet routine is intricate and clearly difficult, with Team Stage head coach Travis Wall declaring it the hardest routine he’s ever seen on SYTYCD. Despite some minor problems – they appeared to be off count just a bit – these two are definitely phenomenal dancers (and, quite possibly, super human).
Ariana Crowder, Virgil Gadson and Yorelis Apolinario of Team Street took on a Phoenix and Pharside choreography to “Locked Out of Heaven.” This piece is all entertainment: with Virgil playing a man who is standing at the gates of heaven, having to decide whether he’ll follow the devil or the angel. It’s a fun, exciting and well-danced piece that has the audience completely engaged. Virgil is incredibly charismatic, and Yorelis completely dominates as the devil.
Edson Juarez and Kate Harpootlian from Team Stage had the honor of performing the first Travis Wall piece of the season to “Shaped Like a Gun.” Getting a Travis Wall routine is like getting a golden ticket for a dancer on the show – unless you mess up royally, there’s no way you’re not making it to the next round, he’s that good. Unfortunately, it’s also a tall order, as Wall choreography requires an emotional commitment that the judges weren’t feeling from Edson and Kate.
Finally, it was time for Team Street and Team Stage to go head to head with group performances. Team Stage Top 10 danced a Warren Carlyle routine to “Body Language.”
Team Street Top 10 got to jam out to a Napoleon and Tabitha D’umo original to “Ready or Not Here I Come,” proving they are not a team to be messed with.