(With indefatigable recapper Amy Watts on the road this week, Diane Trap steps up to the plate in her stead.)
Cat Deeley is wearing a shiny mosaic dress, like an elegant '70s shower stall. The six remaining dancers open with a routine set to "Scream" by Kelis. The boys are wearing Hammer Pants and the girls are in corsets and tutus, all in black like steampunk goth. It ends with a chorus that says "scream and shout!" which the audience obligingly does.
The top six dancers are Witney, Chehon, Tiffany, Cyrus, Eliana, and Cole. The remaining four dancers will go to the finals next week.
Cat begs for compliments on her dress and calls Sonya out for the choreography. The top six will be dancing three times "like a lady" hee, and the judges can no longer save a dancer from unfortunate voting.
Christina Applegate is the guest judge. Nigel says the most important question he asks the choreographers is "would you employ them?" and four of the dancers had already benefitted from a judge's save.
Tiffany is dancing with Benji to a Jean Marc Genereux routine. Three cartwheels(!) and Benji says he's heavier than he was seven years ago. I'm calling this routine Johnny Rockets on Ice, to "What I Like About You" redone by Lilli. It would be the climactic number in a "Dirty Dancing/Footloose" remake by John Hughes.
Tiffany's costume is a bad bathing suit with rhumba ruffles and Benji is wearing a black and white checkerboard shirt Cheap Trick would be proud of. Nigel says their energy lifted the entire audience and Benji is the best swing dancer ever, and Tiffany is remarkable for dancing in high heels.
Mary says they were kicking their patooties off, which would have caused Tiffany's ruffles to sag. Christina Applegate praises them for jiving in their jive.
Tonight the dancers' friends and loved ones are sending them a message. Witney goes first; her parents are proud and they miss her. Her extended family has the population of a small village. She's dancing in a long red dress to "Malaguena" by the Brian Setzer Dance Orchestra -- solo tango? yes.
It looks as silly as it sounds, but Witney's selling it; I'm not sure the dance and the music ended at the same time.
Cole is next. Sonya wants to show his more uplifted side; Cole wants to leave a relationship and Melanie doesn't want to let him go. Their song is "Too Close" by Alex Clare. There is much lifting and reaching and red lighting.
I don't see Cole's uplifted side as much as his shirtless chest. Mary says Cole commanded her attention; Christina says Melanie is magical but Cole was beautifully androgynous; she is sure we'll see him next week. Nigel says Sonja broke the gender norms by having Melanie lift Cole more than Cole lifted Melanie and that Cole adapted himself to the number well.
Chehon's mom has astonishing red hair and praises him in German. Chehon's solo is to District 78's "Way Back Home" and his costume is Jacksonian enough to only need one glove. It makes me want to know what he'd do with a few fencing lessons.
Christopher Scott says this is the most true-to-life routine he's ever created, about a super hot ballet dancer (Eliana) with a crush on a really ripped postman (Twitch), because that happens every day, and that Eliana is funky.
District 78 appears again with a remix of the Marvelette's "Mr. Postman." I've never had a postman do a jump-split for me, but I never greeted one wearing red toreador pants either. I think District 78 should have left the Marvelettes alone.
Christina loves Twitch and Eliana could dance the phone book, she's so exciting to watch. Nigel claims Eliana as his favorite but thinks the dance was more about character not about the dancing. Mary says the number was entertaining and Eliana made it memorable.
Cat shills the tour; tickets on sale now. Tiffany's family is so proud. Her solo costume is a gold brassiere and a scrap of fabric and she’s dancing to "Just the Way You Are" by Carmen Reeve. There is pirouetting and leaping and the dance ends very suddenly.
Chehon is partnering with Katherine, and Tyce Diorio is planning a number about how people get through a devastating tragedy that leaves them with only one suitcase of worldly possessions -- fun! Their number is "Eli Eli (A Walk to Caesarea)" by Sophie Milman. They get a respectful standing ovation.
Nigel says it was incredibly emotional and seems a bit froggy in the throat. Mary is teary and says they oozed passion. Christina says the importance of the luggage was profound. Also Chehon is the best dancer ever and gets chokey as she talks.
Cole's mom has so much emotion as she watches him dance and he should kick butt. He's soloing to "Night of the Wolf" by Noik Argana and apparently it's a full moon. Why is he in a skirt?
Witney's number is about a couple on their wedding day; Witney's having second thoughts and Marco is supposed to change her mind. Marco asks her dad politely for Witney's hand; Witney says her dad is waiting in Utah with a shotgun in the back, but back of what is unspecified; Marco is alarmed anyway, as seems only wise.
They're dancing to "No Nothing" by Curtis and Reinhart featuring Claire and left the comedy in the rehearsal room. Marco loses. Mary says Witney has attack and control and Christina knows she's not just a ballroom dancer and suggests there's a bit too much hairography. Nigel says Witney's a star and it was easy to save her in weeks past.
Eliana's mom says the joy inside of her shines on the outside; her dad says nothing. Her solo is to Death Cab for Cutie's "I Will Follow You into the Dark;" she brings the ballet.
Cyrus is doing SYTYCD's first dubstep routine with Comfort (the dancer Comfort, not the Southern liquor). There's popping waving and cutting. The music is "Cinema (Skrillex remix)" by Benny Benassi featuring Gary Go.
It's been great fun watching Cyrus grow as a dancer, but this, where he's doing what he does, it's even better. He's excited to see the standing ovation. Christina praises Christopher Scott's choreography, says the dance was carved out for Cyrus like the David was carved out for David and wants to toss pens through Cyrus's ear gauges. Nigel says America loves Cyrus and Mary screeches that Cyrus connects. Cat says Comfort and Cyrus are their first couple like Michelle and Barack.
Jean Marc Genereux is making Witney and Chehon cha-cha; he's just adorbs. They're dancing to Rihanna's "Where Have You Been." It's clearly Witney's wheelhouse, not Chehon's, but he's got too much charisma to disappear (though it looked like there was a bit of unplanned waving in a lift: "where's your hand? where's your hand?".
Mary thinks Chehon has improved but was still uncomfortable and struggling, and wanted to see more from Witney. After the first plie the dance was shrouded from Christina's eyes by a fog of lust. Nigel says Chehon's strength saved the missed lift and the choreography favored Chehon's strength not Witney's hips: overall disappointing.
Cyrus' mom taught him the wave and it's all gone wild from there. His solo is to "Harem" by Sarah Brightman. His animating is great but the dubstep was more compelling.
Eliana and Cole are working with Mia Michaels on a piece about hatred, inspired by rams in rut. They're dancing to "Adagio in Strings" by the BRNO Philharmonic Orchestra. They're wearing black onesies and pushing each other around a lot; it ends on a fake scream, possibly an expression of floor burn.
Nigel says the routine was based on his relationship with Mia and the dancers really got the emotion over. Mary was absolutely mesmerized. Christina has no words for Mia but Nigel offers to suggest a few. She says Eliana has light coming out of her feet (useful in a power outage).
Cyrus and Tiffany are doing a Broadway routine with Spencer Liff. They're teenagers left home alone. The song is Debbie Granite's "Treat Me Rough (Girl Crazy)"; Cyrus and Tiffany show no teen angst, it's bidness from the moment Mom and Dad leave.
I would like an animated gif of Cyrus pulling off his tie. Cat grounds them. Christina says they're dirty, dirty birds and apparently the pens-through-the-earholes thing is some kind of mating ritual. Nigel is glad he had sons. Tiffany is the talented girl next door and Cyrus' persevereance was worthwhile. Mary lets out the screams.
Guest dancers from Oakland's Access Dance Company, performing The Narrowing, Sebastian Grub and Joel Brown, dancing to "Panama Canal" by Joan Jeanrenaud and Pc Munoz. They'd be worth looking up on the YouTube.
Time to find out who goes home!
Next week's show is on Tuesday night (move the finale, FOX? really?).
Cat starts with the girls; first girl into the finale is Tiffany! Color me surprised.
Eliana practices being sad until her name is called. Witney is all smiles, though, and gives us a little heart-fingers.