So You Think You Can Dance
Season 8: Top 12: Performances

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Clarice and Jess: Lyrical Hip-Hop (Christopher Scott)
This could be rough -- Jess and hip-hop? The idea here is that Clarice is insecure about her beauty, and Jess plays a cute artist who thinks she's beautiful. The song is even some feelings-y cover of that "Just the Way You Are" song by Bruno Mars. And despite my reservations about genre weirdness, this is REALLY impressive, you guys. Jess and Clarice are totally in synch and in tune with one another (certainly showing up Caitlynn and Mitchell in that regard). Jess is kind of amazing; he's still super Broadway, so if you're a hip-hop purist you may not like it, but the fact that Jess holds on to his own Jess-ness while essentially nailing this hip-hop routine gives him a really watchable quality; the two styles aren't fighting against each other, they're flowing together. Mary really gets into the self-acceptance message of the piece, while Jesse asks Clarice if she has a boyfriend. "...I do too," he says, "but we should get married." Hi, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, you are adorable at this. Nigel kind of obnoxiously chides Christopher Scott to "stick with" simple concepts like this, rather than war-torn Uganda, and while this was definitely better, Nigel kind of comes off looking like an ass for saying it.

Sasha and Alexander: Jazz (Tyce Diorio)
It's Tyce, so there's no story; just Sasha and Alexander essentially doing concurrent solos to "That's Life" by Aretha Franklin. They're two pretty great solos, and I will grant that the judges likely saw something in there that I didn't, because they all flip over themselves to praise it. Jesse calls upon season 5's Melissa in regard to Sasha -- he says her "I'm Coming Home" has defined her like the Cancer Dance defined Melissa, earning Cat's admiration as a super fan. But he says this routine is a new high point for Sasha and was his favorite routine of the night so far. ...Wow, really?? I guess I missed out on that. Sonya says this was Alexander's breakthrough (ehh?), and Nigel agrees, saying the chemistry has finally come together for these two (ehhhhh).

Jordan and Tadd: Broadway (The Ideal Boyfriend Spencer Liff)
The concept of the story is Sleeping Beauty, basically, and much as I love Spencer Liff -- and much as I was pleased to see he'd chosen "Out Tonight" from Rent -- this routine seems severely muted. Slow and cool, neither one of those in the good way. Sonya is underwhelmed, and Nigel says it could've been sillier and quirkier. Mary says it's just not good enough. Ouch, but also true. Tadd might be my favorite boy dancer this season, give or take a Marko, and I really hope this doesn't give Uncle Nigel an excuse to dump him before we get to the good part of the season.

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So You Think You Can Dance

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