SYTYCD 11 Top 14: Travis Moves to the Next Level
It was an important week for So You Think You Can Dance season 11. The top 10 was revealed and I love the 10 dancers who got the slots. Bridget, Casey, Emilio, Jacque, Jessica, Ricky, Rudy, Tanisha, Valerie and Zack are going to be excellent to watch over the coming weeks, and each week’s elimination is going to be all the more difficult to watch.
However, the true star of Wednesday night was Travis Wall as he put two sublime dances on the floor. First he gave Casey and Jessica and outstanding couple routine. The crowning achievement was the mini group dance for the top 7 guys. While it had some of his signature style, it seemed like Travis was expanding his dance vocabulary. There were elements of this dance, in movement and composition that felt like it could be in Alvin Ailey’s repertoire. It was breathtaking. I’ve been a fan of his work since the first time he choreographed on SYTYCD and it’s exciting to see the growth in his work.
Here’s my top three for the week, and given what I just wrote above, you can easily guess what two of them are:
#1 – Guys Mini Group Routine – Contemporary – Choreographed by Travis Wall: What more can I say than what I’ve already. It’s the best dance of the season so far. The guys performed it beautifully. It had some thrilling moments as the guys took flight, especially Emilio towards the end.
#2 – Casey & Jessica – Contemporary – Choreographed by Travis Wall: Travis provided beautiful choreography, but Casey and Jessica gave it such soul. This was their best dancing on the show and I think it made it easy for the judges to decide to save them out of the bottom six to send them into the top 10. Their chemistry and attention to the details of the dance make this beautiful.
#3 – Ricky & Valerie – Hip Hop – Choreographed by Christopher “Pharside” Jennings and Krystal “Phoenix” Meraz: These two always delivery and this was no different. I was scared going into the commercial before the dance because of the costumes, but the choreography was fun and intricate (how Valerie does that roll while in splits I have no idea) and Ricky and Valerie nailed the dance and the characters. It was a super fun way to end the couple dances for the night.
Other thoughts on the night:
- The Girls Mini Group Routine from Mandy Moore was also outstanding. It was a strong, beautiful piece and the girls danced it perfectly. Tanisha and Valerie were both standouts.
- The night could’ve had the subtitle “a night to throw the girls around.” Nearly every routine had the girls flying all over the place. All the tricks were executed great and it was fun to watch. Rudy and Tanisha’s contemporary from Mandy Moore exemplified this. Rudy was so good partnering her and she was the perfect partner. There’s a moment where he lifts her with two hands and then pulls one away that was just amazing.
- There were two clunkers for me this week. The paso doble from Jean Marc Genereux fell flat. Zack and Jacque didn’t perform it well as there was a lack of drama and character. Plus, as a paso, it just didn’t have enough paso content. I’m not sure if that’s because the dancers weren’t doing it quite right or if it just wasn’t there, but something was missing for me. Emily and Teddy had issues with Wayne Carlyle’s Broadway number too, especially in the last 20 seconds or so where it sort of fell apart. I thought Teddy was mostly good here, especially how he moved his arms and played his character. The dance, however, didn’t seem to sit well on Emily at all. She looked stiff through most of it.
- Bridget and Emilio were jazzy devils in a Ray Leeper routine that I also liked.
I’m looking forward to the top 10 and seeing this season’s competitors with the all-stars. It’s bound to be thrilling.
Ricky continues to be me favorite on the guy side and Tanisha is my favorite on the girl. My prediction is that they will be among the top four and that the whole competition will come down to them.