And yes, that includes most hip-hop dancing, no matter how aggressive it is (with the exception, I think, of things like animation, which feel less like dance and more like stunt performing, but that's a whole other discussion). So, yes, this MANLY dance performed to a Joshua Ledet version of a James Brown song could not be more fascinatingly straddling of the masculine/feminine line, no matter how strenuously the choreographers/judges/dancers themselves may say otherwise. Hi, that's my Gender Studies Rant Of The Season. I'm taking the rest of the season off, so I had to deliver it early. Nigel singles out Paul for praise and Alan for inappropriate stiffness.
Stacey Tookey gets the six remaining girls for a contemporary piece about a fountain of youth or something. That it's set to Lana Del Rey's eye-rollingly overwrought "Young and Beautiful" doesn't make me incredibly predisposed to liking it. The ideas behind the piece are intriguing, with the women caught halfway between supporting each other's weight and clawing to get past each other. They're all phenomenally graceful performers, so there's almost no way to go wrong, especially in this style that flatters them so well. Mary calls them the best Top 6 girls that they have ever had, and while I could come up with a few sextets to make good arguments for (Sabra/Lacey/Lauren/Sara/Jaimie/Anya in Season 3, for example), it's hard to ding any of these women. Nigel takes this opportunity to mourn the loss of SYTYCD Canada but crow about how we get to use Stacey, Sean, and Jean-Marc on our side of the border now. Cat gives Jenna a moment to talk about how much these girls have bonded through this routine.
And now it's time to break them up! Amy and Alan look about ready to die up on that stage. Nigel praises all four solos tonight (I will just never agree with Nigel on solos, I swear). He also makes a strenuous case for the two eliminated dancers to be alternates on the tour. Those two dancers will be Malece and Alan. Because I know my shit. Hugs and tears all around. I really feel for Malece, who went from one of the frontrunners to eliminated in less than two hours. And poor Alan, crier that he is, lives up to his reputation. As for who's left, I have no idea how America is going to react, week-to-week, but I can't imagine a satisfactory conclusion to this season that doesn't involve some combination of Jasmine/Aaron, Amy/Fik-Shun, and Makenzie/Paul. But there are really no weak links in this Top 10, especially if Nico has decided to bring his A-game like he has been lately. Should be a fun home stretch.