So You Think You Can Dance just wrapped its sixth week of live shows for its twelfth season this Monday (August 17) at CBS Studios in Los Angeles, Calif.
The Top 10 — Edson Juarez, Gaby Diaz, Hailee Payne, Derek Piquette, Jim Nowakowski, Jessica “JJ” Rabone, Virgil Gadson, Jana “JaJa” Vankova, Megan “Megz” Alfonso, Eddie “Neptune” Eskridge, Lily Frias, and Asaf Goren — took the stage with SYTYCD All-Stars for the first time to perform for America’s votes. Before each commercial break, the Top 10 contestants performed a solo which showcased their best moves for America to see. The solos were Empire-themed, which meant that each contestant danced to a song from the hit TV series’ soundtrack.
The show kicked off with a group performance from the Top 10 to Björk’s “Earth Intruders.” Following the group performance, Hailee Payne and all-star Brandon Bryant gave a stellar Broadway style performance to Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga’s “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swag) choreographed by Warren Carlyle. After Hailee and Brandon brought the house down, Team Street’s Eddie “Neptune” Eskridge performed a solo before commercial break.
Following Hailee and Brandon’s performance, Derek Piquette and all-star Kayla Rodomski took the stage for a jazz performance to Marian Hill’s “Got It” choreographed by Nick Florez and RJ Durell. It was then time for Gaby Diaz to show us what she’s made of with a “street” style tap solo.
After the commercial break, America learned that Jessica “JJ” Rabone got injured this week and would not be able to perform her solo for America. FOX ran a profile package on her instead. Following the announcement, Team Street dancer Virgil Gadson and all-star Comfort Fedoke turned heads with an incredible sequence to The Temptations’ “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)” choreographed by Christopher Scott. Jana “Jaja” Vankova then took the stage for an epic crump solo. Still keeping the bar high, Megan “Megz” Alfonso and all-star Marko Germar gave it all during their jazz performance to Jamiroquai’s “Canned Heat,” choreographed by Ray Leeper. Before the commercial break, Jim Nowakowski proved to us he’s one of the contestants to fear in this competition by showing off his amazing technique in his ballet solo.
With one more hour left of the episode, Edson Juarez and all-star Jaimie Goodwin performed a stunning contemporary number choreographed by Team Stage mentor Travis Wall. Hailee then showed off her strong moves in a beautiful solo before breaking for another commercial. Eddie “Neptune” Eskridge returned to the stage with all-star Jasmine Harper to show us their hip-hop piece they have been working on all week. They performed to Yultron’s “Milk Was A Bad Choice” choreographed by Pharside & Phoenix. Derek Piquette returned to the stage for a contemporary solo before breaking for ANOTHER commercial.
After the commercial break, three more contestants still had to perform for America’s votes. Jim Nowakowski united with season 11 all-star Jessica Richens for a beautiful contemporary piece to Tom Odell’s “Heal” choreographed by Dee Caspary. Following Jim and Jessica, Jana “Jaja” Vankova showed a totally different side of herself with a mind-blowing Bollywood performance to “Naacho Re” from the Jai Ho soundtrack. Jaja performed with all-star Alex Wong and the number was choreographed by Nakui Dev Mahajan. Saving the best for last, Gaby Diaz teamed up with all-star Joshua Allen for a Japanese-themed hip-hop performance to Missy Elliott’s “I’m Really Hot” choreographed by Pharside & Phoenix. This by far had to be one of our favorite performances of the night — then again, we always love what Pharside and Phoenix have up their sleeves for us each week. Megz, Edson, and Virgil all returned to the stage for their solo performances, respectively, in between each number.
The moment we waited two hours for finally arrived — eliminations. SYTYCD host Cat Deeley returned to the stage to announce that in addition to receiving $250,000 and the cover of Dance Spirit magazine, this year’s winner will be given the chance to dance with Jennifer Lopez at her upcoming Las Vegas residency at The Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort, following the Season 12 SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE Live Tour. The bottom four contestants returned to the stage — Derek, Edson, JJ, and Megz. This week, only America’s votes determine the fate of the contestants. There are no Twitter Saves or Judges Saves this point forward. After America voted, the two dancers that received the lowest combined votes were Edson and JJ, which resulted in elimination.
Make sure to tune in next Monday to watch your favorite dancers perform with all-stars Comfort Fedoke (Season Four), Jaimie Goodwin (Season Three), Jasmine Harper (Season 10), Paul Karmiryan (Season 10), Kayla Radomski (Season Five), Robert Roldan (Season Seven), Du-Shaunt “Fik–Shun” Stegall (Season 10) and Ricky Ubeda (Season 11).
Photos: Adam Rose/FOX