So You Think You Can Dance recap: Till dance do us part

The final six dancers perform with their partners again and an all-star in a make-it-or-break-it night before next week's performance finale.
Ep. 13 | Aired Aug 20, 2014

TOKY-OH NO Two over-the-top performances from Jessica prevented the judges from seeing a complete picture of who she is as a dancer. Good thing America did!


Valerie Rockey (and Stephen "tWitch" Boss)
Style: Hip-Hop, Choreography by Will "Willdabeast" Adams 
Music: "Yeah" by Usher feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris

The first dance at a wedding for a couple can be a beautiful and tender moment to remember forever. This is not that type of wedding dance. Valerie went from tap to twerk and though she didn't catch tWitch's bow tie, she was on fire for the entire routine. From her tap experience, Valerie has a great understanding of rhythm and music and was completely in the groove and confident the entire time. She also has a great sense of humor, which was more than mandatory to pull this dance off. Mary also called Valerie "swagerocious" so that pretty much sums it up right there.

Jacque LeWarne (and Will Wingfield)
Style: Contemporary, Choreography by Sean Cheesman
Music: "99 Red Balloons" by Sleeping at Last

99 red balloons—one red ball. It seemed like a failed metaphor in meaning, but visually it created a gorgeous piece for Jacque. Using a medicine ball as the third partner in the dance, Jacque showed her elegant class and control... not to mention amazing core work. She easily takes the title of strongest female dancer now that Tanisha is gone. The dance could have used a little more "dance" and less "walk around the stage with awe and wonder now that red balloons just fell from the sky," but overall it was a nice redeeming moment for Jacque that made Nigel forget the foxtrot completely.

Jessica Richens (and Ade Obayomi)
Style: Jazz, Choreography by Ray Leeper
Music: "Boneless" by Steve Aioki

Jessica is only 18, so she's never actually been to a dance club and after tonight, I don't think her first stop will be anywhere near Tokyo. Following her dizzy disco routine, it was a mistake for Jessica to do such a showy piece because in both you weren't really able to see her but the character she was playing. Well, if you could see her at all in those flashing strobe lights. The pair was able to keep up their stamina, a worry during rehearsals, and used the gaps in the music well. But what part of that dance was jazz? The female judges were positive about it (duh), but Nigel had more mixed feelings and even took the opportunity while Jessica was already down to critique her brief solos by telling her she needs to do more than just pirouettes.

Ricky Ubeda (and Anya Garis)
Style: Cha-Cha, Choreography by Jean-Marc Genereux
Music: "Dare (La La La)" by Shakira

Here's a brief reminder: Ricky is a man, Anya is a woman. Correction: Anya is a lot of woman and Ricky is a cute boy who has got to find his sexy side to match the original hot tamale. He must have had a good pair of binoculars cause Ricky was able to find it fast and with one less button on his shirt, quickly made a lot more fans. The routine was a great contrast to Ricky's first piece in both style and tone and showed that Ricky can, in fact, do anything. Nigel said it had even looked like he had been dancing that style for years. The best moment came after the piece ended when Mary asked how Ricky felt about dancing in his Latin shoes (a.k.a. high heels) when he normally dances barefoot. His response? "Feels like home." You can interpret that however you want.

Casey Askew (and Makenzie Dustman)
Style: Contemporary, Choreography by Stacey Tokey
Music: "Over You" by Ingrid Michaelson feat. A Great Big World

As we have seen all season and even a couple of times tonight, dances can sometimes get lost in translation while trying to tell a story. Fortunately, this was not the case with Casey's spectacular dance about a couple about to be torn apart. There was appropriate emotion, aggression and passion throughout the fluid routine where like Mary said, you couldn't tell where one step ended and the next one began. I really believed that Casey and Makenzie did not want to let go of each other, both physically with choreography and figuratively as a storytelling device. Casey gets stronger each week and is really showing that he can be a champion, too. Mary even called the performance of a lifetime the best for Casey this season. Unfortunately, there's a good chance it could have also been his last.

Zack Everhart (and Fik-shun)
Style: Hip-Hop, Choreography by Phillip Chbeeb
Music: "Sail" by Awolnation

The purpose of an inkblot test is to determine a person's level of emotional functionality. Well, that was before because now an inkblot test is used as a dark yet funny routine performed by Mr. Versatile himself Zach. His pairing with former champ Fik-shun was highly anticipated, and they did not disappoint. Making his choreography debut, Phillip Chbeeb challenged both dancers to create shapes with their bodies and let the viewers decided what they see... oh, like an inkblot test! It was a little creepy, a little twisted but showed once again just how much Zach can do. Nigel used his words well when he said one "cannot become who we need to be by remaining who we are" but then flubbed when he accidentally implied he thought Zach was being sent home this week. Just kidding! Nigel loves him just as much as we all do.

And all of that didn't matter. Well, for now at least. After all of the dances were complete we were given the results based on last week's performances. Jessica and Ricky were quickly (and obviously) called safe, but then things got awkward with Cat's announcement of the rest. After Valerie and Zach officially made it into the performance finale, by process of elimination we could quickly figure out that Casey and Jacque were the two dancers being sent home. Casey was the victim of simply being the third-best man in a really strong male competition year, nothing to shake off so easily, and Jacque was a beautiful dancer, but it takes more than looks and good posture to win.

Follow me on Twitter: @JDPerlman

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