SYTYCD 3, Top 8: Performances

It was not a good night to be a gangsta on So You Think You Can Dance.

Joining Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe at the judges’ table for a second time was Adam Shankman.

Sara & Danny — Argentine Tango
Choreographer: Alex Da Silva
Song: Sarah Vaughan & Gotan Project, "Whatever Lola Wants"
Sara was dressed like a movie hooker, complete with thigh-high leather boots and a bra for a top, adding to the dance’s intrinsic sexiness. Adam called the performance "un-beeping-real," and commended Sara for being able to disguise her b-girl background. Nigel said real Argentinian Tango dancers wouldn’t have done some of the things Danny did, but only "because they weren’t capable of doing it."

Lauren & Dominic — Krump
Choreographer: LiL’ C
Song: 50 Cent, "I Get Money"
It was difficult to tell what made this Krump and not just a Hip-Hop routine, and the unfortunate highlight of the performance was when Lauren fell down. Adam said he liked the routine, but added, "I’m not sure this showed you off to your greatest, greatest potential." Mary said, "The two of you were definitely gangsta." Nigel had a problem with the song: "It was tuneless and unrhythmical." However, he did appreciate that Lauren knew how to make her blunder look like part of the performance, which he said is part of being a professional dancer.

Lacey & Neil — Latin Jazz
Choreographer: Maria Torres
Song: Ray Barretto, "Acid"
Neil was shirtless, which distracted from the fact that performance was a confused mix of Latin and Jazz, rather than a distinct style. Adam told Lacey to look at her partner, not the camera. Mary had a problem with the couple’s chemistry, and didn’t like Neil’s posture during the Latin parts of the routine. Nigel didn’t like either of them in this performance: "You danced it like two dance school pupils, and that is so wrong at this point in the competition."

Pasha & Sabra — Broadway
Choreographer: Tyce DiOrio
Song: "A Wild Wild Party" from The Wild Party
This performance had tons of energy. Adam said this type of number usually only works with a larger chorus of performers, but said their "character and overall performance" really drew him in. "You both really matched," said Mary, who then started screaming. Nigel said Tyce’s choreography "really forces you to perform," and he thanked Pasha and Sabra for their performances.

Sara & Danny — Hip-Hop
Choreographer: Shane Sparks
Song: Salt-N-Pepa, "Push It"
It’s hard to take a performance to "Push It" seriously, and Sara & Danny’s bright yellow air-brushed tees and red berets made things even worse. The performance was kind of sloppy. Adam said of their outfits, "It’s like you were punk’d by wardrobe." Mary said, "It didn’t do it for me. It wasn’t hard-hitting enough."

Lauren & Dominic — Rumba
Choreographer: Tony Meredith
Song: Bill Withers, "Ain’t No Sunshine"
For maximum believability, Dominic kissed Lauren on the lips at the end of the routine, prompting Mia Michaels and Tony Meredith to pretend to make out in their seats in the audience. Adam liked their chemistry (Lauren & Dominic’s, not Mia & Tony’s), but said he saw more posing than dancing. Mary had mixed feelings about the performance. Nigel complimented wardrobe on Lauren’s minuscule dress, and he asked the choreographers to stop choreographing just to the dancers strengths and, instead, start forcing the dancers to work up to a professional level.

Lacey & Neil — Contemporary
Choreographer: Mia Michaels
Song: Billy Porter, "Time"
Mia choreographed this dance about a heavenly reunion with her father, who passed away two years ago. It was a wonderful execution of piece that, for a change, wasn’t about romantic love. Adam was in awe: "You guys were not dancers. You were acting an entire world." Mary was so overcome with tears that she couldn’t speak, and Nigel said, "Mary’s going through a personal time at the moment as well, so forgive her." Nigel said he felt honored to be on the same show as Mia, and he was impressed with Lacey & Neil as well: "It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen…ever."

Pasha & Sabra — Quickstep
Choreographer: Tony Meredith
Song: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, "Mr. Pinstripe Suit"
Best performance of the night. Pure fun, executed perfectly. Adam yelled, "Awesome! Great choreography!" He liked Pasha’s facial expressions and told Sabra, "You freak me out." Mary noted the choreography’s level of difficulty, and shouted, "You guys just cheer me up!" Nigel said, "It was tremendous. You’re the best couple of the night for me."

They were the best couple of the night for me, too, especially since they were the only pair to give two solid performances. Sara & Danny’s Hip-Hop and Lauren & Dominic’s Krump were flawed enough that they will probably be tomorrow’s Bottom Four — and I think Lauren and Dominic are likely to go home.