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S15.E07: Top Ten Women 2018.07.23

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So it will just be the women this week and the men next week?  Do you know if the eliminations will be announced on each show or all at once next week?

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We are seriously just getting an hour? Well, then 2 or 3 of these ladies are going to have to go to montage hell before they are let go. Unless, there is literally no backstories presented, and it's just rapid fire dance after dance.

My assumptions for the montage candidates remain Brianna the tapper, Stephanie the non-blond Russian, or SYTYCD younger sibling ballroom dancer, and Dayna the contemporary dancer destined to come up short compared with Erica and Chelsea.

Edited by PhD-Purgatory15

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I just wonder how the style was chosen for these performances. Seems designed to throw some people under the bus. 

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Yup, I think they told Brandon (and whoever choreographed) to design & dance that contemporary routine where there was no way that Brianna could keep up.

Edited by PhD-Purgatory15
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Chelsea Hough had stank face in the background line when Nigel praised Jensen and said that she had the best performance of the day. 

I presume from Nigel's not-enthused reaction to Genesis' hip-hop that she was one of the predetermined ones to cut and she performed it well enough that they had to make some changes. Emily was the one I thought would make it. 

I say this every year but seeing the All-Stars just makes me miss them dance. Brandon! Clearly they are running out of free ballroom All-Stars if they had to bring in Jonathan. Did Pasha age out by now? :(

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I’m sad about Emily not making it!  I thought she was a lock for the top 5. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of the girls can’t compete for some reason and they bring Emily back. 

I like genesis and Chelsea ok, dislike Jensen and Magda. Oh, and we love Hannahlei!

I could watch Fik Shun dance all day!

Edited by awaken
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"This Is How We Do It". LOL.

I'm glad Genessy got through. "Like Hennessy but with a G" as her Insta helpfully reminds us. (And with one less N).

I'm also glad Magda got through, though that "just got out of bed" outfit was distracting.

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46 minutes ago, awaken said:

I’m sad about Emily not making it!  I thought she was a lock for the top 5. I

I thought she was too.  But one of our posters basically said she wouldn't make it because the other contemp girls were better.

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Hated losing half the dancers in one swoop. It seemed so brutal. I know I said it before, but I don't like this scaled-down rush season -- it's going so fast, I have trouble investing. But I think Hannahlei is my favorite. At least they're not doing All-Star teams -- I REALLY didn't like that version.

Somebody please remind me who Jonathan is. I have zero recollection of him.

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Jonathan Platero must have a good agent - he went out top 16<?> in his season, but has choreo'd a number of times since.  I'm always shocked to see him - I think he was one of those salsa dancers who don't do any other ballroom naturally, but that could be a false memory.  I like his new hair, but nothing really ameliorates how goofy he looks straight on, which somehow  distracts me from his chosen style of dancing.

I thought this was an EXCELLENT way to deal with shrinking time and budgets.  We got to see some really enjoyable dancing and some old favourite allstars and the gorgeous Dmitry Chaplin - the cuts weren't these big overblown dramatic soap operas.  It was pretty much the opposite of WoD which I am currently loathing with a white hot heat whilst watching the dancing on play and everything else on ff.

I thought Genessy was lost during her dance.  I don't understand that choice.  I thought that Jensen showed a bit of what she has under wraps which was kinda how I'd been viewing her dancing up till now (i.e. why is her dancing so sophomoric?  Could it be because she's holding back to make a better narrative for her casting on the show?  Yes, it looks like it).  I'm super glad Chelsea Hough went through, I'm liking her generally.

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Apparently I'm in a minority liking Jensen and Magda (liked them both last year too). I'm bummed that we have another year with a smaller cast. I miss the Top 20 pairings and then switching it up at Top 10.  But I accept those days are long over.

That said, I'm fairly please with the top 5.  Sad to lose Emily Carr, but I thought she did sort of fall off toward the end of her dance.  Have to say though, it's impressive when any human has a smile as bright as Fik Shun's. I hope she comes back, Stephanie Sosa too.

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Jensen, Chelsea, and Hannahlei pretty much seemed like the chosen ones...so zero surprises they each advanced. It was interesting how trick heavy Jonathan and Oksana made Hannahlei's routine versus the other girls who pulled ballroom (including Chelsea who I thought was pretty terrible, Sydney and Dayna).

The show screwed up Nigel's weird foreshadowing bit about whether they could actually keep all three ballroom girls. They should've eliminated Dayna before Stephanie (leaving Chelsea and Stephanie as the last two...just to have that little bit of suspense that they would take all three). FWIW, I thought Stephanie got hosed on her routine. They complained about it not having any wow factor moments, well she by far had the least to do out of all 10 girls. She did what she could, but that routine totally stacked it against her.

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Did they say how long the dancers had to learn the routines?  I know they danced with all stars but they performed a lot better than I thought they would, especially the salsa routines.  Based on tonight's performance, I agree.  However, it was a toss up between Jensen and Steph, for me.  But Jensen's jazz routine had more content.  The two salsas were better than the cha cha's; the emo contemp was better than the athletic one; Genessy had the better hip hop performance.

I thought Emily had the worse performance.  She got off toward the beginning.  If she were dancing with another contestant, it probably wouldn't have looked so bad.  The two cha cha girls (Sydney and Dayna) were next.  Not that they were bad but it's too difficult to stand out in a "structured" ballroom dance if you're not ballroom.  If it's not the posture, it's the hips, the foot pressure, the attitude, etc.  If it were the live show, they might've squeaked by.  But the judges had to use some kind of measurement to whittle down.  Again Brianna didn't perform badly but it was an athletic/nonemo contemp routine.  I would've been surprised if she had hit all the transitions.  I liked Stephanie better than Jensen.  But once they told Jensen to take a seat, I knew Stephanie was out because Magda had the emo contemp.

Right now, I have Hannahlei, Chelsea, Magdalena, Jensen and Genessy. 

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3 hours ago, Souris said:

Somebody please remind me who Jonathan is. I have zero recollection of him.

Jonathan was in S5.  Karla was his partner.  He lasted 3 weeks. Karla left the next week.  I remember Mary telling him that he was better at contemp than his specialty-ballroom.  But, his specialty was specific to salsa. 

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9 hours ago, kechara said:

Surprised about Emily not getting in. What happened?

I know!  I thought she was adorable and danced very well with Fikshun.  They were a matched set of cuteness.

10 hours ago, Quickbeam said:

Ugh, Jensen. Saw that coming. 

I hate how much they are pushing her.  Makes me root against her already.  I don't know dance by any means but she wasn't the best as far as my enjoyment.  I liked Hannahlei and Emily more.  Maybe I'm predisposed to disliking perky girl-next-door blondes.

I really, really dislike when the camera focuses on the judges' reactions rather than staying on the dancers.  Seems a poor directing choice.

Edited by Haleth
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Have there been a lot of really short guys on SYTYCD who are now all stars or does this year's top 20 have a lot of tall girls? I noticed the height difference several times this week. I don't mind it, but for some reason it seemed really noticeable.

Jaci Royal's choreography looked like it was really fun to dance. I also really liked both of Christopher Scott's routines this week. I may be biased because "This Is How We Do It" always makes me laugh (in a good way) because I still remember the cast of the first season of Road Rules dancing to that song. I always love seeing Dmitry, however briefly. His routines are not always the flashiest but I like that he really tries to showcase the actual dance style he's choreographing.

I would have kept Brianna because I thought she did a pretty good job in her contemporary routine.

I agreed with the judges' decision about Sydney. She was one of the few routines this week where it was really obvious she was dancing outside of her usual style. She learned the steps and she was very committed/energetic, but she just didn't have a handle on the cha cha.

Jensen's definitely a judge favorite. No surprise there.

I have liked Hannalei since her audition so I am glad she made it. She had a routine packed full of difficult tricks and she nailed them all, so I would have been surprised if they had cut her after that performance.

I was surprised that Emily was cut. Yes, it's hard to outshine Fik Shun, but I thought she did well in that routine.

Magda did well at contemporary, but I did not get Vanessa's tears over it.

Genessy did a lot better than I thought she would at hip hop.

Stephanie was fine in her contemporary routine so I felt like some of the judges' critiques seemed a bit harsh and nitpicky.

Chelsea took her elimination well. She attacked the tricks in her cha cha so I was surprised she was cut.

Dayna's salsa routine was good but not great. I felt like she was holding back or just not completely getting the style.

I feel like the show kind of did itself a disservice by reminding us how many of the girls in the top ten did poorly during academy week but somehow managed to make it to the top 20.

Heh, it's always obvious to me which dancers haven't had extensive ballet or true jazz training because they don't point their toes. Lazy feet!

One minor thing I liked about this week's episode was that we got to see full routines but without all of the crazy costumes and sets to sell them. And no backstories on what the dances meant or were about! I don't mind the costumes and sets but I feel that every dance should stand on its own merit. In other words, your dance should still be clear without the costumes, sets, or sob stories. If you can watch a dance in basic practice clothes on a plain black stage and still get what's happening, you've done your job. If you're relying on the sets and costumes and the intro package where you get to explain the whole story, then your choreography isn't strong enough.

But we still go that stupid spinning camera angle. I hate that thing!

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8 hours ago, RachelKM said:

Apparently I'm in a minority liking Jensen and Magda (liked them both last year too). I'm bummed that we have another year with a smaller cast. I miss the Top 20 pairings and then switching it up at Top 10.  But I accept those days are long over.

That said, I'm fairly please with the top 5.  Sad to lose Emily Carr, but I thought she did sort of fall off toward the end of her dance.  Have to say though, it's impressive when any human has a smile as bright as Fik Shun's. I hope she comes back, Stephanie Sosa too.

I agree with you, I like Jensen and Magda.

Also liked the dances without the backstories and being told how we're supposed to feel while watching it.

I like top 5, but I would rather have Emily than Chelsea (seemed like I'm in a minority here, was not so impressed with her routine)

 

Went to rewatch something - noticed Cat's bump, so I googled - she gave birth a month ago. Will she be in live shows?

Edited by Snow Fairy · Reason: Cat info
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I think all the ballroom performances suffered by the lack of speed in the dances.  Cha Cha Cha and Salsa are not slow dances and they looked like they were walking through them.  It was obvious they were still in the process of learning the technique as well as the steps and the performance suffered as a result.

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Called it a couple weeks ago that it was going to come down to Chelsea and Dayna.  Openly regretful comments at the judge's table back in academy how they liked Chelsea, but Dayna had outdanced her.  So obvious then they preferred Chelsea's looks.  Thought Dayna outdanced her last night, too.  Chelsea's shoes drove me crazy and did her no favors.  Chelsea has potential, but they're going to have to handle her routines carefully if she doesn't catch on quickly enough.  Salsa was kind of a harsh choice for the situation.

Felt bad for Sydney.  Agreed with the decision, but I felt particularly bad realizing she thought she had conquered the contemporary routine and genuinely believed she was going through.

The contemporary choreography was no bueno to begin with.   Saw Robert's eyes flicker with doubt during performance. 

Jensen did perform well.  Unfortunately the tongue bath probably turned a lot more people off the way it did me and just may have motivated the audience against her.  Deliberate?

Hannahlei has been my pick since auditions.  I was rooting for Magda last night too.   Nigel certainly wasn't motivated to put a tapper through last night.  It was obvious the deck was seriously stacked against her before she danced a step.       

Edited by Tikichick
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1 hour ago, Snow Fairy said:

I agree with you, I like Jensen and Magda.

Also liked the dances without the backstories and being told how we're supposed to feel while watching it.

I like top 5, but I would rather have Emily than Chelsea (seemed like I'm in a minority here, was not so impressed with her routine)

 

Went to rewatch something - noticed Cat's bump, so I googled - she gave birth a month ago. Will she be in live shows?

I like Jensen and Magda too.  I was rooting for Jensen since my daughters have danced with both her and Lindsay before.  I'll be honest and was not rooting for Magda at the beginning.  I just remember her taking over her and Kiki's interview with Cat last year.  Part of it was that Kiki didn't talk much anyway but she could have let him talk a  little.  What I like is that she's older so there's a maturity to her dancing.  When she did the emo contemporary, she didn't have that fake angsty face that younger dancers would have had.  Her emotions looked more real and she did say she was going to draw on a past experience.

They better have Cat in the live shows.  She's great as a host and really cares about the dancers.

11 hours ago, crossover said:

I thought she was too.  But one of our posters basically said she wouldn't make it because the other contemp girls were better.

That was me but I take it back a little.  I just re-watched Emily's original audition on you-tube and she is really good in that audition.  I think she faded during academy week which was fresh in my mind.  That includes Travis' contemporary round even though Travis said that it was hers to lose.  I do stand by my original opinion that Hannalei was the best contemporary dancer this season (my original post said non-white because of the context of your post but she's the best overall regardless of race).

I like the format of this show.  We got to see all ten dances with no montages.  There wasn't any back stories.  We just got snippets of each rehearsal which is enough background of the dance, choreographer, and All-Star.  Based on last night, the right five went through.  I agree with the posters that said that some of it was planned that way.  The ballroom dances were always going to be tougher for those that never did ballroom.  The one that I was surprised about was Genessy.  I didn't even think she should have been top 20 since she really messed up in Travis' contemporary round.  She did really well with the hip-hop last night.  She didn't let Fik-Shun outshine her which is really tough to do.  I think for a lot of the routines, it came down to confidence and attitude.  The two that had ballroom looked uncomfortable especially Sydney.  Her legs looked like wet noodles, not strong or sharp enough.

Jonathan's hair looked terrible.  He looked handsome during the kid season.  I think he's lucky.  He didn't make it very far but I really don't recall any other male salsa dancer.  Plus he's married to Oksana who is also a Salsa/ballroom dancer.  So the show uses both of them to choreograph Salsa routines and he's now been an All-Star on the kid version and last night.  Their Salsa routines do tend to have a lot of lifts and they are much better when Jonathan is the male partner especially if the girl knows how to be a liftee like Hannalei.  There were impressive lifts in that routine with smooth transitions.  Some of their Salsa routines have been disasters on the show.  At least, their salsa routines are not as dangerous as Dorianna's disco routines which has tons of lifts and fast spins.

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One minor thing I liked about this week's episode was that we got to see full routines but without all of the crazy costumes and sets to sell them. And no backstories on what the dances meant or were about! I don't mind the costumes and sets but I feel that every dance should stand on its own merit. In other words, your dance should still be clear without the costumes, sets, or sob stories. If you can watch a dance in basic practice clothes on a plain black stage and still get what's happening, you've done your job. If you're relying on the sets and costumes and the intro package where you get to explain the whole story, then your choreography isn't strong enough.

I find it interesting that I hadn't even noticed that we were missing the fluff.  I knew it was clean and pared-down, but my brain didn't say, and here's why.  As I said, the opposite of WoD's way over the top production ticks and tricks.

Genessy was not terrible at dancing the hh, but she lost her face so often -- she looked like she'd lost track of the emotion she was supposed to be playing because she had to concentrate so hard on what she was doing.  I didn't listen to the judge blather after her dance, so I was completely surprised that someone who produced that awkward a looking dance went on.

Can someone remind me of the points of comparison between Chelsea Hough and Dayna?  Are they same style dancers?

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I did enjoy the format a lot - seeing ten full dances and without props/costumes/etc. It was refreshing! And actually made me forgive (just a little bit) the pairing down from 20 to 10. I thought all of the routines were strong but felt bad for Stephanie's which was way more nuanced than crazy flashy moves. I would have really liked her to move on instead of Jensen - mainly because I feel that it was rigged for Jensen - they do love their connection to past participant stories! 

I really wanted Emily to go through and I liked her hip hop better than Genessey (who I felt was missing something - maybe it was just the face/expressions) although I did feel that Emily did lose energy as the dance went on. 

I am glad that Hannahlei made it through - she is my fav so far. Was a bit sad that the tapper didn't make it but it was tough competition to narrow down to 5. 

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Jensen was "ballroom facing" that entire jazz routine. Annoying. Anyway, I am not a fan of hers. Her sister was much more likable. I was surprised the tapper didn't get through, which means that the male tapper will definitely get through. I like Magda! But Hannahlei FTW! 

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I would have preferred Emily to be in over one of the generic blond ballroom girls.  The perky one seems destined to win, which is kind of annoying.

I was surprised by just how bad some of these dancers were once out of their own genre.  How did they make it through Academy week and in to the top 10??  Is the standard just really low this season?

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I thought Hannahlei was far and away the best. I would also have loved to see Emily in the top five, but I like everyone but Jensen. She's a bit too "on" for me.

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4 hours ago, Token said:

I was surprised by just how bad some of these dancers were once out of their own genre.  How did they make it through Academy week and in to the top 10??  Is the standard just really low this season?

Showing flashbacks of some of the top 10 women really showed that they probably should have been cut during academy week because they did so poorly in some of those choreography rounds. 

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I didn't care much for Jensen when she auditioned last season, but I'm liking her a lot this season. I may now even slightly prefer her to Lindsay (who I also like), for the very reason a lot of people unfavorably compare her to her sister....while others find Jensen's dancing "heavy," for me, I feel her more curvy/meaty body type lends her performances more strength and groundedness.

And while she seems to have gotten the most praise and attention from the judges, I find it justified and that she has been a standout.

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On 7/23/2018 at 9:08 PM, Quickbeam said:

Ugh, Jensen. Saw that coming. 

Given her preponderance of screen time, it was a given that Jensen was a lock for the live shows. She's the one female contestant I could not stand. I remember her from last year's auditions when she made it through (and her partner did not); she had an extremely self-involved reaction and was gushing over her acceptance to Academy while completely dismissing the feelings of her partner. I hated her from that moment onwards. All the subsequent displays of immaturity and underserved self-assuredness in her abilities did not help either. 

I was surprised to find myself actually liking Jensen somewhat after her performance in this episode. It's the first time I've actually liked her dancing as it wasn't all hair flips and sloppily executed footwork. She was actually amongst the top acts of the night, which I find completely shocking. 

Sadly, early favorite Emily was totally out of her element with hip hop. I found the faces she was making totally distracting and that number was painful to watch. I accurately predicted who would be in the top five after their numbers, and am in agreement with the judges based on what we have seen. (I cannot say for certain that there are contestants who should have been in the top five over some of these women because of the editing process giving us mere glimpses of some of the others).

22 hours ago, Souris said:

Hated losing half the dancers in one swoop. It seemed so brutal. I know I said it before, but I don't like this scaled-down rush season -- it's going so fast, I have trouble investing. But I think Hannahlei is my favorite. At least they're not doing All-Star teams -- I REALLY didn't like that version.

Somebody please remind me who Jonathan is. I have zero recollection of him.

I would have preferred a top 20 format of contestants as well, but after seeing the girls round I don't mind as much because I do feel the caliber of dancers is not nearly as high as past seasons. Many of these ladies were simply cannon fodder as we've only seen them for mere seconds before (ie. Dana) and others like Brianna were never going to go far outside their own style. I don't remember this girl Stephanie at all.

Hannalei is my favorite female, and Jay Jay is my favorite male right now.

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I don't dislike any of the top 5 - even Jensen, she's no worse than Witney was in her season IMO - but I'm bummed about the lack of dance style diversity. Two ballroom and three contempo. *snore*

I hate salsa routines that favor tricks to the detriment of footwork and turn patterns, so I hate almost everything choreographed by Jonathan and Oksana. The second one was especially craptacular.

Did I see Chelsie in the preview for next week? Lemons -> lemonade, I guess.

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7 hours ago, Token said:

I was surprised by just how bad some of these dancers were once out of their own genre.  How did they make it through Academy week and in to the top 10??  Is the standard just really low this season?

I think the late renewal might have impacted the available talent level.  Just two audition cities conducted on short notice, featuring many previous auditionees whom the producers presumably had on speed dial..  (And new auditionees having less time than usual to prep for the show.)

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I think girls had it easier with salsa and cha cha. They had experienced partner to lead them.

I wonder how the boy's latin will look like

 

And have to say, I really don't like Chelsae's salsa. Don't know if it's because of her, the music, the shoes or the choreo itself

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I’m no dancer so I could be mistaken but there didn’t seem to be a lot of speed or sharpness to any of these routines. Also, the salsas seemed to be trick heavy without the actual dancing.  

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1 hour ago, kechara said:

I’m no dancer so I could be mistaken but there didn’t seem to be a lot of speed or sharpness to any of these routines. Also, the salsas seemed to be trick heavy without the actual dancing.  

That's why "salsa" was a lousy choice for this format.  It doesn't lend itself well to a quick familiarization and then attempt to perform at this level.  A quick run through in a social setting and letting the participants loose to strut their stuff for sheer enjoyment, not a problem.  To attempt to actually "perform" salsa meant it had to be trick heavy, salsa steps light.  I guess that made it essentially more akin to contemporary in a sense, but it frustrated me to no end.

Chelsea's shoes were all kind of wrong for anything but looks in this setting.  IDK, maybe she simply didn't bring the recommended(my assumption) ballroom shoes with her to academy.  It's expensive, as the mother of two former dancers I absolutely understand that.   

Edited by Tikichick
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I will say that all the dancers showed promise since we were seeing how they did after just a short rehearsal - I am assuming these were taught and then performed the same day during academy. At least during lives they get days to work on the routines.

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I could watch Hannahlei dance all damn day.  Those legs!  Wowza.

So sad to lose Emily!  I could easily have swapped her with Genessy but if the judges were hell bent on her then Magda.  

I mean, not having Jensen would’ve been ideal but I know that ship sailed long ago.

I thought Dayna’s hair was super distracting in her dance.  She seemed like a sweetheart though, her little shimmy was adorable.

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I'd say Jensen's hair is a distraction in all of her dances except that she had a couple of fantastic jazzy hairography moves in that last dance she did.  I think I also would have swapped Emily for Genessy.

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Also, the salsas seemed to be trick heavy without the actual dancing. 

Lifts are dancing. From what I've seen, competitive salsa tends to incorporate a lot of lifts, so I'm not sure if these were more lift heavy than typical or not. I thought Hannalei's was better than Chelsea's. Chelsea had a lot of fluidity in her body, but her footwork seemed very off. 

Mostly, the dances just made me want to dance with Jonathan. It seems like it would be so fun (for me anyway--probably not so much for him!).

Magda, Jensen, and Genessy all blew me away. Hard to believe they were out of their styles (although I agree with whoever commented that Jensen did ballroom style facial expressions. IMHO, they fit acceptably, but they were a tell). 

I haven't seen the episode, so sadly, I haven't seen the eliminated dancers' dances yet.

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6 minutes ago, WhineandCheez said:

I'm confused--in Jensens' Contemporary/Jazz she was barefoot.  Which shoes are you all talking about???

Chelsea's booties in salsa.

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20 hours ago, crowceilidh said:

Did they specifically tell us how long the contestants got to practise these routines?

It had to be longer time because some all stars had more than one dance. So they had to have time with each contestant

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49 minutes ago, Snow Fairy said:

It had to be longer time because some all stars had more than one dance. So they had to have time with each contestant

I'm sure it was longer than the rounds where they rehearse for 90 and then perform. My guess is that they had them learn it a day before or the morning of. I wonder if the allstars may have already learned the routines. but they would still need time to work with both for those that doubled up. I just don't see them lingering at academy for multiple days for those. So I am sure it is still a far shorter time than they will have during the Lives. 

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Ok, emily looked  hella uncomfortable with that hiphop routine at times but I don't care, overall she should have made it through. Im just now watching this mess of a show since they decided to get rid of her. She could have grown and redone hiphop later on if given a chance because it was parts of it that was good but she still just needed to work on it some more. I would have rather had her over chelsea. I didnt care for salsa because I felt like she was moving to slow, a salsa should be fast and energetic and I didnt get that from her at all.

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I get a little Molleee vibe from Jensen (not in a good way).  Last night’s dance was better but she was looking more to the jidges than to Brandon.  

I am a sucker for a beautiful smile, so while I agree that Emily looked like she was concentrating too hard during her dance, to see her and Fik-shun’s smiles side by side was a real pleasure for me.  

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On 7/23/2018 at 10:05 PM, LexieLily said:

Clearly they are running out of free ballroom All-Stars if they had to bring in Jonathan. Did Pasha age out by now? :(

I just looked at Pasha's Twitter page. He is still looking great! He was just recently in a show with Anya Garnis and she looks great too!

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11 hours ago, luvthepros said:

I just looked at Pasha's Twitter page. He is still looking great! He was just recently in a show with Anya Garnis and she looks great too!

OMG, I absolutely adored Pasha!  My favorite ballroom guy, and one of my favorite male contestants overall.

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