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So You Think You Can Dance mentor blog: tWitch on Team Street's best exit

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The top 6 put on an incredible show. It was a really tough elimination, but it was a good show nonetheless. No matter how the votes go next week, I think the night as far as styles go went in favor of Team Street. Megz, Jaja, and Virgil got to do something outside their genre and inside their genre and do a solo. Solos are one of Team Street’s strongest suits. No matter how the voting goes, I feel like Team Street got to shine this week, because you got to see exactly what they do and then how they adapt to what they’re given. That’s what the show is about.

I loved Gaby’s solo. I think she had a tough night as far as the judges went, for sure. I feel like the judges were a little hard on her numbers; she started the night with the jazz routine with Marko, and then her second duet didn’t get too much praise either. They called it corny. So that’s a rough night to have in the top 6 — the one that gets you half of your votes in the top 4. But Gaby is clearly a fan favorite, so I think people will come to her rescue. They won’t be swayed by what the judges say, because they just have so much love for watching her perform. The fans who want to see Gaby win will do whatever they can, and I think that’s one of the best places to be in this particular situation. 

Jaja had an incredible night, my bias as team captain aside. She had a great night, because she got to touch on a little bit of everything. In the first number that Tessandra choreographed, she got to touch on a little bit of technique and some deeper theatrics, which was awesome. And then her solo was incredible — it was unlike anything she did for the night. Even though the judges were tough on her for that last routine, it was still a dope routine. I feel like we got to see Jaja at her full potential, and that puts her in a really good place for where the competition is.

Out of all of Team Street, I think Megz had the best exit night that you could have, starting with the song about freedom — doing a solo where she felt ultimately free and didn’t feel like she had to play into a part, Team Stage or Team Street; she just really got up there and did exactly what she wanted to do. It was awesome to see her dance like that. She looked so happy and so content with the way that she was dancing. And then to end on a heavy contemporary piece, which she loves doing too, with an awesome partner like Hailee. I think she had one of the best exits, because she literally got to do everything. 

It was a tough night for Jim for a couple of different reasons. His solo was the best on Team Stage. Period. He’s so crazy. It was amazing. His routines didn’t get the best critiques, but I will say this: He handled that samba. While there were some things that he needed to work on and perfect, he did not look that bad in that samba, which is very hard. He did the best that he could possibly do with that style, and that’s awesome. But just like the judges told Gaby, that Broadway number didn’t do it for them. It’s hard when the judges give choreographic notes, because as a dancer, there’s nothing you can really do other than the steps. He and Gaby did their absolute best with the steps that they were given, and that’s all that they can do.

Virgil had an incredible night as well. I love watching Virgil do solos, because he just brings so much personality. He did something that nobody else on Team Street would be doingthe old LL Cool J song was awesome. Virgil is really good at portraying characters — whether they’re happy and joyful or deep and thought filled, he can do it, because he has that theatre background. He adds that into his movements, and that’s what makes him really special. Again, this week’s show really worked in Team Street’s favor, because they got to touch on everything. That’s what you want to have happen with a show like So You Think You Can Dance. You’ve been here for an insanely long time and you’re finally getting the hang of how the show goes, so no matter what they throw at you, you’re going to attack it with everything. When you throw in your solo, and you’re comfortable doing that too, that’s a night made for advancing in this competition.

Hailee had a really good night, too. She danced with one of the best All-Stars, period, and she got to dance to Beyoncé, which is always a plus. Hailee has been one of those dark horses all season; her presence was always felt, but she was still creeping along, just attacking everything that she was given. It really worked out, because all of the sudden, she’s a true contender. I remember seeing her from the beginning, because I remember her from when she tried out a couple of seasons ago. And I’ve seen her in class, so I know the work ethic and the focus that she has. I always thought that she was going to go far, but as the competition went along, I started to think, “Wow, she really might be in one of those top four spots.” Lo and behold — she can do pretty much everything. She has a great attitude about it. You love watching her dance, and you want to see her do more.

I urge America to really think for themselves this time around, because the judges were a little harsh this week. I think since Travis and I have been there week after week, we’ve seen how hard the contestants are working. We know how much they’re putting into it, and the judges come in for one day and give critiques. Travis and I have more of an emotional attachment to the contestants, so: America cannot be swayed by what the judges say when it comes to who you want to win, who you vote for, how you vote. Maybe you go back and watch a number again.  Or maybe you have a really good gut feeling about a number, and then the judges say something semi-well worded that contradicts your gut. Even though they’re speaking from an “expert” standpoint, you still have to think for yourself. Realize the person you want to vote for and vote for that person. And realize how hard they’re working. They’ll be dancing with everyone next week, so show them a lot of love. This is the final stretch.

As told to Kelly Connolly

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