Hello, and welcome to Cereal Box Wisdom with Jason Derulo: “Take chances. Be foolish. Don’t just fit within the mold. Don’t just try to be good. Try to be great.” Profound stuff. Fortunately, the Vegas round has these dancers so tired that they’re barely processing anything anyway.
Travis says that they spent most of Vegas week throwing bananas at people, so feel free to picture that as we proceed.
SMALL GROUP CHOREOGRAPHY: Just when it looks like it might be safe to sleep, Nigel and company break the dancers into groups of five and hand them a new assignment: They’ve all got one night to choreograph their own routines. Some groups click instantly. Some groups fall apart. Two groups are tasked with “O Fortuna,” which could not be less surprising unless every group were tasked with “O Fortuna.”
First up are Virgil, Jessica, Lily, Ariana, and Tyrus, otherwise known as “Party of Five.” This isn’t a Matthew Fox thing; they’re just hungry to dance. They’ve even got a motto: ”We made reservations, so we ain’t going nowhere.” If So You Think You Can Dance is college, “Party of Five” is the group that shows up on presentation day with the extra credit assignment already finished—and they don’t even need it, because they’re going to get an A anyway. Everyone sails through.
Thomas, Edson, Alyssa, Marissa, and Ekaterina have a harder time; after a late night, Thomas sleeps in (again, college) and leaves his teammates scrambling to rework their routine without him. He shows up just in time. Their performance leaves something to be desired, but no one gets sent home. (Nigel’s not mad; he’s just disappointed.)
Back on the street side, Bdash, Little Boy, Brittany, Angyil, and Ladia take a costuming risk. They cover their mouths with tape in order to convey the idea that they’re speaking with their bodies, but all it does is mute their personalities. The judges point out that you can’t hide your most engaging feature unless you’re really going to deliver on the movement. Angyil is sent home, while Ladia is asked to dance for her life. (From there, she makes it through.)
The judges need a better “O Fortuna.” They need Gaby, Hailee, Denys, Natalie, and Jim, whose routine is so powerful it actually gives me chills. Jim does an assisted handstand on someone’s back at one point. I can’t believe I almost worried that they were featuring his group because something went horribly wrong. How could anything go wrong when Jim’s around?
CHOREOGRAPHY ROUND 3: Making everything feel more real, Sonya Tayeh shows up to put the remaining Stage dancers through their final test—a jazz number. Everyone’s tired, but Travis points out that it isn’t going to get any easier from here. Only the strong will survive. That’s especially true for non-jazz, non-contemporary dancers like Gaby, who worries that she doesn’t have the technique. She nails it. The routine does weed out a number of ballroom dancers, including Antonina, but her partner (and boyfriend of eight years) Denys makes it through. He seems hesitant to carry on without her. I want to tell him not to throw away his dream for love, and I suddenly understand every parent in every rom-com ever made.
Things are also getting real on the Street side, as Tabitha and Napoleon (at last) take the dancers through a hard-hitting hip-hop routine. Will there ever be a NappyTabs routine that doesn’t make me want to dance? Tabitha makes it look easy when she demonstrates for the group. “That’s a 41-year-old mom,” Napoleon points out. “If they can’t rip it like a 41-year-old mom, it’s time to go home.”
NEXT: What’s this show’s name again?