July 31, 2014 at 07:15 AM EDT

Well, it seems the SYTYCD producers heard all of our cries—“We miss the solo routines!” “Speak for yourself; the solo routines are not missed!” “Those mini group numbers were great!” “To hell with the mini group numbers, just give me more Rickyyyyyy!”—and got to work meeting our divisive demands. It’s crazy that sometimes a two-hour show includes a couple of dances and a Very Special Performance by Lucy Hale, and other times, just a week later, it can can include an opening number, seven partner routines, six solo dances, two mini group numbers, an Academy of Villains performance, a Step Up preview, a National Dance Day recap, and with the little bit of time left, the dancers can tell their partners what their most random personality traits are… or something like that.

Wow, what a show! But with all that glorious, glorious dancing, also came the pain of four dancers having to go home at the end of the night. While it’s been fairly easy to pinpoint a bottom two from six people every week, choosing only two to stay somehow seems much more arbitrary. What if America voted incorrectly this week? Oh well, if producers have made anything clear to us thus far, it’s that Ricky is going to win this thing, so just buckle in and enjoy all the “dark and creepy” routines between points A and B. Oh, also Rudy and Jacque are dating. Did you know that Rudy and Jacque are dating? (Real talk: Did they pool their allowances and bribe Cat’s teleprompter guy or something? What is happening there?)

The Greco-Roman opener was fun and all, but let’s just talk about those final group numbers for a moment: Give Travis Wall and Mandy Moore every damn Emmy they’ve got in that joint, because those two work hard for the money, and we better treat them right. The boys defied gravity approximately six different times in Travis’ oceanic routine, but for me, it was the girls who reached otherworldly heights, and I am not too proud to admit that I was tearful right along with the judges by the end of that powerful—not pretty—number. And not just because of the perfect use of Evanescence’s “My Immortal!” (I mean, a little bit because of that.)

Christina Applegate was on hand as guest judge tonight to critique, fangirl, remind us of the power of dance, and occasionally tell the boys when their nipples were showing. Clearly, it was a fun show, but that double elimination was ever looming, and as always, Cat got right down to terrifying the Bottom 6 before they had to perform three different dances: Serge, Teddy, Casey, Emily, Jessica, and Carly. Pick your poison, because no matter what, you’re going to be feeling some tinges of regret at the end of this SYTYCD purge.

Bridget Whitman and Emilio Dosal

Style: Jazz, Choreography by Ray Leeper

Song: “Long Road to Hell” by Avicii

Surely it is impossible to make anyone look scary in derby hats and Converses, but that’s what Emilio and Bridget were supposed to be accomplishing in this devil-went-up-to-Earth routine. The number was spirited and unique, but Bridget and Emilio were dancing it on two very different emotional and physical planes. The judges seemed to respond more to Emilio’s naturalistic, down-low style, and Christina made her stance on **jazz hands**performing**jazz hands** clear early on: It’s not about dancing with your face, it’s about having the right intentions and making them clear. She said Emilio mostly did that, and she is mostly right.

NEXT: There was a sale in the goth section at Mood

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Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and the viewers at home crown America’s Favorite Dancer.
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