After deciding to keep all 20 dancers during last week’s elimination episode, the SYTYCD judges were once again in awe of the contestants’ ability to adapt to new styles and dance through painful blunders live on stage.
Taking a direct hit to the face during her passionate contemporary routine with partner Mitchell Kelly, contestant Caitlyn Lawson had to receive stitches after the show.
“I grabbed her wrist and basically made her [accidentally] punch herself with her own hand,” Kelly told reporters of the dance move that left his partner tearing up by the end of the performance. “We were so in character that we didn’t even care [at the time].”
Later in the show, Sasha Mallory and Alex Fost performed a Napoleon and Tabitha (a.k.a. Nappy Tabs) routine that led to tears of another kind.
The hip-hop number – depicting a reunion between a soldier and his loved one – was inspired by Napoleon’s own experience in the armed forces and struck a chord with the judges.
“It was surreal to see the look in the judges eyes. We touched them and made them cry,” Mallory said, tearing up. “I’m so speechless. It was an honor to dance it for everyone.”
One person, who shed no tears, was Wadi Jones who received the only negative feedback from the judges (minus guest judge Debbie Reynolds who wanted to take all the contestants home with her).
“It was hard getting the technique down,” Jones said, looking visibly dejected after the critique of his cha cha routine. “It was hard getting the framework and remembering to connect.”
The judges will eliminate four dancers Thursday (8 p.m. ET) of the three couples with the least amount of votes, but Jones and the other contestants agree they are focusing on the positive aspects of their SYTYCD experience rather than worrying about eliminations.
“Whatever happens happens. To even be this far is such a blessing. I’ve grown so much already,” Jones says of potentially being on the chopping block tonight. “And I’m confident in my solo so hopefully that will impress the judges.”