Things are getting serious on "So You Think You Can Dance," now that the first guy and gal were eliminated last week. But there was still time for fun -- the singing duo, A Great Big World, performed "Say Something." And more good news -- ballerina Misty Copeland, who proved herself to be a darn good judge last week with equal doses of praise and criticism, returned to the judges' table with Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy. Very brave of Misty to sit for a second time next to "Screaming" Mary! But no worries, Nigel took the center set between the women. Hmmmm.

The opening number was a chess game that came alive, with a bit of funk thrown in for good measure. While it was a little weird and creepy, I think I liked it. Two members of the Academy of Villains, one of the four finalist dance crews, choreographed it, so kudos to Christopher "Pharside" Jennings and Krystal "Phoenix" Meraz. Nigel, of course, referred to them by their nicknames because he's so "with it." Still no glittery dress, but host Cat Deeley was clad in black satin pants outfit with a halter top and plenty of sparkly jewelry. Looked great with her blond curls!

This season's motto seems to be "Bad news then dancing," so we got the list of the dancers who got the lowest scores from the voting viewers. The three girls were Bridget Whitman, Emily James and Jourdan Epstein, and the guys were Emilio Dosal, Stanley Glover and Teddy Coffey. And then it's on to the dancing, couple by couple.


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The dancers this season are incredibly talented and it's hard to pick one favorite. So I didn't -- I picked four that I liked the best. The rest were good, but just not my favorites. So there. First up in the show, and my first fav, was Jacque LeWarne and Zack Everhart doing a hip-hop routine by Keone and Mari Maorio. It was so complicated with what seemed like hundreds of hand movements, then dance moves, but the pair was very smooth, as well. Mary thought they were very smooth, from the hand actions to big bursts of energy, and Nigel thought both dancers excelled in a style that wasn't theirs. Misty summed it up, "You are not a tapper and a ballerina -- you are dancers."

My second fav was the jive routine choreographed by Pasha and Anya and performed by Bridget and Emilio. It was fast, complicated, spirited and a lot of fun. Maybe it was the fact that both were in the low-scoring six that made them give it all they had. The routine made Mary happy and she was dancing along in her seat, Nigel said he couldn't understand why they were in the bottom, and Misty thought they were great.

Another fav was the contemporary number that Tyce Diorio did for Emily and Teddy, another pair in the bottom six. Maybe the judges ought to say everyone is in trouble so they would dance full out! Seems to work with these two pairs. Anyway, I usually don't like Tyce's contemporary numbers but this one was really good, and both Emily and Teddy really shined. The music, "If You Go Away," was sung in French, and Misty wanted to know if Emily spoke the language. When she said, "No," Misty replied, "Well, your body does!" Mary thought there is nothing that Emily can't do, and it was the first time she was mesmerized by Teddy's dancing. Hope the voting viewers see things the way Mary does.

My last, but not least, favorite was the hip-hop routine by Luther Brown that had Carly Blaney and Serge Onik as skeletons, right up to the make-up. It was a weird routine but I really liked it -- guess I'm into weird tonight. The pair was totally in sync with each other and had all the smooth moves. Nigel said it was a tough one for him to judge and he wasn't sure it was the type of routine that would drive people to vote for the couple. Misty, however, disagreed with him and said it was important to educate the audiences and that she loved it. Mary loved it, too, and complimented the pair on being "really in it."

As I said at the beginning, all of the dancers this season are talented, but some just didn't seem to connect with their partners or with the dance style. Jourdan and Marcquet Hill did a contemporary number that just didn't do anything for me. The dancing was OK, but I don't think the two dancers spend any time with each other. Nigel said it was a good routine, but said that "suddenly I'm not personally connecting to either of you, and I don't know why." Misty thought that Marcquet stood out better than last week but Jourdan's face needed to match her body's actions, and Mary said that they were still missing a little magic. Uh-oh, this is not sounding good for someone like Jourdan on the bottom.

The idea for the jazz routine by Stanley and Jessica Richens, who both lost their partners in the elimination last week, was that they were supposed to be dancing on a flying carpet. The carpet was firmly on the stage and both dancers were also, instead of giving the feeling of floating and flying. Misty exclaimed that Jessica could really move, but that both dancers tended to overdo their facial expressions. Mary loved the whole piece and added to Misty's remarks that the pair didn't need to oversell the dance, and Nigel agreed with everyone.

Brooklyn Fullmer and Casey Askew performed a jazz number choreographed by Bonnie Story, and both dancers did well. However, during rehearsal, they were cautioned about showing a "technique face," and both Mary and Misty thought it popped up during the routine. However, Mary thought it was fun number and let loose with the screaming that deafens many. She thought Casey was brilliant and Nigel agreed.

The Viennese waltz is the dance that often cuts short a dancer's participation in the show since it's not a real barn-burner with the voting viewers. But Valerie Rockey and Ricky Ubeda did an outstanding waltz that was filled with smooth moves and elegance, and when it ended, Nigel was standing, applauding. It was good, but I just liked others more. Mary thought it was magical and dreamlike, and Misty said Valerie was princess while Ricky was "beyond what we are used to seeing."

The final performance for the night was a "classic Broadway number" choreographed by Warren Carlisle and performed by Tanisha Belnap and Rudy Abreu. All of the judges were standing at the end of the routine, and I really liked Rudy's dancing. For me, Tanisha just didn't seem totally into the routine. Misty thought they were in perfect unison, Nigel said that Warren had passed his "Broadway pedigree" on to the pair, and Mary called it a "show-stopper." Cat had to ask Rudy about the dancer who has caught his eye (and who already admitted that she was obsessed with Rudy), and he said it was Jacque. Seems there might be a backstage romance during the season.

Singing duo, "A Great Big World," performed the hit, "Say Something," with backup from a string quartet and a children's choir. Then it was time for the doom and gloom. Last week, Nigel took the time to give a critique to each dancer, but this week, there were no niceties. Stanley and Jourdan were called forward and told they were not going any further in the competition. I guess it's kinder to rip that bandage off quickly. Jourdan was weepy but glad for the experience, and Stanley made sure to thank everyone involved with the show.

It will be interesting to see what happens next week when, if they keep with tradition, Marcquet will be paired with Jessica, her third partner is as many weeks. And if you are wondering, it has been decided that dancers will not be given a chance to do a solo in a "dance for their life." It should be interesting to see what new dance styles the remaining Top 16 will be given. By the way, "So You Think you Can Dance" and "Dancing With the Stars" each received seven Emmy nominations, including for best reality show and best host. Remember, keep dancing.