The time is here for the All-stars! Be prepared for greatness (I hope). Other things to prepare for: the Legendary Neil Patrick Harris. And he’s suited up!

Judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and Neil Patrick Harris. Let’s get this out of the way, shall we? I am in love with NPH. I have been since I was 9 years old (which was twenty-mumble years ago, for those keeping track). From Doogie Howser to Dr Horrible, from Barney Stinson to Bobby (in Company). I love him. He is charming and funny and talented and overall just perfect in every way. Sigh….. Ok, I’m done now. On to the dancers.

The All-stars are here!! Hurray! Huzzah! Jazz Hands! (Small tidbit: based on their tweets it appears two of the all-stars are dating and it is adorable!)

Since we are only voting for the individual, and not the couple, along with each duet, the dancers will perform a solo. However, I won’t be commenting on the solos. If the judges are above it, then so am I. Just kidding…. kind of.

Marko & Chelsie

Choreographer: Jason Gilkison

Style: Samba

After these two tried to kill each other (not on purpose) in rehearsal, it was interesting to see what they brought to the stage. While Marko seemed not as comfortable with Chelsie after weeks with Melanie, he was still really amazing. And it really didn’t hurt to have Chelsie there. She is a dream. I still think her and Mark’s Bleeding Love was top 3 dances ever on the show. Anyway, on to Marko. He was shockingly good in this style considering this he is unfamiliar with latin ballroom. And I LOVED that NPH talked about the scissor kick she did around his face. Dirty! While Mary never mentioned it, I thought he should have been standing up a little straighter during some of the hip rolls, but that’s just me. What do I know?? Besides, he is the strongest male dancer in the competition so as far as I’m concerned, he was perfect! And who else boo’d Nigel when he said Marko was now “dancing with the stars”?

Jordan & Brandon

Choreographers: Dwight Rhoden & Desmond Richardson

Style: Contemporary

When I heard Jordan was dancing with Brandon, I admit I was nervous. Brandon is one of the strongest male contemporary dancers ever on the show. My proof is this solo. Jaw-dropping. Plus Desmond Richardson is a dance genius. But wow, she really kept up with Brandon and the incredibly difficult and gorgeous routine. I think it was the best she has danced on the show. And the judges agreed with me. (We also all agree that Brandon should be shirtless always, apparently.) Jordan, while I loved her original audition, has just been okay for me since hitting the Top 20. Tonight she finally shined and THAT is why I love the All-stars. While I enjoy Tadd (and look forward to his dance later tonight) I think if Desmond and Dwight tried to have Jordan & Tadd do that routine, she would have faltered. Last year (before the top 10 performed)  people thought the All-stars would outshine the dancers, but instead, on nearly every occasion, what they have done is brought up the talent of the competing dancer. After two dances tonight I am SO excited to be back to this portion of the season.

Tadd & Comfort

Choreographer: Chuck Maldonado

Style: Hip-Hop

I thought this was okay. It was a incredibly fast-paced routine, but  I was almost bored, except fo a few truly clever moves. However the judges loved it. But they said he out-danced Comfort, which I have to disagree with. Also Nigel did the “B-boys don’t do hip-hop and don’t know choreography.” I’m sorry, but that is just crap. Yes, there is a major difference between a B-boy and a hip-hop dancer, however it’s top 10. Praising him for picking up choreography at this point is like praising a chef on Top Chef for knowing how to chop onions. It’s his job to know hot to do that by now. What counts is how well he dances it. And I think he just did pretty good. (Fun to find out that Spencer Liff is doing some choreo for How I Met Your Mother!)

Mitchell & Melody

Choreogrpaher: Tyce D’Orio

Style: Broadway/Jazz

I usually love anything that has a Fosse feel to it, as I’ve mentioned in the past. But this one just seemed to be missing something. Mitchell has yet to connect with the audience for some reason (he really is a fantastic dancer) and Melody is from Season 1 before the show was as popular (and to be honest, before a lot of the routines were at the level the are now) so she also doesn’t have the connection. Neil didn’t get it, and neither did I. There was a huge disconnect. Not looking good for Mitchell at this point….

Caitlynn & Pasha

Choreographers: Leonardo & Miriam

Style: Argentine Tango

I really loved this tango. First of all, Pasha. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There will never be another male ballroom dancer on this show at his level. He is the best. Caitlynn kept up with him and you would have thought that she has been doing this forever. The bit where he spun her and she did the kick/flicks around him as he walked around her – perfection. And as the judges said, she was intense and sexy which was great to see from her. The performance from the two of them as a couple was amazing. I’m so proud of her because you can tell she worked so hard to reach this level.

Sasha & Twitch

Choreographer: Christopher Scott

Style: Lyrical Hip-Hop

Before we get to the routine, I love that as soon as Cat said Twitch the audience went nuts. As did I in my living room. Twitch is a favorite because he came in as a hip-hop dancer and did everything they threw at him so well. Plus he is one of the best personalities on the show. But onto the dance… This was the Hip Hop routine of the season. Hands down. THAT is what hip-hop routine should be. As Twitch said “That was better than breakfast.” Nigel was speechless. (And he should have stayed that way because things went to dirty old man really quick). All the judges were in awe.  I LOVED it. Really. It was sexy, had a good story, was styled well and most important – they performed it to perfection. They had chemistry, she hit every move hard (or smooth, depending on what it called for) and they never missed a moment together. Twitch as an all-star every week, please!

Jess & Kathryn

Choreographer: Stacey Tookey

Style: Contemporary

I enjoyed the routine, but to be honest, except for a few moment I really thought it was more about Kathryn than Jess. However, Jess did a really good job and the lifts didn’t look nearly as awkward as they have previously for him.  I LOVE that Neil pointed out what I’ve thought about Jess, that his face is “muggy” and that sometimes he isn’t very sincere. Or at least he comes off that way. But he was much more present this time and seemed to feel the routine, which I appreciated. (And shout out to Ade in the audience!)

Melanie & Pasha

Choreographer: Jason Gilkison

Style: Viennese Waltz

This style can often lose people because it is harder to connect with, but this one almost played like a contemporary. They were both so gorgeous and were so connected. (I’m so happy that Melanie and Marko have done well separately, by the way.) Melanie and Pasha almost float across the stage the entire time – Oh hey! Mary just said the same thing. I am honestly in awe every week with Melanie. I keep waiting to see her falter at some point and it doesn’t happen. She danced this week as if she was a ballroom dancer. It was freaking gorgeous. And then Neil gushed over her and said she was easily his favorite dancer on the show. I may have cried. So so so very happy for her. And the best part is, she earns my endless gushing!! I can’t wait to see what All-star she gets next week. (Because I refuse to believe it is even a possibility she won’t be here.)

Ricky & Allison

Choreographer: Tyce D’Orio

Style: Jazz

Allison is my favorite female All-star ever. And one of my favorite dancers ever, SYTYCD or not. (Melanie is my new Allison, but will never replace her) And I love Ricky a little more just because he says that he is starstruck by her. And that he whispered “I Love you” to her in rehearsal in stead of “I’m your worse nightmare” like Tyce said to. This routine was very intense. It had the feel of the Kayla/Kupono Gravity routine. And what was shocking was that the normally sweet and young seeming Ricky really pulled off the evil-ness of the role. He embraced it. And he kept up with Allison, which is not an easy thing to do. I was so impressed with him! (Also, bring back Allison next week, please!!)

Clarice & Robert

Choreographer: Nakul Dev Mahajan

Style: Bollywood

Hey look – it’s Robert. The object of one of my inappropriate crushes from last season. Hi Robert…. Swoon. (You think this is bad, just wait to see what happens if Kent gets an all-star slot one of these weeks.) Anyway, the dance – goodness, Nakul really threw it all at them, didn’t he? It never stopped. I got tired watching. But it was a lot of fun and they danced it well! I was shocked. Clarice did it a good job. I think it is the first time I have really enjoyed her. She has always been good, but I never really find her memorable. I think this is the first time she stood out. And it was a fun way to close the night.

Nigel said that next week will be all new all-stars. A little sad in some ways – I miss you already Robert, Twitch, Allison and Pasha – but I’m excited to see more of my favorites.

I think picking the bottom this week will be hard. Instead, I think I will just guess the guy and girl going home…. (eek)…. The guy: Mitchell (let’s be honest, that one wasn’t as hard to choose). The Girl: Ummmm…. much harder to choose. As much as I liked her, I think Clarice was the weakest of the ladies.

What do you think? Favorite dance? Favorite all-star? Which all-star are you hoping to see next week? And how flipping fantastic was Neil Patrick Harris?

Written by Melissa Miller. Find her on Twitter @serrae

Read Small Screen Scoop Daily for all your So You Think You Can Dance Season 8 goodies. And to learn the difference between the different kinds of Tangos and Waltzes. (Just kidding – I still don’t know and I’ve been watching the whole time!!)

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