Guest judge Anna Kendrick relished in the opportunity to watch the So You Think You Can Dance top 14 dance for America’s votes in this week’s episode full of unique routines, lots of props, and a fall.

Anna Kendrick proved herself to be a massive improvement over recent guest judges. Her critiques hinted at her dance know-how (a result of her years spent on the broadway stage before her film career took off), but most importantly, she filled the role the show is looking for the guest judges to deliver: entertainment.

As America’s spirit animal, Anna totally geeked out for the entire show, with a slew of hilarious comments ranging from “If I could have your body for one day, I could do anything…I could solve world hunger!” to “I feel like you two should make a baby.” She was funny and entertaining, while also providing worthwhile criticism about the contestants’ routines. It left this writer wondering what number to dial to get Anna Kendrick to stick around for next week’s show.

Host Cat Deeley started the night with bad news: tapper Curtis Holland injured his shoulder in rehearsals this week, and was unable to dance this week, on doctor’s orders. It was a tough break for Curtis, who only barely made it through last week by the skin of his teeth, and this week didn’t have another chance to show off for the judges.


The bottom six dancers were revealed at the top of the show: Nico Greetham, Alan Bersten, and Curtis Holland for the guys, and Alexis Juliano, Makenzie Dustman, and Jasmine Harper for the girls.

The judges decided not to have any of the guys dance for their lives. None of them were safe, but the judges felt they knew how well they could dance. This was not a good sign for Curtis, as it seemed unlikely that they would send Nico or Alan home over someone who couldn’t dance at all this week.

Makenzie’s and Jasmine’s appearance in the bottom three girls was a big shock. They have been two of the strongest dancers throughout the competition, and both girls received raves for their performances last week. Makenzie, in particular, stole the show with her retro hip-hop performance. This seems to be another case of voters being overconfident that their favorite contestants are safe.

The judges chose to save Makenzie, and have Alexis and Jasmine dance for their lives. Both girls’ solos were strong, but Jasmine’s stunning routine outshone Alexis’.

The eliminations were quick, but probably not painless for Alexis Juliano and Curtis Holland, the two contestants sent home this week. Judge Nigel Lythgoe, a tapper himself, said the elimination “kills me this week, because we’re losing two tappers.” Curtis’ fate seemed inevitable from the beginning, and Alexis had some very stiff competition, so it wasn’t much of a surprise that the judges were unanimous in their decision.


Jenna Johnson and Tucker Knox

Jenna and Tucker kicked off the competition with a Luther Brown hip-hop routine. Coming from the worlds of ballroom and contemporary, respectively, hip-hop was a little bit out of their comfort zone. They dove into it and gave it their best effort, but it came across looking a little nerdy.

Tucker’s role in particular required an awful lot of swag, and he fell a bit short. Nigel was pretty harsh, saying the routine was unconvincing and unmemorable. He felt Tucker was too upright, and Jenna was too sweet.

Alexis Juliano and Nico Greetham

Both in danger this week, Alexis and Nico had a lot to prove with their Sonya Tayeh contemporary routine. The concept of the routine was that at the end of their relationship, Nico is trying to slip away quietly, but Alexis is still madly in love with him and doesn’t want to let him go.

It was a good showing from both Alexis and Nico, as both dancers showed a lot of intensity and emotion. The most memorable part of the routine was Alexis’ super-intense running in place, which was either stunning or hilarious, or maybe a little of both.

Hayley Erbert and (not) Curtis Holland

Hayley was left without partner Curtis for their Leonardo Barrionuevo and Miriam Larici Argentine tango, due to his injury, so Leonardo joined her in Curtis’ place. While it might be a challenge for other amateur dancers to perform with a professional in a genre outside of their own, Hayley rose to the challenge, and then some.

She was absolutely stunning, and sexy, and sold the entire routine with just her expressions. There were some beautiful lifts (especially the one where Hayley was frozen in mid-air for a moment), and technical work that brought ballroom expert Mary Murphy to her feet.

Makenzie Dustman and Paul Karmiryan

Makenzie and Paul were given a doozy of a jazz routine this week by Sonya Tayeh. She started off the rehearsals by having Paul take his shirt off, and the sexiness just escalated from there. It was a very sexy and sultry routine, and very aggressive as well.

Anna Kendrick wisely pointed out that this was a different role for Makenzie to play, as often she is very beautiful and ethereal, but this time she was more powerful, and “the power wasn’t coming from your beauty, it was coming from your ability.” These last two weeks, Makenzie has certainly proved herself to be more than just a pretty face: now if only she can get America on board.

Jasmine Harper and Aaron Turner

Jasmine and Aaron were given a very unique Justin Giles contemporary routine, based on Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree. Jasmine played the part of the tree, and Aaron the part of the boy trying to steal her last apple. They danced with a real apple, tossing it up and down and back and forth, with everyone holding their breath each time the apple was in the air, hoping Aaron or Jasmine would catch it. But they always did.

The dancing itself was wonderful. Nigel put it best when he said that The Giving Tree is about unconditional love, and “that’s what you two have as a couple.” Jasmine and Aaron are beautiful dancers, but they are also beautiful partners: supporting each other and interacting with one another in such a genuine, loving way. It’s a joy to watch.

Amy Yackima and Dushaunt “Fik-shun” Stegall

Amy and Fik-shun took us to “Café So You Think You Can Dance” with their Christopher Scott hip-hop routine. In this routine, Amy was a waitress finishing up a long day of work, and Fik-shun was a regular customer with a big crush on Amy, who’s waited for the last customer to leave so he can put the moves on.

With the routine set to Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On,” the ultimate seduction song, combined with Fik-shun’s contagious smile, Amy was putty in his hands in no time. Amy was maybe too putty-like, however, as she tripped over a chair at one point and fell, but she was back up in a blink with a smile on her face, so you’d never know it happened. The judges commended her recovery.

The two of them are so ridiculously charming, it’s a delight to watch them in every single routine. Nigel pointed out, however, that their most memorable routines are all silly happy dances like this one, they have yet to shine in a more dramatic role.

Malece Miller and Alan Bersten

Alan and Malece closed out the duets with a roller coaster ride of a salsa routine choreographed by season 5 contestant Jonathan Pletero. There were a lot of lifts and death drops which made Malece a little nervous, (given that her partner in the jazz round in Vegas dropped her on her head) but Alan was confident in his own style, and wouldn’t let Malece fall.

It was a very strong routine, with Alan showing off in his own style, and Malece rising to the occasion. She was a little winded towards the end, but understandably so, given the energy level required for the fast-paced routine.

Group Performances

Top 14

The top 14 (sans Curtis) danced a very intense group jazz routine, choreographed by Dmitry Chaplin and Sonya Tayeh. The beginning pose was stunning, with Malece Miller hanging from a trapeze bar, and the other dancers creating a giant wave of bodies down to the floor. The music and mood were very intense, incorporating the best of Dmitry’s ballroom holds and Sonya’s jazz attitude.

It was a different sort of routine, from Malece swinging from the rafters, and Nico Greetham flipping his way across the stage and climbing the scaffolding. The dancers were bursting at the seems with energy and the result was outstanding.


This week’s first mini group routine featured Makenzie, Alan, Nico, Hayley, and Malece in a Spencer Liff broadway routine. Curtis was originally involved as well, but in light of his injury, Spencer Liff himself stepped in to fill his absence.

They were all cool, well-dressed hipster kids in a smokey pool hall, rocking out to Joe Cocker’s “Come Together” from Across The Universe. It was a funky routine, but the judges felt that the inclusion of Spencer in the routine didn’t do the contestants any favors, because everyone’s eye was drawn to the professional dancer onstage.


Newcomer Bonnie Story choreographed an emotional routine for Fik-shun, Amy, Paul, Tucker, Jasmine, Aaron, and Alexis, dealing with the topic of bullying. She set out to prove that those that turn a blind eye are just as dangerous as the bullies themselves. Her friend was a victim of a beating, and she actually called him and had him tell the contestants his story, moving many of them to tears.

It was a great message, but was not executed as well as it could be in the hands of another choreographer. The routine didn’t grab you as much as other emotional and topical routines have in the past, but it also wasn’t the best performance by any of the dancers. They seemed a bit out of sync at times, and the judges pointed out Fik-shun in particular for his lack of technique. Nigel did say, however, that if he can sharpen his technique he will be unstoppable.

What did you think of the ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ top 14’s performances this week?

Hollywood reacts to ‘Begin Again’ director’s candid criticism of Keira Knightley’s acting skills

Should the trust between actors and directors ever be broken?

10:33 am EDT, May 30, 2016

After Begin Again director John Carney’s candid comments about Keira Knightley’s acting went viral, Hollywood has taken to Twitter to defend the British actress.

In case you’ve somehow not heard the story, here’s the sitch:

Over the weekend, The Independent released an interview with Irish director John Carney, in which he had some harsh words for former colleague Keira Knightley.

The pair worked together on the 2013 musical rom-com Begin Again, where Knightley starred opposite Mark Ruffalo as a promising young folk singer recovering from a broken heart.

Carney evidently wasn’t satisfied with Knightley’s performance, claiming she “always has an entourage that follow her everywhere so it’s very hard to get any real work done.”

Related: Exclusive: Keira Knightley, Joe Wright talk Anna Karenina and the choice to set it in the world of theater

Going on to praise both Ruffalo and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine’s performances, Carney said, “I think that that’s what you need as an actor; you need to not be afraid to find out who you really are when the camera’s rolling. Keira’s thing is to hide who you are and I don’t think you can be an actor and do that.”

“I like to work with curious, proper film actors as opposed to movie stars,” he continued. “I don’t want to rubbish Keira, but you know it’s hard being a film actor and it requires a certain level of honesty and self-analysis that I don’t think she’s ready for yet and I certainly don’t think she was ready for on that film.”

Carney concluded, “I learned that I’ll never make a film with supermodels again.”

Now, Carney clearly had a frustrating experience working with Knightley on this film, and his distinction between ‘proper film actors’ and ‘movie stars’ may be legitimate in theory. Begin Again certainly wasn’t the great critical hit that Carney’s Once had been, and at the time of the movie’s release, Keira Knightley herself admitted that she struggled with the material, not being a singer-songwriter herself and having no great appreciation for music.

“It’s terrible. I know nothing about music whatsoever,” she told The Guardian. “I was always more into reading and drama. I was such a geek. … There’s often a huge link between music and memory. And I’ve got such a bad memory.”

But the issue Hollywood professionals have with Carney’s comments seem to have less to do with Knightley’s specific performance, and more about the fact that Carney made these comments at all.

Ava DuVernay certainly makes a great point about why Carney should have stayed silent:

Both industry professionals and notable journalists have joined DuVernay in speaking out against Carney. Here are some of their reactions:

All the same, there are some that find Carney’s candidness refreshing.

What do you think? Should John Carney have held back his criticism of Keira Knightley out of professional courtesy? Or was he right to share his negative experience?

John Carney rose to international fame with Once in 2007, and this year he’s coming out with a musical drama titled Sing Street.

Spectre director Sam Mendes is officially not returning for more James Bond movies.

While we wait for (almost certain) confirmation that Daniel Craig won’t reprise his role as 007 in the next James Bond film, we can at least contend with the knowledge that Sam Mendes will not direct Bond 25.

The two-time James Bond director came on board the franchise for the wildly successful Skyfall, but his follow-up Spectre was not considered as great of a success.

Even before Spectre‘s release, Mendes was talking about quitting the all-consuming franchise, saying at the time, “I don’t think I could go down that road again. You do have to put everything else on hold.” But it was only during a Welsh literature festival that he finally confirmed his departure.

Related: Quantico’s Priyanka Chopra doesn’t want to be a Bond Girl, she wants to be Bond

“It was an incredible adventure. I loved every second of it, but I think it’s time for somebody else [to direct],” said Mendes, as quoted via The Sydney Morning Herald. “I’m a storyteller. And at the end of the day, I want to make stories with new characters.”

Bond 25 is likely to be completely new chapter of the franchise, with Daniel Craig set to follow Mendes’ lead and officially announce his departure soon. Everyone’s been expecting him to bow out ever since his controversial promotional campaign for Spectre, and it’s even more likely now that his two-time collaborator has called it quits.

On the speculation about who might replace Craig, Mendes says, “I can guarantee that whatever happens next it will not be what you expect.”

“[Bond producer] Barbara Broccoli chooses who is going to be the next Bond, end of story. And without that there would have been no Daniel Craig because public support for Daniel was zero. It was her saying: ‘That man over there, he’s going to change the whole tenor, I’m going to cast him.’ That turned the whole thing on its head,” says Mendes.

Rumor has it that Tom Hiddleston is in talks to be the next James Bond, but until we learn more, we can speculate away as we wish! It’s also time to start making those Bond 25 director wishlists. Anyone know if Ava DuVernay is available?

How will ‘The Flash’ finale affect the ‘Arrow’-verse?

Or will it at all?

11:00 am EDT, May 29, 2016

In the final moments of the Flash‘s season 2 finale, Barry made a decision that could have major ramifications for the other Arrow-verse shows.

It looks like The Flash is headed in the direction of Flashpoint, a comic book story in which Barry saves his mother and creates an alternate future in which he never became The Flash, and the world is in chaos. I’ll do a more in-depth look at this story later in the hiatus.

On The Flash, the death of Barry’s father sent him on a downward spiral that resulted in him going back in time and stopping The Reverse Flash from killing Nora Allen. Barry watched as his season 1 counterpart faded away as the timeline changed before assuring his mother that she was safe.

It’s early, but I’ll take a shot at theorizing what this change could mean not only for The Flash but the other Arrow-verse shows as well.

The Flash season 2, episode 18 recap Barry, Caitlin, Cisco

‘The Flash’

All we know about The Flash‘s third season so far is that Tom Cavanagh will be back as a series regular, indicating there will be some version of Harrison Wells in play. I believe that is likely to be the Earth-1 version of Wells, the one who Eobard Thawne murdered and whose identity Thawne stole, since the original timeline of those events has been changed.

There is also a good chance that when Barry returns to the alternate future he’s created, he’ll no longer have his speed since there would have been no impetus for Barry to become a CSI. Without being at his lab at CCPD, he wouldn’t have been thrown into a rack of chemicals when he was struck by lightning, thus granting him powers.

It’s also likely Barry also won’t be as close with the West family, since he wouldn’t have been taken in and raised by them, which will be heartbreaking.

We also know that the original Harrison Wells’ particle accelerator wasn’t meant to go active until several years after the one Eobard Thawne-as-Wells created; he wanted to expedite the process so he could return to his own time. If that timeline remains the same, there won’t be nearly as many metahumans on the the loose since the particle accelerator created the majority of those we’ve met.

Flash and Arrow crossover


Stephen Amell doesn’t know whether the Flash finale will affect Arrow, though it will be odd if it doesn’t since time across Earth-1 has been changed. “I do know that we’ve done a lot of work on Arrow to introduce the other shows, for lack of a better term, and now that that’s all done, we’re focused on doing the things that we do well for season 5,” he tells

He adds, “Arrow is at its best when we’re dealing with problems in Star City. We’re not a time-travel show, we’re not a multi-Earth show, though obviously [we do that] with crossovers and stuff like that. We’re Arrow, we deal with Star City, and I feel like we’ll be better off focusing on that.”

Considering Barry was directly responsible for the Team Arrow’s survival in Nanda Parbat at the end of season 3 as well as when Vandal Savage attacked in the season 4 crossover, though, it seems impossible that such a major change in time wouldn’t affect the group in some way, especially if there is no longer a Flash.

One change I wouldn’t mind seeing would be Laurel’s survival, but I won’t hold my breath.

Legends of Tomorrow season 1, episode 1 recap team

‘Legends of Tomorrow’

One reveal from the Flash finale that seems especially likely to impact Legends in some way is the appearance of Jay Garrick, Henry Allen’s Earth-3 doppelganger. In the comics, Jay Garrick is one of the founding members of the Justice Society of America, which the Legends finale introduced via Rex Tyler.

John Wesley Shipp has teased that the writers are excited to explore more of the Jay Garrick character, and he speculates that will include the JSA. It will be interesting to see if he crosses over to that show at any point.

As for the time travel change, if the team does take on the role of the Time Masters, as they’d considered doing before Rex Tyler’s arrival, that seems like a major event for them to take notice of.

It’s also worth noting in the comics during Flashpoint that Leonard Snart is a hero in Central City known as Citizen Cold — I’d love to see Wentworth Miller (who will recur on both Flash and Legends next season) play that part for a bit.

Supergirl season 1, episode 18 airs tonight Kara, Barry

Bonus: ‘Supergirl’

Some are theorizing that this change may, somehow, merge Kara’s world with the Arrow-verse now that Supergirl is on the same network with the other shows. I’m not quite sure how that would work, but I wouldn’t be opposed to it since Kara and Barry are an absolute delight together — and we know a major four-series crossover is in the works.

All that being said, there is also the possibility that the Flashpoint events will remain on The Flash, such as in an alternate universe, because of the concern that too many viewers of Arrow in particular don’t also watch The Flash and don’t want to have to catch up just to understand the show. This is a complexity of having a shared universe.

While I understand that concern, however, I feel like storytelling concerns should take precedent. And if you’re going to create that shared universe, you need to embrace what comes with that, including shows having direct affects on one another.

How do you think the ‘Flash’ finale will affect the ‘Arrow’-verse?