'SYTYCD' Dancer Jessica Richens Is Quickly Waltzing Her Way To The Top

Just like a toddler, I tend to change my mind nearly every five minutes. So it's no surprise that when it comes to the contestants on So You Think You Can Dance, which dancers I like the best changes on a week-to-week basis. One week I'm in a tapping mood and Valerie Rockey is just the cure and then the next week I can't get enough of Tanisha Belnaps' seriously sexy moves. It's definitely been a problem. But now that we're finally to the Top 10, picking my favorite dancer has become less of an issue, especially since SYTYCD's Jessica Richens has completely upped her game.

Since her spectacularly sultry audition in Los Angeles, I've known that Richens is a solid dancer; however, I've also known that she is capable of so much more than what she's been dancing on the earlier episodes of the show. That truth was apparent when she was finally able break free of her "pretty" shell during the Top 14 performances and earn a standing ovation from the judges with a contemporary routine with her partner, Casey Askew. Together they danced one of the most gorgeous and chill-inducing pieces of the season. You know, what I'm talking about — one of those classic SYTYCD dances that makes you experience emotions that you never thought a reality show could make you feel. But now that the pairs are being split up, from here on out, Richens' main concern should be the chemistry and emotion that she's going to have to convey with her new partner. (Although I wish she could stay with Askew forever because their dance was truly magical.)

Jessica Richens on YouTube

Take a look at what a jump she made from her Top 20 performances to her Top 14 performance:

1. Top 20, First Night


Richens was solid, but I think we all know that Ricky Ubeda stole the show.

2. Top 20, Second Night


Richens' smile is beautiful, but she's gotten some criticism for using it way too much. Yes, this dance was supposed to be super fun, but she had some cheerleader face going on.

3. Top 18


Once again, her facial expressions were just a tad too forced. (Plus, it was just a slightly "out there" performance.)

4. Top 16


It was nice, but kind of boring to watch.

5. Top 14


It's almost unbelievable that she was able to dance those first four pair routines, and then jump to this Top 14 performance. Whether it was the music, Askew, choreographer Travis Wall, or all three that pushed her to be her best, something definitely clicked. Ugh, but I can't talk about this dance anymore... mostly because I'm busy crying.

Images: Fox