So You Think You Can Dance Episode Recap and My Take – Season 5, Top 12 Perform

Tonight each couple is dancing twice. I always like that, it gives more of a feeling for ability. This is also the last week performing in these pairs as next week is Top 10 and the shake-up of dance partners.

The guest judge tonight was Tyce Diorio. I really like him, he is always very honest in his critiques.

Melissa & Ade – DANCE 1: Their first dance is a Disco routine with Doriana Sanchez. I am worried! Not my favorite performance of theirs by far. Felt rough around the edges and a bit like a caricature of disco. And then she fell out of her last hold position. There were some great elements and some were performed well, and were fully committed to it. It was by no means bad, but I just wasn’t feeling it. The judges seemed to love it, so I guess I am a fluke. DANCE 2: Their second dance was a Waltz with Ron Montez. He choreographed them mostly out of hold which I think was a real benefit to them and the performance as a whole. Their lifts were beautiful as always. Ade was a tad stiff for me, but made up for it with an amazing set up spins at the end. It didn’t have enough of a Waltz feeling to me, it lacked the rise-and-fall feeling. Nigel liked it but commented on the rise-and-fall, Mary was critical of that as well but liked it overall, Tyce felt like it was well danced but that Ade could have put a bit more into it.

Kayla & Kupono – DANCE 1: They drew Mia and contemporary for their first dance. YAY! Heavy theme though, addiction…Kupono is the addiction and Kayla is the addict. Wow…amazingly beautifully danced, so touching, definite chills. They both felt so fully connected and committed to the piece. Wonderful choreography by Mia, I like it when she goes to a dark place, just not when she stays there. Beautiful body control, amazing performance, one of my favorite performances so far this season. The judges all agreed. DANCE 2: Their second routine is a Broadway routine with Joey Dowling. Great exuberance and performance quality, they carried everything through 100%. Nigel thought the performance didn’t capture the real gut feeling of the time the piece is placed in (West Side Story), which I guess I have to agree with, but I agree with Mary that they did a great job with it, Tyce was basically in agreement with Nigel.

Caitlyn & Jason – DANCE 1: Their first dance is a Foxtrot with Tony Meredith. I think they did a great job of capturing the fun in the dance, which many people don’t leaving it too serious or somber. This may be my favorite of their performances so far. I think these two have really grown, especially Caitlyn. The judges liked it as well, though Tyce had a note that they could have glided more. DANCE 2: They got Mandy Moore for a Lyrical Jazz piece for their second dance, lucky draw!! Their unison was a bit off here and there, but overall I thought it was really well performed. Good boy control, and a real connection between the two. Nigel didn’t see the chemistry between the two but thought it was great technically, Mary didn’t sense the magic there (not sure what Nigel and Mary were watching, I saw it), Tyce felt like they played it safe although they did a great job.

Jeanine & Phillip – DANCE 1: These two drew Russian Folk Dancing choreographed by Youri Nelzine & Lilia Babenko for their first dance, YIKES! This is hard to judge since I don’t understand the style very well. I think they did okay with it, I felt that Jeanine was stronger towards the beginning because Phillip was not looking very flexible, but he picked it up later. I actually got into it and know some of what they did was really hard, it was just surrounded by a lot of filler. Nigel really struggled with it, Mary thought it was okay, and Tyce thought they did very well with what they were given. DANCE 2: They announced before the break that their second dance is a Jive…I am worried about Phillip! Their choreographer was Tony Meredith and he has Phillip as a sailor returning after being gone a long time. Well, Phillip was not awful, but he was by no means good. Jeanine did great. You could tell Phillip was really trying, and he did a good job with the lifts, but the rest was VERY rough around the edges, though they did put 150% energy in it. Nigel thought this was the best he did out of his style, which I disagree with, it was not the worst but not the best either. Mary felt about the same, and Tyce thought it was good too. I didn’t hate it, but definitely expected a bit more criticism for Phillip from the judges.

Randi & Evan – DANCE 1: Tabitha & Napoleon choreographed a Hip-Hop routine for them, based around them being a married couple expecting their first child…interesting. I was really worried, but I think they did a really good job. I think they are very lucky they got the choreographers they did because it was a nice soft performance. Their unison struggled a bit but overall was great, I think they have a great connection and that really serves them well in maintaining unison and giving a good overall feeling to things. I think the judges were expecting disaster like I was, especially Mary, Tyce told Evan he needs to “find more” and I agree as I was thinking we would see more growth from him a la Benji Schwimmer. DANCE 2: Their second dance was a Samba choreographed by Pasha Kovalev and Anya Garnis. I have to say, I did NOT like this performance. Each of them got the general feel of the movement, and Evan did a good job though Randi did a far better job, but there was something about it that made it feel like it was part of a Sacha Baron Cohen movie, they just could not escape their comical qualities. Nigel didn’t like it, Mary thought they did a good job but that it was not really dynamic, Tyce commented on Evan not really showing the strength.

Janette & Brandon – DANCE 1: First dance for them was an Argentine Tango with Leonardo Barrionuevo and Miriam Larici. Beautiful routine, especially the last half, the first half felt a tad slow to me. The lifts were beautifully executed and the leg flicks had great recoil to them. Not sure if Brandon completely caught the emotion of it, but not to an extent that it was a problem. The dancing was pretty much perfect. The judges gave them a standing ovation, Nigel said he thought it was the best ballroom performance on that stage ever, Mary screamed a lot (I HATE that!), and Tyce used some analogy about juicing oranges and getting every last bit out and said they did that. DANCE 2: Their second routine is Jazz with Wade Robson, it had better be FABULOUS. They are thieves, Janette crazy and Brandon more calculated. First off, Wade Robson is a GENIUS! And these two did his genius justice, great performance with amazing musicality. Brandon really is talented, and Janette does so well in non-Latin styles, she is great! Nigel thinks they will get the biggest vote of the night, and I agree, Mary said they saved the best for last, Tyce said they just have that “thing” and said he was proud and privileged to be sitting and watching them.

I think the bottom 3 will be: Melissa & Ade, Randi & Evan and Jeanine & Phillip. And I hate to say it but if it comes down to that combination, and based on what the judges had to say tonight, I am afraid it would be Evan going home from the guys unless he throws an amazing solo out there, which he is certainly able to do. Not sure who the girl would be, the judges are always floored by Melissa in her toe shoes, and were floored by Jeanine’s solo last week, and they seem to really love Randi. Tomorrow will be an interesting night…

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