So You Think You Can Dance Episode Recap and My Take – Season 5, Top 8 Perform
Just a reminder that tomorrow night is the 100th episode and there will be all sorts of amazing stuff so don’t miss it!
The guest judge tonight was Mia Michaels. They also had an additional judge tonight, Ellen Degeneres. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ellen, but as a judge on this show she was a bit out of place.
Top 8 Perform – The Top 8 Dancers performed a Travis Wall routine. I love Travis so it goes without saying that I liked the routine, though I was not super fond of the costuming. Nobody stood out as super weak or super strong, though I struggle sometimes watching performances when there are so many dancers because the camera work sometimes gets a little too erratic. All four judges seemed to really like it, and Nigel and Mia both commented on how great it is too see Travis’ work.
Janette & Evan, Dance 1 – They were paired with Sonja Tayeh for a Jazz routine. Very quirky routine. There were a few moments I didn’t like, where things felt rough, but for the most part I really like it. I finally feel like Evan is really putting his all into things, and Janette continues to amaze me. Nigel agreed with me in regard to Evan. Ellen was Ellen. Mary thought that for the most part Evan did really well but could have been a bit gutsier at the end and praised Janette. Mia said she thought that Evan has made a step in the right direction but she wants more, and told Janette she is her favorite this season. I really must say that for a Latin dancer initially Janette is doing an amazing job!
Kayla’s Solo – Really good solo from Kayla this week. It was a really good combination of movement with really good body control and as always for her beautiful lines and extension.
Jeanine & Brandon – They drew a Waltz with Hunter Johnson. Not my favorite performance by either of them, but still really good. I think her dress caused problems a couple of times, and it just felt slightly off throughout. Her leg work is always really beautiful. Nigel thought it was not controlled enough especially considering the slowness of the music. Ellen, again, was Ellen. Mary talked about the control needed as well and thought they did a respectable job but thought their lines could have gone further. Mia expected things to feel more magical but felt there were too many stuck moments, and said she just expected more from the 2 of them.
Jason’s Solo – It just felt kind of awkward. What he actually did was well executed, but there wasn’t much content. I felt like he performed well below his level of capability and just didn’t give enough.
Melissa & Ade – They had a Cha Cha Cha with Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin. I didn’t like it. Ade was too stiff for my taste, and though Melissa essentially got the steps and movement it just felt like she was faking it, or maybe it is just that I am kinda done with her. And, oddly, I felt like the chemistry between the two of them is gone somehow. Nigel commented on Melissa’s facial pulling a little and turning out too much, and seemed to think Ade did well. In a very Ellen way she said they nailed it. Mary thought the execution was nailed but that Ade’s technique was not there and that he needed to be more grounded, and that Melissa’s feet were off and thought it felt like she was trying too hard. Mia thought that was Ade’s worst performance this season and I agree, she said she thinks Melissa did an excellent job.
Janette’s Solo – I appreciate her trying to showcase the growth she has done over the weeks by straying from her Latin specialty, but I felt like it didn’t come across well, likely because she is not used to putting together a routine outside of her specialty. I wish she had stuck with Latin.
Kayla & Jason– They drew Broadway with Tyce Diorio. Jason is supposed to be a man caught up in the music and Kayla is a temptress trying to draw him away. First off, it was a really well choreographed routine. I thought they both did a really great job. Kayla, as always, had some beautiful legwork, and Jason really grasped it all well too. Nigel thought it was the best performance of the night. Ellen, well. Mary thought it flowed effortlessly and thought Jason was just cool and suave and that she put Kayla first class on the “Hot Tamale Train” again, complete with random train whistle. Mia said she feels like the only sane one up there and I have to agree, she said she loved the piece but that she wants Jason to work on his upper body because he needs to open up his chest more and asked Kayla if she sings or dances because she would take Broadway by storm.
Ade’s Solo – I get what he was going for in his movement, but felt like it fell just short of coming across as it should have. It felt a little sloppy and kind of almost clunky in spots.
Janette & Evan, Dance 2 – Their second dance was a Rumba with Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin. I worry about Evan! It was a really beautifully choreographed routine. Janette was awesome, as is to be expected since this falls under her area of expertise. Evan I thought did really well, much better than the last time he had Latin. Nigel thought Janette was right on, but that Evan was missing something a bit in his face which I agree with. Then there was Ellen. Mary said it was a hard routine and thought they did a really good job and thought that Janette was great. Mia commented that not everyone has to be a sexpot (in reference to Nigel’s complaint about Evan) and thought that Evan did well, and said that Janette is just tackling everything.
Melissa’s Solo – I am sorry, but it is just time for her to go. She is trying to get by on just being en pointe and that is not enough, you have to do amazing work while en pointe! All of her movement was very basic and made me think of beginning pointe class.
Jeanine & Brandon, Dance 2 – Their second routine was a Pop Jazz routine with new choreographer LaurieAnn Gibson. I loved the choreography. I felt like each of them individually performed the routine REALLY well. But there was zero connection between them, and the unison was WAY off which is unfortunate for a routine where there should have been quite a bit of it. Nigel thought it was a great performance and seemed to think it was the best performance of the night, and if each of them were performing alone I may agree. And Ellen. Mary thought it was strong and powerful and put them on the train with whistle. Mia thought they danced in a place beyond dance and said Brandon is such a powerhouse and said wow for Jeanine keeping up with Brandon.
Evan’s Solo – He started off as pure Evan, but then struggled with his hat and was a bit off after that. Big bummer, props can be your best friend or your worst enemy!
Jeanine’s Solo – Not my favorite solo from her, but still really good. She has a really strong solid body and her movement tends to be that as well.
Melissa & Ade, Dance 2 – They drew a Contemporary piece with Tyce Diorio for their second dance. The theme is someone (Melissa) having breast cancer and a friend helping them deal with it. Can you say HEAVY? Their connection was back thankfully. It was a really beautiful performance. I felt like Melissa was unable to break out of her ballet skills and find the organic feel of Contemporary dance, but that she danced it really well. Ade I thought was stronger than he has been in some time and that he did an excellent job. It made Nigel very emotional and he thought it was memorable and extremely touching and that he thought they were the best couple for this routine, and that Ade was very strong. Ellen said she felt privileged to watch it. Mary was crying and said it took her back to a scary place but that they danced it beautifully. Mia was crying really hard and called it an important piece of work and thought they performed it beautifully but mostly focused on the theme of the piece. This was a hard one for me as I have a friend struggling through breast cancer for a third time.
Brandon’s Solo – I thought it was MUCH better than last week’s solo. More complete movement and a fuller performance.
Kayla & Jason, Dance 2 – They drew Hip=Hop with Shane Sparks and the routine has a zombie theme. I thought they did a really good job, and their unison was right on. Jason showed some serious funk in a little solo bit he had and they were both hitting harder than I thought they had in them. Really high energy! Nigel felt he really brought something out in the two of them and that he had been disappointed in Hip-Hop this season so far (I agree), but that this brought it back up to where it should be. Ellen said amazing. Mary thought they hit it hard and did exactly what Shane wanted them to do, and then she screamed some. Mia said it is her favorite of all of Shane’s pieces for the show and that they did a great job performing it.
I think the girl most at risk of getting the least votes is: Melissa. Though her second performance was beautiful I don’t think it makes up for the earlier one or for her solo. And I think that it would be the right elimination.
I think the guy most at risk of getting the least votes is: I am torn here a bit, I think it will be Evan or Ade, Evan was a lot better tonight than he has been and I think he has a big fan base though, so I think it will be Ade who I think has kind of hit a plateau and should be the next to go.