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So You Think You Can Dance Episode Recap and My Take – Season 5, Top 10 Perform
The guest judge tonight was Debbie Allen. Dance legend, she is amazing and her input is always clear, concise, honest and valuable.
Top 5 Girls Perform – The remaining girls were given a Bollywood dance with Nakul Dev Mahajun (he was India’s head person on Superstars of dance). I thought the performance was really good. Very high energy, nothing stood out as lacking precision. Nigel said nobody stood out as doing better than the others, which was exactly what I was thinking, they all did amazing work. Mary agreed as well. Debbie Allen did too and also said she thinks this is the best group of Top 5 Girls ever.
Kayla & Evan – The tallest girl paired with the shortest guy, and their first dance is the Viennese Waltz with Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin, which means heels for Kayla…YIKES! I think they did a really beautiful job. Evan handled the lifts really well, the rise and fall was good. Kayla danced beautifully as always, there is something so lyrical in her movement. And as for Evan, I thought his performance was stronger than he has performed in weeks. Turns out Kayla danced barefoot and they gave Evan mens heels. Nigel thought Evan was strong as well and that Kayla’s lines were beautiful, but he was not super fond of the choreography. Mary thought Evan was not as strong as he could have been especially towards the end, but liked his handling of the lifts, she said Kayla never disappoints and that she continues to grow. Debbie thought it was a wonderful unexpected surprise and that he “handled his big woman,” and thought they were beautiful.
Brandon’s Solo – This is the first time we have seen him dance a solo since auditions. Frankly, I was not impressed, especially comparing it to his audition performance and knowing what he can do. I just felt like he was off balance the whole time and tried to cram too much in and it also didn’t quite fit with the music for me, and nothing was phenomenal.
Janette & Ade – Which puts the tallest guy with the shortest girl, much better than the reverse! Though they got Hip-Hop with Tabitha & Napoleon, the theme is hypnosis. Ade was great, there was a bit of a fire back in him again. Janette was doing the steps, and was not horrible, but everything had that Latin dancer feel to it unfortunately. Not awful, but not spectacular. It was definitely fun though and she did have more funk than I thought she would. Nigel thought it was good and didn’t comment on what I saw in Janette. Mary and Debbie liked it as well, both the choreography and the performance.
Randi’s Solo – I thought she was beautiful, having not seen her dance solo recently I had forgotten how good she was at her own style. Really nice quirky contemporary style…and NO UNITARD! Thank goodness for that!
Kupono’s Solo – The best solo from Kupono since the show started in my opinion, really cool quirky movement. No major jumps or spins or tricks, just pure quirky dancing.
Jeanine & Jason – Interesting that these 2 would have been together based on last week’s eliminations. They got Contemporary with Travis Wall (from season 2), I love him! They are meant to be friends that have something more lurking between them. Great pairing, I really like these 2 together, they bring out something in each other that their previous partners couldn’t. Great choreography by Travis too! And wow, a major kiss at the end. Just really beautifully performed, really emotional and touching! They got a standing ovation from everyone including the judges. Just a very raw performance! Beautiful legs from Jeanine and major strength from Jason. Nigel complimented Travis and thought like I did that they were better together than they had been in the past. Mary was actually speechless, HALLELUJAH! Then she cried about Travis and squealed about the performance. We were also subjected to the Hot Tamale Train, but used a silent scream thank goodness. Debbie said she thought that Travis’ choreography was brilliant and that it shows this show has gone beyond merely promoting and showcasing dance, and thought they were a magical pairing and says she wants to see it performed on the tour.
Melissa’s Solo – I felt like she was relying on the audience being mesmerized by her being en pointe and really didn’t do anything big or fabulous.
Evan’s Solo – YAY! Evan being Evan, which is always amazing, he is so great in his style and his confidence appears when he dances his style, I wish it was there all of the time.
Kayla’s Solo – Beautiful legs, beautiful movement, but she tried to cram too much in so it felt a little crowded and as if none of the movement entirely reached its point of completion.
Randi & Kupono – They got a Paso Doble with Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin, I am worried. I remind you all again that I am really picky about this dance! There was an off feeling the entire time. First off, I hated the music selection. But there was no connection between the two of them, some of the movement seemed very awkward, and neither one of them felt committed to the performance. And then, they almost fell at the end. Just, in my opinion, not good…at all. Nigel seems to have sensed it too as he felt that the performance didn’t live up to the choreography and that Kupono was just too light and that there was no connection. Mary thought it fell below the other performances, that the choreography was strong but the performance was not and that the chemistry was not believable and that it was too cautious. Debbie said it was hard not to agree with what Nigel and Mary said and that the connection was just not there.
Ade’s Solo – Some good movement, one major back flip that was beautifully done…but a little frenetic and too much and I felt like he was relying on the lack of shirt for votes.
Jeanine’s Solo – Not as good as her previous solos in my opinion, but still really strong I think. Just a little off balance in places and not as polished feeling.
Jason’s Solo – Not bad, but I was left wishing there had been more. Very fun and full of character, but not a lot of dancing really, I felt like he is relying on his cute face.
Melissa & Brandon – These 2 have Broadway with Tyce Diorio and they are doing a piece from the musical Hair. Loved the choreography, with some cool lifts and entanglements. They both danced well with some beautiful movement, but it just felt like something was missing, it felt a little too calm maybe, not enough of that “flower child” and “summer of love” type of feeling. Nigel liked it and felt it highlighted their strengths. Mary thought it was unbelieveable. Debbie commented on them both being very powerful and thought it was amazing. I don’t disagree, it was really good, but there was some magic missing a bit or something.
Janette’s Solo – It is hard to do a solo when you dance Latin, but she makes it look easy, she is so fiery and so fast yet sharp in her movement. Great performance.
Top 5 Guys Perform – Jeffrey Page choreographed them in African dance and he made it clear that it is not “Hollywood African.” Not the train wreck I was worried it would be, but it was a little rough around the edges and awkward in places. Evan, unfortunately, stood out like a sore thumb. He wasn’t bad, but this sort of organic movement just comes more naturally to someone with a Contemporary background and he does not have that background. Beautiful choreography, I am glad he didn’t do “Hollywood African,” and instead kept it pure. Nigel singled out Evan as well and said he looked like a milkshake but that nobody’s dancing stood out as weaker…maybe it was Evan’s white skin that made him stand out more to me. Mary thought he held his own. Debbie pointed out that African dancing is the origin of so many styles and how important that is, and thought they did really well.
I think the girl most at risk of getting the least votes is: Randi because of her Paso Doble performance, though I would hate to see her go. I think if it came down to dancing skill among the top 5 girls Melissa should go home.
I think the guy most at risk of getting the least votes is: Evan. His solo was strong and he fared better in other stuff than I thought he would, but I don’t think he has grown much and it is starting to stand out.
I have to add that one of the commercials tonight was for the new Fame movie that I have been anxiously awaiting and I got all excited. They didn’t show a lot so I cannot say if it looks good. The release date is September 25th, and Kherington from last season is in it, along with a number of other familiar faces I am sure.