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So You Think You Can Dance Episode Recap and My Take – Season 5, Top 16 Perform
YAY! Toni Basil was the guest judge tonight. I LOVE her! Apparently she will be receiving the Hip-Hop Living Legends Award, wow!
Karla & Jonathan – They were paired with Dave Scott for a hip-hop routine. I really like his choreography. They were supposed to be aiming for a gangster feeling. Sadly, they didn’t get that. Karla was good, she had the movement down and was relatively gangster, but she almost seemed to have written Jonathan off and was detached from him. Granted, he was not good, but they are partners. I though Jonathan’s flip was good, but that was about it. His movement was too sterile, it was very obviously not his area of expertise and he looked uncomfortable. Nigel said he thinks these two will be in the bottom 3 and I agree, in fact after watching the whole show I can say they were the one pair that stood out as belonging there. I think Jonathan made it worse by saying he felt like he finally got it tonight because it showed how far he is from getting it.
Asuka & Vitolio – Mandy Moore choreographed a jazz routine for them that she called “thrash rocker jazz.” I love the music choice, huge fan of “Heartbreaker” by Pat Benatar. I was not too fond of the routine in general, but I think it was the costumes; they made me keep thinking of Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” video. Something about Asuka felt slow in the routine, but not bad, her flexibility is great but I sensed her lack of comfort with what she was doing a little bit. I think their connection with each other showed but that they didn’t fully connect to the performance. I will agree with Mary that it was good but not amazing, and I hate to admit agreeing with Mary! I think they will be safe though.
Melissa & Ade – This week these two had an International Style Rumba with Tony Meredith. I felt as if it was a little rough around the edges, like it could have used a day or two more of practice. They had the steps down, but there was not enough of a flow for me. They have a great connection with each other, and their movement is always beautiful, but definitely not their best dance so far. I think their confidence serves them well though because some of the other dancers lose a bit of their performance but showing their discomfort and these two don’t. The judges liked it. I think they should be safe from the bottom three, despite not flooring me, after all I did like it, I just didn’t love it.
Janette & Brandon – Dave Scott choreographed a great hip-hop routine for this pair with Brandon hip-hop and Janette doing a rock-like hip-hop. I really liked it, I have to admit, and I love the chemistry between these two. Brandon tends to annoy me, but I thought he did really well and they both got really into their characters well. Dave really gave them something they seemed to be able to connect to and immerse themselves in. The judges agreed and I think these 2 will definitely be safe from the bottom 3. I think Mia really did Brandon a favor by disliking him, I think it keeps him from suffering the judges curse, though I think I get why he bothers her.
Kayla & Kupono – This new combo had a Viennese Waltz choreographed by Jean Marc Genereaux. Once again, I cringe and worry about a Waltz because it is not flashy so it has to be really well done to stand out. First off, I like these two together, their connection seems great already. Kupono’s feet bothered me a couple times, but they both beautiful dancers and I think that made it great overall. I think the choreography was beautiful and will get them past the “it’s a boring waltz” issue. Kupono was worried about the lifts but I think he did a really good job with them. Mary agreed with me about the feet, glad to know it wasn’t just me, but pointed out that bare feet may have made it rough to do perfectly and that is a good point. Once again, they worry me with their talk about Kayla because of the curse, there is no way these 2 should be in the bottom 3!
Randi & Evan – They had a contemporary routine with Mia Michaels, which was focused on Randi’s butt. I really like these two together and I am glad to see (between this routine and last week’s group routine for the results show) that Mia seems to have her underlying quirky feeling back to her work, I love her ability to push dancers to use their bodies in such organic and/or odd ways, for a while there her pieces were too overwrought for me. Very catchy piece, very well danced. They both were completely committed to the concept and movement involved. The judges really liked it too. Toni pointed out that with such iconic choreography you have to make sure you show it off and yet don’t let it outshine you, and they did that. I think they are definitely going to be safe.
Caitlyn & Jason – Jean Marc Genereaux choreographed them as well, this time a Paso Doble. I will warn you know that it is hard to impress me with a Paso, it has to be just right, it is one of my favorite dances. In the middle I was wondering if Caitlyn forgot the steps or if it was just a bit off in the middle? They both got the steps for the most part, but I didn’t feel that they managed to capture the emotion, there was a cartoonish and pushed quality to their characters, especially his, and I really didn’t feel their connection this time. Nigel agreed with me about the lack of connection between the two. Toni and Mary both liked it though neither seemed thrilled. I am not sure if it was enough to keep them out of the bottom 3 again though, personally, and I am adding them to my bottom 3 prediction.
Jeanine & Phillip – The last routine of the night was a Tyce Diorio Broadway number. First I have to comment on the fact that Phillip split a large portion of the seam in the butt of his pants at some point in the middle portion of the routine, so I was not as focused on how well they did after that because I was laughing. If he knew it had happened when it did he did a very good job of handling the “wardrobe malfunction” and didn’t skip a beat that I saw. I thought this was a perfect routine for these two, both have very expressive faces and were able to put them to very good use. I thought they were fully committed and I really liked it. Phillip was a bit rough around the edges but much better than I thought he would be and it was a definite improvement over last week. The judges, however, didn’t like it and after 2 weeks in a row of bad judge comments I am thinking it will be bottom 3 this time for this couple.
I think the bottom 3 will be: Karla & Jonathan, Caitlyn & Jason and Jeanine & Phillip, but the last 2 are not as definite. If those are the bottom 3 I actually think it would be Jonathan that would go home both because I think his solo won’t be that good and because I think Jason’s and Phillip’s would be. Not sure at all about the girl, I thought the girls were strong this week, but I will say Caitlyn for the same reason as before, she can tend to either be phenomenal or blah and rarely falls in between.