So You Think You Can Dance Episode Recap and My Take – Season 5, Top 4 Perform
It’s the finals! And they are performing at the Kodak Theatre, which is very cool.
The guest judge tonight was Adam Shankman.
Top 4 – First, all 4 dancers were paired with Wade & Amanda Robson. The guys were jocks and the girls were cheerleaders. It was a cute routine. The unison was kinda off for the most part throughout and I think each person’s strengths stood out against what the other person’s strengths were. But overall it was really fun and well performed.
Jeanine & Evan – They were paired withSonya Tayeh. It was a very physical routine, with Jeanine flinging Evan around. I think they both did really well, though I thought Jeanine stood out a bit but I think that can mostly be attributed to the role she was given in the piece. Adam said he never saw either one of them coming and that they are both amazing. Mary said she thought they would be a good partnership and she was right, but that Jeanine stood out a bit more to her. Nigel said they are working with a big stage, and he thought it showed how strong Jeanine has become in technique and personality.
Brandon’s Solo – It started off as an amazing solo, and it didn’t end bad or anything, but it did lose control a bit as it passed the midway point, and think he was trying so hard he over-extended a bit. It was, however, still amazing, I just thought last week’s was better. Adam commented it was big but that he does not quite get that he was wearing board shorts (I agree!). Mary said he gave her goose bumps, that he defies gravity at times and that he was born to dance, among other things…and then she started to cry. Nigel said he agrees with Mia that Brandon is amazing and that his solo just wiped out the opposition.
Kayla & Brandon – They had Broadway with Tyce. The music was from All That Jazz, so it was that type of piece. I really like the two of them together. Such big movements, everything followed through and complete. Great unison at the beginning of their pirouette sequence too, though they gradually got out of unison a bit. Adam jumped up and down and screamed “that was so good!” He said he always saw the two of them in the finale and that the two of them together is heaven and there is nothing Kayla can’t do and Brandon is an animal. Mary said they are rock stars and dance stars and that they never disappoint. Nigel said they just showed us why they are in the top 4. He said they entertainment value of what they just gave was huge.
Jeanine’s Solo – A really cool Tango inspired piece that had people, including Travis Wall, on their feet. Adam said “Dude, that was a risky solo!” But he also said “You just killed that!” Then he drooled on her a bit. And he said she just fought Brandon back. Mary said she saw her coming and that she has elevated every partner she has danced with, and that the solo was the best thing she has done and at the right place and the right time. Nigel said it was a brave solo that she pulled off with no question and that she is in the final 2 as far as he is concerned.
Evan & Brandon – They were paired with LaurieAnn Gibson for a Pop Jazz routine. It is a battle. It was another very physical routine. Evan felt like he was losing steam a bit as it progressed, but he mostly picked it back up towards the end. I hate to say it but I think Brandon stood out over Evan and performed it better. Adam said he thought Evan got a little dusted. He said he felt like Evan’s sweetness came through too much. Mary asked Evan “What’s the nastiest thing you’ve ever done?” I am disturbed! He tried to play it cool. She also felt Brandon did a better shop, that he was sharper. Nigel commented that all the choreographers say his Evan’s work ethic is beyond reproach (another reason he would do well on Broadway) but that he does not have a nasty bone in his body, but that Brandon also out-danced him.
Kayla & Jeanine – Mia Michaels choreographed a Contemporary routine for them that moves from stage left to stage right and is a journey. Beautiful piece, beautifully danced. That sums it up perfectly. Adam said Mia’s work is so special. He said it was like watching 2 Thoroughbreds racing and that the 2 of them paired with Mia is all he could have asked for. Mary said she will never forget the piece and that the 2 of them are the strongest girls they have ever had in the finale. Nigel said the truth is that Jeanine has peaked at the right time.
Evan’s Solo – I preferred his routine last week to this one, this one was less dance and more charm and personality and flair. Adam said he thought it was interesting that it was a variation on his audition piece and it was either going to be a great risk or not. Mary said Evan is unique and she thought it was enough and that he has brought something new to the show and that he is helping to keep around a style that is not seen so often. Nigel said he thinks Evan brings the “ah factr,” but that he has not grown during the series as much as he would like him to and that his solo was not as strong as the other 2 we have seen so far. I agree, but I think that is largely the nature of what he does. I still think he is easily Broadway bound, his phone will start to ring as soon as he is off contract with the show.
Kayla & Evan – They were paired with Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin for a Jive. Evan did MUCH better than he did last time with the Jive! His retractions have improved big time. I was worried, but I thought they did a really good job. Adam said he was not sure that was a finale level routine, which is not their fault, they dance what is choreographed for them. He said he thought that was a very strong showing by Evan and that he handled the lifts well and he had a great bounce, but he didn’t think it was enough to be competitive. Mary thought the routine/choreography was great, but that the performance was not up to par, and that Evan needed to be pumping his kicks better and that they seemed to be dancing in their own worlds, but that Kayla stole the show. Nigel thought they both came out with guns blazing and that Evan definitely brought personality, and the crowd broke out in a chant for him. He said Evan was there for him all the time and that his retractions were good. He asked Kayla where that personality has been all season. He said he thought they did very well.
Kayla’s Solo – Not her best solo so far, but not her worst either, I don’t like her choreography some times. Adam thought the solo was fine and didn’t show who she really is. He said he knows the competition is for America’s favorite dancer but that he has also seen some of the best dancers of his life on this show and that includes Kayla. Mary said that plain and simple Kayla is gifted. Her quality of movement, her lines, etc…she is exquisite. Nigel agrees that she has been strong from the beginning and that they have all thought she was strong from the beginning and that can make things difficult for a dancer (the old “judges love the dancer” curse I have mentioned, glad to see it finally acknowledged.
Jeanine & Brandon – They had a Paso Doble with Louis Van Amstel. I will once again warn I am really picky about Paso Dobles. The choreography was really exciting. I thought they both did a really good job, though it was just under what makes me say WOW. They both definitely gave it their all, I think they just don’t completely connect with the style. Adam thought they did a great job and that they shredded. Mary screamed. She said Louis’ routine was phenomenal and that their portrayal was phenomenal and then she screamed and screamed. Nigel thought it was powerful, and then got a bit nasty…he is losing it a tad, dirty old man! He said he thinks the two of them are in the front by “this much.”
I think the final order will be: This is a real toss-up. The judges feel very strongly about Brandon and Jeanine. I think the audience is more strongly behind Evan and Kayla. As far as dance skill shown, on an overall basis, I say Kayla, Brandon, Jeanine, Evan. As far as growth during the show I agree with Nigel that Jeanine peaked at the right time and looking at it from that way I would say Jeanine, Brandon, Kayla, Evan. As far as what seems to be fan preference based on previous voting and noise level after each person performed and such, I would say Evan, Kayla, Jeanine, Brandon. We’ll see, this should be interesting…