The 12 former show favorites return to “So You Think You Can Dance” as All-Star Dance Partners.
They include Stephen “tWitch” Boss, Comfort Fedoke, Courtney Galiano, Anya Garnis, Lauren Gottlieb, Neil Haskell, Allison Holker, Mark Kanemura, Pasha Kovalev, Kathryn McCormick, Ade Obayomi and Dominic “D-trix” Sandoval.
New Season, new rules with only 10 dancer’s competing instead of 20 in previous seasons; Season 7 promises to be all twists and surprises.
Cat Deeley remains as host this season.
“Twitch” Boss, specializing in Hip-Hop, Krump, Popping, and Locking, was the Season 4 runner-up
Comfort Fedoke, specializing in Hip-Hop, Krump, Popping, and Locking, was a Top 8 finalist from Season 4
Pasha Kovalev, specializing in Ballroom standard and Ballroom Latin, was a Top 6 finalist from Season 3
Ade Obayomi, specializing in Contemporary, Jazz, Cultural, and Broadway, was a Top 6 finalist from Season 5
Allison Holker, specializing in Jazz, Contemporary, Broadway, Disco, and Cultural, was a Top 8 finalist from Season 2
Lauren Gottlieb, specializing in Jazz, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, and Broadway, was a Top 6 finalist from Season 3
Neil Haskell, specializing in Jazz, Contemporary, Broadway, Disco, and Cultural, was a Top 3 finalist from Season 3
Courtney Galiano, specializing in Jazz, Broadway, Cultural, Disco, and Contemporary, was a Top 4 finalist from Season 4
Dominic “D-trix” Sandoval, specializing in Hip-Hop and Breaking, was a Top 8 finalist from Season 3
Anya Garnis, specializing in Ballroom Standard and Ballroom Latin, was a Top 12 finalist from Season 3
Kathryn McCormick, specializing in Jazz, Contemporary, Broadway, and Cultural, was a Top 3 finalist from Season 6
Twelve former SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE show favorites are set to return to summer’s No. 1 series as All-Star Dance Partners. Skilled in various dance styles from Krump to Contemporary, the Season Seven All-Star Dance Partners are: Stephen tWitch Boss, Comfort Fedoke, Courtney Galiano, Anya Garnis, Lauren Gottlieb, Neil Haskell, Allison Holker, Mark Kanemura, Pasha Kovalev, Kathryn McCormick, Ade Obayomi and Dominic Sandoval. Each week, finalists will be partnered with a different All-Star dancer.
As previously announced, America’s favorite summer series returns for its seventh season Thursday, May 27 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX with some exciting new twists, including 10 finalists competing and only one dancer eliminated per week.
The 12 All-Stars are …
Representing: Hip Hop / Popping / Locking / Krump
Appeared: Season 4 (runner-up)
Memorable Routine: “Forever,” a Hip Hop number choreographed by Dave Scott and performed with Comfort Fedoke
Stephen “tWitch” Boss was half of the partnership in the “Mercy” dance that earned choreographer Mia Michaels an Emmy nomination. This summer, he will star in “Step Up 3-D,” and he soon plans to begin working with the Dizzy Feet Foundation. Currently, Boss belongs to the dance troupes “Breed OCLA” and “Chill Factor Crew.”
Representing: Hip Hop / Krump / Popping / Locking
Appeared: Season 4 ( Top 8 )
Memorable Routine: “Party People,” a Hip Hop number choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo and performed with Mark Kanemura
Comfort Fedoke attended Booker T. Washington Performing Arts High School in Dallas, TX, where she was a featured dancer on the local dance television show, “Dallas Dance Club 21.” Fedoke has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Brian Friedman, Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo, Chuck Maldonado, Miley Cyrus and Rosero, and has appeared on GLEE.
Representing: Jazz / Broadway / Cultural / Disco / Contemporary
Appeared: Season 4 (Top 4)
Memorable Routine: “The Garden,” a Jazz number choreographed by Sonya Tayeh and performed with Mark Kanemura
Courtney Galiano began her career as a New York Knicks City Dancer. Galiano has appeared in national television commercials and danced in music videos for Adam Lambert, Kat DeLuna and Daddy Yankee. Galiano loaned her voice talents to “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel,” performed in the television movie “Camp Rock 2” and appeared on GLEE and “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.”
Representing: Ballroom Standard / Ballroom Latin
Appeared: Season 3 (Top 12)
Memorable Routine: “Girlfriend,” a Jive choreographed by Tony Meredith and performed with Danny Tidwell
Anya Garnis is currently a guest choreographer for SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE’s U.S. and Australian versions, and has been a featured guest dancer on “Dancing with the Stars” and “Superstars of Dance.” Her credits also include the Emmy Awards, the Academy Awards and the series “True Blood.” Last fall, Garnis made her Broadway debut in “Burn The Floor” and toured the globe with the production.
Representing: Jazz / Hip Hop / Contemporary / Broadway
Appeared: Season 3 (Top 6)
Memorable Routine: “Night of the Dancing Flame,” a Jazz number choreographed by Wade Robson and performed with Neil Haskell
Lauren Gottlieb has worked with Shakira and Mariah Carey, and has appeared in “Hannah Montana: The Movie” with Miley Cyrus. Her television credits include GLEE, “The Ghost Whisperer,” “Nip/Tuck” and “Teen Choice 2009,” as well as commercials for Subway, AT&T, Old Navy and Nike. She recently completed work assisting Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo on the choreography for Cirque Du Soleil’s “Viva ELVIS.”
Representing: Jazz / Contemporary / Broadway / Disco / Cultural
Appeared: Season 3 (Top 3)
Memorable Routine: “Are You The One,” a Contemporary number choreographed by Mia Michaels and performed with Danny Tidwell
Before competing on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, Neil Haskell worked with Twyla Tharp on Broadway’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” Shortly thereafter, Haskell landed a role in the television movie “The American Mall.” His theater credits also include the off-Broadway production of “Altar Boyz,” the original Broadway cast of “9 to 5” and “Girl Crazy” at New York’s legendary City Center.
Representing: Jazz / Contemporary / Broadway / Disco / Cultural
Appeared: Season 2 ( Top 8 )
Memorable Routine: “Why,” a Contemporary number choreographed by Tyce Diorio and performed with Ivan Koumaev
Allison Holker has been dancing since she was nine years old. Holker was featured in the tap dance show “Revolution” in New York and performed in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Her television credits also include “High School Musical” and “High School Musical 2.” Most recently, she performed and toured with “Ballroom with a Twist,” which was choreographed by Louis Van Amstel.
Representing: Jazz / Contemporary / Broadway / Cultural
Appeared: Season 4 (Top 6)
Memorable Routine: “Beautiful,” a Contemporary number choreographed by Mia Michaels and performed with Chelsie Hightower
Since competing on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE and performing in the nationwide tour, Kanemura has toured with Lady Gaga, performed on “America’s Got Talent” and the “61st Primetime Emmy Awards” and appeared in several music videos and commercials. His stage credits include “The Nutcracker,” “Sweet Charity,” “The King and I,” “Grease,” “Tommy” and “Gypsy.”
Representing: Ballroom Standard / Ballroom Latin
Appeared: Season 3 (Top 6)
Memorable Routine: “Let’s Get Loud,” a Cha Cha choreographed by Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin and performed with Jessie Peralta
Born in Siberia, Russia, Pasha Kovalev started dancing at age eight. Following a successful career in ballroom competition, he made appearances on several television shows, including SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, “Dancing with the Stars” and “Superstars of Dance.” He has choreographed for both the U.S. and Australian versions of DANCE and recently starred in the Broadway cast and touring company versions of “Burn The Floor.”
Representing: Jazz / Contemporary / Broadway / Cultura
Appeared: Season 6 (Top 3)
Memorable Routine: “At This Moment,” a Contemporary number choreographed by Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden and performed with Jakob Karr
Kathryn McCormick began competing in her home state of Georgia at an early age with her local dance studio team, “Augusta West.” During her junior year of high school, she was invited to join the Tremaine Dance Convention’s Apprentice Company. In late 2008, she secured her first professional role as a supporting dancer in the “Fame” remake. McCormick was also chosen to dance on this year’s Academy Awards.
Representing: Contemporary / Jazz / Cultural / Broadway
Appeared: Season 5 (Top 6)
Memorable Routine: “This Woman’s Work,” a Contemporary number choreographed by Tyce Diorio and performed with Melissa Sandvig
Arizona native Ade Obayomi has toured with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and appeared in the film “A Diva’s Christmas Carol.” His love of dance earned him a scholarship to Chapman University, where he also studied sound engineering. He recently performed on the 2010 Grammy Awards with Beyoncé, appeared in the music video for Rihanna’s “Hard” and was a featured dancer on Alicia Keys’ world tour.
DOMINIC “D-trix” SANDOVAL
Representing: Hip Hop / Breaking
Appeared: Season 3 ( Top 8 )
Memorable Routine: “Make It Work,” a Hip Hop number choreographed by Shane Sparks and performed with Sabra Johnson
Dominic “D-trix” Sandoval started b-boying in 1999 at the age of 13, and joined the Flexible Flav crew in 2000 to tour and compete with them. Sandoval was part of Quest Crew, who won Season Three of “Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew.” He currently travels and performs around the world, and has performed for Ellen DeGeneres, Snoop Dogg, Usher, Pitbull, Sean Kingston and Donna Summer.
The 100th episode was bittersweet. We could not make a recap of it because we were totally disappointed with how America voted. How can Janette Manrara be eliminated over Melissa Sandvig and Kayla Radomski?! She and Jeanine Mason are the strongest dancers that could possibly win it all. We would have loved to see Janette and Jeanine battle it out in the Top 4… How sad.
This week we have to work top down. Most weeks we are thinking we have to nail the bottom three. So we go bottom up and try to pick who we liked least. This week, we loved every performance. These dancers are true stars and a step above everyone else in dance. The choreographers do deserve much of the credit, and we believe that choreography may have more to do with the elimination of this week’s pair of dancers than the dancing itself. But maybe a fan base could save one or two from elimination. We think Philip and Evan have a strong following that will bail them out on the telephone in many cases, but will it help them this week?
As a note aside, this is the last week these couples will perform with each other. They have to face the music with a different partner next week. This could result in some very interesting mismatches. For example, we could never imagine Kayla or Melissa with Phillip.
When you get down to it this week, there isn’t a dance we disliked. There were no major flaws. So, it comes down to how each dance made us feel and expect that we are in tune with the audience. We aren’t always, but we think we can tell you what happened and who was the most likely to get votes this week.
Normally we go through the dances in chronological order, but this week we are going to list our dancers top down, top to bottom, best to worst, and ecstacy to pain. Let’s see how this goes… (Watch solo introduction and dance recap at the bottom of this post)
Janette Manrara and Brandon Bryant Argentine Tango to the song “Libertango” from Forever Tango choreographed by Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo Janette Manrara and Brandon Bryant Jazz to the song “Ruby Blue” —Róisín Murphy choreographed by Wade Robson (Complete performance videos here with judges comments)
In every show, this couple has nailed every single dance. No slips, no flaws, just pure and perfect entertainment. Tonight exemplified their run with two of the best performances by any couple this season. One will definitely be on the tour. The first was a tango. Every move was executed with phenomenal precision. Jeannette is the dark horse here. We keep forgetting about her until she dances and suddenly we believe she could take it all. Every week she has been our number one or number two pick of the women. Brandon is brought out personality-wise by her. Her slightly cocky (in a good way) personality is exactly what Brandon needed to bring out his excellence as a dancer because it got him to lighten up. (Dance 1: 10/10)
The second dance will be on the tour. It was a jazz dance that has some of the sleekiest choreography we have seen. If executed correctly, it should have you laughing and still amazed at how well it is performed. This one had us laughing at the cocky character acting, but almost in tears over how amazingly delivered this dance was. You have to watch it, because if you don’t, we cannot explain it. If this were a final contest among couples, Jeannette and Brandon are well above the rest of the pack.(Dance 2: 10/10)
Melissa Sandvig and Ade Obayomi Disco to the song “Move On Up” —Destination choreographed by Doriana Sanchez Melissa Sandvig and Ade Obayomi Waltz to the song “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” —Mary J. Blige choreographed by Ron Montez (VIDEO PERFORMANCES HERE with judges comments)
The first dance was disco, the second dance a waltz. Melissa did one split upside down that would have likely killed a normal human being. Ade was strong throughout. When he needed to lift Melissa it was effortless. When he needed to deliver that perfect dance move or spin, it was there. Melissa was the top performer in this couple, but both kicked it up a notch even in that difficult first slot. Dance 1 was fast and furious. It was not as good as last week’s disco by Jeanette and Brandon, but it was so very well performed nonetheless. (Dance 1: 9/10) Next was a waltz that brought both of these dancer’s beauty into perspective. (Dance 2: 10/10)
Kayla Radomski and Kupono Aweau Contemporary to the song “Gravity” —Sara Bareilles choreographed by Mia Michaels Kayla Radomski and Kupono Aweau Broadway to the song “The Dance At the Gym” from West Side Story choreographed by Joey Dowling
In their first dance, they drew contemporary and it was superbly performed. The synchronized moves were spectacular. The touch of craziness in the dance had us mesmerized. (Dance 1: 9/10) Kayla, though, outshines Kupono. The second dance was a jazz performance and we just couldn’t help but giggle at some of it. It had a truly off beat appeal. We loved both dances. Kayla was spectacular. Kupono quite good. This was difficult to score because we loved the dance, but felt Kupono did not perform up to par. (Dance 2: 8./10)
Randi Evans and Evan Kasprzak Hip-hop to the song “Halo” —Beyoncé Knowles choreographed by Tabitha D’umo and Napoleon D’umo Randi Evans and Evan Kasprzak Samba to the song “Ritmo De Bum Bom”—Jababa choreographyed by Anya Garnis and Pasha Kovalev
In the first dance, hip hop was their task, and Randi was able to hit the beat and lead us into the dance much better than Evan. We like Evan’s personality and style, but he hasn’t been as much of a dancing standout of late, and this was not his best performance. It looked like he was dancing a different style. On time, on the beat and off the mark. (Dance 1: 8/10) Randi is just so cute that as long as she shows up and doesn’t fall, she looks great on stage. Her perkiness and energy bring that cute nature home even more
The second dance truly demonstrated the dichotomy this couple presents to us. Once again Randi was stunning, made every move flawlessly and led the dance with pure dazzle. Once again, Evan was a disappointment, disappearing behind Randi’s aura and just not showing the style and personality of a winner. Evan has the personality, we have seen it, but he hasn’t been bringing it to the show the last couple of weeks. Unlike loveable dancers from years past, such as Benjie in season 2, he can’t bring his personality consistently to the floor. He looks like he is straining and just not having the fun he should be. (Dance 2: 8/10)
Jeanine Mason and Phillip Chbeeb Russian folk dance to the song “Kalinka” —Barynya choreographed by Youri Nelzine and Lilia Babenko Jeanine Mason and Phillip Chbeeb Jive to the song “Stuff Like That There” —Bette Midler choreographed by Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin
If Jeanine can dance as well as she has while partnering with a dancer as weak as Phillip, she deserves to win this year. And she has. Every single dance she has delivered pure perfection, and tonight was no exception. The start was a Russian dance that brought back memories of last year when Twitch and Joshua danced up an energetic storm of Russian movement. Jeanine was believable and on mark throughout. Phillip was not, but put in a commendable effort despite a stumble and being incredibly outmatched. Honestly, though, Phillip is way out of his league and is just plain no Joshua or Twitch (Dance 1: 7/10).
The second dance was swing, and once again, Jeanine shook the hips and took the dance away. Jeanine is championship quality, Phillip is not. But we think that quite possibly the judges promoted Phillip in these routines because they want Phillip’s entertainment factor on the tour. And only the top 10 are guaranteed to tour. Jeanine was so good in the second dance and Phillip put in an underdog performance worth noting, so this dance can’t be downgraded that much. (Dance 2: 9/10)
Caitlin Kinney and Jason Glover Foxtrot to the song “Minnie the Moocher” —Big Bad Voodoo Daddy choreographed by Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin Caitlin Kinney and Jason Glover Lyrical jazz to the song “Show Me Heaven” —Maria McKee choreographed by Mandy Moore
The first dance was a 40s type slow swing. The dancers executed the dance with aplomb. Our issue was not the performance, it was the choreography. The dance, while amazingly performed, was dull, and votes come from how well the audience remembers the dance. Caitlin is better than this dance showed her to be. Jason as well. (Dance 1: 8/10)
The second dance was Lyrical Jazz and was their exact style. And once again, despite some beautiful movement, it was dull. We cannot place our finger on it, but this was the couple we would be least likely to vote for this week. They did the one thing that cannot be done. They bored us. (Dance 2: 8/10)
Top 12 Solo introduction and Dance Recap
Now it becomes a bit more clear…We have two obviously safe couples…what about the rest?
Brandon and Jeanine are not going anywhere. They are spectacular and the best couple in this competition by a decent margin.
Melissa and Ade have strong movement and finesse that is magnified by the incredible strength of both dancers. Melissa is a bit butch at times, but never is anyting but perfect grace. Ade is strong and always at home. So, they are SAFE!
But then we get into the gray area. All these couples, with the exception of Caitlin and Jason, are tied. And Caitlin and Jason are not far behind. What do we do? Well, we won’t cop out, we will make our guess for the bottom three, but it may not be how the audience votes.
Let’s start by saying that Jeanine and Kayla are outstanding and carry their dances repeatedly. They are both easily top ten talents, but their partners? Well….not so much. Phillip is weaker than any man here, but has a major underdog factor combined with a lovable goofiness. And you have to give him a major A for effort in that second dance. So, how do we think it will go down. In this order.
Kayla & Kupono – They were marginally the best of the four.
Jeanine & Phillip – Jeanine gets 10/10 on both dances. Phillip gets an A for effort and just being on the floor with her and not looking downright stupid. They are lovable. But at the end of the day, someone has to dance for his and/or her life.
Randi and Evan – Randi, like Jeanine, gets top scores for her dances, but Evan had an almost sleepy quality to him as he danced. No pizzazz, no personality and just not a winner. And we really like Evan and are so disappointed. Perhaps he just isn’t cut out for the limelight? We just think he has to look like he is having more fun, but this is hard, and we think he is displaying a bit of stage fright.
Caitlin and Jason – Dead last for boredom. Neither stood out, both were equally dull, but much of it was the choreography which is just the luck of the draw. Jason is better than this and we think Caitlin is as well. But, at the end of the day, no matter what the champion draws, the champion only wins if he or she brings it, so we crave their next performance. These performances made us just plain not care if this couple was not here next week, and we think that the audience won’t care either.
We think that if it plays out the way we think, Phillip has to go home unless the other two dancers blow their solos. Phillip will perform a predictable hip hop solo that will be no surprise and that demonstrates that, in the end, he has little versatility relative to the other dancers. But, Evan could fall flat as well. This is mainly because he has been a disappointment, not only to us, but repeatedly to the judges. He has to nail his solo and remind us of what he can do, or he will be on the bus out of here.
Of the women, this is very difficult. We love them all. If we had to choose, we would prefer to see Randi and Jeanette move through. Melissa we think is spectacular, but we don’t see the personality in her that makes us want to vote for her. Caitlin is spectacular, but she has to nail the solo against some pretty stiff talent and we think she is last this week in our eyes as well as the judges. We think Caitlin will be shipped out.