7/1 SYTYCD 5 Perfromance Night: Only 14 Dancers Remain… Awww NUTS!

How does one judge a bag of nuts. Well, the judges were nuts, but that is not what we mean. You are given a basket of the best and freshest nuts. Walnuts, almonds, filberts, macadamia, cashews and pecans. Then you are asked to pick your least favorite. What would happen?

We know our choices. We would pick almonds and have a tough time between macadamia and filberts. But others that crave the walnut would beg to differ. And those that have that passion for the cashew, no other nut will do, of course we have to be wrong. And anyone knows that the macadamia is the most royal, creamy and perfect nut of all. But the champion of nuts that spans the entire spectrum of nut lovers because everyone loves it is the almond.

So what would you choose? It all comes down to taste. It all comes down a number of factors that are not exactly intuitive on the surface, but that make sense as you drive deeper into the selections. So, as we snack on peanuts, we shall judge the rest of the nuts.

First, let’s begin by saying we believe this show is a bit of a hoax. No, the dancing is fantastic and the judging real, but if anyone believes the judges are spontaneous, they are wrong. The judges are rehearsed. And the part that bothers us about this is the judges had to have their minds made up before the performance, which is kind of disgusting. There is no shock, no stammer, no loss for words. It is all staged and as choreographed as the dancers which is disappointing. The judges are great at what they do, but they are poor actors.

Tonight was a night when we saw every couple hit their number.  Normally, we judge from the bottom up on this show (no we are not referring to the spectacular performance last week by Evan and Randi), but this week, we had to judge from the top down.  Every performance was so well done that we were taken aback.  Not one dancer flinched.  None flubbed.  There was no chance for anyone to lose, but someone has to.

That said, the dancers were given their time to perform in their niches tonight.  It was no coincidence.  This was no luck of the draw or you have to believe that you can actually beat the casino at roulette.

Well, does it come down then to the wheel, the dice or the machine?  If the player isn’t winning, could it be the instrument?  In this case, the instruments are the choreographers.  And the choreographers on this show are so tremendous that it would be hard to judge them.  But a new choreographer, not quite as well understood and not as adept at training dancers that must perform in this level of competition often do have weaknesses, and the dancers can pay for them.

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To the dancers: (Solo introduction and dance recap at the bottom of this post)

1. Janette and Brandon – Cha-Cha-Cha “Hush Hush”—The Pussycat Dolls, Choreography by Jean-Marc Généreux

There is often a really subtle standout in the show that comes out as the show progresses.  In this show, it is Janette.  She is spectacular.  Her legs are as fast as any dancer, and when you compare her to so many others on this show that had fast legs, that is a tremendous achievement.  She is mesmerizing to watch.  Brandon is a wonderful dancer, but is too effeminate.  We hope he shakes that because he is truly talented.  Even with his weakness, though, this dance was amazing.  (10/10)

2. Kayla and Kupono – Contemporary “Eyes On Fire”—Blue Foundation Choreography by Sonya Tayeh

You know, we thought this was an absolutely great set.  We love dark theme performances and this was no exception.  Kayla, as usual, had awesome lines, but we didn’t see her being as much of a standout as in prior weeks.  Kupono was great here as well, but we didn’t find the performance particularly memorable.  The judges loved it, but it just wasn’t overall as good as they made it out to be and yet (9/10)

3. Randi and Evan – Broadway “Rich Man’s Frug” from Sweet Charity Choreography by Joey Dowling

Now, sometimes, someone just has to get art.  You can look at a masterpiece and stare at it for hours and have no idea what makes it great.  This performance had a twist of the odd in it.  The most important part of the dance, independently of making every step perfectly, was the character acting.  Evan pulled it off with amazing accuracy.  His acting persona was spectacular.  Randi was not quite as good this week as last, but that is like saying she was only genius.  These two were once again fantastic.  The judges had to find someone to criticize after praising the first two dances, but this dance was every bit as good. (9/10)

4. Caitlin and Jason – Pop-Jazz “Creator”—Santigold Choreography by Brian Friedman

There are times that being the oddest person in the group makes you stand out in a positive way.  In other cases, no matter how wonderfully odd you are, you are just odd.  We blame the choreographers for the fact we did not like this dance as much as the others.  The judges could not place their fingers on it and blamed Caitlin’s distracting outfit, but she was supposed to be an alien for heaven’s sake, and it is not like the dancer’s pick their outfits.  Stupid for the judges to mention it.  But the quirkiness of the dance did not take away from Caitlin and Jason’s talent.  They performed amazingly well. (9/10)

5. Jeanine and Phillip – Hip-hop “Love Lockdown”—Kanye West Choreography by Tabitha D’umo
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OK, now let’s give Phillip a chance here.  Give him what he does best so we can show why he belongs here.  Fine, we get it.  But so many other dancers have had to dance out of their element every week and as Phillip got in trouble two weeks running with that, they brought him back with this performance. OK, Phillip is amazing at this style and Jeanine can do anything, so we cannot take anything away from this performance.  It was a delight to watch, the choreography was amazing and the dancers on mark throughout.  So, what didn’t we like?  We feel the show is giving Phillip a strong amount of favoritism because of his entertainment factor within his niche.  The show may be right, we enjoyed watching this performance enormously.  And we believe Jeanine is as good as any woman here. (10/10)

6. Melissa and Ade – Classical Pas de deux Romeo & Juliet: Provofiev’s Suite (No.1 Op 64b, 6th Movement)—Orchestre De La Suisse Romande & Armin Jordan Choreography by Thordal Christensen

This was perfect for Melissa to show her lines and specialty.  Finally, she was given an opportunity to perform like the ballet artist she truly is.  There was no doubt throughout who we were watching.  Melissa floated through the air, pointed like the most talented ballerina and made the Nutcracker look like a show for amateurs.  This was her best performance.  Ade, on the other hand, was out of his element.  The judges praised him, but to us, Melissa outclassed him so greatly that it made him look silly at times.  Melissa was so graceful and perfect though that she totally disguised any lack of grace by Ade.  In a lift that took us to a world of enchantment, Melissa arched her body and bent her legs so gracefully that it looked for sure like she could fly.  During the lift, Ade was merely her support and little else, but no one was looking at Ade.  In another move, it was grace by Melissa that made her look like she was literally flying across the stage like a real life tinker bell, and once again Ade was merely a prop.  So, how do we judge this? (10/10)

7. Karla and Vitolio- Quickstep “Puttin’ on the Ritz”—Rufus Wainwright, Choreography by Jean-Marc Généreux

Ah, if only Vitolio could work that goofy smile into something a bit more serious. His smile tends to make us want to laugh when we see it. But he can dance. Karla needed a great performance tonight to pull out of the bottom three. This is a new couple, and that brings some very interesting and difficult challenges. In this performance, Karla pulled out all the stops and performed the best we have seen her. Vitolio was great, but somehow detached. The chemistry was not there for us. But it was still a performance one should not miss. (9/10)

Top 14 Solo Introduction plus Dance Recap

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OK, now if we were judging, what do we do now?  We have just said everyone is amazing and yet we have to have a bottom 3.  Usually, in a given week, we see a blunder that stands out to us.  But none stood out in any way this week in a negative fashion performance wise.  So, now it comes down to taste.

We don’t like walnuts.  Caitlin and Jason were our walnuts.  We see them in the bottom three because we believe they will not make the final snack bowl.  The choreography was too odd, and even their great talent could not bring it out in as positive a way as the rest of the group.

We love macadamia nuts.  They are delightful and we know they could never be in the bottom three.  Jeanette and Brandon were our macadamias.  They were the number one or number two couple.  No question.

Now, normally, we don’t care much for cashews.  They are mealy at times and often much sweeter than we like a nut to be.  But every once in a while, you get a perfect cashew.  Jeanine and Phillip were out perfect cashews.  If they are in the bottom three it is only because someone had to be.

Filberts are always a surprise the first time.  They have a hard outer shell and look much like an acorn.  Seems like food for squirrels, not for humans.  But then you taste one, and you realize that they are among the best of nuts. Well, this is how we would classify Melissa but not Ade.  Still, as a team, they were what makes a cashew lover remember why they crave them.  No bottom three here.

Shoot, now we only have one bottom couple.  What do we do?  We have no choice but to place Kayla and Kupono and Randi and Evan in our bottom three.  Not because they were not spectacular, just that they were a hair behind in a photo finish.

We still believe that in the long run, Phillip cannot win and has no diversity.  We don’t believe he has any chance here, so the judges should make way for the more diverse and stop pandering to him.  That said, he nailed his specialty so amazingly well this week that he cannot go home.  That places Randi and Evan in our bottom three.  And we love Evan.  They were our almonds.  The standby you love every time you have them.  And yet, could you give them up for a great cashew?  We think it more likely, though, we will be sending home the walnuts.  But we can still use them in cookies that no one eats.

Hedging our bets on our bottom three though, we have to turn to the set that was least memorable even if well performed. This also places Karla and Vitolio square in the cross hairs. Anyone other than these four possibilities in the bottom three would be a mistake. But who knows what America will do with ballet? How cultured are we after all?

The solos will tell all.  But our bottom three are:

1. Caitlin and Jason
2. Randi and Evan
3. Kayla and Kupono
4. Karla and Vitolio

6/25 SYTYCD Top 16 Results Night, So You Think You Can Judge?

Well, once again, we were not totally surprised, but maybe a little, at how poorly America can choose a dance performance. While two of our bottom three couples made the bottom three, one did not, and the one that did, just plain did not belong there. Thank heavens, the couple that did not belong there humiliated their competition in the solos.

Before we get into who was here that did not belong, let’s go to the couple that did belong and escaped. Phillip and Jeanine. It is possible that Jeanine was so good she saved Phillip, or there is some goofy god that saved Phillip, but honestly, he has no true dance talent. He is a one trick pony. It shows week after week, but he has some followers that do vote for him. We are not sure who they are, but they know little about dance, and the result this week was a dancer with vastly more talent and an actual chance at winning was sent home tonight. Get it right America. Phillip is not a dancer, he is a circus act.

Caitlin and Jason did not belong at all in the bottom three. They were one of the best couples of the night. And while they easily escaped elimination with their excellent solos, it shows how foolish things can get. We have no idea how anyone could have not seen how fantastic their performance was last night, and yet, somehow, Philip was better? Please. Pathetic.

So it came down to two women for the bottom two, both of whom we thought would be there. Asuka and Karla. But we thought Karla had more diversity and performed much better last night. Asuka has the sleek lines and the ballroom finesse, but you have to do it all in SYTYCD and when it comes to a solo, the ballroom dancers, if not absolutely sensational, usually do not get through. But tonight, Karla was weak on her solo. Nothing stood out. It seemed she played it so safe as to be in danger. The judges were unanimous as they told Karla… she was safe. Asuka went home, but Karla did not help herself with that solo.

asuka_jonathanAnd now the saddest part of the night. There is no question that of the two men left, one did an off tempo out of sync solo and one did an excellent on key solo that was on par with his performance last night. One man was great, and one man was not, but according to our picks last night, both men should have been in the bottom three. The one of the two that was not able to dance to the music. The one off his step. And the one with, by far the weakest solo, was kept. And so Jonathan goes home and Vitolio survives in a pathetic play by the judges to favor minorities over true talent. A sad statement.

We bid Jonathan goodbye and wish him the best. He just has to get that goofy kids smile off his face, because his dance is wonderful and he makes Vitolio look second rate.

So goodbye to Jonathan and Asuka. One deserved to go, one did not, but both were in our bottom three from last night.

Now if someone could just get a clue and kick Philip out of here..

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Who got Eliminated in So You Think You Can Dance 5?

FOR THE CURRENT SEASON, click here to find out who got eliminated in Season 6, Fall SYTYCD show.

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This page is updated weekly. Find out at a glance and quick who got eliminated in So you Think You can Dance Season 5, and when they got eliminated…

Click on the links to check their profiles and videos.

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Check out Brandon Bryant’s Profile | 2nd runner up SYTYCD 5, 8-06-09

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Check out Evan Kasprzak’s Profile | Voted off second in the Finale Results, 8-06-09

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Check out Kayla Radomski’s Profile | Voted off first in the Finale Results, 8-06-09

ade_obayomi

Check out Ade Obayomi’s Profile | Voted off 7-30-09

melissa_sandvig_eliminated

Check out Melissa Sandvig’s Profile | Voted off 7-30-09

jason_eliminated

Check out Jason Glover’s Profile | Voted off 7-23-09

janet_eliminated

Check out Janette Manrara’s Profile | Voted off 7-23-09

kupono_aweau_eliminated

Check out Kupono Aweau’s Profile | Voted off 7-16-09

randi_evans_eliminated

Check out Randi Evan’s Profile | Voted off 7-16-09

philipchbeeb_eliminated

Check out Philip Chbeeb’s Profile | Voted off 7-9-09

caitlinkinney_eliminated

Check out Caitlin Kinney’s Profile | Voted off 7-9-09

vitoliojeune14

Check out Vitolio Jeune’s Profile | Voted off 7-2-09

karlagarcia

Check out Karla Garcia’s Profile | Voted off 7-2-09

jonathan_sytycd

Check out Jonathan Platero’s Profile | Voted off 6-25-09

asuka_sytycd

Check out Asuka kondoh’s Profile | Voted off 6-25-09

Max Kapitannikov, 26 | Voted off 6-18-09

Check out Max Kapitannikov’s Profile | Voted off 6-18-09

Ashley Valerio, 22 | Voted off 6-18-09

Check out Ashley Valerio’s Profile | Voted off 6-18-09

Tony Bellissimo, 20 |  Voted off 6-11-09

Check out Tony Bellissimo’s Profile | Voted off 6-11-09

Paris Torres, 19 |  Voted off 6-11-09
Check out Paris Torres’ Profile | Voted off 6-11-09

Top 18 Results Night Group Dance: A Mia Michaels Choreography to Stevie Wonder’s ‘Higher Ground’

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Behind the look of the Top 18 Group dance, from SYTYCD costume designer- Soyon

6/25 SYTYCD 5 Results Are In for the Top 18

We have seen disappointment on this show repeatedly over the years, and we have watched it since year one. We go to see the show live each year, and are repeatedly stunned by the endearing personalities and inspiring talent of the dancers. So when we see any dancer that does not deserve to go home get eliminated, we are saddened.

When that dancer was part of a team that wowed us the night before and was clearly, if not the absolute best, among the best of the night, we are even more disappointed. And yet, we have yet to see what we considered the top three of either the male or female groups eliminated before the top 10. And we felt the same this week.

Still, last night, Randi and Evan were weak and were lucky. We believe it is their cute personalities and their humble origins that make them both way too lovable to vote against. Cuteness won out, and this couple was pardoned for a less than stellar evening last night. They escaped the bottom 3, but we think they deserved to be there more than one couple that was placed there and would eventually lose a dancer.

Caitlin and Jason were very weak last night in their Hip Hop routine. Jason was better, but wasn’t stellar. Caitlin has no feel for hip hop at all. But we feel that what transpired is ashame in a way, because we think that hip hop is the least important dance to master. Honestly, it is not in the same category as ballet, contemporary and ball room. This show has brought it to the forefront and made it entertaining, but to eliminate a dancer that is excellent because they cant “hit” a Hip Hop routine is sad. But would this doom them? Well, it did put them in the bottom 3.

Ashley and Kupono were also weak in their Hip Hop, and as we mentioned, when you get to go last, you have a chance to really nail the routine and get the most votes because the audience will remember you the best. The problem is, if you don’t, they remember that as well. Ashley and Kupono stepped out and embarrassed themselves. There was no style to their dance. It hit about as hard as a helium balloon. And the moves were as crisp as over-cooked spaghetti. Nothing about this performance did anything for us. In the other dances, one dancer was significantly better than the other. In this dance, neither did it for us. And they went to the bottom 3. So of the two soft Hip Hop performances, both couples were sent to dance for their lives.

max-ashleyKayla and Max performed one of the absolute best routines last night. Janette and Brandon were better, but there is no way this couple was in the bottom 3, and yet, there they were. America abandoned them. We expected Ashley and Kupono. We expected Caitlin and Jason. But Kayla and Max? No way. Compare them to any other couple last night and they were as good or better consistently than almost any of them. But America did them a disservice and placed them in a situation in which they had to dance for their lives.

Where does that logically place us? Well, Kayla is untouchable in our minds by the judges. They have promoted her too strongly, so if she didn’t fall down and hit her head on the stage, she wasn’t going to get sent home. That left either Caitlin or Ashley. It could have gone either way, but Caitlin’s solo was much better and that put the final nail in Ashley’s coffin. A sad ending to a great season and a horrible follow up to last week’s stellar performance. All primarily because of hip hop, a dance that, while fun, really is weak in the world of dance competition. Ashley is not the best of this group of women, but she did not deserve to go home yet, and it is pathetic that it is because of a hip hop routine.

Jason pulled out a spectacular solo and is amazing as a stand alone dancer. We would have been very upset if he had been eliminated as well because of being assigned a weak dance style. He wasn’t. He was great and the judges acknowledged it.

But what comes next is ashame no matter which dancer gets eliminated. Max was in one of the two or three best couples last night and shouldn’t even have to dance for his survival. And Kupono is an incredibly diverse and talented dancer. Kupono’s solo, though, was weak. He should have done much better. But the judges went for diversity over quality in this case and eliminated Max. Max was robbed because he should never have had to do a solo tonight. It was sad, but he wasn’t the man that was going to win this competition anyway.

FOX 11’s Jane Yamamoto reviewing the So You Think You Can Dance results show with Courtney Galiano

That said, two dancers departed that could not have been the winner of this year’s competition, so we don’t feel all that badly about their departure. However, we believe one was the luck of the dance draw and the other a victim of an audience that missed the performance.

We did pick two of the couples in the bottom three correctly. We do think Ashley lost the solo and thus was the correct gal to ship off. Max isn’t diverse enough. At best he is a Dmitri, a fourth place finisher. But we still felt he did not deserve it this week.

So, we were left a bit perplexed at one of America’s choices for the bottom three, but were in tune with the other two. We did expect Caitlin’s elimination, but could have seen either Kupono or Max go home.

The hardest thing now is it splits a couple. Max and Kayla were great together. Max is a great leading man for Kayla to follow on the floor. He has possibly the best partnering skills out of the group of men this year. As a result, Kayla has to dance with a partner with whom she is not familiar. And Kupono has a vastly different style. It could be very difficult for Kayla to get past that, and certainly it puts them at a severe disadvantage next week.

Couples who are safe and dancing next week:
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Brandon and Janette
Karla and Jason
Evan and Randi
Ade and Melissa
Asuka and Vitolio
Philip and Jeanine

Bottom Three:

Kupono and Ashley
Caitlin and Jason
Max and Kayla

Eliminated: Max Kapitannikov and Ashley Valerio

Elimination Week Video Recap

5/12 Dancing with the Stars Three of the Best Revealed for the Final Showdown

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Tonight was not a close competition. Why? Because last week, they eliminated a real talent and left behind a wanna be. We like Ty, but he isn’t in the same league. Lil Kim was. We have no idea what the audience was thinking. All they did was make it easy to kick out Ty this week.

There were no surprises. Melissa came in next to last, and you know, in this competition, that is close to right. Melissa is spectacular. We think she has all the correct moves and the chance to be a professional, but in this instance, she is number 3.

Gilles and Shawn are the two stars here. And when they put it all on the line, there is not one person in DWS history that matches either of them.

That said, we love Shawn best. She is America’s sweetheart. She has only one problem, she is short, and she makes it up by hitting every stride and rhythm despite her shorter stature. It seems obvious to us that this competition comes down to Gilles and, well, it belonged to Gilles. Either way, we would be happy with the result. May the best ‘dancer’ win!

4/1 American Idol Top 9 April Fools Results, Megan Joy Goes Home. No Joke!

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Gauging from Megan Joy’s demeanor through out the show, it seemed she knew she was doomed to go home. That or she had a dose of what Paula seem to be on some of the time. She was just acting too peculiar making strange faces, uncomfortable sounds and some weird movements.

As she stood there awaiting her result, Ryan asked “how do you feel about what Simon said last night?” (Simon thought her performance was boring, indulgent and monotonous!) She quipped sharply: “I love you, Simon but I don’t really care.”

From last night’s recap we had two out of three right in the bottom:

Anoop Desai – “Caught Up” – Usher — Anoop is no Usher. He can sing, and belted out the song well, but he does not have enough soul to pull off the performance of a song like this. He did not connect with us and we were glad when it was over. (5/10)

Anoop snapped back before the judges after last night’s poor performance that he wants to be an R&B artist. We’re too kind to comment but good luck with that Anoop!

Megan Joy Corkrey- “Turn Your Lights Down Low” – Lauryn Hill & Bob Marley — Megan is neither Lauryn Hill nor Bob Marley, but we really thought she could pull this one out. She didn’t. Megan was off key and has lost her quirky character act that we like. There was nothing to remember, nothing to grab hold of and mostly nothing to vote for. (3/10)

Although we weren’t enthused with Allison’s performance either where we wrote:

Allison Iraheta – “Don’t Speak” – No Doubt — Allison left us with plenty of “doubt” on this performance. She started well, but as she got to the end she was singing too low and it didn’t suit the song. It was pitchy and didn’t showcase her great rocker style. We were very disappointed after last week. The judges criticized her outfit, and missed the fact that she sang the song poorly. (6/10)

meganjoyAmerica placed her for the second time in the bottom. Our last pick in the bottom was Matt Giraud. We thought Matt had a really poor rendition of The Fray’s “You Found Me.” He should have found himself in the bottom three so he would learn his lesson: stop trying to be somebody else- you can’t be Isaac Slade of The Fray or Chris Martin’s Coldplay. Stop singing that style of music. Keep insisting that and you will sure get nowhere in your career.

Now comes the judges’ shame save. Because of what Megan said earlier that she didn’t care, Simon retorted back that he or they didn’t care either so before she could even sing for her life the judges already made their decision. They said No. Megan isn’t going to be saved. She is going home.

We’re not sure Megan left Idol with a very good lasting impression. How she’ll turn this around remains to be seen.

There have been a lot of Idol contestants who put themselves in hot water by talking too much and trying so hard to defend themselves when critiqued by the judges. That is fine. Simon and the rest could be harsh. But the contestants seem to forget that they don’t have the upperhand in the situation, the judges and the voters do. To come out cocky, proud and a know-it-all would not help their case and would only alienate the viewers making them NOT vote for them at all.

Sometimes a right attitude is everything and keeping your mouth shut works too! So we shut up.

Bye, Megan. Caaaww, caaww!

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