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.
Oh my what an opening live show for this Season’s So You Think You Can Dance! The audience were feeling it. The judges nervous and excited for the dancers and Cat Deely was just full of life. We can feel both the tension and excitement from watching here at home. It was an overall great show!
What do you know, after they set up the dancers in pairs for the first released interviews- we find out that wasn’t the pairing at all. So we are seeing “new” couples who will be dancing throughout the season until the finals. Here goes:
1. Jeanine Mason and Phillip Chbeeb Hip-hop “Mad” Ne-Yo – Year of the Gentleman (Bonus Track Version)
Choreography of Tabitha D’umo and Napoleon D’umo
Adam Shankman: “That was unfreakin’ real! Jeanine, you are amazing. Philip: No one dances like you. It’s such a joy to watch you dance”
Mary Murphy: “I do hate to disagree with Adam….ahm really sorry… BUT I’M NOT GOING TO…!! (with the Mary loud shriek). Jeanine: You did hold your own up there. Tabitha and Napoloeon, they just know how to work each dancer they get and make it fit and work… Philip: You are special in what you do and nobody does it like you do it.”
Nigel Lythgoe:” You are fantastic Jeanine! I think you have really made a mark for yourself tonight. Congratulations. Philip: You have already got a following. You were brilliant. What a great way to start the night!
To vote for Jeanine and Philip: 1-888-83676-01
2. Asuka Kondoh and Vitolio Jeune Broadway “Hot Honey Rag” Chicago – The Musical
Choreography of Tyce Diorio
Adam Shankman: “You followed a number that was extremely emotional and that the dancers kinda do that and this was much more of a character performance piece. As a result, it felt a little more artificial. That having been said, you guys danced it very well, very clean. What is apparent is that you are both very good dancers, so you know you should feel good about it ”
Mary Murphy: Vitolio: “I’m left sitting just a little bit disappointed. I feel that you really needed to bring this routine to life. It was just safe. You both played it safe…”
Nigel Lythgoe: “The dancing was very strong, your lines were beautiful… But we were expecting for you to put your personalities into it wholeheartedly and I don’t feel as though you did this… You just gotta bring your own energy into it.”
To vote for Asuka and Vitolio: 1-888-83676-02
3. Karla Garcia and Jonathan Platero Cha-cha “Poker Face” Lady GaGa – The Fame Choreographed by Tony Meredith
Adam Shankman: “I thought that was really good. You just *beeped* me up. That was awesome. I do my own censoring so they don’t have to do it. Your lines were beautiful.”
Mary Murphy: Screams…”I love my cha-cha rough. That was a lot of roughin’ and a whole lotta fun.” Screams…
Nigel Lythgoe: “Your another couple that has totally slipped under the radar. Nobody really knew who you were up until tonight. If you talk about chemistry, you two just exploded on that stage. Absolutely fantastic routine. It was exciting. It was challenging to you and certainly entertaining for us here. Congratulations, great routine.”
To vote for Karla and Jonathan: 1-888-83676-03
4. Randi Evans and Evan Kasprzak Jazz “I Only Have Eyes For You” Jamie Cullum – Catching Tales
Choreographed by Tyce Diorio
Adam Shankman: “Let’s just be honest, let’s call spade a spade. You are slightly vertically challenged as a couple. But you both danced like you were 8 feet tall… Your lines went forever. Your lifts were there. You have the sensuality and more… Evan, no one saw you coming. You are a beautiful dancer.”
Mary Murphy: “I have to be honest with you guys. When we left Las Vegas, you were really probably at the end of the pack for me. I’m telling you, the stars have just come out tonight. My eyes are wide open when it comes to the two of you… (brace yourselves, here’s the screaaam…), That was smoldering and fluid and beautiful and absolutely believable!”
Nigel Lythgoe: “You are absolutely fantastic. I like your hair being curly like that. I think you have just become the couple that people will recognize and talk about. This is one of Tyce’ best routines.”
To vote for Randi and Evan: 1-888-83676-04
5. Paris Torres and Tony Bellissimo Hip-hop to the song “Let the Beat Rock” (Boyz Noize Megamix) Black Eyed Peas – Invasion of Boom Boom Pow (Megamix) [feat. 50 Cent]
Choreographed by Tabitha D’umo and Napoleon D’umo
Adam Shankman: “I thought it was really good. But i found the costumes a little distracting… When you attack something, you need more rebound…”
Mary Murphy: “Well, there’s been memorable. I don’t think this will be. Tony this is your field. Paris, it was just good…. Good I’m afraid is not gonna cut it. You’re gonna grow and I hope that you do and I know you’re both capable…”
Nigel Lythgoe: “I agree with Mary, I don’t think it was memorable. Paris, I think you’re a fantastic dancer. you really came into your own when we did West Side Story, I thought you were absolutely sensational. Everyone’s just magnetized by your dancing. Tony there is room to grow across this season and you need a lot of growth… The pair of you were basically just doing steps and it didn’t feel right…”
To vote for Paris and Tony: 1-888-83676-05
Top 20 Introduction and Dance Recap
6. Caitlin Kinney and Jason Glover Bollywood to the song “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire
Choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan
Adam Shankman: “You GUYS ROCK!!! (very pleased indeed!) Jason, your hand work was so superb, your feet hit on the floor so hard and perfect. You did a thing that is so essential to a great dancer, you made it look like it was nothing. Effortless. Caitlin, I was worried about you. you did a great job.”
Mary Murphy: “I’m glad Bollywood came to Hollywood. Yes, I am. That was cool. Caitlin, your handstand, the stength…of keeping it still and doing your foot, that was bizarre. Jason, you have charisma that just reeks out of those eyes, yes you do.” (Screams…)
Nigel Lythgoe: “You brought it tonight. Absolutely fantastic. You encapsulated that whole thing. Caitlin, from the moment you came alive as his hands touched you, and you breathed in and we felt that and we thougth this is going to be special. That was beautiful to see. Congratulations! Jai ho!
To vote for Caitlin and Jason: 1-888-83676-06
7. Janette Manrara and Brandon Bryant Foxtrot “Come Fly With Me” —Michael Bublé
Choreographed by Louis van Amstel
Adam Shankman: “As sad as I know America will be to see Brandon actually dancing in clothes, I’m just going to tell you- it works…. It was lovely. Absolutely lovely. You both should be very very proud of yourselves.”
Mary Murphy: “Janette: You were Ginger Rogers out there. you were elegant and you know you are Miami fire and spice, your lines were lovely, your legs were lovely. The lifts looked effortless… Brandon is a powerhouse. Brandon, if nobody sees the talent that you are, they’re just crazy! (Shrieks…)
Nigel Lythgoe: “As a Salsa dancer there is no way you have this courage. This is something that you found in a very short time, Janette and it’s absolutely beautiful. The way you carried yourself, the grace- it was beautiful. Brandon, I doubt you’ve ever worked in a frame work before have you? (Brandon: NO.) You kept that brilliantly. Terrific. But those tiny feet sometimes are not strong enough. Work on that. Good luck to you both. I thought it was a wonderful routine.”
To vote for Janette and Brandon: 1-888-83676-07
8. Ashley Valerio and Kuponohi’ipoi “Kupono” Aweau Jazz “Felt Mountain” –Goldfrapp
Choreographed by Wade Robson
Adam Shankman: “Your technique is exquisite. Your ability is extraordinary. You guys are gonna go far in the competition. I am totally there. Wade, you are one sick puppy.”
Mary Murphy: “I bought it 100%! You were marvelous in that number. Ashley, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of you. Really well done.”
Nigel Lythgoe: “What I think is genius about this is he(Wade) gave you both characters which you adhered to throughout. Ashley, You look beautiful in this ridiculous white make up. You look fabulous. Kupono: this wasn’t just robotic thing, this was a fluid type movement that you were being asked to do that you had to master in a very short period of time and nerves to boot. I was in a completely different world and I love being taken there and you kept me in that world which was your job. Congratulations.”
To vote for Ashley and Kupono: 1-888-83676-08
9. Melissa Sandvig and Ade Obayomi contemporary ”Right Here Waiting” – Richard Marx choreographed by Mandy Moore.
Adam Shankman: “We see a lot of good, we see a lot of great (in the show) and we see a lot of you know, eh not so good. What we get to see every once in a while, I can’t believe it I’m doing it, is special. That was so special. Melissa, I think that you are living proof that you get better with age because i bet when you were 21, you weren’t dancing like this. (Melissa is the oldest in the competiton at 29). Ade, your power is so profound and more profound because it is quiet. It is extraordinary. You guys really moved me… that was big”
Mary Murphy: and Mary gives out the biggest scream of the night!!! “Oh my gad. it was totally believable. just from the very beginning, Ade when you ran your hand up the side of her, I was like oh my goodness, everything was just flowing amazingly. The lines, the lifts were beautiful. The movement, the quality. That’s what it is, the training. You can’t deny training and Melissa, you are spectacular. And Ade, wow, I called you a superstar and you know what you are living up to my expectations. you are a gentle giant- yes you are! Quiet, powerful, you got it all! Got my eyes on you…”
Nigel Lythgoe: “Melissa, it’s absolutely beautiful to have a ballerina in our program. I’m so delighted that you made it through. Ade, I don’t think everyone has seen how good you really are yet. This was a beautiful routine. America has got so much to look forward to with you two. Well done tonight.
To vote for Melissa and Ade: 1-888-83676-09
10. Kayla Radomski and Maksim “Max” Kapitannikov samba “Jum Buh Day” choreographed by Louis van Amstel.
Adam Shankman: “That was soooo goood, oh my gad….! Max, you must be the luckiest man alive. for two reasons a, you got ballroom first b. you got a person who makes me know there is a God because only God could have created this girl in front of me. Are you kidding me?! Kayla, you’ve never done ballroom before. It’s like you were born in a ballroom babe. Max, I’m psyche for you. I’m throwing it over to you, she could have never looked that good without you. That’s absolutely true.”
Mary Murphy: “I hear a train, I can hear it…” (Brace for the Hot Tamale Train of the night! Nigel prepares by putting in a headset between his ears and Adam justthrowing his hands up in the air while Mary stand up and gives the loudest scream)…. You are in the Hot Tamale Train…Holy Smokes!”
Nigel Lythgoe: “That was truly sensational routine. That had everything that we could ever wish for. Kayla, your name is always at the top of the list every single time. You are just one of those dancers that appears to be able to do everything. Max, even thought this is your genre- you could have easily been lost. You were also terrific…. You have topped an absolutely brilliant night tonight. Thank you so very much.”
To vote for Kayla and Max: 1-888-83676-10
– o –
The best performers not in order are: jeanine and philip, randi and evan, caitlin and jason, ashley and kupono, melissa and ade, kayla and max.
Those who may be in trouble: paris and tony, asuka and vitolio, karla and jonathan