Thursday, July 16, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance - Tentertain Us

So You Think You Can Dance - Top 10 Performance - Ep. 516
Judges: Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Guest Judge: Debbie Allen

A few general items before we get to the dancing. First off, how freaking awesome is Debbie Allen? Wouldn't Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad make the coolest aunts EVER? I don't know why I thought aunts but they would be, no? And it's going to be nice to see Debbie Allen back on the big screen in Fame this fall! With SYTYCD alum Kherington Payne no less! (Trailer 1, Trailer 2 "Magic" shown on this episode!)

Also, I got some kind words from ModFab and a tweet-out from crushworthy actor Larry Sullivan (CSI, The Secret Life of the American Teenager) last week so hello again! And thanks for reading! EVERYONE thanks for reading! And PLEASE feel free to add your own comments cause I would LOVE to hear what everyone thinks and which dancer is everyone's favorites! I mean, I reserve the right to think you're totally wrong (:P) but I'd still like to know everyone's top picks. Don't worry. I won't bite. Gnaw maybe but I won't bite.

And in some more SYTYCD related news, CTV has announced the premiere of So You Think You Can Dance Canada Season 2 for August 11th!!! Wow. Exactly a week after this current season ends. And probably squeezed in before the new fall Season 6 (which starts Sept. 16th which means they will overlap (?)). Wow. I'm going to be on SYTYCD overload by the end of the year! CTV (which carries both shows) is going to be on SYTYCD overload.

But back to the American version.

As Cat Deely and Nigel seems to mention about 129 times over the episode, this is the week that AMERICA decides, taking the control out of the judges hands. The lowest vote goes now. Automatically. One guy, one girl. Everyone's for themselves. Which also means everyone dances a solo in addition to getting a new partner. There's a LOT to take in this week so let the fun begin!

Top 5 Girls - Janette, Jeanine, Kayla, Melissa, Randi
Style: Bollywood
Choreographed by: Nakul Dev Makajan
Song: "Dholna" - Pyar Ke Geet (soundtrack)

The group dances are always interesting to watch because you can sometimes find the star when someone pulls your attention. But maybe it's because the levels are all quite equal, or the costumes are so vibrant and busy, but I didn't really end up focusing on any one person, and kept watching each girl to see if anybody faulted. If I had to pick anybody, Randi probably LEAST caught my attention but the rest seemed equally good.

Here's the video of the Bollywood Bombshells:

Kayla Radomski &
Evan Kasprzak
Style: Viennese Waltz
Choreographed by: Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin
Song: "Kiss From A Rose" - Seal
Grade: B+

My favorite girl (?At least depending on what time it is and which girl was last shown on screen) with my favorite guy? Okay, so I know Evan isn't the strongest dancer and it's cute that they paired up the shortest male dancer with the taller Kayla. Yah, Evan's footwork wasn't the best, but he lifted Kayla up surprisingly beautifully and Kayla proved to me once again why I've quickly grown to love her.

Here's the video of Kayla and Evan's Viennese Waltz:

Brandon Bryant - Solo
Song: "In Your Eyes" - Jeffrey Gaines
Grade: B+

Nicely done in that contemporary/having a seizure kinda way. It still lacked some overall focus as he seemed to want to show of all the tricks and twists and turns he could fit in, but I don't blame him on his first solo of the Top 20.

Janette Manrara &
Ade Obayomi
Style: Hip-Hop
Choreographed by: Napoleon and Tabitha D'Umo
Song: "Love Sex Magic" - Ciara feat. Justin Timberlake
Grade: A-

Ade is the largest guy. Janette the smallest girl. Ade looks HUGE next to Janette. Like he could swallow her whole. Here's another pairing with my favorite guy and my favorite girl. Er... if that makes any sense (ha! Can you see how indecisive I am so far?).

Ade is great with the Hip-Hop. He's smooth when he needs to be and hits it hard when he has to. Though the pink jacket makes him look too bulky. Janette seems like she could use a few more days to perfect it but at least she looks like she's trying hard and hitting it with all her lil' might. They didn't quite match as much as they should have but for a new pairing, and for Janette to keep pace, it was still quite enjoyable and there's something about Janette I'm really beginning to love.

Here's the video of Janette and Ade's Hip-Hop:

Randi Evans - Solo
Song: "Dream" - Priscilla Ahn
Grade: B-

I thought it looked pretty good until that spin that led her astray and she didn't quite recover from that. Not huge but still a misstep. Oh, so sad, cause it was going so well too.

Kupono Aweau - Solo
Song: "Marina Gasolina" - Bonde do Rolê
Grade: C

I appreciate the weird and quirkiness of it all, but while I LOVED Mark's solo's, I merely enjoy Kupono's, but I don't think it's all that.
Here's the video of Kupono's solo:

Jeanine Mason &
Jason Glover
Style: Contemporary
Choreographed by: Travis Wall (TRAVIS. HAVE MY BABIES!!! I LOVE YOU!)
Song: "If It Kills Me (The Casa Nova Sessions)" - Jason Mraz Sessions
Grade: A-

Jeanine is just so awesome. Jason did good this week! I thought before this week he would be my least favorite male dancer so having him dance contemporary from new choreography from fanfave Travis Wall can only help him stay in the game. Whether that's good or not will be debatable.

but TRAVIS WALL!!! Sporting no dyed hair in his regular brunette look, maybe for the first time on screen? While the choreography didn't have a unifying fluidity, there were definitely some amazing stuff in there and definitely makes a promising new choreographer. While it seemed like he put in too may of his ideas into his first choreo for this show, I still appreciate everything that he brings and there are definite sparks of greatness there. Too much so. He needs to rein it in and save some for the future! Because we DEFINITELY NEED TO SEE HIM BACK DOING MORE!!!

Here's the video of Jeanine and Jason's Contemporary:

Melissa Sandvig - Solo
Song: "Gabriel" - Lamb
Grade: B+

Very nice, very nice, though very similar to last week's solo, but I guess there's only so many solo variations of ballet one can do in 30 seconds.

Evan Kasprzak - Solo
Song: "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" - Rufus Wainwright
Grade: A

Okay, you know I have an unhealthy love for Evan but I guess I will admit that he's not the strongest dancer in certain styles. But DAMN can he do his style well, cause I thought this solo was AWESOME and so wonderful! And it made me want to make a silly grin just like Evan's silly grin! Plus, with all the contemporary dancers left on the show, it's kinda refreshing to see something totally different.

Kayla Radomski
Song: "Rock Your Soul" - Elisa
Grade: B+

Great technical moves in the contemp. solo but it again lacks an overall essence that this years contemporary solos (and there are so many of them this year) lack. Especially with Travis back, it only reminds me how amazing Travis' solos were. They always felt complete as its own entity.

Randi Evans &
Kupono Aweau
Style: Paso Doble
Choreographed by: Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin
Song: "Dies Irae" - Karl Jenkins
Grade: C-

Oh, poor Randi. That bustier is NOT flattering and made her look lumpy and heavy, which didn't aid in the dance. Which being a Paso Doble, didn't make it easy to watch. The judges obviously praised Tony for the choreo but I actually agreed here, cause there were a lot of nice elements and felt unified but like the judges, I didn't think Kupono or Randi were able to dance it the way it was envisioned. Kupono wasn't strong enough, Randi seemed heavy, and they didn't really connect, all of which each of the judges reiterated.

Also, what WAS with the wig? That was ridic.

Here's the video of Randi and Kupono's Paso Doble:

Ade Obayomi
Song: "Unchained Melodies" - The Righteous Brothers
Grade: A

Oh, that thing I said about this years contemp. solos not feeling whole? I forgot to mention the exception is Ade. At least his one for last week. But this week he proves it wasn't just a fluke. It was awesome. Again.
Here's the video of Ade's solo:

Jeanine Mason - Solo
Song: "Violento (Up Mix)" – Bailongo!
Grade: B+

Another formidable contemp solo. but again, the individual parts seemed better than the whole. Great technique but needed that extra sparkle somewhere.

Jason Glover - Solo
Song: "Train Fare Home" - Muddy Waters
Grade: A-

Smart choice of music and smart choice to have a thin narrative. I thought Jason would be a goner but between getting Travis' choreo and a MUCH better solo, he may have just saved himself. Cause I REALLY enjoyed that solo actually.

Here is the video of Jeanine and Jason's solo's:

Melissa Sandvig &
Brandon Bryant
Style: Broadway
Choreographed by: Tyce DiOrio
Song: "Aquarius" - Hair (The New Broadway Revival Cast Recording)
Grade: B+

First of all, if you only follow my SYTYCD posts and haven't noticed my latest Broadway obsession, then get thee to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre in New York and GO SEE Hair! It is the BEST THING on Broadway right now. It's AMAZING. And Karole Armitage's choreography is simple but superb!

Tyce's choreography? WTF WAS THAT? It looked like it was supposed to be for "Ease on Down The Road" and made NO sense to the lyrics. Okay, there were some nice moves, but weren't they the same ones he's used over and over again before?

At least Melissa and Brandon danced the heck out of it and did the moves really well. I thought they did a fabulous job of some bum choreography that denies the song of its essence.

Here's the video of Melissa and Brandon's Broadway:

Janette Manrara - Solo
Song: "This Is Miami" - Sander Kleinenberg
Grade: B+

It seemed like the same solo Asuka did yet there was so much sexiness and pizzazz here that I understand why Asuka had to leave much earlier. Janette really is starting to shine on the stage!

Top 5 Guys - Ade, Brandon, Evan, Jason, Kupono
Style: African
Choreographed by: Jeffrey Page
Song: "Ballant Funk" - Ayanda Clark and Shawn Kelly

Well THAT was FUN!!! It also occurred to me only NOW that Evan was the sole white boy left amongst the Top 5 guys. (And now "Black Boys" and "White Boys" from the Hair cast recording hums in my head... Um, even though we have 2 black boys, 1 white boy and 2 mixed media! Caramel? Is that the PC term? lol! Whatever, I love all boys!) I'm glad Evan also had a sense of humour about his body since it's the least ripped of all the guys. Still, it was just great fun to watch that I can't really criticize anything from it.

Although it's interesting to note, we've been talking about how lil' Evan's been all this time but was it me or did Brandon look even SHORTER than Evan? I think he is.

Here's the video of the Guys African dance:

Here's the video of all the solos from the Guys:

Here's the video of all the solos from the Girls:

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
The Final Roundup:

Best Couple Dance of the Night: Jeanine and Jason's Contemporary
Second Best Couple Dance of the Night: Janette and Ade's Hip-Hop
Third Best Couple Dance of the Night: Melissa and Brandon's Broadway

Best Male Solo: Evan Kasprzak
Best Female Solo: Janette Manrara

Best Male of the Night - Overall: Ade Obayomi
Best Female of the Night - Overall: Janette Manrara

Worst of the Night - Couple: Randi and Kupono's Paso Doble
Worst of the Night - Solo: Kupono Aweau

If I had to make a new Top 10 list from Favorite to Least (with last week's position in paranthesis), it would probably look like this now:
1. Ade (6)
2. Janette (2)
3. Evan (4)
4. Kayla (1)
5. Jeanine (5)
6. Jason (10)
7. Melissa (3)
8. Brandon (7)
9. Randi (8)
10. Kupono (9)

Bottom Four: Randi, Melissa, Kupono, Brandon Evan Brandon Evan Brandon
Going Home: Randi and Kupono
Should Be Going Home: Randi and Kupono

Don't forget, I'll be back with the results show and our bloggers panel chat, with the awesome group of
LowResJoe, ABChau, TwoP Lauren S Sarah Blackwood (filling in this week) and myself who will discuss this week's performances and results.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -
For More So You Think You Can Dance:
Check here for the most Recent current postings and Latest News on SYTYCD

So You Think You Can Dance - Season 5:

Top 12 Performance, Top 12 Results and Panel Chat
Top 14 Performance, Top 14 Results, Top 14 Panel Chat
Top 16 Performance, Top 16 Results and Panel Chat
Top 18 Performance, Top 18 Results and Panel Chat
Top 20 Performance, Top 20 Results and Panel Chat

Auditions - Vegas Week Part 2 - Top 20 Announcement, Top 20 Pictures/Panel Chat
Vegas Week Part 1
New York City, Denver, Miami, Memphis, LA, Seattle

So You Think You Can Dance Canada:
Top 8 and 6 Performances and Results, Top 4 Performances
Top 10 Performances, Results 10 to 8
Top 12 Performances, Results 12 to 10
Top 14 Performances, Results 14 to 12
Top 16 Performances, Results 16 to 14
Top 18 Performances, Results 18 to 16
Top 20 Performances and Results
Introducing Canada's Top 20
Toronto Week - The Cut to the Top 20
Vancouver, Halifax, Calgary, Montreal - West, East, Middle and Quebec
Toronto - Toronto's Best Foot Forward
The Judges, The Host, The Teaser, All Photos from CTV

So You Think You Can Dance - Season 4:
Top 4 Performances
Top 6 Performances and Results 6 to 4
Top 8 Performances, Results 8 to 6
Top 10 Performances, Results 10 to 8
Top 16, 14 and 12 Weeks Recaps by Vance again
Top 12 Performances, Results 12 to 10 - Guest Blogger Linz McC
Top 14 Performances, Results 14 to 12 - Guest Blogger Linz McC
Top 16 Performances, Results 16 to 14 - Guest Blogger Linz McC
Top 18 Performances, Results 18 to 16
Top 20 Performances, Results 20 to 18
Introducing the Top 20
Callbacks in Las Vegas - The Top 20 Revealed - What Happens In Vegas
Milwaukee, WI - How The Midwest Was Won
Charleston, South Carolina and Washington D.C. - S.C.D.C. The New Electric (Boogaloo) Term!
Salt Lake City and Dallas - Yeehaw Utah!
Los Angeles - It's Time To Put On Those Dancing Shoes Again Kids!

So You Think You Can Dance - Season 3:
Live Tour - Toronto, Pasha's Solo Video, Neil's Solo Video
Finale - Winner Result
Top 4 Performances - Finals
Top 6 Performances, Top 6 Results
Top 8 Performances, Top 8 Results
Top 10 Performances, Top 10 Results
Top 12 Performances, Top 12 Results
Top 14 Performances, Top 14 Results
Top 16 Performances, Top 16 Results
Top 18 Performances, Top 18 Results
Top 20 Performances, Top 20 Results

For So You Think You Can Dance Season 2:
Favorite Video Clips
Song List Live Tour 2006 - Toronto
Live Tour 2006 - Buffalo, Pics, More Pics
Thanks to Rickey for the photos and videos.

Vance at


momo said...

Terrific recap! I really enjoyed the show last night. It seemed as if the dancers were enjoying themselves, the judges were wonky but also kind of giddy with fun. I think Tony and Melanie really miscalculated with the music they chose for the paso (and the strobe lights, ugh) because it didn't fit the choreo, and no dancer could have made it look good. Much as I love him, I think Kupono will go home, and either Randi or Melissa. All the others had their moments to shine. We were all rooting for Travis to do well, and he did. Jason and Jeanine delivered a great performance for him. Fun fun fun!

Stefi said...

First, i have to say, love love love your blog! I used to update my blog ( with SYTYCD recaps, but then I found yours and decided you are just way better than me at recapping...thus a link to Tapeworthy on my blog was born!
Anyway, I loved Travis' number, it was so well-done. I love Jeannie, who I never really liked before. I should have bypassed the first 10 dancers to get cut, because I was saying how much this season didn't inspire me, but lordy, did yesterday prove otherwise! I do agree that Kupono has had a nice run, but it's time to go. And Randi's solo kind of collasped after those turns-gone-wrong...and I think if Melissa gets Lil' C hip hop, she's doomed. And can they please stop with the camera angles! So annoying. But now I'm actually excited to watch again, so yay! Keep up the good work, Tapeworthy!

DuchessKitty said...

Your top 3 partner routines are the same as mine.

Ade hands down had the top solo of the night for me, and pretty much has my heart too. I just flove him.

Nigel was in rare form with his comments last night wasn't he? From his odd "everyone who knows me knows my love of African dance", to his admittance that a lot of the contestants on this show fall off the face of the earth after their 15 min of fame, he didn't hold back. I could've done without him waxing poetic about the race relations in Hair though. Shut up while you're ahead Lythoe!

Vance said...

Thanks all! Yay, I was down between Ade and Evan for top male solo but I rewatched it and Evan won by a jazz hand. His solo was TIGHT and had a whole emotional arc to it all with humour.

I've liked Jeanine but I think she did get overshadowed by the buzz of Phillip that it's nice to see her finally get to shine!

Joseph Gomez said...

Melissa is still my sentimental favorite, although I do think Jeanine and Kayla have been spot on. Plus Janatte is a bad ass. Great top 4 girls.

Yeah, Kupono needs to go. He was doing great stuff with Kayla (or she was just bringing out the best i him) but his partnership with Randi was just bad juju. He's is pretty to look at though.

It's about damn time Evan showed his stuff. And Ade is just blowing me away. And yay fo Jason! I really enjoyed him this week.

And ugh to Tyce's lame ass choreo. Melissa better not be going home b/c of it. Get that guy off television! (and now he has an emmy nod?!?!?)