Holla Gasmi! Tonight we start with a brief montage of the journey to the top ten. There was dancing, there was voting, there was Mia trying to disguise her jackassery as wanting to help someone develop their talent.
But now the power has shifted; your votes alone will now decide who stays and who goes. Just remember, with great power comes great responsibility, so don’t fuck it up, mmmkay? Are you ready? THIS. Is So You Think You Can Dance (dance……….dance)!
This week Nigel and Mary are joined by Debbie Allen at the judges’ table.
Cat talks to Nigel about the power shift to the viewers, and he babbles on a bit about how the show is about finding America’s favorite dancer, not his or Mary’s. Fascinating stuff.
Moving on to Mary. She thinks it’ll be tough now that they have to randomly pick their partners out of a hat. She thinks any type of change is difficult.
Thank you, Mrs. Obvious
Cat wants to know if Debbie ever stood up and shouted at her TV while watching this season. She did more than that, Cat Deeley! She threw some Haagen-Dazs at her TV a couple of times. Maybe she thought it would land in Mary’s mouth and shut her up.
In my dreams, honey, in my dreams.
She goes on to say that three of her top girls and three of her top guys have made it into the top ten, so she’s happy about that. She’s excited to be moving into the next phase of the competition where America decides who their favorite dancer is. Debbie reminds us that doesn’t always mean the best (I KNOW. How could we forget DANNY!?!). In the end it should be the person who you can’t stop thinking about once they’ve left the stage. Oh. In that case…….
Nigel would like to remind us that for the first time tonight we are voting for individuals, not couples. Cat tells us to make the decision easier we’re going to see each dancer dance a solo. Also, in case you forgot, new couples were chosen.
Before we get into any solos or duets, the top five girls will be performing a group Bollywood number choreographed by Nakul Dev Mahajan. He says they’re going to need a lot of energy, and they are going to be sweating a lot. They will also be dancing with water jug-like thingies on their heads for part of the dance which immediately makes me think of this…..
Randi thinks you have to pay attention when the choreographer is showing you the steps. Ummmm, thanks Randi, I would never have thought to do that. Jeanine thinks that since this is a group number they can’t be thinking about shining individually. Another reason to love her. Janette wants to have fun. Nakul thinks they’re Bollywood bombshells.
This dance is freaking awesome. They have the one slow moment starting out, and it’s almost like taking a deep breath before they kick it into gear. And that gear is fifth. WOW. This dance is high energy. There’s a really cool part where they turn around and lift the veils which have been hiding mustachioed masks.
I think I almost had a heart attack just watching this dance. It was so fast and furious. LOVED it. So did the judges.
Nigel starts out saying Nakul is so cool. Witty as ever is our Nigel. And, here comes his boner again. He wants to apologize to all the other girls that have ever been on this show because this top five are some of the most beautiful girls he’s ever seen working together. GAWD. Can we get to the actual judging now?
Thanks. He says there isn’t any one individual he can pick out to say that they were wonderful; he thought they were all fantastic and lacking nothing. A great start to the show. He puts them on his hot bangers and mash train.
Please stop talking about your sausage
Mary says “Bollywow”. And then goes on to talk about how awesome the show is for bringing Bollywood into our lives. She can see all five of them in final, she just can’t pick. Wait until after the other dances, Mary, you won’t have such a hard time then.
Debbie thought that this was an amazing cultural fusion. The girls inhaled the style……
Debbie inhaled some ganja…….
And then they really became a part of the dance. She thinks that this is inarguably the best top five girls they’ve had yet on any other season of the show. I not sure if I agree with that or not. I mean, from a technically trained point of view, she’s probably right, but there always seem to be a couple of them that I’m not crazy about. This year is no exception.
After a “short” commercial break, it’s time to for the first new couple, Kayla and Evan. Should be interesting. Evan tells us Kayla’s the tallest girl, and he’s the shortest guy, so that could pose a problem if they get ballroom. And lookey here, they get a Viennese waltz. So crazy how that Hogwart’s hat works.
Kayla and Evan each recap their dances from last week for us. Did anyone really need the reminder? Okay, in case you do, Kayla had an awesome contemporary piece by Mia, and a crappy Joey Dowling Broadway routine. Evan had vanilla flavored hip hop and a samba that was not sexy in any way shape or form.
Tony and Melanie will be their choreographers, and Melanie helpfully points out their height difference AGAIN. Cue height related antics. At one point Melanie says she wants them to switch shoes, so we get a shot of Evan wearing Kayla’s three inch heels.
Those shoes do not match his outfit
Kayla says they have some work to do, but she’s hoping they can make it mesmerizing and beautiful. Evan is going to dance like he is nine feet tall. Kayla gets points from me for the first time by saying, “I’m going to plie. A lot.” Very cute, Kayla.
Oh! They’re dancing to “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal! I lurve this song. For once, Kayla’s hair is actually pulled off her face, so thank you for that, costume department. And once again, she is not wearing any shoes. Boo! I understand why, but seriously, I am so sick of shoeless Kayla, I cannot even tell you. And no, sequined, bedazzled paws do not count as shoes.
I really like this number, and think they do a good job with it. The lifts look effortless, and the dance is smooth and flowing and very pretty. Nigel starts his critique saying that he’s confused, because they look like they’re the same height. So we get to zoom in on Evan and Kayla’s feet to see that the costumers put him in heels and her in paws. Yep, thanks Nigel, I actually figured that out while they were dancing.
He thinks they look fabulous. He has issues with this being called a Viennese waltz as he didn’t see much of a difference between this and a fast waltz. Sounds like an issue with the choreography, Nigel, not the dancing. He thought they did a good job dancing it, Evan was a strong and supportive partner, and Kayla has beautiful lines.
Mary says the song was about power, pleasure and pain. Oh Lord. Please don’t let her go off on a random sexual tangent. I’ve already barfed once. First she wants to talk about what was slightly painful. Evan. Watching his turns was painful, and he was lacking power. What’s interesting is that I didn’t see that while I watching them dance it, but when they were rolling playbacks while she was talking I did see some of what she was saying. Whoa. Is Mary giving actual helpful critique? Write that down.
She stops to say that they are fabulous dancers, but this is the top ten so the gloves are off. They have to take it to another level, and they didn’t. Feet were ploppy, there was no gliding, but she will say the lifts were amazing and it was as if Evan was six feet tall. He made them look effortless. Kayla has tremendous lines.
Debbie thinks this is a wonderful unexpected surprise. She doesn’t think either of them would have probably asked for this pairing, “But darling, you handled your big woman. You handled her. You handled your big woman, baby.”
She doesn’t care what kind of waltz it was; they were in three four and they were in time. She thought from way back when they were picking the top twenty that Kayla is like white lightening. And apparently they nicknamed Evan Gene Kelly. That has got to feel so good to hear that.
It does, it does.
Time for the first solo of the evening. Brandon is dancing to “In Your Eyes” by Jeffrey Gaines. It’s okay. I think we’ve seen him do better, and I have to admit, I was a little disappointed in this solo. It’s not that it was bad, it just didn’t have a lot of substance. Too much flailing around for me.
Also, nothing to do with his dancing, but I hated this song. Did we really need an angsty cover of this song? Really? No comment from the judges on the solo.
Time for the next couple, Janette and Ade. I think I’m going to like this pairing. Ade’s excited because he thinks she’s going to bring excitement and energy with her. Plus they won’t have to take their dinner break at 4:00 pm. Janette thinks he has a great personality, so it should be fun to work with him. They are sure to let us know that she is the shortest girl, and he is the tallest guy. Thanks!
We get their little recaps of last week’s dances, before finding out that they’ve drawn hip hop with Tabitha and Napoleon. Oh goody! I’ve been wanting to see Ade do hip hop, although I wish Shane was the choreographer.
Napoleon tells Ade that they’re gonna call him the funk doctor. Janette has no funk. The funk doctor is gonna give her some funk by hypnotizing her with his magical sequined pick. Cue unfunky hijinks, including Tabitha saying, “She’s gonna funk it all up.” Don’t strain yourself Tabby.
They’re performing to “Love Sex Magic” by Ciara featuring Justin Timberlake. Janette starts out dressed in I guess what’s supposed to be librarian-type clothing with glasses. Ade uses his pick to get her out of those clothes into something a little more
You know, it’s actually kind of a cute concept. Kind of. As much as I want to slam them for using a prop yet again, I think Tabitha and Napoleon choreographed a decent number for them. Ade stands out more for me than Janette, but she definitely holds her own.
You know, the thing about her is that she always attacks the dance. I never feel like she’s holding anything back, or not dancing full out. She is always ON. Good job by both of them on this one.
Nigel says if that’s what can be done with a pick, he is wearing one next week.
Those look like chopsticks, Nigel.
He gives the requisite shout out to Tabitha and Napoleon before moving on to Ade and Janette. He thought they both danced great, and Ade has funk. He loves when choreographers take a look at the dancers they’ve got and showcase them the best way possible.
Cat says it’s hard to take him seriously while he’s talking with two pencils sticking out of his head. She wants to know what he is doing. Well, he is going to try and hypnotize Mary out of her clothes later. Mary has the same reaction I do.
I will have nightmares tonight
Cat is awesome as ever and says that that’s a terrible visual. HEE. I love you Cat! Nigel’s just joshing. Duh. If he was going to hypnotize anyone out of their clothes, it certainly wouldn’t be Mary; Cat maybe. Or one of the top five girls. Mary’s wrinkly ass? I don’t think so.
Mary says it’s time to get serious and cut the crap. Then her voice goes up about eight octaves as she screeches, “That was funkeeeeeeee!” Oy. My ears will never be the same. It was a lot of fun and pure entertainment.
Debbie says these children wore her out. She thinks the routine was amazing. But the story, did she miss it? ”A pimp with a comb? I mean, stay away from my daughter, honey!” I am loving Debbie Allen tonight. She thinks they were mesmerizing together. Bravo.
Up next is Randi with her solo. She’s dancing to “Dream” by Priscilla
Yawn Ahn. It is not good. She falls out of one of her turns and never quite recovers from that. She’d better hope that her partnered dance kicks some major ass.
After yet another commercial break it’s time for Kupono’s solo. Jaysus. He has dressed himself again. Someone please tell him that he should cease and desist immediately.
I present to you….my penis!!
This solo doesn’t do it for me either. It’s typical Kupono fare; a lot of musicality, but other than that, nothing really to write home about. I’ve said it before, and I’m about to again, his technique is not strong. He interprets music well, and does great character work, but he doesn’t even come close to the other guys for me.
He also does a lot of that wooing and yelling bullshit that he likes to do when he’s done dancing which never fails to irk me.
Why is he wearing a gold spray painted macaroni necklace?
Let’s move along, shall we? The next couple to dance is going to be Jeanine and Jason. Phooey. I was really hoping that Jeanine would get Brandon this week. Oh well.
They’re both really excited to be working together. Jeanine especially seems to be looking forward to having some eye candy to work with.
They will be doing a contemporary piece choreographed by season two alum Travis Wall. I love Travis. I do not love his new hair color.
Apply bleach STAT!
Travis is nervous and excited about this opportunity. His story for this dance is that they are childhood friends hooking up for the first time. Should they do it? Should they just stay friends? We’ve all been there, right? Travis says there should be a burning passion between the two of them.
They’re dancing to “If It Kills Me (The Casa Nova Sessions)” by Jason Mraz. This dance is AH. MAZE. ING. Yes. It is. I could have done without the heart necklace, but other than that, I fucking loved it. There is so much packed into the minute and a half they have, and yet it doesn’t feel crowded to me at all.
There are a ton of lifts and partnering work which they handle with ease. But more than that, they really sell it. I buy the emotion from them, and am pulled into the piece by them. At one point they are literally ripping each other’s clothes.
Of course the story ends with them going for it (that’s the way those stories always go, isn’t it?). That moment is punctuated by Jeanine pulling Jason down onto her, which I think was a great choice by Travis. I could have done without was their kiss at the end. It was fine, but I didn’t think it was necessary. I got the passion and fire from the dance; it didn’t need to be illustrated by a kiss.
Standing ovation from the judges, deservedly so. Debbie Allen is yelling “Touchdown!” into her mike, and I completely agree.
Nigel has to hold back on his comments for them for a minute. Of course he does. He has to talk about Travis and how he was a contestant, and now is choreographing for the show. Yes, we are all aware, Nigel.
He thinks this is the first time that Jeanine has had a partner that can keep up with her technically. Uh, yeah. Another one we are all well aware of. He thinks Jason was fabulous, and that they’ve both become stars tonight.
Mary is lost for words. Yep. I love this dance. Unfortunately she regains the power of speech, but it was glorious for a moment or two. She yells out that they are STAAAAAAAAARS! She is so proud of them, that she’s dizzy and ready to pass out.
She also gives props to Travis, getting teary eyed in the process. You know, I love this dance, I really do, but it’s not like it’s the first time an alumni has choreographed for the show. One of them even got an Emmy nomination (We’ll talk more about that in the next recap). She ends her critique with a silent scream dedicated to Conan. Oh, if only they were all silent.
Debbie remembers watching Travis when he was fourteen, assisting his mom at a class she taught at Debbie’s academy. She thinks the show has now gone beyond being a competition. It’s a conversation that’s connecting a community of dance around the world. She thinks it is evangelizing dance in a way that nothing else has. Don’t ask me, I don’t know.
I worship the dance.
Debbie goes on to say that she thinks this is a magical pairing. She thinks Jeanine should go sew that dress back up so he can tear it up again. She can’t wait to buy a ticket to see that dance live on the tour. Hey, Debbie? You just saw it live.
But not sober, honey
Time for some more solos! Melissa is up. En pointe again, dancing to “Gabriel” by Lamb.
She does a decent job, but I thought last week’s effort was better. The thing about Melissa is that she makes it look effortless, so it’s easy to forget sometimes that what she’s doing isn’t easy. But there were some things that bugged me; I thought she was a lot more posey this week, and there were a few times where she wasn’t squarely on pointe, not quite up over her toes. Like I said, good job, but I wasn’t blown away by it. And I wish I was.
Evan’s next, dancing to Rufus Wainwright’s cover of “Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart”.
I absolutely loved his solo. This is why I’m glad Evan is still in the competition at this point. He also makes his moves look effortless, but somehow I never forget how difficult some of those moves he’s doing are. The height he gets on his leaps is incredible. THIS is how you dance a solo! (solo….solo……solo)
We’re getting another solo now. Kayla is dancing to “Rock Your Soul” by Elisha. This was what I said as she started to dance. “Ready? Kick, kick, kick, leap, roll on the floor, kick, kick, leap, fan kick, kick, developpe, kick, leap.”
And there you have it. I mean, what else can I say at this point? She has gorgeous lines. Beautiful technique. Boy can she kick those legs in the air. Perhaps she should call the Rockettes; they always need girls who can kick it up.
Up next is the new partnership of Randi and Kupono. Kupono thinks she’s adorable and that he can just put her in his pocket. Randi thinks he has a great energy about him and a great presence on stage. They will be dancing a paso doble choreographed by Tony and Melanie.
This dance is awful. Really really awful. The music is awful. The wig on Randi’s head is awful. The dancing is beyond awful. As in pack your bags because you need to go. Kupono cannot pull off this dance at all. And Randi is clunky looking and nowhere near passionate enough for the style. Paso blow-bleh.
Nigel makes sure to say that the choreography was good before he comments on the dancing. He doesn’t feel as though Kupono carried the strength. It was too up in the air, not enough down in the floor. Then he comments on Randi’s wig, as if she had any choice about it. I really hate it when he does that. Was the wig awful? Yes. Is that her fault? No.
As Cat goes over to Mary she makes a comment about how hard it is given that they’re with a new partner this week. Uh, so is everyone else Cat. Please don’t make me tell you to shut it.
Mary says it’s hard for everyone (thank you!), and you’re going to see some people rise to that challenge, and others, well………you know. You just saw it. She thinks it needs to be so much stronger; it needs to come from a deep place of strength. “It’s about life and death and going for it!” It was too cautious.
Debbie finds it hard not to agree with what Nigel and Mary have said. She thinks maybe part of it is that the trust is not there for them as partners. At times she felt that it was awkward. Maybe it would have been better if they had had more time, but they didn’t and it wasn’t where it needed to be.
Alrighty. Let’s keep this moving. Time for another solo, this time it’s Ade. He is dancing to “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers. Love this song.
Again, I am not loving this solo. I thought what he did last week was leaps and bounds better than what he is doing here. Part of the issue I have is with the musicality. I think I get what he was trying to do. I think he’s choreographed this to the underlying music, not the melody. Which is an interesting idea, but I don’t think it worked. I still love him and think he’s great, I just wish his solo blew me away the way it did last week.
The next solo is from Jeanine. She’s doing a tango-esque feeling number to “Violento (Up Mix)” by Bailongo! The exclamation point is theirs, not mine.
I like it. A lot. The musicality is there, along with some nice leaps and turns including a nice fouette section. This is by far my favorite of the girls’ solos tonight.
We follow Jeanine’s solo with Jason, dancing to “Train Fare Home” by Muddy Waters. This is a departure from what we’ve seen from Jason in his solos so far. Instead of feeling desperate and crammed full of tricks, this solo seems more laid back, more confident.
Hilariously, at one point while he’s dancing you can hear a girl in the audience yell out, “Take off your top!” He doesn’t do it. I don’t mind because he is not at the top of my list of men I want to see shirtless.
After yet ANOTHER commercial break, it’s time for the last couple of the evening. Cat wants to know if you’ve been paying attention. Have you? Well then surely you’ve already figured out that Melissa and Brandon have been paired up.
Shockingly, they are both excited to be working together. Wouldn’t it have been great if someone had been like, “Oh shit. I got paired with HIM?!? I hate his fucking guts.” I find it hard to believe that they all love each other so much.
Anyway, they will be doing a Broadway routine. Thankfully Joey Dowling crawled back under the rock she came out of. But it’s not all good news. Tyce is still here. Poop. I hardly ever like anything that he does. And he almost always picks shitty songs.
Tyce tells us they are doing a number from a very famous rock musical. Jesus Christ Superstar? Nope. Pippin? Nah. HAIR!! Wee!!!! I love it. Hopefully his choreography won’t suck donkey dong like it usually does.
There are a lot of lifts and touching and entwining in the dance, and they tell us that they got to know each other very quickly. In fact, their first move involved Melissa getting a faceful of Brandon’s ass.
Did you have eggs for breakfast?
They’re dancing to “Aquarius” from the new cast album. Whoa. Gasmi? I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I sorta love this dance. I know, I know, it’s Tyce, so I went in expecting to not like it at all, but I thought he did a really good job on this one.
Tyce did a really good job here of playing to both of their strengths, and that combination of ballet and athleticism mesh nicely with the music of Hair. I can’t believe I like a Tyce Broadway number this much. Someone slap me.
Nigel thinks it was fantastic, and talks about how Twyla Tharp was the choreographer for the movie version. He also talks about how this is the first musical he can remember that had white girls dancing with black guys, which was a pretty big deal at the time. Of course, so was the nudity, drug references and bisexuality. It truly was a ground breaking show.
Nigel says they brought back a lot of memories for him. I hope he resists the urge to share any of them with us.
Mary has been at something again. “I don’t mean to blow smoke up your……………but(t) that was unbelievable!” Do you think she pays someone to write those lines for her?
Debbie thinks that they evoked the real harmony. Of what you ask? Well, I don’t know because she never clues us in.
She thinks that they were both powerful, technical, yet different. Together it was seamless. There were big wow moves, and small simple things that let us be a part of it. She says it was a joy to watch.
That’s it for the couples, and now it’s time for the final solo of the evening. Who is it? Janette!
I need the name of her waxer
She dances to “This is Miami” (Of course she does) by Sander Kleinenberg. You know, the ballroom solos are never easy to pull off, but I think she does a good job here. It’s not anything earth shattering, but I don’t think she’s going to accomplish that in a thirty second salsa solo. All in all a good showing from her.
So that’s it, right? Wrong! The guys still have their group number. I can’t believe I almost forgot about it. For their group effort the guys will be doing African dance with Jeffrey Page. Jeffrey is not playing around. He tells us he is bringing some really complicated movement to the table.
He tells the guys that this is not going to be Hollywood African. He’s reaching for a dance that shows off masculinity. Jeffrey tells them that the entire piece is like them bragging to a beautiful woman.
Evan says it feels awkward, and points out to us that he is not African. Ummm, is anyone in that room? Please don’t make me come over there and smack you Evan.
Brandon talks about how all the movement in this dance is quick. And hard. Kupono says it’s a true true dance style and he just can’t get it. Jason talks about how there’s no counts, it’s all rhythm. So? Shouldn’t you have rhythm if you are a dancer?
The rhythm thing annoys me. There are a ton of choreographers on this show that don’t use counts, they use that “gah ha haha” language which is essentially about capturing the rhythm. So to say a dance style is not using counts is not an acceptable excuse in my book. A good dancer should be able to find the rhythm in anything they are doing.
Jeffrey tells them not to go to class, or to plies; he wants them to go to raw movement.
I can see where Jeffrey was going with this number, but the guys don’t get there. I think the issue for me is that they’re all lacking that rawness.
None of them let go of their training enough to get to the pure and raw energy that this dance should have. Some of the guys do a little better than others, but on the whole I’d say they got served by the girls tonight.
I think maybe Cat picked her dress out tonight so that she would look good standing with the guys.
And she does
So Nigel, what are your thoughts on this? Anyone that knows him knows how much he loves African dance. Ooookay. Thanks for sharing.
He thinks that Jeffrey might just be one of the meanest choreographers he’s ever met because that routine was tough. He then goes on to single out Evan calling him a dancing milkshake. He seems shocked that Evan didn’t stick out like a sore thumb. He says they all did great.
Mary loved the costumes and adored the dance. Mary also singles Evan out saying that clearly this is not his dance, but he did well in it. Hey white guy! You weren’t too bad. Everyone else, you were great, but you’re not white so it’s not much to talk about.
Debbie wants us to know that what’s important about this dance style and it being a part of this show is that it is the origin of hip hop, and jazz. She loves that Jeffrey’s work was so pure and so authentic. And she’s proud of the guys because she thinks they passed the test tonight with this one.
Nigel pipes up to say, “Much better than Russian folk!” Really, Nigel? You can’t just let it go?
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And now, Cat is ready to turn it over to us. She gives us the numbers for each dancer again, and sends us off to vote.
What did you think, Gasmi? I loved the Bollywood number, and most of the partnered dances. Was disappointed in the execution of the African dance, and not blown away by many of the solos. I think the best solos of the night were Jeanine and Evan’s.
Predictions for the bottom? Well, Randi and Kupono for sure. Jason and Kayla could end up there; her because people don’t seem to like her too much, him because he hasn’t done great in the vote getting department thus far. I don’t know.
It’s going to keep getting tougher and tougher to call. All I know for sure is that Randi and Kupono are the ones that deserve to go home based on their performances this week. What do you think?
I’m following my usual routine of jumping right over to the results recap, so I hope to have that up for you soon! Until then….