Tonight our Top 8 dance-dance-DANCED for us on So You Think You Can Dance. We got Mia Michaels as a guest judge along with “who invited her to the party?” talk-show host, Ellen DeGeneres. K, I like her, but just cuz Ellen does goofy dancing on her show doesn’t mean she’s an expert for the panel. Sers! We got new couples and the judges all refused to use adverbs proper(LY), but let’s move on to the dancing.
Each pair did two numbers and then all 8 dancers did a solo. Videos (from MJ) and recaps below:
MY BOTTOM GUY & GIRL: Evan Kasprzak & Melissa Sandvig (she’s actually one of my faves but I’m being objective here)
GROUP ROUTINE: Choreographed by Travis Wall - “Let It Rock” by Kevin Rudolph ft. Lil Wayne (VIDEO): The dancers are all doing some hippity Contemporary to this rock/Hip Hop song, wearing Lite Brites and glowing Geordi LaForge visors in the dark. It was aight, can’t complain.
Janette Manrara & Evan Kasprzak - Jazz by Sonya Tayeh - “Move” by CSS (VIDEO): For me, it’s Evan’s time to go home this week. He just doesn’t bring enough passion and ownership of the dances compared to the other three guys. He has the “aw shucks”, shrugged shoulders attitude which may work for old fashioned Broadway style dancing, but makes his other performances so pedestrian. I was focused on Janette during most of this number cuz she hit the moves like boom, boom, pow(!), and Evan, well, he was there in the background…
Janette & Evan - 2nd Dance - Rumba by Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin - “Heartless” by Kris Allen (VIDEO): Wow, this song sounded way better when Kris “Monkey Jaw” Allen sang it on American Idol. Again, Janette stole the spotlight and I thought I saw Evan falter in the beginning and at the end on some steps, but the judges didn’t mention it so maybe I’m cuhrazeh? I preferred Melissa & Ade’s Rumba from a few weeks ago to this one. A little dark and empty for me.
Jeanine Mason & Brandon Bryant - Waltz by Hunter Johnson - “May It Be” by Hayley Westenra (VIDEO): Wow, SNOOZE CRUISE alert! Poor Jeanine got stuck wearing this totally unflattering canary yellow dress. The judges weren’t too pleased with this Waltz and neither was I. It was so uninteresting, especially coming from two of the strongest dancers of the season. I thought these two would be a dream couple, but this Waltz did them ZERO favors. Yeech. Skip it!
Jeanine & Brandon - 2nd Dance - Pop Jazz by Laurieann Gibson - “Battlefield” by Jordin Sparks (VIDEO): This dance was a big improvement, but I was NOT feeling it as much as the cracked out judges. Nigel was suddenly raving like a mad man about how much he loved it, and he sort of peer pressured Mary into Hot Tamale Train-ing the dance. What I liked was the energy and strength, but I had problems with the fact that Jeanine was slightly ahead of Brandon’s moves in parts of the dance! Right? Who else caught that? They definitely weren’t that together so I was distracted - it was like the “boot camp” rehearsals with Laurieann effed with Jeanine’s head so she was overcompensating to keep up with her partner. Still, they got the judges’ love and methinks America loves them too - should be safe tomorrow.
Melissa Sandvig & Ade Obayomi - Cha-Cha by Tony Meredith and Melanie LaPatin - “Yeah (Como Goza Mi Morena)” by Chino Espinoza Y Los Dueños Del Sol (VIDEO): I was so happy to see Melissa & Ade reunite, but yikes, this dance wasn’t good at all. Love her old ass as I do, Melissa was really weak in the Cha-Cha. She didn’t possess much fire or hip action and looked uncomfortable attempting to do so and that was all I could focus on. Unfortunately, because this was one of the weakest dances, I think Melissa may be going home tomorrow. The other three gals are just incredibly strong and deserve to stay longer. The only highlight was Ellen’s tongue-in-cheek comment, mocking the terrible puns that usually come from Mary and Nigel, “Are you two carpenters? …Cuz you NAILED it!” (Note: Ellen didn’t have anything bad/constructive to say about any dance tonight, so her reviews don’t really count).
Melissa & Ade - 2nd Dance - Contemporary by Tyce DiOrio - “This Woman’s Work” by Maxwell (VIDEO): So this emotional dance about breast cancer had every judge on the panel in absolute tears (except Ellen). Yes, that means Nigel was choked up and crying, Mary’s tears left tracks in her make-up and Mia was absolutely sobbing during her critique. I love this song, I love this couple, I loved the emotion Melissa brought to it, I loved Ade’s sweet strength, but I was honestly more moved by the judges’ reactions than by the dance itself. Maybe I just had really high expectations because I’d heard rumors that it was so powerful… but I’m not sure I agree with Nigel that this is one for the SYTYCD history books. I’ll remember it for breaking down the judges, but the dance itself wasn’t too memorable for me.
Kayla Radomski & Jason Glover - Broadway by Tyce DiOrio - “Mr. Monotony” from Jerome Robbins Broadway by Kim Criswell (VIDEO): This was a swanky, smooth number. I appreciated Kayla’s dancing tonight more than the other girls - she has grace, style and performs really well as each “character”. Her personality off the dance floor? Well, that’s another story (a.k.a. bor-ring!). Grandpappy Radomski was back in the audience just splitting at the seams with pride and, as I always say, he’s the real reason why I like watching Kayla dance.
Kayla & Jason - 2nd Dance - Hip Hop by Shane Sparks - “They’re Everywhere” by Izza Kizza (VIDEO): After his previous Hip Hop numbers failed this season, I’m sure Mr. Sparks was out for redemption. Luckily, he had strong dancers as a resource and made a Michael Jackson Thriller-esque zombie dance. It was very entertaining and Kayla & Jason have good chemistry together. I do wonder how Tabitha & Napoleon felt after hearing Nigel say he’d been disappointed in the Hip Hop this season? Back-stabbed!
Kayla Radomski’s solo - “The Moment I Said It” by Imogen Heap (VIDEO): One of Kayla’s better solos in the past weeks. She showed a lot of control, really breathed into her movements and hit some beautiful lines.
Jason Glover’s solo - “…Slowdance On The Inside” by Taking Back Sunday (VIDEO) - Pretty boring, actually. Just lots of split leaps and stuff.
Janette Manrara’s solo - “Seduces Me” by Celine Dion (VIDEO) - She slowed it down and I really missed her quick, hot Salsa solos. It was okay, but not much of a stand-out for me.
Ade Obayomi’s solo - “Hater” by Various Artists Production (VIDEO) - A much, much improved solo from last week’s. His musicality was way stronger on this number and he was unique, a little odd, and did some powerful leaps and spins - please keep Ade, America! How can you resist that cheshire cat smile?
Melissa Sandvig’s solo - “Headless” by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs (VIDEO) - Totally more interesting than last week’s slooow ballet solo. It came off a bit 80’s and Flashdance-y, but that’s not really a bad thing. I just don’t know if it’s enough to save her. Waaah.
Evan Kasprazak’s solo - “Old Devil Moon” by Jamie Cullum (VIDEO) - He dropped his prop hat and had crazy armpit sweat stains, but I thought he was charming and loved the flip he did. (That doesn’t change the fact that I want him to go home already.)
Jeanine Mason’s solo - “Let the Drummer Kick” by Citizen Cope (VIDEO): Vewy intewesting. Man, Jeanine is thick, isn’t she? It’s sorta distracting, but that’s not to say she isn’t very talented. Nice song selection on her part, and was one of the best girls’ solos of the night.
Brandon Bryant’s solo - performed to “Ain’t Nothing Wrong with That” by Robert Randolph and the Family Band (VIDEO): Brandon is a pack of dynamite. I could watch him dance for hours. Keep this mofo around, even if he’s kinda annoying in rehearsal footage.
Tomorrow night is the big, FAT 100th So You Think You Can Dance episode EXTRAVAGANZA! We’ll be graced with Wade Robson, famous routines from past seasons (I hope they’ll be re-danced by previous contestants, but I won’t hold my breath) and Katie Holmes dances a tribute to Judy Garland. Plus, we find out which guy and gal get sent home - it’s getting tough to predict… Be sure to tune in!