Posts Tagged ‘Kuponohi’ipo Aweau’

So You Think You Can Dance 6 Starts Next Week!

Posted by ERIN in So You Think You Can Dance

September 3rd, 2009, 11:05 AM

so you think can dance logoHey Dance fans! Seems I just stopped the late-night So You Think You Can Dance recaps and yet here we are, a month later, about to do it all over again for the new Fall season of SYTYCD (Season 6, y’all)! It all starts next Wednesday, September 9th, on FOX!

To whhhhet our appetites for next week’s premiere, Nigel Lythgoe hosted a delightful filler episode of his Best 16 Routines from all 5 seasons (rerun-style, no one returned to re-perform them). Check the vids below (by MJ) and enjoy!


Destini Rogers & Jamile McGee - Hip Hop by Shane Sparks (“Shake” by Ying Yang Twins feat. Pitbull) – VIDEO
Melody Lacayanga & Nick Lazzarini - Chicago - Jazz by Tyce DiOrio (“All That Jazz” by Ute Lemper) – VIDEO


Heidi Groskreutz & Benji Schwimmer - Mambo by Alex Da Silva (“Black Mambo” by Angel & The Mambokats) – VIDEO
Allison Holker & Ivan Koumaev - Contemporary by Tyce DiOrio (”Why” by Annie Lennox)VIDEO
Heidi & Travis Wall - Bench Routine - Contemporary by Mia Michaels (“Calling You” by Celine Dion) – VIDEO


Jaimie Goodwin & Hok Konishi - The Hummingbird and the Flower - Jazz by Wade Robson (“The Chairman’s Waltz” from Memoirs of a Geisha soundtrack) – VIDEO
Sabra Johnson & Neil Haskell - The Boardroom Battle - Contemporary by Mandy Moore (“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by The Eurythmics) – VIDEO
Lacey Schwimmer & Danny Tidwell - Samba by Dmitry Chaplin (“Hip Hip Chin Chin” by Club Des Blugas) – VIDEO
Lauren Gottlieb & Pasha Kovalev - Transformers - Hip Hop by Shane Sparks (“Fuego” by Pitbull) – VIDEO


Courtney Galiano & Mark Kanemura - Jazz by Sonya Tayeh (“The Garden” by Mirah) – VIDEO
Chelsie Hightower & Mark - Hip Hop by Tabitha and Napoleon (“Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis) – VIDEO
Katee Shean & Joshua Allen - Contemporary by Mia Michaels (“Hometown Glory” by Adele) – VIDEO


Janette Manrara & Brandon Bryant - Disco by Doriana Sanchez (“Loving is Really My Game” by Brainstorm) – VIDEO
Kayla Radomski & Kupono Aweau - Addiction - Contemporary by Mia Michaels (“Gravity” by Sara Bareilles) – VIDEO
Jeanine Manrara & Jason Glover - Contemporary by Travis Wall (“If It Kills Me (The Casa Nova Sessions)” by Jason Mraz) – VIDEO
Melissa Sandvig & Ade Obayomi - Breast Cancer Routine - Contemporary by Tyce DiOrio (“This Woman’s Work” by Maxwell) – VIDEO

Wahooo! I’m ready to recap if you’re all ready to gather ’round your tellies and watch with me. Who needs sleep when there’s dance, dance, DANCE to be had? Do you care that they’re moving one of the best Summer shows to dreary ol’ Fall? Guess we’ll see how it plays out next week on the new So You Think You Can Dance season!

So You Think You Can Dance 5: Season Finale Vids!

Posted by ERIN in So You Think You Can Dance

August 6th, 2009, 10:50 PM

jeanine mason - winner of so you think you can dance season 5I am at peace, readers. Ommm (nom, nom, nom)…

Yes, all is right in my little world of So You Think You Can Dance. It’s amazing, really. Apparently I’ve wanted sarcastic, dedicated, chunkily-proportioned underdog: JEANINE MASON to win this deflated season for some time and now that she has? I’m satisfied.

Sure, runner-up Brandon Bryant “deserved” it - he’s an absolute powerhouse, but I haven’t connected with him in the heart parts, and it seems that counts for a lot among us viewers.

Tonight we revisited this season’s “memorable dances” whilst whittling the Top 4 down to the sole possessor of the “America’s Favorite Dancer” title and the $250,000 smackeroon prize.

Miss the finale or want to re-watch the dances? Video’s below, y’all (by MJ)!

TOP 20 GROUP NUMBER (Reprise): “A Brand New Day” from The Wiz - Broadway by Tyce DiOrio. VIDEO

On the judging panel tonight? Uh, basically every single SYTYCD judge evs: Lil C, Mia Michaels, Tyce DiOrio, Debbie Allen, Adam Shankman, Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe himself.

ADAM SHANKMAN’S PICK: Couple Resolves Fight Before Beddy Bye - Hip Hop by Tabitha & Napoleon - “Mad” by Ne-Yo - featuring Jeanine Mason & Phillip  Chbeeb. VIDEO

NIGEL LYTHGOE’S PICK: Hot, Kicky Argentine Tango by Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo - “Libertango” from Forever Tango - featuring Janette Manrara & Brandon Bryant. VIDEO

DEBBIE ALLEN’S PICK: Vitolio’s Sad, Flowy Waltz by Louis Van Amstel - “Dreams are More Precious” by Enya - featuring Asuka Kondoh & Vitolio Jeune. VIDEO

MARY MURPHY’S PICK: Childhood Friends Get It On/Necklace Contemporary by Travis Wall - “If It Kills Me” by Jason Mraz - featuring Jeanine & Jason Glover. VIDEO

MIA MICHAELS’ PICK: Kayla’s Pink Fringe Samba by Louis Van Amstel - “Jum Bah Day” by House of Gypsies - featuring Kayla Radomski & Max Kapitanniko. VIDEO

KHERINGTON PAYNE in Fame: Season 4’s blonde sweetheart, Kherington, gives the Top 4 a sneak peek at her new film: a revamp of the classic Fame. Plug, plug. VIDEO

DEBBIE’S 2ND PICK: Top 16 Group Ballroom and Hip Hop by Dmitry Chaplin and Tabitha & Napoleon - “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)” by Pit Bull. VIDEO

TALIA FOWLER JAZZ: Choreographed by Sonya Tayeh - “Shot You Down” by Audio Bullies - featuring Talia Fowler, a ballerina and winner of the second season of So You Think You Can Dance Australia. VIDEO

LIL C’s PICK: Bollywood by Nakul Dev Mahajan - “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire - featuring Caitlin Kinney & Jason. VIDEO

FIRST ELIMINATION: Kayla Radomski gets cut. She is undoubtedly a gorgeous dancer. Especially loved her in the “Addiction” dance (coming up below), and she was almost consistently amazing as a performer in each number. I will miss her sweet, sobbing grandpa most of all. VIDEO

ADAM’S 2nd PICK: The Butt Dance - Contemporary by Mia Michaels - “Koop Island Blues” by Koop ft. Ane Brun - featuring Randi Strong-Evans & Evan Kasprzak. VIDEO

MARY’S 2nd PICK: Matrix Paso Doble by Louis Van Amstel - “Tetsujin” from The Matrix Revolutions - featuring Jeanine & Brandon. VIDEO

SECOND ELIMINATION: Evan Kasprzak gets the cut. Thank you, jeebus. VIDEO

NIGEL’S 2nd PICK: Addiction dance - Contemporary by Mia Michaels - “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles - featuring Kayla & Kupono Aweau. (Side note: I effin’ love Kupono’s performance in this number). VIDEO

RAGE BOYZ CREW: Cute lil boys do Hip Hop by Tiffany Burton - “Feel It” by Colby O’Donis & Mauli - . VIDEO

TYCE DIORIO’S PICK: Fastest Disco Number Ever by Doriana Sanchez - “Loving Is Really My Game” by Brainstorm - featuring Janette & Brandon. VIDEO

MIA’S 2nd PICK: Breast Cancer dance - Contemporary by Tyce DiOrio - “This Woman’s Work” by Maxwell - featuring Melissa Sandvig & Ade Obayomi. VIDEO

TOP 8 GROUP DANCE (Reprise): Broadway by Mia Michaels - “One” from A Chorus Line - SURPRISE!!! All of the judges (except Lil C) come out from behind the mirrors at the end in tuxes and do a few jazzy steps. Adorable! VIDEO

WINNER RESULTS: It’s down to Jeanine and Brandon…who has been voted as the winner by America? Iiiiiiiit’s… JEANINE MASON!! VIDEO

My final thoughts:

1) I’m fine - even happy - with the outcome. How about you? Do you agree that Jeanine should win?
2) Is this terrible encouragement to stage mothers across the world to force their children to take up things like dance, even when they’re miserable like Mama Mason did to Jeanine? Something to think about.
3) Why wasn’t Janette in the Top 4 again? She’s a HOT TAMALE, YES SHE IS!
4) Congratulations, Jeanine, for sneaking by and swiping that crown!

Wondering where you’ll get your next dance fix from? Never fear! Season 3 of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew premieres this Sunday, and in just one month, So You Think You Can Dance will be back with its 6th Season (September 9th on FOX)!

Buy a ticket for the Hot Tamale Train and join me then, won’t you? Until that time comes though, I’m gonna enjoy the month of extra sleep on Wednesday and Thursday nights when I won’t be recapping! This is me, *jazz handsing* off-stage. Erin out!

So You Think You Can Dance 5: Top 18 Elimination

Posted by ERIN in So You Think You Can Dance

June 18th, 2009, 11:42 PM

ashley valerio so you think you can dance top 18 elimination maksim kapitanniko so you think you can dance top 18 elimination Did the right dude and dudette get cut from the Top 18 on So You Think You Can Dance’s elimination show tonight? Results recap ahead (videos de MJ’s).

The Top 18 open the show with a dramatic, zombie-slouchy Mia Michael’s dance to “Higher Ground” by Stevie Wonder while wearing hot black suits and Maori face paint. What the hell is going on? It’s like the music video for Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love,” with the tight ponytails and hulking, bobbing movements. But is it about rock stars, or fame? I am perplexed and intrigued all at once. It’d be nice if we could get some backstage clips to understand what these strange group numbers are about. And to see if Mia and Brandon Bryant still don’t see eye-to-eye. (VIDEO)

Instead we got this fun-but-waste-of-time montage of Lil C’s long-winded critiques. Eh. (VIDEO)

Onto the results. Melissa and Ade are thankfully safe - they’re really growing on me. Caitlin and Jason are in the Bottom 3 after their hokey Hip Hop number and amazingly, Jeanine and Phillip are safe despite their flawed Tango. I tell ya, that Chbeeb owes a lot to his fans who must be voting like mad for him. Caitlin and Jason prep to (get ready for it) DANCE FOR THEIR LIVES. (VIDEO)

Next we have Janette and Brandon who killed their super-speed Disco number last night (the good kinda “kill”). America agrees and the power couple are safe to see another week! Next, cutie patootie couple Karla and Jonathan escape being in the Bottom 3 again (and rightly so) after their emotional Contemporary dance. I’m stoked - now let’s give Karla some Hip Hop to “wow” us with (assuming Jonathan can keep up). That unfortunately puts one of my fave couples, Ashley and Kupono, in the Bottom 3. But not surprising since their Hip Hop routine was sloppy. Like Cat, I’m selfishly happy that I get to watch Kupono do a solo. I could watch him forevs. (VIDEO)

Then Cat gives us a surprise: footage from the Fall SYTYCD 6 auditions (going on now). Older “Broadway Brother” Ryan Kasprzak taps his way back to the audition stage and we find out he makes it to Vegas! C’mon, they’ve gotta let him through right? He’s 29, America loves him, he’s a genius choreographer and has personality to boot. Should we assume he’ll be in the Fall’s Top 20? Yeah. (VIDEO)

“Fun Fun Fun” couple Randi and Evan are safe as are Asuka and Vitolio. Unfortunately, that leads to the shocker that judge’s #1 favorite lady Kayla Radomski and partner Max are in the Bottom 3. That’s a shame - I really liked their Pop Jazz/de-throned princess routine last night. They must DANCE FOR THEIR LIVES. (VIDEO)

We get a lot of strong solos: Caitlin does her usual limber, flowy choreography; Jason is way more interesting to watch in his own genre (Contemporary). His leaps and extensions are wild. Ashley’s next (looking very Ashley Judd, actually - PIC) with a solid solo. Finally, it’s my guy Kupono who still reminds me of fellow Hawaiian dancer, Mark Kanemura, from last season. I like his connection to the music. Save him, judges! (VIDEO)

Finally we get solos from Kayla, who makes lovely leaps which fit her song, “Walking on Air,” but it seems a bit rushed (curse that countdown adding pressure!) and Max who does an impressive, fast-steppin’ jive (take notes, Randi and Evan) to “Footloose”. I’m into it. (VIDEO)

The judges run backstage with their notes and newcomer Kristina Debarge sings “Goodbye”. Fast forward! (VIDEO). Then a crazy-fast footwork professional dancer from India jingle jangles all over the stage and manages to make it look easy. (VIDEO)

ELIMINATED: Ashley Valerio and Maksim “Max” Kapitanniko (VIDEO)

It was not unanimous for the judges (which makes me sooo curious about which judge voted for whom…), but they are two dancers who, while talented, don’t have as much of a following by viewers as some of the others. It’s a shame, but we’ll survive.

This means next week, Kayla and Kupono will pair up. Two of my favorites to watch, but after seeing Kayla sob over Max’s departure I wonder if she feels like Kupono should’ve left instead of her partner! Will it make things awkward for them, or will they knock my socks off with their combined Contemporary stylez? So You Think You Can Dance, you always keep me guessin’! Until next week, dance lovers!

So You Think You Can Dance 5: Top 18 Perform!

Posted by ERIN in So You Think You Can Dance

June 17th, 2009, 11:57 PM

You can’t ask for better summer entertainment than So You Think You Can Dance. These choreographers and dancers are so talented, the judges are playful but genuinely supportive (are we taking notes, American Idol?). It’s a good time had by all, so pull up a chair. Videos (by MJ’s Big Blog) and thoughts comin’ atcha.

ade and melissa so you think you can dance jazzJoining judges Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy tonight was Hip Hop/Krumpmaster Lil C, who is always an odd judge. His long-winded, flowery comments always start out a little Paula Abdul - like I brace myself with,”Oh man, this is gonna get all kinds of crazy,” but once he makes his point, I totally get what he meant with all those metaphors and similes. But then he goes and spits some wonky grammar like, “You did good” and I wonder where my Lil C-hakespeare went.

My BOTTOM 3 couples: Caitlin & Jason, Phillip & Jeanine, and *knife to my heart* Kupono & Ashley.

Randi Strong-Evans & Evan Kasprzak - Jive - Louis Van Amstel - “Shake a Tail Feather” by Ray Charles (VIDEO): Who else snorted or cheered when Randi came out in one of her infamous unitards during her solo? *raise hand* Being an occasional Dancing With the Stars watcher, I know I’ve seen sharper, harder-hitting Jive numbers than what Team Short Stuff did. It wasn’t that bad, but there was a clunkiness to their dance, even though they had the right energy and “dance faces” on. Judges agree.

Melissa Sandvig & Ade Obayomi - Jazz - Sonya Tayeh - “24 Hours (the Ashton Shuffle A-Bomb Remix)” by Terry Poison (VIDEO): Wow, I am totally LOVING Ade more and more. He is so gorgeous, I can’t get over it - could he bump front-runner Brandon Bryant from the spotlight? Hmmm. I always look forward to Sonya’s nasty-weird-sinister Jazz numbers, but I found it was missing some cohesion (maybe that’s what Sonya was going for). Also, I really like Melissa & Ade as a couple, although I thought Melissa could’ve attacked the moves harder, but hey, she’s the old ballerina, so it’s cool. Keep ‘em around!

Caitlin Kinney & Jason Glover - Hip Hop - Shane Sparks - “Missin’ You” by Trey Songs (VIDEO): Caitlin looks more like LeAnn Rimes every time I see her. Those blond curls and squinty eyes - straight Rimes, I tell ya. Anyway, this number didn’t do it for me. It’s not like the dancing was really poor, but their performance was laughable - super corny, effeminate grins throughout…gross! Where the stank faces at?!  Mary pointed out that they weren’t in sync either. She was totally confused about why Caitlin & Jason didn’t click, but hello? I remember that last week their Bollywood dance was NOT as hot as the judges said. The two of them were struggling with that also. Yeah, this was my least favorite to watch - just too “cute and fluffy” for a hip hop dance.

caitlin and jason so you think you can dance hip hopJanette Manrara & Brandon Bryant - Disco - Doriana Sanchez - “Loving You is Really My Game” by Brainstorn (VIDEO): Speaking of look-a-likes, anyone else see that Brandon = Carlton Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air (PIC)? I think it’s his cheesy grin. I still love him though! Ok, so believe it or not…I actually liked watching this disco number! Guess it just takes the right dancers, but they really killed this wild, fast disco number without being too cornball. Janette had trouble with the steps in rehearsal, but her pep really fit with this number. Lots of lifts and splits, too. Not bad for disco, which usually suck hard. Even Lil C, one of Brandon’s critics, had to give him props tonight! Still a power couple, these two.

Asuka Kondoh & Vitolio Jeune - Waltz - Louis Van Amstel - “Dreams Are More Precious” by Enya (VIDEO): Ok, so I’m still not really an Asuka fan because (espesh after last week’s “dance for your life” solo) I feel like she tries too hard to “act”. Like “act sexy,” “act sad,” “act supportive of partner”. On the other hand, I really like Vitolio and think he’s cute when he’s not drowning in his sweat (suck it, Asuka! Who the hell tells a partner, “I don’t find you attractive” after just meeting them? How rude!). With all that said, I thought this Waltz was lovely. The music, the elegant movements, the emotion behind it and Vitolio’s orphan upbringing…what a combo *wipe tear*. I admit that Asuka was graceful and made the right “tragic, distressed” faces, but I still feel that she wasn’t as genuine as Vitolio’s performance. But very strong overall, the judges loved it and Mary started crying.

Kayla Radomski & Max Kapitanniko - Pop Jazz - Brian Friedman - “Hot Like Wow” by Nadia Oh (VIDEO): Oh my, I really liked this weird shiz! Totally entertaining number where Kayla played a princess being entertained by Max, who seduces her in a plot to steal the throne - Mwahahaha! *twirl mustachio menacingly* Like Mary, I was distracted by Max’s baggy-crotched MC Hammer pants, but it was a really compelling storyline! Kayla really is fun to watch, and the judges were drooling all over her, but HELLO Grandpa Radomski was in the audience! Just seeing him tearing up with pride made me want to cry all over again. I. Love. Him.

janette and brandon so you think you can dance discoKarla Garcia & Jonathan Platero - Contemporary - Stacey Tookey - “Falling Slowly” by The Frames (VIDEO): Is there an unspoken rule that every Contemporary dance number requires that one or more of the dancers must wear silk? Like say, a silk slip, a silk dress shirt, or silk pajamas? Let’s get more creative, people! But no matter, s’all good cuz I like Jonathan & Karla (although Karla is stronger) and they were one of the better couples of the night. I wasn’t as into it as the judges were - Season 4 had better Contemporary numbers IMO (Katee & Joshua, Kherington & Twitch) and the emotions felt a little forced. But overall, solid, so please keep them around, America! Jonathan is soo pretty and I wanna see Karla bust out her Hip Hop skillz in the future!

Jeanine Mason & Phillip Chbeeb - Tango - Tony Meredith - “Violento (Up Mix)” by Bailango (VIDEO): Eh, that was pretty weaksauce, especially Phillip. I get that he’s a fun pop-locker to watch, but I’m never convinced that he’s strong enough outside of his genre. Jeanine actually redeemed this for me with her sultry Tango-lady role, but as a whole, it was like watching two kids do a “tango” for a high school talent show. Will they end up in the Bottom 3 where they belong, or will Chbeeb’s fangirls save him?

Ashley Valerio & Kupono Aweau - Hip Hop - Shane Sparks - “Imma Be” by Black Eyed Peas (VIDEO): The concept had sooo much potential: Ashley lays on the ground as Kupono’s shadow and mimics his movements… but execution-wise, they didn’t pull it off. I couldn’t tell who to watch because they were both doing their own thing: Ashley was getting the moves and ‘tude right, but Kupono has his own style and I love watching him move. Unfortunately, based on this dance, they may end up in the Bottom 3 tomorrow. Save Kupono!

Catch So You Think You Can Dance at 9pm to see which guy and gal get cut. Also, Mia Michaels is choreographing a group number for the Top 18. Will she tone down her crabby attitude? Will Brandon prove himself to her? Guess we’ll have to watch and see!

So You Think You Can Dance 5: Top 20 Elimination

Posted by ERIN in So You Think You Can Dance

June 11th, 2009, 11:08 PM

Ah, the dreaded Thursday night So You Think You Can Dance elimination show. Buckle up, kids it’s time to whittle! Videos a la MJ’s.

Shane Sparks hip hop dance So You Think You Can DanceWe open with the Top 20 doing a hip hop routine choreographed by none other than America’s Best Dance Crew judge Shane “You smashed it!” Sparks to the inescapable summer jam “Boom Boom Pow” by the Black Eyed Peas. Methinks it was some sort of glammy-rock hobo alley act (VIDEO)? There was trash all over the stage, raccoon eyeliner and lots of “prowling” movements. I’unno. I *do* know that the SYTYCD strategy of, “OMFG! Maybs if we make our cameras jolty and shaky, it’ll add excitement to the dances!” is ANNOYING. I should tweet my feedback to Nigel himself, dammit!

Then we got to learn a little bit more about the dancers - things like the guys are prone to waterfall sweats and Melissa Sandvig does gross man-burps (VIDEO).

Kayla Radomski & Max Kapitanniko, Randi Strong-Evans & Evan Kasprzak and Jeanine Mason & Phillip Chbeeb are all safe (VIDEO). No real surprise there, they were the best performers last night.

Jason Glover & Caitlin Kinney, Melissa Sandvig & Ade Obayomi and Ashley Valerio & Kupono Aweau are also safe. I like all three of these couples, so I’m stoked they survived! That leaves cutie-patootie Tony Bellisimo & Paris Torres shut out in the cold - Bottom 3 Couplesville for them. They didn’t seem too shocked (probs based on the judges’ “mehhhh” feedback of their hip hop routine last night), but had to get focused on doing a solo DANCE FOR THEIR LIVES (VIDEO).

Next, we learn that Janette Manrara & Brandon Bryant are safe (thank god - I hope they get to explode in a more upbeat number next week)! That means the final two couples in the Bottom 3 are Asuka Kondoh & Vitolio Jeune and Karla Garcia & Jonathan Platero. I agree with the former, but I really enjoyed Karla & Jonathan’s sassy Cha-Cha, so I am bummed they’re not winning more votes (VIDEO).

Every Thursday, SYTYCD will feature professional dance specialists. Tonight it was a whippy-kicky Tango with a niiiice lift at the end by Miriam Larici & Leonardo Barrionuevo (VIDEO).

Next, four of the contestants DANCE FOR THEIR LIVES: Paris does standard contemporary shtuff (song: ”It Doesn’t Hurt” by Katie Thompson), Tony does some frenetic/so-so hip hop (song: ”Early in the Morning” by the Gap Band), Asuka jives in a bra and tries too hard to look sexy (song: ”Did Ya” by BoA) and Vitolio leaps and splits and spins with lots of power (song: ”We Belong Together” by Gavin DeGraw) (VIDEO).

After commercial, we see the final two solos: Karla does a contemporary dance and does a standing split twice so I guess it’s her signature move (song: ”Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin). Jonathan does some flips and salsas solo is an awkward manner. Poor ballroom dancers (song: ”Krazy” by Pitbull). The judges deliberate to decide which guy and which gal must peace the heck out (VIDEO). Sean Kingston performs “Fire Burning” while they discuss (VIDEO).

ELIMINATED: Paris Torres and Tony Bellisimo (VIDEO).

Shucks, I’ll miss Tony’s mischievous cute-face, but I agree that they were definitely the weaker pair. Asuka & Vitolio dodged the bullet for sure, but I see a lot of potential in them (especially in Vitolio) so I’m glad they’re around for another week of So You Think You Can Dance. Until next week, dancefiends!

So You Think You Can Dance 5: Top 20 Perform!

Posted by ERIN in So You Think You Can Dance

June 11th, 2009, 12:17 AM

At last! Tonight we got the first taste of what our So You Think You Can Dance Top 20 are capable of. There were some stand-outs and some burn-outs (ok, not that bad, but sounded cooler that way). Who will become “America’s Favorite Dancer” this season and take home the $250,000 prize? *dum dum DUMMM*

My BOTTOM 3 couples: Asuka & Vitolio, Tony & Paris and Brandon & Janette. Videos (by MJ’s Big Blog) and thoughts ahead:

Jeanine Mason & Phillip Chbeeb - Hip-Hop - Tabitha and Napoleon - “Mad” by Ne Yo (VIDEO): A lyrical hip hop routine about a couple who have an argument and need to “talk it out” before they fall asleep. Bad sign: I’ve already forgotten who Jeanine is *thinking, googling* Oh! Kay, she’s a cute Anne Hathaway look-alike and was able to hold her own with Chbeeb, the pop-locking King of Kings (as far as the judges are concerned). It was alright for me, but I tuned out in the middle cuz it wasn’t as emotionally compelling as some of Tabitha and Napoleon’s previous numbers (e.g., last season’s “No Air” with Katee & Joshua or “Bleeding Love” with Chelsea & Mark). The judges were really into it though.

Asuka Kondoh and Vitolio Broadway So You Think You Can DanceAsuka Kondoh & Vitolio Jeune - Broadway - Tyce Diorio  - “Hot Honey Rag” from Chicago (VIDEO): First of all, after seeing Tyce’s delight in giving rude, bitchy comments to auditioning dancers in past weeks, I now find him pretty obnoxious (and that floss-thin beard outline has GOT to go). But even if I liked him, I thought this choreography was too slow for the pippity-peppiness of the song. Beyond the choreography, the other issue was Asuka & Vitolio were doing as Nigel said: hitting their dance moves, but not putting enough energy and personality into the roles. As much as I like Vitolio, I worry for this couple. This was one of the weakest performances of the night - didn’t *grab* my attention.

Karla Garcia & Jonathan Platero - Cha-Cha - Tony Meredith - “Poker Face” by Lady Gaga (VIDEO): Ohmigoodness, Salsa dancer Jonathan is so cute! Like the missing, sweetheart Gotti son. Contemporary dancer Karla is really likeable too. The pair had great chemistry on this Cha-Cha. Weird putting it to “Poker Face” and what is WITH the wonky camera angles? But Karla & Jonathan brought a little “skanky ho” to this Cha-Cha and it totally worked! Not technically the best Cha-Cha I’ve ever seen, but it was sexy-sexy. I’d love to see these two move on for sure. And PS, I hope I wasn’t alone in snickering when Nigel said, “You two just exploded on that stage! Jonathan, when you came through Karla’s legs with the splits like that, you shocked everybody!” …THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!

Randi Strong-Evans & Evan Kasprzak - Jazz - Tyce Diorio - “I Only Have Eyes For You” by Jamie Callum (VIDEO): I know who Evan looks like! Marshall Flinkman from Alias (PIC)! Anyway, these two are the teeniest couple (especially when standing next to beanstalk Cat) but make a lovely pair. Even though they just met and Randi is married, the pint-sized duo had a nice connection and convincingly played a couple in lurve: y’know, lotsa intense, rolling around on each other and lifts. I’m glad to see Randi is leaving her dance unitards behind - maybe she’ll be leaving her hubby behind too, oh suh-nap j/k! Paris Torres and Tony Bellisimo hip hop So You Think You Can Dance

Paris Torres & Tony Bellisimo - Hip-Hop - Tabitha & Napoleon - “Let the Beat Rock (Boys Noize Megamix)” by the Black Eyed Peas (VIDEO): So apparently Paris was in a car accident which has made her left leg numb from the knee down. Ouch - much respect, girl!  Tony should’ve aced this since hip hop is his thang, but the number overall was “ehhhh”. The judges feel Tony needs to work harder on his “stank face”/playing the character AND improve his dancing. But he is sooo adorbs! Unfortunately, it can’t hide that this was another weak performance of the night.

Caitlin Kinney & Jason Glover - Bollywood - Nikuul - “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire (VIDEO): Seriously, Caitlin looks like LeAnn Rimes. Bollywood numbers are always fun to watch and it helps that they danced to the popular “Slumdog” theme song. An entertaining number for sure but I wasn’t as into it as the judges only because I thought Caitlin & Jason weren’t always synchronized, and sometimes I could see them lose character in trying to remember the steps. Still, they’re a cutie couple and deserve to move on. 

Janette Manrara & Brandon Bryant - Foxtrot - Louis Van Amstel - “Come Fly With Me” by Michael Buble (VIDEO): Well, I was rooting for this pair because I looove Brandon (a.k.a. he of verbal beatdowns by Mia Michaels and Lil C) and his strength. I gotta say though, this number was pretty boring (he wasn’t technically that stellar and why shove Janette in a very chaste floor-length dress that hides her amazing leggy-legs?) until the last jaw-dropping lift/spin. Brandon literally had Janette flying. So impressive, but not a real stand-out performance as a whole for me.

Kupono and Ashley Valerio crash test dummy dance So You Think You Can DanceAshley Valerio & Kupono Aweau - Jazz - Wade Robson - “Felt Mountain” by Goldfrapp (VIDEO): I adore Kupono - especially after this insanely creative and memorable “Crash Test Dummy” routine. No doubt that Wade Robson is a talented guy, but this eye-opening dance completely exceeded my expectations! So unique, bizarre and clever! Both Ashley & Kupono did a tremendous job playing the characters of these crash test dummies (metaphor for a relationship). They were like robotic ragdolls and constantly kept their hands not in “jazz hands” but in crash test dummy-style “jazz blades” - love it! I think it suited Kupono’s dance style perfectly. Heart! 

Melissa Sandvig & Ade Obayomi - Contemporary - Mandy Moore - “Right Here Waiting” by Richard Marx (VIDEO): So “naughty ballerina” Melissa, will now play the role of “naughty OLD ballerina”. At 29, she’s the oldest dancer on the show, but hey - with her experience, she looks like a very good match for Ade - a powerful, gorgeous contemporary dancer. This was yet another contemporary number that put our dancers in silk pajamas and had them dance lovingly with one another. So thematically sort of lame, but with Ade & Melissa behind it, it was performed with extraordinary precision and passion. Some rad lifts up in there too!  The judges ate it up! I’d like these two to stick around so I can see them in a more interesting number.

Kayla Radomski & Max Kapitanniko - Samba - Louis Van Amstel - “Jum Bah Day” by House of Gypsies (VIDEO): Wow, hot, hot, hot Samba! That was insanely good! Kayla was really sensational for someone who hasn’t had ballroom training. In audition footage she’s always a sweet/meek girl, but she really brought some fuego to the dancefloor and I was impressed by her confidence. I still miss seeing her darling crybaby of a grandpa, but I bet he was sobbing hysterically with pride after seeing her do that well. Max I can do without (sorry!), but I’d love to see Kayla continue. The dance definitely deserved the ride on the Hot Tamale Train!

Not a bad start at all! I’m excited by the potential of all of these dancers. Which guy and girl are going home tonight though? Find out by tuning in to So You Think You Can Dance at 9pm on FOX!

So You Think You Can Dance 5: Top 20 Couples

Posted by ERIN in So You Think You Can Dance

June 10th, 2009, 10:19 AM

So You Think You Can Dance 5 Top 20 dancers

Finally! After weeks of auditions, TONIGHT is the night we get to see the Top 20 perform for more than a split-second montage snippet on So You Think You Can Dance. The rumored pairings for tonight’s show are:

Phillip Chbeeb and Jeanine Mason

Vitolio and Asuka Kondoh

Jonathan Platero and Karla Garcia

Evan Kasprzak and Randi Strong-Evans

Tony Bellisimo and Paris Torres

Jason Glover and Caitlin Kinney

Brandon Bryant and Janette Manrara

Kupono Aweau and Ashley Valerio

Ade and Melissa Sandvig

Maksim Kapitanniko and Kayla Radomski

And expect the following dance genres: Hip-hop, Broadway, Cha-Cha, Jazz, Bollywood, Foxtrot, Contemporary, Samba.

Ooh la la! If the chemistry is right, Brandon Bryant and Janette Manrara have the potential to be a real power couple and hit moves with the wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am that I love. I can’t wait to see everyone in action - I wanna be wowed!

Catch So You Think You Can Dance tonight on FOX at 8pm!

So You Think You Can Dance 5: Top 20 Chosen

Posted by ERIN in So You Think You Can Dance

June 5th, 2009, 12:11 AM

Alex Wong cut from Top 20 on So You Think You Can Dance

Tonight we learned which dancers made it to this season’s Top 20 of So You Think You Can Dance. Below are the 10 fortunate females and 10 lucky lads who’ll be gracing our screens all summer (videos by MJS Big Blog):

Janette Manrara (VIDEO): I still can’t get over the amazing partnered flip/leg split move she did in her Miami audition. Too bad she’s on her own now because I could watch her do that over and over again. Ballroom dancers have a tough time winning votes because their expertise is in partnered dances, but she has some sass and could pull it off.

Vitolio (VIDEO): I like Vitolio! He had me at “I’m [so nervous that I'm] having a diarrhea moment.” This is the first we really learn about him: Vitolio was born in Haiti and was raised by his grandmother after his mom died when he was young. He had to move to an orphanage until he was a teenager but the School of Hard Knocks hasn’t slowed his dancing skills. He’s capable of some incredible leaps - and don’t forget that exuberant sense of humor. Me likee.

Kayla Radomski (VIDEO): I will also keep my eye on Kayla because as I’ve mentioned, 1) I loved her Denver audition to the Dionne Farris cover of “Blackbird” and 2) her sobbing grandfather absolutely pulled at my heartstrings. Who can resist sweet, supportive family members? Not I.

Kuponohi’ipoi “Pono” Aweau (VIDEO): For the sake of this blog, let’s start referring to this Hawaiian dancer as Pono. I was bummed that the judges made him cut his crazy, swingin’ hair. It gave him dramatic flair. I like Pono still. I don’t really have an issue with his allegedly “feminine” dancing. He’s very interesting to watch and proved that he has an adorable personality, too. I suggest audience members make signs for him that say, “Pick up the phone-o for Pono!”

Paris Torres, Jeanine Mason, Ade, Karla Garcia, Jonathan Platero (VIDEO): Well that was a bummer. All of these dancers made it through, but we don’t learn a damn thing about them. I believe Paris Torres was the beauty queen…?

Brandon  Bryant (VIDEO): Wow, this POOR guy. I couldn’t believe how venomous Mia Michaels was to him. Talk about a bittersweet victory: Brandon got a majority of votes to make Top 20, but neither Lil C or Mia were convinced he was good enough, and Mia’s comments became personal. Basically, she said she couldn’t stand watching him on the dancefloor, thought he was conceited and that he annoyed the “sh!t” out of her. Wtf? Is this the same Mia Michaels? I adore her work, but never knew she was spiteful like this. Turn off! Thank god that the other judges: Nigel, Debbie Allen, Adam Shankman and Mary really stuck up for him. I was particularly happy to see Mary Murphy express her anger at Mia’s comments and announce she didn’t want to put up with her “crap”. That deserves a scream: WEEEEAAAAAUUUUOOOOO! Thank you, Mary! I think Brandon’s dancing is outrageous and hope he proves Mia and Lil C wrong.

Tony Belissimo (VIDEO): The weakest dancer, but ooh lala, what a cutie. I still like Tony but he needs to work it hard to make sure the judges warm up 100% to him. Something tells me Cat Deeley hearts him, too…a bit too touchy-feely with the young lad, eh, Cat?

Maksim Kapitanniko, Caitlin Kinney, Melissa Sandvig, Jason Glover (VIDEO): Another montage of our Top 20 and we don’t know much about anyone besides Caitlin. Melissa Sandvig is the infamous “naughty ballerina” - wonder if it’s the last we see of the tutu.  

Ashley Valerio (VIDEO): Finally, after trying out for the show 4 times, she makes it. We don’t know much about her besides the fact that she’s obviously tenacious. She is all trembly, but is moved when she realizes how proud her mom will be proud of her *sniff*

Randi Strong-Evans (VIDEO): True to her surname, Randi is a stocky, powerful “tigress” of a dancer. She wears unitards all the time and I gotta say, they’re not particularly flattering on her and give her the squat, meaty gymnast figure. Mia makes fun of the unitards for a looong time, so let’s see if Randi continues to wear them (my bet is yes she will and she’ll forever be known as the unitard girl).

Phillip Chbeeb (VIDEO): Favorite popper Chbeeb makes it of course. I really want him to impress me because I haven’t seen much of his specialty and am not that into him yet.

Asuka Kondoh (VIDEO): Although her ballroom dance partner, Ricky Sun, didn’t make the cut, little Asuka does. Eh. I’m not won over by her either yet. If we’re going on ballroom contestants, I feel like Janette “split flip” Manrara is a better complete package. But to be fair, none of them have had much screen time, so I can be persuaded!

Evan Kasprzak (VIDEO): We knew they’d force the Broadway Brothers (Evan and Ryan) to face-off for the final spot. Sigh. Too bad because I liked older bro Ryan a bit more, but honestly, the two of them are stronger as a dynamic duo. I don’t know if Evan will do it for me…

Oh, and on a side note, mind-blowingly gorgeous ballet dancer Alex Wong was cut (VIDEO) only because he is still under contract with the Miami Ballet and they wouldn’t let him participate. That BLOWS. I felt for him and really hope that he’s able to return and compete in a future season of SYTYCD. What a bloomin’ shame for us.

So that’s that! Some of these dancers we know already and others have gotten zero screen time and need to work 110% harder to win America over. Read more about the Top 20 at E! Online.

To all of the So You Think You Can Dance Top 20 dancers I say: You’d better BRING IT!

So You Think You Can Dance 5: Vegas Massacre

Posted by ERIN in So You Think You Can Dance

June 4th, 2009, 01:09 AM

This is the first time I’ve tuned into the So You Think You Can Dance auditions and Vegas week and, erm, is it always that brutal? I blame the editing - it was like lambs to slaughter! So many favorites from the past audition weeks were cut down at the knees, and in so many cases left me wondering, “Why?”

Most were dismissed without explanation beyond, “Sorry, your journey ends here.” If they were lucky they got feedback like, “You just haven’t lived up to our expectations.” *sad trombone* I wanted to hear more technical reasons why a lot of the dancers didn’t get through. A simple, “You need to work on [blank] to make it to further” would’ve been nice. Le sigh! SYTYCD videos (by MJS Big Blog) and recaps below:

Alex Wong So You Think You Can Dance audition

Alex Wong (VIDEO) - Ripped, elegant ballet dancer. Made it to Top 32. His solo made me wish the producers would give him more screen time.

Tony Bellisimo (solo VIDEO, crying VIDEO) - Tony’s first solo had too much ‘acting’ and not enough dancing, but after watching clips of him performing other styles, I developed a Bellisimo crush. He “danced for his life” in Mia Michaels’ contemporary number and made it to the Top 32. When he broke down sobbing, I got all kinds of verklempt. Love him - what a cutie pie! Hope he makes the Top 20.

Brandon Bryant (VIDEO) - I still think he’s abso-fraking-lutely amazing to watch, but he got shat on by choreographers Lil C and Mia Michaels (love her dances and have no prob with her being demanding, but she was cruel in her comments all episode!). They both said they’d heard amazing things about his dancing from other judges, but when they saw him he was blah (again, we don’t hear why they’re unimpressed, only that they just don’t like him). Forget the criticism, Brandon, I love your humongous tree-trunk legs and the *pow* in your movements!

Caitlin Kinney (VIDEO) - Gymnast/recent hip-surgery survivor Caitlin let her nerves get the best of her during the choreography challenge and had to “dance for her life”. She just barely made it through to the Top 32. We’ll see if she can stay focused and grounded enough to make the Top 20.

Evan and Ryan Kasprzak (Nerdography routine VIDEO, West Side Story routine VIDEO) - The “Broadway Brothers” make it to Top 32 (I’m waiting for the judges to pit them against one another for a spot in the Top 20…). Ryan choreographed an impressive hip-hop routine called “Nerdography” which rallied the judges AND made Adam Shankman cry. If nothing else, they should bring Ryan back as a guest choreographer. So creative.

Phillip Chbeeb and Arielle Coker (VIDEO) - Chbeeb the Popper made it to the Top 32. His friend Arielle does not. Chbeeb reminds me of Ray Romano in the face, anyone else? I’m still not as head-over-heels about him, but he is definitely a judges’ favorite to make the Top 20.

Natalie Reid (VIDEO) - The poor red-headed favorite (a.k.a. Katee Shean’s roommate) got cut for reasons unknown (maybe she didn’t “bring it” enough for the judges?). Other contestants (and viewers at home) are stunned. So much for that storyline…

OTHERS CUT: Son of accepting football coach Travis Prokop (VIDEO), widow Talia Rickards (VIDEO), rheumatoid arthritis sufferer Gabi Rojas (VIDEO), goofy Japanese locker Nobuya Nagahama (VIDEO), infectious grinning popper Sammy Ramirez (VIDEO), tap dancers Eric “Silky” Moore (VIDEO) and Bianca Revels (VIDEO), pretty blond whose dad had MS Amanda Kerby, bubbly Priscilla Marrero (VIDEO), Caitlin Kinney’s curly-hair sister Megan.

MAYBE CUT? These folks were also my faves from audition weeks but may have been cut without fanfare. Memphis Jukin cop Marico Flake (VIDEO), Anna Dunn whose dad committed suicide (VIDEO), Kellen Stancil who did the lovely umbrella dance for his passed aunt (VIDEO), quirky Seattle oddball Kelsea Taylor (VIDEO).

ALSO IN THE TOP 32 (VIDEO): Latin ballroom couple Asuka Kondoh and Ricky Sun (VIDEO), gal with cutest grandparents evs Kayla Radomski (VIDEO), Hawaiian contemporary dancer Kuponohi’ipoi Aweau (VIDEO), ballroom split-flip sassypants Janette Manrara (VIDEO), “the naughty ballerina”and the beauty pageant gal.

Tonight, So You Think You Can Dance continues in Vegas where the remaining 32 (16 guys, 16 girls) get whittled down to the final 20 dancers. Who are you rooting for?

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