So You Think You Can Dance – Episode 5-7 Review

It’s top fourteen night, and after the elimination of Jonathon and Asuka, we have a new couple this evening. Let’s see how Vitolio and Karla bring on the heat.

Mia Michaels is the guest judge and we begin the evening with the question of the year, “Has her opinion changed about any of the dancers?” Well…yes it has, and I guess we can rule out a cat-fight for the ages. Oh darn.

Up first is Janette and Brandon with a cha-cha. Guess we’re starting off right with a ballroomer doing ballroom, and the all-versatile Brandon as her dashing co-star. It seems as though Brandon and Janette have not had a many, if any, lows…and let’s hope they keep it up with this “dangerous” cha-cha.

First off, I like Janette, but she is wearing a bright pink, sparkling garden lattice of a dress. Other then that, and the fact that I’m not digging the slowness of the beginning, it was a pretty great way to start off the night. As always, Janette is effortless in all of the lifts and she spins like a top. Brandon looks fabulous and makes the choreography look as has come to be expected of him. Nigel claims that it was the “best damn cha-cha [he] had seen on this show,” and while I think it was great, it still does not compare to the fiery chemistry brought to the stage by Jessi and Pasha of season three. After a brief outbreak of the deafening Mary Murphy scream and a proclamation of talent from Mia and some tears from Brandon we move on to the next dance.

As much as I liked both Ashley and Maks, I have to say, Kupono and Kayla are an incredible couple, they bring magic to the stage. This week the couple is going to be going combat jazz style with Sonya Tayeh. They are thrown a vampire-esque pull away from death routine, and I have to say, this is not only my favorite dance of the evening, it could be my favorite of this season. I love the dark aspect of the dance and the music was a perfect accompaniment to the choreography. The costumes were beautiful and added so much; seeing Kayla all gothed up was a perfect way to take away the pink and texting of her young and vibrant personality into a dark and conflicted character. Kayla’s the epitome of extension and Kupono is just full of technique tonight.

Just perfect in my opinion. Sonya looked so proud.

Third up is Evan and Randi with a Broadway routine. They have been a consistently good couple, and with Evan in his genre tonight, I expect quite a bit from him. They are paired with a choreographer new to the show, Joey Dowling. She explains that it’s a powerful routine and speeds through the choreography that the dancers are so seriously struggling with. I can’t lie, I’m terrified for the two of them.

It’s lovely to see Evan so dangerous and debonair and Randi is beautiful strength personified. I have to say, it was a power piece with some great moves. A beautiful homage to Fosse, Evan began with an almost slow-motion cartwheel which left me smiling. The judges had some complaints about the wrist-work, the smallness of their dance, and their character. I agree, the choreography was danced well, but small. I’ve seen Evan pound out a Broadway dance like nobody’s business, and I think that he could have come better tonight. Randi did look a bit heavy and like she was having some trouble bringing strength while still being light on her toes.

In the end, it was a good dance, and like Mia I won’t be giving it a “bravo,” and while they might have a slight chance of being in the bottom three, they’ll be around next week.

Next is Caitlin and Jason, the only pair to have “drawn” nothing out of the hat remotely close to their style, so I’m overjoyed that they are getting a Brian Friedman pop/jazz. The concept while being a little out there and sci-fi for some tastes is fun and exciting. I like that the choreographers are bringing stories to the show that are so vibrant and fun and that we as viewers can enjoy watching. And while Caitlin’s costume is ghastly and they should’ve removed her from the “dancing condom” as Nigel called it, I think she brought the dominance and power to the choreography and danced it incredibly. Jason looked appropriately scared and danced it well, bringing technique and powerful height in his jumps and in his movement. I have to say that this was out of this world. I thought it was the second best of the night.

Though I think they’ll still be in the bottom because of the crazy concept and their not so strong dances of the weeks past, I hope they stick around to bring more of their beautiful technique to the viewers.

Fifth is Phillip and Janine with their second Napoleon and Tabitha hip-hop routine. After some not so incredible tangoing and their mind – and pants – splitting Broadway lets hope they can bring it.

I loved the concept for this dance, because of the story the I connected with it, and loved the idea of the chain; gives a new meaning to the old “ball and chain” idea. Right out of the first few beats of the song, the chest popping is sooo hard-hitting and powerful, it’s just leaving me on my toes for a great routine. Their synchronization is absolutely on point and I have to say, Phillip is just an incredible executioner of hip-hop and Janine just brings a strength to the stage that lights it up and makes me vote for them week after week. It was great to see a well-executed hard-hitting NappyTabs routine instead of just another lyrical take. It was my third favorite of the night.

Even though there has been arguments made from viewers on message boards that I’ve visited about Phillip needing to go home because of his lack of versatility, I’m glad he’s still around. He lights up the stage with charm and amazing uniqueness and I believe is not just growing as an all-around dancer but is growing as a popper.

I hope they’re around next week.

With sixth up, Melissa and Ade I have to point out an obvious fact that I think has crossed everyone’s mind: Janette got Latin, Kupono and Kayla jazz, Evan Broadway, Phillip hip-hop and Melissa a classical pas de deux. I realize that this happening has led to the best night of dancing this season, but the “randomness” of choice is a bit curious.

As I just mentioned, Melissa and Ade “drew” a pas de deux and were paired up with choreographer, Thordal Christensen, a newcomer to the show. He is not the only first, it is also the first time that an en pointe routine has been danced on a performance show. I was a beautifully danced, innocent rendition of Romeo and Juliet. There is no surprise at the beauty of movement and the technique brought to the stage by these two brilliant dancers. I expected nothing less than perfect extension and grace from Melissa and the characteristic strength of Ade. I haven’t really liked these two from the beginning, but I cannot deny the beauty and dream-like movement of this piece. The emotion was real, and they did not just encapsulate Romeo and Juliet, they became them.

To end this night of dance is Karla and Vitolio, the newest couple. I have to say, I do not like Karla. At all. I don’t feel that she is real with her dance. Spanning back to the lovely contemporary that she did with Jonathan, I didn’t feel as though she was all there emotionally, I just feel she is contrived and disconnected from her partner. That said, this week they drew the kiss of death, the quick-step. The only quick-step to date that I can remember liking is Lacey and Kameron’s from season three. I am hoping that Vitolio and Karla can redeem themselves from past failures, and bring technique, grace, and puddles of personality to the stage tonight, otherwise, they are almost certainly going home.

The concept, the quick change and all the bells and whistles helped to bring to life a dance which could have potentially been their certain downfall. They danced with great grace and their lines were perfect, but because of that, it was almost stiff and mannequin like in parts. Karla still did not look fully present throughout the entire dance but in the end, they redeemed themselves with me through this dance. They looked like stars tonight, the first time for either that this has happened for me. Though I think they could still be in the bottom three, they danced their hearts out; and if they go home, they can say that they danced a rather amazing dance out of just a great night.

As tonight ends I can’t predict exactly who will be in the bottom tomorrow night. This was an incredibly strong night for the dancing. I don’t think there were any awful or even bad dances tonight. They were all strong, beautiful and shone like little stars in the night sky. I’m looking forward to tomorrow night and seeing what happens.

Goodnight everyone!

Tags: