So You Think You Can Dance – Episode 5-11 Review

TOP TEN IN THE HOUSE! And Debbie Allen as guest judge. She’s my favorite of the revolving third judges.

GROUP ROUTINES: The Top 5 girls dance a Bollywood routine and the Top 5 guys dance an African routine. The African dance is high energy, powerful, rhythmical, and awesome. I know they didn’t have much time to learn it, but the guys aren’t exactly perfect, and don’t live up to the quality of the routine. Or rather, Evan and Kupono don’t. Evan stands out, not just because he is milky white and vertically challenged, he seems half a beat behind the rest. Kupono doesn’t give it the power it needs. The other three are fantastic. As for Bollywood, here’s the thing… I’m a Bollywood dancer. I grew up doing this stuff. And the choreographer, Nakul Dev Mahajan, is dreadful. Really bad, really uninspired, and really basic. I could do his job better and I would do it for free. He sucks. Case in point: during this routine the girls turn around to reveal male mustached masks. Why? Noone knows, but I do know that it’s ridiculous. Ugh, I hate this guy. A terrible face for Indian dance. That being said, the girls cope with the routine better. They dance together and they dance as a unit. Noone stands out in a bad way, which is the point of a group routine.

EVAN & KAYLA: They dance a Viennese Waltz and it’s very pretty. They’re at a disadvantage because Kayla is so much taller than Evan, but he wears heeled shoes and she doesn’t. A height difference is killer to a Ballroom routine, and they manage to do it really well, with a great lift included. Mary rips Evan apart technically, but whatever they were doing wrong didn’t translate to the non-Ballroom experts. It’s a perfectly adequate performance.

ADE & JANETTE: They dance a NappyTabs hip hop routine where Ade literally hypnotizes Janette with his hair pick, and she strips off a librarian outfit to reveal a day glo ensemble.  Ade is great, but I expect Janette to be better at this than she actually was. They’re out of sync a few times, and I do not agree with the judges positive reviews. That routine was completely YAWN.

KUPONO & RANDI: They get a Paso Doble and it ain’t pretty. Kupono doesn’t bring the strength the routine needs, and Randi can’t save it. Mary Murphy decimates them, and this time I can see why. Nigel brings up the wig Randi is wearing for the routine, but I don’t get why – this was a decision the choreographers and costume/hair/makeup team made and it’s not her fault. Someone take Nigel away.

JASON & JEANINE: Season Two runner-up Travis Wall returns to choreograph a contemporary routine. It’s about the turmoil that occurs when two friends make the jump into a relationship and it’s the best routine of the night. Usually I think it’s a bit gimmicky when props are utilized, but the choreography really relies on this heart necklace tossed back and forth between the two. Jason never really hit his stride, until now. He came to life in this routine and I love it. Jeanine is, quite simply, magic.

BRANDON & MELISSA: They dance a Broadway routine from Hair. I love it, and it’s all peace and love and harmony. There were some great technical bits hidden in that floaty routine, and it’s lightness seemed to suit Melissa.

SOLOS: The solos are what we expect them to be, with few standouts. Ade is great, but chooses the wrong song to dance to. It’s a wrong match and it pales in comparison to last week’s baller solo. Kupono turns in his best solo so far, but that’s not exactly saying much. Jeanine is lovely, and Janette is just spicy enough to save her. Melissa is boring. Evan turns it out, to finally remind us why he made it to the show in the first place. This is the first time since week one I won’t blame his fans for voting for him, he is brilliant at what he does.

BOTTOM 4 PREDICTIONS: Melissa – I got proof last week that America finds Melissa as one-note as I do, and tonight she was snooze-inducing. Randi – This was her first time outside of Evan’s giant fanbase and she gave us no reason to vote for her. Kupono – This was a rough night for him, all around. Common sense would suggest Evan was in danger but his solo was killer and his fans are rabid. Due to that lackluster hip hop, I think Ade will be a surprise presense in the Bottom Four.

Until then!

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