So You Think You Can Dance- Episode 5-13 Review

Tonight was the top eight’s performance to win our votes.  Each couple is performing two dances, along with their solos and a group dance. The judges are the ever-present Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, guest judge Mia Michaels, and a very special guest judge Ellen Degeneres. I loved Ellen being a guest judge. She didn’t claim that she knew everything about dance, but she brought life and humor to a panel that can get very heavy. It was just a nice, pleasant edition to the show.

The night started off with a group number choreographed by Travis Wall. He was inspired by a futuristic rave. The costumes were Lady Gaga-inspired and I must say, I’m not a big fan. I don’t think that they completely complimented the dances, but I have seen worse on the show. I thought they all danced it with power and energy, but that they could’ve hit it just a bit more. I’m glad to see a contestant turn into a seasoned, brilliant choreographer. I’m glad it started the night out well.

Evan and Janette started of the couples dance with a Sonya Tayeh jazz routine. I really liked the costumes…Janette is so tiny, she can pull off a tiny little leather number. I also have to say that Sonya’s taste in the music she selects is amazing, she never goes wrong in that area. I also loved the concept of shutting each other up. I loved the movements and although it’s hard to keep up with the firecracker that is Janette, Evan pulled it off way better then I thought he would. I’m still a fan of him and as always am a Kasprzaktivist!

Kayla was the first solo if the night, dancing to Imogen Heap. I love her lines. Her legs are to die for. I’m also enjoying her interjection of personality that has come about slowly throughout the weeks. I’m glad that we’re finally getting to know her not just behind the scenes but on the stage too.

Brandon and Jeanine were up next with a totally forgettable waltz by Hunter Johnson. It just was not as graceful as I wanted it to be. They had some hand fumbling at the beginning. The tempo was so slow that it was hard to control their movements, it looked labored and heavy. I just did not think that it was a memorable or particularly well dancing piece. On a better note, Jeanine looked STUNNING in that yellow dress. Like Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

Jason’s solo was next and I hated it! I liked the song and I like him a lot as a dancer, but there was no content. All it was were kicks and leaps. I kept thinking “where is the dancing??” I just wanted more from a dancer that I know can do so much more.

A reunion happened when Melissa and Ade were paired together again. They were given an international style Cha-Cha choreographed by Tony Meredith. I just wanted them to bring more groove and more personality. They both looked stiff. It was just so bland, and might I add…no more fringe on the boys please. Haha. I loved the end though, it was a great lift and had some great lighting.  I’m also really glad that they finally gave Melissa some criticism. I haven’t really been on the Melissa bandwagon and so it was great to see that she wasn’t untouchable.

Next was Janette’s solo. I just have to say because I’m used to her Latin flair, the mix of Celine Dion, dark outfit, and the more contemporary styling was odd. It really threw me off. I wanted to see her spice and I think she took a risk that didn’t quite work out.

I would like to point out that this is where the couple’s dances kind of picked up and got better for me.

Jason and Kayla were next with a Tyce DiOrio Broadway piece that was jazz inspired.  I really liked the tone of this piece and the movement. The lines were nice and the jazzy movements were much appreciated. I think it flowed well and the dancers danced with personality. I though Jason really brought it in this piece, he was just a guy dancing in a blues dive with Kayla as his temptress. I think they truly deserved the compliments.

Ade’s solo was next. And although I didn’t think he had a good Cha-Cha, he always brings it in the solo. He has very good control of his body and he had incredible musicality. I think it was one of the better solos of the night.

Evan and Janette with a Rumba, were next. They danced to “Heartless” performed by Kris Allen. I liked the movement, even though I am not a big fan of this style of dance. I thought it was a pretty decent slow Rumba. I thought they were both strong in this dance even though Janette was a bit more natural in it. I also really appreciated that Ellen and Mia really came to the defense of Evan for his unique face and style. I really appreciated it. I really don’t think Evan is the sexiest beast out there, but he gave a valiant effort.

Melissa with her solo was next. I really don’t enjoy her solos. They lack something every single week. She needs something that makes the viewers go “Wow.” She needs height, she needs more content. I just really think her solos are stagnant and forced. It’s really sad, I want to like her so much more then I can, but I am incapable in seeing the hype that the judges have built up for her.

After that, Brandon and Jeanine danced a Laurieann Gibson pop/jazz number. I thought it was powerful, but Jeanine’s costume really took away from it. I wish that she had been put in something like camo pants and a tank top or something. I think it would’ve added to the strength of her dancing. I did think that they upped the ante with this number though.

Evan’s solo was next. I love his solos. They are adorable and I enjoy his style. They are cute and just exude his personality. I think that he recovered from his hat drop very well. I just think he redeems himself every time with his intriguing and personable solos.

The last female solo of the night was Jeanine. I think she is just a powerhouse and has rarely made a mis-step this season. Although I think she needs to bring some new and inventive things to the stage, I think she is a consistently strong dancer.

Melissa and Ade’s second dance was a Tyco DiOrio contemporary, which could be one of the best of the season. It was about a woman struggling with breast cancer. I think that this is the only piece that Melissa was lovely in. It really did give me chills. The lifts and throws were beautiful. They committed wonderfully. I’m glad that this show mixes awareness and humility and deep emotion with dance, it creates the magic that is dance.

The last solo of the night was Brandon’s. I think he is a very strong and masculine dancer. I’m glad he’s still in the competition. His solo was practically flawless.

The last dance of the evening was Jason and Kayla’s second dance. It was a Shane Sparks hip-hop number about a zombie trying to make a schoolgirl into a zombie. I loved the disturbing and cool movement and the Thriller-esque feel.  The costumes and make-up were stop on. The best Shane Sparks routine and the best of the night. I loved it.

I really have no idea who’s going home tomorrow night, but I’m anxious to find out who will be in the top six! Adios!

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