Aliens and chains and vampires, oh my! The top 14 dancers on So You Think You Can Dance delivered one of the more eclectic sets of routines of the season — if not the whole series — on Wednesday, with props and quirky characters galore. A few dancers stood out, but nobody fell completely flat, which should make Thursday's results show an interesting one.
Wednesday wasn't just about the dancing: Nigel also revealed his new charity, the Dizzy Feet Foundation, co-founded by Nigel, Adam Shankman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Katie Holmes with a steering committee of big-name dancers and choreographers. The idea is to give scholarships to underprivileged dancers, do community outreach, and establish standards for dance education — and it's also the motivation behind Katie Holmes's much buzzed-about performance on the show, which will happen July 23.
While we wait for that, two more dancers will have to leave the show tonight — which two do you think will go? To check out my thoughts and photos of all of the routines, just
Janette and Brandon — This cha cha is the closest we've seen Janette to her style, and it showed — she had a strength and a flair that hadn't completely come through in the previous weeks. Brandon, for his part, showcased Janette and didn't screw up, which is what the judges have taught me is good about ballroom routines. Nigel said it was world championship quality, Mary praised the technique and screamed, and Mia proved she's changed her tune on Brandon, even calling him amazing.
Kupono and Kayla — Well, vampires really are everywhere. I think Sonya's undead contemporary routine accomplished the impossible: it made me like Kayla. She had a lot of power and character, and it was nice to see her show that she can do dark. This seemed right in Kupono's wheelhouse from the start, and he didn't disappoint. Mary kept them on the hot tamale train, while Mia said this was Sonya's best routine on the show, praising Kayla's lines and Kupono's "calm power."
Randi and Evan — On the one hand, I think the Magical Hat of Dances has been particularly kind to Randi and Evan. On the other, I can't really complain about a chance to see these two do Broadway. Something about the energy seemed a little off to me — I don't know if it was the choreography or the dancing. But I loved the chemistry between the two of them and the odd shapes and angles in this routine. Nigel was pleased with Randi and disappointed in Evan, while Mia wished the two had danced taller and lighter.
Caitlin and Jason — Ah, alien sex. It's hard to even evaluate a routine like this, because separating the performance from the concept is tough. I thought Caitlin did take charge of the dance, though she's maybe not as crisp and powerful as it called for. Jason, meanwhile, seemed to own his "last man on earth" role just fine. Nigel thought it was weird but they committed fully, and Mia was proud of them for taking the journey, but the whole thing didn't sit right with Mary.
Jeanine and Phillip — Somehow these two ended up with their second Napoleon and Tabitha routine, but I think any advantage disappeared the second they found out they'd be chained together the whole time. I'm amazed they were able to move at all without pulling each other over. I do think Phillip could be even more expressive with his face, but that's a quibble. Nigel said they should stay chained together, Mary praised their work with the chain, but Mia said her attention was too pulled to the chain.
Melissa and Ade — No way was this random, right? That said, it was great to see Melissa en pointe and truly in her comfort zone. As Juliet, she managed to be both floaty and strong. Ade maybe didn't have the classical training to keep up, but he had some nice feature moments with his lifts and jumps. Nigel seemed proud to have finally found a way to get classical ballet on the show, while Mia called it brilliant.
Karla and Vitolio — Being a new couple and drawing the quickstep couldn't have been easy, so I hope these two get credit just for degree of difficulty. Vitolio in particular seemed to get into the character of the routine, and the two of them had moments where they really appeared to glide. Nigel wanted to see them a little bouncier in one part but was glad to see their personalities, Mary said they took the "kiss of death" dance and brought it to life, and Mia called Vitolio a wild horse. Rawr!
Best of the night: Kupono and Kayla win the night for me, followed by Melissa and Ade.
In trouble: It's tough to predict on a night when nobody was truly off, but I'm worried Brandon and Janette could get forgotten and end up in the bottom. Caitlin and Jason's routine will be divisive, and I wonder if Karla and Vitolio did enough in the quickstep to make people want to vote for them.
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Photos courtesy of Fox