It’s Top 10 time on So You Think You Can Dance. That means: new partners, guaranteed spots on So You Think You Can Dance tour, and voting for your favorite individual dancer instead of couples. Basically, So You Think You Can Dance becomes a completely different competition tonight, and I for one, am excited.

So You Think You Can Dance: Top 10 Performance Show, Live Thoughts

Tonight, each of the new couples will be performing one routine together and each of the dancer’s will be performing a solo routine. There will also be two group routines this week–one for the boys, one for the girls. Watch along with me tonight as we see the new couples take the stage for the first time and as we take one choreographed step closer to choosing America’s Favorite Dancer. As always, not only will I be live thought-ing here, I’ll also be tweeting the show over at BuddyTV_SYTYCD. Now, let’s dance!

Does anyone else think that it’s interesting (and by interesting I mean infuriating) that the voice over asks, “who will strut into the PRODUCERS hearts” and not America’s? Aren’t we the one deciding this thing now, or have they decided to completely give up that fallacy? Not going to lie Mr. FOX Voice Over Man, we just started off tonight on the wrong foot. Like a step on the one count, when it’s supposed to be on two.

Alright, so let’s get out of the funk and on to the dance floor. It’s time for So You Think You Can Dance!

Cat’s looking gorgeous in another sleeveless dress this week. This one is emerald green, and fits worlds better than the pink one of a couple weeks ago.

Ha! Brandon is actually dressed like Carlton Banks tonight during the intro dances, must not have been the only one to notice that striking similarity. Randi however has not dropped the unfortunate unitard.

Tonight’s guest judge is Debbie Allen. Can we agree that as technically competent as she is as a judge, she’s kind of a yawn? At least she seems cheery tonight, but she admits she threw chocolate at the TV Screen in anger at the judges while watching at home. Though she admits three of her top ladies and three of her top guys are still on stage. Who do you think Debbie’s favorites are? I’m betting 100% Brandon and Kayla, who else, I’m not sure. 

First dance tonight is the girls group dance, which will be a Bollywood routine choreographed by Nakul. Nakul says the girls better expected to sweat, because the dance is fast fast fast. Nakul dubs the group “The Bollywood Bombshells,” which is pretty fricking cute. And pretty fricking true. These ladies are all gorgeous, on and off the dance floor.

Girls Group Routine
Bollywood by Nakul
Dholana – Pyar Ke Geet (Soundtrack)

Hey, So You Think You Can Dance, time to get new Bollywood costumes. They are beautiful, but always a variation of  the same.

The dance is super fast and  full of details, and some creepy work with masks on the back of the girls heads. They’re dancing really well as a group, the synchronicity is great, especially considering the details. Everyone is really bringing it tonight, there’s no one who my eyes go to right away, which is both good and bad. Great job by the Bollywood Bombshells.

It was only a matter of time before Nigel decided to rhyme Nakul and Cool. Then he gets all creepy Uncle saying this is the most beautiful Top 5 girls of all time. (No offense to any of the previous Season’s girls who I complimented creepily…) Nigel and I are in agreement that all of the girls stood out, no one was the star — great group effort. Then he says the ladies have landed a ticket on his “Bangers and Mash Train,” which somehow sounds creepier than Mary’s Hot Tamale Train. Mary says the routine wasn’t Bollywood, but Bollywow. Mary also agrees, the group all did so well that it’s impossible to call out a star. As for guest judge Debbie Allen? She also thinks this Top 5 Ladies are the strongest ever. What do you think? I’m going to have to sit on that one.

It’s time for the first couple’s routine of the evening — Kayla and Evan! So far batting 1000 for the spoilers. Didn’t realize, at all, that Kayla was the tallest girl of the group — she’s never struck me as tall. Sorry Evan, I totally realized you were the shortest of the guys. As expected, the height difference, especially when 3” heels come into play are an issue. So much so that they ask Evan to try dancing in heels. Ha!

Kayla and Evan
Viennese Waltz by Tony Meredith
Kiss from a Rose By Seal

Evan must be in lifts tonight, because the height difference isn’t that bad. Wow, not bad. I thought this coupling was going to be painful, but their waltz is smooth, with great quality of movement. And as usual, Kayla’s extension is gorgeous. I didn’t hate it at all, for a waltz, I even enjoyed it. We’ll see what the judges say.

Judges Say:
Nigel automatically calls out how similar their heights are, which exposes that Kayla is barefoot and Evan is in lifts. Nigel says his issue with the dance was if it was in fact a Viennese Waltz, but that it was done beautifully. He says it could’ve been a disaster, but he was pleased with the performance. (Phew, not totally off base on that one.) Mary says the song was about Power, Pleasure, and Pain — and the pair got two out of three. Unfortunately, one of those things was pain. She says Evan just wasn’t good enough at this point, Mary thinks it lacked the flow and rise and fall that it needed. Kayla on the other hand, is still perfect in Mary’s eyes. Debbie says the dance was a wonderful unexpected surprise. “But darling, you handled your big woman.” Wow, right now, Debbie Allen is my favorite person ever. “I don’t care what kind of waltz it was, it was 3/4 times.” As expected, Debbie loved Kayla from moment one — calls her White Lightning and she calls Evan Gene Kelly. Debbie loved it. So did I. I take back every yawn comment I’ve said about Debbie Allen.

Brandon’s the first dancer to solo tonight.

In Your Eyes

Brandon has great musicality in his routine. It was playful, yet powerful, and full of passion. His movements are big, but not over exaggerated. A lovely solo. Kind of gave me chills. More and more, Brandon is proving he was worth all the praise during try-outs, unless America hates him…he seems a shoe in for the finale.

And the next couple is Janette & Ade. Unsurprisingly, the two are thrilled to be paired together. It seems the pair are the opposite of Kayla & Evan. Ade is the tallest guy in the competition and Janette is the shortest. These two are going to be fiery and fun. I need fun from this competition right now, can’t wait to see them to take the stage.

For this routine, Ade’s character is being called the “Funk Doctor” and Janette’s lacking in funk. Apparently as a character and real life. Tabs worries that Janette could “funk this up” and not in a good way.

Janette & Ade
Hip Hop by Nappy Tabs
Love Sex Magic Ciara Featuring Justin Timberlake

Ha! To hypnotise Janette into the funk, Ade is using his afro pick. As expected, Ade is amazing at hip hop. His movements are fast, furious, powerful, and incredibly musical. Janette seems to have picked up the funk along in practice, though you can tell the hip hop movements are worlds different from her background is salsa. This is a much more straight up hip hop routine than Nappy Tabs traditional lyrical hip hop . Love it. Janette definitely has the booty for the funk, and I think she brought it. That being said, Ade was the star of that show.

Judges Say:

Nigel thought the pair both danced great. And that Ade has funk. (I concur good sir!) He said the routine was “just great.” Ewwwwwww….than Nigel talk about trying to get Mary out of her clothes. Which as Cat duly notes, is a terrible visual. Mary says we just have to get serious and cut the crap,” which I know means she’s actually about to scream. “That was funky and it sure was a lot of fun!” Mary uses chicken legs as a compliment today, she says the routine was well synchronized and that Janette did the dance just right. Debbie, still my favorite person tonight, “Oh, honey they wore me out.” No seriously. Are you watching Debbie Allen tonight? She’s amazing. “Keep away from my daughter?” A pimp with an afro pick? Hilarious. She says the pair was lovely and gives them a bravo.

Dream – Priscilla Ahn

So this is the first time we get to see Randi dance a solo, and she does not disappoint. If this girl ever had to dance for her life, she could have easily. It was filled with technique, not too many tricks, but some of her moves seem a bit frantic and off centered. Good, but not great.

Marina Gasolia Bonde Do Role

I’m really excited for Kupono to bring the quirky and prove he can solo. But can he? It is quirky, but still seems to lack the big moves or technique that a solo needs to really impress. Though, he did create his own costume. Maybe he should have spent more time on the choreography than the outfit?

Time for the next new partners, Jeanine and Jason. Jeanine thinks she couldn’t have picked anyone better. The two are apparently good pals and Jeanine is excited about how gorgeous Jason is. Interesting that the two who’s partners were sent home last week were paired with each other, I hadn’t clicked on that.

The pair will be dong a routine by So You Think You Can Dance’s own Travis Wall. This is the first piece Travis has choreographed a routine. Looks like it’s going to be a sexy routine and complicated. There’s going to be a lot of lifts or as Jeanine says, “cue reel of lifts.”

Jason and Jeanine
Contemporary by Travis Wall
If It Kills Me by Jason Mraz

Alright, one move in and I already have chills. Good sign? Great sign! the movements are fascinating, and so unlike the motions that the other contemporary choreographers use on the show. Go Travis! Chills continue, with the lifts, the chemistry, the play on power, the technique, the song. Man, this routine has it all. Jason, I think you are right, this is going to be the routine that helps America see why you are here. Whoa, did we just see simulated dance sex? And a kiss? No a make out session? On stage?! Does Jason get to make out with all of his partners after their first dance? Hello smoldering, sexy, stunning.

The judges and the audience are on their feet– I imagine both for Travis Wall and the dancers.

Judges Say:

Nigel is going to plotz with pride over Travis. And he should. Man, that was a beautiful routine. Nigel says that Jeanine is going to win hearts with that routine and that Jason and Jeanine have become starts tonight. Mary is speechless. (Hooray!!) Or as Nigel says, Mary is at a loss for words, please do the same routine every week. But of course, then comes in the screaming. Mary says she’s about to pass out with excitement and pride, she’s getting a little teary eyed. Which makes me and Travis Wall a bit teary eyed too. Everyone has a right to be proud tonight. Mary says that Jason went to a new level tonight and that Jeanine hasn’t missed a step all season. Do I think you are a star, yes I do??? Oh no Mary can’t help but say she hears something, I hear something. And then she fake screams her head off, for Conan O’Brien. Which Cat gets a kick out of — seeing that she and CoCo spent some time chatting about Mary Murphy’s scream last week . Debbie says that the show goes beyond competition, to conversation and that So You Think You Can Dance is evangelizing dance like nothing has and that she’s grateful to be a witness. Can I get an AMEN Debbie Allen? Amen! She says it’s a magical pairing and that she’s not at all surprised that the two of them are standing there right now.

Lamb by Gabriel (?)

Melissa solo is more beautiful and less sexy than last weeks, still en pointe, still fabulous. Still one of the best lady dancers left.

Zing! Went The Heart Strings – Rufus Wainwright

A classic Broadway solo, proving he’s deserving of that Gene Kelley nickname. That solo had it all, personality, moves, technique, solo, fun. Makes me wish he’d been in the bottom three before. Favorite solo of the night — I usually think Broadway is cheesing, but that was charming.

Rock Your Soul – Elisa

Kayla needs to prove it in this solo, because she’s kind of failed in her other ones. Seems like she is — definitely her best solo so far. And now that I know, she looked about 10 feet tall. She still threw in a couple too many of the same moves, but she varied her movement and tricks on this one and I finally got a feeling of passion from her when she was on stage alone. Still, largely based on previous weeks voting, I’m not sure Kayla has the votes that it takes to stick around much longer.

Back to new partners – Randi & Kupono. Kupono is excited because Randi’s a cutie, while Randi’s worried about finding chemistry with him. And I’m worried about it too Randi, have been since I heard the spoilers. And now we’re all feeling worried about the paso doble, this could be a disaster.

Randi & Kupono
Paso Doble by Tony Meredith
Dies Irae by Karl Jenkins

Is Randi wearing a wig or extensions for this? Distracting. As expected, Randi can sel the heck out of the power and passion of a paso. Kupono looks a little too swishy on his movements, lacking the raw power and commitment that he needs to sell it. This definitely makes me feel like Kupono is going to go home. A delicate Paso Doble is not what you are going for, especially when paired with a power house like Randi. Wow, there’s a stumble before the landing and this is just all kinds of awkward. By far, the worst performance and new pairing of the night. And then I think, a slip up and fall at the very end pose too?

Judges Say:

Nigel says the choreography was good, but that the dancing wasn’t as good as the choreography. Just as I thought, Nigel critiques Kupono’s lack of power and masculinity during the Paso. She thinks the pair didn’t work as a couple, a dance, or a passionate partnership. And, disturbingly, I’m in agreement with Nigel. Mary agrees that the routine was fabulous, but the dancing not so much. Mary says she didn’t believe the wig, dancing or the chemistry. Ack, more disturbingly, I’m in agreement with Mary. “This isn’t going to cut it. Mediocre isn’t going to cut it. The song was more powerful than the dancing tonight.” Debbie Allen says it’s hard not to agree with Nigel and Mary. She thought the routine was awkward, in spite of the fact that the moves were performed well. She sums it up nicely, as she has all night, you needed more time, and there just isn’t enough time.

Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers

Ade’s solo looks a little frantic,especially when paired with the classic slow song. While it doesn’t match the music, it is full with movement, tricks, technique, power…and a shirtless Ade. This makes me a very very very happy dance fan. Second favorite solo of the night, behind Mr. Broadway himself. If the music had matched, it could’ve been my favorite.

Violento (up Mix)

Jeanine is a dynamo on the dance floor, though she may be trying to hard to be sexy. Still girls got technique and style for days. It’s surprising we didn’t notice here before, but she’s become a clear front runner for the finale in the past few weeks.

Train Fare Home Muddy Waters

Jason’s solo’s have been unbalanced, but unlike Ade’s he’s obviously dancing to and choreographing to this tune. There’s something slow and sweet like molasses about this piece. It had the charm of Evans, but plenty of technique. Jason’s coming out of his shell and after tonight, I’m with John Kubicek on this one — Jason is kind of fabulous. Ultimately, I liked the idea of the routine better than the execution.

And the last couple of the night will be Brandon & Melissa. The pair are excited about this, except for the height difference between the two. Melissa’s praying she won’t have to wear heels, so she obviously hadn’t heard about Evan’s Amazing Lifts.

Tonight the pair will be doing a Broadway routine from Hair, which let me show my total hippie side, is one of my favorite musicals of all time…and I love love love this routine. This is my kind of Broadway… plus the song is going to rock. 

Brandon & Melissa
Broadway by Tyce Diorio
Aquarius – Hair

Holy hot hippie. Melissa looks gorgeous, and Brandon’s not bad shirtless in that fringed vest. These two are really bringing the performance tonight, and we all know they are technically stunning. The synchronicity is amazing and the lifts are strong. These moves are a bit more flowy, and contemporary than the average Broadway routine, which benefits both Brandon and Melissa. Loved it. Loved it. Right up until that distracting smoke bomb at the end?

Cat Deeley is pretending she smells patchouli and is definitely pretending to be high. It kind of fails, but is as always endearing.

Nigel makes some uncomfortable comments about how this is a Broadway routine where “white girls danced with black guys.” Weird. Nigel thought the piece was well danced, used the dancer’s strength, and took him on a trip down memory lane. Mary says she doesn’t want to blow smoke up the dancer’s *** (how many more stoned jokes can we make tonight on a family show judges?) Mary goes on to say it was amazing and took her back too. Debbie Allen says the two evoked the harmony needed from the piece, that it was seamless, and a joy to watch. She says the pair of them are brilliant.

This is Miami – Sander Kleinberg

Janette suffers a bit from being a partner dancing doing a solo, but has lots of sexy hip swivels, shakes, and passion. Still, it’s further proof, when it comes to solos ballroom and Latin specialists are pretty much screwed.

Last up, the Top 5 Guys Group Routine, who will be doing an African Dance. What Jefferey is going for is extreme masculinity, which lets be honest, is going to difficult for some of the guys. Ahem Kupono, and maybe even Evan? All the boys are struggling actually.

Top 5 Guys Group Routine
African Dance by Jefferey Page

Balant Funk by

The guys are all shirtless for this routine, which pleases most of the SYTYCD audience deeply. The moves are so fast and frantic, and there are those god damned strobe lights which make it impossible to tell if the motions are jerky in a good or bad way. Someone please fire the So You Think You Can Dance light guy. The guys group dance lacks the synchronicity and group dynamic that made the girls routine so lovely, but it’s a fascinating watch, you know, between strobe light flashes. One last thing: hello, hammer pants.

Judges Say:

Nigel welcomes Jefferey to the SYTYCD Family by saying he could be the meanest choreographer of all time, because that routine was hard. Then he says that Evan looked like a dancing milkshake tonight, but that he didn’t mean that in a bad way. Mary loved the routine, the energy, and thought it was so exciting. She though Evan was super cute on stage and appreciated that he held his own so far out of the element. Mary was thoroughly entertained, but not enough to scream for the routine. Last and certainly not least, because she has been killing it tonight is Debbie Allen. Debbie loved the pure authenticity of the routine and especially the challenge that the male dancers took and lived up to. Debbie says the boys all passed her test tonight, with Nigel chiming in “much better than Russian Folk.” Man he HATED that dance.

So there you have it — the Top 10 have all taken the stage three different times tonight. Who do you think is in trouble? It’s clear for the guys in my mind: Kupono. The girls, I’m not so sure. It could be Randi, could be Kayla, and I’m sad to say, I wouldn’t be 100% surprised (though I would be crestfallen) if it was Melissa. 

–Abbey Simmons, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)


Abbey Simmons

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV