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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

So You Think You Can Dance 5, June 4 – Welcome to the Jungle


This always seems like such a shocking cut on <i>So You Think You Can Dance</i>, down to the final 20. Even <i>American Idol</i> started its performance shows with from 24 to 40. To be in this very select group of 20, you really have to bring it on, and to just be named to that group, it must seem like you already won after beating out all those others to get that limited spot. It seems a lot of people out there are pulling for both brothers, Evan and Ryan Kasprzak, to make it through. Let’s see if that works out.

The judges that will be giving the news are the same ones that judged Las Vegas round so far, Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Lil’ C, Adam Shankman, Debbie Allen, and Mia Michaels. They seem much more calm than the dancers. Tony Bellissimo is second-guessing everything he’s done, and the brothers are saying it sucks. Cat Deeley is very casual for the day, dressed in jeans and a plaid shirt.

First up is Janette Manrara, saying she has a lot of emotional stuff happening to her. Before she came to Las Vegas, she got into a car accident, then she and her boyfriend broke up. She’s hoping it will be good news to balance all that out. Nigel tells her he remembers when she auditioned in MIami. It wasn’t a good day, and they were looking for something hot and spicy, and they found it in her. They think she worked very hard in Vegas, and Debbie had noted she’d pick up the telephone to vote for her. They’re happy to hear that, as Janette made the top 20. She tells them about her bad life lately, and leaps off the stage.

Diana Bardin brought a lucky charm with her. Her parents have always given her a monkeys for every dance recital, so she brought a special one to give her luck. Her confidence has grown througout the week, but looking around at eveyrone else is amazing, and she wonders if maybe she is just as amazing. She tells Debbie she has moths, not buterflies going on. She is told she has done well, despite coming in green. They see a lot of potential, and while they’re pulling for her, she won’t be in the top 20. Lil’ C adds sometimes the greateest motivation is being honest with yourself, and he thinks that’s where she’ll improve. Nigel knows she’s better now than when she first came to Vegas, and he hopes she comes back next year.

Vitolio Jeune is feeling unsettled, saying his guts are fighting, and it’s a diarrhea moment. Cat thinks he just might be the liveliest dancer they ever met. He grew up in Haiti, and his mom died when he was 5, leaving him to then be raised by his grandmother, who put him and his brother in an orphanage. He’s been on his own since he was 15, dancing in the street to make money. He wants it bad.

Lil’ C tells Vitolio that for dancers that get past their audition city and get to Vegas, it takes them a long time to show up, and you have to be there before you even get there. While Vitolio didn’t come to life until they did their own routine, he suddenly burst out with all this character and personality. But because of that, he made it to the top 20. Nigel mentions the producers told him about his fantastic personality, and lets him know to bring that out in his dancing, as that’s what will bring the audience.

Kayla Radomski had come with her grandparents who have helped raise her, and says it would mean everything to her family if she made it on the show. They’ve done so much for her. If this was the end, she thinks she’d be devastated. Mia addresses her, saying she’s so glad she auditioned. She loves male dancers for the strength that men bring to a stage. It’s rare for her to connect to a female dancer, but Kayla was on the few that completely moved all of them. Mia is so glad she came into their world and is so glad she’s one of the top 20.

Kuponohi’ipoi “Pono” Aweau had impressed judges in his audition, but they didn’t like his image. When he got to Vegas, he shaved his head. He had so many things to do today, he made a checklist that included listening to his iPod, breathe, practice solo, etc. Make the top 20 is last on the list, and he’s hoping that’s his last checkmark. Adam tells him it’s not the most fun for them, and Pono was a distraction, especially the hair, yet in Vegas Adam thought Pono was strong, and that he was one of the strongest guys. He thinks it will be a big challenge for the producers o figure out how to put his name on the screen, as he made the top 20. He grabs his to do list , and explains it to much laughter.

Also making it through are Paris Torres, Jeanine Mason, Ade Obayomi, Karla Garcia, and Jonathan Platero. They all scream, shout, cry, etc.

Brandon Bryant is up next, and Mary had said at his audition she just would just die if he didn’t make the top 20. But in Vegas, Lil’ C and Mia were not fans, yet Nigel wanted Brandon to not lose his confidence over their thoughts. Mia tells him tonight she can’t take what he brings to the floor as an artist, and it annoys the shit out of her. He rubs her the wrong way, and she feels there’s an attitude behind the fake smile. She doesn’t see the amazement everyone else sees. Debbie has a difference of opinion, and Mia argues, forcing Nigel to shush her. Debbie loves the way he dances with power, manliness, the way he soars, and she doesn’t judge his personality.

Lil’ C isn’t impressed either. Mary can’t sit and listen to this crap. She apologizes to Lil’ C, then tells Brandon he knows exactly who he is, and to have people sit there and tear him down is nonsense. Three judges in his audition saw him put everything out on the floor. Nigel tells Brandon he’s heard it all, but he needs to work on it. He got four votes out of six, so that puts him on the show, and now he’ll get a chance to change their minds in the top 20. Mia asks what it’s going to be like with them in a room together, and he replies with, “It’s on, Mia.” Lil’ C just wants to get it on, saying “welcome to the jungle.”

Tony Bellissimo is still waiting. He’s the one that had Nigel’s picture all over his first solo dance, then had to dance for his life a few rounds later. He can only think about his brother who is fighting over in Afghanistan, referring to him as his hero, and saying if his brother knew about this, he’d be trying to get in here to sneak a peak. Nigel doesn’t think Tony’s dance technique is as strong as it could be, yet they know all his dance colleagues love him to death, as he’s so charismatic, but it’s just this lack of vocabulary in his dancing. Having said that, he has made it to the top 20, and he needs to come through. Nigel wishes he didn’t look so shocked. He really has to bring it, as he’s the furthest they’re going out on a limb to just see someone grow.

Maksim Kapitannikov makes it through, as Mia explains he did everything they asked him to. Caitlin Kinney makes it as well, with Nigel calling her a survivor, saying she survived this cut and is in the top 20. She accuses him of not being serious. Melissa makes it with Adam saying it’s going to be fun watching her in the top 20. Jason Glover makes it as LIl’ C notes there are amazing dancers each season, and he’s going to be one of them. He does a literal happy dance through the hallway.


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