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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


Ashley Valeriois hoping this year is going to be her year after auditioning four times total. Mary tells her they all agree they see a fire in her. She has emerged this year and they see a lot of improvement. She dances beautifully, but it’s going to be the final stop, as this time she’s going to go all the way in the top 20. She knows her mom is going to be so happy.

Randi Evans has worked her whole life for this since she was 3, with her parents supporting her fully along the way. Words can’t describe how she feels right now, and she won’t lie, she’ll be crushed if she doesn’t make it. Mia tells her she has the body of a tigress with the strength, yet she isn’t there yet. She hasn’t stepped into her glory yet. She stepped into her confidence with her little unitards. They’re no joke, and she is committed to her unitards. If she could commit to her artistry like she has to her unitards, she would go far. But, they love her, and they think America will as well. They ask her to join them in the top 20, causing her to cry very hard. Nigel asks if that’s a yes, and Debbie explains she can’t speak because of her tears.

Only three spots remain, and Alex Wong is hoping he’ll be one of the the lucky ones to make one of those spots. Las Vegas has been insanely crazy. Watching him, he has to make it. He’s always wanted to do different genres of dance, but right now is only in ballet. Seeing everyone do all these different genres, it really made him want to do it. Nigel tells him they adore him and he’s one of the strongest dancers. However, he’s under contract with the MIami Ballet Company. Nigel spoke to the artistic director and asked him if he’d let him out of the contract for the series, and while Nigel doesn’t blame him, the director said no’ they won’t let him out of the contract.

I’m floored! Can’t the director see how wonderful this would be for both Alex and his company? But when it expires, the judges would certainly like him to come back to them. He tells them he was so excited to express himself through other forms of dance and was hoping this was his chance. Debbie understands, saying this show has done more for dance than any other show. Yet, she wants him to go back with a good heart and try to keep a positive spirit. Lil’ C tells him to have that hunger, he has the appetite of a true artist. Nigel explains he’s working with one of this country’s premiere classical dancers. he needs to be proud of that and take this time to own that side of his work, then rejoin them at another point and bring all of that with him. He leaves with their blessing and they hope he will return with their blessing.

There are three spots left and five people. Phillip Chbeeb is the next one in. He’s still taking it all in that he’s still here. All the ability was born and raised in his bedroom, and practiced in front of a window reflection to construction sounds outside his house. This is a different world to him. He comes almost limping onstage, and Nigel asks if he’s injured. He replies, “Emotionally.” It was one of the most stressful weeks of his life, but he enjoyed every moment of it. Anything he was holding back, he definitely got rid of. It’s done really good things for him. Adam tells him no one does the things he does better than him, and they were looking to see what else he has, H e has really grown and improved, but one thing Adam did see is an overall sense of loving dance, and that it seems to mean a lot to him. They’ll get to see a lot more of that, as he’s in the top 20.

There is now one guy’s spot left and one girl’s spot. Of course, the two guys left are the brothers. This is more cruel than what they did to Katee and Natalie last year. Bur first, we’ll have the decision on the girls. It’s between contemporary dancer Deana Berkley and ballroom dancer Asuka Kondoh. They’re in shock saying it’s not like they compare with each other easily. Deana really wants to be in the top 20, saying she wants to just reach out and grab it. Asuka has been waiting for it so long and thinks she just needs it right now.

Debbie tells the last two girls they know that one of them is going through and one of them is not. One of them was so exciting to watch, and the other didn’t seem to take enough risks and didn’t go the distance they wanted to see. For Deana, this is the end of her journey. Asuka has made it to the top 20. They hug each other, and walk off. still hugging.

Cat revisits with brothers Evan and Ryan on what will happen when only one of them gets through. Ryan says if his brother makes it, he’s with him every step that he dances. Evan says it will be amazing, as he knows his brother is due for some good news. They have one last hug and I love you before hitting the stage. Wait, no, they have another hug. Those that have made it through come back in to find out who the final 2 will be. Deana is consoled while Asuka is congratulated. The brothers, state this journey has made them even closer, and that’s the pinnacle for them, being able to share it with their best friend, their brother.

Ryan has heard a lot in his career, that he’s too short, too bald, and that they don’t need a tap dancer. That kept him on the couch, but maybe now all that stuff will be what makes him go through. Nigel tells them they’re both similar in style and notes that Ryan choreographed Evan with that old burlesque style. The judges felt there was only room for one in that style this season. Ryan is told to be very proud, as it’s his choreography that got his brother into the top 20. Nigel tells Ryan he crossed out too short, too bald, and we don’t need a tap dancer, and did so the first day they saw him. Nigel thought he looked great when he did West Side Story, but he doesn’t always need to wear a hat or a cap. The brothers walk off arm in arm.

I guess all’s well that ends well. Now we know, I think where the American Idol drama came from. It undoubtedly came from Nigel’s years there, as he seems to enjoy everyone moment of it. I’ll give it up to him, though, as two brothers onstage, one making it, one not, is some really heavy drama. Even heavier drama, though, was whatever was going on between Mary and Mia. I’m guessing we haven’t seen the last of it. Mary seemed pretty fed up at Mia being so bold as to tell Brandon he annoys the shit out of her. I’d have to agree that it went too far. Mia may have been the early emotional one, but it seems the more seasons that go by, she gets colder, while mary becomes warmer, and really lets her passion show through.

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