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

So You Think You Can Dance 5, Jun 24 – All About the Butt and Split Pants


There was a lot of talk after the eliminations last week. While I thought it was an obvious choice of those that fell in the bottom three, it seems not everyone felt that way. Several people would have preferred to see Kupono go rather than Max. Let’s see how Kupono works out with Kayla tonight.

Tonight, along with Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, we have Toni Basil, back again this year. She’s about to receive the Living Legend of Hip Hop Award, and feels prvileged to be included in the category with the other legends like MC Hammer and the the creator of the Campbell Lock. They want to show the importance of American Street Dance, to be considered along with all the other dance disciples. The fact that hip hop and locking is even mentioned on the So You Think You Can Dance stage, makes her feel accomplished.

Mary asks how you can not go wild for this group of dancers, saying it’s better and bigger than ever. Even in just these few short weeks, they have fallen into the bottom, then come back again last week with amazing performances. She’s so fired up this week to find out what are they going to do. Nigel thinks they have a great handle on how to shape the top ten with what America gives them. People are still proving themslves, and he agrees it’s some of the top 20 they’ve had, yet they’re still learning.

Karla Garcia and Jonathan Platero are starting us out tonight, and the theme is what would they be doing if they weren’t dancing. Karla would be a journalist, as she miniored in journalism in NYU and really enjoys writing. Jonathan has always wanted to be an acrobat for Cirque de Soleil. Last week Karla felt they connected, and the judges were very pleased with their contemporary routine. This week they’ll work with Dave Scott on hip hop. Karla went to give him a hug, and he gave her a hat to wear. Dave explains this piece is his interpreatation of a love story, wanting to give the audience the gangasta feel with a little emotion. Karla finds a Bonnie and Cyde type of thing in it, and Jonathan isn’t sure where Dave is going to find that innner gangsta in him.

Hip hopping to By Your Side by Jadakiss feat. Ne-Yo, Karla and Jonathan start it out like they are a couple of criminals escaping from the law. I don’t know if Jonathan is completely finding his inner gangsta, but he’s working on it awfully hard. He even gets to put in a Cirque de Soleil flip. Nigel thinks Jonathan summed it up himself, asking what he has to worry about, meaning everything. A smooth hip hop, it feels like it’s been ironed out with no excitement in the routine. The one thing with hip hop is there’s some fear and ecitement there. If you lean, you might drop her, etc., but there didn’t seem to be danger there. The chemistry that was there last week isn’t there this week. If they aren’t going to get the style right, you’re not going to get things right like the nodding of the head. Instead of gangasta it was a Sunday School picnic outing. As the audience boos, Nigels bets them this couple will be in the bottom three, and Cat Deeley jokes he’s going gangsta.

Mary says everyone knows she’s in touch with her inner gangsta, and she doesn’t think Dave will think Karla and Jonathan are either. The chemistry didn’t feel like it was powerful, and last week it was one of the most amazing routines, and the way they danced it, of this season. It is a little bit hard, and she knows tey wanted to nail it, but it wasn’t in the right grooove. The best highlight was Jonathan and his tumbling, and they all know he does that well. Toni says hip hop is a series of steps the choreographer draws from many milleniums of styles, but mostly street, which has to have a groove and a funk. If you’re gangsta without a ghetto groove, it will feel store-bought. As a unit, they didn’t work really precisely together.

Asuka Kondoh would be making lots of jewelry if she wasn’t dancing, as there are a lot of pieces she can make, and she’d sell them to ballroom people. Vitolio Jeune would be the lead singer in a band, as he likes to hear people screaming. He might need to learn to sing first. Last week they did the waltz and feel it helped them with their connection. This week they’l do jazz with Mandy Moore. She’s calling it “Thrash Rocker Jazz.” Vitolio thinks it’s really fast with weird counts. For Asuka, it feels like she’s completely out of her element. She got overwhelmed, as it’s a lot of infomration to take in and wasn’t getting it as quickly as she wanted. When she broke down, it was VItolio that helped her, and that’s where that gained connection comes in.

All the tears are dried up as they take on Heartbreaker by Pat Benatar. I was a little worried after seeing Asuka and Vitolio do Broadway the first week, but I think the connection they found last week is really helping. I can see where she struggled, but to have him backing her up I think helped. Without it, they would have died. As Vitolio explains to Cat that he had to be there for his partner when she was upset, Nigel explains that’s the difference of a performance with honesty behind it. He’s saying these things, but being macho and throwing her around in the routine. Being honest, he thought, it was simplistic in rehearsals, but tonight, they did the work to make it more.

Mary tells Asuka and Vitolio it was really good, but not like last week when they took the roof off. There were a few things that weren’t synchronized, and they should have been. She expected a little bit more. They do look like rock stars right now, and they started to get the character. She likes that they’re growing as a partnership, and can see that now. Toni thinks they have the potential to develop into an extremely powerful copule, watching the video clip, and him helping her, and watching him after the routine was done, carrying her in this really macho sexy way. A word of warning is to not let the technique get in the way of their emotions.

If Melissa Sandvig wasn’t dancing, she would probably continue in her pilates teaching to help people feel better about their bodies. Ade Obayomi thinks that fits her perfectly, because of the stretches he sees her do for herself. He would be a sound engineer, and envisions himself doing sound for shows like this one. Last week they did a Sonya routine in Good ‘n Plenty colors, and Melissa thought it was cool to find that alter ego in herself. This week they’re doing the rumba with Tony Meredith. It will require a lot of sesuality, as Tony says ballroom requires so much specific techique, along with emotion. They weren’t getting it at first, and Tony wants them to work on … everything. Melissa knows they’re overwhelmed.


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