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

So You Think You Can Dance 5, July 1 – Who's Eating Crow Tonight?


I’m still a little surprised at the cuts last week. I never would have thought we’d lose Asuka Kondoh this early. I do think they were all in such a shocked funk, because of the news about Michael Jackson, that it was hard for all of them to concentrate, both dancers and judges. Let’s hope they’re all back on track this week.

Tonight along with Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy on the panel, we have Mia Michaels. As she is introduced, she does the face she was doing in the pictures that Nigel was publishing on his Twitter (@dizzyfeet). Cat asks her if her opinions have changed at all about the contestants so far this season, and Mia thinks the question is a setup, so they must be talking about Brandon. Without naming names, she says her opinion has changed for the better. Nigel is asking if it’s about a small male dancer, and she admits it is. He asks if the initials are Brandon. That settles that. I think they’re trying to serve her a little crow.

Our theme this week is the dancers’ highs and lows throughout their time here. Janette Manrara says being on the show for her has been everytihng that anyone could ever want, and Brandon Bryant says the fox trot was difficult, but beautiful. The disco was insanity for them, but they sparkled in the light. Last week they got hip hop, and Janette thought it was a cool routine because of the way she was dressed. Brandon laughs that everyone said they didn’t know he could do that, and he didn’t know that either. They’ll be doing the cha cha this week with Jean Marc and France Genereux. Jean Marc knows it needs to be sassy, but she wants it to be sexy. Brandon thinks it’s straight Miami, but is then too busy worrying about Janette’s wrong foot placement into his crotch.Just a little bothersome.

Janette and Brandon cha cha tonight to Hush Hush; Hush Hush by the Pussycat Dolls, and they were right before when they called it fast. I suppose if they can do that super fast disco, they can do this super fast too. He partners her really well, I think, and she does great showcasing her moves.

Everyone’s waiting to hear what Mia thinks, but Nigel goes first, saying it was possibly the best damn cha cha he has ever seen on this show. Ever. Ever. This would have graced a world championship stage, had this been in a professional competition. He can also understand Mia being on the panel tonight and really getting down to it. But Brandon has never trained in this, yet his feet are so articulate, like how Mary always explains it as paintbrush feet, making Brandon the Michalangelo of the dance floor. It really was so good, he can’t even begin to describe it. They have never seen Janette and Brandon do their own style. They’re brilliant as a couple.

Nigel jokes he hears a train coming as Mary starts, but before that, she says Janette is salsa, but the technqie is so different than that, and those feet, the pressure she used and the way she shaped her ankles … she made it look exciting. And Brandon, Brandon, Bandon, she getes nervous for him, as she keeps thinking they’re going to give im something he can’t do, but he keeps doing it brilliantly. They have two first class tickets on the hot tamale train.

Mia knows she has scared Brandon, but she will say that the people she’s the toughest on, that ones she really loves and takes notice of the talent, she’s the hardest on them. Brandon has so much ability and potential, that she’s not going to be satisfied. He’s going to love her and hate him on the his journey, as she’s going to dig in and drag him to a place he’s never been, because he’s amazing. As he wipes away his tears, Mia tells Janette she is amazing and on fire and that Miami should be proud.

Kayla Radomski and Kupono Aweau both started off with different partners. He calls being here completely crazy, as he first did the crash test dummies dance, while Kayla with Max the first week on the hot tamale train. Kupono did hip hop the following week, and that didn’t go over too well, as Kayla talks about landing in the bottom three as well that week. They lost their partners, which was their lowest points. Last week was their first time togehter, and it went really well as they landed on the hot tamale train. This week they’re doing contemporary with Sonya Tayeh. She says it’s going to be some dark, dark stuff this week. It has a vampiresque quality as Kayla is pulling away from death and Kupono is pulling her towards it.

Eyes On Fire by Blue Foundation is the musical backdrop of this contermporary dance, and you have to really admire again the things Kayla can do with her body. They are such a better couple together than they were with their original partners. Sonya does a great job taking this to match their individual strengths.

Nigel jokes he enjoyed his trip to the dark side, as he’s been there for many years. The inspiration for his dance was aboslutely fabulous, Interview With a Vampire, Twilight, True Blood, etc. This is the first time he’s not going to talk about Kayla, as Kupono is a new man out there this week. He thought it was absolutely fabulous. There were so many good things and so much technique thrown into a very modern looking routine. Everything was absolutely tremendous, and it’s good to see the pair reaching their potential on the show. They were forced together, but it’s like bread and butter. It just worked.

Mary notes that the song may be all about death, but Kayla and Kupono are alive and kicking. She thinks Soyna did a tremendous job playing to their strenths (thanks Mary). She says if anyone on the planet doesn’t know that Kayla has the most beautiful legs, they must be deft. It’s because she controls all of her transitions, and they were always together. Kupono was just so into the character, that it was believable, and he also had some great kicks. She agrees that he has stepped it up. They’re staying right there on the hot tamale train.

Mia says aesthetically these two are gorgeous together. The costuming is brilliant, the makeup is brillliant, and for her, this is Sonya’s best piece ever on the show. Kayla is just amazing and commits to everything with ridiculous lines. She makes the most beautiful pictures. From the first time they saw Kupono in Seattle, they were so on him. Every note they gave him, he applied it, and every week he gets better and better, as he has a calm power about him when he hits the stage. Mark had it too, so maybe it’s a Hawaiian thing. He’s growing, and that’s all they can ask for.


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