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

So You Think You Can Dance, June 23 – Handicapping the Top 16


It was bound to be a tough night tonight on So You Think You Can Dance. Four of the six dancers we voted into the bottom three couples needed to be let go. As tough as it was for Nigel Lythgoe to make a decision last week, this week it seems like it was even more excruciating.

In the bottom three couples tonight were Missy Morelli and Wadi Jones, Iveta Lukosiute and Nick Young, and Ryan Ramirez and Ricky Jaime. These particular three couples were somewhat surprising, but not altogether so. Wadi struggled with the cha cha while Missy seemed to save his butt. Iveta and Nick pulled Bollywood and did very well with it, yet I’ve always figured she’d have a hard time connecting with the audience as the oldest woman there. And Ryan has been a fan favorite this season, yet she and Ricky lacked a sexual chemistry in their dance.

It should be noted that those three couples were three of the first four couples performing last night. The only couple in the beginning four couples to get the votes was Caitlynn Lawson and Mitchell Kelly. There were ten couples and all performed so well again, that it came down to no one being able to remember the earlier couples to vote for them, other than Caitlynn and Mitchell.

Like last week, all six in the bottom three seemed to do tremendous on their solos. When it came time for Nigel to grade them and decide which two were staying, he had strong critiques for their solos, unlike last week. Perhaps he was just more prepared than he was last week to grade such good work. To my untrained eye, they all looked like they did really well.

Iveta received no negative critique, and Missy was told her only problem was her partner, Wadi’s, performance last night. Yet, they were the two that left, while Ryan stayed, and this was after she was told her routine tonight wasn’t the best she can do. It was certainly an odd decision considering Nigel’s comments. I also would have thought Mary would have fought harder for the only ballroom dancer on the show, yet Nigel said it was a unanimous decision.

With the guys, there was only one where it was clear he was leaving. Nigel told Wadi that while the cha cha put him in that position, he didn’t give his best when dancing for his life. It was clear he was a goner. Nick was told he was fortunate that both Nigel and Debbie Reynolds were tap dancers and that he had charisma, rhythm, and a twinkle in his eye going for him. Ricky was told he has never danced better than what he did tonight. It seemed like it could have gone either way, yet they decided to keep Ricky, keeping the partnership of Ricky and Ryan intact.

Here’s a look at the top sixteen as they remain on the show and what their chances of continuing past next week look like.

1. Jordan Casanova, 18, of Chino Hills, CA. In her first week, she partnered with Tadd Gadduang on an African Jazz number, and this week they did a Viennese Waltz. She’s cute as a button, likes to be a vixen, and the judges love her. She’ll be around for awhile.

2. Alexander Fost, 20, of Pasadena, CA. He is paired with Sasha Mallory, and they did a Travis Wall contemporary number the first week and a Napoleon and Tabitha hip hop this week. He’s a no name so far on the season, but he’s with one of the Mallory sisters. Fans will likely keep her in for at least a few weeks yet, so he’s probably safe.

3. Tadd Gadduang, 25, of West Valley City, UT. He is partnered with Jordan Casanova, doing an African Jazz number the first week and a Viennese Waltz this week. He’ll be safe since he’s with Jordan, but needs to keep the ‘tude in check after calling her “not the brightest crayon in the box.”

4. Marko Germar, 22, of Canoga Park, CA. He partnered with Melanie Moore on a Travis Wall number the first week and this week a jazz routine to Sing with a Swing. They are extremely exciting, so much so that when everyone breaks up at top 10 to partner with the All-Stars, it will be a real shame, as they seem like All-Stars when they’re together.


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