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

So You Think You Can Dance, June 30 – Handicapping the Top 14


I have a feeling this will be the same thing I’m saying every Thursaday night. Who’s going home is always going to be completely up in the air. The talent this year is too good. It will probably come down to performance order and luck of the draw regarding dance style. They should all worry if they get the quickstep.

The couples that landed in the bottom three this week danced in second, third, and fifth place. Ashley Rich and Chris Koehl, Miranda Maleski and Robert Taylor Jr., and Caitlynn Lawson and Mitchell Kelly danced the samba, Broadway, and jazz. Usually jazz is safe, and it was an even more rare situation in that it was a Sonya Tayeh routine that landed Ashley and Chris in the bottom three, with the judges not loving it, and apparently not the home audience either. The other two couples didn’t have one bad word said about them.

When it came to the solos, they certainly didn’t offer any insight into who should be going home. By the time they were finished, though, I thought the weakest were Ashley and Chris. They were great, and not in any way bad, but those after them seemed more amazing. Miranda’s performance was just about jaw-dropping. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such great dancing before. Nigel Lythgoe had said last night she was the most improved, and it definitely showed here.

Yet when it came time to decide who to send home, Miranda was on the losing end of that decision. Nigel indicated it wasn’t unanimous, and being that he always seemed to be Miranda’s biggest fan, it seems it was probably him that was that holdout who didn’t want to send her home. I still can’t believe someone with that strong of a performance went home. Her partner Robert was sent home in a unanimous decision. The pair was definitely a hard loss, but I don’t know if there would have been any losses that didn’t seem like a casualty.

Here’s a look at the top fourteen 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. She has partnered with Tadd Gadduang on an African Jazz number, a Viennese Waltz, and a really cute hip hop from a bed. They definitely seem like one of the stronger couples and are probably safe even if they get an earlier performance slot or a difficult genre.

2. Alexander Fost, 20, of Pasadena, CA. He is paired with Sasha Mallory, and they did a Travis Wall contemporary number the first week, followed by a Napoleon and Tabitha hip hop the next week, and a beautiful contemporary routine this week. He is still a no name and is only safe became Sasha is so strong. They are possibly the most likely to be split up in a results show. The judges would have a much easier time losing him.

3. Tadd Gadduang, 25, of West Valley City, UT. He is partnered with Jordan Casanova, doing an African Jazz number the first week, a Viennese Waltz the next week, and the bed hip hop this week. He seems to have gotten his ‘tude in check, which is a good thing. She seemed stronger initially, but he’s definitely coming around.

4. Marko Germar, 22, of Canoga Park, CA. He partnered with Melanie Moore on a Travis Wall number the first week, a jazz routine to Sing with a Swing the following week, and the lyrical hip hop this week about the man who falls for his best friend after being left at the alter. They are considered by the judges to be a power couple and are extremely exciting to watch. Expect them both to be around until after the breakups at final ten.

5. Ricky Jaime, 18, of Miami, FL. He paired with Ryan Ramirez on a lyrical hip hop in the first week, a sexy jazz number the next week that was kind of missing the sexy, and a Sonya Tayeh routine this week being literally tied together. They were the one couple saved from last week and benefited greatly this week with performance position and genre.


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