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

So You Think You Can Dance, July 28 – Handicapping the Top 6


It’s getting down the wire on So You Think You Can Dance, and that means it’s getting down to the judges’ favorites. Usually at a certain point the judges no longer get to decide who goes home, as the audience takes over and the two with the lowest votes leave, instead of the judges sending home their choice of the bottom four or six.

One of the bottom four Thursday night was a surprise, so maybe that wouldn’t have made too much of a difference. It was expected that Caitlynn Lawson and Jordan Casanova would be in the bottom, but Jess LeProtto and Tadd Gadduang were a surprise. Tadd is a judges’ favorite, as is Jess to a slightly lesser extent.

Ricky Jaime was the one Nigel had figured would be in the bottom, so he was figured to be leaving. With him and Marko Germar safe, the judges had to choose between two guys they really liked. Anyone who watched the praise on Wednesday knew they would hate to lose Jess, but that there’s no way they’d lose Tadd. The judges really liked Jordan as well, but it was more of a tossup between her and Caitlynn, and the former went home. Nigel Lythgoe mentioned it wasn’t unanimous at first, but became unanimous.

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

1. Tadd Gadduang, 25, of West Valley City, UT. It was a shock to see him in the bottom four. He seemed like he wa a lock for final six and like he had a pretty good chance of getting to final four. The judges kept him in, so he lives another week. There isn’t any way he could perform any better, and his solo was flat-out amazing. Hopefully voters will remember that next week and keep him around for final four.

2. Marko Germar, 22, of Canoga Park, CA. Hopefully when his mom visited from Guam this week she bought an opened-ended ticket, because he figures on being a finalist for sure. The world would be an insane place if he didn’t make final four. His tears to his mom should have solidified that, if his dancing didn’t.

3. Ricky Jaime, 18, of Miami, FL. It’s not altogether clear how this guy has managed to survive another week. The judges seemed to be keeping him every week, even though the fans kept putting him in the bottom. Now he finally made it out of the bottom. Fans of the other dancers will probably make sure they stick around next week. Don’t expect to see this guy any further than top six.  

4. Caitlynn Lawson, 18, of Moses Lake, WA. Let them know to start preparing Wrigley Field for a World Series if she makes it past final six. It’s not that she isn’t a beautiful, fabulous dancer; it’s just that Sasha and Melanie are just that good. The dance they did together this week showed that. There was no way herr or Jordan could measure up to that standard.

5. Sasha Mallory, 23, of Bakersfield, CA. It’s too bad the X Factor is only for singers, as this girl could have surely made it on that show. She just has “it.” She is so damned exciting every time she steps out on the dance floor. She just brings a little something extra to the table each time. We’ll definitely see her at the finale.

6. Melanie Moore, 19, of Marietta, GA. Since the beginning, she’s been thought of as the best girl out on the dance floor. That hasn’t changed, but the gap has narrowed between her and Sasha. The two of them will be vying for the ultimate prize along with Marko, and probably Tadd as well. It almost makes you think we should just skip next week and move on to the finale. Of course if we did that, we’d be missing another week of fabulous dancing by those four.

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