Debbie Allen was the So You Think You Can Dance July 16 guest judge. Allen's love of dance is simply infectious and she's always a joy to have on board.
So You Think You Can Dance opened the show with a Bollywood number by the top five girls. From the intricate hand and foot movements to the gorgeous, colorful, swirling costumes, this number was a show stopper. The choreographer did a terrific job taking traditional moves and making them fresh and modern. This is a dance style that's here, in the US, to stay.
Then it was on to the first pairing -- Kayla and Evan! This is a big problem for them since she's the tallest girl and he's the shortest guy.
Kayla and Evan had to do a Viennese Waltz. Nigel wasn't sold on the routine but I thought it was gorgeous. They had a lift near the middle that made it look like Kayla was floating on his arm. I know I have a soft spot for Evan but I loved the dance and her gown was my favorite piece of the night.
Next up was Janette and Ade with the opposite height problem. They performed a hip hop routine that had Ade as the funk doctor using his signature hair pick to hypnotize Janette. It was cute and it told a story, but it didn't excite me as some of the others did.
The show then turns to the pairing of Jeanine and Jason. These two really benefited from the new partnership. Their similarity in styles helped them connect and they were able to open up and find their strength on stage. The contemporary number was choreographed by So You Think You Can Dance season two runner-up Travis Wall. The dance told the story of two friends who become lovers, trading a heart necklace back and forth as a metaphor for their love. Incredibly powerful and unexpected, the judges gave the couple a standing ovation and Mary was too choked up to speak.
Unfortunately, Randi and Kupono couldn't follow that act. What should have been a great partnership simply fell apart on stage. They had a powerful Paso and it fell flat. The movements were awkward and there wasn't an ounce of fire in the performance. The whole fiasco ended with Kupono dropping Randi on to the floor when he couldn't hold the final pose. The judges blasted them for a job poorly done.
The final couple was Melissa and Brandon. I can't see this working too well as she's so graceful and fluid and he's so happy and big. They were given a Broadway number to the song Aquarius from Hair. I love this musical but I wasn't blown away by the performance. They did a good job capturing the peaceful but joyous feel of the era but after the first few opening bars, it felt disjointed to me. I think Melissa's ballet training hurt her here, keeping her from getting down and dirty. In their defense, the edited version of their song was atrocious.
The evening ended with an African dance performed by the top five guys. Performing without a shirt, poor Evan was so out of his element next to the muscularly built Ade and Brandon. The dance was incredibly fast and powerful -- a terrific counterpoint to the girls' Bollywood number at the start.
So that's it. One guy and one girl will be going home tonight. I'm thinking Randi and Kupono will be in trouble but it's hard to predict as at this stage of the game, personality can win over talent.
Watch So You Think You Can Dance Wednesdays at 8:00 and Thursdays at 9:00 on Fox.
Photos: Fox Broadcasting Company
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