And cue music

Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2009 by Travis Cody in

Welcome to

Cat update...LEGSES from a simple purple number. Nice!

It's Top 6, and that means we're looking for our Final Four favorite dancers on the way to next week's finale. Excited?

Me too!

Lil C returns to the judging panel, joined by regulars Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy.

Wow...the stage looks so big now. Which of these six dancers is going to command it and fill it up?

It's two dances per pair again, plus a solo each and a separate group number for the guys and gals choreographed by Sonja Tayeh.

Let's get to it.

Ade, Brandon, and Evan showcase power and athleticism, broken up by artistic shapes. Ade and Brandon should thrive in this kind of piece, and they do. But Evan will surprise a lot of people with his performance. He held his own in leaps and throws. My untrained eye didn't find any appreciable difference between the three of them in terms of strength. Evan could easily have been lost. But Sonja did an excellent job of keeping him relevant in the piece, and Evan did the rest. I enjoyed the work, and all three guys in it.

Jeanine is paired with Ade for Samba choreographed by Louis van Amstel. I didn't like it and I wanted to. They snapped off the movements too much, and that took the sexiness out of it for me. They played at being sexy, rather than using the choreography to make it sexy. Ade was way too stiff. Jeanine had the idea, but she didn't get enough help from her partner. This was pro-level choreography clearly danced by two people who had no idea about the dance. That's ok at any other point in the show, but at this level with what we have at stake now, it just wasn't danced well enough. These are still two strong contemporary dancers. However I think they missed big on Samba.

Kayla's solo seemed thrown together. I enjoy watching her dance, but I expected her to step up and that solo just seemed frantic to me. She danced it better last week.

Melissa is paired with Evan for Broadway choreographed by Tyce Diorio. We might finally come around to a style and choreography that suits Evan right down to his jazz hands. It was full of character and comedy. Evan was fantastic. He got a chance to clearly show the kind of entertainer he is. I thought that the problem in this dance was Melissa. She couldn't seem to loosen up her ballerina form at all. She needed to relax into the movement and she didn't. I thought Evan tried to drag her through it, and there were places where it seemed like he was toning down to keep her in it. This piece was about personality and entertaining. For me, Evan had it and Melissa did not.

Ade's solo showed me very little growth or maturity. He left out the big back flip, but I didn't understand his movement at all. I want to be brought on stage by a dancer, and he doesn't do it for me.

Kayla and Brandon are paired for Contemporary choreographed by Stacey Tookey. I think that these two are the most versatile dancers left in the competition. I don't recall either of them missing on a dance so far. This was a showcase piece for them. It emphasized the excellent technical training they both have. It showed off power and emotion. Not only did they dance well, but they acted well. They communicated with each other, and with the studio audience, and right through the television to me. I liked this dance very much. This was two dancers who took advantage of dancing in their own style, and stepped it up.

Melissa's solo demonstrates once more that she is a ballet dancer. While there is nothing wrong with that...and I think she is a beautiful ballet dancer...I just don't find her versatile enough to be my favorite dancer.

Jeanine and Ade return with Hip Hop choreographed by Tabitha and Napoleon D'Umo. I don't like what Ade said during rehearsal about doing his choreography and Jeanine messing up. Dancers must work together. I find that kind of immaturity distasteful. This choreography had some gimmicks in it. They mostly worked. I thought Jeanine was the stronger of the two. She attacks every style. I think Ade picks and chooses when he's going to play. He has all the talent in the world. Now he's just got to find the right attitude and hold it through everything he is given to do.

Brandon's solo finally went back to that emotional place he was in during that first audition. This is what I've been waiting to see all season in a solo. Brilliant.

Melissa and Evan return for Quickstep choreographed by Louis van Amstel. Oh hell. If anyone can get them through it, it's Louis. He has chosen a very 40s style for this Quickstep which suits Evan. The side by side work wasn't bad from both of them. They had some trouble in the runs, but most do. Performance-wise, they both captured the liveliness of the music and the lightness of the era. I thought they worked well together in this piece. It wasn't the best Quickstep on the show, but it was far from the worst. Evan grabbed this as an opportunity. Props to Melissa for her partner work, and Louis for his choreography. She's so much taller, but together they were able to create the illusion that the height difference wasn't as bit a deal. I think that Evan got run down a bit by the judges because he slowed down through some of the movement to let Melissa keep up.

Jeanine's solo was controlled and engaging. She made her way across the stage, showcasing what she can do. And she can do a lot.

Evan's solo demonstrates why I'm voting for him. He's not the best dancer, but he's my favorite.

Kayla and Brandon return for Disco choreographed by Doriana Sanchez. A lot of times these Disco routines look out of control. I don't know if that's by design, but this one just looked like a series of unconnected moves broken up by some really cool lifts. There was so much packed into it, that it kind of bogged down. I didn't really like it.

Jeanine, Kayla, and Melissa danced with strength and power also in their group routine. I didn't really like the dance or the choreography. I ended up watching Jeanine. In fairness, by the time this dance rolled around, I was just too damn uncomfortable and grumpy from sweltering in the heat.

I voted for Evan. Pam finally committed to one dancer...she chose Jeanine. And we both ranked the dancers this week, most favorite to least.

I have them so: Evan, Jeanine, Brandon, Kayla, Ade, Melissa

Pam has them thus: Jeanine, Evan, Kayla, Brandon, Melissa, Ade

It's one of the toughest eliminations of all tonight as we say goodbye to one guy and one gal on our way to the Final Four.

In honor of Positive Day tomorrow, I'm going to have a positive attitude today that Evan is going to make Final Four.

Positive Day comes from the mind of a terrific 12 year old. She's the daughter of my blog pal Jennifer at Dust Bunny Hostage. The idea is explained in this post. Please consider joining us on Friday, 31 July, and reward a young girl's faith in humanity.


  1. Wow, I said virtually the same thing to my wife about the disco number. It looked like a series of disconnected tricks indeed. Still, I thought Brandon and Kayla were the class of the night.
    At least SYTYCD admits to being a popularity contest. It is about America's favorite dancer and not necessarily who's the best dancer. American Idol keeps trying to tell us they are looking for the "best" singer, which just isn't true.
    Great show last night.

  1. Marsha says:

    Brandon's solo was brillant and showed the very reason he's there.

    My favs...Brandon/Kayla, Jeanine, Evan, Ade, Melissa

    Only one week to!

  1. Bond says:

    I truly enjoyed the show last night as we have obviously switched weather...It is in the 70's and rainy here...perfect Seattle weather!

    I am torn now between Janine, Kayla and Evan...

    Ade also ticked me off with the comment during the rehearsal...Totally uncalled for in my opinion.

    Brandon's solo had me rewinding TiVo TWICE to watch it...

  1. Kanani says:

    I caught the show!
    Thanks for covering it.
    Both Evan and Kayla have this old 1940's and 50's MGM musical 'look.' Kayla reminds me of a young Celeste Holm. And Evan? Very much a young Gene Kelly. I'm hoping the two of them have great careers.

  1. Did you see the Daily show last night? they had a takeoff on Do you think you can Dance. It was, "Do you think you can douche," and was political of course. Pretty funny.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Cat is the bomb. I truly can't wait to see her every week.

    I have to say, and I'm trying to remain positive here, Lil C needs to get to the point quicker than what he does. He uses so many analogies that by the time he's done, I forgot what his whole point is.

    Trav...I wish I knew what you see in Evan. That just stymies me. But that's what is so good about any contest. People see what others don't. He's got personality yes, but I think everyone else, even Melissa out dances him.

    I thought the dance of the night was Kayla and Brandon's contemporary. It was so unique and showed the power of both of them. It was just excellent. But their disco number left me sorta thinking what? I don't know how the judges went so gaga over it. It didn't seem to flow to me.

    Melissa and Evan were okay in both of their's. The broadway was all showmanship I thought. The quickstep was just okay also.

    Jeanine and Ade were very good. I liked both of their dances. Jeanine is a real powerhouse and she can do just anything. As for Ade's comment, I think that is just the frustration of learning what they are suppose to do.

    The boy's dance was the bomb and was a good way to start off the show. Trav again I don't mean to pick on Evan, but I don't think he's quite as good as the other boys. I liked the girls dance real well also. All of them are so good. I noticed Jeanine getting sorta of embarrassed after Nigels comment on her costume. She kept covering up.

    All this said, I'm going with Jeanine to win it all now, since my poor little Janette got the boot. I wish that they would judge it differently and not let America's vote be the final say. Yes I know this is geared towards that but just once instead of it being a popularity contest I wish they would have the best dancer win. That said, if Brandon or Kayla win I would like that also. The three of them are my picks.

    Aloha and tomorrow is a big day for the Diva Daughter. :)

  1. Linda says:

    As I have said before, I am a total fan of Evan so I fully understand where you are coming from with him.

    I am NOT a fan of Ade and have been wishing for him to be voted off each week as his smugness just grates on my nerves.

    To me the solo dances always look like so much flaying around on the stage except for Evan whose solos remind me of Gene Kelly in "Singing in the Rain" and Brandon's solo last night that truly deserved that standing ovation from the judges. Doesn't hurt that he's all muscle and really easy to look at!

    I guess we shall see what tonight brings, won't we??

  1. Travis says:

    Driller: Maybe that was what the Disco was supposed to be, but one way or another I didn't like it. And I like that the show constantly reminds everyone that this is about who the most voters like.

    Marsha: I thought Brandon had a terrific night, as did Kayla and my boy Evan.

    V: I think the votes are going to be close.

    Kanani: And you have perfectly described what draws me to Evan!

    Charles: I missed the Daily Show. I'll have to see if I can find the clip.

    Linda: I think Ade is young. He's got skills, but I think he's an immature dancer. He has certainly had great moments. But I prefer a more lyrical contemporary that has more smoothed out movement, rather than the sharp angle kind of contemporary that Ade dances.

  1. Travis says:


    I like Evan because he reminds me of the style of dancing in musicals from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. I love Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor, and dancers in that style. And I like Evan's personality.

    I don't think Brandon and Ade are "better" dancers. I watched the three of them leap and toss each other around the stage in that number, and I didn't see Evan struggling to keep up. I think the three of them are different and that we all like what we like.

    That's why I try to remember to say what I liked and what I thought was good, rather than declare what's good. I don't have a trained eye, even though for some styles I do know specific things about what it's supposed to look like. But what I think is good isn't always what others think is good.

    If the purpose is to find America's "best" dancer, then we can't go looking at undiscovered amateurs. You'll find the "best" dancers on Broadway or in other professional projects. And if they want to find America's "best" amateur dancer, then they'll have to have the judges pick. That would still be a fun show to watch, but it's just not the way this show was conceived.

    So I like Evan for the reasons I said. And I'm really glad you've been enjoying the show, and have discovered this passion for it.

  1. Kanani says:

    Trav...check out my blog on Friday. I've left something special for you and your friends who are also following SYTYCD.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Well I don't have a trained eye either. By declaring to me, it's the same as what you liked and what you thought, it's your opinion so that what I think of when I declare. I'm not even pretending to be an expert at this. I just say what I like and what I don't like. That's all from a purely watching on TV type of person. And by finding the best I'm not saying either that it has to be a pro. Why can't they find the best amateur. It was conceived to let America vote so it could get viewership and thus make money. What bums me out is that sadly, as in AI the best dancer, in my lame opinion, might not be the winner because it's just a popularity contest now. Understood about Evan now. . I think Brandon is a much better dancer than Evan myself, again, that's just my declaring what I think from what I see on the tube. It's an opinion.

  1. You make a good point about performers "filling a stage." I think the ones that can do that most successfully are the ones that connect best with the audience, don't you think? They really have a special presence about them.