After beating out thousands of dancers for a spot in the top 20, and then surviving cut after cut, there is one more milestone standing in the way of the final 12 contestants — landing in the So You Think You Can Dance top 10. The couples were dancing for their lives Wednesday, not once but twice, hoping to remind the judges why they had made it this far in the first place because, as Nigel explained, once the judges’ minds are made up, it’s going to take a super solo to change them.
“It isn’t so much were the solos good or were they bad,” he explained after last week’s elimination show, “because we believe they were all good … otherwise they wouldn’t be there. But we base it now on who do we want to keep?”
Well, the night belonged to keepers Brandon and Janette, who kicked things off with an Argentine tango. They shined and sizzled with this number, leaving Nigel in silence before he led a standing ovation. “That was as close to perfection as I’ve seen on this stage ever,” he said. Later, they danced a cartoon-like jazz number set to “Ruby Blue” by Roisin Murphy that shocked Nigel once again: “There isn’t anything that we can’t throw at you that you don’t do brilliantly!”
Melissa and Ade played it safe and solid with a fun disco routine and then with a waltz, while Caitlin and Jason went two for two with a fox trot and then a lyrical jazz routine. Jeanine and Phillip did their best with a childish Russian folk dance that had Nigel apologizing, saying, “I’m just not sure we should have thrown that at you.” But a Tony Meredith jive to “Stuff Like That There” by Bette Midler got the judges’ love back for her sexiness and his execution of the moves.
Kayla and Kupono started off well with a powerful piece by Mia Michaels, but later fell flat in a West Side Story routine that may now have the judges gunning for them if they land in the bottom three (again). Randi and Evan were way out of their element and may have gotten the kiss of death in a hip-hop routine from Tabitha and Napoleon, but disappointed even further with a samba choreographed by season three’s Pasha and Anya, which was supposed to be hot but left the judges merely simmering rather than burning up.
Three out of six couples will go into the bottom three and stand before the judges Thursday, which means everyone should have their solo ready, because if minds need changing, now is the time to do it. To quote Eminem: “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime.”
Next week, a partner switch will mix things up! — Jed Dreben
Tell us: Who was your favorite of the night? Who will make the top 10 and who might go home?