SYTYCD: The Final 10

Wow. An other great night. The difference between the top tier and the bottom tier was really apparent tonight.

First off, lots of us said the worst possible scenario was Evan pairing with Kayla. And what do they start off with? I actually thought Evan did quite well despite not getting some key aspects of the dance. However the other dances tonight were so strong that had Evan not had such a strong solo I’d think he’d be in trouble. I also think we saw that Evan brings out things in a partner others don’t. Clearly he was a great partner for Randi (who flailed when paired with Kupono). But I also thought he brought out some real charisma in Kayla for the first time.


The biggest shock of the evening what Jason who completely came out of his shell. I’d found him completely forgettable up till now. But he had a really, really solid pairing with Jeanine and then arguably his best solo as well. Further he finally came off charismatic. Completely changed how I thought about him.

Both Brandon and Ade showed though that they are just in a class of their own. I think Brandon is the stronger but both are solid and bound to be in the final four.

Kupono really fell today. I think he’s been out of his league for a while, but I was shocked at how badly they did.

Among the women I thought that Melissa and Jeanine were the strongest. I was really disappointed in Janette’s and Melissa’s solos. Janette had solid partnering in a fantastic little Funk routine that would really have stood out had Brandon and Jason’s routines not been so fantastic.

My guess at this stage for the final four will be Brandon, Ade, Melissa and Janette although I think Jeanine might beat Janette out. We’ll see. I think the winner will be Brandon or Ade though.

Who goes home? I think Kupono will finally. Sadly Randi will as well. (The local girl) She really needed much more tonight in both her solo and routine.

Next week? Baring something really wild I think Evan goes home. The other guys are better technically, manage a wider variety of styles well, and Jason’s finally come out of his shell. Among the women it’s harder to say but I suspect it’ll be Kayla unless she comes out of her shell the way Jason did.

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45 thoughts on “SYTYCD: The Final 10

  1. Jason and Jeanine were the strongest last night without a doubt. That contemporary piece was simply amazing and they both had strong solos. So surprising. I had completely written Jason off…

    Evan’s solo was the best, for me. I think that buys him a little time.

  2. Yeah, I think Randi’s toast. I have really hated both of the paso doble routines this season. The music in both of them was too big and seemed undanceable to me, especially the piece that Jason and Caitlin danced to, which didn’t even have a beat. Shouldn’t it be some sort of staccato flamenco music or something?

    I had no idea how tiny Janette is until seeing her next to Ade. She’s mini.

    I actually like Kupono’s solo, but I hope he’s gone tonight. If Evan survives, he won’t be around long.

  3. I agree Tom. It’s a hard dance to pull off at the best of times but I think they needed to choreograph it differently for people who weren’t ballroom dancers. On the other hand it’s the final 10 and the choreographers shouldn’t be making it easy any more.

    Evan was so out of his element in that African dance. Wow.

  4. Last night we saw, yet again, that Melissa and Janette will throw down a solid performance no matter what style they get. We also saw that Kayla will always have really amazing lines…and not much else. I hope to see Janette and Melissa in the final. Jeanine is good, but just doesn’t shine the way those two do—although I admit that might be due to Jeanine’s history with Phillip.

    Melissa > Janette > Jeanine >> Kayla > Randi.

    The boys were full of surprises, with the exception of Brandon:

    Ade showed more personality than we’ve seen before and owned that dance.

    Evan was surprisingly disappointing because he clearly ignored Tyce Diorio’s advice last week: attack more, control more, be a man! Evan dances like a little boy all the time, which works in some dances (like his solos) but bombs in ballroom and latin.

    Kupono was also a surprising disaster. Who would have thought that the evil, commanding, abusive Addiction from last week couldn’t muster up some power for the Paso? But yeah, half the blame goes to the music.

    Jason was only a minor surprise. Contemporary is his style, remember? Still, he did quite well.

    Ade = Brandon >> Jason = Kupono > Evan

  5. PS. Dances I don’t ever want to see again (unless there are some seriously creative approaches):

    Bollywood
    African
    Paso Doble

  6. Brian, I have to disagree about Kayla. I thought her personality finally was coming out a bit more – perhaps due to Evan. But I agree that she’s technically great but lacks performance.

    I should note that I think Evan’s ballroom last week would have looked much better had they dressed him like they did last night.

    You are right about his dancing like a man though. He lacks that heaviness and groundedness. And a lot of people have told him he needs it.

    I disagree about Jason being a surprise. He’s always been technically good but even in his solos kind of underwhelming in terms of charm and performance. Last night was the first time he really came off as interesting.

  7. I agree. Kayla came out of her shell a little last night and it only leads me to believe that Evan is a wonderful partner.

    Jason was a complete surprise. I never remembered him even immediately after he dance, but last night was amazing.

  8. Clark: I think we agree about Kayla. “Kayla will always have really amazing lines…and not much else” ~ “her personality finally was coming out a bit more.”

    As for Jason, I’m just saying he wasn’t the biggest surprise of the night. I think Kupono/Randi were…in a bad way.

  9. Oh, OK Brian. I thought you were just saying it a little stronger than I guess you were.

    I also thought that there was something weird about Randi and Kupono from the beginning. They showed those clips of what they thought of new partners and Kupono was gushing and Randi was very reserved and scared, to say the least. Which I thought was pretty odd and was an ill omen to begin.

    I really hope Evan gets paired with Janette next week. I think that’d be an excellent combo – especially if they are given the right dance.

  10. Okay, what’s the deal with Kupono and Ade repeating their solos? Well, at least now I know that Kupono wasn’t just making it up as he went along, because he did the same awful moves both nights.

  11. The girls redid theirs, as well. I’m assuming they just repeat instead of coming up with a new one due to learning the group routine.

    And…yay! Kupono’s gone!

  12. I missed the girls’ solos the night before. I just don’t remember anyone repeating solos in past seasons. And for those who aren’t dropped (e.g., Ade and Melissa) the solo is a great opportunity to show off that much more. Shouldn’t waste the opportunity….

    As for not having time because of the group routine, I say that anyone coming on this show should have ~10 awesome routines already choreographed and practiced in anticipation. Come prepared; no excuses.

  13. Oh, Brian. I totally agree. Just stating that since all of them were repeated, I’m assuming there was some answer along the lines of “no time to have another solo ready”.

  14. I like that guest judge. She’s the best so far. I love her sassy trashing of paso doble. “I’ve had enough, honey.”

    I said “Stupid paso doble,” about ten times last night. Even if Randi had nailed it, I don’t think people would pick up the phone for that routine.

  15. Debbie Allen thinks she’s Maya Angelou—definitely not my favorite judge. That said, I enjoyed her parody of Lil’ C last season.

  16. Susan,
    I don’t know who Debbie Allen is. I just like that she focuses on performance and doesn’t get all fussy about technique. Plus, she speaks in complete, intelligible sentences unlike, Tyce, Lil’ C, or Toni Basil.

  17. Way to make me feel old! She was in the movie Fame and was a main character in the TV show as well. She choreographed both. She also produced the TV show A Different World.

    Her sister played the mom on the Cosby Show.

  18. Ah, crappy movie remake. Right.

    I totally know who she is. And fame. Still think she’s a horrible judge…I agree with the “she thinks she Maya Angelou” assessment. Annoying. Bring on Adam Shankman!

  19. I didn’t know that was her sister.

    I don’t think she’s a crappy judge at all — I always hate it when Mia or Toni Basil judge though. That said the Maya Angelou joke is way too true. Lil’ C’s problem is that he thinks he’s a hip hop Heidegger waxing on about the relation of Being and Dance.

  20. Do we need a new thread? The Judges of SYTYCD….

    Lil’ C = hip-hop Heidegger (LOL!)
    Debbie Allen = Maya wannabe-Angelou
    Toni Basil = What theater does to you, aka Drug-induced commentary, aka THE GREATEST JUDGE EVAR!
    Mia Michaels = You are so blessed to hear my vague and useless commentary
    Tyce Diorio = I’ll grunt or squeak instead of using one of several well-known English words that would clearly convey my impression of your dancing.

    (That said, I actually think Tyce has been a great judge this season because he gave helpful, relatively specific critiques to at least two dancers, Ade and Evan.)

    I really don’t care whether the judges like the dances, what I want is to hear their expertise so I know what to look for in a particular style. Sometimes I think a dance just doesn’t look right but I can’t say why, and then (for example) Nigel will say something about the guy’s knees not being bent right or the girl being too slow on her retractions and it becomes very clear (and I actually learn something).

  21. Susan: I remember watching Fame with my older siblings. I was only ~10 yrs old, so I remember the show but not the actors.

  22. The best part of Toni Basil is she thinks she’s so “street” even as it’s really clear she’s this pampered botoxed white rich girl.

    I do like it when they get specific on their criticisms. As you said this is really informative. Even though it’s been a long time since college I can remember a fair bit on the ballroom. But I’m totally clueless on the contemporary stuff and hip hop. As you say, you can sense something is wrong but can’t put your finger on why. (I also like that especially after Nigel they show clips illustrating the point)

    Adam Shankman is actually my favorite guest judge, even if he does go off a little too much at times. I don’t know why, but he really cracks me up. Plus he just seems so down to earth and humble. (I loved it when he got up and started dancing with one of the girls during the try outs)

  23. I actually sit through Mary’s screeching just because she sometimes has valuable and interesting things to say about technique.

  24. BTW – anyone surprised that Ade and Melissa were in the bottom 2? Ade in particular looked shocked. My wife thinks that he comes off so much as the “cool cocky” type that he turns some people off.

  25. Clark: don’t change the subject. Oh, wait, that is the subject…. Yes, I was shocked about Melissa and Ade. Both have been so solid all season, and Ade had a really fun Hip-Hop number.

    gabby: keeping in mind that the comments I like most are those that constructively critique the dancers, I dislike Mia’s comments because she comes across as far more interested in building up herself. Sometimes it takes the form of rudeness, as Susan points out, and other times it takes the form of “As the Divine Creative Blessing from On High, We stoop to bestow upon thee a compliment; consider thyself truly fortunate to be in Our Presence.”

  26. I think Ade is running into the same problem William had last year: incredible dancer, but a little aloof and not connecting. Same, possibly, with Melissa.

    I think Mia is so freaking incredible that she deserves a little bit of ego. Plus, if you wade through her puffed-up-ness, she usually has good things to say.

  27. gabby: fair ‘nough.

    Clark: Your “Hip-Hop Heidegger” comment has this video stuck in my head:

  28. Gabby, I think that’s right. Most years they have some amazingly talented dancer who just doesn’t click with most people. I am just a tad surprised because I thought Ade was connecting in a way that say William or others in prior years didn’t. Ditto with Melissa. (Although her pouty attempt at being a sex kitten has gotten old – especially since her husband is usually in the audience!)

    I’m just shocked that with several mediocre dances that Evan is doing as well as he is. Likewise to me Kayla never has connected with the audience, but clearly she’s getting more votes that either Ade or Melissa. (Although to be fair that might be due to partnering with Evan) In a sense I can understand because Evan rocked his solo. And even where he failed (say the African dance) he did so in a kind of charming way. Plus, as I said, while he wasn’t technically great in his waltz I thought he held his own given difficult circumstances and was much better than I expected.

    But Kayla I honestly expected to be going home next week. Now I’m not so sure…

    I think what floored me is that Melissa’s “flower child” routine really worked. I thought it was one of her better dances. Although her solo was weak. (But I thought Ade’s was quite good)

  29. Brian, that was one of my favorite episodes of Flight of the Conchords. Unfortunately many of final few episodes weren’t nearly as strong as the first few. (I heard this is more pronounced in the second season) Although the season finale was great.

    I also love the scene where he’s trying to dance like Kevin Bacon in Footloose.

    Not really up to SYTYCD standards. (grin)

    BTW – what is up with FOX not letting clips go on YouTube, not putting the show up on Hulu and otherwise making it a royal pain in the you know what to discuss things? I don’t recall them doing that in the past. It’s pretty annoying. There’s one place that has the full episode but in a way over compressed low res form. Ugh. Then people wonder why people turn to Bit Torrent.

  30. Clark, it makes me sad that so many people will grow up not having seen Footloose and thus miss out on parodies of it. You convinced me to buy the film so that at least my children are not raised in ignorance.

    I’ve thought about writing to the advertisers of SYTYCD to complain about Fox not posting it. If I miss an episode I have to search it out online because I can’t record on my VCR anymore (since the switch to digital broadcast). And when I watch those online clips, they are all commercial-free, so I have no idea who is paying for the show. In contrast, I can still remember that Lexus, Scion, Lyrica, Cadillac, HP, and Tide paid for all the streaming video of LOST I watched about a year ago!

  31. I love Ade and Melissa. I think they are beautiful dancers and I don’t find them NEARLY as distant as I did William (though Ade is pretty quiet and other than showing humility, which William lacked, is still pretty distant) and I HOPE neither is gone next week. However, I don’t love either of them as much as Evan. I just love Evan. My hubby does as well. I know he isn’t the best dancer, but I want him to continue for some reason. I also believe, should his brother make top 20 next season, he’ll also stay around longer than he should.

    I LOVE the flower child routine. I thought it was brilliant.

    I feel the same about Kayla – definitely thought she would be the next girl to go. If she is partnered with, say…Jason or Ade this week, I think she will be. She seems very dancer stuck up.

  32. I think Kayla is just shy and immature. I don’t think she is stuck up.

    I don’t know with Ade. I think he’s a tad cocky which may turn some people off. But I agree he’s not distant like William.

    Honestly I’m shocked Ade was in the bottom.

  33. I don’t THINK Kayla’s stuck up, but I think she comes across as stuck up. Or “greatest dancer” pride. Or something.

    I think if Jason’s routine hadn’t been so freaking amazing, Ade wouldn’t have been in the bottom…

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