So You Think You Can... Episodes

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So You Think You Can Dance Episode: "Top 12 Perform"

Season 5, Episode 14
Episode Synopsis: The Top 12 dancers perform.
Original Air Date: Jul 8, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance Episode Recap: Top 12 Perform Season 5, Episode 14

We are just one hot tamale train ride away from learning this year's top 10. Who do you want to see there? Who are you so tired of that if they don't go home tonight you might have to hunt Nigel down yourself and hurt him? Let's see how our dancers do as the pressure of making the Top 10 looms large.

Did you vote?

As I do every week, I must mention my lovely Cat Deeley. Yes, I said my. I guess I'm feeling possessive today. As always, she puts that vibe out there that I think everyone can relate to and appreciate. And I love her whole look — the hair, the outfit, the makeup. It's all working for me.

The question of the week isn't asked until our Top 12 performs for a second time (see below) but the good news is that they get to perform twice. Yay. Ask and you shall receive.

First Dance
Melissa and Ade
Choreographer/Dance: Doriana Sanchez/disco
Rehearsals: If you don't do it right it can look cheesy. Melissa thinks disco is challenging and Doriana is concerned by all the laughing. They'd better pray to the disco gods.
Title/Artist: "Move On Up"/Destination
Performance: Looks like it might be a bit too fast for them. This may be the style that does them in (or at least puts them in the bottom three). This style has brought other good couples down in past seasons. I'm liking the energy level though. The lifts look difficult and they're executed pretty well. Couldn't stick it at the end but I have to give them props for tackling this genre and making it look fun. Didn't love it but I love them.
Nigel: Incredible start to the evening; so much energy. Exciting. Looks tremendous. Good strong couple.
Mary: Amen. Giving me a disco pick-me-up. So much fun and really well done. Well executed. First time she's seen Ade let it go. Melissa is a vision.
Tyce: Friggin' great. Adores Melissa. No one would think a ballet dancer could do this. That body is brilliant. Rhythm and timing is great. Embodied it.

Kayla and Kupono
Choreographers/Dance: Mia Michaels/Contemporary
Rehearsals: It's about addiction; wanting something that's not good for you. Constant battle of Kupono being there and Kayla trying to get rid of him. Hits home for Kupono; addiction almost destroyed his family and his best friend.
Title/Artist: "Gravity"/Sara Bareilles
Performance: Nice partner work. Kupono is totally feeling it, but I think we all expected it from seeing him during rehearsal.  He's kind of throwing Kayla around and I'm loving it. A very physical piece. Middle part is a little too much emoting and not enough dancing but overall I think it was pretty powerful. Not fabulous but really not bad at all.
Nigel: Very powerful. Kayla's dancing is superb. Would like to see her more. Not getting the power of her eyes. Very strong for Kupono. Very dark. Brilliant.
Mary: One of the best things Kupono does is when he can latch onto a character. Kayla is flawless every week. They are staying on the train.
Tyce: The best dancers are the best actors. They are embodying the experience. Kupono could be stronger in his body but he really took what Mia gave him. Kayla is a phenomenal, beautiful beast. Enjoys them as a couple.

Caitlin and Jason
Choreographers/Dance: Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin/foxtrot
Rehearsals: American Style. Woman is aggressive and the man is macho. Caitlin is excited to be elegant this week but they're both finding it hard to move in their frame.
Title/Artist: "Minnie the Moocher"/Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Performance: Looks like they're having fun, which I always enjoy seeing. Is it just me or do they seem to be dancing very slowly, almost as if they're in slo-mo? I'm not feeling an energy level to this. Transition in and out of last lift wasn't too smooth. I didn't love it, although I'm still enjoying Caitlin's progress. She's really growing on me.
Nigel: Caitlin makes everything looks simple and easy even though it isn't. Doing some incredible things. Jason's footwork is very good, indeed. Huge improvement in the pair of them.
Mary: Tremendous. Suits you. Jason looks cool and suave. Caitlin's kicks are so beautiful and elegant. Let's hear it for her!
Tyce: Both look like stars tonight. Captured the essence. They could have glided more. Great job.

Jeanine and Phillip
Choreographers/Dance: Youri Nelzine & Lilia Babenko/Russian Folk Dance
Rehearsals: Playful competition between a man and a woman. Talking pure Russia here.
Title/Artist: "Kalinka"/Barynya
Performance: I'm not even sure what to write. It's fascinating in a way. Not a bad effort. I'm enjoying Jeanine's performance more than Phillip's, but that's not surprising to me. Not bad but not great considering how wonderful Twitch and Jason's Russian dance was last year.
Nigel: Difficult one. He's not sure they should have thrown that at them. Felt a little bit like two little kids dancing. Didn't ask them to do enough. Felt a little too folky. Need vodka to go along with it. Not about their dancing, more about the style. Phillip's leg work on the turnover is fabulous.
Mary: Jeanine made it look effortless. Believed she was a Russian folk dancer. Really interested when Phillip went down for the floor kicks. Was it difficult? No but there were some bright highlights.
Tyce: Did very well. Jeanine is fabulous. Thought this would be horrible for Phillip and

Randi and Evan
Choreographers/Dance: Tabitha & Napoleon Dumo/Hip-hop
Rehearsals: They're a young couple in love and they're going to have a baby. They're nervous and not sure what to do and the dancing is telling that story. Choreography is pretty intricate.
Title/Artist: "Halo"/Beyonce
Performance: A lot of fun. Not hitting it as hard as they could have but there's a lot of good stuff in there. I can't say it's memorable but it goes down easy as you're watching it.
Nigel: A number of good things here. Loved that NappyTabs didn't ask them to be urban. They were themselves to a hip hop beat. They are one of his favorite couples. An asset to the program.
Mary: Expecting a train wreck but thinks they did a great job. Kept looking at Evan to see him do something wrong. He didn't fall down tonight. Her eyes are always drawn to Randi and she's standing out once again in this competition.
Tyce: Such good storytelling by NappyTabs. Evan needs to find more. It was good. Explore what this is. Randi is doing great; he loves her. Very good job.

Brandon and Janette
Choreographers/Dance: Leonardo Barrionuevo & Miriam Larici/Argentine Tango (you may remember them as featured dancers earlier in the season)
Rehearsals: Very sexy dance. They are struggling to find that intimacy. Had fun in rehearsal because Brandon doesn't speak Spanish but Janette does.
Title/Artist: "Libertango"/Forever Tango (Original Broadway Cast Album)
Performance: Nice connection. I'm enjoying the footwork. They are selling it for me. Nice lifts. They are such a delight to watch. They look like professionals. Great job. I was so busy watching it I typed almost nothing! I continue to really enjoy this couple.
Nigel: Says nothing but gives them a standing ovation, which the other judges join in on. For a ballroom routine, that was as close to perfection as he's seen on that stage ever. If that train isn't coming, there will be bloody trouble.
Mary: That was really outstanding. The flicks, the lifts. Brandon is still not disappointing her even one ounce. He is right there in the moment every step of the way. Janette is flawless. Fabulous, hot. First class ticket on the train. Mary scream. Can't contain herself.
Tyce: They are a powerful couple. So much attention to detail. Left no stone unturned. He gives us some strange juice metaphor. Unreal.

Second Dance
Melissa and Ade
Melissa will miss everything about Ade; they have so much fun together. Ade thinks Melissa is amazing; he's getting emotional about not dancing with her.
Choreographer/Dance: Ron Montez/waltz
Rehearsals: Not restricted to the dance hold. Details are very important. Will have to have the chemistry and passion. Looks like a good combination.
Title/Artist: "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman"/Mary J. Blige
Performance: Very smooth. These two are so beautiful together. Ade is there for her 100%. Great lifts throughout. Very nicely done. These two have really great chemistry. Nice focus on Ade for some solo work. I'll be sad to see this couple break up.
Nigel: Beautiful. Choreographer did a wonderful job of playing to their strengths. Ade's upper body is tremendous but would have liked to see more rise and fall.
Mary: Beautiful for her too. Ade has a lot of strength and makes the lifts look effortless. Not bad. Eyes were heading towards Melissa. She is mesmerizing. Peaking at the right time. Draws everybody in. Everything they've done they've done with class.
Tyce: Wants to see Ade elongate and stretch because he makes things look so easy.

Kayla and Kupono
Kayla will miss Kupono's energy; he's so positive it makes you feel good. Kupono will miss her sweaty hands and feet. There's a comfort in that.
Choreographer/Dance: Joey Dowling/Broadway
Rehearsals: Love at first sight. They're on a rooftop and they bump into each other. Joey wants them to really portray those feelings. Joey was going nonstop.
Title/Artist: "The Dance at the Gym"/West Side Story (The New Broadway Cast)
Performance: I really like Joey but I think I've decided I don't enjoy Broadway. I enjoyed their piece as much as I could but I really wasn't feeling it. Kayla's lines are always great and they remain so here. I would have liked to see Kupono find a character here to portray.
Nigel: This is his period of time. Lacking a feeling of true emotion. Didn't feel like they found characters. Didn't see that toughness. Needs more than just good dancing.
Mary: Didn't quite latch onto the style but still thinks they did a good job. Could have done more but they are a force to be reckoned with. Kayla is dynamic. Kupono doing a great job outside his style.
Tyce: Wants to thank Joey. She's given them a great piece of music and rooted it in such truth. Needed to get down into the floor. Danced it very well. Loves them as a couple and thinks they'll be around for a little while.

Caitlin and Jason
Caitlin will miss Jason's hugs; he's good at calming her down. Jason will miss her quirkiness, her personality, and her jokes. He's happy to be part of the competition in part because of her.
Choreographer/Dance: Mandy Moore/Lyrical Jazz
Rehearsals: They'll be in their comfort zones and Mandy wants to bring out their strengths. Caitlin is happy they're getting Lyrical this week. It's a kitchen sink routine; there is everything in it.  They both think they'll do well.
Title/Artist: "Show Me Heaven"/Maria McKee
Performance: Very nice lifts. I do see a lot of things on display here and I'm really enjoying it all. Nice partner work and side-by-side partnering. I may have expected more but I did enjoy it. They weren't killing it for me.
Nigel: It's obvious that they've worked very hard. Work is very good. Don't always see chemistry between them. Technically they danced it very well.
Mary: Sees quite a bit of chemistry however it wasn't magic. A few really unique things in there for her. Effortless. Jason has a face the whole world can love and adore; makes things look easy. Caitlin is another outstanding woman in this competition. Beautiful lines. The piece is really good but probably not memorable.
Tyce: Mandy does such a great job. Partnering is challenging and they were in synch. Doesn't want to see them play it safe; take it further. Did a great job. Work is appreciated.

Jeanine and Phillip
Jeanine is taking it harder then she thought she would. She'll miss his big heart. Phillip will miss her uplifting spirit and positivity. Her kooky personality
Choreographer/Dance: Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin/jive
Rehearsals: Phillip is a sailor who's been away for a while and she's teasing him about what he's missed. They are going there, but not too far. This is their second chance at ballroom.
Title/Artist: "Stuff Like That There"/Bette Midler
Performance: Seeing a few bobbles from Phillip but I'm enjoying this quite a bit more than their first piece. It's fun but that's the best thing I can say about Phillip. I think Jeanine is pretty impressive technically. This won't save them from the bottom three.
Nigel: Tony and Melanie have surpassed themselves with this routine. This is the best Phillip has been out of his own style. Taking into account that he slipped and he was nervous. Starting to come to life. Jeanine is proving that she's one of our best top 10 dancers.
Mary: Can guarantee Jeanine will be here next week. It was a big surprise. Didn't expect Phillip to do that well. Don't count him out. Jeanine is on fire tonight. She's on the train.
Tyce: Call 1-888-Fan-Freakin-Tastic. What Phillip lacks in technique he makes up for in performance. Jeanine is a star up there. Tony and Melanie did a great job. Great package deal.

Randi and Evan
Randi will miss this look that Evan gives her. It's an "into her" look. Evan will miss getting to laugh in rehearsal; she's so easy to get along with.
Choreographer/Dance: Pasha Kovalev & Anya Garnis/samba
Rehearsals: Evan is nervous about getting his hips shaking. This is out of Randi's comfort zone. She feels like a fool. Pasha and Anya are trying to push them in a different direction.
Title/Artist: "Ritmo De Bom Bom"/Jubaba
Performance: Great opening/beginning. Not as strong as I could have been in the middle section. Not enough energy from Randi but I'm enjoying Evan. Randi not selling the sexy because I don't think she believes it. Not bad but I didn't love it. They're disappointing me.
Nigel: Does he look on Evan as a hot Samba king? He was very strong. Did everything that was required. Randi is hot. But together it wasn't as hot as he would have liked it.
Mary: Not hot but it was a slow sizzle going on up there. Great routine. Fabulous. A lot of hard partnering work and lived up to it. Was it really dynamic? No. Didn't go the extra mile. She knows Evan can do it. Randi is a hot tamale too.
Tyce: Evan needs to be like a detective about the other couples who have danced this style and made it hot. Didn't become the character. Randi carried the piece. Liked the piece a lot.

Brandon and Janette
Brandon will miss how Janette brought him out of his shell. Being around her really helped him in this competition. Janette thinks he's extremely talented and will miss dancing with him.
Choreographer/Dance: Wade Robson/jazz
Rehearsals: About two thieves. Movement is swift and cartoon like. Brandon loves working with Wade. Brings personality out of you. They need to let it unfold and have fun.
Title/Artist: "Ruby Blue"/Roisin Murphy
Performance: Totally fun. Brandon is killing it. I don't want to type; I just want to watch them. Great movement. Great character. Loved it. I will be very disappointed to see this partnership break up.
Nigel: With what they've done tonight they have shown there's nothing they can't do brilliantly. Janette shocks him because she's picked up every dance style they've thrown at her and done it brilliantly. If they don't get the biggest vote of the night he'll be surprised.
Mary: The best for last. Spontaneous combustion. Used the steps and synchronization. Fabulous. Stole everybody's heart. Brandon is her champion. Janette is a surprise every week. She just delivers.
Tyce: They have that thing. They're not victims. They're in charge and write their own ticket. So proud and privileged. Always inspired by Wade. Technical excellence.

As Cat mentioned, next week the couples will be breaking up. I have enjoyed a lot of the pairings this season but I always like it when they mix it up. Sometimes incredible new pairings are discovered and sometimes we hope that certain couples never, ever dance together again. I can't wait.

With half of Wednesday's couples about to land in the bottom three, who do you think will be there? Who do you think belongs there? I will give Phillip points for trying, but he's a big disappointment to me lately. I feel like the judges gave him a break in their critiques on the jive. I didn't like his performance and I expected more. I think he and Jeanine will be in the bottom. I'm a huge fan of Kayla as you know (and you probably want me to quit telling you that every chance I get), but I think the Broadway piece will land her and Kupono in the bottom. Who else will join them there? Caitlin and Jason. I was a little underwhelmed by both their dances this week. Evan and Randi might also be in trouble. They underwhelmed me. I really like Evan although I do agree with Tyce (shocking, I know). He needs to step it up. Stop being safe and put it all out there. Randi is cute but I don't necessarily think we'd miss her if she had to leave.

Who do I think will be sent home? It may be time for Kupono and Jeanine to go home. If they send Jason home instead of Kupono I won't be crushed. I do like Jeanine and I'd love to see more from her but I'm not sure the judges would sacrifice Caitlin or Kayla to save her. If these three ladies end up in the bottom three it will be very, very interesting to see who goes home.

Did you vote?

Thoughts? Reactions? I'll check back in Thursday when the Top 10 is revealed.

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We are just one hot tamale train ride away from learning this year's top 10. Who do you want to see there? Who are you so tired of that if they don't go home tonight you might have to hunt Nigel down yourself and hurt him? Let's see how our dancers do as the pressure of making the Top 10 looms large.

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Premiered: July 20, 2005, on FOX
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