This week's installments of So You Think You Can Dance were a little different for me than the Top 20 and Top 18. Whereas the previous weeks I'd felt a lot of the couples were performing evenly, this week i thought the group split into two groups: 4 were really good and 4 were a bit disappointing. Hip Hop once again proved a difficult challenge for the dancers. I don't remember so many couples having this much trouble with Hip Hop in the past. The Paso Doble had a weird He-Man costume theme that was paired with that crazy O Fortuna! song to bewildering effect. Add to that a not-so-impressive Singin' In The Rain number and the only Mandy Moore Jazz number I've ever truly disliked, and it can definitely be viewed as a week with several misfires.
There were some really solid routines as well. Mia Michaels gave us a very memorable contemporary piece that focused on Randi's butt. Brandon and Jeanette saved Hip Hop from going 0-4 with a solid rock-infused number. New couple Kupono and Kayla did a beautiful and flowing viennese waltz and Melissa and Ade did a smoldering Rumba. I would wager that all 8 of these dancers make it to the Top 10.
But of the remaing 6 dancers, which 2 do I think will make it to Top 10? I'll run down there chances.
Vitolio & Karla - Vitolio has a compelling story and lots of talent, so I'm not sure why he isn't really connecting with the competition. He's just not bringing it right now the way the other guys are. I think Karla is a much stronger competitor than her former partner Jonathan (who rightly got axed this week), but I don't think Vitolio is much better than Jonathan, and there's a strong likelihood that they'll fall in the Bottom 3 again in the next two weeks, and I think when that happens, they'll both be cut.
Jason and Caitlin - They had such a strong Top 20, but then they stumbled with Hip Hop and got no help from the Paso Doble. The Judges love Caitlin but seem to be tiring of Jason. I think if they could connect with the right choreographer they could muscle their way out of the bottom 3. I think Jason right now is not too far away from Vitolio on the chopping block.
Phillip and Jeanine - Phillip as a partner has to be a bit of a paradox, because he's not a great partner, but individually very popular. This helps and hurts Jeanine, I think, because the past two weeks they haven't had very memorable routines, but they haven't been in the bottom because kids are dialing in for Phillip. So Jeanine hasn't been at risk to go home, but she also hasn't had a real showcase for her talents. So if it's Top 12 Week and they dip into the bottom, Phillip can finally rock out with an amazing solo, but Jeanine might not make it.
Overall? I think it will be Cailtin and Phillip in the Top 10 with the other 8. Of course it all depends week to week who's in the Bottom 3, but all things staying equal, I think this is how it will shake out. Losing Asuka and Jonathan this week was the right call. Asuka, as Nigel pointed out, really wasn't growing in the competition and Jonathan, with his cute face and strong acrobatics, didn't really have the dance technique to continue.
For this weeks great routines, you can go here, here and here. Or check out the embedded videos below.