As Daniel mentioned in his Top 10 Girls article, he and I will be covering SYTYCD this season. Starting next week when the dancers start dancing as couples, we’ll start writing a joint article- but wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the guys and girls separately.
Our first guy to be taken to the judges, and also the first addition to the top 10 guys was Vitolio Jeune. The judges were totally right with this guy when they said he lacked personality on stage up until the group performance day. I didn’t even really know who this guy was until looking back at the auditions. He really is an amazing dancer with a very touching story. From Haiti, his mother died at a young age and his grandmother had to put him and his brother into an orphanage a few years later. He left the orphanage at age 15 and has been on his own ever since, trying to make it as a dancer. He’s got mad skills and definitely has the passion to really bring it, so I expect good things from this one.
Click on the picture below to SYTYCD: Season 5 gallery
At this point we lose some random Asian guy and Henry… neither of which I was concerned to see leave.
Enter Kupono. This one’s going to get attention just because no one can say his name- Kuponohi’ipoi Aweau- though he is very talented. We first saw him in Seattle with that really heinous hair that, ironically, stupid Nigel was quick to comment on which was almost enough to cover up his good looks. Some of the judges thought he was slightly feminine in his audition but that he had really butched it up during Vegas week and was in the Top 10. Personally, I thought he was amazing in Seattle, and naturally just as amazing in Vegas, so I’m glad the judges got off of the feminine bandwagon and put him through.
Next up in the Top 10 was Ade Obayomi. Now, it appears that the producers are trying a different tack this year and are being very coy about showing us too much footage of the top 20… so maybe it’s just me, but I totally had to look this guy up again since I had no idea who he was. Luckily I was able to find some of his previous work on YouTube. He’s a strong contemporary dancer for sure with amazing jumps, but to be honest, I don’t have high hopes for him. Perhaps I’ll be surprised… but for now, he’s not on my radar at all.
Jonathan Platero, on the other hand, I is a huge phallic symbol on my radar. Daniel and I both agree that Jonathan will be a top contender in the competition, but Daniel’s opinion is largely based on the fact that Jonathan is also his pick for hottest male dancer of the season. I highly suggest looking him up on YouTube under xxsurfjonsurfxx.
Next up is the much contested Brandon Bryant. Let me say this right now. I. Love. Brandon. Bryant. He is Ama-to-the-ZING! He is strong, masculine, adorable, and arguably one of the strongest dancers to be on the show. My biggest fear is that he reminds me so much of Will from last season who was a brilliant technical dancer that failed to connect with the crowd for whatever reason. Mia… I love your work, but you’re a total bitch sometimes. Brandon- I’ll come to the jungle with you anyday… call me.
The white version of Twitch from last season, Tony Bellisimo was put through even though he doesn’t have half the technique that some of the other dancers do. Having said that, he definitely has the personality and he definitely knows how to cut a rug with his own hip hop style. Hopefully he can live up to the results his predecessors on the show have made us come to expect. His first contemporary number is absolutely going to be a telling sign…
Maxim Kapitannikov- Hooray for ballroom dancers! I do love to see these guys get on the show because too often they are pigeon-holed into just the ballroom styles. Hopefully he’ll make it farther than the previous ballroom guys on the show… though in the spirit of full disclosure, I doubt it’ll happen. If Dimitri couldn’t make it all the way, this guy doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell.
The next hottie to join the Top 10 Guys is Jason Glover. I am super glad to see this guy come through and I expect great things from him. The short time that he actually had air time showed some truly amazing dance skill, a fun and engaging personality and… he’s SO cute! Check out this competition video of him to see what kind of skills he’s packin’.
At this point we witness Vancouver-native Alex Wong break down after being told that he would be in the Top 20 if he wasn’t under contract with the Miami Ballet. It was really sad to watch actually because you could see how much he wanted it, and he is a truly talented dancer. Let’s hope he’s not going to be eating dog shit when he goes back to Miami for having tried out!
Every season needs its ridiculously talented B-boy and Philip Chbeeb is UNREAL. He was supposed to be on the show last season but came down with pneumonia, so I’m excited to see what he turns out this year. He is unbelievable in terms of his own style, but his biggest challenge is that he doesn’t know how to stop doing it. He literally can’t stop his body from popping even when he’s doing contemporary or ballroom. Watch for it, you can see it in all his movements… hopefully he can figure it out or else it’ll be a short, short ride.
This leaves only one spot in the Top 10 Guys… so we turn to Evan & Ryan Kasprzak. Let me just say that I’m in a mini-fight with the show for putting these two brothers against each other for the final position of the final 20. As if it’s not a painful enough to go through the process on its own, they decide to pit against each other the two closest brothers I’ve ever seen (okay… maybe not as close as those two during auditions that still share a bed… creepy… but still). I just think it’s overly harsh and cruel. That said, Evan was clearly the better dancer. Ryan has developed an amazing personality, which, in addition to his also fantastic dance skills makes him a much more seasoned performer, but ultimately it was Evan that went through with his old-style jazz. Watching him dance just makes me giddy, so I do think that it was the right call- but I would’ve liked to have seen them both in the Top 10.
All in all, the Top 10 Guys is packed with some amazing talent, great eye-candy and shows an auspicious beginning to season 5.
[Publisher's Note: All pictures courtesy of Fox and photographed by our friend, Mike Ruiz]