So last night SYTYCD announced their top twenty, ten girls and ten guys, to showcase their best dance skills for America’s votes. From the original 172 contestants who made it through to Vegas week, the night began with 32 contestants – 16 guys and 16 girls, which were eventually narrowed down to our top 10 guys and 10 girls.
For the remainder of the season Kevin and I will be giving you our play-by-play each week, talking about the guys and the girls respectively, and the things we loved and hated and everything in between. Once they start dancing as couples we’ll write up one article, but for now- here’s my take on the ladies.
[Publisher's Note: All pictures courtesy of Fox and photographed by our friend, Mike Ruiz]
Janette Manrara was the first contestant to face the judges. With little shown of this beauty before Vegas week, this ballroom dancer auditioned in Miami just a few days after her boyfriend of four years ended their relationship. According to Debbie Allen, based on the Vegas rounds, she felt that Janette would get America’s votes if she made it through to the top 20. We’ll have to see as she was the first person put through to the top ten girls!
Click on the picture below to SYTYCD: Season 5 gallery
Next to be called in to the judges was Diana, who brought her lucky monkey with her to Vegas week?! Her nervousness was too obvious, and I have to admit I’m not a fan of when people discuss their awkwardness/nerves in front of the judging panel. Sadly, for Diana, her monkey didn’t bring her the luck she was looking for as she didn’t make it through to the top 20.
At this point we had some random Asian girl – she didn’t make it, nor did they even say her name. Dang is all I have to say about that!
Kayla Rodomsky was the four girl to face the judges, and was hoping to be the second girl put through to the top ten girls. Kayla auditioned in Denver, where she showed up with her grandparents. She went straight through to Vegas, and shined her way through every round of choreography. Thankfully this blonde bombshell with her pearly whites connected with Mia Michaels as a dancer, as she is also part of the top ten girls! She is my first prediction of being one of the final two girls left in the competition when finale time rolls around.
Paris Torres was the third girl put through into the top ten. Her fire-hot looks and gorgeous curls make her a sure vote based on instant sex appeal. As for her dancing, I still don’t have a personal gauge on this one as she managed to coast straight into the top ten girls without a lot of on-air time. Clearly there is something to be said for good dancers who don’t bring a lot of attitude or drama as part of their tryouts. Well done Paris.
Jeanine Mason is another aloof mystery girl who slid into the top 10 girls without a lot of air time. From the small clip of her dancing while her name was read out as one of the top twenty I had an instant flash back to my favourite dancer from last year, Kourtney, who was eliminated just shy of making it into the top three. My random guess is Jeanie will be a surprise to a lot of people when she takes to the stage.
Karla Garcia is thankfully recognizable from Vegas week, with her minimal air time during the jazz routine, expressing how quick Tyce Diorio’s routine was. Is that enough to capture America’s attention and have them remember who she is? I’m skeptical. Unfortunately, my prediction is Karla will be one of the first three girls eliminated based on the lack of stage presence.
Caitlin Kinney was the next girl announced by the judges as through to the top ten girls. My heart is dead set on Caitlin coming out victorious this year. Her joint story of trying out alongside her sister (although in separate cities) and their dancing together throughout Vegas week tugged at my rugged heart strings. Her dance skills are amazing, and I truly feel the emotion she projects every time she takes the stage. Caitlin is my second prediction for making it through to the final two girls, and I’ll go out on an early limb and say she just may win it all.
Melissa Sandvig, who I shall refer to as ‘the dirty ballerina’ moving forward also made it through to this year’s top ten girls. I was a huge fan of her initial try out, as I have an aching heart for any girl on toe point; however, I just don’t feel she has the staying power to adapt to the dance styles that will be thrown at her (I’m foreseeing a krumping disaster), nor to earn America’s votes.
The next girl to face the judges was Ashley Belario. It was her fourth time auditioning for the show, and sadly, I still didn’t recognize her! At this point in the episode I paused my PVR to write her blurb. I just looked up and the way I have paused the screen she looks just like Tila Tequila – not good! (Sorry, random side note). Mary Murphy saw a fighter in Ashley, a lot of improvement, beautiful dancing, and the final stop – all because she made it through to the top ten girls!
Randi Evans was next on the judges list for making it into the top ten girls. Her blue leotard was especially distracting, and unfortunately I saw a lot of similarities in the headband department to that of Nathaniel from this last season’s American Idol. If you don’t recall, please Google it – you’ll see what I mean. Randi also auditioned in Denver (in the same blue bodysuit I might add – not a good choice), showcasing her dancing abilities as a lyrical dancer. I’m pretty sure Nigel’s attraction was to the bodysuit more than the actual dancing. Mia Michaels even refers to Randi’s leotards as part of her personality, as the basis for her spirit and confidence. With that, she was sent through to the top ten. After all the judges rambling, I was struggling to place who she reminded me of. Then it hit me, a trashier version of Kerrington Paine from last season!
Two more girls whose names we’re not mentioned, nor can I remember them from random inserts throughout Vegas week, were also eliminated. Unfortunately, the short-haired girl I felt had strong potential across all dance styles (from what I remember), and felt could have been a dark horse in the competition. Sadly, now I’ll simply remember her as “dark horse”. Too bad.
The final two girls to approach the judges together, vying for the final ladies spots were ballroom dancer Asuka Kondoh and contemporary dancer Dina. The tearful address to the cameras was genuinely endearing, and I’m sad that both girls won’t be on the show. Dina rocked every round of the choreography and I loved her attitude in Napoleon and Tabitha’s Hip Hop routine. Asuka’s another dark horse in this competition, fierce in her ballroom style and impressive in all the other styles throughout Vegas week. So who goes home? Through very little suspense, Dina was sent home (hopefully to return next season)! My final prediction is Asuka could surprise us all, completely dependent on the styles drawn from the hat each week.