Well here we are. Probably the most important power rankings of the whole season. And on one hand, the most obvious and on the other, the most baffling.
According to John’s SYTYCD top 6 poll the last time I checked, you’ve ranked the contestants thusly: Kayla, Jeanine, Brandon, Ade, Evan and Melissa with each of the pairs being fairly close (i.e. Kayla and Jeanine not too far apart), but with some pretty large gaps between them (i.e., the difference between the K/J pairing and the B/A pairing and…biggest of all, the E/M pairing).
Before last night’s show, I was prepared to count Evan out of the Final 4. Not because that’s my personal choice, but because it really seemed like his fan base was dwindling a bit (does this relate to the absence of Brother Blogs for a few weeks?) while Ade and Brandon were picking up steam.
But. I anticipate a lot of debate, because I have to go with my gut here.
1. Jeanine: As one commenter said, she seems to be in the majority of people’s best guesses for Top 4. Her samba wasn’t her best performance, but she did well and the both of them showed a lot of charm and personality throughout. Her solo wasn’t spectacular or much different than her others, but it was cute. And then there was that great Nappytabs hip hop about getting evicted where she successfully jumped through Ade’s scissoring legs. And then, I really got the feeling that Sonya gave her a lot of “center stage” time in the group piece, she really stood out to me (as did Cat and Nigel’s comments about her costume, after). I think she’s the best combo of skill and personality this season, so she’s my pick to win and my first guess for the Top 4.
2. Kayla: She’s started to show a lot more personality, slowly but surely and she’s always been pretty precise. Some people don’t dig her, but a lot of people do. Her Stacey Tookey contemporary with Brandon really impressed me and I thought these two “cold” dancers actually brought out a lot in each other. Her solo was nothing new and a bit boring, but it was a’right. I didn’t love the disco as much, but then I never do. Sorry, y’all. This one almost one me over in the first half, but then got really awkward at the end, where it seemed like most of the time they were pausing to set up jumps and lifts and not actually dancing. My mom and I debate heartily over disco.
So these are the two I feel fairly confident about. Let me talk about the girl I think is going home:
-Melissa: Beginning with her Broadway with Evan and through her solo, I was digging Melissa a bit more than I had before, wondering if I’d given her a raw deal. And then there came the quickstep OF DOOM! DOOM! DOOM! (Sorry, there’s an echo in here). I was actually pretty happy with their performance. But you know what? Melissa LOST me when she seemed to be throwing Evan under the bus. She admitted in the intro video that she doesn’t trust him and she didn’t say this in a way that indicated it was something *she* needed to improve on. And has anybody noticed she seems to roll her eyes a lot – check out the intro video for the girls’ routine if you don’t believe me. She’s had a good run on the show, but now I’m ready for her to go.
The top 2 boys are a really tough call. Really, really tough. And no matter what I say, there’s going to be some heated disagreement (which I’m excited to see, bring it on!), so I’m going with my gut here.
1. Evan: I think he didn’t just “stay visible” as Lil C said. I couldn’t stop watching him! I agree with Nigel that he stood out for me in Sonya’s group number. His Broadway was fun and strong. I honestly felt like he probably spent a lot of energy helping Melissa shine in the piece. While he didn’t switch up his solo either, I loved the enormous flip across the stage that he did. And, he’s “dancing bigger,” all the time. I love the commenter who pointed out that Brandon’s not much taller than Evan, who’s been getting all the “short guy” heat. Clearly, Evan isn’t as muscular as Brandon, so perhaps that has something to do with it. When I heard that Melissa and Evan had the dreaded quickstep OF DOOM! DOOM! DOOM! (dern echo!), I was very, very, very worried. But they did a good job and it was enjoyable. All in all, I feel like Evan had a strong night in both his dancing and his personality. With Ryan rallying with a new, great Brother Blog and then certain other issues with the other contestants…I think we might find Evan in the finale. I just love watching him dance, so how can I not predict that? It IS America’s Favorite Dancer and I think a lot of people just really enjoy Evan, as I do.
2. Ade: His work in the group number was solid. He wasn’t as strong as he could have been on his second Latin dance this season, but even so, I enjoyed him and Jeanine in their samba. He’s been picking up steam all season. Again, his solo wasn’t terribly new (to him), but it showed us his style. And then that Nappytabs hip hop with Jeanine, which was just pure pleasure to watch. Probably the stand out routine of the night (the group routines and the Tookey contemporary are the only other standouts to me). He’s become such a front runner for me over the course of the season, from someone I never really paid any attention to, to somebody I’d love to see dance whenever I get the chance.
-Brandon: He’s picked up some steam in the last few weeks, so I may be really wrong about him going home this week. However, while I tend to enjoy his dancing, he seems really cocky and arrogant to me and I just don’t like it. One of the commenters pointed out that he doesn’t seem to be really generous to his partners (though I think he sensed a bond with Kayla, so maybe it was different with her), and that really nailed it for me, that ambiguous thing that wasn’t working for me about Brandon. I lost a lot of liking for him in between Vegas week (with Natalie, it has to be said) and Top 20, it almost seemed like he shut down his personality a bit. Then, there’s the fact that the judges stood for his solo, Nigel called it the best on the show, but *no one* was fooled that it was his audition routine all over again. It’s a pretty awesome routine and of course, with the music and the little to no clothing, he pulled out all the stops to demonstrate he wants to be in the Final 4. But when it comes down to it, I don’t think his messy disco and his fabulous contemporary and all of this calculated arrogance-humility is going to be enough. I may be completely wrong here, but this is what my gut says.
I think a Jeanine, Kayla, Evan, Ade finale will be pretty fascinating to watch and I’d be sorry if any of them left.