Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of weekly posts by So You Think You Can Dance host Cat Deeley. Check back every Friday to get Cat’s take on the week’s action and exclusive scoop from behind the scenes. And don’t forget to make your picks for this week’s eliminations in our SYTYCD Prediction Challenge.
It’s not easy finding bona fide stars! But…by George…I think we’ve done it!
The first studio show of So You Think You Can Dance went out on Wednesday, followed by the live results show on Thursday. What an exciting week! Our Top 20 for season 5 are truly amazing. The dance talent is incredible in all the different genres, they’re a fun and vivacious bunch, and all of them have done pretty well in the gene pool — I think they may be our most visually pleasing Top 20 yet!
Before I began hosting the show I had preconceptions about just how competitive and cutthroat this TV program would be, but I have been shocked, surprised and delighted by the camaraderie, friendship and general team-player attitude of all the dancers. I know this seems hard to believe, as of course, there is only one title of “America’s Favorite Dancer” and there is only one check for $250,000.
But when you take 20 ordinary people and put them in the most extraordinary situation magic happens, and hopefully every single one of them will walk away with a life experience that they will tell their kids and grandkids about! Yes, they will be pushed beyond their physical capabilities, yes they will be emotionally challenged, and yes the pressure will sometimes be intense…. But we’re also going to have some fun!
Wednesday’s show proved that! The dancers were excited, on an adrenaline high. I was delighted to be back in the studio and knew just how spectacular the routines were. Even the judges were nervous…. But as soon as we hit that stage the crowd went wild!
The show began with a hip-hop routine from Phillip and Jeanine that was just incredible — I could watch Phillip forever and never get tired of seeing him move. The partnership with Jeanine worked perfectly, and she matched him move for move.
Randi and Evan created such chemistry on stage that Mary even joked that Randi’s husband John should watch out! Evan’s brother Ryan was in the studio for support — it was great to see him! They were such noble guys when it came down to the last place in the top 20, and it was between the two of them. Everyone on the team is hoping that Ryan will try out for the season 6 auditions — we’re holding them in L.A. this weekend, so hopefully we’ll see him there!
Asuka and Vitolio looked amazing, like old fashioned movie stars ….
When Paris and Tony took to the stage, the screams from the girls reached another level — one I would only compare to a Justin Timberlake entrance!
Caitlin and Jason brought Bollywood to Hollywood! Since Katie and Joshua performed their Bollywood routine last season, it seems the traditional Indian style has made its way into the mainstream. John Legend performed with Bollywood dancers at the Oscars, Britney features the style on tour, and who can forget the runaway success of Slumdog Millionaire? Caitlin and Jason put their own SYTYCD twist on the genre and wowed the audience and the judges.
Janette and Brandon were simply de-lightful, de-licious and de-lovely doing the foxtrot! By the way, this is something all dancers dread pulling from the hat. It’s notoriously difficult and has been the poisoned chalice of many past contestants. “Brandette” made it look effortless!
Kupono and Ashley made Wade Robson’s crash test dummy routine come to life. Nigel called Wade a genius, and I have to agree!
Melissa and Ade were just breathtaking. Our “naughty ballerina,” named by our very own Adam Shankman, proved that women get better with age, like a fine wine!
Then Kayla and Max closed the show with the samba. Louis van Amstel created a show-stopping routine, Max was the perfect leading gentleman, and Kayla wore hot pink fringe and wasn’t afraid to use it!
The results show is never as much fun! It’s so tough having to say goodbye to one guy and one girl every week — waterproof mascara is essential!
The judges had such a tough job, I think they’re all incredibly grateful when it all comes down to the public vote, but for the first few weeks, until the Top 10, they have to make the difficult decisions.
Thursday night we lost Paris and Tony. It’s always hard, but I think the other dancers found it extremely difficult. The reality of Thursday’s results shows finally hit them — that every single week one more guy and one more girl will leave us. It just gets harder.