The top 14 dancers on "So You Think You Can Dance" set out on Wednesday to stay in the competition, but first they'd have to get by the judges, and notorious choreographer Mia Michaels was the one who joined the regulars this week.
Mia jumped right into the spotlight immediately, showering herself with attention after she was asked immediately after her introduction whether her opinion of "any" dancers has changed since the audition rounds. Remember, she famously ripped Brandon, saying she didn't know what the other judges, Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, saw in him. She said her opinion had changed "for the better," but "without naming names," although everyone knew exactly who she was talking about.
This week, the dancers talked about their highs and lows throughout the competition, thus far. It really turned into the dancers just cataloging their dances to this point.
Janette & Brandon: Speaking of Brandon, he and partner Janette were up first. They were doing a cha cha cha with Jean Marc Genereux and his wife Frances. Nigel said it was "possibly the best damn cha cha I have ever seen on this show." Mary gave the couple "two first-class tickets on the Hot Tamale Train." Mia took her chance to make amends with Brandon. She told him she's toughest on the dancers in whom she sees the most ability and potential, and Brandon cried. "You're going to love me and hate me on this journey," Mia said, "because I'm going to dig in and take you to a place where you've never been because you are -- you're amazing." She said Janette had been "on fire since Day 1."
Kayla & Kupono: Kayla and Kupono were matched up with Sonya Tayeh for a contemporary routine that Sonya called "dark." Nigel said he was seeing a new man in Kupono. He said "everything about it was absolutely tremendous." Mary again praised Kayla for her legs and her moves, and said they had great chemistry as a couple. Mia said it was Sonya's best piece on the show, and she told Kupono he's "growing."
Randi & Evan: Randi and Evan went Broadway with choreographer Joey Dowling, who said it wasn't a traditional musical theater piece, but had a lot of power. Joey said the couple struggled, despite her high expectations. Nigel thanked Joey for bringing back the throwback style that was a bit of an homage to Bob Fosse and others. Nigel had some critiques, but said they were still among his Top 10. Mary said they were getting crazy watching such great dancing, and said it was "entertaining." Mia said something was missing for her and they didn't take the performance to the level where she thought it could go.
Caitlin & Jason: Choreographer Brian Friedman promised to give Caitlin and Jason a unique jazz dance, in which Caitlin was meant to portray an alien female who's come down to Earth and is approaching the last man on Earth, with whom she is meant to procreate. Nigel rightly said it was "very weird." He said they both committed themselves 100 percent, but then he commented on the costume Caitlin was wearing, calling it a "dancing condom." Mary said it just didn't sit right with her. Mary said Brian Friedman probably wasn't going into this one thinking it would be the greatest piece he's done, but he was having fun with it. She didn't care for the costume, either.
Jeanine & Phillip: It was hip-hop time for Jeanine and Phillip as they met with Tabitha and Napoleon, who gave them the added challenge of chaining the dancers together. Napoleon admitted the idea sounded great at the time when they thought of it, but he was getting nervous about it as the rehearsals wore on. The element of danger was always there, but they pulled off the routine without falling over the chain. Nigel said if they keep dancing like that, they should "be chained together for life." Mary said it was incredibly creative and praised them both before telling Jeanine she was "crazy good" and took her breath away. Mia said she was a bit distracted by the chain, but they did a great job. Jeanine made a little faux pas, talking about how much they were working with the chain to get the performance just right, saying, "we have chains all over our apartment."
Melissa & Ade: Choreographer Thordal Christensen gave them a routine from "Romeo & Juliet," and Melissa said it had always been her dream to play Juliet. Melissa wore point shoes, a "So You Think You Can Dance" first, for the traditional dance. "Who would have believed that in five seasons, we're now doing traditional ballet on 'So You Think You Can Dance'?" Nigel said. He called it "a really big first." Mary said she loved it and called it "really beautiful." She said they put her "in a dream-like state, and, honestly, I just didn't want to wake up." Mia said she was excited they were celebrating classical ballet on the show, and that "it was danced as well as it was danced."
Dizzy Feet Foundation: There was a segment dedicated to talking about a new scholarship program called the Dizzy Feet Foundation, founded by Nigel Lythgoe, "Dancing with the Stars" judge Carrie Ann Inaba, and Katie Holmes, among others, to help make dance education to some underprivileged children. Check out dizzyfeetfoundation.org for more information.
Nigel also announced that Katie Holmes' dancing tribute to Judy Garland, choreographed by Tyce Diorio, will air on the show's 100th episode on July 23.
Karla & Vitolio: Performing for the first time together after losing their partners last week, Karla and Vitolio were introduced to Jean Marc and France Genereux for the dreaded quickstep. Nigel praised most everything, only criticizing a couple of spots that were a little too rigid. Mary said "so much for the kiss of death dance," saying they brought the quickstep to life. Mia said Jean Marc was a genius and said the piece was amazing. She told Vitolio he confuses her, because he's often too wild and needs to get more consistent. She told Karla that she sometimes looked a little scared, but she loved the dance.