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Karla and Vitolio get the “kiss of death” on “So You Think You Can Dance”

July 3, 2009

LEISURE IDOLJudge Mary Murphy hit it on the nail when she said, “This competition is probably the closest competition in ‘So You Think You Can Dance‘ history.”

The race on the fifth season of Fox’s summer hit has been incredibly tight from the beginning and this week’s bottom couples exemplified that.

Despite a good performance choreographed by Jean Marc Genereux, a third time in the bottom was not a charm for Karla Garcia and Vitolio Jeune, who could not escape the curse of the quick-step — a.k.a. the “kiss of death.”

The company they kept at the bottom this week may have made a tough decision easier, as the other two couples performed memorable and distinctive routines praised by the judges.

Phillip Chbeeb and Jeanine Mason, who performed a unique Tabitha & Napoleon hip hop routine that literally chained the dancers together, found themselves in the bottom for the first time. Voters may have agreed with guest judge and choreographer Mia Michaels, who found the chain distracting, despite the unique and difficult routine. It was perhaps a blessing in disguise as their solos reminded judges and viewers why they deserved to be on the show. “I know it’s entirely selfish, but I’m so glad you got to perform your solo,” host Cat Deeley told Chbeeb.

Kupono Aweau and Kayla Radomski‘s bottom three placement also came as a surprise. Michaels called their “Twilight”-inspired number by Sonya Tayeh “perfection.” “Everything about it was absolutely tremendous,” she said. “To me, you were the best performance last night.”

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This week’s standouts included Brandon Bryant and Janette Manrara, who performed a high-energy Cha Cha choreographed by Genereux that generated over-the-top enthusiasm from the judges. Executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe shouted, “It was possibly the best damn Cha Cha I have ever seen on this show!” Murphy punctured a few eardrums screaming out “two first class tickets” onto her coveted “hot tomale train.”

Bryant was moved to tears this week when Michaels finally praised his dancing and talent. During the “green mile” episode where dancers were told whether they made it into the top 20, Michaels sparked a heated scene with other judges when she told Bryant, “I can’t take you. I can’t take what you bring to the floor as an artist. It annoys the *bleep* out of me.”

Audiences also fell in love with Melissa Sandvig and Ade Obayomi‘s Romeo and Juliet pas de deux by Thordal Christensen. “You can’t fake classical ballet — that exposes everything — and you were brilliant,” said Michaels.

“Who would have believed that in five seasons, we are now doing classical ballet,” asked Lythgoe, highlighting how the show brings together every genre from hip hop to ballet.

SYTYCD is a week away from finding out who the top 10 dancers will be. The performers have been fairly evenly matched, with favorites changing week to week. With a competition this tight, what will it take for dancers to stand out as the field narrows?

Caption: Mia Michaels (R), choreographer and judge of the reality series “So You Think You Can Dance”, takes part in a panel discussion with show host Cat Deeley at the Fox TV network summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California July 14, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

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