So You Think You Can Dance

2018 So You Think You Can Dance, Episode 5 Recap: Academy Week

So You Think You Can Dance is back after the holiday and now the big group of dancers who were put through to the Academy is vying for only 20 spots on the show — 10 guys and 10 girls. This week and next week are four days of four intensive rounds of choreography in hip-hop, ballroom, contemporary and jazz. Let’s see how this week’s Academy went:

The So You Think You Can Dance solo round is first and their Academy experience can be over very quickly here. Darius Hickman is up first and his backstory was that his mom went to prison and he was raised by his aunt. Sadly, he watched his aunt be abused every day. I’m rooting for him just because I love happy endings. There’s something special about this kid and his dancing and his flexibility is ridiculous. I wish his face would emote more though, but he is fabulous. The judges love him. Jensen Arnold is dancing next and she reminds me a lot of Julianne Hough. My only concern is that she has fast legs, but I’m wondering if she can keep up in hip-hop or other dances.

The show then provides a montage of auditions because there are 70 of them that have to take place before the judges even say anything. Unfortunately, there is also a montage of missteps as well.

Tessa Dalke, who is auditioning and studying for midterms at the same time, is next and she is phenomenal.

Time for feedback: Jensen Arnold gets a lecture from Nigel that she is a little heavy in her dancing but she makes it through. Tessa Dalke is told “every once in awhile we find someone extraordinary and today that is you.”

However, 17 other contestants were eliminated from So You Think You Can Dance including Mika Doman. Now it’s time for the hip-hop round with Tabitha and Napoleon, otherwise known as Nappy Taps. Zoe Zimmerman is struggling because she rolled on her ankle and now she’s with the medics. The first group does fabulously and all move on to the next round.

Some of the contestants who were even struggling in their own style of dance were cut a break, including Randorn “Tiger” Luangpraseuth who moved to the next round. Slavik Pustovoytov talks about he’s more freestyle and choreography is hard, but he’s going to try. Also in this next round is Zoe Zimmerman, who hurt her foot in the last round. Unfortunately, Zoe struggles with choreography a bit. Nigel tells Tessa she’s his favorite, but not in the hip-hop round. They are giving her another chance though. Slavik gets told by Nappy Taps that they were disappointed, but he is moving to the next round. Zoe is being kept on to the next round. Eight dancers, including Terin Christopher, Natella Devitskaya, Marcus Nyemchek and Sara Murawski, were eliminated.

Next is tapper Eddie Hoyt in the final group and I hope he can do hip-hop. Wow, his emotions were fabulous. He’s called up first and he’s so happy. Wow, I can’t believe he was told that he looked goofy, but he’s staying along with everyone else in his group.

The ballroom round is about to start and Zoe is in way too much pain to audition so she goes to urgent care. Unfortunately, she has to drop out of the competition.

Animator Kyle Bennett Jr., is in the first group with Genessy Castillo, Allen Genkin, Rebecca Troyak, Tyrese Parker and Stephanie Sosa. Nigel says that Kyle and Genessy did really well. As a matter of fact, all of them went through to the next round.

Jensen Arnold is partnered with David who is all b-boy. Interesting pairing and I hope it doesn’t backfire for Jensen. Also in this group are Melany Mercedez, Ryan Green, Sydney Moss and Peyton Albrecht. Ryan struggled a lot and unfortunately, he didn’t get through. Everyone else gets through to the next round.

In the last group of ballroom dancers, Stephanie Sosa is partnered with Darius Hickman. Rachel Blanchard is dancing jazz dancer Jay Jackson, who leaves the drag out of his costume. They ask Jay to dance with Stephanie because he did really well with Rachel, but Rachel struggled. So they wanted to see if Jay could dance with someone who’s much better than he is. Rachel is told she has great potential, but her nerves or lack of training let her down and it wasn’t good enough. Jay was told that he was lost with Stephanie, but he’ll go through to the next round along with Darius and Stephanie. 41 dancers move on to the next challenge.

Next week on So You Think You Can Dance it’s the contemporary round with Travel Wall, my favorite dancer ever. By next week only 20 dancers will remain. Once we get to 20 contestants I’ll start telling you who I think my favorites are to win the competition.

About Lisa Iannucci

Lisa Iannucci has been interviewing professional athletes and Olympians, sports writers and film/tv personalities for more than a decade. Her book, A Film & TV Lover's Travel Guide is now available:

About Lisa Iannucci

Lisa Iannucci has been interviewing professional athletes and Olympians, sports writers and film/tv personalities for more than a decade. Her book, A Film & TV Lover's Travel Guide is now available:

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