Jason and Kayla managed to pull positive responses while Jason and Janette had to endure criticism from the judges.
On Wednesday, July 22, "So You Think You Can Dance" was visited by a special guest judge who knows little of the dancing techniques but adds a fresh perspective in the art of performing. Ellen DeGeneres, who has been raving about her appearance on the dance show through her Twitter, sat on the judging panel to give comments on the performances of the Top 8.
After reaching the Top 10 stage, the remaining contestants are paired at random. But they got the chance to also dance in the large group and display their solo piece after the pair dancing. The show opener on Wednesday saw former contestant Travis Wall choreographing the group dance which Nigel Lythgoe described as "Very Lady GaGa".
The first couple of the night was Evan Kasprzak and Janette Manrara who danced Jazz. The judges wanted more from Evan, reasoning that he was not rough and 'oomph' enough to balance his partner. Ellen praised the complex and full-bodied choreography while Mia Michaels dropped the bomb that Janette was her favorite this season.
Brandon Bryant got paired up with Jeanine Mason for Waltz. Nigel quickly said that the pair wasn't able to lift up the performance but Ellen disagreed and said that it was a fantastic performance. Mary Murphy was on Ellen's side, saying it was done "respectably".
Ade Obayomi was lucky enough to be paired with Melissa Sandvig again. They danced the Cha Cha Cha which Ellen thought they nailed. Nigel had one correction for Melissa, suggesting her to keep her legs from going out so that more of her hip action can be seen. Mia went a little harsh on Ade, saying it was his worst performance in the season because he wasn't "down and dirty".
The last couple was Jason Glover and Kayla Radomski who danced Broadway style to "Mr. Monotony" by Kim Criswell. This was the performance that the judges raved on. Nigel called it "best routine", Ellen was speechless and Mary said it was "effortless". But Mia pulled them back to Earth, saying that Jason has a lot to work on the upper body.
In the second round, Janette and Evan did the Rumba. Nigel loved it but warned them that the smooth choreography can cost them votes. He pointed out that Evan lacked of expression on his face, to which Ellen tackled with her opinion that Evan is different from anybody else in town. Mia gave a nod to this, saying Evan managed to pull a sexy face "Zoolander" way.
Brandon and Jeanine did the Hip-Hop. Nigel said, "This is the flattest evening I've ever experienced on So You Think You Can Dance up until now. Everyone's got to realize how tough it is to be a dancer." Ellen, not knowing what to say, said that she was happy that Nigel was happy.
Coming third in the second round, Melissa and Ade chose to do a Contemporary piece. Nigel praised the choreography which is about a woman with breast cancer, while Ellen described it as "the most beautiful thing" she has ever seen. Mia shed a tear recalling a personal time when she had to face her father's illness.
The last dance of the night came from Jason and Kyla who did a zombie-themed Hip-Hop. Nigel thought it reminded them of Michael Jackson and that it was one of the best Hip-Hop routines this season. Ellen joked that if the pair kept dancing like that, they would score a talk show someday. Mia applauded the final act where Jason strangled Kyla, saying it was "disturbingly hot".
On Thursday, July 23, another pair will face the ax. But the elimination round is also the 100th episode where a tribute to Judy Garland will be included as a celebration. Katie Holmes has been tapped to dance and below is what she has to say about her piece.