Now that we have reached the top 10 on "So You Think You Can Dance," I took time to re-evaluate my original power rankings. There have been some surprises and dramatic shifts after the first four weeks of competition (click here for my initial rankings), and at this point I have to say I firmly believe someone on Team Street will emerge as the victor of season 12.
Two dancers in particular have distanced themselves from the rest of the field and although I think it will lead to a slaughter of Team Stage in the finale, it's a real battle for the top spot on Team Street.
5. Jessica "J.J." Rabone
Although Jessica has surpassed expectations (I originally ranked her eighth among the top 10 on Team Street), I predict that her run ends here. Her latest performance, a jazz routine with recent Team Stage castoff Kate Harpootlian, lacked substance and was easily one of the most forgettable of the night; the choreography this season has done Jessica no favors. It seems as though there are fewer memorable performances than ever and Jessica has yet to land in any of them.
4. Megz Alfonso
Megz is the girl on Team Street who has always been full of swagger and knows how to command a stage. She has also surpassed my expectations to a degree (I ranked her seventh among the original top 10 street dancers). I originally questioned her versatility and likability, but she has proven to have both in spades. Unfortunately her top 14 routine with Team Stage's Derek Piquette was one of the worst of the season. Although she outshined her partner, that's not saying much; I considered it an awkward, flat-out BAD performance. Megz has the ability to redeem herself and go up a notch to my number-three slot, but at this point I think the top two on Team Street are uncatchable.
3. Eddie "Neptune" Eskridge
Eddie has been one of the biggest surprises of the season for me (in fact I ranked him ninth out of the top 10 on Team Street). Eddie earned the last Twitter save to put him in the top 10 and I think it was because of his emotional performance with Team Stage's Gaby Diaz. Their contemporary routine set to "Take My Hand Precious Lord" by Ledisi struck a chord in Eddie and America felt it.
That performance showed his versatility, and America finally saw his personality during his heartfelt speech about the racism he has faced and his hopes for his daughter's future. Eddie is on the rise – unfortunately, he is up against two beasts who are the clear frontrunners on Team Street.
2. Virgil Gadson
Without question Virgil Gadson has remained my personal favorite performer in season 12 of "So You Think You Can Dance." He has been described as a "young Sammy Davis Jr." by judges, and his personality, smile and star quality are impossible to ignore. For the second week in a row he was paired with Team Stage's Hailee Payne, this time performing a contemporary routine to Sia's "Cellophane." These two never disappoint as a duo and seem to bring out the best in each other.
Virgil's ability to DOMINATE hip-hop routines while still holding up well in other dance styles is a huge advantage for him. I'm also assuming the top 10 will get to perform solos, and nobody will benefit more than Virgil in that regard. I still predict Virgil will win, but unlike earlier in the season when I thought he could run away with the title, I now think he will have to win as an underdog, which is why I've dropped him from number-one to number-two in my power rankings.
1. Jaja Vankova
Nobody has risen at a faster rate this season than Jaja. She has surprised judges and viewers with her versatility and ability to dominate anything choreographers throw at her.
Jaja started as an underdog. She auditioned for season 11 (as a friend of season 10 champ Fik-Shun), but failed to make the top 20. This year, she came back with a vengeance and proved that whether she is doing a funky hip-hop routine or heartfelt contemporary piece, it's easy to forget who's on stage with her.
Her latest performance, a hip-hop routine to "She Came To Give It To You" by Usher and Nicki Minaj, with Team Stage's Edson Juarez, was just the latest example of her making a background dancer out of the competition. This is why I have moved Jaja from my number-two spot to number-one in the power rankings – and Gold Derby users agree. She currently leads our predictions with 23/10 odds.
In our "So You Think You Can Dance" predictions center, you get to answer the following questions each week:
Which STAGE dancer will be eliminated?
Which STREET dancer will be eliminated?
Which STAGE dancer will be in the bottom but safe?
Which STREET dancer will be in the bottom but safe?
Who will win 'So You Think You Can Dance'?
At the end of each week, the eligible user with the highest prediction accuracy and most points will win a $100 Amazon gift certificate, so it's beneficial to keep coming back often and making/updating your predictions.
Which dancers do you like (and dislike) the most? Are you on Team Stage or Team Street? Sound off in the comments section below, and join the discussion in Gold Derby's reality TV forum.
Photo: Jaja Vankova in "So You Think You Can Dance." Credit: Brooklin Rosenstock/FOX
Photo: Eddie Eskridge in "So You Think You Can Dance." Credit: Brooklin Rosenstock/FOX
Photo: Jessica Rabone in "So You Think You Can Dance." Credit: Brooklin Rosenstock/FOX
Photo: Megz Alfonso in "So You Think You Can Dance." Credit: Brooklin Rosenstock/FOX
Photo: Virgil Gadson in "So You Think You Can Dance." Credit: Brooklin Rosenstock/FOX