“So You Think You Can Dance” kicked off season 12 with a new twist: Team Stage vs. Team Street. I initially wasn’t sure what I thought about this new twist, and I’m still not. Historically, having more stage dancers who are more adaptable, along with some street dancers who could shock everyone with their versatility, was a winning formula.
The show has certainly never had six female hip-hop dancers in the top 20 before, so it is a breakout year for women on Team Street. But while many dancers from “So You Think You Can Dance” have gone on to have great careers, the only female hip-hop artist I see working on a regular basis is Comfort Fedoke from season four.
While I think the new formula is interesting, I will miss seeing street dancers and stage dancers mix it up with each other (usually both benefit from working with someone with different skills). This new form of “Upstairs vs. Downstairs,” in my eyes, gives an immediate edge to Team Street – America loves to cheer for the underdog. But my guess is that as the season progresses, it will simply come down to the same factor that has decided every contest: which dancer America loves most.
Here are my early predictions for who those dancers will be on Team Street. To see how I size up Team Stage, click here.
10. Ariana Crowder
Ariana is simply the most forgettable person on the show – on either team. The judges even remarked after her performance that she showed more personality than they had expected. I guess that was meant to be a compliment, but it’s telling that they expected to forget her. I still found her to be the most forgettable of the night. She won’t get votes and since women outnumber men on Team Street, I think it will definitely be a woman leaving next week, and she is the easiest choice.
9. Eddie Eskridge
Yet another performer who hasn’t been able to bring personality to his performances. Eddie has the skills, he just doesn’t have any star quality. I expect him to barely get by this week with a judges’ save.
Jessica has the opposite problem from Eddie: she is full of star quality but hasn’t done anything to wow me on the stage. She teamed up with Eddie and Megz for the worst routine of the night. She’s cute and likable and can slide by for a while. but I just don’t see her going the distance.
7. Megz Alfonso
Megz seems to have the judges and choreographers on her side. I find her personality to be over-the-top to the point that she annoys me. She clearly loves attention, and I think she has a lot of fans. I also think she is polarizing; half the audience probably loves her while the other half feels like I do, which is why I see her finishing somewhere in the middle of the pack.
6. Asaf Goren
The last minute replacement proved why he was initially cut: he can’t do choreography! The problem for the other contestants is that as one of the choreographers said, “He is too good-looking for his own damn good!” Many may not have noticed that Asaf couldn’t do the choreography in the final group performance; he sat on the side of the stage for a period of time before sneaking back in. The guy is entertaining and has a ton of charisma, which is why I think America will save him. But if the judges get a chance to cut him, he is GONE. He is a bit arrogant and doesn’t know how to hold his tongue. He also seems to irritate the judges and choreographers.
5. Yorelis Apolinario
Yorelis is a beautiful girl with a lot of attitude (the good kind). She brings fierceness to the show, knows how to use her face well and can dance her ass off. She could rise in the ranks, but she didn’t have the greatest routine on Monday night, and I didn’t remember her from the auditions.
4. Burim Jusufi
Burim is a great b-boy with a lot of tricks up his sleeve. He knows how to entertain a crowd with his solo work and can understand choreography better than his biggest competition: Asaf. I think audiences will vote for him, and I think the judges and choreographers like him more than Asaf or Eddie.
3. Lily Frias
Lily is probably my personal favorite female on Team Street. She has great stage presence, and like Yorelis, she knows how to work her “fierceness.” She brings new attitude to her “waacking” style of dance and is easily a standout.
2. Jaja Vankova
Jaja has been a favorite of both fans and judges for two seasons (she was cut in the late rounds last season). Her quirky, unique style is hard to resist and completely captivating to watch on stage. She has a menacing smile that people just seem to want more and more of.
1. Virgil Gadson
Star power! Virgil has that smile-factor that took Fik-Shun all the way to the title in season 10. He’s the person on this show you can’t stop watching. He has by far the biggest, most likable personality on the show at this point, and his dancing is no joke. I expect him to easily make the final and officially deem him my favorite to win it all.
Do you already think you know who will win?
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 after the first night of live competition? Sound off in the comments section below, and join the discussion in Gold Derby’s reality TV forum.