So You Think You Can Dance: The Top 20
|Written by Lauren Cheal|
|Tuesday, 10 July 2012 00:43|
So You Think You Can Dance: The Top 20
The 35 finalists are all penned up in a room, and they call them in one by one to face the judges. Alexa (the overexposed) is called up first. Given how much time we spent with her last year, I feel pretty sure she will be in. Tyce tries to fake her out (poorly), and she is our first person in the coveted 20. George Lawrence II is next, and I don't remember much about him, except that he had a great audition. I think he has a ballet/contemporary background. Debbie Allen tells him he is in the top 20. Will Thomas (who we don't know much about) is also in. Megan Branch (who I don't know if we ever met) is a contemporary person who Mary loved, but she doesn't make it, nor does Collin Fuller (another unknown). Amber something is a contemporary dancer who has tried out three years in a row, and this year she makes it in (she had a really stanky attitude after she didn't make it the previous year, more on that later). The first four selected are dancing a Tyce Diorio routine, to "We Found Love" performed by Jesse J. The number is fairly boring, but it doesn't openly suck, which I have sometimes found in Tyce's routines. It looks a bit like a scene from Rent, which probably was the big thing in Tyce's heyday. The judges gives them each feedback, but I won't bother talking about it, because it isn't too interesting.
The show is trying desperately to build up the two blonde ballroom dancers drama (we have seen clips about them 4 times, and it is only 25 minutes into the show), but mark my words, both of them will be getting in. Apparently, that awesome cane and tails guy that I wanted to know more about last year, Nick, is a ballroomer. He looks bit like Finn from Glee. He goes up to the judges just sobbing, which is an interesting approach. They tell him he is in the top 20, and kindly don't toy with him. Next, the judges send in the blondes, Whitney and Lindsay, together, which seems cruel, but we know it isn't, really. Shankers goes so far as to ham it up and says that "this totally makes me sick". They tell Whitney she is in first, followed pretty quickly by Lindsay too. The three new top 20s do a Mark Gilkinson routine, which the The Peanut Gallery rightly points out is reminiscent of the Romy and Michelle dance. It is really weird. The panel of judges talk to them as well, and Mary wastes no time putting them on the hot tamale train. Zooey compliments the girls' synchronization, and Nigel says nothing.
In the next group of people, we have three classically trained ballet folks. Eliana Gerard was told by Mary at her first audition that she was Top 20 material (and who formerly worked for Cirque du Soleil). Debbie Allen tells her that she is indeed, in. There are two ballet boys here, Chehon (who we saw at the very end of the solo round in Vegas) and Daniel Baker, the cute Aussie (who left his ballet job in San Francisco). Nigel says Chehon's solo was amazing, but Daniel was more consistent. He fakes these two out as well, and first tells Daniel he is in, and then also tells Chehon is in. The three ballet folks do a really cool futuristic ballet routine that showcases all of their strength. It gets a standing O from the judges and much of the audience. We learn that Desmond Richardson (a legendary contemporary dancer) and Dwight Rhoden choreographed the great routine, which is fun. Hopefully we will see more of them throughout the season.
We move on to the jazz dancers, and there are a bunch of them. Audrey Case is the one we have seen the most of so far. Tiffany is another jazzer, and she is up first. We don't know anything about her. Debbie Allen welcomes her to the top 20. Audrey is afraid she won't make it because Tiffany did and because they look sort of the same. Shankers tries to fake her out, but then tells her she is in. People named Abigail, Kaitlyn, Rebecca, and maybe a Katie, all don't make it. Janelle Isis, the Belly Dancer is next, and she seems like a shoe-in. Cat tells us a belly dancer has never made it to the top 20, which sort of guarantees that she is in. Shankers is an ass, again, and tells her to own just making to Vegas, and then tells her she is in. Janelle smacks her head on the door frame when she comes back into the room, and then is apparently ill tonight, so she won't be dancing. Audrey and Tiffany get to dance a Sonya Tayeh routine, and they are the same height, have the same brown hair, and are styled identically, so there is no way for me to tell them apart. I can tell you that the routine is badass, of course. Melanie, our awesome Season 8 winner is in the audience, and she is wearing a goofy hat, which The Peanut Gallery informs me is awesome (and she gets to tell us about fashion).
Next up is Joshua Alexander, the guy who tried to do a backflip on carpet in socks and concussed himself; he doesn't make the top 20. Blake, Jasmine and Daniel are three people we don't know about who don't make it. Matthew is an LA auditioner who we haven't seen since then. Mary tells us he is in the Top 20. Dareian Kujawa is from the Salt Lake City, and he is the one that Nigel said had crappy feet. He is told he made it to the top 20. Janea (I have no idea how this is spelled) is next and she makes it in. This leaves Amelia (The Artist girl) and some unknown from Salt Lake City for the final spot for girls. Tyce tells Amelia she is in because she has star quality, over Jill, who sounds like she was the better dancer. These four dance a contemporary routine by Stacey Tookey. Seeing Amelia in a group routine, she really reminds me of Melanie from last year, in how much she grabs your attention. It is like the other girl isn't even up there. I don't know if her technique is as good (probably not), but that is still something to go on. Mary says that this girl Janea is finally on the radar, but I beg to differ—she is totally forgettable.
As we come to the end of the show, we have 7 dudes left, with only three spots left. Cole is a guy who has a unique marshal arts style, and he gets one of the three spots. Two tappers, Aaron and Zach don't make it into the top. Two steppers, Devon and Brandon go up together. Brandon makes it through, and Devon doesn't. The one final spot is down to Feliciano (who we don't know), and Cyrus (who we have spent hours with, but who didn't do great outside his style). Cat sends them in together, of course. Nigel tells Cyrus that he is in the Top 20. These three dudes are dancing together in a Christopher Scott routine. The routine starts out weird, with each of them getting a solo in their three different styles, while wearing baseball uniforms (and with really strange baseball-announcer narration playing over the piece). When we actually get to the combined choreography, it gets really cool, and I want to see more. It ends as weirdly as it began, with a lamely dramatized pitch of a baseball.
The top 10 girls get to dance a Travis Wall contemporary routine for us tonight, and I am pretty excited about it because Travis Wall's routines have quickly climbed the charts to be as exciting as Sonya's. The routine is really awesome, and the girls are performing the crap out of it. There is a weird thing about a door to the afterlife, that is a little goofy, but other than that, it is great. The boys get to do a Sonya Tayeh routine, which is lucky for them. Sonya makes them all take of their shirts and then dude partner with each other. The (large number of) gays that watch the show will be so happy! The routine is a very cool, sort of martial art-inspired routine, and what is immediately clear is that there is a much bigger range of talent on the dudes side. Some of them really seem to struggle. Our final treat tonight is a contemporary routine for the whole top 20, choreographed by the crazy one herself, Mia Michaels. For some reason, she wasn't around last season, but it appears she is back. It is definitely a cool routine, although most of the action revolves around the putting on and taking off of futuristic sunglasses. They pan over to Mama Mia in the audience, and she looks like she spent the last year living in some sort of dark cave for hipsters. Oh and also that she stole an old Paula Abdul wig. Fun stuff. More
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|Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 01:42|