It’s the episode where we find out which 10 dancers will be making it to the “So You Think You Can Dance” stage, and the drama and tension are at an all-time high, including several judges’ favorites getting thrown off the stage.
Also, for the first time ever, the judges fly to the dancers’ homes to tell them if they were cut or if they made it to tomorrow’s reveal with the “SYTYCD” all-stars (yay!).
Day 2 (Vegas):
Host Cat Deeley reminds us that only 58 dancers remain and yikes, the next round is Broadway! Before we see the attempt the style, dancer Ida Saki (who was given several warnings by the judges about her weak hip-hop and ballroom rounds) requests to talk to the producers and when she tells Nigel Lythgoe and the panel that she is withdrawing from the competition, well, he doesn’t react very well. (Her excuses? Summer commitments and college.) She reveals that if she made it to the top 10, she probably wouldn’t take the spot. Like Shankman said, then what are you doing there?! If she wants to audition next season, I don’t think she’ll be remembered very fondly.
Meanwhile choreographer Tyce DiOrio teaches the rest of the dancers the “powerful” Broadway routine. Adrian Lee and Lauren Froderman do the routine and they absolutely KILL it. The judges pull them through because they both rocked it! Melinda Sullivan, b-boy Jose Ruiz and Alexie Agdeppa push through also. Ten dancers are eliminated, leaving 47 left.
That night, the dancers choose a different CD, each with a different genre of music on it. Their challenge for the groups? To choreograph a routine that goes along with the music. Obviously things start off well, but if we remember previous seasons, we know that’s quickly going to change when the morning nears.
Day 3 (Vegas):
At 7 a.m., the dancers perform their routines. The first group (with Lauren Froderman) performs a contemporary routine. It’s kind of interesting to say the least, but I guess it was good enough. Nigel says every member of the group is on his favorites list and so they make it through. The second group (including tapper Melinda Sullivan) has an almalgam of styles, and two members of the group butted heads all night. Never a good sign. By 3, they were the only group trying to perfect their routine. Yikes. Their routine is to a jazzy score, but their performance is a mess. Is it Broadway? Is it contemporary tribal? We’re confused and the judges are too. According to Nigel, Melinda was a standout and the only one who understood the music. The rest of the group makes it in too. By noon, eight more dancers are cut.
The last group performs (with favorites Billy Bell, Adechike Torbert and Ryan Ramirez) and the judges have high hopes. When the music begins and they start doing the choreography, it’s probably the worst that we’ve seen. Absolutely nothing happened! You can see it on the judges’ faces. Tyce says it all: “This group should’ve been the best group.” Nevertheless, they’re all safe and Nigel shoos them all off the stage.
The next round is contemporary with veteran Travis Wall (yay!). Contemporary is always one of the toughest styles for the dancers to get right, especially if you’re not familiar with it. (The music is a beautiful Jason Mraz song.) Salsa dancer Cristina Santana feels like she’s out of her element but she does the routine beautifully, so much so that the judges commend her on a job well done. Several early favorites are cut, including Nicole Knudson. There were several surprises, including Jose.
In the last group, injured Anthony Burrell is afraid he’ll be left in the dust because faves Alex Wong and the adorable Kent Boyd are also dancing alongside. It is perhaps the night’s strongest group and they all perform up to expectations. Alex gets through even though he didn’t perform to his potential. Anthony, on the other hand, was paid the best compliment by Nigel, who said watching him was like watching a man dance. He is overtaken with emotion as he tries to deal with the pain from his injury. Nigel and the rest of the judges give Kent high praise, but he has a breakdown (not of the bad kind, mind you). He says some heartbreaking things (and frankly, things we all deal with) about putting everything you have into something and it not coming into fruition, that we see Lil’ C break down. Damnit, Kent better get into the top 10!
24 dancers are left. They each dance a solo and tell the judges why they deserve to be part of the five girls and five guys who will appear onstage tomorrow with the all-stars. But first, star choreographer-director Grover Dale teaches them how to be a star. (His shiny black shirt with white trimming screams Vegas!) The judges won’t be making any more cuts until they make their picks for the top 10.
And the Top 10 Dancers — Oops, 11 — Are …:
1) Cristina Santana, 24 [Toni Redpath]
2) Lauren Froderman, 18 [Nigel Lythgoe]
3) Ashley Galvan, 18 [Lil’ C]
4) Jose Ruiz, 21 [Tyce DiOrio]
5) Melinda Sullivan, 22 [Mia Michaels]
6) Alex Wong, 23 [Tyce DiOrio]
7) Adechike Torbert, 23 [Mia Michaels]
8) Alexie Agdeppa, 26 [Mary Murphy]
9) Kent Boyd, 18 [Nigel Lythgoe] (Nigel had to use the restroom after four hours on the road and he got a legit ticket. Hi-larious.)
10) Robert Roldan, 19 [Adam Shankman]
11) Billy Bell, 20 [Adam Shankman]
The fact that the season will be featuring dancers from previous years, this season is incredibly tough. A few of my favorites, including Adrian Lee [Mary Murphy] and Anthony Burrell [Mia Michaels], didn’t make it. If it was like any other season, a lot of them would’ve been in the top 20 without question.
I’m rooting for Lauren, Adechike, Kent and Billy. Who are you cheering for?
Tomorrow, we finally get to see our beloved all-stars and the top 11 hit the stage for the first time in front of an audience. I. Cannot. Wait.
What are your thoughts on the top 11? Discuss below!