Like last season, we’re seeing the “Green Mile” where the Top 20 are chosen, as well as group dances for similarly-genred dancers, so we can see what they look like in their home styles before we start making them dance strange ethnic jazz dances. It’s also the 200th episode! And for this momentous occasion, Fox decided to honor their best summertime series in forever by forcing it to accommodate one of its sitcom stars who has no more dance experience than the final second and a half of an iPhone Siri commercial on its judging panel. Welcome, Zooey Deschanel! Honestly, I really like Zooey and I LOVE New Girl but these celebrity judges are so rarely sufficiently opinionated, and meanwhile there are fantastic and knowledgeable choreographers who have still not managed to sit in and judge (Stacey Tookey, whatcha thinkin’?). Anyway. Nigel makes the announcement that we already knew: this season will have TWO winners, one boy and one girl. So, you know, sorry Marko, Kent, Kathryn, Brandon, Katee, Danny, Donyelle and Melody. Shoulda come along a little later in the game.
The first group to learn their fates are the contemporary dancers (well, one group of contemporary dancers; like always, there’s a TON of them). Alexa, who was the last person cut last year, is the first person to get ushered into the Top 20 this year. Which is good, as I have come to like her and her pointy chin. Next up is George Lawrence II, whom Debbie Allen said was born to dance, and I’m not going to disagree with her. George has a little-boy thing happening which is going to need to be remedied, even if I enjoy the all-green bowtie-and-short-pants emsemble. Will Thomas is also in, though we don’t learn a blessed thing about him.
Not so lucky: Megan Branch, a cute little pixie thing who has the giant, wide-set eyes of a Tim Burton heroine, had the full support of Mary Murphy in Vegas, but I guess that wasn’t enough. Lil C lets her down mercifully. Also out: incredibly cute and well-coiffed Colin Fuller. Shoulder to cry on, guy?
That girl who I thought looked like Rihanna last week is Amber Jackson, who got cut at the Green Mile in Season 6 and then even earlier than that in Season 7, after which she pledged that she would never audition again. She says now that she has since dropped her pride and she’s glad she did. I’ll say, since she’s made the Top 20, finally.