'So You Think You Can Dance': The all-stars, top 11 finalists show off their stuff

sytycd-lythgoe-michaels-shankman-deeley-320x180.jpgWith the top 11 finalists revealed, "So You Think You Can Dance" premiered in front of a live audience for the first time this season, welcoming back all-stars Mark, Kathryn, Lauren G., Allison, Twitch, Comfort, Dominic, Pasha, Anya, Ade, Neil and Courtney.

Opening Number: "Fame" by David Bowie
(Jazz; choreographers: Wade and Amanda Robson; all-stars and top 11)

We're introduced to the stage with the 12 all-stars, who begin the routine dressed in typical tea party garb. Then the 11 finalists join in; the girls quintessential garden party dresses while the guys are lookin' slick in their crisp white attire. The show is off to a fantastic start and it's so great to hear the audience cheering before, during and after the performances.

After the number, Cat Deeley explains some of this season's changes, one of which includes the all-stars not competing for America's vote and that each week the finalists will be dancing in the all-star's style.

In order to remind us of how fantastic the dancers are, they each dance a routine with the all-stars and tell us -- in 11 seconds -- who they are. Best one? Kent, who uses his last few seconds to exclaim to America that he's single!

Performances:

1) "Paris is Burning" by St. Vincent
(Jazz; choreographer: Travis Wall; Kent Boyd, Lauren Froderman, Mark, Kathryn)

Kent and Lauren used this dance to show off their impressive gymnastics skills, doing several flips during. Everyone, including all-stars Mark and Kathryn, were on top of their game. It's so great to see Travis choreographing (he was my personal favorite in his season) and like Adam said, the routine was disgusting (as in it was crazy good).

2) "There's Gotta Be Something Better Than This" from "Sweet Charity"
(Broadway; choreographer: Tyce DiOrio; Melinda Sullivan, Alexie Agdeppa, Lauren G., Allison)

Girl power. It was a good routine and seemed so fun. Nigel makes the observation that he couldn't tell who was competing and who were the all-stars between the four of them. Interesting.

3) "Din Daa Daa" (District 78 Remix) by George Kranz
(Hip-hop; choreographers: Tabitha and Napoleon Dumo; Jose Ruiz, Twitch, Comfort, Dominic)

Complete with colorblock hoodies, the hip-hop routine is pretty sick, including when Jose rolled out of his black hoodie to reveal a t-shirt matching everyone else's. Cool stuff. Oh and Dominic continues his flirting streak with Cat, ha! Are we interested to see how this Cat-Dominic storyline plays?

4) "Work" (Freemason Remix) by Kelly Rowland
(Samba; choreographer: Jason Gilkison; Cristina Santana, Pasha, Anya)

Pasha's back! (Season 3 might have been one of the best seasons of "SYTYCD," at least in producing the most popular dancers ever.) Hot hot hot, that's all I can say. Cristina owns this routine, but Anya and Pasha add some heat too. Especially when Pasha takes off his shirt! Seriously, can the all-stars compete too? It might be my favorite routine of the night. Nigel says the most uncomfortable thing of the night, thanking Jason for making his fantasies come true? Eek.

5) "This Bitter Earth" by Max Richter and "On the Nature of Daylight" by Dinah Washington
(Contemporary; choreographer: Mia Michaels; Billy Bell, Alex Wong, Ade)

Mia Michaels explains that the routine is about time and how life can go as quickly as it comes. The choreography is classic Mia. It is heartfelt, deep and spine-tingingly emotional. The concept is great: We see the dancers take on three different stages in a person's life. Billy and Alex? The new freak and the beast!

6) "Freak" by Estelle feat. Kardinal Official
(Jazz; choreographer: Sonya Tayeh; Robert Roldan, Ashley Galvan, Adechike Torbert, Neil, Courtney)

There's some major eye candy this season and Neil's one of those sentimental favorites that I am happy will be back on television every week. The dancers wear some interesting black outfits. Woohoo? It's a crazy, freaky routine and if you didn't know it, you'd think Neil was the featured dancer as he opens up the routine with a crazy gymnastics move and one of his spins. According to Cat, choreographer Sonya is one of the most vocal ones she's ever heard on the show, but she has every reason to be. That routine was HOT. Scratch what I previously said, this might be my favorite performance of the show!

First Impressions:

A part of me wishes the all-stars were competing too because it was a bit awkward to have them standing in front of the judges, yet have nothing really to compete for. I hope the producers find a way to integrate them a little better into the show, instead of just having them on the sidelines.

Next week, the competition really begins.

Are you excited or underwhelmed with what you saw tonight? Discuss below!

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