So You Think You Can Dance Top 20

Hurray competition. This week there is no results show, the judges will be making cuts at the end of the night. Considering that I’d prefer the judges choosing in general, I’m happy about that. The tap dancing sounded so off with the music when the top 20 are announced. I do like that the dancers actually did some different and big moves.

Cat Deeley looks a little old today with the old fashioned hairdo and the covered up dress. So with Adam Shankman as a permanent judge, does this mean that there won’t be other guest judges? Still an empty chair for Paula but Nigel says Paula told him she’s interested. He announces that Billy Bell is out of the competition and Noelle hurt her knee and can’t dance tonight. Her choreographer will replace Melanie. If Noelle is ready next week she can stay in the competition if not she will go home. I’m excited to see a choreographer doing the dance (though how awesome would it have been if they’d brought back Jeanine?).

First pair of the night: Channing and Phillip. Channing is a tomboy and Phillip is a poet. They will be doing the Jive with Jason Gilkinson. Phillip says his tap experience helps with learning the routine. There are a couple moments where it seems like they’re paused for too long and it seems like they could use a bit more energy (but that could just be that Rockin’ Robin isn’t so fast). Adam says Phillip was great and Channing was elegant and surprised him. Mary says not bad, good but she wants more from them. Lazy legs not enough energy. Channing got it as it went along but Phillip got lazier at it progressed. Nigel agrees that he expected Phillip to do well, Channing needs to adjust because of the heels. They could have been sharper and that maybe they ran out of energy. More chemistry. I’m not a huge fan of this pair, I don’t love Phillip. I don’t know why.

Time for couple number two: Ashleigh and Jakob. Is it problematic that she’s not dancing with her husband? Ashleigh couldn’t dance for six years due to injury and illness. Jakob is less interesting. Dancing sultry Broadway with Tyce. Will Ryan be jealous or excited? Broadway is not my favorite Tyce genre but nice flip Jakob. Jakob seems to get the cooler moves here. Adam says they found chemistry and smart choreography Tyce. God put Jakob on the Earth to spread the gospel of dance. Ashleigh needs to work on finishing her lines but she was amazing too. Mary says phenomenal. Everything Jakob does is perfect. Nigel says Ashleigh was a surprise in the top 20 but for two nights in a row she’s proved why she deserves it. He would have loved to see Jakob vs Billy because they’re two of the most gifted dancers both technically and performance wise.

Ariana and Peter now. Ariana is from the country and lives on a farm. Peter is Italian. They’ll be doing Tabitha and Napoleon’s hip hop routine about emotionless androids that have chemistry when around each other. Awful costume for Ariana. The dance is really cool but they don’t quite capture the roboticness of it. Maybe they’re not sharp enough? Adam says they didn’t dance alike and the choreography was more evocative with them, not enough action and reaction from the dancers. Focus on their musicality (he does a Lil C imitation which earns a buck from Cat). Mary thinks it go sloppy midway through. Nigel didn’t feel like we ever found “it.” Both were out of their element. Peter did a bit better than Ariana, surprisingly. This is the first tiem he’s been disappointed with either one. (Does that mean Channing is safe? I hope so!)

Fourth comes “Noelle” and Russel. Wait, let me guess, Russel is the first Krumper to make the top 20? Noelle is a southern girl. Noelle knew nothing about the foxtrot style which is choreographed by Melanie and Tony Meredith. Melanie does the routine with him. She’s not so fit so despite her being an expert her lines look so off. Russel is so cute in his totally hitting it dancing. It’s so not the sexy dance it might have been. Adam says Russel defies explanation. He’s so gifted, it was an untested partnership and he just did a smooth foxtrot which is so unlike Krump. Mary agrees, he has an it factor. He has some things to work on. Nigel says Russel is living proof of why he wants kids to experience dance. He had things to fix but his lines were good.

Bianca and Victor
are partners. Bianca has sacrificed things for her dance–she moved alone. Victor is from Miami. YES, TRAVIS WALL CONTEMPORARY! He has to be indifferent to her in the piece. Now this one is actually very sexy and sultry. And almost graphic. I’m not a huge fan of the music for it but it was pretty cool. Adam is impressed by the choreography. Bianca was at a disadvantage because of her tap style. She needs to drop her shoulders and point her toes. Victor is a revelation. Mary is thrilled with her making the top 20 and her passion really showed through. Their chemistry was great and Victor took it to another level. Nigel says they have the best chemistry of any group yet.

Meet Karen and Kevin. Karen is from Venezuala. Kevin was a model. They are doing a cha cha with Tony and Melanie. There’s something off about her wearing that sequinney dress and dancing to Push It. But it still feels a little tame for me, not enough chemistry, a little too steppy. Adam says to Karen “yikes” it was hard to watch anything but Karen. Kevin did a great job too but the lift series was a little awkward (it was, I don’t know why people are booing, I agree). Mary loves cha cha, Karen was sharp, sexy, rhythmical, and she goes on the hot tamale train. But Kevin was rhythmical and sexy but needs to work on the sharpness. Nigel says Kevin danced very well though he does need some improvement. Good performance. Karen is a vision.

Ellenore and Ryan. Ryan loves working out. Ellenore’s parents were dancers too. CONTEMPORARY JAZZ WITH SONYA! Angelic creatures, one pure one overbearing. Ryan is the evil one. Sonya says she’s never felt so inspired. A lot of hype for this one. Ellenore thinks it will be the best piece of the entire series. Ryan’s costume is great and Ellenore’s kind of looks like a diaper. It really distracts me from the piece. Adam says Sonya rocks his world. Technically, he would never have put them at the top but they just became the most exciting dancers. Beautiful, unique. He wished there was more abandon within the dance (AGREED, I think this dance could have been amazing and maybe a few weeks in would have been better). Mary says she loved the chemistry. They were totally in character all the time. Nigel finds it amazing that Sonya’s style changes with everything she’s doing. This was a new style. So far all the dancers have successfully broken out of their own styles.

Brandon and Pauline are next. Pauline does photography. Brandon is a hip hop dancer. They will be doing a smooth waltz with Jason Gilkinson. Meh. There’s something really off looking about them, he’s kind of stiff her lines are just missing it. I don’t know, something is off. Adam says that given the difficult situation (he joined in a day and a half ago). They did a good job in a difficult task. Mary agrees, but they’re really cute. The chemistry was believable but the dancing was not great. Pauline was elegant. (Well how was Brandon supposed to be good?) Nigel says he loves them both. He has to critique it based on the performance and nothing else. They looked heavy, not strong enough. Pauline expects her to expand more. He doesn’t know if they’re good enough for this year’s competition.

Second to last comes Katherine and Legacy. Kahterine loves being outdoors. Legacy used to be a street performer. Hop hop routine with Dave Scott about cavemen. Good for Legacy. This might be my favorite routine of the night. It’s really clever and comedic. Despite Legacy being the only hip hopper of the group, Katherine does well (also, this isn’t quite Legacy’s style either as he’s a B-boy) Adam says it’s hot. Chemistry was fantastic. They have a great opportunity to learn from each other. Mary says Yabba Dabba Doo. Pebbles and Bam Bam were bustin’ a move in the cave tonight. She says to Legacy that he did a great job. It was everything. And Katherine’s popping was right on. Nigel says it was the hip hop version of the search for fire. Legacy brought it to life. Katherine had a couple things to improve on but her musicality is excellent.

The last couple of night is Mollee and Nathan. The young ones. Nathan plays piano and trumpet. Mollee is a goofball. They will be doing a disco with Dorianna Sanchez, inspired by Mexican wrestling. In the practice Mollee hits Nathan between the legs…Well, I think they had a few off moments but Molly certainly can’t be told she danced too young. Adam says they’re so adorable. (Nathan looks ridiculous in his costume.) They’re energy is great (agreed) but they did some very sexy lifts that didn’t seem dirty. Despite not being a fan of disco Adam was a fan. Mary says the routine was hard and they pulled it off with charisma. (Dubbed the dream team.) She predicts they’ll be around for a while. Nigel says their energy brought it to life. Disco celebrated the 70s and is uplifting. They bring the fun to the competition.

Two guys and two girls will dance solos and one guy and girl will be cut. In danger tonight are…(judging is based on everything not just the solo)…Ariana, Brandon, Pauline, and Russel. Surprise after Pauline, boos after Russel. I’m surprised about Russel (what about Peter?) but the rest I expected. I don’t think Russel will be going, (Considering that they will be judging on everything they know, they know that Brandon wasn’t supposed to make the show and despite not having enough time to really perfect the routine, he didn’t do so well. Billy couldn’t rest for a week and come back next week like Noelle? (I wonder what’s wrong with him.)

Read about the Top 18’s Performances.

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