SYTYCD-Let the Countdown Begin! Top 20 Revealed

Well the good news is that massive rains and storms have melted some of the heat away, the bad news is, I'm on pins and needles as to whether our cable and/or power will hold out.  So far (I'm knocking on my wooden coffee table as I write this) everything looks good.  Welcome back, if you're a returning reader, or just "Welcome!" if you're new to the blog or SYTYCD, in general.  It's time to chill out with an open window or a fan and your favorite drink or food (I'm dining on Chinese takeout tonight, hey I warned you I was lazy) as you settle in to watch some dancer's dreams get dashed, some dancers wishes fulfilled and some truly great over-exaggerations!

Cat Deeley welcomes us too and it's off to the races

Cat's lacey white dress signals us that this is indeed a big night.  Tonight, as the dancers are revealed, they'll perform, so we're kind of jumping right in this season.  9 performances are happening tonight.  Good, I was getting slightly antsy.

Our Judges tonight: Robin Antin, Lil' C, Tyce Diorio, Mary Murphy and Nigel Lythgoe

This season: There will be a Top 20, and then when they get down to Top 10, the All-Stars will be brought in to partner, which actually sounds like a pretty good compromise:

It's time to see how everything's panned out and also time for
Over-Exaggeration #1: "The dancer's will take THE LONGEST WALK OF THEIR LIVES"
We watch as all of the dancers are herded into a waiting room with dramatic replays and the echoing of frantic statements: "But She's A DANCER Dancer dancer"

Ricky from Salt Lake City- IN
Melanie-IN (she's a Top 5 pick for me)
Abigail- OUT
Kate (I think) - OUT
Natalia & Sasha- Sasha is IN/ Natalia is OUT

First routine: Ricky, Miranda, Melanie and Sasha
Choreographer: Stacey Tookey
Style: Contemporary
Song: In This Shirt by The Irrepressibles
Fog fills the stage to lend some more drama and it's a routine filled with great choreography.  Each dancer gets a moment to shine, as well as a couple of lifts and partnering moments.  There was a particularly great section where all 4 of them are together for 3 8-counts before moving across the stage together, but broken out by horizontal and vertical partnering. It's really beautiful.

Chris Cole- IN
Wadi - IN
Tadd- IN

Song break: Diana Ross- Reach Out & Touch (Somebody's Hand)

Little O (Virgil)-  OUT (why?!?)
Drace- OUT
Robert Taylor Jr.- IN!
Bryce "Professor Lock" Johnson-OUT

Second Routine: Chris, Wadi, Tadd & Robert
Choreographer: Dave Scott
Style: Hip Hop
Song: Everyday (Coolin') by Swizz Beatz featuring Eve
Totally enjoyable.  I'm a little worried for Robert because he seems like he might have taken on some sort of "Urkel" mantle, which one might say the routine was built around, but it was still filled with great tricks, a bit of everyone's personality, and hard, precise hits.  I can't wait to see more from these guys.

Iveta- Mary is getting super choked up now- IN

And since there's only going to be one (Strictly) Ballroom dancer this year, she gets her own routine:
Third Routine: Iveta and Pasha (from Season 3)
Choreographer: Jason Gilkison
Style: Ballroom- looks like Paso Doble
Song: On the Floor- J. Lo featuring Pitbull
And we get awfully close to boarding the Hot Tamale train.  I would probably like Iveta more if she hadn't stooped to stripper-cop status in Vegas.

Judges Decisions Flashback:
Clarice: IN
Bridget: OUT
Marko: IN (with a bullet...get good?)
Jordan: IN
Missy: IN

Routine #4: Clarice, Marko, Jordan and Missy
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh (YAY!!!)
Style: Jazz
Song: Vanguardian- Steed Lord
God, I love Sonya Tayeh's dances, I always have!! They're like Nine-Inch Nails meets Martha Graham meets dystopian society.  Seriously, "gorgeous power" is the way to describe it.  They all held their own, but Marko stood out since he was the only guy.

Judges Flashback:
Jess: IN (despite Nigel calling him arrogant)
Nick: IN

Playing in the background: "The Winner Is" by Devotchka (if it sounds familiar it's because it can be heard on the Little Miss Sunshine soundtrack)

Routine #5: Nick  & Jess
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Style: Broadway Tap
Song: Funkier Than a Mosquito's Tweeter by Nina Simone
I'll admit it.  I like Nick.  Especially when he's directly up against Jess.  Man that is a crazy routine though and they both did a great job, and Jess especially had the James Brown moves down. Just saying, if it comes down to a choice between the two, I'm picking Nick.

Judges Flashback:
Caitlynn: IN
Ashley: IN
Ryan: IN
Alexa: OUT
Mitchell: IN
Alexander: IN
Jeremiah: OUT interesting last group:
Routine #6: Ryan, Caitlynn, Ashley, Mitchell and Alexander:
Choreographer: Travis Wall (another favorite)
Style: Contemporary
Song: Moth's Wings by Passion Pit
For some reason, the first thing this routine reminds me of is the Viva La Vida Coldplay routine that Billy Bell was part of a couple seasons ago:

It's a gorgeous routine that, for me, is so fantastic because, of course, the moves are there, but it's about a feeling, a motion.

Routine #7: Top 10 Guys
Choreographer: Christopher Scott
Style: Hip Hop with a touch of Contemporary
Song: Velocity by Nathan Lanier

In case you're curious, Plan B's "Welcome To Hell" is also playing again in the background during the guys "contemporary" rehearsal moments

With the opening and closing doors and the sharp suits it feels like The Matrix meets Inception and it's pretty awesome.  By the time you get to the Fouette turns it's been on like Donkey Kong for a while.  Nigel also says it reminds him of The Matrix, so I'm in good company.
Hahahahha Nigel does make a comment about the audience not just favoring the boys on this program "unlike other programs" which shall remained unnamed.  Hey Nigel, don't you produce both though?

Routine #8: Top 10 Girls
Choreographer: Sonya Tayeh
Style: jazz geisha creepy girls
Song: Prop Drop & Roll by Chronique Sneed & Lisette Bustamante
Again, I always feel like it's possible that Sonya might very well be a replicant sent through time from Blade Runner to bring the world amazing dances.  Also these costumes are brilliant.

Routine #9: Top 20 Dancers
Song: Little Bird by Annie Lennox

I have to say, I already do have some favorites, so I'll go ahead and put them out there:
Melanie, Wadi, Sasha, Marko, Ashley, Nick and Clarice.  But the fantastic thing about this show is that there are always some surprises.  It depends on the dance, the choreography, everything.  I mean Jose made it way farther than I thought he would, so out of this Top 20, things could get well and truly interesting.  So here's hoping you guys found someone you're willing to see week after week for THE BEST DANCING IN THE WORLD...or at least the best dancing on network television.  Until next week!


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