The competition tenses up as the forty one dancers will be narrowed down to only twenty. A one minute solo is the deciding factor of whether they have a future dancing or are just another want to be shaker. The judges Nigel, Mary, and Shane hold the dancer’s fate in their hands.
The first five dancers who appear on stage before the judges get the big “NO”. The judges are nice and encourage each dancer to continue practicing and try again next year. Allison Hooker is the sixth dancer to appear before the judges. She had received a perfect score earlier that week, but one by one the judges tell her that she needs to be more than okay. They tell her she is not the greatest, then all of them break into a smile and tell her she is the first in the top twenty. These judges play a mean game!
Following Allison is Henry Graham. Before getting the bad news, Graham was shown dancing with his fellow adopted sisters who all have medical conditions. Even if he was the worst dancer, one feels compassion for him to move on.
Next in line, are the “couples” as I call them. Four different pairs came together dancing to the same music, but will they leave in the same tune? The first of these “couples” are young, pretty high school girls Erin Ellis and her best friend, Joy. Joy looks excited after receiving the good news of being the second one in the top twenty, but now as excited when she finds out Erin has made it through as well. The girls hug, jump, and scream like baby pigs.
This much happiness does not fall on to the next couple. Heather Morris and Ben have been best friends for years and known as the inseparable ones throughout the show, or as they put it, “Ben and Heather inseparable forever”. Ben receives his news first and is ecstatic that he is the first of the guys in the top twenty. However, his glee turns to tears shortly after Heather comes from behind the curtain heart broken that she has to return home. Between sobs, Ben claims it to be “unfair”.
Juliya Tamarkina and Stanislov Savich dance to the music of love. Juliya, who is only there because she fainted the day before, is finally sent home. Her boyfriend comforts her lovingly and goes to hear if he will join Juliya or dance on without her. After Nigel apologizes for Juliya not making it in the competition, he tells Stanislov that he has made it. Although upset about her own failure, Juliya welcomes Stanislov with an excited hug, acting as if she was the one that made the top twenty.
As swing dancer Benji Schimmer sits waiting, his nervousness is portrayed through his mismatched skull socks and two right shoes. The judges are extra cruel. They tell him that it was a hard decision and that he was good, but this and that. Finally, Mary says with tears in her eyes that they choose her to go last to say… He made it in the top twenty!!! Benji collapses to the floor in a emotionally wrecked heap and Mary lets out her evil witch laugh. Once he recovers from the judges toying with his sensitivity, Benji hugs everyone in sight, not sparing cameramen or workers. Following him are several yeses to which they do not name yet.
Benji’s dance partner and cousin, Heidi, saved Benji’s butt the night before when he was to “dance for his life” to keep his spot. She joins Benji in the competition. Obviously blood is too thick to separate.
Doubt arises as the two break dancers Musa Cooper and Hawk wait. Musa makes it in the top twenty after portraying a marvelous solo. Hawk, however, is cut short. Not by lack of his self-learned dance ability, but by the absence of a work permit and citizenship.
Donyelle Jones, was told earlier that she was too big. She looked average weight to me next to the anorexic looking girls dancing in bikinis. Plus, if Missy Eliot could break it down, so can Donyelle. The judges seem to agree because she has a spot in the top twenty.
Friction grows to its height because only two spots are left and four dancers anxious to fill them. Ryan and Mike approach the judge’s together. Ryan said he would get kicked out of school if he came to the tryouts and his friends told him it wasn’t worth the risk. The judges proved Ryan’s friends wrong as he was granted the last guy’s spot into the top twenty. Mike was told that he was still young and had other opportunities
Hand in hand, Mallory and Alexandra stop in front of the judge’s table. Nigel tells Mallory basically that she is the best dancer in the competition, but makes everything look too easy. She is not in the top twenty. Isn’t a professional suppose to make everything look easy?
Finally the show has been downsized from hundreds to only twenty. Representing the girl’s side are Allison, Ashlee, Donyelle, Joy, Erin, Jessica, Natalie, Heidi, Alexandra, and Martha. Dancing on the boy’s side are Dmitri, James, Stanislov, Benji, Musa, Jason, Ryan, Travis, Ben, and Ivan.