home Archive So You Think You Can Dance, Jun. 9 – It's Our Top … 11!

So You Think You Can Dance, Jun. 9 – It's Our Top … 11!

These dancers have so much work ahead of them, and that’s just in the Vegas Round. The judges are only putting ten dancers through. That means they all have to fight like Hell to make themselves be one of the ten noticed as being better than the others. Again our judges at the head table are ‘Lil C, Mary Murphy, Tyce Diorio, Adam Shankman, Toni Redpath, and Nigel Lythgoe.

On Day 2 of Vegas Week, there are fifty-eight dancers left, and they’re doing Broadway. Ida really blew all the judges away in her audition. When she first got here, she said she found college so unbelievably important, but if she has to postpone it until shes 30 for the show, she’d love to be here. Yet, it hasn’t gone well for her in the choreography of hip hop and the cha cha. Ida now tells Cat she’s withdrawing. She’s had so much on her mind with college and already has so many other commitments. Cat doesn’t envy her having to tell Nigel this.

In the meantime, the other fifty-seven are working Broadway with Tyce. He tells them it’s powerful, athletic, and stylized. Alex Wong, 23, Vancouver, is loving it because it has personality to it and is fast, spunky, and chunky. In the first group to perform it for the judges are Adrian Lee and Lauren Froderman. They plan to impress the judges by being a little silly, and think they’re both silly and funny enough to do it. Sure enough, the put a little extra into it, and the judges seem to really love it. ‘Lil C tells Adrian it was amazing and he was done after “the dress thing.” Mary wasn’t too sure about him before, but it’s gone with a big yes, and Tyce tells hm he had them all at count five before the eight. Lauren has now gone to the top of Nigel’s list, Tyce tells her she is everything right now, Toni calls her a revelation, Adam is already saying top 10, and ‘Lil C gives her a “Super Buck.”

Melinda Sullivan is told by ‘Lil C that she was the best girl up there, and Nigel asks B-Boy Jose Ruiz to do his bow again, and when he does, Nigel tells him that’s what he wants to do to him. Alexie is told by Mary that she’s a star.

Ida finally faces the judges and tells them she is withdrawing. She’s been given an opportunity of a lifetime, a scholarship. She tells Nigel she needs to leave tomorrow. He confirms that she got the company to fly her out there to Las Vegas, and as soon as she got any negative criticism, she decided to drop out. She argues that when she gets negative criticism is when she steps it up. When he notes that’s not what she did today, she says she’s never danced like this in her life, and it’s an embarrassment, and she doesn’t want to be here taking someone else’s spot. If she had gotten top ten, she doesn’t think she would have taken it, yet Nigel believes had she fared better in the earlier choreography rounds, she wouldn’t have chosen to leave. He tells her if she can’t take criticism, she won’t be a success in the business. Ten other dancers left as well.

The remaining forty-seven dancers are broken up into groups and asked to choose a CD at random. Each one contains a different style of music. The challenge in front of them is to choreograph a routine to the song on the CD. We’re not treated to all the drama of the groups trying to work together like we are on American Idol. This is either good or bad, depending on how you look at it.

The first group includes contemporary dancer Anthony Burrell, ballroom dancer Gissel Peacock, and a “cautiously optimistic” Lauren Froderman. She really likes the routine, so hopes others will as well. The group does a contemporary routine which has two pairs dancing side-by-side, but ironically enough the ballroom dancer is the one left out and dancing alone in the beginning. Mary found it inspiring with a lot of passion that felt organic to her. Adam loves this group, and Nigel tells them all they are in his favorites group. They all move on, then celebrate in the pool.

The next group brings tap dancer Melinda Sullivan, contemporary dancers Marko Jemma and Arielle Coker and Robert Raldon, hip hop dancer Chris Cole, and African dancer Kadeeja Nicholas. Chris and Kadeeja don’t get along with each and have clashing styles. He thought they weren’t going to have a leader, but complains Kadeeja kept insisting on putting herself in that spot. She came up with an idea he thinks is very “8-year-old,” and she thinks she won, since the idea got in there anyway. Melinda is worried and just wants to get done so they can go to bed, yet they’re the last ones up working at 3:30 AM. Kadeeja thinks if people don’t zip it and just get the dance done, they’ll be welcoming everybody else in at breakfast.

Indeed, the group goes on to get no sleep, then step in front of the judges to perform. It’s a jazzy type of song and you can see the obvious heavy African dance influence. Adam tells the group it was uneventful choreography and didn’t highlight their strengths. Mary wasn’t inspired and found it just okay. ‘Lil C tells Chris he’s not a fan. Nigel felt Melinda was the only one that understood the music, and she definitely was shining to him. When it comes to a judgement, Kadeeja gets through, and Chris barely squeaks through, although Adam thinks he’s still a season away from where he needs to be. The rest of the group gets through as well, and they join the others in the pool.

By noon, eight more have been cut, but thirty-four have made it through. There’s one group left, and it’s all judge favorites, contemporary dancers Lexie Conturci, Billy Bell, Adechike Torbert, Ryan Ramirez, and hip hop dancer Anthony Kidd. The judges are waiting to see a really strong group. It’s a song that oddly sounds like a striptease. I was expecting more, but it never came. It’s done. Adam tells the group it was a disaster of epic proportions. He wants to cut all of them just for making him watch it. Tyce says it should have been the best group, and Nigel calls it horrible and out and out crap. It’s not just about choreography, but also feeling the music, and he sings it a little, asking them where there heart was, looking so tight and constricted, and making it look ugly.

The judges are seen and overheard visibly arguing over who to keep and who to let go. Toni tells them none of them earned it right then, yet she’s been talked into keeping them. Nigel wants them to understand their disappointment, but wants them to know they’ve been given another chance, then tells them all, “Get off the stage.” They’re all distraught and relieved and know they let the judges down.


Freelance entertainment and tech writer, editor