|There was not a single dancer I watched on last night’s performance show that I thought didn’t deserve to be there at the end of the season, waiting to see if they won. Everyone is just that superb. This isn’t the final four or even six. This is the top twenty. It will be very hard to say goodbye to two of them tonight, but that much more wonderful to watch the remaining eighteen next week.
As it turns out, we didn’t have to say goodbye at all! It seems Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Megan Mullally had the same difficulty in deciding who should go home. They were presented with three couples that fans voted into the bottom three. Actually they didn’t vote them into the bottom three, just voted for them less as much as the other seven couples.
There were actually three-and-a-half couples in the bottom of the vote barrel this week. This is because Mitchell Kelly was not allowed to perform yesterday, per doctor’s orders, automatically making him vulnerable. He danced a quick solo tonight, as did Robert “Woo Man” Taylor Jr., Tadd Gadduang, Jess LeProtto, Jordan Casanova, Miranda Maleski, and Clarice Ordaz. The judges still weren’t sure after watching them solo, and asked Mitchell and Robert to dance again, then still couldn’t decide.
Nigel made a shocking choice and decided not to eliminate anyone. It was good news to those of us watching on our DVR, as I was afraid I was going to miss the big decision when my the recording was over. The bad news is that just like the American Idol save, double will go home next week. Instead of one couple leaving, two will leave. Nigel is hoping this gives voters another week of performances to help them make up their mind. Here’s a look at the top 20 to help you decide who’s who.
1. Jordan Casanova, 18, of Chino Hills, CA. In her audition, she warned she was a completely different person onstage, then performed Naughty Girl by Beyoncé. This week in her eight-second intro, she said she wanted to be a Pussycat Doll and could howl like a dog. She partnered with Tadd Gadduang on an African Jazz number. Nigel thought she was outstanding in the number.
2. Alexander Fost, 20, of Pasadena, CA. We never met him until the top 20 announce. In his eight-second intro, we learned he speaks Spanish “kind of.” He is paired with Sasha Mallory on a Travis Wall contemporary number. Megan found a disconnect between his face and his body.
3. Tadd Gadduang, 25, of West Valley City, UT. He walked down the stairs on his hands during his initial audition, as the crowd chanted “Vegas.” In his eight-second intro, he announced he was a dancing taco in a movie and he thought he was Caucasian when he was a kid. He is partnered with Jordan Casanova on an African Jazz number. Nigel told him if he keeps picking up styles like this, he’s going to be extremely exciting.
4. Marko Germar, 22, of Canoga Park, CA. He was robbed when he was working a front desk, was shot in the joint of his shoulder, and still has the bullet lodged in there. In his eight-second intro he mentioned being from Guam and explained he doesn’t have a sore throat; it just sounds like that. He partnered with Melanie Moore on a Travis Wall number that Nigel thinks could be the first Emmy-nominated routine of the season.
5. Ricky Jaime, 18, of Miami, FL. Interestingly, in the group round in Vegas, he was with Caitlyn Lawson, Clarice Ordaz, and Wadi Jones. Only Bridget Krause didn’t make it through from that group. In his eight-second intro, we found out he loves cheer music. He paired with Ryan Ramirez on a lyric hip hop. Nigel thought he did the style justice.
6. Wadi Jones, 24, of Ossining, NY. He worked on a new flip for Vegas, then had a crippling pain in his legs he had to work around. In his eight-second intro he admitted he was born in Jamaica, yet that he loves the Japanese culture. He is partnered with Missy Morelli, and they did a jazz number about coming out of Pandora’s Box. The judges were incredulous that he’d never even partnered before.
7. Mitchell Kelly, 20, of Chicago, IL. We didn’t meet him until the top 20 announcement, but Nigel liked his smile. In his eight-second intro, he said he was allergic to onions, but loved chocolate. He couldn’t dance with partner Caitlyn Lawson on doctors orders, but completely rocked his quick solo tonight.
8. Chris Koehl, 21, of Garland, TX. He made it to the green mile last season before being eliminated. In his eight-second intro, he allowed that he was from Texas and was one of seven kids. He paired with Ashley Rich on a hip hop routine to Cee-Lo Green’s Forget You. He was one of the few that the judges didn’t overly praise after he danced.