Normally I have a list of the dancers I hope make the final 20 of So You Think You Can Dance, and a list of those I hope don't as well. But this time it's different. It's hard to remember all the dancers week to week since Fox put the show on a diet of only once a week. Since the 20 who make it will be dancing for us on the So You Think You Can Dance stage tonight for the first time, I'm hoping I won't be forgetting them after this week.
Additionally, it's the two-hundredth episode of the show. Our judges are Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and special guest Zoey Deschanel. Nigel mentions that this year there will be two winners, a guy and a girl. I'm not sure if I like that or not.
The thirty-five dancers who made it out of Vegas gathered last week to hear if they made it or not. They'll hear the judgement from Nigel, Mary, Debbie Allen, Tyce Diorio, Lil' C, and Adam Shankman. Those lucky 20 who made it are backstage waiting for their chance to introduce themselves to us.
The first dancer to hear her judgement is Alexa Anderson. She was the last dancer last year to hear she wouldn't make it. Will she be the first to hear she didn't make it or the first to hear she does? Cat Deeley is smiling; does that mean anything? Alexa battled it out in Vegas with the judges as they fought for her to show some emotion. Tyce tells her tonight he gave her a hard time because he believes she has room to develop and that she showed some great fight in Vegas. It was finally enough. She's the first dancer to make it this year.
George Lawrence II is the next up. He was praised all through Vegas. Tonight he enters wearing a green outfit, including a bowtie … and shorts. Debbie reminds him that he made quite an impression on them in Atlanta. Once the playing field became more level in Vegas, the question became where he is today. He's in the top 20; that's where he is. Will Thomas also makes it.
Contemporary dancer Megan Branch is awaiting word on her status. Mary loved her audition and was just as impressed with her in Vegas. She walks out in front of the judges tonight. It's Lil' C who delivers the news that Megan will not be part of the top 20 this year. Colin Fuller doesn't make it either.
Amber Jackson made it to this point in season six, only to hear she wasn't making it. In season seven she didn't make it as far and didn't' think she'd try again, yet here she is. She is glad she dropped her pride and did it anyway, as you can't grow with all that extra baggage. Adam points out to her that it was strong field of contemporary dancers this year, but … “welcome to the top 20.” She finally did it!
Here are the first four dancers to make it dancing a Tyce Diorio routine to We Found Love by Jessie J. They dance on and over a long bench. For Amber and Alexa, it must be great redemption to finally get to this point. So far they look to be good choices for the top 20. The two guys don't look too shabby either.
Nigel feels that this year all the top 20 are superstars, and not one of these four let themselves down dancing to some wonderful choreography by Tyce. He tells Will he is a big tall man and needs to move just as fast as the little ones. Looking back at Amber's video, he was amazed at how unattractive she was to say she'd never be on the show again, but now she is a star and looks beautiful. Alexa has had a lot of screen time, but she found her performance, and he doesn't want her to lose it. If every light in the studio went out, George would still shine. Now, everyone else needs to come up to his level.
Mary can't believe it keeps getting better each year, but it just does. A lot of the kids have been waiting eight seasons for their moment, and it's finally here. The very first dance has produced magnificent dancing. She thinks the girls will be excited to get Will as a partner, as he was there for the girls every step of the way. The clouds have lifted for Alexa, and she's ready to soar. George's leaps made him just sail out there. Amber no longer has baggage around her so needs to just go for it.
Zoey thinks they were all so great, that it's hard for her to even think of anything to say. The one thing she did come up with is that their teamwork was incredible. They all pulled their weight, because if one person was off, the whole thing would just tumble out of control. She can't wait to see more.
Salt Lake City provided the three remaining ballroom dancers, Witney Carson, Lindsay Arnold, and Nick Bloxom-Carter. Nick was the first of the three to walk in front of the judges last week. His whole life he has felt like he was in the shadows of greater people. He's been kept in the back, but he wants this for himself. He hasn't cried in a long time, but broke down just before facing the judges to hear his judgement. He really feels he can do it. That's good, because he's in the top 20.
It seems only one of the girls will make it. They have been competitors since they were very young, but have remained friends throughout. Lindsay doesn't think the competition will come between them even at this point. Witney promises to chuck her shoe at the judges if she doesn't make the top 20 and heads back home to American Pork Utah. (Is that a real place?) They, of course, face the judges together. Mary tells them they are looking for one ballroom girl, but they adore both of them. Witney came out onstage like fire and has fabulous technique. Mary was blown away by Lindsay, who is another fabulous technician. Witney is in the top 20. Lindsay hugs her, then finds out she's making it too.
The three ballroom dancers dance a Jason Gilkison routine to Dance Again by Jennifer Lopez (featuring Pitbull). It's a Latin number leaving Nick dancing with both of the girls as partners. They're all three fabulous, but I see Witney making it further, as she seems to have more personality to her.
Mary thinks the train just pulled up to Sizzle Station. She had to fan Nigel down. She is so proud of them and finds it great to have three ballroom dancers in the top 20, and they are a tremendous three. She wants a little more out of Nick, saying that while it was hopping up and down, when he comes back down, he needs to get stronger again. Lindsay and Witney are two of the hottest tamales they've had on the show.
Zoey found it incredible and tells the two gals they're like twins and perfectly synchronized and just firecrackers. Nick was great keeping up with them, leaving Zoey worried, thinking he could have been hurt. We don't get a chance to hear Nigel's comments.