Next up are the three classically trained dancers, Daniel Baker, Chehon Wespi-Tschopp, and Eliana Girard. Mary predicted Eliana would be top 20 after seeing her audition. Eliana mentions that Vegas week was a “huge cluster-ball of emotions.” Hmm. Never heard of cluster-ball. I think I know what she wanted to say. She's had a great run so far and feels it will come down to what she has shown, not what she's said. Debbie likes her blue suede shoes. She also gives her the news that those shoes are meant for walking, walking on to the top 20.
Both Daniel and Chehon has put their professional dancing careers on hold for their audition with the show. Daniel left a job at the San Francisco Ballet. Chehon cleared his schedule as a working dancer in NYC. Both have stellar technique. Daniel sailed through every round, while Chehon had a few bumps in the road. They wanted him to loosen up and have more character, yet he won everyone over in his final solo. Chehon is hoping there will be room for both of them. Nigel tells Daniel he exceeded their hopes, yet he was disappointed with his solo. Chehon didn't come up to standards he wanted them to but wowed them with his solo. They decided to ask Daniel to be in the top 20, and Chehon is making it as well.
The three classically trained dancers take the stage and dance to Romantic Inclinations/Like a Short/Fury by P. Mottram/ S. Everitt/ G. Shadid, and T. Marberger. They're just stunning to watch. I don't even want to take my eyes off them to write my notes.
Nigel notes they're dealing with the two guys who are professional dancers who have given up their careers to come on the show this year. That takes great bravery, and he thinks it will be worth Daniel and Chehon's while. The choreographers every week are just as brave and are judged just as much as the dancers. He feels they're all brilliant, and no more so than Desmond Richardson and partner Dwight Rhoden who choreographed this routine. He's thrilled they were there to help out and thinks they'll have a lot of work for them this year. He didn't recognize Eliana because her hair is up, yet calls her a wonderful dancer.
Mary refers to Eliana as a ballet warrior. She didn't even recognize that energy and fierce position and attitude and passion. They haven't seen the likes of her, but Mary feels it's great that ballet will have such a voice this year. She was wowed by their auditions, and tonight, she gives the first screams.
It's time for jazz. Tiffany Maher was called a firecracker, and Audrey Case is the one who squeaked her shoulder. If Tiffany makes it, Audrey will be worried. Tiffany has watched the show since season one, and here she is looking for the ultimate accomplishment. Debbie tells her she was invisible, then pushed ahead to the finish line. They welcome her to the top 20. Audrey tries to celebrate, but is worried. She'll be happy either way to make it this far. Adam tells her they have a lot of good girls this season, especially in this genre. Yet, she's in. She calls her mom afterwards to celebrate. Abigail Ruz, Kaitlynn Egar, Katie Muth, and Rebecca Hart don't make it.
Belly dancer Janelle Issis wowed them in the auditions and kept it going in Vegas, yet a belly dancer has never made it to the top 20. Yet to her, it feels so right, and feels good to be on the stage. She doesn't want it to end. Facing the judges, Adam tells her he doesn't remember ever seeing a belly dancer in Vegas, so she needs to own that moment and think of how great of an accomplishment that was. Yet, the judges think she can dance and welcome her to the top 20. She hits her head when celebrating.
Tiffany, Audrey, and Janelle are the next group to dance, or were supposed to be. Janelle became ill during rehearsals and will be better by the time they start competing, but the doctors won't let her dance tonight. This leaves just Audrey and Tiffany dancing a Sonya Tayeh routine to Sail by Awolnation. They do great, but I wish I could have seen it with all three girls to see what the belly dancer added to it.
Cat stands next to the tiny Tiffany and Audrey and compares herself to the BFG, big friendly giant, next to them. Zoey found them amazing and thought the choreography was amazing and beautiful She loved seeing ladies supporting each other, even thought it would be easy to upstage each other at this point. Tiffany is so strong, and Audrey is graceful. Cat admires their guns.
Nigel points out if you look at who has become America's favorite dancer, it was a good jazz contemporary girl with this type of physique last season, and in fact winner Melanie Moore is in the audience. He thinks it will be interesting this season as it's a more diverse competition. Nigel thinks these two girls look like two dancing Pebbles Flintstones and thinks they'll do well, but have a tough year to compete.
Joshua Alexander is getting real emotional while he awaits the judges' decision. He was the one who fell while doing a back flip and was rushed to the hospital when he couldn't move immediately after. He never got a chance to do his final solo, but feels he did enough in the rest of the week. Nigel asks him now to do a backwards somersault for them, and Joshua calls that mean. All kidding aside, they're happy to see him standing there. He won't be joining them this season, though, but they all insist he comes back. Blake Zelesnikar, Jasmine Mason, and Daniel Kermidas also get bad news.
There are seven spaces and twelve dancers left. Next up is Matthew Kazmierczak, who Nigel thought looked like Ryan Gosling. Adam was impressed with his dancing in Vegas and called him “major.” He thinks he's done everything he can to get in the top 20. Facing the judgement, Mary asks him if he can “do this,” which is twisting his wrist, then pushing ahead and stepping forward. Yep. He stepped into the top 20.
Darien Kujawa is kind of emotional because he just saw someone else have their dream come true. He knows how he'd feel if that came true. Nigel told him after his audition he had lousy feet, yet was absolutely fabulous. For his judgement, Lil' C tells him he is a powerhouse, and Nigel asks if he's been working on his feet. Darien jokes it's like bricks on the end of his legs. C hopes he'll keep working with the bricks, as he's part of the top 20.
Colorado native Janaya French moved to L.A. to start her dance career, and says it's really hard, as everyone is great, meaning you have to find something special about yourself. She found a way to do that in her audition, and in Vegas. It's so up and down in L.A., and she's had too many downs. As she leaves to hear the news, it leaves Amelia Lowe and Jill Johnson waiting to hear their news. Amelia did the silent-movie audition, but struggled in Vegas and had a not unanimous vote after she danced for her life. Jill grew with each round in Vegas. They're getting more and more stressed out being the last two, especially after hearing that Janaya made it in.
Amelia has imagined herself on the stage a million times and hopes to just make it a reality. Jill has been pushing herself since the beginning and hoping for a chance to stay on. Tyce tells them they're looking for one girl, but they[re taking a risk this year and looking for star quality. Amelia is in the top 20. Jill is a beautiful, beautiful dancer, but is not making it this year.
Matthew, Darien, Janaya, and Amelia take the stage for a Staey Tucci contemporary number to Modern Drift by Efterklang. Honestly, this, and all the other routines tonight, are so good, it's hard to believe the competition hasn't even started yet. Normally I liked to watch the dancers grow throughout the season, but I have no idea how this group is going to grow. They're terrific, although they're also all dancing in their own genre.
Zoey tells the dancers it felt so delicate like she was watching a painting move. Amelia looks like she is lit from within and really stood out. Janaya is a very athletic dancer and seems less like she fits in, but really held her own. The two guys were very exciting.
Mary tells Stacey she loved the routine. She looked over during he routine and Stacey was jumping up and down. Darien may ben the smallest guy in the competition, but he is dancing so strong, and if anyone had doubts about his power, strength, and partnering, they can forget about it. Amelia looked effortless, and Janaya was under the radar in Vegas, but now has arrived. Mary has loved Matthew throughout and is still loving him.