Category Archives: Dancing

Dancing with the Stars, Oct. 14 – It Was a Very Good Year

This week the stars will all be dancing to songs from their most memorable year of their lives. Before they even get started, Tom Bergeron announces that based on only viewer votes, it would be a female being eliminated tonight, yet the judges’ scares that will follow tonight could change that.

Partners: Christina Milian and Mark Ballas. She felt like Julianne was taking a personal jab at Mark with her scores last week, and it had nothing to do with her. She is choosing to remember 2010 when she gave birth to her daughter and got a divorce from her husband who had an affair that was outed by the press. It’s the perfect song for that, even if they are doing the “forget you” version. This message is for women to be strong, fierce, strong, and move on.

Dance Style: Cha cha cha
Song: Forget You

Me: I hate the driving mime in the beginning, but the rest of the dance is really good. While she’s usually good at the acting part, I’m not getting the “forget you.”
Len: He’s glad to be back because he got an opportunity to see this cha cha cha. It was fire and ice, fire in the performance, and ice in the attitude.
Bruno: She painted the perfect picture of a hot Latina – footwork sharp and finish indecently hot..
Carrie: Tonight it was something special, like she tuned it up a notch.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score: 9, 10, 9 = 28

Partners: Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke. His most memorable year was last year with amazing high highs and horrible lows. He moved into a new house with who is now his wife, his daughter was born, and then he was diagnosed with SM. If it gets bad he realizes he could spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair with feeding tubes, and it’s that combined with possibly not being able to provide for his child that is really difficult. But if you don’t have the bad, you can’t appreciate the good. He’s dedicating this dance to his wife and daughter.

Dance Style: Waltz
Song: I’m Kissing You

Me: He does beautifully and has a great frame that he has most assuredly been working on. This deserves a 10.
Bruno: Everyone was lost in admiration for his strength and courage. His footwork was so light, and he did the best links with an under-control butt.
Carrie: There is something so magical about him, and the grace of his being slips into his dancing. There wasn’t one moment where he wasn’t sure what he was doing.
Len: People think the waltz is small, but it’s big, and he came out with that. He appreciated his hold, but his hands had some trouble.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27

Partners: Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani. The most important year for her is the last year. She was raised and dependent on something most of her life, not realizing how strong she was until stuff hit the van. You can either choose to be a victim or do something about it. She jokes if it’s contemporary, they should have Corbin choreograph it for them. She dedicates this to anyone who is going through change, to find their own strength and power.

Dance Style: Contemporary
Song: Roar

Me: She’s a marionette who suddenly loses her strings and power. She definitely finds her freedom in this song, but her lift could be a little better.
Carrie: She loved the concept and message. The beginning was executed beautifully, but she found the movements and lifts weren’t connected, and the lifts a little rough.
Len: He, too, loved the concept, but the lifts were a little labored and not great.
Bruno: She took it on and it was very hard. Contemporary has to have a strong dynamic flow. but it’s a lot to take on.

Last week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score: 7, 7, 8 = 22

Partners: Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff. They’re doing the foxtrot this week. He’s going back to 2011 when his sister was diagnosed with scoliosis, and she had it pretty rough. She never lets it affect her and handles it beautifully. The lyrics of this song say everything he wants to relay to his sister, a hope for the future and keeping your dreams big no matter what.

Dance Style: Foxtrot
Song: My Wish

Me: It’s so dreamlike with the way he flows so well .
Len: He is a terrific dancer, and what Len loves is that he always gets the character of it. He did a terrific job in hold and had good footwork, but the last lift was slightly out of character.
Bruno: He could be the lost child of Fred Astaire and Ben Vereen with the style of Astaire and the slickness of Vereen.
Carrie: She’s torn, because the last two lifts her feet were great, but in the first one Karina’s foot came off the ground, so she’s deducting a point.

Last Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27 This Week’s Score: 9, 9, 10 = 28

Partners: Bill Engvall and Emma Slater. He wants to celebrate 1982, the year he married his wife, Gail. She has high morals and wasn’t going to spend the night in his apartment no matter how hard he tried. Throughout, she’s made him a better person than he would have been on his own. They’re dancing to one of his favorite songs which is perfect for Gail.

Dance Style: Viennese Waltz
Song: She’s Always a Woman to Me

Me: He’s a little stiff in the beginning, but his emotion comes through so strong.
Bruno: Honest, heartfelt, and emotional. There were a few timing issues, and he has to remember it’s a waltz and not a bowling alley.
Carrie: He wears his heart on his sleeve and dancing is about touching people’s souls, but he was a little off-timing while he did it.
Len: It was a little skippy and rushed, but he had lovely rotation and Len liked the romance and hold in the dance.

Last Week’s Score: 7, 7, 7 = 21 This Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24

Partners: Nicole Polizzi and Sasha Farber. Her most memorable year was last year when she gave birth to her son. It’s changed her entire life, as she considers herself terrible before. It was hard when she became pregnant, because everyone thought she’d be a bad mom. But once she held him for the first time, she knew this was what she was meant to do at this time. It made her do a 180, but Sasha argues that it should be a 360. Nope, she’s right. He wants her to dance dirty, but she doesn’t want to because of her son.

Dance Style: Jazz
Song: Work Bitch

Me: She does really well with this, as her prior cheerleading work is probably helping her out.
Carrie: It reminded her of her favorite quote from her favorite drag queen. “You better work!” She hit everything on beat and in sync.
Len: It was fast-paced, vibrant, the lifts were clean, had energy and attack, and it was fun to watch.
Bruno: She works hard for the money, and she worked hard, deserving every penny she gets. It was an amazing bundle of fun.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score 9, 9, 9 = 27

Partners: Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd. His most memorable year is 2009, the year after he had moved to Hollywood to pursue acting. He had told his dad when he was 3 he wanted to be an actor, and his dad supported it since. His dad even moved out with him to Hollywood for a short bit to help him out. In 2009 he got a call from his mom to come home and say goodbye to his dad who was diagnosed with lymphoma. When he went back to Hollywood, he threw everything he had into his career. He wants this dance to be uplifting and not sad.

Dance Style: Contemporary
Song: Your Song

Me: It’s a beautiful dance, and he’s right that his dad would be very proud of him.
Len: He loved the passion, the interaction, and the chemistry. When he sits at the judges’ table he always feels his dad is looking down on him, and he thinks Brant’s is looking down on him as well.
Bruno: He adds “with incredible pride.” Brant throws himself into it with such dedication and passion and no fear. He even managed to put in some contractions and acted it wonderfully.
Carrie: With contemporary, if the passion doesn’t instigate the movement, it doesn’t work for her, but tonight, she felt every angst, every movement, from a place of passion.

Score: 7, 7, 7 = 21 This Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27

Partners: Amber Riley and Derek Hough. She, too, is looking back to 2009. She was working at IKEA and auditioned for American Idol, following her passion. It became her lowest moment when she was turned down. She was then called and was asked if she wanted to audition for Glee. With this dance, she wants to show just before you hit rock bottom, you can push it through.

Dance Style: Foxtrot
Song: Try a Little Tenderness

Me: She’s a singer looking to realize her dream in this story, working along well with her most memorable year. She does amazing in this. Kudos need to go to Derek as well for the choreography.
Bruno: Lady Amber is here to stay. It was absolutely and utterly sensational. He feels this could be lifted from the best of Broadway shows.
Carrie: She danced the heck out of the routine. She blew her away with flexibility, the way she acts, the way she hits each routine, and the way she does each style like it’s nothing.
Len: She is a wonderful performer and lights the place up when she comes out, but it was supposed to be foxtrot, and he needs to see a certain amount in the hold. He thinks back to the others working their butts off to get the hold right.

Last Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27 This Week’s Score: 9, 7, 10 = 26

Partners: Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Val Chmerkovskiy. Her most memorable year is 2012 when her baby was born. One of her wishes for him is that he knows he’s allowed to dream big. She also wants him to know that his parents are there supporting him. She wants to connect to her most memorable year professionally, 1989, when she got her big break in Saved By the Bell. Her character did this song in the show.

Dance Style: Jive
Song: I’m So Excited

Me: They do a short skit at the beginning, with her having Jive Pills, similar to the bottle of pills she had in that episode of Saved By the Bell It’s a little loosey goosey for me and not up to her usual standard.
Carrie: She loves Elizabeth so much for doing that, and it took her back to why she fell in love with dance. The kicks were a little soft, though, and she fell out of her pirouette.
Len: He thought the kicks were sharp, fast, clear, and exact. Tall people have a habit of getting loose, but not her.
Bruno: She doesn’t need any pills; she just needs to dance. She was excited. He used to do those steps in music videos himself. It was incredible fun.

Last Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27 This Week’s Score: 8, 9, 9

With a combined score of last week’s viewer votes and this week’s judges’ scores, Bill and Emma, Corbin and Karina, Amber and Derek, Jack and Cheryl, Brant and Peta, and Nicole and Sasha are all safe. This means Elizabeth and Val, Christina and Mark, and Leah and Tony are all in jeopardy. Being pulled out and sent back to safety right away are Elizabeth and Val.

This leaves the highest scoring couple this week and the lowest scoring couple facing going home. Yet, the couple going home tonight after five weeks are Christina and Mark. No one seems more shocked than Leah. Christina wasn’t expecting it either and says it’s true shock. They feel they had the best performance tonight that they’ve had so far. He’s proud of her and how hard she worked and feels she went out with a bang.

Unlike the last few weeks, it wasn’t the worst dancer going home. Yet, this happens every season. Fans always allow themselves to get wrapped up in the stars themselves and how much they like them instead of just their dancing. After her years on King of Queens Leah obviously has more fans than Christina, coming off her gig on The Voice/i>

Dancing with the Stars, Oct. 7 – “Keep on Keepin’ On”

Somehow it all worked out right last week. Bill Nye went home while dealing with a debilitating quadricep muscle tear and a lack of dancing ability. Bill Nye and Valerie Harper could be right behind him, but it would definitely be sad to lose them. In fact, it’s such a great cast this season, it will be difficult to lose any of them. Tonight Len Goodman is missing from the judging panel and replaced by former DWTS professional dancer Julianne Hough.

Partners: Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke. They’re doing the quickstep, and it’s very physically demanding for him, although the two of them argue about who is carrying who in the dances. She gets short with him only to admit she is PMSing. Oversharing, Cheryl. He accuses her of wanting to dance with Corbin.

Dance Style: Quickstep
Song: Man Like That

Me: His frame looks good after they worked on it, and his footwork looks pretty awesome as well.
Julianne: Ballroom is definitely Jack’s strong suit, but he needs to smile more.
Bruno: “Jumping Jack Flash, so full of tricks.” He kept up the pace well, but needs to watch his frame.
Carrie: She liked the frame and thinks he’s more animated this week.

Last Week’s Score: 7, 7, 8 = 22 This Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24

Partners: Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Val Chmerkovskiy. They’re doing the Argentine Tango this week. she institutes her own lesson into it, and that’s the two of them staring intently into each other’s eyes for a long period of time. She found great value, but I’m not sure if he did.

Dance Style: Argentine Tango
Song: Symphony 6: Fair Thee Well and the Requiem Mix

Me: She looks very elegant, but part of that is just her body as a whole, yet her dancing certainly adds to it as well.
Bruno: The bewitching creature has taken everyone on a journey to the hidden depths of passion and did it without going wrong.
Carrie: Elizabeth has been the most elegant and sensuous dancer from day one but tonight cut through some of the movements with a sharpness she hadn’t seen before.
Julianne: She has been one of Julianne’s favorites since the beginning and gave her goosebumps tonight. Elizabeth took control instead of waiting for Val.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 9, 8 = 25 This Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27

Partners: Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd. They want to retain the lead position this week and maybe even be the first team to earn a 10. It’s Peta’s first solo salsa on Dancing with the Stars, so she recognizes the pressure is on. He has an old shoulder injury that makes it hard to do the lifts, leading her to take out the hardest ones but hoping to keep some of the others in.

Dance Style: Salsa
Song: Shake Señora

Me: The lifts that they keep in work well, but his other moves don’t look right. They’re almost too animated.
Carrie: The lifts were fantastic, but she cautions that when you take off your shirt, it’s very revealing, and she saw that he needs to work more on the salsa moves.
Julianne:When he took off his shirt it was awesome, but she does agree with Carrie Ann and thought it was a little loosey goosey.
Bruno: He had no idea Brant was such a party animal, but as far as his moves, “the girls are right.”

Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27 This Week’s Score: 7, 7, 7 = 21

Partners: Valerie Harper and Tristan MacManus. She feels her low score last week was fair. This week they’re doing the Viennese Waltz. She feels the song, Carry On, is a great sentiment and almost the musical equal to the message she’s trying to accomplish after her diagnosis. However, she’s struggling with the steps yet again and is not willing to quit. She’s here for the party and wants to “keep on keepin’ on.”

Dance Style: Viennese Waltz
Song: Carry On

Me: She’s having a hard time with her steps still, and it’s quite obvious, although there are times where she still looks great.
Julianne: She is teary-eyed and is another to mention Val’s courageousness. She was elegant to start out but thinks when they separate it shows more vulnerability.
Bruno: She painted some pretty pictures, but if she goes wrong, she needs to cover it up and not show it.
Carrie: She loves watching her carry on and agrees there were some beautiful moments, but it makes the mistakes show more.

Last Week’s Score: 6, 5, 5 = 16 This Week’s Score: 6, 6, 6 18

Partners: Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani. Leah admits she’s not as much of a nervous wreck as she was in the beginning. To get 9s this week, she suggests Tony come down a pole in something skimpy. She thought the Cha cha ha would be slower and is wrong. While she asked Tony for less moves this time, he instead gave her more harder moves.

Dance Style: Cha cha cha
Song: Papi

Me: She’s always dances so sexy and looks great this week. Leah could go on to be the most improved dancer this season if she continues.
Bruno: She was channeling the J Lo attitude and performed so well and only needs to work on that footwork.
Carrie: She loves watching her beause she’s in the zone. Carrie wants Leah’s movements to match up to her face.
Julianne: She thinks Leah’s footwork was actually strong and quick, but she wonders if maybe the shoes aren’t as flexible, while also seeing the same disconnect as Carrie.

Last week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24

Partners: Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff. Carrie Ann said last week that Corbin’s hip-hop keeps coming though his ballroom moves. He wants to learn the paso doble this week the right way. Karina wants to make it as traditional and technical as it’s supposed to be. His natural ability challenges Karina to give him the best choreography and techniques.

Dance Style: Paso Doble
Song: Zorongo

Me: It definitely looks very traditional. In fact it looks amazing.
Carrie: The intensity was smoldering and the movements were absolutely stunning. Yet because it was so good, just a little of the hip-hop still snuck in.
Julianne: She appreciates the lack of gimmicks because he doesn’t need it. His hips need to be under though.
Bruno: They had the pure essence of the paso doble. He agrees the hips need to go under to get the traditional Spanish line.

Last Week’s Score: 9, 8, 9 = 26 This Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27

Partners: Nicole Polizzi and Sasha Farber. The dance this week has a cheerleading theme, and Nicole is anxious to put her bad feelings of cheerleading behind her. When she was cheerleading in school, the competitiveness of it brought her anorexia. The added stress of flying back and forth each week between the east and west coast is taking a toll on her.

Dance Style: Jive
Song: Mickey

Me: She is one-hundred percent in her element. Cheerleading is her thing. She has the energy and the bounce for it.
Julianne: This is so Nicole. She’s using her face and everything, yet her flicks and kicks need be a little better and she needs more of a connection.
Bruno: “Oh Snooky, you’re so fine you blow my mind.” Her performance level has grown, although this seemed like more of a Lindy Hop.
Carrie: She wants to see a cartoon of Snooky the cheerleading dancing girl. Carrie Ann does not that Nicole’s arms were a little T-Rex like.

Last Week’s Score: 9, 8, 8 = 25 This Week’s Score 8, 8, 8 = 24

Partners: Christina Milian and Mark Ballas. Being in the bottom two last week, she worries that people aren’t voting enough. The Foxtrot this week will be her first ballroom dance. She is now questioning herself as a performer, though, after that threat of going home.

Dance Style: Foxtrot
Song: Sexy Silk

Me: Just like Leah, she really gets the attitude nailed down here, perhaps even more.
Bruno: He hasn’t ever seen a Foxtrot so spunky and sultry. It wasn’t traditional. He would like to se her work on the section and hold.
Carrie: Christina is able to transition from style to style really well but does need to work on her shoulders to elongate herself.
Julianne: Every week has seen Christina be strong, gorgeous, and sexy, but this week Julianne was looking for a softer side and to have her stand out a little more.

Last Week’s Score: 9, 8, 9 = 26 This Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24

Partners: Amber Riley and Derek Hough. He jokes that they have an in this week since his sister is judging, but in reality he knows she will not go soft on him. Amber is another one dealing with a knee injury and doesn’t want to make it worse. She needs to get the fluid drained and has to watch Derek and Lindsay do it instead of participating. She is worried about that and doesn’t want to disappoint anyone.

Dance Style: Tango
Song: Love Lockdown

Me: She can take on the serous dance just as much as she can do the fun.
Carrie: Amber is in fine form tonight. They were connecting and were like one person. Her footwork is improved.
Julianne: She was hoping something would go wrong to give her a terrible score to not show favoritism. But “holy cow,” she was like a tight little explosion that hadn’t exploded.
Bruno: It was pure, unmistakably, classic, amazing tango. She’s a magnificent dancer.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27

Partners: Bill Engvall and Emma Slater. He inadvertently hurt her in dress rehearsal last week, but it has only made them closer. The Samba this week is a lot of gyrations and hip movements. When he was 20 it would have looked cool, but at 56, he figures he just looks like a creepy old man. It maybe not be the prettiest hip movements, “but by God, they’ll be moving.”

Dance Style: Samba
Song: Cuban Pete

Me: He’s right; it’s not pretty. I wouldn’t say he looks like a creepy old man, but it doesn’t look very natural.
Julianne: The reason they kept him for last is because everyone there loves him. He’s the heart of the show, with his fellow competitors and audience loving him.
Bruno: He thought he was going to wet himself. It had everything you could ask for except timing and rhythm.
Carrie: Who needs Cuban Pete when you have Blue Collar Bill? It was really entertaining even though some of it was strange.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score: 7, 7, 7 = 21

With a combined score of last week’s viewer votes and this week’s judges’ scores, Bill and Emma, Elizabeth and Val, Leah and Tony, Corbin and Karina, Amber and Derek, Jack and Cheryl, Christina and Mark. This means Brant and Peta, Valerie and Tristan, and Nicole and Sasha are all in jeopardy. Being pulled out and sent back to safety right away are Nicole and Sasha.

The couple going home tonight after four weeks are Valerie and Tristan. This has been absolutely wonderul and completely unique. It was an opportunity for her to carry a message to folks that whatever your challenge, you need to keep on keepin’ on, just like their song tonight. Tristan says sometimes you get very lucky to do well with your partner, and sometimes you get lucky to meet someone who can affect it more. His life is a little better since he met Valerie.

Clearly, just considering dancing technique and performance, Valerie was the most deserving of going home. However, when it comes to indomitable spirit, she perhaps deserves to stay more than anyone else. I would think that not only has she left a mark on Tristan’s life, but the rest of us as well.

Dancing with the Stars, Sept. 30 – Glitz and Glamour of Hollywood

It’s Hollywood week on Dancing with the Stars Sure, you might be reminding me that these stars are from Hollywood to begin with. You’re right, but this is older Hollywood, with the Quickstep and Charleston, aside from a creative robot dance and one involving a pimp. Not surprisingly, neither of those dances hits the way they should.

Partners: Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani. Tony is very proud of Leah’s samba last week. In her mind she was hitting it really hard and didn’t feel her sexy face was very sexy. This week he thinks will be a perfect opportunity to work on that sexy face. He thinks she’s doing really good as a Bond girl.

Dance Style: Rumba
Song: Skyfall

Me: She’s an actress, so of course she nails the sexy face. The dancing isn’t so bad either.
Len: He loved the chemistry and felt the interplay was terrific, but he’d like a tad more fluidity in her arms.
Bruno: The “devilish seductress” definitely got the part. It’s making him go straight.
Carrie: She disagrees about the arms, as she thought they were creating very cool passion. She saw a few other problems but still feels Leah turned up the steam.

Last week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24

Partners: Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff. In their quickstep this week, they are telling the story of a young Hollywood starlet who cons a director into putting her in his film. Karina wants to make sure their quickstep stands out, and she guarantees it’s the fastest ever attempted on the show. His mind is blown early on, and she let’s him know it’s just a small part of the routine he has learned and that it’s not even the hardest part.

Dance Style: Quickstep
Song: Diga Diga Do

Me: It’s definitely fast, and he seems to keep up with it just fine.
Bruno: He got dizzy just watching the dance. Maintaining the synchronicity at that speed is almost impossible, and they did it.
Carrie: The footwork was so sharp and bright, and it’s the hardest part of the quickstep.
Leno: For him it was a bit hectic at times, and speed came in while style went out.

Last Week’s Score: 9, 8, 9 = 26 This Week’s Score: 9, 8, 9 = 26

Partners: Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Val Chmerkovskiy. She is grateful to still be there to keep learning and taking it up another level. This dance has a real elegance and old Hollywood feel to it, which she loves. He wants her to let go a bit and trust his lead. She gets blindfolded in practice where she has no choice but to trust him.

Dance Style: Fox trot
Song: Come Fly with Me

Me: She’s right about the old Hollywood feel. It’s a little hard to believe this is the same girl from Showgirls.
Carrie: Watching her dance is such a thrill, as she took her performance to knew heights with elegance and by acting demure. There was only one small mistake in the middle,
Len: That was chicken soup to the eyes – delicious and satisfying.
Bruno: He guarantees she is flying first class all the way. She shows love for dancing, which is wonderful.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 9, 8 = 25 This Week’s Score: 8, 9, 8 = 25

Partners: Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd. After last week’s show he hurt his foot somehow, lost his phone, then was robbed at gunpoint. One thing that was stolen was his Latin dance shoes, making him quite happy. It’s quite hard for him to learn the quickstep with a bum foot.

Dance Style: Quickstep
Song: Crazy in Love

Me: You’d never guess watching him dance this week that he was dealing with a major injury throughout most of the week.
Len: They were the no-stress express with speed and control, although he did drop his right shoulder on occasion.
Bruno:Brant was the perfect matinee idol and played the part perfectly.
Carrie: She thinks Neil Patrick Harris should watch his back.

Score: 8, 7, 8 = 23 This Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9 = 27

Partners: Valerie Harper and Tristan MacManus. Valerie’s knees are paying the price, but she knows this week they’ll have a lot of fun. The concept for the dance is Grace Kelly and Freddie Mercury dancing together. She thinks he’s closer to Freddie than she is to Grace. Her biggest challenge is remembering the steps.

Dance Style: Cha cha cha
Song: Grace Kelly

Me: She does great but just doesn’t seem to measure up quite as well as the younger galls in the competition.
Bruno: She has the look absolutely right, but he believes the dance looks like Grace and Freddie never met before with too many wrong turns.
Carrie: She agrees Valerie lost her way throughout the dance, but when she loses her way, she just shines and keeps on going, despite not knowing what she’s doing.
Len: He sees it as going coach on a cheap airline – a little bit uncomfortable and bumpy, but they landed safely and got through it.

Last Week’s Score: 6, 6, 7 = 19 This Week’s Score: 6, 5, 5 = 16

Partners: Bill Engvall and Emma Slater. He’s just happy they were not the first eliminated and that they also moved up with their scores. He thinks the paso doble sounds like a Mexican food dish. As she spits on the floor, he says he turned a British girl into a redneck. They travel together to both Mississippi and Kentucky for his tour so that they can work on their dance in his offtime.

Dance Style: Paso doble
Song: Lone Ranger Theme

Me: This is a really odd song to dance to. Bill does better than I would have expected him to though.
Carrie: Hi Ho Silver Away! He nailed the paso and had all his movements in sync.
Len: If he had come out on Silver, he would have gotten a 10. He was leading the spins and not letting her do all the work. It was his best dance.
Bruno: There was so much attack; it was like being in the opera house.

Last Week’s Score: 7, 7, 7 = 21 This Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24

Partners: Amber Riley and Derek Hough. He explains the dance is a lot like a cartoon – very over the top. Her butt is hurting, as she says she has another rehearsal after that one to record songs for an album. Also this week she’s shooting and episode of Glee. She resolves to not let it get in her way.

Dance Style: Charleston
Song: Bang Bang

Me: It’s definitely a lot of fun and the most we’ve had all night with a dance.
Len: It was very razzle dazzle with glitz and glamour, although he would have liked a little more swivel in the feet.
Bruno: She has the ability to create a rip roaring excitement in the room. She went off once with her scissor action.
Carrie: It’s another great performance. Her upper body can bang like no one else, but her lower body wasn’t banging as well.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24

Partners: Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke. He’s playing a pimp, and she’s her bitch. He remarks he feels like they’re making a porno at one point. He’s glad he showered the morning of rehearsal after his ass ended up hitting her nose. He has a hard time feeling confident with the dance.

Dance Style: Cha cha cha
Song: Hollywood Swinging

Me: This isn’t as good as his past two dances. He appears a bit more stiff.
Bruno: It was cheeky, and he loved the rock star opening. It was very ambitious, but he has to watch his hip action.
Carrie: It was good, but not his best. She feels the hip problem is because he is taking steps that are too big.
Len: He loves the commitment, as there is no messing about. He agrees about the hip action.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score: 7, 7, 8 = 22

Partners: Christina Milian and Mark Ballas. They’re doing a whole new style and different vibe. He wants to show her versatility this week. The choreography gets a bit difficult for her, and she just needs to take a break to let it sync in. She brings her daughter in to lighten up the mood.

Dance Style: Charleston
Song: Let Me Drown

Me: She seems to be nailing the dance a little better than Amber, surprisingly enough.
Carrie: She started a little timid, but she has a range of emotion when she dances, and it all matched.
Len: He liked that the dance mirrored the music and the 20s moments they put in. He wanted more swivel, however.
Bruno: The clown and the show girl are hitting the big time. Visually it was inventive, and she performed better than she ever has.

Last Week’s Score: 9, 8, 8 = 25 This Week’s Score: 9, 8, 9 = 26

Partners: Nicole Polizzi and Sasha Farber. She doesn’t want any more scores of 6, saying it made her feel like a loser and was embarrassing. Yet he thinks there’s nowhere to but skyrocket up. This leads to her talking about going up to space and heaven or something. I’m not sure. She has to do a one-handed cartwheel while holding hands with Sasha. She’s definitely intimidated.

Dance Style: Quickstep
Song: Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend

Me: She seems to be avoiding the 6s. She could even be getting 8s.
Len: It was her first ballroom dance, but she came out and surprised him.
Bruno: She was on fire, and he admires her commitment to hard work.
Carrie: Hollywood is cool, but it can also be the land of broken dreams yet not for her. She deserves a star on the walk of fame

Last Week’s Score: 6, 7, 7 = 20 This Week’s Score 9, 8, 8 = 25

Partners: Bill Nye and Tyne Stecklein. He tore his quadricep in his dance last week and has been nursing it since. Short of a wheelchair, the doctor didn’t recommend any type of dancing, but Bill is doing it anyway. Tyne comes up with a robot dance to exploit that he has to dance with a peg leg.

Dance Style: Jazz
Song: Get Lucky

Me: Bill danced stiffly anyway, so this dance exploiting that even more is just too obvious, as he doesn’t really do much dancing around Tyne.
Bruno: He doesn’t know what Bob Fossett would say about the jazz, as he didn’t see any, but it was very entertaining.
Carrie: They’ve seen some incredible dancing tonight as well as incredible spirit. He obviously fits in the spirit category.
Len: He thinks Tyne did a terrific job creating the routine. To perform with that type of injury takes guts, determination, and bravery. It shows a lot about the man.

Last Week’s Score: 6, 5, 6 = 17 This Week’s Score: 6, 5, 5 = 16

With a combined score of last week and this week, Christina and Mark, Brant and Peta, and Bill and Tyne are all in jeopardy. All other couples are safe. Being pulled out and sent back to safety right away are Brant and Peta, which is good, as they were the highest scoring couple this week, meaning they aren’t getting many votes from people at home.

The couple going home tonight after three weeks are Bill and Tyne. There are people working really hard who are improving every week, and he knows he’d never be able to keep up. But what makes it hard for him is Tyne won’t be able to stay in the competition either. Tom Bergeron notes she has made a big impression on everyone in her rookie season. She will miss the humor, and maybe the science facts, the most.

Bill was popular online, so I’m wondering if Dancing with the Stars exercised its right to change the voting outcome. Shows always publish that they have the right to do that, but never say when and if they are doing it. Because of his bum leg, it wouldn’t have been an entertaining show to watch him do peg leg dances each week, so it’s a possibility the producers thought it would be in their best interests to eliminate him this week. Either way, he goes out on a good note, and that’s probably better in the long run for everyone.

Dancing with the Stars, Sept. 23 – First Quick Elimination

Everybody is talking about about Bill Nye after the first week of performances on Dancing with the Stars, so despite him having the lowest score last week, and doomed to repeat the same feat this week, I think he is probably safe this week. Everyone is also talking about Jack Osbourne and Valerie Harper, so they are probably safe as well. Look for other low scorers to go home this week. And remember: There is no results show this week. It’s being worked into the end of the show tonight.

Partners: Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Val Chmerkovskiy. He thinks the samba is showcasing a new side to Elizabeth. She wants to let go and feel the freedom and the expression.

Dance Style: Samba
Song: Straight to Memphis

Me: She definitely has the expression down. She has good lines but needs to hold them.
Len: It was so close. It’s only week two, yet she was impressive with her energy and the way she came out.
Bruno: She was moving fast and had great accuracy considering it’s only week 2. There were a few missed steps, but Val takes responsibility.
Carrie: “You are in your element!” Elizabeth is a strong, sensuous dancer in control of her body.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score: 8, 9, 8 = 25

Partners: Christina Milian and Mark Ballas. She is worried knowing the song is going to be moving super fast. It’s also in character and “super fierce.” Mark really pushes her, but she doesn’t mind a bit.

Dance Style: Paso Doble
Song: Applause

Me: Again she shows some great emotion.
Bruno: She’s a fussy intriguing little monster. He loves a paso with little quirks.
Carrie: It was insane and night and day from last week.
Len: It was a paso doble with a little bit of a contemporary twist. Christina was focused and fierce.

Last Week’s Score: 7, 7, 8 = 22 This Week’s Score: 9, 8, 8 = 25

Partners: Bill Engvall and Emma Slater. He feels deflated after last week. The comments were great, but they didn’t coordinate with the scores he received. He’s determined to make the judges into believers this week.

Dance Style: Jive
Song: Crocodile Rock

Me: He’s better than I expected him to be at this. Much better.
Carrie: It was the most entertaining routine so far this season. The footwork was a little funky though.
Len: A lot of basic recognizable steps. From a difference he would have thought Bill was Derek.
Bruno: He definitely hit the performance value big time and threw in everything but the kitchen sink.

Last Week’s Score: 6, 6, 6 = 18 This Week’s Score: 7, 7, 7 = 21

Partners: Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke. He complains about getting the worst of the lot in the Osbourne family being fat, having MS, heart problems, etc. Just before Mama Sharon walks in, Jack feels like he’s making a porno as he and Cheryl work on their moves.

Dance Style: Rumba
Song: Mad World

Me: Once again, he really surprises.
Len: He saw great control, style, fluidity, and great lines.
Bruno: He has a hard time believing Jack went all smooth, sensuous, and romantic.
Carrie: When she watches him dance it feels like she’s being transported to another time.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 8, 7 = 23 This Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24

Partners: Keshawn Johnson and Sharna Burgess. He knows he just has to get better. He relates it to being down in the first quarter. His peers at ESPN poke a little fun at him, but he does feel their support. Sharna wants him to be in his element on the dance floor just as he is on ESPN.

Dance Style: Samba
Song: Get Up Offa That Thing

Me: He has a few missed steps, but he brings some great ‘tude to the dance.
Bruno: One thing is or sure, he went for it all the way. Some of the things he did might not even be legal.
Carrie: She felt the confidence go way up this week, and he wasn’t lacking in any hip action.
Len: Keshawn was working his assets. For him it was better than last week.

Last Week’s Score: 6, 5, 6 = 17 This Week’s Score: 6, 6, 6 = 18

Partners: Nicole Polizzi and Sasha Farber. He says the story in the song is that he made a mistake, and she asks if he killed someone or went to jail, and when she hears no, she figures he must have cheated on her with multiple women. Despite the story, she is still going to feel awkward to touch him so sensually.

Dance Style: Rumba
Song: Just Give Me a Reason

Me: She just needs to relax a bit more and make it a little bit smoother..
Carrie: She made pretty pictures, but there wasn’t a lot of fluidity. She wanted more emotions. The lift police make a return.
Len: He thought it was very pretty, neat, and clear, and that was the problem because it became a little too placed.
Bruno: She needs to learn how to act and sustain a character throughout, as well as work on the fluidity.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 8, 7 = 23 This Week’s Score 6, 7, 7 = 20

Partners: Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani. Tony knows she’s hard on herself and figures it’s because of her ordeal she went through this summer by leaving Scientology. She thinks they are waiting for her to fail so they an tell the parishioners that this is what happens when you leave the church.

Dance Style: Samba
Song: Maria

Me: She really throws everything into this. She could be really good if she continues.
Len: She has lovely hands and was working her hips.
Bruno: He asks who the sassy Latin beauty is. He wants her to believe in herself.
Carrie: Leah unleashed her samba goddess.

Last week’s Score: 7, 7, 7 = 21 This Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24

Partners: Bill Nye and Tyne Stecklein. Last week’s performance ended up going viral. This week, Bill and Tyne are taking the negative comments from last week and using that to drive them. He’s warns that no one should mess with him, as he’s doing the paso doble.

Dance Style: Paso doble
Song: Beethoven’s 5th Symphony

Me: Surprisingly, he does great character work.
Bruno: He definitely stepped it up a gear. There was some paso doble there he could find as well.
Carrie: She loves that he makes fun of himself a bit, with her new favorite move being hitting himself in the head.
Len: Judging is not an exact science, and he feels he slightly underrated Bill last week. This week he liked his commitment and fun.

Last Week’s Score: 5, 4, 5 = 14 This Week’s Score: 6, 5, 6 = 17

Partners: Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff. He wants to pay homage to High School Musical with this number and plans to emulate the jump he did on the movie poster that he has come known for.

Dance Style: Jive
Song: Kiss You

Me: He has some great footwork and moves great to the music.
Carrie: She begs Corbin and Karina to do it again. She loves her athleticism and his musicality is spot on.
Len: Corbin can dance and might not have gotten a home run, but he at least made it to third base.
Bruno: It was a performance of dazzling brilliance. The way he managed to keep the beat was almost like HD 3D.

Last Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24 This Week’s Score: 9, 8, 9 = 26

Partners: Valerie Harper and Tristan MacManus. Her knee is giving her trouble, leading to her stumbling and falling during rehearsal. It has nothing to do with her illness. He wants her to rest, but she says she’s 74 and has terminal cancer, so he should throw in anything he has.

Dance Style: Paso Doble
Song: Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

Me: Valerie seems to stumble a little walking down the stairs, but recovers well. The dance is too much for her, though.
Len: He liked that she started on her own and came out with total commitment. But she didn’t seem 100% comfortable.
Bruno: He loved the way she captured the grandeur of the great lady of Spain. He could see her working on her shoulders.
Carrie: It is so challenging for her to judge her and take into consideration her courage, but she knows she’s not here for that. She felt Valerie forgot some of the routine in the middle.

Last Week’s Score: 7, 7, 7 = 21 This Week’s Score: 6, 6, 7 = 19

Partners: Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd. They talk about undressing each other during the dance. He fears the camera cutting to his mom who will just be upset saying she she raised him so much better than this.

Dance Style: Rumba
Song: Underneath Your Clothes

Me: Adding dry ice to the floor is a great way to hide your footwork.
Bruno: He doesn’t think there is a lady in the country who doesn’t feel very restless and fidgety. Brant has to work at arressing the floow with his feet more.
Carrie: The chemistry the two of them has is incredible, but he can move and has beautiful accents.
Len: They are a terrific-looking couple and have great presence on the floor. He could see his pigeon toe feet the through smoke.

Last Week’s Score: 7, 8, 7 = 22 This Week’s Score: 8, 7, 8 = 23

Partners: Amber Riley and Derek Hough. She’s worried after last week that everyone will have big expectations of her. She’s also worried about her breasts during the dance, as he wonders if she thinks they’ll be knocking him out. She doesn’t want anyone to think “she can move for her size.” She wants them to say she can dance.

Dance Style: Jive
Song: Reet Petite

Me: She can dance.
Carrie: She definitely set the bar last week and continues to wow, but she was a little flat-footed this week.
Len: She has great speed and is a bundle of joy to watch, but she needs to work on her footwork.
Bruno: Talent and performance flows out of her like raging torrent, but she does need to work on her footwork.

Last Week’s Score: 9, 9, 9, = 27 This Week’s Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24

With a combined score of last week and this week, the following couples are safe: Corbin and Karina, Leah and Tony, Bill Nye and Tyne, Christina and Mark, Amber and Derek, Valerie and Tristan, Nicole and Sasha, Jack and Cheryl, Brant and Peta, and Elizabeth and Val. Keyshawn and Sharna and Bill Engvall and Emma are the remaining two. One of these couples will be going home.

The couple going home tonight after just two weeks are Keyshawn and Sharna. For him the best part of the show was the experience. He’s never even bobbed his head in the car, so this was something amazing to him. It doesn’t even matter if they won or lost.

Thisi elimination did come as a surprise. I would have thought Keyshawn would have lasted longer. Bill Engvall needs to be on notice. He needs to have high scores every week, as he isn’t as popular with the voting audience as Bill Nye and Valerie. No one wants to give the woman with terminal cancer a low score, so she’ll probably last for awhle.

Dancing with the Stars, Sept. 16 – New and Improved?

While the cast this season on Dancing with the Stars is great, I’m not sure how the season is going to go This is because of ABC’s decision to change the show from a two-night a week format to one-night. I just never like shows with results and performances all in the same night. Although we can all admit that that the results night could lose forty-five minutes to hold our interest, but it’s too much to put all that on one night. This leaves me approaching the season very cautiously.

Partners: Brant Daugherty and Peta Murgatroyd. The star of Pretty Little Liars admits to being a big fan and called his mom when he agreed to be on the show, and she proceeded to tell him she was in Walmart freaking out. He considers himself a single threat.

Dance Style: Cha cha cha
Song: Blurred Lines

Me: Here comes a double threat.
Len: “Sail on.” He calls Brant’s dancing fabulous.
Bruno: Brant has the equipment, but now has to keep the timing going.
Carrie: She sees great chemistry and potential, despite a “little boo-boo.”

Score: 7, 8, 7 = 22

Partners: Leah Remini and Tony Dovolani. Best known for King of Queens, she also hit the news this summer for publicly leaving Scientology. She wants to lose weight and not look silly and to show America that “even if you’re scared, you just get out there and do it.”

Dance Style: Fox Trot
Song: Tears Dry on Their Own

Me: She could be another Kirstie Alley, and I don’t mean the weight issue.
Bruno: He questions if she’s really a newbie and notes she went Miley Cyrus for a moment.
Carrie: “You are sass and class.”
Len: It was careful, yet clean and precise.

Score: 7, 7, 7 = 21

Partners: Corbin Bleu and Karina Smirnoff. He’s a bit of a ringer since he starred on High School Musical She knows that as well, as he’s been her dream partner for awhile. This isn’t just Corbin’s first contemporary dance ever, it’s also Karina’s.

Dance Style: Contemporary
Song: If I Lose Myself

Me: They do a crazy impressive lift.
Carrie: It was beautiful and passionate and had great choreography and emotion.
Len: The standards of dancing have been fantastic tonight, and this was no exception.
Bruno: Corbin was strong, powerful, and athletic, yet also had a wonderful tender touch.

Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24

Partners: Jack Osbourne and Cheryl Burke. Ozzy’s son was diagnosed with MS just a year ago. He has the type where it steals away, then gives back. He even went blind in one eye, yet it came back. Cheryl thinks he’s light on his feet and a lot better than he thinks he is.

Dance Style: Fox Trot
Song: Pack Up

Me: Huh.
Len: He thinks Jack will give sister Kelly a run for her money.
Bruno: Jack did incredibly well with the intricacy of the footwork.
Carrie: Mama Bear Sharon should be proud of her son. Dancing must be in the Osbourne genes

Score: 8, 8, 7 = 23

Partners: Amber Riley and Derek Hough. The former star of Glee knew she wanted to either sing or dance when growing up, and they couldn’t afford for her to do both. During rehearsal they are compared to a virgin couple on their wedding night.

Dance Style: Cha cha cha
Song: Wings

Me: She is simply amazing with lots of natural talent.
Bruno: Amber is the tigress of season 17.
Carrie: “I love you.”
Len: “I’m palpitating, perspirating, and flatulating [sic].

Score: 9, 9, 9, = 27

Partners: Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Val Chmerkovskiy. Saved By the Bell and Showgirls were a long time ago. She’s a new mom now, but she was dancer when growing up. Val learned to speak English from watching Saved By the Bell, but his favorite character was Kelly

Dance Style: Contemporary
Song: Imagine

Me: As a new mom, she is probably getting a little sense of herself back tonight..
Carrie: Gorgeous, sensitive, sensuous, beautiful, passionate, poetic, and an angel.
Len: It was lovely and beautiful
Bruno: “She means business. She’s back!”

Score: 8, 8, 8 = 24

Partners: Bill Nye and Tyne Stecklein. While you would think this is quite a departure for “The Science Guy,” hd admits to loving dance and considers himself a swing dancer. He figures it might make them the best example of beaut and the geek.

Dance Style: Cha cha cha
Song: Weird Science

Me: He was better than you would think he would be.
Len: It was painful while it happened and lovely when it was over.
Bruno: He doesn’t think Bill Nye will be getting the Nobel Prize for this.
Carrie: Bill was alive and so happy to be dancing; she sees him as the heart of the show.

Score: 5, 4, 5 = 14

Partners: Keshawn Johnson and Sharna Burgess. The former number one draft pick for the NFL, he thinks the dancing looks “a little bit feminine.” He’s not the first. Keshawn also makes the faux pas of imitating her with an English accent instead of Australian.

Dance Style: Cha cha cha
Song: Treasure

Me: He needs to forget about his size and stand up straight.
Bruno: He has the moves but needs to work on his timing.
Carrie: He doesn’t need to worry about looking feminine. He was a little stiff until he started grinding.
Len: It was a mix of attitude and technique

Score: 6, 5, 6 = 17

Partners: Christina Milian and Mark Ballas. An actress, but more well-known as the social media correspondent on The Voice, she’s crying already in practice, as she’s never danced with a partner before and isn’t used to the “unusual choreography.”

Dance Style: Contemporary
Song: Clarity

Me: She shows some great emotion.
Carrie: She thinks Christina is better than she thinks she is and wants her to connect more.
Len: The style and choreography suited her.
Bruno: He loved the torment and intensity.

Score: 7, 7, 8 = 22

Partners: Bill Engvall and Emma Slater. He wants to make sure the shoes he is being asked to wear are indeed guys shoes and should probably commiserate with Keyshawn. Nevertheless, his goal is to become the “redneck’s dancing king.”

Dance Style: Fox Trot
Song: Hot Stuff

Me: If he loosens up, hell do fine.
Len: He needs more fluidity in his movements.
Bruno: There was a smidgeon of sophistication and a hint of elegance.
Carrie: She saw a good frame and good musicality, yet thinks he needs to be smoother.

Score: 6, 6, 6 = 18

Partners: Valerie Harper and Tristan MacManus. TV fans’ “Rhoda Morganstern” was given the news that she had terminal cancer and only three months to live. It’s now nine months later and she’s doing better than expected, though not in remission. Her first paid performance was as a teenager doing the quarter ballet in Radio City Music Hall.

Dance Style: Fox Trot
Song: Some Kind of Wonderful

Me: You can’t help but share her joy for life.
Bruno: He believes the “national treasure” moved very well, but wants her to stop being afraid.
Carrie: It was great to see Valerie use dance in such a wonderful way, and it brought Carrie to tears.
Len: He saw elegance and lovely flowing expression.

Score: 7, 7, 7 = 21

Partners: Nicole Polizzi and Sasha Farber. She thinks when she was “Snooki” back on Jersey Shore that she was a hot mess and is excited to show American she’s a different person now.

Dance Style: Cha cha cha
Song: Wild Ones

Me: She’s a natural.
Carrie: She was impressed at the way Nicole just went for it.
Len: He compares her to a “pocket rocket,” obviously not knowing what it means
Bruno: The “Wild Child” has well-placed legs considering she’s a non-daner

Score: 8, 8, 7 = 23

Bill Nye had the worst score by far but was also the most popular with the audience. That means we probably won’t be saying goodbye to him next week. The person leaving will be one of the lower scores and won’t be popular with the audience. That could be Bill Engvall Usually there are several who could go home, but I don’t see it this time.

So You Think You Can Dance, Aug. 29 – Jesse’s Fanboy Heaven

The dancing on So You Think You Can Dance has been phenomenal this season. Yet, it's hard to get into the season. Only seeing the dancers once a week instead of two, just isn't enough, and combining that with the two-week break for the Olympics has just made it hard to connect. Regardless, watching the dancers, even without feeling a huge connection, leaves me in awe every week, even if I have to relearn who these individuals are again and again.

The remaining eight dancers start the night out with a group dance to Run Boy Run by Woodkid. It's an Asian-inspired jazz routine that I'm guessing might have Sonya Tayeh at the helm. Looking at them, it's a sudden realization that there are now only four girls and four guys left in the competition. How did we get here already? It turns out it wasn't Sonya, but someone new, Peter Chu.

Judging tonight, we have Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, back again for a return engagement. Cat Deeley calls him one of her favorite guests they've ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever had. Tonight, the dancers will again be performing with the All-Stars, and they'll also be performing solos after they show us videos clips that explain a little more about who they are.

Tiffany Maher starts us off from Plantation, Florida. She explains that living here, you have to love three things – the beach, boats, and the water. Her mom recalls that as a youngster, Tiffany was always having fun and being rambunctious. She wanted to do everything her older sister did, including dance. She learned her sister's routine enough that she was added to the production. They shared that passion for dance with each other, and Tiffany knows she has her sister to thank for where she is today. She dances her contemporary solo to I Was Here by the Glee Cast. Her sister cheers wildly from the audience.

Witney Carson pairs up with Twitch this week to work on a Luther Brown hip hop. He announces they're doing East Coast hip hop. He tells Witney they're going to get ratchet, and she asks if that's anything like getting buck. He later encourages her, “Get it, Ballroom Girl.” Witney and Twitch dance tonight to My Homies Still by Lil Wayne feat. Big Sean. Luther was pretty clever with this, as he allows her to slip back into femme fatale mode periodically to prevent her from having to be buck the entire time.

Cat accuses Nigel of trying to be street and cool. He just wants to know where Witney is getting all the attitude from. He wonders if all 18-year-old Mormon girls dance like that. He notes they turn out brilliant dancers, and he's glad they've saved her a few times, becaus she brings it every time. The east coast hip hop was fantastic. He welcomes Luther to the So You Think You Can Dance family, yet wonders if the Ratchet is rodent droppings. (Think about it …)

With all the street behavior, Mary wants to use her hands to fight with Nigel. She tells Witney if she had a hat, it would definitely be coming off tonight. She was down, in, front, sick, buck, and everything. She had it all going on. Mary loved seeing her buddy Luther from Canada. The musicality allowed her to live in it. The attitude at the end was like, “i got this.”

Jesse announces, “I love to ratchet.” He holds up a card that the producers gave him to remember the dancers' names, but says they're both stars, so he didn't even need it. Twitch is amazing, and he's dying just to be in the same room with him. Witney is so beautiful an has an amazing sensuality she doesn't even have to work at. It's nice to see her get down and dirty, but how she did it in the diaper pants, he'll never know. He loved the “waiting for the bus part,” and cracks that's how he waits for the bus.

Will Thomas grew up in Troy, Michigan, and was always the class clown. He would get suspended every year. While his mom remembers him having a lot of energy, he remembers himself as being on the chubby side and awkward, leading to his mom putting him in dance. She remembers him telling her that dance saved his life. He found confidence and a way to channel his energy. He was even the Homecoming King. Will dances his solo to Better Man by James Morrison. He's amazing. So much so, that we haven't gotten to see his solo work before.

Cole Horibe is working with All-Star Allison on a Sonya Tayeh contemporary routine. His character is a sadistic man, something we know he'll do great at after the Mia Michaels Addiction routine. Allison is a desperate woman vying for his heart. But if he has no soul, he has no heart. With these two? This could be amazing. They dance to Possibly Maybe by Bjork. Words just don't express how stunningly amazing this routine is. Great routine, great dancers.

Jesse tells Sonya she is sporting a softer look, but she's not fooling him. She's a sick, demented woman, and he loves it. It was insane. To Allison, he tells her she's one of the best actresses the show has had, and Cole was right there with her. It was insane, and like an American Horror Story promo or something. It was so demonic and so intense, he's shaking, an he needs a cocktail.

Mary tells Allison it's the best performance she's ever seen from her on the show. While the name of the song was “possibly maybe,” Mary tells Cole possibly and maybe he'll be in the finale. If he keeps dancing like that, he probably will be. The lift with the hophop that levitated and the soft side movements were just gorgeous, although creepy and scary. One thing it was was memorable.

Nigel calls it powerful and dramatic and everything we've come to expect from Sonya's choreography, as well as slightly quirky and scary. Cole brings that anyway to the competition. He brings that uniqueness which Nigel thinks this season will be known for. There is no reason he won't make the finale with the way he is going. Yet it's so difficult to judge anybody when Allison is dancing with them because she's so tremendous. He said to Sonya earlier that it was hard to pick Cole out because Allison is so strong, yet Sonya pointed out that of all the people Allison has danced with this season, Cole is the strongest for her.

Lindsey Arnold grew up in Provo, and before making it on the show was a Senior in high school and dancing at her mom's studio with her sisters. The studio brings the family closer, as they all spend so much time dancing together and doing what they like to do. Two of the great teachers she's been blessed to work with are Dancing with the Stars' Mark Ballas and his mom, Shirley. They've helped Lindsey a lot through this journey. She feels blessed to have the mom she does. She dances her tango-inspired solo to Senorita by Bond.

Eliana Girard is paired up with All-Star Ryan on a Jonathan Roberts' quickstep. The story is that Ryan is a businessman, while she is a bored housewife. He comes home, and she's looking for some attention from him. She's an angry wife. As they dance tonight to That Man by Caro Emerald, she's just not going to take no for an answer. She's hard to ignore. She's also tearing up this dance floor, and doing the quickstep yet.

Mary calls it great to have Jonathan back and choreographing so great. She loved the routine. She also mentions that last week she rote in Entertainment Weekly that she couldn't wait to see what Eliana did next, and jokingly mentioned the quickstep. She thought it was possibly the only routine that could throw her a curveball, but it obviously did not. Eliana was spectacular with a good frame for the most part. She needs to watch her hops, yet Mary loved the waterfall trick at the end. She's adding a checkmark to the quickstep category after this.

To quote his friend to the right (Mary), Jesse says “Holy smokies, Lord have mercy.” He thought it was so fantastic. Jesse had the great privilege of being at Eliana's audition in L.A., and to see her so early on, kind of dorky, saying she likes to do pole dancing, but to see this this and the bang-bang number last week, he can't stop thinking about it. Her range of emotion is extraordinary at this age. He doesn't think a lot of dancers and actors have that. He feels like he knows her, and recognizes it's creepy.

Nigel was shocked at the technicality of the routine. He expected some of it to be good because they see it in ballet, but her top line was perhaps the best he's seen a non-ballroom girl do. Her personality goes with the dance as light and frothy. But as Jesse said how it affected him watching Eliana throughout the season, it's almost like the show was created for her, as whatever she is asked to do, she turns around and does.

So You Think You Can Dance, July 25 – Watching Great Dancers Leave

The eliminations last week just seemed cruel. All the people that landed in the bottom from the previous week's voting had done so well. It was just so hard to watch four of them leave. It has to get even harder tonight, although only two dancers will be leaving at the end of the night. .

The group dance tonight features the dancers dressed like Charlie Chaplin, both guys and girls. They dance to The Here and After by Jun Miyake. It's filmed all in black and white, with the only color being a red umbrella being passed throughout the dancers. I'm not sure who to credit for this one, but I'm going to guess Travis Wahl or Tyce Diorio. It turns out that Tyce was the correct guess.

Joining Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy at the judging table tonight is Christina Applegate, back again for her second turn as judge. There's no chit chat tonight with them. It must be a busy night. They have asked the dancers to tell us something they believe we don't know about their partner.

What Tiffany Maher knows we all know about George Lawrence II is that he runs track, but what she doesn't think we know is that he peed his pants at his first track meet at the sound of the starting pistol. While everyone knows Tiffany is pretty, George doesn't think we know she's smart. She had a 5.2 GPA and is her class Salutatorian.

They're working with Napoleon and a very pregnant Tabitha D'Umo on a hip hop routine that is inspired by Adventures in Babysitting. The dancers are their babysitters in the scenario, and they are going insane when the baby cries. Tiffany thinks the dance is harder than babysitting. They dance to Out of My Mind by B.O.B. feat. Nicki Minaj. Tiffany may be smart and beautiful, but she can also get down. She's much better in this than you'd expect her to be.

Nigel thought it was a great NappyTab routine. Their routines are always fun with a bit of a story to them to keep us interested, even the people not interested in dance. He would like to see them getting a little grungier with the hip hop, but it was perfect to open the show. George looked to be a little tired at the end, surprising for a track star. He, too, tells Tiffany she “got down.”

Mary is out of her mind over this couple. They were fabulous and she thought it was so cute with the Dr. Seuss set. She thinks Tabitha and Napoleon played it just right. For the two of them it was right, as well as with Tiffany and George. George is growing up every week and hasn't disappointed her at all. She thought he was really rocking it out, and Tiffany was really getting down. At first it was so soft and sweet, then the music started, and she came out like Princess Dynamo. Mary thinks they're fabulous partners together.

Christina did not expect that dance from either of them. Tiffany is so tough and scary, but she had such a great balance of her goofy sweetness, and that “I never look good in a dress doing this.” On the parts that were slow, she'd like to see it soupier. Other than that, “X marks the spot.” I'm not quite sure what that means.

Brandon Mitchell tells us what we don't know about Amber Jackson is that she's a hair stylist, which makes sense with the different hairstyles she's sporting every time we see her. What we don't know about Brandon is that he's in the main crew of Step Up: Revolution. Does he even need this show if he's already working with Adam Shankman?

The two of them are taking on a Ray Leeper jazz routine. Ray explains it's about a couple who lives in the south who work very, very hard. Brandon explains he comes home, sees this woman who he's happy to see, and it goes from there. She calls it sexy. Since they're a couple put together after the eliminations last week, Ray knows it will be important for them to work on their chemistry. They dance tonight to Dr. Feelgood (Love is Serious Business) by Aretha Franklin. Sexy it is. They definitely have chemistry.

Christina says she's not religious, and while they bleep out what she says, I think she thanks Jesus Christ for that. She asks how excited they were to dance to that song, and also felt it was so private that we houldn't have been there watching them. From the first minute watching Amber sigh, she knew we were going to go on a journey with her. It is the best she has ever seen her dance. What differentiates her from the others is she has some gut and passion that is so sexy and beautiful. She completely forgot Brandon was a stepper because he was so strong and there for her and sexy as well.

Mary, fanning herself, doesn't know what kind of cereal Brandon and Amber had that morning, but there was definitely some soul in that bowl. They've been after Amber to show performance, and tonight it's a sultry snd soulful performance. Brandon is a stepper, sure, but he did fabulous. He had an unforced masculinity and just keeps stepping it up.

Nigel agrees with Cat Deeley that it was reminiscent of the Breakfast Table routine with Sasha and Twitch. Nigel calls it babymaking choreography and wonders if he choreographed Napoleon and Tabitha. He agrees with Mary that they've been trying to get Amber to show what she was feeling, and it was the first time she let it out. Brandon is so strong, and was throwing her around, yet at the same time he was so careful when he put her down on the chair. Yet, he needs to lower his shoulders.

Janelle explains what we don't know about Dareian is that he's a daredevil on and off the stage. He skateboards and is crazy. He thinks it's strange, but cute at the same time that she likes to write rap. It's just kind of weird.

Janelle Isis and Dareian Kujawa worked with Pasha Kovalev on a cha cha. She calls it sexy, fun, and so incredibly hard. Pasha wants Dareian to be really cool and incredibly strong and not fall into Janelle's charm. He thinks at the end of the day, they'll be perfect for this cha cha, despite Dareian saying his hips don't move like that. They dance tonight to Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen. I never thought of cha cha when I've listened to this song. She definitely has the hips for this, and while he doesn't, he's a strong dancer in all other ways.

Mary tells Janelle and Dareian they had a phenomenal couple of tricks in the dance, but the dancing was going in and out and they had no real chemistry. The transitions were so rough, mainly because they're not connected to their center with their arms. The feet were lacking as well. They're the most adorable couple, though, and are sure to have lots of fans.

Christina recognizes it's not Janelle and Dareian's genre, but that they gave their best. Janelle sparkles and is a beautiful girl with such poise. Dareian is a great dancer, but his strange hand things he had going on were distracting to her.

Nigel thinks Christina picked up on that really well. The arm that isn't doing any work is being forgotten about and is just being left there. Dareian needs to watch his feet, because he turns his toes in and picks his feet up which isn't right for this style. Janelle is so sexy when she belly dances, but he didn't find that in this routine, whether it was because she was nervous or another routine. When you see Pasha and Anya do these routines, there's a connectivity that's sensational, and he didn't feel it from Janelle and Dareian.

So You Think You Can Dance, July 18 – The Cruelest of Eliminations

So far, I'm not overly thrilled with the new format of So You Think You Can Dance, but I'll reserve my judgement until after tonight. All twenty will dance again, and the the judges will decide which four of the six that the fans put in the bottom after last week will go home based on what they do tonight. Confused? I'm reserving final judgement until the end of tonight's episode.

The group dance is some sort of wicked Snow White thing without the elves. The girls look like they're all the evil queens, but the guys look like they're from an outer space version of Thriller. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say it came out of the twisted mind of Sonya Tayeh, but it turns out to be from Tabitha and Napoleon D'Umas. All the dancers are announced afterwards, and I really don't remember anything I saw last week with the show on only once a week now, which is a shame.

Joining Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy on the judging panel is Adam Shankman. He tells Cat Deeley she looks like a big, sexy tomato. She offers him a bite, and he seemed likely to take her up o it. Nigel explains the post office is issuing four stamps of legendary dancers on National Dance Day, July 28.

Lindsey Arnold and Cole Haribe are taking on a Christopher Scott routine. It takes place in a dentist office, with Cole playing a nervous kid, and Lindsey playing a sexy dentist. Christopher explains it's a trip to the dentist everyone wants … “or is it?” They dance tonight to Teeth by Lady Gaga, and play their parts really well. He's nearly as engaging as the nerdy kid as he was as the martial artist last week. And she seems to be more of an equal in this week's dance.

Nigel thinks it was a fun routine to start out the show, with good characterization from Cole, but he expects it, because he thinks Cole plays a real character in real life too. Cole answers still in character. Lindsey is an incentive to go to the dentist, and Nigel suggests she go to England, because they all need their teeth done there. It did feel a little immature to him, so she needs to be careful with a character like this to be sure to be the vamp, and to play to Cole instead of the audience.

Mary tells Christopher it definitely put a smile on her face. He agrees with Nigel that Lindsey needs to be a vamp. Mary adds that not only is she outside of her dance style, she's so far removed from her personal lifestyle that it's such a stretch. But part of this show is acting, and she needs to bring that skill to the table even more. Cole is a lean, mean dancing machine, and the nerd of all nerds tonight. It's good to see him in another character, but the fact that he's still in character is a bit unnerving. Cat tells Mary he could still kick her butt, and Cole lisps out that he doesn't believe in violence.

Adam thinks the American Dental Association should adopt the routine as their new campaign, as it would certainly get people to the dentist. He tells Cole he is totally freaking him out and asks what is up with him, yet if his pants were hiked up that might mean he'd be stressed out too. Lindsey needs to attack it, and she's not a hip hop dancer, so really needs to bring all the sex she can like Jennifer Aniston in Horrible Bosses. Every move has to be there, and she should breathe and be inside of it and invest in the character.

Will Thomas and Amelia Lowe are doing a Sonya routine that has them as two souls carrying the weight of the world and looking for light at the end of the tunnel. It's heavy, treacherous, and desperate. They try so hard to find that light, and Sonia is so proud of the way it came out. They dance tonight to 3326 by Olafur Arnalds. It's an amazing Sonya piece, and the two dancers show great athleticism.

With Sonya cheering in the audience, Mary gives a scream and tells them to listen to the crowd. She thinks this week Sonya is right on top of it. “It was a beautiful routine, Sister.” Yet the dancers brought the routine to life and were just in it. She loves and respects Amelia's individuality, who has so much trust in Will right now. He took her so far past her balance point. It was such a different routine from last week, and Will really brought it. Mary heard the elevators were broken in the building today, but they just went another floor up.

Adam gives a standing O and tells Sonya they're going to have words, “because that was sickness.” Amelia is so brilliant, and not because her lines were so perfect, but she was completely lost in the piece and took him on the journey with her. Will “stepped it up” a million percent, and yes it was a plug for his movie. He was never aware of their size difference in the routine because they were so perfectly in synch.

Nigel points to Sonya's growth in choreography that has gone from strength to strength. Amelia is a great quirky character, but he loves how she buried that to immerse herself in the routine. To the pair of them he says they're lucky that they're both contemporary dancers, have each other, had wonderful choreography, and that they're both brilliant dancers.

Amber Jackson and Nick Bloxsom-Carter are doing a tango choreographed by Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo.They want Amber and Nick to look like one dancer. Amber and Nick know they really need to connect, and she predicts it will be like bubble gum and oil. They dance their tango to Tanquera by Sexteto Mayor, and right away I am struck by the muscles in her legs. This is just so good. The dancers they have this year on the show are phenomenal. It's really a shame we only get to see them once a week. Her leg flicks are fantastic.

Adam tries to keep his character going just as Cole did. Adam tells them it was so hot. It was a great routine and the choreography suited them beautifully. Amber's dance was spectacular, and one dance series was dead on. What was really impressive aside from her lines was she fully inhabited the character. He was mesmerized with her. The good news and bad news was she was a brilliant partner. And Nick vanished a little because he was there so much for Amber.

Nigel doesn't think Nick made Amber look good; he thinks Amber made herself look good. She was a cobra ready to pounce and was frightened she was ready to slap his face at any time. It was tremendous the way she got herself in character, and she needs to remember to do the character work each week. Nick was very strong. He was in his element, and it showed. It was also great choreography from two of the world's greatest tango choreographers.

Mary thinks it wasn't only a great routine, but it was an extremely difficult routine that was physically demanding. They made it look easy, yet they were full of passion, and Amber was on fire. Nick made her watch Amber, and no one could have done the reverse pivots the way he did with Amber on their hip, and he did seven of them. Her hat's off to them.

So You Think You Can Dance, July 11 – A Fantastic Ending

I'm ready to get this party started. It's been too long of a wait. American Idol had its finale at the end of May, and here we are after the 4th of July and we haven't even started the competitive part of So You Think You Can Dance. It's time to get moving with it.

We start off with a group dance right away, to Architect of the Mind by Kerry Muzzey. Bear in mind the group dances used to be reserved for results night, but we won't have nights dedicated to results anymore. I hope this doesn't mean we'll do away with the beginning showing everyone introduced to a quick two- or three-second solo. It's a routine that has the guys in a business uniform of slacks, white shirts, and ties, and the girls in working women shirts/skirts combos. It's really a great routine, and I can't figure out who's choreographic mind this came from.

Ah-ha. Here's the familiar intro with the dancers each out for their quick solos. They're in different clothes than from the above, so this is all apparently not live. I don't remember some of these people after the two week break. Is it a new announcer? This part must be live, as he said, “This is So You … This is So You Think You Can Dance. Please welcome your host, Cat Deeley.” It turns out it was Christopher Scott as the choreographer behind the routine.

Our judges for the night will be Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, and film director and choreographer Kenny Ortega. He's the one behind High School Musical and Michael Jackson's This Is It. Nigel announces that instead of voting for couples, we'll be voting for individuals. Next week, two guys and two girls will be leaving. Our votes will lead to the bottom three, and the judges will decide on which ones will leave after watching them dance a second time next week.

To introduce the dancers to us a little more, they'll each get nine seconds to tell us who they are. Witney Carson, 18, goes first. She plays guitar and drums, likes to play golf, has over one-hundred relatives, is afraid of crickets, and can do a flower with her tongue. Her partner is ballet dancer Chehon Wespi-Tschopp, 23. He was born in Chicago, but grew up in Switzerland, is a ballet dancer, and speaks in two languages.

Witney and Chehon are dancing the samba tonight, choreographed by Louis Van Amstel. He's looking for hot, hot movement. He wants them to shake their moneymakers. Witney says it's upbeat and flirty and exciting. She's a ballroom dancer, but knows it will be difficult for Chehon, since it's so different from ballet. Louis says in Brazil when they do the steps, all they do is shake. That's the very part Chehon struggles with. Louis admits it's a natural for Witney, while Chehon still looks like a pretty boy that he's going to somehow have to turn into a “masculine, hot dude.” They dance to Jump by The Cube Guys & Luciana. Chehon finds a way to move those hips convincingly. I'd say they have some good chemistry together.

Nigel calls it “lovely” to have Louis back on the show, and Louis returns the compliment by shimmying. Nigel believes he summed up Witney perfectly by calling her a firecracker. She looked like a star, danced like a star, and is a star. Chehon is a fantastic dancer, and he doesn't want to critique his style, but wants to give him some advance. As a ballet dancer, it gives him placement, brilliant technique, and a great core, which he'll need for every routine in the show. He needs to be careful, though to not overcompensate by turning his feet in. He needs to ejoy it more, as it's no longer classical. He wants him to just give into it more and enjoy the music

Mary thought it was a great routine, but also recognized Chehon's feet problems. However, when he corrects the feet issues, he is sailing with his body across the floor. He can really move and does it in a really dynamic way. As far as Witney, he thinks she's in need of some serious transportation. Of course she's on the hot tamale train, as she's been there from her first audition. She just got a first class ticket, although Nigel adds she is in her own genre. Kenny can't bring everyone back to earth, as Witney brought us into space. It was like Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot, but was hotter. He wants Chehon to trust in the choreographers and believe in himself, as he's so talented.

Tiffany Maher, 19, is nicknamed T-Maher-Star, has baby hands, once had a pet duck, and likes laying on the beach. Her partner is George Lawrence II, 19, whose dad is George the I (natch). His favorite color is green, he loves collard greens, hates being outside, is camera shy, and had a pet frog. I wonder how her duck and his frog would get along.

The two partners will be taking on an emotional contemporary routine, choreographed by Sonya Tayeh. She explains the routine is about when the stars are aligned for two people, leading them to see each other for who they really are. Their love is so strong it takes their breath away. Their touch turns to butter and they melt into each other. They dance to Turning Page by Sleeping at Last, and turn it into a beautiful Sonya routine. It would be hard to seem that connected to someone who is still relatively new to you.

Mary is breathless after watching the routine, and mentions living in the moment. She points out what Kenny had said to her about surrendering themselves to their choreography, and they both did every second and with every nuance. She had great expectations for George, and he certainly didn't disappoint. He is one of the best in the competition and is phenomenal. Tiffany may be a teeny little thing, but the strength that she possesses was effortless. She believes this number connected with everyone.

Kenny can only imagine how much fun it was to be in the room with Sonya to come to understand the piece and interpret it, and how much joy Sonya must have had to watch Tiffany and George tonight. They did surrender and were so generous for each other and there for one another. It brought him back and reminded him of his youth and the pain of youth and glory of youth, and ability we have when we're young. They were breathtaking to watch. They spilled it.

Nigel can't remember that far back, but tells Sonya he remembers her being a quirky choreographer. Now she's going through a soft, romantic period, and has even grown her hair out. He thinks she's found love. Tiffany and George are a wonderful couple and dance right to the end of their fingertips, so that when she gives them a contraction, it means even more. He particularly loved the lift and vulnerability of giving themselves to each other.

Janaya French, 20, wants to meet Shamu, loves fuzzy socks, and hates orange socks and Chucky. She's partnered with Brandon Mitchell, 27, from Kansas City, Kansas, who is severely allergic to cats and dogs, and whose little brother just set the world record in the long jump for 8-year-olds. Well, that last one isn't really about him, is it?

These two will be taking on hip-hop with Napoleon and a very pregnant Tabitha D'Umo. The story is about a guy who is an alcoholic who must choose between the bottle and the love of his life. They can't do the routine unless they're on the same page. Brandon knows this is the type of piece that could touch people's lives, but he knows they're not quite at that point with it yet. They dance the routine to Take Care by Drake (feat. Rihanna). As a contemporary routine it would be awesome, as a hip hop routine it puts another interesting element onto it. By the way, he makes the right choice in the end.

Kenny tells Tabitha and Napoleon that he loves watching hip hop turning into a deeper language, and to be able to tell a story with it is refreshing, exciting, and promising. He believed every word of the story as if Janaya and Brandon were speaking. He felt the frustration, struggle, the love, and the desire to help this guy.

Nigel believes Tabitha and Napoleon were very clever, as they didn't expose the rough and toughness that usually comes with hip hop. They smoothed it out, which allowed them to get away with certain things. Janaya needs to lower her core in hip hop, but was pleased Brandon chose her over the vodka. If someone would ask him to choose Mary or vodka, he'd choose Mary every single time … because he only drinks Scotch whiskey. Mary doesn't comment on that, but says she loved how deeply Brandon went into character making it completely believable. Janaya needed to be more gritty and should have shown herself fighting for this relationship. Nigel asks them to pull their socks up and do even more.

So You Think You Can Dance, June 27 – Top 20, An Impressive Lot

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.