Thursday, June 8

SYTYCD Semifinals

Tonight the remaining 42 dancers will face the judges one at a time on stage to find out whether they are eliminated or in the Top 20. They've each done 1-minute solos, though we only see a few short clips throughout the episode.

The first 5 to go are eliminated; they were all contestants who haven't been shown much. Next up is Dejanee Riley (18, auditioned in NYC): Nigel loves her & championed her, but she's out. Then Allison Holker (18, Vegas) is the first to make it through.

Next is Henry Graham, the versatile dancer with a nice adoption story from LA; alas, he is cut. He has an upbeat, appreciative attitude as he leaves.

Then we have best friends Joy and Heather who auditioned in Chicago, and they're both through. We have several 'couples' this year, and since last year 2 friends & roommates finished 1 & 2, that could be a good sign. So will Ben and Heather both make it? No, just Ben (though Heather's was a very close 3-2 vote). What about Julia and Stanislav? First we finally found out what happened to Julia yesterday - she started having vision problems, apparently caused by stress & dehydration. She's back & they let her perform, but she doesn't advance. Stanislav does, however; will he be this year's Artem?

Last couple is swing cousins Heidi & Benji... Heidi is up first and advances. Then Benji, whom the judges talk to rather emotionally and string along before finally telling him that he's through!! Whereupon he collapses in tears, then explains a moment later: A few years ago he went on a 2-year mission for his church and didn't dance during that time. A girl was supposed to be "waiting for him," but instead he received a wedding invitation a few weeks before his return... from her! Ouch. After that he became depressed & hadn't found anything to motivate him out of it until a friend showed him a tape of the show with Nick, last year's winner. Since then his goal was to be on the show. He was very grateful to the judges and everyone for putting on the show, he said even if he'd left then it had just been a huge factor in his life. Given the glimpses of attitude I'd seen from him before, it was nice to see this side of him. (And nice that the producers didn't make a big deal of his story earlier, though bringing it out right before the voting starts could also be strategic!).

7 dancers are shown *very* briefly advancing - amongst them Travis, yay! I just wish we'd gotten to see him dance more.

Musa is next and also advances. Apparently he (and Hawk, who's up next & is the only other 'street dancer' left, which they keep emphasizing) auditioned last year too. Nigel loves him but warned him that he's really got to improve in partner dancing so that he doesn't hinder anyone else. Hawk gets a short clip of doing ballroom and is much better than I'd expect - which is basically what all the judges keep telling him. Then we find out that unfortunately he is not an American citizen and only has a student Visa, thus is disqualified from the competition. Bet that's part of the "I shouldn't be here" emotional saga from yesterday then!! That he didn't expect to get far enough for it to matter. (Oh, and to correct my last post's spelling, their dance group is "Sicksteppers"!)

8 more cuts, no one I can name, but they're all really supportive of each other.

Next is Donyelle James, who advances - yay!

The last 2 women are Aleksandra and Mallory, neither of whom I remember much. Aleksandra makes it. And the last 2 guys are Mike and Ryan. They each get clips, and they both look good, Mike surprisingly well (as Shane emphasizes the "surprising" part), and Ryan looks great! Ryan advances and Mike is encouraged to try again next year (he's just 19). He has a good attitude about it and agrees that Ryan deserves the spot. Gee do you think they mirrored Idol on that one, having the last 2 guys be a black guy and a young white kid w/dark curly hair?! ;-)

So here's the lineup (I don't know much about the last 4 in each category):

Top 10 Women: Allison, Erin, Joy, Heidi, Donyelle, Aleksandra, Ashlee, Jessica, Natalie, and Martha.

Top 10 Men: Ben, Stanislav, Benji, Travis, Musa, Ryan, Dmitry, Ivan, Jaymz, and Jason.

Hopefully they'll update the website soon with bios!!

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