Tuesday, June 24


Tonight's 3rd judge is Adam Shankman. The good: he has lots of useful comments. The bad: he has lots of comments!

AWESOME show tonight!!

Kherington & Twitch: Hip Hop, Napoleon & Tabitha ("Dont Touch Me Now" by Busta Rhymes) In tonight's video clips we're going to hear something new about each partner (from the other one). K. says Twitch laughs like a bear, and he says she has a shopping problem! The story behind this routine is a prison break. Napolitha also says that the music is fast and parts require the dancers to be "staccato and smooth at the same time." Alrighty then. Twitch is awesome, as expected. Kherington is her usual smiley self and does ok. The choreo has a lot of humorous tricks that go with the story & lyrics, like running to the edge of the stage and wobbling like they might fall off, and Twitch using circles on the bottom of K's shoes (yes, she's finally wearing some!) like binoculars as she does a handstand behind him. Judges loved it.

Courtney & Gev: Rumba, Tony Meredith and Melanie ("Wishing on a Star," Rose Royce) Due to his long, curly hair, Courtney says Gev looked like a little girl when he was a child. Gev tells us Courtney is studying to be a special ed teacher (aww). In this routine both participants are embarrassed to learn that part of the choreography is for Gev to grab Courtney's butt and lift her up with it. This is a good routine - very smooth and sexy (good chemistry, which we saw last week). They both look great as well - she's borrowing one of Edyta's dresses (there's no right side), and he's wearing a dress shirt and vest. Nigel said that Gev reminds him of Dominic (yes, we know, seeing as how you've given them the same first 3 dance styles Dom & Sabra had last year!) and he liked the routine. Mary complimented some of their technique; and Adam had a lot of constructive things to say, which prompted Nigel to tell him to hurry up, since they didn't have "blankets and soup" for the audience!

Comfort & Chris: (African) Jazz, Tyce Diorio (Marilyn Manson's "Beautiful People") Chris mooches food off people, and Comfort has done beauty pageants. The routine is to be "raw" and earthy, and we see them practicing with brown sheets that are to represent mud. Except the sheets are just used briefly in the routine toward the end. Their costumes are shredded black fabric, and I'll admit it's hard for me to judge the routine objectively because I really, really, don't like the music. It was ok I guess. Nigel and Mary were disappointed, the execution wasn't hard or "animalistic" enough. Adam said they were inconsistent in their performance as far as portraying the characters.

Jessica & Will: Disco, Doriana Sanchez ("Heaven Must Have Sent You," Bonnie Pointer) Jessica's nickname is Ariel (which Will finds humorous) and Will is an "absolute gentleman." Doriana says in practice that Jessica "hasn't been given a chance yet to shine," but then after working with her a bit says that Jessica isn't getting it very well and isn't working hard enough. Their outfits are all white, and Will looks very sharp in his white suit (most of the guys look really good tonight! ...except for Chris in his shreds and Twitch in his orange prison suit). He also dances the best disco routine I've seen in years and is just all-around fun to watch. Jessica doesn't really keep up but most of their tricks together are good. Except for the last one, where I think he had too much momentum going from his tumbling run and almost fell forward holding her in the last pose. He had to put a hand down in front of her & a moment later she thought to put hers down too so it looked like they were supposed to be that way, but it was a bit too late to not look like a mistake. The judges were mixed, observing several mistakes but also crediting them for difficult choreography executed well. Adam also said he wished Jessica knew how good of a dancer she is.

Kourtni & Matt: Contemporary, Sonya Tayeh ("Wrestlers," Hot Chip) Kourtni has a tattoo on her neck (a quote about dance), and Matt has a ninja mask that he likes to wear (in his dry humor he describes it as an "accessory," just like scarves that K. will wear). He also mentions that he slipped and fell a bit in last week's routine, and though the judges didn't say anything, his mother (who's tougher than Nigel) did! This week's routine is about 2 comic characters chasing and flirting with each other, with lots of poses or freezes (like frames of a comic strip). If it looks anything like the new choreographer does, it will be very strange and quirky. And it is! They do a lot using his tie as a prop, pulling on it in various ways. Really cool routine - and the audience loves it!! Nigel liked it as well and said it allowed both of them (finally) to show off their technique, though he still said Matt is a bit stiff. Mary praised their extensions and synchronized leaps; and she told Matt the "broom" is gone, which was nice of her! Adam praised their control and said it was fantastic (though he thought Matt's ninja mask from the intro clip was weird).

Chelsea & Thayne: Quickstep, Heather Smith ("You Can't Hurry Love," Phil Collins) Thayne enjoys fashion (advising Chelsea on outfits, making his own shirts), and Chelsea is a flower thief (gardens, restaurants, whatever!). Heather used a hula hoop to help teach them the proper frame for the dance. I thought Chelsea's dress was too long and actually interfered w/her dancing a bit, but overall the routine was pretty good and fun. Nigel said their personalities didn't show (had plastered smiles, probably because they were focusing on the fast technique), but it was better than he'd expected. He still recommended that they prepare their solos. Mary said it was difficult choreo and they did "Ok, which is pretty good" in context. She also said they pale in comparison to previous season's quicksteps, and that Chelsea let her partner down and was off the hot tamale train. Adam said they didn't look comfortable (and that no matter how you feel at the time, you should look like you're loving whatever you're performing).

Chelsie & Mark: Hip Hop, Napoleon & Tabitha ("Bleeding Love," Leona Lewis) Mark has crooked pinkies and Chelsie is a tomboy off stage. This routine is described as "hip hop with emotion" and the story is of a workaholic man leaving his beloved. They say that every word of the song has meaning and there is a lot of detail in the choreography to represent that. Ok, on to the performance... LOVE!!!!!!!!! I love the song anyway, and knew that Mark would rock hip hop (there are lots of YouTube vids of his hip hop choreo), but wow. The whole thing was awesome, and I now have a favorite routine of the season. I especially enjoyed when she kicked his briefcase away, when he made the gestures of moving her around toward the end, and just her angst in general - they both did fantastic jobs w/the acting. The crowd and judges agreed. Adam called it "lyrical hip-hop" and said they're "the couple to beat"!

Katee & Joshua: Samba, Tony Meredith ("Baila, Baila," Angela Via) Joshua is a softie and Katee "screams like a boy" (low, not high-pitched; Tony calls it "grunting" in practice). They're told the samba is a very rhythmic, hot & sexy dance. Despite Katee's comment in rehearsal about not thinking of herself as pretty or sexy at all (at least off the dance floor), she "brought it" in a big way during the performance!! Oh, and she found the other half of Chelsea's dress. ;-) The dance was great - they had good chemistry and seemed to execute their choreo very well. Nigel said that Joshua has a "natural samba rhythm" but then started talking about his tight pants and made his father stand up in the audience to see if the booty was inherited (it is, but TMI!). He called it one of 4 "outstanding" routines tonight. Mary loaded them onto the train. Adam gave them a S.O. and said "That was competing!" He also told Katee that she's "smokin'" and doesn't ever want her to think of herself as not pretty or sexy in the future.

Great show!!!! My bottom 3 predictions: Comfort & Chris and Chelsea & Thayne for sure. I'll say Kourtni & Matt (while hoping my votes help prevent it) though the 3rd spot could go several ways. I'll pick Chris (please?) and Kourtni to leave (unless Will & Jessica hit the bottom, in which case she will be the one to go).



Group number: I missed what the music was, but Mia choreographed it and it's a bit Alice in Wonderland-ish, featuring Mark the most (and Comfort). My least favorite of the season so far.

Guest performers:
Jordin Sparks ("One Step at a Time")
"Quest," a breakdancing group with 8 members including Dominic, Hok, and Ryan

Bottom 3:
Comfort & Chris (his solo was better than in the past)
Chelsea & Thayne
Kourtni (better solo than in the past) & Matt (solo to Jason Mraz & very good)

Nigel apologized to Matt for some past treatment and said tonight's solo was "brilliant," and announced that Matt was safe. There was no '1st safe' girl. Chelsea and Chris were eliminated and no reasons were given for either one. So, Thayne and Comfort will be paired next week.

Wednesday, June 18

SYTYCD4 - Top 18

Tonight's 3rd judge is Mia. In the video clips dancers will be telling us the best & worst things about their partners (now that they've been together 2 whole weeks and know each other sooo well!). And Mary's outfit is horrid - either the hair (curly), necklace (huuuuuge beads) or shirt (animal print) would've been a nice accent on their own, but combined it's way OTT and unattractive.

Chelsea & Thayne: Jazz, Mandy Moore. (The Veronicas' "Untouched") Does anyone really care what they like about each other at this point? The only semi-interesting thing these 2 said was that Thayne is superstitious (which C. does not like). This routine's story is of a king and his forbidden love. The funky music and costumes made more of an impression on me than the dance itself, but it was good. Mia said the execution was poor and Mary & Nigel didn't "believe" it and said the chemistry wasn't there.

Chelsie & Mark
: Argentine Tango, Alex DeSilva. Mark is quirky (good) but quiet (bad), and Chelsie's hair smells good. Despite being a ballroom dancer Chelsie hasn't done Argentine Tango before (just regular tango). They say their relationship is very brother-sister and the dance is supposed to be sexy, and we see Mark goofing around in practice. Once they get on stage, though, it's a different story. This is very, very good - has the right feel and technique looks very good. The judges loved it, except Nigel wanted Chelsie to be a bit "sleazier" to fit his idea of the dance.

Jessica & Will: Hip-hop, Cicily & Olisa. ("Whatever U Like") Will is focused (good) but sometimes too serious; Jessica has a great personality. The routine has chairs and is very "soft" hip-hop IMO. They dance it fairly well including the unison parts, but overall Will is better. Mia loved the choreo and called it "dirty" and "raw" (really?); she loved Will but said Jessica paled next to him, and Mary agreed. Nigel liked both.

Kourtni & Matt: Foxtrot, Jean-Marc Genereux. ("A Foggy Day," Michael Buble) Matt likes Kourtni's eyes and she likes that he's always complimenting her. She doesn't like his singing, and he doesn't like that she doesn't like his singing. ;) (He has a great, dry sense of humor; his singing in the clip is obviously humorous but he says with a very straight face that she "doesn't have an ear for good singing.") They struggled w/the lifts in practice but were better on stage. Wow, this choreography fits Matt perfectly! It's very old-style, Fred Astaire type stuff, and Matt's suit helps convey that feel. But his dancing is just beautiful, light, right on... riveting. I will say the routine doesn't stay in hold as much as most Foxtrots IIRC. Mia loves Matt (yay!). Mary loved the choreo was mixed on execution (the holds should've been tighter, etc.). Nigel didn't like Matt's arms or their seemingly false grins, but enjoyed it overall.

Courtney & Gev
: Contemporary, Mandy Moore ("Lost" by Anouk) Gev is strong and hard-working, but short (hee), and Courtney is pretty but has a boyfriend (ha!). The routine is a love story and has lots of partnering, which Gev says that he's struggling with. You can't tell later, though. And they do have great chemistry! Cat said she got chills. Mia loves the choreo; said Courtney "jazzified" it (bad) but said Gev did well at partnering and she "believed" his movement/emotions. Mary loved it and said "the breaker boy's gonna break some hearts." Nigel disagreed and said the emotion wasn't believable.

Katee & Joshua: Broadway, Tyce Diorio ("All for the Best," Godspell) Joshua is a very "caring" partner but nitpicks; Katee has a contagious smile but a dorky 'lighten up' dance. Tyce says the key to this routine is moving around the stage as fast as possible. Now, I must preface my comments by saying that I *LOVE* Godspell, have seen it multiple times, was in the band for a college-age production, and can sing along to most of the soundtrack. A Godspell snob, if you will. Ok. I HATED it. Just horrible. Totally killed the song... mostly Tyce's fault for choosing the choreography (now I get why so many people hate his B'Way choreo; I'm often not as familiar w/the original numbers to realize how much they're changed). The music edit was even cut so the lines didn't rhyme... just a travesty all around, lol! As for the execution... He was better than she was, but both were decent for what they were given. The crowd and judges loved it! Nigel said it was "great entertainment" vaudeville-style (I agree with that part I guess, but in this case that's not a good thing!). Mia said "amazing" and thought they had a great connection and that their "spirit" was "loud." Maybe, but Tyce should stick to contemporary, and everyone should go see a live production of Godspell next spring to see how this number is supposed to be done!

Susie & Marquis
: Salsa, Alex deSilva. Susie is energetic but her hair hits him a lot; Marquis is goofy (good) but always eating (which makes his breath bad). Alex says the routine is Cuban/Puerto Rican as are the dancers (respectively), so it should be a good fit! But then he says Susie isn't really a Salsa dancer, she's a "Street Salsa" dancer. Which she overhears and upsets her. I get his point though, as she's not all that great in the routine. Marquis is so much lighter - which later some of the judges say is a bad thing - but I can tell from this for the first time that he's a really, really good dancer! I hope he gets to stick around and do contemporary!! Mia loved the choreo but not the performance, and all of the judges seem disappointed. Mary said they lacked chemistry and Nigel said it wasn't fiery and some of the turns were labored, as well as some other technical criticisms. I kind-of think they wanted Susie & Marquis in the bottom 3 last week so they could boot them, and are trying extra-hard to sink them this week. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing her go but I know we haven't seen his full potential yet.

Kherington & Twitch: Viennese Waltz, Jean-Marc & France. ("A New Day Has Come," Celine Dion) Kher. always has a pleasant outlook but has strong legs and her kicks hurt (hee); Twitch is strong but sometimes wears 'fake' (no lens) glasses. Evs. This routine is very personal for Jean-Marc and France. Their daughter has Rett Syndrome and has basically no motor function, but reacts positively to seeing movement of others. So this routine is for her and inspired by her. The costuming is all white and flowy and there is cool lighting on the stage. Some of the lifts seem heavy and several sections appear more contemporary than ballroom to me, as in lacking technique (I'll always remember Donyelle talking about how hard this dance is!). Mia of course appreciates the personal choreo, though she didn't like Kher's constant smile, wanting more "reality" (Nigel rudely interrupted to defend it, saying it was uplifting). Mia and Mary both complimented Twitch. Nigel agreed w/my thought that it wasn't pure Viennese Waltz but said it was beautiful.

Comfort & Chris
: Krump, Lil C. (Timbaland something - and almost every other word was edited out so it sounded really strange!) Chris is humble & has a "good spirit," but sweats a lot; Comfort is a versatile, solid partner but talks too fast (hee). Lil C says Krumping combines pop/locking with b-boy and African moves. They also use the phrase "that's buck" a lot but never explain it. Compared to the krumping I've seen before (which is something like 3 routines ever), this is very sloooooow, almost like slo-mo krumping! And not quite as hard-hitting as I'd expect. Just ok overall. Mia said Chris "pulled it off," but Mary disagreed and said Comfort blew him away (though agreed she could have hit harder). Nigel actually criticized both of them but was very mean to Chris (worse than to Matt last week), saying his "granny's more gangsta" than Chris! He also said he didn't dance "macho" enough, specifically pointing out that Chris didn't do the crotch grab right and actually demonstrating (!) how it should be done while saying what Chris did was like a (have to go) "peepee dance" and that as a man he should especially "own that area" (of his body). Poor Chris!! Chris replied and said he didn't want to grab his crotch. Good for him, standing up for himself (I know it's a popular move in hip-hop and related styles, but this is also supposed to be a family show and I don't think it's appropriate, let alone necessary).

Overall I'd pick Susie/Marquis, Chelsea/Thayne, and Jessica/Will for the bottom 3, with Susie & Marquis being sent home. It's a hard call though since Jess/Will were B3 last week; fans will vote more this week so we could see Kourtni/Matt (hope not!) or maybe Comfort/Chris there instead.



Group number: Hip-hop by Shane ("Elevator"). It was fun, though hard to recognize people since they were dressed the same & wearing hats. Marquis was featured in the beginning, and at the end Gev did a headstand in the center and held it for a long time, until Cat came on & everyone else was leaving the stage.

Whew, Matt (& Kourtni) are safe! All 3 of my favorites managed to escape the bottom 3 this week. The bottom 6 are as follows:

Chelsea - good solo, 1st girl safe.
Susie - just ok solo; Nigel said she didn't use the stage enough.
Comfort - very good.

Susie is out.

Thayne (Gavin DeGraw "Belief") - good use of stage, good solo; Nigel said he has a lot of potential.

Marquis (OneRepublic "Stop and Stare" - eee!) - Awesome!! We finally get to see him dance contemporary, and he is as good as I'd heard. Unfortunately Nigel decided his solo was "all tricks" and "not dance." (And Neil did what in his solos last year, exactly?)

Chris (John Legend "Again") - meh. Easy choice here, Chris needs to go home. However... Nigel said he danced with passion and has been bringing the "personality" Nigel asked of him, so he will be safe!

And Marquis is out. I call foul, because I really think Nigel just didn't want to pair Comfort (or Chelsea) with Marquis. They rarely put 2 black contestants together, as that doesn't fit his ideal (perceived) viewer demographic, I guess. So we have a paired couple leaving for the 2nd week in a row (a first, I believe).

Wednesday, June 11

SYTYCD 4 - Top 20

First performance show! I'm so excited. Guest judge is Dan Karaty, yay! We get the normal intro solos and then a montage of short clips from auditions, and we're off!

Rayven & Jamie: Hip-Hop, Napoleon & Tabitha. ("American Boy") Both auditioned in LA (which we didn't know before since they haven't had any screen time yet), Jamie auditioning w/his current partner who's also his girlfriend (so, no Schwimmer). The routine was ok; I'm not impressed w/T & N based on this (they had R pull Jamie's pants down and he did a few moves in his undies - um, why? That's *not* the way to make up for little screen time, really!). Rayven has awesome potential though. Judges were meh.

Susie & Marquis: Waltz, Hunter Johnson. ("Dark Waltz"- pretty!) We learn that Susie's parents were both born in Cuba, and Marquis (who auditioned in DC) wasn't allowed to dance much growing as his mom pulled him out of it because of "personal family issues." The lift was not good, but the rest was ok, nothing great. The judges like it though & Nigel said the choreo was very difficult.

Kourtni & Matt
: Jazz, Mandy Moore. ("Tainted Love", eee!) At 5'9" and 6'3", K & M say they're 12 feet of dancer! Which is a lot. I thought some of their movements were hidden by the black leather outfits, but I guess it was sort-of a spy theme, with him holding a diamond on & off & then having it 'magically' disappear at the end into glitter. I don't think the routine showed them off very well either, but they did pretty well with what they had IMO. Nigel said he wanted more personality from "uptight" Matt (?! Besides being gorgeous, I thought he showed plenty of personality!), Mary liked it except for the "heavy" lift, and Dan thought they played it too safe & should've attacked it harder. Threw them a few votes just in case.

Chelsea T & Thayne
: Cha Cha, Tony Meredith & Melanie. While he still annoys me when he's not dancing, Thayne sure cleans up nice and is an extremely attractive dancer. Chelsea, another from the Dallas tryouts, has Jamaican parents and a very strong personality (as do most of the girls!). Definitely the best routine of the 4 so far, and the judges loved it. Mary said he partnered well and Dan said they owned the stage.

Chelsie H & Mark: Contemporary, Mia Michaels. ("Beautiful") The first stand-out routine of the season! Mia choreographed "what Tim Burton's wedding would be like," i.e. 2 quirky people finding each other. Mark definitely fits the role, calling himself "left of center" (and we finally see a bit of his LA audition). Despite being in his strength he struggled w/the routine and Mia said "I thought he'd be better than he is." She approved of the performance, though. Chelsie's flouncy dress hid her body too much but contributed to the effect of the routine. The judges loved it and Mary complimented Mark on the lifts (of which there were a lot!).

Kherington & Twitch: Broadway, Tyce Diorio. ("Too Darn Hot") What's not to like? Twitch even called them "Twitchington" in the intro. Fun routine, nothing spectacular, but very enjoyable. Judges loved as well & said that Kher. lights up the stage.

Comfort & Chris: Jive, Tony & Melanie. ("Boom Boom") Comfort is going to be comic relief for us this season, she has the most fun personality! (And attitude!) Chris also auditioned in Dallas and said he was distracted in practice by her miniskirt and "tush." Heh. In his defense, later everyone commented on how (surprisingly, they implied) sexy she was, including Cat! The traditional Latin outfit (open, lowcut shirt) was not flattering to Chris at. all. Besides that the routine was pretty good; I agree w/Nigel that Chris had the 'feel' of it better (more grounded). Apparently Comfort dislocated her shoulder in practice the day before but they "click clicked" it back into place and here she is! (They did modify at least one move though.) Dan said that they each performed well but need to develop more chemistry w/each other.

Katee & Joshua: Hip Hop, Napoleon & Tabitha. ("No Air") We see Joshua admit that he has had some ballet training, clearing the air as to whether he was 'hiding' anything from the judges as Debbie implied in the auditions. Ok, anything N&T lacked on the first routine they made up for in this one! 2nd standout routine of the season and the first causing sniffles across the audience. The story is of a young couple the day before the man leaves for war: at the beginning they're happy & cuddly until he hands her a letter, then she's upset and angsty and such. Obviously since this is Joshua's specialty he's a lot better than she is, but she "keeps up", as the judges say, and their side-by-side moves are very much in unison. The very last move - he grabs her arm, she pulls away pulling his jacket off of him and, as she turns, on to herself, and then holds the end of it - amazing, and just the right emotional ending to the story of the routine. This is just one of those numbers that perfectly merges choreography with lyrics and music, and even though the execution wasn't perfect, it made an impact. The judges (at least Nigel & Mary) were somewhat emotional and they all loved it.

Jessica & William
: Tango, Hunter. Jessica auditioned in Charleston and it turns out she was the one who misspelled "Vegas"! Will auditioned in LA and says he moved from TN at age 16 in order to work w/Debbie Allen. The tango is good; they both show potential, but I think he could be absolutely amazing. Everything was sharp ("professional", Nigel said), and even the end lift was smooth. She did slide & wobble a bit throughout the routine, but overall the judges loved them. Mary even called them the "couple to beat" (wow, in ballroom? you can tell we're missing the hot Russians this year, lol!).

Courtney G & Gev: Disco, Doriana Sanchez. ("Boogie Wonderland," of course!) We get a few short clips of Gev in Vegas doing Broadway (hee!) and ballroom. They both say in the practice session that disco is harder than expected but they enjoy working together - I think they're one of the better matched couples. Aside from their unfortunate yellow outfits and the freakily-overdone disco lighting during the routine, it's pretty good! The lifts were fairly smooth (considering he's not a partner dancer & not that much bigger than she is), though they were both very out of breath at the end. She was a bit better & smoother than he was (expectedly), but overall it was decent. Nigel rained on the parade because he didn't like the "feel" of it, but Mary loved it and commented that it was a difficult routine. Dan enjoyed it as well and called it "pretty good." I think they're safe but I still voted!!

I'm so glad this show is back! Ok, favorite routines: Chelsie & Mark's Mia contemp. and Katee & Josh's hip-hop/pop. Favorite dancers: still Gev and Matt, plus Will!

Predictions for Bottom 3 couples: Rayven & Jamie, Susie & Marquis, and Comfort & Chris, with Susie and Marquis going home. (I think Marquis is better than Chris, but if Chris leaves that would put Comfort w/Marquis & I'm not sure they'd want to do that.) There's not that much 'cannon fodder' this year, especially among the guys, and Jamie's the only male ballroom(ish) guy so he's almost a lock for Top 10.

And just an observation, those who got dances in their own styles tonight: Mark, Joshua (I think the only one who really, really benefited from it), and in a close style, Susie. Also someone said Pasha & Anya were assisting Mia in the studio but I missed it so I'll have to go back & rewatch!

Who did you love? Who did you hate? Who's going home? Leave a comment & let me know...

And we get a Wade group routine tomorrow!!!!!!!



Figured I might as well combine the posts since this will be short.

Opening group number: "Cobrastyle" by Wade (and his wife Amanda). Nigel gets kidnapped by the dancers. And we learn that Mark ROCKS Wade's choreo!!

Bottom 3 couples:
Kourtni & Matt
Rayven & Jamie
Jessica & Will

Guest performances: Poppin' Pete and Shonnie; Pussycat Dolls.

None of the girls impressed on solos. Kourtni is 1st safe; Rayven is out (judges were unanimous). Will's solo was amazing and he was 1st safe. Matt's was beautiful because it's Matt, but nothing extraordinary (he's not Danny). Jamie's paled next to former ballroom guys. Thus Jamie is out, despite Nigel's preference for his "personality" over Matt's. Nigel says "this week - and this week only" the judges (unanimous again) are choosing technique (i.e. Matt) over personality. Doesn't bode well for the rest of the season (technique-wise), though perhaps it shows they realize repeatedly keeping Cedric last year over better dancers was a mistake. One can only hope. I am surprised that they got rid of the only ballet dancer and the only male ballroom guy, but they're definitely going for well-rounded this year so we'll see what happens!

Saturday, June 7

SYTYCD4 - Vegas / Top 20 Chosen

Yay, it's Vegas week! In 2 more hours we'll know who's in and who's not, and inevitably wonder where a few people went as they looked promising but are never heard of again. And we'll probably hear a few being encouraged to "come back next year and try again." I'm really glad they do that a lot in this show (as opposed to Idol). I'm sure Twitch is, too!!

We start off with 204 dancers. And 6 judges: Napolean & Tabitha, Mia, Debbie Allen, Mary and Nigel.

Again I will bold the names of the eventual Top 20.

Round 1 is Hip-Hop, taught by N & T.

Dancers have 1 hour to learn the routine, then they go up on stage in small groups (lines, actually) to perform. Those who don't make the grade are cut!

Robert Muraine the popper is struggling, as he's never done choreography before at all. He is concerned that he'll hurt a partner's chances and contemplates dropping out before they go on. Word reaches Nigel who calls him up on stage and asks him to perform his solo for the judges who haven't seen it yet. They all encourage him not to quit, but he does anyway.

1 down, 183 to go!

The first group includes Rebecca Hart and Courtney Galiano. Courtney survives, Rebecca does not. We see Evan in a brown hoodie; he gets through. As do Twitch, Philip Courter (Yessie's friend), Kourtni Lind, Matt Dorame, and (twin) Anthony Hart. Plus a Michael, but he's not shown so I don't know if it's breaker Michael Kim or someone else. Others cut are Ryann Race (strip club DJ), Ricky Sun (my favorite ballroom guy), and Claire Calloway.

In total 74 were cut on Day 1 leaving 129 as we start Day 2!

Round 2 is Broadway with Tyce.

This should be fun!! Everyone is partnered, though we have more girls than guys so we have a few pairs of girls. We start out with Erica Gee (her 3rd time in Vegas, she's confident this is "her year!") and a black gal named Britney Parks. The judges tell her she's doing her part better than most of the guys! She advances, but Erica is cut and makes a tearful call home.

We see Thayne Jasperson with Chelsie Hightower way in the back, complaining that they can't see. Matt is also in the back but says, "I'm good, I'm 7 feet tall! I can see everything!" Hee.

We get to see a montage with short clips of Evan (awesome, of course, as this is his genre), Matt doing some cute snappy things with his hands, possibly William, Kourtni, and Thayne and Chelsie.

Shown advancing are Susie Garcia (Miami high school teacher), Anthony, pageant Paige, Twitch, and a random Asian guy. Antwain Hart and Philip are cut. (Philip vows to return next year, or as long as it takes until he's either told not to return or he wins! That's the spirit!)

We're down to 94 at the end of the morning.

Round 3 (afternoon of Day 2) is Ballroom - Jean-Marc and France Genereaux teaching Foxtrot!

Hip hop dancer Joshua Allen is struggling, as is his partner and pal Comfort Fedoke. It turns out Comfort is the gal we saw in Dallas whom Nigel dubbed "the best female hip-hop dancer we've had on the show!" And we finally get to see her initial audition, yay! They do ok with the foxtrot; they make mistakes, but the judges are still impressed since they have no training and they both advance. They break into tears of relief and joy, both very thankful to still be here! They both seem really nice and I'm glad they have each other for support during this process.

Devin Oshiro, the Asian gal I liked who was the first audition of the season, is cut after this round. Still in are ballroom dancer Aliona (I would certainly hope so!), Chelsie, BFF's Michelle and Kortney, William, and Twitch. Paige is paired with Will Adams, a black hip-hop dancer from Indiana (yay!). They don't do very well... Will has to come back later to do a solo, and Paige will return with a different partner to try the Foxtrot again. She returns with Leo Rotenberg, a ballroom dancer who's already advanced. She declares her newfound love for ballroom dancing now that she has a partner who knows what he's doing (and can tell her what to do)! She's better, but not good enough, and is cut. Packing up her things we see her going through her pageant mantra: "... and you don't get cut. But if you do get cut, you keep smiling and you don't cry. And if you do cry, you do it in your room by yourself." Heh.

Back to the "Dance for your Life" solos. First up is Jeremiah Hughes, contemporary dancer (and push-up guy) from Charleston. He does his thing very well and gets to stay (for now). Will is also very good but he is cut. 3 others are also cut, and I believe we're down to 72!

It's the end of a long day, but it will get even longer...

It's time for the Group round!

Everyone left is assigned to groups and will come pick up a CD (the main song we see later is "Every Breath You Take"). They then have to choreograph their own group routine to perform the next day (starting at 10 am). The theater will be open as long as people need it, and some need it until 4:30 am!

Here's how things work for this round; it's a little like Survivor or Big Brother! The judges each decide who they're keeping and have anyone else take one step back. Anyone who finishes 2 steps back has to dance a solo later to remain, and anyone with at least 3 steps back is out! Interesting!!

The first group to perform on Day 3 was also the last up practicing, as they couldn't agree on choreography. We have Twitch, tapper Bianca, contemporary dancer Jason Glover, Aliona, and another blond named Randi. The judges all call it a mess. Jason will be dancing "for his life" (and cries like it) later and everyone else is safe. Twitch is very upset and feels responsible, since he's been this far before and thinks he's supposed to be able to help his group advance. Fortunately for both Twitch and Jason, Jason's solo gets the 4 votes required to stay and all is well, for now.

The other group we get to see perform has a name, "Angels and Demons," and is comprised of contemporary dancer Jessica King (another redhead), Derek Spears (also contemp.?), Comfort, and a white guy in a green shirt with dark hair in a mohawk. Derek admits to being the demon, as he didn't like Jessica's choreography the night before and ended up leaving to go to bed while the rest of the group stayed up practicing. Apparently everything "came together" right before they went on, and the judges said it was good and showcased everyone well. No steps were given so they were all safe, though Nigel did hold up a sign for Derek that said "Hush".

We don't get to see much dancing from anyone else, but we get comments from a few and see some of the groupings, which I still find interesting (though I'd love to see all of the performance footage!). Jeremiah and Natalie Reid (one of the roomies) are in the same group (guys wearing white shirts & suspenders, girls in green). Kourtni and Susie are together; Thayne and ballroom dancer Janette (w/stripey hair) are together; and Gev, Courtney G, and I think Brandon Bryant are together. We also see Matt and maybe William in a group of 6 who are all in black & white and all safe.

Only 4 were cut during the group round, including BFF and single mom Kortney Pearson (good, we're full up on Kortney/Courtney/Kourtni's already!). So we're down to 68 and ready for the last class...

Mia's Contemporary!

As if this wouldn't be hard enough on its own, it's the afternoon of Day 3 and most contestants have had only a few hours of sleep. Tapper Lizz Plott is especially struggling but refuses to give up, though her legs are trying to convince her otherwise. Long story short, she made it through the performance and I think the judges would have kept her, but she talked back (trying to explain to Nigel that she wasn't stressed in the way he thought she was) and the attitude got her cut! Nevertheless she wants to come back and try again next year.

Another dancer who is struggling is Jeremiah. Yes, this is his genre, and he says he mentally gets it, he just can't make his body do it (I can definitely understand feeling that way about Mia's choreo!). He messed up during his performance and walked off stage, he was so mad at himself. That really upset the judges who called him unprofessional and complained that if a choreographer is "trusting" a dancer with a piece they can't let them down like that. He was cut, and later very apologetic. He's only 19 and says he'll come back... though I think I heard that he was trying out for the new Canadian version, so we'll see. I'd love to see more of him.

Also cut during this round are Jason and Brandi. I saw one guy who was really good, wearing a dark red tee, brown jacket, & jeans, that may have been Thayne.

Cat says we're down to 47 (so 21 were cut so far, though Cat said 22, so one of her numbers is off), and 9 of those have to Dance for Their Life. Contemporary dancer Dominic Pearson injurs his leg and he's out. We see a montage of several others, including Jazz dancer Sheila Kaiser (whose dad didn't approve), who is cut. Contemporary dancer Mark Kanemura (green shirt & white shorts, I saw him briefly a couple other times) does a fun little routine to "Bohemian Rhapsody" and instantly intrigues many viewers! He stays. Twitch is awesome and he stays. A black gal named Charlotte stays, as does Leonidas (whom they're now also calling Leo, making him practically indistinguishable from Leo Rotenberg, another ballroom guy!). 4 others are cut including a familiar cute blond but who knows which one she was.

42 left!! Now everyone does solos that we don't get to see, except for one montage of short clips (but only 27 of the 42 are even shown in that - and the 3 breaker 'favorites,' Twitch, Joshua, and Gev, are shown twice each - yes, I wore out my Pause button, why do you ask?!). They get no immediate feedback from the judges but come out later one by one to find out whether or not they've made the Top 20 (SYTYCD's equivalent of "The Chair" from Idol). New this year, in the hallway on the way to the stage they see both their first and last auditions playing on video screens along the wall!

I'll list the no's first so I can list all the Finalists together at the end. I know Leonidas, Cooper, and Michael Kim got cut but unfortunately I have no idea how far into Vegas they made it. But the ones I know for sure made it to the end and then got cut are as follows:

Kelli Baker (contemporary, daughter of famous choreographer)
Aliona (ballroom)
Janette (ballroom)
Bianca (tap)
Asuka (ballroom)
and Natalie (contemp, one of the roomies)

Anthony (hip-hop)
Evan (Gene Kelly-esque; bummer! But he's also young, maybe he'll come back?)
Leonidas (Leo) P. (ballroom)
Markus (hip-hopper with deceased Mom' pic on his shirt)
Derek Spears
and Brandon

Your Top 20!

Courtney Galiano (19, NY/auditioned in Charleston, brunette) - contemporary

Chelsie Hightower (18, UT/SLC, blond) - ballroom/Latin

Susie Garcia (24, FL/Milwaukee, mostly blond high school teacher) - Latin

Chelsea Traille (23, TX, audition not shown, pretty black gal w/short hair) - contemp/jazz

Kourtni Lind (18, CA/Charleston, short blond hair) - contemp

Kherington Payne (18, CA/Los Angeles, short blond hair) - contemp/jazz

Rayven Armijo (28, CA, audition not shown/zero screentime thus far, brunette) - ballet/contemp
Comfort Fedoke (20, TX/Dallas though is Nigerian) - hip-hop

Jessica King (23, SC, audition not shown but featured in group round, redhead) - contemp

Katee Shean (20, CA/Los Angeles, redhead) - contemp

Joshua Allen (18, TX/auditioned in Dallas) - hip-hop

Twitch Boss (25, orig. AL, now CA/Los Angeles) - freestyle/breaking

Matt Dorame (22, UT/SLC, really tall) - ballet/contemp

Thayne Jasperson (27, UT/SLC) - contemp

Marquis Cunningham (18, FL?, audition not shown/zero screentime, thin black guy) - contemp

Mark Kanemura (24, HI, audition not shown/only screentime was BoRhap solo) - contemp

Jaime Bayard (22, CA, audition not shown/zero screentime) - West Coast Swing (note: was Lacey Schwimmer's competition partner)

Chris Jerosz (21, TX, audition not shown, tall thin white guy) - contemp

William Wingfield (21, TN/LA) - contemp (note: protege of Debbie Allen)

Gev Manoukian (21, UT/SLC but orig. from Kazakhstan) - hip-hop/breaking

Resources: Fox official site (scroll mouse over pictures to get links to bio pages); another page with photos and short bios