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

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