I know I’ve been complaining that the audition episodes of So You Think You Can Dance have been rushed in the past several seasons, but I’m about to go back on all of that…. I’m so thankful we’re to the Top 20!! I feel like I’ve been waiting so long to meet them. Are you ready? Because I’m ready….

Let’s get to it. Oh, and Happy 200th episode SYTYCD!!

For the first time this season we get to see the always lovely Cat Deeley standing back to the audience saying “Welcome… to So You Think You Can Dance!” Chills! Her dress is gorgeous and very very shiny. Wait, while I was typing that did Cat just refer to herself as the gift that keeps on giving? I think she did. Oh Cat… You are.

Sitting at the judges table tonight are Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy and Zooey Deschanel (Tune in to New Girl this fall, Fox reminds you not so subtlety. You should though. It’s funny.) Nigel reminds us that there will be 2 winners – a guy and a girl. Who’s excited? Everyone!

In tonight’s episode we’ll see the 35 dancers that survived Vegas walk the green mile to get their judgment from the Vegas judges, and those 20 who made it will have the opportunity to show us their moves on stage. In order to make this easy, I’m just going to break it up into the dances and focus on those we’ll be seeing compete.

Contemporary – We Found Love (Jessie J)

Tyce DiOrio

First in the group was Alexa. Oh Alexa… she’s probably in therapy after Vegas. But thankfully she smiles and makes it in. She is a gorgeous dancer and I hope we see that personality that I’m sure is in there somewhere. Then there is George Lawrence II who wore a bowtie and shorts to find out he made it in. Stylin’. Will Thomas and Amber Jackson (who has made it to the green mile once before) round out the first foursome.

In recent years Tyce has busted out some great contemporary pieces and this one I loved. I think the small group numbers can be hard because it can be so easy to just pair them off and basicallyonly choreograph a couple piece and double it. But Tyce rarely had them paired like that. It was dynamic piece that showcased them all and hey… Alexa had a personality and performance! Contemporary is always a tough one because I expect so much out of them. Will was super cute. Cat said he’s like a labrador and now I can’t unsee it. The judges were very happy. Speaking of the judges… I love Zooey. I really really do. But the girl clearly has nothing to say when it comes to this show and I’m glad she’s on the panel on a week that doesn’t count. (Side note – I really don’t like the Rihanna version of that song, but that cover was beautiful!)

Ballroom – Dance Again (Jennifer Lopez)

Jason Gilkinson

Time to highlight Salt Lake City, because on So You Think You Can Dance Season 9, that was the audition city for Ballroom! Nick Bloxsom-Carter had a minor meltdown in front of the judges before finding out if he made the cut. All further drama was avoided though as he made it in. Then they sent in Lindsay Arnold and Whitney Carson, the two beautiful ballroom blondes (alliteration!). They are told they only want one… Whitney is in! Mary lets them sit with that and think Lindsay is out. Then tells Lindsay she’s in too! I think Mary enjoys the evil moment!

Now, how lucky is Nick? He gets to dance on stage with not one but two gorgeous girls. I was kind of curious how this was going to work and while some of the moments were kind of awkward (how can it not be?), overall I think Jason handled the issue of trying to choreograph a trio ballroom routine quite well. And while Nick was good, I have to say, he was hard to pay attention to with Lindsay and Whitney on the floor. They are just, they are kinda magic… I love them. (Mark Ballas loved it from the audience)

Ballet – Romantic Inclinations/Like a Shot/ Fury

Desmond Richardson & Dwight Rhoden

Eliana Girard was up next as part of the ballet-trained crew – she was labeled the “this year’s Melanie Moore” during her audition. And I kind of more than adore her. As for the guys, there are two professional dancers who walk the mile together, Daniel Baker (dreamy Australian) and Chehon Wespi-Tschopp (who had the amazing final solo last week).  They got the same treatment as Whitney and Lindsay where they make you think only one got in… but they both did. Those judges are nasty buggers sometimes.

The movie Center Stage is one of my all-time favorites, so seeing this ballet routine that was a mix of the classic and contemporary ballet styles (with Eliana on pointe!) was fan-flipping-tastic. I can’t even describe the ridiculous squeals of delight I made throughout the entire thing. All three of them were perfection. I love the ballet and I’m so very excited to see it represented this season by people who are just so talented at it. I hope, if Eliana isn’t partnered with one of them now that they all make it to the Top 10 so we can see her dance with at least one of them again soon.

Jazz – Sail (AWOLNATION)

Sonya Tayeh

Tiffany Maher and Aubrey Case (the neck squeaker) were the two Jazz girls left. Tiffany went first and got in, so Aubrey thought for sure she was out. But she wasn’t! She actually questioned if the judges were sure. Then there was that firecracker bellydancer, Janelle Isis. She is too much fun. How does she celebrate upon finding out she is the first bellydancer to be in the Top 20? She slams her head on the door when she goes to tell the other waiting dancers! Oh Janelle… You so cute. And then, she was too sick to even perform on tonight’s show! But she’ll be in the top 20. I’m sad we don’t get to see her though.

So, oddly, I think this routine really needed that third girl and Aubrey and Tiffany suffered a bit for not having Janelle. They probably had to rework the routine last minute. In fact, if you watched the spot lights, there was almost always a third empty spotlight as if the lighting guys never had a chance to rework the lighting scheme for two. Regardless, these two tiny tiny little girls did a lovely job and showed they can possibly bring some Melanie-esqueness to the show. Maybe. Neither have that certain something Melanie had (she’s in the audience tonight being adorable, btw!) but who knows…. other jazz/contemporary winner, Lauren Froderman didn’t have *it* to start either.

Before we get to the next group – Joshua Alexander who was sent to the hospital after her wasn’t moving when he fell during that backflip is fine and walking. But not in the Top 20. They told him to come back though.

Contemporary – Modern Drift (Efterklang)

Stacey Tookey

Matthew Kazmierczak (who was told he looks like Ryan Gosling…. Hey Girl) made it in. I wish we had seen more of his in Vegas because I loved his audition. Speaking of people whose auditions I loved – Dareian Kujawa (he had the horrible feet) made it in too! Jayana French made it in leaving only two girls left, including silent-movie-type girl, Amelia Lowe, who eventually was told she was in. She kinda lost it.

Stacey, like Tyce, created a really dynamic number for the 4 contemporary dancers. It was honestly kind of amazing. The guys are incredibly and I’m so excited about Dareian. I don’t know anything about Jayana  since we pretty much have never seen her before, but she was such a standout. Amelia has this thing about her where you can’t look away from her and the thing of it is, is that I can’t tell if it’s for positive or negative reasons. She’s a real wild card for me at this point even though I’ve liked her til now. But the routine was dazzling and made me so excited for what’s to come.

Hip-Hop – Resolve (Nathan Lanier)

Christopher Scott

What was left was a group of 7 guys who don’t really fit in any category. First to make it in one of the final 3 spots was Cole Horibe (who mixed in martial arts during his audition). He is so compelling and I was so happy he made it! Next in was one of two steppers – Brandon Mitchell. Love the other stepper was so happy for him. Sitting in the last two were Felisciano Turk (I don’t know how you spell that because we haven’t seen him much…) and Cyrus “Glitch” Spencer, the remaining member of the Dragon House Crew. Cyrus made it in because Nigel just can’t get over his brilliance.

I love that the song was given an intro specifically to introduce the three. Christopher Scott, who choregraphs and dances for The League of Extraordianry Dancers (LXD) did a remarkable job at showing the three styles in this truly brilliant baseball themed routine. Zooey’s slack-jawed reaction pretty much sums it up. Nigel described the group of dancers and the choreography as “thrilling” and I agree. I’m so proud of Cyrus. I feel like we’ve all been just rooting for him. Loved all three! I hope they find their way through the choreography next week!

Was that all not enough for you? Well there are THREE MORE ROUTINES! But first – a reminder that the Third Annual Dance Day – Saturday July 28th. Get up and dance!

Top 10 Girls – Where the Light Gets In (Sennen)

Travis Wall

Travis did not hold back on these girls. The routine was very etheral (which I typed and then later Cat said it. I believe because I typed it, even those this was a pre-taped show). Somehow these girls can all seem so soft and so strong at the same time. Alexa really stood out, but Travis sort of made it that way. And more importantly, no one stood out as not up to par with the rest. It’s not fun when that happens.

Top 10 Guys – Precognition (Steed Lord)

Sonya Tayeh

Sonya got to deal with the boys, and I just thought to myself that Travis handling the girls and Sonya with the guys is kind of perfect. Also, she asked the guys to take off their shirts and partner together. Cue all the guys saying “I’m straight, y’all. This is weird.” Oh boys…. Here’s what I took away from the group number – I may already be developing a crush on Matthew. Will is HUGE and ridiculously adorable. All of them are so freaking strong.  I got chills!

Top 20 – Eyes (Kaskade)

Mia Michaels

Oooo baby, was I excited for this. I already told you all I love Mia, and seeing her get her hands on this eclectic group of dancers was almost too much for me to wait through commercials for. It was kind exactly what I wanted. Quirky, insane musicality and made use of both large and small movements in small spaces. And no one stood out, and I mean that in the best way. She got them to move as a cohesive unit. As Nigel said, “Welcome home, Mama.”

Whew. I’m tired. How about you? What did you think? Who stood out? Who’s going to be first to go? Let me know your thoughts in that comment section below!!

So You Think You Can Dance has the week off next week for Fourth of July, but they will be back on the 11th! I. Can’t. Wait.

Keep it here on SYTYCD.net for all the latest on So You Think You Can Dance Season 9! And check out my buddy Jessica over at Small Screen Scoop to see what she thought of the dancers!

Written by Melissa Miller. Find her on Twitter @serrae

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