And just like that, we are done with the first round of auditions for So You Think You Can Dance Season 9 and it’s time for Vegas week. It’s the most intense week most of these dancers have ever experienced. There’s tons of new choreography to learn, meltdowns to have, and ambulances to call! Let’s get to it.

It’s time for Vegas, baby! VEGAS!

As the episode begins, Cat Deeley lets us know that 181 dancers made it to Vegas. Unfortunately, for 161 of them, only 20 will make it to the show. Over 4 days they have 8 rounds of auditions which are : Solos, Hip Hop, Broadway, Jazz, Group Round, Ballroom, Contemporary, Final Solos. And joining Nigel Lythoe and Mary Murphy at the loooong table are to make those massive cuts and dash the hopes of 161 dancers: Lil’ C, Debbie Allen, Adam Shankman and Tyce DiOrio.

So, as Cat asks, Are you ready??? I hope so because here we go….

To inspire the dancers before the solos, Nigel says there will be major cuts if they don’t bring it. No pressure, kids! First up was Hampton The Exorcist who still made every member of the panel have some sort of nirvana moment. Later we saw Jenelle Isis, the belly dancer, who really brought the heat this time around. The montage that followed showed a lot of familiar faces including one of the Dragon House Crew. 51 dancers were cut by the end of solos leaving only 130 left for the first round of choreo.

Hip Hop, as always was first and this year Vegas week was being choreographed by two incredible Hip Hop SYTYCD alum – Twitch and Comfort. Watching the two of them perform the routine was making me tired and I’m just sitting here on the couch with a laptop. It was so difficult that Hampton, who has never done a single bit of choreo, went right up to the judges and said “I’m outta here!” But his exorcism routine was so moving that Nigel didn’t even care. Nigel thanked him just for sharing it, and sent him on his way with a smile and a standing ovation. Down to 129! Andre from Dragon House was also having issues and left. 128!

Boris from Dragon House was cut and Nigel was heartbroken. Bre, the mom of two was also cut which left me heart broken. The Praying Mantis kid was cut too. Cyrus, the one Dragon House member left, was part of the last group. And that whole group made it… yay Cyrus! That makes 105 left to go on to day two, btw. (Vegas week equals math time for Melissa!)

First part of Vegas week – breakfast buffet! Not important part of the episode, I suppose. But I’m kinda hungry… First half of day two is Broadway with Tyce DiOrio. Snaps! I think the routine has to do with a girl getting roofied. I don’t know. Tyce is cray cray, y’all. As they get ready, we learn the two blonde ballroom dancers from SLC have been good friends since they were 9! Where was that backstory last week? And watching them tackle the routine I can see they are both possible top 20 material. Legs and personality for days.

This led to a montage of almost everyone getting through Broadway, which brings me to a brief thought I had. When the choreographers come to Vegas and plan a routine, do you think they want to make one that most people do well on, or do you think they want one that screws so many people up it’s a bloodbath after that round? Now I want to ask one of them….

Alexa (the one who lost out the last Top 20 spot to Ryan last year) went and the judges were not happy with her because there is no personality. But she made it through. However, 23 didn’t including Teddy (whom I refer to as argyle guy). He didn’t take it well this time and says he is giving up.

The 82 left now have to contend with a Sonya Tayeh jazz routine. She is not easy for many to master, and you can see some of the dancers start to break. Including Shafeek Westbrook who is partnered with Danielle (bacon girl) who we all thought would be the perfect Sonya-girl. Thankfully, Danielle made it through even though Shafeek and his increasingly horrible attitude were cut. Rachel, white bustier girl from SLC, was the first to beg the judges to stay. She is going to dance for her life. Since too many girls had been cut by this point, Danielle went back on stage to partner someone else. And then got kicked in the head by that guy. Hard. Yikes.

Amelia (silent movie looking girl) and Cyrus are still in it and are the focus of the next segment. Amelia is asked to dance for her life. Cyrus, while he is told to take some classes, is sent through. He immediately bursts into tears and gets the Cat Deeley “You are amazing and I love you” look. But back to Danielle…. She is sent to a hospital because the medical crew didn’t like what they saw in her exam. Yikes times two!

As Day 2 winds down, 15 have been cut, but there are still Rachel and Amelia who need to figuratively dance for their life. Rachel is first and still goes with the burlesque feel she did in her audition. I’m still not a huge fan. Neither are the judges. She’s out. And Debbie tells her to put some clothes on and dance. I don’t think she really heard it. Amelia is nervous because she thought she had Jazz down and now feels she has something to prove. And boy does she. Sonya gets it now (the only thing Amelia really wanted) and everyone said yes, except Nigel who wants her to bring that energy to someone else’s routines.

The 66 dancers left are set to stay up all night for group routines. They got to choose their own groups of 5 or 6, pick a random song and then get to work. And as always on group nights (whether it’s of the singing or dancing variety) these kids start to hate on each other, determined the people in their group are just the worst. Oh, fatigue… you are a beautifully evil thing.

Danielle is in the first group – she came back from the hospital at midnight and joined the group after they already started. It was kind of a mess, as to be expected. Danielle is cut and I think she wants to find the guy that kicked her and kick him somewhere else. Groups, as always were tough. Cyrus made it through but was still crying, in case you were wondering. We didn’t get to see a lot of the performances, but the editors knew which one to show. The group called “The High-Schoolers” had one girl, Aubrey, and 4 guys. She went to prom with all of them. It was a GORGEOUS routine.

The final group had Dreis, Alexa and Adrian – all of whom were part of the final cut making the top 20 in previous seasons. You’d expect greatness, right? Honestly, it was… eh for me. The judges liked it thought. And again, Alexa was sort of lackluster. She is so held back. It took her crying on stage to get through, along with the rest of her group.

61 dancers left for Ballroom with Jason Gilkinson. Gee, I hope those two SLC ballroom dancers, Whitney and Lindsay, nail this Cha-Cha! (They do!) Cyrus gives it is all, but isn’t great. In the end he is going to dance for his life and he LOVES that. Aubrey who just blew the judges away in groups got cut and you can tell she is just shocked and has a breakdown. So sad because she had a lot of potential. Alexa finally seems to develop a personality and FINALLY gets praise.

Back to Cyrus. He is ready to go. I get it. For the first time in days he gets to do his own thing. I can’t wait. Lil’ C has his game face on to watch this one. Once again… this kid is magic. The rest of the dancers are losing their minds. As are the judges. Yes all around! Yay Cyrus!

And now there are only 52 left. It’s time for Contemporary with Travis Wall. My boys Travis is looking for perfection. He wants to break the weaklings. That’s my boy. There will be no cuts after each group. It will be announced at the end of the day. Nigel calls a group of 34 to the stage including some favorites – Cyrus, Amelia, Whitney, Lindsay, among them – and after a commercial break we find out they are all through.

As for the other 18, they are asked to dance Travis’s routine again. One of those 18 is the blonde krumper girl, who was cut. Sad face. Joshua Alexander makes it through but when he is trying to learn how to do a backflip for his solo he falls on his back hard and isn’t moving. Not only is it bad for Joshua, obviously, but it also can psych out the rest of the dancers who are about to throw themselves around the stage. But, as they say, the show must go on.

The montage of the solos shows that all of these dancers are just stupid talented. The judges are going to have a hard time! Last up was a kid from Switzerland named Chehon Wespi-Tschopp. He an insane ballet dancer. I think he may have flown at one point. Where have the producers been hiding him??

All the boys are called to the stage. 5 are cut, including Adrian Lee. The girls hit the stage (a significantly smaller group) and they are all kept. There are 35 dancers left.

But which 20 are in the top??  What will happen to Joshua? (He’s okay… but will he make it?) Find out next week where we not only watch the dancers walk the green mile, but also see our top 20 dance for the first time! Welcome to summer, So You Think You Can Dance Fans!

Written by Melissa Miller. Find her on Twitter @Serrae

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