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Last night’s “So You Think You Can Dance” episode brought us round two of Vegas Week—which meant group routines, emotional goodbyes and the reveal of the Top 20. Here are the top five highlights of the episode:
1. Only one group—Bloodline—really WOWED us. Without fail, the "SYTYCD" Vegas group routines bring tension. Someone shows up late to practice. Someone fails at being a leader. Everyone gets little to no sleep. But this time around, there was one group that made that all worth it: Bloodline, made up of Team Stage dancers, which had unique choreography set to operatic music. The routine was strong, technical, and clean. Both Travis and Nigel said Bloodline was the best group of the day, and Paula even compared them to a company that had been dancing together for years. (She’s always been good with those metaphors.)
Bloodline shows everyone how it's done. (screenshot via fox.com)
2. NappyTabs was, as always, adorable. Napoleon and Tabitha led Team Street in a hip-hop routine for the choreography round—but before they began teaching the dancers, they cleared the stage and Tabitha showed them how it’s done. Napoleon said what we were all thinking: “If a 41-year-old mom can do it, so can you.” And she responded with a sweet, “Thanks baby.” This may not be the first time they have been the dance couple we all aspire to be, but I’ve decided they are forever my #relationshipgoals. (And if I could dance like Tabitha, that'd be cool too.)
3. Asaf Goren kind of disrespected the judges. Asaf was one of the few dancers on Team Street who had to dance for his life; while he's definitely an entertainer, he constantly had trouble picking up choreography. As Nigel was giving him feedback, Asaf interrupted him and let his frustrations be heard. Maybe it was the language barrier, but no one could really understand the point he was trying to make about head spins and power moves in 2015. Good thing Paula came to his defense, because he could’ve ruined his chances of moving on right then and there. It was awk, to say the least.
4. Dennis got offered a spot in the Top 20—but decided to leave the competition. After making it past the choreography rounds and being one of the few ballroom dancers to master multiple styles, Dennis (a winner of “So You Think You Can Dance Canada”) turned down a spot in the Top 20. The judges praised him for being so well-rounded, but he said he was upset that there was going to be less ballroom representation than usual in the competition. (Well, now there definitely is, without him.) As we saw in earlier moments of the show, it seems that Dennis really made the decision to leave because his girlfriend, Antonina, didn’t make it to the next round. While it’s sweet that they’ll be reunited, it’s also heartbreaking that he gave up something so many people worked hard for. Understandably, Nigel was not pleased.
5. Gaby Diaz proved being persistent (and versatile) will get you far. Gaby Diaz originally auditioned in Dallas, where her tap solo wasn't up to the competition's standards—Jason Derulo said something about it being too much of the same thing. She then returned to the Detroit auditions with a successful new solo, showing she knows how to take corrections. That’s right: She didn’t wait for the next season to make her comeback. While in Vegas, Gaby continued to prove she could handle the pressures of different styles of choreography. She was one of the last ones to find out she'd made it into the Top 20. And, as Travis pointed out, she's the only tapper on Team Stage.
A lot of journeys came to painful ends last night. I was devastated when, after being cut, Nick Morales said he might not continue dancing—that’s definitely not the message this show's trying to send. And when Marie “Poppins” said she loved it so much sometimes it hurts, she embodied the unique determination that it takes to be a dancer. On a happier note, I have to say I’m really liking tWitch as captain of Team Street. (I can already see a budding bromance forming between him and Virgil.) And I'm so excited that Dance Spirit friend Alexia Meyer will be joining Travis on Team Stage! Congrats, Alexia!
As if announcing the Top 20 weren’t enough, the last 30 seconds of the episode revealed that one dancer had to drop out due to an injury. Who could it be? And who will return? Let us know what you thought about last night’s episode in the comments, and check back here next week for our recap of the first live episode of the season!
Vegas! Vegas! VEGAS! After what seemed like endless weeks of ho-hum auditions episodes, I, for one, was ready for some real dancing, and some real drama, on "So You Think You Can Dance." As usual, Vegas week more than delivered on both counts. During their time in Sin City, this season's contestants showed off a lot of talent—and shed a lot of tears.
This being Vegas week, there weren't so much top moments as there were top...journeys. Epic journeys, complete with dramatic music and slow-mo reaction shots and, naturally, plenty of crying. Here are the top 5:
1. The Danielle Saga, aka Nice Girls Finish Last. Poor, poor Danielle. During Sonya Tayeh's jazz routine, Danielle was paired with Debbie Downer Shafeek, who completely gave up on her. Never mind; she made it through, and trooper that she is, came back onstage later to partner a contemporary dancer in need—who, of course, kicked her in the head. She was taken out on a stretcher. When she returned later, after spending eight hours in the hospital, she was sort of blamed for messing up the routine of the group she belatedly joined (which, really? She had a head injury). And then, of course, she was sent home. Someone give this girl a hug.
2. The Cyrus Saga, aka We'll Cut the Adorable Hip Hop Guy Some Slack. Cyrus is the only one of the talented Dragon House Crew trio who made it past Vegas' first round. He had a LOT of close calls as the rounds rolled by—frankly, I wasn't sure he was going to make it after that disastrous cha cha. But his dance-for-your-life solo reminded everyone just how amazing he is in his own style (shades of Madd Chadd, am I right?), and he seemed so genuinely happy to be there. I'm not sure he's going to nab a Top 20 spot, but if he doesn't—is that a Dragon House Crew guest performance I smell later in the season? Why yes, yes it is.
3. The Amelia Saga, aka Don't Count Your Top 20 Spot Before it Hatches. Remember silent-movie lover Amelia (who is, come to think of it, a bit of a Krysten Ritter lookalike)? Amelia cruised through the first few rounds, getting just a tad overconfident. She looked completely shocked when she was asked to dance for her life after Sonya's jazz routine. Luckily her solo was a great showcase for her particular brand of quirky appeal (not to mention her legit technique). "I am so ready to make you love me!" she cried tearfully afterward. And the judges did love her, or at least like her enough to shepherd her safely through Vegas week. Her whole flapper shtick grates on my nerves a little, but let's be honest: We all want to see this one stick around to do some really weird Sonya choreography, right?
4. The Alexa Saga, aka Alexaga, aka Don't Count Your Top 20 Spot Before it Hatches Part 2 (But Really, You're Going to Get a Top 20 Spot). Alexa probably looks familiar—and not just because she made it to the bitter end of last season's Vegas shenanigans: She was our 2010 Cover Model Search winner!* All of us at DS know from experience that Alexa is crazy talented—but man, a lot of the judges' criticisms of Alexa's "lights are on and nobody's home" performances (as Tyce "Keith" DiOrio put it) were justified. She seemed vacant and terrified through much of the episode. Luckily she pulled it together in time for the cha cha round—in which she looked SMOKIN'—and survived Vegas. Debbie Allen's verdict? "This child could win." Go Alexa! (Just ease up a tad on the bronzer, OK?)
5. The Sore Losers Saga, aka Here Are a Few Examples of How Not to Behave on National Television. Jeez louise, there were a lot of unhappy campers on last night's show. From Teddy "Why come back and waste my time? I just looove to be reprimanded in public" Tedholm to Shafeek "I will smoke Lil' C. Matter of fact Lil' C's cool, I will smoke Nigel" Westbrook, a surprising number of booted contestants chose not to exit gracefully. Yes, getting cut is very, very painful, but a word of advice: You will always end up regretting acting like a total brat on camera. Next time, maybe save the venting for the hotel room, OK?
The "So You Think You Can What?!" Moment of the Night:...was actually not part of the episode. There were several ads for "The Choice" during the commercial breaks—you know, that rip-off of "The Voice" where people like Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino try to pick dates based on the sound of the girls' voices? Oh, you haven't heard of it? Congratulations—you're a respectable member of society. So why is the lovely, amazing, wayyyy-too-talented-for-this Cat Deeley hosting this abomination? Cat! It's not worth it! And if "The Choice" is the reason you've barely shown your pretty face on "SYTYCD" so far this season...no, I'm not even going to make a "wrong Choice" pun here. DON'T LEAVE US, CAT!
What did you think of last night's episode? Too much drama? (Is there such a thing?) And don't forget to check back next week for our recap of the episode we've all been waiting for: The Top 20 reveal!
*(For the record: Last year's CMS winner, the awesome Kaitlynn Edgar, was also all over this episode. She and Alexa were actually in the same "Wolf Pack" group number. Not ringing a bell? They wore matching stonewashed denim vests. There you go.)