Wednesday, June 27, 2012

SYTYCD S9: Meet the Top 20

Wow. What a way to kick off the top twenty! There was so much dancing in this 200th episode of the show! Funnily enough, I was driving home tonight and thought to myself, "I hope they do it where they give the news to the people and then have them perform right after," and that's exactly what they did!

Joining Nigel and Mary on the "judging" panel tonight was Zooey Deschanel. I put judging in quotes because it was really just a love fest, which is what this episode is meant to be, since there is no voting yet. That comes in two weeks. But tonight was just about introducing us to the top 20, of which there were few surprises. All of my favorites made it through, so I'm happy.

Recap/review of So You Think You Can Dance Season 9 - Mee the Top 20 by freshfromthe.comThe first group to perform in a Tyce Diorio contemporary piece included Alexa Anderson, she of the much screentime. Can you imagine if she had been cut after all that screentime? Ha! Joining her was George, who quite frankly seems like one of the best dancers in the top 20, Will, who we've seen absolutely nothing of until this point, but is a rather tall teddy bear with a seemingly adorable sense of humor, and Amber, who made it to Vegas twice before and almost didn't come back again. Can I be honest? They danced their routine perfectly well, but it was probably my least favorite of the night. It was just kind of boring to me. But then I've become kind of a snob after watching so many great routines on this show over the years.

Next up were the latin ballroom dancers in a Jason Gilkison routine. The judging panel tried to give us a fakeout and make us think that only one of the two girls were going to make it through, but I saw through their shenanigans. Both Witney and Lindsay made it through, and joining them was another unknown, Nick. No offense to Nick, but the girls kind of outshone him in that routine, which is what seems to happen quite often in ballroom anyway, I suppose. I will be perfectly honest and say that I prefer Witney over Lindsay for some reason I can't quite figure out.

The judges tried to fake us out again when they brought up the two male ballet dancers left in the competition, and this time they almost had me, because surely they wouldn't do the same thing right in a row like that? Pish posh! Both Chehon and Daniel are in, along with one of my favorite girls, Eliana. And their routine by Desmond Richardson and Dwight Roden was pretty awesome. There haven't been many ballet dancers on this show yet, and now we have three major contenders.

Usually Sonya Tayeh's routines are my favorite, but I have to say this one she did for the next group didn't quite do it for me. I'm wondering if it would have had all of the girls been able to participate. Because, YEP, we've had our first sit out of the season in Janelle, who was mysteriously "sick" or something, and could not perform. The two girls who were left to fend for themselves were Audrey and Tiffany, who I really could not tell apart at all in the routine. Was one better than the other? Who knows, they looked exactly the same.

After that it was time for some more contemporary dancers, this time doing a Stacey Tookey routine that was leaps and bounds better than the other contemporary routine, in my opinion. It was a two-guys two-girls routine with Matthew, Dareian, Janaya, and Amelia. I know this is of no importance, but wow is Amelia pale! Like, crazy pale. Like, maybe paler than me, which is an accomplishment. I don't have much to say about this routine, other than I thought it was beautiful. I don't know much about this Janaya girl, and she didn't necessarily stand out to me, so is she long for the competition? I can't say.

Finally, saving the best for last? I have to say that I think my new favorite choreographer might be Christopher Scott. He was tasked with coming up with something for a trio of diverse dancers, and he did it with aplomb. And just who was this diverse trio? A stepper we've not seen before, Brandon, the martial arts guy Cole, who is probably tired of just being called the martial arts guy, and, of course, OF COURSE, Cyrus. As if there was any doubt this dude was going to make the show. What he may lack in training, the dude makes up for in that undefinable other quality, that thing that makes someone a star. ANYWAY, the routine itself was a fun mash up, with maybe a slightly funky ending, but seriously, it had me smiling throughout the routine, and that's something.

And after all of that?! The show still wasn't done! Three more dances remained...

The Top 10 Girls (or, really, the top 9, since Janelle couldn't perform) did a Travis Wall routine that actually gave me some chills. Dude knows what he's doing. My favorite part, though, was probably in the rehearsal footage, when he said, "Don't stress out," and Witney immediately mouths, "I'm stressing out." Ha, gotta love it.

The Top 10 Guys had a Sonya Tayeh number that was much more back to form for her. I think maybe she excels best at the group numbers. It was very powerful, which was sort of the message. And honestly, I think I like the group of guys this year better than the girls. It'll be interesting to see what happens once voting comes into play.

And, finally! The top 20 perform together to a, wait for it... Mia Michaels routine! Mia! I, or should I say we, have missed you! I loved it.

Phew. That's all for me, folks. Are you happy with the top 20? Anyone you're upset didn't make it, or are you feeling like me in that you could've predicted about 80% of these people? Hit up the comments!

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