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So You Think You Can Dance-“Meet the Top 20”


This show has only been back a few weeks, and yet it feels like ages have passed as we waded through audition after audition.  Now the time has come to meet the lucky 20 dancers who make it through to the live shows.  Will there be the usual glut of contemporary dancers?  Will any ballroom specialists figure out how to do a solo?  Which hip-hopper will learn to point his or her toes and make Mia squeal with delight? And this show is live!  Except for the part that’s pre-recorded, that’s not.  Oh, who cares?  Everyone knows that live shows mean one thing and one thing only: Cat Deeley screen-time!!  She’s joined by Robin Antin (who might be mute), Lil C (who might speak an alien tongue), Tyce D’Orio (who definitely speaks fluent douche), and the old stand-bys Mary and Nigel.  Oh, and there’s a brand new stage, which looks to be a little bit smaller than the one featured last season.  This is a good thing. So, without further ado, here are your Top 20.

Ricky Jamie: I’m spit-balling these names here, people, they aren’t putting them in subtitles for me.  Ricky is a contemporary dancer who we have never seen before that I can remember.  I’m sensing some cannon fodder here.

Miranda Milefsky: Another contemporary dancer.  Another dancer we’ve never seen before.  Something about this one feels like cannon fodder as well.  Nothing against her, there’s just always a culling of all the contemporaries in the beginning.

Melanie Moore: Ah, Melanie aka Ginnifer Goodwin’s twin.  We’ve watched her cry in previews how bad she wants this for weeks now, but strangely I don’t think this moment has ever aired on the show.  I remember liking Melanie, I approve.  Contemporary.

Sasha Mallory: I don’t think anyone needs me to remind them who this is.  Her sister, Natalia, doesn’t make it through which means I was right about the show splitting them up, just wrong that it would be for the final spot.  I’ll take 50%.  Contemporary.

These four are dancing the first group number.  There is a lot of dry ice and nude colored clothing.  Many emotions are expressed through extended arms and pointed feet.  It’s rather bland and not particularly fun.  The judges, naturally, all love it.  Just you wait until next week, dancers.  Creepy Uncle Nigel has already decided which of you he’s cutting next Thursday.

Chris Coal: We have our hip-hoppers being revealed now.  Chris apparently got all the way to the end last season and got cut.  Take that as a blessing in disguise, Chris.

Wadi Jones: We met Wadi last night during Vegas.  He had a great deal of leg cramps, as I recall.

Tadd Gadduang: I looked up the spelling on this one.  I remember enjoying Tadd walking around on his hands but now I’m getting nervous for Lil O.  Will they put 4 hip-hoppers in the Top 20?

I immediately find out that Lil O is not through, and I’m tempted to hate everyone who has made it through up til now on principle.  And everyone who makes it through after.  These boys better be EXCELLENT.

Robert Taylor Jr: This is the guy who says “woo” a lot.  You know who he isn’t?  Lil O.  Yeah, that’s right, it’s about to get mean up in here.

The four boys get up and do a Dave Scott routine which is significantly more entertaining than the contemporary routine from a few moments before.  Of course, so is mowing grass with a pair of nail scissors.  Still not Lil O.  I better see him in summer ’12.

Iveta Lukosiute: I can now spell this woman’s name by memory.  Iveta is the sole ballroom dancer in the Top 20, so–

I’m sorry I just blacked out, because Cat told me that Pasha would be dancing with Iveta.  I’m experiencing hysterical blindness.  I am willing to forgive the Lil O misstep for bringing Pasha back to my television screen.  If his shirt is open, I’ll forgive a lot more.  The fact that Iveta can even hold her own against Pasha bodes very well for her.

Clarice Audaz: I guess jazz is up now. I remember her solo from Vegas and that’s about it.

Marco Jamark: Hoo-boy, I think I really screwed up this guy’s last name.  He’s the one with a bullet in his arm.

Jordan Casanova: Jordan is the one who said “fierce” a lot in her audition.  What am I saying, the one?  One of the ones.

Missy: They never told us Missy’s last name, did they?  Smells like cannon fodder.

The jazz routine is choreographed by Sonya Tayeh.  Weirdness and tutus commence immediately.  Let’s be clear, that I prefer weirdness and tutus to dry ice and nude-colored clothing.  It’s quite entertaining, and I love that Sonya screams and cheers in the audience, although I didn’t recognize her for a moment…Sonya has blonde hair and no mohawk!  Who has tamed the Tayeh?  Is she missing a piercing??  Up is down, black is white!

Jess LoProtto: There’s just something about this kid that screams arrogance.  He’s so arrogant that Nigel calls him out on it.  Jess is a Broadway dancer, and he actually reacts to the news with real emotion.  Maybe he’s not arrogant, he’s just trying to be cool.

Nick Young: There was tap in the auditions??  There was GOOD tap in the auditions??  DAMMIT!  I had to sit through velociraptors and delusional morons and the producers were sitting on Nick?!  They are so lucky that they had Pasha on tonight, or they would be receiving a strongly worded email.

Nick and Jess do a tap number by Christopher Scott and I’m destined to love it as soon as I see that they are so different in stature that Jess winds up looking something like a pygmy.  Oh, and it’s good anyway.  There are flips.  There are characters.  There are props and costumes that tell a story.  These boys are working the crowd.  Alright, Jess, we’re wiping the slate clean.  Nick, I might actually vote for you and I’m usually too lazy and/or drunk to pick up a phone by the end of the show.

Kaitlin Olsen: Apparently, she’s Nigel’s favorite.  I’ve never seen her.  Man, if she’s Nigel’s favorite and she still doesn’t get screen time, what the hell does a girl have to do?  Also, we’re on another contemporary group here.

Ashley Rich: I’m sorry, Mary Kate and/or Ashley Olsen only prettier and African American.  Does no one else see this?

Mitchell Kelly: Never heard of him.  Best of luck.

Alexander Vost: Okay, so all the male contemporary dancers are cannon fodder this year.  I’ve literally never heard of any of them.

Ryan Ramirez: Seriously, if they hadn’t put Ryan on the show this year, I would have risen up in revolt.  Pasha or no Pasha.

The final five dancers are free of dry ice and I can perceive at least a few color choices in their costumes.  Of course, the dry ice has been replaced by fake flower petals, which I have to assume are at least a minor hazard.  Maybe those are fake leaves, not flower petals.  It’s better than the first contemporary, which isn’t saying much, though of course the judges are effusive in their praise.  They’re all sharpening their knives for Wednesday.

There are still more dances to perform but I’ll leave those for you to critique in the comments.  Current favorite boy and girl for me: Nick Young and Ryan Ramirez.  Person I’m ready to see go?  Tyce D’Orio.  Seriously, when does America vote on that one?

Stray Observations:

-Does Lil C realize that accomplishing alliteration ain’t actually awfully, ambitiously arduous?

-When Mary started spitting out ballroom dances that Iveta was the world champion of, I was starting to think her weave might fall off.  I think Mary is going to protect Iveta as long as she can.

-I think I’ll be referring to Sonya as simply The Tayeh from now on.

-Apparently a bow-tie is called a “dickie bow” in England.