SYTYCD 9 -- Top 20
Having seen who got chosen in the Top 20, they've got a real interesting mix of dancers from diverse styles of dancing. They actually did the selecting of the Top 20 during Vegas week, so they showed the dancers chosen getting in flashbacks and they had them do live performances for Mary, Nigel and guest judge, Zoey Deschanel.
A word on some of these celebrity guest judges. Do they have any experience in dance? To the best of my knowledge neither Jesse Tyler Ferguson or Zoey Deschanel have any dance experience, so are they really good choices as judges, other than the fact they're on popular TV shows? Debbie Allen is a different matter since she's a professionally trained dancer and she knows what she's talking about. If they can't get one of the choreographer's to fill the third seat, how about bringing back some of the past winners to be the third judge.
They seemed to break the elimination process down to the style of dance each dancer did. I wasn't sure what type the first dancers danced.
Alexa, the girl given so many chances, more than any other dancer on this show, was picked for the Top 20. George Lawrence II also got chosen to be part of the Top 20. As well as Amber Jackson and Will Thomas. Nigel gave Amber a hard time because last time she didn't make it and said she'd never try out again. And they say women when they find out something that happened in the past just can't let it go. They didn't really need to dig up the old footage of what Amber said to ruffle Nigel's feathers. Amber, Alexa, Will and George dance to We Found Love which was choreographed by Tyce.
Will is very tall so he's told he needs to learn to move his body as fast as the shorter dancers. Amber is told that she's a star. Alexa is told she found her performance. And George is told he would shine even if there were no lights on.
Ballroom is the next type that dancers are either chosen or eliminated from the Top 20. Witney, Lindsay and Nick are all on the show. Lindsay and Witney have apparently competed against each other in the past and now they'll be competing for being named the Top Female Dancer. The judges play a nasty little mind game on the two girls by bringing them in together and telling them they're only looking for one ballroom dancer, when they ultimately choose to have both in the contest.
Nick, Lindsay and Whitney dance to Dance Again. Nick is said to be a bit stronger than his female partners, while Mary choo-choo's and declares the girls are hot tamales.
Next up is the Classical Dancers. Daniel, Chehon and Eliana are all chosen to be in the Top 20. They dance a ballet routine together and the judges give them a standing O. Nigel says that both Chehon and Daniel have courage because they gave up their current careers to be on the show.
Next it's time for the Jazz babies to be told if they've made it or if they're going home. Audrey and Tiffany both make it. Belly dancer, Janelle, also makes it. But she apparently got sick after Vegas week and was told not to perform in the show, so only Audrey and Tiffany perform in Sonya's choreography.
I do have to wonder if this is going to cost Janelle in the long run. She missed out in her group's dance, in the Top 20 girl's dancer and the Top 20 dance. All those are kind of moments to bond the dancers together, and she was sitting in the audience watching. So in a way she may be an outsider when all the dancing begins since she wasn't with them from the start.
Joshua Alexander, who was practicing a stunt, last week and got knocked out, never got to perform his final solo. There's no telling if that cost him in the long run, because he comes to Hollywood and told he won't be on the show, this year.
Dareian, Matthew, Amelia and Janaya make it on the show and do their dance for their group. They dance to Modern Drift.
At the point all the girl spots were picked and 7 guys were left to fill 3 spots. Those three to make it were Cole who mixes martial arts with his dancing. Brandon, a stepper. And Cyrus, the only member from Dragon House to make it all the way through.
I really like Cyrus and think he does his animation dancing phenomenally, but the guy he was up against, Feliciano, was told how good he was throughout Vegas week. I really thought they were going to tell Cyrus he didn't make it. Of the two, Feliciano did better at the dances than Cyrus, but I think they put Cyrus in because when he does his own thing it impressed them so much. I thought they made the same kind of decision between Amelia and Jill. From what they said Jill was the best dancer, but they went for Amelia because they felt she had star power. So in both these cases the best dancer didn't get put through; the more flashier dancer [though not necessarily better dancer] got put through.
Cyrus, Brandon and Cole dance to Resolve which incorporates their three different dance styles.
Nigel is thrilled having all these different types of dancers in the contest.
Mia Michaels choreographed the first dance all twenty dancers dance to. I didn't even recognize her. For some reason she reminded me of Latoya Jackson when I first saw her. Don't ask me why. I really don't think that's a good look for her.
Because of the Fourth of July the show is taking a week off.
Here's a list of the top 20 dancers who made it:
Top Ten Boys
Top Ten Girls