Each year gets shorter and shorter and they always change something, so season 11 Hell Week gets moved from Las Vegas to Los Angeles and is condensed into a battle from 157 dancers down to your top 20 in one inspiring 2-hour episode on So You Think You Can Dance on FOX. Helping Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy make the tough decisions are Stephen "tWitch" Boss, Adam Shankman, Tara Lipinski and Irina Dvorovenko.
Solo Round: Starting bright and early at 8 a.m., with many of the judges seeing their solos for the first time and yet a wonderful reminder to the staple judges why they were invited to L.A. in the first place, only 36 dancers were cut in this first round (121 remaining).
Hip-Hop Round: Jasmine Harper (S10 runner-up) and choreographer Christopher Scott set the example for the dancers to practice all night long. Jessica Richens had a rough round and was given a chance to dance for her life, where she blew away the judges (89 remaining).
Jazz Round: Sonya Tayeh (dun, dun, dunnnn...) always prepares a difficult routine for Hell Week and separates the winners from the pretenders and this is where we saw dancers like Marie Poppins fall to the wayside, as anticipated (65 remaining).
Contemporary Round: Typically one of the most anticipated, but dreaded rounds is contemporary and with the incomparable Travis Wall at the helm, you know it would be memorable. The remaining dancers threw themselves into the routine so much that the large majority made it through effectively (50 remaining).
Groups Round: This is where strong bodies with tough minds are found, after a long week of constant brutal tests. Groups are given all night to prepare collaborative choreography. This was dreadful to watch and should be eliminated from the competition. These children should not be expected to know how to choreograph other people yet and has no real measure of their true talents (44 remaining).
The remaining dancers were all given one last opportunity to give a short solo audition and stand in line to share why they believe they deserve to be on the show before the judges make their final deliberation.
Keeping with tradition, one-by-one every dancer walked the green mile to hear the news from the panel whether they have been chosen for this season's show. In addition to the obvious Ricky Ubeda, the other nine men were: Rudy Abreu, Casey Askew, Teddy Coffey, Emilio Dosal, Zack Everheart, Nick Garcia, Stanley Glover, Marcquet Hill and Serge Onik. In addition to the obvious Jessica Richens, the other nine ladies were: Tanisha Belknap, Carly Blaney, Jourdan Epstein, Brooklyn Fullmer, Emily James, Jacque Luong, Malene Ostegaard, Valerie Rockey and Valerie Rockey.
This is going to be a magnificent season!