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SYTYCD: The Top 20

SYTYCD judge Nigel Lithgoe
SYTYCD judge Nigel Lithgoe
Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images for SAG Foundation

Happy Season 11 of So You Think You Can Dance! (Who else loves that they have actual dances from the show in the opening credits now?)

It’s callback week with Tara Lipinski and Irina Dvorovenko rocking the judges’ table with Nigel Lithgoe, Mary Murphy, Twitch and Adam Shankman. A total of 34 dancers were cut after the initial solos with over 100 left to still vie for the coveted top 20.

Familiar faces Christopher Scott and Jasmine Harper (from Season 10) led the group in a Hip-Hop routine for the first stage of choreography. This round brought some surprising results. Even some of the Hip-Hop dancers by trade were a little shaky with the challenge while quite a few of the ballroom dancers more than proved their versatility.

Sonya Tayeh enlisted SYTYCD alumni George and Amy to demonstrate her Jazz choreography in round two. This stage proved to be a killer and took out 12 more dancers including one dancer’s knee.

Ballroom choreography from alumni Dmitry (known in many circles as “Dmitry the Button-less”) and Anya was up next. More surprising stars emerged (although one chipped a tooth) and the poppers and the krumpers earned some serious respect.

Travis Wall brought Mackenzie Dustman (Season 10) as his partner for the Contemporary round. This is one talented group and there wasn’t a cringe-worthy performance in the bunch.

Last is the group performance as crafted by the dancers themselves. By design this part of the process tends to fuel some conflict with a lot of really confident people working together. This season was no different and featured a few disjointed performances. Fortunately, the show is not called “So You Think You Can Choreograph.” (Fox, if you decide to make this a spin-off to SYTYCD, you know who mentioned it first!)

Nigel did pull a King Solomon at one point by requiring a particularly unfortunate team (self-titled “One Love”) with an unfortunate performance to choose for themselves the person in their group who would be going home. They stuck together, however, staunchly refusing to throw anyone “under the bus” and risking each of their places in the Top 20. This satisfied Nigel and they were all asked to stay.

After 44 dancers performed some incredible solos, it was time for the judges to determine the Top 20. These dancers will be appearing in the live competition beginning next week:

  1. Ricky Ubeda
  2. Jessica Richens
  3. Jackie Luong
  4. Teddy Coffey
  5. Stanley Glover
  6. Carly Blaney
  7. Emilio Dosal
  8. Bridget Whitman
  9. Valerie Rockey
  10. Zach Everhart
  11. Jourdan Epstein
  12. Casey Askew
  13. Emily James
  14. Nick Garcia
  15. Tanisha Belknap
  16. Serge Onik
  17. Malene Ostegaard
  18. Marquet Hill
  19. Brooklyn Fullmer
  20. Rudy Abreu

So, readers, what do you think? Did your favorites make it to the Top 20?

Albuquerque readers can catch SYTYCD Wednesdays at 7 p.m. (MST) on Fox Channel 2.

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