This week's comments, questions and concerns come without any technical dance knowledge and no actual dance skills ... just straight up love for "So You Think You Can Dance."
The insanity of Vegas week is here and I've been anticipating this tear-fest for a full week now.
The drama-level was pretty high (though not nearly as nuclear as the promos promised) and the dancers were dropping like flies almost instantly. They really got down to business, eliminating contestants from the get-go, having each dancer do a solo before the choreography rounds even began.
For the choreography rounds, first up was hip hop with Twitch (TWITCH!) and Comfort, followed by Tyce Diorio's challenging Broadway routine, which cut 23 additional dancers after Round 2. After Sonja Tayeh's jazz and Jason Gilkison's ballroom routines, only 52 dancers (out of the original 181) remained for Travis Wall's contemporary round. The competition was fierce and emotions were running high as the judges did the dirty job of eliminating nearly two-thirds of the contestants for the final day.
Quite honestly, there aren't enough hours in the day to read about all the lunacy that was jam-packed into episode 5 of "SYTYCD" so, for the sake of your time, here are the top 5 most memorable moments from Vegas week.
5. Hampton Williams (the guy who mesmerized us all early on in Dallas) graciously bowed out of the competition early when the choreography proved to be too much. Though quitting isn't usually something I condone, the humble way in which he spoke to the judges almost made it okay. I hope he comes back next year!
4. Cyrus (member of the Dragon House crew, with the incredibly large gauge earrings) danced for his life after struggling (but making it) through the choreography rounds. And once again, he stunned the judges, getting an "that was extra buck" from Lil' C. I hope they aren't highlighting him so much, just to break our hearts ... although something tells me that may be it.
3. The High Schoolers -- This five-person group (four guys, one girl) led by Aubrey, put on, as Tyce said, "One of the best group performances in Vegas ever" and Nigel even complimented Aubrey, calling her a mini-Mia Michaels. Although very talented, she just didn't have what they were looking for. Aubrey was cut after the ballroom round.
2. Amelia (1920s-inspired, flapper-ish girl) danced for her life after Sonja's jazz routine and really impressed all of the judges but Nigel. His tough but valid criticism -- dance other people's choreography the way you dance your own -- led to a really, very genuinely heartfelt moment to remember: Amelia's tearful promise to the judes, "I am so ready to make you love me." Well Amelia, challenge accepted.
1. The judges, especially Tyce, were particularly hard on Alexa (a Vegas week veteran, who was the last one cut before the Top 20 in Season 8) telling her that the "lights were on, but no one was home" and that she was "dead inside." They literally forced the emotion out of her after the group round, bringing her to tears on stage. Although sad to watch, I'm glad they did it! That seemed to be exactly what she needed. The breakthrough kicked her dancing up a notch and she sailed her way through the rest of Vegas week.
Comment: Lookout, boys! Aside from a few (okay, just Cyrus) I can't remember any of the guys. Not their names or faces, the song they danced to or any descriptive characteristics to explain who I'm talking about to other "SYTYCD" junkies. Maybe it's just too early, or maybe the girls are just kicking butt.
Question: HOW much longer until we reach the live episodes?! (Answer: Three weeks. Next week the Top 20 are revealed, then there's a break for July 4 and then 7/11, we're live).
Concern: As the live episodes approach, I'm still concerned (read: annoyed by/not looking forward to) how one episode a week will work.
I know there were a number of moments and dancers that didn't make it into this recap, but I'll just tell you this, if I left them out tonight (I'm looking at besties Lindsay and Whitney, among others) it's because I think you're going to get plenty of playing time in the very near future.