So You Think You Can... Episodes

2005, TV Show

So You Think You Can Dance Episode: "Vegas Callbacks #1"

Season 5, Episode 4
Episode Synopsis: The first round of callbacks in Las Vegas.
Original Air Date: Jun 3, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance Episode Recap: Vegas Week Season 5, Episode 4

Now that was a rollercoaster ride. In Wednesday's episode of So You Think You Can Dance, there are some exhilarating highs and devastating lows. Who made it into the Top 20? We won't know until Thursday night, but let's find out more about our Top 16 girls and Top 16 guys.

Vegas: Day 1

We start out with 172 dancers. That's a bit curious considering we went into it with 178. I guess a few people got sick or dropped out. Whatever the story, there are enough impressive dancers here to take our minds off the math.

At the judges' table we have the ever-stalwart Nigel and Mary. They are joined by Mia Michaels, Lil'C, Adam Shankman, and Debbie Allen. And they don't play. What I liked about this group (and really about everyone who judges on the show) is that they tell it like they see it. I want to hear their opinions (most of the time) and I really value their critiques of the dancers. I wasn't so happy that Mia and Lil'C weren't loving Brandon, but I guess I'll allow it. I'm not happy that Natalie got cut after Sonja held her up as a shining example, but we'll get to that later.

The day begins with all the dancers performing their solos. We are reintroduced to contemporary dancer Alex Wong. Originally from Canada, he's been employed as a ballet dancer in Miami. His solo showcases great technique and power. It's a great way to start off the day. What is unusual in this round for all the dancers is that they'll get no feedback from the judges.

Hip-hopper Tony Bellissimo is desperately trying to break into his briefcase. We're not quite sure what he's got in there until we see his solo. I'm not sure it's healthy to have that many pictures of Nigel. Tony's personality comes shining through, but I feel like we didn't see a lot of actual dancing. And the judges give him that note later. They like his ideas but they need to see more.

Forty-five dancers are cut after their solos. Ouch. It's interesting, though, to hear the judge's explanation for losing that many people so early. Even though everyone who made it through was good compared to others from each audition city, when they all came together quite a few people fell short. We say goodbye to Travis Prokop, Chimezie Nwosu and Talia Rickards, among others.

The first round of choreography is hip-hop with Tabitha and Napoleon. As with all choreography over the next four days, the dancers are given one hour to master the routine before they have to dance in groups on stage. One of the early favorites — Gabi Rojas — is struggling. She has a very rocky start and seems to forget some of the choreography. When she picks it back up she's not impressive. 37 more dancers are cut. Only 96 dancers remain at the end of Day 1.

Vegas: Day 2

The next morning brings a waltz choreographed by Jean Marc Genereaux. Philip Chebeeb is rough but the judges like his energy. Arielle is cut and Nobuya Nagahama pleasantly surprises the judges. Nobuya goes on to explain that in the months between the tryouts and Vegas week he's been taking classes in every style of dance. He's pretty humble — or maybe extremely honest — and tells us he messed up a lot of the styles. He credits his instructors for helping him get this far. And he cries. You know how much I love that. Sixteen more dancers are cut.

Next is Jazz with Sonja. Was I the only one who thought this looked more like a Contemporary piece? I'm not sure what it was about this choreography that would qualify it as Jazz, but I guess I'll go along with that classification. What did you think?

Putting that aside, Sonja was having a love fest over Brandon and Natalie and had them do a demonstration on the piece done right. And I thought their dancing was beautiful. Those two are like magic together. So it is truly shocking to me when Natalie is cut. I kind of wanted to go back and re-watch her group to see if I could pick out any glaring errors, but I think I was in too much shock. And it's clear how much of a wake-up call Natalie's cut is to the rest of the dancers. Quite frankly, I'm still in shock. Not even Natalie is sure what she did wrong.

Mia and Lil'C aren't shy about letting Brandon know they're not impressed with him yet. They've heard nothing but good things from the other judges but he's just not living up to his potential for them. Now you know how much I love these two judges but I wanted to tell them to shut it. I'm still impressed with Brandon. And poor Gabi. She showed us so much potential in her audition and she seems to be falling apartment. After a less-than-impressive jazz routine, she's asked to dance for her life on the spot. And her solo is amazing. She's unanimously sent through to the next round with another warning to step it up. She needs to bring that level of commitment to all her dancing. 7 more dancers are cut.

Vegas: End of Day 2/Beginning of Day 3

The remaining dancers are broken into groups, given music and asked to choreograph a piece based on that music. In the past, many groups have crashed and burned on this assignment — and it's no different this year.

Vegas: Day 3

With little to no sleep, the groups are called on stage to perform. The first few groups are truly atrocious. I'm not saying I'd be able to choreograph an amazing piece on little-to-no sleep, but you'd think some of the groups would be a little better. In some cases, we're not even seeing good dancing. Erik Silky Moore's group goes first and the judges aren't even remotely impressed. Silky is asked to dance for his life but the judges don't feel there's enough fire there to advance him. The best group is Nerdography. They are so much fun — but with Evan Kasprzak in the group, we knew that would happen. I'm really happy to see him doing so well. Sixty-eight dancers advance.

Next up is a contemporary piece choreographed by Mia Michaels. It's weird and cool and completely Mia. Hip-hopper Tony Bellissimo has made it this far but this style finally seems to trip him up. The judges want to see him dance it again later. Nobuya is knocked out in this round but promises we'll see him again next year. Megan Kinney is through safely but Caitlin loses the choreography and is asked to dance for her life then and there. It's tense for a moment as she gets three nos and two yeses from the judges. Mary votes yes, and Caitlin makes it though to the next round. Ryan and Evan Kasprzak are adorable and easily make it through.

Now we're back to Tony. I thought I saw a difference in this performance and so did the judges. He makes it through. And he cries, of course. I really enjoyed Cat's comment about seeing grown men cry. It's strange and wonderful and moving. And it's great to see the judges get so emotional too. There was some welling up and some tears but it's nice to know they too can be so affected by it all. 13 more dancers are cut.

Vegas: Day 4

Fifty-four dancers make it to the last day. For the first time ever in the history of the show (a bit dramatic, no?) the dancers are separated into girls and boys. The boys get an hour of free time to frolic in the pool as the girls learn Tyce's West Side Story routine.

Bianca Revels is cut. I'm a bit surprised but I didn't love her performance. I am disappointed she won't be back next year; she had great potential. Gabi, Megan Kinney, and Priscilla Marrero are also out. Sixteen girls advance.

The guys rehearse next as the girls get an hour to soak up the sun. Six guys are cut and 16 advance.

The Top 32 are asked to perform their final solos — of which we get to see brilliant flashes — and our Top 20 will be revealed Thursday night.

My favorite quotes of the night from competitors:

  • "Excuses are the tools of the incompetent."
  • "No pain. No progress."

Thanks for all your great comments. I'm really enjoying the season so far and I can't wait to meet our Top 10 guys and our Top 10 girls. If I didn't mention some of your favorites (or your not-so-favorites), let's hear about it. See you back here Friday!

show less

Now that was a rollercoaster ride. In Wednesday's episode of So You Think You Can Dance, there are some exhilarating highs and devastating lows. Who made it into the Top 20? We won't know until Thursday night, but let's find out more about our Top 16 girls and Top 16 guys.

Vegas: Day 1

We start out with 172 dancers. That's a bit curious considering we went into it with 178. I guess a few people got sick or ... read more

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Premiered: July 20, 2005, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
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