So You Think You Can... Episodes

2005, TV Show

So You Think You Can Dance Episode: "Top 20 Perform"

Season 8, Episode 6
Episode Synopsis: The Top 20 dancers perform.
Original Air Date: Jun 15, 2011

So You Think You Can Dance Episode Recap: The Top 20 Perform Season 8, Episode 6

We're psyched that So You Think You Can Dance reverted to the original Top 20 format. As they take to the stage to compete live for the first time this season, we learn that only 19 of the 20 are taking the stage because poor Mitchell injured his elbow in rehearsal and was advised to sit this one out.

So there you have it: The first injury of the season. We would just like to say be safe and careful, everybody. Rest, drink water, stretch. We still lament Alex Wong dropping from the competition last year.

In happier and more random news, Megan Mullally is in the house to fill the rotating judge's seat. Apparently, in addition to playing a boozehound on Will & Grace and appearing in the non-children's program Childrens Hospital, she has some dance cred — dancing with the American Ballet Company and in Broadway musicals. Who knew?

Since we have performances from 10 pairs this week, we only get 8 seconds to learn about each dancer. Some are better at speed-talking than others, and obviously have careers in auctioneering to fall back in the future when their bodies get a little creaky.

Jordan and Tadd, afro jazz
Choreographer
: Sean Cheesman
Song:
"Riding the Waves," Afro Celt Sound System
It's Jordan's birthday! She celebrates by wearing her birthday suit — well, she covers up with some pseudo-nude clothes and tribal paint. It's a primal, rhythm-bouncing routine, and overall, they both keep up with the pace, flinging their limbs and heads around with abandon. Their partnering is a little bit rough, but not bad considering the strength of the upside-down holds involved. As a jazz dancer, Jordan is in her element, but Tadd's urban street skills more than keep up. They are also both wee and adorable.
The judges say:
Nigel gets a little excited talking about explosions and volcanic eruptions. He's a fan. Mary screeches about how Tadd blew her away. Megan compliments them on their "precision and power."

Sasha and Alexander, contemporary
Choreographer:
Travis Wall
Song:
"Stupid (Mark Bell Mix)," Sarah McLachlan
It's a beating up-relationship concept, so there's lots of violent emotions, and pushing and pulling of limbs. I love you! I hate you! I love to hate you! The pulsing bass is reminiscent of the inside of a womb. Not that we remember that. Sasha is incredibly charismatic and has complete control of her body and expression. Alexander ... doesn't. He's good, but obviously the weaker partner.
The judges say:
Mary shrieks, "Talk about taking a beating at work! Slam dunk, bam!" We think that's good. She compliments Sasha on her presence, but says there was a disconnect with Alexander. Megan says Sasha has acting chops. Nigel is scared of Sasha's "modern-day Amazonian princess" persona, but he likes them scary. Poor Alexander gets the same critique to bring it more.

Clarice and Jess, Broadway
Choreographer:
Tyce Diorio
Song:
"Me and My Baby," Liza Minnelli
It's classic Broadway, and Jess owns it. The air he gets in his leaps, the boneless ease, the energy in his face is great — except it makes Clarice's shortcomings all the more apparent. Really, she's tiny and spry, but next to him, she's clunky.
The judges say:
Megan loves it and calls Jess a "natural-born performer" who shows inner joy like Jimmy Cagney and Jimmy Durante. Nigel compliments Clarice's beauty, but warns her that "Jess outdanced you." Apparently, Jess is one of Nigel's favorite guys this season.

Ryan and Ricky, lyrical hip hop
Choreographer:
Christopher Scott
Song:
"Ain't No Sunshine," Lighthouse Family
The story is that Ricky wants Ryan back, and can you blame him? Ryan is like a dancing Cat Deeley, so yeah. A leggy, blonde Amazon who performs the lyrical side flawlessly, but it's the hip hop stuff that really impresses. Her energy and sharp movements are mesmerizing, but so is her huge Joker-type smile, which seems a tad out of place. Nevertheless, we like it. Ricky did well also, but was obviously overshadowed by Ryan. Oh yeah, and great boots!
The judges say:
Each of the judges were bugged by Ryan's smile (Megan admits she was "confused"), but give her props on everything else. Overall, they're happy with the emotions that were brought out and Ricky's talents balancing out Ryan.

Caitlyn and Robert from Season 7 (filling in for Mitchell), jazz
Choreographer:
Sonya Tayeh
Song:
"In for the Kill (Skrillex Remix)," La Roux
It must be difficult rehearsing with one partner and then performing with another, but even though Caitlyn had to move from Mitchell (who was injured) to last season's Robert, we can't feel too bad for her. It's Robert after all! Caitlyn is pretty good, but feels unfinished. Her leaps aren't that high, her limbs seem stiff. She has great extension, but isn't loose enough. Robert, on the other hand, shows her how it's done.
The judges say:
Mary is thrilled, thinks Caitlyn was "brilliant" tonight and hopes Robert will be one of the all-stars joining us this season. Word. We second that, although not as shrilly. Megan appreciates Caitlyn's strength considering her small stature. Nigel points out her obvious resilience considering her setbacks this week.

Miranda and Robert, Latin
Choreographer:
Jason Gilkison 
Song:
"Runaway Baby," Bruno Mars
The whole going-for-the-unattainable-girl story seems lost on us. Maybe we're distracted by the mod black-and-white dress and silver boots that were made for dancing. Robert is fantastically bouncy and high energy. Miranda doesn't look comfortable and after she had confessed she didn't know how to be sexy, well, we can feel it.
The judges say:
Megan just loves the routine and says, "You'd have to be in a coma not to like that one." She's really into Robert and comes on to him: "We could be very happy together. It could work." Nigel cautions Robert to work on his form (point them toes!) even if he does have a big personality. He also wants more confidence out of Miranda. Mary gets Robert to do his signature "Woo!" and then makes our eardrums bleed with her answering "Woo hoo!" and pumps her fist.

Missy and Wadi, jazz
Choreographer:
Sean Cheesman
Song:
"Judas," Lady Gaga
Sexy demons escaping from Pandora's Box? We're feeling it! The pair is dressed in black and red leather-looking strips with fringe, which looks great with their writhing and leaping movements. The props — two open boxes — work really well considering Wadi excels at the athletic parkour movements.
The judges say:
Nigel is really into the "beasts" metaphor for the girls, and this time it's actually appropriate. He points out that this season the hip hop dancers (like Wadi) are really showing their diversity. Mary says it was "phenomenal." Megan thought it was "insane and uh-mazing." Yup.

Melanie and Marko, contemporary
Choreographer:
Travis Wall
Song:
"Turn to Stone," Ingrid Michaelson
This is why we tune in — when high-concept dances make us believers. Mel and Marko are statues, see, and then they come to life and dance and then become one tandem statue. They're dressed and all powered in white, whiter than Robert Pattinson as Edward in Twilight. It's a gorgeous routine, showing off Melanie's legs and ridiculous extensions, as well as her chemistry with Marko, who shows great control and strength. The movement is at times fluid and at times pausing, giving a statuesque pose. Breathtaking.
The judges say:
Mary is verklempt because it's so "magical" and exhibited a "perfect partnership and amazing artistry." Megan has chills and then quotes Oprah Winfrey. No, she doesn't give them a car, but says, "Wow, wow, wow." Nigel is such a fan, he thinks this could be the first routine for the season to be nominated for an Emmy. He also says the slight imperfections in Marko's performance were just enough to make the routine good since there's room to grow (huh?) and then bows down to Melanie as the Queen of Beasts.

Ashley and Chris, hip hop
Choreographer:
Christopher Scott
Song:
"Forget You," Cee Lo
It's about cheating! How do we know? Ashley finds a bra in Chris' pocket. It's all downhill from there. Ashley seems to do better with the energy, but sadly Chris, who's a b-boy, doesn't seem comfortable acting or in that heavy letterman's jacket. This was a miss.
The judges say:
Nigel tries to make a joke that Chris was actually a cross-dresser (hence the bra), but it's a lame attempt to fill the critique with some sort of lightness. The judges agree that it was a fun routine — Megan especially likes the wardrobe — but in general, they seemed as underwhelmed as we were.

Iveta and Nick, ballroom
Choreographer:
Jason Gilkison
Song:
"Ballroom Blitz," Sweet
By now, it's clear that the dances assigned are not random at all. Each were chosen to show off the skills of at least one partner, and Iveta is obviously the happy dancer since she's the world champ in quickstep. And although she's flawless, we think Nick more than matched her. As a tap dancer, he's going to be light on his feet, but he also brought his charming personality, leaps and pirouettes. In ballroom it's usually the woman who is the focus and the man who creates the frame, but our eyes were on Nick.
The judges say:
Megan can't get over the fact that Nick is a tap dancer. "That's crazy!" she says. Nigel very properly gives Nick credit for more than coming up to Iveta's level. If you slow down Mary's critique and turn it down a few decibels, you'd hear that she gives a primer on the criteria of a good quickstep — and this had it. "It was unbelievable, and Nick, you rocked!"

Whew! What did you think of the routines? Were the styles chosen to highlight one of the dancer's genres fair? Who did the best? Which all-stars would work the best with these dancers? Share your comments below.

 

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We're psyched that So You Think You Can Dance reverted to the original Top 20 format. As they take to the stage to compete live for the first time this season, we learn that only 19 of the 20 are taking the stage because poor Mitchell injured his elbow in rehearsal and was advised to sit this one out.

So there you have it: The first injury of the season. We would just like to say be safe and careful, everybody. Rest, drink water, stretch. We still lament Alex Wong dropping from the competition last year.

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Premiered: July 20, 2005, on FOX
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: A national dance competition from the producers of `American Idol.'

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