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See the finalists who will battle to be America's Favorite Dancer

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So You Think You Can Dance Season 9: Meet the Top 20

Remember the good old days when it seemed like dancers specializing in Tap or Breaking were risky casting choices on So You Think You Can Dance? Well, welcome to Season 9, where the sea of Contemporary dancers have been infiltrated by hoofers versed in Stepping and Belly Dancing, in addition to the uniquely created Martial Arts Fusion and Animation Popping & Robotics styles. We can't wait to see how the choreographers will incorporate those skills into powerful and no doubt heartwrenching routines. (We've got our tissues ready!) The ninth season also introduces two more firsts: Eliminations will take place in the same episode as performances, and this year, two winners — one boy and one girl — will be crowned America's Favorite Dancers. (Hello, power couple!) Did your favorites make the cut? Which dancer overcame a brain hemorrhage? Who can't resist Sour Patch Kids? Which dancer wants a pet octopus? Click through to get the dirt on Season 9's Top 20.
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Alexa Anderson

Age: 19 Hometown: Chandler, Ariz. Dance style: Contemporary Therapeutic dancing: "My mom enrolled me because I had a hemorrage in my brain. I was born really prematurely so I had some kind of complications and got a hemorrhage on the left side so that gave me a right-sided weakness. So I was really uneven as a kid. I wouldn't use my right arm and just try to tie my shoes or pick up things and leave it dangling. So my mom enrolled me into dance to try to exercise my brain and my body and even me out a bit. It ended up helping a lot." Guilty pleasure: "Almond Joy. It is so hard to walk by an Almond Joy and not pick it up and eat it. Every time I walk by one and I don't eat it, I'm proud of myself."
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Amber Jackson

Age: 21 Hometown: Atlanta, Ga. Dance style: Contemporary Dance persona wish: "I'd like to do something embodying an Egyptian princess, someone like Cleopatra." Musical maven: "I'm obsessed with singing. I love doing Broadway musical songs. It's the best. I want to be on Broadway. My favorite has to be Hairspray. And I love The Lion King."
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Amelia Lowe

Age: 18 Hometown: Butler, N.J. Dance style: Contemporary Vintage vixen: "I cut my hair off in my freshman year of high school because I just wanted something different. I got the bangs and I dyed it black. As I was getting older, I modeled it more towards [silent film star] Louise Brooks. Me and her, we go way back. I love that whole '20s thing." Guilty pleasure: "I just love anything that's chocolate and peanut butter. That is my jam, whether it's ice cream or Reese's peanut butter cups especially."
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Audrey Case

Age:18 Hometown:Edmond, Okla. Dance style: Jazz Blame Barney: "I used to watch Barney all the time. They have this song that came on, it's called "The Kookaburra Song." I used to do this little dance, and rock back and forth. My mom was like, "Man, she has some rhythm." So she put me in the basic Ballet-Tap combo class." Guilty pleasure: "I love donuts, any kind of donut. Iced donuts: chocolate, strawberry, glazed, anything. Such a problem. And I also like Goldfish crackers. I eat Goldfish all the time. I always have this bucket and I get those huge refillable jars and just keep filling it over and over. I take it with me everywhere I go."
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Brandon Mitchell

Age: 27 Hometown: Kansas City, Kan. Dance style: Stepping Street swagger: "I definitely have that hip-hop, that rugged, raw swagger that young black guys get from black colleges and the whole fraternity thing. [I'm] just bringing that out in its rawest form. With step, you create your own music with your body. It's such a militaristic, raw form." A different kind of G: "I wouldn't mind portraying a 1920s [or] 1930s, edgy type of gangster with the zoot suit and the hat. Like the "Smooth Criminal" Michael Jackson situation. I would love to do something like that. Tyce [Diorio], hook that up!"
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Chehon Wespi-Tschopp

Age: 23 Hometown: Zurich, Switzerland Dance style: Ballet Late-blooming Billy: "In the ballet world, most of my friends started when they were 4 or 5. I started really late, around 13. ... A year after I started dancing, I was offered a spot at the Royal Ballet School in London. That was kind of weird because it was literally just around the time that the movie Billy Elliot came out. So I was really inspired by that. I felt like it was kind of my story." Number-by-paint: "I had a lot of difficulties in school, especially everything with numbers ... It took me years until I realized with the help of a learning psychiatrist that I learn through colors. [For me], every single number has a different tone of color. The number one would be a grayish-black. Each number has a different tone, and they mix up. That's how I started remembering my home phone number because I saw a color pattern. When I was playing violin, every note has a different color to me. It kind of works the same with me for dance steps."
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Cole Horibe

Age: 26 Hometown: Honolulu, Hawaii Dance style: Martial Arts Fusion Kung fu choreography: "My martial arts training came at like 4 or 5, dance came at 13. I started with judo and went to aikido and did tae kwon do for probably the longest. … I went from 13 to 16 for dance... then I came back at 21 or 22. That's when I started choreographing. People would say, 'It's very martial arts-y.' At first, I tried to avoid that, but after a while I realized that I was trying to be something that I'm not, so I'm just going to embrace it." Surprisingly silly: "I've been getting a lot from the contestants as they get to know me, 'I didn't know you were so funny!' I kind of initially come across as a little introverted, serious and focused. I'd say my sense of humor is dry. Some of them still don't know when I'm joking until the others start laughing."
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Cyrus "Glitch" Spencer

Age: 22 Hometown: Atlanta, Ga. Dance Style: Animation Popping & Robotics Spicy snacker: "I'm a vegetarian and I am a chip guy. Anything hot like Flaming Hot Cheetos, Extra Flaming Hot Cheetos, Flaming Hot Flames, Flaming Hot Cheeto Puffs, Takis. Takis Fuego are so good. They're like tortillas rolled up. They're kind of like Flaming Hot Cheetos but it's so much more." Injury-free: "Besides the minor stuff like sprained ankles or sprained wrist, I haven't had any major injuries. I'm pretty safe. I mean, how messed up can a robot get? He might power down every once in a while."
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Daniel Baker

Age: 24 Hometown: Newcastle, Australia Dance style: Ballet Sweet lessons: "My sister was in dance classes, and she got candy after class. So, I was like, I had to go to class if I wanted the candy. I stayed with it. I was a fat kid, but I was so athletic and always jumping around." Guilty pleasure: "Sour Patch Kids."
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Dareian "Dare" Kujawa

Age: 20 Hometown: St. Paul, Minn. Dance style: Contemporary Pushing through the pain: "During Vegas Week, I popped [my] rib cage or something like that. I fixed it and it was alright. Later on, as we got to the final solos, I did this trick, a butterfly twist — an aerial and twist in the middle of it. I reinjured myself and I couldn't move my right side. I was like, 'There's no way I'm going to let this come between me and getting through.' So I just grabbed my right arm, and pulled it as hard as I could the other way and popped it into place, got onstage, finished the dance." Lil' Dare: "I used to rap and had a couple of songs when I was 13. That was when Lil Bow Wow was doing it. I thought, 'If Lil Bow Wow can do this, I can do this.' Well, I actually do still rap. I'm afraid to say this though because I don't want them to ask me to freestyle. I freestyle in my Jeep on the way to work sometimes. It's only when I'm super tired and I've got to stay awake."
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Eliana Girard

Age: 21 Hometown: West Palm Beach, Fla. Dance style: Contemporary Ballet Cirque du Soleil siren: "It's mental trength, physical strength. I was an dancer and I did pole. I was an aerialist. It was for Viva Elvis so it was total rock 'n' roll. We had a point piece to 'Can't Help Falling in Love' and a lot of hip-hop, contemporary in there. But we always had to dance in heels. That was the only thing. Your achilles' tendons start to hurt after a long time." Bloodthirsty TV: "I love Game of Thrones. It's so hard to know what's going on. The storyline is so intricate, which is incredible, and then the acting on top of that. Tyrion and the way he can manipulate the situations, like when they were going to kill him and he had someone fight for him? Brilliant. I love True Blood too. I'm a vampire, werewolf person. Most people are either a [Team] Bill Compton or an Eric. I'm Team Alcide. He's just such a good guy and he's so hot. And he's genuine too. He could carry you so easily. That's what you want, a man!"
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George Lawrence II

Age: 19 Hometown: Atlanta, Ga. Dance style: Contemporary Ink-aholic: "I have four tattoos so far. The infinity symbol is because I'm very emotional. When I love, I love hard and I love forever. So it's 'love eternity.' Then I have quotation marks on my back. That's 'The body says what words cannot.' But it's not actually the quote in there, it's just the quotation marks. And then Pisces on my arm and on then on my ankle I have 'Talent.' B'Day Boy: "I love to sing even though I can't. I can't sing at all. But give me some Beyonce, and I will kill it or try to kill it."
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Janaya French

Age: 20 Hometown: Aurora, Colo. Dance style: Lyrical Contemporary Post-Grey's Anatomy finale stress disorder: "I still can't wrap my head around it! I was on a plane two weekends after I watched it, and I wasn't thinking about crashing. I was thinking about how they killed off Lexie and the fact that she's literally not coming back and that she and Mark cannot be together. There's something wrong in my head, the fact that that was the only thing I thought about on that plane." Trying to make "fetch" happen: "I love to quote movies. I think that shocks people. Stepbrothers. I have a few Mean Girl ones. And they're really random. I've quoted Bolt before. No one knows Bolt, but I quote it all the time and they look at me like I'm crazy. I think in movie quotes. They just stick with me and if moments happen, I think it's hysterical that I should just use them."
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Janelle Issis

Age: 24 Hometown: Vestavia, Ala. Dance style: Belly Dancing Sensual, not sexy: "The biggest misconception about belly dance is it's about sex. In Middle Eastern culture, men and women tend to separate when they're socializing. ... The women would cook and be in the kitchen, and dancing was the way to entertain each other, enjoy each other and have fun. It was also a way for women to strengthen their stomachs and everything for childbirth. It is also sensual and a beautiful art form, but I don't think people understand that there is technique and that there is a lot to it, more than just what has been shown in cinema." Healthy pleasure: "I love whole artichokes. You boil them and then you eat them. I don't think that they're that high in calories but they're expensive. That's the guilty pleasure part. Four dollars for one artichoke. It's not even that much food!"
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Lindsay Arnold

Age: 18 Hometown: Provo, Utah Dance style: Latin Ballroom Guilty pleasure: "If I'm really feeling down, I would love a nice, juicy burger... and chocolate." Water woman: "I love waterskiing and wakeboarding and surfing. I actually surf in a lake behind a boat. You can surf the wake behind a boat, it's kind of like wake-skating but you're closer to the boat. It's crazy but really fun though."
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Matthew Kazmierczak

Age: 21 Hometown: Peoria, Ariz. Dance style: Contemporary Octodad: "I plan to get an octopus as soon as I'm settled and don't have this craziness going on. You can go to a pet store. You just have to ask them about it. They usually live about two years, three years tops, so you can't get really attached. But I'm going to name him Mortimer." Film fan: "I have this weird obsession with the Scream movies. I saw Scream 4 opening night, April 15, 2011. I loved it. It was the best one since the first one. That one was record-setting, it was amazing. It saved the horror genre. Kevin Williamson was brilliant, him teaming up with Wes Craven. Absolutely amazing. I could talk about that for days. My friends and I who are obsessed with the franchise celebrate it on Dec. 21 and April 15. Dec. 21 was the first one in 1996."
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Nick Bloxsom-Carter

Age: 20 Hometown: Oak Park, Calif. Dance style: Ballroom Mother knows best: "I was forced into ballroom dance by my wonderful mom. She forced me into Cotillion. I hated it. I hated it so much. There was this mean old lady with a wooden leg. I didn't like it at all. But after the first year, I was able to win the Mr. Gentleman's Award. I was like, 'Oh, I won an award. Dance is pretty cool, but I'm done. Pull my brother Rex into it.' She's like, 'No, you won an award. Do it again. Come on, you'll love it.' Puttin' on the Ritz: "I grew up watching Fred Astaire, so I felt that's my character. I have an air about me. I have a ritzy-type of thing. I have this whole box set of Fred Astaire that I just watch every year, at least twice a year. Fred Astaire is definitely my idol. I would die if I could do something Astaire-esque on the show."
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Tiffany Maher

Age: 19 Hometown: Plantation, Fla. Dance style: Jazz Who needs lessons? "My parents put my older sister into dance because she was really shy to get her out of her shell. I would watch her every single day in my stroller. One performance someone got sick and they thought I had learned the dance from just watching in my stroller so I actually performed in my first show before I ever took a dance class." Guilty pleasure: "I could eat Yogurtland frozen yogurt for every single meal. I have this way I do it. First of all, I sample each one every time I go. And then I do the tarty ones on one side and the sweet ones on the other side. And then on the side I put the fruity one, I put fruit and on the other side I'll put Snickers, Butterfinger, cookie dough."
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Will Thomas

Age: 19 Hometown: Troy, Mich. Dance style: Contemporary A league of his own: "I used to play baseball and was stuck in the outfield. One day, the only time the ball ever came to me, I was picking daisies and dancing out in the outfield on my uncle's team. ... From then on I was like, 'OK, I'm not playing baseball anymore.' My dad took me out, and my mom was a cheerleading coach at my high school, so they dance a little bit. I would learn all the routines and would have so much fun with these seniors. I was in sixth grade, and my mom was like, 'I'm going to put you in a hip-hop class.' Sleight of hand: "I like doing magic tricks. I can do this card trick. My high school teacher taught it to me. "
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Witney Carson

Age: 18 Hometown: American Fork, Utah Dance style: Latin Ballroom Scared but intrigued: "I'd love to work with [choreographer] Mia Michaels because I feel like all of her numbers are so inspiring. Being ballroom-trained, I'm especially scared because I'm not in that genre at all. She's so intimidating and she knows what she wants and if you don't have it, it's a problem. Hand it to me hard...but not too hard!" She's with the band: "I actually started playing the guitar and the drums. My uncle has his own recording studio, so he's a totally rocker kind of a guy. I just went to his house and he started teaching me. Ever since I started playing the guitar and drums, I'm really into rocking music like some Korn and Avenged Sevenfold. It's a new thing for me."