Nigel Lythgoe Nigel Lythgoe

It's summertime, which can only mean one thing: It's time to start crushing the hopes and dreams of dancers who came from all over the nation to compete on So You Think You Can Dance.

Following Wednesday's high-energy and jam-packed performance night, Melanie and Marko were the first pair spared from elimination, which is not surprising since judge Nigel Lythgoe called their Travis Wall contemporary number Emmy-worthy.

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Jordan and Tadd were the first couple to land in the bottom three, which shocked the audience as their afro jazz piece was certainly not the worst of the night. The bad news continued for Jess and Clarice, whose placement in the bottom three caused Lythgoe to throw his hands in the air in frustration. Miranda and Robert rounded out the group who'd be dancing for their lives.

With Mitchell on the sidelines after an elbow injury, he was also forced to dance for his life. In an unprecedented move, Lythgoe asked both Robert and Mitchell to dance for their lives a second time.

After dragging out the inevitable, Lythgoe announced that — surprise! — no dancers would be sent home this week. "We surprised ourselves," Lythgoe told TVGuide.com backstage. "We started worrying, and I called and asked, 'What happens if we didn't send anybody home?' We've done that on Idol, so we're not setting a precedent on these types of shows, although it's the first time we've done it. Standards and Practices came and said, 'That's OK, you can do that.'"

Meanwhile, fellow judge Mary Murphy assumed Mitchell would definitely be sent home because he didn't perform on Wednesday, "but the second he started doing that solo, it was amazing and we looked at each other and said, 'We can't let him go home!'"

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Unfortunately, this week's non-elimination means four dancers will be sent packing next week. "That will be traumatic," Murphy said. "It will also be a huge wake-up call to the contestants because we're giving them one more week [to bond]. It's going to be as traumatic for them as us. We're all celebrating tonight, but it will be something else next week." 

As for who stands out to make it far in the competition, Lythgoe named Melanie, the petite Ginnifer Goodwin doppelganger, as a favorite. "And although Jess and Clarice were in the bottom three, they were superb," he added.

In happier news, Lady Gaga will guest-judge later this season, and Debbie Reynolds will take a spin at the judges' table next week.

What did you think of the non-elimination? Do you think it was a cop-out? Sound off in the comments.