— Okay. The episode of So You Think You Can Dance that this space has been chosen to discuss began its proceedings with 190 dancers. It is unclear how many of these 190 were males and how many were females. Regardless, there is no easy way for FOX to present this process. They can't show, in acceptable detail, all the people we've come to know over the initial audition episodes. There is only an hour, and within that hour, 140 dancers were sent away into relative oblivion, likely never to be seen again.
The problem is this: Where to begin in a recap like the one you are reading right now?
I could go the super-short summary route, but that is more or less a cop out on my end. The show was an hour long and things certainly happened; 150 people were cruelly Judo chopped to the curb. There's a few stories in there worth discussing. Although fans are probably eager to get into the top 20 and for the real performance episodes, stretching out Vegas week to, say, four episodes instead of two might alleviate some of the recapping issues the author is having right now.
Here's what we're going to do. I'm going to linearly explain how the process of the show went down, and then we'll discuss some specific stories and people, notable eliminations, and notable absentees.
On day one, all 190 dancers were taught a Shane Sparks hip-hop routine. After learning the dance, they split into groups of ten and performed for the judges (Nigel Lythgoe, Mary Murphy, Shane Sparks, Mia Michaels). After that, each dancer was individually assessed. To move on, dancers needed three votes. Two votes got them a chance to "dance for their lives" at the end of the round, where they perform a solo routine in their own genre. They need three votes after that or they're gone.
62 dancers were eliminated thanks to the Shane Sparks routine. They didn't discuss this aspect, but I suspect that Shane's routine was meant to not only weed out those who didn't belong, but give the judges a chance to even out the genders, since the next dance (a Mary Murphy samba) was a couple's dance. Diabolical, FOX.
After Mary Murphy's couples dance, which we don't get to see a whole lot of, almost half the dancers have been eliminated. We don't get an actual number, but based on the thousands of episode frames I've analyzed over the last twelve hours, I'll guess the number is 92. This also signals the end of day 1.
On day 2, dancers must learn a Mia Michaels temporary routine. Mia isn't a fan of bad dancing and is a notorious hardass. Her routines are also complicated, extremely difficult, and totally foreign to most dancers. People have a hard time with the choreography. Some people get eliminated, some don't, and we move on to day three. Before we move on, however, the remaining dancers are randomly placed in groups of five, pick a random song out of a hat, and have to choreograph a group routine to the song. Emotions run high, there is crying, there is yelling, there is blatant and incessant mugging for the cameras.
The group routines are performed on day three. Some are inspired, others are terrible. Eliminations come swiftly from the judges and, by the end of the day, there are only 50 dancers left. By the end of tonight's episode, So You Think You Can Dance will have its top 20 finalists.
Okay, here's a look at some notable dancers:
Olivia Usey, whose mom has cancer and wanted Olivia to try out for So You Think You Can Dance, makes it all the way through to the round of 50, but it's not without her share of drama. Olivia likes drama and she likes the camera on her. She has a flip out during the group choreography. Her dancing seems very good though, and she could make it to the top 20.
Michael and Evita, the Lindy Hoppers. These two get A LOT of screen time, and it's all for naught, because both are eliminated prior to the top 50. Evita cries some, and she has to dance for her life twice. The second time, the judges regrettably send her home.
Hok, who last year had the Visa problems, and is a ridiculous and creative break dancer is heading through to the top 50, despite having to dance for his life.
Big Jamaal, who did the awesome and surprising Swing routine at the initial auditions, is eliminated at the very end. The judges loved him, though.
Ricky Palomino, a dude we haven't seen, comes out of nowhere to wow everyone. Mia Michaels is in love with him, and for good reason, as he completely dominated her contemporary routine.
Twitch, an awesome freestyle/hip-hop dancer is heading to the top 50.
Hannah Lee, the survivor of that awful dance floor collapsing incident, sprains her ankle and that is one of the reasons that she gets eliminated.
Jessi Peralta, the girl who rubbed oil on herself in auditions, proves to be a very creative and talented dancer. She's moving on.
That's about it. The two dancers I want to hear from that we didn't see any of are Phillip Chbeeb and Caitlin Cucchiara. Maybe we'll see them on tonight's show.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of RealityTV Magazine)