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Review: So You Think You Can Dance - Top 20 Revealed

by Jason Hughes, posted Oct 22nd 2009 12:48AM
So You Think You Can Dance(S06E09) Tonight, we started with 38 dancers, and by the end of the hour, the Top 20 stood revealed. I'm never quite sure how to take these episodes; American Idol always has one, as well. For the most part, it's just contestants walking in front of the judges and hearing "Yes" or "No." For those of us who've been watching since the beginning and finding our early favorites, it can be a little tense and exciting.

But then I think about someone who's never watched the show, and who's maybe tuning in for the first time tonight. What a boring hour of television they would be in for. You barely get any snippets from the good dancers who make it through. Mostly it's just a parade of faces you don't know and lots of crying.

But before we get to the tears, we need to get excited. For the first time, and to give everyone a more even playing field going into the first performance show, this Monday at 8pm ET, FOX offers a special non-elimination episode where the Top 20 get to show us their stuff.

But before we could get to that, we had to know who was in. Since the episode didn't offer much to critique, we'll just go with a simple list of who made it and my thoughts of them, if I had any. I do think FOX should have maybe paired this episode with another episode showcasing the dancing. Maybe they could have done this episode on Tuesday and had that special Top 20 free dance installment tonight.

Top 20

Boys
--Nathan Trasoras
- The 17-year old from season five; I loved him then and he's even better now that he can actually be on the show.
--Billy Bell - He really is an extraordinary mover.
--Russell Ferguson - Every time he did something that wasn't crumping, he blew me away with his ability.
--Kevin Hunte - You always need good hip-hop, and I thought Kevin was much better than ...
--Jonathan "Legacy" Perez - I just don't get this guy. I don't think his b-boy work is particularly inspired, and wasn't impressed with him in other genres.
--Ryan Di Llelo - It's pretty cool that a married couple got through, though there was never any doubt about Ryan.
--Phillip Attmore - In my own dance background, tap was my strength so I am absolutely thrilled that tap is finally being represented this year.
--Peter Sabasino - I don't really even know this guy, but he's another tapper. In fact, I don't remember (or never saw) the other two guys either.
--Victor Smalley
--Jacob Karr

Girls
--Bianca Revels - In looking over the girl's list, they're not as memorable as the guys this year. Bianca, though, was the first tapper through, and her skills definitely stood out.
--Pauline Mata - We remember her for that nasty spill she took swelling her ankle up to the size of a golf ball.
--Mollee Gray - I agree that she dances like she's about 14 or 15; hell, she looks about 12 or 13. But Mollee is very talented, and I'd love to see if an elegant woman can come out of the talent she has.
--Kathryn McCormick - I don't remember her at all from prior rounds, but how hilarious was it when she would start crying and her voice would creep her higher and higher.
--Noelle Marsh - And we start to get to a problem with the girls. Noelle is only notable because she's Molle's friend.
--Channing Cooke - Channing is a pretty blonde we saw cavorting on the beach, but how memorable was she as a dancer.
--Ariana DeBose - The rest of these people, for the most part, I don't know or really remember, until we get to the end.
--Ellenore Scott
--Karen Hauer
--Ashleigh Di Llelo - This is the luckiest contestant in the history of SYTYCD. I mentioned above. If another girl hadn't opted out of her spot in the Top 20, for a movie contract, Ashleigh would not be on this show with her husband.

Notable Cuts
They must have done some solid strategic cuts, because most of the people we saw get cut were people I didn't recognize at all. Of course, for a sense of drama, it didn't do very well because if someone got a lot of screen time already, you pretty much knew they were in. Maybe it was too much of a good thing?

As such, there were only a couple of notable eliminations, at least memorable for me. The guy who wore the strange off-yellow pulled-down yellow singlet for most of his solos; I really only remember him for that. The other is Amber Jackson, who pissed off Nigel right off the bat by staring at nothing at all when she did her first audition. I was never that impressed with her, and probably only remembered her because of her severe underbite.

Final Thoughts
I do agree with the outgoing Mia Michaels in saying that season six is going to blow season five out of the water. There were some good dancers in season five, but already there are more dancers in that Top 20 to get excited about than season five ever even thought of.

Maybe the editors did a better job of showcasing these dancers and their distinct personalities, or maybe just more of them have personalities. Whatever the reason, it looks like we're in for a great first fall season of So You Think You Can Dance. Now if we could just convince even more people to tune in.

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lly

People need to cut Phillip Attmore some slack. Unbeknown to the judges, Phillip's father was diagnosed with only weeks to live during Vegas week, and he died just after the "Green Mile" episode was filmed. Can you imagine the ordeal this kid is going through!! It was such a blessing that he got to tell his dad the good news before his passing. Let's not let an emotional week ruin the chances of an amazing dancer.

October 23 2009 at 7:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lly

People need to cut Phillip Attmore some slack. Unbeknown to the judges, Phillip's father was diagnosed with only weeks to live during Vegas week, and he died just after the "Green Mile" episode was filmed. Can you imagine the ordeal this kid is going through!! It was such a blessing that he got to tell his dad the good news before his passing. Let's not let an emotional week ruin the chances of an amazing dancer.

October 23 2009 at 7:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan

Peter Sabasino was actually a guy who went to Vegas last season as the "Tap dancing Boxer". He was good, so it seems as though he worked on other forms of dance this year and will probably be fun to watch. You will like him being a tapper...

October 22 2009 at 1:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jamabam

was i the only one really sad at mia michaels buzzed down hair?

October 22 2009 at 10:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sarah

glad that Jakob and Bianca got in, but so sad about Paula and Amber... i would easily swap them with Pauline and Ashleigh if i had the chance. and i so bet money that Mollee and Noelle are hot for each other.

did they really need three tappers? or Legacy?!

October 22 2009 at 10:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sarah's comment
RobynM

Three tappers? Works for me.

I can understand your annoyance, though - I regularly go through "Did we really need -another- contemporary?".

October 22 2009 at 3:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RJ

I'm pretty sure Ashley would've gotten in, and it was better TV for them to have that whole thing go down at the end. I think it was pretty obvious Ashely was getting in when they mentioned the surprise twist.

October 22 2009 at 3:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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