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Review: So You Think You Can Dance - Meet the Top 20

by Michael Pascua, posted Oct 27th 2009 1:08AM
Karen, Ashley, and Ryan perform a three person Samba
(S06E10) In a So You Think You Can Dance first, we get to meet the Top 20 before competition starts. It's nice to see the dancers doing well in their element before they fall apart trying to learn Disco, Bollywood, or Russian Folk.

We also welcome Adam Shankman as a permanent judge. Nigel wants Paula Abdul to guest judge eventually. Since she was in the audience of Dancing with the Stars, she's probably got the time.

I dislike the return of last season's finale stage as the new permanent stage. The camera angles constantly have heads in the corners, and there are no more stairs for cool performance elements.

The judges didn't have much to say since there was no voting, so I've omitted any of their fluff commentary.

Top 20 Performance - Jazz - Luckily, to figure out all the dancers, they are broken into four groups. There were a lot of people and I wished they had name tags. It's nice to see Legacy keeping up with the jazz steps; maybe he'll make it to the top ten based on his talent and not just his good looks.

Hip-hop - Russell Ferguson, Kevin Hunte, Jonathan "Legacy" Perez - The three, with three different genres of hip-hop, have NappyTabs teaching choreography. Unfortunately, all three lacked cohesion. I hope that their outfits aren't an indication of what the outfits will look like for the rest of the season. They do some really interesting partner work that even DWTS couldn't touch.

Contemporary - Channing Cooke, Ariana DeBose, Jakob Karr, Nathan Trasoras - Tyce is happy to see strong technique, and uses the story of how four people portray sadness. The extensions are strong and the technique is amazing, but I can't help but think that Jacob has too much camera time. Jacob's shirt looked like it was borrowed from last season's "If it Kills Me" routine.

Tap - Phillip Attmore, Bianca Revels, Peter Sabasino - Derick K. Grant is a new choreographer, but I wonder if he'll teach something outside of tap. There was something weird about the coordination in the beginning, but after Bianca's flips the tree seemed closer. There's something I don't like about Phillip, but I can't pinpoint it yet.

Jazz - Mollee Gray, Pauline Mata, Ellenore Scott - To prove that the show doesn't differentiate between Contemporary, Jazz, and Lyrical, three girls who basically represent contemporary will dance jazz. Sonya Tayeh wants a sexy performance but she defines sexiness as confidence. There is definite sass, and even with short hair, Ellenore out sassed Mollie.

Contemporary - Billy Bell, Kathryn McCormick, Noelle Marsh, Victor Smalley - Mandy Moore wants to showcase the group's talent. Noelle busted a toe; probably a bad sign for her. I'm surprised how easily Billy lifted the girls, he doesn't look like he has muscle.

Samba - Karen Hauer, Ashley Di Llelo, Ryan Di Llelo - Karen is from Venezuela, explaining her sass. The choreographer, Jason Gilkison, returns after a season absence. I was blown away by the storyline because Jason didn't just leave spaces for solos. I still dislike Ashleigh's spray tan, but she's growing on me.

I think I made my personal favorite list (Victor, Pauline, Bianca, Ryan, Jakob, and Russell). I would almost put Peter in, but he used the word "audio-ly." Who stood out to you? Leave comments below.

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Deborah

Anyone know where I can view this Meet the Top 20 show? My DVR didn't record it, and I haven't been able to find the full ep online anywhere, just a video of the opening group number in the speakeasy.

October 28 2009 at 11:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave

Dare I say that Mollee looked kinda skanky with the straight hair and deep red lipstick. Let's get her back in the mop top!

What's with everyone adopting the superheroes pose?

October 27 2009 at 4:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bruno

I agree with the previous comment... the new stage is really horrible.
Why they would change something that has worked for them so well surprises me.
They need to bring the old set back. This one doesn't work.

October 27 2009 at 1:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bruno's comment
JaRed

The new stage is very distracting with the lights moving in the background, and it is very difficult to see the dancers and their moves. I think they have lost any sense of class they ever had with the new set and the costumes. I also wasn't overly impressed with the choreography during the first few numbers. I've always been a real fan of the show (wouldn't miss it ... ever), but must say I turned it off after the first half hour.

October 27 2009 at 11:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lylekira

I like Ashleigh, Phillip, Channing, and Legacy most right now. Hate the new stage too.

October 27 2009 at 12:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sarah

i think the reason why you don't like Phillip is because he, as my bff put it, he looks like a d*ck.

October 27 2009 at 12:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ed_C.

I HATE the new stage. I hated it last year and I still do. They've limited themselves to shooting from only one side instead of three. When the dancers are towards the back of the stage they're so far away from the lens. I really liked how the old set incorporated the entire audience and made it a bit more intimate.

October 27 2009 at 12:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kristi

My favorites were (from each routine) Russell, Bianca, Pauline, Noelle, Nathan and Karen. . .I read that Billy's out due to an illness AND Noelle's battling a knee injury (OH NO!) I hope she can pull it out because she's from my town and I'd love to root for her!
http://www.orble.com/teevee-sytycd-top-20-night-1/

October 27 2009 at 12:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cyn

I loved the idea of grouping the dancers according to their styles and performing for us before the judging starts! Brilliant! We can actually see how good they are before being out of their elements.
I loved the "hot" samba. Wow. Loved the song by K.D. Lang but it felt like the dancers were flinging and flayling about the stage too much. I adore Wade Robson's touch and the opening stage number was fantastic.
I thought Cat D. was overdoing it a bit.
Great start. Thank goodness the auditions are finally over.

October 27 2009 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jamabam

it looks like it'll be a great season. though i'm really sad because my early favorite, Billy Bell, had to leave the competition due to illness :( so sad!

http://fox.com/blogs/dance/2009/10/26/finalist-billy-bell-has-left-so-you-think-you-can-dance-due-to-illness/

according to his facebook page, billy was released from the hospital and plans to audition for season 7.

October 27 2009 at 9:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
gerry

NATHAN stood out for me and RYAN and ARIANA. Wow.
Passion not just technique.

October 27 2009 at 3:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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