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Welcome to this weekís So You Think You Can Dance recap! Thankfully, we wonít have to suffer through any more bad auditions, barfing girls or tacky outfits. Itís time to get down to serious business, as the judges have chosen 115 hopefuls and shipped them off to Vegas for the first real round of competition. Each day the dancers must learn a new routine from a different choreographer and (hopefully) get some points awarded to them by each of the five judges. Fifteen points is the max they can get for each round. Those who score well get to move on. Those who donít, get gone. And those who are somewhere in between must ďdance for their life,Ē a last-chance effort to show the judges what they can do. Or canít do, in some cases.


Party On, Dudes
The dancers make their way to Sin City, straggling in and signing up at the Aladdin hotel. Youíd think theyíd want to get some rest, maybe practice a bit Ė nah. They all head to the pool and proceed to party down, moving the party inside later that night. One late-arriving guy stumbled into his room, hoping to get some rest, but was greeted instead with thumping music and shaking booties. No sleep tonight, buddy.

Party time is over Ė itís 7 am and time to learn their first routine, which is a hip-hop number by Shane. Tap dancing Andrew really blows it, as do many others. A few get it right, including the injured Claire. I think this girl is even bubblier than our host Cat, if thatís possible. Claire had banged her ankle on a metal bar at some point, causing deep bruising, but she still manages to out-perform many of her competitors. They pull one group of 34 to be graded, and they are an embarrassment, as none of them scored above a six. Sad. But since itís the first round, Nigel is giving them another chance Ė by learning Maryís ballroom Samba routine.

Two things Iím thankful for at this point: one, somebody must have told Mary to lay off the guffawing, because I didnít notice her hee-hawing at all this episode. A huge thank you to whoever was responsible for that. Two, Mary brings out a partner to help her demonstrate the Samba, who was apparently big in last seasonís show. Now, I didnít watch last season, and Iím sort of wishing I had. This guy Artem is gorgeous. Iím kicking myself for missing last yearís competition....

*ahem* Back to the show. Nigel tells the low-scorers to high-tail it back to their rooms and change into something appropriate for ballroom, if they have it. Dancer Lynn-Rae races to change, barely making it back in time. Mary and Artem teach the salsa routine (does Artem do private lessons?) to the group, and 35 people are cut the first day. The judges are still iffy about Lynn-Rae and Ryan, and tell them they must ďdance for their lifeĒ tonight. Oooh, drama. Lynn-Rae proceeds to have a major meltdown as she waits, while Ryan cries that he doesnít deserve this. Ryan is first to dance, and performs a really strange strip-dance before he does a serious faceplant into the floor. Ouch. The judges cringe and call for a medic, and itís back to Hawaii for Ryan. Lynn-Rae, in the meantime, has made herself into a human Post-It note by scribbling misspelled words all over herself. Somebody forgot to bring their meds with them to Vegas. She performs a spastic routine reminiscent of someone being zapped with a Taser, and gets a one-way ticket home.

Sucking It Up
Weíre down to 81 dancers, and itís judge Miaís turn to teach them a lyrical routine. The few remaining street dancers arenít getting it, as they havenít had any formal training in this style of dance. Claireís ankle is getting worse, and perkier-than-thou host Cat tries to cheer her up. After performing in small groups, itís time for eliminations - and street dancer Chris is first to go, which I hate because he was a blast to watch. Nigel tells him to come back next year and try again, because heís definitely got talent. Hawk makes it through, but Musa and swing dancer Benji are called back to dance for their lives. Musa is first to dance, and gets thumbs up from all the judges. Benji and his cousin perform next, a crazy swing number done to the tune of what sounds like a James Brown remix on speed. The audience loved it, as do the judges. This kid isn't the King of West Coast Swing for nothing!

Meanwhile, Claire is carted off to the hospital, unable to make it any further. Showing that heís really not a heartless bastard (at least not all the time), Nigel comforts her and says that she will be allowed to come back next year and compete without going through the audition phase again. Iím glad, as she was pretty good and deserves another shot.

Itís Brianís turn to teach a routine, and this will be one of the hardest. A fusion of jazz and hip-hop, according to him. The dancers have a hard time learning it, and break up into groups of three to perform in front of the judges. Many of them forget the routine, and dancer Julia only makes it through about 15 seconds of the dance before staggering off the stage and collapsing. Medic! People are cut, judges make nasty comments. Young Mike is up to be judged, and while four of the judges say yes, Nigel flips out and tells him ďnot to screw up tomorrowĒ or he will override the others and boot Mike out. ĎCause heís the Executive Producer, donítcha know. I know Iím impressed. Not.

Street dancer Hawk performs with his group next, and while the judges tell him heís through to the next round, he is clearly disappointed in himself. The judges tell him how great he is, but heís not feeling the love, confiding in Cat that he doesnít believe he deserves to be there. Cat tries to cheer the crying guy up, but heís having none of it and she brings a box of tissue. Hey, reality show hosts are good for something! Back on stage, Nigel has gathered the remaining dancers around and gives them a combination pep talk/chewing out. The next day will be tough, and they have one shot to impress the judges with a one-minute solo routine. There are 42 left in the competition, but only 10 guys and 10 girls will be chosen to move on. Join us next time to see who makes the cut!

Wishing Artem could teach me those moves....waywyrd@fansofrealitytv.com